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Cricket's Index: January

Cricket herself
I advocate making lists as one of the most effective blockbusting techniques in part because lists themselves can be so interesting. The monthly stats in Harper's, where the juxtaposition and selection of facts often create startling new meanings, have long been a favorite.

  • Cricket's breed, as half poodle, half Schnauzer: "shnoodle"
  • Current age, in people months: 10
  • Current age, in dog years: 5.83
  • Average number of times she wants out, per day, measured in doorside  yips: 42
  • Average number of times she wants in, per day, measured in door  scratches: 420
  • Percentage of the family's stuffed animals she thinks are dog  toys: 100
  • Number of minutes to completely unstuff a plush toy: >2
  • Average area the innards of a plush toy will cover, in square  feet: 144
  • Inventory of non-food items eaten this month: plush toys, food  wrappers, rope fetch toys, Qtips, bottle caps, toilet tissue,  a $5 bill, soap, green binding on living room carpet, orthotic  insoles, a wicker basket, Mare's left shoe
  • Number of times she's vomited, this month: 14
  • Number of times she's vomited after eating a bar of soap: 8
  • Number one item we all hope she never eats again: soap

Postscript--Best of the comments--from Robin:

"My cat once threw up in my dress shoes after I'd been out all night with my (now ex) boyfriend.  She was making a statement. Ignoring her for this man was as inappropriate as shoe vomit.  She was right."

March 29, 2003 in blockbusters, indices | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maybe she takes after...?

Just when this writer was absolutely certain that she was a bit of a changeling — was becoming quite smug about this, even — she finds that genetics are relentless and humbling. Not to mention a heck of gift.

(First in a continuing series on the anxiety and ecstasy of influence.)

The older I get, the more I find I am exactly like everybody in my family.

As I've been updating my pages, I've been thinking that I could take after my Grandpa Paul, who well may have been the original blogger. A trained Classicist, who read Greek for fun and wrote assessment instruments for Educational Testing Service for his career, it seemed to me that he began almost every day of his adult life by rolling a piece of onionskin into his IBM Selectric. Out would roll some bit of commentary on the book he was reading, or an elucidation of some obscure lines of Homer; once in a while he couldn't resist putting down an off-color joke...

I remember one about some elegant personage named Margot who happened to be seated at dinner with the famously slutty actress Jean Harlow:

As the meal progressed this Margot got increasingly irritated at being called “MarGOT.” Finally, she interrupted the actress to say,

“MarGO, MarGO.”

When Jean looked a bit blank, Margot added, sweetly,

“The T is silent, as in HarLO'.”

Grandpa didn't publish these bloglets, but he made copies for friends and family members and tucked them into letters to his oldest and dearest friend, Siegmund.

I'm afraid I didn't appreciate these writings at all — to me they were, except maybe the Jean Harlot joke — crashingly boring. Now I think it's a shame Grandpa, who passed away five years ago this month, didn't become acquainted with the WWW. It may not have been me, but his audience is out there.

March 29, 2003 in influences | Permalink | Comments (0)

If in Doubt, Quote

"Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again."


Postscript: Best of the Comments

--from Pete
I like it. The quote. My favourite is: "A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist."

March 29, 2003 in if in doubt, quote | Permalink | Comments (0)