A Resurgence

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to arrive at Lil’B’s house around the same time that his younger sister’s Big Sister arrived.  Neither of us had a hard and fast idea of what we wanted to do with our respective Little’s that day.  It was unseasonably warm – I was actually wearing shorts – and so neither of us wanted to be cooped up inside if we didn’t have to be.  We ended up taking Lil’B and his brother (10 months older) and sister (16 months younger) to play miniature golf as a group.

Months ago when I took Lil’B there alone, we encountered a small Mexican family that we spent some time talking to because the course was crowded.  At one point one of the little boys comment that, “Your son is pretty good.”  That was, by no means, the first time I had thought about people thinking Lil’B was my son when we are out together, but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s quite clear we do not share any genes.

The Big Sister is of Mexican decent and seven months pregnant.  There we were three Mexican children under twelve years old, a very pregnant Mexican woman and a pasty white guy all playing miniature golf together.  I couldn’t help thinking, “people think we’re a couple, I’m the step-dad, and these are her kids.”  Obviously, if I were Lil’B’s “father” there would have to be a “step-” in front of it.

I had a first that day.  After we completed the course we were on, we went to the “19th hole” to return our balls and clubs and I got a hole in one.  Go figure.  I received a coupon for one complimentary round of miniature golf, which expires one month from the day we were there.  So when it was time to plan the next outing with Lil’B, I was inclined to go miniature golfing again.  We both enjoy it and it would be silly to waste a free game.

It was raining like mad yesterday.  Without a back up plan, I went out on a limb.  I took Lil’B to see Beauty and the Beast, recently re-released in 3-D.  I’ll be honest.  I wanted to see it and I don’t have anyone else to go with.  I wasn’t sure it would be up his alley, but the only other kid-friendly movie out there was The Adventures of Tintin and I really don’t want to see that if I can help it.  I told him as we were driving there, that I wasn’t sure how he was going to feel about this movie, but that it was something I really wanted us to see.  I told him it came out originally when I was young and that it might be a little dated, but I thought he would enjoy it anyway.  He said he was fine with it. When it was over, I asked him what he thought.  He nodded and said, “It was cool.”  Normally, that question is met with “It was awesome!”, but I’m taking him at his word that “cool” is an honest reaction.  I told him I knew it wasn’t really our usual style, but it was still fun.

Watching this movie with Lil’B, was a kind of surreal experience, though, when I realized how long before he was born this movie had come out.

I told him this movie came out “when I was young”, but I didn’t say how young.  It was only as we were actually watching the movie, when memories of the first time I saw Beauty and the Beast in theaters came flooding back, that I realized just how young I had been.  I saw the movie for the first time, as the beginning of what would turn out to be a tragic failure of a Valentine’s Day date – the only one I’ve ever had.  I was sixteen years old.  The girl I was dating, Cindy, had all sorts of romantic notions.  During the opening number, “Belle”, when the “Gaston Groupies” sing:

Via Disney Wiki

“Look there he goes, isn’t he dreamy? Monsieur Gaston, oh he’s so cute!
Be still my heart, I’m hardly breathing. He’s such a tall, dark, strong and handsome brute”

she thought it was “adorably provincial.”

Via Disney Wiki

In 1991, Beauty and the Beast was on the cutting edge of animation technology.  Everything looked so crisp and clean, the scene when Belle and The Beast dance in the ballroom already looked nearly 3-D and that was before 3-D movies made any sort of resurgence.  The characters, at least the human ones, seamed pretty realistic with fairly natural movements.  The wisp of hair that is forever falling down into Belle’s eye, struck Cindy as being the coolest thing ever.  She saw so much meaning and subtext in this movie that went over my head; to tell the truth, it still goes over my head.  But Cindy saw it, and I wanted to see Cindy so I saw it too.  (Hey.  I was sixteen.  Give me a break.)

