Saturday, May 31, 2008

Charlotte Misner Begins!

True to my word (shoulder gets wrenched out of socket while patting myself on the back), I've written the first chapter. I successfully logged in to the site Tom set up for us. I copied and pasted Chapter One into the little windows. I put in the code (I think) to collapse the post after the first two paragraphs. Poof! Nothin' happened.

I've emailed the chapter to Tom and asked him to post it for me. I'm sure he'll do that as soon as he notices the email, cuz he's just that kinda guy.'re up. (I think I'll send you an email.)

Update: Tom has overcome my incompetence and the first chapter is now posted. Hey Tom, is there a Sitemeter or similar on the site so we can track our visitors?

Update again: Tom sent me an email telling me about difficulties with posting and dating posts. His email follows and my be helpful when it comes time for you to post:


I never had such problems before! Believe me. It turns out the the
blog doesn't like the single character ellipsis, the fancy
open-and-close curly quotes, or the slanted single quotes. Once I
replaced all those, it posted just fine. At least now I know.

As for the dating, my blog won't show future posts until the date is
reached. So the 2042 is out. But I can manipulate the timestamp so
each successive chapter is a minute earlier than the previous one, which
should give the effect that you want.

Hope that's helpful (/Update)

Also, IMPORTANT NOTE to everyone. I've asked Tom to date my post December 31, 2042. Everyone else, when it's your turn, should date their posts one day EARLIER than the chapter before yours. That way, they'll all stay in order.

If you want to comment about my incompetence or about dating or any of that stuff, feel free to do it here. If you want to comment about the chapter itself, do so over there where it's posted. Thanks.

Oops! Forgot to tell you that when it's posted you'll be able to find the chapter here.

Another Post That's Totally Not A Post..Not A Post At All!

I've been running around the intertoobs looking at all of your blogs and leaving random comments here and there and there's nothing new at all here on Polybloggimous.

And there won't be for a while. I've got to finish Chapter One of Charlotte Misner and figure out how to post it on it's very own site...or I'll open myself to accusations of...stuff.

Feel free to rummage around in my stuff and generally entertain yourselves while I'm "writing".
(For full effect, picture me doing that two finger quote-y motion while saying writing.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dude! They Pay You To Speak.

So, I'm sure you've all heard we had another construction crane collapse in Manhattan this morning. Now I realize the guys on the radio are accustomed to just reading prepared news scripts, but breaking news happens now and then and when it does, it would be nice if they had a teensy-tinesy command of the English language.

Here are a couple of tips.

Tip #1: When something has been completely destroyed, it has not been decimated.

Tip #2: There is no such thing as a mute point. (If you want to get technical, I suppose you could use that to refer to a point that remains unvoiced, but I'm not sure how useful that would be.) On the other hand, when you say "It seems to be a mute point to be talking about traffic when we still don't know about fatalities"... well, that wouldn't mean anything even if you had used the right word.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Just Can't Shut Up.

Up to the time I was 12 years old, I lived in a neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL called Arlington. The street I lived on ended in a 'T' intersection. That intersection was our baseball diamond.

First base...up the hill to your right in the Zimmerman's front yard.
Second Base...middle of the street.
Third base...a little out of place because you had to avoid the sticker patch in Aunt Myra's front yard.
Back to home plate in the middle of the street.

In 1966, at the age of 6, I was deemed too young to play. I was too small and I'd get hurt if they let me play. "Why don't you sit next to the fire hydrant in the Hilsenrads' yard.? That's outside the foul line on the 3rd base side and you'll be safe." I was hit by a line drive foul ball on something like the third pitch and knocked out cold. It was the Sixties, so I'm not allowed to claim any deficiency as a result, but I sure as hell was thankful for everyone looking out for me and keeping my little 6 year old self safe.

Yeah! Us Sixties kids didn't get sealed in bubble-wrap.

On second thought, I'm totally scarred by this experience and somebody owes me a lot of money. Yeah, lots!

Charlotte Misner -- The Last Word Before the First Word.

As of this moment, the folks who have signed up to help write Charlotte Misner, are:

and Jim.

And Shawn has jumped in since this was posted.

Eric is on the fence and MWT wants to see a few chapters before deciding whether or not to opt in. I can live with that (slackers).

Now, I'll try to be a little more clear about what we're doing.

-Charlotte is the lead character (duh). She's on her own in her early 20's in 1942. She lives within walking distance of Pensacola Naval Air Station. Among other struggles in her life; her sister and brother in law have both recently died in a car crash leaving her with three small children to raise. She has a crappy job. She might get a better one because those are becoming available, but that's up to the writers. The only advice I'll give on where we should be going is that Charlotte should be courageous (within the constraints of the world we invent for her whatever that ends up being). She should be admirable. She is hot. (That's my bit of Mary-Sue for the story. :D)

-This story is meant to be novella length, and while, overall, I'd suggest that it's a drama, life includes romance and life includes comedy. Feel free to insert some. This time around you cannot change things from previous writers unless you create a logical plot point that achieves the change. You can't ignore story elements if ignoring them kills them (i.e., obviously not every story element needs to be addressed in every chapter, and not every character is going to be in every chapter, but please follow the writers before you reasonably.)

-There is no restriction on how long or how short your chapters should be. Just move the story forward and try to give the writers coming after you a decent setup. (I'd prefer, in general that we don't end up with a bunch of chapters ending in cliffhangers to set up the next one, but if that's what you come up with, go with it.)

-Each writer is asked to create their chapter in a week (or less, if you get inspired). I don't want to be too heavy handed on this rule either. If you need a few more days...take them. However, if you just feel stuck and want to move back a space in the rotation, let me know and I'll notify the next writer.

-Speaking of order...we'll go in the order that people signed on...the order at the beginning of this post. Anyone who signs on once we're in progress will take the next place at the end of the line. I have no idea how many times we'll rotate. I suppose enough times to create a story with a beginning, middle and end. (Or to just drop the whole thing if we agree that it sucks and isn't going anywhere.) I don't know when we'll actually cut off letting new folks sign on, but I think if we've started a 2nd rotation, it's probably an appropriate time.

