Adventures of Fridge Cat

Meow!

This is Fridge Cat.

Actually, her name is Zoe.  But given her long-running fascination with living on top of the fridge, I’ve aptly given her the name Fridge Cat.

Zoe is about 4 years old.  My mom got her just after my brother graduated from college in 2007.  It was a Friday.  I came home from school and found this rambunctious, orange kitten rolling around in a Kitty Tower.  She was tiny.  The runt of the litter.

I had already decided what to name the new kitten.  Milo.  Milo is the main character of my favorite book (ever) The Phantom Tollbooth.  This new addition to the family was going to be named after him, no negotiations.

“But Liz, what if it’s a female?”

“I refuse to accept that outcome!”

And refuse I did.  Even the next day, which was that same brother’s graduation party at our house, while my mom showed our new kitten to every one.  Apparently my grandfather knows how to tell the difference between male cat parts and female cat parts.  With just one look he announced Milo was a girl.

No.  No.  Ohhh, no.  I’m still gonna call her Milo.

Throughout the rest of the day, my mom was convinced that the new kitten was lonely.  The two other cats we already had wanted nothing to do with her.

Well, hello!

So what happened?

The next morning my mom came home with a second kitten, Zoe’s brother.  Even brighter orange, with longer fur.  He looked like a puff ball.  After a trip to the vet for both the new kittens, it was verified.  I had my Milo.  A male Milo.  And Zoe found a new name.

The two recognized each other immediately.  It was like they had never been apart–for two days, I mean.

New kittens are tiny.  Especially Zoe.  She’s only about 9 pounds now, and she was tiny kitten.  Just for comparison, Milo is about 19 pounds now, with all his fur, he was a decent sized kitten.

So with the tiny kitten, I became immediately worried she’d get stuck certain places.  Specifically…the fridge.  I worried she’d chase a toy under the fridge and be caught forever.  I’d have to feed Zoe her meals piece by piece each day with a long stick.  Forget that.  That kitty is going no where near the fridge.

And here we are.  Four years later.  Fridge cat.

Attack!

Zoe bats at you when you encroach on her territory.  She gets that angry cat face that makes you laugh because of the simple reason of What are you angry at, cat?  You live indoors.  When have you ever encountered an enemy to use that scowl on?

om nom

No where, that’s where, Fridge Cat.

She also has an obsession with fingers and toes.  I thought it was my nail polish.  Bright colors always adorn my nails.  But she seems to do it to everyone.

At first you think its cute.  Aww, you’re so cute, Fridge Cat.  Gnawing on my fingertips with your tiny teeth.

And then you let her get out of hand.

Awwww–owww!  Zoe! Stop.  Wait.  Wait.  STOP!  ZOE. YOU’RE CAT CLAWS ARE TURNING MY FOREARM INTO YOUR OWN PERSONAL FARM TO PLOW.  

And then I am left with scratches up and down the soft skin of my inner forearm and Zoe just looks at me.  With an expression of something along the lines of “You brought this on.  You did this to yourself.”

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America’s Most Beloved Ballpark

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Paul took me up to New Hampshire and Massachusetts to meet his family.  Saturday night was dinner with his mom and a trip to a bar.  Sunday during the day we ventured to his dad’s house on a river in New Hampshire.

The view from the back door

It was beautiful, even though it rained.  Not a fun downpour where you think God himself is raining buckets down upon us just to prove what he can do.  No.  No this was just Mother Nature being lazy.  She didn’t feel like raining all at once, getting it out of the way, just to feel productive.  She decided to throw some precipitation down at us during the commercial breaks.  Effectively making it seem perpetually gloomy throughout the day.

As you can see from the picture, the sun stayed away.  I had to take the photo inside.  Behind the screen door.  With an iPhone.  Although during about a 30 minute break from the rain, his dad did take us out on that tiny boat.  I was promised I’d get to see a river otter, but Mother Nature wouldn’t let me have that either.

That night we drove back to Paul’s hometown to watch fireworks and something he would only explain to me as “The Pots & Pans Parade.”

The fireworks were surprising, given how tiny the town was.  But the Pots & Pans parade was something else.  Image a normal parade.  Now imagine the firetrucks.  You know, the loudest part.  When I was little I used to cry my eyes out while the fire trucks blasted their horns completely destroying my tiny eardrums.  Now imagine that everything in the parade is a fire truck.  A fire truck hell-bent on being the loudest fire engine in the parade.

Yes.  The entire parade is that.  Fire engines, giant trucks, men on loud motor cycles, old cars with loud engines.  Everything is just loud.  But then adorable all at the same time.  There are floats, children throwing candy to the crowd.  And yes, people banging pots and pans.  The town seemed like it was only about 5 blocks long.  Yet the parade lasted over an hour.  So it was loud AND slow-moving.  It’s a pretty big deal in the town.

