Wednesday, August 07, 2019

I only had $10

I saw Caleb on Monday evening! In his same old spot. But without Napoleon. He was panhandling because he needed an extra, unexpected $70. Napoleon was spending the night at the vet's -- finally being neutered in addition to getting his shots. Naturally, I wanted to help in any way I could. After all, I know how hard it is for Caleb to be away from his fur baby overnight. But I didn't have a lot of money for him. I was taking Amtrak first thing in the morning to meet with my client, and I needed to have cash on hand. Still, we can always spare something, right? So I coughed up a pair of $5s as he updated me on his life.

His wife is back in the hospital. Last week Randi had a stroke! The doctors believe that the 90ยบ+ exacerbated "her condition" and helped bring it on. I'm not 100% sure what "her condition" is, because I don't like to make him share more than he's comfortable doing. She should be home this week. He said she's upset about something "with her face," but he didn't seem to think her aftereffects of the stroke were that bad. He just misses her.

Caleb is doing well at work. He makes enough that they live indoors all the time now. Napoleon goes out every day, at least for a little while, in his harness and walks on a leash. He enjoys being an indoor cat, especially on hot and sunny days, But Caleb reports Napoleon gets "mad" if he doesn't get his walk.

I wish I'd known last week I was going to happen to see him. I could have gotten books for him at the library after-sale! I know how both Caleb and Randi love reading.


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. After a run of biographies and mysteries, it was time to sweeten my reading diet with some chick-lit. I've read, and laughed at, all the Shopaholic books, so I know Sophie Kinsella is a solid practitioner of the craft.

This one is a standalone, and the premise is promising. A workaholic lawyer suddenly loses her job and, through a series of misunderstandings, finds herself hired as a housekeeper in a big, beautiful house on the English countryside. She doesn't know how to (as explained on the book cover) work the over, sew on a button, or even get the effing iron board to open. "Will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does, will she want it back?"
I'm only about 50 pages in, but so far, so good.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Death on Deadline (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe) by Robert Goldsborough. An unscrupulous media titan (obviously based on Fox News' Rupert Murdoch) sets his sights on a venerable, family-owned New York paper. The widowed matriarch has to deal with the fact that her own relatives are willing to sell out the newspaper her late husband founded. She commits suicide ... or did she? Wolfe refuses to believe she'd take her own life and he takes on the case. Even though the police and the family insist there is no case.

I figured out the killer before Wolfe did! Ha!  Don't go thinking I'm brilliant. The author painted the villain with a rather heavy, dark brush. The mystery itself was the weakest part of this story, anyway. I enjoyed it -- immensely -- because Goldsborough (who picked up the series after Rex Stout died) got so many of the little details right. As I came upon these familiar moments (Archie cracking wise, even as he drinks milk; Wolfe's ridiculously rigid schedule; Fritz' meals, etc.), I realized the little details have a major impact on my involvement. Every few pages I felt like saying, "Oh, hello, old friends! I've missed you!"

3.  What will you read next? Michelle Obama's autobiography. Unless I change my mind.