Thursday, June 15, 2017

Leftovers for lunch, dogs and Neanderthals

Leftovers may be the best lunch. Today I had half a turkey burger (minus the bottom half of the bun which I somehow left in the restaurant last night), a small bit of egg salad, some green beans, and some shaved Brussel sprouts in Caesar dressing—thanks, but I’d rather have romaine with my Caesar dressing.But it was a good lunch—better if I hadn’t followed it with a chocolate bar or at least a good portion of one. Help! I need self-discipline.

If you want a mixed-bag experience, take two eleven-year-old boys for dinner. They’re buried in their phones and iPads. We went to the Star CafĂ©, which friend Betty and her husband own. Boys ordered fries, didn’t eat them; dessert—one ate his, the other said he doesn’t like spiced apples. Why did he order apple pie? They wanted to wander around the Stockyards, which I wasn’t comfortable with. But when prompted they were good with please and thank you.

Why I sometimes don't make my bed
Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but she's so cute
I read somewhere that your dog is the mirror of your soul. Since my Sophie is sweet, lovable, loyal, sometimes cuddly, I like that idea. But except for a rare instance or two when my children were tiny, I’ve never had the unquenchable urge to run away and explore the world that besets her. Indeed, I’m known as an anomaly among my friends because I don’t really care to travel just for travel’s sake. There are places I want to go—the cities where my children live, Scotland of course, maybe Alaska—but it’s the destination, not the journey. Sophie on the other hand wants to take of willy-nilly and see the wide, wide world. And I’ve never barked at the toaster.

Since 23andme told me I have a high number of Neanderthal markers, I decided I should look into Neanderthals. My thought was that perhaps they’ve gotten a bad rap. Indeed, they have! The best site I found on the net was titled, “Neanderthals are People.” Thanks to popular literature and comics, we envision them as short, stocky, beastly caricatures with lots of hair and dark complexions. They may have looked ape-like but evidence of intelligent behavior has been uncovered by scientists.

Neanderthals lived in families, took care of the sick and elderly, buried their dead. They controlled fire and had primitive tools such as axes, picks and cleavers. Yes, they frequently lived in caves, but they had rituals, made jewelry, and mixed paints for their faces and bodies—actions which indicate a world view beyond their immediate knowledge. Although not demonstrated conclusively, it’s possible they had language and some constructed sea-worthy boats.

So, to the gentleman who posted on my wall that he knew all along liberals were Neanderthals, I’ll claim the label. It’s not an insult.

My Neanderthal ancestors account for only four percent of my overall DNA but they may be the cause of my straight hair and relatively sparse hair on the back of my head. Do you suppose I could blame them for my tendency to weigh seven percent more than normal?

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