When the movie was over and Lil’B and I were heading back out into the rain, we had a little math lesson.  I told him, “Remember I said I saw this movie when I was young?”  he said he did.  I told him, “I saw it when I was sixteen years old.  How old does that make this movie?”  Somehow I hadn’t put it all together before we were in the theater.  I didn’t realize that this movie was 20 years old.  In fact, strictly speaking, with an original release date of  November 22, 1991, it’s older.

“I saw this movie when I was sixteen,” I told him.  “In fact, I think I saw it on Valentine’s day.”  That statement went right past him, but it stopped me short.  It stopped me short because that’s all I said.  I didn’t say, “I saw it on Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend”, I just said, “I saw it on Valentine’s Day.”  I told myself that I didn’t elaborate because I didn’t want to confuse him, but it continues to nag at me.

Lil’B and I have never discussed my sexual orientation.  If he’s even aware of what it means to be gay, he may already have figured it out or assumed it, but we’ve never discussed it and I’ve never confirmed or denied it.  If he is aware of it and I told him I went with my girlfriend, maybe that would be confusing to him.  Then again, if I said I went with my girlfriend and didn’t explain that I don’t date girls now, that seems dishonest.  It continues to nag at me though, because by withholding additional information, I missed an opportunity to open dialogue between us.

When I signed up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters I told the Match Specialist, Jenny,  that I’m gay.  It was important to me to be honest and not keep a secret from the family I was trying to build trust with.  Jenny asked me if I wanted to be open about that with the family and I said I did.  In fact, me being gay prevented me from being matched with the first little boy they selected for me.  In that instance, Jenny told me about the kid before telling the family I am gay and when it didn’t work out, she felt badly.  When she called me about Lil’B, I asked if the mother knew I was gay.  She said that she had told Lil’B’s mother right up front because she didn’t want to have another situation like with the previous family.  But the mother and I have never talked about it either.  I assume she remembers, but I don’t know and I don’t know if she told Lil’B.

When I was matched with Lil’B, he was only seven and I felt like he was too young to have that conversation.  Now that it’s been nearly two and a half years, it’s difficult to bring up.  Admittedly, I’m concerned how he’ll react.  And strangely, I’m afraid of being rejected by a ten year-old.

And just when I thought I had put this fear behind me…

Lazy Saturday

It’s been a very lazy Saturday here in the Riggledo household.  I haven’t been to bed before midnight (and usually much later) in more than a month and sitting here at the end of my second week back at work since my most recent vacation, the late nights have taken their toll.

I’m sitting in my living room, in my recliner with my feet up.  I’m wearing sweat pants, a t-shirt and a fleece, Old Navy pull over.  There’s a throw blanket covering me from just below my chest all the way to my feet and it is an electric blanket which is plugged in and turned to high.  My laptop is– well, on my lap and my geriatric cat is curled up in a ball on my shins, sleeping and probably dreaming that the laptop will go away and free his preferred spot for him.  For the first time in weeks it is actually 70 degrees in my apartment and, just to be clear, that’s the warmest it’s been.  (On a couple of occasions in the last two weeks I’ve actually had to break out the space heater which I never use because it draw so much energy that my electric bills triple when I do, it’s been that cold.)

I am cozy and I do not want to move.  I’ve actually fought off sleep a couple of times already today.

It’s been a pretty good week, personally, filled with fun, social interactions, and personal accomplishments.  Dinner with Lil’B on Monday; Lunch with K on Tuesday; finally made it to the Library to pick up that book they’ve been holding, on Wednesday; Thursday I had my weekly noontime meeting with the little advisory council for my Emergency Response Team program; and yesterday I had a lovely, long lunch with my friend Chantelé to celebrate her birthday.

It has also been a week of completions. One of the reasons I’ve been up so late and getting so little sleep is because I’ve been working on a baby blanket for a friend of a friend.  Michelle asked me if I would make the blanket for someone she knows, and I’m always happy to do it as long as the requester supplies the yarn (that sh-stuffs expensive, yo!)  I finished the blanket earlier this week.

