Archive for October, 2005


There was a bit of drama here at Artichoke Heart Headquarters this past week. For starters, Muku had to receive one of his infamous Lion Cuts.

He was returned to me garnished with a Festive Halloween Scarf.

I feel that I should clarify, however, and say that the Lion Cut is not an attempt to torture my cat — yes, I’ve seen the little How Much Does My Owner Hate Me buttons floating about on the internets — or an attempt to impose a questionable aesthetic fashion sense upon my poor feline. It’s actually about providing comfort to a Feline Emeritus. Being a cat of advancing years, Muku has been suffering from stiff and painful hips, and is therefore no longer able to properly groom himself. Being a Persian cat, this means that despite copious brushing on my part, he gets very messy and matted and uncomfortable. He clearly seems to feel much more frisky and spiffy in his Lion Cuts, and there are much fewer hairball issues. The other upside is that his shaved fur feels irresistably soft and sleek, like a velvety silver mole, and I therefore can’t resist petting him obsessively, which seems to do wonders for Senior Kitty Morale.

The only problem with the Lion Cuts is that Yuki always ends up having a hissy fit because she becomes inextricably convinced that I’ve somehow managed to bring home the Wrong Cat and that I’m obtusely trying to fob off some sort of Imposter Muku on her. Her job, as she sees it, is to hiss and growl at the Imposter Muku (because she’s seen both The Return of Martin Guerrre and Sommersby, thank you very much!) to show him that she isn’t buying his act, no, not for one second, mister! Her job is to also yell at me and nag me mercilessly as if to say, “Hey! Moron! You came home with the Wrong Cat! That there is an Imposter Muku!

The Bean, however, doesn’t really care much one way or othe other. He just thinks it’s Awfully Droll to lounge about in those amusing little cat carriers.

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Yesterday I was sick. To euphemistically quote my four-year-old friend, T: I cuked. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there was a lot of cuking involved. Some of my other favorite T-isms: “I’m not going to bed because I’m noc-TURN-al!” “I don’t want to eat that. Why? Because I’m too intelligent.” “Resistance is futile!”

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This afternoon I employed the word “Althusserian” without irony. I used “Zijekian” as well, but at that point I think I may have been pushing it.

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Friends: What’s on fire? (While watching My Summer of Love).

Me: Uh oh. The drug-induced death pact in front of a wall of flame is definitely a scenario to be wary of.

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Salient Discovery: Upon opening the dairy case at Jones Supermarket to snag some kefir, I discovered that the door is programmed to make loud mooing sounds. At 11:00 p.m. tonight this struck me as hilariously funny, and so I kept opening and shutting the dairy case and snickering in the dairy aisle amidst the cacophony of fecund lowing.

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Did you ever wonder how you could ever possibly verify and/or validate your existence without knowing what a miniature version of yourself as a Lego would look like?

Well, using The Mini-Mizer, now you can find out the answer to this vexing ontological conundrum.

Click Here to see Mini-Mized version of the Artichoke Heart. You will notice my penchant for wearing black, a rainbow scarf, a book in hand, and the ubiquitous cup of coffee to deal with my Lego Me’s complex caffeination issues. I am also, true to form, insisting on wearing a Whimsical and Possibly Outlandish Hat. Oh. And I also gave myself bat wings. Because I could And because I wanted them.

Make your very own.. Go ahead. You know you want to. (Via Sappho’s Breathing.)

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1. It’s very annoying when one purchases Wisconsin chevre in small, tight plastic pouches that make the cheese look suspicious–as if transported across state lines after having been swallowed by a cheese mule–and when spread upon a Triscuit for a late afternoon treat one realizes that said Wisconsin chevre kind of, to tell the truth, sucks ass. One longs for the delicious and oh-so-satisfying chevre one normally purchases at the Hy-Vee–the kind with the happy gamboling goats–but which, most annoyingly, was completely sold out when one went to stock up the week before.

2. The Notebook–the one that actually counts for real this time–was turned in this week.

3. Several days ago I received my contributor’s copies for the Annual Summer Double Fiction Issue of North American Review, where I have a story published. It’s only my third ever published story, and so I still can’t help but find the whole thing over-the-toply thrilling.

4. I can’t even begin to articulate the frustration that occurs when, while watching the final two episodes of Season Three of Farscape on loan from Netflix, during the very final scene of both of the aforementioned season finale episodes, the disk simply ginds to a halt and refuses to go any further, disintegrating into a Lego mosaic of square pixels. All of the scenes leading up to the final scene of each of these episodes? Fine. Crystal clear. No problemo. It just wouldn’t let me watch the final freaking scenes of the season-freaking-finale episodes. Fine. Whatever.

5. The Bean Bean thinks it’s very amusing to watch me brush my teeth. Then, when I bend over to spit and rinse, he jumps up onto my back and stretches out–making himself comfortable and purring like a madman–all the while gnawing frenetically on my hair like a slightly rabid beaver with OCD. Even though it’s not entirely convenient or comfortable, and makes me think my cat’s more than a little bizarre, I nonetheless find this ritual rather endearingly dear.

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She: Don’t those sleeves drive you crazy?

Me: (Matter of factly). No, not at all. Because sometimes I like to pretend that I’m a goldfish.

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