January 08, 2007

Holiday Post-Mortem

Hi! Sorry about that. The fam'bly and I took a bit of a holiday vacation there, and I've been largely off the grid since mid December. Wait, what does "off the grid" mean, exactly? Does it mean "without access to the Internet?" Or does it mean "completely without electricity?" In retrospect, the latter sounds more likely. But, whatever: we bloggers are totally rewriting the rules for media, you know (it said so in Time!), so if I say "off the grid" means "without access to the Internet" then, by Jiminey Popsicles, that's what it means. OFF THE GRID! WEB 2.0! BUILD TO SPILL uh I mean FLIP OR WHATEVER!!!!!

Anyway, here's a photo of my son sitting in the lap of an old man who wears a furry costume and hangs out at the mall.


Awww yeah -- two years old and he's already mastered the White Man's Overbite. The kid's a prodigy, I tell ya.

Fortunately, The Squirrelly is still too young to entirely "get" Christmas, so we didn't have to decide whether to let him believe in The Big Guy yet. Personally, I'm torn. On the one hand, he is the central figure in Christmas, and I guess there's no harm in letting him think he's real for a few years. On the other, I just can't help but imagine how crestfallen he'll be when he discovers that he's just a make-believe character. Some kids at school will spill the beans, he'll come home crying and ask us if it's true, and we'll have to say, yes, we've been lying to you all these years: there is no Jesus.

For now, all The Squirrelly knows is that December 25 = a whole buncha swag. He made out pretty good this year, too. His Grandma bought him a tricycle. His great-uncle bought him a remote control car. His aunt went berserk and bought him a crapload of stuff, the least of which was a book called Hot Rod Harry which he inexplicably loves. (And what did Papa get? Papa got to read Hot Rod Harry a hundred and thirty times over a two week period. What fun. It's a helluva lot easier to get through than Moby Dick, though -- I'll give it that much.)

He also got a Memory / matching game, with people's faces as the pictures. But I didn't realize that at first. When he ripped off the wrapping paper and exposed the box's bottom, I thought it was, like, a Whitman's Sampler for cannibals.

Matching Game

Another thing we had fun doing over the holidays was making up words to those Christmas songs to which we did not know the correct lyrics, i.e., pretty much all of them, insofar as we are Godless Heathens (see above: yukking it up over nonexistence of Savior). But, having never heard these songs before in his two years of life, The Squirrelly accepted whatever we coughed up as the Authoritative Version. Which is why, two weeks after the yuletide, he is still ambling around the house singing this:

(To the tune of O Christmas Tree)

O Octagon, O Octagon,
You have eight sides u-pon you

O Octagon, O Octagon,
You also have eight angles too

One and two
And three and four,
Five, six, seven,
eight -- NO MORE!

O Octagon, O Octagon,
O Octagon, we love you

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: I also bought out good-for-nothing cats a Kitty Castle for Christmas.

Kitty Castle

I mention this as a warning to others who might consider doing something so stupid. I brought into the house, put it in the corner, and prepared to watch the cats cavort with glee. Instead, Louie sauntered up to it and, as if he had scaled the thing a thousand times, nonchalantly climbed up to the top; moments later Eddie moseyed into the scene and, without so much as a sniff of curiosity, leapt onto the middle platform. Then they both settled down and watched birds out the window for half an hour. Subtext: we are too dumb to ever remember this not being here. YOU EFFING INGRATES I COULDA BOUGHT A WII FOR THAT! If anyone reading this has a kid who might like some pets for Christmas 2007, drop me a line in November and we'll work something out.

December 02, 2005

Friday Cat Nickname Blogging

Secret Actual Name
King Louis The First
Jellybean (see below)
Name According To Squirrelly
Black Kee-cat
Prior Name
Luchiano (when we got him from the humane society)
Wagga Wagga (when we got him from a manx breeder)
Generic Nickname
Nickname When Bad
Bahama Bob
Nickname When Playing With Cat Toy
Hairy Swatter
Nickname When Sitting
Paw Tucker
Nickname When Agitated
Señor Twitchytail
Nickname when walking on us as we lay in bed at 4:00 AM
Ol' Peglegs
Jesus Christ We Gotta Put This Fuckin' Cat On A Diet
Nickname Reflecting How Cat Came To Be In Our Possession
Last Kitty At The Pound
Not Show Quality

November 29, 2004

Everybody's Workin' For The Weekend

The other night I was picking up a few items in a nearly deserted supermarket. At one point I rounded a corner and espied a handsome orange cat halfway down the cereal aisle. He was milling around aimlessly under the Lucky Charms until he saw me, and then trotted to my side and began mewing for pets.

After ponying up, I sought out a cashier. "Excuse me," I said, "but did you know there's a cat in your grocery store?"

"Yes," she sighed. "That's Toby."

