Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yes, yes. I know I'm late.

anyway, I was just diddling around with this thing ( I guess we can call it a poem) and I was thinking about how much fun a little group brainstorming might be. can anyone else come up with some verses to add in between? or fix the existing ones?

everyone knows,

but doesn't care to disclose

what some might suppose

about the nature



is it as bad as they propose,

aging your mind till it slows?

well you can lose all your woes,

when I tell you about having



don't listen to the "pros"

and come winter snows,

take out your hose,

and test the neighbors

ice skating


because anything goes,

even when they oppose,

just take off your clothes,

and the wind blow through

your fertility.

go ahead,

let your mind decompose,

with your backside exposed,

and you too may find

that Senility

is not really

a disability

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Get a Life....I'm Sleeping.

What do we honestly know about cats? The short answer to this question is quite simply, nothing. But do not fret! I have some helpful insights into the mind of a cat that should help you to better understand yours….before it’s too late.

Cats are without a doubt the most self assured creatures ever to grace our clean laundry piles with their sheddings…and for that we should be grateful. This innate confidence is probably the result of their inborn knowledge that they are decedents of tigers, or perhaps simply because they know that they were blessed with good looks and soft fur. They tolerate being “owned” for the sole reason that they have not yet developed working thumbs and therefore cannot open a can of fancy feast on their own. However, This is not to say that they couldn’t, and in fact, they all seem to be confident that if they had felt the desire, they probably could have figured it out in a day or two….but since you offered….

The general life philosophy practiced by cats is, “Life is too short to come when called…especially when you say ‘here kitty, kitty’ in that offensive and derogatory manner….moron.” but what you will also notice here is that this philosophy applies only to the majority of situations with a few important exceptions:

  1. When it is time to be fed (or so perceived by cat)– no cat is immune to the sound of can opener first thing in the morning….and if you are not quick about putting the food on the floor you may find that a small portion of you thigh is an adequate substitute.
  2. When you leave the front door open- this only applies to housecats. once a cat’s claws are removed, a he instantaneously develops ‘open door sonar’. This exchange is the only way a cat can be willing convinced to give up his claws.
  3. When a houseguest happens to be allergic to cats. – perhaps this is a direct result of the predatory instinct, but for some reason having allergies marks your guest as ‘the slow elk’ and are of course the immediate target of hours of affectionate rubbing…especially in the eye region.
  4. When you are wearing wool/ dark colors. - A cat’s way of complimenting you on your wardrobe is to integrate himself into it. It is considered to be a great honor in most cat societies to shed on one another and cats take it as a personal affront if you even CONSIDER purchasing a lint roller…you fool.
  5. When the cat has done something really gross to your carpet, jacket, laundry, shoes, bedding or the like – the word ‘Guilt’ does not exist for cats.

You will notice that I did not mention in the above one important situation : when you want them to. This is because a cat is not your dog, and if you think he is, this is not your cat’s problem, nor will he expend any energy feeling sorry for you…after all, didn’t he already demonstrate his affection for you by shedding on your new wool sweater?

To be continued….after my nap.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March/Rambo....the REAL bad guys...

Two thirds of the way done with March and I’m just now saying, “so it’s going to be one of those kinds of months, isn’t it?” right at this very moment, I am supposed to be doing an essay for my psychology class on memory, except that I can’t seem to remember ever reading about this stuff in the first place….go figure. Every year at this time I find myself contemplating the merits of moving to the arctic circle and forming a progressive rock band (I’d call it Laura and the Bad Mittens), simply because it seems to be more productive then spending hours on end trying to remember why it is that the human brain forgets (Answer: because psychology stinks). At least in the arctic circle I could sleep in for a few months. I have suspected for a long time that march was a month that just ought to be stricken from the calendar. No offense to all of you March birthdays out there, but your month is just a segue into way cooler months anyway (ie: April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February) Not to worry though, We could simply move all birthdays, major holidays and spring breaks to April instead……if you really wanted to…….. Although, personally I think that if there were anything of true merit happening in March, it would have postponed itself until April.

And honestly, who decided to give March so many days? I think that congress should pass a law clearly stating that pointless and irritating months should be allocated less time per year than others who are more pleasant and warm, such as May. March is the real issue our country is facing.

Oh! And also, did you know that March is the number one killer in the United States?? Probably not…which is why I’m posting a link to the statistics…check it out.

