Thursday, January 31, 2008

Weird Memories and Recent Thoughts

As I write the installments of The Muffin Saga I usually find myself simply sitting, picturing the memories in my mind’s eye, and often smiling and even laughing. Living with a dog (or a cat) as a primary housemate can make for some weird situations. I believe that I have survived such years by always remembering the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shall not take thyself seriously.

When I was a state bureaucrat supervising social services in what was then the fastest growing county in the U.S., I came to believe that the primary purpose of people working in our central office was to telephone us to demand that we stop whatever we were doing, and provide them with some inane information so that they could justify their existence.

So, one day after a crazy conversation with some pencil pusher in central office, I buzzed my primary secretary and said, “C.O. wants to know how many children we have in foster care with one blue eye and one green eye. Please collect the data for me.”

A couple of minutes later I walked out of my office and my secretary asked, “Do they really want that info?”

And I replied, “No, but sooner or later some idiot will ask for it, so we may as well be prepared.”

We both got a chuckle out of it.

A week or so later I walked by her desk and saw that my secretary had a new poster on the wall. It was a huge photo of the head of a cat that had one green eye and one blue eye. When she saw me smiling, she said, “I’m prepared. When C.O. gets around to asking about foster kids with one blue eye and one green eye, we can tell them we have none, but that we do have a cat with one blue eye and one green eye.”

Have you ever tried to belch and yawn at the same time?

I tried to eat a ham and cheese on toast for lunch today. In defense of my sandwich, I sliced a few bits of ham as an offering for the furball. It worked for a while, but then he dashed by my defenses and attacked the quarter sandwich on my plate, so I added that to the offerings made to his highness. Of course, Alex rapidly consumed the ham; but then, to my surprise, he also gobbled up the cheese.

Tonight I’m grilling a New York cut strip steak for dinner. I may have to lock myself in the bathroom to enjoy it.

Recently I have been remembering my seminary friend from Japan, the Reverend Takia Nishazawa. We had many adventures together that I must share someday.

Takie, as we called him, had difficulty with some English words, mostly those with an “r” in them; the “r’s” usually came out as “l’s”. I remember once when we ate at a Chinese restaurant in New York City Takie ordered “flied lice.”


  1. lol... i like the sound of the secretary ;)

    and flied lice was a common treat at one of the resteraunts i worked in. That it was... at wing wongs you get flied lice on specal, onny fie ninny nigh. hehe. But i can't pronounce crap in their language, so we used to have similar conversations about the silly white chick trying mandarin.

  2. I need to come by your blog and read more often, it's a lovely read.

  3. How funny! Better keep an eye on Alex, he's getting awfully bold. Maybe, he's just getting tired of being in the house? Hopefully, when the weather warms he'll be able to get some of his energy spent ? I know that my dogs are feeling the strain of cabin fever.


  4. We were thinking of you over at the nest...and hoping you were feeling better...we miss you oxygen man! :)

    The Egel Nest

  5. Fellow cat lover, I understand...I sometimes sleep uncomfortably "scrunched" into one corner so as not to disturb my lovely little beast... like SHE has to wake up and get to work!

  6. Hi Nick ~~ Have you ever thought of putting Alex outside with his ham, and then eating your own in peace?
    He would be quite OK for those few minutes, he is getting much too bossy
    The flied lice is funny, the different sounds of different languages. Thanks for your comments
    and we didn't get the rain, but more is predicted. I hope it soon warms up for you. Take great care Nick, Best wishes, Merle.

  7. Hi, Nick. I read something that made me think of you.


  8. The wonderful life you have led Nick, I love the secretary story so much.

    Enjoy the steak and Alex you stay away!

  9. I could go for a ham & cheese and tomato soup right now! :D

  10. This is great. I so like it when you write these snippets. I wonder if I can belch and yawn at the same time.

  11. ` I love the fact that Violet leaves my sandwiches alone. PS she has one blue eye and one BLUE eye! Does that signify something? :p

  12. ` PPS she made me write that. She's sitting right on my lap WITH my keyboard!

  13. Why flied lice? Doesn't he know steamed lice is better for you?

  14. I was going to suggest locking Alex in the bathroom so you could enjoy the steak- probably that would be a BAD idea- you in the loo is much safer... unless Alex can pick locks. I wouldn't rule that out, with steak on the other side...haha! I like your pet stories!

  15. It’s time for me to begin responding to comments. I seem to be spending too much time untangling my nose-hose, which has nothing to do with Alex’s antics. But I’ll discuss the tangled nose-hose in a future post.

    XMICHRA: My secretary, Betty, did an excellent job of keeping the office running. “Flied Lice” coming from my “fliend” Taki was a bit comical. However, I wonder what I would have sounded like had I tried to speak Japanese.

    BETTY: Please drop by as often as you like. However, I can’t promise the blog is always a lovely read.

    AUBURN HAIRED ARTIST: At the moment the furball is driving me crazy! We’ve been up about 4 hours and thus far I’ve opened the front door for him 3 times and the back door 4 hours. He has not gone outside. I’m beginning to think that he wants me to go back to bed so we can again snuggle.

  16. THE EGEL NEST: Thanks, Bradley. I believe I dropped by the Nest yesterday. You’ve got some great vacation photos up.

    ANGEL: Yeah, the furball has gotten more and more demanding since it has been cold outside. That includes want me to go to bed so he can had a warm body to snuggle against.

    MERELE: Alex refuses to eat outside, even ham! So I could eat my breakfast in peace this morning, I tore a peace of ham into small pieces for the furball. Still, he completed the ham before I completed my bowl of corn flakes and came want to sip the milk from the bowl.

    LYNN: Thanks for the link.

  17. THE MOMMA BEAR: You are most welcome. The steak was good. So was Alex: I bribed him with very small and very chewy (fat) pieces of it.

    THE LONE BEADER: Wonderful! I am more addicted to tomato soup than I am to anything else.

    ABBY: Thank you. But I still don’t know if one can belch and yawn at the same time.

    S E E QUINE: You must have Violet well trained—or, your sandwiches are made of something she isn’t interested in. Blue and blue are the colors of my eyes. Thankfully, since Alex has his own blog, he doesn’t force me to put his words in this blog. Of course, he does demand computer time.

  18. SAN: Taki was an eating machine. I sure steamed rice was also on his menu.

    PROFESSOR: Thank you. I am enjoying writing about Alex and Muffin, even though I’m beginning to think my blog has gone to the cats and dogs.