Monday, September 29, 2008

Date update

Well, there was a date this weekend. (I had thought there might be dates with two different guys, but the doctor who was uber-eager to meet me via "MeMarmony" never returned my phone call. The one he requested that I make. What is it with guys who can't wait to "fast track" and then just disappear? He owes me $59.95, since I stupidly paid for another month of membership, JUST to respond to him. Maybe he's just been busy. Or maybe he's an ass. Gah.

Okay, back to the date I did have. I "met" this guy Friday morning on..."Flenty of Pish." We talked on the phone twice that day, and agreed to meet for coffee Friday night. His first words--"you look just like your picture." He seemed relieved--must have had some bad experiences. Heh. There was definitely physical chemistry, and we had a lot of fun. The (immediately apparent) downside? He's a McCain supporter. And I know, I know...plenty of people have "mixed" relationships, and 20 years ago, it might not have even occurred to me to ASK a question like that (although, for the record, HE is the one who asked it first), but now...I don't know. I finally decreed that if there was any chance for us to enjoy each other's company, then all political topics had to be off the table. Completely. And we stuck to it.

He wants to see me again, because he finds me very "interesting," and he likes "the way I put things." We actually talked about going on a "real" date Saturday night, but then he cancelled because he wasn't feeling well. We did talk several times on the phone through the weekend, and he called on his lunch hour, so...we'll see.

In the meantime, every time I log into "Flenty of Pish," I am instantly bombarded with men wanting to chat. I've actually been asked out twice just today. It's a bit insane. I've never been very good at juggling men, but the BFF thinks I should go out with any and all of them, just to keep busy, and keep my mind off...what was his name again? Heh.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I should have my own show.

"The Cat Whisperer."

I got one of the feral kittens back this week from the foster mother, two weeks later, because he was "completely wild" and "untamable," and she was thinking of putting him down. The other kittens apparently were fine--this one was intractable.

Well, I didn't want to see him put down without seeing for myself the degree of his "wildness," so back to me he came. I put him in the big cage in the garage, and almost immediately thought, "I've made a terrible mistake." (Ah, "Arrested Development," I will never stop missing you.) He was a pisser! I didn't try to touch him much the first night and day, thinking he needed some time to settle in, though I did spend some time sitting on a blanket on the cold, hard garage floor, talking to him calmly and telling him what a good boy he was. (Me: "What a good boy." Him: "Hissssss!!!!) but underneath the hissing and spitting, it started to seem pretty clear to me that he was not so much "wild" as "terrified." I don't know what happened to this one kitten, but he was out of his mind with fear.

Wednesday night I decided to move him into a large dog crate IN the house, since the garage door and the car noises were completely freaking him out, and oh, what a glorious thing THAT was for him. There are other cats here! Hallelujah! He was beside himself, staring longingly at them, and meowing plaintively. (Him, in cat language: "Get me out of here, you guys! Hey...are you my mother?")

I gave him some time to adjust, and as the hissing and spitting seemed to slow down, I decided to make my move. Last night I put on some gloves, got down on the floor, leaned into the cage, gently reached out to touch him, and...he purred. And head-butted me. And purred. And rolled over to let me rub his adorable spotted belly. And purred. And nestled his head in my hands. And purred.

I don't know what the hell the foster mother did (or DIDN'T do), but...this kitten is not wild. This kitten just needed someone to let him know that people are nice. Mission accomplished.

Of course, now I still have to find him a home, but...much easier to find a home for a sweet kitten than a little hellion that wants to kill you.

In other formerly feral cat news, Lil' Mama has been coming inside our workplace in the mornings, exploring and keeping me company. It's cute. The boss thinks we need to keep her as an office cat--he's even willing to make adjustments to the motion detectors, so if I can't find her a "real" home, at least there's that option.

Have good weekends, everyone. I might actually have a date (or two) this weekend, so...I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Omigod, REALLY?

This is a direct quote (on a fan message board) from a shaken Clay Aiken fan, following his recent public admission of what we all knew, anyway:

"This is really shocking news as I had no idea he was gay," read a comment posted by "Sheridansq." "And now I have to deal with this. I am not sure what to say to people who know I was a fan. ... I didn't go to work today and am not answering the telephone."

