Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Funny Felines

I was watching CBS This Morning recently, and to my delight, Stephen Colbert was hanging out with Charlie, Gayle and Norah. Well, you can imagine what happened next. I laughed. My cat Hana was sleeping on my lap, and when I laugh or sneeze, she always looks up and croaks out a little Meoahh. Not a Meow. A Meoahh. It's so cute. It always sounds like a question. And I've always wondered what she is saying. She's probably saying something like the following... 

a) "Are you talking to me? Not that I care either way."

b) "Are you O.K.?" (Not likely)

c) "Shhh. I'm sleeping." (This could be a contender)

d) "Are you laughing at me? You better not be. I've got mad cat skills."

I can only imagine the cat-astrophes she is capable of pawing together if she thought I was laughing at her expense. She's the kitty who pooped in the bathroom sink recently after accidentally locking herself in. She has the naughty habit of shutting the door while she's playing the popular game, It's Raining Cats and Dogs in the shower. Her bad. But try telling that to a cat.

What if we couldn't laugh? Or understand humor. Cats can't laugh! Poor Hana. I just had a mini epiphany. Hana will never let a laugh roll over her sandpaper tongue; her whiskers twitching with delight. "Maw, maw, maw." (fictional cat laughter) She can dilate her eyes like eight balls. But she can't laugh. Oh, the sorrow. Wait a minute. They can't cry either. Cat scratch the sorrow.

I do have at least one human in my life that can't understand humor. I won't name any names, but everything you tell them in jest is taken with complete seriousness. They don't understand popular culture either. Fuhgeddaboudit. "Please take this with a grain of salt," you casually proclaim. "Pass the pepper," they reply with clenched eyebrows.  The joke is inevitably on you. 

Thank goodness Stephen Colbert fills me with delight. Because life would be so boring without humor. Although, it's possible cats really do have a sense of humor. They might laugh in private. Can't you just hear the evil BBBBWWWWAAAAHHHH behind the closed bathroom door?

 "I pooped in the sink. Maw, maw, maw!"

Toilet Buddies

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bed Time Stories

I love this quote. It's such a fun way to think about dreams. These days, I'm not only spinning bizarre stories during the night, but weaving tall tales during the day as well. I'm writing a novel.

 A few night's ago, I was on a flume, careening down an arid mountain; admiring the white washed cities of Greece. The cities were set against bodies of cerulean and turquoise pools of water. It was beautiful and exciting! But, just like life, it whizzed by way too fast. It was so vivid. In fact, once I started writing my novel, it seemed like my dreams became even more technicolor and well, just plain weird. It was like I opened up a door to the Twilight Zone. I emerged from my black and white world into a strange new universe. And I discovered that it's fun to wear sparkly red shoes and explore on foot. But only in my dreams. In reality, I'd need a good pair of Merrells to walk all the way to the Emerald City.

 Maybe I'm simply paying more attention. I definitely seem to be remembering them more; waking up baffled and amused by the night's entertainment. I often wonder what my cats are dreaming about too. They always seem to be on a journey. Once I see their skin crawl, accompanied by the twitch of a whisker and a curl of a paw, I suspect they're half way there. This morning I was shopping in a grocery store in Central America. I woke up saying, "Si." Yes what? Hopefully it was yes, I'll buy the papaya. I can't remember. 

My favorite dreams always involve architecture. I've always had them. I'll dream up the most amazing homes. I had a blue apartment once. There was a yellow palatial palace with Greek pillars a few years back. And a lifetime of homes too numerous to count since I was a kid. They are always unique. And every furnishing and nick nack has my name written all over it. I call myself an artist. I hope, I can be a writer. But maybe, I'm just a closeted interior decorator. That's what my dreams suggest.

 I do day dream about my future dream home. It's on stilts in a yard full of fruit trees and swaying palms. Do you feel the humidity? I watch an osprey soar over head and then decide to climb my staircase to the home above. It's open, one level living. The ceiling is high with thick, rustic wooden beams scaling the roof top. It's basically a big wooden box surrounded by a 365 degree lanai. Screened in of course. It's on a lake. And at the end of the day there's an amazing sunset followed by a night sky filled with twinkling stars. 

A girl can dream...

To read a review of the wonderful book Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography visit Springtime in Magnolia.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Little Romance...

I picked up a shopping cart full of classic books last summer at Half Price Books. Or was it last spring? It's all a gigantic reading blur. I hope too many books doesn't spoil the broth. Or something like that. And yet, even after my big book stew, I feel like I've only turned the first page. It will take a lifetime. I started with To Kill a Mockingbird. It sucked. I'm kidding! At one point, I was reading around four books at once. Gone with the Wind, Anne of Green Gables, Bleakhouse and Midnight Bayou. Wait a minute. Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts? That's not exactly a classic. But, I keep picking up books at the little lending libraries as well. And besides, I'm an old romantic at heart.

