French Bulldog Coma

Can't.  Breathe.  *Choke*.  Brain.  Dying.  *Gasp*.

This Is A Thing That Exists: Boss's Day

There is a really funny opening scene on one episode of The Simpsons where all these greeting card company executives are sitting around a conference table, complaining about a seasonal slump in sales, so one of them helpfully suggests introducing America to a new holiday to produce more cards: Love Day!  Then they cut to Marge throwing a Love Day party and telling everyone Happy Love Day.  It's funny.

Most moments in my day-to-day life have a corresponding Simpsons reference, so of course I think about this scene whenever I'm picking out a birthday card and I see another stupid holiday I had never heard of, or some cards for some holidays that just don't warrant sending a card at all.  I'm looking at you, cards for St. Patrick's Day.

Which brings me to Boss's Day.  This is an actual national holiday for which people buy cards.  It reminds me of being a kid and having the realization that there was a Mother's Day, a Father's Day, a Grandparents' Day, but, what the fuck!  There's no kids' day!!!  Why isn't there a kids' day???  And then your mom glares at you and tells you that every day is kids' day, and you're like, "Oh."

With that logic, isn't every day Boss's Day?  How does one celebrate Boss's Day?  Why would you possibly need to suck up to your boss any more, and how could you do it without looking like a tool in front of everyone else in the office?  You could do it in secret, but, ew, creepy, and besides, Emily Post says this.  If you don't do anything at all, does your boss think you're an asshole, if he/she doesn't already?  How do you know if your boss even knows about Boss's Day???

I'm so stressed out.

You might still be in the clear with your boss, but since mine reads Cats in Baths, I'll end by saying that Beth-Liz* rules; best boss ever!

*Name has been changed from something similar.


T.W.W.: A Public Service Announcement

I was cruising down the main drag of campus yesterday on my way to meet Derrick for a soupy burrito bowl at Chipotle and the following things made me sad:

1.  The freshmen were all born the same year that The Real World was still casting people with actual life goals the first season of The Real World premiered.

2.  No one invited me to their frat parties.

3.  There were freshman boys who were dressed better than I was.

These were the least of my worries.  This walkway was crowded, and I mean like Mumbai crowded.  I heard pieces of thousands of conversations and it felt like that scene in What Women Want where a pre-anger-management Mel Gibson is overwhelmed by hearing every woman's thoughts all at the same time.  

But the thing at which I have to shake my angry, wrinkled, age spot-ridden fist, which is connected to my decrepit, Medicalert bracelet-wearing wrist, is this generation of whippersnappers and their insatiable need to text during any millisecond of pure mundane activity.  The texting while driving is crap-my-Depends scary, but I'd like to do a public service announcement about T.W.W.: Texting While Walking.

I was dodging kids left and right who weren't looking where they were going and didn't care - like a game of human Frogger.  I am too young to have ever played Frogger but old enough to comprehend references to it.  Thank you, Seinfeld reruns!

Don't even get me started on something terrible I witnessed a few weeks ago: T.W.S.I.T.B.C.S.N.L.: Texting While Skateboarding - In The Busy City Street, No Less.  SRSLY.

The following is a short news clip of a magnificent Staten Island girl named Alexa who was casually texting while walking one day without a care in the world when she suddenly fell into a sewer manhole.  My favorite part is that everyone in this video is pissed off at the city for leaving a manhole uncovered temporarily for servicing, and never once does the girl say, "Yeah.  I ended up covered in the most foul Staten Island shit because I'm an idiot."


Sandy H. Brings You Dancing With The Stars Recap Week 2: "Ya Gotta Take Chances If You're Gonna Win Dances"

Even when they’re terrible, I’m always sad for the first person booted off a competition reality show.  I mean, whether you’re a celebrity or a civilian, and whether you’re dancing or cooking, it must be embarrassing.  I have read that on The Apprentice they offer psychiatric counseling to the weekly losers. The person relating that story said that, on being offered counseling, she declined, telling them, “Really? I mean - I’m okay.  You know, this is a TV show.”  That said, The Hoff is history on DWTS.  Although I’ve never really forgiven him for Baywatch, I still want to say sorry to Germany.

This week Michael Bolton dazzled with his terrible-ness.  Never in all my Dancing with the Stars viewing years have I seen a judge give a “3.”  But when you start your dance by crawling out of a doghouse, you invite all sorts of “pooper scooper” and  “doggy mess” analogies from the judges, who were not kind.  I AM kind, but I’m afraid Michael will be saying bye-bye Tuesday night.

Crying contestant count this week:  Two.

First: Audrina, whose problem was that she is practicing so much she never gets to see her boyfriend. That, Readers, is what passes for a difficult life when you are beautiful and young and live in LA.  And second: Margaret, whose happiness doing the jive made her exclaim, “I’m actually a dancer!”  Well, you’re better than last week, Margaret, but Michael Jackson’s ghost is not exactly worried sick about the competition.

