It was many years ago, when the Duck was just the Duckling of Indeed, that I was, in fact, more akin to a mole than a humble waterfowl. There was one winter in particular where the snow was absolutely ideal for a rather fun winter activity. Rather than build snowducks, which seemed to be beyond my artistic abilities at the time, or engage in the act of sledding, a hobby that involves far more trudging up hills than actually zipping down icy slopes, the Duck enjoyed the wintery pastime of excavation. Continue reading Tunnels in the Snow
With Halloween edging ever closer, the Duck was struck with some memories of Halloweens past, back when I was a duckling and trick or treating was still a valid option for the spookiest night of the year. There were several friends I would usually accompany while trick or treating, and since I lived in a larger neighborhood than them, they would usually visit me for the festivities. I recall my friends always sporting better costumes than me, for all I was able to obtain were the silly kinds of things Wal-Mart usually had in stock. I remember dressing as a bee and a ladybug during two of my years of Halloween-ing. Mother Duck sometimes reminds me that, when I was super young, I dressed as a pirate. So it would seem that my costumes got worse the older I got. (If only I was adept at cosplay back then, such Halloween woes…Hallo-woes…could have been avoided.) Continue reading Memories from Ducklinghood: Trick or Treating
For October, I wanted to think up some spooky topics to share with you all. And yet, and this is rather fortunate, not that many spooky things have happened in my life, meaning I had to think hard. And what I came up with were a few semi-spook-related tales that took place during the Duck’s ducklinghood. We’re verging on spook here, even if we’re not totally crossing the line.
To start off, I have never been good at telling scary stories. In recent years, I was able to write a few decently creepy Slender Man stories, but without some pretty good inspiration (and believe me, Slender Man is great inspiration for horror), I am just not well-equipped at striking fear into the hearts of my listeners. I remember one day many years back, I had a rare sleepover at my friend’s house. As night fell, we decided it would be a great time to try and tell some scary stories. Continue reading A Minor Trek into Fear with Spooky Tales and Haunted Houses
It occurred to me recently that, as fond as my memories are of practically anything Disney-related, the Disney Parks are not wholly without unhappiness. No, quite the contrary. It was at one of these so-called “happiest places on Earth” that the Duck was subject to something very unpleasant indeed…traumatic even. But how could this be? How could a place filled with Disney characters and parades and fireworks, a place where even murderous pirates sing jaunty tunes, ever have a sinister side to it? Heck, even the 999 resident ghosts are specifically described as “happy haunts”, proving that Disney is indeed a joyous place for the living and the dead!
But nay, my friends, I speak the truth. There was a time when the Disney Parks were a very unhappy place for this particular Duck. Well then, where did this sad tale of woe take place, you must be asking with barely hidden disbelief? Why, dear readers, the culprit responsible is none other than…Disney World’s Tomorrowland. Continue reading Encountering an Alien at Disney World
As the years pass us by, memories age and fade like old photographs. Details fall away, leaving just a small snippet here and an unclear image there to mark our progress through life. While it seems we remember less and less of our past the more years we have to look back over, there are certain memories that never go away. They are like snapshots that remain as clear as the day they happened, like anchors tying us to the past.
I spent the beginning of my life in a tiny town that shall remain nameless, and had I mentioned it, there is a good chance you wouldn’t have heard of it anyway. There was little to do there, but I did remember a few little businesses we would visit from time to time. There was a bakery where my mom would buy me a donut sometimes, and I remember always wondering what the bags of bread crumbs on the counter were for (I couldn’t imagine paying money for the leftover scraps of bread you typically throw away). There were some restaurants, such as one place that always had sugar on every table in the same way that most restaurants have salt and pepper, except this sugar came in all kinds of colors. I also remember a rather tasty Chinese restaurant that had the most beautiful screens by the entrance, adorned with elaborate birds decorated with real feathers. There was also this little store that sold some rather interesting items, like empty eggshells with cute decorations inside. We still own one that contains a little hummingbird. They also sold a phone that looked like a duck, which I liked at the time, but which seems rather silly now. (Ironic, considering I am the Duck of Indeed, after all.) Continue reading The Purple Rock
It seems I have been writing a lot of these lately. Well, you know my popeyed goldfish Peepers? You know what, let me start from the beginning. Though, there’s not much to tell. Basically, I got home from work the afternoon of 10/7/14. I didn’t bother opening the blinds in the morning, so I thought I’d open them now to give Peepers more light, and I’d run over and give her a great big “how do?” before doing some hardcore gaming. It was at that moment that I found her.
