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Man of Letters

The yard guy was here by seven this morning, but he was gone by the time I got back from having coffee with Suzanne and Alex. Okay, he didn't have coffee. He's not even two and a half yet. He had water and strawberries and cottage cheese. He's a growing boy, although you'd need a finely calibrated measuring device to prove it. He will be a big brother in a couple of weeks, in age if not size. If Jacen turns out to be bigger, he wouldn't be the first bigger younger brother in the history of our family.

Alex probably won't have to get by on muscles, although he is perfectly happy to show you what he's got, with accompanying grunts and growls. He knows he's not scaring anyone. I can tell, because he giggles every time he growls. If a person can get by being charming and endearing, he'll do fine. He has those qualities in abundance.

He is also very close to speaking clearly enough to be understood, even by someone who doesn't see him every day. He says "big truck" and "lock the door" as clearly as can be. With a little prompting from his grandma, he called me "Uncle Mike" today (that's what all the kids call me). The fact that "uncle" comes out sounding like "kookoo" isn't relevant at all, is it?

We were sitting on the patio, just under the Starbucks Coffee sign, which is displayed in big block letters. Alex was all over that. He pointed up at the letters and started naming the ones he knew. He seems most confident with vowels. "O!" he exclaimed, then, "E!" And then, exhilarated by the thrill of discovery, he said, "Another E!" Such excitement, almost as good as a big truck (or a motorcycle) driving by.

He also sings to himself, which is another family trait we're all so very proud of.


General Hospital: Trying to make sense of the three new characters (who look like old characters because they're played by the same actors): My totally unsubstantiated theory is that the guy who looks like Todd will turn out to be the father of the girl who looks like Starr. There must be some connection, because he knows Heather, who sold Jason's twin to Betsy Frank, and that baby grew up to be Franco, who is the father of Ava Jerome's daughter Lauren, and Kiki is also Ava's daughter (Katherine? Or Lauren, going by another name?) And Silas is the brother of a serial killer-turned-vampire. Or is he?

Baseball: You can play bad baseball but still play a good game. The Giants mixed the good with the bad again tonight in Denver. They were up by four, then down by five, which can be demoralizing. But did they give up? You know they did not. It's not for nothing that the Giants had beaten the Rockies ten times in a row. That streak ended with a 10-9 loss, but they were within inches of coming back from 10-5 in the seventh inning. As the song says, you gotta have heart. (That's a song about baseball, in case you'd forgotten.)

Quick movie review: I always go into a movie hoping to like it. Once in a while I'm disappointed. Tonight I watched Playing for Keeps, a purported romantic comedy with Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Some of their scenes together have the heart and the kernel of truth that are missing from the rest of the movie, which is a sad, sad mess. The moms who throw themselves at Butler's aging soccer star turned kids' coach are cartoonish, and the result is that two-thirds of the movie is an unwatchable, misogynistic bore.

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