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That was odd...

NaNoWriMo Day 29

NaNoWriMo Day 29

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Right. So, I am now at my Grandmother's house. Got my own little room, and got settled in. There's still plenty that needs doing before I can get settled in completely, as apparently the closet needs to be cleared out. We plan on tackling the closet tomorrow, which means that the rest of the night tonight is for relaxing.

It was a pretty uneventful day, all things considered. Except for the drive down, most everything went as I expected it to. I did have a couple of bloody noses, but I attribute that to the changing seasons, since the air is getting much drier. So, while they are a nuisance, I am bracing myself for the inevitable bleeding to continue.

I mentioned the drive for a reason. It was a decent drive, all things considered. However, there were a couple of points about it that I really need to record because I could not believe it happening. First, there was the discovery that my grandmother does in fact have a leadfoot. At least, that's what I gathered when I heard that she was slowing herself down most of the time so that I could follow her.

I was driving the speed limit.

So, that was pretty interesting news. One other rather interesting thing to discover was the little spider building a web. From my rearview mirror. To my headrest. Now, I'm not the most... accepting, I think is the right word, of things with more than four legs or less than two. So, it was quite an exercise in self-control to keep from wildly swinging at the thing as it advanced towards my face.

It was a tiny thing, to be sure. I could probably fit ten of him on my pinky nail, if I were so inclined. However, the horrendously phobic part of me was screaming at me to end it's existence as quickly as humanly possible. Faster, if it was at all possible. So, when there were no cars nearby, I swung wildly at it, connecting with my third swipe.

Now, I am fairly certain that there is not some bizarre shadow government run exclusively by spiders, but it does strike me as rather odd that this has happened to me. I haven't posted about this before, but that is not the first time I have found spiders building webs dangerously close to my face and hands. In fact, I think this is about the third time I have caught it happening.

The first time was when a little spider was building a web from my driver's side window to the steering wheel. I put the kibbosh on that one as soon as I noticed, as I was at a red light when it occurred. A quick swat ended it's life, as well as smudged my window. The second time I caught one meddling in my affairs was when I had let my car sit for about a week without going anywhere.

It is a simple enough story. I opened up my car, slid into the driver's seat, and immediately noticed the beautifully wrought web spanning my steering wheel. Now, I appreciate art, and this web truly was artfully done. However, it had the terrible misfortune of being right where I put my hands. It also had the bad luck of having a spider sitting right smack dab in the center of it.

So, one swift smack from the Hand of Phobia later, a piece of art is destroyed, and a spider vanquished. Intellectually, I recognise that spiders are an essential part of the ecosystem, and that without them I would be well past knee-deep in other things that offend my delicate sensibilities. However, the phobic part of me sees them as terrible demon-spawned horrors that move unnaturally and must be vanquished.

I do need to get better control of my fears. Right now, I have three main ones. The fear of things that have more than four legs or fewer than two, the fear of swarms of things, and the fear of dolls and suchlike things. Now, that last one is fairly easily explained, as the Uncanny Valley is rather large for me. For those of you not in the know, the Uncanny Valley is rather interesting.

Basically, it describes the area between the points where dolls and other humanoid figures are adorable, and where they are actually life-like enough to be admired. Between those two points, the objects in question look like corpses or other things with malevolent intent. This is actually why the movie "The Polar Express" did so badly in theaters. It may also explain why some people are fearful of clowns, as the makeup changes the proportions of the facial features.

Now, I brought all of this up because of something that happened today. My grandmother collects clown dolls. And she was storing many of them in the room that I am currently staying in. Now, I can deal with the incredibly stylised ones, but many of the ones she owns fall right into my uncanny valley. Which means that part of the cleaning today was spent finding a new home for those dolls.

Some of the dolls went to a local charity organisation that helps developmentally disabled children, while the rest found a home in the computer room. Which is a good way to ensure I don't s[end much time on the internet, I suppose. Luckily, only one of the dolls in that room scares the crap out of me. Doubly so when I saw it move, too. As it turns out, it is supposed to, but that didn't stop me from nearly having a heart attack when I saw it move out of the corner of my eye.

When we got out of the charity drop-off area, the dashboard clock in my grandmother's car said that it was 17:00. So, since winter is approaching and the sun would be setting soon, I voted that we head home. Plus, I was tired. However, when we got home and I sat down to start writing, I noticed that my computer's clock said that it was only 16:00.

And so it came to pass that we went out for a walk. Now, I know that I said I was tired, but I can walk until the cows come home. And then continue walking until the cows decide that they are tired of sitting around the house all day and head out for a little walk. I can walk for a while, is what I am trying to convey, here.

So, we walked. Grandmother filled me in on all of the goings-on at the church, and we had a very pleasant time. At least, I did. She showed me the movie theater, and we walked by a Five Guys burger place. Of course, she had been talking about the various restaurants near the theater, and her comment as we were approaching it was that they served very good fries.

Now, when she said that, I could not see the sign for the restaurant she was talking about, So, when I saw that it was Five Guys, I was ecstatic. I don't really have favourite places to eat, but I absolutely adore Five Guys food. Their burgers are fantastic, their fries are supreme. We ended up stopping in there to order a large fry to nosh upon whilst walking back home.

Ended up arriving back here at the house around 17:30, after having been walking for well over an hour. The weather was pleasant enough, and I learned a bit more about where things are in the area. I did find out that there is a new restaurant coming to the little plaza that has the theater and Five Guys, and that they had done a small job fair for potential employees. Unfortunately, I had missed the fair by about a week, but I have hopes for when it opens.

Now, I know that I have sworn never to work food service, but that was before I realised just how amazingly fun it is to cook. So, I'm now really interested in cooking. Now, I don't aim to be a chef, not by a long shot. What I really want is to be a great cook, so that I never really have to go out to restaurants, but can instead cook for myself and my friends.

I think Robert Rodriguez summed it up best for me. He says that you're going to be eating for the rest of your life, so you may as well learn how to cook. So, I'm learning to cook. There are programs and school courses out there that teach cooking, but that's not something I want. I want to learn how to cook the things that I enjoy eating. Makes very little sense to me to learn how to cook things that you dislike, you see.

There's a website out there called Supercook. Basically, you input all of the ingredients that you have handy, and it lets you know what recipes are online that call for that particular set of items. The only drawback to this recipe aggregator is that it does not differentiate between fresh and canned ingredients. So, if you have a lot of canned goods, it may not be the best place to go in order to find recipes.

If you've got a bunch of fresh ingredients, though... this site is amazing. I never really realised just how much you can make with just a few different things. Ground beef, onions, celery, carrots, and about four other common ingredients will yield well over two hundred recipes to choose from. So, I have that site bookmarked.

Tomorrow morning, I head to Mass for the first time in a long time, which makes me happy. As it turns out, my grandmother lives exactly one mile from the local church, so it's very handy. Heck, I could walk there, in a pinch. So, I'm looking forward to that. It will feel good to be back in a church again.

Beyond all of that, I can't think of much more to post. I won't know how long this is until I take it over to the other computer, so hopefully it's at least the 1667 that is needed. So, goodnight everybody, and stay safe out there.
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