Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Friday, February 17, 2006

a brief glimpse into the feline collective unconscious

My cats generally seem to know, on some level, that they are housecats. They sleep under the covers and seem genuinely offended when I don't give them a plate of the same dinner I have cooked for Ed and I -- Lydia has even, on rare occaision, tried to bat food OUT OF MY HANDS to demonstrate her annoyance. They hate snow, and will make little barking sounds at birds, but are generally content to chanse nothing more actually alive than a stuffed mousie or the occaisional and very unlucky moth.

Every now and again, though, they truly believe they are FIERCE PREDATORS. This happens to George fairly rarely -- he's decidedly an indoor kind of boy, and is just so happy to have food and warm things an no one kicking him, he barely even thinks about his ancient past as a fearsome carnivore. Lydia, however, between bouts of being a complete princess, sitting daintily on her kitty house or burrowing under your sweater to share body heat, regularly decides that she is not a humble housecate, but rather...JUNGLE CAT, MAGNUM P.I.

For example, we keep our spare toilet paper locked away in the office closet, lest it be eviscerated and turned into confetti by some MYSTERIOUS FORCE. Today, I left the closet open a crack after hanging up one of Ed's shirts. Realizing this, and seeing some suspiciously dilated pupils, I sat back to watch.

Lydia appeared to hear the theme song from Mission Impossible. As stealthily as possible for a black ball of fluff, she snuck in (via the desk, bookshelf, doorframe, other bookshelf, chain, and in, making it as hard for herslef as possible). Moments later, she emerged, roll of t.p. clamped in her jaws. The roll had clearly put up quite a fight, as she bore the marks of some white fluff, but she had finally subdued the beast. Then, climbing up to the top of the highest bookshelf, like a cheetah retreats into a tree with a fallen gazelle, she stood atop her fallen quarry and started to rip it apart with tooth and nail.

Of course, as soon as I got the tiny handvac out to clean up the confetti, she fled. It's...kind of loud, you know. Those vacuum cleaners. Scary.

I think I need to get out a little more.
Natalie Zed updated @ 1:47 p.m.!! 1 comments

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

best husband ever

This is what happened when I finally got home on Valentine's day:

Ed has beat me in the door by a grand total of 10 minutes, just enough time to set up a rented Playstation 2 and fire up Katamari Damacy (the best game ever created). It's the most purely, blissfully fun game I have ever played, but have balked at buying a whole other system just to play a single (albeit trancendant) game. Also, I'd like you, you know, accomplish things now and again.

So we played Katamari Damacy, and ate a huge plate of mac and cheese together (witrh little hearts drawn in ketchup), and went to bed at 9:45pm. We read together for a little while, the cats sleeping on our ankles, for maybe an hour or so before a sweet, early sleep claimed us both.

This is why I married my husband. Because renting a PS2 was genuinely the coolest thing he could have done for me right now. I've been -- not so much working hard as getting up at 7am, blinking, and finding that I really ought to go to bed soon. Having something so silly, so much fun, that enables me to turn my brain off so completely for a little while, is exactly what I needed.

I dreamed I had to make a toothpick star, and was both amused and put out because the resulting katamari was so oddly shaped and almost impossible to control I started playing with my feet to prove it wouldn't make a difference. I can't stop humming the music.

Ed rules.
Natalie Zed updated @ 11:13 a.m.!! 1 comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a seething hatred for everything pink

This is going to be a terribly unoriginal post, I fear. Everyone has V-Day angst. Either you adore the holiday and are cast into a blue funk because no one else seems to appreciate all things fluffy and chocolate covered, or something gets forgotten or left undone or whatever, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins. Or, you're someone like me, in which you think the holiday is saccharine and appalling, that waxy chocolates and enforced jewelry-buying does not equal love, and intellectually the whole thing is disgusting. But somewhere, in your darkest and squishiest girl parts, you wonder if you're missing something, if there's a secret code of stuffed animals and horrible red lacy underthings that you simply don't speak, and you're doomed to live out the rest of your days lacking a certain (however puerile) joy.

See, this is why I suck. Because I worry about crap like this.

Anyway, since it is only 9am and I have work to do, and therefore cannot start drinking quite yet, here are a few cool things for everyone else who becomes just a little homicidal at the thought of a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that says 'I love you this much!" blech.

The always fabulous Sandy Lam sent me this earlier this morning. It is a Valentine's Day cartoon by David Firth (creator of the horrifically amusing Salad Fingers shorts), and if you're like me, then the gratuitous dismemberment will make you cackle with glee.

One thing almost guaranteed to trigger a rant of epic proportions (or at least send me divind for cookie-dough sice cream) are all the abso-fucking-lutely horrible diamond commercials polluting what would otehrwise be fine coverage of women's olympic hockey. Watching the Family Guy episode with the 'Diamonds: She'll Pretty Much Have To" sketch (with the commentary on) provides some comfort. Also neat is jewelry that doesn't suck. For example, check out this article on uber-cool synthetic diamonds. Also, how wicked would it be to have carbon fiber rings? They're made out of the same material as formula 1 racers and stealth bombers. Or, what about jewelry that makes use of versatile and otherwise undersued materials like stainless steel and concrete? Perfect for that civil engineer in your life.

