Neko Zamurai


Tama-No-JyoBack in April, I started seeing ads for a new season of a TV show coming out in Japan: Neko Zamurai. I snagged what’s probably an illegal sub off of Amazon. Finished the first season last weekend, and I adored it.

First off, it’s a period comedy, something we don’t really do in America. Well, maybe something like Happy Days qualifies. But it reminded me of Three’s Company. It’s set when samurai were falling out of favor and our hero, Kyutaro Madarame, is a ronin who can’t find work. A guy who’s basically Mr. Furley hires him to kill a cat he thinks is possessed. No big spoiler here since this is the premise of the series: our hero can’t do it and instead takes the cat in as his own.

There’s a Janet who lives next door, who’s sweet but obviously not a romantic interest, who is in on the plot and helps hide the rogue cat. There’s sort of a Chrissy character, too, except she’s wise. She’s the local cat expert and also in on it. Also? Madarame has his own theme song which he occasionally sings to himself. You’ll be singing along by the end of the season.

Also, Disney approves of this show. Three different cats play Tama-No-Jyo, and occasionally when one would talk Disney would sit up and respond to the TV set. So apparently she speaks Japanese. Who knew?

You can find the first episode on YouTube. I’m putting a link to one I found here, but it’ll probably stop working since I’m sure it’s not supposed to be up there. If it sounds interesting, feel free to ask me to borrow the Season One DVDs. I’ll be getting Season Two and the movie when I can find them!


Stacie got me a copy of China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station for Christmas. The fact that a month after I finished I’m still passionate about it says something. Especially with fiction, I often treat it like food. It’s an enjoyable experience, possibly worthy of a Tweet, but basically I consume and move on. Not so much with this book.

I’m usually more of a fan of cold and dry futures (melancholic). Cyberpunk-style. This future is warm and moist. Organic. Squalid. Stinky. It took me a bit to settle in to it, but it’s so rich, it will work its way into your brain if you like world-building.

Miéville really loves language. He calls forth the perfect word for any situation. Tip for those who plan to read it: if you come across a word you don’t know, look it up right then. You’re going to see it again. And you’ll think to yourself, “Now what did that mean again?” And then when he hits you with it the third time, you won’t even slow down. This reminds me that I need to contact my condo association about the desquamating paint on my balcony.

But the ending was unsettling. The only other novel I can think to compare it to is Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, where I finished the book and then spent some time just sitting, assessing my feelings about it. And then assessing my feelings about those feelings. Anybody else who’s read Perdido and knows what I’m talking about, come talk with me. You can give me a shout-out, but don’t discuss it here. Want to avoid spoilers for anyone who’s been meaning to pick it up. Let them feel those same raw feelings we felt. That’s a worthwhile part of the experience of this book.

OccoquanThis is my new favorite spot in Occoquan. Obviously this picture was taken a few months ago. I’ve started a new blog entry at least half a dozen times since summer, but I haven’t gotten around to hitting the Publish button.

Annnd that’s because of how busy my August through November is. The end of August starts the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where I am every weekend except the one in September where I’m volunteering for Strut Your Mutt. Right before Halloween the festival closes, and I’m in last minute costume preparation mode. Come November, I start sliding like a quarterback, and then work tackles me hard, despite the fact that I’m already down, because, you know. Retail. Holiday. Man, that’s gonna leave a mark.

And in December, I get to surface again. So here are some stream-of-consciousness updates that I might have made over the past few months, if I had things a bit more together.

  1. September 15th this year was the 20th anniversary of my dad’s motorcycle accident. At some point in the next year, I will have lived with post-injury Dad for longer than pre-injury Dad. That makes me wistful, but I don’t know why. Post-injury Dad and I get along better than pre-injury Dad and I did, which makes me even more sad. (For other daughters of brain-injured fathers,
    He Never Liked Cakeby Janna Leyde was really valuable for me, reading about her working through her relationships with her pre-injury dad and post-injury dad.)
  2. Sometimes I have “if I’d only” moments, which I know are pointless. Everybody has these. I read something in The New Yorker earlier this year that struck me profoundly. When you’re in a situation where you believe you’ve experienced the worst possible outcome, ANYTHING you could have done would have been better. Sure, if you’d left work 15 minutes earlier, that horrible thing might not have happened, but, by the same token, if you’d juggled geese, it also might have improved the outcome. Which is ridiculous and reveals the flaw in this sort of logic. Hopefully. I figure if it might help anybody a little with a downward spiraling thought process, it’s worth sharing.
  3. Got to see Henry IV parts 1 and 2 in repertoire at the Shakespeare Theatre. I adore the Henriad (also, I like saying “Henriad”), and I’ve always thought that IV Henry 2 was my favorite of the bunch. Seeing them back-to-back made me realize that 1 is all action and 2 is all thinking about the repercussions of the action. Seeing all 3 in one day would probably kill the actors, but it’d be quite spectacular. On a related note, it was lovely to see Stacy Keach as Falstaff and appropriate considering his Richard III at the Folger ensconced my love of Shakespeare almost 20 years ago.
  4. This came up in my brain again last weekend, because The Walking Dead is using “The Parting Glass” in one of their commercials. I am all about using the word “joy” in the chorus in almost all contexts, but these are Hershel’s girls. They learned the version with the word “God” in it, I promise.

