Friday, April 27, 2007

Fuzziest Jerkface on the Planet

To say that Mr. Kitters is a willful cat is sort of like saying that trees tend to be green or that root canals tend to be unpleasant. Of his 15 pounds, I'm convinced that about 2 pounds are fur and at least 5 pounds are pure unadulterated will. Somewhat unfortunately, he has a reputation among my online friends and some of my geographically-present ones of being a scary cat. It's not quite fair, because 90% of the time he's just a normal cat with normal cat aloofness. He can also be incredibly sweet, and he jumps up on the bed to give me purrs and snuggles almost every night. The problem is, like a certain curly-haired girl of nursery rhyme fame, when Kitters is bad, he's horrid.

"I am fluffy and cute! AND DEADLY!"
white board art by Danger

His behavior has been especially aggravating this week, because BoMB* has been staying with us while he waits to receive the keys to his new apartment, having begun the long-awaited process of moving back to the city. Mr. Kitters apparently decided some time ago that BoMB is his mortal enemy. BoMB's theory (independently suggested by my mom) is that the cat is pissed that BoMB has access to the coveted spare room, where Kitters is only allowed to go in the summer, when the potted plants are outside. Right now, the plants are still inside due to the freakish post-Easter cold snap, so from Kitters's perspective, I'm sure it seems like BoMB has an all-access pass to the all-you-can-eat salad bar while he (Kitters) is repeatedly shut out in the hall.

For whatever reason, Kitters has been an asshole to BoMB off and on since he arrived about a week ago. Yesterday, BoMB came around the corner into the kitchen and Kitters flattened himself out on the floor and started hissing and spitting. This morning, Kitters hissed at BoMB and then started to trail him across the living room, a sure sign of an impending pants-leg attack. I'm afraid to leave the two of them alone in the apartment, so when I went out to make a pet store run, I shut Kitters in MB's and my bedroom. This works great for short-term cat storage, but MB and I are planning to leave next Friday evening for a weekend camping trip, and Kitters definitely can't stay in our room for 2 1/2 days. I'm really hoping BoMB's new landlord comes through with keys by then. (Besides, I can't do my exercise DVDs while BoMB is chilling in the living room with his laptop all day, and I'm starting to feel like a lazy lump.)

"Fuck off and die, pinky."

*BoMB = Brother of MB

Reading: Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce

Playing: Because of the Times by Kings of Leon

And, as proof that Kitters is not always a menace:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is it any wonder I'm madly in love?

Once again, I'm working on the neverending "put the digital pictures on CD" project, and I stumbled across these pictures of MB from 2005. I have no idea how this started (though I suspect I tried to take "his" pillow away), and I barely remember it, but finding the pictures today made me laugh. If our kids ever ask me why I fell in love with him, I can show them these:


(halo to horns)

Also, because I'm still looking for topics, a repost:

Since I don't know what kind of internet access (if any) I'll have while I'm in California at the end of May, I'm planning to write some posts ahead of time, save them as drafts, and enlist MB to upload them for me while I'm gone. To this end, I am now accepting requests for post there a story you want to hear, a question you're just dying for me to answer, a meme you feel like tagging me for, a topic you want me to ramble on about? Speak now or forever hold your peace, or something. Leave me a comment or drop me an email (velocibadgergirl at gmail dot com), and I'll do what I can to oblige you.

Reading: Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce

Playing: Because of the Times by Kings of Leon

And a new review should be up at the book blog by the end of the day, if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


During the summer of 1999, Danger and I went canoeing on the Blue River with our friend H. and one of her friends. I don't remember if Danger had done much canoeing before that, and I hadn't been in 2 or 3 years, but we turned out to be pretty good at it. We went back the next summer, and the next, and we've been going ever since. While we were in college, we had to go once summer break had properly started, but we always tried to squeeze our trip into the narrow window after our classes ended but before the public schools let out. We didn't always make it, so we did a lot of portaging during the years when we didn't get on the river until July or August.

We always rent our canoe from a local livery company, which is fine except for the fact that they never believe us when we give them an estimate of how long it will take us to make our run. They'll tell us that it usually takes people 5-6 hours to do the trip we've signed up for, and then they refuse to believe us when we explain that it'll take us 3-4, tops. Most people float the river, but we actually paddle. Last year they sort of pissed us off, because they told us we could either get off the water at 3 PM (three hours after we got in) or wait until 6 PM. We figured it would only take us until 4:00 to get to the pick-up point, but they refused to set up a separate shuttle for us, insisting that we had to catch the 6 PM shuttle they'd already set up for someone else. They basically told us we couldn't make the run by 3 PM. It was a point of honor after that, and we made it to the pick-up by 3:00. The guys who were supposed to be picked up at 3 PM? We passed them after about 20 minutes on the river. They'd already pulled over and opened up a cooler of beer. They didn't make the pick-up on time.

