Screen Time

I blame Apple’s obsession with making their devices so intuitive, with the automatic backups and whatnot. Trust me, there is such a thing as being too user-friendly.

See, awhile back, Quint decided we could do with less interaction with electronics, especially before bed. There were studies involved in this decision. The man reads too many studies, if you ask me. These all said something about sleep quality and circadian rhythms or something. I don’t remember the details of our discussion, but putting away the gadgets an hour ahead of bedtime seemed reasonable, so I didn’t put up a fuss.

Until it was time to actually, you know, put away the gadgets.

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First Christmas Eve

Don’t let anyone ever tell you Christmas in New York is magical. Sure, there’s the humongous tree with the televised lighting ceremony, and the department store windows that get more elaborately beautiful each year, and the Rockettes kicking away at Radio City, but you know what else there is?

Slush. Massive, unavoidable puddles of it.

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A Halloween Tale

I can’t imagine any sadder place for a kid to be on Halloween than stuck in a hospital, can you? I think it’s almost worse than being there on Christmas. Family and presents can come to you in most cases, but Halloween is about wearing a costume and going out with your friends and eating tons of candy. Try doing any of that from a sickbed.

Quint’s hospital works to make it still a special day for their patients, though, which is where Jagger and I come in. Every year, we dress up and visit as many kids as possible in their rooms. We’re not the only therapy dog/handler team that does that, of course, but we’re the only ones who also put on shows in each of the playrooms for any kids well enough to attend. What kind of shows? Google “canine musical freestyle” and you’ll get a good idea. We don’t do it competitively, but we are good enough that the hospital’s development office asked us to perform at their Masquerade Ball fundraiser this year.

It was all going swimmingly, until…

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Hard Choices



Seb froze, his pencil lead barely brushing the paper, listening to the footsteps cross the studio. A moment later, the side door opened and closed. He relaxed. Zain would look for him on the roof or up a tree first. Checking them all would keep him occupied for awhile — perhaps long enough for Seb to pull his thoughts together.

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When You Fall Like a Statue

lanai: veranda (Hawaiian)
habibi: my beloved (Arabic)
désolé: sorry (French)

Zain whistled “The Bare Necessities” as he took the final curve before their driveway. If he timed it perfectly, the song would end just as the break in the trees cleared the view to the ocean, stretching out from the low cement wall and strip of rocky beach at the edge of their backyard. He smiled when he saw it. Couldn’t beat that view in Hawaii, especially at the price Seb’s parents charged them for rent. He turned into the driveway and parked his Jeep behind Seb’s Fiat, getting out almost before the engine died and heading directly for the side door, to the small “ohana unit” they’d converted into a studio. Knowing his fiancé, that was where he’d be.

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