Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, April 15, 2002

More Ripping Yarns from the Gateway to Happy Living--Tales of Kevin, Postponement of Operation Ranch Hand Two, Head Wounds, Succumbing to One of Life's Two Constants, Kissing Sisters, Ear Lowering, and Shoes that Fit.

Either I'm a psychic, or my life has become an interminable grind of monotonous predictability.

I will be setting up a toll-free line tomorrow, and will answer all your questions about the future--only $3.99 per minute.

Most of what I had planned Friday at quitting time for the weekend came true with startling accuracy--if you measure accuracy in the broadest possible terms.

It did quit raining Friday, so Boy soccer practice went on as scheduled, but there was a special unseen surprise lurking in the murky shadows of the crystal ball. My inlaws decided to take us out to eat, so after practice we went to Palace, which is one of the nicer Chinese restaurants in Trussville. There is always a wait, especially when a herd of Us'ns come in. We finally got a table after 8:15 or so, and were graced with Kevin, our English not good but ever so attentive and Chow Yun-Fat handsome waiter. He made the mistake of playing with Wild Baby, so the rest of the evening the only thing Catherine would do was make moon eyes over him and flirt. We finally got ready to leave when it was nearly closing time, but she wouldn't go until she cornered him coming out of the kitchen with food for someone else. She had to tell him thanks again, and tell him good-bye, and tell him about her chopsticks (or porkchops, as she called them), and loudly sing Ohsaycanyouflagbangled Stars, and tell him good-bye, and tell him about her shoes.

Saturday morning, I tried sooo hard to get up early. Had the clock set for 7, which I figured would be late enough to get the sleepy out, but still early enough to get out and start polluting my yard with weed killer. I just couldn't do it. I turned on Weekend Today, and sorta drifted in and out of consciousness and hoped for them to show the chaste and modest Norah O'Donnell. (Some of you may think that Possumblog has become Miss Norah's Fan Club, simply because Google counts the huge number of times I mention her name. The bad thing is most of the hits come from pervgooglers who for some reason think I have pictures of her in her birthday suit. I don't, by the way.) No Norah, so I figured I might as well get up and get dressed and get Boy ready for his game. The dandelions will be there long after I am shriveled up.

His game went very well--they won 4-0, and he even managed to stop a ball at the goal. He has never played back before, and I was a bit sceptical of his talents, but the coach put him in late when we were already up 3-0, so it was okay. During the game he got tripped up by another player, who got called for a penalty. Jonathan was a bit woozy when got up and as he cleaned the dirt off his face, the coach on the other team tossed the ball back in to the referee. It arced up and bonked Little right on the top of the noggin. The other coach was terribly embarrassed and ran out to see if he was okay, and our coach ran out there, and I just kind of sat there and chuckled. Some of you might think I'm a cruel old bastard, but I've got four of the toughest little pine knots around, and I knew exactly what he was going to do. His coach asked him if he wanted to come out and he shook his head no--they threw the ball in and he was in full whirling, spit-slinging Tasmanian Devil mode. That's my boy.

Got home, got him in the tub, and started doing taxes. I received a very nice e-mail from Marc Velazquez up in Andy Griffith Country who reminded me that e-filing is the way to go. He missed my entry about my constant perpetuation of the penny-pinching Scotman stereotype. I also get some sort of perverse joy out of trying to fill out paper forms--it's part of the longing-for-a-simpler-time part of me, the one which also misses old voting machines with the big straight party levers and little levers by the names and the big curtain that swooshed around you.

Good grief, where was I--taxes. I couldn't find my good calculator, which is a nice Casio solar scientific one, but luckily I remembered my best calculator, the mighty Construction Master IV which will do calculations for any kind of construction problems--it will add dimensions in feet, inches, decimal feet, and metric, then spit out the answer in any format you want. It will do rafter solutions, board feet, cost estimating, stair layouts, as well as just plain add up numbers. It is so valuable to me that I keep it hidden in my briefcase under the bed. It's been a while since I used it, but the batteries were still good and I managed not to mislay it during any part of the calculatory process and the best news is that my calculations show I will be getting a refund of 16'-3 1/4".

Afternoon was time for Middle Girl's game, so off I went again. This time we had visitors from Vestavia, and very nearly got our clocks cleaned. These girls were pretty darned good and got a couple of lucky kicks. Like last week, out girls managed to play on their side of the field most of the game, but only managed to score two points themselves. Frankly I was happy with a 2-2 score. It was hotter than all get out, too, which they weren't used to. Temperature in the upper 70s, and humidity around 90%. My wife said it rained buckets back at the house, which is only about two miles away, but it was just nasty, damp still air at the park, like walking around in a fog of dirty mop water.

Sunday, I got a hair cut after church while Reba and the kids terrorized Target one last time. We are instituting an economic boycott for a while because of casually rude customer service. All the guys with tennis balls on poles in the world will never make up for deliberately antagonizing a paying customer. The associate in question apparently is unaware that a WalMart Supercenter lurks but a mile away, with nice folks who don't think that a fine selection Michael Graves can openers is sufficient to allow churlishness on the part of the employees.

My haircut, on the other hand, went off with nary a mistake, except the young lady took it upon herself to go get piles of someone else's hair and sprinkle it on my smock. I knew it couldn't be mine, because it was uniformly gray! Why, I am a YOUNG man! Or, I will be after I go get me some Grecian Formula. I thought at first she had completely cut off my sideburns, until I realized they were just so gray they couldn't be seen. Back when I just had a sprinkling, I would joke to just cut out the gray--I can't joke like that anymore or I'd look like Mr. Clean. Except without the earring. And big muscles.

And the final thing of the weekend was the after-church shopping trip to WalMart to buy church shoes for the three younger ones. Middle Girl has been in pain since the last pair of shoes were bought for her, which she said she loved in the store, and which she said fit just fine. The two little ones decided if someone was going to get shoes, they obviously needed some, too.

I took this one because my wife was tired and wanted to just sit in the van and read. I also took this because I enjoy having to keep up with three kids in the shoe department. And trying to decipher if they are walking weird because the shoes hurt or they are just new shoes. Or even if they hurt at all.

"Do they hurt?"
"I don't...well, not really."
"Do they HURT?!"
"No. I don't think so."
"Look, if they hurt, you don't need to get them--let's get something that fits!"
"These fit."
"But you said they hurt!"
"Only a little."
"Even a little is too much. What about these?"
"Mama doesn't like those."
"Try them on anyway, it may be all that fits."
"They don't fit."
"What about these, they look cute."
"Do they fit?"
"I think so, except on the back."
(sound of rest of prematurely gray hair ripping from scalp)
"Well, they feel good."
"Walk over there and back."
(Flop, flop, flop, come off, flop, flop)
"They're riding up and down your heels and they're too loose--they won't stay on!"
"They have a bow, though."

Repeat two more times.

Ah well, such is life.

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