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.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Got an message yesterday from Middle Girl's teacher about some of their upcoming assignments, as well as a promise of some bonus points.

The catch?

Well, the local FOX affiliate was having one of their "meet'n'greet the FABulous meteorologists" town-hall-type meetings over at the big Baptist church, and the teacher wanted the kids to go to it so they could learn about how weather can make you a local celebrity. She promised them 50 extra points if they could bring something to class today showing that they had attended.

Well, 50 points is 50 points. Except I had no desire to spend half my evening sitting in a big room with other people palavering over a bunch of GUYS. And, you know, actual weather information isn't really one of those things that comes out of these things--I mean, they don't do the forecast while they're up there, they just talk about themselves and their Live VIPIR. I consigned myself to having to make some effort at attending, though.

SALVATION came in the form of a phone call the moment I had walked in the kitchen door. Reba was picking up the kids at her mom's house, and with great agitation noted that the library was about to close at 6:00 and could I run over their real quick and get a copy of Goose Chase for some sort of report Rebecca was working on!


"Sure thing."

This might work out pretty good--my intent was to swing by the library and then over to First Baptist, sneak in, grab a poster or something, and then go on home.

Library, look up catalog number, can't find book. Uh-oh. Ask librarian, can't find book. "Well, it hasn't been checked out since 2003. It might be...well, not here." Code for STOLEN! After my phone call, I had come to the mistaken conclusion that Rebecca had recently checked the book out, but there was no record of it. "How odd," I thought. "Do you need it right away? I could get it from another branch." I had no idea when it was needed. I told her to wait a moment and let me call home (since they should have been there by then) and let me find out.

Went outside and pulled out my For Emergency Use Only Cellphone and called home. Picked up on second ring--good.

What ensued sounded like the soundtrack from COPS--all sorts of muffled shouts and things falling and tussling and possibly a taser being deployed. Yep, the family's home. And then it went dead. In my mind, the recreation was that two children were fighting over the priviledge and honor of being able to answer the telephone. I was right, I found out later.

Anyway, called back again, and just as the other end picked up, the librarian triumphantly leaned out of the door and said she'd found the book! Hooray! She handed it to me, but I was stuck. I couldn't very well take the book out of the now-closing door, or it'd be like taking a book out of the library. And I couldn't hang up the phone because someone was on it. And I couldn't bring the phone inside the library because you aren't supposed to do that.

So I stood there for a moment like a great huge goober with my hand in the gap between the pair of doors, book held in my hand to the interior, the rest of me outside holding a tiny cell phone and explaining to Oldest that I had just called and needed to talk to Mom but I didn't now so she needed to hang up. Just the thing to impress the desk staff.

I walked in and the cute girl looked at me with equal parts pity and bemusement, and I managed a quick explanation of, "Well, I couldn't go out with the book, or in with the phone." She laughed and took the book from me and scanned it and my library card, and I said a small prayer of thanks for being so uncool that such an embarrassing situation as had transpired had absolutely no impact on my overall level of hipness.

Oh, and the library wasn't supposed to close until 8:00, so it really hadn't been such a big rush job anyway. Oh, well. I decided to stay a minute or two and check all my important stuff on their computers, such as my e-mail and comments! Then, time for the second task of the evening.

Drove over to the building and found a close parking spot. Thought briefly about taking the mobile truck for a ride. Followed the great thronging crowd inside and saw the line of tall director's chairs set up on the stage, and The Incredibly UltraFamous David Neal in the lobby facing a camera and lights, and surrounded by a host of interested persons.

Need to find some junk, though. I noticed the end of a line of people and wandered over that way. Usually where there's a line, there's stuff being given away at the end of it.

Sure enough, it was AN AUTOGRAPH TABLE! WOOHOO! As I got on around the corner, I saw that the line split in two--one ginormously long one, and another of about ten souls. I got in the short one.

I finally figured out the disparity--the long line was for The Famous Mickey Ferguson, and my line was receiving photos of The 'Hey, He Looks Familiar' Dr. Ted Klimasewski.

The line was moving slow, though, because people had seen that you could get in the Dr. Ted line and then scootch over in front of the rest of the people in the Mickey line and get his picture, too. Me? I was only in it for the 50 points, and a Mickey was as good as a Ted. Obviously, not Mantle and Williams we're talking about here, though. Got to the table, and Dr. Ted looked at me and said, "Hello, I'm Ted," and extended his left hand. Since I was behind someone, I couldn't really reach my left hand around to properly shake his, so I wound up shaking it with my right in the odd grasp right-on-left grasp that you use with little old ladies. But, you know, he wanted to not injure his signing hand, and I can appreciate that. "Hello, I'm Terry Oglesby!" He immediately bent down as if to sign, and I had to stop him and request that this be made out to my daughter. With bold practiced strokes of his big fat Sharpie, he penned, "Dear Rebecca, Happy Weather! Dr. Ted."

SCORE! On to home, where I presented it to its intended recipient as she sat at the kitchen table doing her homework.

"Look what I got for YOU!"

"Who's he?"

"He's a guy at the weather thing over at the Baptist church. Remember? You're teacher said you'd get 50 bonus points?"

"Do I need bonus points?"

"OF COURSE! Even if you already have an A+, you can always use bonus points!"

"Oh. Thank you, Daddy!"

No problem. Although next time, I demand that Mai Martinez be there.

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