10th Publication, February 22nd, 2001
I believe that I last wrote in early January, so I shall begin from there. Amazingly enough, nothing of great note happened after my last letter until the
20th (that is, in itself, something of great note, one could argue), when Mom, Pete, Steve, Ben and I went down to visit some friends of ours, the Fletchers, who live in New Jersey, to see President
Bush’s inauguration. I found it interesting to actually see the people move and interact, who previously had only appeared as
still–lives (lifes?) in magazines and newspapers. I must confess, though, that I don’t find much excitement in politics, since a lot of it (to me at least) is either speculating on things which will become apparent in time, or exclaiming over the many flaws that all who attempt to enter a public office have in abundance (as does everyone). The fact that I will not be able to influence the outcome of the skirmishes for power for another eight years may have tainted my outlook on things, but for now it all seems
he day after the aforementioned event was my birthday, which caught everyone, including me, by surprise, like it does every year. It always seems that we just stop throwing all the ripped up wrapping paper, and then we turn around and
it’s my birthday. I feel sorry for those who have birthdays even closer to Christmas. Despite the short notice, I got quite a large amount of loot, which generally fall into three categories: clothes, books, and dough (also referred to as money). I had been wearing out various articles of clothing, so it was nice to have my stock replenished, but one unique addition to my wardrobe (or dresser, considering that I
don’t have a wardrobe, or closet, considering the nature of the present) was a hat, that, according to one anonymous personage (who is not a member of my family, so is presumably less biased), made me look like some Irish thug. In fact, it was made in the Czech Republic. Three other presents stood out as well, but they have their own paragraphs. Due to my attraction to the Redwall series, and my inestimable appreciation for hardcover books, I had been collecting them in hardcover, one by one, so Mom, through a website auction place
(www.half.com), managed to get most of the remaining books, which gave she to me. And the monetary gifts were greatly appreciated and will come to some good use —
running a newsletter is an expensive venture and the people who have been receiving hard copies of it have been tardy in responding to their invoices, but all is forgiven, and I have decided to due away with the
$0.02 charge for receiving a hard copy, since it is too much of a pain to collect. But I ramble on.
One present that came a couple days late turned out to a huge box containing an office chair like
Dad’s, which (sad to say), I have been coveting for a while, since my chair was like some medieval torture device, so now I can adjust the height of the back, the tilt of the back, the height of the whole chair, and I can swivel around and around. Stephen, when he saw it, immediately began demanding that he get a chair like mine for his birthday (which is a half year away). Pete now nightly commandeers it for use doing his school work as well.
Having heard the sad tale of Nutmeg, the dearly departed Christmas present and guinea pig, and having housed him for a short time before Christmas, Mr. and Mrs.
Kricks, whose Bible study I
baby sit for, decided to get me an early birthday present, to ease my sorrow at losing Nutmeg. They let me decide where we would go (you will read the results of similar decision in the next paragraph), and after calling all the pet stores in the phone book, I decided to get one from a family that goes to
(Master’s Academy of FIne Arts), who were suffering, if you can imagine it, from an overfull house of guinea pigs. Needless to say, they lived far way and we got lost traveling there, and at one point were going back the way we came, but we finally arrived and found a very large amount of guinea pigs. Since we had a male guinea pig already, I did not wish (well, I
wouldn’t mind, but Mom did not wish) for a female, so instead of taking one of the adorable little babies, I went with a five month old, whose gender I could be reasonably sure of. Unlike Nutmeg, he was a very docile and quiet pig
— Mom thinks that he is nicer, but I think that instead of desperately trying to escape us fearful humans, like Nutmeg did, he just sits there quaking, hoping we
don’t hurt or maim him. Mom, when she saw him, got along well, and christened
him… Nutmeg, since he appeared similar to the spice, just like the first one did. Being a little fuzzy on the colors of spices, I assumed she knew what she was talking about, so now he is Nutmeg, or Nutty, or Little Nutty
Foo–Foo, and many other derivatives concocted by Steve, Ben, and me. He gets along really well with Sage, unlike the first Nutmeg, and is still very quiet and tame. I think Mom has made him her favorite guinea pig, which is an achievement, since her last one was Blackberry, who would just sit wherever you put her. Since there has been very much confusion regarding the status of my guinea pigs, I will now spell it all out, from the beginning. It goes Spice
(FD), Gypsy (FD), Thyme
(MD), Blackberry (FD), Sage
(ML), Sawdust (FD), Chocolate
(F Sold), Nutmeg 1 (MD), and Nutmeg
the second (ML). F is Female, M is male, D is dead, and L is living. I hope this clears things up.
