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A Day Off from Work

June 3, 2010

Monday was Memorial Day here, so I thought I’d just share how Dear Wife, B.T., Shasta and I spent the afternoon.  Feel free to move on if this sounds boring.

Early in the day, we four, as a family, went for a pleasant walk around the neighborhood.  Which is to say, Dear Wife and I took turns pushing B.T.’s stroller and leading Shasta’s leash.  But both were saintly, at least for our walk!

A good chunk of my day was whittled away by homework.  This is an ever-present problem for an evening student.  Dear Wife and I estimate that we’ll get back about 12 extra hours a week from class and homework once I’m done with my degree next year.  This doesn’t sound like much, maybe, but it can make a big difference.   Some of that time – maybe up to two hours a week – will be redirected toward writing, but the majority of that time will go toward spending with family, one-on-one time with Dear Wife, and various around-the-house projects that need doing (the latter occasionally referred to in circles of married-friends as the “honey-do” list).  I look forward to being able to spend more time with family.  Although, I fear that some few of those freed hours will actually be consumed by whatever company at which I find myself employed at that time.

The day ended, though, on a more traditional note for Memorial Day.  I barbecued out (chicken, specifically).  My barbecuing skills continue to improve.  I spent a lot of time, growing up, watching my own dad barbecuing.  But, I never made the attempt to barbecue under his watchful and well-practiced eye.  I intend to rectify this error with my own son: I hope to mentor B.T. in the finer points of barbecue, such as I shall have learned them, so that he can start his own barbecuing path from a higher plane than that at which I began.  Now, Dear Wife seems to believe that I ought to covet after a gas grill, but I was raised on charcoal grilling, and raised to believe charcoal grilling (involving, as it does, real fire, and not that artificial gas fire) tastes better.  Taste and the relative manliness of having started a fire by rubbing two sticks together (one of which was, of course, a match) aside, Dear Wife points out this particular benefit of gas grilling: you don’t have to wait for the fire to start and for the briquettes to reach the appropriate level of grillitude before throwing your food on the fire.  Which could save between ten minutes and a half-an-hour, depending on the day, between “I’m hungry” and “Food’s ready”.

We capped the day off by watching the original Star Wars on DVD.  I say original, but what I really meant was I accidentally put in the wrong DVD so we got the “digitally remastered” version in which Han did not shoot first, even though everyone knows that’s blasphemy.  Except Dear Wife, who had never seen Star Wars.  So, of course, I dutifully explained to her just why, as this scene was coming up, what she was about to see was in fact heresy, and she pretended that I wasn’t crazy whilst doing so.

We could also say that Star Wars was B.T.’s first movie, but that’s stretching things a bit.  No offense against the little tyke, but he wasn’t interested so much in the movie.  And he fell asleep about halfway through it.  Which is probably the best result we could’ve hoped for.  In retrospect, maybe the stirring John Williams score and the vacuum-filling explosions and lightsaber buzzing were just what the doctor ordered.  Probably the longest stretch of sleeping poor B.T. did all night, because he seems to have caught a case of the allergies, or somesuch, which kept him awake and annoyed the rest of the night.

After finishing Dear Wife’s maiden voyage into Star Wars infested space, she had this to say (if I recall correctly): “It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting!”  Faint praise, perhaps, but she did follow up with this addendum: “I’d watch the others with you, too.”  On the other hand, during the movie, she said this, when I commented on the upcoming action: “It’s an action movie?  But it has a plot.”

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