Jennifer Grey’s jive gave her the highest score of the evening, but the boos from the audience seemed to indicate they thought she deserved more.  Her journey to this season’s DWTS started less than a year ago with a routine physical to be sure she was fit enough for the show.  The doctor discovered cancer.  Thank goodness for her that she has since been treated and cured.  Thank goodness for us because, if Dancing with the Stars saved her life, she is saving this season’s DWTS. (There is some online discussion that the boos were for Sarah Palin, in the audience to watch her daughter Bristol.  I prefer to think of the DWTS audience as polite, dance-centric folks, passionate about the judges’ numbers and not polling numbers).

The other dancers seemed to be just running – literally, cause they were doing the jive and quickstep – to keep up.  Audrina and Rick hung in there.  Kyle was delightful, and, for someone not exactly in shape - he trains with cheeseburgers - he was awfully good.  Margaret Cho dropped last week’s bad comedy routine and now just needs to train her face to stop looking weird.  She says that’s “just what my face is like.  I can’t help it.”  Good answer.  The Situation is trying, Lord knows, but his pleas to his partner to dance to “club music or hip hop” sadly have gone unheeded.  His partner Karina had a death grip on him trying desperately to lead him, but at some point he decided to start counting steps – not a good idea because he and Karina were on different counts.  My prediction:  he’s safe at least until he has at least one ab-baring dance.  Token Old Person Florence isn’t bad, but the quickstep is an exhausting number. 

Kurt is just so likeable and he really does have rhythm.  For some reason Brandy did a silly shimmy solo this week.  I didn’t like it and the judges didn’t either.  Was that her idea or her partner’s?  She says it was his, but I’m not so sure.  Bristol, Sweetheart, you’ve gotta show some personality.  You really don’t want to be known only for (a) having a famous mother and (b) getting knocked up.

So Judge Len Goodman’s advice this week to Bristol: “Ya gotta take chances if you’re gonna win dances” applies to all of the above. They’ve all got their hearts in the right place, but the magic’s just not there yet for most of them. They’ve gotta step it up if they want my ****s.

Two notes from Leigh Ann: does Bristol Palin have a personality?  Second, when I first saw the stars at the end of Mom's recap, I thought it read "... if they want my s***" and I was all like, whoa, Mom.  Whoa.

Bristol Palin's personality on full display. 
Wonder what's going on behind those expressive eyes?


A 17-Second Brain Vacation

It's Monday.  It's lunch time.  It's raining. 

You're probably sitting at your desk, eating last week's frozen pizza that you left in the mini-fridge over the weekend, wishing you could go outside and sit on a nice bench somewhere under a canopy of leaves changing their hues, letting a crisp breeze cool you off from your sweaty morning in your sweltering office. 

Instead, here you sit, dropping crumbs into your keyboard, getting grease all over your mouse, and avoiding entering last month's expenses into that spreadsheet you've decided to start keeping after being on the job for almost a year. 

If this describes you at all, then this totally terrified kitten getting dragged into the bath tub by this evil, naked brat will make you feel a little bit better. 

My boss just watched this video and said, "I love the end of the video when the little boy immediately forgets all about the cat because he finds his penis."

Dear Government Leaders: We've Discovered The Key To A Successful, Peaceful Relationship With The Middle East

When it comes to gimmicky chain restaurants in America, The Cheesecake Factory is a particularly fun target of ridicule in the snooty Preston House.  The absurdity of its portion sizes is eclipsed only by the ludicrousness of its sub-par yet vast menu selections, but perhaps not by the obesity of its clientele - myself included.

Don't get me wrong.  I love a good gimmicky American chain restaurant.  I could eat every meal at On The Border, if for no other reason than the fact that once, in an effort to control the jackal inside me that just eats whatever is in front of it, I ordered the three enchilada plate, but I wanted two of those enchiladas to be wrapped up in a to-go box.  Apparently overwhelmed by my request, the waiter brought me a to-go box with three enchiladas, a plate with another three enchiladas, and an enchilada on the side.

On Saturday night we were at a party with one of our favorite new couple friends in Philly who recently moved here from the Middle East.  According to the husband, a business associate of his was also a member of a Middle Eastern royal family, and became obsessed with The Cheesecake Factory on his most recent trip to America.  He had its food shipped to him anywhere he happened to be in the world whenever he wanted it, and also had an aching desire to execute a corporate takeover of the chain.  Because.  He.  Loved it.

So many choices!  It's like the perfect American dream was wrapped up in a pie crust and tied with a bow made of fettucini alfredo.  We can choose our leaders, we can choose our paths, and we can choose between the doner kebab and the barbecued pork sandwich.

I declared my weekend successful after appreciating the image of a multi-billionaire Arab prince at The Cheesecake Factory at the local mall, surrounded by high schoolers on prom night, pregnant rednecks about to get engaged, and obese citizens on scooters and oxygen.  The prince lusts after a giant pile of coconut shrimp and jalapeno poppers, his mouth watering through laminated page after laminated page of the endless menu, trying to decide between the fish tacos, the Hungarian goulash, the sushi, the spicy Hawaiian calzone and the alligator gumbo.  Save room for the Oreo-caramel cheesecake, y'all!


