Posts from October, 2010
The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.
kids flock in from all around the city. streets are shut down to make room for the hordes. there is even a certifiable street-to-street rivalry to see who’s going to throw the biggest block party.
sparklet spent her first real Halloween — last year didn’t count for obvious reasons — over on hobart street where every house was open for trick-or-treaters, at least one in every three houses was decorated, and one house even had a fully scripted halloween performance (“haunted hobart street has talent!”) with scheduled showings at 7 and 9pm.
unfortunately, sparklet’s wasn’t doing so well.
it’s officially 7 to 10 days after her first year vaccinations, which is when all the nasty side effects are supposed to kick in — and boy are they kicking in. she made a good run at trick or treating, but just didn’t make it very far before the crankiness consumed her.
she did, however, get her first real lick of candy — eg. not through a wrapper or cardboard box — a cherry dum-dum lollipop which mommy dutifully unwrapped for her.
she made it through three of four licks before she took it out of her mouth … by the wrong end … got her hands all sticky … got the lollipop stuck to her hands … and spent 30 seconds trying to toss it on the ground, to absolutely no avail.
turns out it’s not a hemangioma — it’s a port wine stain.
the good news is that you can remove a port wine stain with a handful of painless laser treatments right away, as opposed to waiting four to six years and hoping that it goes away on its own.
the other good news is that it’s just your average birthmark, it’s not genetic, and not accompanied by anything like Sturge-Weber syndrome or Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome — diseases that are much icky-er to deal with.
the final good news is that i was a Russian studies major, and i think that anything you share with Mikhail Gorbachev is pretty freakin’ cool.
unfortunately, sparklet kept getting confused — she thought it was a candy exchange, giving back candy at the next cube that she got at the previous, which was made even more thoughtful because she took the time to pre-moisten it before passing it along.
for posterity, her first trick or treat trophy was a box of milk duds — though they dropped to a distant second once she got her first lick on a lollypop.
aquariums, by and large, are nasty/brutish places, over-stuffed with parents desparately trying to ignore their shrieking kids — a chaos that is the exact antithesis of the peace you see underwater.
so, while i love beautiful collections of fish in large tanks and could sit in front of just one exhibit for hours on end, at an aquarium if you stand in one place too long you are invariably jacked up against a wall by marauding tourists.
tonight, however, the conference i’m attending rented out the national aquarium in baltimore after hours for all it’s attendees. so, instead of the building being overstuffed with nasty-brutish families … it was overstuffed with nasty-brutish drunk marketers.
deflated, i trudged my way through the aquarium with some friends at a brisk page — looking at the fish here and there, but moving pretty quickly to avoid the drunken pre-hookup marketer rituals.
i fell behind my friends at one of the last exhibits and, as i finally made my way by the front entrance on my way out of the aquarium, an official looking woman with a yellow coat hurriedly waved me over.
we’re shutting down the exhibit — you better get in there if you haven’t already been through. you haven’t been through yet, have you?
“um, no … i just got here.”
i skittered on past, she pulled the rope across behind me, and for the next forty-five minutes i basically had the entire national aquarium to myself.