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The Cat of Amontillado*

January 25, 2011

So! I survived the snow. I did not like it, and I got...a little "stir crazy," as the CNN experts called it, but I lived. Meanwhile, poor Brian managed to get home around 2 a.m. Friday morning, and I pounced on him like a hyperactive gnat, all up in his face and demanding things like "HEY LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR FAVORITE SMELLS!" Then I wouldn't let him go to bed, because SHOULDN'T WE TALK ABOUT FEELINGS AND COLORS RIGHT NOW? WAKE UP BABY! I LOOOOOVE YOU! and, you know, just...honestly, that poor, poor man. I am kind of a handful.

But, let's not feel too badly for Brian. Because approximately 48 hours after I annoyed the holy hell out of him, lovely Brian -- my kind, vegetarian, empathetic-and-ridiculously-sweet husband -- accidentally sealed the fucking cat in the wall.

Yes. Yes, he did. And yeah, the cat is fine (OH SHE'S GREAT), but he was just beside himself, and I could not stop laughing hysterically, and basically, welcome to our ridiculous, ridiculous home.

Anyway, I tried to write out the process of how a PETA-supporting person accidentally...you know, seals a cat in a fucking WALL, but really, this is the kind of thing that requires visual aides. So now we have the lovely slideshow below, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it. I swear to God, we...are a haunted house, y'all. We are a haunted house of crazy, and it just entertains me to no end.

So, without further ado, YET ANOTHER VIDEO (no sound on this one; I tried, but YouTube is just annoying the shit out of me with all their copyright nonsense, even when you're dealing with music in the public domain -- don't even get me started). (But point being, I'm not planning to go all video-ish here or anything, but this just worked so much better as a slideshow that I couldn't resist.)

(*Man, do I wish I could take credit for that title, but I can't. Ten seconds after telling my mother this story, that is what she said, between bouts of side-splitting laughter. She is where smart comes from, apparently.)

(HEY, WHO WANTS MORE PARENTHESIS? WOO!)

Anyway...yeah. So, postscript to this ludicrous event is that ever since she managed to somehow wind her weird, catty self through the internal workings of our home, Kitteh has been desperate to get back into the walls. She's been bat-bat-batting at the linen closet door, at the vanity -- she's obsessed, and she wants back IN to her special, secret world. And, of course, we are the evil people who are standing in her way, and we can all just chalk this up to yet another reason why Kitteh is going to kill us in the night, and y'all please avenge me.

But, in the meantime -- that's how you accidentally seal a cat in the wall, you guys! I don't recommend it whatsoever, but holy shit, this is NOT getting less funny with time.

So, that happened. And I'm sure I'll be back soon, after we do something else ridiculous, like accidentally fricassee Bo during a vegan dinner party -- in any event, at least it'll be more interesting than an accounting of my favorite smells.

Y'all have a good week; just be happy that (a) you're not married to me, and that (b) my adorable husband doesn't have access to your plumbing. Or your cat. Kisses!

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Ice, Ice, Crazy

January 12, 2011

Oh, good Lord, y'all. So, I'd love to be posting some cleverly structured story of excitement and hilarity, where Cookie gets hit by a car, or the dogs do something that results in me sprinting naked down the street, but such things have not happened. More specifically, they have not had a chance to happen, because on Sunday night, Snow decided to attack the city of Atlanta. And not to complain, but YOU GUYS I HAVE BEEN STUCK IN MY HOUSE EVER SINCE. This has been significantly less than eventful, but that will not stop me from writing about it anyway, because hi, WHAT THE HELL ELSE AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY TIME.*

*Technically, I could be productive and do, say: laundry. Or clean out some closets, or wash the dogs. Or feed myself, or perform a whole world of responsible-type tasks, really, but every time I'm like, "Okay, now I shall actually DO something around here!" and stand up, I catch glimpse of the snow (Snow!) blanketing everything outside, and I promptly squish down helplessly again on the sofa and eat more potato chips. Or tater tots.

