Loose Ends

I enjoyed (🤪) another of my sleepless nights last night, so my brain is devoid of any meaningful content. Who am I? Where am I? Both questions for another day when I’m better rested. Fortunately I have some loose ends that I’ll try to tie together for a blog post.

The first loose end is fittingly about threads. Namely, what’s up with the construction of this garment?

The top photo shows it with the facing tucked in as it should be when worn. Guess who wore it with the abnormally long facing hanging down over my collar not once, but twice? If you guessed me, and who didn’t, you’re absolutely right.

Until a pajama clad woman in Walmart called it to my attention I had no idea this flap was just hanging around back there. And that was the second time I wore it that way. Go figure.

What kind of sadistic ass makes a garment in this manner? What is this excess fabric’s purpose? It’s difficult to position the facing correctly even when I remember to do so. Was it meant as a means of humiliation? A test of flexibility? I may never know. On the other hand, the garment is soft as butter, so I’ll continue to wear the blouse. Would it be permissible for me to cut out the excess?

The next loose end is a cartoon I came across on Facebook. I added the comment, “And this is why we live in a single story home.”

My daughter thought that was way too much information. She’ll be more sympathetic when she’s 62. At least I hope she has reason to be.

The third, and perhaps final, loose end is going to be controversial: I saw the new Mary Poppins and was a bit underwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I thought the acting was very good. Emily Blunt was fantastic as Mary Poppins. Lin-Manuel Miranda was handsome and lovable as a London lamplighter, and all of the other actors were spot on.

So, what’s my problem? I found the music lacking a certain spiffiness. There’s nothing in the new film to match the wittiness of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” or the sweet sorrow of “Feed the Birds.” There’s no equivalent to the bouncy “Spoonful of Sugar” or to the hilarious “I Love to Laugh.”

I could tell they were trying to bring about the same vibe, but I think that might’ve been part of my dissatisfaction. Maybe if I’d never seen the original (9,999 times) I’d be more enthralled by the music in the sequel. It’s still a wonderful movie, and maybe I’ll change my mind. Peer pressure might work in this case. Put your arguments forward.

Thanks for sticking around to the end.

Peace, people.

The Last Bear Standing

Monday morning I posted on Facebook that I’d successfully packed away all of my Christmas decorations, joking that even though I’m pretty thorough I’m liable to find one small piece of Yuletide decor hiding in plain sight come February or March, maybe even August.

Well, I’ve already discovered one item that somehow escaped my notice. Yes, it was hiding in plain sight, but it isn’t a exactly small:

My 3 ft. tall Christmas bear was just hanging around in his customary seasonal spot beside the front door. Never mind that I pass by this spot dozens of times each day, I didn’t notice him until a UPS delivery guy knocked in the door yesterday afternoon.

He’s so cute, I almost feel bad for putting him back in his closet with the winter coats and old board games. I’ve never named this bear. How about Yule Brenner?

Now I can say for certain that everything Christmas related has been put away. Well, maybe.

Peace, people.

The Last Bear Standing

Monday morning I posted on Facebook that I’d successfully packed away all of my Christmas decorations, joking that even though I’m pretty thorough, I’m liable to find one small piece of Yuletide decor hiding in plain sight come February or March, maybe even August.

Well, I’ve already discovered one item that somehow escaped my notice. Yes, it was hiding in plain sight, but it isn’t a exactly small:

My 3 ft. tall Christmas bear was just hanging around in his customary seasonal spot beside the front door. Never mind that I pass by this spot dozens of times each day, I didn’t notice him until a UPS delivery guy knocked on the door yesterday afternoon.

He’s so cute, I almost feel bad for putting him back in his closet with the winter coats and old board games. I’ve never named this bear. How about Yule Brenner?

Now I can say for certain that everything Christmas related has been put away. Well, maybe.

Peace, people.

Connecting Dots

I’m a big fan of NPR (National Public Radio). While I’m running errands I listen to NPR in the car, and I always feel a bit smarter and better informed afterwards. I’m probably a genius by now, but that’s a conservative guess.

Yesterday I listened to a TED Talk program on NPR about how people are losing their ability to listen. We’re so consumed with our electronics and so bombarded by constant information that we’ve begun to tune out real conversation. The speaker, Julian Treasure, offered five exercises to help improve listening skills. I’ve shared it in case you’re curious.

https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better?language=en&utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

I also listened to a segment about bears on the RadioLab program, the most fascinating of which was a piece on the phenomenon of polar bear/grizzly bear hybrids. A hunter in Alaska related his tale of tracking a polar bear who uncharacteristically, for his species, was breaking into cabins. The hunter shot the bear, but he knew it wasn’t a standard, run-of-the-mill polar bear. Its coloring was odd and its fur patterning didn’t fit a standard polar bear.

The bear was studied by geneticists and confirmed to be a hybrid of two different bear species. Not only that. It was a second generation offspring–one of its parents had also been a hybrid. So unlike other animal kingdom hybrids, the offspring are capable of reproducing.

