Happy Lao New Year!

So I slept the hell out off my bed and woke up to my cat, Waffles, gently barfing a ‘good morning’ to me at the foot of the bed. He’s so thoughtful that way. He must have missed me while I was away visiting my sister and the kittens who do not barf on my bed.

Anyhoo, after pouring a cup of coffee into me, my other sister wandered in and mentioned that the Lao Buddhist Associates Temple down the road is throwing their annual shindig this weekend.

For real, I pass this every time I go to the gas station or the bank.

We’ve lived here for three years and always kind of wanted to go, although we were hesitant to just barge in on a festival. However, it’s got lots of tents set up and smells really…like REALLY good when you drive by, so we figured, what’s the worst thing they can do? I don’t think I’ve ever met a mean Buddhist.

Not saying they won’t kick your ass if you provoke them, just that they’ll have peace in their heart when they do it.

So my sister, my father and I tumbled optimistically into the car and headed down the road to the temple, where we were happily directed to a parking space by the smiling man at the gate. Since it’s a pretty small compound, I figured I could walk on my own (Spoiler: I figured wrong).

Turns out the festival we at the Smomestead (it’s growing on me) have always privately and probably racistly referred to as Buddhafest is a celebration of the Lao New Year. So many kids running around squirting silly string at each other or throwing shaving cream or blowing bubbles! So many stalls with bubble tea in so many amazing flavors (I love bubble tea, btw. I could have dropped an easy hundred bucks in that place on bubble tea alone, just sampling every flavor)! So much food! They even had durian, which we know enough about to not want to try, but which was still awesome to see in person. And clothes, so many colorful clothes. I’m really sad that cultural appropriation is a thing now, because those clothes were so nice and looked so breezy and cool, and it’s hot and sweaty as Bigfoot’s buttcrack out here in (I nearly typed Mammon) the Midwest.

Anyway, I made it about halfway down one of the two rows of booths and then the little hamster running on the wheel in my central control box hit the yellow alert switch and started the ten-second countdown to a total systems failure. I sat down. There were no chairs. I just sat down.

Fortunately, this was not as socially awkward as it might have been at, say, the grocery store.

My sister helped me to a food tent with actual chairs and went to get my wheelchair. This felt worse than it actually was. I was intensely aware of how many people were staring at me as I had to get into the chair, but then I realized, heh, we were three of maybe 12 white people in a crowd of several hundred. No one cared about the chair. They were too busy taking pictures of the marshmallows, especially the one in the beard.

So I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our day out. We bought some smoked squid and taro-carrot slaw and ate it in the music tent, where they had live music and people who appeared to be line-dancing to it. Kick-heel-step-turn, kick-heel-step-turn. Except for their hands. They were essentially just keeping the beat with their feet, but dancing with their hands. I could have watched it all day if it weren’t for the fact that the volume was so loud, I could literally feel the baseline in my sternum.

Damn it. Somewhere along the line, I turned into an old fart. I’ve already got the aching bones that predict the weather. Pretty soon, I’ll move the couch out to the front porch and buy a cane so I can wave it when I yell at the kids to keep off my lawn.

Back home now, with a happy tummy full of squid and significant hearing loss, I figured I would post this and sort of make up for the slap-dash post I made last night when I was too tired to word properly. And also, I wanted to share with you the amazing fanart one of my FNAFiction readers did for me! Check it out!

Thanks, Peccolia!

Man, there is something seriously satisfying to my meta-sense to receive fanart of my fanfiction of a game that I first learned about by seeing fanart.

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