Listen To The Zen Master [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Let’s be clear: Dogga is infinitely smarter than I am. Occasionally I fall into the delusion that I am the master – I have thumbs, after all – but my fantasy is never long-lasting. I am here to do his bidding and I am well-trained.

In addition to being smarter, he is also wiser. No matter the enormity of my life-dilemma, he patiently listens to my fear and complaints. He allows me to spin my quandary into a full-blown-fruit-smoothie, to make my mole-hill into an Everest-sized-mountain, and then, usually in the form of a belly-belly, he brings me instant perspective. Nothing on earth could possibly be more important than loving on your pooch. “Be here now,” advises Dogga. “And, since we are here now, how about a good belly-rub?’

It’s hard to argue with a zen-master-in-fur. What could be more meaningful, what possible purpose could I serve other than loving life right now? The rest will take care of itself.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Rest In It [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Each morning, after breakfast, Dogga retreats to the kitchen and sprawls near his bowl. It is the rendezvous spot, the place where he and BabyCat met each morning to snuggle and snooze. Every day, Dogga returns faithfully to their meeting spot. He doesn’t snooze. He waits.

BabyCat has been gone for over a year and a half. In our old house, at night, when a floor board upstairs creaks or thumps, I still think, “There’s that BabyCat!”

BabyCat was a BIG cat so there was lots of him to love. Like Dogga at the rendezvous spot, we know that big love never goes away. It’s always there – he’s always there – even if we can’t see him. We feel the love. It feels so good to find the right spot in the house, rest in it, and drink in that big warm wave of BabyCat love.

read Kerri’s blogpsot on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Don’t Panic! [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Let us first deal with the sub-story of this cartoon, storyline B. When drawing, it is completely possible for me to respond to questions AS IF I am really listening without ever hearing a word. Call it a gift or a flaw as you will. I call it a defense mechanism or a survival skill. My focus is myopic. I’ve had to develop certain protections that enable me to stay in the story. Otherwise I lose the thread. Kerri will confirm my selective hearing.

As for the primary story, storyline A, have you ever thought you lost your sunglasses and found them resting on your head? Have you ever raced around looking for your keys only to notice that you are holding them? It’s a universal experience.

Despite what we might assume, it’s not an age thing. Looking for your phone while holding it isn’t a sign of impending dementia. It’s a sign of panic. Panic comes with blinders.

My only question is this: why am I experiencing more incidents of panic as I age? And, why can’t I find my pencil? Oh, wait…

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Give Over [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

In the world of price comparison, label reading, expiration dates, coupons, and ingredients review, I am a loser. In these matters I have a Teflon brain. Nothing sticks.

When I shop, I take something from the shelf and toss it into the cart. When Kerri shops, she reads. She scrutinizes. She weighs the relative value of each item against the recent past and possible future items. She questions and considers every detail. Percentages spill from her mind. She remembers the price of pasta – and everything else – from 1992 to the current day. She can tell me the history to the minute when the volume of a box or can dropped from 16 to 12 ounces, “Yet the price stayed the same,” she grimaces.

During our very first shopping expedition, I knew I was in a whole new league. No more toss and run. No more quick trips to the grocery store. I was pushing the cart for the Einstein of food shoppers, the Yoda of coupons.

We’ve evolved. Or, I have evolved. While she reads, I gaze. While she compares, I ponder. While she weighs and considers, I daydream. For me, shopping has become a time to reflect. To abdicate all of life’s responsibilities. To give over to a better mind and push-the-cart merely.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Punch The Buttons [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I drew an outline around the remotes and numbered them. I sketched in important buttons and numbered them in sequence, “Press this first.” Then, I wrote scenarios. “If you want to do this, pick up #3 and follow the numbers.” Finally, I set each remote in the matching outline. It’s a fool-proof remote-map for Unka John when he comes to house-sit and take care of Dog-Dog. Dog-Dog does not require a remote so no map is necessary.

The volume control is on a separate remote than the power-on remote. Also, the volume remote wreaks havoc with the standing fan in the living room. Adjusting the volume causes anxiety in the fan so it’s important to move between the fan and the television while aiming the remote. The fan also has a remote but it ignores the television altogether. I think. We never use that remote. We’re old school and stand up to punch the buttons on the fan.

Dog-Dog also has a fan for his crate. I am the remote for his fan. I’ve looked and looked for his volume control but, so far, no luck. I’ve punched all the buttons but his bark-volume remains the same. Technology! It can be so fickle!

read Kerri’s blogpost on this SATURDAY MORNING SMACK-DAB.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerriandavid.com

Give The Benefit [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Because this strip is about making assumptions, it shot to the top of our publication list. It’s most relevant this week.

