Thursday, September 21, 2017

Elk Sausage

Quite a few months ago, a friend gave us a roll of elk sausage that he had made. It sounded weird, even to me. But I promised I'd eat it and get back to him about the taste. I had tasted elk at a restaurant once. It was dry and needed salt, a lot more salt. But I didn't say that to my friend. The look on his face was that of a puppy sitting on command for the first time, eager, energetic, and sweet.

When I got home with the squishy roll that was oozing a bit of blood from the butt ends, I promptly put the thing into a Ziploc bag and onto the bottom shelf of the freezer. In the back. I didn't have to cook it right then, did I?

Oh, I eat all kinds of food. I even ate an ant once on a dare from my brother when I was about nine. He ate his live and I smashed mine, left most of its protein between my thumb and forefinger, then chased it with a Snickers bar. Nasty. I still shudder whenever I think of that, especially since my brother told me that his ant tried to climb back up his throat. I don't know if it was true but it still gags me when I think of it. True brotherly love lasts a lifetime.

So, the oozing roll of elk went out of my mind for long enough that my friend stopped asking me if I liked the taste. There are some limits to friendship, you know, and eating a roll of bloody elk sausage might be one of them.

But, there came a time, when the clear plastic Costco bag of chicken tenders indicated to Mike that it was time to eat it down. Eat it down is what Mike tells me to do whenever the stuff in the deep freeze starts to look like fossils.

I should never let him cook. First, he was not happy about having to make yet another meal. This wasn't what he signed up for when we first agreed that I would stay home with the baby. The baby was seventeen. He didn't need babysitting any more. There were dinners to make and I'm sure Mike thought about the fact that he'd just worked ten hours while I was noodling around on the computer all day, earning a total of nothing.

When he went downstairs to the freezer, did I imagine that his steps were just a little too firm? I heard plastic rustling and chunks of frost-heave falling off the roof of the freezer while he rummaged around. He walked up the steps with a bag of desiccated chicken tenders and looked me in the eye as I lounged in front of the computer.

"We need to start to eat it down again," he said. We.

"Oh, do we?" I said, innocently. He knew that I knew exactly what all that meat cost and what it currently looked like, dead, mummified, about to turn to dust.

That night, we ate peanut chicken slathered in peanut sauce so we could barely taste the dried-out and slightly off flavor of the chicken. You know what flavor I mean, freezer flavor. It's not bad, exactly. It won't send anyone to the toilet. But it had the distinct flavor I could always smell whenever I opened any freezer, mine, my mom's, my sister's, or my Grandma's . You just don't go about opening people's freezers unless they're family. You just don't. That frosty air wafts up and lays bare any notion that you are going to relish any meal that is produced from it, even Grandma's. I could always taste freezer in meat that had hung around too long. I'm sure Mike could taste it too, but there was the cost of what had gone into the freezer and, dammit, we were going to get it back out again if we had to eat that way for a month.

For the next week, I pored over the contents of the freezer each night and hoped to see something different. One block of ground beef, a quart of ice cream that Nick had somehow missed, a block of frozen squash, and chicken, lots of chicken. A whole chicken, chicken breasts, boneless skinless tasteless chicken thighs, chicken tenders, and even ground chicken. I dutifully cooked these into roasted freezer-burned chicken one night, cornflake crumby chicken another, more freezer-flavored peanut chicken, and finally chicken meatballs slow-cooked in Louisiana hot sauce. I never tasted the freezer in the chicken meatballs. I could never taste a thing while eating that Louisiana hot sauce. That night, when I made the meatballs, Mike said dinner was good.

After almost two weeks of eat it down, the freezer was finally emptied of everything but chicken thighs, miraculously the ice cream, and that rock hard roll of elk sausage on the bottom shelf of the freezer. In the back. There weren't enough thighs to make a whole meal.. I picked up the ice cream and held it in my hands. Coffee.

I loved coffee ice cream. I put it back on the shelf before my hot hands could melt it inside the container.

"You could have ice cream before dinner," a voice whispered. Steam rolled out of the freezer. Suddenly, it smelled sweet, lost the odor of raw meat. "Ice cream for dinner," it sighed. "No one would have to know. You don't have to eat that old meat shit. There are spoons down here. You could sit on the cooler and eat the whole thing until it was gone. No one would ever know."

