Archive for July, 2008

Buried Alive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 30, 2008 by tigereye

Hi, Spike fans. It’s still me.

No says to tell you she’s still up to her ears in work. This one client of hers keeps sending her stuff to do, and she says they pay her as if they think she’s good at her job, so she’s trying to keep up with them. You should see her. Notes and papers all over the bed and that squawking paper-eating “printer” thing I hate (I’d pee on it if I could jump on top of it) cranking out more every day.

I can’t even get rid of her for very long any more! She was supposed to go see that movie with Mulder and Scully in it tomorrow, but I saw her email someone and cancel. She’s not even sure she’s going to see Furry Guy this weekend.

Now I ask you, how am I supposed to play Texas Hold ‘Em on the internet if she’s working on the box-on-the-lap all day and half the night?

Also, I saw her eat two pieces of pizza at lunch and she never offered me a bite. Not one. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m going to go chew on the most expensive pair of shoes I can find.

Guest Column…

Posted in KittyMonster with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2008 by tigereye

So, most of you have heard of me, right?

I’m Spike. I live with No. That’s what I call her because that’s what she’s always saying to me, and you human types sure like the sounds of your own names, so she must be No. I’m the three-legged dog-mauling survivor she talks about, and most of what she says about me is true. I have kind of a bad temper, but so does No. I have sharp eyes, sharper claws, and I can still jump more than 3 feet. If I still had that back right leg, she’d have a hell of a time keeping me out of her own treats, let alone mine.

Anyway, No’s up to her ears in work this week. I know because I sit and listen with her while she works. (You didn’t think I hung out to be nice or something, did you?) She thinks I’m sleeping, but really I’m listening to those meetings she types up, and using the information she hears to buy stock in a couple of those businesses. Remember, No might have signed a nondisclosure agreement, but I didn’t. I’m a cat. We wouldn’t make promises like that even if we could.

So while she’s working, I thought I’d amuse you folks for a while. I’ve met a lot of you on the net. I like that Little Fluffy Cat (is she single?), and Wanda trips me out, and Ina’s always talking about birds — I could do that all day. You seem like an interesting crowd of people, and most of you are cat people.

Anyway, here are a few of the things No talks about and looks at and does when she’s not on the box-on-the-lap:

TV. No watches some interesting stuff. She’s kind of got me hooked on The Closer and Saving Grace, and there’s this thing with people dancing that’ll do to watch until football season rolls back around and I can keep up with all the Tigers and Panthers again. She also looks at some guy in glasses who cooks and another guy in glasses she calls Keith, who talks about that politician O-someone she likes so much. I hope Furry Guy knows about this Keith, because she talks about him the same way Wanda talks about Orlando Whoever.

Music. Uh, No’s kinda weird on this. She listens to all this instrumental stuff most of the time when she’s reading. If I hear the music from WALL-E one more time I’ll bite her. Zero 7’s pretty good, though. She listens to better stuff through that red and black thing she attaches to her ears: it plays Mary J. Blige and Kid Rock (aw, c’mon, I’m a tomcat, what do you people expect?) and two different Bruces, and lately some girl singers named Missy Higgins and Carrie Rodriguez. I wish she’d put U2 back on, though.

OK, listen up, ’cause I need your help on this one. No doesn’t feed me enough. Seriously. I know, she goes on about how I’ve gotta stay on this diet because a cat with a missing leg can’t get fat, but you people oughta see what SHE eats. Chocolate chip cookies! Fried-ice-cream-flavored ice cream! Orange pineapple juice! Furry Guy cooks healthy stuff for her, but it doesn’t last all week, you know? And I know she’s told you about the government and how they took away her favorite ice cream (though she seems to have made up for them), but they put her favorite Lean Cuisines back, so looks like she could eat more of them and less of the Whale’s Tail chips. The government guys are real, by the way. I bit one who was trying to steal her Eminem CDs. I happen to like rap. See the tomcat comment above.

