Good Bones

Prompt: Place


Hello Wednesday,

Have you ever counted the number of places you’ve lived in? I wonder what the average is? I mean houses, in whatever location: would the average be about four? six?

I know I’ve lived in 12 different abodes, including this one, in five cities and one tiny town. I’ve packed more boxes than I can count. Gone house hunting so often that now that I am relatively settled I am a Househunters (TV show) addict, particularly Househunters International. I know it’s completely fake, rigged, and laughably predictable, but it’s still fun to mock the unbelievable clueless house hunters, their sleazy realtors, and the appallingly inappropriate homes.

Househunters is a TV show gasping for a drinking game. So gather your loved ones of drinking age around you, set out the wine and beer, and take a swig anytime one of the following happens on Househunters:

  • One wants city, one wants country.
  • One wants modern, one wants traditional.
  • One is adamant about the budget, one who doesn’t care a whit.
  • The music for International is hopelessly clichéd (Oompah soundtrack in Germany, for example).
  • In any large city where the couple are shocked their $600 rental budget isn’t enough.
  • Someone crawls into the bathtub.
  • Someone enters the shower and comments on the height of the shower head.
  • Someone criticizes a light fixture in a million dollar home.
  • Someone expresses shock that: the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub.
  • Someone expresses shock that the clothes washer is in the kitchen.
  • The couple is adamant about an outdoor area for their dog but settle on an apartment.
  • A parent frets that a child will fall off a railed landing or balcony.
  • A “joke” is made about a closet being large enough for the woman only.
  • A “joke” is made about the closet only large enough for the woman’s shoes.
  • Someone blathers on about “natural light” when they mean “this room has windows”.
  • That frequent Paris realtor talks about “good bones”.
  • The buyers complain the oven is too small for a Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Someone says “I can see us drinking coffee/sipping wine on this balcony”.
  • Someone bemoans lack of privacy instead of remembering curtains can be closed,.
  • They insist on a heart-of-the-city apartment then complain about the noise.
  • They insist on extra bedrooms for “visitors” who many come once a year for a week.
  • They faint from horror at the sight of a popcorn ceiling.
  • The shots of the previous location is all snow and ice if the couple is from Canada.
  • The realtor tells us that the housing market has has a recent uptick and finding a place will be “challenging”.
  • The realtor shows them a pile of rubble and asks them to see the potential.
  • The realtor shows a couple with four children a two-bedroom home.
  • The after picture looks exactly like the before picture except for a new cushion,
  • They pick the worst option by far.

I’m sure there are many more. I’ll make a game, print sheets, and send them out to other fans. Contact me!

Meanwhile may I present a few of my favourite cartoons also related to today’s prompt, “place”?

cartoon socialist wasteland

cartoon oz or kansas

cartoon great screen japan


Stay safe!

~~FP

 

Sky Raisin

Dear Sunday,

There’s something about a global pandemic that makes me lose track of time. The only thing that keeps my days structured are twice weekly Zoom meetings. I know today is Sunday because I host my family– we call it Appy Hour. Mid-week is friends Zoom, which is a bit like sitting out on the deck with them with a glass of wine and completely frivolous conversation.

Otherwise I’m at a loss. I’ve pretended, quite convincingly so far, that all this isolation and social distancing has not been a hardship for me, since I learned a long time ago to be self-sufficient to the point of hermitry. I can entertain myself. I don’t need (nor do I want) constant communication with people about every little thing, I don’t rely on my acquaintances for validation (whatever that is).

But I miss people. I miss people I like and even people I don’t like. I’m tired of being cooped up with only the voice of Trump saying increasingly stupid and scary things day after day. Tired of partner, of my demon puppy, of this beautiful house, of floors, walls and windows. Tired of weeds and rain and morning headaches. I miss you!

Did you know there is a Text Crisis Line for those of us who feel isolated, depressed or just lonely? If you are in Canada, the US, the UK, or Ireland, visit this site for more information.

M e a n w h i l e . . . May I brighten your day with a few cartoons from Drawtism that brightened my day?

IMG_1171

IMG_1173

IMG_1172

Demon puppy used to be partial to The Egg, but now shamelessly sleeps like The Sistine Chapel.

Peace and love and virtual hugs!

~~FP

Infinite

Prompt: Count


Hello Wednesday,

This afternoon I was out playing with the puppy in the front yard when our neighbour shouted from across the street, “How did the colonoscopy go?”

Well ok, it’s fine if everyone for half a mile around knows my private colonic business, since there is nothing shameful about having the procedure and, in fact, it is a necessary, life-saving precaution. But I’m not thrilled with the idea of them harbouring mental images of me racing to the toilet, or whatever graphic scenarios their imaginations conjure up. Don’t even want to think about it.

