Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's all about perception; therefore, I choose to take "blunt" as a COMPLIMENT.

My brain is not wired the same as other people’s brains.

Yes, yes, I know, we’re all special snowflakes and such, and we’re all different, lovely, special, and unique flowers, raising our petals to the sun of our own landscapes, blah blah, whatever.  I know that.

I like statistics.  Statistics where you see that a certain percentage of people like one thing over another, or would react in one way and not another way. I like to look at them and see what side I’d fall on. I took a statistics class in college, and I don’t remember a lot of it? Because I took it over the summer to get it out of the way, and I remember I napped in the back of the room through a lot of it? But I got to make pretty pie charts and graphs and interview people for their opinions and turn them into statistics, and that was awesome, and I’m pretty sure I passed it. Problem is, a lot of the time, I kind of completely overlook the question the statistic is covering for something that it’s not even measuring. Because I have a weird brain.

For example:

Statistic: 50% of people killed by bombs are those trying to make or set the bombs.

My thoughts: So, 50% of bomb makers are very bad at it. Good to know.

Statistic: Over 50% of people who win the lottery jackpot return to work.

My thoughts: 50% of people are jackasses.

 Statistic: 90% of people believe in divine retribution.

My thoughts: Ha! And 10% of people couldn’t answer because their asses were SMOTE.(Is “smote” a word? Because “smitten” sounds like they have a crush. If “smote” isn’t a word I’m declaring it one right now. DO YOU HEAR ME MERRIAM-WEBSTER?)

Statistic: 10% of people believe in the 10 Commandments.

My thoughts: “Believe in” – like that they exist? Or “believe in” like they should be followed? TOO VAGUE, statistic. TOO VAGUE.

Statistic: 29% of people are virgins when they marry.

My thoughts: 29% of people are lying.

Statistic: 69% of people eat the cake before the frosting.

My thoughts: Cake + frosting all in one bite = perfection. Cake and frosting separately = lonely. Why do you want your dessert items to be lonely?

Statistic: 85% of people will eat Spam this year.

My thoughts: This seriously limits the number of people I’m willing to have sex with.

Statistic: 45% of people consistently follow the speed limit.

My thoughts: This number has GOT to be higher because about 98% of the time I’m stuck behind one of these slow-moving asshats.

Also – and I know I’ve mentioned this before – I’ll relate a conversation I’ve had with another person, and they’ll just look at me in horror about the way I handled myself in the conversation. I get a lot of “you can’t SAY that,” or, the other day, “I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone as blunt as you.” Here’s the thing – I’m not trying to be shocking. When these things come out of my mouth, I’m having what in MY head is a normal human interaction, minus the bullshit that annoys me when people open their mouths. But I’m pretty sure I’m the gorilla and you all are Jane Goodall because I AM A TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEATHEN.

Sample conversations:

A work-related conversation illustrating that my sarcasm isn’t understood in
the workplace:

Coworker:  So I’m going to need this done as soon as possible.
Me:  It’s ten to five.
Coworker:  Yes.
Me:  So “as soon as possible” is tomorrow morning.
Coworker:  You can’t stay late and do it?
Me:  No.
Coworker:  Really?
Me:  Did you put in a requisition form?
Coworker:  There’s a form?
Me:  Yes. You have to fill it out requesting I stay late at least two weeks in advance, photocopy it, distribute it to the executive committee, and wait for approval.
Coworker:  I didn’t hear about that. Is that a new rule?
Me:  Very new. I just made it up right now. I have to start cleaning up to go so I’ll get this to you tomorrow, then.
Coworker:  I really can’t get this tonight?
Me:  Well, you might have been able to if you hadn’t wasted my time talking about a form that doesn’t even exist for the last five minutes, but now you’re too late. You really have to be more careful with your time. I think they’re giving a time management seminar at the Marriott next month or something, maybe look into that.

A conversation I had, months later, with a guy I had a crush on for like five minutes until his toolbaggery was revealed:

Toolbag:  Amy! What’s up! I haven’t seen you in so long!
Me:  Yes.
Toolbag:  What’s been going on?
Me:  Lots of things. It’s been months since I’ve seen you. Many sleeps. Many wakes. Much eating of foodstuffs. You know.
Toolbag:  I never hear from you anymore!
Me:  Well, once I send someone email and they don’t respond, I stop. As I am able to process things like "hints" using my superior reasoning skills.
Toolbag:  Ha ha! You’re still so funny.
Me:  Were you under the impression that time and/or distance would have changed that fact?
Toolbag:  We should have brunch sometime!
Me:  I can’t imagine any world where that would be a good idea at all. Also, “brunch”? Wow. Aren’t we a fancy-man. Maybe there could be sliced meats and chilled salads and finger-bowls. That’d be all kinds of swell. Pip-pip and all that rot. Bugger.
Toolbag:  Ha ha! So funny. It was so good to see you! (goes in for a hug)
Me:  It looks like you’re attempting to touch me; I’m going to stop you right there and leave now.

A conversation a friend and I had about a totally confusing situation:

Me:  So this guy asked me out.
Friend:  A date!
Me:  I don’t know what he wants from me.
Friend:  How old is he?
Me:  Why would I know that? Maybe 30.
Friend:  Did you ever think he might be interested?
Me:  In what? That’s what I’m saying, he wants something. BUT WHAT.
Friend:  No, I mean in YOU. Interested in YOU.
Me:  Oh. Did I grow a penis overnight and no one told me?
Friend:  WHAT?
Me:  He’s gay. It’s not that kind of date.
Friend:  Normal people don’t respond to questions like you do.
Me:  Do you think he wants money? I don’t have any. Should I call him and preemptively tell him I don’t have any money?

