Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My name is Sue! How do you do?! Now you gonna die!

I heart Mr. Johnny Cash. I heart him mucho lots.

With that, let's move on to:

Mostly worthless musings on the Winter Olympics

In general, I just don't get as excited about the Winter Olympics as I do their Summer counterpart. Cross-country events don't thrill me that much. Downhill is okay, though I haven't watched it much this year. Mostly because I think Bode Miller is a colossal ass, and I'm not really interested in watching him slum around and then act like he's above it all and that he doesn't really care about winning medals. Fine, dude...but why are you even at the Olympics? His whole "Olympic spirit" thing just sounds like a cop-out to explain why he's sucking big time on the slopes this time around. Halfpipe is fabulous fun, and Sean White looks like a Weasley brother. "Sno-bo-cross" is sort of cool, but sort of weird. Speed skating can be entertaining, but watching Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick act like snarky bitches after tonight's 1500 kind of soured me on the whole event. They made me extra glad that the Italian kid won.

All that said, I do love me some women's figure skating. I'm sort of 'meh' on men's and pairs. Not sure why. The throws in pairs are cool, and I like the powerhouse jumpers like Yevgeny Plushenko, even though almost all of the photos in his NBC Olympic bio are SCARY. SCARY, ya'll. I don't dig the fluffy artistry that much in the men, and I don't know why, because I tend to be pretty equal-opportunity when it comes to fluff. As for ice's really the winter equivalent of rhythm gymnastics. Both are pretty, both are dull, both have goofy ass elements (giant balls vs. "twizzles"), and both seem kind of silly compared to other events.

MB is not all that into the Olympics. I think he might still be a little bitter about the fact that I made him watch quite a few of the 2004 Summer Games events from hotel rooms while we were on our honeymoon. Gah...I am a horrid wife. And he is saintly for actually still liking me after it was all over. Not wanting to watch tonight's skating program alone, I recruited the cat as my viewing buddy and fellow judge. Since neither of us really understand the new figure skating scoring system, Mr. Kitters and I decided to rate the skaters on their costumes and musical choices instead. Besides, what do we know about technical elements?

Best costume

ME: The gold goes to Sarah Meier of Switzerland, who wore the prettiest and most normal-looking dress. Make it black instead of canary yellow, give it 6-12 more inches of skirt, and you've got a hot, classy evening dress. It had glittery straps and none of that uber-scary semi-flesh-toned pantyhose-like mesh stuff. Also, I wish my back was half as sexy as hers.

MR. KITTERS: The gold definitely belongs to Elene Gedevanishvili from Georgia. Her costume had fringe. Fringe is fun to bat.

ME: The silver goes to Irina Slutskaya of Russia. She'd win it even without extra points for being an absolute powerhouse. She was the only featured skater to wear pants, and even though I wasn't crazy about the sparkle patterns, the cut of her outfit was flattering and made her look both sexy and totally badass.

MR. KITTERS: I'll give the silver to that girl who wore that half hot-pink, half very scary-flesh-meshy thing. It looked sort of like a flamingo, which is a bird, and birds are fun to stare at menacingly from my window.

ME: The bronze is going to Fumie Suguri of Japan. Gorgeous dress, absolutely stunning girl. Loses points for scary flesh-toned skates, cancelled out by her rockin' "sneaky-high" jumps.

MR. KITTERS: I'm giving bronze to Sasha Cohen. Her outfit had flowers, which I like to eat.

Runners-up: Yelena Liashenko, who rocked the best dress back, despite it being the color of a road cone. Anyone who wore skates with those funky gold-toned blades.

While we're talking Olympic outfits, there has to be a shout-out to those godawful jerseys the Russian speedskaters are sporting:

ME: I can see why the guys who were paired up with the skaters wearing these showed up on the track wearing dark goggles. Otherwise, they'd risk having this heinous pattern seared into their retinae.

MR. KITTERS: Damn. Just, damn. I'm colorblind and that's still painful. And what's with that freaky mouse-human-hybrid thing she's carrying?

Best Music

Gold: Sasha Cohen, skating to the lovely Russian folk song "Dark Eyes." I have a music box that used to be my mom's that plays "Dark Eyes," and I have always loved it.

Silver: Irina Slutskaya, whose music matched her kickassery.

Bronze: The girl (Canadian, maybe?) who skated to an instrumental rendition of Madonna's "Like a Prayer." She medals on sheer hilarity alone.

"Nice try, sparky, but I totally saw you two-foot that landing."

This entry is horribly long already, but one more thing

One of my close friends got married this past Saturday, and it seems that while I was off co-shouldering the terrifying responsibility of cutting and serving this gorgeous cake...

...MB and my cousin were making potpourri art:

A great column...
...on the continuing doubts and hopes of a woman who decided to choose children over her career.

Curse you, Blogger

For making me reconstruct this whole goddamn entry just to change the date. You SUCK. Thank God for cutting and pasting out of Word, because the original took me an hour to assemble, and otherwise, there would've definitely been vengeful thoughts going on over here.

Reading: Medicine Road by Charles de Lint

Playing: Within a Mile of Home by Flogging Molly and The Legend of Johnny Cash

Friday, February 17, 2006

Happy Poo-lentine's Day to you, too

My husband (I think I shall call him MB from now on, just for simplicity...because "husband" sounds too formal and anything related to "hubby" is kind of gross) and I had planned a pretty low-key Valentine's Day. I wasn't feeling too excited about waiting around forever to get a table at a packed restaurant, and he wasn't arguing with my logic. We were going to take a walk along the riverfront (because it was 63 degrees outside. Swear.), get groceries, cook, and probably watch a DVD. Notice I said we were going to do these things. Want to know what we did instead? Of course you do...

