Kyo-Kun the Krazy Kitten!

Back in November, I wrote about how our newest kitten followed us home and became part of our family.  We named him Kyo-Kun, and he has settled into being the TURD of the house.  By that, I mean to say that I hear, “Stop that, you turd!” from the other room several times a day.  He absolutely adores Maggie, and likes to attack her sisters (that’s where the TURD comments come in).  He lies in wait, hidden from view, virtually invisible, and then jumps out… claws extended… and grabs Sam or Gwen’s rear ends when ever they walk by.  He tried it on me once…. ONCE.

Sleeping Kyo

Doesn't he look so sweet and innocent here? What a deception!

This little boy is a weird one, let me tell you.  I have witnessed him doing peculiar things like:

One day, he was sitting on the bottom shelf of the microwave cart when our gray tabby, Princess Leia, walked by.  Kyo climbed out and stood up on his hind legs, front legs raised above his head and paws opened wide, and then WALKED quickly over to Leia on his hind legs and attacked her.  It was bizarre to watch him do that, like a human kid doing a monster-gonna-get-you walk.  I wished I had THAT on camera.

This funny little boy also will walk over to the trash can, again walking on hind legs, and watch what I’m throwing away.  What, is he the recycling monitor?  Is he making sure I’m not throwing away anything good?  Sometimes I think he thinks he’s a human.

smiling little boy

Look closely, this smiling little boy is gripping Maggie's homework in his paws, after shredding it for her.

Yes, this little boy loves his girl so much that he likes to “help” her with her homework.  By “help” I mean that he attacks her pencil everytime it moves (just try to write without the end of your pen or pencil moving, not so easy, is it!), he’ll stretch out on her workbook, or chew on her paper.  Of course, I suppose he wouldn’t do that if she’d do her work at the table instead of in my bed, but hey! there’s no TV in there.  Brat and Cat-Brat, let me tell you!
Kyo chewing on Mag's pencil eraser Kyo getting Mag's pencil

This little Brat-Cat has a special affinity for pencil erasers, and has chewed them off of about half of our pencils.  We’ll be down to using caps and the long red ones before long!

Kyo eating the earaser.

Honestly, I have to wonder if the erasers will give him indigestion.

 

None of that compares to his latest escapade.  Okay, now we all know that cat-dog relations are rarely better than tolerating each other living in the same vicinity and sharing the same people, but apparently Kyo has a particularly deep loathing of the canine species.  So how does a cat like him express his detestation?  Puff up and hiss?  Not very effective.  Get in a few open-pawed swipes to the smelly-dog’s nose to the a satisfying sounds of painful yelps?  While fun, just not EVIL enough.  I know, drop bombs on the thing’s head while it sleeps.  YESSSSSS!

Kyo and the ARC-alanche pile

Here sits the EVIL Kyo, amidst my ARC-alanche pile... directly above Missy's bed.

Oh, yes… the cat has figured out a few things.  GRAVITY is a bitch.  BOOKS are heavy and have SHARP corners.  and that DOG sleeps directly below this stack of books.  Cue the evil cat laugh now!

Maggie and I watched him a few mornings ago sit up here like this, look over the edge to spy a sleeping Missy below, and then take his paw and shove ONE book at a time off in hopes that his aim was true.  I am NOT making this up.  The TURD looked over the edge AGAIN after dropping 3 bombs down to see if Missy was still there and if he’d done any damage.  Maggie and I just stared at each other and back to him, disbelieving he could’ve actually worked all that out.  The CAT sat there SMILING.  I’m serious!  HE WAS SMILING. 

Kyo hiding behind the ARC-alanche pile, waiting for Missy.

Is that DOG asleep yet?

I did get a couple of videos, but the lighting is bad here for videos at night.  Then uploading it to YouTube has made it even darker, so forgive the quality of the video.  I’m still learning :-)  Maggie had an orange feather and was playing with Kyo. Kyo had been jumping all over to get it, but, of course, when I brought out the camera, he quit. Maggie did get him to do it a couple times more here.

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Okay, I gotta give Missy her chance for a rebuttal… equal time, and all that.  So here she is, waiting outside Hardee’s for me to get her food and come back out.

Have a great weekend :-)

Fruits Basket volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket 1Title:  Fruits Basket Volume 1

Author:  Natsuki Takaya

Paperback:  216 pages

ISBN:  1591826039

Challenges:  Manga Challenge

From the back cover:

A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home.  Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.  Discover for yourself the Secret of the Zodiac, and find out why Fruits Basket has won the hearts of readers the world over!

First off, a caveat:  This is my first manga, and my first review of a manga book.  I’m not exactly sure how one writes a review for manga.  I could read a bunch of reviews then write it, but I’d probably end up regurgitating what I’ve read, then.  I don’t even know if the title is supposed to be italicized like novels, and can’t exactly use a quote from the book since it uses pictures to tell the story.  But, here goes….

