Crossing birds and dotting eyes

Sometimes, as they say in Massachusetts, light dawns on Marblehead.

The double meaning of the name “Angry Birds” finally dawned on me. It’s a rather silly double-play on “crosswords,” as in, cross meaning angry and words rhyming with birds. It took me only 18 months to realize this.

It also took me only 18 months to be able to solve the Monday crossword puzzle in the New York Times, something I used to be able to do without glancing up from the newspaper. There was a bit of consternation and foot dragging and gnashing of teeth, but I did do it in pen with only one slight over printing, and no cheating by looking things up in the dictionary or on the web, I swear.

Of this I am very proud, even more proud than of my Jumble Triumph a few weeks ago, I blush to say.

Then I got greedy. I tried the Tuesday puzzle. And it didn’t go too bad. Not being a big consumer of Apple products, I got hung up on the iMac clue, and having no idea who Emma Stone is also hung me up, but other than that, I sailed through.

Unfortunately, those two clues were in critical places, which gummed up the works significantly. Then, one thing led to another and I missed doing Wednesday’s puzzle. When I looked at Thursday’s puzzle, it was full of puns and little quiz-like things and references to pop culture, never my strong suit (I have referred to my sister’s gift of an iron buttercup before, when I got the name of the band The Iron Butterfly wrong.)

Thursday’s puzzle was a disaster; Friday’s puzzle was a no-go. I will look at Saturday’s, and despite the promises I made several weeks ago, I have yet to make it through a Sunday newspaper.

But I have, haven’t I, made good on my promise of a weekly blog entry, whether you’ve wanted one or not?

As for my third promise, a tidy office, well, I’d have to say that promise has been half-way fulfilled. And that half has been half-way fulfilled by CF.

Since I am no longer gainfully employed, it seemed a bit selfish of me to continue to occupy an entire room of our house as an office, especially since her desk was perched uncomfortably next to the kitchen counter. So we decided to rearrange the room that was my office so we could share it. This meant that someone had to clean half of it. More precisely, this meant she had to clean half of it.

So right now, our dining table is stacked with piles of my crap. This dining table, I should point out, is handcrafted from 200-year-old pine boards harvested from the floor of the old barn behind our first house in Maine before it collapsed of old age. It is the most gorgeous object in our house. But right now you can’t see an inch of it.

Nor can you see an inch of any other surface in my office, except the surface of my monitor and keyboard, which is all I need to keep working. Oh, and that of my headset, which I need to keep speaking into my handy-dandy Dragon software, which has worked surprisingly well for dictating this blog.

My son snickers at my headset, which has those big, comfortable ear cushions that make you look like a real science geek. He of course has his iPhone earbuds flung casually around his neck 24/7, which is good because if they were actually in his ears I think they’d be pretty painful.

As I admitted earlier, I’m not exactly up-to-date with everything Apple has to offer. I’d never heard of the iMac, for instance. But I do own an iPhone and iPad (a huge admission from a diehard PC programmer), although I do look at that Windows phone with some envy.

I don’t know if it’s because of my brain injury, or because I was a PC programmer, but no matter what I did, I could not figure out how to copy a paragraph from one place to another on my iPhone. In desperation, I asked my son. He glanced up from his Xbox (a Microsoft product), rolled his eyes, grabbed my iPhone, copied the paragraph, handed the phone back to me, and went back to his game.

Was this the day that I was undone by technology? Was this the day that my son knew more about it than I did? Or was this simply a day that my brain injury got in the way?

None of the above, I decided. It was…just a day.

But it was a day when I knew a four-letter word for a mound containing prehistoric remnants (TERP) and a three-letter word for a boggy land (FEN) (sorry, that’s an in-joke, that some of you might happen to be aware of, that is, you might happen to [KNOW]), and some day there will be a crossword puzzle with both of them in it, and I will take that puzzle and shake it under my son’s nose and point out those clues to him, and he will pull his earbuds from his ears, glance up at me, and roll his eyes, confirming, once and for all, that I come close to the craziest of all two-word phrase for an AMC series starring Jon Hamm (MAD MEN).

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4 thoughts on “Crossing birds and dotting eyes

  1. love you both… all so much~ this particular blog has struck so many chords, i can’t really begin to say them all – midden piles, teens, iStuff, word loss… and what the hey? angry birds? i never ever thought that could be a double-entendre. anywho, i love the blogging. makes me feel like you are ever-so-much closer. by the way, what’s the difference between a terp and a drumlin? that’s not supposed to be a riddle! 🙂 is it just that a drumlin is a hill only? i love all your word smarts. i miss you. hugs~

    • E,
      Lovely to hear from you! Terps, drumlins, don’t know the dirt on the diff, probably just where they are found and who gets to name them. Out here we have Mima Mounds, which some think (seriously) were formed by extinct (fortunately) giant gophers. The mounds are 4-5 feet high and, at the right time of year, are covered with camas lilies and tons of other wildflowers–you and your fam should come visit. Lots of love, c + c

  2. Not being up-to-date with technology, and having to ask your kid for help is not the result of a stroke – unless I had one I don’t know about. As for that crossword puzzle, bring it on. I’m now in the know.

    • Especially since it’s APPLE technology, right? We did give him a Surface computer for Judymas, and so far he has had no questions, so I have yet to be humiliated on that front. Once you solve the Wednesday crossword, let me know and then you can be my mentor.

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