Because, here is something tangential (surprise!) I am learning about myself in this time of snow-related self-discovery: evidently, when there is A Crisis, I turn into an alcoholic seven-year old. We managed to make one last, emergency trip to the grocery store around the corner just before the streets froze, and do you know what I bought? Wine and junk food, y'all. As in, I have been eating meals consisting of fish sticks, tater tots, and ho-hos. I am a 33-year old attorney -- a partner in my law firm, no less -- and I had Spaghetti-Os for both breakfast and lunch today. And I have been washing down most of my toddler meals (okay, not breakfast, it isn't complete pandemonium around here)(YET) with chardonnay. Or a Bloody Mary. Or whatever the hell else I can find, and possibly I will have to start experimenting with paint thinner if I start running out of booze, but point being: evidently, I will never, ever grow up, and anyone who peeks inside my recycling bin next week will logically conclude that my house is inhabited by the tallest, most fucked-up child in the world. (Which...okay, but shut up.)

So, ANYWAY. The snow (snow!) started on Sunday night. And we'd been hearing the most dire warnings about this storm for days on end; Cookie and I had actually been joking that we'd be lucky to live, we just want to LIVE, and OMG SNOWMAGEDDON and so forth, but we really didn't believe it would happen. This is because 99% of the time, we'll get all of these doom and gloom weather reports about snow (SNOW, MOTHERFUCKERS, SNOW) blanketing the South, and how we're all going to starve and start eating each other (find the weak!), and then it only ends up being slightly chilly. But I guess even the most hyperbolic weather people are sometimes right, because on Sunday night, my parents called, all, "Have you...looked out a window?" and Brian and I cheerfully popped up from the sofa, opened the back door, and saw the following:

Shiiiit1.jpg
Uh oh

Yeah, so...snow! But it was neat and pretty and kind of exciting and fun (well, not for the dogs, who dislike snow, quite strongly, and who particularly dislike any scenario involving snow/foot contact; those of us with shoes, however, thought it was cool). By the next morning, we had emails from both our offices, announcing that each was closed for the day, and Brian received an alert saying that his afternoon flight was canceled. And this made us very happy, and we squealed "Snow Day!" like children-types, and then the adult part of ourselves whipped up some Bloody Marys, and off we went to wander about our yard as though it were some magical, undiscovered personal winter wonderland, and not just a fenced half-acre where the dogs occasionally poo.

wheeeee1.jpg
Bloody Mary gave me the ability to flyyyyyy!

wheeeee2.jpg
Yay, snow makes me bouncy with gleeeee!

wheeeee3.jpgEven House looks happy to be frozen solid, wheeeeeee!


Don't we look so happy and young and carefree? WE WERE! We were so happy and young and carefree! But that was over 48 hours ago, and let me assure you, SHIT HAS CHANGED A LOT SINCE THEN.

Anyway, upon finishing our little trek into the wilds of our own backyard, we decided it was time to Get Serious, and so we immediately assessed the alcohol situation; and, quite honestly, the findings were troubling. Fortunately, the roads hadn't gotten too icy yet, so we were able to get out of our neighborhood and zip around the corner for the aforementioned emergency booze/junk food run, so that problem was solved. And it's a good thing we went when we did, because a few hours later, there was no getting up our street -- we're on an incline, but it's not even a major hill, more like an unenthusiastic hump -- but already, the snow was melting and freezing again as ice. And we are southern people who do not have things like "skills" when it comes to navigating these situations.

As such, we and the neighbors all basically stood around in a frozen huddle, gazing mutely at our icy hill, our heads tilted like a pack of perplexed terriers. Ultimately, we did determine a course of action, in which we would (a) construct sleds out of household goods and go careening down the Hump Of Ice; (b) discuss and plan for any possible emergency rationing of liquor; and (c) drink more. And this plan was followed accurately and with great vigor, and it was a lovely, lovely day -- by that evening, Brian and I had already received word that our offices wouldn't be open again on Tuesday, so we made a fire, snuggled up on the couch (just Brian and me; neighbors were not invited to the snuggly), and watched movies. It was the best snow day ever, and I was already getting excited about doing it again on Tuesday, because we're newlyweds, and we like snuggling, and incidentally, YAY FOR A TOTAL LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY! Oh, please, Mister Jesus, let's have snow days ALWAYS FOREVER!