-We'll be posting on a single blog. Tom has set up Write as a place we can all get administrator status to be able to post. (Tom, I already lost my username and password...can you tell me what they are or should I just register anew?) I'd love it if every chapter was posted thusly:

Chapter ______(in the title space)(I'm not averse to people naming chapters if they want)

by________________(your name) to begin the body of the post

put in first paragraph or two of chapter and then a clicky word for an expandable post. (If you don't know how to do this, maybe Tom can go back and insert the right tags? or we [meaning someone other than me] can teach you how.)

That's what I've got. If you have more questions, go ahead and ask and I'll try to answer them. In general though, I'd just like us to try to write something good (possibly even touching), but I'd like to leave everyone a fairly free hand. You guys write some awesome stuff, so why mess with that?

Good Morning...Oh Crap!-With Updated Wrap-up Goodness.

So the morning has gotten off to a terrific start. The alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. It woke me up. I made coffee. GF and I drank coffee.

So far, so good.

We walked out the door at 4:50 a.m. so I could take GF to the airport (visiting family). Yesterday, when I got home, there was nowhere to park on my block so I parked around the corner. Well, it turns out that since they installed the bike lane on that street, they also changed the parking regulations and the side I parked on not only has street cleaning twice per week, it now has No Standing 4:00p.m.-7:00p.m. Monday thru Friday. Shit!

Car? Towed!

We called a car service to take GF to the airport. That went fine and she called to say she got checked in fine and would make her flight. I'm going to have some issues with getting the car out of the tow-pound. First of all there will be $150 for the towing itself. (Why do I have to pay you to tow my car when I didn't even ask you to do it?) There will also be a fine for parking in a No Standing Zone (probably $55). The car is a rental and that won't make it any easier retrieving the damned thing since all of the paperwork is in the glove compartment and they don't let you go to the car until you show them the paperwork. Crap. This isn't gonna be any fun at all.

UPDATE: Well, it's 7:00pm and I'm home from a mostly craptacular day. The towing cost $185 and the ticket for the No Standing Zone is One-Hundred and Fifteen fucking dollars!
And guess what? They only had on person working at the Tow Pound and it took me three and 1/2 hours to get the car. Fuckety, Fuck Fuck!

On the good side, the job I'm on right now initially hired me only to scout for three or four weeks (four weeks ago). They want me to stay on an manage, so I get a little raise and I'm on the job through the middle of August. Yay!

First I'm gonna have a drink to work off the car towing crappiness. Then I might have another one to celebrate employment.

On a more pleasant note, we start writing Charlotte Misner this weekend (Saturday by our calendar, Sunday by the Narnian calendar). Kate, Jeri, Michelle, Matt, Tom, Kimby, Tania, and Saqib have all signed on. Eric is still being all coy and shit. There's still time to join us. Let me know in the comments if you want your name added to the list of participants. (Besides that; who am I fooling. Since everybody gets a week to write their chapter, I think you're safe joining us anytime before August. I'm not big on enforcing deadlines when they don't make any real difference.) I'll put up the promised post tonight with a more thorough description of how this one will work, but for a basic description, go here.

Time to go start my battle with intransigent bureaucracy. (The hell with fighting them; I even had trouble spelling it.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Evil Kitty Humor

Now Hear This. Now Hear This.

As Nathan prepares to go to work, he thought he'd let you all know that:

-He is not amused by any particular thing that he feels the need to bring to your attention.
-He is not outraged by any particular thing that he feels the need to bring to your attention.
-He has no new kitten photos that he feels driven to share with you.
-He has no cooking tips or recipes that must be shared this very moment.
-He no new furniture or headwear to show you.
-He is once again posting on his blog about the fact that he really has nothing to post.

-He plans to stop speaking of himself in the Third Person very, very soon.

Thank you. That is all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reason #472.6 I Love My Mac.

So those of you who follow my technology challenged hardware/software wars, know that I recently had my Motorola wireless router shit the bed. After getting a Netgear router that didn't work, I followed everybody's advice and (duh), got an Airport Express.

So, my printer has been wonky for a while now...maybe two or three months. I figured I should delete it from my computer and reload the software from HP's site. (It's an HP 7310 all-in-one).
Well, I downloaded the stuff and started installing and got a message window telling me I'd downloaded for an older version of OS X. I had to leave, so GF said she'd look for the right download. When I got home, she was on the phone with HP because she'd found the right download, but something wasn't working right.

She spoke to 4 folks at HP. The first person said they didn't support that printer any more. "Why", GF asked, "do you have downloads dated only a couple of months ago if you don't support the product anymore"? The HP lady suggested we buy a new printer. After a bit more cajoling she said she'd connect GF to a Mac tech.

Wait, wait, wait...Dial Tone!

After playing around with a couple of other things, I said, let's call Apple and see if they can figure it out. Short story, after turning things on and off in different random orders, disconnecting and reconnecting multiple cables in different random orders, 8 cigarettes, two kittens using me as a carom obstacle and one bag of marinating meat waved around my head 7!!! Printer is detected and actually works again.

Neither the guy at Apple or I know what finally made any difference...but he hung in there with me and actually helped.

I know this printer will need to be replaced someday and I think my main criterion for choosing a brand will be finding out what kind of customer support they offer.

Apple rawks!

Internetty Weirdness?

So, yesterday I got curious. I was looking around my stats on Sitemeter and noticed, (duh), the longitude/latitude feature that's supposed to pinpoint where the visitor came from. The "map" link on Sitemeter doesn't work, but you can plug the numbers into Mapquest.

Guess what? In the past few days, I've had visitors from:

  • the middle of 4 Parks
  • the middle of 3 bodies of water (2 rivers and one Great Lake)
  • the middle of one cemetery.

Yay! I'm a big hit with the dead!

Monday, May 26, 2008

When Grammar Attacks.

I hit publish by accident and any of you who saw the first version of this are probably scratching your heads.

Anyway, I just saw a promo for the show The Bachelorette. There's a clip where she's being introduced to all of the potential beaus and she says, "I believe one of you are my husband." I really wish at least one of them would have just walked out of the room at that point.

I also wish the producers had asked her to do a second take. Or maybe they think she's a twit and wanted to let us in on the secret.

In Which I Make Good On A Promise, Excuse My UnforgiveableNegligence, Discuss The Fleeting Nature Of Money And Praise My Courageous Gentile Forebears.

Note: There is apparently a maximum number of letters and spaces in a Blogger Title and I ran out of them between Unforgiveable and Negligence.

