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Sunday, Jun. 08, 2003
Were all of you aware that Steely Dan has a new CD coming out, and that it will be available to you on Tuesday, the 10th of June?

I’m telling you this so that you can prepare. You know, like not spending the last of your weekend cash on lawn fertilizer or Sunday brunch or other frivolities. Keep a twenty tucked in your wallet for Tuesday. (twenties have this tendency to whoooosh! out of my wallet with the sound of passing warplanes, and they look back mid-flight with a cheery wave, calling out “See you! It’s been fun hugging your ass for the past several days! We’re sending in our trashy cousin, the dollar bill, in just a second!). For the chance to experience the best of modern music over the past 30 years, I know you’ll be thanking me later. Go ye. Buy it. Seriously.

As obsessions go, listening to audio excellence with fine musicians and skeevy lyrics is a relatively mild one.


I’ve been having these days of surprises lately. It’s not really an unexpected thing, the advent of June brings change all of its own accord. End of school, start of summer. Things go differently at this time of year. Like yesterday, for example. A Saturday. An ordinary Saturday in June, I was thinking.

But, excuse me? Beth the Eldest ~ with a boyfriend? Who happens to be a star baseball pitcher who turned down an interesting offer from some major league clubs to accept a college scholarship? And is 6’-5” and (according to the female residents of Chez Outfoxed) is wickedly good looking? And managed to hold his own in a conversation with Dad which included the words “perplexed” and “future considerations”?

Wife, parent and cohort Ally ~ nearly winning the Saturday pool tournament with a stellar and wholly unexpected run of talented and gutsy shots? Beating almost everyone in the place (including, naturally enough, yours truly) into the floor and winning money and having the grace not to rub it in too hard? You go, baby.

(insert audible gasp) Ben the Youngest ~ getting grades high enough to exempt himself from final exams? Talk of taking honors courses for his sophomore year? And going to summer school next year not because he has to, but wants to? I can assure you, the thought of my blue-collar son aspiring to anything approaching scholastic interest is reason for sudden, and dramatic apoplexy on the part of your author. Next thing you know he’ll be reading books and penning internet journals and speaking in sentences that contain multiple colorful adverbs.

Middlest Daughter Maggie ~ completing out loud, and in my befuddled presence, a Business Plan for her next 6 years? One that, while mired in a bit of high school naivete, made a helluva lot of sense. And included the purchase of real estate and a unique idea for a functional restaurant?

Sometimes they really, really surprise me.

I don’t spend as much time with them as I would like. It’s impossible to, given a 14 hour day on a jobsite which demands my complete and utter attention. But these people I live with. For goodness sake, they are functioning, talented and noteworthy. They might squirrel themselves away in bedrooms for hours on end, but they emerge to impress, to display their charisma, to make whole the very concept of parenthood or marriage and that being the very lucky guy I am becomes blindingly apparent.

I’ve got to tell you, it beats hell out of giving them a twenty out of my frayed and tired wallet.

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