Mar 20

A weekend in 243 words and seven photos

Saturday, we hit the drive-thru, where things are still so fast they can’t be troubled to add the extra letters to the sign. It was our trip out for the week. Three young people who we usually see working inside were bundled up and pretending to be the menu signs. And then another person midway through the line was taking your money. At the window they were just giving you your food. And a message:

And I thought: Little things like that are going to mean a lot for people.

This means a lot to me, signs of spring!

I wouldn’t have seen that if we haven’t gone for a run, in the cold.

Do you see that little bit of blue? That’s all of the sky we saw through the clouds during our quick four-miler today.

When we got home, and I mean almost immediately — I was still walking up the stairs to the shower — the sun came out:

Phoebe and I might be having a breakthrough this weekend. I got four cuddles yesterday, which is a new record:

This guy, meanwhile:

On Saturday night, I heard a distinctive crashing sound. Someone, I have my suspicions, knocked this bag of their treats off the windowsill, from the counter and onto the floor:

By the time I got there they’d somehow defeated the Not-A-Ziploc seal. So now we have to had the treats.

We’re running out of room to hide things in, honestly.

Mar 20

Happy Monday

And how was your weekend? Ours was fine. We’re doing just fine. We hope you are, too.

We’ve gotten settled in to the new routine, hoping it is temporary, trying to think and plan as though it may not be. We went out for a brief time on Saturday, probably the last time in a while.

Loved the sign:

There just aren’t enough marquees with attitude anymore, and we should remedy that problem. I’m sure that’s a corporate concern for corporate types, but a good local sign adds a great deal to a place, if you ask me. And in a social media world, you’d think there’s an unending vein of material from which to draw.

Things are changing at restaurants. This is just the beginning:

People suddenly have a lot of toilet needs:

I hope you have your groceries in order. We did pretty well this weekend. The Yankee made us pie for Pi Day Saturday night. It was as tasty as it looks:

Our relationship really started with pie. OK, it actually started with a bad professor, but the second step was pie and that’s a much better story. I invited her to a barbecue place while we’d been carpooling an errand or two and said we should go try the pie. She said nah. I said, “Come on, it’s Friday. Friday’s Pie Day.” That worked. We shared a slice of lemon ice box.

A server at another barbecue joint had said the same thing to me the week before, trying to upsell the dessert. She did. I got the pie that day and a week later I used her line.

To great success, I must say. That was 15-plus years ago. For the next 11 years, until we moved where there is no pie, apparently, every Friday was pie day.

We had a beautiful day for our run on Sunday afternoon:

Happily everyone was off doing something else:

The regular Monday checkin with cats? They’re doing great, too. Poseidon is eager to see all the new things that the coming spring has to offer him:

And I caught Phoebe as she was getting ready for an office nap:

And that was the weekend. Hope yours was equally fine, and brought you some peace and cheer and rest and lovely memories. Take it slow. Be safe and well. Have a little grace and patience.

Mar 20

A run, two rides, but mostly cats

Happy Monday. This week is going to be a memorable one, you can just tell, can’t you? It will. And if you can’t tell, come up for air and read the news. It’s going to be a memorable one.

But before all of that begins, we have our new usual Monday feature of checking in with the cats. Let’s see how they spent their weekend.

Phoebe discovered a new place to sit on the stairs. We have a small landing, and she’s familiar with that, but this step gives her a commanding view of the foyer, a window and escape routes up and down the stairs. I’m sure that’s how she thinks.

Poseidon spent part of Saturday night curled up in a big fuzzy blanket. I think he’s coming around to the lifestyle:

They got two new toys in the mail from a friend this weekend. They are little lizard shapes with some hardcore strain of catnip inside:

They are jealous cats, so jealous that despite there being two of the identical toys, they are fighting over the lizards. So now we’ll have to hide them.

Some naps, for whatever reason, are cuter than others:

We went for a run on a sunny Saturday. I am now tasked with running ahead and taking pictures. So my sprints should improve, because the job is to get far enough ahead that I can find a good spot for a reasonable composition, stop, turn, open the camera, frame a shot and watch the runner run through:

It’s a good chance to catch my breath, though, before having to run on and catch back up. But, check this out, same picture:

I got the two-feet-off-the-ground shot. Not bad for trying to do all of the above while winded.