A few days ago I had a health crisis and had to rush to see a particular doctor who will remain un-named. In a story of universal-weirdness – or – metaphors I choose to ignore – every time we leave the parking lot of Dr. X, we blow a hole in the muffler of our car. EVERY TIME. We arrive in relative quiet. We leave in a riot of noise. Little-Baby-Scion sounds like a prop plane attempting to take off. I refuse to associate mufflers with my emergency.

We have an appointment next week at Paul’s Bender Center to fix the problem (with the car). In the mean time, our ride is making some serious noise. At stoplights, we get “looks” from people, the same look we give to people when we pull up next to a car with a roaring muffler-about-to-fall-off.

Having just received our umpteenth dirty look, over the din, Kerri shouted, “This is humbling! I think, from now on, we should give people the benefit of the doubt.”

Yes. The benefit of the doubt. Assume positive intent. Next time we quietly pull alongside a rattling, roaring car, I will smile a supportive smile, “I know. I feel your pain.”

read Kerri’s blogpost about ASSUMPTIONS

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

See Beyond The Numbers [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

200. The number of mass shootings in the United States this year to date. Heck, it’s not even June. Of course, I’m writing this a few days ahead so, at the very least, by the time you read this, 222 more people will be dead from gun violence since we are averaging 111 people a day.

What’s remarkable to me is how many bar charts and line graphs are available. How much data we keep and information we track, all made easily digestible through smart visual analytics and colorful charts. Murdered children and teachers and church goers and concert attendees and folks who simply went to the grocery store – reduced to an abstraction translated into a visual that’s easy for us to consume. Apparently, we’re adept at making the carnage-numbers pretty and consumable but not so accomplished at seeing the numbers as people – children and elders, parents and friends. Scrub it. Nothing personal. That way our leaders* can offer a few more antiseptic thoughts and prayers and we, for some reason, vote them back into office.

[*I wonder if our representatives were required to go to the morgue every time we have a mass shooting and actually see the damage a military grade weapon does to a human body, especially a small child’s body, if they might see beyond their personal ambition and lobby dollars. They might see murdered children and teachers with names, and parents. I know, I know, a stupid idea. Were they required to experience the reality, they’d have little or no time to legislate. 200 morgue visits in 5 months would certainly be a full time job. With ample time to lead or no time at all, it seems the result is the same.]

read Kerri’s thoughts on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Attend To The Details [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Don’t let this cartoon fool you. In another life, she would have made a crack detective. Or a masterful research scientist. Or a lawyer (god forbid!). Her attention to detail sometimes frightens me. Kerri loves to do research. For instance, when we are going to take a trip, she delights in investigating the available airbnb options. She scrutinizes each property down to the pots in the kitchen.

For a guy with his head firmly lodged in the clouds, it’s an excruciating process to witness. It is not in my fiber to consider minutiae. True confession: I generally hide until the the vast options are narrowed down to the top three. My head explodes if there are too many considerations and since I appreciate having a head, I’ve learned to guard my head-explosion-threshold. Three.

Besides. She has great taste. And, she likes to hang out with me! Those are the only details I need to know.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this SATURDAY MORNING SMACK-DAB.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Let The Chips Fall [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

If I left Kerri to her own devices, we’d have a kennel full of once-stray-dogs, a menagerie of rescued kitties, birds in rehab, chipmunks recuperating in the upstairs bedroom and a host of other critters who crossed our path on their day of distress.

It’s not that I am heartless. I have a heart. My capacity to stand upright is proof-positive that it works. No, the real impediment to my save-the-animal-kingdom-resistance is practicality: we have a tiny backyard and it’s my job to scoop the poop. I can barely keep up with Dogga.

I’d love a St. Francis existence, birds alight on my shoulders and raccoons following at my feet. The realities of poop always pops my fantasy. “Let them run wild,” I insist. “Let nature take its proper course!”

She looks at me with those pleading, doe eyes.

“Let the chips fall where they will,” I say with conviction, “just not in our backyard.”

read Kerri’s blogpost about ANIMAL RESCUE

smack-dab. © 2021-2 kerrianddavid.com

Deflect And Dine [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

It’s true. Never go food shopping when you are hungry. It’s also true – for us – after stocking up the pantry, the last thing we want to do is cook. “How about Thai?” she asks.

“My thought, exactly,” I chirp. It’s a ritual.

We let our supplies dwindle to almost nothing before a resupply. It’s become a game: what can we make with what’s left in the fridge and on the shelves? I’m happy to report that some of our favorite dinner-discoveries have come from this game. Enjoying the dinner-surprise-game also serves as a signal: tomorrow is resupply day.

Of course, sometimes, after the signal, when resupply day arrives in all its glory, we don’t feel like doing a massive shop. “How about Thai?” I ask.

“My thought exactly,” she chirps.

read Kerri’s blog post about NOT COOKING

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com