June 28, 2013

Not the Greatest Day That Ever Was*


But hellcritters are all crapping solid** so it could be a lot worse.  I was saying wearily to a friend recently that it’s a little pathetic when the height of your aspirations are that your critters crap solid and keep eating but . . . life is like that sometimes.

The weather’s  gone all thick and clammy-hot and muggy and horrid, with enough rain to wet down you and your hurtleable creatures but not really enough to do your garden any good, although you’ll get soaked brushing through wet leaves trying to bring top-up cans of water to various and sundry.***  I had approximately zero sleep last night, worrying, which is just so useful and intelligent.  The thing is that your freak-out mode eventually gets stuck on and there you are twitching like the eveready bunny, your adrenals resemble exploded balloons and you’re having trouble remembering your name, let alone your phone number.†

Which is my excuse for bottling out of singing for Oisin yet again today.  I’ve missed several weeks of my cup of musical tea on Friday afternoons for the standard recent reasons plus Oisin occasionally has to play for an inconveniently scheduled wedding.  But here I’m singing like mad this week. I’ve learnt three new songs.  THREE.  Am I overcompensating for the frelling German lied?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Or you could say fleeing in terror with a few adrenaline tatters adding depth to my tone.  Also they’re only little folk songs.††  Still, you know, THREE.†††  But with reference to Nadia needing to reset me every Monday lately . . . by Friday afternoon, even without any comprehensive anatomic tightening-up experiences like a sudden outbreak of domestic geysering I’ve slipped a lot from the level Nadia had vellicated me to the previous Monday.  I, you know, squeak.  Insomnia tends to be fairly squeaky too.  So Oisin and I merely discussed the state of the world‡ and music.‡‡

But I paid for this lack of moral fibre.  I tried to go to the evening prayer at the monks’ tonight and the door to the chapel was locked.

* * *

* Although there’s a seriously long afterglow to some recent news.  Which makes a change.  We’re all up on DOMA and Wendy Davis, yes?





Although ugly reality will apparently re-intrude soon in Texas


I’m one of those who believes that big noisy symbolic acts are worth making.  Self-righteous self-absorbed Republican white boy ****heads mouthing that their abortion bill is to protect women makes me puke on my own shoes.

** So far.  Two hours to midnight and there’s always tomorrow.  Also Chaos has decided that dinner is not to his liking.  ARRRRRGH.  I’m 95% sure he’s just being a 100% jerk, but I can still do without it.  Remind me why I have dogs.

Skating librarian

In defense of cats … I am reading a book called Cat Whisperer . . . her point is that cats’ emotional make up doesn’t include vengeance, but does include anxiety and stress and a need to defend one’s territory with marking.

She has also studied the lives of various wild cats and thinks many of us make the mistake of judging cats in comparison to dogs, an animal genetically programed to a very different way of life and much longer domesticated. As a cat behaviorist she apparently has considerable success in knowing what will make puss happy and training humans to provide it. If it saves kitties from abandonment, more power to her.

It is possibly worth remembering that I write the blog late at night when brain cell function is low.  And while I am certainly cranky even when I’ve been getting enough sleep for the last several months, some of my more provocative statements are from failure to express myself clearly and not from a desire to poke anyone in the eye with a sharp stick.^  I believe individuals, human and critter, are fully capable of malice and vengeance.  My first whippet, Rowan, never forgave me^^ for bringing her overseas to a new house, a new country, and a new situation where she was a dog among dogs.  She didn’t have the sweetest, most wonderful personality to begin with^^^ and she spent most of her last fifteen years trying to make me pay.  I’d say my friend’s cat who threw up along the row of LPs had a pretty good idea that she was being ultimately annoying.  But to call cats or dogs as a species ‘malicious’ or ‘vengeful’ is clearly nonsense.  You can also reverse ‘ . . . thinks many of us make the mistake of judging cats in comparison to dogs . . . ’ which has indeed been more my experience:  writers or fantasy writers or the writers I’ve known run more to cats.

As I did manage to say last night, it’s what the human caretaker is willing or able to put up or negotiate with, when the local critters start acting out or falling from the grace of perfect health.

^ Happy to poke anyone in the eye who wants to take abortion rights away from women however.

^^ See:  if you want stubborn, GET A SIGHTHOUND.

^^^ She was one of those arguments against backyard breeders.  Sigh.

*** Bad language not really optional.

† When I moved over here I adopted the British habit of repeating the last three digits of your phone number when you answer the phone.  Lately I’ve gone back to ‘hello’.

††And Beethoven, Haydn, Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten all set folk songs.  So hmmph.

††† Plus Linden Lea, speaking of Vaughan Williams.

‡ Oisin’s wife’s sister and husband are visiting.  The husband wandered through the kitchen while Oisin was making tea and I was knitting.  This is a piano lesson? said the husband.  Piano and voice, actually, I said, still knitting.

‡‡ It bothers me you never see or hear anyone singing just to be singing any more.  When I was a kid you did:  your mother sang, your neighbour sang, the school bus driver sang.  They may not have sung very well (especially the bus driver) but you knew what they were doing and it wasn’t all that weird.  Now the only time you see or hear anyone singing in public is a mum (or occasionally dad) to a little kid.  Mostly people are plugged into their iPods.  Now some of those people are listening to ANNA KARENINA or the podcast of Cardiff Singer of the World.  But some of them are plugged in because it doesn’t occur to them not to be plugged in.


Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.