elirrina: (luna)
I talked to my parents yesterday. Near the end of the conversation, they told me that they were going to be watching this week's "Masterpiece" on PBS.

Dad: It looks really good.
Mom: Bill Nighy is in it, and Ralph Fiennes, and Rachel Weisz, and Gandalf. Or is it Dumbledore?
Dad: I can't remember.
Mom: Neither can I. Gandalf or Dumbledore is in it.
me: Sounds fun.

I love how everyone else gets their proper name, but not those two.

For your edification: I checked this morning, it's Dumbledore (in "Page Eight"). My mother said it was really good, and the PBS website has it up online, so I'll probably watch that this evening.
elirrina: (kaylee)
A while back, my father told me that he wanted me to make a mixed cd for him. "I want it to be about evil women! And how they're always tricking men!" So he brainstormed a bit, and I tried to think of a few songs he could use too.

So far the list looks like this:
"Witchy Woman," the Eagles
"Spooky," Classics IV
"She's a Man Eater," Hall & Oats
"Poison Ivy," The Coasters
"Maneater," Nelly Furtado (my contribution)
"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," The Hollies (also mine)
"The Female of the Species," Space (mine again)
"Black Magic Woman," Santana

I think I need to add "Lemon Tree," by Peter, Paul, and Mary. The mix is still a work in progress.

Naturally my mother heard about this, and now she wants a mix about evil men. Dad's reaction was "No! You shouldn't make it for her! She might start singing the songs around the house!"

I could think of a lot more songs about evil men, especially folk songs, but her list looks like this so far:
"The Red Corvette," John McCutcheon
"Mercy," Duffy
"It's My Party," Lesley Gore (Mom: "The boyfriend in that song is so bad!")
"Lipstick on Your Collar," Connie Francis
"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," Doris Day (mine)
"Goodbye Earl," the Dixie Chicks (also mine)
"Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?," The Lovin' Spoonful

I think Mom is still brainstorming. Dad doesn't really listen to music unless he's doing something around the house like taking apart the dish washer, which he apparently did yesterday, or cleaning. So Mom has the advantage in that respect, since she likes it when my brother and I recommend new music.
elirrina: (poor Jane)
I generally call my parents on Sundays, and occasionally we use skype so we can do the video chat thing. That was what we did today (until the thunderstorm knocked my power out). When the video came up today, they were sitting in front of a window, so all I could see was their back-lit sillhouettes.

Mom: Oh, we need to move!
Dad: No! We can be mysterious shadow people!
Mom: Let's move to the other side of the table.
Dad: NO! Sarah likes us being mysterious!
Mom: Come on!

Dad then picked up the computer, and I had a dramatic view up at his face while he was walking around.

Dad: I'm going outside (with the computer)!
Mom: Get back here!

Then he started adjusting the computer so it was edging Mom out of the picture.

Mom: Hey!
Dad: What!
Mom: I see what you're doing!
Dad: Sarah wants to look at me more.
Mom: He's been like this all day.
elirrina: (Default)
For this to make sense, it would be helpful to remember that my father works with international students, and that he and my mother will be going to various countries in Asia in a few months. He's going to be part of a wedding in Hong Kong for two of his old students, and then they're going to visit lots of other people.

Me: Hi Dad, I'm in Target.
Dad: You called Mom's phone first! Why don't you ever call me first?
Me: I thought Mom would know the answer to my question. I'll call you first next time, how's that?
Dad: I bet that I know the answer to your question!
Me: Okay, look I need a pencil case because I bought a new backpack and I don't like the pencil cases in Target. Where should I go to get one?
Dad: JAPAN! They make the best pencil cases!
Me: ...Actually, I think you're right...
Dad: Did I tell you that Mom's getting a Kindle?
Me: But I'm not in Japan! Where should I go look?
Dad: You should steal one from one of your Japanese friends.
Me: I don't have any!
Dad: WHY NOT.
Me: Because there aren't any in the art history grad student contingent right now! And I'm not working with internationals!
Mom, yelling in the background: You should go to Office Depot! They have school supplies on sale now!
Dad: She says to go to Office Depot.
Me: I heard.
Dad: You can get a temporary pencil case from Office Depot. I'll bring you a REAL one back from Japan! But it'll probably have Hello Kitties on it.
Me: Well I would hope so!
Dad: Mom is really into Hello Kitties right now.
Me: You are such a liar.
Dad: (to my mother) We should get you a case for your Kindle in Japan too! Actually, maybe we should get you a Kindle-type thing there instead of here.
Mom, yelling in the background: No, we wanted to put guidebooks on it, remember?
Me: So, I'm going to hang up and go to Office Depot now, okay?
Dad: Okay, but I'll find you a better pencil case in Japan!
Me: I know.
Dad: Do you want a pencil box, or a soft case?
Me: Well, I was looking for a soft one, but I'll leave it up to you.
Dad: Okay, but that's the only thing I'm bringing back for you.
Me: Whatever. Last week we decided that you were just going to give me things that your students had already given to you and then tell me that you'd gotten them for me. Remember?
Dad: Hahahaha!

