Riding the Whirlwind

Friday night, we started with a relatively relaxed evening hosting the kids’ friend Sweetness for the night.  Curt brought over pizzas and dined with us until he had to go catch a show at Dad’s Garage.

After Sweetness was picked up Saturday morning, we packed up and headed out to the soccer fields for pictures and Scout’s game, which was as scattered as I’ve ever seen a game.  Scout was tired and not into it at all, for a first.

Stacey and Scout headed over to Richard’s house to pick up some camping supplies while RocketBoy and I headed home to wrap a b-day present, eat some lunch, and then deliver him to Regal cinemas for a birthday party.

The rest of us headed home and commenced to packing for the big Cub Scout camp-out.  We stuffed the Honda Fit full of stuff, and forgot pillows and camping chairs, which was a shame.

We grabbed RocketBoy from Regal around 3:30 and headed straight out to Bert Adams’ campground, about an hour trip.  This was Stacey and Scout’s first time camping, so neither really knew what to expect.  Stacey expected it to be more wilderness-y, which is understandable.   The cars being parked 20 feet from the campground does affect the experience a bit.  But it’s still in the woods, and away from streetlamps and whatnot, so nighttime is nighttime, with all the crickets and owls and other bumps in the night.  The kids had s’mores, played dodgeball and frisbee in a nearby field, caught frogs and crickets in a little creek, ran around in the dark with flashlights, and all the other outdoorsy stuff.

Scout made friends with a little five year old boy with glasses, and they ran around quite a bit.  So much so that she almost fell asleep on RocketBoy’s lap when they were telling some ghost stories with the other kids from the den.  Once in the sleeping bag, she was OUT.

The lack of pillows affected the rest of us a bit more, and we did quite a bit of tossing and turning.  The sleeping mats we used, while better than just sleeping bags, were still roughing it.  We made makeshift pillows out of clothes stuffed in t-shirts, but they were a pale comparison to the real thing.

Despite being ill-adapted to the camping life, everyone agreed we should do it again, perhaps without the Scouts.  One of the other parents recommended some sites up near Bowling Green, so that might work out.

We packed up and headed out early, after a breakfast of some terrific scones someone brought, and pop tarts, hot chocolate or coffee.  We were home by 9:30, which was good, because we all needed to get cleaned up and then head out to the Braves game.  RocketBoy was performing the National Anthem with the Atlanta Young Singers at 1:15, and we needed to be there plenty early.  For those keeping count, that’s three uniforms for the weekend (soccer, scouting, and singing).

I dropped Stacey and RocketBoy off at the Hank Aaron East Gate, and the drove around for a long time while Stacey got the parking pass from the AYS folks.  Once we did that handoff, the regular game traffic hit, and we almost didn’t get the car parked at to our seats in time for the performance.  I walked down to the dugout to get a good video of the show, and they didn’t disappoint.

After they sang, RocketBoy got several compliments from passersby as we headed off to get him changed into fan attire.

We watched the game until the 7th inning when Scout was pretty much through with ballpark fun.  We managed to see the turning point when the Braves came behind from a 4-0 to tie it up soon after we left.

We went home, picked up Sammy from Doggy daycare, and they pretty much vegged/did laundry for the rest of the day.

The week promises to be busy as well… cub scout den meeting tonight, Stacey’s got a work celebration tonight, tomorrow I go see August Ossage County, and I haven’t even looked beyond tomorrow.  Usually, I’ve done our chalkboard calendar for the week by now, but events transpired.

Also, I hear some folks with even busier schedules killed that bad guy yesterday.

Onward and upward.

 

Weekend ReMix

So, on my bachelor weekend, I turned to hookers and blow.

And by “hookers”, I mean “home projects”.  And by “blow”, I mean “pizza”.

I installed shelving along one wall of the garage, and organized it all.  Hopefully, it will stay that way.  We still have Too Many Things in there, that needs to be addressed.

I worked on the countertop mods around the stove, cutting and staining the wood that will go there.  I removed the backsplash behind the oven, and cleaned and painted the walls.  Painted the cabinet door from the old stove.

All in all, it was about 14 hours of work.  Then did the regular house cleaning and laundry.  It was nice to control my own schedule and just power through the jobs.

Stacey and Scout had a great time with friends in Pigeon Forge, doing a mountain hike and OHMIGODWESWAMINTHEHOTTUB.