(note: the word ‘Rambo’ is an alternative spelling of the word ‘March’)


Homework Awaits.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Landlubber's Guide to Aquatics--Part 2

However sad we were about losing a member of our little aquatic society, we could not really deny the fact that the entertainment value of our fishtank would have put any major broadcasting company to shame (even BEFORE the writer's strike). we are currently hammering out a deal with paramount to make a Television mini series out of the whole thing. Many a night we would all be gathered in the living room, television talking and laughing idly to itself, while all of our attentions were fixed on the little underwater drama that we had created. It was similar in many ways to that television show, “The Real World” except that since nobody involved had lips, or lungs for that matter, we didn’t have to bleep out any swearwords.

In the midst of our great murder mystery , a great romance was also beginning to unfold itself... right in our little world.

The two crabs were named Xena-the warrior crab, and Hercules. Xena's name came about due to her aggressive and volatile personality, but Hercules’s was simply because of his rather peculiar habit of standing completely rigid on top of one of the plastic rock formations and flexing his big claw, much like an iron man flexing his muscles. He was essentially saying to the tank, and more specifically to the love of his life, Xena, “Well, here it is ladies, the claw you’ve only ever seen in your dreams…heh... no need to faint, just form an orderly line and I’ll show you how I can cut these fish flakes in half…” Poor Hercules! Xena really could have cared less about him and his muscular claw. despite his strong attempts at romance, she just continued to pace the walls of the tank like a little crab carousel, ocasionally pausing to roll her eyestalks at his catcalls and whistles. To her, and unfortunately to anyone else who happened to wander past the tank, Hercules did not appear to be the complete and utter babe that he imagined himself to be, and indeed, he actually looked more like a possessed or degenerate wal-mart greeter, whose erratically waving claw seemed more painful than attractive.

One evening about a week after we had plopped everybody into the new tank, while our whole family was sitting at the dinner table doing something, (I don’t recall exactly what, but we were all being fairly quiet. ) Then all at once we heard a very strange noise, like someone quietly typing on a keyboard using only the tips of their fingernails. We all looked up from whatever it was that we were doing, and looked around. And there, much to our surprise, was Xena Scuttling rather hurriedly through the dining room towards the front door. Naturally we all leapt to our feet with the intention of scooping her up and tossing her back into the tank...until we realized that she had pincers. So we stood back in shock and watched her scuttle, while Greg, the real animal man in our family, rushed into the closet to find a fishnet. Once she was safely back in the tank, I personally seran wrapped the entire tank to make sure that however she managed to escape, it would not happen again. Hercules was glad to have her back, and flexed excitedly as soon as she hit the water….Xena just rolled her eyestalks and resumed pacing. It was then that it became clear to us that her strange habit of pacing the walls of the tank were her attempt at finding a weakness in her prison.

But only a few days later however, during feeding time, (which had gotten to the point that you almost needed a wetsuit to do the job properly) we noticed that Xena was gone...agian. closer inspection reviled that the Seran wrap cover had been breached....scissored through. We could almost hear her little crabby voice shouting, “FREEDOM!!”, as she scuttled away. Nevertheless, it was all hands on deck as we frantically searched the entire house for the crab, who I'm fairly certain is now crossing the Florida state line. needless to say we did not find her. It was a sad day at our house not just for Hercules, who flexed his claw lethargically, but also for my mother, who, in her head, imagined the Sunday afternoon when she invited the pastor and his wife over for dinner and inevitably Xena would be found...scuttling across the kitchen floor.

As the days went by, Hercules became more and more restless, pacing the walls in much the same way that Xena had, until one day he decided that it was time... he HAD to find Xena. So he climbed the stalk of the filter up to the top of tank, but rather then scissoring his way through the seran wrap as Xena had done, he continued to follow the filter tubing up inside of the filter.... which is where I found him about two weeks later. It could not have happened to a nicer crab, but as Xena apparently already knew, nice isn’t everything. Brains are kind of important too. So from then on the pair became known as Romeo, and Xena.

Now, back to the murder mystery:

A few days after the death of Romeo, I happened into the living room just in time to catch the larger of the two frogs gulp our plicasamus (a fish whose sole purpose in the tank is to suck algea off the walls of the tank so it doesn't turn green) into his mouth. This was not a wise move, as plicasamus have a notoriously hard exoskeleton which protects them from from all manner of aggressive fish( which is why you see them in all kinds of fishtanks, even really mean fish have a hard time eating one!) not to mention the fact that the plicasamus was twice as long as the frog, so his tail stuck out a good two inches from the frog’s mouth. having just witness a terrible crime, I ran over to the tank and reached my bare hand in (something I would NOT have done if either Xena OR Romeo had been around) and grabbed the frog and flopped him squirming on his back on the coffee table. One pull on the plicasamus’s wildly flapping tail told me that I couldn’t just tug him out... seeing as the frog was pretty determined to keep his lunch. So I held down his arms with my thumb and pointer finger and used my other thumb to thrust on his little stomach. one good push sent the fish flopping onto the table. I scooped the pair of them up and threw the plicasamus back into the tank on my way to the kitchen to get a mason jar. I filled it up with water and tossed the frog into it, and for good measure, fished out the other frog and threw him in too. they were in froggy prison now...murder is a serious crime in our waters. It was a good thing we had the old tank still, because otherwise I think they probably would have stayed in that jar.

