Jan. 16th, 2009

terribleturnip: (percy)
The next person who says “Cold enough for you?” is going to get punched right in the face. Not because it’s too cold, or not cold enough, or even just freaking right, but because the week isn’t quite over yet and my “patience with idiots” pouch is empty. Look, Mr. Master of the Obvious, rummage around in your conversational treasure chest for something a little more clever, would ya? Or, leave the treasure chest AND your mouth shut.

When it's this cold, you preserve more body heat if you keep your mouth shut. That’s why my people (taciturn New Englanders) got their rep for being surly or unfriendly. We’re not. It’s just that you don’t waste body heat by flapping your gums or waving your whole damn arm to say hello like some kind of Potato Princess on a parade float. Then, when it warms up, we stay that way, because we like our blessed peace and quiet. The nod of recognition, the two fingers lifted off the steering wheel wave, the simple stating of someone’s name as a greeting:

“Jim.”
“Hank.”

It’s all you need, really. I know you. I know your name. I like you enough to say your name out loud. I will accompany that with a short nod of solidarity. Good enough. The simple peace and quiet is really comforting. Way more comforting than “Y’all come back, now, y’hear?” and a big ol’ arm wave. ‘Cause you don’t always mean it, you southerners. You’re just being polite. Which is fine. But not trustworthy. And a real waste when it's chilly. But ya do make fine iced tea. We’ll give you that.

I did delight in the nose crackle this morning. Takes me back. When you step outside, heading down the barn to chip out a hole in the water trough and throw food at various beasts and your first inhale, all your nose hairs freeze up and crackle. I love that.

But, for the record: I’ve had my little trip down memory lane, my heating bill is killing me, it can warm right the hell back up now.
terribleturnip: (percy)
A blog I follow, as an antidote to…well, a lot of things, is: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/

I know, you’re thinking: Mere? Baby animals? Isn’t that a little…girly frou-frou?

Yes. It is. But my little shriveled, prune-like ovaries have to get some kind of exercise, beyond popping out the monthly useless infertile seed. (My ovaries, sitting in La-Z-Boys, in front of the television. One ovary sighing, looking up from the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, looking at the other. “Go ahead, it’s your turn. I got last month.” The other one, putting down the paper, grumbling “Oh, all right. But what’s the f*ing point?”)
But I digress.

Please note, that I find pictures of baby animals adorable, but having raised my share of puppies, chicks, foals, kids, calves and kittens (okay, seven dozen people’s share of kittens), I actually prefer the adults. Aw, aren’t they cute to watch, look at. Now you can take them and their chewing, curtain tearing, uncontrollable defacation/urination, nipping, needle teeth/claw selves away until they’re old enough to work with.

Interestingly enough, I found that I can look on this site (and you have to go back a page to end of December) and I find the baby aardvark ADORABLE. The recent baby monkeys/apes, not so much.

Because, just like human babies, they look like little old men. That’s your true sign of evolution and our relatedness to monkeys right there. A puppy, even when just born, doesn’t look like a little old dog. Even an altricial baby bird (ooh, look at the big brain on Mere, altricial, meaning born without feathers showing, as opposed to precocial, which is born already decked out in down. Not only smart, but generous in not making you google it. Which means, in retrospect, that I probably spelled one or both of them wrong. But I’m going to carry on.)

Even an altricial baby bird doesn’t look like an old bird. Although they do look a little bit like little old men, so maybe that cripples my theory.

But anyway, evolution was not my point. I had a point. I don’t know what I did with it…ah! Why the hell am I so drawn to baby animals and not at all to baby humans? Case in point: I go to a baby shower – back when I did that sort of thing, now it’s blood relative’s only – and when we walk in, there’s a crib on one side of the living room with the mom-to-be’s baby from last year that most of us still haven’t seen and on the other side is a dog bed inhabited by the gnarliest-looking geezer whippet I’ve ever seen. I mean, blind, near hairless, toothless except for an occasional fang protruding, covered in fatty tumors, and other gross skin issues. And that’s where I go. I’m like, baby, whatever, oh, look, that’s one nasty-ass dog!

I mean, I will love your baby because it’s YOUR baby and you’re my friend. But to want to go coo over, look at, hold its tiny fingers, hold it in general…I mean if you’ve got to go pee, I’ll hold the kid for you. But there’s no essential baby-attraction for me. It’s not a thrill, so much as a “please don’t puke on me” while I’m doing your mom this favor kind of a moment. I don’t even like the way babies smell. All milky, baby-powery and well, other things that I’d rather not think about.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my share of babycare. Years of baby-sitting – often for the same kids, taking them from new babyhood to toddler. I’ve done my time. And while I loved the kids, I couldn’t wait for babyhood to be done. And that smell to be gone. I like kids to smell of peanut butter, crayons and paste. To be like little humans. Not larva.

I’d say it comes down to fur, but then there’s that baby aardvark. A-dor-a-ble.
terribleturnip: (percy)
And the internal editor has gone home again...

"Look, Perry, if you guys are waiting for a MESSAGE FROM GOD, it ain't gonna happen. Just pay the damn invoice so we can all get on with our lives."
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