Master and Who?

It’s Friday morning. For the first time since we arrived I’m experiencing an eerie silence. Let’s see here: John is playing golf with his brother and 5-year-old son. John’s other brother has gone canoeing with his 6-year-old daughter. The first brother’s wife has gone to the beach for a swim while John’s mother watches the 10-month-old baby. The second brother’s wife has taken the 2-year-old to the island doctor. We babysat for the 2-year-old and the 6-year-old last night and sent their parents out to see “Master and Commander.” Unfortunately the 2-year-old got a fever. Her temperature was over 104. Feeling a little out of our depth we called them for advice. They came home. Apparently they were up to the part when the the captain has a musket removed from his stomach?

Eek. A knock on the door.

Okay. The sister-in-law returned from the beach and John’s mother and I are going out to buy postcards.

At least you have something to read until the next episode. I know you’ve all been hungry for news. Don’t worry. I’ll be back.

Thanksgiving with John's Family

Greetings from Sanibel Island! We left Houston around midday on Saturday, stayed one night in New Orleans, and one in Gainesville, Florida. We drove 1,138.6 miles in all and loved every minute of it. What a great way to travel! I’m uploading some pictures right now and will keep adding to them very slowly. Yes. We’re using (groan) dial up. Eventually you’ll be able to click on the picture and go to the album. Yes, I know it’s tough, loyal readers, but you’ll have to be patient.

The Mini is Washed. I'm Ready to Go

We were supposed to start our 1,124.4 mile (per Yahoo Maps) drive to Florida last night, but delayed it until today as I just haven’t been able to stop coughing. The sore throat’s gone, but I start coughing as soon as the NyQuil wears off. Yesterday it was so bad that I pulled a muscle in my neck. John thinks we should delay another day but I’m anxious to get on the road. Who knows, our house may have toxic mould, or it could just be the Houston air that’s getting to me. I don’t seem to cough so much at the office.

I think we should get started, but right now he’s not buying it.

Once we do get to Florida We’ll be staying on Sanibel Island with John’s mother + two brothers + wives + four children aged approximately one, two, three, and four. We’ve rented two large condos on the beach and I look forward to a week of relaxation and some good Thanksgiving turkey on Thursday. Of course, we’re taking the laptop and one of those AOL discs that offers 1,045 hours free for 45 days. If there’s no telephone jack in the condo (seems unlikely) you won’t be hearing from me until next weekend.

Chicken Soup and Kasparov

It’s been a rotten weekend. I have a sore throat and have been coughing incessantly. If this is the start of a cold I wish it would just get on with it. John has been feeding me bowls of chicken soup and unwrapping cough drops for me while I’ve just sat in front of the TV, napping, waking up, napping, waking up, napping . . . Of course, that’s very wise of him, because he’ll probably have the same thing once I get better.

So, what have I been watching? Paul, you’d approve. I watched Garry Kasparov beat 12-year-old X3D Fritz in Game 3 of the Man-Machine World Chess Championships. It was, in fact, quite riveting. Kasparov completely confused Fritz with a masterful pawn formation on the left side of my TV screen. I’ve also watched jump rope competitions on ESPN, the first six episodes of Cheers on DVD, a couple of prayer meetings on those funny channels between the networks and CNN, and a movie called Whale Rider.

Well, gotta go. John’s standing here with the NyQuil bottle. EUCHHHH!

Black Coffee and Two Matchsticks, please

I wish I could take catnaps. We’re going out to hear a band called The Jayhawks at the Continental Club tonight. They don’t start until 11:30 p.m. (how ridiculous!) It’s 8:30 now, so I could easily get in a couple of hours’ sleep before going out, But it won’t work. For a start, it’ll take me an hour to get to sleep, and once I do fall asleep I won’t want to get up.

Still, it’s a Thursday night. I’ll feel like crap in the morning but will only have to get through one day of work before the weekend.

(Uploading this quietly while John snores away happily.)

A Whole Day Off

Yes. I’ve taken the whole day off work. Things are slow and I thought I’d let my boss catch up with me while I get Wendy an inspection sticker and play with my website and fix bacon and fried eggs for breakfast and get a new water filter for the kitchen sink so that John (who hasn’t taken the day off) can try installing it and flood the cupboard under the sink again like he did last night and then when he’s fixed that I can whine at him again that the washing machine isn’t working and do all those fun things that one does on a day off when all the riffraff including John has to work and maybe I’ll even make it to a 4:30 yoga class.

Better get moving. It’s already midday. Can’t waste this.

Cougars 10, Golden Eagles 31

I went to a f**tb@!! game on Saturday with John, Callie, Kevin, Terry and his friends. This was my fourth (two at Rice in 1991, and Sooners vs. Colorado at Reliant Stadium last year). This time the UH Cougars got roughed up fairly badly by the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

I could have kicked myself for forgetting the camera. We were talking and enjoying a few beers in the car park before the game (that’s called “tailgating,” Habershons), unwittingly standing in the path that the team would take from the bus to the stadium. I then witnessed every single player walk past me within touching distance. They were smaller than I would’ve expected — well, some were quite wide but none was overly tall (apparently the tall ones play for UT). Each was different in the way he dressed — some were already in their protective gear; some wore teeshirts with holes in them; some had evil looking tattoos. But each had the same smile-free face as they walked in one line from the bus to the stadium. None acknowledged the ripple of applause from the crowd. They looked straight ahead with steely looks of determination on their faces.

That’s what stands out in my mind most from the day.

I don’t enjoy f**tb@!! as a sport and haven’t made any effort to learn the rules. My fantasy team was a bad idea and is currently 2 and 8 (incidentally, I named it “Arsenal” — thanks for all the suggestions [growl]). But I’d go to another game anytime. There are other things to enjoy, such as the male Cougar cheerleader third from right, back row, who performed back flips (“backwards somersaults” to you, Habershons) effortlessy throughout the proceedings; the baton twirlers (lot of hard work there); the Cougar band (not as brilliant as the Aggies, but still very impressive); and watching the fans. Any Habershons who come over here during the f**tb@!! season will have to go to a game with Kevin, the ultimate fan.