It’s starting to look like a real movie! With Zombie Cats!

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was working as the cat handler for a movie called Zombie Cats From Mars.  I’ve had four long days of shooting with cats (all from Furry Friends, who can now add “movie star celebricat” to their resumes), with one more to go (tomorrow).  It has been a LOT of fun…stressful at times, dangerous at others (to me, not the cats, mind you, who are armed with claws and teeth) and I was very curious to see how things would turn out on film.  Well, the first trailer has arrived!  You can watch it below, and as an added bonus, I’m including some shots from filming.

The movie will be released in March, and Furry Friends will receive half of the proceeds that are earned from three screenings in Southwest Washington!  I’m so excited to see the final product! 🙂

If you missed the AcroCats, YOU MISSED OUT!!!

AcroCats and Rock Cats!I just don’t know how to describe the amazing talents of the AcroCats.  It…it was as if a big jar of awesome spilled all over a sparkly purple stage filled with incredible cats.  It was…it was perfectly imperfect, because after all, we were watching cats performing, and they are CATS.  It was incredibly surprising because…because the show did not devolve into a chaotic pandemonium of cats fleeing into the audience and causing a massive storm of attacks on ankles and allergic outbreaks…no no no!  These cats, THESE cats, were simply mindblowing.

And not just cats, but a chicken (named Cluck Norris), groundhog and three rats all BROUGHT IT!  All the animals were clicker-trained using positive reinforcement, which led me to two conclusions: 1) HOLY SHIT YOU CAN TRAIN CATS, and 2) WHY DO MY CATS SUCK SO MUCH???  Seriously.  They don’t do anything except know when to come running when I open up a can of anything.  The AcroCats performed all sorts of tricks, leaping through hoops, jumping obstacles, BOWLING, running around in a non-random order, and jeeze – they even ran INTO their individual crates when a whistle sounded.  My cats, on the other hand, sleep, eat, dirty their litter boxes at an alarming rate, and require a front-end loader to get them into their travel crates.  The AcroCats and Rock Cats:  play actual musical instruments, recognize visual commands, and don’t necessarily seek to cause panic and alarm (except for Tuna, who possibly has plans for world domination, but I’m not sure).  My cats:  play with the horizontal blinds in our bedroom at 2 in the morning, decide that demons are chasing them in the wee hours of the night, and are plotting a biological attack on the world starting with me by weakening my immune system to the point of giving me crippling allergies to these sneaky, plotting kitties.  I’M ON TO YOU, THOUGH!!!  I will not succumb to your evil plotting!

Anyway…how about some pictures of the show?  It was magical, and I hope that you get the opportunity to see them some day.  Go to to learn more, and see if the AcroCats and Rock Cats are coming to a theater near you!!!  Grab yo’ cat ears and yo’ cat leggings and yo’ cat shirts and see these amazing kitties…it’s totally worth it!!!

This just happened.  Gritty Cat meets the Rock Cats!

This just happened. Gritty Cat meets the Rock Cats!

Related Posts:  At Least I’m Not Allergic to Lucky Charms, Bu bu bum! Bu bu bum! Bu bu bu bum…CAT SHOW!!!, Cats cats cats cats cats!

Getting Our Paint On

Look at us getting our painting on!  Chris and I took a painting class at a studio called The Loaded Brush, where you get all the materials you need for a painting, plus beer and wine if you’d like.  It was so much fun!  We signed up for the Chat Noir class, and had a great time.  It was really interesting seeing how everyone’s paintings differed, even though we all painted the same picture.  The instructor was very good and did a great job going step-by-step throughout the process of creating our paintings.  We think we might even go back for another class sometime!

Murder Mystery Dinner!

Oh my!  A wedding is interrupted by the death of the best man, and everyone present is a suspect!  Who did it?  You’ll just have to attend a Murder Mystery Co. dinner to find out!

Me, Chris, Johnny V and Jen dressed up in our fanciest duds for “Til Death Do Us Part”, a murder mystery dinner!  My outfit resembled something that Peggy Bundy would wear, although Chris looked dashing in his wedding suit.
The bride (Summer) and groom (Neil) during their wedding ceremony.  The hangers in the background give it a nice touch of class, don’t you think?
Oh no!  Bob, the best man, is dead!  Washed-up 80’s rocker Dick Johnson was on the scene to call Doctor Candy, who wasn’t really a doctor after all, but a stripper (get it?  Candy Stripper?)! Don’t worry, it was a wholesome show and there was no actual stripping involved (at that point, anyway).
Looks like Johnny V made a friend!
Incredible coincidence, but the “volunteer” actor at our table was a crazy cat lady.  I was asked to dress up as a cat to make her feel more comfortable.

