Sunday, March 4, 2018

Oscar Picks 2018

It's Oscar day again! Which means it's time for my annual Academy Award picks.

As always, these aren't predictions. Only my list of favorites in each of the main categories.

Of the nine Best Picture nominees, there are only three I've yet to see; Phantom Thread (which was at the top of my list, but didn't stay at the local theaters long enough for me to get to), The Post (Which I'd sacrificed at the theater thinking it would be released On Demand in time for the show. It was not) and Call Me by Your Name (which I was tempted to squeeze in this afternoon, but just wasn't in the mood for a good cry.)

I'm going to try be brief this year in an effort to have all my meat, cheese and carbs cooked and ready in time for the red carpet pre-show. (Yes, really! You imbibe your way, I'll imbibe mine.)

So without further ado...

Costume Design:

With all the glorious period pieces this year to choose from, I'd love to consider everyone a winner for once. So, I'll base this vote on sheer volume of work for the costume department and use of color. Congratulations to Beauty and the Beast!

Makeup and Hair:

I don't understand how there are only three nominees in this category. And, I don't understand how The Shape of Water wasn't given a nod. If Hollywood is telling us that there was no prosthetic help in creating this...

...I can't say I'm inclined to believe them. (However, if the beautiful Sea Creature suit falls under "costuming" I'll go ahead and change my vote for the above category. Pronto!)

Of the actual nominees I'm going to cast my vote to The Darkest Hour. Because this

is Gary Oldman. Yes! The Gary Oldman. And, not once during the film did my thoughts wander to Sid and Nancy, or Lee Harvey Oswalt, or any face other than that of Winston Churchill. Well done hair and makeup team! Very well done.

Production Design:

I'm not even going to beat around the bush here. The Shape of Water!

The Shape of Water!

The Shape of Water!

Sure other nominees had their flash, their GGI, their big budgets, and their era settings nailed down to a tee. But, this is the only of these film whose set design has really stuck with me, who's plastered all over my Pinterest boards, and has me dreaming of laying green ceramic tile anywhere it will stick. 

I love you Shape of Water! I mean... really...

Film Editing:

I won't vote on the sound categories this year because everyone is equally worthy this time around.

For editing, I've narrowed down my picks to I, Tonya and Dunkirk for very different reasons. 

I, Tonya gets a nod from me---not only because I'm a sucker for picking sports flicks in this category---but because the editors on this film count as a bonus comedic character in my book. The tragic story wouldn't have held its dark sense of humor at all without the genius quick cuts and scene changes provided in its post-production. Stuffed teddies on the ice for you, Tatiana Reigel!

War films are also an easy pick for an editing nod. But, the ability shown in tying the action of air-sea battle with all the drama and desperation also happening on land has me cheering for Dunkirk just as much. Especially considering the quality of Air Sea Battles I grew up with.


I'm voting strictly on bias here and throwing another prize at The Shape of Water. It was just that pretty. The camera was so in love with the story which made the audience equally enchanted.

Although, I won't cry if The Darkest Hour takes home the prize either. So much beautiful camerawork seen in the theaters this year!

Original Screenplay:

I put off seeing this until this very weekend. I was worried it would be a downer. I was worried it was going to seem heavily weighed with social commentary and would feel almost like homework after having watched.

I was SO very wrong. That I will admit.

My apology, as well as my vote for Best Original Screenplay, goes to Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. 

This story had, not only heart and grit, but the level of banter going on between its very complicated characters was in itself award-worthy. Yes, the story was based on true events. But, very loosely based, I'll assure you. Each character had their flaws. Each character had their own brand of strengths and weaknesses. And, each character was perfectly written and expertly acted (which, in the 11th hour, changed some of my votes in the acting categories.)

It's okay to laugh. There's alot of comedy in this screenplay. You have their blessing.

Adapted Screenplay:

Confession, the only film I've seen in this category is Molly's Game. Another "true story" in this year's contenders.

It wasn't my favorite movie of the year. In fact, I almost forgot about it until seeing it on the nomination list. But, the story grabbed my attention enough that I came home from the theater to immediately hop on Wikipedia just to figure out all the actual whos, whats, and whens.

That said, I'm guessing this prize will actually go to Call Me by Your Name. The trailer alone had me clutching my heart in impending heartbreak. And, if that's not a sign of a well-told story... I don't know what is!


