Thursday, May 15, 2008

Office Chic: Monkey Do

Alas, I have monkeys on my wall.

I wonder who first came up with using monkeys to illustrate the hear no evil, see no evil, say no evil mantra of good intentions. I guess it's the prevailing (and erroneous in my opinion) theory of evolution that makes us use cute simian avatars to personify human behaviors. Although any animal would suit for this purpose; I personally would enjoy a trifecta of cats with paws strategically placed for maximum prevention over eyes, ears, and mouths.

But I have monkeys.

This trio is appropriately the third installment on my perp wall. I have less affection for them than I do for the others, but let me be clear that this has nothing to do with their source. As I recall, my mother gave them to my sister and I each, possibly as a going-away-to-college thing. No doubt with the hope that they might instill some sense of decorum and/or restraint in her wayward daughter (that would be me again) but I have my own doubts as to their overall effectiveness. Still, they've been boxed over the years with other, more treasured chotckas, so somewhere along the way they had more intrinsic value than they do now. Who knows what they might rate in the future?

And yet, when I look at them, all I can think of is the Buffy episode where Oz is ruminating on a box of animal crackers wondering why the monkey is the only animal that gets clothes. "I mock you with my monkey pants" still makes me laugh.

And there's that stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

No evil to be seen/said/heard here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Crisis Management

K: [into the cell phone to my grandfather] Hi Dad-dad, it's Kierst.

DD: Yeah, hi. Where are you?

K: I'm in the ICU waiting room.

DD: Oh yeah?

K: Yeah. I just wanted to let you know that Mom is awake and somewhat alert.

DD: Really?

K: Yeah

DD: That's great.

K: I know! I wanted you to know.

DD: That's really terrific.

K: Well, she's still a little loopy and confused and will probably be in the ICU for a few more days, but she's a lot better than when I left last night.

DD: How 'bout that?

K: How 'bout that.

DD: Is she going back to the rehab place?

K: Not yet, but we hope that's where she'll go back to whenever she's discharged.

DD: Yeah, you like that place.

K: We really do.

DD: What's this I hear about you bringing her a case of Coco-Cola?

K: Umm. Sorry?

DD: You brought a case of Coke to the rehab.

K: How do you know that? And, well, she asked me for it.

DD: She shouldn't be drinking that.

K: The doctor said it was okay.

DD: You shouldn't be drinking that.

K: [sigh] I know.

DD: You drink too much of that stuff.

K: Yep.

DD: Why do you drink it?

K: To stay awake! Plus I like it.

DD: [tch] Aw, you don't need that to stay awake.

K: You'd be surprised.

DD: It's really addictive. Do you know that it's addictive?

K: Yes, Dad-dad. I know.

DD: I worked with a guy. Every day he'd be down at the gas station to get his Coca-Cola and those TastyKakes
®, you know those things? Not the butterscotch.

K: The Krimpets? The butterscotch Krimpets?

DD: [slightly aggravated] No, not the butterscotch. The chocolate ones. The cupcakes. Yeah, the chocolate cupcakes. Every day he'd be down there getting his Coke and Tastykake
® chocolate cupcakes. And he got addicted. You could get addicted too. You gotta be careful.

K: [rubbing forehead] Dad-dad, do you think we could do this some other time?

DD: [pause, then chuckling] I'm lecturing you, aren't I.

K: Yeah, and that's okay. But maybe we could do it later? I'll give you a list, okay? I'll come up with a list of five topics and you can pick three of them.

DD: [laughing] Yeah.

K: Any three. You'll have a buffet of choices. I'll even be attentive! We'll sit in your living room and I'll give you the list and you can pick any three topics out of the five and lecture me all afternoon and I'll sit there attentively and listen. Just not so much now though, okay?

DD: Okay. It's good to hear you laugh, hon.

K: Yeah. It's good to have a reason to laugh. I'll call you later tonight if it's not too late.

DD: Okay.

K: I love you very much.

DD: I love you too, hon. See you later.

K: See you soon.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sit on My Face and Tell Me That You Love Me

Hollis: [jumps up on the bed by my head and meows loudly] Hel-lo-ho. It's 5:30am. Did I wake you?

Me: [rolling over] What gave you that idea? Go move the curtain back over the window.
You're silly sister knocked it away again.

Hollis: Look at the lovely light coming in the window.

Me: [groping blindly under the pillow] Where's the damn eye visor?

Hollis: [meows again and bumps head on my shoulder] You should scratch and love me now.

Me: [patting Hollis' head blindly] Go jump on Feaghan.

Hollis: [mewing deep in throat] If you don't scratch me, I'm going to go stalk Feaghan.

Me: [reaching off the edge of the bed] Stupid billboard and DVR receiver lights. You could see to Guam with those damn things. Maybe I can
get a throw pillow over my eyes.

Hollis: Hey, look at the pretty pillow!

Me: I'm gonna use that pillow Hollis. Pick one of the others.

Hollis: Hmm. Soft pillow

Me: If I position this right...

Hollis: I like soft pillows

Me: There. That should give me another hour or so.

Hollis: Oh, good. Now I can make a nest.

Me: OW - Hollis? Hol - lis!

Hollis: Hang on, I'm nearly there. Few bumps to knead out yet.


Hollis: Well, that took a lot out of me. Let me sit here for a minute and catch my breath

Me: DO YOU MIND?!?! You're not exactly a featherweight with your baker's dozen there, fluffy.

Hollis: [wriggles] Eh, no, still too bumpy. [stands up on pillow then slowly climbs off] I'm going to my window seat.

Baxter: [jumps up on opposite side of bed] Hey! Whatcha doin'?![bumps sore right shoulder with bony head] Are you awake?

Me: [sigh] No.

Baxter: Pillow!! [jumps up on pillow] Wow. Great view of the lights from up here.

Me: Oh for cryin' out loud!!! THAT IS MY FACE!!

Baxter: What?!

Hollis: [from foot of the bed] She's not in a scratching mood.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fractal Cat

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics

It's funnier if you know about Schrodinger's Cat. But then that's why God created Google.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Office Chic, Part Deux

I once had a wooden Mexican turtle that I somehow inherited, though I no longer remember the who, how, or where of it. It was green and gold and happy and the head and legs bobbed around whenever it was jarred, which never failed to make me smile. I had it on my desk at HarperCollins Publishers and it migrated with me to the Bantam Dell Publishing Group and I was rather fond of the silly thing - right up until I accidentally stepped on it with my three-inch heel and shattered it to pieces. Crushed (me, not it) I scooped up the pieces and arranged its carcass back on my desk. It no longer bobbed and now made me smile for sadder reasons.

Months later, my colleague and friend Annette was heading for Mexico on vacation and offered to procure me a new turtle. Or maybe I asked. I probably asked. Sure, I could have found one at a street vendor in lower Manhattan with little effort, but it meant more to have one actually come from Mexico. Well, she brought me back an anteater - at least I think he's an anteater; he may be an aardvark - and as he's all red and purple, I love him even more. His head and tail bob up and down, which makes me smile again, and the little scamp enjoys rearing up on his hind legs when I'm not looking as though swoofing through my hair for stray ants as I type away on my computer.
I think of Annette whenever I look at him and since Annette is an awesome woman, this is a pleasant thing. But it inevitably has a bitter edge to it because my mind often wanders to difficult memories. On 9/11, it was Annette who said, "Come with us" as we streaked out of our Times Square office into the morning sunlight. Together we took the surreal journey across town to the West Side where her apartment was. I was trying and repeatedly failing to get a cell phone signal long enough to call my family as we stopped along the way to listen to the blaring radios on every corner, the open doors of vans and carts vomiting news, the T.V. stores with every screen tuned to Ground Zero until finally crossing Park Avenue and looking down it's long length to see the smoke clouds billowing. The whole city practically shut down; nothing was open even though nobody wanted to be alone. One lone pizzeria was busting at the gills with people and couldn't cook fast enough; it was nearly an hour before the five or six of us who were wandering together got a pizza and ravenous as we were, there was no chance of a second one. We eventually holed up in Annette's apartment, watching the T.V. and trying to get a grasp on what was happening. Around 3pm, I decided to try and get out of the city via the ferry, but after walking from Third Ave. to 10th Ave, I found out the line for the ferry was more than 20 uptown blocks long. I wound up spending the night at Annette's, which involved an grocery run (grocery markets in the city are small and strange) and a liquor store run. Then, a month later, the two of us went and saw U2 at the Meadowlands, me for the first and, so far, only time, and that was beyond amazing and a bit of a balm for some of the ugliness and pain that stayed(s) with us for so long.

Hence, the anteater (aardvark?) who, after more than seven years of anonymous companionship, was just christened Bono.

Hey, it works for me.