Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Monday, February 27, 2006
Jared and I were in Raley's in Incline Village on Saturday, our last day in the Tahoe area. We were picking up some sandwiches to eat on the way home. Jared had been interested in the number dispenser that had been empty the whole time we had been there and was playing with it. I asked him to stop and he did. He stood there instead and sounded out the first word on the sign above the dispenser:
"Puh - Luh - Eee - Sss"
Entirely on his own, he read the word please -- not a simple word. He has been reading his CVC words for quite a while -- slowly, sounding out each letter and blending them, but reading them nonetheless -- and even some CVCC and CCVC words, but this was impressive even for him.
Hi. I'm Roger. What do I do here?
Man o man... you don't know how much I was hoping for four to six feet of new snow on Friday night or Saturday morning. Not enough to trap us in the house, but enough to trap us in Tahoe.
Despite a few issues, we had a wonderful time. Jared and Sara, despite the strep throat thing, got to do a fair bit of sledding. Mostly, they had a blast with their grandparents and got to see a world different from the one they are used to. Me, I'm already looking forward to next year.
Sara and I were taking a shower this morning when she walked across the bathroom, lifted the cover of Jared's potty, and sat down. She did this twice, actually, and when she was done, sure enough, there was pee in the potty. It was most likely a fluke, of course, but at least it's a good sign.
Jared's latest television favorite is Singin' In The Rain -- the classic musical with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor. Luckily, we brought it with us to Tahoe because he must have watched it at least a dozen times lying on the couch. I'm not exactly sure why a three-and-a-half year old kid would be so into it, but I'm also not exactly surprised.
His maternal grandmother is the director (supposedly retired now) of a musical theatre company, a dancer and dance teacher, actress, and singer. His maternal grandfather is a jazz pianist who played piano and keyboards for all the big shows here in town, including Singin' in the Rain. His mother taught tap dance for about a dozen years or so before becoming a school teacher. On the other side, his paternal grandmother was a pianist (classical) and while his paternal grandfather claimed only to play the radio, he was certainly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about music. I've taken tap (before I met Rachel, even) as has his Uncle Harry and Uncle Daniel.
I guess it's not surprising at all, really.
Unfortunately, all is not entirely well with the whole strep throat thing. After the first successful dose, Jared refused to take it, except with the tiny .8ml dropper from the infant tylenol. On top of that, he threw up last night at dinner.
Yesterday morning, we all got up early to have breakfast together and see John and Diane off; they had to be home for rehearsals later in the day. The kids were laughing up a storm, giggling, and being tickled, basically getting all stirred up by their Pa. We saw John and Diane off and started getting ready to head over to Carson City and the Children's Museum.
So we get a call early in the morning from Don Starbard, the guy who built the house in which we're staying. There had been some problems -- a couple of runaway thermometers -- and he needed to bring in a crew to do some work. We knew this might happen and it wasn't a problem. So we said come on over, we'll be going out for the day anyway. He showed up as we were getting ready to leave, and followed by a mold remediation crew from Sacramento. They went off to do their thing after assuring us it was safe for us to be in the house while and after they did their work.
It was the fall of 1985 and I had spent nearly a year as a data entry clerk, programmer, and system manager for a small import company, working on a Compupro 8/16 S-100 system running MP/M-86, a multi-user version of the venerable CP/M operating system. It was fun, I loved the system, and the people I worked with were pretty cool. Unfortunately, the owners of the company decided to return to china and not pay the employees. After a month or so, we all went, en masse, down the the EDD to file a complaint and sign up for unemployment benefits.
"Can you kiss my butt?" -- Jared after a particularly hard landing while sledding.
I had my little group of friends from around the neighborhood that I played with. There was 'nes who was sort of the leader -- being bigger and older and able to eat an entire hostess apple pie in one bite. There was Mike who was short and scrappy. There was Weldon who lived around the corner. There were others, but their memory escapes me at the moment.
Jared has the whole right and left thing down pat. Better than me, in fact.
Is it just me or did Samantha Carter look totally hot on Stargate SG-1 last night in that long, sleeveless duster, long-sleeved tunic, and thick belt?
"You watch the user and as soon as they start to look frustrated, you pull their hand away from the input device and ask them what they want to do. That's what the user interface should let them do." -- Brilliant insight overheard in the office complex deli.
The summer before I went into third grade, a family across the street did a house-swap with a family from England. They went to England for the summer and the brits came here, staying in their home. The british family had a son, Danny, who was just my age. We played together everyday, making mudpies, playing with his toy soldiers, generally running around doing kidstuff. Towards the end of their stay, they planned a week-long camping trip. And, they took me along.
My older brother went to J. Eugene McAteer High School. My younger brother also went to McAteer. My two sisters went to Mac. I didn't.
Despite a popular theory that things happen in two's, it seems that fame hit close to home thrice in the last week or so. First, in last Sunday's pink section, there was a picture of my niece Cassie, promoting her upcoming show Wonderful Town presented by the San Francisco Arts Education Project. It's on page 85, if you still have it. She's the one in the middle.
Lastly, but certainly not least, my friend Ann of Rocrebelgranny was interviewed in the Merced Sun-Star. She's a very intelligent, well-spoken, active woman who is also raising her three great-granddaughters. I find I agree with her on most everything, at least politically speaking.
Sometimes, I call our house Paloma Loca -- Crazy Dove. Mostly because my whole family is insane. It wasn't always like that. That is, we didn't always live here.
Rachel worded her question very carefully, asking what pictures Jared wanted on his plates at his birthday party, and reminding him that he had Baby Einstein last year and trucks the year before. After last year, she was taking no chances. And yet, despite her best efforts...
Came the reply: "Cake."
"I don't want to go home; I want to go to... Anything!" -- Jared's thoughts about heading home after a long day with no nap.
Cusp: A Transitional Point or Time
Cusps are those points in time where you made (or didn't make) that right turn at albequerque that got you where you are today. Those pivotal events and decisions turned you into who you are.
They can be obviously meaningful like death, birth, or marriage, or they can be seemingly (at the time) insignificant like a chance meeting or missed bus. Everyday we make little decisions that in the long run matter little, if at all. White Mocha or Latte? Blue shirt or green? Get up or hit the snooze bar one more time? A few times in our lives, however, we make a decision or meet someone or something happens to us that will impact our lives in a huge way. These are the true cusps of our lives.
Your challenge for February, as we work our way into a new year of branches, twists, and turns in our life paths, is to describe at least five major cusps that have altered your life substantially. Feel free to link to prior posts, if you like, to describe them or write fresh about the cusps and the impact they had on you.
Welcome to Katharine Darrah G., born this day at 10:39am and weighing eight pounds, nine ounces!
I went into the kids' room this morning to get them up and saw nothing but a huge pile of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals on Jared's bed. I wasn't too worried, as I knew he might have migrated to our bedroom, or he might be under the blankets or even under the bed. Upon closer inspection, however, I realized that the bedclothes were piled unusually high and there was absolutely no sign of Jared. Not even a toe or or finger was exposed. A little digging did determine that Jared was indeed burrowed underneath it all, and completely fast asleep.
Sara, meanwhile, was asleep in her crib, after having tossed her pillow, blanket, and everthing else overboard.