Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ornithorhynchus anatileonardus

With my recent hamster post as inspiration, my mind has been wandering to other animals with whom Leonard shares behavioral characteristics. At the risk of being unabashedly anthropomorphic (one of the only concepts I remember from a past anthropology course), I have decided to talk about similarities between Leonard and another animal, the platypus.

Among its many interesting traits, the platypus has the ability to determine the direction of an electrical source at any given moment, and it uses this to its advantage while hunting. When animals move, the contractions of their muscles emit minute electrical signals, and the platypus is able to pick up on these signals to determine the location of its prey. This is a very unique characteristic, shared only by other monotremes (mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth). However, there is one non-monotreme that has this innate skill...



Leonardism...Let's face it - I'm a morning person and Leonard isn't. He hates it that I get up so early in the mornings, especially on weekends. I think it reminds him that maybe he should get up, but he'd much rather sleep. I actually feel guilty about getting out of bed while Leonard lies in blissful slumber, however, the strong desire to finish tasks in the morning eventually wins out, so I typically try to sneak my way out of bed. I lie in deep concentration, attempting to distribute all of my weight equally among my limbs. Slowly, I turn to my left without making any sudden movements. I can hear Leonard's slow breathing, and I feel reassured that he is sleeping too soundly to note my escape. I pull the covers off lightly, and one leg makes it out before - Whack! - Leonard's arm comes crashing down, and I am trapped. He quiets my protests by stating groggily "Mmm, sleep." I lie there, planning another escape attempt, knowing only that it is futile. I am not equipped to fight against Leonard's platypus-like senses. Were I an animal tamer, I might stand a chance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ziggy's Apprentice

Years ago, my kid sister Molly had a pet hamster named Ziggy (may he rest in peace). Ziggy had many great attributes, but by far my favorite thing about him was his impeccable hygiene. After stuffing his cheeks full of hamster feed and hiding most of the goods in a corner of the cage, he would clean himself by licking his hands and wiping his face over and over again until his fur sparkled. This all took place years ago, and I hadn't given thought to Ziggy's grooming practices for some time. That is, until I met Leonard.

Leonardism...During our early dating years, I noticed that when Leonard and I would go out to eat he would always excuse himself after the meal to wash his hands and face. At first I thought this was cute and admirable, after all cleanliness is next to godliness, right? I was finally able to observe this practice the first time I made him dinner. By the end of the meal, Leonard's napkin looked like it had been run over by a truck after an hour of continual hand wiping. When he was done eating he went to the sink and scrubbed and scrubbed his face and hands repetitively till they shone under the bright kitchen lights, and I was immediately reminded of Ziggy. Leonard still does this today, and it's even more like Ziggy with his red beard. He may not belong to the rodent family, but my Leonard definitely rivals any hamster when it comes to personal grooming!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dill and Dementia

No, silly. This isn't a picture from the Brazilian rain forest - it's actually from my new herb garden. It's a hydroponic system called the AeroGarden, given to me for Christmas from Ron and Irene. I don't have to do hardly anything. It's on a pre-set timer so the light turns on and off automatically, and I only have to water it every 2 weeks. It is growing beautifully, and I'm looking forward to many months of fresh herbs.

Leonardism: My dear sweet Leonard has a very big heart, but can at times be a bit shy around strangers. This can make it difficult for him to help others in need. To get around this inward struggle, he will at times use me as his mouthpiece. Case in point: yesterday we went to Costco to get some much needed groceries. While walking through the parking lot Leonard noticed a frail, osteoporotic elderly woman struggling to lift gallon-sized cans of soup into her SUV. I was completely unaware of what was happening, as my brow was furrowed in concentration as to whether or not Costco would still have those delicious high-fiber granola bars that I love so much. I can only imagine what went on in Leonard's head during these next few seconds, as he so desired to help this woman but was held back by his self-consciousness of being awkward in front of people he doesn't know. Here's where I come in - Leonard nudged my arm and said quietly "sweetheart, do you think this lady needs some help?" Aroused from my mental slumber, I walked straight to the woman and offered our services, to which she responded that I must be the sweetest girl she has ever met. Little does she know, Leonard deserves all the praise. To all who read this post: if I ever get any huge award for anything, know that Leonard did all the work, but was too bashful to take any of the credit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reunions

This is a photo from my cousin Kara's wedding, taken a couple of months ago. However, I think it does a pretty good job of showing how I feel when I get to see Leonard again after an absence. I really really really hate being away from him, and sometimes we won't see each other for 2 weeks. This was the case when I finally saw him again last weekend. He met me at the hospital where I was finishing my shift at the Emergency Room. I love those first few moments when we see each other again. From the looks of this picture, it would seem that he is a bit frightened by my excitement at our reunion. However, this just isn't the case. Which brings us to today's.....

Leonardism... When I saw Leonard at the hospital this last Friday, we hugged and he buried his head in my hair. I said "How was your drive, sweetheart?" To which he answered, "Yummy." Needless to say, I replayed this scene to him many times that weekend, as well as during some of our recent phone calls. Oh, sweet reunion! When passionate feelings overwhelm logical responses.