This year, we wanted to go early so the water would be good. We went in May last year, and it was pretty high. We decided about a month ago that we'd go on April 20 (last Friday), two days before Danger's birthday. It's a good thing we checked the livery's website on Wednesday of last week, because it turns out they're not running weekday trips until May this year. Luckily, Danger was able to borrow MacGyver's truck to haul their canoe. It took us about two and a half hours to set up the shuttle with her truck and my car, especially since our directions to our put-in point were good, but our directions to the take-out were awful. This was not helped by the fact that our spiff-dandy topographic maps, while they looked cool as hell, were published in the mid-1960s. All in all, setting up the shuttle was a pretty big pain in the ass, but I think it was worth it in the end, because we got to plot our own trip and set our own timetable for the day.

Here's a map of the 15-mile route we took, which looks somewhat more impressive on Google Earth than it did on the map we downloaded from the internet:

Have you guys seen Google Earth, by the way? If you zoom in far enough, you can see individual trees. To a geology nerd, this site almost as delicious as ice cream.

At our put-in, we met a kayaker who gave us a tip for getting around the breached dam which you're supposed to portage (head down the tributary to the right). He also helped us carry the 80-pound freighter of a canoe down to the river. Thanks, anonymous kayaker guy! Here's a shot of the dam from Google Earth. You can see the ominous whitewater even from a distance:

It doesn't really look super scary in the photo, but on the water, it was pretty intense. The kayaker guy told us it was probably about a class 2 or 2 1/2. That's the size stuff I ran on that whitewater kayaking trip I took last Spring, and it sure looked like big water to me. Luckily, the tributary to the right (bottom) was totally open, because the Blue was insanely high for this trip.

Even though we avoided the dam, we hit some pretty big water for the Blue. It's usually a very placid stream with a few riffles. There were three or four places where we went shooting through near-whitewater, and at least two of those times, the front of the boat (with Danger in it) was totally airborne. It was fantastic. After the biggest water (and the biggest air) that we caught, the GPS told us we'd achieved a top speed of 14.3 mph. Dude. Before that, our top speed was a quite-respectable 9.8 mph.

The weather was absolutely perfect. I don't think we've had better weather in the eight years we've been going to the Blue. It was warm but not hot, breezy enough to keep the bugs away, with a pristine blue sky. Even the water was pretty--blue-green instead of the usual brown. We took quite a few pictures, especially once we got down to the lower part where the river was insanely high, but it'll be a bit before I have any to share since we took waterproof disposable cameras instead of a digital.

We didn't see any other paddlers on the river, and barely anyone along the banks. Since the livery doesn't run trips on the lower part of the river and since it's still early in the season, there was barely any trash to be seen. While we didn't witness any squirrel mishaps, we did see several squirrels hanging completely upside-down in the smallest outer branches of sycamore trees. We saw several deer, and Danger saw a snapping turtle with a head the size of MacGyver's fist. As always, there were lots of turtles, and I saw a very cute groundhog moseying down the bank. We saw a belted kingfisher, lots of wood ducks, a hawk getting punked by a pissed-off crow, a pileated woodpecker, what we think were grebes (or maybe mergansers), and a great blue heron.

Overall, though, the best part of the day was just spending time with Danger, out in a beautiful place that we both love. No matter how many other rivers I canoe in my life, and no matter how beautiful they are, I know the Blue will always be my favorite.

Reading: Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce

Playing: Because of the Times by Kings of Leon

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The All-Request Lunch Hour

Since I don't know what kind of internet access (if any) I'll have while I'm in California at the end of May, I'm planning to write some posts ahead of time, save them as drafts, and enlist MB to upload them for me while I'm gone. To this end, I am now accepting requests for post there a story you want to hear, a question you're just dying for me to answer, a meme you feel like tagging me for, a topic you want me to ramble on about? Speak now or forever hold your peace, or something. Leave me a comment or drop me an email (velocibadgergirl at gmail dot com), and I'll do what I can to oblige you.

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend, but I'm so completely whipped that I'm having trouble coming up with anything remotely coherent to say about it. Rather than ruin the stories, I'll just wait until I've had a good night's sleep and try again tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Danger!

I hope it was a great one.

Happy Earth Day, also.

