The One Where I Finally Play World of Warcraft

My World of Warcraft Avatar

After several years of vehemently resisting my friend Anna’s recommendation that World of Warcraft is a perfectly fun game I’ve finally succumbed to peer pressure. Admittedly, I was also highly influenced by Felicia Day’s hilarious part in The Guild’s “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” video. So without further adieu please meet my lean, mean, slaying machine Rowyne. I’ve only been playing for two days but I have to admit I’m starting to really like it. Especially after I happened upon a cottage in the woods that housed a “Crazy Cat Lady” and dozens of kittens. I’m hoping that I can adopt a cat that follows me around or something. Is this possible? They were super expensive though so that will have to wait until I’ve pillaged a few oh thousand more unsuspecting Kobolds.

As much as I try to resist all things “geek” it seems that I inevitably give in completely to my inner nerd. For instance once upon a time I vowed to never watch any of the following shows that CK loved: Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, and most recently The Big Bang Theory. But guess what? I ended up watching them all religiously. Amusingly enough my behavior towards each was characterized by a similar pattern of: scorn, ridicule, annoyance that CK was watching them, followed by looking up from my book or laptop every so often and ending with me becoming completely engrossed in the various plots. I guess I just have to admit it. I’m a great big super geek..but with social skills and better accessories of course. Now I’m going to go watch all of The Guild Episodes. My transformation is complete.

Rub a Dub Dex

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Rub a Dub Dex

Dexter sported an expression bordering on homicidal rage after having his first bath.

Rub a Dub Dex
It appears that he also holds a grudge. Needless to say we’ve been sleeping with one eye open since the scrubbing incident went down.

Now can someone please explain to me how a cat can have the above reaction to a simple rub a dub in the tub, but then has the audacity to play in running water any chance he gets?

Belated Watson Wednesday: Dexter to the Rescue

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Kitten in a Cone

Yesterday Watson had his “big day” and came home from the vet with a rather hilarious Elizabethan cone on his head and strict orders not to interact with Dexter until his wound has healed.

Dexter Misses Watson

Dexter missed Watson terribly while he was away and put on quite the needy kitty show for us.

When Watson arrived home he spent most of last evening purring in a very stoned manner and looking at CK and I with unfocused glassy eyes while Dexter sat outside of the spare room (where we sequestered Watson) crying pitifuly and trying to poke his paws under the door to touch his kitty friend.

This morning I woke up at 6:00 AM to check on Watson. Somehow he had pulled the cone off his head (of course). So we re-attached it. But this time Dexter had a plan. While CK and I were eating breakfast who should appear but Watson. We thought maybe we hadn’t latched the door completely so back into the room he went and Dexter continued his vigil. But then it happened again, and again. It occurred to CK that Dexter might be actually opening the door and letting Watson out. So I decided to stake out the situation:

Tabby Tuesday: Dexter is an Old Soul

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Dexter is an Old Soul

I feel as though Dexter is an old soul. There’s something about his expression and ability to just be still and relaxed that makes me believe he is wise beyond his years. Perhaps it’s just me projecting a strife filled back-story onto him? While he was a shelter cat and found on the street for all I know he grew-up in just as pampered a household as Watson. His need for snuggles and love of people would certainly attest to having been raised in a true home but his eyes seem to say something entirely different. Either way he’s been a stellar influence on hyperactive Watson and balances out our cute kitty duo perfectly. Dexter is finally the cat who crawls willingly onto my lap and sleeps heavily while I read — something I’ve been hoping Watson would do for months. Don’t worry. Watson is still my loving little guy he’s just too busy eating the Whole Foods reusable bags to bother with bookish pursuits.

Dexter: Tabby Fruit

Dexter began sleeping in this glass bowl recently. I’m not sure if I can think of anything that could be more uncomfortable to nap in other than perhaps a bed of nails but he just adores it. Unfortunately I had to take it away as he was scratching the finish on the dining room table with all of his settling in movements. As you can see, Watson doesn’t know quite what to think but he has to keep an eye on Dex at all times so he stays the course.

