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Thursday, March 29, 2012

John Carter of Mars OR John Carter Does Mars OR Edgar Rice Burroughs is Rolling in his Grave!

Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, and King of Undying Remakes,
does NOT have
good posture in this illustration.
Warning!  Spoilers, ho!  This blog contains spoilers.  Massive, mind-numbing spoilers.  If you're hankering (you and the ten other people who actually saw the movie) to see John Carter, I'm going to spoil it.  Don't say I didn't warn ya.

When I was a tween, I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs.  (Trust me, this is much better than discovering Justin Bieber.)  I loved Tarzan of the Apes.  (I luvved Tarzan.  I'll get to luv later in the blog.)  I discovered that Edgar had a big pile-o-rama of action/suspense/romance in the waiting for me to read.  Then I discovered that he had died decades before I was ever born and I was heartbroken.  (Tween, remember?  Lots of melodrama involved.)

I can honestly say Edgar was a guiding influence in becoming a writer.  And don't let anyone get it wrong, Edgar was a bigtime romantic.  Tarzan would clutch Jane to his heaving breast and smooch her severely.  Tarzan might have been raised by apes, but he was all man, baby.  Then there was the adventures in The Land That Time Forgot, which was coolness personified.  (It was an island that TIME frickin' forgot with a hunky hero going all neanderthal on the hot, oh-I-need-help-bad babe.  Dinosaurs and dames in distress.  You cannot go wrong with that formula.)  There was also John Carter cavorting all over Mars and let's not forget that Carson Napier was all over Venus.  Edgar sent adventuresome hunks to the moon and to the middle of earth.  Let's just say these heroes got around.

This does not look like a pirate to me.
This looks like a messed up birdman.
About three years ago, I lamented to my sister that I was sorry I gave away all the Burroughs paperbacks I had collected.  During the seventies Ballantine issued a sh**load of them and I snapped them up.  So my sister, who works in a used book store, generously sent me all the John Carter ones from the seventies.  Thank you, Sis-o-mine.  Eagerly I dived in and they were somewhat cheesier than I recalled.  (But it was Edgar!  Dammit.  Guiding influence in a tender age!)

Interestingly enough I was amazed to see them (Hollywood) making John Carter the movie, or rather, they did A Princess of Mars, which is the first Burroughs book with that character.  But hey, look at all the cool special effects they do now, so wtf?  Someone in Disney said, "It worked with Pirates, let's do John Carter."  I don't know why they called it John Carter instead of A Princess of Mars, but I'm not a Hollywood producer and what do I know?  I also do not know why they thought anyone would recognize John Carter as a primary character from a book that is, guess what, nearly a century old.

Consequently, having been indoctrinated into Burroughs, I forced HIM, the man to whom I'm married, to go see the movie.  We found a 2D one to go to and got a babysitter.  (The 3D ones make me want to barf on the person in the seat in front of me.  Apparently I've got some sort of weird 3D motion sickness thing going on and people in the rows in front of me do not care for it.)  (Have you ever said to the person in the seat in front of you, "Sorry about that popcorn?  Buy you another one?")
John Carter, kicking butts and taking names,
and rescuing the hot martian babe princess...
again.
In the novels, one must understand, John Carter magically keels over in a cave in Arizona, where he's hanging out doing whatnot, discovering gold, and fighting off Apaches, and he pops up on Mars, where he pretty much finds a pretty Martian princess who needs saving, fights off cool dudes, and gets in the know.  John makes friends with four-armed dudes and some other stuff happens to prolong the book.  John has to rescue the Martian Princess a bunch of times because she's basically a magnet for bad guys and kidnappers who want to have their wicked way with her.  Then he pops back to earth, all upset because he lost his true love.  (Somewhere during rescuing the Martian babe they fell in luv.  It's better than love.  They're in luv.  Real luv.  Not love.  Luv is when you go, "Awwwwww.  They're in luvvvvv."  See?)

For a twelve year old, this was hot stuff.  (I wanted to magically go to Mars and have adventures with a hot martian prince.  Really, I did.)
Edgar had a penchant for his heroes to be
tall, black haired, and gray-eyed.  I don't
know about this guy, but he's okay, I guess.
But on to the movie.  First off, the screen writers had to fix that pesky detail of how John got to Mars.  They made the cave a space/time/movie portal and John was in the right place at the right time.  Then he's on Mars, hanging out, jumping really high because the gravity is different there.  Also the Martian babe princess is now a scientist Martian babe princess who also knows how to fight with a sword and wryly counter John's southern wit.  Also the four-armed dudes give John something to make him automatically speak their language, whereas in the book, it takes him a while to learn the lingo.  (This plot device saves on screen time.  A movie that's four months long would be kind of a bummer.)
I think Edgar would be totally on board with this hot babe princess.
Or at least Frank Frazetta would be.
Was the movie bad?  No, not really, really bad.  But there were a couple of things I feel compelled to comment upon.  One was that the actor who played John Carter, Taylor Kitsch, had an interview and said he had groin scars from all the leaping around in the air while wearing one of those special harnesses.  I wish I hadn't heard the interview because every time John Carter leaped into the air, I leaned over to HIM and said, "Groin scars."  (Which probably didn't make HIM like me or the movie any more.)  John jumped around a lot and all I could think of was, "That poor Hollywood bastard and his aching groin."  (I bet HIM wishes I hadn't heard that interview, either.)
I couldn't find a jumping still so here's one with his Martian dog thing.
The actor must be pissed, having to play second fiddle to a special FX.
Second, there's a scene where John has to fight a giant white ape thingymabob.  It's badass and John is chained to a rock.  So, of course, he breaks free.  (Edgar never killed off a hero, as far as I can recall and I think Disney follows this rule faithfully.)  Then he kills the ape thing.  (If this had been the book, John would have celebrated his victory by firmly grasping the hot babe Martian Princess to his heaving breast and laying his burning lips on hers.  But no Frenching because apparently Edgar wasn't into that in the early part of the 20th century.  I don't Disney would approve, either.)  He even kills the ape thing in a pretty icky manner, and explodes out of its body covered with blue blood.  John challenges the evil, four-armed guy and wins by default because that bad guy is really a large, broken-tusked, four-armed pussy.  Then, all covered with blue gooiness, John gives a speech which is remarkably similar to William Wallace's rant in Braveheart.  The four-armed peeps need to hang out with the red-skinned peeps and save their world from evil badness, and he, John, will lead them to a triumphant Hollywood ending.

