Apologies for the silence. I am still recovering from a birthday party which required me to bring my children to—oh, I can barely bring myself to type it—Malibu Grand Prix. In no particular order:
1. Early on, I called the SU and left a message. "I'm at a place, and the sign says 'Malibu Grand Prix,' I yelled over the ongoing auditory assault. "But I'm pretty sure it's HELL."
2. What is with all the grown men hanging around playing video games in the middle of the day? Were they planted there with the sole purpose of skeeeeeving me out? Because that's what happened. Go away, grown men! Go do grown men things!
3. Miniature golf + 6-year-olds = injury to Risa's left cheek.
4. Pinata + baseball bat = continual screams of horror from me.
5. It was the first day of sun in oh, I don't know, 5,000 days, and Vida was like an unleashed puppy. At one point I lost her for about 8 minutes. With all the grown men hanging about and—once 2:30 rolled around—the arrival of packs of teenage boys fresh from the rigors of school, I cannot describe the scenes of horror that played out in my mind for the entire 8 minutes. Just as I was about to burst into tears, she appeared near the batting cages, waved and ran towards me. "Hi Mom!"
There is no way I would normally have taken them to such a grossly age inappropriate spot, but the celebrant—a little boy with deep green eyes and 3-inch eyelashes whose home life is less than optimal, but who is heartbreakingly sweet nonetheless—sought me out on a daily basis to ask if I'd called his mom yet, 'cuz Risa and Vida have to come, 'cuz it's gonna be a great party, and do I like monster trucks? And do I like Sponge Bob pinatas? And did I, did I, did I call his mom yet?
So, anyways, horrible all around. But I have to admit that the ambiance of the video arcade brought me back to many a wasted afternoon at the exalted Westlake Bowl, playing Missile Command and Centipede...