Monday, March 31, 2008

Cat power

All three cats went to the vet on Saturday for their annual checkup/torture-fest. Lunchboy had to go buy a second cat carrier before the appointment because we gave away our old one when we dropped off Pepe at his new home. Because the new carrier didn't smell like cat fear and sweaty paws and vet office, Griffin and Cringer were unsure what to make of the gigantic plastic thing that appeared so suddenly in the middle of the living room. They investigated warily, doing that endlessly amusing cat head-bobbing-up-and-down thing, eventually going so far as to jump on top of it and rub their faces against the corners.

Once all three of them are in the cat jail, though, it gets ugly fast. They cry and then hear the other ones crying and then they cry louder out of collective fear and anxiety. "I am scared!!!" they say. "Hear how scared I am!! But the other two are scared, too, so I should probably be more scared than I am! Now I AM REALLY SCARED!"

Then they shed and whine and by the time we get to the vet they've tired themselves out with all the drama, so then they shut up and await their fate. It's a LOT of fun, let me tell you. And it gets even more fun when the vet hands us the bill times three.

They are, of course, fine. Scully lost weight. Cringer is edging up toward 20lbs because she eats all the food and runs only when chased. Griffin is the same weight, though it's hard to tell because she squirms so hard trying to get under our armpits and escape back into the carrier. It's funny how hard they protest about being put into the carrier at home, but how eager they are to get back into it once they're at the vet.

Once they're back at home, they forgive fast, usually because they're too busy hiding and sleeping off the effects of their shots. I seriously think that three cats might very well equal one small child (please call me on this later in life), except that I hear you can't leave your child under the bed until it's ready to stop sulking.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lay it on me

My cabbie this morning had a penchant for prayer. He had his radio tuned to a religious station that played nothing but a recording of a man and a woman reciting the Hail Mary and the Lord’s Prayer over and over and over and over again. At 5:45am, I was too bleary to think about whether it was a sign of some kind or just a really big annoyance. Maybe it’s a blessing to be smothered with prayer so early in the morning? I figure I’ll take my blessings where I find them. All that praying turned out to be comforting in more ways than one because the cabbie’s driving was so frightening that, after the third time he almost drove us into a median strip, I figured that if we died we’d at least be covered in the god department.

At lunch, though, my fortune cookie went in the opposite direction. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” it told me. Literally or figuratively? Is this the Easter Bunny taking a turn in the cookie factory? "It's just a stupid cookie," my best friend told me. "Don't read too much into it." Yes ma'am.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crossing the Mason-Dixon

Tomorrow I am heading down to Washington, DC for two days. I go there fairly frequently for work, but this will be my first overnight trip there in about year. Last time I went down for the night, I had lovely late coffee with MeanG and then checked into a hotel room that scared me so badly I had to call the front desk and ask to be relocated. That room was haunted, I swear. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could see was a very angry old man yelling at me. But the hotel had no free rooms, so I was stuck with my images of the old man for the night. I have never been so glad to leave a hotel in my life.

It is, however, already spring in DC. The forecast is saying low to mid-60s and the cherry blossoms are out. I'm having dinner with Gimp and MeanG and maybe even JD tomorrow night. We have no idea where. None of us knows what's around Dupont. It'll all work itself out. And I'm staying at a non-haunted hotel, so I'm very excited. It's Kimpton, so there may actually be leopard-print bathrobes and faux-fur throws. Fake beaver pelt!

Now all I need is for McNulty to make an appearance at the bar and MeanG and I can die happy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

We're the kids in America

It's about that time. The Girl Scout Cookies, they have arrived en masse. It’s going to be a Thin Mint month. Everyone who ordered cookies to support their coworker’s children is leaving their bounty in the office kitchen for other people (like me) to eat, which, on a day like today, means Samoas for breakfast.

My mom sent me this article today. Usually the articles she sends are very mom-like and tend to be titled something along the lines of, “Experts Say Eat Ice Cream Daily For Those Trying To Conceive,” so I am always cautious when I open her emails, but this one I liked. The concept of energy vampires is interesting. Over the last few years I’ve put distance between myself and some vampiric friends. I think I’ve also been a bit of a vampire before, so I’m throwing no stones here. There is nothing fun about being on either side of that process, but there is guilt enough to drown in. A little vindication is comforting -- but not entirely exculpatory.

I was also glad for the article because I’ve been on something of a media diet since we got back from vacation and wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. As Lunchboy (and my mom) would tell you, I tend to take way too much of what’s going on in the world into my head and onto my shoulders (as if worrying or being angry about things I can’t change will somehow have impact). This means I’m not waking up at 3am because somewhere in the world baby seals are being clubbed, but it also meant that, at dinner with friends in town from San Francisco, someone asked what I thought about Sarah Lacy and I had no idea what they were talking about. Oops.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Grand theft auto

We woke up on Sunday morning to discover that Lunchboy's car was not where he parked it before we left. This was more than a little surprising because, while we live in Somerville, our neighborhood tends to be fairly safe and while bad things happen closer to Highland Ave., it's rare for felonies of any kind to occur near us (maybe this is because the mayor lives up the hill?)

Lunchboy looked all up and down the street and then called the towing companies to make sure it hadn't been towed for some reason, but no luck. Regretfully (and angrily), he went down to the police station and filed a stolen car report. Thankfully, our insurance company is working with us instead of throwing up lots of red tape.

Later that night, I got into my car to go to yoga and stopped in my tracks. The driver's seat was really far back and the mirrors were all out of wack. Then I checked the change drawer and, sure enough, it was empty. This is not the first time this has happened to us (and I'm guessing to lots of other people in Union Square), but it's no less infuriating and upsetting. I'm grateful that no one was hurt and that it was a car, not the house itself, or something much worse. I count myself lucky that I still have my car, but I no longer feel safe leaving it on the curb (not like I have any other choice).

We've played with the idea of moving on and off since last summer, but had shelved the idea before our trip because we really love our neighborhood (and the market sucks for house sellers). We have friends who live in walking distance in every direction, two parks that are only a block away, a library close by, and pretty much everything we need just down the hill. But having the car stolen puts everything in a new light. Not that we can do much about the real estate market, but suffice it to say that we won't be staying around for longer than is necessary.

St. Martin

We've been back for a few days, but this is the first chance I've had to post some photos. We had a wonderful time--the trip was everything we needed and more than I could have hoped for.

This was our hotel, looking up from the beach:

The beach itself was amazing:

It's hard to see from that photo, but there were pelicans that spent all day hanging out on the cliff to the left, sunning themselves and then swooping down to catch fish in the water below.

We settled ourselves in at one of these cabanas and didn't really move for a week:

The further up the beach you went, the more swimwear became optional. One afternoon I took a long stroll without my bikini top and it felt amazing--I've always envied men's ability to take off their shirts when the weather gets hot. On our last day, we laughed as an older man dashed back behind the bushes after going for a skinny dip. It was really lovely to be in a place where no one cared if you went au natural (though I think Lunchboy would say that mostly people who shouldn't be looked at took advantage of the policy).

In case the ocean got too rough, there was an infinity pool nearby:

What would vacation be without a resident cat (this one was especially friendly at lunchtime):

Around 5pm, we'd go up and settle ourselves onto the comfy chairs on the porch behind our room:

Our view from the porch:

See those boats on the water? The Heinecken Regatta was taking place during the week we were there. Neither of us had any idea what was going on (we are not boat savvy) but it was lots of fun to watch the boats go by.

Happy couple, warm and relaxed!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Guilt trip

Please don't abandon me!

You cannot leave if I sit on your pants: