Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Christmakwanzukkah!!

Hello and holiday greetings to all of you! This year we’re doing things a bit differently (*cough* we’re lazy *cough*) and using technology to deliver our exciting and (we assume) greatly anticipated yearly update. Not only do you actually get this before Christmas, but it also reaches a wider audience (13 followers at last count!) – it’s a Christmas miracle! Plus, as an added bonus, all new fancy & holiday-colored font! I was going to change my font to green to get in the spirit, but it is impossible to read. Plus I am violently opposed to change.

Lots and lots of exciting things have happened this year. Like this blog! This has been a great bonding experience for Harry & Seoul. They find it has really improved their communication skills and appreciation for each other's...quirks...

Katie is now officially allowed to drive without adult supervision. Word of this must have gotten out because the roads don't seem to be nearly as congested when she's driving. She also had her first date. Harry drove Katie and her date to the movie theatre, and dropped him off at his house when the movie was over. For some reason, there was never a second date. This may or may not have had something to do with some unspoken words exchanged between Harry and Katie's date. And Katie telling all her friends "My daddy will kill anyone that tries to go out with me. He’s a ninja," probably didn't help matters either.

Katie has also decided to switch career paths. She recently started taking sign language (as has Harry), and has become incredibly proficient at it. She's now set her sights on attending Gallaudet University so she can be a sign language interpreter. She practices every day with Harry, so by default Harry is also becoming proficient at signing. She's been doing very well in school, and has added honors classes to her schedule. Seoul is thankful for this continued interest in school, and is glad Katie has decided to focus on grades instead of boys. However, some things never change - Katie still dresses “hobo chic” (which means she has not paid for a piece of clothing for 2 years. She relys on donations of clothing from Seoul's derby frinds that are too "crazy" for them to wear, and, apparently, things she finds in the gutter outside our house.) and it appears that she started a new fashion trend at her school. We are expecting thank you notes from other parents for the sudden decrease in clothing expenses this has caused. 

The Boy is currently between girlfriends (Seoul is very content with this), but is still growing. And eating everything in sight. He is still in advanced honors classes (Math being his specialty - he is receiving high school credit for it) and honor roll, and has decided he wants to attend MIT to study something called Mechatronics, which, as far as Seoul can tell, is a fancy word meaning "robot stuff." Apparently when The Boy is an adult he'll be building robots a la Isaac Asimov, but hopefully without the whole take-over-the-human-race part.

Along with being a future robot-builder (and world dominator), Boy is working on earning his Shodan (adult) black belt. This involves having to break cinder blocks with his hands and feet. He has been informed that he can only practice this with actual cinder blocks, and not with any household items. Including his sister (and the dog). 

Harry has finished his first year back in school, and was on the Dean's List the entire year, with straight As, except for one pesky B (F*cking math class!). He is not happy about this, and is considering retaking the class in order to change his permanent grade to an A. Seoul has reminded him that this is what the term "Type A Personality" means.

He is still teaching karate and is working toward earning his 3rd degree black belt. Harry had to spar people above his rank and half his age in order to earn his 2nd degree, so one can only assume to acquire this next level he'll have to save a bus full orphans from careening off a cliff while simultaneously sparring the entire karate class. Seoul suggested after he receives his 3rd degree belt that he registers his hands as lethal weapons, to which Katie enthusiastically agreed – she wants bragging rights to tell her friends that her daddy is a registered weapon. Apparently it hasn’t occurred to her that this type of information may be the reason for the lack of subsequent date requests.

Seoul is commuting from faraway lands in order to continue earning that elusive, yet necessary thing called "money" and now co-habitates part time with Harry's parents. They live far off the beaten path, surrounded by Nature, so you can imagine how well she's acclimating to her new environment.

Peacfully resting at my parents house.

All in all this has been a very productive, hectic and crazy year (some things never change), but healthy and happy, so there is really no room to complain. We hope that your holidays are spent with the ones you love, and that all visiting relatives, friends and companions stay only long enough to be enjoyed! Wishing you all a very happy holiday and a great start to a new year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bugs, Death and Revenge: A True Story

As you probably already know, I have a rather tenuous relationship with Nature. Therefore, I avoid being out in it as much as possible. But it just can't be avoided. After all, I do have to leave the house. Recently I had to take Katie to the doctor because she was sick with some kind of plague (that she promptly shared with me, but that's a story for another day), and when I pulled into our driveway and parked the car, Katie opened the door and said, "Uh, Mom? WHAT IS THAT???"

