Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't You Know Everyone Wants to Laugh

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Help Quinn Think of Something to Write tour. If I didn't get to your question, it wasn't personal. Trust me, I'll get to it the next time the muse sticks her fingers in her ears, hums, and refuses to play with me. I know what I'm writing next and this elates me.

One last question, because it was a question which comes up in some variation every few months. The ever-prolific Anonymous asked:

Would you ever act again? If so, is there a show you wish you were on?

I have learned in my life to never say never, if for no other reason than whatever I nevered, I end up doing in public within ninety days. So I'll say this; I cannot imagine the circumstances under which I would act again. This is good, because never once in the last decade has the entertainment industry been heard to bemoan the lack of actresses over forty. Now, admittedly, sometimes they bemoan the lack of actresses over forty who haven't injected botulism into their faces and actually can express an emotional state, but they are enough actresses who fit that description to fill the infinitesimal need the industry has.

I'll say this: in the world I cannot conceive of, the world in which I act again, I'd love to be on "Big Bang Theory." I think it's funny as all get out, the performances are terrific, it's got pleasing geek-cred (I know people who would actually understand those theorems they have scrawled on the white-board in the background of their apartment). But most of all, I babysat Simon Helberg (Wolowitz) when I was fourteen. Working with him would give me no end of joy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Naming of Cats is a Difficult Matter

Robin Raven asked several questions, including a really interesting one which might be my ticket out of the writing doldrums. Today, however, I'm choosing the easy ones because I'm suffering from an Easter hangover, which involves no alcohol whatsoever but possibly has something to do with having five meals in one day and all of them surrounded by great lashings of candy.

What are the top 3 songs of your most-played iTunes playlist?

I just went and looked that up. The top is the prologue to "Little Shop of Horrors," the second is "Galileo" by Indigo Girls and the third is "Least Complicated" by Indigo Girls. Until this moment, I'd have sworn I like Indigo Girls but didn't like them like them. It would appear I'm wrong.

What are your favorite restaurants in L.A.?

Right now, it's Forage, by a mile. Incredibly delicious food, have never had a single element I didn't like. The fact that some of the vegetables are grown in local neighborhood yards is just kind of fun.

How are Anne and Diana? Did you choose those names because of an affinity for the books? (I'm a Lucy Maud Montgomery buff, so I was curious.)

They are very well and purr at you for asking after them. Did I ever tell you that a famous couple got two of their littermates? Sometimes I look at them and think Had the fates chosen otherwise, you could be dozing on a far better couch right now. They are, in fact, named after the characters, because Anne is a marmalade and is therefore a redhead and Diana possesses copious amounts of dark fur. Really, copious amounts of fur; I'd like the Swiffer organization to underwrite the blog.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

King of the Road

Wootini asks:

So did the hair dye actually kill the lice? Would you ever consider relocating and, if so, where?

Re: Lice. So far, yes! And we're praying telling this story about Daughter has caused only "My mom sings loudly in the car when my friends are there" psychic damage and not "My mom hits on my friends" psychic damage.

Since with the exception of ninety days when I was 31 I've never lived further than five miles from the house in which I grew up, something tells me I need to relocate. That whatever the human version of pot-bound is, I'm it. And if Consort needed to be somewhere for work or if Daughter got an opportunity which was elsewhere, you'd be dazzled at how quickly I could move. But I hate travel and change nauseates me; the odds of us moving because it's fun and kicky to do so is vanishingly small.

P.S.: Go to her blog. She fleshed out something I had started and it's as if my life was put to music.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Walkin' on the Sidewalks

Char asked:

You found $10 on the sidewalk - movie, book, or something else?

I would buy two magazines. They would both be fashion. This is ironic because my nearly my entire wardrobe right now is not only unfashionable, it appears to be worth about $10. But I hate what clothes I can justify buying and magazines are filled with warming moments where I pretend I need Resort Wear and high-heeled hiking boots for intimate dinners in Gstaad. And then Consort says "Quinn, the cat's litter box is evil," and I realize that a) He never actually wanted a cat, let alone two, so I'll be removing the evil and b) I have exactly the wardrobe I deserve right now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Thing of Shreds and Patches

Deb asked what my current favorite toe-tapping song is.