Then, I knew. The devil lived in my freezer. Or at least in my head while I was standing in front of the open door of the freezer, in front of that glowing quart of ice cream.

If I ate that quart of ice cream, capillaries in my eyeballs would burst and I'd go blind. I'd get an immediate case of gangrene in my toes and they'd have to be cut off. I'd go into a diabetic coma and Mike would eventually find me lying on the floor with the ice cream container still in one hand, an old spoon in the other, the freezer door ajar and dropping chunks of frost onto the fake wood laminate flooring. Yes, the devil lived in my mind.

I grabbed the chicken thighs and the roll of elk sausage, slammed the door on that quart of coffee ice cream, and ran up the stairs.
 
I cut the little metal crimps off of either end of the elk roll and put it on a plate in the microwave to defrost. Twenty-five minutes. In the meantime, I tried a new recipe for the chicken tenders, haloumi chicken, and got to work on steaming some vegetables. The elk roll bled all over the inside of my microwave, despite the fact that I'd put a plate under it. Blood fucking everywhere. Cleaning up was so unappetizing, especially blood from raw meat.

An hour and a half later, I served beautiful plates of haloumi chicken with roasted tomatoes in virgin olive oil, virgin. There was steamed asparagus and cauliflower with butter and lemon pepper on the side plus little rounds of elk sausage with hickory smoked salt and onion.

"I didn''t like it," Mike said when he returned his plate, empty except for two elk rounds with a tiny bit missing from one edge. "Maybe it needed more salt."

"It tasted weird, Mom," Nick said, handing me his plate. His elk sausage hadn't changed shape. Did he even take one bite?

So, as I cleaned up the kitchen, Teddy and Blitz threatened to trip me. They would eat some elk. It wouldn't be a total loss. They had become accustomed to getting a tiny bit of what I had cooked for dinner. Well, Blitz got something and Teddy just stood around looking hopeful.

Poor Teddy had allergies. I'd learned my lesson on a tiny piece of steak once. The next day, he horked that steak into the crevice between the back seat and the door handle and I'd had to wipe it up. It was yellow and green and slimy.

They really wanted what I'd been cooking, these two. Blitz has learned that if he got to talking, I talked back to him until, eventually, I relented and gave him some of what I was eating. He'd eat anything. Chicken, salmon, tuna, beef. He even ate a leaf of spinach one time. That cat definitely came from a trailer park. If I'd offered him pickled pig's feet, I thought he would have eaten it.

So, I put a tiny piece of the rejected elk in front of him.

He looked at the meat, sniffed it, then looked back up at me.

"Go ahead," I said. "Try it. It's elk. What kitten do you know who gets to eat elk?"

He meowed and stepped over the tiny morsel lying on the floor. He rubbed against my ankles. He wanted chicken.

Against my better judgement, I leaned over, picked up the hunk of elk and threw it at Teddy. It hit him on the nose and fell between his feet. He sniffed it. Nope. Wasn't going to eat that shit. No way, Jose.

Blitz meowed again. He wanted something to eat, real food. They both, Teddy and Blitz, walked back and forth over that little bit of elk until I finally relented and gave them each bits of the chicken.


Over the next few days, I ate that entire roll of elk sausage myself. It was dry, tasted freezer burned, and needed salt.

Thank you for listening, jb

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Most Natural Thing in the World

Today was a banner day!

See, my nephew Ryan came to visit because the birthday present we gave him was totally lame and we needed to give him a decent gift.

And take him out for pizza.

No, giving Ryan a stupid present does not make this a banner day. It does not. It was embarrassing. See, we got him a Lego kit of Berlin when we were in Germany, but it turns out that it cost a bunch of euros and was about an inch by two inches by five inches, or at least that was how it looked when he sent me the picture. Plus, when we got back, we realized that Lego is the same ALL OVER THE WORLD, so nothing was stopping us from saving the space in our luggage and buying it at the mall when we got home.

I want to know what happened at Lego that the kits are so tiny and so expensive. Is there a plastic tax I didn't hear of yet? Was it affecting marine mammals? Did Lego just get so incredibly cool that they could afford to charge 30 euros for a kit that builds to 1x2x5 inches?

Inches!

Right. Lego being too cool for school wasn't what made it was a banner day either.

As I was saying, Ryan showed up and we did normal stuff with him. We picked up pizza. We walked the dog. We gave him a gift card.

