Yes, I’ve been out of touch for the last couple of weeks, but I have doctors’ notes. No, really. In the past several weeks, I dealt with the flu (respiratory version this time), a double ear infection, and to top matters off, I had an emergency root canal six days ago. But as I noted on Twitter, that meant the rest of the week was likely to improve, and it has.
I’ve made it to my Spring Break, and seized the opportunity to catch a cheap flight to visit the Spawn and Main squeeze at their digs in Terpville. I arrived yesterday afternoon, driving from the airport in Bawlmer to the apartment. I took the kids grocery shopping, and was rewarded with spaghetti and homemade sauce, courtesy of the Main Squeeze. It was delicious.
Today started with pancakes and bacon, cooked by the Spawn. After that, the three of us went to the local library branch, and from there to a local bookstore/cafe in Hyattsville’s Arts District. I picked up a copy of Ficciones by Borges and gave it to the girls — we had been talking about JLB yesterday, and it seemed like they should have a chance to experience his work for themselves. As it turned out, the place also sells craft sodas, so I had a couple of glasses of their root beer before we swung by a more-or-less adjacent health food store, where the Spawn picked up a couple of her favorite allergy-friendly desserts.
From there, we came back to the apartment for a minute, and then drove up to a town I only knew from an R.E.M. song — Rockville, MD, where the Spawn works at the University’s Smith College of Business. The campus is gorgeous, and the Main Squeeze and I got the tour. We visited the Spawn’s office (the college’s reception desk), and also checked out the campus library and ornamental pond, although apparently the geese had gone into seclusion.
After that, the Spawn directed us to a Korean BBQ/Steak House. It’s one of the Main Squeeze’s favorite places, and I understand why. Although I remain sufficiently Occidental to rely on a fork — the girls used chopsticks — I found myself quite impressed with the chili sauce and the variety of meats.
Tomorrow’s plans include a trip to DC, where we’ll swing by the Museum of National History, and a few other places as well. But of course, the real highlight of the trip for me is hanging out with the girls and seeing the places where they live and work. It’s nice to have the Spawn riding shotgun with me again — especially since she knows the directions.
Meanwhile, back in Mondoville, we’re gearing up for our second Noir at the Bar, complete with a nifty promo piece done by my coworker and bassist, Justin Smith.
Fans of the genre will of course recognize the hommage to the Black Lizard reprints of the 1980s, which introduced a lot of folks of my generation to writers like Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich, and other pioneers of the roman noir. It’s going to be a really good time — we’d love to see you there!
I’m planning on reading “Alt-Ac,” my contribution to the forthcoming Darkling Halls of Ivy antho. Apparently there are still some copies of the limited edition available for ordering, but if you miss out on that, don’t panic — the paperback edition will be out soon as well.
I think I’ll go ahead and take a break at this point, but will issue further dispatches before I return to Mondoville, I’m sure. And since I mentioned it earlier, I’ll close with the R.E.M. song that fits the day. I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of the pride of Athens (which is funny, because my band in grad school was a sort of road-company version of the group), but a few of their early songs have always resonated with me, and this is one of them.
Despite their advice, though, I’m fine with a return visit. See you soon!