Onto Monday.  The actual Fourth of July.  We woke up.  Got dressed.  And headed to Dunkin Donuts.  In Dunkin Donuts Paul and I have a conversation while waiting for our breakfast sandwiches that goes like this:

So what do you want to do today, babe?”

“I don’t know.  You’ve kidnapped me to New England.  I have no idea what’s up here.”

“I figured you didn’t have anything planned.  That’s why I took care of the planning.”

At this point I just glared at him.  I knew he had something planned.  I assumed it was just to some park he knew around here.  Or visiting some of his old friends.  So we got back in Paul’s truck and he started driving east.  It was about 10:30 AM.

Once he finished eating, about a half-hour into the car ride, Paul said.  “I need you to make a phone call.”

Uhhh.

Then he adds.  “I’d do it, but I’m driving.  I need you to call the hotel.”  I think by this point he recognized utter confusion on my face.  Something between What the Hell are you talking about?! and Ohmygod! Am I going to die?!

So he reached for the envelope he had stashed on the visor above him and handed it to me.  I opened it.  Inside were two tickets to the Red Sox game that day and a hotel reservation for some nice hotel in Boston for that night.

He clarified more as he watched a giant smile tear apart my face muscles.  “I need you to call the hotel and ask if it’s OK if we check in early.  We’re going to be there before noon.  And we have a game to get to by 1:30.”

Yes, go ahead world, you can agree with me as much as you like.  I’ve captured the perfect boyfriend.

He’d planned on holding out on the surprise longer.  But he realized he had no idea where the hotel was in Cambridge, and once again needed me to use my phone.

After our mini-fight over my less-than-stellar navigation skills and lack of ability to use a map (Not everyone has navigated a submarine through the oceans of the world, Paul!) we arrived at the hotel.

It was nice.  Too nice.  Too nice for us, I mean.  Regardless of what it says on his birth certificate, Paul and I are still too young and childish to be staying in such nice places.  When he picks hotels in the future.  He should really look into ones that are made for the youngin’s who like to leave every light and TV on while they go out to bars and don’t make the bed before they check-out.

We walked to Fenway Park.  Even saying it while we walked over, “How far is Fenway, Paul?”  was a rush.  To answer your question, it was about a 15 minute walk, including a beautiful stroll across the Charles River.

Then we get there, and I am beyond excited.  To the point where Paul is asking me to not squeeze his hand so tight and to not stop and look at things while he tries to navigate us to our gate through the giant mass of people.

Don't let the clouds mislead you, the sun was a-blazin'.

We get in and the next step is finding our seats.  He walks toward the first base line and stops about 20 rows back.  And all the while, in between being mesmerized by America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and wondering when he will get us beers, I’m thinking “No.  These can’t possibly be our seats.”

Oh wait.  These aren’t our seats.  This is the wrong section.”  

I knew he’d get lost somewhere.  He found an usher and that guy showed us to our seats.  Our seats.  You know.  The ones CLOSER to the dugout.  The ones less than ten rows away from the field.

Yeah.  Those seats.  AISLE SEATS, nonetheless.  I’m hyperventilating just remembering it!

The game itself was alright.  The Sox lost.  They were down 7-0 by the second or third inning.  But in the seventh they rallied to score a few runs.  It was exciting.  By then we were drunk.  We danced to Sweet Caroline in the seventh inning stretch.

We were also convinced that the guy sitting behind us was famous.  We just didn’t know from where.  Paul was convinced he was a retired athlete from somewhere.  He had about 4 rows of seats around us for his family.  He must’ve been rich.  When I got back from the bathroom, Paul said he won a “who’s a bigger man” match with that pseudo-famous guy.  Apparently it had something to do with standing on the stairs and whichever man moved first was less of a man.  According to Paul, the other guy moved first, and then bought us a round of beers.

The tiny boy across the row from us waited for a foul ball all afternoon.  And he was sitting patiently.  I like my children like I like my inanimate objects.  Quiet.  Paul, and the family in front of us vowed to catch a foul ball and give it to him.  But no such luck.

Fear and Loathing in Fenway Park

After the game Paul and I hung around.  I promised him I’d get a picture of him in front of the Red Sox Dugout.  So we did a small photo-shoot.  He didn’t really know I was hitting the shutter button on my iPhone repeatedly.  But how else am I going to get a candid picture of him where he’s not trying to do his Blue Steel.

Alas, he never smiled.  Due to the fact that a small boy, possibly 8 or 9, bumped into me while i was shooting Paul.  This enraged him.  Incredibly.  Mind you, Paul had been drinking.  But he really doesn’t like children.  Almost as much as I don’t.  But after what came out of his mouth at this boy, it’s a miracle we didn’t spend the night in jail.

