Monthly Archives: March 2008

True confessions

As a child, I was not particularly nice. From about age 8 to about age 16, I thought practical jokes were funny. I was particularly evil on April Fool’s Day. My April Fool’s Day “jokes” included the following:

  • On the kitchen sink, taped down the handle of the spray thingie, and aimed it so that when anyone turned on the main faucet they would get sprayed.
  • At breakfast time, added blue food coloring to the milk. Just enough so that they didn’t actually notice it until they poured the milk onto their cereal, at which point they suddenly realized everything was light blue. (N.B. I have never put milk on my cereal.)
  • Put light coating of Vaseline on the toilet seat of the bathroom used primarily by my older sister. Resulting slipperiness blamed on my younger sister, who was then only two years old, who was assumed to have been playing with diaper rash ointment.

My own memories of my practical jokes fail at this point, mostly because I’d just as soon forget what a jerk I was.

So now it’s true confessions time:– What April Fool’s Day jokes, of which you now repent, have you played on others?

Spring watch

Red buds on gray twigs —
maples come into bloom and
pollen fills the air.

Pollen fills the air,
it makes me stupid, I don’t
feel that cold north wind.

Feel that cold north wind!
Daylight is lengthening but
earth is not yet warm.

Earth is not yet warm
enough to turn green. But trees —
red buds on gray twigs.

Attack ads everywhere

It’s the political season, and attack ads are everywhere. You’ve probably seen the Nietzsche attack ad, the Kant attack ad, and you may even have seen the third-party candidate Kierkegaard attack ad.

No way can I top those. But nonetheless, I couldn’t resist creating a Ralph Waldo Emerson attack ad (0:58)….

Note: video host is defunct, so this video no longer exists.

Oh, and there is also a Thomas Jefferson attack ad.

Spring watch

At 6:30, I finally made the last phone call of the day and headed out for a walk. I figured I had half an hour before it got dark. I walked briskly, not paying too much attention to anything except walking.

Looking down from the pedestrian bridge over Route 18, the man running past the Wharfinger Building on Fisherman’s Wharf looked like John. He wasn’t wearing John’s usual bright yellow Cheerios hat, though, so it couldn’t be John. Only a handful of people run regularly down along the waterfront, and briefly I wondered if another runner had moved into our neighborhood.

As i walked down the spiral ramp that leads from the pedestrian bridge to the wharf, I met John running up. “John!” I said. “You’re not wearing your Cheerios hat!”

“I know,” he said. “I thought it was much warmer than it really is.”

Yesterday was warm and sunny, but today the clouds moved in and it got chilly. I was wearing my big winter coat; John was wearing a long-sleeved jersey and shorts. He looked cold. “Yeah,” I said, “it’s cold today.”

He didn’t linger, but headed on home.

Spring watch

It didn’t feel that cold when I went out to take a walk this evening, but the wind was chilly. It was a raw damp spring wind that reminds you that we could still get snow. I had had a busy day at work, with more than the usual ups and downs. It was six o’clock when I finally left the office. I was going to take just a short walk before making dinner. But I kept thinking about the work day, the thoughts tumbling all around inside me. Carol was going to be at a meeting this evening. Dinner could wait. I kept walking.

When I finally got home at 7:30, all those tumbling thoughts had come to rest. And I had walked hard enough and long enough and fast enough that it felt warm and almost springlike outside.