20120121-174131.jpg
Baby Blanket, hand crocheted by yours truly.

 

I’ve also been at the office late every day this week because I’ve been working on the first round of edits on my manuscript, hereafter called by its name, “The Teacher”.  I guess if I’m serious about getting this thing published, I should start treating it like it’s real, and that means, among other things, calling it by its name.  I found it easier to do this stage of the editing process, red pen on print out copy, sitting at a proper desk and not stretched out in my recliner.  As of about 7:15 last night, I have finished that process and now I have to go through and translate those edits to the soft copy.  And I need to get on it because I have eleven days until the first meeting of the writing group I’ve been talking about.

I’m super excited about the group, and also a bit nervous.  I won’t know anyone going in and that’s never a pleasant experience for me.  Plus many of the people involved are already published authors while I’m just a little blogger/writer with a small audience, a dream, and a not particularly mainstream manuscript.  I know it’ll be an excellent, educational experience, if nothing else; it’s just the buildup that I dread.

Tomorrow, I spend the afternoon with Lil’B and I really have no idea what we’re going to do.  I think it’s supposed to rain so we’ll be looking for something indoors.  Normally, that means movies, but I’m not sure there’s anything for us to see.  I’ll figure that out in the morning though.  For now, I’m just going to sit back, relax, and watch my Dotor Who (original series, season 21) DVD from Netflix followed by the Rock Hudson movie in my Netflix instant queue that’s about to expire, and then call it a night.

It’ll be lovely.  I’m already yawning and it’s only 6:45.

Flavor

A while back K told me about an on-line writing group; a website called Write on Edge.  I subscribed to the blog and started watching the writing prompts they offered.  Everything, at first glance, seems so vague.  The word limits are always too small.  We all know brevity is not my forté.

The most recent writing prompt was one word; flavor.  Four hundred words or less, either fiction or creative non-fiction.  I told K, “I don’t like it.  It’s too vague.”   She told me I should just give it a try.  So I did.  What follows is my first ever submission to this writing group, in the shadows of which, I have lurked for months.

I don’t think it’s very good (go figure) and it seems really contrived, but what the hell.  It’s not like I’m going to get a grade for it.  So here you go…

Flavor:

It took him a long time to open up.  Months of silent car rides, open-ended questions answered with a vague “I don’t know”, and doubts about what the relationship was accomplishing for either of us.  I began to contemplate giving up.  Maybe he didn’t need me.  Maybe he didn’t need anyone or maybe he needed something I wasn’t providing and someone else could.  Could I walk away?  Should I walk away?  After all, I had met my initial commitment.

Walking away just seemed wrong, so I stuck it out hoping to see something change.  I reduced the amount of time I spent with him; it took a lot out of me and I didn’t feel connected.  Half as much time would have to suffice.

I don’t know when it changed.  One day it was suddenly obvious; half the time wasn’t enough.  He wanted more and I wanted to give him more.  A new schedule.  More time.  Different days.  Dinners some weeks.  He lit up at the notion.

After the second dinner when he returned home he told his sister all about our outing.  “And he had five Diet Pepsi’s” he told her, excitement in his voice.  That’s when I knew he was watching.  Picking up on everything.  He sees all that I do.  I have to be constantly aware, vigilant about the example I set.  But I don’t mind.

I try to show him a good way to be, but it’s hard when what I want to show him is something different from what I am.  I know he’s following my lead.  I should eat better; drink more water.  But I love the flavor of Diet Pepsi.  It’s my one vice.  I’m completely addicted.  The sweet, refreshing, cola taste.  It’s the first thing to enter my mind when the all important, “can I get you something to drink?” is asked.

He talks to me now.  Still a lot of “I don’t know”, but there’s much more than that now.  Stories about school.  Stories about friends.  Stories about playing video games.  But he talks.  And when I taste that sweet, dark elixir, I’m reminded, once again, that our relationship matters; that he needs me and I need him.

And that tastes pretty damn good.

