Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitty Mafia Part 2

After my realization of living with the mob, I began to notice other things:

1. Holly eats first. Cleo sits nearby on protection duty while Holly eats. When she has finished and has gone to sun herself, Cleo takes a break from protection duty and eats.

2. Cleo is on protection duty anytime Holly is vulnerable. That means when Holly is in the litterbox, Cleo is on protection detail. When Holly is asleep on my bed, Cleo is on protection detail.

3. What does protection detail entail? Primarily running interference if anything (i.e. me) comes near. For example, weaving in and around my feet to trip me, preventing me from getting close to Holly.

4. Cleo is charged with keeping away the riffraff. This means birds, squirrels, other cats, etc. If they approach and Cleo does not immediately send them running, Holly growls and swishes her tail impatiently.

5. Bugs are not allowed. I once saw a spider crawl into Holly's food dish. She sat back and looked at it, then looked over to Cleo. Cleo immediately got up and went to the food bowl. Spying the spider, she snatched it out and proceeded to munch on it, while Holly went back to eating.

This is just a small sampling of the madness. After a year we moved into another apartment, and then in another year we moved into a house. At that time Holly was diagnosed with diabetes. This shook the Kitty Mafia to its core. It was in disarray. Holly no longer had control over Cleo's actions, and Cleo did whatever she pleased. This also meant Holly had to wake me for food on her own, and lost her protection detail. Things were not looking good for the former don of the Kitty Mafia.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Kitty Mafia Part 1

I grew up around cats. We always had at least one. Rarely did we have more than one. After I graduated college and got my first apartment, I brought my cat Holly to live with me. I soon discovered that due to work, I spent more time away from my apartment than in it, so I brought in another cat, Cleopatra, to keep Holly company. It was then that I discovered that my apartment was actually run by the Kitty Mafia.

I didn't make the discovery right away. At first everything seemed fairly normal. Both Holly and Cleo would sleep on the bed with me at night. This was normal - every cat I have had has done this. They would also wake me up in the morning for food. Again, this was normal. (See these youtube videos for reference.) We had a routine - they would make noise to wake me, and I would grumble, tell them to go away, and roll over. They would make more noise, and I would throw something in their general direction. The noise would continue, and I would get up and put them out of the bedroom and shut the door. This of course would result in scratching at the door.

After awhile it finally dawned on me that it wasn't Holly that was waking me up in the morning - it was Cleo. I was only seeing part of the story. (I use the excuse that they were waking me up, so I wasn't really with it.) This is what was really happening:

Cleo, Holly and I were sleeping peacefully. The sun began to creep above the horizon. Sensing the change in sunlight, Holly gets up and stretches. She bats Cleo, who wakes up, and then jumps down from the bed and ambles out of the room, but stays near the doorway. Cleo then stretches, and begins to knead as close to my head as possible, pawing my face when necessary to wake me. Still sleeping, I pet her and try to convince her to lay down and go back to sleep. A low growl eminates from the doorway. Cleo jumps down from the bed and searches out any bit of plastic that she can rustle. She rustles, and I grumble, tell her to stop, and roll over. Another growl from the doorway. Cleo increases her rustling - tackling the bag as though playing. I pick up the nearest empty water bottle (or chapstick or anything else non-breakable that won't injure) and throw it in the direction of the rustling. Cleo retreats to the doorway, where Holly hisses and boxes her ears. Cleo backs into the room submissively, and finds something even more annoying to make noise with. Exasperated, I get up and put her out of the room. As soon as the door is shut, the sounds of hissing and growling and a lot of boxing can be heard. A pitiful cry is heard and some more growling, fading into the distance as Holly stalks off into the living room. Then the scratching begins.

Once I put this all together, it hit me: Holly is the Don in this Kitty Mafia, and Cleo is her associate.

The Dead Zone

I have a fairly good collection of TV shows on DVD that my dad surreptitiously dumps on me every now and then. Some of the shows I have seen, others I had never even heard of. I recently started going through them, and have come across some amazing shows. Pretty much all of which have been cancelled. Two shows that were cancelled that are worth watching anyway: Kitchen Confidential and Threshold.

I just finished Season One of The Dead Zone. I had caught a few episodes here and there when the show was still on the air, but I never got into it because their portrayal of Maine really irritated me. Since I had the entire first season on dvd, I thought I would give the show a chance.

If it took place anywhere other than Maine, I think Dead Zone would be up there as one of my favorite shows. Unfortunately, I just cannot get past the inaccurate portrayal of the state of Maine. Not just Maine...New England in general.

As an example, in one of the last episodes of the season, John Smith gets stuck in this podunk town in Massachusetts where they want to burn him at the stake for being a witch. When asked if he had an alibi for the satanic murders that occurred in town the night before he rolled in, his response was: "We checked out of our hotel last night, and have been driving up the coast since." The hotel, by the way, was in Boston. Anyone in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine knows that Boston is only 2 hours from Portland. This means that in order for them to have left Boston, drive all night and STILL be in Massachusetts, they had to have been stuck in the Big Dig all night and only just broke out of it.

