Archive for June, 2016

So the contents of my refrigerator look something like this: 10 baby trees, 2 plastic bags (empty), a fourth a bottle of margaritas (the super good fancy one), a jar of pickles…

Obviously, not a lot of food.

So I was rather surprised to find a bag of bagels shoved to the back.  Bagels?  In my fridge?  Nah.

They could have been in there for a year… honest… I just… I’m not a fridge-scrubber.

The back corner of my yard is dedicated to this cast-off food.  Anything that I can’t remember when I bought it, or has started to evolve into sentient life, I set it free in the backyard.


That would be the sound of the old peppers taking off into the shrubbery…

So I took those year-old bagels and set them free.  Usually, a dozen birds peck over the bready-stuffs, breaking them into manageable chunks, and then the squirrels carry off what’s leftover.

Today, the squirrel beat everyone else to the buffet.

But what do you do with a bagel that is as big as you are and weighs twice as much?  You grasp it in your teeth, fling your tail around for balance, and climb a fence post.  Then almost fall off.

The squirrel tucked the bagel into its body, holding the far end (and for anyone who has tried to drink from the far side of a glass when you have hiccups, you can understand that this is an awkward position), but then his feet barely touched the tops of the fence, and he waddled like a penguin, and hopped, and flung his tail, and tripped and nearly splatted head-first off the fence.

Squirrels are not majestic.

This maneuver is taught in the Squirrel Manual right after running back and forth in front of a moving vehicle.

Two feet later, the squirrel detoured, tried to take the chain-link fence.  He wanted to get that bagel up to his nest, try to impress the missus.  But again, the drunken little squirrel couldn’t get his own feet around the bagel, and, high-centered, he RODE that bagel down a leftover porch board, like it was a white water doughnut raft.

And THAT is why squirrels don’t have beer bellies.




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I tried a foolhardy experiment, which is quite obvious from the status of my blog and social media accounts: one year, internet-free.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

It can’t be done, not completely, not unless you want to go live like a Yeti in the forest.  Not if you want any sort of modern life.

It started like this: I took a Dream Job, which, of course, as all Dreams do, paid way less than my former job.  So I decided to go 1982 on this bad boy: no internet, no home phone, no cable television, no Netflix, no nothing.  Actually, seeing as my house was built in 1942, it didn’t notice any difference whatsoever, except for the fact that I didn’t wear an apron and dance around the kitchen crimping pie crusts.

Losing the internet was the hardest thing. When I lived in England for graduate school, competition among companies kept internet rates more than reasonable. But here, two monopolies keep prices sky high.

I spent a LOT of time driving to Mumsy-Dearest’s house this past year, just to do “one thing” on the internet.

In fact, my experiment really only lasted a few weeks, if you count that Mumsy-Dearest went anti-medieval-times on my heinie and forced me to upgrade my phone to a Smart version.  My old cell seriously only made calls.  It couldn’t even text, not after my argument with the phone company about the sexy photo texts I was getting en espanol, on Elva the Spanish Sex Kitten’s old number.

I wish I could say that my Experiment was enlightening, that I accomplished So Much this past year and that I’m now moving to a commune to raise chickens.

But, as a writer and as a modern chickee-poo, it was a study in frustration instead.  99% of my writing and internet time was suddenly work-related only.  I’ve never been married to my Smart phone to the point of going out with a friend but texting the world during dinner as if said friend didn’t exist.  Sure, I could have done more social media from my phone, but when you’re watching your data limit (the modern equivalent of counting calories), you don’t dare take that first nibble.

The worst of it was that I spent more time watching television than I ever had before.  Whereas I used to catch up on one or two shows during lunch breaks, on the internet, this year if I wanted to watch, I had to plan my evening around it.  And, once I huddled down and curled up and got comfy… yeah… you can see where that’s going.

Medical research proves that people who watch more television are less happy.  I could feel it happening. It impinges on the freedom of leisure time.

Yet with all the movements toward a screen-free life, and screen-free children, it’s just not feasible. There’s productivity to take into account, as well as keeping up with ever-changing technology. You can still buy most things locally, but, unless you want to drive all over town, a quick internet search will at least tell you if what you need is available, and where.

Screen-free?  Ha!

But screen-savvy? Indeed.  Consider screen intelligence.  A little planning on the best use of our screen time, and THAT is what will buy us more time in this harried, over-scheduled age of the screen.



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