I mean, I'm all over the hero going to save the hot babe princess and also the world, and setting everything up for a nice sequel (good luck with that considering the huge inequity in how much the move made versus how much it cost) and all, but dang, did they have to steal a scene from Braveheart?  Come on!  Edgar would not approve.  Mel Gibson should be ranting about it.
"I luv you."  "No, I luv you more."  "No, I luv you."  "Oh, shut up."
"Clutch me to your heaving breast already!"
Finally, there's this scene where the hot babe Martian Princess and John confess their undying luv.  (Told ya.  It's luv, not love.)  I started to giggle in the middle of the scene and HIM shushed me.  The poor actress who got to play the hot babe Martian Princess got all the crappy lines.  And John Carter, well, he's got groin scars.

In conclusion the movie goes on to explain how John Carter went back to earth and was pissed about it and how his nephew is really Edgar, who didn't really write the book but just published John's diaries about his adventures on Mars or Barsoom, as the Barsoomians call Mars.  (Run on sentence alert!  I should have added a few more "ands".)

I went and downloaded all the Tarzan books on kindle.  I need someone to clutch me to his heaving breast and plant a scorching hot smoochie on me.  Where's HIM when I need him?

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Daughter's Cat is a Moron and I Have Proof OR Other Stuff I'm Compelled to Discuss in a Sarcastic Manner Or the Heck with it, Let's Go For the Longest Title Ever!

WARNING: the writer might ramble from subject to subject without proper transitional authorization.  Also she might switch- was that a butterfly over there?  Wait, what was I talking about? 

I have it.  I have absolute, undeniable, incontrovertible proof that my daughter's cat, Doofaroy, er, Megapoop, er, Pooparoy, er, Dinglehead, er, Megaroy, is a moron.  I took a picture and here it is.  It's just like if you saw a Sasquatch taking a dump in the forest and took a picture and he smiled at you.  (Well, almost the same.)


Yes, the room is a mess, but I spend most of my time writing, er, taking care of my family, rather than picking up shizz off the floor.  But look!  Look where the cat has chosen to sleep.  Not on the comfy bed, which is no longer my bed.  It's a king-sized cat bed upon which I'm allowed to partake several inches of in the night, often with my ass hanging off the side.  (Forget about the blankets because that ship has sailed off under the cat's ever-growing ass.)  Not in the clever cat perch in the window so that the cat will not be bored and he may look outside at the birds and the bees and other stuff that might amuse him in a feline fashion.  No.  Not there.  Not in the freakin' cat bed that my daughter had to have in purple, because it's her very favorite color and she just knew that it would be the cat's favorite color, too. 

No, the moron cat king of the world is sleeping on the floor, propped on my tennies, looking at me as if I was insane.

Of course, there's a story about me breaking the axle on my Jetta, but
I'm just going to say that that gate I drove through was way too narrow and
those German Army Guards were laughing too hard when I did it.
On to other things.  Recently, I received the following three notes from fans.  I have left off names and locations because I don't want to embarrass anyone (with the following notable exceptions, HIM, my daughter's stupid cat, my sister's vicious, woman-eating cat, all political parties, and underwear with holes in it.  Just sayin'.):
I just finished the second Hubbard book.  It is over the top funny.  Cannot wait to read book three. You have a new fan. I think Bubba would make a great movie! Thanks for writing.  
Great books. Love Hubbard and am eagerly waiting more.
I started with the Hubbard aerie. Having spent half my childhood in the south I found the characters very amusing. 
I added the blue color for clarity.  The first one I decided that someone had the wrong author and ignored it.  (Sorry to that person if I didn't answer you.)  Then yesterday I got the other two, from different parts of the country, and I thought to myself, "I have writer's Alzheimer's.  I can't remember the name of a character I wrote about."  But I've ascertained, there is no character named Hubbard in my novels.  Once, I knew a Staff-Sergeant Hubbard in the Army.  He was my boss, and I'll never understand how a man who is five foot four inches tall can run a five minute mile.  AND he smoked two packs of cigs a day.  I also knew a Hubbner, but only because he worked with HIM and I remember his wife.  (She wasn't a very nice person, either.  Her kaka did not stink.)

So I told HIM about it.  HIM and I concluded that it was the autocorrect on their dohickeys changing Bubba into Hubbard.  (Dohickey is a highly technical term for any electronic gadget that I don't specifically know the name.)  I even wrote back to one and said politely, "Thanks but who the hell is Hubbard?"  (Maybe I'm writing books in my sleep.  It's a mystery.)

If it had been just the one person, I would have said, "Hokay.  Mistake.  Doesn't matter."  But three altogether and two on the same day, WTF, over?  (I checked it on my Droid and my Droid must be partly programed by rednecks because it didn't change Bubba into Hubbard.)


Whoops.  Subject change.

We didn't get to go on the camping trip with the Brownies, after all.  Which is a shame because I'm certain it would have been the endless fountain source of unlimited, funny blog material.  Bears, rain, tired little girls, fat woman without access to KFC or alcohol.  Hugely massive mountains of blogging material.  It could have been a three parter with tons of sarcastic input.  Alas.

Instead we stayed home because the kid got STREP THROAT.  Then HIM felt left out and got STREP THROAT, too.  The moron cat wasn't smart enough to know he was being left out and didn't get STREP THROAT.  (He probably thought about a hairball, but instantly forgot it when I put Friskies out for him.)

I, however, did not felt left out, and consequently, did not get STREP THROAT.  Yet.  (Why am I capitalizing STREP THROAT?  Well, the first time was funny.  Then it was funny the second time.  The third time was mildly amusing and the fourth time was habit.)  (I could have gone back and made it different colors.  Like this: STREP THROAT.  See, it's funny again.)


I was going to put an actual photograph of someone with strep throat above, but it looked pretty icky-poo and I changed my mind.  I wouldn't want any of my readers to ralph on their computers.  (Bad for the computers.)  (Then Cressy saw what I was doing and wanted to see photographs of actual STREP THROAT victims and I spent the next thirty minutes listening to, "EWWW!  Gross!  EWWW!  Mommy you have to see this!  EWWW!")

