December 31st, 2011

Me 2 (B&W)


Usually what's special after I donate blood is a special meal. But after I donated today, I knew that it might be good to wait until I got home and eat some of what I already have, instead of (as usual) going out. I'm being careful with my money, plus when I left the donation center I wasn't feeling all that hungry yet. The snacks, water and juice at the Red Cross canteen were sustaining me. So why not head home? OK, but also, first maybe I can pay a visit...

What I figured would be a quick hey-how-ya-doin' visit with my cousin Steph and her family, who now live in town -- quick because I was sure they'd have plans, plus I was an unannounced visitor so I wouldn't want to impose on them -- turned into a couple of hours of hanging out. Including a walk to the park with their mellow dog Rufus, where we ran around a dog-walk area. Yes, we: I ran, and Rufus and a couple other dogs happily chased me. I had enough energy post-blood donation for that! And afterwards I joined them on a walk to and from the co-op where they get groceries. I carried one of the bags of food. Being useful is fun. Then a little more hanging out, then I headed home with a stop at a Safeway to buy TriMet tickets that I'll use next month.

It was quiet hanging out, because Paul, Steph's husband, is a nurse on one of those insane nurses' schedules. He was asleep wearing ear plugs the whole time I was there, so I visited with Steph and their daughter Eloisa.

Ah: the different pace of life when you have a 5-year-old. I've rarely been around 5-year-olds, except when I was a 5-year-old. I haven't made any kids, but if I had, I'd at least have built up to having a 5-year-old. Obviously Steph's used to it. (So's Paul, but, again, he was sleeping needed sleep. That's more important than my unplanned visit.) Visiting with Eloisa meant I walked slower, talked more clearly, and listened more carefully. Kids deserve to have attention paid to them, and they deserve that to be on their terms more than on adults' terms.

I also found myself finding little "teachable moments," where I could say something affirming that, I hope, encourages her in a good way. "I like walking in Portland," I said on our way to the park. "Portland's a good place to walk." Walking's important to me; I hope it can be important to her. It could be; her parents like to hike, but to have other people say they like it also helps. And on the way back from the co-op, Eloisa told her mom that she had something to tell her in her ear. Knowing that meant "privacy, please," I backed off discreetly while they had their private moment. Respect: I can do that, and she deserves that.

Nice kid; nice family. I'm glad they're part of mine.
Cartoon Chris


cleolinda, on Twitter, 12/29/2011: "People seem to have a lot of anger and resentment about how awful 2011 was for a lot of folks. Unusually so.

"2011 did not trifle. I feel a lot of respect for a year that was so consistently, thoroughly difficult. And fear. A lot of fear."


Well. If I have to work harder to have a better 2012, I'll work harder to have a better 2012.

It's possible.

Updates on how well I do as they happen.

All the best for you as well.


But honestly lame. I admit it.

I got up from a nap earlier, post-blood donation, thinking about the party I'd hoped to go to tonight for New Years, and decided I wasn't up for it. I've let my friend hosting it (and some other friends who are attending) know I'd bailed.

Easing into 2012 sounds like a good idea.


...and yes, I'm on a one-word title kick. It amuses me.

There's always more reading I want to do. (I first wrote "treading," and there's that, too.) Below the cut are the 54 books I got into my head in 2011. I'm currently working on Stephen King's Under the Dome, and other books are circling the airport, ready to enter the airspace of my mind, so to speak.

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