Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to the NY Renaissance Faire; I wanted to write about it sooner, but it's taken me this long to recover.

I've never been to a Renaissance Faire - I thought it would be something like Old Williamsburg, with historical re-enactors and authentic buildings.  I was wrong.

Apparently, I'm the only one laboring under this misapprehension.  I also didn't realize that everyone and his brother would be going to the Renaissance Faire.  When we got there, we parked on a huge field labeled Lot Number 3, which was already almost full, and took a Shuttle bus to the fairgrounds, since there were already a zillion cars parked and the original parking lots were full. As we got out of the car, I noticed several people walking with us to the shuttle bus dressed in full Renaissance garb.  I assumed they were late to work.  Again, I was wrong.

We got to the fairgrounds, paid our pricey admission (but the kids were free that week-end, so it evened out ok), and started to walk.  I'm not sure how long the fair has been going on, but I think many of the buildings and all of the signage have been in use since the beginning.  Everything was a bit kitschy, and not exactly what one would call historically accurate - pretty much someone's version of what he thought the Renaissance may have been like, possibly under the influence of some sort of alcoholic substance, and certainly without much help from any reference books....

As we were walking, I started to realize something - we were surrounded by LOTS of people in Renaissance garb, some of them wearing such odd items as pointy elf ears to round out their flowing capes, and wildly tight and inappropriate Renaissance-style bustiers.  I quietly mentioned to The Professor that there seemed to be an awful lot of people dressed up, and was surprised that they had so many workers/volunteers.  He looked at me somewhat oddly, and informed me that they were all just fair-goers like us.  I was floored - so apparently this is a big deal - people have their own Renaissance outfits at home and slap them on in billion degree weather to walk around the Renaissance Faire.  I spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of shock and confusion, the remnants of which are still lurking in the corners of my mind.

There was lots of stuff to see, and the kids had a great time.  They got to see a joust, a crazy performer named Dextre Tripp who did wild things like juggling with a chain saw and strapping fireworks to his chest, saw some neat birds of prey, watched a glassblower, and generally enjoyed themselves.

Now I have to convince Miss Serious that we don't actually need matching Renaissance capes...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't Cry....

I am a simple woman with simple needs.  I don't consider myself high-maintenance (or maybe I'm fooling myself like in Harry Met Sally), and I don't ask for much out of life.  When Friday rolls around, I'm happy that the working week has come to a close (even if the concept of sleeping in on a Saturday has been missing 'round these parts for, oh, about 9 years), and ask for very little - an easy-to-prepare dinner, some English comedies on PBS, maybe a tasty dessert.

What I don't enjoy on a Friday night is a really odd sound coming from the direction of my kitchen followed by a slightly hysterical, "Help!" called out in the tones that only a nine-year-old with a big problem can muster.

Now, when I'm in the center of my apartment, I'm only about 10 or 20 feet from the opposite end, and The Professor and I made the short trip from the comparative serenity of the living room to the kitchen in record time.

The scene which confronted us was distinctly unexpected and horrifying - my kitchen is pretty much all white (cabinets, tile floor, appliances), but it had attained an extra veneer of shiny whiteness because of the FULL GALLON of milk that was currently streaming quickly across my tiles in a race to get under all the appliances where it could stay in milky goodness and produce a smell that would surely force us to leave our home after 2 hot days.

Leaping into action (as opposed to Miss Serious, who stood in the center of this puddle holding the now-empty and exploded milk container as if transfixed by the beauty of the stream surrounding her), we grabbed all the bath towels we have and threw them down on the milk, jumping up and down on them in some sort of maniacal tribal dance so they could absorb for all they were worth.  Tobie helped out on the hardwood floor in the hallway, and took care of the overflow....

The floor, having been towel-dried, steam-cleaned, and wiped down with cleaner on hands and knees is now dry and no longer sticky.  The towels were taken to the basement and washed, and Miss Serious seems to have recovered.  The Professor and I treated ourselves to a beer and called it a night.

This is one of the things no one ever tells you about parenting - that some night, when you least expect it, your kid is going to drop an entire gallon of milk on the kitchen floor, and since you're the grown-up, you have to fix it.  Just like scraped knees, high fevers, and questions about why that woman in Costco has so many kids - no one will be taking care of it for you.

Luckily the fix was quick, we seems to have caught the milk before it went under the stove, and this particular gallon of milk happened to be a cheap gallon from Costco as opposed to the frighteningly expensive organic stuff.

See - simple needs.  Now if only I had some milk for my coffee....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to Reality

Well, we're back from Cape Cod, and I think I've recuperated from vacation.  It always seems like it will be restful, but by the end of the week, I'm always pretty zapped (as everyone else seemed to be, as well).  Now we've been home a couple of days, washed all the clothes, brushed the sand off the suitcases, and tucked them away.  I caught up on some sleep, and even though it was rather a shock to come back to the heat (REALLY tired of this, by the way), I'm starting to get my bearings again.

As usual, a lovely time was had by all; the kids were more interested in water this year, so we spent a little more time at the beach and pond.  We did get to the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, both of which were interesting (although we did have an orthodontic emergency at the Museum of Natural History - Miss Serious popped off a bottom brace, leading to a hanging wire - luckily the staff was able to dig up a wire cutter for us, the wire was clipped, and they even gave her a turtle magnet for bravery).  We even hit the yarn store and picked up some lovely yarn for hats and socks - just what I want to think of when it's 95 degrees outside....