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Dream of the hollow

I had a dream that I was walking around my parent’s farm in the middle of the night and wandered down to Boyd’s Hollow Road, where my brother and I used to catch the school bus in the mornings. It was November, so all the leaves were off the trees in the hollow making the hills visible. The hills, steep in real life, were a few hundred feet higher and rocky. It was the middle of the night but there was bright moonlight and it was misty and very beautiful. I tried taking pictures of the cliffs / hills in the moonlight on my iPhone and it was working surprisingly well. My brother showed up and he started taking pictures too. And then Mr. Carlson from WKRP in Cincinnati showed up. Apparently he also lived down one of the dirt driveways that hooked up with the road at that point. He was complaining that he wasn’t sure he was going to get tickets to some kind of benefit gala. Simon (my brother) wasn’t saying anything, but I knew he’d be able to get him tickets. Mr Carlson’s butler was there and set up a little portable bar with chilled gin and champagne (somehow it was Mr. Carlson, but he had Arthur’s butler). He offered us drinks as a school bus showed up and parked and turned off the engine. I took a martini and got on the school bus. I could see Simon getting a glass of champagne and looking through the cheese and olive tray that went with the little cocktail setup.

When I woke up, I checked my iPhone to see the pictures and was surprised they weren’t there. And then I remembered it was spring, not November.

Some pitches

It’s like “Riptide” but instead of a houseboat, two dudes live on a tour bus and fight crime.

It’s a re-boot of “Raging Bull”, except Jake LaMotta isn’t a wife-beating boxer, he’s a family man union electrician. A climactic scene shows him at the computer, attempting to referee an unexpectedly heated political argument between two mutual friends who don’t know each other in real life conducted in the facebook comments of a wall post he made linking to pictures of Japanese cats with costumes made out of perfectly cubical watermelons. It’s shot all in black and white and slow motion, the only sounds heard are classical music and amplified typing.

It’s like “Simon and Simon” except they’re not brothers.

It’s like “The Commitments” except it’s set in the suburbs of Minneapolis instead of North Dublin, and the kids play Tejano instead of 60′s R&B.

It’s like Presbyterianism except its adherents believe in salvation by deeds rather than salvation by grace, and Mad Dog 40/40 is used for communion wine and crumbled up taco shells are used for communion wafers. The vestibules of all the churches have paisley wallpaper.

Howlin’ Smurf

howlin smurf

Howlin’ Smurf did actual time.

Howlin’ Smurf knows what it’s like to count the days until you get out.

The other Smurfs didn’t understand Howlin’ Smurf’s pain. Right when he got out and came home, it was the worst. It hurt at first, how the other Smurfs were overly polite and seemed relieved when their forced small talk was over and they made up an excuse to go away. But truth be told, he was relieved, too, because he could go back to his solitary howling. When he howled it hurt less. So howl he did. The older he got, the more he had to howl.

He was only three apples high, and each of those apples was rotten.

The Week That Was: one year ago

Digging through my drafts folder, I found this post, pretty much complete, from a year ago, about what a momentous week that was. Indeed it was!


Terri and I were just commenting on how this was such a momentous week. And then it gets more momentous!

Saturday. (Oct. 31). Terri’s parents drove up to Boston for a visit. Rainer’s first Halloween. I get up the gumption to talk to our across-the-street neighbors and bring their kids trick-or-treat candy. They turn out to be very nice.

Sunday. Thanks to Nana and Grandpa’s visit, the morning features our first outing without Rainey, pretty much since he was born: the Boston Vegetarian foodfest. We met up with Lisa and Sierra, and Sierra is disappointed that Baby Rainer isn’t with us. The afternoon, also sans the kid, features me and Terri test driving cars. I’m 35 and have never really shopped for, bought, or even really owned a car. We’re sort of thinking of a pre-2007 Toyota Matrix or a 2009+ Honda Fit. Someday we may laugh at ourselves for this, but at 10pm, we sent Terri’s parents out to entertain themselves in the kitchen while we watched the penultimate Mad Men of season 3. Terri’s parents totally understand: we got them hooked, but (at the time) they’re only up to halfway through season 2.

Monday. I get up at 5am, quickly shower, and board a red line train at 5:56. I’m at South Station by 6:17, and in the bus terminal by 6:22. The $13 Bolt Bus leaves at 6:30. I sleep for an hour or so, and then work pretty much the rest of the way, thanks to the wi-fi. Because of traffic on the cross-bronx expressway, we don’t get in until about 11:05. The office is in Chelsea, 2 subway stations south of the spot near MSG/Penn Station where the Bolt Bus stops. I have lunch with the two new members of my team, enjoy the letterpress exhibit in the mall part of Chelsea Market, chat with various other colleagues, do some more work, and then at 6:10, pack it up, buy some ginger snaps in one of the bakeries in the mall, and head back to Penn Station, take the Acela home. Because of some bridge work in CT (thanks stimulus package!), I don’t get home until almost midnight.

Tuesday. Maybe the least momentous day of the week. Terri and her folks and Rainey go to a nearby farm (that we’ve never been to before) and get gourds and misc. food. We have enchiladas for dinner. We watch some season 2 Mad Men.

Wednesday. I leave work early and meet Terri at the Kenmore Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates to find out the results of her MRI. The good news is it’s not a brain tumor. This has been hanging over us for weeks. The bad news is the symptoms (vision weirdness, headaches) are unexplained. But since the worst case scenario is over, all the other explanations are pretty harmless so the doctor recommends holding tight for a few months. We are hugely relived.

