Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Josh and Lily take New Hamster

Lily returns to school on Monday the 25th, so I wanted to do something nice for her before the summer ended. She's incredibly fond of my friend Tim (as am I), so we accepted his standing invitation and drove up to New Hampshire to stay with him for the weekend.

Tim's been my best friend since I was, yikes, Lily's age. Lily was good company on the trip. She had a bunch of library books to read, and she absolutely devours them, but she was afraid of getting carsick, so we talked for a good portion of the trip.

Lily: Do you believe me when I say that mommy looks like she's 20?
Me: Well, I think you're sincere, and that you intend it as a compliment, but I don't think you have a good conception of what people look like when they're 20.
Lily: Yeah. Mommy probably had an afro when she was 20.
She also thanked me for having so many cool friends that liked to hang out with her and she went on to name them, which felt very nice.

The trip was fine. We ran into two traffic jams, and I-91 is always laid out for construction, with the flashing arrows and orange barrels, but never in the 20 years of driving this route, have I ever seen anyone working on it. It was like a scene from the Langoliers.

We got into town at about 3:00, and Tim was working until 5:00. We stopped at the local Wal-Mart first. Lily, gifted child that she is, had sucked on a shot glass we had lying around the day before, and broke a bunch of blood vessels around her mouth. She was very self conscious, so we looked for some makeup to cover it up. One of the associates helped us, but the end result wasn't satisfactory, so we went to Party City for a mask, which should put an end to any awkward questions.

Nailed it!

After that, we killed some time in the Colony Mill, a 170-year old mill converted into a mall. It did decent business when we lived up in Keene fifteen yeas ago, but it's been absolutely gutted since then, with only about ten stores remaining. The book store (!!) was still busy, and Lily ran into a girl playing Minecraft on a handheld and became best friends with her in moments. Lily talked to her for a good twenty minutes. It's funny, because she's usually so shy. 

We each bought a magazine to read while we waited. Lily got Disney Girls' Life Magazine. It had a surprising amount of content, which helped take some of the sting out of knowing that I just paid five bucks for a Disney Channel press kit.

I bought Amish Survivalist, because, holy shit, it's Amish Survivalist. I could hear Jen's voice faintly in the distance, "This is why we don't have any money..."

These kind of things really interest me, though. I'm always really interested in seeing a culture of which I'm not a part, and this was the double whammy. It's ostensibly Survivalist's guide to looking at Amish Culture, and seeing what can be borrowed for living off the grid, but mostly it's just cheese recipes and horse and buggy tips. I believe my friend Phil, who is himself Amish, contributed a short piece. The ads were pretty great, too, and this one was the best!

We hooked up with Tim and got one of his kitties from the vet, and then we went out for pizza. We had this conversation.
Lily: I've only had two cavities!
Tim: I've only ever had one.
Long pause.
Me: So, are you pleased you won that dick measuring contest with my daughter?
The next morning, we set out for Chunky's and saw TMNT. I reviewed the movie and the experience here. After that, we went right next door to Pinball Wizard. There aren't many arcades like this any more. Most arcades are pay X dollars for X time, but Pinball Wizard still uses tokens.  It was outstanding. When i was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who serviced video games. When I went to the back room and saw the broken games awaiting repairs, I felt nostalgic in a way that I've never felt before.

I took a bunch of pictures, but I was using a cell phone, and I'm kind of a shitty photographer besides, so you're probably better off looking at the gallery at Pinball Wizard's website. Here are a few that aren't terrible, though.

It's a really great place. I really can't think of any changes they could implement to make it friendlier to guests. Tim and I took turns playing air hockey against Lily. She would score a point and we'd swap out. I used to let her win when she was a little kid, but these days I tend to give her a little challenge, and I won't give her a victory unless she works for it. (Curb stomping a little kid is no fun for anybody involved.) We did let her win this time around, because I didn't want to sour the experience.

Look at her go!
After Pinball Wizard, we hit a local mall because Tim was using a safety pin he had stolen from a dog to keep his pants together, and he needed a replacement. He got his pants and we went to Newbury Comics, because I was under the impression that they were a comics retailer and not a douchier Hot Topic.

After that, we went home. We played Heads Up, watched some Adventure Time, and did a bunch of mad libs.

"When we met up the following week, we sounded much more morose."
"So...we're the Smiths, then?"

It was a wonderful weekend. I always love seeing Tim, and Lily probably loves it even more. When we were driving home, she said what I was thinking. "I wish Mister Tim lived closer, so we could see him more."


  1. But... Doctor Who Christmas Ornaments and exclusive Dinosaur Jr vinyl?

    Thank God Nick has passed. If he caught wind of that combination he'd fill the store till it collapsed into the Maytag store.... and yes I know that's like four door down now.

  2. Awww...I love you nerds too.