Well, she’s buried in the backyard now, but I’ll get to that. Continue reading A Farewell to a Fabulous Fish
Sometimes, when I reminisce about the past, my thoughts turn to one friend I spent a good deal of time with as a duckling. She lived in the middle of nowhere, in a mobile home, I believe, with pretty much nothing else around. At one point, her family had somehow come into possession of a horse that stayed in a large fenced area out front, and when we decided to wander around in the endless expanse of nothingness behind her house, I was always fascinated by a split in the earth probably at least my height in its depth that had no doubt been created by an earthquake some time ago.
I remember that she had an older sister, and I remember that her mom liked butter on waffles, which I found strange, as I had only previously had them with syrup, until I found out how delicious it was (though, rather unhealthy, as well). I also remember the many times when we would sit in the living room on one end of the house watching movies, one of our favorites being “The Thief and the Cobbler”, a movie that we found as delightful as it was bizarre. I also recall the day we were determined to build the tallest tower of Tinker Toys that we possibly could. Our creation ended up nearly reaching the ceiling, most likely with the help of her older sister, as we probably would have been unable to accomplish such a feat on our own. Continue reading The Stuffed Fox
Today’s 100 theme topic is number 11, memory. I guess there’s not a whole lot of room for, okay, I forgot the word I need here, but you know what I mean. (Hey, my memory was bad just there! It ties in with the topic!) Well, considering I’m not going to discuss “Cats” (they had a song called “Memory”, didn’t they?), I guess my only choice is to discuss actual memories. (Honestly, though, did anyone understand “Cats”? I had no idea what happened in it. Plus, I don’t care what anyone says, those were not real cats.) I guess I could also discuss random access memory in a computer, too, but that sounds boring. Yawn.
Anyway, memory. Memories. Yes. Well, memories are some of the most important things we can have. You know all that corny stuff where people say, even if we’re apart, you’ll always be in my heart (it rhymed, too!)? It really should be, you’ll always be in my brain. But, that sounds much less poignant, I suppose. Memories are sometimes all we have of someone or something we have lost or can no longer visit. And even if we had something, like an object to remember them by, it would be meaningless without a memory to pair it with.
Memories can be painful, yes, but they can also be a wonderful thing. You can remember your childhood. Friends and family you haven’t seen in years. You can relive events you enjoyed and a time you wish you could go back to. I have written posts from time to time on such things, and they are some of the most entertaining posts to write about, as I can reminisce about old times and get them down in written form so I will always have them even if I do someday forget. When my mom and I would take walks on the beach. When my friend and I journeyed into the treacherous woods near her house, complete with thorn bushes and a mysterious chain link fence that went off to eternity, or so I thought. Memories of when my cat, Arwen, was still alive, and would stand on my bed when I let her in my room at night, and would loom over me and creep me out to the point that I had to make her leave, when she may have only been guarding me from thugs and pirates and even that goblin that got in once….
There are so many things to remember. Stories you enjoyed, and your first time through a video game. Something funny that happened or a time someone was nice when no one else would be. People you care about and lost pets and something you had as a kid that you know you loved, but simply can’t find now. And places you’ve been. The beach and the forests with the mysterious old houses no one lives in any longer and visiting Canada and eating chocolate croissants outside the bakery in Niagara on the Lake. I remember barn owls flying through the trees beside a river and the weasels that would climb onto shore after a swim. I remember staying late at a friend’s house, and a bat flew over the backyard. I remember all the cats on St. Martin and the time I visited Las Vegas as a duckling, and it wasn’t so raunchy at the time (one hotel had a little forest inside, weee!). I remember old mines my parents and I visited on hikes, one complete with a purple gem I remember so clearly that glowed in the dark, I know for sure it was there, as strange as it sounds, and I wish so hard I would have grabbed it, but I didn’t, and all I have left is the memory of it.
