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Stinky Junior's Blog

Boring to you, but fascinating to me!

Updated: 2018-03-06T17:48:33.459-08:00


Very Moving


Not me. I'm much grumpier than
this when I'm moving.
I moved my blog to be able to have better control over images. Come over to the new place. We have pizza and beer.

Conjuring Troubles


Clap Clap... Clap Clap who? This is not a time for clap clap jokes.We're going to see The Conjuring today. I honestly don't know why I'm doing this to myself. Seeing this movie is an especially bad idea for me for a few reasons.I'm easily creeped out. Have you seen the movie Insidious? No? Good. It's awful. It's laughable, but the 5 months later, the "ghost in the corner" trick still messes with my sleep. And I KNOW it's just a movie.If you scare me, that fear sticks with me forever. Do you remember the movie It? That, too, was awful (Stephen King should stop turning to television to make movies because they ALWAYS turn out poorly, but that thought is best saved for another post). I read the book version of It Ruined toilets for me foreverwhen I was 15ish and to this day I am terrified of public restrooms - sometimes even my own bathroom. There are some nights when I don't flush in the middle of the night, not because of water conservation, but because I don't want the noise of the flush to hide my screams as the ghosts steal me from this plane of existence (yes...I am aware this is nutballs)Because I have this wonderful, evil imagination treating my brain like a bouncy castle, I have a hard time sleeping in total darkness. The rationale is that I need to be able to see what's comin' at me. For this reason, I travel with a nightlight. I am a full-grown woman who is not ashamed to admit that I'm scared of the dark. (OK, I'm a little ashamed, but I still own that shame!)Yet, I love creepy horror movies (not gore porn). I love funny horror movies. I love ghosty TV shows, with the exception of Ghost Adventures, but that's more because of the douche nozzles who star in it than the ghost stories. I love being creeped out by a well-written horror novel, though I haven't seen one of those for a long time. And I do not know why I love all these things, because I'm such a gigantic wimp. Once, while home all alone, I watched three back to back eps of Ghost Hunters. I could NOT leave the couch until my husband walked in the door, even though I had a very pressing urge to pee.So we're going to The Conjuring at 4:30 this afternoon. Here are the two reasons that seem super logical in my brain that you are totally going to find completely ridiculous:If I go see this during the day, leaving the theatre while it's still light out, I won't be as freaked out. Then the creepiness will wear off by bedtime (uh huh...see bullet point two above to prove that bit o' logic so wrong)I want to watch The Conjuring at the theatre, not on a DVD at home. Because if we watch a horror movie at home, the spirits in my house (which is not haunted) will pick up pointers from the movie on how to freak me out/kill me.Look. The rational, adult part of me is fully aware how ridiculous these things sound, but this is not my rational brain working. It's that damned, over-developed amigdala again. I look forward to sleeping again in August. I am so stupid.Here's the trailer, just for funsies: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//" width="640">[...]

