There Is Crying in Soccer!

cry

And a lot of it.

Ask me how I know, and I’ll tell you the story.  But it’s not all that sad.

It just is.

Here goes.

For reasons not altogether completely clear to me, there seems to be an unending shortage of soccer referees around here these days.

Upon further reflection, I really think I do have a relatively good idea why there are problems in this area:  Referee Abuse — from parents and coaches and players.

But mainly from coaches and players.

It’s gotten so bad that many of the younger refs we’re trying to nurture along simply get so intimidated early on that they abandon the pursuit and turn their attentions elsewhere to less demanding climes.

In my case, I’m so old and curmudgeonly that I pretty much don’t care what kind of things are verbally launched in my direction.  Plus, I can’t hear most of what’s said anyway, so I kind of works out in the end.

But this post is not about the greater ill affecting the game.  It’s about the symptom — the ongoing shortage.

Over the past weekend we were collectively facing the dilemma of not being able to source and assign enough referees for all the available games here in my region.  So in a fit of misplaced selflessness, I volunteered my services on Saturday, already knowing I had been assigned some terribly difficult games Sunday morning that would require all my strength reserves and resolve to complete.

The only condition I made to my assignor for Saturday, should he need me, was not to put me on any sort of demanding games in the afternoon, lest I be rendered so tired and unfit I would be unable to rise from my slumber and work the next day’s assignments.

Accordingly, he paid attention to my warning and gave me three little kids’ games to handle — Under 7 and Under 8 Year Olds.

No problemo, man!  I can help you out!

But then I realized I hadn’t done these types of games in years and, sometimes, the parents at that level can be horrendous.

No matter.  I was “taking one for the team” because, after all, without me, there would be no games at all.

Not really.  I’m fairly sure my assignor could have put his hands on some other schmuck, but I can be delusional when the situation warrants.

As it turned out, most of my time on Saturday was spent teaching the two new assistant referees working the games with me the finer points of soccer.  The instruction went something like the following:

“How long have you been refereeing?” I innocently asked.

“This is my second weekend,” answered one.

“And you?” I hazarded to the other.

“Third weekend, but I have a good understanding of all the rules.”

Okay,” I thought.  “At least I won’t have to work so hard on that one.”

Wrong-O.  My “experienced” guy soon proved he had no understanding that being an assistant referee required one to move up and down the sideline, even (gasp) occasionally run.

This was going to be a longish afternoon, clearly.

Then there were the little happy-go-lucky players themselves.

They didn’t stand a chance out there.

They were subjected to a constant and unending barrage of “encouragement” from their parents and erstwhile coaches.  And from their real coaches, too.

To label the atmosphere as confusing would be akin to comparing this blog post to Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

It don’t toll for thee, dude.

In the midst of the audio bombardment, an attempt was made by a few to play some soccer.  However, more time was spent re-doing throw-ins and chasing down errant balls than anything else.

Then came the crying.

Some of it was understandable.  Here and there a player took a soccer ball to the face or the stomach, or simply tripped.

Oh, that’s right.  I forgot.  We also experienced many stoppages of play for shoelace tying.  These kids were as bad at that at playing soccer.

But back to the crying.

Outside of the normally explainable instances, there were other, unique events.

The first involved a little boy who couldn’t figure out which side of the center line to stand on before the kick-off occurred.  The more he was “encouraged,” the worse his immobility became.  He was glued to that piece of turf, and I suppose he figured things couldn’t get any worse if he just hung tight there.

But then his resolve started to crumble and the tears began to flow.

I had had enough  of this scene and stepped in to help out the little bugger player, since everyone else was screaming at him.

I crouched down next to him, told the sideline to zip it, and just talked to him in the calmest, most reassuring voice I could muster.  The problem was, I really didn’t know what to say.

So I just made it up.

“You don’t need to cry.  No one is mad at you.”

More tears.  Trembling lips.

“All you need to do is stand on the other side of the line here, and life goes on, kid.”  I didn’t really say the second part.

“You’re just out here to have fun.  Don’t worry about them talking to you.”

I gently maneuvered him to the correct position, and the world started spinning again, and the salty discharge quickly evaporated.

Until the next incident.

Two little boys starting a teensy tiny shoving match.  Nothing much to it, really, but I needed to get them to knock it off before somebody decided to bite someone else.

“You, two.  Come here.  Both of you.”

My summons was met by the classic “if I pretend to look away, then he’s not talking to me” feint, but they soon got the message and frighteningly approached me.

“Look, you two should be having fun.  I want you to knock it off and stop. . . “

Then the tears began to flow.

“He started it first (sob),” and so on.

I had to calm down these tykes quickly or half the field might erupt in waves of sorrow.

“Guys.  I’m not mad at you.  You just need to stop shoving each other.  You’re supposed to be having fun out here.  Now no more pushing, okay?”

I had to give the one kid a hug in order to prevent a total meltdown.

I’m a bad man.  A very bad man to cause such pain.

After the games were complete, I sat on a bench at the end of the field, packing up my stuff for the drive home.  I was more hot than tired, and more thirsty than hungry.

And though I hardly ran at all, my feet hurt.

So much for selflessness.

But then a couple of parents passed by on the way to the parking lot and commented on how well they thought I handled the kids out there.

Okay.  Feeling a bit better now.

I guess I wish all crying were so easy to stop, but I do keep a lint roller handy because I never know when I’m going to be herding cats, or little kids.

- Dad

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The Cannibals Among Us

cheetah

I came to the realization today I’m surrounded by Stone Cold Killers.  I even sleep with them or, rather, they sleep with me.  At least some of them.

Their names?  Rambo, Tigger, and Sandy (aka Mamma Cat or Big Bad Mama — no offense to Angie Dickenson).

I’m talking about our damn cats, of course.  Our  geriatric, whining, skittish felines who, between the three of them, total 52 years on this earth and, sometimes in a sandbox, if we’re lucky.

But more on them in a moment.

Hunters and Hunted were all around me today.  It started early this morning when I went out for a coffee.  As I was pleasantly enjoying my solitude drink, a flashing movement across the street caught my attention.  There, on top of the gas station awning, perched a gigantic hawk with a feathery mass clutched in his talons.  While we frequently see crows ganging up on and chasing hawks here, rarely do we witness the aftermath of a kill.  It looked to me as if the world was short one less blackbird.