Anyway, lots of chicken noodle soup around here.  Also we broke out the air mattress, dvds, the barbie magic pop-up tent, and the uber, frickin' large jar of patience.  Here it is, Sunday afternoon, and everyone is much better, except me.  I need a nap.

On the other hand, the Brownies got rained on all weekend long.  Poor little girls.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Camping OR OMG I'm Camping With Brownies Again and Not the Good Kind of Brownies

(Note to all my conservative readers, relatives, and friends, I've never made those kind of brownies, although one of my friends and I collaborated about it once.  We decided it was too damned hard and that she should just smoke it instead.  I felt really stupid because she lives two states away from me and we kept sending email to each other with the key component cleverly obscured by using a FAKE word.  You know, like this: "Hey, it says on the Internet that you can cook the Alfalfa up and make it into butter, and then add it to the recipe."  Then my friend would respond with, "What's the website for the Alfalfa cooking down method?"  Hint.  Hint.  Hint.  Hint.  Wink.  But no, I didn't inhale and I certainly didn't eat the brownies.)  (Despite my assertion that I am alfalfa-brownie free and always have been, I still can't run for President.)


Next weekend.  Girl Scout campout at a location somewhere in the mountains.  I've been told that there are no potties.  There will be no running water.  There might be bears.  We have like SIX eight and nine year old girls.  I'm going to die.

Wonderfully this reminds me of the worst camping trip I ever went on, which portentously did not include alfalfa laced brownies.

My husband, colloquially referred to as HIM, bent my arm and forced me to go to a childhood camping haunt of his in Arkansas, which I think he remembers with memories that are a lot more fond than in real life.

There was a trifecta of doom revolving around the camping trip.  (It actually turned into a quadfecta of doom, or a pentfecta, but trifecta sounds more doomier.)  Cleverly, HIM invited the in-laws and said, "It will be fun.  There's a spring.  I'll bring the air mattress."  (It occurs to me that the less discerning reader might infer that the first part of the trifecta would be the inclusion of the in-laws, but alas it isn't really.)


Once we got there, we set up, and it wasn't long before I noticed that there were a number of Daddy Long Legs rambling about.  Now I was a kid.  I played with Daddy Long legs before.  They never really bit, or as I found out on Mythbusters, they don't have very long fangs, and they didn't bite very hard.  So I knew what a Daddy Long Legs is.  But the Daddy Long Legs in Arkansas are obviously radioactive aliens from Planet Freakmetheeffout.  These were the BIGGEST emeffing Daddy Long Legs I've ever frickin' seen.  I think one of them was looking at me lewdly.  I even looked them up later on the Internet because I was certain they were mutant creatures from a long lost, recently opened cavern in the Arkansas Caddo Mountains.

"Oh," you scoff, "you were afraid of a few measly spiders.  What a girl."

HAH!  It wasn't just a few.  It was HUNDREDS of them.  Everywhere.  It was their campground and we were invading.  They were probably going to kill us in our sleep by dragging us off to a bottomless pit and shoving us over.  (Oh, this so calls for an illustration.)


Of course, I evaded the spiders by leaping about in a girlish fashion while simultaneously shrieking and pointing fingers.  Then I jumped into the behemoth-like growth of POISON frickin' IVY that was EVERY frickin' where in the campground.  There was poison ivy all over everything that hadn't been driven over recently.  (And I'll be getting to that, later in the trip.)  As it turns out, I'm not particularly susceptible to poison ivy.  (I did not know this then and was thusly compelled to wash it the eff off my skin before bad things started to happen.)  What we did discover what that HIM is violently susceptible to poison ivy.  Also poison sumac and poison oak, which grow in northern Texas and Arkansas by the bushel full.  If it were a crop they would be richer than Bill Gates.  HIM actually has to go to the doctor if he's exposed.  We had to throw away all his clothes once and the laundry basket they'd been in because the oils in the poison sumac had gotten over it and could not be washed out.

Anyhoo, I was dancing over the spiders and jumping into the poison ivy.  Having perceived that I had jumped into poison ivy, with shorts and flip-flops and tons of exposed skin, I determined that I should jump into the spring at the camp that we were camped at in order to wash the poison ivy off.  I made another acute observation.

Spring water is like jumping into a lake in Alaska in December.  There is a sneaky upper layer which has been warmed by the sun.  So you might dip your hand in and say, "Oh, it's not bad."  Then you jump in and shriek like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, except louder and shriller.  Because about a foot down, it's like 35 degrees and your ass freezes up and then falls off.  I'm quite certain there are a number of frozen asses still at the bottom of that spring's pool.

Staggering out of the icy water, into the campground, I ran into the spiders again.  Avoiding the spiders I leaped into the bushes and encountered the massive growth of poison ivy once again, which was followed up by another dip into the icy pool of death.

Eventually, I broke the vicious cycle, and I managed to get into the cab of the truck, refusing to get out for the remainder of the trip.  Except, upon reading this, HIM commented about the other fun aspect of that particular trip.

The only place that the poison ivy wasn't growing was the road and that was because the National Forestry Service had recently re-graveled the road.  They'd cleverly used tons and tons of very sharp rocks.  The very sharp rocks made a flat in one of HIM's tires.  We changed tires, and went and got it fixed.  We came back to the camp ground and found out we had TWO more flat tires.  HIM and his father took the other vehicle and got them fixed.  When he got back two more tires were flat.  (There might have been more.  I lost count when the top of HIM's head exploded.)  (That was funny.  It's usually the top of my head that explodes.  So it was nice for a change.)  Later on the guy at the tire place said, with a cheerful laugh, "Every time the Forestry Service redoes the road, we get all kinds of business."  (Maybe they were in cahoots for a cut of the tire guy's business.  I do not know.)

Later we discovered we'd brought about ten Daddy Long Legs home with us.  They rode in the back of the truck.  They took over all the English Ivy in our garden bed and made all the whiptail lizards their bitches.  (Well, they did in my imagination.)  Also HIM discovered he had a very bad case of poison ivy, the gift that keeps on giving.  (Lesson learned: when camping in a poison ivy infested camp ground, always wash your hands before going peepee.  I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks.)

