Hi guys — thought I’d better post a quick one before you all forget about me. I got back from Michigan on Thursday; it was nice to see my old roommate’s family again, but it was almost certainly my last chance to see their Michigan home, as they’re moving to Washington to act as extended family to their daughter, who is making them into grandparents. As a result, I actually paid attention to my surroundings, and thus located various places (such as the gym) on Google Earth, because I have this incessant, almost OCD-ish need to remember and catalogue these things, don’t I?
It was also, it has to be said, the last time to see two of the family pets I’d grown to love over the years. One was the blonde half of “Shock and Awe” from this article, who they got just after 9/11 and is now, at nearly 13, limping around and finding it hard to sit down and get up; it was painful to see her so reduced, after having watched her run around frenetically in years past (though I last saw her exactly seven years previously). It wasn’t quite as bad as seeing what was left of Kisses the dog in the American Dad! episode “Stan’s Best Friend”, but still quite sad, and knowing this would be the last chance I’d ever have to see her, I made sure to pet her a great deal (and she kept offering her paw to me, which was sweet).
The other pet I’ll doubtless never see again was even more amazing: the little tabby cat they had back when I was rooming with their eldest! I would have first encountered him on (let me see) 19th September 1998, at which point I gather he would have been around one year old; during the ensuring year I was able to play with him (such as getting him to chase me by peering around corners, or teasing him with a ball of paper), and he’s been there every other time I’ve come back to visit, though in 2003 he was more or less exiled to the basement due to the black Labrador the family was training to be in P.A.W.S. at the time being rather over-affectionate towards him (much as he used to clamp his jaws around my neck). This time, however… well, he was walking very slowly and awkwardly, and never made a sound; he’d apparently fallen down the basement stairs as well! He spent all his time either curled up somewhere dozing, or staring at me (or the pantry door) in the expectation that I’d feed him one of his numerous daily meals.
(Perhaps he’d achieved a Garfield lifestyle at last: eat, sleep, eat, sleep…)
Hopefully this won’t be the last time I ever see the family — the parents are certainly getting on a bit, but they’re still alive and with-it, and the mother indeed works out (not unlike my own inspirational Mumsy), so I hope they’ve got many more years ahead of them. The younger son and middle child of the family, who invited me over (I didn’t get to see roomie or little sister this time around), is also continuing to get amazingly buff, and is competing in bodybuilding competitions, but was kind enough to say that I’d made some excellent progress as well. In addition, he said some very complimentary things about my mother, whose physical improvement (which he’d seen via Facebook) had impressed him… should I try my hand at matchmaking?
Speaking of which, as a test I tried using a certain smartphone dating app, and actually ended up in a textual conversation with (assuming it was real) a 20-year-old girl in a town an hour away. Unfortunately this was on Tuesday night, when I was coming back on Wednesday evening, and so I didn’t get a chance to see her, since it wouldn’t have been fair on my hosts to drive me there (and presumably back) just on the off-chance of me getting some for once. What a shame… so I shall have to settle for English women instead. Bah!
Finally, since I won’t be going abroad any time soon thanks to my work situation (unless I’m on, say, £30,000pa by next year?), this was my last chance to use up the unspent dollars I’d obtained on previous trips, particularly last year. I have US$29 and loose change, and what did I go and do, I left it in my room (I remembered as I was lugging my bag to the Tube station, but for reasons of time and effort didn’t go back to get it). Again, in OCD terms this was very annoying, but perhaps I’ll just have to go and turn it back into pounds, and thus have a bit of extra cash… but I will return, America, don’t despair!
P.S. I’ve got plans for a post about thunderstorms, and how, much as with girls, I never seem to get any, even in America these days!