Monday, December 20, 2010

In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream

Many moons ago, and old boyfriend gave me a little mental nugget of joy.

We were watching the movie, "Alien," and it came to the scene where Ripley has set the self-destruct countdown on the ship and is frantically making her way to the shuttle when she rounds the corner and BAM! There's Mr. Alien.

The visual isn't of importance. It was the music that was so profound. The boyfriend said that he referred to this music as the 'ex-girlfriend' theme. His thought was if he was ever out in public and saw an ex-girlfriend from a distance, this would be the music playing in his head.

I now give you the "Ex Theme."

I know you're laughing now. You can see it, too, can't ya? I've shared this nugget of joy with the Spouse and now we can never watch that same scene without bursting into laughter.

Altho the boyfriend and I went out separate ways long time ago, I held onto that hilarious concept of the 'Ex Theme." Really, it could be played in your head for anyone, be it an ex-boyfriend, ex-co-worker, ex-neighbor... any unsavory character from your past that you feared encountering again.

Well, after nearly 20 years of waiting, I finally had that moment in my life when I heard the 'Ex Theme' play for real.

A couple of weeks ago I get a Friend Request on Facebook from someone I don't recognize immediately. The fact that they used an off-the-wall name didn't help. Curious, I look up the profile of "Okinawa iTunesfan" (not the real name, but pretty damn close) and am still unsure of who this person is. They live in a neighboring state, we have no mutual friends, and the profile picture is an old 70s photo of Freddie Mercury.

Questions abound. Who is this person?

It's about this time I notice I have a message on Facebook. I go it and lo and behold it's from this Okinawa iTunesfan. I read the message, which is along the lines of, "Hey, we were absolute bestest friends in high school. We used to write notes to each other and your nickname was this and my nickname was that. We have so much to talk about! --Gloria Merkin(not her real name)."

That's when I recognized who it was. Cue the music.

"NO!! OH GOD NO!! NOT YOU!! ANYONE BUT YOU!! I thought I had successfully escaped you forever! Oh shit, you found me! SONOFABITCH!!"

Yes, back in high school we WERE bestest friends. Yall know how teenage girls are. We shared everything. We talked about everything. We did everything together. We were there for each other in times of teenage girl drama.

Then the summer before senior year an old flame of mine walked back into my life. He used his charm and won my little naive heart over again. I was so excited and I told Gloria all about it. She was excited for me. The old flame asked me out on a date and I wanted my bestest friend to meet us so she could see this fabulous boyfriend of mine. And it was a fun night. We all three had a great time hanging out together. And I came home happy and head over heels in love.

Little did I know that during the evening, while I was on a bathroom break, Gloria and Old Flame exchanged phone numbers.

Long story short, I find out later that the two of them met up, ended up in the back of his car and, well, nature took its course. Needless to say, I dropped him like a hot skillet and tore her a new asshole over the phone.

But the bitch didn't get it. She continued to call me, apologized, and proceeded to act like nothing had ever happened. Not only did this bitch not get it, but when she called, she would go on and on and on about herself. I swear, I could lay the phone down, go to the bathroom or do some errand, come back and the bitch would still be going. I am NOT making that up.

(If you're wondering why I even answered the phone in the first place, let alone talk to her... well, I was young and stupid and couldn't be intentionally mean. Don't worry, things have changed. I've grown a backbone since then)

Years later, after I have moved out of my parents' house, the crazy bitch would still call trying to track me down. My mom, bless her heart, did an excellent job of deflecting her calls and never giving out any info on me. These calls got fewer and further apart until finally they stopped altogether.

But now we have the internet and Facebook, which makes finding people bonehead simple. And unfortunately, this bonehead Gloria found me.

So I ignored the friend request. And when Facebook asked me if I'd like to not only ignore this request but make it impossible for this person to never request my friendship again, I was only too glad to click that button.

There. Done. Shew. Catastrophe avoided.

Until 3 days later.

No friendship request (that button worked). Instead there's another message:

"Hey!!!! Wish I could talk to you again!! It's been about twenty years, and we have alot to catch up on! Please accept my friend request.... I'd LOVE to chatter with you again! Gloria"

Cue the music again.

