January 12th, 2006

OK, here’s where things get tricky. Yesterday was, like, a day and stuff. It wasn’t particularly bad or good. Not too much out of the ordinary– I’m trying and failing to remember anything that might be interesting to an average reader. I suppose there aren’t too many average people reading this, but the rest of you know what I mean.

Ruth wasn’t home when I got home last night. Her meeting at the school board office ran longer than she had expected and when it was finally over, she had to pick up the boys from her aunt’s house. When she did arrive Gideon was asleep and Isaiah got cracking on his homework without problems. He even did a good job of sitting in his chair and just doing it for a change, which was refreshing.

Ruth went to the grocery store while he finished his homework and I read a book. At one point Isaiah looked up from his homework and asked if we could get to work on his book when he got done. He was obviously disappointed when I explained that I really didn’t believe that we could finish by Friday and that I felt we should abandon the idea of the contest and take our time to make the best book we can for ourselves, but he accepted the idea. A few minutes later he asked me for ten pennies. He said that they were using pennies to solve a certain kind of math problem in their homework all week and that he’d give them back to me when he was done with them. (As I think about it now, I recall him making the same request of his mother the night before. I wonder what he did with *those* pennies.)

How quickly could you comply with a similar request? “Hey, Dad– I need ten pennies, please.” We used to have a small jar of coins which was mostly pennies, but all it held last night was a nickel, the wheel off a small toy car, a nut and bolt that didn’t match, and a thin layer of dust. I checked my pockets and found ¢15, but no pennies so I went upstairs to check the headboard of our bed. It’s one of those that has a shelf-like area built into it and I remembered there being a zip lock bag of ninnies that Gideon was always fooling with up there at one time, but the bag was gone. Rooting around in all the junk accumulated in that small space, I came up with seven pennies. A further, in-depth scan of the pile books and assorted junk on my night table netted three more pennies and Isaiah was in business.

Uh, as I said– this is where things get tricky. I can hear the sound, like a mighty peal of thunder, of mouse clicks closing browser windows that had been displaying this site until the readers realized they were reading about some guy (some goofy, yet still dull guy) looking for pennies in his house.

But that must be an exaggeration, mustn’t it? Because if we remove relatives and close personal friends from the number of people who would even consider reading this site, my yearly traffic is probably on the order of five to ten hits. And even among relatives and close personal friends, I frequently have to resort to subtle hints that border on shameless entreaties just to remind them it exists.

“Hey, Neil, I wrote a new post on my website!” I exclaim via instant message.

“Huh?” he types back “You what?”

“You know, my website– I wrote a new post. Check it out, Man!”

“Oh, yeah… Yeah. I’ll get around to it. What was the url, again?”

Again, I suppose I exaggerate. A bit. But then, I don’t write this for you. I write it for me. So buckle-up and get ready for some more mind-numbingly mundane recollections of a life pretty well devoid of excitement and chock full of day-to-day routine.

Ruth was presented with a check, at the meeting that ran late yesterday, for the first half of her stipend for activities as parent involvement coordinator at Isaiah’s school. That was exciting to us. In fact, it was so exciting we decided to go just flat-out hog wild and splurge on (hold on to your hat) two new tires for the van. Ruth really, really wanted me to get myself an iPod Nano, but I told her no. I mean, that would just be a foolish waste of money. Only a childish buffoon would prefer to have a sleek electronic status symbol that would not only yield unending multimedia bliss, but also the kind of geek cachet that can only be bought.

“No,” I said “either tires or savings. I do love you and appreciate that you like to buy things that you think will make me happy, but we must be sensible.”