We shampooed our cat. And not for, sir.

I was gathering my things to head home and change, collect MB and drive over to the levee for our romantic stroll. My phone rang.

Me: Hello?

MB: The kitty's ass exploded.

Me: Excuse me?

MB: The kitty's ass. It exploded. It's everywhere.

Me: *dread looming* In the litterbox?

MB: And on him. And a little bit on the carpet. We have to do something. He's in the bathroom right now. He's not happy.

Our cat is immensely fluffy, with these poofy fur britches (my mom calls them fancy-pants) on his hind legs. I feared the worst. When I got home, I was relieved to find that the cat, while suffering an embarrassing hygiene problem, was not as disgusting as I'd expected. I was not permitted to take photographs. While he was still poo-i-fied, he was just too pissed off and MB was too stressed out. Once he was (finally) clean and sitting around looking pathetic and bedraggled, MB put his arm around me and said, in all seriousness, "No pictures. I think Kitty deserves this moment of privacy." It was so hilarious that I couldn't argue.

MB had already run a few inches of lukewarm water into the tub, so I put on old jeans and a longsleeved shirt and volunteered to sit in the tub and be the cat holder. My mom laughed when I told her about this part. She seemed to have forgotten which feline we are talking about. This is no docile, harmless ball of fluff. This is a 15-pound, mostly-muscle, temperamental linebacker of a cat. He's strong, he's willful, and when he gets pissed, he bites people. He's opened a 24-ounce can of whoopass on me once before, and even though that was my fault, I was not eager to repeat the experience (nor the subsequent visit to the urgent care clinic for a tetanus booster and antibiotics when my arm turned red and swelled up. Gross.)

So for the bath, we swaddled his front half in a towel, but his back legs had to stick out. That was the main problem, because it left his strongest kicking legs and his claws free. He nailed me good right down my left wrist at the very beginning of the bath. I thought it was going to be pretty terrible, but it's not so bad. It looks kind of suspicious because of the location, but it doesn't hurt too much. (Although it's achieved that point in the healing process where it just itches all the damn time and tempts me to scratch it, even though it's not time for the scab to come off just yet.)

We would get the cat swaddled, I'd hang on to him, and MB would do his best to clean him up with a washcloth. Eventually, he'd get mostly free of the towel, and we'd dump him on the floor for a few minutes so everyone could regroup. We finally abandoned that plan when it became clear it wasn't working. MB swaddled him, held him securely with his booty hanging over the edge of the tub, and I used Dial soap to shampoo his tail and britches. I did have to cut out two really gross patches of fur, but at that point I don't think the cat even noticed. He was too busy freaking out over us pouring water on his ass with a pitcher.

We FINALLY got him cleaned up, and then he walked around the rest of the evening looking like a pitiful drowned rat from the hips down. Every time he got up to go somewhere, he'd kick-shake his back feet like, "Blecccchh!!!!" After a few hours, he'd groomed all of his tail except a few inches at the base, so he looked quite silly with his fluffy body, scrawny soaked back legs, scrawny skinny tail base, and fluffy, plumey tail top.

After that, we were too tired to do anything romantic or culinary. We ordered pizza (which was really late. And cold. Snarl.) and watched Ghostbusters. Good times, good times.

Reading: Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint

Playing: one of my favorite playlists on the computer, Plans by Death Cab for Cutie, and the soundtrack to The Fifth Element because MB keeps putting it in the bedroom stereo (and the car stereo and the computer).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Scientists have discovered more than 20 new species in Indonesia

This rocks pretty darn hard, especially when they found cool stuff like tree kangaroos and frogs and neato birds and this adorable echidna fellow:

My Skepticism Surprises Me

I'm reading a book called The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler. Here is a summary that was published in Rolling Stone last year. I'm pretty tree-huggery by nature, and so it surprised me how often I find that I disagree with the author's bolder doom-and-gloom pronouncements. I can believe that the supply of fossil fuels (and especially oil) could run out a lot sooner than the public expects. I have a hard time believing that the U.S. will break up into smaller factions and revert to a nearly-pre-Industrial way of life, after much of the world's human population is decimated by K-T style die-offs. I'm not very far into it, but so far it gives me the same half-interested half-embarrassed feeling that I get from Michael Moore films.

In a coincidence that's freaking me out a little (but maybe only because it's 1:00 in the morning), there is a Long Emergency blog that uses an identical template to the one I use:

Even as a Child, I Was Such a Geek

When I was little, I loved to look through my parents' rag-tag collection of non-sequential National Geographic magazines. One of my very favorites was an issue that had a feature on a shipwreck. A moment ago, I would've said it was about the Titanic, but now I suddenly suspect it was about a ship that sank in one of the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. I watched the documentary Ghosts of the Abyss the other day, and I really liked it. It was enjoyable for science/history geek reasons, but also because it reminded me of going through that old magazine, over and over.

I'm going to try to snag one of the public library's copies of Aliens of the Deep sometime this week, because the only thing better than geekiness is geekiness with a side of nerd.

Reading: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman. I really, really loved American Gods, to the point where I'll probably buy a copy and it ranks somewhere in my top ten favorite books of the genre. Anansi Boys is not quite a sequel, but it's related enough that I think it'll be fantastic, too.

In other Neil Gaiman-related news, Mirrormask comes out on DVD next Tuesday. I was lucky enough to see it in Chicago at the one theater that was showing it the weekend I visited, and I liked it enough that I plunked down $20 at my part-time job to reserve a copy. If you dig Gaiman's stuff or dark-ish Henson movies like The Dark Crystal, I'd recommend renting or Netflix-ing Mirrormask.

Playing: You Are Free, by Cat Power