alla breve


Amy's school days will be shorter for some of this week and next in order to accommodate IEP's and parent/teacher conferences. This means daddy's little creative period is being abbreviated as well. Dontcha hate when that happens? Instead of working until three in the afternoon, I'll be keeping an eye out for the bus a couple of hours earlier, after which I'll be experiencing the daily random explosive thwarts and interruptions that, by the end of the day, leave a dull throbbing numbness in the lower left side of my Pulitzer dream.

I like my life, honest I do, but during the late afternoon a little envy arises. When the coffee's gone and I've moved from writing the Great American Pamphlet to reading Froggy Gets Dressed, I grow just a tad jealous of people without kids. A little yearning for The Adult Lifestyle creeps in on little hepcat feet. I don't envy the suit crowd to the point where I'd trade lives, but I suspect that a grownup can feel more sophisticated and awake when he's not playing Candyland for the third time that hour. I've heard rumors that out there, in great elegant examples of magnificent architecture, men and women go for hours at a time without getting sticky. They have office-talk, saying things like "I'll get right on that, J.B." and then they get right on that. It's always a kick when Amy and I visit Viv's office. The elevator doors open and we step into a pod of CFO's or CPA's, tailored and trim, and there I am with a little girl in one hand and a big stuffed monkey in the other.

"Afternoon, men."

We sniff other, recognize instantly that we're members of different tribes, and then return to the elevator gaze, silently going down the list of our own private envies, prides, and compromises. The doors open again and off we go, like nothing happened.

This longing, this lust for adult brainwaves, was no surprise. I knew the job was omnifarious when I took it. The thing is, I am still Happy Boy. This whole schmear is just Life's Rich Pageant, and I'm pleased to be one of the judges.

Tomorrow's pageantry will include Amy's IEP, a meeting with the school principal, her teacher, her speech therapist, etc., where we'll try to figure out the best program for satisfying her specific needs. Her special ed class right now is pretty distracting with some behavior problems that make it hard to teach and learn. One curse of special ed is that there are enough kids who need it to justify a separate class, but not enough of them to justify segregating the kids with behavior problems from the kids who are developmentally delayed. It is so difficult to be an advocate for your child without seeming to lack compassion for kids and parents of kids with behavior problems. There is a compromise somewhere, we're just not sure where that is yet, and we'll be exploring some options tomorrow.

* * * * * * *

In other news, the new trash cans are here, the new trash cans are here! Great loud caravans of garbage trucks made the rounds of my city yesterday delivering new wheeled and lidded bins, the plastic kind that get lifted and dumped into the truck by a mechanical arm. I don't know yet if this is a Good Thing. I wonder what the economic equation was. To whose financial advantage is this? More expensive trucks but fewer on-the-job injuries, no more variable-sized receptacles but the standard cans are now an expense of the refuse company, ooh it's just a big stinky puzzle, ain't it?

I'll get right on it, J.B.


Today's Music:

"Mr. Lucky" -- Henry Mancini -- HENRY MANCINI - ALL TIME GREATEST HITS


Wisdom of the Day:

"'Spade 2, let's go to burners on my mark. Three, two, one - mark!' Both pilots advanced their engine controls and engaged their afterburners, which dumped raw fuel into the tailpipes of their new F-110 engines. The fighters lept forward with a sudden double thrust and went quickly through Mach 1."

- Tom Clancy, The Hunt For Red October