Friday, January 28, 2011

Today's Top Story

Think of a blog as a newspaper that people actually read. It's a very personal thing, and you need healthy boundaries. For example, you can't go around blogging about the time I peed my pants when we went to see Ice Age like you told that woman in line at TJ Maxx yesterday.

Up and At 'Em

With programming like this, Belgian children must be quite precocious.

From Clark.

Now You See It

From Peggy.

From Derek.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My ancestors never had a family crest, because there's
no way to draw worrying, nagging, complaining and gassy.
Jordan Rubin

A Breed Apart

I consider myself an animal lover, and I think most people I know would say the same of themselves. But there are folks who spoil their pets, and then there are animal people.

A friend recently recalled a riding instructor who had a man's name but was a woman, "an astonishingly vulgar one, probably because of her name."
She walked around drunk and barefoot, with glass water bottles filled with gin or something. She once told me--a thirteen-year-old girl--that she rode a horse naked and "shat hairy for a week." My sister later became friends with her daughter, and discovered what a squalid life they led, living out of a truck and eating nothing but peanut butter for weeks.
Another friend mentioned her cats' "bizarre" breeder:
Her husband bred racing pigeons that flew to Indiana and back - the real question to me was how did they know where to go? And they had a dog with Cushings Disease and he smelled awful and a retarded sister looming and appearing out of nowhere to freak me out.
We got Devo from Whippet Rescue, where he was being fostered by a breeder. Her suburban ranch house looked completely ordinary ... until you stepped through the door.

With no children in the picture, it was all about the animals, of which there was an astounding variety. Functionality trumped aesthetics: in the family room, a length of flexible metal fencing was bolted to the wall to restrict the flow of critters. One bedroom had been given over to the cats. The door was closed, but it had a flap inset so the kitties could escape other species as they pleased. Next door was the reptile room, full of slithery things in glass tanks. The breeder noted proudly that a pair of her exotic lizards had recently reproduced, apparently a rare occurrence in captivity. Oddly, Devo was the only dog we saw, though she said she had four whippets of her own.

My favorite exhibit was on prominent display in the living room: an aquarium crawling with huge Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Mistaking my horror for interest, the chatelaine reached in, pulled one out, and stroked it until it lived up to its name.

Life is a Cabaret

Or maybe a series of balls ...

More at the source.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Big Boy

Everyone had taken their places when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest piece of work I have ever seen in my life--no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito.

A Sedaris classic.

Thanks to Dave.

Star Tracks

I received this birthday card from an old friend who knows me well:

You might remember the Christmas card he sent a year ago.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Word of the Day


Sparkle has these, usually in the afternoon. I'd just been calling them crack attacks.

All Dolled Up

"You don't have a history of addiction, do you?" the nurse asked offhandedly as she phoned in two more narcotic prescriptions. "Not that it really matters."

There's a long list of things I don't have to worry about anymore, and apparently it's still growing. ALS freed me years ago from any fear of cancer, which killed both of my father's parents, or heart disease, which claimed both of my mother's. Early on, when I was put on an anabolic steroid to counter the muscle wasting, my cholesterol shot up 100 points. This might have been a serious concern for someone else, but as my doctor cheerfully put it: "I don't think you're gonna be around long enough to develop congestive heart failure."

When I enrolled in hospice, my original nurse (who soon thereafter vanished mysteriously) pushed the idea of keeping a stash of morphine on hand "just in case." In case of what, I wondered. A dirty bomb? President Palin? For shortness of breath, she explained. "It'll calm you." I finally gave in just to shut her up, then forgot about it until last month's trial, which made a believer out of me.

I'd already been on an antidepressant* and a elephant tranquilizer muscle relaxant for eons, and now I have the morphine for brief episodes and Ativan for longer ones. My medicine cabinet is starting to look like Judy Garland's.

*A chirpy physician's assistant once said, "You've been on the SSRI for a while now. Have you thought of stopping?"

"Are you
insane?" I snapped. "Have you looked at my file?"

Double Threat

Two of my least-favorite things -- clowns and tattoos -- in one pretty picture. The only thing missing is an old doll.