I know you all think that UltraBob and UltraGirl are the perfect parents: the cute ‘picture of the day’, adorable videos and podcasts. But the reality I witnessed was slightly different. Linc has asked me to help tell his story.
Once in a while, Daddy lets me take a break from working on computers all day. On this particular day, I was working on a logic problem; how do the pieces of my play mat come apart?
Daddy was so upset with me for removing a piece from my playmat. I tried to tell him it could go back together, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he resorted to one of his and Mommy’s favorite forms of punishment: he dressed me up in an animal costume, in this case, a honeybee.
Daddy gives me a good talking to. I won’t be free until I agree to act like a good little honeybee and stop being destructive.
I’m thinking about stinging him.
Now Mommy is strapping me into the ‘chair’. I have to stay here until I promise to wear my bee hat ( I HATE hats!)
Okay, I’m wearing the stupid bee hat. Let me outa here!
When Mommy and Daddy aren’t looking, Grandma lets me out! I KNEW she was good for something.
Grandma seems to have a ‘thing’ about kissing my cheeks, but I’ll pretend I like it. She did rescue me......okay Grandma, that’s enough......now lets get me outa this bee costume and into some regular clothes.
Okay, Grandpa, get me outa here before Mommy and Daddy come back. Keep pushing, I’ll tell you which way to go.
Okay, I don’t like to brag (well maybe just a little) but I got some stuff done today that I have long been intending to get done. Perhaps it helped that I forgot to read the daily excuse on my Procrastinator’s calendar, or that I am starting back to school tomorrow, but I actually vacuumed my house and cleaned off my computer desk, including dusting, throwing stuff away and semi-organizing! I also have my backpack ready for class tomorrow night (I sound like an excited 2nd grader!) and have browsed my online Nutrition class and purchased the not-before-mentioned-but-required access code for $22.50. Grr. If I’d realized that beforehand, I probably would have just bought the thing from the bookstore, access code included, rather than ostensibly saving money by ordering, but not yet receiving, the book online.
Yesterday, the ‘boys’ and I drove out to Ruby Valley to spend a little time with UltraDad, who had to stick close to home in case the forecasted snow arrived. We had a very nice time. He didn’t end up having to work that day, so we cooked steak and baked potatoes and had a game marathon before the night was over, including Cribbage, Canasta and the dreaded dice game, which is a great favorite of UltraBob’s. While trying to decide what movie to watch, UltraMom had a brainstorm and loaded up State Fair, which she had on her laptop, thanks to UBob. It was interesting to watch with Japanese subtitles. The Little Mermaid, also from UBob, is entirely in Japanese.
UltraDad has a pretty sweet computer set up; with the Japan pictures loaded on, he enjoys the screen saver slide show of his recent fun trip
We woke up this morning to a world gone white. UDad shoveled a path, so the poodles could ‘do their business’. The wind was not yet blowing, so it seemed a good idea for the boys and I to get back on the road while the getting was good. And the getting was pretty good, just a little icy and slushy in a couple of places. UDad did have to plow snow today, starting at noon. On the way home, we picked up some KFC, which we shared with Pat once back in Carlin, while playing a few more games of Cribbage. Then, home, where the unprecedented cleaning frenzy struck.
And now a few thoughts on dogs. After watching the movie “Marley and Me’, about a large yellow lab who destroys everything in his path, I was congratulating myself on the decision to, instead, own two non-destructive toy poodles. Or so I thought until I caught Rowdy chewing up my mouth-guard the other day. I’m supposed to wear it at night to alleviate symptoms of TMJ induced teeth-grinding, and sometimes I do. When I’m not wearing it, it’s usually on my bedside dresser, which apparently, Rowdy is able to reach. All in all, it’s still probably lucky I have toy poodles. It’s only a little the worse for wear; kind of flattened out on one side, but I can still get it in my mouth.
Rowdy watches enviously as Murphy ‘guts’ the toy octopus at UDad’s house.
Okay, it’s nearly midnight, so I’d better call it a day. All of this getting-stuff-done is making me tired.
Okay, I know dads like it when their sons follow in their footsteps. But it seems a little extreme, in my opinion, to teach computer programming to an 8 month old. I mean, come on, let Linc have some childhood!
