† ... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next magnets belong to the fridge of my friend Olivia


Olivia's niece, "the Princess"



* Discussion *

What are your prejudices?

Talk about it here.

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!



WHAT I'M READING...

The Hammer of Eden
by
Ken Follett

(I bought this in the Houston airport!)


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

Nothing. I was out
not being a hermit tonight.


Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page. Our visit with my goddaughter is on MY Club Photo page (called "Lyke Visit").


That's it for today!

CHUNKY SHMOOTZ and the DUST BUNNIES

21 July 2001

(No. Thatís not the name of a new punk band. Though it would make a good name, donít you think?)

I went out to get into the car the other day and as I touched it, I realized that the whole body of the car was sticky. I quickly determined that my friend Ellen had not been around, so the chance of syrup having been spilled over the entire car was slight. But wherever you touched the car, you felt like taking a rag and wiping your hands.

This could mean only one thing: the eucalyptus tree pollen was falling.

I donít know if this has happened every year since weíve lived in this town. I only became aware of it a couple of years ago, when I wondered why all of the cars seemed to be so yucky feeling. At the time I chalked it up to the fact that it had been a long time since any of them had been washed.

But no, itís the pollen. It covers everything. If we leave the windows open in the living room, the dining room table starts to feel sticky, as does everything sitting on the window sills.

Shmootz, I call it. Itís the best descriptive word I can come up with. It just sounds so perfect. I realize that in Yiddish that just means "dirt," but what a wonderfully descriptive sounding word: shmootz.

Today I went out to get into the car, and not only was the car covered with shmootz, but the pollen had changed consistency so that it was now coming down in little pellets. The car was not only covered in shmootz, but it was covered in chunky shmootz. Running the windshield wipers does nothing but smear the shmootz around and make the outside world totally impossible to see.

Walt hoped for the wind to blow a lot of the larger chunks off as we drove down the highway, but these babies are stuck on until some high powered car wash scrubs them off.

It makes me think of other things that come unbidden into our lives and drive us nuts.

Dust bunnies, for example. I donít know where they come from or how they clump together so nicely to get bigger and bigger. At various times of the year, the bunnies reproduce more quickly and I sometimes feel like a cowpoke rounding up the stragglers. Yippee kiy yay, motherf*cker! (thatís a quote from Die Hard).

I actually get rather fond of some of the dust bunnies. Why thereís one right now, hear my office door, with the mother getting larger and larger and Iím sure sheís about ready to give birth to a whole new generation of baby dust bunnies any day now.

Theyíre harmless. Soft and fuzzy. Quiet. Donít require feeding. No litter box to change. And if you take off your glasses, you can almost imagine facial features on them. Itís a step up from a pet rock as a companion.

From time to time around here we have been invaded by teeny spiders. These guys literally fly through the air on gossamer wings. Well, not "wings," exactly, but long strands of webbing. Sometimes you look out the window and it looks like some alien invasion, there are so many of these things flying through the air and wrapping themselves around trees and bushes and anything else in their way. The invasion of tiny pod people. Weíre quite used to them here, but apparently they hit a larger populated area a few years back and there was all sorts of talk about UFOs and science experiments gone awry and I donít know what all.

Dog hair is another thing that drives me nuts. I swear the dog should be bald by now for all the hair she has contributed to the family room rug. At the very least I could have knitted a new dog from it if I had knitting needles short enough and if I were into knitting. You vacuum the rug and wash the dog and think youíve got the problem licked for an hour, but no--all the washing just gets rid of the oil that is holding the hair in place and itís now free to go flying around the air, getting caught in the dust bunnies.

I wonít even talk about the stupidity of someone who hates to dust having filled the house with tsatskes that gather dust every time you blink.

Thereís one thing Iíve learned about dust, though. It seems to reach a critical mass where it never quite gets any worse. Maybe it develops the dust equivalent of teflon and once the parent dust has established its territory, it then repells any new dust that comes along.

So whatís the point in dusting? If you dust, it will just get dusty again. But if you leave it, it wonít get any worse than it already is.

The nice thing about dust is that itís not sticky so you donít have the overwhelming compulsion to wash it off, like you do with shmootz. And it doesnít run around the house chasing the dog like dust bunnies do. It just sits there minding its own business. And if youíre bored, you can always entertain yourself by writing "dust me" in it.

I am not a well woman.


One Year Ago:
Taking Care of Business


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 7/17/01 by Bev Sykes