Do you ever watch old tv shows or read old books, and become confused when it mentions a country you’ve never heard of? Or maybe you have heard it before; you just don’t know what the modern-day equivalent is. I’ve run into this more times than I can count. Formosa? Well, that’s modern-day Taiwan. I figured that out listening to Roger Waters, a former bandmember of Pink Floyd who wrote a good chunk of their songs. He wrote a song called “Watching TV” on his Amused to Death CD (which is a very politically-minded record), a song about the death of one of the student protesters in Tiananmen Square. That’s the first time I heard the name “Formosa” (” And in the spring of ’48 / Mao Tse-tung got quite irate / And he kicked that old dictator Chiang / Out of the state of China / Chiang Kai-shek came down in Formosa / And they armed the island of Quemoy / And the shells were flying across the China Sea / And they turned Formosa into a shoe factory / Called Taiwan”).
Now Kurt is watching “Battle 360” on the History Channel, and they mentioned Indochina. That, my friends, is what is now known as Vietnam.
Why can’t the nations just keep their names already?? It’s so confusing.
Well, yes, I know why a lot of countries change their names. Usually countries are named by whatever nation happened to colonize them, and once they gain independence, that name only serves to remind them of the time they spent occupied by a foreign power. It makes perfect sense, but boy, does it make for confusing history sometimes.
I do appreciate all the suggestions I got on how to keep Grace and possible playmates entertained! I’m sure they will serve me well. Grace is awesome at entertaining herself, which is why I sometimes forget to do something with her, but we do try to head out as a family to go for a walk or visit a playground. We got her these Velcro mitts to help her play catch with us, and she loves to play — provided she gets the green one. Green is her favorite color; any toy we buy her needs to be green. I love that because I know it’s a color she picked herself.
The only problem is, some of the kids that have come over are so used to playing with their character toys or their video games that when they see Grace’s stash of imaginative toys, they don’t know how to play with them. They get really bored and they want to go home. However, I do really like the suggestion Catie made about the homemade Play-doh; what child could resist that?? And I also found a recipe for homemade sidewalk paints that would be easy to make. We have a large concrete pad out back; it would be perfect for some spontaneous artwork!
And here is where this post takes a downward turn.
Today we didn’t know what we wanted to do, but both of us wanted to go somewhere. Finally Kurt decided we should go to Trader Joe’s, even though I had just gone there on Wednesday with my good friend Angela. But this time we’d head up to Cape Cod and check out the one in Hyannis.
(Side note: I knew about Hyannis way back in college. The band Boston sang a song called “Rock and Roll Band” in which they mention “Dancing in the streets of Hyannis.” I thought it was cool that I was going someplace famous today! Well, famous in my mind, anyhow.)
It was about 3pm in the afternoon, and we were on I-195 heading towards the Cape. I was innocently checking out some of the cars that we passed when I noticed a black Mercedes Benz in the right lane. It was being driven by an older man, probably in his 50s or 60s, bald and wearing sunglasses on a rather overcast day. What shocked me was the frosted blonde head bobbing up and down rapidly in his lap!
I was just rendered speechless. All I could say was, “OH MY GOD!!” Kurt wondered what I was getting all worked up about, but when I told him, he was a bit disbelieving. It wasn’t that he thought I was making it up; it was just so far-fetched to him that he was sure I was mistaken, that maybe the man’s lady friend was simply napping in the front seat.
It wasn’t long after that the man passed us, and this time on the left. I was so mortified I couldn’t look, but Kurt did. Sure enough, the next thing I hear from Kurt is, “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE RIGHT!!!” He could stop laughing. He wanted to pass the man again and give him a thumb’s-up, but I talked him out of it. From a safe distance, we watched the car weave in its lane a bit and wondered when his lady friend would finally be finished. About fifteen minutes later, she finally moved upright… but within minutes, she was hidden from view once more. Finally they exited the highway and went on their merry way.
I just. I am just floored that people would do that in broad daylight on a well-traveled highway. They were doing nothing to hide their activities, and I know for a fact there were children in a few of the cars that ended up passing the Benz. He was doing nothing to stay ahead of the traffic; it was like he didn’t seem to mind when cars passed him, and once he realized he was going well under the speed limit, he sped up to pass all the cars once more.
I think I’m a bit traumatized.