Friday, April 30, 2010

Amber & Hoodies

On this breezy, chilly spring day, I want to talk to you about a very important topic: hoodies.

I recently acquired this black, light-weight hoody.

I was a late-comer to the hoody and only bought this new one to replace the pink hoody I bought in 2003 to be my Cat Fur Sweater, the garment you wear in the house and don't mind if the cats take sheddy naps on your belly because it's not going to get worn outside and it will wash up easier than a sweater.  Tragically, in addition to being spotted with coffee dribble, the original hoody kept shrinking laterally with each drying until ultimately it became a Regency Spencer jacket.

Charming in its own right, but not really warm on the mid-section.

Obviously, the new color choice is less suitable for Cat Wear, but it is ridiculously soft and just the right amount of warm for indoor use and outdoor use as a mid-layer.  This is more traditional, Jimmy Style of hoody usage.

Jimmy has a number of different hoodies of varying weights and colors.  In this photo taken at the Old River House, he is sporting my personal favorite, the AMSCRAY Neighborhoodie.  When Jimmy's hoody was delivered, it came with a very sweet note that said something like, "You wacky New Yorkers-- AMSCRAY means scram in pig latin!"  And indeed it does.

Thus, hoodies are not only practical for multiple uses and handsome in appearance, but they have a long, proud heritage.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amber & What It Feels Like In My Head Right Now

My headache is back, and I know it's because this guy is inside my skull.

I don't mean that metaphorically, like I've got him stuck in my recall.  I mean I think he is really inside my skull dancing on my squishy brain cells.  Is there an acupuncture point for that?  Dancing Man Dragon?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Amber & Great Explanations

I recently (as in, last night) finished watching a really wonderful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (sans zombies) from the BBC in 1980.

(Costume dramas from the BBC are the perfect things for weekends with horrible headaches.  Except, often, Mrs. Bennet's voice is not helpful. But regency bustlines sure are.)

While watching, I had an epiphany suitable for a freshman class of 2014 English thesis: Mr. Darcy has Asperger's.  No seriously.  Watch him in this clip.

Take that for a modern updating, zombies.  It really explains his behavior entirely.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amber & Pen Pals

My favorite annual pen pal, Wonder Woman, sent me another great tome.

Clearly, one of her super powers, in addition to jumping over ships, making star underpants sexy and smiling, is wisdom.

I am a good person, even if!  Thank you, Wonder Woman, for understanding.

I can't wait to see what special messages she has for me next third week in April.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Amber & Four Friday Things

1.  I love this song.  I have been singing it all day.  Luckily, I have been alone in the office.

Ohhh ohh.  Ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh, ohhh ohhh.  The beginning is the best ever.  And: "I guess we'll just have to adjust."

2.  What's this little gal doing on the label to my bath salts?

3.  What's not to love about a new coworker when one of the five things on his desk is a Ganesh statue?

I mean, what are the odds?

Two Ganeshes, one office?  ("Probable, yo. The odds is probable.")

4.  Baby capybaras.  (Hat tip, Alison.)

I want to go to there.  And, I love you, Terri Beth.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Amber & Earth Animals

I celebrated Earth Day this morning by petting the cats (who, after all, are part of the wonders of Earth) and reading this article in The New York Times non-paper edition.  It chronicles something I have only experienced on an airplane: the newly hatched oeuvre of animal reality shows.  The author draws this questionable, although likely tongue-cheeked, conclusion:

Sure, you could argue that we humans have abused nature far more than nature has abused us. You could also argue that these portentous nature shows are merely playing on the secret desire we all have to feel that there is still some danger, some life-or-death excitement, left in this sterilized, seat-belted, stay-on-marked-trails world.

But while you’re making these arguments, a bear may be breaking into your garage, your neighbor’s pet boa is probably making its way into your closet, and a flatworm could be laying eggs in your blood vessels. So sure, on Earth Day, all hail nature for its beauty and wonder. But remember that, as that volcano in Iceland reminds us, it’s also violent, and hungry. Very hungry.

I've only ever seen those animal rescue shows and the one where the British lady wears a jumpsuit and always figures out that it's the owner who is the problem, not the dogs.  So, I could only wish the article had been better illustrated.

Here without delay, I fulfill my own wish, providing one image for each category of show he discusses.

Really, I could have gone with just about anything from the heroes over at where they document this category, one ridonkulus animal at a time.


Remember this guy?  Aye aye, captain!


They eat in restaurants and sometimes get served the wrong dish.  Only they can't spell.  Oh wait, that is just like us.  (Maybe we were better spellers before LOLcats?  Chicken or the egg?)


Yo, nobody should dance with the bear.  DANGER ZONE!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Amber & They Grow Them Big

Earlier today, a professional colleague sent this photographic evidence that the diet of sour dough bread really spurs growth in the pigeons in San Francisco.

That pigeon is practically man-sized. Maybe I need to worry less about the ape revolution and more about a winged rebellion?  It has happened before, after all...  and near San Francisco, no less.

Think feathered friends are just too small to be menacing?  Just ask 'Tippi' Hedren what it's like to be smooched in an unfriendly way by a seagull.  (Especially if that seagull is a smoker.)

Still not convinced beaked buddies are your worst nightmare?  Watch the darn movie.  Or just watch this quick summary in less than two minutes.

Amber & New Neighbor?

