A Disney Movie

Several years ago, when my writing partners and another couple of friends and I still frequented our chat room, I was always telling long, pointless stories about my daily life. I never realized how many of these had to do with animals until Tim one time said, “Your life is like a Disney movie.”

It is weird that I could live in the middle–not the urban sprawl–of the country’s fourth-largest city and still have so much wildlife around. The Compound is only a mile from Houston’s beautiful skyscrapers. Yet we have more than the usual pigeons and squirrels (although we have those in abundance). I see and often interact with tons of birds, opossums, racoons, an occasional escaped ferret, and of course, that boldest of urban dwellers, big fat rats. So far, not one of them has sewn me a dress, broken into cheerful song about following my dreams, or rescued me from a wicked stepmother…maybe because I forgot to have a stepmother.

The view from our dining room is a privacy fence. I hung flowers there to make it more interesting. They all died. I don’t know if it was because of our relentless sun or because the cross piece of that fence is what I call the “habi-trail.” It’s a major rat route. Nothing like sitting at the table with dinner guests and remarking, “Oh, look! A rat!” I finally filled the pots with cacti and aloe, all thriving in spite of being on the rodent highway.

Traffic on that highway has been slow lately. I think it’s because of the neighborhood bully, Yellow Cat from next door. Not only has he waged war on the rats, but he keeps beating up everyone’s house cats when he catches them outdoors. Day and night, I spot him all over the ‘hood, looking for trouble. Everybody’s talking about him–Notorious C.A.T.

I suspect his story’s ending is going to be more De Palma than Disney.

Palmetto Bugs, Revisited

Deep in one of Tim’s journal entries, Rhonda (rightfully) chastised me for letting Houstonians in THE DEAL use the term “palmetto bug.” She also wrote entertainingly of her mother’s assault on these tree roaches with flip flops, then Rhonda shocked me by saying she goes after them with a rolled up newspaper. My answer, below.
Continue reading “Palmetto Bugs, Revisited”

Spring and Change

It’s the first day of spring and I just saw a yellow butterfly. It’s not the first butterfly I’ve seen this year, but still, I’ll take it as a good omen. I’ll take all the good omens I can get.

One time (at band camp) at Baba Yega’s, one of my favorite Montrose eateries, I shared my lunch with a butterfly. It landed on a piece of melon and stayed with me, drinking, for nearly half an hour. Better than watching the Discovery channel!

I recently went to Baba Yega’s for the first time in quite a while. I remember when it was a dumpy little place with great food. Then there was a kitchen fire and they renovated, and it was nicer and still had great food.

One of its best features was the garden. A rock fountain, pond, exotic birds, tons of beautiful water flowers surrounded by other flowering plants always in bloom… It was great to eat a relaxed lunch, wander through the garden and talk to the birds, then exit through Wild Earth, their metaphysical shop, which was a source for the essential oils, herbs, and stones and crystals I use in my bodywork and energy work practice.

It’s changed again. Wild Earth is gone. I guess they’re expanding an express feature of the restaurant into that space. The birds are gone. When I was there, the doors to the garden were closed. I don’t know if that was because of the cool weather or if lingering in the garden is no longer encouraged.

The food is still fine, but it’s not as much fun–nor does the brisker pace encourage you–to watch the clientele. The patrons could be picked up and set down in any suburban Bennigan’s or TGI Friday’s and blend into the unauthentic decor. Yet another Montrose establishment adapting to the changes of the last ten years. I miss the grittier, edgier Baba Yega’s…and Montrose.

Who knew…

….that it was sort of cold outside? I realize that’s relative, considering the snow and ice being dumped on much of the rest of the country, but it was a surprise to take a little walk to my mother’s and find out too late that a jacket would have been a good idea.

…that just as chilling would be Publishers Weekly snubbing one of our novels for the first time ever? No review? What’s up with that? Are we chopped liver?

…that I’d have a reason to think of chopped liver today? What the hell IS chopped liver? I don’t even like liver, and chopped liver sounds worse.

No sleeping in

I guess I’ve gotten too accustomed to getting four to five hours of sleep. It was the first day in a long time that I was supposed to be able to sleep in, and my eyes opened wide at eight a.m. Dammit.

But it turned out to be a good thing, because James unexpectedly called and asked me to go to breakfast with him. We went to Baby Barnaby’s, one of our old haunts when he lived here. I’ve probably been there only once since he moved away years ago, and it looks great! Still tiny and cozy, but new paint (the ceiling is painted very creatively in stripes; I love it), new booths… Just much tidier and crisper overall, without losing any of its old charm.

I love seeing James and talking. He may be a decade younger than I am, but we are on the same soul level and have always shared an unspoken language that makes actual talking easier. What a great person he is.