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.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Boy, am I tired.

Been a long weekend, and I have a headache that started sometime Saturday and seems to be hanging on with a bulldog-like tenacity. Right now, I am working on some stuff for church--trying to get together a questionnaire for folks to tell us what they think’s wrong with the building--and watching the end of the Olympics. Bob Costas almost smiled again. The reason I’m writing this now is that tomorrow morning I have to get Oldest to the high school to practice for a play she’s going to be in. She’s going to get to play Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” Quite a coup for a freshman, you know. And she has early morning rehearsals. Starting Monday morning. At 6:30 a.m. That’s very early.

Then I have some errands to run after I get to work, and some actual work to do after I get to work, and then, at noon, I get to go eat lunch with YET ANOTHER blogger whom I’ve never met. Fellow Axis of Weevil member Wind Rider and I are going to be getting together over at Cameo Café and palaver a bit.

SO, the weekend wrap-up, while I have a minute or two to myself.

FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! Got the three younger kids from Grandma’s house, Reba having already dropped by an hour earlier to pick up Oldest and take her to the stadium. Pile in the van, get to the stadium about an hour and fifteen minutes before game time. The Mall area is already cordoned off for blocks around the middle school (where historic Jack Wood Stadium is located), and if I was Mr. Moneybags, I would have forked over a fiver to park in front of the school. HAH! I can find a parking place ANYWHERE!

I drove around to the back and parked in the cheerleader parking lot for four bucks. See, I saved a whole DOLLAR! ::sigh:: Good cause, I guess. At least I still had enough dough to get in the gate.

Went to the ticket booth, “Hey, um, one adult, three kids.”

“It’s all the same.”

I was taken aback a bit, “Oh, well, okay, how much?”

“Five dollars each.”

HOLY GRIDIRON! I was kinda hoping the kids would get a discount. Or I would get one for being pitiful. No dice. ::sigh:: Good cause, I guess. I opened up my wallet and counted out my money. $16. Oops. Well, time to find Reba. She’s supposed to be working the concession stand, and she’ll give me some money to get the rest of us in.

Begin search. Searching being required because there are two concession stands. First one beside the ticket booth is inside the fence and there’s no way to get in. I ask at the back, and no one can really tell what I’m saying because of the din. So, I grab the young’uns and we headed off for the OTHER stand on the OTHER side of the stands. Can’t really get close enough there, either. Couldn’t see her anywhere, either. Hmm. Surely she was still there. I hoped.

Started walking back down the walkway toward the box office, and ran into Oldest walking the other way to the band room, jabbering a million words per minute to one of her friends and studiously ignoring her sisters and brother trying to say hello to her. “WHERE’S MOMMY!?” they yelled. She gave the exasperated sigh common to our clan and half-shouted that she was IN THE CONCESSION STAND. “Duh,” being graciously left unsaid.

We kept on walking and I was in a bit of a dither to figure out a way to get us in the gate. “Kids, would you please quit waving your dollars…” Hmm. Grandmama had given each of them a dollar for bringing home good grades Friday. Catherine had wisely left hers in the van, but Jonathan had his, and Rebecca had hers and Ashley’s, and they were proudly waving them in the air. Well, if I stole that from them, that would give me $19. Still a buck short. I fished around in my pocket and came up with 63 cents. Rebecca piped up, “I have 50 cents in the van…do you want me to go get it?!” Hmm.

“Well, wait a minute and let me see if I can find Mom in the concession stand, and maybe you won’t have to go get it.” My plan was to get Bec and Jonathan to stand by the gate, buy mine and Catherine’s tickets and go in, find Reba, get some more money and buy the tickets for the other two. Might not even have to use their money. Then again, that would be too much to ask, I suppose.

Bought mine and Cat’s tickets and went in the gate, where the Highsteppers had camped out on the asphalt outside the restrooms between the box office and the stands. The Highsteppers are the dance squad. They wear red sequined outfits something like a bathing suit. And knee-high white go-go boots. And they all look like they just came from a casting call for great, big, corn-fed, all-American small town girls with great, clear, smooth, tanned skin, perfect white teeth, and very advanced physical development.

