June 23rd, 2006

Whale fluke

I'd be waiting for the caffeine to kick in, but I don't use caffeine in the morning

Last night I got two of the non-Oregon sights I've been strangely craving: fireflies and an electrical storm. I took some time in the evening to sit under a tree in T.J. and Cindy's front yard and watch the quiet bugs loll around; soothing, it was. Much later, after everyone else was asleep, I sat at the window watching first the sheet lightning, then more and more bolts; later, while I was in bed, the rainburst started. As I once indelicately put it during a similar East Coast downpour, "Mother Nature's water broke." We even lost power for a bit. Meanwhile, my mind had trouble shutting down; lots of thoughts, and the crashes and flashes from outside didn't help. Oh, well. I did sleep, eventually, and I know because I had a dream that incorporated both Lord of the Rings/Narnia imagery and something about "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Cindy's taking the morning off again; she's still sick, unfortunately (though she had seemed to be better yesterday). T.J.'s staying home to care for the boys, same as he did yesterday morning. Cindy's kept her sense of humor, like her fascination with Anne Coulter's Adam's apple.

Later today I'll rent a car for the weekend shenanigans festivities. They start tonight with the rehearsal dinner in a restaurant at Reston Town Center, where most of the guests are staying. The guests will be the first adults I've seen in a non-business way since T.J. and Cindy! Cindy and the boys were also planning to meet friends at a picnic today, but we're not likely to go now.

As for the kids, Robbie's really warmed to me (yay!), while Eric has been, shall we say, less impressed. They are a handful, trying to get into many things or whipping between emotional states like manic-depressive chihuahuas; oy, it's hard to do more than say "Don't do this" or "Don't touch that," and be positive instead of continually telling them what they can't do. And not point out to them some of the moments when they're making no sense, like when the boys and I were drawing on a big dry-erase and I started to erase lines Cindy had drawn, the lines Row, row, row your boat/ gently down the stream...and Eric got upset and told me he didn't want me to erase that, but never telling me during THE SEVERAL SECONDS I TOOK TO SLOWLY ERASE THE THING IN FULL VIEW OF HIM. Oh, well.

I'm more and more admiring how T.J. and Cindy keep their patience and sense of humor working. Of course, they're used to 4-year-olds; I'm not, and I've probably conveniently forgotten a lot of what I was like at 4 years old. Would that knowledge even help? My knowledge of How Kids Are is more intellectual than emotional; my brother and his wife have both types of knowledge. (And they don't dwell on stuff, Chris. You do. You know that kids have dramatic mood swings; you've seen it; you've written about it; but you act as if the boys will only ever be problems, when they can be and often are joys.)

So here's a happy thing from yesterday: While Eric napped (he's been under the weather, too), Cindy and Rob relaxed on a guest bed in the computer room while I typed stuff on the computer, in big letters for Rob to see from across the room. Cindy told me to type "Giant Tickle Monster"; I did; the two of them recite each word slowly, then she attacked, tickle-tickle-tickling Rob, and he laughed. Then I erased that and wrote "Happy Hugging Mother." They recited those words, and then they hugged. I did that on purpose, to give Robbie a break. Tickling can wear you out.

Waking up straight from a dream, as I'm pretty sure I did this morning, can wear you out, too. OK, Chris, you are clean and dressed and presentable; get on with things.
Whale fluke

Dept. of It's Good Kids Can't Read Adults' Minds Dept.

So this morning Robbie and Eric are singing along to their kids' songs on the House Party Karaoke Machine, and I hear a few notes of a song, probably "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or something, and I start to think it's the "Trapping Song" from Cannibal! The Musical:

I wake up muddy, and I go to bed bloody, 'cause I'm a trappin' man...
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Whale fluke

A little somethin' somethin' for happyspector

Hi, Matt. I'm not gonna take the time to unearth the original link, but fellow CRK Phorum alum blubeagle copied this article about Cross Plains, TX's close call where REH's home was NEARLY (but not) damaged by fire.

Iiiiiiiii'm guessing she also appreciates REH. (By the way, I've been having an eye-widening experience reading Lord of Samarcand and Other Adventure Tales of the Orient -- especially dark and intense, even for him. I didn't bring it with me on the trip because I wanted lighter reading -- I'm reading the Star Trek III novelization at the moment -- but Howard's waiting for me when I get home. And I still remember your suggestion of The Black Stranger and other American Tales by the same publisher. Is that the right title?)
Whale fluke

My Day So Far

Now this works: I got to drive today, I've eaten well at lunch, and now I can listen to The Don & Mike Show (well, at least "The Best of Don and Mike": the current clip is Don & Mike both pretending to be Larry King while interviewing Al Roker, who was pretty game and played along and got some good jokes in). Good. Here we go.

T.J. dropped me off at the car rental place this morning, where I picked up what will be my car through Monday: a red Chevy Aveo, which Monik at the office described as "Neon-sized." While T.J. headed off for a picnic with his boys -- and to give sick Cindy lots of time to rest -- I started driving.

I went past both my family's former homes in Vienna and Oakton, I stopped a couple of times at Fair Oaks Mall (if building shopping malls on Civil War battlesites is as bad as building homes on old Indian burial grounds, the place is screwed), and I looked over at Marie and Glen's house (they're Marryin' Tarah's parents, you see) to see if anyone was there. Nope; they were darting and jumping across Reston preparatory to tonight's rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

There was one disappointment, which was that Roy Rogers Restaurants are almost totally cleared out of Fairfax County. You have to go to Franconia, Alexandria, Leesburg or Manasses Park to go to one and its Fixin's Bar (put on your own toppings! Knock yourself out!), so my first plan for lunch was denied. (Denied!) But I had a nice gazpacho and a good spinach salad at a cafe in Lake Anne in north Reston, instead, so that was worth it.

On a happier note, my nephew Robbie would like to type something: robbie

There! (This is me writing again. Actually Robbie was more interested in erasing things. Oh well.)

I'm chilling before I take another shower, get dressed all dressy and stuff, and head to the first night of festivities. Unless someone's not telling me something, I'm not going to a bachelor party.