You know the drill: no bleats on Wednesday! Just links. Except for this.

Choo choo train to the bathroom, Gnat demanded. This means I’m on the floor, pushing with my feet, and she’s the passenger down the hall to her bathroom. I put up my hands for her to grab, and for the first time I realized that her hands are big enough that her fingers now interlace with mine. Wow. Simply: wow. When first you hold that hand it’s a tight small walnut balled in protest against the cold and the light. Then it’s the small collection of wiggly digits you’re washing forty times a day. Then it’s big enough so its fingers fit into yours. You’re no longer holding the hand at the wrist; now you weave your fingers together instinctively. I don’t think it’s possible to do this, ever, without some voice in the back of your head steeling you for the day when she pulls away, and pulls away for good. Or at least fora few years. Four, ten, twenty – what counts is that you’ll hold hands again at the end.

Little kids are lucky, if all goes well - they have no idea how much you love them. It might scare them if they knew.

She’s so grown up. Relatively speaking. Three and a half, but astonishingly verbal. And her imagination has really started to throw off sparks in the last few weeks; I can’t tell you the number of puppet shows we’ve had in the last two days. Tonight she performed a number for Mom, Dad, and Jasper Dog. Everyone had to sit. Jasper whined, but sat nonetheless. The show consisted of a Care Bear and Mimi (Hello Kitty’s sister) doing a little dance; then Gnat stuck her head over the impromptu stage, and said “I’d just like to say hello to all the folks.”

My little Jolson.

Random N
otes: I don’t think I’ll ever tire of “Stuck in the Middle With You.” I liked Gerry Rafferty’s solo albums – well, the first one. Later efforts paled. But “Stuck” is a perfect 70s song. Low-tech. Bemused. And what genre would you say it is, anyway? It just is; like much pop from the period, it didn’t have to conform to any genre, because back then if something was good they’d play it on the radio. “That was Stealer’s Wheel. Next: Ohio Players!”

If I go to hell I intend to look up Quentin Tarantino and have a few words about how he used that song in “Reservoir Dogs.” Jerk. Who gave him permission to take this song and make us think of someone splashing gasoline on a bloody ear? Who gave United permission to use the climax for “Rhapsody in Blue” for their commercials? Who told the producers of “Die Hard” they could hoover up the glory of the end of Beethoven’s Ninth for the end of their film? Vandals.

Peculiar day, really. Finished one column in the morning while Gnat had a friend over – high shrieky girl-peals for THREE HOURS while I tried to write, punctuated with pouty bouts: she pushed me, she’s not sharing, she took my crayons, I bumped my head, Jasper ate our yogurt, the intel was distorted by the administration, etc. Nothing so fluid as the emotional topography of two 3 1/2 year old girls playing. Then I went to the office and stared at the screen for an hour, thinking: why am I here? Can’t say. Then I realized: cripes, this is when I write the Thursday column! Gads! Cripes! By Crom! Chiggers! Etc. So I wrote that column. Went home; dinner; walked the dog. Wrote the Sunday column.

Atkins update: energy level is still off the charts. Stomach: I am about a week away from having a belly button that makes Daniel Pestova’s look like the Chunnel. The secret – and I hesitate to say this, lest people think I am daft – appears to be eating less of everything, and eliminating unneccessary sugars. I noted with bemusement the arguments on FARK about Dr. Atkin’s late-stage bloating – it’s amazing how many people have this huge flaming emotional reaction to Atkins, as though it’s some sort of cult complete with scriptures and liturgy. I didn’t read a single menu, didn’t buy a book, didn’t plop down the Jacksons for Atkins-branded products; I just dropped cereal and juice in the morning, bread for lunch, crackers for snacks and pasta for supper. No dessert. Lean meat. That’s it. Voila: three weeks later all my old pants fit.

I know, I know! Completely counterintuitive. But it seems to work. Anyway, here’s the latest addition. Small and lame, but they can’t all be winners. See you tomorrow.
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Terry T and OGIC: art-crit delights. Bookmark and enjoy.
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