I am speechless. You couldn't go to work? Seriously? You had NO idea? Really? I And from what I've seen of the "claymates," this is probably a middle-aged woman we're talking about here. The mind boggles.

I was going to regale you with feral kitten-wrangling tales, but now...I think I have to go soak my head.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The weekend update. But first...

Let's chat about last night's Emmy broadcast, shall we?

  • Worst "hosting" job EVER. Seriously, I think that new category should be removed next year, and/or none of those five should be allowed to compete ever again.
  • Lamer than usual "hilarious lines they've written for us to say." (Thanks, Don Rickles.)
  • Josh Groban is truly the whitest man alive.
  • If you're going to bring back Ruth Buzzi and JoAnne Worley, at least give them something funny to say.
  • Tina Fey's hair looked weird.
  • America Ferrara is now half the size of Vanessa Williams. Eat a donut, America! (The actress, of course...not the country. The country needs no help in the donut-eating department.)
  • Why does "Two and a Half Men" (and anyone associated with it) keep getting nominated? It SUCKS.
  • Mary Tyler Moore--I love you. You're an icon. But I never want to see your simultaneously stringy and saggy upper arms again. Thanks. Maybe Betty White could tell you where to get a nice jacket.

Okay, moving on.

How was the birthday day off? Well, it was fine, more or less. My mother called Friday morning to see what I wanted to do, and I suggested the local Greek Festival. Sounds fun, right? Well, not to my family. My parents were willing to suck it up (if a bit unenthusiastically), but my brother-in-law said if that was the plan, then he'd just stay home. Okay, FINE. I know from past experience not to make them partake of Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, etc., so I suggested "Gacaroni Mrill" and the adjacent mall, 'cause I knew they'd leap at that like the chain restaurant enthusiasts they are. And of course, they did.

Now, in all fairness, I do consider "Gacaroni Mrill" to be one of the least objectionable chains, and they do give you a yummy piece of cake on your birthday, and it is next door to a mall where I knew I would need to go to cash in my inevitable birthday gift card, so...I brought it on myself.

And it wasn't bad, really, involved a trip to my least favorite part of town. A part of town I have assiduously avoided for the last few months, mostly because I hate it, but also because it was New Guy's part of town. So basically everything we did, everywhere we went all afternoon made me think of him. Sigh. So, it was a bit...bittersweet, let's say.

But we had a nice meal, and I had some beer and some lovely chocolate cake, and then we went to spend the gift card, and I got so carried away buying clothes that I overspent the gift card and had to supplement with the gift cash which I had planned to save to buy a small vacuum, but...oh, well. I needed the clothes. (And every single thing I got was on sale.)

And then we went home, and that was that. I did actually speak to New Guy a little later in the day ( seems maybe we've reached the point where he's comfortable being in touch occasionally), and told him I spent the whole day being reminded of him DAMN IT, and he just laughed. Sigh. What are you gonna do?

The next day a friend of mine who I rarely get to see, due to her demanding schedule of work/single motherhood, asked if I wanted to meet her and her daughter that the Greek Festival! Yay! So I was not deprived of spanokopita, feta cheese, pita bread, olives, dolmathes--are you drooling yet?--after all.

Saturday night I went to a "readers club" meeting, coincidentally at the home of the friend who adopted Wiley the Terrible Rescue Dog last year, so I got to see him (and he's doing SO well), and drink beer and eat cheese and homemade bread and talk about books with friends and have gingersnaps dipped in pumpkin/goat cheese spread.

Sunday afternoon I shared wine and bread and cheese and cheetos and hummus and cupcakes and gossip and fun with another group of friends I don't see often enough.

I also managed to throw in a bit of cardio and yoga, and some (unfortunately still vacuumless) housecleaning, and all in was a very nice weekend.

It occurs to me that I completely forgot to tell you about the "Nensa" meeting that I finally attended last weekend. Maybe I forgot to tell you because it was pretty much uneventful in every way. Oh, the people were nice enough, but it seems that the local chapter is weighted pretty heavily with I.T. types, and while I love a computer geek as much as the next guy, it didn't exactly make for really well-rounded conversation. I'm thinking I need to actively recruit some fine/liberal arts smarties to liven things up a bit. There's only so much rapturous discussion of 8 gig hard drives I want to listen to, you know?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My life and times

So, what's been going on around here? Not much, as per usual.

