Archive for February, 2012

Happy Leaping Hump Day!

Hey, at least I didn’t call it Humping Leap Day.

In honor of the non-existent holiday that I just made up, here’s a photo of a camel cricket.

It has a hump and it jumps!

Is it just me, or do those big back legs make it look a little like a mutant roasted chicken? (Chricken?)


Guess What Day It Is? (Part Two)

It’s MotherDearest’s birthday!

You must be thinking, “But Ghostie, wasn’t it GhostDad’s birthday last week?” And it was, he is exactly two years and eight days older than her. This makes it handy to remember what their birthdays and ages are in relation to each other, for me at least. If she had been born a day later, she’d only be fifteen and he’d be a cradle-robber, so things worked out well the way it is.

Since MD has threatened my personal well-being if I post pictures of her on my blog and I like to live dangerously, here’s a picture of her kitted-out in my safety gear from the time we made soap.

Not everyone can pull off a look this sexy.

(I bet at least one person thought the words “Are you my mummy?” when they saw that picture. I know I did, but she is so it doesn’t count.)

But Where Did The Toilet Go?

So I had this odd dream the other night.

I was flying around in a house, but it wasn’t my house. (Because that would be silly; my house can’t fly. It’s too big and not at all areodynamic.) It was a lot smaller than my house, with a tiny bathroom and tiny bedrooms, and a small common room that was a combination kitchen and dining room. I was sitting at the table arguing with someone, I couldn’t tell who, because they thought it was my night to sleep on the table. (Apparently there weren’t enough beds in the flying house so we were taking turns sleeping on the table, but it was NOT my night.) MotherDearest comes in from another room wanting to know where the toilet was, which someone had moved. This was normal since there weren’t enough chairs in the flying house so we moved the toilet around when no one was using it so everyone would have a place to sit. (It was one of those special portable toilets, I guess.)

And all of that wasn’t the odd part, the odd part was that I was sitting on the toilet at the table while I was arguing with whomever I was arguing with about whose turn it was to sleep on the table (Not mine) and I didn’t realize I was sitting on it until MD started asked where it was.

Why Do I Bother?

Back when I lived alone I would go over to GhostSister’s house to do my laundry on the weekends. Her cats loved this since it gave them a chance to spread cat hair over all of my possessions via my “clean” clothes.

In the dryer we have Bad Kitty, living up to his name, and Oreo (Simon's brother) lounging in a basket outside the dryer.

I was literally in the middle of taking my pants out of the dryer and had only turned around for a second when BAM!

Suddenly there are kitties everywhere.

Shut the door, you're letting out all the heat.

Hey, Girl

hey simon

And just in case this is your first day on the Internet – click here.

Book Review: Dead Until Dark

When my recent cold left me home with little to do besides drink hot tea and watch too much Doctor Who (which is silly; there’s no such thing as “too much” Doctor Who) I decided to read one of the books that came on my Kindle. The one I chose was Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, the first of the Southern Vampire Mysteries – the books that serve as source material for the show True Blood. I’ve never seen the show so I was unfamiliar with the characters and the work in general.

For those unfamiliar with the book, here is a brief synopsis –

At some unspecified point before the beginning of the book, vampires “came out” and have started living openly in human society. This is made possible by the widespread availability of synthetic blood and the existence of vampire groupies (called “fang-bangers”) willing to serve as live donors.  The main protagonist is Sookie Stackhouse, a young waitress in a small Louisiana town who has what she considers a “disability” – telepathy. Her ability is widely known in the small town, but on par with a bad habit – people ignore it to be polite and rarely ever speak of Crazy Sookie’s eccentricity. One of the vampires, Bill Compton, has returned to town to claim his family’s home now that he is legally able to do so and he shows up at the bar where Sookie works. She surprised to discover that she cannot read his thoughts and finds him fascinating, partly because of his vampirism and partly because of the silence she hears around him. Shortly after his first appearance in the bar she saves him from a pair of “drainers,” humans who drain vampires of their blood and sell it as a street drug. The two begin a romance that oscillates off and on for much of the book. Sookie’s boss, Sam, also begins displaying feelings for her, something Sookie calls him on when he starts acting jealous by pointing out that he had plenty of time to ask her out before Bill arrived in town. Laced within this rivalry/love story is the mystery of who is killing local girls, the fact that they were all fang-bangers leads many to suspect that the killings are the work of a vampire.

