Tiger Lily and I had a quick Mardi Gras getaway to her home town where we visited her family and friends. Most of our trip was planned around eating and with good reason. The food in that part of the world is some of the best you could have. You need time to build up your expectations, have them smashed and then time to recuperate afterward. I love Louisiana food. If were to move to a place based off food quality alone it would probably be there. And based on my current spacial qualities, it stands to reason I base a lot of decisions off food quality.
Next came TL's trip to Illinois. Out of the five school's she's applied to for graduate studies, only UT Austin and UI Urbana replied, and of those only Illinois made an offer with some coin. So she visited the campus and loved it. So much so that as of today she's put in an application on apartment. Some time in early August, we'll be driving a moving truck to Illinois.
Spring Break and South by Southwest came at the same time this year. My Real Job boss has ties with the SXSW people as he's done A/V work with them for years. This time, he started his own thing called Create. It's loosely based on the Maker Fair idea of bringing together builders and hackers and other geeks. At one point I had to explain to the kids that the term "hacker" just meant "someone who works to understand something inside and out." So the Create event had food hackers, building hackers, electronics hackers, etc. My boss asked if I could make a poster for the event and in return I got a couple SXSW passes. TG and I used them to see a couple films and get into some events and tents and stuff. It was quite the experience, but it was definitely overwhelming.
Ms. A and Ms. El Paso (I guess henceforth known as The Ladies, since that kinda of what I call them in reality) got the music portion of the festival and as far as I can tell had a good time. I say that only because we rarely saw them but when we did they were exhausted, quibbling and laden with free stuff and fliers for parties. I think during SXSW that's called "success." They're much more into seeing shows and finding ways to get free beer and food and as they've done it for a few years, they're pretty good at it. Ms. El Paso's been fighting with some health issues so I think they both of them took it a bit slower, but I still think they had fun.
It also meant I got to hang out with the kids for half of their spring break. We didn't do a whole lot, and I'll get to why in a second, but we were able to lose two kites in about 10 minutes. We also took a short trip to the SXSW Screenburn event, which is a video game expo basically. They had demos of games and booths with developers and college programs as well as a full LAN gaming area and a small theater are for previews and panels. Sadly, most of the gaming industry revolves around first person shooters which may or may not also have spurting blood, buxom females and needless violence. While we as adults can separate the pixels from the physical, there was a discussion as to the merits of bringing the kids there. However, I was able to steer clear of the cheerleader chainsaw zombie bus and the strippers as alien killers games and actually find the booths where development, interactivity, learning and innocence still counted for something. (There weren't many so it was a short trip.)
Some time during a long march back to where we parked, I must have gotten light-headed, swooned, fell, and dragged my lolling tongue across a plague ridden corpse wrapped in bio hazard waste. I don't have any memory of such an event, so I can only assume I caught something airborne and it turned into what the doctor later called "pneumonia like symptoms." I tried coming up with a clever analogy for this queer phrasing but I'm still a little tired. Needless to say the rest of the weekend I spent being miserable and feverish. Now TL has it, at an almost comically accelerated rate compared to what I went through. She had to call into work which almost made her as sick as the virus itself.
Finally, the children are vexing. Long are the parents' woes when it comes to the rearing of the small humans. Our specific variety continues to provide an endless supply of exasperation. They aren't spiteful or malevolent, but they are willful and in Lil G's case, a bit prone to distraction. The parental units of the group have been noticing some trends of late in the two children and we're both worried and stressed. Lil Miss Austin is willful and at times mean. She's also very manipulative and crafty. Her brother is sweet but he's spacey and forgetful and prone to aggression. This has been translating to an overall lack of respect, attention to rules and follow through on chores. They're past the age when we can say, "Oh, well, they're just young kids." Not gonna fly anymore, Jack. LMA is going into middle school next year. It's time the behavior gets straightened out or they're going to be let go into the world with real problems trying to understand why things aren't going well for them.
It's an on going issue, and it'll change again in a few months, then again next year. Parenting is the Law of Evolution if the Theory ever needed some legitimized help. It's not that they are bad kids or that we are bad parents, it's that we are Parental Artists and will be tweaking and perfecting these two pieces of work until we die. If that piece of work requires a quick slap or a 10 year grounding, then that's what it needs.
The rest of the year is shaping up to be as exciting and hopefully in a good way. I like how 2012 has been so far.
at 3:25 PM