Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lights On

I took the final, finally. Thank you for all the good wishes. Fortunately, I remembered that the second Robert of the Cuban Missile Crisis was McNamara, not McFarlane. I even threw in a gratuitous shout-out to Fulgencio Batista. Unfortunately, I wrote that Henry Kissinger pressured President Nguyen of South Vietnam to accept harsh peace terms during the Paris peace talks. Accurate in all but one respect, that being that South Vietnam's president at the time was named Thieu, not Nguyen. I drew a complete blank and could not recall his name; I thought of referring to him as "South Vietnam's President" or "the President of South Vietnam", or possibly "the South Vietnamese President" but then thought that this would be a very obvious signal that I couldn't remember his name. I decided that odds would be in my favor if I used "Nguyen". You know, if you're in a large room full of Koreans and you yell "Hey! Mr. Kim!", at least half of the men are going to look up; I figured that the same principle applied with "Nguyen". (I told my husband when I got home that I'd drawn a blank on the name; before I could finish the story, he said "you should have just said "Nguyen"; you'd have had a 50% shot at least".) I figured wrong in this case. I'm hoping that she'll overlook it. I correctly discussed Ho Chi Minh and Le Duc Tho and Ngo Dinh Diem, right? I knew the difference between Haiphong Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin! I even remembered the name of the French general whose ass was handed to him by General Giap at Dienbienphu (Henri Navarre, in case it comes up in Trivial Pursuit). It's possible she won't even notice. This essay was a good two hours into the exam, and my handwriting, which isn't so good to begin with, had deteriorated so badly that "Nguyen" could have been read as "William Henry Harrison" just as easily as "Thieu". Anyway, it's finished now. Woot.

Bowing to the will of the people, those people being small and outspoken, we finished putting up our Christmas lights and decorations yesterday, both because it was time and because we needed to quell the growing unrest at home. The 4yo's patience with our failure to have our lights up and running had finally come to an end. The 7yo was thoughtfully providing several-times-daily updates regarding the number of OTHER houses on our street that ALREADY HAVE THEIR LIGHTS UP. We weren't far from outright insurrection on Thursday night, when I offered to turn the TV on for them, and they coolly refused, saying that they preferred to look out the window at the houses across the street. Because THEY have lights up. So now we do too. With my shopping halfway finished and no more schoolwork to do for at least a month, I have my usual vague anxiety over the lack of looming deadlines or immensely long to-do lists. I'll get over that, though. I might watch TV. Unless there are some good lights on across the street.

13 comments:

DCup said...

I'm relieved to learn that your shame has been resolved and the unrest quelled.

Seven year olds and four year olds can do a lot of damage when provoked.

Congrats on what I'm sure will be a superb grade.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Good going on the school work. History can be a bee-otch, especially if one is condemned to repeat it.

pistols at dawn said...

I'm sure half your classmates wrote things like, "So, this dude totally did some bad stuff, and America was all like, 'Not in my house, you don't, Cochin China.' So we fought 'em for awhile, sorta like Nas and Jay-Z - we'd record a few dis tracks on wax every so often. But because we lacked a bunch of true fighters like Rambo, we lost. The end."

DCup said...

I sneezed on you and now you've been infected with the Splotchy virus. I know you're busy, so take your time.

CDP said...

Dcup--one rebellion quashed, but I'm sure the rabble will be roused again; probably the next time I serve broccoli.

Dr. Monkey--indeed!

Pistols--I had a few bright classmates, but I had more than a few for whom your sample essay would have been a stretch. Nice work though, I should have likened the North-South conflict to the East Coast-LA feud.

Dcup--I'll get you for that. Although I haven't gotten you for the last thing for which I threatened to get you. I've been too busy for revenge, but now that my time has been somewhat freed up, you should watch your back.

BeckEye said...

I Mr. Kim!!

See, this is funny because it reminds me of an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia called "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation." So hilarious. You should really look into that.

Sauntering Soul said...

Enjoy your time off from school. Tell your kids they would be highly disappointed with the lack of lights at my house. Too bad I don't live across the street from you. It would have taken so much pressure off of you.

WM said...

We just got our tree Friday night. Lights on the house ? Why , that will be a whole other weekend before that happens.

And I'm not even in school. I have no excuse.

dguzman said...

What happened to your "Sorry, kid" philosophy? I would've played that card for at least another week. Then, when the screaming got loud, I would've threatened to alert Santa to their naughtiness.

But that's just me.

themom said...

Ahhhh. the intimidation of the little ones...works every time!!! Congrats on the final too!

enc said...

Oh, CDP . . .

This was a dreamy post.

I can't say why. I just love it.

Stephanie said...

Yay! You're done! Party time, yo.

Regarding the lights, we still behind the curve. My 7yo gives me the same running commentary regarding the OTHER HOUSES daily. In my defense, I did try to put up the decorations on Saturday - just didn't work out as I'd planned...

Falwless said...

You have this remarkable gift of taking what could be boring bits and pieces of daily life and making an interesting and quite entertaining post out of them.

I guess what I am trying to say here, lady, is that you are a great writer...

All material on this blog copyright CDP 2007-2010 unless otherwise noted.