My birthday mouse

My birthday mouse.

My birthday mouse.

I have been neglectful, I know, so here’s a catchup going back to April of 2014.


Thanks to all for the birthday wishes — they are much appreciated. I don’t want to make y’all jealous, but I must tell you about the great present I have received, unexpected and certainly unimagined.

First, you must know that I took a shower late last night. No, wait, first you must know that my hot water heater sprung a leak sometime on Thursday, not a major one but enough to depressurize the tank and cause the hot water to disappear. And I was fairly desperate for a shower because — no, you don’t need to know that part. Anyway, my man Steve, the best handyman on the island, came over Friday morning and diagnosed the problem and went away to another job, and I bought the required replacement copper hose, and he came back in the late afternoon and made everything better, as he always does.

So, after the hot water heater was fixed, I decided to finish my nightcap and watch the rest of that episode of Deadwood.

OMG, Deadwood! Luckily HBO on demand lets me download all previous episodes so I am about mid-way through Season 1, at an episode a night, entirely entranced. I think the woman who plays Calamity Jane is the same woman who plays Brienne on Game of Thrones; Timothy Olyphant has been weaving his way through a lot of the series I am currently entranced by … Does anyone else hear echoes of McCabe and Mrs Miller in this show?

Anyway, I finished Deadwood and my nightcap. Oh, you should know that I had neglected to eat much of substance during the day, which is a paltry excuse but the best I can do and still remain within the realm of truth. And I took my shower.

Another thing you should know: Jane the Cat (now named Calamity Jane — Jane is such a useful, flexible name), anyway, Jane likes to, erm, abscond with things, which she then hides under my bed. I have in recent weeks rescued the cat bed, my shower sponge, a towel… So last night, while I took a long, hot, soapy, relaxing shower, Jane removed the bathmat and hid it under the bed.

I am striving to get a photo of Jane making off with towels and cat beds. She does it by creeping under the item and then sneaking off across the floor like a mammalian hermit crab, a hermit cat if you will. Since the cat bed is often occupied by cat toys, it really does look like she has taken possession of a snail shell hosting a colony of underwater critters.

So, she removed the bathmat. I rinsed, reached my towel, dried off, stepped outside of the shower to dry my feet, and instead of stepping onto a nice, warm, dry, grippy bathmat, I stepped onto cold, wet, slippery tiles, and down I went.

I yelled, cursed, finished drying off, and rolled into bed. Awoke at 5:30 am with a punishing sinus headache, called off the long-distance workshop I was scheduled to lead, took a couple of Ibuprofen, and went back to bed. Woke a couple of hours later, went into the bathroom, turned on the light, and voila! Calamity Jane had given me a mouse for my birthday!

My friend Richard Lupoff has said that life is the process of losing one cherry after another, and at the age of 66 I have lost my black-eye cherry. The swelling is going down, it doesn’t hurt too much, and I’m giving myself a 66th birthday present by going on the wagon. It seems the least I can do.