next_to_normal: black kitten on white background; text: stomp. stomp. stomp. (kitty stomp)
I am trying very hard not to be like, "Ugh everything sucks," but... a lot of things suck. I am still sick and everything hurts and I am going a little bit Chris Traeger. Also, my parents had to put Patches to sleep yesterday (cancer, extremely advanced, like diagnosed less than two weeks ago). She was not quite 9, and is the second cat my parents have lost in 2 years, although Lily was already sick when they brought her in, so they only had her a few months. And my aunt's cat ALSO has cancer, so I have a lot of kitty-related sads.

First and last pictures I have of Patches )
 

So I decided that there was no way I'd be able to keep track of a whole month's worth of interesting news, besides which anyone who's interested in it probably would have seen it already somewhere else, and like, you do not need me to link to twelve interviews about The Americans, just go to [community profile] theamericans where they have 10,000 of them.

So this is just the absolute "can't miss" stuff. For some weird, subjective value of "can't miss" because I am super-biased.

* Good lord, it seems ridiculous to link to Super Bowl things almost a month later, but Chris Evans taking a flying leap over Chris Pratt cannot go unacknowledged. My bb also shows up in this video in which everyone takes responsibility for the Patriots' deflated footballs.

* Jon Stewart announced he's leaving The Daily Show.

* Jimmy Fallon organized a Saved By the Bell reunion - in full costume and some outstanding wigs.

* Spider-Man will finally get to join the MCU, thanks to a deal between Sony and Marvel.

* Empire has a whole series of interviews about Avengers: Age of Ultron, including Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Joss Whedon

* Agents of SHIELD has made Adrianna Palicki a series regular. 'Bout damn time.

* Krysta Rodriguez has breast cancer, and is dealing with it in her usual awesome fashion.

* I don't usually link to John Oliver's Last Week Tonight clips, because otherwise I'd have no room for anything else. Just assume they're all brilliant and hilarious and watch accordingly. But his take on tobacco companies is too amazing not to share.

* Broadway nerds are finally getting their own con!

And a gif, because this snow ninja cat makes me happy:


next_to_normal: Broadway cast of Into the Woods (Into the Woods)
* Yeah, Gus from The Fault in Our Stars really IS the guy version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

* Orange is the New Black parody with kittens. No, really.

* The premiere of Better Call Saul has been pushed back to 2015, but it's been renewed for a second season in the meantime. Hey, AMC? I think you're doing that backwards.

* The Game of Thrones creators talk about the season 4 finale, as well as hints of what's to come in season 5.

* Stephen Sondheim revealed that the Into the Woods movie will have significant plot changes due to Disney-ification, which pretty much completely misses the point of the musical in the first place. (My new favorite description of this show is now "a dark, disturbing musical, where cherished heroes of classic fairy tales are systematically murdered.") I gotta go with my mom's reaction: "Ewwww. Well, we can still go see it to mock it."

* The one bright spot here is that all the Into the Woods talk this week pointed me toward a fascinating article from when the show first opened on Broadway in 1987.

* Mark Ruffalo was asked about a Hulk movie again - they're still "considering it," shocker - but the trailer for his new movie also looks pretty good.

* Oooh, I hope that All the Way, the Broadway play starring Bryan Cranston as LBJ, gets made into a movie with Bryan Cranston. Also, can't wait for his memoir.

* The newest Guardians of the Galaxy trailer actually gives us some sense of the plot of this thing, but it also makes the movie seem a lot more serious.

* The creator of Enlisted still has hope the show will continue on another network/platform. I would love to see it, but I'm not optimistic.

* I had not previously heard of Netflix's new series, Grace and Frankie, but now Martin Sheen will be starring in it, along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

* I kind of think the delay of the 5th Bourne movie is just because Jeremy Renner is juggling about twelve movie franchises, but there are rumors that Matt Damon is coming back.

* Robert Downey Jr.'s movie The Judge now has a trailer.

* Spoilery tidbits about Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and Star Wars Episode VII. Plus, some footage of Age of Ultron filming in Norwich.

* Here's a list of Snowpiercer screenings. "Arlington, VA - Shirlington 7" Yesssssssssssss.
next_to_normal: black kitten on white background; text: stomp. stomp. stomp. (kitty stomp)
Lily let me pet her today! We have made progress! And then I had to leave. :( I'll just have to go back again.

(Lily being my parents' new cat, formerly known as Little Black Kitten. She came with a grey sibling, whom we dubbed Marshall, except Marshall turned out to also be a girl, so now we're not sure what to call her. Anyway, girl!Marshall isn't people-friendly and still lives outside.)

