Thursday, March 26, 2009

postcards home from a honeymoon

June 20Dear Page,

After hearing your rhapsodies of a honeymoon journeying through Italy, I had thought nothing better suited for Mr. A and myself. And ... and ... and I find myself in the ruins of the baths of Caracalla, the site of debaucheries Catullus or even Fellini could not do justice to, with a marriage a week old and not yet consummated! My poor Mr. A's health has suffered from the travels, and he remains drugged on Xanax and Scotch in the air conditioned bliss of our hotel. Can you imagine?

Yours,
. . .





reading
Le Carre spy stories, when all else fails, and facing a deluge of city regulations paperwork

weather
the final well earned thaw

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

and in every definition, the opposite is also implied

Local Bulletin Board.

Lost & Found.

Found. One key; color: stainless steel. Appears to open domestic lock of doorknob or deadbolt. Please write to claim, providing rubbing of matching spare or address of inadvertently locked door. Residue of hot pink plastic around keyhole.

Found. One inebriated gentleman of indeterminate late middle age. Clothed in flannel and Boston Red Sox ball cap, slightly soiled. Asleep in doorway of residence #3; please claim at earliest opportunity. Reward for removal.

Found. Small cloth bag containing set of solid gold antique Spanish coins. Describe color of bag and number and weight of coins.

Found. One black tennis shoe, brand Reebok, men's size 9. Frayed shoelace, otherwise in sound condition. Please verify ownership by providing mate.

Found. Small fledgling bird, probably a sparrow. Please advise how to proceed.

Lost. Black sock, blue stitching and heel, 100% silk, knee length. Last seen at the Hillside Laundromat.

Lost. One dozen eggs, brown, extra large, organic, still in basket hand woven from reeds. Last seen at Tuesday afternoon farmer's market, but may have been left at post office, bank, or hairdressers.

Lost. Corkscrew. Traditional waiter design, engraved along arm with cursive script reading "To Snookums, 25 years and no worse for wear." Reward. Last seen on Nob Hill Park, picnic area #32.

Lost. Small yappy white dog, badly groomed, dingy hair from rolling in mud. Answers to the name of Puddles. Must be located before wife returns from Florida. Large reward.

Lost. Child, age 4 or 5, male, wearing striped overalls and carrying a water gun. Last seen in the grocery store cold cereal aisle. Parents are due to return from vacation on Monday: report all sightings to the above address.



Pop Quiz 3/18/09

name: Pippi

Define these terms; then, please, use in a sentence.

1. epistolary
of, or relating to, the study of pistols as used in short range combat
Alexander Hamilton was killed in an epistolary duel over a matter of very little purpose.

2. home
a gnome who has gone bald, either through genetic predisposition or as a side effect of medications
When Harry reached the age of forty, he knew he was home to stay.

3. insomniac
a dweller of the island of Saint Helena, whose inhabitants are known to be insular in opinion and fanatical about persecuting outsiders
Fodor's Travel Guides recommend that casual tourists only interact with insomniacs when other options are no longer available.

4. secret
a sect of believers who hold that conducting nightly raids on the safe deposit boxes of suspected but unconvicted fraudsters is the only path to divine grace
The secret is out to find the Bernie Madoff holdings.

5. rambunctious
a foot sore similar in appearance to bunions, found only on the hooves of male sheep
Mary noticed the unusually rambunctious sheep in the fields that wet April morning, and promptly telephoned the vet.


reading Elinor Lipman, charming and diverting
weather unsettled

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

bridges

The spring break DYP! edition features a range of bridges & overpasses to important and frivolous locations, sighted across the continental United States.

And also an ocean view.



reading James Herriot, much to my own embarrassment. Who wants to become one's mother?
weather clearing into spring

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the house not on the corner

Now it is well manicured, landscaped, straightened and tidied to reveal the lack of personality of the current residents, their focus on upkeep and traditionalism over all other considerations of preference or taste. There are no annuals decorating the front steps or mailbox; no roses or hibiscus or crepe myrtle; no obvious vegetable garden; no scattered children's toys or dog accessories; no broken-down car on blocks; no accumulation of rubbish; no newspaper drying in the morning dew.
The house itself sits solemnly in its yard of silence, the paint neither peeling nor new; the windows neither streaked nor shiny; the shades partially drawn, neither concealing nor revealing. No car disturbs the asphalt on the driveway; no bicycle leans against the porch; the flag on the mailbox is not raised. It is impossible to tell who lives here, the size of the family, their background, history, aspirations, culture, social rank: only that they aspire to remain unobtrusive, discreet.



reading Cooking with Fernet Branca, by James Hamilton-Paterson, a contemporary P.G. Wodehouse

weather snow sun and some rain