Friday, August 13, 2010

Ahhhhhhh. . . . the Tetons.

House-sitting in Teton country has obvious benefits, especially since I am here in the best part of summer. I have made it my personal duty to take as many shots of these majestic mountains as I can to prove to myself that views of the Tetons never get old. All of these shots were taken on various road bike rides that I have had no shortage of. And yes, you lazy bums, I rode up that road, it is the first part of the climb to the Targhee ski mountain.
Once I arrived to the base of the ski mountain, I left my bike outside a bike shop, took the lift up, took my road cycling shoes off, and walked in my socks to this view. I looked like a complete idiot, and I just happened to be acting like a complete idiot behaving in this manner, walking on mountain terrain in socks and spandex. But a much safer option than walking on the same terrain in road cycling shoes. Have you seen those cleats? Not designed for walking. Hey, I had no idea that all of this was going to ensue, I just wanted to ride from Driggs to Targhee. However, the painful mountain sock walking, two words: worth it.
Idaho is farm country, and thank god for it or we probably wouldn't have french fries and tater tots. Another nice thing about all this agriculture, the beautiful views of fields and Tetons. This photo is from my ride to Bitch Creek(refer to Signs of Life posting for more information).
Grand Teton National Park. The ride I did this day will go down as one of the most perfect and beautiful, mind-blowing rides of my life. The weather, that bike path(so smooth!), the epic scenery. . . ahhhhh, the Tetons.
Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park.
Passing by many views along various scenic byways, or in national parks, I have learned a lot about the Tetons from informational signs. First of all, they are the youngest range in the Rocky Mountains, at about 10 million years old. They were created when one tectonic plate slid dramatically underneath the other pushing up towards the sky the piece of rock that is what we now know of as the Teton range. This geological action also created the valley where Jackson, Wyoming is located. The Tetons were once one giant mountain, but years of glacial action has broken it down into the three Tetons we now recognize. Bored yet? The best is yet to come.
Today I learned about that crazy name, the Tetons. I passed yet another informational sign that stated that the original name is French, Les Trois Tetons. This is literally translated into The Three Breasts. No lie, the sign said all of this. Leave it to some crazy French explorer who has been wandering the west without sight of a woman for months to see these mountains and the first thing he thinks is, "three giant boobs!". Men never change, imagining giant naked breasts at every turn. Maybe it's just me, but I have never seen breasts like that, god help me the day I do.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Milo vs. Gatita

This is a competition, a legitimate competition in which each kitty will be judged by my kitty standards. I love two kitties but now they battle each other for my love. I wish it could be a real fight, but my heart would break, I would have to interfere in the fight and I would probably get clawed to death in the meantime. Whatever. Enough small talk.

The above pictured kitty is my mother's cat, Gatita(Spanish for kitty, original). I love Gatita so much and I cannot to this day identify why. Gatita tortures me with her cuteness and her sass. She walks by me and even rubs up on my legs sometimes, but that's about as good as it gets. The thing about Gatita is that though I love her, she hates me. Gatita will not let me pick her up, she barely even lets me pet her without a hiss and an attempted clawing of any reachable extremity.
I think the longest I have been able to touch her is under five seconds. My family thinks this is funny, and it is, but I'm dying inside.

Gatita has proven to be quite the huntress as well, blood lust we could call it. Gatita kills multiple animals weekly, especially in the summer. It's mostly mice, but small birds and sometimes large birds show up dead in the yard. One time she was playing with a half-dead dragon fly. Last summer Gatita brought home a snake. Fortunately for the snake it was alive and unharmed. We kept the snake for a few days, we named it Jose.

Gatita has an indescribable allure, something that makes me want to cuddle her for like eight hours straight. It is probably the fact that I never will be able to cuddle her for even eight seconds. I should be careful what I wish for. It is clearly a lop-sided relationship. But that will never make me stop trying to get her to love me. The most painful part is that my little brother can hold her like a baby and she doesn't budge. She even slowly leans her head to the side to make sure I'm looking. Bitch.

Then there is Milo. Milo is the kitten of my sister's family in Idaho where I am currently house-sitting. Milo is terribly cute. Milo is hilarious and one of my favorite things about him is his experimental palate. Milo is always in my face when I'm eating, and all other times for that matter, but he loves to try new things. So far things Milo has eaten includes, but is not limited to, peanut butter(natural crunchy), lemon yogurt, frosting, dog food, Saudi kabsah rice, raw egg yolk, Teddy Grahams, cookie dough and has drank strawberry iced tea. I think Milo's dream is to be a dog.

In the above picture Milo appears very tranquil, and sometimes he is. However, Milo is a kitten and that puts a whole new twist on things. One may assume that he has a natural advantage as a kitten, but the one that assumes that has never spent five minutes with a kitten. Milo has two speeds: attack mode, and sleeping. Even as I have sat here typing this I have been clawed four times and Milo is currently locked in the bathroom until I am done. Milo has no self- awareness. Milo not only loves to play, he NEEDS to play, usually at everyone elses expense(dogs, chickens, and rabbits not excluded). Milo chases anything, and is usually in attack mode if I'm around. One of Milo's favorite things to attack are my bare feet. Awesome! Not. First thing in the morning, my feet get attacked and he does not sleep in the same room as me, that only lasted one short night.

Though it is some kind of sick torture to be around Milo when he is in attack mode, he is also super cuddly and loves to be held and petted. Bonus! When Milo is feeling lovey and calm(read: has ran himself sleepy), he will sit with me for minutes on end and be petted, maybe even up to an hour. This would never happen with Gatita, never, ever, ever. Milo is adorable and almost wants to be loved too much as opposed to never.

In the kitty competition, it's hard to say. Gatita hates me, Milo loves me(too much). Milo attacks me, Gatita ignores me. Milo makes me laugh with the things he eats, and Gatita disgusts me and makes me clean up after her. It is a delicate balance folks and one with which I will not mess. I can deal with Gatita ignoring me because at least I know she won't claw me(unless provoked), or jump in my lap when I have no pants on. On the other hand, I can deal with Milo scratching me and jumping on my lap when I have no pants on, because when he finally, finally calms down, he will seek me out and let me cuddle him. Milo in my face when I'm eating is always better than finding a half-dead creature in the lawn, courtesy of the huntress, Gatita. I hate having to finish the job by crushing things with a shovel and then bury them in the garden.

Kitty competition is a draw. I should probably go let Milo out of the bathroom now.