Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today Started Slowly but Leapt Into Action.

I woke up early, and it was that stubborn wake-up where you can't imagine going back to sleep.  I got up, fed the cats, made some coffee, and checked e-mail until the coffee was done.  Rebecca slowly woke up and we listened to an impassioned appeal on behalf of NPR against the LRT being constructed 12 feet away from their recording and broadcast studio without any soundproofing.

Rebecca went to work, I watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and made pasta for breakfast.  I worked on expanding another short story--material from my '1000 Words or Less' class that needs to fall within 3,000 to 7,000-word lengths for publication--and played pool on the Wii.  I learned a new trick that was intended to make the cue ball leap over one obstacle to strike your target, but so far I can only cause it to fly away from the table entirely.

Then my brother-in-law called to report that Amanda was having some pregnancy flutterings and they were rushing to the hospital.  He asked if I could meet them there.  I got cleaned up quick, packed two days' worth of clothes, wiped down the windshield of the Chrysler (I think it needs fluid, and I know its fluid nozzles are frozen over), and raced down to Burnsville.

I kid: I did not "race" through rush-hour traffic.  Rarely did we rise above 20 mph, and we stood still a couple times.  Regardless, I got there within an hour.  My niece Maggie was delighted to see me, and Collin explained what was up: no birthing yet, but we should consider this a successful trial run.  She did receive a check-up after a genuine medical concern, nothing negative but it could easily have been a birth.  Amanda reports she is closed to the idea of having the baby tomorrow for it will mean missing Christmas with the family: they will keep her 24 hours after the birth.

After she got dressed we drove to IHOP for dinner.  Maggie showed us a new trick, or perhaps she made it up at the table.  Throwing herself back against the booth seat, she solicited someone to call her to wake up.  Amanda said, "Maggie, wake up."

Maggie, eyes closed, said, "What was that?  Who said that?"  Opening her eyes she looked around the room.  "Where am I?  What happened?"  She keeps her parents entertained, certainly.

We stopped at a Petco so I could get our original brand of cat food, Nutro Natural Blend or something like that.  Our cats have been farting a lot lately, plus a couple incidents of vomiting and today one of them diarrhea'd in the litter.  I am the one who cleans this up so I have a vested interest in what they're eating.  Also, I got a cat-repellant spray for the bottom third of the artificial Christmas tree in the dining room, which the cats have not realized is not actually a nummy treat.  I  hope the spray will work.

I returned home and Rebecca had not--she was ice skating with her sister.  I watched another episode of Buffy, checked the computer, and washed all the dishes.  I forgot to pick up the groceries she mentioned on the phone so I drove out quickly to get them.  There was no crowd in the store and traffic was negligible.  Home again, we had nothing better to do than be tantalized by the big brown boxes that have arrived in the mail: we have ordered most, if not all, of our Christmas presents for each other online.  She definitely gets the long end of the stick here, celebrating Hanukkah as well as Christmas, while I just get the latter holiday.  Anyway, our resolve crumbled and we did exchange a couple gifts but still have stuff to make a good show when we celebrate with the family.

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