November 27, 2007

Fingers have gotten stiff

My fingers are stiff and it required quite a lot of work to blow the cobwebs off of the keyboard. Honestly, I am not at all sure where to begin. It seems like such a long time since I last sat down and pecked out an entry here that I am at a loss for a starting point. Maybe, instead of something structured, I could just ramble a bit, indulge myself with a little free association. I warn you, though, that if I decide to do that, I will not re-read the entry. I will simply, when I tire of writing, hit "post" and let it rip. So, bearing in mind that caveat, I begin:

I remain puzzled by the flurry of statements and accusations released by the Democratic presidential candidates. Is really nothing going right in the country? Is all that is going wrong really correctly laid at the President's door? Why, now that things seem to be going so much better in Iraq, have the candidates stopped talking about the war? I am waiting for one of them to show me something special, something that looks like leadership. Right now, the only guy I really admire is Rudy. He has, at least, the courage to stand up and say that he is running contrary to the deeply held views of his base. At least he's honest.

* * *

I watched my daughter ride in her second horse show this weekend. The results were quite a bit better than even her first. And, considering that she has only been riding since August, I gather it is remarkable that she jumped cross rails well enough to take a ribbon. And it wasn't one of those "everybody is a winner" ribbons. It was a "I did better than someone else" ribbon. She had to be pulled aside by her instructor before the two jumping rounds so she could watch the other children ride first since she had no idea how to jump a horse show course. The thing that pleased me the most was how calm and composed she was when her horse refused a jump in the second round. She just pulled his head around, took him back, and then took him over the jump. That showed a terribly rare grace and composure under pressure that seems unusual in a not quite 7 year old. Good for her.

* * *

We spent a long weekend recently in Boca Raton, Florida. We had to go for a family bar mitzvah.

I loathe Florida, at least that part. It all looks alike, I cannot find my way around, I cannot differentiate one part of the area from any other part. I am so glad I plumped for the GPS unit in the car I rented.

That said, swimming with the kids was nice.

I actually missed, almost entirely, my cousin's bar mitzvah, though. I took the Boy Child to the potty and, coming back, found an elderly woman, in tears, sitting on her walker. The lobby attendant asked me if I knew her and, sure enough, she was Gloria, my aunt's oldest friend. The lobby attendant immediately fled and there I was with Gloria. Gloria got lost on the way to the synagogue, she got disoriented in the handicapped bathroom and exited into a dark room where something feel on her leg, and now she just wanted to leave. I calmed her down, after some time (I think we were out in the lobby for somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes) and all three of us went back in to sit in the back. Once in the back, we regularly got shushed as we sat there and made disparaging comments about the rabbi and all of the silly and pointless speeches. It was great fun.

Gloria had been married to a very, very learned man, an Algerian Jew. Her husband, in fact, at his own son's bar mitzvah, was supposed to read from the Torah. He told the rabbi there that he would read it, although the Torah was wrong. Turns out he was correct and the scribe who wrote the scroll had made a mistake. I don't know too many people who can do that. So, if Gloria, finally calm, wanted to talk smack about the rabbi, you bet I was going to let her and even join in.

Gloria later sent my parents an email, by the way, thanking them for raising me so well. She even called me a young man, which was especially nice. If there is any interest, I will post the email. It was quite the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.

* * *

My in laws are in town for a three week visit. It may feel as if it is dragging on a bit. My father in law has already killed the bourbon, which is a shame since with my mother in law in the house, this is when my wife needs it the most.

* * *

I brought the Boy Child, all of 4.5 years old, on to the paddle tennis court to hit with the instructor for 15-20 minutes. I trust the instructor. He's a good guy and promised to be honest with me about the Boy Child. His verdict? The BC has extraordinary coordination, better than many of the 7 year olds he teaches.

Can anyone say, "squash scholarship", please? Pretty please?

* * *

I have had a beastly cold for a little more than a week now. I believe I must have caught it from one of the children. I have not let it interfere with anything important but it is damn little fun.

