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Hearts and other red things July 30, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Other, parenthood.

I see by that old clock on the wall that it is getting late. I have not yet posted in the month of July. I keep meaning to post, honestly. There is so much to post about, lately: career changes, new things I’ve learned, other stuff. But I’ve been busy, see. . . .

Anyway, while my lovely wife was out of the country, my Son convinced my Mom to visit us for a week. I hadn’t seen her for a whole year, and although I was extremely distracted with a number of things that seemed important at the time, it was wonderful having her here. She is one of those people that brightens up whatever room she happens to be in, and some of our rooms needed a little brightening at the time.

We had some short chats about books and work and life and things, but my life is in limbo here for a little while longer [I’ll post more about this later].  And that limbo is not terribly interesting to explore, especially to me.  Mainly, I just wanted her to have some time with my Son, which she did.  It is such a gift to both of them, to spend time with such a wonderful person, how could I not want that?

Other than that, what I really wanted was for her to see a cardinal while she was out here. There are lots of cool birds where she lives, in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley in California, but since I’m used to those birds, northeastern birds still seem so exotic to me. Cardinals stand out so vividly against the green forest and conservation land that backdrops our house. Seeing one is like those scenes in Schindler’s List where you see a flash of red–breath-taking, and leaving you wondering if it means something, if it portends.

But despite the combined efforts of my Son, who took her on endless jaunts into the forest, and myself, the weather didn’t cooperate very well.  We had a thundershower on most of the days she was here.

Recently I noticed a cardinal on a tree, high above our house, and listened to him sing.  I recorded it with my phone and checked the song on Youtube.  Yep, that was a cardinal.  Now I hear them all of the time, and know that those flashes of color, of life and meaning, are there somewhere, even if I cannot see them directly.  And it keeps me looking out of the corners of my eyes.

Sorry that you didn’t see one while you were here, Nana.  But I think that it’s like that old saying about poker:  If you can’t spot the cardinal in the room, it’s you.

Which words do you own?–the108 April 26, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, linguistics, Other, parenthood, vocabulary.

[Note: This is part of a continuing series on the actual vocabulary in use in the blogosphere.  Posts on this subject started here and will continue on a somewhat weekly basis.]

The108 is the first “Mommy Blog” to be added to the sample.  You probably could guess that from looking at the vocabulary cloud below, which contains words commonly used by the108 that are completely new to the database.


In all, the108 added 660 words to the database (from a sample of 30,000 or so, taken from posts April 1 – April 21, 2007).


The108 is going through a tough time in her life right now.  And I almost didn’t post this, thinking that I certainly don’t want to add to her troubles by analyzing her vocabulary.  I decided to post this anyway as a sort of a reminder that there are highs as well as lows.  They will come soon, I feel sure.  Go to her blog, tell her that your thoughts are with her. 

Here’s another cloud of words used by the 108 just two times in her posts (the font is called “Damn Noisy Kids”):


I’m going to return to her blog this summer and I am going to be sending positive thoughts her way.  I’ll take another sample and I hope to see more joy and hope in it.  I am counting on it.