A literal sucker punch

Yesterday I messaged a friend that I had been sucker-punched in the head. He said, "I saw, I'm so sorry." He thought I was talking in metaphor, because my grandmother passed away Friday morning and there has been much reminiscing on Facebook.

Grammy's death is too big a thing for me to wrap my head around yet. I thought I'd be able to write about it by now, but it's going to have to wait until my heart and my head get in sync. There are too many moments, too many scenes, too many memories that don't connect with each other to write about her yet. I keep mentally stumbling across things, like the way she called me "My Elizabeth" since I was a toddler, or the alternate lyrics she taught me to John Phillip Sousa, or her funny sweaters, or the time I told her the sky was a different color blue where she was, and dubbed it "California blue," which she said always came to mind afterward when the sky was clear over her house in the San Joaqui…


MAN: *excitedly hands me box of new electronic toy*
ME: Yes dear. I will be setting it up shortly.
MAN: *crestfallen* Shortly? Not now?
ME: I am reading the directions.
MAN: *puzzled look*
ME: Yes, reading the directions. That's what we grownups do with complicated new devices. We read through the directions before we open the box.
MAN: Pish tosh.
ME: Go sit till I need you to help me with the cords.
MAN: It may not take the same cables as the old one -
ME: That's why I'm reading the directions. Shush.


Watching Alien 3... (quasi-spoilerrific)

First two minutes.
BOY: What the [bleep]! They killed them?

(We're all with you, kiddo.)

Halfway through.
BOY: Wait, how you gonna get out of this one, Ripley?

BOY: What! There's another movie to get through!


ME: Do you need a ride home tonight?
BOY: Nah, I got a ride. We're going to stay for a while and help the girls' volleyball team.
ME: *sporfle* How exactly are you going to "help" the…

Fall Deathmarch Stalking Guide

In case you hadn't noticed, this blog is on semi-hiatus. Not that I don't enjoy sharing the menfolk's shenanigans and my latest rants, but there's a lot of things up in the air right now and I need to focus for a bit.

However, the Fall Deathmarch must stomp on! Each year I say I'm not going to do this to myself, and each year I give in. Coming up:

• St. Louis SPJ Student Boot Camp, Edwardsville, Ill. Sept. 23 (journalism)

• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 29-Oct. 1 (books and art/Literary Underworld)

• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. Oct. 6-8 (books and art/Literary Underworld)

• Leclaire Parkfest, Edwardsville, Ill. Oct. 15 (books and art)

journalismSTL, St. Louis, Mo. Oct. 23 (journalism)

• Heartland Book Festival, Cape Girardeau, Mo. Oct. 28 (tent. - books)

• St. Louis Indie Book Fair, St. Louis, Mo. Nov. 3-4 (books)

• Contraception, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 10-12 (books and art/Literary Underworld)

• Edwardsville (Ill.) Winter Market, Dec. 2 (tent. - books and art)

Return of the Living Snippets

As the hour slips on past midnight....
ME: *yawn* I have to get up stupid early. Tell me to go to bed. MAN: Go to bed. ME: Don't tell me what to do. MAN: See, I knew that's what was going to happen.
ME: WHY is there a phone charger in the bathroom?
BOY: Uh...
ME: With a cord IN the sink, because that's a great idea!
BOY: Let me try a toaster next!
ME: Smartass.

MAN: Ow!
ME: (without looking up) Stop using the hand.
MAN: I forgot!
ME: Learn!

BOY: What did the doctor say?
ME: He said I should rest more.
BOY: Well, then you should rest more.
ME: Oh really? Which of my jobs should I quit?
BOY: All of them!
ME: Sure, no problem! Then you will support me?
BOY: ...

ME: Ian, please put the DVD away.
BOY: Yes mom.
ME: And see if you can't put it away where it belongs? In alphabetical order?
BOY: I do!
ME: That's funny, because I spent twenty minutes having to reorder the DVDs because somebody in this house managed to graduate high school without learning his ABC's.
BOY: Why di…


Yes, sometimes even reporters get a little time off.

I won't be on Facebook while we're on vacation, but I'll likely be Tweeting on the personal account at @edonald if I see something amusing. I'll switch off the automatic feed so the Facebook crew won't be deluged with my blather, but if you actually want to see what we're up to, follow me there.

I will blog if I feel like it.

If you all have news, contact my bosses at Ye Olde Newspaper.
Public officials, please remember you are still under adult supervision.
No scandals or exciting chases, please.
If you're planning crime, please hold off until I get back.
[Redacted] is certainly not allowed to resolve itself without me.
In fact, no news is allowed to take place for the next two weeks.

We are going to have fun as a family and hang out with good friends. And I'll have the joy of changing Boy's bandages three times a day, so that should be fun. (He's going to be fine.)

See y'all on the flip …


The good news: Boy is home early! Yay for boyhugs.
The bad news: He is home early due to injury. Of course.

About a week to ten days ago, he was nicked by an arrow in the leg. (Long story.) Tonight they called me to tell me the wound had gotten badly infected, and he needed immediate medical attention. So I drove out to collect him and his things (made record time to camp); he was due to leave Sunday, so this basically cuts his time short.

He greeted me, "Hello momperson."

So tonight was a pile of fun, with attempting to clean out the wound and bandage it properly. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I worked as a medical assistant in my youth, and Jim was an Air Force medic. (Of course, that was in 1985, so our arguments over the advisability of using hydrogen peroxide in wounds will continue as long as we argue over macaroni and cheese as a side dish.)

We drove by Jim's work on the way back from camp so Jim could look at the leg. We debated taking him to ur…

Mail Fraud, or How to Ask Rude Questions in Public

So, did anybody send us money recently?

There's no polite way to ask that question, but I have to ask, because it looks like someone may have been swiping our mail. We have had three pieces of mail go missing en route to us in the last month, and each of them was related to money: a check for a Relay fundraiser, a graduation card for Boy with check enclosed, and a replacement debit card for my business account.

We are getting the card replaced and the others have been informed. But the complicating factor is that Boy received a metric ton of wonderful cards, letters and other mail from kind family and friends congratulating him on his graduation. And in the time-honored tradition of the starving student, most of them sent cash or checks.

Boy diligently wrote thank-you cards for gifts received before he went off to camp. There were a few that came in after he left, so those have not been properly thanked yet. (He's getting to them as soon as he comes home, he swears.)

But as we…