I remember the sad things, too. Leaving friends and knowing you’d never see them again and losing pets and all kinds of other painful things, but the good and the bad are part of who we are, only because we remember them. If we forgot, they would have no lasting impact, and we would be different people. We all love the happy memories the most, but we need all of them. Memories, as I said, are some of our most important possessions. Maybe we will lose them with age, but they can’t be destroyed by fire or stolen by robbers. They are ours, and we all have our own unique collection that no one else can have. Memories are a wonderful and terrible thing, but in the end, they are some of the most precious things we can ever have.
Remember the Duck, and Maybe I’ll Remember You Back
We are all familiar with Las Vegas, right, that city out in Nevada, USA, with all the elaborate hotels and casinos and also a rather naughty reputation. Unlike most people, I am not a fan of Las Vegas. That’s right. I am not. Because of the naughtiness. As you may very well be aware of by now based on past posts, the Duck is not a fan of the naughty, and so I am not a fan of a city revolving around it. Nevertheless, back when I was still a duckling, either before the place was quite as naughty as it is now, or maybe I was just not aware of the naughty in my tender ducklinghood, I went there with my parents. My dad had a business trip there, and we all decided to go, excited for a fun vacation in a very unique city (currently lacking in as much of the naughty). And I still have a lot of fond memories of this trip, and I remember it as one of the best vacations I have even gone on.
Seriously, being able to avoid the naughty as my little duckling self, Las Vegas was such a fun place. Oh, my gosh. The hotels were so fancy, and there was that awesome mall, and we got to eat at this major buffet a few times, yum, crab legs, legs of crab. Gah, it was so fun! Where do I even begin? Oh, my goodness! Well, for one thing, we stayed at the Mirage, and it had…a rainforest inside. It had a frickin’ rainforest…inside! Not a full-scale rainforest, of course, (soon, once enough of the real rainforests are cut down, I suppose it will be considered full-scale…) because that would be silly, but a miniature one, but having never seen a forest of any size within a building before and with the very real possibility that I never will again, (unless the Earth gets so polluted, we must build domes over ourselves and our waning resources, if trees even exist by then, why am I being such a downer right now?), it was one of the most awesome things in existence. Next to kittens. But, that’s how great it was. That it could even compete with the awesome factor of kittens.
As this was a business trip, poor dad was usually off on business, which left my mom and I to spend our time exploring the non-naughty of Vegas ourselves, including me forcing her to walk through the miniature indoor forest as many times as I could make her. This particular hotel also had an aquarium (they claimed to have sharks, but no matter how much we searched, we found none, until we realized the itty bitty sharks in that one tank were likely the advertised sharks), and they even had a small zoo. And let’s not forget the volcano that erupts outside every night….
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, we’d walk on over to Treasure Island, another awesome hotel, which would have a show outside with a pirate ship that would actually sink (the show was called “Battle of Buccaneer Bay”, I believe). Oh, the many times we watched that one, filled with awe and wonder at how they managed to sink a pirate ship, and yet it could still be used again for subsequent shows, and I pointed out the rocks that were supposed to be in the shapes of skulls that mom didn’t notice at first. Inside, they also had this arcade that had these two talking skeleton pirates in jail cells on either side of the entryway, and so this was, of course, another place the Duck had to visit every time I got the chance. I also won a bunch of stuffed animals there. Go me!
We also visited the Luxor with my dad, you know, the big pyramid one, and we looked inside, curious as to see what such a strangely shaped hotel looked like on the inside, though I wanted out as soon as my dad said that when he stayed here once in the past, they liked to test the smoke alarms quite often, and I was having no part in such noisy endeavors, even if it was in the name of safety. Uh-uh. No. There was also a medieval-themed hotel called Excalibur we walked through just for fun, which included suits of armor (armor of knights and, of course, the lesser known days…), and they apparently had a show with a dragon, but we didn’t stick around to see it, despite my urgent need to see this dragon and my dismay at having been taunted with dragon, but not being able to see dragon.