I don't know what my camping trip with the brownies will be like, but I hope there won't be Daddy Long Legs there.  (Or poison ivy, HIM added.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

While I Was Sleeping I Missed 22,222 OR Why Didin't Anyone Tell Me? Or Some Other Random Shizz

My hit counter went over 22,222 sometime last night.  I suppose it doesn't really mean anything except folks have read my stuff 22,222 times.  But it's like watching the car's odometer running over a big number.  You don't want to look away.  (Anyway, sorry I missed it.  Dammit.  It could mean something.  It could be like the Mayan Calendar of Doom.  I'm just saying.  It happened and something could have happened.  How do we know something didn't happen?  I'm thinking a volcano erupted a buttload of Skittles or someone won the lottery at that precise moment in time.  Something.)  (It was probably more like someone broke a fingernail or tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and sued their neighbor, but I can be cheerfully optimistic.)

Here's the rampant excitement I imagine really happened at approximately 2 AM EST.  This person was probably ecstatic with glee.  They might have tinkled in their big boy/girl panties.  (Really.)  (I'm not drawing a picture of that.)

In other bat news, I have come to the conclusion that the cat, also known as Megaroy, also known as my daughter's stupid cat, also known as the beast who wants to sleep on my side of the bed and I don't mean HIM, is a moron.  Well, I should say he's a selective moron.  (He's obviously not stupid about the warmest spot on the bed.)

I shall prove it.  I have three incontrovertible pieces of proof.

1.  The cat will not eat chicken.  I don't mean chicken by-products in a can.  (Although he won't touch hot dogs or baloney and what does that tell you?)  I mean we got fried chicken from KFC and we gave him some.  Not the skin or the fried parts, but hunks of actual chickeny meat.  And he turns his little uppity nose at it.  (I had cats that would be under the covers on the opposite end of the house who would instantly arise upon my entrance into the house carrying a closed box of KFC and they would be there...instantly.  They knew I had chicken.  They knew I would give them some.  They were all over it.  It was manna from heaven.)


2.  The cat prefers dry food to wet food.  I have never had a pet that preferred dry food to wet.  This suggests some sort of innate brain damage all by itself, I'm pretty sure.  (Can't help the comparison to the other cats.  They would look at the dry food and look at me as if saying, "You really want me to eat this, you poor stupid idiot.")  This cat gets fresh dry cat food and does a little happy dance.
I just noticed that the excitement/happy/wondrous beams coming
from the cat food bowl look exactly like the ones coming
from the numbers on the computer screen on the first
animation.  In no way am I comparing fresh cat food
with neat numbers.
Had to make a minor correction because HIM said something
needed to be coming out of the cat's aft area.
HIM would know about such things.
Wow.  I just really burned HIM and HIM won't know
it unless he rereads the blog.  Hahaha.
3.  The cat cannot sit.  He walks to a place, stops, and falls over.  It seems to be his MO.  He walks into the hallway, stops, and falls over onto his side and looks at at you, like, "What, you want me to move?  You shouldn't have given me the fresh chicken over the dry food, beeyotch."  (Someone is probably going to ask if there's something neurologically wrong with the stupid cat, but he's capable in all other ways.  It's just something Megaroy does.)

There's more but I'm feeling like I might be hurting the cat's feelings.  (My daughter thinks I'm being mean to poor, little, stupid Megaroy.  I told her, "Don't worry, honey.  He doesn't understand my sense of humor.")  (Somewhere, Mellow, my sister's cat, is hissing at me.)

Off to see John Carter and have a hugely compassionate heartache for the descent of Edgar Rice Burrough's characters into wretched Disneymania.  (Hey, there might be a blog in that.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alligator Girl Attacks Again!

Obviously I can stretch a story by going on and on and on.  Also, I excel at stealing material from my daughter.  My sister says that one day Cressy's going to tell me I can't blog about her anymore.  (Then I'll start blogging about my sister more.  And wait, I haven't taunted her cat, Mellow, for a couple of blogs.  I have been remiss.)

My sister's cat, Mellow, dressed as Alligator Girl
For those of you who do not know this story, see The Attack of Alligator Girl and the Zombie Kids.  Then read The Return of Alligator Girl!!!!  When you're done laughing, come back to here.
See.  Alligator Girl.  Once upon a time she was a normal kid hanging out, chewing gum, and skipping down the sidewalk.  Wait, I've had an editorial correction.  She was a normal kid riding her Razor and telling punny jokes.  (Actual joke told by my daughter and I was obligated to laugh: What did the computer have for a snack?  Computer chips.  Get it?  No groaning allowed.)

Back to the story.

Something happened to the girl.  (Our story line is a little vague.  There's no radioactive alligator who nipped her or alien invasion of alligator-like creatures who gave the girl a little kiss on the cheek.  But hey, we were watching Gator Boys on Animal Planet recently, so this could have fueled her little brain's creative processes.  I think she had a recollection of her brief stint as a director/producer/writer/associate director/best girl in the entertainment field and wanted another taste of the fleeting infamy.)  ("What's fleeting infamy, Mommy?")

Anyway, something happened to the girl.  She became...Alligator Girl.  She ate stuff.  Like fast food restaurants and the world.  But the world grew back.  (This would have been a really short story if Alligator Girl had eaten the world and it hadn't grown back.  I suggested Alligator Girl in Space, but Cressy made a face at me.)
I was directed to use the Alligator Girl picture with lots of blood.
"More blood, Mommy!  You're not doing it right!"
She's got the whole prima donna thing down right.
Back to the story, before I get diverted again.

Alligator Girl ate the world in the last segment of our exciting tale.  But the world magically reappeared.  ("It's MY story, Mommy.  If the world comes back magically, then that's the way it is."  I think she might be repeating something I previously said.  Dammit.)  So Alligator Girl was wandering over the world looking for new and unusual things to eat.

Alligator Girl found...Washington D.C.

But something gave her gas.  She went to Walmart.

And it suddenly became night.  (Pesky editorial changes.)
("It looks better at night, Mommy!")
Just for fun, Alligator Girl chased people around.  (They screamed and made fetching noises, but she was already full from eating Washington D.C.)


Then all the people decided that Alligator Girl was good and she could just eat politicians all the time.  Everyone was very happy.
The End.

Disclaimer:  The illustrator might have contributed to this story more than a little.
But it's okay because the Director/Editor/Writer/Creator, Cressy, said the
drawings were, and I quote, "Awesome."
You know, my kid is really down with the HEA ending.  I like that.
(But what happens when we run out of politicians?)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh Birthday Blog OR How I Tried to Kill the Cake

Somehow or another I made a grievous error.  It was terrible.  Awful.  People are still wailing about it and pulling out their hair.

