Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ugly face! 

Ugly face! 

Ugly face! 

Ugly face! 

Ugly face! 

Heh heh, sorry. That's always my delighted reaction when I see any cat make this face. I've amused countless friends and family members over the years by shouting out "UGLY FACE!" anytime I see this peculiar and hilarious feline response to an unrecognized smell. 

Apparently it's a thing called the Flehmen response, a.k.a. "flehming" (I prefer it as a verb) and there's an actual scientific explanation for it. The origin of the word is the German flehmen -- "to bare the upper teeth." The purpose of this action is to expose the vomeronasal organ, located on the roof of the animal's mouth. Curling the lips in this fashion helps draw scent molecules into the organ, helping the animal to identify the smell. 

Cool science-y diagram

Apparently cats aren't the only ones that do this. An image search for "Flehmen response" turned up these (awesome) photos: 

Whether or not the Flehmen response is a real thing in humans is up for debate. However, I did find some photographic evidence of a certain homo sapien clearly exhibiting some flehming-like behavior...

I don't want to know where that hand has been.
(Just kidding, Billy)
Also, I happened to find this very funny post by another flehming-obsessed blogger who conducted his own flehming experiment in the workplace.

So now you know the fascinating explanation for The Ugly Face. And knowledge = power. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Special Brew

Today marks four years since I met my husband John. A look back on that day, way back in 2009 when we were all younger...

It was a typical ass-blisteringly cold night in Minneapolis. We were supposed to meet for tea at Common Roots, one of my favorite Uptown haunts. I got there early (I lived only a few blocks away) and chose a table in the middle of the cafe. I sat so I was facing the front door in order to spot John when he came in. I nursed a soy latte and read my book--I don't remember what book I had with me that night--whatever it was, I hope it was something that made me look smart (or at least interesting). After about ten minutes, the front door opened and John walked in. I recognized him right away and broke into a big wide grin. He caught my eye, waved and smiled. I just kept smiling and giggling, feeling really excited for some reason. Maybe deep down I knew this was the beginning of something great. John got a cup of English Breakfast at the counter and then headed over to where I was sitting. He was still grinning, too. It turned out to be a good night. 

Four years later, here I am sitting in bed with "the Common Roots guy" in our own apartment, typing up a post to mark this auspicious date. I love that we've become one of those couples. You know, the type that celebrates two anniversaries a year: the date when we met, and (now) our wedding anniversary (in eight months). The funny thing is, I never thought I'd be part of "one of those couples." But here we are now and I couldn't be happier. So, in honor of four years, I'm posting a song to mark the occasion. It's not your garden variety love song. It's debatable whether it could even be called a love song. I'm posting it because it's the song John sings to me every morning. It's the song that gets stuck in my head at least once a day, and it's a song that always makes me smile. I guess it's "our song", or one of them anyway (we have a few). 

Without further ado, here's Bad Manners.


Happy anniversary Johnny! 
Now the world knows what you sing to me in the morning.