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Plus this:

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Equals a dichotomy of confusion and awesomeness, represented by this firework question mark:

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A Star Is Born

Thanks so much to our friends over at Too Many Accents, Too Little Time for pointing out this fantastic little gem of a dude.  You're right, Mackie B., he does make people happy!  Or is that just the wine talking?  (Typing)?


The Human Trapezoid

When I was being measured for my bridesmaid dress for Anna's wedding, my bust measurements equaled a size 2, but my hips?  A 10!  I am basically trapezoid-shaped.  I have never been and will never be a size 2 pending any major chronic gastrointestinal diseases and operative surgery for pelvic bone-shaving.

Another great way to lose weight and squeeze into those smaller sizes is to contract some sort of horrible infection.  I lost 5 pounds last week when I had pink eye.  Who knew a week of a weakened immune system was basically like taking 10 zumba classes?

Since I'm all better, I decided I had better get back to the gym this week; otherwise I will need to ingest a tapeworm to keep this up.  On Monday, within 30 seconds of being on the elliptical, I was pretty sure my heart was going to explode.  I decided 20 minutes of exercise was enough for this week. 

I'm going to be so good next week.  Two-a-days!  5 am wake-up calls!  This is basically what I'm going to look like after a couple of weeks of working out again and it's going to be so awesome:

There are really people at my gym who look like this.


Escalator Dog Makes Me So Happy

I wish I had a job that involved watching this video over and over, all day.

Dear Universe,

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Stop toying with me.

Over the course of 10 minutes, on a walk to and from the drug store while in search of allergy medication to soothe the excruciating pain in my throat (which I ultimately decided deserved nothing but the best: three Advil washed down with some boxed wine), I counted no fewer than 10 pregnant women.

Pregnant lady with a toddler in the pharmacy line.  Pregnant lady in a burka.  Pregnant lady going for a stroll with her husband.  Pregnant Asian lady pushing a stroller containing yet another baby.  Dad carrying a car seat.  Okay, he wasn't a pregnant lady.  Pregnant chick who looked amazing in ridiculously tight workout clothes that I wouldn't wear on my most confident of non-pregnant days.  Seriously, I briefly considered asking her out on a date.  

Is there a pregnancy convention in town?  Do they have those?  Or maybe this is just the residual effect of Snowmageddon circa Winter '09-'10.

Universe, I will have a baby when I'm good and ready.  And richer.  Also, first I have to emotionally come to terms with this whole episiotomy thing.


Guest Blogger Sandy H. does Dancing With The Stars Week 1: "It's Never Too Early To Panic"

So said DWTS judge Len Goodman in describing David Hasselhoff’s underwhelming waltz.  I love that!  It may be my new mantra.  And actually it’s pretty good advice for David who wasn’t what you could describe as even remotely good.  So Dancing with the Stars is off to another fabulous season.  I’m hooked and I don’t miss Kate Gosselin!  If you missed the show in favor of truly mindless entertainment instead of this programming masterpiece - I'm looking at you Gossip Girl and MNF fans - you missed some real Moments. 

Jennifer Grey and Brandy are clearly the early frontrunners.  Jennifer produced the first tears of the season when she danced to a song from Dirty Dancing and talked about Patrick Swayze. I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: Jennifer and Brandy in the Finals. (And, if they don’t make it, I will cleverly “forget” this prediction).  Watch the show just to see Jennifer dance.  She says she wants to recapture the feeling she used to have when she danced years ago and I think she can do it.

But there are a couple of dark horses in the race especially Kyle Massey.  Who is he? He’s likeable and cute. Why didn’t my children ever tell me to watch his show?  (Sandy H.'s children interject: umm, we have no idea who he is either).  NBA player and Tar Heel Rick Fox is a big happy man with a big happy smile, but the 16” height difference with his partner is disconcerting. Let’s hope there’s a lot of jitterbugging this season and not so much close-contact waltz stuff.

Not so hot were Margaret Cho whose crazy clowning waltz made me (and the judges) wonder if she had really fallen or was just goofing around.  She’ll be gone soon.  And The Situation Sorrentino was simply awful but claimed to only have had 5 days to practice.  Didn't they all have 5 days to practice?  Those two, along with David Hasselhoff, had the lowest scores of the night.

Somewhere in the middle were:
Bristol Palin: Loosen up, Girl.  You're not that bad!
Audrina Patridge: Pretty girl, maybe another dark horse, but does Middle America know her to vote for her?
Kurt Warner: Nice man, has a long way to go.
Michael Bolton: A VERY long way to go.
Florence Henderson: Love her!  Showed her bra and abs for The Situation AND likes to swear a lot in rehearsal!

And, finally, we have decided to award the coveted Cats in Baths *stars* this week not for dancing - because we have ages to do that - but for something much more important:

Plastic Surgery

**** (4) to Florence Henderson, who’s 76 and looks 56.
**** (4) to Jennifer Grey, who’s 50 and looks 30. Okay, I miss The Nose too, but, c’mon, she’s gorgeous.
**** (4) to Michael Bolton who’s 57 and looks 40.
*** (3) to The Hoff. The face work looked a little tight a couple of years ago, but has settled down nicely.

