Friday, April 4, 2008

The Amish + deception + pitchforks + quilts= MURDER!!!

The Catbox is back, ladies and gentlemen. It’s back because there was an excellent episode of Murder, She Wrote on last night that you should all know about. Here’s what happened:

Jessica was in Pennsylvania to meet with her publisher (I’m guessing) and decides to head out to some quaint Amish town to buy a lovely Amish quilt for her nephew’s anniversary. What nephew’s doesn’t want a hand-made Amish quilt? Anyway, her publisher’s liaison offers to drive her there so she doesn’t have to take the bus. As they get to town they are run off the road by some teenage buggy driver who was going around the corner too fast. Her driver hurt his back and they have to rely on the hospitality of the local Amish folk because it’s Sunday and neither the car (nor his back) can be fixed.
Well, it turns out that her driver grew up in the Amish community and was shunned 5 years prior. This creates a lot of tension and drama, but Jessica handles it like a pro…she keeps quiet every time a fight is about to erupt. It’s like she wants to see a couple of guys duke it out. Anyway, the main Amish elder (who, by the way, is maybe 40….and is the leader even though there are tons of old men around who are always dispensing their Amish wisdom) who shunned him ends up dead. Not to fear, though, because Jessica’s on the case. She uncovers that the shunned driver and the elder’s wife (played by Gwendolyn form Charles in Charge) used to have the hots for each other and were probably going to get married so the elder told the driver he was going to sully her reputation, thus causing a fight for which the driver could not fully repent without revealing what the elder had said. So he was shunned to protect the woman he loved.
Then there is a pregnant woman (also shunned) selling quilts that Jessica somehow determined had an affair with the elder. When the pregnant woman confronted him about it there was a tussle and he fell on a pitchfork (allegedly). So there you have it. According to Angela Lansbury and the writers of Murder, She Wrote the Amish are a clan of murderous, aldutering liars.

Monday, December 10, 2007

When they met…it was MURDER! (or How Life Is Like an Episode of Hart to Hart)

Recently the Carlklef Chronicles had an informative, yet controversial, post about Chili’s. Everyone seemed to have strong opinions regarding the food, service, and atmosphere one can expect to find at this eating establishment. Some people seemed to have a less than stellar experience at one time or another. I, on the other hand, have fond memories of Chili’s, particularly of the O’Hare airport Chili’s. This is where I first met Ross. Fond memories, indeed.
As you may already know, Kitty and I are practically life-long friends having known each other from our days of working together at PRA during her all too short career in medical research. We did everything together, from attending lame social work gatherings to touring the zoo for another lame social work gathering. The zoo trip also involved Kitty’s imaginary boyfriend at the time. (I say imaginary because she claims he existed, yet I don’t remember him at all.) Perhaps doing research opened her eyes to all of the potential lawsuits and she thought…hmmm, I should be an ambulance chaser. Whatever it was, she decided to leave her friends and her career at PRA and head to law school at BYU.
Now, you’d think that being a law student would be rather demanding and not leave any time for a social life. Not true for Kitty. She met a guy who she later tricked into marrying her. That guy was Ross. I remember hearing about him and getting an engagement announcement with photo. I even received an invitation to a post-wedding reception. I was not, however, invited to the wedding. Kitty claims it was because non-Mormons aren’t allowed in the Tabernacle. (Or could it be that I was the one that “got away” and it would have been too painful for her to see me there? I guess we’ll never know.) Anyway, Kitty was still in law school and needed to prep for finals so they took a short honeymoon and got right back to the books. A big trip to Spain was planned for the day after graduation.
Despite snubbing me with the wedding invite, Kitty and I remained friends and she said, “hey, Todd, why don’t you come to Spain with me and Ross.” So then I said, “sure, why not.” We planned and planned…well Ross planned. Suddenly, Kitty graduated and the next day the trip began.
I had not yet met Ross at this time. He and Kitty were in SLC and I was in KC. We were to meet up in Chicago and then fly to Madrid. I landed in Chicago first, or so I thought, and waited for them to arrive and call me. I even looked to see which gate would come in at and headed that way to meeting them. Along the way I was walking past the airport Chili’s enjoying the savory aromas when what to my wondering eyes should appear…Kitty. She was sitting with some man, who I did not know, ready to enjoy a delicious meal. Well, I stomped right over there and said, “what the freak? Were you just going to eat without me and leave me for dead?” I’m not sure of the precise wording of her response, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of “yes, yes I was”. Amid the awkwardness of the situation Kitty introduced Ross and I, and the honeymoon began and lasted for the next 11 days. We spent about a solid 24 hours together between the flight (which landed at 7:30am) and the whole day touring Madrid checking things out.
Anyone that has been around Kitty and me at the same time knows that it is a wild ride of delightful entertainment that never gets old. At the end of the day we went to our separate rooms. Well, I did. Ross and Kitty bunked together. Once they were alone, the first thing Ross said to Kitty was “wow, Todd really gets away with a lot”. Of course the next morning the first thing Ross said to Kitty was “just close your eyes, it’ll all be fine” when the alarm clock went off. Ross has a lot of good quotes on that trip. The next week and a half Ross enjoyed eating sandwiches and what he referred to as “herding a couple of cats (or loud Americans)”.
So that is how Ross and I met. No one was ever murdered so I guess it really isn’t all that much like an episode of Hart to Hart. But you do have to admit that was a great show and they should really thing of bring it back.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why everyone should be watching The View