She pointed to what I can only describe as some kind of prehsitoric-looking insect that was roughly the size of my face. Okay, maybe not that big. But it was at least as big as my pinky finger. And wearing armor. No, I'm not making it up. It looked like a bug-shaped stegosaurus. Only evil. And it was in my car, on the door handle. We had been driving around with that Evil Death-Bug for God only knows how long. And Katie almost touched it.

I should point out that Katie is an animal-loving, tree-hugging, I-don't-wear-leather-or-eat-anything-with-a-face vegetarian. She thinks things like scorpions and tarantulas are "cute." She once started crying when watching an episode of Dirty Jobs because they were scraping barnacles off a ship and she was convinced they felt pain and they were being hurt. I'm explaining this so you will understand the full extent of the evilness of this bug. Even Katie thought it was bad.

Okay, I admit, I may be underplaying the bug a bit...

This is what it looked like:

So after immediately vacating our vehicle (Katie climbed over the stick shift of the car and scrambled out the driver's side, she was so afraid to be near Evil Death-Bug), we stood outside on the driveway shrieking "Omg, what do we DO?!" for a good 2 minutes while we stared at the door and watched Death-Bug crawl around. I may have started crying at some point. Then, suddenly, Evil Death-Bug lost its grip on the car door - I'm sure one of its venomous (YES, IT IS. I Googled it*) Claw Legs of Death slipped - and fell to the ground, right behind the wheel of the car.

I looked at Katie and said, "I'm sorry, I know you like animals and all, but I'm running this thing over -" and before I could finish my sentence, Katie said, "Kill it, Mommy! KILL IT!! It's EVIL!" So I hopped in the car and ran it over. And it made a huge popping & crunching noise. Do you understand what I'm saying? That Evil Death-Bug was so big, and armor-plated that it crunched when I killed it! Crunched like the way a walnut would crunch if you ran it over with your car. CRUNCHED!!!

But at least it was dead. We ran inside and locked the door (just in case it wasn't really dead and decided to come after us), and when Harry came home, I made him go out and check to make sure Evil Death-Bug was really dead and hadn't just jumped up and walked off. He assured me it was dead. Eventually I forgot about our near death experience and went on with my life.

Until yesterday. I was having a perfectly pleasant, bug-free day. I went out to get the mail, and when I reached the door to the house, THIS is what I saw on our door jamb.

Staring at me. Plotting my doom. I know what it was thinking. You killed my brother. Now I've come for you. And your little girl, too.

Thankfully all my years of martial arts training kicked in and I immediately started screaming. Harry opened the door to find out why I was freaking out just before Death Bug jumped on my face and tried to inject me with its death poison. In a heroic burst of strength, and with no regard for his own safety, Harry seized Death Bug and removed it for me.

Thus saving my life. Again. He often saves me from spiders, ants, and in one case, a steroid-injected fly. But this time, he saved my life from that horrible Death Bug that was clearly out for revenge. Although I doubt this is the last we'll see of those bugs. I think we may have to move. They have a witness protection program for this kind of thing, right?

*Google "Wheel bug" and tell me that's not a Death Bug. The other name for it? Assasin Bug. ASSASIN! And it "injects salivary fluids that dissolve soft tissue..." in other words - DEATH BUG!!

Friday, November 4, 2011


As I mentioned in an earlier blog, in order to save time, money & my sanity from a relatively hefty commute to work, I will stay at my in-laws' (heretofore known as "the 'rents") house a couple nights a week - they're in the process of selling it and it helps them if I'm there and it helps keep me from having to mortgage off my home in order to pay for gas for my car.

So, one evening after work, I pull into the driveway and notice that the garage door was open, exposing the interior door into the home. While I felt the panic starting to rise (I knew I didn't leave the door open), I willed myself to calm down because it was quite possible that the garage door sensor went a bit wonky and never really closed the last time I left. And I always lock the interior garage door to the house, so no biggie.

