Tuesday, December 11, 2012


New word. Please use as needed.

With three hockey trips and a trip to Shreveport in the last six weeks, I was very tired and looking forward to spending some time at home. I was drained and very much needed to recharge.

Mostly, I'm tired of talking. We've been around so many people, and so often, that I feel like I've talked nonstop for a month. I'd be thrilled to have a day where the only words I spoke were "Turkey sandwich with chips and a large drink, please."

Gloria has been sick for a few weeks now, lingering throat/swollen gland stuff that just won't go away. She went to the doctor before last weekend's hockey trip to Dallas and was told she "probably" had a virus. She can still function, but feels like hell.

On Monday morning, I was about to leave for work when the phone rings. It's Eli 11.4. "Dad," he said, "I feel terrible. I think I have what Mom has."

Oh, hell.

He's been home from school since then, only a pale shell of The Enthusiasm Engine, although I don't think he has the same thing that Gloria is still dealing with. From what I can gather, roughly half the city is sick right now with flu and other respiratory viruses. Gloria's sick. Eli's sick. My mom's sick. Another 500,000 people who aren't in my family are sick.

In short, it's an exellent day for a picture thread.

When we reached Grapevine (Dallas suburb) on Saturday, we had several hours to fill, and since the rink was attached to a huge mall, we had some built-in entertainment. Here's Eli on a bungie jumping contraption, turning a flip while he's far, far off the ground:

That was more scary to watch than it was to actually do, I think.
We saw some odd things in this mall. Very odd. A sample:
A "brow bar"? What the hell? I must have lived on a farm for the last ten years.
This gets my nomination for best marketing ever:
Chewable toothbrush? This is gum, right? The marketing copy was so brilliant, though, that I almost bought one, just so I could unwrap it and see a piece of gum. [I went to the company's web site and they said that their product "contained 74% Xylitol." Hey, isn't that the sweetener used in... chewing gum?
Now, a new product:
Yes, you plug your cellphone into a shell that looks just like a phone from the 1960s. Irony Retrograde Inversion Field encountered, Captain.
This next picture is a little blurry, but the little sign says "Control Valve":
Man, I've turned a ton of those in the last two decades.
Gloria wanted this next picture included, because (long story, but we had one of Eli's teammates with us all weekend) she had to pack all of Eli's gear--both goalie and player--into ONE bag, because we didn't have enough space in the car to pack them separately:
That's full gear for goalie and player--most of it packed like Russian nesting dolls. When I pulled it all out, I felt like I was in a Marx Brothers movie: this one, actually.
On Saturday night, Eli had a game that started at 7:30 p.m. We didn't get back to the hotel until after 9. Then, on Sunday morning, he had a game at 6:00 a.m. (why the hell doesn't the Geneva Convention have a section on hockey tournaments?). After the game, he came back and claimed he didn't need a nap. That lasted for about an hour. Then the little warrior, who acts so strong on the ice, fell asleep cuddling his little puma from Build-a-Bear:
 We could all use one of those little pumas, sometimes.

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