Archive for the ‘Cuteness’ Category

Bootie

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Face of an angel, soul of a pretzel killer

R2 has a bird named Bootie.  She is a cockatiel with adorable orange circles on her cheeks and the cute head tuft thing.

She is a notable bird, because she is <drumroll> TWENTY THREE YEARS OLD!  A normal cockatiel lives in captivity for only 15-20 years. I think she has lived so long because R2 takes amazing care of her. She goes to the vet three times a week for subcutaneous fluid injections and she gets fresh food and water every day.

["When did R2 become a bird guy?" asked Daniel yesterday. "Well, when he was eight his parents said he could get a turtle, a gerbil, or a bird, and the rest is history," I said. "Cute," said Daniel. "Best decision of my life!" said R2 from somewhere.]

She is also the world’s biggest grump. Get too close to her cage and she will hiss. It’s a cute hiss that begins with a consonant like keh! God forbid if you try to touch her – she will bite your finger (ineffectually since she’s but a tiny bird). If R2 puts her on your shoulder, she’ll instantly fly away (in this case, her hiss sounds suspiciously like ick!).

Well, she’ll try to fly. But she’s 23, so she can’t fly. In fact, she can’t even walk, because she has gout (she takes allopurinol just like humans) and has painful feet, one of which is frozen. Her pathetic-ness is so toe-curlingly adorable I can’t stand it.

But she has eyes only for R2. She is hopelessly devoted to him – mero mero as we say in Japanese. Her love for him is deeper than the Mariana Trench. When he goes out of town, the vet can tell because she loses weight out of sorrow. When he says “Booter!” she chirps her cutest chirp. When his mom says “Bootie!” she goes “Keh!” When they alternate calling her name, she goes “Chyerp!” “Keh!” “Chyerp!” “Keh!” Awesome.

Except not awesome, because all I want to do is love her and instead I curl up into a rejected ball while she snuggles with him IN THE BED. I just want to have her hop on my finger and we twirl in a happy, cheepy whirl, but instead she glares at me and opens her mouth menacingly should my finger go within an inch of her face. Sigh.

So, R2 is gone for the week for business, and I am birdsitting her! This entails KEEPING HER ALIVE, first and foremost. This means keeping her happy and not stressed, which will lead to eating so she doesn’t lose weight, and I have to take her to the vet twice, where her weight is recorded as an official decree of how well I do. PRESSUUUUURE.

So. Here we are. The two of us birds. I remembered that R2 was excited a while back because Bootie’s weight was 69 grams, so this was my goal weight for her vet visit yesterday. I also remembered that R2 said she loves pretzels. I also also remembered that he said that birds are social eaters – probably an evolutionary adaptation to avoid consuming poisonous food? But it works even when humans are eating too. So if R2 eats bread, she’ll eat bread. If R2 eats Triscuits, she’ll eat Triscuits. If R2 eats whole-grain Wheat Thins, she’ll eat whole-grain Wheat Thins. And if R2 eats pretzels, she will nom the shit out of an entire mini pretzel – almost 3% of her body weight.

I am used to this look by now

So I went and got pretzels at the market, came back, flicked the salt off of one of them, bit off a corner of one (so she could have a starting place – a pretzel is apparently too smooth and hard for her little beak to handle otherwise), held it through the bars of her cage a safe distance away, and bit into one myself.

At my first chomp, Bootie was like !!! and limped her way over and went Cookie Monster on that pretzel. And just like Cookie M., more of it got on my carpet than in her esophagus, but I was excited that she was eating. She ate so much of it that she came to the inevitable realization that the end of the pretzel was attached to something, and that something was ME, so she went PECK PECK at my finger, annoyed, and went over to her food dish and ate her regular food.

So began our pretzel binges. I’ve never eaten so many in my life. After that first time, I’ve had to eat at least four or five before she takes the bait and starts eating. She seems to respond to the CRUNCH CRUNCH noise so I have to generate this noise continuously, or she stops eating. To make crunch crunch noises constantly, I have to take many bites – in other words, eat many many pretzels. And since she is a super slow eater, it takes her five minutes to finish a pretzel, meaning I’m eating pretzels quickly and consecutively for five full minutes. I’m constantly thirsty because of the increased salt intake and they leave me less hungry for my proper meals, but it is worth it.

