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Archive for November 2005

The weekend ends

My uncle died last night.

The death was not unexpected (he’s had metastasized cancer for two years), but I have to deal with two divorced parents (and one of their two spouses) and three siblings (and two spouses and two kids belonging to my sister) coming into town, all of whom want to stay in my three extra beds despite the risk of stomach-virus contagion.

Oh, and my father (whose brother is the deceased) does not get along with his newly widowed sister-in-law, so he’s planning to sit shiva at my house instead of at hers.

It’s a horrible occasion and my house will have limbs sticking out the eaves, but my family is always extremely helpful with meals and my kids when they are around.

Coincidentally, this morning, I went to the unveiling of my grand-uncle’s stone. I was the only family member to attend, since I was the only family member for a thousand miles. My uncle’s family was in Seattle, where they were grasping at straws with attempts to prolong his life.

Yesterday was very busy, again. I took the boy to hockey (last year’s pics here) and then came home to make lunch for the kids. We all went out to buy a gift for Child Two’s friend, and then headed off to the Royal Canadian Hussars open house. I tried to stop at a Tim Horton’s to pick up my first coffee since Wednesday but discovered I had no cash on me. I had no time to stop to get cash, because I had to drive Child Two and two friends to a birthday party.

The map on the pamphlet that came with the invitation was horribly uninformative, and helped me turn a half-hour drive into an hour. I had a headache, too, despite 1,200 mg of ibuprofen over the course of the afternoon. Traffic on the way home was horrendous and took 90 minutes.

Child Three had been asking me to make escargot for days, so we stopped to buy two cans of snails. I sauted them in garlic butter. Child Three ate one. Child Two ate some, also. They left the bowl in reach of the dog, who ate the rest. By that time, I was already asleep. I slept from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. this morning. It’s too bad you can’t bank sleep and earn interest.

Life in a Monty Python skit

Elvi is in Las Vegas for Stuart’s wedding. It’s a small affair this time, and she’s best “man”. The celebration part of the wedding will take place New Year’s Eve in California, and we’ll all attend that.

That leaves me home alone with the children from Wednesday to Sunday, and their extremely booked schedules cut into mine.

Wednesday, I picked them up at school at 4:00. Child One had animation class 6:00 to 7:30. Child Two and her friend had figure skating 6:30 to 7:25. I dropped them off – fortunately only two blocks apart – and took Child Three home for half an hour. In between the sessions of driving, I didn’t have much time to cook, so at 7:00, the boy and I headed off to pick up a bucket of chicken. We spent a half-hour waiting to order. The unilingual French and dim cashier had trouble communicating with the unlingual Spanish customer who only had American currency.

It was a secret recipe for an extra-crispy disaster.

I got to the designated pick-up point for Child One at 7:40. I had decided to get her first because she was alone – Child Two had her friend with her. But I didn’t see Child One, so I drove on to get the other two.

I packed them into the van at the arena and returned to seek Child One. As I drove by, I saw her sitting on the floor inside the building, absorbed in her reading and oblivious to the world. I wonder where she gets that from….

After dropping off Child Two’s skating companion, we got home at 8:10. All got to bed by 9:00. That’s five-plus hours of my day right there.

Thursday started with a splash, the splash of Child Three’s vomit hitting the toilet bowl. Child One also said she was nauseated, but I was dubious – she’s an occasional shirker. Both sick kids did have an appetite for breakfast, so I thought the vomit might be a one-time thing and piled all three into the van for the ride to school.

On the way, Child Three complained he was hot but, in reply to my question, said he did not have to throw up. I asked him to tell me if he had to, so I could pull over to let him do it outside. Two and a half blocks later, he told me.

I was driving on a residential street with cars in every parking spot. I pulled over by one driveway but a car started backing out, so I drove to the next driveway. By the time I flashed out of the driver’s seat and pulled open the sliding door, my fantastic, dedicated boy had his cheeks puffed out and his hand over his mouth. Despite his effort, dribbles of vomit trickled down his chin. He held it until he left the van and let it fly onto the street. What a trooper.

I have to say, this was the least offensive vomit I’ve ever seen. The boy had eaten cinnamon ewaffles for breakfast less than half an hour previous, so what he produced looked and smelled as nice as cinnamon porridge.

A passing woman offered us a bottle of water. We thanked her and drove the girls to school.

The boy spent the day at home with me, which always cuts into how much I can work. He had some potato chips and apple juice in the afternoon, and kept that down. At 3:30, we went off to fetch Child Two from school. Child One had choir practice until 5:00, but she would come home with a carpool.

After picking up Child Two at 4:00, I took the two younger ones shopping for food – I made a squash soup for supper. I had the foresight to take a plastic bag with, in case Child Three lost it again.

Butternut squash – check.
Celery – check
Child Three complaining of the heat and looking flushed – check.

Between the onions and lettuce shelves, he threw up. But this spectacular child spewed every last drop into the bag. I’ve rarely seen such control. I went outside to throw the bag into a garbage can. I couldn’t handle asking a counterperson to deal with a bag of vomit for me.

I cooked at home, fed the kids, and got them in bed. I got some time to myself at 9:00, but I was too burned out to work, so I instead lost a Bedford truck, a Crusader, and a Matilda in WW II Online. The infantry players in the game have got to learn to protect the armour from sappers.

Child Three seemed healthy this morning, and I dropped them off at school. I got home, read the paper, and got a call: Child One threw up in class.

So I went and got her. And then spent 45 minutes writing a blog entry.

It hasn’t been a productive week. I wonder what the Jewish Brigade (virtual) is up to….

Comedy tonight

The BBC had a pick-up from the Yorkshire Evening Post online for a week or so, which it has since deleted. The short article has already escaped, and is wending its way around cyberspace like a runaway dog.

Read it and then enjoy the public commentary, which the BBC allows to live on.

Bonus update:

This seems true, but old. The Museum of Hoaxes clarifies the situation.

Dare I hope?

Nearmiss sent me an encouraging note last night. A small band of TriggerStreeters is expanding the concept of the collaborative short scripts to features. In this exercise, we will work individually, but our features are to be based on a random song. Nearmiss wanted me to take part.

Better than that, Nearmiss said she was going to nominate me for a writing job with her production group. I don’t know exactly what that entails – she’s limited in what she can divulge by a confidentiality clause – but she thinks I would be a huge asset.

Dare I hope that I can make a few bucks at this screenwriting gig?

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