1. Did you know that women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote until 1920? That’s only 76 years, folks–I know people who were alive in 1920.
1a. Women who did not vote: Now, really. This is still kind of a big deal.
2. It’s hard to cook when you’re sick. I’ve had a sore throat all week, which makes swallowing very difficult, which means endive and the makings of a Frenchified, gratineed macaroni and cheese are languishing in the refrigerator.
2a. Thanks god for frozen cheese ravioli, so easy to make, so soft to swallow.
3. I think I might have to get an imaginary dog, to go with my imaginary boyfriend, because people don’t want to give dogs to single working ladies who live in apartments. Even though they’re nice ladies. Here’s a lyric to a Neko Case song that went through my head today: “Her jaw aches from wanting…” You can read all the lyrics here. (They are not about dogs.) But still.
So remember the picture I lifted from Cute Overload of this goat with enormous ears? Well, take a look at Jack, the schnauzer-mule deer mix. How ’bout them ears, huh? Jack is in Idaho. Maybe he wants to come live with me! (To my roommate, if he’s reading: At least I don’t want to adopt a goat. Or a monkey.)
Yep, that’s me. With a real live alpaca. I spent Saturday morning holding alpacas by the necks while the owner of Blue Moon Ranch trimmed their toenails. I talked to them all in a soothing voice, although it didn’t prevent two of them from trying to shake me off their neck like a rag doll. Then I got to help halter train a few. This is Bindi, who was a good girl and only tried to run away once.
Anyone would, really, after lyrics to “Die Nebensonnen.” Here are, in order, Claire the alpaca from Blue Moon Ranch (where I will be working Saturday), a kitten named Amber off the Kittenwar website, and Oscar, a pug/schnauzer mix who’s up for adoption at the Moab Humane Society. (I have been relentlessly pestering my roommate about a getting a dog. I got a “maybe after the first of the year” last night–success will be mine soon!)
Today is Samhain, the Druidic equivalent of New Years Day. It’s not an equinox or solstice, but rather one of the “quarter days,” along with Beltane (May 1, the big spring fest) and Imbloc and Lughnasa, celebrated February 1 and August 1, to mark the end of winter and summer, respectively. (I know a lot about the pagan calendar for a Lutheran.)
In other news, I think a dog would be even better than an imaginary boyfriend. I found one online! (Don’t laugh–I found the last real boyfriend onlne. And many nice pairs of shoes.) This is Joe. Help me convince my roommate Joe is necessary for my happiness.
Maybe inspired by old boyfriends both imaginary and real, I’ve been listening to the Schubert song cycle “Winterreise” (Winter’s Journey) again. There’s an incredibe, poignant, creepy song at the end called “Die Nebensonnen,” or The False Suns. (Which I hear is a real phenomenen called parhelion: on very cloudy, snowy days, you see the clouds refracting many suns.) Here are the lyrics:
I saw three suns in the sky;
I gazed at them long and intently.
And they, too, stood there so fixedly
As if unwilling to leave me.
Alas, you are not my suns!
Gaze into other people’s faces!
Yes, not long ago I too had three suns;
Now the two best have set.
If only the third would follow,
I should feel happier in the dark.
I don’t think German translates very well, but it’s exquisite with the music, trust me. The liner notes for the recording I have are delightful: “In the stature of this music, the traveller seems at one with the great mystics like St. John of the Cross, who wrote of ‘The Dark Night of The Soul.’ Never has the composer used his beloved key signature of A major and its inevitable contrast with A minor to more enobling effect.”
I’ve decided it’s time to re-adopt a habit I formed in my youth and get an imaginary boyfriend (past ones included Peter O’Toole and Schubert). My new imaginary boyfriend will be a combination of the David Bowie character from Labyrinth (we knew nothing good could come from that) and Sherlock Holmes. I just can’t decide whether his name should be David Holmes or Sherlock Bowie.
“First, there was oyster soup. In all her life, Laura had never tasted anything so good as that savory, fragrant, sea-tasting hot milk, with golden dots of melted cream and black specks of pepper on its top, and the little dark canned oysters at its bottom.”
That was New Year’s dinner, 1880, in the middle of what would become North Dakota. In all her life, Laura had probably never even tasted an oyster.