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Well, yes.

It has become a not-infrequent occurrence this summah that ol’ Robbo, whilst at work, should be at the receiving end of telephone calls from Port Swiller Manor in which one or the other of the gels, in high dudgeon, vents at great length about how her sisters “are ruining my life with [insert latest outrage here]!!!” 

Drama.  It’s a succubus.  And then they wonder why I don’t smile as much as I did in  those old photos in the family albums…….

At any rate, musing on ornery, head-strong daughters got me thinking of Katherine from The Taming of the Shrew.  And a few keystrokes later, I discovered an old Beeb production at Netflix featuring John Cleese as Petruchio.  I had to laugh at that.  Given my frequent questioning here of what Basil Fawlty would do, this discovery seemed downright serendipitous.

So it’s in the queue.  I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve seen it.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!  I see that it’s Tuesday again.  Pooh.

In preparation for the fast-approaching start of the school year, which will require the depositing of the middle gel at her new school downtown by Self, Ol’ Robbo just completed setting up a monthly parking account at the garage across the street from his office.   (Have you ever read those garage contracts, btw?  For some reason, I’ve always found them terrifying.)

I am of mixed emotions about switching from the metro to driving daily into Your Nation’s Capital.

Well, no I’m not.  Not really.   Trading the hot, crowded, grimy trains and the tender mercies of the WMATA for tete-a-tetes with the gel in La Wrangler is a no-brainer.   And while downtown parking isn’t exactly cheap, when I sat down to do the math I found that it’s actually not all that much more than what I’m currently paying for the metro.  The difference is that where I will get hit for a lump sum once a month by the garage, I get nickel-and-dimed by the metro on a daily basis.

No, what I’m really of mixed emotions about is the res ipsa.  Three weeks from today, the eldest gel starts high school and the middle gel starts junior high.  On a practical level, this will entail not just the switch in commuting but a whole host of other adjustments, realignments and rejugglings as we adapt to the demands of the new schedule.  (Three gels in three different schools.  Oh, joy!)  On a more – what is the word? – meta-level, this is one a mighty big marker on the path of the Port Swiller Family growth.

Practical or abstract, this is Change.  Robbo doesn’t do well with Change.   It gives him the pip.  Robbo prefers things to be routine, predictable and Just So.  (You might think me boring.  I prefer to see myself as constant.)

Of course I know that it will all sort itself out and we will eventually settle into and grow accustomed to the new patterns.  I also know that I don’t have any choice in the matter but to knuckle down and get on with it.  But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the transition.


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August 2012