Kevin sent along this news piece announcing that Kyle MacLachlan, one of my original mallards, whose career I have followed from Blue Velvet to Desperate Housewives and for whom I was brave enough to sit through Twin Peaks, is selling his Chelsea apartment which I imagine looks something like this.

I have only this to say to Kyle now that he is about to be homeless.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amber & Crazy Hair Trick #2

Crazy, out of control hair?

Wear a barrette randomly at the front of your head.

"What?  Crazy hair?  Me?  No way.  Look how under control this little segment is right here."


Of course, if you are working from home, no one is really going to ask.  And really, my coworker would never really ask anyway.

Amber & Appreciation

Thanks to Nick both for noticing that there was a certain... shall we say... magic to the time stamps in my kitty birthday posts yesterday.  That magic was sure not lost on Nick.

Also, Nick introduced me to the magic that is Manhattan Special.  Yum.

It's soda, not coffee, right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Amber & Happy Birthday, Kitties

And this concludes today's endless birthday blogging in honor of Woodrow Wilson Gutherie Feline...

... and Miss Tiggy Winkle Feline...

... two of the finest cats I have ever been honored to know.  I luff them more than today's copious posting could ever say.

Amber & Friends of Yore

The birthday cats might look back on the pre-brother days when they had me all to themselves with fondness, but then they would be forgetting that we actually took on several borders over the years.

For example, we once hosted a summer camp on Avenue B with the gray and black cats while Kevin was hiking in the woods somewhere.

(photos of the boys by James, of course)

And maybe if she hadn't been so busy taking photos of herself in the mirror, we might have some photographic evidence of Amy being their camp counselor.

And, during our brief spell on LaSalle we hosted Alicia while Jimmy was somewhere else.
Of course, she spent most of the time under the tub playing and napping with whatever weird things were there.
 Or, she would perch precariously on top of the sheet draped over the drying rack.  (Stuff did just not dry ever at B. Bubbles, man.)
And, this was not the only time the chans spent time with Alicia.  There was, for example, a River House trip.
And, while she was waiting for her personal escort out to Wisconsin, Tiggy stayed (and peed inappropriately in protest) at Hotel James with couchmate Alicia.

I've got to think that Madisonwisconsin was Tee and DubDubs favorite apartment.  Lots of space, no feline visitors, and a whole room just for peeing.  Even if it was so cold there that I sometimes wore them as hats.

Amber & Belly Licks

Aside from the same birth mother (but not necessarily father), being found in the rhubarb patch, and not being appreciative of their baby brothers' energies, another thing Woody and Tiggy have in common is that they overgroom their bellies.

It has been explained to me that this is about stress.  It's sort of a nervous habit that becomes habitual.  And, it feels nice to the cat to have its belly rubbed, even if that is by a really really rough tongue*.

Back in the old days, before we had baby brothers and burned lavender incense, they used to lick to the point of rawness, but now they just keep their bellies relatively hairless and it seems pretty benign.  They each even have a small amount of peach fuzz covering the whole area now. I don't worry about it because they seem less stressed out overall.


Amber & Sorting Fact from Fiction

When Woody was a baby, twelve years ago, he was very soft and small.

And he had a flat face.

And, we when we go to the River House, I like to take Tiggy for walks on the leash.

Amber & Letting Sleeping Cats Lie

It is so, so hard.

But on their birthdays, I make an extra effort.  But sometimes, I fail in that effort and have to give intense head rubs.

That will show him for being so cute.

Amber & Muses

It's important for a serious journalist, such as myself, to be surrounded by her muses.

Unlike the boys who think that being super close is the only way to be, the birthday cats have always been good at sharing the couch.

Separate but equal.

Amber & Treats

I tried to give Woody the gift of play this morning for his twelfth birthday.

Thank goodness it came with a gift receipt so he can exchange it for store credit.

I swear he loves the sock game.  Other times.

Amber & Other Favorite Places

Birthday boy Woody's favorite place is often on me.

(photo by James, taken in Madisonwisconsin. Woody loved that couch. Maybe I should get him a new one for his birthday.)

Amber & Favorite Places

Birthday girl Tiggy Winkle, who doesn't look at day over seven although she's just reached her twelfth year, loves the River House just as much as I do.  Sure, she likes all the extra space and takes advantage of it to be as far as possible from her meddlesome brothers, but laying outside in the sun may be her favorite activity ever-- even more favorite than chest rubs.

Look at her soaking up the sun and squinting with joy!  I look forward to fulfilling TeeDub's birthday wishes again this summer.

Amber & Pretty Incarnate

I've already blogged at length about Kate Bush, my ideal pretty lady, but did you know my other hero of beauty is Tiggy Winkle?

(photo by James)

Aside from having that glamorous, torty fur, Tiggy had a lovely delicate pink nose and the most perfect and tiny little paws.

When I grow up, I want to be as lovely and regal as Tiggy.

Happy Birthday, your highness.

Amber & Kitty Boyfriends

I am going to admit it right here on my blog.  I am in love with Woody.  He's the perfect kitty boyfriend.

(photo by James)

He is handsome, snuggly, loyal, and smells like oatmeal and rainbows.  And when he looks at me with those big blue eyes, and makes that snorty deviated septum sound with his nose, I am perfectly content.

What more could a girl want in a kitty boyfriend?

Happy Birthday, Kitty Boyfriend.

Amber & Annual All-Day Birthday Blogging

Who doesn't have two thumbs (but does have those little carpal pads on the back of the legs) and is turning twelve today?

This guy.
And also, this gal.

(photo by James)