And then I related that story to my brother later.

Brother: Actually, I think I agree with him.
Me: I know, right? I'm curious to see what he brings back.
elirrina: (astronomy)
My trip to visit my parents went great, and now I'm back in Florida, where I am supposed to be studying German. I really will study tomorrow. My independent study work is all turned in, and I should be meeting with my adviser to discuss dissertation topics sometime in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I think I need to go to the beach once more before classes start, providing that it's still oil-free. I'll have to look into that.

On to vacation!

My father works with international students at the university. Basically, he does what the University wishes it could do, but hasn't got time or money for, consequently everyone loves him. He organizes conversation partners, English classes and culture classes, and lots of social events for the international students. During the first week of classes he organizes a tour around town: volunteers drive carloads of students along a path that my dad has organized, and tell them about the city. The tour ends on campus where there is a free-garage-sale-furniture-etc-giveaway. People donate all sorts of things that students need, which then get set up in a parking lot on campus, and then given away.

This means that there is a lot of furniture-moving going on in the weeks beforehand. Which is what I got to do frequently over my break, including the morning of my first day home. Also, one of my dad's interns moved, so we helped out with that too.

My father also likes to make grandiose proclamations about how my brother and I will be inheriting. Who inherits depends on his mood: sometimes it's me, because I am the eldest, sometimes it's my brother, because he's the son. Currently it's me, at least as of last week. A few years ago my brother and I pointed out to our dad that there really isn't that much to inherit. He was momentarily fazed, but got over it.

So I informed my brother that I'm inheriting again, and then my parents actually decided that they need to update their will. I guess my brother and I are still being left to our maternal grandparents, who are dead, and we're too old for guardians now anyway.

This decision was precipitated by the fact that my parents are going to Asia this fall to visit some of my dad's old students. I believe the plan is to visit China (Beijing and Shanghai, and possibly other cities), Hong Kong, Taiwan, (South) Korea, and possibly Japan. I'm envious. My father is apprehensive.

He doesn't really like to travel, neither does my brother, but my mother and I love it. Dad had to be bullied into visiting Italy with me, but ended up really loving Florence. While at home this time, my mother came across a scarf that I'd brought with me - I usually wear it or something like it into church because services are always soooo cold during the summer, with all the air-conditioning.

Mom: This is pretty! Where's it from?
me: Florence - we got it from the same place where we bought your scarf.
Dad: Yes! WE'VE been to ITALY.
Mom: I KNOW. When are you taking me?
Dad: But! I'm taking you to Asia!
Mom: HM.

In random news, my dad, who, by the way, is ordained as a pastor, and is an elder at church, sporadically likes to talk about his past lives. (Not that he actually believes in reincarnation...) This time around he saw an advert for Shark Week and decided that he'd been a shark in one of his previous lives. His usual favorite past life is when he was the Mother Superior from Sound of Music, and sang "Climb Every Mountain." He also asked me to be on the lookout for his past lives from the Middle Ages as I look through medieval manuscripts and literature.

I learned that my mother is against mixing battery brands. Dad apparently wanted to just put two random batteries into a light that he'd bought for one of his interns, but my mother said he couldn't.

Dad: But they're both batteries! Same voltage!
Mom: I don't care! It doesn't work! I don't like it! Just use two from that new package you bought!

