Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
What I really hate is the added bonus of precipitation they're predicting. "Wintry mix," the meteorologists call it. What a terribly misleading name. "Wintry mix" should be a delightful concoction found in a cut glass bowl at a holiday party, next to the chips and salsa and the spinach dip in the bread bowl. It should contain red and green M&Ms and nuts and all manner of tasty, toasted morsels, perhaps covered in a light dusting of powdered sugar. It should NOT be the sleety, dirty, nasty, not-quite-snow-and-not-quite rain stuff that mixes with the dirt on the road to form an even nastier gray sludge that gets sprayed all over your car whenever a giant SUV carelessly races past you.
I call foul. Wintry mix, my ass.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Friday I took myself to a movie, and picked up some yummy takeout from a favorite restaurant. I thought the weekend was going to be okay, but then noticed that one of my cats hadn't moved from her spot the whole time I was out. And she hadn't wanted breakfast. Hmmm...I started watching her more closely and realized she seemed a bit under the weather. By Friday evening I was pretty worried, and started her on some Pepcid and force-fed baby food. Saturday morning, when she still hadn't moved, I realized she really was sick. Of course. It's a holiday weekend, the vet is closed...of course she's sick. I HATE the animal emergency room, so I shamelessly called the younger of my vets on his cellphone. (Hey, he's the one who gave the number to me.) He is a truly nice guy, and he agreed to meet me at the clinic. Turns out she had a fever--we don't really know why. Sometimes cats just get fevers--they call them FUOs--Fever of Unknown Origin. At any rate, she got fluids and antibiotics and finally yesterday morning she ate a little on her own. Today she's moving about fairly normally, so hopefully she's well on the road to recovery. Fingers crossed. I could NOT take another pet death this year.
Saturday evening I went out with a friend who just moved back to town after several years away. We had some great sushi, and a few drinks. She does those Slumber Parties--kind of like Tupperware parties, only with sex toys and creams, etc.--and was handing out business cards all night. At one point we were next to a table of women who were obviously having a girls night out. One of the women quipped to a man who walked up that he couldn't sit down with them because he "didn't have a vagina." "There's your magic word," I said. She walked over and said brightly "I believe I just heard you say vagina!" and started passing out the business cards. Pretty funny.
Sunday morning, when I realized my prayers had been answered and Stella was actually eating, I got my butt in gear and actually made it to church. Stopped at the grocery store on the way home, and that was it for the long holiday weekend. Whoo hoo!
Yeah, it really sucked, for the most part. Even worse than being alone and not hanging with the family was that there was NO PIE! I realized that, say what you will about family, Thanksgiving is really all about the pie.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
This is unprecedented. In years past, if we went to my grandparents for Thanksgiving, my mother would still come home and cook another entire dinner, so she could eat leftovers for days. The woman loves turkey and dressing. I tried pointing out to her that if she loves it so much, she could actually cook it whenever she wants, and not wait until November, but that never happened. I don't get that--if I love something enough that I'm willing to eat it for several meals in a row, I love it enough to eat in the spring and summer, you know? Apparently holiday meals are not subject to logic. Personally, I like dressing, but I don't love it. I'll eat it if it's there, but I never crave it. It wouldn't be listed among the dishes requested for my last meal on earth, is what I'm saying.
But this year, things have worked out so that shopping for and cooking a giant meal this week is unappealing to her (and my father, who really does more of the cooking than she does). She just had surgery on her foot, is in a cast and hobbling around on crutches and/or rolling around in a wheelchair. My father's ongoing back problems have dampened his appetite, which in turn has caused his blood sugar to dip dangerously low several times recently. My sister had "female" surgery a couple of weeks ago, which which she didn't let stop her from cooking turkey and dressing for 135 this week (she has a catering business). Her husband has back problems. I told my mother it would be like having Thanksgiving dinner in the convalescent ward. Hee. I'm not gonna offer to cook--my kitchen is tiny, and seeing as how I'm a vegetarian, I don't really want to stuff a big dead bird in my oven. I don't think I have enough chairs for us all to sit down, anyway. At any rate, it was my mother's suggestion: Why don't we come to Tulsa and just go out to eat? Okay, let's see....I won't have to drive the 75 miles to their house and 75 miles back, alone in my not completely reliable car, to eat a meal I'm not all that crazy about anyway? (Except for the broccoli-rice casserole, which I love so much I sometimes make it for myself even when it's not a holiday, Mother.) That works for me. So, unless someone has an overnight change of heart, that's the plan. I've never eaten out on Thanksgiving, so I have no idea if the few restaurants open will all be packed, or if we'll have the place to ourselves, along with a few other poor souls who have nowhere else to go. I liked the idea of doing Chinese or something (I've probably seen A Christmas Story a few too many times, and harbor a secret wish to have Chinese waiters sing holiday songs to me while I eat. Hee.) but it seems most of the restaurants open are just home-cooking style places. Whatever--it's all about being together and being thankful, right?
