Having returned home yesterday/this morning, I can now stop spamming the board with stupid observations, save for the final set:
1) In Massachusetts, I found a cool little German grocery. Since I like to try new things, I decided to stop in and buy...something. My lack of German reading comprehension proved a bit of a problem, however, as almost all of the labels were in German rather than English. Finally I saw a jar of gooseberry preserves and bought those out of curiosity, which was apparently a good decision, as the elderly German shopkeeper lady is either a fan of them or a representative of the American Gooseberry Council:
Elderly German Shopkeeper Lady: Oh, gooseberries, how wonderful!
Insert Clever Name: Really? How do they— [Realizes "How do they taste?" is a really dumb question 90% of the time] How do...what would you do with this? [Realizes "What would you do with preserves? Is a really dumb question 96% of the time] I mean, just put it on bread?
EGSL: Oh, yes! When I was a little girl, that's what we would do—put it on some bread with butter, and that's what we would have for breakfast. Or lunch. Or sometimes later; you can eat it anytime you want.
At this point I thought about asking, "Wait, so you're saying that I can enjoy the great taste of gooseberries at home or on the go?!" but, since this was Massachusetts and I had asked the maximum number of questions, she just said, "Go already, asshole!" and went back to what she had been doing.
2) Speaking of the store, if you're in the mood to get some tonight, apparently all you need is pumpernickel.
3) If you ask your Garmin nicely, it will redirect your trip to avoid toll roads. It doesn't like doing so, however, and it will punish you by adding hours to your trip.
3a) I don't care. The extra gas cost less than the tolls, I was going to be driving in the middle of the night anyway, and I didn't have to give them the satisfaction of handing over my cash. Suck it, people who have no idea who I am and who didn't miss my cash in the long run.
4) Apparently the John Birch Society is alive and well and living in northern Pennsylvania. In an otherwise very pleasant diner somewhere upstate, a guy down the counter (who, shockingly enough, was wearing an NRA cap) spend the entire 45 minutes or so I was in there telling anyone who happened into his orbit that, in order, 1) Guns are necessary in the likely event of a coming "social upheaval"; 2) Rahm Emmanuel has ruined Detroit by "giving 'them' everything they want" [Editor's note: Yes, you read that right—apparently Rahm is running every midwestern city now] 3) Obama is going to try to take our guns in the next couple of years [Editor's note: While I appreciate batshit insanity as much as the next person, at some point, don't you have to admit that if Obama's plan is to take everyone's guns, he's done a really terrible job of making it happen?]; 4) Gun control is one of the key elements of the New World Order. If I hadn't thought that there was a chance he would take me up on it, I would have asked him to shoot me so that I didn't have to listen anymore.
5) It's not 100% official just yet, but there is a very, very good chance that I'm going to be moving up there (Rhode Island, not northern Pennsylvania) in the next couple of months. Actually, there's a good chance that it will be 100% official in the next week or so, which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time.