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Saturday, February 25, 2006

The good news, and the only news that really matters, is that Aiden is much better today. I didnít see him, but Iíve had reports. Heís eating again, and sassing his mama, in that good-natured way he has. He even told his daddy that there was NASCAR on television, and they watched it together. Plus (and this might be important, too), his fever is down.

Kylie is no worse than she was. She has a touch of a stomach virus, and itís not anything that youíd ever want a six-month-old angel to have to suffer through, but at least itís not any of the other, worse things she could have. Iím not sure how their parents are doing, but I talked to them both today and they were both lucid and upbeat. Thatís like a miracle or something, considering the week theyíve been through.

How am I doing? Well, thatís kind of the bad news. Iíve been wearing the wrist brace since I went to bed last night, for one thing, and itís the first time Iíve needed it in months. This is also the first time that the pain has affected me while I was doing nothing more stressful than typing. Usually it spikes when Iím opening a jar or turning a key or twisting the blinds closed. And obviously, I canít do any kind of cleaning that involves scrubbing or rubbing. Thatís obvious, right?

And Iím exhausted. Sorry, but there it is. I know I wasnít up all night with sick babies, but for some reason I feel absolutely battered. This is what kept me from doing any work today, as planned (to make up for how little I did during the week). I didnít do anything more strenuous than changing the channels (and believe me, I wielded the remote with my left hand).

18 February 2006

Wads of clouds.

Yesterday I told the Boss what was going on with the family. Whatever impression Iíve given of him here, he is very understanding whenever I tell him I need to take some time out for a crisis that involved family members, especially the children. Iím grateful to him for that. (On the other hand, that doesnít mean thereís any less work to do, and Iím well aware of that.)

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Now that curling is over, Iíve noticed that there are other events being contested in Torino. Too bad this was the last night of competition, and the Olympics end tomorrow. But let me say a word in praise of a speed skater, of all people. Apolo Anton Ohno came into the Games with high expectations, from the public and from himself. He had spent the last four years living at the U.S. Olympic training center full time and preparing himself for the races he would run in the last two weeks. Even if, as was the case with most athletes at the Olympics, he had won no medals, he would be a great Olympian. He has consistently shown that he has perspective on both his results and the Olympic experience. He knows that the competition is about athletes from all over the world coming together and giving their best effort, whether they expect to win or not. And I can say from watching him that I donít believe he ever gave less than his best, regardless of the results. (Did you see that 500 meter heats and final tonight? Wow!) Heís unlike some athletes, who seem to think that the experience is theirs alone, and that they are there by right, without the obligation to try, when many other worthy competitors are sitting home watching. I applaud the athletes like Ohno, who can soak up the experience, do their best, and never let anyone watching them feel cheated.

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One year ago: Tricks
"The wave is a side-to-side gesture at chest level, as if heís been riding on a parade float for a couple of hours and is just a little tired of waving."

Two years ago: Vision Thing
"This time some nasty receptionist is going to give me lip. Or guff. Or maybe sass. One of those, though, lip or guff or sass."

Three years ago: Mice and Ice
"Meanwhile, there's an elephant in the back yard."

Four years ago: Right to Vote
"'I want to vote for the Republicans,' he told me. I didn't bother to tell him that since it's a primary, all the candidates on his ballot would be Republicans. If he wanted to vote for the most inflexible rightwing extremist Republican, I'd have to do some extra research."

Five years ago: Someone to Look Up To
"They were flawed, and the result of their efforts was imperfect, but they are the role models we need in an age of arrogant self-interest and drifting values."

Six years ago: Unhitch the Wagon
"The inevitable ticket of Bush and a Quaylesque figure to be named later will further marginalize the party and take a sound drubbing in November."

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