I don’t know if any of you watch The View starring Whoopi Goldberg and other A-list celebrities, but yesterday Sherri Sheppard made an A of herself (again) by knowing pretty much nothing about history. You may remember on a previous show she seemed to be under the impression that the world is flat, thus showing her complete lack of geographical knowledge. Well yesterday she demonstrated her lack of education in history during a discussion of ancient civilizations. For whatever reason one of the ladies mentioned the Greeks and the Romans and Sherri opened her mouth to say Jesus was before all that. Apparently she didn’t get the memo explaining “BC”. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sherri. I think she is really funny, just not all that bright.
Now, as awesome as it was, this was not by any means my favorite part of the show. The best was during an interview with little known Republican presidential candidate, Texas Congressman, and OB/GYN, Ron Paul. Co-host Joy Behar seemed very excited that he was going to be on and was looking forward to talking with him like she was totally in his corner. Then mid interview she says to him “which other Republican candidate would you vote for because you know you’re probably not going to win, right?” Everyone’s jaws just dropped and no one knew what to say. Joy was shocked that everyone else was stunned by her statement. Granted, everyone on earth was thinking it (I mean, come on, I’d never even heard of Ron Paul), but she totally slapped him in the face with that one.

The ToddCat digs deep in the Catbox once again

So I am right at this moment bravely facing my imminent death. I am sitting at the airport in Kansas City waiting for my flight to Chicago then on to Indianapolis for meetings and my company holiday party. Anyway, my flight is delayed because Chicagans are apparently big wusses when they get a little snow. So I'm sitting here patiently waiting and the fire alarm goes off followed by an announcement over the PA system that everyone needs to leave the building while they decide if there really is a fire. Well, you can imagine what kind of pandemonium that lead to. Actually it lead to no pandemonium, but did cause a lot of negative attitudes and complaining. No one moved a muscle to save their lives by fleeing the flames of death. We all just sat bravely staring death in the face. Then, like an angel from heaven, a Southwest employee said "don't leave, it's just a problem with the alarm." Whew! That was a close one. This near death experience has made me realize just how important I am to all of my faithful readers and that there is no way any of you could expect to survive without my delightful stories and wise wisdom to guide you through the trials and tribulations of life. Therefore, the blog is back in action so you won't suffer any longer.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Furniture

I've been looking to move closer into Kansas City than I am at my current residence in the far away suburbs with a cow farm across from my nieghborhood, but alas, I have not been able to find the perfect house. I decided that while I'm waiting for perfection to come along, why not completely refurnish my current home which I am ready to abandon? Today, I received the latest funiture shippment for the living room. I still have to order a couple of tables and the painters have not worked their magic, but I knew everyone would want to see. The new living room funiture consists of 2 leather club chairs, a sofa with chaise and area rug.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm introducing yet another new segment on the Catbox entitled WHAT YOU TALKING' 'BOUT? It’s all about trivia whether it be movies, TV, or general A-list celebrity gossip. You will find no sports trivia here as that sort of information is completely useless and amuses no one. For this first round of WHAT YOU TALKIN' 'BOUT trivia, we will dwell on the beloved and sadly missed hit show Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury. Here we go...

  1. What was the first novel written by JB Fletcher?
  2. What is the name of her deceased husband? (No, Mr. Fletcher won't do. I need a first name.)
  3. What was Jessica's maiden name? (Extra points if you can give me her full name...what does that B stand for???)
  4. What was Jessica's street address in Cabot Cove, Maine?
  5. Jessica wasn't always a famous author of murder mysteries. What career had she retired from before becoming a novelist?
  6. Jessica eventually moved to Manhattan. What was her phone number there?

These are real questions with real answers. As a bonus, here are some extra credit questions:

  1. How many seasons did this hit show last?
  2. How many times was Ms. Lansbury nominated for an Emmy for this role? How many times did she win?
  3. What was the only spin-off from Murder, She Wrote?

Good luck!!!

Who's That Celebrity???

This week’s celebrity guest has an IQ of 162 and was admitted to UCLA at the tender age of 14. This early exposure to college life apparently had an impact on the future actress because she really got around the block. She has been married 4 times (so far) and her current husband is Robert Wagner. You may remember him from his role as Jonathan Hart on the hit show Hart to Hart, co-starring Stephanie Powers. Our celebrity has also been known to date a number of famous others including Henry Kissinger, Frank Sinatra (Frank’s daughter Nancy was a high school classmate of hers), and Sean Connery.

Our celebrity guest is probably most famous for her role as a bond girl, playing Tiffany Case opposite Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever (1971). Or could it be her role as the mother of Mikey, Kramer’s “little” friend, on Seinfeld?

Do you know who this celebrity is?