* * *

I forgot what I was going to put here. No bother. We leave this section as is and move on to the next one.

* * *

The Viking Bride and I are gathering some 70 people together and making them put on ties and dresses, as appropriate, for a cocktail party marking our both turning 40. It was what she really wanted to do, you see, and who am I to tell her no? Just the same, while I am sure it will be fun -- lots to drink, lots to eat, a string trio for light music, good company -- I am not completely looking forward to it. Go figure.

* * *

I have to cross the water tonight. I am going, in other words, to Brooklyn. I have not been there in a really long time. I have to play a squash match for my club team where I will do my best to, if not cover myself in glory, at least not make anyone say, "it is so sad when they get old yet insist on playing".

At least I got an early slot: 5:45. Means I might make it home before day break.

* * *

I attended a memorial service on Saturday where I watched a friend say goodbye to his wife of 48 years. He did so with remarkable grace and tremendous class. How does one summon the necessary fortitude to get up in public and bid farewell to your best friend of almost half a century?

* * *

Ok, enough for now, I think.

Anyone still actually reading this blog?

Or, should I let it go the way of all things and allow it to slip gracefully into the twilight, unmourned, but remembered with affection, rather than continue to hit it with the occasional jolt of energy? Seriously, any thoughts?

Posted by Random Penseur at November 27, 2007 12:21 PM | TrackBack

Well I, for one, would be disappointed if it slipped quietly into the night, so I hope you keep on joltin'.

Posted by: Robbo the Llama Butcher at November 27, 2007 12:43 PM

I'd like to see the e-mail. I love reading about your family RP. You have some awesome children. I would hate to see you stop posting completely.

Posted by: Holly at November 27, 2007 12:47 PM

Oh, please don't stop. ;)

Post whenever you can and we'll keep stopping by to see what's what.

Posted by: Kathy at November 27, 2007 01:36 PM

Hail, fellow slacker. What're you trying to do, make me look bad?

I'll ditto the above comments; I still check out your blog on a regular basis, so feel free to keep posting.

Posted by: JohnL at November 27, 2007 03:29 PM

if you quit I'll come break your squash rackets!

I feel for the VB. Three weeks from now I'll be spending three weeks with my parents. And they have no bourbon. Arrgh.

Posted by: caltechgirl at November 27, 2007 03:43 PM invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. The Pony Express ain't worth spit anymore.

And I gotta hang around. Or if you quit, you gotta promise to keep me updated by email.

Posted by: Howard at November 27, 2007 04:14 PM

No! Don't quit!!! (Please?)

Posted by: redsaid at November 27, 2007 05:07 PM

I'd miss it. It's still one of the first blogs I ever started reading and I love hearing how things are going with you... nearly four years on. :)

Still, write for yourself. If you don't want to write very often, then don't. If you feel the need, well, then, it's here. I know it goes in cycles with me.

I'm very glad to hear everything seems to be going so well with you - and good luck with that squash tournament!

Posted by: Hannah at November 27, 2007 05:47 PM

It sounds as if your horse just refused a fence. Follow your daughter's lead...

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at November 28, 2007 04:09 PM

From one 40 year old lawyer to another, please keep writing!

Posted by: Monica C. at November 28, 2007 05:53 PM

Feel free to invite me to your 40th cocktail party. I haven't been to anything social requiring fancy duds (outside of chaperoning the senior prom, which doesn't really count since no one's there to see what I look like) since I got married. AND I got totally hosed in the major-birthday-celebrations department when I turned 40, so I can live vicariously through your experiences. As far as the booze deficit goes, well, can't help ya there.

Posted by: Caroline at November 30, 2007 05:38 PM

One last thing: Rudy is a douchebag. I know you have a libertarian streak, but really...isn't there someone else - anyone else - for whom you could cast your vote?

Posted by: Caroline at November 30, 2007 05:42 PM
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