I was going to title this “Letting the cat out of the bag” but, frankly, I think we’re all better than that.

I just went to throw away the empty sack Victor left on the counter after he unpacked the groceries* but then I heard the bag rustling and looked at Victor and said, “Sir?  Have you left your bags unattended at any time?”

ferris hermit crab

And then Ferris Mewler gave me that panicked guilty look of “OMG, WTF?  KNOCK FIRST” and I was like, “Hang on.  What did you do?”  And that’s when I looked in and realized he’d ripped open a catnip mouse in there and was having a small, paranoid kitty freak-out.

It was like a tiny paper hotbox and now I think he needs rehab.

These are the things people never warn you about cat ownership.

*I changed the original way I’d written this because in real life it was a sack from a resale shop that Victor left on the counter after he was like, “No, no, no.  Do not leave that decapitated head on the kitchen counter.  You take that with you” and he pulled it out of the sack and I had to carry it around with me for an hour while I tried to find a good spot for her.  I changed the head (and also a vintage scythe) to “groceries” because I thought people would be too distracted to enjoy the cat picture, and then I’d have to explain that the vintage head is not made of real human (except for the hair) and that at $25 she was cheap at twice the price.

As an aside, Hailey and I are currently debating the best style for Hedy Lamarr (I’m open to other names if you have something more fitting) and I think this is an excellent place for a poll:



And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:



Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by David Robert, author of Wanderlush.  “When David, self-proclaimed anxiety-ridden introvert, convinces himself that he’s dying of ass cancer, he invites his delightfully unpredictable, Xanax-popping, chardonnay-swilling mother on a series of international “good-bye” vacations. By doing so, he unwittingly opens a Pandora’s box of hilarious and humiliating events that include digging his mom out of a rain gutter in Costa Rica and being dragged across the Arabian Desert by a psychotic camel named Forrest Hump. As the vacations unfold, David’s mother shares a secret that will change everything.”  I’m buying it.  You probably should too.

134 thoughts on “I was going to title this “Letting the cat out of the bag” but, frankly, I think we’re all better than that.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. One of my favorite memories of my Mollybeans was finding her butt-end-out and the front half of her stuck in an empty family sized bag of Cheese Puffs (no, technically there was no “family”- don’t judge). She came out coated in orange dust and smiling…I tell you, smiling! As for the body-less head…just don’t call her Annabelle! Thanks for the happy kitty memories today! Karen 🙂

  2. Ooh I need a Heady Lamarr! I have my grandfather’s fez from when he was a Shriner and I want to display it in my house… don’t you think she would look lovely in a bedazzled fez?

  3. It’s probably just me but the scarf makes her look like one of those cancer patients who’s hair fell out. I probably shouldn’t have said that.

  4. My cat has spent the past week entertaining herself by exploring the cracks under doors and pulling clothes off their hangers in my closet. Now my closet looks like a dressing room explosion.

  5. Can’t you see that Hedy’s (and I love “Heady” by the way) whole body (well, whole head anyway) is telling you exactly what she wishes? Her expression – her bearing, her entire being -is so ethereal (almost saintly) in the straw hat. She looks completely embarrassed in the babushka.

  6. I love the Futurama idea. She’s even got the metal-neck-thing down perfectly. Although, for Halloween, you should put a wig and green makeup and stitches on her and make her the head of the bride of Frankenstein. She looks quite like Elsa Lanchester in that movie…

  7. I think the head gear choice should be seasonal, like the outfits for the concrete geese people have on their porch. Maybe something in the All Hallows’ line for fall, or a cornucopia…

  8. Totally reminded me of the Christmas when I found my cat with he head stuck down inside a small paper bag that had catnip toy. After I pulled him out of the bag, I realized that he had drooled all over the toy. Yeah no one warns you about that part of kitty ownership.

  9. Misreading must be contagious. I read “As a result, a critical cocoon has formed around Dunham…” as “…a critical raccoon…” and my brain totally accepted it. 🙂

  10. My gut reaction is to kill it with fire because dolls/mannequins (and especially disembodied HEADS) are creepy, but you DEFINITELY need to put her in a jar a la Futurama Style.

  11. Heada Hopper. I like the glass jar because she has that wistful look that so many heads have that are kept in glass jars instead of on bodies.. Sort of “I wish I had my body again, because then I could go make a cup of coffee. Or a pie.”

