Monthly Archives: July 2011

Gin Jelly Balls

I believe the mystery of the missing jellyfish has been solved. Sunday and Monday found Bubo rather quiet, and, Bubo being Bubo, this was puzzling and concerning. It appears that guilt renders my dear little owl silent. Good to know.

It took til Tuesday (today) for her to confess. Late Saturday night, Bubo decided she wanted the jellyfish to be able to go for a walk outside. The weather was clearing and she thought they might enjoy a meander about the park.

She outfitted tiny Pestilence into one of my jelly balls (picture a water-tight gerbil ball with a tiny filtration system). I imagine she must have had help with this, but she’s not giving up her accomplice. And as Pestilence was enjoying the jelly ball, Bubo decided that Hoover, the second-smallest jellyfish, ought to go with her. So Hoover was outfitted into a jelly ball. And then, Bubo reasoned that since my brother Mordecai and I often take summer strolls with drinks in hand, the jellyfish would also enjoy their strolls infinitely more with drinks in tentacles.

And then she poured gin into the jelly balls.

And then she placed the jelly balls onto the sidewalk and gave them each a slight push.

And so the jellyfish, soaking in gin in their jelly balls, left the house.

They have not returned. Naturally.

Bubo has been searching for them and has not been able to find them. She’s petrified that they were in the sun too long (direct sunlight would poach the poor things).

If you happen to find a hungover jellyfish in a jelly ball, will you let me know? I’m trying to keep positive, but I’m a realist: two drunken jellyfish could easily end up anywhere. If they headed towards Coney Island, they’re most likely at the bottom of the ocean. I’m sure they’d be able to get out of their jelly balls, so I’ll pretend that they’ve made a new life off the coast.

Bubo, being much more cynical than I, is picturing jellyfish salad and other atrocities.

Poor dear. Though, clearly, it is solidly her fault. She promises she will not send anymore jellyfish out into Brooklyn. We’ll see.

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Weathergram For A Crab

This is a sad entry for me. I am a lover of all living creatures; great, small, fierce, docile, feathered, scaled, cryptid, and otherwise. Last night I discovered that the great comic of the jellyfish tank, Jean-Pierre “Buster” Crabbe the hermit crab, had passed away.

Interestingly, he had crawled out of his shell prior to death, so I discovered him curled between two clear glass pebbles on the floor of the tank a few centimeters away from his shell. He was so small and rather naked seeming like that. When I removed him from the tank, the jellyfish seemed to caress my hand, feeling like whispers against my old skin.

Bubo set to wailing a mournful cry and I buried Buster in the garden, beneath the tomato plants. I placed his shell atop his grave.

As the characters in one of my favorite children’s books did, I will hang a weathergram dedicated to Buster in the garden, commemorating his life. (I speak, of course, of E.L. Konigsburg’s Up From Jericho Tel. Check it out and read it, why don’t you? I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself.)

I’m thinking of penning this for Buster, what do you think?

You boxed aquatic clouds while walking in water. Now you will swim with true welkin ones.

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Hot Owl Ice Cream

Believe me when I tell you that you do not want to witness a great horned owl eat ice cream. By 10 am this morning, the heat was already too much for Bubo and she tucked into a hefty tub of our home made pistachio and basil ice cream. I breakfasted on a sasparilla float. I won’t natter on about how hot it is, but suffice it to say that I’m hoping Mordecai went north. Otherwise an unimaginably cranky and cross fellow will inevitably end up on my doorstep and I’m too knackered from the heat to put up with him.

I’m keeping out of the sun reading again today. If I get my wind up, I’ll head to the catacombs and dig through the odd bits of family history in the cool dank of the caves. The specimens have taken to camping out down there and even the wuzzlethumps are sleeping instead of birding. Thankfully.

Found this gem absolutely fascinating. The Tammany Hall years are a period of New York history that have long captivated our attention and imagination. This, then, is a good introduction to the history of it.

I hear a commotion in the freezer. I’m hoping it’s not Bubo making a nest in the ice cubes. Though, quite honestly, I wouldn’t blame her for it one bit.

Except that I find feathers in my ice cream absolutely unacceptable.

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Farandman

Early this morning, before the full heat set in, Mordecai left. He had spent a good deal of the past few days carefully packing his pack and whittling wood stakes, thin and sturdy, like tiny daggers. He and Charles bid adieu and they left before the city was covered in a hot haze that made it appear mythical and not fully real.

Which brings me to today’s word!

Farandman is an old Scottish noun for a wayfarer, traveling merchant or peddler. It is derived from the Middle English (northern dialect) farand (present participle of Middle English faren to go, travel) + Middle English man.

While my brother is peddling nothing more than his specific brand of trouble, I believe this old Scottish word is an appropriate send off for Mordecai.

Bubo flew behind for a few hours and said that except for a small fire that may not have been Mordecai’s fault, his exodus from Brooklyn seemed smooth.

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