"AAAHHHH!!!! GOD DAMN!!!! NO!! Jesus Fucking Christ did you NOT get the hint? Ya know, the Old Flame found me a while back and requested my friendship - WHICH I IGNORED - and even HE got the hint and left my ass alone! What the fuck is wrong with you?! Are you still that batshit crazy?!"

So now I had to bring out the big guns and do something I hoped I would never have to do - block somebody.

Let me tell ya, that there block feature is nice. So nice I had to mention it in my Facebook status that very day. Couple of hours later I get an email from an old high school friend (a nice one, not a fucking-your-boyfriend-behind-your-back type) that says, "Oh, god, was it Gloria Merkin?!"

Apparently, I wasn't the only victim of her crazed former friend search. My poor pal had accepted her friendship was now being driven insane by constant messages, pokes and chat box pop-ups. "And by the way, " my friend continued, "Gloria says 'Hi' and hopes you'll accept her friendship."

Cue that fucking music one more time!

But the dust has settled and I think I'm safe here behind my wall of Facebook blockage. I have since warned family and close friends to beware the crazy bitch Okinawa iTunesfan because I'm sure she's still on the hunt. And hopefully, the next time I hear the 'Ex Theme,' it'll just be Ripley hiding from Mr. Alien.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

Some of you may have noticed I have two online names: Duranfan and Hollygoyle. Duranfan is a holdover from my old Spymac days, but Hollygoyle is really more ‘me.’ My closest friends and my haunt peeps know of my obsession for gargoyles, combined with my elaborate get-up (see above) that I’ve used many a time to scare the absolute bejeezus out of people.

Well, Hollygoyle will exist forever, but she may be a little shorter in the future. My stilt-walking days are over. *heavy sigh*

On the night of July 31st, there was a horror film convention in town, complete with movie stars, movie showings, vendors and, of course, a costume contest. So guess who got all dolled up to try to win a prize (and to do a little PR for the Haunted House). Go on, guess...

The venue was hot (air conditioning was terribly inadequate) but I held it together as I bounced around the place. The Spouse stayed at my side, clearing a path and keeping on eye on me. By the time the costume contest rolled around, I was doing great. Good friend Bobafett had joined us. I had my photo taken with strangers numerous times and was really wowing the crowd.

At one point I was seated on a barstool when another admirer came up and asked for a photo. I’m gonna slow things down here so yall get the full impact of what’s about to happen...

I go to stand up and suddenly my right legs is rapidly sliding out from underneath me. I basically go down doing the splits sideways, and as I do, I feel/hear something in my left knee give a wet crackle.

Oh shit. Oh fuck. I sit there on my ass for a few seconds and assess the situation. My first thought was I had dislocated my left knee cap again (slipped on a tile floor back in ‘89). But when I went to feel the leg, the knee cap was in place. And it didn’t hurt (dislocated knee caps are a pain you don’t forget). It felt weird but I was surprised at how little pain I was feeling. The Spouse and Bobafett dive down and, per my frantic instructions, start taking off my stilts (note: these babies are thoroughly strapped to my feet and around my knees so this takes a few minutes).

While they’re doing this I want to know why the hell I fell. I look over to my right and that’s when I see a glossy flyer laying on the carpet.

Fuck. Six years of being on these things with no problems and I get taken out with a goddamn piece of paper.

By now my boys have removed my stilts and have hauled my up by my armpits. I’m standing upright, still not in any major pain. I go to put weight on the left leg and it just collapses.

Shit, this is not good. This is so not good.

The Spouse and Bobafett carry all my stuff out to the car and bring it up to the front entrance. I sit on my barstool, swinging my injured leg back and forth. It’s bending fine and I’m still not feeling much pain, but something is definitely wrong.

Fast forward to the local hospital ER. This is where it gets even weirder. I peeled my latex facial appliance off in the car and wipe off as much of my make-up as I can on the way there. And I manage to get out of the costume (I had regular clothes underneath). But I still have my theatrical cat-eye lenses in. I can’t take them out because A) I have nothing to put them in and B) they’re in my prescription and I’m blind without them. Luckily, the late night staff at the ER did an excellent job of pretending not to notice my eyes. But I’m sure my accident story was one of the best they’ve seen and heard in a long time.

