Studio 54 (Warning: This post contains cat content.) My friend L bought me a mobile made of beads and mirrored disks for my birthday. Last Saturday, I set it up in the living room window. The sun reflected off the little mirrors and cast dancing reflections off the wall. My cats, starved of the outdoors, went mad trying to catch the reflections as they moved, multiplied and disappeared simultaneously. But cats aren't stupid; they know a losing battle when they're midst one. This morning, I caught them lazing in the living room, the reflections dancing around their inert furry bodies. I imagined them as denizens of the famed Studio 54 night club: "Rosie" as Liza Minelli in a presecription drug stupor, "Punkin" as a young Calvin Klein feigning heterosexuality, and "Nomar" as the too-hot-to-handle Bianca Jagger.


Giggle Stress My friend B has this coping mechanism where she giggles when she's stressed. Unlike commonly dispensed advise, where stress-bearers are told to giggle at stress, B's strategy inlvolves giggling with stress. This seems like my kind of coping strategy. You're not trying to find a silver cloud in some crappy lining. Instead, you are hysterically embodying the idiocy that modern life sometimes is and displaying it for all the world to see. For glass-half-full chicks like me, a reminder that it sometimes really is half-empty is a necesary correction to a tendency to remain chipper in face of doom. Moreover, laughing with stress doesn't involve that energy-sapping effort of picking yourself up by your bootstraps. Instead, giggle stress teaches you that self-realization may rise from a complete lack of self-reflection. You are what you giggle, indeed.


This Monkey is Alive! Blork and Martine invite us to talk about the times we really felt alive. A boyfriend, who was away at college, surprising me by coming home one week early: Before we said hello, our clothes were off and I was up against the wall. Partying all night at the W in New Orleans: What a city, what a hotel, such debauchery. I still tingle thinking about it. Rolling my 1994 VW Golf down an embankment and surviving: It's true that when you face imminent death, time slows down and all is calm, all is bright... Singing at the Spectrum: If only my day job provided an audience that hooped and hollered. There's little I wouldn't do for that kind of encouragement. Anytime I'm driving towards the ocean: I know I'm going to a calming place. My cat Benny dying this summer: Benny died at home, in my arms. All else was put on hold as we said goodbye to each other.


Embracing Birthdays I have a healthy love of celebrations, especially my birthday. Over the past few years, I've tried to extend it to last as long as possible. This year was no exception, and week-long get togethers culminated in a lovely party where I got very drunk with the people I feel closest to. I received a lot of really great gifts, as well, probably because I'm so easy to shop for. In no particular order, this is what I received: the latest issue of Vanity Fair a Hello Kitty tissue holder and bag two Hello Kitty CDs full of Hello Kitty software some great hanging things--tealight holders, a mobile, and flower vases that will help to bring even more atmosphere and colour to my living room and patio some delicately scented incense and candle chocolate a spring activated CD holder wine a Lego desk pal a monkey candle holder my favourite cake from Gascogne (Ambree) the promise of a 54 inch television some great birthday cards, suitable for framing, including one involving a kitten and a guinea pig in a tea pot Thanks everyone for sharing my birthday. Getting older is fun!


What I don't want for my birthday Yup, that's a platinum, diamond-encrusted Hello Kitty. This report notes something a little too close to home for this kitty, who will definitely be closer to 40 than 30 this Wednesday: "Like many an ageing star, Kitty is known to have undergone at least one facelift during her career, which brought her eyes and nose closer together for a "cuter" look." As Hello Kitty can attest, dear readers, cute doesn't age well. Cheese and wine, on the other hand, do. I'll drink to that!
Super Boob 2004 Who doesn't know about Janet Jackson's exposed breast? Latest news indicates that the FCC will be investigating. From the same story: At the White House, President Bush said he missed the show. "Saw the first half, did not see the halftime -- I was preparing for the day and fell asleep," he told reporters Monday after a Cabinet meeting. Some guys miss all the fun.