Before I took her to the vet yesterday, Daniel told me to feed her another pretzel before I went to get her weight up. “BUT MAKE SURE SHE DOESN’T POO!” Fuckitall. How was I going to do that?

I fed her a pretzel and she ate an entire one, so I thought it was in the bag. But then she pooed the biggest, most solid bird poo I’ve seen in my life, so I screamed “NOOOOOOO!” which may have scared her (great) and then when I reached in to grab her to put her in her travel cage her terror turned to fury and she struggled mightily (this would make a great Hyperbole and a Half post).

We got to the vet somewhat jerkily due to the way a SmartCar drives, but she seemed sleepy which is apparently a good sign according to her owner. When I got to the vet the people were like, “But…this looks like Bootie?” and I said “It IS Bootie. I’m the girlfriend,” and they looked at me like they had won the lottery and proceeded to talk my ear off.  Everything about me was fascinating to them. Where did R2 and I meet? Did I like Bootie? What were my thoughts on Star Wars? Even my Nook was interesting – “Is that an I-PAD?!?” “How long does the battery last?!” “Can we touch it?”

The vet tech came out and I shouted, “HOW MUCH DID SHE WEIGH!” and she said “Who are you?” and the others said “This is JANET, the GIRLFRIEND,” and she said “OH!” and then said “She weighed 71 grams!” and I said “YEEEEES!” and the others said “Write that down! That’s great!” and I drove home very happy.

R2 was lukewarm. He said “I am afraid that I am being replaced!” and I texted back “By me or by her?” all the while thinking to myself: probably both akshully, and he texted back “BOTH!”

But it’s not all roses and puppies and double rainbows (What does it MEAN?) in this household. At night her cage is covered by a blanket, but it’s not big enough to cover all the way to the bottom. On Wednesday night, she was I think growchy that I was still up and reading with the light on until past her bedtime, because she came from her perch up top all the way down to the bottom of the cage (which is a struggle for her with her gimpy feet), hissed at me five times, and then climbed back up. I obligingly turned off the light.

And then last night, I noticed her sleeping in her food dish. This is very cute – it is, in fact, one of the rules of cuteness so I was thrilled. But R2 was concernicus. He asked if my apartment was hot, and hypothesized that she was trying to get away from her heat lamp. I offered to turn it off but he said it was fine.

Dan: so how are you fixing the bootie food sleeping problem?
Me: i’m not
r2 says it was ok when i offered to unplug the heat lamp
i think she is just trying to be cute
Dan: she wants to impress you
Me: more like she’s trying to threaten me
“just when you think you know where i am, i’m in my food dish, bitch!”
Dan: lol
you have such a weird relationship with her
Me: why is my relationship weird!
she is the one who is mean to me
when i am sooo kind and only want good things for her
Dan: that’s why it is weird
it’s unbalanced
Me: ah.
well she’s a cranky old bird
she’s like any wild animal
who you want to feed and they end up killing you
Dan: is she big enough to kill you?
Me: no she’s 71 grams remember?
Dan: i dunno
could she go kamikaze and lodge herself in your throat while you sleep?
Me: she can’t fly
so even if she got out of her cage
she wouldn’t be able to get up onto the bed
Dan: hmm
so she’s planning something else…
Me: she IS inhibiting my sleep by nomming loudly on her food early in the morn
or…
AVIAN FLU
Dan: she is devious!@
she will weaken your immune system by depriving you of sleep
and then the avian flu will cause you to pass out in front of her cage
and then she will feast on you
Me: but i’m not pretzels!!

[R2 gets back Monday night...I will be sad to lose my alone time with Booticus Maximus but I can't wait to witness their glorious reunion because it will be epic.]