Congratulations, All!  Nice "work."  Ha.

The Hoff before and after.
The Nose before and after.


Cats in Beds

CiB = Cats in Beds.

Check out Oliver D.-B. lounging around like he wasn't recently discovered lost, lonely and starving in a parking lot.  How quickly they forget!  Coincidence that his initials could also stand for douchebag?

CiB Is Thrilled To Introduce Its First Guest Blogger

We are pleased to announce that Sandy H. will be a featured guest blogger for Cats in Baths, offering her solicited opinions on the new season of Dancing With The Stars. 

Sandy H. writes:

About a hundred years ago when I was a kid, I lived in a house with no air conditioning and one television set.  In those golden days of yore it was the parents who decided which program to watch. (Now you see why I am the troubled person I am.  Childhood abuse will do that to you).  Way too frequently my parents chose to watch The Arthur Murray Show, where an old coot – Arthur – and his minions demonstrated various ballroom dances.  It was beyond boring.

Inspired by Arthur and ever in search of new ways to torture me, my parents at about that same time enrolled me in ballroom dancing classes. I was the tallest in my class. Not tallest GIRL, the tallest PERSON.  I was boob to nose with most of my partners.  Nice.  It took us all about a month to master the box step, which, according to our extremely qualified instructor, is the basis of ALL other ballroom dances. The box step is about one-trillionth as interesting as it sounds.  Eventually we moved on - first to the waltz. ONE – two – three.  ONE- two – three.  All those noses bobbing up and down next to my boobs.  Not good.  And on to the Latin dances. One two, cha cha cha. One two, cha cha cha. (We had to count when we danced.  That definitely enhances the dance experience.  Try it).

All this leads up to why I have been asked to review this season’s Dancing with the Stars.  Clearly, my qualifications speak for themselves.  I will, depending on my mood and the fabulosity of the Stars, be awarding our Stars stars from one * to four.  Actually my first **** of the season go to the casting director of DWTS for having the genius to hire The Situation and Bristol Palin.  I would give them ****++++ if they had also gotten Levi Johnston and Snooki.

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DWTS starts tonight, Monday, September 20th at 8 PM EST on ABC.  Reviews and recaps start ... sometime after that.


THIS JUST IN: White People Love Sweaters, Hate Unsanitary Living Conditions

Mom, Derrick and I had a delightful weekend doing all sorts of fun things that white people love doing: looking at art, going to Williams-Sonoma, wearing sweaters, eating overpriced cheese, and visiting Chinatown.  We even passed by a restaurant there that I hadn't yet noticed, and it was a great one for Sandy H. to see, since it was called The Dumpling House.  Mom has called me "Dumpling" for many years, but often just shortens it to "Dumps."  At least Bill H. makes up for this by calling me "Angel."

In other Cats in Baths news, Derrick found a fecal treasure last night left behind by yet another rodent roommate.  We have decided to take matters into our own hands and we're getting a black snake to release in the apartment.  If that doesn't work out, we are going to be welcoming a new feline friend into our family.  I found a cat on PetFinder named "Hunter."  I immediately knew this was the cat for us.  That's how shelters name their cats, like Native American tribes - did you know that?  You have to earn your name!  I don't want a cat named Sharpens Claws On Antique Oriental Rug or Uses Sleeping Owner's Hair As Litterbox.  I want a cat named Thirsts For Mouse Blood.

Hunter wasn't at the shelter we visited, but there was a play room that housed a stunning white cat with blue eyes and a sweet black cat whose brain stem was attached to his spinal cord with a paper clip.  He could hardly function and would randomly fall over since he didn't have control over any part of his body.  The stunning white cat would walk all the way across the room to swat at the poor handicapped cat for no reason and make him fall over.  I tried lecturing the stunning white cat about how not to treat those with head injuries, but instead of listening to me, she looked at Derrick as he was filling out an adoption application, and jumped onto the clipboard to use as a launching pad for her next destination.

The stunning white cat might just be enough of a jerk to fill the job opening!

Ummm ... Thanks?

I haven't been able to wear eye make-up for a few days thanks to my affliction.  Sandy H. thinks that, sans make-up, I remind her of Tilda Swinton.

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Derrick says Tilda Swinton reminds him of Thom Yorke.

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Wow.  I'm ... horrified.


Sandy H. Is Coming To Town

This picture from Fail Blog reminds me of all the future generations of wine-crushing mother-daughter tag teams still to come. 

Since Sandy H. is coming to town today, I had to be sure to run out and grab a few cocktail hour bottles worthy of my dear, sweet mother.  I don't think she would be into the 5-liter box of chablis that is currently nothing more than a nearly empty bladder with a spigot, lying lifeless in the mid-century Kelvinator in our apartment, remembering all the good times we've had together over the last few weeks.  I love getting to that part of the wine box bladder when you have to squeeeeeze it out! 

