January 22, 2004

More vacation notes

Say my name

Thursday night my Aunt Sheila and Uncle John had us over for dinner. It was a big crowd (Barb and I, my dad and stepmom and her mother, Aunt Nancy and Uncle John, and John's brother and sister-in-law) and a good family dinner. Then they brought out a birthday cake for me, very nice. But... wait, there's something wrong with it. My name is misspelled! It's not like I have an uncommon name (the 1990 Census says it's the 11th most common in the US), but there it is: "Happy Birthday Chirs". Being polite I don't say anything, except something dull like "That's, umm, a good looking cake" but then Don (that curmudgeon) says, "Yeah, except someone's dyslexic." (The cake was actually pretty good, with the icing not too sweet.)

We learned a new domino game which was decent, called the Mexican Train. (Why Mexican? Who knows.) I'd forgotten Fluxx to show my dad. You don't get to stick it to other people playing as much as other games, but it was fun.

No, they don't sell fleas

Apparently Florida is crawling with flea markets. Now, you and I (fellow Northern Traveller) may be acquainted with the temporary flea market -- maybe once a month, once or twice a season, etc. They're special and not only do people plan to go there ahead of time but the dealers make sure to bring their best stuff.

Not there. In Florida it seems there's a drastic shortage brick-and-mortar stores to sell all the junk so they need temporary ones to pick up the slack. With the amount of useless shit I saw there I wouldn't be surprised if there were cargo planes airlifting plastic trinkets 24/7 from China. Sunglasses, cards, ashtrays shaped like feet, smelly candles with your football team's colors, t-shirts of every shape and size, drink cozies, lots of crap with cats and dogs and stupid sayings on them, on and on and on. If someone came to one of these places from 50 years ago they'd probably keel over from the overstimulation. (To be honest, there was a substantial portion where fresh vegetables and fruit abounded (lucky buggers), along with places selling gor-may food (lots of nuts) and even some handcrafted stuff.)

The first one we went to (much smaller) was more traditional -- individual people selling old junk, some of which was interesting. There's also an unnerving crossover between junk and weapons dealers, at least in the south. A handy tip: stay at least as many feet away from the place as confederate flags they have. And then Barb saw three cats in a room with couches and such and got worried they were being sold to dogfighters and such. (You'd be surprised how often it happens. Disgusting.) So she did her usual routine with the couple in the brick-and-mortar antique store attached to the flea market and was overjoyed to hear that not only did the cats belong to the owners but that they were at one time strays that had been rescued. Then we talked to them for 15 minutes: they're PETA people, his daughter had been arrested several times but had a rich guardian angel, etc. Very nice people.

Later I made a simple (but good!) dinner for my dad and company. Note: salmon is very easy to cook.

More soon...

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