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Halloween isn't what it was when the kids were younger, but it's soooo much less stressful now. BoyHead didn't contemplate a costume until about 3:00 p.m. today. Lovely Wife came up with two great suggestions (Tourist and Pirate) and gathered items for each. BoyHead really just wanted to Trick or Treat but not wear a costume. I believe he ended up wearing an eye patch and saying he was a Pirate. Ahhrrrrr. Then it was off to the Homies, not to be seen for the rest of the evening. Lovely Daughter was still into it though. She went as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Lovely Wife made an excellent costume and LD made the "Ruby Red Slippers". LD went out to trick or treat with about 76 of her best friends. Lovely Wife and I hung around the old homestead and handed out candy to the trick or treaters. My friend Scott-the-chemist came by in a costume that is simply undescribable--so I'll just leave you with the picture.
Today was a day I've been looking forward to for a while now: My Wood Guy came. I have fond (although they were not fond at the time) memories of when I was a teenager and Brother and I would have to help unload and stack the wood. Although the Wood Guy would have unloaded and stacked it, my dad thought it was a common courtesy to "donate" his two sons. Dad probably didn't want the guy to have a heart attack--he was like 90 (or so I thought from the perspective of a teenager). In spite of these fond memories, BoyHead and I went out with gloves and wheelbarrow to help Wood Guy. I like to think he gives me a little bit extra for our help. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and Sunday night dipped into the upper 30's, so I was able to have my first fire of the season. Nothing better than watching football on a cold Sunday afternoon with a warm fire. Oh yeah, the Rams beat Pittsburgh and are now tied for first place in their division with a 5-2 record. Go Rams!
Lovely wife and I gave up our tickets to the symphony to attend to a higher calling: we volunteered at the annual Fall Festival at our church. Kids in costumes, cotton candy, clowns, games, hot dogs, cake walk, music; what could be better. Lovely Wife manned (womanned?) the face painting booth. Being the natural fisherman that I am, I manned the Mystery Fishing Booth (at least there was no bait involved).
So it's Friday evening. I'm lounging about (as is my wont) after a hard week of stress, toil, studying, and generally wielding The Scepter of Responsibility about the household. Note: I only use The Scepter for good. At any rate, I was alone minding my own business. Kristie had gone to her monthly Bunko party (don't ask!), and the kids were playing in the freeway so the house was completely quiet. I was utterly astounded when I walked into the TV room and saw this picture (duh, look right). It appeared suddenly and seemed to hover for about 5 minutes. I could hear this very high pitched sound when it appeared. The first thing I thought of was: Yikes!. When I got control of my senses, I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pics. I took about 6 or 7, but this is the only one that turned out. The others were just completely black. When I showed the picture to Lovely Wife she turned white. She said it looks exactly like her Great-Grandmother. Scary.
Today's the day that we've all been waiting for: BoyHead's Birthday. I picked the Boy up from school today so we could race to the License office and get his learner's permit. Mission: Impossible. I'll give you all the gory details another time. BoyHead enjoyed opening all his gifts (thank you for the gifts and cards everyone--BoyHead). Mostly he got accessories for his new Radio Controlled Traxxas SportMax. It won't arrive for a few days yet as we let BoyHead buy it on eBay. We gave him his max bid and allowed him to spend it on the car of his choice. I was actually impressed with all the research he had done. He knew what he wanted and why--he also knew what the correct price should be. It's a really cool car (really, it's more like a Monster Truck). Goes like 40mph.
We had the traditional Birthday Dinner. I made BoyHead's favorite: big monster burgers on the grill, Bush's (no, not any other brand thankyouverymuch) Baked Beans, Onion Rings (that was for me really), and some vegetable--I forget. We sang "Happy Birthday" and BoyHead made a wish and blew out his candles. I don't think his wish came true yet though--he's still here.
Lovely Daughter had her LONG AWAITED BIRTHDAY PARTY last night and today. The Agenda: First, pizza, lasagna, salad. Man, teenagers can EAT! After dinner was Bunko. If you don't know what Bunko is, I can't explain it other than to say it's a game involving dice, women, and shouting. Oh yeah, there's a little bell too. The winners (and losers) receive prizes. Well, we had round 1 of Bunko and then it was off to the bowling alley for some good old fashioned "Crazy Bowl" (in crazy bowl, for each frame you bowl in an unorthodox manner such as backwards, left handed or after doing three quick spins--my personal favorite).
We had to wait until after 9:30 because it takes that long to get enough nicotene in the air. The visibility was about 3/4 the length of a lane. Good thing there's electronic scoring. As you can imagine, intruding on the hard-core Friday night bowling league set with ten screaming crazy bowlers made us a quite popular. I had to instruct some of the bowling neophytes the finer points of bowling etiquette, such as..."don't stand in your neighbor's lane when they are trying to bowl". You know, that esoteric stuff. After bowling, we all scraped the accumulated tar off ourselves and came back to Chez Livingston for the-opening-of-the-presents and some Cake and Ice Cream.
By this time it was 11:30 p.m. L.D. got lots of girly stuff--smelly stuff, clothes, hair stuff. Tough for me to judge, but L.D. really liked it. After Cake and Ice Cream it was round 2 of Bunko. Those girls took to Bunko like, well, girls to Bunko. Anyway, at this point I made my (sneaky, quiet) exit. I figured, hey it's 12:30. I've done my part. Also, I had to get up early the next morning to make BREAKFAST. No, not just breakfast, but BREAKFAST. The menu: Cheese eggs, pancakes, sausage, hash browns, cantaloupe, coffee, milk, O.J. Man, teenagers can EAT! After breakfast was the countdown to 10:00 a.m. Tick..........tock...........tick..........tock. Ohhhhh nooo, tiiimmme hhhaaasss nneeaarrrlllyy sssttoooppppeedddd. Ding, dong. Hallelujiah. A great time was had by all.