Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Special Weapons and Tactics

I think I have a little bit of a cold. Yesterday it was in my nose, but it was so mild I wasn't even sure it really was a cold. But today I'm coughing just a little bit, and I'm debating calling in sick to work -- not because I'm too sick to work but because I suspect my co-workers don't want me there.

Yesterday I was re-shelving and my mind was wandering, and suddenly some brain cells activated that contained the memory of a TV theme from the 1970s. And then I could NOT GET THAT MUSIC OUT OF MY HEAD! And I couldn't remember what show it was from. It was driving me crazy. I toyed with singing it to Dave last night, but he wouldn't know, because his family didn't live on television the way mine did.

This morning, I woke up, and I thought, "S.W.A.T."! And sure enough, that's the music. I think it's probably the only thing I remember about S.W.A.T., which I don't recall ever actually watching. Maybe we played the theme in band, or was it on the radio?

Anyway, am I glad I solved that mystery.

I also read some book reviews for "Fleishman is in Trouble," trying to get at why that novel troubled me so much. I read The New Yorker's review and The Guardian's review, both quite positive. It made me realize that perhaps I responded differently to the book because I'm a man, which is a somewhat troubling conclusion. I like to think of myself as an enlightened guy, sympathetic to the feminist perspective. But the point at which the book began to feel askew to me -- when the author shifted perspectives to the wife and then to her narrator -- was apparently the vital fulcrum of the plot. As The New Yorker put it, "The women’s perspectives provide a corrective to the man’s, and Brodesser-Akner’s true project begins to emerge."

So I'm writing this only to acknowledge that the book may be better than I gave it credit for being. I concede the possibility that the things that troubled me about it may trouble me because I'm seeing it through a male lens.

And with that, enough about the Fleishmans. I promise I will not mention them again.

When Dave got home from work last night, Olga had been sick on the carpet in several places. (For some reason, when her stomach is upset, she goes into our only carpeted room and throws up there.) So Dave spent time sponging the carpet clean, and then I took over when I got home, and now the room is closed off and the dehumidifier is running. Olga, meanwhile, perked up in the evening and just before bed ate half a can of food, and then ate the other half this morning. So whatever was troubling her seems to be past.

A couple of nights ago she went into the garden and ate something -- I couldn't see what -- out of a flowerpot. What could possibly be in a flowerpot that she would want to eat? All the possibilities seem pretty gross, and I'm thinking that's what got her.

(Photo: A blooming tree in West Hampstead on Saturday.)


Andrew said...

Dogs are never house trained about vomiting, more is the pity. The tree looks fine to me.

sparklingmerlot said...

That tree is glorious.
I hate getting a tune in my head and deliberately didn't go and listen to your link!
I don't think there is anything wrong with looking at a book through a man's lens. Regardless of what people might say, we are wired differently. We live different lives and we look at things differently. It would be boring if we all saw the world through the same coloured glasses. Not having read the book I can't comment specifically, obviously, but surely literature should provoke these conversations?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"I suspect my co-workers don't want me there..." Confidentially, I doubt that that has got anything to do with a brewing cold.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Poor Dave. Welcome home!

OK, I might give the Fleishmans a try.

That tree is glorious.

I never saw an episode of SWAT. I don't know why the theme is so familiar.

Ed said...

I usually estimate that I have a 50% chance of coming down with a cold when I return from a trip to a foreign land. I think it is because colds just mutate so fast, that we are exposed to new-to-us versions on our trip and they bubble to the surface soon after our return.

I have never heard of or seen S.W.A.T. but that melody in the middle is familiar sounding to me as well so I'm guessing it may belong to other shows too. I'm just not enough of an audiophile to know where.

Bob said...

I have seen our dog root in the garden for a snack and often wonder what on earth it might be.

I'm glad I never watched S.W.A.T. because now I might have that song in my head, too!

Colette said...

I can't believe I never watched S.W.A.T., but I didn't. It was was on after I married and had a child. We didn't have a TV for at least 10 years back then. So I missed that TV decade. I'm not bragging, I'm complaining.

Ms. Moon said...

The SWAT music sounds familiar to me too although the intro to the show is something I swear I have never seen in my life. I didn't have a TV then. BUT- here's why the music sounds familiar:
"Theme from S.W.A.T." is an instrumental song written by Barry De Vorzon and performed by American funk group Rhythm Heritage, released on their debut album Disco-Fied. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States on the chart date of February 28, 1976." And yes, it definitely sounds like something a marching band would have taken on.

Boud said...

I think I'll skip the earworm link! Are your colleagues worried about people coughing? Everyone gets nervous about that. It's probably good if we've stopped toughing it out, going to work sick, and infecting everyone else.

Debby said...

Ah poo! Ms. Moon beat me to it. It was a disco era hit song. Picture it blasting with a flashing floor and a disco ball. My disco days were very limited. I gave myself an injury dancing in earth shoes. I came to my senses while recuperating.

Ellen D. said...

You were just looking for an excuse to take the day off, Steve. You really weren't worried about your coworkers. :)
Ms. Moon solved the question about the SWAT theme and why it is familiar. I never saw the show but had heard the song before...

Sharon said...

