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My memory. My memories. They are elusive at times, and at other times, random memory flash to front of my mind. On the bus home, I thought of two metal snakelike belts that I had about 30 years ago, one silver, one gold. I can remember the feel of them in my hands. I can remember when I had to stop wearing them because the clasp was bent in an irreparable way. They weren’t particularly special and I’ve owned hundreds of articles of clothing. So why would that just pop into my mind as I gazed at the mountains? It makes me think that everything – everything – we have done, experienced, thought, dreamed, smelled, or felt is stored in our brains, if we could only access it all. As my memory tends to fail me more often than I’d wish – because of concussions, West Nile, Dengue, or overload – I find the thought that it’s all in there, stored in the gray matter, quite a comfort, and a beacon of hope. I keep that dim fear of Alzheimer’s, which my mother had, though she remained blessedly asymptomatic until the end, tucked away in a corner pocket of my consciousness somewhere, but I wonder, if it were ever to strike me, would I have more access to those seemingly insignificant memories, like the feel of a belt in my hand?

If objects have memory (and I suspect they do), imagine the memory of this bannister, of the hands that touched it over the last 250 years.

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Beaufort, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” — Irwin Shaw

Daily gratitudes:
The man who rescued the terrified cat from the side of the speeding eight-lane interstate
Early evening light
Clean sheets
Sending my daughter to do the grocery shopping when I don’t feel good
Outlander

To start this tale, I should tell you I’ve been sick. But sick in a balanced way. A kidney stone on the left and an ovarian cyst on the right. That’s me, always balanced. Pain on both sides. A post-bath collapse as I tried to feed the cat. A trip to the ER on a busy Friday night. Pills to kill the pain, pills to make me relax, pills to help me sleep. As many pills as a 92-year old woman. Enough of that. Now, I’m just going to get better, since medicine doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.

But perhaps cat treats will help.

The night after all the hoopla of pain, after my hero MKL had gone home, I crawled into bed and felt something hard. Upon further drugged investigation, I discovered a single cat treat – Purina Whisker Lickins, to be exact. I didn’t really think anything of it. I wasn’t really thinking anything about anything. And I slept. I think that was Sunday. I spent Monday on the couch with pain pills and a heating pad and my computer. When I got in bed on Monday night, I noticed that there was a lot of …. debris in the bed. Like crumbs. I often produce sand in my sleep (yes, it’s a thing), so I wasn’t really that concerned. I figured Mr. Man had tracked something in, since I hadn’t made the bed that morning.

Tuesday was another at-home-drugged-on-the-couch day, though this time I did make the bed before moving to the couch. When it was time to shift back to the bed, I again found the debris, and after sweeping it out and crawling in, I discovered another cat treat. I was puzzled, but still not too aware of my surroundings to be curious.

Let me say that Mr. Man does like to be in the bed, but he has consistently crawled between two of the comforters – never between the sheets. When I look everywhere for him and can’t find him, I know to look for a lump on the bed, and if I pet it and it’s warm, I trust that it’s Mr. Man. But he has not left my side since I got back from the ER.

So now we come to Wednesday. Another day at home. The bed made, and again kibble debris on Wednesday night. When I awoke this morning, I went to make the bed, and found three cat treats positioned neatly in a triangular shape on MKL’s side of the bed, near the pillow. And now I’m stumped.

I wondered if Mr. Man was somehow getting cat treats from the bag on the Boat Anchor and bringing them into the bed, but have ruled out that theory because:

1. He can’t reach the bags on the Boat Anchor

2. He doesn’t have opposable thumbs to open the bags, even if he could reach them

3. When he gets a treat, he wolfs it down completely as one watches.

He’s not one to squirrel things away.

Then I thought perhaps, horror of horrors, a mouse had made some kind of nest in the bed and was nibbling breakfast and saving lunch for later. So I have stripped the bed completely, and found no sign of rodent. If I had, I’d have had to burn the house down.

My next theory, which I have not ruled out, though no doubt most of you will, is that the house spirits are leaving treats for Mr. Man, as a way to help me out since I’ve been sick, making sure he’s taken care of. It’s possible.

My final theory is that I’m doing this. The sleeping pills I’m taking (and have been taking for a month or so) are ones that do not make people inclined to sleep-eat, sleep-drive, or sleep-murder (my doctor and I discussed this), but it does happen, and back in my college days, I had a tendency to sleepwalk. Is it possible that I am getting up at night and bringing Mr. Man cat treats? And further, was the unexplained extremely strange taste in my mouth of late evidence that I have been eating the cat treats? And all this in my sleep?

This would make me just about the best cat mom ever, and would assure future purchases of Listerine by the case if I ever want MKL to kiss me again.

So tonight, I have washed all the sheets and comforters. We’re starting fresh. I have woven a complex maze of my work badge lanyard around all the cat treats. I am about to drug my pain-ridden self and go to bed. If the treats are disturbed in the morning and there’s kibble in the bed, I’ll have my answer.

