Sunday, November 14, 2004

Ups and Downs

Last night, we went and visited Eva's friend Lisa, her husband Craig, and their little boy, Jake. They live in uptown Waterloo. If my childhood spent slogging through house after house is any guide, theirs was built around the turn of the last century, and it's positively gorgeous.
I got to revisit my own childhood there. They just got a piano, an upright about the age of the house, fairly similar to one that used to be mine. I played half of a tune on it and realized right quick that I will never own another piano.
The proper term for the instrument is 'pianoforte', meaning 'soft-loud', but really they ought to call the things 'forte-fortes', because--and here's something I forgot--it's damn near impossible to play one quietly...or at least at the volume I normally play my electronic keyboard.
I'm okay with this. Eventually I will get a full size electric piano...with a headphone jack.
Craig dragged out some of his old Hot Wheels to go with Jake's admirable collection and my eyes lit up. I used to have over two hundred toy cars: Matchbox, Majorette, Corgi Juniors, Hot Wheels...I loved them all. I saw ten or fifteen models I used to have myself, including a couple that were among the first I ever owned. Way cool.
This morning we sat down to watch this week's episode of Joan of Arcadia. I've praised this show before and will again, but I may have neglected to mention that it can be a tear-jerker. This episode provoked more tears than anything I've seen since Mask. Talk about draining.
Eva's brother came over today to haul away our back fence, install a bathroom fan and put up the ceiling fan in our bedroom.
I took the back fence down some time was so rotten that I was able to lift out entire sections. The fan in the bathroom: therein lies a tale.
I like showers. Specifically hot showers. I don't think of them as overly hot, but they must be, because I come out looking like a lobster. (Feel free to wipe that image from your head if you want.)
My showers produce, as one might expect, a fair bit of water vapour. It's to the point where I can peek out through the curtain and see a miniature Maid of the Mist circling the bathroom floor, the pinpoint flashes of hundreds of tiny rain-coated Japanese tourists and their microscopic Minoltas capturing images of the giant lobster. (Oops, there's that image again. Sorry.)
Our smoke detectors are wired directly to the fire department. They are specifically designed not to go off just because somebody is smoking a cigarette or burning toast or taking a hot shower.
I've set mine off. Twice.
When that piercing shreik fills the air, it means I have thirty seconds to leap out of the shower, stumble down thirteen steps, rumble through the living room, pincers jiggling in the breeze (Jesus, Ken, shut up) , elephant down the basement steps and hit the silencing button. Thirty seconds is not a long time.
So the smoke detector got moved further down the hall and I am now under orders to shower with the bathroom door firmly shut and the fan on.
Trouble is, the fan works about as well as your average mesh condom. I think it actually blows more steam in to the room, just to be contrary, you understand.
Voila, a new fan, twice the size of the old one. But installing such a thing means working with electricity, something Eva and I will not do. ZOT! Hence Jim. Thank God there's a Jim in this family.
I'm off to bed soon, unless Eva's best friend Chris calls. She had a baby on October 19th and I don't think she has slept since. Actually, babies are everywhere keeping people I love up. My stepsister and her husband are dealing with colic, oh joy oh bliss. My Dad and stepmother have been helping to look after him, so they're sleepless too.
Seeing Jake last night made me long for our adopted kids. No idea when they're coming. I know Children's Aid is waiting on references to start the homestudy. Sounds like almost all of them are in. Well, I'm not sure if Chris's is done...Knowing her, it probably is, but I'll cut her some slack if it's not. Any three-week old infant sounds as if he's a bit of a handful, to put it mildly.

Night, all.

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