Saturday, August 07, 2004

Catchin' Up

Had a nice visit with the parents this weekend (and yes, I know it's still the weekend, but their visits run from Thursday afternoon to Saturday morning, the better to beat the traffic of non-retired folks who have to do traditional weekends). What follows is a collection of random thoughts and events from the visit:

Mom and Dad brought me an article about how my old high school will be closed for a year because it was discovered that the brick facade was pulling away from the inner walls. They'll end up re-bricking the entire building, among other things. The students will have to attend classes at the site of their former rival high school (the two schools having been consolidated while my sister was there), which has been used recently as a charter school.

The birthday present mystery has been solved; I'll be getting a new bed (or at least the mattress and box spring portions) on Monday. After trying out quite a few, I managed to snag about a two-minute power nap on the demo model of the one I ended up choosing. It may not be the most exciting present, but Mom and Dad said that they replaced theirs a few months ago and have never slept better. Since I sometimes don't get enough sleep during the school year, it would certainly be good for what I do get to be quality sleep. I'm hoping that the next big present is the massive entertainment center that will replace all the various cabinets in my living room (and, as stated earlier, provide a good excuse to get a new--i.e. bigger--TV. That'll sure be at the top of my Christmas list...

One of the highlights of the visit was yesterday when Mom and Dad got to meet Halfling. One of our regularly-scheduled sightreading/jam sessions took place while they were there, which gave me something to do while they had a handyman over to do some fixing and installing. Halfling and I got to make the lunch run for everyone while Mom and Dad were with the handyman (nobody had to twist our arms very hard for that one). I think they really enjoyed meeting each other, and it was cool for me to have some of the most important people in my life finally cross paths (I'm not even sure my parents ever met my previous best friend). I think Halfling also got a kick out of watching me be "parented" (i.e. getting little lectures on the messy office), which he'd obviously never gotten to see before.

I cleaned up in the food department, as I now have five meals' worth of leftovers in my fridge: Mom's and mine from both nights, and Dad's from Thursday as well. That night, we went to Maggiano's Little Italy, which is known for its huge portions, and sure enough, we all left with substantially full to-go boxes. Last night at Cheddar's yielded a bit more. Oh, and we listened to the entire Jazz Camp faculty CD during all our dinner/shopping sojourns; they'll get their own copy before long.

At any rate, it was a good visit. I may get to see them again next month for my nephew Caleb's first birthday if I can get away to Austin that weekend. If not, there may be a roadtrip to a Kurt Elling concert in Houston in late October.

Oh, and I went to Bowl-a-Rama last night for the first time since June, I think, with an old friend who's headed back to Aggieland in a few days. I didn't do too badly, rolling a respectable 144 and 136.

A blunder from down under? As you may know, one of the sites I read regularly is the Daily Prawn from Australia; I've posted comments there on occasion, and James has returned the favor here. It's always fascinating to compare our two cultures. But now comes news of a proposed new law in New South Wales that would prohibit anyone under 21 from operating a motor vehicle between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (No, that's not a typo...under 21.) And we thought the curfew in Texas (the same restrictions from midnight to 6 for anyone under 17) was hardcore. (In case you're curious, the age of adulthood for everything--drinking, smoking, voting--is 18 over there.) I just don't see how you can take rights like that away from legal adults; government-as-parent is almost never a good idea.

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