Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

I can't believe it's been 23 years...hope today is a happy one and your coming year is the best yet!

In weather news, y'all may be aware that Baltimore had some snow. Work was closed. And, in a surprising twist, for most of today we had no water. There was apparently a water main break north of us and the local water towers lost pressure. But it's back now! The snow is still with us, but Mr. Pointy Sticks got everything shoveled out this morning so I guess it's off to work tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Brother

I can't mention your name and I'm betting you wouldn't want a picture up here...but I wish you a happy birthday anyway.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom would have been 86 today...I still miss you, Mom.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"You Know I Can't Sleep, I Can't Stop My Brain"

Interesting night last night.

Turned the light out at 11:30, somewhat reluctantly because I was really close to the end of a fine book – Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand That First Held Mine – and soon thereafter was sound asleep.

At 1:55 (thank you, digital clocks, for letting us know to the minute how much time we are spending awake), for no discernible reason, I woke up.

At about 2:10 I heard a weird noise from outside. At first I wasn’t sure I was hearing a real noise or just imagining one…and if it was a real noise, whether or not it was my breathing (since my pneumonia a couple of years ago, I am wheezier than I was and sometimes think to myself “Listen to those birds chirping” only to realize that it is actually my lungs chirping*) or the cat’s breathing or perhaps Mr. Pointy Sticks breathing. (One time, when we were living in the row house downtown, I woke up to hear what sounded like someone very carefully chiseling away masonry…say, the wall of our house. It was a semi-metallic sort of “dink…dink…dink.” I listened and listened and worked myself up into a tenser and tenser little knot of nerves…and then I sat up and leaned over to wake Mr. Pointy Sticks up…and realized it was his breathing. Somehow he was making this very odd “dink”-ing sound with his nose.) Anyway, I thought I heard this odd sort of strangled bark…thought perhaps I was imagining it until I noticed that Duncan had woken and was very intent, with pointy ears and big eyes…so he obviously heard it too. I heard it a few more times and then a time or two further off. I have no idea what it was. I wondered if it might have been a fox. Though I think of their bark being yippier, I’ve never actually heard one, so what do I know?

From then until about 2:23 I just lay in bed waiting to fall back to sleep, thinking about the book. Man, Maggie O’Farrell really nails the sense of surreal exhaustion one is subject to in the months following the birth of a baby.

From 2:24 until 2:53, I thought about words…specifically, trying to decide what I thought the most beautiful words in the English language were. Came up with “twilight” (though the word is slightly tainted by the idiotic book of that title) and “lullaby.”

From 2:54 until 3:15 or so, my mind wandered more and I played the alphabet game to myself using flowers as the subject (“A is for anemone, B is for begonia, C is for chrysanthemum…”). Added “wisteria” to my list of beautiful words.

From 3:15 to 3:25…suddenly realized that I had wandered from thinking about flowers to thinking about dogs to thinking about Cujo…the Stephen King novel. Not something you really want to think about in the wee small hours.

From 3:25 until 3:53, I turned on the light and finished the Maggie O’Farrell book. Very good book. It’s getting a star in my list of “books read” that I keep. Turned the light out again.

From 3:54 until 5:30 I flopped around, throwing the covers off and pulling them up as I alternated being hot and then cold and then hot. Realized I had a splitting sinus headache and contemplated getting up to take some aspirin but couldn’t be bothered. Added “murmur” to my list of beautiful words. Tried to make a sentence using all four words….”The breeze at twilight murmured a lullaby as it blew through the wisteria.” Decided that throwing beautiful words into a sentence does not automatically make a beautiful sentence. Played the alphabet game with fruits and vegetables (“A is for apricot, B is for blueberry, C is for cherry…”). Debated whether or not I should go to work. ( On the side of staying home, I could sleep. But sleeping all morning would probably just screw up my sleep schedule more. On the side of going to work, I’d save eight hours leave. On the side of staying home, I didn’t know how productive I was going to be on 2 hours sleep. On the side of going to work, it is a sort of quiet week, so my sleep-deprived brain might not be called on too heavily. I ended up going in.) Bothered the cat…hey, he bothers me when I’m sleeping. Turnabout is fair play. Worried about this dull aching pain that was developing between my shoulder blades and wondered if it might be early signs of a heart attack. Discovered that my pajama top was twisted in a tight little knot between my shoulder blades. Untangled my pajama top and discovered that the ache magically vanished. Played the alphabet game with dogs (“A is for afghan, B is for basset, C is for corgi…”).