A conversation I had with a theater person about a cast party:

Actor:  See you tonight!
Me:  Why? Are you going to be at my house? That’s a strange place for you to be.
Actor:  No. At the cast party, I mean!
Me:  Oh. Is that tonight? I don’t do that.
Actor:  What do you mean?
Me:  I don’t do cast parties.
Actor:  Aw! Whyyyyy?
Me:  Whining’s totally going to win me over, by the way. I hate people? So parties are kind of out. Also, social anxiety. And exhaustion. And did I mention the hatred? Of people? Especially drunk people?
Actor:  But we’ll have so much funnnnn!
Me:  Would you use that voice at the party? Because that WOULD be fun. No.
Actor:  EVERYONE’S going to be there!
Me:  Minus me, yes, you’re right, they will.
Actor:  Aw, I WISH you’d RECONSIDER!
Me:  No. No, you really don’t. You feel like you have to say that, because that’s what people feel like they have to say in situations like this. But just trust me on this: it’s better for everyone involved if I don’t. I don’t feel like I’m being left out. I feel like I dodged a bullet. So have a great time, if you drink, don’t drive, and remember that there are a lot of STD’s running rampant all up in here so try to use a condom or something if you decide to be a typical theater person and hook up with everyone with a mouth.

And a special bonus conversation to show you I’m capable of a somewhat normal conversation, given the correct sparring partner:

A conversation about a dream I had because everyone likes to hear about your dreams, EVERYONE:

Me:  So last night I had a dream about that guy I used to be in love with, with the glasses?
Friend:  Why?
Me:  I don’t know. It’s not like I can dictate my dreams. That seems like a stupid question.
Friend:  Weren’t you in love with him like 10 years ago?
Friend:  Sorry. Carry on.
Me:  And he asked me to meet him at B.J.’s, so I did.
Friend:  Why?
Me:  You really ask a lot of questions when I’m telling a totally engrossing story.
Friend:  Sorry. OK. Yes. B.J.’s. Wait, you never go to B.J.’s. Do you even have a membership? You can’t just go there, you know. It’s like an exclusive club.
Friend:  I mean, if you try to walk in without a card, I think they’d call security. I’m looking out for your well-being.
Me:  I’m going to pretend you aren’t interrupting and continue.  When we were there, he called his dad and said “Hey Dad! Amy’s here so I have a ride for once, so I’m going to stock up on stuff that I usually can’t buy because it’s hard to get bulk items on your bicycle, so first I’m going to get a whole mess of cheese.”
Friend:  What?
Me:  I KNOW.
Friend:  I like that he was getting all the cheese. He’s like your dream guy.
Me:  But he was using me for a ride, and also why was he calling his dad? DUMP.
Friend:  Well, technically, you weren’t together, so you can’t dump.
Me:  It’s my dream and I’ll dump if I want to.
Friend:  Fair enough.
Me:  Also I’m keeping the cheese.
Friend:  You’d be a fool not to do so.

See, here’s the thing. Things that bother me in a conversation: not enough sarcasm and way too much nonsensical “how’s the weather sparkly unicorn joy and light giggle giggle puke!” bullshit. I am very good at the first and never received the rule packet for the second. I can’t do small talk; the weather? Hot. My drive here? Annoying. Let’s get down to brass tacks, Chumley, so I can get home and watch Supernatural and text my friends, ok? Time’s a’wastin’. 

There are certain people who get the sarcasm and the no-bullshit and can give it back. These people? They are my Anne-of-Green-Gables kindred spirits. They don’t get offended if I’m totally flippant about something because they understand I DON’T MEAN IT. They know that deep down, my soul’s not really a dead furnace cinder. They are the kind of people that I get me. Yes, please, more, thank you.

Is this going to get me ahead in life? Oh, HELL no. It's actually very much to my detriment. The people who make it in this world, unfortunately, are usually the people who can paste on a shit-eating grin and chat about inanities. I DON'T KNOW HOW. I've tried! But I get bored. And I wander off. No, seriously, I wander away. I get a lot of "I was talking to you and you weren't there anymore!" Yep. Wandered on off.

So the next time you want sparkly kitten fluffy foolish nonsense, I guess I would not be the person to come to, really. Sorry. IT IS A HANDICAP. I think I probably should request a sticker for special parking or something. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT'S NOT HOW THOSE WORK. Fine. Odds are in favor of you being a Spam-eater anyway, so you're not even INVITED to the rodeo. So bite me. I'm going to wander off now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I have a couple minutes where I’m not getting pulled in a million different directions, so I just have to (HAVE to, you guys! HAVE to! Like, I would probably DIE if I didn’t!) address this OK Cupid/Gizmodo/Magic: The Gathering thing that’s going on.

I know 99% of the people reading this already know, to the point of oversaturation, about this. Because the people who relate to this story are MY people. Which, obviously, is why I have to say something about it.

First, here. If you’re one of my readers who hasn’t read the article, please do – this isn’t going to make a lot of sense without some background.

If you’re just being obstinate, or whatever, here’s the article in a nutshell. (But why you didn’t just listen to me and read the article I have no idea. It’s too good not to, you goofball. Of course by good I mean awful.)

