Thursday, April 15, 2010
Today was Thursday. In theory, on Thursdays the kids all go to school and I get a few hours on my own. What usually happens is... different.
Sometimes it's power failures. Our local power company is really big on dropping out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for some reason. And of course, it's entirely coincidental that those are the two days of the week the kids are all at school.
Sometimes it's other stuff. Life marches on. Errands. Tasks. Stuff.
Today was a 'stuff' day.
The Mighty Earth King had to have its regular service today, and under terms of the contract, it has to have its services in Launceston. Yippee. They wanted the car from 1000 through to 1600, and since there was a running crack in the windscreen, I put in a claim with our insurance people to have it done at the same time.
This was all supposed to happen last week, on Wednesday - but with visiting relatives and gastro and changes to Nat's roster at the last minute, I had to cancel out. So it got dumped onto today.
Now, normally if for some reason neither Natalie nor myself is available at the right time to collect the kids post-school, we can shunt 'em off to Amazing Neighbour Anna and her Mighty Half-Swedish Brood. But as of this very afternoon, Amazing Anna and much of her mob were off to Darwin for a flying visit.
And so it came to pass that I loaded all three kids into the car, and set off for Launceston to spend six straight hours entirely on foot in that small, but determinedly hilly city. Not my idea of a jolly good time.
We handed over the vehicle at the appointed hour. Then we spent two hours running errands of various sorts -- replacement for my missing firearms license; cable for Nat's iPod (she's lost two already. Steve Jobs is getting rich off her - iPod USB cables are $20 each); microphone for Nat's iPod (did I mention Steve Jobs is soaking Nat? $80 for a pissy little plug-in microphone?). New flannelette sheets for all the beds in the house for the upcoming winter months...
All of this involved a shitload of walking. The kids were troopers, though, so once we'd done all that I took 'em for a tasty lunch, and then (sigh...) we watched How To Train Your Dragon in 3d.
Fruuuuuuucckkk I am SICK of those stoopid fruckin' 3d glasses. The whole 3d thing can disappear up James Cameron's capacious backside for all of me. The 'added experience' of a limited illusion of depth to the onscreen image does NOT counterbalance the irritation of spending two hours blinking and straining through specs that even Buddy Holly would have rejected... and that AFTER he died.
The movie? Oh. Yeah. I guess it was all right. I think I was more entertained than I was during Clash Of The Tight'uns. Probably. Maybe. But it was all a bit American Teenage Formulaic for me. Had its moments, yeah, but I wasn't laughing out loud anywhere, and nothing really came up that caught my interest. If I was reviewing it, I'd say 'mostly harmless'.
Attendance wasn't exactly massive. It was a midday showing on a school day. There was one (1) person other than the kids and I in the cinema. Since I was hoping for a phone call from the mechanics, I asked the other attendee if she'd mind if I left my mobile phone on. She opined that she wouldn't be at all concerned, so long as I agreed to ignore the illicit food and snacks she'd sneaked into the cinema. I felt that was an acceptable compromise, so we went back to sitting at near opposite ends of the theatre and ignoring each other.
The kids liked the empty cinema, anyhow. With a further nod from the Random Other Person Making Up The Entirety Of The Audience, they were given permission to wander about. Crawl under a few seats. Play a bit of hide-and-seek. Nice for them, I guess. And they enjoyed the movie, too.
One note: I have now seen the trailer for the upcoming Marmaduke movie twice. And I don't really know where to begin. They bothered to film Marmaduke? I mean -- fruckkk! The one and only comic I've ever seen that rivals both The Family Circus and Fred Basset for sheer brain-melting unfunniness. And... Owen Wilson voicing the main animal? Sure, yeah, Wilson's made some dogs -- but this is really going too far.
Rarely, if ever, have I been so completely repelled by a film trailer. I already hated Marmaduke, the comic. But based on this film trailer, it's quite likely I would prefer to tear off my own head and eat it rather than watch Marmaduke, the movie.
Anyway, after the film we still had two hours to kill. So we went back and collected our sheets from Harris Scarfe (where they'd kindly held them for us, so I didn't have to carry all the bags into the movie.) Then we dropped into the gun shop, and I applied for permission to get an air rifle. (Starlings. Natalie doesn't like me using the .22 around the house, 'cos it's loud. But I don't like starlings: nasty imported pests that drive out the native birds, raid our fruit, and make a lot of noise and mess. So: air rifle time.)
After that, we walked another few blocks back to the mall, and tried to get a new watchband for Elder Son's wristwatch. It was no-go at the jeweller ("we only provide bands for the brands that we carry, sir..." So sue me. My not-yet-ten-year-old son is wearing a downmarket, generic-but-tough-and-waterproof wristwatch, not an expensive fashion label. Listen, this kid can barely remember to wear pants. You think I'm gonna put a hundred-dollar wristwatch on him? Screw you!) so we went around the corner to the shoe-repair place.
Well, they didn't have a wristwatch band either. But they DID have lava lamps at half price, and the boys remembered that Natalie has been pining for a Lava Lamp for aeons. Who the fruck pines for a Lava Lamp? My wife, that's who. I tried buying her one once, but I completely failed. The one I got was full of slow-moving glitter instead of hideously gluggly lumps of wax... and apparently that really wasn't good enough. So when the boys spotted real, honest-to-Cthulhu Lava Lamps for sale at only $13.50, there was no stopping us.
Couple more blocks walking. We drop in on our favourite secondhand bookstore. Twenty minutes and seventy dollars later, we leave with a bag of books and comics. And walk another five or six blocks to a park.
And there we stay for the last hour. The kids have swings and rocky-horsey things. I have books. There is grass, and shade. It Is Good.
Finally, just shy of 1600, I called the mechanical folks and they allowed as we could have our car back. So we walked another two blocks, paid the bill, collected the car... but still no home for us, oh no. Quick stop at the supermarket for dinner makings. Yep. And naturally, when we finally made it home at about half past five, I jumped straight into the cooking.
So that was my Thursday. I can only wonder what marvels my next 'day off' will bring!