A Trip to the Zoo – Part 2

When we last left off, we were eating lunch at King’s Family Restaurant and my daughter had trashed the place, spreading her food all around her (for those who don’t know, my daughter is 13 months old). On with the story. Here is a link to Part 1.

3:00 PM – I make my first major mistake of the day right before we leave the restaurant. I call my aunt on my barely functioning cell phone and tell her we will be at her house in about an hour. I have a bunch of family that live in the Pittsburgh area and we decided to add a visit into the trip. Plus, my grandma was just getting out of the hospital and really wanted to see us.

Anyhow, according to mapquest, the trip should have only taken 45 minutes and I patted myself on the back for building in fifteen minutes of buffer time. I’ve failed to mention one key detail: the directions I had printed out the day before were from the zoo to my aunt’s house, not from the restaurant to my aunt’s house. We’ll figure it out, I thought to myself.

3:30 PM – After getting “lost” twice I finally agree to stop at a gas station while my wife asks for directions. A small part of my manliness dies. Of course getting the directions helps us find our way. However, I would’ve found it myself, dang it!

4:30 PM – We arrive at my aunt’s house about a half hour late. Luckily my family is nice and they were just happy to see us. We spent about an hour and a half there, while my daughter and my cousin’s daughter (a little over a year old) played in the sandbox together. They particularly had fun sprinkling sand on their heads.

6:00 PM – We get in the car again and drive to my Grandma’s house. This time we know the way. There, several other members of my family have gathered and we have an impromptu meal. I don’t know how they conjure up such excellent food from seemingly thin air, but that is what they did. It was also great to see my Grandma and for her to hold my daughter. She seemed weak, but we think she is doing better.

8:00 PM – We say our goodbyes and start on our final journey of the night, to my wife’s sister’s house, which is about a 45 minute trip. It was also at this time my head began to hurt.

8:15 PM – My began to hurt so bad I nearly got sick. I tried closing my eyes while my wife drove, but nothing helped. Absolutely the worst pain in my life, even worse than the time I broke my thumb playing basketball when someone fell on my hand while going for a loose ball.

9:00 PM We arrive at my in-laws and my daughter is asleep. We gingerly try to get into the house and put our daughter to bed without her waking. My head is ready to explode and I’m nearly in tears from the pain. My nieces (ages 4 and 2) run up to greet us and wake my daughter in their enthusiasm. They are so cute, though, so I can’t blame them.

11:00 PM My daughter finally falls back to sleep thanks to my wife rocking her. It has been a long but enjoyable day and we are all happy to finally be able to sleep. I fall asleep hoping to sleep in until 8:00 AM, remembering the days when that time was considered waking up early.


We wound up waking around 6:50 AM, later than the day before but earlier than I would’ve liked. That next day we had fun playing with our nieces, visiting my wife’s sister and husband, and eating cupcakes that were baked inside ice cream cones. We left at 8:00 PM to begin the three hour journey home. I wonder why I was so tired on Monday morning?

Robert J Sawyer interviewed on Ficlets Blog

Yesterday John Scalzi posted an excellent interview with science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer on the Ficlets blog. Mr. Sawyer comes across as a very intelligent guy in the interview, offering up his thoughts about writing, science fiction as a genre, and Canadian vs. American writers. The part of the interview that really got me thinking, though, was when he described meeting an old woman who had just read science fiction for the first time. Here is the quote:

A few years ago, the Region of Waterloo, which is close to a million people in Ontario, Canada, did my Hominids for their community-wide reading program. And at one of the public events I did, an old woman came up to me, and she said she’d made it to ninety without ever reading science fiction, but had loved my book and regretted now that she’d never even tried the genre earlier; mine had been the first SF novel she’d ever read, and, she said, it was also, because she had so little time left, going to be the last.

Wow, there is something about there that really makes me think. Could you imagine thinking to yourself, “This may be the last book I ever read”? I guess I would take a little more care in what that book would be.

Anyhow, check out the interview. I think you will enjoy it.