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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Interlude #5: It’s Never Good To Name Your Pet After Inappropriate Body Parts

  Yes, it's true, I once named a cat after an inappropriate body part.  No one could come up with a name and being the only female animal in the house I named her appropriately or so I thought.  One day at work my phone rang and a good friend of mine said she heard we had adopted a new kitten.  I told her yes and asked her if she wanted to see pictures of my Vagina.  The reply was quick, soft and to the point.  "I'm in the phone center, you're on speaker phone...and there are about 10 people in here."  I hid the rest of the day.  The cat was quickly renamed to Beijing in honor of the Olympics going on when we got her.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


    When I was a child, every Christmas morning my two younger sisters and I would wake up in the middle of the night. It was the same every year. I would wake up and tip toe to the door to peek out, then make a quick u-turn in to my sisters' room. They would be awake already, both sitting on one or the others bed, giggling quietly to themselves. I would speed across the room and leap onto the bed bouncing them both to the ground. We would sit there quietly laughing, asking each for the millionth time, "Do you think they're up yet?" Eventually our minds would wonder to what lay down the hall and to the left, under the huge Christmas tree that we knew was lit so Santa could find it easily. It was now 2:00am

    As we softly guessed about the great gifts Santa might have brought, my middle sister's eyes would grow wide, not with wonder, but with the realization she was about to be sick. She'd jump off the bed, one hand holding her nightgown above her knees so she could run and the other hand slapped tightly across her mouth, she'd fly off to the bathroom with her robe flapping in the wind behind her. My youngest sister and I, abandoned on the bed, would look at each other first in shock, then in realization. IT'S CHRISTMAS! It was now 2:30am

    Our parents, having gone through this ritual for years, dragged themselves out of bed at hearing the commotion. Mom went to the bathroom to calm my middle sister down and Dad went to the bedroom where my other sister and I were dancing on the bed caroling, IT'S CHRISTMAS! They'd calm the three of us down and tuck us back in to bed with promises that Christmas would soon be here. It was now 3:00 am.

    It wasn't long before I was back up and around the corner to my sisters' room again where we quietly giggled and asked each other, "Do you think they're up yet?" for the billionth time. Our parents hearing the commotion and looking more like zombies then elves would drag themselves out of bed, come in to the room and announce that yes, Santa had been here. We would run out and sit in our perspective spots by the tree and its mounds of gifts while mom and dad would find spots in the back to sit and watch. It was now 4:00am.

    With the gift giving done and a good breakfast ate, the three of us would sit in the middle of the carnage we created and start a day long play fest while Mom laid on the couch snoring and Dad slept on the recliner with his head tilted back and a little stream of drool sneaking out of the corner of his mouth. It was 6:00am.

    For a long time, I had forgotten about those wonderful if not weird Christmas mornings until one year I was reminded of them in a not so subtle way.

    It was Christmas Eve and we were tired from visiting all the relatives from both sides of the family all day. We arrived home weary and ready for bed. I turned on the lights to the tree so Santa could find it easily in the dark, then headed for bed.

    I was awakened by the sound of rustling coming from the living room, a quiet, hushed rustling but enough to wake me. I began to toss and turn. A muffled sound escaped the pillow next to me, "what's the matter?" I reply with my suspicions that the cats are playing among the gifts under the tree. I'm told not to worry about it and go back to sleep. It's now 2:00 am.

    I'm again awakened a short time later by a hacking sound. I roll out of bed and grab my robe. The pillow next to me mumbles again, "What's wrong now?" I reply with my suspicions of a cat having a hairball under the tree. I stumble into the living room and find the hacking cat. I calm him down and drag him and his brother to the foot of the bed and lay them down. It's now 2:30am.

    A half hour later, I feel the cats restless at the end of the bed. I hear them jump down to the floor, knowing there headed back out to the tree. Tiny rustling keeps me up, I toss and turn. It's now 3:00am.

Finally, without warning, all sounds cease. I relax and begin the search for the slumber I long for.

    CHOO-CHOO!!! We both fly out of the bed holding are chest as the extremely loud train sound came crashing in from the living room. Somehow, the cats found the tiny little "on" button to the train that encircled the tree. I threw down the covers I dragged with me when I jumped up in my terror, put on my robe, and exclaimed, "Get up, It's Christmas gawd dammit!" It's now 4:00 am.