Linkspam:

* Attention Marvel stalkers: Avengers 2 will be filming in the UK.

* The Good Wife's co-creator talks about that hilarious Vampire Diaries fanfiction reference. (Also, let this be a lesson, folks: even if you post using a pseudonym, the IP address knows all.)

* Game of Thrones has been renewed for season 4, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

* How inconsistent scheduling is hurting network television, and giving cable yet another advantage. All I can say is AMEN, because I've started keeping a list of what network shows are airing when just to keep track of all the schedule shuffling.

* Clark Gregg talks about Agent Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. Basically the same info as yesterday's link, but this one has video!

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2012 01:19 pm
next_to_normal: My cat, black and white tuxedo, on a grey background (Chelsea)
I finally decided to stop torturing Chelsea yesterday, and we left my parents' house (and Patches) behind. This was the longest I've stayed at their house since acquiring Chelsea, because I couldn't leave her alone for more than a few days at a time. It was nice to be able to spend a whole week at home for once. I actually quite enjoy spending time with my parents, even if we sometimes get on each others' nerves. But being at home feels like a vacation from being a grown-up, you know? It's a relief not having to worry about everything yourself. And the kitty experiment went better than I'd hoped, so we'll try it again, I'm sure.

Lots of cat talk )

Anyway, the highlights of my Christmas:
* Most hilarious moment - My grandmother unintentionally propositioning my cousin's father-in-law: "Here's my keys, you wanna go to my place?" (His response: "Well, only if my wife says it's okay...")
* Most WTF moment - My mom asking if I should freeze some of my eggs, in case I ever change my mind and decide I want children. Me: "No." (Bonus WTF moment: "Hey, I didn't want to have kids, either." Me: "......." Mom: "....but it's different when they're yours.")
* Best Christmas present - New car! Well, new to me, at least. It's my grandmother's 2003 Hyundai Sonata, which she is no longer allowed to drive, because she is 87 and kinda crazy. But it was free and everything works, so it's an improvement over my old car.

How was everyone else's holiday?
next_to_normal: (Leverage)


Guess that means I have to finish my Christmas shopping after all.

I am at my parents' house, and since I have a crazy ELEVEN days off this year, I brought a special guest with me. Chelsea (who is currently hiding under the covers on my bed) gets to come home with me and hopefully she and Patches (my parents' cat) will not kill each other. We won't try to introduce them for another few days, at least (they've met before, but it was a few years ago and didn't go well).

Pre-Christmas linkspam:

* The writing's been on the wall for a while, but Leverage has officially been canceled. I suppose it's good, in a way, since this season has very much had the feel of a final season, and the season finale episode (which airs Christmas Day) was written as a series finale "just in case." Here's hoping Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane, and Beth Riesgraf find other work soon. I will miss those crazy kids.

* And yet, HIMYM goes on and on, now extended for a ninth season. DAMMIT JASON SEGEL. I was depending on him to stop this madness, but apparently he caved.

* Another Les MIserables clip, this time the full version of "At the End of the Day." Definitely better than "One Day More," but this discussion of 10 reasons the movie misses the mark is starting to look more and more accurate.

* Ben Affleck for Senate? This is apparently an actual possibility.

* Community's holiday sneak peek involves ADORABLE KITTENS.

If I don't make it back online before Christmas, hope everyone has a lovely holiday!

next_to_normal: (Damon squinty)
Haha, well, I guess it's obvious that my new power cord arrived in the mail, and I clearly have priorities (POST AVENGERS ICONS!). Gotta have something to dull the pain of going back to work after a week-long vacation (more of a staycation, really, since much of it was spent at the pool).

Read more... )

So that's what's going on with me. What's new with you?
next_to_normal: (Carrie/Brody shots)
I am not going anywhere, because broke. But I have a week off, and my mother is here, and we will hopefully do fun things.

Things we have done thus far: volunteered at an animal shelter, where I almost got my eye clawed out by a cat (don't worry, I am fine), and attended my building's pool party. On the agenda for tomorrow: get my car inspected. But later in the week, there may be a day trip to Annapolis! What an exciting life I lead, eh?

This is basically to say that I may not be around much this week. See y'all on the flip side.
next_to_normal: (cupcake)
And now for the rest of my holiday adventures, which are so numerous and awesome that they required TWO whole posts (my therapist would be so proud)!

(Icon especially for Kelly, who immediately craves cupcakes every time I say the word.*g*)

This one is slightly picspammy )
next_to_normal: (Default)
Hey, long time no see! It's been a busy week - once again, I need a vacation from my vacation. I am so glad I took this week off from work, but it wasn't exactly the most restful time!

