Jun 30

Who’s your buddy, who’s your pal?

The Beatles sang…” I get by with a little help from my friends.”  And Bette Midler gave it… “Oh you got to have friends… the feelings oh so strong…”

There’s a million of Friendship Tunes out there,  I’ll tell you.  A million.  Some of those “friend” songs are pretty dang good, but they never quite “get” how it feels to know a  true friend.

….Let alone if you are lucky enough to have more than one absolutely true friend.  I’m not talking the Facebook kind.  Heck, I have more than 200 Facebook friends, and I am quite certain I don’t even know that many people.  It is sorta’ like those kinds of toys that you put in water, and all of a sudden, you have a big spongy dinosaur in front of you.

I’m talking about true friends… the kind that bake you birthday pancakes and surprise you in June, when your birthday is December.

They fix you that very special sausage dip…. every dang time!  Or send you Final Four updates via text messages… when you are stuck at the Ballet…

The kind of friends that “watch” your house when you are gone…. But wait.. .there is a leak in the refrigerator, so they dismantle the entire deal, clean it all out and repair it as good as new.  Or they will fly clear across the U.S…. just to “baby sit” your dogs.

The sort of friend that will laugh at your jokes, all the time.  Even when they are absolutely stale…..some may even say corny.

They are the ones that put their arm around your shoulder when you are having a good cry… or absolutely share in your joy, when you are lucky enough to find it.  Yep, those are the ones.

How so ever it happened, I have a handful of true, true, true….. dyed in the wool, bluer than blue true friends.  (Whoa.  I think I just channeled Dr. Suess).  But back to it……I’m not quite sure how it is that I have been given such profound fortune in this…. but I am so grateful.

To my dearest of friends, Happy National Friend Day.  Okay, it isn’t really National Friend Day…. so don’t Google it right now…. but if it were NF Day…. I would send you flowers.  But since it isn’t, I’m pretty much off the hook.  You don’t even get a card… inasmuch as…. I totally just made up that holiday… and of course a gift is completely out of the question at this point….  But the thought…. yes, the thought is definitely there.

So with all my heart…….   thank you…. really and truly  …. thank you for being a friend.

Even if it does involve braving the Black Snakes that hang out in our tree…

Jun 29

Macaroni. It is on your head.

I rarely extend one post, into a post on the next night.

However, last night sucked.  And as a result, I received quite a few letters about it.  They ranged from “That sucked.”….. to…. “Is something wrong with you?”

Well, Heaven’s to Betsy.  I was tired… for crying out loud.  Low on energy.  Not feeling so creative…. struck out… missed the mark…  I was a few clowns short of a circus, okay?

Anyway,  several people inquired as to WHY in the world…… I neglected…….  to take the time to explain the following line of verse:

“Stuck a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni.”

This, came from Jake Jr., Midland, Texas:

Dear Polly,

First I think you are some kind of a Commeeliberal.  But that is not why I am write this.  WTF does the part about feather in his cap and it being macarone mean.  Pretty lame that you didnt make fun of that one. It was boring wtf?  You could have made jokes about it but it was so boring.

Jake Jr.
Midland, TX

So what can I say, Jake Jr. from Midland.  I’ll clear one thing up.  I would not classify my political yearnings toward Communism, if that is what Commeeliberal means.  However, I am pretty tolerant, and understanding, of other people’s life choices.   If that categorizes me as a liberal, so be it.  (My Mom used to shop at Liberal Grocery Store in Dayton, Ohio. That could have had a significant influence on me.)

To the second question:  “Stuck a feather in his cap, and called it macaroni.”

Well……  hang on to your little fife there buddy…. it means this:

Back in the Revolutionary War times, the British thought many Americans to be fools……Saying witless things and acting in idiotic ways.

So, Yankee Doodle was a song the British Troops originally sang.  “Doodle” meant “Fool”…. went to London just to ride them there ponies (those are sort of like little horses) ……  he stuck a feather in his cap (… that means he was wearing some type of hat… ) and called it Macaroni.  Back then, a “Macaroni” was a certain type of “fashionable” extension for their wigs….. (this one I had to look up, Jake Jr.)

So the foolish American, stuck a feather in his hat, and thought he was wearing a cool hair extension.  Like one of those fake ponytails that might be attached to the back of your ball cap Jake.

