Thursday, June 16, 2005

All the News That's Not Really News

D.D. managed to injure herself twice over three days. First, she slammed her hand in the car door. She had a big bruise just below her wrist that was tender the first day. She was complaining at school that it hurt, so the secretary put an ice pack on it, then wrapped a gauze bandage around it so her friends could sign it. She managed to whip up plenty of sympathy and attention for herself with one bruise.

Then last night she flopped over the back of the couch onto the seat, a not uncommon occurrence around here, except that she managed to land with her heels on the coffee table. Ouch! She had a scrape on one ankle, but when I felt all over her foot while she watched tv, she didn't even flinch. Until she noticed what I was doing, then it was, "Oh! My foot!" I made her run cold water over her foot in the tub, which she said helped. So she's not permanently maimed.

One night this week, D.D. wanted to listen to her Soul Control cd, but we have to switch around a bunch of plugs to turn on the stereo, so I talked her into using the jambox in the kitchen. She wanted me to close it off with a makeshift curtain (no door) so we wouldn't peek, because she wanted to "dance for herself." We promised to stay in the living room, but we wondered what the neighbors downstairs thought of the rhythmic thumping coming from her jumping around and dancing in the kitchen.

D.D. has decided that bad people should have giant apple heads (but not red), for easier spotting. Like Dracoy Malfoy, for instance. He'd have a big, pale, apple head with a sprig of blond hair where the stem would be. If only life were so simple.

She has also decided to forego those pesky "idioms" and "conventions of standard English." We were watching the second LOTR movie, the scene where the Ents attack Saruman's fortress. L.H. and I were explaining what was going on to D.D., and I remarked, "How would Saruman like to get a taste of his own medicine?" D.D. corrected me: "A taste of his own *poop*. That would be much worse." And we couldn't convince her that her way wasn't the best. I can't wait to see her first school essay in English when we get back to the States.

L.H. and I have a running argument about who has the worst taste in dining: he says my instant coffee tastes like it's infused with tuna, and I point out that hot dogs wrapped in bacon is not exactly a gourmet dish. A side argument is dunking: he does, I don't. *shudder* I hate soggy food.

On Sunday we took advantage of some nice-ish weather (not too cold; overcast, but not raining) and went for a "hike." There are trails all over the place around here, so we weren't hiking in the "mountaineering" sense, but we did have a nice, long walk. At one point we came across a marshy area that is purportedly a wallowing spot for wild boars, who were thankfully absent. While standing around a tiny observation hut above the spot, we heard the *very loud*, *very disconcerting* droning of bees. We didn't see many bees except down near the water, so we think they may have been in the cane off to the side. L.H. and I started wondering if any Africanized bees have made it this far north.

We had to cross a road at one point and saw—I don't know what you call them—a three-wheeled motorcycle. (Silly me, it's called a trike. Why didn't I know that?) We've seen quite a few since the weather warmed up (comparatively speaking). During the memorable 4 days when it was nearly hot (sound like a legend in the making: "The Almost-Heat-Wave of '05"), the road that goes through our village and over the mountain to the next village was overrun with bicyclists and motorcycles, including the trikes. One day I counted from the window as a motorcycle club went up the hill; I lost track at 70, but I'm positive there were at least 100 riders.

Anyhow, when we saw the trike on Sunday, D.D. said she wanted one, hot pink, with her name written on both sides and a big 'one' on the back. My little motorcycle mama.

On the drive home, we were passed by a bicycle. Yes, I was driving, but it was a steep hill, so I was in a low gear and riding my brakes, and the dude was peddling as fast as he could go. As a matter of fact, I got stuck behind another bike that was coasting down the hill. So I'm following one bike and being tailgated by another until he had a chance to pass us both. The humiliation! (Not really. I'm an unashamed granny driver these days. "Better safe than dead" is my motto.)

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