But the interior door to the house was not locked. Let me repeat - the door into the home was unlocked!! I took a deep breath and did the only reasonble thing to do: call my father-in-law in a panic and screech into the phone that the garage door was open and the interior door was unlocked! UNLOCKED!! Someone could be in the house as we speak! He tried to reassure me (in a tone that sounded suspiciously similar to one used when speaking to a person that may have difficulty grasping simple concepts) that they had been at the house the day before and that my mother-in-law had probably just forgot to close the garage. Apparently he felt this was enough of an explanation to relieve my panicked mind.

Of course, it wasn't. So I made him stay on the phone with me while I literally checked every door, cabinet, and hiding space in the house (including the kitchen cabinets. You know, the ones above the counters that would take a midget contortionist acrobat to get into? Yeah, those too) because I was pretty sure there was a murderer lurking about waiting to ambush me.

Obviously all was clear. I calmed down and everything was fine. Until I made the mistake of telling Harry about my little adventure. The next day he sent me this:

Where is the Murderer?

Good thing he takes me seriously.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Say Cheese!

October is kind of a crazy month for our family. Both our birthdays fall in October. Less than 2 weeks apart, actually. The Boy's birthday is also in October, and it's smack dab in between our birthdays. So it gets a bit hectic trying to organize birthday celebrations. The Boy's is always relatively easy - it usually only requires food and letting him hang out with a bunch of his friends.

However, for us, every year Harry & I get to celebrate our birthdays by getting our vehicle registrations renewed. This year we were really lucky and got to get our licenses renewed too! They have seriously got to come up with a better way to get your picture taken. Standing with your back against a wall staring straight ahead while the person behind the counter says, "Okay, I'm going to take your picture now," and then makes you wait and wait and wait until you finally open your mouth to say something and you hear that telltale *click* doesn't exactly render magazine-quality photos*. But it is what it is, so everyone who drives a vehicle submits to the humiliation of getting a less-than-quality photo and life goes on.

All of my pictures look about the same year after year.

So imagine having to go through this ritual with your beloved spouse by your side (but out of camera range), who is "helping" you by shouting out "advice" like "Don't blink!"  or "Say 'cheese'!" or "SMILE!" and each time you involuntarily react and each time you hear that godawful *click* and you just know that picture was worse than the one before. Until you finally give up, because the License Dude is not amused that you are wasting that much time and resources (did you know your eyes have to be open for your license picture?), and accept the one where you look like an escaped mental patient because at least both your eyes were open and looking in the same direction.

Seoul has a slightly different experience...

BMV clerk- "Ready?"
Seoul-  "Sure!"
BMV clerk- "Okay lets try again..."
Seoul- "Hold on a..."
BMV clerk- "Sorry, my bad. One more time..."
Seoul- "Okay, I'm ready this time."
BMV clerk- "Your eyes were closed. Lets do one more..."
Seoul- "Huh?"
BMV clerk- "What the hell was that? Again..."
Seoul- "THUMP!"
BMV clerk- "What the?!? How did you fall? Okay, one last try..."
Seoul- "I feel good about this one."
BMV clerk- "............"
<blinks vacantly while sataring at the picture>
"Perfect! I'm going to lunch."

Next time I'm going by myself.

*That was quite possibly the longest run on sentence I've ever written. I'm sure it won't be the last.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Older and (maybe) wiser

I rarely do the writing in these blogs, but I thought I would take up the reigns for this installment.
I want to thank my wonderful wife for giving me what may be… No! Strike that, what was the best and most thoughtful birthday gift I have ever received. Thank you honey, you have no idea how much it meant to me. You are the best!

Last Monday (the 10th of October 2011 for those catching up) I, Harry Brawls, turned 40. Normally I don’t care too much about getting older or, more specifically, I don’t care about the number of candles on my cake, but something about turning 40 really got under my skin. How the hell am I old enough to have a 16 year old daughter who is learning to drive? When did I get to be old enough to have a fourteen year old son who is looking for, and at, girls? Just yesterday I was that weirdly dressed kid in high school who hadn’t made any real life choices yet. My whole life was stretched out before me, waiting for me to experience it…and now…
And spare me the life begins at 40 crap. Here I am, halfway to the grave (statistically), unemployed, back in school, and still unsure about what to do with my life.    
This was where my head was…I was not doing too well.
Seoul must have known that it was bothering me. Maybe it was all my recent bitching about wasting my life, or the not wanting to get out of bed for fear of breaking a hip. I don’t know, but something tipped her off.  
She very easily could have gone the traditional 40th birthday route…a package of adult diapers, a cane with a rearview mirror, and a subscription to “Arthritis Today” magazine…but she didn’t. Instead, my lovely wife came up with the coolest and most thoughtful idea for a gift ever.
She worked with my mom to come up with an assortment of 40 things—everything from food to toys (in fact almost entirely food and toys…that says something I think…)—each one having had a part in forming me as I stand here today (well, sit, because I am 40 after all…). Most of the gifts would be completely lost on anyone else, but each one was special and meant a lot to me.