Chalk one up for the raptors.

This particular hawk didn’t seem to have the best grip on its now-expired prey, and I just waited for him to drop the whole mass on some unsuspecting customer below filling up his Mugglemobile.  Alas, just a few feathers slowly drifted down, and when I returned my gaze after being momentarily distracted, the hawk was gone, and it had taken breakfast with him.

I have to admit that watching the birds is more interesting than the cop who usually parks over at that station  and entertains himself by ticketing drivers rolling through the right turn red light right in front of him.  After all, it’s the ticketing part that’s best, and he typically pulls folks over several blocks away so I don’t get to see the Shock and Awe involved with the standard traffic stop.  Bummer.

A bit later after I returned home, I busied myself with washing my filthy, neglected, road-worn truck.  (Note to Daughter:  If you want to use the truck again, try becoming familiar with a vacuum cleaner — you can practice on the interior.  And don’t let it interfere with any eyebrow appointments you might be planning, thank you.)  As I was finishing up, I was summoned by my Spouse.

“Come quick!  The cats have caught a locust.”

“I’m still wiping down the truck.  I’ll be there in a minute.”

“But it’s huge.  I’ve never seen one this big.  It’s huge!”

Now you have to understand, two of our three cats have essentially laid waste to all the fauna that inhabits our pixie-sized SoCal yard.  Well, let me qualify that a bit.  Tigger and Rambo are able to (but not necessarily do) catch anything that moves slower than them (lizards and skinks), is not taller than them (lizards and skinks) since they can’t really jump anymore, or is dumber than them (some birds, apparently, lizards and skinks, and some insects).

Basically our two cats retired from the Plains of Africa years ago.  They may dream they’re cheetahs, but they move like hippos now.  They prefer being fed to hunting, but occasionally the mood strikes them (or an insect wanders in front of them), and the slow-speed chase is on.  Our third cat (Mama) prefers to hide, sleep, and randomly bite/scratch Daughter, when the opportunity presents itself — it’s entertaining, if nothing else.

Back to our story.

When I finally made it to the side of the house to gaze upon the locust leviathan, there was nothing left to see.

“What happened?  Where’s this locust?” I asked, not even marginally disappointed.  I’ve seen all this before.

“I think Tigger ate it,” my Spouse replied.

Keep in mind that in our idyllic community and neighborhood, we have several retirement homes within a short distance, and senior citizens are everywhere, holding up traffic, arguing with cashiers, and looking perplexed at the post office.  Why, a local credit union a short distance from our house was robbed a couple of years ago by the so-called “Geezer Bandit.” Not only did this Oldster successfully abscond with a substantial amount of money, he made his getaway in an RV.

Yep.  An RV.

How hard can it be to track down an RV?  Just saying. . . .

So, our elderly cats kind of fit in with the rest of the AARP landscape around here.  We always rescue their prey if we make it in time.

“How do you know Tigger ate the locust?” I asked.

“He’s throwing up now,” my Spouse replied.

And if we don’t make it in time to make the save, we always make it in time to clean up afterwards.

- Dad

I Bought Fancy Toys for the Kittens but They Only Play with Their Poop

"Are you hiding poop in there?"

“Are you hiding poop in there?”

I don’t really understand why the kittens find poop preferable to the six jingley play balls and the pricey carpeted scratching post with feathers. They have ignored all of my efforts to impress them with material things. Maybe because they have self-sustaining entertainment: their own poop. I wish I had known this before I dropped a pretty penny trying to create a fun environment for them. I would have gotten bigger litter boxes or just filled my entire room with litter – oh wait, that’s already happened – had I known that they would enjoy what happens in the litter box so very much.

Every time I go into the room, the kittens are doing their darnedest to turn my room into a raw sewage dumping ground. Their toys sit sadly in dark corners, untouched save for some half-hearted pawing all the while the kittens thinking to themselves: I wish this was poop. 

This is what happens: they paw around balls of poo in the litter box until they successfully get a piece of it out. Then, they proceed to play table hockey amongst themselves using the poop as the puck.  I’m lucky if the poop is covered in cat litter. God forbid if it’s not and they step in it… they sprint away from me and track their feces to places unreachable by humans thus forever leaving their excrement as eternal monuments. The only positive aspect of this poop-flinging is that it forces me to constantly vacuum and clean. My room alternates between being a toxic waste site and being spotless.

I have taken to sleeping on the couch because I found it hard to sleep with kittens running across my face at 3am. Aw, cute little kittens with their cute little paws running across you! No, you are mistaken. I know where those paws have been: in and around their own poop. Mostly IN.

As for the mama cat, Ginger Rogers, I had the misfortune of catching her out of her favorite hidey-hole under my bed. She looked at me with murder in her eyes and hissed her meanest hiss. She’s missing a few teeth so the effect is sort of a lisp-y hiss and is slightly less intimidating than a regular hiss. I think she might be hating me less because instead of hissing for thirty seconds while spitting, she only hissed for fifteen seconds while slowly retreating under the bed. I’ll take it!!!

- Daughter

The Kittens are in the Rebellious Teen Phase

Go home, Kitten, you’re drunk.

But seriously, I walked into my bedroom today and found a kitten asleep in one of my shoes. The smell of tequila and regret wafting through the air mixed with Tidy Cats: Multiple Cats Formula cat litter smell. I sensed mischief.

I consider myself to be relaxed in my parenting style. I let Loki and Thor be themselves, even when it walks the line between good taste and Ke$ha. As long as they are not hurting themselves, I let them be. But this is where I draw the line.

Substance abuse. It’s a serious problem among our nation’s youth. And I will not enable my adopted children to become a statistic. First tequila… and then what, cat nip? And then, they’re going to go and knock up some stray on the street.

You can barely take care of yourself, Loki. I’m not even sure you know how to walk. How are you going to take care of a litter of kittens? How do you expect to provide for a family when all you’ve got is a scratching post and a plastic ball to your name?  Are you satisfied with that kind of life? I raised you better than this. 

No, you’re big adorable blue eyes will not sway me. Stop it. Drugs are bad. Stop trying to hypnotize me.  

I don’t care how cute you look asleep in the shoe. This is not acceptable behavior and I will not tolerate it under my roof. 

Dear God, it’s… so cute. I’m dying. Okay, stay with me forever. You are forgiven. 

