I think the cats have finally come to terms with my parents' vacation. The younger one has emerged from being in heat without any noticeable damage to her or my sanity, and she's back to her normal level of doing headstands on my feet to be terminated by her digging out claws and teeth. The older cat has come out of hiding long enough to march up to me on the sofa, ram her head into my chin, study me, ram her head into my chin again, study me some more, and then sit on my chest until I put my laptop somewhere else. She'll then start purring, and pretty well keep it up until she's rammed her head into my face enough. Last night even though I chased her off by sitting up more she rolled over and flopped on the sofa and purred for a half hour straight while staring at the ceiling fan with a disapproving look. And both cats I've caught hopping into my bed, sometimes while I'm in it, and laying there for a while. They only run off when I appear to notice them.
The contrary theory is that they've been driven into fits of self-doubt by my parents being away and by my getting boxes out of the study. This is for noble purposes: I'm rearranging, re-sorting, and re-filing things and in the process have reduced the number of boxes actually occupied by two. You would think they'd be happy to have a fresh cardboard box that was empty, but what is a cat for if not to be contradictory? Still, from the cats' perspective this has to look like yet more packing and moving, which they've seen enough of. They're going to be extremely happy tomorrow when my parents get back. Don't spoil the surprise for them.
I know this is shallow of me, but I want to mention my response to a History Channel-class documentary attempting to allege there was something particularly suspicious about Department of Defense radio emissions and the TWA 800 crash (along with a couple other plane crashes). I'm skeptical of grand new theories about this sort of thing on principle, but the shallow thing on my part is that whatever mild ``maybe this is possible'' feeling was building was blown away when the woman said the FAA's re-evaluation of its investigation showed an appreciation for the ``virtuosities'' of her concerns. She could be right, but if she's going to try using bigger words when smaller words would be preferable in the sense of actually making sense then I'm going to conclude she's got a weak case she's trying to hide behind vocabulary.
Trivia: AT&T lost 715,000 phone subscriptions in the first eight months of 1933, but gained back 85,000 in the last four months of the year. Source: Telephone: The First Hundred Years, John Brooks.
Currently Reading: The Basque History of the World, Mark Kurlansky.