October 15, 2007

MEANWHILE! Back at the Ranch

No, Best Beloveds, I did not see Poe’s grave. I was there for literally LESS than 24 hours. I saw an airport. Oh! I saw a handbag store at the airport. And I thought to myself, Really? A handbag store? It was down in the terminal, not at the hub, and there was nothing else there but The Big Belly Sammich Shop and a store that sold paperback bestsellers and newspapers and chips. Very random to have a handbag store.

Then once I left the airport I saw some architecture, from the outside. From the inside, all I saw was a Sheraton and a Dunkin Domuts where I purchased coffee. It’s important to note that the milk came FREE with the coffee at DD, but even so, I did not purchase the Dunkable thingies that PURPORT to be donuts. The only object that deserves the lofty title of DONUT comes from Krispy Kreme when the HOT DONUTS NOW sign is blinking. CAN I GET AN AMEN.

I know it seems like I basically went to Baltimore, ate a crab cake, and got rooked on a milk purchase, but more than that happened. BEFORE I got rooked on the milk purchase (but after the crab cake), I DID get to meet Laura Lippman.

I was repulsively fangrrrrly about it, because I think she is an AWESOME writer. If you have not tasted the pleasures of a Laura Lippman book,
Why not start here with this stand alone. I just reread it on the plane home (I got it on CD right when it came out) and think I liked it even better the second time. Knowing the end was an odd pleasure, because I see how perfectly everything dovetailed.

CRAFT NOTE (if you aren’t a writer, just skip this): She is fantastic at shifting close third person POV; Her writing gives each character the illusion of a first person voice, as they all have their own slang and sentence structure. One character (Heather) was so well done that I remembered her sections as being done in first, but NO! It was all in third. If you want to see perfect close third person, read Laura Lippman. That is all.

Also? She blogs here.

While I was eating the crab cake and getting rooked on the milk deal, things at home were developing….LOOK what a CERTAIN YELLOW SOMEONE is doing. That;s quite an INTENSE look, wouldn’t you say. It looks to me as if the yellow someone has decided he really wants to BEFRIEND other, much smaller, and possibly somewhat TASTY someones. And here, you understand, I use the word “ befriend” to mean, “decapitate, dismember, and defenestrate, then scatter the chunks to the four corners of the living room.”


That is just a MESH SCREEN his little yellow butt is resting on. Scott snapped this fast pic and since then we have been keeping a careful eye on Lady Land and pulling him DOWN off it and saying NO KITTEN NO NO! WE DO NOT MURDER OTHER PETS…Any thoughts on how we can STREHGTHEN that thin wire barrier between The Ladies and the Cute but Deadly Gerbil Eviscerating Machine perched above them?


Posted by joshilyn at October 15, 2007 8:36 PM

but he just wants to play!!!
And I am sure he is just telling them that he is the biggest one of all!! Finally - something smaller than Bogart.

Posted by: gilly at October 15, 2007 9:11 PM

That cat position is one assigned by Central Casting in this household, to whichever of the two-three-or-rarely-four of them is in the best shape to go swimming while the fish tank is being cleaned. We only have two kitties now, and the younger one has taken to the task with remarkable espirit-de-corpse. She tends to spend most of those sessions watching from the inside of a dog crate- as humiliating an indignity as can be passed out.

Is the mention of Poe's grave just a generic writer pilgrimage thing, or did you read the book about his, um, burial a year or so back? If you haven't, you most surely should:


Posted by: ray at October 15, 2007 9:18 PM

Well they ARE sitting there all warm and cozy-like in their little rodent kingdom all padded in wood-chip fluff. They ARE having a grand time on the lovely wheel and drinking tea in the afternoons and discussing v. important things like who gets what end of the toliet paper roll. It's all rather inviting. I think the bigger question is why aren't you sitting on the mesh screen thingy? And ... where can I get a mesh screen thingy?

Posted by: timmi at October 16, 2007 1:14 AM

Hermmmm . . duct tape would work, but then it would be mighty tough getting food to those unsuspecting little fuzzies.

