How to get a spider out of your bathtub

  • notice spider in bathtub
  • try to pick up spider using washcloth, fails bc spider wary
  • try to pick up spider, or rather, induce spider to crawl onto wooden backscratcher purchased in Boston, fails bc spider wary
  • think about it
  • put larger washcloth in tub, leave for a while, hope spider maybe will crawl up washcloth on his or her own, succeeds
  • now spider is on the seat part of the deep old tub, so far so good, move washcloth so that spider can now climb that from the seat to the top of the tub, leave for a while, this seems to be the way to go
  • return and voila! spider nowhere to be seen, this is considered good

(if at any time a cat had eaten the spider then that would have been in the hands of a higher power)

What Connecting Dots has to say about “What the Critics are saying about Connecting Dots”

“A Staggering Wok of Heartbroken Genies” — Egg Davers

I am pretty sure I have read “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by David Eggers, but for my purpose all I needed was a well-known book with a provocative title that someone on the first page of results calls ‘post-modern.’ If it works at all it’s because it scans right.

Also, a subliminal association forms between the book mentioned and this blog, good, bad, doesn’t matter and completely involuntary. I think this ought to come out at least morally neutral: either the reader thinks more highly of the blog by association with the book they like or think they like (plus for blog and no harm to book’s reputation) OR some sort of neutral association either or both ways (no harm) OR many other cases not considered (?) OR in the worst case, the blog harms the book’s value in the reader’s mind, which is a loss for a different person’s book’s reputation, which constitutes harm by words and is not allowed. And for which I apologize. But I don’t think it will happen often enough to matter.

“I hear a lot of people are saying he is the new John Joyce… ..” — The Real Donald Trump

The top search result is a John Joyce who is a Republican US Representative from, I think, Philadelphia. Follows the punning of Block 1. The ellipse and two dots are as close as I want to get to Stephen Colbert (that didn’t come out right).

“Couldn’t get it to compile.” — PC World

I have the feeling that I saw this or something similar on the back of a humorous book. Probably PC World doesn’t compile anything and it could be Programmer’s Journal of X or something but PC World is well-known by the general public.

“A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—” — The Lady’s Magazine, or Mirror of the Belle-Lettres, Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Fashions, &c., Improved Series, September 30, 1830, short story “The Breakfast.” by Mrs. Hofland. from Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not. Music 176, Page 126‡

Wanted a quote for the entire phrase but couldn’t easily find one so tried just the ‘and more’s the pity.’ It found two quotes from The Lady’s Magazine and this one had the em dashes. I might have come up with something as good as Mrs. Hofland on my own but I doubt it. “Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not” is way above my Pay Grade, Chris Ware¹ territory. Not sure if ‘Music 176’ means anything but it was displayed. (Update 29/5/2020 now I see it, “Forget Me Not. Music” it was right there under my eyes all the time.) Obsolete footnote out of order. I believe the monetization value of  typographical and proofreading in-jokes is zero. Now I see why John Joyce had such difficulties with his publishers, how the F is a proofreader supposed to know what is or is not an intentional error. On the other hand, doing things like this² gives me the option of saying, “Yeah? Well I meant it that way” which is considered good.

“The worst case of self-referential stream of consciousness journaling since ‘The Story of Mary MacLane’ by Mary MacLane.” — “Graphomania.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders IV, §8, ¶3, line 44, characters 1–105.†

Out of date DSM. Spelling out DSM suggested by a friend. It’s much better, thanks. Debated whether or not to change the inappropriately detailed character numbers to a more plausible sequence not starting at 1, decided it didn’t matter. Adding the name of the author to the book was the last edit. This article has more or less settled down, the rubble-bouncing nearly over. “The Story of Mary MacLane” is a real book I’m reading, it was mentioned in a history of Surrealism, link available on request. Mary MacLane was a 19 year old genius living lonely in the West, Montana I think, and is one of the fiercest writers I have read.

‡ Quotation in full, “Oh! yes, Sir; and if Sir Richard had not been poorly and gone to foreign parts A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—‘ “What would have happened? Perhaps I can be your friend as well as he.”

Text from The Lady’s Magazine. Delightful. Good me associations: I been poorly and gone to foreign parts, Sir Richard ties to dad. Love the em dashes.

