If We Were Having Strawberry Shortcake…

Strawberry Shortcake!

Shortbread biscuit, big scoop of vanilla ice cream, generous serving of strawberries drenched in juice that spilled onto both hands and one shoe, and dollop of whipped cream that the top of the box flattened and made slightly less photogenic. This seven-dollar fundraiser dessert was fine by me.

I realize the popular thing for bloggers looking to commiserate with other bloggers is to participate in the popular #WeekendCoffeeShare, in which everyone pretends they’re drinking coffee while rambling about personal goings-on and this interaction eventually translates into superstar writing careers for one and all. I’ve never tried it because I’m not great at blogging according to a calendar (mine or anyone else’s), it’s established fact that I’m terrible at networking and will therefore toil in obscurity till I die satisfied with my choices, I never go to the kind of coffeehouses that serve coffee worth photographing, and I tend to avoid topics that would necessitate resorting to stock photos unless my brain refuses to let such a topic go. But I have new photos from a special occasion today, and a busy night ahead of me before an even busier weekend after that, so I ask your forgiveness for stream-of-consciousness multitasking a smidge outside the box.

So if we were having strawberry shortcake, this is what I might drone on about if I were in the mood to chat, if you asked a few insightful probing questions, and if you’d be quiet for a minute and let me get a word in edgewise. Just bear in mind if you tried to pepper the convo with phrases like “marketing” or “social media” or “SEO” I reserve the right to roll my eyes and end our shortcake-klatsch, and then you’d never be treated to the rare experience of hearing me ramble. I don’t give away paragraphs to just anyone.

Indianapolis Strawberry Festival!

The scene today at the 51st annual Indianapolis Strawberry Festival. I’ve worked downtown for fifteen years, but never attended this till today. I’m slow on the social uptake sometimes.

Lately my wife and I just can’t seem to stop finding opportunities to leave the house. Last weekend it was graduation parties. The weekend before that, the Indy 500 Festival Parade. Before that was my birthday, and so on and so on. This weekend we’re heading out to the 38th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL. It’s our fifth visit to their fair town, and our first time trying out the new extension of I-69 that runs from Bloomington to Evansville. We’re sorry about the turmoil and upheaval this massive change has brought to southwestern Indiana, but on the bright side we now have an excuse to look at Evansville.

Next weekend is the third annual Indy Pop Con, at which we’re planning a brief one-day visit to meet one writer, say hi to at least one person we know, and avoid the crowds clamoring for America’s greatest YouTube stars and monetized cosplayers. After that I think we have a respite before our July vacation, in which we’ll return to New York City as a sequel to our 2011 road trip, except we’re flying this time, our second air travel experience ever. Can’t wait to find out what this “LaGuardia” thing is like. And in August there’s another Wizard World Chicago, and another Gen Con that we’ll probably skip again, and we’re in early talks about another possible Midwest convention in September that we’ve never attended before.

Sometimes it’s fun being empty nesters with no monthly car payments. Sometimes.

Old-Timey Band!

Hoosiers who love desserts lounge on and around Monument Circle while an old-timey band plays requests, but only if they’re old-timey. Try asking for some Macklemore and see what gets thrown at you.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, things are falling apart.

Well, as normal entropy goes, I mean. We’re in our mid-40s, so falling apart is standard procedure. The house tries its best to compete by aging faster than our bodies are. Some days, it’s a closer race than others. Thankfully the major A/C repair we had to have done last month happened while the unit was still under warranty. It’s been a while since either car has had a breakdown, so I imagine we’re overdue for strife on that front, preferably in the very very distant future. You also never know when a family emergency will strike from nowhere. My mom retired at the end of May after four-plus decades in the rat race, and I expect her requests for manual-labor assistance will double in the weeks ahead as she slowly begins to realize she’s not just on vacation and her sources of human contact are now far fewer than they’ve ever been. Because, y’know, the needs of our college student aren’t enough to juggle in between our own trials.

There’s also the stuff I don’t talk about much here. Work is going better than it was four years ago, so there’s that, he said vaguely and refused to elaborate upon because boundaries. I wish I had more stories to tell about church, but it’s been kind of a dry season for writing inspiration on that front, sincerely regrettably, and I feel guilty just for writing this unhelpful sentence, but it’s a thing that weighs on me.

Here, have a sufficiently distracting photo of what appears to be a well-functioning church serving lots of happy people. Those are cool.

Christ Church Cathedral!

Christ Church Cathedral, built on Monument Circle in 1857 and serving an Episcopalian parish. They’re the masterminds behind the Indy Strawberry Festival. On good days they’ll have folks outside offering free prayer and hugs to passersby.

Y’know how other bloggers connect with other humans by writing about current events? I’m like that maybe once every 50-100 days. Here’s what passes for my take on current events:

* The original Ghostbusters is one of my personal Hall of Fame movies, but Ghostbusters 2 ruined my Ghostbusters fandom when I saw it at the theater back in 1989. It was the first sequel that ever broke my heart, because that’s how forced and unfunny I found it. I wish Paul Feig’s superteam all the best, but I haven’t decided whether or not to see the new one because I’m finicky about my comedies these days. I average roughly one R-rated comedy every 3-4 years, so I’ve seen almost none of the films that the new Ghostbusters previously costarred in. So…maybe I’ll check it out?

* Not Trump. Anything but Trump. I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton’s, but I’ll vote for whatever I have on breakfast on Election Day before I’d dream of voting for Trump. Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope NOPE.

* DC Comics’ “Rebirth” event sounded like a great idea till I learned it’s not a reboot and the New 52 technically hasn’t gone anywhere. I loved the Flash reunion scenes in Rebirth #1, but the rest of it was teaser trailers for other comics I’m not buying. I did buy Batman: Rebirth #1 on the strength of writer Tom King’s name alone, because his work on The Vision and Sheriff of Babylon has been astounding. Unfortunately Batman: Rebirth spent a lot of time dwelling on a new New 52 character without bothering to introduce him, which tells me this book isn’t meant for new or returning readers after all. I see another writer or two on future Rebirth titles I might glance at in the months ahead (Priest is back!), but if they’re equally new-reader-unfriendly, I’m extending my furlough away from the DCU.

* Civil War II? Pass. Except to the extent that it affects books I collect like Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel. No plans to pick up the main CW2 series regardless.

* I already wrote about “rape culture” once years ago and don’t really have anything new to add except to reiterate my never-ending vexation at what countless other males think adulthood should look like. Whenever my response to a given hot topic is simply either prayer or disgust, I rarely feel obligated to churn out a new thinkpiece covering sadly familiar terrain.

* In a world where millions of wannabe writers and artists would donate half their organs to have an audience of, say, fifty or so dedicated fans, one happy lady slaps on a mask and laughs herself silly, and suddenly she’s America’s newest sensation with a nation of millions carrying her on their shoulders and probably a clear path to an NBC sitcom deal and a hardcover autobiography. My wife was kind enough to calm me down when I kind of had an undignified, indignant tantrum over this the other day. Reason #7,006 why I love Anne thiiiis much.

* My least favorite thing about summer is having no TV shows to live-tweet. Rats.

Fallen Shortcake!

In the midst of jubilation and fellowship, a moment of tragedy strikes and someone else’s seven-dollar snack has a severe transporting accident. Sad face.

…that went on longer than I thought it would. I forgot these things are supposed to be, like, 100 words long, take ten minutes to type, and include some mentions about home decorating or shopping or Game of Thrones or something. My bad! Fun shortcake party, though. We must do this again some other time when I’m not supposed to be packing.

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