And I am. Thankful for my decrepit, hobbling, blood sugar dropping, illogical, crazy, INCREDIBLY SUPPORTIVE family. God bless us, every one.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! (And sorry about any possible rip in the time-space continuum.)
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday morning I popped out of bed early, did my usual weekend housecleaning chores, did some laundry, decided to go across town to partake of the lunch buffet at my favorite Indian restaurant, followed that with a shopping excursion at the "big" grocery store I usually shun, was remarkably patient and non-irritated in the incredibly full aisles and long lines (the Saturday before Thanksgiving--what was I thinking?), did NOT roll my eyes when the cashier said incredulously "They make okra ALREADY BREADED?", came home and caulked my bathtub, re-adhered some loose shower tiles and redid all the grout, then baked two loaves of apple bread, finally sitting down about 10:00 p.m. Who was that woman? And, whoever she is, can she come back next weekend? I've really been wanting to paste wax my hardwood floors.
Yesterday was somewhat calmer, but I finished the day off by going to see Tony Bennett, who I'm pleased to report was in fine voice and quite charming. He even did the occasional little dance twirl--each time greeted by cheers from his adoring audience. (Careful, Mr. Bennett, don't break a hip!) The tickets were free--thank you to my friend Susan--could you ask for a better end to a weekend? Plus I felt really young in comparison to those around me--not often that happens these days!
Spammy spammy spam spam: "Either way, you are working way too hard for a 24-year-old"
Awww...you think I look 24? You're sweet. Well, I DID work hard this weekend, and I almost felt 24 amongst all the walkers and wheelchairs at the concert. Thank you, spammer. I feel like you're speaking JUST TO ME.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Things That Make Me Smile:
The Sonic Drive-In, and their crunchy tater tots, and groovy crunchy ice
My cats and dog
My still-blooming red geranium
Falafel, which I am craving for lunch
Knowing that I only have to work half of next week
My co-worker's boyfriend's doctor just confirmed my diagnosis of overuse of hydrogen peroxide on an injured finger, making me feel smart
I'm going to see Tony Bennett this weekend (yeah, he's old and I hear he doesn't always sing that well anymore, but they're free tickets and it's Tony-friggin' Bennett)
The cool emerald ring I'm wearing today, designed years ago by a friend before he stopped making jewelry and went into some sort of financial advising (I liked it so much, I actually bought it off his girlfriend's finger. It was cool with her--she was wearing it as a display model.)
Knowing that I only have to work half of next week (I'm not senile, I just thought it bore repeating.)
The Daily Show
Scrubs reruns on Comedy Central
The Lyle Lovett poster over my desk
Hindi Bendy, Pirate Bendy, Evil Bendy (all on display in my office)
My singing nun finger puppet (yeah, I'm looking around my office for inspiration)
My giant blue thermal QT mug
My friends (This list is in random order--I do not value my mug over my friends. Most days. It DOES keep my iced tea icy cold--do any of my friends do that? Hee)
The closing musical scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Paul Rudd dances with such abandon)
The Snickers commercial where the guy sings earnestly "prancing nougat in the meadow, singing songs of satisfaction to the world"
The insufferable Raro tribe keeps losing on "Survivor"
And last, for now, but not least: I only have to work half of next week!!!!!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
As long as I'm posting cat pictures--here's a picture of my dearly departed boy Payday. Wasn't he handsome? He died last year of histoplasmosis--a hideous lung fungus that preys on those with weakened immune systems. He'd been on prednisone for several years to combat a bad case of kitty IBS. I'm not planning to turn this into a animal rescue blog, but his tale is worth telling, I think, and he's been on my mind. Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of the day I found him.