What did she and my mom gather? Well…

Comfort Foods (Seoul foods, hehe). These are some of the foods that I have always turned to in times of stress, or weakness, or when I am bored. Some have a bit of a story, others…well they are just damn good.
1.      Snax! (more precisely, the ingredients to make them) Commonly known as Chex Mix. And I’m not talking about the crap you can buy in a bag at the store nowadays. I’m talking about soaking the cereal mix (with pretzels and peanuts) with a butter and Worcestershire sauce and various salts and baking it in the oven for hours stirring every 20 minutes or so. Snax! Made the way my grandmother used to make it. (Don’t go by the recipe on the box either. They WAY underestimate the amount of the butter mixture needed.) I used to grab bowls of them off the table and hide under the table eating them until I am sick. Sure am glad I outgrew this…
2.      A big ass box of Cheese-Its! These you spread out on a small pan and throw in the toaster oven for a bit to make them darker. This way you don’t have to search through the box for the burnt ones, they are all burnt.
3.      Rice cakes. Okay, these are not a favorite, but they have a bit of a story. My mother can be a bit of a health nut (she is a doctor), but she will get on these health kicks, and when she does, we all suffer. Back in the very early eighties, my brother had possible food allergies and, because of these alleged allergies, my school lunches took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. For over a month I opened my lunch bag to these small, round, bricks of Styrofoam. True they had a thin smear of peanut butter on them, but even this was not enough to make these pressed pucks of insulation palatable. Let me tell you, it is impossible to trade one of these non-food items for something edible. They did make decent projectiles though.
…I won’t even go into the year of the carob Easter bunnies…
4.      Cracker Jacks! I used to LOVE Cracker Jacks, but only for one reason, the toy! You used to get real toys, like the metal (probably lead) compass that pointed due West-ish, The Ant-Incinerator (plastic magnifying glass), and the dreaded lick-on tattoos. You had to hide these from Mom because they were supposedly made with LSD, or poisonous, or something.
5.      Circus Peanuts! A delightful mixture of plastic and sugar! I love these things!
6.      Vienna Sausages! You know the ones in the little can. These were a staple food for us circa 1978.
7.      EZ Cheese! Pressurized semi-solid gold! More staple foodstuffs from my youth. Great for road-trips too!
8.      Little Debbie Peanut-Butter Crunch Bars! In the early-to-mid 80’s we lived down the street from a Little Debbie distributer. This man would pass out these Little Debbie Peanut Butter Crunch Bars every Halloween. I quickly became addicted.
9.      Goldfish crackers! Not just for cranky babies. I would eat these by the truckload, if they sold them by the truckload.
10.  Little box of Cheese-Its! These are for pouring Frank’s Red-hot Sauce on. Almost as good as burning them!
11.  Andy Capps Hot Fries! “Potato” sticks dipped in spices. This was a college (the first time through) staple. I lived on these, cigarettes, and Diet Coke for over a year.
12.  Speaking of Diet Coke…Diet Coke! It tastes horrible, but is for some reason highly addictive. I think they put crack in it.
13.  Speaking of Cigarettes, Altoids! I quit smoking on Feburary 29th 2008. These have replaced them. Much less annoying as far as habits go. I had to point out to Katie recently that she can no longer eat them. They contain gelatin…not vegetarian friendly.
14.  Wasabi Peas!  Best snack food ever. (“Wassssssaaaaaabii?” If you remember this commercial then you are as old and lame as me.)

That’s about it for the stuff that helped shape me physically (mostly round at this point).
Now for those things that helped shape (or possibly mis-shaped) my personality.

