August 20, 2007

I’m a Loser Baybee, So Why Don’t You Kill Me

Humphrey Bogart.

In theory, the kitten’s name is Humphrey Bogart. Of course, in APPLICATION…

He is hairy and has sticky little sharpened feets and kitten-chow breath. He clambers all over my head trying to nurse my earlobes when I lay down to sleep, and he murders any limb foolish enough to move while under the covers, pouncing each shifting arm or leg endlessly no matter how subtle the movement, no matter how close to the edge of the bed the limbs try to flee, so his name has already degenerated into Boggart. If you only know the Harry Potter Boggart, you can love the Wiki. He is our little household pest, and I am SO SMITTEN with him!

Meanwhile, we have all had plague.

It was a HORRID plague. It seemed like we didn’t have it, because we felt FINE – bored really – as long as we lay around or, at best, sat in a slouch. Any amount of activity, say, STANDING UP or WALKING DOWN THE STAIRS, and our knees would begin to tremble, our joints would ache, we would flush into slight fevers and have to lay down, at which point all these symptoms would subside, leaving us…bored. And, in the case of the children, extremely CRABBY. The disease came with a stuffy nose as a bonus, and as yesterday unfolded, we spent about 2 of every 4 hours that day sleeping. Even SAM took a nap, a shocking turn of events. Sam has not napped since the summer of 2001.

The day was complicated by the fact that sleeping takes place in a bed, and my bed is where THE BOGGART lives. I indulged in a wavery sort of in and out nappage. I would pass out, exhausted from my trek to get a glass of water, and thus be only partially aware of The Boggart scaling my slopes and peaks and trying to burrow down into a choice little crevice made my neck and arm.

If Love is a kitten, then Love is very poinky.

I feel myself again today. I am going to go finish this chapter I am working on, and then FURminate all the animals who weigh more than a pound. At a mighty 12 ounces, The Boggart is, alas, still too small to be FURminated. The tool is bigger than HE is. So I will FURMinate the others, then work out and then catch up on my wildly neglected e-mail and then and then and then…

OH but we had poker night before the plague hit, did I tell you?

Chuck and Karen came over, and we grilled enormous slabs of MEAT and they brought asparagus and fresh cherries from Whole Foods, and I opened the GOOD wine to kinda SOFTEN EM UP, you know, for the FLEECING, and we feasted, and post feast, I made for Karen (and maybe me, as well) a DESSERT cocktail I have invented. It is called the Dex-tini, because it has 1 MILLION calories and Karen has a VERY fat parrot named Dexter.

SADLY I cannot tell you what is in a Dex-tini.
Not because I do not know. OH I know, alright. I could make them for breakfast right now if I so desired. I cannot TELL you because it is too humiliating. It HURTS to even admit that I invented the sorry thing. To give you an idea of the NEW COCKTAIL LOWS we have hit since we have been unable to find PIMM’S CUP, I will confess that ONE of the ingredients is Nestle Quick. It’s SO trailer-park-in-Florida that the BEST use of the foul brew is probably to throw it down the front of your pants.

And yet, to paraphrase Jane Eyre: Reader, We DRANK them.

I made my Dex-tini a LEETLE light and I made Karen’s VERY VERY NOT LIGHT, and Karen became quite jovial and relaxed and was obviously NOT THINKING WELL, while I, crafty and spiderlike, cackled inside and prepared to take her for all she had.

AND THEN!!!!! I freakin’ LOST again.

Beloveds, we have a very simple and fun way to play poker:
Everyone puts ten bucks into a pot.
Everyone gets identical piles of chips in white, blue, red and black that represent 5, 10, 25 or 50 cents respectively. (You have to call the most valuable ones “Fitty Cents.”) Or maybe they are worth 5, 10, 25 and 50 dollars. Or 5, 10, 25 and 50 MONKEYS. Who cares. They are representative of the pot.
We play no limit Texas Hold ‘Em until someone has lost all their chips.
That would be me.
Then the person with the most chips takes the pot.
That would be Karen.

OH, every now and again Scott has taken the pot—he is quite good at cards. And I think Chuck has won in the past. BUT MOSTLY THAT WRETCHED KAREN ABBOTT WINS. And ALWAYS, I am the person who loses ALL the chips. Every night we have gathered to play, I have lost all my chips. EVERY POKER NIGHT.

