Monday, October 03, 2005

Featuring clawless cats, caustic-free chilli and other crazy c-words (but possibly not that c-word)

New place. Same shit. Apparently, we've got a mouse. Well we've got at least one mouse and possibly more (I'm afraid they really all do look the same to me... sorry all you mouse equality people). We also have, and I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, a cat. She's called George. All you need to know about George is that she's very fluffy (and you didn't really need to know that), she shits on the floor next to the front door each night (and you probably didn't need to know that, but I was just curious if anyone had any grand plans on how to convince a cat not to shit on the floor in the same spot every bloody night) and she's been declawed (which strikes me as a little cruel). Yesterday George caught the mouse — who for now I'm going to call Maurice — it was rather amusing, for all involved I think. George would bat Maurice around a couple of times, forgetting she doesn't come equipped with claws to hurt him, then pick him up in her mouth. She didn't seem to want to actually bite him, just to hold him in her mouth for a while. Then George would let Maurice go and start batting him around again. There were several iterations of this process. The highlight of the encounter had to be the time that Maurice and George sat six inches apart and just stared at each other for a minute (right before Maurice hid behind the bookcase). I'm not sure what the eventual outcome was, last I saw George was staring intensely at the stereo cabinet and Maurice was, presumably, hiding under it. I think they've become friends. Isn't it sweet.

This weekend was a very good weekend for me on the book front. Not only did I pick up a copy, a signed copy even, of Neil Gaiman's new book, Anansi Boys, but I also bought a copy, also signed, of Terry Pratchett's new Discworld novel, Thud!. It's very exciting. I've only had a chance to read the first chapter of Anansi Boys, but I already feel a certain warmth towards Fat Charlie (not that kind of warmth). It should be a good week reading-wise.

Not only was this the week that Messrs Gaiman and Prattchet released their new works, but it was also featured, the long awaited, release of Serenity. I have to say Mr Whedon made a really rather good little movie, sorry... film. It started off a little slowly — trying to catch up those people who hadn't seen the, sadly, short-lived TV show Firefly — but after a few minutes was up and racing and I was loving it. I'd recommend it to anyone, although I'd be curious to find out what non-Firefly watchers think of Serenity.

(The following paragraph only features in this post because chili begins with the letter 'c'.)

Yesterday's chili was very disappointing; not nearly the kind of kick that most people who've had the pleasure — or otherwise — of sampling a Ryan chili have come to expect. I hope to purchase some painful powder of one kind or another on the way home, to spice up the leftovers.

On the subject of disappointments I saw Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway on Real Time with Bill Maher over the weekend and, sadly, Mr Hitchens is no longer my new hero. I still rather enjoyed him when he was having a go at devil-boy, but it's a little much to stomach his unwavering support for Bush. Now, I'm not saying that Laura Bush isn't a lovely lady but I don't really need to hear, repeatedly, about how great she is.

Oh, I almost forgot, I found out what the blue flag with the two yellow dashes (like an equals sign) on it stands for. I've been seeing these flags all around the Victorian Village and the Short North for the last year or so, and never knew what they meant. I think I was a little confused by the fact the colour scheme looked to be the same as the (hated in these parts) Michigan Wolverines. But it turns out it's all about equal rights. The symbol is that of the, rather misleadingly named, Human Rights Campaign. Now I'm not saying that lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenderers (or whatever the political correct term should be) don't deserve equal rights, it's just when I think Human Rights Campaign I think more about slavery, institutionalised violence, etc. and less about marriage (and yes I know there are other issues, but that's the chief tub-thumping one at the moment). I found out because a pretty girl in the park wanted me to donate, as little as $10 a month, to HRC. I felt a little sorry to disappoint her.

In other news, I got offered a job at UCL. It wasn't actually the job I applied for, that went to a theorist from Cambridge who is the 'T' in MRST, and I'm not the 'N' in anything. I haven't said one way or another whether I'll take the job. There's also the slight matter of a PPARC fellowship application that needs to get submitted in the next couple of weeks. But hey, it was still nice to get a job offer even if it does mean I now have to make a decision.

Oh and I should just mention that Leo submitted his thesis. Which will either mean something (probably close to surprise) or nothing (probably close to,... err nothing) depending on if you know Leo.


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Anonymous said...

Put a litter box by the front door. Cat will (hopefully) shit in litter box. After a few days, move the litter box a little at a time towards a more convenient place.

Or there's always the pressure sensitive mat / water pistol combination...

Anonymous said...

Close to surprise in the sense that an all out nuclear war is close to a Friday night punch-up.

Anonymous said...

You might try to put a small bowl of food near the door where the cat has been shitting. Cats typically don't like to shit where they eat. But first make sure to rid the affected area of any scent from the previous activity... Just a suggestion.