Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hello, all.
Here’s the art…

I think that our cars can hear us talking. They’re not even parked in the garage. They are both parked outside in the driveway, proving their sense of hearing to be acute. I know they can hear us because Jo and I have been talking in whispered tones about what Christmas presents we want to buy, but our Volvos have hatched schemes to get us to spend that money on them. The more wicked of the two is in the shop right now, his grill grinning from headlight to headlight while he awaits a brand new alternator. Merry Christmas, sedan! Then our daughter’s Volvo wagon, the Bananamobile, threatened to faint and got a new battery out of us. Merry Christmas, wagon!
But that’s OK. There is too much to be thankful for to be worried about these little bumps in the road. The holidays are here again, and I feel inclined to remind myself, and anyone else that will listen, that we don’t have to let the holidays rule over us. The calendar isn’t going to tell me how to act, making me jump through its annual hoops. As long as I focus on the good things in life every day, the calendar can call that day whatever it wants.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Hello there.
Here’s the art, my friends…

I’ve never been good at keeping track of time. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve mastered seconds, minutes, and hours. I’m freakishly punctual. But weeks, months, and years elude me. I was just getting used to the idea of it being October, and here it is half way through November. Jo and I don’t have any Christmas shopping done yet, even though we were finished with it by this time last year. I guess we’ve just been too busy. Our kids have typed up their Christmas lists and printed them out in some cheery holiday font that’s supposed to distract us from noticing how INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE everything is on their lists! One year when I was a kid, I remember having just one thing on my list. It was one of those magnetic pens that you used to grab the metal flakes and paint hair on the bald man’s head. If you were born in the 80’s or later, you probably think I’m making this up. Those were simpler times, my friend. We didn’t have iPods. If we wanted to instantly hear our favorite song, we had to hum…and fake our way through the verses until we got to the part we knew.
‘Nuff said for now.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hello, citizens.
Here's the last link in the world that it's safe to click on…

My ears don't feel right anymore. I've been wearing headphones plugged into CNN since the primaries, and now it's all over and my head is bare. Should I plug back into my turntable? (Man, that's old school.) No, wait. There's still the lame duck period, the inauguration, the first 100 days, the 2012 campaign.
I admit. I'm addicted to CNN.
Jo has cracked open our ridiculously heavy wooden trunk containing all of the kids' art and other projects that we've kept over the years. If you were here, I could hand you all sorts of funny pictures and essays, but you'll have to settle for one way cool octopus that our daughter drew at the age of seven.

We also have a handful of VHS tapes with home movies from the early 90's. The images are already starting to deteriorate, so we'd better transfer them to DVDs soon. We wouldn't want to miss conversations like this…
"Is Daddy old?"
"Daddy not old. Daddy new!"


Monday, November 3, 2008


Hello, trick-or-treaters.
It's our 155th newsletter!
That's totally insignificant, so here's the art…

I hope you all had a happy Halloween and didn't get too many tooth brushes in your candy bag. Our son had five friends spend the night on Halloween. I asked two things of them: no colored drinks in the room with the white carpet, and don't leave your candy where the dog, Tuesday, could get to it. They were surprisingly attentive about the drinks, but left a giant tub of candy on the floor of a room that they accidentally locked the dog in. Poor Tuesday looked sticky and regretful the rest of the day, but managed to survive his gluttony.
Jo started teaching the after school art program this past week. It got off to a shaky start, and she felt like she got treated like a substitute teacher the first day. Things improved a great deal her next day back when she gave them a better idea of who she was, and the amount of attention and respect that she would be expecting from them. Now that the kids are in line, she just has to work on the school's art teacher, who obviously feels threatened. When she heard Jo would be putting their neglected kiln to use, she barricaded the door shut where it was housed. Jo just whistled up some helpers to liberate it. That's my girl.