Busy Stay-Cation

I usually make the excuse that I write at work because I’m there so much and I have no time for writing at home…  That sounds nice, but since I’ve been off work since December 23rd and I didn’t write a thing between December 22nd and really, yesterday, that’s not much of an excuse.  You’d think there would have been many blog posts during this stay-cation.

This has been one of the best vacations I’ve had in a while, I mean, you know, for not having gone anywhere.  I received an infusion of cash (insurance reimbursement for my therapy bills) just as this stay-cation was beginning which enabled me to comfortably purchase Christmas gifts for all the people on my list to buy gifts for; fancy coffee for my mother, A GPS for Michelle, an Afterglow PS3 controller for Lil’B as well as art supplies for his birthday (which is 12/31), a cordless drill for my oldest niece (this is what she wanted.  Don’t judge me.), a horse game for my second niece and a little plush, radio control fire truck for my nephew.  Everything arrived on time and was properly distributed.  As far as I know everyone appreciated their gifts.  I was concerned that the art supplies would pale in Lil’B’s eyes compared to the controller, but he said he was excited about the art supplies.

I have spent a lot of time at home during this stay-cation, which is fine ’cause it was kind of the plan.  Stay home, clean, organize, generally get things in better shape.  I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I had hoped I would, but I’ve gotten a lot done and I’m quite happy about hat.  One of my Christmas gifts to myself is something I’ve wanted for a long time but just didn’t convince myself to spend the money on.  I decided recently that I was determined to get the item and so when I got the cash infusion, I took my 20% off coupon and headed right out to Bed, Bath and Beyond where I bought a Roomba, robot vacuum cleaner.

You guys! I’m so glad I bought this thing and I wish I had gotten it a long time ago!  It’s awesome!  It does a very effective job and it requires almost no effort on my part.  I say almost, because I do have to empty the little bin pretty much every day and I do have to push the button to turn it on…  Well I don’t have to.  There is an auto start feature, I just haven’t enabled it.  I also have to make sure there is nothing on the floor to get in its way.  This thing is surprisingly assertive and I have found that I have to make sure that all cords and cables are well out of the way or it will run over them and cause problems.  Though it is smart enough to stop running before it gets too tangled up in something, it will try a bit to vacuum the thing up, before it gives up.  My biggest fear was that it would not be able to get over the lip into the kitchen, which is the messiest room because that’s where the cat litter is, but the Roomba jumps the curb like it’s no big deal.  The other concern I had was how Mischa would react to it.  He has always been afraid of vacuum cleaners and whenever I would turn one on, he would run and hide behind a chair or something.  He doesn’t seem overly concerned about the Roomba which is louder than I had hoped, but far and away quieter than any manual powered vacuum I’ve ever owned.  What’s really funny is that the Roomba, which has a built-in extra-dirt-detection sensor, seems to identify Mischa as a pile of extra dirt and it routinely targets him and heads straight toward him.  Mischa, being the mental giant that he is, just stands there until the Roomba actually bumps into him and then he acts indignant that it came after him.  Roomba has a little side brush which is designed to brush debris away from walls and out into it’s path.  Sometimes this side brush will bump against Mischa’s feet and then he tries to pounce on the brushes.  It’s really quite funny.  But I can run the Roomba everyday without causing any great turmoil for Mischa and that’s what I wanted, so I’m really quite thrilled with my purchase and wish I had done it long ago!  Now I really want a Scooba.  It’s made by the same people and it’s designed to wash hard floors.  The problem is, it says it’s safe on “sealed hardwood floors” and I’m sure mine is not sealed.  Bummer!

