Monday, November 28, 2005

haiku in comments/a joy to behold on this/holiday weekend

I'd make a real post, but I'm busy this week reading Harry Potter and the Goblins of Fire in hopes that it will clarify the movie for me somewhat. Up til now, it's been pretty easy to grasp what's going on in the films without having first read the books (I've been playing catch-up since the first film) but this one had me stymied in spots. So while I read this phonebook of a novel, you all can read the best of the haiku left in my last comments field:

Thanks so much, Cathy
Happy Thanksgiving

Not having turkey--
Pad Thai and eggrolls instead.
Pass me the sake!

There is snow here too.
I don't expect it to last.
Sunday, it will melt.

From Andy, Whose Poem Made Me Laugh the Hardest
Not eating til three!?
How will I survive til then?
If only I'd known

From M, Who Fought the Good Fight
Ate too much turkey:
Fighting to stay vertical,
Pry eyelids open

Four-day weekend, four-
Day weekend, four-day weekend.
Oh! Four-day weekend.

The benefits of
My dinner is PIE!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Haiku

First snow of the year
the day before Thanksgiving?
The world is ending.

Frozen potatoes,
already mashed? Why not just
shoot me here and now?

Pumpkin pie, staple
of everyone's Thanksgiving
(I like cherry more)

Best china gleams on
tablecloth—one orange paw tugs
and all is laid waste

Cat took my pencil
Maybe HE should be writing
Thanksgiving haiku.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Things My New Cat Has Eaten in Recent Weeks Without My Permission

Oatmeal. Raisin Bran. Tomato Soup. Spaghetti (raw.) Milk. Lemonade. Apple cider. A rubber band. A potato. Solid beef fat from leftover pot roast. A tiny piece of paper. Brown rice with salmon furikake. Brown rice without salmon furikake. Pulled pork. Celery. Powdered sugar. Cherry preserves. Goat cheese. A crouton.

Things My New Cat Has Not Eaten:


Obviously, the only way to protect my food is to live on coffee. This cat is amazing, he's the most politely aggressive eater I've ever met. The reason I say polite is because he purrs like an 8 cylinder engine while gently pushing my hand out of the way so he can stick his head in my soup bowl. I put him on the floor, he jumps back up. I put him down, he gets back up. I take my bowl in hand to hold it out of his reach and he crawls into my lap, purring, and causes me to spill a half a can of tomato soup onto my jeans and the couch/futon beneath them. (A lesson against couch-dining, I know, but the dining room is untenable at the moment, and I was watching "Animal Cops: Detroit" at the time.) In further unfairness, not a drop of soup landed on him during that debacle. When I got back to the couch, pantless, with a wet towel, there he was happpily licking soup off the rug and purring to beat the band. I know this is because he was a stray for most of his young life and survived by eating anything and everything.... but his eclectic tastes in food are over the top. He went out of his way to drag a small boiled potato out of the trash, eat a few bites of it, and then leave it--not on the kitchen floor! oh no--but on the stairs. For me to step on in the morning. A few weeks ago he was on a cleaning-supplies kick; he found the cupboard in the downstairs bathroom where I keep that stuff, and every morning around 4 he'd bounce into my bed holding some random item, then sit there happily chewing on the package until I took it and put it out of reach. Once it was vacuum cleaner bags. Once it was Scotchbrite sponges. I can't imagine what he was trying to tell me by this--and at 4 in the morning, I'm not so open to criticisms of my housekeeping skills by someone who also happens to be a major supplier of cat hair to the cleanliness equation...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The Latin word lavo, lavare means "to wash." So lavaphobia, logically, would be the fear of washing. Washing oneself, washing the dishes, washing the smudges off the woodwork.... all terrifying. I can relate. But that's actually not the type of lavaphobia I'm thinking of today. I'm thinking more, fear of perishing in a wave of molten rock.

When I was about 6 or 7, I saw a PBS special about Pompeii, the Italian city that disappeared in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It would not be exaggerating to say that I was paralyzed with fear from watching this. The fact that the odds of being destroyed by a volcano in central Indiana are....well, below zero.... had no mollifying effect on my terror. I was particuarly moved to tears by the plaster cast of the dog writhing in agony; the sight of animals in peril upsets me more than just about anything I can think of. So I went to bed that night (and every night for about two months) petrified that some heretofore unknown midwestern volcano would snuff out everything I knew in an instant. Perfectly reasonable, in my mind.

