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The Tale of the Bandit Princess [03 Nov 2015|01:51am]

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Marsh, walked the Whisperer.  The Whisperer was well-known throughout the kingdom as a bounty hunter capable of capturing any creature who could be caught.  Bugs feared him, birds revered him.  The peasants wished only to live in peace with him.  He often found himself in conflict with the nobles.  In all the kingdom, only the bandits were equals to the Whisperer.  They alone could evade him.  Though he invested hour upon hour to apprehend even just one, not a single bandit had ever been caught.

Lady Gem, a noble, lead a group of nearly twenty peasants beyond the farms into the village square, for they had worked hard and were to be rewarded with leisure time.  Among them, was the Whisperer.  When not on a hunt, he liked to live among the other people in kingdom, however displeased they were by his presence.  Lady Gem, in her wisdom, both loved and hated the Whisperer, for she understood his gifts, but hated how he chose to use them.  On this day, to the shock of all, the Whisperer found a young maiden, abandoned by her family, tied to a bush in the village square.  The peasants scattered, searching for others of her ilk, but could find sign of none.

Lady Gem untied the girl.  “Who are you?” she demanded.  “Where is your kin?”

Shy and afraid, the girl did not answer.

“Be gone, Whisperer!” Lady Gem cried.  She knew the Whisperer wished to profit from those he caught and she did not want him around the frightened girl a moment longer.  He thought it best to listen and disappeared, though he knew the gift of gaining trust was one he possessed in greater measure than his lady.  She demanded answers.  He could lure the cautious.

Soon, another noble appeared.  “Lady Gem,” cried Lady Stone, “why do you hold that girl so?”

“This maid,” Lady Gem replied, “was found by the Whisperer, tied in a bush.”

The reputation of the Whisperer was known throughout the kingdom.  Yet, to the best of Lady Stone’s knowledge, he caught only those who needed to be found, dangerous people with a bounty, or the disappeared.  “Where is her family?” asked Lady Stone.

“We do not know,” Lady Gem answered.  “The peasants have been searching, but they have found nothing.”

“What does she say?” Lady Stone asked.

“She is afraid.  She speaks not.”

“What can be done?”

Lady Gem considered.  “I suppose I must provide her with food and roof over her head, if I cannot find her kin.”

Lady Stone wondered if Lady Gem was prepared to take on the mysterious girl, but said nothing.

When the peasants needed to return to their farms, Lady Gem (who had many ideas about the noblesse oblige) intended to walk with them back to the fields.  The girl had sparked the interest of many, and gossip about her abounded.  The prevailing theory was that she was a member of the bandit group that terrorized the kingdom.  They claimed, with greater authority at each telling, that she was the daughter of the Bandit leader.  Though none believed the Bandit Queen herself had tied the girl to the bush, none thought the child safe among her own people.  For, if it was indeed not her mother who tied her to the bush, it must be her mother’s enemies, and they were great in number.

(Though, it must be recalled that none was so great an enemy to the Bandit Queen as the Whisperer himself, and he attended to the comfort of the girl with greater interest than Lady Gem herself, once his lady permitted him to do so.)

“We can not send her back now,” Lady Gem insisted to Lady Stone.  The girl had become bolder under an hour’s tutelage of the Whisperer, though she was still silent.  “Even if we knew where the bandits were, for her own good, we should not return her.”

“So you shall take her on?” Lady Stone asked.

“Yes,” replied Lady Gem.  “I shall find a place in my household, and she shall do honest work.”

Lady Stone knew Lady Gem had already taken on many responsibilities.  She wondered if her estate could support another mouth to feed or find room for another bed.  But, she thought it best to let Lady Gem judge for herself what her household could support.

“Very well,” Lady Stone replied.

“It is only…” Lady Gem mused, “she has not eaten in all the hours we have been with her, though we offered bread and water.”

“How troubling,” Lady Stone answered, not really finding the fastidiousness of a bandit princess was beyond what might be expected.  Should Lady Gem offer candy, she was sure the girl would find her appetite.

“And,” Lady Gem answered, “I cannot take her into the village to procure suitable clothes.”