They traveled with Scout’s friend L__ and her family up to meet a group of other old friends.  All told, there were about 8 or 9 kids to play with, and the adults could pretty much gab uninterrupted.

On the way home, they stopped somewhere called Goats on the Roof, which had… goats on the roof.  You could feed the goats, reportedly.  There, on the roof.

RocketBoy got back from his world tour.  He said he was sad we weren’t there; He felt like the family should have been with him, at least at Rock City.  I promised we could go back as a family, and he could be our guide.

I dropped him off Saturday morning, and then traveled up to their first stop at the Chattahoochee Nature Center for the Earth Day Kids festival.  Parking was full, so I had to drive two miles away and catch a shuttle.  I missed the first song, and RocketBoy let me know he knew it.

They do a good concert, those kids.  Then they hopped back on the bus to head up to Rock City, a Ronald McDonald house near Chattanooga, and the to the hotel.

At the hotel, RocketBoy couldn’t find his swimsuit (the suitcase is a tiny one… It’s hard to understand why he had to search for “an hour” for it).  Then, once in the pool, he hit his head on the side when someone bumped into him, and had to go back to his room to recuperate.  So, not a lot of swimming to be had there.

He stayed in a room with a counselor and one other boy, who he got to know.  He was nervous he wouldn’t get to know anyone, but he did pal around with two other boys, so all was well.

Sunday morning, they went to a Presbyterian church to perform, and I guess had to listen to the sermon, because he cited a low point as “having to listen to some guy tell a story I didn’t understand about Jesus and some goats.”   I sympathized; I was never clear on the goat story myself.

When he got back from the trip, the director came up to me and said one of the counselors had told her a story about RocketBoy.  I cringed, because “I have a story about RocketBoy” could go either way, quirky kid that he is.

But the story went that when they were done singing at the Ronald McDonald house, he struck up a conversation with a family that was staying there, and heard about their baby daughter who was in the NICU “just like Scout was”.  After he heard that, he went and found an employee of the house and asked to make a donation.  He took a $1 from his “treat money” we gave him, and handed it over, because “they needed it more than I did.”

So, I’m going to stop cringing.

In the final tally, he lost a shoe, but gained someone’s pants, and had a good time, so we’ll call it a win.

Foreshadowing the Weekend

There is 150 feet of 1″ manila rope in a box in our entry way, a slingshot in the basement, a roll of yellow poly twine on our kitchen counter, and a heavy bolt or nut somewhere on the premises.

There are two size #3 soccer balls in a bag in the entry way.

In the basement, there are a number of unused toys stored in shelves in the back room.

In the back of a small theater in Little 5 Points, there is a play-board with one more show left in it.

In the backyard, there are a number of left-over fence stakes still staked in the ground.

There are squeaky doors leading to the bedrooms of children, and a can of WD40 in the garage.

These material items form a map of my weekend to come.

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 Weekend in Brief(s)

Friday Night

Went to see The Cherry Orchard with at Georgia Shakespeare. Bleah.

Which is not to say the Company Formerly Known As The Festival didn’t do a fine job with it. It’s just that Russian comedies just ain’t my thing, apparently. Stacey says it’s just dripping with historical literary significance, but I’d rather just read a blurb about it in a history of theater textbook.

Saturday

Stacey let me sleep in until 8:30ish. Then, it was a fairly routine Saturday with household chores, contract work, storytime, naps, grocery shopping, then off to the pool sans potatoes. Stacey had to go to work for a short while that evening, and when she got back (after Roan’s bedtime), we watched the first couple episodes of The West Wing from Netflix. Oh, how I do like that show.

Sunday

We met my high school friend Sarah and her partner Amy for breakfast at the Thumbs Up Diner. It was nice to catch up on the last 14 years. Old friends are good things to have around. And we managed to get through the visit without Stacey asking about the way I used to dress in high school. I probably won’t get that lucky next time; In advance, I’ll say that turquoise was very in then. Really.

With every intention of working on my contract work some more, Stacey and I crashed for a nap the same time Roan did. We woke up to a rainy afternoon, and so it was decided that Stacey would throw some cookies in the oven while I popped in The Incredibles. It held Roan’s attention for most of it, though he kept asking for the dancing spider to come back.

Stacey headed off to work the closing night of Streetcar around 6. Roan and I read some books, blew some bubbles, had some bath, and went to some sleep. I did some contract work until just a few minutes ago, and now I’m off to bed.