So Rachel and I tentatively refer to Lily, our cat, as the failiest of fail cats. She’s a cat who climbs up on top of our highest cabinets and then can’t get back down. She’ll get so excited someone is petting her that she’ll roll right off the couch. She is exceedingly ginormous, but not terribly ferocious.
Tonight, Lily caught a mouse. This is the good news.
The bad news — other than the fact that our building in general and, evidently, our apartment in specific, has mice — is that she is still a fail cat. So she ran from the kitchen where she caught it, past us in the living room, and into my bedroom, and then, whoops! Dropped it.
IN MY BEDROOM.
Now, Rachel and I used to be country folk; we grew up in a house with birds in the eves, a few bats in the attic, occasional mice, and on one very memorable occasion, a raccoon in the bathtub. So it’s not like we’re afraid of such things. On the other hand. MOUSE. HIDING. IN MY BEDROOM.
After our moment of shock that our failcat is secretly a mouser — albeit a bad one — and some very brief shrieking because such things are startling (AND DID I MENTION SHE LOST IT IN MY BEDROOM?) we tracked it down, hiding behind my bookshelf. This necessitated removing all books from the shelf and moving the shelf itself, at which point the mouse naturally ran out from behind it, and in underneath it, in the approximate half-inch of space there. (It was a very small mouse. And brown. And actually quite cute, but I DO NOT WANT IT IN MY APARTMENT.)
Luckily, Rachel was on the phone with our friend Erin at the time, and Erin is super smart and suggested perhaps, if we could flush it out from under the bookshelf, we could catch it in Tupperware and put it outside. This was the best solution we could think of — Rachel and I are both vegetarians and have been for a long time, so even if we’d had a convenient way to kill it, we probably wouldn’t have.
How does one flush a mouse out from a dark space under a bookshelf? Well, if one is me, one uses an adorable (and, it turns out, highly functional) keychain with a rubber ducky charm. A charm that happens to light up and quack. Presumably terrified, the mouse dashed from its hiding spot and right into the waiting Tupperware, and we carried it out the apartment and halfway down the block without pausing to put on coats (or, in my case, shoes — going sock-footed in January on a New York City sidewalk: I don’t recommend it). We let it go and it scampered off, which was probably for the best, since that meant it likely hadn’t been hurt (just terrified) and wasn’t in pain. The down side is that even if it can’t get back into our building, it likely will get into someone’s somewhere, because where else could it go?
But at least not back to ours, we hope.
On the other hand, mice rarely travel in packs of one.
So we’ll see. This requires some serious thought and consideration about how to prevent future mice in an apartment when we have no control over the building as a whole, and what to do with any mice we might catch. Or maybe consideration of moving. Either way.
I’m off to go put all the books back on my shelf and clean up the havoc wrecked by the cat, the mouse, and me and my sister. Then clean the kitchen top to bottom. So I leave you with a picture of the mighty huntress:
Isn’t she ferocious?
So I spent most of the day sobbing and clutching my cat as I watched the inauguration coverage, because basically everything Obama has said and done since the DNC has made me cry. (You can ask my coworkers; they’ve had to sit through rounds of blubbing.) And I am extraordinarily glad that I had the day off — our company HQ is in DC, and the CEO decided that rather than have everyone fight the crowds to get into work, it was easier to give the entire company (including the non-DC branches) an extra day off.
Needless to say, it was a great day.
My news channel of choice is MSNBC. If I were still a journalism student, I’d probably write something about how the new school of journalism is, rather than objectivity, to wear a bias on your sleeve and let people choose which bias they want to hear. I started watching MSNBC regularly during the election, specifically The Rachel Maddow Show, because I very quickly came to adore her. So they had their whole crew of regular anchors and commentators providing coverage all day, and I heartily enjoyed most of it.
Except two things bugged me during the chatter leading up to the swearing in.
Point one: Chris Matthews, I watch MSNBC because I love that Rachel Maddow is angry about the things I’m angry about. I know it’s very liberally slanted. I’m down with that. But seriously, do not try and be this administration’s FOX News. You can be liberal and still be critical of the new President, and still be analytical. Be that. Don’t be a mouthpiece. Bad Chris Matthews. No cookie.
Point two, much more important. Now, ableism (and, specifically, anti-ableism) is really not my area of expertise. I try, but I’m sure I fail often.
So Dick Cheney was injured while packing, and exited office today in a wheel chair. I really, truly, vehemently dislike the man, but come on. Him being in a wheel chair is not a metaphor for a failed administration, because people in wheel chairs are not, you know, failures. It’s not a sign of weakness, or being screwed up, or any other negative connotations. I am extraordinarily glad Cheney and Bush are out of office and I desperately hope that they can never hurt the country again. But Cheney using a wheelchair is not a reflection of the harm done to the country.