    We dragged ourselves out to the living room looking more like zombies than elves and found the cats sitting in front of the tree watching the train go around in circles.

    We opened our presents and the cats played in the carnage of wrapping paper and empty boxes while we ate our breakfast of frozen waffles. As I sat myself down in the armchair I heard a muffled sound come from the couch, "I'm beat" followed soon by the sound rolling thunder. It was the last thing I heard as I felt my lids become heavy and shut. It was 6:00am.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wild Reindeers of Sunny California

    In the middle of the cotton and polyester blend field of snow stood the majestic wild reindeer of sunny California, unmoving, its fur thick and black as night, its eyes unblinking. I slowly crept up to the beast striving not to startle it. I reached out softly and stroked its back gently as I whispered into its ear. It seemed to calm it for it sat down, momentarily relaxing. It reached up with its hind leg and vigorously scratched its ear, ridding it of whatever unwanted thing or creature was in there. The little gold bells on its grandiose antlers jingled as it scratched, distracting the wild reindeer momentarily. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Its eyes wide, it searched the horizon for the mysterious sound. In the distance, on the edge of the field near the square caves of white, it spotted another of its kind lying down, facing it with a pursuant look. It stared back.

    It was strange seeing another of its kind, being as rare as they are, but against all odds there it was across the field at the edge of the world. It glanced away from the new arrival to scout other areas for just a moment. Seeing nothing else, it turned back, the new arrival seemed minutely closer. It cocked its head slightly to the left wondering was it really closer, when the mysterious jingling came back. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Madly, it looked around for the source of the sound. Not able to locate the sound he turned back to the new arrival. It was closer, almost half the distance it was before. It was still lying down, facing it, its eyes staring unwaveringly.

    Its eyes glared at the new arrival as it dropped its own body down to the ground in quick motion. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Frantically, its head swinging in all directions, the sound getting louder and stronger, it searched to no avail for that horrible sound. It turned its attention back to the new arrival, it was gone. With a quick jerk to the left it saw nothing. Jingle Jingle Jingle. A quick jerk to the right, it was too late, all he could see was black fur flying at his face at supersonic speed.
    The new arrival attacked from the right, flying through the air like a bad walnut chucked out of a hole in a tree by a really mad squirrel. It could feel the front legs of its attacker wrap around the back of its head, teeth bared, biting into its antlers. Jingle Jingle Jingle. The sound drove the wild reindeer insane, he fought back. Bringing its hind legs in and under the new arrival, it pushed with all its might and flung the brute over its head and onto its back. Jingle Jingle Jingle. Its mind foaming from the horrible sound, it leapt and attacked back. A swipe with its hoof connected directly to its attackers antlers. Jingle Jingle Jingle. The wild reindeer's ears pricked up, the sound, the maddening sound, it was the new arrivals antlers. With a new ferocity it attacked, with its site on stopping the horrible sound.

    Arms entangled, legs flaying, bodies rolling as one, they fought, each going for the majestic antlers of the others. They rolled and fought across the great field, crashing and bumping. Jingle Jingle Jingle. I dove out of the way, escaping being crushed, or worse yet, scratched. They crashed into the square caves of white so strong it created a great avalanche. Little bits of antlers flew from the big ball of fur rolling across the field. Jingle jingle jingle. I could not believe my eyes. I stared in wonder, watching in awe as these great and rare creatures…

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I was dragged out of my hypnotic state as I watched the majestic creatures do battle. The earth shook and the heavens above opened up as a big booming voice emanated,

"Oh good gawd, take those damn antlers off the cats before they kill themselves!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


    We plan and plot for hours or even days to find that perfect gift to surprise our loved ones at Christmas. What to get, how to get it and where to hide it for the big surprise come the morning of December 25th. We finally come up with a perfect plan for the perfect surprise when what to our wondering eye should appear, SURPISE!, just not quite the way we planned it.

    It was a warm winter morning in December when a brilliant idea came to me. Having just moved in together, our furnishings were bare. I called up a friend and told him what I had planned for a Christmas gift for my happy little family and asked for his help. Thinking it would be a wonderful surprise, he was more than happy to oblige. He drove over to my place to pick me up in his Jeep Wrangler and we headed off to the store.