“She cannot stay in those rags,” Lady Stone said with disapproval.  “If you cannot take her into the village, I shall.”

“Thank you,” Lady Gem said.  “I shall send a servant to retrieve her when a place has been prepared.”

So, Lady Stone took the girl and she brought her to the village and bought her clothes and nutritious food and wondered when Lady Gem would send a man to retrieve her.  It is not the purpose of this tale to expound on those adventures, but to explain how it was the bandit princess came to her home.  Rest assured, gentle reader, those adventures were fraught with peril.

The next morning, when the post came, there was a note from Lady Gem:

‘My nephew does not want the girl in my house, and he stays here often.  I will send a servant if you wish, but I do not know where he will take her.’

Lady Stone did not think leaving the girl’s fate to the whimsy of the servant was acceptable.  There was a childless couple in her own employ.  Though the disdainful woman would not thank her for it, Lady Stone thought the amiable man would be pleased to have the girl join his family circle.  And so, the Bandit Princess joined the household, and all thought her better for it.

(Except a wicked orc, who also lived in the house.  He was not pleased, but he is pleased by nothing and for all his wicked ways, is not truly dangerous.  He makes an appearance in this tale at his own request.)

2 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Things I Did Today [17 Jun 2012|02:29am]
1. Drink a gin and tonic
2. Eat a dozen oysters on the half shell
3. Swim in the ocean in my clothes
1 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Happy Birthday to Cats, part 3 [25 Mar 2012|09:06pm]
So, the vet finally sent Dewey his first birthday card. Poor Dewey had to turn three before anyone sent him anything. Junebug had mail on her first birthday.
3 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Some days, you just gotta love your job [22 Mar 2012|01:04am]
Context: I am currently teaching 4th grade. In Social Studies, we have been doing a unit about technology, how it changes over time and the advantages and disadvantages. Today’s chapter discusses “telecommuting,” and asks the children to break up the word to help them discern the meaning.

For the “tele” piece, I ask what words we know that also begin with “tele.” Television. Telephone. Telegraph. Where I’m going with this is that they all communicate over vast distances. So when a student suggests “teleport,” it is keeping that distance theme. Not sure that all my kids will be familiar with teleporting, I tell them that this is something they may have seen in Star Trek or X-Men.

A student calls out, “Iron Man.”

“No,” I answer, “Iron Man can’t teleport.”

Student is pertrubed. ”Yes, he can,” he insists.

“Do not,” I say, “argue with me about what Iron Man can and cannot do.”

(The kids also suggested Deadpool as a teleporter. I haven't seen the Wolverine movie, so I'm not sure if this is a good example or not. I know movie!Deadpool has a lot of powers. This leads to a confused child asking, "Miss...do you watch X-Men?")
2 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Birthday Card Redux [03 Nov 2011|04:27pm]
Last January, Junebug received a birthday card in the mail. By our best estimates, Junebug was born in November-ish, I don't really know what PetSmart was thinking about when they sent this card. (Relive the entry now!)

This year, the vet sent her an e-card!

It's really hard to get a cat to watch an e-card!

Dewey's birthday is in March, we're guessing, and no one ever sends him anything.
2 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Goal: Achieved [08 Aug 2011|04:40am]
One of my favorite books is Natsume Soseki's And Then... It is the story of a depressed and anxiety-ridden young man in Meiji Japan who drives himself to ruin. I read this book several years ago and upon finishing it was profoundly uncomfortable. But in a weird way, that was part of why I loved it so much. Even though it was negative, I had a strong emotional reaction to end of Daisuke's tale.

