I Feel like My Cat is a Face Surrounded by Knives, and that’s What Matters

Yesterday was a dreaded day. It was a day I hat to put my cat in a carrier to get him to the vet.

He’s now 14 years old, and he’s definitely mellowed in his old age. I’m not sure if it’s slightly easier to get him in his carrier now because of that or because we’ve perfected the two-day, multi-stepped process of accomplishing it.

My cat is an asshole. And by that I mean that he has had us hiding in closets before.  So, when it’s time for him to go to the vet, I have a little anxiety.

Here’s the process:
1. The night before – clip his front nails (he will not allow back nails)
2. Get carrier out of closet, hide it in closed bathroom (it has to be in a very small room so he has nowhere to go if I miss on the first try), propped up against the wall with the door already open.
3. Wait overnight for him to forget that he saw me get his carrier out.
4. Next day, pretend there’s nothing up until time to make my move.
5. Say a prayer, and grab him, hopefully while he is relaxing in an easily accessible spot.
6. Briskly move to the bathroom, scruffing him and weathering the thrashing.
7. Hold on for dear life as he sees the carrier; shove him head first into it, adjusting the placement of his legs as he tries to straddle the opening.
8. Apologize once he’s in there, because he will eventually be out.

This time I sustained very minor injuries – no blood!

We made it to the vet, bonus points for bringing one of the dogs, too. The vet visit went fine, which is a huge improvement  – this is the big area where you can tell he’s gotten older. Young Elliott would have screamed and hissed a lot.

Once he gets back into his carrier (which, when at the vet, is like an upscale resort he can’t wait to get back to), we drive home. And, after about three minutes of realizing the next stop is home and out of the carrier – he starts to yell at me. So the ride home is usually me singing along to loud music while he tries to be heard. This time was no exception.

I Need to be More Like The Muppets

You know those days when you wake up, and the sun is shining, and it’s November, and it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, and you decide to check your e-mail on your phone from the comfort of your warm bed – and there’s a turd of an e-mail sitting in your inbox. And that e-mail says, in coded language, “I just woke up, being the sour person I am everyday, and decided to take it out on you.” And then, another person responds to that e-mail and says, in coded language, “Yeah, and I’m going to back them up because I’m also quite the pill.” And then that once promising day turns into a rage/depression combo day. That was yesterday.

The day before yesterday, Tom and I went to see The Muppet Movie (not the new one, the first one in 1979) at a movie theater on the big screen. It was so great – I’ve seen the movie several times, but was too young to see it in the theater when it came out. As with many people from my generation, The Muppets are very important to me, and so was Jim Henson.

The Muppets are amazing. They are genuine. They are quirky and unique. The weird ones embrace their weirdness, and the less weird ones appreciate the weird ones with affection and true friendship. They apologize to each other. They are not petty and vindictive – their flaws are human and forgivable. But, it isn’t all about “lessons” – there are jokes, they don’t take everything overly seriously, and other than the fabulous Miss Piggy, it’s never “all about them.” Then, like a cherry on top, they actually have two characters whose sole existence is to ridicule them (Statler and Waldorf). To someone who abhors over-sentimentality, this combination is absolutely perfect.

The Muppet Movie can have one of the sincerest songs ever written, “The Rainbow Connection,” which, if sung by a human, would be sappy and hippie dippy, but when sung by a frog in a swamp with the voice of Jim Henson, makes me want to cry just thinking about it…

And, it can have Steve Martin waiting on a frog an a pig on a date.

Basically, the best of both worlds.

I remember where I was when I found out Jim Henson died. I was in a mini van with my family in Ahoskie, N.C. – where my dad was from, visiting my grandma. Jim Henson had actually been in Ahoskie – a very, very small, obscure town – about a week before, visiting his father and step mother. When you find out that Jim Henson was in the tiny town your dad grew up, visiting his own dad, the world seems a little smaller, and the world of The Muppets a little more possible, even with the loss of their creator.

