Monday, April 25, 2011

Meezer Monday: Pretty Vacant

Derrick is the type of cat who invests a great amount of time and resources on his toilette—grooming, toe spreading and nail biting, that thing when he looks like he’s eating corn on the cob and gets scrunchy face…

Bing, on the other hand, probably spends 1/10 of the time engaged in these behaviors. Now, as you may know, one of his daily chores is to rearrange the energy in the apartment. So, let’s say he were a person who did this sort of work in a corporate setting, and he shows up with his shirt buttoned unevenly—maybe it’s even backwards!—with his hair sticking up. Do you hope he doesn’t wander out for coffee when potential clients are around? Do you think his appearance means he’s lacking in less self-respect? Or is he just more concerned with what’s within him than what's without him? Then Derrick prances in, all Spiffy McSpifferson in, heck, a seersucker suit, and hair gelled back. He’s more likely to rearrange his whiskers, but, dang, he looks sharp. Do you even care that his deepest thought is wondering what’s for lunch?

You’re right, this post is going to a strange place that really isn’t about cats. And I personally don’t believe there’s any connection between IQ and physical appearance (though I read somewhere that those w/o wisdom teeth are more evolved), nor do I believe that Derrick only thinks about food. And if he did, so what?

No, this is all a result of PMS combined with this ridiculous book I saw in the library that listed essential make-up items that every woman should have, of which I had maybe, oh, 1? Male readers, I’ll tell you a secret—you may not know this, but it’s sort of weird for a woman not to wear make-up. Especially in New York City. I don’t know why I’m so stubborn—on the one hand, it’s like some sort of perverse/self-righteous/moral thing with me—where is the truth in painted-on beauty? Coming from a truth seeker with fake (though glamorous) blond hair and multiple pairs of $200 jeans (I found them in a bag on the sidewalk during a snowstorm!), that ain’t worth much, is it?

And on the other hand, if I knew how to put it on like my friend Elena the professional make-up artist, I might wear it more often. But why is my freakin’ face, unadorned, such a fashion sin? And don’t get me started on FDS! [Note: it's the last on the list that link goes to--and geesh, it's like they couldn't even stand the smell long enough to fix the typo!] Probably invented by some guy to make his girlfriend feel bad because she… OK, we are so not going there. It’s not good when I want to start using words like snatch. But hey, since this is a blog about felines, I knew a guy who named his cat that. It all comes around.

I don’t think Snatch was a Siamese tho.

Find more Meat Puppets songs at Myspace Music

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Swearin' to God

Dudes! Can ya’ll see what de la vega has written in chalk on the sidewalk? I came across this gem last Friday, and at first I liked it, but now I’m all pissed off! Too bad I don’t know what he intended, but it being Wordless Wednesday and all, I really can’t say too much more. I like that he’s kinda leveling the playing field between creator and creation, but not cool with the demanding nature of it all. Ask not what your G. can do for you, but what YOU can do for you. And how about prayer as one long thank you, rather than a freakin’ list for Santa? (And HELLO, why not try usin’ a little honey to catch the bees?)

P.S. I've used this song before, but it says just what I want. And ha ha, check out the comment from the poor guy who wants to know if anyone's ever met a girl who liked XTC or recognized any Beach Boys song other than "Surfin' USA." Girls who like XTC and the Beach Boys are too weird for you, dude. Trust me. ; )

In the top 3 of my Kinkdom:

Here comes the Hammer. No, seriously. I lurv this one. Major shakti here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meezer Monday: Leave My Kitten Alone

Miss Puffelina in da house! And some of the titles on her reading list? Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone (she liked it but thought it was a little over her head); Derek & Julia Parker’s Compleat Astrologer (like all astrology books, this one unfairly rags on her sun sign, Capricorn); Secrets of the Harem (boring! Like a lynxpoint Siamese kitten needs any help with belly dancing tips!) and her banged-up copy of Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen (she thinks the Rolling Stones could have contributed a better recipe than “Hot Dogs on the Rocks,” and is still pissed off about that misogynist “Under My Thumb” reference).

And when she’s finished ‘em all? This gal’s ready to blow her eardrums off—check out my super hi-fi surround sound! (No, I did NOT stack the left and right speakers on top of each other! That would be as stupid as trying to burn old letters in the oven, just until the edges got brown, I swear, and then going to the corner to buy a chocolate shake.)

I know, I know, I've already used this song in a post about Puff. I can't help it, it's the perfect Puffalicious song.

P.S. In case you’re still worried about the speakers: The bottom one broke down, or whatever the term is, preferring a more quiet life as a stand for the top one. Or maybe it just got tired of listening to K-Tel compilations.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Line Fever

My training as an editor and proofreader coincided with a very angry period. No, not that kinda period—or, for that matter, the one that comes at the end of a sentence—though it truly was as if I were constantly riding the cotton pony...

I had just graduated from college and, after much na├»ve surprise that there weren’t any “philosopher wanted” ads in the job listings, I begged for my low-paying entry-level position as an administrative assistant (How’d I do that? I took care not to randomly talk about chocolate chip cookies, like I did at one of my previous interviews) with a specialty publishing company, putter-outers of such titles as Dolls, Miniature Collector and Teddy Bear Review. You should know that as a little girl I was the type to behead my Barbies in frustration that I looked nothing like them, but I was fascinated with this subculture of collectors and so ready to learn everything I could. It was answering the phone, greeting people at the desk and wearing heinous business attire (polyester floral shirts that weren’t vintage 70s Huk-a-poo; pantyhose, inadvertently control-top…) that pushed me over the edge.

