Monday, December 31, 2007

Speaking of blue...

My team lost their bowl game on that weird blue field today. It does not make me feel any better than teams with coaching transitions are 0-5 in their bowl games thus far.

It hasn't been a good day otherwise. I lost a necklace charm down the drain of the bathroom sink this evening. After much cursing, I asked PDM to take the trap out to get it back. The trap disintegrated when he tried to remove it. The pipe was old and corroded and thin, and just turned to dust. The only good thing was that he got my jewelry back. The bad thing is that I have to call a plumber on January 2 to come out and fix the sink, plus inspect the rest of the plumbing for more weak spots. Great. Just wonderful. Swell.

But that wasn't the only malfunction of the evening. Right after the game, I decided I wanted to hear the Georgia Tech radio broadcast, because I wanted to know some stuff like why they pulled the starting QB at halftime, and what happened to Choice, and why they did a lot of what they did. But the AM station that carries our games has a giant loss of signal strength at 5:30 and this was 5:45pm. So I went on the web and streamed the station live on PDM's Mac. It worked fine for about five minutes and then crashed his computer. We turned it off and went to the pub. When we got back and turned it back on, there was a major problem, and PDM has been working on it for two hours. I feel terrible, because I was the last person to use it before the Big Crash. It still isn't working and I feel awful, and PDM is mad at me.

There are other things that have made this not the best year. Goodbye 2007 and good riddance. I hope 2008 is better. And I hope y'all are having more fun than I am, because this is not fun at all. Sigh.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Believe in Blueland

I attended my first NHL hockey game last night. Tickets for the Thrashers vs. Bruins game were one of my gifts to PDM this Christmas. He loves hockey, but I had always been sort of lukewarm about going. I'd been to a couple of AHL games (the now defunct Worcester Icecats) when I lived in Massachusetts, and I like watching sports, but generally hockey hasn't been my thing. That's why I knew this gift would be a surprise. Especially when I wrapped the tickets and taped them to the inside cover of a box, put a lot of junk in it to rattle around, then wrapped the box.

I've gotta admit it was a lot of fun. Way better than watching a game on TV. It didn't take long to see my first hockey fight (less than two and a half minutes in), followed by a second fight before they had even announced the penalties for the first fight. That got the crowd fired up. Atlanta went on to play a great game, winning a 5-0 shutout.

This should have been my second Thrashers-Bruins game. PDM had tickets to a Thrashers game for us and four of his family members five years ago during one of my holiday visits. This was back when I still lived in Massachusetts and we were dating long distance. Unfortunately, we ate some bad Mexican food the day before and became violently ill overnight. It was my first time staying at the family home, and I made it memorable by puking all over the floor at three o'clock in the morning. To his credit, PDM helped me clean it up, even though he was also fighting a losing battle with nausea. The family had to go to the game without us, and we ended up with a pair of $60 bookmarks to go with our fever and chills. We joke about it now, but back then... not so funny.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Rude Awakening

I was startled awake at 4:20 this morning when my 13-year old cat, Zima, decided to empty her bladder on my pillow right next to my head. If she was trying to get my attention, she definitely succeeded. Her efforts are being rewarded with a trip to the vet this afternoon. I figure this is a result of three possible things: (a) she has a UTI, (b) she is unhappy about being picked on constantly by the other two cats, or (c) she is mad that I moved the litterbox downstairs and/or that I would not get up in the middle of the night and let her outside to pee.

Let me just say that I am not amused. Had to throw away my favorite feather pillow, start a load of laundry and take a shower in the wee hours of the morning, change the sheets, then go back to bed with sopping wet hair and try to get enough sleep to make it through another work day. Grumble, grumble, grumble…

Update 12/30/07 - She did have a urinary tract infection. After a few days on antibiotics, she seems to be feeling much better. And I haven't been peed on, which is always a plus.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry, Merry!

Merry Christmas, Sweet Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever it is you celebrate at this time of year. I wish you all the best.

Photo: long exposure of entryway tree with motion toward tree and some good luck.

Friday, December 21, 2007


We are hours away from the Winter Solstice, which should be a quiet and peaceful time of year, and Christmas - a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. But the week before Christmas is not much fun at all. Disrupted routines, crowds, traffic, and a bunch of last minute "must do" chores can make you tired and cranky.

This year has been worse than normal. Our plans have been up in the air due to the health of a family member, and I have been disorganized and late doing things. It is the 21st, and I still have stuff to buy for people. Including PDM. Oh sure, I bought his "big" present already, but I'd like to have a few fun items for stocking stuffers, and gifts from the cats.

Worse yet, my creativity has deserted me. I am uninspired. I can't think of what to get people. This usually results in getting them something lame at the last minute.

Here's to hoping it's a good Christmas anyway, and that we get everything done and have time to enjoy family and friends. Hopefully they will still be talking to me after receiving their incredibly banal gifts.

The photo is one I took using a slow shutter speed and creative camera angle at the "Fantasy in Lights" winter wonderland display at Callaway Gardens.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"How to pimp a Camry?" and Other Stupid Queries

The search terms that bring strangers to Cosmic Cat are pretty tame compared to the ones some other bloggers share, but no less bizarre. As a public service of questionable value, I will share some of these queries along with some commentary. You know, to make it easy on the next people who land here looking for answers to life's quirky quandaries.

I hate to say it, but the most common search term that shows up on a very consistent basis is some variant of "pimp my Camry". Folks, I can make this real simple for you. You bought a Camry for cryin' out loud. They are comfortable cars. They are reliable and practical and affordable. They're kind of boring and that is why we buy them. They can't be pimped. Any attempt on your part to install curb feelers, fancy rims, or a homemade spoiler is just going to make your Camry look ridiculous.

