Monday, April 21, 2008

Grandparents' Visit

Grandma Cat and Grandpa Jim came to visit Saturday night for my (mama's) birthday. I had a performance with some other folks from our hometown in a bookstore in Tremont. Grandma Cat had had to work and Grandpa Jim had a big rally for Darfur, so they just came straight to the reading, rather than stopping at the house, which was best because they were late anyway.

Afterwards, we went to The Prosperity Club, which is a darn good bar, and ate greasy food and talked about Hoggy Dahs. A Hoggy Dah is someone who knows-it-all and is happy to tell you. Often an oldest sibling who tells all the younger siblings what to do and how to do it. I myself am a bona fide Hoggy Dah, no question about it. The word comes from our friends the Kambitsch family and the second-to-youngest (of thirteen), Patty, who is promoting her memoir, Looks Like Howard, from which I learned the word.

The next day, Grandma Cat, Grandpa Jim, and I took the boys up to Big Fun because Aleks was really keen on Grandma buying him something (I guess for my birthday). She seemed fine with this arrangement. It was a warm day, even though it was misting terribly, and the boys needed to run to get their energy out. In Big Fun, Aleks headed straight for the Star Wars section.They have so much Star Wars stuff. The place is stocked floor-to-ceiling with vintage and not-so-vintage toys and general kitsch. Its really awesome, actually.
Bastian bangs on the glass to the vintage Star Wars toys. Aleks once practically got us kicked out for doing the same thing at the old location because the employees act like they're rock stars. And actually, come to think of it, Aleks didn't even bang (amazingly enough for him), he just leaned. Jerkwads.
Each of these action figures costs at least $25. Which is why we own new action figures instead of old ones. I still really want a carbonite Han for Jon since he's my carbonite husband. But they're in the hundred-dollar range.
Grandma picked out a Darth Tater for the boys and a dashboard Vader that talks when your car moves. Here's Bastian waiting outside Tommy's with his new toy.
Grandma helped him put it together at the table while we waited for our order.
Jim shows off the dashboard Vader. I still need to put it up, actually.
Aleks sits and peruses two new Star Wars books I also picked up at Mac's Backs, which is attached to Tommy's. Sundays are super-duper busy at Tommy's, so I had to entertain the kids for awhile before our name was called. Buying them stuff seems to work well. We also sang The Christmas Song in the glass-enclosed entrance while dancing, went to the ATM, and made lots of silly sounds.
At Tommy's, you write down your name and the number of your party on this sheet at the front then stand crowded around a thin strip of seats waiting until your name is called. I always write down our name as Aleksander Guitar-Hero. Aleks once decided that he had changed everyone in the family's middle names:

ANNA: Aleks decided we needed to all change our middle names.
JON: Yeah, to what?
ANNA: My middle name will be Pumpkin-Heads, he wants his middle name to be Guitar-Heroes, and what did you want Sebastian's to be Aleks?
ALEKS: Micey-Cookies!
JON: What is my middle name going to be?
ALEKS: Spiders-Show-Up.
ANNA: Jonathan Spiders-Show-Up Wl****k.
JON: Im doin' it.

On the walk back home, since it was trash night, there was some furniture on the tree lawn, which is not at all unusual. Mom and I spotted this great shelf, which is antique, solid wood and totally scratched and dinged, but nothing a refinish won't cure or my children won't add to dramatically in the next few years. I tried just carrying it down the street at first, but I had two boxes of leftovers and a child-sized smoothie in my hands. Grandma Cat had one smoothie and the two boys who were running off, so she couldn't help, and Grandpa Jim had gone back to Big Fun for some yiddish magnetic poetry and my umbrella I'd left.

I got a few buildings down and tried to call Jon to come get me, but he couldn't get out of the driveway because of the Grandparents' car. After we all got back to the house, I took the car and picked it up. The only problem now is that I'm completely out of wall space to put it against without moving paintings. For now it sits in my bedroom, oddly off-center and sort of in the way. Bastian enjoyed shelving himself, however.

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