Double Pawed Dexter
And, of course, an obligatory shot of six of Dexter’s infamous twenty-five toes. I so wish I could have had him as a kitten. How cute would he have been as a little ball of grey fluff gingerly prancing about on over-sized paws?!

Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer WeinerI can’t quite figure out why Jennifer Weiner’s newest book, Best Friends Forever, has such an uninspiring title. In spite of this rather insignificant shortcoming (that is honestly more than made up for by the gorgeous cover art) I can absolutely recommend this tremendous chick-lit novel to you without any reservations at all. To me Jennifer Weiner is the queen of escapist novels. Her stories are filled with endearing and memorable protagonists that get into and out of bizarre shenanigans in ways that seem truly plausible. Her ability to weave such well-rounded and likable female characters is a true gift, and I enjoy nothing more then to curl up beach-side or pool-side with a brand new copy of her latest novel and drift away. Unfortunately this means that my Weiner books are almost always splattered with a mixture of water, sand, and sunscreen, but it’s a small price to pay for a light summer afternoon read that leaves you feeling truly happy and satisfied.

Best Friends Forever examines the relationship and subsequent break-up between childhood friends Addie Downs and Valerie Adler. Addie and Valerie are polar opposites. Whereas Addie is shy, cautious, and prone to weight issues, Valerie is outgoing, curious, and eventually blossoms into a blonde bombshell. Unfortunately the cliques and pettiness of high school lead to a betrayal of trust and Addie and Valerie end their friendship.

Then on the evening of their fifteen year class reunion Valerie appears on Addie’s doorstep with blood on her coat and the two women are thrust into an amusing Thelma and Louise like road trip where deep pains from their respective pasts are revealed.

One of my favorite portions of the novel involved a childhood trip to Cape Cod that the girls take with Valerie’s crazy mother. Jennifer Weiner’s decadent description of traditional beach food found on The Cape made my mouth simply water:

There was corn on the cob and clam chowder and red plastic net bags filled with gray clams that Val and her mother called steamers. There was coleslaw and French fries and a tangled mound of thin, crispy onion rings, tall plastic cups brimming with ice and soda, and little plastic dishes filled with melted butter. A dozen oysters lolled slick in their shells on a bed of crushed ice, and two gigantic lobsters sprawled over oval-shaped plates, leaking steaming pale-pink water.

See what I mean? I would kill for some clams right now. Absolutely kill! So if you have a little vacation time left this summer and you’re looking for that perfect book to bring along I’d suggest that you promptly pick up a copy of Best Friends Forever and stash it in your overnight bag immediately.

10 Reasons to Watch Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

Honestly, until Chris got me hooked on season 1 of Sons of Anarchy I had never even heard of the show, but after watching the first 13 episodes en masse I can’t get enough and I’m counting down the days until the new season begins on September 8th. In case you aren’t already a fan perhaps I can convince you to tune in after reading my top 10 reasons to watch Sons of Anarchy:

Katey Segal in Sons of Anarchy10. You miss Drea de Matteo. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Drea tart it up on the small screen and since I refused to watch that terrible monstrosity known as Joey I was beyond excited to again see a troubled de Matteo appear as main character Jax Teller’s estranged wife Wendy. Unfortunately she wont be appearing in season 2 but she’s just fabulous in season 1.

9. Katey Segal has it seriously going on. If it’s possible to look as amazing as she does at 55 I’m completely going to stop annually fearing my birthday right this second.

8. There’s a biker with a sexy Irish accent.

7. Both Henry Rollins and Adam Arkin are joining the cast for season two.

6. I kid you not, one of the bikers in an Elvis impersonator. They call him fittingly enough “Bobby Elvis.”

Hell Boy and Patriarch5. The show’s plot is loosely based around Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

4. The town in Northern California that they all live in is called Charming. Not exactly the type of name you’d expect to be the hometown of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

3. The patriarch of the group is none other than Hell Boy himself, Ron Perlman. I seriously sit around waiting for him to start petting cats and lighting things on fire. He does still smoke cigars though so it’s an OK trade off.

