Friday, January 25, 2019

Family Idioms and Other Musings

I don't know if all families have phrases unique to them or not. I thought I'd share a few that we use  - no copyright infringement worries, feel free to take whatever works for you.

Ear read - to listen to an audiobook.  My wife coined that phrase several years ago.

Cat follow - to be on your way to another part of your house while the cat moseys in front, zig-zagging at regular intervals so you can't pass.  This is not an issue if you're heading for their food bowls, you'll find them waiting for you when you arrive and chastising you for taking so long.  The phrase could also be applied to someone sightseeing in front of you on a crowded sidewalk when you're trying to get to an appointment.

Spank up - to get your act together.  This one came from our older granddaughter when she was about two.  If her dad was not performing to her liking when he was her 'horsey' we'd hear "Spank up Daddy!"  I'm speculating a bit on the definition because said granddaughter, now in her twenties, has no recollection of saying it much less knowing what she meant.

Whip around - usually said at the dinner table, as in "Whip around and grab the ketchup."  Who remembers when 'catsup' was the accepted spelling of that condiment?

Cat bound - the condition obtained when one or more of your feline masters decides to use you as a bed, bathtub, or place to sit and converse face to face.  On the upside, being in this condition absolves you from procuring another cup of coffee for your spouse.  On the downside, it's a given that once you have relaxed into this position, your bladder issues an urgent call for relief.

There are likely several more that my aging brain cannot regurgitate now.

Speaking of cats (we were, weren't we), I'm sitting, feet on the ottoman Carol bought for my birthday several years ago, a cat—Elvis—curled up in my lap, waiting for the fire I started in the fireplace to actually become a fire rather than a suggestion of one.  When Elvis curls up this way,
with his paw over his nose, he snores.  While I was writing this he had a short dream—apparently chasing something.  He is 19 years old with arthritic hips and hasn't chased anything in years, but he dreams about it.  We are aging together but he, being a cat, is far more aware of his limitations than his aging  human servant.  Said servant incurred another stairway related injury last Saturday.  The few of you who are my readers may recall the last one as I tried to take a heavy reclining chair downstairs—The post is titled Not Even Close if you wish to refresh your memory.

The current incident didn't involve a full staircase this time, merely four or five steps from a bicycle shop where I went to retrieve our bicycles after their tuneups.  The rather ingenious stairway is half steps and half ramp so one can roll the bicycle down while walking beside it.  In the hands of most folks a fairly easy task.

 I blame my left-handedness for making it otherwise for like most things in our world, the described platform is geared toward righties.  Not being one of them I took my bike through the door in a position that would have had me on the ramp and the machine on the steps.  In an attempt to rectify the situation, while on my way down rather than at the landing before the descent, the bike and I got tangled causing me to swan dive over it and land on my head on the sidewalk.  Meanwhile one of the pedals and my left ankle (yes the same one that suffered injury in my last stairway adventure) met and the metal edge of said pedal carved up the ankle a bit.

A trip to the Vassar ER to be mended and medicated and ultimately released, followed.  I'm mending quite well and there appears to be no permanent damage to anything other than my pride.  I have a mild concussion and a funky looking scrape and cut on my head and stitches in my lower left leg, but all is well.

I think I got here comparing the sensible way my cat is aging compared to the way I try to ignore my own years.  Anyway, it's been an interesting week.

Until next time,
Namaste







Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why We Are Where We Are (Maybe)

I've often thought that one of the biggest US errors, of many, was allowing TV cameras to broadcast the workings of congress live.  With 535 people, many with enormous egos, given access to ears and eyes outside their chambers, opportunities for rational debates on issues often  turn into political posturing.  A wonderful close friend remarked a few days ago, after attending Congressman Antonio Delgado's swearing in ceremony, this about Senator Chuck Schumer, "... I am so glad to report that he was so great and funny and relaxed and not at all like he is on TV!!! I wish he could do that more often."

Need I say more?  No, but I probably will.

We are now experiencing the petulant child we elected president refusing to let the government run until he is assured funding for his absurd wall.  The part of this that I find most disturbing is the ability of one person, Mitch McConnell, to stall a veto proof majority vote to reopen the government simply by refusing to allow it.  WTF?  If one person can stop the legislative process, where is our representative democracy?  I don't understand.  The US Constitution assures us that the branches of government created by the document are co-equal bodies.  Why then does McConnell await the child's permission to move the government along?  And why has the Senate not replaced this man with someone who cares about the USA?  Is there no way the Senate majority can say "This man is not serving to lead; let's replace him."?

This old crotchety concerned citizen wants to know.