At 5:30 I greeted Mr. Pointy Sticks, who was coming out of the shower, with “I’ve been awake since 2 a.m.!” And shortly thereafter, staggered into the shower, into some clothes and off to work.

So…what words do you think are beautiful?


*** And to any medically inclined relative reading lungs don't wheeze all the time. In fact, it's rare now that they make much noise. Every now and then, if I get conjested, they might start acting up.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Hat For Mr Pointy Sticks

Well, his head looked cold.

And now it's warm.

The yarn was nice. Universal Yarns Classic Shades in Cedar Forest. It doesn't like to be un-knit very much, but knits up nicely. And I like the colors. I have a skein of the blue, purple, burgundy colorway, too.

Nice weekend so far. Well, we didn't do much today but yesterday we had a nice lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (yummy Thai salad) and stopped at the Black Sheep (I needed a needle and ended up coming home with some Kureyon, too) and went down to Daedalus and Atwater's and the food market there at Belvedere Square. Brought home some Atwater's soup that we had for dinner tonight. Yum.

Tomorrow, if nothing else, I need to clean our bathroom...but we ought to do a little something fun, too.

In other news, Mr. Flash (the Camry that Rachel is driving) doesn't seem to like Massachusetts much. He's dropping bits of plastic...his dashboard clock has fallen out...and now his check engine light is on. Perhaps we should be car-shopping for Rachel tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Too Cool...And A Catchy Tune, To Boot

Someone on Book Balloon posted this video and I have to share it here...

Best Nap Ever!

I spent some time yesterday getting my second (first one was four years ago) colonoscopy. And I’m here to urge any of my readers who are over the magic age of 50 and who haven’t yet scheduled your procedure to do so. Not only do you get the best nap of your life, snuggling under a heated blanket, (really…you’re lying there on the table chatting with the doctor and nurses and you think “I’ll just close my eyes” and the next thing you know, you’re waking up, bright and chipper, and being offered juice), you get peace of mind. Or, worst case, you get the earliest possible jump on something that might be a problem.

And if you’re lucky, you get a doctor as charming and funny as my doctor, who makes me laugh every time I visit with him. Actually, everyone at Greenspring Endoscopy Center is wonderful. They are warm and kind and treat every patient like royalty. It's one of the nicest medical-related experiences you'll ever have.

I came out with a clean bill of health and don’t have to go back for five years. Though I’m sure I’ll be catching some naps before then, even without the aid of drugs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Bunch Of Bananananananas

When I put up the banana creche scene, I mentioned the cards that Rachel had made for her dad over the years...and here they are.

The first banana showed up in 2007, and includes an apology to Don Hertzfeldt, who apparently was the inspiration for the banana...
Banana showed up again in 2008, apparently trying to be the life of the birthday party.

He showed up some time later for Father's Day...though he appears, as usual, to be somewhat confused about why he's here.

Rachel put some amusing bits inside...
and, though it won't load for some reason, a little sketch of the banana holding a clover and looking confused with a note saying "this guy clearly just needs a calendar or something."

The banana showed up...a little late...for Mr. Pointy Sticks birthday.

For Father's Day last year...well, let's just say the banana is still confused.

...and on the inside...

I can't wait to see how confused banana will be the next time he shows up.

And I love seeing how Rachel's drawing has improved over the years.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


How are you? How have you been? Long time no see...

And happy new year.

I am going to post the drawing that Rachel made her Dad for Christmas. But a little background first. Years ago, for Mr. Pointy Stick's birthday, Rachel made a card...a silly card with a banana on it. And it has become a tradition...I'll have to scan in some of the cards tomorrow, but for tonight...just the Christmas drawing. I love the expressions that Rachel is capable of getting on her drawn objects...

And without further ado --

If you click to embiggen, I think you will see that the Baby Jesusanana is a delicate green. He was young, you know.

Cracks me up, that kid.