The most exciting news is that Lil' Mama is now unable to have any more kittens. Yes, I scooped her up yesterday morning and took her to the vet, where she received an ovario-hysterectomy and some parasite removal. She did really well--went into and out of the carrier like a champion. I kept her in my garage overnight, just as a precaution, and she was cool with that, too. Purred like crazy every time I appeared to check on her, and head-butted me through the cage. This morning I scooped her back up and returned her to what serves as her "home," but I am more determined than ever to find her a REAL home. She's a sweetie. A sweetie with no uterus! Whoo hoo!

Not so sweet? The fact that the younger of the two neglected labs who live in the yard behind me has figured out how to get through the fence into MY yard. Apparently, Pudge is just irresistible. (Which I knew, of course.) I spent a good deal of time shoving her back through the fence repeatedly last night (afraid she would come through when Dolly was there and freak her shit right out) and yelling "NO!" in a very loud voice. Finally the deadbeat homeowner poked his head out of his backdoor (presumably to see why a crazy lady was shouting "NO!" repeatedly), and, instead of responding to my "Hey, your dog is getting in my yard! Hey, you! HEY!" by, oh say...coming over to talk to me, he just slammed the door and went back inside. Which infuriated me. I went inside to get shoes, so I could walk around the block and knock on his door, and when I came outside, he was in his yard. So I started calling to him again, and again he pretended not to hear me, until finally his daughter said "Dad, she wants to talk to you!" and he came over.

"Your dog keeps getting in my yard." "I know, I put up a board." I looked down, there was a board, along with the plethora of things I had piled against the fence to discourage her. Okay, great, but would it have killed you to call out to me with your intentions, instead of just slamming the door as I watched? We ended up having a fairly civil discussion, during which I asked him to keep an eye on the situation, as I a) didn't want his dog getting hurt wedging herself through the fence, and b) I didn't want his dog in my yard!

I went out with Pudge late in the evening, and sure enough, the silly dog tried to get through in a different, un-blocked-with-a-board spot and got her head stuck. So, there I was at midnight, getting chewed by mosquitos (there's an old fallen-in aboveground pool in his yard which is apparently quite the breeding ground for mosquitos and frogs) while I attempted to extricate her head from the fence. She's just a big puppy--a big puppy sadly in need of some attention, damn it, and I felt bad having to yell at her. Sigh.

What else is going on with me? Let's see...I'm going to the ballet tonight. Should be fun. I am taking tomorrow off work, as it is MY BIRTHDAY, and after three changes of plans this week alone, it looks like my family will be coming to town to take me to lunch or something. For a while, it was looking like I had taken the day off, only to be deserted by my family and left to take myself out to lunch on my birthday, and let me tell you...I was NOT looking forward to that. That, and remembering how last year I had a boyfriend to take me out on my birthday...well, I was getting a wee bit...despondent. Fortunately, the universe intervened and cancelled my sister's catering gig, so...a day with the family it is.

I have a couple of options for entertainment on Saturday night--not birthday-related, but something to do, and I'm getting together Sunday afternoon with some women friends, so maybe I'll keep busy enough not to get too depressed about the fact that I am now closer to 50 than 40. Sigh. And no closer to having met Mr. Right. Sigh again.

How pathetic is it that I'm hoping to get a new vacuum for my birthday? (Having just spent any possible new vacuum money on spaying a cat who isn't even mine, you see.) Okay, it's pathetic, moving on.

Facebook has changed my life! Okay, not so much changed my life as "put me in touch with a high school friend I haven't seen since 1981 even though we've apparently been living in the same town for the last 20 years and we're going to get together for lunch in a couple of weeks." Should be fun. Would it be wrong of me to show up with a gift, maybe in the form of a sweet little kitty to replace her old cat who died a couple of months ago? Maybe, maybe not? Hee.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ask and you shall receive. Belatedly.

