I feel we are long past due for an animated baby gif. Let me fix that.
Steve, as you can see, was similarly long past due for a haircut. In the giddy aftermath of that work event that we were all so much looking foward to, which I'm afraid in my case was absolutely a euphemism for dreading with ever more horrible pangs of nauseous anxiety, he even got one. Truly it was a banner weekend. (Also, the event was fine, of course. Everyone was lovely. Even the catered lunch was good, and I was only modestly awkward.)
Oh, have another gif for good measure. Why not? Christmas in April!
The other night we were playing charades at a party
-- an actual grown-up party for grown-ups! Jane came with us and slept in a back room, and incidentally, we have reached the stage where I am not at all sure that she is still welcome at any given event just because she was welcome there a few months ago, as she becomes less and less a portable baby and more and more a mobile yet distinctly non-adult person, though the hosts for this party were nice enough to mention explicitly that we should bring her and her sleeping tent, and I wonder just how much longer I can keep going with this aside and indeed with this sentence; I was thinking the answer was "surely not much longer now," but since I introduced that semi-colon to the proceedings, the possibilities have expanded considerably, although in any case, I've already made my point, which is that it is tricky to figure out when and how to navigate the transition from having identified the set of Events Where a Baby Is Welcome to identifying the much smaller set of Events Where a Toddler Is Welcome --
and Steve drew the word "buffalo."
He later explained that he was aiming for the scene in Dances With Wolves where Kevin Costner learns the word "tatanka," i.e. "buffalo."
So he pawed at the ground for a bit, and pranced around with two fingers representing his buffalo horns, indeed just like in the movie. It worked for the Sioux! But not for us. "Antlers?" "Horns?" "Deer?"
He pulled at his hair and indicated, rolling it up, that it was curly. "Ram?" S. guessed. Then he gave us a little more context. He indicated that he was on a train, shooting a rifle. Then he had horns and fell down dead. "Hunter? Matador?" Again. Horns! Curly hair! Man with rifle shooting! Falling down dead! Horns! Hair! Dead!
"Jew!" I shouted, because I am always appropriate.
We had to stop the game for several minutes while everyone collected themselves. And that is why I don't have to worry about whether Jane is getting too old to bring to festive events, after all, because no one will invite me to one ever again.
What, I wonder, do I think I am doing, blithering—not even particularly amusingly—about shell games on BART trains while everything is going swiftly to hell in a handbasket? Not that I have anything useful or insightful to offer on the subjects of Japan, death, destruction, civil war, mendacious politicians, or horrific radiation.
Most Plant Workers Evacuate; Residents Told to Stay Indoors
How stir crazy batshit insane would you go under the circumstances, told to stay indoors? I am imagining myself inside some apartment with Jane, taping up windows and losing my mind. Christ.
Steve has distracted and cheered me for now by making me a drink and directing me to read this delightful Comics Alliance post about Neal Adams' impressively deranged Batman: Odyssey. I don't know what to say, except that gosh, that Bruce Wayne sure is hairy.
Also, he seems to be showing us Arm-Fall-Off-Boy's arm. "Take a look at this forearm! Hairy, isn't it?"
Probably he has been driven mad from sealing up all the windows in the Bat-Cave. Understandable. Wait, are there windows in the Bat-Cave? Well, the whole project is certainly crazy-making, anyhow.
It rains and rains, and nothing drains. Crossing the street is an exciting adventure in fording streams. It is damp even inside the clothes dryer and my hair is retaining water like a pre-menstrual victim of congestive heart failure.
First world dilemmas, how embarrassing you are. For instance, I wear the same shoes--boots, actually--nineteen days out of twenty. They are quite wet at the moment. They were aggressively expensive, but considering the use I have gotten out of them I am not too ashamed about it. Then this week I started thinking with alarm about the eventual day they wear out, not to mention the fact that wearing them daily puts greater wear on them than giving them a day between wearings would do. The future looms, cold and bootless.
Obvious solution: buy a second pair of related but different boots from the same maker, if you like them so much. And yet the prospect of spending nigh on (oh I can't actually quite bring myself to say it, after all) for no real pressing reason seems not entirely prudent or frugal, somehow. Yet is it not less frugal to wear my existing boots into the ground like a horse that is never rested nor watered?
This in fact goes well beyond being a mere first world dilemma into the realm of moneyed-idiot pseudo dilemma, a whole super-class of moronic "problem" best solved with a quick slash of the guillotine. I do hanker after those boots, though.