Ooohhh!!! We're getting to the good stuff now!

Go ahead and grab your pearls, because I'm giving yet another trophy to The Shape of Water.

Why? because he's Guillermo del Toro and you're not.

Supporting Actress: 

I'm so torn. So very very torn with this one.

How about I give half a trophy to Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water...

and the other half to Allison Janney in I, Tonya.

Octavia, always so spunky and flawless. I wanted a best friend just like her in her picture. And, I was completely frightened by Allison as Tonya Harding's mother (and her bird). If that's not good acting, I don't know what is!

Supporting Actor:

I've been supporting Richard Jenkins of Shape of Water in this category for months now!

Another coveted best friend in a sweet, charming and sometimes heart-breaking performance.

But, then I had to go and watch Three Billboards. And, dearest Mr. Jenkins, I may have to edge you out for Sam Rockwell. (Ack! Gasp! There, I said it.)

He made me hate Officer Dixon! He made me think he was an absolute moron and waste of space on this fictional earth. Then he made me laugh. Then he made me fume! Then he made me think, "No! Don't do it!". And, then he made me root for him.

Phew! Officer Dixon is exhausting. And, I'll clap for him if he wins tonight.

Lead Actress:

All five ladies nominated tonight are magic and incredible. Love them all! Am a fan of them all! Almost hate to see them pitted against each other. (Almost... I still watch these things of course!)

But, if I have to pick... let's not be silly. The trophy is going to Frances McDormand and we all know it. (As it should!)

As Mildred Hayes, Frances is strong yet broken, full of edge and heart, packed with humor and fire (maybe literally even) as well as every other contradiction that can exist in the human form. She was simply perfect. And, every other nominee will clap for her as she climbs those steps tonight. Her performance was quite simply a masterclass. And, it will inspire others in her field for generations to come.

Lead Actor:

The puff pastry for my pigs and blankets is now overly thawed and I'm scrambling to get this out in time. I'm hungry and am being more long-winded than I'd promised. 

So, I'm tossing the Lead Actor trophy at Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour as I run to preheat the oven. "Here you go, Winston!"

(Does he looked pleased? Can you tell?)

Best Picture:

Oven is set to 400 degrees, giving me just enough time to announce my big winner.

Again, I was pulling for The Shape of Water ever since its release weekend. Nothing had pulled ahead of it, in my mind, until this weekend.

Now I think I'm going to change my vote for the big prize to Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. (Eek!)

Not just because of this crazy art piece I found via Hollywood Reporter. But, because it truly was a masterpiece in storytelling, acting, cinematography and all of the other pieces that help the film making world go round.

Don't be afraid of this film! You will feel. You will get mad. But, you also will laugh. And, I don't think you'll regret that one hour fifty-five minutes of your life spent on it.

Honorable mentions:  Two familiar faces I saw amongst this year's nominated films were Caleb Landry Jones who costarred in both Three Billboards and Get Out. (Utterly freaking me out in the latter.) And, Lucas Hedges playing Robbie in Three Billboards and Saoirse Ronan's boyfriend in Lady Bird. (He reminds me of a young Jesse Plemons). Put them on your "Ones to Watch" list for upcoming award seasons.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I'm With Us

Something unexpected happened to me at the polls today.

It wasn't the overaggressive (not to mention, uninformed) man who practically accosted me with his "knowledge" as I walked in the door. It wasn't the short wait or free coffee and pastries at my new voting precinct. (But, way to go Precinct #2!)

It wasn't the names or proposals on the ballot. I came prepared. I knew who was running. I understood everything at stake.

The thing that took me by surprise... so much so, that I paused for a moment just to savor the feeling... was my reaction to reading my ballot behind those trifold walls. That my eyes actually teared up when I saw a woman's name as a major party candidate for President of the United States. And, that I had just as much opportunity to shade in her box as I did any other box on the list. It was an option. It was finally there.

I've always thought of myself as an empowered Gen-Xer. I never thought of myself as being raised in an era where I was allowed or disallowed to do things simply based on my gender.

Yet, somehow, simply seeing a fellow female's name on a very important piece of paper this morning had enough power to bring me to tears.

Just as I can take for granted that I'm even allowed to step foot in a polling station and cast a vote, my female ancestors will be able to take for granted that their name could even be on the ballot.

