Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Midnight Movies and Geeky Mom/Daughter Bonding...

So... the Impertinent Daughter and I went and saw "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1" last night at our tiny local cinema.

It was hard to talk the Husbandly One into letting us go without him, but I pointed out that the Impossible Son now gets very freaked out at scary things, whether it's on TV, in the movies, or in a book, so it made sense to scout out the movie first and get a feel for whether we thought he could handle it or not.

I missed most of the ending of "Half Blood Prince," because the Impossible Son and I hadn't gotten to Dumbledore's death yet (we were still reading the book), so he was completely unprepared for it when it happened in the movie. I can't believe I was so stupid about it, but I didn't want to spoil the book for him, and had one of those, "Duh, Stupid," moments of thinking waaaay too hard and not clicking that, duh, he'll see the movie and know how the book ends!! *head-desk* I spent most of the time after Dumbledore's death holding him while he cried quietly with his face buried in my shirt and his hands cutting off the circulation in my arms. Not one of my more brilliant mom moments, no.

He very much wants to see this movie, so... I wanted to be sure and see how many "Impossible Freak-Outs" there would be, and... there's a lot. So... I'll have to balance how much he wants to see it against how many nights I want to spend several hours guiding him through pushing the bad dreams that will inevitably result away.

Anyhow, the Impertinent One and I were determined to go, so after receiving THO's blessings (and possible forgiveness for seeing it before he does), I went early to buy tickets... just in case. Small town, small movie cinema... it just pays be be prepared. I asked if they had sold a lot of tickets yet (it was almost 7 p.m.) and the cashier smiled and said, "So far, we've sold about 60, but we're anticipating selling out. There's been a lot of phone calls over the last week, and there's probably going to be a lot of people buying tickets just before we start the movie."

That sounded about right, so I paid for the tickets and hurried home, because it was getting COLD!! A front moved in last night, so the temperature was dropping, which... sort of added to the mood, you know?

Anyhow, Miss Priss and I had to repress our excitement and do our usual evening things. Eating dinner. Doing homework. Pretending to read the paper or watch TV while really watching the clock. Heh.

When it was finally time and we got to the cinema, we found that so many people had come to watch the movie that they had to open a second theater! And that one was filling up!! It was awesome!!

I had no idea there were so many Harry Potter geeks in our town!!

They had a trivia game for free movie passes, and I was polite and only answered one of the questions, and we got two free movie passes!! SQUEE!! So when (and if) the four of us go to see it a second time, two of us will go free! SWEET!!

And we had a lot of fun, too! At 14, the Impertinent One is old enough to whisper back and forth with me as we make jokes, or complain about things they changed from the book, or notice Things (Or People) That Should Not Be There, like the hapless member of the film crew who got caught in a shot during one of the forest scenes, and had to creep away through the trees in the background. That was worth a bit muffled laughter on our parts!

I do want to make one querulous complaint.

Okay, so... we see Bellatrix Lestrange in "Order of the Phoenix" in prison. She's dirty, has matted hair, torn clothes, but... her teeth are clean and quite nice. And they look even better when she shows up in the Ministry. Then we see her again in "Half-Blood Prince," and again, nice, clean teeth.

So... where the hell did the mossy, snaggly, possibly-borrowed-from-a-dental-hygiene-challenged-troll teeth come from??? I'm just sayin'...

Anyhow, we sat there for a moment after it was over, going, "WHOA!!" and just ... trying to process it all. OMG... it was... like riding a roller coaster on a cold day with a sharp wind, and you forgot your hat and your eyes are constantly watering, but you don't want to stop or close your eyes, and... WHOA!!!

And Steve Kloves? Thanks for giving Hedwig a total BAMF moment. I think I fell in love with you a little bit for that!

WHOA!!! Just... WHOA!!!


OMG.... OMG.... OMG....

The Impertinent One and I just got back from seeing the midnight showing of Harry Potter, and... oh, holy Mackinoly, y'all....

It's gonna knock your socks off!! Prepare to be blown away!!

How on earth am I gonna get to sleep now????

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Quest for Water, a Feline Adventure...

Our cats are always on the search for the Freshest Water Available.

This has led to some interesting conflicts with their humans, as you can imagine. When the Triplicats were kittens, the water dish was more than sufficient for their needs. I refilled it every morning and every evening, and all was well in their world.

However, as they got older, somehow... this did not satisfy any longer.

They started knocking the water dish around, as if they had to, I don't know, rough it up a bit before they could drink it. Nothing like freshly jostled water, you know? Only problem was, it tended to make the floor wet, and thus we were always getting our socks wet when we stepped in it, or the ballistic missile that is the Impossible Son would hit it and slip during one of his circuits of the house, resulting in howls of pain and indignation.

So, I started cleaning and refilling their water dish more frequently. I started with three times a day. Then four. Then five. Then I got to where I was pretty much refilling the water dish every time I walked by it.

It wasn't enough.

Then the cats started noticing that we drink water, too. In containers. Containers that we often set on tables and counters. Containers that the younger two tended to forget and leave sitting on tables, counters, and occasionally, the floor.

That's when we started holding our glasses in our hands almost constantly, because the moment you set the thing down, a cat would be there like a shot, either trying to shove their whole head into the glass to lap at the water, or dipping a paw in to drink daintily from their toes.

Until Yuki got too frustrated to do it that way and started knocking the glasses over so she could lap it straight from the table, or the floor.

And if the glass didn't have water in it, they'd knock it over just to be spiteful.

Damn cats.