Some time back I told the tale of the time I won a Halloween costume contest, and some of you expressed an interest in seeing me as the small-town Prom King. Well, my mother was going through photo albums last week, and she unearthed these.

Am I as lovely as you thought I would be? I'm sorry they're not better pictures--they don't really do justice to the (glued-on) hair on my chest, and the fact that I have tube socks stuffed in my crotch. Heh.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prepare: Plainly Partisan Political Post

I am so, SO disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Republican party right now, it makes me want to throw up.

If you have a legitimately different opinion than mine, on ANY topic, well...that's your right. If you can thoughtfully and respectfully express that difference of opinion,'re not going to change my mind, most likely (and I can accept that I'm not likely to change yours), but we can amicably agree to disagree.

But if you're going to fill the airwaves with hypocrisy, half-truths and flat-out lies, well...I don't and can't respect that. In the immortal words of Kathy Griffin, you can suck it!

To wit: the "lipstick on a pig" controversy. WTF? Barack Obama did not invent that saying out of whole cloth. It's a very old colloquialism. Did he choose that one specifically over, say..."if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..." because Sarah Palin herself made a lipstick joke? (Which, by the way, I found offensive to the gentle, affectionate pit bull.) Perhaps he did. He's quick like that. (And thank god for it.)

But the Republican response? Un-frickin'-believable. "He insulted her." "How dare he?" "He called her a pig!" Oh, grow up. John McCain himself used that exact same expression, word for word, just last May, when talking about Hillary Clinton's health care plan. (Dick Cheney is on record as having used it as well, when talking about Democrats.) Did Hillary's supporters swing into action, accusing McCain of insulting THEIR darling? They did not. Why not? Well, I can only speculate (not being in Hillary's inner circle) that they did not because they were intelligent enough to recognize it for what it was--a folksy saying used in the context of a political campaign as a way of expressing disagreement with a particular policy or policies. No big deal.

Why are the American people letting them get away with this bullshit? Why are we letting Mike Huckabee (a former Southern Baptist pastor) stand up in front of the country and say "I want to tell you folks something. She got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

It's patently untrue: Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

I call foul. Why isn't everyone? Why aren't the rational members of the Republican Party (and yes, I know you're out there--some of you are even related to me) saying "Hey--that's not right. Can't we lay our policies and beliefs out there to stand on their own, without lying outright to get applause?"

"I said 'no thanks' to that bridge!" Sure, you did, Sarah. But only after actively advocating FOR it during your gubernatorial campaign, and only after it became clear that Congress wasn't going to let you build it, AND you kept the money anyway, so...WTF?

Sarah Palin's children, particularly Bristol, are strictly "off-limits" for discussion. Okay, but where were the outcries when John McCain called a young Chelsea Clinton "ugly" at a Republican fundraiser in 1998? (And in my opinion, saying "she's pregnant" and "she's ugly" are worlds apart. One is fact, one is mean-spirited judgment.)

Well, I could keep going for a while, and yeah, yeah...I'm sure there are plenty of examples of hypocrisy on the other side of the aisle, and if you want to write about them on YOUR blog, feel free. I might even come read it. But this is MY blog, and I'm pissed at the Republicans.

I've been wearing my black wristband to work all week. I think I'll wear it until Bush is out of office. It's the least I can do in payback for having to listen to THIS kind of thoughtful, intelligent political discourse:

(Note: this was an actual conversation held within my hearing by my Republican coworkers the morning after the John Edwards sex scandal broke.)

"Did you hear about Edwards? Isn't that hilarious?"

(There is much audible laughter.)

"Just your typical liberal."

"Do you think they'll still let him speak at the convention?"

"LET him speak? He'll be their HERO. It will be a coronation!"

(There is much more audible laughter.)

At which point I couldn't stand it any longer, so I walked up and said "yeah, he cheated on his wife, just like any number of politicians, including a good many Republicans, since cheaters don't come with any particular party affiliation." And then I went outside and petted the parking lot cat for awhile. They were quiet when I came back inside.