We ended up getting about six inches of snow on Sunday, which torpedoed my plans to go to the Flyers' practice with Megan. Fortunately, I got out of shoveling, because my dad was awake at 5 am (as always) and decided to shovel the whole driveway before my mother and I were even awake. His reasoning? "I was up. What else was there to do?" My mother said, "You could've at least waited until the SUN came up, you know."

I did get to see Megan on Monday and exchange gifts (yay!), and then that night my mom and I went to see This is the Week That Is, which is an annual comedy/improv show about current events and politics and such. Musical + politics = totally up my alley, so this is the third time I've gone. And this year... I was IN the show. They always do a couple of skits where they bring an audience member up on stage. This year, they'd decided they were frustrated with current party politics and were going to start a new outsider political party, so they needed someone to lead it. And they picked me!

It was awesome and hilarious, because they asked me where I live and what I do for a living, and according to my mother, the looks on their faces when I said I was a lobbyist in Washington were like, "OMG this is too good to be true." But then when I told them I lobbied for musicians, I became the only audience member to ever get their own theme music. \o/ My mom (and the cast) said I was great and didn't seem nervous at all. I like to think that my five years spent in drama club were not in vain, lol.

Anyway, Tuesday we drove back to Virginia at the crack of dawn and came home to a slightly traumatized Chelsea. She saw my dad come in the door first, and she hissed at him! She's only ever hissed at Patches! Fortunately, he interpreted it as her being a good little watch cat, scaring away strangers. :) She was all clingy as usual - she doesn't like it when I go away for several days at a time, and you can tell she missed me because she actually slept under the covers in bed with me. Usually she just lays on top. But I gave her a catnip toy and all was forgiven. (Adorable pictures forthcoming, as soon as my camera charges.)

Chelsea is, of course, much smarter than Patches, who got the same toy, but seemed to have no idea what to do with it. Patches did like the toy my mother got for her, but for some bizarre reason, she only played with it when no one was watching. We'd hear the ball going around the track, but when we went to investigate, as soon as she spotted us, she'd immediately stop. This led to several instances of us hiding behind doors or around corners, peeking out to see her playing with it, and then ducking back around so she wouldn't see us, hands over our mouths to keep from laughing out loud. :)

While my parents were here, we went to see the White House Christmas tree (kinda ugly - my mom said it looks like it's wearing a giant condom, lol) and ZooLights at the National Zoo (unimpressive, but I'm a bit spoiled by Longwood Gardens). We also had to take a ride around to see neighborhoods where I've seen condo listings, and of course we all like the most expensive one best.

This is already a bit long, so I'll save Kelly's and my wild adventures for tomorrow - again, hopefully with pictures! (Kelly, send me the ones you took on New Year's Eve and I'll post them up!)
next_to_normal: (Cordy red)
Hi hi! I am still at my parents' house, and by tomorrow will potentially be snowed in, if the weathermen can be believed. Though, considering how often they are wrong under normal circumstances, you know it's bad when even they admit they have no idea what's going on. (FYI, "The computer models may be flawed" is meteorologist for "We don't know what the hell is going on, but we're stocking up on canned goods.")

Anyway, Christmas was, overall, pretty good. Took me almost 5 hours to get home, and my mom and I actually went out shopping the morning of Christmas Eve because I was too lazy to go out and get gift cards for my cousins. :) We also stopped in PetSmart to buy cat toys (Patches, naturally, is way more interested in the plastic bag it came in than the toy itself) and to torture ourselves with how cute and sad the kitties there are.

My mom had been complaining about having to go to my aunt and uncle's for Christmas Eve this year, because they live an hour away and my parents have been going out there almost every weekend for Sunday dinners for over 20 years, and yet they act like it is SUCH a hardship to come to our house ONCE A YEAR for Christmas. My aunt is always asking to have it at their house, so this year, my mother reluctantly gave in, but sometime in the early afternoon, she realized how nice it was not to have to cook anything. :) Plus, my cousin got engaged last week, and so the future in-laws were also in attendance. It was our first time meeting them, and I actually really like them, even if our combined dietary requirements make meal planning into a bit of an obstacle (there's me with the Crohn's, my cousin doesn't eat cheese or red meat, my uncle doesn't eat fish, and the new fiancee and her father both have Celiac's).

My Christmas gifts went over pretty well, which always makes me happy. I'm one of those people who loves to get the perfect gift for everyone, which is why I spend so much time agonizing over it and hate to fall back on gift cards (even though I always end up getting them for a few people anyway). Object lesson in why I try to avoid such things: this year, my one aunt and I got each other Barnes and Noble gift cards for the exact same amount. It just seems kinda silly, you know?