We are going to hit up the fabulous Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show tomorrow and hopefully Sandy H. will see a piece that tickles her fancy, and otherwise have an enjoyable time in Philly not receiving any death threats from the Vietnam vet who likes to chill in the park and, you know, tell people he wants to kill them. 

Unlike us, Sandy H. might be able to purchase real art rather than making knock-offs
with slanty, uneven white tile lines when she gets lazy
and ready to finish the damn thing already.



I am super nervous excited for Derrick because he recently joined the rugby club at his business school.  As far as I know, he's played soccer and football before, but never rugby.  I have always heard from Chris M. that soccer is a gentleman's game played by hooligans and rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen, but I think perhaps rugby is a hooligan's game played by hooligans.

Derrick came home last night kind of drunk verbally expressing the importance of being one of the last men standing.  Before stumbling out for a bit of Chinese food action, he told me about a few of the odd drinking rules to which the team adheres.  For example, if you don't touch your beer for 10 seconds, anyone can grab it from you and chug it, and then they sing a ye olde songe!  I must say, I do love the whimsical Englishness of it all, but I worry about Derrick's precious nose and teeth during all the bar-hopping rugby-playing.

I look forward to meeting some of these hooligans, and hearing about the girls they've nailed.  Do you think they'll be more like this ...

... or like this?

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Into the Pink

I am going to have pink eyes for the rest of my life.  I am going to die of pink eye.  What a humiliating obituary.

I am desperate for it to clear up so I can leave this apartment without terrifying people.  I am starting to feel the isolation akin to Christopher McCandless's Alaskan wilderness death wish depicted in Into The Wild, which I just spent two and a half excruciating hours watching.  It arrived in the mail through Netflix and I devoured the envelope as if it were the first pile of twigs and berries I had seen in weeks.  Finally!  Entertainment that isn't Jerry Springer!  Yep.  I feel just like Christopher McCandless except without all the pretentiousness and self-righteousness.  "UGH!  I'm so full of angst!  Parents just don't understand!  I'm going to burn this pile of money because it represents all of society's woes!  Ugh!"

On a side note, the movie had its highlights, including Hal Holbrook, who was married to Dixie Carter, who played Julia Sugarbaker, whom I adore.  Although the film also featured Kristen Stewart, so we'll call this one even.

Sandy H. is coming to visit this weekend and I am very excited to see her, although she is nervous that I will give her my disease.  When she found out I had it, she said, "You'd better not give it to me."  I told her I would make a mental note of that.  Bill H. also had helpful advice on how to prevent Derrick from catching it: "Well, you know, just tell Derrick not to touch anything you've touched."  I'll be sure to tell him, Dad.  Thanks.

My boss Lisbeth has been super nice during my absence from work and sent me this cute picture of an eye patch kitty!  It would be more accurate if it had two eye patches, but I just don't have the technology to make that happen.

Hairless Cat in a Bath

Thanks to Lindsey S. for this remarkable video!  Where does this silly cat think he is?  Splash splash splash!


My First ER Visit: A New Children's Book by Leigh Ann Preston

In nearly 29 years on this earth, I finally paid my first visit to the ER today!  It wasn't anything like I expected; no heart-pounding action, no inter-office bedroom drama, no one rolling in with a gunshot wound - although it is west Philly, so I guess if you hang around long enough you'll see that last one.

No, in fact, it was a lot more like a visit to the DMV, except instead of the scary weird people sitting around waiting to get a license, all the scary weird people were sitting around waiting for pain killers, or so was the assessment of my friend Aimee, who was kind enough to escort me after I bribed her with magazines.

I'll spare you most of this morning's journey, but will say I woke up with my eye swollen shut and delightfully oozing, and what with not having a primary doctor yet, no one in Philly would see me today except my automatically-assigned doctor, who, based on the creepy recorded voice who answered his phone, is in fact Bill Cosby dressed as a clown and was recently released from the psyche ward.  After unsuccessfully begging student health to take me and subsequently being referred to an eyeglass store down the street (really?), the ER became the last resort.

The ER nurse practitioner was nice, but very dramatic!  About!  Everything!  And couldn't stop telling me how disgusting I was!  My eye was just so disgusting!  I couldn't help but be a little offended, having recently witnessed a 300-lb. gentleman in the waiting room demonstrate how to turn his esophagus inside out while making the most terrifying retching noises imaginable.  Was I really more disgusting than him?  It's just a little pink eye, found on every playground in America.  Maybe this was Nurse Drama's first day in the ER?

She also thought it was very "cute" that I decided to put make-up on my one good eye, but it really made me "look weird."  What did she know?  I looked awesome.

Actually, I'll take the retching guy over watching this terrible show.


I Should Probably Take Wearing My Glasses More Seriously

Or, try a little harder to dig out the autumn ragweed that has set up permanent residence in my right eyeball.

It is generally no surprise for me to bump into Derrick while I'm at work, and today I thought I saw him in a building where I was having a meeting.  I was about five feet away from jumping in the guy's lap and giving him a big ole smoochero when I realized he was a) not Derrick and b) not even a ginger.

