Curiouser & Curiouser

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In Which I Return to Reality January 3, 2011

Happy 2011, everyone!

Tis I, your favorite unemployed writer/photographer/adventurer extraordinaire returned from the jungles of our nation’s capital and beyond. After three weeks of fairly solid R&R (my definition of which is admittedly a bit wonky and includes exploring the frigid streets of New York and Washington, learning to run hills because northern Virginia’s Escheresque laws of physics cause streets to only run on a steep, perpetual incline, and holiday activities such as taking our car to the mechanic twice and baking 657 cookies that I couldn’t eat  due to my Christmas-crushing wheat allergy….), I’m returning to reality with superhuman motivation.

Par example: In three weeks’ time, the cats had transformed our cozy little apartment into a DEN OF DESTRUCTION. It was like a feline Lord of the Flies – reduced to their primal instincts in order to survive (never mind we have automatic feeders and a friend was checking on them every other day…), they’d removed two-thirds of the Christmas ornaments from our tree and hid them strategically (or not) around the house, dragged the faux moss from one of our houseplants into their litter box and somehow managed to track litter into *every* corner of the house.

But, with the precision of two seasoned cat owners, Jeff and I tackled the wreckage in a matter of a couple of hours (eat your heart out, FEMA). Then it was on to more important matters – namely, that I am still jobless. And yet, somehow I’ve managed to rack up a To Do list longer than Bernie Sanders’ filibuster. The common thread among the items on this list? The shared goal of putting my talents (besides my ability to balances sixteen water glasses on a single tray) to work. Granted, I can see that if I don’t act fast to get myself some kind of temporary back-up, I’ll be running into an old friend I like to call Financial Ruin. But even if I’m stocking quilted duvets at Bed Bath & Beyond or (god forbid) waiting a table or two again, at least I’ve got The Machine whirring away in the background. The gears have been greased. My list of Things and Stuff is rolling. I feel like I’ve been playing the role of starving artist ever since college and that maybe all I really need to do is push it just a notch harder, work just a little smarter, shrug this idea off my shoulders that creativity is for the privileged few, and make. it. work.

I may be getting a little redundant with this line of thinking, but if it’s a pep talk I need, then that’s what you all get as well 🙂

Now – off to finish designing my business cards (finally finished my Photoshop tutorials *AND* got PS5 for Christmas!!) Oh – and today’s photo features Skipper, my canine companion in D.C., looking rather fearless, which I found apropos of today’s post. Also, he rocks a fauxhawk like nobody’s business and that alone makes it worth a look.


Triumph… September 28, 2009

Filed under: pets — curiouserx2 @ 5:01 am
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… would’ve made a great name. But we went with Pippin instead. (Also answers to the names of: Pipsqueak, Slim, and Ears McGee)




Sophie’s Choice September 12, 2009

Filed under: humor,photography — curiouserx2 @ 7:07 pm
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I told her the life of a model was no life for her… being the adolescent she was, she threw me an icy glare as the flashbulbs exploded. The rest – was history.

SophieCat 023

SophieCat 001

SophieCat 027


The Great Holiday Post (At Last!) PART I January 13, 2009

I know, I know. I thought I’d had enough of the red and green, the twinkling lights, the tinsel, the mistletoe, the Santa hats and the radio station that plays Christmas music 24 hours a day (right – actually I HAVE had enough of that station), when suddenly in through my e-mail box came a deluge of photographic reminders of how exactly I had spent the past month.

Which is good, because they’re probably the only way I could’ve remembered all this. Between the delirium of illness (through which I partied hardy nonetheless) and the ever-flowing seasonal cocktails, piecing together the events of the last 30 days might’ve been much like recreating the birth of the universe.

But never fear!

J and others have come through with a wealth of evidence which I will use to regale you with tales of Christmas past.

Part 1: In Which Everyone Says, “I Told You So.”

We begin with a frigid evening early in December, which I believe I have already mentioned. As part of J’s Christmas present, I wanted to take him to see Wildlights, the Columbus Zoo’s annual light display. A friend to all things sparkly, J was bound to be captivated. I would give him the gift of lifelong memories! An unforgettable evening of whimsy and splendor!! (That, and I remembered they have phenomenal hot chocolate, for which I had a killer craving). So off we went, gallivanting through the icy park, laughing in the face of the great winter sky as he spat an icy mix.

And the next day I awoke with a sore throat.

And the following day I had to call in sick because I couldn’t remove my now 45-pound head off the pillow.

And so it began… Not the best season to be sick. With so much on the calendar, I decided I’d rest for a few days, then power through the holidays, cold or no. Sophie proved to be an amazing caregiver. Not only did she stay by my side as I slept, but in an effort to keep my spirits high, she would perform little shows for me using wrapping paper and bows for costumes. I swear. She performed the entire libretto of Sweeney Todd one afternoon. It was terrifyingly good.

That Friday was the office holiday party. I had spent hours going back and forth with the event planner, making sure everything would be amazing that evening, and now here it was. And I was still looking a peculiar shade of pistachio and having trouble staying conscious. It seemed I was doomed to miss out, but at the last minute – I rallied. I jumped in the shower, and it’s stunning how when you get cleaned up you can fool yourself into thinking that because you look pretty damn good, you must feel equally splendid.

This line of thinking got me to BoMA (the Bar of Modern Art) fashionably late, and the party was underway. There was the standard white elephant thing, in which, for a brief moment, I held in my hands a signed headshot of none other than MICHAEL BOLTON. With two (count ’em, TWO) subway gift cards taped around his face. The heavens opened up, light poured into the room, the ethereal voices of angels rained down (or maybe the was Michael, himself! Who knows?). Then, with a violent wrenching sound, like the crashing of thunder… Michael was taken from me, and I ended up with a How-To picture book instead. And no Subway to ease the pain.

But the party went on and the open bar remained – well, open. And things progressed as they do in these situations. When people started to venture onto the dance floor, I knew it was time to make a clean getaway. I was feeling light and euphoric, but had completely lost my voice and was starting to be at odds with my four-inch heels.

And the next day I awoke sounding like a frog. And feeling as I’d imagine a frog might.

And I had a show the next day.

I was supposed to join my roommate and another fellow musician to perform some holiday tunes Andrews’ Sisters-style at a local benefit for the homeless. And I was to sing the high parts. And I was currently capable of spot-on impression of Carol Channing.  But, as they say, the show must go on. And it did. There might’ve been a gallon of tea and some questionable doses of Nyquil involved, but I was there and I sang, damnit! (And I even smiled a lot, for which Vick’s gets my unwavering devotions).

Disaster averted. Parties attended. Free drinks unwasted. Homeless families aided.

And this was just the beginning….




Raindrops on Mondays and Charming Stray Kittens December 15, 2008

Question for you on this dreary Monday morning (an adequate barometric representation of my feelings this morning, coming down from a festive weekend of holiday revelry): What has become of the once-ubiquitous Theme Party? If you ask me, we don’t hold or attend them nearly enough. Seems to me every gathering can benefit from a little labeling and a clever dress code.

Case in point: Saturday evening was our friend’s now-annual “Christmas Luxury” party – which sounds swank and stuffy, unless you know that we’re a group of late-twenty somethings living somewhat Bohemian lives that, while exciting and satisfying, are not what one might call “luxurious.” So it was essentially a bunch of people satirizing the upper classes, playing flip-cup and random improvisational games and singing carols (and the Christmas Luxury Theme Song – yes, there’s even a theme song) in fur stoles and bow ties and really bad Christmas sweaters and the occasional silk pajamas.

The results: A girl who normally can’t keep her heavy eyelids afloat beyond midnight found herself grabbing breakfast at 4am (Eggs! This place has THE BEST post-party grub on Earth. ON EARTH!) and not falling into bed until 5. Needless to say, good times were had. So – any of you planning a holiday or New Year’s Eve feast…. Tag on a theme, sit back and see how effortlessly the fun just happens. You couldn’t stop it if you tried. (A word to the wise, however – should, at one of this parties, a jubilant South African offer you a Springbok, be clear on this point: He is not hooking you up with his handsome, professional rugby-playing cousin, but instead a creamy, green and gold shot that tastes startlingly like Mylanta and has something of the opposite effect.)

