dear cat…

dear catDear Cat,

I hear you. Both on an audible level meaning I hear your loud howling and meowling. The heavy clomp of the kitty-paws I know can be so delicately silent. And the out-of-character hissing at your brother-cat. And on an emotional level I hear the intensity behind those kitty cries. And the pent-up energy tied up in your clomping and running around like a nimble herd of elephants.

But I’m beginning to feel a bit like I did as a new mother listening to the cries of my infant daughter. I know you want something. BUT WHAT? There’s food in your dish. Clean water in your bowl. Your litter box is clean. The sliding door is open so you can lay in front of it and survey your domain with the fresh air tickling your whiskers. And I’m home sitting on the couch working on my laptop. These are all things you love!

For the love of all things holy what do you want?


Your Human

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silence is golden – or – how we didn’t talk about age of ultron for 3 days…

cami love hulkFirst I should tell you that this post is not about Avengers: Age of Ultron. There will be no information about the movie. No spoilers. No nothing. I’m not even going to tell you what I think of the movie. Okay fine, maybe I’ll tell you if I liked it. Because it’s a superhero movie…

I always want to go see Marvel superhero movies. When they come out. Every time. Good, bad, in between? Doesn’t matter. Marvel superheroes tug on the heartstrings of my youth. But sometimes I can’t dash out right away to see a movie on opening day. It’s this life thing. And this parenting thing. Occasionally those get in the way of the movie watching thing.

And I don’t like spoilers. I really don’t like them.

So when the entire rest of the internet dashed out opening weekend to see Avengers: Age of Ultron they really wanted to talk about it. All of them. Every single person on the internet suddenly seemed to have seen the movie and wanted to tell every other person on the internet in detail why they loved it, why they hated it, why it didn’t have enough action, why it had too much action, why this character was this, and that character was that.

And oh my goodness did they want to make inside jokes about inside jokes and hint at plot points. Okay. Not all of you. Maybe just 1/10th of you. And truthfully I can’t blame you. I want to talk about it too.

But the internet, well pockets of it, I can and will avoid for a time. My loved ones are another matter. And my guy was one of the masses who saw the film in its first few days. And then we couldn’t talk about it. He couldn’t talk about it. He couldn’t even talk about movies for a few days, I think, in fear that details and thoughts might come gushing from his face landing in my delicate ears. I didn’t even want to know if he liked the movie until I was there in the moment. I wanted to hear none of it.

Now I have to say he did an excellent job of telling me nothing. But our conversations each evening were full of pregnant pauses and I could tell each time he was resisting the urge to spill, to ask, to share. So he didn’t do a great job keeping from me the fact that he loved it.  I mean, he couldn’t even wait for the weekend to come to go see it with me so he could have all the Avengers conversations he was longing to have. But he did a great job of not letting on why and that’s really the most important part.

After all was said and done and I had seen the movie too and he could finally talk to me about the all the things that came to mind in the three days between his viewing and mine he really only had one thing to say and it was a literary reference. The rest, he said, was all forgotten because I’d finally seen what he had. And I loved it.

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the making of a twitter bio…

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.56.41 AMLast night as I was walking down the street I was in the tweeting kind of mood. The sky was blue but the sun was just starting to hint at its intent to set. It was warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket but cool enough that I could wear a hoodie without overheating. I was heading to pick my kid up from her dance class. It was the one night of the week her dance class starts after dinner and goes late so I was bringing her a snack to eat on the way home hoping to get her to bed more quickly. I’d forgotten my headphones so instead of music blaring in my ears I was just listening to the sound of the creek next to me and the road behind me. And I felt cool. I felt like I was in my element. Owning it. And so I tweeted:

“Walking down the mean streets of Sellwood. Imagining I’m a badass. Wearing a WordPress shirt. Carrying a banana.”

And then I totally put my phone in my pocket and paid attention to where I was going because walking and tweeting is super dangerous. You know, sidewalk cracks and what not. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had summed up my evening perfectly. And the more I thought about it I felt like I summed me up pretty perfectly. Not always. Not forever. But my life right now for sure.

Walking? Check.

Sellwood? Check?

Imagining stuff? Check check check.

WordPress? Check.

Banana? I hate bananas. Even more than peas. But the people I love don’t. Check.

Plus I was getting super bored with my old one.

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pretty peas…

FullSizeRenderI don’t like peas. I really don’t like peas. At least that’s been the story for the vast majority of my 38 years on this planet.

I’ve been asked more times than I can count where the strange aversion comes from. And I’ve spun many tales. Some of those are true or at least half-true. Others? Bald faced lies. If you’ve ever asked me why I hate peas and I told you it’s because my grandfather made me eat them and I didn’t want to and they got cold and gross and then I threw up all over the table I was totally lying. I mean, my grandfather was totally an asshole sometimes, rest his soul, but he never made me eat my peas.

Though if I ever told you I don’t like corn because on a trip to the Grand Canyon I got the flu and puked up a bunch of corn in my mom’s hand at a restaurant? That one is totally true. I didn’t eat corn for a good 20 years.