I first heard about Fruits Basketfrom a friend who said his niece loved it.  I’d been circling the manga pool and dipping my toe in every time I went to the book store, but had not as yet jumped in.  I’d also been sampling anime with Maggie, and so I thought this series would be a great place to start.  This book was originally published in Hane to Yume magazine in 1999.  It was finally published in English in 2004 by TOKYOPOP (if you click the link, you can read the first chapter online).  It is also a 26-episode anime series, AND an online petitionpleading FUNimation to make a second season of the show (I’ve signed, btw ;-) )

So, right from the start, I know I’m going into a beloved series and am fairly safe in thinking I’ll like it, which, of course, I did.

The story is about how orphaned Tohru, who has never fit in anywhere, comes to stay with the Shigure, Yuki and Kyo Sohma, members of a family who suffer from a strange curse that transforms them into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  It’s a book about transformations, both the humorous, and often inconvenient, physical transformations of the Sohmas themselves (and embarrassing, especially since transforming back to human form renders them naked).  It’s also about how Tohru’s kind and quiet spirit affects them, causing them to mature and let go of some of their anger and bitterness, and to grow in affection and acceptance of one another.

Maggie’s Review:

I really love-love-LOVE Fruits Basket!  Yuki and Kyo are cute and it’s so funny when they fight.  Yuki’s mysterious and it’s funny when Kyo gets mad (which is all the time) and gets cat ears, eyes, teeth and tail and hisses at Yuki.  I like the whole Zodiac thing.  It’s funny, especially when Shigure is acting like a pervert :-D  Kagura is CRAZY!  She’s in love with Kyo, and she shows it by destroying him and beating him up and flipping him through the wall.  One thing I did NOT like about it is that it’s got a lot of cuss words in it.

Maggie is funny, she says she doesn’t like the cuss words, but she sure does laugh a lot at them.  BTW, the cuss words used are Damn, Dammit, and Bitch and Bastard are used once in the second book when Kyo and Uo are playing a card game (both have anger issues).  No F-bombs, or other strong words are used.  The books are labeled for teens, which I didn’t catch until after she’d watched the whole anime series, read book one and got halfway through book two. 

and now, a few moments of love’s reflection by Kagura Sohma :-D

and, after writing this, I realized that, technically, Vampire Kisses:  Blood Relativeswas my first “manga,” though it’s not really manga because it reads like a normal American book, not right to left.  It’s the right-to-left reading of FB that’s made it so dificult for Mags to read on her own.  I’m sure a few books in and she’ll be okay.  Also, since she won’t let me put FB on BookMooch or PBS… she’s already made off with the book… I guess she’ll be re-reading it on her own, which should help her manga-reading abilities.

Well, off to Hardee’s for dinner and to finish up FB vol 2 :-D

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

Title:  Robot Dreams

Author:  Sara Varon

Illustrator:  Sara Varnon

Softcover:  206 pages

Publisher:  :01 First Second

Publish Date:  September 2007

ISBN:  9781596431089

Richly endearing and full of surprises, Robot Dreams follows an ill-fated friendship between a dog and robot.  After a Labor Day jaunt to the beach leaves Robot rusty and immobilized in the sand, Dog, unsure what to do, abandons him.  As the seasons pass, Dog tries to replace his friend, making and losing a series of new ones, from a melting snowman to epicurean anteaters.  Meanwhile, Robot passes his time daydreaming, escaping to better places …  Through interwoven journeys, the two characters long to recover from their day at the beach.

Although its adorable characters and playful charm will win over young readers, Robot Dreams speaks universally to the fragile nature of friendship, loss, and redemption.

-taken from the front flap of Robot Dreamsby Sara Varon

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon is a fun and touching graphic novel written completely without words (except for the “buzz”es, “bump”s and “scratch”es written into the panels).

The story begins with Dog receiving a package in the mail containing the “build your own robot” kit he’d ordered. Once put together, Robot and Dog go everywhere together, watch videos together, and then the duo take a trip to the beach where Robot goes for a swim.

 excerpt from Robot Dreams by Sara Varnon, page 15 excerpt from Robot Dreams by Sara Varnon, page 16

 Unfortunately, as you may guess, sea water and moving metal parts do not mix, and Robot is rusted stiff. Dog doesn’t know what to do to help his friend, and ends up leaving Robot alone on the beach.

