Here are some things I'd thought about writing about over the weekend - all melded into one unrelated soup.
- I am missing back home a bit right now. Mostly I'm missing sausages, walking the dog down by the River Avon, the general attitude that everything is worth taking the piss out of, seeing people being mercilessly judged in Sainsbury's for not having their own hessian bag and asking for plastic ones, taking walks up to Clifton for metaphysical and spiritual renewal, and sitting about in Bristol city center watching people float by munching on pasties and trays of gravy and chips. Oh how long it's been since I've seen a wild rabble of pigeons mercilessly attack a dropped pastie.
- I was talking with someone last Friday and they did that thing where they asked me if I'd had my hair cut. I say thing because I see them maybe twice a month - so you can pretty much ask that question every other time you see someone. Anyway - I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to proudly boast about both my family's cheapness and my wife's abilities. So I told this young woman that I had at some point and that my wife cuts the hair of all the men in my family (it extends up to Grandpa too). She then gave my hair the once over and said, ".....yeah it looks......she did a good job." Which meant she thought it looked bad. Here - this is the latest photo of my own head (and my son wet after a shower and in his PJs) -:
That's alright isn't it? It looks like a real haircut. More importantly though I have now trapped myself in my own cheapness, because every single price for getting my hair cut now seems insane. $12 for a haircut is infinitely more painful than free. And I don't have to tip my wife. Or say things in an English accent while answering questions about whether I've meet the Queen, James Bond - or answer questions about whether we have things like computers or telephones in England (yes - I have been asked that). Oh no - I don't have to endure any of that. In fact you can all rest assured that the only time I enter a local establishment, hand someone $10 and say to the buxom woman inside, "I'd like a number two please, " that I'm requesting an entirely different thing.
- This past week my son has signified that is going to be some time before he challenges my status as the alpha chimp in this family. A few examples being that he refused to leave the house this morning until he had finished dancing; that at a rummage sale on Saturday he fought his way past all the killer death-lego robot-monsters and toy cars to pick up a pink toy sweeping brush, and that at one point whilst outside this morning he actually cried out in anguish when a cabbage moth landed on his leg and wouldn't get off. Luckily I could care less how traditionally Dirty Harry machismo he is - but even I felt a strange pang of pride when - ten minutes after the moth debacle - I was alerted to him by my daughter only to find him completely pantless (still had his shoes on mind) stood atop Woodchip Mountain and screaming, "DR. BONK!!!" at the top of his voice. He then rolled down the precipice like a marine, stole my apple and ran off into the woods with a plastic baseball bat. I didn't find his pants for another twenty minutes and I've no idea how or why he took them off.
- My daughter has just learned by putting together information from classmates at school and from a television commercial that video games machines exist. All morning she's been mentioning that a boy in school plays Guitar Hero, one where you have to dance and that another one has a zombie game where you have to kill everyone or you die. I am going to hold out as long as I can before capitulating to a video game machine. My daughter has seemingly waned from Angry Birds - so I don't think I could cope with finding her downstairs at 3am playing Call Of Duty and Diablo III. Frankly I'm not sure I can accept the idea of my kids dancing happily around Wii, based purely upon my own childishness alone.
- I have to go buy a mower pretty soon. My heroic attempts to fix my old mower succeeded - but then 90 minutes later I ran over a brick with it leaving even my small-engine repair skills (hit with hammer and put in more oil/gasoline) wanting. Now I'm waiting a couple of weeks for what I'll call an, "additional monetary influx event" 9to keep it vague) that may happen before buying a new one. My wife has proposed us just biting the bullet and getting a good riding lawnmower. I know we should - but I mowed no problem with a gas-powered thing for ages until it became crippled. And a riding mower costs almost as much as I sold my last car for. Then I had two simultaneous ideas that don;t go together at all - I can buy a brush hog thing and a push-me/pull-me mower thing. That way I know I'll have a strong arduous thing that can plow through the woods on our property and deal with the approximately acre of grass we have. and I'd have a manual thing to shove around getting some quality time in with a book-on-tape or some Radio 4 thing I've recently downloaded. The reel-mower (that's what the engine-less ones are called) can't be more than $60 I thought. and a brush thing has to be less than a sit-down mower. So I checked. The brush clearing things are twice the price of a riding mower. so annoyingly that was out. But unbelievably the manual thing is the same price as a gas-powered mower. How is that even sensible? And is an acre too big for that? I'm happy to spend the time and treat the whole thing as exercise. But $200 for a manual mower? My wife would kill me if I did that. Especially the first time I moaned about having to mow the hill.
- My daughter is five this year. I am aware that she is distinctly female infrequently when she gets all nutso about princesses or wanting to have more sparkly shit on her clothes/in her hair. This is usually based around someone else telling her that she should have more sparkly shit and be more girly. Anyhoo - what with it being summer I've pulled out all the clothes we saved from last summer and sorted that which does and doesn't fit. Most doesn't. So I started grabbing stuff at garage sales and thrift stores - and noting that I should probably grab stuff for a 6 year old as well. Which has made me feel ill. All clothes for a six year old girl are distinctly girly. They either have pastels and embroidered cack on white/pink shirts, or those annoying slogans like, "Princesses Love To Shop" or, "Grrls With Attitude" on them. But more horrifying is that seemingly at age six alot of the shirts are designed with accentuated breast shapes in them. What. The Fuck? Six year old's have tits now?
- I have just spoken to my wife on the phone. I was at home sat at my laptop - she was in a hotel room saying she was also online. Then I heard a flush. That my friends is the principle reason why - if I ever become leader of the world (and wheels are in motion, so behave as I have a long memory) - I will ban handheld computer tablets and whatnot. And probably cellphones as well. It's wholly wrong to be online and pooing and trick me into talking with you as well. You would never catch me doing that. So if I've ever Facebook chatted with you - or whatever - feel safe in the knowledge that the only way I could be typing a witty retort and defecating would be if I was squatting over a Ziplock bag. I'm sure you feel much better now.
- I have just overheard someone at school respond to another parent (who was expressing pride at their kid's baseball ability) that they could completely understand why they think their kid is awesome - what with the fact that the minister at their church telling them that their child seemed to have, "a special mission" from God. That sounds terrifyingly ominous. Especially as the kid - when she showed up - appeared to be about 8.
- I can definitely feel the seething rage of middle age is beginning to set root in my body. So much so that on the way out of the school to pick up my daughter today I stopped a boy who had dropped a Mountain Dew bottle on the ground and made him pick it up. I used my loudest David Mitchell-esque annoyed middle-class Englishman voice. The two reasons I know I'm cresting into a mental middle-age are not only that I felt actual rage about litter and that I then experienced immense satisfaction that the child saw me very much as a parent who yells at children an expects results from it. Of course - when I got home I chuckled at the fact I have deliberately not cleaned the living room because nobody tells me what to do (did I mention my wife was away?)