Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm sprawled across the Davenport of despair*


Thought I'd finally cashed in my chips, did you? I'd see you checking in on me and I'd be all oh, man, I can't think of a thing to write and I'm letting these people down. Think, woman, think! Nothing happens. There's nary a creative thought to be found among the abandoned Habitrails, faded French conjugations, and cravings for Marathon Bars cluttering my cranium.

My pleas for the cats to do something bloggable go unheeded. In a lame attempt at slapstick, the cat who's older than Sophie prat fell off the back of the davenport yesterday. It was like watching someone's grandmother tumble down a flight of stairs. My shocked laughter was muted by my concern with whether she'd broken a hip.

"Oh, Daisy! Are you okay?"

She shot me a reproachful look, shook herself and said, "I don't plan to sue." As she strolled away, she looked over her shoulder, her lip curled in defiance. "This time."

I used the word davenport because it doesn't get used enough. I looked it up on wikipedia. A proper noun first, it morphed into a generic term for sofa in the Midwest and Northern New York. Which would explain why my thoroughly Midwestern mother used davenport interchangeably with the harsher sounding couch. When I was a child, I liked it when she said davenport. It seemed more exotic with its multiple syllables.

The family has been no help either. They haven't said or done a funny thing in over a week. Unless you count Sophie telling me that having sex burns calories so I should keep doing it. The friend she was showing off in front of laughed at the irreverence of the exchange. I pulled out my phone and poked at the keyboard.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm texting Daddy."

"About sex?"

"No. About calories."

I thought about telling you about the strange dreams I've been having, but instead I'll show you this visual and leave the rest to your imagination.


It's fair to say that I have anything to offer. I'm profoundly sorry for this lapse. I'm distracted to the point of scrubbing old cookie sheets with a solution of baking soda and peroxide. They don't yet gleam, but give me time and a few more news stories about the ongoing attempts of the Right to dismantle the hard-won reproductive rights of women or another beating of a gay teen and those cookie sheets will be mirrors upon which we can all scrutinize our foreheads for etched lines of confusion and consternation.

You can't rub those lines out with your thumb either. I've tried.

Now I'm turning to you. Suggestions for topics are welcome. Questions, ideas, a first line, a last one? Want to guest post? Fire away.

P.S. This.


*Not really, but I love this line from the Warren Zevon song Disorder in the House.

61 comments:

  1. I'd see you checking in on me and I'd be all oh, man, I can't think of a thing to write and I'm letting these people down.

    Been there and been doing that! I need to get back to W.V. At least there are woodpeckers and maybe a feral cat to take pictures of.

    P.S. Nice to see those kitties.
    ~

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When are you getting back to WV? I hope that feral cat is there waiting for you.

      P.S. Those kitties say thanks, but in a badass kind of way.

      Delete
  2. more on the dreams....taco bell might be just as disturbing you know...you could set up the camcorder and try to coax the cat into doing it again....might get sued then though...smiles.

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    1. I should write about those dreams. Maybe someone can interpret them for me. I had a stretch of three nights last week when my dreams were loaded with detail and oddities.

      That cat is on the back of the davenport right now. Same spot she fell from the other day. I have my camera at the ready.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. And isn't it dreadful that they no longer make them? I used to eat one every day for lunch in middle school.

      Delete
  4. Let's see. you could write about:

    * How you came to be addicted to cats.

    *Compare and contrast Midwestern and Southern ice teas.

    *Describe your last demonic procession.

    *Secret fantasies never before revealed.

    *A 500 word essay on, "If I was a guy".

    *How about explaining why Big Box stores are evil.

    *Would you rather be in a hot air balloon or a submarine?

    *PLease explain difference between an outhouse and congress?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Or:

      * A scientific experiment: Who would fly farther from a catapult, Newt or Rush?

      * The sculptural possibilities of fur balls.

      * How many Fox news commentators could we fit in a Volkswagen?

      * Secret fantasies never before revealed. (Worth a second request, in my opinion.)

      * Musings on who or what may lie beneath Donald Trump's combover.

      * What MathMan might do if he found you scrubbing the cookie sheets in a French maid's uniform.

      Delete
    2. Well! You two have given me enough ideas to have no excuse for not blogging for quite a while.

      Thank you. I think. No really. Thank you. These ideas will be fun to pursue.

      Delete
  5. Man, scrubbing cookie sheets are pain in the arse. Wait, that ain't sexy. Words can be, but I prefer naked ladies in lieu of policy PDFs when I'm wonking on me davenport.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wonking? I failed to mention that I scrub those cookie sheets naked, didn't I?

      Delete
  6. My mother, from Ohio, called it a davenport. My father, from upstate New York, called it a sofa. I grew up calling it a couch, but now call it a sofa. Don't ask me why.

    Topics . . . topics . . . There was that fake amendment to an embryo rights bill in Oklahoma that would have outlawed masturbation, oral sex, and pretty much anything other than trying to impregnate a woman.

    The ermine-and-crimson encrusted pederasts in Vatican City telling the world that women shouldn't be allowed to use birth control just because.

