3.22.2011

Boundin'

These lambs I swiped off of Cute Overload yesterday are totally making me rethink the Easter dinner I had planned. 


They look like they're getting ready to take flight in succession, like the Easter Bunny's rein-lambs, carrying Cadbury eggs and plastic baskets to all the little children!


I want to chomp this little guy's airborn hooves off.  I bet they are made of Reese's peanut butter cups.


Check out the knobby little knees on this guy!


Their sproingyness reminds me of the 2004 animated short "Boundin'," featuring a sproingy lamb.  Even though it's a "short" for some reason they can't cram all four minutes into one video.  Annoying!



3.18.2011

Family Trip To The Olive Garden

My family is in the process of finalizing our summer vacation plans, and thank God I convinced Sandy to go in August instead of May so I can have something to look forward to all summer. 

We are renting a villa property in Italy for a week called Gli Ulivi on the Amalfi Coast.  My dad seems unable to pronounce Gli Ulivi, so he has just been calling it the Olive Garden.  This is disappointing to me because normally he takes his best shot at pronouncing something in a different language and then just adds a bunch of foreign-person-type swirling hand gesticulations to make it seem authentic.  I hope he hasn't given up!

This is an email from Sandy I received today:

Hi, Everyone, I think we're firmed up on The Olive Garden for the week in August, so it's safe to make reservations.  Send me your passport numbers sometime.  They're going to ask me for them eventually. We are definitely taking out travel insurance.  The world is so uncertain now. My travel guides suggest you get an international driver's license if you're planning to rent a car.  And the rental cars all seem to have manual transmissions!  I'm glad Bill can drive those.  I'm not learning at this point in my life, and previous lessons have not gone well. I remember my father screaming - "Stop! No! Never do that!"  Well, I think he was yelling about my driving.  Maybe it was something else.

Keep in touch.  Love, Me

I'm not sure what risky thing my mom thinks might happen in Italy.  Too much cheese?  That's not uncertain though, that's just a given.  Or perhaps, more politically speaking, Prime Minister Berlusconi declares war on STDs thanks to all his run-ins with underage hookers?


This was drawn from my home computer.


3.08.2011

Obese Tuesday

They say you should treat your body like a temple.  Earlier today, in honor of Mardi Gras, I treated my body like a fast food joint, and I am currently in the process of treating it like a tavern.

I decided to give up Diet Coke for Lent for the second year in a row.  Actually, I am giving up all soft drinks, but I don't really drink anything other than Diet Coke, except Diet Pepsi in situations of extreme desperation.  Derrick wondered why I didn't give up something easier, and I thought, "Easier than Diet Coke?  Like ... food?  And water?  Like Jesus gave up for you?"

I managed to squeeze in approximately 50 ounces of Diet Coke today in about four hours as a sort of TTFN between me and God's nectar.  I also ate a giant, bring-the-tooth-pain buttercream chocolate egg.  I was so Charlie Sheened up on caffeine and sugar that my walk home from work - which normally takes 30 minutes at a swift pace - was only 20 minutes.  I pretty much collapsed on the bed when I got home, but still: magical Diet Coke-fueled strength and speed!  I am an UNSTOPPABLE LOCOMOTIVE OF TORPEDOES AND PEGASUS UNICORNS MADE OF PURE STEEL!

See?  Charlie Sheened up.


 

3.07.2011

Cats in Bowls

Thanks to my complete lack of computer skills, I am posting this video without even watching it first since it was sent to me in embedded code!  I trust the source though, so I'm sure it can't be too lame.  Thanks, Aimee L for this mystery video!


Posted on JapanProbe.com
Uploaded by probeeden. - Explore international webcam videos.