As for me, I got mostly money and gift cards, clothes (from my fashion-conscious aunt who loves to buy me clothes because she wanted a girl to dress up but only had boys), and a box of groceries from my parents, lol.

For Christmas Day dinner, we went to my OTHER aunt's house, which was a much smaller gathering (my mom's side of the family is pathetically small), so most of the excitement came from my cousin's new dog (a little yippy thing that is cuter than the last one, but still kinda looks like a rat), who is violently opposed to sharing a house with Maude the Devil Cat (you can't really blame him, though, you know? No one wants to live with Maude) and makes his displeasure widely known.

We managed to get rid of my grandmother a full day early, because the weather reports scared her (she's afraid of snow, even though she doesn't have to drive in it), which made things much more peaceful around here, lol. My mother still went on at length about how self-centered and kind of crazy she is, but that's to be expected. Latest evidence: her response to finding out after the fact that I drove home instead of taking the bus was, "Oh, thank God you didn't tell me, otherwise I'd have been worried sick!" BECAUSE I DROVE MY CAR. Which, incidentally, I do pretty often, and have been since the age of 17. And yet, a year and a half later, she is STILL oblivious to the fact that I have a chronic illness, even though I don't even bother to hide it anymore. Still no progress on getting her to declutter her house, despite several pointed remarks about how she needs to clean that shit out.

I expect there to be snow shoveling in my future, as well as hopefully seeing Megan. Tuesday I drive back to DC, with my parents in tow, even though I am kicking them out on Wednesday because Kelly is coming to visit. IDK, I don't think it's worth it to come down for 24 hours, especially since I've just seen them for the last five days and the traffic will be terrible. But hey, maybe I can get them to vacuum the inevitable mess Chelsea will have left for me?

next_to_normal: (do not disturb)
And once again, I disappear for several days at a time. I can't help it, my parents keep coming to visit, and they keep me absurdly busy.

This time, it was because I had off on Thursday for Veteran's Day, so my mom and I both took Friday off to make it a long weekend. I had my Remicade treatment on Thursday, and my mom took the bus and arrived around dinner time.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Default)


Very cute kitty, but I can't imagine why you'd want something that encourages a cat to attack and bite your iPhone...
next_to_normal: (Fred so cute)
First, dolphins: I thought this Q&A was fascinating, partly because watching Flipper as a child made me want to become a dolphin researcher. (My parents think it's hilarious that I will swim with a 600 lb. dolphin, no problem, but I am terrified of itty bitty fish.) I still love dolphins and someday I hope to live in the the Florida Keys and have a dock where my pet dolphin can swim up to greet me. They're so awesome and smart - I love the dolphin using corrective behavior on the trainer, lol!

And now, adorable cat videos:





P.S.

May. 26th, 2010 12:07 pm
next_to_normal: (Default)
A couple follow-up things from previous posts:

I complained, and days later, Facebook announced changes in their privacy settings. I dunno, I don't think it's a coincidence. I has power!

Also, two new stories about Maude. First, my aunt is having some sort of remodeling or something done in her house, I don't know. She had a guy working in there while she wasn't home, so she shut the cats up in her bedroom and told the guy not to let them out. And yet, when she comes home from work, she sees Maude out in the middle of the driveway. So she scoops her up and brings her inside, all the while cursing the contractor guy for letting the cats out.

Then... Cane and Maude come down the stairs. Aunt Donna looks at Maude, then looks at the cat she just brought inside. Meanwhile, Cane and Maude are somewhat perturbed by the strange kitty in the house. So Aunt Donna shoos the random stranger cat back outside and feels rather silly. (My mother says, "Don't you even know your own cat?" but I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume they looked a lot alike.)

Then, the other day, my mother emailed me to tell me that my aunt was in the car on her way to work and Maude popped out of her tote bag. This of course scared her to death, and then she had to turn around and take Maude home.
next_to_normal: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] deird1's kitty post reminded me that I hadn't mentioned my family's latest kitty story. Have I ever talked about Maude before? I don't think so, so let me give you some background.

Maude is (was) my cousin's cat. Maude is a Bad Kitty. My cousin and her boyfriend at the time found her as a stray in an alley in Chinatown, and decided to take her home before she ended up as somebody's dinner. She wasn't much more than a kitten at the time, and obviously had never been spayed, so they took her to the vet and got her fixed. A couple days later, my cousin came home from work to find Maude (and the floor of the apartment) covered in blood - she'd ripped out her stitches and was bleeding all over the place. So they took her back to the vet and got her restitched - which she proceeded to tear out again.