"If we learn, finally, that what we need to 'manage' is not the land so much as ourselves in the land, we will have turned the history of American land-use on its head." -- Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use our natural resources, but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob by wasteful use, the generations that come after us." -- Theodore Roosevelt, speech, Washington, D.C., 1900


Here are some videos that make me laugh like a hyena:

The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Othello Rap

and Macbeth (with authentic accents)

Reading: Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

Playing: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor (sound warnings)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I really do want world peace.

Interview by Amy from Bite the Rabbit:

1. Why the heck are you Velocibadgergirl? That is one crazy name. Crazier than BiteTheRabbit, in my opinion.

This has two parts, really. First, I joined the Knot back in 2003 when MB and I got engaged, and I didn't want to use my real name or the Hotmail ID I'd had for years, because I'm a bit paranoid. Since MB's nickname in high school was the Badger (long story), I somewhat cheesily decided I'd be "badgergirl" on the Knot. Then, when my message board group broke away from the Knot to form our own private board, I kept the badgergirl name on MSN.

In late 2005, when I decided to move my fledgling blog from Diaryland to Blogger, badgergirl as a blogspot URL was already taken. I didn't really want to create an entirely new web identity since I was so fond of the badgergirl moniker, but I also wanted something to add to it that would make it more mine. Badgergirl is a great name, but it's basically like saying, "Hi, I'm Mrs. Badger." I'm good with being FirstName Badger, but Mrs. Badger seems a little like bowing to the patriarchy. MB's long-time nickname for me has been velocigirl, as in velociraptor, and so...a hybrid was born. I am velocibadgergirl.

2. I'm assuming you're a cat person. What don't you like about dogs?

I wouldn't say I dislike dogs, I just like cats more. Things I prefer about cats:  it's easier to scoop a litter box than patrol a whole yard; they don't bark; they rarely drool; they're somewhat self-sufficient; they don't need to be walked every day; they rarely need to be bathed; they hardly ever chew on things; they can be raised in an apartment with no backyard to speak of, without guilt.

Things that make me sometimes wish we had a dog:  cats can't go hiking or canoeing; I can't take my cat with me to the park to help me feel safe; our cat won't be able to play outside with our future spawn.

I tend to say that I'm more of a cat person than a dog person, but my real issue is that I tend to like specific individual dogs more than I like dogs in general. For instance, I think my dad's dog is really cool. If I could have a dog just like him, I would get one. I always liked the dog that my kidsitting charge's family had. If I could have a dog like her, I'd get one. But when I just meet a dog, I'm usually thinking, "Gah, don't slobber on me! And no jumping! And you sort of smell funny."

Also, I vastly prefer medium-to-large dogs to small dogs. Little yappy dogs drive me effing nuts, and dogs that are too small to do dog things (like hike, play Frisbee, go for long walks), at that point I figure I might as well just have a cat. Plus--and this is sort of awful--I generally think cats are a cuter species. Almost every cat is cute, but there are lots of dogs that just aren't.

3. Are you going to participate in NaBloPoMo again? I am.

Definitely! I met so many cool people through NaBloPoMo, and I loved the challenge of writing every day.

4. What's the hardest thing about blogging?

At first, the hardest thing was coming up with things to say that I felt were interesting enough, and not being too shy to express my real feelings. Plus, I was really out of practice with writing things other than emails. Now, finding topics and being myself is a lot easier, but I still have to try not to take it too seriously. I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm never going to be a famous A-list blogger, and that it is totally okay.

5. What song makes you cringe?

"Love Shack" by the B-52s. I truly believe that it is the worst earworm ever recorded. Just writing about it here will probably get it stuck in my head for the next week. I can't even think about the song without having it run through my head for hours. HATE!

To participate:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choice, but probably not until early next week.

3. Then, you should update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you get to ask them five questions.

Interviewed by me (so far):

That Chick Over There

SSFB at Starting Fresh

Megs, my sister from another mister

Also, doesn't this make you wish you got invited to the kinds of parties my friends throw?

This was the graphic that went out on an invitation to a birthday party this Saturday night. Good times.

Edited to add: This is how cool MB is...remember that train whistle I found in my car last week? I left it in the dirty dish pile, figuring it was probably way too germy to chuck into the box of spawn hoardage. Today, I found it in the clean dish pile:

He didn't even demand an explanation. He really is a very patient husband, you know it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Seventh song of a seventh song

I've been tagged by Urban Cowgirl for a music meme in which I have to list seven albums or tracks which have featured in my life recently.