And a Spider Shall Bring Me Back


Good lord, I'm lazy.It's been awhile folks. Partially because I've been working on a long-form writing project (catch you up on that one later) and partly because I've been exceptionally lazy (don't have the energy to elaborate on that.)I'm blogging today because of the creature that visited our house this morning. Our story needed to be shared in the blogosphere, mainly because it's a story that will creep out my sister Susan.In the middle of the night, I woke up by the sound of coughing/quacking/choking. After I checked the house without finding the source, I stumbled back to the bedroom, not too terribly freaked out yet.But then, our little tortoiseshell cat, Olivia, would not come into the bedroom. She stood in the doorway, staring at a corner of the ceiling over my pillow. Her freckly little fur-hackle mohawk started to rise and her tail got all puffy. Nothing was there.Lingers was totally LOLing(FYI - The Conjuring is opening in 2 days and the commercials have been freaking me out. I think Olivia must have known this. Obviously she was just messing with me.)Eventually, I mustered the courage to get back in bed, (after 'accidentally' waking Seen up so he could bear witness if the ghosts killed me when I ran to the bathroom). Even with the bedside lamp on, I was plagued by banshees chasing me in my dreams.Then, another round of coughing/quacking/choking cut through the darkness. This time it woke Seen too, scaring both of us out of bed at 4:37 a.m. I was in the living room checking on cats before I was really fully awake. Cats were all fine, even the little trickster Olivia.Seen, wandering about in PJs and rubbing his sleepy eyes, thought the sound might be coming from the backyard. We're on the 2nd level of a duplex and our smaller patio faces the tree-lined backyard.Because I just had to know what kind of monster was quack-choking in the backyard, I grabbed the big  flashlight and whipped open the back deck door, and then the screen door. Thank god I had turned the flashlight on, because...this spider was sitting in the middle of a huge effing web, in the middle of our patio, just outside the door, between the trees and our screen. You try not to scream if you see this in the middle of the night.This creature was smart enough not to attach her web to the screen. She anchored it on the bottom lip of the door frame and the eaves above the door, so the web stayed in the same spot, even when I pulled the screen door open, which I did before I even saw her.She was at eye level, in the middle of a web that wasn't there last night. I screeched, shuddered, closed and locked both back doors. Because clearly she was big enough and smart enough to open the door if it wasn't locked.Seen is scared of spiders. So I said "Honey, come here a minute!" and shined the flashlight through the door at the thing. That wasn't a nice thing to do. Seen's reaction? He said his amigdala has grown three sizes today. He also says he's never going on the back patio again. Ever.Now, I'm usually pro-spider, but being sleepy and scared, I poked the tip of a wasp killer spray through the door and shot the poor thing.It died, which actually made me sad when I woke up a little. Sorry 'lil spidey.Aww... Poor little thing :(OMG! NOT SO LITTLE! AAaaaaaEEEE!After the sun came up, I put on some yellow, dish-washing gloves, grabbed an old plastic bread bag and picked up the dead GIANT spider like it was a mound of dog pooh. Then I ran, cringing and gagging to the trash bin in the front yard, shivering and spasming the whole time. I just knew that big, dead thing was still alive and wiggling around in there (it totally wasn't).After I tossed it into the trash, I gave out one last big shudder, arms flailing and a loud "BLUUUUGGGHHH" which caused a friendly man driving by in a big white pick up to stop and lean out his window."Are you okay?" he was very concerned."Spider" I said and shruggedHe laughed and drove on.Still don't know what the sound was. Current theories floating around: a duck or a [...]

A Little Good Luck


As it happens, I didn't plan well during our last grocery shopping trip. With the holidays in the middle of the week, I somehow over calculated the number of times we would eating at friends or restaurants. The refrigerator was short by 2 days of meals.Not a problem, around 6:30 last night, Seen and I just slipped into our coats and headed off to the local market for some back-up meal supplies. As we walked into the garage under our apartment, something seemed off. Our parking spot was a lot emptier than it usually is.Our car was missing."Honey." I said as he walked up behind me, "Where's the car?"We both stopped in our tracks.  There is a moment of slight disbelief when you realize your car isn't where you expect it to be, all cozy in it's parking spot under your apartment. We walked over to the spot. There was no broken glass. Had it been stolen?It had been drizzling that morning, so Seen had driven us to the gym. I walked home after my workout, leaving Seen to pump up his muscles a bit more. Seen had come home about 45 minutes later. This happens a lot so neither of us really thought a thing about it."Did I drive back from the gym?" Seen was questioning himself. "Or did I walk?"We go to the gym almost every day. We walk most of the time, drive when it's cold or rainy. Walking home would just be something either of us did on auto-pilot."Well, there's only one way to find out." I said, and we started walking towards the gym.That morning, we had parked at a meter on a side-street. Since it was free to park there before 9:00 a.m., we didn't really give it a second thought, even though our town is notorious about giving parking tickets.  Now we were definitely discussing it.As we walked the 4 blocks, both of us pondered how much we would owe in tickets. The general cost of parking at a meter is $2 an hour. You are allowed to park for 2 hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It's free between 6 p.m. and midnight. If your car is there between midnight and 5 a.m., your car is going to get towed. It's a convoluted pretzel of parking. Still with me?Our car had been at a meter for 12 hours. Easy prey for the parking cop in her golf-cart. In my mind, I envisioned stack of red and white envelopes tucked under the wiper blade. If the car was indeed there and not a) stolen from our garage or b) towed for being parked there all day.Seen snuck into the street a little bit down the road and said "I see it!" Good news! Paying tickets is a lot easier than having your car stolen.  We crossed to where the car was parked, taking a deep breath before looking at the windshield.It was empty. No tickets, no little red envelopes in sight. I actually hard blinked a couple of times, just to be sure I wasn't missing something. Then I remembered the post-it note on the meter.I'd seen it when we parked in the morning. It read "This meter ate my quarters!" and it was dated Saturday. I had been thisclose to removing it when we got there in the morning, but then I got cold and made a dash to the gym.The parking matron must have seen the post-it note and thought it was for our car.A big thank-you to the coincidence/karma patrol, and the lady who wrote that meter eater note, because it was a little bit of good luck and good news we needed to start off the year. Also thanks to me for not buying enough food for the week, because otherwise we would have left the car there all night and it would have been towed.I'm considering this the sign that 2013 is going to be filled with good luck for the Robinsons.[...]