Watch where you’re going, idiot.”

“Paul, wow, it’s fine, he just bumped into me.”

“No.  It’s not fine.  Some F***ing, tiny little kid needs to watch where he F***ing walks!  No one walks into my girlfriend and doesn’t apologize!”

“Jesus.  Take it easy.”

I’ll take it easy after I grind his bones into the dirt on the field.  Little Sh*t.”  

At this point… this is where I immediately burst out into laughter.  Grind his bones?  Are we in a 1950s gang movie now?

Mr. I-Don't-Smile

I was too busy laughing to take any more pictures.  Luckily no one heard.  And Paul was allowed to get away with threatening the life of a young child.

And therefore this was the best smile I got out of him.  I recognize it as the “Do-you-even-know-how-to-use-that-iPhone?” smile.

Also, yes, those are my sunglasses.  And if you hadn’t noticed before.  Yes.  His shirt does say “Beam Me Up Scottie.”  He’s pretty clever, too, I guess.

Beautiful People at Fenway

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Under Pants

Yes.  The Phillies got Under Pants Hunter Pence.  After watching a rare game where the Phils actually score more than two runs, I find myself feeling slightly bittersweet over this mid-season trade.

I’m a big Dom Brown fan.

He’s young, he tall and lanky, and he’s humble.

Also, have you ever seen those pictures where people take the eyes and flip them upside down, making them look super freaky?  

Yeah, Dom Brown looks like that.

Something about his eyes just conveys an all-around “Huuhhh?” feeling.

Yeah he wasn’t the best player.

Yeah sometimes I found myself cursing at the TV screen when he didn’t make a catch.

But hey man, just because my mom yells at me when I don’t clean my room before driving back to Rutgers doesn’t me she doesn’t care about me.

Same goes for Dom Brown.  I’m gonna miss you playing the outfield every day.

Onto Pence-sylvania.

During the game broadcast, they switched to footage of Hunter Pence being taken out of the game at the Astros-Brewers game.  He hustled off the field, waving to players he passed.  In the dugout, he shared a few hugs.  And then he was seen visibly crying.

Crying.

Sometimes I wish players got the chance to tell the world how they truly feel about being traded.  I’d take it as an immediate insult.  In Pence’s case, I’d have to be reminded multiple times that the Astros are receiving 4 players for me.

Think about it.  They are saying one person, Hunter Pence, equals four humans.  Now I’m no mathematician, but 1 does NOT equal 4.  But its the MLB.  Athletes aren’t mathematicians either.

I’d hate to be one of those 4 players being equated to one-fourth of a human.  But no big deal.

Also if I was Hunter Pence, I’d only need to be reminded once that I’m going to the team with the best record in baseball.  Big Deal.

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First day of Summer

So as google.com has affectionately reminded all of us today, it’s the first day of summer.  Being a member of the collegiate community, my summer “vacation” started over a month ago.  But who’s counting?

With this special day–and seven hours at a desk at work needing to be filled–I’ve come up with a list.  A list I’m sure I’ll update over the next month as I think of more things.

This is a list of things I’d like to do–or learn to do–over the course of the summer.  Specifically before classes start in the fall.

Crack an egg with one hand

Bake three distinct types of cookies–from scratch

Earn an A in my summer session class

Decorate my room

Learn to make meatballs

Go to a zoo

See penguins

Phillies vs. Red Sox Baseball game

See fireworks

As I write out the list, I realize my boyfriend will have to show me how to do at least half of these.  If not more.  Get excited, Paul.

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These are happening

The Daily Nail: June 2010

Thanks for the inspiration!
The Daily Nail: June 2010 (clipped to polyvore.com)

Yes, my boyfriend and I have an irrational affinity for Taco Bell.  Maybe it’s the low prices. Maybe it’s the nachos.  Or perhaps it’s just that no matter how much Taco Bell the two of us have consumed, we’re still thin and beautiful people.  We’re freaks of nature.

 

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The Friendly Island-Part 2

Upon arriving in Sint Maarten, we realized immediately that things were just a bit off.  And by off I mean it was different than home.  I rarely travel, so I’m not very worldly.  Anything different I notice right away and can’t let it go.

First I will start off with the globalization.  Sint Maarten has a lot of things that the States have.  Also, it just happened to be the case that the Dutch side is the more touristy side.  While the French side is more European.  For example, the main currency on the French side is the Euro, while on the Dutch side they claim it’s the Netherlands Antilles Guilder, but really the U.S. Dollar has taken over in dramatic fashion–America!

Well at least they tried.

So right off the bat, it feels a little like home.  That is until you see things like a Texaco station.  Or a 7-Alive instead of a 7-11.

Also, there is no sales tax on the island.  It’s the Delaware of the Caribbean!  It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt though.  Or in this case, some one overpays at a restaurant.