So... x-ray is done and shows no breakage. I’m told that I’ve sprained my knee and possibly torn my ACL, MCL or meniscus. I’m sent home with a lovely blue knee brace slapped on my leg (third time in my life I’ve had to wear one of these damn things), some crutches (which I refuse to use) and a recommendation to an orthopedist.

Oh, did I mention I went back to the horror film festival the next day? Found out that if I had not fallen, I would’ve won the contest. Son of a bitch.

Orthopedist appointment a couple days later. More x-rays taken. Again told that I’ve possibly torn my ACL, MCL or meniscus. Need to schedule an MRI to be sure. Yay. But wait, it gets better...

The doctor says he wants use a needle to drain the fluid off my very swollen knee. Then he proceeds to show me a needle that looks like it came from an old Warner Brothers cartoon. I nearly pass out and tell him, “Look, that fact that you just said ‘needle’ and ‘knee’ in the same sentence, and you’re coming at me with something that is cartoonishly large has me more than freaked out right now.”

But I gotta tell ya, that man was amazing. I never felt a thing and my knee was much smaller when I left.

Ok, back to the progress... MRI a few days later. Doctor follow up a couple days after that. Those of you putting you money on the MCL or meniscus... sorry, you lose. But those of you betting on the ACL, bingo. You can collect at the window. Complete ACL tear. Complete. As in off the freakin’ bone. Guess that was that wet crackle I felt. He also says I have some bone spurs on the back of left knee cap and asks if I had injured it before? Remember that little mishap back in ‘89? Yeah, that one...

Are we talking surgery? Yes we are, friends and neighbors. But it’s actually gonna be kinda neat. I’m gonna be getting zombie parts. Cadaver tendon!

But it’s right in the middle of this surgery conversation that I remember we’re currently in mid-August. Haunted House starts in 7 weeks. This could be bad. So I explain to the doctor, “I’ve got this major event I’m in charge of that operates every Friday and Saturday night in October that I have GOT to be there for, and I have GOT to be on my feet all night so I need these legs. Either you pop me back in that brace until November 1st or we get this done ASAP.”

He says, “What are you doing Thursday?”

Three days later my ass is in a freezing cold operating room with the Beatles blaring in the background while a bunch of surgeons, nurses and other medical folk bounce around me all perky and loud. I wake up an hour and a half later with my left leg totally numb, all wrapped up with a new piece of tissue they harvested off some dead person (my profound thanks to said dead person).

I go home the next day with some super duper pain killers (which ended up making me terribly sick). For the next three days I’m a complete invalid but the Spouse was absolutely wonderful in taking care of me, even patiently waiting for me to finishing puking in a waste can so he could replace the liner each time.

Monday morning I go back to work. Yup, crutches and all.

But here it is nearly Christmas and things are just peachy. I had an amazing physical therapist who got me off the crutches sooner than expected. I hobbled around at work and drove around town as usualy. And yes, I got thru Haunted House with no problems. Hell, the more I walked around on those nights the better my leg felt. My stilt-walking days may be over, but I still have many years left to scare people. Hollygoyle lives on.

My scars are pretty small and I have two permanent screws in my knee, but it’s all good. I got zombie parts! So when the zombie apocalypse finally happens, my ass is immune.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let's See What Madame Ruby Sees...

Another Haunt Trade Show has come and gone and we all came back home excited and inspired. Work has already begun on our little spooky house and I'm diving right in with floorplans, themes, rooms, costumes, set designs and promotional stuff.

Along with being part of the creative force behind our Haunt, and having a personal collection of occult related books, skulls, Dia de los Muertos paraphernalia and other dead things, I have one other unusual talent I probably haven't told yall about.

I read Tarot cards. I've been reading them for over 20 years.

When I was 17 my mother got herself a deck and we were both fascinated with them, doing readings for each other on a near daily basis. Soon afterward I read in one of my books that in order to take Tarot card reading seriously, one should have their own personal deck and treat it with great regard and respect. So I purchased my first deck, the famous Rider Waite Deck.