I'm sure there is one, but I have an ear-worm of such relentless fury that I cannot hear anything over ALL THE INNER SINGING. That song? "Wandering Minstrel," from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. Laugh it up, you naifs. If you had a child who really liked Gilbert and Sullivan and you were just so very grateful it wasn't Ke$ha that you didn't complain when Mikado was on all the time, it would get stuck in your head, too. And why is it in there? Because I focused on "Wandering Minstrel" to get the last ear-worm out of my head.

"Three Little Maids."

And now they're playing in my head simultaneously.

I love my daughter very, very much.

Hey, Mama

Buckeye Annie2 asks:

I totally live a very similar life and can offer some lovely canned beets for the food drive but not much in the way of advice even though I have somehow raised my kids to Teenagedom oh wait you wanted me to ask a question so I'll ask a real stumper: How are YOU behind all that mama-ness?

What a good question to begin with, because lately I've had the most wondrous sense of disappearing. Last week I went out of town for four days for book-related research. This is the longest Daughter and I have been apart since she was born. This turned out to most serendipitous, because with home-schooling and all that, Daughter has begun to take me for granted on a par with taking oxygen and Kardashians on our television for granted. Within an hour of leaving for the airport, I got the first text from her, telling me she missed me. When I landed on the East Coast, I had three more chatty Daughter-texts waiting for me, telling me this picayune event and that inconsequential anecdote, which is another way of saying "I miss you." Wasn't being taken for granted now, was I?

But did I miss her? Did I miss Consort? Of course I did, but I wasn't exactly longing for their nearness, because while on this trip I was productive and if they had been there we would have had fun but I wouldn't have been nearly as productive. The feeling which I found odder was that of freefalling through my day; if I wasn't mothering, there was all this time and energy left over. I happily lose myself in the job of mother but am starting to think about the razor's edge between losing yourself and getting lost. I'm not unhappy giving myself over to this; in fact, this is the longest sustained sense of joy and satisfaction I've ever had. But the cold fact is this job of full-time mother has a lifespan and I'm closer to the end than the beginning of it. It's time to think about what will get all this energy next, my Quinn 2.0. Oh,who am I kidding? Quinn 15.0. And I think we all know the program will be buggy.

And I have no idea why this is, but everyone has canned beets to offer a food-drive. We like them well enough to buy them but not well enough to eat them.

Someone else can answer that one.

Questions, I've Got Some Questions

Here's how my head sounds these days:

AUGH! The laundry needs folding and the rabbit needs greens but the blog stands here looking at me plaintively and I really ought to get something written down only I'm up to my hips in everything and the book wants writing and the child should be educated while the blog still stands there looking at me plaintively and I must wash the cats and do the drops in the dog's ears and write the team-parent letter and get the kid's Easter shoes polished up when did my hairdo turn into Justin Bieber's?

Ooh, so much distraction and noise up there. One of the side-effects is while every single stinking thing is going on I cannot think of a thing to write in this here blog. So readers, I come to you. If you feel so inclined, ask me questions in the "Comment" section. I'll answer them, or I might just get distracted and send you a request for canned foods for the neighborhood food drive. That's the magical part about me right now; the randomness.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

He's a Rebel 'Cause He Never Ever Does What He Should

So, yeah, the rabbit. He's been here a week now. Until two days ago, I began all conversations with "You want a rabbit?" To absolutely no one's surprise, not one single person has responded with "DO I!" During the day, he runs around our yard; at night, I put him in the dog-crate and place him in the garage so he won't be eaten or even bothered by nighttime yard visitors. He has hay, fresh water, various vegetables. It's not been the ideal, but were I a rabbit, I think I'd call it a reasonable Plan B. The dog barked at him and chased him exactly once, after which I spoke to him sharply, he wilted and let the rabbit alone after that. When looking for your next dog, make sure to ask if the dog shames easily; I tell you, it's a Godsend. The cats aren't allowed outside, but have taken to sitting in the kitchen window, watching him hop around. The windows are their television and it would seem I just got them premium cable.

