Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life Lessons: Shrimp Boat Surprise

So I've been a bad blog writer and haven't updated in about a week. I could have been productive yesterday, when I was sitting around, reading A Million Little Pieces, watching Sex and the City and basically not doing SHIT, but I didn't. Whatevs. I still don't know what the hell to write about and haven't even begun writing the second part to Teen Kitty, so I decided to share with you a very funny passage from Tim Dorsey's Nuclear Jellyfish. In its own twisted way, it's very true:

"When my collected travel knowledge is finally published as a best-selling book, I've decided to simultaneously release a special children's edition. It's almost completely finished. I've only got the first page, but that's the hardest part. It's called Shrimp Boat Surprise. Coleman asked what the title means, and I said life is like traveling on one big, happy shrimp boat. He asked what the surprise was, and I said you grow up and learn that life bones you up the ass ten ways to Tuesday."

There's your life lesson for today, kids. Do you feel more enlightened?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teen Kitty Adventure #1, Part One

This is the start of a serial that I will be posting in between my regular entries. Think of Teen Wolf combined with Cat Woman and add a whole lot of cheese and WTF and you get the gist. This won't be the best piece of literature you've ever read; it's not meant to be.


“…And then Whiskers JUMPED INTO THE POOL and DOVE DOWN to where my baby boy was lying unconscious on the bottom. He grabbed the edge of my son’s diaper in his mouth, and started TOWING HIM to the surface, where I grabbed my baby and performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. My boy lived, and it was all because of that cat. Good ol’ Whiskers.”

“Holy shit,” muttered Eleanor, as she turned another page of Can You Believe It? Unbelievable True Tales of Cats Saving People’s Lives. “Cats definitely don’t get the respect they deserve. Oh look, here’s one that saved a nun from a burning confessional…”

Behind Eleanor came the screech of tires, but they were too late. The front bumper of a red BMW convertible hit Eleanor in the back of the legs, knocking her over, and sending her and glasses flying. A horn sounded.

“Watch it!” said a very mean-looking, yet pretty, brunette. Her nostrils flared with anger. “Eleanor, you could have put a dent in my car! Do you know how expensive this vehicle is?”

Eleanor fumbled around for her glasses, and put them back on. “Sorry Mandy,” she mumbled.

“What is wrong with you, anyway? Don’t you know better than to walk through a parking lot while reading a book?”

Eleanor picked up her book and dusted it off. “I couldn’t resist! I was reading about how this cat saved this toddler’s life by diving into the pool the kid had fallen into, and—"

“Look, I don’t care about your stupid cats, okay? Just watch where you’re going. If I hit you again, I’m not paying your hospital bill.” Mandy put her foot on the accelerator, and then stopped. “What is with you and cats, anyway?”

Eleanor looked from Mandy, to the book in her hand, and then back to Mandy. “They’re life-savers.”

“Fucking weirdo.” Mandy sped off.

Eleanor shrugged and continued walking across the high school parking lot to her car. “I’ll show them. One day they will see the power of the cat unleashed.”


“Hello Mrs. Emerton!” said Eleanor cheerfully as she walked through the double-door entrance to Kitty Loves cat shelter, where she volunteered after school. The old receptionist just rolled her eyes and buzzed Eleanor’s supervisor.

“The weird cat girl is here,” Mrs. Emerton said.

Eleanor walked back to where the staff lockers were located, and put her things in an empty one, then walked to her supervisor’s office. “What do you have for me today, Boss? Rehabilitating handicapped cats? Preparing cat food—"

“--Cleaning litter boxes,” her supervisor said.

“But I always clean litter boxes.”

“That’s because you’re not paid.”

“Can’t I finish teaching Snowy how to walk? She was making so much progress!”

“Eleanor, Snowy doesn’t have any legs. Her legs are literally non-existent. They were cut clean off in that car wreck. She looks like a furry worm with a tail. There is no possible way she was making any sort of progress. And even if it were possible to teach her how to walk again, we wouldn’t consult you because you are not certified to work with animals in that capacity. But you know what you are certified to do?”

Eleanor looked at him hopefully. “What?”

