I Can Also Do A Trone D'Amour
In Order No Particular


Patrick is attending cooking camp this week.

On Mars.

Seriously, or rather not seriously, but believe me when I tell you I drove eleventy thousand miles this morning because when I signed him up I had confused makai Eagan (inconvenient but manageable) with mauka Eden Prairie (you are here. now attach a PGM-17 Thor to the bumper of a Barbie camper. see where it landed? farther than that) and by the time I realized my error Patrick's soft eyes were already aglow with the promise of culinary adventure. Also what the hell else am I going to do with him now that school is out? Let him play Minecraft all day? Nuh huh.

He is studying pasta in the morning and desserts in the afternoon and in between I pick him up and take him out to lunch because I wrote the situation as a word problem and figured out that any attempt on my part to return home would result in my spending four (4) hours driving. Each day. Eff, as Disraeli said to the queen, that.

So far Patrick has rolled his own fettuccine and discovered that he dislikes cream cheese frosting (which is good because cream cheese is one of the billion things that contain dairy - I'll get back to that) and I have learned that the libraries are much nicer on this side of town but the YMCA is sadly dated. Also that I am incapable of remembering anything so yesterday I arrived at the track with running shorts but no shoes and about five minutes ago I realized that I should have charged my laptop battery. This might - by necessity - be brief, so plowing onward in no particular order.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of ours sold his old pickup truck and started looking for another. As he did so his wife mused that trucks are the sort of thing people should own cooperatively, since there must be other families beside their own who need that sort of thing more than once or twice a year but less than always. Friend said "!" and then "Oh hey Steve" and Steve said "!" and then "Julia I don't suppose" and I said I thought it sounded like a great idea. Because it does. We currently have two cars: a roomy one with heated seats; and another one that smells like goat and has a broken tail-light and a cracked windshield. I have long been angling to replace one of these two vehicles (quick. guess which one) with something more fuel efficient and less redolent of livestock but every time I suggested we might want to get rid of the Ford and buy a Fiat, Steve has clutched his bow and arrows and duck decoys and 2x10s to his chest and muttered about his passions and his need for payload. So I liked the idea that we could share a gas sucking squirrel squashing machine for purposes that I file under the general heading "Steve" and eventually move toward the purchase of a car that would enable me to go all hybrid and, uh, save the planet while driving Patrick to this same cooking camp next year (HA!)

Anyway. I said sure, sounds like a good idea, you guys have fun and assumed that the quest for a shared truck would end in several decades with Steve and his friend eventually buying one second-hand from Edward. Steve and I spent five years (no I am neither joking nor exaggerating) shopping for a dining room table (cough commitment cough issues cough cough his not mine obviously cough) so the idea that he could shop for a used truck with input from another human being in less than a Jovian year was laughable.

Imagine my surprise. The whole thing took less than ten days from Hey Steve to Sign Here. I credit the friend.


If you had asked me a month ago if I saw myself as part of a part owner of a pick-up truck I would have said no, not at all, but I like it. It's previous owner obviously also had a kid in cooking camp because it has 160k miles on it but it appears to be in good shape, it's diesel (there's your fuel efficiency right there, says Steve. snuh, says I) and it doesn't smell much, if at all, like goat. 

Edward the car fiend is BESIDE himself.



In this one he is explaining to Caroline for the millionth time that the truck has a turbo engine and she's saying, Eddybear. I. Don't. Care.

He forgave her.


In other... well, hell. Is any of this news? Not really. So, call a grape a grape: SEGUE

I started running again. If you've been around long enough you might remember that I interrupted two decades of profound inactivity five years ago when I started shambling around the Y track while Patrick had his interminable swimming lessons. I managed with considerable effort to get up to a slow two miles a few times a week, did an IVF cycle, got pregnant, was put on (HAPPY SIGH) bed rest and then that was it. Tried again a couple of years later, struggled pitifully, gave up. Tried again more recently, got horrible shin splints, gave up. 


For whatever reason (maybe the fact that I just threw away all of my summer trousers because they seem to have shrunk over the winter) I decided to give it another try. I went to a shoe store that sells running shoes and the nice young man told me that it was no wonder I was getting shin splints because my running shoes were designed for tap dancing or something. So I got better shoes and I downloaded the Couch to 5k 101 podcast and I'll be damned if I'm not on week 5 and running pretty well. I highly recommend it - although I wish I was able to buy it as an app on an iSomething rather than listen to it as a podcast on my beloved Creative Zen because the app lets you listen to your own music and right now I am suffering through the techno. I have not yet run 5 whole ks (ever in my life) but I am optimistic that I may be able to do so and am considering signing up for an official 5k somewhere, some time. I understand these things usually come with tshirts?

Battery is blinking red so I won't even pretend to arc. I have another day to kill tomorrow, though, so who knows? Perhaps I'll return with a point.

Two things from my drive:

A vanity plate on a Smart Car read RTHNU. It took me a while to piece it together and when I finally got it I laughed heartily at his wit. Then I accidentally squashed his tiny car beneath my wheels. Whoops.

You know those little stick person stickers that people put on the back of their cars so you know that the wife likes tennis and the husband has a briefcase and they have 2.6 children and too many cats? I saw a back windshield which depicted Dad, then a stick-person sized space, then a child. One can only assume he had removed Mom from the picture both figuratively and the other thing. This seemed kinda mean to me. Why not just remove all the stickers? I hope for her sake her little stick person is now adorning the back of a nicer car. One that doesn't smell like goat, for instance.

PS I will come back tomorrow, I swear it on my Garmin, but in case I do not Edward is getting replacement tubes on Friday. We've never done ear grommets without removing adenoids or, really, any ENT surgery without something massive like sinuses or tonsils. Is it an easier/easy recovery?