Monday, December 27, 2010

In Lieu of a Flight Part 2

So this blizzard we are having suuuuuucks though it has been an interesting journey so far. I couldn't sleep this morning because I was covered in cats. Pablo poked me awake at 5 am so I would scoot over and give him more room under the blanket and Simone was against my head on my pillow.

This was yesterday. Around noon, we had about 2 inches of powdery snow on the ground and immediately some dude in an SUV drove into the side of the tanning salon down the street.

Despite what the blizzard was doing to our travel plans, fresh fallen snow is not to be taken for granted or ignored. So later, Tim and I decided to go walking to a pub about 2 miles down the road. Normally this is a nice walk, the only problem was that it was still snowing (obviously) and the wind was blowing 35 mi/hr. So we ended up getting to the end of our block and going in that pub instead.

I enjoyed looking at the snow/wind more from the other side of a window with a Guinness in hand and a burger in front of me.

Well, isn't this delightful. It almost looks like the weather wasn't trying to kill us after all, doesn't it?

Tim pointed out that our air conditioner looked like Darth Vader's helmet.

By 7 am it looked like a Conehead though.

In Lieu of a Flight

As I type this Tim and I should be in the air, on our way to a wonderful family visit in Charlotte. Instead I am sitting with a heater under my legs, wearing Tim's puffy coat (and slippers) and 3 cashmere sweaters. At least I live here and am stranded at my own apartment rather than an expensive hotel or the airport. I have been stranded at airports on several occasions in the past and as fun as it seems in the movies (read: not fun at all), it is even less fun in real life.

While my mother gently weeps for the delay in our holiday celebration, I will catch you up on another ill-fated trip Tim and I recently went on. Our smaltzy New York Christmas trip. Devotees will recall that I was rather excited about doing all things touristy this year since Tim and I were going to be here for Christmas instead of NC. We tried, honestly we did, but the tourists got there first. I realized rather quickly that because I am a local I have absolutely no patience for things that unexpectedly take longer than they should if I had gone at a different time. This occurs in my daily life, as well as attempted celebrations. Example: I do not do laundry on the weekend. That is when everyone else does laundry. I have the luxury to do it on a Monday morning when no one else is there instead of wresting a hipster for a dryer on a Saturday afternoon. I also do not go grocery shopping from 3-4pm. The school bus drops kids off a few blocks from our grocery store and all the parents go there after picking their kids up and the whole trip takes 6x longer. It turns out that the same principal is in effect for smaltzy Christmas celebrations. Tim and I went to the Central Park ice skating rink and there was like 600 people there waiting for their 5 minutes on the rink. The workers were wearing orange vests and were policing your skate time, technique and direction with bull horns and stop watches.

This is us, not participating.

We did see a group of idiots in their underwear on a big rock though.

Tim and I decided that it was too light outside to go on a carriage ride, so we walked down to Rockefeller Center to check on their skating rink. It was worse because everyone wanted a photo with the giant tree.

It is pretty distasteful to look around and see 1000 people hurrying to make the same memory as you are hurrying to make. So we went home, had a glass of wine and a I cooked homemade Chicken Pot Pies and we had a delightful evening just the two of us.

Pretty cool stuff on the way home though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just a thought

Do you know what I was thinking this blog needed? More cats*.

*Not a true statement.

This is pretty much a daily occurrence. It demonstrates the sheer size and force of this cat. Here: a picture for reference.

Also, Pablo has expressed an interest in learning to knit.

Just a bit of fun, whoo-hooo!

Part 1: There was a massive grasshopper in the house! It was huge! I was listening to music with my headphones on and was alerted to it's presence by our faithful watchcat Scraps who has the kind of meow that sneaks up into your ear and stabs your brain until it bleeds.

Part 2: Unfortunately she could not get to it as it was wisely hanging out towards the ceiling instead of the floor. Also unfortunately, this placed it's expulsion from the apartment in my hands- which I covered in a pair of striped socks to trap and release it back into the wilds of our back porch.

We got a wreath. As soon as I got Scraps off it, I wrapped some branches in silk yarn and Tim found these birds.