No, I'm telling you that getting pizza and walking the dog are not the reasons it was a banner day. Just hold on until I get to it, okay? 

Ryan likes walking the dog. We went to the river and threw rocks. Did you know I can't skip a rock any more? It's also a little bit of a sad day when I realize that I can't skip a rock any more. After that, we picked up food for dinner and I cooked macaroni and cheese.

Yes, having a macaroni and cheese day does make it a banner day. It does, especially Mike's mom's recipe for mac and cheese.

I had to sit here and think about that for a minute and say a blessing for Mike's mom's soul and the gift of her macaroni and cheese recipe. You know, I imagine a heaven that includes Mike's mom and unlimited macaroni and cheese. With hot dogs.

But the coolest thing that happened with Ryan was that Blitz, after listening to us sit and chat, after we spent ordinary time sitting on the couch, after we ate macaroni and cheese, and after 'Serenity' came on and we talked about the possibility of a remake of the Firefly series written by Joss Whedon, -  remember Blitz? Blitz actually walked into the middle of the living room and spent some time eyeing Ryan to see if he would turn into a predator. When he didn't. Blitz jumped onto my lap and let me pet him for a minute.

Then, I pulled out kitten cookies and threw them all over the floor until all the animals were running around like toddlers at an Easter egg hunt.

But then we laughed.

Blitz flattened then ran helter-skelter down the stairs as if he were being chased. When nobody chased him, he came back up the stairs after twenty minutes or so to see if anyone had left him any more cookies. After that, he wandered back and forth like having Ryan over was the most natural thing in the world. Maybe it was.

And that was why it was a banner day in our house today.

Thank you for listening, jb

Friday, September 8, 2017

Rewriting My Morning Meditation

I told you, didn't I, about how Blitz comes to sit on my notebook in the morning? He does.

See, I practice twenty minutes of writing meditation in the morning. It's amazing what floats to the surface. It's amazing how boring it is most of the time, a record of lost sleep, a grocery list, a preparation for my daily grind. But it feels right. I have a better day when I write. I do.

Since he came to our house, Blitz has interrupted that writing process. He sits on my notebook. He plays with my pen. He swishes my tail so that my notebook is full of shed fur. And instead, I spend twenty minutes petting, kissing, giving loose hugs, and listening to him purr.

Most days, it is an irritation. Most days, before I've written a half page, I get up and walk away. Some days, I breathe a sigh of relief as Blitz gets distracted by the other kitty or the long back of the dog walking past my knees to squeeze out of the narrow space. Blitz likes to whack Teddy's butt as he goes. Teddy is very patient. Blitz doesn't use his claws, but Teddy sighs because he's not quite awake at that hour. And sometimes, the game with Teddy is just too good and he'll leap onto his shoulder, patter out of the room, and I'll hear them both romp up the steps. At those time, I think, I'll get back to my writing meditation. I'll do it right. Three pages. Thank you, Julia Cameron.

But this morning. I had written about five words when Blitz leaped onto my leg and then settled himself on the right side of my notebook. I sighed and put down my pen. I petted him. He tucked his face into my palm. I leaned in and kissed him between the ears.

I hoped he hadn't rolled in cat litter in a while. I breathed in. No cat litter smell. And out.

I petted him. I leaned in and put my arms loosely around him, lightly resting my cheek on his shoulder. I could feel him purring. He lifted one paw out of my embrace. I knew he would use that paw to leap if he got uncomfortable in my clutches. I loosed the hug. I rubbed my other cheek on his neck. I could feel him purr.

I took a deep breath in this embrace. I breathed in and out, in and out.

Then, I sat back and wondered at my notebook. 

I tried to pick up my pen. I figured that I'd outline his butt on the notebook again so some future reader would know that my thoughts had been interrupted. I outlined his tail, his tail, his swishing tail. It looked like a fan on the page. I outlined his butt. Then, I outlined his back foot peeking out from his belly and his butt.

Whack.

He swatted me. No claws, but a surprise.

I put down the pen and went back to petting him. Be nice, I told myself. I could feel through my hands how he purred. Had he stopped while I used my pen or did I just not notice in those moments? I leaned in to hug him again, to have that vibration against my ear. He lifted the one paw, the escape claws

I took another deep breath. I breathed in and out, in and out, in and out, listening only to my breath and his soft purring at my ear.

