January 22, 2005

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Great White East Division

Well, so much for the Storm of the Century of the Week. We got maybe three or four inches today. Just enough to make things look very pretty, but not enough that I really need to bother shovelling the driveway. I'll gladly take it.

At the height of the snowfall, I wound up taking Llama-ette No. 2 to a birthday party down the street that I'd have sworn was going to be cancelled. (Given my crankiness about the normal snow panic around here, I suppose I admire the birthday family for seeing it through.) I'm not nearly so involved in the Kiddie-Circuit as is the Missus, so it's always an odd sensation to show up at one of these affairs. Everyone knows the gel and knows who I am, but I'm lucky if I can put one or two names and faces together.

Anyhoo, the entertainment (and around here, there's almost always some kind of entertainment) was a puppet show by some guy who claims to have worked previously for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and the Muppets, prompting me to think to myself "Children's Television Network downsizing victim." He actually was quite good and held the kiddies pretty well enthralled. However, he had one marionette (named "Maisy," as I recall) that had a look of such pure evil on her face that I half expected her to start spitting pea soup and muttering things like "Your mother is a chicken eff-er!" and "Jesus sucks donkeys!" I remarked to my neighbor sotto voce that I sure as hell wouldn't want to be alone with that thing, especially at night, prompting her to nearly snarf her punch.

Speaking of remarking, there was a whole gang of parents standing right at the back of the audience and gabbing away at full volume (about themselves, naturally) right through the performance. I know it's a kiddie show and all, but it strikes me that this kind of contempt is not exactly the sort of thing one would want to instill in the little darlin's. (And believe me, they notice these things.) Of course, this sort of behavior is pretty much par for the course with the McMansion Yo-Yo Boomers that swarm in my neck of the woods. To them, the Social Contract is simple: Anyone higher than you gets their butt kissed and anyone lower than you gets theirs kicked.

Hmph. Well, rant over.

Eventually, we escaped and made our way home. The Butcher's Wife and the other two Llama-ettes were out in the back sledding. Our yard slopes downhill from the house. By cutting diagonally across from one corner, you can get in a pretty good run, although you have to be careful of the edge of the blueberry arbor at the bottom or you run the risk of a real Ethan Frome Experience. The five year old and I quickly joined in and the day wound down in a pleasant game of the tobogganing Powerpuff Girls vs. the Giant Snowball-Throwing Monster.

My birthday is next Wednesday, but I won't be getting home until late that evening. So the gels got the bright idea of celebrating it tonight. Roast Beef and Yorkshire pud with two veg are even now spreading their savory scent through the house. And while Llama-ette No. 2 and I were out, the rest of the girls made a banana-bread cake for me. (I have no sweet-tooth whatsoever, a fact well known in my family. Realizing my dislike of all things sugary and that a real cake is wasted on me, they settled on this happy alternative.)

Not a bad way to spend a day.

UPDATE: Opening presents early, I now have in my hot little hands copies of Tom Wolfe's My Name Is Charlotte Simmons and the new Robert McCrum biography of P.G. Wodehouse. Ooh, where to start.....

UPDATE DEUX (Sunday Afternoon): Well, I wound up shovelling the drive after all. It's kind of steep at the top and there was a goodish bit of ice left over from the mid-week snow we got. We live on a moderately busy street, so you have to jump in and out of the driveway pretty quickly. I figured I'd better clear it so as to save self and the Butcher's Wife any nasty surprises when entering or exiting. That's me, Mr. Responsibility.

Posted by Robert at January 22, 2005 05:14 PM

Read I Am Charlotte Simmons over winter break and loved it. Reminded me of my gruesomely beer bloated college days. Critics have panned it but screw them. I have always loved Wolfe's writing style and actually wrote a paper back in high school all about my obsession with the writing style in Electric Kool Aid Acid Test and his stories about surfers on the beach in La Jolla (near my home in Cali) in The Pumphouse Gang. Not sure if you're as big a fan but if so, then you will definitely enjoy it.

Posted by: Wittysexkitten at January 23, 2005 09:53 PM

truly swell dissection of a kid-birthday-party-from-Hell..

Posted by: dave s at January 24, 2005 10:22 AM

WSK - my first Wolfe was "Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers," which I first read in high school. I've always loved Wolfe's writing since then.

Wolfe actually spoke at my law school commencement. I'm pretty sure the faculty had no idea what they were in for because as he launched a tirade against politically-correct multi-culturalism, a look of horror slowly spread amongst their faces. He speaks much the same way he writes, which I suppose is not very surprising.

Posted by: Robert the LB at January 24, 2005 05:52 PM
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