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, February 02, 2004

Buckle Up--This Here's a Long Ride.

As usual, up early Saturday after a late evening of really hot and exciting laundry, and decided to see if we could get the grandparents to keep the children for a couple of hours to see if we could go look for furniture again. I figure if I play my cards right, I can put off buying a sofa until I get my $27,000,000 (TWENTY SEVEN MILLION US DOLLARS) from Mrs. Abacha. Which is probably a more likely occurrence than finding something I can actually stand to look at.

Anyway, Reba’s mom’n’dad agreed to watch the little darlings for a while--we got there and the pest control guy was there in his bright yellow New Beetle, which the kids though was very clever for a bug guy to drive. They charged inside and immediately began their “we were raised in the forest by wolves” act while the poor guy was sitting at the kitchen table with my father-in-law. He didn’t quite know what to make of them. I suggested soup, then quickly shooed them into the den and told them to be quiet so Grandpapa could talk to the bug man.

Reba and I made our escape and proceeded to head out for a couple of furniture places specializing in kid’s furniture, hoping to find a chest of drawers for Rebecca. Stopped by the Kids ‘R’ Us in Hoover that is going out of business. Nothing quite so depressing as a run-down kids store, that’s for sure. Nothing there. Aside from a crumbling building.

Went back up the street to Parnell’s. Nothing.

Then on to Burlington Coat Factory (“Not Associated with Burlington Industries”--you know, if I had a company that I had to spend an inordinate amount of time telling everyone was not associated someone else, I think I would change the name.) Anyway, they had one very inexpensive chest in dark faux imitation cherrylike color, which has been the closest thing we’ve seen so far. Still didn’t get it, though. Gotta look some more.

Then back toward home to a furniture place that I swore Reba said was in Springville, but that turned out to be on Springville Road. On the opposite end of said road from Springville. Reba is actually a very good navigator when she has a map. Without one, there is a tendency for the person driving her to go all the way to Springville before finally deciphering her instructions. Oh, well. At least it was a pretty day.

And the trip down Deerfoot Parkway did give us a chance to look for Jonathan’s orthodontist’s office again. She and the other kids had looked last week after school to no avail. She got on the Internet and tried to get a map but was repeatedly messed up by the fact that the particular street is not yet in any of the online databases, as well as the fact that the ZIP Code for the office covers part of Center Point AND part of Clay. She worked herself into quite a tizzy, going back and forth between two different areas with no actual streets that showed up.

SO, at least we had a street name, and I figured it couldn’t be TOO hard to find, and we could always stop and ask. So, we drove the length of Springville Road in the Clay area and found absolutely no such thing as Murray Drive. (Named after Gavin MacLeod’s character Murray Slaughter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Not really.)

I even stopped at the fancy BP station right there at the intersection of Deerfoot and Springville Road and asked the nice woman with the Marlboro lungs if she knew where Murray Drive was. “Naw. Don’t know where no Murray Street is. D’you?” she asked the burly bearded fellow behind me. He looked at her with his tiny little eyes, allowing the frothy cappuccino to dangle on his mustache hairs as he contemplated. He thought. Long. And hard. “Nope.”

Oh well, maybe another time.

I said thanks and went back out to the van so we could continue our search for the baby furniture store that is NOT in Springville. All the way back at the Winn-Dixie at the intersection of Chalkville Mountain Road, and there it was in a small outparcel building. The pole sign out front was bigger than the store. Nothing there. ::sigh::

On back to the inlaw’s to pick up the kiddies, then home for more laundry fun, and then off to take Bec to soccer practice. While she did that, I took Reba’s van and got gas and got it washed, then stopped by the library to see what all was going on in the world and answer some e-mail, then back to the park just in time to pick Bec back up. Such timing!

On home once more, where we set in to get them all bathed and ready to go for the get-together at church. They really detested the part about having to get ready--after all, it was DAYTIME, and no one EVER takes a bath during the day.

While they got ready, I flipped on the television and started folding clothes. I absentmindedly clicked all the way to the UPN station way down at channel 68 on the UHF dial, and OOOOoohhhhhh! Bad Disaster Movie Day!

This one looked like a real stinker--I sat transfixed, folding socks and looking at a dreary potboiler that could have only been made in the late-‘70s. I didn’t know what the name of it was until IMDb’ed it this morning. It was none other than Meteor ! I don’t remember this one from when it came out in 1979, but it has all the required, essential elements of the Disaster Movie Genre--huge cast of Well Known Stars, Impending Disaster in Which Thousands of Innocents Will Die, Guys at Computer Consoles, Speaker Phones, Polyester Clothing the Color of Dirt, Countdown Clock, No Discernable Knowledge of Basic Physics or the Way Buildings are Constructed, Muttonchop Sideburns, Thudding, Ponderous Music, and RUSSKIES!! Cool. The synopsis from IMDb pretty much says it all:

After a collision with a comet, a nearly 8km wide piece of the asteroid "Orpheus" is heading towards Earth. If it will hit it will cause a incredible catastrophe that will probably extinguish mankind. To stop the meteor NASA wants to use the illegal nuclear weapon satellite "Hercules" but discovers soon that it doesn't have enough fire power. Their only chance to save the world is to join forces with the USSR who have also launched such an illegal satellite. But will both governments agree?