The neighbour across the street, by the way, caught us sneaking away to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning and couldn’t contain her curiousity. I would have made something up, like we were off on a secret mission to Uzbekistan where my uncle, kidnapped as a child, had been located but had amnesia, and only the family medallion, an eagle in a circle within a flame had identified him and only he had the genetic codes that would…  Anyway we were rushed and my partner just told her.

Later that day I had to brag to my sister (who was generous with her personal colonoscopy horror stories, bless her) about the absolute ease of the dreaded prep; in fact I basically slept through it. She was more interested in the fact that the sedative did not put me under this time, but was enough that I wasn’t freaked out by the Fantastic Voyage: watching the exploration of my colon, in vivid colour cinemascope on the monitor, for half an hour during the procedure. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Set Them Loose in Fluffy’s Colon.

I was told from the beginning that different people have different reactions to the prep and to the sedative, and I count myself lucky that the whole thing was so easy-peasy (and that it wasn’t cancelled outright, in light of COVID-19 fears). Many who have had the procedure are emphatic that the prep is the worst part, but for me the worst part was worrying about the prep. May your journey down the path of colonoscopy be a similar cakewalk, with cake at the end of it— though my first meal after the fast was spaghetti and it was delicious.

Apropos of the prompt, Count, my adventures with internal organs, and nothing in particular, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon count blessings

cartoon look of eye

cartoon annual


Stay safe, and let’s all take care of one another.

Love and peace,

~~FP

Not Guilty

Prompt: Humans

cartoon wagging

Hello Wednesday, a little late.

To be honest, I completely forgot about my Wednesday post, since I had a very unharmonious day with our new puppy, Holly, who picked February 26 to be the worst puppy she could be, and I have the damaged clothes and broken skin and frazzled nerves to prove it. In addition, she forgot everything she ever learned about housetraining. It is a day that will live in infamy. Next February 26 I will book myself into a spa with a sensory deprivation tank and try to forget. It will be an annual event, and wine will be involved.

On Thursday, Holly was gentle as a lamb. We took her out to socialize and she met lots of other dogs and people and did very well. I talked to a professional trainer who assured me that housetraining and biting regression are common and that, after all, puppy is still just a baby at 12 weeks. Puppies are like human babies, she added, and get hyper and bratty when they are tired. She then taught puppy, in less than a minute, to come to her hand. We learned how to stop her jumping up on others, if not on us, from a woman in the parking lot. Holly and I had cuddles in the car on the way out and on the way back.

A few minutes ago, she ravaged my back and legs, unprovoked, with her needle teeth and razor claws, while pulling on my jeans and top and possibly ripping them. I haven’t looked. I can only think of spa day, 2021.

The prompt today is “human” and I keep reminding myself that I am an adult human, the most advanced species on earth, and Holly is a little baby dog who has never seen a toothbrush and who was literally bred over the millennia to be my best friend. I just checked on her and she is crashed out in the front hallway, snoring. I simply adore her when she is asleep.

Relating to today’s prompt and just a little to today’s tribulations, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon you have humans

cartoon steps

cartoon not guilty


Peace, love, and cuddles,

~~FP

You Are Here

Prompt: Start here


Dear Wednesday,

You know what they say about beginnings: They have to start somewhere.

This coming Saturday marks the startling start of a new era in this house: Our adopted 8-week old puppy comes home. Cliché alert! She is a cute, cuddly, soft, plump, adorable, blob of perfection. She is also Godzilla, a big fat steamroller with brown eyes and a little red collar who will pee everywhere and deny us an uninterrupted night’s sleep for too many months. Why, WHY do this to ourselves? This is why:

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Such a sad little Godzilla. So melancholy while ready to wreak spirited havoc. She is a Christmas puppy so Holly seemed like a fitting name. Will she live up to her name? Will she be pretty, prickly, evergreen, and seasonal? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of today’s prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon bigger feminist

cartoon whale interior

cartoon office start


Love and peace,

~~FP

The Power

Prompt: Disturbing

woman flying

There were a couple of illuminating aspects of an exhausting dream I had last night. (No need to read on— other people’s dreams can be paralyzingly boring— but if you have any interest in dream significance or interpretation, it might be tolerable.)

I was lost in my dream New York City, which has elements of the actual city, but like many of my dream cities is more a travel brochure version (with obscure references thrown in for good measure). Tall buildings, crowds, millions of storefronts, subways, and trains, and a main street upon which I walk in search of…

This time I was in search of the building where my sister lives, a vintage mid-rise apartment block in a neighbourhood of vintage mid-rise apartment blocks. I knew where it was, but somehow was very lost, walking miles and miles out of my way, for hours and hours, through strange neighbourhoods (like “Jamaicatown”) and the docks, sometimes on busy, crowded sidewalks, sometimes in menacingly empty industrial areas. On and on, the frustration and anxiety growing unbearably.