And there you have it.  In a nutshell.  Now the British make fun of us Americans (yes, I am an American).  The number one reason in a recent BBC Poll:  American’s are rude and have no manors.

Ain’t it something Jake Jr.?

However, I must offer this note of disclosure:  I am also a cousin to that first Yankee.  He was a Doodle.  I am a Polly Wolly Doodle all the Day.

Fare Thee Well.

Jun 28

Feathers, and Macaroni

Today was Carolina Day.  Pretty-dang-big-deal down here in Charleston.  Probably not such a big to-do up in Boston, or Chicago, let’s say.

There’s a parade.  Lots of Pomp.  A caboodle of Circumstance.  Ringing of Bells. Playing of Bands.  Flags Flying.  Fifes (Not Barney). Bagpipes.   …. and of course….. hats.

It was actually a a nice celebration which commemorates the American victory at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island on June 28, 1776, repelling an invasion by the British navy and army.

There was a wide assortment of attendees…..
Feathers, seemed to be the order of the day.

And we ate lots of macaroni.

 

“Yankee Doodle went to London, just to ride the ponies…

Put a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni…….”

(It was the Patriotic thing to do… eating all the macaroni.  I asked Presidential-hopeful S. Palin, who General Moultrie was, and she said he was the guy with the feather in his cap, spreading macaroni through the land, while riding his horse, and shooting his gun.   She knows her Patriots I’ll tell ya’!)

 

“….ooooh Yankle Doodle spread the mac,

Yankee Doodle Dandy……..”

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 27

Tonight at 11

THIS JUST IN: The latest in a series of crimes in downtown Charleston.  This still image, caught on surveillance video, just moments after a City of Charleston Trash Can was assaulted by Gang Members, know only as the Orange Cones.

Apparently, the City Trash Can gave a good fight, taking two of the cones down to the pavement before succumbing to the other three gang members.  A City of Charleston Hydrant witnessed the entire event.

“Yeah, they came right out of nowhere, man.  I hear they are all over the place this time of year…. lining up everywhere… and just putting the fear of beeswax in people.  Just yesterday, a buddy of mine said there were literally hundreds of them up on I-26…. just a lined up in row…. on and on for miles….  .. like…. …..trying to slow down traffic and that sort of thing,” the Hydrant said in an interview with Channel Five.

A Public Statement, just released from the City of Charleston Police Department announced that they are aware of the increasing presence of the Orange Cones in the City and also on the Highways.  While the cones don’t seem to be quite as problematic during the winter months, we can expect to see more of this throughout the summer.

City and County Officials have stated they are taking action.   Specifically, they will send crews of 4 or 5 workers out a time, to stand and just watch the cones, while one of the employees acts as a distraction…. by “appearing” to be working on a pothole.

Across town, rival gang The Yellow Warning Tapes, have started to show themselves more frequently as well.

Continued the hydrant, “I don’t know what this city is coming to.  I just always feel like someone’s pissing on me.”

Jun 26

A ride on the bus.

It is a long story leading up…. but I had to ride the Charleston Area Transportation Authority Bus today.  The CARTA Bus…”It Connects Us All…” is the catchy slogan.

Well, today it connected me across town, and as always on ANY public bus or transit system, you have the opportunity to people watch… and occasionally eve’s drop.

So about at Meeting and Charlotte Street, a man who looked liked he had been drinking… A LOT… got on the bus.  The only open seat was directly in front of me….. but right next to a priest.

The guys’s shirt was all stained, and his face had a few bright red lipstick marks (at least it looked like lipstick).  Anyway, you could see that he still had a  little half-empty bottle of whiskey sticking out of his pocket.  Seems like he’d just come from a “good time”……

He opened his newspaper and started reading.   A couple minutes later, he asked the priest, “Hey Father, can you tell me what causes arthritis?”

The priest kind of copped an attitude all of a sudden…. “Mister, it’s caused by loose living, sleeping around with cheap women, too much alcohol, and contempt for your fellow man.”  That old priest was pretty abrupt and obtuse… I thought.

The drunk guy just sort of looked at him and blinked a little.  “Imagine that,” the guy muttered. He returned to reading his paper.  Meanwhile, I am having a very difficult time containing myself….  but I kept my mouth shut.

