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When I drive down to see the parents, I’m reminded of why I used to always do the driving on my DC trips in the early morning and late at night.

March 2, 2008, 11:30 PM

First of all, let me say that I had fun in Stuarts Draft and surrounding over the weekend. I came down Saturday morning, and went back up Sunday evening. In the process, I got to see Katie, my parents, and my friend Patrick Jarrett.

And the drive itself reminded me of why, when I did my bi-weekly DC trips for more than three years, I did the driving in the early morning and late at night. Traffic was much lighter than otherwise. On the way up to DC, I’d leave the house around 5:30 AM. Quiet on the highway. Then on the way back, I timed my arrival back at Vienna for around midnight to head back. Traffic was much lighter during those hours than otherwise. On my trip this time, where I took US 29 down, and I-81 and I-66 back, I think the only time when traffic wasn’t thick was on the way down between Culpeper and Ruckersville. Otherwise, it was pretty heavy traffic almost the entire way, including on US 340 going towards Stuarts Draft. Not fun.

However, the rest of the trip was fun. I got to see Katie for a few minutes, and then headed into Stuarts Draft to see the parents. They’ve made some changes to the “Pirate Room” (my old bedroom, which they’ve turned into an upstairs living room) since last I was there, removing my old desk and putting in this dresser with a ship painted on the front in the room in its place. It’s really nice, too. Meanwhile, we also finally named the pair of goldfish that Mom put in there. She hadn’t originally given them names because she couldn’t tell them apart, but I determined that one was more brightly colored than the other, thus we could tell them apart. I named them Castor and Pollux, after the twins in Greek mythology. It has a bit of a personal connection for me, as my astrological sign is Gemini, which is headed up by the stars Castor and Pollux. And in the fish, Castor is the more brightly-colored fish, while Pollux is the one with slightly more subdued colors.

This, by the way, may also be a good reason for why you shouldn’t let me name your pets. However, how many fish do you know named “Pollux”?

Then after dinner, Mom and I went through some of my books. Most fun was encountering this book called Habitus Disgustica: The Encyclopedia of Annoying, Rude, and Unpleasant Behavior. The book was a scream. It’s supposed to look like a serious book, but it’s intended for humor, like in the section about breaking wind, where there is an illustration showing a woman passed out on the floor in an elevator, with stink lines above her, while a man is walking away from the elevator acting as though nothing happened. Perhaps he should have been more discreet with his bodily functions. Poor woman.

And then on Sunday, I headed up to Harrisonburg to spend some time with my friend Patrick Jarrett. We went to a restaurant called Ham’s. Back in my college days, a restaurant named “Biltmore Grill” occupied the building, so this was a foreign name to me. Still, we gave Ham’s a shot. As it turned out, the restaurant was so-so. It didn’t particularly impress me, but it also didn’t turn me off. I had teriyaki chicken, which comes with rice and steamed vegetables. Patrick had the “SOB Burger”. SOB in this case stood for swiss cheese, onion, and bacon. While we certainly had a good time there, I wouldn’t put it up on my “let’s definitely eat there again” list, but then again, I also wouldn’t put it on my craplist, either.

I also got to ride around in Patrick’s PT Cruiser, which was pretty cool. The PT Cruiser kind of reminds me of a slightly larger version of Dad’s Mini.

And then from Harrisonburg, it was back to DC for me. Not bad. And I came back with a new load of my stuff, as I had two totes of books, plus that animatronic alley cat that I bought a while back, and the head that I got some time back that I use to put hats on (you’ve seen it on here before).

Perhaps the most shocking part of the trip, however, was at my parents’ house, due to Greta’s passing. It was really weird seeing Greta’s bed missing from its usual spot, and to see no doggy dishes out where doggy dishes should be. I’m used to not hearing a dog around the house since I don’t have a dog in my apartment, but seeing no doggy items in the house was a bit of a shock, even if I was expecting it.

Web site: Apple's "Switch" commercial with Ellen Feiss. Truth be told, this is my second attempt at this Journal entry, as the computer went bleepbleepbleepbleepbleep and DEVOURED my Journal entry. It was a really good Journal entry, too. So I had to write it again...

Song: I Got a Crush On Obama from Barely Political

Quote: And it's likely that I'm going to be returning to Stuarts Draft in less than two weeks, because Sis is likely coming home to visit during the second week in March. I'm excited, but plans are still being finalized.