Payday was a true rescue. I was at work one day in November several years ago when one of our delivery drivers came rushing inside. "There's a kitten laying in the road. I ain't gonna touch it (he's afraid of cats) but I'll loan you my gloves if you want to pick it up." I rushed outside and, sure enough, there was a tiny gray scrap of a kitten in the middle of the road. The temperature was close to freezing, and that pavement was COLD. I scooped him up, and he immediately began to protest. "Mrow, mrow!" Well, he seemed feisty, all right. He had no obvious injuries, but he was shivering to beat the band, and when I peeked inside his mouth, his tongue and gums were nearly chalk white. I quickly asked my boss if I could run him to the vet. "Go, go!" he said. A co-worker pulled off her sweater to wrap him in, called the vet to let them know I was coming, and I was off. As I raced out the door, I turned back to quip "Thank god it's payday." On the way there, I alternately heated the gloves the delivery driver refused to take back ("No, you just keep 'em." They'd touched a CAT, after all.) on my heating vent, and draped them across him. Finally I arrived at the vet, and they rushed him into the exam room.
It turns out his temperature was 92--about 9-10 degrees below normal, and that was AFTER several minutes in a warm car. He had a huge hernia, but other than that nothing that was visible to the naked eye. We agreed on some tests and x-rays, and I returned to work to await the test results. Well, he was hypothermic, obviously, and dehydrated, and his CBC showed that he had less than 1/3 of the blood he should have had. The fleas and intestinal worms had apparently just drained him. He really shouldn't have been alive, much less "mrowing" at me the way he did. He had a slight fracture of the pelvis, and of course, the hernia. "So, what do we do?" I asked. My vet at the time was a very intellectual sort, and fond of the big words. He started reeling off options--blood transfusion, plasma, blah, blah, blah. "Or," he said, "you could try some good old-fashioned nursing and see how it goes." Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.
After work, I went to pick him up. I could hear tiny screams coming from the back. "That's your baby," the receptionist said wryly. I took him home, and set up a kitty PICU with a heating pad in one end. For the next couple of days, I fed him special canned food, and squirted Nutrical and Pedialyte in his mouth. (He LOVED the Nutrical, setting up a lifelong addiction to the stuff, inhaling it straight from the tube.) Then one morning, I took him out of the cage and one of his back legs was enormously, cartoonishly swollen. I stopped at the vet on the way to work and was told he was just bruised, and that he'd only just gotten enough fluid in his body to swell. He'd been so dehydrated he couldn't even bruise, folks! I was advised to give him "therapeutic massage" to work the fluid back into his body. "It'll be good for you both," said the wry receptionist. "Nice and relaxing." (And it was. I'd sit in a rocking chair, holding the little scrap, massaging and rocking. "Oh, I can't worry about the laundry now," I'd think. "I'm doing his therapeutic massage.") It was at this point we discovered that his body temperature had now soared well ABOVE normal, and we put him on antibiotics. Yes, his body temperature had been only 92 even WITH a fever. Good lord.
Well, he got better fast from there. Wry Receptionist asked if I was going ahead with my initial plan to "find him a good home." "Sure," I said, "I'll give him to the first person who can correctly fill out my 30-page adoption questionnaire!" No, he was mine at that point. I let him out to join the rest of the household critters, and they all loved him. That never changed--through the years as new animals joined the household, Payday was always their first friend. Such a sweet, simple boy. I think actually he may have been a little brain-damaged from the cold and the lack of blood, but I never minded. He was SWEET.
A few months later, I decided to go to work for a vet I knew who was opening a new clinic. I only stayed there a couple of years, but it was a fortunate move financially, 'cause that free veterinary care sure came in handy with Mr. Payday. We fixed his hernia and neutered him. Then began the ongoing diarrhea adventures. I'll spare you all the gory details, but suffice it to say that there was at least one rectal probe involved, and at one point, we even did a full-out barium series. The only thing that helped him was prednisone. I knew, intellectually, that continued steroid use might cut some years off his life down the line, but we just didn't have any choice.
