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Easter with the Outlaws

Summary:
We went, we had a decent time, we came back, we're alive.

Getting There:
Sis's mom gives bad directions. No, seriously. The last time she gave us directions to a place, she directed us to the intersection of two parallel roads. She didn't give us an address that time, she just gave us vague turns and intersections and landmarks, some of which were unreliable. There was a major drama-storm over that, though, so this time she gave actual directions which looked like she swiped them off of some road map/directions site. That was a decent development. We headed out a little late thanks to a miscommunication (one party had told us what time we were leaving, but the other two parties never heard any such thing), but got there at a reasonable hour.

Attending:
The Temple was there, of course -- me, marxdarx, my roommatesister, and the Little Fayoumis. Also there: Grandma & Grandpa (my roommatesister's parents), Great-Grandma (Grandma's mother), The Old Lady Great-Aunt (Great-Grandma's sister?), various of The Old Lady Aunt's children/spice-of-children (one woman, her attached male, and the California Uncle), various of their offspring (okay, one girl, about nine or ten, the California cousin), and two of That Woman's children (Sis's neices Jewel and Jade).

Jewel is nine, almost ten, and was cranky. Some relative came to the conclusion that if she were 13 or so, they'd say it was PMS, but she is too young for that. I pointed out that, um, no, not really, some of my friends started on that at nine. It's definitely the start of "I am an irrational adolescent bitch and the best thing you can do for me is avoid me" season, though, and I advised Jade of the same.

That Woman (my roommatesister's biological sister) was not there, because her youngest, Krystal, had been sick, so they were all home. This made for perhaps more peace and quiet than there might have been.

Food:
There was lunch. Grandma had gotten a turkey ham, so there was a main dish that the household could eat. Sis cannot eat pork -- she becomes nauseated and more often than not throws up, even after eating dishes with only trace amounts of pork in them. Naturally, the baked beans had bacon in them. I inquired as to whether or not they were safe, and Grandma said that they were perfectly safe -- they just had bacon, and then went on to make some sort of snide comment about it being my choice not to eat pork-containing dishes. I returned that for me, it was a choice, but in my roommatesister's case, I wouldn't exactly call uncontrollable vomiting a choice.

I think I'm going to have to have a few stiff words with the bitch later.

Bubbles!
After lunch, Grandma broke out the cool shit. Namely, she'd gotten a battery-operated bubble gun for each of the kids. I did some troubleshooting when some of them wouldn't work, but eventually, everything was made to be in working order. We really do need to get gallon bottles of the bubble stuff now...

The Little Fayoumis grabbed himself one of the legacy bubble pipes from the bag of other bubble toys, and he was going around with the pipe in his teeth and the bubble gun, looking for all the world like a shorter, slightly less debonair, shorter-haired James Bond, mostly because he was telling Jade that he was (first) the bad guy who was shooting at her, and (second) that he was the good guy who was (still) shooting at her. Mommy and I hastened to remind him that he was fine as long as the only pipe he was smoking was a bubble pipe.

Dramatics:
Jewel was having a bad day, or several bad days. She and all the other children had some sort of falling out (several of them), and there was much screeching and crying and calling of names. I advised the California cousin and Jade that Jewel was probably best to be avoided when she was getting all upset and yelly over everything, and that someone should have told my sister swallowtayle that when I was in that phase.

Later, Grandma and someone else were talking, and they mentioned that the California cousin had been setting off Jewel on purpose, and was unspeakably rude, and had been raised by wolves. I noticed that Jewel's "I'm a bitch now, and I'm going to overreact to everything" attitude did not get mentioned, nor did That Woman's mothering skills (which look to be just as nonexistent as the California cousin's mother's mothering skills).

Headache? Him?
Marx gets headaches. He had one. He'd had it on the drive over, which made things off at a rough start. However, he was convinced to give Jade a piggyback ride some hours in, and that wound up getting rid of the headache. There was much with the running around and screeching after that. "No wonder you're so thin!" was commentary from the Old Lady Aunt and Grandma.

Cats:
Great-Grandma's cat Herschel lives with Old Lady Aunt now. There's also a neighbor cat, a thin dark blotched tabby with a long tail. There was much pursuit of cats by kids, and hiding from kids by cats. The tabby was really, really cute. It's a neighbor cat of some description. It liked playing with my hair. It had claws. It was very kittenish -- I wouldn't think that it was much over a year old, and probably under two years.

Herschel's name is Herschel Bartholemew, originally intended to be shortened to Hershey Bar, because he looks black unless he's in the sun, where you can see that he's a bitter brown. It never caught on, though.

Movies:
Spirited Away is fun. I distinctly felt the Old Fan phenomenon when Old Lady Aunt sat there explaining that this was the Japanese style of animation to me, with the air of someone introducing a neophyte to a previously unopened very small door onto a broad foreign culture. I explained that I generally watched Japanese animations with the original Japanese voices and English subtitles, because it was more educational for me (learning actual Japanese words by hearing them repeated in context versus just watching a movie). I did not educate them on hentai. I was good.

Entertainment:
I brought a book and my crocheting, as well as extra crochet hooks and yarn should the girls desire to learn crocheting. I gave up on the book, but did get one stripe done. I showed off the color choice, which was lauded as unusual and pretty -- black, spruce green, brown, and rust.

I wound up sitting in the living room with the old hens (Grandma, Great-Grandma, and Old Lady Aunt) and swapping various cat-and-kid type stories after the movie ended. I was getting overheated and fearsomely bored. Next time I think I'll find the computer room and go there instead.

Ending:
We went home, about six hours later. I was exhausted. I think we all were. I'm back in civvies now. My feet are swollen (turkey ham plus no walking today -- bad combination) and I am grumpy.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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