Things I learned on my summer vacation (2007)

Solvent cups are great for packing vitamins, meds, and other small items.

Ashland, Ohio, claims to be “the world headquarters of nice people.”

Jesse’s Café (139 Brighton Ave, Long Branch, New Jersey) is a wonderful mostly-vegan restaurant. The baba ghanoush is spectacular.

Ratatouille is a noun made from two verbs: ratouiller (to disturb, shake) and tatouiller (to stir).

Manhattan Special is an espresso soda from Brooklyn, New York, bottled since 1895. It is everything Coke Black wants (and fails) to be.

Older wine — a 1989 Bordeaux, almost brown in color, earthy in taste — is very different from the 2005, 2006 stuff I buy.

Fuller’s earth is a special-effects material used in simulating explosions. When you see the dirt flying up in a big plume, that’s Fuller’s earth.

Desert Spring is a house-brand imitation of Poland Spring.

“Oprah and her friends are just a call away.” (Slogan on a cell-service kiosk in a New Jersey mall.)

Rob Zseleczky can play a note-perfect guitar part for “Scarborough Fair.”

My sister-in-law Susie can draw manga characters.

Most events in one’s life happened “fifteen or twenty years ago.”

KARL BUSH EATS HOAGIES. (Painted on an overpass in Pennsylvania.)

Singing along with Pete Seeger while driving lightens and brightens all moods.

Coming back is so much nicer when the house is decluttered.

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Things I learned on my summer vacation (2006)

Things I learned on my summer vacation (2007)