Alyssa Bereznak, a drunk girl (she said this, not me, CALM DOWN) who writes for the tech blog Gizmodo, signs up for OK Cupid, which is a free dating site. She is HORRIFED OMGWTFBBQ by the people who contact her. They are GROSS, y’all. And they CANNOT SPELL. Then a sort-of-normal guy contacts her! So they go out! And he looks normal! So she forgets to Google him. And then he tells her HE IS THE WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING. (Also he takes her to a play about Jeffrey Dahmer. More on this later.) She is SO UPSET BY THIS HIDDEN NERDERY that she GOES OUT WITH HIM AGAIN to find out MORE. Then she of course does NOT go out with him again (gross ew ew ew gross NERD GERMS), but writes an article on her tech blog calling him out for MISLEADING HER and WASTING HER TIME and NOT DISCLOSING HIS NERDERY UP FRONT. She also uses his real name.

Outcome: the geek and nerd community is UP IN ARMS.

I read the article last night from the back row of my theater, trying not to fall asleep during a very long tech night. I was just kind of confused about the whole thing, honestly. I probably should be more upset? I know she’s really a total douchebag? But really I’m just kind of confused about the entire situation.

A lot of people have addressed this (and much better than I’m about to) today, so if you’re smart, you’ll probably read one or more of these and not continue on here. I’m really, really tired. And this isn’t going to be all that well-thought-out. Because I am LESS ANGRY than I am CONFUSED.

Writers who did this first and some would say much better (I would be one of those “some”:)


Did she think the commercials about online dating were true and it was easy?  If you were serious about online dating, would you really use OK Cupid? They advertise that on my radio at 2am. That’s not a ringing endorsement as they also advertise Horny Goat Weed then.

Listen, I’m not just talking out of my ass, here. I DATED ONLINE. I did not have luck in doing so. I know people who have – two of my favorite people of all time, actually, met the people they are a. married to, and b. living with, via online dating. So yes! It works. Sometimes. I met, in real life, three people via online dating. I spoke to countless others in email conversations. Some brief stories:
  • One guy brought me to the comic book section of Borders and shushed me while he browsed. That was the whole date.
  • One guy was an abusive scary monster with rage issues and I was seriously afraid I was going to be raped.
  • One guy was so, so nice, and I’ve mentioned him before, and I was the asshole who wasn’t attracted to him. But I wasn’t MEAN about it. It wasn’t HIS fault. I’d fix him up with a friend in a minute. HE WAS SO NICE. I’M THE ASSHOLE.
  • One guy seemed like a keeper until he dropped off the face of the earth and I never heard from him again and I’m not really sure what happened there.
  • One guy got angry I wouldn’t sext him and buy and mail him books because he didn’t understand how a library card worked and kept sending me emails full of question marks and frowny-faces until I blocked him.
ONLINE DATING IS HARD. People seem really, really good in emails, over Twitter, on Facebook, etc. In person, you can’t think over what you’re going to say, and also you’re face to face, where interaction is scary. If you think online dating is going to be like the commercials, where the two pretty people meet and the guy’s all, “I only have one more question WHEN CAN I SEE YOU AGAIN” and the girl just roars with laughter because THEY ARE MEANT TO BE ZOMG – you are DELUSIONAL.

Also, no one can spell. ESPECIALLY not on a free dating site. You’re lucky if they use capital letters. The guy I wasn’t attracted to KNEW HOW TO USE A SEMI-COLON. Seriously, it was painful that I didn’t find the poor guy attractive.

Why did she think it was a good idea to write this article ON A TECH BLOG?  Didn't she realize that she was going to be vilified by the geek community at large?

I don’t understand people that write these kind of articles in places that a lot of people will see them. Either when they write them they think everyone’s going to agree with them and they’ll get a lot of positive publicity out of it, or they just don’t care. If it’s the latter, great. If it’s the former, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU. If she had written this in Good Housekeeping or something, she might have gotten some sympathy, but lady! A tech blog? THOSE ARE READ BY GEEKS. Geeks get angry. REALLY REALLY FAST. And they are literate, so they write about it, Tweet about it, comment on your article calling you creative variations on female anatomy, etc. I don’t get it. Was this a trolly post just to get traffic to the site?

(ETA - YES. Yes, it was actually a trolly post just to get traffic. Gizmodo = Gawker = the authors get paid per click, so the author was actually "nerdbaiting" to get clicks. What a twatwaffle.)

Does she realize that this is going to get Jon Finkel a ton of positive publicity and offers of dates?

I started following Jon Finkel on Twitter today? And he’s really handling this whole thing like a pro. He’s being really classy about it. I approve. Also, he’s kind of cute. FINE HE'S TOTALLY CUTE SHUT UP. So you go, Jon Finkel. I think you’ll have no problems finding a date for a while. There are like a kabillion hot geek girls who would totally go out with you today. You probably couldn’t roll a multi-sided die without hitting one. (I’m sorry. I don’t think there are dice used in Magic: The Gathering. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Am I fired from writing this article? I TOLD YOU TO READ ONE OF THE OTHER ONES.)

Why does she seem to think it’s “lying” not to mention something you’re into in your dating profile?

