Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A tale of two friends

Holly and I technically met in 8th grade, but it was in 10th grade, when we were actually at the same school, that we became friends. It was an autumn day, during soccer season, and the night before one of the girls on the soccer team had had a birthday party. The talk in the student lounge that day was all about who got drunk and what crazy things they did while intoxicated. Of the whole soccer team (which didn't have tryouts or cuts, so most of us were on it), we were among the approximately four girls not invited to said party. So, amid the din of the gossip, I asked her if she'd like to get together that weekend. Not to drink or dance naked on tables in front of boys, just to hang out.

She came over, and the highlights of the afternoon and evening included a very enthusiastic leaf fight, my cat puking under Holly's chair at the dinner table, and me laughing so hard I wet my pants. After those last two, I thought for sure she was no longer wondering why I hadn't been invited to that birthday party. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had asked the headmaster to change her class schedule around just to avoid being near me. But instead, she invited me to her house.

The two pals on top of East Rock, with Long Island Sound in the background.

Since then, we have written thousands of pages of notes to each other, discovered the laughing position,* gone camping, discovered Yorkshire together, been known to devour a whole box of Girl Scout cookies in 10 minutes when stressed, made a really weird joint art project, somehow made it through college and grad school, gotten married to two wonderful men (I swear, when I first met her husband, I thought I was suddenly discovering I had an extra brother), and had lots of leaf fights. It's been much harder for us to meet up since we finished high school, and before this weekend, it had been nearly two years since our last visit together, but each time we talk on the phone or see each other in person, it's as if no time has passed. I wish everyone could have the kind of lasting and deep a friendship we do.

The short version? It was a great visit, and an awesome weekend. And I'm so glad that she and her husband finally met Taz! Oh, and she wants to (re)learn to knit...

*No, this is nothing dirty. We just realized one day that if you start laughing while lying on your back with your knees folded and your feet in the air, it's really really hard to stop. Pants wetting may ensue. Or at the very least, shortness of breath.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A strange kind of camping

On Thursday, I have to get up way before the crack of dawn to drive to the airport. I will then fly to Phoenix, Arizona (a state I've never visited before) to meet up with my husband (that's so fun to say!), and we'll fly together to Flagstaff (With all the flying time I'll be logging this week, maybe I'll actually finish those Samus sleeves). So, why are we going to Flagstaff? Because it's the closest airport to Grand Canyon National Park and we plan to spend the weekend camping, hiking, and celebrating Taz's birthday. I am sooooo excited!!!

Photo thanks to this site.

My parents took me on my first camping trip when I was four years old. I have owned my own tent, sleeping bag, backpack, and cook kit for years. I have had to scare black bears away from my campsite, I've canoed against my fair share of headwinds, and I've been to parts of Canada that many Canadians don't even know are there (Pickle Lake, anyone?). I like to think I know a thing or two about camping. And this trip is just three nights of car camping, in a campground with hot showers.

However, I am feeling strangely baffled when I confront the idea of packing for this trip. I am completely at home in the woods of the North, but high desert plateau is a climate utterly unfamiliar to me. I checked the weather forecast, and it's supposed to be sunny and low humidity everyday. Highs in the mid 70s. Sounds awesome, right? Well, there's one little issue: The lows at night will only be in the high 30s!!! That's just a few degrees above freezing! I'll want shorts and tank tops, but we'll also need long underwear, wool socks, and probably extra bedding for inside the tent (This is only Taz's second trip, and I don't want him to be put off camping forever because of three nights of frostbitten toes!!!). If this were a normal car camping trip, I wouldn't have to worry about doing a good packing job, because whatever didn't fit in the trunk could be crammed into the back seat, or even tied to the roof. But since I have to fly there first, I have to fit a tent, two sleeping bags, extra bedding, pots and pans, and oh yeah, clothes, into two suitcases and/or large backpacks and a carry-on. I can't begin to tell you how strange it feels to be packing for a camping trip using a regular suitcase.

OK, so maybe knitting's not the only thing I get obsessive about...

Anyway, that's my big excuse for not having any knitting- or book-related content for you today, and for the fact that I haven't yet gotten around to uploading the pictures from our wonderful weekend with H and her husband.

Now, to close, I offer you some gratuitous cat photos:

A slightly dark shot of Ivy chilling on the bookshelf.

Ben wrestling with his favorite chair.