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Fun with wallpaper


obama is a brother

Click the images for the great big color wallpaper-sized versions. And if there are any P’shoppers who want the .psd file with the layers and the editable text to play with, lemme know.

May 21, 2008 — 8:07 am
Comments: 14

Comfort from an unexpected quarter

my buddy

No, this is not Damien. He’s still AWOL. I’ve been putting off one particular chore — visiting the pound in person — because I expected to be slapped in the face with a yowling slice of pussycat hell. Kitty Auschwitz. Okay, mostly I was bracing to fall in love with every cat in sight and be inconsolable when I couldn’t take them all home.

Instead, it was strangely comforting.

I signed in — name, address and phone number — and they pointed me to the Cat Room. It’s a small room with about 20 cages. Yesterday, there were five cats and one kitten. I was by myself in there. Yeah. It was smoochie time.

For a second, I thought I spotted Damien, but it was a little stripey female with a bit of brown on her coat and a rough, cigarette-y meow. Probably meowed herself hoarse, poor thing. She’d only been there a few days and she had a clear mark where a collar had been. It took me a while to locate the kitten. He was across from the others and coal black. I found him via his progressively angry mew, as in, “hey lady! Kitten being cute over here!”

I’m a hard-core cat watcher. I do my best not to anthropomorphize them or overestimate their intelligence, but I’d love to know exactly what goes on in those little hairy brain pans. There’s no doubt in my mind those cats knew the score. They were auditioning for me, and giving it their best shot (except the kitten, who doesn’t have to try). Not screaming and flailing, but displaying behaviors ten thousand generations of their kind employ to dissolve cat-loving slop-bags such as this writer into puddles of goo.

I know my guess is right, because they behaved very differently today. They recognized me. They were grateful for the ear skritches, but each one waited quietly and patiently for his or her turn.

Oh, yes. I went back today. The manager is a likeable, upbeat guy and very grateful when visitors spend time with the cats. Keeps them sociable and adoptable. And he’s moving them out, too; four got adopted Saturday. The Damien-like little girl was adopted while I was there. The kitten got snapped up later. New cats appeared in their places, of course. There are always more.

Okay. Yes. It’s sad that I have to leave them there. But I know I made those nice moggies feel better and, on balance, that made me happier than it made me sad.

I can’t go every day. They’re only open while I’m at work, it’s fifteen minutes each way and I only theoretically get a half-hour lunch. But I’m going back.

And next time, I’m bringing string.

UPDATE: okay, this is just weird. I was chatting with my neighbors in back, and one of them asked if that was my cat in the flyer, and when I said yes, she said, “but he’s been here all along. I know for sure I saw him Sunday, standing right there.”

From what I understand, there’s a litter of new kittens (or maybe just a gang of young cats) about, and another of my neighbors is feeding them. If he’s warm, fed and amongst friends…yeah, I guess I could see that. He always liked being around other cats, and Charlotte hates him with a flamey hate (and deservedly. He’s always trying to suckle her or steal her food).

If he’s fallen in with a mama cat who will let him nurse, he’s a very dirty boy. A very dirty boy I might not see again for a while.

May 20, 2008 — 2:40 pm
Comments: 25

Holy shit!


We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

I’m gobsmacked. Floored. Stonked. Pole-axed. Out of synonyms for ‘fucking astonished.’ A candidate for President of the United States just told the American people he was going to force them to go hungry. So maybe the rest of the world will like us better.



May 19, 2008 — 10:33 am
Comments: 84

Behold, my last pack of cigarettes

benson & hedgesYou know why I smoked Benson & Hedges Deluxe Ultra Lights? Because that plain gold box is actually a nine-color printing job. If you disassemble the top flap, the printer’s marks are there, including the color swatches. (It’s that little coat of arms dealie: it has many tiny flecks of unique color. That, my pretend internet friends, is design chutzpah).

Yup. Artard.

I quit smoking eleven years ago Saturday (yes, yes…I meant to post on the tenth anniversary last year and I forgot, okay? I couldn’t quit with no cigarettes in the house — it would’ve made me crazy. Know what I mean? So I got down to this one pack and then quit.

