Wally’s Great Adventures (33).

Wally’s Great Adventures (33). hello friends, wally here. i was outside scouting for vermin & came across a big pile of black jelly beans that someone dropped. they didn’t taste like jelly beans or black beans or any kind of beans that i know of. i thought maybe if i ate a bunch of them they would taste better. dad was staring at his gadget at the other end of the yard, and i was gobbling them up as fast as i could. They didn’t taste anything as good as the few pieces of banana that dad snuck to me earlier in the morning. then i saw dad rushing towards me. ‘WALLY! YOU ARE NOT EATING SCAT. SHIT. CRAP. DAMN YOU WALLY. I CAN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR 30 SECONDS.’ dad was upset & stuck his giant finger down my throat, i gagged a little and coughed up a few beans. ‘WALLY, YOU CAN’T BE EATING THIS SHIT.” dad is so smart, they didn’t really taste that good, they tasted awful actually, i threw up a little in my mouth. mom got home, i’m so glad that dad didn’t tell her, i think dad was afraid that he would get yelled at. i love mom but dad is my bff. we have each others back when we get in trouble. after lunch mom took me to go poop and mom said i had diarrhea poop, dad calls it shitting like a goose. mom asked dad if he had any idea why i was shitting like a goose. dad said thats because i want to be a bird hunting dog. mom did.not.think.it.was.funny.at.all. dad then said it could have been from the few pieces of banana wally had. ‘Wally had banana all by hisself, she asked?’ well, no. mom was angry. when she gets like this, dad for reasons of insanity piles on, he told her that i ate a pile of SCAT.SHIT.CRAP. wow, mom came unhinged. i never saw mom that mad. she stormed into the garage, grabbed a giant shovel, & went to bury the SCAT.SHIT.CRAP. dad & i went upstairs to hide while the storm blew over. i sat on the bed. “WALLY! WTH IS THAT? IS THAT HOW A SHOW DOG SITS? PLEASE TELL ME THAT ISNT A CURTSY. DID MOM TEACH YOU THAT?’ dad’s been working so hard with his training and it just isnt taking. i’ll try harder tomorrow. have a great day everyone! Wally.

Wally’s Great Adventures (32).

Wally’s Great Adventures (32). hello friends, wally here. i was sitting minding my own business and heavy-footed dad stomps round the corner in the kitchen asking me what i was doing. i told him that i was waiting for something to fall off the cutting board. he said, not that dummy. he asked why i was sitting all splayed out like that. splayed out like what i said. like that he said pointing at my legs. i told him that all frenchies sit like this. he told me he didn’t care what all frenchies did, he cared what i did, and that i looked like an idiot. i barked at him and told him that wasn’t very nice. then he did told me some stoopid story about jimmy frenchie jumping off a bridge and asked me would i do that. of course I wouldn’t, i didn’t get it. [Read more…]

Walking. In place inaccessible to unbelief.

5:05 am. I peek at the weather app: 27° F, feels like 15° F, wind gusts up to 32 mph.

Camus: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

Hmmmmmm, not feelin’ it.

Everyone in the house sleeps, snuggled under their comforters. Wally snores peacefully. I slide my hand onto his belly, and it moves up and down with his inhale and exhale. What joy this creature has brought, this little ball of life.

I get out of bed. Sigh. Thick wool socks. Smart Wool, long underwear. Hoodie. Snow pants. Lined Boots. Come on Arctic blast, hit me, give me your best shot.

I walk.

Not a soul in the park. No runners. No walkers. No dredgers, who are off for the long weekend. And here I am, 985 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

Surprised, I am, at the ebbs and flows. 12 years here at this blogging thing, and it’s ebbing, a low tide that ebbs 1 day, and ebbs 2 days and ebbs 3 days, followed by a shoulder shrug. Time with Wally. Time with book. Time with Netflix. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning

Abraham Joshua Heschel’s book “The Sabbath”… has this line — “Six days a week we seek to dominate the world. On the seventh day, we try to dominate the self.” It’s amazing how much harder that is to do. But I can’t shake the question of, what if I did actually spend a full seventh of my life, which is what the Sabbath is supposed to be, living at a different speed? Who would I be if I knew more than how to work and not work? Who would I be if I knew actually how to rest?

— Ezra Klein, “Ezra Klein Interviews Judith Shulevitz.” The New York Times, January 3, 2023.

Wally’s Great Adventures (31).

