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Archive for November, 2008

Had the family over for Thanksgiving. Well, about half my family- my cousin Brad and his brigade of crotchfruit had dinner with my aunt and uncle. Rather glad about that, to be honest. For some reason, my aunt has taken to toting her dog, Toby, around like a football. I think it’s her version of a safety blanket. This dog is rather rowdy and combined with Brad’s brats chaos obviously ensues. This past June I had a family barbecue, partly to hostess the innumerous June birthdays and partly to inaugurate my new grill. I would say it was mostly a success, except for the tray of margarita glasses that I dropped after tripping over Toby. Brad’s children, in the face of a patio full of sparkling broken glass, gurgled with glee and ran for the shiny objects. It’s very hard physically restraining four children.

Now I have my nephew, Alex, staying with me for the next two days. He’s 18 mos. and he genuinely understands what you’re saying, tilting his head and listening inquisitively. He was trying to put his shoe on the wrong foot this afternoon, and after I explained “no, it fits on this foot” and tapping the right foot, he changed feet and wrangled the shoe on. I am convinced he is a genius and am attempting to teach him Vescere bracis meis (Latin for “Eat my shorts”) before he is returned to his parents. I worry about him. They feed him junk and they listen to Kid Rock. Ugh. I made a Debussy reference at dinner and they just blinked at me.

I wouldn’t be surprised if my brother came to pick Alex up in a white Ford350 with those gigantic tires that come up to my shoulder and a decal in large serif font flourishing the eponymous “Hillbilly De-Lux” on the rear windscreen. I get the feeling sometimes that if Alex were my kid he’d love brussels sprouts, philanthropy, wire-rimmed glasses and would read Tolkien as a six year old, but if he stays with Sean and Danielle he’ll be picking his nose in high school and hold books upside down because he doesn’t know “what those funny shapes mean.” Sometimes I look into his big brown eyes and I see “HALP” written in their inky depths. That’s when I hand him my TI-83 calculator and speak to him in Esperanto for fourty-five minutes. It’s like fiscal offsetting.

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