The priest seemed to get kind of edgy in his seat…. like he was thinking about what he had said.

So he turns to the man and apologized: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?”

“I don’t have arthritis, Father,” the drunk said, “but I just read in the paper that the Pope does.”

 

 

Ahhhh, the public transportation authority….. “It connects us all.”

Jun 25

My bird wish.

I wished I had wings today.  I wanted for a lot of things this week.  But the world wasn’t operating on Polly-Time.  Everybody has their own time, and schedules, and clocks.  The trick we all need to figure out is how to harmonize our tick-tocking.

But back to the wishful wings.  I didn’t need them for the whole day.  Three or four minutes would have done it, you see.  So as it happened…..I had the dogs out in our “new” yard down the street.

A bird flew right by my head.  Maxine & Frances gave a barking chase.  Then, at once, France stopped midstep, turned around, & sprinted right past me in the other direction.  That’s when I spotted them:  Two baby, baby, baby birds, lying on the ground.

Frances scooped one into her mouth and began to hit stride.  “Frances. NO. Drop it.  NOOOooooo France. DROP!”  What a good girl she is.  She stopped.  And pretty dang gently……spit that bird onto the mulch.

As she sputtered out the fledgling, she glanced sideways at me and I swear she was grinning.  She looked just like the Weight Watcher Lady, with her head in the icebox… spoonful of cookie-dough ice-cream in mouth.  “Not on my diet, right Mom?”  “That’s right Frances.  Not on your diet.”

I retrieved both dogs, and took them to the house.
The little birds were both still alive and Mama Bird was visibly upset, but lurking about.  I got some gloves, and a box lid, and moved them to a bit of shade, in hopes the Mother would save the day.  I wanted wings right then, so that I could fly to the top of that Palmetto tree, and put them back in the nest.  It wasn’t so.

I went back this evening to check on them.  Both baby birds, were hovered together….as closely as they could get to one another.  Yes, they laid there in the corner of the box lid…. dead.  I stood there alone……. staring at those lifeless birds in a state of despondency, and began to cry.  I’m not sure why it struck such a nerve, as it did, but I cried sharply.

I know it is just the way of the world.  Not so much on Polly Time.

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Jun 24

What’s in a name, after all…..

I made a credit card purchase today.  The young clerk looked down at my card, and exclaimed:  “Wow.  Is your name really Polly?  What a drag.”

Hmmmm.  I hadn’t thought of it quite like that.  I guess my eyebrows must have raised, or my horns popped out at the temples.  She quickly responded:  “Oh.  I didn’t mean drag.  I just meant it must have been kind of a drag growing up.”

Hmmmm.  Still a drag.  Still hadn’t considered it quite that way.  Sure, all kids get teased about their names, Brittani, with an “i”…. but here’s how I  look at it now.

I have one of the best names EVER.

When I want to swim, I am Polly-Wog.

If I get hungry…. “Polly Want A Cracker.”

At times when I feel like the 1970s….  What else?   Polly-Ester.

Artistic?  Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day.

Optimistic:  Polly Anna

If I start speaking in German, or Spanish, or even Pig Latin?  Polly-Glot

Plastic?  Polly-Mer

Need some fun at your Hawaiian Luau?  Polly-Nesian

Have some gross, unidentified growth on the body?  Pollyp

So you want to give that floor some shine?  Polly-Urethane.

Super Hero Six-Degrees-Of-Separation:  Sweet Polly Purebred

As you see, this name rocks…. Brittani, with an “i”….. and just remember.  There is NO “I” in Polly.  But there is a big “Why” at the end…….  (And since we are speaking of “ends”…… )

When I say good-bye……….  Polly Gone.

Jun 23

We hold these truths to be…

You know, here is the long and short of it.  I think there is something terribly wrong with me.  Maybe not wrong, but a little loppy-brained, perhaps.   For a very good instance,  today…..I  was elated…. no…. beside-myself-ecstatic…. when I saw this little gem of a trinket.  I happened upon a store that has “overstocks” and “discontinued items” on their shelves.  The misfits of the retail world, if you will.

And there she was. Our eyes met.  Good old Martha Washington.  I snatched that little last doll right off the shelf, as quickly as you can say “Wooden Teeth”, and sprinted to the cash register.  Take a look at her.  You won’t see something like this every day.

