Monday, February 23, 2009

Nerds and Germs

Just because there is no new posting here in over a week doesn’t mean things don’t happen. There is no giant “pause” button. Trust me, I’ve looked.

I imagine that since it’s been so long, you’re probably wondering what we’ve been up to. Not the six of you, specifically, but the two guys who run this morass of a website from their perch high atop Mount Blogspot. The ones who keep an eye on us, who conduct their day to day, minute to minute, census of all of us and who our friends are and what we had for breakfast or whose cat did something cute.

They’re a benign and curious duo, they mean no harm. They collect the information simply for their own beguilement. Though one of these days, I can’t help but fear, they will sell that information. Possibly to the government or possibly to the Google, if they are not, in fact, the same thing.

The purchase money will be used to erect a stately pleasure dome, a 21st Century San Simeon. It will be 1,200 square feet of living space above for their parents, and a 48,000 square foot basement room for their XBOXes and their oversized Apple monitors and their poster of the Beyonce and their very own land line, in case a girl should call.

A girl never, ever calls.

But the two young men will be comfortable with their Twittering and their virtual Dungeons & Dragons and their meals still prepared by their mother upstairs even though these young men are 32 and 34. Comfort and security are what matter at home.

We’ve been in our new house
for two weeks now and we are as comfortable as can be. The space, though, is somewhat disconcerting. In the old house, we could sit in the living room and see where everyone was, hear what everyone was involved in and smell what was for dinner, or what had been for lunch, from our spots on the sofa. Now, though, I really have no idea what’s going on when I’m in my office and the others are … elsewhere. In some ways that’s good, in a lot of ways that’s good, but sometimes I wonder what everyone is up to.

I read a book once about a family that lived aboard a sail boat for a year. They were a close family, both physically and socially, and the mother wrote that what was odd was upon returning to their large home after the sail, they would practically speak in whisper to a child or sibling. They were so used to having that person practically touching them at all times that they didn’t have to speak so loud to gain their audience.

It’s new to me to have to go find someone if I want to ask a question or, more often, make a demand. But I do go in search, and it’s a nice house to pad around in with sock feet looking for someone to talk to … although it’s no sailboat.

Last week, however, I was not looking for anyone to talk to. I didn’t need to. For most of the week, GK was right there on me, either throwing up, or needing her diaper changed immediately. And just miserable. I hate seeing my kids sick. Thankfully, I didn’t have to see her being strapped to a board in the emergency room to get an IV, Kristy handled that. I’m not sure I could have.

But I handled the rest of the week – three days with GK, and then two with S when she polluted with it. Whatever it was, this strain of virus, it was awful. I’ve been washing my hands ever since.

Everyone is better now and the house truly feels like ours, having been puked and pooped on. We can’t wipe it down enough with bleach and soap. I imagine soon enough it will be quarantined, once the boys on Mount Blogspot get a green, putrid wind of this. Immutable germaphobes, those two.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bad Parent

JP had a field trip this morning to go see an IMAX movie and he really wanted me to go along. My plan was to drop off all the kids and then meet him and his class at the Pink Palace for the movie.

However, as I neared Evergreen Montessori on the second leg of my bus route, I couldn't help but notice that there were no cars in the parking lot. I checked the clock, thinking maybe I'd made a mistake and was actually very, very early, even though I'd just dropped off the older kids at a bustling school. The note on the school's door reminded parents that they would be closed today and Monday, the teachers all had some sort of out-of-town classes to attend.

After I finished my rounds, with GK still in tow, I didn't think it was a good idea to take her along to the movie with JP. She was sound asleep by that time and I still had about 45 minutes before I had to be at the museum, so we just went home.

I'm not sure what makes me a worse parent: not knowing that my daughter's school would be closed today or standing my son up for a field trip when he was expecting me.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Unkindest Cut of All

I kid, because sometimes things are too funny to me not to. I try to be witty here, for you, for free, as often as I can. Every other Thursday, however, my wittiness is worth 50-cents in The Commercial Appeal, which seems fair. Today is one of those days and you can read the latest "Because I Said So" column here (for free).

I do kid, but the truth is that the Conrad Pearson Clinic was an experience as pleasant as possible, considering. Dr. Eber and Nurse Lori were very professional and friendly and informative. And once all that waiting was over, the procedure itself only took about 10 minutes. I recommend these good folks highly for those of you with a bunch of kids who are also at the end of your rope.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


When I began working six days a week 10 years ago, I almost completely stopped watching Sunday football. I just didn't have the time on my one day off and I didn't see it as a particularly advantageous way to preserve harmony around the house.

But the Super Bowl is different, right? It's one day out of the year. It's like this country's Christmas in February. So I turned it on tonight.

Once I made it through the interminable pre-game nonsense, from the shots of the teams packed into the tunnel like so many yellow and black rodeo bulls, to some sort of grimace-inducing music video by Faith Hill and then even more subjection to Faith Hill's singing on the field, before finally getting to the point where yet another "diva" makes the national anthem all about her, the game started, though by then I thought I was watching an episode of American Idol. Well, after the coin toss, brought to us by Cialis, or whomever.

The Steelers received the kick-off, moved the ball quickly and adeptly downfield and scored. And then that touchdown was reviewed and called back.

And isn't this what everyone wants? Isn't this what a nation expects on their February holiday from one of the toughest sports around? For the first touchdown to be negated because the opposing coach wants a do-over and has a red pocket square?

So, with nothing forthcoming but crappy football and the promise of Bruce Springsteen singing "Born in the U.S.A." - again - and waxing philosophic about his new BFF, Barack Obama, I turned the TV off.

JP cheered. Vince Lombardi probably would have, too.