No matter. It is easy for me to deny myself in this case, quite aside from the sway of my bank balance and common decency, because I am far too incompetent to deserve any treats at all. Today's major achievements have been making vast quantities of horribly mediocre tofu curry (you may wonder how mediocrity, by its nature, can be horrible, but I assure you it was), somehow giving myself an itchy face rash in the course of trying to make my skin look nice, failing to take a shower, and tramping mud all over the kitchen and laundry room floor.
("I don't wonder how mediocrity can be horrible," Steve remarks, reading over my shoulder. "It's an existential horror." Isn't it, though. And he ate the curry.)
One thing led to another and soon Steve was performing a charade of David Bowie's stunt arm in Labyrinth, in character as one of the gremlin things from the same film.
It's a bit convoluted, I know, so here's a cheat sheet. We had:
You see. Remarkably, this was not the most complicated example in the (long, illustrious) history of our quasi-charades. I once portrayed an elephant that had become terrified of catching Ebola after too much time spent watching the evening news.
I am sure Jane will never, ever be embarrassed by us.
Yesterday had a certain death-by-a-thousand-cuts quality.
Just as I was running late to catch my bus to campus, I got an email revealing that one of the people who was supposed to be writing letters of recommendation for my many job applications had not, in fact, sent any of them off yet, though the deadline for many had already passed.
Jane was also on day three of being notably less than her usual happy-go-lucky self (both day and night version), and I had several student meetings scheduled that promised to be filled with recriminations over my insufficiently clear instructions about what I expect of their written work. Steve was having a crummy day himself and had to inform me that he was not available to be supportive just then. So I sucked it up and hurried off to face my mutinous students.
In fact, they turned out not to be mutinous at all, to my pleasant surprise, and class was also very enjoyable. Hooray! That happy interlude, however, soon drew to a close. I failed to get any response to my politely frantic email to Delinquent Reference. Then a strange woman struck up a conversation with me just as the bus was pulling up, so that I failed to get a seat. It was very very crowded and extremely hot and I got quite carsick, though fortunately we arrived at the station just in time to avoid any of the fully embarrassing sequelae that might have been.
None of that is so very terrible, I suppose, on reflection, but it was certainly trying.
In any case, today was vastly superior. Last night I fell asleep on the sofa at around nine thirty, worn out by all those not actually so dreadful events. Jane obligingly slept through until seven and seemed as happy about it as we were. I got D.R. on the phone and determined definitively that yes, she was indeed very delinquent, but also that she was in the midst of repairing the situation as we spoke. The weather was beautiful, Steve did all the dishes, and I baked cookies. So many cookies. Too many cookies, really. Would you like some?
Steve suggests that I should contemplate the terrible karmic yo-yo that I can expect to experience this weekend. "Perhaps a pigeon will shit on your head!" he says. "But then you will find five dollars."
The afterword to Knuffle Bunny Free. We were in public, too, merrily looking through picture books at the bookstore. I squirted real tears out of my eyes onto the ground; Steve merely turned bright red and hid, with dignity, around a corner.
This weekend we were determined to go out and do something, beyond our usual adventuresome outings to the market and the coffee shop. So we packed the baby into the car and headed off to Knapp's Castle. This is the ruin of a former mansion up in the Santa Ynez mountains. The house, first built by the (I presume robber-baronish) founder of Union Carbide, was consumed in a forest fire just a few weeks after the second owners moved in, in 1940. As you can see at the Wikipedia link, the remaining sandstone bits made for quite majestic ruins, much more attractive probably than the original building.
You can visit it as the apex of a long hike, or you can drive nearly all the way there and park at the top trailhead. We were in the market for more of a little outing suitable for tucking in between lunch and Her Majesty's afternoon nap, and less of a multi-hour trudge with infant strapped to one's front, so up we drove.
Oh, up and up and up, windier and windier, blind turn after blind turn, and the fog blew across the road and the mountain sheered off just to our right into the deathsome abyss, and Steve's knuckles got whiter and whiter on the steering wheel. Poor Steve.
Then we emerged through the top of the clouds and arrived at our destination, hurrah!
Well, perhaps not entirely hurrah.
There were some bugs. Indeed, there were dense swarms of bugs, and the swarming they did was around our heads.
So we gave the view a brisk, admiring glance, turned smartly on our heels, and went home. The drive was much less harrowing on the way down, as mountain drives often are, and we even got back in time for a quick trip to the coffee shop. I call that an outstanding success, especially as no one got shat on.