30 November 2008

Monday looms

But not yet! I still have a few hours. We spent most of this weekend completely unplugged and it was glorious. I love the internet, but it's also my job, so it was good to have some time offline.

I got some reading done.
See if you can spot all four cats!

Note also that the living room is trashed. I cleaned it yesterday but it's pretty much ruined again by now. We didn't really go out much, although we did have Thanksgiving at my sister's house, with my nephews and my other sister in attendance. My sister can really put down a thanksgiving spread. I was grateful not to have to cook the whole meal, although I made rolls and a fresh cranberry bread and that was our contribution to the feast.

Besides the normal weekend housework projects, I had time to do some mending which I'd been meaning to get to for roughly six months.

You can see I'm a lousy seamstress. I was originally working with white on white - at least then I don't have to look at my mistakes - but it was really fucking hard to see. So I switched to blue, which is fine since the stitching is on the inside of a pillowcase and won't be seen. I am a slacker. The only reason I mend sheets instead of throwing them out and buying new is that they're really heavy cotton and high thread count, plus since they're old they're really soft and silky. And also new sheets are expensive.

I also got the cats all fucked up on catnip and took pictures.
See if you can spot Pip's need to be neutered! He has no idea.

And now, back to the weekday grind again. Le sigh. I do feel better after the slow, four day weekend, though. Plus I made lasagna tonight (used the recipe from Cover and Bake, with a few modifications. Cover and Bake is done by the obsessive Cook's Illustrated people, so you know that the recipes will always work and be delicious, just as you know the recipe will take forever. And it did take forever, and it was delicious. And I made flavored basil oil, and also some chutney. So at least I have good leftovers to nosh on during the week.

23 November 2008

Winter ramblings

Whenever this showed up on the windows of the house I grew up in, Mom would say that Jack Frost had visited in the night. What do you know, Somerville's on his route, too! I always thought he made gorgeous patterns.

And I know that this blog has become nothing but a repository of Simone and Pip pictures lately, but when they're cute as fuck, how can I resist?


He tried to sleep with me like that last night and ended up getting hairs in my already-sexy mouth guard.(I have bruxism.) In fact, I had headaches and neckaches all last week and was thinking that it was because of my new contacts, so I switched to glasses, but the aches remained. I'm thinking now it was probably the result of clenching my teeth all night long.

The contacts are a pain in the ass, too. I needed a semi-custom lens for my right eye because the astigmatism basically makes my eye lopsided, so the contact won't stay in place. So I have a special giant contact that is supposed to be more stable, except it's not all that much more stable. My vision is really a lot better with glasses, but I don't like the way I look in glasses (mostly 'cause I can't wear mascara.) So I'm wearing the contacts to work anyway, which is exciting since due to the movement of the contact, my right eye's vision correction changes constantly - sometimes it's good and matches the left eye, sometimes it's not so good and I've got one eye seeing things blurrily and one eye seeing things sharply. It's awesome to look at excel spreadsheets when you're seeing double outlines all day, I can tell you. But I've been reading Oliver Sacks and I know the brain is super flexible so I think it ought to be able to re-map so I no longer notice a difference in focus. My left eye is much more severe than my right, so in the years before I had glasses, I used my right eye for distance and my left eye for close up work. Not consciously, of course, my brain just did it. So I think it ought to be able to adapt to the one consistent focus and the one inconsistent focus. And it is starting to happen. But my eyes do get tired towards the end of the day, I have to say.

17 November 2008

Random Yo La Tengo Songs for Monday

Stockholm Syndrome:

I apologize for the Final Fantasy video - it had the best sound quality of all the clips I could find on YouTube.

Mr. Tough

This song always makes me laugh because the vocals sound like Herbert the Pervert from Family Guy (below).

16 November 2008

caturday love fest

I know it's Sunday today but I took these pictures yesterday. We've had such a nice weekend just hanging out. It's been so frigging long since we've actually seen each other for more than ten minutes at a time. I have bread that's gonna be ready to go in the oven any minute and we were lazy and took a nap this afternoon. I'm so relaxed. Wish tomorrow wasn't Monday, but oh well.


She's grooming him while he nurses. She's not producing milk any more (thank god) but he still latches on for comfort, even though he's not very small any more.

I like how she has her paw flung over his shoulder here.

Luv. We haz it.

10 November 2008

Pink Hair and cat pictures

So, new hair:


It's red and blonde highlights really. I told the hairdresser to do whatever he wanted - he's been doing my hair for a while - and that I wanted something really funky. I'm pretty happy with the results.


Also, Simone likes orange juice, which is funny since cats are supposed to hate citrus. I guess no one told her. She still loves green olives, too. I was eating some this weekend and she kept begging and ate all that I would give her. Weirdo.


I think she's cleaning the OJ out of his mustache.


Pip was not really sure about the orange juice, but I think he might grow to like it, with time.


Pip is growing into such a big boy. He's just about Inty's size right now but with those big paws, he won't be for long.