For awhile we set up the frog tank in the bathroom. but unfortunately it is slightly unnerving to have four lidless eyes staring at you while you are trying use the toilet. So we eventually found two little boys to take them, and chalked the whole ordeal up to experience. to those little boys, the fact that they were frogs was only slightly less cool then the fact that they were convicted felon a murderer, and the other an accomplice. it was a good arrangement for everybody...especially the plicasamus who has outlived nearly every member of the fishtank society.

There are many more stories that came out of our fishkeeping days. the message I guess I'm trying to get out to everybody is that fishkeeping can be fun, but you need at LEAST degree in marine biology and an aquatic Heimlich certificate before you can adopt...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Landlubber's Guide to Aquatics

It always seems like such a good idea at the time- something simple, easy to take care of, and fun to appreciate. I am of course talking about that great American past time of fish keeping. Goldfish have always been the amateur hobbyist's leaping point. (much to the dismay of all goldfish kind...) So inexpensive that all you really need is a mason jar and ten cents you dug out of the couch cushions. You simply transport the little guy home in his baggie and toss him in some sort of fluid, (water preferably....although in my experience if you get the "bullet-proof" variety 2% milk works just well.) and then watch him swim.

Conceptually speaking, you can hardly get more simple than this, and maybe for some of you the same thing holds true in practice, however, I have never been this lucky. My experiences in fish keeping have been strange, rarely textbook, and probably more closely related to an underwater rendition of Days of Our Lives.

I am Laura, an Amateur fish keeper, and here is my story....

My saga begins some six years ago with two miss-matched foster-fish I inherited from my niece Hannah, who, with help from her cousin Alex, attempted to feed the pair of them blue play-doh. The fish observed this with wide eyes (possibly due to fear, although they observe everything with wide eyes because the don't really have any eyelids) and gaping mouths. Thankfully it wasn't the end for theses two poisoned amigos, and when my sister Kris arrived on the scene to see two guilty looking children with blue fingers and no writing on the walls, she knew something was amiss. she deftly rescued the fish, who were originally named Ernie and Bert, but soon both became known as 'Clay', and sent them to live at my house. Mom was not really thrilled with this arrangement, but Dad and I couldn't be happier. I think it was alway's Kris's intention to eventually take the fish back, although that arrangement was soon forgotten.

these fish were hardly grateful for being rescued, and indeed probably not even aware that they had been pulled back from the brink at all. they just continued to swim around staring wide eyed and open mouthed into space, contemplating whatever it is that fish contemplate (probably just fantasizing about learning how to grow teeth and lungs so they would be able to raid the refrigerator...) for days on end. their lack of real activity did not put us off however, and within the week dad and I had bought them a fancy foliage print background, and taped it to the back side of the tank, so that they would feel as if they were at home the Congo. they swam around with what Dad and I imagined to be looks of great fishy delight, although, truth be told fishy delight looks very similar to fishy indifference. From this initial purchase, there began this gradual shift towards obsession at our house. soon we had turned their humble tank into a guady fish paradise, complete with natural river stone, three different filtration systems, a greenhouse full of plastic plant life, rock caves, and no fishing signs. The ambiance created by the lighting system was such that at night we had to unplug it so it would not disturb the neighbors. It was a great Tank.

Then, we bought a new tank. Suddenly we had doubled our fish keeping capacity, and we now had twenty gallons of aquatic euphoria. When we released clay and clay into their new home their reaction was wide-eyed open mouthed amazement, or possibly shock, or possibly depression, or possibly just '....huh?'. nevertheless, our spirits where not dampened and it became clear to us that we could now expand our population. So, we immediately rushed to the largest aquatic pets store we could find. As soon as we walked through the door we knew we had come to the right place. the air was foggy, and you felt as if you needed gills or a wet suit to be allowed in. we looked at the myriad of creatures floating around looking at us with wide eyes and in the end ended up purchasing a grand total of eight new additions to our tank (much like Noah's ark, nothing could be without a mate.) when we got home, we tossed four more goldfish into the tank, two fiddler crabs, and two African clawed frogs. The frogs kicked their way around the tank, and the crabs scuttled, and the fish looked at us with wide eyes and open mouths, and our tank was spectacular....for the short while it lasted.

you see in our great hurry to buy all these creatures we forgot ask if they were compatible with each other. two days after our masterpiece of a tank began, we noticed that two of our fancy new goldfish had vanished. At first we thought that they were hiding....until we saw th lonely fin lying at the bottom of the tank. It was clearly a homicide, but we couldn't be sure who had done it. was it the jealous rage of the two clays, who loathed sharing their water, and the lime light with the newcomers? or was it the hungry frogs with their big smiles and quick legs? or was it the crabs, who were clearly irritated with the antics of the fish swimming directly overhead? we'll find out in the next hands are tired.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Breeding program? No, I just let her out of the truck at Westminster....

