happy birthday old man

1

My dad turns 66 today.

My mother likes her pastries, and my father likes to raid my pantry for the Kentucky Bourbon I keep there just for him, and there have been a few pesky health issues on both sides — but all in all, the parentals are shaping up to be lively seniors with a minimum of vices, the kind who provoke comments like, “Wow, they look really good for their age.” Knock wood. I’m glad they’ll be around (and I’m glad for the genes).

When I was a little girl, every so often my father (who, like any steeltown 1940s-born football-loving strong-and-silent WASP male, could never be described as overly demonstrative) would sweep me up into these massive crushing hugs. They’d come out of nowhere, these hugs. We’d be walking along the trail on the hill behind the local university, for example, and boom. No warning. No ability to breathe. Slight pain.

Bear hugs from a black-haired blue-eyed bear of a man.

I played a field of skinny, decadent types, whom I enjoyed, before ending up married to another bear. Interesting how that happens.

2

John Skipp posted a lively little piece over at Storytellers Unplugged today. (When someone emailed me to say they’d liked my book and had loaned it to a friend who was “really into gore” I emailed him back, expressing serious concern that BLOODANGEL has enough gore to suit such tastes. One of the books I recommended instead was Skipp’s THE SCREAM, one of those happily twisted things I read at much too young an age and consequently never forgot.) As soon as I started reading Skipp’s piece, an image of the Joker — the one from the Dark Knight graphic novels, not the cartoon guy or cheesy television show guy — popped into my head and I read the whole of the essay in the Joker’s cackling voice. I do not know why. But I enjoyed it.

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