Qui-Gon is the best. He is my icon today.

Trip to Pennsylvania went well! We made the 12 hour voyage on Friday, went for a walk and hit the hay. Saturday was church, of course, and then a get-together at the Szalenkiewicz’ house. I think I spelled that right. It was ok, except we didn’t actually know anyone, and felt a bit like outlanders. One kid did this really cool jump off of the porch roof, though! It was at least 10 feet, I was very impressed, except that it was kind of a dumb thing to do with gravel underneath and no imminent peril to motivate him. That really has nothing to do with anything, but it stuck out as a memorable moment.

Anyway, the main point of going to PA was so that I could be baptized with my uncle present as well as our immediate family. The Szalenkiewicz family kindly allowed us the use of their pool. I don’t think a public livejournal reserved for inconsequential rambling is quite the place to elaborate on such a serious subject, but suffice to say that it was very good.

We drove all the way home today, so I must admit that any desire I had for a road trip has been effectively quenched for the foreseeable future. We had fun, of course; we stopped at a ginormous antique/craft/random stuff place, and I bought a couple books: To Kill a Mockingbird as well as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I think I’ll go back there one day when I have my own house. They had tapestry and fleece and all kinds of unusual fabric for sale and aisles full of ribbon and dusty horse harness and huge urns and corn huskers and old records and just all kinds of neat things.

Pennsylvania has great names. We wandered by an old graveyard, and on one of the stones was the name Frew. Isn’t that a great name? Say it out loud. Also, the town names are so interesting. Some of them are just silly-interesting, like Gabby Heights, but some of them are so neat I had to write them down. Ambler, Blawnox, Bryn Athryn, Distant, Ephrata, Highspire, Leisenring, Yoe. Then I started looking in the road atlas for other interesting names. If you ever are writing a story, and you can’t think of a name, take a look at Idaho.

One one of our walks (we took a lot of walks), Ed and I passed a sign that said Driveway, only some letters had fallen off, so it said Riv way. I believe I could write a whole story just from those words, they sound so mysterious. Don’t let me forget to do that one day.

I’ve had grand dreams lately, only they’re strangely fuzzy. Usually when I have a great dream, they’re so real and vivid I can’t forget them. There was one the other day where I woke up enough to think that something in the dream was very useful information for real life, and I told myself to remember it, and then went back into the dream, only now I can’t remember! That’s what comes of not having paper next to your bed at hotels. There was one dream in which I wandered into L.M. Montgomery’s house, and we talked for ages, only she was an old grouch and I left to go play with some dogs. Then I had one yesterday that was so real while I was dreaming it that I kept having to remind my dream self that it was only a dream, only as soon as I woke up I forgot everything about it except for when I kept telling myself it was a dream. Most sad, because I think it was really good.

WAIT, I just remembered! It was about a huge flood, only it was beautiful and I should paint it someday, and Steve from work and a girl I don’t know but would probably recognize if I saw her in real life and a whole bunch of other people were in a school by the sea, and the flood came pouring down a jungle cliff and flooded the school and we climbed out of a high window in a class room and floated away and it was very very good. I’m so glad I remembered, I love dreams.b

Books! It seems like this journal has become one huge catalog of books I have read, but don’t worry, it’ll slow down during the school year when I haven’t as much time to read. I finished The Illustrated Man and it was marvelous. It was so good that I’m coaxing Ed to read it, and he’s already more than halfway done too, and he never reads. Bradbury feels so familiar. Even when I know I haven’t read a particular story, it feels like I have, only so long ago that I dont’ remember anything about it except the feel of it. I think it’s because he describes the things that a lot of people feel but could never ever put into words, so his words feel homey and comfortable because they’re like your own, only more beautiful than your own.

Someone had recommended A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay, so I read that next on the way to Penn. I think I’m going to have a stern chat with whoever recommended it. I’m not sure I understood quite all of it, but what I did understand was ugly, and not in a good way. He occasionally touched on a true thought, but then he’d skip away again into drudgery and twisted philosophy and dullness. Not even making exceedingly vague Norse references could save the book. In some ways it was good for me to read a book I didn’t like, because I had been reading so many truly great ones that I was about to take them for granted.

After the ill-fated Arcturus affair, I re-read Dune Messiah. Once you enter the Dune universe, it never stops beckoning; you will read and reread and rereread and still love it. Also, “beckon” is a great word. I wolfed it down so fast I think I’ll have to read it again soon. Maybe I should just buy all the Dune books next time I go book-shopping, they’re so hard to get a hold of. I desperately want to read Children of Dune, but our library doesn’t have it. Humph.

Today after finishing Dune Messiah, I started Lieutenant Hornblower and ended up getting so wrapped up in it that I read the whole thing in one sitting. Long car trips do have their advantages. I desperately need C.S. Forester’s books too, they’re wonderful. I used the words “naval drama and adventure” to describe them the other day and confused the person I was talking to because they thought I was talking about belly buttons. I was deeply saddened by that, but such is life. The Hornblower books are so deliciously quotable. I find myself wanting to write down big chunks of them so I remember them, which means I need to buy the books. I’m usually picky about what books I buy; I have to love everything about them and want to remember everything.

On the car trip, we did a few notes to other cars. It’s become tradition to write things on sheets of notebook paper and hold them up against the car window for other people to read and see how many people we can get to laugh or write something back. Ed had “I’m so bored. 5 hours to go…” up for a while, and someone wrote back, “Whatever, we still have 13 hours to Florida”, which I thought was pretty funny.

Our video rental store place thingy had some discounted movies for sale, so we grabbed an ancient copy of Return of the Jedi, some movie about Ann Boleyn, and The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved the Narnia bloopers! Minotaurs in green tights, pricless. I sort of got sucked in then and watched the whole thing with the commentary, which was lots of fun. If I were ever to be in a movie, one of the Narnia movies would be the most fun. As long as I got to ride horses and wield a sword, anyway. Perhaps I could get in as a centaur. I would love to be a centaur for a day or two.

We went to see Lady in the Water, as per Ricker tradition with M. Night Shyamalan films, a week ago Saturday night. It was very good. It was not great. It’s definitely worth seeing, but it’s just not my favorite of M. Night’s movies. As with all M. Night Shyamalan movies, the less you know about it (and thus the fewer expectations you have) the more you’ll enjoy it, so I won’t say anything else. In more distressing news, it appears Shyamalan is no longer working on the movie version of Life of Pi. Having read the book now, I’m not sure if I’ll like a movie version of it anyway. It’s one thing to read about a hyena dismembering a zebra in a lifeboat and quite another thing to see it. Hmm, taken out of context, I imagine that would be a rather amusing sentence.

I don’t mean this to sound morbid at all, but sometimes I’m a bit concerned that I won’t have enough time to do everything I want to before I die. There are just so many things I’d love to do, and I hope I can squeeze it all in. But then, I suppose it would be exceedingly horrible to realize you had done everything you wanted to at, say, 67, and then to live another 20 years. I guess the trick is to make your to-do list just the right length so that you run out of things at the same time you run out of life, but I have a feeling that’s hard to do.

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