What a pretty tree and great looking buildings behind it.
Sorry about the cold or maybe it's just an allergy kind of thing. I've been struggling with allergies for several weeks now but (knock on wood) it is much better now.

NewRobin13 said...

I never watched SWAT and didn't listen to the music link because I didn't want to risk getting music into my head that I couldn't get out.
I'm glad Olga is feeling better.
Love seeing that spring time blooming tree there.

Jeanie said...

That cherry tree (or whatever it is) is a stunner. I'm sorry you're not feeling well today and hope it's nothing more than a spring cold. You and Olga -- sounds like the flowerpot or whatever else she might have sampled in her times out could be the culprit. What IS it about animals and hurling on carpet? It's the same with Lizzie -- probably less quantity than Olga but still -- not pleasant at all and no fun to tidy up.

Hang in!

Allison said...

Blogger just ate my comment. I hate when it does that. Anyway, hope you feel better quickly and Olga does, too.

The Padre said...

And Just Where Did SWAT Come From - Too Funny - Puke On My Girl


Margaret said...

I've had the book recommended to me and you've been pondering it quite a lot which makes reading it even more attractive. Cats do the same thing, run for the carpet instead of throwing up on the hardwood or vinyl. Gag.

Lini said...

I have seen crows tuck stuff into pots and my dog is interested. Whenever mine pukes I know she’s found some kind of “ treat” in the lawn. The worst was when someone was feeding the crows chicken and they dropped a bone in the yard. Thank God I found it before she did. Sorry about the cough/ cold..I just started the same thing yesterday.Allergies? Cold? Better to be safe and stay home. Sure enjoy all your posts and that darling Olga.

jenny_o said...

This is weird - I never have trouble commenting on your blog but this is my third try. I keep getting the "Whoops! That's an error - try again" message when I hit Publish.

At least my comment keeps getting shorter each time I try. lol

All I said was that I love the theme from S.W.A.T. - and Robert Urich too. And that cats go for the carpet too. Mine use the mats now that there's no carpet. Maybe it reminds them of grass. Glad Olga is recovering; hope you do soon.

Michael said...

I just finished reading your latest posts. It is hard for me to keep up with blogging. Next year, when I am officially retired, I will have more time on my hands. The post about Olga getting sick on the carpet reminded me of Murphy when he'd get sick. It was always on the carpet, even though the hardwood floor was right next to it! I hope your cold proves to be a mild one!

ellen abbott said...

maybe she ate some animal poop but obviously something rotten. I used to give Minnie the bone from pork chops which she would devour and then have an upset stomach for days so I stopped giving them to her.

Kelly said...

I recognized that tune, though I don't ever remember watching it. What did you play in band?

My guess is that Olga might have eaten a toad or lizard. (or part of one) Better she threw up on the carpet than in the bed. I read a joke once that the sound of a dog heaving, right before throwing up would make a great alarm clock!

Catalyst said...

Sounds like an overdose of . . . dare I say it . . . marijuana!

River said...

I hate earworms and have found the best way to get rid of them is to watch and listen at YouTube, then listen to a few other things right away. Before YouTube, I would consciously run "On the wings of a snow white dove" through my head for a day and mostly that worked.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: Yeah, I guess they don't have a whole lot of control over that!

Caro: Absolutely, I think the author would agree that provoking a conversation was part of her purpose!

YP: I almost wrote a variation of that same line myself but I didn't want to deny you an opportunity. :)

Mitchell: As Ms Moon and Debby pointed out, it was also a radio hit. I think that's why I know it. Surely not from watching the TV show.

Ed: Yeah, I might well have caught it on the plane. The risks of air travel!

Bob: It's scary what dogs will consume. Like, literally scary.

Colette: I watched a lot of TV in the late 70s but I don't ever recall watching that particular show.

Ms Moon: YES! That explains it. I'm sure I heard it on the radio.

Boud: Well, that's the idea, but if it's hard to find a sub (see my subsequent post) it's sometimes easier to just go to work.

Debby: Ha! I'm sure that's why I know it, from the radio and maybe from school dances.

Ellen D: My coworker and I often complain about people who come to work sick, so honestly, I didn't want to be "that guy." LOL!

Sharon: It does feel a bit like an allergy, but it's a cough too.

Robin: Always the risk with ear-worms! Listen at your own peril!

Allison: Argh! Why is Blogger so wonky?!

Padre: I have no idea why SWAT popped into my head. Funny how the brain works.

Margaret: It's definitely thought-provoking. I'd say if you're at all interested, give it a try.

Lini: That's always a risk here too. Sometimes the foxes bring bones and other debris into our garden.

Jenny-O: It's interesting that they want a soft or textured surface. They're obviously not thinking about cleanup!

Michael: I know, I write too much! LOL

Ellen: We did the same with Olga, and like you, we stopped. She DID love them, though.

Kelly: We have occasionally been awakened by Olga heaving on the bed -- we always get her onto the floor in time! I played clarinet in middle school but I quit before high school.

Catalyst: Do you mean Olga's throwing up or my weird SWAT moment?!

River: Yeah, I've found if I put on other music I can eventually drive it out of my head. (It's back now, though, because I'm writing these comments!)