Okay. I think that’s it for now. Did I miss anything?



disflowersWe’ve had a lot of snow days this winter. One of the nice things about the copywriter job is that it doesn’t require me to be in the office, so those work out nicely for me. I generally spend the day on the couch in pajamas with a cat. My day-long distraction looks something like this.

Work still pays the bills. Got addicted to Attack on Titan because of it. I figure if I have to write copy for the same franchise a bunch of times and see only more of its products coming in to the warehouse, I should probably do my homework. Except for MLP. Robert Jordan fans – Wheel of Time is next on the list. On a related note, I wonder how many households record both Sister Wives and The Walking Dead on Sunday nights at 9.

Went to the Spurs vs. Wizards matchup a few weeks ago. Definitely got my money’s worth. Two overtimes. More Tim Duncan than any other game this season. 😉 Seats were interesting. I won’t get them again, but they weren’t horrible. They were right behind the Wizards’ media section in the corner. spursgame14Was surrounded by Wizards loyals who got a little annoying, but they weren’t too mouthy because there were a lot of Spurs fans in the house. The shot is Tim taking a free throw. You can see John Wall on the far side with Bonner behind him in the new mask. Not a great shot. Mostly in there just so y’all can figure out vaguely where I was. And yeah, the zoom’s on.

Planning a very Shakespeare birthday. Going to see Richard III on birthday night, and then a friend is taking me to see Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead performed in repertory on Saturday. And, yes that may be in here just so I can use the phrase “in repertory.”

o hai!


TreesRead an article on the death of the blog the other day (as a result of social media). It made me realize that this has become a place where I basically talk about my vacations (since pictures of cats have gone to Facebook and pics of food/theater outings went to Twitter). Also, it made me remember that I took a picture back in October or November which I thought would make a good blog post, but I never had the time to post it. Here: have a tree. And here’s the last few months of 2013 in a nutshell:

  • Got ejected from the buyer job right after signing off on the pre-production samples of the two products I created from scratch this year, but fortunately the creative team saw me plummeting and swooped in and grabbed me as a copywriter. Went from the busiest time of the year on one team to the busiest time of year on the other. Wrote copy for almost 600 products in 3 months; I’m very grateful I can keep Disney in the kibble to which she has become accustomed.
  • Dad fell. Hip replacement was last year’s news, but he keeps falling during his recovery. Somebody has to be with him at all times now, and generally 165 hours a week that’s Mom and 3 hours a week it’s me.
  • Made it out to the Maryland Renaissance Festival 9 times this year, I think. Caught the Victorian Music Hall and Hack & Slash’s farewell show.
  • Got to see Holly.
  • Went as Plava Laguna for Halloween.
  • On some sort of game theory kick in books. Read Ender’s Game, then Player of Games by Iain M. Banks, and now in the middle of Karl Schroeder’s Lockstep, which is being serialized in Analog.
  • DragonVale

  • In cat news, raised money for and volunteered at Best Friends’s Strut Your Mutt Baltimore event. Went to as much as I could of Alley Cat Allies’s conference.
  • Addicted to DragonVale, which is basically FarmVille but with dragons. To the right you see the island to which I relegate all ugly dragons so I don’t have to see them all the time.

imageI’m in the middle of this year’s vacation to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The best friend, Holly, came out with me this time, and she’s been meeting parrots. This picture was taken on my second shift, which was spent at Sinjin’s (the former HQ building) with miss Millie, who’s part of the biggest loser club in Cat World. Her caregivers carry her 10-20 yards away from her building, and she works her way back as exercise. Girl lost 2 oz. last week, so she’s getting ready for kitty bikini season. Spent a shift at Quincy Mo and two today at Benton’s. Probably one more at Benton’s tomorrow and an hour of something at Quincy Mo and then a quick tour of Bunnies before we head back to Vegas. As per usual, there will be pictures up on Flickr once I get home and have time to write. Hopefully Sunday.

RowlingSome of y’all will remember Rowling from her inauspicious start in this world. And despite me calling her “my medical foster,” she’s been with me now for years, after her first long-term adopter brought her back. And why is that, you might ask.

  • I don’t like strangers traipsing through my apartment. (I could have ended that four words earlier.)
  • It’s a pain in the ass to keep my apartment clean like somebody might walk through at any time. I’m a bachelorette, so my messes tend to be pizza boxes and half-finished craft projects, but they’re still bachelor-level messes all the same.
  • I’m afraid someone’s going to go into Rowling’s suite and see the poop on the carpet and freak out.

What do those things have in common? They’re all about me. None of them is about the cat. Here’s the only reason that’s worth a damn: I don’t want Rowling going to someplace that doesn’t understand what they’re getting in to. So I’ve built a page all about Rowling, in the hopes that she can go to the perfect forever home. Please share it with anybody you know who might have a lead on a special-needs-suitable locale she could call home.

Meet Rowling.