And FAR BE IT FROM ME to CRITISIZE the INIMITABLE MS. ABBOTT, because, admittedly, she has many, many good qualities. Many. For example:
She is kind to animals.
She writes truly great books.
Even though she weighs about as much as the Boggart, she can drink a SERIOUSLY poisonous Dex-tini and keep her head.
I have never personally witnessed her robbing banks or shoving old people into traffic.


It cannot be that I am not very good at poker.
I am SURE that is not the problem.
I think she has marked the cards and has aces falling out her bra, and ALSO she may have traded a chunk of soul to darkness for her LUCK. How many times in a single evening can a person end up with FIVE HEARTS, I ask you.
(Answer: Four. Assuming she cheats.)

Also, again not to criticize. But some of us are not very good winners. *ahem*

I do not intend to point fingers and name names, BUT I will simply show you some pictures that may or may not have been taken in the post poker bacchanalian frenzy of BAD WINNER VICTORY DANCING. The person may or may not have been crowing I OWN YOU, YOU PUNK B******S or some such while doing these moves:


The unnamed someone was SO INTENT on prancing in ecstatic IN YER FACE victory, that she MAY HAVE spilled her entire Dex-tini directly into her crotch. Which, as I stated above, is probably the best use of the foul brew, but still, those of us stewing in TOTAL ABJECT FAILURE may have enjoyed her accident a LEELTE more than is strictly kind or proper. But it’s not like a little thing like a Dex-tini in the pants could stop joyous MC Hammer inspired gyrations like these:


Hey! DANCEY LADY! I MAY NOT be the very best at poker. But. You know what I am good at?

Just saying.

Posted by joshilyn at August 20, 2007 9:25 AM

Apparently the Dex-tini is SO GOOD that one cannot be made to part with it even while busting a move. Kudos, bartender!

Posted by: Casey at August 20, 2007 9:56 AM

It's SO good it apparently makes one GOOGLY-EYED and INSANE.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at August 20, 2007 10:01 AM

How fun! I so want the recipe for that martini. It sounds perfect for a white trash theme party, ya know?? And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Posted by: Keetha at August 20, 2007 10:10 AM

Must have been a weekend for dancing... went to a dear friend's daughter's wedding yesterday and there was a great band and good wine and I danced enough to be able to skip working out today. Besides, I can't move today... But it was worth it:-) I just wish I looked as cute as Karen while making my moves! But what can I expect at 56? Althought I must say, when my dear friend who is 85 asked me to dance with her, I was reminded that it's all in the mind:-)

Posted by: Susan Cushman at August 20, 2007 11:30 AM

But what was the hangover like? I mean besides broke?

Posted by: Cele at August 20, 2007 11:56 AM

Don't know what all you put in your Dex-tini but if it's going to be used for trailer trash parties, I'd think you'd need a shot of buttermilk . . or grits. Hey I used to be trailer trash! Not really. Dad and Mom raised us living in a trailer. It was the biggest and nicest in town - 10 x 45. Biggest they made in 1959! Daddy was a bricklayer. Couldn't afford a brick house but always did us up right in a trailer. Traded for a larger one when baby sis, Lisa, was born. Upgraded to a 12 x 60! Then in 1968 moved into a brand spanking new brick house. Good things come to those who work and wait. Now, back to the Dex-tini. Gonna tell us what's in it? If they will make me look as good as Karen, I'll have a gallon to go, please.

Posted by: Rhonda at August 20, 2007 12:29 PM

Can those of us willing to freely admit we are trashy have the recipe for the Dex-tini? Pleeease???

Posted by: DebR at August 20, 2007 1:27 PM

Love is poinky, indeed!

Karen is going to be here in Asheville at my fave bookstore this Saturday, but I'm having a party for like 100 people at my house at the SAME TIME! Do you think E-spouse would notice if I disappeared for an hour to go say "hi" and buy a book? Two of my newspaper friends have said they are going to buy books from Karen, then come to my par-tay. Maybe Karen should come after her reading and bring Dextinis?

Posted by: Edgy Mama at August 20, 2007 1:59 PM

Edgy Mama! How cool...see you this weekend--bring some of your party peeps to the reading.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at August 20, 2007 2:08 PM

A Boggart! You have a Boggart in the house! A Bogart of the Humphrey nature is super-cool too, but having a Boggart makes you even more super special!

Now see, me, I don't want to know what's in the Dex-tini. I'm afraid it would terrify me. But I'm pleased to know that I'm not the only one who can lose at poker with only a modicum of graciousness. At least you remembered the camera!

