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Language Log

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006 - 8:58 a.m.

Christmas morning I took a nice walk on the beach, catching the last pinkness of the sunrise. Nothing better.

I have to remember to put boring things in here, because I don't remember them later. Whenever I talk to an old friend, or sometimes my mother or brother, they ask me if I remember doing such-and-such, and I don't. At all. Is that usual? Some things I remember clearly; other things are gone. If I were old, people would be exchanging significant glances behind my back.

We had roast beef for dinner. I made the gravy. French silk pie leftover from yesterday (there was pumpkin, too, but who would eat pumpkin when there is french silk available?). Mom couldn't stop fiddling with the oven now that she has a thermometer to see what the temperature is. My brother was okay. Talked to my nephew, who seems to love his new state of fatherhood, and who sounds like an actual grown-up now.

At the beach, as usual, I see something new. If you look, you can see something new every time. The mangrove seeds are washing up on the beach, as are jellyfish and some small Man-o-Wars. And seaweed (mostly sargasso, but some other stuff that I would have been able to tell you at least the genus of ten years ago). There was a coconut, caught between the break and the high tide mark. oconut palms don't grow here, so when I see one I always wonder where it came from.

Seagulls in flocks, still waking up, grooming. They mix together-- some big gulls, the smaller regular kind, curlews, terns, and sandpipers. I saw these two terns engaged in what I assume was courting. Well, one of them was engaged in it-- hunched over, right in the face of the other tern, who looked slightly annoyed. He issued a high-pitched, rhythmic call (like a whistle) over and over again. The other bird would look embarrassed and try to step to one side or another, but the admirer would follow, sticking his beak in her face and whistling. This continued as long as I stood there and watched, and I could still hear his call fading in the distance until I got out of earshot.

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