Wally’s Great Adventures (31). hello friends, wally here. so rachel told me to be careful with dad’s coaching, because when she was a little tyker like me, dad told her she could be whatever she put her mind to be. so she put her mind to being an olympic platform diver, she did a back dive from the edge of the pool, and crashed into the concrete with her back. dad said “BAD EXAMPLE,” as any idiot should know that you need to jump out far enough to clear the edge. anyway, dad was on me about lifting my paw again. i barked at him and told him that I wanted to be a bird hunting dog. After he stopped laughing and calling me names like ‘short’ ‘chubby’ ‘squatty,’ he said i could never get my ‘low rider’ carriage moving fast enough to flush birds. i barked at him, told him that wasn’t nice, said he was wrong and i could grow up to be anything i put my mind to be. and I told him that I would not retrieve his stoopid balls. he then chased me around the back yard telling me to stop looking in the sky with my paw in the air because those were airplanes and not birds, whatever that meant, but i’m going to show him, i’m going to best bird dog ever. that’s all for today. have a great weekend everyone! Wally!

  

 

 

Wally’s Great Adventures (30).

Wally’s Great Adventures (30). hello friends, wally here. i was out in backyard sniffing around checking things out, never more than a few feet from dad, his hulking presence lurking. this “do it Wally do it Wally do it Wally do it Wally”, i mean really. who needs the pressure to go poo poo and who can do it like on demand. i mean this get-it-done-now attitude may work at work-work but here, wow. mom asked me what those red spots were on my belly, i barked and told her its from all this pressure dad is putting on me. mom always asks why i look so serious, and i barked and told her, wouldn’t you be serious with dad’s ‘7×24 coaching’, she laughed, ‘i’ve had 39 years of ‘that.’ i love mom, but she must be really tough. then get this, while we were outside, dad asked me why i kept lifting my paws, one and then the other. i barked and said why? why? I barked again, why would I lift my paws from the frosty, freezing-cold grass while he stands there in his wool socks, his giant lined snow boots and a down jacket???? then dad gets on his box, Eric and Rachel have a name for this box like soapy-box or idiot-box, something like that and he starts telling me that when he was my age, he used to walk in 3 feet of snow with sneakers, no gloves, for 3 miles to school all by himself in the arctic tundra in canada and he wouldn’t be lifting his paws and complaining like a little baby, and i needed to man-up and stop listening to mom because i’ll get soft. i don’t want to get soft, and i don’t want anymore of these red splotches so i’m going to have to listen to dad as he knows best. that’s all for today. have a great week! wally!

Wally’s Great Adventures (29).

hello friends, wally here. i was helping dad with his work yesterday. he said that it’s a stretch to call it ‘helping’ and that i was a ‘piss-poor’ banker, and i should add that to the list of things i can’t do, incl. can’t fetch shit. i barked at dad and said that wasn’t very nice, and i didn’t want to do stupid fetch or to be a stupid banker staring at a screen all day and not be able to play outside in sunshine, so it didn’t matter if i was bad at those things. dad said i needed a job to make money and buy my own place some day. I told him FALSE!, as i want to be just like eric when i grow up, live at home with mom and dad, get all the great benefits and have to do nothing, what a deal. dad didn’t seem to know how to respond to that. 

i asked dad if we could take a selfie together and share it with all my friends today, and asked him why he didn’t take selfies  — dad said no selfies! and that was that. and since dad and i were chillin’ on the couch this morning i decided i was going to be the best puppy ever. [Read more…]

Wally’s Great Adventures (28).

hello friends, wally here. tgif. so much to share. its been so nice outside, dad has taken my bff sully and me outside to play ball. now i’m still a puppy and all and haven’t seen the world, but Sully and Ball, that is something everybody has to see once. when sully sees ball, he is mental. dad calls him manic or demented or crazed or frenzied, or a lune. for sully it is all about ball. i don’t really get it. I chase sully and ball one or twice and then quit. that’s crazy. dad tries to encourage me to fetch, but that’s crap, why would i do that. so i lay in the grass, and roll around on my back. dad asked ‘what the hell i was doing?’ he then poked me with the ball-chuck-it-stick. I roll on my back again. he pokes me harder so i growl at him and tell him if he doesn’t stop, i will eat his stick. meanwhile sully is still chasing the ball and panting like a madman. I thought my bff was so smart, but i’m having some second thoughts about what’s really going on upstairs there. [Read more…]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Greatest Ever)

 

 


Notes:

  • Thank you Lori for sharing!
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“…that hopeless sense of loss which makes beauty what it is: a distant lone tree against golden heavens; ripples of light on the inner curve of a bridge; a thing quite impossible to capture.”