The author attempts to blend together a love story with a mystery and in trying to balance one against the other they both suffer. Sookie falls very quickly in love with Bill, even though he acts remote and distant at times, in a way that reminds me unpleasantly of Bella from the Twilight series. However, Sookie is a much more dynamic character than that wet piece of cardboard and is quite likable. Bill is very stoic, revealing very little of himself, but there are hints of a deeper character underneath. When Sookie reveals details of what her “funny uncle” did to her, he remains outwardly calm but the next morning the uncle is found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs with a broken neck. Since this is the first of several books, I hope there is more character development in the future.

There were enough hints as to who the murderer of the fang-bangers is well before the identity is revealedthat it is more of a “Of course it was [***].” moment instead of a “I can’t believe it was [***]!” moment. I like a little more suspense in my mysteries.

I am impressed with the author’s depiction of Sookie’s telepathy, which is perhaps the most realistic interpretation I have read. Instead of being able to pluck thoughts from people’s heads and read them like books, she gets shattered fragments; words, phrases, a image, a vague feeling, a swirl of colors, or a memory playing out like a snippet of film. This is closer to how people really think, in cobbled-together bits and pieces, than the neat and orderly fashion often depicted in fiction. Sookie isn’t always able to interpret what she sees and feels from others, since it often lacks context, and her frustration over this at pivotal times lends to the believability of her character. Instead of being an omnipotent mind reader able to probe your innermost recesses, she is stuck adjusting the rabbit-ears on an old analog TV in an attempt to pick up anything that makes sense.

My final grade for the book is a C; the plot was muddled and forced at times, but the characters have potential and there are some very unique aspects to the world the author has built. I am curious to see what the second book will be like.

Snow Day!

Saturday it was beautiful -warm, sunny, and just gorgeous.

Sunday started off cold and damp and became increasingly wet as it started raining, then sleeting, and finally snowing.

What the hell, nature?

There was barely enough snow to show, except on my car. It took me ten minutes to chip off the ice and snow Monday morning. I saw several accidents the way to work, mostly near bridges and overpasses.

This was enough snow to delay schools for two hours.



Sick Day

So I woke up Tuesday morning with what I can only describe as “the plague.” I feel like shit, so enjoy this picture of Fearless.

This is her happy face.

Simon’s “Mouse”

Like many pet owners, I shower the three terrors with toys even though I know they’d be happy playing with an old cardboard box.

One of these toys is a generic ball of artificial grey fur with a tuft of white that is supposed to resemble a mouse, which it fails spectacularly at. Since they have many toys to choose from, several made of real fur, this lump rarely gets played with.

Until Simon decides to go “hunting.”

He will walk right past this thing day after day without noticing it, when all of a sudden he decides to “stalk” and “kill” the fake fur lump. Once it is “dead” he picks it up in his mouth and starts making this odd moaning meow while he looks for me. Once he has found me, he will present me with his “kill” and rub up against my legs, purring just as loudly as he can. It’s clear he is very proud of what he’s done, so I will pet him and tell him he’s a good boy. This is especially fun if I’m asleep when he goes “hunting” since he will drop the nasty, drool-covered (Simon drools a bit when he gets excited) thing on me and wake me up by his preferred method of sticking his nose in my ear.

Guess What Day It Is?

It’s GhostDad’s birthday!

You can't tell, but he's complaining about the unfortunate placement of the horsie's tail.

GhostDad is the hardest person to shop for, because he asks for the same thing no matter what.

Loved One -” So, what would you like for [your birthday/Christmas/other gift-giving holiday]?”

GhostDad – “Don’t get me nothing.” (Apologies to AR for the double negative, but that’s what he says.)

He doesn’t mean this in the joking way some people do, he honestly doesn’t want anything. It’s been this way as long as I can remember. When I got a bit older he would do this thing where I would buy my gift from him to me and he would buy my gift to him. It kinda loses the specialness of it if you basically exchange cash on holidays.

I’m tempted to give him Psycho-Twitch, but then I remembered that he hates cats.


She seems to like him well enough though.


I guess he’ll have to suffer through dinner at his favorite restaurant instead, the poor man.