I wrote half of this from a MacBook Pro

I'm not sure if I ever really told the internet how, about six months ago, one of our cats ruined my MacBook Pro. Probably I was so disgusted by it that I kept it to myself. I know that whenever I brought up the subject with someone in real life, they always suggested some horrible act of violence I could perpetrate on the cats, as if that would make me feel better. I mean I appreciate the sympathy, but drowning your beloved pets in the crick doesn't really fix your laptop. At root, it was my fault anyway. I know that the cats always, always, always spill any water glass left unattended. And yet, one day in a rush, I left the house with a half-full glass sitting next to the laptop on the … [Read more...]

One-Act Play

Backstory: Two years ago, after discovering mouse droppings in our living room, we promptly went to the animal shelter and adopted two kittens. But first, we did some research to find out what types of cats make the best mousers. In a nutshell, if you want a good mouser, just go to the shelter and find the most maniacal kitten you can find -- the lightning fast, crazy-eyed one that won't share toys. And because you don't want your mouser to get lonely, also adopt an extremely cute, personable, neurotic kitten that insists on sitting on your foot. The scene: Present day. Characters: HAL -- the mouser, the athlete, the wild one ORIN -- the neurotic genius HIM -- owner of the … [Read more...]

Fraidy Cat

"We'll probably just let her read whatever she wants." "Oh, yeah, definitely." "Do you think we should let her watch whatever she wants, too?" "Oh god no." I think the first thing I ever saw on TV that scared the living shit out of me was an episode of The Waltons entitled "The Burnout." I'd describe the episode, which originally aired just six weeks after my third birthday, but IMDB's official description is so good that I think I'll just copy and paste it here: "John-Boy smokes a pipe and Grandpa leaves a heater plugged in and turned on. A fire breaks out, burns most of the house. John-Boy loses his completed novel to save Erin. John-Boy, Grandpa, and Erin all feel … [Read more...]

TBT: Preferences

Note: The following post originally appeared on this blog on January 9, 2012. I don't understand other people's tastes in media. It's taken years, but I think I've finally learned to stop asking people on the internet for advice about what to watch, listen to, and read. Trent Reznor said about Spotify, "I don't care what my friends are listening to. Because I'm cooler than they are." Well, I'm definitely not cooler than anyone else, but I have to agree to disagree about almost everything media-related. I think a lot of people define their own tastes by associating a certain type of person with a certain type of music or film or book, and then deciding whether they want to align … [Read more...]

Your Own Personal

I suppose it was a combination of things that made the idea pop into my head: my tendency to psychologically regress in the face of a difficult situation (such as parenthood), the previous post on this blog which was about MTV, coming across yet another person on the internet complaining about how MTV doesn't play videos anymore (which is not exactly true but I understand the sentiment). So anyway, all of these things swirled together in my head and suddenly I had this great idea, which is probably not at all original. In fact, I feel kind of dumb writing about it because obviously people have done this before, but still. Anyway, here it is: If you make a playlist of 80s music videos on … [Read more...]

TBT: Kids These Days

Note: The following post originally appeared on this blog on June 13, 2011. "There's no TV. Have you seen a TV, Mike? I haven't seen a TV. Do you know what it means when there's no TV? No MTV." — Corey Haim, The Lost Boys Last week, we watched the MTV Movie Awards. I'm not sure why exactly, since watching award-show TV or really any kind of TV as it is airing is not something that is typically done in this household. But it ended up shining its flashy images in front of us and sucked us in and I guess that's how these things happen. MTV is extremely good at what it does. I don't know how they do it, but I think it involves hiring unsuspecting suburban 18-year-olds as guinea pigs, … [Read more...]

Apparently, I don’t want you to read this

TL;DR: I don't consider your needs, and you'll once again have to update your RSS reader. Don't let the meager number of posts below this one fool you: I've been at this blogging game for a long time. Ten years, in fact, although my activity has slowed down and even dropped off completely a time or two during those years. I started off in 2003 by hand-coding entries, then quickly moved to Blogger. Then Movable Type. Then Wordpress. Then, as an interesting throwback experiment, I started using Blosxom. Each of these platform changes required my readership to start using a new RSS feed, which had predicable results. I think I might have actually gained readership between Blogger and MT, … [Read more...]

Comparison

At only three weeks, I don't feel like I have much wisdom to impart to new or expecting parents. I do, however, have one piece of advice. Sometimes, your baby will be fed, burped, changed, and well-slept, and will still cry for some reason you can't figure out or rectify. In these cases, as I'm pacing back and forth in the living room with her in my arms, I like to imagine that I'm wearing a beard of bees. Just hold steady. Remain calm. Let it happen. Try not to think about how this is basically the worst thing ever. This too shall pass. … [Read more...]

Body Horror

As a kid, I often wondered if there would ever be a time when my hands didn't have any scrapes or cuts on them. Truthfully, I was kind of embarrassed by my hands: perpetually filthy and scabby, with a think rind of dirt permanently embedded under the nails, skinned knuckles, hangnails, minor lacerations. I would try to wash them and keep them unharmed, but it was useless. I had too much digging and exploring to do. It's tough work being five. None of these injuries were at all memorable since they were a simply routine part of childhood. But one cut really stands out, and if you're squeamish or if you're eating, you'll stop reading this right now. I didn't know what an infection was, … [Read more...]

Babies Having Babies

I used to be pretty good at science. In high school one of the most embarrassing things that happened to me was my extremely poor performance in biology class, which shamed me because it did not at all reflect the person I believed I was at the time, which is a person who understands how the natural world works and gets excited about it. The next year two years, I threw myself into chemistry, physics, and, most importantly, anatomy & physiology, which was kind of an AP class for kids who wanted to be doctors or whatever. I dissected a cat. I took field trips to a local university to poke around inside cadavers. I pretty much got straight As in science after that. Pretty much, at least in … [Read more...]