Also this weekend: My roommate had her singing, dancing holiday extravaganza and it was insane. We showed up a little late after checking out a play, and the bar was standing room only. But it was lively and goofy, and we danced under misteltoe and cheered her on and had a grand time, all said.

OH – and one more notable piece of news…. that cute little guy who’s made himself at home in J’s house (see below)? He’s missing some pretty important bits and pieces. Seems J didn’t look very closely in his initial examination (can you blame him, really?).

That’s right. Our little guy is a girl.

Sophie, to be exact.

(And once you’ve named them, there’s no turning back.)


(Below: The hangers-on at Christmas Luxury ((at this point, we’d lost a few, and people had dumped their costumes, but you get the idea)))



“So… Cat Walks into a House, Right?” December 12, 2008

Filed under: guys,humor,nanowrimo,pets — curiouserx2 @ 7:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

…And the rest is history. emerson

Last night, I was lying across the bed, Gabe sleeping soundly next to me (who is MUCH improved – thanks to everyone who asked), trying to work up the gumption to go to the gym by way of reading my book (A Secret History by Donna Tartt – interesting, but the writing unravels a bit as you go; I don’t see it making the list). Anyway, my mind is going something like this:

ME: I really should go. Dinner was great, but it was huge, AND we had dessert AND I’m going out tomorrow night.

ME ALSO: Yes, but it’s like 14 degrees outside (it was, in fact, 35 degrees outside, my conscience exaggerates) and it’s been a very long day.

ME: But the holidays are coming and I should head them off at the pass, you know? Get the upper hand.

ME ALSO: Yes, but you’ll be wasting gas taking the extra trip out there, and if you move you’ll wake up Gabe and LOOK HOW ADORABLE HE IS WHEN HE SLEEPS.

ME: But I’ve put on a couple pounds due to a certain medication, and I really should do what I can to counteract its effects.

ME ALSO: Yes, but now you’ve got that pin-up girl thing going for you, which is both undeniably attractive AND you don’t have to work out as much to maintain it.

ME: Ok, now you’re just buttering me up.

ME ALSO: No. Really. I’d do you.

ME: That’s gross. I should go.

At this point, thankfully, the phone rings. It’s J, and he is speaking in hushed tones and being very mysterious, but eventually the story comes out:

Earlier in the evening, a door-to-door salesman came by. J sat with the front door open, chatting politely enough with the man, but also doing his best to get rid of him. As he feels he’s on the verge of wrapping up the conversation (AT LAST!), a tiny, gray blur whizzes past him and into the house. The salesman just keeps yapping on and on about lawn care or gutter cleaning or something, but J is distractedly looking into the house to see what has just invaded. He convinces the guy that he REALLY must go, and goes searching through the house for the wild animal.

In the kitchen, he finds it. Or him, to be more accurate. A diminutive, stormy-colored kitten, attacking the fringe on the Christmas tree skirt. J catches the little guy and gets him back outside, but the damage has been done: J has been chosen. The kitten remains on the porch, huddles himself in a little ball by the front door and cries his hoarsey, little squeak intermittently until J has no choice but to let him in the house to warm up. It’s getting colder out as night falls.

J feeds him some pieces of ham (granted maybe not the best kitten food, but whatever). By the time I show up, the kitten is following J wherever he goes – along the porch, over to the neighbor’s, up and down the street. Finally, we decided he must stay in the house overnight. No kittens perish on our watch. Fascinated by the house, the kitten’s a little skittish at first, but after J’s friend K brings over some food and litter, he begins to make himself right at home. The plan was to leave him downstairs on the couch with a blanket while we slept upstairs, but he curled up with us as we sat on the couch with him, and soon all three of us were asleep there.

J hasn’t named him yet, as there is still some question as to whether his two roommates are down with having a cat for a while. D is fine with it. He wouldn’t bring it inside himself, but as soon as J did, he was all about the little guy. B, however, feels it necessary to put up the Grinch front, refusing to show it affection and make an exaggerated show of his distaste for the thing, when clearly we can all see he actually thinks it’s as adorable as the rest of us do. (Why, by the way, must so many men do this? Both my brother and dad act this way with Gabe. Hmph.)

So, there you have it. Feline determination trumps my night at the gym.

And J gets a new friend.