Sunday, August 31, 2014


Akrasia. n. The state of mind in which one acts against one's better judgement due to weakness of will. 

Weakness -- or compassion, perhaps.

A few times over the past months, Herself has stopped by the local pet store on a few Saturday afternoons during which they had adoption events by a local rescue organization. (She thought about attending several more events, but lacked sufficient impetus to do so on those occasions.) She didn't necessarily want another dog; she just wanted to look.

Yesterday, after spending some time perusing the bookstore for a book to send to Offspring the First, she decided to stop in at the adoption event.  Just to look.

There was an older, placid chihuahua in the cage at the end of the table. He was calm, untroubled.  He was the same color as Tiny Dog, except for his white face and the beginnings of a white stripe down his back.

His name was Pedro, and he was 9-10 years old.  He was missing a few teeth on one side, so that his tongue stuck out just a little.  The ear on the other side was a bit crumpled.  He sat quietly on Herself's lap for a bit.

Herself did not feel a compulsion to adopt him - there was not a burning need to do so, the way she (on extremely rare occasions) knows something must be done.


After having said goodbye to ottoman-shaped dog, ancient decrepit dog, and venerable cavy within the past year, Herself knows that it is very important for animals to have a person who can walk the final path with them.  It seemed like the right thing to do, to make sure this dog would have comfort in his waning years.

Herself brought him home.

We have renamed him Tio.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Word Up

Today's earworm is a throwback to a classic: Word Up.  Originally sung by Cameo, it topped the charts sometime during Herself's college years.  It's eminently dance-able.

We're currently listening to the version sung by Korn.  You can find it here.  Excellent.

For the full effect, though, one must watch the Cameo video, as it is so very 1980s.  It even has LeVar Burton featured in it.  Outstanding.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah seems to be one of the most-covered songs ever:  there are seemingly endless permutations and variations, both holy and secular.  In fact, there are three different artist's renditions on Herself's iPod.  Why these three, you may wonder? Alone, they are incomplete; but together, they provide all of the verses. It is those stanzas that do not appear in every version that lend additional meaning to the song.

All of the versions on the iPod contain these four verses:

All I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

The iPod holds a Leonard Cohen rendition, with a verse speaking to the power of the Word:

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard,
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

As well as Rufus Wainwright's rendition, which in its second half adds to the sensual undertones and recalls the stanza that speaks of her beauty:

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

And finally, to round out the verses, there is the Three Girls's rendition, that provides hope for what lies Beyond, even when all seems cold and broken and lost:

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

We love this song.  It is a balm to bittersweet memories, and a comfort on difficult days.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Still Adjusting

It is always sad when someone leaves home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches. ― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Suppose

It is probably time to throw away ottoman-shaped dog's insulin.

You are missed, my fine fur friend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just A Random Thought

“For instance," said the boy again, "if Christmas trees were people and people were Christmas trees, we'd all be chopped down, put up in the living room, and covered in tinsel, while the trees opened our presents."
"What does that have to do with it?" asked Milo.
"Nothing at all," he answered, "but it's an interesting possibility, don't you think?”

― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Monday, August 25, 2014

Shopping Lists and Silence

in the blink of an eye (well, in the space of a long weekend), the grocery shopping list, and the house, have changed.  Some changes are permanent:  I no longer need ensure that we have copious amounts of Romaine lettuce and celery for Venerable Cavy, and the kitchen seems particularly spacious without the guinea pig habitat.  Some changes are temporary (although they will revert only briefly on occasion):  it is currently unnecessary to purchase apples by the ginormous bagful or an extra roast chicken for Offspring the Second; there is less need for laundry detergent, and we need not take the slightly long trip cross-town to purchase drumsticks.

The house is suddenly giant and ever so quiet.


I am looking forward to Christmas time, when I will need to put an entire pork roast into the crock pot for Offspring the Second, and will have to stock the larder with the whole-wheat pasta that Offspring the First prefers. To have the house be full again -- and noisy -- will be a marvelous, albeit brief, occasion.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Farewell, Venerable One

Ancient and venerable cavy has slipped the surly bonds of earth.

Rest in peace, Moose. Thank you for your time with us.

