Tuesday, March 22, 2011

May your devestating winter blues give way to your debilitating spring allergies*

* Okay, the title wasn't mine, I paraphrased something I saw on someecards...

So I was talking to Boppie (who's currently worrying about wind-blown radiation) over IM the other day and we were talking about the mouse story, and we realized another level of horror from the mouse's point of view. See he thinks he's made it to relative safety and comfort or at least respite from the vicious killers trying to get at him under the secretary in the kitchen, and looking around he sees he is amongst other mice, and just as he's saying, "Okay, Guys, what's our next move? Guys?" he realizes they're not real mice at all, but creepy, artificial mice, in some cases cobbled back together from parts. It would be like being chased by a pack of serial killers into a mannequin factory. *laughter* No? Well, we thought it was tres amusing.

* * *

I came across this piece on the napping habits of several famous men, thus finding more evidence in favor of napping. Not that I needed more evidence. That case was firmly decided long ago...

* * *

I'm quite certain there was more originally, but that's all for right now. TiVo talk coming soon. And I really need to redo this blog... it needs a make-over...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Monday Morning Fun

The following story is True. No names have been changed to protect anybody.

February 28, 2011. 10:41 a.m. EST

So I come downstairs (from the upstairs office) to get a bill I need to pay and throw a spring for Eris (because it's her favorite toy), because she's following me around because she's bored... and this doesn't usually add up to productivity for JAM... quite to opposite, it usually means a lot of "Eris, get down from there, " "Eris, I'm trying to type can you get off the keyboard?" "Eris, can you... okay, what? You need to sit on the arm of the chair and look out this window, right now?" "Argh. Why don't we get you a spring, sweetie..."

Thus I find myself in the living room to get the electric bill and then I find a green plastic spring to toss for Eris. Where's Eris?

I look around and I see she's wandered into the kitchen where she has joined Morrigan who's running back and forth by the secretary next to the window. Now what? I grab a flashlight and go into the kitchen. I get down on hands and knees and I shine the light under the secretary (which because of its woodwork has a number of openings on the bottom large enough for a cat's paw, and even a cat's face, but not their whole head, and thus, not their whole body...) As I'm doing this, I notice that someone (likely Morrigan, since toy mice are her favorite toy) has brought a black mouse and dropped it in the (wet) food dish. Ew. I extract it, hoping it hasn't absorbed too much water.

Then I shine the light under the secretary and see four or five more mice. Okay, I wondered where they'd been getting off to... So I get up and walk back in the living room returning with the stick we keep around for fishing things (mostly toys) out from under furniture (mostly couchs). Morrigan is still moving from one side of the secretary to the other, but it's not unusual for them to get excited about whatever the toy du jour is. Get back on the floor and start fishing with the stick. White mouse with obvious teeth marks in it, franken-mouse* that is white, powder blue and black, the grey mouse that had previously landed in wet food and thus was disintegrating from the inside out (cardboard core...) And, I think there was one more...

Bear in mind, I'm not looking anymore, I'm simply scooping with the stick, based on my memory of where all the mice were. There's one left. I think it was gray also, and it's in the far back left corner. *Scoop* *Squeak* No mouse. I try again. *Scoop* *Squeak* No mouse.

At this point though, the noise registers. Wait... why was there a squeak? Did I scrap the stick that firmly against the underside of the secretary? Pause. I mean none of their toy mice make a sound other than a rattle... Let me try that again. *Scoop* *Squeak* Mouse shoots out into the center of the kitchen and kinda screams.

Three cats (Morrigan and Eris are now joined by the ever-attentive Artemis) pounce... mostly into one another. Cats yell. I scream (hopefully not like a little girl). It's a mouse-mouse, not a toy mouse! What do I do? What do I do? Think, man! I don't want to grab the mouse, because I don't want to get bit (which can happen, but apparently -- I found out later from a favorite redhead -- is nothing compared to what a shrew will do to you...)

I grab a plastic cup and knocking cats away left and right from what is now the best toy in the whole world ever... And I realize, hell, mice are hard to catch. But this one was shaking SO much that I had the advantage because he wasn't running all over... it simply went to the corner of the cabinets and made itself hard to get, but I eventually got the cup over it.

Then I called the aforementioned redhead for animal advice, and... promptly got her voicemail. I leave a reasonably calm message for me under the circumstances and then return to the kitchen to realize that my cats really don't have object permanence down... I also brought a file folder and managed to get it under the cup and thus was now able to carry the mouse outside.

I put him down near a bush out front and he was just shaking, shaking, shaking. And I'm all, "Hey, little guy, get under cover... there's predators out here..." And he eventually stopped shaking... or at least shaking so much, and kinda wandered under the bush (he really did not seem to be in a hurry), no doubt off to warn his mouse brethren, "Hey, do NOT go in THAT place, man... it's crazy."

