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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Recent Calendar Entries Reveal Synapses Burnt Beyond Repair

Submitted by on September 14, 2010 – 1:07 PM35 Comments

Hobey V-E-T / I realized yesterday that I spell out the word “vet” even when typing it, lest His Orange Eminence figure out what’s going on from the acoustics of the laptop keys and disappear. A glance back at similar entries reveals that I have done this for at least a year now.

I suppose it’s not overly cautious if it’s also not entirely conscious, but consider this: not only the vet’s last name spoken aloud but also any words that rhyme with it now occasion a prompt, Foley-designed departure for parts sub-furniture. “I’d like to go a shade darker.” (Shhh-tzut!) “Who left the cap off this marker?” (Vvvvvip!) “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice!” (Hrrr…) “…DOCTOR PARKER!” (…rrrump!) “Jesus, Hobey.”

He’s got two teeth, he’s losing his eyesight, and he’s on a ridonkadonk Zsa Zsa diet for the irritable-bowel condition he’s apparently developed…but he will have me know that he is shrewd, and attention must be paid.

Potatoes / I store potatoes in a cool, dark cupboard, as I am supposed to. Once the door of said cupboard has closed upon them, the potatoes leave my mind, not to return until I need the slicing blade of the food processor stored beside them, by which time an inbred cousin of the vodka process is well underway. If I don’t plan to eat them the day I buy them, I have to put them on the calendar.

DVR Hawaii Five-0 / “I can’t believe they’re remaking that piece of sh– wait, Scott Caan is in it?!”

While I’m up: does anyone else constantly call Daniel Dae Kim “Daniel Dae Lewis” by mistake?

Bingo, goddammit! / Dovetails nicely with the senility theme, I guess, but I don’t know what made me so testy. I think I had to reschedule it, actually, and I had really wanted to go the last time? But it’s…bingo, so I could maybe calm down a little bit?

Do that thing for the stoop sale / I considered engaging a forensic gerontologist to figure out what the eff I meant by that. Hey, self: the list of “things” related to the stoop sale, single-spaced, stretches to Mamaroneck. Setting up the color-coded-sticker system, who’s baking cookies and should we make them free, sell the base and the shade separately, what kind of batteries does that Dictaphone take, do you remember what you paid for that vintage sweater, no you have the folding table, how much change do we need — WHICH THING, BUNTING?

Still haven’t remembered which thing. Did add a related thing based on trying to figure it out, though…

Find folding table / Seriously: where is that handy bastard? It’s not like we live in San Simeon; it can’t hide forever.

…Hmm. Maybe it thinks that I plan to sell it at the S-T-O-O-P S-A-L-E. (Vvvrroop!) …Well, shit.

Less fuglo / Actually a to-do-list item, but at least I knew what that one meant: “Exchange the hideous ‘spearmint’ shower-curtain rings purchased yesterday at the dollar store for something in a slightly less anti-retinal ‘aubergine.'” It’s not even for a shower curtain. Don’t ask.

DVR Real World/Road Rules Challenge / CT is back, what do you want from me. (Frrrrnt!) …Very funny, Hobey.




  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Aww, Hobes. You and my cats, with the hiding! Only for us it’s when we have to put their Advantage on their necks–they both act like we’re trying to hack a leg off. And we fail so miserably at trying to act all cool and casual as we ever so spontaneously close the bathroom and bedroom doors for hall herding, one of us blocking the kitchen entrance, the other circling around through the living room–“Whoops! Damnit, he went under the table! Okay, just pull out the chairs–watch out, he’s heading for the bookcase!”

  • cmcl says:

    How old are those cats now, anyway? Well into “elderly” by normal standards, right?

  • WendyD says:

    Nice San Simeon reference. Hearst is probably my favorite single place in the US.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Hobey is 15. Joe is of undetermined age, but probably a couple years younger than the Hobe. So, yes: elderly.

    The newest arrival, Mabel, is probably a little over a year old, but she came to me from the shelter system, so it’s hard to say.

  • DriverB says:

    Our Cat Signal is not the words, but the sound of the zippers. This means that even when I’m zipping up my backpack in the morning, Benny gets that wild-eyed look and starts to duck for cover.

  • MsMolly says:

    re: Daniel Dae Kim

    No. But I couldn’t remember Frank Lloyd Wright’s name a few weeks ago and came out with Andrew Lloyd Wright instead. Now I can’t stop thinking about possible musicals. Mid-Century Modern CATS! Phantom of Taliesin!

  • Carrie Ann says:

    Mabel! Awwwww.

    Um, thank you for the heads-up Re: CT. Can’t believe I almost missed his stank-ass.

