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Inflatables in Repose

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is taking my dogs on morning walks through a neighborhood of fallen inflatable lawn figures. In the evenings, these Santas and reindeer, snowmen and sleighs, are plump and electrified--always the same. But their morning reposes take many forms. This reindeer, for instance--sometimes he's slumped over the "Santa Parking Only" sign. Sometimes he's nearly flat, his nose pressing into the dry winter grass. Sometimes he looks funny, sometimes he looks sad, and sometimes he just looks drunk.

If you have any photos of inflatables in repose, please send them my way. They never get old.

And happy new year!


Squirrel Crossing

A few weeks ago--the day and night of the recent blood moon--I came home to find a maimed squirrel on my welcome mat. Today, OZY published my essay about what happened next, as part of the "I Tried It" series.


Appointment Television: A Bedtime Story

Back in the day, watching TV meant following the clock. Up today at Baltimore Fishbowl, my essay Appointment Television: A Bedtime Story.



This year, I tried my first no-carve pumpkin project. I painted a farmer's market pumpkin with leftover white interior house paint, then let it dry. Then, as the National Book Award finalists (congratulations to all) were announced on NPR this morning, I picked up a black calligraphy pen. I started with the arching-back cat. That became a letter A. The rest of the letters proceeded from there, and the webbing capped it off. It looks kind of strange outside, I have to say--the white paint glows.


National Book Festival

I went to the Library of Congress's National Book Festival this year for two reasons: (1) because the lineup of authors and events was so good, it gave me the vapors; and (2) because the Maryland Center for the Book had chosen GENIE WISHES to represent Maryland on the list below--Great Reads About Great Places. I'd offered to spend some time at the Maryland booth in the Pavilion of States.

If I ever need reassurance that people still read and care about books, I'll remember this festival, with its long lines and active booths.

In the Politics & Prose book sales area, there was this cool wall-size list of independent bookstores by state.

Before I left, I stopped for my longtime favorite Elizabeth McCracken's signature on her newest book.