05 November 2008

Internet nerdation and more about the cats

This is fun: Google Street View easter egg on a Pittsburgh street. Google Street View, if you don't use it already or disapprove of it on grounds of invasion of privacy, is the ability to zoom in to a particular street at eye level. It's not on every street everywhere in the world, but their US coverage can be impressively good, especially in major urban areas. I think it's kind of a silly project, myself - the only use for it that I could think of is checking out the street in front of a restaurant you've never been to before. But hey, there are probably uses for lots of things that I haven't thought of, and Google does put out a lot of stuff because they think it's cool or interesting and they figure they'll figure out how to make money off it later - their acquisition of YouTube is a good example of that policy, although digital video fingerprinting technology might soon mean that YouTube could actually make a buck.

But, uh, enough about that internet tech stuff, I know you're all dying for me to talk about Simone's butt again. My blog stats show that apparently a lot of people do keyword searches for cat butt problems. Heh.

Anyway, so Simone went to the vet on Monday for an upper respiratory infection, which she's prone to anyway. They think that at this point, it's not a cold so much as a secondary bacterial infectin (I think that means she has a sinus infection.) The poor thing had taken to breathing through her mouth, which, since cats don't generally pant, was a sad sight to see - her pink tongue kind of lying there like a slice of bologna. So while she was at the vet getting diagnosed (and weighed - she's lost .8 pounds! Which means, hurrah, the diet is working!) - anyway, while she was at the vet they had to take her temperature, which she did NOT like and in fact squirted juice from her anal glands all over the place to express her displeasure.

I am a bad person but since Dave was the one who took her, I laughed my ass off when he got to that part of the story. I guess she stunk so much even in her carrier that everyone in the waiting room was wrinkling their noses while Dave paid.

But wait, the fun's not over yet! Since then she has been leaving slimy brown trails everywhere she sits. I am just thankful for Shout - I don't know what they put in that shit and it's probably toxic for the environment, but it certainly gets stains out of the duvet cover, which is good since I can't afford jack this month and replacing a duvet covet is not an option - nor do I want to sleep under a stinky stained one. Meanwhile, we are working to ensure every piece of soft furnishing in our house is draped in plastic sheeting. Just like Grandma used to do! And now she gets meds in the morning, plus a butt wipe, which doesn't seem to do much good - I'm torn between the advisability of getting a Q-Tip up in there or just putting her in diapers. Or maybe giving her back to the SPCA. "I'm sorry, this cat has a serious design flaw, I'd like a refund." Kidding! Sort of. She's pretty fucking gross. If she wasn't so sweet-natured and googly-eyed I would totally be mad at her, but how can I be angry at those (slightly crossed) eyes?


But there is hope ahead. I think the main problem with the anal glands is that she's so obese she's unable to reach down there and lick it off for herself, and since the diet is working, maybe in a couple of months she'll be thin enough to keep herself clean. It's sad to watch her try to clean her nether regions, she kind of reaches down and grabs pawfuls of tummy fat and tries to get them closer to her mouth but she's still like, three inches away. She reminds me of myself in yoga class, actually, trying to get into a twist when I've got too much tummy fat to really get into the pose properly. Too bad I don't have a beneficient owner to restrict my food - no, I have to exercise plain old willpower, which I think we've seen is not one of my skills. Le sigh.

04 November 2008

Not political

I've had this theme song stuck in my head for a couple of months now. I loved Heathcliff.

02 November 2008

new camera

I've been playing with the new camera for a couple of weekends now but I only just found the software (it was, um, in the box) and got some pictures downloaded onto the computer. Finally! Mostly the pictures following are of the cats and pretty colored leaves. I did not test the macro properties by taking a picture of Simone's snotty nose to share with you - the poor thing has a respiratory infection. Which means one of us has to take time off work to get her to the vet this week (totally kicking myself for not taking her yesterday.) She is all sneezy and sniffly, poor thing.

Simone in happier times - posing with a slice of my pesto bread

Pip's nursing face. Simone is no longer producing milk but he still suckles sometimes for comfort.

Zoe hasn't died yet, as you can see. The only reason she let Pip get that close to her was because she didn't notice him. She fucking hates him!

Inty sharpening her claws, not like they need it. I can really tell from this picture how much better the new camera is (it's an Olympus Evolt E-510. I'm not totally thrilled with everything about it but I'm still learning how to use it. Still, cameras can't replace eyeballs - I take a lot of shots that I think will be great because my brain is only paying attention to one thing, and then find that the picture inside the camera is a compositional mess. Also the camera isn't smart about depth perception and light balance the way my eyeballs are. So a lot of what I need to learn is the limitations of the tool, so I can drive it better.)

Even the projects near our house get pretty light at certain times of the day.

Cemetary near our house, where I often go for walks. A hobo lived there this summer but when I was there taking pictures recently, the hobo's hut seemed to have been demolished.

I don't know what the religious meaning of this statue is, but I really like the round cheeks.

Glorious reds.

Rip Van Winkle

Still jealous of the foot tattoos.

Sometimes Somerville is so beautiful that it breaks my heart a little.

I always sort of imagined that the thorny hedge outside of Sleeping Beauty's castle looked like this in the fall. I have no idea what this plant is but it's fairly common around here, and has evil sharp thorns. While I was taking pictures the plant totally tried to grab me. It probably wanted to drag me inside and scratch me to death so I could fertilize its roots or something.

Scary Mary. You see why I love Somerville so much? Not only are there Madonnas in bathtubs outside every other house, but people decorate them with shrunken heads and cobwebs for Halloween. What's not to like about that?