Probably the most unusual of my presents was a poem that was slipped to me by one of the Plowmans —
I believe I have mentioned the Plowmans before, but for those who don’t store my newsletters in high quality safes, they consist of Sarah, Rachel, Becky, Elizabeth, and Joseph, in chronological
(?) order — I forget which one, but I’m sure they will remind me — a family from church, whom we occasionally do things with (going to a movie, sledding, bowling, et cetera), The gist of the idea was that they were stumped for an idea of what to get me (sorry, I know that
wasn’t very comprehensible), so they decided to write poem saying that we could go somewhere, and I could decide the activity, be it bowling, renting a tape, or whatever. Not being very decisive about such things, since usually I am just told
we’re leaving now, are you coming?” I was in quandary as to what to do. Finally, I decided that we would go see new movie that Dan had been drooling over, but that was not the end! It turns out that they run a very effective babysitting company, and they were booked for a while every Saturday, and Fridays, one of them worked at
Friendly’s, so we had to find out if it was agreeable with our parents to go to see it (it happens to be called
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, by the way) on a weeknight, which it was, so it was finally set for a Thursday night, and then, after I thought it was all settled, they tell me that we
must go to eat someplace before the movie (emphasis on the must), so what do places do I like to eat at? In the end, I just said that whatever was in the vicinity of the theater would be fine (which
turned out to be a pizza place). Originally I assumed it would be a big group thing, but Dan had gone back to college, Pete and Steve had seen the movie previously, and Pete was tired and due to some feelings that the two younger Plowman siblings would not be appreciated, Steve did not go, so in the end it was just Sarah, Rachel, Becky, and I who departed to see this great movie. Mom remarked that some people would give much to spend the evening with three females, but she is always talking like that, contemplating who would be best for Dan or Pete to fall in love with (it is reminiscent of a play that I just saw recently, but all in good time), but thankfully I have been spared such treatment, at least
’til now. It was a rather unique experience, especially since we had to rush through the
pizza because of time constraints, but the movie was good, and I had a nice time.
Mom had her own excursion shortly after my birthday, in which she had a sleep over with Mrs. Fletcher (the person whose house we watched the inauguration at) and Mrs. Carter, who is another old friend (we have, literally, hundreds —
hundreds of old friends. Many of them I don’t even know, they come over and greet me and comment on how much
I’ve grown in ten years, while I just smile and say something intelligent like
“yeah”) — anyway, they went to a hotel and talked away while sane people slept, and had lots of fun, according to Mom (I think this will be one of the big highlights of the year for Mom, although, since I
wasn’t there, I don’t have much to report).
