Sunday, December 23, 2007


Father figure

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Early that morning

Monday, December 17, 2007



My grandfather, Hardy Blake Martin, died Saturday afternoon at 3:30. He was one of my favorite people. It is likely, or at the very least possible, that he would have been one of yours, too, if you had met him. He had the best stories. Grandpas always seem to have the best stories. And coffee. Eventhough I'm not much of a coffee drinker, it was always nice to have the option. I am going to miss him terribly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Oh well.

Someone (read me) has thought all day long that there were still fifteen days left until Christmas because someone (um, also me) forgot to update our cutesy little Count Down to Santa blocks this morning. Someone (me) should really rely more on a calendar and less on countdown blocks. Someone (me again) figures that fourteen days still provide enough of a buffer between now and Christmas to put off shopping one more evening in favor of reading another chapter or so of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Show her she's second to none

A gift idea for all the fellas out there with ladies to impress this holiday season. Just follow these three easy steps:

1: Cut a hole in a box
2: Put your junk in that box
3: Make her open the box
And that's the way you do it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


No sock zombie for me.

The prizes for NaBloPoMo have been announced! I was not selected at random for one of the sock zombies, and two other lucky bloggers will be welcoming a yeti into their home. $100 gift certificate from Bzzzt. But that's ooookay. There's always next year my friend. O-ho yes. Or Santa! Very exciting. And now I'm going to finally go collapse on my bed because I've been up way too damn long today and I. am. tired.


Whenever you breathe out, I breathe in.

The phone rings. It's 4:30. Who's calling? No one I know would call at this hour. Ah, except my mother. With news. About my grandfather. Shit. I lurch down the hallway and somehow successfully navigate around the love seat toward the phone. 'Hello? Amanda, the hospital called. It doesn't sound good. We're going to the hospital RIGHT. NOW. Do you want to go?' Pause. Thinking. Do I want to go? I need to be there. Do I want to watch someone die? No. I can't. I should go. I'll go. I'll go. 'Amanda?' 'I'll go.' I throw on some clothes, whatever I wore the day before. She arrives ten minutes later. Drive. It's raining a bit. I don't want to hear the conversation in the front seat. I stare out the window. I start to pray in the dark. It takes thirty minutes to get to the hospital. I hate hospitals. I walk in with my family. We talk about nothing. Down the hall. A corner. Through this doorway, that one. The elevator. Sixth floor. Room 680. We're stopped outside the door by a nurse. She tells us that my grandfather's oxygen level has fallen to sixty...something. Sixty-six? Sixty-nine? There are signs of dying. Three days. I hear the hiss of oxygen first. Then his labored breathing. He is not awake. Still, I notice he nods in response to his nurse's question. We find empty chairs around the room and stare and talk about nothing. I watch the sunrise from the sixth floor. I watch my grandfather breathe. The nurse has given him a low dose of morphine so he is less agitated and restless. The morning passes. Breathing treatments. Lasix. Blood gas. Double oxygen. Chest x-ray. At some point, we start to tell my grandfather's stories. By 11:00, his oxygen level has risen to eighty-one. Good news. We leave long enough to grab some lunch and then resume our post. More of the same. An uncle arrives. We talk about nothing. More treatments and hourly morphine and levels and another x-ray now that his breathing is better. His oxygen rises to ninety-five. Better news. Exhausted, four of us decide to leave room 680. Three stay on. I thank God for another day.

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