Truly, I ask you, WTfrickin'F? Because Bill Clinton had affairs, Democrats must LOVE adultery? Guess what? We don't. I was incredibly saddened and disappointed by John Edwards' actions. And, by the by, we are NOT the party who is currently making heroes of Rudy Giuliani (who openly squired his mistress to NYC events and tried to have his wife ejected from Gracie Mansion) and John McCain (who cheated on his first wife numerous times after she became disabled.) That would be...oh, wait...the Republicans.

It's going to be a long couple of months around here, and I have a feeling that cat is going to get a LOT of petting. And there may be more ranting in this space. I probably won't be able to help it--after all, my blog turns TWO tomorrow, and you know how toddlers can be with the tantrums. Heh.

Monday, September 08, 2008


This morning I trapped the last two of the feral kittens. I'm considering this an act of direct divine intervention. Last night (after three separate and futile trips to the office during the day to try and trap the damn things) I had a pretty despairing conversation with the Big Guy. "Why do you put these helpless creatures in my path if you're not going to let me help them? If I'm willing to use my limited time, energy and money to rescue them, why can't you nudge them into the damn trap for me?!" Consider them nudged, I guess.

I have an appointment next week to spay Lil' Mama, and I hope that largely puts me out of the cat rescue business for a while, at least. (Well, I still hope to find her a better home than a box in the parking lot, thing at a time.)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Four days and counting

I know it's a far cry from my previous record of 150+ consecutive days of exercise, but I've started again, after a long break, for various reasons including heartbreak, rehearsals and crippling sciatica. So far, so good, though I can definitely feel that my lower back is not as sturdy as it once was, so I'm trying to stay very aware of what I'm doing. Next week I hope to add the yoga back in, as well. I can already feel those endorphins swimming.

Which is a good thing, since the rest of my life still pretty much sucks. Heh.

I know I keep saying it, but I am really about to give up on dating. It seems that none of the men whose profiles I find interesting at all have any interest at all in me. And vice-versa. It's discouraging, to say the least. I think I'm a pretty interesting person--why do only boring men want anything to do with me? Gah.

I am so glad the political conventions are over. Why? Because I am the sole blue spot in a VERY red workplace, and I'm tired of sticking my fingers in my ears and chanting "la, la, la." They don't say anything directly to me, but this is a physically small place, and I can hear every word of it. It goes on year-round, of course, but it's worse when things are actually happening. And there's nothing I can do to stop it, no "human resources" department to complain to, because the most vocal of them are the owners themselves. So, I just pop in some soothing music and crank up the stereo a bit.

Yesterday, in his defense, the boss did stop by my desk and apologize if they'd gotten a little carried away "with the jumping up and down." (In delight over Sarah Palin, and mostly figurative, fortunately.) I just smiled, pointed to the stereo, and said "that's why I cranked up the music." What I wanted to say, and perhaps should have said, was "that's okay, as long as you don't mind if I do the same when my candidate wins in November." Heh. There are some small amusements to be found here, when one particularly uninformed (but no less vigorous in asserting opinions) co-worker said, "I thought sure McCain was going to pick Mitch Romney." Yes, "Mitch." Sigh.

I'm getting even in my own little passive-aggressive way, though. Today I actually wore my black "I Did Not Vote for Bush" wristband. I usually don't wear it to work. Go, me. (Yes, I know. I am lame. But still employed.) Now I just have to get through the inevitable post-debate discussions.

Okay, moving on.

I know I've mentioned a time or two (or twelve) about the ongoing construction work on my street, and the headaches it's caused. Well, long story short, the base of my driveway had been a giant mud puddle for weeks due to an nonfunctioning storm drain, my car and driveway were disgusting, and I decided to call last week to see when I could expect them to finish the job and remedy the situation. "Maybe not until spring." Unacceptable!! I got a little testy--"you mean I have to live through the winter with a giant ICE FLOE at the base of my driveway?" The supervisor (who previously showed his ability to suck up satisfactorily) got a bit testy in return--"I can't change the schedule to accommodate one person." "Why not? I'm the only one who's having to deal with this!" (Seriously, what kind of excuse is that? Let's take that reasoning and extrapolate: "We can't send this man to jail. He only robbed ONE person." Okay, I exaggerate, but you get my point.) A bit of back and forth, and he offers a possible temporary fix. I say that sounds great, let's try it, and thank him for his time.

