Monday, June 27, 2005

Armadillo's Story

I was always an Adjutant (administrative officer) in the Marine Corps. It was my assigned Military Occupational Specialty from the beginning. As there was almost always a shortage of “real” adjutants, unfortunates were often placed in the adjutant role of their unit for a year or so. These temporary adjutants were the bane of my professional existence. The paperwork they forwarded to our headquarters was usually late and/or incorrect. I spent a disproportionate amount of time with these officers, directing them to the appropriate references so that they could “fix themselves.” Some of them even had the gall to argue with me. One such adjutant was Lieutenant Mike C. We exchanged many heated emails.

After a few months of animosity, Mike surprised me by bringing me a gift when he returned from leave to his home state of Texas. He gave me a small, stuffed armadillo with a magnet glued to its belly. The armadillo wore a red bandanna on its neck and a red cowboy hat on its head. I kept the armadillo at my desk until I left the service. I am still puzzled by the gifting, because we were never on friendly terms.

A few years later, I moved here, to Cincinnati. My Mike (not Mike C) and I adopted kitty Cleo. After I removed the magnet, Armadillo became one of her favorite toys. She loved to bite one end and attempt to tear out his entrails with her back claws. In May, we brought home Mr. Tibbs and he appropriated all the cat toys. He, too, spends time disemboweling Armadillo. In his vicious attacks, he managed to remove Army’s, once firmly glued, hat.

All is not lost, though, because Mimi finds the hat itself an entertaining toy. She stalks the tiny red hat and bats it around our hardwood floors. (Ever tolerant, she allowed me to photograph her wearing it!)

Armadillo has gone from souvenir to beloved cat toy. Mike C., I hope you aren’t in a horrible adjutant billet any longer and I’m sorry I was such a queen bitch. Thank you for the armadillo. I’ll never know why you gave it to me, but it’s been thoroughly enjoyed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Do-It-Yourself Castration

Mike grew up on a hobby farm. His family raised everything from peacocks to cows to American Eskimos. His stories are always entertaining and often crude. For example, while they were in the pig business, he helped castrate the male piglets. He held the pig down on its back, with its hind legs splayed. His mother, the surgeon, would make two small incisions near the pig’s hind end and pop out the testicles. His account makes it sound as simple as squeezing a ripe pimple.

Recently, while discussing the cost of getting Mr. Tibbs fixed, he told me that his family neutered their kittens too. (The farm included a Persian cattery at one point.) According to Mike, the treatment of cats was a little more humane. First, they put the kittens in a working refrigerator. Then, after the kittens were sedated from the cold and lack of air, they were given the piglet treatment. Supposedly, it was less traumatic after the “anesthesia.”

After allowing me to be completely horrified for a few days, he revealed that, although the pig story was true, the kitten neutering was just a spontaneous lie. You see, his newest hobby is telling outrageous stories to see who will fall for them. I was his latest victim.

Last night, when I arrived home, Mike had already left for Frisbee. Cleo greeted me in the driveway and Mimi in the house. Strangely, Mr. Tibbs was no where to be found. I began searching the house, calling his name. Soon I heard a faint meowing. Following the sound, I moved to the kitchen. I opened the back door, thinking Tibbs had escaped outside. He wasn’t there…and the meowing was coming from my left, the refrigerator. Gasping, I pulled open the fridge door and Mr. Tibbs came bounding out. He was very cold and frightened, but didn’t seem to be suffering from a lack of oxygen. I frantically cuddled him until he warmed up. His precious little ears and paws were the last to lose the chill. He was soon his crazy little Tibbie self again, but a little sticky with food residue.

Although I was dismayed to find Tibbs in the refrigerator, I wasn’t surprised. He’s been hopping in there to explore every time we open the door. Knowing that Mike isn’t terribly observant, it isn’t unbelievable that Mr. Tibbs slipped in unnoticed and was then trapped. Still, I can’t help wondering if Mike was trying to save us the 50 bucks it would cost to have the vet fix Tibbers by doing it ourselves.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ma-ma-ma-MY Dakota

Typically, when people talk of movie stars they LOVE, they mean either (1) a hottie they find sexually attractive or (2) a hottie they wish they were. The actress I LOVE is neither. I don’t want to be her or date her. I want to steal her and take her home and make her mine. It’s Dakota Fanning.

My goodness, was there ever a cuter, more talented child?* She made me bawl in Uptown Girls and freaked me out in Hide and Seek. One glimpse of her face in the coming attractions for War of the Worlds made me that much more excited for June 29th to arrive.

I admit that I sound like a stalker, but if she is ever lost in my neighborhood, she might not make it home. How much brainwashing do you think it would take to convince her that she is my little girl?

*Besides Pixie Poopnog, of course

Friday, June 03, 2005

Written on a Building on Vine St

Today's graffiti, spotted from the bus:

"Love don't cast a thing."

It boggles my mind that there is someone out there who cannot spell "cost." Is there some hidden meaning in using the word "cast" that I am missing?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Skirt Never Lies

It can no longer be avoided. I’ve got to start eating better. This morning, I put on my most formfitting skirt, and it doesn’t fit my form. When I walk, it creeps up and bunches around my waist in a desperate effort to contain my swaying buttocks. When I sit, the waistband threatens to bisect my middle. I avoid the scale and believe that jeans temporarily shrink a size after washing. The dry-clean only skirt, though, tells the bitter truth.

I’ve definitely been indulging lately. We’ve been through three pies in the last two months – marionberry, apple crumb, and cherry. (Mike detests any sort of “berry” pie, so guess who ate all of the marionberry variety.) To celebrate our recently purchased grill, I’ve eaten hotdogs at least three times a week. They weren’t fat-free dogs either; it takes some grease to get the wieners good and blackened. After describing my favorite sandwich (peanut butter/butter/honey) to a coworker a few weeks ago, I’ve found myself eating one a day.

I can reduce my pie, hotdog, and pb/b/h consumption, but what I’ll miss most is my daily donut. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I eat one every single work day morning. To my credit, I only eat one variety, and if it’s not available, I’ll pass the donut tray. When it’s there, though, I can’t resist the raspberry-jelly-filled, vanilla-frosted treat. The sugar jolts me awake more effectively than a cup of tea. Its doughy texture and greasy aroma soothe my frustration at spending yet another day inside staring at a computer screen. Once, I had two in one day; it was a rough day at work.

So, hello water, fresh fruits and veggies, and lean meat. Good-bye pie, good-bye hotdogs, goodbye pb/b/h, good-bye *sob* *sob* donuts. My skirt can no longer contain you. And it's too short for giant underpants.