Then Yuki started hanging around my feet when I washed dishes. She could hear me turning the water on. It... tantalized her. It sounded so... splashy, so liquid, so... fresh... And one day, she finally jumped up on the counter, and saw the water pouring from the faucet and unable to resist, she jumped into the dry side of the sink and tried to lap from the stream of water pouring down.


She didn't try that again for a while, though she would sit on the counter and watch me wash dishes with a disgruntled look on her face. And pretty soon, Calcifer and Muta joined her. It made me kind of paranoid, to tell you the truth, having three cats in various places on the counter, all eyes fixed resentfully on me while I played (in their view) with water too hot for them to drink! Even washing their water dish out while they were watching and refilling it and putting it back in its spot didn't help.

It didn't take Yuki long to discover that we use cold water when we brush our teeth.

Next thing we know, we're jockeying for space to spit the toothpaste out with a cat determined to get to the faucet and drink. I swear they were all but laying in the sink with their mouths open like a college kid on a bar, waiting for an open mouth tequila shot.

You'd think we never gave the damn cats any water!

You couldn't even wash your hands without three cats suddenly leaping up to the counter and crowding you out for a shot at the faucet! There was a time when they all had toothpaste spots on their heads from them slipping into the sink just as we were spitting out!

I drew the line when Muta started jumping into the shower with me. He won't let me bathe him, but he would jump in the shower to sit between my feet and bat at the water drops. He's a huge cat, with impressive claws. I do not relish the thought of trying to explain to an emergency room doctor how and why my legs got sliced up by my cat. "Well, you see, Doc, it was like this..."

No thanks.

So... we bought a cat water fountain and that solved our problem for about... two and a half years. They loved the cat water fountain. It circulated the water through a pump that took it through a charcoal filter, and then spilled it back out into a bowl where it went right back through the cycle. The cats drank very happily from the spill, and all was peaceful in Burrow-land.

Until Calcifer started the pawing thing.


First, he simply pawed at the floor. He would make scratching motions for a minute, then circle the fountain until he'd gotten it and himself at juuuuuust the right angle... and then he'd drink.

It was weird, but mostly harmless.

Until he started putting his paw in the fountain's bowl.

He didn't paw the water... yet. He simply put his paw in and then licked it, then put his paw in, then licked it, until he was satisfied and then... he'd circle the fountain until he'd gotten it and himself at juuuuuust the right angle... and then he'd drink.

This meant cleaning the bowl almost every day because... everything on his paw got into the water and thus would clog up the filter. But okay, fine, I did that.

Until Cal started pawing the water and the bowl, which resulted in water sloshing everywhere, and then the fountain wouldn't have enough water in it and the motor would start growling and grinding and I'd have to clean it and refill it and mop up the water that was all over the floor. The wood floor.

And then Yuki started doing it, too. And since she pawed even more energetically than Cal, this meant that water was spread even further around the floor, and there was the added bonus of the fountain sometimes becoming unplugged. Which would lead to them pawing the water even more enthusiastically, because now it wasn't being refreshed like it had been before, and... AAAAAAUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!

So... I resurrected Max's old water bowl. Max was the Labrador Retriever who is responsible for our having cats in the first place. The Husbandly One and I got him right after we got married, and had him for eleven wonderful, crazy years before we lost him to skin cancer. His water bowl was huge, because he was a big dog living in a hot climate and he drank insane amounts of water which he shared with his cats very lovingly. Yes, you read that right. They were his cats.

Anyway, I got out his old water bowl and filled it ... and put it in the bathtub. Why? Because I was tired of mopping up water. If the water bowl is in the bathtub, the cats can paw and slosh to their heart's content, and it won't hurt anything but their dignity. If they start acting like they're dying for water, I pour it out, and simply turn on the faucet and refill it. If someone wants to take a bath, they take the water bowl out of the tub and set it on the tile floor, which is easily mopped up. When they're done, the bowl goes back in the tub, or they face the Wrath of Mama.

I'm fine with it. At last, I can brush my teeth without fighting a cat for the faucet!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oy, what a long day...

What I really want to do right now is fall face first into my bed and pass out for the next... oh, 72 hours, maybe?

It's been a long, long day, because I spent most of it with the Impertinent Daughter in the emergency room of South Austin Hospital. She woke up with stomach pain this morning, then started throwing up, and got very dehydrated. I took her in to see our family doctor, who was worried about appendicitis, so... he sent us to the emergency room in South Austin.

Since she had no fever, and her labs looked good, only showing dehydration from the vomiting, they gave her anti-nausea medication, pain meds, and put her on an I.V. We came home around 5 p.m., and she's now in bed with her Calcifer curled up against her neck, a paw placed proprietarily on her head so he can keep an eye on her. She's basically on "watch and wait" status at the moment, no school tomorrow, plenty of rest, plenty of fluids, that sort of thing.

Are we having fun yet?

*looks longingly at the bed*

Y'all have any idea how uncomfortable the chairs in E.R. bays tend to be? And you can only knit for so long before you start going buggy. I'll just keep my fingers crossed tonight that she's over whatever this was, and we don't have to go back to the E. R. or the doctor any time soon. And now, I'm going to go face-plant on the bed. Good night, everybody!

ETA: I should add that I knew she was doing better when she sat up and said, "I feel like drawing." When we'd left to go to the doctor, she forgot her sketchbook (which she never, ever does. Ever.) and when I stopped at the house to pick up a few necessary items before rushing on to the E.R., she sort of listlessly picked up her DS bag out of habit... but not her sketchbook. It was profoundly disturbing!