Stories Of A Cat

Stories of a cat - ShimaiBig, bold, funny, affectionate. That was Shimai, my cat. He passed away a few months ago at 19. I started to write about him a couple of times before he died but I never finished anything. These are a few unconnected snippets about him. Call it “Stories Of A Cat” (dramatic crescendo).

The Dude Is Old

Shimai is 19 years old. That’s old for a cat. That’s ancient. He’s at the point now where he forgets that he has food in his dish. He comes over to me, paws at my leg, and meows like he’s hungry. I tell him that he still has food but he won’t believe me.

I have to go to his dish, pick it up and stir it with a spoon. I have to make the sounds he associates with being fed before he’ll accept that I’m not shitting him. Then I put the food down for him again and he eats like it’s brand new food.

He’s 90 in human years. I’m pretty sure that when I’m 90, I’m going to want the exact same thing; just someone to stir my food.

What His Name Means

I’ve always hated the idea of giving my fuzz buddies common names. When I was a real little kid, we had a beagle named Spotty. I can’t remember if he had spots. Maybe he just peed on the floor a lot. We also had a big, black dog with white paws named Bootsie and the best dog I ever had as a kid, Freckles. She did have freckles.

But none of our pets had common names. That was because of my Dad. He always warned us to never give our pets human names. He said that if they ever got lost, we’d have to walk through the neighborhood yelling out a name like,  “Eddie! Eddieeeeee!” He said that the people in the neighborhood would think it was some little kid who got lost and they’d call the cops on us.

Shimai got his name because my girlfriend at the time was Japanese, and we wanted a cool Japanese name for him. She called her elderly father in Hawaii and asked him what the Japanese equivalent for “last boy” was, because Shimai was the last of his litter when we adopted him.

Her dad told us that the expression or word was “Shimai”. I don’t know if that’s true. Her Dad was pretty old at the time and I think he was going by what little he remembered about the language from his parents. It’s been 19 years and I’m afraid to ask anyone with a good grasp of Japanese what “Shimai” means. I don’t want to find out that his name is like those trendy Chinese character tattoos that are supposed to be “Peace”, or, “Strength” but really mean something like “egg foot”.

I just don’t want to find out that Shimai in Japanese really means “faucet part”.

More Stories Of A Cat

There are more stories, of course. I’ll post them from time to time, with more pictures of The King of the Whole Damn Place. I’ll include Hokulele, Shimai’s adopted sister who now reigns as Queen of the Whole Damn Place.

Tell me about your cat or favorite pet in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

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David Bowie: Counterpoint

David Bowie counterpointDavid Bowie is gone.

Waiting a couple of days for the trend to calm down before posting about David Bowie’s death is probably a kick in the balls to my Google Analytics and a losing of the almighty Internet Attention Span (if they aren’t the same thing), but I wanted to come at his death a bit differently than most of the vultures clamoring for page rank probably would.

Because David Bowie didn’t mean everything to me.

Hold on now

Just chill. I didn’t say I hated him. Or that he sucked. I didn’t say that he doesn’t deserve his accolades or that you’re a boob for feeling bad that he’s gone.

This is about me.

My only experience with David Bowie’s music is the 1976 compilation Changesonebowie. That, and the songs Let’s Dance, China Girl and Under Pressure (with Queen).

COB is a great, great album. It may be the K-Tel Superhits version of the man’s career up to that point, I don’t know, but that’s all I had so that’s all I listened to.

That album takes me back to being thirteen, fourteen years old, rocking out in my brother’s bedroom, listening to it on a, 8-track car stereo stacked on a DC converter and blasted through surplus store speakers. But it doesn’t define my life at the time.

It’s not like I was Joe Normal. I wasn’t. I hated school, where I didn’t fit into any of the regular folders they keep on you. I hated authority. I wanted to be left alone until dinner just as much as the next kid. I just didn’t form a personal connection to him. He was a popular musician and that was about that.

Maybe you’re different

For others, David Bowie was a messiah. He was one of a handful of unique humans on that planet in that he successfully did what he wanted to. He was a cultural warrior in fashion, attitude, sexual identity and art. Being that way naturally attracted others who could not be, or felt shunned and harassed for being, that way themselves.

I get that. I understand that. If that was you, your despair at his death is completely legitimate and your personal expression of that despair is righteous.

Four years after Changesonebowie was released, I put an electric Chirstmas candle in our big front window for John Lennon. I know where you’re coming from.

Counterpoint

But whenever someone famous dies, there’s this cultural rush to fall in line behind whatever the approved narrative of their existence was, the popular summing-up of things.