When I sat back up, that meditative feeling was there, satisfaction, focus, calm. There was calm. No matter what else happened during the day, I had begun it with calm

I've decided not to wish Blitz would leave when I write in the morning. He is all part of the plan. He leaps onto my notebook, breathe in, stroke his silky fur, and out. Breathe in and out. Listen for the breath, his purring. Feel his damp nose in my palm, pressing back. Breathe in and out. Focus on the moment, reach in for a hug, breathe in, loosen the hug, breathe out, feel the paw, breathe in, breathe out, in and out, in and out, until at last, I feel the calm.

Thank you for listening, jb

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Coming to the Party

Today is Blitz's first birthday. He's not a kitten any more, but don't tell anyone that he still eats a can of kitten food now and then. I blame Seth. Seth began to lose weight so the kitten food is the way for him to keep weight on. Blitz gets in there and steals some of it, half of it, maybe a little more than half.

Blitz doesn't really need kitten food any more. He's a little fluffy. You should see his beautiful belly when he rolls onto his back. He has a low little muffin top when he sits. He's a happy chubby baby. I try not to give him too many treats and junk food, but he loves occasional bits of chicken, pork, beef, and one time I gave him a bit of elk that someone had cooked for us. He didn't like the elk at all. He looked at me as if I were trying to pull something over on him. That's not food.

Today, most limitations went out the door since it was his birthday. No, I didn't make a kitten cake from a can of cat food and treats, but BabyCat got a teeny bite of brisket and almost a half can of yummy but stinky salmon and tuna delight.

This morning, Blitzie squirmed while Nick walked around the house carrying him and letting everyone wish him a happy birthday. Don't tell any of Nick's friends about how he loves this little kitten. It wouldn't be cool.

But it is so cool.

And there was the moment this evening when we all happened to gather while I handed out kitten treats to everyone who wanted them. Seth and Teddy were ready to celebrate. Mike and Nick were happy to watch me make a fool of myself.

Blitzen never came.

I suppose there was too much excitement, too much noise, too much potential to be captured and tortured with kitten treats and belly rubs and love.

The whole time I worked in the kitchen after dinner, wiping counters and putting dishes into the dishwasher, a little song rang through my head.

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to ...

Blitz came up after it got quiet again, but the party was over. He ate a couple of treats and I could feel his fur in my toes under the table when I sat down to the computer. I am turning into one of those women, aren't I? Too old for babies and too young for grandchildren. Technically, I'm plenty old for grandchildren, but it didn't work out that way. And now I'm celebrating cat birthdays. Mortifying. 

Thank you for listening, jb


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Smoke and Strangers

Blitz had a hard afternoon yesterday.

It wasn't just because the house smelled like a campfire. The other two furry kids paced and watched me for cues that the house was about to burn down. The house was fine, but they didn't know that. I spent an inordinate amount of time inside yesterday, keeping the doors and windows closed, petting pets and distracting myself, staring out the window.

Blitz didn't have a hard day because the sun was a red disk in the sky either. The sky took on a yellow glow. I stood at the window. Where I grew up, if the sky turned green, it meant there might be a tornado. You needed to watch a green sky, make preparations to move to the West wall in the basement. You needed to prepare yourself for sitting in the dark for hours if the power went out, for straining to hear through the concrete walls and floor above you for the telltale sound of a train rushing by where there were no tracks. You needed to consider a green sky. But this wasn't green. It was a flat yellow sky.  I had lived through smoke before, but this yellow sky with a red sun gave me the creeps. I'd notice an orange shadow and it kept taking me some time to figure out it was just sunshine.

The weather report says the next fifteen days will be sunny. No rain. There will be no relief from this awful yellow sky and red sun throwing orange light. But that wasn't why Blitz had a hard afternoon yesterday.

No, Blitz wasn't worried about any of that.

My friend Anna came to the house.

Anna is a quiet person. She loves cats. I really thought that she would be the breakthrough Blitz needed to begin to get over his shyness.

It didn't work to bring lots of friends over to meet him when he was tiny. My poor baby just got more worried every event I scheduled. He buried himself deeper in far rooms in closets in boxes. It didn't help to go find him. It didn't help to crate him first and let him out when people came to see him. They would hold him loosely for a minute and let him dash when he leaped out of their arms. It was sad to bring my most kitten-loving friends over to my house only to have him bolt in abject fear the minute I handed him over. The whole process only made him more fearful not less.