No wants me to vote this year. She wants me to register as Spike T. Eye and vote for that O guy she likes so much. He does look like a nice guy. The old dude is supposed to have a bunch of pets, but he looks like he wouldn’t tolerate a cat in his lap for very long if you ask me. I’m sure he’s nice and all, but No says if he wins whatever he’s trying to win, we’ll both starve. So vote for O! You heard me, people! Vote for O and tell No to unhook the red and black thing from her ears and freakin’ FEED ME!

Peace. Out.

Postcards From the Road

Posted in Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by tigereye

I just had a FANTASTIC time visiting friends. Lots of them are known around WordPress World, though, so I’ll leave them — and myself — their/our privacy and focus today on another aspect of the trip, which is Road Trip World.

I love road trips, personally. I have an immense collection of CDs, not just the bought-at-the-store kind, but many homemade discs. I play around on iTunes and create theme CDs. Hey, some people knit, some smoke, some watch TV: I make theme CDs. And I haul ’em all with me, so I never have a moment of silence on a road trip. Silence = death, especially when you’ve been driving for 8 hours straight and might doze off going 80 around a West Virginia curve.

Here are a few observations:

West Virginia, to my complete and utter shock, has the best drivers in the world. The only place that comes close to it is California. I was astonished to see people riding in the correct lanes for their speed, truckers staying where they’re told (the far right lane, thank God), drivers using turn signals and moving over to let others merge… I didn’t expect this from West Virgina, which previously only existed, in my mind, so we crackers from SC could make fun of somebody. I only experienced ONE asshole driver with a WV tag. I have no idea how this is accomplished, but I don’t care. As far as I know, the WV highway patrol could be pulling over lousy drivers and shooting them, then dumping their cars down the mountainside. If this is the case, someone please let me know, because it means there’s work for me in West Virginia.

Along with West Virginia, Virginia is the most beautiful place I’ve seen on the East Coast. Rolling hills, untouched mountains, towns few and far between… It was like looking at the U.S. the way it should have been left, before we came along and paved/electrified/billboarded/tunneled through it all. It was beautiful, but at the same time very sad.

If anyone had told me there was more farmland in Ohio than in SC, I’d’ve said they were smoking something. But it’s true. Instead of our ubiquitous tobacco and hay and peaches, there were acres and acres of corn. I felt right at home, like any minute now I’d see a sign that said “Tigereye’s Hometown, 17 miles.” And the Amish country is lovely.

Back in the Carolinas: Ludacris is right. MOVE, BITCH, GET OUT’ THE WAY. Jeeeeezus H. tap-dancin’ Christ, why does my state produce such total morons? The worst drivers in the U.S. are from Florida, Georgia, and, unfortunately, SC. There were assholes driving the speed limit in the left lane, assholes tailgating me when I’m speeding 20 miles faster than I should be, assholes who drive slowly until you try to pass them… I understand road rage. It’s why I don’t keep a weapon in the car: I’d be overly tempted to use it. Well, a real weapon, anyway — there’s always the tire iron. But really, I’m tired of being embarrassed for my home state. CAN’T YOU IDIOTS DO ANYTHING RIGHT? You vote red and you drive badly and you fly a goddamn Confederate flag — I belong here like flour in a torte.

I am the palest person alive. I saw five states’ worth of people to prove it. In a photo y’all won’t see, I’m posed beside a mannequin that’s only slightly paler than me. This hair sure does show up vividly, though.

In a hotel room in West Virginia, I stepped out of the shower to find a wolf spider crouched in the corner of my bathroom like a tumor set free. For those of you who don’t know, wolf spiders are black or gray, hairy, and they JUMP. He stayed still a while, and I dried off and went away. I returned to the bathroom twice and there he was, still in his corner. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t kill him because I didn’t have any bullets, Malathion, or hydrochloric acid.) Then I discovered, on my third return, that the only thing worse than having a wolf spider in your bathroom is coming back to the bathroom and not knowing where the wolf spider went.

I brought two lovely pairs of shoes and schlepped around all weekend in my ratty Birks.

Virginia and North Carolina have the cleanest rest stops I’ve ever seen. These things are important. I only encountered one stop, on the Ohio turnpike, that was actually worse than a single man’s bathroom.