  12. It would also be fabulous as the centerpiece of a lovely meat plate for sandwiches, think about it for your next luncheon.

  13. Name her Tipsy Hedren and put her in a sombrero that’s being attacked by taxidermy birds. Turn her sideways a la Hitchcock. Display an empty bottle of tequila next to her on her face side. This allows you permission to: 1) buy a sombrero; 2) buy some more dead things; and 3) empty a bottle of tequila. Everyone wins! Well, you win. Victor not so much. Please tell Victor not to hate me !

  14. I may have had a moment of squealing when I saw that you posted a link to a Frank Turner song. One of my favorite bloggers posting a song from one of my favorite singers? Excellent.

  15. We had an old man kitty named Tuco. (After the Ugly in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, although personally I never thought Eli Walech was that bad looking.) His last Christmas, he managed to chew open a catnip toy and ran wild. I caught him eating the Santa’s leftover cookies by the Christmas tree and assumed it was the munchies. Anyway, sadly we had to put him down just a few weeks later, and looking back I am so glad he had his last party.

  16. I couldn’t vote! It’s a tie between the hat and scarf. I say give all wardrobe choices equal time, it’s only right.

    P.S. Suggestion to include an “all the above” selection on future polls (for all the wishy washy peoples).

  17. Ha ha ha, “Heady” Lamarr.

    I voted for the Futurama head look, but to be honest, I think you could curl her hair and give her a Betty Page makeover, and she’d be da bomb.

    Cats in bags. I can’t put a bag anywhere that Churro doesn’t get into it. (He’s named that because he’s sort of cinnamony-colored with a long plush tail, he’s not a tasty treat.)

  18. I thought of you yesterday when I found a taxidermied martin at a garage sale. I was so tempted to buy it, dress it up and send it to you. My ferret who was with me however seemed quite perturbed by her stoic demeanor and so we left her behind.

  19. I thought it was strange that you got a paper sack from a grocery store……so I was instantly suspicious.

  20. My daughter has a “practice head” from our local hair dressing program that she uses when she needs to brush out her costume wig. The thing about is that it has been shaven bald, and when it sits on the floor of her room, it is the creepiest thing ever. Sooo, my daughter has taken it upon herself to hide it in her brother’s room whenever she feels the urge! I know this has happened when I hear her brother scream out “Dammit Melissa!” 🙂

  21. Is your card, “I’d give a rat’s ass for you?” Totes romantic.

    (Yay! It’s more like “Actually I DO give a rat’s ass, but only about you” but that’s close enough. ~ Jenny)

  22. Remember the hat that Minnie Pearl used to wear on “Hee Haw”? With the hanging price tag? For some reason I think that would suit Hedy.

    Speaking of human heads, in the 90’s when I was a student in Moscow I lived with a Russian family. One morning I woke up and noticed a REAL human skull on the balcony. I was all, “WTF?”. Turns out my Russian girlfriend had borrowed it from her art teacher to use as practice for her drawing. It seemed quite normal to her. Maybe finding human skulls isn’t as hard to do in Russia as the U.S., what with the gulags and Stalin and all.

  23. Ah, I used to have a head! For doing hairstyles. Where did I put it? Ack! Glad to see that, at this point, Futurama head is winning!

  24. The head is awesome — if you’re ever in Lancaster, Massachusetts, you MUST eat at Michael’s Bridge Cafe. Apparently it’s full of taxidermied animals, including a full bear and an elk. But don’t make a special trip. Just if you’re in the area.

    On another note, I’m a little terrified of blindly clicking on some of your links, since I clicked last week on the link to the full bear costume and now that’s all Amazon shows me when I sniff around the internet. On the plus side, I’m not tempted to buy anything from Amazon, so it’s saving me a crapload of money.

  25. True story: I was working at a shop in a strip mall. One day, I went to take the trash out. The dumpster is in a little house like structure (for reasons unknown). I opened the door, walked over to the dumpster, threw in the trash and turned to walk away…..and had a damn heart attack. THERE WERE HEADS ALL ALONG THE FLOOR UP AGAINST THE WALL!!!!! My life flashed before my eyes as I imagined a maniac with a machete coming out of the shadows to add my noggin to his cranium collection. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Turns out the beauty supply store in the strip mall was going out of business. I guess they thought it would be better to line the heads up along the floor for funsies than actually toss them in the dumpster.

  26. Heddy Lamar is perfect! I think she should change hats by season. Better find one with ear flaps for winter. Kind of a Fargo look.