Over the years I have picked up another 5 decks, the most recent purchase at the above-mentioned Haunt Trade Show. One of my team alerted me to a booth for Monolith Graphics that had a Tarot deck for sale. Lucky for me they had a whole slew of them for cash-and-carry. This Gothic Tarot deck is absolutely beautiful and I was thrilled to get my own along with the compendium book. Whenever I get a new deck, I always get the compenium, read it, study it and program it in my head for future reference.

So out of my 6 decks, I have 4 that I like to use: the Rider Waite, the Alice in Wonderland deck, the Halloween deck and my most recent purchase. So whenever I do readings, I bring those 4 with me and let my 'customers' pick the deck that appeals to them the most.

Yes, I've done readings for private parties... anything from a high school fund-raiser to a corporate Christmas Party. And I've made some decent money doing it, too. I also do free readings for friends.

Now I always tell folks up front that I am NOT psychic. I don't foretell the future, I don't 'see' things and nothing I say is set in stone. Everyone is in control of their own destiny and everything in life is subject to change. Folks can simply take what I have to say as advice or pure entertainment. It doesn't hurt my feelings if people don't believe in this stuff. But I do think it takes some courage to sit down at my table and shuffle those cards.

And I've had all type of life forms sit down with me. A few years ago I was doing readings for a fund-raising event and I had two women, a mother and a daughter, sit down together at my table. They were kinda rough, loud and boisterous but I took in stride. Until one of them didn't like the 'result' of her reading and wanted another one.

I told her as politely as possible that I don't make this up. She is the one who shuffles the cards. I just lay them out in a pattern and tell her what the picture on each card means.

But no, that was NOT a good enough answer. So I gave her another reading. Once again, the 'result' was a rather negative final card.

(Normally, when I get a layout that ends up with a negative result, I remind the person of my earlier statement: nothing is set in stone, we are all in control of our own lives and if anything, take this as a warning to be on your guard. Now that you know what to look out for, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.)

Well, she was still not pleased with her reading nor my answer to the negative final card and demanded (yes, DEMANDED) a third reading, saying "I'm gonna do this until I get one I LIKE!"

No, we were stopping at 3 whether Ms. Arrogant Bitch likes it or not. I was doings readings that night for free since it was a charity event and I was NOT gonna sit there and be her personal Ms. Cleo.

So I did one more reading. Quick. Blunt. No emotion. Not rude, but not my usual pleasant self either. This time we got a positive ending and she was happy and left. But I thought to myself, "You know, you just got two negative readings in a row. If I were you I'd consider that a sign."

Needless to say, that forced me to adopt a new rule: One reading per person. No exceptions.

Besides that one rude encounter, I had another unusual situation a couple of years ago. At a 'Ghostly Sleepover' at the Mansion, I had one lady sit down for a reading. She was very quiet and somewhat shy. As I began the reading, I noticed she had a nervous twitch and kept quickly turning her head to one side.

You have no idea how hard it was to not only keep a straight face, but to remain nice, polite and not get distracted while this woman was spazzing out on me. Her twitch occurred about every 30 seconds. That was probably the toughest reading I ever had to do. But I made it to the end and she was happy with her reading.

One thing I don't do is ask a lot of questions. If people want to kept their questions or thoughts private, that's perfectly fine with me. I let them decide what or how much they want to tell me.

At one corporate event a man sat down at my table with a skeptical and dismissive attitude. He was here on his wife's request. I gave him my usual opening speech and then let him loose on the cards.

I laid them out and started describing the images and what they meant. The ones representing his 'current situation' showed things murky and unpleasant. They continued to show his unhappiness where he was in life, not getting along with someone and his desire to move on to other things. His final card showed him doing just that; leaving something behind and going on to something better.

While I was telling him all this his cocky attitude disappeared and his expression softened. At the end of the reading, he lowered the boom: He was unhappy here at this job, he didn't get along with his supervisor and was thinking about going to another job. So it was pretty obvious what his next move should be.

His demeanor totally changed. He smiled, shook my hand and thanked me, leaving my table with a pleasant and somewhat befuddled smile. I think he even mumbled a couple of "Wows."