- Daughter

A Sad Day in Dandy Dogdom

 

 

dandy

I’m really a Martian Dog, or maybe from Vulcan. You can only tell in certain light because my eyes turn green!

Now don’t get too excited.  No one dies today.  We just experienced general unhappiness.

Though I haven’t conducted true academic research on the subject, it is my understanding that German Shepherds typically latch onto one particular person in the household pack.  I am not that person. 

It is Mom.

It is also very clear to me that Dandy Dog has a very well-developed sixth sense when it comes to understanding that, somehow, today the daily routine will be disrupted. 

Thusly, so we found ourselves this Saturday.  

Mom had plans to be gone from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  That means Dad has to conduct the morning walk, has to feed Dandy breakfast, and has to endure his forlorn, empty eyes — not staring at me, mind you — but absolutely fixated on the front door for hours on end. 

Let me take you through the routine. 

The Reluctant Walk.  Have you even known a dog, any dog, not excited to grab a leash and head out the door?  Then you haven’t met our dog.  He is only truly interested in walking if it is with his Mom.  With anyone else it is simply a Dog Charade, and it goes something like this.  After much cajoling, he will mope over to whomever is holding his lead, not at all excited about the prospect of leaving the house.  After being dragged outside, he will slowly, very slowly, walk down the hill on our street, pausing at great length at the first convenient bush. 

I don’t mean ten seconds.  More like forty-five or fifty.  I know.  I’ve counted.  And then he’s been known to stop by the second most convenient bush and pretend.  That’s right.  He will pretend to do something.  Like he thinks most of us Muggles are complete idiots and can’t tell.  And after that, he feigns excitement that he has relieved himself and turns tail back to the house. 

And the preceding cinema happens mainly with me.  With any of the kids attempting the same activity, Dandy basically goes on strike.  Oh, he might walk down the hill, but that’s it.  No farther.  He’ll just stand there with a dumb look on his face and refuse to move.  In that way, he is smarter than us Muggles, since he knows the Younger Muggles will simply give up and allow him to lead the way back home. 

The Hunger Strike.  With Mom gone, no eating will take place.  None.  However, if a cat happens to wander by his bowl of Hardened Dog Kibbles, he will position himself strategically between the two so that his stash is guarded.  He will only return to the carcass later in the day, when the pack is reunited. 

The Thousand-Mile Stare.  Dandy’s entire existence is spent by the front door on those days that Mom disappears.  Perhaps he thinks she will never return, but he will sit, lie, and sleep by the door, finely attuned to any sound on the other side that even faintly resembles Mom’s van.  His focus is intense, and can only be bested by sitting on his lead in the front yard, so that he has a commanding view of the road and his Mom’s potential return.  Although if a delivery person happens to wander by, Dandy will be more than happy to try to attack him or her and kill. 

The Walton’s Home for Christmas.  That pretty much describes the scene when Mom returns.  The sun comes out, the Red Sea parts, and John-Boy spreads good holiday cheer throughout the Walton household.  Angels also sing.

How do I feel about it?  Well, the whole deal is really pathetic, when I think about it.  But then again, I’m not the object of Dandy’s affection. 

I had a cat once that was attached to me in much the same way.  He would wait for me to come home from work, would only eat if he was touching some part of me, and followed me around the neighborhood on walks.  It is clear to me that my old cat behaved much like a dog might. 

And Dandy?  He’s somewhere between a cat, a wolf, and a Muggle. 

Mom’s okay with that, and in Dandy’s world, that’s all that matters anyway. 

- Dad

How to Build a Kitten Fortress

Preliminary stages of Kitten Fortress

Tomorrow, I’m getting my foster cat and kittens. In order to prepare, I built a kitten fortress underneath my desk. I put down a blanket that is nicer than the one on my bed that will probably just get pooped or hairballed on. I also put one of my old shirts in a corner so they get used to my wonderful human smell. The mama cat will probably hate me and try to disembowel me but maybe, just maybe, she will sense that I will be alone forever and take pity on me.

Anywho, here are the steps necessary to create a kitten fortress (makes a great Easter gift!):

1) Gather materials. Make sure they are sturdy, but do not expect them to stay clean. Because they will not. Kittens are not known for their table manners.

2) Deconstruct a cardboard box. Place cardboard box in a niche somewhere in your house to create a cat habitat. Make the box look at horrible as possible so that your landlord will hate you when she shows people the apartment.

3) Decorate the cat fortress on the outside with pictures of castles…. so it looks more like a fortress and less like a piece of processed, dead tree. Upon completion of this step, your landlord will be distracted by the beauty of the fortress and have no room in her heart for hatred.

4) Add kittens. Do not stir; let mellow for 48 hours.

5) Abandon all social activities and barricade self in the fortress with the cat and kittens. Never leave.

- Daughter

I Guess I’m Supposed to Write About Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year again. No, not another colonoscopy. No, not another endoscopy. NO, NOT FOR AN ENEMA. Is your digestive system okay? Like, seriously. That’s a lot of procedures. Eat some more fiber or something.

Anyway, it’s Valentine’s Day! I guess I’m supposed to write a hilarious blog post or a cynical, sarcastic one about this day dedicated to love, but the problem is, I don’t have an opinion about Valentine’s Day. I like cats and act like a crazy cat lady on all days, so this day doesn’t particularly resonate with me.

I was literally banging my head against the wall screaming, “WHY AM I NOT FUNNY?!!!!!!!” when I was attempting to brainstorm a blog post about Valentine’s Day. Perhaps because of a concussion, I had a realization. The problem is, you see, that everything funny that could be written about Valentine’s day has been written. And everything saccharine and cutesy about Valentine’s Day has also been written. So… what’s left? I’m left. I’M LEFT. No, I’m write. I mean, right.

If for some reason you are a weirdo who gets sad on Valentine’s Day, I have come to bring you good cheer. Here are cute animals having a worse Valentine’s Day than you:

 

 

 

- Daughter

 

Let’s Stay Focused on the Storm Troopers

boots

“Yeah, I know it looks stupid, but I’m wearing them outside of my pants anyway. What are you going to do about it?”

I’m not sure how I got mentally waylaid during my last post, but it is easier to drift off topic these days since I’m no longer being tested on most of the content I write any longer — at least formally.

“Where’s your thesis statement?” Daughter might ask. 

“Stream of consciousness doesn’t require one,” I might counter.  It’s an easy out. 

