Trip Notes (II)

(1) If you wait an extra five days to buy your plane tickets, they will suddenly be $600 more expensive. Don’t do this. So long, easy flight home! It was nice dreaming about you. I’ll be in the car.

(2) When dining at Mary’s Kountry Kitchen, be aware: “Petite Portions” are exactly that. Also, I think that people need to stop with the kutesy kountry spellings. Please.

(3) When it comes to homesickness, I think that it’s the little things that count most. Being in a different country? That’s fine. All of the locks on doors turning in the wrong direction? That’s a bit jarring.

(4) Things elderly American men want to know:

  • You’re from Canada?
  • What’s the price of gasoline up there?
  • How many litres are there in a gallon?
  • Do you import most of your oil?
  • How’s the governor general doing?
  • You sure have a pretty country up there.
  • Do you speak French?
  • I hope you appreciate your grandmother.

Trip Notes (I)

(1) Somewhere in Pennsylvania, I observed the first scarlet leaves of, um, summer.

(2) Went to the Barnes Foundation Museum on Sunday. Saw 181 Renoirs, almost 70 C├ęzannes, also numerous Matisse paintings, Soutine, Picasso, Rousseau, etc. Renoir I like very much. Matisse I do not like at all. Soutine I like. Rousseau I don’t think was particularly good at doing faces, but I think I liked his stuff overall. And thus concludes your armchair tour of Impressionism.

(3) Also saw my new favourite painting in the world ever, for which I cannot find a representation online. It’s called something like “Two Women on the Shore, Mediterranean,” and was painted in 1896 by French pointilist painter Henri-Edmund Cross. It’s gorgeous. And I didn’t even remember to take a picture of it . . .

(4) The sun makes me sad. I have gotten overheated two days in a row (not burned, just too hot for too long) and have been sadly crawling around the house feeling cold and sleepy.

(5) But on the plus side, there are lots and lots of books to read here!

(6) Lots!


On Wednesday night I handed in my last paper and had my last class until September.

Last night, I did the last of my work at my second summer job.

Free, free!

Well, free to work more hours at summer job number one, is really what it comes down to. But also free to stop reading boring essays about reader-response criticism from this book. And free to not write boring essays about reader-response criticism.

Theoretically, I’m free to post more here . . . but not this coming week! I am a-travelling down Statesward, for my grandmother’s 85th birthday shindig. Posting, I expect, will continue to be light.

In the mean time, I’ve started packing and must decide on what books to bring along. The trip begins with a twelve-hour drive and ends with another one, and so I’m picking great chunky books that are likely to last more than an hour or two apiece. So far, my picks are these:

Four Fires is a newish novel by Bryce Courtenay — one of my favourite novelists — and it’s huge! My copy comes in at 992 pages, which is only 16 pages less than the Tolkein. I can knock books this size down pretty quickly, but between the two of them I think I’ve got a lot of car time covered. As for the two Baldacci books, I haven’t read them and don’t really know what they’re about, but they were were given to me to read by my friend H, and so I’ll take them along as well.

And soon I will be gone! My TBR pile has been dwindling in an alarming fashion, but I am expecting nine or ten books to arrive in the mail soonish — and so hopefully I’ll have a nice pile to come back to.