I bring this book up because I just finished Dostoevsky's The Idiot (thus achieving my Read Two Books in 2011 goal), and I felt similarly unsettled at the end. And while Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov (I cried so much when I finished that one I made my family uncomfortable) have joined And Then... in the ranks of All Time Favorites, I can't say the same for The Idiot. Which is odd, because the latter is the book that really attracted me to Dostoevsky in the first place.
6 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

“This must be what the old west was like -- dodging bullets!” “...In your mini van.” [10 Jul 2011|10:27pm]
From July 2nd to July 9th, my family and I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park. Bit of background on the park:

--It is a fucking active volcano. All of the crazy stuff that you go there to see (and there is a lot) is because of the activity going on underneath the ground.
--It was founded in 1872.
--It is mostly located in Wyoming, though there are sections in Montana and Idaho.
--People were generally jackasses who behaved as though the park was their own personal playground and abused nature until fairly recently, like the 1960’s, maybe. I’m talking throwing logs or soap into geysers to make them explode more. I’m talking washing their clothes in the hot springs. I’m talking a big theater pit where people fed trash to the bears.
--The main road is shaped like a Figure 8, with other, minor roads branching off.
--It is divided into little neighborhoods, which surprised me at first, but in retrospect, makes tons of sense and is 100% necessary.
--Bison are EVERYWHERE!!

I will readily admit that I am not all that taken by the splendor of nature. I mean, snow on mountains. What did you expect? They are mountains.

On July 2nd, we flew into Bozeman, Montana. I really love Bozeman. More on that later. We rented a house in a teeny, tiny little I-Guess-It-Is-A-Town called Pray, Montana. The house was about 30 minutes from the park. We got in fairly late and instead of going to the park, explored the towns surrounding it, like Livingston. There was a fair. I bought gummi bears.

On July 3rd, we went to the park. $25 gets your entire car full of people into the park for a week. That is a very impressive deal right there. Because we were staying north of the park, we went in through the North Entrance, also known as the original entrance. Located there is the Roosevelt Arch, which bears the inscription “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” Teddy Roosevelt himself laid the cornerstone in 1903. There is a time capsule underneath.

On the first day, we went around the top loop of the 8. A few things were closed, like the Boiling River (which my sister had particularly wanted to see) and the Norris neighborhood, which sounds AWESOME. Basically, we drove around the loop, getting out at various intervals to hike. And I think all of our hikes ended in waterfalls. And I stopped being able to tell them apart pretty much immediately. We also saw the petrified tree, which was boring, and bison, which made us freak out. A good litmus test for how long someone has been in Yellowstone is probably if they are freaking out about bison in the distance. They tell you to stay 25 yards away from bison, but that fails to take into account that bison don’t stay 25 yards away from you.

At the end of the day, when we returned to Mammoth, which is the first neighborhood after the arch, the place was overrun by elk. There are signs about staying away from the elk everywhere, so they probably usually run the place. This was also our first sighting of sweet little baby animals nursing on their mommies.

(For future photo reference, this was the day where I wore the black t-shirt with a crowd scene of Iron Men, War Machine, Tony Stark, and for some reason, the Guardsman.)

Disclaimer: there are no photos in this post.

On July 4th, we decided this would be our animal sighting day. The best places to see a variety of large animals are the Lamar and Hayden valleys. The best times to see them are two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset. (Sunset in July in Wyoming is like...10 o’clock at night, btw.) So, we purposely got a late start on the day, drove out to the Lamar Valley to the Northwest entrance, explored Cooke City, turned around and drove through the valley again at the designated time. There was not really a lot to see animal-wise two hours before sunset.

We saw a grizzly bear WAY before that and the rest of my memory of the day is fuzzy. GRIZZLY BEAR. (The photos -- also fuzzy.) Was this also the day we went to the Mammoth Hot Springs?

There was also this really impressive sunset in the valley. The sky was very overcast and dark. In the distance are snowy, rocky mountains. The valley itself is lush and green. And the sky burst through the clouds casting very bright light on otherwise drearily colored scenery. You really need to see the contrast to believe it. Also--double rainbows! And lots and lots of bison.

(For future photo reference, this was the day where I wore a blue Iron Man shirt.)

On July 5th, we went down south to see Old Faithful. After much maligning of his character, Old Faithful turned out to be pretty faithful. We also went to the basin with the Grand Prismatic Spring and other brightly colored pools that are in that area. Sadly, you really need to see them from an arial view to appreciate them and we were quite unaware that there was a higher trail to take until it was too late.

(For future photo reference, this was the day I wore a green Iron Man shirt. You may find yourself asking if I wore a different Iron Man shirt every day. And the answer is yes. Yes, I did. Also, I was the only person that didn’t wash and re-wear their shirts.)