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a serious tea collection. It's getting a bit out of hand. I had to re-organize that part of the pantry when I got home. But my parents have an even larger tea collection, because my dad's students like to bring him tea from their provinces and so on. Also: really pretty teacups and teapots.

One of them, a yellow teapot, gets used a lot. My dad had a bunch of students over for a breakfast-and-lunch-planning session; I sat in for the meal parts, during which the yellow teapot was being used. It has four circles on the sides, with Chinese characters in them, and I wanted to know what they meant, and realized that this would be a perfect time to find out. According to one of the girls, the characters mean "10,000," "life," "happiness," and "none," which translates to a message along the lines of wishing you eternal life, and is one of the standard phrases used when addressing the emperor or your elders. (Something like "May you have life and happiness without end").

On the way back to Florida, I called my parents when I'd stop to take breaks. At one point my mother told me about the latest gift that they'd recieved:
Mom: Guess what we were given? More tea! We didn't have enough already!
She didn't say what type it was. Hopefully more jasmine; that's one of my favorites.
elirrina: (Default)
Both of my parents are on facebook, which is not an issue for me. Actually, a whole lot of my rather large (extended) family is on facebook.

My father works with international students at the university. Naturally, most of his students are on facebook, so he decided he should be on it as well. I was looking at my dad's profile this evening, and thought, "you know, I bet he has more facebook friends than me. Let me check." He does. It makes me laugh, even though I totally expected this. He even has more than my brother, which I do consider impressive, since my brother is ridiculously social. (Shocker, he takes after my dad despite any protests he may make).

This all reminded me of conversations that I had with him a while ago when he was first getting set up.

Dad: People keep friending me! And then they post things on my wall! What am I supposed to do with this?

Dad: Just so you know, I have facebook set to my default page on the internet now, so I remember to look at it. Students keep writing on my wall! And I feel like I shouldn't ignore them!


I'm not sure if it's still his default, but I imagine that he likes hearing from his students who have gone back to their home countries or gotten jobs in different parts of the States.

(Also, a link on his wall led me to the web page that he set up for his students and American volunteers. I'm in one of the photos, despite my pointing out that I'm not one of his students. Hahaha!
Dad: Did you go see my website? Did you see your picture? It's a good picture of you!)
elirrina: (bear)
I switched up my work schedule last week so that I could take Saturday off to go on a river canoeing trip with some of the people from the Sunday night Soup Group that I attend (soup, then book discussion, usually theology-related). Tangentially, the couple who organizes the group is about my parents' age, and have me over to their place for holidays when I'm in town instead of visiting my parents. I love them!

So, prior to the actual trip, I had my weekly phone conversation with my parents and told them about this river trip. Initially, they thought it sounded great. Then, as always happens in discussions about Florida with my parents, my father brought up alligators. Would there be alligators in this river? Well, I wasn't sure, but thought that it was possible. By the end of the conversation, my father decided that this trip was a terrible idea.

I thought he was half-joking.

Turns out, he wasn't.

The day of the river trip, we left town at 8:15am, arrived at the river at 9, and started canoeing. It was a really nice day for it, very sunny, but also, of course, very hot. However, we left around 12:30 in order to avoid the daily afternoon storm, so it worked out well. The river is spring-fed, so it's pretty chilly, and very clear. We went upstream a bit to see one of the spring openings, and that's a bit disconcerting - you can see the bottom of the river for most of the time, when you're not in the midst of river weed patches. But over the springs, the bottom just drops away into a deep, dark hole; I think Steve said it goes down at least 80 feet. Christy, who I was paddling with, is afraid of heights, and I'm not to fond of them either (which is a bit odd, considering I routinely dream about flying, never about falling). She says that she knows that water is coming UP out of the hole, but she always feels like if she was in the water, she'd be pulled DOWN.

We stopped for a snack/very early lunch at an inlet about a mile down the river, where there were two platforms fixed up near the opening of another spring. I jumped in and bobbed around a bit over the area where I could see the bottom; the water was refreshing after the canoeing, but very cold!

