Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Weekend with my Parents
Here, finally, is my account of last weekend (er, weekend before last, now), when my parents were in town. It was the first time they'd been to Michigan since I moved here more than a year ago. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating with my plan to convince my mother that it would be fun to come visit Michigan more often. She says I need to move somewhere warm next time. It's not my fault it's been rainy for a week now, and that my apartment is unable to produce a temperature about 68F. Really, it's a very nice apartment! And Michigan isn't that bad of a state!

Anyway, my parents arrived on Thursday afternoon, and we proceeded to unload the car. They brought me all kinds of good stuff, like my bed frame (yay, a real-sized bed!), my mom's old sewing machine, the quilt she made me in high school, fun books, and research books. My dad quickly put the bed frame together, since he and my mom were going to be sleeping on that bed. I immediately put my quilt on my little bed in the "study," which makes the whole room so much happier and brighter. After dinner, I gleefully looked through the box of mysteries my parents had pulled off the shelves to loan to me. Mmmmm, mind candy. Occasionally, I have to remind myself that I am still capable of reading a book in one day. Then my mom showed me all the books she had brought me for my research paper for Semantics. (The secret to my research techniques is revealed: find a subject my mom has done work on, and ask her for materials. I'm a cheater, and I know it.) They also gave me a vegetarian cookbook as a housewarming present, and what I've had from it so far has been excellent.

On Friday, I took my parents to MSU with me. They wandered across campus to Grand River Ave. in the rain, while I taught my class. After I was done, we went off to run many errands. We hit Home Depot first for picture hooks and hangers. Then we went to Target for a picture frame for my uncle's calligraphy piece, a toothbrush holder, a soap dish, and in the end, a new shower curtain, too, to replace the one with big pink Hawaiian flowers and palm trees that the apartment complex provided. Even though I just wanted plain bathroom accessories, those are apparently not in the year in home fashions. My mom found a toothbrush cup and soap dish made out of semi-translucent iridescent mosaic tiles instead, and then we got the shower curtain that was meant to match them (not iridescently). Then we hit the grocery store to get supplies to make dinner. In truth, we went to the grocery store every day my parents were here. Four people eat far more than I eat on my own.

When we finally got back to my apartment, Lee was there, and my mom made a very good dinner, mostly vegetarian from my new cookbook. She did add bacon to the salad, though, out of deference to Lee’s love of meat. He seemed grateful, as did my dad, who had expressed doubt about the validity of tofu as a food item.

On Saturday, we spent most of the morning hanging pictures. My apartment looks so much more lived in now that there are things actually hanging on the walls. My new rainbow-colored quilt (not the one my mom made me, but ordered from a catalogue) just happens to match the two paintings I did my senior year of high school, while my rainbow fish knot-hanging from Taiwan looks very happy with my mom-quilt. I'm being rather attracted to bright colors right now. My three travel pictures which we enlarged last year look very nice in the dining room. The main living room wall is currently bare, but I think I'm holding out for a particularly good world map. We also finally got my award-winning painting of a coat framed. It's the best work of art I ever did in high school, during my first year, no less, and we hadn't managed to get it in a frame for 9 years, so I am well pleased with this development.

Saturday night, I had invited Pat and Mary to come over for a mini-China reunion so my parents could meet some of the other people I was over there with. Unfortunately, our plans to eat out were thwarted by the previously unrealized fact that it was homecoming weekend for MSU. (Yes, I know. I have no school spirit. I am unrepentant.) Instead, Lee decided to cook, because he wanted Chinese-ish food and refused to subject himself to any take-out food in E. Lansing. Pat and Mary (and my parents) were thrilled. I knew Mary would like it especially, because we were always asking Lee to do food-porn (detailed verbal descriptions of whatever popped into his head) when we were getting tired of the food in China. It was very fun to see the two of them again, and they didn't tell any bad stories about me in China, so I was safe.

Sunday again dawned rainy and gray, so our original idea to go get coffee after my mom and I made copies of the various research articles to leave here or take back to NC didn't really happen, because we didn't want to walk all the way over there in the rain. Instead, we just went to lunch at the deli in the bizarrely high-end shopping center near my apartment, and then went home. My mom spent the rest of the afternoon before she and my dad started packing up making me soup to keep for the rest of the week. My mommy loves me. Eventually, though, they had to get back on the road for the ever-so-exciting 13+ hour drive back. (Once again, if the entire state of Ohio would just disappear, my life would be much easier.)

[Edited 7:10pm to insert links.]

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