Monday, January 30, 2012

In Which I Leave A Note, Write A List, Have A Laugh, And Make A Plea Against Nevermore

January is over!  Now where did the time go?  Finish taking down those Christmas decorations, (You know who you are!  Honestly, how can you stand yourselves?) and I'll see what little Leftover Thoughtlets are leaping around.

##Here is a note I left for my husband last week when I went out to dinner with one of my ladyfriends:  If Rondo doesn't go, move Iguodala to Rondo's spot at Guard; move Noah up to Forward (Iguodala's spot)!  Sigh. I know, right? On the one hand, some of you are in awe--and rightfully so--at my awesome fantasy roster!  On the other hand, the rest of you are shaking your heads and saying, "Holy crap.  What the hell is wrong with her?" and plotting a massive Virtual Friends Support Network Rescue Project wherein you will each agree to have me live with you for a week until I remember that I should be acting far more loftily and artsy, not worrying over Rajon Rondo's extended wrist injury and the fact that his absence is killing the West Egg Gatsbys' lineup right now.

##How hilarious are the republicans right now?  I know...who?  We have one Serial Adulterer endorsing another (after he inexplicably endorsed "We, The People" on the dais with a real Comedy Channel candidate), and the party that espouses capitalism and big business and tax breaks and keeping your own money is ripping into the candidate who is the Poster Child for all those things.  I don't know about you, but I'm waiting for Michele Bachmann to endorse.  After all, she said God told her to run for political office.  Now, I'm not sure how He felt about her quitting and all--do you think He weighed in on that, or was that totally her call?--but I'd love to hear who He thinks should be President now that He's changed His mind about her.  (Hey, maybe Mitt can use that as an example of why his own flip-flopping is really okay.  Even God is a flip-flopper!  There ya go, Mitt.  You can have that.)

##Marlowe moved to the top of the Most Favoured Cat list.  Admittedly, this is a short list and subject to caprice and fits of snark by its originator.  Earlier this month as Rick was in the shower and I was in the kitchen, she emerged through the cat door from the basement.  She trotted very proudly toward me with something in her mouth.  My eyes grew wide.  I hollered in to Rick, "Rick!  Rick!  Marlowe caught a mouse!"  She had, indeed, caught a very large brown field mouse in the basement.  Good heavens, who am I kidding?  The thing was huge.  And dead. Really, really dead.  Marlowe was so proud, and Piper was mildly interested. Rick finally came out of the bathroom, completely unclothed, and calmly took a paper plate, said, "Okay, Marlowe, I'll take over from here," and took it out to the trash.  I proceeded to lavish treats on the cat and only later did I realize what it all meant:  There was at least one mouse in my home. 

##Nancy, longtime reader and commenter, sent me a terribly sad news item that I wanted to share.  Knowing my fondness for all things Edgar Allan Poe, and my championing for his legacy, she knew that I'd want to know of the apparent end of the Poe Toaster tradition.  This is the third year in a row that the mysterious visitor to the author's grave did not appear with the usual cognac and rose.  That did not move me anywhere near as much as this part of the article did:  "Baltimore recently cut funding for the museum at the rowhouse where Poe lived with relatives from 1832 to 1835, before he found fame as a writer. It must close if it does not become self-sustaining by June."  I find this heartbreaking.  In 1875 a local schoolteacher started a campaign called "Pennies for Poe" in order to fund a dignified and suitable monument for this important writer who was wrongly characterized, vilified by his worst enemy in an obituary and biography which stood as the only sources for this man's life story for a generation.  The Pennies for Poe campaign has been revived on a small scale; I'm saddened that the president of the Poe Society hasn't hit up the big name horror authors who have credited Edgar with inspiring them; perhaps he will. All the same, he sounds like he's given up already.  I'm adding a link to the campaign to my sidebar.  I don't think Baltimore having a football team named the Ravens is enough of a remembrance to Edgar and his legacy.

Now that's a real sports fantasy.


  1. The YD's dog collected a chipmunk. Unfortunately it was not dead. Ew. Can I borrow your husband, paper plate optional?
    American politics, especially in the presidential candidate run-up, is a Canadian obsession. I think my husband has watched at least nineteen debates.
    Maybe the Prez will make the Poe house a National Historic Site. I wish we had a similar rule.

