Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thirty three happened.

So, thirty three happened. Or, more accurately, is currently happening. Thirty three feels good--even, green, symmetrical. I think it's going to be a good year.  I continue to like my thirties.  My dad took great pride in reminding me last night that now I'm 1/3 a century.  And I can say from this vantage point that the first third (or so) has been pretty cool.  Life is good.

Birthdays make me a bit nervous (see: my fear of surprises and dislike of being the center of attention if I'm not on a stage or at the front of a classroom) so I was a bit on edge yesterday.  My AP kids snuck into my room and "heart attacked"--well, "liver attacked" my room.  It's something my friends and I did in high school--with construction paper hearts for teachers who were important to us.  These guys decided a liver was fitting, since Doc Homer says in Animal Dreams that the liver would be a more appropriate metaphor for human emotion:
“Why do you suppose the poets talk about hearts?' he asked me suddenly. 'When they discuss emotional damage? The tissue of hearts is tough as a shoe. Did you ever sew up a heart?'

I shook my head. 'No, but I've watched. I know what you mean.' The walls of a heart are thick and strong, and the surgeons use heavy needles. It takes a good bit of strength, but it pulls together neatly. As much as anything it's like binding a book.

The seat of human emotion should be the liver,' Doc Homer said. 'That would be an appropriate metaphor: we don't hold love in our hearts, we hold it in our livers.'

I understood exactly. Once in ER I saw a woman who'd been stabbed everywhere, most severely in the liver. It's an organ with the consistency of layer upon layer of wet Kleenex. Every attempt at repair just opens new holes that tear and bleed. You try to close the wound with fresh wounds, and you try and you try and you don't give up until there's nothing left.”

― Barbara Kingsolver

Color my little nerd heart liver warmed.  It's nice to feel appreciated.

I had a wonderful lunch with K and came home to find E working on another birthday surprise--new screens for the side of the house.  YES.  I definitely asked for window screens for my birthday.  Hurley dog (and Gus and Cal before him) tore the crap out of the old ones.  I've been jonesin' for a cross-breeze.  Excited.  And after that I got a new telephoto lens for my digital SLR camera, which I didn't even dream of asking for since it seemed too good to be mine.  Completely happy about all things gift-y.

We took the monkeys to an easy dinner at Chevy's--my allergies are kicking my butt this week, so I wasn't up to much else.  It was nice, though, and the company was good.


And even though I was still a swollen chunk of histamine when we got home, I took Hurley Herf for a walk. I felt bad since we had a baseball game the night before and I neglected him.  Once again, good company.


And I figured out how to focus my iPhone camera on a certain spot this week, so I've been practicing by taking ten million sunset pictures. The sky is too gorgeous right now.  My favorite thing this week is to sit on the bench by the water and watch the sun go down. It's kind of a game now to see how different it looks each night.


I had a good birthday. I had friends, family and former students blowing up my Facebook wall. I'm not above admitting that it totally makes my day to hear from people on Facebook. It's one of the best things about having a birthday in 2012. I am getting away this weekend, too, and I'm looking forward to even more peace and quiet and smiling.

Good day.


  1. Sounds like an awesome time. I never knew that snippet about heart vs liver. It's really cool that your students plastered your walls with livers.
    Happy Belated!

  2. Happy Birthday, Heather! Mine's comin' up all too soon! :)

  3. I have thought about that snippet of text from Animal Dreams so many times over the years...

    1. I keep finding things in that book to love. I'm not sure why it resonates with me so much, but it sure does.