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This counts as news only to me, but I fixed my bedside lamp. The switch had worn out.
It's no antique, though it's no spring chicken, either. I "inherited" it when my college roommate graduated and moved to the west coast. (Hi, Jason!) That was only... fifteen years ago. I don't know how old it was then. (Can you shed any light on that subject, Jason?) If I've yanked that chain twice a day ever since, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of approximately 11,000 pulls. Maybe I should have been counting.
Anyway, thanks to a replacement switch found on eBay, I can now read in bed again. Sweet dreams, everyone.
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Vacation Days 1 & 2: Charleston, South Carolina
The first day of my vacation was mostly a travel day. We got a late start and only had time for a brief orientation drive through Charleston before they closed the bridges. ("Bridges closed for maintenance," according to the local news. Nearly the whole town shuts down at 5PM, so I guess they figured anyone not out by sundown was getting what was coming to them.)
On the recommendation of my old friend Jason, we took dinner at Ye Olde Fashioned Cafe & Ice Cream. Their chili dog was worth the drive into South Carolina. Good call, Jason.
Tuesday morning, my traveling companion, Brian, and I set out to see some old stuff in historic downtown Charleston. And we found it!
For all the old buildings in town, the thing that stood out most was the presence of a telephone booth. They literally don't make these like they used to.
Of course, the town is chock full of history. We started in the Charleston Museum ("oldest museum in the United States") and worked our way south down Charleston's "museum mile." We didn't spend much money on admission on the historic houses because I spent all our time in church graveyards.
Desire Peronneau does not have the best tombstone at Circular Congregational Church, just the best tombstone in a picture I took. (The best overall tombstone belongs to "The mortal part of" Mary Smith, "Who after happily exemplifying the Conjugal and Maternal virtues for upwards of 37 Years Was fuddenly arrefted by the hand of Death to the no fmall grief of her numerous Relations and Friends" in 1795.)
Charles Town became Charleston in 1783. That didn't do much to help Mrs. Jackson, whose final resting place remains a mystery.
Quick history: Pinckney's opposition in those presidential elections were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Obviously, Pinckney lost both times. Badly. John Rutledge remains the only man ejected forcibly from the Supreme Court. John's brother, Ed, youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, is buried in the only graveyard in town I didn't find the entrance to. I had to leave myself at least one reason to go back.
After the town closed on day 2, we trekked over to Sullivan's island to take a look at Fort Moultrie, the location of the battle that gave South Carolina its nickname and flag. But as it was after 5PM, the place was locked up tighter than a... well, a fort. Day three would give us a closer look at Charleston's military history when we took the boat to Fort Sumter.
More to come.
The word "nikhedonia" is defined as the pleasure of the anticipation of victory. Now that the Miami Dolphins have extended their season losing streak to 7 games, the worst start in franchise history (>sigh<), my pleasure at watching the Fins play decreases as I anticipate very few victories. Next week we will be traveling very far from home to play the New York Giants in London. Where we, currently tied for the title of Worst Team in the NFL, will no doubt shock and awe the Brits into never watching American football again. Sorry, gov.
In case you're wondering, I discovered the word "nikhedonia" while reading the book There's a Word For It, in which I discovered that the particular disorder of my friend, who I will call Jason in the interest of maintaining his anonymity (he knows who he is), is called "haptodysphoria." Essentially, that means that Jason can't touch raw cotton because it feels icky to him. Other than that, Jason happens to be a pretty normal guy. For a haptodysphoriac, that is. You the man, Jason!
This weekend I learned how to put snow chains on my car tires. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I had to pay someone else to put them on my rental car. I'm so cheap, I avoid valet parking because I don't want to tip the valets a dollar, so paying thirty bucks for someone to put chains on my tires was like willingly participating in state-enforced highway robbery. But I watched the guy like a hawk, and should the ridiculously unlikely events of The Day After Tomorrow ever come to pass, I'll be ready!
The drive into Tahoe was easily accomplished. There wasn't any snow on the ground then. No, California likes to make sure it has you in its mitts before it tries to screw you over. The whole reason that I was in South Lake Tahoe in the first place was for the wedding of one of my oldest friends. I once swore that I would never again A) return to California or B) drive in the snow, both of which I violated for the wedding. If I've never mentioned it before, let me stress my disapproval of snow here now: it sucks. It's cold, it's wet, and it makes travel impossible. Sure, it looks pretty, but like most pretty things, it's just not worth the hassle. Some way, some how, I'll get Jason back for this.
Despite eating my own words (which, unfortunately, I've done more times than I can count), it was an otherwise eventful weekend for me. I gambled in a casino for the first time (and lost my seed money, all 50¢). I had a Coca-Cola Slurpee made from fresh, real snow (better than you can imagine). I attended an informal bachelor party with a table full of lawyers and teachers (but no strippers. It was commented that no stripper was hired because one couldn't be found who knew how to play chess). And, of course, I got to play in the deep, powdery snow with Chere. (Who goes to a wedding without a date?)
That's two weddings I've attended in three months on opposite sides of the country (Panama City, Florida and Lake Tahoe, Nevada), with another one coming up in May in New York City. Even though I don't care for the outdated and unnecessary concept of marriage, I do like free food and road trips. So it all works out in the end. Also I'm pretty sure it won't be snowing come May.