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7October
2009

they are not amused

maura @ 9:23 pm

Do you think cats are pleased or annoyed by the rise of YouTube and LOLcats? Sometimes they look so pissed off, but sometimes I think they are secretly enjoying it and just seem grumpy because they know we want them to be annoyed.

Today after dinner Jonathan and I made a rap about/with Caramel. We’re not really in the YouTube demo (except for those awesome library tutorials I made over the summer), so you’ll have to read the lyrics all old school:

I’m Caramel Kitteh
I look so pretty
I like to live
in the big bad city

(beatbox interlude)

All the ladies in the house say meow!

Yes, we are a little tired + punchy here, apparently.

les tags:
23August
2009

working on your master plan

maura @ 10:21 pm

I hadn’t planned to when I woke up this morning, but as it turns out I caulked two sinks and the base of one bathtub today. Like most things, it’s the cat’s fault. Yesterday we got home from our week @ the beach with most of my family* to discover that one of the cats had picked at** a bit of the caulk that joins the bathroom sink to the wall.

* 7 adults + 6 kids under 8 = chaos! But fun, too. I actually kind of miss it.

** And maybe eaten? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t put it past him. Since Caramel ate 1/2 a ribbon the last time I wrapped a birthday present (and pooped out a bow-tied treat later, eew), I’m betting he’s the culprit. Lucky for him he’s so soft + pretty or he’d be out on his kitty behind, I tell ya.

I spent most of the morning walking around in a post-vacation stupor, doing piles of laundry and feeling grumpy.*** After which I helped triage Gus’s school forms + supplies list (which gets longer every year, it seems) and felt grumpy. Every so often I went into the bathroom, and each time I saw the gaping hole in the caulk I sighed a big sigh.

*** Why is re-entry so difficult? I like my house, my bed, the relative quiet of my family of 3. And I’m cool with going back to work tomorrow — the semester starts this week and my research project is starting in earnest, too. Still, I moped around today like someone kicked me in the shins, seriously.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. A few weeks ago I’d up and caulked one of the bathtubs, so we had some caulk left over from that adventure. What I hate most is the decaulking — it’s always much more work than you think it will be to pry it out and scrape it off. But for some miracle reason this old caulk pulled free quick as a flash. A little masking, a little caulk, a little smoothing, and then it was time to cover it with a plastic bag so it can cure ’til tomorrow. Good times!

Then I was on a caulking roll. The caulk on the section of the backsplash near the kitchen faucet looked kind of grotty, so I scraped that off too and slapped on some shiny new caulk. I thought that was it, but then I noticed a bit of a weird spot in the other bathroom where the tub meets the tile floor. I stupidly gave it a tug and a huge chunk of caulk came off there, too. And who can leave a clean spot? Not I. So I scraped + slapped again.

Now there’s lots of caulk under plastic bags in our apartment, and I’m having a beer and feeling much less grumpy. Not bad for day 1 post-vacation, not bad at all.

les tags: ,
16July
2009

january, february, march april may

maura @ 10:16 pm

It’s been a while since I blagged about the cats, and I know how much you’ve been wondering about them. Yes, even you!

Well they’re certainly bigger, which means that they’re hairier and poop more. Caramel is still needy, though he’s thankfully stopped waking us up in the early morning hours. He does still meow pitifully at breakfast time, as if he can’t quite bring himself to believe that we are actually going to feed him (which of course we do every day — he’s not so smart). Gummy is still somewhat aloof, though he’s been following us around a bit more lately. He’s very picky about where you pet him and wants you to sit on the floor with him (no couches or bed) and pet him while he walks back and forth.

Not to excessively anthropomorphize them, but we’re making some changes around here related to cat products and I feel like they’ve both been sort of crabby about it. I am about to lose my mind with the cedar litter we have that gets tracked all over the apartment (it’s very light and clings to their fur easily) so we are trying to switch them to these pine pellets (which are cheaper and sold at our food coop so don’t require a special trip to the pet store). We are trying to do the switch very slowly so hopefully they’ll be cool with it.