Anna says I should relax and let him be himself.

See what I mean? If anyone could get my little munchkin to relax it's Anna. She understands the introverted and the need for the solace of a quiet house. I just know Blitz would love Anna if he just tried.

There I go, an extrovert trying yet again to get an introvert to change. Blitz is not going to change. My friends are never going to see Blitz's charm as he talks to me in the morning. They are never going to see how funny he is when I pick him up and he uses his front paws to walk up the side of the washing machine. They are never going to decipher his Morse code dashes and dots as he rolls onto his back to get his belly rubbed. They are never going to see how he leaps up and tags Teddy on the shoulder when he wants to start a game. My friends are never going to know my little Blitzen.

The worst part is that if there really is a fire, if the house is burning down and a fireman comes in to rescue the kitten, you know, the hero of the story who gets to be on the cover of Time in his uniform with a kitten in his arms... If the hero comes into my house to save the day?

Blitz is totally going to die.

Thank you for listening, jb

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fifty-five Years, Thirteen Weeks, and Approximately Four Days

When I was a kid, I was required to make my bed every morning. If I didn't do a good enough job, I would be told to repeat the process until it passed inspection. Sometimes it took me three or four tries to get it right. It was especially challenging when my mother put my brother in charge of the inspection.

One of the first things I did as an adult was to assert my independence by not making my bed. Oh, I would make it out of politeness whenever I visited at anyone's house, but in my own home, I have had fifty-five years, thirteen weeks, and approximately four days of not making my bed.

I take not making my bed seriously. No one in my house is required to make their beds. I'm not even sure Nick knows how, which will be embarrassing when he visits someone's house and doesn't do it as a courtesy. Hopefully, he'll figure that out.

Did you know that the colonies of dust mites don't thrive in an unmade bed? Dust mites like it warm, humid, and cozy, the temperature of us, not the temperature of a cool room. So, I have only been encouraged by this study to not make my bed.

Dust mites are gross.

Image result for dust mite images free

Yet, we live with them every day. If humans had very good vision, we might go bat-shit crazy trying to get away from the creatures that live on and around us. Like face mites.

face mites

You're grossed out now, aren't you. I am too. My face itches. I wonder if these things die in great numbers when I scratch my itches?

Okay, I might have to go throw up. There is no getting away from these things. I'm going to have to stop thinking about it. That's hard since there is a photo sitting on my screen right now. I tried to convince myself that these creatures are a part of having healthy skin, but I couldn't find a study. I need a study saying that they're good and useful mites, that they help people set their faces to rights.

So hard. So impossible when you start to think about it. You know, those little fish that clean the sharks. The sharks don't just tolerate them. They encourage them. There are fish that open their mouths so the cleaner fish can brush their teeth. And they can see their critters.

I hate parasites. Leeches, ticks, giardia anything that attaches to a body, inside or out. Oh, I could spare some calories to creatures around me. I always toss down a couple of nuts for birds that hang around when I'm snacking. I like birds. I like squirrels even though they're just friendly rats with decorative tails. I like cats, dog, the ultimate creatures to take advantage of my good health. They came to us to eat what we had left over and they stayed. They don't suck the life directly out of us, but they certainly change our behavior, eat our food, require that we groom them, clean up after them, and give them affection.

If dust mites were bigger, they'd have to be furry and have big eyes. They'd look a little like a hedgehog or an armadillo. Armadillos are adorable. Why am I so grossed out by the mites? For me to like them, they'd have to look like the Tardigrade bugs, those little water bears that scientists say can survive in space. If I really have to have face mites, can't they at least be cute like the water bears?

Image result for tardigrade water bear images free download


So, the mites pictures are far enough up my screen now, that I'm breathing a little more evenly. I'm going to imagine that my face mites are furry little creatures that kiss my face a million times a day and give my skin the healthy glow that it has after a hike. I'm going to imagine that when my face itches, which it still does, that I am only petting my thousand little pets as I scratch my forehead. I scratch dogs at the park when they sidle up to me, right? I'll pet any stranger cat in the street that's friendly enough for me to come near it, right? So, my little dust and face mites are my friends, cuddly little creatures that I care for. Shoot, they're the perfect pet. I don't have to open a can of food, refill a water dish, walk them, play with them, or even clean a putrid litter box.