What did I do?  I asked my daughter what she would like on her birthday.  First, she went through the particular presents she wanted.  (Fashion design Barbie.  Hobo Barbie.  Infertility Barbie.  Home foreclosure Barbie.  Some other stuff.  I might have made some up of those Barbies.)  Then I asked about the cake she wanted.  (I was looking for a specific flavor but I wasn't specific enough.)  (Lessons for parents here: ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS unless you really don't care.  Examples: "Do you want to go to bed now?"  They will say no, no matter what.  Say this instead: "Do you want to go to bed now or in ten minutes?"  I should have asked, "Do you want a white cake or a french vanilla cake?"  But I didn't because my brain was temporarily damaged.  I think the smell of the cat's poop is causing neurons and dendrites to fail.  Not good.)


Cressy said: "I want a cake shaped like a star.  The frosting will be purple.  It'll have my name on it...in cursive."  (She's learning cursive writing in school now and cursive writing is apparently da bomb.)  (I'll say it again. Da BOMB.)

Sarcastically I asked, "Anything else?  Caviar on the edges in a complicated yet artistic design?"

Cressy does not get sarcasm yet and responded, "No caviar.  But I want the state of Texas in icing.  And you can decorate around the edges."  She demonstrated by doing curlicues with her fingers in the air.

Wisely I did not ask anything else at that moment.  Later however, when I forgot myself and asked what kind of meal she wanted on her birthday, she said, "I want a banana split."  (She's never had a banana split and she's totally into the idea of banana splitdom.)

Thus, in a state of besotted arrogance, I made the cake.  (Another mistake.  While I can paint and draw and write, I am not a wondrous maker of cakes.)  I decided to cook the cake in a flat pan.  Then flip it onto a big round plate and cut the star shape out.  I can draw so I thought, 'This is not a problem.  I've been drawing star shapes for at least forty years.  I'm an ace.'

Once the cake had cooled (miraculously it didn't explode in the oven) I ran a knife around the edges and tried to flip it.  Nothing happened.  The cake was stuck in the pan.  (And yes, I greased the damn pan for all of you nay-sayers.)  I ran the knife further along the edges.  Flip again.  Nothing.  I got out a spatula.  Pieces of cake started to fall away.  Cressy came in to see.  I shooed her off saying, "I know it looks messy now, but it'll look much better when I'm finished."  (If there's anything I know, it's that massive quantities of frosting will fix anything!  Once they used it on the Great Wall of China.  Little known fact.  I'm pretty sure it might be true.)


I used the spatula again.  I flipped again.  This time the cake did come out.  Half of it.  I had a mental image of going to the store for another package of cake mix.  I determined that it was Saturday evening and I did not want to go to the store for another package of cake mix.  The spatula came out again.  The other half of the cake came out, but not on the plate.
Actual remnants of Cake Cressy.  Oh, the humanity.
Hey, this might not look pretty, but it's very light and fluffy.
No, it flew through the air, not unlike Superman while high on crack, and made kissy faces with the counter top.  (Most of it went on the counter top.  Some of it did not.)  Fortunately, the only witness was Megaroy, my daughter's cat, who wants to follow me around incessantly.  His comment, nearly verbatim, was, "Mah-wa-hahahaha."

"I'm eating the cake!" Megaroy crows.
"I'm eating the em-effing cake!"
So I got jiggy.  I cut out the star and it looked kind of like something I would have done 40 years ago.  I took the jar of frosting and found the food coloring.  (Remember purple frosting?  The grocery store does not sell purple frosting.  I do not know why.  They are obviously idiots.)  I mixed and dropped drops of red and blue into it until it turned a mauvey-purpley-violet.  I decided this was okay and attempted to frost the cake.

The cake did not want to be frosted.  It said, "Eff you and the pan you rode in on, beeyotch."  Then it fell apart.  The little star's points all decided that the floor was a much better place to be.  Megaroy discovered that he can have his cake and eat it, too.  Marie Antoinette's ghost said, "They don't want to eat that cake."

I stared at the cake.  The cake did not move.  It needed a special surgeon.  I started cutting pieces off the other half of the cake to make the star's points.  I had to perform reconstructive surgery on the cake.  My reasoning was that the frosting would cover it up.  The state of Texas (she was born there and this is why she asked for it) and the curlicues did not make it onto the finished product, because there wasn't room.  I was lucky to get the day in birthday on that sucker.

Therefore, let's just say I used a lot of frosting and next year I will be using someone else's cake-making services.

Dismayed and ready to throw the cake in the garbage, I said to Cressy, "I'm sorry it's messy."

Here comes the awww moment.  She said, "It's okay.  I like anything you do, even if it's messy."

Awwwww.

Here's the cake, so you can tell what a tremendous load of pity my daughter was exerting upon me.  Here is photographic proof beyond measurement that my daughter truly loves me.  (She really, really does.)
This is the saddest cake ever made.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh, Chocolate Loveliness OR I Should Clean My Closets More OR WTHWIT?

Recently, I was cleaning out a closet and found a stash of stuff meant for Christmas.  (Except we kind of missed Xmas 2011, didn't we?  In actuality, this stash probably missed Xmas 2010, too.)  It included a plastic candy cane full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  How long has it been in the closet?  Well, we've only lived in this house for six years, so not longer than that.  But I don't remember buying the candy-cane thingy, so at least a couple years old.

Look, swirly chocolate.  If you keep looking at it you'll begin to
imagine you're a chicken or maybe that you're hungry for
potato chips.  Something like that.  It's hyp-not-ic.
I looked at it.  HIM looked at it.  Cressy was off doing something else so she didn't look at it.  I said, "How long is chocolate good for?"  HIM said, "I do not know."  I said, "I'm willing to sacrifice myself for the glory of chocolate."  (Or something very much like that.)  HIM said, "No, no.  I can't have you doing that.  I'll do it."  We debated who was going to throw themselves on the sacrificial alter of chocolate for a bit before Cressy said, "What are you talking about?" because if we're out of her sight for more than ten minutes, she knows something's going on.  HIM hid the chocolate because Cressy doesn't truly appreciate the chocolatey goodness.  I said, "The equilateral triangle's side of a hypothalamus.  Or is it a hippopotamus?"  Cressy said, "What?"  I said, "Don't worry about it."  Cressy said, "Okay, Spongebob's on, anyway."