"Is he lost?" I asked.

"No, his house is nearby," she explained. "But he sneaks into the store on weekend evenings and just kind of hangs out."

Awwwww yeah. Cattin' around on a Saturday night.

November 11, 2003

Cryptic Camouflage Final Exam
September 10, 2003

Thanks Louie

Sunday evening I took a load of clean laundry out of the dryer and dumped it into the overstuffed chair we have in our living room; As is his wont, Louis The Cat immediately leapt onto the pile of warm clothes, burrowed into the shirts and socks, and promptly fell asleep. I had intended to fold the clothes shortly thereafter but was overcome with slackerliness, so Lucky Lou remained ensconced in the laundry all night long. In the morning, though, as I rushed around the house slightly late for work, I extracted Louie from the laundry, shooed him off, grabbed my gym clothes from the pile and shoved them into my duffle bag.

Several hours later I was in my gym's locker room and naked as a jaybird, having just stripped down in preparation for a shower. The Unwritten Rules Of Locker Room Etiquette For Guys dictate that, once you are naked, you have to be All Business: no talking, no eye contact, no calling attention to yourself, etc. So I solemnly shoved my clothes into my locker and pulled the towel out of my bag.

As I did so, though, something flew across the room, ricocheted off the mirror, and skidded to a stop on the tile floor. Everyone looked to see what it was. Not knowing myself what I had just flung from my bag, I trotted over to retrieve it, and was aghast to find this laying before me.

The whole incident was rather embarrassing. Still, it was nice of Louie to pack me a lunch.

June 30, 2003

Kitten, Fear My Wrath!

I was sitting in a lawn chair reading Nero Wolfe, and Louie was skulking about my feet. Louis is technically an indoor cat, but as long as someone is keeping an eye on him we let him nose around the back patio.

The sky had been growing increasingly dark, and I felt the first few spatters of rain. "Okay, Louie," I said scooping him up. "It's time to go in." I tossed him through the door and went to fetch the chair. As I returned to the house, Louie dashed between my legs and back outside.

"Louis," I said in my Ominous Voice. "You know better than that." By way of response, Louie looked away, flicked his tail in the air defiantly, and went a few feet further out onto the patio. Then he glanced over his shoulder to see what I was going to do.

I opened my mouth; Louie braced himself in anticipation of my holler. But before I could make a sound there was an enormous clap of thunder, the likes of which we rarely get in Seattle.

Louie's eyes trebled in size, his legs turned into Roadrunner-esque circles of blurry motion, and he reentered the house as if he'd been shot from a cannon.


April 07, 2003


Our cat, Edgar, is a full-on plastiophage: shrink wrap, Ziploc bags, bubble paper, shower curtains -- if it's plastic, he'll eat it. Grocery bags fear him. Coke bottles tremble in his presence. When we put strips of double-sided tape on the back of our couch to deter the kitties from scratching it, he immediately pulled it off and wolfed it down. Per annium, Edgar consumes more petroleum than an SUV.

The thought of this stuff navigating his digestive tract makes me wonder if we should consult a vet about this. On the other hand, having each of his feces individually wrapped in cellophane makes cleaning the little box quite a bit easier, so I guess I'll let it slide for now.

January 06, 2003

Now Showing on Kit-TV
November 14, 2002


Boy, something has been driving me crazy! It's been nagging me for weeks, and although I have tried to get over it, I just can't stop obsessing. I need to do something. I guess the best thing to do is to just get it off my chest by describing it in horrific detail, here on my weblog for the whole world to see.

Psyche! I'm just joshin' ya. I got nothing worth saying today.

Here's a photo of my new cat, Edgar.

September 10, 2002

Craneflies: It's What's For Dinner

Speaking of tasty snacks, the advent of fall can only mean one thing in the Baldwin household: a tenfold increase in insect consumption. Our home tends to be one big moth-attended rave all year 'round, and autumn brings a steady influx of delicious-and-nutritious craneflies, to the great delight of our cat. As Louie sees it, nature has provided him with an unlimited supply of winged kitty treats: they are the same size and consistency as the storebrand snacks, plus they have a satisfyingly crunchy outer shell, plus they swoop provocatively around the room before allowing themselves to masticated! It's win-win, unless you factor in the insect, in which case it's "lose-win-win".

As Louie is strictly an indoor cat, this is the only hunting he gets to engage in. But he couldn't be prouder of his kills. He will often come trotting into the room with his tail in the air and half a dozen legs sticking out of his mouth. Or we will find him in a corner somewhere, picking his teeth with antennae. I suspect that, at some point, Louie was bitten by a radioactive spider, thereby gaining the proportional appetite and diet of a spider.

September 04, 2002

The Kitties Upstairs

Kitties!Photo taken from the balcony of my last apartment, looking straight up.

Creative Commons License