What’s top of my mind: Javelinas. Last night Harper and I went for our evening dog-walk, and just to the left of us in the front yard a javelina bolted out of the bushes and ran hell- bent across the street into the dark. Harper, who is fearful of small children, thought this was something delightful to try to go after. I dragged the silly dog inside, but saw signs she needed to go out right away, so we went out again, wary of our journey. I met a fellow walking his dog who told me a ‘pack of them’ was down the street and we needed to be careful. It is a reminder the indigenous desert creatures didn’t move out when we moved in; we are surrounded by coyotes, snakes, and scorpions – and javelinas.

Where I’ve been: The Blue Room. The blue room at La Casa de Spo is a combination of a guestroom and Someone’s study. I seldom go into it as it is full-up with clutter and disorganization. Most of the time I keep the door closed so as not to see it. I went into it the other day to see if we have a copy of ‘Tom Jones’.* Old books are kept piled up in its closet, which resembles that of Fibber McGee. I am half-tempted to haul the whole contents to the curb and see if Someone even notices. Another ploy to a Blue Room makeover is to have guests, prompting a tidy-up. Any one want to come for a visit?

Where I’m going: the dentist. I recently received a text reminding me I have a cleaning next Monday. I asked The Best Medical Assistant if I remembered to take time off for this. Yes, for once I had sense to do so. The Good Dentist is a very nice man and his staff all well over four feet. The extracted back molar (on the port side) is supposed be filled with a new tooth, but this would a time-consuming and quite expensive process. It is in the back so no one notices anyway.

The Good Dentist

What I’m watching: The temperatures. The nadirs are hitting now, sometimes dipping nightly into the single digits (Celsius). On occasion they get near freezing and we are supposed to put sheets and covers on the shrubbery. It is not uncommon to go for morning walk dog-walks to see the cacti capped with white Styrofoam cups. I feel perpetually cold these days, making me rethink my vague but menacing retirement plan to ‘go somewhere where there is snow”. Oh the pain.

What I’m reading: Tom Jones. Mr. Harchick, my high school English teacher, gave us a list of his favorite novels to read someday. A few years ago I found this list among my papers. I was pleased as Punch to see I have read 13 of the 19 he recommended. I want to read the remaining six. The first on the list is the mentioned ‘Tom Jones’. As The Blue Room is bereft of such, I am off to Bookman’s the used bookstore this weekend to get me a copy. I hope it isn’t too wordy as early novels tend to be. On the positive, these timeless tomes often have lots of flamboyant old words to resurrect. Someone can always tell if I’ve been reading 18th and 19th century novels by how I am speaking at supper time.

What I’m listening to: The Rat Pack. Last month I heard a delightful podcast series at “You must remember this” about Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, two people I didn’t know much about other than I’ve heard 1-2 songs of theirs. I became interested to hear more of their music. Someone gave me at Christmas CDs of Mr. Davis (tragic character), Mr. Martin (sort of ho-hum in his private life), and Mr. Sinatra (proper bastard he was). I download these this weekend into my iPhone to have me a listen.

What I’m eating: Dried fruit. At made Christmas I made another pudding, using prunes, apricots, raisins, and cranberries. I have four containers of leftover dried fruit. I am slowly incorporating them into meals so as not to have them go to waste. I learned the hard way not to eat these on their own as a snack. Oh the horror.

Who needs a good slap: The men-folk at the gym. It is not uncommon to go into the locker room and find wads or shreds of paper towel on the floor and in the lockers. There are also used/crushed plastic bottles and unflushed toilets. The cliché ‘men are pigs’ gets some validity from this untidy unsanitary spectacle. Are the women’s lockers just as disgusting?

I give men at the gym on my 1-5 scale, 3 slaps.

What I’m planning: My 401(k). Now that my workplace is owned by The Overlords I am told our 401K plan with John Hancock will be no more and a new one is being established. It is not clear to me yet if I have to write Mr. Hancock a letter of regret and please transfer the funds to the new fellow, or it can just sit there until I want it (fat chance of that). Someone suggests I transfer it to Mr. Lynch where we keep our main money. It is one of this week’s goals to discover what my options are. I know this is the right thing to do but it always tickles my dreadful intuition I will never see a penny.

Addendum: The House Manager clarified the funds at JH will be automatically transferred, but I have to register to have further money deposited.

What’s making me smile: Nothing again. This ‘W” always seems the hardest one to come up with. The state of the world, particularly the state of the country, combined with the general nastiness of my fellow man, easily overrides my emotions that I seldom smile anymore. 😦

I suppose I smile a bit when I hear the song “House of Holbein’ from the musical “Six”. This is a show about the six wives of Henry VIII and their issues. In Anne’s number, the five others sing about Miss Cleves getting done up for her fateful portrait:

You bring the corsets/we’ll bring the cinches/no one wants a waist over nine inches.

So what the makeup contains lead poison?/at least your complexion will bring all the boys in.

It’s grim humor, yes, but admittedly bang-on and funny enough to crack a smile at it.

*No, we don’t. We do have a set of Harvard Classics Collection consisting of fifty or so books bound in dull olive and printed about 1909. It’s interesting to see what’s in them, but nothing ‘fun’ it looks like.