  27. Not to put too fine of point on it but… isn’t “decapitated head” redundant? That would be like “beheaded head”. With that being said, Behedy Lamar would be my recommendation.

  28. I have a bag of those decapitated heads in my back seat left over from when I used to do hair. I kind of like it when one or two of the heads roll out, and the cashier at the drive-thru sees them and gets all freaked out. And I currently have one on the mantel, but she is wearing Carl, the unicorn head mask so you can’t really see her

    Oh! They also make great gifts at white elephant gift exchanges, but then you probably already knew that.

  29. As long as you are going there, go with Hedley Lamarr from Blazing Saddles.

    No one ever tells you that you will intentionally KEEP two empty wine boxes in the middle of your living room for 3 months as cat toys (not as a sign of alcohol issues–the wine was safely stored else where) for the 4 cats who fall in love with the boxes all over again whenever you rearrange them.

  30. Love the head! I have one stuffed somewhere in my attic from my cosmetology days some 28 years ago. Every now and then she shows up when we open the attic stairs and put something up or get something down…she loves to jump up and scare the hell out of us…crazy girl! Oh! and I have a crazy bag/box kitty too who gets really…really weird & creepy when exposed to catnip…like creeeeepy!!

  31. Hedy needs to be displayedeunder a glass dome. The straw hat is better than the scarf.
    She’s blushing, what did someone say to her?


    Actually, a story about him that you will like: I went to see him last year, and hung around after the show. I told him that I really appreciate all his lyrics about depression (check out The Way I Tend to Be for the most perfect description of depression ever) and in sharing that, I told him it had been more than three years since I tried to kill myself and he gave me a hug and told me to come to more shows and update him (and made me pinkie-swear). So this past June I saw him in DC and hung around forever waiting for him, and was able to tell him that it was four years to the day. He remembered me from the show in Charlottesville last year and gave me a huge hug and chatted with me for a couple of minutes about some of his new stuff.

    Basically, he’s a perfect fucking human being and I adore him.

  33. Love the head! I too have one stuffed in my attic from my cosmetology years some 28 years ago. She loves to pop up and scare the hell out of us anytime we pull down the attic stairs to retrieve something or to put something up….Crazy Girl! And, I too have a crazy bag/box kitty who gets really…really creepy when he gets all hopped up on the kitty crack!

  34. I think you should change it up. Why stick to one look? And here’s an idea for your consideration: You could dress her up according to the mood you’re in that day. That would give Victor a fair heads up first thing. I think most men would appreciate that.

  35. I think what they are trying to say is:
    “It’s not Hedy; it’d Hedly. Hedly Lamarr.”
    And why not just switch out head wear as she looks fabulous either way. Wigs and masks might add to her unique style. Don’t pigeonhole her to one look!

  36. Can you help me name a new pet when I get one? I don’t think there is anyone more creative than you at picking the perfect name. I’m sure Bubba, Olive and Sadie would have appreciated you help. I vote the vintage hat…tubes wouldn’t really go with your decor. 🙂

  37. What’s wrong with leaving a head in a paper bag on the counter?!

    (Maybe that’s the wrong question and I’m showing up how weird I am… but I can’t see the problem. Still, anything that creates more cute cat pics is alright by me!)

  38. she looks like her name could be Calphurnia Swaddlesbee.
    This is the best I could do after two 12 hour shifts in the hospital…. I should go into landscaping with all the bush I’ve seen today! Or a become Penisologist….is that a thing?. I need sleep just ignore this. Oh wait! I could just stop typing but now I’m on a roll of idiosy…. I need a nap! Good day fine madam! To you Ferris Mewler!

  39. Please post a “life hack” post for that head in a jar. I’m gonna scare the shit out of this seven year old.

  40. I just love the baseball alligator in the back, says the lady with the alligator purse!

  41. Cats… Gotta love ’em! Your cat reminds me of my cat, named Smoke, not because she’s gray, but because I’m completely unoriginal and I was watching Lost at the time and thought the Smoke Monster was cool.

  42. I currently have a similar mannequin head on a shelf in my room, wearing a Batman mask. I like to pretend she’s watching over me while I sleep.

  43. Heady Lamarr is absolutely fantabulous! Really, I think she could work darn near any look. I must say though, that little alligator baseball fella is just beyond awesome.

