Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A short story, or, sometimes cats are dumb.

Francis, feline though he may be, is fascinated by water. He loves nothing more (besides looking out the window) than drinking out of the running sink. He watches in fascination while I am washing dishes (this may be more because this action is so rare due to lack of dishwasher that he is shocked by it.) He waits patiently each morning (sometimes batting at the curtain or sticking his head in to signal that he is losing patience) while I shower so that he can explore the empty tub. Ordinarily, I let him hop in there after I'm done, he walks around, attacks the shower curtain a little, and leaves.

I must provide the caveat that my tub is currently draining slower than it ought - I need to get some draino. But that is not the point of this tale. So I have recently just been shoo-ing him away from the shower til all the water is drained out. (You might be able to see where this is heading.)

So this morning while I am brushing my teeth, Francis manages to sneak into the bathroom undetected, thanks to his cat stealth. (*shout out to anyone who remembers the episode of the O.C. where Seth gets drunk and then claims to be "stealth" before falling across Ryan's car.) I am brushing away happily when I hear the following:


Curiousity, as they say, kills the cat - or, in this case, severely dampens him. I turned to see that Francis was frozen halfway between sitting and standing, with an expression on his face that said "what the..." (Not that he should have been surprised at the outcome of his decision given his usual habit of staring into the tub at the water draining before leaping in. As noted in the title, cats are sometimes dumb.)

He then attempted to sit, acting as though he had meant to jump into a giant puddle. He quickly reconsidered this and decided to try and get his footing to leap out, but the water made this a real challenge. By this point I had rinsed the toothpaste out of my mouth (didn't want to swallow the stuff and be poisoned - priorities) and got a towel to capture the cat, who lept from the tub into said towel. I then spent ten minutes rubbing him with the towel, then drying his tail, legs, and half his tummy with the hairdrier (in attempt to prevent damage to our new white bedspread.) You can imagine how much we both enjoyed this.

I didn't even bother trying to explain why I was slightly late to work this morning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smiles all around

This story from cnn.com made me so happy I just had to post it. It contains:

A) minor league baseball players
B) old people in assisted living homes
C) general happiness and delight

Hope it makes your day like it did mine!

It's almost Friday, right?

Big Red is great chewing gum. At least as far as flavor is concerned. But am I the only one that feels like I'm causing real damage to the interior of my mouth every time I chew it? I think there's gums missing now. I mean, there are pictures of flames on the package, maybe they're being literal.

A second ago I was looking at my to-do list, and realized it was kind of funny. It says the following:

-Zoo --> photo of Hank the chimp
-Little Richard
-Photos of "stars" for Dancing with the Stars Chattanooga
-Pops on the River --> calendar (fireworks pic.?)

One might easily fall under the impression that I'm running a three-ring circus. Especially when combined with the fact that there are high school baseball and softball players strutting around in the hallways in their uniforms.

Last night I went up to my friend Katie's [gorgeous] house because she's started selling Stella & Dot jewelry, which you do by having little parties. The jewelry is SO cute (see below) and the prices are great. I don't know if when you order from the website you can like put in a sales rep.'s name, but if you order some tell them Katherine Watson sent you!

Short one today, but that's about all I've got...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Francis update

For those of you who are eager to see Francis in his altered state, I have to say that we went conservative and he ended up getting just a trim, as opposed to the full-on lion cut. I know. I was a little disappointed too, but in retrospect, I don't think his hair is fluffy enough for a lion cut to be truly impressive. But we might try it out next summer. My boss was very disappointed that I did not bring in photos of his new 'do, but really, if you're not used to looking at him it probably isn't very remarkable. He kind of looks like this now:

(This is not Francis, but a cat very similar to him in regards to color and current hair style.)

He now just pretty much looks like a short-haired cat, except his tail which is still long and fluffy (by request.) He's got such a lovely tail and he loves to unfurl it and parade around with it waving behind him, I would have hated for it to be reduced to a creepy rat-esque state. He looks much slimmer now, which I am pleased about because he is more kitten-like. And the choppy nature of a cat haircut is still kind of funny to look at. I'll attempt to post some actual Francis photos later.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Friday Afternoon Post

Ahh, Friday. Friday has such a festive air about it - it's like a small version of that feeling of joy and anticipation you have on the last day of school before summer break. It helps if the day is sunny and delightful. This Friday, at least in Chatt-town, cannot seem to make up its mind. It's cloudy and grey, wait - no the sun is shining, was that thunder? now it's monsooning, now it's clear and sunshiney again & not a cloud in the sky, oh wait - cloudy again. So tricky, weather. Making my Friday feeling fluctuate.

Today is the day for young Francis the cat to get his hairs cut. I know, I know. But he's got this really long thick coat, and lately he's taken to sleeping either on the cool tiles in the kitchen or on top of the glass coffee table, directly under the ceiling fan. Given my window air conditioners, and the fact that I run them as little as possible because I am cheap, I fear that he is sweltering. He is bearing it nobly, only kind of complaining, but I feel bad for him. So, I went to his vets at the Cat Clinic (they also groom - these people REALLY like cats) to consult, and they recommended a cut.