On July 6th, we went horse back riding from the corral near Mammoth. This trip was an hour. I am sure we did other things...

After several of the guests were mounted on horses, a little boy’s horse went berserk and threw him off while still in the corral. He was crying, but he walked away, so things could have been A LOT worse. Being stepped on was a very real possibility, which thankfully did not happen. A grown woman was also thrown, as her horse threw a fit in reaction to his. She landed in manure.

And then over half the guests left. Can’t really blame them. But the ride was very nice, so we are glad we stayed. My horse’s name was Bashful, but his name should be Impatient. He was raring to go and not really keen on stopping or having someone in front of him in line. We rode the trail in single-file.

My sister, riding Jasper, was very keen on seeing the Backcountry of Yellowstone, which most visitors to the park do not do. The famous trails and sights are either paved or boardwalks. Backcountry refers to unpaved trails. We went through the backcountry on horseback, which is a pretty nice way to do it.

(For future photo reference, I wore a black Iron Man shirt, featuring the classic red and gold armor. He is shooting a replusor and the text reads ‘The Invincible Iron Man.’)

On July 7th, we drove all the way down south again to the West Thumb of Lake Yellowstone to go kayaking. I was not looking forward to kayaking at all. Traditionally, I really hate boats and and I have not been on any sort of man-powered boat that I was expected to row in like 14 years. And I’ll tell you right now, I never did my share of the rowing as a kid. So, I was pretty aghast at this idea that I was expected to paddle a kayak for 3 hours.

But, no, kayaking was great. It was not at all strenuous and we paddled right over submerged hot springs and geysers and lava tubes. It was very neat. Look down. Huge hole. Stick your hand in the water and its warm when six inches over, it is hypothermia levels of cold.

This was when we learned about the higher trail to see the Prismatic Springs, but it was too late in the day for a long hike by then and the south end is so far from the North Entrance that we were unable to make the trip again. It’s 80 Yellowstone Miles, which are very different from normal miles. Yellowstone miles are on the side of a cliff half the time and bison jams are common.

Also, black bear jams.

With little baby black bear cubs.

Yes, you read that right. BEAR CUBS. ALL THE CUTE.

(As if anyone cares about things that are not bear related, I wore my Hall of Armors shirt as a shirt and IM 2 movie shirt as a bathing suit cover up.)

Because we had such a fun time horse back riding in the backcountry on Wednesday, we decided to go horseback riding again on Friday. We couldn’t get horses in the park for a 2-hour trip, so had to go to a corral outside the park. Outside the park is just as pretty as inside, so that was okay but the drive there was SCARY. Gravel road. On the side of a cliff. With Livestock at large.

My horse’s name was Drambuie. I barely drink and he was named after some kind of liquor I’ve never heard of, so I had a hell of a time remembering his name. In my head, it kept becoming Jamboree. Anyway, Drambuie was 25 and crotchety and basically did whatever the hell he wanted. Also, I have really bad horsemanship. Still, this ride was also very nice. Drambuie is a Belgian draft horse. Once I saw they had draft horses with fuzzy feet, I totally loitered in the corral until I got one. I REGRET NOTHING!

We ate dinner at a really fantastic restaurant that day. All the food was good, but this place tricked me into eating Asparagus! (They smothered it in curry sauce, the devious bastards.)

(My Iron Man shirt was yellow.)

On the 9th, we went home! Only, it wasn’t that easy. My sister and brother-in-law’s flight left way before the flight of my parents and myself and we only had the one wild west mini van. So we went to the airport, had breakfast and dropped them off. Then we wandered around Bozeman for a couple hours.

I LOVE BOZEMAN. BOZEMAN IS AWESOME. We went to the historic district and looked at small local shops, including two fabulous bookstores. I bought two books on the history of Yellowstone -- history of the park as far as what people did, that is -- and a super gorgeous amazing hardcover edition of Dostoevsky’s The Gambler, that when you flip it over, becomes Notes From Underground. It is my favorite thing ever and sometimes, I just hug it.