“Clean litter boxes. Now get going.”


It was late when Eleanor got out of work. Kitty Loves had about a thousand cats, and she was the only person assigned to cleaning out litter boxes. And they all had to be cleaned out. She yawned as she drove down the highway. Her legs ached where Mandy’s car had hit her. She wished she had a different life. A life in which she was appreciated. A life in which she was respected. A life in which she only had to interact with cats. She “got” cats. Humans, not so much. She came upon an intersection that had just turned green. She passed through. A van coming from the opposite direction ran the red light, and crashed into her, pushing her off the road and into the woods lining the street. She blacked out for a few minutes. When she came to, she saw that the van’s doors had opened, and about a dozen cats were wandering into the street. The driver was nowhere to be seen.

“Poor kitties!” she exclaimed. She tried opening the car door but it was jammed. She tried rolling down her power window, but it wasn’t working. Channeling the three months of karate classes she took when she was eight, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and rammed her elbow into the window, attempting to smash it.

“OW! Son of a bitch!” She felt something warm start to trickle down her arm. Not even a crack in the window. Then she remembered the hammer she kept in her glove box, in case she ever got besieged by car-jackers. A few hard swings, and then she crawled out of the window.

The cats scattered as she approached. “Kitties! Wait! I just want to help!” She ran after them, trying to gather them up. She managed to grab one by tail. It hissed and bit her hand.

“OW! Shit!” She cradled the bitten hand and looked as blood slowly colored in the bite marks. The cat hissed one more time, and ran off into the woods. After a few more futile attempts, Eleanor gave up. The cats were nowhere to be seen. The driver of the other car had vanished. Her car had caught on fire. She started walking home.


In a hidden back room at the Kitty Loves cat shelter, a hand with a large ruby pinky ring in the shape of a cat’s paw stroked a white Persian cat with no legs. The door slammed open, and a man in a jumpsuit burst in, covered in sweat, dirt and blood.

“The cats—they got away, Boss.”

“What do you mean, they got away?”

“I hit someone on the way to the drop-off. Van’s totaled. The cats escaped.”

The hand not petting the Persian made a fist and slammed hard down on a table. “FOOL! IMBECILE! I give you one measly little job to do and you find a way to screw it up!”

“Boss, I swear I’ll make it up to you,” pleaded the man.

“How?! You didn’t let just any old cats escape. These were radioactive! Do you know what happens to an animal when it becomes radioactive?”

The driver gulped.

“IT GETS AMAZING POWERS! These cats in particular where step one in my plan to total world domination! They’re not ready to be unleashed yet! Who knows what will happen if one of those things comes in contact with a human.”

“Boss, I’m sorry. I swear, I will go out and hunt every last one of them—"

“—You’ve done enough. I can’t trust that you won’t ruin my plans again.”

“O-okay. I will show myself out.”

“Here—let me help you.” A hand pressed a button on the table and a trap door opened up underneath the driver’s feet.

“NOOOOOO!” the driver screamed as he fell into the depths of the pit.

“Dinner time, babies!” said the voice as the tigers began to descend on their prey.


Eleanor woke up the next day to the textured tongue of Mr. Jingles, her cat, licking her cheek. She pushed him away and rubbed her eyes, vainly trying to remember the events of the previous night. A few seconds later it all came flooding back to her, and she looked down at the hand that got bitten. She frowned, confused, and looked closer. The bite mark had vanished. There was no dried blood. Just smooth skin. It was like it had never happened.

“That’s weird,” she muttered. She sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed, expecting to be sore. She wasn’t. In fact, she felt great. She had no way of proving it, but she felt like she was in the best shape of her life. She got up and padded to her bathroom sink and got ready to brush her teeth. From out of nowhere, a fly flew out in front in front of her face. Annoyed, she swatted the fly away—and gasped. Claws were coming out of her finger tips!

“What the hell…?” The claws retracted. She flexed her hand again. The claws reappeared. She relaxed it. They retracted. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. “What happened last night?”