For myself, I had to realize that sometimes when the cats are staring randomly, it's not random at all... their senses are better than ours. Also, today I find myself staring at every toy mouse extra long... just to be sure.

It's never dull...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

So I'm doing this whole NaNoWriMo thing this November (or, you know, now...) and in reading their book (which, yes, I should have done at least a month ago) I learned that it's not uncommon to have other creative "surges" while one is trying to write a novel in 30 days.

That said, I'm not specifically saying I'm going to be more blog-attentive, or that I'm going to re-do the whole site. But I also wouldn't be surprised if I did.

Or at least thought really hard about it, when I should be typing novel pages...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I often wish...

...that my "To Do" lists were more like some of these. (I like to believe Kat's are like that...)

This is one of those days I don't really have anything I feel I need to say (or nothing I feel I need to say that I suspect anyone wants to read... I mean, really, how long a continuous transliteration of a scream do I want to type anyhow?)

So in order to keep with my "can I post to the blog for a week straight?" challenge -- oh, yeah, that's what I'm doing, BTW, but I figured if I expounded upon that concept at great length I'd post once and that would be it... Let's see if I've gone and cursed myself now that I've said something...

Anyway, in order to keep up with the plan, I guess I'll just be sharing some random things that made me smile-to-laugh (somewhere along that continuum, anyway):
  • A new webcomic (well, not new, but new to me) -- mostly for Jado, because he likeys the webcomics...
  • The comic geniuses at the Reduced Shakespeare Company did a video for Sky1 TV (in the UK) and reduced the entirety of LOST (I think up to the last season). Enjoy. If you've never had the good fortune to see the RSC, well, local folks, they're playing the Kennedy Center for about 2-3 weeks starting next week I think. Go. You can thank me later.
Well, that's about it. They can't all be brilliant...

I'm sure...

...your family isn't like this. I'm sure that if you replied to say, hypothetically, an email from your mom, in which she subtly complains about not being able to reach you on the phone, and you patiently explain that this is because your mom happened to choose in two, different weeks the two hours you had left your house at all to walk amongst the people and run your humble errands, and that's why you weren't there to answer the call, oh, and by the freakin' way, this is the 21st Century now, and if it was so blasted important to reach you, she could have called your cellphone, which, as she well knows, you have on you at all times. And I'm sure that if, in said email reply, you mentioned there was no reason to call anyway, as you had ABSOLUTELY no new news, and what drivel that could be passed off as "news" you included in said email, well, I'm reasonably certain that your hypothetical mom would not still feel the need to call you the next day, acknowledging right off the bat that she received and read the aforementioned email and then ignored its central treatise and called anyway to -- I kid you NOT at all -- to see what was new. And surely I must be correct in believing that if all this somehow did hypothetically happen to you as well, Dear Reader, that certainly your mom would have believed you the first three times you patiently explained that, no, seriously, there was nothing new, it was not in fact raining here, you did indeed have your rescheduled party on Saturday and not the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend as you'd already told her, and yes, people came to it, and no, you weren't about to list every person who attended and what they were wearing, because what are you E!'s red carpet coverage? And if all that, against incomprehensible odds, did occur along with, at rough estimate, four dozen additional questions and their patiently offered answers, surely there would not have been -- 28 or so minutes into the conversation and during the inevitable, 10-minute "wrap-up" phase of the call where she says goodbye a few times and then still manages to get out another dozen or so random questions, well, I'm just CERTAIN that one of them wouldn't be, "So, nothing's new at all, huh?"

Because really, what response would satisfy at that point to that question? "Okay, ya got me -- I wasn't going to mention it in the email or any of the first, three times you asked, but since you asked the fourth time and added the 'huh,' you broke down my willpower... It's true, I've been elected Czar for Life of the Secret Shadow Government. Oh, also, I'm a werewolf." I mean, seriously...

I guess my point is, my mom... excuse me, YOUR hypothetical mom, should have been a CIA interrogator (Hi, to our friends reading the ECHELON server feed...)

That has nothing to do with today's link (or perhaps, since the theme was repetition, it does?), which I believe I got from @Alyssa_Milano's feed (which is incredibly clever and thoughtful much of the time, and I'm sorry for being a little surprised about that...) like a month ago (and yes, I just got around to reading it today... for someone with nothing to do, I sure don't seem to get much done.)

*exasperated sigh*

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Since Tuesday...

...is the day we usually volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, I thought I would talk about animals today. (The AWLA is once again running their "pre-owned" cat specials in conjunction with four car dealerships in the area this summer. An idea they repeatedly give me credit for, even though it wasn't really mine, at most a group-think type of situation...)

