austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You say it's your birthday

[ Due to Internet accessibility issues, plus touristing and driving, I haven't had time to write something about today, so, here's something about recently. ]

I should mention besides everything else my niece had her first birthday with the family recently. For the event invitations were sent out to the whole family, both sides, and I believe everyone appeared at my sister-in-law's parents house. (I don't know what they are to me. Aunt and uncle-in-law?) This would be the first time I've visited them; I just haven't had cause to be down there before. Also coming along was one of my father's friends, husband to one of my mother's college friends, who decided to skip his college reunion for this instead.

My uncle (call it what you will) thought this skipping the reunion for the birthday party was a great idea, and I'd agree even without having ever been to a college reunion myself. The party had a vaguely goldfish theme, with paper goldfish placemats on the various tables --- which were in danger of blowing away in the wind, as it was one of those days trying very hard to rain but not quite making it --- secured underneath bowls of goldfish crackers, with a good number of other swimming-based toys scattered around. It turns out my niece is a natural swimmer, and took to the beach so instantly and completely that her parents decided they were going to buy the season passes. She gets that from me, you know; I was swimming almost before I could walk, and that was a very close thing.

I should point out there's a lot of built-up child-providing energy among the family, between my parents who've been ready for grandchildren for a decade or so, and my mother's college friends, and yes, even the feelings of me and my siblings who appreciate and are relieved that we're not under any pressure now to provide grandchildren. But also there are a lot more cool things available in the range of affordable neat toys these days than there were when I was growing up in the 70s. I thought it luxury that we had one of those awful plastic pools that got just enough freezing garden hose water to not swim in. My niece has an inflatable bounce-house set up for special occasions like her birthday, ready for her and her friends to bounce upon.

Trivia: The writing ball, a sort of prototype typewriter, which Friedrich Neitzche owned weighed about 75 kilograms. Source: The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting, Darren Wershler-Henry.

Currently Reading: Rome in the Augustinian Age, Henry Thompson Rowell.


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