Family


As I try to recreate 19 film and book reviews that I lost when the hard drive failed, I’m posting a slideshow I created for my mother.  She turned 75 this past summer and we celebrated by gathering together (the first time all 8 of her grandchildren had ever been in one place – the last time before that all the grandchildren had been gathered, in 2005, there were only five).  Since I wanted to send this to family members who weren’t there but it’s too big to attach to an e-mail, I put it up here for their viewing pleasure (hoping they have an app which can view it).

mom

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Our first picture together – by a waterfall off Route 6 on the road to Tillamook

As Veronica and I lay awake at four this morning listening to Thomas cough, something we had been doing since two since he is still terrible at blowing his nose and instead sniffles, allowing everything to go into his lungs and give him a raspy cough, I reminded Veronica that it was now the 12th of September.  “I assume that’s important,” she said.  “It means eighteen years ago today you were wearing sunflowers.”

That’s a reference to the sunflower dress that she was wearing the first day I met her.  Yes, I remember what she was wearing.  I remember the really cute manager I met on my first day at Barnes & Noble, the one who was all excited about the firemen who came into the store in full uniforms, the one I thought was 31 because she was a manager and in charge and so mature (she was 23) and who, I would later learn, thought I was 19, because of my youthful exuberance, I am certain (I was almost 25).  The manager who I picked out in the Secret Santa exchange (after putting two other names back) and who, when I was waiting for her to leave the breakroom so I could put her final present in her locker, looked at me and said “Are you waiting for me to leave so you can put my Secret Santa gift in my locker?”

We’ve survived through working together at five different jobs, through autism and diabetes, through far too many moves to mention and through a lot of early mornings wishing Thomas was asleep so that we could get back to sleep.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to go through this with anyone else for these last 18 years.

Our most recent picture together. She’s still wonderful. I’m still me.

So, Thomas is home and adapting.  He’s adapting to the needles better than I am and better than he’s adapting to the food changes.  Do you know how many carbs are in a blueberry bagel?  Holy crap!  But he’s adapting well enough that we’re still heading out west for my mother’s 75th birthday later this summer, although now that’s a plane trip (uggh) rather than a drive.  But Veronica prefers that and it means we’ll be home for both the season finale of Doctor Who and the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  Yes, we’ve plowed through six seasons of GoT in the last two months, thus leading to the picture above (no spoilers) and below (spoilers for season finale of Season Six).  Veronica spent one sleepless night at the hospital plowing through Peter Dinklage’s Facebook posts, which, if you watch GoT, are generally hilarious. (more…)

img_1574Well, 2016 is almost over and it’s about damn time.  But there’s still time to open presents and relax for a day (or, maybe more, since Veronica and I left work early on Friday after the idiots doing construction at UMass Boston cut the water line to the Mass Archives).  The picture is Thomas opening his annual ornament from Great-Aunt Melinda and Great-Uncle Dave (who is home for Christmas after a rough year, so that’s something good).

img_1575On the left is a picture of our breakfast.  It’s baked French toast, which Veronica baked in her new Dutch oven, a gift from my mother.  Later today, well, later today we will sit around and probably open the pile of presents and later watch some football.  Later in the week, Veronica and I will be headed down to the City, because, you know, HAMILTON!!!!!!  Woot!  And 2017 might hopefully be better, because, you know, Baby Groot!  And more Star Wars (I’ve seen Rogue One three times so far)!

Oh, and as for why we thought 2016 sucked?  Well, part of it should be obvious.  And part of it is made more obvious with the embedded video below, just one of the gazillion people who died this year.

IMG_0336IMG_0334When we began this blog, oh so many years ago, it was the spawn of a graduate school project that Veronica had done.  It was mainly designed to keep our family updated with what Thomas was doing (before my writings about movies and literature took it over).  Well, we still like to give you updates on Thomas, and this is a big one, because he turned 12 today.  So, for all of you who have known him since he was small or even a baby, it’s time for you to feel old.

Veronica made him an Inside Out cake (with a color and sticker for each emotion).  We also measured him and he’s just under 5’2″ which means by the end of the summer, Veronica will go back to being the shortest person in our family.

Uncle John

John and his soon to be-wife Susannah.

Uncle John #1 is gettin' hitched.

Uncle John #1 is gettin’ hitched.

Well, I don’t have the next Nighthawk Awards post done.  Nor do I have the next Adapted Screenplay post even close to done, which is why I pushed up the next Great Reads post, which I had wanted to do closer to 1987, when the film is listed in the Nighthawk Awards.

And, now we’re off to Oregon for the rest of the week.  Our best friend, John is getting married up by Mt. Saint Helens, so we’re hoping it doesn’t decide to erupt.  John spent the entire weekend at the hospital with us when Thomas was born, getting some sleep on the couches and he was part of our wedding ceremony.  So, returning the favor, Thomas is going to be his ringbearer, which means of course we’ll be dressing Thomas up like Frodo for the ceremony.  Do you think I’m kidding?  More importantly, does John think I’m kidding?

John providing some very needed balance.

John providing some very needed balance.

Anyway, we’re off on an early flight and we won’t be back until next week, so hopefully at some point I’ll get to the next posts.  In the meantime, I’m off to Powells to buy me some books and Del Taco to have some del classic chicken burritos.  Oh, and family, friends, all that stuff too.

2015-12-25-bestWe hope you had fun.

As ever, still my favorite Christmas song.  Thank you, John Lennon.

We are not roasting chestnuts on an open fire, because 1 – I don’t particularly like that song, 2 – we don’t have a fireplace, 3 – I don’t like nuts, and most importantly, 4 – because it’s too friggin hot!  It was 70° yesterday!  70!  On Christmas Eve!

For once, all the presents haven’t been opened yet, which is causing Veronica much consternation.  We combine various Christmas traditions – there’s no way she’d go for my family’s old tradition of actually spreading things over 12 days but this is the first time in years I’ve managed to keep some of the presents until after lunch.

So, a Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it.  Happy late (C)Hanukkah to others.  If your thing is not one of those two, we hope you enjoy that as well.

We got Christmas Eve on Sesame Street watched last night.  We watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol (which we gave to Thomas this year so we wouldn’t have to keep checking Disney every year to find out when it will air).  I’ll be cueing up A Charlie Brown Christmas after I post this.  We also headed to the theaters to watch The Good Dinosaur, a fun movie but one of Pixar’s weakest. (more…)

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