It’s been a busy few weeks at Camp Crystal Lake, because Trevor, Roo, and I have been hosting overnights for some of our favorite people (to be fair, though, we have a lot of favorite people [Trevor sometimes says I’m hyperbolic and I usually tell him that he’s absolutely insane]).
In September, I asked my book club — The Ladies of Literature and Libations (because yes, it’s cool to name your book club, and yes, our name is the best name of all the names) — to make the fifty-mile trek out from Chicago to spend twenty-four hours talking about all things David Foster Wallace.
I was ready in case we got bored.
In February the group decided to read Infinite Jest, DFW’s 1079-page novel published in 1995. I’d read IJ before, but I hadn’t had a cohort to talk about it with (it’s a lonely book, and it’s a f*cking amazing book [imho], and book babes make loneliness less lonely and f*cking amazing even more f*cking amazing), so I was really excited. We knew it would take us a while to read it, so we had a couple of check-in points in the spring and summer. Then, on September 26, 2015, seven wonderful women came to Camp Crystal Lake to get down with the Jest. And it was super fun.
I made a pie (and veggie “Whoppers” [and I provided plenty of Trial Size Dove Bars]):
And I made some bookmarks:
And, of course, book bags…
I filled each with little treats, including a bandana for everyone to wear and channel DFW:
And this is us–so many bandanas!
We talked about breathless prose, tennis, wheelchair assassins, addiction, and end-notes; and we didn’t even scratch the surface. But it was so much fun. I’m almost certainly going to make this an annual invitation.
We had a couple weeks to breathe before this past weekend, when T. and I got a visit from Dan, Best Man Extraordinaire, and his stupendous daughter Maya.
I hadn’t seen Dan in forever, and I hadn’t seen Maya in double forever (remember: hyperbolic). I remember when she was just a tiny booger who looked like this:
This is the first time I babysat Maya. It’s the night I almost ate a baby because of an unrelenting hunger for cuteness.
And then this:
But now, she looks like this:
Image: Dan Segar
She’s so grown up! And in addition to being super grown up, Maya is one of the best kids I have ever met. Over the course of the weekend, she jumped off hay-bales, picked the best apples in the orchard, and drew a dozen or more pictures that included a time machine and a fruit cocktail (and a dolphin, paperclip, the Milky Way, bubbles…).
She also made her appetite preferences crystal clear to Trevor; after he asked her if she was sure she didn’t want more pizza before she ate a piece of apple pie, she replied, “You don’t understand: I’m not hungry for pizza. I’m hungry for pie.”
You don’t understand, Trevor. It’s pie, for god’s sake. Get the girl a piece of pie.
If you don’t feed her a piece of pie every hour, on the hour, she turns into a tiger.
She also wanted to learn to knit after she saw my basket of yarn (really, though, who could resist a giant basket of yarn? no one, that’s who); and then she told me that I was really good at knitting. She’s too young to know how wrong that is, but it’s a pretty terrific thing to say, so I let it slide.
T. took Maya and Dan down to the park while I did some work, and Dan took some gorgeous pictures:
Image: Dan Segar
Image: Dan Segar
When they got back, we all walked down to the beach and she made some abstract sculptures in the sand. And then, as though she wasn’t already the best first grader I’d met ever, she did math homework.
Now, to be honest, getting her to finish said math homework turned her into Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer.
But she still got it done.
In a couple of weeks, T. and I will open our doors again for four more of our faves: Cristen and Jayson, and Juli and Matt (remember Juli and Matt?! they got married in Maine this summer! and remember Cristen? she’s a filmmaker! and remember Jayson?? he’s Tapeface!!!!!)
I’m currently preparing the house for their arrival, and I’ll share more of our spookifying with you all here, so look for that soon!