March 15th, 2008


Character sketch: The Baby Botherer

William was a flannel man, a baby botherer. You know the type; thick glasses and thinning hair.

William worked in the back room, you never spoke to him. He wore gray flannel pants and a blue striped shirt with a Belmont collar, worn pale at the elbows. William always brought his lunch.

No one ever called him Bill or Billy. His father had called him Willy Boy on occasion, or so he had heard. William's father was a salesman, with all the inherent charm of that breed. But Mother knew that a charming man would never stay at home, and so she had assured that William would not suffer from charm.

William always smelled of damp cardboard.

William would eat his bag lunch, then go to the library to use the computers. After work, he liked to drop by the hospital and stare at the newborns. People assumed he was an uncle or grandfather, but the nurses recognized him. "Hey, Jane, the baby botherer is here again." No one ever spoke to him.

On Saturdays, William tried to do something cultural. Mother had encouraged that. William would walk through the museum or the zoo, staring indifferently at the exhibits, seeming not to distinguish between a monkey and a Monet.

Sundays, William attended Mass at Saint John the Proclaimer. William never prayed, as he was sure God wouldn't like what William believed about Him. William liked to light a candle and lean his head against the cold stone. It reminded him of Mother.

Most things reminded William of Mother.

Once a month, there was a gathering at the old Cinaplex. A dozen flannel men, wearing their raincoats and rubber boots, would mill about, then eventually move inside, buying buttermints and grape sodas, and settling into Theater Seven. Something with Peter Lorre or Bogey would play, they would suck their mints, stain their teeth with soda, then shuffle out, each returning to their back rooms and bed rooms and basement studios.

Those were the happiest days of William's life.

The Baby Botherer: part 2

Part 1: William was a flannel man, a baby botherer. You know the type; thick glasses and thinning hair.

One day, while William was watching the babies, his heart decided to start. Jane came over to him, when the other nurses were away, and spoke to him. She spoke of pain and loneliness and birth and Mother.

Jane straightened his hair and complimented William on his diction.

Many weeks later, Jane accompanied William to the zoo, pointing out her favorite monkeys and convincing him to feed the small red deer from his hand.

Jane did not remind William of Mother.


One day, while William was watching the babies, his heart decided to stop. There were no other visitors at the time and due to a trick of architecture, none of the nurses noticed his fall.

The janitor eventually found William.

Jane was the only one to attend the service at Saint John the Proclaimer. She came out of a vague sense of duty and guilt and because she liked to light the candles.

Jane was a flannel woman.

Visualizing Bathroom Tile

This is roughly my plan for the downstairs bathroom. The one with the clawfoot tub and pedestal sink, which will be done very very traditionally.

The upstairs bathroom will have a modern shower and Fibonacci tiling in blue (actually, it will probably be Fermat's Spiral tiling).

Originally uploaded by mckenzee.

Design Geekery


While I mildly favor Barrack over Hillary for President, I strongly favor his graphics.

So I took the elongated flag Hillary has underneath her name and dropped it in as a crossbar on a capital H. This makes a much cleaner and more iconic logo for her campaign.