Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the seventeenth chapter of my story Alanna the Piranha. This past weekend was a bittersweet one for my novelist and I and possibly even for the Maltese. It is tradition for us to sit down and enjoy the Golden Globes together but alas, that experience was not to be had this year. However, we were most pleased with many of the wins. Highlights for us included HBO’s Succession winning for Best Drama Series, Best Actor for Jeremy Strong, and Best Supporting Actress for Sarah Snook. We were also pleased to see Jean Smart take the win for Best Actress Comedy in HBO’s Hacks as well as Kate Winslet take the win for her outstanding work in the brilliant Mare of Easttown.On the movie front we were happy to see The Power of the Dog take the award for Best Picture Dramaand the amazing Jane Campion take a much-deserved win for Best Director. Also, Nicole Kidman was honored for her turn as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. Our favorite winner overall was Michael Keaton for Dopesick who is amazing as a doctor in a mining town who becomes part of the downward spiral of the opioid addiction crisis. Whew! All that said, here is Day the Seventeenth in my story Alanna the Piranha. Enjoy!
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Seventeenth
Today I awoke to realize I had not dreamed it. I had indeed manufactured a half-piranha/half-girl. She was sitting beside my computer with the bunny nestled in her lap. The sleeping bag I had unrolled for her to slumber in was rolled up and sitting nice and tidy over in the corner.
“What are you going to name me?” the piranha asks. “You haven’t given me a name yet.”
“I know,” I say sighing.
“Have you even thought about what you’ll name me?”
“I think it should be something very special.”
“That doesn’t answer my question. I want to know if you are going to sit down and take the time to give me a name.”
Honestly, I haven’t thought at all about what to call her. I had not planned on bringing a piranha-girl into the world. But she was right. I needed to name her.
“And the bunny,” she insisted. “You need to name the bunny too.”
“How about this,” I say. “I will pick out a name for you and you can pick out a name for the bunny.”
“How do I go about figuring out a name for the bunny?”
“Well…I think there are baby name sites on the internet.”
“How do I find them?”
“Wouldn’t a book be better? Isn’t there a book full of baby names?”
I mull this over. I seem to remember some sort of name book my mother had in the bookshelf in the office. “Let me check upstairs.”
“I’m hungry. Can you get me something to eat? Maybe one of those pretty round frosted cookies?”
I bought a box of round frosted cookies from the grocery store bakery and she saw me eating one today. “Sure,” I say and head upstairs. When I reach the kitchen, my mom is there but the box of cookies is missing.
“Mom?” I ask.
“Yes, dear,” she says.
“What happened to those frosted sugar cookies I picked up at the grocery store the other day?”
“I moved them to the pantry.”
I head over to the pantry and grab the box of cookies. I set one on a small plate and take it with me into my dad’s old office. The office is always well organized. My mother is fond of both alphabetizing and the Dewey Decimal System. I figure the book is categorized by the latter which means it’s going to take me some time to locate it. As I search for 20,000 Names for Baby my dad comes home from work. I hear him open the door, take off his jacket and, of course, head straight for the office.
“Flint,” he says surprised to see me in there. “What are you doing?”
“Looking for a book,” I say.
“Oh…well let me help you. Your mother’s got this whole thing arranged so well; I can never find anything in it.”
“That’s okay, dad. I think I can handle it. You’re busy.”
“I’m never too busy for my son.”
Great. This is going to go badly.
“So, what book are you looking for?”
“You know,” I say, “on second thought I can just look it up online.”
“Nonsense! Not everything you need to know has to be looked up on a computer.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“What’s the book, Flint?”
I am not a liar. I am a lot of things, but a liar isn’t one of them. I look my dad straight in the eye and with all the courage I can muster say, “I’m looking for mom’s book of baby names.”
My dad furrows his brow and gives me a look as if he heard me wrong. “What?”
“Mom’s book of baby names.”
“Someone bought a pet, and they don’t know what to name it.”
“Oh…let’s see…ah, here it is.”
He hands me the book with the bright yellow cover. “Thanks, dad,” I say. “This helps a lot.”
I snatch the plate with the frosted sugar cookie and head back downstairs.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: BO BURNHAM: INSIDE (2021)-Netflix
While many folks may have binge watched shows and played video games during 2020, Bo Burnham went to work. And wow, did he ever! His take on quarantine during the first year of Covid19 is one of the most unexpectedly brilliant films of the year. This audacious spot on serio-comic musical which he wrote, directed, starred in, edited, shot, and ran the sound and lighting on is perhaps one of the best and most ambitious standup comedy pieces ever filmed. At times laugh out loud funny, at others poignantly moving, and always personal and brave, it works like a theatrical time capsule to be shown to future generations so they will know what it was like to experience a worldwide pandemic. For those of us who continued to work on our art during this time of being inside (I published all five books of Musicology from August 2020-June 2021) we can look at this example of what comes out of finding opportunity in challenging situations. An absolute must see.