Have you been half-asleep? AND HAVE YOU HEARD VOICES?

People! People! Do you think I would leave you just like that? I was just expressing some doubts, is all. I wasn't really going to up and close down the store. But thank you for your words of encouragement, your emails, and your presents. Sorry I had to return the pony. He had a soft, damp nose, and I named him Mr. Sparkles. But the co-op board said I couldn't keep him.

In other news, work (real, paid work! Egads!) continues apace. I wish I could give you the details, but if I have learned anything from the lovely Dooce, it's that talking about work on the blog is verboten. Suffice it to say that it's a dream assignment, both entertaining and well-paying, and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm a bit hard to take lately, in fact. I keep kissing my reflection and interrupting conversations with loud outbursts of "I ROCK."

Now, about Henry. If a 21-month-old can be obsessive/compulsive, Henry fits the bill. He's down with OCD, as they say. Certain items, people, bits of media, etc. seem to inspire in him a combination of terror and reverence that is all-consuming. Today's obsessions are BLENDERS, VACUUMS, and THE RAINBOW CONNECTION. He wakes up and demands to see the BLENDER. He wants to look at the BLENDER. Let him touch said BLENDER. Then he will make THE BLENDER NOISE. The BLENDER goes EEEEEEGH. Turn it on! he demands. But do not do it, for if you do, there will be tears, and much clutching at the neck, and your shirt will get all damp.

After breakfast, he wants to retire to his parents' bedroom, where the VACUUM lives. VACUUM, he says, and points. VACUUM. The VACUUM goes EEEEEEGH. The VACUUM sounds suspiciously like the BLENDER. But do not touch the VACUUM! Or go near it! To do so would bring much shrieking and upset and subsequent incoherent babbling about the VACUUM, not to mention the BLENDER. Speaking of which. It's back to the kitchen for both of you, where you shall look at and discuss the BLENDER. EEEEEGH. Do you like that sound? EEEEEEGH.

Before his nap, he must hear RAINBOW. Short for the above-mentioned song, of course. SING IT. While singing it, he will become both entranced and agitated, sweetly mouthing the words and gazing up at you until you think you might never make it back to the office and then GRABBING YOUR LOWER LIP while you're singing and crying MORE! MORE! until you want to scream I'M ALREADY SINGING IT, I CAN'T BE MORE SINGING THAN I AM CURRENTLY SINGING. You will sing it again and again and again, all the while wondering what was UP with Kermit, with his strange conviction that there's a connection between rainbows and--and what? What are the lovers and the dreamers and he rooting around rainbows for? And what's with the voices calling his name? NEVER MIND THAT JUST KEEP SINGING.