Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Adult Children are Good For

So I went in for my second post-op visit, all AGOG at how well I can see. Dr. Miller told me that the lenses in my eyeballs are the same lenses used in the Hubble Telescope so then I said, "No wonder I can see Mars from my house."


I was so proud of myself for making this little joke that I relived the moment by telling it some more. Here. There. Here again. There again. It's like I was my own highlight film. Yay, me!

Anyhoo, when my dad called last night I did my "I can see Mars" shtick, to which Geoffrey, who was taking a bath in the next room, shouted, "DID YOU TELL YOUR DAD THAT'S THE TWENTIETH TIME YOU'VE TOLD THAT JOKE TODAY?"

Okay. Please refer to today's title. I assume you know the answer now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Depress Yourself

. . . in case you need lessons.

Ken broke out the home movies over the weekend, and here's the thing I noticed most this time around: how badly I've dressed over the years. Of course we always think that about ourselves--look at the hair! look at those shoes!--but at least most of you can take comfort in the fact that everyone else looked the same way and that even though it was the 80's, you were actually pretty cute.

The same cannot be said about me. The unvarnished truth is that at best I was indifferently dressed. At worst, I was aggressively appalling. Part of it, I realized, is that I've always felt HUGE--like a Winnebago in an parking lot full of Mini Coopers. And my response to that was to dress myself in tents--big flow-y flappy shirts and jumpers--apparently in the hopes of camouflaging myself. Also, apparently I was color blind.

But looking back I realize I was never as big as I thought I was. And even if I had been, fitted (nay, even STRETCHY) clothes, would have looked so, so mUCH better than the camping gear I called clothing.

Watching the last 15 minutes of the first SEX AND THE CITY movie on TV yesterday while recovering from eye surgery didn't help. Why didn't I get that gene that made me want to wear expensive shoes and birds on my head, she laments. My mom had it in spades. Did she hog the shoe gene and not leave any of it for me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

A goal for 2012

I don't know why but I've already been making some goals for the New Year. One of my main goals? To stop overfeeding my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

When Holmes came to live with us, there's no denying he was already a little stout. But now he looks like a footstool. A footstool that also sheds.

I am solely to blame for this because when he starts begging, I always cave and go FINE! YOU CAN SHARE MY KFC MASH POTATO BOWL WITH ME. JUST PLEASE PLEAE PLEASE STOP GIVING ME THE BUG EYES.

I have to be strong like Jake and AnnMarie who are very firm with their Cav. That's because Jake and AnnMarie are grownups. And also, apparently, because they don't like to share mash potato bowls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The last time I remember seeing stars so bright they burned your eyes was the night we drove home across the Mojave Desert after a disastrous bowl game against Texas A & M. It was a glum little trip, saved only by the vision of a low-slung pearly-pink moon roosting over a nest of brilliant stars (good extended metaphor there, Ann). It was a stunning sight.

That's what I've missed the most, I think. Not being able to see the stars first thing in the morning when I walk with Kathy. And I wondered if after I had the Dread Cataract Surgery, the stars would reappear.

This morning was the first morning I've been out since having my left eye done and guess what. They were there. This is a cause for celebration, people. I HAVE SEEN THE STARS AGAIN and now I can die happy. Although hopefully not soon.

I have the other eye done on Monday. Dr. Miller says Tuesday will be the best day of my life, and I am almost inclined to believe him now. Meanwhile, it's hard to do much reading or writing with just one good eye, so I'm taking off the rest of the week. I'll reappear on Tuesday or so. Until then, be well and well-fed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wherein I pitch a possible movie idea

I told Dylan and Julie they should make a Christmas card that looks like the movie poster EAT! PRAY! LOVE! STARRING JULIA ROBERTS! Only their poster should say EAT! SLEEP! POOP! STARRING ELOISE CANNON!

Really, that's all newborns do. And yet when you're taking care of one, there isn't time for anything else.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stranger in a strange land

Over at Good Letters Sara Zarr recently posted a terrific essay about how SCARY nature seemed to her, a city girl, when she first moved to Utah. Although I've historically been a little more outdoorsy than Miss Sara (or "outsidesy" as Alec calls me), I've experienced a taste of what she felt while I've been here in Greenville.

It's . . . different here. The air is thicker, the light hazier, the smells stronger and more exotic. Overhead large birds--are they crows? Because if they are crows they're freakin' HUGE crows--circle and wheel. Meanwhile all the grasses shimmer with movement and unexpected life. What's in there, I wonder. Snakes? Roaches? Things we don't have in Salt Lake? I find myself treading carefully.

But, it must be said, with wonder.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When carrying an umbrella will get you in trouble

When people think you're carrying an assault weapon instead . . .

Lockdown lifted. Police news conference underway. Gunman actually guilty of carrying an umbrella.


(BTW it's good to see ECU has a good emergency response system in place. Props to ECU.)

Lockdown lifted!

What the header said.

Meanwhile, Dylan will have another good story, right?

Well now here's something you don't expect when you go visit a baby

Julie and I turned on the TV, only to discover that ECU's campus is on lockdown because a gunman was spotted. Dylan, of course, is on campus. I'm guessing he hasn't gotten a chance to give his presentation yet . . .

Dude moves to North Carolina just in time for a hurricane, an earthquake, and now this. Good times in Greenville.