We’re also changing their food. We used to do canned food in the AM and dry in the PM, which was very generous of us, I think, given how awful the canned food smells. But Gummy’s never been very interested in the canned food. He used to eat just a little bit then walk away, and Caramel would trundle his (fatter) butt over and polish off the rest. When we finally figured that out we started sequestering Gummy’s food and bringing it out later while Caramel was closed in the bedroom. Which is just kind of an insane amount of hoop-jumping for cats in the morning when we are trying to get the people to school + work.

So we’re going all dry food all the time (which is cheaper, too). Gummy seems nonplussed; he clearly eats to live. Caramel, on the other hand, is practically despondent in the mornings. We weaned them off over the course of a week but he still cries every morning while I’m making Gus’s breakfast. On the plus side, he’s much less interested in the dry food so I think he only eats his own portion and not Gummy’s, too.

The other weird thing about Caramel is the chewing — cords, chopsticks, the handle of their brush — but I think I’ve bored you with enough cat talk for one evening.

les tags:
17March
2009

three things about today

maura @ 7:50 pm

1. Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I accidentally wore green. Usually I don’t — green is my favorite color so I wear it lots of other days, and also since I am 15/16ths of Irish descent I figure is it really necessary? Except that today I forgot about the date and picked a green blouse primarily because it’s short-sleeved and it’s been 100 million degrees at work recently and I had a class which meant I’d be pacing and waving my arms around for 75 minutes. And then I got to work and remembered and thought: doh.

2. When we got the kittens last Memorial Day they were about 2 1/2 months old, so we arbitrarily decided that March 17th is their birthday. Happy Birthday cats! They are still mostly bundles of fun, except when they chew electrical cords and eat Gus’s lima bean plant and scratch my record jackets (which I noticed this morning and which MUST STOP).

A couple of weekends ago we went to a giant pet store to get them some new toys. The best is a long feather on a stick that is very serpentine when wiggled. There’s also a small blue mousey thing with catnip that has already inspired growling and dirty looks. Rock on.

One of the toys came on this helpfully labeled card:

Duh.

3. Today is also the birthday of my job. Happy Birthday, job! The past year has gone by almost in an instant. And I still love it. Definitely worth the investment in tuition to library school. Go, nerds!

les tags: , , ,
24November
2008

i won’t tell you, but if you only knew

maura @ 9:37 pm

On the heels of last night’s longish post, well, here’s a cop out. I had some insomnia last night and I’m tired, and I want to read the (fiction!) book I got from the library last weekend. It’s a kids book w/a gorgeous cover written by a fellow citizen of the CUNYverse; hope it doesn’t disappoint.

So I leave you with this, which is apparently what happens every day after Jonathan gets home from the coop and leaves his backpack open on the floor as he’s unloading it. And today he took a picture.

les tags: ,
15November
2008

in our angelhood

maura @ 9:34 pm

Today’s unanswered questions:

– What should I get everyone for Christmas?

– Why do the cats keep scratching the rugs (and the corollary, why isn’t the new anti-cat-scratching spray working?)

– How do you spell “corollary,” anyway?

– If I get a USB turntable, can I plug it right into our prehistoric amp + speakers? And if we get rid of said ancient (17-yr-old!) hi-fi stereo amplifier, how will I listen to my records on my new turntable?

– Assuming acquisition of said turntable, will I ever find time to rip my records to digital files?

– And speaking of time, how can I get back on my daily reading track?

– Will I have time to sew myself a new iphone cozy, purse and in-bag purse-like organizer over the holidays?

– If I go to sleep now, will I kick the exhaustion that’s dogged me for the past few days?

– Are accurate lyrics for older Cocteau Twins songs available anywhere online? Or was Liz Fraser just making it all up as she went along?