I did a similar one back in March, but my musical habits change from week to week, so there's no reason for me to decline the tag. Plus, it makes me feel special to be tagged. So:

1. Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor

I can't express how much this album rules. I love her voice, and she's got the kind of lyrics I would've scribbled all over my notebooks in high school.

2. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse

I guess it's not cool to like Modest Mouse now that they're mainstream-ish, but I love them anyway. I actually heard them back in early college when my cousin loaned me a tape of one of their early LPs, and then I rediscovered them when Good News for People Who Love Bad News came out. They're definitely not for everyone, but I dig them a lot.

from the old EP, Interstate 8 (and re-released on Building Nothing Out of Something):

from The Moon & Antarctica:

from Good News for People Who Love Bad News:

from We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank:

3. Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

I haven't listened to this as much, since Regina Spektor has been in rotation every day for nearly a month, but I'm starting to get into it. She's been getting raves from bloggers all over the place, and I'm completely fascinated by a voice as huge as hers coming from someone who looks like she's pretty tiny.

4. "The Ocean" - Led Zeppelin

I heard this track on the radio today, and it reminded me how much I truly, truly love Led Zeppelin. Since I can't find it on the widget site, here's one of my favorite Zeppelin tracks of all time:

5. This one's sort of odd. I heard this song on the radio today:

And it reminded me how much I love Plans by Death Cab for Cutie. Whiny? Emo? Probably. But when I heard it last winter at the record store where I sort of still work part-time (if one shift every few months counts), it was one of the first albums I'd heard in a long time that absolutely transfixed me.

This is cheesy as hell and I probably shouldn't admit it, but I had this album in our bedroom stereo for at least a month last year, and whenever this song came on, I'd realize that I really would follow MB into the dark. It's a beautiful song, if you listen to it and think about what it would really mean to go into a void just to be with the person you love.

6. August and Everything After by Counting Crows

I haven't listened to this in a few weeks, but if I could only listen to five CDs for the rest of my life, it would be one of them.

7. Lay it Down by the Cowboy Junkies

I recently renewed correspondence with the person who was indirectly responsible for me discovering the Cowboy Junkies in late high school (he made a tape for someone who later gave me his tape collection). The album is in one of my five albums that I'd pick if I had to pick five to listen to for the rest of my life, and the songs take me back to the way I felt at that point in my life, and the tape-maker was pretty instrumental in shaping the end of my high school all in all, this one pretty much had to be the album to round out the list. Unfortunately, the widget site only has two Cowboy Junkies songs, so you're getting one from Lay it Down and then one from The Trinity Session (which is the album that Neil Gaiman had his characters listen to in one of the stories in Fragile Things):

There are also a few more tracks on their MySpace page.

(Michael Timmins / Lay it Down)

Speaking confidentially
the fire that burned inside of me
has turned to ash the tortured tree
that grows beside the anguished sea
Speaking confidentially

Speaking metaphorically
the earth I trust beneath my feet
is moving now ever so slightly
I shift my feet but feel no relief
Speaking metaphorically

Speaking hypothetically
if the air you breathed was so unique
would you use it up to idly speak
or hoard it for a rainy week
Speaking hypothetically

Speaking kind of cryptically
the sea that raged beside the tree
burning bright for all to see
it just might mean the most to me
Speaking kind of cryptically

Now, I have to tag some people:

the bibliophile

J-Dog at Insert Snappy Title Here

Heather at Pale is the New Tan



Angela at on second thought

the cheesefairy at the Cheeseblog

Freebird, ya'll! Freebird!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Memento mori

When I was 18 years old, I took all the money I'd saved over nearly two years at my minimum-wage job at the local ice cream shop--just over $2000--and bought a ticket for a 9-day trip to London. I'd never been out of the country before, had never flown on a plane before. My parents were calm. My mother took me to the store to pick out luggage and new shirts. On the day of departure, she dropped me off at school to meet the rest of the tour group. Looking back, I have to laugh at how ridiculously grown-up I thought I was then. I wouldn't say that I thought I was invincible, but I wasn't worried, either. I was a little bit nervous about the plane, but other than that, what could happen? I was going to be with teachers from my school the entire time.

When I was 22 years old, I borrowed $2000 from my parents and enrolled in a 6 1/2 week geological field course that my professors said I would need if I wanted to get into grad school. My parents were calm. My dad was pretty excited for me, since I was going to spend most of the summer at a field station in the mountains of Montana. On the afternoon before the caravan left Indiana, my parents and my fiance dropped me off to meet up with the rest of the field class--49 students I'd never met, plus one kid from my university who I didn't know well at all. But what could happen? It was school.