I'm sure he'll be fine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Carolina sights

A milky moon rising from the top of pine trees.
A silvery pond glittering beneath that milky moon.
Cotton balls harvested in the dark.
A baby girl with elfin ears and big wide eyes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Obviously, I'm thinking about that new baby!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sitting in a McDonald's

. . . here in St. George, availing myself of the free internet. Ken and I are on our way to our niece's wedding in Vegas, which sounds all Elvis-y, doesn't it? We're very happy for this girl. Watching her grow up has been a true joy.

Meanwhile, I had something to say, but I got distracted by the conversation going on in the booth next to me--five old men in baseball caps, drinking coffee and talking passionately about sports. It looks fun, actually. I have the sense they've known each other forever. Played golf together. Lost money to each other.

So in lieu of anything else to say let's all toast old friendships, shall we? And give our best to the bride while we're at it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An awesome strategy for getting more blog views

Yesterday I noticed that I had more page views than usual. Like A LOT more. Hundreds more, even. HELLO! Did people think I had suddenly turned into the Pioneer Woman taking pictures of my cows and so forth? So I looked at the traffic sources and discovered that somehow my blog has been linked to a couple of porn sites, which is way funny when you think about it. I can only imagine the shattering disappointment guys trolling for porn must feel when they land here.

Sorry about that, Porn Guys!

The Internet Gods have a very black sense of humor, do they not?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some thoughts on running

This morning in Liberty Park I ran REALLY slowly. How slowly did I run? Dude, if I had stood completely still in one place, I would have been running faster than I was this morning.

It was kind of depressing, actually, because NOT TO BRAG but there was a day when I sometimes placed in local road races. The smaller ones, obviously. But still.

Now, though? I am slow. And old. And I seriously did ask myself why I keep at it, now that my chances of ever winning anything have dried up (like a raisin in the sun and so forth). This is not nothing for me. When it comes to sports crap, I am actually pretty competitive and un-easy going. I WANT TROPHIES, DAMMIT!

I guess I'm still running because at some level I must want to. Duh, I know. But in a weird kind of way I own it more for myself now that I'm the only one giving me snaps for getting out there. That's the surprising gift of diminishing capacity, I guess--you value what you have that much more.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Isn't funny

. . . how you have nothing to do? And then suddenly you have everything to do?

Before Thursday I need to

1. write a column
2. write two chapters for a spec project
3. review a number of picture books for the Inkslinger
4. keep up my Trib fb page
5. judge some Reflections entries for a local elementary school
6. I'm pretty sure I've forgotten something else
7. yeah, I'm certain I have

It's all good stuff. Just wish it didn't all hit at the same time, you know?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Apparently, I didn't link to the column. So let's try it again, shall we?

A column and a thank you

Here's yesterday's column!

Meanwhile, I want to say THANK YOU to everybody who made yesterday's re-launch event at TKE such a genuinely nice experience. I didn't count on feeling so . . . moved. The atmosphere was charged with kindness and good will. I won't forget that.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hey, did you know?

November, apparently, is National Picture Book Month. So yay for picture books! Over on my fb page for the Trib, I'm gonna be discussing some of my faves, old and new. Please feel free to list some of your favorites here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Now here's a surprising change in my behavior

For years I've written about my mother with enthusiastic abandon. My Mother the Rodeo Queen! My Mother the Extreme Worrier! My Mother the College Student! My Mother the Poodle Lover! My Mother the Barber! My Mother the Queen of the Every Changing Hairdo! My Mother the Queen Mother!

And in all those years, it never ONCE occurred to me to check with her, to see if she felt okay about me sharing that story about the time she told me to find my own way down Sardine Canyon after a disastrous game in Logan because I'd criticized her for losing her cool.

I know. The pot calling the kettle an exquisite shade of black there.

I've written about my mother so much because, of course, she's been so central in my life and plus she has this BIG personality, which makes her a great source of material. And in my mind at least, I've always written about her with affection.

So I did (another) column about her this week. And suddenly FOR APPARENTLY THE FIRST TIME EVER, I wondered if she would be okay with it. I even sent her the column to see what she thought. And she was all what? You're asking my permission after decades of this?

Not sure why I've changed on this front. But I have. I am suddenly consumed with guilt for having written about her. Which won't stop me, I'm sure. But there you have it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy happy happy

Ha! Another granddaughter!

Little Eloise Cannon was born in North Carolina, exactly 2 minutes after midnight, thus ignoring our hopes she would be born on Uncle Phil's November 1 birthday. A mind of her own, apparently. WONDER WHERE SHE GETS THAT FROM!

Congratulations to parents, Dylan and Julie. And also congratulations to Life, for being so awesome.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Funny how . . .

something that's NOT supposed to be a compliment sometimes turns out to be HA-YOOGE compliment.

Case in point. Two weeks ago I wrote a column about our fabulous Utah authors, and a reader told me that I'm nothing more than an overly enthusiastic eighth-grade reading teacher. I think he meant that to sting (?), but all I could say was THANK YOU, because I love eighth-grade reading teachers. Especially the enthusiastic ones.

Reading (not for children) IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS today. It's told in real time, so you feel like you're watching Berlin slipping toward its destruction, only Berlin doesn't know it yet. True life horror story.