Friday, January 20, 2006

Super Heroes

I was in the locker room one morning when I heard one of the cutesy interviews with children they occasionally do on the family-friendly radio station that plays at the gym. The interviewer was asking children what super power they’d like to have. I can only remember one child’s response because it was so amazingly ludicrous that it wiped every other silly super power from my memory.

“Meat vision.”
“Meat vision?” asks the DJ.
“Meat vision. I could look at a house and see where all of the meat was.”

I imagine this somewhat like x-ray vision. Everything but meat becomes transparent. This kid would gaze at house and it would look like a faint blueprint to him, with glowing dots marking the meat in the kitchen refrigerator and the garage deep-freeze. As he rode down the street in his parent’s car, he’d suddenly be blinded by the meat glow from the supermarket and the butcher shop. I wish I could meet this kid and ask him some of my questions about meat vision.

“WHY?” Why in the world would you want this super power? Are this child’s parents vegetarians? Are they starving him? Does he just REALLY LIKE MEAT?

“Can he see raw meat? Cooked meat? Living meat (people and animals)?” What about meat dishes? Does the hamburger in lasagna give off a faint aura?

“What will he do with his super power?” Will he use it for good or evil? Will he eat the meat or distribute it to the meat-deprived of the world?

After telling Mike about this odd super power wish, he has declared that he has meat vision. For him, it seems to be raw and cooked meat, but not living meat. He doesn’t do anything with his talent, just yells about the meat he sees as we drive down Colerain. It’s especially dangerous when driving at night, because all that meat at Outback can be terribly bright.

I have a super power too: Headache Power. I can give Mike a headache with any number of methods: babbling, singing, dancing. Sometimes I can just stare at him and his head will begin to pound. I assume I can also inflict the same damage on people I’m not married to. Now I have something to do in the next department meeting.

Together, we are the FANTASTIC TWO. If we’re going for alliteration, I suppose you could call us the TERRIBLE TWO or the TERRIFIC TWO or the TYRANNICAL TWO. I’m not sure if we’re good or evil. I suppose it depends on your point of view. For now, we’re undecided and keeping our super powers under wraps.

Headache Girl, out.

The Incredibly Static Eyebrows

Yesterday, I received a package from my mother containing all my school photos and a few other childhood studio portraits. Aside from wondering whether I was being disowned, I had a grand time cringing at my old hairstyles and gloating over the few cute photos. It’s amazing to see how little I’ve changed. Yes, I’ve lost my snub nose and round cheeks, but I still have the same smile, eyes, and eyebrows. I find the eyebrow phenomenon very interesting. They grow in exactly the same pattern today as they did in kindergarten, only I now pluck them into submission. Track the amazing unchanging eyebrows yourself: I’ve update my Me, Me, Me photoset.

(I’ve also inserted new photos into the Original Four Sisters photoset, if you’d like to see pictures of my much less cute sisters. Just don’t stare too long at this hideous photo.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Like, You've Got Toothpaste Spooge Around Your Mouth

I don’t make regular New Year’s resolutions. The only one I recall making is also the only one I ever kept: to wash my delicates in a lingerie bag instead of subjecting them, unprotected, to the perils of the agitator and zippers. It’s a bit trivial of a resolution, but I can say that my underwear last much longer than they used to.

This year, I carefully considered resolutions for 2006. It took me the first 19 days of the year, but I’ve got four that I think I can live with:

1. Be more free with compliments. I tend to stare at someone’s new haircut/cute scarf/lovely brooch with silent envy. Instead, I will say something nice (and possibly find out where I can find one for myself!)

2. Tell people when they have something caught in their teeth/a booger hanging out of their nose/an open fly/etc. Again, I tend to stare instead of verbalize. This time, though, it isn’t jealousy. Instead, I stare at the offending item or condition until I am hypnotized beyond speech. I silently wonder how they could have left the house with their shirt buttoned all cock-eyed and stop paying any attention to the conversation. This year, I am going to jerk my eyes away, snap back to reality, and tell the person!

3. Make the bed on the weekends. I give up on the weekdays because there is a man in beneath the covers when I leave for work.

4. Eliminate “like” from my vocabulary, other than its use in a simile. I currently use it as a substitute for “said” (as in: “he was like ‘What are you staring at?’ and I was like ‘The toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe.’”) and as a valley-girl style filler word.

What are your (belated or not) resolutions for the New Year?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bear Makes Five!

Yes. The rumors are true. We now have five, five, five cats at once.

We picked up Bear from the humane society on Jan 2. We had been haunting the local shelters since mid December, looking for an orange, fluffy kitten. Somehow, I had set my heart on such a kitty and infected Mike with the same longing. After three weeks of searching, we found Bear and, despite the fact that he was neither orange nor a kitten, fell in love.

According to Mike, Bear, reclining on the metal shelf in his cage, looked just like Princess Leia in her cell when Luke comes to rescue her from the Empire’s clutches, just prior to her execution. I suppose it’s an apt metaphor, because Bear had been at the shelter for three weeks and was probably scheduled for termination in the near future. Mike was Bear's Jedi knight in shining armor. I suppose I was someone dorky like C3PO. According to the tag on his cage, Bear was dropped off at the pound not because he refused to cooperate with Darth Vader, but because his owner’s house was “too small.”

Bear was filthy and smelled much like the Empire's trash compactor when we brought him home. A thorough brushing removed much of the dirt, but it took a bath to rid him of the last of the pound filth. Now that he’s clean and eating a higher quality cat food, his fur is rapidly becoming fuller and silkier.

Bear is adjusting well to the other cats. He stays far away from Cleo (as all the cats do). The babies (Tibbs and Zoro) and he have made aborted attempts to engage each other in play. I believe they will all become playmates once they learn to trust each other. There are still territorial issues to be worked out, but we see some progress every day. It took almost six months for Cleo to recover from the introduction of Mr. Tibbs, so we’ve learned to be patient when introducing new cats.

I haven’t told too many people at work about our fifth cat for fear of being labeled “the cat lady.” It is an entirely justified label, but I still find it a little embarrassing. Isn’t that the first sign of addiction: attempting to hide the problem? If so, then Mike and I are cat junkies and blissfully content in our kitty-addled state.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 Photo Finish

Mike and I are creating our own holiday traditions. I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or even the solstice, so I have no history of traditions. I’m not sure what Mike’s excuse is, but he has no holiday sentimentalities either. Creating our own holiday practices is difficult and feels a little forced. I suspect it will take us many years to get it right.

One tradition that has stuck for the past three years is that of taking pictures with our Christmas gifts and sending the photos with our thank-you notes. I read of this idea years ago (before I started celebrating the holiday) as a nice way to show Aunt Mabel how that sweater she knitted looks on you. However, our pictures are generally not ones you’d show to Aunt Mabel. We try for funny “action” shots, but sometimes they get a bit raunchy – like the photo of the Bathroom Book in use (2004). I’m not sure if the gift-givers appreciate the pictures, but we have a lot of fun taking them. I actually fell on the floor laughing this year and my belly ached for days.

I’ve included a few photo highlights below, and the complete set for 2005 is available here. Happy Holidays!

Mike has turned to the dark side.

Chocolate monkster!

We are cat codependent. (Zoro did not enjoy posing for this photo.)