Yesterday was spent at my sister's, talking, grilling (we had a great dinner of the choice tenderloin cuts Dad can get from the place that supplies all the restaurants in NW Illinois, and the kind of sweeter-than-life sweet corn that we used to buy from the backs of farmers' trucks in the summer evenings when we were kids) and watching the Cubs with her and Jim, and playing with the girls in the house and in the backyard. Grace at three is kind of a worrier at times--bees, suddenly reluctant to risk the slide--while Haley, having hit 13 months, will climb telephone poles and try to walk on the wires if you don't watch her: totally fearless. She's just starting to talk, so my favourite moment yesterday was her in her high chair, after an interminable period of "Indian whooping," taking a tiny piece of steak out of her mouth that Leslie had given her, waving it frantically at Leslie and repeatedly bellowing "THAAANK YOU!!!" by which she meant, "I don't want this meat." Haley just decided to start talking last week and her vocabulary requires a great deal of sensitive interpretation.
I've been spending all day working on first century Judaism, and just came back from my friend Mike's apartment downstairs where I'd uttered the seldom-heard sentence, "Hey, do you have a Mishnah I could borrow?" I'm sure all the druggies in the building who heard that got real excited, thinking that Mishnah must be some quality stuff if they've never heard of it. Or maybe I'm making that bit up. So I just came onto the computer to look for a cheap Mishnah on Amazon and perhaps add that to my Wish List of things I need to remember to buy someday. Other than that, my only adventure was trying, earlier with Mike, to set up a ceiling fan in my living room only to discover that the right kind of brace or mounting for that is not in fact hiding behind the plaster boob in the ceiling that looked like it should have such a thing. So now I've got four loose ceiling fan blades, which can't keep me nearly as cool without the motor attached. I keep pinching my fingers.