Sunday, April 03, 2005

China Weekend: Saturday 

Ah, Saturday began with such promise. My services weren't required for weekend overtime, so I thought I had a free day to do something--play with the kids, fiddle with our newsletter, fetch some home improvement supplies, maybe even make a comic book run. But before I got really moving, the FedEx truck arrived with a special delivery from the Sauerkrauts. The long promised psychological surveys had arrived! These were supposed to be included in the first mailing we had received from them, but had been delayed. (I forget the reason.) I put those aside for the moment and first gave the girls their "Daddy Time". One must have priorities, you know. Bunnah was satisfied with playing a game of Life, but Poodlepums wanted transportation to Capitol Music to buy herself a music book. Noodles wanted to tag along to buy a guitar book (guess which instrument the children have been dragging out of the crawlspace?), so "Daddy Time" became a family excursion. For some dumb reason I got the notion that this would be a good time to pay off the violin we've been renting, since we needed to purchase or return it before we left for China. It must have been my predilection to spend money on music. When it comes to buying musical things for the kids, the wallet springs open. If they wanted to buy, say, baseball gear or something, I'd be combing the thrift stores and rooting through dumpsters before darkening the doors of a sporting goods store. And even then I'd be questioning the need for such extravagance. Something musical, however, it's "Sure kid, whadda ya want?" Anyway, we went to the store, paid off the violin, purchased the music books and I lusted after such essentials as music software, a half size guitar for Bunnah and a mandolin. I have had no long term desire for a mandolin, it's just that it was hanging right there at the end of the aisle and, gosh darn, it's such an interesting instrument.

Anyway, we returned home, had lunch, and then Noodles and I dove into the psychological exams. I haven't filled in so many circles since high school. Two were general psych profiles (one of which we got to answer for our spouse as well!), one was geared toward cross-cultural adaptability and the fourth was, well, weird. It was a clinical assessment, for people with serious psychological problems. I was answering false to all sorts of questions such as "I still feel terrified when I think of a traumatic experience I had years ago" and "I know I've spent more money than I should buying illegal drugs." Some of the queries were downright bizarre, such as "I was on the front cover of several magazines last year." My first reaction was to laugh, but then I sobered up as I considered that some poor soul probably had just such a delusion. (I'm assuming the question was designed for someone who was delusional. Perhaps I'm wrong and the test is merely designed for people like Martha Stewart.)

A couple of hours and a case of writer's cramp later, I was free to do something.... except that I remembered that I had to write up some financial reports for church. I also took the time to balance my checkbook and make that final payment on the flurshugginer porch. Suddenly paying off the violin seemed like an ill timed move. (Of course, I suppose it wouldn't kill me to carry over a balance on the credit card for once.) Finally, it was time to do the dishes and head to bed. The day ended on a bit of a downer, as I fussed over finances and set the clocks ahead in anticipation of losing an hours' sleep.