Not Impressed


It's totally something I can't do, but how exactly does this advance science?

The Judge


I judge. I hate that I judge, but still it doesn't stop me from thinking stuff like "Your ass is too old for that checked knit ultra-mini-skirt." or "If I was her trainer, her form would be a little straighter and she wouldn't swing those free weights".

Because I know that I'm mentally judging others unfairly, I usually have that internal dialogue with myself to stop it. This happened this morning during my AM walk. My brain was arguing with itself.

Judge Judgerson: "OMG she's trying to do push ups but she's barely bending her arms and she's bending from the waist so her head is almost to the ground and she's looking at her shoes! What muscle group does she think she's working?"

Amy Gupta Zenchild: "What are you judging? You can do maybe 5 girlie push ups"

JJ: "Yeah, because I'm focusing on getting the form right so I can build the muscles correctly."

AGZ: "You are not her. Not in her workout routine. Not in her arms or abs or thighs. You don't know the challenges ahead of her today, how her parents treated her when she was a kid, if she's allergic to eggs. You don't know ANYTHING about her. You are not her, so stop judging her."

JJ:  "If I was, I'd actually bend my elbows and straighten my spine"

AGZ: "Oh Judgy, at least she's out here doing something. And something is always better than nothing."

JJ: "Except in cases like Ebola"

AGZ: "...."

Say No to Poetry!


I said 'NO!' to keeping up with that project of writing a poem a day, but not on purpose.  It's funny how a day job can drag you away from doing things like writing poems, exercising, breathing deeply. Or is that just me?

The one thing my job has taught me is that just because something has an urgent deadline, doesn't necessarily make it important in your life (or the world itself.) It's possible to get something done on time and still take care of mind and body stuff that will matter for the rest of your life. It just takes a smidge of effort.

It may be time to take a vacation day or two.

Awesome effing day


Gazing at my navel because I had an Awesome F**king Day!

Take off Friday to start Birthaversary weekend (Birthday and 10th Anniversary on Sunday)
Start the day with a great haircut at a Groupon price - Check!
Get best presents from hubs with touching and genius cards - yupper doddle
Short jaunt to Santa Barbara to see creatures at a small zoo - Si Si Senor
Wander around SB until we find the perfect Italian restaurant where I have the best ravioli in the history of round pastas (ricotta, sage and brown butter sauce with a dab of marinara) - Yes. Yes. Yes.
Home in time to watch sunset on the roof, drinking a cold gluten free beer - G*d Dammit!

That's a good day.

Motivation - Outdoor Poem #4


Lazy summer afternoon

He says 'We should go ride bikes'


He says 'How about a walk to the beach?'


He says 'We could walk to Menchies?'

Are you coming? I'm already out the door.

Glue Me - Outside Poem #3


image credit: MargaretNapier
My mood is grey

like the ocean foam

like the overcast sky

Considering a name

Call me June Gloom

Feed me - Outdoor Poem #2


Credit: crowdive
Crow knocks his beak
against the skylight

He yells

"Come up to the roof!"
"Bring bread!"

But he spreads
inky wings, flying away
when I arrive

He thinks I am throwing
the crumbs at him
not simply towards him

Park Poetry


Recently, I wrote a column on Fierce and Nerdy examining how a deadline will help work get completed.  Following that pondering, I decided to give myself a project, which is just an extended deadline, of going outside and writing one short poem every day, for at least the next month. Hopefully a few of them will be funny.

After working on a memoir and now a piece of novel length fiction, I miss writing poems. I miss the concise and precise language. So in the interest of concisity (which apparently isn't a word even though Noam Chomsky uses it a LOT), here is my first poem.