It was a really fun evening with friends!  The cheesy reception hall, the over-the-top acting, and the humor of everything was fantastic – we all had a great time!

Ovo Means Egg

Last night Chris and I went to see Cirque du Soliel’s “Ovo” at the Portland Expo Center, under the Grande Chapiteau!  It was a great time because acrobats + insects = awesome!  I bought us pretty good seats, but tall people sat in front of us and I had to keep looking around the guy’s stupid fat head the entire first half of the show.  So, during the intermission the box office changed our seats to premium – we were in row H and seated on an aisle, so no one was in front of us.  Now THOSE were fantastic seats – super close, just above stage-level, and unobstructed!  I didn’t take all of these pictures, so sorry copyright police. 

 The ants dancing with kiwi and corn were my favorite, I think!

The crickets jumping from trampolines onto the climbing wall were pretty spectacular, too.

And the contortionist spiders were freakishly incredible!  Nearly all the performances were pretty unbelievable – definitely see this show if you get the chance!

My first official race!

The Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day, Chris and I attended the Shamrock Run in Portland, along with 31,998 other people. It was sooooo freakin’ cold and rainy at first, but once we finally got moving it was rather nice. Chris ran the 8 K and I walked the 5 K Shamrock strut (or as I like to call it, the Shamwalk) with my friend Jennifer. Ok, admittedly, my event was un-timed and non-competitive, but I still got an official shirt and race bib, so it counts, right???

Bu bu bum! Bu bu bum! Bu bu bu bum…CAT SHOW!!!

Last weekend, one of my secret dreams came true. I discovered that we had the opportunity to see not only: 1) about 250 (mostly) gorgeous kitties, but 2) over 250 freaky cat people! All in one place!!! Yes, the Cat Fanciers Association hosted the Oregon Cats Classic at the Portland Expo Center, just across the river from our fair city of Vancouver. In doing a little research, I came to discover that the show would feature “Championship, Premiership, Kittens, Household Pets, Veterans and Agility”. Oh yes, you read that correctly: agility. For cats. As in an obstacle course. Which automatically means that I HAD to go. And just to let you know, I did get video of a cat running the course, but it’s at the end so you have to look at some pictures first!

Here’s what we saw:
Lots of cat-related license plates and bumper stickers in the parking lot.
A mess of crazy cat people in one room.
This friendly guy, named “Dances with Mice”.
This dude, some kind of cat expert with very odd hair, giving ribbons to terrified cats huddled in the back of their cages.
Something that someone was trying to pass off as an actual cat (btw, the hearts and sparkles aren’t fooling anyone – that thing is definitely evil).
Rows upon rows of these little hoop hutches, decked out with ribbons, sparkly bits, toys, and cats (usually passed out).

Nearly all the Persian kitties were wearing coffee filters around their necks. Supposedly it was to keep them from licking and messing up their fur, but I think the real purpose was to teach those cats a lesson in humility, because god knows they need it.

More judging. This cat was clearly peeking at the score card and didn’t look too happy about what he saw.

Apparently, one of the criteria for a winning cat is that it has to be alive. To determine whether the cat is simply comatose and not dead, this tool is often used to elicit an instinctual reaction.

Apparently, the requirement of *NOT* scaring small children was not considered when making the rules for what creatures can participate in the cat show. Terrifying.

Cats do obstacle courses waaaay differently than dogs. This cat decided to take a 7th inning stretch mid-way through the agility course. It was highly entertaining watching owners frantically waving feathered toys and sparkle sticks at their cats, trying to get them to move in something other than a random direction on the course.

The “Pet Me” cats were generally pretty adorbs!

Ok, I guess you’ve been good and have waited long enough. This was the first cat we saw on the agility course and was the best by far of any we watched during the day. This one actually got through most of the course pretty quickly. Generally, the other cats either walked across the course and laid down, hid in the tunnels because they were freaked out, or stood there looking pissed about their handler daring to put them in a position of amusement and ridicule for the enjoyment of humans. Anyway, here you go!

So, coming back from the cat show, Chris and I decided a couple of things. First, our cats pretty much suck. We have five cats and only one or two really like to be petted (sometimes), only about half a cat could be considered a “lap cat”, and none of them would ever permit us to put them in a room with hundreds of other cats without causing a major disturbance or at least summoning an ambulance or two. We tried to trade in a few of ours, but there were no takers; we actually considered simply bringing Oliver there and just leaving him. But we’re kind of pussies too, so neither of those options worked out. And second, and keep this on the down-low…I might just be one of those crazy cat people. Shhhhh… (oh – and by the way – the cat show is coming back to Vancouver in June!!! Who wants to come with?)

