The Horror of Disconnection

It was a dark and stormy night…is how this tale of horror should begin, but it was actually a bright and lovely morning.

I awoke without Wifi.

Nothing on my phone would load which wasn’t startling given its antiquity. (It’s paid off dammit.) However my computer with whom I had planned to spend some morning coffee time would only say that its broadband link had been garbled and funkled; I should check to see that the wire whooozits were tight.

The stomach tightening realization that I would have to DEAL WITH SOMETHING before peacefully going about my day sank in. I unplugged, re-plugged in, and held buttons down to restart all the blinking things that seemed relevant before dialing the dreaded 1-800 number for customer service.  A robotic Ken doll interpreted my graveling morning voice to determine that I had a “connection problem” then made fake automated typing noises to somehow reassure me of his competence. He let me know that my whooozits provider was funkled across a broad area, but was on the case and that I should not try to contact any humans as they were not privy to more details.

Did the gods of the internet not know that I had things to do today! There were cat pictures I needed to view on Instagram. What if someone’s status on Facebook had been updated overnight? How was I supposed to play Words With Friends while pooping? Should I just go back to reading a book on the toilet? Auughhhh! What. About. My. Pokemon. Game?

Incredibly annoying all around! Almost as annoying as my daily activities being dictated by some invisible doohickey that I don’t really understand. I just know it makes my trivial stuff work, but that somehow I was doing okay without its existence like twenty years ago.

However the part when humanity truly suffered was when I had to wait until everything re-connected to post this adorable photo.

This is pre-vacuuming today. The carpet is a slightly different color now. 

That 7 Day Thing on Facebook: A Retrospective of Fine Photography

Yes, Facebook is the Devil unless it involves cat pictures. That’s pretty much what I’m there for: pictures -sometimes of people -and local events. Now if I could just eliminate all the ads, the politics, and the friends who go on tagging, liking, random re-posting sprees that make me wonder if they are trapped somewhere.

Are you perpetually on a layover in a really bad airport? If yes, you’re killing your phone battery with this nonsense.

Banished would be things that say “copy and paste this then tag your best friend from high school.” We’ve created the digital equivalent of the chain letter. Worse yet are the passive aggressive posts that start off with something like: “I know that most of my real friends won’t re-post this (subtext being that we are horrible examples of humanity) but those of you that really care about -fill in the blank here with something dead or soon to die…”And so trend begets trend and so on down the wormhole.

However the latest trend of seven days of black and white photos has been tolerable. Photos the end. One of its layers of “rules” is no explanations. Perfect! No people, ok. No pets, seriously? And you’re supposed to nominate another person. Nope. Not dragging anybody under with me. Also you’re only supposed to choose one photo a day. Meh. Again, I’m a big kid and I do what I want! Part of the time at least. Most of the time I do what I’m supposed to unless it involves exercise or eating better. #Adulting

I currently have over 11,000 photos on my phone. Yes, 10,999 are of my cats; and I do realize that life still happens even if I don’t get a picture of it, but, man, I really like that picture. So a photo a day wasn’t as much of a challenge as editing it down to one.

Additionally, black and white can really be a silk purse out of a sow’s ear situation. It makes practically anything look cooler! I took a picture of peanut butter for pete’s sake! It had nice texture. A little silvertone or Holga-esque won’t hurt you.

I guess my end game is that if you do accept this challenge, you crazy trendsetters, then at least make it interesting; and for all you are worth, stick to NO EXPLANATIONS.

You’re a Douche bag, Facebook. 

“Kristi, we care about you and your memories. Here is a picture of your two dead cats. Tomorrow we’d like to show you pictures of your unsuccessful relationships and some deceased family members. Your memories are so important to us that we won’t allow you to shut off this function.” I would like to note that yesterday’s memory was this childhood photo of myself, my sister, and my deceased brother who happened to die April 12, 1994 which is probably why the photo was on my page in the first place.

You’re on a roll, Facebook, you fuck!

I’m hoping that tomorrow Facebook can send me photos of past boyfriends even though I have not dated anyone since joining Facebook, maybe my dead grandma, and some shit from high school.

Thanks for the memories!

***Thank you for the sympathetic comments. I just want to note that the dredged up “memories” were not recent events and I’m not sitting in a corner weeping on to my dumb phone. It was more annoyance than sadness after a double whammy of “Seriously, FB?!”

Meow in Hindi?

I need to work on my selfie skills.

I need to work on my selfie skills.

So in lieu of yammering on about my cats…again, I was thinking about going all Oprah for a while and sharing some of my “favorite things.” Unfortunately,  you will not find any freebies under the chair that you are currently sitting upon. And, of course, you can probably guess that many of my favorite things will probably be cat related.

“You get some cat hair! And you get some cat hair! Everybody gets cat hair!!”

A conversation at school on Friday motivated me to share this favorite thing: Squirrel Den Studio on

I first ran into t-shirts by Squirrel Den Studio in my Facebook news feed because they were creating designs whose sales would go toward a fund benefiting Justin a kitten found on fire at an intersection in Philadelphia.  Justin was horribly burned, but has since been rehabilitated, adopted, and has his own Facebook page illustrating his new life. Justin’s experience is a sample of the potential for cruelty in humans. However, at least to the Crazy Cat Ladies and animal lovers who are aware of him, he’s also a loveable symbol of persevering through what life brings and the potential of humans to be kind and generous.

Part of the proceeds from Justin products go to his fund the Kitty Krusade and to Animal Alliance. Part of the proceeds from all other Squirrel Den Studio products go to their local SPCA. The t-shirts, hoodies, and onesies come in bright colors, actual human sizes (I sometimes feel beyond actual human size when shopping on Etsy), and feature bold cat and dog caricatures like Badasscat and Chairman Meow. Adult clothes with animals, supporting animal welfare, what’s not to love!

I received a Yoga Kitty tee for Christmas after harassing my New York friends to go to the art shows in their area that Squirrel Den Studio would be attending. While I had worn it several times since then, I had not worn it to school until Friday. Somehow a bright orange and pink kitty tee with a pink sweater and fluorescent tennis shoes was what Friday needed.

The t-shirt says, “Meowmmmm” underneath script in another language. Getting dressed that morning, I had the fleeting thought that I always have when clothing sports a non-English language: “I hope this is inoffensive.” At the time I had no idea if this was an artistic graphic or something translatable.

The telling moment came at the end of first period when one of my students, a very shy, quiet, and insightful young Indian lady approached me and pointed at my midsection.

Student: “Do you know what language that is?”

Brain: “Oh, shit, it translates to ‘I hate little Indian girls’ Fuck, fuck, fuck!”

Me: “No, I don’t. Do you?”

Student: “Yes, it’s Hindi. It says ‘Meowwwww’.”

Brain: “Thank goodness for that!”

Me: “That’s awesome! Thank you, student name here! Is that what you speak at home?”

Student: “Yes.” Big smile.

She made my morning and made me like my shirt and Squirrel Den Studio just a little bit more. I’ve read the t-shirt descriptions today and see that it does mention the Hindi translation.

Later in the day I was in mid conversation with another Indian student when he stopped everything and said, “My parents speak that language at home a lot. I recognize that.”

Great job, denizens of Squirrel Den Studio!

(Hey, people, make sure you click on the links since I finally learned how to insert them properly. 🙂)