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, June 14, 2004


I knew it had been hot Saturday, so late Saturday evening as the day was winding down, I checked my little bedside weather station to see what the high temperature had been. 99.5. That’s hot. Ahh, but at least it wasn’t a dry heat--it was the heat of being inside of a soup kettle full of sweat. The only relief was the occasional time someone would take the lid off to stir it--it almost felt like a breeze. Then the lid would come back down.

But, before all that, up early and get the younger kids dressed and ready to head to my mom’s house. Load up the big rolling cooler with Powerade for Rebecca and Diet Cokes for me, as well as some grapes and oranges for snacks, and some nice Vienna sausages for me for lunch. Mmmmm. Just the thing for eating while you bask in sweat soup!

In the van, out of the house, running late--her first game was going to be at 8, and it was already 7, and it was going to take 40 minutes to get to my mom’s house. Assuming I drove the speed limit. Got going and realized I had forgotten my hat. No use getting blinded or burnt, so I turned around and came back, got it, and we were off.

Managed to make it to my mom’s house in exactly enough time to dump the younger two off with their collection of videos, then careen back over to the park.

Holy cow.

There is a commuter park-and-ride lot up on a hill several hundred yards from the field, and it was already nearly half full, and it was just 7:45! Apparently, this is a big deal of some sort.

Unload the cooler, her bag full of socks and uniforms, and a folding chair, and start the trek down to the appointed place.

Let me just say right now that I have identified a potential money-maker.

Remember when I was wondering about inventions you’d like to see? Well, I have an idea for you--a big-wheeled rolling cooler. The one we have has two little hollow plastic casters on the back, which is fine for rolling it across the kitchen floor, but when you’re having to hike several hundred yards, over pavement, and curbs, and broken ground, and grass, and rocks, and dirt, those two little casters just don’t cut it. I envision four big wheels, like on a high wheel mower, with squishy, semi-pneumatic tires that don’t make that annoying hollow-plastic sound. Give it about three inches of ground clearance, and make the handle like a wagon handle that will steer the front wheels. Make the top rigid enough to use as a seat for a large sweaty man. Style it to look like a Hummer, and I think it’s a winner. And put an engine on it so you can ride it around.

Got to our area, where there were already a couple of tents set up and claimed a spot and set out our stuff. Greeted Bathmat Dad when he showed up in his sunburnt, glistening, hirsute, tank-topped glory.

First game--whoa. Got ourselves beat like a rug. Unbeknownst to us, there are groups that travel around and specialize in the 3 vs. 3 format. Such as the team we played. Our girls managed to score a point. The other team scored many. Thankfully, the games only last 24 minutes. Back to the tent, off with her socks which were wringing wet with dew and sweat. Ick. Hung ‘em on the fence to dry like the big rube I am. Although I will state in my defense that this method of sock-drying was soon picked up all along the fence line by others with similarly situated saturated socks.

Next game, 9:30 against one of the other teams of girls from our squad--this one was closer, but Rebecca’s team still lost, I think something like 8-5 or so.

Back to the tent, where we alternately were poached, parboiled, steamed, and sautéed. Second pair of socks hung upon the fence, lending a nice Ma and Pa Kettle aspect to the whole operation. Especially when I broke out my cans of Viennies! Mmmm--snouts! I kept Rebecca eating fruit, though. Wouldn’t want to have her soiling the fields with the horrid mess that makes up these little jewels of meat-like goodness.

She finally cooled off a bit and we took a tour of the other exhibits--got a non-Frisbee flying disc from UAB and some real Band-Aids in a little dispenser, got a couple of water bottles from WZZK, got some candy bars, and had our picture made with a milk mustache. I always thought the ads looked like they had painted the various celebrities with white glue, but in actuality they use latex paint. (Not really--it’s melted ice cream.) The picture is very cute though--me in my goofy straw campesino hat and sweaty tee shirt, and her red-faced and with matted hair, both with the required line of milk on our dripping faces. The photographer got mad at me, because I kept messing mine up by reflexively licking my lip every time I got some on there. Hey, I’m just very neat.

Back from the fire to the frying pan, sat and chatted with the other parents, sweated some more, then it was getting time for the next round--by this time they had started running behind a bit, so we got all ready and had to stand and wait for another thirty minutes. Luckily, it wasn’t the least bit hot. Chilly, actually. Like a meat freezer. Although I could just be remembering part of a heat-induced hallucination. I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but it was hot. And humid.