I turned on the television this morning, and was delightfully surprised to find that there was a televised broadcast of the Westminster Kennel Club's annual Dog show. As most of you know, Animals are kind of my "thing", so it's not really all that surprising that this made me unreasonably happy. Some of you (and when I say some I mean all of you) probably have never had the opportunity (or possibly stomach)to watch the Westminster. Which is probably fine, and I’m sure you are not missing out on any great life fulfilling experience here, but just so we are on the same page, I will describe it to you. Basically when you watch a dog show, you are simply watching a slow moving carousel of various dog breeds that you’ve never even heard of, (or breeds that you personally have owned in some fashion, although the dog you had looked more similar to an ungroomed yak then what they claim your breed to is supposed to look like) trailed by a much less attractive handler, usually wearing shoes that look as though they came straight out of the “As Seen on T.V.” catalog. These dogs are all EXTREMELY obedient and never once try to sniff the various ‘target’ regions of the other dogs or handlers in the ring with them. In my professional opinion (I, being a person who has known a dog or two) this is nothing short of a miracle. The dogs are so CLEAN!! These are the kind of dogs that would not even consider sitting on one of our couches for fear of getting people hair on THEIR coats… in fact I think these dogs, in addition to eating better than you or I do, probably earn more money as well. It’s a ruff life.

Anyway, this got me thinking about all of the real life dogs I know (and own). Just the Idea of any of them standing in a ring beside any of the Westminster dogs is not only laughable, but probably outlawed in many countries. This is why I think that what we need is a new division in the Westminster show, and we’d call it….drum roll please….the farm dog division! Basically it would be a division for all of the “other” dogs of the world, open to all those “mystery” breeds, whose origins we are AT MOST, only fifty percent sure about.. although exceptions would be made for purebred freaks. This category will be for the real dogs we know, and mostly love, who are usually naughty, smell like a fine aged dead thing, and really, are just downright vulgar. We need to show the world just how good for nothing our dogs really are…not just for us, but for our neighbors, who keep threatening to shoot them if they turn up on their property again. It’s not fair that we only recognize dogs that are pretty and well mannered, we need to give the world something to compare with.

The class would have this wonderful “come as you are” feel to it, and nobody would be embarrassed by the actions of their dog, because these actions would be rewarded with points! In fact, points would also be GIVEN for awful crimes of smell committed by your dog. Dogs would be encouraged to do as they usually do back home with regards to methods of greeting. Collars and leashes are frowned upon in this division, for two reasons; 1. They may cover any point earning poop stains, and 2. They are restricting, and may enhance the dogs looks. A single class could last as long as three days after the judging is complete, because none of the dogs have names that are not at least partially profane, and also none of them would have a collar on. In the end, the ring would just be this mass of handlers diving at their respective animals, while the crowed “Oooo’s” and “ahh’s”… it’ll be a real spectator sport.

So everybody bring your champions, and lets show the world what a real dog is.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome to Anatomy- Clothes are optional.

So I don't have a whole lot of time to post today because I am very busy pursuing my education, broadening my horizons, giving myself hope for a financially stable future, and mentally preparing myself to dissect a sheep brain without gloves. To me this is only slightly less appetizing than it sounds. the instructor, a loud woman lacking in both people skills and hygiene habits (there may be a correlation here..), is big on this really vague concept she calls, "getting IN to Anatomy". All this time I was thinking that she intended us to develop a passion for the subject, but it turns out that all this means is that I have to stick my bare hand into a sheep brain for two hours.

I'm not thrilled by this. I'm going to do it, if only to have an impressive story to tell my friends. this being said however, I may never be able to use my hands to eat again. Up until this moment, I had never considered sheep to be my enemy. In fact I had always regarded them with a certain amount of indifference. to me once they grew into their wobbly little knees they were suddenly just walking pillows that tended to collect poop on their fur.I rarely imagined them without their fur on, and NEVER without their skins on. But now I find myself in a bizarre situation. Laura vs. the yucky sheep brain. I'm not going down with out a fight.... but no gloves?? seriously..*hrpp*.......I'm sorry I just gagged a little.