How is that lying? If anything, it’s a sin of omission, but it’s not really even that, is it? Do you write EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER DONE EVER in your dating profile? I quit online dating after frowny-face question-mark guy, because I just did NOT have the emotional fortitude to deal with it anymore, but if I remember correctly, those profiles weren’t very long. I don’t think there’s room to write in everything you have ever done, are currently doing, and plan on doing, for the rest of your life forever and ever Amen. Or am I completely off-base and they have an unlimited character count now? I’m being facetious, of course. Listen, we all have stuff. I like crocheting, cats, chocolate, pork products, television, geekery, and nail polish. I LOVE theater. I pretty much LIVE at my theater, when I’m not home. And yes, I would probably put that in my profile. But I don’t know that I would put exactly how many hours a week I spend there. I’d just kind of ease that on into a conversation. Because it makes me look like a kook, a little. And you have to gauge your audience, right? Lying? Really? First, he was worried it would make him look nerdy, and as nerds, we’re all a little shy/touchy about our nerdery. And second, he admitted himself on Twitter today that it was tough to come right out with his status as World Champion without looking like a tool. He was being HUMBLE, Alyssa Bereznak. Also he was worried he’d get the very reaction you gave, so way to deliver!

How exactly did Jon “infiltrate” his way into other dates? Was it ninja-style?

This woman uses very apocalyptical words. “Lying.” “Infiltrate.” I think less over-the-top words would work just fine. I assume what’s meant here is that two of her friends also had an issue with the Magic: The Gathering playing? “Infiltrating” doesn’t really work, though. If you use this word, I imagine him rappelling down the wall of restaurant in ninja pajamas and sneaking in while your friend’s real date is in the bathroom. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Why is she so upset about the totally awesome idea of taking someone to a Jeffrey Dahmer play?

I love live theater. I am always up for serial killers. WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE. If someone told me, “We’re going to dinner and then I got us tickets to a one-man show about Jeffrey Dahmer” my response would be “You’ve TOTALLY BEEN PAYING ATTENTION and YOU GET ME. Let’s get married now.” OMG THIS IS IT AND IT IS A MUSICAL THAT MAKES IT IMMEDATELY MY FAVORITE THING SINCE CARRIE THE MUSICAL.  Jon Finkel, seriously? Add a margarita or two to that and you have MY PERFECT DATE. I would be riding my OK Cupid match like a MERRY-GO-ROUND-PONY if he brought me to a Jeffrey Dahmer musical. What the hell.

Why in the name of Bill Gates WOULDN’T you Google someone before going out with them for the first time? Were you angling to be murdered and eaten?

This is just stupid. You don’t FORGET to wear pants when you go out; you don’t FORGET to put toothpaste on the brush before you brush your teeth; and you don’t FORGET to Google the hell out of someone you’re meeting for the first time that you met online. That’s Safety 101. That’s just utter stupidity. MURDERED AND EATEN, Alyssa. IT PUTS THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN, Alyssa. Come ON.

Why the hellllll did you go out with him again? Just to get more information for this article?

This was my first question upon reading the article and is still a major one. This made her go from “kind of a bitca” in my mind to “gigantic douchecanoe.” You KNEW you didn’t like him. Because you are icked out by nerdy things like card games ew ew get ‘em off get ‘em off.  But you went out with him again – TO GET MORE INFORMATION FOR THIS ARTICLE. That’s just cold. Cold and heartless. Just for that one reason? You deserve all of this backlash. Seriously. If you know you don’t like someone, don’t string them along. That’s just a shit move. An unnecessary shit move.

This really did nothing for anyone other than show you the state of my mind this week, which is “hamster on a wheel.” I’m really, really tired.

Also, being nerdy about something is sexy, because it shows you have emotions, intelligence, and heart. There’s nothing wrong with not being attracted to someone; there IS something wrong with calling them names (and using their real name) in a public forum. So for that, Alyssa (and I’m only using YOUR real name because it’s on the article and you started it!) – you get the Megadouche of the Week award! Congrats. Now go get drunk and make a Plenty of Fish profile or something.

Also? Jon Finkel? Although I know NOTHING about Magic: The Gathering, I have NOTHING AGAINST IT. You can totally call me. Three words, Jon. JEFFREY DAHMER MUSICAL. I can’t even. So awesome.

Monday, August 29, 2011

No Bananas Today. Possibly No Bananas All Week, Actually. Sorry, People Who Love Bananas.

Due to the fact that I'm overextended - and not in a happy way, unfortunately (filling in for vacationing co-workers as well as doing my own job, for one, and also beginning tech-week hell for my show that's opening Friday) I don't know if I'll get to update here this week much. I might end up with a ton of unexpected free time, but it's certainly not looking like it right now. So read my archives, or some of the fabulous blogs on my blogroll, or comment on things I've written, or something, hell, I don't know, I'm not good at coming up for things for you to do! I'd be the worst mom ever, my kid would be all "Mommy mommy I'm BORED" and I'd say "I don't understand how you can be bored because WE HAVE A TELEVISION."

Sorry! If it's any consolation, I want to be here.

Also, come see "Mrs. Warren's Profession" at Albany Civic Theater, if you live nearby. I assistant directed it. It's good. We worked hard. It's relatively inexpensive. It's only 2 hours and fifteen minutes long with intermission. And it's about whores, so you can't go wrong, really. And if I'm there, say hi! Maybe I'll blog about you and you will ATTAIN IMMORTALITY. And won't that be worth the price of admission, really?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My cats would like you to know they might MAKE you LOL but they are NOT LOL cats. They are TOO DIGNIFIED for that.

