Kool Katie

My sister and her friend Tricia came down last week, and it was great to see them both. Tricia's like a part of the family, so much so in fact that it shocks me how unsure I am if I'm spelling her name right, even though I've said it a thousand times.

I suppose it might be "Trisha."

Katie and I are very similar in a lot of ways, except that I'm older and wiser and better at maintaining machinery, while she on the other hand is younger and more determined and better educated and better looking.

So it's a trade-off. But we get along well, much better than we did as kids (I'm guessing most siblings work out similarly) and if you had told me when I was 17 and she was 14 that in a decade and change she'd be flying halfway across the country to stay at my house, and I'd be opening the door to let her in, we both would have laughed at you.

The weather didn't cooperate much with our plans during their stay, and I found myself constantly feeling guilty that it wasn't sunnier, or warmer, and that this was definitely *not* the South Carolina they ordered.

Thus, instead of going to the beach, we did a bunch of other stuff. And to be honest, it was just as fun. We...

-built a bonfire in broad daylight, just because Penny wanted to smell it, and Katie talked on the phone while Trici(sh)a read by the pool...

-went to see a performance of the Gamelan Galak Tika, a Balinese percussion orchestra playing at the University of South Carolina, but got turned away because we were a little late and the recital hall was full...

-tried to sneak in some other way, since Tricisha and I felt strongly that subterfuge was the only reasonable tactic...

-failed to get in, despite our ninja-like infiltration skills (we tried the side door, but it was locked) and went out for sushi instead. Trishishkabob ordered sake and plum wine and mixed them together and drank it. Not bad.

But then I made us all go to the dive-iest of dives in Columbia...

-Uncle Louie's, where the Final Four games are guaranteed to be on and a cheap domestic beer only costs a dollar, just as the beer gods intended. And that was fun too, because we got to see our friends Kami...

-who was happy to see UNC advance to the championship and not too bothered by anything else...

-and Larry, Kami's husband, who was slightly bothered (but not overly) by the drunk fan who kept trying to tell Kami about what a great time he had at the Carolina Cup. (Nick and Sara were also in there, a couple pictures back.)

We also got to go to Ross, which I think is Penny's favorite clothing store, or destination, in general, and shop until (one of us) (which would be me) very nearly dropped. I eventually wandered next door to the local game shop and played something on Playstation3 where I was apparently a bandicoot with a pet robot, browsed the magazines at the local coffee shop, came back, browsed the toy section and they were *still* trying stuff on. But I got to get a couple pairs of shorts, and got to get official blessing on both from Katie and Tricishawshank Redemption, so I know I'm now cool in the eyes of the younger and more attractive, at least from the shins up.

And as you might have noticed, we took plenty of pictures. I've mentioned before that my mom and sister take photographs differently than I do, and sure enough Katie filled her memory card with plenty of posed portraits while I shot blurry, poorly lit, off-kilter rectangles of godknowswhat.

Lots of them. I know it's not every day that Katie comes down to see us, and she knew it too. And that's why I think we were sharing the same thought each time we pulled out our identical Fuji Finepix F460s (I recommended it to her; she listened) and snapped yet another image.

Even though we filled the frame with our own different take on things, we were both quietly saying the same thing: that we liked what was happening, liked being around each other, and didn't want to forget it.

So just to be nice to my little sister, I'll post one more picture here, and it'll even be a perfect one -- in focus and with a flash and with everybody looking at the camera and everything.

Though when it comes to perfect portraits, I can't make any promises about Penny. She's something else altogether, and I'm not sure either of us will ever understand her fully. Maybe we should ask her brother.


Anonymous said...

Loved it!

This way I got to be sort of a "fly-on-the-wall" while my "chilluns" hung out with each other. I'm so glad you two are such good friends.

Love and hugs

Anonymous said...

I understand that face. It means "there are monkeys in my pants." - Brother Tom

penny said...

nice tom. :(

Anonymous said...

Although I told you I had attempted and failed miserably to post a comment at an earlier date when I originally read this entry, I am determined this time, and not at my home computer currently. So here goes.

I want to retroactively thank you both for your generosity and hospitality (five months ago). I'm so glad I planned that trip, because I got to see you guys one more time in that beautiful house in Columbia. And lay by your pool, and enjoy fires in the morning, and make the best of fallen through plans, and most importantly, learn how to make veggie burritos (I live off of them now :)

I'm glad you're home again, but I truly enjoyed telling people, "I'm going to South Carolina to visit my brother!" Plus, the distance gave us a reason to grow up and give each other hugs when we parted...It's nice that you don't punch me in the kneecaps anymore :)

Your sister