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Poem from a Car Trip, Mid-1980s

It's possible that I wrote this poem by myself, but I suspect I had some help.

The illustrations are a moist towelette ("sink") and this bedpan-type potty my mom always had in the car on long road trips.

Play-Doh Makes Me Melancholy

Henry has a few cans of Play-Doh, but I haven't gotten it out for him to play with yet. The idea of "play dough" makes me nostalgic for a past that probably never was -- a mom baking bread and kneading dough, a child who wants to imitate her and to help, which Henry does, and it's painfully sweet, and so the mom tears off a piece of dough, real dough, for the child to play with. And now it comes in these plastic cans, and is brightly colored, and can be processed in plastic toy Play-Doh factories.

Ugh. What is wrong with me? Perhaps I need to take up bread-making.

More from the childhood archives

My favorite things and my hobbies/pets circa second grade:



On the candy, of course.


^clicking image goes to larger version. I estimate that I wrote this obtuse little story sometime around third grade.

THERE'S the ball!

My little guy:

He loves to tell everyone where the location of a ball is. When I take him to any kind of store, he hollers "THERE'S the ball!" whenever he sees something spherical (fruits in the produce section, Easter eggs, anything!). Here we're pointing to a ball in one of his favorite books, Our Kind of Bird (a Sesame Street title). In that part of the book, a tee-ball game is taking place, and Mr. Snuffleupagus is at bat. Big Bird is cheering him on, and Grover remarks that Big Bird is very kind because he always cheers for his friends.

Little Sister!

Our son Henry now has a little sister, Clara. Eight pounds zero ounces, nineteen inches, score of nine on both Apgars. Born via scheduled c-section, a decision I may or may not write more about later. And she's wonderful, but of course I would say that! Many adorable pictures here.


Resolutions for 2010:

1. Post to the blog at least twice a week.

2. Do some research-related writing, and reading, EVERY day if AT ALL possible. There will definitely be some days in 2010 that I'm, you know, in the hospital or otherwise out of commission.

3. Starting as soon as I've completely recovered from the birth, get back into a regular exercise routine: about three times a week.

Doom Matrix

The following is the dream I had last night. Two immediate thoughts: 1.) definitely one of those vivid dreams associated with being in the family way; and 2.) I would totally watch a science fiction movie with this as its premise. Screenwriters, if you want the idea, have at it; see Creative Commons license.

I was in the future – around 2030-2040. I hadn’t aged, though; in fact, I think I was a few years younger and had been brought in from the past. The city I was in looked like it had gone through a disaster of some kind. Houses were partially burned, boarded up, or splintered. Rubble was everywhere. But there were some inhabitable buildings, and I lived in relative comfort.

For entertainment, people salvaged old technology from the 1990s and 2000s and played it, mostly old voice mails found on some cell phone companies' hard drives. People would listen to voice mails left by strangers for other strangers 40-50 years prior.* I listened to a message from someone inviting someone else to go to a Bible study. Another message I heard was from a woman letting someone know she had made "dime chicken," a low-budget but tasty and healthy dish, and that the person was welcome to stop by for dinner.

My job consisted of being sent into old dilapidated houses to take out an installation of equipment called a "Doom Matrix." It was a huge setup of projectors and computer processors, kind of similar in function to the holo-emitters (holodeck) on Star Trek. They had been sold as video game consoles. People had gotten addicted to them, and the machines had become self-aware, destructive, and murderous, like Skynet in the Terminator franchise.

I had, apparently, been summoned to purge the houses of these machines, which had been temporarily disabled by bombs and power shutdowns. They needed people who had a proven and utter lack of interest in playing video games, as I do. Others they had recruited for the job had been too curious about the Doom Matrix and had turned it on just to see what it was like.

* Actually, if voice mail had been available in the 1950s and 60s, I would definitely enjoy listening to old messages. I can imagine "" quite easily.

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