Now, my sister, nearly 21 years old, is planning to spend her summer at field school. She must feel ridiculously grown-up. She wants to spend the second semester of next year studying abroad in Ireland. Last week, I told my parents to be calm. I reminded them that I'd hopped a flight to London at 18, spent my summer in Montana at 23. Nothing had happened. She'll be fine. I realized that back when I was taking those trips, they were only calm on the outside. Inside, and when I wasn't around, they were worried.

I cannot imagine how parents can take this kind of thing, I especially can't imagine it today, not when I've spent hours trying not to read the reports coming out of Virginia. Will I ever be brave enough to shoulder that kind of responsibility, to risk a hurt that deep by letting my children leave my side? I used to think that parents only really had to worry about their kids until their kids were grown up. Now I know better. I look at my sister, and I don't just see the 20-year-old woman she is now. I see the roundheaded baby she used to be, the knobby-kneed stick-skinny little girl, the calmly self-assured teenager. It's killing me to think of kids just like her, just her age, going to class and never making it home. Going to class because it was school, and what could happen? My heart is breaking for them, and for their parents, who worried and worried, but knew they had to take the risk and let them strike out on their own. I want to wake up tomorrow and find out it's okay, that none of it really happened. Otherwise, how can anyone be expected to bear it?

Monday, April 16, 2007

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."

Tonight is one of the nights when it's really hard not to tell you all about my job and how much I love it. The simple version is that I got to invite the rest of the Master Naturalist students to come to my place of employment for the evening. We had an astronomy lesson, and then my boss (who rocks) set up his telescope and showed everyone how it worked. After that, we got to take a close-up look at Venus, Sirius (the Dog Star, brightest star seen from the Northern Hemisphere), Saturn and its rings and four of its moons, and the Orion Nebula. It was absolutely amazing. I'd seen the rings of Saturn before, on a field trip with my and Danger's high school astronomy class, but this was even more incredible. This picture isn't quite as cool as what we saw, but it's pretty close:

Seeing the Orion Nebula was insane. We had to use a filter to get rid of the city lights, and it made the nebula look like a blue haze. It was unreal. We even saw the Trapezium Cluster within the Nebula. It was absolutely wicked.

Back in January, I posted a diagram for finding Saturn, so I figured I'd do that again in case anyone is interested in finding some cool stuff to look at in the night sky. I don't think my angles and spacing are very precise, but it'll give you the general idea:

I also borrowed a small telescope from work to take to Danger's house on Saturday night for our co-birthday party. I'm hoping we'll be able to see the rings of Saturn again.

the Trapezium Cluster
(NASA / Hubble Space Telescope)

And, in case this was all too serious for you, here's the Star Wars gangsta rap:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

pardoned pencil protector surfaces: bi-monthly Googleage report (plus fun with links)

Searchers love Luci Swindoll, Kat Von D, Billy Collins.

luci swindoll awkward moment

luci swindoll masculine

luci swindoll flashlights for the world

kat von d's boobs (x 2)

pictures of kat vond boobs

marginalia, billy collins, poetic elements

meaning of marginalia by billy collins

"oh my god", billy collins -- This last one is the BEST EVER, because it led me to this:  Haiku is a very novel form of expression that, although quite old, can be still be used easily (perhaps too easily) by just about anyone. In fact, my favorite haiku of all time comes from a student of Billy Collins, the current Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (yeesh, what a title). Mr. Collins was listening idly to a conversation between a couple of girls from his English class when he heard the following:

I told her and she
Was like, "oh, my god," and I
Was like, "oh, my god."

Searchers should seek counseling.

blogger search: knickers (#3)

blogger search: picture boob

testicle egg

testicle in egg holder

hypnotize diapered women

girls wearing noseclips

sex widow

sex pics

sex with my sister (Blogger search. What the everloving hell, people??)

Searchers cook, watch TV, are literary.

cow sprinkles

dinosaur sprinkles

egg salad mold (go here for a horrifying and amusing gallery of 60s-era Jello-mold recipes)

hillside salad commercial

monique poured water on whos bed *

faceplate caridee

songs mtv yoga

robin mckinley sunshine excerpt *

age of accountability catcher in the rye

Catcher in the Rye and egg salad

haiku about Saturn the planet

Searchers are scientifically minded, want gadgets.


gps aluminum foil deflector hat

salad machines

broadhead skinks seattle area

the great global warming swindoll youtube (a tip,'s spelled "swindle")

what causes woodlouse and what gets rid of them


Searchers are random.

egg adoption for myspace

"c's wedding" david

pictures of rain bi

latex vulture *

busting jeans

gymnastics pantyhose

noahtian (only 1 other hit...guess it's not a word after all)

Bonus fun with links

The other day, basscomm, reliable provider of amusing links, directed me toward this absolute gem:

At first mystified, then intrigued, I went through the compubeaver gallery (it's a computer, inside a beaver) and then clicked back to the creator's homepage. Turns out she's an installation artist based in L.A., and she's made some wickedly cool stuff:

Hamster Dress
  Hamster habitrail, vinyl, hamsters (!!)