Stay tuned for part 2, which will be posted sometime next week. Or don't. I don't care either way. It's about a girl who gets bitten by a fucking radioactive cat, for Pete's sake.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Kind of Wish the Rapture Happened

So, the Rapture didn't happen. But who's really surprised, other than Harold Camping and his kooky followers? You know what, though? I kind of wish it happened.

Earlier today, I had to run some errands: take the dog to the groomer's, go grocery shopping, make a stop at Pinkberry, yadda yadda yadda. What I had to do wasn't important. But while I was tooling around town, I noticed a strange coincidence: there weren't a whole lot of people out and about. The groomer's was unusually quiet. There was no line at Pinkberry. The roads were clear. Walmart was practically empty. It was amazing. Maybe there was a Lightning game I didn't know about, maybe people were afraid to go out because they actually believed that the end times were near, maybe it was just a strange coincidence. But I thought to myself, if this is how things would be if the Rapture actually occurred, then I am all on board. Ascend into Heaven, peeps! My wait time at Pinkberry just got cut in half. The fanatical killjoys that go around at events like Gasparilla and tell everybody they're going to Hell because they're Catholic, women, black, or wearing red? Gone. Sounds like Paradise to me.

Honestly, I got so caught up in my fantasy of living in a world sans a few million people that I actually grew a little bummed that the Rapture wasn't going to happen. Today's "preview" was just a rare coincidence, and tomorrow life will go on as before. The roads will be crowded. Places will be packed. The line at Pinkberry will be astronomical. Am I sick in the head for wishing that millions of people would suddenly disappear from Earth? Perhaps. So maybe I do have a little something in common with Harold Camping and his followers. I am bummed that the Rapture didn't happen. But I am bummed for all the wrong reasons.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Books I've Read: The Purse-Driven Life: It Really Is All About Me

Alright, Sista Girl, get ready for a wiiiilllldddd ride as sassy over-40 comedian Anita Renfroe gives us a no-holds-barred, shoots-straight-from-the-hip, wacky, zany, HI-larious look at what it's like to be a middle-aged woman! Make sure you have on your Depends because you will literally piss yourself with laughter! And if not, you must be a stone-cold, humorless bitch!

In case you were wondering, that is what sarcasm looks like in the printed form. My mother recommended this book to me, along with accolades such as, "hilarious" and, "I cried so hard I had tears streaming down my face." I was skeptical. First of all, what my mom finds "hilarious" and what I do are very, very different. Case in point: I've seen my mother literally LOL and almost ROTF over the farting preacher while I failed to crack a smile. Conversely, I find the movie Superbad absolutely hysterical ("Pretend he's your little sister, your little sister, with the picha baga daga dicta!" gets me every time), but my mom would probably define it as a vulgar piece of crap. Whatever, to each his own. But I was pretty sure that what made her laugh so hard she had tears streaming down her face would more than likely solicit only a half-hearted chuckle from me.

This hunch was made even stronger when I read the blurb on the back cover: "Join comedian Anita Renfroe on an estrogen-driven look at a woman's middle: mid-section, mid-life, mid-kids...mid-crazy." Dear. Sweet. Lord. In. Heaven. I knew exactly the type of humor I was in for: saggy boob jokes. Hot flash jokes. Jokes about gaining weight. Jokes about your cwazaaaayy teenage or young adult children. Jokes that I've not heard not one, not two, but approximately 1,267,458,061 times from my mom, my aunt, older cousins, friends of my mom's, and even my grandmother. Let me tell you: there's no way you can spin a tit-sagging joke that'll make it new to me. I have heard it all, and not only do I not give a rat's ass, I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT RELATE TO IT. I'm 27, single and sans kids. The only other living thing that I take care of besides myself is my dog. I blow money on shoes and, more recently, trips to Pinkberry. I get it, okay? Shit happens when you get older. Please STFU.

I knew my mom's recommendation was coming from a good place, though, and she did honestly seem excited about the book, so I gave it a whirl. Turns out I was dead-on about the humor. Describing her bra size as "38 long" is just the tip of Renfroe's iceberg of played-out middle-age jokes. But you know what? Beneath that tired humor there were actually a few good messages that made me think and one that challenged me in particularly:

"...and finally realized this truth: when it comes to marriage, none of us is a deal. We are all broken and flawed and come not only with baggage but also with a fully matched set and enough issues to fully stock the periodicals section of Barnes and Noble (p. 56)."

