Monthly Archives: June 2011


Last night it sounded as though a great army were running through my walls. I’m accustomed to the usual scrapes and scratches this old house produces; I know that there are creatures who live here just beyond my sight and I’m ok with that. The rodents tend to stay away since Bubo has a remarkable appetite and the bats tend to stay nearer to the attic in the eaves.

These noises were new and different and I am still puzzled as to who my new house guests could be. Or what they could be.

Which brings me to this Wednesday’s Word.

Myomancy [mye-uh-man-see] is a noun originating from the Greek for mouse. It is divination by the movements of mice.

Before you throw up your arms and laugh, think about it. Is it not completely logical to study and follow the patterns of our little creatures, since certain voles have an ability to anticipate earthquakes and field mice have been known to change their behaviors in anticipation of lean or abundant harvests?

There are numerous ancient Greek and Roman stories alluding to major generals taking cues from mice and rats; if one’s shoelaces were chewed by mice, for instance, you’d best not go into battle (for a number of reasons, I’m sure).

Honestly, our scientists today study mice and rats even more fervently than history’s most avid myomancer.

As do most New York City subway riders.

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Now ‘Ear This

Last evening, after a delicious al fresco meal on the veranda, I decided it was time to try out the Listening Chair, Mordecai’s latest gift to me (to make up for abandoning ship when the police arrived after our misguided celebration of Memorial Day involving our cannon and fireworks).

I sat in the thing – which is surprisingly comfortable – and, per Mordecai’s instructions, merely closed my eyes and attempted to empty my mind. The Listening Chair, you see, will intuit what your body needs to hear and will play it for you.

I quelled my misgivings (history, like the MoodPaper, does not make one calm in a Listening Chair) and attempted to clear my mind. Bubo nestled into my lap. As I calmed my breathing, I decided I would make Sun Tea today before the scheduled thunderstorm hit.

I felt a slight pressure on my forehead and was inundated with the sounds of bat sonar.

Unfamiliar with bat sonar? I, of course, have a number of bats that nest in the upper eaves of this old house, so I am quite familiar with the sounds of echolocation. It was decidedly not what I thought I needed to hear. Listening Chair Bat Sonar

What would you do if that were being blasted into your ears? Exactly. I stood up, or rather, I attempted to stand up. It seems that the Listening Chair, not only decides what you need to hear but also decides how long you need to hear it. The chair had snaked itself around my person, like clinging vines or a kraken.

I listened to the bat sonar chirps for a good hour before all the bats in the house descended upon the parlor. Bubo was desperately biting the chair’s arms while I wrestled within its grip. The live bats created more of a racket and after another 40 minutes the chair loosened its hold.

I tumbled onto the carpet and the live bats fled into the night. Mordecai was in the front room with head phones on, listening to Schubert. Charles murmured an apology and I stormed onto the streets of Brooklyn for some aural respite.

I shall place the Listening Chair in Mordecai’s room (which is covered in MoodPaper). I can only imagine what the chair deems necessary for my brother’s ears.

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Slip into Something More Comfortable

Like Jellyfish Lake.

According to OurAmazingPlanet, “The main genus of jellyfish in the lake is called Mastigias They are descendents of jellyfish from the ocean that are thought to have ended up in the lake when sea levels were much once higher, extending over the island and filling up the saltwater lake.”

Take a moment and slip into this video, won’t you?

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Pre-Seating is Gravely Advised

You must book ahead for a seat at the cemetery! I am crushed that I missed the midnight showing (and catacombs tour) of The Spoon River Project at The Green-Wood Cemetery. Bubo and I reasoned we wouldn’t need tickets, especially since it’s summer and so many people go away for the week-ends.

We reasoned incorrectly.

Instead, I sat on the Widow’s Walk and read Poe whilst Bubo sang softly to herself. I think it was Count Basie, but I can’t be sure.

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