Zerofloof

Zerofloof (floofinition) 1. The first animal in a person’s life.

In use: “Despite going on to share life with a dozen more felines, Jade was forever the zerofloof, and she left her mark in ways no other could touch.”

2. A place or period when no animals are in one’s life.

In use: “He endured zerofloof twice and vowed after the second that he’d never be zerofloof again, because having a dog companion, someone to walk and talk with, someone he absolutely trusted, didn’t need to be experienced when there were so many beautiful dogs out there, waiting for the right person and home.”

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Another new day has arrive, just twenty-four hours after the last one. I think we’ll call this one…Merlin. If not Merlin, then Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Sol came creeping over the Ashland hills and mountains at 6:55 AM and is now bathing us with warming sunlight. Watch for Sol to slip away around 7:35 PM. Temps yesterday didn’t get as rosy as promised as we struggled to break 55 degrees F. Claims are out that we’ll strike seventy plus today. We’ll see.

We’ve been watching and enjoying NG’s third season of Genius. This year is all about Aretha Franklin. After finishing the episode about the 1972 two-day recording sessions for her Gospel album, Amazing Grace, we again watched the 2018 documentary about making it, for comparison. Robert Altman was on hand filming it back in the day. Technical difficulties prevented it from being completed. When it was finished, Aretha Franklin would not allow it to be released. It stayed on the shelf until after she passed. Then Spike Lee took it up and brought it the public.

Comparisons between the fictionalized events and the real thing were illuminating. To us, the Genius series attempted to show a larger schism between Aretha and her father, Rev. Franklin, than what existed. Just seems that way but we could be wrong, given the small windows which we use to witness their relationship. It was a treat watching and hearing such a talented person sing. though. What a voice.

That delivers us to today’s theme music. While thinking about Aretha Franklin, I recalled one of her later hits. I realized that her 1985 song, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” is perfect for this era of Zooming meetings, exercise classes, birthdays, weddings, and the many other gatherings we’ve been stopped from doing in person. I’m not the first to recognize that. The comment section is full of others calling this the Zooming anthem.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and keep on Zoomin’. Cheers

Yallerfloof

Yallerfloof(floofinition) – 1. Foof slang for yellow animal.

In use: “Many people call Papi a ginger cat but Michael always thought of him as a yallerfloof.”

2. Archaic expression for an animal who likes talking or singing about everything.

In use: “The little puppy began life under hard conditions, becoming a yallerfloof early on, a state he never left as he was adopted and found a home, singing about birds and animals in ‘his’ yard, happily barking when his people appeared, and joyfully yipping when he was about to be fed.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Ahoy. Today is Tuesday, March 30, 2021. It’s also national I Am in Control Day in the United States, a holiday to honor Alexander Haig’s famous declaration after President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. The sun broke over the horizon at 6:57 AM in Ashland, and is the world’s rotation is expected to turn us away from it at 7:34 PM. Weather-wise, I’m peering at blue sky as far west as my eyes can see. Sunshine paints everything in view. Although it’s 36 degrees F now, we expect to chip into the seventies today.

Speaking of the seventies, a line from “Mexican Radio” by Wall of Voodoo (1983) was mentioned on another blog that I read yesterday. My brain snapped onto it like a hungry cat stealing a piece of chicken. It (my brain, not the cat, chicken, or blog) has been singing the song to me all yesterday afternoon, continuing the serenade this AM. Let me put an end to this by offering it to others to hear and sing. Not a bad song, although it’s a little repetitious. Most pop/rock songs feature a bit of repetition, though. Give it a listen, see what you think. I’d never seen the video before — was outside of America in 1983 and 1984, and we didn’t receive music channels on our television services — so this is a first for me.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax (if you can figure out if you’re eligible, not so easy to sometimes do as information changes; after forty-five minutes of discussion and study this morning, we concluded we’re still not eligible).

Mom’s Call

I’d just been saying to my wife, “Getting hold of Mom is so hard.”

“Why?” She was peering over her glasses, typing on her computer. She’s always doing that – or reading or bathing (much time is spent in the bathtub reading) – so I’m not bothered by bothering her.

“She doesn’t text, or answer emails. I don’t think she checks her email every day or even every other day. She says she’s going to call back, but she doesn’t. She leaves a number but she doesn’t answer it. It doesn’t even go to her email.” I shook my head, dismayed by the recitation. Mom lives a continent away. Visiting her is a challenge. It’s rural on both ends. Rural meaning, no airports within an hour. Rural, meaning the flights to the nearest airport means travel days that begin and end in darkness on either end.

I’d just been saying/thinking these things when the phone rang. Suspicious of telemarketers – they’re focused on car warranties right now (meanwhile, I’m receiving solicitations about being cremated or getting my hearing tested in the mail) – I checked the number. “Mom’s number,” I said, answering the phone.

Hello was exchanged and I began my opening remarks. “How are you? I’ve been calling since you last called but I don’t get any answer.”

“Your father is dead.”

“Really?” Suspicions reared up. “You told me that three times before.”

“Twice. The other time was him.”

“No, he told you that he committed suicide.”

“It was a note.”

“Still, you called me and told me Dad was dead.”

“I thought he was.”

“That he’d killed himself.”

“I thought he had.”

I left the office to wander the house, a nervous habit I had when talking with Mom. “Even though there wasn’t a body.”

“I thought he was being thoughtful and had gone off and killed himself in the woods. He’s really dead this time.”

“Is there a body this time?”

“Yes.”

“I think I need third-party verification.”

“Your sister is here.”

“Which one?”

“Debby.”

“Debby? Really?”

“Yes, she came up to see us. She and the boys drove up. The got here last Thursday. She’s staying in the spare room. Her boys are staying with Jean. I think Jean got the better deal.”

“Probably.”

“Do you want to talk to her? She’ll tell you that your Dad is dead.”

I stopped at the living room back window. A blue jay was screeching in the back yard. Our black cat watched from atop a sunny knoll. “No, I don’t trust Debby any more than you.”

“I understand.”

I changed hands and thought. “What about my other sisters?”

“They’re not here.”

“Have you told them?”

“Yes. Jean is at work. She’s coming over when she gets off, after she picks up the boys. The boys are going to school from home. Rooming.”

“Zooming.”

“That’s what I said.”

“Is anyone there with them?”

“Yes, of course, Dibo.”

“Is he sober?”

“He says he is. Jean doesn’t have any alcohol in the house any longer. Dibo drank it all. She won’t let him buy more.”

“Where there’s a credit card, there’s a way.” I was quoting Mom from her previous calls.

“She took his credit cards away from him.”

“What about Jan?”

“I don’t think Dibo is drinking any more. He quit smoking, too, except for medical marijuana. He lost a lot of weight but now he’s gained most of it back.”

“Did you tell Jan?”

Mom hesitated. “No, I didn’t tell Jan.”

“Why not?”

“She has other things that she’s dealing with.”

“What?”

“Well, she got into an argument over a parking space. Apparently, some words were exchanged. Anyway, some people filmed it with their phones. Now they’re calling her Karen and she’s in jail for assault with a shopping cart.”

I sighed, trying to think of a response. I heard water running on the other end. Talking followed. “What’s going on?”

The talking continued. So did the water sounds. “Mom? Hello, Mom? It’s me, your son. You’re on the phone. Hello?”

Changing hands, I walked the house, listening and thinking.

Mom finally said, “Your father’s up. I need to make him dinner. I’ll call you later, okay? I love you, bye.”

She hung up before I replied. Pressing the phone’s off button, I walked back into the office where my wife continued typing.

“Was that your Mom?”

“Yes.”

“How is everything?”

“Dad is still alive. Debby is visiting, Dibo is straight, and Jan is in jail.”

“Same as last time.”

“Yep.” I sat in my office chair and swiveled it to the front window. A heavy sigh rolled up out of my chest. “Some day she’ll accept that Dad divorced her and the others don’t exist.” I always said that. It never happened. I just went along with it all.

“Phone calls will be a lot shorter.”

I stared out the front window, wistfully watching a man and woman walking a dog. They seemed so normal. But so did Mom. “Yes, they will.”

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