I haven't had a nightmare about volcanoes in quite some time. But tomorrow, I'm headed up to Chicago for an alumni function at the Art Institute; my goal for the afternoon is to get to the Field Museum's current exhibit: Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption. I'm really looking forward to it; the lavaphobic kid is now a grownup with degrees in history and art history, and Pompeii is a unique snapshot of life at the height of the Roman Empire. And still, somewhere deep down, it's gonna creep me the hell out. I know it.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Three for the Price of One

So the thing about being a bike commuter is, how do you dress for success? It was easy when I was working at the zoo; my fashionable Croc Hunter khakis were going to get dirty and sweaty by the end of the day anyhow. So it didn't matter if I arrived a little breathless and damp--no one noticed anyway, as my first action was to go out and sweep the walkways with a backpack blower, leading to early wrinkling and sweating. (And if it wasn't the blower, it was mowing the wedding garden. Oh, those were the days, cutting the verdant grass in perfectly ordered stripes! Mowing my own lawn is never so satisfying.) But now I'm interning at an art museum, and it's a whole different ball of wax. Thankfully I don't have to wear panty hose; but I do have to wear grown-up clothing, which for me is usually a collared shirt, nice pants, shoes that require occasional polishing, and sometimes a sweater. When it was still warm, I'd wear a t-shirt and carry my "good" shirt in in my backpack, and change clothes on arrival; kind of icky, having a soggy shirt sitting in my backpack during the rest of the day, but it's not like I have a locker in my cubicle. And as the weather gets colder and more clothes are required, the good clothes get all crunched up in the backpack, and I end up looking even doofier than usual even after I change. So how do hard core bike commuters do it? Seriously, do they take a suit to work in their gym bag? Do they have a whole wardrobe of clean business clothes in their cubicles? And what do they do with the sweaty stinky stuff? I had this quandary at school, too, because I was biking down to my TA gig every week before it got rainy, and I'd worry that I was grossing out the impressionable undergrads by either a) continuing to wear the soaked shirt, or b) changing in the bathroom, then having a stinky soaked shirt in my bag with my notebooks and junk. It's a puzzlement.

The trip to the Adirondacks was great! I was going to put my pics on Flickr, but then realized that since most of them contain people who might not necessarily want their pictures up on the internet, and decided against it. I suppose I could ask everyone if they care. At any rate, it was splendiferous, though cold and raining 80% of the time. Leaves were beautiful, house was cozy, and we spent our time (gasp!) playing games. Oh, and eating cheese. Everyone brought some food to share, and everyone's food included cheese--so we had about 10 different kinds of exotic cheeses, and they formed a major part of our diets for all three days. It took some time to recover.

Movie Prom was an event sponsored by a local film company called ANC, as a venue for showing 6 of their short films from the last year or two. They held it in the church where Rev. Jim Jones used to officiate, before he embarked on his one-way trip to nutsville, so it was hard to pass up the event! (It's not a church any more, of course. We weren't milling around the pews and picking up cyannide-laced hymnals or anything.) So we all got dressed up in formalwear, went out to dinner, and headed to prom! And let me tell you it was a vast improvement on my own prom. (This was a general sentiment, actually--does anyone have a good time at prom? No one I've ever talked to about it did. All five people in our gang who went to this had "my prom sucked" stories, if I recall correctly.) Of the 6 shorts, 3 were really good and funny, 2 were kind of dull, and 1 was incomprehensible. Not a bad record, really! We got our pictures taken under a balloon arch--very prommy!--and ate rice crispy treats in prom colors, and then..... A raffle for a part in their next film, won by ****drum roll**** YERS VERY TRULY! Yep, I get to be in a movie! Sometime. In the next year. Maybe. I hope. I'm genuinely excited, I never win stuff like that. So it was a great event, thumbs up to ANC!

Ok, so this wasn't the most insightful or witty post I've written, but it did take care of all my neglected topics from the previous post. My finger's healing fine, so all's right with the world.