Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tiny Animals Will Melt Your Heart (And Brain)

Maybe nobody's ever noticed, but I turn into a complete moron when presented with cute animals. (Even if they're stuffed animals, as anyone who's ever seen me with Nigel, my otter hand puppet, can affirm.) This photo set of tiny animals on fingers is so cute your brain will turn to mush. Except the bugs. Bugs are icky. But some of the other teensy little animals are unbelievably precious. Just look at the baby sugar gliders. And this little lizard, who's all, "Ehn! Ehn! Trying to hang on...." I also love this slender loris, who's clearly contemplating how he will destroy us all. Note the evil hand clasping. Eeexcellent. And then of course there's the bitty hummingbird. In his best Stewie voice, he's saying, "I don't have to fucking impress you."

Yes, if it's small and cute, I provide a monologue for it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Know It Sounds Like a Joke. It's Not.

When I was about 13, my parents and I took a day trip to Sugar Loaf, NY, an arts and crafts village full of artsy-fartsy shops run by aging hippies. After a long day, we headed back to the car. The setting sun was in my eyes, and I was squinting behind my sunglasses.

Suddenly, my mom said, "Kaitlen, duck."

I kept walking.

"Kaitlen, duck!"

I kept walking.

"Kaitlen, duck!"

I walked smack into a low-hanging sign.

"What is wrong with you?" my mom hollered.

"I was looking for the duck!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fred and Dino Go to the Museum

There's a right way and a wrong way to do things, I've noticed. Case in point: the new $27 million Creation Museum in Kentucky. This shining monument to scientific knowledge boasts features such as dioramas depicting humans and dinosaurs intermingling, a life-size reproduction of Noah's Ark (which apparently accommodated dinosaurs in its menagerie), and a "giant wrecking ball, labeled 'Millions of Years' [as in the age of the Earth, according to adherents of evolution], that is shown smashing the ground at the foundation of a church, the cracks reaching across the gallery to a model of a home in which videos demonstrate the imminence of moral dissolution. A teenager is shown sitting at a computer; he is, we are told, looking at pornography." But of course.

On the other hand, the Skirball Cultural Center (note that's cultural center, not sham science museum) has opened an interactive Noah's Ark exhibit that looks really cool (especially for kids). It's creative, it's artistic (just check out the little kiwis made from boxing gloves, shuttlecocks, and oil cans!), and offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in "a favorite childhood tale," according to the website. That's right—a tale, not a bona fide historical account of our past.

Now do you want to hazard a guess as to which of these institutions I'd be more likely to take my (hypothetical) children to?

Giuliani: Now With Explicit Pandering!

Last Thursday night, as I was getting ready for bed, Afshin called me over to look at his screen. On it there was an article about how Rudy Giuliani was campaigning even more aggressively based on his experience dealing with the 9/11 debacle. This did not surprise me. I had just finished reading the headline when Afshin pointed to the picture:

In case it's not immediately obvious, yes, that's a little plane about to fly into the two towers that represent the digits in the number 11. As soon as I saw it, I gasped.

"That's so tasteless!" I was genuinely horrified. I mean, Giuliani already exploits 9/11 for all it's worth, but I didn't think he'd make it quite that explicit.

Afshin stared at me. "You know it's in the Onion, right?"

No, I did not. The page, as I tried to explain through the, oh, three straight minutes of laughter, had looked like the New York Times or something comparable. And I hadn't checked the URL.

Once again, I have made a mockery of myself.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Infamous Jackalope Incident

Let's kick off with a bang.

Several years ago I was in a butcher shop in Brooklyn, buying ham for a dinner party. Afshin was there to be my meat mule (which sounds a lot filthier than it was—he was helping me carry the ham and other assorted supplies). While we waited to be served, Afshin pointed to an animal head mounted on the wall and said to me, "Look, a jackalope."

I stared at the head—it was a rabbit head with antlers, by golly, mounted on a plaque. "They're real?!" I squealed.

Afshin's expression was a mixture of bemusement and contempt. "No, of course they're not real."

Is it my fault he sounded so authoritative?

Not long after the incident, Afshin was telling his friend Simon the story. He got to the part about the jackalope head on the wall when Simon interrupted him with:

"Wait, you mean they're real?"

I told you he sounded authoritative.

Welcome to Kaitland!

This is a bit of a departure for me—Kaitland is going to be a more personal, less product- and design-oriented blog than I'm used to writing. Having said that, I will now promise to refrain from whining about my feelings. Or posting crappy poetry. Instead this will most likely be a chronicle of my misadventures. But we'll see how it goes, shall we?

Anyway, welcome to Kaitland. Make sure your seatbelt is firmly fastened and please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle.