Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keeping track

In case you want to know what a film critic does at the Sundance Film Festival, Noel's keeping a diary on the A.V. Club site. Short answer: trudge on frostbitten feet from press screening to press screening, pausing occasionally for a microbrew. More exciting, less truthful answer: rub elbows with the glitterati and wield godlike influence over the tastemakers of the nation. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, life at La Hacienda del Murray is still functioning smoothly, even as I flit anxiously from home to work and back again to fulfill all my duties and still relieve my mother-in-law of the childcare duties for a few hours a day. Archer got three good-as-gold stickers yesterday, a feat of which he was very proud, but today his shirt was devoid of gilt. I ascertained that he hadn't had to "change his card" (that is, he hadn't been given a demerit), but he wouldn't tell me why he didn't get any commendations. Sometimes, living with an autistic kid is like a preview of living with a teenager, communication-wise.

Still, we're glad to talk with him about anything he likes, which is usually some kind of measurement. The questions that drive Archer are: What is my score? What time is it? How many more minutes before the next thing happens? And lately: What is the temperature outside?

About a dozen times a day, we'll be bombarded with requests for the weather report and forecast. Merely local conditions do not suffice this week, however. The typical conversation with Archer goes like this. (Note: early in the morning after I've just watched the Weather Channel, my answers are fairly accurate, but they become wilder and wilder guesses as the day goes on.)

A: Mom, what is the temperature outside right now?
M: 35 degrees.
A: And what is the high temperature going to be today?
M: 41 degrees.
A: And what is the low temperature going to be tonight?
M: 25 degrees.
A: And what is the temperature in Utah? ... etc.

If he can get the numerical conditions that represent these key locations triangulated in his head, he says, "Okay!" with his inimitable delighted drawl, or perhaps a perky yelp. And his world is in order for another hour or so.

No comments: