A Night Out with a Bunch of Writers

Tonight I decided to join my mother and the rest of her MFA classmates in dinner and a movie. We had a lot of fun and I connected with a lot of her friends/peers. I felt at home, considering I’m aspiring to be a writer too. Minus the majority of them drinking, we laughed, joked, and laughed some more about writing and college experiences. We met at one of their houses, and my mom parked in a ditch. Afterwards, we met up again at a Mexican restaurant for dinner (the poets went to this sushi place right next to where the fiction writers were dining at the Mexican restaurant). It was a small place, but we’d heard it was the best. We walked in (all fifteen of us) and two waiters passed by with an almost horrific look on their faces. It was cramped and they were trying to figure out where to put all of us. Another waiter (the manager I think) came by (with the same look on his face) and said (in a thick accent) he’d go put a table together for us. Five minutes later, we’re still waiting and wondered if he literally meant he was going to put a table together. He arrived shortly after that and seated us near the kitchen with about seven small tables pushed together. They were all of different heights, but they worked. The food however, was another story. I actually am not fond of Mexican food (only Taco Bell which is awesome, but not really Mexican food.) but I decided to give it another try. There was a lot to choose from, but I ordered a chicken enchilada and a side order of nacho chips with nacho cheese. The waiter who took our orders had an even thicker accent and spoke broken English; he understood even less English. I remembered to use my hands when speaking but that didn’t really get me anywhere. The enchilada did not taste like an enchilada (as my mother put it, “Yucky.”), and the nacho cheese I was looking forward to since I hadn’t had it in a long time (I love nacho cheese); but what I got was not nacho cheese. I could tell before he placed my plate on the table. It was much lighter – almost white, and thicker. Before I tasted it I knew they had melted a couple slices of white American cheese and put it over the nachos.

I got the waiter’s attention and asked for a saucer (I was animated while doing this) of nacho cheese. I said it three times (the first time, he pointed at my plate and nodded) until finally he said, “No nacho cheese.” and left. I was disappointed and defeated. He came back though about two minutes later with a saucer of the same cheese, but melted completely so that it was clearly a liquid substance.

I accepted with a “Thank you” and shook my head laughing. Figures.
After we left, we all kind of hung out in the parking lot laughing and joking some more and thinking of a way to get out of seeing the mandatory movie at the university. While we were hanging around, an older, beat up, discolored car rolled past us with rap music blasting out of the rolled down windows. We burst out laughing when we saw a elderly white couple driving in the car.
We then headed to the university, dragging our feet all the way up to the third floor where the theater was. We thought of one more excuse to get out of watching the movie: we got stuck in the elevator. But we showed up anyway right on time. The poets showed up a little later, just when the movie was starting. From the beginning to the end, we held WTF? expressions on our faces as we sat through Beasts of the Southern Wild; a film that is apparently nominated for an Oscar. My mom described our thoughts perfectly: “The people that nominated this film were on crack.”
As soon as the credits rolled we jumped out of our seats and exited the theater.

My mom and I arrived back at our hotel thirty minutes later and reunited with our four pets. I was welcomed home by one cat who showed her love to me by stealing my seat on the couch.

I’m pretty exhausted, so I’ll write my review of that God-awful movie tomorrow. My mom said she’ll probably have weird nightmares; probably.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
– Scott Adams

This Is Not An Awesome Title

I don’t understand how Cleopatra (my cat) can repeatedly go back to eating Caity’s (my dog) food after I have told her several times no to. I ask her what is wrong with her when she does that, but I don’t think she knows. Lately she has been the biggest troublemaker. She has claimed my computer chair so that any time I get up, she steals it. She always  has something to say, and gives me the worst looks when she’s not attacking her sister (Jade, my other cat). Meanwhile, Symba (my bird) screams his head off for various reasons, mostly involving his mirrors. If he can’t see himself, he will make sure you get to fixing the problem. Headaches are constant from his high-pitched squawking. Jade is equally mischievous. She perfects urinating on the most random of things. A couple days ago she ruined a new rug. She’s either (1) urinating/defecating on anything other than in her litter box, (2) scratching the furniture when I’ve told her repeatedly to stop, (3) eating the dog’s food, or (4) running her mouth. Every day brings new surprises.

