I’m back in the US for the next ten days. Katherine has to attend the meeting of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in LA where she will accept their award for Book of the Year. HOME OF THE BRAVE. Damn right it was book of the year.
She’s also conducting two workshops and giving a speech, so needless to say the entire household has been drafted to help. Well, mostly the Boy, who handles the assembly of the two Keynotes as well as doing some Photoshopping and some Dreamweavering and various other techie things.
For my part I have contributed by smoking cigars and yelling at the kids. I know you’re thinking “child labor” but it’s really no different than having the kids do chores back on the farm.
“Have you milked them cows yet?”
“Have you finished coding your mother’s website yet?”
In any case, we flew from Florence to Frankfurt on Luftwaffe Lufthansa, then on United to Dulles. United apologized for the fact that Lufthansa — which handles their ground operations out of Frankfurt — was on strike so, “we don’t have our usual level of service on food.” What? No lukewarm goo? No brown salad? No leaden wad of brown stuff for desert? Well, it turned out they had all of that. But breakfast, that was a different story entirely. Time to wake up and have . . . tada! . . . two packs of pretzels. What’s better than stale pretzels and coffee in the morning? If by “morning” you mean 6:00 pm local, midnight Italy time.
In any case. we’re staying over a day in Washington so we can sleep off the jetlag and do some shopping. Tyson’s Corners, bay-bee.
My US shopping list? Over-the-counter drugs. You want Ibuprofen in Italy? You stand in line at a Farmacia, and buy a 12-pack for 5 Euros. So we’re coming back with a pair of 250-count bottles which will cost a whole hell of a lot less and involve exactly zero time standing in line behind hard-bitten old Italian ladies who need help with their corns.
1) OTC drugs.
2) Decent bourbon. (All they have in Italy is Jack Daniels.)
3) Clothing, especially for the kids. Clothing prices in Italy are criminal. They have no Wal-Mart or Target driving prices down. It’s the same slave-labor stuff we get from China, but three times more expensive. And that’s before currency conversion. No wonder Italians dress like refugees from the 80’s.
5) iPhone. A third of what they cost in Italy. It’s actually cheaper to eat the hideous roaming charges.
Off to shop. More later.