Yesterday, I said I'd write a real blog entry today, so...make good on a promise? Check!

Excuse my negligence? I'll admit that even though GF and I took a little overnight trip right into the very backyard of certain UCFers, I neglected to tell no meeting up occurred. In my defense, we made this plan at the very last minute and really wanted to just get away together for a little trip. Hence, I excuse, not apologize. Check!

So where did we go on our little trip? Mystic, CT. It's a really cute little town about 3 hours away from Brooklyn. We chose this destination with two things in mind. I'll get to those shortly. On the drive up, I realized we'd be passing through Bridgeport right about lunchtime. I spent a considerable amount of time in Bridgeport when we were shooting Pistol Whipped and there's a restaurant there that I like quite a lot. Ralph 'N Rich's is really terrific and if you're in the area, I recommend it. GF had the french dip sandwich; I had the linguine with white clam sauce; we each had a cocktail and desert. Niether of us could finish what we ordered because Ralph 'N Rich's does not skimp on the portions. Everything was excellent, but soon we discovered that the only attainable goal here would be to not embarrass ourselves by making sure we'd eaten enough to make a respectable dent in the meal. I don't know how long I was eating before you could see any evidence that the dish had a bottom. Did I mention that Ralph 'N Rich's isn't cheap? Eighty bucks including tip. Hey, we were on vacation. A little decadence is called for.

On to the first reason we chose Mystic as a destination. Mystic is just down the road a little way from Foxwoods Casino. We really didn't want care about staying at the casino and by the time we were looking for reservations, the only rooms they had were going for $489 per night, but we do like playing, off to the casino. (I've already broken the ice on the fleeting nature of money, but here's where you get to see it really fly.)

I usually like to start at slot machines because it doesn't call for any thought. I quickly managed to lose $40 at the quarter slots. At one point I was winning, but you don't win unless you get up and walk away before you give it all back.

Then, off to the roulette tables. How'd that go? Um, not so good. I don't think either of us was winning significantly at any time, and we contributed more to the no-longer-so-needy Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation's coffers. Let me take a moment here to say that I never expect to win at a casino and decide, in advance how much I'm willing to lose (i.e. pay for the entertainment of playing). The only machine in a casino that's guaranteed to pay off is the ATM.

At this point, we split up for a while. I went to the craps table and GF went to the penny slots. BTW, penny slots are really deceptive, because by the time you choose all of the available lines to play, and how many pennies to play per line, you're betting $1.40 on each spin. That's OK. GF won 246,000 pennies. I had a good run at the Craps table too. I won almost $500 which put me comfortably back on the plus side for the day.

At about 7:00, we decided to go look for dinner. I'll stop here for a second to say that Foxwoods is a huge place. There are 4 or 5 casinos and a bazillion restaurants ranging from food-court style up to really fine dining and everything in between. Some casino/resorts are to be avoided at all costs on a holiday weekend, but even when it's busy, Foxwoods is big enough that you never have trouble finding a seat at a game or in a restaurant. We went to a really good place that I didn't bother finding out the name of. I had prime rib (hit it over the head and bring it to the table), and GF had grilled salmon. The second excellent meal of the day. And considerably cheaper than lunch.

So, we stuck around for a few more hours after dinner and played some more and won some and lost some and I actually came very close to breaking even. We had a lot of fun and then decided to call it a night and go check into our hotel. Note: I had printed mapquest directions to the hotel, but between the fact that they've been rebuilding the roads around Foxwoods pretty much non-stop since the place opened and the fact that Connecticut's attitude toward street signs, is "If you don't know where you are, you don't deserve to be here", we had a little difficulty finding the hotel. By some miracle, though, we only made one wrong turn, corrected that quickly and soon found ourselves in a lovely room watching a laughable Steven Seagal movie. Under Siege, if you must know and I can totally go the rest of my life without seeing Gary Busey in drag again. Just sayin'.

So, we slept in and then went off to do touristy stuff in Mystic. We walked around the town a little bit and walked into a couple of touristy shops where we had no intention of buying anything and just generally wasted time for a couple of hours. You might be interested to know that because of geography, some of the stores here seem to divide themselves into being stores for Red Sox fans or stores for Yankees fans. One store gave them equal shelf space and I lost all respect for them about two steps into the front door.

I don't know why I was so impressed by their drawbridge, but I was.

The humongous concrete counterweights only miss that roof on the left by a few inches.

And I never did see what was going through that was tall enough to require the bridge to go up. I'm sure there was something, but I never saw it.

Next we went to the Mystic Seaport Museum. I think we were there about 10 years ago, and frankly, at the time, it was pretty small and cheesy. That's kind of what I expected to see again, but we had other reasons for going there, which I'll get to soon. But, the place has been massively expanded in those 10 years, and it's really quite impressive these days. It's a recreation of a 19th century fishing village and it's big enough now that saying village isn't a joke anymore. It's pretty cool and worth a visit.

Anyway, we started by touring the place and walking into a few more shops to look at stuff and say snarky things like "Do we need a crab shaped backscratcher?" No. We did consider buying one of these squeeky lobsters for the kitties, but since they have the attention span of dust and a crumpled of sheet of paper is a great toy, we decided they didn't really need one.

We also saw this Marine and his new bride (with photographer and waitress carrying the champagne and flutes). Can't see 'em? They're there, really. It's just that the camera started acting up right about now and chose to shut itself off instead of taking additional pictures when they got closer.

We toured one of the whaling ships.

Look, it's a whaling ship.

After walking around for a while and looking at a bunch, but, by no means all of the 19th century villagey stuff, we got around to the true purpose of our visit...eating lobster. The Mystic Rotary Club was having a fund raiser and serving up the first lobsters of the season. Yum!

Here's the ticket for my lunch. Between admission to the museum and tickets for lobster lunches, I shelled out 72 more bucks. Did I ever tell you that once, while working on a movie in Cincinnati, GF and I flew to NY for the weekend. I say, for the weekend, but the only reason I wanted to go was to have dinner at Peter Luger. I'll travel for a meal. Everything else is just icing on the to speak.