HIM and I stared at the chocolate intently.  We were supra-intent.  (That's more than intent and less than ultra-intent.)  (Well, I couldn't look away.  I was blinded by all the gold wrapping.)

I just drooled on myself.  I have to go get a towel to wipe it off.
Also the cat's looking at me like I lost my mind.
I mean, OMFG, there had been Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in my house, just sitting there, not being eaten, for not just weeks, but fricking years!  I don't think this has ever happened before in the history of all Fat Women.  (On a side note, who the bleep is Reese and why does he have ALL the peanut butter cups?)

I'm quite certain I don't forget that there's chocolate in the house.  (Except this time because I'm in charge of buying Christmas stuff, so I know HIM didn't buy it.  However, I could be mistaken or my brain is starting to fail.  Either one.)  I'm like Rainman when it comes to goodies in my house.  I can make a list.  Ruffles, Hersey's Kisses, Girl Scout cookies in the freezer, and some Hersey's chocolate bars on top of the refrigerator.  I know exactly where they're at and how much is left.  If someone eats some, I'm all over it.  Recently I discovered a full cookie box of thin mints in the pantry and it was like striking oil.  I did a Fat Woman dance.  (Trust me, this is excitement at its very best.)


Curious about whether the chocolate was still good, I Googled it.  It turns out that chocolate can go stale.  (Since it's the first time this has happened in my house or any house I've ever lived in, I'm aghast.)  I mean how did anyone ever find out that chocolate goes bad?  They said, "Let's wait and see what happens to it."  But the Fat Woman was screaming, "NOOOOOO!  NOT THE CHOCOLATE!  WE MUST EAT IT!  There will be no scientific experiments to discover its longevity!"

And in the Google-ityness of the search, I found an article about chocolate, obviously written by a fat person or a secretly fat person.  (This is a person who longs to eat whatever he or she wants but is afraid of society's castigation.  The pussy.)

Here's the article, in case you want to read the author's take on chocolate goodness and not my sarcastic version, although I can't imagine why: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Chocolate.

Now I will discuss it because I'm fairly certain my brain will explode if I don't discuss it.  I'm compelled.  I'm often compelled.  It's part of my brain workup.

1.  Chocolate can help you work out.  Someone, somewhere took a few minutes to study how chocolate impacted workout recovery.  (Man, where was I when they did that study?)  Chocolate helps you recover just as well as smoothies.  Whoo-hoo!  I have an official excuse.  (I can't wait to see the expressions on all those skinny women at the gym.)

2.  Your period doesn't make you crave chocolate.  (Sorry, fellas.)  I'm not sure how this rumor started.  I could say it was by a woman who wanted coddling during an event of cataclysmic proportion, but it could also be by a man who thought he could be very clever.  "See, sweetie, chocolate during that...time...makes you feel better.  You look like a goddess.  I swear."  Okay, either way, it's win-win, unless the weight issue comes up.  Then the man is unilaterally screwed.

I love re-using this drawing.
3.  Back to chocolate.  Chocolate is not a delicious, sweet, coffee substitute.  I didn't realize people everywhere were drinking hot chocolate like it was coffee.  My bad.  Well, it ain't true.  Coffee wakes you up.  Chocolate not so much.  But the good news is that you can always add chocolate to your coffee.  Or you can add coffee to your chocolate.

4.  Good news for kids.  Bad news for dentists.  Chocolate is not all that bad for teeth!  Yea!  High five!  Fist pump!  Take that, evil dentists everywhere who LIED about chocolate.  This article says that chocolate contains theobromine, an organic molecule that helps to strengthen enamel in teeth.  YEA, theobromine!  I don't know what an organic molecule really is, but I can totally get on board with it!  Let's worship organic molecules everywhere.  Now I'm just getting silly.

I swear I remember my dentist from when I was 12 telling me
this.  Really.  There might have been a machete in his hand, too.

5.  The last is best.  Chocolate contains flavonoids.  Upon reading this, I thought, what the eff is a freaking flavonoid and why does it sound like something an alien would give to you upon kidnapping you for probing?  (Well, that's what it sounds like to me.  Also there's Lou Rawls singing in that mental scenario and black velvet paintings of semi-naked female aliens.  They're obviously aliens from a very sleazy planet.)  Back to flavonoids.  Flavonoids are a phytochemical.  (Another question.  What's a phytochemical and how long do I take the antibiotic to get rid of it?)  Seriously, flavonoids are a good thing.  What they do is use every clever catch word of the ambitiously healthy to inform us who are less than truly informed that goodness emanates from them.  (Emanates from the flavonoids, that is.  Something else emanates from the ambitiously healthy and I'm not saying what it is in public.)  Here comes the clever catch words that will fill you with arrogant, holier-than-thou knowitallness: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cell-protective!  YEA, flavonoids!  I had to spellcheck the hell out of you, but you obviously rock.

Anyway, chocolate good for me.  And it turns out that the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups did not taste bad at all.  But that Hersey's kiss we found in Cressy's dresser drawer, not so good.

In conclusion, if I was being executed tomorrow (Probably for bad grammar, excessive commas, and typos, according to some people.) I would have chocolate and shrimp for my last meal, probably not in that order. (Although I have not yet tried chocolate on shrimp.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

More Shopping at Wally World OR More Blathering About Shopping at Wally World OR Oh, What the Hell You've Got Nothing Better to Read Right Now

Warning:  This blog has reached a level of causticity not normally obtained.  My mother-in-law would be proud of me.

Today was shop-o-thon 2012.  Off to my least favored super-mart-o-rama.  Why am I putting o's in words?  Why do I keep shopping at that place?  I do not know.  I am helpless to resist the rant.  Plus it's entertaining.  At least, it's entertaining now and what other place provides so many amusing anecdotal material?