The flights home were miserable and there was much motion sickness and puking in bathrooms with no power. Thanks, Chicago!

That is kind of a downer, let’s not leave it at that.

My favorite activity was kayaking.
My favorite sight is the Dragon’s Mouth Spring.
My favorite animal is teeny black bear cubbies.
My favorite hike is the one with the crazy incline.
My favorite bison is the one under his tree at Mammoth.
My favorite neighborhood is Tower-Roosevelt.
9 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

One Down, One to Go [21 Jun 2011|11:46pm]
In January, I decided that my goal for the year of 2011 was to read TWO books. I never read anymore. I get distracted or I'm tired or so busy that devoting time to a book seems like a poor use of time. I began the year reading The Idiot, but got so busy that I had to put it down for so long that when I was able to take it up again, I couldn't remember what was happening.


But summertime means more time and I have now finished Crime and Punishment. It was fantastic. Go read it! It is insanely suspenseful! I couldn't put it down.

Now I am trying to decide if I want to try The Idiot again, which I had been enjoying, or start The Possessed.
2 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Tales from the Sick Kitty Trenches [18 Apr 2011|03:49am]
My arms are covered in scratches. My cats don't like going in their carriers. They don't like taking their medicine. They don't like going to the vet and they definately don't like car rides.


It all started about two weeks ago when we found a teeny gloop of bloody poop on the floor near the litter box.

Well, actually, it all started in January, when we got the reminder post card that kitties were due for their shots. Responsible attitude: "Eh, we'll get around to it."

Bloody poop attitude: "...let's wait and see if they do it again."

Guess what! They did!


Because kitties had their dual appointments for OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE KITTY BUTT?? and Yearly Shots, Four Months late on Friday, Dewey started screeching up a storm on Thursday. Dewey is normally a very talkative cat, but this yowling was very uncharacteristic. In addition, he kept going into the bathroom, digging around the litter box, leaving and going back to it. Blockage problems are a big issue with male cats, so I was very concerned. I was "Call up the vet the second they open and be prepared to run out the door" concerned.

Our conversation went something like this:

"Hi. My cat Dewey has an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I'm getting very concerned about him and don't want to put it off. Is there any way you can fit him in today?"

"We have a 3:00."

"Anything earlier?"

"How about 11:30?"


"Well, we have an 8:30, but you can't be here in twenty minutes."

"I will be there as soon as I can get him in the carrier!"

Spoiler Warning: Dewey turned out to be fine.


We got Dewey as an adult cat from a kitty rescue group. They claim to have found him in a library parking lot and so, he was named after Dewey, the famous Library Cat who has been the subject of a number of books. I have no idea if this library story is true or not. I kinda doubt it. I figure they said "Orange tabby! Let's name him after that famous orange tabby, Dewey Readmore Books!"

They theorized that Dewey had once been someone's pet who was dumped from a kitty carrier. He's got an pretty intense fear of the carrier, but I am not sure that is unusual. Normally getting either Dewey or Junebug into the carrier is a two-person job, but Thursday Morning, 8 AM it was just me. I got him in there in about five minutes and don't ask me how. My memories of it are pretty blurry but I am sure there was shoving and Greenies involved.


Like I said, Dewey turned out to be fine. He's got some slight swelling of the anal glands which is the cause of the blood we found on the floor. The vet did something to ...vet them, I don't know what. I turn around when someone goes at my cat's butt with a paper towel. He has some pills to help with that. And he also got his shots and blood drawn for his yearly blood test.

And so we thought Dewey would not have to return to the vet on Friday.


We were wrong, of course.

There was a problem with his bloodwork. I don't really know what the deal with that was. It sounded over the phone like a technical error. He needed more blood drawn.


Friday: June's appointment.

When my mother called to make the original appointments, she scheduled them for 4:30. When I left the vet's office on Thursday morning, they said something about 5:00. I just sort of followed Mom's lead on this one, assuming that she knew better than me when she made the appointment.

What PROBABLY happened was Dewey was scheduled for 4:30, Junebug was scheduled for 5:00. Dewey's appointment was moved up to Thursday, leaving the vet's office to expect us at 5:00. But we were there at 4:30.