Back to our story.

We have had some really wet weather (for us) the last few weeks, and it’s made the females in the house absolutely giddy with delight because it gives them the opportunity to wear Actual Rain Boots, as opposed to the numerous pairs of Puss ‘N Boots they seem to favor normally. 

Admittedly, I may have the following timeline a bit skewed, but on those occasions when I’m actually allowed to comment on such things, I’ve tried to make the point that the blossoming boot fad of the last few years will surely date everyone to approximately Year 2010, just as platform shoes does the same for the 1970s.  To this day I am still unable to banish from my mind the image of gigantic soles and heels, combined with 100% rayon print shirts.  It’s a sartorial mental albatross I carry. 

As far as I’m concerned, the same holds true for Crocs and Uggs.  My point is that 500 years from now when a well-preserved body is pulled from a Southern California peat bog, the Dog Scientists of the future will date the pickled corpse to the late twentieth century based on the footwear alone. 

The online virtual news account might read something like, “In the process of excavating the new parking lot for the San Diego-Mars Spaceport, a body was unearthed yesterday.  The initial assessment points to a well-fed female of average height.  Of note, the fingernails were painted with a number of designs, apparently in color, which are perhaps spiritual in nature.  Based on the appearance of the images, the cat may have been an object of worship for this person.  The body itself, however, was marred by the all-synthetic nature of its attendant clothing which melted or “bonded” to the skin.  However, the footwear was remarkably intact, and scientists were able to discern the word “Crocs” on the soles of both shoes, which definitely links the find to the late twentieth century.  The shoes were remarkably well-preserved, but their construction indicated they may have been used as some sort of punishment.”

It is with some dismay and not a little befuddlement that I have observed the Rise of Boots in our society during the last couple of years.  I didn’t even really notice boots when they were tucked inside the pants leg.  Isn’t that where they belong?  I don’t know, but they seemed comfortable there.

But like that scene out of 2001 A Space Odyssey when the monkeys (I realize they aren’t monkeys; give me a break here) discovered they could use bones for killing, the transition of boots from inside to outside the cuff crossed some magical threshold.

I’m sorry.  The first thing I have a small problem with is that so many people are wearing boots these days.  It’s like a bad western movie everywhere, and I think it looks really silly. 

And it seems to be getting sillier by the month.  In fact, it’s becoming downright goofy.  I even saw a guy recently wearing Uggs in such fashion, and a tiny little part of me wanted to slap him out of it. 

“Get real, man!  Have some respect for yourself.”

But Zen-me intervened, and I just went back to drinking my coffee.  I figured he was publicly celebrating his own personal Pajama Day ™ — not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

Which brings me back to my own casa and the aforementioned Actual Rain Boots, worn by my Spousal Unit.  Never one to miss an opportunity to wear a new pair of boots during our nightly Dandy Dog walk in a Southern California downpour (what the east coast would term a “mist”), I was instead joined by a jack-booted member of the Waffen SS and not my wife.  I mean these things she was wearing came right out of some 1935 Wehrmacht barracks in Berlin.  I felt like shouting out a few “Seig Heils” while walking my (uh-oh) German Shepherd (Dandy Dog). 

See a pattern here? 

“Dear, you realize those boots are pretty funky looking, right?”

“It’s the style and they keep my feet dry.”

“Have we paid our National Socialist Party dues this year?”

That’s about where the walk, or at least the conversation, ended.  Probably a good thing, at least for my own well-being.

The fact of the matter is, in some respects we are somewhat surrounded by Storm Troopers, Actual Rain Boot wearers or not. 

For instance, there is the Home Owner’s Association Observation Team, which prowls my neighborhood looking for Jews non-standard architectural deviations.  Over the years, we have received a few letters from these Nazis well-meaning miscreants citizens regarding weeds (I think we’ve had as many as three at one time) in our front yard — all the while with a neighbor two doors up whose plot consists entirely of dirt and two boulders.  And there’s another house up the street that was recently repainted in — get this — pink. 

It’s unique, but it’s not that big of a deal because, apparently, their yard has no weeds.  

Whatever. 

So, my big plan for the summer is to paint the house purple, rip out the front yard and probably the back, as well, for good measure. 

And leave it all as plain dirt. 

My fervent wish going forward into the immediate future is that a Sensible Boot Uprising occurs, and they all go back under cover where they belong.  Thus, we will collectively recover our wardrobe sanity, and I can worry about other, more meaningful things like should I drink Bold or Blonde this morning and how did I miss Daughter’s unhealthy fixation with cats all these years?

- Dad

I Only Watch “Serious” Reality TV Now

The Real HouseCats of Disney

At home, I was a fan of the worst, trashiest t.v. shows I could find. Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Forever-Alone-Cat-Lady (oh, actually that’s just a documentary of my life), Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo, Toddlers and Tiaras… I am too embarrassed and ashamed to go on. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. I lived vicariously through these ridiculous caricatures of human beings who drank too much, loved too much, and ate fried, unidentified objects (F.U.O.s) mostly composed of chemicals and the tears of Mother Earth.

But I’ve made a serious transition, a “mature, wise investment in my future” you might even call it. How? Intervention and Beyond Scared Straight. In case you’re my Dad: Intervention = the show about drug addicts who get one last chance at help and Beyond Scared Straight = the show about troubled young kids who spend a day in jail to learn about the inspiration for that Elvis song.

Where are the housewives? In their houses, doing various drugs in between ironing and starching their husbands’ suits. Where are the toddler pageant contestants? Probably somewhere along the path to becoming heroin addicts. These lessons and more I have learned. I think college is edumuhkating me and turning me into a smart person. I don’t know why or how… but it is happening. It’s as inevitable as the sun rising or cats.

Besides the fact that they increase my intelligence exponentially (learned that word from one of those shows, by the way) I think I watch Intervention and Beyond Scared Straight because they help to confirm that I am making GoodLifeChoices ™ rather than PoorLifeChoices ™. It especially helps assuage any guilt I feel for skipping assignments for classes. It’s not that bad I didn’t finish the book, I’m not doing meth!!! Whoops, I forgot about that meeting with my thesis advisor because I overslept… at least it wasn’t because I was on a coke binge!!! Oh man, I just spend $40 on quinoa…. at least I’m getting protein and not toxic overdoses!!! Etc.

I also haven’t been to jail much, so there’s that.

