23 april 1999




being constructive

It’s Spring Festival time in my town, with parades and a rodeo and a chili cook-off and a carnival filling up April. Today, as it has each year, the carny opens its gates for a free day for the special needs kids in the area. So right now, across the creek from our house, Amy is piloting the little pretend helicopters, riding a tiny train, or throwing up cotton candy onto some cop's motorcycle. What's nice is each kid gets a volunteer from the community to escort them around the grounds, see that they take their medication, eat something, and make sure they don’t come flying off the Tilt-a-Hurl. Amy loves it. She’s been excited about this for weeks.

Each kid comes away from the event with a free cap that reads "I’m Special" or something like that, but the hats are... well, let’s just say they look like they’re free, and to wear it simply adds another apparent deficit. Luckily, Amy’s not big on hats, but she is keen on the nifty souvenirs. Last year she brought home a four-foot-tall inflatable squeaking hammer. Imagine my glee. The squeaks went away as its popularity faded, but the queen likes to keep her treasure visible, so for a several weeks we lived with a four-foot inflatable hammer that always seemed to occupy the space between where I was and where I wanted to get to.


As for my health, you’ll be happy to know that the pills seem to be working and there’s been no more rock throwing. Lack of exercise, however, has given my body that weak leaden feeling where it’s hard to tell the difference between an ache or a strain or rigor mortis. I suppose I should head back to the rower. I will after I get checked out by the urologist next week. Wouldn’t want to, you know, push.

Ooh look. Ginger snaps.


Viv and I are about to undertake a brave new adventure. We’re going to build a deck. Together. Surely you can see the danger here. But we’re going ahead anyway. We sat in bed last night with the laptop between us and fiddled around with a deck designing program. We put in flowers and lighting and spun the thing around and now we’re dizzy with virtual hope over the project. The plan involves moving our hot tub a few feet north and then building around it - a configuration arrived at through vigorous compromise since Viv and I had very different ideas on how to best use that space in the yard. I emerged as the victor in these squabbles and, as the benevolent monarch that I am, noblesse oblige and all that, I am letting her have her way. Thenk yew.

I have the feeling that on future nights, when she’s by herself in bed with the laptop, whose laptop?, my laptop, thenk yew, the design may acquire some unvoted-on features. To avoid prolonged re-negotiation, or court proceedings, the best thing may be to each design our own and then have a contest where the neighbors vote for the best one. We’ll have to set a budget limit though, and this may put a crimp in my plans for a water cannon turret and a data port.


Tomorrow I’m off to UCLA to attend the Festival of Books.


where it stops nobody knows

today's music:



today's wisdom:

"You are a king by your own fireside, as much as any monarch [on] his throne."

- Cervantes (Preface to Don Quixote)


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