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Friday, September 29, 2006

When I arrived at Tammy and Davidís for Survivor night yesterday (and by the way, great season; if you skipped it because of the race thing, you made a mistake), Kylie wasnít sure about me. So I gave her her space, until she got more comfortable with my presence. If thereís anything I understand, itís boundaries. Before long she was stomping delicately around the house, teasing me a little with that shy smile of hers.

Space is not a problem for Aiden. He may be tiny, but he seems to be everywhere at once. When I got there, he told me exactly where to sit, on the floor behind the couch, which he then ran around and around at breakneck speed about five times before plopping down on the floor beside me. And that was just the beginning.

He wanted to read, so he kept bringing me books. Sometimes he would let me read them from start to finish, and other times he would skip around, finding his favorite pages. Whatever the book, once was never enough. ďRead it againĒ is one of his favorite phrases.

At one point he brought out the big alphabet book. I was talking with Tammy at the time, and I told him Iíd read it in a minute. He waited for pretty close to a minute, nudging me a little every so often. Then he took the book out of my hands and marched back to his room with it, muttering, ďYouíre not going to read this book.Ē Well, okay then. Sorr-ree.

Later he brought out a handful of wooden blocks and we stacked them. Itís a little hard to get them very high when youíre stacking them on a plush carpet, so he stacked them wide, four across and going up from there. He informed me that we were building a dam. Then he laid them end-to-end, but he couldnít decide if it was a train or a snake. At one point he said it was a snake chugging to the snake station. Itís a little hard to keep up with him sometimes.

Thatís pretty much how it went, nonstop the whole time I was there, until he ran out of gas. The party ended about as suddenly as it had begun. He was very tired when I left, but protesting quite loudly at the prospect of going to bed. Itís really hard to slow down when youíre carrying that much momentum. But heís two, and even a tank that runs on rocket fuel has to be replenished.

30 September 2006

Wispy clouds, dying birch.

D.J. was on the phone when I got to the house, and shortly after that he went to bed, but not before I had a chance to ask him how he was doing. ďOkay,Ē he told me. Then he added, ďSometimes okay, sometimes not okay.Ē I didnít want to tell him that it would probably stay that way for the next fifty years or so. We have to hope the okay days outbalance the not okay ones.

As for Dakota, he was fascinated with the wooden airplanes, and he sat quietly and talked to them. Jay Jay and Tracy, if you want to know. He must not have been sure I understood, because he looked up at me and said, ďItís not a movie.Ē There is a movie with Jay Jay and Tracy, and in fact I think it was playing in Aidenís room at the time, but this wasnít it. Glad to have that cleared up.

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The only way the Giants could have any impact in this last weekend of the regular season would have been to sweep the Dodgers in a three-game series, knocking them out of the playoffs. Tonightís 4-3 win by the Dodgers thus makes the next two games anticlimactic. It would take a mathematically unlikely sequence of events for the Dodgers to miss postseason now. The Giants and Dodgers have a long history of spoiling each otherís playoff hopes over the years, but this year itís pretty clear cut. The Dodgers are in, and the Giants are out.

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One year ago: Shortfall
"I told the Boss about it, and he told me not to worry, so Iím not worried."

Two years ago: Tangy
"I had such high hopes for Pesto Mashed Potatoes that I actually did make it twice before realizing that it just wasn't that good."

Three years ago: Spreading It Around
"At least today it wasn't one big monster stomping on my head. It was more like a thousand gnats buzzing around me. It's just as big an annoyance but a lot harder to swat away."

Four years ago: Meaningless
"In front of where we were standing was a bench, and on that bench sat a family that could have come out of a storybook (or a sitcom)."

Five years ago: Paranoid
"It hadn't been my neighbors who were attacking me. It was nature, and the coming of winter."

Six years ago: Shasta Bound
"When you're waiting for something big to happen, time either speeds up or slows down, depending on whether or not you're ready for it."

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