On Saturday I molested greeted one of Derrick's classmates at a party and asked him what was up before being told that it was actually the guy's twin brother and he had no idea who I was.  It turns out they don't look that much alike.

I might need to make an appointment with an eye doctor before I walk into the wrong apartment.

Derrick, is that you?


Running Around Like Chickens With Their Breasts Cut Off

I always tell my suburban-dwelling brethren to appreciate the ease with which one can drive to the land of cheap food and supplies since they don't live in a city, six blocks away from where their car is parallel parked, thirty minutes away from the nearest real grocery store.  Surprisingly, people don't seem to appreciate it when I tell them what they should appreciate.  What?

Yesterday marked our bimonthly ritual of journeying to the wild jungle of South Jersey to stock up on all things Walton Empire.  You would think we were going on safari in Kenya.  For this adventure, we need ice chests ("coolers" for those of you not from 1950s South Mississippi), the GPS, gift cards, tons of water, sunblock, a camera, mosquito netting, hiking boots, and a pickaxe.  Our suburban-dwelling, for-granted-taking friends and family members don't have to block off an entire day of their lives to visit a wholesale warehouse.  Hmm.  Must be nice.

After spending a few hours driving and shopping for cheap wine necessities, freezable foods and non-perishables, we drive back to the city and the fun part of the ritual finally begins.  We race to unload the car as it's parked in the bike lane - racing against car thieves, food thieves, intruders, and the desire not to appear on Parking Wars.

I spend the next three hours butchering meat, dividing it into adorable dinner-for-two portions, and labeling and freezing it - like Monica from Friends except more psychotic - I think I wash my hands more than Monica would.  Secretly, I love it.

My favorite part of the butchering is showing Derrick how hugely deformed the Sam's Club boneless, skinless chicken breasts are, out of which we make approximately four meals per breast, and eight meals per chicken.  They are like Pamela Anderson chicken breasts; humongous, bulging, probably groped by Tommy Lee and then ripped right off what was presumably once a live chicken.  You can go ahead and judge me now; stop reading this blog if you'd like, but I'll deal with whatever guilt I have to for $1/lb. chicken product.

And every so often I wonder ... by consuming these hormone-filled chicken breasts, we are consuming the hormones, so... why don't my boobs get bigger as I eat these Pam Anderson chickens?

Bill H. will be a more frequent visitor to CiB now that we've included this picture.


It's Alive?

I almost choked on my rice krispie treat when I saw this picture.

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Damn, girl! 


Gwyneth Paltrow playing a country singer is totally believable.  Just watching the trailer, I am mezmerized by her and have totally forgotten that she is private school-educated, Upper East Side penthouse-raised, rich/famous parent-having, fake British accent-having, I'm Better Than You-thinking Gwyneth Paltrow!   

Randy H. writes: "She at least should have put her fat suit from Shallow Hal back on so I'd kind of forget it was her. This feels like contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race starring in a musical based on All About Eve. Except that was this, and she still couldn't have done it.  That said, this clearly promises as many rewards as True Blood and I cannot wait for it."

At least this movie can rely on the realism of Texas prison-birthed Leighton Meester.  Ironic that she's most famous for portraying private school-educated, Upper East Side-raised, rich/famous parent-having, I'm Better Than You-thinking girl on a show I've already mentioned once today.  If I do it again I'll have to give it its own category.

This movie makes a mockery of country music, which has a tendency to make a mockery of itself from time to time without even trying.

Is This The Future Of Cats In Baths?

Listen, if you think the dry bath is the way to go, you are sorely mistaken.  Just look at how silly this is.


My fellow Americans, as we approach the ninth anniversary of September 11, 2001, a day that changed our nation forever, we strive for a greater appreciation of all that is good about this amazing country.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Mount Rushmore.  Taylor Swift.  The Golden Gate Bridge.  Autumn on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Mexican food.

And the fact that we are mere days away from the season premiere of Gossip Girl

What wonders will this ground-breaking series behold this year?  Will Chace Crawford become hotter?  Perhaps.  Will Blake Lively's wish to have Serena killed off be fulfilled?  Let's hope so.  Will Blair and Chuck find eternal happiness together?  Outlook not so good.  Will I begin to care about any other characters besides Blair and Chuck?  Outlook also not so good.  Will the fashion on this show cause me to give up on my own wardrobe entirely?  I'm already halfway there.  How many more ways can their incestuous sex lives possibly be combined?  We've already had a threesome - do I see an orgy on the horizon?  Will Dorota's broken English be involved?

Wholesome entertainment: where would our country be without it?

Image Courtesy


It's Ginger Season

Between the groom, his Scottish-descended family, the Scotch-Irish folks from the highlands of the North Carolina mountains, and Derrick, the Herrmann-McInerney wedding had a ginger representation to rival that of a Weasley family reunion.  I've never seen anything like it.  