I should probably write about the hurricane today, right? Because that's the topic of the day, or if you're fancy and French, the topic du jour, or whatever. But the hurricane, which here in my area has been downgraded to a tropical storm, really isn't doing much at the moment. I mean, yes, it's raining, and the parking lot is kind of wet, and it's a little windy, but mostly it's just a regular storm. And I'm not really complaining about that, since people are dying in places where the hurricane is worse, and also, because other parts of town got hit harder than I did, tech day at my theater was cancelled, giving me an unexpected day off so I get to blog today after all and possibly watch television or something. But I was kind of looking forward to a scary storm. I mean, a little bit of one. I didn't want to have to lose power, or anything. But I was prepared! I had candles! I had storm food! And I love windy stormy days. They are most exciting.

No, instead of up-to-date Irene coverage, which I suppose you can get from Twitter or Facebook or your local news station or whatever, let's talk about something that the Internet is fascinated with: cats. Even more specifically: MY cats.

These are my cats. On your left, you have Dumbcat. He actually has a real name which isn't Dumbcat, but he doesn't like the Internet to know his business and I have to respect his privacy. He's very kidnappable and if you knew his real name you might be able to lure him into your child molester van. Also he's in witness relocation and so it's a safety issue. Dumbcat, as his name implies, rides the short bus to school every single day.

On your right you have Bittercat. Bittercat also has a name but she hates you too much to tell it to you. She is very snooty and pretentious, and will correct your pronunciation of certain words and also pee on your floor if you've displeased her. And listen, you've always displeased her.

Dumbcat and Bittercat are from Arizona and are adopted shelter cats. Quick PSA, because sometimes I can be serious, too (SHUT UP I TOTALLY CAN) - get your pets from shelters whenever possible. Because I worked at a shelter for almost two years, and we had to put a lot of animals to sleep. This is upsetting and unneccessary and also means I'm probably definitely going to hell someday. Get your pets spayed or neutered and when you're ready for a pet, go to the shelter and get one. Because it's trite and a cliche, sure, but you really are saving your pet's life.

Bittercat was my first grown-up person pet. I decided I wanted a cat so I went to the shelter with a list. I wanted a male cat, black and white, with a bad-ass attitude. I apparently was under the impression that the shelter was like the grocery store with well-stocked shelves. I surprisingly actually found the cat I was looking for, took him out of the cage, and cuddled him. When he started growling in my ear and tensing himself to eat my face I decided that maybe he wasn't a good fit and possibly a zombie cat and put him back.

Bittercat was in the back of her cage, curled up in her litter pan. She didn't have a card on her cage telling information about her, so I took her out and she attached herself to me like velcro. I had claw marks in my shoulder for a week after I adopted her, she held on so hard. She was not very big and she was kind of wheezy and she had pretty brown and black colors and I really, really wanted to bring a cat home, so I brought her up to the front desk. They asked me where her information card was so they could process the paperwork. I said she didn't have one. There was a fury of whispered discussion and a quiet phone call to the back and a shelter employee came up, gave me and Bittercat a weird look, and handed over the card.

The reason Bittercat's card wasn't on her cage was because, minutes before I had entered the room, the shelter employee had pulled it from the cage and brought it into the room where animals were put to sleep. Seconds after I left the room with Bittercat (which I found out you actually weren't supposed to do, but she was all velcro-ey and I didn't know the rules) the worker had gone into the room to get her to put her down and found her missing. While I was up front talking to the receptionist, they were looking for Bittercat, who they thought might have escaped from her cage. I found this out a couple of years later when I started working at the same shelter and they remembered me and Bittercat.

Bittercat had a serious cold, and wasn't spayed, and had been a stray for a while so took a while to get used to me, and I've had her for 11 years now. She's an old lady, my Bittercat. She's earned her bitterness. She just wants to be left alone. And she wants you to wake up at 5am to feed her wet food, and also she wants more wet food the minute you walk in the door at night, and she's VERY VOCAL about it. She's also uncomfortably old-lady bony and sleeps a lot, and gives everything around her constant bitchface. It has been noted a number of times that since animals and their owners start to act like one another after a long time spent together, Bittercat and I are the SAME. I take offense to that. I'm not skinny.

Dumbcat came along a couple of years later. I was working at the shelter at that point and a bunch of super-smart-awesome-fantastic people had started driving up to the shelter after-hours and pitching cats they didn't want out of their windows and driving away, because signing cats over to us during our very long, very gracious business hours was apparently MUCH TOO HARD. We were getting overrun with stray cats outside of the shelter, so we got a bunch of Hav-a-hart humane traps and set them up outside of the shelter. Most of the cats we caught were very feral, and not adoptable, but one day my co-worker said, "Check this one out, Amy!" and brought in a big, fat lynx point Siamese. I was sure he'd be feral - all the other cats had been, up until this point, and the ones that weren't were avoiding the trap like it had the plague - so I did the pen test. The pen test is when you gently tap a cat through the bars of a trap with a pen. If the cat FREAKS OUT OMG and tries to eat the pen? Feral. What did the Siamese do? Head-butted the pen and started purring so loud the trap vibrated against the tiled floor. I petted him through the trap. He tried frantically to head-butt my fingers. I opened the trap and he cuddled up into my arms and purred happily there because he might be dumb, but he's no fool, and he knew he'd won me over.

