Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dog Days of Summer, Part II

The Dog Days of summer occur somewhere from early July through August when the weather is apt to be hot, still, dry and miserable. Some cultures marked the Dog Days with a shorter span of dates, but the lectionaries of sixteenth century Anglican sources refer to the longer, two month period. This is the time when the Dog Star (Sirius - the brightest star in the constellation of the Greater Dog) rises and sets with the sun, which makes it seem as if it is swallowed up by the sun and disappears from the night sky for a period of several weeks. Sirius is the brightest star that can be seen at night, and is actually two stars, Sirius A and Sirius B. 

Dover of course celebrates every last Dog Day of the Summer. He rises early to gaze on the sunrise, waiting for the Dog Star to reappear. These days of waiting are filled with



weight training, 


aesthetic appreciation,

until, finally, total exhaustion sets in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Overnight [Written to friends about 2004; rediscovered in a miscellaneous file, 2011.]

Greetings! I am in the midst of an overnight from Hell. Sam and Janet have gone to a concert (Bare Naked Ladies) and I agreed to taking the kids even though Tom is down with his mother. They all trooped in about 5:30, and they are TV obsessed –  there was a Lizzie Maguire marathon on and Lizzie Maguire seems to be a preteen magnet. We finally unhooked and went out to Friendly’s, where the sweet young waitress neglected to bring the drinks with a cherry, even though requested, and the chocolate milk was “thin,” my tea was tepid and Susannah spilled her putrid-colored blue drink all over the table. We used a whole package of napkins as well as my scarf to mop it up; the waitress never appeared to help, then, or to take away the huge wad of soggy napkins we accumulated. The food took ages to come, and of course it was cold, and the ones who asked for no pickles got pickles (and the equally abhorred pickle juice) and the one who asked for a pickle didn’t get a pickle. Then two of them disappeared into the bathroom, and after five minutes, one emerged, only to return for another five minute sojourn until I went and banged on the door and told them to get out.

Meanwhile, Fiona and I ordered the desserts. We ordered for the two who were in the bathroom and Fiona, having had all the time in the world as we waited and waited for the waitress to appear, fell into an inability to decide what extras she wanted on her ice cream, and so, having finally captured the waitress, there we sat while Fiona carefully pondered the menu in lengthy, studied silence. I commanded her to decide, but eleven year olds don’t respond to commands. When the desserts finally came the one that ordered vanilla ice cream got chocolate, and the one that ordered extra gummy bears got one gummy bear. Then Fiona slugged Susannah on the way to the car, and when we got home the evil dog climbed up on the kitchen table to eat the rest of Bridget’s French fries which we brought home in the top of the putrid-colored green drink Fiona chose.

On to baths (a big treat) and more TV. I get to grouse, and bed-time will loom soon. The evil dog is squeaking his toy, and the good dog has sacked out with his penguin. We have two baths to go, however, and I hope the tub tints and bubble bath hold out. Bridget is in there now, taking a bath in the dark, seeming to think that that is how princess’s bathe. I just found that the evil dog has abandoned his squeaker toy in favor of the remains of the thin chocolate milk. Susannah’s cloths are sticky from the putrid-colored blue drink and Bridget didn’t bring any extra clothes so I have a wash running. Time to plug out Bridget and start with Susannah in the tub. It is going to get really late because I didn’t leave enough transition time. I forgot that baths are followed by showers to get the bubbles off.

Jonah the Good (1996 - 2008) 
Mungo the ultra sweet but . . .  (2003 - 2008)