Derrick decided to celebrate this rare and special occasion of being part of the out of control ginger population by busting out his most sacred white boy moves on the dance floor.  There's the shoulder shimmy, the hunky hip hustle skip, and the oft-imitated but never duplicated head-shake/finger-wag.  The head-shake/finger-wag really tells the ladies what's up.  It's pretty much the reason I married him.  I went all malfunctioning fembot the first time I saw it.  Smoke coming out of my ears, head spinning around.  It was documented in this TLC special:

Look, Boys And Girls

This is what Mommy and Daddy have to eat for a few days after a long Labor Day weekend that involved mountains of food and absolutely nothing laborious whatsoever!

The walk to the gym is a long and torturous one.  En route, I pass by the following evil sorceresses:

3 bars
3 bakeries
1 taco place
1 pizza place
1 Irish pub
1 Korean BBQ place
1 Japanese place
1 restaurant devoted to nothing but chocolate
2 Italian places whose scents of tomato sauce and garlic bread whisper through the smog and bounce off the asphalt, into my happy awaiting lungs, swirling around for two amazing blocks
1 Applebee's

... Okay, so the Applebee's isn't really that tempting.


White Men: Still Predictable As Ever

An interesting read lifted from my favorite source for rediscovering long-forgotten SAT vocabulary words, The Daily Intel.  As a white chick, I am sad to report that I am only a 5 out of 9 on a scale of zero to stereotype, and I have no idea who Jodi Picoult is. 

Chris Rovzar writes:

"You're probably familiar with the blog turned book Stuff White People Like — by now you may have even given it as a gift to a family member when you couldn't come up with anything good for a last-minute birthday present. Well, the blog for the dating website OKCupid.com has come up with an actual list of stuff white people (with profiles on the site) like. Also, the stuff that black people and Asians and Latinos like, too. By combing through the profiles on OKCupid they were able to determine the most popular items and terms. So what were they?

White dudes like: Tom Clancy, Van Halen, Golfing, Harley Davidson, Ghostbusters, Phish, The Big Lebowski, Soundgarden, brew, and boating. (Also Burn Notice, Tenacious D, and 'software.') Sounds like a bad joke, right? Like, when you get to the word 'Phish,' you think, 'Nothing could be whiter than that, right?' And then you get to brew.

White chicks like: the Red Sox, Jodi Picoult, boating, NASCAR, mascara, Ireland, Nicholas Sparks, horseback riding, and bonfires. We'll admit, seeing the Red Sox on top threw us a little.

Black dudes like (or are): soul food, 'I am cool,' ESPN, playing basketball, Menace to Society, 'tall, dark, and handsome,' 'god-fearing,' Mos Def, rapping, Lupe Fiasco. Interesting they didn't go for the 'II' construction.

Black chicks like (or are): soul food, The Color Purple, 'god-fearing,' gospel, Alicia Keys, neo soul, lip gloss, and 'the coldest winter ever.'

OKCupid refrains from making many generalizations, except to observe that black people are more than twice as likely than average to mention their faith in their profiles. And also, if you are trying to decide whether white dudes like something, 'put 'f*cking' in the middle, and say it out loud. If it sounds totally badass, white dudes probably love it.' 'Van F*cking Halen'? Check. 'Jodi F*cking Picoult'? Not so much.

It's actually pretty fascinating, though you have to keep in mind that OKCupid skews toward a younger, more pop-culturally oriented crowd than many of the other dating sites. Also, for what it's worth, dudes of many races seem to like the book World War Z, so ladies, maybe it's time to read up on your post-apocalyptic zombie fiction."

Image Courtesy

When I Grow Up, I'm Going To Have A Chicken Farm, And The Chickens Will Be 100% Biscuit-Fed.

Sandy H. writes: "Loved yesterday's postings. Your dad is LOLing. 'She is such a good blogger!!' I don’t want you to think this is any less of a genuine compliment just because he’s never read a blog before yours."

In addition to introducing Dad to the wild world of Sitting In Front Of A Computer All Day, we also guided Dad through his first chicken biscuit experience while in North Carolina this weekend.  Bill H. is full of surprises.  After he asked what on earth a chicken biscuit was, I thought he would turn his nose up when I explained to him that it was literally a piece of fried chicken that someone brilliant, somewhere, one day decided to stick in the middle of a biscuit and declare it worthy as breakfast, lunch OR dinner, but instead he said, "That sounds great!"  And to think of all the times he said "UGH!" in response to whatever garbage I was eating as a child.  Maybe next time we'll take him for a Double Down to really test his limits.

Image Courtesy

Cats and Faucets

This guy will always have a special place in my heart.  He is really bringing kitty bath time to a whole new level!



After Derrick graduates in May of 2012 with law and business degrees, he intends to spend the summer studying for the bar exam - you know, just for fun. I have decided that the best place for him to hole up studying for the summer is the small studio cabin behind my parents' mountain house in North Carolina.

That's not a real goat.  Or is it?

Here, Derrick can live out his dreams of solitude and isolation, never sleeping, yet cuddling with and caressing his law books, growing his ginger beard for three months, and collecting his own urine. He will befriend country mice and then eat them, make his own clothes out of molted snake skins, and his only companion will be Tonto, the bodyless mantel Indian.