I have been too lazy to post movie reviews on my blog, so I’m now overwhelmingly behind by about maybe ten movies or so. But that doesn’t stop me from watching even more movies. My mom has been helping me experience older movies that are being remade for the 21st century. She says I have to watch:

  • Adventures in Babysitting from 1987 (when I told her about wanting to see The Sitter)
  • Poltergeist from 1982

I’m okay with horror films made in the twentieth century and prior; it’s the 21st century ones that I refuse to watch. The special effects are too realistic; especially the supernatural movies. It took me two years to get over The Grudge and The Ring. I’m still a little creeped out by it. But I enjoyed Carrie.
I have a few other movies to pick up later:

  • Armageddon (1998)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • Four Christmases (2008 – I actually never got to finish this.)
  • Girl, Interrupted (1999 – Never got around to watching this.)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Taxi Driver (1976 – This was recommended from the book, “Joe Leydon’s Guide to Essential Movies You Must See If You Read, Write About – or Make Movies”)
  • Wanted (2008)
  • Back to the Future (1985 – I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen this by now.)

And actually tons of others I don’t feel like typing out. But maybe you get my idea so I don’t have to bore myself explaining all of it.
I made a trip to RedBox in the middle of blogging this. I’ll watch Contagion and Another Earth tonight.

I’m trying to read these books one at a time, but my mind wanders elsewhere, and when I do focus on one, another gets added to the pile. My mother is to blame, even if she does have good taste:

  • “Alex Rider (#9) Scorpia Rising” by Anthony Horowitz
  • “Disney War” by James B. Stewart
  • “Psych Major Syndrome” by Alicia Thompson
  • “The Crazy Person’s Guide to the Normal World” by Carol J. McCurdy

I can never blog without including at least one list. I love making lists; they’re so helpful.

I’ve still been wasting my time with magazine I suppose. I save everything. Seriously; nothing gets thrown away. I had to make a box or two for all the magazines I’ve been collecting (I have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly). It piles up, but I try to sort through it within a week. I need to get a job so I can subscribe to:

  • Consumer Reports
  • Mad
  • Scientific American
  • Time
  • National Geographic (actually, I need to renew it)
  • PC World
  • Esperenza
  • People (I think my mom subscribed)

I guess I’ve been writing to myself. I don’t mind all that much.
Now I sound like a weirdo; never mind.

Already this seems like a boring post. I have other non-important things to do.

“Opportunities don’t come on your time schedule.”
Kiefer Sutherland

We All Have Problems

Let me introduce you to my pets (if I haven’t already):

Symba bird: Cockatiel (age: 15)
His current spot is in a parrot cage on top of my mom’s dresser. Nobody can walk past him without him pitching a fit. He squeaks, he squawks, and he’s weird. Ever since I was three, he’s always hated my hair. Even when I don’t have bedhead, he yells at me. But he loves it when I share my cereal with him. Right now he’s munching on Fruit Loops. He actually prefers cereal instead of his regular bird food. He makes a mess on the floor; I noticed lately that it’s deliberate. He’s very particular and picky about what is put into his cage. So there really aren’t any toys; just mirrors; lots of mirrors. Everyday he tells his reflection how pretty he is, and then he gives it a few licks. I don’t enjoy cleaning his mirrors, but if I don’t clean them, he’ll scream because he can’t see himself clearly. It’s difficult because I’m 5’ft 4’in tall, and my mom’s dresser is much taller, so I can’t quite reach him. If he wouldn’t lick his mirrors in the first place, then we wouldn’t be having these problems. But of course he must lick it.