The two take diverging courses for the next few months: Dog, lonely and friendless, tries to fill the void left in his life by Robot’s absence, and Robot is left, immobile, on the beach to dream of other places and reuniting with Dog. However, the friends Dog finds are never quite the right fit, either melting or flying south for the winter, or sharing a meal of live ants that later makes Dog sick. Meanwhile, Robot finds the people who come across him on the beach aren’t as considerate and nice as Dog. When the weather is warm again, Dog goes to beach as soon as it opens to find Robot, but is only able to locate his leg. Robot has been removed by a junk man and sold as scrap metal to a junkyard.

While the pictures are sweet and adorable, the story it tells carries the emotions of friendships, both shared and lost, and how we grieved… and eventually recover and move on… when these connections come to an end. Sometimes they end because of a move, sometimes by death, and other times because of a disagreement. But we always live through it, and find a way to manage after the loss.

Because this book is completely without text, it’s a great story for younger readers who may struggle with reading. Also, I found it to be received with joy by Gwen, whose learning disability makes reading dificult for her. She took delight in “writing” her own story to go with the pictures.

AND, because of the nature of truth, the story is endearing and emotionally palpable for adults, as well. The book is shelved in the young adult section of my library, and I think that’s a good fit.

For its ability to convey a story without the use of words, while never losing any of the truth and emotions, I give Robot Dreams by Sara Narnon four out of five stars. The artwork is cleverly cute and would be a great book for a family of all ages to share.

hated it!didn't like itliked itreally liked itLoved it!

Don’t forget to enter to win your choice of a Borders, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble gift card for $5, $10, $15, or $25! Click and read my Buy Books for the Holidays post for details!

Viral Video Wednesday – Has Gone to the Dogs

I’m still kind of lagging behind in sleep and reading (and housekeeping, but that’s always lagging) since my mom’s visit, and THEN I finally checked out an internet thing my friend’s been doing for years and I’ve resisted since first hearing about it: 2nd Life. YEah… no. That’s some life sucking stuff right there. I got on at four in the afternoon, blinked, then it was four in the morning. I just don’t have time for that; if I was on there I’d never get anything read or do any blogging. I think a first life is more than enough.

So on to the VIDEOS!!

This week, v v W is focused on videos about our best friends: our pets. We love our kitties and puppies, and I know there are several bloggers who include their fur-children in their posting. *Waves at Emmy, and all the other bloggy kitties and doggies out there.*

To kick it off, let’s start which a little classic theatre. I found this video about a year or so ago, and emailed it to everyone I knew. It’s hilarious, whether you are a cat lover or not.
Cathead Theatre Presents: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act II, scene 2:

On October 3, 2008, Disney is releasing a new movie called Beverly Hills Chihauhau, which we will, of course, be seeing. However, I think I may have found the video that inspired Disney’s new movie. The poster has titled the video “Cutest Ever Music Video,” and while I’m not sure about cutest, it is pretty high on the AWWW meter.

Okay, check your glucose levels… I don’t want anyone going into a sugar coma with this next one. Gwen, my middle daughter is an animal lover and she’s always fetching videos with them in it. This one is from her personal favorites collection:

Another one from Gwen’s folder, the following video was found shortly after our Pug-dog Frank, who looked a LOT like the dog in this, died. It took me a while before I’d even look at the video, but I now love watching it… and singing it.

And in the interest of bi-specienship, here are kitties morphing and rocking: Kitty Said What?

And now for one of the most annoying songs, the kind that’s stuck in your brain for days and you find yourself walking around mumbling it unthinkingly, but definately a cute and fun video: Cat, I’m a Kitty Cat!

The YouTube member who posted the following video wrote, “I made this video for my neice who is cat crazy she is only 2 and she loves this” in the vid’s info section. As near as I can tell, this is The original “Cat, I’m a Kitty Cat!” video:

And finally, one of the original virals, and a vid that will cure you of the “Cat, I’m a Kitty Cat!” song stuck in your head…. because this song will be stuck there instead…. Is it a bird? Is it a dog, or a cat? No! It’s a hamster… and he’s dancing:

For a bit of Internet historical trivia, before there were viral videos to spread their way through the ethernet, there were viral emails. The original Hamsterdance email was created by a Canadian art student named “Deidre LaCarte, who was competing with her best friend and sister to see who could generate the most traffic, designed The Hampster Dance in August 1998 as a homage to her pet hamster, named Hampton Hamster. Using four simple animated GIFs of hamsters and other rodents, repeated dozens of times each, and a loop of background music embedded in the HTML, then a fairly new browser feature, she named the site Hampton’s Hampster House and had Hampton declare his intent to become a “web star”…. Until January 1999, only 800 visits were recorded (about 4 per day), but without warning, that jumped to 15,000 per day. The Web site spread by e-mail, early blogs, and bumper stickers, and was eventually even featured in a television commercial for Internet Service Provider Earthlink…. In 2005, CNET named The Hampster Dance the #1 web fad.” -From Wikepedia

Now it’s your turn to scrounge up some videos. Can you pack together a few viral vids with pride? Share some of your favorite animal vids in the comments, or post your own V V W on you blog :-D

The Sunday Salon – DEATH to Mr. Manners!