† DSM-IV go on to state that, “Sometimes individuals afflicted with Graphomania are charged with harassment of individuals and less frequently of court personnel including judges and prelate [s.i.c] [[sic]] officers.”

Final out of sequence footnote. DSM-IV treated as British English convention for plurals for organizations &c. This is a real quote from some version of the DSM. At the time of that version Graphomania was mentioned only in passing, not defined as an enumerable mental disease, it may be there now as I have been told they’re up to DSM-7. So I replaced whatever it was about with Graphomania. It ties in with the harm words do. I changed probate to prelate because I’m pretty sure it refers to something Catholic thus to John Joyce. Then added the sic, and looking up sic in Wikipedia learned that there are two (at least) errors you can make with sic itself: adding superfluous dots thinking it’s something it’s not and italicizing it as a foreign language which is an error for some reason I can’t remember. Added two more errors by accident, the mis-matched case of the brackets which I noticed right away and the omitted dot after the c which I noticed later. Then the proper sic inside the double brackets at the end and we’re done here. Almost. If you read it out loud you get “sick sick officers” which is surely worth something.

¹ This reminded me that I purchased a French version of “Jimmy Corrigan” from the local independent bookstore a while back before The Apocalypse. Now I suppose I’ll have to read that. While trying to make sure I wasn’t misspelling Ware or something equally stupid (not saying Ware himself is stupid, I meant I could make some different equally stupid error), I found it very difficult to find the Author’s name on the book. Spoiler: it’s there, but in very small type, and you have to root around for a while. Seems like an excellent way to do business.

² Missing reference.

What the Critics are saying about Connecting Dots

“A Staggering Wok of Heartbroken Genies” — Egg Davers

“I hear a lot of people are saying he is the new John Joyce… ..” — The Real Donald Trump

“Couldn’t get it to compile.” — PC World

“A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—” — The Lady’s Magazine, or Mirror of the Belle-Lettres, Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Fashions, &c., Improved Series, September 30, 1830, short story “The Breakfast.” by Mrs. Hofland. from Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not. Music 176, Page 126‡

“The worst case of self-referential stream of consciousness journaling since ‘The Story of Mary MacLane’ by Mary MacLane.” — “Graphomania.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders IV, §8, ¶3, line 44, characters 1–105.†

‡ Quotation in full, “Oh! yes, Sir; and if Sir Richard had not been poorly and gone to foreign parts A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—‘ “What would have happened? Perhaps I can be your friend as well as he.”

† DSM-IV go on to state that, “Sometimes individuals afflicted with Graphomania are charged with harassment of individuals and less frequently of court personnel including judges and prelate [s.i.c] [[sic]] officers.”

Grooming Time

Since The Confinement★ the cats and I have been getting better acquainted. They connect me to Nature, sentient beings to love and to study, to observe. They tell me when to take a nap, when to eat (I rarely know that, so win-win).

I am an apprentice in the craft of trimming their claws. The essential factor in not hurting them is to have the strongest possible light so you can see where the quick ends.† Since I’m here every day and have no scheduled “temporal obligations”‡ other than Yoga Wednesdays it’s easy to check paws daily, trimming claws when necessary, combining that with grooming (tight flea comb followed by nubbly brush). One paw per cat per day in clockwise rotation. They don’t have to endure too much at once. A groomer or vet would have tighter time constraints. This is a luxury.

The strongest possible light available to me, here, is late afternoon sun from the West window. When that floods the salon it’s Grooming Time. Always followed by Food Puzzle Time. They know what’s coming next, I think they do know that. They act like they do, so Behavioral Modification and all that stuff. It’s what I want anyway.

Luna is the most averse, I try to do her first. Now she only half-heartedly hides. If I return to the couch and wait, doing something else, she eventually returns from under the bed to be captured. She benefits from bundling, a technique recommended by a local friend. You calm a cat by wrapping it in something you’re wearing that opens in front. They all benefit from that.★★ Luna’s claws are the thickest.

Next up is Lilou, quite compliant now (she is the smart one, knows the score). Her claws require only minimal clipping, she’s a more diligent scratcher. Finally Henri Cat wobbles into my arms, purring. He purrs during the clipping and then during the grooming. He purrs a lot. Now that it’s warmer we comb and brush daily, and as the sole longhair he’s the most sheddy. It feels good to lose excess hair, and grooming is what their mother did, which they now do with each other (and, rarely, with me).

