Ramble Alert

Why do people go to Florida? I grew up on the west coast--practically in the Disneyland parking lot--so Disney World is irrelevant, and I can't imagine anything less refreshing than a warm ocean. And, people, it's humid! Like aerosolized soup! Like San Diego this past week! Mr. Leelo is sure as hell never going to Florida--his first night in a truly hot-n-humid environment had him screaming in disbelief until 2:00 A.M

But oh, man, the beach! My folks live near Windansea, which just rocks. The surfers guard the waves jealously, but they don't mind dorks splashing around in the shorebreak. So, Leelo, Iz, and I got limitless access to wave-ends for chasing and jumping around. Then I sent the squallers back to fiddle with shovels, towels, and plastic octopi while I got into more serious jumping and splashing. Was having so much fun that I didn't notice a particularly powerful wave until it knocked me on my ass and then introduced said ass to the abrading properties of sand. Result: a nice tight grimace as I watched Iz build sandcastles and "sand potties," and listened to Leelo talk about how much he liked to "dance on the beach!" Still love that bodysurfing even though I suck. Still have sand in my hair as I write.

Spent the first two, Seymour-less, San Diego nights in a local Holiday Inn since my folks' house was full of brothers. The hotel was dreamy: One block from the beach. A swimming pool. A/C. A retreat from my parents' sauna/madhouse. Too bad Leelo and Isobel refused to go down at their regular bedtime--I desperately needed five minutes to read a book or even pick my toes in peace, but it wasn't to be. Then there were the losers-who-went-to-bed-at-8 P.M. banging on the wall every time Leelo made Panny and Totoro reenact a really rollicking scene from Max & Ruby, or tried out his new eardrum-piercing shriek. Tried to remove Panny to help Leelo settle down, but no go--he just howled "I want Panny!" (A typical-child-style outburst--excellent.) So I hauled Leelo into my bed and got kicked in the kidneys--in an endearing way--all night.

We went to San Diego without Seymour so that we could catch a day-and-a-half with my bro Chet, his wife R, and their baby, B (Seymour couldn't get sprung from work in time). Their little family is so happy to be back together after Chet's year in Afghanistan, especially R who now has someone else to put the baby to bed. Didn't get to talk to them that much, what with the screaming toddlers and all, but apparently Chet is in the running for yet another If I Told You I'd Have To Kill You job. The three of them seemed sad to leave California, especially Chet--but he needs to remember that it was his choice to live in The Land of No Burritos.

It is also Chet's fault that my folks have a subscription to the self-delusional society freak show that is Vanity Fair magazine. My dad always leaves a copy lying around, and for all my high-handedness I invariably end up gobbling it down. I used to do this with my aunt's National Enquirers, too, so I guess VF addresses some brain-stem level craving. For all its pretensions, VF is certainly formed from the same putrid dreck as the Enquirer--why do the writers find it necessary to comment on topics like Wallis Simpson's "grape-like, indeterminate genitals"? Yeesh. But hey, if they write a follow-up, will someone please let me know?

Reading Vanity Fair always leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. I feel the same way after being caught in Burger King's tractor beam (although if it's late afternoon, I've forgotten to eat lunch, and the kids are strapped into the car, then I'd eat candied deer hooves if they were sold at a drive-through). Felt less sick about renting a minivan for the weekend, even though it was like driving a Japanese hotel room. I am all for practicality, so if I'm going to be spending a lot of time with people I don't see very often, and we are going to be spending a lot of that limited time driving around, then it's just stupid for us to ride in separate cars. Stupid!

One of the things my folks and my family all got to do together thanks to my not-stupid rented minivan was toodle up Mt. Soledad for a spectacular sunset and--get this--an intense and prolonged green flash. This was the highlight of the whole trip for Seymour, as he is a much bigger geek than I. (I write that in admiration, BTW. I am too lazy to be a dedicated geek.)

After the green flash, and thanks to my generous parents, Seymour and I went on a date (!). We had some decent Indian food, but I almost choked on the prices--$14.95 for prawns vindaloo, with naan and rice ordered separately. Bah. I told Seymour that there should be a sign at the city limits: "Welcome to La Jolla, now bend over," since price points are based solely on the privilege of making a purchase there. It is indescribably strange that my parents live in such a place, although Seymour is far more weirded by his parents' lakefront compound. (When we were kids, our parents lived in nice boring middle-class suburbs.)

The second part of our date was a long beach walk in the moonlight (cue music). San Diego-bred Seymour filled me in on local beach lore. Then he surprised me by commenting that it seemed like I had a lot on my mind and wanted to purge it somehow (fark, did he find out about this blog? Not that he couldn't read it, but I just like having it to myself. Will proceed to compulsively Clear History after blog sessions). I did tell him how tired I am of knee-jerk reactions to political postings on our local moms' club e-Board (I would be less annoyed if the respondents actually read each posting and replied to its points, rather than letting loose with a poorly spelled, gawd-I-love-America and you obviously don't emotional volley). Also filled him in on the lameness of my sulk over not being asked to join Ep and Jo's writers group: 1) I am not a Writer, nor have I ever expressed any intentions of becoming one, and 2) Like everything else, it meets in the middle of a Leelo therapy session.

Leelo, by the way, is doing fabulously. We once again started two approaches simultaneously (Diet/yeast eradication and full-time ABA therapy), so it is difficult to determine which is because of what. But it's impossible to ignore the improvements. He is talking up a storm: "That is the farmer's house." "I want to be all done." Waking me up in the morning to announce "I want Mr. Salt!" Saying hello or goodbye appropriately--with the correct name--with minimal prompting. His hyperactivity is almost gone. My mom in particular commented on what she perceived as a huge difference in the three weeks since they saw him last. Another improvement is that his stench-bottom episodes have decreased from four to one or two a day, but I suspect that this is interesting to me, the diaper wench, alone.

Part II tomorrow (oh yes, there's more--I had no unsupervised computer time for five days!). Tired and (shock) totally grumpy.

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