Act 2: The Main Course

I suppose you’ve probably had enough of the Anticipation and are probably ready to move on to The Main Course, right? Chris and I are back from our post-wedding travel adventure (a.k.a. “honeymoon”, but I’m getting tired of that word), so I figured it’s now time for a blog makeover (thanks for the shoe picture, Tyleen! it’s getting a lot of mileage, including being used as my facebook profile picture) and a new post. So here you go.

If you’re reading this, it is likely that you were at the wedding. But just in case you weren’t, I’ll fill you in. Unfortunately, I don’t have a huge number of pictures yet – I didn’t take any, and I’m still waiting from some pictures from family and our professional photographer. But I’ll share what I have here.

The day started where I left off from the previous day (duh, right?). Mom and I went to pick up the cake, which, unfortunately, was not exactly what I wanted even after providing elaborate instructions to the baker. In all fairness, my original baker canceled at the last minute and the new baker did her best…but I’m still debating whether or not to send pictures in to Cake Wrecks. And, not that I’m any kind of bridezilla or anything (I really don’t like to even characterize my role in the day as “bride”, I just hate the way it sounds), for the sake of full disclosure, I did have a minor hair freak-out. Because I had gotten my hair fabulously straightened the day before, it was a little too slick and didn’t have any volume for putting it up the way I wanted…what originally was to be a couple of large, loose, Princess-Leiaish buns looked more like two small snail shells that further emphasized the largishness of my head and flatness of face, instead of delicately de-emphasizing these tragic features and flattering my head in its entirety. Unfortunately, I had no back-up plan, so I had to just wear my hair half up and half down, with little bits sticking up in the back and generally looking retarded. Looking back on it, I really wish I had just tried a bit harder to wear my hair up, dang it! What was I thinking??? Oh well – I’ll end my rant here. At least I didn’t have any excessively gigantic zits growing out of my nose or anything (and if I did, I would’ve had plenty of bindis to cover it up).

Glamor hair. My follicles are biologically incapable of doing this. 

This more accurately resembles my look on my wedding day. Without the beard, of course (no offense to Russell Brand – we love him!).

Chris and I went to the Vintage Plaza Hotel in downtown Portland where we met up with our photographer and got ready for the wedding. We reserved a fantastic suite there, which came with champagne for us with which we pre-funked in preparation for the evening. After taking a bunch of photos (and yes, some of them actually show my dress), we hired a town car to take us to Caruthers Landing, on the Willamette River, just south of OMSI. Everyone met us there, largely on time, and looked fabulous! More picture taking ensued.

Free champagne! Free champagne!

At 6 pm we boarded the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, a river paddleboat. The weather actually held out – it has been an extremely wet spring (and winter, and fall, for that matter), but the rain gods had apparently decided we’d had enough, or maybe they just wanted to watch the ceremony and wouldn’t have been able to see through the clouds otherwise. In any case, we only got a few sprinkles of rain, but it was actually fairly clear, if not cold (what did you expect, Koski? It’s mid-March in Portland, duh!).

This is the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. On a beautiful, sunny day. I did not take this picture.

Chris and I decided on a very small wedding – partially to keep the cost down (and it was spendy enough, my goodness!), partially to keep it nice and intimate, and mainly so that it wouldn’t spiral out of control and become a gigantic wedathon with all manner of matrimonial nonsense: man-and-wife-this, remove-the-garter-with-his-teeth-that. Don’t get me wrong – it’s ok if that’s your thing, it’s just not mine (um, I mean Ours. Yes, Ours, ahem!). So, we only had our immediate family in attendance – mainly parents and siblings, about 20 folks in all. This also made it so that everyone could actually fit on the bow of the boat so that we could get married outside (standing room only). We asked Chris’ long-time friend to perform our ceremony for us, so he got Internet-ordained lickety-split like and, after a couple of readings from our mothers, declared us Chris and Marci, husband and wife, partners in crime, accomplices of sorts.

My mom (anxiously going over what she was going to read), and the rest of us (goofing off).

Once our ceremony was over (what, 15 minutes or so?), we ran inside (dang, it was colder than we thought it would be) to warm up over appetizers. Did I mention this was a dinner cruise? Oh yes! A wedding and dinner all in one place – just to make things extra easy. It was a public cruise, so several more people came on board for dinner, but really, there weren’t very many people – just one deck was filled. Dinner was actually pretty good – I think I had salmon ravioli. We had a few small nieces and nephews running around, and I must say, they behaved amazingly well. I was thinking it might get too late for them, but they all played together just fine and I think they had a good time. Whew!

