Tuesday, October 31, 2006


originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
...does anyone else find this as creepy as I do??

Monday, October 23, 2006

mowr mowr mowr mowr

That video of rescue kitty Zena I promised earlier:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

pumpkinfest 2006

the pumpkin gang
the pumpkin gang,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
It's interesting. The older I get, the more I feel stifled by experience, knowledge of what's "right", "good", "the way it should be", or "others do it so much better". As an adult, it seems harder to let the moment take you and just be spontaneously creative...you start overthinking things, planning them, needing them to be exactly what you see in your head.

The first time I really started to see this was two years ago...my friend Jen and I decided to carve pumpkins. We got everything we needed: shopped for pumpkins, put down a tarp on the floor, markers to sketch with, knives, spoons, trash bags.

Then we sat there and stared at our pumpkins. And stared. And then kind of embarrassedly laughed and admitted to each other that we were a bit intimidated by the idea of what to carve.

It was an interesting afternoon...I have a lot of good talks with Jen, and this was another of them. The realization that the creativity you have as a kid, the imagination, the awe...they are all a function of innocence. You can get it back as an adult, but it takes a bit more effort, and a willingness to abandon yourself to the moment, to risk being embarrased, to chance not doing it quite "right". Having acknowledged and named the feelings, we were able to work through them [after a few dry runs of sketching faces on grocery bags].

This year, we just went for it. Oh, we thought about what we wanted, and asked each other advice on mouths, noses, eyes, but it was easier this year. The picture is what we ended up with...and I think our pumpkins rock. [More pics of the pumpkin gang here.]

A big part of it being easier this time was trust: I can relax and risk making a fool of myself in front of her, because she won't laugh any more than is appropriate [and if she ever should, I could say "ow" and she'd stop...a sign of a true friend]. There is also the trust in yourself...it takes a bit of confidence to plunge into something that might make you feel stupid/silly/incompetent/incapable. And often, you end up realizing that you aren't any of those things...

...at least not this time.

not the only one

Heh...it's good to know I'm not the only one who notices this. Sherman's Lagoon comes through again:


[See my earlier posts for why this is funny: "today's lesson" and "how's that for timing?"]

Friday, October 20, 2006

a new roommate

About a month ago, I adopted a second rescue kitty [in part to keep my first one, Pepper-of-the-Missing-Paw, company when I return to work]. I got her from "Pets in Need", an excellent no-kill shelter here in the Bay Area [if you are looking for a place to support and/or to get your next dog or cat, please be sure to check them out], and she came with the name "Zena Louise". That simple yet non-descriptive name has since morphed into "ZeanBean" and "Beaner", in recognition of the fact that she is a large black fuzzy beanbag of a cat. [A bonus: she has a fabric tube thing she likes to hang out in...when she's in it, I refer to it as the "Bean Burrito". Har har har...]

She was mauled by a dog when she was younger, and now has nerve damage to her hips. She is still mobile, but doesn't have fine motor control over her back legs...which gives her a hilarious "fishtailing" kind of swagger when she walks down the hall, and it means that when she wants to sit down, she just kind of *thunks* her hinder down and stays wherever it lands. She spent two years in a shelter, and between that and her hip problems, she came to my home weighing almost 19 pounds [now you understand "large black fuzzy beanbag"]. Now, with a diet of indoor cat formula and much more activity, she is down to a still-slightly-larger-than-svelte 14 pounds.

[The picture above was taken the day I brought her home...my lap isn't the smallest, and she overflowed it past my knees. Not a small kitty...]

Happily, she has settled in nicely, if a bit rambunctiously. For a cat with mobility problems, she gets around: she's found the toilet paper roll, the facial tissues, the space behind the dryer, the space behind the couch, the space under the bookshelf, the decorative box of mini building blocks [which have since been moved out of her reach], and who knows what else. She's picked out her favorite toys, and unlike Pepper, doesn't get bored with them...where he gives up after a few minutes with a very hoity "Okay, I'm done now" attitude, she will keep playing and playing and swatting and chasing and playing and [you get the idea].

