Friday Cat Blogging: Love Is In the Air Edition

Surely a sign of the End Times. Princess Drusy leeeks Mrs. Topaz and Mrs. Topaz permits this leeeking. Check for buggy Horsemen!

For the first time in more than a week, the Blogging Gods have permitted the uploading of a new image from my camera at my house. I can’t explain that. “Computers are trying to kill us,” says Siobhan. While I can’t put forth a cogent argument, I suspect computers may be peevishly trying to at least inconvenience. It’s raining outside. Since our satellites are spying on us, couldn’t they email and tell me where I left my damn umbrella?

Even so, no rain over New Jersey dampens my mood. Love is in the air!

I have no words for the joy this brings me, so I’ve spent the day squealing gleefully. In comments, Jill asked a question I can’t answer, though my curiosity is piqued.

After having to deal with mousies in my basement celotex ceiling (and having no assurance that some aren’t still there, I’m concerned about anything that’s going to attract vermin…that’s the one reason I haven’t bought a composter. I think about it, though, every time I cut the stems out of the swiss chard. Of course I could just toss it in the bushes in the backyard for the bunnies, but would they find them? And will they care about the sand?

Since we’ve already determined my friends know all, what do you think, happy friends? Bunnies?

Women Stand Around

Sometimes, I forget to shut up. My office is populated by people of all stripes over the voting age. One is very young and gives off the factory scent of New Co-Worker.

Tata: Whatcha doin’?
Kim: Poking holes in a plastic lid with a bendy plastic fork.
Tata: Wouldn’t you enjoy using scissors?
Kim: I’d have to clean the scissors.
Tata: That’s vandalizing ancient state property! You’ll use those scissors rust and all, young lady.
Kim: What’s for lunch?
Tata: Soup, though today I crave grilled cheese.
Kim: They make grilled cheese at the student center.
Tata: I avoid going over there. I meet people I’d prefer not to. Dated the whole town, you know.
Kim: You could make grilled cheese in the microwave.
Tata: I…no.
Kim: But if you went across the street you could get one of those delicious cookies at Au Bon Pain.
Tata: I bake my own at home and so could you.
Kim: Our oven died kind of a slow death and we never replaced it. It was from the sixties.
Tata: So am I. Do you have a toaster oven?
Kim: No.
Tata: What?
Kim: Sometimes I boil something on the stove.
Tata: How does your family cook?
Kim: We don’t.
Tata: (Nervous now) I’m sorry, what do you eat?
Kim: Microwaveable stuff and takeout.
Tata: That’s a very expensive way to live.

Was that MY mouth? Is it finally SHUT?

Kim: Sometimes my dad makes salads. I guess.
Tata: Salads are delicious. You can use all kinds of vegetables.
Kim: I don’t really like vegetables.

Damn it, I’m about to talk again. I can tell!

Tata: They’re so easy to prepare!
Kim: Like, what? Broccoli or asparagus? I had them once. I wouldn’t recommend them.

The hits just keep on coming!

Tata: You had broccoli once?
Kim: I hope my dad’s home tonight so he can help me make a salad for tomorrow’s picnic.

I snap. Not only do I snap, I really snap. I forget this is my co-worker I see every day and I draw breath to ask why in glamorous tarnation a college graduate needs assistance tearing lettuce when suddenly the microwave beeps and my soup within steams. The spell is broken and I exhale. She is uncrushed. Turning, I retrieve my soup and promise myself I will never again mention food to this person.

Then I eat soup filled with delicious carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, fennel and onions. Whew! That was close.

The Receiver I’ll Make You

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost my mind. CNN:

Catcalling – creepy or a compliment?

Catcalling a compliment? I’m fucking speechless.

“I call it street abuse,” says New York City filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West, 49. “It’s unwanted attention and invasion of space.”

In her 1998 documentary “War Zone,” Hadleigh-West confronted catcallers and filmed their responses. Many of the men literally ran away to avoid talking to her about why they whistled or made a provocative comment. The Department of Defense has used the film since 2002 to train branches of the military about issues surrounding sexual harassment and sexism in general, she says.

“Being in a public space with a strange man who is being sexually aggressive is potentially dangerous,” Hadleigh-West adds.

