*It's official: Dixon has his driver's license.

Yes, it's a bit overdue. He's had his permit for something like 15 months at this point, but between various travels and that little thing that started in August--what was it again...? Oh, right. College--anyway, between all that, he hasn't had much opportunity to pick up the actual license. And since he doesn't have a car in Richmond, there hasn't been much of a practical need, either. But now that he's eighteen, it seems a reasonable bit of identification to carry.

*I just looked over at the CD shelf and I'll be damned if there's not a copy of the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock and Roll sitting on it, right between Hot Rocks and Some Girls. When the heck did I buy that?

*Birding hasn't happened a lot of late. I've been able to spot a few visitors to the yard--waxwings, phoebes, cardinals, and seemingly more Blue Jays than I've seen in years--but it's been too busy for a real session with the binoculars. I'm trying to make plans for a visit to False Cape State Park sometime in the next little while, though, so maybe that will change...

*I finally bought the most recent Doonesbury collection, Tee Time in Berzerkistan, which means that I'm at least temporarily caught up with Garry Trudeau. The first Doonesbook I ever read was the 1973 collection Bravo for Life's Little Ironies (which itself was half of the earlier collection But This War Had Such Promise), and I started collecting them soon after, though certain books escaped my notice for a few years and I had to go back and buy earlier ones. Since about 1990, however, I've bought nearly every Doonesbury book at the time it came out. (I do need to buy the three special collections of wartime cartoons whose proceeds go to the Fisher House Foundation at some point, though.)  I'm not a completist in any meaningful sense, except in this particular little realm, but I also recognize that it's a rather odd little kingdom, one that's rather arcane and dated. Still, at some point, I'm probably going to donate the whole shelf to a certain history major so that he can get a close look at the political and cultural history of our nation over the last forty years. You're welcome, Ian.

*Oh, speaking of Ian: he offered me a mild freak-out this weekend, which was fall break for VCU. After we picked up Dixon's driver's license, I took both boys to Food Lion to pick up certain necessities--e.g., food--and was chatting with the clerk. I noted that I had brought along a couple of burly teenagers to help me load the bags out. Ian raised his hand and said, "Not a teenager." Damn. Anyway, we celebrated his 20th birthday a few weeks late with a trip to Charlottesville and a big ol' pile of Indian food.

*The dog has gone insane. Not that we weren't expecting it. Harlan is deeply concerned with the structure of his pack, and keeping track of the comings and goings of the various family members over the last few years has finally broken his brain. Heck, it's sometimes rough for me to make sense of it, and I've got a healthy pre-frontal cortex and a significant long-term memory capacity to help. It started in the fall of 2008, when Dixon left home to attend Woodberry for a year; every time he came home, Harlan would get totally frenzied and ecstatic, and then would crash into mopiness when he left. He recovered his equilibrium somewhat over the summer, but then, in the fall of 2009, Dix returned to WFS and Ian left for VCU--and Harland didn't know what to make of that. He got subdued and sleepy much of the time, and very greedy for attention on occasion. But again, on visits, and during the ensuing summer, he was more or less on an even keel. In the fall of 2010, with Ian moved into an apartment in Richmond and Dixon back at home, Harlan handled things pretty well, but then I left for two months in Ithaca in the spring and Kelly reported that she and Dixon were finding him a little flaky. I returned and he soon settled back to what passes for normal, but then Dix left for VCU in August and Harlan's back to being an only child. He spends a lot of the time soporific on the sofa, but then he'll leap up and demand every bit of your attention NOWNOWNOW, wanting to be fed, and let outside, and taken for a walk, and petted furiously, and given a snack, all at once. And god help you if you're trying to get anything done on the computer when he goes manic on you.

Do they make canine Xanax?

*I'm probably going to watch football today. But the temptation to either walk around in the crisp October air or lie in a warm bed is going to be very hard to ignore.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on October 23, 2011 11:38 AM.

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