And I know, you’re all probably thinking to yourself--“Gee, Terry, seems like to me there would have been lots and lots of glowing soccer moms in halter tops and shorts parading around--why don’t you talk about them some?!” Believe it or not, even with the South’s surplus of feminine beauty, sometimes the circumstance conspire to make any ambient attractiveness impossible to notice. There is the pleasing dishevelment that comes from just having had a recreational tumble and romp, and then there is what you get from a day spent at hard labor. The perfume of soccer cleats, liniment, bug spray, sun screen and the nearby sewage treatment facility are not the things that conspire to make you think of anything other than how long it’s going to be until you’re able to leave. In other words, it weren’t no day at the beach.

Third game finally got going, and the heat had finally caught up with our girls--they could barely move faster than a trot, and got plastered--I think it was around 10-0 or so. Yikes. Back to the tent fly for one more rest and change of socks and then the final game--if the girls were going to be able to advance to the next round, they were going to have to win this one.

Which they didn’t. They played better than they did the third game, but were just totally outclassed. HOWEVER, Rebecca scored a goal! Yea for her. The other team had just scored, and we were kicking off to them. Rebecca’s teammate nudged the ball to her and she just kicked it in the net from the middle of the field. Hooray! So the other team kicked off and drove past them and scored right back. End of game--that was their 12th point.

Pack up stuff, and let Rebecca change into a fresh, dry tee-shirt and her sneakers. Got our junk and started the long slog back up the hill--asphalt pavement, curbs, broken earth, grass, rocks, dirt, etc., that we ran over on the way down. I let Rebecca sit in the shade at the gate with the junk while I went and got the van and loaded her up.

Off to Mom’s house, where we finally got a chance to cool off. Talked to my mom for a while, then it was time to round up the young'uns and head toward home.

Supper, then time for the ‘get ready for Sunday bathtime’--hair washing, earwax cleaning, fingernail and toenail grooming, and then I finally got a chance to do my class schedule for church. Couldn’t have worked on it even if I had remembered to take it with me that morning.

Anyway, that was one long day.

Sunday, up VERY early due to a loud, crashing thunderstorm that blew through before dawn. Blessed rain--the plant life around the house was looking awfully peaked. It rained off and on all day, and I have rarely been so glad to see rain. And it was a good rain, too--nice and slow. Got up a bit later when the clock went off, got dressed and got the kids up and dressed and breakfasted, then on to church with us all.

Put down my two sheets of class schedules and teachers with the intent of having everyone check it and make sure it was okay, turned around to chat with someone, turned back around, and one of the sheets was gone! I started ranting and raving and cussing like a sailor. (Not really.) Obviously, someone had picked it up by mistake, so I had the auditorium teacher ask if anyone picked it up to put it back, and sure enough, it was back after class.

Worship, in which I missed the entire sermon portion. Seems a certain small girl sitting between me and her oldest sister just couldn’t be quiet, and more alarmingly, decided she was going to start causing a scene when I tried to lean over and whisper in her ear to be quiet.

Hey little sister--you want a scene? I’ll give you a scene.

So up we get, with me frogmarching her up the aisle. You know, sometimes I just hate sitting up front. All the way out, all the way to the very back classroom, where she received her due recompense. And lo, there was much weeping.

She finally calmed down and agreed to act like a human. When there was five minutes left in the service. We went on back to the foyer to wait, this time with her holding my hand like a proper little lady. It was at this point that I noticed that she had neglected to wear a slip, and her little pink and white striped underwear showed clearly through the bright green floral pattern of her dress.

Oh well, I suppose if you have to choose, it’s better to act like a little lady than dress like one.

Home, lunch, take Boy for to get his fur trimmed. Got there a bit early so we looked around the bookstore for about fifteen minutes, then went back. New lady this time, but she did a great job of making him look presentable again, and he was happy as a clam afterwards with his new do. (He’s very particular about his appearance. Sometimes.)

Back home, read paper, doze off, awakened by telephone, doze, awakened by general noise. Wake up, get everyone back in the van, pick up prescriptions, get gas in the van (back down to $1.819 in Leeds) and settle in for evening worship. This time, Cat is on the aisle side away from anyone who might mess with her, and since it was cold in the building, she had brought along a fleece blanket. She laid her head over on me, bundled up, and in five minutes was snoring. She slept through the entire service, which, while not all that great for getting any sort of information, sure was nice for the one having to sit beside her.

Home, supper, bed, and now, here. Yay.

AND NOW? Oh, now is bad--I have a meeting to go to in which my design-y capabilities are required, which means I’ll be called upon to think. This can’t turn out good. I intend to keep the meeting short by noting to everyone that I had homemade fajita fixings for lunch and the last thing they want is for me to have to get in any sort of stressful situation. Then again, I may just let them figure it out on their own. ANYWAY, I need to go see to that, so I’ll chat with you after while.

Or tomorrow, if they have the ability to hold their breath and insist on meeting for the whole scheduled two hours. (Some people are just gluttons for punishment.)

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