Oh! We also got our first Christmas Tree. Every year Tim and I leave the city to go visit family (as is our punishment for being the ones who live far away) so we usually don't decorate. This year however, we are going to be here for Christmas and we are planning a smaltzy New York Christmas adventure-complete with handsome cab ride and ice skating. We also got a tree and covered that thing with wedding cranes. Only 590 left!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Show of Friends

Our friend Maria has organized (and participated in) a series of art shows called 'Fools Gold'. These shows are silent auction benefits for a variety of causes- the most recent of which donated proceeds towards Farm Sanctuary, a rescue/education company which aims to improve the conditions of farmed animals. Several of our friends donated art to be auctioned.

Tim Jones and his horse.

Tim and Mike by the sweetest little lamb.

One of Mike Dickey's pieces.

Mike Schreiber's two paintings and Mike Dickey's pottery in the middle

Ryan Gilmartin's carved foam bird houses

Cool shipping box

Maria's pig

A close up of Maria's Cock Fight

Newspaper Pig

And the evening ended with some late night pizza. The cup illustrated a phrase I have heard countless times with various subjects- this time it was The Giant Pizza That Ate Milwaukee.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cat Flap: Friend or Foe?

Our cat Scraps respects no boundaries or rules. Life with her was difficult in the beginning because I was under the naive impression that it was my job to create a safe, death-free environment in which my new cat would happily live. I have since wised up and let her do pretty much whatever she wants without fear of her doing herself in because really, she is living on borrowed time anyway. Plus, she has a very high pitched, incessant way of letting me know when she is displeased and sometimes if she is displeased long enough she decides to really let me know by peeing in un-designated areas- which is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Upon moving to NYC, Scraps expressed an interest in including our back porch as part of her territory. From there, as most of you know, her 'territory' began to include our neighbors back porch, then their main apartment, and finally their finished off attic area where she can be found quite often, though it is always a surprise to my neighbor. When it began to get cold and we had to shut the windows and doors, Scraps was having none of it and I rigged up a cat flap out of some heavy vinyl and we just dealt with the draft, as it was the lesser of the two evils. In the 6 years that we have lived up here we have upgraded the cat flap several times and none of the cats ever had problems with figuring out how to go in or out. This year, I decided to get all fancy and get an actual cat flap, instead of just a ghetto rigged one and go ahead and make the whole thing official. I am still naive, apparently.

I was completely unprepared for the cats confused reaction. No one could figure it out. Simone was terrified (naturally) and Pablo preferred to use the door (obviously). Scraps decided with her scrambled little brain that I was policing her 'outside time' and she would just sit in front of the door and meow until I would lift it up for her and let her go out. This would be repeated when she wanted to come back inside, which was about 5 minutes later because she has the memory of a freaking goldfish. Its like the minute she gets outside she is thinking, '....hmmmm, what did I come out here for...? Maybe if I retrace my steps, I'll remember.' The she comes back inside and repeats the thought process. So, it was really a full time job just letting her in and out-which was exactly what I wanted to avoid by purchasing the cat flap in the first place. It should also be said, that this went on all night as well as all day. I am still naive, but now tired and grumpy as well.

I tried to think of the differences between this cat flap and our previous cat flaps.

Difference #1: new cat flap is clear. Perhaps cats are confused by it's 'window like' appearance?
Solution: Cover the clear part with opaque tape.
Response: None.
Result: Sticky stuff on the cat flap further turned off the cats.

Difference #2: Screen window also clear, and breeze comes through but cats cannot, further befuddling cats.
Solution: Staple fabric to screen in effort to dissuade cats from trying to scratch through the screen.
Response: Scratched fabric off.
Result: Cats now wondering what the hell happened to the old cat flap.

Difference #3: New cat flap is ever so slightly heavier than previous versions.
Solution: Shove cats through the door in effort to encourage independence.
Response: Glaring.
Result: Cats now think I have gone completely mad and are organizing a revolt to remove themselves from my rule. They are obviously hung up on how to escape.

This is day 4, I think.

Day 6

And success! Day 8.

Fall in the City

Since we have been thrust into winter with very little warning (it is 19 degrees here this morning), I found some beautiful fall images to post. Let's all close our eyes and dream of light weight jackets, sunsets after 4pm, and the 'no, let's walk' mentality that holds for so few weeks. RIP fall.