Poisoned Again

I was out from work yesterday because of some sort of food poisoning… again.

Actually, the two previous times were most likely allergies to mussels. But I’m about done with food reactions of any kind, thankyouverymuch. I’m just going to eat organic, locally grown celery for the rest of my life.

was sick Friday from the same thing, so I took a half day to watch the kid. For some reason, the poisoning took longer to have an effect on me. So, in between the two bouts, we were able to get to Kentucky and retrieve our eldest child from his week-long visit to Deedee and Grampa’s house. He reportedly had a great time, no wonder as it seems he had a jam packed schedule o’ fun and ice cream for dessert every night.

He even spent a day at the golf course with my mom and her friend. They both reported their lowest scores ever, because RocketBoy would pick up the ball and drop it in the hole for them if they got close. Now that’s a good caddy.

July 4th was spent moving everything from the storage area of the basement to the newly-vacated living area, isolating what can be throw out, and sweeping/mopping/painting the floor of the storage area. Last night, an extremely gregarious landscaper came to quote clearing out the jungle that is our backyard and replacing it with a playable, grassy space. Today, a junk man is coming to haul away a large amount of junk that has been in our basement likely since the early seventies. Things are happening down there!

We have Who Killed The Electric Car? in from Netflix. I am all ready for some righteous indignation.

This Friday, we head out to New Jersey for a week with ‘ people.

Ho Ho Ho

A productive and lucrative Xmas.

My haul this year was a bunch of books, which is what I call an ideal holiday. What’s more, they are mostly not books I requested, so it means an unexpected adventure in each one.

* Jennifer Government by Max Barry
* Aliens in America by Sandra Tsing Loh
* The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson
* The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most To Them by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannessen
* The Known World by Edward P. Jones
* All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones
* The Stories of Mary Gordon by Mary Gordon

RocketBoy got the left half of a Toys R’ Us store, and Steakette got the other half.

One of RocketBoy’s coolest presents was a Cranium brand MEGA Fort. It’s easy to assemble in different forts, saving wear and tear on the couch cushions.

I got Dance Dance Revolution, which I got by way of a used eBay Playstation One, which means I have a game console in my house for the first time since the late 70’s. The PS1 came with some games, including Crash Bandersomething 2, which RocketBoy really likes because he can make the wolf character jump into a hole and kill himself repeatedly. Although, RocketBoy just thinks that’s the way he goes to get back to his house.

Dance Dance Revolution is really hard.

My brother, my father and I have worked diligently to prepare the basement to be a livable area. We’ve finished cleaning, priming and painting the cinderblock walls in what will be the main living area with a light grey enamel. After filling in some cracks with concrete patch, we were able to get most of the floor painted with a coat of brick red polyeurathane concrete paint.

My friends from high school held a gathering and one of their homes back in Fairfield this afternoon. Through the miracle of modern technology, we were able to spend 30 minutes fussing with AOL IM Video typing “Can you see us? No? Can you hear us? Okay, I can hear you sort of…”, which is always nice. Eventually we were able to get video without audio, and we used plain old speakerphones for audio, and had a nice visit. Rocketboy quizzed people on what they got for Xmas.

and Rocketboy tried to go to see Happy Feet today, but left halfway through because it stopped being a charming movie.

I’m going to go watch a Sean Connery movie now.

Sports Mexican, Scooters, Basements and the Napless

The weekends go way too quickly.

One of Rocketboy’s usual babysitters told that she was going to babysit for us on Saturday night, so we should find someplace to go. So, we elected for dinner and Little Miss Sunshine, which everyone’s been gushing about.

We haven’t really gotten a babysitter in a while and I was pondering about why that might be. I think in the end that a 3.5 year old is simply not as taxing as a 2.5 year old. “Watching” Roan is sometimes sitting on the couch reading a book, since he often does his own thing for periods at a time. The other thing might be that there simply hasn’t been anything at the movies I’m interested in. When I took my week vacation between jobs, I went to see The Devil Wears Prada not because I was particularly interested in the film, but because it was the lesser of the evils and I just wanted to go to the movies.

But, soon we will be heading into a taxing time again, so best to take the time when we get it.

We went to the Tin Roof Cantina that had opened up on Briarcliff. Neither of us knew anything about it; I had assumed it was a mexican restaurant akin to On the Border or El Azteca. Really, it was a sports bar that serves burritos. It was acceptable, I don’t think we’d ever bother with it again.

Little Miss Sunshine was very fun. A great cast of really likable characters. and I both laughed with tears in our eyes at the ending.

Sunday, went shopping while Rocketboy and I went to Toys R Us looking for a big wheel. Surprisingly, they really only had one, a Hot Wheels brand, in a box. They didn’t have any to try out. While I was pondering this, Rocketboy was scooting up and down the aisles on a three wheeled standup scooter thing. There were two setup for kids to try, and he kept trying to get a little Mexican boy (who I don’t think spoke English… his father didn’t) to scoot with him.

Ro: Are you going to the park? We’re going to the park with a scooter. You can take this scooter and we can both go to the park. Here! Take this scooter! Here!
Boy and Father- blank stares, then they walked away.
Ro: (looking at me) I guess they’re going to the park later.

So, we got the scooter and a new helmet (featuring Lightning McQueen). We went home, put it together and tried it out a little bit, then went to the park. But the sun was so hot and Ro was so tired that he just sort of stood on the scooter and stared listlessly. We went home to not take a nap.

We went back later in the day, but he spent more time on the slides than scooting. Lack of nap deadens his adventuring impulse.

I can’t get my mind around his tiredness oscillations. One minute he’ll be glassy-eyed and stumbling, the next he’s the Tasmanian Devil.

While Ro didn’t nap, I spent some time cleaning the basement after the Great RePiping of 2006. So far, there’s only one small leak where I’m missing a clamp, so that’s good. I’m making progress down there towards making it a livable space/play area. But I am at times overwhelmed by the amount of paint stripping, crack filling, wall sealing, electrical wiring, drywalling and piles of junk (50% of which was left by the previous owners) that need to be hauled to the curb. Baby steps is my mantra. But if the baby steps are too small, the babies will be in college before the basement is ready for them to play in.

We watched another couple episodes of The West Wing Season 5 on Sunday night, and everything I’ve read about the change in the character of the show after Aaron Sorkin left at the end of Season 4 is true. It’s still a pretty good show, but it’s not the fantastic show I’ve come to know and obsess over. They’ve turned down the wit and turned up the drama.

For some reason today, in the back of my mind, I’ve been trying to figure out what the fastest way to become rich would be if you could read minds, other than outright theft or something else illegal.

A Basement Lab

My wife has a former boss, an arts administrator, that is/was married to an engineer. At the time I met them, they were civil to each other, but essentially separated. For financial reasons, he lived in the basement instead of in his own apartment. It was kind of sad, but the joke around our house (being an arts administrator/engineer couple) is that if I don’t watch my step, I’ll find myself in the basement. Up until now, we haven’t had a basement, so it was a hollow threat.

But now we do. And here I am, in the basement.

Actually, it’s just my computer that moved to the basement to make room in the guest room… for guests. So if anyone wants to stay over, they don’t have to sleep under a computer desk.

I had to wire up a phone line. The line that was in this room crumbled to dust in my hands, and turned out not to be live anyway. I wandered around with a flashlight trying to make sense of the serpentine maze of telephone wires crisscrossing the basement ceiling. I found what may or may not be the nexus of phone wiring in our house. If it is, it’s a piss poor one. Add another task to the 2 page home improvement list: straighten out the phone wires.

I’ll get right on that… probably around 2015.