Dumbcat had been living outside for a while and had some cuts and scratches, but was otherwise ok. He also had a stub of a tail - the vet said it was a genetic thing, not a cruelty thing- and was a polydactyl, with mitten paws on the front and extra toes on the back. He also had one snaggle tooth and one broken tooth. So, in other words, he was just one big ball of genetic snafus. In better news, he was soft as a chinchilla and purred like a muscle car warming up. We held him for ten days - we had to, in case someone had lost him, although we were all pretty sure he was one of the cats someone had dumped on us - and in those ten days, we had a list of over twenty people wanting to adopt him. I wrote all of their names down with a smile and told them I'd call if the first person on the list fell through.

The first person on the list was the person writing down their names, of course.

The day I was able to take Dumbcat home, I opened up his cage and he took one look at me and bolted. Jumped right out of the cage, ran out of the cat room, and out the back door I'd propped open so I could get his carrier in the car easier. I stood there wondering how an animal that husky could move that fast. It seemed impossible, like how bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly.

The next two weeks were spent seeing glimpses of Dumbcat around the shelter. My co-workers kept a running tally for me. "Saw him over by the dog run! Left him a can of food!" "Saw him behind the night watchman's trailer - he ran under it when I walked over!" I was heartbroken. I was a bad potential kitty mommy. Finally we decided to stop leaving food out for him in the hope he'd get hungry enough to come into the shelter looking for some. It worked. One night, I was in the back shed putting a canned food donation away, and heard his meow - which, for a big old barrel-chested cat, sounds like a delicate opera singer. I very non-threateningly put out a can of food, which he attacked as if he hadn't eaten in years. I snuck behind him and shut the door of the shed, so his escape route was blocked. He realized the door was shut, ran to it in a panic, then looked at me with big, scared eyes - then gave up, rolled on his back, and peeked out at me from crossed paws in an "I give, you win" gesture. I brought him home that night.

Dumbcat is - well, listen, he's dumb. Dumbcat doesn't like to be touched and will run away if you attempt to touch him without him initiating it, sometimes violently, after making noises like a strangled baby chimpanzee. It's a serious problem because he is SO DAMN SQUISHABLE. You cannot see this cat and not want to just hug him until his eyes pop out. He looks like a stuffed animal. He also runs into things with his head. Like bookshelves. Once he ran twice into the same bookshelf with his head within a fifteen-minute span, and after the second time, HISSED at the bookshelf, like, "How DARE you, BOOKSHELF?" He is scared of visitors, even if he knows them, and will hide - sometimes under the couch (with his butt sticking out, because if HE can't see YOU, YOU can't see HIM - and when you pick him up from this type of hiding place, he regards you like unto a GOD, HOWEVER did you FIND ME?) and sometimes in cabinets. His favorite is the pots and pans cabinet because he likes to overturn the biggest pot and curl up under it with just his tail sticking out because IT IS SAFE IN THE DARK. He also hates closed cabinet doors and will go around opening the ones he can and meowing at the ones he can't until you open them for him, because he thinks Narnia is in there? I don't know.

Dumbcat also makes me laugh until I almost pee my pants. It's like living with a little furry comedian whose schtick is physical comedy, done well.

So now I've bored you to death. Sorry. Obligatory cat post. EVERY CAT MOMMY GETS A CAT POST.

To end this blog post, Dumbcat and Bittercat want to say something. Then they have to go back to sleep. 18+ hours of sleep a day doesn't just happen on its own, you know.

Hello. This is Bittercat. I take offense to anything written herein about me, as I have a reputation to uphold. I am a citizen with high moral standing in the cat community at large and I can't have my name just smeared about by hack bloggers and the like. I won't hesitate to sue. I have a lawyer on retainer, and am not in the least bit unwilling to call him if I'm not reflected in the best light in this post.

Also, it's been five hours since anyone fed me any wet food, and the dish isn't going to fill itself. Get to it, non-furred lackey.

Most very sincerely yours,


Hello this is dumbkat i have fur. Oen time i aet a bug and it taseted liek a bug. i liek you no touchingg me thogh. bekause it maeks my fur needs likcing for lng times.

loev dumbkat i have xtra toes


Saturday, August 27, 2011

I kept hearing that lyric "I got one hand in my pocket" in my mind. I know. I'm sorry.

I know this is going to shock and awe you, but until recently, I had never seen a Lifetime movie in its entirety. I know! Don't I seem like the kind of person who would eat these things up? And with titles like Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? and She Woke Up Pregnant HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG. (And now that I know about it, I NEED TO WATCH SHE WOKE UP PREGNANT. How have I not seen this? What an awesome teaser. How did THAT happen? Oh, hello, a baby! When I went to sleep that was not there, but now that I have awoken, it is there!) But no, seriously, I have never sat all the way through one. I've seen bits and pieces. Once I saw part of one with Meredith Baxter-Birney (although I think she's not hyphenated anymore because she got divorced and married a woman? Meredith Baxter, then?) and I think she was an alcoholic or something and was crashing around and fell down in the pantry and this seemed like something Mrs. Keaton WOULD NOT DO so I turned it off. Me not watching a full Lifetime movie is mostly due to the fact that I have insane ADD. Like, I can barely sit through an hour-long drama without getting up and running around like Tom and Jerry chasing each other around the apartment at least four times. I get SO BORED. Even if it's good. This is part of the reason I don't see a lot of movies in the theater, because running around like a lunatic? Kind of frowned upon in there. What? Oh, yeah, I'm totally off topic, WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE YOU ARE SURPRISED.