There is a nest at the top of the tree in our front yard (the very same tree that's growing through our sewer pipe and has thus made the WC in the basement non-operational). At first I thought it might have been an abandoned nest from last year that the mourning doves took over (because they were sitting in it). They often do that -- they're not the brightest of birds. They often take over old nests or make very poor ones (think three twigs) and then they sometimes lay an egg or sometimes not and independent of the presence of the egg(s) sometimes hang out in the nest sitting on a (possibly fictional) egg(s) for a bit and then wander off when nothing hatches. Low birth rate, due to stupidity, apparently (sorta the opposite of people). We know all this, because we looked up info on the birds because one of the first years we had the house we had a hanging plant on our front porch and a pair of doves made a nest in it. In spite of the fact that we had to open the front door and every time one would fly away and the other would freeze like a statue. And in spite of their apparent failure, they came back the next year (same hanging plant) and tried again. Eventually we took down the hook from which the pot could hang.

So anyway, the mock-cherry tree has this nest near the very top of it, which just happens to be at window level here in the home office, where I spend much time in front of the PC. And I was reasonably confident I had seen a mourning dove sitting in said nest a week or so back. So you can imagine my shock early last week to see a mother robin feeding two babies (I think it was two -- they only pop up one at a time, and they are hideously ugly and thus hard to tell apart.) But appearances aside, I will often find myself pausing in my swearing at Microsoft or the PC or whathaveyou and glancing out the window to see what the bird or birdies are doing. I don't recall ever having this good a view of a baby birds before -- they're usually too high up to see...

Thus, it's with some sense of relief that I noticed today that the babies have developed feathers. Or down. Or something. They're not this sickly pink-orange color save their beaks and huge eyeballs anymore. In fact I can only describe today's witnessed behavior as "scratching their head on momma robin's chest" -- I'm sure that's not what they were doing -- that's merely finding a reference to describe what I saw. They actually make quite a bit of noise when she's feeding them.

The whole thing has made me wonder if last year's "tree climbing snake" (my M-i-L's worst nightmare) will return...

So anyway, that's all I have on birds right now. I did also come across this article from the NY Times on what pets teach us about marriage. Make of it what you will...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I'm counting this as Monday...

...for my purposes...

This is a cute quiz about TV/comic book villains. There doesn't seem to be a way to embed it here, so I'll simply tell you that I missed five (5). A tip: don't list the villain's sidekick (like Calamity Jan... no, that's not a typo). Good luck.

If you want to read about ACTUAL villains that make me so angry I think the vein is going to spring out of my forehead, we also have this.

Now I'm going to bed. Blech.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

So yesterday I was talking...

...with Cousin A initially, about t-shirts at ThinkGeek.com, because there was one in particular I thought she would think was funny...

But then somehow (how do I wind up anywhere in conversation?) I wound up mentioning to Kristen (MLW's cousin -- Hi Kristen!) that ThinkGeek also had two "Heroines of Science" tees -- one for Marie Curie (who I said is the "go to" female when anyone is asked to name a female science from... not the past century), but they also had Ada Lovelace (the first computer programmer). Kristen's point (I believe), was "what, they only have two?" And my point, was, "well, how many can the average person name... or even the average geek." I was not, of course, evaluating the "rightness" of there being only two shirts or even that most people could only name 1 or 2 women scientists...

What I did NOT know (an amount slightly smaller than the area of the Grand Canyon...) was that for the first month, ThinkGeek is donating a "portion of the proceeds" of the sales of these two shirts to The Girl Effect. What's that, you ask? (Or perhaps you are more aware than I am -- it's not hard to be so...) It sounds kinda like it's like OxFam but focused specifically on girls in the developing world... (Don't get on me about using the word, "girl," either, because they do...)

*sigh* I don't think I'm explaining this very well. A couple of months ago, MLW and I were watching TV (shocking, I know...) and it was either a PBS thing or The Daily Show, but something made me hit pause on the TiVo and I had what passes for a quasi-profound moment around here, and said something like, "You know, the world is only going to get better when all cultures realize that women should be treated with respect. [pause]. No, that's not the word I want... when everyone realizes that women should be valued as much as men." As with most of my quasi-profound thoughts, I didn't have the solution, just a slightly better grasp of the problem for a moment, and then an overwhelming despair at the realization of the scope of the thing...

I guess my point is, these folks seem to have the solution. So go to their site and take a minute to watch their opening video (really cool, yet simple and powerful), and then maybe buy a shirt or just throw them some extra dough. It's clearly a good cause.

Thanks for reading.