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Cooldown for Sweltering Summer Days

When the heat makes anything beyond a lime popsicle frozen fruit bar (made with real fruit! has vitamin C!) for dinner unlikely, here’s something to cool things down a bit: In a short glass, pour about 2 oz of basil-ginger-infused vodka over 2 -3 ice cubes. Add the juice of half a lime, and top off the glass with lime seltzer water. Add just a bit of mint simple syrup and stir. Drink before the ice cubes melt.

You may even feel cooled off enough to make a small tuna salad and not mind when the cat starts brushing up against your legs hoping for some scraps of fish.

Friday Cat Blogging

Because now I can.

Meet the new residents at our place. Continue reading

Remember: The World can be Awesome

This just makes me happy. Enjoy.

May I See Your Badge, Please

On Friday I had one of those encounters that can jump you out of your routine and remind you that there is other life around you. I was wearing my Office-to-Home-Commute blinkers, focusing on my walk to the Metro station and already mentally  standing on the platform wondering about when the train would arrive. And then there it was: a grey shape lumbering across my field of vision, maybe 3 feet in front of me on the sidewalk. A raccoon. Up close like that, it was much bigger than I would have expected it to be, although I should know better. It was moving at a steady lumber, small head and front paws hunched forward before the bulk of its rump.

Upon reaching the curb, it started nosing down into the storm drain, poking its head inside until only its tail, ringed and furry but not nearly as bushy as often depicted in children’s books illustrations, signaled its presence. At this point I’m rooted to the spot, my commuting thoughts have jumped the track and I have arrived in the present. Watching this tail hanging out of a storm drain and hoping for another look at its owner. I inch a few steps closer, trying to angle myself for a better look into the storm drain because right now I’m on the curb side and can see only the top and the tail moving around on the edge of the drain. And then it must have heard me, or been alerted in some way because suddenly the raccoon pops up out of the drain, sitting up on its hind legs and we are staring right at each other. It sort of leans back on its ample butt and eyes me – a full  scrutiny from a small masked face and a very cute little nose. And I know form cute noses, having one myself and also being a fan of guinea pigs and other small mammals.

There we are, mammal to mammal, on the sidewalk and in the curb. And while I’m still attempting to appear as non-threatening as possible, the raccoon has read me, judged me harmless and uninteresting and gone back into the storm drain to root for delicacies perhaps. Back to its routine, of which I know nothing, leaving me back with my routine, of which it knows just enough to scavenge a successful living on the sidelines. When even its tail vanishes I rejoin the evening rush hour. But for a moment, a glimpse of the wildlife that exists around us even in our cities reminded me that there are other realities surrounding us. It’s nice to get that memo occasionally.

Sunday at the Zoo

Last night out attempt to venture outside was foiled by the torrential downpour (thank you sopping wet neighbor guy, for warning us that our umbrellas would be only laughable in the storm – it’s raining sideways, he said) but today we did manage to leave the house. And were rewarded with bright sunshine and cool winds and a zoo overflowing with children. You had to pay extra attention to where you stepped, to avoid tripping over all the little kids raptly nibbling on their ice cream cones, entirely oblivious to anyone and anything in their path. Ah, sweet frozen dairy product daze, how you focus the mind on the zen of licking. Continue reading

Aaaand…it’s a New Year

Things to note for 2007:

  • Avoid encounters with unknown, big, mastiff-like dogs that want to play tug with my coat sleeve
  • If one such big dog nevertheless manages to get a hold on my coat sleeve with his slobbering mouth and large teeth, make sure to give the owner, who is pulling at the beast’s leash fruitlessly and shouting his name in vain, a true piece of my mind regarding his lack of dog-related control.
  • Most importantly, regarding such dog incidents, which are to be avoided in 2007, do not, under any circumstances, let the half-assed, sullenly mumbled, reluctant excuse for an apology coming from a dog owner already retreating far away from you slide. Do not accept it as adequate. Control your dog, sir!
  • Read more books like The Woman in White. Great story, gripping characters, Gothic touches, suspenseful 600 plus pages that read like a much thinner book (it’s done already?).
  • Stop emulating the Zoo’s capybaras in figure and habits (i.e. less lounging about munching on snacks – although straw does make good roughage – and less growing stout. Not that it doesn’t look good on the capys.).
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Ha. Ok, not really.
  • Lighten up more. Or be more cynical. Whichever works best at any given moment.
  • Write more. Because, practice, practice, practice.

Adventskalender, December 13

Today was a crappy day for me. I woke up with a headache and tired from lack of sleep, wishing I could just stay home and relax. But I have very few sick days saved up and therefore can hardly afford to take one when I’m not truly, deathly, contagiously ill. Or at least I feel bad enough about taking such I-just-don’t-feel-like-it days that I can’t quite bring myself to enjoy staying home.

So I dragged myself outside, rather grumpily, and made my way to work. ONly to find on the metro that my soup, meant for lunch, has decided to liberate itself from the Glad ware and explore the contents of my bag. End result: two soaked New Yorker magazines, one damp and poultry-smelling copy of The Woman in White, two boxes of tea, now steeped in chicken broth, and a notepad enriched by the same broth.

And me with only three thin tissues to try and soak up the puddles of soup at the bottom of my bag.

Once in the office, I learn that the Yangtze River dolphins, blind and shy and stuck living in a muddy river polluted by chemicals and noise, which wreaked havoc with the anmal’s sonar navigation.

And then I learn that due to an error in address, my old office received Christmas cookies meant for me, and rather than checking with me about a mysterious package addressed to me, they ate them all. And threw out the pretty tin in which they came.

What saves this day for me? The fact that in today’s box, December 13, of my Advent calendar, I found two cute little guinea pigs to add to my barn. Yesterday, we had mice (3 of them) but today there are guinea pigs and that just makes me happy.

Yeah, count your blessings, and find them were you may.