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Actual Little Turtle's Big Adventure

While we don't believe in omens or portents, it was nonetheless a nice touch for Mother Nature to have placed this wee creature on the walking path this morning.  (That is the toe of Herself's sneaker, for size reference.)

Good luck, little turtle.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Little Turtle's Big Adventure

When Herself was a small girl, there was a picture book that she and her siblings had, called Little Turtle's Big Adventure.  The tale followed a wee turtle as he attempted to find a new home. (I'm sure there are more nuances than that, but that is all Herself recalls.)  It was a lovely, simple book.

Soon, Offspring the Second will be leaving home for his own Big Adventure.  He worked tremendously hard this past year in order to be able to attend the college of his choosing, and he will be joining the student body in a week as a sophomore.  And so, he is packing his things, and the family will take a brief road trip to deposit him at school.

Herself is tremendously pleased for him.  As terrifying as a new place and being On One's Own can be at times, she knows that Offspring the Second will rise to the occasion.  He will have adventures and see new places and hear new music and experience new things and even occasionally get to know new people, and it will be Good.

We at home will no longer witness his stealthy, ninja-like appearances in the house, nor will we experience the reverberations when he plays his drums.  We will have to handle our own vermin-removing activities, since he will no longer be available to extract lizards from the shower stall or shoo unspeakable beetles from the kitchen.  We will miss his dry humor and his quiet intelligence, and especially his helpful commentary and insight into the workings of people.  Yet all of these things he will take with him and share with the World, and the World will be a better place for it.

He is a Good Soul. A Kind Soul. An Old Soul. A Marvelous Soul. We hope that his path forward is filled with joy and mystery and magnificence.

We love you, Offspring the Second.  Should you need anything at all, do not hesitate to let us know. We will always be here for you, and look forward to seeing you next time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Parking

Today's earworm:  No Parking on the Dance Floor, by Midnight Star.  We heard it on the radio on the way home today. It's a classic!

Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Grass

When Herself came home from running errands yesterday, she noticed that ancient and venerable cavy was lying in the wood chips in front of his house in his habitat, rather than resting on the towel under the house as is his custom.  The chips were scattered about, as though he'd been flailing.  Oh, dear.  Herself reached out a hand to him, and he feebly attempted (and then failed) to scurry into his house. It seemed as though he'd lost the ability to control one of his back legs.  He was not squeaking or showing any other signs of distress, fortunately.  

Herself picked him up -- all skin and bones he is now, a mere shadow of his once succulent self -- and took him outside.  A late afternoon thunderstorm was rolling past nearby, and so there was a pleasant breeze and the air and grass were cool, moist and refreshing.  She and he sat in the grass together for a while.  He nudged and burrowed his face in the grass contentedly, and then dragged himself next to Herself's leg, where he settled down and had a brief snooze. 

When he awoke, Herself took him inside and gave him a warm bath; it's clear that fur care is beyond his capabilities now.  She tidied his habitat and put him inside.  He managed to prop himself up briefly on all four legs and tottered into his house to lie down on his towel.

Moose has seen The Grim.

This morning, he has revived somewhat.  He waddled out of his house for lettuce, and then scurried (albeit quite slowly) back into his house once more.  His days are clearly numbered, but he does not seem to be in pain, and for that we are very grateful.

Good boy, Moose.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Twenty-Three Years Later

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

- Kahlil Gibran, On Marriage from The Prophet

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I have too many things to do, and to think about, to actually get anything done.  It is the end of the summer and near the beginning of the school year, and everything is complicated and fraught and involves 8,000 forms and waiting in line, and there are kidney stones and things and changes to schedules and Offspring the Second leaving home and Alas.  I just want to go back to bed.

Perhaps a hug might help move me in the right direction, though.

Friday, August 15, 2014


The laptop has been returned, repaired with a new hard drive.  We're quite pleased to have more reliable internet access now.  Although we're still a tad disgruntled at having to reset and reconfigure and find our favorites and such all over again, we are happy to know we will be able to write without mechanical struggles. That is A Good Thing Indeed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Herself, who is powering through an apparent kidney infection with the help of some antibiotics and a great deal of fluids, asked Offspring the Third to please bring her some water.  And so he did, in his Giant Green Alien Cup Complete With Straw.  Excellent. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Funny Man Gone

Godspeed, Robin Williams. Be at peace. Our world will be a little less funny without you, but there will be even more laughter in the Beyond.