Flash forward a few days, the fix is done, I wait for it to rain to see how the fix performs, Gustav obliges with a nice downpour, and...yay! It's not perfect, but it is SO much better. So I call the guy to tell him it's better and thank him.

"You're calling to thank me?" He sounds disbelieving. "Well, yeah," I say, "I figure if I can call to complain, I can also call to thank you for responding to my complaint." "No one has EVER called to thank me," he says, "they only call to gripe." He sounds a bit emotional. "You have my cell number," he added, "so feel free to call me if you need anything at all."

Awww...I think I made his day. I'm so glad I called.

Speaking of calling...I did NOT ever call Ordinary Guy back. He didn't call again, so I think he took the hint, and besides (enormous rationalization coming), his message really didn't ask a question that required an answer OR request a response, when I think of it. It basically went like this: "Hey, this is Ordinary Guy. I'm just calling to say calling to say hey." (I know, how could I fail to be attracted to such a sparkling conversationalist?)

Now, if he had said, "I had a great time--let's do it again soon!" or "Hey, what are you doing this weekend?" I might have felt more obligation to respond. But he didn't, so I didn't. Am I splitting hairs? Maybe...but I just didn't feel like being the bigger person this time. Sue me.

There's really nothing else to report, I guess, except that Lil' Mama's fourth kitten still manages to evade me, as does the FIFTH! Yes, there are two of them still out there, and though I have seem them once, very close by, they don't seem to be falling for the trap. Damn. I'd try Plan B, if I had a Plan B. Sigh.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

blah, blah, blah

Not much going on around here these days. Would you like a bullet point list of what I did with my long weekend?

  • spend much (much) time on couch
  • eat a lot
  • sleep a lot
  • make 6 trips to office to feed stray cat
  • do regular Saturday morning housecleaning (without the benefit of a vacuum cleaner, 'cause mine DIED)
  • start said housecleaning so late, I missed the one opportunity for social interaction I had all weekend
  • spend a LOT of money at the grocery store
  • make lasagna (okay, I didn't roll my own pasta, but I assembled it myself, with herbs from my backyard)
  • mow the yard
  • watch a lot of the CNN coverage of Gustav, and then got sad because they reported a number of times from New Guy's hometown, and it reminded me of him, and that he's currently being an asshole
  • repeatedly feed Rover extra canned food (his heartworms must be in there saying "feed me, feed me," 'cause that is one hungry cat), since he now has figured out that all he has to do is look up at me and meow plaintively and I will pop open something yummy just for him

Did not:

  • shower often
  • leave the house to do anything fun
  • have any fun

That's about it. Exciting, huh?

I will confess that I also relished (just a bit) the delicious irony that an outspoken proponent of "abstinence only" sex education now has to explain that HER teenage daughter is unmarried and pregnant. Could it be that preaching abstinence doesn't always work? Could it be that sometimes teenage hormones rage out of control, and, if that's the case, the teenager in question should know everything there is to know about birth control and STDs? Hmmm....

I do feel bad for the teenager in question, of course...having this play out in the national spotlight, but perhaps her mother should have considered that before she agreed to BE in the national spotlight. We can talk all we want about families being off-limit, but in the day and age of 24-hour news coverage and internet gossip sites...political figures and movie/pop stars HAVE to know the chance they're taking. And after all, no one is FORCED to be a politician or a movie/pop star, now are they?

I'm also still nursing a bit of an eye sprain, from rolling my eyes a bit too vigorously when I heard a female delegate to the RNC say, with a straight face, "The Democrats had their chance to make history, but they passed. Now we're the ones with a woman on the ballot!" Um, excuse me...but I believe we actually have a black man at the TOP of the ballot. Isn't that history being made? Oh, and also...Geraldine Ferraro. Woman in the number two slot, how many years ago? Sheesh. I mean, be as excited about your candidate as you like, but don't be stupid about it. I'm tired of stupid people. (Speaking of which, Jessica Simpson likes to pass gas under the sheets. WHY DO I EVEN KNOW THAT? Damn my love of the internet.)