Friday, September 24, 2010

Punctuation What Would We Do Without It

Hopefully the title of this blog has made my point.

There's not a soul who employs punctuation in any language who has not misread a sentence because a hyphen was missing or an apostrophe pluralized rather than claimed ownership.

For fun, see how many different ways you can write this sentence with different punctuation: What is this thing called love.  Then share your creative (though accurate!) application of punctuation in the comments section below.

Happy Punctuation Day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abe-y, Baby!

And the answer is: Abe!

May I introduce you to Abraham Hedgehog, known as "Abe" to his friends.  (Stovepipe hat and yarmukule optional.)

I know the proposed names were completely different.  What can I say?  When a name speaks to me, I have no choice but to go with it.

Thank you for your suggestions and your participation in the naming process.

And welcome to the charming, cute little puppet Abe!

Monday, September 13, 2010

IKEA: Innovative, Happy Inside

The IKEA store in Wembley, UK, allowed 100 house cats to wander the shop.

Here is the resulting commercial.

Really, really charming.

Who cares if the names of half of the furniture are unpronounceable?  I'd buy whatever the cat liked!

What do you think?

(Thanks to Cute Overload for — well, a lot... but for now, alerting me to this lovely commercial.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Greyhound, Laundromat

I Ride Greyhound

because it's like being
in a John Steinbeck novel.
Next best thing is the laundromat.
That's where all people
who would be on the bus if they had the money
hang out. This is my crowd.
Tonight there are cleaning people appalled
at the stupidity of anyone
who would put powder detergent
in the clearly marked LIQUID ONLY slot.
The couple by the vending machine
are fondling each other.
You'd think the orange walls
and florescent lights
would dampen that energy
but it doesn't seem to.
It's a singles scene here on Saturday nights.
I confide to the fellow next to me
that I suspect I'm being taken
in by the triple loader,
maybe it doesn't hold any more
than the regular machines
but I'm paying an extra fifty cents.
I tell him this meaningfully
holding handfuls of underwear.
He claims the triple loader
gives a better wash.
I don't ask why,
just cruise over to the pop machine,
aware that my selection
may provide a subtle clue.
I choose Wild Berry,
head back to my clothes.

from Screaming Red Gladiolus. © Poetry Harbor

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Becoming Reacquainted with Old Friends

A few years ago, I stumbled across juvenile fiction titled Mr. Putter and Tabby.  I can't remember if this duo were baking a cake or running a race first, but they were up to something.

In the books written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard, Mr. Putter is an elderly gentleman who lives alone until he meets his new old cat, the supportive Tabby.  The two of them have their habits — eating oatmeal, taking naps — but every once in a while, they manage to find just enough trouble to get their hearts pumping.

Usually it involves their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, who lives alone with her good dog, Zeke. Mrs. Teaberry is up for adventure and always wants to try something new.  Zeke wants to be a dog and chew, though he also knows how to be as polite as a bulldog can be.

The watercolor drawings are charming and expressive, the stories are sweet and the characters are lovely.  I am hooked.

They have gotten into a slew of adventures, Mr. Putter and Tabby, and Mrs. Teaberry and Zeke usually factor in, even if it's peripherally.  While the characters are somewhat traditional in their mannerisms, they usually have a few surprises hidden up their sleeves.

One of the hooks for me is the drawings — more specifically, Tabby draws me in.  Tabby's face is expressive, especially when her teeth start chattering.  Usually she's pretty laid-back, but when faced with temptations that cut to the quick of her cat-ness, she chatters.  (When faced with a roomful of yarn, what cat wouldn't?)  Also, Tabby is more than content to just be with Mr. Putter, and that warms my heart.

Mr. Putter is no slouch in these stories.  We don't know a lot about him and Mrs. Teaberry, but we learn a little more with every story with glimpses into their youth and young adulthood.

Frankly, everyone needs these people in their lives.  I am fortunate that I have my own Mrs. Teaberrys and Zekes in my life with two wonderful neighbors who also are friends.  Plus, it's no secret that I have my own Tabby or two, which makes good cat stories all that much better.

 This week at the library, I discovered a few more adventures of Mr. Putter and Tabby that were new to me, and I walked out with a half a dozen books.  They were delicious.

I am thrilled to discover that Mr. Putter and Tabby have a new adventure coming out next week, and I will anxiously await its arrival at the library.

If you haven't met these delightful characters yet, I suggest you visit your local library or bookstore.  You can't go wrong with any of the titles in this series.