I'd mentioned last week I'd be spending the weekend in Philly to meet blogging friends Claire and J.D. So while the adventure was fresh in my memory, I thought it only appropriate to share with everyone a few of the things I learned from this roadtrip. For instance, I learned:
- That Claire will laugh hysterically when "knobs" are mentioned, even if the knobs are not referring to the British slang for male anatomy but are, in fact, furniture hardware. I discovered this when purchasing what I will now refer to as "drawer pulls," at a Bucks County flea market-- though, of course, I made sure to call them "knobs" about a bazillion times in her presence. If she is reading this now, in fact, she is still laughing at the word "knobs" and calling me a "cheeky bugger," a "meanie butt" or "naughty britches." This means the universe is working as it should.
- That J.D. knows in-depth history and trivia about pretty much everything in the entire world, and long ago I should have been consulting him prior to checking Wikipedia. Perhaps he is uninformed about, oh, I don't know... the mating habits of capybara. But, see, I wouldn't bet on that. We will stymie him someday, though.... Oh yes. Someday.
- "Dim sum" is probably Chinese for: "Dough, filled with mystery, on apparating cart." We went to an excellent dim sum restaurant which, as far as I can tell, is about as close to being in a scene from Harry Potter as I've gotten. Intriguing foods would suddenly appear on carts pushed by people who showed up from nowhere to offer them. Fascinating bowls of rolled things, puffy things, and, erm, chicken feet would roll by and then disapparate again. It was glorious! (Well... possibly not so much the chicken feet.) But still.
- You cannot hide in a crowd of 20 people. What worked for me well in "Family Life" class in high school-- that is, sitting behind someone tall and peering around, then disappearing as necessary-- does not work effectively when sitting in the audience of a small one-man show. I was initially concerned the performer would be pulling people from the audience-- thus, my desire for shelter. Then the performer questioned in the middle of his act whether I could see properly and wished to move.... BUST-eddd! Really thoughtful and funny performance, though.
- Dogs have the kind of wonderful, happy self-esteem that means even a lanky, 150-pound dog genuinely believes it is a teeny-tiny lapdog, and attempts to act accordingly-- no matter how physics and the size of the lap prove it otherwise. I find myself envious of this, because if I had the same sort of blissful take-it-or-leave-it lack of self-awareness as J.D.'s lovable Aiko, I would perpetually view myself as a delicate size 2 and have absolutely no reservations about posing for photos. We should be more like dogs, I think.
- Art is definitely in the eye of the beholder. This was an elaborate display found along the main drag in New Hope, Pennsylvania, a quirky area filled with shops... open-air cafes... and, apparently, strategically-arranged mannequins. The sign there on the gate reads something to the effect of, "Private Residence. Keep Out." You know, should you have a burning desire to scale the gate and pose with our plaster friends there. Or add an extra bit of art to it yourself. I think this arrangement depicts the artists' view of humans as zoo animals on display, a constantly-changing tableau of life parading before the subjects, making us question who, in fact, is the attraction-- those behind bars, or those passing by them?... Or, you know, the owner of the house just works for a mannequin manufacturer and this is a shipment that'll be going out to some department store. Could go either way, really. Click the photo to embiggify and get the full naked "bits-o'-mannequin" experience.
- You know when you're having a haircut, and realize in the middle of it what you really need is a tank of exotic fish, but you also need to remember to pick up a special something for your Aunt Millie's 80th birthday party and everyone knows how Millie has always been one who likes the "bling"? This is the shop for you. You really have to admire their empowerment of multi-tasking! "Sparkle Gift." It doesn't sound like they have a wide selection given there's just the one gift, but hey-- as long as it "sparkle," it'll make Millie happy. Hm, I wonder if she'd like a couple of guppies and a gift certificate for a new "do" as well...
- Hotels under renovation may pose a startling barrier between their guests and critical caffeination. The place I stayed had offered a continental breakfast each morning on a built-in counter in the lobby... until Day Three... That day, I blearily zombie-walked myself to the place of the great-and-mighty coffee bar to discover that, not only was it entirely Folgers-free, but the built-in bar and much of the tile floor around it was also completely gone. It took several moments for me to process what was not there-- and, then, to stop weeping. Many thanks to the construction worker in the lobby who took pity on my sleepy self and guided me toward the shining light of Awakeness that was the new java location. He is my new best friend. I probably wouldn't recognize him if I saw him again, because my eyes were mostly fused shut at the time. But I still love him a little. I like to think our love goes beyond meaningless facial recognition.
Vote for Of Cabbages and Kings at Humor-blogs; because votes are like little dishes of dum sum-- surprising and delightful. Or check out Humorbloggers and see which humor blogger has chicken feet. (I think it's probably Dead Rooster.)