In September of 2010 I wrote a column titled, “The cat who came in from the cold,” about Tiger, our neighbor Bob’s cat, who, at a year old, came to live with Bob after a harrowing tale of abandonment by our neighbors to the south, adoption by some kindly neighbor ladies to the north, and a hilarious (if you weren’t one of the parties) custody saga between the ladies and Bob mediated by a pet psychic (hired by the ladies), who aurally communicated with Tiger – over the phone.
If there is one lesson I can never seem to learn, it’s that e-mail is the absolutely worst way to resolve a conflict. The reason, of course, is that it is virtually impossible to ensure that the recipient reads your e-mail in the same (hopefully conciliatory) tone in which you wrote it. In fact, you can pretty much guarantee that they won’t.
I think all of us year-round residents of La Jolla feel incredibly lucky to live in this beautiful oceanside community. But just as people on cell phones treat the rest of the world like deaf mutes, one can’t help but notice that summer tourists at a beach resort seem to have beamed themselves mentally to a parallel universe where traffic laws do not apply.
A mere month ago I conducted what I call a Preemptive Rodential Offensive, denuding my orange tree of 700-plus oranges to avert our annual summer rat invasion. A rat accompli, the only fauna I’d now have to deal with was our visiting grand dog, Winston.
As I said to my younger son, if you’re going to have a problem child, better that it be the dog. Our beloved but selectively complaint grand dog, Winston, is back again for another of his multi-month sojourns at Camp Grammy and Grampy.
It’s not everybody who can brag that their aunt was one of the world’s foremost authorities on bats’ ovaries. (OK, maybe the only one?) Even my mother, tiring of explaining her physiologist sister’s unique life work, would describe physiology to inquiring friends as something you did to rehabilitate invalids.
Every teenager at some point ponders the question, “Just how stupid ARE my parents?” The query is usually related to some activity the teen has in mind that they’re fairly clear the folks wouldn’t approve of but which they really (like, REALLY) want to do anyway. So assessing the stupidity quotient of mom and dad is critical to the process.
When I read recently that new studies suggest that there could be a connection between calcium supplements and heart disease, I officially gave up on medical science. Sorry, science, it’s just over between us.
When I first moved to San Diego, I was puzzled that people invited me out for coffee or lunch “if it’s not raining.” Did restaurants and coffee shops in sunny places like San Diego close in inclement weather? Efforts to get to the bottom of this were initially unsuccessful until it was finally explained to me why Southern Californians don’t go out in showery conditions: It’s wet.
I was thinking about writing a guide on how to be a good mother-in-law, but truthfully it can all be summed up in two words: “Shut. Up.”My long-time motto, to which I have, alas, faithfully failed to adhere, has always been “A closed mouth gathers no feet.” As anyone who has read my column for a while might guess, letting an opinion go unvoiced is not my strong suit.