It's no longer a "what if", a "one day", or a "that will never happen". It's happened! It's now the norm. We can move forward.

No matter the outcome of tonight's results, this is how America now works. Race, religion or gender no longer impedes our ability to progress. We're running out of "firsts" to brand people with in the political race.

We can move past this silly notion of what's allowed and why it took so long to get there. We're now here! And, it's such an American place to be.

*Disclaimer: My vote today was not based on gender, race, religion or party lines. There was one candidate I agreed with on many things and one I didn't agree with at all. Please save your political lectures for your own social media page. If something inside you is offended by my feminism, you've likely had the blessing of never experiencing the type of treatment that the rest of us battle with every day. Take a moment away from staring at your shoes and take a gander at that glass ceiling that so mesmerizes the rest of us all.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Revenant: Review

I predict an award season sweep for The Revenant. And, if this prediction is to come to pass, it will be very well deserved.

Those who remember my lack of award season support for Alejandro Inarritu's last directing effort, Birdman, (at least in the directing category) will be please to hear that I've pulled a total 180 in terms of recognizing this year's directing (producing and writing) effort as a job 100% well done.

Stories like The Revenant are hard to come by in today's modern cinema.  A flawless, three act, fully-thought out script captured to perfection by brilliant camera work, acting, set design, makeup and seamless use of CGI. Each act allotted to its own hour which, in order, could have been simply titled as The Why, The Survival and The Revenge.

Although there were many other films to love this year, The Revenant as a whole was the perfect package. (And, since The Hateful Eight was snubbed in all of the big categories, I can now publicly throw my full support behind The Revenant.)

Here's my support of the sweep in each category:

Cinematography: AMAZING!!! I've been critical in the past of too-close camera work. (Beasts of the Southern Wild) But, today, while I watched the lens fog up as Leonardo DiCaprio's Hugh Glass painfully pulled in and out each sleeping breath... I thought to myself, "THIS is when you decide against the slow pan and just shove the camera right up in there!" Toughest Competition in this Category: The Hateful Eight. My eyes enjoyed both films for the same reason: The magnificent capturing of our nation's topography in the winter snow. Such a thing is much more appreciated on screen than in my driveway.

Visual Effects: I can already predict the Academy's choice of  using "The Bear Scene" while introducing The Revenant as a nominee. CGI has never been trickier and it will be the right choice. Toughest Competition in this Category: Any of the other nominees (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) should have a fair shake in this category. (Although, that bear alone, should give The Revenant an edge...)

Production Design: Come on...

We may also need to give an honorary award to the continent of North America for this. Toughest Competition in this Category: Well, The Martian's team did create Mars and all...

Film Editing: I completely humiliated myself by being the only one in the theater to audibly gasp during the "Horse/Cliff" scene. That's some good editing right there, not to mention the epic battle and fight scenes cut to perfection throughout. Toughest Competition in this Category: Possibly Mad Max: Fury Road. This genre tends to do well in the technical categories and, although I haven't seen the film yet, the trailer alone has enough cuts to impress in this category.

Sound Editing: Fight scenes, battle scenes, bear noise scenes, hallucinatory Pawnee voice scenes, Leo grunting scenes... the ingredients are all there. Toughest Competition in this Category: Any of the other nominees have a chance at taking this one home. The fact that Leo's voice didn't always seem to match up with his lips might be reason enough for this Oscar to slip out of grasp and ruin a full sweep.

Makeup and Hairstyling: Two scalped skulls and a thousand bear wounds just might seal this deal. Toughest Competition in this Category: I don't know what on earth The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is. But, it sounds like something some aging techniques may have been used in.

Costume Design: Furs, suede, leather... all the classic Western elements were there. Toughest Competition in this Category: Any other nominee. I love when the costume designers are allowed to shine in films that are otherwise not recognized during award season. I will not cry if we take a loss on this one. (And, at one point, Tom Hardy had a fleece blanket thrown over him that I swear could have been purchased at Walmart.)

Directing: Alejandro, Alejandro... please forgive my criticism of Birdman's single-shot steady cam experimentation. Consider this full endorsement as penance.  Toughest Competition in this Category: Not a chance he will lose this one.