The Orange Hand

I used to walk, even
when the hand said


that collection of orange light
bulbs couldn't tell me
what to do

But now - I stop

regardless of empty
streets or anxious


It's nice to have
permission to stay

One Year With the Spaz


Sound asleep, minutes after coming home.Yeah, I like to mark occasions. It's been one year since we brought home little Olivia from Lange Foundation rescue. Alright, you got me, it was the second time she came home with us.  The first time was on Easter Day, when we agreed to foster a Mama and kittens in our home so Lange would have more room to rescue even more kittens from local shelters.From the two families available for us to foster, Olivia was in her cage with three tiny fluff-ball kittens. She rolled onto her back, batted her eyes at me and reached out a front paw.  I was not yet aware that her powers of manipulation exceeded far beyond that first enticement.After 2 weeks in our home office, we brought the kittens and Olivia back to the rescue. They had colds and needed to be treated there, and also we didn't want our own house pets to come down with that nastiness.We left them. I felt awful and empty. To help ease the pain, we watched the season finale of "Fringe". That did not help. Seen and I had chosen to name our fosters after the characters on the show, so every time Olivia talked to Walter, I pictured our little cat versions of Olivia and Walter alone at the rescue.Olivia todaySeen and I continued our weekly volunteer trips to Lange, spending extra time with our former foster charges. Olivia was a bit aggressive, as cats with her coat coloring tend to be. She was playfully territorial. All the kittens in her adoption room were chased, tackled and cleaned by her, no matter who their mother was.  Generally, the biological mother was warned off with a hiss, a slap and a chase from our Olivia.I knew that her rambunctious spirit would detract any potential adopters. Olivia was friendly, but not a cuddly lap cat. Olivia had also managed to wiggle her adorable self into my heart. I missed her at our apartment.Based on all that, I told the Lange staff "We would like to take Olivia home." They happily agreed.Over the past year, Ms. Olivia, who is now referred to as (ahem) Liver Toes, Liver Bottom, Spaz, Karma, Butthead, Punkin Head, Peabuddy and Sweet Olive, has taken over our home. I'd like to say that she is the alpha cat for just the other two cats in the house, but she pretty much controls Seen and I as well.She is a weirdo who:loves to have 1/4 of an ice cube tossed around like a ball, which she chases. Then holds in her mouth while running around and yelling.attacks the bedding, even when there are no other toys, toes or cats present and freaks herself out if she rolls over too fastgrabs the mouse toy between her paws and rubs it alllll over her face, around and over and down her face for 5 minutes at a timeconvinces Seen to give her treats with a little, teeny, short, high pitched "Mew" as if she were the most pathetic thing everhops on the other cats, biting their neck with a light nip that never hurts but does irritate them to no endcleans everybody, even Seen, to the point of obsession. We think she's a little OCDlies spread eagle, on her back, limbs relaxed to the maximumhas required her own floating shelf so she can see the entire roomMUST be in the bathroom with you no matter what, likes to watch the water run when you flushcackles at the crowscries at the door when Seen leaves her, but will get very happy and run to me when I let her know she's not alonemust have been an indoor/outdoor kitty before she went to the shelter because she meows at the door for about 2 minutes every single time before she uses the litter box, like she must announce the fact that she has to goLap time is rare, but when it happens, so sweet...Um...Comfortable Olive? So there is my Ode to Liver Bottom. Adopting her was the best decision we made last year. We are so glad she's part of our [...]

The Tale of the Lost Hat


The things that kept me up last night:

1. The high pitched laugh of some chick at the party in the condo across the courtyard

2. The shouting of boys playing beer pong at the party in the condo across the courtyard

3. Waiting for the cops to show up at midnight to tell the people to shut up at the party in the condo across the courtyard

4. The few boys left on the condo's roof, after the party, having this slurred, yet very audible conversation:

"Dude...You lost my hat."
"Where's your hat?"
"I can't find my hat. I can't find my hat."
"C'mon..Dude...C'mon, let go find your hat"

After the party broke up, here's the thing that kept me up:

Lying in bed, with my eyes closed, trying to do meditative breathing, but ending up mentally working on a PowerPoint presentation for work.

Now I'm too tired to actually do the PowerPoint presentation for work.

