Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kathyclaus is Coming to Town

Well, here it is – the day in Florida when we add a fourth to our makeshift tribe. Sure you say it's a family, but no – makeshift tribe fits far better. Which isn't to lessen the importance of family, but – well, lets be honest, I just like the word tribe.

But first, there would be mass consumerism, and all sorts of other such wonderful things. Step One: Give my father his birthday card. Yes, it's his birthday, and I searched through the depressing card aisles of all the major box stores to find a card that was just right. My first selection was a religious sympathy card, assuring him that God would be by his side through these turbulent times. Which I think it more than a fair match, for someone of his advanced years. But then I saw a second card.

This second card was far more suitable for the time, his sense of humour, and the geographical location. It had a picture of Obama and George Dubyah walking side by side. Obama says, “We just got a hundred Brazilian troops to help us finish up Iraq.”

“That's great,” says DubDub – wait for it... wait for it... open the card -

“How much is a brazillion?”

Get it? Cause he thinks it's a number. But it's not. It's – well, it's funny. Trust.

Alright – there we go, card delivered. Now it's off to The Mall! Yes – the mall. There is so much to see at the mall, from hats, and... winter hats... and all assortment of other such things. I also scoped out some notebooks I was wondering if I might buy. For the most part it was window shopping, or whatever that's called when you're not actually looking through a window, but rather standing within touching range.

Sam's Club proved to be a store I found myself quite enamoured with. They had an electric guitar and amp set there. I may not have been looking to buy it, but I sure as sugar, picked it up, and started playing it with the gusto I remember playing with in the pre-Hannover days. Yes, I played poorly, but I played loud to make up for it. Volume makes up for lack of tallent right? Just turn on overdrive, and no one knows if you're terrible, or just avant-gard. Especially beside the frozen foods aisle.

They also had printers, and memory cards, and other such things for cheap. But me? I was content to just play the opening riff to “Smoke on the Water” over and over and over again. It may not have been perfect, but – you know – overdrive.

Next up was Michael's. I really wanted to buy individual colour packs of perler fuse beads. But this was not to be. So my days of making perler sprites are still far from returning. This is most likely for the best, but every now and then I pick up another tool to make my perlering more likely.

Michael's was a struggle in managing to breathe your way through the Cinnamon pine cone aisles, to the more radiant lands of scrapbook accessories. For only two hundred dollars you can have photoshop in your hand. Provided that photoshop only lets you modify predesigned vectored images, which you have to pay for on separate cards, to then connect to a cutter unit, in order to turn ordinary paper into magical shapes for posting and sharing. I don't know. Scrapbooking? To me – it's just gluing maps and beer labels into a notebook. That's where I draw the line. Gluing looks weird if you take the i out. Glung. Also a good word, though.

Then to Best Buy. It was here that I saw the iPod Touch and almost bought it. I even had it offered as a gift. But, out of fear of losing it, having it stolen, or being murdered to then have it stolen, I turned it down. In Europe, it would have been no question – but the relative safety of Europe is now far behind me. Maybe the offer will be good when I return – broke as anything – from this trip. Whenever that may be.

So what was it that made me almost crack? Portable Skype? Free maps? Podcast listening? No – A sweet new version of Oregon Trail, and naaaah na-na-nah-na-na-nah na-nuh-nah-nah-na-nuh-nah! (Or as you may know it – Katamari Damacy.) To have Katamari Damacy with me at all times? Well I can hardly think of a greater thing – but... no, the fear wouldn't be worth it. That, and I can't use iTunes on my netbook, and thus I am enraged!

By this point enough time had passed and it was down to Fort Myers Airport to pick up Katherine. You may recall her being mentioned in earlier posts. I can't remember where. It doesn't matter. Now she would be here. All it required was checking the flight status online, and – delayed. Great. Thirty minutes late. Fine. Very well. Leave a bit later. And drive out, get there. And – Delayed.

O.K. Sure, why not? Estimated time of arrival? Ohh good, there is none. That's super. So I just hung out, waiting by the ramp, but then I grew weary. Lets go check the board. See some people playing SNES emulators on their laptops with USB SNES controllers (sweet) but still no information then – bam! Up from behind me, there she was, catching me unaware, looking like I just don't care. But I did.

Good times to see her after three months. So it was a quick rush down to the baggage claim, and then back to the place in Florida, where I was presented with a Birthday and Christmas celebration. Streamers were hung, and hats were produced (both of the birthday gone, and Christmas felted jingle variety.) Presents were laid out with care.

It was pretty sweet. Such a wonderful number of gifts:
Max Brooks' new comic about historical zombie encounters, two DS9 novels (I'll fight you!), Star Trek on DVD, Flight Volume 6, the latest DMZ trade, Generation A (which I won't have time to read, and don't want to take with me, as I'll lose it.), and if I stood up to look, there's probably be more things lying in a pile, now on the floor. But who can afford that time?

Did I feel guilty? Sure I did. But there was no time for that.

There was turkey what needed eating!

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