2.28.2011

CiB Oscar Recap

Ah, the Oscars!  The one awards show where there is a 100% chance of no Justin Bieber, no Glee kids, and no Kardashians, or any combination thereof!  We are thrilled to have swept the Oscars with our predictions, having not picked a single upset.  Yay for us!  We considered celebrating with a little box-o-vino while watching, but we figured that would lead to a premature bedtime.  Then we figured we would probably be falling asleep before the end anyway, but at that point we were too lazy to get out of bed.  And since Natalie Portman won, we’ll have to continue watching this awful but seriously important telecast year after year.  With that, we bring you our list of the worst things about watching the Oscars, and the things they finally did to fix them last night:

1.  The Dead Celebrity Popularity Applause-o-Meter: Before last night, this death montage was known to us by this name, since it was consistently four excruciating minutes of dead celebrities, most of whom no one had ever heard of.  Every single person would receive polite golf claps, except the occasional big star who would cause the audience to erupt in hoots and hollers.  Then it was back to, say, a cinematographer who hadn’t worked since the ‘70s.  Golf claps.  That poor man’s family!  People obviously didn’t like him as much as they liked Jessica Tandy.  To fix this, we heard Celine Dion singing over the “In Memoriam” montage.  It would be impolite to interrupt Ms. Dion to cheerfully celebrate the life of Dennis Hopper before the end of the song, so everyone received equal amounts of claps at the end.  Yay for you, and yay for you too, art director from the ‘50s!

2.  The Montages, Good God, The Endless Montages!: Speaking of the Dead Celebrity Popularity Applause-o-Meter, we don’t think we spotted a single other montage last night.  We did briefly fall asleep sometime during the sound effects awards, but normally these pointless time suckers are all over the place.  Good on you, ABC!

3.  The Best Original Song Performances: Okay, so there was no improvement here, except perhaps from fifteen years ago when they would all sing the entire song – all four or five minutes of them, making the show last thirty minutes longer than necessary.  Even though they no longer do this, the fact that they devote more time to showcasing these four nominees than they do even for the acting nominations is cruel.  We understand that they are trying to make a SHOW out of this – but come on, many of us are operating on Eastern Standard Time, and some of us have work tomorrow.

2.25.2011

CiB Oscar Picks!

CiB is super excited about this year’s Academy Awards telecast.  We can’t wait to see the incredible Natalie Portman win for Best Actress over Annette Bening and her overrated performance that our cat could have phoned in after licking a spilled glass of wine off the floor.  If Bening pulls out an upset, we are vowing to never watch the Oscars ever again, so think of all the extra free time we’ll have over the next 70 years!  That’s 245 more hours of free time we wouldn’t have otherwise had!

We seriously can’t even understand how this is even a race.  We have seen The Kids Are All Right twice now, and while it made us want to drop everything, leave Derrick and Philly in the dust and move to beautiful, local, organic California, it didn’t make us want to give Annette Bening an Oscar.  Natalie Portman, on the other hand, was completely immersed in her role in Black Swan and had us believing she was truly succumbing to madness.  And what a champ for masturbating so convincingly on screen!

Our other pick: Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter.  We have long thought that Bale was one of (if not the most) underrated actors in Hollywood.  He first took our breath away prancing around 19th-century New York singing “Santa Fe” in Newsies back when we were just a tween, completely entranced by that film’s seemingly endless hot teenage newsboy offerings.  Now, his brilliance is finally being recognized!  The fact that he wasn’t recognized at all for American Psycho was just wrong.

We think Melissa Leo will probably win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Fighter, but if we could have, we would have nominated all the women who played her daughters in the film.  Their performances combined outshined Leo by multiple inches of skyscraping bangs, 800 pounds of untoned bodies, and about 24 sets of large plastic earrings.

Best Actor: Colin Firth.  We haven't seen his film, thanks to the only movie theater in Philly within walking distance being a XXX theater, but he will win (let's think of some fun XXX titles for The King's Speech... possibilities may include the words fling, swing, thing, ding, string, wring, peach, beach, reach, and screech.  Have at it!).   We support this win, because we support King George, who begat Queen Elizabeth, who begat Prince Charles, who begat Prince William, with whom we have always had, and will always have, a deep and neverending interest in.

In other news, too bad there isn't an Oscar for best film poster(s).  These are marvelous.  We want!:







2.09.2011

Why I Still Hate Duke

Many of you think the Big Game already came and went on Super Bowl Sunday this past weekend.  Well, you would be wrong.  Tonight, my beautiful and amazing alma mater will continue a storied basketball rivalry against Voldemort's alma mater: a place powered by polar bear tears and unicorn blood, otherwise known as dook.  It is true that dook is ranked higher than UNC at the moment, but that doesn't change the fact that UNC will always, always have hotter girls.