Sadly, "down the line" turned out to be last year. It took a while to diagnose the problem--it's very rare--and though we tried very hard to get him well, it wasn't to be. The anti-fungal medicine was hampered by the prednisone, but when we took him off the pred, his diarrhea came back and his breathing worsened. It was heart-wrenching. Finally, on Labor Day weekend, he started to wind down. One of the vets was nice enough to meet me at the clinic, and we eased him out of his pain.
I miss him still. I have other cats, and they all do cute things, but they don't do HIS cute things, you know?
Sorry about the long, sad post. But, as I said, he's been on my mind. And hey, it's my blog, after all. If you can't spin a long-winded, melancholy, slightly self-indulgent cat story on your blog, why have one? I know you all understand.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Please feel free to tell me how cute they are. ;)
Spam du jour: "A good man in an evil society seems the greatest villain of all. This was a referance to the high wages paid to garbage collectors at one time."
Okay "Moses Turner," I believe you have effectively rendered me speechless. I can't even begin to think of a response to that, especially as to how it relates to investment strategies.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
we'd like to inform you that we are accepting your application, bad credit ok, We are ready to give you a $278,000 loan for a low month payment.
Approval process will take only 1 minute.
Please visit the confirmation link below and fill-out our short 30 second form. "
First of all, Deanne Barber, it's i before e EXCEPT after c. Tsk, tsk. Second of all, I don't remember asking you for a loan, though that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I don't remember raising my garage door and leaving it open all afternoon while I was at work yesterday, either, though apparently I did. But hey, I could use $278,000 and I've got both 1 minute and a short 30 seconds to spare, so why don't I go ahead and click on that link. I'm sure nothing bad will happen. Heh.
It makes me sad.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I'm actually just testing to see if I'm smart enough to add pictures to the blog. And it turns out I am, just barely, though not smart enough to place them exactly where I wanted.
This is me, on the job.
Okay, I'm not really a nun--but I played one, not on TV, but onstage. Sister Mary Ignatius--terrific fun. If, you know, you're not offended by people leaving in the middle of the show. Which I'm not. Though I was a little afraid of the guy in the front row with a death glare on his face, wearing a postal employees jacket. I was actually happy to see him leave, and fortunately he didn't come back and go postal on our irreverent asses.
Strangely gelatinous canned luncheon meat of the day: "A cargo bay behind an eggplant reads a magazine, and some diskette negotiates a prenuptial agreement with a worldly fairy."
Well, that's some giant eggplant, I guess. And some talented (and frighteningly sentient) cargo bay, able to read and all. And while certainly a worldly fairy would insist on a pre-nup, I don't get what any of that has to do with a weight loss supplement.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Spam o' the day: "You don't have to spend the rest of your life exercising yourself to
death. You also don't have to experiment with suspicious po*und-fighting
Whew. What a relief. Thanks, "Barry Crandall." I'm not big into experimentation these days, and when eventually I pass on, I hope it's not from exercising. Death by chocolate, maybe. Death by treadmill--nope.
I think I have some sort of modified crop circles in my backyard. For the last few weeks I've been trying to figure out what the hell they are. They're not circles so much as...lines. Two of them sort of curve, and one double line goes straight from my back gate to the back corner of the yard, dissecting it neatly. They look like something very heavy pressed into the ground, not killing the grass, but making a definite impression, and they're very narrow--probably only 3-4" across. I'm mystified. They're only visible from certain angles, but they're not going away. Any ideas? Did a teeny-tiny alien army stop in for maneuvers one night? Am I in danger of a forthcoming rectal probe? Hmmmm....
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Pennsylvania sent that detestable Santorum packing (thank you, PA). And Rummy just resigned--it gets better and better.
And here in Oklahoma, by a fairly narrow margin, we decided that your average adult voter can be trusted to vote, even with liquor stores open on election day. My district is unfortunately sending our own detestable congressman back to D.C., which was a foregone conclusion, but we're keeping our Democratic governor and adding a Democratic Lt. Governor. She (the lt. governor-elect) was not my choice in the primaries, but at least she wasn't actively campaigning against gay marriage. One of the ads attempting to smear her featured a contemptuous voice over proclaiming "When asked about gay marriage...she claimed tolerance." Omigod, say it isn't so!