Allrighty. That said? Hooray for Finally President Obama! I’m going to go read a transcript of his speech, cry some more, and hope he can live up to, you know… Hope.
If I were the sort of person who made resolutions, then aside from vowing that I’m actually going to finish a manuscript to the point where I’m ready to submit it to agents and try to get it published by the end of the year — okay, maybe I did make that one — I would doubtlessly vow to update the various blogs I work on more often. But I’ve been blogging in one form or another since before the phrase was coined. I know myself well enough to know that won’t happen. Someday I’ll even move on to the point where I won’t apologize for that any more.
Anyway. I’m stewing on an actual post, but in the mean time, some links.
That’s one way to explain the surging popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction for the 12-and-up Young Adult market — one of the most robust areas of publishing. The starker explanation is that this popular genre mirrors a world beset by some of the most frightening problems in recent memory, from climate change to terrorism and the shredding of privacy and free will.
“I think we all have this worry or fear that something really bad is going to happen,” said Hayden Bass, teen services librarian at the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch. “I think it’s just the zeitgeist of the times.”
A short but interesting piece, at least as far as I’m concerned. Though that could be because, as I said in a recent review over at Active Voice, my favorite sub-sub-genre to read is YA dystopian novels about teenagers saving (what remains of) the world. And as it turns out, I own every novel they referenced in the article. (But not all the ones they have pictures of in the gallery! Now I have additions for my reading list.)
I miss the days when I felt that way, curled up in a corner and able to get lost in pretty much any plot. I loved stories indiscriminately, because each revealed the world in a way I had never considered before. The effect was so profound that I can still remember vividly the experiences of reading “Little Women” (in my bedroom, by flashlight) and “Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris” (in a Reader’s Digest condensed version at my grandmother’s) and “The Diamond in the Window” (sitting cross-legged on the linoleum amid the stacks at the public library). And a thousand others. After each, I would emerge a changed person.
Interesting because I’ve actually discussed this pretty recently. My sister says she started reading romance novels over the last few years because there’s something about them that’s compelling in the same way books were when we were kids. For me, it remains fantasy and science fiction paperbacks that grab me and won’t let me look up. (Especially YA ones.)
I don’t think it’s because I have so much other stuff gnawing on my mind that I can’t get absorbed. And I don’t think it’s my analytical nature (thanks, liberal arts school); for me, devouring a novel doesn’t turn off the analytical part of my mind. Instead, it gets me going over the parts that impress me, breaking down the why and how I’m impressed. And in novels that are amazing and absorbing but have a couple of serious flaws — there are a lot of those out there — it definitely does get me thinking about why the flaws stand out in such stark contrast to how awesome everything else is. But it doesn’t change the experience of reading and living in the book’s work for awhile.
The one thing college did do was get me out of the habit of lying around with a book in my spare time. Which is the opposite of what college is meant to do, I’m sure, but for four years, all the reading I did was academic — and because I was never caught up on that, I felt some overwhelming guilt whenever I picked up pleasure reading. (This whole thing is part of why I’ve come to realize over the last few years that I’m not as academically-oriented as I always thought, but I digress.) Now I’m much more in the habit of reading, but easily distracted. I still love to sit down with a good book and lose myself in it; I just do it less. That’s definitely something I’ve got to work on.
I do however find it extremely unsurprising that teen girls like this series. I also think that anyone that is upset by the popularity of this series by itself (as opposed to culture overall and are simply dissecting the Twilight series as part of something larger) needs to stop underestimating teen girls. Bella isn’t blah because teen girls are okey dokey with heroines with no personality, Bella is blah because teen girls know that everyone else expects them to be blah – and they hate that, but they don’t like disappointing people. Edward does stuff and Bella feels stuff, but never the twain shall meet, because together they make up one complete character. Not because women need men, but because Bella, who feels like half a person like many teen girls, needs an exciting alter ego who can do the stuff that she thinks she can’t.
First thing is, I haven’t read Twilight and don’t intend to. One of the great things about having a BFF whose taste I trust is that when she says, “This is bad, you’d hate it, here are all the reasons why,” I can trust her opinion and not waste time with something I wouldn’t enjoy. (And, obviously, that’s what happened.) But I am fairly familiar with the content, and with both the criticism and the praise the book has received.
I don’t 100% agree with Mickle in this article, but I think it’s interesting and it’s definitely a take on why the series is so popular that I hadn’t seen before. And while I avoid the series in terms of reading, I find all the discussion and dissection of it fascinating.
That’s it for now. More, um, someday. In the mean time, I’ve got a novel to write.