Then, of course, let’s not forget Caesar’s Palace, the most awesome mall in the history of duck-kind. The ceiling was painted like the sky, which was pretty neat, and I also remember this Planet Hollywood store which had this statue in the window that looked like the Terminator after he got rather messed up, which my mom promptly told me not to look at. There was also this one area where they’d have this other show called the “Fall of Atlantis”, which included animatronic people, including a son and daughter fighting over the throne of Atlantis. And there was fire and stuff. It was awesome! Seriously. Here, look, here’s a video.
Video from Youtube user: DaDailyBread
Sorry if the camera angle is not always the best, but you can still see how very awesome it is, especially considering it’s a friggin’ show in a mall! How often do you see that? Never, that’s how often! And that’s not often at all! Ahem, the awesome then continued once we got to the multi-leveled toy store, FAO Schwarz, complete with a huge Trojan horse, also filled with too much awesome to properly describe. But, I remember they had a couple of dinosaurs, one being a big T-Rex foot that wanted to stomp you, and this dark area with a raptor that would also try to scare the crap out of you, which it didn’t. Yes, it scared me, but not to that degree. They also had another area with “Star Wars” stuff, like Darth Vader and those weird Bith aliens playing their weird, little Bith instruments (you know the ones I mean, right?; I think they made an appearance in a cantina in episode 4…)
I had such a great time that week in Las Vegas many years ago, and yet, as I read about the places I visited and the shows I watched back then, it saddens me to see that much of it is gone. Many of the shows have been cancelled, the toy store has closed, and many things I enjoyed seeing as a duckling were replaced with attractions geared much more towards adults than anything. Back then, I thought Las Vegas was one of the greatest places in the world because of all the fun I had there. But now it is not at all the place I remembered as a duckling. As is more well-known of this particular city, Las Vegas is about adults only, not ducklings, and it’s a shame to have such a place that I enjoyed so much when I was young, doing the innocent kinds of things that anyone, young or old, could enjoy, transformed into the City of Sin it is known as today. I’m just lucky I got to see it before it changed so much, and now all I have left of that week are the memories of things that no longer exist. (And there’s always Youtube….)
Hello, everyone, you may remember reading a post a bit over a year ago about me losing my Manx cat, Arwen (AKA Baby Arwen, Beans, Lady Bear). Just recently, something very unexpected happened. I ended up losing my other cat, as well, to a rare disease that had come up quite suddenly. Alex (AKA Mr. Man, Wicky, Biscuit King, the last of which will make more sense later) began to have trouble breathing and was diagnosed with chylothorax, a rare condition where liquid from some kind of duct leaks into his chest cavity. While this liquid was drained, it came back much too quickly, and I had no choice but to put him down, as we were fighting a losing battle.
This all happened on December 18, 2013, and just days prior, I had no idea such a thing was going to happen. I always commented on how robust and sturdily built he was, as he was always a very healthy cat, with nothing but a bit of asthma. He was 14 years old or so, and I was certain I’d have a good 6 years left, as 20 years is rumored to be the lifespan of cats (even though, thus far, my experiences have proven this to be a myth). Kind of fortunately, I’m not having so hard a time with it this time around, as what happened to Arwen feels much too recent, making it feel like I’m currently still in the mood I was when I lost her, which is an easier transition. A terrible thing has a way of feeling less terrible when you feel like you’ve gotten used to it, in a way.
It was certainly hard at first, of course, though I do have some relatively good memories of those last days, as I had the opportunity to take care of Alex, as he was not feeling well after the liquid was drained from his chest. I wish he had made more of a recovery his last few days, but he still purred a lot during that time, as I think he appreciated when I brought him food and water throughout the day, and I did get to hold him quite a bit on my lap at the end. And some unexpected comfort after it happened came in the form of a cat that seems to live at the emergency clinic. I heard meowing, and when I finally looked over, I found this orange cat staring at me, which then proceeded to come over and rub against my legs a bunch before finally leaving. It’s nice when even an animal actually cares.