You'd think I'd learn, but no-o-thon.  There are clues.  Any place that someone has created a website about, called People at Walmart, is a place you SHOULD NOT shop at.  Here is a photo of someone at this store who shouldn't have been allowed in public.  The last time I tried to take a photo of someone at Walmart they looked like they would take out a switchblade and cut my throat so I decided I wouldn't take a photo.
Courtesy of People of Walmart.
Why not wear your jammies shopping?  If it feels good, then do it.
Dr. Ruth had it right all along.
So we went.  We shopped.  Cressy looked avidly about, waiting for the part where she would get to look at...toys!  Toys!  Toys!  She would bath in toys if she thought it would make her clean.  But first we had to get food and stuff.  Icky vegetables and lots of tea bags for me.  Hey, we found a bottle of pickled cactus.  (I don't have to make stuff up.  It really happens and I have photographic proof!)
There was a whole rack of this, like it was really special
and we were utter idiots for missing out.
I think I need to go back and buy some.
Cressy COULD NOT believe this was
really cactus.  She thought I was pulling her leg until
I pointed out the picture on the bottom.  (If there's a picture of it on the bottle
it means that's whats in the bottle.)  See, Mommy doesn't
joke about everything.  Just mostly everything.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any more amusing food stuff to take pictures of, so off to the toy section we went, where I did find stuff to amuse me.  Having blogged about various toys before in the Mighty W you'd think I'd exhausted that avenue, but no-o-not.  I found new stuff to blather about.

First up, it was in the section where they have Littlest Pet Shop animals and Barbies, so I was thinking, what the hell is it and why the hell is it in this section?  It's got a little weird head that opens up like a flower and it looked kind of like one of those rotten eggs they sell at odd little corner shops in a district you don't stay after dark in.  More importantly, it was...looking...at me.  When I moved, its eyes followed me.  I think it's cursed.  Possibly by someone who thinks toys should stay with you forever.  (I'm probably going to wake up in the middle of the night and it'll be sitting on the pillow next to me and HIM will be gone.)  Really, who makes these weird toys?  (Immediately a mental image of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka popped into my head but Willy was all over the candy department, right?  Not toys.  Not that either one really matters.  It's all grossbuckets.  Normally I like Johnny Depp but that movie remake skieves me out.)
If I woke up and this was staring at me people would hear me
screaming on the West coast.
But I'm not done-o-not, because obviously I hadn't gotten to look at the Barbies yet.  The Barbie World has sucked my only child in and is working on dissolving her little brain into strange little bits of obsessive-compulsive shopping matter.  ("Buy Barbies NOW!  You're a moron-o-nator if you don't have 25,000 Barbies.  Do you have the Toilet-flushing Barbie?  Why the hell not?")  In fact, Mattel has specially made more Barbies for her that she hasn't yet obtained and SHE MUST HAVE THEM...NOW.

Above is a freaky new Ken doll.  In a previous blog I mentioned Mattel's Ken-in-the-Closet doll.  At the sight of this one, my thought was, "Who was so retarded that they dressed him in a checked shirt and a pink bow tie?"  Either we have bizarre Justin Bieber dolls with plastic hard hat hair or we have Seriously-Flippin'-Nerd-Ken.  (This one needs a pocket protector with a protractor or a woman dressed in leather who has him on a leash.)  (If I brought a checked shirt home for HIM to wear he would probably take me to the doctor to see what was wrong with me.  If I brought home a pink bow tie, then he would divorce me.  Just sayin'.)

Onto the next one.
I'm not sure if my Droid captured the essence of this one.  She's supposed to be like, all Hollywood, and maybe so, but she looks like I'm-off-to-be-a-Concubine-Girl with the see through outfit.  I'm surprised Mattel didn't provide double-sided tape for the breast area and maybe extra tape so your budding Harem girl could practice with it, too.  After all, we can't have our boobies popping out at the wrong time when wearing outfits that are less than, shall we say, supportive?

And more Barbie fun!  I like picking on Barbie almost as much as I like picking on Walmart, HIM, and the stupid cat!  (There's a few more on the Who-Shall-I-Pick-O-Thon-Next? list, but I didn't want the blog to read like War and Peace.)

What I'd like to know about the Spin-to-Clean Barbie is why the frick isn't Ken sitting his keister next to the the washing machine and dryer waiting on the clothes to be done?  Doesn't Ken have to wash his nasty-ass clothes, too?  No, he's got his bitch, Barbie, to do it.  Look how happy she is to be waiting for the spin cycle to stop so she can get to work being Suzy Homemaker.  See, girls in a nubile state of learning, you too can sit on your tushie, watching your soaps, washing your man's clothing while he earns the dollars.  (This one irritated me.)  (No, really?)  (I have to stop blogging now to go do the laundry.)
I did not have to put these two outstanding examples of Barbie madness
next to each other on the shelf, because they were already next to
each other.
Finally more Mattel selected bigotry.  Last time it was the Caregiver Barbie and the Babysitter Barbie, the only difference of which was the color of the skin of the Barbies and the less than titular titles.  (I'll leave the rest to your imaginations.)  (I had to go and make certain I was using the word, titular, accurately.  Then I found there was all these other words with tit in it.  Titoism, tittling, titmouse, and titration that I didn't make up.  The dictionary amuses me.)  This time we have Barbie Art Teacher and Barbie Pancake Chef.  And look, OMG, the pancakes actually flip.  You too can show your budding offspring how to make money flipping pancakes while the other Barbie gets to lay back and...I'm shutting my mouth now while I'm behind.  But you have to see Barbie Pancake Chef has her child there with her in the kitchen because her man ran off with another woman and she can't afford daycare because she's working at that stupid, minimum wage paying job.  I'll stop now.

So to conclude my excursion to Dubya Land, another picture from the People of Walmart.  Remember you can't make this stuff up.
I had this exact same hairdo in 1987.  Without the side burns.
I'm probably going to be banned from Walmart soon, so what the bleep?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stuff OR Let Me Clue In the Uninitiated and Also Check the Spelling of Uninititated

So I've been blogging for over a year now.  In the beginning (not trying to lift a line from another more infamous writer and also not trying to compare myself to that individual) I blogged three or four times a week.  I made lists of things I wanted to blog about.  Funny stories about stuff that has happened in my life.  Sometimes I go and look at my list.  Occasionally I do one but mostly I end up blogging about what's going on in my life.  About writing.  About the stupid cat.  (My cousin noted sagely that I seem to be blogging about the cat a lot.)  (He tried to eat my big toe this morning and I think he's a Communist spy from a third world nation, but I'm not saying which one.)  (I meant the cat tried to eat my toe NOT my cousin.)  Now I'm getting to twice a week and while I'm writing a book, it's getting a little difficult to keep up.

