Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Mares Eat Oats and Goats Eat Oats

(Note: It looks like when I upgraded my blog software, it wiped out the e-mail subscriptions — unless everybody unsubscribed, which I hope isn’t the case. If you can use an RSS reader, then subscribing to the RSS feed might be better for you. The link for that is just above the top right corner of the banner photo.)

I thought I’d share another first.

Because Shannon had to report to the eye surgery center Tuesday morning, I took Ben to school. (More on the latest eye news at another time.)

On that day Ben was his class’s star person, a distinction that allows the child to bring in a favorite thing to show the class. It can be a toy, a book, a stuffed animal — whatever. The last time Ben was featured, he took a wheelie stunt Lightning McQueen with a pull cord that makes its oversized back wheels spin very fast.

Shannon was hoping he would take something a little more high-brow this time.

I slept about an hour later than usual. After showering and dressing, I overheard Ben and Shannon’s conversation via the baby monitor.

“Mommy, I’m the star person today.”

“I know. What do you want to take?”

“A goat.”

“Um, don’t you want to take a book?”

“No, everybody loves goats.”

The sound of Shannon digging through one of Ben’s toy drawers.

“I’ll take my horse. Everybody loves horses.”

In the kitchen, I poured Ben and me some cereal, which he barely touched. Oh boy, it’s gonna be a great morning for his teachers.

Shooting for a departure time of 8:30, Ben and I got in the van and left at 8:34. Not bad for a Dad working on his own at a new task. We arrived with about five minutes to spare. I pressed the button to open Ben’s door and the nice lady unstrapped him from his seat and put his backpack on him (inside which I had placed his lunch, which I prepared).

“Bye, Ben. I love you,” I said.


“Say, ‘See you later,'” the lady instructed him.

“See you later, Dad,” Ben said.

Moving on to allow the minivan/SUV processional to continue, I looked in my rear view mirror. There was Ben, walking purposefully up the sidewalk to the front doors, his backpack bouncing lightly. Plenty of volunteers watched the kids’ every move.

Although I knew Shannon had left Ben at the curbside pickup many times, and I leave him and Shannon every day to go to work, I felt just a hint of sadness that he had acknowledged me only after being prompted.

Apparently I didn’t hear Shannon very well when she gave me the rundown on how to prepare Ben for school. She said tonight that she told me very specifically what to have him wear, and that it would be warm today.

I dressed him in jeans and a long-sleeve corduroy oxford, with navy socks that Shannon said didn’t match his shirt. I tried to tell her that a guy’s socks are supposed to match his pants, not his shirt, so navy technically was just as good as white. She wasn’t buying it.

“I’m glad you dropped him off, so maybe they’ll know that you dressed him,” she said later.

Eye of the Beholder

When Shannon came to my work after her surgery, I popped outside real quick to exchange key rings with her. Without going into details, I’ll just say that last weekend we learned the hard way that it’s easy to accidentally enable the alarm on the convertible, and until the remote control unlock button is pressed (within range), the key is completely useless in the ignition.

Outside, she has to wear dark goggles (picture in an earlier post) that smack of The Matrix. They protect the eye from harsh sunlight and from dust. Strangely, she’s allowed to remove them when driving, an activity that, when done wrong, can produce flying glass and metal.

I noticed my boss walking across the parking lot. “Hey, (boss), have you ever met my wife?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Well, I’m sure she’s real thrilled about meeting someone right now.” She had on no makeup (not allowed in surgery) and the goggles. I proudly introduced her, because I love her and all.

My boss looks a LOT like comedian/actor/writer Steve Martin. I would have lost it if he’d offered to design her a small handle positioned between the two eyepieces.

Instead, he asked a few questions about what’s going on with her eyes. For all of you, those answers will come later.

15 Responses to Mares Eat Oats and Goats Eat Oats

  1. I’ve thought about it, and I totally don’t get the Steve Martin joke. Is that a reference to movie or a comedy sketch of his? I am adrift in a sea of ignorance; somebody throw me the life preserver of hilarity! Stat!

    I think it would be cool if Shannon’s procedure accidentally gave her the mutant ability to project damaging beams from her eyes like Cyclops from the X-Men. If that’s really what’s “…going on with her eyes…” then I’ll be a little freaked out at my prescient ability. Sort of like Charles Xavier!

  2. Simon, it’s from the movie “The Jerk” in which Steve Martin’s character invents a handle between the glass parts of eyeglasses to make them easy to take on and off.
    Then, after people going cross-eyed looking at it, he loses his fortune. It’s a hilarious movie.

    So what happened with Ben in school?

    How’s Shan’s eyes???? COME ON MARK!!! *LOL*

  3. Oh sure, Mark…Mr. Bossman who barely even knows Shan gets the scoop, but we loyal friends have to sit in cursed anticipation.

    I remember getting to bring special things to school for show and tell. I recall that I had once saved up Kenner UPCs and sent away for an Emperor Palpatine action figure. I was so excited the week it finally came in the mail that I took it directly to school for show and tell. No one seemed as excited as I was and I remember feeling embarrassed as I stood up there trying to convince them that this really was the coolest things EVER!

  4. Dave, thanks. That was going to bug me all day until you came to my rescue. I’ve never seen The Jerk, so don’t feel so bad for not getting the reference.