 

Michelle had a “lounge” party, on Christmas Eve at her apartment.  She insists it was always a lounge party (wear lounge pants and t-shirts) but her sister kept calling it a pajama party and I swear Michelle called it a pajama party the first time she mentioned it to me.  I pointed out that I don’t wear pajamas and that no one wants to see that, and that’s when she started calling it a “lounge” party.  It was a nice time.  Her three-year-old great-nephew was there and Michelle handed him my Christmas present and asked him to bring it to me.  Somehow, between that time and the time he handed it to me, the paper… ahem… fell off the gift.  She gave me a heated mattress pad, which is something I had been wanting for a while, only, you know how when you build something up in your mind and it’s going to be so wonderful and then you actually get the thing and it can’t live up to the expectations you built…  Yeah, that.  I felt badly ’cause I want to take it back, but I didn’t want to hurt Michelle’s feelings.  When I got over to her house this past Friday to do my laundry (since Saturday was New Year’s Eve) she was in the process of repackaging the one she had bought for herself to take it back.  She didn’t like it.  She let me off the hook and told me that I could return the one she got me if I wanted.  I told her I would probably do that and that I’d bring it back to her (since she had the receipt) and she could take it back and get me something else and wrap it up for me, and then maybe I’ll get to open MY OWN Christmas present.

 

I took Lil’B to Benihana for his Birthday dinner…  Actually it was kind of confusing. I took him, on December 26th and I told him, this is a special dinner to celebrate his Birthday, where he will get his Christmas present, and then at the next dinner on January 2nd, he would get his Birthday present.  I hadn’t been to  a Benihana in many years and while I knew it was a lot of fun, I also thought I remembered that it was a long and drawn out affair so I made reservations for 5:00.  He was out of school so it wasn’t a school night, but I figured we shouldn’t be out too late.  Dinner was over at 6:50 and Lil’B didn’t want to go home yet.  I called his mother and got her blessing and we went to a movie after dinner.  I got to take him to one of my favorite Movie Theaters.  It’s just and AMC theater, but it’s in the middle of San Francisco and it’s in an old building they renovated.  It’s a 12 screen cinema, but there are only four theaters to a floor, and there are three levels of theaters.  Since they are stadium seating, each theater is two stories, so this building is about 8 stories tall and I just find it fascinating.

We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.  This movie was horrendous!  I mean, truly, truly, terrible!  Now I know, this movie is not geared toward my age group, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first two so it was sadly disappointing to me that I didn’t like this one as much, but on the plus side, there was a moment in this wretched movie that actually made Lil’B laugh out loud and if you’ve been coming around here long, you know what an accomplishment that is.  I’d sit through it again just to hear that!

The next day, I went to therapy, did a little shopping and went over to hang out with my friend Karin and her two kids.  I ended up staying through dinner and had a nice time.  She introduced me to some fancy operations that my iPhone is capable of and I wasn’t even aware… Giving me pause to consider the value in some new equipment purchases.  I’ll have to give that some thought.

 

Friday I went to Michelle’s house to do my laundry and hang out.  I got there early and after I started my first load, she and her great-nephew and I went to breakfast.  The boy was quite rambunctious and energetic.  It was fun though.  He runs kind of hot and cold when it comes to me, well, anyway, hot and luke warm.  Apparently, since he was a baby baby, I’m the only male, outside his immediate family that he would let hold him.  Other men would pick him up and he’d immediately squirm and cry and want to get away and with me, he was fine.  Now that he’s a little older and has a personality, he doesn’t dislike me, but he often doesn’t want to engage with me.  But this day, as soon as I walked in he was all over me, asking me questions and talking to me and wanting to sit with me.  It was almost too much, but it was still nice to see.

 

I’ve mentioned in the past how I do not want to be home on New Year’s Eve.  My mother never went anywhere or did anything and all we ever did was sat in the living room and watch TV.  Theoretically, watching “the ball drop” only my mother was forever surfing channels trying to get away from all that horrible secular music that was always on the network shows.  We would watch something from Washington, DC on PBS, which was always live and therefore an hour early, plus fireworks on TV just do not have the same effect.  From 11:00 to 11:58:30 she would surf around trying to find something that wasn’t rock and roll music and then at the last second (sometimes after the last second) turn the TV to one of the networks.  We’d say “happy new year” and then go to bed.  I swore that when I had it in my own power I was not just going to sit around at home on New Year’s Eve.  This has proven to be problematic from time to time because I hate crowds too, but I make the best of it.