Here are things I did not know prior to Friday:
1) Cats can pant. They usually pant during times of high stress, like a car ride, or when they are very, very ill.
2) Junebug can meow. (She normally squeaks.)
3) Junebug can meow loudly.

Junebug spent the ten minute ride to the vet panting and loudly meowing and was absolutely inconsolable. In her defense, she has never ridden in a cat carrier by herself before. We got her when she was a kitten and she and Dewey used to fit in one carrier. They would ride together and neither of them would be all that stressed. Before we got her, at the rescue, she usually traveled with other kittens. Being in a carrier by herself was a new and horrific experience for her.


I honestly expected her to take a chunk out of the vet, but she was too scared to move.


Let me tell you about the nurse. This woman was pissing me off. She came into the Friday appointment with an estimate for the day's bill and spoke about everything solely in terms of how much it would cost. She looked at the invoice a hell of a lot more than she looked at either of the cats.

Put the estimate down and treat my cats! It was really angering. She would also disappear into the back to update her estimate based on services we wanted or did not want instead of, you know, actually DOING anything with the cats.


It turned out June is fighting an infection of some sort, so she got a dropper of Amoxicillin. Her eyes were red and the lymphnodes in her neck were swollen. June doesn't like being handled and she will scratch the shit out of you when you try to hold her still for her medicine. She is supposed to take one mL twice a day. Here are some of the things we have tried:

-One person holds the cat, one person forces the dropper in her mouth.
-One person holds the cat wrapped in a blanket, one person forces the dropper.
-One person holds the cat wrapped in a towel, one person forces the dropper.
-Put the medicine in milk.
-Put the medicine in plain yogurt.
-Put the medicine in water from a can of tunafish.

The tuna water one worked really well.

Junebug is cynical. Before I had these cats, I didn't really think cats had different personalities. I figured people just projected onto them. NO. Dewey and June have VERY different personalities, interests and ways to talk. June is cynical. She's still not entirely sold on us and she is hard to trick.
¤ What Rides the Wind?

This test scares the crap out of me [02 Apr 2011|11:41pm]
"Thoughtful to the extreme, you are often obsessed with perfection and the rules governing your own personal interests. Your world is black and white. You love to work within a logical system, such as language, computer programming, or mathematics. Manipulating a system that can be completely understood is a distinct pleasure to you, because of your confidence in the underlying veracity of your belief system. Because of your appreciation for logic and order, those who speak or think in a sloppy manner are apt to generate more than their share of wrath. Although very amiable, you are not drawn to friendships out of a sense of personal need. You are just as happy by yourself with a good book or puzzle. Because you are so involved with thought, you will on occasion have difficulty dealing with the day-to-day problems of a normal life. Taking out the trash, doing the dishes, these are often left until the last possible moment, if at all."

My results? 100% accurate.

The test? Looking at weird blinking lights and questions that make no sense. What IS this?
10 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

[26 Mar 2011|07:36pm]
I am an insanely sentimental person. An e-mail address I last used in 2008 has been corrupted or something and is sending people links they SHOULD NOT CLICK. I have to delete it. It is very upsetting and kind of difficult to do, both emotionally and techinically, as it keeps giving me reasons why it can't close the damn account. First it was You have a Windows Live account!. Then it was the browser cookies.

Good-bye, nekorein [at] hotmail.com. No one could pronounce you anyway.
April 19, 2002-Whenever I get this Close Account Option to work.
4 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

I have have a heart full of rage [09 Feb 2011|04:38am]
I have a heart full of rage. Pls comment with happy things. Ponies and/or kitty cats preferred.
31 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

Fucking Tree Top Town [06 Feb 2011|04:57am]
So, once upon a time, my lovely sister altena bought a Wii. And proceeded to brag about it. (And she got one in red, because she can get anything in red. Even things that you would not think exist in red, she has in red.) And she got Donkey Kong Country Returns, and proceeded to brag about that, too. And sure, Donkey Kong Country Returns looks pretty badass, but sequels are never as good as the original and I'm the one who has the Super Nintendo because I still live with our parents!

So, today, I dig out the ol' SNES, set it up and plug in the original Donkey Kong Country.

