Saturday, August 14, 2004

Decadence and distractions blog.

Items from the past. In this case, not too long past -- only two years -- but still pre-Blogger.

Late August 2002.

We are now at the gates of the second trimester, as I am fairly certain this child will be our long-lasting souvenir of the trip we took to Montreal May 25-June 1. Yuriko says she can feel some movement. Lilly knows that a baby is in there, but is unclear on the details; in late June we all went to Y’s obstetrician for the first ultrasound, and Lilly’s comments lead me to believe she was expecting us to take a baby home with us that day. A later ultrasound, in early August, was part of some testing to assess the risk of genetic defects. According to medical opinion, the probability of this is very small, so we will not proceed to other, more invasive tests, such as amniocentesis.

The weekend before Labor Day weekend, Lilly and I drove to St. Louis. Actually, I did all the driving, and it is something of a haul for one day, about five hours. [My brother] Jay had decided again to accompany [his son] Sam to Washington University, where he's now a sophomore. Sam could probably find his own way, but I believe Jay likes to get out of town too. [Jay's youngest son] Robert came along too (in the 8th grade, he is). Last year, in fact 52 weeks before exactly, they made the same trip, and Lilly and I went down to meet them. We had such a fine time that we wanted to do the same this year. And it worked out that way.

We met them at the WU student union early that afternoon. They had just returned from buying Sam a new television. Such decadence -- TVs in dorm rooms. That, and girls on the same floor as boys. Decadence and distractions. “The girls look like they’re wearing only shorts and body paint,” Jay said later. Such is the view of middle age, and so it seemed to me too. But I suppose Sam and his peers think nothing of it.

My first year at VU, my roommate had a TV. He used it mainly to watch sports, and, unaccountably, All My Children. I refused to have one in my room in the years that followed. But in the house I lived shared in ’82-83, one of our housemates, a divinity school student -- and notorious misanthrope -- insisted on having cable TV, which he watched incessantly. I considered it evil, but of course I did watch it on occasion, enough for example to become acquainted with MTV in the days when it actually offered some music content.


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