Monday, August 31, 2009

Firetrucks, Firetrucks, Firetrucks!

This was the scene in front of my house this evening:

Have the California wildfires spread to North Wales? Were ninety kittens stuck in the trees in my front yard? Was it the National Firetruck Festival?

I walked up to the end of the firetruck assembly to find another of people rallied around the firehouse:

Yes, that is a circle of bagpipe blowers and drum bangers, who were performing song after song of Scottish wonder, surrounded by police, council members, and, seemingly, everyone in the borough. As I joined the crowd, wearing no shoes and eating my dinner out of a square bowl in public (much to Kurt's dismay), I learned (from Kurt) that this entire hullaballo was...get dedicate a new firetruck! Wooohooooo!

Are you serious? There was more pomp for this new truck than there was for the July 4th parade this summer. Apparently, this new truck wanted to have a play date with all the other trucks in the county, because every fire copmany for miles was represented. Wow. Who knew our new little firetruck had so much sway in the community? I think the message is clear: my fire truck is more popular than yours.

Oh, and one last question: why was this event Scottish themed? Is my town secretly Scottish? I know we were founded a couple of hundred years ago, and our name is North Wales, and Wales is in the UK with Scotland, but are bagpipes also Welsh?! I dunno. I guess my firetruck requested bagpipes for its coming out party and, by now, we all know - my firetruck gets what it wants.

Happy Birthday, North Wales Firetruck! Now I know why the guys were powerwashing the firehouse sidewalks this morning.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Swedish Fish Water Ice

Rita's is currently selling Swedish Fish flavorerd water ice and this is what I think...

A few weeks ago, I took my residents to Rita's to get water ice for our scenic bus trip. Along with my 13 cups of cherry water ice came 13 miniature bags of Swedish Fish, advertising the limited edition flavor that was soon to come the following Saturday. Since that day, I had been dying for Swedish Fish water ice but, every time I planned to go to Rita's, something else came up.

About 3 weeks later (two days ago), I finally had the chance to go to Rita's. Admittedly, I had just eaten three soft pretzels and a significantly sized hot lunch, so I was not exactly hungry; Kurtis, however, was, so we ended up at Rita's. I was full, but secretly excited.

I waited in the blisteringly hot car, refusing to turn on the air conditioner and waste the overpriced gas. I sat, melting in the heat, for 7 or 8 hours before Kurt finally returned with my oh-so-long-awaited, kids' sized, Swedish Fish water ice. Fine, it was probably more like 7 or 8 minutes, but it was really, really hot, and heat makes time crawl.

I am going to skip the build-up and jump straight to the bottom line of my review: EW.

To be honest, I think it may have been the fault of the Rita's employee who may not have pumped the buckets frequently enough (yes, Rita's people call it "pumping"), but I felt like I was eating spoonfuls of sappy, sugar-syrup with the occasional chunk of ice. Disgust.

Now, listen: I am the biggest fan of overly sweet sweetness, but this syrupy sugar soup was not in the least bit welcome after my time in the I do have one compliment for the flavor for which I had such high hopes: it tasted exactly like Swedish Fish...only, melted in Death Valley, mixed with sugar crystals, and turned to sap.

Dear Rita's,

I once was devastated to hear that Swedish Fish was going to be a limited-time-only flavor. I now am relieved.



Thursday, August 6, 2009


I had a staring contest with an owl tonight and this is what I think...

I think owls are awesome. They are fierce creatures with sharp features and mad hunting skills. For these same reasons, I also think owls are a little bit scary! Tonight, after our screening of Julie & Julia, I was driving home from Kurt's parents' house when I spotted something tiny on the road. I stopped suddenly and saw what had appeared, at first, to be a bird or small rodent, but never moved no matter how close my car got to it. As I waited just a few feet from the object, I finally decided it must be a toy. Since, at this point, I was too close to see it any longer, I backed up my car so I coudl decide exactly where it was before I drove over it, planning to cause the least possible damage to my car. When I backed up, it moved! Its head turned toward my car, and I entered my staring match with an eastern screech owl!

I am sure, by looking at this image, you can understand why I thought I may have been looking at a toy. Not only is it so cartoonish in nature (hello eyes!), but it was staring off into the distance, never flinching as my car came within feet of its tiny little existence! When it finally did look at me, I was overcome with a mixed sensation of excitement and woe. Part gremlin, part bird, the owl was not even slightly afraid of my car, and when its giant eyes were staring me down, I was a bit taken back by this ten inch creature.

All in all, it was a pretty sweet experience. I never saw an owl in the wild before, and I do not imagine one will ever stop my car again. And Kurt was driving in the car behind me, while I was on the phone with him, so I sort of shared the experience with him and he got to see it when it finally succumbed to me in our staring match and flew away.