On the other hand, some women appreciate the attention in certain cases, like Jessica, a 31-year-old health-care educator in Los Angeles, who declined to use her last name to protect her privacy. “Yeah, it’s objectifying and all, but you know, if I walked down the street and didn’t have men looking me up and down and catcalling, I’d think, ‘Boy I must really be getting old and dumpy,'” she says.

Oh fuck you, just fuck you, collaborator. And while we’re at it, just fuck you for making it a little harder for everyone else. Besides that, fuck you. Guess I’m not totally speechless.

According to existing studies and her own findings, [researcher Holly] Kearl says, some men are simply ignorant about how their behavior is perceived. Kearl, who completed her thesis, “Direct Action, Education, Consciousness-Raising, Activism and the Internet: Methods for Combating Street Harassment,” last year, thinks posting on Web sites like HollaBackNYC is preferable to resorting to anger and violence.

“A lot of men have no idea that women don’t like being talked to in this way,” she says. “It never crosses their mind, and yelling doesn’t educate them. If you yell, they often don’t understand why you are upset and so they take it personally.”

Often, Kearl says, an assertive, clear response can illicit a kinder reaction than one expects.

“A lot of the time, I find guys will just say, ‘Oh, okay, I didn’t realize it made you feel that way. Thanks.'”

Men don’t know what? That women don’t like feeling afraid for their safety in public spaces? Of course, men know that. Men who catcall count on it. In two thousand-goddamn-eight, to say that men don’t understand the power imbalance that permits them to behave this way is to infantilize and excuse abusers and rapists, so fuck you, too. Fuck CNN for running that fucking headline on that fucked-up article. Fuck that writer for presenting a “balanced” picture of misogyny. I mean, fuck that.

That’s enough. I’m going to go drink something decaffeinated and try not to picture myself saying the same thing ten years from now, when douchebags still act surprised that women are human beings.

What You Touch You Don’t Feel

Yippee! New Ladytron, now playing on Altrok Radio, which reminds me of this pretty and pretty silly video for a hypnotic Ladytron song. Plainly, the record company got its Bjork on without a plan for the morning after.


Because I will never forget the sight of corpses floating through the fetid streets of New Orleans and will never forgive the people who exacerbated that still-roiling disaster, because I have $37.84 in my checking account until Friday, because a junta will do what a junta will do, the last 10 days have ground me to a fine powder. I look as fabulous as I feel, so at least it’s not my little secret. On the other hand, an employer may demonstrate a certain impatience when you call out under the weather due to a cyclone in Myanmar. What’s a gal to do?

It’s important to remember, at shitty moments like this, giving money is not always the answer and while few of us can help in earthquake rescue efforts on the other side of the earth we can bring Good Works into the world. My favorite place to find Good ideas is Karama Neal’s So What Can I Do? I’m going to spend a little time there this morning rehabilitating my outlook, and I hope you’ll join me. Later, I may write a fan letter to the Black Oven for combining metal mythology and baked desserts in a charming post-Goth fashion, and I needed a good laugh. Tonight, Pete and I will shop for a composter, so we can make our own mulch, grow better vegetables and contribute less trash to landfill. We can’t buy the composter right now – $37.84 in checking – but we can plan.

Got Good plans? Let’s hear ’em.

You Eyes Of Blue

Chuan’s sisters, launching themselves briefly into unsuccessful orbit from this location on the Great Wall. No one was injured in this unfunded space program.

Astronauts of all kinds are heroes. It’s never too late to hold a spontaneous parade.

A Way To Walk That Says

All hail Princess Drusy of the jade green eyes, seen here counting sheep.

Friday morning, I got up with the alarm and padded to the bathroom, where I couldn’t lift the toilet lid and didn’t know why. When I opened my eyes, I could see a little black cat sitting on a black toilet lid cover, so I relocated said pussycat to the floor and used the commode. Then I did lots of things in my apartment that would have looked much like me holding still and sipping water for half an hour before my shower.