The Sunday Salon.com

Good Morning All!! Happy Sunday, and whatnot. I fell asleep with the TV on CNN and had some very weird dreams. Something about the book Daddy Long Legs, how that got in there I don’t know, along with sitting pool side in Beijing watching Phelps win the 8th gold medal, I doknow how that got in there… it’s only on every five minutes! mixed together with Obama, McCain, housefires and hurricanes to make some weird unconscious cocktail of imagination.

BERNIE MAC died? I just happened to glance over at the TV and just found out. I really love Bernie Mac’s comedy. Guess Who? is one of my favorite comedies, and I love the Bernie Mac show where he’s taking care of his niece and nephew. And I guess Isaac Hayes died, as well. Crap! I need to at least watch the news more.

Chocolate prices is on the rise. That sucks. But I’ll have to say what the smokers say… If it get up to $1.00 a bar, I quit eating it! and then still buying chocolate when it’s $2.50 a bar. Chocolate and books…. they are my crack!

My Friday-Fillinsthis week sparked a bit of interest. It seems you can’t say you intensely dislike your neighbor and suggest we all dress up like my neighbor so we can create mayhem in his (and her) image without getting a couple comments of laughter and curiosity, as well as a few who understand. So I thought I’d explained a little more about the joy and rapture I feel NOT! about my friendly cough next-door neighbors.

When they moved in I said hi and was friendly, and I gave them some tomatoes from my garden and some baked goodies. A few weeks later, Mr. Manners knocked on my door at 10 o’clock at night demanding I turn down my TV. Their grandkidstore up my yard, left their toys and stuff in the grass which made my lawn mower happy, and even played on my front porch with my kids’ stuff when we weren’t home. Mr. Manners made a vague threat he was going to kill my cat by locking him up in his garage and leaving him there for a couple weeks. Last year, when I was walking Missy, our mini rat terrier, he whistled to her in a friendly way, and she went happily to him… after all, every human loves her and has always been good to her. Suddenly he started chucking rocks at her, cussing her out and threatening to kill her if she ever stepped in his yard again. He cussed out my oldest daughter because she was standing too close to his POS van… she was a yard and a half away from it!

A couple weeks ago, Maggie had a lemonade and cookie stand to make money to go to our local amusementpark and asked my neighbor’s grandson if he wanted some. When he went to ask, Mrs. Manners told him he couldn’t have anything she was selling and he wasn’t allowed to talk or play with Maggie and she didn’t want Mags on her property. What? I gave them a box of homemade.. MY made.. cookies and goodies at Christmas, they didn’t die from them then, what gives my cooking cooties now? They were miffed about her out in from of the house hawking her goodies for sale, but then when Mags and I came out to go for breakfast at White House, it looked like their house threw up all over their front lawn. My kid was scum for having a lemonade stand, but here they are having a yard sale! I loudly told Maggie (loud enough for Mr. Manner’s to hear) she should set up her lemonade stand today so she could benefit from Mr. Manner’s yard sale traffic.

What makes matters worse, Mr. Manners happens to be my landlord’s maintenance man. So I have to let him in my house on occasion. The last time he came, Maggie answered the door, took one look at him, screamed in terror, slammed the door and ran to tell me he was at the door. Oh joy… I told him she shouldn’t have answered the door; she should have told me someone was at the door and let me get it. I don’t know if I told him she was scared of him or not.

So, that’s my neighbors. Feel free to wear a disguise that makes you look like them and go create madness and mayhem at the local 7-Eleven. :-D

A couple other things: My grandmother died on Thursday, so my presence on the blogs and ‘net may be a bit thin, particularly on Wednesday (which is the viewing) and Thursday (which is the funeral). The daily Booger factoids will still be posted, so continue to come by and comment, and I’ll put the entries in when I get home.

I don’t know if my little brother (he’s 32, not so little) is coming, and don’t know if I’ll have anyone staying with me in my home. I doubt my mom will. I’m about 90% certain she’ll choose to stay at a hotel, a room of her own and maid service as opposed to crashing here and cleaning up after all of us… which she will, no matter how much I say not to. If my brother and his two sons come up, he might stay with me if mom doesn’t pop for a hotel for them. And he’s a big tech nerd, so I’ll have to threaten to break his fingers if he tries to “improve” my computer. He’s always trying to get people to go Linux. I’m adamantly opposed for the sole reason that he’s so rabidly for it.

OH, and don’t forget to sign up to win that $10 Borders Gift Card! at Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway!

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