I Will Remember You


Ornery ZeldaThis past Saturday, I walked into the animal rescue, a place where I've spent every Saturday morning for the past 19 months and something was different. Zelda's name card wasn't in it's usual spot outside the room she had been staying. Zelda, a 16 year old, long haired tabby with bright emerald eyes and more spunk than any cat I've known, was nowhere to be found. She had been at the Lange Foundation for almost 2 years, ending up at the animal rescue with her mate Fred, when their owner had passed away suddenly. Their owner had been a dedicated volunteer for years and, of course, the rescue took in his cats.Lange is a great no-kill shelter that rescues dogs and cats from death row at L.A. County shelters. They do phenomenal work and the caring staff obviously loves each and every one of their charges, taking great care of the animals. Zelda was in good hands.Zelda's left leg was withered, a condition she was born with, and didn't hold any weight. It looked like a feline version of Cerebral Palsy on that one limb. But that weak leg didn't hold her back at all. She would use it like a nunchuck when protecting her afternoon canned food snack from other cats in her room. Zelda weighed almost 5 lbs and she was always hungry.  Last year, my husband and I visited her every day over the course of several months, giving her a can of food and protecting her from any younger or spry-er cats who tried to nose their way into the treat.Zelda had been looking skinnier and sicker the last few weeks. It was hard visiting her. She reminded me so much of my own cat Munchy, our 18 year old tabby, who we had to put down in December of 2009. We still miss Munchy so. But no matter Zelda's condition, I still petted her bony head and back. She deserved to be loved, even if it was tough.This Saturday, I asked Emylia, who works at the rescue, if they had finally made the decision to put Zelda down. Emylia told me that Zelda had passed on her own the previous Thursday night. They found her in room 1 on Friday morning, relieved she was finally at peace. She was with her owner on the other side of the "Rainbow Bridge" as animal grief advocates call it.I'm not telling you this to bum you out. I wanted to write a post about Zelda, because she doesn't have an owner to grieve for her. Everyone at the shelter was saddened. I know many of the volunteers will be teary-eyed at the loss of Zelda dear. Volunteering to socialize these cats or walk the dogs expands your heart with all the love these homeless animals offer. Knowing they were abandoned, either intentionally or due to circumstance, just amplifies affection. That love overshadows the heartbreak of the times when one of them doesn't make it through to adoption.Most animals, that are eulogized online, have had guardians (pet parents) who talk at length about how much they will miss their companions. I just thought that Zelda deserved a moment as well.There have been several other cats at the rescue who passed this year while waiting to be adopted into a forever home. By spending time with these cats every week, I got to know each of them. Every single animal had a unique personality. Just because they didn't have a forever home, doesn't mean they weren't loved. They weren't just anonymous cats at a shelter. Animals pass every day, these are the souls I knew. They were individuals. I won't forget them. I do miss them.Daisy - She was a spunky, chunky grey and white cat who was the first to greet anybody when they walked in the door of room 2. She talked a lot and loved standing on my lap.Cayenne - A shy orange cat with FIV. His tongue never went in and there were a few times his drool almost reached th[...]

The Good, The Bad and the Squeezable


Ya know those random thoughts that ramble through your brain repeatedly? One of my redundant mental rambles is "The positive aspect of working from home is (your item here)." There are negatives too.

So I decided that since I need to make SJ more of a habit (that's Stinky Junior people), on the days I got nuttin', I'll do a short pro v. con of working form home...which I you know.

1st exciting and earth-shattering entry into this subject:

One of the cons of working from home is that the toilet paper runs out a lot quicker.

The counterpoint pro is that I don't have to go into a bathroom stall during the day and try not to toot while Angie from Merchandising re-applies her mascara.

Some times my profundity shocks even me.