  2. We can chat about E.A.Poe later but first things first...

    Where do you keep your trash cans?

    I'm sure Rick did not toss that dead mouse into your kitchen trash basket. No! He would have taken it outside,wouldn't he? Hmm. Do you see where I am going with this?

    Please read your own description of the event:

    "Rick finally came out of the bathroom, completely unclothed, and calmly took a paper plate, said, "Okay, Marlowe, I'll take over from here," and took it out to the trash."

    The key words are "Completely unclothed" and "Out to the trash."

    My question to you is this:

    Do you think that lonely widow who lives next door to you is throwing mice into your basement?

  3. Oh Nancy - you have made me totally laugh out loud - really! Well, in a sort of quiet muted way since my boss is right behind me...

    Did you see my "Valentine's Tree" on my blog? It might very well happen for real!

  4. Nance!! Heavens to Ligeia! Who could believe there would REALLY be a Fall of the House of Usher? How can it happen?

    In my city, the Mark Twain house (yeah, I like your rainbow Celebrated Jumping Frogs)has been in the same peril for years. Thus I visit as often as I can and always take family and visitors there to support this magnificent house and museum. The museum owns his original Paige Compositor, the typesetting invention over which he went bankrupt.

  5. I was going to comment on Rick's unfettered trip to the rubbish tip, but several would-be voyeurs have beat me to the punch.

    So. On to Poe. Ya know, it's a shame Edgar A. wasn't Doe instead of Poe. Because the alliteration would have worked out better for him now: Dollars for Doe. I looked that up, and apparently it costs the city $85,000 a year to maintain it. About 14 cents per resident in Baltimore. Not that Poe fans everywhere would not be encouraged to contribute, but heck...there ought to be a way to siphon that out of some tax somewhere without school kids having to dump pennies in a jar. Or maybe they need to make an appeal on Twitter. I know you hate that, but, hey.. there's an E.A.P. Museum in Richmond, VA that is on Twitter... no doubt supported by local taxes, but, hey... Twitter probably doesn't hurt, either. Also, the Pennies for Poe site gives an address to MAIL CHECKS TO.
    Seriously?! They would get a lot more donations if they set up a Pay-Pal online thing you could just click on and make a donation from a debit card. I, for one, don't see myself sending a check on a local bank where I live to Baltimore, MD. I'm just sayin....

    The Republicans do not stop being more and more ridiculous. They are so all over the map, but what gets me the most is how they invent such crap about Obama, and their followers get totally sucked in to it. And let's not even start on the Pot calling the Kettle black, an do excuse the unfortunate cliché.

    Can't comment on the basketball. I'm clueless. But I like the addiction. We all need our little addictions.

  6. The worst things about ridiculous idiotic Republicans is that sometimes they win Important Elections. See: G.W. Bush. Ugh.

    Regarding Rondo and Noah, I have no idea what you're talking about, but perhaps it's fantasy sports? Not sure.

    Cats and mice...ugh. I once came in to find our cat with a string hanging from his mouth. "Oh shit", I thought, "He's swallowed a needle! It will kill him!" So I reached out to take the string...he growled...then I touched it, and it was oddly... warm... and... alive... and then I realized it was a mouse tail. CRAP! So I called my brother and said, "Richard, Naubia has a mouse in his mouth! HELP!" Luckily, he dealt with it. Blech.

    Regarding Poe, oh yeah, these things are difficult. I hate it. I don't want anyone to have to choose between old people eating, school kids getting their books, a park staying open, and a museum or monument to a local luminary person staying open. Ugh.

  7. j.@jj--Hee hee. Yes, my fantasy basketball team. You must have missed the sentence in there. You bring up a good point about cities having to divvy up their resources and something has to go. Easy for me, sitting here in NEO, to lament the axe falling on Poe House. Not my call. Sigh.

