28 September 2009

My money's on "Mr Whiskers"

My therapist has a cat.

I wish I didn't know this, but I do. He mentioned it in my last session. My therapist is in his forties, and single, and he has a cat.

I wish I didn't know this. Oh, certainly I'm glad to know that he prefers cats to dogs, because I've found that cat lovers are more empathetic than dog owners. But I still wish I didn't know this. I wish I knew that he liked cats, but not that he owns one. Because my mind can't just let it go. I can't just accept that he has a cat, and move on with my life. One could argue that, were he a better therapist, I would be able to let it go. But I've been seeing him for four years, and he has a cat, and I can't let it go. Questions arise, unbidden, in my neurotic brain.

I start to wonder about the cat. Is it a shelter cat? What sort of markings does it have? What color are its eyes? How big is it? How old is it? How long has John owned it?

What is its name? What sort of name would John choose for a cat? Paws? Frankie? Boots? Mr. Whiskers? Or does it have some sort of embarrassing lovey-dovey name like Angel or Sweet Pea or Baby? Does he talk to the cat?

Is he the male equivalent of a crazy cat lady? Does he have a picture of his cat as a desktop or a screen saver on his computer? Does he subscribe to Cat Fancy magazine? Would he, in casual conversation, refer to his cat as his furbaby? When he gets home from work, does he announce to the cat that daddy's home? Does he kiss the cat on the mouth? Does his cat screen his dates? Is that why he's still single?

Does he take the cat for walks? I think he's the sort of man that might put a cat on a leash. Do they go shopping together at Petco for kitty toys? Is he the kind of person who puts outfits on his pet for different holidays? Is there a picture of the cat with Santa? Are there pictures of John with his cat? Would he send them out in his Christmas cards? If the cat went missing, how much would he offer for a reward?

I am taking advice - life advice - from a man whose house contains a box that holds cat poo. How can I do that? How can I take my psychotherapist seriously when I know that he spends some of his time scooping cat poo out of a litter box? Is anyone who would voluntarily handle cat poo really qualified to give advice?

I don't know how I'm supposed to take him seriously now. Tomorrow I'm going to see him, and I have to try and sit there and discuss my problems and pretend that he doesn't have a cat and that I haven't spent the better part of an hour wondering about the cat. What if, mid-session, I crack up? What if I can't stop laughing? He's going to ask what's so funny, and I'm going to have to tell him that I have a mental picture of him and his cat in matching Christmas sweaters.

I'm not sure this is going to work anymore. I think I may have to find a new therapist.

25 September 2009

And now, for something completely different

I don't have anything to say today, but I'm sick of this blog being stuck in the middle of my list on my Blogger Dashboard. Which is my own fault for having more than a dozen blogs, but I digress.

Here's a pig in a bath.

19 September 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is, apparently, Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I don't know how I missed this earlier. I can't believe it's not printed on my Audobon Backyard Birds calendar. And it wasn't in the newspaper.

Maybe if I'd turned on the TV. I think this sort of thing is right up Channel 3's alley. They've probably got Beverly Kidd on location somewhere in a tricorn hat and an eyepatch.

You may say, Jill, isn't this the sort of ludicrous hilarity in which you typically revel? Well, if you do, you'll have to speak up, because I can't hear you. Maybe consider sending it by e-mail next time so my ears don't strain.

But I digress. I do indeed enjoy a bit of juvenile frivolity every now and then. But I do not participate in Talk Like a Pirate Day.

There are two main reasons for this, which I shall elaborate for your reading pleasure. The first is that, despite the recent pop-culture success that it has enjoyed, I do not think piracy is funny or cool. Perhaps if actual piracy was a thing of the past I could bring myself to laugh about it. But there are plenty of places in the world where actual human beings are attacked, brutalized, and killed by actual pirates, and I don't find it the least bit funny or cute. These pirates do not have a skull-and-crossbones flag on their ships, and they do not dress like Johnny Depp in one of the wildly popular Disney films based on an amusement park ride. Real pirates are much more dangerous and ruthless than that. They are cruel, they are terribly violent, and some of them are downright evil.

So forgive me if I don't think that pirates are cute or funny or simply pop-culture. I haven't been able to forget an article I read about a British civilian who was savagely and brutally slain in front of his terrified wife. Maybe when I can, I will find pirates cute and amusing.

The second reason I will be speaking in my normal hybrid of American and British English today is because of the TV show "Wife Swap." Yes, "Wife Swap." I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I have actually seen that show, but the fact remains that I have actually seen probably a dozen episodes. There was a time when I needed something to fill my TV-watching gap of 4 to 6pm, and Lifetime had the answer in the form of shrill, nasty women torturing the families of other shrill, nasty women.

In one episode, one of the families involved in the swap is headed by a man whose real name eludes me because he insisted on being called Chumbucket. Yes, *the* Chumbucket. The one responsible for this august occasion known as Talk Like a Pirate Day.