Talk about an obstacle course.

But Cat managed to keep me from taking a dive into the vast puddle of pulchritude and we made our way back around to the concession stand. Asked for Reba. “Reba? Anyone seen anyone named Reba? Reba? Sorry, if she’s here, she’s not in this stand. Check the other one.” Thanks.

I went back over to the fence and told Rebecca to go on and go get her money. I gave her the keys and told her to BE SURE to lock the van back. While she went on, I gave Jonathan five dollars and told him to go buy a ticket. He came around through the gate without his ticket stub, so I made him go back and get it from the guy just in case we had to do something odd, like leave and come back later. (Well, you never know.)

Bec FINALLY got back with her fifty cents, which I put with my buck-fifty and the kids’ three bucks and gave it to her to get her ticket. Well, we were all inside now and “I’m HUNGRY, Daddy!” “YEAH! ME TOO!”

“LOOK! I just spent all the money we have and if I don’t find your mama, you’re just gonna have to suck it up and be quiet because we won’t have any food. So HUSH!” Such sad little children. Such a sweaty and perturbed father.

We walked on down in front of the bleachers to the other concession stand, “Is Reba at this stand?”

“Reba? Reba who? What does she look like? Are you sure she’s at this one and not at that one over there?”

“N…oh, wait, which one?”

“That one over there--the one for the visitors.”

Ahh. There are three stands. And see, I knew that, but somehow managed to forget it. Oh, well. It was even further inside the fence anyway, so it’s not like I could have found her beforehand.

We walked over and sure enough, there she was helping Oldest into her hat. Somehow she had managed to walk by us in our several perambulations to find Mom. The controversy was how to get her hair all up under her hat. Which, of course, prompted a minor verbal gun battle between Ashley and Rebecca. You know, because it was in public. With hair successfully piled upon her head, she wheeled around and ran off and I filled Reba in on everything you just read.

“I’m HUNGRY, Mama!”

Oh, yeah, and that.

We got ourselves some hamburgers and a cold drink and went over to the condiment table, which was to be Reba’s station for the night. Got to keep the thing clean and keep kids from messing with it. Only later did I find out it was also the place where all the cops and paramedics hung around. Apparently, the need to schmooze with my wife was a great draw for them. Hey, who can blame them?

We finished up our eats and made our way back around to the home stands and took our place right on the front row, 40 yard line. Had about twenty minutes before kickoff, so while the kids yammered amongst themselves, I just sat there and zoned out for a while, watching the ever-growing crowds of track walkers, walking around to see what they could see besides the football game.

National anthem, alma mater, whistle, blowout in progress. We played Gardendale, usually a pretty good team. Either they have had a bad early practice, or we have gotten a lot better. It was twenty-something to nothing at the halftime. The Rockets couldn’t move the ball much at all--the longest run they got was on a runback on a kickoff. Got all the way to the thirty-five or so, and couldn’t score.

Halftime, then, and a nice show from their band, and then an absolutely grand show from our band. I am sorta jaded about such enterprises, because, you know, I’m just SO sophisticated and all, but this show was REALLY good. Big, loud, flashy, thumpy, blarey, brassy, and all very well coordinated. IMpressive. Never could pick Ashley out, which I figured was good since it meant neither she nor the other clarinets were out of step or place. Sounded and looked great, kids.

On then to the third quarter with more dominance by the Huskies. Going into the fourth it was 40-0. Time to head home, kids. No use getting caught up in the crush to leave while trying to wrangle three little ones, you know. We made our way to the van and left out, and as we made the corner back onto Parkway, we took a last look at the scoreboard to see that the score had jumped once more to 47-0, which is how it all wound up.

Next week, Mountain Brook, where they have servants make the Gatorade with bottled water and serve it our of solid gold coolers. Really!