So, here's where we get to the part about my courageous Gentile Forebears. Who was the first guy to look at one of these things and think it might be good to eat. I imagine the first attempts involving teeth being broken on the shell. Then I imagine someone figured out to hit it with a rock to get at the stuff inside. With the lack of fire, I doubt that was a very successful exercise either. Sooner or later, though, somebody figured out how to cook the things. And then, with the discovery of butter, the whole thing was perfected. Damn, they were good, and I tip my hat to those who came before me, so that I could reap the benefit of their disgusting first experiments with crustaceans.

Also, witness the evidence of two different strategies for eating corn on the cob. GF uses the typewriter platen method whereas I go for the rotary style.

On the way back to NY, we stopped off at one of the Outlet Malls along I-95. I'm not sure they're really such a great bargain, but we bought some stuff anyway. One of the stores we went into was a Kitchen gadget store...because you can never have enough kitchen gadgets. We got some new kitchen towels, a juicer, a little doohickey for chopping garlic and a flat grater. GF also picked up a set of measuring spoons labeled 'dash', 'pinch' and 'smidgeon'. This offended me as I don't think those measure have been standardized and that the manufacturer is just making shit up. GF looked gave me 'the look' and said, "It's not like we ever actually measure anything anyway".

Apologies to anyone who read this before I caught all the typos and stuff. Hope I got 'em all.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Negligent Blogging.

I posted a cheap little rant yesterday about my teak hat and I'm not posting anything today except this promise to put up a real post tomorrow. GF & I took a little one day jaunt and we just got home (7:15 Sunday evening). I'll tell you about it tomorrow...not today.

Sue me!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Notice To Cease And Desist.

Since last Sunday's visit to a Flea Market and subsequent posted description and photos of said visit, numerous malicious references have been made to Nathan's "teak hat". Said item is neither teak, nor a hat and readers are hereby notified of the existence of a Cease & Desist Order prohibiting further mention of said "teak hat".

Violations of this Order will be dealt with harshly and swiftly, penalties to include (but not be limited to), forfeiture of UCF membership, 45¢ fine for each violation, imprisonment for up to 17 hours, or any combination thereof.

This Cease & Desist Order is in effect immediately and will be enforced rigorously. Thank you for your cooperation.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Random Blogginess!

Item the First.

I told you our kittens are defective. Well Teufel is really weird. I mentioned that he'd magically grown his balls back after the ASPCA swears he's fixed. Well, I also think he's a bit younger than they said (about 10 weeks by now). He still wants to nurse. He tries to nurse from the other kitten. When doing this, he chews off the fuzz growing back from her fixing procedure. He tried to nurse on GF's ear. This morning he tried to nurse on my belly. We'll be happy when this behavior is over. LuLu, on the other hand, prefers to sit on our shoulders. And even though it's adorable, it's not adorable every freakin' minute of the day! And she's, look.

Item the Second.

Here's something that's kind of neat (at least I think so). The company I'm working for at the moment has their office in the Starrett-Lehigh Building. This was originally a Freight Distribution building with a railroad as its ground floor tenant. And it's huge! It occupies the entire block between 26th and 27th Streets between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway. And it's 18 stories tall. So, what's so cool? Below, you can see one of the loading docks and the freight elevators. Well, what's so cool about a loading dock? This one is on the 17th floor! That's right. You can drive a truck into the freight elevator, send it up to the 17th floor and let it sit there unloading right on the floor it's delivering to. They knew how to build some Macho-Assed buildings in the 30's.

And Item the Third.

It's Fleet Week in New York. Below, is a shot of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). (The web site will ask you for a username and password, but just hit 'cancel' and it'll let you navigate the site.)

Kearsarge, (named for Kearsarge Mountain in New Hampshire), is an Amphibious Assault ship with a crew of 77 Officers, 1,100 Sailors and 2,000 Marines. It's the fourth ship of it's name (dating back to the Civil War era sloop that defeated the CSS Alabama), and is one of only two United States ship names mandated by congress to be used more than once. (I'm not sure what the other one is but I'm sure somebody will tell me.) It's the biggest ship they brought to town this year (and the only one I had time to get a shot of). Go look at some of the pics on their website. The Amphibious landing craft are especially cool. One of the other ships in town is the USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55). It's a Ticonderoga class AEGIS Guided Missile Cruiser home-ported in Norfolk VA.

Enjoy the town while you're here Navy Dudes and Dudettes!

Everyone else, have a great weekend!

Oh, and I almost forgot. The Anonymous Production Assistant apparently enjoyed our random drive-by the other day. Way to go folks...that was fun. And his blog is really good. You should keep going there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Post The Second: Re: The Next Writing Jamboree.

Upon arriving at home, I opened up the First Chapter of Charlotte Misner intending to get a little further along with it since it now has a due date. I read what I've written so far and had an unfortunate realization.

Remember when I first started posting There's No Crying In the War Room? (Yes, I've been bad and haven't gotten anything written there for wayyyy too long. Sue me.) At any rate, the most common piece of advice was that my first chapter had too much exposition and waited too long to get to the action. Guess what? I've done it again.

The extenuating circumstance is that I'm trying to introduce the lead character so that you guys can all take the ball and run with it. That having been said, I'm gonna rework it a little to get the action moving. I think I'll still have a fair amount of exposition because I want give a reasonably defined character for you as a starting point.

In other news, Tom's set up a blog for us to post all of this to. You should still announce your intention to participate in the original thread. Then, go here to see the blog. You'll find a place to register and then Tom will promote you to Privileged Blogger, and you can post, edit, and most anything else. (Obviously, we're all going to be on the honor system and not start editing each others' stuff...but I don't even need to say that with such a classy bunch of folks as you.)

As I mentioned in the comments over at the original thread, I'll be posting again with more info on what the guidelines are for the story, but I really want this to be open to individual interpretation. While, in the long run, we'll be writing a dramatic piece, obviously, comedy happens in life. Romance happens in life (or doesn't if nobody writes that part).

Anyway, I'll go back and try to (re)-write a first chapter worthy of you efforts. And, yes, we're still starting on Sunday May 31st. (It's on the Narnian Calendar.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Because The World Does Need Four-pound Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Come hither and I shall tell you of awesomeness abounding. Of Kit Kat Bars as big as your head. Of Gummi Bears you could chew for a month. Of Ginormous Snacks.

Yes, quietly children. Listen carefully. Before we go on, I can not be held responsible for what any of you may do with the font of knowledge to which I am about to introduce you. As long as we have that completely understood, I'm ready to proceed.