This is a hilarious piece that ran in the Daily Tar Heel in 2007, by Ian Williams '90:

I always hated it when alumni came back and waxed rhapsodic about their undergrad years. "Yes," I would always think to myself, "I know there were kegs in the dorms, I know there was free love outside Bingham Hall, I know that everyone sung in harmony about a perfect world, blah blah blah..."

So why listen to me, you might ask? Well, usually in this spot, the DTH runs an old chestnut I wrote about Why I Hate Dook. I had a Wednesday column back in the Bronze Age of 1990, and I told the story of how my high school visit to Durham turned into a flaming pyre of white-hot hostility.

When the piece ran, I thought my friends would disparage the obviousness of it - writing a column about hating Dook? Jesus, that's like shooting barrelfuls of cod! Instead, the column ended up on refrigerators across the Piedmont, and it taught me two lessons. First, don't overthink your duties; and second, never underestimate the hatred for Durham Clown College.

A whole cottage industry has since grown out of the UNC/Dook rivalry; two big-selling books, endless coverage on ESPN, and gigabytes of Photoshopped files featuring Mike Kryshwqhskdi. What used to be private disgust is now a public phenomenon, and it raises the question: is Dook still worth hating?

I assumed, like everyone does, three things would happen to me once I graduated. My views would become more conservative, I wouldn't be allowed to sleep past 10am anymore, and my passion for beating Dook would gradually drift away. I would grow hair on my ears and suddenly think sitcoms were funny.

I'm here to tell you these things don't necessarily happen. I grew more obnoxiously liberal, I got a writing gig with flexible mornings, and my eye-twitching contempt of Dook's basketball team grew even more intense. They seem to manufacture loathsome jerks year after year.

How can you watch any random press conference of Koach K and not feel this man is a modern-day Narcissus so fixated on success that he's happy to throw his own players under the bus? A tightly-wound mess of resentment and profanity, the toxic combination of a control freak with a thinly-veiled persecution complex?

Yes, I was a psych major.

And believe me, I wouldn't bet three cups of snot there isn't some person just like me in the other camp, the Dook fan who has his own dime-store theories on why Carolina is a blight on the athletic world. But I wouldn't trade places if the Buddha himself showed up wearing a navy blue unitard.

I'll tell you why: I got to choose my church. Having grown up without an organized religion, I adopted the Carolina Way. I adhered to the Dean-Gut-Roy belief system, and incorporated it everywhere: doing things the right way; playing hard, smart and together; valuing your family above all.

We all burst from Chapel Hill in a plume of gorgeous blue smoke, wafting to all corners of the globe where other like-minded souls await. The "sky-blue mafia" has beds for you in Manhattan, an internship in Hollywood, a coffee in Prague, and we'll let you get in front of us in line at the K&W in Rocky Mount.

There is no old boy's network, no secret handshake. All we share is an affection for a town on a hill, and this: when we see Dookies clogging our TV, our lips curl and we seethe a little inside. The week of the big game, we find ourselves canceling appointments.

Is Dook still worth hating? Take a look at Sean Dockery slugging Tyler in the mouth. Spend a Saturday night next door to a Dook fraternity. Find yourself in the midst of the Kameron Krazies, a numbnut group of ravenously twee dorks who shellac their nipples with blue food coloring, scream cruel and deeply unfunny crap at opposing teams, then jump up and down with the mindless lockstep of the Communist military.

There's just so much to despise! Every religion must have its Devil, and ours are Blue. Dook is the gift that keeps on giving, and whether you're in an 8am Econ class trying to stay awake, or in your nursery trying to get your daughter to sleep, we're in it together. Break his ankles, Ty! Punch it home, Rey! God bless them Tar Heel boys!

Ian Williams, a 1990 music/psychology graduate, lives in Los Angeles and New York, writing for television and movies.