This unexpectedly shone a harsh light on my attitude towards other people. In other words: I've been a real judgmental biotch lately. I've been incredibly busy finding faults in others, and this little passage was a reality check. Who am I to pass judgement? Lord knows I don't have all my shit together (as evidenced by my gratuitous use of the four-letter words in this post--and that's just the tip of the iceberg, folks). If I should work on finding faults in anyone, it should be me, and I should work on correcting those wrongs. This was a sobering realization.

Renfroe had other worthwhile things to say as well: we should embrace our uniqueness (or what she calls, "embracing your inner weirdness"); be the kind of friends we'd like to have; it's okay to laugh and be silly and enjoy life. These thoughts are the book's saving graces, because while I don't yet understand the humor behind a hot flash joke, I do get how important good friends are to have and have struggled with who I am as a person. Renfroe was able to get me to briefly stop rolling my eyes and pay attention to what she was saying, and I can get on board with that.

I still give this book one star, though. It's those damn middle-age jokes. Unfortunately, there are more of those than the worthwhile musings.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things I Cook: Creamy Mushroom Pasta With Chicken

Alright, kiddos, for this entry we are re-visiting my most favoritist food blog ever, Budget Bytes. If I haven't sounded like a broken record by now, let me just reiterate how much I love this blog. Budget Bytes has been my saving grace. At a time when I knew I wanted to start cooking more but didn't know where to begin, I stumbled upon it, and it is my #1 source when I'm looking for recipes. The recipes are cheap and easy (just how I like my men, heh heh), but they're QUALITY--something that I think is hard to marry. And the recipes make large batches, so I can cook on the weekend, and eat on it for the rest of the week. Cha-ching! Know what that is? That's the sound of the MONEY I'M SAVING by cooking and eating at home instead of going out every other night. Pretty sweet, am I right?

Last weekend, I tried its recipe for Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Chicken. Here's how it turned out:

I eat my pasta out of a bowl 'cause that's how I like it, okay? It's how I do. Anyway, I modified the recipe a bit: I substituted whole wheat pasta for the regular kind, and used green onions instead of a regular onion because that's what I had in my fridge and it needed to be used. I also used the dried parsley I had in my cabinet instead of fresh parsley because I already had it on hand as well.

The verdict: It was okay. It turned out a little bland. I have no idea if it was because of the whole wheat pasta or if I simply didn't put enough salt and pepper in it, though. I'd make it again with regular pasta and more seasoning just to see if that was the problem. If you want to try the recipe, you may access it here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Things I Cook: Hotcakes With Strawberry Compote

Tonight's recipe comes from Mr. Curtis Stone, from his book, Relaxed Cooking With Curtis Stone. I first made these pancakes last year for a jewelry party I hosted, and I've been hooked ever since. I've been spoiled with these pancakes, and have since become disenchanted with Bisquick. If you decide to make them for yourself, I am 100% positive you will agree. They are light, yet super flavorful, and the best part is, THEY ARE STUPIDLY SIMPLE TO MAKE. (P.S. Compote is WAY better than heavy pancake syrup. It pwns it so hard.) Anyway, I made these pancakes tonight for breakfast-dinner with a few modifications. Here's how they turned out: (I'm going to apologize right now: I'm no food photographer, and I'm also too lazy to spend a lot of time trying to get that perfect snapshot. Plus, I was hungry. Trust me, they taste better than they might look.)

The original recipe calls for blueberries, but as you can see, I substituted strawberries because they were cheaper and I knew for sure they were in season. That's the beauty of this recipe: you can use whatever fruit you want and it'll still be delicious. The compote recipe also calls for the zest and juice of one lemon, but I used lime juice because that's just how I roll. And I already had it in my fridge. I also omitted the mint because I didn't have any and didn't want to buy some just for this recipe. My pancakes still turned out great.

If you'd like to try your hand at making them yourself, you can view the recipe here.