Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004
Dear Diary:

You know it's time to get out of the house when you find yourself talking to the cat.

Let's be clear about this. This is not about meeting the cat in passing on the stairs and saying, "How's it going, eh?"

No, what I'm talking about here is that you're eating your lunch and watching the news on the tee vee and you start talking to the cat about the current events. The cat who is sitting on the sofa beside you feigning interest in what you have to say while in actuality plotting to steal the bacon from your BLT. That cat.

This sort of cat-human interaction is truly pitiful. I mean, hey, if there's one thing about cats that we all know, it's that a) they're not fans of the current events and b) they would eat all our food in a heartbeat and leave us to starve to death If They Thought They Could Get Away With It.

Fortunately, they don't have opposable thumbs, so they need us to open the canned cat food. Once some feline evil genius solves the cat food can dilemma, we're all toast.

Now your nature show is a whole other ball of wax. Oh. Wait. Was this supposed to be coherent? Was I supposed to make some sort of segue between talking about watching the news with the cat, the cat wanting to eat my bacon and nature shows?

I think it's better to just accept that that train of thought derailed itself a long time ago and just move on to the concept that it's probably worth your while to discuss a nature show with your cat. But the current events? Complete and utter waste of breath. The spousal unit hates the nature shows but is quite interested in the current events, so you'd think that between him and the cats I would have all the stimulation I need.

Sadly, that is not the case. What with the insane cold we've been having making the outdoors far from inviting, and far, far too much work over the last week or so, I found myself with a raging case of cabin fever.

So yesterday at lunch I asked the spousal unit if he'd like to catch a matinée. For a brief moment his face lit up because he thought this was a euphemism for the marital duties. I think we can all agree that the man is the very embodiment of the words "hope springs eternal". Patiently I explained to him that what I wanted was to see a foreign film--maybe you've heard of it--called The Lord of the Rings which just came to our neck of the woods. (Our neck of the woods being a theatre which is in a small town a 45 minute drive from our home.)

Some of you might have already seen this movie. I think it got fairly good word of mouth.

So we drove the 45 minutes to the theatre, paid for our tickets and stood in front of the concession stand. I cannot watch a movie without popcorn. It's part of my DNA. When we were first dating, this drove the spousal unit nuts. I crunch my popcorn and he found that sitting beside She Who Can Eat Popcorn At Volumes Comparable To The Average Wood Chipper took away from his movie experience. Fortunately, with the years both his hearing and his antagonism to my popcorn eating ways have diminished.

The two may be linked.

The concession stand had a display of combo specials. SPECIALS. My three loyal readers well know that I am a tightwad skinflint thrifty soul, so combo it was. I could get an icy beverage, popcorn and a piece of candy for the price of icy beverage and popcorn alone. Never mind that I had no intention of actually eating the candy, it was the idea that I was getting FREE CANDY that appealed to me.

I magnanimously told the spousal unit that not only would he have his own combo, he could have my free candy as well. When the woman asked me what kind of free candy I wanted, I told her Reese's Pieces.

"You know I don't like Reese's Pieces," remarked the spousal unit.

"Yeah, but I like them."

"But you're not eating this candy."

"Yeah, but it's my candy," I said, as if that made one iota of sense.

When the counter girl started to laugh, even I had to admit how stupid my "reasoning" was. The spousal unit got two candy bars of his choice. If it had been me scoring that sort of victory, a certain amount of smugness would have been spread around. The spousal unit completely avoided the smugging. If we were Catholic, the man would be on the fast track to sainthood.

We both enjoyed the movie, although we felt the last 10 minutes or so were kind of a let down. Cold Mountain is coming next and we're debating whether or not to go. I read the book years ago and I'm kind of curious to see the adaptation. The spousal unit is ambivalent about any movie that gets as much hype as Cold Mountain has, though.

Decisions, decisions, decisions …

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 57.81 piddling miles Ten percent there rubber duck.
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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