MapQuest’s new slogan should be: Close Enough. It took me off the highways and into Amish country, and while it was a scenic route, I prefer an all-70-mph course, thankyouverymuch. I then discovered MapQuest doesn’t allow you to select “mostly highways” as a planning option, although you can opt out of highways altogether. To which I say, WHAT THE FUCK?! I’m supposed to get from SC to Ohio using all back roads? How does one do this without taking a hot air balloon, pray tell? Also, MapQuest gave me a few key wrong directions, solved by my own sense of place (I know Columbia is south of Charlotte, for one thing) and the assistance of one of my hosts, about whom I will say Kevin No Last Name Officially Kicked MapQuest’s Ass. He got me onto the turnpike and knocked at least an hour off my trip.

A hotel drink machine stole a $5 bill from me and I was so incapacitated with a leftover migraine I didn’t feel like doing more than glaring when the manager told me to piss off. It’s a chain hotel, though, which means it has a website. Dude, all you had to do was be nice to me and give me five bucks — I did it all the time in retail. Now I’m home, healthy, and havin’ a grudge. Just wait.

 I came home to 6 work assignments, 135 emails (about 40 of which I didn’t delete), a cat pissed off at me for boarding him, and a thermostat on 77. You know you’re back in the Carolinas when the temperature is over 101 and the gas is under $3.90.

I miss my friends, though. I’m ready to do the whole trip again, this time without the spider.

Ms. Monk Takes a Road Trip (with apologies to Tony Shalhoub & co.)

Posted in Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) on July 17, 2008 by tigereye

Living with OCD is not that big a deal, although admittedly I don’t have a crippling form of it. I don’t have to re-check the locks or drive home and make sure the hair dryer is unplugged or touch every doorway in my house on my way out. I do, however, obsess more than most people do, about, uh, everything.

I worry about the spiders that have SURROUNDED my house. (I’m spider-phobic. I don’t consider that an unreasonable fear, though, and neither should you. I maintain that if Satan had taken the form of a spider when he tapped Eve on the shoulder, she would have known instantly who he was.)

I worry that there will be some weird prison break at the vet’s where Spike will be boarding for the next few days and he’ll end up a stray, in the care of a crazy cat lady who will overfeed him and fail to keep up his vaccinations.

I worry that I’ll take a wrong turn despite my carefully MapQuested directions and end up driving off a cliff in Quebec instead of making it securely to my friend’s house.

I worry that my motel, where I’m staying mid-road trip, will have bedbugs and I’ll have to burn everything in my suitcase, as if I had scarlet fever in the 1800s.

I worry that I’m not bringing enough shoes with me.

I worry that the rotten lousy brats who live around the corner will strip my outdoor AC/heat pump unit for copper to trade for crack, and then I’ll have to kill them and I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison, known as a child-killer, without everybody understanding that those worthless little bastards have deserved it for over a year.

You should see my suitcase.

OK, I have these jeans and those jeans and those shorts. Well. What if the forecast changes? I’ll bring one more pair of jeans. It’s sure to be colder up there. But what if there’s a heat wave? Better throw in an extra pair of shorts, just to be sure. Do I have all 997 hair products? Will that travel-size shaving gel last me the weekend? Do I need nail polish remover? Probably not, but it’ll fit in this compartment, so I’ll bring it anyway.

Facial scrub? Sure, why not. If I don’t bring it I’ll wake up tomorrow morning with a zit the size of Pike’s Peak on my chin. Benadryl? I can always use Benadryl. Damn, this Imitrex expired in January, but I’ll bring it anyway, as insurance. Hell, it might even work.

YOU CAN NEVER, EVER PACK TOO MUCH UNDERWEAR. That is the 11th Commandment. Or it should be.

OK, setting the VCR… let’s see, Monk on Friday. And that Benjamin Bratt thing on A&E that I missed the other night, that reruns this weekend, I’ll get that too. I’m due home Monday. What if there are unforeseen circumstances that keep me in a no-cable-having hotel on Monday? Better set it for The Closer and Saving Grace too. And the new episode of the Benjamin Bratt thing runs next Tuesday. Why not — I can tape 6 hours, I might as well use ’em.

