Saturday morning catchup
Saturday, 7:28 am
Today is the last cross country meet of the autumn season. Do you hear the excitement in my voice?! I just delivered the lad to the bus and away they went for an all day affair.
The lad had butterflies in his stomach and his hood pulled up over his head as he crept out of the car. A small group of girls stood beside the bus and they all turned expectantly as they saw him arrive.
“Let’s see it!” they shouted. “Come on, show us!”
He pulled his hood off his head and braced himself. But they shrieked and rushed him. “I love it!” one said. “It’s sick!” another shrieked. (That means it’s really, really cool in current teenager parlance.) Suddenly he had a lot of girls’ fingers in his hair and I think, at that moment, the lad grew two inches taller and life couldn’t have gotten much better. Evidently he was the first of the bunch to arrive.
Last night following the banquet, he and the other guys on the team decided to have a group hair bleaching session. Never having done it before and being teenagers, why bother to read the directions, right? Just mix it up, slap it on and wait for what seems like an appropriate time, then wash it out. The results varied from lad to lad. Some ended up in stripes, some with platinum, and others with blotches. My lad ended up with a uniformly bleached head of orange. He was not pleased.
He walked through the door late last night with his hood pulled close around his very worried face. And my reaction was pretty similar to the girls’. It actually does look good. In fact, it looks really good. I tried to convince him that I was sincere, but he kept saying, “But you’re my mom. You’d say that if I came home with green hair.”
Well, no, I wouldn’t. But this shade of orange is kind of neat.
He wasn’t convinced. But I think he might be now.
As the other mothers and I decided while we set up, cooked, served, and cleaned up last night, if this is as exciting as their Friday nights get during their high school careers, we can happily live with it.
The banquet turned out a little differently than I’d anticipated. It was held at the local Congregational church, which has a to-die-for kitchen. The commercial stove has 8 huge burners, two ovens, and a warming compartment. There’s a huge center island for food preparation. Huge double sinks that are about 3 feet deep. And the choicest of cast iron and heavy stainless steel cookware. The church rents out the kitchen and hall—they make a pretty nice income from it. When I arrived with my crockpot full of meatballs, I hadn’t planned to stay longer than it took to set up the tables. But one thing led to another. I learned something last night. It’s not always what you know, it’s what you look like you know.
I don’t know who was in charge last night. No one seemed to be and no one other than the woman who was getting the pasta water boiling, was doing anything. I hate standing around doing nothing in situations like that. And let me be clear about this...I am not a charge in and take over sort of person. In fact, I am usually the invisible one in a crowd, waiting for someone to tell me what to do. But I started doing things and preparing food. And suddenly everyone else was asking me what I wanted them to do. That really surprised me. There wasn’t enough time to stop and analyze it last night, but I recognized that there was an important lesson going on. Anyway, it all worked out. We had a feast prepared on time for about 60 girls and boys. It looked nice, everything tasted great, and they were happy. And we had a lot of fun in the kitchen.
Then the lad won an award which made me get all teary. The coach puts great store by team work and cohesion. It pays off because these kids are the best of friends and they hang together. These relationships tend to last well past high school, too. He spoke of positive attitudes and giving of oneself to teammates. And then he presented an award to the lad for the most positive attitude, supporting and encouraging team mates, giving of himself and always being there with a shoulder when a teammate has a less than stellar day. And the mothers in the kitchen hugged me and said the nicest things about my child. Yeah, it made me go all teary. Those are special moments that you cherish forever
This morning, as I stood in the kitchen making a pot of coffee, I turned to look out on the deck and laughed. Lined up on the railing, like a little row of statues, were a half dozen or so titmice and a couple of chickadees. They are our winter birds. And they were giving me the clear message that they were not pleased that the diner isn’t open yet. I’ll get right on it today.
Friday, 6:13 am
Today is booked full of errands already. The part that I’m not enthusiastic about is the Registry of Motor Vehicles part. I have to re-register the car today. That means standing in line at the registry for a long time. Once again I waited until the last minute. Since I changed my mailing address, I’ll have to go in person this year to switch everything around. And, of course, since I have to go a couple of towns over to do this and stand in line and wait...and wait....and wait...putting it off til the last minute wasn’t too difficult to do. Finally caught up with me. Bleah.
Before I leave, though, there are a a few dozen meatballs to make. For the kids’ end of the season Cross Country awards banquet. Sort of a banquet, anyway. More like a smorgasbord, I guess. Whatever they could talk the parents into providing. I was assigned meatballs. Well, they’ll be the best meatballs those kids have ever eaten. But I’d better start constructing them pretty soon. They have to be ready by 3:30 this afternoon.
And then I help set up for the banquet.
There’s also a trip to city hall on the schedule. And a trip to the insurance company to straighten out a mailing address problem.
I have come to the conclusion that changing a mailing address to something other than one’s physical address is a recipe for a lot of excitement in life. I know that other people do this, too, but computer systems seem to have a tremendously difficult time maintaining two different addresses at once. My bank and insurance companies still call me fairly often to tell me that some piece of mail has been returned to them because their computer system spit out the wrong address. It has gotten a little frustrating after nearly a year of this. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the Registry doesn’t have the same problem.
Oh man, I really don’t want to go stand in line at the Registry today. Really, really, really don’t.
Just a thought
Thursday, 8:07 am
Listening to NPR news this morning, I heard a lot of talk about the upcoming attack on Fallujah—described as the most decisive attack to date that would settle matters once and for all. The way it was described reminded me of initial discussions of the pre-war shock and awe tactics in which officials anticipated upwards of 100,000 civilian deaths. Fortunately, shock and awe didn’t happen—then. But what about now? I am absolutely cynical enough to believe the Bushies would pull this off the day before the election. Prove me wrong, Bushies. Please.
Thursday, 6:19 am
After the game, last night, I was too excited to sleep. And I discovered that there were three episodes of West Wing saved on my TiVo. So I sat down to watch. I think one was the repeat of last season’s finale with the first two instalments of this year’s season. I lost interest in West Wing early into last season so I never saw the finale. But it was one fine teaser. If what I saw last night is anything to go by, the writing has made a come-back.
And then I came to the end of the second episode for this new season. It darned near broke my heart. (If you TiVoed it and haven’t watched it yet, stop right here.)
Leo has always been my favorite. He’s been the voice of calm and reason to help guide the ship of state. The cold way that he and Jed parted ways was painful—no loyalty, anger erasing their entire history. Why did Leo not ask for help at the end? Was that a suicide? Dying alone in the woods after being rejected so coldly was a terrible thing to watch. But everyone leaving Camp David with Leo turning stone cold in the woods was the punctuation. The exclamation point. Despite Jed’s success, I despised his character. Which, I imagine, is the point. It certainly sets up the new season. I am so hooked again.
What was it that Leo dropped in the puddle before he took off into the woods? I couldn’t tell. At first I thought it was his cell phone, but apparently it wasn’t. What was it?
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Wednesday, 9:11 pm
Tuesday, 11:22 am
See Eminem’s new video here. Oh go ahead. It’s powerful stuff. Whether you like hip-hop or not. (I do.) It’s going to reach a lot of young potential voters and that’s one of the video’s messages. Vote (against Bush). Like your life depends on it. But there’s so much more in there. An excellent video.