This just in: Spring approacheth. The equinox is still a month off, the weather of late has been atrocious, but yesterday when Sprig and I were mincing along the treacherous, icy sidewalk, trying to avoid falling on our canine and human butts, suddenly, there it was — that ineffably subtle change in the air that says, Hold on, I’m comin’.
At first I thought it was way too early, and then recalled that it’s usually the second week in August when I notice autumn off on the horizon, approaching on his dun-colored horse. That is, six months ago.
Then the sheet of ice I was baby-stepping on cracked, and icy water swept over the dog’s paws. He looked pissed. Can’t blame him.
Speaking of dogs. I recall a line from an essay — Thomas McGuane, I think — saying the best dogs refuse to be completely domesticated, that the streak of wildness that remains in them is what makes them worth sharing your lives with. I think of this whenever my own gets into some sort of trouble. Like yesterday. I finished lunch, got a couple of Girl Scout cookies for dessert, and dropped the last quarter of the last Samoa on the floor, because it’s nice to share. Went back upstairs. Shouldn’t have.
Kate has her GS cookie orders bagged individually and sitting on the floor of the family room, awaiting delivery. I’ve been telling myself they’re safe because they’re double-wrapped in plastic and cardboard. When the dog sticks his nose into a bag, I say, “Get out of there” and he does without objection. A couple times I’ve thought I heard something and checked it out, only to find the cookies untouched, the dog peacefully sleeping on his bed, which is what he does most of the time these days.
Until yesterday. Thank God Girl Scout cookies are packaged in super-noisy crinkly plastic packaging, because I heard the plunder in progress from upstairs, ran down and caught him before he did too much damage. Only one box had been torn open. Samoas, of course.
“Bad dog!” I said. He didn’t slink or cower. You knew durn well I was a snake before you brought me in.
Kate used to have a videotape of a BBC production of Beatrix Potter stories. The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse is about the fussy, compulsive cleaner and tidier-up of her little mouse burrow. A giant toad in a waistcoat stops by one day and asks for some honey. She says she doesn’t have any, the liar.
“Mrs. Tittlemouse,” he says, in this low, growly, BBC-Cockney accent. “I can smell it.” It’s the filthiest line I’ve ever heard in a children’s production. This cookie event will be known in the future as the Mrs. Tittlemouse Incident.
Emma is learning to play the violin. As always with Emma stories, when she changes gears away from her own experience to talk to others — the people who actually justify doing the story — I get impatient. Who cares about these boring people learning the guitar at 50? I want to hear more about Emma:
For years, I’ve operated under the deluded fantasy that, given the opportunity, I could rival Itzhak Perlman on the violin. Not that I’d ever had a lesson. No, this fantasy was born after watching a 5-year-old on “Sesame Street” play a feisty version of “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A 5-year-old can’t even tie her own shoes, right?
And this was the writer my alma mater let slip through their fingers. (Bonus: Downloadable audio clips of Emma playing “Mary,” as well as “Good King Wenceslas.” Itzhak Perlman can relax a while longer.)
I know some of our readers are into general aviation. Spriggy would like to be taken for a ride like this, although he requests a nice soft cushion in the back seat:
If the central fashion revelation of Oscar night needs to be made any clearer, it’s by comparing this photo of Helen Mirren to this photo of Jessica Biel. Central fashion revelation: You can look as great at 50-plus as women half your age. Central fashion lesson: Ladies of all ages, bras are our friends. Central overall lesson: Worst show ever.
Sometimes the headline says it all: Police say driver in fatal crash was using laptop.
Back later. Carry on, you crazy kids.
brian stouder said on February 27, 2007 at 10:22 am
Who cares about these boring people learning the guitar at 50? I want to hear more about Emma
See, it has always seemed to me that THAT’s “the Secret” in most of life (as opposed to the new Oprah-approved self-help/positve thinking/delusional book); revealing enough to pique interest – but not too much – and never revealing everything.
Curiosity can’t kill a cat – but the revelation might!
Kevin Knuth said on February 27, 2007 at 10:47 am
I had to give the audio a listen.
While I applaud Emma for taking up an instrument- the audio scared my dog to death!
LA mary said on February 27, 2007 at 11:17 am
We had a recruiting open house here at the hospital last Saturday, and at the end had four and a half big round trays of muffins and bagels and danish left. I gave the four whole ones to the ER for the poor souls who have to wait to be taken care of, and took the half tray home to my bottomless pit teenagers. We each had one apple danish, closed up the tray, and didn’t think much about them until we saw the great dane mix and the lab slinking out the kitchen door with a big tray of baked goods.
Emma said on February 27, 2007 at 11:17 am
(Hysterical giggling.) (And, yes, a little shame, too.)
LA mary said on February 27, 2007 at 11:49 am
The Google home page always has two “how to” tips. Todays are:
How to Get out of a Car Gracefully Without Showing Your Underwear
How to Save a Laptop from Liquid Damage
In todays modern a go go world, those two paired make perfect sense.
alex said on February 27, 2007 at 11:57 am
Without showing your underwear…
a la Britney?
Dorothy said on February 27, 2007 at 12:29 pm
Ms. Britney didn’t HAVE any underwear on. (and I know you know that Alex – I’m just being a smart ass)
To show your undies, ya gotta have them on in the first place!!
brian stouder said on February 27, 2007 at 12:34 pm
speaking of exposure – I would say that the Jessica Beal-boob shot could make a good seat-belt public service ad…clearly she had her seatbelt on
Connie said on February 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm
And doesn’t it look like Jessica Biel got a bad spray on tan?
brian stouder said on February 27, 2007 at 1:31 pm
Yes. Honestly – the first thing I thought was that she looked a like a deflated Oprah
LA mary said on February 27, 2007 at 1:35 pm
Are you saying Oprah is inflated?
brian stouder said on February 27, 2007 at 1:49 pm
Well – only with relative to Jessica! Ms Beal’s face and eyes reminded me of Ms Winfrey.
Really, Oprah has just about exactly the right shape – for my tastes!
LA mary said on February 27, 2007 at 2:49 pm
Maybe I’ve been in LA too long, but Ms. Biel looks ok to me. I wouldn’t object to looking like that. Helen looks terrific as well. She’s always been very sexy, from Caligula to Prime Suspect.
Joe Kobiela said on February 27, 2007 at 7:07 pm
I actually float my more experianced skydivers out of the airplane, The jumpers sit cross legged with the door open then I do the neg g thing and kick rudder and out they go, it’s pretty cool.
I will be in Detroit wed afternoon, going into Troy, I’ll wave if I go over Gross Point.
MarkH said on February 27, 2007 at 9:51 pm
I’ve never seen Caligula, but where I really latched onto Helen Mirren was in 2010, and most of her screen appearances after that.
As the sexy, tough, in-command Soviet spaceship commander, she was the hottest. I half expected the filmmakers to give in to the cheap-shot temptation of having her and Roy Scheider join the lightyear club. Better they didn’t.
So much class, that woman has…
Danny said on February 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm
Hey, there is a story floating now that she went commando to the Oscars. As Drudge says…developing.
We must get to the bottom of this.
nancy said on February 27, 2007 at 11:22 pm
Commando upstairs or down? Because I heard she went on Oprah the next day and displayed the dress’ built-in bra, which isn’t quite the same thing as going braless.
As for the other end — TMI.
Danny said on February 28, 2007 at 12:18 am
Ah, the Oprah story is the one to which the (originally) broken link referred. Downstairs would have been hilarious TMI. And probably would have gotten her uninvited to tea with the Queen.
Or maybe not. And wouldn’t that had been interesting conversation whilst chewing on a scone.
Connie said on February 28, 2007 at 10:47 am
Well guys, commando as I think it must be defined here, is a new word for me. At my house we just say “hanging loose.” To which you guys probably know the rhyming second line.
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 11:00 am
you guys probably know the rhyming second line.
“as a long-necked goose”??
“as a flag of truce”??
“like a blue caboose”??
“my love to adduce”?
“prone to abuse”??
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 12:27 pm
“between an ace and deuce”?
“be-boppin’ like Dr Seuss”?
“like a grazing moose”?
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 12:36 pm
“and taking a bow, like a chanteuse”
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 1:19 pm
“and offering no excuse”?
“as even a blindman could deduce”?
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 4:34 pm
“more wood than a spruce”?
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 6:25 pm
“like a bag of couscous”?
OK – I give up!
nancy said on February 28, 2007 at 6:29 pm
I thought you never would.
Connie said on February 28, 2007 at 7:07 pm
And I thought I would never stop laughing. How about “full of juice?” But I really like bag of couscous.
brian stouder said on February 28, 2007 at 7:58 pm
But Connie – what’s the second line?!
Connie said on March 1, 2007 at 10:14 am
Brian, I just told you! But I am going to change it to bag of couscous.