Caity dog: Jack Russell Terrier (age: 11)
She’s calmed down quite a bit since her actual puppy years, but only a little. She still gets into the trash when she’s upset with us being away for too long as well as her other unknown reasons. She sits in a cat’s window seat all day long, barking as people walk past our apartment. She’s very particular about her “enemies”. The top of her shit list (so to speak) are kids around the age of 2-12 depending on the level of their rowdiness. Next up are fellow dogs that come into her view, cats, and occasionally a moving inanimate object (a shopping bag). It’s extremely difficult to try and have a phone conversation because she always finds something to bark at. I’m startled every time, but my mom is always calm unless she’s on the phone. Caity always gets what she wants. If you saw how she tilted her head to the side with that cute face, you’d give her everything too. Trust me. And don’t even think about trying to outsmart her. She makes me look like an idiot. She also steals my candy every Halloween, but I love her dearly.
She has an early bedtime, and if the light is still on in her place of comfort, she will then give you a “look” and leave in search of a dark and quiet place to sleep. The problem is, she has an early bedtime. I have too many things to do to go to bed at 8pm or whatever; same with my mom. Caity starts out in my mom’s bed, and then later in the night she will come and visit me. She splits her time between the two of us which is sweet, but extremely uncomfortable in my twin-size bed; especially when she insists on sleeping stretched out under the covers in the middle of the bed.

Cleopatra cat: Tabby (age: 2)
She can best be described as a pain in the ass. She throws up usually everyday not because she’s sick (not really), but because she inhales her food and eats non-edible things she finds off the floor. She’s sort of big in a funny way, but not as bad as Garfield. She spends her time chasing her sister and obsessing over a home-made toy. She chases her sister because her sister is an idiot. She waits until her sister is finished improperly using the litter box before she pounces on her and starts..well, beating her up. When it comes to the litter box, I have no sympathy for her sister.
I got tired of purchasing cat toys for them to play with, so I thought of a great idea (at the time): I tied one of their toy mice to a shoestring. Simple, yet Cleopatra fell in love with it. It’s commonly referred to as Mousie. It’s an inexpensive and very effective (too effective) toy, but it’s all she ever thinks about. I keep Mousie in a drawer because otherwise it will just end up in a litter box (if one of my socks isn’t already in there) in an attempt to cover her sister’s poop. It’s frustrating; and now she meows every day, and it’s all about Mousie. Her sister craves food, she craves Mousie. She wants infinite playtime with Mousie. I play with her a few times a day, but when I go to put Mousie up, she follows me meowing the whole way in what sounds like “Noooo! Nooo. No!” after I tell her “Mousie time is over”. I regret my “great idea”. Now I would prefer to shell out a bunch of money on cat toys instead of the existence of Mousie.

Jade cat: Tabby (age: 2)
She’s best described as “slow”. Her favorite hobby is sitting on top of the sofa and staring at the wall in pure fascination. She always has this sort of dazed expression on her face. She caters to me, so whenever I get into bed, she’s quick to join me at my side. The frustrating part is the way she enters my bed. The only way she will get into bed, is if she leaps onto my chest, and then settles herself at my side. It’s actually quite painful, and startling like a sudden attack. She has this sweet, yet annoying whine of a meow. I talk and she responds, I call her and she comes (eventually), but she doesn’t understand much of anything else it seems. She doesn’t understand the importance of covering up her mess after she’s done in the litter box like most cats do. We have three litter boxes (we heard it’s better that way), and she uses all three: she’ll go into one, careful not to let the litter touch her paws, wipe her paws (before even using the litter box) on the edge, then balance herself so that she can squat inside the litter box without actually being in the litter box. Usually the first time she will have urinated, so when she’s finished, she turns around and wipes her paws on the edge, smells where she has just urinated, then wipes her paws some more. She will go to the next littler box and do the same, but doing more than just urinating. It’s a strange and unnecessary process that nobody understands. I’ve tried to show her how to cover up her mess, but she doesn’t get it. Her sister takes matters into her own paws by waiting until she’s finished using the litter box to pounce on her in frustration, and continue to beat her up by getting on top of her and biting her until her sister screams or until I squirt them with a water bottle. I asked her sister what good was violence, and that the last thing she needed was to get hit (or slapped actually) in the head. So far, violence has solved nothing but satisfy Cleopatra. The problem still remains. She’s ran into a wall twice this year, which really doesn’t help her case. She also continues to use the furniture as a scratch pad even after all the different scratch pads we have bought. I really don’t understand her. And if it’s not Caity getting into the trash, then it’s Jade getting on top of the counters in the kitchen at night and stealing/eating whatever has been forgotten. I must say she’s the strangest of them all.

Looks can be deceiving..