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Les Trois Mousquetaires (NTS insert picture of the trio)

Luna, The Mystic

Plain Jane tabby, forlorn nondescript member of the Three Mouseketeers I encountered in a parking lot near Condom. I wanted two cats, because one cat is just sad, and besides I am an old cat myself now, not interested in active play (my previous pair, as kittens, used to wake me up from my cancer recovery drug-induced slumbers by running across my head at 2am, but that’s another blog).

Was I going to separate three kittens who knew only themselves and their missing mother and their missing brother and now these strange large creatures offering food?

She was first out of the cat carrier when I opened it in the bedroom. I tried to feed her cat baby formula from an eyedropper. She had one taste then jumped out of my hand to go exploring. Later that evening she fell asleep in that hand. Glad I didn’t reject her for being less photogenic than the other two. I call her The Mystic because she stares for hours at something I cannot, try as I might, see. A good match for Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. She studied a light switch for days and I could see that. Clumsy. Rotund. Emits little “mew!”s. Hides under the couch. Used to do that thing where a cat pretends your shirt is a nipple. She’s outgrown that now. My favorite.

(NTS picture of Luna)

Henri Cat, The Lover

Like his namesake Henri IV he relishes his quotidian pleasures. (His name was a no-brainer given my address.) If he had balls, and if he were allowed outside, he would have as many Official Mistresses as the original. First of the trio to venture forth from the safety of the under-bed to cuddle up to the new Mommy-Daddy. There is only one orange and white male cat, and I love them all (Henri, my sister’s Finbot, my childhood companion Eric the Red). Large but not overweight. Explores more than the girls. More social than the girls. Less cautious than the girls. Stare-downer of a small foofy dog. Frequent lap-user. Doesn’t hide at all. Makes odd loud vocalizations that alarm me, but doesn’t seem to be in any pain so who knows? My favorite cat.

Lilou, the Huntress-Thinker

Named by the mother of the woman who posted the availability of motherless barn cats. I didn’t have a name for her and am aware of the French aversion to giving human names to pets so was glad for advice about what a normal cat name in France might be. It reminded me of LeeLoo from The Fifth Element and Futurama (NTS are these right?). Has mad skills and is scary smart. Has a Lilou-only hiding place on the top shelf of the bedroom closet among the rags. She gets there by leaping from the water table at the end of the bed to the cat-width cat-walk that defines the old kitchen area, then creeping around to the closet. Drew my attention to the fact that the cat-screen in the window had weathered, allowing a resourceful cat to get out and perilously perch on the slippery old slate tiles. She gazed at me from the wrong side of the screen and calmly waited to be returned to the family. I replaced the plastic screen with metal mesh. Lithe body, high metabolism (a tri-color characteristic, they have abnormal chromosomes and are said to be feisty). Talks a lot, usually says, “Now is the time we eat crunchy food.” Lilou is my favorite cat of all time.

CAST OF CHARACTERS: The Dynamic Duo (to be continued)

★ Not satisfied with that term but cannot think of a better one. I admire the collector of oddities (misprinted dice and such like) who, when interviewed on Atlas (NTS link) Obscura manned up, faced the facts, and blandly said, “Well, since The Apocalypse…” 🙂 but that doesn’t work for me, yet.

† Earlier we had two incidents where there was blood (Lilou). Odd that she didn’t even flinch. Blood vessels must extend farther than nerves. I discarded some fancy clippers with depth-setting shields. None of the cats tolerated them. Must have pulled at the claws. Now I use a pair of the heaviest simple ones I could find at Jardiland, the most expensive pair they sell. Sharpness is all.

‡ NTS song title, Dead Can Dance, then link

★★ Previous cats D.J. and Little J. did well with a swaddling type of cat harness. Cats prefer them to the strap type. The first time they wore them they dropped into the “I am hugging the Earth, I am safe here” cat position.

ps This is a direct-to-blog article (no Journal entry), in a calmer state of mind than the last one. The calm is from the grooming.

pps This article may an antidote to the previous one (link), which I think of as being in the stream-of-consciousness/chaos genre. This one was edited on screen and on paper until it was deemed sufficiently carved up to be servable. I think it a passable piece of writing that I would hand in as ready to be graded. It still has too many words.