Crickets – Not in Times Square

Writing update: Between my producing job at Mattel and my “300 Days of Content” project, writing has come to a screeching halt. My brain is using a completely different set of muscles, which, I guess, is good for the working muscles, but not great for the ones that aren’t being used. I can literally feel my facility with words, and my feeling for language, lessening. I’m hoping this is temporary, and that maybe as these new muscles become more toned and efficient, they can take less effort, and I can achieve more balance.

Life Update: Last night I went to hang out with my brother and sister at my sister’s family’s apartment. They’ve been having issues with fruit flies, which of course is annoying to her. This prompted my brother to say that his apartment gets large waterbugs, which he really hates. They have no problem wishing death unto either of these species of insect.

I contributed that our apartment has crickets. One can hear them chirping in the eaves. Sometime I’ll see a blurry-something skitter across the floor and at first I’m alarmed, thinking it’s a spider, but then I put on my glasses and realize, it’s just a cricket. In which case I ignore it and let it go on its way.

“Obviously, I can’t kill a cricket,” I said.

“Why not?” my brother asked.

I thought about it. I’ve never heard of crickets being dirty like flies, and they don’t bite. And there’s the fact that I don’t like to hear things crunch. But none of these are the real underlying reason.

“Because of A Cricket in Times Square.”

They looked at me blankly.

I’ve run into this with younger people, but how can people of my own Gen X era not know A Cricket in Times Square?

“It won a Newbery Award!” I tell them, as if that will clear it all up.

“It was a cricket, and a kid who worked at a newsstand adopted it… and it could sing, or play its wings like a violin or something…”

A glimmer of recognition in my brother’s eyes… “Was it a cartoon?”

“Yes! Not a series, but like a TV special.”

Through the magic of the internet, you can watch it here: (I don’t know why it’s age restricted. I would say it is safe for all ages.)

In The News

Michael Vick…He’s this football player who was convicted of running a dog-fighting ring. He just got out of jail and was recruited by the Philadelphia Eagles (I think). Some people are incensed by this, others say hey, if he can play ball…

In other news…Since I don’t know anything about football, I’m joining my first fantasy football. I know so little, that I’ve asked my brother-in-law to mentor me so I don’t completely annoy the rest of my league…

Health care…lots of talking and arguing about Obama’s health plan. On facebook, a few of my friends are up in arms about this editorial written by the CEO of Wholefoods, and are planning not to shop there anymore. Maybe this is one more thing I haven’t done enough research yet to understand fully, because when I read it, his ideas seem to make sense, and don’t seem so much at odds with the things Obama is saying he wants as well…I’m not planning a boycott yet.

Trueblood…It’s not in the mainstream news, but in the “industry” news, it has taken the summer by storm, garnering 11.3 million viewers per episode. And that’s not counting people like me, who watch it on questionably legal sites on the internet…Like so many TV shows, Paul has brought this into my life. I have very ambivalent feelings about the show, which I think is probably BAD on so many levels, and it leaves me feeling vaguely oogie and void after watching…like eating too many sugary donuts.

If this post seems kind of superficial and lacking in consideration–it’s because I’m writing it while watching Trueblood.

Hello, Kitty

This summer Paul and I are house-sitting for a faculty couple while they are in Italy. The house comes equipped with a swimming pool, and a long haired cat with kind of a hare lip, named Pouts. I’ve never really been a cat person, though the cats of friends generally innocuous enough. I’ve always thought that more time around any specific cat would lead to some greater affection on my part. I am now questioning this.

So far Pouts and I have been cordial. I scoop her litter box, and wipe up the occasional hairball/vomit. She brushes against me once or twice when I come home, and swats her tail, sending pieces of spider-web like fur drifting through the air each time, despite daily brushing. Sometime I try dangling a catnip toy, or a little ball with a bell inside. She yawns, lies down, and looks the other way. I don’t press the issue, because really, the little jingle ball doesn’t interest me that much either.

And then yesterday I felt we had a little bonding moment; she came and kneaded my leg while I read a book on the bed and I thought, hmmm, this is not unpleasant . Soon after, I left the bedroom to find little pieces of poop up and down the hallway. This is apparently a sign of displeasure from cats. I certainly got the overall message, but wasn’t sure what provoked it. Her box had been cleaned that morning, her food had been timely, petting and brushing perhaps even more so than usual, what-up? Then it occurred to me, perhaps she could sense my ambivalence! Maybe she knows I don’t really love her, and that’s why there’s poop on my floor!

“Should I feel guilty for my lack of maternal instinct?” I ask my cat-loving friends. No, they tell me, it’s not me, it is the cat in my charge. “Pouts is without charm,” they say, “not like our cats who are amazing and cute and laden with personality.” As tactfully as possible, I remind them that the enchanting properties they speak of in their own animals are also not so readily apparent to me. They say it will be different if I ever have my own cat. I will be intensely in love with it. “You mean when the hormones kick in?” I ask. Something like that, they say.