Thursday, January 27, 2011


Because one year ago Andrew was back in the country, state, and city I was in. AND because we would wed in 11 days. Also because Billy Collins is outstanding.

by Billy Collins

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
"Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

first bath

Eamon had his first bath on Tuesday. Normally we throw (not literally, of course) him in the shower with me to clean him up. He took to the bath as well as he's taken to the shower--no squawking or protesting at all. Not that a miniature human with only five weeks to his existence could put up much of a protest.

More pictures of our little chunky monkey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I'm glad my sister is blogging again. Just had to say that.

And Josh, if you're stalking my blog, keep it up. I promise to post more pictures soon of your chunky nephew. Weird. You're an uncle!

Now I'd better get some work done before the snoozer wakes up and I get to feed him and then make dinner. Life is great. Life is grand. Happy halfway (through the week)!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well, I started this post a week ago and I'm hoping I'll finish it today (19 Jan). I haven't gotten much done today and even though I should be doing team admin stuff I just need a few minutes to write and, hopefully, relax a little bit while Baby naps. Don't get me wrong. Today has been good. I got to go for a walk/run. I showered. I fed Eamon (several times). I read a chapter of Mark with Andrew. I got some laundry going. Anyway...back to booktalk...

A while back I finished The Space Between Us, Crossing to Safety, and The Help. I really liked all of them. Sorry if you wanted more in depth analysis. I just liked them. That's all. OK, maybe I'll say a little more. I got mad a little bit at TSBU because usually I can tell or at least sort of figure out what's going to happen, but this book's plot really never let me unravel all it had in store. I thought the ending was good too. CTS: I loved the writing. It was beautiful. The story was very engaging and the characters were very deep. TH was just a fun, good read. I started it a day before Eamon was born and finished it less than a week after. Nursing him at night wasn't bad at all because I had good reading to look forward to.

Recently I finished The City of Ember and Half Broke Horses. The first: meh. Not my favorite. Not too exciting. The second: I liked. The author of The Glass Castle (which I LOVE) writes a "true life novel" about her grandmother. Her grandma was a crazily strong woman and I truly enjoyed reading about her.

And now I'm reading Warbreaker. Andrew gave it to me for my birthday. The cover is kind of ugly, but don't judge it by its cover. This is the second Brandon Sanderson book I've read (well, I haven't finished yet), and I've liked both of them. The other one I've read is Elantris.

Next on the list: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Images: here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


That's what our doctor called him at his two week check up. He put on nearly two pounds in the two weeks since his birth; you can see they went straight to his cheeks and chin. I've taken to calling him Bub. Here are some pictures I took of him yesterday: