Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Fun

Saturday night was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it was Arthur and he had a new molar pushing through his gums. The molar pushed mucus out of his sinuses. So now I'm writing this in the car on the trip back to Oregon, and Arthur is barely breathing through his nose. Don't ask how I know this. I'm hoping that being propped up in his baby seat will help him to drain.

Mark gets several awards for taking on the lion's share of child duty.

Luckily, the tooth waited until after Thanksgiving to push out, so Arthur was a model infant during the family gathering at my sister's and her new husband's house in Everett. Their funniest pastime is flinging objects at squirrels that raid the birdfeeder. I think my sister's favorite projectiles are asparagus butts. I suppose that that the Evil Brother award goes to me for snapping a photo of my sister's sister-in-law sleeping on the couch; it's not a flattering picture.

OK. And I confess. Through some combinations of events too involved to understand, there was old Tang in my sister's house. That meant I had to drink some.

There must be some principle that, unless it grew on a tree, orange food is probably bad for you. Tang. It's right up there with theatre popcorn, Cheetoes, Orange Crush, and Cheddar Goldfish. You know it's bad, you know you shouldn't drink it. But you also know that its forbidden horribleness enhances its chemical flavor and that a secret part of you has craved it since before last week.

I'm under no illusion that Tang is the preferred drink of astronauts -- the first and second ingredients are sugar and I think the third is citric acid. This was old Tang -- the expiration date was about three months ago -- and although the fourth ingredient was some nasty chemical added to it to prevent it from sticking to itself, the Tang had caked into a solid orange mass in the container. I boiled some water.

I got a one of my sister's elegant, sculptured spoons and started chiseling out enough loose Tang to take me back to my childhood days. An orange cloud of dust rose to the kitchen ceiling's lights. People stepped back in order to avoid any future brushes with Orange Lung Disease. I mined three teaspoons into a 12-ounce mug and poured in the water. The resulting mixture was steamy and orange and drinking it was like drinking liquid SweeTarts. In a Proustian moment, I remembered turning my tongue orange with straight Tang when I was ten.

I horrified my family by mixing a second cup twenty minutes later and wondering aloud if I could mix Tang and tequila into a hot drink called "Tang-quila."

Then we played fun word-games like Pictionary and Taboo.

Friday Mark, Arthur, Julie, Randy and I went to a municipality on the other side of the Boeing jet factory where Julie and Randy live to watch the ferries come in next to a lighthouse. It was windy and cold. The sound was pretty in a "nature vs. man" kind of way. Randy had fun faking out the pigeons with gravel (they thought it was bread crumbs). We didn't manage to make it to any other parks to hike (mostly because last week's rains washed out the roads). Julie and Randy went off to watch the Oregon civil war football game. We watched a lot of movies at my sister's. Arthur dosed through most of My Fair Lady, The Harvey Girls, and reruns of The Muppet Show.

Saturday, we spent a relaxing time at some Seattle friends house. While we were there, we went for obligatory noodles and then went shopping for floor lamps. I kept pointing to what I thought were likely candidates and Mark kept saying, "I don't want a bordello lamp." After about the fifth rejection, he said, "I don't want a bordello lamp with Art Neuveau curves." That actually helped.

We had a quiet evening taking pictures of Artur playing with Jean-Luc the cat. Mark bought some children's' medicine and that helped Arthur to sleep. "Helped" is a relative term, and it might as easily be said that it helped Arthur to wake up at 4 AM screaming.

Sunday we are back in Eugene. Tomorrow Mark will go to work and I'll be a full time dad. Arthur seems to have a bunch of molars coming in, so I'm guessing that tomorrow morning, as I'm stumbling around from lack of sleep, I'll be wishing that we had a secret stash of Tang. But we don't even have a secret stash of tequila.

Thank the goddess for chocolate.
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