Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A little game of cat and mouse

Cats are interesting creatures, of which we have two.

As cat lovers know and animal “experts” will tell you, the fuzzy little critters will occasionally supply their masters with gifts in order to earn affection or show that they are doing their part around the house. We only have one cat that chooses to display her affection in such a manner. Our cat’s gift of choice is usually crickets that she has caught in our breezeway and shop area and drug into the house through the cat door. Unfortunately, the gifts are seldom dead before delivery.

This was the case a few nights ago in my humble abode. The hour was approaching 11 p.m. as my wife and I lay in bed trying to get some much-needed sleep. However, a bad case of busy mind was keeping me from slumber and my wife had come to bed late after working on the computer throughout the evening.

Needless to say, we were both awake.

It was at this point that Bacall, the female cat, jumped into bed as she often does. While sitting on the bed, Bacall let out a muffled meow/growl, the type of noise she usually makes when she is griping at small creatures mocking her outside of the bedroom window. Generally when this occurs, I simply kick the cat off the bed and don’t think anything about it.

Tonight, however, I decided to turn on the bedside lamp. Man, am I glad I did. Standing at the foot of the bed was our dark, tortoiseshell cat staring at us, bearing gifts. The reason for the muffled mewing was soon evident as I noticed that wiggling in her mouth was not the usual maimed and slightly dismembered cricket, but instead was a small, lightly colored mouse, fighting desperately to escape.

Imagine my surprise.

Now, I said I was glad I turned on the light. I am not one to get freaked out easily, but imagine, if you will, waking up to the feeling of a small furry creature scurrying across your semi-clad body in the middle of the night, only to determine upon awaking that you are staring face-to-face with a diseased rodent. Not my idea of a good night’s sleep. I was potty trained at an early age and have been fairly successful to abide by the laws of nature as applied to human behavior, but I think such a scenario might have resulted in a certain level of incontinence.

However, since I was already awake and aware of the situation, I jumped out of bed, just as the cat dropped the mouse. As the little creature began to scurry away, I quickly wrapped it up in my covers and kept it from escaping.

At this point my wife was up, wondering what was going on.

“Mouse. Go open the door,” I said.

We have a sliding glass door in our bedroom that leads to the back yard. I thought taking the covers outside and shaking loose the intruder would be an appropriate and humane means of disposal.

One should realize, however, that it is a good idea when undertaking such an endeavor to move a significant distance from the open doorway. As I stood on my little porch and began shaking out the covers, the mouse fell to the ground and promptly bolted back into the house.

To make matters worse, Bogey, the male cat who is bigger, faster, stronger and quicker than Bacall just watched. The mouse ducked right inside the corner, just inches from the doorway and stopped, shivering in fear as he peared up at his worst nightmare. Bogey looked at the mouse, looked at me, looked back at the mouse, then calmly walked outside to see if there was anything interesting going on.

“Freedom!” You could almost hear the little critter scream as he watched the dreaded predator walk right past him without so much as feigning interest. Off like a shot, the little fellow zipped into the bathroom and dove under the cabinet, never to be heard from again.

…… After digging some fresh bedclothes out of the closet, my wife and I returned to bed, only to find Bacall, spread out across the sheets with a look of satisfied triumph splashed across her fuzzy feline face.

I don't really know where Bacall found the mouse, or what she had to do to catch it, but one thing was made perfectly clear. Between the dastardly gifter and the great white hunter who stared his prey in the face then walked away, I have determined that my house cats are worthless.

Or perhaps they’re just too well fed …………..

Friday, September 23, 2005

All about Me-Me

My first solicited me-me … I feel so cyber-chic. How’s that for a neologistic “C” word M. Hibou? Did you know spell checker doesn’t even recognize neologistic?

Anyway, back to me … me

Five things I will do before I die:
1. Write a book. Unlike my sister who simply wants to have something published, I get published every day, but quite frankly, it’s not that impressive. However, I know I can write a book worth publishing because I’ve read my fair share of books that weren’t worth publishing. I just need the right idea.
2. Build a castle. To do so, I need to be moderately wealthy. Therefore, I should really get started on my book writing career.
3. Watch the women’s basketball program at the school at which I work win a national title. Preferably within the next few years before the current coach finds a better job and before current players move on. However, I have no control over this, so it falls into more of a “wish” category than a “will do” category. No pressure guys (err ... girls.)
4. See the church move away from its current business structure and become more of a … well … church, dedicated to touching lives one person at a time.
5. Break 90 on the golf course. I’m playing later today, maybe this will be my lucky day.

Five things I say most often:
1. “I apologize”
2. “No” – I have a 5-year-old daughter.
3. “You’d get more work done if you spent less time on the phone.”
4. “You should quit smoking, it’s bad for my health.”
5. “It’s George Bush’s fault.” I’m technically jumping on this band wagon. It seems people are blaming W for everything these days so I thought I would see if it works for me. My washing machine started leaking the other day. I blamed the Pres. I’m still waiting for the FEMA money to repair the damage.

