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devil duck


Saturday morning shalmestere and I headed into the city to the Chocolate Show, which has become an annual ritual for us. About a hundred different chocolatiers, mostly either so high-end or so local that only serious foodies have heard of them... giving free samples of their wares to entice you to buy them... discussing the relative merits of Madagascar Criollo vs. Venezuelan Trinitario or Colombian Forastero, and which would be most appropriate for what sort of confection... expert chefs giving lecture-demonstrations to packed houses of foodies (or just people who wanted to sit down). This year there was a surprise vendor: Mars, with its free samples of M&M's, looked really incongruous between the ultrasophisticate makers pushing lavender-and-sea-salt bonbons, cinnamon-and-chili-spiced chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, etc.

This year, also, they changed the rules and didn't stamp people's hands so they could leave for lunch and come back in. This was an unpleasant surprise to us, who had planned on doing just that. But we had arrived before the 10 AM opening, and by 2 PM we had visited most of the vendors and our eyes were crossing from sugar and theobromine. So we went out to walk off the buzz on the way to Hill Country Barbecue, which we hadn't tried before. We followed the chocolate orgy with a meat orgy, and the combined effect left us with no interest in dinner (in fact, I wasn't really hungry even the next morning).

Sunday was devoted to Home Maintenance. Thing Two had torn up the front lawn doing leash-radius donuts around shalmestere, so we tore up, raked, and seeded the rest of it so it would look uniform, rather than like a poorly-executed alien crop circle. shalmestere did about ninety-leven loads of laundry and scrubbed some woodwork, I did two grocery-shopping trips, cooked three meals, and washed a bunch of dishes, and we both sorted through the papers and junk that are currently piled on top of the spare bed (in which my mother will be sleeping in about 72 hours). It was a pleasant, if chilly, day, so we took the Things for a walk in the park before dinner.

As we cleared the table and put away leftovers after dinner, we heard a doleful cry from the living room. Thing Two was standing, holding his right hind leg up, and crying in pain. We couldn't see anything wrong; I massaged it and worked the joints, and in about thirty seconds he had stopped crying and was putting weight on it again. Muscle cramp, maybe... but the same thing happened (to the left hind leg, IIRC) a few days ago, and we're having horrified flashbacks to Thing Negative One, who yelped inexplicably whenever he turned over for months before abruptly becoming paraplegic due to an undiagnosed tumor on his spinal column.


"leash-radius donuts" -- you could turn this into an art form, y'know... The Olympics symbol is just one permutation.