last friday, my sister returned home from a six-week backpacking trip in europe. this means several things. first, my piano hours have been severely curtailed, as has my range of dynamics. (i.e. no more prokofiev at 8am.) I have been forced, under pain of death, to keep my room clean - and not just surface-clean. she stood guard the other day as I cleaned out my part of the closet for the first time in living memory and made me provide justification for everything I wanted to keep.
furthermore, since pamela is a vegetarian, the maternal unit has taken to serving an absurd number and variety of fruits and vegetables at each meal. I can deal with the odd carrot here and there, especially if random is nearby and willing to help out, and I actually enjoy strawberries on my cereal. but who in their right mind eats salad-based meals three nights in a row? and when did veggie burger become synonymous with hamburger in the context of meatballs? because that's what I found mixed up in my spaghetti sauce last night. tricksy little critters, mothers are. my digestive system was not designed for this sort of abuse.
finally, since pamela has been home, and because she left her driver's license in switzerland, I have had the rare opportunity to act as chauffeur for my big sister. today I took her to the bus station in niagara falls. it was a horrifying experience. I thought I was going to die and take a dozen cars off the 290 with me. for the most part, my driving seems to satisfy her, which is bad enough, but today, since she left us only 25 minutes to make the 45-minute ride, even my 25% rule (drive no more than 25% above the posted speed limit) wouldn't cut it. so she instructed me in the art of smart speeding. "stay in the slow lane until you come up behind a car. pass him - but don't stay in the fast lane. cops watch the fast lane. if someone's in fast lane ahead of you, put the heat on and see? he's speeding up. watch for coppers - always watch for coppers. check your mirrors, check the ramps, check the shoulder. faster! faster! you're driving like mom!"
so we cruised down the 290 at 85 mph (that be pushing 140 km/hr), keeping a eye out for coppers, and arrived at the falls in record time - despite a closed ramp and highly loquacious customs official. I didn't kill anyone and I still have my license.