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small red square Another day of vague sore throat pain (lower left this time) and el Niño storms - the latter so bad around lunchtime I didn't feel like braving the elements, so I ate at my desk (a happening I regard as punishment - you mean, no recess?) But naturally I'm prepared for such an occurrence - a lower desk drawer is stocked with some provisions, a few tubs of instant noodles, etc. Finally ate some vending-machine "Grandma's Homestyle" cookies I've been aging for several months, in hopes that they'd stiffen up, but alas they were still squishy (how I loath 'soft-baked' cookies - they're only half-cooked in my opinion).

small blue square I've been re-reading "The Watchmen", an immeasurably rich series of 12 comic books from 1986, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons & John Higgins. Although I didn't catch them when they first came out, I'd noticed the mammoth graphic novel of the collected issues in the comic shops the next year, but hadn't given it a chance until later when my brother N suggested I give that book a closer inspection. My enthusiastic assessment after finishing it at that time: "This is what's needed - more comic books!!" I re-read it straight through a few years back (when I was reading the four issues of "The Golden Age", published as a graphic novel) but now I'm just opening it at random. Today I discovered a fascinating on-line site of annotations, so now I'm going through it page-by-page.
"Titanic" fans please note: wearing a Watchmen T-shirt was the one redeeming attribute of that annoying bearded fat guy.

small white square During work I had a sudden vision of U and the Firecracker - back in the school days we'd all hang out up in that narrow room carved out of the attic at the top of his parents' huge house. This evening we had firecrackers and were lighting them & flinging them through the small open window, where they'd explode outside. Well for kicks U stuck one up a nostril and despite our pleadings not to, he touched the smoldering tip of his cigarette to the fuse, and rather than burn normally the spark shot up and the firecracker went off. Tableau: stunned looks all around, then Tim bolted downstairs (to the bathroom). He reappeared a few minutes later (seemingly intact, to our relief) and explained that he'd planned to yank it out and hurl it like we'd been doing with the others, but unfortunately...
The incident is hilarious in retrospect; but like it's been said countless times before it's a wonder all of us made it through those days alive.
U lives in a suburb of Detroit now.

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