I am reading Heinlein's novel Starman Jones to K as her bed time reading. We've been working our way through the juveniles. A long time ago I traded all my early Heinleins to my ex (who is now Iron Maiden's stage manager), to pay for work on my car. I found that I missed them, so a few years later, when my friend Brad Weage was cleaning out his library of paperbacks, I got his copies of the Heinlein juveniles. They have his name stamped on the inside,
"From the Library of
Bradley K Weage"
Middle initial, no middle name, so no period after the K.
Let me tell you about Danny Cobb. You met him once. You might not remember. You were just five years old, at a road-side diner on the way to somewhere. You were sitting on the edge of the chair, boots knocking against the crossbar, well shy of the ground. Just you and your mom.
One: While I make my living spinning words to persuade agencies to give my university and its researchers money, when I'm faced with a threat to myself, I am utterly unable to bullshit my way out. I'm much more likely to simply own up to whatever I'm accused of, or at least to whatever part I could rationally take responsibility for. In most cases, this works to my advantage. Nothing defuses a boss's anger or a parent's disappointment or a partner's displeasure than saying, "You're absolutely right. I screwed up. Here's my plan for making this right."
It's no secret that I do not like winter. I didn't like winter when I lived in North Carolina, where it's chilly and damp and rainy for most of February. I especially don't like winters in New England. Boston winters are nasty, brutish and long. Days are insanely short. The temperatures are uncomfortable. The wind whistles through the streets of Chinatown incessantly. My shoes are constantly caked with mud and salt. Winter requires carefully dressing for the temperature, both the temperature at dawn and the temperature during the middle-of-the-day thaw. Winter requires restrictive clothing, and an asthma inhaler.
I don't like winter sports. I don't like winter clothing. I don't like that on the days when it's warm enough to go hiking, the melting snow has turned the trails into sticky, slippery muck. I don't like that nothing is growing in the winter. My only outdoor chore this time of year involves picking up the vast quantities of dogshit that have been uncovered in the January thaw.
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