A word to the wise, when you get your check at the restaurant, it may help you to ask your waitress why there is a sales tax on your bill, when Sint Maarten is duty-free.

Travel websites all over warn tourists that natives of Sint Maarten will sometimes try to trick American into leaving extra money even when there is already “sales tax” added onto the bill.  Needless to say, my friends and I learned this the hard way at the first restaurant we ate at.

Meow? Would you like to join us for lunch?

This last point may not be weird, but its just something I’m not used to seeing in a populated area.  Stray animals.  I’m from a suburb of Philadelphia, when there is a random cat outside, it’s a big deal.  My mom will go on a hunt for our outdoor cat to make sure he won’t be attacked.  And even then that random cat might not even be a stray.  It’s probably just our neighbor’s outdoor cat.

But in Sint Maarten?  Stray animals are every where.  Dog, cats, whatever.  Some looked mangy, sad or hungry.  Some looked OK.

One afternoon while we enjoyed lunch in the capital, Philipsburg, a stray cat just sat at our feet.  I knew this was trouble the minute I heard the meow.  I love cats–well, all animals–so my spidey-senses went off immediately.  However, my roommate Ilana has an irrational need for animal companionship.  She wanted it immediately.  Secretly so did I.  Nothing says fantastic souvenir like a new pet riddled with whatever Caribbean diseases that reign free on the island.

We did, however, see stray animals that made our hearts break.  A black lab with its ribs showing.  Another dog with dirty fur and cuts on its paws.  It was a never-ending ASPCA commercial that you just couldn’t escape

Some stray animals on the island become sort of like pets for restaurants–like the cat who snuggled at our feet at Taloula Mango’s in Philipsburg.  While others just wander aimlessly.

On a related note, upon returning to New Brunswick after my trip, I noticed significantly more stray animals–mostly cats–wandering throughout the city.  I hadn’t noticed them before.  I’m assuming they didn’t just show up while I was away on spring break.  As if it was some cat coalition to invade the streets of dirty New Brunswick.  Regardless, someone, somewhere, never watched the Price is Right and heeded Bob Barker’s warning to help control the pet population…

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The Friendly Island–Part 1

postcards were made on this island

Oh yeah, for spring break I went to Saint Martin/Sint Maarten.

I went with two good friends, Ilana and Jamie.  It’s a lovely little island that’s split in two.  Half controlled by France, half controlled by the Dutch.   I stayed on the Dutch side.

I could go into great detail about how beautiful the island was.  How places like this only exist in movies.  How the sunsets took my breath away.  But I won’t.  It’s a Caribbean island, I’m pretty sure that’s just a given.

First, I will start off with the plane ride.

Yes, we had a 9 a.m. flight. So that meant getting to the airport before the sun did.

Disclaimer:  I hate flying.  It’s a hate that manifested years and years ago, for no reason at all.  I attribute it to disaster movies, my fear of heights, and possibly just a reason to feel proud of myself when I step off a plane.

Let’s take another step back for a hot second.  Upon going to load up my car with our bags, I was rewarded with a lovely surprise.  My drivers’ side window had been smashed.  Glass was all over the front seats, there was a rock on the passenger seat.  It was completely gone.  I cried.

So with a little replanning, we loaded our bags into Ilana’s civic, moved my car to my boyfriend’s driveway, and heading on our way–half an hour late–to Newark Airport.  Needless to say, I lived through the plane ride, much to my disbelief.  You could go on about how I’m being dramatic and planes are the safest way to travel.  But just wait until you hear about the airport in Sint Maarten.  Princess Juliana International Airport a.k.a. We fit the shortest runway in the world on the only stretch of straight land on the tiny island and hope for the best.

Our resort had a good view of planes landing and taking off.

That part is in entirely true.  There are specials on the History Channel on the most dangerous airports in the world and Princess Juliana is one of them.  Basically there’s the ocean, about 15 feet of sand, and then the runway.  So up until the last possible second, if you look out the window, you convince yourself to prepare for a water landing.  And as everyone knows, planes don’t land in water, they crash.  No big deal.

When leaving the plane, you’re encouraged to congratulate the pilot on a good landing.  That isn’t just a thing for all flights, there were signs in the airport asking “Did you congratulate your pilot today?”  And by good landing, they mean not dying.  Then there’s take-off.  As I said before, the runway is very short.  and then directly in front of it are the mountains of Sint Maarten.

So immediately after take-off the plane–and of course that aforementioned, experienced pilot–must make a 90 degree turn to the south before subsequently crashing into the mountain face.  Fortunately while you’re taking off, you can’t see ahead of you.  You’re mesmerized by the view from your side window; the island, the blue ocean, and the sadness that you’re leaving your vacation spot for dreary New Jersey.

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