Except! Tuesday morning, Brian's blackberry made that cursed dingy-message buzz, and he checked, and lo and behold -- his flight to L.A. had been rescheduled. For that afternoon. Now, we live about 20 or 30 minutes from the airport, and all of the roads between us and the airport were...you know, dead from cold, so this meant he'd have to take MARTA, our often-smelly transit system. And, because this was the only option for anybody who needed to go anywhere, it meant he'd need to leave about 6 hours before his flight. So all of a sudden, Tuesday morning went from a "luxurious, breakfast-in-bed and coffee-sipping while gazing out on the snow"-type situation, to a full-blown, "Wait, do we even HAVE a MARTA station in our city?! MAYBE WE WOULDN'T SEE IT BECAUSE IT IS UNDERGROUND LIKE AN EVIL LAIR" level of hysteria, plus Brian still had to somehow get himself to the station, and basically, all dreams of SnowSnuggle 2011 were dashed as I watched my poor, sweet husband back his SUV alllllll the way down our street to get a "running start" at the icy hill. After a few attempts, that actually worked (cartoons don't lie!), he crested the hump, and -- after blowing a last, regretful kiss toward me -- he was gone. And I was left to my own devices.

Which is never, ever good. Especially when I CANNOT LEAVE.

Now, let me say this -- I am usually a very busy person. I work, I have a frillion friends and hobbies and projects, Brian has a frillion friends and hobbies and projects, and I am pretty much always running around, bemoaning the fact that I never get to just sit still and take advantage of my home, just enjoying the peace and quiet, and playing with my stuff. Reading my books! Watching movies I've ordered! I never have time to do these things, so you'd think this forced alone-time would have been a gift. Turns out: NO, and I guess this means I can never retire, because HOLY SHIT, I went insane almost instantly. Like, within minutes.

Suddenly, Tuesday stretched out before me, and even though I immediately and logically thought of about 60 things I needed to do around the house (laundry, cleaning out closets, getting all the Christmas stuff to the attic, etc.), now all I could manage was to collapse pitifully on the couch and turn on the television. But, know what is on my television during the daytime? Daytime T.V., it turns out. Which quickly lost my interest (ALL THESE CHANNELS ARE BORING!), and so I ended up trying to find something interesting to read (ALL MY BOOKS LOOK BORING!), and then I ended up kind of poking around drawers looking for something else to do (ALL THE STUFF IN MY DRAWERS IS BORING!). Meanwhile, I busied myself by texting poor Brian every seventeen seconds, all, "Are you coming home yet?" and generally whining internally about how BORING it is to live in a house with, I don't know, every single possible entertainment option available. For WOE IS ME, and if I can't play with my husband, then I was just going to POUT about it, because, once again: I am a petulant, overgrown child. Who likes wine. Why won't anybody pway wif me?

So Tuesday...continued. After a few hours, poor Brian called and said he was finally at the airport (and, he literally had been on MARTA for hours), but his flight had been delayed; they ended up getting him on a different flight, though, and upgrading him, but he had to board right then. So I said goodbye to him, and then I just sat there...some more, trying to figure out what in the hell to do with myself.

For the next few hours, I was incredibly busy, but in such a magical way that I never actually got anything accomplished. I made a fire (it went out). I looked out the window. I cooked myself tater tots and fish sticks. I tried rearranging all of the dining room furniture, then decided it looked better before, and moved everything back. I took out our wedding china and set the table, even though we will not be having guests any time soon, unless they plan to arrive via snowplow. I ranked all of my winter coats in order of favorite to least favorite, before realizing that I only own two winter coats, so that did not take long.