I Have Harry Potter's Chair


 This is my 100th posting on Stinky Junior. Waa hoo!!! That deserves a round of beers! (for me, come buy me a beer.)Walter The AwesomeLet me start ole hundy off with the good news (not the Jesus kind); Walter got adopted! The staff at Lange Foundation said his new human Mom is perfect, she had her last cats for a few decades. She adopted him with another orange kitten named Tubs, so he's got a buddy to harass. Good job Walter! We told your Mom and she's happy for ya.The Kloves Chair and IOld business has been completed. We move on to our first item of new business. My kick-A** new chair!! (new to me.)The Lange Foundation (animal rescue shelter where we volunteer every Saturday) started it's annual Estate sale last weekend and will be running it through the end of August. Pretty much all of L.A. has donated art, furniture, jewelry, old boob implants, pretty much anything you can think of... (kidding on the boobs) Before we went into the shelter, to do our usual love up on the kitties this past Saturday, Seen and I headed to the sale. Our apartment needs redecoration and just wanted to see if they had any furniture that might be appropriate.Boy howdy, did we get a find! Seen sat in this really cool, ultra-unique white ivory suede, comfy, round, swivel chair. It was $100, the money was all going to the charity, so we said 'YAY!' and bought it. As we were loading it out, the rescue founder, Gillian Lange, told us the chair had been donated by Steven Kloves, writer of all the Harry Potter movie scripts. What the what? That is bonus-ly awesome! I've read all the books and have liked nearly 2/3 of the movies. And the last HP has just opened, so completely timely. Totally worth the $100, if not more.Planking, like the kids do.I decided to plank it out on the chair, just to be hip, modern and a dork. We'll be seeing the movie on Sunday and writing my review from the scriptwriters chair, just to be holistic.[...]

I'm in Love with Walter


WalterHi Friends! So much has happened in the last 6 months: Fostering kittens, job interviewing, living next to Whitey Bulger. Check out the highlights at my FierceAndNerdy Blog. It's totally all about having fun, and junk...One of those things, the fostering kittens for Lange Foundation, turned out to be lots of fun. We adopted the mama kitty, Olivia. She's a tiny tortie. The reason I'm rehashing here, at the risk of over-kittening you lovely readers, is to post about Walter. Of her 3 kittens, the other two being Peter and Astrid (the Fringe litter, doncha know), Walter is the only one who hasn't been adopted yet.Oh Hai! My name is Walter and I'm pretty much awesome.I am madly in love with Walter, but can't take another cat! He's so smart. He also absolutely loves playing while on your legs and snoozing in laps. He will stare at you lovingly while chewing on a toy or before he zonks out for a nap. He's a gorgeous kitten, about 12 weeks old now. We did a photo shoot with him just before we brought his Mom home with us. Share these pictures with SoCal friends who might want to adopt the best orange kitten in the history of the world.  Get Walter a home! (click on this link to get his current address, so you can, ya know, go pick him up...)What's in your cat turret Olivia? Seen and Olivia Olivia liked to wrangle kittens. This wasn't one of her biological kittens, but Seen found her sitting on top of the poor girl. Take a look at her wet neck, Mama Olivia was cleaning her.Walter had a cold, so they put him in Iso (I call it Jail)Walter started off the photo shoot with a booger.So I picked it for him.Crazy![...]

Why Feathers Make Me Sleepy


Workin' Hard or Hardly Workin'?Hello Sports Fans!  I really just wanted you to check out my latest and averagely fine Fierce and Nerdy blogumn about Super Bowl Commercials.  I wrote it yesterday because I was on my arse in front of the TV and too sleepy to come up with anything else.  Genius!Too. Many. Feathers.I'm sleepy because, for 3 nights and/or pre-dawns in a row, KoE the cat was tossing cookies.  Not like ninja stars, but as in hurling up the contents of her stomach.  On Saturday morning, let's say around 4:45, she woke me up with that cat "uh-hurk, uh-hurk, uh-hurk" sound of vomiting.  I know that cats throw up, it's just something they do, but Saturday morning, she continued to throw up and throw up and throw up, probably over a dozen times, with just foamy bile coming up the last several goes.  Not yay.  A doctors visit was in order.I had noticed, as I was cleaning up after her, that there were little bits of orange flecks in her mess.  Seen and I turned into detectives.  There was no orange bits in her food or her treats or any of the myriad of safe toys lying about the shack.  Then I remembered, the orange feather on the end of her feather on a stick toy.  I dragged it out of it's "safe" spot in the closet and sure enough, little bits were missing. Time for a nap!At 9:00 we took her to the vet.  They squeezed us in for an exam and an x-ray.  Dr. Metten showed us on the x-ray where teeny bits of white spots were in her tummy, bits of undigested feather.  From the looks of it, probably about 3-4 dozen little bits.  It was irritating her stomach and making her hurl. She is on a bland diet, which she is hating, for a few days and will be fine.  She hasn't tossed her lunch since Saturday, so I've been catching up on my rest.  I've also had a heart to heart chat with her about trying to be sick during regular business hours going forward, because the human lady needs her sleep.  Not sure she's paying attention, she's been busy looking for her missing feather toy.[...]

Sweet Knits


I wish my hobby was knitting, because I could make myself something warm to wrap around myself on these chilly mornings. (And yes, I feel silly saying "chilly" when it's 45 degrees and the rest of the country is  around -4000, with windchill.)  My hobby/passion is writing, so I am going to make myself a shawl out of rejection notices.  Mmmm cozy.

That's totally me at Grandma's house!
Other than being cold, I'm on a hunt for candy.  Since being made aware that I am now allergic to chocolate, I need to find sweet stuff that won't send me into vertigo.  All the good stuff is either chocolate or covered in chocolate.  I've been searching for caramels.  Unfortunately, all the caramels I've found so far live in chocolate houses.  My Grandma used to have a candy bowl with Brach's flavored caramel Royals.  Seen suggested I ask her where she found them, but as she passed away over 23 years ago, the conversation probably wouldn't be productive.

The Whole doesn't have caramels. Target didn't even have Kraft caramels.  None of the 80 grocery stores we've stopped at had caramels sans cocoa.  So now I'm pondering Amazon, which apparently has an abundance of caramel selections (including Royals which I would find delicious, but eating them would make me miss Grandma).  Or I could make my own, but we all know how incredibly lazy I really am.

I have a code


Me in training courtesy of FunnyFreePics.comThe world has gone crazy in a handbasket, so I'm learning how to build websites.  Don't call me a Hero.  Ok, go ahead. As I stumble through this WordPress training, I feel like a monkey trying to learn to communicate via computer screen.  If I focus hard enough, someday Jane Goodall will give me that dang orange. (I know, mixed monkey metaphor)It also occurs to me that I'm an impatient soul.  I've always gone for the quick gains, usually skipping the basics, because, come on, lets face it, the basics are for slow people .  Impatience is the reason I get so friggin bored during basic information sessions (like during my training for the census.  That took for. friggin. ever.)For the WordPress training, I actually started from the top and paid attention.  There were cool little things I learned that I might have missed had I skipped ahead.  I think my mindset started changing toward the basics over the last week or so, when I started teaching myself piano.  Piano isn't something where you can skip to expert level on the first day.  Patience is learning Aura Lee, at advancing speed, without screeching in frustration as my finger hits "F" instead of "G".  Someday I'll get to Carnegie Hall... with lots of practice. (It's still called Carnegie Hall right?  It's not "Groupon Hall" yet is it?)The other thing I need to tell you is to check out my Fierce and Nerdy blogumn on being nice.  My default setting is Cran-Key.  When I eat right and exercise, I'm nicer.  Being mindful of being a citizen of the world, also helps me tone down the crank. My Dad set an example of how to be kind and trust people, a courtesy he gave to nearly everyone he met.  Before he passed, Dad told us a story of a man, who he hired to work for his concrete business back in the 70's.  The guy called him in 2008, while Dad was battling MDS, to let Dad know that because Dad had taken a chance on this wild drifter guy, that guy had learned what it took to work and create a good life.  The guy went on to build a successful business.  That was just how Dad treated people, with patience and belief.  That's good stuff to learn.Courtesy of Quasi's owner ReneeBefore we part, you totally need to check out this cat.  Seriously, it's not Photoshop.  He is a real cat. His owner made cool character art, My Ugly Kitty, and seems to have a great sense of humor.  We dig Renee and Quasi![...]