European Aminals are just as cute

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Because dealing with the 1000+ photos from my Spain trip is overwhelming me, and because I just had to kill the hugest spider in my shower (I WAS NAKED! IT COULD HAVE CRAWLED INTO MY VAGINAAA!) with my bare hands (IT HURTED MY PALM! DID IT BITE ME AS IT DIED OR WERE ITS LEGS JUST SHARP? EITHER WAY, AAAAAUGH!), I am unable to properly blog any real part of my LA-London-Madrid-Toledo-Barcelona-Mallorca-London-LA trip. So I am going to kick off my series of Europe posts with the various animals I encountered. The series started because The Kraken (my new camera) has a pet setting, where one is to choose whether it’s a dog or a cat, and whether it’s a light-, medium-, or dark-furred thing.  Love it!

First up – the cats that look like cows!  Cowts!  They were at R2′s friend Rog’s house in a freaking charming cottage outside of London. One was named Percy and one was named something else.  They were both aggressively friendly.  To the point where when I was lying down reading – BONK!  Desperately needing a head rub, Percy bashed his head against mine purring like a dragon with laryngitis.  Ow.  They also loooved rolling around (like dogs that roll around all over the grass to scratch their backs) on my pillow, greatly exacerbating my allergies.  Fucking rascals.

At this residence was another cute creature.

THAT’S NOT AN AMINALLL!  Get out of this post, rapscallion!

Next, we arrived at our destination of Espana – lovely, lovely Espana. We didn’t encounter any animals in Madrid, our first stop.

But in Toledo, shoot.

On the windy (windy as in winding as in curving, not windy as in blustery – yeah that confused me too in the guidebook) and impossibly narrow streets of Toledo, we encountered this sad/bored pupersons.  Sad/bored also means sitting still, which was good for the photo.

We found this tiny Basement Cat in a gift shop just off the Plaza de Zocodover. When you got near him with an outstretched hand, he would immediately flip onto his back for a belly rub.  See how his tail is also wagging, doglike.  Squee.  The shopkeeper was so enamored of and distracted by his own pet that he utterly failed to talk me into purchasing Toledo purse hooks as gifts for my girlfriends.

Contrary to what was written in our guidebook, Toledo was a fucking ghost town after 9 pm.  To the point where it was kind of eerie.  And then – perfect!  A ghost dog!  I couldn’t even get a good picture of his face – that’s how ghostly he was.  I named him Casper-Marshmallow.

It was an animal field day in Barcelona, our next stop.  On the famous Ramblas, there were several pet stalls, hocking conventional wares like hamsters and boids (causing R2, a cockatiel owner, to continually emit small, delighted gasps followed by cries of  ”ohhhhhh!”), although some of the bird selections got super weird, like pigeons that sadly sat in their too-small cages while wild pigeons strutted about inches away, free.

Also – BUNNERSONS!

Basement Bun!  So fluffy I couldn’t stand it.  It brought back memories of Will the Wabbit, my pet in college, who loved my roommate more than he loved me and so I returned him.  (Actually, I returned him because of my heretofore undiagnosed extreme rabbit allergy.)

Also, look at this adorable Alien we found!

Mom, can we keep him?  MOoooOOOOM!  PLEEEEASE?

In the courtyard of the La Seu cathedral, we found a buncha geese. Apparently geese are too far from cockatiels to be interesting to R2 so he didn’t care, but I liked them.  They have been there for five centuries and are used as an ultra low-budg warning system against intruders.

Near  La Sagrada Familia were two awesome catches.  The first I named Big Cashew and we found him sitting near where we had a cafe solo and cafe con leche, respectively.  He was exceedingly mellow, good for photography.

Tinx likes it when dogs go gray/white in their fur from old age, so I am guessing she would have loved this puppers.

The next dog we saw from across the street.  The light had turned green so I had to get my shot in quick.  The dog was not old or mellow and was trotting hyperly towards me so this is all I got:

This one I named Cashew.  This is R2′s favorite photo.  I like it too, because it looks like I resized the photo but got the aspect ratio wrong so it’s squished, when that’s just what he looked like.  (All dogs are boys and all brown ones are named Cashew in my book.)

Gaudi, master architect genius/crazyperson, was also apparently a dog lover.  I know this because on the one facade (Nativity facade) that Gaudi worked on, I spied this:

You don’t see it?  Look closer.

Bam.  I named him Rocky-Cashew.  Oh, man, Rocky-Cashew – you got bird shit all over your face!

Up on Montjuic, we found two wild specimens.