The trouble with Maude is that she's a revenge pooper. My cousin has moved apartments a couple times since she adopted Maude, and has on occasion come home to find feces smeared on the wall of her new apartment. Yes, smeared. Maude didn't just poop outside the litter box, she actually smeared it on the wall with her paws to express her displeasure. She's also been known to vomit on my cousin's brand new (expensive) boots, there was an incident where she fell in the toilet (and was blow-dried with a hair dryer for her efforts), and she has managed to completely terrorize my cousin's poor other cat.

My cousin has had Maude for several years now, and understandably is rather fed up with her. In fact, back before I got Chelsea, I had mentioned I wanted a cat, and my cousin said, "You want mine?" I, of course, replied, "Not with the stories you tell!" Finally, things came to a head when my cousin moved in with her fiance, who has a really dumb dog, and so the cats, rather unhappy with this situation, went to live with my aunt (which worked out well, really, because my aunt needed a pet or two to keep her company).

So, the other day, I'm talking to my mother on the phone, and she says (apropos of nothing), "Oh, did I tell you? Aunt Donna had to spray Maude with Pam."

"Pam?" I reply, completely befuddled. "Like... the cooking spray?"

"Yeah."

"Um. Why?"

My mother, of course, replies as though this is the most obvious thing in the world, "Because she was stuck in a jar."

O_O

Keep in mind, Maude has a history of such things. She once got her head stuck in a wine glass. (She also had a habit of tipping over full wine glasses, which did not go over well with my red-wine-drinking cousin and her white carpet.) This time, she'd managed to get her entire head, one leg, and a shoulder stuck in a large jar, and my aunt couldn't get her unstuck. Apparently, wetting her down with water didn't work, and she contemplated trying to break the jar, but she was afraid of hurting Maude with the glass. So she opted for the "grease her up" method and sprayed her with Pam (which worked, btw, in case anyone ever encounters this situation).

I just - how does she DO these things??

Bad. Kitty.
next_to_normal: (kitty reading)
I've been watching Less Than Perfect on Hulu (I've now watched all of season 1 - which is all that's there - and must search for the rest via other sources), and so I've seen that Friskies commercial at least fifteen times now. You know which one I'm talking about? The trippy "Across the Universe for cats" one? I actually played it for Chelsea, but she was totally unimpressed. Me: "Chelsea, look at the kitty! Doesn't that look like fun?" Chelsea: *withering look*

In other news, I've discovered that I can adjust the volume on my work computer by kicking the tower. Which is handy, I suppose, except that if the volume would stop cutting out all on its own, I wouldn't have to kick it to get it to come back on.

I'm going to visit my parents for the weekend, and my mom called yesterday to tell me that Patches (their cat) had peed on my bed. It's like she knows I'm coming...

Oooh! But good news for Chuck fans!

next_to_normal: (Default)
Despite all evidence to the contrary, I have not eaten myself to death. I did, however, come home with lots of leftovers and was welcomed by a very cuddly (and well-behaved!) kitty. I never cease to be amazed at the difference when I visit my parents' house, with Patches the invisible cat (invisible because at least 90% of the people who come to our house have never, ever seen her. One of my mom's friends claims that if my dad weren't there to vouch for the cat's existence, she'd think my mother had made the whole thing up).

It was one of our more depressing Thanksgivings, but we did get out the Christmas decorations and put up the tree, and today we baked cookies, so it was mostly a good weekend.

And then I did this meme, and all I can say is... the fuck? This is not me at all. In fact, this is pretty much the antithesis of me.






next_to_normal: (Default)
In her request, IB asked me about other pets I've had. Well, that's easy, since I haven't really had any. My parents had a dog, a German shepherd named Fuzz, for years before I was born, who died when I was a baby. I like to joke that I'm interchangeable with pets, because they had a dog right up until they got the kid, then as soon as the kid moved out, they got a cat (and gave it my room... no, really, I'm over it).

Parakeets and stray cats, under the cut... )

Thanks to all of you who have asked me questions or suggested topics to post about (and those who haven't, there's still time!). In fact, there's no time limit, so as long as you keep asking, I'll keep answering. Let's see, coming up I still have [personal profile] ms_scarletibis' question about movies (and if there's time, the bearing of my soul), [livejournal.com profile] dragonflylady77's follow-up about my favorite fanfic, and [livejournal.com profile] scarlett2u's question about crushes.

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next_to_normal: (Default)
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