    "Davenport of Despair" would make an awesome name for a pseudo-goth band, I think. Like Evanescence with balls.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's kind of like the soda/pop/coke issue. I grew up calling it pop. I moved to Chicago where they call it pop and started calling it soda. I moved to Georgia where they use coke as a generic and I still call it soda.

      You've got some good suggestions, too. I may have to write about the Archbishop of Washington DC who was on Morning Joe today. I was floored by his attitude. I guess I'm too cozily cocooned against religious dogma, but my eyes were opened today. Perhaps a post for DCup and her nuanced approach.

      Evanescence with balls. Excellent.

      Delete
  7. I'm going to walk around all day finding ways to use the word "davenport." Thank you.

    Next week I'll be talking to high school poets about rejection. On Valentine's Day. Doesn't that just make loads of sense? Bless their hearts.

    Now tell those cats to get to work and earn their keep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome for davenport.

      Tell us more about speaking to the students please. Rejection as in broad terms or literary only? Should be interesting either way.

      The cats refuse to be pawns in this blogging game. No kibble for them.

      Delete
  8. As always, I completely soak up any and all photos of your cats. Also, I love that you first reaction to watching someone's granny take a tumble down the stairs is to laugh!

    My grandmother sometimes called the couch a "davenport." My brothers and I would snicker behind our hands when she did so. Now I think I'd give anything to hear her say that, or anything, again.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I had no idea the word davenport would resonate with so many people. From one crazy cat lady to another, I invite you to check out my flickr account any time you want. So many cats, so little time.

      Delete
  9. I feel your pain. Why do you think writers have such a reputation for being drunks? Now pass the damn wine.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Here, Jayne, have some wine. I think I need to get off these meds so I can get back to drinking.

      Delete
  10. Boo. I don't have any energy for writing. I'm too busy getting through this damn "transition" period. Survival, eh?

    My granny (born in PA) called it a "davenport" too. Haven't heard that word in years. xo

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    Replies
    1. Juli, you have so much going on. You'll write when you're ready, yes?

      xoxo

      Delete
  11. A friend of mine stopped blogging recently. When I asked him why, he said that he felt that can was in danger of turning into must and that he didn't like that.

    I hope you don't give up blogging, Lisa - it would be a real loss if you did - but be gentle with yourself. You usually have something good to say and you say it very well but, if there are times when you feel you've nothing to say, we'll wait for you.

    The only positive thing I can say (as a European) about the farcical theatre of US politics at the moment is that it looks like the Republicans are busy screwing up any chance they might have had of defeating Obama in November. Santorum makes Sarah Palin look like a pinko commie-loving liberal ...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Francis, for the tender words. I won't stop blogging (I've tried and failed more than once), but I definitely get your friend with the can/must issue. That's usually when I step out for a while, too.

      I don't know what to say about our Republican primaries. They're absurd, a race to the bottom, theater of the worst kind? I just listened to Mr. Romney appeal to the CPAC convention and it was unbelievable. As Andy Borowitz tweeted so eloquently, "Welcome to CPAC, please set your clock back 700 years."

      Delete
  12. You had me at davenport... And my exact thought was, "there is a word that does not get used often enough!" Lisa my love, you will always have a tempestuous relationship with blogging, but she is one demanding bitch mistress. She will always tempt you back. Thank God for that!

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    1. You know me so well, Fran. You're one that's seen this blog gig evolve for me. It's nice to see you here.

      Delete
  13. Well, in our house the community seating device in the living room was called a chesterfield. In Portland there's a street called Couch that's pronounced cooch by native Oregonians. Come to think of it most people outside that fine state pronounce its name origone whereas inhabitants soon learn to say orgun. You can always ave a lot of fun writing about the silly things people insist upon as being logical.

    Then again you could always consider buying a Danish tricycle so you could tour the neighborhood with your cat grooming tools. We all know the FDA won't allow just anyone to sell hotdogs.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I pronounce it wrong all the time. Or uh gone. I better clean it up before I head off to Portlandia. I'm itching to go there.

      I like your idea about logic/people's beliefs. Hmmmmm. That could be fun and dangerous. I could start with my own twisted and tortured logic.

      If we ever move back to civilization, I'm definitely opening a portable, bike-based cat grooming salon. I'll call it the Pampered Pussy.

      Delete
  14. I have no suggestions, but I certainly sympathize. I have not blogged in about a month (again), and am suffering from random fits of FB exhaustion.

    I have taken to turning off the computer these days and reading books instead. I'm not sure how long it will last, though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This. Yes indeed. And yes to the FB burn out. If I see one more photo with a pithy saying, I may have to slap someone.

      Delete
  15. planned parenthood prevailed, and states can now opt out of no child left behind.


    soon it will be v day & i'm gonna take a walk on the heart side
    http://springfield.kval.com/news/events/254056-gigantic-inflatable-human-heart-vrc-friday-and-saturday

    you can always write about what ya love

    ReplyDelete
  16. i owe you an email...thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ah well. It happens. I just spent an alarming amount of time looking at Justin Hayward doing "Forever Autumn" for a live performance of War of the Worlds and am now listening to him performing "Nights in White Satin" at Canterbury Cathedral.with Ian Anderson on flute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsX8ZTK6piQ&feature=related

    I may be lucky the politicians are being stupider than usual lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it's nice to just follow one link after another at youtube, isn't it?