Last week, the twelfth to the seventeenth, was really hectic, as a change from just hectic. On Tuesday, I had French class for the first time in a couple of weeks, because of the weather conditions and illnesses, so I had a lot of catching up to do, and on Tuesday Mom, Stephen, and I had a
MAFiA field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts, and I had my doubts about it, especially when I learned that the art teacher would be giving us a tour. My fears were correct. I, in the situation of being faced with a big museum, would just start at one place and thoroughly go through, not skipping anything, until I was done or I had to leave because of other obligations. The art teacher, who is actually pretty nice, went wandering all around the museum, pointing out one or two things in a room, then herding us on to something else. I guess she wanted to stick with Baroque stuff, (since that is the era which we are studying) but it was aggravating, at least to me. Despite such distractions like her talking and
Steve’s complaining to Mom that he was tired and wanted to go to the car, I managed to have fun, and it was a weird feeling, knowing that I was standing in front of a painting (this very painting) that some long dead Russian czar had purchased, and possibly stood in front of, after so long just reading about and seeing pictures of painting and sculptures. Even with all our meanderings, we
didn’t even visit one whole floor, which is kind of amazing. Later on, Mom said that when
MAFiA ends, I could hitchhike a ride with Dad, who passes right through Philadelphia on his way to his Biology and Chemistry classes on Thursday, and wander through the museum until Dad picks me up at the end. This quickly made me think of all the other attractions of Philadelphia —
the Zoo (which again, I had not even seen the full thing, though I had been there once —
that appears to be my curse when visiting such places), and the Franklin Institute. I asked Dad if Mom had her facts right, and it appears that she was right, and he passes right by all those buildings, and that he throws stones at them (or at least he
could, according to him, but you have to read between the lines — that rush hour traffic can do horrible things to a
man’s mind…). So now I have grand ideas of going every Thursday and visiting some attraction each time, and if I
don’t see it all the fist time, just go again next week.
On Thursday, we had our usual MAFiA
stuff in the morning, and passed out until the Plowmans arrived to take me away (all those negotiations had taken a while), which I already told you about. On Friday we went to see a play named The Glass Menagerie —
I have an inkling that it is somewhat famous, but since I’m not sure, I shall ruin the plot for you. The idea is that there is this girl who is introverted, her brother, who works in a warehouse but wants to go and see the
world (much like Peter, come to think of it), and their mother, who is constantly badgering them and annoying the brother. The mother is continually trying to get
“gentlemen callers” to come to visit the sister, but is always thwarted, but she gets this idea —
get the brother to invite one of his friends over, and get him in love with the sister, so she will have a
“gentleman caller.” It goes on, but I found it slightly unrealistic, especially the last third or so of it, so I
won’t continue, except to say that Mom, sometimes, is like a toned down and milder version of the mother in the play, like I said earlier, and likes to contemplate who secretly likes Dan or Pete, or vice versa. During this crazy week, I was supposed to be doing my Eighthly tests (eight tests in all my subjects throughout the year), as well as to do an Algebra test. Thankfully, I have finished most of them now, so things should get back to normal for a while, or at least back to plain hectic, instead of really hectic.
Another trial and tribulation that we have endured stoically is having Dad’s computer have multiple failures of key pieces of hardware (truth to tell,
I’m a little sketchy on the matter, since Dad and Pete aren’t the most explanatory when it comes to computer problems —
generally the rest of us just wait tensely until we are told that everything is back to normal). The gist of it is that we have had no Internet for a week or so, since
Dad’s computer controls all the DSL stuff, and our computer has been commandeered by Dad for his use until his computer was back up and running. Apparently the repair place Dad took it to botched up the repairs, which just added to the work and annoyance, but as I type, another problem has arisen with our computer, in the form of a strange reluctance to letting us run several programs which it had no qualms about yesterday. Perhaps it can be fixed, but for now, it is a pain.
Unfortunately, due to a lot of factors, less and less people (and more to the
point, people with kids) are coming to the Bible study run by the Kricks, so I am temporarily out of an occupation that I’ve held for a couple years, which is sad. Fortunately, it is anticipated that the attendance will pick up in a couple of weeks, so I should be back in business after a while.
I believe that is my complete, up–to–date life story. If any of you have some life stories you would like to share with me, please, be my guest.
Oh yes. I would like to make a fawning reference to my favorite Uncle Peter, but since I
don’t make fawning references to anyone, he will have to settle for a deering —
he has requested such a reference for a while, but I keep forgetting, so now I shall mention him. (Favorite) Uncle Peter is the best Peter that I know of, and he
will take me to visit him in England (he better, since it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to skimp out on hotel bills, and we would never go there otherwise), where he is going for his
year’s sabbatical or vacation or whatever it is, right Uncle Peter? At least you will host us when we go over to say hi look at the
*Here Endeth the Newsletter*