Administrivia

Hail, Caesar

A picture named caesar_exits.jpgMy mom called this morning with the sad news that Caesar the Cat had passed away. He was 21 years old; his kidneys were failing, and he had to be put down.

The gravity of that didn't really hit me until after I got off the phone. It was the loss of a family member, and while it was certainly expected, I found myself caught unprepared.

Caesar came home as a kitten the summer before my sophomore year of college; he was, in some ways, my replacement at home. A flufy Persian, He came to rule the street my parents lived on, defending his turf from larger, less furry cats ferociously. Even just last summer, he persued an interloper into the street and tore into him.

Caesar came and went pretty much at will; my father would banish him from the house at night lest he awake my parents at 4 am to go out. He was alternatingly sweet and sadistic, climbing up on laps for petting and purring loudly when he recieved attention, but dispensing swats when his mood changed. He coexisted with two dogs over his lifetime, and made sure they knew their place in the pecking order–below him.

When I came home from college, or the Navy, or later in life with my family in tow, he always let me know that he recognized me, and lavished his royal attention on me. He set the bar for every other cat I have shared a home with.

My mom said the house felt strangely empty without him. It's no surprise; he had such a larger-than-life presence. He was housecat sized, but he had the bearing of a lion.

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General Chaos

“Mister Anderson, welcome back”

I went with my two boys to watch The Matrix: Revolutions last night as a break from the story I'm working on.

I never saw the second “Matrix” film; my older son filled me in on the details. I'm sure I'll see it on DVD when it comes out, just like I did with the original. But even without the full reference points of “Reloaded”, I was able to just unplug my brain and enjoy the film.

My kids enjoyed it, too, though I suspect they were less enthralled with the cinematography than I was. The fight scenes were even more absurd than the original; Jonah, my younger son, said he thought some of the Neo-Smith fight scenes were torn directly from Dragonball Z (which I had to concur with). He thought they were “cheesy.”

I guess people flying around, running into each other at supersonic speeds, making craters in the pavement and such could be seen as “cheesy,” detached from the complete look and feel of the film. It wasn't exactly stunning dialog, either. But it was fun. And I'll get a lot of mileage out of my Agent Smith imitation with the kids for months to come…

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General Chaos

"Mister Anderson, welcome back"

I went with my two boys to watch The Matrix: Revolutions last night as a break from the story I'm working on.

I never saw the second “Matrix” film; my older son filled me in on the details. I'm sure I'll see it on DVD when it comes out, just like I did with the original. But even without the full reference points of “Reloaded”, I was able to just unplug my brain and enjoy the film.

My kids enjoyed it, too, though I suspect they were less enthralled with the cinematography than I was. The fight scenes were even more absurd than the original; Jonah, my younger son, said he thought some of the Neo-Smith fight scenes were torn directly from Dragonball Z (which I had to concur with). He thought they were “cheesy.”

I guess people flying around, running into each other at supersonic speeds, making craters in the pavement and such could be seen as “cheesy,” detached from the complete look and feel of the film. It wasn't exactly stunning dialog, either. But it was fun. And I'll get a lot of mileage out of my Agent Smith imitation with the kids for months to come…

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General Chaos

The non-human touch

At a Sheetz gas-n-sub shop in Streetsboro, Ohio: You walk up to the counter, and a touch screen takes your order. You punch in your sandwich configuration like you're ordering a PC configuration from Dell. And then, a number gets spit out of a printer next to the machine, and you wait for a human to come with your sandwich.

This is the way McDonalds' is hoping to get you to order your Big Mac soon. It takes the chokepoint from behind the register and puts it in front of it, between your ears.

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Family, General Chaos

Are you Happy, Daddy?

It was one of those rare weekends dedicated to downtime with my daughter, Zoë. The playground, the zoo, and long walks around the neighborhood were all we got done. And it was good.

The one thing that happens when you spend two days mostly one-on-one with an almost-three-year-old is that you realize how much more time you'd like to spend one-on-one with her. You realize how much television she's been watching, how much of her brothers' influence has filtered into her conciousness as you talk with her. and how big a sponge her brain is.

Walking from the parking lot to the zoo: “Daddy, when I was a robot, I had really strong legs.”

At the gate: “I want to go see the cheetah.”

In the zoo: “The sitatunga was lonely before the other ones came. But now it has lots of friends.”

On the carousel: “Silly Daddy. Tricks are for kids.”

By the (goats in the petting zoo, waterfowl pond, duck enclosure): “Look out for (goat, goose, duck) poop, Daddy.”

Eating chicken fingers from the zoo's concession stand at a picnic table: “I like this chicken. But this is chicken from a farm, not from the zoo.”

At random: “Are you happy, Daddy? I'm happy.” and “I love you.”

Professions of happiness and love, and warnings of nearby poop; what more could anyone want?

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Administrivia

Slow Saturday

photblog export - 18.jpgIt was a beautiful day today, but we got a slow start. Word that a pot-luck we were planning to attend had been cancelled took what little urgency we had right out of our sails.

Around 11, Zoe and I went to the playground while Paula went to a hair appointment.
(Kevin and Jonah had makeup soccer games, which my ex, Amy, was taking them to).

Zoe and I wandered the two blocks to the park, spotting squirrels and dogs and such. Then once we got there, it was swing, swing, swing. photblog export - 19.jpg

The phone wires were thick with pigeons catching their sun, and bushes swarmed with chattering starlings.
A family brought their dog out to play catch, and Zoe wanted to get to know the dog. She even threw the dog’s tennis ball for it to retrieve, before hiding behind me in shyness.

A week ago, Zoe told our neighbor Anna how she was going to get a dog someday, “after the cats die and we flush them down the toilet.” I guess the memory of her first goldfish’s death has stuck with her.

Well, she’s still on the puppy kick, rattling on about all the things she could do with a puppy. “But Desi and Lucy (our cats) would miss us if we got a dog,” she said matter-of-factly to me as we walked up the hill after the dog encounter. I assured her that we would keep the cats if we got a dog, which would only happen if we got a larger house. She agreed, and said it was time to see if mamma was done with her haircut.

We came back, and Paula had come back, her hair trimmed. She was on the phone, and in cleaning mode–she had decided, based on the gross-out factor of the dining room, that something Had To Be Done.
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