Revolving resolve


Hot Topics!Resolution number Six for 2011 is to update this blog at least once a week. As this is the first week of 2011, I am off to a stellar start. So, let's update shall we?1. I want this. A notepad. For the shower!! This brilliant device will do one of two things: Either I will write down all of the genius ideas that bombard me in the shower, or it will scare the muse out of the shower and I can actually wash with a calm, peaceful mind. Click on the pic to find out where you can buy it for me.2. I decided to make some catnip toys for the kitties at the shelter. Since the sewing machine is broken, I hand sewed little pockets and filled them with batting and nip. To entertain my brain, whilst my fingers were stitching, I watched Boardwalk Empire on demand. I got sucked into the really great writing, unpredictable characters and inside jokes about history. Plus, I stage managed some theatre with Micheal Shannon a few years ago, so it's always fun to see him working. SPOILER ALERT - (Ok, not really a SPOILER but more of a frowny emoticon) The last episode of Season 1 was lousy. I got totally hooked on the first 11 and then, ppllbbt. It seemed so contrived. At one point, during Michael Shannon's last scene of the season, I felt like I was watching an episode of Three's Company. Not sure why the writers/producers made those choices, other than JUST to keep a successful cast.3. Joined a writing group. I knew 2 people going in, but had weird random historical connections to the other 3. Connections I didn't know about until the meeting. Sussing out those connections led to me rambling. I have two social modes, shy/terrified or rambling. In the moment, rambling always feels like a triumph over my timidity. Later, say, in the shower when I have monkey mind, I wonder why I say dorky things and get embarrassed. Aside from my neurotic reactions to being social, I am really looking forward to the group. It's giving me deadlines to get seriously serious and finish draft 2 of my NaNoRhino novel.And now, as the rambling for this week comes go a close, I wish you a very warm and happy 2011. (Check out more resolutions and top picks for movies/books/TV/music for 2010 on Fierce and Nerdy.) Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the paper towels on the top shelf.[...]

An Education


(image) 'They' say you learn something new every day. When I woke up with food poisoning I learned 2 things:

1. Always, and I mean always, keep your toilet clean.

2. The other thing you don't want to see, when you're shivering and rocking back and forth on the bathroom floor, is a the cover of the LA Magazine's ultimate guide to Mexican food. Probably best to keep that issue in the living room.

This blog has been brought to you by the letters T and M and I.

That Happened


Right! I'm procrastinating my other writing and work and so on and such forth. I figured it would be a good time to catch up with you (4) people! So, how ya been?Me? I finished NaNoWriMo, or Nano Rhino, as we call it around here. I am a winner! See how this fancy gif tells you that?!? So I have 50,022 words, all about a similar topic, blended together into one document that we'll call "The First Draft". On January 1, after a one month break from "The First Draft", I plan to print it out and ruthlessly re-write almost every stinkin' sentence. As I told my writing partner, I felt more like I was directing traffic with a keyboard than magically creating a story.The book is, mainly, about my Dad's battle with MDS and Leukemia. Ya know the saying "no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader..."? well, this book has tears, from the writer at least. I tried to handle it lightly and keep it full of the grace and humor with which my Dad fought the illnesses. But much like the physiological reaction to the stress I had at the time, my body started shutting down as I was writing.The morning after I started writing about Dad's last day, I woke up with either a stomach virus or food poisoning. Yup, ole Hurley Joe was back for one last round of "maybe you shouldn't revisit this trauma just yet." I was the kind of sick where you lay on the cold bathroom floor cause the bed is too far away, pull the cat's sleeping pillow under your head and just drape a bath towel over you while you try and sleep for just 5 minutes. On a positive note, I tried Head-On (applied directly to my forehead), because the headache I had was overwhelming and I couldn't even keep water down. That stuff works pretty well! (and BTW, did you know that Pepto Bismal gives you a black tongue? I just found that out/fascinating.)After a few days (which included Thanksgiving, America's eating holiday) I sipped my broth and said "Screw You Body! I'm finishing this thing, so SUCK IT!" Suck it indeed. The knot in my belly kicked like a p.o.'d fetus, but I sallied forth and viola! Winner GIF! And hopefully, in a year or so, after 2 rewrites, copy edits and reviews from trustworthy sources, securing an agent and a publisher...a Barnes & Noble best seller. Like Magic!I guess I'll get back to pressing matters. So you peeps have a Happy Hannukah, Good Yule, Sweet Solstice and Merry Christmas. Don't drink and drive, but say yes to fun and have the best time you possibly can![...]

Brain v. taste buds


(image) What is up with this craving? Why do I want a Little Debbie Swiss Roll? It's not food. I think it's made from unicorn hiccups and kitten giggles, with a dab of HFCS and hydrogenated palm oil. Look at it, so smug, just sitting there being delicious.

While cutesy, these things won't help me shred my pecs or shrink my hinder. After 1 minute of yummy noises and 10 minutes of jubilant dancing, a Little Debbie Swiss Roll will create the sugar crash beast within me to eat the adorableness out of the world.
Why can't I just enjoy that pear that's in my fridge? Look how pretty, like nature painted it with glittery gold/green paint. I would absolutely love to be craving that pear. I just think she's outta my league.