Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye

This post was supposed to be about my move last Saturday. I was going to write about hauling everything out of my old apartment and moving it a whole block and a half to the new place, about how I dragooned my parents and Cameron into packing and carrying all the stuff that comes with being the last person to move out of a shared apartment (anyone need any shot glasses? I have extras) and how Alice won massive friend points by driving all the way down from Berkeley to help, even though it was a ridiculously hot day that no one in their right mind would choose for any kind of physical activity. It was going to be a fun, moderately exasperated (thanks to the old landlord, grr) but ultimately cheerful post. But then, on Sunday, my cat died and I didn't feel all that cheerful anymore.

I got her when she was eight weeks old and I was a sophomore in college. You were allowed to keep cats in the Caltech dorms; it was actually a determining factor in my choice of colleges. In retrospect, that may not have been the best way to handle that decision-making process, but it worked out okay. She was tiny when I got her, just a little double-handful of kitten, hiding behind the litter box in the cage the cat adoption people had set up at the pet food store. I named her Miss Marple, after the Agatha Christie character, though she ended up having little in common with that sharp and perceptive old lady. My Miss Marple would occasionally run headlong into walls.

She was always terrified of people in general, though she did warm up to me. Actually, she did more than warm up, she bonded to the point where she kind of became my stalker. If I ever went into another room (like, say, the bathroom) and closed the door, she would sit directly outside of it and wait for me to come out. In the morning, after I took my shower, she would meow from the time the water went off until I opened the door and let her in. Which is not to say she wanted me to pick her up and hold her or anything. I mean, she would let me, but she clearly considered it an imposition, at best.

Which was a shame, because she really was wonderfully soft.

I had Miss Marple all the way through college; even smuggling her in when I got stuck living for two terms in Avery, the crappy new dorm that didn't allow cats. We shared a tiny, absurdly overpriced studio in Sunnyvale when I was working for a biotech startup there at the height of the dot com boom, and she moved back home with me for my unequivocally disasterous grad school experience, and ensuing year of unemployment/recovery. She stayed with me through my reentry into industry, though I believe she remained unimpressed by things like lab moves and clinical trial failures. She was, in short, a rare constant through all of what might be imaginatively considered my adult life. But, of course, nothing is constant, particularly pets, and I should know that. I guess I just thought she would be around to see a few more upheavals, whatever they might be.

I think she would have liked the new place. It has a balcony she could hang out on and plenty of birds in the trees for her to watch, plus lots of closets to hide in and make me wonder if it's possible she could have actually dematerialized. She would have spent the first day under some piece of furniture (probably the futon), the next day rubbing her face on everything to mark it, and the rest of them trying to get into the rooms I wanted to keep her out of. Trust me, I knew her.

Friday, September 26, 2008

If Everyone Else Jumped On a New Internet Trend, Would You Do It Too?

Because, apparently, I would. That's right, I've got a Twitter page. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but look! Shiny!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coming to Fox, Fall 2009

That previous clip was from a program called "Hole in the Wall" which, as you may have guessed, was adapted from a Japanese game show. And now that American networks have discovered this treasure trove of inspiration from the East I have a feeling we will be seeing more of these beauties.

I call this one "Holes in the Floor With Girls With Pork Chops on Their Heads Coming Through Them to be Terrorized by an Annoyed Monitor Lizard," and I think it's going to be the next big thing:

That is, if they don't get to testing the weightlifting prowess of stray cats or holding drag pageants first.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The One Good Thing About Moving

The realization that there is no reason to bother refilling the ice cube trays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Les Mots Justes

Because sometimes life dresses you in a shiny silver suit and sends a giant Styrofoam wall at you with a hole in it you could never possibly fit through, and in that case there really is only one thing you can say:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Key Quotes From the Movie "Anaconda 3" Starring David Hasselhoff

"That abandoned factory is just the kind of place a giant snake would want to make its home."

"Where there's blood, there's more blood."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Somebody Up There Hates Me Update

Does anyone out there know a ritual for placating the car gods? Do you build a little shrine out of air filters and brake pads, and leave it offerings of premium gasoline? Take a carburetor out to the coast and toss it into the ocean, while singing "Little Deuce Coup?" Make a pilgrimage to to Detroit, or perhaps Tokyo?

I ask because this morning when I got up, I found that someone had thrown a chunk of concrete through the window of the Jeep and stolen the (nonfunctioning) satellite radio tuner from the cupholder. So, clearly, I have angered someone and I just want to know how to get it straightened out.

Maybe if I sacrificed a chicken?

Friday, September 19, 2008

On Second Thought

I think I like these boots even more:

And they're waterproof! That makes them a necessity, exempt from the purchasing ban, right?

(Thanks to The Manolo, superfantastic as ever, for the inspiration.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update Night

Car Update: My car is still waiting for its new engine. For some mysterious reason, Mazda 3 engines seem to be in high demand these days. Meanwhile, having totally failed in my attempt to use public transportation, I have found a reprieve in the form of Mom's Jeep, which I have until she needs it. I was going to try to take the train today anyway, but I didn't. By the way, have you ever noticed how comfortable beds are? Especially first thing in the morning.

Cat Update: Last week my cat, Miss Marple, escaped from her temporary home in the cabin at my parents'. She has kind of a habit of vanishing, even when indoors in rather small spaces, so it wasn't until the next morning that anyone realized she was gone. Everyone (including me, coming up from work on the ultimately vain hope that she would come out for the person she knew best, and also, incidentally, picking up the car) searched and worried to varying degrees and no avail. Then, four days after she went missing, the little monster showed right up at the door, meowing to be let in so she could have her dinner. Apparently, the amusement value of watching us crawl around under the deck had worn off and she was looking for a new source of entertainment. And also dinner.

Cake Update: Cake is still delicious.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Freeze, Sucker

Recently, it seems like various drains on my finances have been kind of a theme around here. There's the car, of course, which has already racked up some impressive debits just for the rental, and it's only going to get more exciting when it comes time to pay for the replacement engine. And then there's the fact that I have to move at the end of this month, destination unknown, but definitely more expensive. Which, if you combine them with the fact that the way things are going for my employer, raises are probably not going to be a big priority any time soon, gives you some annoyingly strained finances. Which is why, in a bold approach almost certainly doomed to failure, I have decided to institute a buying freeze through the end of the year.

That's right, Daisy isn't going to be purchasing anything (barring gifts) for the next three months. No clothes, no accessories, no books, no purses. No (gulp) shoes. Not even if they're on a really good sale.

Of course, as soon as I decided this, I realized that what I really need is a denim pencil skirt. And a watch. And some boots.

It's gonna be a long three months.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Foot Soldier

It has come to pass that my car has had a certain degree of misfortune, involving the engine, a non-functioning oil light and a really horrible noise. So it went to live at the dealer's, where it has stayed for the last month while the issue of whether or not they will honor the warranty in the absence of proof of recent oil changes. (Today's lesson: Save your receipts.) Which means that I have been driving a rental car in the intervening time, at great expense to the management, but with no end in sight, changes had to be made. All of which is a long way to say that, as of Friday, I will be totally without personal motor transportation.

That's right: Daisy's taking the train.

Public transportation and I are not friends. I do not function well with regards to schedules, and I have too many memories of hurrying after busses that have already left, oddly sticky BART seats and one odd moment when my trip home was delayed by a driver who wanted to stop and steal fruit from someone's bushes. Besides, I'm a Californian. We are defined by our vehicles; they make us what we are. A person without a car might as well be from Oregon.

But the train station is walking distance from my apartment, and they do run a shuttle to and from work at regular intervals. So maybe it won't be that bad-- at least I'll have a chance to get some reading done. While I take public transportation. Because I don't have a car.


UPDATE: Mazda has now officially refused to do anything about my car, because they're jerks like that, so it is on its way to a shop in Berkeley and I am waiting for the ferry.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Guess We're Not In Kansas City Anymore

As you may have already guessed, I made it out of Missouri safely, via what may be the nation's cutest airport. Seriously, there's a cornfield next to the Dollar Rental Car. Also, the security checkpoint is directly in front of your gate, which I believe is one of three on hand. I kid, but really, it was clearly an airport that dated to a time when you could park your car at the curb and come in to see someone off, possibly all the way to their seat.

And I had plenty of time to examine the facility, since I had been off rather significantly in both my memory of when my flight was leaving and how long it was going to take to get there, so I had about an hour and a half to get familiar with the place. I spent some of the time being the sole patron of the only available restaurant, with a terrible food and a very nice waitress, who brought me a whole glass of milk for my tea and told me she'd made my table #7, since I was the first customer of the day.

"I always make the first one lucky number seven, no matter where they sit."

Which was nice, though to be honest, I would have been happier with a lucky not-microwaved-from-various-packages-of-frozen-things meal, but then I suppose that's just my slickster big-city ways talking.

At any rate, Kansas City was a fine place to visit, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a medium-sized Midwestern city to attend a wedding in. Be sure you try the barbecue.