I saw V for Vendetta which was rather an endurance test, played games and watched a marathon of the first season of West Wing with my parents, who I'm starting to believe put me on this earth just so they could have someone to slaughter at dominoes. I got even, however, as this weekend they agreed to let me teach them yoga, to hilarious results. Between my mother's snarky complaints and my father's tying himself into a pretzel and collapsing in a fit of laughter, it was like hanging out with George and Gracie.
We had a full house for Easter, and argued about global warming and political strategies in the middle east and my uncle and I almost came to blows when I tried to tell him that what we call "democracy" other people consider "fascism" and "cultural imperialism." We love to argue, so the day was complete. We also played Loaded Question with everyone from my 11-year old cousin Neil to the 93-year old mother of my aunt's boyfriend. [This is a game where everyone answers the same question and one person has to guess who said what]. My favorite answer was Neil's, to the question: "If you could have one pet besides a dog or a cat, what would it be? A. A giant chicken that could never die. This leads me to believe that he is on the cusp of being really cool, a turn of events that seems to happen to kids in my family at 11. Good show.
I also did what St. Francis would do and bought all new underwear and a locked suitcase to keep it in, instead of calling the mouse exterminator. For those of you just tuning in, the mice in my house have set up camp in my laundry bag and have been subsisting on a diet of the crotches of my underwear. While some may find this flattering, it causes me pure terror. But at least it forced me to buy a whole new collection of lingerie.
Finally, I got the chance to do my annual first hike of the season up Breakneck Ridge. And I dragged Greg along with me. But not without a fight:
GREG: Just one question: Um . . . so . . . why do they call it "Breakneck?" Because I was thinking of something with a name like "Minnewaska" or something, which could be Iroquois for "Breakneck" or could just as easily be Iroquois for "nice pleasant hike with little likelihood of breaking one's neck" I don't know; I don't speak Iroquois.
ME: Now, Greg, did the nice cowboys in Brokeback Mountain fracture ANYTHING? Don't be a wuss. I am shocked that you've never hiked Breakneck - we must right this situation. You'll love it.
GREG: To the best of my knowledge, the nice cowboys in Brokeback Mountain didn't break anything except cinematic boundaries. I wouldn't know, not having seen the film, and nor do I intend to. It's not that I have anything against homosexuals -- Elton John is gay, and though I snicker every time I hear him sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," I admire the man's contribution to the musical scene -- but I have serious moral objections to the cowboy lifestyle. Men riding horses and playing harmonica by campfire and wearing big hats and rustling cattle? It's just not right. It's not natural.
Oh, and also because I hate Annie Proulx. If you see her, please tell her I want to be compensated for the time I spent reading "The Shipping News." 335 pages, maybe 1.5 minutes per page, that's 8.3 hours of my life I'd like back. Maybe she can do 8.3 hours worth of my errands sometime this summer? I'm flexible.
ME: Wow, Greg, I had no idea you were vaquerophobic. Geez, you think you know a person. Cowboys have feelings, too you know. And think about how they've contributed to society -- strip steak, those great boots, not to mention whips and spurs and other bondage gear. Did you know Socrates was a cowboy? Yeah, I bet you would if you put down that veggie burger and picked up a book once in awhile. Yeah, that's right, I said it. What you need is a good agricultural arts education.