Succinct Update (Snort)

Finally checking back in…I can’t explain it, but I’ve been disinclined to write anything for the past few days. It’s unfortunate, because there’s been a lot to write about, and now in the interest of time I’m going to have to be succinct, which does not come easily to me.

1. I visited the Brandt family in Newport News last weekend. Berkeley seems to be doing as well as can be expected after his stroke — actually, better than can be expected — he really shouldn’t be alive. I got the background story: he’d been having back problems, for which he’d been receiving therapy over the past few weeks at the Naval Hospital (he’s military). The shot of cortisone that caused the stroke was really intended to go in a disc in his spine, not an artery. The fact that they didn’t realize what they’d done and sent him home afterwards couldn’t have helped.

Yeah, I know.

But, the good news: his long-term memory seems to be okay, he can stand and write, and to all accounts he’s still himself. Plus, he’s got heaps and heaps of support from family and friends. At this point, his wife and mother need prayers as much as he does.

2. While in Newport News, I got to tool around the city a bit and visit some old stomping grounds. I confess, I get nostalgic for suburbia. The huge yellow paw prints painted on the streets around my old high school…DeMaria’s Seafood…the crepe myrtles planted in every median…Dean and Don’s Market. I had to stop in and buy a pumpkin and some locally made preserves. It was homecoming for Warwick High School, and I passed the procession of cars with streamers and balloons as I drove by the football stadium.

I wandered around a sidewalk fair in Hilton Village, one of the city’s historic districts. You know the type: local crafts, face painting, a bake sale. There were a few distinctive items: a display of paintings by Patricia Madden, a local artist/radio personality who’s really quite good (I picked up a print of her painting of the Village Theater, a landmark from my childhood), and the CNU Jazz Band. Who knew that CNU had a jazz band that rocks out? I was quite impressed. I also confess to having a similar reaction to musical college boys as the Tin Man…they’re too young for me, but still…sigh.

3. Cheers to my brother for his acceptance of the job offer with Microsoft. You beat the odds, bro, and will be making a living next year. I’m proud of you. Plus, you couldn’t have picked a better place for me to come visit. I also promise to make zero cracks about the Evil Empire (in your hearing, at least).

4. Finally, in honor of Halloween, I was possessed last night by the housefrau spirits of my ancestresses, and cooked a kick-ass dinner. Herb risotto, topped with wilted spinach and portabella slices, with tilapia in a white wine/butter/citrus sauce, and asparagus. I rock out.

Off to ramble at others now. By the way, did you notice the truth in the first paragraph? It’s impossible for me to be succinct! Doing my little non-succinct dance. Have a happy Halloween, fellow crazies!