what's the freek, ken?


My first impulse is to say this is one of those days that's not my own. Errands and ancillary duties have occupied the last twenty-four hours.

Yesterday was Amy's last Brownie meeting of the year which meant, as it does with most paramilitary organizations, a field trip to Club Disney. For those of you in territories lucky enough to not have a Club Disney, picture Chuck E. Cheese as interpreted by the New Guard of the Magic Kingdom and you'll have some idea of the place. I showed up at Amy's school just as it was letting out to help shepherd Her Brownieness to the right Brownie Leader's car for the ride over. I was not going to be in attendance for the fête itself, but it was the duty of all Brownie Parents to pick up the Brownies Themselves when it was over.

This had the effect of breaking up my schedule into pieces each of which was fifteen minutes too short to get the scheduled tasks done right.

Serious writing flies right out the window on days like this.

I didn't have time to get to the bank. Which is fine. Somebody robbed it today, and I probably would've ended up as a witness. Three FBI interviews later, there I'd be with a family staring down at a table full of rock-hard frozen chicken.

We got home from the Last Brownie Gasp around six, whereupon I set out to whip up the usual veal flambée or some such standard, but Amy wanted tea from her new Disney's Mulan Tea Set. So, being the stern taskmaster and veritable font of parenting skills that I am, I just hopped right on that.

When Viv got home from work the spaghetti was not quite done. She made a salad and we tried to sit down to a nice Family Dinner Table thing, but moods just weren't meshing. Amy was tired. I was done being tired. I was leaning powerfully toward fatigued stupor, but putting up a damn good front. Viv, champion of try-try-again, was able to lighten Amy's mood to the point where they could both eat. So, all in all, it was a family, it was a dinner, there was a table involved, put them all together they spell may-I-be-excused?

Then last night, after putting a new battery in Viv's car, I found out (after looking in the manual) that I needed to punch in a code on the radio before it would work again. This is a security measure the logic of which I cannot yet detect. I'd think about it, but that would take time away from having to do things like sleep, which has become too precious a non-activity.

I sat in the dark driveway, rifling through papers, looking for a card with the code. Two cards inscribed with this cipher were supposed to come with the car when we bought it four years ago, one for the glovebox, one for squirreling away in the safe behind the velvet Elvis, but no such documentation ever made it past the showroom. I know this. I am Master Documentor. I keep files. Everything is traceable. You wouldn't know it to look at my office here, but that's what the wondrous world of brain cells is for now, idnit.

So the battery went in but the radio sounds couldn't come out until a: I went down to the dealership (which has since been sold) and put the service manager under the hot lights of document inquiry, doing a solo performance of good cop/bad cop until he whispers the code through his bloodied lips, or b: I call and ask.

So I called and asked. They were nice. I got the code. My radio frequencies have returned.

But not before Amy and I motored, sans musique, into the Valley this morning to see one of her doctors. Anticipating morning traffic, we left early and found none, giving us time to cruise neighborhoods for landscaping ideas. This is a popular sport with me, as I can get all kinds of ideas on how lovely my own yard can look if I simply add 32-hour days, wheelbarrows full of money, and great oak barrels of Ben-Gay to the equation. The houses around Ventura Boulevard display a blend of old vegetation and new cash that can give a place that homey feel. Some people are so rich that, if they're not inclined toward homeyness they can have a man who feels it for them. They are called Kato.

Speaking of murder, we found ourselves, quite by accident, in front of the late Phil Hartman's house. The barricades are down now, though they're still stacked on the corners of what was the police perimeter. I suppose they'll be completely removed once the drivers of the Grave Line Tour have become fully oriented to their new route.

After the 9 a.m. appointment for which the doctor appeared at 10, we grabbed some drive-thru burgers and came home. 'Twas a veritable feast of taters and meat and chocolate shakes which are neither shaken nor chocolate, and it was had in front of the TV where Amy watched Flubber while I watched Amy.

We were big fat happy slobs for the rest of the afternoon.

We made tea.


Today's Music:

"Tea For Two" -- Oscar Peterson -- OSCAR PETERSON & FRIENDS


Wisdom of the Day:

"Patience - a minor form of despair disguised as virtue."

- Ambrose Bierce