Blerg.

A wistful list-full

FOOD

FOOD

FEUD

FEUD

I know, I know; I can hear you clamoring: How dare you disappear for nigh on two plus years, and expect us just to fall back into place as if we’re not different people now with different needs?!?

Yes, and we’ll get to that, but first: A shopping list!

By now you all probably know that Zoog can be rather…oblique. What fun is it, he surely reasons, to say the same thing time after weary time? Why not express every need—no matter how basic— in riddles and rhymes? How marvelous to invert and amalgamate! Why not fold, spindle and mutilate the very rules and conventions that allow us to communicate at all? Sure, we may get hoist on a petard or two of our own making, but that’s what keeps things spicy, America!

Pass the salt? No way. But I will send a brackish morsel forthwith. Hold this for you while you use the bathroom? Not a chance, Doofus. But bestow the freight encumbering your evacuation strategy, and I’m your helpmeet.

The only trouble—aside from the time all the extra syllables take—is that Zoog also employs this method when it comes to written communication, adding two other confound-able elements: orthography and penmanship. While his handwriting would make a roomful of doctors scowl, Zoog is quite capable of spelling things “correctly” (he was seventh grade spelling bee champion of J.T.Moore Junior High, but got booted from regionals on account of L-I-B-E-L), he simply chooses NOT to.

*[Quick disruptive digression: I’ve become quite adept over the years at deciphering his hieroglyphs, but was rather..errr..titillated by an extra loop of ink caused by one of his leaky fountain pens, which made the cursive “k” in the sentence: “I should write to others whose booKs I’ve admired,” to look like a “b.”]

More fun for him to transcribe impediments, accents, spoonerisms and stutters into any simple missive, as if Elmer Fudd or the priest from Princess Bride were demanding he take dictation: “Fatht away to th’ gwocewee thtor and pwocuah thevwal atomth, thuch ath….”

You’ll forgive me, then, when he sent me to the supermarket last week and I returned with only a single onion and a wrinkled shopping list:

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Once you say it out loud a few times and channel several distinctive speakers (mostly of the under-five crowd), the items may become clear— sort of like my dad’s favorite birthday card urging the celebrant to chant an ancient native birthday mantra: OHWAH TANOL DEF ART IYAM—but some codes just can’t be cracked.

And so we starve most of the time.

And that is how we’re sticking to our new year’s resolution to slim down.

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And HAPPY 2019!

Wonder Winterland

I don't know if you heard, but DC got hit with something of a snowstorm. 

...get down on your knees and pray for  Shackleton ...

...get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton...

There was quite a lot of talk of this storm before it ever started snowing, so many of the District's residents decided to head immediately to their local grocers to procure provisions. Skeptics waited for some proof of Snowzilla before tearing up the road like their cold wet pants were on fire... oops.  

Is it possible there's a link between the absence of fibrous greens and the absence of toilet paper? 

Is it possible there's a link between the absence of fibrous greens and the absence of toilet paper? 

I was a little bummed by the lack of salad, but Amanda Panda, Polies and CRat had a contingency plan. 

CRat's eagle eye spotted some discount havarti.  

CRat's eagle eye spotted some discount havarti.  

On the way back from the store, we saw some other brave creatures... 

...like this puffy cardinal...

...like this puffy cardinal...

...and this frozen squirrel

...and this frozen squirrel

...and this weirdo. 

...and this weirdo. 

Now, I'm not really one for winter, but there is something liberating about being able to walk down the middle of Connecticut Avenue and know you won't get hit by a car. Or, as it turns out, a plow. 

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As we trudged home through the blizzard carrying all the promise of a green banana, I was looking forward to a thorough thawing-out. As we got closer to the house, I stopped to wonder idly if I'd see my car again before Mother's Day...

Then I hurried inside to fire up a big cauldron of whatever liquids were available. As I opened the door and struggled to pry my boots off, I heard distinct murmurings from inside the shopping bag. Something about wanting to build a snowman. I guess not everybody wanted so desperately to escape Khione's wrath. 

Close enough...

Close enough...

And can you blame them? 

Hippy Hippy Hooray! Part Un

Life's been difficult lately. Sophie and I are cat-sitting in Woodstock for the week, and between the tuna and the drum circles and the lounging by the pool, I'm plumb tuckered out. 

Yes, my legs have that hip "ombre" color shading everyone's so big on these days. 

Yes, my legs have that hip "ombre" color shading everyone's so big on these days. 

Our charge, Hibou, is pretty good, as cats go. Which is to say that he hasn't yet sucked our marrow as we slept. He keeps pretty busy; half the day is spent splayed out in sunbeams, a quarter is taken up with moth/spider torture, and the rest is divided about evenly between glaring at his dry kibble and glaring at us. 

Hibou wonders why you are not tending to his needs. 

Hibou wonders why you are not tending to his needs. 

Other than keeping the cat alive, we have relatively few responsibilities, but the ones we do have we take very seriously. Take, for example, the task of emptying the skimmer basket by the pool and saying Kaddish over whatever poor creatures have met their watery end. Usually it's beetles or grasshoppers, some of whom I try to resuscitate with chest compressions, which seems to have a relatively low success rate.  

O, intrepid savior!

O, intrepid savior!

But on Tuesday, a critter most precious must have flopped into the pool and gotten sucked into the filter, because when Sophie opened the lid, she yelled to me to bring the tiny defibrillation paddles. I was basically paralyzed with fear, so my clear-headed pal pulled a pail off the fence and bravely scooped the wee beast on to the grass. 

"HHHHHH POOR DEAD THING!!" I wailed. "NOW NESTLED IN THE ARMS OF YOUR MAKER!!"

...and then it moved its leg.   And then, if you looked closely, you could see it breathing...or maybe gasping?  "Oh, rapture!" I yelled. And ran to get my camera before the now hale and hearty organism hopped away. And when I came back, there it was, right where it had been deposited...

Just resting!

Just resting!

The force from the filter sometimes creates a little eddy in the skimmer basket, and I'd like to think Francis Frog was merely very dizzy from spinning around in the whirlpool, and just about to skip home to his family--not simply destined to be hawk food. But I guess if I were a real Woodstockian I'd mumble something about 'circle of life,' and grok some tempeh. 

Maybe one day I'll get the hang of it. But now if you'll excuse me, I must oversee the fermentation of my kombucha before Sophie drives a broken down bus to past life therapy.