Supporting Actor: for Tom Hardy's punk ass bitch... er, portrayal of Tom Fitzgerald. I absolutely hated him, so job well done. (I would have loved to see some recognition for Will Poulter in this category as well. If Leo was this picture's grit, that kid from We're the Millers was its heart. Maybe he'll be recognized with his cast at the SAGs?) Toughest Competition in this Category: I'm personally rooting for Sylvester Stallone as Rocky in Creed. And, no one's ever safe against Christian Bale.

Best Actor: I've been rooting for Leo's Oscar since What's Eating Gilbert Grape. This year is his best chance at being rewarded for his best role to date. Toughest Competition in this Category: Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. I cannot find a more sensitive way to say this; but he went full trans at a time when it is very trendy to do so.

Best Picture: Add together all my endorsements above and this should equal a Best Picture statue to have and to hold. Toughest Competition in this Category: *crickets*

Saturday, September 5, 2015

41... and Done!

I was just reading over last year's birthday post... and, wow! I really sucked at turning 40!

What is it about that milestone that does so much damage to a woman's psyche?

As I ring in 41 this week, let's look back at the kind:cruel ratio that was my Year of Forty.

  • The Quickest Mid-Life Crisis in History: I whined, complained and threw cyber-tantrums as I crested the middle-aged slope and fell directly off its cliff. It was a quick freefall and then I was like, "Oh, sorry about that world!" and went back about my regularly-scheduled business. I like to think that what it lacked in longevity it made up for explosiveness. Was it fair to the world? No. But the world survived it, so I'm over it too. 
  • Finally Found a Home: The last thing on my "40" bucket list was to purchase real estate and be living in said real estate by the end of the year. Due to my stubbornness over price and location, it took me an entire year of house-hunting to achieve this final tick mark. (Not to mention, four different mailing addresses in the same amount of time. Believe me when I say that my year of homelessness is still confusing the local post office!) So, does signing the deed at the age of 40.8 still make the cut? It counts in my book! And, being stubborn paid off. I'm in exactly the location I had my heart set on and actually came in under budget, too!

  • My Boobs are Playing Tricks on Me: It seems like much more than a year ago that I had my first breast cancer scare, but it was just last summer. Tacky as it may have seemed to some when I decided to share that journey; the conversations it started among friends and family really proved to be worth the embarrassing exchange. (Click link for a recap. To those who missed the follow-up, it was just a cyst in the end!) It seems most women at this age have had their "scares" and for someone who once favored male friendships over female, it really proved to me the necessity of the female-sisterhood. (Love you, ladies!) In other boob news, is there a once-a-decade law of physics that is keeping the bra industry in business?! It happened at thirty when the elasticity of the dermis began to betray me. New bra size! Must go shopping! And, here it is again at forty. Holy tit! As if gravity weren't enough of a foe, they've now decided to go running off in opposite directions! It's like each side is in a race to see who can reach my back first by the age of fifty!* And, of course, hello! New bra size again! This is getting old business is expensive business.
Somehow, this is the only Before/After depiction I could
find on my laptop!
  • Lost Weight: I have always been cursed in the weight department. (By "American fashion" standards, at least.) I was a tall gangly child, who got called "String Bean", "Carpenter's Dream"** and the like, more often than necessary. (It's really not necessary to comment on children's body types. Ever. Or, anyone's, for that matter. Will the world never learn?!) Once puberty hit, I was hippy and bootylicious during the entire Kate Moss waif trend. Then, totally missing the boat on both ends, my body chose to revert back to waify twelve-year old proportions in middle-age, just in time to usher in the decade of the butt. I literally cried*** when that Meghan Trainor song was released because it was so catchy that I wanted to sing along, but in order to do so I had to call out "Skinny bitches"**** and lyrically agree that "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.♫" Which leads me to publicly present a challenge to today's pop stars. It's great to celebrate all body types! But, please realize that you can celebrate yours without shaming others in return. Hear that, Meghan? Nicki? Other girls whose names I forgot because I'm not entirely up to date on pop music?
  • Lost My Filter: My filter has slowly been slipping away from me since my twenties. The decline has only increased in rapidity at 40. I probably cuss more than I should. I definitely give more unsolicited advice than I should. I fast-tracked from age 39 to 80 in my comfort level of thinking I'm old enough to not have to censor myself. Which is not necessarily a good thing, I do realize. On the upside, it's caused me take better care of my self-worth. If somebody wrongs me, I suddenly have no problem calling them out on it. Which is something I could have never dreamed of doing half-a-lifetime ago. Has it made me popular? Of course not! But, it's sharpened my true friendships and pinched off the ones that were sapping my reserves. Forty had no time for drama. And, forty-one's schedule is looking pretty booked as well. 
  • Lost My Grandma: Forty was a terrible year of loss for my family. Both sides lost their last matriarchs. Not just that, but personally my biggest cheerleaders as well. Through all the sadness, I had the privilege of sitting with my Grandma in hospice during her last weeks on this earth. I received from her the best compliments of my entire lifetime and advice that I will cherish forever and ever. Though, it was exhausting, I still miss her every day and have never fully finished grieving over that loss. As my birthday draws near, I will miss that yearly card from her where she would underline in ink pen every word in the lame Hallmark poem that reminded her of me. And, I will forever regret every year that I was too lazy to call and thank her for thinking of me.
  • Lost My Way: This year, I decided to be good. Again. Like, daily. Constantly renewing that pledge. Every morning, asking God for a clean slate and yet another do-over. I'm learning to not only speak more kindly, act more kindly and (most importantly) react more kindly. (Powder Keg Mecham, at your service!) I'm really focusing on thinking more kindly, so there are no judgmental or unfriendly comments rooted anywhere to have any chance of slipping out. This used to come so naturally for me, which means my heart must have slipped into an ungrateful place somewhere along the way. I have decades-old walls I'm breaking down. Bear with me! They were there for good reason, but I've grown too old and tired to keep holding them up. I've heard unkind things about myself this year. I don't want to produce that same kind of hurt in others. If I love you, I'll show it. If I give you a compliment, I really mean it. There's no sugar-coating. I'm too lazy to waste my breath like that. 
  • Gave in to the Stereotype and Became a Fur Mama: Forty and single equals cat mama... Der! I absolutely adore this girl. And, she seems to tolerate me in exchange. (Although, she's currently glaring at me for having the light on this late at night and impeding upon her 22nd hour of sleep for the day.) Is it cheesy to say she completes me? No, just creepy? Well, thanks for keepin' it real. 