I named them Sushi and Mochi, from left to right.  As I frantically stalked them with my camera, snapping a rapid succession of pictures, the people nearby got super interested in what I was photographing.  When they realized it was just cats, they were  a little bit angry with me for wasting their time.

Finally, in Mallorca, R2′s bird-spidey-sense tingled and he made us lunch al fresco at a restaurant that had this:

He was big!  I named him Big Bird.  When excited, he would release a eardrum-shattering SQUAWK and shift his weight from one foot to the other.  He would also show off by retrieving fallen seeds from the bottom of his cage through the grate.  R2′s boid Bootie has gout in one foot (she IS 23 years old, after all) and it’s frozen solid so she can’t pull tricks and shit like that.  So every time Big Bird did his trick we would shout “SHOW OFF!” in his direction.

In sum, I has confirmed that animals also exist on that side of the ocean, and I love them just as much.

Before I sign off, a great many thanks to Tinx and DJ Deer for their fantabulous guest posts, and Daniel for conceiving two posts without the proper gestation period.

Gold Mountain Dim Sum

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I’m sitting here in LA with Tinx and her new kittykins named Buttons, who is currently high-fiving my foot, which is making me remember that I still haven’t blogged Gold Mountain – a dim sum joint that Tinx and I went to while she was visiting.

Wanna picture of Buttons?  I know you do.  Here:

One of my faves.  <3 u Buttins.

Anyway, all I wanted was dim sum but the kind with the carts.  That narrows it down a lot in SF, despite its ginormous Chinatown.  The best rated was Gold Mountain, so that’s where we went.

With my deathly crustacean allergy, dim sum is like playing Russian Roulette with shrimp-shaped bullets.  They lurk everywhere, even when not visible as in the above picture.

My favorite is below – char siu pork bun.  It is sweet, BBQey goodness inside a softer-than-your-pillow bun.

Ok, well now fast forward to two months later, where I am no longer in LA but Tinx is coming up tonight to visit me, renewedly reminding me to finish this fucking post already.

Below is a picture of mango pudding – also off limits to hyper-allergenic Janet.  WTF, why did we order so much shit that I couldn’t eat?  Hate you.  Before, when I wasn’t allergic to mangoes (and lychees!  TRAGIC!), it was my favorite thing out of everything I ate when I visited Hong Kong.  So I was salivating as Tinx slurped away at her dessert.

We also ordere- ahh who am I kidding.  This post is just a thinly-veiled excuse for posting pictures of Buttonia, which is much more interesting anyway:

I love this one cuz you can see her one ginger paw <3

HINT: This is a great one to put as your iPhone background.

KNOCKED OVER BOWLING PIN KITTEH <3

SQUEEEE!

Imma nuzzle the fuck outta that neck, Buttons.

Favorite 10 Posts of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

1. Bazaar gets 4 stars~* Because the pictures are pretty, and there are a lot of them.

2. The evolution of my animal photography skillz~* Because our darling hammie Cheeto died [RIP<3] on December 28th, and this is how I want to remember her – all piratey-eyed.

3. Four Winds II: Snorkeling in Molokini~* Because I enjoy mild sexual harassment.

4. The many uses of Otter Pops~* Because this was a joint venture between me and Daniel, and represents my happiest 5 consecutive days in 2009.

5. Pole Dancing Aerobics~* Because it had the most “likes” of my imported notes on Facebook.

6. icanhascheezburger launch party~* Because every time I look at my Top 5 lolcats I lol.

7. My CSA box~* Because this fucking post took an inordinately long amount of time to execute.

8. Bibleopoloy~* Because I was able to play it without bursting into flames.

9. Fleur de Lys~* Because it was the foodiest meal of 2009.

10. Victoria’s C-Face~* Because no other posts from 2009 are worthy of being on a Top 10 list, here’s one from 2006 that people seem to like a lot – an expose chronicling the time I spent working at a certain lingerie hocker.

My favorite hatchday meal

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

So.  I did it.  I turned the big THREE OH NO!  My celebration / lamentation, all told, was quite an extravaganza, taking place in three different cities, with food running the gamut from Costco Take-n-Bake ‘zas to nomalicious tacos to Michelin star dining that could only be described as “transcendent.”

