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.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Yes, I’m sleepy, thanks for asking.

Long night last evening.

Oldest had her Christmas band concert, and had to be there early. When I walked in last night the whole house was bedlam--equal parts homework; food being hastily eaten while standing over the stove; complaints of having been touched, further complaints from touchor that touchee had engaged in an episode of tongue-sticking-out, which touchee both vehemently denied and blamed on touchor having first picked up a pencil, which was promptly removed for safekeeping by parental authority when it became the obvious object of contention; the television turned on so that Rebecca could see her teacher kiss a pig because the kids at the intermediate school had read over 3,500 books so far this year; the telephone; and a troupe of howler monkeys. (The telephone didn’t actually ring.)

After a few shots from the taser it finally quieted down a bit, just in time to load the Odyssey back up and head to the school. The concert was in the auditorium at the high school, and featured the beginner band (6th and 7th graders), the concert band (7th and 8th graders) and the symphonic band, made up of 8th graders, including Ashley.

We took our seats and proceeded to wait for an hour—time enough for Tiny Bladdered One to have to make two trips to explore the wonders of high school plumbing. The place filled up pretty quickly, [Upon rereading this--I feel compelled to clarify that the auditorium filled up with people, which had nothing to do with anyone in my family using the restroom. Ed.] including a group in front of me a couple of younger kids and a woman with real big hair who sat down right in front of Rebecca, and a teenaged lout with the kewl mop of hair down in his eyes. More about him later.

The clock moved on around to 7:00, the director introduced the show, and it got underway. The first two groups played the regular sorts of Christmasy stuff, three songs apiece played with all deliberate speed. They’re just learning, so you can’t really fault them for the slow pace—unless you’re some kind of teenaged lout who can’t sit still and feels compelled to keep leaning over and commenting to anyone who will listen about how slow they are. Grr. I realize it’s not like a night at the symphony, but a little consideration for EVERYONE ELSE would be nice.

Anyway, the kids did fine, and then Ashley’s group got up there. She has finally managed to work her way up to first row, second chair clarinet—after an inordinate amount of complaining about having to actually PRACTICE. Imagine! They played four songs, and you know what? They were pretty darned good! Even the teenaged lout thought so.

Finally, the hour was up and it was a mad dash for the aisle. Somewhere in there, Catherine had given out of gas and collapsed in her fun swingy chair seat, which turned out to be a blessing. The aisles were packed with a slow moving herd—there were also some plain chairs at the ends of each row, so this was making a bit of a bottleneck. Thankfully, there was a disgruntled couple who came storming up the sides, shoving the chairs over into the space between the rows of seats. So what if people were still standing there trying to get out! Grr. Again.

They couldn’t do their act when they got to us, because Cat was all mooshed down asleep. They skipped us, but by gum they got the REST of those chairs out of the way—shove-SLAM! shove-SLAM! They got a few rows on up the aisle and did their act on a row with a lady and her elderly mom sitting there waiting to get out. I saw her mouth to her mother, “Can you BELIEVE how rude they are!” I caught her eye and said in my nice voice, “Yeah, they came all the way up from the front shoving those chairs in here!” She just shook her head. Some people, you know.

The crowd finally made its way out and we woke up Catherine so we could go and made our way to the door. Then we had to stop and visit with folks, and then Rebecca had to go to the restroom, which in turn triggered the Mass Female Trip to the Restroom Syndrome—first Cat started whining to go with Mommy and Rebecca, so she ran off, then Ashley didn’t want to be left behind with her little brother and her idiotic old dad so off she ran, too.

“Get used to this, Little Boy.”


“Rejection…abandonment…holding a purse that’s not yours…”


Oh, indeed. Anyway, after a suitable amount of time they came back, unladen and fully refreshed, and off to the van we went. Except for having to stop and visit with people. NOW finally in the van, it was time to go…SHOPPING.

Jonathan has gone through a little growth spurt that has left the bottoms of his pants at the 100-year-flood level, so we dropped by The K (I feel so hip when I call it “The K”!)

The girls stayed in the bus and Boy and I went in to do some manly power pants purchasing. As usual (this being Christmastime and all) the store was jam-packed with at least five entire shoppers (not including us). We went over to the blue jeans, which were arrayed in piles of slovenly glory. I guess K-Mart’s marketing department decided to make their displays look like the floor of some messy kid’s room so it will be more like you’re shopping at home or something.

I made him try on one pair of pants to make sure of the size, then grabbed two more of the same sort, then on the way out we got one of those pairs of pants with the zip-off lower leg portion. He really likes those. And they’re RED! Inconspicuous, he ain’t.

Back to the van after spending all of ten minutes and a wad of cash and THEN to home at last. 9:00 p.m. And everyone still had to finish homework and get a bath.

SO, while they did all that, I got all my little pieces ‘n’ parts for Rebecca’s trebuchet together and started construction.

The instructions say it takes an hour to build. Maybe if you define “build” as just putting the pieces together it might be, but when you factor in the time it took to neatly cut them all out (about :30), neatly score the fold lines (about :45), neatly glue the folded bits together (2:00), and figure out the missing few crucial instructions that aren’t quite there (:15), by the time you get to the point where you can actually, neatly, assemble the frame and lever and bucket (1:00) you have invested a fair amount of time into the thing. Why, it might even be past midnight or something when you finally get the major portion completed! (Even then, you still have to fix the sling and the trigger and test it—but that’s a project for another day) I did do a quick test on it—I loaded the bucket up with marbles and held the arm down and SWOOSH! Looks like it’s going to work just as advertised. This is going to be really neat.

Anyway, I left some stuff undone, but it was late and I still had to go proofread a bibliography by Ashley for a project she has known about since Tuesday but only decided to work on in earnest last night. Grr. Got that done, and by Jiminy, it was nearly 1 in the a.m.! That’s EARLY, you know.

Snuck into bed, set the clock, closed my eyes, and the darned clock was beeping at me. Mmmm—nothing so refreshing as four hours of sleep!

This weekend? Well, I am being dragged to Parisian at the Summit tonight to spend a gift certificate that my mom gave Reba LAST year, which will probably be interesting. I’m sure that there won’t be any crowds or traffic or anything.

AND THEN tomorrow, there is the usual Lucy-Holding-A-Football ordeal, the football in this instance being the always unfulfilled promise of getting to sleep late. I imagine it will be snatched away at the last moment (otherwise known as daybreak)—AAAARRRGGGHHH! Of course, in my case, I will have to get up out of bed, while Charlie Brown got to lie down on the ground.

So, all of you have a good weekend, and I’ll see you all back in here bright and early Monday morning!

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