Archive for January 2008

Reading and writing interests

January 29, 2008


Tiger Lily seems to be interested in reading and writing. She likes to rest on the written word. Literally. In my writing studies class today, we talked about the authority of the written word, especially the pre-approved value of academic writing. I wondered why we automatically value academic meaning-making, but fail to see other kinds of textuality as “real” or important.

My friend Meredith sent me a picture of her cat, Tabby, sitting on the book I wrote.


I’ll take readers, any where I can get them.


Surviving grief

January 23, 2008

I wrote yesterday that images (or crying) work better than words to express grief. During the aftermath of learning of the death, it was interesting to see how pictures helped (well, “help” is not accurate–“spend the time” is closer to it).

I found myself organizing and refining images of the cats, knowing that my blog was themed around the cats. “Picturing cats and languaging life” is the subtitle of my blog. Why do pictures, sounds, or hugs work more than words?


Dealing with death

January 21, 2008

A young and vibrant member of our family died on Saturday. Those words feel like lies, and it cannot be true that Bjorn Nielsen is not alive. I cannot understand, and writing about it does not help.

Writing seems to be a cathartic, but at the moment, only screaming or crying feel real. Which points to the fact that words alone are woefully inadequate to express one’s life. I say that we “language” in order to do life. And while that is partially true, the part for which it is untrue is a huge gap in communication. Images, maybe, might also be better than words. Here’s one, for instance, that a friend of BJ’s cross-stitched (how delicious that a man cross-stitched a motto for another man). Hmmmm…on the other hand, it DOES use language to express itself. Ah-ha! And there we see the wonderful value of “taboo” words to say what normative and conventional words cannot.


I wrote a scholarly paper once, arguing that the language level of the word “fuck” had changed from obsenity to slang.


Warning: Cats Acting Deviously While Humans Sleeping

January 17, 2008

The video below is not a metaphor. Ralph, the sweet-natured cat by day, is a demon by night. Just like the cat with the baseball bat. Last night he jumped on Kevin’s head around 3:30 am. Kevin was so furious and tired–and sleep deprived from this happening night after night–that Kevin grabbed the cat and put his head under the spigot. Unfortunately, Ralph didn’t seem to mind too much. The cat kept tormenting. Kevin got up again and threw the cat outside and closed the cat door so he couldn’t get back in. Ralph sat freezing and scratching, and Kevin worried. An hour later, Kevin let Ralph back in.  Ralph won. This morning, of course, Ralph is gentle and sweet and endearing. Jeckyll and Hyde.

The cat’s meow

January 17, 2008

Don’t you love cultural sayings? “The cat’s meow” makes me think of my parents and grandparent’s generation. You never hear it today, of course. Why not? It’s a cool way to say that something is cool, rad, sweet, phat, etc.

Here’s what I think is the cat’s meow:


Tiger Lily’s opinion of discouse

January 14, 2008


Note her application of body language to the materiality of text.

Getting into computer literacy

January 12, 2008


Or getting into the computer and printer, at least. When Tiger Lily hears the printer start, she jumps as if an electric shock just went through her body. She dashes–and this cat does NOT dash very often–she dashes to get at that printer. It’s almost as frantic as when she sees a bird outside and says: “Ack ack ack ack,” which, translated, means: “But Momma, I HAVE to kill that birdie NOW.”

What is it with cats and printers?