Thursday. Happy birthday, Terri! Especially happy celebration given that we feel like we just got a huge reprieve. Our first official *date* without Rainey. We meet at Noir in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square for a drink, and I have an expertly mixed Sazerac, possibly the best mixed drink I’ve had in my life. Dinner at Rialto. It’s insanely good. We walk the three miles home arm in arm in the cold. There is a carrot cake and a beautiful baby waiting for us at home. They’re at the season 2 Mad Men finale, “Meditations on an Emergency”.

Friday. Rainey learns to suck his thumb. Through Facebook, we learn that our friends John and Sonya’s daughter Lydia has learned to walk. We decide that this has been a hugely momentous week. And then we notice another item on Facebook: our friends Amy and Doug appear to be engaged (we are still dying for details, call us, damnit!).

Daily Dispatch: 6 Nov 2010, part 2

  • Rainer fell asleep on our way to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, so he was sort of groggy but awake after we got home. I tried to put him in his crib with a bottle for his nap, but heard him a few minutes later babbling away to himself. Usually this means he’s standing up holding onto the bars and hoping to be let out. But I went in to check and he was just lying there, still under his fleecy owl blanket. I gave him a couple of books, and he was content to stay there for the next 20 minutes, just hanging out in low light and paging through the books. He’s a sweet kid. After that, I was at a stopping point with the lasagne, so I took him out, made some lunch for him, gave him a bottle, and he finally took his nap at 3:30 or so.
  • I’m watching Ocean’s 11 on TCM, the original Frank Sinatra / Rat Pack version. Coincidentally, this morning when I was listening to Weekend Edition while making Rainer some strawberry pancakes, Scott Simon interviewed a guy who wrote a biography of Sinatra.
  • Should I quit Twitter, too?
  • Tomorrow is the end of DST. I know I’ve got some DST haters out there, but the prospect of the lack of light tends fill me with some dread; Novembers have been the times of my worst bouts of depression. A passing thought as I was loading the dishwasher a few minutes ago: what if the tiny but continual saratonin drip of my facebook status updates starts a downward spiral? I don’t know, somehow, despite all these little twinges of concern, I feel better positioned to weather a November than I have in years. Bring it, SAD.
  • I’m working on a mix tape (er… CD) of November music for a general audience. Stay tuned.

Daily Dispatch 13 Feb 2010

I realized that the archives to this blog were broken a few days ago when I tried to use Google to find something I’d written. I figured out what the problem was last night, and fixed it.

There were two side effects. First, I ended up with dozens of items in my RSS reader, as you may have too. Not sure why. The other side effect is that I got the hankerin’ to write in it again.

Actually, there’s probably another reason for that hankerin’, as I have been incapacitated to the point of boredom by a really awful stomach bug the last two days. I’m on the road to recovery now, but for the first day or so I didn’t really even have the gumption to force myself to sit up and use a computer.  I did watch a lot of movies on TCM. Well, I watched the part of Roberta with Fred Astaire and Irene Dunne that I’d seen before and slept through the ending which I hadn’t seen. I also watched the part of Seahawk with Errol Flynn that I’d seen before and also slept through the part that I hadn’t.

Catching up

Yes, it’s been a pretty long lull in blogging. I blame Facebook/twitter for letting out some of the blogging steam. But it’s also been mostly that I’ve been getting ready to be a dad. Clarification: busy trying to feel ready to be a dad. Well, with 2 1/2 weeks to go, we had a couple of loose ends to tie up, but that didn’t stop Rainer Eli from making a grand entrance on July 17, weighing in at 6lbs, 9oz, and 18 inches long.

P1000995So far fatherhood has been much as advertised (the sleep deprivation, the “wow, look at this amazing little creature!”, the diapers). But again, having an idea about what’s coming is different than actually experiencing the thing. Which I’m enjoying greatly. In fact, I’m going to go visit him right now.

Home is where I want to be, but I guess I’m already there

We went to Johnny D’s tonight because date night has moved back to Wednesday. Apparently.

Came home and my key didn’t want to go into the lock. I double-checked that it was our door that I was trying to unlock and not our upstairs neighbors. And recounted how many beers I had, yes, only two. So I guess there must have been some condensation in the lock and it froze in the past few days.

I eventually got the door open and came into the kitchen. Again, there was a quick second where I wasn’t sure I was in our home. All the kitchen stuff is in the dining room and the kitchen is pretty empty. We had our wall re-insulated and re-plastered, because there were some fairly huge cracks and crumblings in the old plaster.

Hm. What can all this home renovation mean?

Last Post for 2008

Oh, so much I’ve missed posting about.

Bert Stern, Kevin McCreaNovember. Wabash lost the Monon Bell game. I went to the Boston Monon Bell party, and lo and behold, Bert Stern, one of my English professors, was there. He lives in Somerville now. Small world indeed. I also met Kevin McCrea, who is a force of nature and who deserves a post of his own (he’s in the construction business but his bigger claim to fame is his lawsuit(s) against the Boston City Council for corruption). His blog is absolutely worth a read. When people talk dismissively about citizen journalism, about bloggers being essentially parasites who merely link to fruits of the deep research that can only be done by folks who are paid (by advertising money) to do the glamourless job of poring through civic records and attending dull local town council meetings, well, counterexample is Mr. McCrea, whose simple, almost Socratic, modus operandi of actually reading stuff and calling people and expecting answers— the same unglamourous stuff that supposedly only the “real” media can do— has time and again scooped the “real” local media.

BB 2008: crowdDecember. The Bazaar Bizarre. This year it was at the Castle. We made about half of the dough we’ve made in previous years, though we got about as many chuckles at this year’s lineup. As usual, Terri’s designs (this year, the “you look like a monkey” birthday cards) outsold mine (this year, the “Hail Santa!” Christmas Cards).

January 2009. TBD.

Happy New Year, scant readers.