And I believe the candidate whose ad tagline was "SHE'S one of us" is, indeed, staying one of us, the non-political office holders. Hee.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I'm taking the kittens to my vet tonight after work. Sniff. They're at the most adorable stage--I really will miss them. But it's for the best. I'm already a moderately crazy cat lady--no denying that at this point--but I refuse to become one of those "collectors" that shows up on Animal Precinct living in my garage because the stench from from the 237 cats in my house drove me out. I refuse! Do you hear me, homeless kittens of the world? Stay away. Or I'll...I'll...I'll take you in and feed you and care for you for ONLY a few days, then find a good home for you. So there!
Spam of the Day: "We know you hate the extra pounds, the ugly look and the social stigmata attached to fat people." Yes, not social STIGMA, social STIGMATA. How does that manifest? The face of a disapproving passerby suddenly pops out in bas relief on your palms? Hee.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Maybe I should warn them that the orange kittens from this mother seem to have a "drama queen" gene linked to the color. My kitten Timmy, who I kept from the litter I rescued earlier this summer, is quite prone to theatrics. I stepped on him once, weeks and weeks ago, while stepping over the baby gate that keeps the dog out of the litter box room (why do dogs love to eat cat poop so much? ewwww), when he ducked under my foot just in time to get a toe caught under the ball of my foot. Ever since then, if he's anywhere in the vicinity when I step over the gate, he makes a great show of his complete terror--freezing in fear, then rocketing madly around the room trying to escape THE TERRIBLE WOMAN WHO STOMPED ON HIM. Get over it, Timmy. It happened once. Months ago. I felt terrible. I apologized. Geez. Silly little thing.
His little brother seems to have the same propensity for drama. Last night, while laying on the couch watching TV, I heard some meows coming from the garage. I was doing some laundry, and thought the washer/dryer sounds were probably unnerving to the kittens, so I didn't get overly concerned. I'd already noticed the orange kitten was fond of the sound of his own voice. The meows went on, however, and then intensified. Off to the garage I went. Oh, poor sweet orange baby. I had clipped some clothespins to the inside of the wire cage for them to bat at (the last litter LOVED that) and he had somehow managed to get a clothespin off the wire and onto his toe. I felt like the worst kitty mother in the world. I quickly removed the clothespin and spent 15-20 minutes trying to comfort him. He was inconsolable, crying and throwing himself at me to be petted. Okay, I'm sure that clothespin hurt, and I didn't mind doing a little snuggling with him. But he wasn't seriously wounded. And yet, on and on the drama went, as the brown kitten looked at him and I swear, rolled his eyes. Quelle drama!
I love cats. They're so...complicated. I love dogs, too, but they're simpler creatures, I think. I like having both. The yin and yang of the animal world.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I don't know what the heck I'm going to do with them, but they sure are cute. They've gone from merely tolerating me messing with them to purring delightedly when I pet them. They've also gone from sitting silently in the corner of the cage, afraid to move 'cause it might draw the attention of the scary head-and-shoulders creature (that being all of me that fits in the cage with them) who likes to mess with them, to chasing their little ball all over the cage. On the one hand, it's great to see them acclimating and socializing. On the other, I keep having to clean litter out of their food and water bowls. I guess I could just stop giving them food and water--that would also eliminate the need for a litter box. (Oh, you know I kid. If I wanted them to die of dehydration and starvation, I'd have left them where they were.) I'm sure a home for them will miraculously make itself known soon. (I'm not at all sure of that, but I'm trying the power of positive thinking. We'll see how that works.)
Not much else going on in my life at the moment. Trying to raise money to take a play I'm in to Louisiana to represent Oklahoma at the AACTFest regionals in the spring. That's slow-going, as well, which is very frustrating. Some of the foundations to which I've applied could shake out the cushions of their reception area couches and come up with more money than I'm asking for. I'm sure we'll make it, though. (Positive thoughts, positive thoughts.) The real push will be if we happen to win there, and have only 6 weeks to raise money for nationals. But I ain't countin' them chickens until (or unless) they're hatched!
Best spam of the day: "How many times did you get unhappy after hating the idea to undress in public?"
"Unhappy" isn't exactly the sentiment I would ascribe to that situation. The idea of undressing in public? That's more...terrifying, I would think. But thanks for your kind concern.