So yeah, I was truly no teddy bear… more like a grizzly/Tasmanian devil in an ill-fitting mauve suit as I careened down Fifth Avenue, trying to trip women in fur coats (OK, I only did that once, and it wasn’t like she fell or anything). Lower Fifth Avenue wasn’t built up all consumer-y like it is now, so I’d soothe myself by wandering into B. Shackman and buying random items in miniature for the dollhouse I never had, like teeny-tiny strawberry-frosted cupcakes and a postage stamp-sized Beach Boys Endless Summer album. (Geesh, they had to make it the greatest hits and not, say, “The Little Girl I Once Knew” picture sleeve…) I don’t think I’d do as well today browsing in the Juicy Couture store, where they don’t have much for a L’eggs-wearing grizzly.

However, there was an incredible silver lining: 1.) I poured all my fierce, tornado energy into learning how to edit and write for magazines, and 2.) The ladies I worked with were brilliant editors and teachers who knew their $hit. I did get me some mad skillz, but not the wisdom that went along with the power. Oh yeah, editors have a certain kind of power for sure.

We had at least 3 editors reviewing each story, and then the piece would go back to its original editor for corrects. I was learning by seeing what the others did, so I was the last to add my edits. Sometimes stuff would come to me marked up all over the place in three different colors, and woe to the person (and writer) whose lap it’d finally get dumped in. This is wrong! That’s wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong… oh, and your suggested headline sucked so I pulled 4 out of my a$$ in 30 seconds that were 5 times better… there was something wicked about the whole thing, and I could almost hear the cackling as one of us would pull down our Words In Type and proceed to copy down the grammatical rule (along with page #!) that had just been broken. It’d been fine if we were all in-your-face testosteroni (great name for pasta!) about it, but it was this weird mix of anal adherence to rules and the passive-aggressive act of pointing out and writing down all the errors. Crossing them out even! All this, and what were we editing? Recipes for nice apple tarts you’d make for a picnic with your teddy bears, and reviews of the latest line of Precious Moments figurines.

Luckily, that phase lasted for just about 4 years or so. It was only when I grew up, calmed down and learned to have more compassion for myself (and by extension, others) that I became a real, true editor. These days, I approach it by looking for what’s right, not by what’s wrong, with what someone’s written. Editing is so intimate, it’s like I’m inside someone’s brain and heart as they think and then express those thoughts, and to do my job well I have to be true to the writer and true to myself. Lately I’ve been editing stuff written by two of the smartest people ever, and they both happen to think completely unlike me, so it’s so really enlightening. It’s kinda like being a record producer—think Phil Spector (a la Wall of Sound and even Let It Be, which, I can’t lie, is one of my top three Beatle albums, and not now when he’s gone nuts, has scary hair and been found guilty of taking someone’s life) if Phil Spector were an editor, taking words and making them flow and grow into a symphony. Or at least a top-ten single, ya know?

P.S. Yeah, I totally should have edited that second-to-last sentence. But what good are rules if you can’t break ‘em?

It annoys many people, but the title of the song below (plus "You see...) is sorta my M.O. I can't help it, it's like genetic or something. Added bonus: a giant dancing monkey:

Photo titled: "Venomus 18 wheeler"

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meezer Monday: Whiny Dancer

I'm not that surprised to see this pair, meezer and Astaire. Swellegant in spats, man's or cat's…every move a right one.

The thing that confounds me is that there's never any wasted energy or diluted intent in the dance of either of these critters. If a cat's gonna give you steer ear (you know, with both of 'em pointing in different directions, puttin' the "U" in bull…), no other part of the body is gonna move. Cats exhibit such an incredible economy of movement… the energy flows fully and completely, no tension where it's not supposed to be. It's the same way with Mr. Astaire, if you look closely. There's no tension or movement in the body other than in the part that's supposed to be moving. If you could see the energy, it'd look like stars shooting out of his fingers and toes. And whiskers and tail, if he had 'em.

In situations where I need to calm myself down or feel more secure, I sometimes imagine Paloma, Puffer, Bing and Derrick doing choreography, often elaborate line dances with other cat-dancers. It really makes me laugh, and the sky's the limit. Technically it's probably impossible for a cat to do a pirouette, but not on my dancefloor! Paloma and Puff do a fly-girl style duet to "Walk This Way," and then Paloma joins Bing in a chorus line during XTC's "The Loving." And hello! Tell me you can't imagine cats doing those really high vocals that fade out at the end of this song:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Who's Your Daddy?

...I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure it's not Pedro Martinez. Sorry, Beantown sports fans, to bring up such an uncomfortable Yankees/BoSox reference, but well, I truly dunno who this pee-wee is. This photo was one of several I found scattered on the sidewalk in D.C. a couple weeks ago, so baby, you have indeed come a long way.

P.S. Elyse, who was with me when we found the photos, thinks it would be cool if someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows this little one will see this blog. But by then, maybe he or she will be old enough to leave a comment. And--I'm dreaming big now--will know who Ognir Rrats is.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meezer Monday: Twofers

You’d never believe me if I told you why my guys get along so well. It’s not like I did anything except answer Bing’s simple request, via the animal communicator: “Bring me my kitty!”

Oh, I brought him his kitty all right (or “alright” if you listen to mod-era Who), a big lug twice his size who stalks him and knocks him down at every opportunity.

It’s OK, I think little Bing could kick Derrick’s big honky a$$ if he really wanted to.

OK, so they don't really eat refried beans, but...