It is a shame that stupid little things like that prevent me from enjoying the show. It makes me wonder - do shows based in other cities/states have this same problem? Do other people get irritated by shows based in their area? Is Maine unique in being badly represented in Hollywood?

Friday, March 20, 2009


As they say, opinions are like assholes: every one has one. Here is my opinion on Dollhouse. WARNING: SPOILERS!!!!

Dollhouse seems to be getting mixed reviews from fans, and overall it seems to be something that people are having to warm up to, myself included. I didn't watch Dollhouse when it first aired - I watched it on Hulu later because I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. I'm not a Whedonite (is that what they call themselves?) but I do like Eliza Dushku. The premiere definitely left me wanting. If it weren't for the fact that I like Eliza, that probably would have been the end of the show for me. Instead I decided to wait it out and see what happens. I'm glad I waited. Each episode has gotten better for me.

I've seen other reviews of the show that made some interesting points, some of which I agree with, and some that I don't. For example,
Nickolas posted the following on his blog:

"Worse yet is the fact that her 'default' position is that of a vacuous, wide-eyed "doll." Wow. She is totally wrong for that. I don't buy her as a doll in any way, shape, or form. I think she has too much self-assurance shining through for it to seem realistic, and as bad as I hate to say it, she's not quite talented enough to hide her inner strength and be that empty husk."

I feel differently about Eliza's "dollness." I may be reading too much into it, but it seems to be that her character, Echo, is more than what initially meets the eye. We are supposed to think that she is "vacuous" when in her wiped state, but I believe that she is really pretending. She is far more aware of what is going on than she is letting on, and they hint at that in little ways throughout the first few episodes. As an example, the first time we see Echo and Sierra together after they have had their first "mission" together, Sierra clearly recognizes Echo and Echo just as clearly gives her a "not right now, you don't know me" signal.

Tantalizing bits like this are really what are keeping me watching the show. I want to know how much she knows, how much awareness she has. I want to know what happened with Alpha, and why Echo was spared. I could care less about the story line with the Fed, and I could really care less about the "doll" scenerios. Which is not really good given that, well, that's the premise of the show...

On an interesting (to me anyway) side note, I was just in Orlando and there is this rundown building with a massive sign outside that says: "Dollhouse." It proclaims that you will find Orlando's best dolls inside. I'm pretty sure they're not of the porcelain variety *snicker.* I had to wonder though, what sort of impact the tv show will have on these "real" dollhouses, and vice versa. The more I thought about it, the more surpised I became that there hasn't been some sort of public condemning of the show just based on the title. Then I realized...oh yeah, who's watching? (Except us geeks and well, we're not going to protest are we.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cute Story

Today is my mother's birthday. I won't be able to spend time with her, so I had flowers delivered to her at work. I didn't put on the card who they were from, just "Happy Birthday Mom!" Probably 2 mins after she received the flowers, I received the following email:

Did you send me flowers? The card just says "Happy Birthday Mom!!"

I replied:

I donno, are they nice?

Obviously I knew they were from me, but I wanted to have a little fun.

They are beautiful, they are in a basket with purple and pink flowers.

Now for the kicker.

Oh, well, then they are from me.

After I finished work I called my mom and she asked me if the flowers were from me or not. I told her they were, and she gave me the following story:

I picked up your sister from dance class and asked her if she had flowers sent to me at work. (My baby sister is 8 yrs old.) She looked at me thoughtfully and said "I don't know. Were they nice?" I told her that they were, and described them. She smiled and said "Well then I guess I did."

All I could do was laugh.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Month in Review

You might have noticed a severe lack of blogging in February. That would be because February came in, knocked me around, and flew out again. Here's a quick recap of the month:

Good News: Went on an install
Bad News: It ruined my birthday plans

Good News: Took Holly in for dental work and found out that the vet is running a dental special.
Bad News: Dental wasn't done due to blood work showing that Holly might have leukemia

Good News: Holly doesn't have leukemia
Bad News: Her diabetes medication is destroying her immune system and she has to be taken off of it immediately

Good News: Holly is making a recovery now that she's off the meds
Bad News: She fell off my bed and couldn't stand or walk

Good News: She's again making a recovery and can walk again (although not very well)
Bad News: Cleo's attempts to play with her are stressing her injury I'm afraid

Good News: My mother gave me a timely family update
Bad News: The update was that my grandfather has cancer

Good News: The doctors decided my grandfather doesn't have cancer
Bad News: They don't know what he has

Good News: To give Cleo someone other than Holly to play with, I adopted Danu
Bad News: Getting Cleo to acccept Danu is a slow process so far, and late nights at work are preventing me from spending much time with them

So there you have it, the ups and the downs of February. That's not even counting all the snow storms and late nights at work. For once I'm glad it's a short month!