What The Muppets do so well, and what I need to do better, is they don’t deny that there’s crap in the world, or even that an e-mail can make a day go off its rails. They live in a world of true setbacks, and even some genuine assholes (the villain doesn’t come around to their point of view), but they also don’t let those things dictate the kind of day they’re going to have (but they let themselves feel bummed, too), because ultimately they are the ones who control whether to make the best of something or let it get them down. And, then, just before everything gets too sunshines and friendship, you hear:

Statler: Hey look, Waldorf, it’s a frog and a pig.

Waldorf: Yeah, looks like they’re in love.

Statler: Yeah.

Waldorf: Kind of makes you sick, doesn’t it?


In conclusion, I love you, Muppets. And I hope to God your new movie is good and does you justice.

An Introvert’s Halloween – Part 2

Part 2 – The Halloween Part (and more revelations about Carrie’s neurosis)

I just saw Megan’s comment in the previous post about how she hopes the solution to my problem is streaking with a mask on. I would like to go ahead and issue a spoiler alert that if your expectations are that high, prepare to be severely disappointed.

No. In fact, I hate masks. They are like taking a bath, you’re just stuck in this little room with your old stinky breath that you just have to keep using over and over again to breathe. I also don’t like crowds, partly because of chance of getting any attention in them and also because I’m probably slightly claustrophobic. I’m talking about how to make Halloween work for a square through and through, not letting my inner desire for flamboyancy loose.

I DID dress up for Halloween as a kid. My mom made me a Wonder Woman costume, and I mean sewed it, with Velcro and a pattern and shit. And I wish I had a picture of it but it’s six hours away. Once I hit a certain age, though, I was a punk rocker for like 4 years running. And by “punk rocker” I mean the kind who are allowed to wear their mom’s Garfield shirt because it doesn’t matter if they get glitter on it. That picture is also six hours away. I’ll be up there (North Carolina) for Halloween, so hopefully I can dig them up and share.

Next week, Tom and I are going to Disney World for our 10th wedding anniversary. And, we’re going to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I was reading all the Disney World forums about how other people plan to dress up for it. I went to this event 10 years ago on our honeymoon, and, obviously, didn’t dress up for it. But this year I thought it would be neat to at least poke the spirit of Halloween with a really long pole from afar by wearing something resembling something.

But I’m pretty much a one uniform gal: jeans, t-shirt. If it’s cold- jeans, t-shirt, hoodie. Hand on a stack of the first three Romero zombie movies: the last time I wore a skirt for anything other than church, a funeral, or a wedding, was when I was 12 years old. And the only reason I still wear skirts to these three events is because I don’t want to shop for any other appropriate clothing (my skirts are 10 years old). I also feel awkward and uncomfortable in anything other that t-shirts and jeans and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna feel more weird about looking at a giant bear’s butt on a log flume ride.

So, my solution was found when I was looking on Amazon for something that could be a costume but also in no way requires me to leave my comfort zone. And I found this:

Yes, that is a t-shirt that looks like Shaun’s work shirt from the movie Shaun of the Dead. Side note: if you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead and you like zombie movies, or comedies, or romantic comedies, then you are missing out. And what does Shaun wear with this shirt? Black pants. And I have a pair of black jeans, which is close enough. It’s a low maintenance, sure-to-not-bring-much-attention-to-me ensemble. It’s pretty much exactly what I wear every day but with a fake tie and name tag. I often have a stain so the red doesn’t even count. Perfect. And if it’s cold that day I’ll wear a long sleeve shirt underneath and be grunge Shaun.

And, I would totally be willing to carry around a cricket bat. But, I don’t want to navigate a theme park with one. I didn’t cave on carrying a purse until well into my twenties so the utilitarian part of me doesn’t want to deal with it. And, perhaps security wouldn’t even let me bring it in. If there is a zombie outbreak at the Magic Kingdom that night, I’ll definitely be kicking myself (and several zombies). I also won’t be tucking in my shirt because that war was fought valiantly against my mom and I will not allow all that eye rolling and sighing to be in vain.

So, now, please dazzle me with all of your more interesting and exciting planned Halloween costumes because I live for that shit. I’m really glad there are less shy and extroverted people out there, because they really do make Halloween the coolest holiday.


An Introvert’s Halloween – Part 1

Part 1 – The Introvert Part

My favorite time of the year is October, November, and December. The rest of the year is like waiting in line to me.