I will be wearing this shirt today -- a gift from a year or so ago. Someone set me up the bomb.

Here is a really neat list of fabulous ideas for the geek in your life. When you have his-and-hers computers side by each in the office, you need to think about these things.

I hope that your v-days are filled with whatever balance of squishily romantic and cynically avant-garde suits you best. Now where did I put the chardonnay.
Natalie Zed updated @ 10:59 a.m.!! 2 comments

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the travelling Natalie show

I love Westjet. I really truely do. I loved them just a little more when flights actually made it directly into Windsor, but I'll sett le for ehat I can get to enjoy friendly people and satellite t.v. with Animal Planet and flights that are actually ON TIME. If I can possibly fly with them, I do.

They also have my love because of their seat sales. Every now and again, you get $350 tickets for $179, which is the only way I'll fly. And lo and behold, my dedicated scouring revealed a seat sale directly around my reading break.

So we're taking this show on the road, and later month I'll be visiting Toronto again. I love Toronto. It's a bit of a shame that I neve officially lived there, although there's been more than one summer/season where it seems I was visiting up there more than I was living at home. It's a big dirty city with innumerable places to poke around and hide and find fabulous things. I have very dear friends there. I am unreasonably excited to be going back.

I'll get to see Vive, (and co.), Emily, and Genia (whom I'll be staying with), who I didn't get to see nearly enough around Christmas and who I miss desperately. We went through STUFF together, me and these people. They are responsible for the fact that I can look back on parts of my ridiculous life and actually smile, actually remember things fondly. If I have one true regret about my wedding, which was otherwise perfect, it was that these very dear friends couldn't be there to celebrate with me. That's not perfectly true -- one of the very last things I did single was a trip to Toronto to see them, so they were definitely a part of that time, but I thought about them on the day of my wedding and wished they were there, physically, to share that day.

Woo. I write ugly sentences when I get all squishy-like.

I am so thrilled to be seeing you guys. As my pack my bottomless knapsack and dig out my walking shoes and mock myself for my grown-up clothes, I fervently hope a itme comes when we're all living together in the same city again. The world might never be the same.
Natalie Zed updated @ 10:28 a.m.!! 3 comments

Thursday, February 02, 2006

sunshine and kittens

It has been BUSY at chez schmutz lately. Both of us have been running ragged on various projects. Ed is doing a major reorganization initiative at work, causing him to rack up 5 hours in overtime by Tuesday and sign up for a full shift + on Saturday. He's even been putting in the odd remote hour. It's grant writin' season for dANDelion, and due to some ridiculous short staffing issues my devoted president has been working crazy hours on them, and I've been trying to help out as much as I can between my teaching, trying to write, and actually producing the next issue of the magazine (which is going to be SEXY. I am blessed to accept the offerings of such talent.). I felt very indulgent yesterday actually sitting down for lunch instead of absently gnawing on a carrot stick while typing.

I also have to report the oddest news: my thesis? is going rather well in the last couple of weeks. I know. I know! I have a decent 20-page chunk that's on it's way to being polished, which I hope will mollify my long-suffering and inordinately patient advisor. I am rather pleased with this bit, from "the lineage of saint nickel." It needs work, but there's a desperation in the rhythm that pleases me:


being gotten

caught begging

begging cotton

gaunt boggling

braking gluten

gut braiding

bearing often

get breeding

looting ovum

spot breeding

baying organ

gout brooding

getting bought

i fax my heart to you saint nickel

i xerox my eyes to you saint nickel

i copy my hands in triplicate saint nickel

the glug in my throat praying through tears i burn to cd saint nickel

* * *

Those crazy literary pseudo-saints. Always begetting something or other.

I've been writing quite a bit lately, which is making me very happy. I had been feeling a bit like a sham poet for a month or so. Everything I put down was crap. I thought for sure I had gone linguistically tone-deaf and was wondring if I should surrendur and go to culinary school (hoping my tatebuds didn't up and die on me). I'm in the midst of a bit of a fertile period right now and so feeling like I might be able to do this after all.

In more wifely news, I have about 16 loads of laundry in various stages of being done right now. I am the queen of doing laundry at the wierdest times -- I pity the poor folks upstairs who much hear the dryer whine to life at 3am and think I'm a nocturnal fabric softener gollem. In my defense, there was a pile of clothing a the foot of the bed that was going to topple and kill a cat. Or maybe start talking and giving advice to fraggles.

Tea in hand and bags under my eyes, its time to face another day. Morning down town, lunch and afternoon at the U, hopefully get some dinner, drag out to Costco for water and snap peas and other delectables. Once we're finally home and in pajamas, my husband and I will look at each other adoringly and collapse into a snoring heap. Well, until 1am or so, when I get up and write for a few hours. The cats like it, and keep me company, and since I've finally done some work that doesn't make me want to set the monitor on fire, I don't miond looking like death for the odd salvageable line or three.

Also, my students continue to rule. They make me want to get through the week. Between their energy, Ed, and sushi, I will survive this year.
Natalie Zed updated @ 10:20 a.m.!! 0 comments