24 September 2007


Well, it's been a time. The kids are back in school. All the fine young gods and goddesses have returned to the university at which I work, where they proceeded to get some education between bouts of drunken partying and whatnot. Heavy on the whatnot, or perhaps I should say "shouldnot".

The atmosphere here presents some odd challenges to raising children. The other day Puff and younger were at a bus stop. Standing near them was some young thing wearing five inch wooden platform heels along with a low slung hip-hugger skirt that apparently was one step away from a belt. Her torso was covered, somewhat, by a 'sweetheart' bustier. Naturally younger spotted her instantly. "Mummy, mummy," she said in that oh so quiet voice that carries everywhere. "Why is she dressed like that?" One of those moments which the parenting manuals don't exactly cover.

Also, the Fine Arts department here- specifically, the part of the department dedicated to the visual arts- is completely bereft of ideas, or wit, or talent, or any reason for being. They are merely spinning out tired ideas and turning out pointless crud, making sculptures that look like a disaster in a scrapyard or fashioned by an idiot with astigmatism and a blowtorch.. If they kept it in their building, where one would have to go out of one's way to see it, I wouldn't care. But no, they want to put it in your face. You have to go out of your way not to see it. But ugly is not all. Occasionally they make use of the wonderfully witty value of cheap shock. Basically, put a penis on anything and call it Art. Then, when the predictable public outrage occurs, claim your artistic integrity is being compromised and you freedom of expression is being suppressed. Don't forget to claim your degree on the way out. Don't let the fact that you don't know which end of a paintbrush goes into the paint prevent you from calling yourself an artist.

On a personal note, I received two rather nice compliments on my voice on the weekend, which gave me a nice comfortable glow until reality returned in the form a a few bills. One was to put back into winter storage the boat I could not afford to use at all this year as I had to pay for elder's braces. This was further exacerbated by the fact that I only get paid once a month, and develop a peptic ulcer watching my account dwindle on down over the next few weeks, and feel a cold sweat develop during the last few days.

Still, younger gave me a good reminder of the important things in life. She asked me to give her a little lesson on playing the organ (she can now spot C,D and E, and can work out the rest) so I taught her for a little while. Then she asked if we could make popcorn and put on one of her old Barbie movies. If a few minutes of her and I on the bench, followed by a cheesy movie enriched by ten cents worth of popcorn are all it takes to make her happy and content, then money isn't all it's wrapped up to be. No, I don't have much money for the kids and family, but I can still give them my time.

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