I take the nerdiest road trips. This occurred to me when I was settling into the PEN/Malamud reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library/Theatre this weekend. Whenever I’ve gone out of town for just about anything recently, it’s involved literature or comic books. I feel like I used to go to football games or rock shows more often, but maybe I’m kidding myself. (Or maybe the football teams I follow used to be better; okay that’s definitely true).

Not that nerdy road trips are anything to apologize for. Just something I need to embrace, and anyway, I’m pretty good at getting my friends involved in my nerdy outings. (“Demented and sad — but social!”) So that’s all good. On Friday at the reading, I saw my friends Erin (who lived close to me when I was in grad school, and stayed in DC when I moved away) and Samantha (who was a long-distance friend for a long time, then moved to DC after I moved away, which makes her a somewhat-less-long-distance friend; road-trippable anyway). And afterwards, we met up with Gena, a new friend I made via Twitter; it’s possible that the conversation that the four of us had was on the nerdy side, but I’m not admitting anything.

I had planned to stay the night with Samantha and drive back, but snow struck, which meant I spent most of Friday on Samantha’s couch. During that time, I managed to write a few pages on a current fiction project, watch two episodes of Generation Kill a movie, and most of the second season of The Office, and do a significant amount of reading on my new Kindle (which is going to be its own post, but suffice it to say I’m in gadget love). I couldn’t figure out why I don’t get this much done when sitting on my couch at home, then realized it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t surfing/chatting on the Internet the whole time. Whether this is a lesson I’ll carry into my daily life, I don’t know — but, until I get my Netbook spyware issue resolved, I don’t have a TV and a computer in the same room, anyway. This might not be such a bad thing.

In any case, our weekend was cozy and socialble (not at all demented and sad, as much as I like to quote Ferris Bueller). And fortunately, the sun was out and the roads looking quite good on Sunday. Serendipitously, as I was leaving on Sunday, my sister and her younger daughter were visiting, not far away, at my older brother’s house. So we managed a more or less off-the-cuff family gathering; this was nice because neither my sister or brother’s family had made it down to my parents’ for Thanksgiving (they were with in-laws; our two other brothers were at Thanksgiving, so there was not a shortage of people, but there was a lack of small children). I got to spend a couple hours with my sister, brother and sister-in-law, plus one niece and my two nephews (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz). The three kids — who range from just-turned-2 to almost-4 — are at a nice age to entertain each other, so the grown-ups actually got some grownup talk (ie, family gossip — remember when you used to think the grown-ups were in the other room talking about important things?) There was playing-with-kittens, and not entirely disastrous Christmas cookie baking as well. I reminded myself that, as the non-toddler-parent there, I wasn’t quite accustomed to the level of expectations needed when making cookies with toddlers: “The children will not lick any of the cookies before they go in the oven” falls outside the level of reasonable expectations. (Hey, they’re getting cooked anyway, right?) I kind of miss being three; those were some good times. Although since I just talked about spending most of the weekend sitting on the couch and watching TV, I’m not sure I’ve reached a higher level of achievement.

Traffic coming back from DC was mercifully easy, and now I’m attempting to catch up on White Collar and Dollhouse before going out to see Zombieland at the discount theater (planned with friends via text message while I was out of town; it’s good to have friends and, also, technology).

And then I have to go to work or something tomorrow, but I’m not really thinking about that.

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