On Sunday afternoon I got in my first bike ride of the year. And this evening I had my second bike ride No photos or videos of either of those. Or probably for the first four or five rides. I have to remember again where all the gears are and what all the levers on the bike do again, first.

I shot this after today’s bike ride. And I am suddenly very interested, once again, in natural sound.

The late night show produced this episode for you last Friday. The guest is one of our professors. Ordinarily my critique would be that you have to go find people outside of our own buildings. There are a lot of reasons for that, groupthink, the burden of real producing, the what’s-entertaining-to-you-isn’t-entertaining-to-everyone phenomenon, but that concept may not apply to Susan Kelly, who is quite entertaining indeed:

Anyway, for the rest of the week, and whatever else is coming to us soon, I hope your times aren’t that interesting.

Mar 20

Checking in on the felines

Had a nice weekend. Had a plan for all of the things I was going to do. I think I did two of them. So that was … progress, I guess. I did a lot of cat cuddling, instead, for the most part. Let’s check in on the animals.

Phoebe enjoyed a Saturday in the sun.

I’d gone outside to conduct some very important solar power experiments. When she sees someone outside who she knows should be inside, she does a great many tricks to get your attention and entice you to come back in. I liken it to human-trained dolphins. “Come look at this trick!” There’s a lot of flopping and flipping upside down. Some of it more graceful than others.

I also got the rare Phoebe cuddle:

I am the second choice here, and that’s fine. When she’s desperate, and if I can get a blanket quick enough, she’ll sit with me. About a month ago I stopped counting how many times it had taken place — because I would need to use a third hand to keep track. But when she’s really cozy she climbs up on you like this. I have had four of these now.

She disappeared as soon as I took that photo, so thank goodness for safety shots, I suppose.

Poseidon is doing just fine, too. He had a sleepy weekend:

Who could blame him? Sleepy weekends are pretty awesome.

And how was your weekend? I hope you accomplished precisely what you needed to, exactly what you wanted to, and not the first bit more.

Feb 20

Leave room for cream?

Friday night we saw Bert Kreischer, who is as clever and frat-tastic as ever. He played two shows at Butler, and we stood outside in about 20 degree weather until almost the published curtain time, which meant the actual start was, of course, later. Someone said he started the first show late, and that it went long. So the rest stood to reason. That meant we were going to get extra comedy, but first we had to move seats. Because I sat in the wrong row. Joke’s on me!

Anyway, the show was terrific. If you like bawdy material it works. He can put the whole room in his hand and give them whatever he wants. The crowd control of it all might be the most interesting thing. They’re just stories. Stories he’s spiced up for maximum impact, and often even the tangents are deliberate, but how he can hold a room for 90 minutes just telling tales is interesting.

Near the end he basically took requests, because he’s reaching some interactive iconic level of comedy now. I assume that’s owing one part to his talent, but another to the times in which we live, how there are bits online everywhere, and how he has embraced the intimate part of fandom that social media creates as a bit of his act.

And of course he has to tell The Machine story because, as he said Friday night, a Facebook version of that story changed his life and put him where he is today, which is selling out shows across the country and about to premiere his third Netflix special.

The Facebook version of The Machine story works, he said, because the Facebook algorithm put a key, but unnamed player in the actual story as a top commenter and she verified the whole thing. You can look the whole story up on YouTube. It’s 10 minutes or so long, and if you like bawdy, over-the-top humor, you’d find it amusing.

If that’s not, however, your thing … errrmmmm … here are two quick cycling videos!

The Yankee got her tri bike. And this weekend she braved some cool temps and finally gave it a try. (It’s a cruel thing to buy yourself a bike in February and wait.) The fit isn’t there yet, but she looks pretty pro, don’t you think:

If that one is a little blurry I blame my upload connection and her speed.

But watch this one, she’s coming right out of the screen!

I’ll never be able to keep up with her on that thing.

Also, it is my turn to buy a bike. Hmmmm …

I should mention this:

Yesterday we had sun for a record-breaking fifth day in a row. I don’t remember the last time we saw the sunshine for five consecutive days. Maybe November, for sure in October, if I had to pick a definitive time. Certainly it has never happened here in February. Yesterday, even, we got all the way up to 56 degrees — making for an excellent afternoon for a run. Maybe this sort of weather will happen some more.

It rained all day today. We’re due for snow on Wednesday.