Is that enough dental floss? I have a real OCD thing about dental floss. If I don’t floss I feel like I didn’t shower. (My dentist loves me, especially since I have bad teeth despite the whole flossing thing. I helped him buy his Porsche.)

Better bring the red shampoo, just in case.

Better bring a baseball cap, in case my hair just goes fucking crazy.

Didn’t I used to have prescription sunglasses?

Did I pack the dental floss?

OK, books. I’m reading these and I plan to start this. If I finish this one, I’ll have this extra. What if I finish two books? You never know — I might be insomniac and want something to read and NOT HAVE IT. That’s my idea of hell. So I’ll bring this too. And a crossword book, just in case. With a new pencil. I might do a bunch of crosswords and use up the old one. Oh, and this is just a mass-market book, so it’ll fit in the bag.

Recharge the iPod. Then bring the iPod recharger with me. Same for the cell phone.

Cotton balls. Those can’t be enough cotton balls. Luckily the whole bag doesn’t use up much space.

I think I’ll burn a new CD in case I get bored with the 300 already in my car. What’s a good theme for a new mix CD? I can’t decide. I’ll burn all three. Damn, now I have to get the CD wallet out of the car and re-alphabetize it. (No shit. I actually fucking did this.)

There. I left a space for my razor.

Maybe some extra socks and underwear.

I’ll see you all next week!

U.S. Government vs. Tigereye

Posted in Rants & Rages, Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) on July 12, 2008 by tigereye

Everything in this post is true.

As you all know, I don’t make any apologies or excuses for my political beliefs, which hasn’t always made me popular in my very red state, but it wasn’t until all this Bush administration-warrantless wiretapping idiocy started that someone actually went after me for them. I’m sure my FBI file isn’t exactly up there with Tim Robbins’s, filling an entire file cabinet, but I bet there are at least two heavy, tattered folders of it, dating back to when I protested Gulf War I in college and running straight up to when I called GWB a smirking, slack-jawed baboon over the phone last week. Assuming a certain level of federal efficiency, of course.

It started, as many things do, with the telephone. And ice cream. And it goes back at least three years.

See, they’re wiretapping pretty much anybody, so I’d been joking for a while about being on the list, with no further qualifications than writing letters to the editor and publicly mouthing off to friends over drinks, movies, trying on clothes, hunting the car in the parking garage… My phone cracked and popped more often than I thought was normal, starting in 2003, but it was, after all, just a phone, and I’d flung it across the room a few times, so a little static didn’t seem unreasonable.

Then my favorite ice cream went away.

It was Haagen-Dasz Bananas Foster, and if you never got to try it, that’s my fault and I’m sorry. I really am. It was delicious: banana ice cream with an irresistible streak of caramelized rum swirling through it. My mouth is watering now, just thinking about it. I first found it at my local Publix, and when I got my one experimental pint of it home and tasted it, I went back the next day and bought about six more pints.

I savored them all, every life-beautifying bite, right up to the moment Publix suddenly stopped stocking it.

That didn’t make sense. If you’re selling out of something, you get more of it ’cause it’s obviously in demand, right? I’d done years of work in retail, and this was one of the most basic things I’d learned, right behind Ninety percent of people will steal anything not nailed down.

I figured maybe Haagen-Dasz just owed them a delivery, and stopped in the Publix near the veterinary clinic where I worked instead. Ah, success! I took home two more pints. And then the next time I looked at that store, they weren’t carrying Bananas Foster anymore either.

My phone kept crackling. People commented on it. John, my best friend, my mom. In fact, it was my mom who first said, “Are you being wiretapped? I hope you’ve got better sense than to say some of the things I’ve heard you say about the president over the phone.”

Well, I sure as hell was after that.

Then I went to a football game with a friend, and we stopped at a Ben & Jerry’s store on the two-mile hike back to the car (next time there’s a Clemson game on ESPN, look at that stadium and you’ll immediately understand). She got Key Lime Pie; I got Wavy Gravy. In the car, scarfing down our calories while waiting for the traffic to clear, we rhapsodized over how good it was, how we wished we each had a B&J store closer to home…

Next home game, both flavors were off the menu. Key Lime Pie was limited, explained the college kid behind the counter, looking at us a bit wide-eyed; Wavy Gravy had been discontinued again. He seemed nervous, like we were considering buying ice cream just before we blew up the place.