Behold! I give you It's all pretty self-explanatory from there.

Go Forth and exercise gluttony.

Get Ready For The Next Writing Jamboree!

Sophie from Shinola was a rousing success and everyone seemed to enjoy it so much that a lot of people wanted to know when we could do it again. The answer to that about the end of next week? I've got an idea for another round-robin writing exercise and I propose we begin on Sunday, May 31st. As with the last one, I'll post the start of the story.

Be warned; this one couldn't be more different from the last one. How is it different? Well, I'll tell you.

  • It's not Sci-Fi (I'm actually hoping for something of a Fannie Flagg type attitude or like John Grisham's A Painted House. BTW, if you haven't read that one, do yourself a favor. Even if you think you can't stand Grisham, this is very different from most of his stuff.)
  • Depending on how many people participate, I'd like to go for Novella length.
  • Last time, we were trying to get folks to add only 100-500 words to the story. It was meant to be quick and snappy. This one will be more open to interpretation, but each person will be adding a chapter, not a short bit that moves the story forward.
  • This one is meant to be a linear story that holds together, not the insanity we inflicted on Sophie.
  • I'm thinking that people should have up to a week to post their chapters, since this one is clearly more ambitious.
  • Also, last time, someone suggested setting up a group blog and posting it all in one place. I think something like that would definitely be appropriate for this if anyone can help set it up. Or, barring that, I could just set up another blog, then post the additional chapters as participants emailed them to me. Let me know what you think.
Here's what you'll be getting yourselves into:

The name of our story (and lead character) is Charlotte Misner. I haven't finished writing Chapter One, but here's what I can tell you about Charlotte so far. She's 23 years old and lives near Pensacola Naval Air Station in the summer of 1942. She's been suddenly left with two young nephews and a niece to raise when, prior to shipping out to England, her Brother-in-Law, manages to wrap his car around a tree, killing himself and Charlotte's sister after a Bon Voyage dinner. Charlotte's got a dead end job that pays just enough to pay her rent and put food on the table. She has almost no help with the kids.

I don't know in what fashion yet, but Charlotte's a strong heroic woman. Not necessarily in the single-handedly-breaking-up-spy rings sorta way...but in some kind of step-up-to-the-plate -when life's really hard kinda way. I intend to point in a direction and let everybody take it wherever they want to (within the set guidelines, which, I'll expand a little as we get closer).

At any rate, who wants to play? Participation is open to anyone with an internet connection and the ability to type in English. I think Sophie was a great deal of fun and loved everyone's contributions. If you want to participate, let me know in the comments here. I'll post at least once more about this before it kicks off, but, in the meantime, you can also make suggestions in the comments, as well. (The idea for this is still germinating in my head, but I've got a pretty good picture of Charlotte in my mind already.)

Anyway, I hope all you Sophie writers will take part and hopefully we'll get some new blood involved as well.

Ow! My Pancreas!

Even Pauly Shore can't always be wrong! In Encino Man, Shore wisely exploited the comedic value of the word pancreas. What sentence isn't funnier when pancreas is included.

Would you care for some pancreas with your Cordon Bleu?
I'd like a room with a view of pancreas!
I'm renting out my pancreas to a family of Guatemalan immigrants.

See? Pancreatic goodness.

What other words improve any sentence and tickle you?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Always Get My Great Ideas Just A Wee Bit Too Late.

As you know if you follow the sidebar to see what I'm reading, I'm working my way through The Chronicles of Narnia right now. Somehow, I managed to go through life without ever reading them before.

Guess what, kids? These are some damn fine books! I bet they'd make some kick-ass movies.

I'd talk more about it but I'm a little busy working on another idea I've got. It'll be a new kind of thing to use instead of snaps or buttons or laces. One side is sort of wooly and fluffy and the other side is a little stiffer with lots of little hookey thingies on it. The idea is that when they touch each other they'll stick, but then you can just pull them apart. Easy-peesey. Don't tell anyone, though. I wouldn't want someone to steal the idea and beat me to the punch.

Driving In Really Big Circles.

Today, I'm scouting Newark, NJ for "cool looking industrial shit". Once again, this is one of those things where you get yourself to a likely area and then just drive around aimlessly to see what catches your eye.

Obviously, this involves much craning of the neck looking down side streets, occasionally interrupted by the thought, "Ooooh, totally not shiny", followed by a quick U-turn. The rental car I'm driving is a Ford Taurus. It has the turning radius of a house.

I'm not happy about that.

(Please scroll down for today's earlier post. Thanks.)

Let's Go Visiting, Shall We?

A while back, I suggested we all go visit some blogger en masse; drop in from nowhere and give them some commenty goodness; boost their stats with a (decidedly) mini-Farking. While roaming the intertubes yesterday, I happened across The Anonymous Production Assistant's Blog.

For those of you who don't know, Production Assistants are at the very bottom of the totem pole. They're the part of the pole that resides six feet below ground to hold up the flashy visible part. Their job description, in brief, is absolutely anything and everything that nobody else wants to do. Browse around APAB for some amusing anecdotes. I can attest to his (I presume he's a he)

Here's the thing about Production Assistants. The main job requirements are:
-a pulse.
-being generally ambulatory.
-the ability to take initiative.
-the ability to do exactly what the fuck you were told to do...Who told you to think on your own?
-the ability to read minds and know when initiative is your friend and when initiative is your enemy.

Other than the first two requirements, there's really no way to test for these things. Production Assistants are strictly judged on the job. (The fact that you passed Existential Scenes from Bulgarian Films of 1932 at UCLA does not provide any indication of how well you will clean the Men's Room after one of the extras decides to flush his underwear down the toilet.) So, when you're on a film, you'll meet a wide variety of Production Assistants with a wide variety of abilities and/or the promise of said abilities. I've met a few who I just know I'll be working for someday. I've met some who were so stupid...well, suffice it to say, they were really stupid.

And I don't claim any specialness in this department. I was a stupid P.A. for a while. When trying to get one of my first jobs, I was asked if I had any P.A. experience. I responded, honestly that I didn't know anything about Public Address systems. I annoyed one Producer so much, (by asking him every five minutes if I could get him a cup of coffee), that I was officially banned to the office when he was on set and vice versa when he went to the office.

