Thursday, December 5, 2013

On This Date in 1998

It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, and JoAnna just returned home from a workshop in Milwaukee. That means she was gone all day, of course. Andy was at a friend’s house from 9:30 until 2:00, so Eddie and I kept Boxer company. 

What did I do today? Not much. A couple loads of laundry. A quick trip to the post office to mail some bills. I started to read a book that I quickly lost interest in, When the Bough Breaks by James Patterson, an author of best-selling mysteries. I had a bad feeling about this book from the start. A 300-page novel with more than 100 chapters? The author must suffer from attention deficit disorder, I figured. Actually, as I quickly discovered, the author can’t write. It was a chore reading the first 20 pages. Disgustedly, I tossed it aside and watched the UCLA-Miami football game for awhile. 

Earlier in the week, I had promised Andy I’d take him to see The Waterboy, a comedy starring Adam Sandler, Hollywood’s current box-office draw. We went to the 3 o’clock showing this afternoon. I’d call it a perfect movie for 11 year olds, a variation of the 3 Stooges kind of humor. Eddie enjoyed it, too. As for Dad, it wasn’t nearly as bad as any of the Mighty Ducks movies. I actually found it mildly amusing. 

Andy plays his first basketball game at 9 a.m. on January 2nd. That means we’ll have to leave Warren on New Year’s Day and miss watching the Rose Bowl. That was JoAnna’s first reaction when I showed her the schedule. His team plays two games every weekend for eight weeks, usually on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. Then they play in a tournament in early March. It’ll be more than twice the number of games he played last year. 

Yesterday was JoAnna’s last day in her current job. It’s hard to get a sense of whether she’s relieved about this part of her career being over or concerned over what she does next. Bill Broydrick, for whom JoAnna used to work as a lobbyist, called her yesterday, so there’s a chance she could go back to her previous job. 

Our warm spell is into its second week. JoAnna went golfing on Wednesday, and I just heard the weatherman on one of the local TV stations say that he was out on the link today. (JoAnna’s surfing right now, unable to find anything good on TV.) One day this week Wisconsin had the warmest temperature ever for December. Looks like we’re going to see a return to normal sometime tomorrow, as a cold front is predicted to move in. 

We all went to a Christmas party last night at Ron and Julie’s,friends of our who live on the east side of Madison. JoAnna and Eddie left the house at 6:30, not wanting to wait around for Andy’s basketball practice to end. It was my turn to pick up the boys. Even though their practice was over at 7:30, we didn’t leave the school until 8:00 since half the team stayed around to play a game of “Lightning”. Andy and I didn’t arrive at the party until 9:00. Outside of a 10-month-old, Andy and Eddie were the only kids in attendance, but they watched videos in one of the upstairs bedrooms. We left at 10:30, at Andy’s insistence. Neither JoAnna nor I minded since it wasn’t much of a party. Just people standing around talking and drinking and eating. 

Tonight JoAnna and I are attending a dinner party hosted by the previous president of the library board and her husband. Andy will earn $9 as our “built-in” babysitter, $3 an hour. 

The city council passed the budget Tuesday night with the library requests intact. As a result, we’ll be able to add Sunday hours to the schedule beginning March 7. The library will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m . during the school year, i.e., from the Sunday after Labor Day to the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be hiring a ¾-time Young Adult Services Librarian, the first new professional position during my tenure as library director, and a ½-time Library Assistant II, as well as more page hours. Overall, the library budget will increase by 10%, to about $750,000. 

Andy wasn’t too happy with his mom and dad earlier this week. He wanted to be able to play with his friend Tim after school in Wednesday, but we both told him that he had to come home directly. JoAnna called me at work around 4 o’clock to tell me that Andy hadn’t returned home yet. (She got home early after playing 18 holes of golf.) Although JoAnna didn’t ask me to do anything, I left the library to conduct a search. I didn’t see Andy’s bike at Tim’s house, but I did spot it near the playground equipment at Elm Lawn School. Andy was close to defying me when I told him he had to go home. Tim betrayed a confidence. “Andy said he doesn’t care if he gets grounded,” a remark Andy denied making. JoAnna was very upset with Andy, but I told her his behavior wasn’t at all unusual. In fact, he and Tim were talking on the phone a couple times Tuesday evening, and it was then when Andy first asked me if he could go to Tim’s house after school. He didn’t like my negative response and ended up doing something about it the next day. I could see myself, as an 11 year old in the same situation, doing the exact same thing. And the start of the teenage experience is still two years away!

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