Spork Skirt
Somebody tell Bucky T!

Bluegrass Skirt

Reading: Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

Playing: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse (sound warning on both!)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friggatriskaidekaphobia? Never.

I try not to take it too personally when people warn me not to have bad luck on Friday the 13th. You see, I was born on a Friday the 13th, many years ago, and for most of my life, I've always had really excellent days anytime the 13th has fallen on a Friday. There was a weird span in college, after I started dating MB, when my 13ths sucked each month. One 13th, for example, MB wrecked his car. I felt betrayed by my lucky date, let me tell you. Suspiciously, my 26ths were really great that year. We justified it by figuring that since I was born on the 13th and MB was born on the 13th, we were getting great 26ths, but not-so-hot 13ths. I'm sure we were reading too much into it, and it seems to have evened out again. Today has been a pretty great day, other than when I spilled MB's floss picks all over the bathroom floor (No, I didn't rinse them off and put them back in the box. He's lucky I'm such a good wife.) and when my tea boiled over (Whoopsie. Still tastes good.) And just now, when the cat farted...that wasn't so lucky.

But! Other than that, a pretty good day, and a day off. Yay!

I was an errand-running, task-completing machine this morning. Highlights:

>> Catching up with my blogroll reading, putting away the dishes, and finishing the laundry before 10 AM

>> Cleaning all the clutter out of my car, after months of promising myself I'd do it. Best items found:  plastic train whistle, one monkey-print flip-flop that may not fit me, baseball, naughahyde phone book cover (made by my mother, long ago), two of the same unexciting kids' meal toy

>> Shipping the nut warmer to the Untamed Shrew, at a cost of $6.66. Heh.

>> Taking a full load of recycling to my parents' house, and remembering to drop off the huge trash bag full of packing peanuts at the box shop that takes them for re-use.

>> Going to Target and finding two bras that actually fit the ginormo-boobs, a pair of work pants for $5.47, AND two pairs of jeans on clearance for $12.48 each. The jeans are especially fantastic since most of the pants I saw on the racks had tags proudly proclaiming, "Cut slim through the hips and thighs!" while the tag on my hips and thighs, had they one, would proclaim, "Lots of space for chub storage and childbearing!"

>> Bringing home cat treats from the happy hippie pet store that the beast actually chowed down on. He usually turns his nose up at the organic treats we try to give him and holds out for preservative-laden stuff from the grocery store. Not that I blame him--given the choice between a huge tasty ice cream cone and a plain organic yogurt, I'd totally go for the ice cream.

In addition, I finished Welcome to Temptation last night, and I'm still giggling over some of the better lines. I think I'm going to have to buy a copy so I can re-read often.

And I got my basically-free Hiroshige print from They sent me a $10 email gift certificate for my birthday just for having a free login account with them (I've never even ordered anything before! Go sign up!), so I got this pretty thing and only had to pay $3 for shipping:

Then, then, I found out that my sister got accepted into the archaeology field program she very much wanted to attend this summer! She'll be here for most of the summer, working on excavations and research at a Late Prehistoric-era Native American village site. They only accepted 10 students! My sister, she's awesome. So very awesome. Congrats, sis!!

Reading: Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Playing: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse (sound warning on both!)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Uncanny, isn't it?

Last night I finished reading Gorgon : Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History. It was a really great book, and in preparation for the review I'm supposedly going to write soon for badgerbooks, I did a Google search for pictures of the titular Gorgonopsians.

Imagine my glee when I found this:

Because, obviously:

I know, right?

(kudos to the fantastic and Photoshop-savvy evilducky for the caption)

Seriously, though, I'd definitely rather meet Brak rambling about the Permian plains than this heinously toothy mo-fo:

Reading: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Playing: Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A sign of lustiness.
Or, why I love my friends dearly.

*Receptionist's desk, mid-afternoon. The phone rings*

VBG:  *unrecognizably polite phone voice*  Velocibadgergirl's workplace.

B81:  *similarly unrecognizably polite phone voice*  May I speak to VBG?

VBG:  *phone voice*  This is she.