Posted by: Brigitte at October 16, 2007 5:25 AM


Sorry, that's pretty much all I've got is an "amen" on the hot KK donuts - which is pretty much the only way I like KK donuts. (After they cool off I find them overly sweet and kind of greasy, but when that hot donut sign is on? Like eating a bit of sweet, fat-laden, heavenly air.) I have no real practical ideas on strengthening the barrier to Lady Land without also cutting off their air supply. Have you checked with a pet supply store to see if there's a different sort of lid already out there? You surely can't be the first person to face this dilemma!

Posted by: DebR at October 16, 2007 8:49 AM

My husband has snakes, and in an effort to keep them in--and me from going insane scared that they will escape--he uses those small bungey cords to hold the screen in place. Attach one to the top, stretch it underneath the aquarium, then attach to the other side. It keeps the lid ON. But I'm not sure how to keep sweet, innocent, curious, hungry Boggart from ripping the screen to shreds.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 16, 2007 11:24 AM

I say Amen to Laura Lippman, since I like her better than even Krispy Kreme OR Dunkin Donuts.

And that picture makes me think of having, say, a rather focused grizzly bear sitting on my roof and looking down at me through the skylight. It is a little scary.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at October 16, 2007 11:32 AM

Boggart would probably really like one of those huge crab cakes. The rodents are just toys. But I'm thinking they are toys better off left out of his cute little kitty paws, ergo the bungie cord idea was good.

Posted by: Cele at October 16, 2007 12:11 PM

Oh, we've had our mesh screens broken by kitties. Fortunately we have hermit crabs in ours so they couldn't EAT them or anything. Hmmm... coincidentally it was our orange kitty who spent the most time on the cage before we moved it to a less cat accessible place. We ended up buying a screen the flipped open so there was a metal bar across the width to support the cat weight.

Posted by: Laura L at October 16, 2007 12:32 PM

Squirt gun?

Unsuspecting kitties only need a couple of times before they learn to stay off.

Posted by: daysgoby at October 16, 2007 12:57 PM

I agree with daysgoby with the squirt gun. We had a kitty who like to walk the kitchen countertops and sit on dishes. A little jet of water and they learn to stay off certain things.

Posted by: Sabra at October 16, 2007 2:12 PM

AMEN! hot KK donuts = heaven.

I think your mechanically inclined hubby could wander around a good, old-fashioned hardware store and come up with a heavier gauge wire mesh to reinforce the kitty/mousy separation device.

Posted by: bob at October 16, 2007 2:29 PM


How can one scatter remnants in a living room if one has already defenestrated said remnants? They would therefore no longer be in any room, no?



Posted by: Jess at October 16, 2007 4:52 PM

My goodness little yellow kitten has GROWN!!!
He is so cute. I'm with moving the gerbils and using the squirt gun too.
And Oh Yeah-AMEN to the KK!! I alway tease my family and tell them that I have an inner radar that goes off when the "Hot" sign comes on!!

Posted by: Heather at October 16, 2007 4:59 PM


And it looks like time for a Come to Jesus meeting with Boggart. Unless you want the ladies to go to Jesus. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Amy-Go at October 16, 2007 8:24 PM

KK is good, but out here we have Top Pot, and we love them just as much, if not more.

Isn't the caption to that picture "There's GOT to be a way..."?

Posted by: Fran at October 16, 2007 10:50 PM

Ah, nature.

Posted by: jennielynn at October 17, 2007 9:28 AM

Put an atlas over the thin wire barrier? Atlases are usually big enough.

Also, AMEN on the donuts.

Posted by: alala at October 17, 2007 11:07 AM

Amen and amen to the Krispy Kremes. I once had to explain to a friend why we couldn't go in to the store and get donuts just yet. She didn't understand the concept of the Hot Donuts Now beckoning in red neon. The poor misguided soul.

Posted by: erinanne at October 17, 2007 3:54 PM

Um-- just a thought, but maybe you could put the RODENTS somewhere other than your KITCHEN?!

love the picture.. needs little bubble captions.

Posted by: Linda at October 17, 2007 4:26 PM


Posted by: Suebob at October 17, 2007 6:43 PM