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His Eye is on the Cheezit

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Whew. What a day. I was on the phone giving and scheduling interviews all day. Drew a few gulls in between. The Martha Stewart Radio interview was really, really fun. Marion Roach loves the book and was really warm and welcoming. She said she is giving it to half her Christmas list this year. Yeah! I imagined those words beaming up to a satellite and beaming back down into millions of kitchens and cars, and I liked the image.
I have an insight, after today, into the work of a publicist and what that must be like. It is exhausting. But man, Taryn Roeder does beautiful work. And I appreciate her so much, knowing what she does all day, which is be really nice and upbeat to try to engender interest in the books she's working with. She makes amazing things happen. She was the little bird that got my book into Ketzel Levine's hands at NPR! Figured that out this morning. Taryn, my sincerest thanks.
One really nice thing that happened today: I found out that my commentary, "When Hummingbirds Come Home," will be included in the next Driveway Moments CD from NPR. The commentaries and stories that get included in these compilations are nominated by listeners. They're called Driveway Moments because people sit in their car until the story is over, because they can't stand to leave without hearing the end of the story. Another of mine, about Buck the Bull, also got nominated, but they could only include one, so I asked them to include the hummingbird story. It's just a bit more magical and quintessentially Zick than the bull story. Cliff's notes: it's about three orphaned hummingbirds that I raised, released, and that migrated and returned home the following spring. You can hear both commentaries, or waste an entire evening, here.
So my head is spinning, and I'm officially overstimulated. Working on about nine hours of sleep in the last two nights, which ain't enough. The kids have coughs and I am up schlepping cough syrup to them at all hours. Bill has taken to calling me Media Mogul, but I feel more like a mogul, as in speed bump.
Along about 3:30 this afternoon, Chet came into the studio and asked for a walk, and he wouldn't take no for an answer.
He bossed me around, barking in that rolly Demi Moore growl, and he kept play-bowing and dancing around.
I'd pet him and he'd dance away and then as soon as I bent back to my work, he'd poke me with his toenails, paddling away at my leg. Dog's a darn pain in the leg. But oh, I need him so. He knew I needed some air and a change of scene. So we went for a walk. It was a flat, gray, dark day, no good for photography, but warm. I donned my flame-orange vest and Buck Fever hat (I look soo good in it) and set out with Chet, having fun by mentally writing my own obituary as I went. Chet and I learned something about deer behavior during hunting season. Chet found two groups of deer, all does, all bedded down in thick cover--thorns and sumac. Of course he chased them, cheating death, and eventually came back. The second pod of deer included six animals, tightly bedded down in sumac and brambles. Chet put three deer out of there, and I thought that was it. And three more does shot out of the same cover, widely spaced, running with their heads down just like soldiers trying to make it past gunfire. Amazing. They sat very tightly and waited amazingly long to leave. I was standing right there but they held their ground. Doubtless they noted that I was unarmed; doubtless they know my scent and know I don't kill deer. This is not behavior I have witnessed before, but it speaks of the pressure on the animals during hunting season, and to their coping mechanisms. I felt bad to have spooked them out of their haunts, but no gunshots followed either flush.
After that, I leashed Chet, and we listened to a flock of turkeys rustling through the leaf litter, and turned for home. It sure feels good to get some exercise, even at risk of being mistaken for venison. I never have been able to stay inside for a whole week. I wish it would rain so walking wouldn't be such a temptation.
Since I didn't get any pictures outdoors today I will leave you with another Chet Baker fix. I walked into the kitchen to find this domestic tableau, almost something Vermeer would set up. How sweet, I thought. The kids are reading to Chet. And then I noticed the Cheezits, and the reason for Chet's intense interest became clear. I call this series, "His Eye is on the Cheezit."
And now, I will emulate Chet, and attempt to sleep like a dog. Oh, to be able to curl up any time of day on whatever pile of blankets presents itself, and sleep the dreamless sleep of the just, undercommitted, and innocent.


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