my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: grandchildren

MJE’s persian carpet


So another year come and gone without much to show for it. Fortunately, I have such very low expectations for myself that merely being awake for a time, then being asleep for a time and repeating that every 24 hours or so is enough. It’s great, I am never disappointed. Although I did just read the phantom tollbooth (which was hilarious and thought provoking, but not sure that in this day and age when language is limited to 140 characters it would be understood by most children, or some adults, SAD) and it gave me a momentary twinge about being such a physical and intellectual sloth. But nothing came of it.

As I write, the OB&C is on the phone relating to yet another person the tragic tale of his stolen truck. I would have thought that by now everyone on the planet must have heard about it, but apparently mike in mumbai didn’t yet get the news so is being subjected to the extra long version. He made the fatal mistake of begging the question “how may I help.” If mike’s paid by the call he just blew a whole night’s worth of rupees.

The other day MJE was reading an article from the new york times to the OB&C about melanoma trump’s new cause: cyber-bullying. He looked puzzled. After a long minute or so he turned and asked what exactly is “cyber-bullion.” That my friends, is a question only the gods can answer.

We’ve had the atl circus in town for a bit. Decibelle has made terrific strides and has become a creative and engaging child at long last. And just as forrest gump was always running, she is always skipping, which is a pretty nice thing in and of itself. Anywho, last night she was sitting at the kitchen table with her chin in her hands, musing about something or other and asked me if my mother was alive and I said no (I think knot and alhambra refer to death as being in heaven with the angels, which is surely not where my mother is, that I can tell you), then she asked if my father was alive and I said no. She digested that for a bit and piped up  “you don’t have a mommy and you don’t have a daddy so I guess that’s why you have a husband.” Out of the mouths of babes. Except she has it backwards, that’s why men have wives.

In the spirit of a new year, I thought MJE should try to move beyond a silly blog toward something more substantial . But then I remembered the article in the recent new yorker about ruth draper who wrote and performed short vignettes in the early twentieth century. Later in life she met henry james and asked him if he thought she should go to drama school and pursue a conventional career as an actress. She recalled that “He took a long time to answer,” then lowered his voice and said “no — my dear child. You –– you have woven your own — you have woven your own beautiful — beautiful little persian carpet. Stand on it!” And so I shall.

MJE wishes all of her loyal followers a better than average new year but short of that may the end of 2017 find us no worse off than we are today.

Low expectations.



we’re not quitters we’re campers!

We're not quitters we're hikers #2  pic-2

Several summers ago when our granddaughter Apricot was visiting us, the OB&C declared that they should go camping. He cleared a level place in the woods up the hill from the house, built a fire ring, surrounded it with luminous pink plastic “adirondack chairs” (visible from the international space station) and declared it ready for action. We hauled up the tent, readied the gear, and headed back to the house for pre-adventure cocktails. Well, as one can imagine, after a pop or two the thought of trudging up the hill through the woods in the gloom of night to sleep on the ground in a tent became less and less appealing. Being a traditionalist as well as unimaginative, he hauled out that old workhorse, the rain delay ploy. “Uh oh, I think I just felt a sprinkle, yes, definitely felt a sprinkle, no doubt about it. With this heavy weather coming in, we probably ought to wait until tomorrow.” Good luck with that, think she just fell off a turnip truck? He neglected to factor in that he was dealing with a 4’5”, 43 lb hunk of forged steel with the determination of an army ant who was NOT to be denied her promised camping experience. Apricot struck a defiant stance, shot him a withering look, grabbed her sleeping bag, pillow and knapsack , donned her head lamp and stomped out of the house in her pajamas declaring, as she climbed through the darkness to the tent. “We’re not quitters, we’re campers! “ The OB&C trotted after her like a whipped dog.