Oh…*that’s* why they had a good time…

During dinner, the boat cruised up and down the Willamette River, down to the falls, then up again. In the summer, the boat cruises on the Columbia River, but sticks close to Portland in the colder months. A bunch of us went up to the wheel house, and the captain let me steer the boat. And I didn’t wreck it! Actually, I think Abby (Chris’ 4 year old niece) did a better job at steering than I did, but I also got to blast the horn. It was pretty loud. I think it made a few fish lose the contents of their lower digestive tracts.

One of the things the dinner cruise did not have was music, or dancing. I was a little bummed out about this, but figured that it was just one of those trade-offs for having a quirky venue. But it was ok, because Chris is amazing and I married the right guy. We had our moment, just the two of us, after we left the wheel house. We went back inside the boat on the upper deck, where there were no guests. Out of the blue, I heard Anya Marina’s “Vertigo” playing (the same song Chris played when he asked me to marry him)…I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from at first…and Chris hugged me and said it was time for our first dance. He had the song playing on his iPhone from his suit pocket. So we danced, just the two of us alone, and our photographer snapping flashy pictures. Awwwww!!!

Again, we don’t have the pictures back yet. But for a point of reference, this is vaguely what we looked like.

Meanwhile, downstairs on deck 1, the party was in full swing. Of course, they waited for me and Chris to return so that we could have a champagne toast (my brother Paul made an excellent toaster, but I will say that he can have his winnings when it comes to kids. We will be victorious when it comes to cats!). And we cut into our cake, which had, miraculously survived the constant scrutiny of 3 small children for at least two hours. I think I had one bite of it and made the determination that I’m not particularly a fan of fondant, nor does it go particularly well with banana cake. Bleck!

Stupid cake! I’ll get you in the end!

At any rate, that was about it. I was thankful for so many things that day. I was grateful for the love and support my mom gave me during her visit from San Diego. I was happy that my dad and stepmom made it out from St. Louis – I know that family stuff like this is important to them. I was touched that Tyleen, Brett, Paul, and Anne traveled from near and far for the occasion – I know it was a short visit, but meaningful nonetheless. I was honored that Steve performed our ceremony, even though it took him out of his comfort zone. And I am thrilled that I have new family members – Chris’ parents, grandmother, brother and sister-in-law. Most of all, I am relieved that I have lots of little nephews and nieces who love their Auntie Marci and Uncle Chris and their five adorable kitties sooooo much…perhaps our decision not to have kids won’t bite us in the ass after all!!!

Wedded bliss! Someone get that hair outta my face!

As I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t have many pictures of the event (yet – we’ll get our professional photos back soon, I hope). I took the best of what everyone gave me and made an album which you can see by clicking here.

Can I wrap this up now? Thank you! Acts 3 and 4 won’t be quite as long, I promise.

An Evening with the Freak Mountain Ramblers!

And, by Freak Mountain Ramblers, I don’t mean my family…although my family was there with me. Anne and Paul invited me to join them at an outdoor concert just a few blocks from where I live, so I took them up on it. Anne and Paul brought a picnic dinner and my niece, I brought warm chocolate chip cookies (to win over my niece), and the Freak Mountain Ramblers brought the Grateful Dead cover music and washed up hippie dancing with juggle sticks. It was a nice change for an evening – the weather was perfect, and it was so close to my house! Ahhhh…I love northwest Portland…

Yup, he’s still going!

The Big Three-Six!

Well, I know that turning 36 is a big deal for most people…it’s such a benchmark in one’s life…so when my friend Cecily from Denver wanted to come out for a visit over my birthday weekend I said “woo hoo! Let’s do it!”. And in fact, it was nice to see not just Cecily, but my friend Andrew from San Diego, and Chris (of course). It was an action-packed weekend, which I will attempt to briefly (or not so briefly, it’s all relative) fill you in on here.

Thursday morning (Feb. 25th, my birthday), Chris presented me with a very nice bottle of wine, two gorgeous hand-blown wine glasses, and a fabulous orange Jersey Shore towel (GTL, that’s what happens at the Jersey Shore, baby) (update: a week later he also gave me a purple/magenta dance top that I wanted – so thoughtful!). I had to go to work that day, which was also incredibly awesome (heh heh heh, rolling eyes now), but after work I met Chris at Melt on 21st right by my house for happy hour. Tasty tots and falafel sliders…yum! But that was just an appetizer really – we swung by the airport and picked up Cecily, whom I hadn’t seen since our adventure in the Chiricauhuas, Thanksgiving 2008 (check out pictures here). Of course, Cecily looked exactly the same as always. Chris researched a few dinner places and we ended up at Siam Society – tasty noodles and hand-ground curry all around. When we got back to my place Chris revealed that he had purchased an angel food cake from – wait for it – a bakery. No cheesy grocery store cake for me! It was soooo good – it had a very light buttercream frosting with raspberry glaze over it, and it even said Happy Birthday Marci on it! What a sweetheart Chris is…awww…