And now that my house is cat-free, I rather miss being harassed for food (he was obsessed with it, which explained his weight) and watching him chase shadows before bed and hearing his old, creaky joints as he walked into the living room. I even miss the fact that I no longer need to put certain things away to prevent them from being stepped on. I even miss cleaning up after him. Yes, I even miss the cleaning of the vomit and the scooping of the litter, even if the vomiting could get a bit ridiculous at times. I’d be fine with doing it again, if only someone could resurrect him and bring him back (as long as he returns normal and not undead-like). But, we all go through these bargaining phases where we say, I’ll gladly scoop doo again if my cat returns or I’ll starting giving to charity if my cat returns. Unfortunately, such tactics have been shown to be largely ineffective, and so I shall stop wasting my time talking about the bad things and spend the rest of this post discussing the good times.
Ah, where to begin? Alex was a really nice cat. Really. He was so darn easy to please, and it was likely either because he simply had low standards or he loved me a bunch. Hopefully the latter. You didn’t have to do anything, and he’d start purring and “making biscuits”, as I call it (when cats knead their paws, it looks like they’re kneading dough). You could pet him. Yes, that would make him purr, of course. But sometimes, all it took was talking to him. Or looking at him. I could simply look over, and he’d start his purring and his biscuit preparations. He “made biscuits” so often, in fact, I said he surely would be a pastry chef if he had thumbs.
He was also not the brightest cat, bless his soul, (he rarely was aware of the fact that a partway open door could be pushed open, causing him to just sit there and wait outside a door he could, in actuality, easily move) and rather whiny, too, which was likely because he was such a spoiled thing. I got him free as a kitten from someone’s house a long time ago in a town far, far away, at only one-month-old, and he was babied ever since then. His easy life likely made him weak-willed, in stark contrast to Arwen, who was filled with attitude, a bit too much attitude on occasions. (Okay, I’ll admit it, she was a punk sometimes.) Arwen spent the fist bit of her life in foster care, and so she was the more mature of my two feline companions, having “grown up on the streets”, as I put it. Poor Alex was also quite the coward, which wasn’t helped by the fact that Arwen liked to play rough. I think she just wanted to have fun, but he hated her for it, even requiring me to escort him past her on occasions when he refused to walk by her.
But, such traits only added to his lovable character. Maybe he would come to you just because he wanted food. Maybe he never greeted me when I got home like Arwen did. Maybe he’d run because something’s cooking in a pot on the stove, and that’s apparently very terrifying, but he was sweet. And a rather lovely cat, too, with black and white fur and green eyes. And just one leg with stripes, like he was wearing a single sock. (He misplaced the other three socks, however.) Actually, he was the most adorable kitten in existence, too. I’m not kidding you. His cuteness was ridiculous. And he was so tiny, he’d sleep under picture frames like they were tents.
He was a good cat. Not as fun as Arwen, and a bit of a spoiled baby, but that doesn’t matter really, and cats can get away with stuff like that. He wouldn’t play with toys (too much effort, I expect), but he enjoyed running after shadows. He also didn’t enjoy cat treats, though he would shove his head into cups of milk if he was allowed. And while he was lazy, he would occasionally attempt a light jog after me when I ran from him, when we wouldn’t simply walk together to another room. He had the loudest meow, but it was always nice having a conversation going back and forth, where each of us would make a sound at the other, even if you had no idea what he was saying or what you were meowing back at him. And like I said before, he was easy to please. It was so easy to make him purr. And it was fun to do it. And while I miss Arwen, I am happy he got a much more peaceful life for a while, and he seemed to really enjoy the extra attention he received, causing him to spend much more time out with me and less time hiding, as he no longer needed to avoid his arch-nemesis. And I will miss him, but as long as these memories remain, that makes it a bit better. And now he can join Arwen, where he can practice his baking and let her try the results. As long as she promises not to play too rough anymore, of course.
The Duck Says Send Me Some Biscuits from Kitty Heaven, Wicky, But Don’t Get Hair in Them This Time