Monday, September 26, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
A little before 1:00 this afternoon, as I sat here working, Nettl called and said she’d be by to pick me up and take us to Taco Bell for lunch. We discussed the issue some more while munching our tacos. Here’s my take on it: I’ve been a parent since I was 18. That’s 35 years, folks. By the time Nathan (our youngest) goes to college I will have been parenting for 40 years. Forty. Freakin’. Years. And I’m not talking about just being a parent, I’m talking about kids living at home. I’m talking about cooking, cleaning, settling disputes, drying tears, catching the blame for a myriad of woes, etc. Hell, I’m talking about 40 years of not getting to go out to dinner, or buying new socks when I need them. When we move to Vienna in 2010 I will be 59 years old. I think I’ve done my time. I used to say, because I became a parent at 18, I was young enough that when the kids were grown I’d still be young enough to enjoy my life as a reasonably young person. That was when I thought I’d be going through Empty Nest Syndrome at the age of 36. Well, life didn’t turn out that way with a special needs child, and later when the kids came to live with us. That’s all good. I have no regrets. But when we go to Vienna, that’s for us. That’s my retirement, kids. Come and visit for the summer. Come for Christmas. Come whenever you want, but move in with us? No damned way.
Anyway, the reason I say that you just have to laugh is that, as I sat down and turned on my webcam, it took a really bad, but hilarious, picture of me as I adjusted the focus. Suddenly, for some reason, all the anger and frustration melted off of me and I busted up. Life is great that way.
I have no pride.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Born and raised in California as I was, I got used to earthquakes at a very young age. I’ve been through a few really scary ones, but most were just small tremors, nothing to stress out about. Still, I don’t like them. When I moved to Denver in 1992, I watched as a funnel cloud sat spinning directly over my house (or so it seemed to me), willing it to spin the other direction and go away. It did, but I went through about fifteen minutes of fear. But that was nothing like the terror I go through every spring and autumn now that I live in “Tornado Alley.” Fortunately, Stillwater sits in an area that causes storms to split in two about fifteen miles west of town. Not that there haven’t been tornado touchdowns here. There have been, but not in the past decade or so. I’ve never lived on the south or southeast coasts, so I somehow overlook my hurricane experiences as results of real hurricanes. Of course, neither of them have been direct hits.
While visiting with my friends Paul & Kevin in Atlanta in 1994, the arms of a hurricane swept through, causing a deluge of rain and high-speed winds that caused the power lines outside to spark and sizzle. That was my first experience. My next was the second year we were here in Stillwater. I was up late one night (how unusual), when all of a sudden some especially fierce winds came up, tossing our lawn furniture across the street and knocking over my potted plants on the front porch. Thunder and lightening roared and flashed and I switched on the Weather Channel to learn that we were being buffeted by the outer arms of a hurricane in the Gulf. The entire household slept through it. When you live in Oklahoma you get used to wind. Now, Rita is coming and I’m glad that I didn’t move to Houston a few years ago like I wanted to do.
The worst we’ll get here in Stillwater is high winds (the prediction is 50-70 mph), so on Saturday I’m bringing all of the hanging patio plants indoors. There is the threat of tornadoes throughout the state; hopefully it will remain a threat and not become a reality. My heart goes out to all of those who are leaving their homes behind until this passes. Nettl’s boss, and her daughter, are in Houston and a girl at the Cat Clinic has family there. Too, Nettl’s aunt lives in Port Arthur, Texas. Let’s keep everyone in our thoughts this weekend.
On another note: Today I took Joel to the oral surgeon’s office to have some work done. He was put completely under, so I’ve been keeping my eye on him all day and evening. I remember what it was like when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I was given Tylenol-Codeine and I composed one of my finest pieces, a Fantasia in C-minor, while under the influence. I don’t remember the act of composing it, but I have the score — in my own hand — so I must have composed it.
Saturday is my birthday, so I decided I’ll make brunch for the family: a wonderful dish we discovered in Vienna, Kaiserschmarrn, along with sausages and bacon. Later, Nettl and I are going out to dinner, then we’re coming home with some wine, putting the old “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bedroom door, and hiding out for the night. For one whole evening and night we will not be shrinks, referees, chauffeurs, arbitrators, nurses, cooks, maids, fixers, computer techs, tutors, bankers, telephone operators or accountants. All I want for my birthday this year is some time with my wife without interruption, without our bedroom door being a revolving door. For my birthday, I don’t want to share my wife with anyone! Bratty? Perhaps. So bite me.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
- Toilet lids: I hate when people leave the toilet lids up. I mean, I don’t like when the whole seat is up, so why shouldn’t the lid being up bother me? Who wants to walk by and look down into a receptacle that holds bodily waste?
- Redecorating: “That candle doesn’t look at its best there. Let’s try putting it here…”
- Fingernails: Bite, grow, bite, grow. I bite them from nervousness and grow them from guilt feelings for having bitten them.
- Body noises: And I’m proud of them.
- Morning crossword: Gotta have it or my whole day is thrown off.