- This is Marcel.
He looks like the typical cat who sleeps 18 hours per day, right?
- I will admit he sleeps a fair amount. In fact, he’s napping downstairs as I write this. But I’ve never lived with a cat who was better at entertaining himself. Marcel especially loves elastics, twist ties, and pipe cleaners (also my sweaty socks, but that’s a whole other blog post).
- The other morning as I did yoga, Marcel showed up with a purple pipe cleaner. I tried to maintain my yogic** concentration as he batted it around then snuck up on it to pounce. A few minutes later, Marcel showed up with a white pipe cleaner. After that, it was a black pipe cleaner.
The white pipe cleaner is MIA, but these two remain on the floor as toys.
If you look closely you can see Marcel’s white hairs on the pipe cleaners, (and if you have really good vision, the kind that sees across the miles and through walls, you’d see white hairs on my shirts, shoes, futons, hardwood floors, bathroom vanity, . . .)
- That third pipe cleaner prompted me to investigate and, sure enough, I found the source. Marcel had gone down to the drawers that Wildebeest and Zebu used way back when for storing their craft items. Marcel had opened the drawer holding the pipe cleaners.
- Marcel is a nappy cat, a food-obsessed cat, and also a pretty damned smart cat.
Marcel woke up when I came down to photograph the scene of the crime.
**Confession: I thought I’d made up a word but then looked it up and discovered I was inadvertently legit.
Just took a little tour of my front and back gardens. Last year I lost almost all iris blooms to a snowstorm so am thrilled at this year’s turnout. There are several stands of iris not yet in bloom, but these beauties are currently going all out:
This is one of my pure white iris planted next to several deep, deep purple iris, and I’m looking forward to that dramatic display:
Wishing everyone a beautiful, blooming weekend!
ONE: The right headlight on our 2004 Prius went out and Zippy fixed it with a new bulb (something he’s done four times over the years, thanks to the kindness of people who post YouTube how-to’s).
New bulb in the old car.
TWO: We replaced our garbage disposal splash guard (taking only three trips to the stores to find the correct size), again thanks to the kindness of people sharing DIY knowledge.
My new view from above.
THREE: One night this week Zippy and I watched WILD, the movie based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, and an image from that film that’s stayed with me is Cheryl writing in her journal and then tearing out the page after it’s filled, and feeding it to the campfire.
FOUR: One of our two old dogs is suddenly walking like a drunken sailor and yesterday the vet told us Coco is (hopefully) suffering from “Old Dog” Vestibular Disease, so she’s now on some medication and we’re hoping she’s soon upright and back to herself.
Coco’s got a new tilt to her head.
FIVE: Last fall Zippy and I dug out the raised bed on our patio that had been destroyed by our two old dogs, and replanted it with new perennials (before adding a barrier fence to keep out Coco and Zoey), and the new plants are poking through.
A new penstemon has joined the garden.
(1) I used to be kinda indifferent about Led Zeppelin, but for the past couple months have been mainlining it at a LOUD volume.
(2) I’m still having to run back and forth on the one flat street in my neighborhood due to glute issues and yesterday did three miles with the help of Sly & the Family Stone.
(3) I’ve started working part time as a substitute library page which means I shelve books at various local libraries, and have developed a love-hate relationship with the Dewey Decimal System.
(4) I’m revising a manuscript and enjoying the process which I call a WIN.
(5) If this rain doesn’t let up soon, I’m gonna scream loud enough to be heard over the Led Zeppelin.
I’m still (mostly) adhering to my read-what’s-already-on-my-shelves policy and here’s where the latest five books have taken me:
(1) Japan via KITCHEN by Banana Yoshimoto.
(2) England via JEEVES AND THE FEUDAL SPIRIT by P.G. Wodehouse
(3) New York City via THE BURGLAR WHO TRADED TED WILLIAMS by Lawrence Block
(4) Haiti via THE COMEDIANS by Graham Greene
(5) And I’m currently in Georgia with a young Japanese seaman (Hiro Tanaka) via EAST IS EAST by T. Coraghessan Boyle
All over the place without spending a dime. Ah, books.
1) I used to swim and I loved to swim and I swam a lot. A mile per session. But then I got tired of smelling like chlorine and I stopped swimming and focused on running. For the record, I also love running. But right now my body isn’t doing as well with the running.
2) For quite some time after I quit swimming, I had dreams of swimming. Strong, efficient strokes and flip turns and the black line on the floor of the pool showing me the way. It made me sad to quit, but I couldn’t take the chlorine. Well, this week I dove back in the pool.
3) Wednesday was my first time swimming laps in YEARS and I was so happy to be back that I took off too fast and went into oxygen debt which meant I never quite caught my breath. And so I started to chastise myself for being out of shape and such a mess before remembering that, hey, I’d been away from swimming for a long time and still banged out a pretty fast mile. So there, Nasty Voice.
4) Today I swam again and it was so much easier because I didn’t take off like a crazy woman delirious with happiness about being back in the water. I was still very happy, but I was a smarter happy and kept my breathing regular.
5) Downside? Despite my best efforts in the shower afterward, I’m now getting whiffs of chlorine PLUS it seems that I should’ve taken the time to adjust the goggles I wore because they were definitely too tight and I kinda, sorta gave myself two black eyes.
(1) Zippy and Zebu were at the tail-ends of their colds when I got sick two days before we had to start our drive to Washington. Of course. We left on Thursday morning with a big box of ultra-soft tissue and the rental car trunk loaded with Zebu’s stuff. We’d chosen a Chevy Impala for its impressive trunk capacity and ended up getting one equipped with satellite radio. We drove many of our 1600 miles laughing at comedy routines and only once did I fear for our safety when Lewis Black had Zebu and me (behind the wheel) in tears. I highly recommend comedy for road trips.
(2) Zippy and I are now officially empty nesters (if you discount the two dogs and two cats), and I’m handling the transition pretty well. We arrived back home late Sunday night and while I did wash my face and brush my teeth on Monday, I spent the day in my jammies on the couch, watching movies (Party Girl with Parker Posey and Flawless with Philip Seymour Hoffman, pictured here with Robert DeNiro), some television (The Mindy Project and Californication), and staring into space. I’ve since roused myself, put on real clothes, and rejoined society.
(3) Now that we have Zebu settled at college, I can no longer put off finishing my YA. I thought my slow progress was solely due to feelings of trepidation regarding what happens when a manuscript is polished and ready to go (something that feels like the equivalent of putting my heart on a platter so that others can stab it over and over again), but a couple days ago I had an epiphany about my slow progress. I haven’t just been procrastinating in an act of self-preservation, but have been writing slowly because I was headed in the wrong direction. I thought I knew the ending, but I did not. Rather, I knew the final scene but had a few key details wrong. I believe my middle-office mind knew that and was patiently waiting for me to wake up to the truth of the story.
(4) I applied to and was accepted into the Rutgers One-On-One Plus Conference held next month, which is another motivator for finishing my manuscript. Yikes.
(5) I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but as a result of all the preparations and then the emotional aftermath of getting Zebu off to school, I’ve largely ignored the fear-mongering and bloodlust dominating the airwaves. May I just say, for the record, that I am so very tired of the U.S. government thinking it can end fundamentalist ideology by bombing it out of existence? It hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. Also? Not only is it stupid, this latest bombing is illegal. But, hey, we’re Team USA! However, . . .
Grackles touring the neighborhood:
Zombies on the move:
Nesting doll balancing act: