Flooftrot (floofinition) – A broken slow-trotting gait in which a person or animal pursues another, speeding up and slowing down as the other speeds up and slows down.
In use: “Conway pulled his leash from Jackie’s hand. Freed, the big dog began investigating surroundings with his big, black nose. Starting a flooftrot, Jackie moved toward him, bending for the leash dragging along the ground, calling, “Conway, Conway, here boy,” which the dog deliberately ignored. Just as she reached the leash, Conway darted away, mouth opened in a lolling-tongue grin, forcing Jackie to speed up and change course.”
It was Valentine’s Day, ten PM. The blinds were down. Thumping came from beside the house. Squeaking ensued. Definitely an animal noise. I turned. Outside lights detected motion and lit the area.
I pulled the blinds up. The squeaking came from a skunk, our skunk, as we call her. Haven’t formally named her yet but we know her by her tail, which looks like a well-used white toilet brush.
Furious squeaking kept going. She was jumping and darting briskly around. I zipped into the other room to bring my wife to the spectacle. Not much was on television and I’d just finished reading my book.
“What’s she doing?” my wife asked.
“I think she’s fighting with something.”
“I think she has a mouse.”
The skunk jumped back, leaped to one side, and twirled. “I don’t see a mouse. I think she’s fighting with something else.”
Our skunk turned and rushed away. There was no mouse. As we stood to consider what we’ve seen, another skunk darted out from under the house. Bigger than our skunk, I’d seen ‘him’ before. “Look.” I pointed him out. “I think she was fighting him. They sometimes fight.”
My wife was nodding. “Yes. I read that females will reject males and sometimes spray them in a defensive action.”
“So he came a-callin’…”
“And she said, no thank you.” The skunk disappeared. The lights went off. My wife turned away. “I think she doesn’t want him because she’s in love with Boo.” Boo is our big black cat with a single white star on his chest.
I remained doubtful. I began lowering the blind. The light appeared. ‘He’ appeared. He looked up at me.
I nodded down at him. “Tough luck, brother. Can you go somewhere else?”
He scurried off into the night. The light went off. I finished lowering the blind on the theater and began wondering what I was going to watch on the telly.
Live theater is so much better.
To begin, it’s the late 1960s on a hot, dry day. I’m younger than now but not appropriate for that era vis-à-vis my life. After watching some Formula 1 practice action, a dust-up between two cars at one corner stops practice. Strapped into my car, I’d been waiting to go out. Leaving my car, I returned to the garage area to get out of the sun and get a drink.
The two drivers involved with the accident, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Graham Hill, come in. They’re trying to figure out what happened, so they’re going to talk it over. I suggest some coffee. Coffee was served to them in small glass cups. They finished it quickly. I told them that maybe we should sit down. They agreed to that and move to a table to one side. I asked and they agreed, they could use more coffee. I brought the pot over to serve them. Both glasses were sitting on a shelf above the table. I didn’t know which cup belonged to which driver. They tell me that it doesn’t matter. I poured the coffee into the cups. The coffee is light with milk as it came out of the pot.
Next, Tina Fey is walking around inside hallways which were in my body. As far as I know, I’m the only other present, but she’s acting like her 30 Rock character. My first reaction is, wow, Tina Fey is here. Second: she’s in my body. Third: there are hallways in my body. Fourth: Tina Fey is in my body making jokes about my organs. Consumed by those four thoughts, I understood nothing that she actually said.
A dreamshift takes place. I’m outside of a motel/lodge, in the parking lot, by the raised cement sidewalk. The motel is modeled after modernized log cabins. A candy stand dominates the sidewalk. Tiered rows of candy offerings face me. I’m amazed by the selection. Every candy I think of — Jujubes, Good n’ Plentys, Mars and Mounds bars, Dots, Old Henrys, York Peppermint Patties, are all there in neat rows. But they’re expanding, adding another section, to add more candy.
I’m amazed that so much candy is for sale and amazed that they’re preparing to offer yet more. There is nothing but candy. Shouting children begin running up to the stand. SMH, I enter the lodge.
Adult motel workers and customers are inside. I know several because I’ve been staying there on a writing retreat for a few days. Now, though, I’m supposed to go meet my wife at another hotel. I’m to take a pale blue dress with pale orange trim to my wife. It’s way too big for her, probably five times her width, but a perfect length if she’s six feet tall (but she’s just five four), but she requested it. So I’m carrying this dress around for her.
Discarded candy and candy packages litter the lodge’s deep brown carpeting. I’m incredulous. Laughing and screaming children — no doubt charged by sugar, I think — are running about. I change (don’t know where that was done) into new light gray shorts. They have a bright blue string. I speak with my wife on the telephone and tell her that I’m on my way. Then, first, where’s the dress? It was on a hanger. I set it down and now I don’t see it.
Then I need to urinate. I find a bathroom. Weirdly, it’s at a juncture where one side is a hallway to rooms and the other faces the foyer/waiting area. The two walls are sliding accordion doors which need pulled to and locked. I attempt to do this but each keep sliding open, though I slam them. I then discover there’s a screw lock at the top of the accordion doors; I firmly screw that in place and start to do my business. I see that the screw is turning, becoming undone. Irritated, I screw it tight again. Sure that it’s secure, I step up to the urinal to pee and discover my shorts are in the urinal. They’re getting wet. Exasperation growing, I pull my shorts back. One accordion door has slid open. My shorts are pulled half down, so I’m effectively mooning people. A manager and customer come by to tell me. I answer back with explanations about the doors and how unimpressed I am by these doors. They’re chuckling. The male customer keeps joking, “Your bulls are showing,” by which I realize he means my ass. I joke back that I’m running with the bulls. Yeah, lame.
Although my shorts are wet, I’ve managed to pee and I’m ready to go again. Someone has found the blue and orange dress that I’m taking to my wife and call out, “Does anyone claim this?” I do, I answer, then explain that I’m taking it to my wife at her request. It’s way too big for her, I explain — I think it’s bigger than it was before — but she requested it.
That’s where it all ends.
Thickening fog is graying out this Monday morning in southern Oregon.
Hi. Today is February 22, 2021. The temperature is 39 degrees F. Sunrise and sunset are 6:57 AM, 5:52 PM, presenting us almost eleven hours of daylight.
My mind has been busy with dreams, reading, writing, and thinking. Among the thoughts. They mentioned on the radio that, oh, surprise, people are creatures of habit. Surveys show that eighty percent of Americans have daily routines that they follow. They eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, go to the same places to shop, watch the same shows, etc.
Well, hello, yes. Much of this is driven by routines but by prices, selections, availability, health, and convenience. My breakfast, for example, is usually oatmeal. How it’s flavored varies. I add different fruits and nuts to it, or raisins, or peanut butter, or sometimes all of it. Yogurt with granola stands as an infrequent breakfast alternative. Once in a while, probably once a month, I’ll buy a breakfast burrito from a store. Once in a while, maybe every other month, I’ll have a doughnut or pastry for breakfast.
These things, though are driven by nutrition, taste, cost, availability, and convenience. I used to make and eat other things for breakfast. Metabolism changes, life style changes, and weight gain all started nixing how often I do that, along with convenience and laziness. Making a more elaborate breakfast (besides being pricier) is time consuming, and there’s cleaning up afterward.
Boy, I sound defensive, don’t I? But they’re right: we shop at the same seven places for our groceries when we go out. Those seven: Shop N’ Kart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, The Food Co-op, Market of Choice, Bi-Mart and Albertson’s. They’re all within a twenty-minute drive. They have decent prices. The food quality is good. We’re checked out places, but these are the ones we trust.
Enough whining. On to the music. Today’s theme song is “Sowing the Seeds of Love” by Tears for Fear, 1989. Don’t ask me why; it came into my head this morning, and I had no reason to not select it.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. We’re still a few weeks from being eligible for the vaccination, ourselves. Here’s the tune. Enjoy.