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January 30, 2006


While peeling ginger tonight prior to grating it I managed to overshoot a bulbous node and plant the peeler rather deeply in the flesh of my left forefinger. Avulsion city. And you're not supposed to curse in front of a small child!

Oscar nominations tomorrow

Stay tuned for my annual contest, to be announced here soonly.

January 28, 2006

Four wheels bad, two wheels good

I just took my first bike ride of the year, if you can call it a bike ride: two and a half miles round-trip to the store. But hey, the fact that I got out at all in January is kind of cool.

January 26, 2006

Water Too Dear

On the way to day care this morning my son and I stopped at a bagel shop. I ordered my bagel, then stepped to the cooler to grab a bottle of water. I only saw Dasani bottles, and Dasani is CocaCola. I give Coke enough of my money for soda and wanted to buy another brand if I could, so I looked more closely and found a pale blue liter bottle of an unfamiliar brand. Its dimensions were odd and it was wedged somehow between the wire racks above and below but I twisted and tugged and pulled it free.

At the counter I watched as they rang me up. Sixty-five cents for the bagel. Three dollars for the water.

This was where human awkwardness became an issue. Because after specifically taking the trouble to find, select, extract, and carry over this water rather than a cheaper and easier alternative it seemed to me that it would be an act of the utmost buffoonery to question the price, to waver, or most certainly to back down. And so I forged ahead, three sixty-five, plus tax, plus my change in the tip jar, for a bagel and water. I hope my son is still too young to take any lessons from this.

On the train later I pulled the blue bottle from my bag, resolved to sample this water before even the first sip of my morning coffee. In truth, it is very good water, imported from Belgium (probably by Coke). In truth, I haven't sampled it a second time since dipping into my coffee on the train. I sit at work, many hours later, full blue bottle and empty red coffee mug chastizing me next to my mousepad, and I tell myself "well, it's too valuable to drink."

Early morning sky

I meant to post this yesterday, because that's when it happened:

I had to go in to work early, and to play it safe I took the 6:20 AM train. I haven't done this in a long time and I wasn't prepared for the fact that it's still nighttime then at my latitude. Cold, winter nighttime. But as I walked the quarter mile to the train I saw Jupiter blazing away in the south. And then I saw Antares shining off the horn of the crescent moon. And then I was glad I'd gotten up.

January 18, 2006

Huff and Puff

That was some wind we had this morning. And I thought it was just in my own backyard. Really.

I was taking my little boy out to the car on our way to day care. I had set him down and was opening the doors of our little rental car (long story) when up on the rooftop there arose such a clatter. A great many acorns and small branches were pattering on the roof of the doorless garage (really more of a carport) in which we stood. Then, as I watched, forty feet away back at the rear wall of our home two of our large plastic garbage cans lifted into the air. One bounded north into our next-door neighbor's back yard, while the other flew around the corner, arced northeast, and plunged between two neighbors' cars and into the side of their house. Another mighty gust followed, showering more debris than ever on the thin roof overhead. My son made a plaintive sound and I noticed that instead of picking him up or squatting down to comfort him I had instead braced myself beside him in fight-or-flight response, ready to take us both where we needed to be. I guess I was half expecting a limb to land on our little building and I was waiting to see what needed to happen.

But then I did comfort him (he was fine), put him in the car, backed out, returned the trash bins, and took him to day care. It wasn't until I came home twenty minutes later that the wind had done a few other things. For one thing it had moved a trash can out to the end of the driveway. No surprise there. For another it had picked up our upstairs neighbors' pair of white plastic lounge chairs and launched them in opposite directions through the neighborhood (one into our backyard, the other quite a bit farther away in the next backyard to the south). But most alarming of all was the fact that our gas grill had been planted face down in the nearby flower garden, and that must have taken some doing. It certainly took some doing to right it by myself.

And so all day long I've been wondering about small tornadoes wandering through my neighborhood or just failing to touch down into my backyard. And then I finally find those news stories and learn about the trailer trucks blowing over on people's cars, and I guess I don't have all that good a story.