Oh, I forgot another fixture--The Metric System! Anyway, I hate to spoil it for you, but them darn Commies do eventually agree to work with us and blow up the asteroid. But not before chunks obliterate several city-type places. And cause people to wear ugly clothes.

It does have your Requisite All-Star Cast, including a wooden Sean Connery as a guy wearing a leather coat and giving terse instructions; Karl Malden as an excitable, scenery-chewing NASA guy; Brian Keith as a humble, grandfatherly Red scientist forced to speak Russian the entire film; Henry Fonda as “The President” (he was much better in Fail Safe, although that probably goes without saying); Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Richard A. Dysart, and Joseph Campanella--all playing the parts of “Gruff Men Who Needed a Job or Would Be Forced to Do Television Commercials or Appear as Guest Celebrities on the Gong Show”; and an appearance by Sybil Danning as “Swiss Girl Skier” (following up her stunning portrayal of “Amy” in The Concorde: Airport ‘79). The only thing that made the thing worth watching was that it also had Natalie Wood in it, portraying a Russian translator. Frumpy clothes and stupid accent or not, Natalie Wood was still a right handsome women back in the day. Just not in this film.

The movie finally got over with in a stunningly bad array of muddy people and nucular ‘splosions and bad Russian, and then another movie came on that was made the exact same year. And it was one I had never seen before, but kinda knew about by reputation after seeing the sequel. It was Mad Max, of all things.

What an odd movie. But still kinda neat to watch, even with all the missing stuff cut out so the local stations can sell more aluminum siding and fat-burner pills. It made The Road Warrior sequel almost understandable by providing the backstory. Nothing quite explains Beyond Thunderdome, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Anyway, part Generic Outlaw Biker Gang movie, part Walking Tall, part Clockwork Orange, part Vanishing Point, part Smokey and the Bandit, and part just plain odd, it’s a weirdly cool movie, if for no other reason that the presence of all the hi-po Aussie machinery. (Although I have to say that whoever thought you could switch a GMC 8-71 blower off and on with a red button had been out in the sun too long. Be sure to check out the Aussie Coupes website for the real versions of these things.)

The meal at church was very nice, although it lasted way too long. Left late, and was coming up the road into our subdivision when I caught a glimpse of what I thought was a cat in front of me, then figured it was a possum, then a dog, and “HEY! KIDS! Look, it’s a fox!” I stopped and it trotted on over to the shoulder of the road and just stood there for a bit, a little gray fox. We get all kinds of varmints around our house, but I hadn’t seen a fox until then. The kids thought it was pretty darned cool, and they all got out their booklights and started shining them out the window to see it better. Which I think frightened it, because it took off into the woods. But Catherine was much pleased--one, she actually got to see it, and two, she was lonesome for a new woodland friend after not seeing Kelly the Bunny for months now. “Daddy, is Kelly the Bunny ever going to come back?” Awww. I told her Kelly probably moved to another house. She was sad, but now that there’s Foxy Loxy in town, she seems much better. I just hope Foxy Loxy did not eat Kelly the Bunny--boy, that would be BAD.

Anyway, that was all Saturday--EXCEPT. Reba looked in the Yellow Pages, and found that our orthodontist has a WEBSITE (which I had not been able to find even with an extreme bout of Googling both of the partners' names and every conceivable form of address), a website with information and games and with MAPS!. Turns out that their office is right behind the BP station we had stopped at.

Whaddya know.

Anyway, we dumped ourselves into bed and promptly started snoring, which is just wonderful when you have a sore throat. Thanks to all of you who have commiserated with my pitiable condition, but it’s just the way life is. It’s only a flesh wound, you know.

Sunday, up bright and early and dense-headed, to church, then lunch with the Chinese people, then home where I actually got to read the entire newspaper, then back to church for meetings and worship, and then back home to watch the remaining portion of the SUPER BO…oh. No. No. Can’t do that.

You see, in my attempt to evade losing good television-watching nights for the kid’s TV Turn Off project, I had made the strategic error of choosing Sunday as our night to not watch the boob tube. Normally a day spent away from home and with the teevee off, it never occurred to me that there might be something really exciting to watch on a Sunday night. You know, like the Super Bowl. Oh well. It probably wasn’t a close game or anything. It’s always a blow-out. And the halftime show was probably pretty tame, too.

Anyway, in lieu of that, I went to the grocery store at the foot of the hill and got the kids their snacks for school. On the way out, I noticed that the Sonic had FINALLY replaced the lamp in the end of their big cone-shaped canopy support! Now THAT, my friends, is EXCITEMENT that you JUST CAN’T GET ON TV!

And now I’m back here today.

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