2.08.2011

We Put Birds On Things

Derrick has introduced me to Fred Armisen's completely insane new show on IFC, Portlandia.  The show strives on the idea that "the dream of the '90s is alive in Portland," where young people move to retire.  Derrick and I have always dreamed of living in the Pacific northwest for a brief period of time: riding bikes everywhere, asking our waitress for the life story of Daniel, the chicken we are about to consume, wearing an outfit of Birkenstocks and reclaimed bottle caps, and spending our days rescuing tri-limbed cats and dogs.  Luckily, this show allows us to live vicariously through its endless array of emo hipsters!

A few months ago, we walked into three stores in downtown Brooklyn, one right after the other, and each one had more birds in it than the last.  We had to give up shopping that day because I developed a serious Tippi Hedren complex.  You can imagine our excitement upon viewing our new favorite sketch: "Put A Bird On It." 


2.01.2011

Cat Bath Noir

This is a deep and thoughtful motion picture that looks like it fell right out of an NYU film class. And it may or may not be inspiring me to create my own red carpet CiB event this awards season. Enjoy the sadness below!

How To Earn Extra Money Without Getting A Second Job

The best time to begin a workout challenge is the day you somehow injure your neck.  It's also a good idea to start working out heavily and competitively on a day you decide to give blood.  And, as an added bonus, if you throw in some beautiful freezing rain, you just might have walked right into the least challenging challenge ever.

Since Derrick and I have been living on such a limited income for the past year and a half, I've decided it's time to start pilfering money from my colleagues so I can afford that extra box of wine every month.  So, I organized a workout challenge wherein whoever (whomever?) works out the most hours after four weeks wins 70% of the entry fees, and whoever comes in second wins 30%.  There are some real Competitive Cathys here at the office, but my coworkers obviously have no idea what I am capable of. 

I am reminded of an office workout pool Derrick joined back in Colonial times when he was working.  He ate nothing but beef jerky for weeks and on the day of his final weigh-in, he fasted and wore three pairs of sweatpants and three sweatshirts and worked out for hours in an effort to lose every ounce of water he could afford. 

He won several hundred dollars, which we presumably blew on food.

Yum.

1.27.2011

Tsnownami


This is how we get yellow snow! 
In related news: this is the kind of scene that makes me not want to get a dog.

We are all cooped up inside on this snow day ... and we think that's something we're supposed to complain about, but, we're pretty much inside all day, every day anyway.  Hooray for adulthood!  Also: in spite of the tsnownami, our place of employment is the only entity open for business in the entire city, so here we sit, hard at work! 

Today, we have accomplished many things and are looking forward to the rest of the day.  We took a life-threatening leisurely stroll into work, where we arrived late, watched the last half of the Teen Mom 2 episode we cut short last night so we could get to sleep early in the hopes that we would go to the gym this morning, which we did not end up doing.  Then, we did about fifteen minutes of real work, took a long lunch with Derrick, and now we're getting ready to leave early.  All while wearing jeans like the true rebel we are.  We love faux-snow days!

About Teen Mom 2.  Other than Leah, this is the most unsympathetic cast of bitches we've ever seen.  Jenelle says things like, "I would stop smoking pot if I got custody of my son," Kailyn doesn't see anything wrong with dating another guy while she's living under same roof with her ex-boyfriend and his parents, and Chelsea's boyfriend wears shirts that show his nipples.  And this is the nicest way we can write this ... the babies are of inferior cuteness to the kiddos of the original cast.

On another note, this little gem came from Sandy H. via e-mail.  She always likes to keep us posted on the greater Charlotte-area drug-ring activities, and now you know too:

"The Cornelius police busted a pot farm (in a locked room on the 2nd floor) today at a restaurant, 'The Creole House,' on Main St.  The food there was so bad I always wondered how they stayed in business. Now I know.  Love you, Mom."


1.25.2011

Seasonal Affection

You may think I seem like the kind of person who revels in the doom and gloom of January, soaking in the cold, gray, bleak days of endless darkness, gazing past the leafless trees and into the sunless sky, thankful that there isn't another three-day weekend for months upon months, and not missing Gossip Girl's winter hiatus even the slightest bit.  But you would be wrong.



I have diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder.  It's a real thing; my sister told me!  I haven't felt like myself in a few weeks, and I blame the winter.  Anyone who really knows me won't believe what they're reading - specifically, all former roommates who no longer speak to me after epic battles over me cranking the thermostat to sub-freezing. 