– Will I ever get over my annoyance at that nightclub in Philly that wouldn’t let my underage self (accompanied by my dad) in to see The Chameleons play on their last ever U.S. tour?

– What should I get my brother for his birthday?

– Did we pay less than our fair share at Japanese dinner tonight?

les tags: , , ,
11July
2008

3 5 0 1 2 5 go

maura @ 8:48 pm

For our nation’s birthday this year we at mauraweb! decamped to parts north. Unlike other years, when we’ve headed to the Midwest, this year the Midwest met us in New England. Rollicking family fun ensued: lounging around, swimming, feasting on lobster + corn, and indulging in slightly terrifying backyard fireworks. Gus was surprised to learn that he has an 11 yr old first cousin once removed, who has 4 toy lightsabers (including the color Gus covets: purple), a pool, and Super Smash Bros Brawl. I was surprised to learn that teenagers still make friendship bracelets. Who knew?

The kittens were both good and bad in our absence. The house was in decent shape when we returned, but one of them had chewed through the thin Wii sensor bar cable. Luckily Jonathan was able to fix it, saving us from buying a new one (which isn’t as easy as it should be). They also chewed through the ground wire for my turntable, but it needs a new belt so I haven’t been able to use it recently. I’m thinking about upgrading to a USB turntable anyway — this one is nearly 20 yrs old and wasn’t that great to begin with. And it’d be nice to convert some of my records to mp3 so I can actually listen to them in the places I’m listening to music these days.

Sigh, another long + boring post. Sorry, Interwebs! I used up all of my writing mojo today on the first of my five Summer Friday Scholarly Activities Bonanzas: drafting outline of an article and researching the literature review of said article. Go me! I’ll make it up to you in the next post, promise.

les tags: ,
8June
2008

assorted tasty nuggets

maura @ 3:24 pm

It should not be 90+ degrees and 90+% humidity in June.

What’s worse than spending 2 nights (because we started too late for one night) watching a movie that had all of the ingredients to be hilarious but ended up being a total dud? The same PLUS awful-yet-catchy songs that get stuck in your head for days afterwards! That pretty much sums up Music & Lyrics, which we watched last week. It looked so good on the outside: funny cast (Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore) + promising set up (what could be more fun than mocking Wham!?). But something went horribly, horribly wrong with the writing or direction or something because it was just BORING. And the songs are driving me crazy.

The kittehs are great, thanks for asking. But it appears that Mr. & Mrs. Fastidious are having a somewhat rocky transition to kitten ownership.

It’s funny, if you’d asked me a few months ago what housekeeping task worried me re: cats, I’d have said sweeping, of course, because of the fur. But you know, these little guys do not shed so much, and the fur is not bothering me at all.

However, both Jonathan and I are having a hard time with the litterbox. I hadn’t realized that a bit of litter tends to come out of the box when a cat exits (even despite the little footmat thing in front of the box), and am finding myself sweeping the bathroom about 10 times a day. Jonathan’s bugbear is the stinky poop, which he rushes in to scoop the very instant that a kitten has exited the bathroom. We are both freaking ourselves out with the thought of poopecules: the (probably imaginary, but what if not?) microscopic fragments of poop that give us pause whenever a kitten jumps up on the bed or sofa. Quel surprise!

Yesterday was stoop sale day, yippee! We took in a decent amount of cash, and got rid of a ton of stuff between the sale and our now-traditional hauling everything that didn’t sell directly to the thrift store afterwards (nothing comes back upstairs – nothing!). I’m proud of our steely resolve this year: we didn’t even buy much from our neighbors.

This year’s bang-up stoop sale innovation: the quarter bin (i.e. everything in the big plastic bin costs 25 cents) and the free bin (ditto but free). These ended up being a great way to get rid of all of those little toys and doodads (ay dios mia, plastic party favors!), while drawing in potential stoop sale victims. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

les tags: , , ,