    Moksha, that sense of delayed gratification is one of the best things. Way better than ripping out to Toys ‘R Us and buying Palpy off the shelf; that’s not nearly as satisfying as how you earned him. Sort of like how I’ll feel once I finally get my copy of Hot Buttered Something… whenever the hell that is!

  5. Simon – I’m so glad someone answered you before I got a chance (thanks, Dave). The Jerk definitely has that as a major plot point, but Martin really does play a deeply layered character who goes through many personal discoveries. With hilarity throughout.

    Moksha – Don’t worry. Shannon will tell all as soon as she’s ready (she’s a bit under the weather, on top of everything else, and I have been too). (comment updated with all the words in place this time – thanks, MG)

    What a heartbreaker with the Star Wars action figure! They just didn’t understand, man. You worked your Gren tail off for that thing.

    Oh, and I got my Hot Buttered Something a couple days ago. Shiny!

  6. Simon – It was even cooler than just having worked for it. At that time, there was no Emperor action figure. He didn’t hit the stores until months after that so you could ONLY get him through the mail. Star Wars and G.I Joe used to do that all the time. The Anikin Skywalker figure, the Sgt Slaughter and Refridgerator Perry G.I. Joes. Ah, the memories.

    In retrospect, I should have showed and told my full-height, bluesuited Snaggletooth (my one Star Wars rare item)…but that probably wouldn’t have impressed them either.

    Also, I’ll try to wait patiently for Shan’s story. However, I can’t help but be intrigued that “she’s a bit under the weather” but “on top of everything else.” So, if x is less than y but greater than z…. I was following you there…pretty simple hierarchy. But then you “have too”? I’m lost ;)

    Anyway, I hope everything turns out all right this time and that x becomes greater than y in the near future.

  7. Because you love her and all, ha!

    Mosha- Of course, any Anakin Skywalker figure that came out during the Original Trilogy is now inaccurate since Lucas Haydenized Anakin at the end of Jedi.

    “My wooden acting has destroyed the saga.”

    (Did I get that quote right?)

    Mark-When I use to drop Allen off with his babysitter he usually wanted me to leave, I guess because she was more fun than me.

  8. Favorite line from The Jerk has to be, “I was born a poor black child.” Awesome movie. Was still a classic when I was in college. Horrible memory of show and tell from second grade, I think we called it “sharing time” or something because the memory goes like this…

    Chris Whitman: “I’d like to share that Josh got a U in conduct on his report card.”

    Nice, really nice.

  9. Great, now I want to dig deep within that large cardboard box in my basement and resurrect all my (remaining) Star Wars action figures. Hang the ships from the ceiling with fishing line. Play the score in the dead of night and get all goose-pimply.

    My wife may have something to say about that…

  10. Wondering why Simon didn’t inquire aboot the line I have in the sidebar on my prettynewblog from The Jerk…
    Hope you and Shannon are feeling better quick.
    Mokker, I love how your mind works!

    I say, just for the hell of it, we all gather at the Fraser home this weekend with a copy of The Jerk and Cheetos.

  11. I forgot to say, very cute title, Mark.

  12. “The Jerk” is definitely funny. I can’t remember the quote exactly, but when he’s grabbing the few things from his house after he goes bankrupt, he keeps saying, “And I just want this…and this…and I’m taking this…and this…,” and they’re all just obscure things. I need to watch that again sometime.

    I took LC to school recently, and it was the same story. I walked him into the building and into his classroom. He made a Bee-line for the toys without so much as a “get lost.” I expected it though, because Amanda had commented on it in the past. Away from school, he’s great about it though, and often says, “I’ll see you later daddy…I love you,” when I leave for work.

  13. Moksha – I wasn’t lost until I read your comment. I did add one word in my comment, however, to help you make sense of it.

    I can’t believe there was a Fridge G.I. Joe. Too funny. Some of his teammates called him “Biscuit” because he was a biscuit away from 400 lbs.

    By the way, the x’s and y’s were lost on me. Only when a cute blond girl tutored me did I get good grades in Algebra (it was Honors Algebra, in defense of myself)

    Alvis – Yes, Hayden makes it hard to watch without laughing. But, Portman was not very good, either. For some actors, it’s all in the director.

    Josh – That’s my favorite line too, and the whole rhythm scene is one of the best ever. I’m going to have to watch that movie again, but not on TV this time, where they censor his dog’s name and completely cut the “You’re talking to a n*gger!” scene.

    Simon – Get them out, man. Let them breathe. I’m still talking about the action figures here. My collection is at my parents’ house. They’re from the ’70’s.

    Linda – I, too, wondered if he had noticed that part of your sidebar. I loved it.

    On the post title — I’m assuming you must be familiar with the song. I didn’t make up that phrase.

    Charles – That’s my favorite part of the movie, and the part that Linda quotes on her sidebar.

    Ben won’t let me leave the house in the morning without giving him and his mommy and hug and kiss goodbye. He’s a sweet kid, when he’s not tearing the house down.

    Then again, aren’t we all?

  14. The few times I took my daughter to school, (the loving wife works there and so they carpooled as Chili called it) she made me drop her off at the crosswalk near the school so her friends didn’t find out she wasn’t allowed to walk. (I don’t get it either.)

  15. I totally got the x and y thing Mokker wrote. Scary, huh?
    I knew the rhyme, I just thought you worked “goat”in there in place of “does”. (plural for doe, not action verb)


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