Birds, birds, birds: We now have four bird feeders. Two window cafes, one hummingbird feeder, and a shiny new one with suet. We haven’t seen a hummingbird yet, but the level of syrup started diminishing last week. We have named them BBC1, BBC2, ITV and CBC. (Because, you know, it’s all Cat TV.) BBC1 has until now offered the most active program offerings, in the form of very feisty goldfinches. But CBC is a strong starter…
Doing this makes me want to become the Johnny Appleseed of apartment feeders, and roam the city talking people into installing seed, syrup and suet stations all over the darned place.
Yoga: Kelly and I are making it to yoga regularly, at a studio that is blessedly close to our place. This is our new favorite thing about the neighborhood: only having to walk two blocks for the thrice-weekly stretch. We’ve been here long enough that, much as we love The Drive, I needed a new favorite thing. So yay!
Teaching: My Writing the Fantastic class at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has been wrapping up its workshop phase: fifteen writers, doing fifteen critiques each on a wide (and interesting!) range of short stories and novel fragments. They’re moving into considering revision now. My next class will be Novel Writing II, beginning in mid-April.
One of the things I’ve started doing as of this quarter is keeping a pinboard (of course!) of links to the writing essays I’m sending to the group. This means that the list of optional readings will be growing ever longer over time. Pinterest being quite picture-driven, I’ve noticed–not a big surprise–that writing essays and articles about publishing tend to be rather low on snappy graphics.
Lest you think the feline overlords will never cut us any slack, the following human artifacts and creations have been deemed “not in need of change” by Aristotle, Duke of The People’s Republic of Austin.
Youtube - home of more cat video than you can shake a daschund at.
Pinterest – Here’s one especially good catboard.
Lord High Bishop of Cat Worship, Eastern Canada, Peter Watts.
The Cat from Outer Space – This film will be required viewing in all the grade schools. As will the Fantastiks.
Danny John Jules of Red Dwarf
As an aside, the use of by the human jazz community of phrases like ‘hep cat’ and ‘cool cat’ is under investigation. The feline overlords may or may not read your submissions on this issue, but you should feel obliged to provide it all the same.
My beloved, shadow-colored Rumble is going through one of those phases where his favorite place to be is underfoot, preferably at three in the morning. This is troublesome, naturally, because at three I’m a lumbering, nearsighted beast with a wobbly ankle, bound on autopilot for the bathroom. He’s gotten stepped on twice and punted once, and I think it’s sinking in. (If it doesn’t, I’ll start slowly and carefully stepping on him whenever I see he’s in my way. Otherwise an ugly trip to the human or kitteh emergency room is an inevitability).
There’s been a fair amount of kitty acting out lately, what with my having torn up the office and, as of last Wednesday, mostly closed it to feline traffic. It’s all less traumatic than actually moving them to a new home would be, but they can’t appreciate that. I did manage to open the door for part of yesterday while I was rearranging for the next stage of painting. Minnow was visibly happier after she’d had a chance to see that the room still existed.
After the painting, the next stage for this little project is to move the office stuff into the bedroom, and the bedroom stuff into the office. The former will be quite the tight squeeze, but that will hopefully motivate K and I to continue getting rid of some of our not-so-needed crap.
The office is as close as Minnow gets to having her own territory in the house, so I am expecting there will be another explosion of cat unhappiness and maneuvering once that’s all accomplished. Rumble will not cede the bed or bedroom to anyone. He barely tolerates me sleeping in there. (What? I am enslaved by cats. This is news?)
I’ll have to build Minnow an exceptionally nice nest in the ‘new’ office.
I am very happy to say I’m going to be reading at Powell’s Books in Oregon (the Cedar Hills / Beaverton location) on Monday the 7th, at 7:00 p.m.
This is a genuine bucket list item for me: here in the Pacific Northwest, Powell’s is pretty much mecca for bibliophiles, and I’ve always wanted to read there. When I am out and about in my Powell’s shirt, strangers ask, often in hushed tones if I’ve been there, and when I brag that I’ve even been part of the big post-Orycon group author signings at the store. . . well, they’re impressed. You must be a real author after all, is the reaction: it’s serious cred.
I’ll be reading from the steamy and mildly hilarious “Wild Things,” and signing copies of Indigo Springs and Blue Magic, and perhaps even a few anthologies I’ve had stories in. If you’re in Portland, I hope you’ll stop by.
As prep for this first foray into BLUE book touring, I hauled out the little red suitcase Wednesday and started putting in things I’m afraid I might otherwise forget. The battery charger for the camera, par example, and a certain catnip-flavored item for an exalted Portland entity named Xerxes.
So maybe it’s the smell of the treat in the suitcase, or perhaps it’s just the obvious sign that I’m gonna be gone, but Rumble is unimpressed. He’s spent much of the past two days alternating between dragging the case around the house and rendering it inaccessible by means of passive resistance.
He was also extremely friendly on Wednesday night, and would not be deterred by the squirtgun, which means I spent more of the night awake than is optimal.
10. Since when does ‘not allowed’ apply to felines, anyway?
9. You’re not letting me pounce on Minnow six times a day.
8. Cat hair and/or litter particles that end up in your digestive tract are hair and sand you don’t inhale or have to sweep up.
7. The adorable do as we please.
6. As the only male in the house, I find the policy sexist.
5. Seriously, you are totally welcome to help yourself to anything in my food dish!
4. Isn’t it dumb to have a rule you can only enforce when you’re home, awake, and attending to my movements?
3. Your grandma called and she’s good with it.
2. This power struggle is beneath you, human.
1. Interested stakeholders (me) weren’t consulted prior to the rule being implemented.
A question for the local folk–we buy Amore raw meat for the cats, and Sophie’s Pet Palace is currently out. Anyone know who else stocks it? Baby needs his quail!
And a shiny bug, in case you think it’s all spiders and stormclouds here this pre-Hallowe’en season.