Monthly Archives: April 2012

How I learned that Cokie Roberts lives nearby

So, on Monday afternoon I got a phone call. The ID on the phone display read:


I didn’t answer, but later was curious and listened to the message. Notice that the message did not say “This is a message from your neighbor Cokie”. However, I made a note to be on the lookout for a scared looking black lab if and when I was out and about.

Katie the Missing Lab belonging to Cokie Roberts
Katie — photo courtesy

That evening just before I left for Alexandria (to teach a class on document accessibility the next morning) I checked the news on my phone. I have a “Bethesda, Maryland” section on Google News and noticed that the Baltimore Sun had an article about Cokie Roberts and her lost dog, Katie. I was a little amused that a newspaper like the Baltimore Sun ran an article about a lost dog. Then I was kind of excited to learn that Ms Roberts lives within a few miles of me. The article (and the message) mentioned Bradley Boulevard which is very close to me as well as Walt Whitman High School (not the one from Room 222) which is where my children went  to school.

I now wonder if perhaps I have passed her in the grocery store or cut her off while driving on Wilson Lane. Truth be told, I would not recognize her. She’d have to accidentally put her groceries in my cart and then launch into a monologue about the benefits of avocados. (I know she is on some TV news program now, but I’ve never really watched it.)

By this morning the news about Katie the dog was on at least 10 media sites including the Washington Post and Huffington Post.

While I sincerely hope that Katie is quickly and safely returned to Cokie (I can call her that, she’s my neighbor and Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs is a mouthful) I do find it amusing that it has made such news around here.

UPDATE: I am sad to report that Katie was hit by a car and killed near our local middle school.

An experiment

Way back in the summer of 1995 I came down with strep throat and had a very bad reaction to the antibiotics I was given for the infection. To make matters worse, we were travelling at the time and I was away from my regular doctor. I saw a “doc-in-the-box” who refused to believe that I was having an extremely painful reaction to Erythomician. All-in-all it took me six weeks to finally feel better. One consequence of feeling so poorly was that I lost my appetite and had to make an effort to take even a bite of something I normally liked.

I’m feeling the same way right now about reading. I’ve lost my appetite for books and have tried to make an effort to read. Last night I went to bed early, thinking I would pick out a book I’d been wanting to start, then read in bed for an hour or so. I sat in front of my bookshelf and nothing looked “appetizing”. Books I bought years ago looked dry and boring. It was like I was sitting at a feast and just picking at my food, unable to take the first bite. I ended up playing games on my phone for an hour then going to sleep.

This morning I remembered what I did that summer of strep throat to get myself to eat: I made myself eat something I liked for 5 minutes. After a while my hunger kicked in and I remembered that food was good. This morning I chose the most appetizing-looking book on my shelf, set a timer for 5 minutes and read.

When the timer went off I was already involved in the story and surprised that 5 minutes were already over. That I put the book down and searched for information about the story online doesn’t necessarily prove that the experiment was a failure — it means I was so intrigued with what I read that I wanted to learn more. Tonight I will go to bed early again and see if I can read for an hour or so. Look for the book in in the sidebar to change soon. (FYI: Pale Fire was excruciatingly boring).

Now mom

I have not been living up to my tagline, so thought I would remedy that. Let’s start with a note from my daughter that I recently found in a box of stuff I’ve been meaning to sort. I think she was a senior or junior when she wrote it but definitely high school. It was on her bedside table and I probably didn’t see it until the next morning. I also didn’t freak out.

Now mom
Now mom, Don’t freak out that I am blue. I put toothpaste on my face –> it’s like some acne thing. You probably have guessed it’s toothpaste by the smell.