So, last year's post... What did I know? I was just a young 39.99 year-old when I wrote it. Little did I know 40 was bringing with it the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. If this trend keeps up, 41 may possibly leave me with whiplash!*****

But, seeing that I won't see another milestone for nine years is quite a relief. What's on my "50" bucket list, you ask? Let's just start with "Not Dying" and take it from there.******

No pressure this decade.

*Okay, maybe slight exaggeration on my part. They're still pretty cute for their age. Supported or not. And, healthy, most importantly!

**ie. Flat as a board.

***Disclaimer: Hormone surges may also be partly at fault for tears.

****Don't argue that the following, "...Just playin' , I know you think you're fat.♫" lyric makes up for this. No, we don't think we're fat. We're now just doubting our desirability thanks to your insensitive lyrics. Big or small, booties are soft to the touch... and that's what really matters. Trust me, I'm older and wiser. There's no need to cut others down to build yourself up. Lecture over!

*****Whiplash. Best movie of my fortieth year. Go see it!

******And, less footnotes. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor

Somebody just got shot! Somebody just got cut! Somebody just got hit by a car!

I didn't know what exactly had happened. But, the manly screams and moans coming from the driveway of my condominium complex told my wild imagination that something of the like was going on.

I took my usual nosy neighbor position: Standing at the floor-to-ceiling windows of my Florida room, backed to the corner as to remain inconspicuous.

"UGH! AUGH! [MOOOOOAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!]," it continued.

I couldn't quite spot the source of the commotion, but could hear another neighbor shout out, "Are you okay? Do you need me to call an ambulance?"


I've now pinpointed the screamer's voice to be coming from behind the large pine tree that stands in front of the neighboring building.

I felt safe enough to move to the Adirondack chair that is placed with its back to the window. Closer to the "danger", but out of sight with my nose peering above the back of the chair.

"Where are you?!" the helpful neighbor hollered out. It was after dark.

I could hear him now shuffling behind the tree. He found him! The source of all the belly-aching!

After some clattering and grunting, I finally saw something. A thirty-something year-old man walking a bike to the other side of the complex, with a late-teen/early-twenty-something male limping slowly behind him.

No one was shot. Someone had fallen off of their bicycle. I was safe from any crossfire.

