Squirrel! Pixar


All I did was sit down to type up our Alaska trip.  Just one simple task…

I open my little black book containing notes from a trip we took around Alaska a few years ago.  I start reading and I get engrossed in our trip. I wonder, where are my pictures?  I search computer files for the 1,500 pictures we took.  They’re out of order, sideways, and upside down.

I rotate them clockwise and counter-clockwise. Oh no, they aren’t labeled. I label them. This takes forever. I see photos not in proper folders. I organize them. Why are photos out of order? Why are copies of photos in other folders? Must delete the copies. Wait, I don’t have time for this—wasn’t I doing something?

Typing our Alaska trip.

A hunger pang hits. Time for dinner already? I stop to ask my daughter what she wants for dinner–scallops, shrimp or salmon-cakes? Oh, let’s have salmon cakes she says. Okay I say. I walk to the kitchen and remember I have a salmon-cake spice mix in the cupboard. Perfect.

I open the cupboard and shove aside the jumble of Gogi-Berry and Throat Coat teas. What’s the red powder all over the shelf? Rats! I’m not cleaning that up, I have to find the salmon-cake mix. Where is it? I reach on tiptoes, groping. I’m barely able to touch the shelf.

I try to move the sticky agave syrup and honey bottles that don’t budge because they’ve geologically morphed into the shelf.  They’ve been stuck so long they require an archaeological excavation to remove them.

I lean into my project and feel a tweak–Ow, my back! Who the heck spilled the agave and honey, I grumble to myself—annoyed, knowing I probably did it.

I need Aleve and walk into the bathroom. My hair is still in big rollers from this morning.  It’s the only way to straighten my medusa frizz, without torturing it with hot metal.

I remove the rollers. My hair is big and bouncy, like in the ‘60s. I shake my head like a Victoria Secret model and squint at the mirror. The biotin has paid off, hair’s getting thicker.

Now what was I doing, I yell to my daughter.  Weren’t you making dinner, she yells back. Oh yeah. I saunter out of the bathroom. I forgot the Aleve.

Back in the kitchen. Again. I resume my search for the salmon-cake mix. I open another cupboard and see mayhem. Jumbled cans upside-down, sideways, with labels facing backwards, snubbing me. I rearrange the cupboard. I stack the rude defectors and force the labels to look me square in the eye. You won’t get the best of me, I think to myself.

I proudly behold what I have done. And it is good.

I open the spice drawer, on my quest for salmon-cake mix.  The bottles are strewn about like dead soldiers. Some are bleeding spice on the battlefield.  Must have been a heck of a battle.

I lift the reeking casualties and make them fall in to neatly stand at attention.  I try to remove the drawer to clean it–shit it’s stuck. I stop. What was I doing again?

Oh yeah, making dinner. Squirrel pixar again

Where the hell is the effing salmon-cake mix? I’m annoyed, my mouth in a sideways grimace, like the Olympic gymnast on TV. I know it’s here, dammit.  I tear hell bent through the kitchen.

What are you doing out there, hollers my daughter. I thought you were making dinner. Can’t find the salmon-cake mix, I holler back.

I slam a cupboard door–the cue for a bottle of olive oil to do a dying swan ballet. It teeters side–to-side, then thunk–the lid comes off and the olive oil oozes out. It’s the grand finale. I don’t applaud.

Bravo, bravo—now I have to clean that up.  I yank a roll of paper towels, it unwinds and piles in slow motion at my feet. I only need one. I stare at the pile.

Frustrated, I wad them and sop up the offending olive oil. I look at the positive–at least the the oak shelf is getting oiled.

I’ve worked hard. I need a drink.

I spot red wine. Tempting. Um, better not. A box of tea beckons from the corner. I grab a cup, fill it with water and open the microwave. I pause; the microwave is already occupied. A long-forgotten cup of tea, somewhere from the distant past.

I remove the old, insert the new and shut the door.  I press ‘start’ and stare mesmerized at the tea going in circles in the microwave (never mind I shouldn’t stand next to it for fear of being radiated).

My gaze drifts to the supplements on the counter. Dang, forgot to take them this morning. I do an eye-roll.  I grab a glass of water and reach for them, only to discover the dispenser box is empty. Gotta refill it. Ding! goes the microwave. I ignore it.

I go to the pantry to retrieve the hide-and-seek supplement bottles. The shelves are teeming with plastic grocery bags. The bottles play peek-a-boo with the plastic bags. I pull one bag. More follow. I feel like a clown-magician pulling an unending string of scarves from my tuxedo.

I pull wads and wads—gotta be hundreds. Must recycle these, I mutter and stuff them in a large bag to return to the store.

I gather up the elusive supplement bottles, noting the shelves are in disarray. I rearrange them. Oh, here’s my blender, wondered where that was. And my mixing bowls, holy shit I’ve been looking for those—rut-roh, I see mouse turds, better clean those up. As long as I’m wiping these up, I may as well wipe off the shelves.

I’m hungry. Oh–dinner! That seems so long ago.

Where’s the damn salmon-cake mix? Annoyed, I open another drawer and spot chocolate chips. Let’s make chocolate chip cookies! I haven’t had them in so long. Do I have all the ingredients? Butter, check. Flour, check.  Vanilla, check.

I don’t have brown sugar. I’ll have to go to the store–but I don’t want to leave my warm, cozy house to go to the store, it’s so cold out.

I go to the window and peer at the outside thermometer. Zero degrees. Are you effing kidding me? I’m not going to the store. But I want chocolate chip cookies.

I turn and stare blankly at the dog. What was I doing again I ask her. The dog stares back soulfully, hoping for a treat. She doesn’t answer. I concentrate, I think; it hurts. Oh yeah, yeah making dinner.

Well screw the salmon-cakes.  Each time I look for the mix I wind up in the twilight zone. Or in modern-day terms– OH! SQUIRREL!

We’re having shrimp, I say to my daughter. Yeah, okay, whatever, she says.  I take shrimp from the freezer, put them in a colander and stick it in the sink.

Oh look, the sink is dirty.

I get the cleanser and go to it. Now what was I doing? Oh yeah, thawing shrimp.

Where’s the shrimp-boil spices? I wander back to my computer, seeking answers–who am I and what is the meaning of life.

I notice the black book lying open and the document I created on my computer, admonishing me to finish.

Squirrel keep calm

That’s what I was doing, writing about our Alaska trip! So how did I wind up with shrimp, chocolate chip cookies, a hurt back, spilled olive oil, playing runway model, mouse turds, organizing cupboards, wondering who I am, and what is the meaning of life?

I glance at the microwave. My tea. It’s cold. Didn’t I just make that? Oh yeah, a few spills and cupboards ago. SQUIRREL!

© The Alaska Philosophaster, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to MaryLo Paige  and The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Written by Lois Paige Simenson


  1. Chilkoot Charlie January 16, 2015 at 5:31 am Reply

    Spot on with your site. Look foreward to your future posts on alaska and the great wisdoms that it inspires. PS… What does all of this Alaska look like? Chilkoot Chuk

    • Lois Paige Simenson February 14, 2015 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Thanks Chilkoot. I’ll post more photos of Alaska so you can see for yourself. It’s spectacular, Chilkoot, hope you visit someday! LIPS

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