Anyway, APAB needs visitors and comments. Since he seems to be in L.A., (and it's currently 5:30 a.m. there), there's no post for today yet. I'm gonna comment in yesterday's post and I encourage you all to say Hi in whatever post is most current when you visit.


I just posted music and somehow, I've managed to completely shut off the ability of my computer to play sound. Really, I have no idea.

Silence is golden.

I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Once Upon A Time, Paul Was Part Of A Band That Wasn't Lame At All....Really!

Today's Assignment.

The job I'm on now is different from most jobs I work on. Usually, I'm on a feature with a script. I break down the script and produce a list of the locations we'll need to get the movie done. When I first get started, I'm usually chasing down the locations I think will be hardest to find. Or the locations that we'll spend the most time at. As we get closer to the first day of shooting, I may not have found everything yet and I'll change my priority to finding the stuff that shoots earliest in the schedule.

A few days before any movie begins shooting, all of the department heads go on a two or three day Tech Scout. This is where everybody gets to see all of the locations in person, find out exactly what the director intends to do there, and figures out what they need to do to make it all happen. The Gaffer figures out if he needs an additional generator because the lighting will be spread out all over the place. The Key Grip finds out if he needs a camera crane the day this location shoots. The Director of Photography hears whether or not he needs any special lenses for that day. Anyway, the goal is to have all of your locations found and locked in before the Tech Scout. I still haven't worked on a movie where we had all of our locations secured by the day of the Tech Scout.

So, back to why this job is different. I know there are scripts for this show but I haven't seen them. I speak to the Producer a few times a day and he tells me what's at the top of the priority list. On Friday, I was trying to find the house that will be a bunch of different houses in the show. I haven't found it yet and I'm still looking. But now, I have a new location to add to the list.

One of the Detectives will be telling the story about how a small manufacturer in NYC was being squeezed out by a larger one in New Jersey who had mob ties. In the real story, the guy made garbage bags. If I can find a garbage bag manufacturer, they might decide to shoot there. But the thought occurs to everyone that garbage back making might not be all that photogenic. I mean, what the hell does that look like? So, my instructions are to broaden the search to include any manufacturing enterprise that looks cool. The idea is to see big machinery that moves.

When I worked on The Jerky Boys all those years ago, we shot some scenes at an industrial laundry in New Jersey. Big giant washers with steam venting off at high pressure. Big grappling arms moving the wet laundry into the dryers. Conveyor belts moving piles of linens from one place to another. Of course, the contact information for this laundry was lost two hard-drive crashes ago, so I have to find the place again from scratch.

Anyway, it's time to get to work. Have a good day everybody.

Oh, BTW, Widget voluntarily interacted with the kittens last night. Progress is being made.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Only $254.00 For Lunch! Such A Bargain!

So, they have these little Flea Markets all over the city, and a few weeks ago they started having one in our neighborhood. Every Sunday, a bunch of vendors set up behind a school a few blocks away. So GF and I decided we'd go down there today and look at all the crap and get some lunch there while we we're at it. First, let's look at where we didn't eat lunch.

Not here.

Not here either.

Nor here. Stop getting distracted; you've got to get to the Flea Market.

Ooh, look...lesbians.

Finally, we got to the Flea Market. Where to start? Food!

Mmmm! These look good. But not what I'm looking for.

Same here!

Yum! Those look great!

GF had one of these.

Mmmm-meat! That's what I'm talkin' about!

I had the skirt steak with cilantro salsa. Yay!

And it's fun to watch the little kiddies while eating lunch.

O.K. Let's look around and see what folks are selling. And remember; we're only looking. We came here for lunch, not to bring more stuff home.

Hey, I think I had these toys when I was little.

I totally had this one.

Cool looking Ice Box.

Anybody need a dress?

Wow! A high chair and a Saltines Box. Sorry, wrong brand.

How did anybody ever keep all their fingers before they started making the grill less open on these things?

I really got a kick out of the apparently Vintage Obama-rabillia!

And she slays me.

Hey! What's that? Wouldn't that fit great into that space we've been saving for a garden bench?
Me: How much are you asking?

Vendor Dude: $275.

Me: How about $225? Cash.

Vendor Dude: $250.

Me: How about $240 so I can feel like I won?

Vendor Dude: You win boss.

Look at me carrying it home.

And it provides a convenient resting place anywhere you happen to want a break!

How was your Sunday?

Something to look forward to!

Once again, I've managed to publish a post with nothing but the headline. Yay me!

Anyway, GF and I are going to the new local flea market in a few minutes. We certainly don't need any of the tchatkies they'll be selling, but there should be some pretty good street food. Mmmmm! Street Food!

That's what I want.

Oooh! And I'll take my camera and show you guys what was up there. (That's the part to look forward to.)

The Gods Are Stomping.

Not really. It's just that the girl who lives upstairs is a heavy walker. She has no carpets. We've broken her of her habit of vacuuming after 10:00p.m. (I kinda told her to stop it.) She's one of those people who never takes her shoes off until she goes to bed. She seems to always need whatever is at the extreme opposite end of her apartment.

She walks loud! On my ceiling! Stop it.

I promise to post a real post later in spite of the fact that it's Sunday and no one is going to read it, but I felt like taking a moment to tell Upstairs Girl to sit the hell down and stop walking on my ceiling.

Note: She's an editor at a well-known political magazine. Is it unfair of me to take her walking habits into account when reading articles she's edited?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today's Book Chat.

I just finished Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka. Time Spike explores the phenomenon that sent Grantville back in time in the 1632 Series. This time, a maximum security prison with all the guards and inmates are cast back into what they believe is the Cretaceous era. But it seems somewhat muddled. One of the prison guards is quite familiar with the time period and sees plants and animals that shouldn't be present in the same time periods. And as time goes by, they discover that whatever the phenomenon is, it seems to echo back through time. In other words, it effects a specific piece of geography, but at random times through history, dragging the inhabitants of multiple periods back to the same destination in time.

So, there's modern Americans, Cherokee from the 19th Century, a despotic Spanish explorer and his army who happened upon the same location in the 16th Century and some pre-historic tribe members, now all thrown together in the same general geographic area.

I enjoyed the book and I'm sure there'll be more set in this world, and I'll probably read them too. But I do have a question. If the modern Americans are able to come to the realization that whatever threw them back in time stopped along the way and picked up random peoples, why don't they ever imagine that there might be people present who should come from their future? It seems quite the question to overlook.

