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4 kittens

Smeary Thick Sticks

Posted on 2017.04.02 at 23:08
The kids are busy writing their own jokes:

Q: What kind of plane is annoying?
A: A plane in the neck!

Q: What is Netflix's favorite food?
A: Netflakes!

Q: What did the water bottle say?
A: Give me waaaaattttterrr!

Q: What do you look like when you put on a Lightning McQueen racecar (palindrome) driver jumpsuit and a Star Wars Episode 7 mask?


One morning they were all still asleep at 6:15 am. What the heck.

Usually it's just Ace.


Friday was my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They went out to dinner with a big group of friends. My mom wore her wedding dress, which is velvet with satin lining. When I called at the end of the evening, she said, "Can't talk. Have to change. Boiling hot," (but then chatted after she changed.) So March 31, 1967 in Kansas is much colder than March 31, 2017, in Florida.

If memory serves, it's a very un-ornamented dress, long with bell sleeves. I'm sort of sad to have missed the dinner. We're celebrating this summer, though, instead.


Hawaii survived her onion taste test.

She didn't pass.

I made chili. Hawaii confirmed that it is the flakes she detests, and not the flavor. So I made two versions of chili - one with giant flakes that could be avoided, one with tiny flakes that could not be avoided.

She missed the first two attempts. On the third attempt, I snuck a larger onion flake into onion spoonful to help her get it right, and she did.

Going forward, I promised not to include any onion flakes as large as the one that she identified, as a conciliatory gesture.


I was in Commerce, Texas this past weekend, for a math conference.  Our secretary booked everyone's rooms.  A couple days later, she stuck her head in my room and said, "The old-timers want me to redo the reservations. They each want a room with a king bed. Would you prefer a king bed over two queen beds?"

I said gingerly, "My first priority -" and I gestured way above my head "- is not to be a pain in the ass. I really don't want to make you waste time on trivial things like this.
"It's no trouble," she said, "I'm already switching their rooms."
"OK THEN YES!" I said, "yes please!"

So I had a king size bed, which was luxurious and wonderful, and I slept soundly.

Now this. This is amazing. Behold:

I haphazardly tossed my shoes near the door of my hotel room. When I returned and looked at them, I saw that they landed like this. On their own.  It's okay to be wowed.

You'd probably like another angle, yes/yes?

Just unreal.

There was a research talk about gerrymandering, and I managed to ingratiate myself to the speakers, who are attending the summer camp on the topic. I promoted myself as a worthy research collaborator. So perhaps I can still get in on this business yet. (Plus there is supposedly a Texas future conference at some indetermined point.)

Let's have one last angle:

Top down view. These crazy shoes just Eschered themselves in an infinite waterfall like that, all on their own. What the heck.


I came to an important tattoo decision: I don't want black and white, but I also don't want color. This has been tying me up in knots.  Black and white seemed like it would be too cold and detached from my body, like I'd cut out newsprint from a newspaper and just taped it in place. That's not a perfect analogy but I stand by the general premise.  It doesn't feel integrated into my body in the right way.

But I don't want a color tattoo, either. I want these particular cats, and they're charcoal drawings. (Actually they're pastels, those smeary thick sticks I remember from childhood. But they look like charcoal, and "pastel" sounds like pale spring colors to us unartistic types.)

What I determined is that I want is something brownscale, or black and white with some brown shading to it. Either one. Still monochrome but warmer, more body temperature.


I guess the kids are going to sleepaway camp this summer. I wasn't sure they'd want to - having never had a slumber party - but they are super excited. It's a YMCA camp that sounds straight out of the classic Americana camp playbook.

This gave me a double-take when I was registering them:

Those just seemed like such fine gradations of poverty. Then we'll just lump it all together after the exorbitant princely sum of $50K! (From the other questions, I'm pretty sure this is intended to be household income. And also this was just part of a slew of run-of-the-mill demographics questions - race, total people in your household, etc. Scholarship information was elsewhere in the form.)


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-04-03 12:10 (UTC) (Link)

Poor Hawaii

I feel her pain. Onions are the WORST.

Those incomes are about right, by the way, at least according to the economist blogs I follow -- something like 70% of Americans now make less than $50,000/year. Half of America is living on $30,000/year.

(Unless I'm reading this data wrong, which I might be, because numbers: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/07/16/156688596/what-americans-earn )
heebie_geebie at 2017-04-03 16:11 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poor Hawaii

That is a good point! But it's startlingly different than how incomes are usually differentiated. Especially sorting out three categories under 15K??? Aren't they all in the category of extremely poor Americans?

I mean, the distribution is super skew, but it seems odd to have such narrow categories even though they might potentially have even populations.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-04-03 16:55 (UTC) (Link)

Poorly poor

That's true.

I mean, I assume this is so they can decide who gets the scholarships. But no one making in that range (under fifteen thousand/year, or probably under 30 thousand/year, to be realistic) can afford camp for their kids, so IDK.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-04-03 16:01 (UTC) (Link)


My comment got put into spam. Whyyy?
heebie_geebie at 2017-04-03 16:09 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Waah!

What the heck, indeed. Stupid LJ. I fished your comment out from the dumpster. But I don't get any alert when something is deemed spam!
(Anonymous) at 2017-04-04 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
Have you seen the tattoos that look like wood carvings? Those seem to use tans to look like shadows on your own skin tone: https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2014-02/enhanced/webdr08/11/7/enhanced-1193-1392122360-13.jpg

Or you could get one that looks like henna but is permanent, instead.

...and that shoe thing. Whoa. Made me think of that creepy chair stacking scene in Poltergeist.

heebie_geebie at 2017-04-04 14:21 (UTC) (Link)
That leg tattoo is CREEPY! I was thinking henna-esque but with black shading as well so that it didn't seem temporary.
(Anonymous) at 2017-04-04 14:50 (UTC) (Link)
Totally agree about the "carved into your wooden leg" look (like your carved pirate's peg might fill up with sand if you were standing on a windy beach.) It's weird. But if you want your charcoal/pastel kittens to look like they are an integral part of your skin, you could do this kind of shading, perhaps?
heebie_geebie at 2017-04-04 14:59 (UTC) (Link)
Maybe a little less trompe l'oeil, but I see what you're getting at.
(Anonymous) at 2017-04-25 13:32 (UTC) (Link)


I thought about a sepia look for my tattoo but am glad I went with black/grayscale instead. I read that brown doesn't hold up so well and I like something about the starkness with my design, which is not going to be the case with your! ("It look like an etching," the artist said, so I even have a built-in pickup line I have not in fact used.) - Thorn
(Anonymous) at 2017-05-01 19:34 (UTC) (Link)

Re: etchings

The tattoo artist just told me actually that he is strictly grayscale. Has one single inkwell, except it's probably not called that. And I have waited for two years, so I think I'm just going to go for it. I think perhaps it could be shaded later if I felt strongly.
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