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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Hard Times

Soccer night last evening, so just as soon as I got in the door it was time to turn around and head back to the park with Boy and Middle Girl and their pile of stuff. Dumped them out and Boy ran on down for his pre-practice skills session and Bec and I stayed up at the concession stand to wait for her coach to arrive.

I got myself a burger--mmmm, ONION BITS!--and asked the concession stand guy who looks like Drew Carey if he knew anyone who wanted to buy an old Ford truck. Concession Stand Guy is a something of a wheeler-dealer sort of guy, always with an eye out for a bargain. He immediately began peppering me with questions and very nearly beat himself unconscious for having just the past week purchased a newer Dodge Dakota to tool around in and use for odd jobs. He wanted to see Franklin anyway, so I promised as soon as Rebecca got settled I would run back home and get it.

Finished my burger, coach arrived and I sent Rebecca on to her practice then ran home and got the truck and sputtered and rattled back to the park. Poor thing was running terrible for some reason--I think it's a choke problem, or maybe, something to do with having 256,000 miles. I brought it in for a landing right behind the stand and after finally getting Concession Stand Guy to come outside, he was muchly impressed with the rebuilt front suspension and brakes and the modern and efficient air conditioning and the lack of body dents and the nice tready tires and the general stance and patina of it--despite his inability to fit himself and his belly behind the steering wheel, he offered to buy it on the spot for the full price asked. Not for himself, mind you, but for a young guy he knows who's a mechanic and needs a work truck.

I whoa-ed him up and told him not to get to far ahead of himself. I suggested that he might need to ASK the guy first before getting crossed up with buying a truck he didn't need. He agreed that might be a better idea, so today I might get a call.

Having started that deal, I wandered on back down to the practice field. Jonathan had gone right from his skill session to actual practice, and I could tell he was getting tired. Rebecca and her team were on the other half of the field which made it easy to watch them both--her team mates were in full silly mode. Must have been the weather--cold makes them giddy.

Middle Girl got wound up with her practice but Boy's team was still going strong at 8:Flipping:30. Poor little tyke was going to be worn out--his coach didn't seem to understand Jonathan had already been practicing an HOUR before everyone else and kept on scrimmaging them for ANOTHER ten minutes, then made them take a lap. Little Buddy was about to drop, and his little feet and legs and stomach were hurting after it was all over.

We went up to the concession stand and got him a Powerade, which made him feel a little better, then took him home and let him soak in a nice tub of warm water and some of his Mama's smelly aromatherapy soothing bath calming crystal bead things. He finally got to feeling somewhat better, and by the time he got his clothes put in the hamper and his pajamas on, he was ready to use his large sad puppy-dog eyes on me and guilt me into reading him something before bedtime. It was nearly 9:30--fully an hour and a half past regulation bedtime--and yet he stood there with the temerity to ask ME to read HIM a bedtime story! How could I refuse? He not only used the puppy-dog eyes, but followed them up with big Precious Moments eyes.

And it's not like he wanted a one of those culturally sensitive books or some other such silly pabalum--we had started reading Dicken's Hard Times last week, and he was ready for another couple of chapters.

So, we picked up in Chapter the Third, and we found Louisa and Thomas at the graceful equestrian Tyrolean flower act and hauled them home, and we met Mr. Bounderby. Bounderby's a great one for doing the voice to--I made him phlegmatic and rheumy and corpulent and liverlipped and rude and disgusting and haughty and thoroughly engrossing. A voice equal parts Churchill and Hitchcock and Mr. Creosote--Little Boy was frightened and fascinated by the big blowhard. Mr. Gradgrind just frightens him.

Anyway, he was greatly satisfied and quite ready to go to sleep at the start of Chapter Five.

Me too.

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