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Allons Enfants

Friday, 09 Jan 2015, 20:06 UTC


Dancing at the Highball

Sunday, 04 Jan 2015, 00:50 UTC


We could see them from the sidewalk. They were expecting us, and their front door was open. But as it often is with us, we were running late. So as they waited for us with their front door open, they evidently found themselves with some time on their hands.

And so as we walked up the sidewalk to their house, we saw them through their open door. There they were, in their spacious, modern, open living room: dancing. And they twirled as we walked up the steps.


A few days later, we arranged to meet at The Highball. And as it often is with us, we were running late. So they grabbed a table by the dance floor and ordered some drinks.

After we got there, we sat around a while and talked. The place got busy. The band set up on the stage. Eventually Dale Watson came on stage, and the dance floor began to fill up. That’s what everyone was there to do.

Now, you must know that Gregg and Kelley are cut from difference dancing cloth than we are. They dance and twirl in their living room in plain view of walkers-by. They tour the area dance halls in search of the perfect waltz or two-step or polka. While we… well we plant our feet on the dance floor, stare into each others’ eyes, and begin counting out loud: slow, slow, quick-quick.

They are the dancers. We … aspire.


So there we were … aspiring … on a dance floor full of people, working up a sweat, stepping on each other from time to time. There we were, when out of nowhere Gregg appeared. He motioned at us and nodded his head and pointed to his phone as he tried to get a picture of the two of us. 

Gregg is so tall that when he holds his camera up it has a remarkable bird’s eye view. And from that perspective at that moment, he captured the two of us looking up at the camera, captured in the middle of what is the closest that we can get to a twirl (which is frankly nothing remotely resembling one).

He texted us the photo. The next day, I traced outlines from it, sketched in some color, and tried to compensate for the motion in Trudy’s twirl. Trudy made suggestions on how to get her mouth drawn right (because frankly I had not done pulled it off on my own), and well … the result was not too shabby: a sketched rendition of Gregg’s bird’s eye view photograph.

But here’s the unfair thing: we aren’t the dancers; they are.

Next time, I need to take the picture. And although it certainly won’t have that same top-down perspective, with any luck it will capture one of their twirls, the kind you might see if you’re lucky enough to be walking by their house in the evening when they have their front door open.

Dancing the Night Away

Friday, 02 Jan 2015, 09:50 UTC

Happy New Year !

Dancing on newyears

Early to Rise

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014, 18:10 UTC

We rose at 5:30, as we often do. Who knows why. Perhaps it was my cough. Perhaps Trudy had again displaced me on 90% of the bed and I was shivering with only a sliver of blanket to keep me warm. Or most likely it was the dogs who seem this year to have never adjusted to the time change and are hence perpetually asking for breakfast an hour before it is due.

It was dark outside, dark inside, too. I leaned and gave Trudy a kiss. She smiled and then turned away, pulling the covers even further in her direction.

I stood up.

“Are you getting up!?” she asked.

“We’re getting up,” I said. “We have presents to open.”

Truth be told, although there were several presents in the living room, there was one in particular I was interested in.

You see, a package from Amazon with presents from each of us to the other had arrived a few days before. (We both had our hands on the mouse when we clicked “Buy”.) Trudy had already opened hers — because we wanted to cook pot roast in the new crock pot. But I didn’t get to open mine.

Just as Trudy had known what her main gift was, so too did I: David Hestenes, New Foundations for Classical Mechanics. And a certain package wrapped in red and green sitting on the coffee table was just the right size.

So even though it was 5:30 in the morning, and even though it was still dark outside, and even though we were undoubtedly up before the earliest rising kid on the block, the fair and industrious Trudy put on her slippers and made a pot of coffee, and the two of us and the two dogs sat in the living room with smiles on our faces and opened presents.

… and then I read the rest of the day.

Red Tex 2

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014, 11:33 UTC


Donning a Red Tux

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014, 10:35 UTC

I had a dream that it was Alex’s wedding day.

I was putting on a red tux and was getting ready for the ceremony. I was to be one of two groomsmen wearing red tuxes; we were going to walk at the end of the procession. The other groomsmen would wear black, and they had already left. I was late.

This was my childhood home. I was in the garage putting on the tux. Then *flash* a moment later, I was across the street where the Molufs used to live, still trying unsuccessfully to tie that thin, thick tie.

My watch beeped. I looked down. The others were texting me. We have started, they said. I had missed the ceremony.

Dang, if that isn’t pure me. I’m supposed to be in Alex’s wedding… I’m getting ready to go… and I miss it. 

Still, I kept trying to tie that infernal tie. And then one of the other groomsmen drove up. He was sweaty and was buttoning or unbuttoning his white shirt and tying or untying his black tie. 

“Oh,” I said with a tentative sense of relief. “You’re getting ready for the ceremony?” 

“No,” he said. He didn’t look up at me. “The ceremony is over. I’m getting ready for the second one.”

So at least there was that. There were to be two ceremonies, and it was possible that even though I’d missed the first I’d make the second.

Now Alex comes into the house. I try to think of something to say, but we’re both silent. He doesn’t even look at me.

…and then I wake up.

Lost and Found Staedtler

Saturday, 27 Dec 2014, 21:42 UTC

Monday morning. The office was empty and dark. Most everybody was gone for the holidays.

I walked into the conference room. Time for the end-of-sprint demo. Lou was there. Nobody else, although several dialed in on the phone as did the guys in Chennai.

Afterwards, I walked around the back of the room, over to where Lou had been running the meeting. And as I walked around the table, there on the windowsill to my left was something small, white and blue. A Staedtler eraser. 

It was my Staedler eraser. The one I had misplaced the week before. The one I had searched for in vain. And in its absence, I was out of sorts. After all, what good is a 0.5mm Pentel pencil with 2B leads when you don’t have a Staedtler eraser to clean up stray marks, mistakes and miscalculations?

Now, holding it in my hand, I felt normal again.

Maybe Lou could share this moment, I thought. We’re roughly the same age. Maybe he would understand about paper and pencils and erasers and their connection to your brain thru fingers, wrist and arm. So I explained it to him. About my pencils. About my lost and found eraser. About my joy at the reunion.

But I was wrong. Lou looked up briefly but then returned to his laptop. It’s true that he and I are roughly the same age, but no, he did not understand. 

… and so I thought I would share with you.

Red and Green By Night

Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014, 18:45 UTC


I’ll Get By

Monday, 22 Dec 2014, 19:16 UTC

Lend me your ears, and I’ll sing you a tune.

JoeCocker woodstock2

RIP Joe Cocker.

The Face of American Exceptionalism

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014, 17:06 UTC

I’d do it again in a minute.