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Showing posts from 2011

Day 1100: in which Bob predates hipsters.

This Pabst Blue Ribbon box recently found its way to me from my stepmother's basement. Its contents are mysterious: loose diodes and transistors, carefully wrapped in socks and rubber bands, several books on Calculus, a slide rule, and a half dozen of empty pill bottles with their labels ripped off.

Ingrained in my memory, this solidly-constructed box has carried varying possessions of Bob's since the 1970s!

Day 1099: in which a good box is hard to find.

Between 1974, when I was born, and 1992, when I graduated from high school, I lived in, at least, 20 different houses.

Though we resided, for the most part, in Columbia County, so that I could remain in the same school through graduation, continuity where it counts being of importance to my father, we often relocated to different rentals in the area.

Whenever we moved into a new house, Bob would initially discuss decorating the house but it rarely moved past the theoretical. The boxes containing our belongings would often double as our furniture. Several stacked Xerox boxes would become the TV stand. Bed sheets tacked up would become our curtains, if there were curtains hung at all. Bob had dreams of me sewing curtains out of burlap, a material he found both sturdy and practical, but my ambition to sew was low, so they never came to fruition.

Xerox boxes worked the best, and easy to come by, at the Internal Revenue Service offices in Albany, where my father worked as a tax auditor. R…

Day 999. in which, no, actually.

"I like the way Indians dress. They had weird underwear," Lil stated, as she stood there in her own.

"Well. They couldn't just go online and shop for underwear; they had to make their own underwear out of the materials they had."

What? A time before the Internets...?

Lili's eyes were open wide.

"But who were the Indians?"

"Well, the Indians were the people living here when Christopher Columbus 'discovered' America. They were actually the first ones here."

"No, actually, the Indian weren't here first; the dinosaurs were."

Day 987. in which there are explosives.

Day 937. in which the closet is still occupied.

My father, who suffers from the late-stages of early-onset Alzheimer's, has not been able to live with me for some time. Simple tasks I once took for granted - like eating, walking, talking - have become real challenges. A man who less than two years ago walked all the way from Kingston to Bloomington, albeit unintentionally, is no longer able to stand unassisted. Only five years ago, he had still regularly rode his bicycle over the New York border from his home in Cambridge, New York to West Arlington, Vermont, which only stopped after he had misplaced several bicycles.

Even though Bob's no longer living with me, his presence persists. 


Throughout the house, objects seem stranded. His wallet, once full of business cards and cash sits empty and discarded on the top of a shelf in the kitchen, its contents lost and the shell dismissed long ago.


At the end of an upstairs hallway, next to the room where my father slept, is a closet which I rarely open. When I open the door, I'…

Day 935. in which there are NO SEX PISTOLS at the High Museum of Art!

The year was 1988! My father drove us from Kinderhook, New York to Atlanta, Georgia in his Isuzu Trooper, which lacked both an air conditioner and a radio, for our vacation in which I recall as an ungodly hot summer.

It was the summer before my freshman year in high school and the last thing I wanted to do was to ride with my father in a hot car across the country. He wouldn't let me use my Sony Walkman! He wanted a fully functioning co-pilot: awake, alert, and counting mile markers along the Interstate!

In the back of the Trooper was Bob's mini-cooler stocked with Bob-delicacies: aerosol cheese, crackers, and soda, lest we become overcome by hunger on the road!

We stopped at many rest stops, collecting bundles of tourist brochures and maps. We had quite a collection, which I would peruse through every evening, back in our motel, plotting out the next day. I was in charge of finding coupon deals for the next Econo Lodge down the line. This was the summer I learned it was "…

Day 921. in which my boss retires and we go for crabcakes.

And they were good.

Day 918. in which the sweetest post-apocalyptic picture is drawn.

Lil:"Their world got killed so they're looking for another world." Me:"They look fairly happy for having just lost their world." Lil:"They're on their way to their mother, who has blankets and food..."

Day 916. in which library books are read.

Day 912. in which my robot friend serves copious amounts of coffee.

#14. My Coffee-Making Robot Friend.