How can I describe Chumbucket? Out of touch with reality is the first phrase that comes to mind. Chumbucket, and his wench - I mean, wife - are a good argument for fewer personal freedoms in America. They dress like pirates (or rather, like the Disney version of pirates), talk like pirates (or rather, like Disney pirates), annoy their neighbors, and raise their psychologically damaged children by ignoring their problems, allowing them to curse wildly, and teaching them that there is no reason to aspire to do anything to contribute meaningfully to society (or "pirattitude," as they call it). They stage pirate plays in the backyard of the hovel they call a house, they have pirate friends (Say hello to Cap'n Slappy), they wave swords. Here's a family begging for matching prescriptions for lithium if ever I've seen one.

I won't go into detail on the episode featuring this family. Suffice it to say that Chumbucket and Mrs. Chumbucket are two of the most reprehensible human beings I have ever encountered (and I went to a community college). The fact that one of them created this holiday and stands to profit from it, even in a non-monetary fashion, repulses me like a pus-oozing face wound.

So no, I will not be talking like a pirate today. And be advised, those of you who know me, that if I hear that you have spoken like a pirate today, you will land on my spreadsheet of respect somewhere in between Dr. Phil and the man who invented Esperanto. And I think we all know how I feel about Dr. Phil

16 September 2009


I recently announced that, if I ever owned a boat, I would name it Three Hour Tour. I want to clarify something.

I have no plans to buy a boat.

I would also like to add that, were I ever to purchase a racehorse, male or female, I would name it Good Morning Dan.

Again, thank you.

14 September 2009

Alert the media!

I have made an important decision.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and the answer simply wouldn't come to me. But after a lot of thought and consideration, I think I've got it. I think I have the answer.

If I ever got a boat, I would name it "Three Hour Tour."

Thank you.

11 September 2009

Accentuate the ... negative?

I have been trying for over an hour now to update this blog.

I feel like I have plenty of things to say, but two problems keep coming up.

The first is that I don't feel like I'm particularly funny anymore. I used to be able to crank out three or four rants in a sitting, and find them rather clever and well-written, with at least one turn of phrase of which I was particularly proud. But lately I can't even make a joke about infomercials, which is saying something.

The second problem has to do with a promise I made to myself, one I made, if I'm honest, in part to get my therapist off my back. I promised myself I wasn't going to be such a negative person. That I was going to try to lighten up a bit, try to be humorous without being sarcastic.

It's a lot harder than I thought. I'm not sure what it says about me that I can't be funny without being mean. I don't like the thought. I have always thought that I was just generally a rather clever person. I didn't concern myself with the fact that I was overly sarcastic.

I'm starting to wonder if I've ever been funny at all, or if it was just rudeness. If it's the latter, that's sort of an earth-shattering revelation. My sense of humor is an integral part of who I am. I don't like to think that rudeness or nastiness are such a big part of my personality.

Am I a negative person? I've never really thought so, but lately I've started to wonder. I don't want to be a negative person. I want to be clever and funny without risking offense. I wonder if I can.

But I think I've mostly decided that, if I can't be funny sans sarcasm, I simply won't be funny anymore. I want to be a happy person. I want to be the sort of person that my family can be proud of, that others will be drawn to.

One thing I've learned about myself over the years is that I am capable of doing very hard things, of living through hard things and becoming stronger for it. Lately I feel I've had more than my share of hard times, and I do wish God would back off a bit. But if this is the lesson that I need to learn, I'll learn it.

Maybe I won't be funny anymore. But I am going to try to be happy. I am going to try to be positive.

I should probably start by getting up before noon.

01 September 2009


I'm working on a few new rants, but in the meantime, here are a few random items from my list of deep, dark secrets (so deep they squeak).

-I have no idea what “3G” means.
-I didn’t know how to pronounce the word “mojito” until about three months ago.
-I have two Hannah Montana songs on my iPod (but I won’t say which two).
-I have had the game of football explained to me more than seven times, but I still couldn’t tell you which guy does what and for which reason.
-When people in public places ask me to sign a petition, I tell them I am Canadian so that I don’t have to sign without hurting their feelings.
-I cried at the end of “Nanny McPhee.” I cry every single time at the end of “Nanny McPhee.” I have seen "Nanny McPhee" about ten times.
-I joke about my fear of fish, but I am seriously terrified of the things. If I ever had to touch one I think I’d have a seizure.
-I think that pigeons are adorable. Also, chickens. Farm animals in general get me very excited. I think they are fantastic.
-I do not understand the cultural appeal of the zombie. Or the pirate, or the ninja.
-I once kicked a dog. The dog had it coming, and if I had the chance, I would kick it again. It was a horrible beast.
-It's not really a secret anymore, but I watch "SpongeBob SquarePants" with alarming regularity.
-I enjoy watching TV infomercials.
-I screen my phone calls.
-I am addicted to celebrity gossip. I waste my money on at least two scandal rags every week.
-I faint at the sight of my own blood.
-I'm not sure what it says about me that the preceding are some of my deepest, darkest secrets.