hmm… I have the feeling I’ll be doing more playing than working today…

Maybe I’ll fiddle with my homepage, if I’m between projects… that’s long overdue for a rewrite.

I’m feeling good today.. my beloved is chipper, and Newt’s a little snuggle-muffin, too. Not bad at all for a Monday!

Well that’s convenient. A free spell-checker for web-based text input boxes in Internet explorer.

Things to write about –

Do you remember exactly when you became aware of vampires? Do you remember your first shower? Do you remember when you made your first phone call by yourself? Do you remember when you started to dress yourself in the morning? Brushing your teeth? The first song on the radio? The first animal you touched?

The Count!I’ll follow up with stories as I go.

When I was a little pod, perhaps three or four years old, I got a sesame street “The Count” doll from my godfather, uncle Tommy. He was one of those friends of my dad’s that wasn’t a blood relation, but got the “uncle” prefix stapled on by general closeness. Now, Tommy was probably about 26 or 28 years old at the time, being in the same graduating class as my dad. He had a bright yellow corvette stingray, and I was small enough to fit in the back when he and my pop would go out driving around… We went out to a store somewhere, I’m not sure, exactly… Woolworth’s I think, (because he showed me the gargoyle that day, at Pleasant St. church too…) and he told me I could have any toy I wanted… At first, in all honesty, I would’ve preferred Cookie Monster or Oscar the Grouch at the time, but Tommy sold me on The Count because of his strange powers and abilities. In his Brockton accent, sort of a JFK meets Dennis Leary voice he told me, “Nah, Scotty… man, you want The Count! Check it out… He’s a vampire, little buddy! He can hypnotize you, turn into a bat, has a legion of rats, bats and wolves at his command, is wicked good at math, can make it thunder and lightening outside, and he drinks blood! How cool is that?” Well, if uncle Tommy thought the Count was cool, it made sense to me. Plus, he was purple and had a cool cape, like a superhero… and the final selling point was the Count’s laugh… “Five! five tiny caterpillars *thunderclap* Mwah-ha-ha-ha!!”

Aside from the fact that thinking about him now causes me to contemplate muppet OCD… that, and I now wonder if he fed on other muppets or the humans that lived on Sesame Street? He’s got the fangs, after all. Upon reflection, I think he just eats felt. So, that’s how I learned about vampires. Later, I’ll go into why I thought vampires would come out of the toilet when I flushed it. There’s a silly little kid fear… leave everything in the bowl, wash your hands, put the seat down, and flush… then run out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind you.

Uncle Tommy died when I was about eight years old, and he didn’t have any kids of his own. His was the first funeral I went to, and probably the first time I remember seeing my father sad. He was also the first person I ever saw smoke pot. He taught me a little about how to juggle and rollerskating (on 2×2 skates, with metal wheels… this was back in the 70’s, after all). I like to think that he and my dad are hanging out somewhere together now, shooting pool and smoking cigs guilt-free.