—  Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark (Vintage; February 16, 2011, first published 1932)


Notes:

  • Photo: During yesterday’s Daybreak walk. 33° F. 7:11 to 7:33 am. January 2, 2023. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  More photos here.
  • Quote via CODA
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Wally’s Great Adventures (27).

hello friends, wally here. i know, i know, its been a long time since last report. i guess i need to come clean. these Wally stories are ghost-written by dad, i know you must be shocked. its not as big of a deal as you think, as he mostly types what i say, dad does almost no editing & he LOVES to edit. anyhoo, dad totally shut down last week & said he wouldn’t help me if i continued to bully sully. BULLY, ME? he said that i steal his chewy bone & then his other bone when mom gives him a new one. i asked dad what he would do, eat a shitty old bone or go after a juicy new one? dad said that wasn’t the bloody point, that i steal all of sully’s shit, steal all of his new & old bones, steal his toys, steal his water bowl & food dish, run surprise kamikaze missions & pounce on sullys head gnawing on his jowls, AND I steal sully’s sleeping spot with mom, & this was way over the top. sully put up with all this crap except for the sleeping situation, dad thinks that’s why sully is pissing all over the bed. LIKE ITS MY FAULT HE’S PISSING ON MOM’S BED. anyhoo, i told dad i would try, but i’m not really going to try, i learned by watching dad, he doesn’t change no matter what, i mean no.matter.what. i am giving sully just a bit more space when sleeping with mom (and he’s since stopped doing bad things on the bed, see!), but i will offer nothing more. ZERO more. btw, those hairy legs in the 2nd photo are dads, sully and i were sleeping under the covers with dad, mom demanded this be disclosed, as her legs aren’t this hairy. third picture dad took at 3am, and do you see sully’s giant head on top of me, its any wonder i can breathe, so you see i give him things. anyway despite all this, i just love sully and he loves me because he doesn’t chomp on my little head when i harass him. i asked dad if we could adopt sully so he could be here always, and you should have seen dad light up, he’s up to something. so stay tuned for more on that. have a good day everyone. Wally.

Here I am again. I’m full of faults.

And I think that as I’ve aged, I realized everything is an ongoing process. And that it isn’t something that suddenly you’ve done this work and therefore you become enlightened, right? That you’re like, oh, you wake up one day and be like, oh, guess what, I don’t have an ego. I’m not bothered by anything. And instead, of course, it’s just the ongoing slog of being a human and returning to the practice. And OK, here we are again. That’s bothering me. Here I am again. I’m full of faults. […]

I usually sit for at least 15 minutes a day. Sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night. At night, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten to do it in the morning. Or I had something early, an early flight or something like that. But I try to start my day with it. I also try to do — set an intention every day that I just hold with me throughout the day. And sometimes it’s just like, oh, I’m feeling a little stressed out, and I’ll just say let’s just think about ease. And I’ll say, just keep saying the word ease and it comes up. And then my meditation practice — it differs. Sometimes it’s — I think the core is always love and kindness. That’s what I learned many, many years ago. And that’s my fallback.

Ada Limón, from “Ezra Klein Interviews Ada Limón” (Ezra Klein Show, May 24, 2022)

Walking. A morning walk on a dreary day…

Here we are. Last day of 2022. I crawl out of bed, both knees are throbbing, why?   Doris Lessing: “But you just do not believe that you’re going to be old. People don’t realize how quickly they’re going to be old, either. Time goes very fast.” Truth Doris, truth.

970 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk to Cove Island Park. Like in a row. And it’s a dreary morning. Dreariness lines up with the morning news. Bombing strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. More civilians dead. More civilians without power. It’s winter. It’s cold.

I walk.

I’m having to work to lift the camera off the shoulder. Blah…spoiled after a run of “money” sunrises this week.

I walk to the tip of the point, and stop to look out over the water. I stare at the bench, think about sitting down, and don’t. Body says yes, Mind refuses to walk over and sit. Will not do it.

A 2-man kayak comes round the corner, the most excitement I’ve seen this morning. I reach for the camera.

“Good morning” the man in the rear shouts. I let go of the camera. I reply in kind. [Read more…]

TGIF: I slowed & succumbed…

The sun crests, a molten slice of fire that gets bigger and rounder by the second. There is extraordinary beauty occurring; all she has to do is turn her head to see it, but she doesn’t. To admire is to slow and to slow is to succumb.

Lily Brooks-Dalton, The Light Pirate (Grand Central Publishing, December 6, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak this morning. 37° F. 7:30 am. December 30, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More amazing sunrise views from this morning, here and here.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“Memorize places,” his uncle had told him. “Settle your eyes on a place and learn it. See it under the snow, and when first grass is growing, and as the rain falls on it. Feel it and smell it, walk on it, touch the stones, and it will be with you forever. When you are far away, you can call it back. When you need it, it is there, in your mind.”

