What the kittens have taught me


The arrival of two rambunctious kittens has turned my life upside-down, although it was already pretty upside-down, so I think they’ve actually returned it to something resembling right-side-up.

Observing them carefully for the last week has given me a whole new way of looking at the world. Here are a few of the things the kittens have taught me:

  • There’s almost nothing that can’t be eaten, played with, or slept on.
  • Just because you couldn’t climb something yesterday, that doesn’t mean you won’t able to climb it today.
  • You never know when someone’s going to sneak up behind you and pounce on your head; but when they do, it will turn out to be your sibling, and you will enjoy wrestling with them.
  • When you sleep, sleep like your life depends on it, preferably sprawled across whoever happens to be in the vicinity.
  • Everybody likes you, and if they don’t, there’s something wrong with them.

They were a tragically underrated band


Their name was That Petrol Emotion and they recorded five albums between 1986 and 1994. They played two-guitar rock music, vaguely political, always of the highest quality, precise and passionate at the same time. For some reason they never really caught on. Today you can get their albums for next to nothing: Amazon lists used copies of End of the Millennium Psychosis Blues starting at $1.79, Chemicrazy at $1.98, and Fireproof at one cent. These are their later albums, not as critically beloved as their first two, but still really excellent stuff.

For your listening pleasure, here’s a song from the B-side of one of their singles. It’s a lovely slow number called “Chrome.”

What Jim said

The other day on the basketball court, I was teamed up with my friend Jim and we were getting out butts whipped. I was feeling old and tired and out of sorts. At the end of one game I suggested that we switch teams so Jim could have a teammate with some energy. Jim said, instead of that, why don’t you just play with the energy you have in mind?

And you know what? He was right. I’ve played much better since then.