Friday, October 24, 2008

Lunch ideas a la Dewey

My wife volunteers at our kids' school library. She just sent me this text message:

Dewey decimal system is amusing. Animals is next to Cooking, so these books sit side by side:

639.9 Smi
Sea Otter Rescue

641.2 Bou
A Day in the Life of a Chef

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Combing the street


My wife called me from the road the other day, shortly after she left the house. She called to tell me that The Widow was out in front of her house wearing that same getup, doing some straightening. Only, this time, she wasn't sweeping her lawn with a broom. This time, she was out in the road, picking up tiny pieces of broken pavement. She was grooming the road.

When my neighbor talked to her a while back, apparently The Widow told her that when she dies, her sons won't have to sort through her house or hunt for anything; her house is in immaculate order. That's great, but I don't think the execution of her will is likely to be contingent on whether the pavement in front of her house has been combed.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Widow

There's an old woman who lives around the corner on a nearby street. We pass her house all the time. She has the most immaculate yard I've ever seen. The grass is like a putting green. Only, I think it shines. It's like a shiny putting green. There are no weeds. There aren't even any leaves on the lawn, even though she has a tall, full, healthy maple on her extension.

We've seen her out there sweeping her lawn and the street out in front of her house with a broom. Not a rake, but a house broom. And she's always dressed like she's going to the symphony: always a black top and a red pleated skirt with black trim. She's probably about 75 years old. We call her The Widow.

Not long ago, I saw The Widow sweeping her extension again in her black and red Sunday getup. Sitting on the lawn next to the maple was a shiny tea kettle. The main body part was the color of pearl, and the spout was a spotless silver.

I asked my neighbor across the street if she'd noticed The Widow, and my neighbor said she talked to her. She thinks her name is Helen or something like that, which is perfect. She said she grew up in Grosse Pointe, and was taught to be clean in everything. She told my neighbor she should see the inside of her house: "So clean you could eat off the floor!" My neighbor declined the invitation, but was clearly taken with The Widow.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Honestly, I'm a vegetarian!


I saw something interesting the other week as I was driving up north. I can't remember if it was on I-94 or on 127, but on the left shoulder of the highway, I noticed a car pulled over, and then a little beyond that were two people standing in the grassy ditch, with one of them talking on a cell phone. Just beyond the standing people was an RV or trailer or something, also on the shoulder of the highway. Behind those people and the trailer was a hedge of trees, reaching back into the field perpendicular to the highway. As I passed the hedge, just on the other side, I could see cows. Like, fifty of them. And they were all facing toward the stopped vehicles on the shoulder. They stretched back four several hundred yards, and the closest ones were just a few feet from the highway. The thing is, I don't know if the people in the ditch even knew about the cows because they were just on the other side of the trees. But the cows looked like they definitely knew about the people in the ditch. And they looked like they had a plan of some kind. Some sort of terrible bovine plan.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

"Blog" is a stupid word

Dear Steven,

I do not like the word, "blog." Never have. It sounds like something large and involuntary that has made a wrong-way turn in a human baby's esophagus. I feel the need to apologize when I use the word in polite company, or at least to say it in a way that carries the understanding that it is not a word I approve of, and I use it only because it is standard convention.

Please find another word to describe yourself.

Thank you.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

No luck


Just a quick update on the search for a minstrel.

Remember the mole-man I told you about? The one with the cheeseburgers? Yeah, as it turns out, the only thing he can play is the opening riff to "Smoke on the Water." I'm a little suspicious of his résumé, too. He claims to have earned a BFA from Wellesley College in 1984.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Five-syllable words

Do you mind if I call you Steven? I think it would just help me to write if I had a name to attach to your face. I'll work on the face later, but you have to start somewhere, right? The other options I pondered were Diane (because I am a Twin Peaks fan), and Mrs. Crazypants. In the end, I thought Steven was nice. I do reserve the right to change your name (and perhaps, your face) later if I so choose.

Last night, Steven, as I was falling asleep, I started going over five-syllable words in my head. Think of your favorite five-syllable word. Let me guess: the emphasis is on the third syllable, right? Of course, there are five-syllable words that have the emphasis elsewhere -- say, the fourth syllable -- but those are generally not as popular as the emphasis-on-the-third-syllable five-syllable words.

If you still haven't chosen your favorite, allow me to list some popular suggestions:


Below are some of the less-commonly-claimed five-syllable words of choice. I'm not saying these are necessarily worse than the ones listed above. However, don't you think there's probably a reason that some words are less popular than others, Steven? Ponder that, and read these:


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