The Guy With the Train in His Basement

Some housekeeping duties first...

I said recently that only a lucky few get to have happy lives, interesting lives and clean lives. The rest of us have to limit themselves to picking two. Well, I can say that our house can be messy, but I have no complaint about our lives. I mean, think of the alternatives.

But today was a cleaning day, and it is good to have a clean living room, dining room and kitchen. And we found the iPods. Again.

Erin is doing much better. She and I would like to thank everyone who offered their kind wishes and support. She came home from the hospital around 3:30 a.m., and I cancelled some of her appointments and let her rest through Friday (waking her up every four hours, as the information sheet about concussions says you shoul). The headaches persisted into Saturday and she was feeling foggy-brained, but the fog lifted today. Which is a relief to her, as her copy edits for **Sorrow's Knot** are due on Thursday.

As for me, I cleared away another project last week. I was commissioned to write a book for students, grades five to eight, on the subject of sex, as part of a series that promises "straight talk" on such tricky matters as pregnancy, gangs, drugs, et cetera. It was a challenge, but I'm quite pleased with the result. And now Erin says, I'm going to be the one to give "the talk" to Vivian. Oh, well. At least I can hand her the book.

(Seriously, though, we will do "the talk". Frighteningly enough, a number of specialists tell parents that this discussion should be taking place as early as eight. We've been doing low-level stuff, but it's still a little alarming to think that Vivian's just a year away from the ramping up of this discussion. But it's better to tackle this earlier rather than later).

And Now Our Feature Presentation

I give you this video of "The Man with the Train in his Basement"

All I can say is, wow.

Way back in my youth, I wanted to have a streetcar in my bedroom. And if I was ever lucky enough to come upon a wealth of cardboard boxes or tubes, I'd grab every roll of masking tape I could and try to build such a thing. I even made rollsigns out of long rolls of newsprint. It couldn't have been good for my parents. Recently, we purchased a spaceship for the kids, which amounted to a really large cardboard box, specially cut and folded and with printing to make it look like a spaceship, and it took up half the living room. It also didn't last long from the beating it took from the kids, and we're hoping to quietly recycle it now. But I remember the desire to have something like a rocket ship or a streetcar in my bedroom. As I grew up into an adult, I put away childish things, to make room for the glorious messes my kids make.

And now Jason Shron has taken things a big step further, with his own house, some mad carpentry skills, and the luck to find and cannibalize an old VIA car that was destined for the scrap heap. And I got to say, it looks damn good. I also wonder what will happen if they ever move house.

But my hat is off to this guy, for taking a dream and making it real.

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