I really love Halloween. A large part is due to it being socially acceptable to carry around a giant pillowcase of candy and graze from it like a feed bag. It’s also about zombies and Draculas and ghosts and stuff I like all year long.

Halloween has a lot to do with drawing attention to yourself with costumes, etc. However, I’m an introvert, and a pretty extreme one at that. My Myers-Briggs personality type is I(introverted)S(sensing)T(thinking)J(judging). In summary, I’m a detail-oriented rule follower who doesn’t like surprises, and most importantly for this post – can go a while without socializing (I also have ADD, which makes for a hell of a lot of angst, which someday I’ll write about). Extraverts gain energy from interacting with other people; introverts expend energy interacting with other people. Extraverts often don’t understand why introverts won’t “lighten up,” or why they don’t want to ride that mechanical bull in front of the entire bar (or even just go to the bar). I’ve made this chart to demonstrate:

Also, there is a difference between being shy and being an introvert. I’m a shy introvert. I don’t like being the center of attention unless specific parameters are understood and set. I don’t like being an acquaintance of the center of attention for fear that I will become collateral damage. Going to a place where I don’t know anyone makes my brain break out in hives. I like to ride the coattails of people I already know who are less socially awkward than me.

I don’t do any heavy lifting when it comes to conversations. I hate small talk and am not good at sustaining it.  I can talk forever and in depth on things I’m interested in and I love finding out I have things in common with people. But, I don’t do the verbal digging to figure any of that out. I know this sounds like I don’t give a shit about people or want to get to know them, but that’s not it at all. It’s that I take my personal connections seriously – I go in all or nothing. So when it comes to the notion of casual social contact, e-mail and the internet is like a godsend to me.  Getting to know bloggers, because they put it there without me having to ask, and without the awkward silences, has been awesome.

All of this is to say that for an introvert at my level, Halloween, a highly participatory holiday, isn’t exactly a perfect fit for a social spectator like me. What’s an introvert to do? Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 – The Part About Halloween.

Personality types are like my astrological signs. I find them fascinating. What’s yours? Here’s a place you can find out.

Sometimes my “Imagination” is Staggering

I’m a pretty rational person. But I also like to over-think things, roll them over and over like a crocodile. I tend to think of every scenario, every possibility, and still end up knowing and realizing that the most rational conclusion is the right one, but my mind still likes to go through the motions.

Sometimes, though, the wires get crossed and my brain starts at the furthest, “most imaginative” (i.e. stupidest) conclusion. And it usually happens for things that wouldn’t cause me to start the obsessive mulling process because the answer should be entirely obvious.

Yesterday, I was putting away laundry (yes, my life is exciting), and in my dimly lit bedroom, I saw two marks on the inside of my arm. Two nice, lined up marks about a half inch apart. The very first thought that entered my mind was:

“Oh my God, I’ve been bitten by a vampire.”

Not, “huh, what is that.” Not, “are those bug bites?” Not, “let me go to a well lit area and see what that is.” Nope, I had been bitten by a vampire.

Now, mind you, a split second after that thought, my thought was “are you fucking kidding me, brain?” But, still, that is the first thing it offered up and that’s frightening to me.

And it turned out, it was ONE puncture and ONE freckle. I’m pretty certain the puncture is from the cat, who scratches me so much I rarely even stop to register it.

And now you see, that if a vampire would to have bitten me, it would have been a one-fanged, tiny, incompetent vampire, who goes for the inner arm and not the neck, nor anywhere near any veins. And, on top of all of that – I didn’t notice it.

Thanks a lot, brain. And, I’ve even been pretty good to my brain – rarely any drinking, no drugs, etc. So there’s really no excuse.

Another example is way back when the movie Hook came out. The night after I saw that movie, I was roused from my slumber and noticed a small pinpoint of light on my pillow. My first thought was that it was Tinkerbell. And no, I’m not so young that it was adorable. I was like, 15. It was light coming in through the blinds. Like it always fucking does.

I suppose literal sleep and putting away laundry could make my brain go into sleep mode and these thoughts are the moment when one moves the mouse and the screen saver goes away. But, still, I can’t help but shake my head in disappointment.

Has anyone else not been bitten by a vampire?