February 13, 2005

Idaho is very far away. It is geographically very close to Oregon, but it's really quite far from New Hampshire. And, as I spent the first eighteen years of my life in New Hampshire and the following four years in Rhode Island, Idaho is very far away.

We had a couple of shows in Boise, and I kept saying I'm in Idaho. As if Idaho were a mythical land, an utterly foreign locale, a preposterous place to be. Meghan understood this phenomenon. When I called her from Idaho, I said, "I'm in Idaho!" and she started giggling and said, "Idaho?"

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At a school show the other day, a fourth grader clomped across the cafetorium in oversized clogs, frowned, and said, "Are you the snails who talk about recycling?"

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Our dog Casey (may she be basking in the sunshine of doggy-heaven) had a friend named Smokey when she was a puppy. Smokey was an older dog, and found Casey a hyper and slightly irksome playmate. In Casey's eyes, however, they were fast friends. I can specifically remember Smokey trotting across the great green lawn of the condos with Casey at her heels, jumping to and fro, barking, trying to avoid Smokey's occasional nips and growls. Long after we moved from the condos, all we would have to say is, "Hey Casey! Smokey's outside!" and Casey would run to the door, tail wagging and body wriggling.

Our cats have a similar relationship. Abeeza, who adopted us two years ago, is the panther of the neighborhood, alpha-cat, defender of 2227 SE Tibbetts Street, a lone gunslinger with a calm disposition and claws of steel. Bogart, our new kitten, is a rambunctious four-month old. And he is absolutely, 100%, no holds barred, crazy. I'm sure he'll mellow out when he gets older, but for now Bo spends much of the day attacking Abeeza with a reckless abandon, doing somersaults on the rug, sliding on the hardwood floors, and galloping up and down the stairs. Abeeza tolerates Bo very well, and even seems to welcome a playmate. After one too many pounces on the head, however, Abeeza gets slightly irritable, and is wont to smack the little kitten soundly. This does nothing to deter Bogart.

So the other day I was relating the dynamics between Smokey and Casey to Annalise, but I could not for the life of me remember Smokey's name. And then I found that I couldn't continue living without the knowledge of that old dog's name, and I became absolutely obsessed, and picked up the phone to call Meghan. She wasn't there, however, so I called home. My mother didn't remember, and neither did my father.

My dad, seeing how I was going to be put in a mental institution if someone did not furnish me with the name, hung up the phone and went to work in the only way he knew how: he went to Google, typed in "dog names" and proceeded to read through a list of 20,000 names, searching for the key to my sanity.

Boy, that's love.

Some time later I received a call from my mother who intoned dryly over the phone, "Smokey. The dog's name was Smokey." My dad wanted me to know that Smokey was number 18,000 on the list.

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A couple of friends of mine are working on a television show for the sci-fi channel. They are filming in an abandoned asylum, which has been vacant for over ten years.

Apparently a few teenagers bought some booze and headed over to the condemned loony bin to get sniggered. What a surprise it must have been to break through the door and see a few dozen zombies running through the corriders. In a panic, they fled into a padded room that locked from the outside, thereby imprisoning themselves. In the dark. In an abandoned mental institution. With zombies outside. They called 911 on their cell phone and the cops showed up to arrest the kids for trespassing on a private property (as well as a television shoot).

I think that's hysterical.