On to home, put the kiddies to bed and then wait for the debriefing when Mom and Oldest get home, then to bed.

Up early Saturday, of course, not because of the tiny girl who quietly padded into the bedroom before seven to ask Mom for the surprise toy she had brought her from McDonald’s, but rather by the BLARING TELEVISION turned on promptly at seven by Boy, who raised the ire of his father rather quickly with that little stunt.

Urgh. Time to get up and get moving.

Got some clothes on and had to go down to the foot of the hill and do a bit of light grocery shopping so we could have some breakfast, and drop off Ashley’s band uniform at the cleaners, and get some gas in Reba’s car, then come back and get the groceries unloaded. Breakfast, then get the chores situated for each of the kids. Laundry, clean up, then once more to the grocery store--seems I had forgotten some things--back home, fold clothes, and then a collapse onto the couch. Not sure what the deal was, but I felt horrible and got the seeds of the headache going. Sometime in there my father-in-law came by and brought us some okra, then I lay back down and slobbered on the couch cushions some more. Finally got roused up by the occasion of a call from yet another young man who has found himself smitten with Oldest.


The kid from church didn’t work out at all, and although she has tried to forget him, it’s hard when you see him all the time. But, it seems that she has been managing well enough to attract the attentions of a young freshman French-horn player, who would sit and chat with her during breaks at band camp. He called late the other night and wanted to talk to her, and apparently they conspired with some heavy-duty conspiring to figure out something to do that would be a close approximation of dating. We tried to see if he would come to church with us, but he plays in their church’s band and couldn’t go. SO, he called back Saturday to see if she could go do something.

Well, nothing that would allow them to be unsupervised.

Movie? Sorry, dude.

So, he invited her to come over to his house to eat supper with he and his family. Good enough. And I got to be chauffeur.

And got to meet the young fellow and his whole extended family. Seems like a nice enough kid, although it’s a bit funny to see them together--puberty has been very kind to Oldest, but her new beau is still at the stage where he looks like he was put together with Tinker Toys--all skinny limbs and knobby joints. And using the short sticks, too. (She out-talls him a good two inches.) His family is very nice--mom, dad, brother, grandmom, and a temporary billet for his aunt and uncle. Yeah, I’d say that they had enough adult supervision. And apparently I had become part of a rather fevered conversation prior to all of this. Ashley used her normal gift of delusional overstatement to the effect that I was somewhat to the right of Osama bin Laden. So, they--both suitor and family--were all a bit nervous about how I would react to the plans for the evening. Not to worry, folks.

Home for a bit, dunked the kids in the tub, ate supper, and went back to get her at 9. They had watched Pirates of the Caribbean in the rec room, and from what I can tell, the young fellow was still scared enough after having met me to not have been anything other than a gentleman. I told him we would be sure to have him over, too, just to even things out.

Sunday, today, up early and dress, get the kids up, and get some food cooked for the meal we had at church. I brought my crappy plumbing drawing I had neatened up, hoping to do a bit of sketching in of the actual locations of walls and doors. No such luck. The more I tried to make it work, the more obvious it was that something was BAD wrong with the drawing--it was either not to scale, or was very wrong, but there was no way all the rooms we have would actually fit in the confines of the drawing. Mph--headache again.

Class, worship, lunch, cleanup, and right back into the auditorium for afternoon worship, then out at 2 with the rest of the afternoon free and clear to do nothing. Stopped and got a newspaper, read the entire thing without being interrupted, and then decided to nurse my still throbbing head with a nap on the couch again. Not that much of a rest, I’m afraid.

ONCE MORE back to the store to get some pizza, because SOME little girl was having a fit for pizza, and I had to pick up some light bulbs, too. And some deodorant for Reba and Rebecca. Odd little grocery bill, that.

And now, I think I’m going to take off my jeans and snuggle up with Miss Reba and toss and turn all night thinking about trying to get some sleep so that I won’t be so tired when I have to get up and get someone to her early rehearsal.

We’ll see how that turns out.

See you a bit later on this morning!

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