The Good Samaritan would continuously stop and wait until the injured party could catch up to him again. G.S. (Good Samaritan) walked I.B. (Injured Biker) all the way home.

Mystery solved (although anticlimactic...) I smiled at what a good neighbor G.S. was.

But, what kind of neighbor was I?

I could have just as easily hollered down to see if I.B. was okay. I just didn't want to get involved. I was willing to risk bullets whizzing by the nose I had stuck into his business, but not the inconvenience of getting dressed and going downstairs to actually check on things and offer some assistance.

Let's break down what kind of neighbor I am.

These are the things I like about my neighborhood: 1.) Awesome location. It's walking distance to a small downtown with a city park and decent enough smattering of shops and restaurants. 2.) There are enough neighbors around to not feel isolated. As a single woman, it's assuring to know that if I ever needed to shout for help, someone wouldn't be too far away. 3.) These neighbors seem to keep to themselves. Which, for an introvert like me, is ideal.

No one brought pies to my doorstep when I moved in. No one has tried inviting me to dinner. And, this is fine! I'm not expected to provide dinner in return.

I've been to two board meetings, but only remember one board member's name. (I think I remember what it is, at least.)

I've met three neighbors since moving in two months ago. Only one of them offered a name (after a month-and-a-half.) It's not an American name and begins with an "N" sound. I'm pretty sure with two syllables.

The neighbors I've met are:

1.) "Pitbull". I don't know his real name, but he looks, dresses and acts like the rapper Pitbull. He wears tinted shades like Pitbull. He talks with the Hispanic swag of Pitbull. He rides his bike low, as I imagine Pitbull would, were his Mercedes ever to break down on him. And, I honestly think he would answer to "Pitbull" were he ever to be beckoned by that.

Pitbull has a sweet-natured girlfriend. She is also Hispanic and she always smiles and says "Hi!" if we cross paths. She even smiles and says, "Hi!" when Pitbull's bickering with her in the doorway and not letting her inside. Pitbull was wearing his bathrobe that day. Pitbull thinks he's God's gift. I'm not sure that he is. I once saw his girlfriend bring a plate of food to another neighbor. I'm not sure his girlfriend even lives there. But, she does seem like God's gift. And, a good neighbor. Whatever her name is.

2.) The blonde hermit, next door. I've seen her three times total. She writes lengthy letters to the Homeowners Association but doesn't come to the meetings, even though they take place in the room directly beneath her unit. She left a note on my door one day. How sweet! Oh, she was just inquiring about the paint fumes coming from my unit. I was painting kitchen chairs at the time. She almost rolled me over with her car in the parking garage later that same day. It was just an accident. I'm sure of it.

3.) N-something. She's a Muslim woman. Maybe my age or a bit younger. Her unit is like a clown car, with countless relatives always pouring out of it. She has at least three children, one husband and maybe a mother or mother-in-law who live with her. With the constant stream of visitors, I'm not really sure who goes where. She was the first to offer her name. But, her accent was so thick, I only caught the opening "N". I need to find a better code name for her. She is nice. And, loses alot of little socks in the laundry room.

There are three other units in my building. I have not bumped into any of these neighbors in eight weeks.

There is another building adjoining mine. I share a bedroom wall with a Middle-Eastern family. They have a baby who cries sweetly at night. Only sometimes. And, never a screamer. He's a good neighbor.

His parents fight once every week or two. Sometimes light murmuring. Sometimes shouting matches. Always at night. Sometimes at 2:00 or 3:00 am, jolting me out of my sleep. They're not fighting in English, so I can't really eavesdrop. Which is all I have left to do once I'm awoken and can't go back to sleep. If only I could take sides. If only they didn't wake the baby again.

This leaves me to wonder which neighbor I am. Only one of them knows my name. I'm probably the American girl who starts with a "K" sound.

I'm probably the one who sings too much in the kitchen and who is talking to who-knows-who in the shower*. The lady with the big white SUV. The one who walks upstairs too loudly. The woman with the nosy cat.

I'm the one who made too much noise moving in and will never be forgiven.

The lady who yells at her nephews on Sunday afternoons. Why doesn't she close the windows at least?

The girl whose still in her p.j.s at eleven a.m. on the weekend. What kind of slacker is she?

She hasn't even introduced herself. She watches that TV all night. Blogs about her neighbors. And, I saw her watch that boy who fell off his bike out her window and not even offer him a Band-Aid.