In years past I’ve gone out of town for New Year’s Eve spending a few days in another place away from home and with more excitement than I’ve got here.  Most of the time, New Year’s Eve was just the excuse I needed to go on a trip, but I still enjoyed myself.  I’ve been to Las Vegas a couple of times, Los Angeles a couple of times, Reno a couple of times.  Last year we got a room a the Embarcadero Hilton in San Francisco and had a really lovely evening, but it ended up costing as much as a three night trip out of town.  This year, Michelle and I had 10:00 reservations at a restaurant called Skates on the Bay, which is, as you might imagine, on the San Francisco Bay.  I had never been, though Michelle had a couple of times.  The plan was to have dinner and then stroll out side to the water front where we would watch the fireworks from San Francisco at midnight.  In an all too familiar scene, Michelle was in the bathroom at midnight and I stood by the windows of the restaurant where we had JUST gotten our check and watched the fireworks by myself (le sigh).  It’s okay.  This is kind of terrible for me to say, but I feel like midnight on New Year’s Eve is a moment that, ideally should be shared romantically and I don’t have any romantic feelings for Michelle, maybe being alone at that moment was better.  The fire works display was nice, though I feel like it looses some of its splendor when you can’t hear, and just as importantly, feel them.  The display was the same one we watched last year, which means it was shot off from a barge outside the San Francisco Ferry Building, about six and a half miles away.  I’m always caught a little by surprise at how small they are from what seems like such a short distance.

After dinner, I took Michelle back to her sister’s house, dropped her off and came home.  I would have liked to have been somewhere else for a little vacation and I got a wild idea that may not really be financially feasible that I’d really like to go to Australia for next New Year’s Eve, but as long as my 19 1/2 year old cat is with me, that can’t happen.

Last night was another dinner with Lil’B.  We went to a local place I’d never been to called The South Shore Cafe.  It was very ordinary, but it was something new for both of us and I’m trying to expose him to new things, so it was fun.  We talked a little bit about his birthday.  He said he couldn’t remember what kind of cake he had but that it had Oreos on it.  I asked him if they had ice cream and he said no, so I had to rectify the no birthday ice cream problem.  We went to a local ice cream shop called Loard’s (I learned it is supposed to be pronounced “Lo-ard’s” as it is a compilation of the two founders last names.)  Loard’s is a 100% local company that makes its own ice cream in a local factory and it was really quite good.  When I was looking at the flavors on the board I was caught by surprise and was a little grossed out by “Avocado flavor” but I had to taste it.  It was surprisingly good, although, honestly, it tasted mostly like Vanilla.

 

This morning I had an orthodontist appointment, I wasn’t holding my breath, though I was hoping today would be the big day.  No such luck.  In fact based on the conversation I had today with “Dr. Jeff”, (I always wondered how the staff differentiated between the father and the son, now I know) it looks like two to three more months.  The day Dr. Jeff put them on he told me 12-18 months, this is the 13th month.  On the plus side though, I paid my final payment today and have one few debts hanging over my head! Yay!

 

Tonight I have dinner with an old friend of mine, and tomorrow Michelle and I are going, over-night, to Cache Creek Casino and Resort.  It’s an Indian run casino about 90 minutes north of here.  We’ll go and play for the afternoon, then spend the night in a hotel room, have breakfast and head back.  That’s about as long as I can leave Mischa on his own since he’s confined to the cage and he eats canned food, but it’ll be nice to get a little tiny break anyway.

 

*Oh by the way, I guess I’m supposed to say that despite my glowing report (and despite the two additional people I’ve about talked into it – my mother says I should get a commisison) I am not being compensated in anyway by Roomba, or Bed Bath and Beyond or any other products or merchants I may have mentioned here…  Dammit.

