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Pennsylvania's Most Interesting Blog

09 März 2006

spring 'break'

Gruess euch! Whilst all good Penn State students are off on spring break, I have been playing the Most Interesting games of "Catch Up Time", "Maybe I Can Finally Get Some Writing Done", "Where oh Where Has My Houseboy Gone", "Take the Car Out on The Freeway For Once" and "Get Enough Sleep", and "Day Trippin'". I have not, however, been playing "Eat Right, Stay Fit".

This brief photo essay will serve to illustrate a few of the week's activities, NONE of which [are supposed to] take precidence over my pending paper deadlines. By the way, why is it that when I have a week of not HAVING to be in my usual places that the days fly by faster, I'm more tired, and I realize that life is this brambling mass of activity, ALL the time? On the bright side, I am not a strong candidate for Most Bored/-ing Person of the Year.


(a) Big Sexy. Aww, pretty princesses. Big sexy pretty much describes both Lisaopolis and Ginapalooza in this fine pic in Washington, D.C., genauer gesagt Adams-Morgan, noch genau gesagt in a bar called "Bourbon" last Friday night. We are HOT to TROT, indeedy! And I learned that Ginapalooza's favorite German words are "Schlag" and "Fleisch". By the way, do you agree that my Navy pilot handle should be "Lollipop"? Like "Maverick" in Top Gun? "...high on life...or SOMEthing."

(b) Yes, that's FEDERAL funding that we're requesting, sir! Hotties on The Mall. This just outside the National Museum of the American Indian, which I was happy to finally visit. Its circular design and metaphors meshed nicely with our linear post-Englightenment methods of classification and categorization. I got a tad misty at the feature on the Yakama Nation, as I grew up fishing on the Yakima (not a spelling error) River, and seeing the names 'Toppenish', 'Sunnyside', and 'salmon conservation' on the east coast made me a trifle homesick.

(c) Flexing some muscle by "Joanie on the Pony" (Jeanne D'Arc) , a statue dedicated to American women by women of France. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, France foes! Without France we'd have....absolutely no country today.
You'll note here Ginapalooza's reinactment:

And by the way, that thing she blogged about a prevalence of chicken bones in the streets of D.C.? Totally true, as evidenced here:

(d) Gitchyer Dutchie On! Yesterday was Wednesday, market day out in Big Valley, a rural Amish and Mennonite wonderland nestled over the mountains from here in Happy Valley. Image hosted by Photobucket.comAbove: the astute viewer will note that verdant fields in Central Penna are a sign of summer, not MARCH. This is an old picture, but you get the idea. Actual color of fields = brown, tan, other dull bathroom tones. But all pics I took yesterday were inexplicably erased from my camera card, thus I provide you with no shots of the current state of the land. Is this the revenge I get for secretly videotaping Amish buggies? Huh? Huh?!

Malfeasance, Olgsmobile and I loaded up her car at 8:15 AM and headed to the market and got the Full Insider Tour from Malfeasance himself, complete with (1) scandalous stories of the valley, (2) him freaking out an Amish woman by asking if she had any shoefly pie...IN DIALECT! I almost fell on the floor, I was so proud of him. He's the only non-sectarian under 65 I've ever heard speaking Penna German! (3) a personal tour of Happy Valley Dry Goods, a.k.a., "where the local Amish shop!"

So now I KNOW where they buy dry goods, fabrics, books, household wares and the like. Because admit it, it's one of those things you REALLY do ask yourself. The one-room store had no electricity-natch, heated with a cozy wood stove, and lit only by the natural light coming in through the windows. While I don't know that I'd want to shop there all the time, it was refreshing to know that there are places like this, totally removed from the freaky pace of life elsewhere. Then, because we hadn't eaten nearly enough at the loft restaurant over the cattle barn at the market, we chowed at the lunch buffet (boo-FAY) at Peachy's Meats. Oh. My. Lord. Can we say carb fest? Sure, I could have executed some portion control since it was a buffet and all but, yeah, well...whatever. And the pies were amazing...sigh. We returned 'the back way' to State College, stopping at this supreme 'Junkie McJunks-A-Lot' type antique store in some hard-to-pronounce village name in Stone Valley, complete with curios and an 18th century Voltaire text (aka 'find' du jour) for Olgsmobile.

