Monday, August 7, 2006 - 4:45 pm

[Bax's favorite song: See his artistic interpretation down below]


Today I did the first real academic work I think I've done in four months. A colleague at Annenberg was working on a study of the Daily Show and generously asked if I would co-author it with her for the American Political Science Association Conference on Labor Day Weekend. I kept swearing that I would fulfill by obligation to her and the paper - even though the days were slowly disappearing. Today I finally did it. Not a great job or a thorough job, but... i did it.

It felt so good to get in the zone. I haven't been able to focus at all on work. I try and try and it just doesn't happen. But today, for a period of several hours, the world fell away and I was totally in it. It felt wonderful. And the conference is the weekend after the celebration. It's right here in Philly. A very nice way to transition into the fall.


Thank you so much to the anonymous Jess, who doesn't even know us, but who bought Lonia a plane ticket for the weekend of August 27th for Lonia. Truly. What's up with you crazy people? This could be a giant hoax! I might have made this entire thing up to capitalize on the goodness of others...

I wish.


I had a wonderful weekend with Liz and baby Noah. Liz is my best friend from college who brings a lot of the same kind of calm positive energy to me that Michael did. Being with her was such a gift. Even if she did mock the fact that when I put my mouthguard in at bedtime I have a terrible lithp.


If you have awesome photos of Mike that you would like to add to the collage that the art department at Discmakers is working on, please email them to me at 185cranios@gmail.com. The more the better. And if they are hard copies and you can't scan them, send them to me snail mail and I'll get them to the folks at the art department. The sooner the better so I can make sure they have enough time to get it all together.


We've opened up the tix to the general public. Publicity will start late this week. So, if you haven't gotten your tix, get on it quick. Tables are sold out, but general admission is available.


Today, Radio Times on NPR was talking about new and different funeral rituals. So, for whatever reason, I called in. I called with the intention of just talking about the celebration, but I sort of ... i don't know. I talked about Mike and his body, and the ashes and I'm sure I sounded as f*cked up and confused as I feel.

Both guests suggested I retrieve Mike's ashes from the funeral home and keep them in the house with me. They said I'll know what to do with them when the time is right. I think they were right.


Finally, cute Baxter-ism: He now sings all the time. One of his favorites? Twinkle twinkle little star. It goes like this:

Tinkle tinkle li-uh tah.
Ow I won-duh whatcha ah.
Uh uh-buh duh wuh so I,
Lie uh di-muh inuh ky.
Tinkle tinkli li-uh tah.
Ow I won-duh whatcha ah.

Love to you all.


Anonymous said...

Baxter is a true blessing in your life. Kids are great, especially when it's your own kid. I hope you taped the Bax version of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason why Willa and Bax are a match made in heaven...Twinkle is her favorite song right now, too!!! But she calls it "Up ah", as in "up ah-bove". I don't know why, she just likes to be different. She's also figured out that it's the same tune as the ABC song, and Baa Baa Black Sheep, so her version goes "AB, AB, AB, AB, AB, AB, AB, AB, up ah, up ah, up ah, up ah..." she usually trails off somewhere around here, or makes us finish it.

Thank god for work, it's a wonderful thing. You're in our thoughts, Danna.

xoxo Megan and Michael

Jalena said...

How I'd love to hear him sing it!!! How blessed you are.

rosa said...

I wish so very much i could be there with you and have Bax and Rowan sing a duet of this, her favorite song. I love you honey, and i'm glad you liked the flowers :)


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Jenny S-G said...

You should get Mike's ashes. I agree with the two hosts.

I want to warn you, though, about that. My brother picked up my Mom's ashes at the funeral home, and we then met up in a hotel. When I walked into the room, Mark had the ashes sitting on the stand by the TV. The ashes were in what I can only describe as an oatmeal canister. You know, the Quaker Oats cardboard canisters? But larger, like the size of a Tinker Toys or Lincoln Log canister. It was sealed with yellow tape - the sort they use at crime scenes.

Seeing her, her body, in that container was surreal. It was the first time I'd been back with her body since before she'd died (since I wasn't there when she finally passed).

I walked over and picked up the canister before I knew what I was doing. I think I wanted to hold her again, even in this new, bizarre form. It was so much heavier than I was expecting. The weight. I will never forget that feeling.

I am still a little traumatized by that event. It's deeply etched in my memory, and still brings the heavy weight to my chest.

I'm sure other people have quite different experiences dealing with the cremains (such a funny word), but they drew very strong emotions for me, which I wasn't really prepared for. Sprinkling her ashes the next day was even worse. Such deep grief.

I guess I want you to encounter Mike's remains more emotionally prepared than I was with Mom's.

Reuniting with his body in this new form may be wonderful or painful or totally neutral. Just be ready.

Sending you a digital hug,

Anonymous said...

regarding ashes...
my family has done various things with ashes. My mother keeps my father's ashes in her room, right next to the ashes of his beloved dog, Bones (no irony, that was the dog's name).
Dan and I keep the ashes of our two dogs in our bedroom, next to pictures of those dogs.
But, the absolute best thing my family has done with ashes: my aunt used to keep the ashes of her parents and her aunt in the trunk of her car. She spends a lot of time driving, plus she has lots of pets and worried about the ashes getting knocked around. She kept them in her trunk until her car got stolen. And yes, there was a phone call to police that went:
"Is there anything of value in the car?"
"well, my parents are in the car."
"the car was stolen with people in it?"
"well...not exactly."

Car and ashes were recovered. Ashes were moved.
There's a lesson.

much love, always,

csm said...

gotta add to the ashes discussion... my grandmother still has my grandfather's ashes in a silver urn on a shelf on her living room... and weird as it sounds, when i visit, i always walk over to it, touch it and say hello.

jamie's dad's ashes were scattered in the NYC Harbor-- facing the Statue of Liberty-- as this was a place and a site that he loved... and everyone wanted him to "be there." We would stop back to the spot every year when in NYC... his step-dad's ashes were scattered in the mountains in New England, where he spent his youth... and where he hiked as an adult...

as you probably know... just follow your gut with what you want to do... there is no right or wrong... just decide whatever will bring you and baxter peace... and if you don't know what that is now-- just wait till it comes to you.


Anonymous said...

One thing many people don't know is that many funeral homes offer the possibility of putting a small amount of ashes into a necklace and then sealing it shut. For some people its touching to have a little part of the person you lost with you, around your neck, to grab when you feel weak or alone. For others, its weird, and creepy. Just thought I'd let you know.

Jenny S-G said...

Just to add to the thought of keeping a little bit of ashes - the funeral home that cremated Mom gave us the option not of a necklace but of a little, pretty painted metal container to keep a bit of her ashes. My brother and I each have one.

Anonymous said...

Danna, I thought you'd like to see this. I saw it a few years back and thought it was a cool idea.

Daniel (Hazel's Papa)