Monday, May 21, 2007

A Snapshot of my Weekend

[Please forgive any stylistic, grammatical, or factual errors. I just spent about twice as long writing this as I had intended, and don't feel like proofreading carefully.]

Just returned from Victoria day weekend back home.

My weekend adventures began on Thursday evening, even though I didn't actually leave for the H-bomb until Friday. On a typical trip home, I'll take passengers. I had a call from one potential passenger who had a rather large piece of luggage, and she wanted to know if it would fit in my rather small car. I was pretty sure that it would, but she asked me to drop by her place to see for sure if it would fit. My usual evening activity these days consists of sitting in Coffee and Company for about as long as it takes to drink two large coffees. For those of you who know my issues with sleep, yes, this practice is having its usual effect, but at this point, I'm not at liberty to care. Given this effect, I was eager to get there as soon as possible, so I drove to my potential client's place so as to spend as little time as possible on this. Plus, if I wasn't sure whether the luggage would fit, I'd have my car there to check it out directly. This wasn't necessary. I could see just by looking that the fit would be no problem. After settling some details with the passenger, I left for the coffee shop in my car. Now fast forward to 2:00 Friday afternoon. I was in a meeting with my supervisor, and, as usual, not always focusing on what he was talking about, when it dawned on me that when I had left the night before, I walked home. My car had been sitting out all night. When I realized this, it appeared to David that I had an insight of some kind, and what an insight at that. How disappointed he must have been when he found out that I did not, and that I was thinking about something entiriely nonmathematical. The meeting ended, perhaps too soon because of this realization, and I left to check on my car. It was still where I had left it. Had I done that on a Wednesday night, however, who knows what would have happened? Parking is not allowed from 1 am to 7 am on Thursday mornings, or something silly like that. I then ran home, picked up my car keys, ran back, drove my car back to my place, and packed.

The ride home was, for the most part, uneventful. I dropped off one passenger in the bustling metropolis of Ajax (population 90,000. Looks even smaller on a map.), and then another in Richmond Hill.

It's a good thing I remembered to bring the key to my mom's building this time (forgot last time), as I didn't get home until about 1:30. I would have hated to have to get her up at that time to let me in.

Saturday morning was mostly lazy. I didn't get out of bed until around 10, and sat around drinking coffee for most of the morning, until I got a phone call from a Kingston friend who I haven't had time to talk to lately, and spent an hour on the phone with him (I do recognize the irony, or "irony" as the case may be, of not having time to talk to a Kingston friend until I'm out of Kingston). I then lazed around until about 4:30-5:00 when my brother showed up. We entertained our mother, and each other, joking around and whatnot until about midnight when he left. (My brother and I have similar enough senses of humour that we can make each other laugh (what? you mean there are two of us?), yet different enough that it's not annoying.) Part of the time we spent sitting on my mom's balcony watching neighbourhood fireworks. Backyard fireworks seem to have come a long way since I was a kid, or even since I was in my mid-twenties, and most of them consisted of coloured flaming projectiles shooting more or less straight up into the air, possibly accompanied by a loud bang (which is fun for some reason). Some of the fireworks that we saw Saturday night were like that, but there were a bunch that looked like the more professional variety that the city might get, except at a smaller scale. I was impressed.

On Sunday my mom and I were invited to my cousin's house by my ex-girlfriend's little sister [1]. While there, I met two relatives (second cousins) whose existence I was only vaguely aware of until that day, while my mom got caught up with her niece (earlier referred to as my cousin) who I don't think she had seen in quite some time.

When we got home around 5:00, there was a message waiting on the answering machine from my brother-in-law, and a voicemail on my cell from my sister-in-law. I called back my brother-in-law first. He invited us to come over for a campfire. I then returned my sister-in-law's call. My brother (different brother) answered. I told him the unfortunate news that we had been invited to my sister's and brother-in-law's place, and that therefore I would not be able to grace him with my company. There was some weeping, and then, once he got over it, we chatted for a while about nothing in particular, until he had to go. Shortly after, my mom and I left for my sister's house. Once there, I talked to my sister for a bit while my mom talked to my brother-in-law until my mom came to talk to my sister and I went to talk to my brother-in-law and get started on the fire (tag team or something like that).

I was asked to take a picture of my mom and my sister framed by two bleading heart bushes (plants, flowers, shrubs?). My sister told me that these bleeding hearts were made from cuttings off of one of my mom's bleading hearts, which was made from a cutting off of the bleading hearts from my Aunt Shirley, who passed away almost 10 years ago, which was made from a cutting off of the bleading hearts from my grandmother, who died when I was 7. I've got a hoya with the same story, but it doesn't look quite as nice. These facts make these plants extra special to both of us [2]. The rest of the evening was a simple affair, sitting around the campfire, roasting hotdogs and eating fresh cantaloupe, watermelon, and other fruits.

I had every intention this morning of getting to some work on my thesis. I certainly got up in time to do it, but instead I decided to call my sister (different sister). While I was on the phone, her younger daughter pleaded with her to get off the phone for no particular reason except that something might come up while my sister was on the phone that could only be properly attended to if my sister was off the phone. The purpose of my call was to inform my sister that, the next time her kids went to grandma's (their grandma) house, there was a package of Shrek themed M&M's waiting for them. That took an hour and half. Hopefully my niece will forgive the long phone call when she gets the M&M's.

After that I packed, ate lunch [3], managed to finish off the index of notation for my thesis (as a bonus, I got the list of figures and list of tables done too, though each of those involved only one line of ``code''). Around 5:00 I brought most of my stuff to the car, and then ate dinner when I got back. For most of the day, I had anticipated a call from anybody who happened to read my ad for a ride from Toronto to Kingston, but in the end nobody called [4]. So I only had one passenger on the way back. Truth be told, though, I didn't mind one bit.

[1] To be honest, I just said it that way for dramatic effect, or some such thing. It was so long ago that we dated it seems strange to refer to her as anything but a friend, and her little sister is all growed up now and deserves to be recognized as a friend independent of the relationship of her older sister to me. For added dramatic effect, I'll mention that there is a third sister who is getting married to one of my cousin's sons in less than two months. This third sister is responsible for introducing this relative to me. Apparently this relative also has a similar sense of humour to me (what? you mean there are three of us?)

[2] Anybody who talks to me for a little while will realize that horticulture is an important theme in my family. Each one of my siblings and myself have at one point or another worked in horticulture (not too special, actually, since we're Dutch, and the Dutch seem to run that business in the Hamilton area, aside from a handful of Italian operations), and my older sister and older brother both still do. It's often a topic of conversation in our family, even among the not-so-green thumbs. For that reason, to me, and I think moreso to my sister, these plants are one of the most important heirlooms, even though the original plants from which the cuttings were made are no longer around.

[3] While I was eating lunch, a rather noteworthy event occured on the road in front of my mom's apartment, but that is fodder for another blog post on another day. Remind me in a week if nothing appears on the matter.

[4] When I got back, however, my inbox was loaded with emails asking about a ride from Toronto to Kingston. Too bad I was netless the whole weekend. Well. Maybe not.

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