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11:33 a.m. - 2012-08-22
Last licks before fall.

Wolf has swimmer's ear, dagnabbit. He'd been complaining of having water in his ear and the crackling noise was driving him bonkers. I had him try the suction thing I learned when I swam in high school- tilting your head to the side and pressing your palm over your ear and THWUCK! No dice. I'm still hesitant to go to the doctor when I'm ill, too many years without health insurance, but I don't stall around when it comes to my kid. Off we went yesterday and found out I'd brought him in early enough to short-circuit what was shaping up to be a really nasty infection. Ear drops twice a day for five days and my kid should be just fine. This skews our plans for another run to the shore tomorrow, but there's still next week. Something we couldn't do if we lived somewhere where school was already in session.

True enough I'm ready for summer weather to be over. I've already started my annual leather-loving whine, "Wah! Get cold already I wanna wear boooooots!" But for me the school year will ever and always start the Wednesday after Labor Day. I don't know if it still holds, but when I was a kid the NYC schools started even later- they began on Monday the week after Labor Day and there was much bitter envy of those wretched city kids getting summer vacation for just that much longer. In any case the idea of going to school in August is almost sacrilegious. I know there's zero need for the school year to still be tied to the agricultural calendar, which of course was the whole reason for summers off, but it feels mean to me that millions of kids are already at their desks while there's still a whole bunch of summer left.

And there is too! We still have the shore to do. Wolf and Jon are going to Six Flags on Friday. Mack will be coming for a sleepover and we'll be taking the boys to Mountain Creek. There's a whole lot of summer left to stuff into the next two weeks. If Wolf's ear infection hadn't goobered things up there'd have been MIL's pool this weekend and for as many more times as we can smush in before she has it closed for the winter, which depending on the weather usually isn't until the end of September.

Speaking of MIL- she and FIL and nephew Jon are coming today for an early dinner. I broke down and made the eggplant parm. Nuts, I know. Hey, it's farmer's market season. I was there on Friday and the piles of eggplants were just too lovely to ignore. And the mozzarella guy was there and the mushroom lady and...I'm a sucker. Besides, it's not just for MIL, Jon is a vegetarian and there's few enough meals served at this house without hunks of dead animal. This way everyone ends up happy. MIL gets her fave. Jon (who needs a good meal, the child is a stick) can join us. Mick is happy because he's having his folks over, his father's rapidly declining health makes every visit precious. Wolf is pleased because he doesn't have to do grandson duty alone and besides he thinks Jon is the bee's knees. Is there anyone cooler to a 15 year old than a 21 year old cousin who's hiked the Appalachian Trail, hitchhiked across the country, bummed around South America and has a full-torso tattoo? Nice thing is Jon likes Wolf too. Still has the memory of being a pre-driver's license gawky teenager close to hand and Jon speaks to Wolf as a peer. And me? I get to feed people and groove on everyone's happy. Empaths tend to be sneaky like this. I can't speak for all of us, but I know I go out of my way to arrange situations where everyone around me is feeling good. Some folks thrive on conflict and confrontations, but I prefer the mellow. I've had enough shit and stress in my life. I might have only been six when Woodstock happened, but a hippy I am and a hippy I will always be.

This, however, didn't stop me from enjoying the heck out of that testosterone festival 'The Expendables 2' last night. I was a bit stiff for the first few scenes- a little too much droog-ish ultra-violence for my taste, but then I twigged this was a live action cartoon and got over myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everything has to be praise-worthy and uplifting. Some stuff is just meant to be silly fun. And this dopey homage/send-up of 80s action flicks certainly qualified. Far superior to the first one in that this time they didn't even bother with the backstories and 'righteous men in an amoral universe' angsty crap. Nope. This was a Wile E. Coyote love letter to men in their 40s and 50s. Guys whose stud-muffin heyday included mullets, neon print MC Hammer pants, flaming chicken Trans-Ams, and a steroid swagger. Mick was in action hero heaven. To deconstruct this thing and point out the logic and plot flaws and be a biggity snark about the low-brow homoeroticism would have been too mean. I watch princess movies, fer Pete's sake! Mick should be allowed his own version of glass slipper cinematic junk food without me being a pill. Besides, once I gave over to the sheer doofiness of this thing I had fun too. My only bitch is that Jason Statham kept his clothes on.

Then again everyone else did too and being spared the saggy man-boobs on Arnie and Van Damme and Chuck Norris was a relief. If I want to see droopy boobs I only have to find the nearest mirror.

Damn mirrors anyhow. Mine continue to be a constant source of pain and shame. So I stopped looking. Amazing how much one can manage NOT to see if one tries.

Anyhoodle, I've got to get moving. Company's coming. The dinner is all made, just needs heating but even as much as a mess as I am nowadays combing my hair and changing out of my nightie is a good idea. ~LA

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