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Holly Daze

December 28, 2010

So Christmas was lovely. AJ got a huge pile of books and not a single video game and only two presents with batteries, both of which were very cool — the annual Hess truck and Bop-It Bounce. The latter is great fun, but we all, including AJ, wish it had a volume switch. AJ got a lot of Legos, which he’s been working on assiduously. He got a couple of other kinds of building sets too. One was a Snap Circuits kit with a solar-charged battery, for building assorted green energy projects. Another was a girders and panels set, which have been around at least since I was a kid. This one is about hydrodynamics and can be used to build several different models of factories working with various liquids. It came with its own pump and a tub in which to put the water that gets pushed through the system. I think I know what his science fair project will be this year. He has also played many games of Risk, which, as I expected, he loves. But his favorite gift is definitely the camera my aunt and uncle gave him. He can now take his own photos and videos without having to ask for permission to use the family equipment. He’s having a blast. He also got a distortion pedal for his electric guitar, which means we’ve been hearing a lot of Smoke on the Water and Iron Man. The pair of drumsticks in his stocking was also very popular.

I got new pajamas, a sweater and a pretty fabulous bag made out of a recycled sweater and lined with the top part of a recycled pair of jeans, turned inside out so the pockets are useful. The handle is a recycled belt. We all agree that the sweater that it’s made of, which matches everything I own, would have made a hideous sweater, but it makes a very good looking bag. As an added bonus, when it’s cold on the train, putting it in your lap keeps you warm.

A lot of this Christmas for AJ was about being a big kid. We’d been wondering where AJ stood on the whole Santa thing. I suspected he’d figured things out, because he wouldn’t tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas this year. But he didn’t say anything until Christmas morning, when he started asking where the various presents in his stocking came from. So another milestone. I thought it will make me sadder, but he didn’t seem any less enthusiastic for Christmas, so it didn’t. I suspect it will bother me more next year. AJ was also very excited about the present he got from his aunt: a new bedspread and sheets. His old ones were covered in pictures of sports gear. He’d had them since he moved out of his crib. He was ready for something more grown up. His room is gradually morphing into a teen lounge.

This afternoon, I’m helping out at a rock band camp a friend of mine dreamed up and is running through her church. Because it’s church sponsored and we have to work with the music they have licenses for, we’re going to be playing Christian rock. I’m hoping I don’t say anything inappropriate. But I’m looking forward to working with the kids. Out of 12 kids who signed up, two of them play electric violin. What are the odds? And one of the two is the brother of a kid on AJ’s basketball team. This is a very small town.

So another unexpected item for my resume: Instructor of Lutheran rock band. I’m also back to my regular teaching this week and the student who took a trial lesson right before Christmas starts as a regular today. Meanwhile I’m still wrestling with the very fast ornamentation in Liz Carroll’s “The Road to Recovery.” I can play it just fine slowly, but when I speed it up, my fingers feel thick and slow and too many notes elide. I am trying hard to replicate Liz’s lightness and impeccable rhythmic sense. But even though I learned the tune from her personally, my fingers, at the moment, don’t seem quite up to the task. I keep trying, though. Someday I’ll get there.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    December 28, 2010 9:30 am

    Dusty also was semi-unenthusiastic about Santa this year but didn’t actually say anything, probably because to utter the words might make it all disappear. Plus, Red’s a total Santa believer and Dusty’s not one to burst her bubble. Santa brought things they’d both wanted so it was win-win.

  2. December 28, 2010 10:29 am

    Well, the cat is out of the Santa bag, and both girls are, um, angry. Katie said, “YOU LIE!” We voted for censure.

    A Lutheran rock band? At their shows, is it a pot luck? Is everyone in the band named Peterson or Petersen? Instead of hugging their groupies, do they just politely nod and wave?

  3. December 28, 2010 10:40 am

    No hot dish or jello mold, but there will be snacks in the narthex.

  4. Cranky permalink
    December 28, 2010 11:05 am

    Is Risk different than Battleship? I always played Battleship, but not sure I’ve ever played Risk.

  5. Cranky permalink
    December 28, 2010 11:07 am

    OK, I just glanced through the Wikipedia entry. I wish I could play!

  6. December 28, 2010 12:41 pm

    Does AJ already know the Australian strategy, in conquering the smaller continents, amassing forces, and saving the Ukraine for last.

    Because you know, the Ukraine is weak…

    (Cue Seinfeld You Tube…)

  7. December 28, 2010 6:39 pm

    It’s funny you mention that, Smed, because that is exactly how I beat him. I’m sure he’ll figure it out soon, though. He’s already beating everyone else. Cranky, it is a challenging game. Perfect for someone who loves maps as well as the strategy of chess.

  8. crankygirl permalink
    December 28, 2010 7:46 pm

    Are you saying that I can’t PLAY?!

  9. December 28, 2010 7:57 pm

    Now wait a minute: you were the one who said you couldn’t play (or rather that you wished you could play). I merely meant that it is the perfect game for AJ. And also that I can’t play. I beat him once thanks to one prior experience with the game. I have no doubt, however, that he will be pounding me soon. As we speak, he is about to finish his first solo New York Times crossword puzzle. He is an alarming child at times.

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