…was opening presents from my Great Aunt Penny.

She’s a wonderful person, sweet and kind and very thoughtful, in a “what on earth was she thinking?” sort of way. I have to wonder what, specifically, was going through her mind when she decided that four tiny plastic flamingo replicas and a lump of green foam would be a perfect present for my dad. The package actually tried to commit suicide in the Christmas tree’s water prior to being opened, but my sister rescued it. (The quote “You didn’t save my life, you ruined my death!” from Pixar’s “The Incredibles” comes to mind.) Anyway, she dried it off as best she could (not very well at all, really) and re-wrapped it, leaving my dad with a gross, soggy mass of foam, four drowned flamingos, and a thoroughly saturated mini-booklet which explained how to mix drinks. Nobody in my family drinks at all, as Great Aunt Penny is well aware…

Other hilarious presents included a “fashion brooch” – a pewter teapot with tiny silverware hanging off the bottom – for my mom; a gingerbread man pin dripping green glitter and a National Geographic Kids magazine printed in 2003 for my brother; and a box of long-expired chocolate for my dad. I, sadly, did not unwrap anything nearly so entertaining, but I think my sister’s gift well made up for that. Because my sister received…

A tiny purple hippopotamus wearing a tutu.

I’m not even joking.

wat.

I really don’t know what to say about this. It’s a tiny hippopotamus. In a tutu. And it’s purple.

Entirely related:

In other news, the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Toronto Raptors tonight (December 27; GMT is silly) 102-89. I learned that “Raptors” refers to dinosaurs, not large birds of prey. I wish Portland’s mascot was a dinosaur, that’d be pretty sweet. Or even a purple hippopotamus. Instead we have “Blaze, the Trail Cat.” I thought it was a wolf for a really long time. And what do cats have to do with the blazing of trails, anyway?

To finish this post, here’s Travis Outlaw’s very impressive more-than-half-court shot at the buzzer.

-Caitlin

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MAH BIRF-DAE

December 25, 2008

Yesterday at 8:02 AM, I magically transformed into an adult and it was super fun and exciting. Or would have been, I’m sure, if I hadn’t slept in ’til 11:15. Anyway, at 8:01, I was only a silly child. Then the minute hand twitched, and a wave of maturity washed over my unconscious, possibly drooling form. With my newfound, instantaneous understanding of the world, I suddenly became fit to vote, be put in prison, go to war, and do all sorts of other awesome adult-ish things other than drinking beer. (Seriously, how does that work? I can legally kill people on behalf of America, but I can’t have a drink to celebrate afterwards. I guess I won’t be mature enough to understand that one for another three years.)

You can tell I'm grown-up now because I have a mustache.Behold, the transformation from irresponsible child to completely mature and super serious adult!

I celebrated this momentous event by doing… well, not very much, actually. I slept in, as previously stated, and then got up and ate a waffle and started my laundry. My grandparents came over around 1:30 so my parents could do some last-minute shopping. I entertained them with some of my favorite YouTube clips that grandparents would appreciate, such as:

Dolphins Playing with Bubble Rings
Ninja Cat
Human Tetris
Cat on a Roomba

Also, I recently discovered a show called Wipeout! which is basically the American version of Ninja Warrior. Highly entertaining. It would be loads of fun to commentate for that.

We had a delicious dinner of wonton soup courtesy of my fantastic mom, and then got down to cake and presents. My cake was extremely pretty and I sort of felt bad to cut it up and eat it. But not that bad, because after all, it was chocolate.

OM NOM NOM NOM NOM

And now, on to the loot!

My brother gave me two pairs of fluffy socks to wear around the house. From my sister and her bunny, who apparently think I smell, I got some body sprays and lotions. My grandparents very generously replenished my supply of Chanel mascara, and included a gift certificate to Nordstroms. From my parents, I got some… nursing tops… which totally weren’t embarrassing to open in front of my 10-year-old brother. Also, a haircut at some later date from our expensive but amazing favorite hair-cutting lady, and a wireless mouse for my recently repaired laptop. I would have gotten presents from my great-aunt as well, but the box of gifts she shipped over seems to have disappeared. We’ll have to go looking for those sometime.

Overall: A+ birthday, would celebrate again.

-Caitlin

Mom’s German Shepherd, Tagg

He’s such a ridiculously beautiful dog. He also likes romping in the middle of snow forts, which unfortunately makes them quite flat.

tagg1

A Female Finch

I think she was a finch, anyway, because she looked a lot like a picture of a finch on the internet.

My siblings and I were watching a high-quality, thought-provoking program on television (Spongebob) when I heard something crash into the window. I went to investigate, and found a dazed finch lying in the snow and twitching a bit. I scooped it up and brought it inside to dry off and hopefully recover. She was sitting comfortably and calmly in my lap and looking much more alert when my chubby little brother decided it would be a swell idea to stampede past my chair and yell. The finch took off and immediately flew out of reach in a futile attempt to escape through our extremely high windows. Around 45 minutes later, after clambering all over stacked furniture in a rather unsafe manner and accidentally tearing a curtain, we managed to re-capture her and release her outside. We then returned to our television-watching activities, secure in the knowledge that we’d helped a small feathered friend in need.

finch

My Sister’s Bunny, Muffin

The following is a short excerpt of the result of allowing my sister’s bunny to type.