I think I may have found a cure though, other than counting the days until spring (which, believe it or not, doesn't actually help).  I'm talking about the arrival of my favorite piece of porn for nesters: Architectural Digest.  The impending drool and release of psycho-sexual endorphins lead to a magnificent and swift recovery, all in the name of interior design.









All better!

1.21.2011

Skins and Skinniness and a Real-Life Consciousness Stream

This week's premiere of the American version of the U.K.'s Skins and its corresponding disapproval has inspired me to completely skip it altogether in favor of streaming the British original on Netflix.  I'm pretty much obsessed with it and now spend my days at work wishing I were one of our interns so that I could get away with actually sitting at my desk, watching TV.

One of the characters does a spectacular job of committing to her eating disorder.  It reminded me of my 8th grade year when I gave anorexia a go.  I didn't lose any weight or get nearly as much attention as I thought I would so I was like, "Well ... screw this," and started eating again.

Presently, I am haunted by Natalie Portman's frighteningly thin frame in Black Swan.  Derrick and I were dazzled by this film and by Natalie.  Now there's a girl who doesn't value dinners consisting of blocks of cheese and boxes of wine!  Who does that?  What?

In all seriousness, we haven't seen The Social Network, but every time it wins another award, Derrick has a temper tantrum because he refuses to believe it is better than Black Swan.  It will be interesting to see what happens on Oscar night!  Wait.  No.  It is never interesting to see what happens on Oscar night, and yet I watch it year after year, like a dog who keeps getting its ass kicked for peeing on the rug, over and over, never learning my lesson, suffering through the insufferable awards and inevitably falling asleep before the important ones.

Maybe I will go to the gym instead.

My pre-wedding refrigerator contents, circa spring 2009.
Bouquet, spring mix, water, face mask.
And I think an apple down there somewhere.
Yeah, I looked awesome.

1.18.2011

Sandy H. Has Recovered From Post-Traumatic Dancing With The Stars Disorder

“If I’m being honest with you…..”
Thoughts on American Idol by Sandy H.

In June of 2002, the first season of American Idol launched and in Pass Christian, Mississippi, Leigh Ann and I were mesmerized by this marvelous new form of reality television.  Brooke and Randy were out of college, off the family payroll, and onto actual gentle employment.  Bill was away on business most weekdays so Leigh Ann and I would join the family cats in front of the television twice a week religiously.  Leigh Ann would be draped over the sofa in sweaty riding clothes, and I would be wearing something… well, fabulous probably, and sipping a glass of pinot grigio.  Kelly Clarkson became our girl.  For the first and only time in my life I voted EVERY WEEK for her. (No thanks necessary, K C. It was my pleasure.)

But the real draw, the guilty pleasure every week was British judge Simon Cowell.  When he would start a sentence with, “If I’m being honest with you…” you knew, you absolutely KNEW someone was about to be eviscerated, savaged, driven to tears or blind rage.  Some poor nineteen-year old had stood for hours in the blazing sun or pouring rain to sing (and in those days it was really bad Mariah Carey or Celine Dion) in a stadium or hotel ballroom or old theater.  She had driven hundreds of miles and brought her two best friends and grandparents, all of whom had told her she was waaaay more talented than anyone on the radio.  And then Simon would say, “Do you have a singing teacher? Do you have a lawyer? Then you should get a lawyer and sue her.”  His compliments, because they were rare, were all the sweeter and more precious.  You saw pure, sheer happiness and pride in the singers’ faces.

How is American Idol, which starts Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, going to survive without him?  Can new judges Stephen Tyler and Jennifer Lopez  step up?  Will returning dawg-man Randy Jackson, who will sit in Simon’s chair and give the final critique, be more demanding? Well, "if I’m being honest with you,” I don’t see it happening.  Still, you’ve had a good run, American Idol.  Although I for one will be watching, at least in the beginning, what I’m really looking forward to is Simon’s new show, The X Factor, starting in the fall.  Searing comments.  Humiliating moments.  And hearing him say, “All I could think of when you were performing, is how I would pay you to stop.”