      Delete
  18. Anyone who has ever read "A Confederacy of Dunces" would never under use the word davenport.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've got the book and haven't read it yet. Now I'm anxious to dive in.

      Delete
  19. I love the word "davenport" -- it conjures Mint Juleps, and, yes, cats. If you start posting before and after shots of the cookie sheets, then, I'll worry. Until then, enjoy the interludes between manic idea-generating. It's that regrouping period ... good for you.

    I wonder if the sportstracker app has a section for sex. That would be awesome! One more reason to sleep with a smart phone.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Phew! Good thing I stopped myself from taking before and after photos of the cookie sheets. I keep hoping Sparkpeople will add a calorie burning feature for sex, alas no. Killjoys.

      Delete
  20. You talk about nothing far better than most of us talk about something. And I love that picture of your cats.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're very kind. Hey! I can be the Seinfeld of blogs!

      The cats are my favorite photo subject. Sigh. I need a life.

      Delete
  21. I haven't had very much blog worthy material these days either - but your tweet cracked me the hell up!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you.

      How are you feeling? I saw on Facebook that you were at the doctor's office.

      Delete
  22. I have to say that I for one prefer the word "couch." Excepting Randal, nobody gets laid on a davenport.

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    1. You make a fair point about getting laid on a davenport. So what about the word sofa? Sexy or not?

      Delete
  23. P.S., Scrub those cookie sheets with a mixture of crushed ice and WAY too much coarse salt. Like a dry slurry.

    Don't ask me how I know this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well now. I never know where my next bit of good advice will come from. I'm going to try this. Thanks, fellow scrubber.

      Delete
  24. sherry stanfa-stanley has left a new comment on your post "I'm sprawled across the Davenport of despair*":

    Your cats aren't providing you with any blog ideas? Well then, clearly you need to adopt a couple more.

    (I don't know why this comment disappeared, Sherry, but I'm putting it in as a cut and paste from my email because it's too funny not to share.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And because I wanted to say NONONONONONONONONOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

      Delete
  25. I tuned in specifically because I saw the word davenport! Your family is letting you down terribly so you're assigning blame correctly I believe. You'd better get lawyered up if you see one of the kitties hanging out with another that has a briefcase. Cat lawyers are worse than human ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whenever these cats see a briefcase, they feel the urge to pee in it. That might explain why their lawyer looks so annoyed.

      Delete
  26. I can just picture her falling and shaking herself off like that. Oh my poor little cat. She's getting old, limping, peeing outside the box, and I tried to get her steps up to the bed but they suck and are too narrow - and she falls all the time. Not at all like "I won't sue" but "you didn't just see that did you? did you?" No, I didn't see that. SOB.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Isn't it hard watching them grow old? Better than the alternative, I suppose, but there are more and more of those moments when she does those things she pretends she meant to do.

      Delete
  27. I think you are putting undue pressure on the felines to perform... none of us do well under pressure like that, even more true for males. Just saying...

    My blog is named for my friggin dog, and while I think he is the cutest dog in the world, he does not give me fodder for the blog very often. He napes beside me as I type, occasionally slumping on the keyboard, often farts or belches as I type...nothing new there....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at that face! You're right, of course, about how I'm pressuring the cats to perform. They had a quiet conversation with me about it and we've agreed that they'll stop screaming at me while I prepare their meals if I'll stop nagging them to do bloggable things.

      We're all lying, of course. The madness will continue.

      Delete
  28. Lisa, you will love Confederacy of Dunces. Really. And I never heard anyone use the term davenport, but I grew up with my grandparents, who were off the boat from Sicily. Sofa it was (ends in a vowel, so it was doable). It's February, the shortest yet cruelest month. I avoid writing about politica anymore since it's all bad kabuki, but I keep my eyes open just in case "it" happens and people start giving a shit about their communities and this country. No, I don't know what it is or will be, but maybe one day everyone will get up, look around, and decide that they have had it with the greedy and mediocre trashing the place.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I watched some of the CPAC over the weekend and blogged about it at PoliTits. The slow motion train wreck continues. Whatever "it" is, it's not happening there.

      I've moved Confederacy of Dunces to the top of my To Read pile.

      Delete
  29. Lisa, only you could write something that entertaining about your inability to find something entertaining. I have nothing either. Back to the davenport where I shall slowly freeze to death....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Delana. Maybe we have brain freeze. I saw that it's horribly cold in France. Should we send quilts and hot chocolate?

      Delete
  30. Davenport is what my parents called our couch, too. That's all I've got. I am in mental torment/blank/procrastination mode myself.

    ReplyDelete
  31. And PS I saw that household hint about shiny pans and I say poo. My pans are well used and look it and I am too lazy to shine them. Maybe I should care?

    ReplyDelete

And then you say....

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