This Is Not the Post You Are (Probably) Looking For

…Though that will come sooner or later…

This post is about hanging out with Lil’B.  I’ve amended our hanging out schedule a little bit and now, I see him every other Sunday afternoon and on the week that I don’t see him on Sunday, we’re going to have dinner on that Monday night.  I have been aware that our every other weekend schedule has been insufficient for him.  I could tell that he wanted more, I’ve just been slow in making that happen.

Last night was our first Monday dinner and I could tell when I picked him up he was excited about it.  He was all smiles and he even dressed up… in fact, I found out later, he dressed up more than I thought.  He borrowed a pair of black fabric tennis shoes from his 19-year-old sister “because all [his] shoes were dirty.”  (Fortunately, they didn’t look particularly like girls shoes.  Amazingly, they fit him perfectly, his toes right where they should have been.)

I was a little bit unprepared so we went to dinner at Applebee’s in Alameda, not too far from our houses.  I plan to take him to all kinds of fun places and explore our neighborhoods and the ones around us.  I want to try to balance exposing him to the neighborhood he lives in with lots of his own culture (he lives in what could be referred to as Little Mexico), but also get him out of the neighborhood and show him other walks of life.  Basically, I want to teach him not to be ashamed of where he comes from, but that there is more to the world and to life than what he sees now.

When I picked him up, I asked him if he had any homework we should bring with us and take a look at.  He happily pulled his math homework (something he doesn’t need any help with) out of his backpack and brought it with us.  In the car I asked him the usual questions:

“How was school?”

“Good.”

“What’d you study?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’d you have for lunch?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you hungry?”

“No.”

“Did you have an afternoon snack?”

“No.”

“Hmmm.  Well, we’ll see how hungry you are when there’s a menu in front of you.”

He’d never been to an Applebees and he thought it was pretty cool.  He was especially impressed with the fact that the waitress brought him a second Pepsi when his first one was gone, even though no one asked for it.  (I think that’s pretty cool too, but probably for different reasons.)

They fold the kids menu into a little packet with four crayons inside it, which Lil’B thought was pretty cool and he enjoyed the games on it.  He ordered Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, which was a pretty neet racket, since they charged me $4.99 for what amounted to about a quarter (if that) of a box of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese which you can purchase at the store for about a buck fifty, but whatever.

When we finished dinner, he gathered his things so we could leave.  He had his homework packet, a pencil and his menu (which he had folded back up into a packet and tucked the crayons away).  He took about three steps and dropped his homework.  He stooped to pick it up and took a couple more steps before he dropped his pencil.  He stopped and picked it up and took a couple more steps and before he dropped the menu packet.  As he stooped and picked that up, I chucked congenially and as I joked, “got anything else you wanna drop?”, I gesticulated wildly, and a ring flew off my right ring finger and hit the wall in front of him.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t catch the irony in that, but I thought it was pretty funny!

We talked about Halloween.  He’s really looking forward to trick or treating and getting lots of candy!  He told me that this year his school instituted a rule for costumes that they can not include weapons and they can’t include blood (too scary for the kindergarteners) so that really reduces his options for costumes.  He said he thought he might be a soccer player.   I was pretty happy with that since last year he was a monster and the year before that he was the killer from Scream that had a pump that made fake blood run down the face.  (Later his older sister told me he was probably going to be a zombie soccer player.  I’m less impressed.)

In the course of that conversation he told me he had never had candy corn.  How is that possible?  At almost ten years old, he’s never had candy corn?!?  I had to correct that post haste, and fortunately, there was a Walgreens in the same parking lot with the Applebee’s.

When we walked into Walgreens they had a display of Halloween decorations, including a Scream guy with a knife in his hand.  You press a button and it lights up, makes a noise and the knife comes at you.  Lil’B pressed the button and jumped when it lurched toward him.  For all his talk about monsters and zombies and stuff, I thought that was pretty funny.

All in all, he seemed to have a really good time, as did I.  The outing seems to have been a great success, which is really good, because I just realized, this may be the most boring blog post I’ve ever written….