Anyway, because I thought, hey! Everyone should see at least ONE Lifetime movie all the way through in their lifetime (ha! that was kind of almost a joke! I know, I know, I'm totally the funniest person ever, you don't have to tell me because I'm aware of my total domination of hilarity!) And also, Lifetime is television FOR WOMEN. Well! I AM a woman. So it's like it's MADE for me. That's like someone giving me a FREE TAMPON. I have a use for that! BECAUSE I AM A LADY!

For my viewing pleasure, I chose a very excellent movie entitled The Craigslist Killer.  This was for a number of reasons, which I will lay out for you in a handy bullet-pointed list because everyone likes both bullets and lists:

  • Craigslist is absolutely enthralling to me. Everything you could ever want is there. Free chairs! Crap for sale! Things to do! A man who wants you to stomp on his son's train set while eating crab meat! Missed connections! And so many perverts. Like, a meeeelion perverts. Perverts love posting for free, you see.
  • I am obsessed with killers. There. I've said it. Listen, I'm not at all proud of this. And I'm not saying I'm one of those people who marries a serial killer on death row, or anything, but I am fascinated by what drives a person to become a serial killer. In another life, I'm pretty sure I was either a profiler, or a victim of a serial killer. Not a serial killer, though, because I just don't have the energy. You have to think of SO MANY THINGS. What to bring! What to wear! When to show up! Planning, planning, planning! I am not good at minutiae. I would get caught driving away.
  • I was on vacation, and there's no cable, so anything seemed like a good idea.
  • The Craig's List Killer story was one I followed pretty avidly, because, as mentioned, obsessed with killers, but it was so bizarre to me that I couldn't look away. Also, the killer went to school in the town where I live now, so it was everywhere on the news here. We're pretty proud of our hometown heroes.
So, The Craigslist Killer. First - you remember this story, right? Fine, upstanding med student, engaged, living in Massachusetts, is secretly meeting up with people advertising "erotic services" on Craig's List, and then, for some reason, decides screwing around with them isn't enough, so he starts robbing them, and then gets a gun and kills one of them. Then the cops catch him and he goes to jail and his girlfriend was very "stand by her man" for a while, and we were all, "whaaa? HOW COULD SHE NOT KNOW" but then I guess she got wise to, oh, I don't know, the TONS OF EVIDENCE IN HER APARTMENT, and she broke up with him, and then he killed himself in jail after scrawling her name all over the walls in his own blood, therefore cutting short the state's plans of trying him for the murder.

Now, The Craigslist Killer movie. Well, it was similar to the true story, I think, for the most part. It had that going for it. The bare bones were there. The facts were there. But there were some missteps.

After watching this, I came to a very important conclusion: there is now no need, no need at all, to ever watch another Lifetime movie again as long as I live.

I took some notes so I could share them with you, because I was watching it somewhere where there was no internet or cable.

Transcribed from my notes:

This is the WORST. (It is important to note this was written five minutes into the movie.)

If you want to school at SUNY Albany, you would probably not pronounce it SUNY AAAHL-banny, with a long "a" at the beginning. Because NO ONE SAYS THAT. And we'd slap you if you did. It's ALL-bunny. I know. It kind of looks like it should be pronounced as it's written - like the man's name Al, and then "bany" pronounced like "banny." But that's not the case, and people who went to school here FOR FOUR YEARS would know that. Or they'd have been beaten up a lot while living here.


What is going on? OK, he's having these - um, I don't know, episodes? Where it looks like he's having a personal earthquake? But nothing else is shaking, just him? Are we to assume that's the demon inside him trying to come out, or he's epileptic? THIS IS VERY CURIOUS.

OK, this is where the small amount of credibility I have just left me, because he just went into what seems to be a combination Big Lots and survivalist store and filled a cart with duct tape, rope, and disposable cell phones (and asked the guy stocking the shelves, VERY secretive-like, "So, um, these are, like, the ones no one can EVER EVER track, right? Like, ever? No matter what cross your heart and hope to die?") And he went to the counter, and a very unfortunate checkout woman was checking him out - and also checking him OUT, if you  know what I mean? And as she rang up the tenth cell phone - I'm not even exaggerating - she said "You know, you could program MY number into one of these." Um. Well! How about you also tie yourself up with his rope and tape your mouth shut? Because if someone is buying a cartful of that stuff, without even sticking in some Fruit Rollups and some tampons, or something, like as a beard? RED FLAG RED FLAG HE IS A SERIAL KILLER. Oh, and he didn't even put her number in one. He just grimaced at her and had another personal earthquake and sped out of there with his bags of killin' goodies.

A whore! Oh, I can see the whore's microphone box underneath her negligee. WHO ANSWERS THE DOOR IN A NEGLIGEE. Whores, apparently.

So, I know I'm the most sheltered human being alive, but people really advertised on Craig's List for erotic massages? And people showed up for them? This is really distressing to me. And also kind of gross. What if you showed up and the masseuse was just icky? Would you go through with it? Or would you just leave and totally hurt her feelings? Or what if you really just wanted a massage and misunderstood the subtext? AWKWARD.

BILLY BALDWIN IS A COP IN THIS. Oh, Billy Baldwin. This makes me feel SO BAD FOR YOU. Do you throw darts at photos of Alec at night when you go home and weep and gnash your teeth and say, "But I was the pretty one! I was supposed to be living the dream, too!"

The fiancee's mom (also, the fiancee's nickname is "Pocket" and this is stupid) has Michele Bachmann crazy eyes and was the mean girl who stuck magnets on Phoebe's back brace in Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. Aw! Remember Alan Cumming in that? So adorable! And the dance at the end where they looked like dying swans and I laughed so hard I fell out of my theater seat and onto the disgusting popcorny theater floor?