“Aha! I see what’s wrong. There is a hand inside the computer........a very handsome hand, actually........”
“Interesting......it seems that my matter transporter/shifter machine is working at last. I am inside the computer.”
“Now that I’ve got the hang of it, lets just make a few system changes to Grandma’s computer as well.”
“This is hard work. I’m exhausted. Time for a little power nap.”
I’m determined to finish my Japan posts in a timely (more or less) manner. I’m just going to jump in with events I know have not yet been covered and see how far I get, okay?
HIKE AROUND ZUSHI
This long-awaited walk would be a hike on nature trails. We loaded into the car; making sure Linc’s carrier and warm clothing were included. But when we got to the trailhead and prepared to hike, UBob discovered he himself wasn’t quite so well prepared. Instead of sturdy hiking boots, or at least tennis shoes, he wore sandals. This type of footwear has the advantage of comfort and easy on & off, but is not conducive to sure footing on slippery, steep trails. The upshot of this was that the carrier containing the precious Linc cargo was strapped onto surefooted UltraDad’s back.
The scenery was beautiful and gave you an idea of what much of this area must have looked like before it became so populated. There were clearly marked trails, but they were sometimes steep, rocky and a little precarious. We walked through densely forested areas and UDad saw many unusual trees and plants to pique his interest. We came to a breathtaking overlook of the ocean, and were even able to spot the resort where UBob and UGirl got married a couple of years ago. As we looped back towards the parking area, we viewed a small zoo, culminating in a monkey house filled with Japanese macaques (small baboons). Linc seemed to have no trouble adjusting to his new ‘horse.”
What is this red fruit?
Look at that view!
I think this is the only photo we have with all of us. UBob asked a fellow hiker to take it.
That evening we dropped Linc off at his Suzuki grandparents, and went off to enjoy our promised Sushi adventure. The restaurant was quite interesting. The ‘cooks’ were in the middle, and a conveyor belt of small plates containing culinary marvels circulated around them. Some patrons were seated at a bar, and others, like us, had access from our table. You could also order, if you wanted something you didn’t see, or wanted it fresher. Ultra Bob & Girl were in prime grabbing position, and soon our table was loaded with sushi and other delicacies. I can’t begin to name it all, (UltraGirl, please help me out!) but included halibut fin, several grades of tuna, sushi rolls with rice around the tuna wrapped in seaweed, fried mushrooms, and some very nasty raw shrimp and little fried sardines. Some of us ended the meal with sherbet or ice cream, and we washed the whole thing down with lots of green tea. The color of the plate indicated the price, and our table was soon stacked high with a colorful assortment of empties. Later UltraGirl bought me two adorable cell phone charms. One was a shrimp and one a sushi roll. “So you can remember,” she told me, “the sushi you liked and the sushi you didn’t like!” It was a great experience and I ate more raw fish than I would have thought possible. The good sushi, apparently, does not taste or smell ‘fishy.’
May the sanity return with as much haste as possible.
We had a nice weekend, with the extra day off for good behavior…..or maybe because of the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr…..who can say? Yesterday was Ultra Sis in Law Pat’s birthday, so was a good excuse to eat out in town and take in a movie, not to mention eat German Chocolate birthday cake. We really enjoyed “Marley and Me’ with Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and a large yellow Labrador retriever who played the part of Marley. I hardly dozed at all. We couldn’t believe it when we arrived at the movie theater. There was actually quite a line of folks waiting to buy tickets, which I hadn’t seen before at this theater. Pat had two free movie tickets, so I suggested she and UltraDad might be able to bypass the ticket line. They disappeared inside while I waited in the cold; after purchasing my own ticket, I barely had time for a restroom stop before the movie started. When we were walking out after the movie ended, Pat pulled out her coupon for two free movie tickets, which were still in her possession. While I was waiting in line, it seems UltraDad and Pat had just walked on in and gone to the show! To be fair, however, at that point she did hand them over to a befuddled theater employee.
Believe it or not, JC Penney was having a sale, so Pat and I ended up with matching soft chenille sweaters. Much of the rest of the weekend was devoted, in one way or another, do UltraDad’s ‘newish’ computer. His sister, Pat, generously gave him her PC, along with a very nice monitor, as she now exclusively uses her newer laptop. He won’t have Internet access in Ruby Valley, but can utilize many games and programs. He also has his printer, and I loaded on all our photos from Japan, so he can relive our great vacation at any time. A trip to the thrift store on Saturday yielded a computer desk and a recliner. UltraDad is excited to have his own PC and is aiming to become a little more computer savvy.