It's impossible to not get emotionally involved in these readings. Most of the time I don't know these people but I get very sensitive to what the cards pictures tell me. I'm always worried about how someone will react when a reading has a bad turn. My most profound reading took place last November at yet another Ghostly Sleepover.

I had a man in his early 30s sit at my table and shuffle the deck. This disturbing reading started off with cards that showed something underhanded had just recently taken place. The cards had images of stealing, dirty dealings behind one's back, a loss of trust and a feeling of being hurt and betrayed.

Something very bad had just happened to this man.

The cards didn't get much better. I continued, as best I could, to relate to this poor man that the images were showing something had been taken from him or he had been lied to. The only glimmer of hope was the final card, which showed that the situation could heal if he and the guilty party came together and worked this problem out.

I looked at him sadly and told him I hoped that he and those involved in this awful mess would be able to heal this situation. He then told me his question and I nearly fell out of my chair.

He had just recently discovered his wife had had an affair with his friend. She had confessed but they were still in that early, raw period of 'oh, hell, what do we do now.' His hopes were diminishing of any kind of reconciliation. He had tried counseling but she wasn't making the effort.

Stunned, I pulled myself together and reiterated that this situation took TWO people to make things work out and for any healing to occur. He thanked me (he was pretty blown away, too) and I wished him the best as his left.

He and his wife (yes, she was there at the Sleepover, just not in the room where I was giving the reading) ending up leaving early because she started to feel ill. He was the only person I did a reading for that night. The rest of our Sleepover guests were wandering around the Mansion playing amateur Ghost Hunters.

I went downstairs and sat in the Main Hallway with my Mansion pals and proceeded to tell them what had just happened. We all sat there in some seriously stunned silence for a while. Someone eventully brought light to the situation by claiming, "Damn, Holly, you're GOOD." But no matter what, THAT reading will always stay with me.

But don't let that discourage any of you. I love doing readings and I have a new deck to play with. Just don't ask for more than one. I'll smack you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random thoughts and links, part 116

Hi. Yeah, it's me. I'm still here, hanging around.

Life has not changed much. My hours are still shorter by 8 a week (altho that last couple of weeks I've been lucky - got busy, they needed me, got my 40 hours in). The Spouse's job situation has not changed. We just keep waiting and waiting... *sigh*

Luckily the Haunted House construction is zooming by. The Staff's maintenance guy has proved very valuable in his knowledge and ability to build things. I've been productive assembling 'bodies' and I've even got my dad involved. It's good to have a tool and die maker in the family. Together we've come up with some marvelous things... Oh, yeah, there will be photos later...

Also, some of you got to keep up with the Louisville flood a few weeks ago as I continuously updated on Facebook as it happened. It was a wild time watching our toilets at work literally 'fountain' water all over the place, watching the water quickly fill up the front half of our building (up to 4 inches in some spots), and watching the water rise on Broadway, gently lapping in our front door.

Everything's back to normal, well, except for my hours. Our part of the building got plaster repair, new paint, new carpet and we got moved back in last week.

I do plan on writing again. It's just with the seemingly endless job situation, my focus has been on other things. Hopefully by the time I write again things will be different.

In the meantime, here's a pile of links that have been waiting to be posted...

My, why does that shape look so familiar?

Stay busy for hours... days... and what sweet music is makes...

Bathroom humor at it's finest (and I just finished reading Stephen King's "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away.")

Have Easter all year long.

This dog is having way too much fun.

You know it's a classy stereotype when it gets its own website.

My best streak was 3.

Oh, just 10 more minutes... please?

Hey! How the hell di you get home last night? Beer Scooter!

Yeah? Well, what about you? How'd you get home? Lay-Z-Boy chair!

Well, these guys are so flexible.

Sesame Street listens to... SLAYER!

For that late night trip to the shitter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

I apologize humbly, deeply and profusely for not being here more often. It has been a very uneventful time. Well, actually kind of a depressing time. The Spouse’s job situation has not improved, only changed by having his hours cut back. Suck. And my job gets more and more questionable all the time. We haven’t just slowed down. We’ve nearly stopped. Really. Hours... days go by with nothing for us to do. Just when I think it’s going to pick back up we grind to a halt again. And my hours are about to be cut as well. Double suck.

