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Like sands through the hourglass…these are the ducks of our lives.
Penguin, the beautiful little duckling, died yesterday under the rump of his mother and shells of his sisters and brothers. In his short little life, he managed to miraculously escape the pen twice. While apparently easy to find a way out of the pen, finding the way back in proved problematic for Penguin. After each escape he stood outside the pen peeping like crazy, as if the rest of the ducks were free and he was the prisoner. Both times he was rescued from the great beyond and delivered back to his mama’s nest, only to have his mother deliver him to the Great Beyond.
The day he died another baby hatched. It was a terrible sight to behold, really. Blind, contorted, and slimy, it looked like something you’d see hatching in a monster movie – like a baby dragon or something. The creature’s stick-neck was folded at an improbable angle and one tremulous leg kept working the shell open a little at a time. The bird’s dinosaur lineage was quite evident in his appearance.
Meanwhile, not to be undone by Kiki, P. Recious Rainbow has built a new nest right next to hers and plopped down numerous eggs of her own. There the two sit quacking out the duck version of Dueling Banjos. Or maybe it’s the duck version of a dance-off…which would be a lay off?
Mistletoes is standing on Kiki in that picture because she was running to me, her champion protector. As the youngest female, she is tormented relentlessly by the boys. Every time I catch them trying to gang rape her I chase after the boys clapping at them and yelling mean things about how I might become a carnivore again if they don’t leave her alone. So now she has the habit of running TO me when they’re after her.
El-D took issue with last week’s post in which I highlighted the rationale behind “His & Hers” seedlings.
It seems I got something wrong.
Apparently, this happens a lot.
I confess, not too long ago I wrote about his awesome Amish Friendship Rolls. Afterwards, Dear Readers, I was informed that I had deceived you. Please realize this wasn’t an intentional deceit. He made Amish Friendship Bread the week before the roll incident. I saw warm steam rising from fresh baked goods and I went crazy. In my feeding frenzy I shouted the good news of great joy from my bloggy version of the highest mountain.
Except I shouted it all wrong.
They were yeast rolls people. YEAST ROLLS!
I’m sorry if the error offends your sensibilities.
And here I stand wrong again.
El-D does not, in fact, require “an intricate mix of dirt samples taken from various points in the yard.”
During the chaos of moving somehow this detail managed to escape my radar.
That means that all last summer as I was writing about stuff like the practice of letting go, I had no idea the dirt from my former life had followed me to this one.
When I heard this I had a momentary existential crisis: Is my whole life a lie?
Then after meditating on it awhile I recalled the words of a great yogi:
I have affixed to me the dust and dirt of countless ages…who am I to disturb history?
…and now I’m happily back to everything being right-wrong.
The purpose of this post is to antagonize the Elitest Jerk, who had the gall to laugh at me when she saw how OCD I am about Moo Moo’s training. In full disclosure, it’s true, I have a ridiculously tall stack of dog training books and I have been keeping a journal documenting the data from our daily trials in obnoxious detail. When I justified this admittedly peculiar behavior by explaining that ”I can’t help it – it’s the scientist in me” she just laughed harder and told her mom, who also laughed at me.
I have no idea what is so funny. Afterall, I DO have a Ph.D. I am a scientist! And as such, I am amassing evidence that my little Moon Pie is smarter than her Cupcake. In conclusion, I have three videos documenting the brilliance of Moo Moo. I leave you with the words of Bernadette of the Big Bang Theory, “…get a doctorate. I have one; they’re great.”
Last night a crowd of crazy cat ladies (and men) descended upon the Memphis Brooks Museum for the Internet Cat Video Festival.
While a DJ blasted tunes like The Siamese Cat Song and The Meow Mix Song, attendees prowled around the lobby in leopard print skirts and cat ear headbands. We purred happily over sparkly feline baubles as we lapped at our ”furballs” - a pink concoction involving rum, coconut milk, cranberry juice, and whip cream.
Then came the main attraction: internet cat videos.
Internet cat video aficionados (Yes, aficionados. I get to use my fancy words because we were at a museum) had already viewed many of these videos at home (or at work). But gathering together to watch these videos in a theatre packed with like-minded individuals lended the whole affair a certain je ne sai quoi in terms of public image. It was validating. High brow even!
It took me back to my belly dancing days on a Costa Rican mountain top when we danced to the beat of thunder pounding on the roof of our pagoda. (That is a true story I have always wanted to tell in an affected British accent at a cocktail party. It would make me sound so much more interesting than I actually am. Sadly, I have never been invited to said cocktail party to tell it. But that’s ok because I’m way too busy at home watching fancy internet cat videos to attend your silly cocktail parties anyway.) One day during my Costa Rica adventure, I sat in a room with 60 other belly dancer women and participated in a three minute laughing meditation. If you have never participated in a group laughing meditation, let me tell you, the first time is incredibly weird. You will be instructed to basically fake it ’til you make it. That’s right – just fake laugh nonstop with everyone else until the silliness of it all carries you into complete hysterics. It’s quite a catharsis really.