I have been relating bits of my Japan trip to my inmate clerks, and mentioned the other day that I was able to help my son celebrate his birthday, which hasn’t happened for quite some time. For our celebratory birthday dinner, I told them, we went to the Jailhouse Restaurant, where the tables are in jail cells. I suddenly realized that both Tim and Chris had become very quiet and I think Chris may have even shuddered a little. Then it hit me: as prisoners who had undoubtedly spent much time in cells, this would not sound like a fun way to spend an evening!
The weather has been nice, and I was even able to take the ‘boys’ for a bit of a walk today, which I haven’t done for a long, long time. We tried to stick to the non-icy parts of the sidewalks/streets, and made it down to the park where they were able to have a nice romp around ‘their’ football field. Unfortunately, I think another storm is predicted for later this week.
Tomorrow starts a busy week with haircut and doctor appointments, work and a weightwatcher meeting on the agenda. Also, time to start gearing up for the next round of school: Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology II and Nutrition. I will be attending class 4 nights and 1 morning a week, though Nutrition will be entirely online.
I don’t quite know why, but I have been having a very hard time sleeping since I returned from Japan. Actually, I have a hard time FALLING asleep, and then want to sleep in every day. Come to think of it, that might not be too bad a thing with my school schedule and all the night classes, though it’s not the greatest when early rising UltraDad is around. This morning he said I could sleep in as late as I wanted, but around 7:30, I was awakened by what sounded like metal scraping across a tile. Finally my curiosity and annoyance got the best of me, and I stumbled into the living room to find UltraDad playing a game of Mahjongg Solitaire on his computer, with sound effects. He protested innocence, but I suspect a sneaky way to get me up to fix his breakfast.
PS I miss my baby!
Between yesterday and today, I have probably spent about 4 hours working with my Japan photos. Thanks to UltraBob, I can view them in a more convenient size (of course changing that setting turned out to be something embarrassingly simple.) I have organized and reorganized into events. I have set and changed keywords. I have attempted to create a DVD and find, for better slide show viewing, I need to create a new set of smart albums.
There are some great things about digital cameras. No film to buy, no worries about running out of film (just constantly replacing batteries!), can take lots and lots of photos to make sure each shot is optimal. And therein also lies one of the problems: lots and lots of photos, some good, some mediocre, and some downright lousy, though I rarely delete even those. I have over 1,000 photos of our Japan trip from a total of four cameras. It would be nice if I only could pare it down to, say 500 decent shots for the DVD, but that would involve several more hours of photo work, and frankly, I’m not sure I’m up for it.
I had a dentist appointment yesterday, and now am the proud owner of two temporary crowns on the lower right side of my mouth. My jaw is a little sore, and I can barely open my mouth, but all in all, I am pleased with this dentist. The work took 2 hours, and he used a soft wedge to prop my mouth open, and took breaks once in while so my TMJ-afflicted jaw could rest. He also gave me more deadener when I felt the first drill probings, which I greatly appreciated, though the whole right side of my face was numb most of the day. As I drove to Elko for the appointment, I was struck by the spaciousness of our roads and the ease of finding a parking spot. In Japan the roads are, as UltraBob once described them in a early days Japan home-video, ‘thin.’ This is quite true, though I would have probably chosen the word ‘narrow.’ Many roads are only wide enough for one car, but must handle two-way traffic. If you meet another car going the other way, one of you has to back up. Even the two lane streets are none too wide, and another thing: they drive on the wrong side of the street! All of this UltraBob handles with ease, even the obligatory backing-into-parking-spaces, which I hate.
I have been back to work for several days, but won’t have to start my next round of classes for another week, thank goodness. I’m really enjoying the time off, and only wish I was making better use of it. I finally opened my page-a-day procrastinator’s calendar and was reading some of the entries to Heather today. “Mom,” she wondered, “do you really think you should keep this? Won’t it just give you ideas for more excuses for putting things off?” Exactly!
UltraMom, the new improved procrastinator