At one point I bought and wore a green dinosaur suit and danced along the street uncaring— Revelation number one: Sometimes we are pushed to a point past caring, where alarming unorthodox behaviour is a release, and feels good. I will look at the square pegs, the sometimes scarily weird people, differently from now on.

At another point, after a gruelling attempt to reach my destination by taking a route off the main street, I found myself further away from my sister’s flat than I could ever imagine; across an inlet, on much higher ground, with the city seemingly inaccessible now, after the interminable unsuccessful efforts to navigate it. So I said to myself, “I’ll just have to fly” and started to lift myself off the ground.

Then, as a crossed the inlet high above the water, I said to myself with exasperation, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Why indeed? Flying in dreams can be difficult; often concentration is needed to keep me aloft, but it is immensely liberating, especially when, as in this dream, I will it— a dream intervention.

Revelation number two: Sometimes we have to consciously free ourselves from the things that hold us back. We forget our own power, that we have resources that can seem magical when they actually lift us out the quicksand of confusion or indecision.

To recap: We are all vulnerable sometimes, and sometimes pushed to a place beyond our control or understanding, causing us to behave uncharacteristically, impulsively, loopily, and we should maybe learn to sympathize and forgive ourselves and others when this occurs. Oppressive feelings, whether of depression, loss, confusion, doubt, or fear, drag us down, but we need to remember that we have the power within us to help lift us up and out and away, where we can feel free and find some perspective.

…Perhaps I should say “I” instead of “we”— but I found the dream to have such valuable messages that I wanted to share it. My alarm awakened me from this dream and I truly was emotionally exhausted (in the dream I was also physically spent and very hungry). Don’t you think one of the most delicious things in life is to wake from a disturbing dream and find it was all an unpleasant brain fantasy?

Might I Suggest

Prompt: Tab


Dear Wednesday,

When we run a tab we expect others to honour promises unfulfilled, whether it’s drinks at a bar or those times when we’ve been distracted, distressed, or ill and unable to take responsibility. I suspect we all do it at some points in our lives. I know that for the past year, I’ve been running a tab— withdrawing from once-important aspects of my life, from friends and family, feeling sad and unable to cope, and somehow firmly expecting others to stand with me and be there when I was able raise my head again.  I was also running a tab with myself— existing on the promise that things would get better.

And they did. I’m not sure exactly what turned it all around and sincerely wish I could bottle it up and present it to those who also suffer. Much of it had to do with regaining my physical health, without which gaining perspective (in my case) would have been impossible.

So if you are struggling, be kind to yourself, be patient, get enough sleep, get checked out by your family doctor. Don’t be afraid to say you are depressed or overwhelmed. We all need to run a tab sometimes.

May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons, which may or may not be relevant to today’s prompt, “tab”?

cartoon run a tab

cartoon suggest

cartoon olives table


Love and peace,

~~FP

Dear Santa. Grrr.

Prompt: Christmas card


Dear Wednesday,

It seems like only a year ago that I sat down and wrote Christmas letters to far-flung family and friends, regaling them with the perfection that was my previous year and wishing them even a fraction of the utopia that is the life of Fluffy.

This year I’ll treat them (and you) to a slightly different analysis of the year that was; i.e. the main occurrences in 2019 were these: 1. My dog died and 2. Men suck. 3. I got old. These do not seem to be the usual joyous events lovingly described in Christmas letters, but that’s the challenge. How to make convince people who don’t really care that my life is a exuberant dream that they should envy, when the news seems less than ebullient?

My dog was a very good dog, a black and fluffy dog. He got old before I did, and so we had to set him on his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Sad? No, because a dog’s afterlife is a certainty: they go to a green meadow in a heaven where they can run and play with other animals, indulge in delicious treats, get belly rubs on demand, and in general  enjoy the kind of blissful existence they deserve.  People may go to heaven, hell, purgatory, or, more likely, nowhere to spend their eternity, because people are imperfect. Dogs are full of nothing but love and should (if they are not) be the centre of the Universe. If you disagree with me, you have never had a dog.

Men. I have a father, a husband, brothers, male friends, a beloved nephew… but holy shit, men suck. Think Donald Trump, incels, war-makers, sexual harassers and assaulters, arms dealers, rapists, Woody Allen, and the guy who really set me off, a piece of work by the name of Tommy Callaway, who felt entitled to slap and squeeze a reporter’s ass as he ran by her. What kind of person thinks it is ok to sexually assault a young woman or any woman, and who thinks his utterly cynical and smarmy “apology” is more meaningful than a poop bag? Tommy Callaway, that’s who. Tommy Callaway and, presumably, a huge population of men who seem to think the whole Harvey Weinstein thing, #metoo— and, one assumes, sexual assault in general, is nothing but an overrated joke. How else do you explain the man, his grope, his excuse? Men suck, that’s how. (Yet my father, husband, brothers, male friends, beloved nephew wouldn’t even dream of groping a woman— why are the good men like them never in the news? I know why, because being baseline decent is not newsworthy, so we have to hear about the Tommy Callaways grrr of the world.)

