Thursday, December 29, 2011

Biggest Hit of the Season

All right--I know I swore at some point I'd never blog about cat stuff, but this thing is just too darn surprising not to share in case any of you have feline friends in the house. Anyway, hands down, the most loved Christmas gift this year? The Super Scratcher +, a cardboard box with sideways-cut cardboard inside that you sprinkle with catnip. We have three cats, and they're all fighting over this thing. One of them (our alpha cat) just sits on top of the thing, seemingly guarding it from the other two cats for hours at a time. As soon as she's in the litter box, eating, or in another room, though, the other two kitties take advantage of her absence, trying to sneak turns using it.

I know my kids like the Christmas presents we got them, and my dog's been carrying around his new toy squirrel nonstop, but the level of hysteria around this silly cardboard contraption (which is so basic, anyone could make one themselves using a sharp knife and a couple of old moving boxes) floors me. Any surprise holiday gift hits in your family this year?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Anyone Heard of This?

Okay. I realize I'm often the last to know about these things, since I'm not afraid to admit how techtarded I am, but has anyone out there heard of While paranoidly checking page 2 of my own Google profile for anything untoward (like that one horrible short story that refuses to go 404 error and die), I ran across my Klout listing for the first time. Apparently, I am an influencer regarding dogs, books, and writing, in that order. But I'm only a "dabbler," so I guess I'm not that influential in the larger scope of things, so I should just get over it and stop Googling myself.

With that disclaimer in mind, however, my question is still, Really? I have a dog, a wonderful dog who's sitting right next to me as I type this, but I don't often (if ever) mention him. So how'd I rate as a dog-topic person before writing and books? I know it's silly to second-guess search engines and such, but I'm perplexed. Maybe it's the comments I make about other people's dogs? I have cats, too, but I guess they're a secret.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Party Time

So last night, I went to a big party. One of at least five evites I'd received in the past couple weeks, I wrote down the day and time in my calendar, then moved on with life. Not sure if it was going to be a dressy affair or a casual night, I settled on wearing an understated black outfit with a pair of heels that are cute but not too uncomfortable--basically, my equivalent of what Sue Grafton fans will recognize as Kinsey's all-purpose black dress.

Before I even made it inside the building, I realized I should have read the evite more carefully. Event staff were busy inflating a bouncy-house-like cushion around a mechanical bull at the edge of the parking lot. The sidewalk leading the the front entrance was strewn with hay. A small army of barrel-shaped barbecues rimmed the buffet line, which was stacked with paper plates. And then I went inside.

Although in the presence of a totally warm and welcoming crowd, I no longer felt comfy in my all-purpose party outfit. The only one not wearing a cowboy hat and boots, I lamented the fact that I didn't even have a bandanna to wrap stage-coach-robber-style around my neck.

I wasn't the only one who didn't dress to the theme, however. Out of the approximately three hundred people at the party, I counted at least four others (hey, Gina! Steven! Mark! Chris!) who wore normal clothes. And the food was delicious! Next time, though, I'll scroll all the way down, taking time to read the whole evite.

Update: Found some video footage of the party.