9b
],=68.7 nnnnng10:03 AM 12/22/2008/o lm5=ik88,6esssH=Ns\4]\VC1C
51441 bUXAZYaaaIOPU [Vy1yt9v?”))^”?Tf7g

She isn’t very literate yet, but she does her best.

Fun fact: To litterbox-trained bunnies, stacks of holiday cards waiting to be sent out apparently closely resemble litterboxes. (Source: The massive yellow puddle I had to clean up. The bunny will no longer be allowed to type.)

muffinresize

-Caitlin

I know that pretty much every single person in the entire intertubes has already jumped aboard the Croc/Crugg-hating bandwagon, but I’ve never been known for punctuality. I was bored, so I decided to make a fun graph in MS Paint (because cool people use MS Paint.) Click for full-size:

I mean really... Cruggs?

I know, I know: “If you don’t like Crocs/Cruggs, don’t wear them.” The problem with this is that when people don these hideous plastic-foam contraptions in public, it affects me personally. It’s like somebody smoking in the middle of a restaurant: offensive, unhygienic, and stinky. For this reason, I think restaurants and airplanes and such ought to have Croc and Non-Croc sections, for the good of society. And the Croc sections should be tiny pits in the ground filled with rats and snakes and cockroaches and vanilla pudding, because vanilla pudding is terrible and fit for the likes of Croc-lovers. (This applies to the Croc sections for airplanes, too. I don’t know how you’d have a tiny pit in the ground in an airplane, but somebody ought to find out.)

For the record, cool people like chocolate pudding.

-Caitlin

Fry’s Electronics gave me my laptop back today, which was really nice. Less nice is the fact that because of their utter incompetency, I’ve been without said laptop for the past five months.

My story begins in June, when my dear Auntie Jen asked to use my laptop while I was involuntarily away at a 2-week summer camp. This was just fine, of course, until she spilled coffee on the keyboard. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal – just a slightly sticky coffee-scented keyboard, easily cleaned – except that the coffee managed to find its way into the internal workings of my computer and short out the motherboard, and then the laptop refused to boot up at all. At least, that’s what the folks at Fry’s told us was the issue. This comes into doubt several months later.

Skip to mid-July. After a lot of procrastination, my parents finally decide that we ought to bring my computer in to be repaired, especially as I’m going to be attending Willamette University in early September, and it’s important for me to have a computer at college. We bring it to Fry’s Electronics, where we’re told that the problem is a shorted-out motherboard. They’ll need to order a new motherboard from Toshiba, they say, which will take 4-6 weeks to arrive – just in time for me to take my good-as-new laptop to college with me. Repair cost: $586.23.

About 4 weeks later, when nobody has contacted us regarding the status of repairs, we decide to take the initiative and ask Fry’s about it. The rotund fellow behind the service desk assured us that the parts had been ordered and were on their way, and I should have my laptop back within 2 weeks, in time for college. 2 weeks later, they’re still without the parts. They continue to shrug and blame Toshiba for not shipping them out. Which might have been believable, until our next visit, when the different rotund fellow assisting us told us that Toshiba doesn’t ship motherboards out at all and that my computer would have to be shipped off to Toshiba instead, so that they could make the repairs themselves. By this point, we’re getting fairly exasperated, and request that they give my laptop back so that we can ship it to Toshiba rather than letting Fry’s be the middle man. Mr. Rotund Service Guy seems all too willing to comply, except that after searching the service area, he has no idea where my laptop is. Fantastic.

We go in the next day to see if somebody can tell us where my computer went. The tall, not-very-rotund nerd at the counter says that it was already shipped to Toshiba and that they should be shipping it back within four weeks. Now, at this point, I’m already at Willamette University and reluctantly using the “Craptop” I borrowed from my friend William. It weighs about 15 pounds, has a floppy drive, and does not have a word processing program other than Notepad, but at least it can connect to the internet. Sort of.

4 weeks later when we inquire again, we’re told that the computer was never shipped off at all. This is entirely ridiculous.

Another 4 weeks later, the parts that Toshiba supposedly doesn’t ship out arrived and were installed. Jubilation! Except that apparently the motherboard wasn’t actually the issue, and my laptop still will not turn on. The Fry’s nerds shrug semi-apologetically, and go back to playing Solitaire.

After this point, I don’t really know what happened, since I’m at college with Craptop and my parents have mostly taken over this entire absurd scenario at Fry’s. I don’t know how they did it, or if they ended up shipping it to Toshiba after all, but my dad went in today and came out carrying my laptop. Apparently when he presented the original invoice to pick it up, the service guy looked at the check-in date – mid-July – and asked, “Don’t you have anything more recent?”

Unbelievable.

In conclusion:
Fry's. It is bad.

-Caitlin