Siobhan: What is it you think I care about?
Tata: Hearing me make porpoise noises.
Siobhan: Two minutes. Go.
Tata: This morning, I found a dead snake and a happy cat in my bathroom.
Siobhan: Imelda, hold my calls.
Tata: Right, so I said, “For me? Oh sweetheart, you shouldn’t have!” but it came out, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
Siobhan: Christ on a cracker! What did you do?
Tata: I squealed, “Pete, there’s a dead garter snake in the bathroom.” He said, “How big is it?” and I said, “About a foot.” He said, “Well, what are you gonna do about that?”
Siobhan: He’s got to know that according to the Boyfriend Rules, Section 6: Wildlife, paragraph 3: “The boyfriend removes non-pet reptiles and rodents from domestic precincts” and he’s in violation.
Tata: Yeah yeah, I said, “Omma get some tongs and toss it out the window.”
Siobhan: Was there much screaming?
Tata: I’m shocked you didn’t hear me in the next town. So I ran to the kitchen for a set of tongs but then I stood in the bathroom, paralyzed with ridiculous fright. Drusy took this opportunity to jump off the toilet lid and roll around on the dead snake, all “Look, Mama, I keeeellt it!” I almost yakked on my adorable indoor predator.
Siobhan: I might throw up for you!
Tata: Delegate that to your intern. So I picked up the snake with the tongs and it was so small it slipped out of the grip. I grabbed it again and kept saying, “Good kitty. Good kitty,” but that’s not really enough, you know? So I was all, “Pete, at least get in here and play Point & Laugh.”
Siobhan: It’s like he’s not your boyfriend!
Tata: It’s like he’s the boyfriend who knows I can take care of myself, but you’re half-right. Later, I said, “Dude, we have to review our roles in this relationship.” He got all, “Oh no! What am I doing wrong?” I said, “Next time I make sounds only bats hear because there’s a dead snake on the bathroom floor you better vault out of bed and take video.”

But the Earth Is All We Know

Despair, Inc.

Email can save your sanity.

Tata: Got any gum?
Darla: Nah, I’m trying to quit. Smoking cigarettes seems to help.

I haven’t lit a Lucky in three years but I might need a carton and an intervention after this.

The United Nations suspended relief supplies to Myanmar on Friday after the military government seized the food and equipment it [sic] had already sent into the country.

Earlier, in a statement, Myanmar’s military junta said it was willing to receive disaster relief from the outside world but would not welcome outside relief workers. Nearly one week after a devastating cyclone, supplies into the country were still being delayed and aid experts were being turned back as they arrived at the airport.

In the statement, the government said it would distribute international relief supplies itself.

Yes, and I am the Doublemint Twins, which makes it easier to turn the other cheek several times.

The U.N. World Food Program said on Friday it would resume aid flights to cyclone-struck Myanmar, despite the military government’s seizure of deliveries at Yangon airport.

“The World Food Program has decided to send in two relief flights as planned tomorrow, while discussions continue with the Government of Myanmar on the distribution of the food that was flown in today, and not released to WFP,” Nancy E. Roman, WFP’s communications director, said in a statement.

The U.N. food agency had previously said it would suspend aid flights over the seizure.

In other news, my appointment to get my long luxurious tresses re-blonded couldn’t be better timed. This evening, Carmelo and I will discuss great gobs of hilarious nothingness, which will prove theraputic and result in a certain shallow happiness for me. Otherwise, I might stay home and desperately quilt nicotene patches.

But You Don’t Wear No Perfume

Blogger has been giving me trouble again. I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, what is it about this painting of Johnny’s that I find utterly arresting? Got me! I can’t stop looking at it.

This morning, I wish I could post the scent on the breeze coming off the river and through the trees. Wait, hold your nose up really close to the monitor. No, closer! Closer! Smell it?

You’re So Unbelievable

George Vomvolakis, lawyer for accused stalker Jack Jordan, said,
“To me, her fear seems a little exaggerated.”

Clearly, women armed with kitana swords have nothing to fear from note-wielding schizophrenics besides paper cuts and copier jams but that’s beside the point. We live in a society where movie stars have the right to tantalize us with their super yumminess, far exceeding whatever yumminess non-movie stars can muster in these yumminess-deprived times – and yet we have no recourse to threaten suicide if they choose not to let us, individually, grab a spoon and slurp. I for one am outraged, but not as publicly outraged as the note-wielding schizophrenic’s lawyer, Mr. Vomvolakis, who over the weekend actually said into microphones – and here I must cut to the bone – har har! – until I can find supporting video – that while he supposed Miss Thurman might see his client’s behavior as threatening “no normal woman would.”

His mother must be so proud.

Correction: Video here. At :46 to the end, Mr. Vomvolakis says, “She may very well be a very sensitive person and thus was reacting the way she was. I don’t think that – that most people would have been – most women in that situation would have been reacting the way – the way she did.” Nice.