We have a new pet, sort of: Walter, the dumbest squirrel in the forest. He got his name after we watched him speed around the deck with five barking dogs after him, never thinking to jump onto one of the zillion trees around the deck. Or as Lani said, “Poor Walter. Never was the same after he got hit with that walnut.” (This place gets bombarded by walnuts in the fall; sounds like the house is being shelled.) My introduction to Walter came when I was crocheting in the living room and saw this squirrel leap for a branch, miss, and plummet to the deck. Did I mention, a zillion trees? You’d have to work hard to miss them all, but Walter managed it. Then the dogs went crazy (“SQUIRREL!”) and Walter jumped up on a table where they couldn’t get him, and the dogs surrounded him. Now Walter has some options. He can run along the wide railing and jump on a tree. He can jump off the table and onto the narrow decking under the window that the dogs can’t get to. He can leap for one of the zillion branches that are right beside him. Or he can leap down into the middle of the dogs. Guess which one Walter picked? It was such an astoundingly stupid move that the dogs just looked at him and then at each other, like “This isn’t it right, must be a trick.” Then Walter staggered over and fell through the railing. I’d say his days are numbered, but clearly God loves the little rat. Either that or he does it on purpose because he loves the drama. We get a lot of that around here.
In general, typos make me itch, but there are some I love. Krissie sent us an e-mail that said that she likes oatmeal in the mornings because it feels her up. We went for days on that one. My second favorite typo was from Alyssa Day. We were working on the earliest drafts of Dogs and Goddesses and, well here’s the transcript:
Alesia H. :Angel met Ian before
at a bar when she was drab mousy Angelica
so that’s not a problem
Jenny C. Who’s sp tjat?
Lani D. I dunno. Sounds mesopotamian to me.
Alesia H. that’s mesopotamian for bite me
Now whenever I see “tjat,” I think “Mesopotamian for ‘bite me.'” Cheers me right up.
Light went to the circus and saw a man shot out of a cannon. She wasn’t terribly impressed. Light likes violence with her explosions and evidently being shot out of a cannon doesn’t do much damage to the shot-ee. Meanwhile Sweetness refused to go because she went to You Tube and saw clips of Pennywise the Clown who eats children. Sweetness is a smart child and knows that Pennywise is not real, which means he is not at the circus. But she also knows the dramatic potential in rolling back her eyes and saying, “Pennywise eats children!” is huge, so she’s going with that.
Best Title Ever: Hot Tub Time Machine. I could write the hell out of that. It’s right up there with Snakes on a Plane and Expecting Someone Taller.
Ever since Lani came downstairs at 3AM and said, “There’s a bird loose upstairs,” I’ve been tormenting her with bat jokes. At the time all I said was, “At 3AM?” and then I went upstairs and got rid of the bat for her while she hid moaning under her blanket like the drama queen she is. But for Halloween I got her a Skelanimals Diego:
and I also sent her to the FU Penguin blog since it had a great post on cute baby bats (no, really, look and then click on the Oh shit link). Someday the hilarity of this will pall, but for right now, she’s getting bats.
Lani and I have been pedal-to-the-metal on our books lately, so we haven’t been doing much family stuff, much to the disgust of Sweetness and Light. We did break down and go to Outback the other night which Sweetness objected to before we even ordered, and Light adored because the waiter gave her three big glasses of Sprite, which never, ever happens at home. Plus, huge sundaes for dessert which was even winning Sweetness around until she suddenly shrieked and then spit her ice cream into her napkin. “There’s something horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible in there,” she said, her face bleak with betrayal. I looked at what was on the napkin, which did nothing to improve my sundae, and said, “Maybe it’s coconut. Your mom and I had coconut on our sundaes, maybe some got on yours.” “Why?” Sweetness said. “Why, why, why would they do that?” (Yes, she actually said that. Sweetness makes Drama Queens look calm and reasonable.) So from now on when we go to Outback, she’s going to stay in the car and die of the heat after eating old french fries off the floor that the dogs have probably licked because she would rather do that than ever go back inside Outback again. Meanwhile, Light is preparing to move in permanently because when she told the nice waiter she hadn’t gotten a cherry on her sundae, he brought her two. Best restaurant ever. Then in the car we talked about why we wouldn’t give them the correct spelling for “whore” or even tell them what it meant. “It’s inappropriate,” Lani said primly, which wasn’t all that convincing since she’d just used it which is why they were asking. “I’ll find out,” Sweetness said darkly, and I figure it’ll give her something to do while she’s eating french fries off the floor because we’re going back to Outback. The coconut sundae was delicious.
