Sunday, September 23, 2007
Here's the rant:
Until I knew what the column was, I thought he was looking directly at the guy in blue who rubs his nose at the end...
But instead it was Carlson... I would have hated to be her. Awkward.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
“You need a cat,” she said.
I was sitting in my apartment in OU, talking to Ingrid, my Mennonite hippie friend from Durant. We were splitting dinner, which, given my negative bank account balance, consisted entirely of the pepperoni pizza somebody called in and never picked up from my night job at Pizza Shuttle.
I was taking 12 hours, working full time at night, and considering dropping out and walking Route 66 to the Pacific Ocean.
She looked around my apartment. We were sitting in the two plastic Wal-Mart patio chairs, with the pizza box resting on my coffee table, my only other piece of furniture, besides the foam pad I slept on.
“You need a cat,” she repeated.
I thought about it. Can a cat subsist entirely on day-old pizza? Did my apartment even allow it? How could I care for another living creature.
“No, I don't think I do,” I said.
She weighed that as she peeled a slice of pepperoni off.
“Yeah, you do.”
That was the end of that discussion. My friend Ingrid was born and raised on a farm, and like all farms, colonies of farm cats roamed about freely. The half-feral critters earned their place by catching rats, and she knew of a litter of kittens that had just been born. Coyotes or stray dogs had already picked off a couple, and she didn't give the remaining kittens much of a chance to survive to adulthood.
Ingrid also saw that I was living a lonely life, headed for the worst kind of long-term bachelorhood. She didn't give me much chance of ever finishing school, finishing my novel, or quitting my job delivering pizzas. I would be in the same routine when I was 40, in her eyes.
“Don't worry. I'll pick out the perfect one. She'll suit you,” she said.
Some men are born into cat ownership, and some have cats thrust upon them. I had my cat thrust upon me. And so it was decided: I would be a cat owner.
The other day, one of my writers accused me of being a fatalist. I have to admit, she was right. When you've had as many life-altering decisions made for you by a hippie Mennonite woman from Durant as I have, you would be too.
The next weekend, Ingrid returned from her farm with a tiny little ball of puff with a distended belly. She handed her off to me, and despite my better judgment, I took it and cradled it in my hands.
The thing didn't have a name. She'd need one. I picked “Bobbie Sue,” after the country song by the same name. Also, I liked the name Sue because Johnny Cash had died not long before, and I wanted to remember him some way. Sue would fit.
That was in 2003. I have had the cat for almost four years now.
If this were fiction, this story would be about redemption, and how the power of love and responsibility for another living creature changed me, and gave the cat a chance at a second life.
This is not fiction. This is my life. The cat, though cute, has the dark soul of something from a Stephen King novel.
She either loves me, or loves the taste of my blood and the sounds of my shrieks of pain.
There's nothing like the feeling of coming home at night after a long day at the office to know that there's a stealthy hunger out there waiting to try to kill you. She goes for the feet and ankles, and when that doesn't work, uses her tawny brown coat as camouflage to hide on the stair steps leading up to my bedroom. Once I get close, she darts under my foot, engaging in an occasionally successful campaign to trip me and roll me down the stairs.
When I'm gone, and not there for her to shred, she turns her attention to the furniture and carpet instead, and has recently learned to climb the drapes and hang there like a Garfield car ornament.
Yet I love her. Why? Familiarity, I guess. Obligation, maybe. Maybe just because she doesn't judge me – only abuses me.
I wouldn't dream of living without her – she's among the best things to happen to my life.
And she's the worst cat in the world.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
10. Living in your parents' basement.
9. Living in someone else's parents' basement.
7. Driving an Iroc T-Top convertible.
5. That Lion v. Water buffalo fight video on Youtube.
4. Stuff 'sploding.
3. Roy Williams (the Dallas Cowboys one, not the Detroit Lions one).
2. Johnny Cash.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I'm a little bit nervous. I've never been to New York City, and I'm a not sure how I'll handle the big city, bright lights, and everything jammed together. However, it is all worth it for my week with Katie.
In other news, spent a very long and ultimately unproductive day during a meeting with the pro- and anti- river tax people. The company's editors couldn't come to a formal consensus about what editorial position to take. I hope we come up with something soon. For or against.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
That's when Nick Replogle, the Pirates wide receiver, started to trot over to the sideline. Before he could get there, he paused and hunched over.
Then Replogle launched. The contents of his stomach came shooting out all over the numbers for the 10 yard line. Replogle trotted off to the sideline, a few more convulsions scattering his huevos rancheros on the field.
Welcome to football Friday night.
Replogle isn't the kind of guy to be out of shape. He is tall and lean, pure muscle. The guy's built like a gazelle. He isn't one of those linemen you'd expect to see launch (although there were a few who spent most of halftime vomiting.
The weather was hot and humid and just plain as muggy as all getout. Hardly the kind of fall football weather that is soon to come. It sure didn't help the players' condition at all.
Combine that with some twisted knees, bent-over ankles, and quarterback John Winfield taking a shot to the coin purse, and you have a tough and rough game.
Fortunately Mannford won, 35-0.
The impressive thing was how the kids handled themselves. Mannford players always helped Kellyville players up after a game, even helping an injured Kellyville player limp off the field. After the game, Mannford's high school kids came up and congratulated the coach and other players. Some really impressive sportsmanship.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
2. It gets boring after a while.
3. There is nothing worthwhile on daytime TV. I think once all the analog TVs go dead in 2009, I'm just not going to bother replacing mine. I only keep it for football really, and I can always go to a sports bar for that.
4. Did I mention boredom.
5. I actually can not wait to go back to work tomorrow. Tricky.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
She makes me want to build. She makes me want to build a bed, a home, plant a garden. She makes me want to settle down and homestead.
I want to own tools and know how to use them, chop wood, build fires, plant our own food.
It's a strange instinct. I've never wanted to take care of myself in this sort of way. But I want to take care of her.
On another update, today, I weighed 231. That's either a loss of three pounds, or the scale wasn't accurate yesterday.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
If someone were to ask you what you weighed, what would you say?
Apparently, I was way too kind to myself. Fortunately, our cabinets are now stocked with healthy food, so it's easier. I think the biggest thing is to just get used to taking my lunches instead of getting some drive through fast food crap.
So, looks like I'll be on a mission for the next couple of months. Starting weight: 234.
I'll let you know how it goes.