Comparison photo, after the fact, for those of you who might be interested:


Michele Bachmann (left, obviously) wins the crazy eye contest! And there was much rejoicing.

The Craiglist Killer is doing that thing where he's psyching himself up in the mirror, because I think he models himself after Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. You, sir, are no Patrick Bateman. Didn't you hear Bale's f-bomb heavy rant on the internet? No one could ever live up to that. It was the best/worst thing EVER. Don't even TRY.

Best line of the entire movie (sorry, that really should be "movie") goes to Billy Baldwin. "I don't get it. This day and age? Women inviting people they DON'T EVEN KNOW into HOTEL ROOMS?" Ha! My thoughts EXACTLY, cop played by Billy Baldwin. (Is it obvious to anyone yet that I not only didn't write down anyone's names, I actually am so filled with ennui at the thought of this movie that Googling them is too much work?) Also, it should be noted that Billy Baldwin is acting using the Joey Tribbiani "smell the fart" technique. Throughout the entire movie. Billy Baldwin! Does this make you feel bad for the time you were kind of a snotty douche when you came to my college that one time? Because I kind of feel your fall from grace is a little warranted.

There is a profiler on here who is the WORST PROFILER EVER. "I think the killer is middle-aged? And a loner? With no friends? Who can't get a girlfriend? And is ugly?" Um. OPPOSITE, profiler. Dr. Spencer Reid would have known all about the killer about twenty minutes into this movie. I am disgusted.

Out of nowhere, the cops just said, "His name is Philip Markoff! Here is his Facebook profile! HE HAS SO MANY FRIENDS!" (Sigh. YES, I looked it up. I had to. The joke wasn't funny without an actual name in it.) What? HOW DID THEY FIND THAT OUT? Did I miss something? A minute ago the only evidence they had was grainy security camera footage; now they've got him? I feel like this jumped ahead two weeks and I missed a bloody glove or something. Also, Billy Baldwin looks PISSED at all the friends the killer has. Billy Baldwin doesn't have NEAR as many Facebook friends as the Craigslist Killer, methinks. Also, the Craigslist Killer doesn't use any privacy features on his Facebook profile. Well, then you deserve to get caught. Twitter is for PUBLIC use; Facebook is for PRIVATE use. Google Plus is for everything because of the circles. Should have asked me, Craigslist Killer.

Mostly I'm just wondering how he got away with anything at this point.

"Hey, let's go to Foxwoods and do some gambling wanna go let's go no need to pack let's go go go time to be impulsive ha ha ha love you Pocket!" --the Craigslist Killer when he realizes they're onto him and decides to take his fiancee to Foxwoods Casino. She goes. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS STUPID. No, that's mean. She's actually just completely naive and a little bubbleheaded. And a med student, so, you know, totally someone you want operating on you.

"Why are they pulling me over? I'm not even speeding! Aw, shoot!" --fiancee, who doesn't see that the killer is sweating like a drunk after a three-day bender and trying to hide inside the glove compartment

In the interrogation room, the Craigslist Killer attempts to turn the tables. Billy Baldwin asks him why he would do this. "Why do YOU think I would do this?" he asks in return. Oh, well-played, Craigslist Killer. Well-played. Well, have to let you free now. You've got them! Logic is on your side, no question about that.

OMG there are a ton of women's panties rolled up underneath his mattress. THAT HE SHARES WITH HIS FIANCEE. That is totally unsanitary. I would be so skeeved out by that. I think I might stick around after the murder accusations but OH HELL NO when I found out about the skeevy whore panties. And not because of the cheating, either. BECAUSE OF THE POTENTIAL FOR CRABS.

"It's not physically possible that he could do this!" --the Craigslist Killer's mentor, who is also a doctor. Um, actually, PHYSICALLY, it is. And as a doctor, who treats the human body, it's kind of important you know if something's PHYSICALLY possible. I don't think I'll be going to this hospital anytime soon. The three people who I've met who work there are a killer, someone who doesn't understand the word "physically," and a woman so naive she doesn't know there are a million skanky pairs of panties under her mattress.

The Craigslist Killer tried to hang himself with his shoelaces but they were not very sturdy and also, you know, SHOELACES, so that didn't work. Damn. Fine plan, bro.

Why is the fiancee, who has shown kind of admirable fashion sense up until now, wearing a Member's Only jacket? Is it to show that her fashion sense, like her life, is falling apart? I might be reading too much into this movie.

Wow, that ending was abrupt. BAM, all of a sudden she decides he's a killer after all because enough people told her it happened so it must be true. Way to be decisive, Pocket! BAM, she breaks up with him. (He apparently thought the wedding was still happening because he asked if she thought the tailor would come to prison for the final fitting of the tux. Sexy!) BAM, he kills himself after writing her name all over his cell IN HIS OWN BLOOD.

What did we learn from this movie?
  1. Billy Baldwin is a cautionary tale.
  2. Crazy eyes are bad.
  3. If someone nicknames you "Pocket" that's a sign he's deeply disturbed.
  4. Buying a metric ton of disposable cell phones is never a sign that he's "the one" unless if by "the one" you mean "the one who will kill you and wear your skin as a kicky spring cape."
  5. Don't watch Lifetime movies, even if they ARE for women and YOU'RE a woman, because DEAR GOD IT'S A TRICK.