Sunday, January 6, 2008

When the kids are away

January's sort of a weird month every year, but this year particularly so. I think I'm away for just about all of it, for one reason or another, plus it's my birthday in the middle, and I'm 36 - which means I'm now fully two years outside of the "desirable 18-34 male demographic." I am no longer the target audience of all the things I enjoy, and I can prove it.

As it is every year, January is very much lad-month in terms of information. Over the course of the next couple of weeks we get to geek out at the North American International Auto Show (cars, one of the loves of my life - though sadly I'm not going), the MacWorld Expo (Apple stuff, another. You think they'll show the MacBook Nano?), and then there's CES, which I'm leaving for tomorrow, and will be speaking at on Tuesday. Gadget, computer, and car stuff overload. Nice. In the meantime though, I'm home alone.

I'm not one to usually dwell on anxieties, but the one thing that really gets to me a bit is when Mrs. D and the kids are away - particularly if they're traveling a long way. After being royally screwed around by United yesterday, they all bundled on a flight this morning to visit the in-laws in Chicago. Not being with them on a potentially bumpy flight (have you heard? It's raining a little here lately) has had me knotted up with tension all day. The house feels a lot bigger and quieter without everyone running around and shouting. So tonight it's just me, the dog (who keeps farting), and I think the cats are around here somewhere. One of them is, anyway. Not sure about the black one, but she hates my guts so who cares?

So what did I end up doing with this unusual window of freedom from normal parental/spousal duty? I unclogged the drain pipe to get rid of the standing water on top of the car port, which is a job Mrs. D has been reminding me to do for weeks. Not sure why I chose the minute I returned from the airport to do this, after stalling for at least two months, but there you go. Then I replaced all the batteries in the smoke detectors, which is a similarly overdue job that I think has been on a Post-It on the fridge since September. I took the dog for a walk. I downloaded the PS3 2.1 firmware update while talking to my brother-in-law about the PS3 he'd just bought, and then I didn't play anything on the thing afterwards because it took so fucking long. I worked out, I read the Fake Steve Jobs book, Options, and then I started watching a DVD of Weeds season one, because someone told me it was awesome in the same way that Californication is.

I tell you all this, I guess, to help quantify the fact that I really am outside the cool demographic. When left to my own devices, it turns out I'm painfully boring.
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