B81:  Oh, hey. This is the bibliophile. So, if you're at the front desk, you must have some free time.

VBG:  Sort of. I'm giving the receptionist a quick break.

B81:  I'm at work and it's really slow, so I have a question you might be able to answer. We were wondering what would happen if you moved the planets around.

VBG:  ... Where do you want to move them?

B81:  I'm not really sure. What would be the consequences of something like that?

VBG:  Well, it depends. I mean, what if you move Jupiter? That's a lot of gravity. If you put that next to the Earth, it's not really going to go well for us.

B81:  Coworker Guy was thinking he could use Wonder Woman's lasso.

VBG:  You'd need a big lasso.

B81:  Yeah. He was thinking he could move Pluto, since it's not really a planet anymore, but I was wondering what the ramifications of that would be.

VBG:  I still say it would depend on where you moved it to...What if you weren't paying attention to the orbits of the other planets and you left it in another planet's path? So it's just sitting there and Venus comes along and WHAM.

B81:  That's a good point. Well, I think we have a real call coming in, so I'd better go.

VBG:  Okay, bye.

Now, imagine you've just got my side of the conversation. I have to wonder what the coworker who wandered by while I was talking thought about all of this. To his credit, he kept a straight face.

*Later, same day. Velocibadgergirl's desk. Gmail chat*

Tamsyn:  (this is a dork game of mine - what era should people have been born in to be considered utterly gorgeous?)

VBG:  LOL What about us?

Tamsyn:  Oh, fortunately, I am in the right era. This is the only era where it is okay for a woman to be very tall and broad-shouldered. It's a late twentieth-century weird thing.

VBG:  Maybe I fit, too, then. I'm not overly tall, but I'm definitely broad.

Tamsyn:  Ah, but the Victorians thought that girls needed good shoulders

VBG:  aha

Tamsyn:  to hold up those broad necked dresses

VBG:  heh...I'm not sad I missed those damn dresses.

Tamsyn:  Your problem is more the red hair--considered unfashionable / sign of lustiness in most centuries.

VBG:  BWAAAHAHAHAHAHA! That's awesome.

Tamsyn:  Middle Ages would've thought you were up to no good. You would have been briefly fashionable during the Renaissance, unfashionable again by the Victorian period. Lemon juice to lighten it, I'm afraid.

Reading: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Playing: (yes, still) Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I've always been enamored with the idea of being a regular customer somewhere, of going in and having people recognize me. I'm not sure why, though I have a feeling it stems from my (probably pathetic & somewhat misguided) lifelong desire to be popular. I never achieved popularity as a kid / teenager, and though I'm okay with that now, I think a part of me still wants to feel like I am part of some kind of exclusive or "cool" group. Lame, I know.

I always wanted to achieve regular status at my favorite local pub, but MB doesn't really like the food there, and my friends and I just don't frequent the place enough. However, over the last 2 years or so, MB and I have become regulars at our favorite local Szechwan restaurant. MB goes in with his friends, too, and the owner definitely knows him a little better than he knows me. When we went with BoMB on the night of the AFC playoff game, MB had been in twice without me in the preceding two or three weeks, and one of the waiters came by and said to me, "Long time no see! I've seen him around, but not you!" Good thing MB wasn't trying to sneak around behind my back, because he would've been totally busted.

Danger and I are regulars at the cafe at Barnes & Noble, since we've been going there for chai nearly every Wednesday for probably 2 years or more (Can it really be that long?), and that's cool since the cafe staff are pretty hilarious.

Tonight, it seems we've finally become regulars at another place in town. MB and I used to go to O'Charley's on a semi-regular basis when we could afford to go out, but then two things happened. We both ended up in real life grown-up jobs with steady salaries, and a Longhorn opened in our town. We LOVE Longhorn. We've only had not-awesome food there once, and the service is always fantastic. We probably go 2 - 3 times a month, at least. The manager sometimes goes around and asks each table how things are, and he'll usually say something to us like, "Welcome back!" but I just figured it was a generic manager-y thing to do. But tonight, he walked past us as we were following the hostess to our booth, and he said, "I hope you guys are planning to save room for dessert tonight!" We laughed, but before we could say, "We'll see!" he continued and said, "It'll be on me guys are in here all the time." Well, hell to the yes.