But I'm game.  So if things start to lag, you'll understand why.

It occurs to me, as stuff usually does and not always in a good way, that more recent readers may not understand all the players in the blog.  Some of these folks may not have had the time to go back and read every blog I ever wrote.  (Gasp!)  (WTHWTT?)  I did this several months ago, but now feel compelled to do it again, with a little more feeling.  (Once more with feeling.  Hahahaha.)

The People of Fat Woman's Blog


Me: Fat Woman, author, artist, mommy.  (This list isn't in order of importance.)  Whilst I enjoy being a fat woman, my most challenging job is momminess.  (And possibly making up words to amuse the masses.)  I'm also interested in reading,cooking, Girl Scouts, working out, plaguing my husband, and hiking.  (The cooking seems to trump the working out and hiking, for some reason, otherwise it would be called Confessions of a Mildly Obese Woman or maybe Confessions of a Pleasantly Plump Woman, which just don't have the same appeal as the original.)  I have, for those of you who haven't noticed, a perverse sense of humor.  Most people enjoy that about me, in the form of the blog or some of my writing.  My favorite color is red and has never changed in all the years that I remember.  My favorite movie is still Jaws.  (Robert Shaw's character shouldn't have gotten eaten by the shark, really.  NO, REALLY!)  My personal favorite book that I've written is The Life and Death of Bayou Billy.  Contrary to popular belief I do not blog about everything.  I mean, have you read the ones about the doctor and the dentist?  Do I think people want to hear about my visit to the gynecologist?  No, I don't think so.  I do draw a line.  (Occasionally, the line gets fuzzy and moves dramatically.)


HIM: This is the man to whom I'm married.  Early in the blog I thought I shouldn't write his name because I knew I was going to write stuff about HIM in all his infinite himiness.  (Now that's a good made up word.)  Now I suppose I could write his name, but writing HIM in capitol letters seems to be funnier.  Also who would recognize HIM if I called HIM by his real name?  HIM is my long-suffering spouse.  He's a year older than I am.  He likes all things rockety.  Seriously, he reads Rockets Monthly or is it Rockets Gone Wild?  Something like that.  I caught him with a model rocket in the bed the other day and he said he didn't know how it got there.  (Not really.  But HIM was probably thinking about model rockets while he was in bed.)  HIM is really good at technology crap.  He fixes the computer when I accidentally download malware.  He can fix the car's brakes.  He can even give a go at the dishwasher.  (But alas that boat has sailed.)  Also, he makes a helluva lot more money than I do, which means I can cavort and eff around with being a writer and that also means you don't get to miss out on my unique perspective.  Anyhoo, his favorite color is blue, no, green, no blue.  Turquoise.  Yeah.  He wears a size 9 1/2 shoe.  His favorite movie of all time is When Harry Met Sally.  (Oops.  HIM just slapped the back of my head.)  I meant, Saving Private Ryan or maybe it's The Big Red One.  Whatever.  HIM is the one I will most often taunt in my blog.  Probably because he's got mild OCD issues that tend to push all, no ALL, of my buttons.  Jeez, the toothpaste can't be squeezed in the middle, the toilet paper has to go over not under, the sheets on the bed can NOT be crooked.  Do I need to go on?  Probably better that I don't.

Cressy: She is our seven, nope, eight year old daughter.  We had her when we were fortyish and she was a 7 lb. 7 ounce surprise.  ("Look a baby!"  "How did that happen?"  "I don't know."  "It's a miracle!"  "No, it's basic human physiology!  Birds and bees were definitely involved!"  "We're both dumbasses!"  "I know, isn't it fun?")  She's full of spit and vinegar and tells very good stories.  Sometimes I steal her stories.  Zombies, time-travel, worlds with only the color purple in them.  It's all grist for my mill.  Plus she does some funny stuff.  One day I'm going to be legally instructed to restrain from blogging about her, but she hasn't gotten to a lawyer yet, so I'm good for now.

The cat: (Sometimes also referred to as "That little gray pain in the bleep," or "The gray hellbeast.") The cat is Cressy's Christmas present.  She wanted a cat.  She primed the pump for months.  She made sure every dandelion that went to seed got blown and wished upon for a cat.  If a star was seen shooting across the sky, then by golly-gee-whiz, the wish was for a cat.  (However, there were two instances where she forgot about the cat and wished to be able to fly, but that's neither here nor there.)  She even wrote a letter to Santa about the cat.  (All the other desired toys got honorable mentions.  The cat got four whole lines of dedicated input.)  His name is Megaroy, although it briefly changed to Riki-Tiki and Misty and something else I can't remember.  (I might have renamed it something like Poopforbrains, but poop isn't the word I used.)  It's my sincerest belief that he is the dumbest animal to walk the face of the earth.  And his poop smells like...well, poop, except worse.  I have an urge to spray Lysol on his little butt.  (But I did NOT!)  I would ask what the hell he's eating except I know exactly what he's eating.  He also steals the bed covers.  He thinks my side of the bed is his side of the bed and I'm a wicked interloper.  I could probably blog about him all the time but that would get old.

I swear this looks just like my sister.  Really.
My sister: She lives in Washington state and gets to listen to me bitch about various things about once a week.  Poor woman.  She's warned me not to blog about her, but I can't help myself.  It just pops out.  (Kind of like Megaroy's poop, except verbally, or maybe literarily.)  (Did I make up another word?  Oh, the hell with it.)  Her favorite color used to be orange when she was 14, and I don't know what it is now.  She works in a BOOK STORE, so she is my secret super hero, because she gets a big discount on books.  (She's like my connection for when I'm being a book junkie.)  Oh, yes, there was this time we- crap, can't talk about it.  Never mind.



My sister's cat, Mellow: The long story in short version.  (Which is very hard for me.)  (Really, really hard.  See what I mean?)  (I mean I can keep adding words and more words and they just keep tumbling out.)  I visited my sister.  I scared my sister's fat cat, Mellow, on purpose.  Mellow hates me and hissed at me for thirty minutes straight.  I blogged about it.  I keep blogging about it.  Mellow makes guest appearances in my blog because I think it's funny.  (It's really funny because I live on the East coast and Mellow is on the West coast.  So I'm pretty sure the cat can't get to me, although there may be secret communiques between Mellow and Megaroy.)

There ya go.  Now you're all up to date.