(e) OK, you're almost done..
This pic serves to illustrate that (1) my hair is getting darker, and what is up with THAT? (2) my latest FIND and member of my guitar family. I did some moving around this week so don't freak out, I don't have MORE guitars, I have BETTER guitars (this is a Larrivee OM-05 I have been lookin for for some time so...there you go) and that lack of smile on my face is because (3) I had a CAVITY re-done this morning and there's nothing like having syringes LAUNCHED into your GUMS in the early morning, to have an old filling drilled out so you can feel the CRAV-ASS of your tooth as you slide your tongue over the doped-up area...sigh. When the extra strength novacane wears off, I'm hoping that there is no more pain to my nerves--if there is, this will mean that there is nerve damage, which means, ta da! Root canal! And I'm sorry, I just don't have time for that s&*#!.

(4) Is there a coffehouse gig in my cards? Of course, like most instrument purchases, this one also comes with a Story. After getting back from D.C. on Sunday night I still didn't have the road trip ya-ya's out of my system, so I decided to say 'screw you, articles' and took a drive up to the town of Lock Haven (about 40 mi. north of The Borough). Now, Lock Haven is a nice little big town, with a university and folksy main street that still has local businesses IN operation (concept!). One of these proprietors is Lanning Music, a store I'd stopped in to once or twice before. Always happy to frequent local ventures. So, of course, I wasn't PLANNING to buy this guitar but well, there she was, just a-waitin'. BTW, I have some guitars which I identify as 'he', but this one is a 'she'. I don't know why.

OK, so after the music store visit, I popped into another local biz, a cafe, because I just needed a coffee, darnit. The barista was charming and cute (grin) and while I was originally put off by his overly zealous-seeming 'so what are you up to today?", I realized, for pete's sake, he was just trying to be NICE, lighten up, lady! So I told him about my latest purchase and I needed a coffee to top it off. Then the owner pops up with '"You play guitar? Do you perform?" and I'm all "Uh, no..." and she's all "Why not?" and I'm like "Cause I'm too nervous and I don't know any songs all the way through" and she's all "You should perform here, I'm getting my April lineup, we're looking for women". And I'm all "excuse excuse excuse excuse..." and she goes "Are you better than Pheobe on Friends?" and I'm totally "Uh yeah, sure" and she goes "Well then."

So you heard it here first in case I ever take the cafe gig on Friday/Saturday nights in Lock Haven, PA. Of course this is totally not something that would happen by April but maybe down the road after I have my exam issues in order/more work done. If you sing, join me, I can't play and sing at the same time. I'm ready to hit the local circuit, I just need a catalyst.

So, on that note, if you are in Central PA and you say you have nothing to do: you can hit D.C. (to the Homeland Security stiffs, I mean that METAPHORICALLY), enter another world of rural de-lites of foods and language unique to this one valley, as well as head to another cool mid size town with friendly locals.

Geez, I'm exhausted now, this is the most I've written in like five days. Whew! I need a moment.

OK, that's better. Must get this book review out finally. But I might catch a nap first over Oprah. Today's ep is on a conservative straight man who moves in with a gay man for a TV experiment on the F/X network. Yawn...

REWARD: you made it this far, so here's another pic 'o the week:

Getting shi-shi at Zola's, home of the Eight Dollar (With Tip) Gin 'n Tonic. Gosh! Talker about sticker shock for the grad students. Oh well, our barman exhibited high level serving decorum and the drinks were well made. And we got the taste of being around Real Adults Again. So there's that. In this pic: Mr. & Mrs. Tea, Olgsmobile, Malfeasance and MOI (we are the ones going, "What? What? Are you saying you don't like us because we don't wear glasses? Is that was this is about?!"). Red, Red Rine is also present, in my purse, calling my cell for the 87th time, but the Amish Curse has hit our phones so I never connect to the calls. WTF? Anywhoo, she met up with us later for another drinkie and it was a fun night with beaucoup chit-chat and minimal consequences. We don't know what happened to the member of our party who was last seen at the ATM not 20 paces from the second bar, though...please advise!