Now, when we were in middle and high school, Lisa Swafford (now Vanderwall) and her family had a cat whose name was Kristen Faith Swafford. Kristen was one of those real kinds of cats, and she had big blue eyes and beautiful luxurious white fluffy fur. Very long white fluffy fur. Every spring, Kristen would get her long fluffy fur shorn so that she would not spontaneously combust in the heat of a southern summer. She was moderately stand-off-ish when she had her full coat, but after her trim, I remember she just acted embarrassed. She would skulk around the edges of a room, and hide behind furniture when possible. No one could catch her. Her cut looked something like this:
(this is not Kristen, but the photo of someone called misplacedparadox on flickr.)

As you can see, this look could be somewhat amusing. Maybe not for the cat, but for the owner and other humans. I wasn't sure about committing to something this drastic though (what if instead of funny Francis ended up looking like a giant bald rat?) I ended up telling them just to give him a trim, which they said is sometimes hard to make look normal, and if it looks weird, go ahead with the full-on lion. I am very interested to see what he looks like/if he still speaks to me when I go pick him up after work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday? Already?

Wow, I have been sort of bad at blogging this week. Sometimes I just can't think of anything particularly interesting to write about. I suppose I should be more disciplined in making myself think of things. That wasn't interesting. Rats.

First I suppose I should issue congratulations to Lucy, who has stepped it up to the big leagues (literally) by independently making her way across Claire and Reid's living room. Please see yeahweblog.com for video footage of this historic event.

So, you know what my lack of creative thought means...


1527 - German troops began sacking Rome, bringing about the end of the Renaissance. The Germans immediately regretted this, saying "OH you said RENAISSANCE...we thought you said ghosts and plagues...sorry..." No one really believed this excuse.

1682 - King Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, France. This, you may recall, included pretty much all nobles, so that he could keep an eye on everyone. It also made it possible for him to constantly humiliate these people into submission by making them do silly things like pretend to be foxes so he could practice hunting on horses. (Ok, I made that up, but he did make them do lots of silly things for this purpose.) He later moved back to Paris, complaining "there's just not enough closet space."

1856 - Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was born in Freiberg, Moravia (present-day Pribor, Czech Republic). Through analysis, he realized this had something to do with his mother. And probably his father, too.

1882 - The U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years. It was finally repealed after Congress realized they were being huge jerks.

1915 - Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run while playing for the Boston Red Sox. "Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world." High five, Babe Ruth!

1937 - the hydrogen-filled German dirigible Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., a tragic event made doubly sad by the loss of the world "dirigible" from every day conversation.

1954 - Roger Bannister became the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes, finishing in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds during a track meet in Oxford, England. I mean, that's fast.

1960 - U.S. President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960. Now everybody likes Ike.

1981 - A jury of international architects and sculptors unanimously selected Maya Ying Lin's entry for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Her design was originally created for a class project at Yale, for which she received a B. Her professor also submitted a design for the memorial, and was clearly not selected. Something to keep in mind.

2004 - The final episode of "Friends" aired on NBC. 20-somethings the world over sang "So no one told you life was gonna be this way..." through their tears.

2009 - By celebrating his birthday, George Clooney becomes the hottest 48-year old in the world.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Friday Afternoon Post

Yesterday when I was getting off the elevator on my floor (yes, I know, I should take the stairs) the elevator landed, and the doors slid open to reveal one of the department heads who is an older man, probably in his sixties. He was standing, prepared to board the elevator, wearing grey slacks, a lavender dress shirt, lavender and blue patterned bowtie (the real kind) and tortoise framed glasses, holding in his hand a gigantic cigar. This vision clearly made my day.

There is, of course, no smoking inside our building, but he was going downstairs to the sidewalk. I told one of my bosses about the delightful vision I had just seen, and he said "oh yeah, if you walk to lunch, you'll probably see him just strolling down the sidewalk smoking his cigar, looking like he owns the city." I have always thought this department head was just swell, mainly because of the bowties and the glasses (which he wears regularly), but now I like him even more. Someone who's good at fiction should write a short story or something about this image because I just love it. Too bad Scott Fitzgerald isn't around.

(For a peek into the life of a famous Chattanooga bowtie-wearer and his ice cream empire, see this month's magazine!)

Today is May Day, being the first day of May, which of course brings to mind May Day at GPS, one of my favorite traditions. This event honoring seniors, pretty dresses, and old school activities such as dancing around the May pole (see below photo, not of GPS but from some website called victoriantraditions.com) is fun for everyone, pretty much, except for the grounds crew who spend like a month worrying about whether it will rain on May Day and then if it does, coming up with innovative ways to try and dry out the grass. It is also not fun for male teachers at GPS, who for the most part think it is ridiculous. I, of course, think it is fantastic and feel lucky to have gone to a school with long-lasting and fun traditions. Having hung out with Babs in her capacity as YoungLife leader a little bit, I am happy to say that I've met this year's May Queen and she strikes me as a genuine delight.

In other news, my parents reported to me last night that in watching the local news the night before, they learned a valuable tip regarding transport in Tunnel Hill, Georgia (a nearby town.) Don't drive your horse drunk. Two men were apparently arrested after officers responded to neighbors complaints that they were riding recklessly. After being released from jail on bond, the men supposedly sold the horses immediately because (according to my parents, this is a quote from one of the men) the only reason they had bought the horses in the first place was to ride them when they were too drunk to drive. My stepdad says that the son of one of the men said on the news that he didn't understand why they'd been arrested, because they'd ridden the horses before when they were "a whole lot drunker than they was last night." Ahh, song of the south.

And people say television news is always bad news.