  • LJG says:

    MsMolly: I did that EXACT SAME THING this morning in conversation with a coworker about the Polk House in Manassas, VA. Exact same verbal tick. I had to post…

  • attica says:

    Stoop sale! I’ve never heard of such a thing! But it makes sense anyway! A coupla questions: 1. Are there multiple participating stoops? 2. Is that something you have to/should get a permit to hold?

    I’ve never had the patience to sell off my junk that way. Sure, I’ve made some scratch on ebay, but to sit out in front of the house watching people paw through my stuff, hoping they’ll want it when I don’t? It’s just kind of easier to put it out with the garbage and watch it disappear into the unofficial neighborhood reuse-recycle program. But if it was a group thing, that might be more fun.

    Advice: give the cookies free only to those who buy something else. Everybody else ponies up.

  • Georgia says:

    Heh. The Daniel Day/Dae and Lloyd Weber/Wright makes me think of a great quote from Quinn on “Daria”: “God, Mom! I’m not J. Edgar Winter!”

  • Peach says:

    Ha! I asked the partner the other day if he was going to come with me when I took the puppy for her evening W-A-L-K. He looked at me and said, “You think she really knows the word ‘Walk?'” As soon as the W-word left his mouth, the dog was spinning circles in the entry way.

    He apologized.

  • Erin in SLC says:

    My parents’ unstable, bloodthirsty brown tabby: (1) gets in the carrier willingly, on purpose; (2) flirts with the dogs in the waiting room; (3) purrs when the technician takes his temperature.

    It’s delightfully convenient but terribly disturbing.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Also–Hawaii 5-0! I actually caught some of the originals during a marathon (that they were clearly running to drum up interest in the remake)and laughed my ass off! First was one with a “professor” who was “turning on” students to hallucinogens. And man, they dragged out every trope–the girl who took a “bad dose” and ends up staring into space in a mental hospital, the guy who thought he could fly and jumped off a cliff (for that local color touch), the “tripping” guy who runs amok while psychedelic colors splash across the screen. Ahhh, good times!

    And the next one was better! It involved a Red China spy who killed an illegal immigrant being smuggled over into Hawaii, along with said immigrant’s fiancee, so the spy could infiltrate into this very important Chinese family and use their connections to steal the local army researchers’ new and awesome secret radar machine!

    But that’s not the good part–the guy gets tracked down because he and the fiancee both got–wait for it–BUBONIC PLAGUE! From the rats on the ship! Oh, sweet mother Mary, you should have seen it. It was this bizarro world blend of actual concerns of a plague on the island, and somewhat accurate tracking vectors of who got sick, combined with just the most horrendous hospital procedures EVER. They track down the fiancee, who as the pretty girl is of course still alive, albiet beautifully ill, whilst all the other bit players dropped within hours. They’ve got her in an isolation room, with the doctor appropriately masked, gowned and gloved, talking to the cops over a CB radio (technology!).

    And then–the doctor just WALKS OUT THE UNLOCKED DOOR into the main hallway to continue the conversation! Doesn’t take off the gown, no decontamination procedures, nothing! The whole island should have resembled 12th century Calias within hours. How I laughed! But then I remembered House used the bubonic plague thing a few years ago and was appropriately chastened.

  • Meri says:

    @ Peach: Sounds like my parents’ golden retriever. He not only knows what ‘Frisbee’ means, he knows ‘F-R-I-S-B-E-E’ and ‘the F word’.

  • Jenn says:

    Wow. CT. Talk about synapses burnt beyond repair.

  • Madge says:

    Cookies: always make ’em free. Free cookies gets people in to look at your stuff, and once you’ve given them something for free, people feel more obligated to buy *something*. Cookies for sale? Eh, I can get those at the grocery store ;)

  • lefawn says:


    My dog not only knows “Walk” but also knows “Stroll” and is starting to figure out “Promenade”.

  • Jessica says:

    “Inbred cousin of the vodka process” made me giggle out loud.

  • Tylia says:

    @Erinin SLC “It’s delightfully convenient but terribly disturbing.” Ha! That is totally a t-shirt.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Sars – I believe I am a few years older than you, so: welcome to my world!
    Re: Daniel Day/Dae Lewis/Kim… not yet (but now that you mention it…). However, there is an actor I like very much, but can never remember his name. Don’t know why, it just doesn’t stick. In trying to get the synapses to fire properly, I start with “that one I like who is not Clive Owen…” So, in my circle, “Not Clive Owen” has come to be understood as: Colin Firth.
    I hear it gets worse the more you try to pack into your brain. Can’t wait.

