Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Cow and Bear Show

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on the complex and ever-evolving relationship between Cow and Bear. It is only a matter of time before the 900 cat pictures on our camera get replaced with 900 baby pictures (both of which nobody wants to see, of course. But people usually respond politely when we shove these pictures in their face and say “isn’t that adorable?”)

Anyhoooo… in case you don’t remember, this is Cow:

And this is bear:

The kitties have gotten very close, and they have started practicing to have their picture taken by Olan Mills by striking two classic Olan Mills poses:

No, we aren’t really taking them in for portraits behind of a prop wagon wheel and in front of simulated 2-dimentional greenery… but a kitty has the right to dream. By the way, this isn’t my family – I swear – but we had the exact same setup for a family photo one year:

Our dad even had the same mustache as this dad… maybe it is an Olan Mills loaner mustache? It was 1978, after all.

Anyway, back to the kitties. Here is Bear interacting with a local youth:

Poor Harrison (our nephew) is doomed when he takes his Animal Sound Simulation Test in preschool. (That’s a standardized test, right? The ASS-T’s?) He’ll be like, “the cow says ‘meow’ ” Sorry, boy. Our bad.

Cow prefers to give Bear affection, but Bear prefers to wrestle… or “wrassle” when he gets dirty and throws the rule book out the window. Cow has become skilled in the art of self-defense. Below is one of her classic self-defense maneuvers:

But when they aren’t wrasslin’, they are very affectionate with each other:

And when they aren’t making love or war… they are in lethargakitty mode:

So that’s it. The cats continue to be outstanding in the field of kitty excellence. We recommend one for your home or office.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Delicious Bass

Have you ever had to hear old men talking about fish for 2 hours? We have. It is not an experience I would recommend to a friend. Even the presence of cookies didn’t help.

In an attempt to be social and meet our neighbors, we went to a “friends of the lake” meeting. It’s about as local as politics can get, and people are so opinionated and passionate, you’d think we were taking about starving big-eyed children instead of bass.

It’s unfair of me to assume everyone at the meeting was completely lacking perspective, because I am sure a silent majority thought the outrage over bass-related issues was a bit over the top too.

(Above photo depicts a bass unaware of concern over his wellbeing. Here is a suggestion from the bass: “If you are really that worried about us, stop catching us on hooks and yanking us out of the lake. That is both hurtful and annoying.”)

Before you think I am uncaring about the needs of the bass, I should point out that the bass are fine. There is no real threat to the bass at this time, and they seem to be completely content carrying on their bassy lifestyles in our lake. Maybe because there are no real threats, the meeting focused on potential threats.

The issue that people were most angry about was non-residents fishing on the lake. It’s a very “us” versus “them” feeling that gets expressed. These are the people who run out of their house shouting “git off our lake!” if they spot one of “them” passing by. It’s best to spit on the ground after you say this, or (better yet) cock your shotgun. Both spit and guns are appropriate punctuation marks to show your sincerity in this situation.

The most cringe-worthy moment happened when one of the “friends of the lake” stood up and said “Not that this has anything to do with ethnicity, but…” I won’t even re-type what he said, it was unbelievably stupid. That is just a bad way to start a sentence. “Not to be racist, but…” then STOP TALKING. If you don’t want to be racist, as you claim, then shut your piehole… because the next words to come out of your mouth are most assuredly racist.

Personally, I don’t think the lake needs friends like… but, who am I to tell a body of water that it’s hanging around with the wrong people?

So in an effort to get “them” off our lake, the Friends of the Lake have developed this semi-elaborate system of boat stickers and fishing passes. I am just waiting for when they release a Bass Threat Alert system (ie Code Orange: High threat level . Intelligence reports that specific threats to bass have been made.)

My favorite guy was the last guy to speak at the meeting. His topic was ice shantys. Evidently, people have been up in arms about all the fishermen’s ice shantys on the lake in the winter. It took a few promptings before this guy even realized he was supposed to get up and speak, as he had to be at least 95 years old and was a bit hard of hearing. I was bracing myself for yet another over-the-top alarmist speech on some threat to the bass or to our “lifestyles” …but as soon as he took the podium I knew he was cool. Here is a transcription of his entire speech:

“We like them! They are just part of winter. If you don’t like them, you deal with them. But we like them!”

Ah, the sweet voice of reason. I was ready to give him a one-woman standing ovation.

I don’t know if we will ever go to another one of these meetings again, but if we do I will try to sneak in a video camera so you can see neighborhood politics at it’s finest.

OK, rant over. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Farewell to the Finest Honky We’ve Ever Known

Dear Honky,
I wish I had taken more pictures. I guess people always say that when they lose a loved one unexpectedly.