Lyle scared the hell out of all of us last year. (Did we already talk about this? I can’t remember.) One afternoon about four, I looked up from my computer and realized I hadn’t seen him since I’d fed him at lunch. All of us–Lani, Krissie, Sweetness, Light, me–went looking for him, but the little rat was nowhere to be found. And since the house is conveniently located between a highway and a river, the possibilities for disaster were endless. Then Lani looked in the elevator shaft and saw him lying there unmoving with a Goldfish bag on his head. Those bags are heavy duty, lined with foil, and about exactly the size of Lyle’s head, so when he went after the crumbs at the bottom, he jammed it on his skull. Then, as we reconstruct it, he staggered to the top of the stairs, fell down the whole flight and flailed his way into the elevator shaft where he struggled with the bag until he became exhausted and just laid there. Lani found him stretched out and freaked, but as soon as she ripped the bag off his head, he perked right up. As she said, by that time the bag had been licked clean but it was full of dachshund head sweat; it must have been like a mini-sauna in there. Lyle is now just fine and obviously no wiser from the experience, but we have learned and will now be treating Goldfish bags like chicken bones.
In the same e-mail with the oatmeal news, Krissie said that Goldfish were her nemesis. I told her that I’d have thought it was the groping oatmeal that was her worst problem, but to watch out for the Goldfish because they’d tried to kill Lyle. Well, it was early in the morning. I don’t really come alive until about midnight.
I did mock-ups for a couple of Fairy Tales Lies covers while I was waiting on e-mails and phone calls last week. Lani looked at one of them I’d borrowed (we’d buy it if we were going to use it for sure) from iStockPhoto and said, “BATS!” I hadn’t even noticed the bats. I think she’s sensitive or something. I mean, really, when you look at this, is “Bats!” the first thing you think of?
No, that’s not the real book cover, we haven’t written or sold the book yet. I just get bored on “Hold.”
I love that font, by the way. It’s called Prime Minister of Canada and it’s free; google for it and you’ll find several places with free downloads.
I’m still cleaning. I’ll be cleaning when they sound the last trump. But the stuff I’m finding, it’s like archaeology. I’m going down layers in my life, looking at things and thinking, “I bought this for why?” And that’s just the clothes. I think I look at clothes and think, “If I wear this, I’ll be that kind of person,” and then I get it home and since I’m not that kind of person, I never wear it. Basically, I’m the kind of person who wears pajamas a lot. Which means all those cute shoes are worthless. One pair of bunny slippers and I’d be set for life.
Mona is lop-sided. Or lop-fronted. She’s four times the weight she was when we got her, but her back end is probably only about twice the size, so all her weight is in front. When she leans forward to pick something up from the ground, her back legs go up and she does a handstand. Pawstand. Whatever. You can see the shadows under her back legs in the picture because her feet back there are a couple of inches off the ground.
I’m a little worried about her but she seems not to care. And let me tell you, she has the shoulders of a Sumo wrestler.
This is another mock-up for Fairy Tale Lies, using an image (with her permission; thank you, Lou!) from Louise Robinson’s Art & Ghosts.
I’m not sure why this one looks like a fairy tale cover to me, but it does. (Plus, it’s from Lou’s “Fairytales” portfolio, so that’s a clue, too.) All of the work on that site is lovely, so you should go see it.
I mean, wouldn’t you buy that book? It’s gorgeous.
I’ve also started to clean the double downstairs (Light’s term for the first floor) and while I was dragging out an old floor lamp, I looked into the shade and saw a dead baby bat. Very pathetic. I said something like, “Urp!” and Light who was standing at the top of the stairs said, “What?” and I said, “Dead baby bat,” thinking she’d run screaming which was dumb because this is Light we’re talking about. She said, “Let me see!” and I tipped the lamp and showed her and she yelled, “Sweetness, come here!” and Sweetness came running and said, “Cool, a dead bat,” and then she yelled for her mother. Lani said, “What? What?” as she hit the top of the stairs, and Sweetness pointed and said, “It’s a dead baby bat!” and Lani said, “Why? Why? Why would you show me that?” All I’m saying is, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.
And neither does Walter.