Friday, January 28, 2011

More Time in the Tub!

Guess who else loves the bathtub in my new apartment?

What's that cat doing in the bathtub, you ask? Why, she's just stopping by her new favorite place to get a drink...

When the post-shower drip stopped, she resorted to licking the sides of the tub.

No shame:

I originally thought that Spike was watching Mina with contempt...

... but it turns out that those eyes are actually engaged in a studious focus so intense that, if you zoom in close enough, you can see laser beams about to shoot from his pupils. I caught him licking the sides of the tub about ten minutes later.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Gentle Reminder

Just over a week ago I drove from Marblehead, Massachusetts to my new home in Austin, Texas. I was accompanied by my husband Jason and our friend Conor. In an effort to avoid bad weather, we took a slightly more scenic route than we might have otherwise: All the way down the east coast and then through the southern states. We saw a lot of interesting things.

In Louisiana we drove by an informational billboard that I have recreated for you here:

Yes. This billboard really exists. It seems that Louisiana residents needed a reminder.

In a moment of goodwill, I began to consider other billboards that I could propose in an effort to inform commuters - some gentle reminders that might help to get people out of trouble before they get into it. Here's one idea I came up with:

I'll be putting my proposal together soon. If you have any other billboard ideas, please share!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Do

Okay, I had an illustrated blog entry just about ready to go but then I had technical issues with the drawings at the last moment. I had promised myself that I'd be better about posting every day, so I'm just going to toss up a few pictures from the going-away party that our friends threw for Jason and I.

I knew that this was going to be an important social event, so I put a lot of thought into what I was going to wear. When I couldn't decide between two very special outfits, I decided not to decide; I would wear both!

With friends, in outfit #1:

Aaaaand outfit #2:

Nothing compliments a colonial-style gown like an open bathroom:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Everything's Bigger!

I have moved to Austin, Texas and I have tales to tell! Expect a return to daily posting beginning tomorrow.

For now though, I'd like to take a moment to brag about the bathtub in my new apartment: It's huge. I can swim laps in it. Compared to the cramped little juice glasses that passed for bathtubs I've had in past apartments, this thing is heaven. It's big enough to make jokes about.

Hey man, your bathtub's so big that when it walked by the tv I missed three episodes!

Your bathtub's so big that when it dances at a concert the whole band skips!

Seriously, if I ever decided to take up making bathtub gin as a hobby, one batch would be enough to keep an alcoholic elephant drunk for a year.

Aw... maybe I shouldn't have made that last joke. Alcoholic elephants aren't funny. They're tragic.

Anyway - below are a couple pictures that Jason took for a LUSH Cosmetics photo competition that I entered. Please remember that it's water in the tub, not gin. I know how the rumor mill works and I don't want to find any elephants banging on my door after the bars close.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Worst Christmas Gift Ever

One year, when I was a child, I informed my parents that I wanted a kangaroo for Christmas. It would live in our back yard and could transport me to and from school in its pouch.

My mother and father, being selfish and unreasonable, told me that my request was unlikely to be fulfilled. Kangaroos were neither readily available for purchase nor were they a legal pet in Massachusetts, my parents told me, along with a list of other nonsensical and ignorable arguments that I have since forgotten.

The only way to make sense of my parents refusal was to assume that they were just trying to amp up the excitement factor. They wanted my Christmas kangaroo to be a surprise, and the best way to do that was to playfully suggest that I wouldn't be getting one. Just to be safe, though, I made sure to inform the rest of my extended family that a kangaroo was at the top of my wish list. It couldn't hurt to have a backup plan.

Christmas Day arrived. As I sat by the glittering, ornament-laden tree, my grandmother pointed to a particular wrapped gift and said, "There's something you asked for in there." I picked up the present, confused. The box seemed rather small. A baby kangaroo perhaps? There were no air holes punched in the top, I realized, so I unwrapped the gift quickly to let some oxygen in.

Inside the box was plush toy kangaroo.

I was horrified. Was this some kind of lame joke? Was my grandmother about to laugh mischievously and then open the closet door to reveal the real kangaroo she'd hidden there?

No. I looked around the room and saw the terrible truth lurking in the genuine smiles on my family's faces: Not only was this pathetic toy meant to be an actual, acceptable gift, it was meant to be a good one.

I don't remember exactly what happened next, but I found the photograph below in a scrapbook next to a newspaper clipping with a troubling headline...

"Arson Investigators Look to Suspicious Kerosene-Soaked Toy Kangaroo 
as Potential Cause in Gas Stove Explosion"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Top Draft Pick: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Jason and I are moving to Austin next week.

Next week.

After months of working sixty hour work weeks, all of our saving and planning has finally brought us right up to the precipice of our big adventure. The truck rental has been scheduled, a travel route has been sketched out, our new apartment is waiting for us; there are only a few crucial tasks left on our to-do list. Tonight we finally sat down and tackled the most daunting project yet.

Tonight we sorted through Jason's childhood action figures.

From the large box that had been decaying in his parents attic, my husband produced approximately fifty toys - action figures mostly, with the odd crystal geode or penguin music box tossed in here and there. Then we sat on the living room floor and went through them one by one.

I've never felt like such an evil, selfish monster in my life.

Certain decisions were easy. I mean, Darth Vader, Bebop and Rocksteady were obvious keepers. The rest of our torturous half-hour draft session was not so easy. Here's a couple sample conversations:

Jason holds up a headless Master Shredder figure.

JASON: I say yea.
ME: Nay.
JASON: Explain your thinking.
ME: Okay. Cons: He has no head.
JASON: Okay, but... Pros: he has two arms and two legs.


Jason holds up a neon green lizard-like creature wearing a purple baseball cap and a roller skate on his tail.

ME: Nay.
JASON: What? Really? Why?
ME: (Attempting to be gentle,) I just think we should be picking the cream of the crop here.

Jason looks at me with a bewildered, infant-like sorrow in his thirty-one year old eyes.

JASON: But, but... (Pointing at the lizard-thing's undersized yellow shirt,) He has a little green belly!


Eventually we narrowed the the group down to a team of twenty-one.

Some picks I'm delighted with...

... some I'll learn to love...

... and with a little grief counseling, I think Jason will be okay.