    Ortizzle--Re: the lackadaisical fundraising. That's exactly what I meant when I said that the Pres. of Poe Society has already given up. It would seem that there is really no concerted effort being put forth there. Edgar is a perpetual victim. I realize that the house in Baltimore is, perhaps, not a "significant" literary residence, but it is significant to his legacy, IMO. He began his work there, he lived in Baltimore and died there, and he wanted to start his own magazine there. From other articles I've read over the many years, Mr. Jerome, curator at Poe House, has been working tirelessly for EA Poe's legacy. Look what YOU did, in research and brainstorming, in just a few minutes. It's outrageous.

    sputnik--Last summer I read a bio of Twain's women. He had such a tangled relationship with his daughters and his secretary! What a fascinating man, who was wrongly said to be anti-woman for many years. True, he could be a real ass about a lot of things, but who can't? I'm glad you do your part for him. And as far as the Jumping Frog story--I taught it to raves for years and years.

    Bug--LOL. Glad to lighten your day! You know, my mother used to leave our family's Xmas tree up (a live tree!) well into January and one memorable year, well into March! We teased her by hanging paper groundhogs on it, Valentines, and then shamrocks and, because my two sisters have March birthdays, little cakes and candles. My father, a man with great humour, devilishly encouraged us all the way.

    Nancy--Ha ha!! So you noticed that! I reread it and decided not to edit. Hoped I'd grab a few commenters and slow down a few speedreaders. And honestly, I can't remember if he DID put a towel on to take the mouse to the trash! For the winter, we drag the huge city cans right onto the deck and right outside the back door. He very well could have just leaned out the door and dumped the mouse in while "au naturel." With so many high fences around, NBD! (Fences, not widows!)

    Mary--I cannot believe that Canada (Perfectville! LOL) does not have a mechanism in its government to designate National Treasures, as it were. No National Anythings? What about Provincially?

  8. Nance,

    Now that we have settled the great mouse adventure to everyone's satisfaction,it is time to discuss the Edgar Allan Poe house in Philadelphia.

    Edgar did most of his great work while living in Philadelphia and the National Park Service recognizes that truth by having the home he lived in here declared an historic site.

    Please enter "Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Philadelphia" in your search engine and you will get all the facts of that great man's stay in our fair City.

    The home is kept in impeccable condition by the NPS and is visited every week by hundreds of students and visitors to Philadelphia.

    Please visit yourself now that you are retired. Come see Independence Hall and touch the Liberty Bell and visit the new Constitution Center.

    As they say,"We'll leave the lights on for you."

  9. I personally think that both the E.A.Poe house in Philadelphia AND the one in Baltimore should stay open (though I've lived in Philly and not Baltimore)...and I think, really, these places are important. Not, perhaps, as important as food for the elderly or books in our schools, but they motivate children, and adults, to reach out and be what they can be. Or at least (if they're not up to the task personally) to know what that might possibly BE like, so they can encourage it in another. That's pretty damn important.

  10. Mikey G.12:44 PM

    We had mice in the last apartment, and my roommate's dog just watched them scurry about. You're lucky to have an animal on mouse patrol. We tried snap traps and glue traps, but those only caught some of the mice. I swear, some of them are really intelligent.

  11. Sad news about the Poe Toaster, yes? But I'm so proud of Marlowe. And even more proud of Rick, who "took over" in the all-together.

  12. Melissa B.--I used to love to intrigue my students with the story and video capture of the Poe Toaster years ago. Then it got to be such a circus, with pretenders and costume freaks and all that I think it is a good thing for it to die a natural death. It's another ignominy for Edgar and his legacy. Now, for Marlowe...believe me, she was plenty proud of herself too! She really showed off that mouse. And remember, she is completely declawed and has very tufty feet, so her capture of it was brilliant, indeed. Rick's aplomb, too, was quite chivalrous to us both.

    Mikey--Our previous feline residents were worthless when it came to the occasional mice. TravisCat was terrified of them, and EmilyCat simply couldn't be bothered. Marlowe is straight up a gangsta thug, though. LOL.

    J.@jj--I completely agree. How many pieces there are in the hypothetical budgetary pie would be the question, as usual, and we all know what that inevitably means, and we're back at your original point. Sigh.

    Nancy--Thank you. And thanks to Mary of Canada for reminding me what a treasure--no, TREASURE--our NPS is. I am a great lover of History, as all of you know, and it is so Vitally Important to our American Story that we preserve these places. I remember going to New York years and years ago, and having a tour guide show us a parking lot and tell us, "Under that FotoMat, approximately, is where the battle of so and so started of the French and Indian War." I thought I would throw up. I realize we can't possibly preserve everything, but...!


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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