And when I’m down I really don’t feel like writing. Plus there’s enough bad news out there that I don’t need to contribute to the growing pile. Furthermore, I don’t think ye olde faithful readers (all 15 of ya) would be interested in hearing about my personal little contribution to the pile o’ despair.

But I will tell yall about my most recent adventure. It was kinda depressing but it is improving, with some unusual side effects. And side effects can sometimes be funny, so here goes...

Oh, wait... hold on... *runs to rest room to pee*

Ok, so 2 days ago I wake up at a bright and early 5:15am to a violent itching around my neck. I scratch and scratch as I shuffle off to the bathroom for early morning duty. In the mirror I see a bright red neck (no pun intended) but I’m not concerned since I just finished laying into it with my well-manicured and decorative claws of death.

But throughout the rest of the day the itching continues. All over. In the weirdest places. Intimate places. Well, not THAT intimate, but definitely places that are covered by underwear.

Sorry, excuse me... *runs to get cup of coffee*

Ok, when I get home that afternoon I’m scraping my entire torso. All over. I disrobe to discover that from my neck down to my thighs I am COVERED with red, splotchy welts. Now I’m starting to freak. I show the Spouse who is also freaked.

All thru the night my body is just tingling. I woke up the next morning with my ears and thighs on fire. The bathroom mirror shows me a space monster. My face is red, bumpy and puffy. My ears are nearly fuchsia. My torso had cleared up by my thighs, front and back, look like they caught fire and were put out with golf shoes.

I can NOT go to work like this.

I call in sick to work, then I call my doctor. She’s not in, there’s only one other doctor in the office, and he’s only there a half day and is already booked.

Triple suck. Things are not going well for the space monster.

My next plan of action to high-tail it to Walgreens for some Benedryl and Cortizone. I check in with the bathroom mirror again to find the space monster has been replaced with my own face. Since I feel fine physically (despite the itching) I decide to go to work anyway. Hopefully, there’ll be work for me to do.

Hold on... *runs to rest room to pee*

Throughout the day I notice several things: the Benedryl and Cortizone take the edge off the itch, but just barely, and the red splotches are on the move. They’ve left my ears alone and have moved to my hands, feet and lower down on my thighs. Every once in a while I’ll feel something stinging like an insect bite and look down to see a new welt literally pop up.

By 1pm I’m going insane. The urge to dive into a good, hearty, satisfying scratch is becoming unbearable. Scratching feels great but doesn’t solve the problem. And it only makes the area more red and puffy. Speaking of puffy, my hands and fingers have swollen to the point they look like a package of hot dogs.

Urgent Care Center, here I come.

Dammit. Hold on... *goes to get cup of water*

I go thru a full onslaught of questions at Urgent Care. Have you eaten or digested anything out of the ordinary? Have you come in contact with something? Have been outside in a wooded area? Have you recently acquired a new pet? Does your current pet go outside? Have you recently switched to a new detergent, soap, skin care product, or bedding?

And my answer is no to all of the above. So we’re stumped. The doctor did suggest that sometimes excessive heat might bring this on, and the night before it all started I was working at the Mansion’s Haunted House, which is the un-air-conditioned carriage house, and it was hot, and I was sweaty. But hell, it’s always hot there. And I’ve been doing this stuff for 9 years. So who knows.

But the doctor gave me a prescription for magic pills: Hydroxyzine and Methylprednisolone. 12 hours later I’m nearly back to normal. Very little itching, red splotches nearly gone. Every once in a while I get a splotch show up somewhere, but it disappears within an hour.

But apparently these magic pills have some unpleasant side effects. I’ll let you guess what they are.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Berry Scary

Summer is here and that means several things for those of us in that special region of Hell known as the Ohio Valley: the bad - return of the All-98 weather (98 degrees, 98% humidity, 98 pollution index) and the good - berry season!

I loves me some berries: cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (or, as a friend calls them, “evil little sponge fruit.”) And those of us berry fiends living in this area are lucky enough to have Huber’s Orchard and Winery right across the river in Indiana.

Saturday the Spouse, my parents and I ventured up to Huber’s for some fresh strawberries, wine and other tasty food tidbits. And I discovered a new addictive snacky thing: wasabi soy nuts. Oh, my, I could eat my own weight in these hot lil’ sumbitches.

