Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Identity Crisis

Florida's presidential primary is next Tuesday. Luckily for us, the Democrats have decided not to contest Florida, so that cuts the advertising persiflage in half. But the Republicans are here.

And what's up with the Republicans, anyway? At least, their campaign signs. I've been through my share of elections in my days, and one thing you could always count on is that each candidate would have their own color scheme for their signs, to make them stand out. This year, it seems if you want to run as a Republican, only one color scheme will do. And that is:

Ron PaulRomneyRudyHuckabee
Honestly, as you zoom in your car past an open space where these signs have sprouted like so many red-white-and-blue pumpkins, you can't even tell them apart. What's the point? Doesn't anyone want to stand out from the crowd?

Or is everyone afraid to stand out from the crowd....


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dingley Falls

I finished Michael Malone's book, Dingley Falls, some time ago. I was going to post about it at the time, but with one thing and another, I didn't. Until now.

Dingley Falls is a terrific book. I was withholding final judgement until I finished it, because it so explodes with originality and creativity and vivid prose that I wondered if it would even be possible to write an ending that lived up to the story itself -- as though it would have to go on forever. But it didn't go on forever, and I think the ending was the best that could be done to bring such a vibrantly living tale to a close. I was satisfied. I recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read it. Heck, I recommend rereading it to anyone who has read it! :)

While I was reading, I jotted down some passages that struck me personally. This one is a description of the town librarian, Sydney Blossom, but it could just as easily be a description of me, and maybe of a person or two who sometimes reads this blog (yes, Heather, I'm thinking of you):
The librarian Sidney Blossom loved what lay upon the leaves of books. Those stories of loss and gain, of pride and prejudice and great expectations, were as alive to him up on their shelves as were their living counterparts in Dingley Falls.
What lives upon the leaves of books....

This next passage is the Prayer of Elijah Dingley (the town's founder back in the 1700's):
God keep us in health and heart. God keep us in bread and ale. God keep us at home and out of the hands of the godly.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The small dog casts a long shadow

Princess Sunni has been having a difficult time. She staggers and slips and falls a lot, and she has trouble taking food in her mouth and chewing. This was not what we were expecting when Judi decided on the radiation treatment. We were told that the mean life expectancy was nine to twelve months, and we certainly didn't expect to see her deteriorate so far in less than six weeks.

On the other hand, Sunni's mind is as sharp as ever -- she's one bright girl -- and her nose is as keen as ever, and she comes as fast as she can the moment she smells or hears food. And she is very loving, and wags her tail for the slightest reason. She has been unable to lap up water, and from time to time we have to give her water with a syringe, but she has discovered, entirely on her own, that she can crunch up ice cubes in her mouth and get drinks for herself that way.

We really don't know what's happening with the Princess. Her local vet -- who isn't a specialist but who we trust -- says the problem is that the tumor has resurged, while her neurologist -- who's a specialist but who we trust less -- says it's not the tumor, but rather a problem with her medications. We don't know what's happening, and we don't know what to do. We have no idea whether she will get better, or how long she might have. It's very frustrating.

But what's really remarkable is the dramatic effect that this lovely, winsome little dog and her struggle is having on Judi. Sunni's smallest ups and downs drive Judi to extremes of happiness and despair. Sunni will take a bad fall and Judi will be on the phone wailing, "Greg! What can we do?" Another time, I'll get a gleeful IM from Judi: I heard a crunch crunch crunch and I went out and Sunni was crunching down at least a dozen ice cubes! The Princess just made her mommy's day! It's as though Judi is in a distended elliptical emotional orbit around her beagle.

Such is the power of love.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I wonder why it is...

Nice House for Rent

...that you hardly ever see, you know, a sign advertising a crappy house for rent.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Here's to 2007!

Last night Judi and I raised glasses of champagne to 2007. Yes, not 2008, but 2007. We already know that 2008 is going to be a year of grief and loss. We are not looking forward to it. So instead of waiting until midnight and toasting the new year when the ball dropped, we broke out the bubbly before midnight and toasted the year gone by. We will see where we stand next New Year's Eve.

On a completely unrelated topic, you may know that the winter weather in Florida is wildly variable: Yesterday it was 85 degrees here -- a record high. Tonight it's supposed to go down into the thirties -- we may set a new record low.


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