I concluded that if we ran out food, I would eat Kitteh first. I texted this information to my husband. I also texted him most of the lyrics to Nelly's "Just a Dream," because that song is awesome, and I wanted to confirm that I am "[his] love, [his] life, [his] shawty, [his] wife." I then sent him repeated questions as to whether he had received some sparkling apple juice, which I may or may not have sent him. I decided that I had many thoughts and questions to share with my brand-new husband.

Of course, given that Brian was in the air on a cross-country flight at the time, I knew that he was not actually getting this critical information. Instead, I was aware that, after he landed in L.A. and turned his phone back on, all of my texts would be received in an enormous, incoming rush of incomprehensible and psychotic 160-character ramblings, ranging from pop-culture references, to me declaring my intention to eat the cat; I did not care. I WAS BORED, and I hadn't talked to a live person in HOURS (well, I did have one work-related phone call with an attorney from Kansas, who -- after I said I was getting a little stir-crazy -- admitted that, "Yeah, I...can tell, I really can.") And that was all, and I need companionship, and there was NOBODY ELSE TO TALK TO.

But...wait, was there? Y'all know I have always said that Bo does that weird growl-talking thing, and sometimes he really does sound like he's just cheerfully conversing with you in some strange guttural, demon-tongue -- we'll have dinner parties, and he'll settle himself into a chair, and "OoooOOORRRHhhhhGGGgggrrrrOOOg" on and on about politics or the weather or how awesome Nelly's "Just A Dream" video is (so awesome that eyeballs catch on FIRE, not kidding you), and it is adorable. But I've never really harnessed that power into anything useful, so -- after being left alone and trapped for all of about eleven hours -- I decided it was time to teach the dog to say "please." This ended up taking the better part of the evening, and roughly 30% of my wine reserves.

Here are the results:

Now, the notable thing about this video is not that I am still clomping about in my snow shoes (SPRINGY! )(Also, yes, they're technically galoshes, but they're as close as I get to something with tread, for I am not outdoorsy). Nor is it Gimmme's classic "....?" reaction to the entire situation -- no. Instead, it is the fact that Bo clearly recognizes that he should be saying something, and even though it sounds nothing like "please," he also recognizes that saying something = he gets what he wants. The outcome of "please" is that his wishes are fulfilled, and his needs met. You can probably see why this is notable! And why, in this case, "notable" means "bad, terrible, and super awful, forever."

So, long story short, now it is Wednesday night. My office is still closed. Streets remain iced, the hump remains insurmountable. Daytime television has not improved. I have not showered, nor have I seen another human being in the flesh since kissing my husband good-bye. I am, in fact, still wearing my pajamas, and Spaghetti-Os have comprised 66% of my daily meals. And meanwhile, throughout all of this -- since the sun rose over the glistening snow this morning-- Bo has sat merrily in the kitchen, wagging hopefully, and screaming "PLEASE!" at the refrigerator. And this has continued, All. Fucking. Day. Long.

Earlier today, word from the office was that we may open by noon Thursday, but the latest reports are that there won't be any thaw until Friday, which may mean Day 4 of "Snow Day of Glee-Turned to Forced Solitary Confinement (In White)." And that means another day of Spaghetti-Os, Golden Girls (Jesus Christ, I love the ladies, but is that show never NOT on?!), and Bo's fucking "open-sesame"-ing pleas to the food box, all of which is almost certainly going to result in me losing the last shreds of my sanity, and leaving me a simpering, unshowered, Chef Boyardee-stained mess by the time my poor husband gets home tomorrow night.

So...you know. YAY, to all of that! Y'all please cross your fingers that I don't completely lose my shit; that I can ration the remaining wine without having to start distilling potatoes and snow; and that -- no matter how much he hollers -- I stick with the plan to eat the idiot cat first.

Kisses to y'all; if you're down here, stay safe!


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