  44. We actual have a guy working with us who’s name is Hedley Pringle. I always thought this was more of a 1920’s name. I reckon it would suit your disembodied head complete with the straw hat perfectly!

  45. I think the poll results say a lot more about your readership than about the actual best answers to the questions you ask.

  46. The fact that the poll wants you to suspend the head in a saline solution Futurama style restores my faith in humanity. Or maybe just in this community.

    I just spent two minutes trying to come up with a name that played with the word cranium. Nothing thus far.

    I’m curious as to your Halloween decor if you’re house normally has decapitated heads lurking about.

  47. Jan in the Pan for the win. And when you think about it, Heady/Hedy/Hedley isn’t altogether so strange a name as Mirabeau B., is it?

  48. Hedy has a beautiful vintage look. Please don’t put her in a jar. All she needs is a friend – Edith Head, perhaps? Edith could design hats. Lots and Lots of hats.
    meow meow meow

  49. My mother used to have one from her 1960’s hairdressing academy and her name was “Gertrude” Her fav story was one day she was in a hurry to get to class and put the head in her back window of her car. A cop pulled her over freaked out that she was driving erratically thru town with a severed head rolling around in her back window of her car! She said she had such a good laugh because that cop thought she was some kind of serial killer! Back in the 60’s, this was shocking to police. Not anymore, eh?
    As for Gertrude, somehow she got lost in a move in the 80’s? Weird. Maybe she had a mind of her own and left? hahaha!

  50. Scary head, yes. I’m one of the odd few who said burn it. Sorry–old dolls give me the creeps. But that eulogy song? Well, that’s effin beautiful. I love it! Made my day:).

  51. Is it just me or did anyone else think that head looks a bit like your daughter? I feel really weird saying that because I saw a few comments that it was scary. Personally I thought it was beautiful. Way better than modern hair stylist heads.

  52. Is Hedy having a Coca-Cola with her girlfriends or riding/driving in a convertible? Hat vs babushka right there.

  53. Oh my gosh- that (cat) face! I never get the camera fast enough to get pictures of our cats doing random craziness like that, but I love it. Of course, if it were our cat in the pic, the photo would be proof that an execution is in order because cats on the counter qualify as grounds for immediate death by my husband. So I’d have to erase the photo anyway. But still-

  54. My favorite part about your polls is being able to choose more than one answer. I’m not sure if that’s a glitch, but if it is, please don’t fix it.

  55. Your head kinda looks like Maria (the non-evil non-robotic version) in Metropolis? This doesn’t answer your headgear question, just saying….

  56. She totally looks like that gallery of severed heads in Return to Oz! Sooo creepy…

  57. Meghan beat me to the ‘rat’s arse’ thing, but “arse” has an “r” and an “e” in it, so I’m giving myself 3 points anyway.

    We used to own a cat, many years ago, and he once gave me a rat’s arse.


  58. That rat’s ass card is clever, but I’m getting an Elizabeth Short vibe which is pretty creepy.

  59. The scarf all the waaayyy, Jenny! Please let her keep the scarf. She wants the scarf. Doesn’t she look more confident in the damn scarf?

  60. As for the head: it belongs to the figure who appears headless on the cover of every third fiction book written for women.

  61. You hit the nail on the head with Hedy Lamarr, though Maxine Headroom was the first name that popped in MY head when I read you were open to suggestions. What can I say, I’m a product of the ’80’s.

  62. Your poll should have an option for “all of the above”. Seriously – Hedy rocks both looks – she is a 40’s glamour puss.

  63. Reminds me of Wizard of Oz too, Remember with all the heads, the witch would switch her heads like wigs only all the heads were independently alive?

  64. Hedwig/Headwig. Then, you could get a smaller, somewhat irritated looking head and name it “The Angry Itch”. Also, I love the scarf because she looks like Rosie the Riveter in it & she strikes me as a machinist.

  65. Just a guess, but did you picmonkey that photo of yourself with the new comic theme feature? I freaking LOVE those new options.

  66. Please only have babies with Victor. You and Victor create much lovelier children than you and Mindy Kaling would.

  67. I just had to tell you about the mannequin heads my grandma had when I was little. She owns a salon and a cosmetology school. The heads she had were the ones where the faces were split open from the base of the neck to the back of the ear on both sides so that they could be changed out when the hair was done. we used to peel their faces off and wear them as masks and creep out our parents by hiding in random places at grandmas on Sundays and jumping out. It was silence of the mannequins, and it was awesome good fun,

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