Yet, the truth be told…..I purchased this little figurine for that Southwestern Airlines Pilot that’s been in the news here lately.  A gift for you sir.

Here’s our first First Lady sir.  Fat. Old…. And Gay.  Okay.  She wasn’t gay.  But she loved it when George put on his wig.

Now before you go Boycotting SW Airlines because of this pilot’s open mic comments, in which he “slammed”  his old, fat, gay flight attendants….. well, don’t.  If you’ve ever shopped at ANY store, paid any utility bill, or even pay your taxes, you are probably dealing with someone, somewhere, who has prejudices against elderly people, overweight people, and gay people.  Our country is chock full of prejudice.

The older I get, the better I get, at NOT harboring any such prejudgements.  However, I am no saint, by an means of the imagination.  I have, at times, prejudged people in my life, and for those moments, I hold regret and remorse.  Most of the time, those individuals proved me wrong.

So I’d like to meet this pilot, and hear what he has to say for himself.  I also want to give him this little effigy of Martha W….  Of course in hopes that he will put in on the dashboard of his big ol’ jet airliner…..   The first, First Lady of our Great Country.   Ringer of Freedom.  Holder of Truths.  Aging.  Loved Twinkies.  But helped to build the foundations of our nation..

I’m sure this pilot wouldn’t say such things about good and true Martha W.  Unless, of course, she was serving Gin & Tonics on his 747.

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder.

Jun 22

Fran, Ollie, and Max

I’ve posted three dog photos over the past three days.  That has to be some kind of record.  Three Dog Night…… if you will.  (“One, is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do……  Two, can be as bad as one.  Its the loneliest number since the number one…. yeah, yeah…..”)

But I digress.  Here is the biggest news of big news…

WE have a new dog and there she is!  Her name is Ollie.

(We almost called her Allie, but one of my favorite dogs from the past was named Allie.  No re-names…  I’ve got a great story about that ol’ gal busting my chops…. I’ll tell it here sometime.   Sweet Allie wasn’t my dog, but she was my pal.)

But once again, I digress.  Back to Ollie.

Ollie, our cooliest of cool new dog, is a shelter rescue.  I have yet to meet her, but she is completely awesome.  I just know it…… and I love her.  We talk on the phone all the time.  Truth be told, I do most of the talking and she occasionally “woofs” here and there.

She is not so new to us.   We adopted her about a week ago.  I hope she will love me as much as I already love her.

At the end of each day I am briefed with the Ollie Evaluations.

1. The Cute Report.
2. The Smart Report.
3.  The Good Dog Report.
…. and finally, to round things out….
4. The Poop Report.

Yes.  It appears I am completely in the loop.

So you see….. since one is a lonely number, and two can be every bit as bad….. NOW we have THREE.  Three dog night and day.  Day and night….

 

[Photo by Mary Bullen.
Edited with Adobe Photoshop Cs5, by Polly “Kookla” Kronenberger]

Jun 21

Dogs in Heat. Or… Hot Dogs.

This pupper didn’t have any wrinkles a couple of days ago.  But it has been so hot here, most everyone is melting…..  or looks like they are melting.

Dog Days of Summer.  Oh, everyone has  heard it from time to time.  But we’ve had a few days of record breaking heat here in the south.  Our high temp today was 104 degrees.  The heat index was 115.  Opposite of chill factor….

I like the heat, generally.  I would much rather be hot than cold.  Just my preference… we are all wired differently.  But today felt a little hot… even to me.  So as we usher in this Summer Solstice….  just remember…. the days get shorter from here on out.  The nights get longer.  Freezing ice cold temperatures are on the way… with snow storms, sleet, icy roads….. all of this just around the corner.  So hang on….  not too much longer until it starts getting dark at 5:30 p.m.  Chill Factor.

IT appears once again that I am partial to ALL things canine…. including the Dog Days of Summer…..

Woof!

==========================================

Some FUN FACTS, I found tonight…..

How did the phrase start (Dog Days of Summer) ?  The origins go ALL the way back to the Ancient Romans.  (  The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).  )  Extensive Information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_Days //

In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 (or, alternatively July 23-August 23). In many European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.

In the long ago… around the time of Summer Solstice Celebrations……Midsummer  was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called ‘chase-devil’, which is known today as St. John’s Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.