Mousie R.I.P

Ever since I tied a mouse cat toy to an old shoelace I found, I have had nothing but problems with my cat, Cleopatra, and her obsession with ”Mousie”. She would have me tease her with the toy as often as she succeeded in disturbing me. I couldn’t sleep without her whining about Mousie. I kept Mousie hidden when I wasn’t teasing Cleopatra with it, but she always knew exactly where I placed it. Smart, yet annoying cat. Sometimes, she would take matters into her own…paws, and find Mousie. After that, I kept it in a drawer next to my bed; but that didn’t stop her from climbing on my fragile things trying to get to Mousie. It was a nightmare, and my own fault. So day after day, we played with Mousie, but it was never long enough for Cleopatra’s satisfaction. When I would tell her ”Okay, Mousie time is over..” and begin to put Mousie away, Cleopatra would follow me screaming what sounded like ”Noooooo!” in meow-language and watch Mousie go bye-bye with the still expectant look on her face. I hardly ever see her sleep, which is uncommon for cats. My other cat, Jade, sleeps the normal 20+ hours. They’re sisters, yet unique in strange ways. Yesterday, when we doing the Mousie ritual, Cleopatra finally pulled hard enough (she has QUITE the painful grip) and Mousie came in two. She preceded to finish off Mousie’s outer layer. We have tons more mice toys all around the house and under things, but the cats are surprisingly very rough on the toy mice, so my mom keeps buying more packs of toy mice from Petco, which I don’t see is helping matters. Also, the cats have a tendency to put mice in their water bowls which confuses me still. But then again, they’re cats, and they are strange creatures themselves.
Mousie is in a bucket right now; I didn’t have the heart to throw it away despite the unrepairable demolition. Maybe it’s my pack rat issues, or maybe it’s the sweet look on Cleopatra’s face, but Mousie will be fixed somehow involving replacement. As soon as I find another toy mouse around here that is dark grey and rattles…

Bad Day

Today was….eventful. I didn’t even leave the house.
It was around noon when I decided to get up. I came out of my room and was headed for the kitchen to have my routine breakfast (Honey Nut Cheerios), when one of my cats caught my eye. It was Jade; she was by the front door playing with something. It looked like she was torturing something actually. Sure enough, Jade was playing with a monster ant (approximately the size of half a thumb). I freaked out (one of my many fears is insects); when I say freaked out, I mean I was having a panic attack. I was surprisingly brave enough to grab several paper towels and squish it against the door; the damn thing wouldn’t die though. I repeated the process about five more times until finally it stopped moving. Once that was over, and I disposed of the monster, I was trying to calm myself down to have some cereal, when I see an ant crawling on the ceiling. This time involved screaming and jumping around. My mom took her dear sweet time in coming to my rescue, but finally she came and stood on a chair to squish the ant. It was about ten minutes when I finally calmed down to have my bowl of cereal.
I went back in my room to try and relax. About an hour after the ant incident, I was doing some Sudoku puzzles when my mom suddenly started shouting “GET THE BROOM!!!” repeatedly from the living room. My anxiety started to build up again because I knew exactly why she wanted the broom; I knew this time it was worse than the ants. I found the broom and tossed it to her, meanwhile looking for the wasp. There it was, red and big as ever, flying around the living room. My mom was trying to beat it with a broom, while I went in search of the Raid I hoped we still had. Thankfully it was a brand new can. I used all of it on the wasp. The damn thing wouldn’t die either. After I used all the Raid and the wasp started to fall to the floor, I got the broom and beat the rest of the shit out of it. The broom bent in two, but the wasp was dead. My mom was rinsing our dog (Caity) under the faucet sink; I had accidentally sprayed her a little bit while trying to kill the wasp. She’s fine now; nice and clean.
The floor was soaked in Raid, and since we have several curious pets, I had to scrub the floor. It’s better now, but I can’t say the same for the walls and ceiling.

I did Sudoku puzzles for the rest of the day, and now I’m in bed, once again, trying to relax.
This day has been horrible. All I want now is a plastic bubble, so I can be safe and know that I am safe.
For the past several weeks, I have had terrible things happen to me every Friday. Something bad always happens on Friday. I don’t know why. Aren’t Fridays supposed to be fun? Now I dread Fridays.

These insects are out to get me, and nobody believes me.
I need to stock up on some more Raid cans…