At any rate, sitting in the dark laughing for 15 minutes nonstop with crazy cat ladies was just like that but weirder and even more wonderful because there was no fake laughing involved. I watched grown men laugh until they cried over cat antics. And then I laughed until I cried. We all laughed and cried and it was this amazingly beautiful communal experience. It was!
And so I will leave you with a few of my favorite videos from the evening. For best results, make them big screen and gather a few friends (or strangers) to watch. Enjoy!
I’m not sure what my closet says about me, but I had to laugh as I remembered what the Resident Teaologist had to say about it when she walked by…
It looks like either a stripper’s or a drag queen’s closet.
Hm…maybe she’s right.
This might be a bit outside the norm…
Dreams of Goaty Goodness
Spring is around the corner and Goaty Goodness is afoot. I can feel it. My kids are out there somewhere.
El Diablo has in his head that we’re getting a pygmy goat. It’s so cute how he comes up with these wild ideas. He thinks a pygmy will be “less trouble.” He came to this conclusion after listening to tales told one wintery eve by a fellow traveler who had bought goats during what she described as a mid-life crisis. In an attempt to dissuade me from following in her missteps, she told a succession of horror stories about her experiences with her goats. The moral of her story was: get sheep, not goats, because sheep are a lot less trouble.
While I would consider sheep in addition to goats, I can’t consider them a replacement. A mid-life goat crisis is not something that can be lived vicariously. I want to have my own. There is no substitute for Goaty Goodness.
So, I’ve been reading up on goats lately trying to figure out which kind would be the best addition to the farm. I keep coming back to Angora goats. I have an elaborate fantasy of sitting at the spindle and spinning their fur into mohair yarn to dye and knit. Yeah, I know someone has been watching too much Once Upon a Time lately. You can call me Briar Rose. If you’re going to dream, dream big.
Operation Panda Rescue
In other news, Moon Pie is a freakin’ genius. We have been playing a fun new game in which her favorite toy, Panda, is in peril and only she can rescue it. It took her five trials to figure out how to break Panda out of jail. I’ve posted two videos (Trial 2 and Trial 5) of her training below. Trial 2 was an unsuccessful attempt to get Panda free, but it features her stealthy army crawl technique.
Trial 5 demonstrates her brilliance and bravery. Mission accomplished!
The Duck Report
The baby ducks are going through an awkward phase. They are growing all long necked and legged, but they are still too short to scale the pool walls on their own. So yesterday as I was changing their water I had this bright idea: Wouldn’t it be great fun to catch a baby duck and let it go for a swim?
“Fun” is not quite the right word to describe what happened next. Baby ducks run remarkably fast for having such little legs. After chasing ducks all over the pen for a good five minutes, I finally managed to catch Mistletoes. Mistletoes went from cute little peep-peep-peeps to frantic cries of “PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!”
And that’s when P. Recious Rainbow Queen Mother stopped running away and went all “momma bear” on me.
She came barreling at me with lightning in her eyes and malice in her squawking. I guess she called on her pterodactyl ancestry because she somehow transformed herself into a huge winged monster. I stood deer-in-the-headlights frozen by the sight of her as she grabbed a hold of my boot with her ferocious bill and viciously yanked at it. All the while she was flapping and hissing. I was screaming and flailing. Baby duck was PEEP! PEEP! PEEPing.
Moo-moo was out the outside of the pen, going crazy. All of our Panda Rescue Missions had been leading up to this moment. She went barking up a storm, lunging at the pen in an effort to save me from my attacker.
In trying times you learn who has your back…and who does not. While all this was going on, El Diablo was standing outside the pen laughing and fumbling for his iPhone in an effort to video the spectacle. (This is exactly the sort of behavior that earned him the name “The Devil.”) Lucky for me, he didn’t have his phone on him.
Mistletoes did not get to swim in the pool. He was returned to Moma Duck and I got the hell out of there. Getting your ass handed to you by a duck is a humbling experience.
Topic: My Failed Attempt to Warm Leftovers
Me: Well! How am I supposed to know how to work this gadget?
The Devil: It’s not a gadget; it’s the oven.
Topic: Buying cheese for the Devil
Me: Please get the kind of cheese he likes. He wants the mozerella that comes in a wet, soggy ball. Whatever you keep buying offends him.
Indentured Servant (laughing): I’ve been offending him my whole life with my food choices…offending him, and then laughing about it.
Topic: The Rape of Kiki by P. King
Me: …P. King was getting it on with Kiki in the pool. P. King had her by the neck!
Skattur: So? What’s wrong with that?
