When I was a kid, whenever my dad wanted to exaggerate something he used the number 17 – like, “they’ve got 17 million of ’em!” Or “I suppose you’re going to eat 17 of those!” He pronounces it “Sebenteen” like the denizens of Eads, Colorado, his hometown. He would also sing Mairzy Doats – who knows that song? Or “Went to the animal fair“? That’s some quality musical education.

So what can we exaggerate today, in Dad’s honor? Well, I’ve been sitting at my computer for 17 hours. I’ve got 17 tabs open (wait, that’s not an exaggeration) as my brain skips from topic to topic, and my interests come along for the ride. I’ve also got 17 recipes in mind for this week, about half of the required ingredients, and unending enthusiasm for the meals that will result.

Getting together virtually

Skype lets you create a link to send to invitees. The idea is that Dad, sister, brother and I can all get on a call together. If anyone has suggestions on better ways to do that I’m eager to hear them. Dad has not gotten used to Skype – though he’s great at WhatsApp – but what’sApp can’t do video for more than two people.

What I want to do online that I haven’t figured out is games – can we play a card game somehow online so that we have a shared deck of cards, for example, or a shared game board? That would take up 1700 hours, easy. We’re game players, my family.

Throughout my childhood I made my dad play about 1700 rounds of a board game called Lie, Cheat and Steal: The Game of Political Power. You had to accumulate both money and votes, but the money part was just for the right to buy votes. It was a dirty, tricky little game and I thought Dad loved it as much as I did. Sometime in my 30s I found the game on eBay. I brought it to Dad like I was presenting the Maharajah a diamond-studded cutlass. Dad looked at it like he’d never seen it before. “Yeah, maybe we played that…”

Meanwhile, back in Tunis

  • Here. Now. Well, a grocery store run today, and planning one for a week out: there’s a delivery service but their delivery slots are all taken. So I’ll go online at midnight, see if I can get one of the ones that pop up for seven days out.
  • Making tabbouleh salad with my abundant parsley, and some tomatoes I scored today. Also an artichoke sauce for pasta, with some grana padano cheese (which spellcheck changed to “grand paranoia” – I can understand that.)
  • Had some work today and some more tomorrow. That’s good news, and will help me stay focused on something that exists beyond my screen or my kitchen.
  • Despite all my pronouncements yesterday, I have failed to meditate today… but I did do a physical class, so that’s something.
  • Ramon is doing a pushup-and-plank contest with his brother in Madrid. 35 pushups today, and 1:15 plank.
Don’t you love the socks in flip flops look? *Cringe*

Now all 17,000 of you will have to wait till tomorrow for more!