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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

A break from insanity.

I started a post last night about the only Senator worth talking about – you know the one – and his stand against the notion that US drones could be used against US citizens.  Well, it didn’t get written.  And you know what?  I had nothing to say that wasn’t completely say-able by anyone else with two ounces of brains in their heads, which amounted to “How could Holder have possibly thought to answer other than simply ‘Oh hell, no.’?”

veeshir over at DPUD is doing more than enough ranting and he’s doing a better job of it, so go here, here, here, and here.  Don’t read his links though, because that pisses him off when you ignore his links and that makes me happy when he gets pissed off.

Pissing veeshir off reminds me… who needs to rotate their owl?

The two have nothing in common, I just thought of them around the same time.

So, since I’ve got nothing to add to my paranoia list from a few days ago other than another paranoia data point, I’ll tell you about last night instead.

I read to my daughter Lemurita nightly.  Some nights we do Girl Genius, other nights Swiss Family Robinson… Poe, Rowling, books about hotels, billionaire kids, girls who go on road-trips with their grandparents… lately it is a story about a mouse, Mrs. Frisby, and her quest to keep her son alive in spite of pneumonia.  She’s a nice mouse, Mrs. Frisby.

On the way, Mrs. Frisby meets up with a rat.  A bunch of them, actually, but the leader is a very smart rat (several are very smart).  The rat got scarily intelligent after he was captured and had experiments done on him that altered his DNA.

I stopped and mentioned to Lemurita that the implication is that the experiments in genetics made permanent changes to these rats, not just like taking antihistamines that only last for hours or maybe a day.  I explained how I think DNA is really really cool… helical, folded on itself many times, copies in every single cell, longer than snot, etc.

Lemurita asked me “So DNA is the stuff that colors your eyes and hair and stuff, right?”

“Oh yeah… height, face, fingers, all that stuff.  And what is so cool is that it is the blueprint that makes you who you are… the blueprint you have in you, some of that genetic material is stuff from Mom, and there is stuff from me there, too.  And that means you have some from your grandparents on both sides and so on.”

Lemurita looks at me curiously and says “I thought I have Mom’s DNA because she gave birth to me…”  (DANGER! DANGER! screamed my feverish brain)  The gears were very obviously turning pretty fast as she processed a whole bunch of bits of information from different sources.  (ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!  Oh Dear Lord… too late… far too late…)

You can see where she was going with this, right?  I wasn’t expecting that one to come up for some time because I keep forgetting that Lemurita is a dangerous quantity.

(BAIL… EJECT… RUUUUUUNNNNN!)

“Uh… yeah… and you have some from me, too… uh.  Ok, look, this is something you really are probably going to want to discuss with MOM, okay?  I really think that you’ll be happier that way.”

My story is “Guys talk to boys about this stuff and broads talk to girls about this stuff”.  I’m sticking to that.  Because down that path lies all sorts of questions Dads just don’t want to contemplate their daughters being old enough to ask.

Ok, tell you what… have a baby chameleon that Cruel Wife sent me:small_chameleon

Ok, now have a dragonlizardthing.

dragonlizardthing

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What is left behind when we’re gone?  What is left behind is shared times and memories.  And with time, and the telling, those memories remain alive.  Those aren’t new sentiments but it doesn’t hurt to say it anyway.

Cruel Wife has some things she wanted me to post, and I will do that shortly.  Since that material is at this moment being written by her, I figured I’d take a moment to say a few words and then tack on her stuff when it is done.  It’s a first – a LK/CW co-authorage.

Here is what I would say.

The last night before her folks left, CW’s dad went out to the trailer to get some rest.  He was tired and I don’t blame him – he did a lot of work on our remodel while I was at work.

BCCFN was talking to CW and somehow the topic of dark matter came up and before I knew it, CW’s mom and I were talking about the Cosmological Constant, dark matter and dark energy, the evidence for a closed universe, background energy… and come to find out, she took it in her head one day to get ahold of some lectures and was working her way through the series.  Should one be surprised at this?  I mean she was a radiochemist for years, and it is obvious she was no dummy, none of her daughters are – all of ’em too intelligent for comfort.  But BCCFN… she was doing all this and studying other topics, was here for seventeen days and only mentioned it at the very end, the very last night.  And my jaw dropped.

There is this brain-metaphor thing that describes the surprise and respect I had after that, and I don’t think I could quite define it.  I’ve been told on several occasions that I do not suffer fools lightly, and the flip side to that coin is I have a great deal of respect for intelligence.  This is not to say I have only value for some number like IQ and that makes for superiority or anything, but it does mean I do place high value on people who have done or do things with gifts that they were given – there’s not a one in CW’s family that isn’t gifted (and kind of dangerous in a battle of wits if you let your guard down).  And BCCFN, as nail-bitingly maddening she could be at times, managed to surprise the hell out of me and gain a measure of respect.  And she never let on.  She was about as humble and self-deprecating as a person could be and didn’t stop being curious.  I was bummed when she decided to go out to bed because the conversation when she relaxed was infinitely more interesting than observations about my salt intake or how much oil I put in the stir fry.

A funny, odd, and ultimately quite interesting duck, my mother-in-law.

Ok, I’ll quit talking now let you read the CW stuff.

Simple, silly attachments.  (Aren’t those usually the best ones?)

