In Memory Of Sprinkles

Picture of our family cat Sprinkles

My sibling unit finally came through with some old style pictures, you know the offline kind on paper, of our family cat Sprinkles. I decided to scan them in and post one. This picture was taken in the early 00’s toward the end of her life.

We first got Sprinkles as a slightly too young kitten. My father called my sister from work asking her if she wanted a cat. One of his customers had a box of kittens in his warehouse. My sister said “yes” and my father picked what he thought was “the quiet one” whose colors matched our living room.

Sprinkles was scared shitless the first day she arrived home. We were eating dinner and she kept running out of the kitchen into the living room where she got even more frightened. She was too young to have learned to meow. She sounded like a human baby. My sister kept bringing her into the kitchen and she kept running back out into the living room and crying.

Sprinkles was so small she couldn’t jump straight up onto my sister’s bed. Sprinkles had to stop at the box spring, take a rest, and jump the rest of the way from there. In the early days Sprinkles liked wrapping herself around my sister’s neck like a calico snake, before she fell asleep.

Sprinkle always thought she was just another human. She would try to sit in a chair on her butt and hind legs like a person. When my mom would call for dinner Sprinkles would come running and sit in an empty chair.

I could go forever about cherished memories of pure unrefined cuteness. Suffice it to say that Sprinkle will always be that kitten in my mind and that she pumped an unquantifiable amount of joy into our home.

The Big Bang Theory

The cast of "The Big Bang Theory"

The cast of “The Big Bang Theory”

I recently started watching “The Big Bang Theory” and after seeing 3 of the 7 seasons so far I have to say it is one of my new favorite distractions.

It is funny. All else is commentary. Now, for the commentary.

The story of the show is that the young blonde bombshell would be actress and Cheesecake Factory waitress Penny moves next door to an apartment shared by two super smart, super nerdy, young physicists.

The entertainment comes from the fly on the wall view of the subculture of the hyper smart, but socially awkward.

At first I thought this would be another run of the mill dumb situation comedy. Aside from the insipid ( and unnecessary ) laugh track, that is simply not true.

The first way that isn’t true is with the portrayal of the character Penny. As expected she plays “the straight man” to the comedy of the nerd culture she encounters. Refreshingly, the writers did not make her into yet another dumb blonde clown ( think of Suzanne Somers’ character in “Threes Company” after the first season ) whose sole purpose is decoration. Penny has a personality, a sense of humor, and is three dimensional. Penny is a *person*. I love how she doesn’t allow the put downs from the hyper-smart to effect her. She also gets her due when she turns the tables on them by creating humor out of their cognitive blind spots. I was also impressed that at one point she ends her relationship with Leonard because she sees that they do not have much to relate to each other on, but remains friends with the group. The writers made her character into something more than a mannequin who only exists for the male characters in the show.

My favorite character is Sheldon, who finished his education at 14 and is on his way to becoming one of the leading physicists in the world. He has very little sense of how to deal with people, he knows how smart he is, he is vocal about it and unapologetic about it. Despite being an extremely smart grown man he sees the world much the way an asexual 12 year old boy would. In reality such a person would be insufferable, but the writers of The Big Bang Theory make his character the source of much of the humor and even make him lovable. I especially like Sheldon’s childlike enthusiasm for physics and how it makes him refreshingly blind to many of the games people play. Sheldon doesn’t care who you are, you are considered as worthy of being heard until he decides you have nothing interesting or informative to tell him. One of my most favorite aspects of the show, hands down, is his inadvertent flirting with Leonard’s equally poorly socialized, super intelligent mother.

The character of Howard, the MIT educated engineer who builds equipment for NASA is also interesting. From the first moment you are introduced to him in the show you find yourself suppressing an urge to yell at your screen telling him to get a new haircut…any haircut. At the very least, make the bangs of his sugar bowl haircut even. I found him interesting because he seems very close to seeing things how a normal human being would and you think he could change. You yearn for him to walk into a barber shop, any barber shop, to get any kind rof eal haircut before he goes out to buy non-Sears buckaroo clothing and stop making the sleazy sexual innuendos that alienate him from women. His screaming mother, who the viewer never sees, is also classic.

All of the characters, aside from Sheldon, seem to be just around the corner from being “normal” socially. Like Penny, the writer’s have granted them a three dimensions instead of damming them to be the two dimensional pop stereotypes that inhabit American situation comedies.

This is especially true of the main character Leonard, who is the closest among the nerds to being a normal human being. His character is portrayed with a decent amount of humanity and you can’t help but root for his success with his on again, off again romance with Penny.

The show is reliably funny. I find myself laughing out loud consistently with every single episode.

Highly recommended :).

BAZINGA!

John Lennon

Today ( December 8th ) in 1980 John Lennon was shot to death by a mentally disturbed man.

All my life I’ve heard people talk about where they were when JFK was shot. I could never relate to that, not having been born at the time.

I do remember where I was when John Lennon was shot. I was a sophomore in high school. I remember talking about it in an English class with Mr. Truit and the “cool older kids”. At the time John Lennon had just released his “Double Fantasy” solo album which made me aware of his existence separate from The Beatles.

I remember a discussion about “Imagine” on an old sitcom called “WKRP In Cincinnati” . One of the DJ’s explained how the lyrics meant hope for the future. Lennon, having been influenced by Eastern meditation thought that visualizing such a future might help bring it about and he wrote that song. A station executive in the story read the lyrics and dismissed “Imagine” as communism.

That is always how I liked to think of “Imagine”, as a vision for a future we are all hungry for and how imaging it may bring it about, or a few minutes of joy at that vision.