  • Ebeth says:

    @Elizabeth – are kidding? I’m also Elizabeth and have the exact same problem with Colin Firth…and always reference Clive Owen, too. Bizarre!

    (Although now I’m starting to refer to Colin Firth as “you know, the one who’s a terrible kisser in every movie he does.”)

  • Amanda says:

    My old bear of an Akita used to love going to see his vet. But we could say “vet,” we just couldn’t call him “Dr. Dan” or Yoshi would know what was up. And all of my dogs learned “walk” and “biscuit” roughly five seconds after entering the house. The puppy learned “bally” in the same span of time, too. Stupid bally. We’ve had her since January and “bally” now makes her completely manic.

    Hawaii 5-0, no, but I watched a couple episodes of The Good Wife for Chris Noth. It’s not my thing, but: Chris Noth.

  • lsn says:

    @Jen S 1.0:
    I saw that first episode you mention while I was in hospital last year! I have to say Hawaii 5-0 is great when you’re slightly doped up on morphine (as are “Murder, She Wrote” and “Magnum PI” incidentally), that episode in particular (I saw about 5). Now I’m slightly sad they didn’t show the bubonic plague one while I was still there, that would have been entertaining.

  • Suzanne says:

    @Erin in SLC – sounds like my old tomcat, Milo. He used to purr so loudly at the vet, the techs had to put rubbing alcohol under his nose to make him stop, just so the vet could listen to his heartbeat.

  • Debby says:

    I call walks “W’s” no matter who I am speaking to, even when there are no dogs within miles. Not intentionally, of course, but that has been the word for it in my house for the better part of 20 years.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Debby: Maybe start calling them “bases on balls,” throw them off the scent for a few months? Hee.

  • Emma says:

    My entry in the obsessed pet-owner file: all of our dogs get birthday parties, complete with singing and dog-safe cake, and at least one of them knows that the former is supposed to lead to the latter. If we for any reason sing a birthday message onto someone’s answering machine, this dog can always be heard barking excitedly in the background.

  • Emma says:

    …and now I know that the Bryson book got to me, because I’m looking at that first sentence and going ‘Wait, the bit in commas is a parenthetical statement, so the sentence should make sense if it’s removed, but it doesn’t because the former/latter thing refers back to it…’

    Thanks, Bill.

  • Alison says:

    @Peach and Sars – My situation is even more depressing. My German Shepherd knew “out” so we used to spell it in front of him. Sadly, he died last November. We now have another dog who is deaf, aaaand we still use O-U-T regularly in conversations. Old habits, you know.

  • robin says:

    This has been the kind of column and commentary that I enjoy the most, of all of TN’s awesomeness. Thank you for bringing back the funny, bizarro world of cat lovers and word geeks and everyday insanity. Oh, and potatoes? I gave up, being the only human in residence, and now rely on a box of instant flakes, and if I want a baked spud in the skin I order it when I’m out.

  • darkBlue says:

    I cope with The Potato Problem by only buying one at a time. Or, more often, by getting frozen french fries or those smiley faced mashed potato thingies.
    And I am currently in the process of trying to convince my cat that he looooves his carrier because there are yummy treats in it. Saturday morning is going to be fun. Then again, current cat is way more tractable than a previous cat who hid as soon as he saw the carrier and then, even though we got it out a week early, was prepared to fight to the pain to stay out of it.

  • Michael says:

    Hawaii 2.0 ?

  • meltina says:

    It’s not kosher, but our potatoes go into the fridge. It took having potatoes mysteriously go moldy on me once and nearly ruin a walk in pantry for me to say: “No more. You go in the fridge with the rest of them!”.

    As for cats and the v-e-t, I used to have one cat who fought like the dickens, and one who was dumb enough to be caught right away. Well, the other one seems to have wised up to the concept of “carrier=we leave the house” because last time we were to go to the vet, I chased her all over the house, then cornered her in the bathroom, and even there, without a chance of escape, she fought and fought. I had to scruff her really hard to get her in the carrier, and she was mad at me for hours afterward. :/

  • Sharon says:

    Our two dogs’ trigger is the sound of leashes, particularly the sound of metal leashes hitting the metal water dish. Their barking and whimpering can be heard from outside, on the other side of multiple closed doors. (“WE’RE GOING SOMEWHERE!”)

    Our border-collie mix jumps so excitedly that she gets all four feet off the ground. (Makes it hard to clip her leash to her collar…) The other dog, a beagle mix, is too fat to leave the ground, but his tail shows his excitement.

  • Tal says:

    Re: DDK/DDL

    All. the. time.

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