As many of you know, I lost my mom today.  It took everyone by surprise.  I thought she’d live another two decades at least, and wondered if she might just outlive us all.  She was in remarkably good health for a 75 year old lady, thus the complete shock.  We are still waiting to find out what happened.  I asked LK to share a story for me.  This how I deal with grief, by writing down my thoughts and memories of the loved one departed.

Just last night, LK and I had been going through boxes we’d stored for years.  We set aside a number of unimportant dishes in one of my boxes freshly emptied of “memories” that I couldn’t remember.  The dishes were slated for the consignment shop.

I took those dishes to the consignment shop this morning despite receiving the bad news.  I needed to “just keep swimming” (for those of you who might be Pixar heathen, that is a quote from “Finding Nemo”).  As I stood at the counter asking the hired help to sell them or donate them (I didn’t really care at that moment), it dawned on me that I was looking at Mom’s handwriting on the side of the box.

“Records,” it said.

I distantly heard the lady asking me if I wanted my box back while my thoughts were speeding me back 25 years.  It was the summer before my freshman year in college.  I remember scrounging everywhere for packing boxes, and I still didn’t have enough.  I asked Mom if she had any extra.  I distinctly remember her telling me “Well, these are some of my GOOD apple boxes…but I guess you can have them.”  She gave up several of her long-term storage boxes so that I’d have a place to put my childhood memorabilia.  The box in my hands had been with me for the last 25 years, keeping my childhood treasures safe. Still bearing the title “Records” on the lid and the inner box, written in Mom’s handwriting.  I had to keep that box.

I returned home several hours later.  Never had a shopping trip been so painful, looking for a dress suitable for Mom’s funeral.  As I went in the house, it slowly dawned that I didn’t have the box.  The whimsical desire to save the box suddenly became urgent.  I kept telling myself “It’s just an apple box, for pete’s sake.  If its gone, its gone.”  Still, I got in the car again and backtracked to the consignment shop, only to find it closed.  The lights were still on, though, so I knocked on the door.  I was lucky; the owner was still there.  Lo and behold, she still had my box, too.  Undamaged.  You would have thought I’d found something very special to my mom rather than an empty cardboard box.  To me, I did.  A precious memory of her had returned to me because of that box.  It might be a mundane and largely inconsequential grocery produce box, but it was given to my by a dear lady 25 years ago as she launched me into my adult life.  That makes it precious.

My mother would be flabbergasted by the importance this silly box has taken on today.  All the same, I’m thankful to have it back.  My childhood treasures are going back into that box, to be safely stored (God willing) for the next 25 years of my life.  Then again, who knows?  In 10 to 12 years, Lemurita and Hacker-boy will be getting ready to embark on the next stage of their journeys.  Maybe it will be my turn to donate one of MY good apple boxes to the cause.  If so, they’ll get more than a storage box.  They will get this story, too.

God bless you all and thank you for the well wishes.

CW

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Update:  The next installment of A Lemur’s Life (or whatever I’m calling it these days) will be “Driving to Michigan with a Drugged Cat in the Truck”.  That’s a long-ish one and honestly will take some consultation with Cruel Wife to get part of the details right.

****

Ok, here’s the deal.

Dad always said “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

What he really meant was “If you ask me something, be damn sure you want to know what I really think, because that’s all you’re going to get.”  Sonofagun stuck to that one, too.

I tell Cruel Wife “I want the truth, not what you think I want to hear.”

This is not (not) (NOT) (NOT) a fishing for compliments expedition – that’s a waste of your time and mine.  Comments are welcome, compliments only if they’re deserved, and tell me what I need to hear if you comment – got it?   I hate wasted effort.   Even if you don’t think I should do it now or ever, let me know why, m’kay.  Seriously.  It’s honest feedback that makes one grow.  I don’t know a single person who improved based on only good warm-fuzzies.  Trust me, I will not take it personally – it’s a favor you’re doing me.

*****

Yay!  My troll got pissy!

Warning:  Strong Content for More Sensitive Readers – Obscene Troll Advisory.

Well, Oldcatman was very very upset when I picked up my ball and went home.

Who would like to hear what his last two comments that were that were picked up in my spam filter?

Very predictable…..you deleted my last comment…good for you.

The only thing I regret with these various tit for tat comment wars is I’D LOVE TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH YOU ALL……with an aluminum bat in my hands.

About helping people, I spent nearly 50 years helping people in health care.

See ya, sport.

-Oldcatman, whose unoriginality with the parting shot misses the mark about as much as his threats of physical violence

Hmmm.  Glad to see you took the high road on that one.  You in the health care biz?.  This is where the “thousands” of people who love you come from?  A sweetheart like you?  Oh, please.  I would sooner eat broken glass than have a person like you take care of me

Guess what, Oldcatman?  I didn’t delete you out of fear – I wasn’t afraid of what you’d say but because, seriously – you’re lame.  I mean really really sad.  You followed me from someone else’s blog because you decided you didn’t like me.  Did you seriously think I’d spend a lot of time listening to your brand of drug-addled lunacy here at my place?

Quick show of hands, folks.

Already a sorry excuse for a human being, you descended to your next lower level.

**** YOU AND ALL YOU REPRESENT……..

(To be deleted)

Oldcatman, in the last permanent thing he’ll utter on my blog unless he’s such a limp member that he spoofs an e:mail address

Guess what, sport?  I didn’t delete that one, either in spite of the rapier wit contained within it.

Note:  The “sport” was my line originally, not his.

I will delete anything you say from here on out so save your energy.

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