For some of them, probably most of them, they’re old so it’s easy, “Wow, the actor Dingus Harley died. He was 93. Hmm.” Hell, there’s millions of people going, “Who?” and, “I thought he was already dead!”

For others, there’s a push that comes from somewhere to forget that the famous person was a world-class asshole, too. This goes beyond the desire to not speak ill of the dead. Even in remembering the dead, this revision exists.

The other day, I was reading about band leader Artie Shaw on the anniversary of his death and the write-up from the LA Times was pretty gooshy. No where did they mention that he was married eight fucking times and so emotionally abusive to his lovers that he drove actress Lana Turner to a nervous breakdown. Instead, they concentrated on him being a big band leader and killing it on the clarinet.

So there’s that.

But then there’s the people like Bowie who transcend existence in some way. John Lennon. Marilyn Monroe. JFK. Ronald Reagan.

These people are not only remembered just for their goodness but everyone is kind of swept along on a sacred torrent. Not only was JFK a great President, he was one of the greatest Presidents the U.S. of A. has ever had! Marilyn? She was the sexiest woman in the world!

Like that.

And you have to go along. Or people are outraged.

Which, in the case of David Bowie, would make a mockery of his life. The man was all about not doing what you are supposed to do for the sake of the herd.

I’ll shaddup now

So one purpose of this whole bunch of words was to maybe remind people that not everyone put a candle in their front window when John Lennon was murdered. People were sad without being destroyed. That didn’t make them dicks.

Another purpose here is remind those who didn’t completely relate to David Bowie that it’s OK that they don’t feel the same devastation that others do over his death.

You shouldn’t have to pretend and you shouldn’t expect. You just have to let all of the children boogie.

 

 

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“The Shining” hotel tabletop version

The Shining Overlook Hotel in gingerbreadHeeeeeeere’s Crazy!

From OpenCulture.com and Stanley Kubrik’s “The Shining”, comes a real family affair that would be redrum on my patience (see what I did there?).

Reddit user “eudicotyledon” and his family built a scale model of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, complete with hedge maze, and they did it on their dining table.

The model is amazing! The ingredients list includes Rice Krispies Treats, quinoa, and Jolly Ranchers.

Inside the model are scenes from the movie: gingerbread versions of the “spooky twins” from the movie and the bathroom scene with a g-bread Jack Nicholson and knife-wielding Shelly Long.

But wait, there’s gore!

There are five scenes from the movie, done in ridiculous detail. There’s the scene where Wendy sees dead people in the ballroom and the sphincter-puckering scene where Jack sees the dead woman in the bathtub in Room 237.

The movie is scary enough, seeing the hotel done up like this in gingerbread and powdered sugar is somehow scarier!

The Shining hotel making-of

If all of that doesn’t put the ghoul in your Christmastime cool, there’s also a photo essay on how these brilliant people actually accomplished such detail on the nearly four-foot long model of Overlook Hotel.

 

 

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Pod House: Be A Pod Person

pod house, image 01

With two people inside, you get an egg roll.

What in the name of Donald Sutherland is it?

I saw this pod house, called an Ecocapsule, on Facebook and I had to marvel at both the engineering, which is pretty damn cool, and at the market expectations for it.

The Ecocapsule is 27-square feet of elbow room and is supposed to accommodate two people. The thing has four wheels to make it towable and a couple of built-in hooks so you can drive your crane on vacation. It’s solar and wind-powered and has a battery that (we hope to gawd) will last four days. It’s equipped with a shower and a waterless toilet, a two-burner stovetop and a sofa bed. There will be a limited run of 50 of them. Pre-orders for the pod house are being taken.

Sustainable living or certifiable insanity?

I have to admit that while this seems to be a genius abode, it does stretch my idea of “sustainable living” to the point where it breaks and snaps back in my face.

Sustainable living to me is leaving the grass clippings on the lawn. It’s using captured, filtered, and treated rain in my bourbon and water. It’s throwing the leaves from my trees into my neighbor’s yard.

Sustainable living doesn’t carry with it the idea, in my mind, of locking myself in a fiberglass prison egg with another person and an ax. Because you need an ax, right? To cut the firewood to make the fire over which to cook the sonofabitch that you just hacked to death.

Some people will love it and probably turn it into the rich Hipster version of the backyard pup tent. Or maybe they’ll buy three or four of them, work up some recycled plastic tunnel things, connect them all and make a Hipster Habitrail.

Whatever.

Bringing the pod house to the masses

Seeing this made me think of how they’d be marketed if their use ever caught on. And, well, you KNOW America…

Ed's House O' Pods Fake Ad

Don’t be caught without one!

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