My friends would have voted me Weasel Least Likely To Give up Her Goddamn Smokes While Still Possessing a Pulse. I started young, I smoked heavily and I loved the hell out of it. Plus, I hate The Man telling me what to do.

In the end, I was forced to quit because I was too addicted. I went batshit crazy if I had to go more than an hour without a smoke. But they kept clamping down on smoking until I was more or less perpetually batshit crazy for a cigarette.

Also, Uncle B quit and I knew he couldn’t stick it if I smoked around him. So you could say I quit for love. But please don’t say that because…ugh.

Observations, in no particular order:

Seriously, I went stupid after I quit smoking. I don’t read like I used to. I can’t program. I can’t concentrate any more. I can’t sit still. My nurse friend says all that nicotine was probably me self-medicating for ADD, but my nurse friend has panic attacks when she can’t get her Palm Pilot to sync, so…whatever.

As for the incredible rush of good health, I didn’t get one. Only, I was out hiking one day a few years back and I had just hauled my carcass straight up a trail that used to be a ski slope and I realized those deep, racking breaths I was taking felt good. Not like I was breathing a chunky stream of broken glass and Lysol.

So, there’s that.

Seriously? I could smoke a cigarette the size of a telephone pole right this minute.

— 8:06 am
Comments: 15

Possible Damien sighting


Okay, this is really bizarre.

Damien’s been missing about two weeks now. To get him ready for England, I had him chipped when he was a baby. So, without much hope, I go to his chip-maker’s website to see if they have any advice. They do; they have a little slideshow called Pet Detective.

According to this guy, cats are highly territorial and seldom go far. He must actually hunt pets for a living, because he says, “Around 90 percent of injured/deceased cats that I have found were within a 1-house radius of their own home! Of those, 80 percent were hidden.” He recommends concentrating on the neighbors first. Talking to people. Making up flyers and stuff.

Well, that sounded like bullshit advice to me — if Damien were that close by, why wouldn’t he come home? — but I’ll bounce back quicker if I do my bestestes, so I made up some flyers at work today.

I am neither happy nor optimistic about this approach. When I see a lost pet flyer tacked to a telephone pole, I always think, “ho HO! You poor deluded fool — you’ll never see Mister Whiskers again!” But when you absolutely must eat the shit sandwich, there’s nothing for it.

I was walking to the corner to staple up the first one, and I met a girl two doors down who was vacuuming her car. “What the heck” thinks a weasel and waves a flyer at her.

“Oh my god!” she says, “that’s the cat. THAT’S THE CAT!” Apparently he — or one just like him — showed up at her door some days ago. Skinny, extremely friendly, wouldn’t go away. She said it followed her to the store and she bought it some food. She let it in and out of the house. It hung around for a while. Last sighting, maybe two days ago.

Now, whether that was Damien or not, I don’t know. But I’m as sure as I can be this girl wasn’t lying to me. She was real excited. She called her mother on her cell to gabble about it. Apparently said cat had been an object of some family curiosity. At that moment, of course, it began to rain heavily and I couldn’t fan out through the neighborhood.

Okay. I’m lying, of course. I walked ALL around the neighborhood calling his name and getting soaked, but there were no more humans for me to talk to.

So…how could he possibly be a hundred feet from his own kitty door and still beg for a meal? I ask you! Has anybody else experienced this brand of soap-opera-quality pet amnesia? And if cats really are that scary crazy, will I ever let one outside again?

May 16, 2008 — 5:52 pm
Comments: 82

Not even close, really

no moar rinos!

Heh. I see from my logs that See-Dubya has kindly thrown me a bone over at Michelle’s. She’s soliciting slogans for the deplorable state of the GOP in 2008. (Pretty amusing thread, akshully).

Commenter at #15 longs for a graphic of a rhino with its head up its butt, and See-Dubya at #24 asserts that your ‘umble weasel might have the skill.

No. I have not. A rhino with its head up its butt would look like an elephant donut with legs sticking out of it. I could not draw that thing.

I have this thing, though. I drew it a while back and was saving it for a post about politics. You know, politics — that thing I used to talk about occasionally, back before I was consumed by my cat and my house and my birthday.

It’s not just that the Republican establishment is now being run by a pack of RINOs. I’m increasingly convinced it’s run by a pack of RINOs who don’t even like conservatives. So in 2008, the Dems are going with the candidate beloved of their fringe and the Pubs are going with the candidate despised of their fringe.