But peas? I’ve slowly warmed to them. As long as they’re in the shell. And fresh. And I’m in the correct frame of mind.

The fact of the matter is that peas are too round. Peas are just too round for me to eat. And as a kid any pea I was offered was… well they were round but they were also mushy on the inside. And gross. The closest thing to a decent pea I could find were those in the pork fried rice.

But over the last couple of years I’ve slowly warmed up to the idea of peas. As long as they weren’t frozen. Or from a can. And they were still in the shell they grew in. Because my boyfriend and my daughter both insisted they belong in certain dishes. And so it was eat them or pick them out. And, you know, I’m kind of lazy.

But if I’d had my way peas would have been exiled from this planet.

So you would think that someone who has spent so much of her life actively hating something would know just about everything there is to know about the enemy. Peas.

Did you think that? Because you would totally be wrong. But I learned a lot about the pea today when I decided to make gluten-free chicken pot pie for dinner for me and my guy. From scratch. Because that’s the only way to have a good chicken pot pie. And knowing that he likes peas in his chicken pot pie it seemed only right to add them. Especially when I was taking out all of the precious gluten. But as discussed I don’t care for peas when they’re frozen or canned.

So I did the only thing I could given the circumstances of my insane pea hatred. I looked for fresh peas. And I found them. Sugar snap peas. The pea I can live with. The pea I can deal with. The pea I have grown. And eaten. Almost completely willingly. I decided it would be worth the extra effort to bring those home, shell them, and cook up a delicious dinner.

So… did you know that sugar snap peas, once you tear away the fibrous shell, aren’t really… round. Or really very much like peas for that matter.

So we’re having Burgerville for dinner.

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adding things to the wishlist…

deardeerYou know that moment when you somehow find yourself online shopping for a plaster sculpture of faux taxidermy deer head with antlers?

And then you’re super excited when you find it. And that it comes in red! And then you realize that you have no fucking business being on the internet ever again.

Yeah, I’m in it.

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life lessons with cami…

stopSome parts of my life are pretty exciting, new and different every day. But there are some things that remain the same and one of those is my daily frustration with kids riding their bikes to school and not wearing a helmet. Okay, let’s be real. Not just kids. Grown ass adults too.

Hey dumbass! Put your helmet on. I could go on a safety rant here. I could talk about common sense. I could babble about setting a good example. But instead I will just say  for kids under 16 it’s the law. Follow it.

So today this scene played out for what feels like the millionth time. I see a kid riding his bike to school. Yay! He’s getting exercise. He’s not online. He’s not looking at his phone. Fresh air. The sun is shining. But he’s not wearing a helmet. And this is where my feelings turn… dark. Black clouds consume the sky. The air crackles with energy. A boom of thunder. The set of my jaw shifts. K turns to look at me and I can see in her face that she knows what is about to come out of my mouth.

A low growl emits from my throat and I say “I just wish he would wear a helmet.” Not quietly. But not loud either.

She looks at me, probably fearing I’m going to chase this kid down the street screaming at him and wagging my finger. “Mom, don’t.” she mutters.

I give a little speech about how I really hope that nothing happens to him. That he never finds out why he should always wear a helmet as he rolls through an intersection without looking and a car slams on the brakes. And my daughter. My darling daughter who knows me so well gives me the most incredulous look and says “No you don’t!”

“Okay.” I admit “But I hope when he falls he just gets a little bump or a scratch and a headache. No concussion or lasting damage. I just wish people would wear their helmets.”

She takes a deep breath and utters “Life lessons with Cami Kaos: Learn your fucking lesson.”

I would have told her to watch her fucking language if she hadn’t been so right.

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it’s like you don’t even know me…

bricked...I’ve spent the past couple of days in the sunny desert city of Phoenix, Arizona. And much like every trip I’ve taken in my life I find I discover something new with every trip. Take something in at every location. Grow as a person with every new corner of the world I see. And often I find myself changed. Whether it’s for the better is debatable. But changed, certainly changed. There is something incredible about taking in new information and being informed by new places. Their art. Culture. Cuisine.

And while one can never truly anticipate what they’ll learn or how they may change on a trip to a new place I think it’s safe to say that this newest change is something I didn’t see coming. Perhaps I should have. I mean if I really stop to think about this it makes a lot of sense. That I would absorb my surroundings. Change the way I interact with the world around me.

After two days in Arizona it’s become obvious that I’m just not the same person I was when I stepped on that plane in Portland Friday morning. Phoenix has transformed me.

Or at least that’s what my iPhone thinks.

Maybe it’s the dry heat sapping the moisture from my fingertips. Maybe it was the hours soaking in a hot tub. Maybe all the paper I handled was actually a fine grain sandpaper. But my phone, my constant companion, will no longer accept the prints of any of the 4 fingertips I mapped. At first I was confused. Then curious. But now I’m just downright annoyed and more than a little afraid I’ll come down with a sudden case of amnesia and completely forget my unlock code. I had totally been relying on fingerprint recognition to tell me who I am if that happened. It might be time to come up with a new failsafe.

Though I admit it did prompt me to view a life of crime as a viable option…

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