My favorite meal of all, however, was the concoction above, cooked for me bashfully by R2.  There was actually like a two-week lead-up of “please don’t judge my cooking it’s awful” which intensified in the days and then hours before the actual meal.

I think this is what R2 cooks for himself when it’s just him.  We all have those kinds of meals.  For example, right now I roasted some cabbage with butter, and am only eating the burninated parts.  That’s it.  That’s my dinner.  Totally weird but totally delish.

Much like the concoction.  I think it’s different every time he makes it, but this time it was spinach, beef franks, yellow onion, green onion, red onion (stoplight!), several different kinds of hot sauces, topped with a sunny-side-up egg (and gigantor “30″ candles) laid over toast, finished with a side of bacon.

Gosh it was good, and I’m not saying that because I know he will read this post (hi).  It’s just totally indulgent.  The yolk runs everywhere once you poke it with your fork, making it this glisteny, creamy, salty mess that then you must follow up with the crunch crunch of bacon.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Thank you to R2 and everyone else who made my hatchday special.  I <3 you guys.

icanhascheezburger launch party

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Yes, above is Cheezburger himself, Mr. Ben Huh.  The icanhascheezburger megacorporation had a book launch in San Francisco to celebrate Fail Nation: A visual romp through epic fails, Graph Out Loud: Music. Movies. Graphs. Awesome., and the second ICHC book, How To Take Over Teh World: A lolcat guide 2 winning.  The last follows in the footsteps of the fucking NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING first book and contains my favorite lolcat:

YESSS.  I love me some lolcats.  To the point where, upon learning of this event tonight and not being able to get a single person to come with me, I went alone.  ALONE.  I picked up a beer and kinda awkwardly stood around, flipping through the books and tapping on my iPhone as if I was texting, “Where the eff are you?” even though I wasn’t waiting for anyone.  Eventually a kindly woman befriended me, but then pressed a flyer for her husband’s book in my hand and I realized her friendliness may have been just a ruse.  But the book sounds cool so here is the shoutout that I promised her: The book is Confessions of a Catnip Junkie, written from the view of a kitteh named Doo Doo Cat.  Can’t make this shit up, people.  Then a kindly duo befriended me for reals and we went to dinner (post forthcoming).

So when you buy all three of the books you get a plushie Happy Cat. Naturally, I got all three, got the cat, threw in an extra $10 to the SF-ASPCA for the iPod raffle (didn’t win), and got all three books signed.

I didn’t even need to open each book to see what the inscription said. But you probably do not share a brain with the ICHC folks like I do, so here they are:

I smiled at the first, bristled at the second, and beamed at the third.

I got home and g-talked Tinx all about my night, and she said “i dont think ive found a fave” in regards to lolcats.  NOT FOUND A FAVE?!?!? I can, without the slightest effort, list my Top 5.  Here they are, in order (remember #1 is above [tiny trust]) :

Anyway, do you remember my New Year’s Resolution? Pertaining to cats?  Yeah, I kinda failed on that.

Turkules, we hardly knew ye

Monday, July 20th, 2009

I guess I didn’t learn my lesson from my last fucking fair fish.  Simon coerced me into going to the OC Fair (posts forthcoming if that mofo ever emails me the pictures), and Christopher had been wanting something alive to hang out with in his apartment, so I thought that the perfect solution to everything was to get another fair goldfish.

I shelled out the buckaroos for 10 game tickets and popped that motherfucking pingpong ball right into the bowl.  Win!

I asked for a purple fish tank, but the fish contained inside the purple one was fug.  So I rejected him/her/it and asked for another one.  The resulting fish was the above-pictured Turkules.

Turkules was so named because, following in the tradition of Fryloaf/Cheeto and Skittles, he needed a food name, ideally related to the fair.  At this fair I had had, among a billion other foodstuffs, a turkey leg.  We also paid a buck to take a gander at Hercules, the really big horse (I think his real tagline was more magnificent but I can’t remember it now):

Hercules was a sad ol’ horse, despite the fact that he stood at 6’6” and weighed 3045 pounds.  He could only stand diagonally in his cage, because he didn’t fit any other way, and his rein was barely long enough to munch on his enticing grass pile.  Sadded.