Me: What’s wrong with that?! …it’s…it’s….horrible! They’re different kinds of ducks! They should be mating with their partners! What if they have mutant babies?! What about poor Hiram? and P. Queen?!
Skattur: They’re ducks! It’s not like they’re different species! What difference does it make?
Indentured Servant: Yeah! Who died and made you the Duck Pimp?
I have been neglecting my SoKaN achivist duties the past few months. You might have noticed by the previous posts, I have been a bit overwhelmed (in wonderful ways).
So much has happened so fast that I feel like my life is going by in dog years. At least six years worth of life have been crammed into the last 10 months. With the arrival of autumn, things are slowly winding down. Several projects are drawing to a close or are now being carried by their own momentum. I think I can return now to being a Good Archivist. And there is quite a lot to report.
First off, back in May (May!) The Angry Russian debuted The Angry Russian’s Birdhouses at the “All Things Art” festival. Here’s an amusing behind-the-scenes tidbit: as The Angry Russian was building these birdhouses, a mama robin built her nest four feet away from his construction site…
Yep. Right on top of the weedeater. As he worked, I could almost hear her tweeting (the oldschool way), ”Dude, you are not doing that fast enough….I got babies on the way here!”
Brace yourself. Here comes a picture of her naked babies…
They’re alive, although you’d never know it from that picture. No wonder (normal) birds build their nests in trees – nobody needs to see that sort of thing! But now you have and there’s no going back.
The Angry Russian made his birdhouses from reclaimed wood that was once someone’s fence.
Then sometime around June or July (it’s a bit of a blur), SoKaN hit ”The Big One,” where SoKaN’s Elitest Jerk peddled her beady peeps and BeadyBoop peddled various beaded accessories.
I didn’t spend much time at that event because by then we had moved to Peace.Love.Home. and I was running around
chasing butterflies doing very important work…
…like cleaning out the barn. The previous owner had left the barn full of stuff, like Christmas trees and scarecrows and chairs and party games and a bunch of chipped dishes and clay flowerpots…so I decided to experiment with a little mosaic work with her (now my) stuff. As it turns out, I excell at breaking stuff.
But my mosaic pot was dangerous to touch and a little off kilter. Kinda like me.
Still, I enjoyed this a lot. Next I want to do make a birdhouse to match my pot. Maybe I’ll eventually set up an off-kiltered-mosaic-stuff garden next to the Greek-ruins ensemble.
And then dear LORD we had Goat Days! The Nutters were selling stuff, or something…I guess, but how anyone could expect me to concentrate on all that when I was surrounded by so much Goaty Goodness is completely beyond me. I mean just LOOK:
I was so completely overwhelmed and carried away by all the Goaty Goodness at Goat Days that I somehow managed to wind up alone and behind the scenes of a traveling circus…
I got kicked out of the circus by a very short man whose picture I did not get, but whose likeness I just rendered for you in Photoshop.
Then, last month, Skattur and I did the Broad Avenue Artists Market Renaissance, which was a cool event organized by local artist, Shaun Barber. It was a “just show up and do your thing” sort of event. There were instrument makers, painters, jewelry designers, musicians, and knitters and nutters, who showed up and did their thing.
Skattur has been creating (and selling) fun stuff like crazy. Here are a few of her awesome bird feeder and garden plate designs - all made from repurposed materials purchased at Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
And finally, tomorrow SoKaN will be at the Broad Avenue Art Walk and Art Bark. If you’re in the area, stop by!
And I think I have finally been a Good Little Archivist and covered all my bases. Until next time!
A friend is someone who knows where all your bodies are buried. Because they’re the ones who helped you put them there.
–Jenny Lawson’s dad
This morning, a dark, dreary Monday, was a perfect day for death.
The Devil handed me a shovel and through the mud and muck I followed him to bury the body. My rainboots were too cheerful for the occasion, but I wore them anyway, grey pajama pants tucked into the rims. Fuck Prada, The Devil wore work boots because he’s practical like that. The ground was squishy and sucked at the rubber soles. The wind flung leftover raindrops from tree leaves as he dug a shallow grave.
Hellcat (aka Baki, Lili, and Zombie Cat) was intimidating for such a soft, fluffy creature. She packed a surprising amount of viciousness in her little frame. She would attack anyone and everyone who was within claw distance without the slightest provocation. In her heyday, she groomed incessantly. When she wasn’t grooming she pranced around and preened to show off her fluffy coat. Her favorite pastime was to jump into the laps of unsuspecting guests as if she wanted affection and then lash out the moment a hand was raised to pet her. Maybe she was just misunderstood. One thing is for sure, she loved The Devil.
Hellcat’s final resting place is under the trees near the broken fence, just beyond the pond. RIP Baby Kitty.
Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when you were not: that gives us no concern. Why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be? To die is only to be as we were before we were born.