list #32: 5 relatively new things that are making me happy

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1.  The Hassie.  I know I've made it pretty clear that I love this camera, but seriously, I love this camera.  And it's not just because it's a good camera, but more because I'm really enjoying the feeling of learning something new.  It's so great to discover things again, and exercise new muscles.  I'm having a blast.

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2.  Rufus.  Okay, Rufus isn't new.  And generally speaking, of the three of us, Rufus is my dog, since I'm the one who's with him all day long. 

But this dog is getting clingy.  He's constantly underfoot, and has taken to following me from room to room, no matter where I go. If I'm in my office, he's lying next to me.  If I get up to get a glass of water or a cup of tea, he follows me into the kitchen.  If I'm in the family room, he's under the coffee table snoozing.  And this behaviour is brand new -- he was never this attached before.

And it's sort of adorable.

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3.  The appearance of the azaleas.  Now, it's only February, which means it's way early for azaleas to make their appearance (and also that they're at risk for being hit by one of the surprise frosts that will inevitably come).  But azaleas are sort of quintessential Houston spring flowers, and my favourites in our garden; with the drought we had all last year, I thought they'd all died (and many did).  But with our mild winter, some are coming back.  And they're providing a great metaphor for me to use with Alex, on how beautiful results can result from perseverance.

(Dude, I'm West Indian.  Everything can be used as metaphor for a teaching moment.  Just ask my dad.

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4.  Marcus' multicoloured beard.  It wasn't until I took the photo above that I realized that his beard is turning white in patches, in sort of a badass, vampiric, fang-whisker pattern.  Love it, and I don't know how I never noticed it before.

Or -- or!  Or maybe it's a Mood Beard -- his beard is actually all white, but when it goes all red, just stay outta his way.

(I might get more amusement out of this beard that Marcus thinks is necessary.  But I do love it.)

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5.  Quiet moments with an incredibly hysterical book.  While my friend Jenny was writing this book, she'd often call me to read parts of her work aloud, so that she could get some feedback (but mostly so she could sort of hear how it sounds and make her own judgment calls), so I'm already pretty familiar with the content in its pages.  But this is the first time I'm reading it from beginning to end, and goodness me, this is funny.  I wouldn't recommend you picking it up if you're easily offended  (because Jenny is nothing if not profane), but if you're of pretty hardy stock, seriously, run do not walk to pick this sucker up.  As of this writing, it's number 6 on Amazon's humour bestseller list, and it's not even released yet -- so I think calling it one of 2012's most hotly anticipated books is pretty accurate.

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(A completely unrelated note:  Many of you have let me know that the images from my posts aren't showing up in your feed readers or your email subscriptions ... which are, of course, created from my blog feeds.  I'm very well aware of this, as is Squarespace -- it's a glitch that they have assured me they have escalated to the highest levels of their customer support organization.  [This, by the way, makes me feel unreasonably special.]  So please know that they are taking it very seriously, and are working very hard to restore the images to the feeds just as soon as they can.)

Song:  Love rears its ugly head by Living Colour.   Today's song chosen for you by Marcus.  And his lovely, silky, vampiric beard.