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, January 18, 2005

Hey, I'm serious about starting that fire.

A couple of years back, the maintenance guys came through and told everyone to take their underdesk portable heaters home, because they were overloading the electrical circuits. In order to make this edict more palatable, they made several promises about fixing the heating and cooling system. The heating and cooling system has now been fixed many times. Which explains why the thermometer on the fake thermostat in my office reads 60. It's one of those days that causes me to wish that dress shirts had pockets on both sides--I could keep my ID badge in one pocket and some papers or something in the other. Either that, or I wish I had worn a cardigan. In any event, there's enough waste paper cluttering my desk and office to make a nice toasty blaze.

ANYway, the Weekend!

Started out good enough on Friday with the school pageant Oldest was participating in. Oddly enough, when we walked in it was quite apparent that there was a slight scheduling conflict, because the county wrestling tournament was going on in the gym. A tourney that those blasted Cougars managed to win, with the Huskies coming in 22 points back. Grr. Wait'll next year! Be that as it may, it was a strange juxtaposition, although I suppose if it had a catchy name it might work. We already have the Paws and Claws Bowl in football--maybe this combination of disparate events could be billed as Singlets and Sequins! Or not.

But the match wound down before the pageant started, so neither group got on the nerves of the other. The pageant itself (Friday's was for just the freshmen and sophomores; the older girls did theirs on Saturday) was what you would expect from a high school pageant--the English teacher/PE coach was the emcee, lots of cotton batting for clouds, a panel of judges famed for their abilities at judging high school pageants. And quite an assortment of girls--some still at the pencil-like little girl stage, some still carrying a bit of baby fat, and one 16 year old sophomore in particular who had progressed right to the impossibly curvaceous Jennifer Lopez stage. What she wore didn't have her spilling out everywhere, but it's hard to hide some of that. I leaned over and quietly whispered to Reba that that one seemed to have filled out real good. She agreed.

All of them were fixed up just as nice as could be--they first came out in what was termed "sportswear," which ran the gamut from your basic cute top and pair of slacks to the attire of one freshman that appeared to have been something she picked up from Frederick's of Hollywood. But, it kinda made sense when you saw her eveningwear dress. Again the formal outfits ran from the Fashionable yet Modest end of things all the way to Cocktail Waitress/Adult Film Star. Funny thing, but it seems that from my conversations with Miss Reba about the backstage preparation, the mothers who seem to most want to live their lives vicariously through their daughters were the ones most likely to dress them up like half-pint tramps. Go figure.

The girls had an interview before the show started--a long list of possible questions about hobbies and world peace and puppies and The Future and such. Reba worked with Ashley on these for a good while before the day of the show. Good thing, too. The first read-through they did, Oldest sounded like an insincere, self-centered, spoiled twit. (Yes, "go figure," again.) I think Reba was able to get her to understand the way her answers sounded and to come up with some things that were a bit less stilted and a bit more honest. She also worked on the sincerity thing--as you all know, if you can fake that, you've got it made.

The various walkarounds on stage went fine with no one falling off of her high-heeled cruel shoes or stumbling down the risers, and the various cheering sections were relatively restrained, and after a short intermission including some rather interesting entertainment (to say the very least--and the very least is all I dare say about it), the various runners-up and winners were announced.

No, Oldest didn't make it into the five freshman spots, but oddly enough, she didn't seem to mind. I figured, given some of the catty comments she had made previously about some of the girls--more than likely said to mask her own lack of confidence--that she wouldn't want to have anything more to do with the whole business. (Which would have been fine by me.) But I asked Reba after we got all home and unloaded if she was upset. "No. She said she wants to try it again next year."

Well, whaddya know.

Coming up: Saturday? The Great De-Christmasing!

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