And I got old. I went to bed one night, a dewy, lithe, fluffy young woman and woke up as an ancient relic. To be honest, I am not so much a relic as fighting to wipe that thought out of my head. Every little twinge in my back, every bit of fatigue, every fleeting whiff of forgetfulness is now a reminder the size of a skyscraper that my dewy days are done. The real cherry on the top is the fact that my aging will be held against me, I will become invisible and easily dismissed while guess who will grow old with looks that become more distinguished and whose credibility increases? Men, that’s who.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas letter! I promise you that my contention that men suck in no way diminishes my great love for them. That’s what comes with extreme old age: you can hold two opposing thoughts in your ancient rattling head at the same time.

Obsessive-Compulsive Santa

cartoon dear santa

cartoon roll around santa


Peace and love,

~~FP

Honor System

Prompt: Honor


Hello Wednesday,

It was my parents’ wedding anniversary yesterday. Were they still alive, it would have been their… 700th or so, which is not diamond or paper anniversary but I believe is celebrated by presenting one another with life-viable planets. I mean, it has to be extra-special to stay wed for so long, right?

So they would each have had possession of a planet that could conceivably be a location for, say, space vacations, providing there was a water slide or similar amenity. Either one could also act as a back-up planet for this one, for a reasonable fee. If only all anniversary symbols were so practical.

They would get to name their planets. My mother would probably call hers “Sophie” while my dad would likely go for “Omphaloskepsis” or other cool-sounding, obscure word, since he liked puzzles and dictionaries. He liked dictionaries he could hold in his hand, not Google search screens. At my parents’ home there was a shelf under the living room window stocked with several dictionaries, a three-volume encyclopedia, almanac, Book of World Records, Thesaurus, atlas, and a French-English dictionary (we’re Canadian, what can I say). These books were called Argument Stoppers.

My mother liked words too but preferred the meditative arts to crossword puzzles: she embroidered, knit, crocheted, quilted, baked, canned.. and basically excelled at all the lost arts. Planet Sophie would look nice and have great food.

If my parents were here with me now, in my humble living room, my mother would be doing handwork by the fire and my dad would be working on a cryptic crossword, surrounded by Argument Stoppers, occasionally challenging me with a clue. My mother would also be doling out advice— strangely enough, advice I likely asked for. She was good at advice.

I would be here at my laptop, missing them terribly.

Well now, in honour of honour, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons that honour the prompt’s American spelling, “honor”?

cartoon tsa honor

cartoon trump honor

cartoon alleged killer whale


Peace and love,

~~FP

Ned helped out

Prompt: Celebrate


Well, Wednesday, summer was certainly in a hurry to rush off, and so here I sit in front of a charming gas fireplace while it drizzles and blows outside.

The theme today is “celebrate” and there is much to make merry about today (and perhaps every day, if we devoted a little thought to it). How are we merry? Let us count the ways:

  1. My goddaughter gave birth to her third son, and I suspect they will end up with seven children as they keep trying for a girl. In any case, they are a fine, funny family at any size, and the new arrival is greeted with joy by all except the 3-year old who is peeved because they didn’t give the baby the name he wanted: Macaroni and Cheese.
  2. Fall wardrobes of soft fleece and plush wools, and that feeling of smugness and invincibility you get when you wrap up to go out and face the elements. It may be brisk and windy but you are toasty warm in your jacket and fuzzy gloves.
  3. The quickie kitchen book I am writing is ticking along, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. That’s because I had another creative project to finish first. Creative projects rule!
  4. I still live by the lake. It helps to be happy to look out your window—even if it is a view of the laundromat across the street, since laundromats are good and and give us clean, warm clothes.
  5. Trump may finally be impeached. It might be too early to celebrate, since the man has escaped consequences for countless earlier sorry misdeeds, but what the hell. Bring on the confetti.
  6. Scones. Scones should be celebrated year round. Think of hot buttered scones with tea on a chill autumn morning.
  7. I had a really, very, too much fun dream the other night, which I am so sorry I can’t relate because it is of an adult nature, but trust me, it was a good one.
  8. Tomatillos.

And now, as an anticlimax, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons related to the prompt, “celebrate”?

cartoon birthday party clown

cartoon leave party

cartoon ned helped


Peace and love,

~~FP