Tony Hillerman, The Ghostway


Notes:

  • Photo DK @ Daybreak. 32° F. 7:00 am to 7:31am. December 28, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from yesterday morning’s walk here.
  • Quote: Thanks Beth @ Alive on All Channels.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Wally’s Great Adventures (26).

hello friends, wally here. big drama at the kanigan house. first, a disclaimer, dad got scolded by mom and Eric about my posts being overweight on bowel & bladder movements, & that led to sharp criticism that dad is a poor puppy trainer. well, now, you should have seen the volcano eruption after that, this really set dad off, like i mean way OFF. dad, he who takes criticism so well, launched a volley of (as he likes to call them) factual retorts. “oh, here comes the feedback from mother & son, those with no blogs of their own, no guest posts, zero, like almost near zero contribution to wally’s posts, or wally’s training for posts, or any contribution to wally’s intellectual growth, all of this load entirely being carried by dad, more stress and anxiety added to an overwhelming load that dad has to carry. mom and eric turned silent after this cavalcade of munitions, which dad took as facts winning out again. back to the story. and yes, it’s about bladder movements. brother sully, 4 years old now, fully potty trained, emptied his bladder, not 1x but 2x on mom & dad’s bed (its moms bed when there is a mess to clean up). so the bladder “dump” seeped through the winter weight comforter, through the bed sheet & landed safely on & was soaked up by the bed pad. i have not seen mom that angry & dad told me she had it in her to come unhinged. ‘I’ve had it, 2 straight days of doing nothing but washing bedding, KING SIZED BEDDING. anyhoo, these days, my occasional little piles (or pies as dad calls them) under the kitchen table are looking pretty good right now. Dad reminded sully that he’s here for another 2 weeks, so if there is anymore bullshit, he’s going into solitary confinement (that sounds bad). Next update, christmas presents, which have been overshadowed by mom & dad’s bed being a potty. have a great night everyone. Wally.

we have an unstoppable will to go forward

PS: It’s like every time i get pushed down and crushed, I seem to get more information…Parkinson’s had made me aware of time. Like, really aware of it. My sense of mission, my sense of this is what I’m supposed to do, that got much stronger in me. If I don’t do that, I start to think about “Oh, Shit, this happened to me.” “What a drag.” You know, it makes life harder. Then you go into this whole pity party thing. It’s a complete waste of time.

JH: Do you ever get into that zone, the pity party zone?

PS: Yeah, I get in it all the time, but I’m very fast at getting out of it. […] Because the whole premise of this is we’re not gonna win every time, we certainly can’t be perfect, we can’t control it, but we have an unstoppable will to go forward… Basically its the same goal, which is, “Schmuck, take action, no matter how frightened you are.”

Phil Stutz & Jonah Hill, from Stutz, (Netflix, 2022)


Notes:

  • Lori suggested that I watch. I’ve watched it front to back 3x. Powerful.
  • Stutz: Rated R for frank language. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes. Watch on Netflix.
  • NY Times Film Review: ‘Stutz’ Review: An Actor’s Tribute to a Therapist. In his documentary, Jonah Hill gently turns the tables on the famed Hollywood psychiatrist and author Phil Stutz.

Merry Christmas


DK Photo @ 7:27 am this morning. Sunrise on Christmas Day. 13° F, feels like -2° F. 7:20 to 7:30 am. December 25, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  More photos from this morning’s walk here: 1) Frozen Seagrass Photos, 2) Twilight photos, 3) Sunrise photos.

Wally’s Great Adventures (25)

hello friends, wally here. happy christmas eve. i’m trying to lift the spirits here, where its a bit heavy, but not sure how to turn up my cute any higher. mom got teary eyed about dad’s youngest brother lorne who died on christmas eve 3 years ago. dad who doesn’t forget / let go of anything, stared blank faced, and walked away. with this giant hole, and dana (DANA!) being away, and that we haven’t seen eric since she left, and rachel and andrew sleeping till 11am, its very quiet around here, so i hang out and wrestle with sully, my brother. dad told me to say brother and not uncle, nephew, cousin or some other nonsense that mom keeps spewing, like she knows. dad went out on his walk this morning, came back with a chill, still chilled, worse than damn antarctica he called it. it sure must be cold in antarctica. i found the warmest vent in the house in the main floor bathroom so i plopped right down on it and took a nap. mom said i’ve got more presents than anyone, and so many from dad’s work friend caroline. i asked dad if i could open a few, and dad said no chance and that i have to wait, bah! neighbor Sue gave us a soft and cuddly blanket with frenchies on it, we love it so much. sully and i take turns sleeping on it. i’m so excited about tomorrow morning to open my presents. have a great day everyone.

  

The no-man’s land, between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning…

There are a few hours each year that belong to no day. The no-man’s land, between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning…

Morning kneels quietly at our feet, opening its pale palms out to us.

Merry Christmas, lovely, he says, so gently…

Look outside! The daughter is practically screaming. During the no-man’s hours, it has snowed. It is not that thick, muzzle-clean snow, but it is enough to glaze the landscape with a pure sheet of ivory light. Enough to give us all the sense that time has paused, just for today. We decide that seeing something for the first time is much the same as seeing it for the last.

Let it snow

Let it snow

Let it snow

— Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)


Portrait of Maddie Mortimer from The Times

%d bloggers like this: