Saturday, March 14, 2009

Random Stuff

Rough Weather, by Robert B. Parker, was up to the man's usual standards. One tends to get through a Parker novel pretty quickly because he doesn't waste a lot of words on flowery descriptions of things. He describes crisply, yet still leaves a complete image in your mind. I'm now deeply into Justice Denied by J.A. Jance, also one of my favorite authors. I'll let you know how that one turns out (no, I'm not going to give away the ending!).

Once upon a time I knew how to play backgammon. Remember backgammon? It was all the rage for a while, back in the last century. I went so far as to buy a backgammon board. I bought this board after my friend Louise in Savannah taught me how to play. I was terrible at it and lost every game I played with her. Then I went back to Charleston, where I started playing every day at lunch with my friend and coworker David. David’s manual for learning the game was titled Backgammon for Blood, so you can imagine how I fared with him as an opponent. However, I persisted and eventually I got to where I was a match for David. Then I went to Savannah to visit with Louise again. We went out to a bar that had numerous backgammon boards for the customers. I played Louise, her husband, and my date (whose name I can’t remember and who cares anyway), all of them expecting me to lose, but I cleaned their clocks. It was great. Thank you, David.

My sister says that a truly cultured person is one who can listen to the William Tell Overture and NOT think of the Lone Ranger. Now I don't flatter myself by thinking that I am truly cultured, but I can sit in a concert hall with the orchestra blasting out that great piece of music without thinking of the Lone Ranger. I think the key is hearing it live at full concert volume.

Gratuitous cat picture:

Dashiell, a.k.a. Bubba

My friend Genie, on her blog Telling Stories, wrote about her fear of strange dogs. (Please check out her blog; she tells good stories.) She wrote it with some humor, but an encounter with a strange dog is a serious thing. Sometimes an encounter with a familiar dog is a scary thing. When I was 18, I was bitten by a friend's dog. He just snapped once, but he got a vein on the inside of my thigh. Blood was spurting all over the place and my friend and her family rushed me to the emergency room, where they cleaned and bandaged the wound. For years after that I was afraid of all animals: dogs, cats, cows, horses, rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, and the occasional frog. Later, when I was in college, I met Bear, a huge black lab. I was taking a stagecraft class and the class met in a theater workshop. Norman, the teacher, brought Bear with him everywhere. I was assured that Bear would not be biting off chunks of my anatomy. So I got used to him and petted him and told him he was a sweet doggie. One day in class I felt something on my arm and when I looked at it I had a moment of panic: Bear was holding my arm in his mouth. I jerked my arm away, but I had felt no pressure, no aggression, so I got over it. Then on another day I got to class early. Nobody was there but Norman and Bear. Bear started barking at me, and grabbing at my pants leg with his teeth. I panicked for real this time, and screamed at Norman, who came running and then started laughing. "He just wants to play," Norman said. And that did it. I lost my fear. I don't know why. Maybe Bear was just trying to show me that not all animals are dangerous. We became good buddies. Bear has passed into doggie heaven now but I will always remember him. I still have a healthy respect for dogs, but I have gotten over fearing them. I won't go to a strange dog and pet it, but friends' dogs are welcome to all the petting I can give them.

I found the most wonderful website: San Diego Zoo. I found the site because I was wondering how much a baby elephant weighs (don't ask me why). I googled it and The San Diego Zoo site came up (not first; I had to wade through a few others). FYI: the average weight of a baby elephant, at birth, is 232 pounds. The website has lots of pictures of the animals there at the Zoo along with plenty of information about each type of critter. They even have videos. The information is very well-written, the pictures are clear and illustrative, and the videos are beautifully shot. I could spend hours at that site.

I went to a party. Yes, friends, there was booze. By the end of the evening even our hostess was pretty snockered. I, on the other hand, was driving, so I had my two-drink limit and then changed to water for the rest of the evening. Here you see some of the activity that went on. For some reason (drink, perhaps?) Julie was asking everybody their shoe size. She has pretty long feet and Joe (on the right) was trying to try on one of Julie's cowgirl boots. Because Julie has skinny feet, Joe was not able to get his foot in the boot. But this is the sort of thing that goes on at a party where there is white sangria as well as red sangria, beer, and pomegranate margaritas. I would show you some faces, but I don't have permission (truth be told, I didn't even ask). Perhaps it was funnier in person.

Things are blooming. Like this dogwood in a neighbor's yard. There are also daffodils, redbuds, azaleas, apple trees, and other things. Some of the azaleas around town are in full bloom, but ours are just getting started, so I don't have a good picture of them.

The pansies are abloom as well, although they will grow in the winter. Wait! It's still winter, isn't it? I suppose they'll still be blooming next week when spring arrives.

Thanks for stopping by. Comments are always welcome. As a blogger, I think comments are half the fun.


Bridget said...

This was a fun post, and the kitty picture is so sweet!

Thanks also for the flower pictures, especially the daffodils. I have been looking for some daffodils, and haven't been able to find them anywhere - what's that about??

Theresa said...

So you've been boozing it up, trying on stranger's shoes, and reading. And NOT being afraid of dogs. Damn Marie, I'm proud of you.
I think your dogwood picture just made me sneeze.
btw, my verification word is midgelsk. How strange . . .

Genie said...

Thanks for the nod to my blog -- I hope to post again in a day or so -- been in FL. What a horrid dog experience you had; I'm glad you met Bear.


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