Check out charming and lovable Kelly's audition below.  BONUS FEATURE: vintage Seacrest!  And don't even get me started on co-host Brian Dunkleman, who stupidly bowed out after one season because the show was "too mean."  I wonder if Ryan Seacrest sends him a holiday card from aboard his yacht every year.

1.13.2011

Poopies

I had a tremendous time in New York this past weekend visiting Randy and Chris.  I experienced one of the most fun - and by far the gayest - days of my life when the city greeted me with brunch drinks within an hour of arriving, followed by a trip to Barneys and a viewing of La Cage Aux Folles, rounding off with a cabaret performance by genderqueer and lesbian separatist Justin Bond.

Since our Saturday was so drag-driven, our visit to Ellis Island on Sunday involved brainstorming potential 19th-century immigrant drag names during the ferry ride.  We came up with the following personae:

Alice Island
Deportia
Donna Corleona
Ellis Island Fairy
Quarantina
Tubercu-Laura
Typhoid Mary
Scarlett Fever
Scarlett Beaver

On Saturday evening at dinner, I started getting all (drunkenly) blubbery about my sisters-in-law and how much I love them, and how much I always wanted a little sister.  Randy had told me several years ago that when I was young I wanted a little sister named Mary (Typhoid Mary?).  I always had this maternal instinct thing going on, then Randy reminded me about the Little People play sets from Fisher-Price I used to be obsessed with. 

These were perfect little child-grip sized people (although based on the picture below, they have a much looser definition of the word "people" than my generation did, what with the example being some sort of genetic pig mutation with a thriving commercial pilot career) that fit into different little holes and whatnot.  You can spend hours organizing them and lining them up.  So fun! 


OMG, an airport!  How fun!
While I heard everyone call these toys "people," for some reason what came out of my mouth when calling them by name was quite different. 

I called them "Poopies."  I always had to run off to go play with my Poopies.  What's that you say?  You need me to do something right now?  Sorry, I'm busy ... playing with my Poopies.

Sandy H. has this to say about the matter: "Yeah, we called them People.  You called them Poopies.  People (Poopies) donate them to Habitat for Humanity.  I saw some today including the furniture which included a potty chair for the baby Poopie.  They still make them but a different version since 1990.  Apparently they were listed in a book called Toys That Kill.  That put a damper on things for a while.  But they still make them.  Also, Googling 'Little People' will catch you up on dwarfism."


Me as a child, not a self-imagined dwarf.

1.10.2011

Road Rage

As excited as we were to leave for the holidays, we are equally excited to be back to our boring routine and back to our own bed!

Some people don't look forward to a good, long road trip, but we do.  We love zoning out on the interstate, rocking out to early '90s jams, and the inevitable and immediate feeling of contrition after a giant double burger from Wendy's.  Oh, it hurts so good!

Our trip down to North Carolina was full of memorable moments, all of them involving eleven hours of Derrick shivering in the passenger seat, pale as a sheet (well, paler than usual) and battling a crippling stomach virus. 

We were sad for Derrick, but as usual, we were way more sad for ourselves, because not only did we have to drive the entire way, we also didn't get to enjoy any of Derrick's hilarious road rage antics.  Luckily for us, he was as good as new for our drive back up to Philly, and we learned so many new foul phrases we could never have imagined in our wildest dreams!





We tried to take his mind off of things with some light conversation.





In all seriousness, it isn't too difficult to steer Derrick back into a happier frame of mind.  Sometimes, a little Lady Gaga goes a long, long way.


1.06.2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year, CiB readers!  It has taken a few days for us to recover from the holidays and get back into the swing of things.  In fact, we have been about as relaxed about getting back to Cats in Baths as this cat in a bath seems to be about being in a bath. 



We have been delinquent bloggers because Derrick is off in Australia and New Zealand for two weeks so we have the whole apartment to ourselves, so obviously we have been dancing around in our skivvies as much as we want, like Risky Business meets Swan Lake, but with more falling, more wine-drinking and fewer blinds on the windows (you're welcome, world!).  We have also discovered some incredible new TV - My Strange Addiction or Freaky Eaters, anyone?

We will have new regular posts starting again on Monday! 

And thanks to Lynn B. for the video tip!