Next, I was looking at a copy of Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku yesterday. To my own shame, I don't read a lot of non-fiction. This one looks interesting to me. Has anybody read it? For those of you with the science backgrounds, does it get things right? For those of you without the science backgrounds, does it inform in a readable fashion capable of getting its ideas through to a dolt like me?

Questionable Taste In Queens (and other stuff).

1. My terlet kin beat up yer terlet!

OK, let's start with the questionable taste. Actually, I haven't got any questions at all except, possibly, "Do you really want to pay a premium for something that ugly to pee in?" Yes, despite the crappy picture quality, what you are looking at is the window display of a Queens Blvd. bath and kitchen retailer. (Hey, it was raining sideways and you're lucky I bothered to pull my camera out of my bag at all.) You're looking at a toilet, a sink and possibly a bidet. I have no idea who the market for this stuff is. Do you know anybody who covets these crappy crappers?

2. I worked 45 years just to smell bus fumes for eternity?

Next up, we have the sticker on the side of a NYC bus. Why do I have this nifty close up of the sticker? Because I sat at the same light through three cycles during pre-rush-hour, approximately 6 inches from this bus yesterday. Rain brings gridlock. Anyway, a few questions occurred to me. 1. Are some busses not Quality Control Buses? Do some only have the wheels bolted on with one or two lug nuts? Maybe the windshield wipers only work on the best of the best? 2. Who the hell is/was Michael J. Quill and is getting a bus depot named after him really any kind of honor at all? I know that's not what I aspire to.

3. Bad drivers---NYC edition.

I've noticed some of you posting items about how bad drivers annoyed you. OK, here's what I dealt with on the way home yesterday. I was traveling from 26th Street between 11th Ave. and the West Side Highway to my home in Brooklyn. Mapquest says this is a 5.3 mile trip and it should take 15 minutes. Fuck you Mapquest. I left at 3:45pm and got home at 5:25. Do the math.

Anyway, at the very beginning of my journey, I'm driving down 26th Street so I can turn south on 11th Ave. I'm about 10 cars back from the light, so, by the time it changes, I get up to about 25 mph before I get to the intersection. I'm not tailgating the guy in front of me, but there's only about 1-1/2 car lengths between us. As I approach the light, some douchebag parked on the side of the street (with Connecticut plates), decides it's time to go home now! Lesson one for bad drivers: Just because you're ready to leave doesn't mean you get to pull into traffic regardless of whether or not anyone else is coming. You're supposed to wait for a gap in traffic.

Then, after missing the light because I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting Mr. Connecticut Douchebag, I turned the corner onto 11th Ave. I got about 2 car lengths down the block before having to stop for the light. That's fine. I'll be moving again shortly. The light changes. Everybody starts to move. I get about 3/4 down the block before I meet Mr. New Jersey Plates Douchebag. He's pulling out of a parking garage. Apparently, when leaving a parking garage, you don't need to pay any attention whatsoever to the traffic already moving on the street. If you're ready to leave the garage, it's time for you to go home and all other traffic is required to yield to you. Asshole!

After a long and slow slog, I'm on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. For those of you who don't know, there are three lanes when you come off the bridge. The middle and right lanes are both meant for cars going straight. The one on the left is for people turning left at the first light. I know this because of the four signs on the side of the road. I know this because there are signs suspended over the roadway. I know this because there are huuuuuge white arrows painted on the road itself. The left turn lane is a few hundred yards long and during rush hour, you can expect to wait at least 3 or 4 cycles of the signals before you actually get to make the left turn. The traffic going straight will whiz by your right side while you crawl forward and wait for your turn. So what's so special about you, Mr. New York Plates Asshole that you get to speed to the head of the line and then cut in front of me when I'm in sight of getting to make the turn? I'm not a big fan of road rage, but one of these days I'm stomping on the gas and T-boning your ass in the middle of the intersection! Ooops!

4. Catering to my inner 11-year old.

I know it's really immature, but every time I see this place when I drive off of the Queensborough Bridge, I giggle a little. Sue me.

Have a good Saturday everybody!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Worst Album Covers....Evah!

The Today Show did a little piece about the worst album covers ever this morning. So I Googled it to see if there's agreement on the subject. Go take a look yourself.

The answer is that...yes, there's much agreement. The front runners seem to be religious albums from the 70's and disco albums with gay single entendres. There's also a bunch of them that are just plain weird.

Which are your favorites? I'm particularly fond of Joyce, Let me touch him, and The Handless Organist.

BTW, I want to take this opportunity to apologize for yesterday's Non-Thought-Provoking Entry. It was the best I had. As an unrepentant comment whore, I clearly didn't live up to your standards or mine. I hereby vow not to mention Jersey Joe again until he does something unimaginably stupid. Actually, I've got faith in him.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Jersey Politics

I'm a New Yorker so I'm not really following New Jersey's race for U.S. Senate seats. However, I've spent a lot of time in the car over the last few days listening to A.M. radio. (It's hard to freak out about traffic when you're paying so much attention to freaking out about the Right-wing drek spewing from your speakers.)

Anyway, "Jersey Joe Pinnacchio" is running as a Republican. I know almost nothing about the guy. One commercial is pretty funny. It's got a silly little jingle about "Jersey Joe" that sounds like it might have been produced in 1957. The second one I've heard is kind of interesting. It starts off "If Obama wins, who's gonna stand up to him?" It then lists all the liberals who don't speak for you and reminds you that Joe is one of you!

There's certainly nothing unique about someone telling you how you need protection from all of the scary people out there, but it's the first time I recall hearing a politician running on the probability that his party's Presidential Candidate is going to lose.

I just thought that was interesting and I don't plan to put a whole lot more thought into who New Jersey chooses to represent them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Kittens Are Defective!

When you have brandy-new little kitten-monsters, they're supposed to greet you at the door bouncing up and down in a frantic display of cute. They're supposed to be hollering the kitty equivalent of "Daddy's Home! Daddy's Home! Yay!"


I've been home almost 45 minutes and what have I gotten? Kitties sleeping.

Sleep on your own time dammit! Wake up and entertain me!

Maps, Maps, Maps.