Oh, sweet Honky. You were an excellent car. So many roadtrips…so many awkward moments of forgetting the social implications of saying your nickname out loud…so many sweet memories…

Believe me when I say that it isn’t you, it’s us. We’ve changed. You see, we found out that this kid is going to show up in August and he will probably have a lot of junk he’ll want us to haul around for him… and, frankly, you just don’t have the cargo capacity. Plus, this kid would barely fit in your backseat so you would be getting kicked all the time. And trust us, Honky… there is no dignity in having a juice stained interior and a passenger who doesn’t ask to pull over at a rest area to poop. We really think you will be happier with someone else.

But we didn’t want it to end like this. We had a free day and we were just looking at other cars… casually, you know. We were just curious about what else was out there, and we figured it couldn’t hurt to look. It was all very innocent. Well, one thing led to another, and before we knew it we had purchased a Saturn Vue. This thing has a trunk that goes on till Tuesday, we couldn’t help but feel instantly attracted. Plenty of room for junk in that trunk, if you know what we mean. But our attraction wasn’t just based on superficiality; it is also a hybrid and manages to get better fuel economy than you ever could. Not to put you down… but it’s true.

I’m sorry we had to leave you at the Saturn dealership, but you were part of the negotiation. We can only pray that the sweaty salesman will take good care of you as he assured us he would. We hope he sells you to a nice man in a black turtleneck who will love you as much as we did. He’ll probably listen to NPR and enjoying doing things “for the arts”… well, you’re a VW so you know the type. You’ll be where you should be, in a more sterile childless environment, rather than being a giant burp cloth with wheels.

We will always have a hole in our hearts in the shape of you, Honky. This isn’t just a serious medical condition; it is also a reminder of the good times we shared. We’ll miss you, Honky!!

Steph and Tim

Friday, April 11, 2008

90% Boy

That was the result of today’s ultrasound. Wah-hooo!! I don’t know what the other 10% is, as the technician didn’t specify our odds of having a girl. Could 90% boy, 10% badger? I dunno.

But, in any case, a 90% probability of boy is good enough for me to go buy some cute boy clothes. Here is a onesie his dad particularly likes:

Rock on!

He appears to be over one pound in weight already, which puts him well at the head of his class. Nice work, boy. We’re so proud of you!!! I'm glad to know you've been able to put all those pickles to good use.

He wasn’t entirely cooperating at the ultrasound today, and the tech wanted to get a view of his spine in a different position… so we will likely be going back in a couple of weeks for yet another ultrasound. He seemed generally bored with the whole thing, and we even caught him yawning on the ultrasound. Booooor-ring. Kids these days… they have such short attention spans.

Ooo, a shiny rock. I’ve got to go.

Monday, April 7, 2008

And another thing about kids these days...

OK, so Tim and I were just talking about the hookah bar phenomenon. Evidently muffin doesn't think it is as odd as I do, but he used to live in the big city so he's seen "things".

I guess I think it is so strange because to me it is the equivalent of having a corncob pipe bar. Just bizarrely specific, ya know? At the hookah bar, teenagers like smoking bubble gum, strawberry, and lemon flavored tobaccos. At the corncob pipe bar, they would only serve tabaccy flavored tobacco.

OK... before I get lost in this specific-tobacco-smoking-paraphernalia bar fantasy, I'd better go to bed.

Kids These Days...

I had a major “Kids These Days” moment today. I’m only 32... shouldn’t I at least be in my fifties before I begin lamenting about today’s youth? *sigh* For my age group, I am definitely in the 90th percentile for curmudgeonlyness.

Anyway, two of my co-workers have 18-year old sons. Guess what they did this weekend? Are you ready for this? They went to a hookah bar. Yes, hookah. HOOKAH??!!?? And one of them even owns their own hookah.

What’s next? Partying with Ganesha?

I wonder what will be cool when Nabisco is a teenager. Maybe we will luck out and it will be doing laundry. “Oh man, I totally did four loads last night. It was so sweeeeeet.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I’m enjoying my new active lifestyle.

No, I didn’t start using hairplugs, Grecian men’s formula, super-poly grip for dentures, or any product associated with the geriatric crowd and condescendingly marketed for the “active lifestyle". It’s even better…

The doctor took me off load mode!!!! Waaaa-hoooooooooooo!!!

To celebrate, I’m going to cozy in and watch an all-day America’s Next Top Model marathon in bed. No, I’m joking. Actually I am going to enjoy a Tyra Banks-free day. Take a walk, go shopping, and just be, as my doctor put it, a “normal pregnant lady.” (Obviously my doctor doesn’t know me that well…)

Nabisco is getting another chance to show us the goods on April 11th. By the way, I’ve started referring to the baby as a “he" but in my mind there is a little asterisk everytime I say it. In fact, I also make a little “tsk” sound right after I say “he” to indicate the asterisk and then when I am done saying whatever I am going to say, I quickly and quietly mutter “Tsk. Actual baby may be a girl.” If anyone knows a better way to verbalize an asterisk and then the associated footnote in conversation, I am open to suggestions.

Anyhoo… I’m off to enjoy my new active lifestyle.