 

Related:

I want to go to wherever this jail is, TAKE ME MEOW!

Copawrnicus – jailed for heretic teachings about heliocentricity of the solar system.

Jail is like… the best. It makes me feel so… aesthetically pleasing. 

Moral: drugs are bad but catnip is good… it’s an herb, okay? It’s like different, man, it’s natural - don’t be so close-minded.

- Daughter

A Professor Used a Cat Book to Illustrate a Point and I Died, PLUS: Must-Read Cat Books

I’m taking a class about technical theater lighting because I want to learn how to do things that I will literally never use outside of the school; I guess you could say that I like to educate myself to new, useless heights. Today, my professor/indie-electrician was talking about different sorts of lighting terminology and held up the book, Looking at Paintings: Cats, by Peggy Roalf to illustrate different types of light. My eyes teared up from the sheer joy of this moment. Up until this point, I had been unsure of this professor with his cowl-neck/hoodie sweatshirt (???) and puce watch and Robert Pattinson hair. But when that cat book entered my visual sphere, I knew I was in the right place. How could I not take this class when the professor so clearly shared the same worldview as me, one defined and enhanced by cats? He just gets me. 

Almost immediately after I got home, I went on Amazon to buy this wonderful piece of literature for myself. As an art history  major, it’s very important to have a wide breadth of understanding of the canon. (Buy it here if you also want this edifying piece of KitLit ™!) Of course, I got sucked into the world of cat literature/art, aka KitLit ™. It’s a wonderful world and very rewarding if you don’t mind that recycled kitty litter was used to manufacture each book*. I included links to the actual books just in case you don’t believe me. THIS IS REAL LIFE.

KitLit ™ Must-Reads!

Dancing with Cats by Burton Silver and Heather Busch.

Yes, Amazon, I will look inside. Look at the gentle grace and beauty of both human and cat, dancing as one great monolithic being. An intertwined dance expressing raw, animal energy. In Russian (?), this is called kavorka. And if I ever when I have a cat, I’m going to name it that. Buy it here! Valentine’s Day is coming!!

Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs by Julie Jackson

If your cat aspires to be a drag queen. Buy it here!

Crafting with Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya and Amy Hirschman

You and your cat will bond over this symbiotic relationship: you get to make interesting crafts and your cat will throw up fewer hair balls (maybe, I’m not a medical expert). Buy it here!

I Could Pee on This And Other Poems by Cat by Francesco Marciuliano

Alternative title: I Could Poop on This. Buy it here!

In a high-pitched baby voice, but with more subtle tones. Learn this and more! Buy it here!

What is My Cat Thinking? by Gwen Bailey

The cat is thinking: “….soon…” Buy it here!

Why Cats Do That: A Collection of Curious Kitty Quirks by Karen Anderson and Wendy Christensen

The cats do that because they’re fu cats. Buy it here!

Careers for Your Cat by Ann Dziemianowicz

Don’t let your cat settle for being a homeless liberal-arts major, get her to dream big.  Buy it here!

100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall

Let’s be honest, every cat that has ever existed has changed civilization. Buy it here!

*Except not.

- Daughter

Road Trip Diaries: A Father-Daughter Epic, Part III

Instagram filters out the ugly.

Instagram filters out the ugly.

My dad and I didn’t get on the road today because of the weather gods’ sadistic ways so just pretend you’re at a fancy orchestra concert and it’s the intermission. This way, you can pretend you’re consuming more edifying material and also, it’s fun to imaaaagine. Reading Rainbow taught me that.

This morning, my alarm went off at some ungodly time and I immediately turned it off because, hey, if my dad wants me awake, he can wake me up himself. The next time I woke up, it was 10 am. I was confused and disoriented because I was expecting to wake up in the passenger seat of the truck and not still in a bed, swaddled like Baby Jesus. My aunt informed me that the weather conditions were too dangerous to drive. I looked outside and saw for myself, and, yes, an ivory blanket of snow had covered the land. White powder was everywhere. Must be what the inside of Charlie Sheen’s house looks like (ugh, that joke is so 2011, sorry). Anywho, snow = rest day. Cue me rolling around on the carpet in utter bliss because I could laze around the whole day like a human-cat hybrid. (And did I ever. At one point, I laid in a dark room because of the novelty of it not being a car.)

We were snowed in but luckily, we’re staying with family so we can abuse their hospitality by rummaging through their pantries and annoying their cat.

Mrow.

Mrow.

The cat, Bobbi, is adorable because he’s got a bit of the chub going on and a salt-and-pepper coat that’s very George Clooney. He also has a permanent head tilt from some health problems (sadface) so he walks around with a chronically quizzical expression. It’s very sad but sickeningly adorable and cute too. I essentially followed him around all day, mirroring his head-tilt and trying to pet him. He tolerated my presence but mostly walked away, playing hard-to-get.

All in all, today was a nice rest but tomorrow, we go on, ready to conquer not only the roads but also our fears and weaknesses. Maybe. As long as we have our Starbucks first.

- Daughter

Panic and Freak Out Mode

I feel like this baby snow leopard shoved into a bowl, weighed in a clinical cold environment with no hope of understanding the goings-on of life.

I feel like this baby snow leopard shoved into a bowl, weighed in a clinical and cold environment with no hope of understanding the goings-on of life.

I am beginning to feel a tightening in my chest and it’s not the drugs since I don’t do them currently. I’m also fairly certain it’s not heart burn because I don’t remember eating bacon or grease-laced food stuffs. I did watch Paula Deen’s cooking show so it could be heart burn through osmosis (the episode was called “Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit”). But there’s just no way Paula could be the cause of this strange sensation…

It’s anxiety. Welcome back, my old friend.

Why am I anxious? I’m leaving for school and the impending departure is beginning to take a toll on my nerves, guys. Well, more like full-on panic-mode has been engaged. There are 93439578940274389573243 things I must accomplish and exactly -4 hours to accomplish them. The pent-up stress is starting to manifest itself in a myriad of ways:

1) Starbucks. I’ve always been a sucker for wasting my money this place, but in times of duress, I immediately go here to get my foamy fix of sweet nothings. I get something fancy to make myself feel less poor (I’m ironic like that). Buying coffee from Starbucks also fulfills my New Year’s resolution to contribute to sprawling corporations. Two birds, one expensive fu stone.