If not, perhaps I’ll fall back on my Mother’s explanation of “A man came in and did it.” (Kelsea uses that phrase now.)

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My Mother died this night eight years ago, and I miss her beyond words. (Maybe she’s been feeding Mr. Man.)

It was too cold to be out of bed. For someone.

Cat Tail

But we did emerge yesterday and had breakfast at Leenie’s.

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And did a little shopping. Who could resist this enticing sign?

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And yes, I did get some socks. And a creepy vintage Valentine.

Creepy Vintage Valentine

Along with a slightly freakish addition to the décor of the salle de bain. (Apologies for the blurry image.)

Creepy canoe child

I visited with an old roommate today and had an excellent snuggle.

Maeira

And now am properly attired for tonight’s episode of Downton Abbey.

Downton Hand

I am doing serious battle with the winter blues. Friday can’t come soon enough.

xo

Bunnies live in the alley behind my Bungalow.  I can’t say exactly where, because that would be divulging their secrets, and I’m not one to share bunny secrets.

When I emerge from the Bungalow in the mornings, there”s usually one near my truck, and it races around wildly trying to figure out where to hide.

Today, it crawled under a little tiny gap between the ground and the bottom of the garage door.

Who knows how many more bunnies are living in there??

I am now captivated by this vision of myself entering the garage and being faced with a million bunnies, like “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode from the old Star Trek.

Maybe two bunnies have been in there, doing what bunnies do.

Oh, dear.

Let’s not leave you with that image.

Let’s leave you with Roger.

Yes, enjoy Roger.

Afternoon

* Note to self: white dishwashing liquid in a milk jug lookalike is not milk.

*  Wall, why are you getting in my way?  Go home, Wall, you are drunk.

* I don’t think I could work with someone whose name is Mahaboob. Seriously.

* Say nothing about that man’s stomach. SAY. NOTHING.

*  I feel very cannibalistic eating gingerbread men. Even small ones. Which are just like eating little people. I’d make a bad zombie.  I guess that’s good.

*  Just put something in my mouth and THEN wondered if it was edible. Reverse play next time.

*  I forget that when I have my headphones on, people can still hear me talk to my computer.

*  Someone just walked by whistling the exact same bars that I was listeing to on Pandora. Freaky, man.

Festive!

Festive!

Yes, come inside my brain!  On less than four hours of sleep!  Live the random life!  Yo ho ho!

Morning

* Chicken for breakfast. Whiskey sounds better. But no.

* Thunder Cat, what are you looking at? Whatever it is, it’s circling  you based on how your eyes are tracking it. You are crazy. But then I am the one talking to a cat. At least you’re not answering me.

* If you don’t drive faster, car-in-front-of-me, I will take a chain saw to that stick figure family of yours.

* Why don’t buses have cupholders? Is that too much to ask for?

*  Do not sit next to me on the bus when there are plenty of free pairs of seats. DO NOT. Or I will stab you. With something. Accidentally.  Sort of.

*  The girls are being unruly today. Thank heavens for scarves.

*  I wrote a poem in my head and now I can’t find it.  It was a good poem too.. 😦

*  How on earth can you do counted cross-stitch on a bouncy bus with bad brakes, woman? I might as well just bleed in a pattern on a piece of white fabric and call it a day.

*  I love geese when they are landing – they’re so awkward.

*  I like the color of her hair. That’s almost the color I want my highlights to be. But it’s too creepy to take a picture of the back of her head. And no touching.

*  Tea, stay in your cup!

*  I should be drunk to be this punchy. But then I would be punch-drunk.

*  If I can hear your music through your headphones when I am sitting in front of you, then dude, YOU are not going to be hearing anything in ten years. Maybe iPod and Miracle Ear should do some joint marketing. It’s a long-term strategy.

*  What is it with birds being all creeperesque on the middle of a wire?

*  Joy gave me a phrase last night – “a giant squid of anger”.  Today, I am a killer jellyfish of exhaustion.

*  When  you are very tired, words don’t make a lot of sense. But then again, they don’t have to.  Unless you are writing a proposal response.  Oops.

*  Why are industrial smokestacks so tall?

*  It has taken me almost two years to figure out how to get into that parking garage. That’s pitiful.

*  Should my future pugs be named Karma and Dogma? Or Waffles and Muffins?

*  Just spent the last five minutes wondering if I remembered to put on underwear. Still not sure.

*  You CAN fall asleep while walking.

*  The walls of the elevator are pillowy soft.

*  That moment of abject internal panic when you think you left your phone on the bus – like someone turned off your life support machine.

*  COME TO ME, RED BULL….