She's a total lapkitty, and loves to plunk her beanbag body onto your nice warm lap. I've put a footstool by the couch to help her climb up, as well as an ottoman by the bed [otherwise she kept trying to jump up and failing, which had me fearing both for her and for my bedspread as she dug her claws in to try to save herself]. She and Pepper get along pretty well...they don't fight much, just the occasional "oh, yeaaahh??" hiss from one to the other, and they will both lie happily in the same room with me and can pass each other in the hall without incident [a cat-loving friend of mine told me that this is a very good thing...and was amazed that they would relax and sleep in the same room together after less than a month].

I've got more photos of the latest roommate, and some time in the next few weeks hope to get them off my camera and up online somewhere. I'm also in the process of uploading a video of Zena presenting me with a gift...she has one toy mouse [see the pic to the left] that exists solely for her to carry around in her mouth whilst giving the most plaintive "mowr mowr mowr" sounds. When she finds me, she then drops the mouse in front of me and sits proudly in front of it. You cat people will know what I'm talking about...and I'm glad it's a *toy* mouse that she finds to give me, as I've had cats in the past that felt the real thing was a much better gift [ick].

Watch this space for a link to the video...it's coming soon...

a good message

Courtesy of Dove:

(click on the pic to see the video)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

how's *that* for timing??

The latest "Sherman's Lagoon" strip:


today's lesson


Thus endeth the lesson.


Just finished watching my tape of tonight's LOST episode.

Holy crap.

This was a good one. Not going to give too many spoilers, just in case you haven't seen it yet. Locke. Eko. Charlie. Desmond [naked Desmond!]. Trippin', maaannn...trippin'. Hello Boone! Interesting glimpse into Locke's background. Geronimo Jackson t-shirt [Monte must be so happy]. RAWR! And what's up with Desmond and his "Locke's speech" thing?


Sunday, October 15, 2006

wallowing in guilty pleasures

Bunny feet pajamas, warm sake, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, fireplace going, snuggled up in the blanket my sister made for me, big fat cat on my lap...contented sigh.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

multi-purpose kitchen tool

Try using your french press to froth hot cocoa...yummmmmmy.

How to:
Mix milk and cocoa, microwave until hot enough, put into press, rapidly move plunger up and down until cocoa is frothed the way you like it. Presto! A fluffy, chocolatey, indulgenty drinky! For extra hedonism, sprinkle chocolate flakes on top...then sit back, sip it down, let the chocolate froth foam your cares away.

Bonus tip: The press is also a great way to brew up your loose leaf tea. Crazy multi-purpose!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

bad / good

Bad: You wake up and realize it's trash day and you didn't take the trash out.

Good: You wake up *before* the trash guys have come by, so you get everything to the curb in time.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

king of dreams

Lisa and I saw Neil Gaiman speak at Kepler's tonight...he is an amazing storyteller. He can take the smallest anecdote and spin it into a witty, wry, engaging story. He read from his new book, told us all about the three musical versions of "Coraline" [one with music by They Might Be Giants] and the new Stardust movie [Peter O'Toole! Michelle Pfeiffer! Robert De Niro!], and generally entertained us all for about an hour or so. Come question time, he handled a rather long-winded questioner very deftly, turned a simple question about having to buy a new pair of pants in San Francisco into a funny story about trying to find jeans at Armani [because they were the closest to the hotel], and answered each question as if he'd never heard it before.

When the time came for him to sign my copy of his new book, "Fragile Things", he not only signed it and the "one extra item" we were allowed [I chose a matted Sandman postcard for him to sign], but he also very nicely signed my "Neverwhere" DVD cover and my "Babylon 5" liner notes [he wrote the episode "Day of the Dead", one of my favorites]. Three hundred people waiting for him to sign, and he took the extra time to chat and share stories. I admire artists that share themselves with the fans, both through their work and through personal appearances...

Sunday, October 01, 2006