15.  Clown Outfit (red nose, oversized tie, goofy glasses)! Yes, I actually went to clown school. I was about 7 at the time. My Grandmother signed me and my brother up to the Rikes Department Store Clown School, and I graduated with honors. I have the diploma to prove it! (My clown name was Lucky)
16.  G.I. Joe! The big one, almost like the ones from my childhood, but no “realistic” hair or “kung-fu” grip. These were action figures, not dolls dammit!
17.  A block of wood and some wheels! This was my version of a Pinewood Derby car in Boy Scouts. Everyone else brought in these sleek hand carved supercars, with racing stripes and flame paint jobs. I nailed 4 wheels to the block of wood. I think I had to use a magic marker to write a number on it the day of the race, but that was the extent of my effort. I came in second. Not lazy. Practical.
18.  Soccer ball toy with butterflies attached! I don’t have fond memories of team sports as a child. All of the competitiveness, the rage filled screaming, the explosive temper tantrums when they didn’t get their way…and these were the parents watching the games. It was much more fun to chase butterflies, and kick dandelions on the field.
19.  Hot Wheels Car! The only proper way to play with these is to run the track out to the concrete floor of the garage and take turns trying to smash them with a hammer as they zip by. I don’t understand why my mom stopped buying us cars.
20.  Lego Game, Ramses Pyramid! Legos were always cool. My brother would spend hours meticulously building extremely detailed castles or towers. I would spend 30 seconds smashing them, Godzilla style, when he left the room. Now they make Lego games! These are just awesome. I have one where the goal is to shave sheep. SHAVE SHEEP!
21.  Hex Bug Robotic Insect- “Spider”! I have always had a fascination with remote control toys. I also love robots, and I am fascinated with insects. Now I have a remote control, robotic insect. Life couldn’t be better.
22.  Polyhedral dice! “I attack the darkness!” This is another little obsession that has returned from my early teen years. I love games, but there is a special place in my heart for role playing games, especially D&D (But not 4.0…if I wanted to play a MMORPG I would play one online, not simulate one on paper). I am Nerd! Hear Me Roar!
23.  Comic books! I was not an obsessive collector, but I had a descent box full of carefully preserved comics under my bed (next to my “other” magazine collection)…that is until my mom decided to sell them all in a garage sale for 25 cents apiece.
24.  Annie on DVD! Ugg! Okay, here is the story behind this one. We decided to go to the movies as a family one evening when I was about 12. Me, my Dad, and my brother all wanted to go see Blade Runner. My sister and my Mom wanted to go see Annie. At the last moment my Mom realized that Blade Runner was rated R, and decided I was too young to see it. I had to sit through Annie with them. No amount of begging or whining could change her mind. To this day, if I hear “Hard Knock Life”, I feel like strangling someone.
25.  Raiders of the Lost Arc DVD! Best movie of all time. My dad bought this movie on video disc (the old analog one with the massive discs in these large plastic sleeves. Remember those?), and I watched it almost every day for an entire summer.
26.  Green Plastic Army Men! I think everyone had these, but I had a special way to play with them. You set them up in the yard in nice marching columns. Then go grab the lawn mower and run them down! Green plastic limbs and torsos would fly everywhere. Assessing the carnage afterward was the best part. These could also be lit on fire (napalm attack), or blown sky high with fire crackers. My mom stopped buying me these as well…Hmm…
27.  A Trumpet Ornament! Way back in grade school I played the trumpet in the band. Okay, I played with the trumpet. I quickly found out that I did not have any talent with this instrument (plus, the sound it made hurt my ears), but I didn’t want to tell my parents. I slogged through a whole year of band, learning the proper fingering, but never learning to play. During our performances I would puff out my cheek and press the correct valves, but I never once played a single note publicly.
28.  Whoopee Cushion! Who doesn’t laugh like a madman when someone accidentally sits on this little rubber bladder? I don’t think I ever actually got someone to sit on one successfully (has anyone?), but it was just as much fun to fill it up and repeatedly make the noise on your own.   
29.  Yo-Yo! For a brief period I wanted to be a professional Yo-Yo performer. I would practice for hours with my Duncan Butterfly, but I could never get the damn thing to sleep! After about a year I finally gave up this dream and started practicing my magic. There was a career I could count on!
30.  Magic Playing Cards! Did you know that you actually have to practice magic tricks? I assumed the cards would do them on their own. I never go very good at magic tricks, but give me a deck of cards and I will always attempt one (Pick a card! No not that one, pick the other card!)
