In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
A few vignettes from the holiday weekend:
The Boy at lunch: "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with 'oilet.' " He followed that with "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with 'oilet maper.' "
We drove to my Mom's, in Neighboring State, where my brother, his wife, and The Niece met us. TN is almost a year old, and she was fascinated with TB and TG. The Boy took her under his wing, and, at one point, sat flanked by the two girls as he read them a story. It was great to see the cousins start to bond, and to see TB act like quite the little gentleman.
For a centerpiece, Mom got a five pound chocolate turkey. I spent the entire meal being mooned by a five pound chocolate turkey. Breaking off the
tailfeathers felt like payback.
I dodged the Black Friday shopping, but TW dove into the scrum at one store. She reported seeing women there with two shopping carts -- pushing one and pulling the other -- full of stuff. The closest I came to that was making a point of checking the Apple website on Black Friday, which was a bit of a letdown.
We had two Santa sightings on Saturday. On Saturday morning, when TG climbed into bed with us, I told her that we'd see Santa that day. Her eyes got huge, she gasped, and she asked "Is it Cwistmas?" I tried not to chuckle, but I'm not made of stone.
The first Santa sighting was in the afternoon, outdoors, at the local airport. (Santa flew in via Cessna, since the reindeer are working with their personal trainers.) We kept some distance from that Santa, though, since he isn't our beloved local Santa, and I don't want TB and TG to put two and two together. The cooler feature of that visit was a hot air balloon launch, including one balloon lying on its side, inflated, that you could walk around in. I had never walked around inside the balloon part of a hot air balloon before. If you get the chance, I recommend it. The visual effect is like those cheesy "psychedelic" trip sequences from "Yellow Submarine."
The second Santa sighting was that evening, also outdoors, at our local holiday festival. Santa arrived on a fire truck -- again, the reindeer are busy feeling the burn -- and this one was our beloved local Santa, who knows TW by name. Our beloved local Santa is an older local man with a real white beard and an infectious sense of comfort in his own skin. As he disembarked from the fire truck and made his way to the stage to greet the mayor, he saw TW and made a point of greeting us personally. TB and TG are convinced that Santa knows them by name, which, in a way, he does.
Our beloved local Santa is doing a brunch in a few weeks, so we'll get some time with him then. My Mom accompanied us to the brunch last year, and developed a light crush on Santa. (She told one of her friends that she wanted Santa for Christmas.) She's coming with us again this year.
We had our first fire of the season, which we traditionally do after the Santa-on-fire-truck event. For some reasons, fires usually induce narcolepsy, but I actually stayed up until this one was out. We bought the wood from the town public works department, whose operational definition of "half a cord" is "whatever you can fit into your cars." The wood burned nicely, but I still don't know how close we got to half a cord.
The Boy is morally serious, and keeping an eye on The Girl's purity of heart. Actual exchange from Sunday afternoon:
TG: On Cwistmas we get pwesents!
TB: Yes, but that's not the real meaning of Christmas.
TG: It's not?
DD: It's Jesus' birthday.
TG: And we get pwesents!
I couldn't compete with that. I hope your break was full of love and laughter, too.