Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Series of Unrelated Musings:

So my younger sister is getting married on Saturday (If you'd like to read more about specifics, we have a lovely matching set of "His" and "Hers")(just to be clear, the sister is Gina, the one closest in age to me). I'm pretty excited. I like the guy, even if he is a little nerdy (sorry Josh). They're a good couple, and should make a terrific family - I have every confidence that they will have a wonderful life together. It is a little surreal though, but I think that's because she's the first one to take the plunge. I've seen friends get married. I've seen cousins get married. I even saw Luis and Maria get married on Sesame Street. But never a sibling. So in some ways it feels a little different, a little bigger. It isn't anything bad, just new. I should probably get used to it though - I'll get to experience it 11 more times (13 - Gina - Me = 11)(unless of course one of them becomes a religious, in which case I'm sure the celebration will be even bigger).

Maybe one of the strangest things is that Gina is doing this before I am. I don't have a problem with this, but it, too, is new. Every major life change that I can think of (graduating from highschool, moving away to college, moving out of the state, etc.) I've gone first. Getting engaged and married are big steps and part of me feels like its my duty to go first, to clear the path or something. I'm not sure what that's all about, and it isn't a big deal, but I just thought I'd point it out. Because actually, it has been really nice having Gina do all the wedding planning stuff before me - she's been a terrific resource.

Switching gears now, if you'll notice, in the last paragraph the word "highschool" was condensed into one word (from the proper "high school"). I've decided that "highschool" should be one word. I feel very strongly about this, and if I keep doing it eventually dictionaries will have to recognize it as a legitimate spelling. Sort of like "grey" and "gray". (As an aside, I usually hyphenate "middle-school" and usually "lawschool" is one word too, though I don't feel quite as strongly about these). Everyone should feel free, nay, obligated, to join me in this cause. Let us raise such a ruckus that Webster himself crawls from the grave, quill in hand, to etch "highschool" into the fabric of acceptable spellings, before continuing with his undead quest to eat the brains of all the world's linguists.

Also, on Gina's blog (see the link above), there is a reference to safe driving. She recommends that those coming to her wedding should drive like a grandparent in order to keep safe. This gave birth to a series of comments regarding the horror of actually riding with our Grandfather, whom no one should ever drive with. I felt elaboration would be helpful:

My Grandpa drives like a maniac. His vehicle of choice is an old pickup-truck, completely stripped of fluffy extras like shocks or seat-belts. Driving on gravel at near-80, a passenger feels like they've stepped into the front car of a wobbly descending rollercoaster. Which has come free of the tracks. For the prepared rider, a mouth-gaurd is a must. The preferred method for riding is in the "perma-brace" position, back square against the seat, legs forward, feet pressed hard against the dashboard, arms angled against the base of the seat - you know full well that in this position you'll shatter both of your legs, but by accepting the ride you've already waved your right to mobility.

The terror doesn't stop at the passengers - it extends to every driver in front of, behind, beside, or beneath him (yes, God help us, beneath). The truck is usually filled to the brim with roofing materials - sharp knives, boxes of nails, loose shingles, etc. - and the tailgate is rarely tied shut. This hazardous debris spills out of the truck like milk from a bottle, creating a highway-long spike-strip. The sight is akin to watching a skier slalom around irate boxers. And, for anyone who dares get too close, Grandpa has a special weapon: the plank. Several large planks jut out the back end of the pickup at anywhere between 6 and 10 feet. For anything which extends more than 4 feet you are required to post a large, 2' x 2', red flag, so that drivers are aware of the distance. There is no such flag on my Grandfather's planks. Instead, to warn his fellow drivers, on the end of each board he places a small piece of tape. Scotch tape.

While the driving is frightening, it is the "stops" which border on levels of satanic terror. I love my grandpa, but I don't think he'd slow down for a red, octagonal-shaped traffic cop, holding a stoplight. Whether he's at a crosswalk, a "T", a four-way, or Times freakin' Square, his approach is simple: Go. On occasion he will yield. Not so much to other traffic as to the cramp in his foot which forces him to ease off the gas. He never checks for other vehicles, certain that they will look out for him. I can recall only one time when he cleared an intersection, and to do it he used his rear-view mirror.

Finally, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am probably going to be in D.C. at least one more year than originally planned. I am going to look into getting a joint degree, so that I will have both a J.D. and a Masters in Philosophy. I'm pretty pumped about this possibility, and so thought I'd share.

Well, I think that's enough for now. My weekend has officially started, and I'm looking forward to a great time this weekend - we've got reason to celebrate!


Anonymous said...

And you wonder where I learned all my excellant driving habits (and to think that I am a professional driver: shudder). And then remember who taught you many of your driving skills, so my only suggestion to you is the next time you have a passenger with you when you drive, check to see how they sitting and offer them a mouth guard.

Kendrick Novak said...

I use the fact that you are a professional driver to claim that I learned from a professional driver and therefore must be a decent driver.

Lady said...

I can't waiot until grandpa reads this