"Cuban pork roast" - yes it is delicious, but if you are trying to find a recipe you'll have to look elsewhere.

"He's a lumberjack and he's OK" (and "lumberjack" and "guys chopping logs", etc.) - yes, he is. But I only admire them from a distance.

"Why do my bra straps fall down when I am walking?" - Probably because you bought that bra in the 90s. Get a new one that fits, and adjust the straps.

"saggy pants ban" - get a belt.

"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy" - no it ain't, especially if your hyperdrive is on the fritz.

"Would aspirin hurt a cat?" - probably, if you throw it hard enough.

"Touchdown Jesus lolcat" - almost certainly would be amusing, but never appeared on this blog.

"Tore up and tore up good" - what happens if you eat too much chili.

"Super size fake boobs" - Is the "freak of nature" size really necessary?

"Cat, no visible testicles" - dude, your cat is either (a)female, or (b)neutered.

"Cats digging in my pants" - not recommended.

"Albino worm/leech" - what the blister will look like if you burn your finger on a hot coffee mug, or an invertebrate lacking pigment.

"Cat flux" - the number of cats flowing through a unit area per unit time?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Retread Christmas Catblogging

A rerun from 2006, but still funny. This is the reason why we didn't put up a tree this year. Moxy might be "over it", but Silvio would be even worse... Zima, ever a lady, is above the fray.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I've been tagged by Jeni to list seven things about me. Err, thanks, I think.

1. I procrastinate. A lot. In fact, half of the stuff I listed last December is still not done. I knocked out one of them just today (local cell phone number, a mere 3.5 years after moving). Another one (the window treatments for the not-so-new house) was completed just a few weeks ago. That is the way it works. Nothing happens for months (or years), and then all of a sudden I decide to "just do it" and have a spurt of productivity.

2. Back in 1984, during my first quarter in college, the only "A" I got was in Marching Band. Lets just say high school was way too easy for me and I had NO IDEA how to study, and not much inclination to do so because I was busy having fun. It got better as time went on.

3. When I went back to Tech in 2004 to work on a second MS degree, I didn't get any final grades less than an "A". Older + wiser + genuinely interested + good work ethic = CURVEBUSTER!

4. I lived in Massachusetts for over twelve years, but never went to a Red Sox game. Meant to. Procrastinated... At least I got to see a Celtics game in the old Boston Garden.

5. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Things didn't quite work out that way, but space travel isn't exactly the way I had imagined it either. The food and sanitary facilities are far superior in my current occupation.

6. I've been debt free (except mortgage) since 2003. Love it! My best advice is to not get into debt in the first place. It was hard to get out of. But doable. If you don't know how to do it, this book will show you the way.

7. I've been growing my hair out so that I can donate it to Locks of Love. I started well over a year ago, and my hair is about as long as it has ever been in my adult life. It will take another six months to a year before I have the minimum 10" ponytail that they ask for and still have enough hair left for me to not freak out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Word of the year?


Yes, the computer geek's expression of joy, spelled with two zeros. It's cute, but it isn't a word. "Facebook" took second place - as a verb, not a noun. Merriam-Webster is really slipping.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ho, Ho, HOT!

While the rest of the country is shivering through snow and ice storms, we in the southeast have been enjoying record high temperatures. It is hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it is hot enough to wear shorts and sandals! Christmas shopping is usually a cold and windy affair no matter where you live, but not for us this year. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. No, y'all can keep your icy roads and power outages. I'll take balmy 77 degree days and hazy sunshine any time. Ho, ho, hot! At least through Wednesday... after that, the party's over.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Crime Scene Investigation: Cosmic Cat edition.

We've noticed a lot of commotion coming from this spot in our house. Upon investigation, I found that the cats had broken into the new cat scratcher (it was under the furniture in the top right part of the photo - you can see the yellow tassels on it) and pulled out the enclosed bag of catnip, along with the label. The bag was ripped open and the catnip scattered all over the floor. No wonder there has been such a ruckus over there!

Silvio returns to the scene of the crime to get his catnip fix. Bad cat!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

An Evening at Eddie's Attic

Christmas came a little bit early this year! My friend Shelli got me a table for four, front and center, at the cozy Decatur music venue Eddie's Attic to see Kelly Joe Phelps last night. Phelps is a singer/songwriter/guitarist that I discovered when I started getting into blues and folk artists a few years back. He showed up on many, many recommendations lists, so I bought one CD. Then I bought all of his other ones. Shelli and I saw him perform a few times at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. The first time was an especially memorable experience. A strong summer thunderstorm had passed through the area and left Northampton without power. The show went on anyway, as a purely acoustic performance, and with the stage and tables illuminated by candlelight. The audience obliged by being especially quiet and we all had a great time.

Here is a taste of what a KJP show is like:

If you like it, support the artist by buying some of his stuff. Or better yet - go to one of his shows. He's headed back up the east coast to New England this week.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Feeding Mikey

Silvio likes to put Mikey (the tattered toy mousie) in his food bowl. I'm not sure why he does it. Does he put him there because he thinks Mikey needs to eat, or does he put him there because he recognizes that mousies are food? Maybe he just likes to hang around with him. It is less charming when Silvio puts Mikey in the water dish and we have to clean up the mess.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

"Balanced" Coverage

Today's sports section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution contained:

- a very nice two page spread about the SEC championship game on page 3-4

- a four page spread about high school football playoffs

- a 1/4 page article about the changes VT made to their defense after getting trounced by LSU early in the season. That was the AJC's sole coverage of the ACC championship game.

- Zero coverage of all other conference championship games today.

My letter to the sports page editor will go out on Monday. Right now, I've gotta get back to the games! (Watching the ACC football game and listening to the Georgia Tech basketball game.)