Five things I cannot do:
1. Learn to like onions.
2. Dunk a basketball. (Once upon a glorious past ….. )
3. Keep the ball in bounds on the par-5 12th at the local golf course. I nearly took out the back windshield of a Ford Explorer that was driving by a few weeks ago. I can’t break 90, but I can break windshields.
4. Figure out why guys think it’s cool to wear their pants down around their knees. I would like to meet the first girl who told some guy that was attractive. Then again, maybe I don’t want to meet that girl. Or maybe it wasn’t a girl …
5. Watch CNN longer than 3 minutes without wanting to throw something at the completely incompetent reporters who sensationalize and editorialize everything from head colds to Armageddon.

Five things that attract me to other people:
1. A truly genuine Christian spirit. Not the ones who just give lip-service to Christianity, but the people who live it day-in and day-out in everything they do. I admire and envy those people who are few and far between.
2. A somewhat warped sense of humor.
3. The ability to laugh at oneself.
4. Similar interests
5. The ability to see the bigger picture and accept the fact that other people have different opinions and different ideas, even though they are wrong. :)

Five celebrity crushes: I must say I’m not really one to worship celebrities. It would be easier for me to think of five people I’ve known throughout the years that I have had a crush on. However, in the spirit of the game …
1. Winona Ryder
2. Marisa Tomei
3. Sandra Bullock
4. Christina Ricci
5. Carrie Fisher (those buns – in her hair – were really cool)

Five people I want to see do this me-me:
I honestly don’t know five bloggers who haven’t already done this.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Tim Burton kind of world

Don’t you just love that unsettling feeling you get every time you put on a new pair of glasses? I spent my lunch hour today being fitted for some new specs – sleek black frames that stand out against my reddish hair and reddish complexion.

Huh! I just realized that I am my old high school colors – red and black.

I digress.

As I was saying, the effect of having the prescription change considerably in one eye while not changing at all in the other provides a somewhat surreal experience while getting used to the new glasses. Throw in a rather accomplished astigmatism and you can completely forgo the PCP. I currently feel like I am living on a Tim Burton movie set. Everything I look at is significantly skewed. Currently, my flat screen, square computer monitor is anything but flat or square.

To explain what I am seeing, take a square piece of paper, grasp the upper right-hand corner between you forefinger and thumb. Now pull diagonally as hard as you can. That’s what the world looks like to me. These words are currently trailing upward toward oblivion. At least I feel like I am going places.

My new surreal surroundings make me feel somewhat like the picture my daughter drew of me this weekend. I have included it for your amusement. If you will notice the spiky, orange hair, that is a tale-tale sign that she has drawn a picture of her beloved father.

However, this particular picture shows me in full drag, wearing lipstick, make-up, mascara and earrings. Not to mention the delicately painted finger and toe nails. Please understand that I don’t generally dress this way. So how did my impressionable young child come across such an idea?

What you can’t see in this picture, the area that has been blurred, is that my daughter addressed it to her babysitter. You’ve met her before on this blog. She’s the girl in the picture.

And to think, I entrust the well-being of my only offspring to this person on a regular basis.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

We must be having FISH

Aaaaahhhhhh, freshmen.

You can always tell which students are freshmen. They are the ones who stare at you with a blank look on their face when you ask for their classification while filling out registration information.

They are the ones who try overly hard to either fit in or be different, neither group really succeeding at their goal. They are also the ones who constantly remind you that you have grown and matured (i.e. gotten older) over the years.

This is the case of one such freshman I ran across the other day. The women’s basketball team was filtering through my office on Friday morning to get their pictures made for the media guides and things like that. They generally came through in groups of two or three, but all of them showed up within a certain time span.

I was standing in our make-shift photography studio chatting with the coach and assistant coach while waiting for the next subject to appear in jersey with her freshly applied make-up and perfectly styled hair – you know, just like they look when they are playing.

(Of course, that reminds me of a time I showed up at the end of a high school practice to get a team photo because I specifically wanted the girls to look sweaty and tired … not perfectly manicured. That was fun!)

As we are standing around, waiting, a young girl from Anson joins the conversation.

“Listen!” she says since the three faculty and staff members in the room obviously weren’t paying her due attention.

After myself and the coaches exchange a brief glance, we turn to the youngster who begins her multi-syllabic, yet singular-word spill.

“…there’s-this-guy-in-my-class-and-he’s-from-Anson-and-he-has-like-four-or-five-brothers-and-sisters-and-one-of-his-brothers-names-is-Anson … Isn’t that weird?”

… For some reason this impressionable young child couldn’t figure out why we were laughing so hard. It seems none of us had the heart to tell her she had just epitomized the chatty little girl character in every teen movie ever made.

I’m looking forward to basketball season. It’s going to be interesting, if nothing else.