    On the way, we debated whether or not everything would fit in his Jeep. Suggesting we could make two trips if it didn't, we continued, content there would be no problems.

    At the store, we headed off to the electronics section and there they were, displayed proudly, hundreds of screen all glowing with the same images. With each glorious display I visited, the T.V.'s got bigger and grandeur and my friend got more nervous about it fitting into his Jeep. I assured him it would fit and continued on. My eyes fell upon the last display, a massive 36" Sony Trinitron with surround sound, a DVD player and a DirecTV box.  My eyes glazed over, this was the 90's, it was go big or go home. A salesman approached me as I wiped the drool from the side of my mouth and my friend leaned in to me from behind and whispered that I should try and see if they would lower the price if I purchased everything.

    The salesman started in on his speech and I quickly cut him off with the wave of my hand, "I'll take it all!" I exclaimed as my friend groaned behind me. The salesman, afraid I may change my mind, frantically wrote up the ticket and had me in front of a register to pay within 30 seconds. He informed us where we could pick up the purchase and gave us the pick up ticket.

    In the parking lot on the way to his Jeep, we debated again whether everything would fit. We both agreed it was going to take two trips and drove the Jeep over to the pick-up area. As we got out of the Jeep, a store employee came out with two massive carts, one had a huge box that must have been close to five feet wide, and asked if they were for us. No, I say to him, we got the 36" T.V. Laughing, he tells us that's what is in the huge box. My friend and I look at each other and I know exactly what he is thinking, it's not going to fit, period. 

    "It'll fit" I say determined. I give him the 'what if we' speech and he grudgingly agrees it might work. Off come the doors, the roof, the gas can, the spare tire and yes, the back seat. The salesman, no longer laughing with us but at us, knows exactly what I'm going to ask next and nicely suggest we put what turns out to be, most of my friends Jeep right inside the door of the pick-up area and he will watch it for us. We manage to fit the T.V. into the Jeep but nothing else. We head off to his place to hide the T.V. in his garage until Christmas Eve. Three trips later and the day exhausted, everything is in his garage and his Jeep is reassembled.
Cleaner I might add.

    The gifts all wrapped and hidden safely, Christmas Eve finally arrives. My friend and his other half come over and we have a wonderful dinner. Afterwards, as per plan, I state we need more beer and ask my friend to come with me to the store. I use the excuse to borrow the Chevy Blazer because I'm out of gas. Off to his house we sped.

    With the two of us straining to pick up the huge T.V. we fit it into the Blazer with a ¼ of an inch to spare on either side, being mindful not to rip the wrapping paper. Everything else sits on my no longer smiling friend in the passenger seat.

    Back at my place, I enter the front door and grab the cats. With everything we are bringing in, the front door is going to be left open so I lock the cats in the bedroom. They hate it. We head out the door to start bringing in the gifts and I can hear someone yelling after me, "where is the beer?" I yell back," there is plenty at the back of the fridge, look behind the vegetables!" Thirty minutes later, everything is in and you can no longer see the Christmas tree behind all the massive boxes all wrapped pretty. I could see the wonder in the eyes I love and I think to myself, this was a lot of work but tomorrow morning, the look of surprise on that cute little face will be worth it.

    Everyone settles down, and I head down the hallway to let the cats out. I get the bedroom door open just a crack when the door is flung from my hands as two furry blurs go tearing past me, pieces of carpet flying up behind them. I tear off down the hall after the terrible two, knowing whatever they are going to do, will not be good. Just inches behind them, we fly out to the living room passed the startled guests, they leap over the coffee table and head straight for the massive boxes all wrapped pretty. Stuck on the wrong side of the coffee table that I can't leap over, all I could do was watch in horror as both cats in unison reached up to the biggest massive box all wrapped pretty and with one swipe, rip the wrapping paper. That's all they did, one swipe and there the massive box all wrapped pretty stood with a big gash in the paper, framing the word Sony, practically blinking like a neon sign from Vegas.

    A quiet hush fell across the room. I stood there, horrified that all my work for the big Christmas surprise just got flushed down the toilet. I threw out my arms as if revealing the word in Wheel of Fortune and in my best Vanna White impersonation, said to the still stunned crowd, "Um, surprise".

    We laughed most of the night about it. It may not have been the surprise that I plotted and planned, but it was a good one.