Have I ever mentioned that I really like maps. This is a good thing considering the fact that being able to read a map is a very basic necessity of my job. After all I spend an awful lot of time asking the following three questions:

  • Where the hell am I?
  • Where the hell am I going?
  • How the hell do I get there?

So, yeah. I spend a lot of time looking at maps. And before anyone starts suggesting GPS, there are a couple of reasons that's not the answer for me. Yes, there are times when GPS is a wonderful bit of technology. It's especially useful when you find a location literally in the middle of nowhere with no landmarks. On the other hand, if I go to an unfamiliar city and use GPS to get around, I never get to know the city. If I use maps, I'm usually very familiar with the place within a very few days.

Also, there are days like today where GPS would be fairly useless. What I'm after today is a house that meets the following criteria:

  • preferably in Queens.
  • very close to an Indian Restaurant because there are a lot of vehicles and extras who work at each of these locations and it would be nice to only hire/rent them for one day.
  • a big enough house that can pretend to be many different interior houses with clever set dressing.
  • not too...ahem...upscale.
There's more to it than that, but you get the idea. Anyway, I've got a general idea of some neighborhoods that may be fertile for this, but the best way to find something like this is to drive around until you're lost, and just keep driving until you see something that looks like it might work.

All of this has been a long winded way to say I'm a fan of the site Strange Maps. But you knew that already because you've, of course, poured over every link from my blog list, haven't you? Yesterday's entry is pretty cool. I'm linking them because they brought this other site to my attention. Ultimately, I'm sending you to look at Frank Chimero's graphic representations of some states. I think they're pretty cool and you should go look at them. I know at least one person who should get a kick out of ByGodWestVirginia!

Back to work now. (No time to proof this, so I hope I haven't made any stupid typos are O.K.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pets Can Be So Demanding.

Update: The yellow cat is now officially named Teufel.

I'm down to choosing between Milo, Teufel and Loki.

And no, he only responds to the sound of food right now. Couldn't care less what I call him.

Your Wish Is My Command!

Via Youtube...Sue Simmons' moment of glory.

It's My Blog And I Won't Opine If I Don't Want To.

For some strange reason, it's my impression that Bloggers are supposed to bring something to their readers attention and then express a forceful opinion about whatever the hell it is. I saw this on the news last night and I think it's fairly moronic. Beyond that, I don't have any real deep thoughts about it.

If forced to take a position about it, I'll say this. For years, people have been able to make the argument that you need a license to drive a car, fix someone's electric wiring or plumbing, and any number of other things, but any moron can have kids. I'm dead set against depriving the masses of this argument.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not That You'll Care, but...

Sue Simmons, one of the Channel 7 (see update) news anchors here in New York, just did her promo for the 11 O'clock news. At the end, she apparently thought her mic was dead and shouted, "What the fuck are you doing?"

You heard it here first. Before TMZ. Before Gawker.

Suck it intertoobs.

Update: First, GF tells me that the exact quote was "What the fuck are you doing to me". Second, I totally blew it on which channel I was watching. Hey, I wanted to be the first to get it on the internet. Based on 30 hits, I'm guessing I succeeded. Lastly, Sue apologized on the air for saying a word that "some people find offensive."

Nameless Cat Is Nameless!

Yay! It's National Limerick Day.

National Limerick Day for 2009 can be found here.

There once was a kitten named Lulu
with a brother who wanted a name too.
He jumped off the bed
and came down on his head.
then looked up and said, "Do I know you?"

Post your own limericks below. If you haven't seen the new kitties yet, make sure you look at yesterday's post.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yesterday Was Caturday!

I'll start with the sad news. I told you a while back that Ollie had been diagnosed with diabetes and probably some other stuff it wasn't worth testing for since whatever it was it wasn't going to be something treatable. Well, for a while, we had the diabetes stabilized and he was back to eating on his own. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, he stopped eating again and the vet said his kidneys were failing, so we had to let him go.

Ollie was a terrific little man for 13 years and we miss him. Witness Oliver in all of his grand regalness.

We weren't the only ones who were sad about Ollie's absence. Widget spent a lot of time roaming the house trying to figure out where Ollie was hiding. She was visibly unhappy.

So, yesterday, we went to the ASPCA in Manhattan and adopted new friends/toys/siblings/niece & nephew for Widget.

I now present the new kitties!

First, meet Lulu. This was an interesting case, since usually you go to the shelter looking for a kitten you like and then think of a name. GF absolutely knew that we were going there with the intention of adopting Lulu. It was just a matter of finding the kitten who was utterly full of Lulu-ness. The shelter thought this kitty's name was Kristen. They were wrong. This kitty is Lulu if ever there was a Lulu.

The second kitty was more difficult. At first, I picked a really lively kitty the shelter thought was named Pearl. There was added confusion because the cage had paperwork for two cats even though there was only one cat in the cage. And the collar said the kitty's name was Pearl even though the paperwork said the cage contained Clapton and Darlin'. Lo & behold, I have no idea where Clapton and Darlin' were, but it turned out that some little deaf kid already had dibs on Pearl. Stupid little deaf kids!

So I went back upstairs to look at who else was still looking for a family and I met this kitty. I'm gonna let you guys suggest names for this little man. I'll give you some helpful information about him. 1. The shelter thinks his name is Marvin. He does have some distinct Marvin-ness about him and they might be right. 2. GF thinks he's a Milo. 3. He purrs like a freight train. 4. When you adopt one kitten, they charge you $125. When you adopt a 2nd one, you only pay $25 more, so I thought about naming him D.C. (for Discount Cat). 5. Lastly, his paperwork says he's been neutered, but I'm pretty sure I detect two teeny-tiny pom-poms still riding his nether region. Anyway, suggest away. I'm not sure I'll use any of your suggestions, but I'd like to hear 'em. Update: Petey and Otis have been thrown into the hat for consideration.

Before I close, a couple more things you should know. It's not really clear from the pictures, but these little guys are tiny. They're each about 8 weeks old (from different litters) and fit comfortably in the palm of one hand. Also, I wish the pictures were crisper, but the only time they're even remotely still is when their eyes are scrunched tight and they're curled in little sleeping balls. I wanted pics with their eyes open, so you get slightly blurry, cat-not-quite-still pictures.

Oh, and how does Widget feel about all of this. Oddly enough, she's as unhappy about new furry intruders as she was about not being able to find Ollie.

She'll get over it.