The Bible says, to "...Love your neighbor as yourself. No commandment is greater than these." [Mark 12:31]  I love myself, no doubt. But, for now, I'm at the stage were my neighbors are just a'ight.

I'm glad I.B. is okay. And, I'm glad there's at least one G.S. in the hood... just in case I fall down one of these days.

One day I'll be the G.S., I think.

Maybe. One day...

*Answer: Myself or the cat.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Life + Cat

So, I may have jumped the gun on something. 

Before I have finished unpacking... Before I've refinished all the furniture or have gotten things totally organized and settled... I went and invited this little furry turd to come live with me.

"Oh, furry turd?! Kim, you're so cruel!"

Yeah, yeah... she's cute in pictures, but let's run through her first night here.
  • 11:00 pm: Lights out.
  • 11:01 pm: Repetitive meowing from Cat.
  • 11:02 pm-4:00 am: Horrendously repetitive meowing/squawking/live exorcism taking place out in the Florida room.
  • 4:01 am: Human worries for the sleep of the entire neighborhood, slams both doorwalls shut and chastises, "Now NOBODY gets to enjoy the fresh air!!!"
  • 5:00 am: Cat scales every piece of furniture in the living room.
  • 6:30 am: Cat discovers alarm clock on nightstand. Human fears her stepping on the "alarm off" button and deactivating it. But, Human needn't worry about waking up, because Human hasn't fallen asleep yet.
  • 8:30 am-5:30 pm: Human is excessively grumpy due to lack of sleep and manages to avoid most human contact for an entire work day. Forgets the word "brass" at one point and refers to it as "the one that's like gold, but uglier. I forget the word. I just said in two minutes ago, but can't think of it now. You know..."

In Cat's defense, Human may have provided cat nip right before bedtime...

Day Two went a little more smoothly. She didn't greet me when I got home and was hiding under the bed. She still hadn't eaten, but there were signs of piddle in the litter box.

Night Two was a total 180. She stayed out in her favorite spot (kitty condo in the FL room) for what sounded like (or I should say, "lack of sounded") the entire night.

By the time I got home on Day Three, she had made herself at home. Food, eaten. Water, drunken. Litter box, pooped in. We were in kitty business!

That's not to say it's a perfect arrangement. We've had alot of "Seriously?!", "What?" conversations.

Like when she...

Climbs things:

Hogs the couch:

Climbs more things:

Impedes with my morning process:

cannot go to work looking like that!

Last minute addition, from ten minutes ago.

I've been reintroduced to cat allergies that have laid dormant for the past five petless years. I've added extra chores to the daily list. She's decided it's fun to refrain from retracting her claws when she walks, so she goes around the house sounding like steel velcro as she crosses the carpet... the bed... my brand new couch!!!

She kicks her litter all over the bathroom. Sticks her bumhole in my face as a sign of supposed affection. She gives looks of teenage indifference when I scold her. But, I've found my owns ways to even the scorecard:

I've had passing thoughts of, "What have I gotten myself into?", "Do I want to spend the next twelve years of my life itchy-eyed, snotty-nosed and incapable of breathing?", "Is she too old to be declawed? If so, can I have her feet amputated?", "Do I really want to be a mom?", "Would they take her back if I ask?"

But, as I was laying in bed this morning, in comes Cat. Steel velcro prancing across my new bedding. She mewed for breakfast and I tried to forcefully hug her to buy a few minutes. She pulled away, stuck that bumhole in my face, then proceeded to purr and rub her head all over me as I pretended to be sleeping. 

She climbed across my legs. Hugged her side against mine. Purred to almost pornographic degrees. Then took a lap across my nightstand and quietly lied down. She'd decided I could sleep. She would allow it.

She reminded me exactly of myself when I'm not the hugger, but the huggee.

And, I too, like to keep my own schedule. I too, would rather hide under the bed some days. I like to go where I want, when I want. I like to act like I own the joint wherever I go, 'cause it makes me feel comfortable. I too, invoke "Seriously?!" in others, and reply with my own "What"s.

She's independent. Sassy. Loves fiercely once she decides your worthy of her love. Is affectionate on her own terms. Loves to sleep. Is thoughtful when it counts. And, is silly as can be. Wait a second... this cat is ME. I can't get rid of me!

In other words, she's a keeper. Seriously.