Now, things to know about me include I am terrible at video games. To date, I have only ever beaten one game. Final Fantasy X, and it took me something like seven months and a very detailed walk-through to do.

So, I'm playing DKC and this game is easy. It is so easy that I am kind of afraid that I might beat it in one sitting because I have 25 lives and haven't died once. About 20 minutes in, Bouncy Bonzana claims a few of my lives, but overall things are looking good. Things are looking embarrasingly good, actually, and I am questioning how well a 16-year-old video game really holds up.

And then Tree Top Town happens.

Fucking Tree Top Town.

And it occurs to me--I'm not reeeeeaaaaaally sure if I've ever beaten this level myself. I'm terrible at video games! There were several levels of DKC that altena had to beat for me when we were kids. And she's not here.

It's just me.


Fucking Tree Top Town!!
11 Ridden ¤ What Rides the Wind?

It's Today! Apparently. [20 Jan 2011|06:29am]
Once upon a last February, I adopted two kitties, an eleven month old male and a four month old female. Dewey, we were told, likes to be the Alpha Male, so he gets along best with girls that are younger than he is. We already knew we wanted to adopt him and we selected a partner in crime for him from a panel of four female kittens offered by the foster mom.

And for many months, Dewey and Junebug lived in a little kitty community in which he was very clearly the dominant one. As time passed, this tiny little kitten--who was very small for her age--grew. And she grew up to be bigger than Dewey. But he was still in charge. If Dewey wanted something that Junebug had, she would give it up. If Dewey called her, she would come.

In the past month, Junie has begun, quite suddenly, to realize that she is capable of doing stuff. It used to be that she would not jump. She couldn't get onto the tables or the counters. She would climb her way onto beds and chairs. She is a chunky monkey, so you might look at her and think she isn't jumping for height or distance because of her weight, but I've seen her kick the ass out of wasps, so I know she can. She just didn't know she could. But she's figuring it out. She's jumping on the table now and onto the kitchen counters. She experiments with her jumping, too. Last night, she took it upon herself to jump through a hoop. She had nothing to gain, nothing she was after. It seems to me that she noticed this hoop was there and jumped through it just to see if she could. I haven't seen her surrender her chair to Dewey in a while and sometimes, she's brave enough to try to steal food off his plate.

This evening, the kitties were playing for quite some time. But they were really talkative and loud, so I wasn't sure if they were playing or honestly mad at each other. There was no hissing, so I wasn't too worried, but sometimes I want to separate them if it looks like Dewey is really picking on Junebug. It's hard to separate them. They really have no tolerance for being locked on opposite sides of doors, even when they legitimately are mad at each other.

So, I went out into the hallway to see what these kitties were up to. Dewey would stalk and attack Junebug, they'd wrestle...and Junebug would win. Dewey complained--loudly--left in a huff and then did the exact same thing over and over again. Now that I thought about it, I was hearing only hearing one kitty's voice this whole time and not the one I was used to. Normally, when they play, it is her complaining.

Like I said earlier, Junebug grew up to be bigger than Dewey. Taller, heavier and longer all around. We've been wondering when she would realize that she can overpower him.
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I Remember Literacy [09 Jan 2011|04:30am]
In the year 2010, not counting comic books or children's books that I read to facilitate teaching and/or to give myself something to do while my class was at specials, I read one book. One. Now, I enjoy comics and a lot of children's books are really good, but my goal for 2011 is to finish at least two books that take longer than 20 minutes to read.

Okay. Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot, go!
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Dear Diary, [04 Jan 2011|02:33am]
Today, one of my cats recieved a birthday card in the mail.

It's weird because her birthday isn't in January!
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Mostly Christmas Mumbo Jumbo [17 Dec 2010|03:40am]
I have yet to find something I like about Christmas, but among my least favorite things is wrapping presents. I am just as bad at it now as I was when I was 10 and first started doing this myself. There should really be some improvement with practice, but no.


I got an A in student teaching. (I am awesome.)