For the actual canoeing, it was a lot of fun to look around, there were a bunch of assorted birds, lots of turtles (I love turtles), and you could see the fish under the canoes. Less pleasantly, you could also see EYES peering at you out of the river weeds near the banks. There were one or two baby alligators sunning themselves on logs. Christy and I estimated that one alligator was something like 5 feet long, judging by what we could see from its head. That's pretty small for an alligator, but it IS pretty much my height, and although I'm sure that the river is generally safe (apparently it's one of the best for canoeing in the country), seeing all the alligators at close range was rather uncomfortable all the same.

NOTE: there were no alligators in the inlet where we swam. At least, none that I could see. I stayed close to the canoes.

Anyway, it was fun, I wasn't eaten, and I called my dad afterwards to let him know that I was still alive. Then I called my mother, who was visiting some of my aunts and told her that I was still alive, which is when I found out that my father actually had been seriously afraid for my safety, regarding alligators.

So in conclusion: it was a pretty river, and a good trip, but I haven't really decided if I would do it again, or canoe on other rivers where alligators live.

I like swimming better than canoeing, and I like oceans and lakes better than rivers anyway.
elirrina: (luna)
My parents sent me a cookbook that deals with food allergies in a package along with birthday presents. Yesterday I made Shrimp Creole, which was delicious, so I called my parents to tell them that.

Dad: Have you made Basil Rathbone Chicken yet?
me: Oh...
Mom: He means the Rosemary Basil Chicken recipe.
me: Yeah, I remember that. No, I haven't.
Dad: You need to go get your cookbook and cross out "Rosemary Basil" and write in "Basil Rathbone!"

Then I related that conversation to my brother.

Ethan: What. Our father, who art ridiculous.
me: Haha, yes.
Ethan: Pater noster, qui ridiculus est. Sorry, just had to figure that one out. I like that he wants you to deface your cookbook.
me: Me too. I probably will, on principle.


In less happy news, I've had to drop out of the International Medieval Congress in Leeds because departmental funding has been shaken up quite a bit. I still have funding for coursework next year, though, and that is the main thing for now. So no trip to England, but I'll probably be able to visit my parents for a longer period of time before classes start up again.
elirrina: (kaylee)
me: ...I was telling my mother that the manuscripts I was working with [for my MA thesis] were defective Mandevilles. The I had to explain that there are several textual variants, and the defective one means that a section of the Travels somehow got dropped from the narrative. And then she said, "The Defective Mandevilles would be a really great band name."

Stephanie: And that is all I need to know to realize that your mom is awesome.
elirrina: (Default)
Dad, to my mother: You need to tell her about the doctor!
Mom: Oh yes. I had acupuncture this week. They put tiny, tiny needles between my toes, and- (she starts laughing).
me: What? Is Dad making faces?
Mom: He's huddled up holding his head.
Dad: I'm curled up in a ball!

My father doesn't do well with needles of any sort.

Dad: Are you going to watch the Super Bowl?
me: ...No. I wasn't even invited to any parties. I don't think anyone I know is watching it.
Mom: You didn't watch it last year either, did you?
me: No. I'm pretty sure no one I know watched it then either.
Dad: You're just not mainstream.

Honestly, the Super Bowl is the only football game they watch during the year. They just like the parties. The only sport we really care about is basketball.

Mom: Adam [my cousin who just got married] and Heather came through town and stayed with us and went to the basketball game! We tried to warn them about how loud it would be, and they were still shocked. Adam said the only thing louder that he's heard is being on the flight deck of a carrier when jets are taking off!
elirrina: (oh merlin)
I told my parents that they should start watching Merlin, and they have. So tonight I got a phone call.

Dad: Sarah!
Me: Hi Dad.
Dad: I have to tell you some important things for life!
Me: Oh yeah?
Dad: Merlin is Clark!
Me: Ahhhh. Yes...
Dad: And Gaius is Clark's mom and dad!
Me: Both of them.
Dad: And the Dragon is Jor-El!
Me: Haha!
Dad: When we started running through that and I realized that the Dragon was Jor-El, I had to call you!

I just realized that I told my parents to start watching Smallville as well, a long time ago. Whenever I watch it with them, my father always starts yelling at Clark: "Fly, Clark!!! Why aren't you flying???? FLY!" I keep telling him that I don't think it's going to happen, but he lives in hope.

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elirrina

September 2015

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