I hope you all have a beautiful, delicious, overflowing holiday.
Archive for November, 2010
We’ve taken to playing Scrabble, or Scramble, as Hot Wheels calls it, over dinner.
I think it just might be the perfect game for Hot Wheels, since he’s what you might affectionately call a ‘reluctant reader,’ but he loves with a bright hot passion any game that involves points and scores. He’s not competitive at all, oh no. Scrabble is the best of all worlds, then, for him – word construction with points!!
This actually reminds me of a funny moment today in ballet class. My buddy Dorothy decided to opt out of one tricky across-the-floor combination, and as she ambled over to the side of the studio where our teacher was queuing up the music, I heard the teacher ask, “Wanna keep score?” The concept made me laugh – Dorothy over on the side of the studio with a clipboard, marking points off for mistakes, holding up big numbers with our final scores. I could almost hear the commentators murmuring as I crossed the floor – “Oooh, that’s going to cost her.”
Anyways, back to Scrabble. Let’s just have a closer look at the board from the other night:
Nothing too spectacular, here, although I was fond of a couple of our words, like ‘clique.’ Let’s see,we earned 34 points for that. Not too shabby. Now, let’s take a look at Hot Wheels’ word up there in the corner. ‘Zips.’ Four letters (the blank tile is an ’s’). 75 points.
75 points. Doh!
Now he’s obsessed with how many points he can earn. He’s all over the story about the carpenter who earned the highest points for one word (and subsequently one game) in tournament play. Which probably makes him one of the few first graders around to have a fondness for the word ‘quixotry.’ That’s just a hunch I have.
Hey – did you know it’s November? What just happened??
It’s time for a little catch up. First things first though – I have to wish my awesome nephew a super happy wonderful birthday! Here he is:
He’s a little elusive. Not quite as elusive as his sister, though.
Lots of birthdays this month – Dad’s was on Sunday, and a number of our cousins and their gorgeous kids had birthdays recently (or very soon!) – many happy returns to all the November greats. Hot Wheels hit seven a week ago Saturday, and I’m not sure there’s been a happier birthday boy in history. I’m not sure what it was, but he truly relished this one. As a matter of fact, he started relishing it at 3am Saturday morning.
“Can we get up?”
I can still hear myself saying, “It’s twenty-to-five, honey – we can’t get up yet,” and himself saying, “But it’s so hard to wait!!!” Finally, finally, it hit six and we all got up. And so began the happiest birthday I’ve ever witnessed. There wasn’t anything particularly crazy. He didn’t get a puppy or a Ferrari. He just had a terrific, wonderful day. There was birthday toast, of course:
which was hysterical. We went with three of his friends, and one of Honey’s friends. Despite lots of coaching and pleading, the boys felt strongly that this was actually training for the shot-put, and they’d launch the ball, from the shoulder, onto the lane. Ka BLAM, it would land and then creep its way towards the pins. The boys were all chill. Sometimes they wouldn’t even watch the ball go all the way down the lane.
Yeah. It’s cool. Whatever.
The girls, on the other hand, were completely into it. They each bowled one ball for every turn, figuring they’d help each other out that way. It worked too – we were calling them the Spare Sisters by the end of the afternoon.
This next shot is blurry, unfortunately, but it’s the only picture I got of them doing their happy dance.
After that, it was back to the house for dinner and cake and a sleepover which remarkably had as much sleep as over. How that happened I’ll never know.
Today was a big one for San Francisco for sure. So many of our friends ditched work and school to hit the parade in the city. What a party! I’m not so great with the big crowds myself, so I was happy just to check in on the live feed from time to time. It was a thrill nonetheless to see everyone going nuts. As a Red Sox Nation native, the atmosphere here throughout the series had a familiar blend of hope and disbelief, but without a certain bitterness.
The games were great, but my favorites for personal reasons were #4 and #5. Four, because it happened on Halloween night, and I’ll never forget trick or treating through our neighborhood, where every house had the game on and it seemed every other pumpkin glowed with a Giants logo or message. Parents were tracking the game on their phones and peering into windows to check out the action. The runs in the 7th and 8th filled the streets with cheers – it was like watching the game with the whole town. Game 5 was just plain awesome. Lincecum and Lee! Rentaria! A great game, and when it ended, Honey and I ran outside to cheer and listen to the hollers coming from all the houses and the restaurants nearby. People in the streets were honking and yelling long after the game ended, and it was fantastic. I think our kids will remember this one for a long time.
Maybe you saw the piece in the Onion last week about the series – it was titled “Nation Disappointed By Great World Series Matchup,” and it had me laughing. It’s hard to pick a favorite line, since it summed up a certain World Series attitude so nicely, but here’s one I particularly liked:
“The Tim Lincecum versus Cliff Lee thing could be really riveting to watch, and I suppose seeing the managers use gritty, methodical small ball to manufacture runs could be entertaining if you like that sort of thing,” 27-year-old Los Angeles resident Mike Lester said. “But I don’t want well-played World Series baseball that keeps me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I want the teams I expected, and the players I expected playing bitterly to the outcome I expected.”
(Here’s a link to the piece itself in the Onion, October 27 Issue 4643.) Next I’d love to see a sendup of the insane baseball statistics – “Huff is only the second first baseman in NLCS playoff history with three consecutive at-bats in the second game with his shoelaces triple-tied.” Seriously, it’s ridiculous.
I sure am glad there isn’t a real life version of those kinds of statistics. Let’s just consider the Thanksgiving play by play for a moment. “And with that turkey hitting the table at 20.7 minutes past the posted dinner start, Foley maintained an average of just .75 HAR (hosts above replacement), and despite a decent performance in the final course, there’s a good chance she won’t get picked up for the following holiday season.” Not pretty.