What a very strange election.

I hope they all drown.

Update: Whoa! I was just funnin’, See-Dubya. RINO dude makes it inside a post at Michelle’s.

— 8:17 am
Comments: 46

I…I feel a thousand eyes…watching me…

google street view

Weasel Towers. But I didn’t take these pictures, O imaginary friends who live in my computer. Google Street View has reached Weaseltopia! Seven months ago, the Google Street View Van drove down Weasel Street and hung a right on Stoat Boulevard.

How do I know when? Replacing the garage doors was the first thing I did to fix up the house, about six months ago. Just prior to that, one of the bottom panels popped out of the old door. It was too warped to pop back in, so whenever I went to work, I propped the panel up against the opening. This, because my cats came and went through the garage, but I wanted to discourage dogs doing the same. Yeah, I know it’s lame. I am fully aware of all my deeds of lameness. Anyhow, you can see the arrangement plainly in the top photo.

This thing is spooky. Gliding up and down the street, swiveling around, looking up and down. Check your town. If they’ve come to Providence, they’re really expanding.

I found out by accident. I plugged my street address into Google Maps (looking to check the probable size of Damien’s territory — meh. Still missing. Don’t want to talk about it. Acutely bummed), and up pops a thumbnail of my house. “Whuzzit?” I said blearily, “yarrr!”

This morning, the Real Estate Lady is in Weasel Manor taking pitchers. I am now officially On The Market. W00t!

She says I can’t live in the basement any more. That it would creep people out. I asked if she would mind following me around for a while and warning me about anything else I do that might creep people out. That could be very useful.

Secretly, I am plotting to defy her. Upstairs, there are no curtains or shades or carpets and very little furniture. It would be like sleeping in a junior high gymnasium. With the lights on. It’s dark and cool and quiet in the basement. I think what I’ll do is slap together a Potemkin village of a master bedroom upstairs, and continue sleeping in the basement. In a sleeping bag or something.

Creepy? I’ll show her!

May 15, 2008 — 10:54 am
Comments: 62

So, what did I do on my actual birthday?


Welllll…first thing in the morning, I had a dentist appointment. Just a cleaning, but it wasn’t very festive. Then I remembered this was the day my driver’s license expired. Stupid procrastination.

The main DMV for Rhode Island is in the old Apex building in Pawtucket, a department store in happier times. I bought something there once. There’s a sign behind the information lady that says “No more than three garments at a time in dressing rooms.” Last time I was there, I pointed to it. She shrugged. When they moved in, they were told not to change anything because it was only temporary and they’d be out within the year. That was…some years ago.

Well, they motor through things pretty efficiently, anyhow. Within fifteen minutes, Magic Voice called my number.

They give you a choice now: new photo or stick with the old one. My old license photo was awful, so I confidently toe’d the line for a new one.

Bad idea. I was grievously hungover from birthday celebrations the night before and it showed. At the last moment, I decided I should open my eyes wide and only one of them obeyed. So my eyes came out two radically different sizes, like Moron Billy made flesh.

Worst. Licence picture. Evarrrrr.

Then I came home, ate a big ol’ steak and drank a great deal of alcohol. So it was like every other day, really.

Today I have to drive up to Boston and appear in a corporate video. When you work in the multimedia department, you get volunteered for this duty sometimes. I fucking HATE it. I have terrible stage fright. I’m going to swallow a Xanax the size of my thumb in a minute. After which I shall no doubt say grossly inappropriate things on camera.

So I’m flying the ‘light blogging’ flag today. Talk amongst yourselves.

May 14, 2008 — 7:07 am
Comments: 54


private wilhelmSo I finally got around to watching the DVD of LOTR: Return of the King last night, and Legolas plugs an arrow in some dude who falls shrieking off the back of the oliphant, and I thought, “damme if that wasn’t the Wilhelm Scream!” And I looked it up, and and damme if it wasn’t.

What’s the Wilhelm Scream, you ask? If you wanted to be helpful and set up this post you would, anyhow. Go on. Ask.

