Saturday Night Social: Meow Like an Otter, Dance Like a Goat

The news cycle is a fickle beast, but there are a few constants in blogging: periodically checking to see how Twitter’s feeling; New York Times push notifications indicating that the world’s ending; consequently stress-JUULing a lot because it’s right there sticking out of the USB thing (do not do this, seriously, I don’t feel good); and then landing, between blogs, on an Instagram or Twitter video of a baby animal. The pattern is as consistent and certain as the rising and setting sun. Today, I watched a domesticated otter named Boo make meowing noises til he got a treat, and then I watched him five more times. I checked in on a hippo I’ve never met but have loved dearly from afar and cried a little at an old reel of her baby videos. I then watched a famous woman dance to funk interspersed with baby goats; I do not understand why, but my focus was razor-sharp, my absorption, deep; I dare anybody to rip your eyes away from any of this content before it’s over.


Thanks to Wired, I now know why “watch this baby animal do TK” headlines compel me to click every single time and never ever let me down:

Nobel Prize winning ethologist Konrad Lorenz called this type of compelling cuteness Kinderschema—it’s characterized by infantile traits like big heads and eyes, small noses, fat cheeks, and soft, chubby bodies. This is probably why Bear 409’s rolls are so squee-inducing. (Unchubby adult bears are not very Kinderschema-tic, which is why teddy bears evolved over time to have shorter noses and more prominent eyes.) But the impact of that brain-grabbing adorableness is largely positive: Studies since have found that gazing at cute animal faces not only boosts mood but also improves focus, which you might want to point out to your boss if you ever get in trouble for tuning in to an animal cam during business hours.

Cool, dicking around on the internet during office hours is good! I will re-watch the otter to de-stress one to five more times and then sign off and dance like (Tessa Thompson dances like) a goat!

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo


TampaBabaYaga 2021 Edition

I can’t remember the last time I did this, or even the last time I felt motivated or wanted to do this. But because 2018 has been the year of SUCK, I think we all need this:


I’ll go first.

Some of you know my Mom, my best friend, died unexpectedly in late August. I’m okay! I’m fine, this post is not about that. And when I say “I’m Fine” I don’t mean Merideth or Christina fine. (OK, Actually that’s the exact fine I mean). ANYHOW. This is TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD! Not FINE!

Yesterday, I got to be front and center at a graduation for VERY GOOD DOGS, that had spent 14 months being raised from puppies to be seeing eye dogs, and then those amazing Puppy Raisers gave those very GOOD DOGS, back to the organization that would match their personalities with the sight impaired people that needed those GOOD DOGS so much. And I heard their stories, and I saw those GOOD DOGS with their new people, and I cried into my salad a lot.

And last week I got to party with a whole different group of GOOD DOGS that were or were not dressed in Halloween costumes for our annual SPCA Pet Walk.

I spend a lot of time with good dogs, especially since I’m a cat person.

My Dad and I have always had a great relationship, but Mom was always the go between or buffer. It’s coming up on two months now since she’s been gone, and he’s not wanting me to drive down there every week, or every two weeks. We’re learning each other now. He especially wants to know more about politics, because that was always Mom’s and my bag, and he’d just vote how she told him. He lives in a very RED area of our state, so he’s like, I don’t know about what you’re saying, these ads here go against everything. Siiiiiigh, long conversation about PACS etc. But he’s now invested and interested.

Also, finally got to do breakfast and Sam’s Club with my best friend for the first time in a month, and it was hilarious and awesome. Fucking Sam’s Club! I had six things on my list, three of which I decided not to get. $300 later!!!! WTF???? FINE! Shut UP! I needed those local historical ghost story books, and pre-buying Nyquil and Mucinex so I don’t drag my sad sick ass to Walgreens.

Got home, cleaned out the fridge to restock all the fruit I bought at Sam’s, (and maybe make room for the boxes of wine), took out all the recycling to the garage, cleaned the cat’s bathroom and then got dressed to go to a cookout/rally with our amazing Congressman! With another of my best friends. Then we went to visit his husband and go check out a new art gallery that is going to be working with autistic kids to do art therapy. I met with the gallery owner/artist and exchanged information because she’s new here and I work with a bunch of organizations that can help her out. Her art is spectacular by the way.

Next week, I get to meet my baby niece!!! So excited. And then going to see an incredible play with an amazing old friend. He’s recently divorced and just moved into the downtown area of my city. And he’s really embracing it by getting season tickets to all the museums, performing arts’ centers etc. I don’t mean to sound shallow, but as his back up for when his dating prospects don’t work out, I’m very cool with this sitch. And no, I’m not a mooch, I take him out to dinner and events too, especially if I think there might be women he would hit it off with. But it is still fun to have a friend that is open to plays, opera, ballet, museums, charity events, etc. And he’s just a guy I’ve known forever and really enjoy the hell out of.

To wrap this up... I hope the Something Good doesn’t hurt anyone, or make them feel less than, or I don’t know. I’ve been so completely annihilated. destroyed and hurt for the last few months... It feels good talking about good things. And I get sometimes talking about bad things feels, well, if not good, then necessary. But right now I just need to remember good

I’ve had a couple comments on posts where I was trying to be positive, that were alarming to me. I know the tone, and I get it. But they were comments like “I didn’t think we were allowed to have happy things any more” or “Someone like you has to have that life so we can all pretend”.

I don’t want to hurt anyone when I post happy stuff, I’m not trying to show anyone up, or be LOOK AT ME! (especially not in the scary story category) I’m AMAZING! I’m just trying to post nice stuff that I was there for. Because today is only Saturday. And Thursday I came straight home from work and crawled into bed and lied to my Dad about my allergies being really bad so that I didn’t have to talk about my Mom’s death or what bills I needed to pay for him, or whether he had a case for a malpractice suit. And every morning for the last two weeks I wanted to call in sick.

No one needs to worry about me. I’m fine. I am out there, I’m doing incredible things, I’m surrounded by friends, and thankfully my friends know how much surrounding I can stand. I’m eating, I’m taking care of myself, I’m doing charity work and socializing. So when I post about guide dogs graduating, or my cats being doffusii, or meeting a politician or celebrity. It’s good, it’s great.

Humans are such incredible and horrible machines. But we’re able to hold multitudes. I can be ecstatic, active, contributing and living a huge full wonderful life! And I can want to just live in my bed with my cats and endless books. Tomorrow morning I get the both! I get to sleep until nine, and then my friend is coming over, bringing me coffee and a Boston Creme and he’s going to deep clean (he’s not only my friend, but my housecleaner and petsitter) while he makes me declutter. Then we’re going to go out to lunch at my favorite tiny Italian place, owned by real Italians that scream at each other in the back bakery, and then we’re gonna come back here and watch horror movies.

We are multitudes. And that is extraordinarily beautiful. And painful. And astounding.

DAMN!!! That went wicked long and sideways fast!