Anyway, this is about to be one hell of a sad post.

Anyway anyway, Turkey leg + Hercules = Turkules.  It’s so much name for such a little fish.  Perhaps it was too big of a burden to bear?

I’m sure you know how this ends.  With a horrible and horribly blurry text message from Christopher, not one week after little Turk came home (and after several misinformed days with emails from C saying things like “Turk is gaining strength and is swimming vertically”), Turkules went to the big blue fishbowl in the sky…

Turkules, you will be missed?  Not like I cried over Skittles, though…

In case you missed the Skittles saga:

We rescue Skittles and Cheeto from the L.A. County Fair.
Skittles loses/kills his best buddy and gets a new home.
Skittles battles THE BLACK SMUDGE and wins.
Skittles being wriggly and cute.
Skittles and The Return of THE BLACK SMUDGE.
Skittles’ last days.

The evolution of my animal photography skillz

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, meet our darling hammie CHEETO! We have had her for a looong time but I never could get an MTFB-worthy picture of her, for two reasons. (1) Hammies are nocturnal; hard to get good light for pictures; and (2) I suuuuck at taking pictures of animals (this includes humans).

Entrees and appetizers sit STILL. They don’t wiggle or careen or blink.

Witness the evolution of my skills, from beginning (horrid) to end (mildly out of focus but passable):

This clearly belongs in the “horrid” category. There actually is an animal pictured above (don’t get distracted by Tinx’s nice rack). It’s a papillon puppy. But she’s squiggling so violently that with the no-flash photography she looks like a dementor on a foggy day.

When I showed this picture to some of my friends, they were horrified. “WHY WOULD YOU TAKE PHOTOS OF DEAD SEALS?!??” Epic fail. They are actually elephant seals, and they’re just lounging around, for god’s sake. Anyway, the sky looks pretty in this photo (note: probably because skies don’t move) but the things on the beach look like gray poos.

Apparently I have a more luck with my freaking iPhone than with my nice camera. This photo was aided by the fact that this lil’ girl was the chillest puppy ever. Her owner was three thousand years old, so maybe that’s why.

Hmmm. Ok. I’m starting to understand that lethargy is the key to good animal photography. (Except in the case of seals, which apparently swing too far in that direction.) Above is Emry’s dog, getting some coolness off the floor on a hot day. Good, good. We’re getting closer to “awww” territory now.

One lucky night, I got home to realize that Cheeto was sitting IN HER FOOD BOWL. Resisting the urge to chide her for being rude, I instead took the opportunity to snap some photos. She’s in focus, yay, but…night-time-orangeness, not to mention…a FINGER in the photo? That’s such a cliche bad photographer move lol!

OK, try 2, without getting my left pointer in the frame. Too late, too late. See her little paw sticking out of the food dish? This picture is mid-ENH! and she’s moving already. Bah.

FINALLY! A semi-blurry but still somewhat acceptable shot! This and the one at the top are culminations of several strategies: (1) Humans tend to settle down when they eat, so I gave her a cutie to nom on.

[Digression: When I posted these pictures up on bookface, the following ensued:

Monican at 11:47am February 25
Misleading: I thought your hamster was named Cutie and it's eating a cheeto. But at closer inspection, it's the other way around.

Janet at 11:56am February 25
lol. She's called Cheeto because she's orange. But then again, so is a Cutie. Misleading all around.]

(2) I woke her up in the daytime, which meant good light. (3) It also meant she was groggy and not wiggly. (4) She has a new pink cage (clashy cute!) which is smaller – easier to pin her down.

Now that I’ve gotten some chops, I will now really get to work on my “Dogs That Should Have Been Named Oreo” photo essay.

This child is my soulmate

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Umm. So. My new year’s resolution #3 is not going so well. There’s just too much good kitten material out there! For the past hour I have been stuck in a loop watching Kittens Inspired by KITTENS! It’s like, if Strongbad were a tiny girl dissing on kittens.

My favorites are:

I want pie I want beef jerkyyy!

and

Yuck. I am weird.

What? You’re asking me about new year’s resolution #4? The one about one new post every three days? Actually, I’m working on a new post right now! Yayz.