2) Social life death. “I’m really, really tired. I think I’m going to leave and go to bed.” I have said this at least ten times in the past week. It’s very sad. I’m sorry, friends! I have to be home to pace around and panic, it’s very time-consuming.

3) Obsessive nail-painting. Because it helps me relax, okay??!!!! Breath in, paint, breathe out, paint. *nail polish goes onto skin* SONOFA [bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep].

4) No patience with customers. Today, a customer returned some biscotti that I specifically helped her find. I went through a lot of trouble to get it for her. If my memory serves me correctly, I left my post to get her stupid cookies in the middle of a huge Christmas line that wrapped its way around the store, an overfed, swollen snake of capitalism (?), and then rummaged through a section to give her four different options. I almost cried a little bit when she laughed and said she was returning them. I really wanted to dump out the biscotti, crumble them up, and then throw it at her and say, “It’s a new service we’re offering, cookie confetti!!!” But I didn’t. I just stared at her soulless, beady eyes and allowed myself to emit a grumbly noise of displeasure. This doesn’t seem like I lost my patience, but in terms of customer service, I committed a grave sin. I’m not even sorry.

5) List-making. It makes me feel good inside.

How lists make me feel: like a baby polar bear.

How lists make me feel: like a baby polar bear.

6) Packing habits. Usually, packing is a series of justifications and rationalizations with the end result being frustration and deciding to pack my entire closet regardless of necessity. A typical inner monologue goes like this:

Do I really need three swimsuits? It’s going to be 20-30 degrees for the first two months in Pennsylvania and only warm enough for swimming maybe the last three weeks. But wait, if I bring three, that’s means there’s enough to wear one a week, meaning I wouldn’t even have to do laundry! Three it is. 

This time around, my packing is a manifestation of my psychological stress. It has brought out very scary, uncontrollable OCD-like tics. I put one item in the suitcase, I take three out. I re-arrange a sock, decide it is aesthetically displeasing, and re-position it until I get it into a  perfect location. I get into the suitcase, go into the fetal position, and rock back and forth while crying to myself quietly. Seriously, there is something about packing right now that makes me sad.

Sad kitty is sad.

Sad kitty is sad. 

Time to go drink my feelings away. At the bar Starbucks.

- Daughter

The Ten Types of Customers at Your Retail Store

The Talker

This customer is very friendly and wants to get to know you. No, not “you” but you. The true you. He or she wants to fist-bump your soul. This person is fun but  usually unaware of the angry mob of people behind him or her who are two seconds away from picking up decorative antlers and goring the Talker with them.

Grumpy Olds

Most old people are awesome examples of humanity. However, there are a few who purposely want to make you miserable for daring to cross their wrinkles. They complain about the newfangled gadgets they have to use to swipe their credit cards, they complain about the prices as if you control the cost, and they meet your greeting with a sneer.

The Clueless Chumps

They have no idea how to use a credit card, count, read, or speak English. You wonder how they haven’t died yet if Darwin’s survival of the fittest is to be believed.

The Let’s-Buy-1000000-of-This-Product-Because-It’s-on-Sale

“… hmm, this cart isn’t big enough… do you have a moving truck I can use to shop with?”

Tourists

Aka Out-of-Towners. They are the store’s biggest fans. You can see the sparkle in their eyes as they take in the store’s novelty merchandise. They stare with childlike wonder and you laugh your little cynical laugh, knowing the dark truth.

The Humorless, No-Nonsense People

They answer your questions with a curt “yes” and “ no” and don’t look you in the eye. Human interaction is but a necessary evil to get to their prized goods.

The Frazzled Mother

She is the one who covertly passes you items her children have picked up after they have pillaged various parts of the store that she doesn’t actually want to buy.

The Frazzled Father

He doesn’t know what he’s doing so he buys beer.

Entitled Whiny Butts

They expect you to perform magic tricks and bend store policies to suit their needs. (To train them out of this behavior, a firm tug on the leash will give a clear signal that this is bad behavior.)

The Alcoholic

“Hi, I just bought a bottle of this wine but I already went through it so I decided to drive back here and get another one!!!!”

- Daughter

 

CatChildren and Revisionist Childhood History

catchild

This bed is lumpy. I will spray later to express my displeasure.

To badly rip off Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Blood, Blood every where, nor any drop to drink.”

Though it might be inferred by the misquote, we’re not actively trying to raise vampire children in our house.

However, a colleague emailed me today to inquire if I really pushed Daughter off a tire swing when she was two and, by the way, what was wrong with me.  I calmly explained that Daughter was sublimely sitting on said swing when, for some unknown waifish bad haircut two-year-old reason, she simply decided to let go of the grabchains attached to the stupid tire and fell straight through to the ground, face first, with resulting massive blood loss, screaming, parental panic and shouting, etc.

Somehow over the years this experience has morphed into the dreaded FFS (Father Failure Syndrome) – donations to find a cure gladly accepted through this blog, by the way.

Please.  Cut me some slack.  Get real.  Give me a break. 

Yes, I’ve been accused of mis-remembering most of my life, but I swear it doesn’t extend to that day.

Rather, I clearly remember the brief look of astonishment on Daughter’s (still-unmarred) face before she took the plunge — much like Jodie Foster in Contact (note dated cinema reference) when the orb dropped through the Wayback Machine.  I clearly remember grabbing hysterical Daughter, grabbing quizzical Son and attendant Big Wheel, and running with all three in my arms to the car, where we proceeded to speed home and pick up Confused Mother before nearly killing all of us on the way to the ER and being made to pay for Daughter’s pain.

Oh, I paid not with money.  That would have been far too little punishment.  I paid with RN-directed banishment from the ER (for “hovering” and getting in the way of the attendants), and I paid while nervously pacing outside, still clearly hearing Daughter’s cries of pain inside.

But as most fathers know, no one ever truly forgets or forgives.  One pays forever.  Every incident, however great, horrific, or marginal, is carefully tucked away in the revisionist gray matter bowels of the family collective, ready to reappear, depending on need and whimsy, to ridicule, shame, or engender regret, in order to exact revenge, more shame, or (most typically) a short-term financial loan or grant. (How do you like that sentence structure, English majors?  Get over it.)

It’s a pretty slick system, really.  Clever, insightful, insidious, effective.