One bad thing about wasabi soy nuts. One should really eat them in moderation. They produce a large amount of gas. I was pretty much jet-propelled all weekend.

Last night after dinner, instead of snacking on the wasabi soy nuts (I was pretty tired of feeling like a leaky balloon, altho fart humor never grows old in our house) I nibbled on some fresh strawberries instead.

Now our vicious cat-beast, Gilligan, always wants to know what we’re eating. Through his curiosity we’ve discovered he likes all sorts of chips, hard candy, candy corn, dried anchovies, ham, and various cheeses, Parmesan being a favorite.

Gilligan is so fond of Parmesan he insists on sitting at the dinner table with us whenever we have pasta in order to get a smattering. I am not making this up. He’ll sit in the vacant chair between myself and the Spouse and peer longingly over the edge of the table. I’ll then dump out a small amount of Parmesan on the table in front of him. He’ll happily lap up the little cheese appetizer, then hop down and leave us to our dinner.

So when I started enjoying the strawberries last night is was only natural that Gilligan come to investigate to see if what I was eating was something he wanted as well.

No here is where it starts getting interesting. Gilligan approached the couch to sniff the plastic container of strawberries and stopped just a few inches away. He didn’t just merely stop, he jolted to a halt. He took on distant sniff and his eyes grew large and alarmed. His ear tucked back and he jumped backwards about a foot.

The Spouse and I looked at each other like, “What the hell just happened?”

I then, very gently, took one strawberry and slowly offered it to the cat. He ran and hid between the recliner like I had just started up a chainsaw. As I picked up the container to put it back in the fridge, he saw me approach and darted further into the corner to hide.

Weird. Anyway, thinking last night was just a freak thing with the cat, I tried offering him a strawberry this morning at breakfast. Now normally in the morning, Gilligan is yowling and dancing circles at our feet begging for his morning moist food treat. Even if one of us has already fed him, he’ll yowl at the other, hoping to get a second breakfast. The cat tells lies, I tell you.

Well, Gilligan certainly did NOT want strawberries for breakfast. When I showed him a single berry he got that same scared look on his face and ran out of the kitchen.

Maybe he was attacked by vicious killer strawberries in a previous cat-life. Whatever, more for me. Let’s just hope he doesn’t discover the wasabi soy nuts. Bad cat gas - now THAT’S scary.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Random thoughts and links, part 115

At 7:16am this morning, at the intersection of Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive, my beloved little Focus wagon rolled over 100,000 miles.

As much as I loved my T-bird (which became known as the Thunderchicken in its later years), the Focus has been good to me, and continues to do so. Every six months I was pouring several hundred dollars into the poor old Thunderchicken to keep it running. The Focus, however, has needed very little maintenance and it still just as nice as the day I drive it off the lot.

To here's to another 100,000 miles...

Also on the good news front, the Spouse has landed full-time employment. He's been doing two part-time jobs until now, one of which will be ending Sunday. Luckily, the other part-time job is turning into full-time.

What's even better is that there's a really good chance another, even better job is on the horizon.

It's been tough the past several months. We've had to cancel a vacation, cut out all unnecessary spending and really cut corners on regular expenses.

But it could be a lot worse. The Spouse and I both know others that are still looking for employment. Our heart goes out to them and we both keep our eyes and ears open for any leads for anyone.

In the meantime, the cold and rain seems to have left us, and there's a deck, a book, a cat and a cold drink waiting for me outside...


I couldn't have said it better. Who really want to go around the house looking like a gay Satan worshiper?

Speaking of Satan, heavy metal band names explained.

Go on. Type in your fucking zip code.

Oh hell, the donut fries look good. And I'd give soe serious cash for an Elvis donut.

Guess what we're gonna mix at the next party?

Japan really loves Obama. No, I mean REALLY loves Obama.

Damn, I wish Louisville had a subway system.

I am so getting a pair of these... as soon as somebody manufactures them.

How little kids can start smoking at an early age (this kid is sharp).

How to have fun with elevators.

And finally, the absolutely best rendition of the Star Wars theme EVER!