Saturday, April 15th, 2017

For whatever reason, all the cats see me as The Chosen One when it comes time to feed them. There are two hairless apes in this house and we both have working, opposable thumbs, but I’m the one the cats circle and paw at when they’re hungry. The only time they bother My Darling B is when she’s here and I’m not.

Add to that, when they come begging for food first thing in the morning, I’m the one who feeds them by default because I’m the light sleeper. I can’t just sleep through their crying and pawing at the door the way My Darling B can. I wish I had that super power, but I don’t. They’re outside the bedroom door, whining and scratching, a noise I can’t block out even if I wrap my head up in both my pillows. Meanwhile, B is blissfully snoring away. Is it possible to hate the one you love for just one thing they do? Because if it is, this would be that thing.

So this morning at oh dark thirty they gathered in the hallway outside our bedroom door to start crying and pawing, and once again I got up to feed them because it’s either that or lay in bed in the dark, imagining Rube Goldberg devices that will drop anvils from the ceiling on their heads with the pull of a string.

The youngest little troublemaker can’t keep his face out of the other cats’ food, which makes them really grumpy, so he gets fed by himself in a separate room where we can dish out his kibble and lock the little glutton in. I let him into his room, grabbed the Tupperware with his kibble in it off the shelf, scooped out a breakfast-sized portion, and I must’ve bumped the Tupperware when I turned to put the scoop back in because it tipped over and fell to the floor before my groggy brain could even think about grabbing it.

Luckily for me it landed on an improvised cat bed, really a laundry basket with a pillow and a bath towel in it. If it had hit the floor, the kibble would have exploded all over the room. Instead, the bath towel caught most of the kibble so I could scoop it back into the Tupperware, but about a cup of it was scattered across the floor. For a couple of minutes, the kitten ran around like a kid in the front room on Christmas morning, snorfling up kibble. He’s probably going to remember this as one of the greatest days of his life for years to come.

snorfle | 7:24 am CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Monday, March 13th, 2017

Tim bought a new car, a Honda Civic, which is coincidentally the same make and model he’s been driving since 2008 but, while the two cars share the same name on account of their common heritage, that’s about as far as the resemblance goes. Tim’s 1992 Honda Civic is small and round and handles like a go-cart; his 2017 Honda Civic is long and lean and sporty-looking, and although I haven’t had the pleasure of driving it yet, I’m pretty sure it handles like a sports car.

Tim’s going to donate his old car to a local charity but, since he has just one parking space in the lot at his apartment building, he asked if he could park it at our house for the few days it would take for the charity to process his request and come get the car, and we agreed. He parked it in the driveway to vacuum all the detritus out of the carpets and the trunk. I gave him a ride to the dealership to pick up his new car. He came back to our house, and somewhere in there. he lost the key. Can’t find it anywhere. The charity will still come get it but, until they do, his car is immovably parked in our driveway.

Because Tim’s car is parked immovably in the middle of our driveway, and we have to park our car at the end of the driveway, it follows inevitably that it snowed last night. I had to shovel a path around both cars, brush a couple inches of snow off our car, then shovel the driveway again because the snow that was on the car was now on the driveway. What will tomorrow bring?

immovable | 8:45 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Friday, March 10th, 2017

I’ll just leave this right here:

“… many want to hypothesize that this is just a very clever stratagem, a distraction, in this case from the controversy swirling around Jeff Sessions. And certainly there may be an element of distraction, but I think following on the heels of the president making an equally astounding and baseless claim that millions of undocumented immigrants voted and that’s why he was deprived of the popular vote, he says these things with such a conviction that … we have to admit the very simplest explanation, and that is he can’t separate what is true and what he wants to believe … what he gets from conspiracy theories. And he’s willing to express these just bizarre ideas. And frankly, this is probably the most troubling prospect of all, that this president can’t separate fact from fiction. And in the context of the constitutional scheme of things with separation of powers, his attack on the courts, his attack on the free media, that he also has difficulty separating right from wrong.” — U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) via National Public Radio


conspiracy theorist in chief | 5:46 am CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Monday, March 6th, 2017

There was a meat raffle at the Robin Room yesterday evening, so we made sure our heinies were perched on a couple of their bar stools at about quarter to five, stacked a pile of singles on the bar and prepared to win some fine cuts of fresh pork.

Here’s how it worked: A dollar or two would buy each of us a number painted on a wooden paddle. There was a big number wheel hanging behind the bar, and when they spin it, you try to get it to stop on your number by tapping your paddle against the edge of the bar. It never worked for me, but I can’t tell you why. Many other people got it to work for them, and they weren’t doing weren’t doing it any differently that I could tell. B couldn’t get it to work for her, either, and we both left empty-handed after about an hour and a half. Still, great fun.

raffled | 9:57 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017

First, let’s get the dream out of the way.

I was piloting a needle-nosed jet plane. My Darling B was in the passenger seat beside me and I think somebody was in the back seat, too, but I’m a little fuzzy about that. I was on final approach, meaning the plane was pointed at the runway, the wheels were down, the engine was throttled all the way back and we were minutes from landing. When we passed over the end of the runway and were about to touch down the air traffic controller asked me to go around, so I opened the throttle and, as the plane surged forward on the increased thrust from the engines, I pulled up and started into the air again.