My new favorite thing is Cobb salad. Cobb salads are weird though, because I can't quite determine if there is an official dressing that is supposed to go on a Cobb salad. Some places let you choose your dressing and other places have one that they put on it automatically. According to Wiki, when it was invented, the dressing was a vingarrette, but I've never had one with that kind of dressing. I am currently leaning towards honey dijon on a Cobb salad.


I am a Christmas poacher. I poach every else's unused gift ideas instead of coming up with my own. Cripes, I don't know what you people want.


Here are some conclusions we came to today:
1) If the kitties had some need to go somewhere in the cold weather, say, the vet, my mom would want to put little kitty coats on them. If they were outside cats, then she would not put coats on them because that might impede their outdoor survival needs.
2) Dewey would be fine with that. In fact, he would probably think its a pretty good idea.

So basically, before going to the doctor, Dewey would have to put his jacket on.


I am actually really surprised the cats do not have their own stockings.


For all intents, reasons and purposes, I am basically nine years old. Last weekend, when we were decorating the tree, I dropped my 2008 Iron Man* ornament. His head snapped off, one of his legs snapped off and his fingers snapped off. It was a lost cause. I was ready to throw him away. But then my daddy gets out the super glue and fixes him!

And while he's doing this, I remember that this totally has happened to before, but the last time it was a Little Mermaid toy and I was in elementary school.

After he fixed him, I thanked my dad and he told me it was nothing I could not have done for myself. Which is true, only...I wouldn't have. The idea that it could be fixed was not something I really entertained.

* - I also have 2010 Iron Man ornament. It lights up, if you put the battery in. To date, I have not done so, and I bought it in August. Dude, it requires the use of a screwdiver!
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There will be pow-wows about this later, oh yes.
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I don't clean. [02 Aug 2010|07:43am]
One of the many things I hate about the cell phone that I hate a lot is that I can never freaking find the charger. The cats chew on it, so I have to put it "away" after every use, but given that I am envious of the memory a goldfish possesses, I can never remember where "away" is. It seems to me that the only sensical place for "away" to be is in a desk drawer.

...yeah, my desk drawers are interesting places. I finally got fucking fed up and started pulling shit out to organize/throw away/ect. Remember when I did the entry in which I found drawings under my bed that were over 10 years old? Yeah, this is going to be like that.

Things Found in Kristen's Desk Drawers
--the monologue I printed out in 1999 when I wanted to try out for a school play. I got stage fright and never did go to the auditions.
--my attempt to list all 150 original pokemon by number.
--a 9th grade science lab dated 8/27/98 from when I was totally in love with my lab partner (AKA, the completely hot yet completely untrustworthy douche that I pined for throughout high school and is at least 75% responsible for my low opinion of men. In case you are wondering, he's not on Facebook. I just checked.)
--a flier for the Dimensional Hammer Otaku Society. (Hi, Cat!) This looks like a business card, but it is printed on regular sized paper, so I'm confused.
--a floppy disk. Can't even begin to guess what's on it.
--a cloth to wipe glasses with. I don't wear glasses, never have, BTW.
--pamphlet for UNCA, a college I never actually applied to. Figured if I went to the school my sister went to, I'd just follow her around for a year. For the sake of personal growth (and not being annoying...!)
--my learners permit! Awww...
--a wristwatch I would be inclined to wear if I was the sort of person who didn't utterly loathe wristwatches.
--a list of titles for G Gundam fanfics.
--another wristwatch. I think people used to notice I never wore a watch, so everyone gave me a watch for Christmas every year. I remember at least one year where I got three watches. Now no one wears a watch because we all use our cellphones to tell the time, but I was ahead of the curve!
--three more floppy disks. These ones are numbered.
--the receipt from when I bought Fight Club in 2002.

Things that I knew where in there include the ticket stub to every movie I've seen since 2004 and the keys to my handcuffs.

ETA: No charger yet...!
ETA 2: My charger was in my purse...
¤ What Rides the Wind?

Macy's Bucks + Gift Card + Employee Discount = I can actually somewhat afford them. [01 Aug 2010|02:39am]
I was doing this all day at work today, so I might as well do it here, too:


These shoes are my soulmates. I love them. I have been looking for these shoes all my life.
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