2. If you’re a Mad Men fan, which let’s face it almost everyone is now (yay!) you’ll recognize Jax Teller’s childhood sweetheart as Don Draper’s temptress, Rachel Menkin. Maggie Siff’s usually stunning good looks are very played down though so at first you probably wont recognize her.

1. The main character, Jax Teller, looks like this. Now usually I wouldn’t find men with hair as long as mine very hot but when this guy takes off his shirt and hops on his motorcycle my little heart goes pitter-patter. Plus he’s a criminal with a heart of gold. Sort of like a heavy metal Robin Hood. When he shoots people in the head it’s all very endearing…in a twisted sort of way.

Jax and Tara

The Year of the Flood

The Year of the FloodLike many of you the first novel of Margaret Atwood’s that I read was The Handmaid’s Tale. I remember feeling utterly bewildered by it at the time. Truth be told it was probably a bit over my head. In Junior High I went into adult novel high gear and routinely devoured anything that didn’t involve girls my own age. A dystopian world of women forced to become surrogates for wealthy and well placed couples was quite a departure from my usual diet of V.C. Andrews and Jude Deveraux but because I found the book on my Aunt Beth’s bookshelf I simply had to read it.

Years later though I appreciate Margaret Atwood’s novels thoroughly. From Alias Grace to The Robber Bride each story is beautifully developed and seems to always stay with me in a haunting manner. This was doubly true for the apocalypse fueled Oryx and Crake. Interestingly enough Atwood chose to revisit the world she created in this novel in her latest work, The Year of the Flood. Whereas Oryx and Crake was told from the perspective of two men, The Year of the Flood is told from the viewpoint of two women: Toby and Ren.

At the opening of the novel a virus has decimated humanity. Toby has sealed herself inside the luxury spa she managed where thankfully many of the treatments she used on clients are edible. Ren, a trapeze artist, is trapped inside the high-end sex club that she danced at. Food is running low and both women wonder if anyone besides themselves have survived the unnatural element that has wiped out society. A disaster that was vocally predicted by Adam One the leader of the pro-animal and vegetarian activists the God’s Gardner’s whom they both followed in the past.

The novel deftly moves between Toby and Ren’s respective back stories and the horrors of their present day confinement. Reader’s of Oryx and Crake will fully recognize familiar plot points including the CorpsSeCorps (the corrupt corporation that essentially has taken over all aspects of the American life), Rakunks (half skunk, half raccoon engineered animals without a skunk smell), and of course Jimmy aka “Snowman” who had his own connections to the downfall of humanity.

I find Atwood’s ability to create such an alien human existence that feels so completely foreign and yet frankly quite possible given today’s tumultuous environmental and political climate to be an amazing gift. I simply couldn’t put the novel down and found myself racing through the story frantically reading to uncover how Toby and Ren ended up in their respective predicaments.  The Year of the Flood will be released on September 22, 2009.

Watson Wednesday: Kitten in the Kitchen

Kitten in the Kitchen
Watson likes to help in the kitchen whether I want him to or not. I seriously rue the day he gained the confidence to scale our counters. CK admitted to me that he encouraged Watson’s bad behavior. He thinks it’s “cool” to see his growth and development. Obviously boys stick together… Personally, I’m sick of the little guy drinking from my water glass and waltzing non-nonchalantly over floured counter tops and I’ve now resorted to giving both cats “time-outs” in CK’s office whenever they get too curious around the hot stove.

Kitten in the Kitchen

Watson loves the salad spinner. He thinks it’s a big plastic cat toy. So far he’s refused the offer to eat any leafy greens, but since Dexter moved in with a decidedly “garbage guts” mentality I’m sure that will change soon enough.

Watson Infiltrates Catster

In addition, Watson’s “fame” continues. This morning I opened the Catster newsletter and who should I find staring back at me, all bundled up in CK’s beach towel, but Mr. Kitty Pants himself. I’m afraid Dexter is going to get a little jealous…