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Archive for August, 2008

FBI and Skittles

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

You know when you wake up to the sound of mooing that you are not in Los Angeles anymore.

I’m in Connecticut, just a country mile from Severson’s dairy farm, and after this morning’s bovine wakeup call, I went to visit.

What’s always intrigued me about old man Severson’s seventy-five cow is how they are named. Severson’s wife, Karen, does the calving and the naming, and depending on what’s going on in her life on a given day has made some pretty whimsical choices.

We strolled down there at feeding time, when all the cows’ massive heads are bent low over the trough so it’s easy to read the name tags stapled to their ears. There’s Panda, Iris and Tortilla, sharing hay with Marbles and Blast Off. Next to them is a couple that are white with black spots, like Dalmatians. Their names are Skittles and F.B.I.

Okay, so Skittles I get, but what’s up with FBI? What inspired Karen to name a cow that? Since I’m on vacation, I took some time to develop a few theories.

Maybe the calf was born on a day when a body part was discovered in the silo and the feds stepped in to investigate. Or maybe Karen was using the acronym to secretly describe her husband’s personality (Fun But Irritating). Maybe she had a visiting nephew (Frank’s Boy Izzy), or she was commemorating an extra-marital sexual liason she had on her way to Staten Island (Ferry Boat Incident). Maybe she’s a fan of Bill Murray (Funny Balding Icon) or was referring to a prominent politician who shall remain nameless here (Fatuous Boring Idiot).

If you have any thoughts on this intriguing mystery, please share them.


Report From Cape Cod

Friday, August 15th, 2008

The ice cream at the Harbor Freeze in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, while offered in only a banal range of flavors (no Bourbon Vanilla in sight), was voted (by my extended family) better than the ice cream at Scoops.

Ten family members and a dog (it was Lucy the Lab, not Oliver—he’s home in California wishing he were at the Harbor Freeze) went to that crowded hot spot at the pier for ice cream and root beer floats. There was a long wait, and fisticuffs almost broke out when some over-heated ice cream junkie cut the line.

But the ice cream was so good that nobody talked about John Edwards for the duration of the outing and everyone in our group went home with that particular kind of satisfaction that only the Harbor Freeze delivers.

The outcome of the family vote on which was the better of the two purveyors was a landslide victory for the HF. That vote was, however, declared invalid later when it was pointed out that only one of us had actually been to Scoops: most were voting from a position of ignorance.

Good thing that sort of thing doesn’t happen when more significant votes are cast, say in national elections, or this country would be in big trouble.


John Edwards Is A Multi-tasker

Friday, August 8th, 2008

My family and I are finally on board the plane that is taking us to Cape Cod for a long-anticipated summer vacation.

Perverse as it may seem, I actually sort of look forward to air travel these days because of its enforced limits on multi-tasking. (If you want to read my last post on the subject of multi-tasking, click here, although then you will be multi-tasking, as you’ll be reading two things at once, so bear that in mind.)

Without the phone, the internet, the kitchen, and the dog, I have the luxury of being unable to do anything except write this. Well, plus maybe listen to my iPod, glance at the in-flight movie (“Kung Fu Panda”), eat, and avoid conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who is suffering from Blackberry Withdrawal Syndrome. (You’d recognize the symptoms if you could see her: she has gone all inert, drooping in her seat, apparently unable to address any unwired task, like reading the Us magazine in her lap. Typical B.W.S.)

Anyway, here’s what’s bugging me: just before boarding, I heard the news that John Edwards is apparently no stranger to multi-tasking himself: he’s admitted he was simultaneously having an affair and running for president.

So, just as I was looking forward to a light task load for five hours, I find I have several new things to do: I have to be stunned by J.E.’s insanity, and feel relieved that he’s not the Democratic candidate, I need to be pissed off at him on Elizabeth’s behalf, and I have to just generally be disgusted that he’s such a big fat jerk.

Processing all these feelings will take time and energy that could have been devoted to refining this post, or to a more focused appreciation of Jack Black’s finely nuanced performance in “KFP.”

Ah, well. At least I’m not suffering from B.W.S. And, hey, I’m on my way to Cape Cod. (Yes.) More on that later……