The scream (or series of screams) that came to be known as the Wilhelm Scream was originally recorded for the 1951 film “Distant Drums.” It is intended to represent a man being eaten by alligators. Most probable voice talent that screamed this screamy scream: Sheb Wooley, bit actor and musician. You know him best for “Purple People Eater.”

It subsequently appeared in a Number of Warner Brothers films — a thing that did not escape the attention of film student Ben Burtt. He picked it up and named it after the second character to scream it: Private Wilhelm, with an arrow, in “The Charge at Feather River.” Then Bratt got hired to do the sound for Star Wars, and The Scream went nookylar.

Here is Wikipedia‘s list of Wilhelm’s screen credits (you can hear the file there, as well):

(1951) The Charge at Feather River (1953) Them! (1954) A Star is Born (1954) Land of the Pharaohs (1955) The Sea Chase (1955) Helen of Troy (1956) Sergeant Rutledge (1960) PT-109 (1963) Harper (1966) The Green Berets (1968) The Wild Bunch (1969) Chisum (1970) Impasse (1970) The Scarlet Blade (1974) Hollywood Boulevard (1976) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) More American Graffiti (1979) The Big Brawl (1980) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) History of the world part 1 (1981) Swamp thing (1982) Poltergeist (1982) Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Explorers (1985) Howard the Duck (1986) Spaceballs (1987) Willow (1988) Always (1989) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Three Fugitives (1989) Gremlins 2 (1990) Beauty and the Beast (1991) Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) Aladdin (1992) Batman Returns (1992) Reservoir Dogs (1992) Matinee (1992) Evening Class (1993) A Goofy Movie (1995) Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) Runaway Brain (1995) Toy Story (1995) Dante’s Peak (1996) Hercules (1997) The Fifth Element (1997) The Second Civil War (1997) Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) Small Soldiers (1998) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) Thirteen Days (2000) The Kid (2000) Just Visiting (2001) Osmosis Jones (2001) Planet of the Apes (2001) The Majestic (2001) Tomcats (2001) Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Life or Something Like It (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) The Salton Sea (2002) Spider-man (2002) Scorched (2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) Cradle 2 the Grave (2003 The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) A Man Apart (2003) Agent Cody Banks (2003) Peter Pan (2003) Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Tears of the Sun (2003) Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) I Am David (2004) Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) Hellboy (2004) Paparazzi (2004) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) Taxi (2004) Team America: World Police (2004) Troy (2004) Æon Flux (2005) Fantastic Four (2005) Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005) King Kong (2005) Kingdom of Heaven (2005) Madagascar (2005) Monster-In-Law (2005) Sin City (2005) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) The Pacifier (2005) The Ring Two (2005) Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) 16 Blocks (2006) Accepted (2006) Cars (2006) Flushed Away (2006) Lifted (2006) Monster House (2006) Over the Hedge (2006) She’s the Man (2006) X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) 30 Days of Night (2007) D-War (2007) Juno (2007) Norbit (2007) The Invisible (2007) Shrek the Third (2007) Transformers (2007) The Mist (2007) The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Speed Racer (2008) The Golden Compass (2008)

So now you know something you didn’t know before, unless you already knew this, in which case you can just go straight to hell, smartass. I really don’t have to take this from you.

May 13, 2008 — 12:30 pm
Comments: 20

You know what’s great about going to Hell?

holy toast

I’ll know so many people there!

This was a birthday gift from my hiking buddy. She saw it and thought of me immediately (blasphemy/weasel? Tack/weasel? Not sure, but I’m flattered). You press it onto a piece of bread and, when you make it toast, the pressed parts come out darker. Voilà! Miracle toast!

At least, I think that’s how it works. I haven’t tried it; my toaster was one of the first things to go. It was a beautiful object — according to the Toaster Museum it was a General Electric 139T81. I saw a picture of one in the industrial design catalog of the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts once.

But the pressy thing was go-bust, and you had to jam a fork in it to make the toast stay down, which was pretty bad mojo, especially if you forgot and immolated your toast. Nothing says are you flipping insane? like silverware jammed in an electrical appliance.

I’m proud to say this blasphemous object came from the college bookstore of my alma mater. Wait, can you call it your alma mater if you drop out? I know they consider me an alumna, regardless.

Probably because so many, many people wash out of the grinding hell-machine that is art school.

May 12, 2008 — 7:19 am
Comments: 49