But I’m not so much concerned with what Daughter actually seems to remember of her childhood or even fancifully re-constructs.  I’m a lot more worried these days with her heretofore unknown mental problem Cat Thing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve always loved cats, and am not ashamed to say so.  But it’s a healthy relationship, I think.  Respectful, even stand-offish, much like most of the remote, distant felines that seem to live with us.  Having said that, I don’t have a stash of funky cat photos handy, or bad haircut timeline photos which document both my life as well as a cat’s.

Seems just a little bit strange to me.

But even weirder more disconcerting is that this trait is being passed down to the next generation to Little Sister or, more appropriately, Daughter Number Two.

I don’t know what to make of it, I suppose.  On the one hand, I suppose it’s better than focused interest in Naked Lesbian Bingo Dancing.  On the other, I’m not at all sure that 38,000 variations of the “Kitten Hang in There, Baby” posters are that much healthier.  Not that Naked Lesbian Bingo Dancing is unhealthy, but, you know. . . .

Well, the kitten pics are probably better.  But I do realize that, no matter what, I will somehow take the blame:  now, twenty years ago, or twenty years hence.  It’s the primary symptom of FFS.  Remember about that donations thing I mentioned earlier.  Thanks for your support!

- Dad

Reason Why I’m Uncool #6198458

In addition to this and this, I will never, ever be that aloof, mysteriously cool girl who can lure unaware victims into my web of secrets. I’m the opposite: way too open, always inappropriate, and perpetually outspoken. I tend to be offended if people are not on my level of friendliness (sidenote: nobody is ever on my level).

In an official summary of comments said to me regarding my sparkling personality during my lifespan, the general opinion is that I am somewhere between too mean and irritatingly in-your-face. In fact, yesterday, someone told me that I am “too bubbly” and I drive her “crazy” with my “over-the-top” personality. I was slightly disheartened for a brief two seconds that this person could possibly dislike me. It’s not easy to hear someone say, “Well, I don’t hate you but you are a lot to handle and actually, yeah, I hate you.” Which, to be fair, is completely true; I can be am ridiculous. I’m usually hyped up on caffeine and bouncing around like that little happy blob on the Zoloft commercials (you know, after the blob takes the anti-depressant). I’m Kanye West and the world is my Taylor Swift. But the world doesn’t always want to be Taylor Swift. (sidenote: Wouldn’t that be a great Taylor Swift song?)

On the other hand, there are people who think I’m excessively mean. And I can be. I use sarcasm to weed out the weak from the witty. My sense of humor is definitely caustic and wry at times but generally, it’s light-hearted, well-meaning, and broad. Practically anything can provoke my annoying, tittering laugh these days.

If I don’t know you, I will force my humor on you, starting with Insults Lite*. This creates problems because people don’t always understand that making fun of them is my way of saying, “Hey, I like you kinda sorta. Wanna be friends?” In fact, sometimes, people start to hate me. Clearly, I am a well-socialized individual.

You’d think as a writer and generally open person, I’d be immune to people’s opinions. But no, I am like a golden retriever. Instead of barking, I run around yelling, “LOVE ME!!!!!!”

Please love me.

Please love me.

*Insults Lite is Phase 1 of getting to know a new person. I will jovially make fun of the acquaintance until I get either a laugh or other positive reaction. Phase 2 is when I tear you down until you are in your most basic, raw form. In Phase 3, I invite you to make fun of me. In Phase 4, I try and entertain you with my many talents. Phase 5? We adopt cats and get married.

Pearl of wisdom for the day: sometimes, people are not going to like you, even though you a magnificent, veritable smorgasbord of all that is good in the universe.

- Daughter

If This is Possible, Then so is World Peace. No, Really.

You're touching my back.  Knock it off.

You’re touching my back. Knock it off.

Take a close look at the above photo.  Well, try to ignore the clutter around the dog and cat in the photo.  Focus on the dog and cat.  To paraphrase a line from Ghostbusters, “Dogs and cats sleeping together.  Mass hysteria!”

Let me say that, although we have always had pets in our family, I had no idea about Daughter’s fixation with cats and strange cat photos until I started reading her posts.  I’m okay with it, of course, but she may have a little too much time on her hands to have amassed such a collection of “cute” kitty pics.  Probably another blog there, perhaps, but I digress.

The cat in the pic, Sandy, is the matriarch of the pride in our family, which at one time numbered seven total felines (elements of two of her litter generations).  She came into the house as a cast-off runt of a feral mother, once again, given to us by one of Daughter’s friends (see my previous post for reference).  She was given the name, Sandy, and was hand fed and nursed into survival.  Usually it seems that animals instinctively recognize when they have fallen into good times — never the situation here.  From the git-go she was an “ornery cuss,” whose bad disposition only worsened with time.  Before we got wise (like, how could we not have been?), she birthed two litters in quick succession and, presto, we had a house full of cats — much like the Tribbles in Star Trek (Daughter also feels my media references badly date me and confuse readers).  At this point in our lives, cats were simply everywhere.  In a nod to familial connections, we used to keep a photo of the father pinned to the wall above the phone in the kitchen.  After doing his damage (twice), however, he was never seen again in those parts.  His photo eventually disappeared, too.

With each passing year, MamaCat (nee Sandy) transmogrified into something out of Frankenweenie, except the dog in that movie was nice (Please note recent media reference).  Tim Burton couldn’t imagine what she became:  a holy terror.  And best of all, she saved the worst of her abuse for her offspring.  She couldn’t stand them and went out of her way to make her displeasure known:  scratching, biting, growling, howling, hissing — whatever negative cat noises you can come up with, she vocalized them, and followed up with physical violence.

She’s been with us over seventeen years now, and in those idle moments of life remembrance (like when I can’t sleep most nights), I honestly don’t remember seeing her around all that much over the past two decades.  She mostly hid out, and when she wasn’t hiding, she was attacking someone or something.

Then, a funny thing happened about five years ago.  She had a stroke.

One day, she simply couldn’t walk.  We took her in to our wonderfully supportive vet, expecting her to say the kindest thing to do was to “put her down,” but instead she just said, “Let’s give her a few days and see if she perks up.”

If nothing else, MamaCat is a survivor.  Slowly, she regained her mobility and strength, and within weeks she was pretty much back to normal — except for one thing.  She was nicer.  No, she didn’t magically become a lap cat, but she certainly became more sociable and friendly — at least with humans.  My years of college study led me to conclude the stroke had killed off more of her bad gray matter than whatever was left behind.  Good matter?  Indifferent matter?   I’ve got no science to back up my observations, but the theory still holds some water, I figure.

