Saturday March 29, 2003 02:25 AM
A very typical Friday night

We went to the library branch at the mall to drop off a couple of videos and then to our favorite Mexican restaurant for supper. Our life isn't usually very exciting, but I like it.

One of the movies due tonight was The Red Balloon. I (vaguely) remember watching it when I was in the 2nd grade. We hadn't watched it yet so I put it in when I got home from work and we watched it together before we left for the mall.

Isaiah said he didn't like it. I think that's because it was a little nerve wracking for him when all the bully kids were chasing the main character through the alleys of Paris. It was also was sad when the red balloon was loosing its air and especially when the creep kid stomped on it. Isaiah is kind of sensitive and I think the sad parts colored his opinion.

When the movie was over we went to the mall to drop off the videos and maybe look at the puppies at the pet store. We also had to check the card catalog at the library for the call numbers to re-find a book which Ruth was sure we'd turned in but which the library said we hadn't. I sat down at one of the terminals and began to type. Isaiah sat at the one beside me and began to type. I told him to quit but he didn't. When I saw the terminal in a mode it shouldn't have been in I told him to quit a little more emphatically, perhaps, than I should have because he started crying.

He quit crying, though, when we went back to the children's books area to find the book "The Bravest Ever Bear" which was listed as being checked out but was - guess where? Yes, on the shelves. While we were back there I found another video for him. It might be a little scary in parts, but I think he'll enjoy all the monster-fighting in Jason and the Argonauts. I've seen parts of it but I don't think I've ever sat through the whole thing before.

We went to look at the puppies next. That is almost required when we go to the mall. Isaiah also likes to look at Godzilla the iguana they have in a big cage in the front of the shop. There was a tag on the big wood cage that said the whole rig with the light, cage, and even Godzilla himself was only $199.99. Ruth was nonplussed to say the least when I pointed this out. I mentioned that if nothing else it would give Nijal a hobby...

On the way out of the mall we checked the bookstores and the toystore for likely candidates to help Isaiah burn up the slowly dwindling remainder of his birthday money. He found several books, but we suggested we think about them and keep looking.

"Hey," I said, "you don't really want to spend any money here at the mall tonight anyway, do you?"

"Why not?"

"Since it was your idea, I thought you were buying supper tonight with your birthday money. Aren't you?"

"No, I am noooot!"

He knew I was only teasing him. That's one of the games we play, like when he asks what's for supper and I tell him tuna salad (which he hates) and he shrieks "NO TUNA SALAD" or like when just after or sometimes during supper he'll grin and ask what's for supper.

At the restaurant he was pretty good but a little squirrely. He kept putting his gooey hands and face all over me. He did end up doing a pretty good job on his supper though it took a little prompting, prodding, and threatening with early bedtime to get him to eat it all.

Once again there was a bizarre mix of music at this place. When we got there the regular mariachi music was playing but while we were eating that changed. A song came on and Isaiah started bobbing his head and said "It's rock-out Music, daddo!" and it was. It was like Mexican 80s heavy metal- a south of the border hairband. I joked with Ruth that it sounded like Los Def Lepardos. The next one wasn't as good. It was more like Noches Rangeros. We left when the new wave/punk started, but only because we were done eating. I actually thought it was the coolest.


Today's bonus is a little out of the ordinary. I have been thinking for a while that some of Isaiah's toys would work very well for stop-motion animation but I hadn't done anything about it besides think about it. Perhaps it was renting Jason and the Argonauts that prompted me, but tonight I made my first stop motion animation using my Connectix webcam and a Bionicle bad guy.

The file is about 971k and it isn't looped, so you'll probably have the best luck right-clicking on this link and saving it to your hard drive. Once it's saved you should be able to view it with any web browser or decent graphics viewer. It isn't spectacular, but I found it very rewarding for about 20 minutes work.

And yes, I do know the creature shuffles the same way Isaiah does when I tell him to quit ruining his shoes, but the Bionicle refused to cooperate by standing on one foot long enough for me to snap him walking like a big boy. Future productions will no doubt portray more convincing ambulation.