Oh man, this is not working. My face is the face mite's litter box.

Breathe in, out, breathe in, out, breathe in, and out very slowly. Don't think about it. Don't think about it. Don't think about it.

And I'm back.

So, in order to control the colonies of dust mites that live in my bed, I insist that not making my bed is the best method for managing. It's nice to be able to jump into a cool bed at night without having to fold down the sheets. It's healthier. Right? It's a time-saver.

This morning, I needed to go back to bed. I woke up too early and I was going to need to go back to bed for a while to have a normal day.

Blitz likes to jump back into bed with me when I go. All of the furry babies do. When I went back into my bedroom, they all followed me. I have a good bed. Seth took up residence on the folded-over part of the duvet at the bottom of the bed. Blitz sat on his own pillow with a fleece pillowcase at the top of the bed. Teddy circled once and groaned a little as he laid down in his own bed next to my bed. It was cozy. I was surrounded by my furry creatures and it was very cozy.

 I had noticed that Blitz did his business after I got up and when I came back into bed, he sat on his fleecy pillow for me to pet him before I fell back to sleep.

While I was getting situated, fluffing the covers up over my face, wiggling my toes against the still-warm depth of my sheets, and petting Blitzie,  I realized that there were little crumbs of something in bed with me. Ew.

I sat up in bed, turned on the reading light, and threw back the covers. I could feel them, one scratchy thing by my knees and another itchy one near my calves. I got out of bed. I turned on the overhead light.

There was cat litter in my bed, tiny chunks of cat litter. I had been sleeping in a litter box. That filthy little kitten. Oh man, it was so disgusting.

I'm going to have to break my fifty-five year, thirteen week, and approximately four day streak of not making my bed.

Thank you for listening, jb

Friday, August 25, 2017

Morse Code

Blitz is getting friendlier. Finally, he doesn't run when someone besides me leans over to pick him up.

Every day, I whisper into his ear, "No one is going to hurt you here. Everyone loves you here. The hard part is over. Just relax and have some fun."

Okay, it's not exactly those words every day. Sometimes it's only, "Chill out, dude. This isn't the hunger games."

The hypocrisy of saying that occurs to me when we're going to bed at night.

Blitz has trained me to pet him any time I'm on the stairs. He runs half way up and then stops, rolls onto his back, and throws his paws into the air like a puppy begging for a belly rub. He has dots and lines on his belly. I can't help but drop three bags of groceries and get on my knees to pet those dots and lines. Besides, stopping always elicits help from anyone in the living room who thinks I may be struggling under all that weight. I'm a little devious myself.

So, I rub Blitz's belly and let him play with my fingers and roll around. It's just recent that he can stop himself from rolling down a couple of steps as he does all this lolling about. It was adorable.

I already miss the clumsy little kitten.

So, I guess I screwed up by making this a spot for love and affection. I never let Nick and his friends play on the stairs when they were little. I said they were too dangerous. Why didn't I stick to my guns with Blitz? I blame the dots. And especially the lines. They're adorable dots and lines. They look like Morse code. What does his belly say?

I should look that up. The Universe could have sent me a secret message. It could be important.

At night, when I'm going to bed, Blitzmunchen does the same thing, stops in the middle of the stairs and rolls onto his back. The lights are sometimes off because my eyes are tired and I use the teeny spotlight on my iPhone. Then, when he stretches out on the steps, I struggle to see him and risk kicking him.

Once, I caught him with my moving foot and he flew down four or five steps like a soccer ball. I dropped the pile of library books I intended to read in bed and told him I was so sorry. I didn't mean to kick him. I just didn't see him.

Do animals know how night-blind humans are? Or do they just think we're stupid, or worse, mean?

Anyway, once I sat down on the steps to try to apologize, Blitzkrieg came running up to me for a belly rub. So now, forever and ever, I have to sit on the stairs at night, when I'm exhausted, when I'm almost blind because I'm using the tiny spotlight on my iPhone, and fumble with petting his belly.

So no, Blizzard, it's not true what I tell you every day, that no one is going to hurt you. I could hurt you. I could kick you down the stairs. I could step on you and break that already crunchy spot at the end of your tail. I do love you. I do. But I could be the one that makes life hard for you all over again.

I hate being a hypocrite.

Thank you for listening, jb