January 29, 2012

a secular sanctuary

I'm travelling for work again this week, renting a car, spending 2 days driving and visiting shelters.

Rental cars are great - all clean, no dog hair or crumpled tissues or coffee spills - but the flip side of that is that they're not as driver-friendly as your own car. All that stuff that's in your glove box/console/floorboard just isn't there. I don't know about you, but I need a lot of that stuff while I'm driving...

I have a solution. It's a rental car survival kit:

Start with a divided plastic caddy. You probably already have one. I do - it's the red one, below.

Then add the things you'll need, things that are usually in your console, things you'll want to reach easily as you drive. Things like your electronics:

(Don't forget your chargers and adapters!)

Snacks, drinks:

Comfort items:

 Plus a plastic bag to corral trash, and anything else you might need, like:
  • change for tolls
  • hair ties
  • your lucky bobblehead or travel saint

Plop the caddy on the front seat next to you (if you're traveling alone) so you can reach it easily and without looking. Hook the seat belt around it of you're known for sudden stops. Ahem. If you have a road-tripping buddy, he or she can be your travel bitch and hand you whatever you need, whenever you need it. That's the rule for non-drivers. (And if you trade off driving, you'll be the travel bitch when it's your turn. No bitching.)

The car has become a secular sanctuary for the individual, 
his shrine to the self, his mobile Walden Pond.  
~Edward McDonagh  

Happy Trails!

January 25, 2012

a little candy now and then

I'm pretty sure winter isn't going to happen this year, so I'm ready for spring, and candy colors.

What about you? How's the weather in your world?

 All I really need is love, 
but a little candy now and then doesn't hurt! 
- Charles Schultz

January 19, 2012

boom, badoom, boom

Boy you got my heartbeat runnin' away
Beating like a drum and it's coming your way
Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom
Boom, badoom, boom bass?
He got that super bass
Boom, badoom, boom
Boom, badoom, boom bass
Yeah that's that super bass!

January 17, 2012

something slightly wild

I'm terrible about anthropomorphising, everything from machines to animals. My car has a name (Bleeker), my mp3 player has a name (Captain Apollo), my elliptical has a name (Zoe). With animals, of course, it's even worse, because not only do I name the ones in my care, I also absolutely believe we share with them what we - selfish, ego-maniacal creatures that we are - tend to think of as "human" characteristics, specifically emotions, needs, desires... 

You know as well as I do that dogs love, cats get bored, elephants mourn. (You do know that, don't you?) But even without looking into it that deeply, it's easy, and fun, to think of them as being like us, isn't it?  I know I did my fair share of dressing kittens in doll clothes and parading them up and down Deerbrook Rd when I was little. 

These are postcards by an artist named Eugen Hartung (or Hurtong), who lived from 1897-1973. These cards, known as the Humorous Dressed Cats postcards or Mainzer Dressed Cats postcards, were originally published from the 1940's through the 1960's by Alfred Mainzer Inc. in New York City, known worldwide for their postcards and greeting cards.  The Mainzer company was founded by brothers Renate and Alfred Mainzer, who started the business in their New York City home in 1938. The early postcards had a rough finish, brilliant colors, and scalloped ("deckled") edges.  The cards were printed in Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Thailand, and Spain. An additional series of Mainzer dressed cats were published as the "Kunzli edition" - these appear to be set in older European environments, and are typically not as brightly colored as the American editions.  (source

I think they're absolutely charming, despite the fact - or maybe because of it - that for the most part the kittens seem to be completely wild.  If you've ever known a litter of kittens, or even one really worth its salt,  you know that in that respect, at least, they've been portrayed  true to their nature. 

    When you invite a kitten into your home,
you bring indoors something slightly wild,
often unpredictable,
and always entertaining.
~ Barbara L. Diamond

January 15, 2012

a part of our life

Alabaster, ivory, opal, pearl. Even the names for white are lovely.

I spent the week travelling for work, first to Chicago, then to Kansas City. After the first few days it turned cold, and the snow flurried, but to no avail. It blew across the streets like sugar, but didn't stick.

I think we won't get any proper snow this winter. No whipped cream drifts for the dogs to plow through like maniacs, no downy cloudbursts of feathery flakes, no crystalline silent woods to explore. I think I'll have to get my fix of white elsewhere this year.  

 The pure air and dazzling snow belong to things 
beyond the reach of all personal feeling, 
almost beyond the reach of life. 
Yet such things are a part of our life, 
neither the least noble nor the most terrible. 
~ Frederick Soddy


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