She still hates her remaining two grown kittens (both sixteen themselves), and she actively bites, growls at, and scratches Daughter.  But at night, she now sleeps in a basket at the foot of our bed, and actually allows me to pick her up for a few seconds occasionally.  It’s also frightening to admit this, but I can even rub her tummy (I hate using that word, but it’s appropriate for her) some evenings.  Such acts “pre-stroke” were not simply unthinkable; they weren’t even possible.

So, let’s back up a moment.  About five years ago we adopted the most wonderful, loving White German Shepherd.  He is both a dandy and dandyish, but will attack anyone who approaches Mom, knocks on our front door, or tries to deliver packages or mail (we’re a “known” address with UPS, Fedex, and the US Postal Service).  The trickiest part of blending him into the family was working with MamaCat.  Did she accept him?  No.  Did she attack him?  No.  Did he care one way or the other?  Apparently not.  He doesn’t like cats hovering near his food dish, but that’s about it.

Our DandyDog has a hard time getting comfortable, so we have a variety of beds and cushions throughout the house for his convenience.  One of his primary, most cherished locations is at the foot of his Mom’s bed.  The indentations on that cushion are molded to his frame, and he spends most nights there — until recently.  It seems MamaCat has taken a shine to that particular spot, and she parks herself prominently at the beginning of most evenings.  It’s her own “Occupy” movement, but she literally takes up, like, 10% of the available space.  DandyDog usually wanders by, looks perplexed (a common expression for him), then collapses on the rug near Mom’s side of the bed.

Until today.  MamaCat and DandyDog not only shared the same space, but were actually touching.  Though it didn’t look like either was particularly comfortable with the set-up, they were, in fact, together.  I suppose it was more of a journey for the cat than the dog, but it was a feat nonetheless.  And unimaginable both within the context of the entirety of this one cat’s life and the behavior that defined same.

I don’t know that there’s any great truth involved with all this, except that change seems possible, even after years to the contrary.  I can imagine MamaCat yowling in her best Rocky Balboa — “If I can change, then you can change.” I think that was Rocky III, maybe IV.  Again, dating myself.

Seeing change like this happen gives me hope, provides context, and gives me something to ponder as I get older and become less likely to change.  You see, I guess I’m a lot like MamaCat myself.

It’s also helpful when I’m out of blog ideas.

- Dad

Post-Black Friday Post

Black Friday wasn’t too bad despite a few surly customers. The concept of a line was once again lost on most people but yelling and shaming seemed to herd them into a more linear shape. I think next Black Friday we should have a sheep dog nipping at people’s heels until they get into the proper formation.

After my long Black Friday shift, I went out with some best friends for drinks who were back in town this week. I tend to stay away from bars because there are people there but I just followed my advice for staying single and survived. Despite the presence of other people, I was elated to be with my friends after being separated for so long because of that stupid thing people do where they go away for a college education.

No, but really, I was very happy.

The whole night, I constantly hugged my friends because I felt like the only way I could truly believe they were really there and not extremely detailed hallucinations created by the Matrix was when I was crushing them into a reluctant bear-hug. I’m a hugger… is that even okay to admit on the internet?

Me, alllll night.

- Daughter

7 Hot Tips for Singles (to Stay Single)

Approved facial expressions for social spaces at the top. Prohibited facial expressions on the bottom.

You know what’s annoying? Dating. Just don’t even do it, guys. People have flaws which turn otherwise nice people into awful creatures bent on your destruction. Avoid the mess entirely and commit to being permanently single (aka perma-single), which I consider to be the new “married with kids”. Here are some tips that have personally helped me retain my life of solitude; a status I proudly check on any and all government and medical forms.

1)      When out at a bar or other social space, do not make eye contact with anyone. Ever. Stare at your drink. If you feel awkward just staring at it, you can start talking to it.

2)      Accidentally make eye contact with somebody? Do not smile. Grimace and imitate medieval-style gargoyles in both facial expression and posture.

3)      When somebody attempts to converse with you, do your best impression of Kristen Stewart. Hint: just assume the position and sound of a dying whale.

4)      If people are forcing you into conversation, use the information they provide to explore and then exploit their weaknesses. Cried during a Disney movie? Shame them. Never been out of the country? Shame them. Dislike cats? Shame them. Slowly tear a person down until he or she starts sobbing and then say, “You’re just like your father,” and walk away.

Um, how can you not like cats? This is my cat. His name is Rambo.

5)      Avoid laughing at all costs – laughter is code for: “You are a beautiful specimen of the human species and I would like to possibly converse with you when I’m sober and in unflattering, bright light.”

6)      Ideally, fall asleep. For narcoleptics, this will come naturally, but others who are not skilled in the arts of sudden sleep while in loud, crowded environments should practice on public transportation first.

A really unflattering photo of me “sleeping”.

And then, presto, you’re single. Congratulations! There’s other fish in the sea but they’re all ugly anyway. Finding Nemo? No, Finding No One.

- Daughter

I’m Not Cool Enough to Do Drugs

This is a picture of me not doing drugs while wearing a lion suit.

I guess this should have been my first post but logic is not my strong suit. Nonetheless, the time has come to explain the name of my blog. It has nothing to do with drugs, guys, so stop sending me links to your underground drug cult/pagan revival group. Let’s be real, I’m not cool enough to do drugs.

You don’t see bookish, bespectacled people being presented in the media as cool. No, it’s the drug-addled musician and coked-out painters who get the biggest share of the cool pie. I don’t care what the D.A.R.E. program says – all the cool kids ARE doing drugs.

A helpful pie chart of coolness.

Drug addicts have tried to tell me I could be cool, I just need to “take a hit of this”. But I think they’re just telling me that because they’re high and not because they believe it.

The only addiction I have is posting LOLcats on Pinterest. (Yeah, I’m single, why do you ask????) Unfortunately, this addiction is not well-respected or researched so it will remain a life-long personal battle. This is my cross to bear.

Grumpy cat, one of many LOLcats I have in my collection.

For the record, I chose “The Daily Trip” because of my propensity to test gravity by falling constantly. It was also shorter than “Funny Stuff That Happens to Me That I Write About on the Interwebs in a Slightly Exaggerated Style”.

- Daughter

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