31.  Superman 1-4 DVD Collection! For me there is only one Superman. Christopher Reeve. Dean Cain and the new pretty-boy whose name I don’t care to know can suck it. Oh and Superman 3 with Richard Pryor? Comic Gold!
32.  Better Off Dead DVD! Another classic movie. This one went a long way in molding my sense of humor. Also the French exchange student in the movie helped convince me that a year abroad would be a good idea (I just assumed all exchange students would look like that). For those that don’t know, I spent my senior year in Finland as a foreign exchange student. It was exactly like the movie.
33.  Cut neck T-shirt! I used to hate, HATE things around my neck. I would take every t-shirt I owned and cut a 2 inch slit down the front, through the collar. This one was done for me.
34.  Styrofoam Airplane! During my first attempt at Wright State (in the 90’s) I tried to get my pilot’s license. I got all the way through my solo cross-country flight, and ran out of money (you have to pay to rent the planes…plus fuel). Side note: I just found out that this class is still on my school record as incomplete, and I will have to complete or drop it to graduate.
35.  Magic The Gathering Archenemy Deck! A relatively new addition to my gaming addiction. Magic the Gathering. Most of my friends have played this game at one time or another, but it was mostly in the early 90’s. I waited until I had kids to let my full nerd flag fly. Also I have a bit of my own OCD regarding collectibles. Once I start collecting something I want everything they make. This was the last Archenemy deck I needed to have the complete set.
36.  Magic The Gathering Booster pack! More cards to feed my addiction!
37.  Gogo’s! Another relatively new addition. In doing some service learning for a class a few quarters ago. I was at this Spanish speaking after-school tutoring program helping1st generation Spanish American grade school kids with their English. They introduced me to a ridiculous game involving these little plastic figures that you throw around and there is some sort of scoring system I never really understood.  But it triggered my complete-ist OCD. I now own about 100 of these little things.   
38.  Fire Crackers! Funny story... I’m about 15, my parents are out of town, and I am alone in the house. I decide to invite some friends over (you know who you are). Well one thing lead to another (there may or may not have been alcohol involved) and the next thing I know we are on the back porch shooting bottle rockets and roman candles into the air and at each other. Good times. About 20 minutes pass and I hear a knock at the front door. Someone runs by me into the basement yelling “Dude, It’s the cops!” I’m like, “whatever,” as I stumble toward the front door and pull it open to find myself face to face with a badge. The cop asks to meet me in the back yard. I stumble down to the back porch where I find myself standing in an ankle-deep pile of firework leavings (bottle rocket sticks, blown apart fire cracker paper, empty roman candle tubes and the like). “Son,” the cop says in his best cop voice, and with a straight face. “Have you been lighting off fireworks?” I look at the pile at my feet and then back up at the cop. “Um…Yes?”
“You do know that it is 1:30 am, and a Monday right?”
“Um…forgot. Sorry.”
Okay, here is the part that I get the most shit for from those that were present for the event but hiding, and I assume crying, in the basement. But remember I was not really in my “right mind” at the moment. And this was a cop…
“Son, was this all of your fireworks?”
“Go get the rest of them, and give them to me, now.”
So, I did…about half a grocery bag full. I gave them to the cop and he took the bag and left. It was only later that I realized that I had to go upstairs, into my closet and under a pile of dirty laundry to get them. I’m sure this cop’s next family get together had a full firework display.       
39.  Hmm…I seem to be missing a couple of things. I guess that is what comes from getting old. I either misplaced or forgot the other two items…I know there was 40 things the other night…where are my glasses?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rites of Passage Have Never Been More Frightening

A few months back, Katie came up to us and wanted us to take her to get her learner's permit so she could practice getting her driver's license. At the time, it didn't seem like that big a deal. She had to take a written test to make sure she understood the rules of the road and I was all for it. It's good for her to know them! It's good that there are requirements for knowing the rules before one actually starts driving! Look how responsible our child is!

Yeah, uh, I kind of forgot that getting her permit meant she would actually be allowed on the road. In a car. Behind the steering wheel. Driving. Granted, it had to be with another licensed adult, but still. That meant one of us had to be in the car with her while she was in control of the vehicle. Thankfully I was smart enough to dodge that bullet! However, Harry wasn't so lucky...