Mr. Williams, with his pug Leonard Bean, was found at Lick Magazine, here:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let Us Hope So

Behold, the slip of paper from Herself's fortune cookie from Friday evening, two and a half days ago.

In a vaguely amusing literal twist to the fortune, over the weekend she spent her time waiting for a kidney stone to leave her. The Universe has been merciful, for this kidney stone -- while certainly uncomfortable -- has not reached the degree of horror that the first one did. Herself is cautiously optimistic that the stone is nearly at the end of the road, and is looking forward to some relatively pain free days thereafter. Keep your fingers crossed that this shall indeed pass very shortly.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yesterday I turned 47

The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating. ― Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible

I'm working on it.  Perhaps some year soon. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Impotent Rage

We are frustrated -- nearly apopleptically so -- at our lack of reliable internet access through which to post to the blog. We are at a complete loss when we are unable to write, for writing is how we think, process, live, BREATHE.  We have no words. Or rather, we have a buildup of words, all bumping against one another and straining to be set free from our minds so that they can swim freely throughout the posts. It is painful, like the sneeze that won't arrive or like the pressure of eardrums before they pop,  except a thousandfold more. A hundred thousandfold more. 

We may have to resort to old-fashioned pen and paper, lest we explode.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chico The Chihuahuas Mascot Steals A Kiss

Complete with kissing noise.

We were highly amused.

Monday, August 4, 2014

That's Not Very Nice

I say, life is too short not to dance, and if a girl is giving up an opportunity to go dancing with a cowboy who asks because she is not enamored of his appearance, she is missing out, and he deserves better.

Signed, Taking A T-Shirt Rather Seriously This Monday Morning

(This garment was found during our visit to Tombstone, Arizona, in May.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bones of the Ancestors

Yesterday, Herself decided that while her computer was out to be repaired and Beloved Husband was away for the weekend, she might as well take advantage of the time she might otherwise spend roaming about the internet to tidy up the study.

She tackled the bookshelf.  First, she gathered all the promotional literature for her former employer, as well as her to-do lists from that job, and filed them away in their own folder in the closet that contains archived papers. (The to-do lists that were oddly heartwrenching.) Then, she refolded her taekwondo black belt and put it upon the shelf, knowing that because of her back and her hip, she will not likely ever be able to step upon the martial arts mat again.  Finally, she took the tins containing the ashes of Ancient And Decrepit Dog and Ottoman-shaped Dog from where they were in the kitchen, and placed them on the newly-emptied shelf.  It seems fitting to have them in the study, for they spent a great deal of time keeping Herself company in there.

It was much like arranging the bones of Herself's ancestors.  Dia de los muertos. 

It is hard when all the recent griefs and losses rear their heads together. 

Herself thinks that perhaps a Good Cry would help, but in the absence of anyone, man or beast, who would provide consolation through her tears, she turned to the next best resort:  she cleaned.  She gave the Aged And Venerable Cavy a bath and scrubbed his habitat, and she washed the surly Ancient Bird's cage as well. She took care of four loads of laundry. She vacuumed and steam-cleaned all the downstairs carpets. Plus a few other things. It helped.  

And so it goes. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bittersweet Bone

We obtained Tiny Dog's heartworm preventative pills from a mail-order website, and they were delivered with a ginormous bone for a treat. It is as long as her tail, and twice the width of her leg. She cannot open her mouth widely enough to take a bite - which is probably good, as her minuscule teeth (many of which are still baby teeth since she never grew all of her adult teeth) would probably not be able to handle such a solid item. She licked the bone a few times, and then concentrated on keeping Beloved Husband away from it. "I can't eat it, but neither can you!" appears to be her attitude.

The bone reminded Herself of ottoman-shaped dog; the medications for his cancer were also delivered in the mail, and the box always included a small bone. Although he was not allowed many such treats because of his diabetes, Herself would break off a corner of the bone for him, and then give the rest to ancient-decrepit dog. They both enjoyed them very much. 

Friday, August 1, 2014



Copyright 2014, GAM. Used with gratitude.