We were landing at a pretty big airport, big enough for it to have two runways side by side. I was landing on the right-hand runway. Just as we lifted off again, I recognized the shape of a space shuttle in the distance, coming towards us. It came on so very fast that it landed on the left-hand runway before we even passed over the other end of our runway. All I wanted to do was geek out over seeing a space shuttle land next to me, but I had to concentrate all my attention on flying the plane. That dream’s been bugging me all morning.

geeking out | 5:44 am CDT
Category: dreams
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Monday, February 27th, 2017

I ate a whole package of Oreos once, just to see if I could. Which was silly. Of course I could. Anybody could. The question is, should you? And the answer is, not unless you like feeling sick as a dog for the rest of the day.

I don’t, but it’s not like that’s the only time I’ve done something like that, sad to say. Do you remember those malted milk balls that came in a quart-sized milk carton? I don’t remember how much that thing weight, but I ate a whole carton of those once. I think that was before the Oreos incident. I ate the Oreos when I was on my first tour of duty in the Air Force. The malted milk balls were much earlier, probably when I was still in high school. I ate a lot of junk in high school. Everybody did, right?

And once I drank a six-pack of Mountain Dew in one afternoon, again just for the experience. I lived in a very small town. There wasn’t a lot to do. I remember finishing that first can and thinking, “Hey, I could go for another one.” And when I finished the second can I thought, “I could have one more.” After the third can, I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking, other than maybe, “I feel stupid enough to drink the rest.” I can tell you that the buzz I got from drinking six cans of Mountain Dew is not something I ever want to experience again.

The stomach ache, though, apparently was something I wanted to experience over and over, because the malted milk balls and the Oreos came after. I haven’t repeated either of those experiences, but I was thinking about this today because I recently discovered that a nearby grocery store sells dark chocolate malted milk balls in the bulk aisle, and they are sooo good! I have to be careful to buy only a small handful at a time, because once I start eating them, I don’t stop until my stomach hurts, which is probably not the most healthy thing for me, or anybody else, for that matter.

insanity | 7:21 pm CDT
Category: food & drink, random idiocy, story time
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Sunday, February 26th, 2017

We’re back to sub-freezing temperatures and snow after a week and a half of temps in the high sixties that melted all the snow and ice and made the little birdies come out and sing. They must be so pissed right now. I’m not liking it much, either, to be brutally frank, but then I was never under the delusion that the February heat wave was going to persist. Maybe in fifty years, but not yet.

The transition from spring-like weather back to standard February winter weather was a rough one. Sunny skies gave way to mean-looking iron-colored clouds that started to rain Thursday evening. I woke with a start in the very early morning Friday to the sound of what I thought at first had to be a natural gas explosion and laid there wide-eyed, wondering whose house was just blown to matchsticks. While I was waiting for my heart to slow down, there was a flash and another bang.

“Holy shit, that was close!” I thought. “I hope our house isn’t next.”

After the third flash and bang I started to wonder: Is that lightning and thunder? Turned out it was, or at least I think it had to be, because I didn’t hear any reports in the news the next day of dozens of houses or anything else spontaneously exploding. It was the most bizarre thunder I’ve ever heard. There was no rumbling before or after, just a hard, loud bang, like the fireworks that make noise but no sparklies.

artillery | 7:00 am CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Saturday, February 25th, 2017

What’s the word for that irrational feeling that nobody should use the toilet for at least 15 minutes after you finish cleaning it? And is it the same word for the urge to kick the cat when he shits in the cat box right after you rake it? There’s got to be a word for that. Besides “crazy.” That’s too easy.

what is word | 10:16 am CDT
Category: random idiocy
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My eyeglasses are the best cat toy our kitten has ever played with. If I’m sitting anywhere in the living room, I can’t set them down for a minute and he’s there, swatting them to the floor so he can chase them around.

I spent ten minutes looking for my glasses the other day before the light bulb went on and I got down on my knees so I could look under the sofa. There they were, way back against the wall all tangled up with the dust bunnies.

And it’s only my eyeglasses. My Darling B can leave her glasses lying around any old place. He won’t touch hers. Tell me how that’s fair.

cat toy | 5:25 am CDT
Category: daily drivel
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Friday, February 24th, 2017

I’m going to miss my smoothie this morning. We were all out of vanilla soy milk, one of the ingredients we really can’t do without. This happened last Friday, too. There was maybe half a cup of soy milk left, so I stretched it with water. The results were, ah, not good, so I didn’t even go there today. We’ll have to lay in a more generous supply of soy milk when we go shopping this weekend because without my morning smoothie, I’m not a very happy camper. I’m not, say, suicidally depressed about the loss, it’s just that I could feel better about the world, and all it would take is a smoothie. Not much to ask. It’s vitally important not to overlook very small tweaks to achieving happiness.

anguishing loss | 5:54 am CDT
Category: daily drivel
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I dreamed that we came home from work and found that our little red house had been moved so that it now sat shoulder-to-shoulder, as it were, with the house next door. “Didn’t there used to be a lot more room between our houses?” I asked My Darling B, possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever dreamed of myself saying because obviously there was a lot more than a finger’s width between the houses when we left for work that morning. Also, the spot where our house used to be was now a slab of concrete.

When I went to city hall to ask what happened to our house, they said they had to move it because of a plan, and that’s about as far as they could explain it. “What did you do with all of the stuff that was in our basement?” I asked, and the nice lady told me, “Oh, it’s all still down there.” She didn’t offer to get it out of its subterranean tomb.

slab | 5:47 am CDT
Category: dreams
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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Just how cold and hard and flinty does your little heart have to be to make you believe your most important mission in life is taking away the health care plans of 30 million people who couldn’t obtain it or afford it until the Affordable Care Act came along? Asking for some friends …

Q&A | 8:21 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel
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