Rudolpho

Rudolpho

So, upon entering the grocery store last night, I went to get a cart.  A gentleman of Indian ethnicity had just pulled out two carts stuck together and was pushing them straight towards me.  I thought I would be helpful and separate his two carts, so I said something like “Oh, you have two, let me help,” and started tugging on the cart at hand.

Apparently, he didn’t speak English.  He started tugging on the cart as well, trying to stop me, thinking I was some loon intent on taking his cart.   After about 15 seconds of struggle, he stopped pulling and pushing, and held his hands up in a defensive manner. I was thinking ‘What? I’m not trying to rob the poor man. I’m just helping. ‘ Then, he got a stunned and terrified look on his face, turned back to line of carts and got me my OWN cart, smiled very sheepishly and left the store.

Whereupon I realized that during the cart struggle, that damn problematic button on my sweater had come undone, allowing the girls an excellent view of the proceedings, and the shy Indian gentleman an excellent view of the girls.

And so I give a touch of raspberry-flavored thanks to the universe.  It does like to have its fun sometimes.

Tattered In The Wind

In this realm of chessboards
and fresh books
smelling of coffee and minds
and neweness

Manythings can happen
And yet go unnoticed.

The man with the suede Irish cap
carefully packs away his metal ruler.
He moves quickly to ensure
that no one wonders what he has been measuring.

The homeless man shuffles out.
His panhandling this morning
ensured him a good cup
and a soft chair until noon
when the influx of people
begin to stare.

The well-dressed woman wearing sunglasses indoors
wavers,
leaning against a wall.

Wind rattles the old windows in their frames,
The ghosts of
dead unpublished authors
determined to break in.

My cold tea
grows warm.
The phone rings
and is never answered.

Time
Slips
Seductively
Past.

The voices come and go,
Timbre high,
Timbre low.

The windows squeak and bang
Author spirits wanting coffee
with a touch of fame.

A painter chews
on a sandwich and a book,
His split-kneed, splattered pants
Belying intellectual pursuits.

Flip-flops contradict pea coats.

An elderly man loses himself
in a magazine.

A woman has second thoughts
on a book about
Machu Picchu.

The painter gets the hiccups.

A bottle of Coke makes a break for it,
Rolling across the broad planks of the floor
Towards the old loading dock doors,
But is thwarted,
Captured,
And replaced upon the shelf
For some unsuspecting future customer.

Someone whistles the theme to ‘Gilligan’s Island’,
off-key and distractedly.

A black-leather clad woman
Sports a Starry Night water bottle.

The man in the pork-pie hat
and well-trimmed beard
casts suspicious glances
over his shoulders.

New people arrive
burbling about the wind
As departees
Bundle up
Chins down
Before exiting.

It goes on and on.
In and out.
Come and go.

Always with the wind,
Moaning, sighing,
In the background.

Confuse me.  I am smart.  And I am a woman of a certain age.  So it’s not like this is my first elevator ride.  But when I am faced with that unique challenge of pushing the arrow button that says “hold the door open” versus the arrow button that says “close the door”, I get as lost as if I were wandering around Antarctica in a whiteout.  Those arrows…they mean nothing to me.  The only thing I can see is the slightly hurt, more-than-a-little-annoyed, offended look in the eyes of the person on whom I am closing those elevator doors as my brain fumbles about, thinking in a panic, “Which button??? Which button???”

To all on whom I have inadvertently closed elevator doors within an inch of their noses – and to all to whom I will undoubtedly do this in the future – my sincerest apologies.

I’m a pretty good photographer and I can’t even take a decent picture of the things.

Don’t you hate it when you see that you’ve written something down and you have no idea what it means? I have the word “coodle” written on a napkin in front of my computer. I don’t think “coodle” is an actual word. Though perhaps it should be.

Headline in The Denver Post today: “Melons Claim Another Victim”. Perhaps I’m overtired, and I truly do feel awful about anyone who has lost someone due to the serious melon health problem, but this headline struck me as funny. Killer melons on the rampage, roaming about in gangs. Something out of a B-movie.

There are rabbits living in my garage. I know this because I saw one squeeze under the super-tiny space between the door and the concrete last night. Now I am concerned that there are lots and lots and lots of rabbits living in my garage. When I open the doors in spring, will I be crushed by an avalanche of bunnies?

Roscoe is doing much better. I miss him now that ex-Pat is back taking care of him. And I’ll bet he misses me too.

Our wind gusts are supposed to get up to 120mph today. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are our chinooks. Hopefully, the warm temperatures that they bring will melt the remaining ice on my sidewalk, so the city doesn’t issue me a citation. But that’s a whole other rant.

This whelk sat on my Mother’s bookcase for many years. Now it sits on mine, reminding me of many things beautiful.

Quote of the day:  “We are all of us richer than we think we are.”  —  Michel de Montaigne

Daily gratitudes:
The arch of a goose’s neck
Thaw
That Roscoe is improving
That Kelsea is so wise
Down pillows

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