Floof-si-do

Floof-si-do (floofinition) – a figure in which a human and animal pass each other foot (human) to shoulder (animal) or head, and circle each other as the pet tries for the human’s attention, and the human tries not to step upon or kick the animal.

In use: “He had a full plate of cheese and crackers in his hand, but that didn’t stop his pet from initiating a little kitchen floof-si-do.”

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My New Holiday

I’ve decided that a new holiday is in order. Don’t worry, it’s a personal holiday. It shouldn’t affect you.

(“Then why do I care?” you respond. “Well,” I reply, “maybe you’ll want to adopt my holiday after you read about it. Maybe you’ll want to have your own personal holiday. You can, you know.”)

National holidays are often so impersonal for me any longer. Commercialization, false patriotism, and cynicism have ground them down. Yeah, I get some credit for all that.

I was watching QI on BritBox the other night. As part of the program, Sandi Toksvig told about a Bolivian holiday, the Day of the Sea. A landlocked nation, Bolivia remembers the day they lost access to the sea. Here’s a little history about it from Boliviabella.com.

What initially detonated the conflict was Bolivia’s intention to charge a 10-cent tax per 100-pounds of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) harvested by Chilean companies in the Atacama Desert. The Chilean government did not accept this Bolivian decision and ordered its troops to invade the Bolivian regions of Antofagasta and Calama, where Bolivia had no military presence and most of the population was of Chilean descent.

It is because of the Battle of Calama that today we celebrate the Day of the Sea. With just under a hundred soldiers, Commanders Eduardo Abaroa (Bolivian) and Ladislao Cabrera (Peruvian) faced over 500 Chilean soldiers. Abaroa was obstinately defending a small bridge over the Topáter River, when on the 23rd of March 1879 the Chileans ordered him to surrender. His response was “Me, surrender? Tell your grandmother to surrender!” after which he was promptly shot dead.

I was instantly inspired. No, I wasn’t planning to shot anyone nor get shot or go to war. Let’s put all that to rest.

I love beaches, seas, and oceans. When I lived in California, my wife and I made a habit of visiting a little town, Half Moon Bay, almost every weekend. Situated on the Pacific coast south of San Francisco, it had wonderful beach access. Walking along the beach was permitted, and the town had restaurants, coffee shops, and book stores that we enjoyed. When it came to buy a house, we decided we’d buy one there. Hearing and smelling the ocean every day was wonderful. I’d get home from work and walk down there to check it out. Sometimes my wife would accompany me.

Moving to Ashland in southern Oregon meant giving up easy beach and ocean access. So, last night I decided to celebrate my beach and ocean addiction on a personal holiday once a year. Since I moved to Ashland in July, I decided my holiday will be on July first.

And like the people of Bolivia, I’ll stop doing everything and listen to the sounds of the oceans for ten minutes, and remember.

 

The Truth

He repeated something that his wife had told him. “I never said that,” she said before anyone else could speak.

Indignation rose. Yes, you did, he began to say, but considered, maybe he’d heard it wrong. Maybe he was mis-remembering. Or maybe she’d said it wrong. Perhaps she didn’t remember saying it, or the people that told her had told her wrong. Or maybe she’d incorrectly remembered what she’d been told and then told him wrong, but didn’t remember it.

The only way to resolve this would be record and index everything so that he could go back and know exactly what was said. 

Yeah, right. Who had time for that?

He smiled. “Sorry. I guess I got it wrong.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is a surprising turn for me. I blame my dreams.

I had a cluster of dreams last night that shared the theme of saving. I saved some people and animals in a few dreams, but I was also saved, most memorably once by a Jack Russell terrior. The dog led me out of what appeared to be a benign situation. After I thanked him, he left.

Keeping with the weirdness of all that, I awoke thinking, “And it said so in my dreams.” I immediately knew that line from “Candida”, a hit song by Tony Orlando and Dawn back in July 1970. I never had one of their albums, but they were immensely popular in the early seventies. That popularity translated to a lot of AM and FM radio play and appearances on television shows — or did the radio play and appearances on television shows lead to immense popularity? Either way, I heard them often. Pop culture tends to be like that.

Once Again

Fabulous of writing like crazy. Started early, didn’t take my dog. Don’t have one. Sorry. Didn’t take any of my cats, either.

I know, I know, you weary of reading these self-congratulatory blog posts. I don’t blame you. I weary of writing them.

But, publicly celebrating small successes isn’t something that I do well. To others, I continue a Sphinx imitation. “How’s your writing going?” they ask. “Good, thanks,” I reply. Smile for effect.

But what am I going to tell them? So I turn to this as an outlet, the carrot with which to beat myself as part of my encouragement. Did you know that many writers write alone? I am one of them. Because of that, writing can be a lonely but satisfying endeavor.

You don’t need to read this, but I need to write this. I need to post it and publish it. It’s all part of confronting and pushing myself. It works for me.

Done writing like crazy. Let’s go for a walk to think about what’s been done and what’s to come.

Mixed

You understand the expression, “mixed blessings”? Or do you know, “bittersweet” or prefer, “good and bad”. That’s how it is for us as we’re mourning and celebrating.

Our favorite book store is closing down. Yes, The Bookwagon will no longer be, and we’ll no longer see Karl.

We’d been suspicious that something like this was happening. We know some personal stuff that’d happened to Karl that I don’t wish to share. His hours had become erratic. He seemed worn, tired, and preoccupied. Suspecting he might be closing the doors on his business a few weeks ago, we asked him. He said, “No.”

Perhaps the situation has changed. Perhaps Karl was trying not to close but has changed his mind. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… He enjoys reading books and being a bookseller. Closing the book store is the bad, the bitter, the depressing part of my initial rhetorical question.

On the other end, books are all being discounted, and we have a substantial from buying books and then trading them in for credit. Consequently, we bought six books, including three hard backs and one new book, and paid three dollars and seventy-five cents.

So, that’s great. We have reading material on hand should we get snowed in. (Well, we always have several stacks of books to be read and a few being read, and several that we enjoy so much that we keep them on hand to read again. Not having a book on hand wasn’t actually a problem.)

I’d rather, though, have Karl and The Bookwagon open rather than saving a few dollars on a book. We have three months to collect more books and say our good-byes, and he said that he’ll still be around.

You know that it won’t be the same.

An Hour

9:35

The temperature was thirty-five F.

Dazzling sunshine streamed in through the windows.

Plans were made.

9:45 

Thick, glistening snowflakes tumbled down. Gaining momentum and volume, they soon curtained the landscape and smothered the ground.

10:15

It looked like a blizzard.

Plans were re-arranged.

10:30

Snow no longer fell.

Dripping sounds from melting snow filled the air.

10:35

Little snow covered the ground. Some still covered roofs.

Light gray clouds swarmed across the sky. Sunshine splashed through.

The temperature was thirty-five F.

Plans were re-arranged.

 

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