The last time we got something free at a restaurant, MB had to get ice water poured on him first. We were having dinner with another couple, and we'd pretty much finished eating. We had the checks, but we hadn't paid yet. Our waitress was this teeny tiny girl, and when she tried to add our plates to her huge tray (which probably weighed more than she did), the whole thing overbalanced and a pitcher of melted ice and water tipped over and soaked MB's shoulder. Now, MB's just about the most laid-back guy on the planet, and he's super polite, so he wasn't going to get mad. Of course, I felt horrible for the waitress, because there's no way she could've known that. Right before I started laughing my ass off at the look on MB's face--because it was really funny; it's not like he was hurt in any way--the manager materialized out of thin air, snatched our checks, and announced that we needn't worry about them. After she walked off, we all looked at each other and said, "We should've ordered dessert!"

Free dessert without having to take an ice water bath first? Yes, please!

As a reward for reading this far (if anyone did), here are some dogs made out of flowers:

I don't usually get all squee-y over cute animal email forwards, but these are actually pretty neat.

They remind me of those really cool books by the guy who makes food have faces.

We were supposed to go to another cave today, but we overslept. That would've been so much more entertaining to write about. My apologies.

Finally, please welcome... little sister to the blogging world. Be nice to her; she's new at this. ;)

Reading: Gorgon:  Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter D. Ward (lunch breaks have been really short lately)

Playing: Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor (I'm obsessed with it)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Putting the O back in OCD

Apparently there's a new meme going around, so I semi-stole it from my long-lost sister from another mister, Megs. The subject is five things I'm currently obsessing over.

1. Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor

I checked this CD out from the library a week or so ago, and I figured I'd be sick of it by now, but au contraire...I just love it more every time I listen to it.

"On The Radio"

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

2. What Would Tyler Durden Do?

I'm a sucker for celebrity gossip anyway, so I'm loving this.

3. Lily Watch 2007

As some of you know, the fabulous Miss M is going to have a baby any day now, perhaps even any hour now. I am waiting with bated breath for news of Lily's arrival. Edited to add: she's on her way...maybe even here by now! Squee!

4. America's Next Top Model

I know, I know...but it's really good this season, other than Renee continuing to be a rancid bitch all the time. I love the recaps on FourFour and Television Without Pity almost as much as I love the show.

5. San Francisco

I was going to save this for a big cheesy announcement, but this seems like an appropriate entry in which to discuss it. I'm going to San Francisco for a four-day work-related conference in May, and I CANNOT FREAKIN' WAIT. I have never been to California, and the conference itself is going to kick complete ass. Once it's over, I get to spend five whole days with my darling friend KWJ, the Untamed Shrew, in Santa Clara. It's really hard to focus on work projects while daydreaming about all the cool touristy stuff the Untamed Shrew and I are going to rock while I'm out there.

The boys watching TV.
I can guarantee that MB is presently obsessing over his just-ordered brand-new laptop, which should arrive anytime between next Thursday and the 23rd. Kitters, as always, is obsessing over his plan for world domination.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Required Reading

Please go read what Jenn wrote today over at Breed 'em and Weep.

It may be the best blog entry I've ever, ever read, and I'm not exaggerating. Top five, at least.

Go. Read. (Then, you know, come back...)

Edited to add: this song makes me wish I still had a piano to play. And that I could sing and not sound like a cat in distress:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Official online store coming soon! *

I thought that I had nothing to write about tonight, but now, thanks to my friend A., I've got something cerrrazy.

I was kidding around with her about how Kitters costs MB and me $10 in rent per month, and that he doesn't even have a job to help pay his share (other than those modeling gigs, from which, believe it or not, we've yet to see a cent). She said, "You should spin his hair into yarn and sell it!" I've actually joked about this many, many times. I even have a marketing scheme all ready, in case the time is ever right. Since Kitters's real name is Billbo (yes, there's a reason for the extra L), we'd call the yarn BoHair, and market it as a cheaper alternative to mohair. Since he's white, it would be super easy to dye the yarn any color the customer wanted.

It's all fun and games until someone sends you a link to a company that really and truly spins yarn out of pet hair:  V.I.P. Fibers.

You can get glitter yarn:

And look...keepsakes:

"Now you can take your pet to the fanciest of resturants!"

This really is a genius scheme. Kitters sheds enough in one day to make a sock, at least, so if I collect all his sheddage for a few weeks, I should be have enough to open my own online store. I gotta get an Etsy shop, a spinning wheel, and a bookkeeper! This is going to be huge, ya'll!

I'll be taking pre-orders in the comments.

I'm Mr. Kitters, spokescat for BoHair, the yarn that'll make you purr. I can personally guarantee that you'll find our yarn to be fluffy and silky smooth. With a blankie made of yarn spun from my fur, every nap will feel like a catnap.
Try BoHair today!

Tips on Spinning Cat Hair

A Yarn Of Feline Fur

* or not