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8 February 2009 / April

Mufflers and puddles

At the car repair shop, I find a seat in front of a muted TV spouting the news at no one and call my sister.


“Hey Amy.  We’re having some, uh, car issues, so… what time is your concert?”


“Oh, we’ll probably be there in time then.  It should take a couple hours or something.”

“What exactly happened?”

“Our muffler fell off.”

There is a pause.  She’s trying not to sound like she’s laughing, but I’m laughing too, because it’s funny.  I remember my mom expressing her pride– just days ago– at how reliable this old car is.  I remember driving down the highway– just minutes ago– hearing our muffler scraping horribly on the road.  “Wasn’t I just telling you how good it is we’ve never had to replace the muffler?” my mom had said in wonder.  “You know,” I commented, “the Greeks would call that hubris.”

Other car-related issues include accidentally leaving the trunk open as we drove around Case Western, which I take full credit for noticing and fixing, and becoming utterly confused while trying to find Trader Joe’s, which I give Amy full credit for causing.  I’d say that’s an equitable distribution of credit, no?


We got to Amy’s apartment in Cleveland with plenty of time for my mom to cook us dinner before driving Amy to her recital.  Which, by the way, was an awesome recital.  It was so awesome that I don’t even feel qualified to talk about its awesomeness.  We are glad the money we’ve spent on a conservatory education for her has paid off.

It also reminded me: I need to be playing some Bach.

Pre-recital, while Amy should have been eating bananas backstage, my mom and I took a walk around Case Western and came to the conclusion that there were a lot of puddles, which obviously was a conclusion that required much reasoning since we were walking through all of them.  I was glad it was like 60 degrees so that the puddles could actually exist, but seriously Cleveland, you need to get yourself some high-quality hills.  Just look at Ithaca!  Hilly as hell and hardly any puddles, except for the giant one we call Cayuga Lake.

Also, as Amy pointed out, Ithaca repairs its sidewalks because it actually cares about its pedestrians.


There are many interesting things I could say about Amy’s apartment.  For instance, she has a magical water-heating pot; some plants varying in aliveness from gorgeous and verdant to desiccated and dead; a basket of antiquated electronics (plus a sponge); a shrine to nature; and a bathroom with toiletries green in both senses of the word.  (You’re welcome, Amy, for exposing details about your living space to the world.)



Just look at that calculator. That calculator is like an artifact from prehistory.

Anyway, we drove back to Ithaca today with no further incidents.  We did stop at a pretty rest stop though.


Then while my mom went straight to work at the restaurant, I ate dinner and sat at Cornell for like three hours, finally doing my homework (except studying CS because I idiotically left my review book at school!  gah!) and writing this blog post.

Which I will post when I get home and can upload photos.  Whee!  Blogging makes time do weird things.


My mom: cool as a cucumber.

Sorry, I had to. And this is probably my favorite photo from the whole trip.

READER POLL: Puddle is a funny word!  Muffler is too, actually, but puddle is hysterical.  Has my Theory of Double Fs been disproven?  Is puddle funnier than muffin?  Mushroom?  Kerfuffle?  Pickle?  Another word of your choosing?


Leave a Comment
  1. Rafael Lizarralde / Feb 8 2009 10:45 pm

    Puddlejumper ^_^

  2. Rafael Lizarralde / Feb 8 2009 10:48 pm

    It seems like the “CCle” pattern is far more consistent than the rather specific “ff” one… Perhaps your hypothesis merely requires adjustment.

    It doesn’t, however, account for “Mushroom”…

  3. April / Feb 8 2009 11:00 pm


    Sorry, I’ll help clean up the shattered remains of both of our hypotheses.

  4. Amy / Feb 8 2009 11:07 pm

    “What’s this?”
    “It’s a s-”
    “Don’t say ‘It’s a sponge.'”

  5. Rafael Lizarralde / Feb 9 2009 3:10 am

    How about consonant-consonant-schwa-… palletal stop? I’m not sure what the term is, but consonants that you make by pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth (like L and N).

  6. April / Feb 9 2009 9:49 am

    This is getting complicated. What about just the letter u, which gets everything but pickle? Also, why are you thinking about this at 3 in the morning?

  7. Rafael Lizarralde / Feb 9 2009 5:26 pm

    Er, it’s better than thinking about Lang essays?

  8. Kati / Feb 9 2009 9:03 pm

    Muffler beats puddle.

  9. April / Feb 9 2009 9:20 pm

    Muffler is more similar to muffin, yet I find puddle funnier (though not as funny as muffin). It defies reason.

  10. Rafael Lizarralde / Feb 10 2009 12:10 am

    Puddle beats both muffler AND muffin.

  11. April / Feb 10 2009 8:48 pm

    Muffin smacks down both puddle and muffler AND every other word in the English language. They’re in the hospital recovering now.


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