Other Things

Kage Baker often quoted John Lennon. At random, frequently; but when she wanted a specific quote, the most frequent one was: Life is what happens to you while you’re making  other plans. *

Today is full of life; overfull, maybe. And it’s metaphysical life, too,  since some of what is happening is actually due to the other plans I’ve been making. But it all piles up and clogs the gears, you know, and then I find myself seriously lacking in something vital.  Time, energy, vanilla extract, underwear …

All my prescriptions have come up due at once – not too surprising, as they were all written at once, but a major pain to re-order all at the same time. Especially when you get to the pharmacy to pick them up, and only then does the pharmacist tell you that the doctor is changing half of them and they won’t be ready for another day. And then she refuses to sell all of the cold and allergy medicine your sister has added to the drug grocery list (Chloritin-D, Sudafed, Musinex …) because there is a strict limit of how much any one person can purchase lest they set up a meth lab out in the parking lot.  This despite the fact that I had to provide my Driver’s License as ID for every purchase, and if anyone wanted to double check why I was buying 1 (count ’em, 1) package each of 3 different medicines, it would have been pretty easy.

I have a sudden need to make desserts. I have a wake to go to tomorrow, and it’s  BYOB.  (That’s bring your own buffet, not – as one dubious wag has already suggested – bring your own body.) Fetching along a trifle does not cheer me up any about going in the first place. On Sunday, I have a barbecue to attend – a much nicer prospect and a much simpler dessert, but I am cranky and don’t want to go anywhere. I want to be there, you understand, I just don’t want to go there. Life is insisting on making me do things.

The narcolepsies have finally released me from their penumbrous grip. The downside to this is that I have stopped sleeping. This happens sometimes, even with the domestic feline sleep schedule – sleep till you wake up, work till you fall asleep – I have adopted. But it’s tiring, and that’s annoying, because I used to be able to stay awake for days and never mind it!

There’s a cat on my keyboard and another in my printer. They trade places from time to time, but it still makes it awkward to do what I had planned: which is answer correspondence and write. And they don’t like one another, so the changing  of the guard resembles a wrestling match between a pair of velvet socks. It’s distracting.

Harry is loudly practicing his stand-up comedy routine for the benefit of The Thing Behind The Couch. This entails much gravelly monologueing  while hanging with his head down the back of the furniture, occasionally laughing maniacally and exclaiming, “Sweet baboo!”  I’m not even sure where he learned to say that …

So life is really determined to consist of what happens when I’ve made other plans. It wants to be annoying encounters with clerks, and the alarmingly huge bag it takes to hold all my damned pills; it wants to be watermelons too big to fit in the fridge, and having no bowl quite big enough to hold a trifle. (There is never a bowl big enough to hold whatever trifle you have planned; can we rename the things Extravagances?) It’s wants to be the cats whapping one another behind my computer terminal (Paff! Paff! Paff!) until one rolls out and falls into my lap.

It’s the little boy next door running up and down his driveway with a handful of those fake baby fireworks they sell at liquor stores – teeny plastic bottles, and when you pull the string it gives a teeny plastic POP! and shoots confettit everywhere. It’s me and the nephew home alone to order freaky pizza tonight, because his parents are going to his dad’s retirement dinner. It’s 40 pictures of sleeping corgis and the necessity of squeeing over each one. (Thank you, Neassa!) It’s doing the dishes and discovering you set up the silverware to rattle a conga beat when the dishwasher hits full cycle; it’s doing the laundry and discovering that the nifty new soft dissolvable plastic minibags of liquid Tide do not survive being stuck in your pants pocket.

Actually … it’s kind if fun. Now that I consider it. Now that I remember that whenever Kage pronounced that quote –  she was grinning.


*Beautiful Boy

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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10 Responses to Other Things

  1. mizkizzle says:

    Do you suppose The Thing Behind the Couch would best be drawn by Gahan Wilson or by Edward Gorey?
    Harry sounds like a force of nature, like all African Greys. I think the merrily destructive parrot in The Queen in Yellow was one of your sister’s best minor characters ever. “Oh, wicked! Wicked!”


  2. Margaret says:

    Now you have my brain churning around fitfully, trying to remember whose remark ‘Sweet baboo” was originally. Albert the alligator? Help?

    Perhaps the Thing Behind the Couch looks like a Fantod, and Harry is challenging it on the grounds of his being the only bird-form allowed in that house?


  3. mizkizzle says:

    Harry may be a Charlie Brown fan. “Sweet baboo” was Charlie’s sister Sally’s pet name for Linus, a fact which caused Linus much dismay.
    “I’m not your sweet baboo,” he’d wail.
    A fantod could be my sweet baboo any day.


  4. Margaret says:

    Thanks – I knew it must be one of the Classics.


    • Kate says:

      Yeah, but where did Harry hear a line from Peanuts? That’s what puzzles me. Of course, the way his little mind works, he really only has to have heard it once – if it intrigued him, he’d remember it immediately. He gets this funny *concentrating* look on his face when he hears something he likes. So he could have heard it from anyone, any time – but it’s certainly not anything he heard from me or Kage.

      He is a mystery.

      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com


  5. PJ says:

    Harry’s “sweet baboo” reminds me of a TV show I saw recently, one of those paranormal things. The people had a parrot who spontaneously started saying, “Hello Howard.” No one in the house knew a Howard and hadn’t taught him to say the phrase, but it turns out one of the former occupants of the house was named Howard and he was rumored to haunt the place…

    If you believe in that sort of thing, of course.


  6. mizkizzle says:

    Ghosts! That could be a clue to where Harry heard “sweet baboo.” Has he ever watched “Supernatural?” Wasn’t there a character on the show who went by that name?


    • Kate says:

      Harry watches Supernatural on a regular basis – because it’s one of my favourite shows. I don’t know whether or not he got “Sweet baboo” from that, but he is working on saying “idjit”. In context, too.


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