Posted by: Fran at August 20, 2007 2:49 PM

I don't care what else is in it if there's Nestle Quick involved. That sounds like the perfect drink. Pretty please with sugar (and bacon?) on top, mother-may-we have the recipe?

Posted by: Leandra at August 20, 2007 4:24 PM

So can call the kitten HB for short, like HP, cute! Dex-tini huh? So much in your post to ponder yet burned in my brain is that crazy drunk lady dancing.


Posted by: Sarah at August 20, 2007 4:42 PM

In re: Poinky. Nobody ever said Therapy wouldn't hurt.

Posted by: rams at August 20, 2007 6:02 PM

Oh please pretty Joss! We MUST have the recipe so we too can be trashy!

Posted by: janet at August 20, 2007 8:01 PM

This has nothing to do with your current post (note: drunken yoga is AWESOME) but I would just like to say that I read Between, Georgia last week and I think it made a bee bite me. (It's a sketchy theory, held together with scotch tape, baling twine, the bee that stung my hand as I was reading, and the bee at the top of your site's book page.) But the book was WORTH IT. And I hate bees. Hate. them.

Posted by: Moose at August 20, 2007 9:10 PM



Or busta move(d)?

I am quite torn and shaking in silent mirth becuse I have been both.

Sigh...I miss girls night poker

Posted by: lisa at August 20, 2007 9:58 PM

You can make a batch of those when you guys come for a visit...Jason loves cards and I have no idea to play so your chances of winning are great :) Also I LOVE the new pics of you on your homepage...SO pretty.

Posted by: Whit at August 20, 2007 10:22 PM

So I went over to see your lovely new picture. . .and then I ended up reading the revies for TGWSS. . .and now I'm miserable because it won't be out for so long. Blah.

Posted by: Roxanne at August 21, 2007 12:40 AM

That would be reviews. I need to go to bed.

Posted by: Roxanne at August 21, 2007 12:40 AM

Oh Prettiest of all Pretty Authors- Most Creative of all Mixologists- Please, please, please share with us poor minions your Dex-tini recipe- and just to prove you're creation is not quite as trashy as you may think I found a rather pricey martini called The Dirty Girl Scout Martini that includes Nestle Quick-

And you haven't had a white trash gathering until you've cooked wieners in a Pringle's can

Posted by: CC at August 21, 2007 12:41 AM

You make me want to par-tay with YOU! And don't worry, I'm pretty sure that EVEN YOU could beat me at Texas Hold-Em.

Posted by: Brigitte at August 21, 2007 8:14 AM

1. Love *is* poinky. We have two cats, and the more affectionate one is black and her toes look like raisins, and though her real name is Audrey we call her Poinky Raisintoes.

2. I am trashy, too, I guess, because I want to know what is in a Dex-tini.

3. I am sure you are not bad at poker.

4. I'm glad you survived the plague.

and that is all

Posted by: Aimee at August 21, 2007 10:47 AM

Karen, I'll try to come. I've been telling all my writer/blogger/journalist friends that they must buy and read your book!

Although it might be better if you dis Malaprop's and bring all your books to my house. We can tell people that they must buy a book before they get a beer!

Seriously, if you and yours want to par-tay after the reading, there will be many creative drunk people singing, dancing, and being silly at my home. We have poker chips too...

Sorry, Joss. Guess I could track down an e-mail addy for Karen so as not to take up your comment space talking to her. Wait. You and Boggart should come to Ashvegas with Karen! Yes, we could have a kitten/puppy/writer/Dex-tini orgirama!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at August 21, 2007 12:16 PM

Edgy Mama,

Joss IS coming! We're bringing fixins for both Dex-tinis AND Pimm's Cup.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at August 21, 2007 12:33 PM

I LOVE the name Boggart. What a perfect name for a pouncy kitten!

Also, those pictures of dancing, besplatted with Dex-tini Karen Abbott are hilarious!

Posted by: Lindsey at August 21, 2007 2:54 PM

This post made me laugh so hard that I *may* have peed my pants a little. Too freakin' funny.
The pictures are priceless. I must read Ms. Abbott's book!

I heart you Joshilyn - Miss Jackson if you're nasty.

Posted by: timmi at August 22, 2007 3:09 PM

More pictures of kittens. MORE KITTENS. *slather*

Posted by: Lydia at August 23, 2007 11:06 AM