I decided to take Friday off so that Cecily and I could try to find trouble exploring the fine city of Portland. We hopped on the streetcar right outside my apartment, which we rode to Powell’s Books. I subsequently spent way too much money there, but then enjoyed some yummy pizza at Rocco’s for lunch. We then got back on the streetcar and rode it down to the aerial tram, which we rode all the way to the top of the hill – even though it was kind of rainy out, the view was still amazing. We rode the tram back down, got on the streetcar again, then looped around and did some shopping at Buffalo Exchange (start: the Great Fedora Quest). We eventually did the entire streetcar circuit, ending up back at my place mid-afternoon.

Chris picked us up and we drove back downtown where we met up with my friend Andrew, who I used to work with in San Diego. He was in town for a conference so it was good to see him; the four of us walked to Henry’s Tavern for dinner and a sampling of their amazing beer menu (over 100 taps!).

One of our prime objectives for Saturday was to find a fedora for Chris to wear that evening. We decided to hit a thrift store on Mississippi Avenue before my dance class, but alas – they were closed until noon. WTF??? Closed until noon on a Saturday? We waited at Fresh Pot in hopes of a surprise early opening, but that did not happen, so I outfitted Cecily in some bellydance garb and dragged her to my Beginning Neo-Tribal Bellydance 2 class. I think she may have been a bit nervous about it at first, but she has a strong dance background (ballet, tap, swing) so I knew she would have no problem…in fact, I envied her belly-roll skills! I just have belly rolls, no skills. But we had a good time there, nonetheless.

After class we met Chris on Hawthorne for some thrift store shopping. Cecily bought a dress for the evening, but even after scouring 3 stores, we couldn’t come up with a fedora. We did, however, eat a slllooooowwww lunch at Por Que No which was quite delish (albeit a little stressful since I had to scarf as soon as the food arrived so I wouldn’t get a parking ticket).

Cecily and I left Chris to come up with a fedora (and other outfit components) on his own, and later that afternoon, my brother Paul, Anne, and Adelaide came for a visit to my apartment. That kid sure is growing fast…and Abbey knows it (or as Adelaide calls her, “Dabby”). Clearly, the biggest draw for her in coming to my place is Dabby and the choo choo (aka the streetcar that runs down my street every 15 minutes).

The weekend highlight for me was definitely Saturday evening. I’ve alluded to us getting prepped for the night…and for good reason…I purchased tickets for me, Cecily, and Chris to go see The Royal Tease, a burlesque show at the Bossanova Ballroom on Burnside. We had reserved seating with dinner, so we decided to get all dressed up for the event. And as The Baroness says, “any occasion to dress is an occasion to over-dress”. Following that advice, I went over the top, wearing a flashy red cocktail dress, short black wig, and very high heels. Cecily looked smashing in her blue dress, and Chris rocked it with a fedora he purchased at a non-thrift store – it was a combination of leather and striped material – an excellent choice!

The performance was pretty fabulous, with lots of tassels, pasties, T, and of course, A. I think my favorite performers were Charlotte Treuse (amazing tattoos), and Inga Ingenue, who did a really cool toy doll routine and an incredible performance with two giant pink feather fans. The only bummer of the night was that we were supposed to get dessert with our dinner (red velvet cake and cinnamon gelato), but that part of the meal never showed up. And my vegetarian polenta was kinda barfy too, but Chris shared his pork loin and yams so it was all good.

The following day was the last of Cecily’s visit, as she had to hop on a plane first thing Monday morning to return to Denver. We enjoyed a nice(?) brunch at Joe’s Cellar diner (mmm…egg yolk!), the ambiance of which was moodily enhanced by a non-stop musical marathon exclusively featuring Queen and Led Zeppelin. Chris then drove us via the Columbia River Scenic Highway to Crown Point State Park where we stopped at the Vista House, then to Multnomah Falls. It was a gorgeous day so there were plenty of people there, but it gave us excellent photo opportunities. We ended up back at Chris’s house for dinner where he cooked up a delicious meal of home-made crab-cakes and put us up for the night (he lives closer to the airport than me). What a sweetheart!

I’m glad I have such good friends, and that they made my 36th birthday one to remember. If you want to see more pictures, click here. Thanks for hanging in there and reading this not-quite-so-brief blog entry!