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9:56 a.m. - March 14, 2006
Beware of Darkness
One of the songs that is on my short list on all the mixes that I’m doing (and yes, this is a sneak preview for a few of you) is “Beware of Darkness” by George Harrison. It’s a very thoughtful number on his classic All Things Must Pass , and as I was assembling songs for people this one made an impression on me.

Let me tell you, Saturday, the phrase was true.

Saturday was the day I went up to Lafayette to go, ulp, shopping, and that I did. I survived the crowds, the sullen teens and the rest of the hoo-hah with aplomb, for the most part. I was in the Old Navy for five minutes and got three khakis and two pair of shorts. I was in Kohl’s and bought two more pairs of khakis.

I had to call Liz on the phone to get my shirt size (I can never remember) and bought four shirts that were on sale, marked down from $40 to $25. So I’m feeling good and within budget, and I’m off to buy a pair of shoes.

So I amble down to Payless, but see nothing that strikes my fancy, and I remember that every time I have bought cheap shoes they only lasted about six months, so I went to an actual honest to goodness shoe store with people that fawn all over your feet. That’s a little creepy for me, because I’m not a foot person. However, sometimes you must do what you must do.

I find a nice pair of loafers with tassels and all, and the salesman is nice and professional, and they fit very well. I have odd feet, because I’m a 10 ½ in some things and a 10 in others. Yes on my overall frame my feet are a bit big, Becks . Heh.

Anyway, the shoes are satisfying and they are nice. So I go up to pay for them. And I freeze.

They’re $96 with tax. So I’ve overshot my budget by about $50 or so. Oops.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought actual real honest to goodness good shoes.

But it’s a nice day, I have a new wardrobe, and I have great tunes in the car, so I decide to amble out to the country to get home. I crank up the iPod, and the song that’s on is “Smack My B**** Up” and I’m feeling all, well, manly and God-like.

I leave a couple of messages for people and enjoy the drive back through the country, hitting towns like West Point, New Richmond and Elmdale. Why not? It’s Saturday and I’ve got great tunes cranking. Well, except for the turn I almost missed on the narrow BFE country road, but still. I would have been smiling and God-like even when I was stuck inside a pig barn.

When I get home, Liz asks how much I spent, and I’m a bit sheepish. I worry about spending money at home, and I went out and spent $350 or so on me, which was over budget. And they were work clothes, not fun stuff like tunes or books or anything.

But Saturday night is an adult dinner night for us, so we get Kristin and Katie fed and bathed. I’m downstairs watching basketball and have my sheets ready to update my power rankings as quickly as possible (since it was a day before Selection Sunday) while Liz is going upstairs to tuck Katie into bed. The sky outside is darkening up at a faster pace than normal, and some weather may be moving into the area.

All of a sudden:

“OH! F***!”

I zoom upstairs, which in our house takes some doing, but it was a land speed record. Liz doesn’t throw around curse words that often.

Katie is crying and Liz is upset. Katie’s bed is broken.

“What happened?”

Well, the backstory on Katie’s bed is that Liz bought it on eBay as a pair of bunk beds. She painted them, and assembled one when we bought our new house. We decided to give the other one to Katie’s cousin Dru. It’s not a very expensive bed, and the slats have had some issues with breaking, so we kind of got what we paid for.

“I sat on the exact wrong spot of the bed frame, and it totally broke.”

Indeed, she had. The wooden frame had one spot where there was nothing connecting the two pieces of wood that make up the interior frame railing. And that was right in the middle of the rail, which to me is an asinine design, and I told Liz that when I examined the damage.

So now I feel really bad that I overshot the budget, as we’re going to have to get Katie a new bed.

Katie is all upset, but we take her mattress off, and say she’s going to sleep on it like a sleep over for a few days, while we get her a new bed. I think this time we’ll get a quality bed.

So that pushes back our adult dinner as it takes Katie a while to get calmed down.

It was really dark now, it being night, but darker still because clouds were rolling in.

But the steaks were nice, and the wine tasty and we were lingering when the phone rang.

Oops, that’s trouble, we thought. It was Liz’s best friend Snow White, from Kansas.

I retired to go catch up on the basketball action while Liz talked to her friend. But it was no crisis; however, it did rather much destroy our adult dinner momentum.

After a while, Liz heads toward bed and I split my time between the computer and the basketball games. The tourney championships of the Mountain West and WAC are exciting games, but so is life online.

A storm starts rolling in, though, and it’s not a small storm. There’s lightning and thunder all around, and when you’re in a house like mine, you worry. I have three big trees surrounding the house, and I’m also 20 feet in the air in our computer room.

The thunder rolls, the darkness pierced by lightning strikes. Then, as Liz was almost asleep, Katie shrieks.

She is afraid of thunder.

She wants us to come in there.

We talk to her for a while and she calms down a bit, but then the thunder booms again.

I go in alone this time.

“Can you make it go away?”

“Honey, I wish I could. But you just have to be patient. You are totally safe up here. We won’t let anything happen to you.”

I gave her a big hug, and then I turned off the computer. The storm soon passed, and after the WAC championship I go to bed, exhausted in the darkness.

But with darkness comes the light, and during breakfast on Sunday Liz says:

“You know, those ARE really nice shoes you bought, and they will last a long time.”


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