(About the Key Lime Pie: sorry, Beth. Didn’t mean to drag you into this.)

If it had stopped with the ice cream, I think I could have gotten along just fine, if disgruntled. (I mean, Bananas Foster was really, really good.)

Next to go was a favorite perfume. It was Liquid, manufactured by Hard Candy, and I’d ordered a bottle of it from their website, followed in short order by the lotion and the shower gel. It was an odd, almost licorice-scented perfume, unlike anything else I’d come across, and not long after I stocked up on it, it was gone.

After the success with removing one cosmetic from me, the guys in their black suits and black Lincoln (they must be miserable, sitting there in a southern summer, dressed like that, or at least I like to think how unhappy they are) decided they were on a roll and took away three of my favorite lipsticks, although by now I was catching on and ordered a backup of each one before they disappeared. Hey, it’s a pain trying to find a good red lipstick these days. I’d tell you what the colors were, but I have a sneaking suspicion the government guys might go through my house searching for them, and anyway you wouldn’t find them. Sorry.

And so it continued. No kidding. I keep thinking Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk is going to be next, so I’ve stocked up on it; instead the one I lost was Brownie Batter. The anti-frizz leave-in conditioner I used to slather onto my dyed, damaged hair has vanished. Ditto Pineapple Paradise Yankee Candles, Night Court on DVD, my favorite Opi nail polish, Clinique shower cream, and Escape body cream.

The tide might be turning, though. It’s possible that it’s just because this is an election year, but for the last two weeks, I’ve been searching every Publix and Bi-Lo and Bloom in three counties, looking for Lean Cuisine Chicken in Peanut Sauce. (Don’t laugh. If you couldn’t cook, you’d live off these too.) I almost gave up, carrying around the mental image of black-suited guys who don’t even remotely resemble Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones, raiding the freezer case at Publix, muttering to each other as they worked:

Guy 1: Go check the Ben & Jerry’s. I think we missed some Cake Batter last week.

Guy 2: I will, but first, don’t forget the Land Shark beer. It’s behind you. That’s on the list too.

Yesterday, on my grocery run, I passed a Publix stocker working the freezer section and peered over his shoulder. I think I messed up his afternoon, asking him to pass me an entire stack of Chicken in Peanut Sauce, but it was worth it. I’ve got to make it last, at least until November when I might get my civil rights back.

I only wish I could get Haagen-Dasz Bananas Foster back, too.

Gloom, Despair, and Agony On Me…

Posted in Rants & Rages, Slices of Life (add $1 for ice cream) with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2008 by tigereye

This has not exactly been my week. If I’d known how it was going to go, I would have crawled in bed after seeing Wall-E (far and away the best thing that’s happened to me all week) and come out only to hit the snooze alarm.

I volunteered to help a co-worker finish a massive project, and through no fault of hers, it’s sucking up my free time, my patience, and my will to live;

Spike ran out the front door today, and when I leaned over to scoop him up, I threw my back out for the first time in 6 years. I had to crawl — literally this time — back in the house, and it took me 10 minutes to get vertical. I have 5 pain pills left on this batch and I’m considering taking them all, washed down with a swig of Corona. Also, when I can move enough to catch Spike, I’m considering swinging him around by his tail until he’s dizzy and then flinging him out into the yard;

On top of that I’m getting a rerun of yesterday’s migraine;

I have to pay the rent and I’m curious as to what my landlord would say if I called him and said, “Hi, can you come over and get the check? By the way, it’ll only be good because it’s covered by my overdraft protection. And the reason I can’t bring it to you is I can’t walk and anyway I’m on painkillers.”

Also, I’m worried my adored Roger Federer is going to get beaten by his rival this weekend at Wimbledon. There. I said it.

As far as good news… well, Wall-E, like I said, is extraordinary. Back down to earth (snicker), there’s a two-day Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel, so I’ll be entertained while immobile.

Anyway, happy holiday weekend to everybody else!