Further testing on other hybrid bears indicated that all of the hybrids are descended from just one female polar bear who had produced three litters with two different male grizzlies. This is mind-blowing. The researchers pondered on why this particular female had been attracted to male grizzlies.

I’d like to offer my theory. I think those male grizzlies were just better listeners.

And that’s how you connect the dots.

Again, if you’re interested in the bear episodes here’s the link to the program. The one about the hybrids is the last on the link.

https://lnns.co/N6H3w91ZOba

Peace, people.

Cat-astrophe

Let me preface my post with this thought: I love my cats. I might need to end with that thought, as well, since reminders are critical at this point.

Studly Doright and I share our home with two felines. Scout Elizabeth*, who is 15 years old, and Patches Elizabeth* who is approximately eight. They are polar opposites. Scout is friendly and brave. Patches is afraid of her own shadow and anti-social. They’re both well-behaved, but they cannot stand each other.

(Scout is the black cat, below, and Patches is the one with patches. Studly named her. I wanted to call her Indy.)

We’ve left the cats alone at Doright Manor many times. Our housekeeper, Rosa, comes over to check on them if we’re away for more than three days. She’ll clean their litter boxes and give them treats, and remind them that there are still humans who care about them.

Over the Christmas holiday we were away for a week, so I’d asked Rosa to check on the cats twice–once mid-week and again on her regular day to clean. We’ve used this plan successfully multiple times. Unfortunately this time Rosa had a family emergency, and the cats went without a visitor all week.

We came home to a minor disaster area. The cats’ litter boxes were full and they’d done their business in some weird places: behind the couch, next to Studly’s recliner, in the smack dab middle of the dining room floor. I think they thought we were gone for good. It kind of broke my heart that they felt they’d been abandoned.

I’ve spent the week since we’ve been home acting as a combination forensics scientist, scullery maid, and pet whisperer–inspecting for bodily fluids, airing out the house, scrubbing rugs, and reassuring cats. Both Studly and I came down with head colds over the holiday which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand we couldn’t smell the messes, but on the other hand the lack of olfactory input made it difficult to locate them.

Fortunately about 2/3 of the flooring in our home is easy-to-clean tile. And the weather has been unseasonably warm allowing us to open all the windows for several days straight. I hope I’ve found every bit of poo and pee, but my sense of smell is still compromised, so who knows!?

On an added note, we’ve got company coming next weekend. Maybe we’ll play a new game I just made up: “Do You Smell What I Can’t Smell?” Or “Poo, Poo, Help Find the Poo?!” Better yet, maybe I’ll just watch their faces as they enter Doright Manor. That should tell me everything I need to know.

I love my cats.

Peace, people.

*All my cats throughout history have had the middle name Elizabeth. Even the males. I don’t know why.

Snapshot #226

I’m calling this one, “Everything but the Kitchen Sink.”

I’m sure there’s a story behind this overpacked pickup truck I saw in Tallahassee today. It reminds me of one of those picture search puzzles from Highlight magazine. Can you spot the 🐧? The pink piñata? Hula hoops? An 🇺🇸? A ⭐️?

Can you imagine what might happen if one of the restraints broke?

I’ll be pondering this pickup truck for awhile.

Peace, people!

Grumpy Trump’s on a Roll

Or a sandwich. He insisted on white bread made with a white sandwich spread and served on a white napkin. He said it’s the best sandwich ever. Much better than any sandwich Obama made. Bigger, too.

I asked if he wanted it toasted:

But he just gave me the finger.

Peace, people.

Not Exactly Elf on the Shelf

On Wednesday I received a surprise gift in the mail from friends in Kansas. I couldn’t imagine what the box might contain, but being the overgrown kid I am I ripped into it with wild abandon. Good thing I’m not on anyone’s anthrax delivery list! As far as I know, anyway.

To my delight this is what the box contained:

Note the position of his middle finger, above.

Note the back of the box, below:

I wrestled for a second with whether I should keep the box sealed for posterity’s sake, but again, I couldn’t resist opening it up so trump, the over-reaction figure, could embark on a variety of adventures in the vein of Elf on the Shelf.

I didn’t have to wait long for him to make a move, either. The angry little dude got into my reading material and flipped off Joe Biden’s book:

Maybe I can teach my Trump on the Stump some manners while he’s a guest in my home. I have a feeling I’m going to need to start with the basics, though.

Peace, people.

Becoming So Excited

Several weeks ago my niece, CB, in Austin, Texas, texted me:

I totally freaked out. Studly Doright thought it was a great idea, so I started making plans.

I’ve already read her book, so in case Michelle requests my presence on stage at the Frank Erwin Events Center in Austin I’ll be able to discuss it with her intelligently. Unless, of course, I’m rendered speechless just by being in her presence. Who? Me? Remember this photo from last April?

That’s me getting my big break on national tv. I wasn’t even aware the camera was on, unlike my beautifully goofy daughter behind me.

Maybe that was my trial run. Maybe I’d do better on stage with Michelle. Maybe I’m just too excited to be coherent right now. Can you blame me?

Peace, people.