bowling, and brush up your shakespeare…

November 6, 2011 Comments Off on bowling, and brush up your shakespeare…

A bit of a schedule kerfuffle this weekend, but all for a good cause.  I had tickets to the student production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, and K ended up on duty to stock bookshelves at her new bookstore gig.  I had suggested extending the afternoon to include a celebratory round of bowling, and K agreed.

The kids had stellar report cards this last quarter, which was cheering.  I’ve been obsessively reading about the effects of divorce on kids, and quietly panicking after seeing new data that shows that, no matter how friendly things are, kids’ grades tend to suffer after a split.  So to see O bounce back with her best grades ever, and for C to continue his pretty much unbeaten streak of acing all non-art classes (long story), was pretty cheering.

“Perfect Games!” they decided.  No worries, I told them, invite a friend each and we’ll bowl until our fingers bleed.  Which isn’t very long if you don’t bowl that often.  PG is the “new” bowling alley out on the edge of town, attached to a lazer tag and video arcade place.  It’s main claim to fame is that it has a bar, so parents have a refuge from birthday parties, etc.  Not me.  I’m all in.

The kids bowl pretty much in line with their personalities.  C methodically walks up to the foul line, assesses the geometric possibilities, and lets fly with a slow roller.  O needs more of a windup, and it seems impossible that she only has two arms and two legs given the windmilling action that ensues.  Neither of them can bowl particularly straight, and O tends to bounce the ball six or seven times on its way to the pins.  One of them–I’m not saying which–bowled six straight gutter balls.

Their friends bowled well, I bowled miserably, but no one really cared.  There was some boy versus girl trash talk, and afterwards we got snacks and the kids played video games for half an hour or so.  PG is not cheap, but for three hours of entertainment it served its purpose pretty well.

We did a quick fajita dinner at home, and then it was off to the Shakespeare.  ISU Theatre has a decent reputation for a university that’s mostly engineering and ag, and I got season tickets this year, figuring it would be a good excuse to buff the kids’ cultural minds a bit.  They hadn’t seen Shakespeare yet, and Love’s Labour’s Lost is a good first one–full of snarky commentary and slapstick action.  ISU’s production had modern costumes (that’s the gentlemen’s component, left), and played the slapstick element to the hilt–goofy props, a Don Armando that was world-class, and a brilliant red herring that O figured out early on, but that fooled the rest of us.  The kids were completely into it–at one of the key moments, when in that Shakespeare sort of way a letter has accidentally found its way into the wrong hands, he couldn’t help saying (mostly under his breath) “BUSTED!”  I let that lapse in theatre etiquette go, since the rest of the audience was saying exactly the same thing.  Throw in some nice organic chocolates from the concession stand at intermission and the kids were completely hooked.

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brush up your shakespeare

January 31, 2011 Comments Off on brush up your shakespeare

The girl texted me this afternoon while I was picking up C to say that she was fine, but tired, and could we cancel her riding lesson today?  I said sure, particularly since there’s a fresh inch of snow on the ground, with a layer of ice underneath, and even I wasn’t keen to drive up north of town, terribly.

So we get home, and here she is, sitting in the Eames chair, reading.  What, you might ask?  Her latest project.  My folks gave us their Yale Shakespeare collection last year, and we have it prominently displayed in the living room.  Yesterday I saw Midsummer Night’s Dream sitting on the coffee table and was all ready to tell the kids not to mess around with it–valuable family heirloom, old books, yadda yadda.  Then I noticed the bookmark.  Oh.  My.  God.  The girl is reading Shakespeare with no prodding from parents or teachers.

“I like Puck,” she said.

“Of course,” I told her.  “Everyone likes Puck.  Shakespeare’s a little tough to understand, but he’s worth the effort.”

“That’s what the footnotes are for, Dad.”

Righty-ho.  But then, just as I’m getting set to download Stanford’s application for their Comp. Lit. program, she says, “Oh, by the way.  My eye isn’t red because I’ve been crying.  It’s red because I poked it with a Kleenex lotion tissue.”

The boy, meanwhile, weighed his backpack when he got home.  “I have ELEVEN POUNDS of homework tonight.”

Even without riding, we’re saying the hell with it and going out tonight.  Olde Main, where I can get a good slab of salmon.  We’ll give the stove a rest.

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