That's why I have so much catching up to do. I blame my Mom. Back in the day, my Mom hated all the trash on T.V.  A.K.A. sexual situations. Basically, all the good stuff. The stuff I was dying to see. But she had a secret. At heart, she loved a good bodice ripper. Suddenly, all those sexual situations were O.K., if they were packaged right. She got me hooked on Kathleen E. Woodiwiss as a teenager. And maybe some hot blooded books by Barbara Cartland as well. Basically, if the cover had a dashing duke holding a poor, raven haired, busty servant girl in an ardent embrace, then we read it. Later on, when I was in my 20's and working as a flight attendant, I started reading contemporary romance. If I was on a layover, I was reading Danielle Steele. That's kind of embarrassing to admit now. Boy, if you've read one, you've read them all. I loved LaVyrle Spencer back then too. I think I'd still love LaVyrle Spencer.

If only my Mom would have hooked me on Jane Austin or Charlotte Bronte back in the day. It took Masterpiece theater to introduce me to that future obsession. For awhile, I think my husband thought I had been reincarnated from a period woman wearing an ungodly tight, cleavage bursting, flowing satin gown. I can only hope I had a lady's maid to help me with my coiffure. She could powder my cleavage. If I had any. I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation, so let's just say my husband felt that at the very least, I'd happily live in that world if I could. In reality, like I said, I have no cleavage and I can't stand anything tight. I remember him asking me curiously what I liked so much about those movies and books. Until Downton Abby came along. Now, we watch that classically inspired soap opera together. How romantic! 

When my cousin Jane sold her house, she had an estate sale. After all was said and done, there were a ton of books left. I got to go and take my pick. And wouldn't you know it, she had a trilogy of LaVyrle Spencer. All in one big book. I've read Separate Beds and Hummingbird. But The Hellion, that will be one of the books on my reading list this Valentine's Day.

My mother would approve.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Kevin, it's going to be a long, hard day."

 That's my husband's new favorite quote. Have you been watching The Leftovers on HBO? We have. And we're hooked. Although, their decision to change the intro from a creepy and dramatic ascent into Heaven; accompanied by a blast of sound and a mesmerizing chorus, to a lame and stupid hillbilly redux, had us irritated and confused. We even googled the decision, to see if others were baffled. They were. 

I can be a little dramatic about unpleasant situations. See above. But there are many, many other times. Like when we were traveling back from Panama. We hadn't even left the airport in Panama City and I was already complaining. "Like I said Kevin, long, hard day." That's what my husband said to me. The flights went as smooth as they possibly could. But the quote couldn't have been more apt.

It really shouldn't surprise anyone that my husband would love a show called The Leftovers. He is the one who cleans out the fridge on a regular basis. And diligently eats the Chicken Tetrazini at his desk. Instead of indulging on Taco Tuesdays. He even got me the book The Leftovers written by Tom Perrotta for Christmas. I just looked at him with suspicion. My suspicion wasn't curdled because he purchased the novel at Half Price Books. No, it was new alright.  It was because he was obviously trying to torture me.  Hmmm. If I read the book, I'll spoil the show. And if I watch the show, I'll spoil the book. 

That's what happened to me with Game of Thrones. I'm on the 4th book A Feast for Crows as we speak. But the HBO show is so good, I don't like to know what's going to happen. I learned some disturbing details when I read A Storm of Swords. Then, I had to keep them all to myself. So I didn't ruin it for Mr. Leftovers. Luckily, the books by George R.R. Martin are exceedingly more complex than the show, so reading them after the HBO version airs is still like discovering a whole new world. 

So what really happens at the end of The Leftovers? I'm not going to read the book to find out. If, I can hold out that long. I want to be surprised. But here are some creative possibilities...

1) Kevin (Justin Theroux) wakes up in bed with Jennifer Aniston. He sadly discovers that his HBO acting gig was just a dream. In reality, his career stalled after his appearance on Sex and the City.

2) Kevin wakes up again, but this time, he's in bed handcuffed to Liv Tyler. Instead of Nora. I know, I know. This sounds like a positive. But trust me. Her character is turning into one scary white walker. Right out of Game of Thrones.

3) Kevin decides to create his own cult. The non-guilty remnant. They don't wear white. Duh. They're smokers. Wearing white is just asking for trouble. The main focus of their cult is smoking in public. Just like the good old days. The colorful group bands together to smoke inside restaurants like Perkins. They promote smoke-ins and broad spectrum, willy nilly, nothing to feel guilty about smoking privileges. Cough, hack. Do you remember what our clothes used to smell like after a night at a bar? I do.

4) Kevin wakes up back in the well. But this time, instead of the white suit weirdo stuck down there with him, it's the girl from The Ring. Now that's scary.

P.S. Head over to Springtime in Magnolia for a book review of a charming old classic. Anne of Green Gables.