Between helping Becky move into her new home tomorrow and flying back to New York on Saturday, I may not have time to post my full, final road-trip blog summary until Sunday. But my full road-trip photo album is now online!
I just got stung by a bee here in hot-as-hell Mesa, Arizona. However, I am fine. Bee stings, luckily, are one thing I’m not allergic to. I have some ice on it now, and it isn’t swelling or tingling or anything. It barely even hurts. It’s nothing compared to the Great Spring Break Scorpion Attack. :) But the story is still worth telling:
I was walking from Becky’s car back toward her new house, carrying some bottled water to put in the refrigerator, when I noticed that a bee (or wasp, whatever) was standing on my left shoulder. Seeing as how I have always hated bees with a passion (a trait which, like my interest in politics and my love of Irish music, I inherited from my dad), I was highly perturbed by this development. But I know that bees are supposed to leave you alone unless you provoke them, so at first, I left it alone, hoping it would go away. However, as it walked slowly up my shoulder toward my neck, I sort of panicked, and attempted to shoo it away. In the process, I dropped several bottles of water, pressed the alarm button on Becky’s car keys, and apparently antagonized the bee enough to earn a sting.
I didn’t actually feel the sting for a second — I was probably too distracted by the car alarm and my general state of discombobulation to notice — but when I got back in the house, I noticed a slight pain on the back of my neck, and asked Mrs. Zak (the only person in the house; Dr. Zak and Becky are out shopping at Home Depot) if it looked like I had been stung. She said yes, and directed me to put some ice on it. (Mrs. Zak is a retired nurse, so she knows about this stuff.) I did so, and still have that ice on it now, but the sting site definitely isn’t swelling up or anything. So yeah, I’m fine.
By the way, the temperature right now in Mesa is 102 degrees. Ugh.
Here is a photo of Becky hugging her mom moments after her real estate agent, Carolyn Hughes, got a phone call informing her that the county had officially certified Becky’s purchase of her new home:
The big moment came at 2:27 PM. That’s Becky’s dad, of course, standing just behind her; he got his hug moments later.
We’ll have a celebratory champagne toast — using a bottle of Moet & Chandon left over from my parents’ 25th anniversary party last year — a little later, as soon as the Zaks buy some plastic cups and the champagne chills sufficiently (it’s been living in the trunk of Becky’s car since Friday).
The movers are coming tomorrow at 6:00 AM. That means today is for painting; Becky has just picked out colors. Meanwhile, I have set up my computer on the floor. :)
Moving Day dramas! Becky is haggling with the movers, who are ticked off that they have to wait for the house to close, even though they were not supposed to be here until the 2nd.
Becky is waiting to hear from her real estate agent that the sale has been recorded by the county; at that point, it becomes official. Meanwhile, the moving truck from Buffalo has arrived three days early! Here she is on the phone with the movers.
Okay, so it’s a little weird to call my parents my “children” in any sense of the word… to say nothing of my ex-girlfriend. But, according to my understanding of blogosphere terminology, I believe it is technically accurate to call Becky, Jen, Toby, my parents, and the SHA girls “my blog-children.”
Anyway, whatever they’re called, they’ve all been quite active on their blogs over the last few days! (Well, all except Toby, who was travelling until just over 24 hours ago, and who is now, uh, rather busy recuperating from the stress of the car trip.) Jen has posted a rant and a poem, my mom has recounted her rooftop follies, and the SHA girls are posting all sorts of stuff: poetry, party promotion, politics, and philosophy. Check it out!
I am in the process of uploading more than 300 road-trip photos into a multi-page photo album at this URL. Once they’re all online, and once I have time to write more thoroughly about the trip in a blog post, I’ll do a final summary and wrap-up of the trip.
In a move worthy of everyone’s favorite New York Times quote-altering columnist, Maureen Dowd, I have taken a comment by Chris Fahrenthold totally out of context to use it as an endorsement for my website. :)
When Chris wrote, “Feel proud, y’all are getting the inside scoop here at BrendanLoy.com!!,” he was referring to the “scoop” provided by his own comments, not the website content in general. But, what the hell, it makes a good quote! :) Check out the upper left column on the homepage to see what I’m talking about.
(If Chris minds, I can get rid of it, but as long as he’s okay with it, I figured, hey, what’s a bit of unethical out-of-context quotation among friends? Heh.)
I went to see the new Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie with Becky today, and I enjoyed it immensely. It’s a very fun flick. During the (awesome) climactic scene, though, I couldn’t help but think (and indeed, whisper to Becky), “This is so Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
But really, that’s not an insult. I firmly believe that the word “ripoff” is not, in and of itself, a derogatory term. After all, virtually all plotlines, from Shakespeare to Star Trek, are ripoffs of something; there are no new ideas, really, just old ideas creatively developed. So the important question isn’t whether something is a ripoff, but whether it’s a good ripoff or a bad ripoff. And in my opinion, Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life is a good ripoff.
It is also a fine demonstration of Hollywood’s rather recent discovery that the James Bond / Indiana Jones formula — special-effects-loaded movies centering around an action hero who routinely escapes impossible situations and saves the world roughly twice a week — works just as well, if not better, when the hero is a woman. (The Charlie’s Angels franchise is another example of this phenomenon.) For teenage and twentysomething guys, who are the presumed core audience for such movies, the only real difference is that instead of looking at the hero and thinking “I want to be like him,” they think, “I want to be with her” (or, more specifically, “I want to have sex with her”). But they’re just as likely, if not moreso, to want to watch the movie. (Who doesn’t want to see Angelina Jolie prancing around in various bathing suits, wet t-shirts, and other skin-tight outfits? C’mon, people!)
The feminist in me, however, notices that one major aspect of the James Bond / Indiana Jones stock hero has not yet been applied to the equivalent stock heroines: sexual promiscuity. Sleeping around is a huge aspect of Bond’s character, and to some extent of Indiana’s, too; but women who sleep around are still considered sluts in our society, not sexual conquerers, and that’s one double-standard that seems to be rather persistent, even in this enlightened age. (You could argue that it has a biological basis — men are programmed to spread their seed, seeking quantity of mates rather than quality, whereas women naturally seek quality — but in this age of safe sex, that hardly seems sufficient justification for perpetuating the double standard. If Lara Croft doesn’t want to get pregnant by some sleazy but hunky guy she meets during her world-saving quests, surely she could carry some condoms along with her guns and gadgets!)