South Park Self

and so become yourself

They (and that's the doom-laden unspecified-authoritorian "They" that should probably be THEY) have been renovating our building on campus since the beginning of the year. Today I fled the scene, silently screaming, at about 3.15, since my office had become absolutely untenable owing to the three scraping and two bashing-type fellows engaged in doing something nasty, brutal and permanent to the plaster around my windows. The noise was indescribable. I have had a much more productive couple of hours at home, peaceably answering emails while listening to the rain on the roof and the distant, premature mewling of cats. (Supper is at 6pm, and not a moment earlier. They know this. This does not in any way prevent them from daily attempting to speed up time by means of complaint, ankle-level seething and concentrated feline glares).

I have been working quite hard, she says with faint surprise. There are all sorts of interesting things afoot in the faculty with reference to new course structures and teaching/learning initiatives and what have you, and I'm having a lot of input into policy and design. Hideous power, in fact, is mine. It's pleasantly chewy and instrumental work, and contents a deeply authoritarian and structure-ridden portion of my psyche. Slowly, by exercise of will and guile, I am warping this job into something I may actually want to carry on doing.

Since I don't really think the gritty details of faculty policy are madly interesting to the uninitiated observer, I leave you instead with interesting linkery.
  • This is a spirited defence of popular fiction, one with which I wholeheartedly agree. No guilt!
  • This is simply beautiful. The world's ocean currents, as a dreamily-drifting graphic that looks like something by Van Gogh.
  • And this is simply amusing, and surprisingly heart-warming. Homophobia is slowly eroding, at least in contexts outside the religious right. There's hope.
  • Current Mood: accomplished happy with the smell of rain
That last link is simply hi-larious:

"have you told your friends and family that you don't use stylesheets"

"it takes a lot of guts to post things on a plain HTML page these days"

"At least you're not a PHPer"

I enjoy the interchange because it's both wholeheartedly supportive and slightly flippant - its subtext is something along the lines of "good on you, hope you're happy, but it's not such a big deal, actually we're all geeks together". The language of the HTML/PHP dissing beautifully mirrors the idiom of prejudice: it effectively recognises what someone coming out might have to endure, and mocks the limitations of the people who might actually use that kind of attack. It's a surprisingly sophisticated technique.
On feeding kittehs
(Anonymous)
So we provide a constant supply of fud, and leave the beasts to feed themselves; occasionally being reminded by concentrated feline gravity on the chest (in the small hours) that they can see silver in the bowls, and that this is a problem you must solve RIGHT NOW.

They seem for the most part not particularly over fed.

So I must wonder, what benefits accrues (apart from the taking pleasure in kitty torture, for which the Germans have not yet created a word, take that Saphir-Whorf)?
Re: On feeding kittehs
I've heard of this mystical breed of cat that won't inhale all the food. My cats seem to be of the goldfish subspecies, they eat all the food in the bowl. Sometimes some of them eat it so quickly they barf it up again.

I think the set feeding times thing is purely to bolster our delusion that we are actually in control.
Re: On feeding kittehs
Our problem is twofold: one, we are haunted by a Neighbourhood Stray, who slides ninja-like into the kitchen and nicks the catfood whenever our collective backs are turned. Since he no longer sprays the kitchen I am less worried about him, but it effectively means we have to give our kitties enough food for 5 cats twice a day, because an ongoing supply in the bowls means that Neighbourhood Ninja Tom will simply wax fat and encouraged.

Also, like first_fallen, I suffer from cats who bolt too much and throw it up again immediately, and rationing them to a defined amount seems to reduce the incidence of this.
Anytime Chairmain Mao encounters me wandering around the house he makes eye contact, miouws and then dashes for the bowl...making me think there is is nothing in it and he is positively starving...the bowl almost always has food in it...I'm not sure why he is so dead set on me looking at his bowls...weird. He also sits waiting until I have been the in the bath for exactly 10 minutes before drinking the water...I think he has a taste for human soup!
Good heavens, your Chairman Mao is clearly a Hobbit-analogue - Hobbit does exactly the same thing with the foodbowls. I think it's not about the food so much as the reassurance of the food-related attention. Was your CMao a stray? They always need more validation.

And Hobbit always lurks on the bath mat while I'm showering so that he can climb into the shower afterwards and drink the nice warm soap-and-human-flavoured water. I had thought it a unique quirk, but clearly there's a whole subculture of feline fetishists out there who like people-taste. Normal cats just lick us a lot ;>.
I have a theory
I think fluffier cats need more water because their fluff is very absorbent. Puff will only drink running water, from the bathroom basin or the bath. This means that she sits at the bathroom door and meeps in this tiny kitteny miaow for us to come and use our pink blob paws to make the water run whenever she thirsty. This is very often, so much so that I'm thinking of buying a R500 cat fountain thing from the vet shop. Eish.

NG's fluffy white cat also likes running water. It's obv a fluffy-white-cat thing.
Re: I have a theory
Lol...Seifer (the slinky malinki-esque bag of bones cat) who resides with my parents will only drink running water—from the tap. We put it down to a darwinian avoidance of potentially toxic stagnant water rather than a requirement to hydrate excessive fluffiness (as she doesn’t have any…there was that one time when Mosa was a toddler that she moussed her and she developed a startling resemblance to elvis in the general quiff area…but that was the only time she was anything other than a sleek shadow cat)!
Mao...was a shelter cat...but I got him young...before one assumes the neuroses had a chance to settle in. He is a big fat male ginger though so I reckon the food validation is most likely to just be a male thing :-)
Re: I have a theory
Clearly food validation is a big fat male ginger cat thing, then! Or else Mao and Hobbit are actually the same cat on a sort of bizarre cross-continental Schroedinger time-share.