What's he like? Depends. If he's in the back yard, he's fairly indifferent to us, periodically opting to sit next to whoever is on the chaise, making a big show of eating clover and looking in the opposite direction, being a jaded little lagomorph who only would appear to be wanting to be petted. And then he gets petted for a few minutes and the lunges off. If the petter happens to be me, I then go in and scrub to the armpits.

But if he's gone to the dog run, he's a very, very, VERY different little man. The dog run BELONGS TO THE RABBIT. All who enter MUST ANSWER FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR. The dog run attaches to the yard by way of a path and a surveyor would tell you it's all of a single piece. THE SURVEYOR WOULD BE WRONG FOR THE BACK YARD BELONGS TO THE RABBIT AND OTHERS BUT THE DOG RUN BELONGS SOLELY TO THE RABBIT. IF YOU COME TO THE DOG RUN, THE RABBIT WILL RUN IN CIRCLES AROUND YOU UNTIL YOU LEAVE. You're thinking Awwww right now. That's okay. I thought that, too, until yesterday.

It was midafternoon. I saw no rabbit in the back yard. I went to the dog run and called "Rabbit?" A small face peeked out from behind the gate. Having established he wasn't dead, I turned to leave the back yard, I heard a crashing. Turning, I saw the rabbit streaking through the grass towards me. Expecting the usual circling-until-I-left, I stepped away. He lunged for my ankle. Stupidly, I put my hands down to shoo him away.

He bit my hand. Hard.

I pried his jaw off my hand. He took this opportunity to bite the other hand. I held up my hand; the rabbit hung from it for a few seconds and then dropped off and lunged for me again. I sprinted for the back door, unshoeing myself in the process. I stood inside and panted, watching my abuser; the rabbit sniffed the flip-flop disinterestedly and found a grass-blade worthy of him. The scene was pastoral. Were it not for the rabbit-tooth divots in my hand, I'd have thought I was hallucinating.

Don't worry, Mom. He didn't break the skin. Two Benadryl later, the swelling came down. A little online research and a quick call to the woman who handles the bunnies at our rescue told me what I had suspected, that testosterone is a very powerful motivating factor. Once he's neutered, he'll probably get less territorial.


Or he's just a bit of a jerk.

So next week he'll be neutered. I'll pay for it, because there is no city program to help underwrite rabbit-neutering . Maddeningly, rabbit neutering costs more than cat or dog-neutering. And then I'll try to place him again, but I'm starting to think he's going to live in the dog run for a while. I'm not happy about this, but as of this morning I've decided what he is in my life. He's my Bengali tea-boy.

Of course I'll explain. A friend who is a Buddhist told me the following story: There was a highly-respected Lama who was travelling and giving dharma lectures. Among all the people who worked with him, came to see him, assisted him in every way possible, this Lama had a tea-boy from Bengal who went everywhere with him. The tea-boy was incompetent, rude to the Lama, and a general chore to be around. People, assuming the Lama was too kind, too evolved to fire him, offered to do this job. The Lama refused; he kept the boy because in a world where everyone wanted to make things easy on the Lama, the boy provided him with a chance to practice patience and non-judgement. All the major religions stress treating others with patience, kindness and mercy. All the major religions stress this because either the people who wrote it or the God or Gods who inspired it know exactly how hard daily patience, kindness and mercy are.

It's easy to love my dog who worships us and corrects his behavior after a single sharp tone. It's easy to love the cats who make doe-eyes at us. I took on the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of something which didn't ask to be small and helpless and can't help having the personality of a "Jersey Shore" cast member. I didn't want a rabbit, and I can't say I exactly like the rabbit, but I will care for him and love him as best as I can. His water will be clean, his hay will be plentiful. He will have vegetables and all the dog run grass he wants.

But don't kid yourself. The testicles are coming off.