I'm Tonto.  You're Crazy.
I've heard that the bar exam can drive a man crazy.

Before and After

Bill and Sandy H. got married in August of 1968, and unfortunately for them, the frozen top of their wedding cake was destroyed during Hurricane Camille in August of 1969, so they were unable to enjoy it on their first anniversary.  This fueled Sandy H.'s desire to ensure that Derrick and I did not suffer through the same heartache on our first anniversary.  She had nurtured and cared for our cake top since July of 2009. 

What a beautiful cake in its infancy.  I remember dragging Derrick to a cake-tasting and his face just lit up like a school boy when he tasted it, like the first time I got him tanked and informed him that we would be dating.

Who came up with this tradition? Sandy H. thought that, post-thaw, it smelled like old feet.  And it didn't look much better either.  Sort of like a lopsided donut that had been frosted by blind parakeets using their walking sticks.  Seeing-eye sticks?  And then left to rot all summer on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike.

Luckily for Sandy H., my perpetually cheerful father thought it was the best cake he's ever eaten!  And he intends to eat the whole thing.

Cats in Hats

Up until 2002 when I met Derrick, I only had eyes for one special black guy.  My empty-nester parents are extremely attached to the now 18-year-old Georgie, placing him in a cryogenic preservation tank every night and spoon-feeding him steroids for his arthritis.  Aside from occasional bouts of kitty 'roid rage, his quality of life seems to be pretty high. 

His favorite pastimes include napping on the couch...

sleeping on the bed...

snoozing in a sunbeam on the back porch...

and generally giving up and succumbing to my snugs when I come home.

Our friends over at But Call Me Betsy are running a contest to see whose cat looks the cutest in this Puss-In-Boots conquistador hat.  Georgie is extremely difficult to photograph what with all the blackness.  Is that racist?

Here's me with Georgie on my 11th birthday when he was 8 weeks old.  I think I wore that pink and purple sweatband as a headband for about two years.  You can't see the shirt, but it has a teal horse jumping on it outlined in gold glitter glue.  I was pretty cool, just like I am now. 


The Promised Land

I love the contestants on Top Chef during Quick Fire Challenges when they have to use surprise ingredients. They're all like, "Oh. My. God. WHAT am I going to do with this freshly caught fish, all this home-churned butter, and these fresh chives? I am really going to have to dig deep to come up with something creative. This is going to take all I have."

That's quite a challenge. All week I've been trying to figure out how to subsist on a can of black olives, a bottle of Target-brand syrup, a 5-liter box of chablis, and a pack of expired birth control pills. I have refused to purchase any groceries this week in anticipation of leaving town for four and a half glorious days in North Carolina! I am stoked to visit with our families and attend the Herrmann-McInerney (Herrmannerney?  McInHerrmann?) wedding in Asheville on Sunday. The bachelorette party involved a Shake Weight, so my expectations for this wedding are pretty high.

So I probably won't be able to update Cats in Baths until next week, but I will leave you with an amazing picture of a bathed cat. Oh, and if you're thinking of ransacking my apartment while we're gone, too bad, because it will be occupied, and we have nothing worth stealing - unless you're interested in a table and chairs purchased many levels beyond secondhand from the Habitat for Humanity General Store in Cornelius, NC. I was going to get rid of those anyway.

I have no idea where this image originated, because it's all over the internet, but I got it here.


Indian Pole Gymnastics

After a lovely office function earlier filled with cake, brownies, soft drinks and candy, I didn't think my heart was beating fast enough, so I grabbed a couple of cookies and plopped myself down in front of a computer to catch up on all my YouTube videos involving other people doing athletic activities. 

This video reminds me of the pole "fitness" class I took back in March.  My friends and I were all snickering and sometimes making vulgar questionable gestures towards the pole, as one would expect to be permissible behavior in a class involving a pole.  Much to our surprise, the instructor was not as amused as we were.  Presumably, every other woman who rolls into the Flirty Girl Fitness gym has her game face on and is seriously ready to crush on her lats and biceps, while surrounded by feather boas with a disco ball overhead.  Pink glitter hula hoops = serious business.

It will be a while, but I think my 5-lb. weights will one day prepare me for pole fitness at this level.  I was entranced from start to finish by these incredible athletes!  The best is when you think they're going to fall.  It's a real sphincter tease.

Via OMG Blog.

R.I.P. Second Mouse In Three Days: A Memorial Tribute in Haiku

Little furry mouse
Still, gray, like an English morn'
On my countertop.

I saw you last night
Next to the leftover pork
Did it suit your taste?

Mere hours ago
I screamed like being murdered
Now you're dead.  Haha.

No twitching, movement
Eyes bulging, rigamortis
Ew ew ew ew ew.

Thanks for leaving your
Calling card on my flatware
Have to wash it all.

Speedy Gonzalez
Would have lived. Not you. You're more
Like Cousin Slowpoke.