Monday, October 27, 2014

Dump & Run

Our rescue had an adoption event Saturday at the local Tractor Supply.  Things were going swimmingly, with one cat already adopted out, when I saw an obviously distressed woman carrying a cat carrier, heading toward our tables at a fast clip.

"Oh crap," I muttered to the head of the rescue.  "It's gonna be a dump and run."

Yep.  It was.  A six-week-old kitten, very ill.  The woman said she lived in a trailer park and rescued the kitten from under a neighbor's trailer.  She said she had taken it to a vet, who put it on Clavamox for four days (Lie #1 - nobody puts a cat on antibiotics for only four days).  She said the vet told her that the cat had a cold, but it wasn't contagious.  (Lie #2 - the cat was obviously suffering from an upper respiratory condition, which is very contagious.)  She said the vet told her it was a girl cat.  (Which turned out to be Lie #3).

The head of the rescue took the cat, out of pity, and handed it to me while she tried to figure out what to do with it until the event was over and she could take it to her house. 

Teeny little kitten, shivering, its eyes so matted shut with goop that it couldn't see, dirty and sneezing and wheezing.  I wrapped it in a tshirt to warm it up, went to the restroom and wet down another t-shirt with warm water, and started cleaning the goop from its eyes.  The eyes were bright red - conjunctivitis. Oh, lord.  The thing was PURRING.  Like CRAZY.

Hmmm, I wondered.  What would Sandra Bass do?  (Because Sandra Bass is my new hero, obs.)  WWSBD?  Well.  I grabbed a carrier, put the kitten in, and took it to the local walk-in vet clinic.  A hundred and forty-one dollars later (which I paid out of pocket because the rescue is broke) (the rescue is always broke) (ALL rescues are always broke, except for the local Humane Society, which takes in over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR and yet mysteriously turns down  EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO CALLS THERE LOOKING FOR HELP but don't get me started on that), we walked out (well, *I* walked out - the kitten was in the carrier) with Clavamox, terramycin, and a bandaged hand from where the kitten scratched the sh*t out of me as the tech was taking its temperature.  (I told the woman who runs the rescue that she needs to name it Talon.)

The kitten went to a foster home and is now doing swimmingly.  Oh, and it's a boy.

 And, as always, one could argue that it's a waste of money, that it's silly to spend that money to save one kitten when there are so many others, when there are people in need, and yada yada yada.

I just keep telling myself the starfish story.  STARFISH STORY FTW.

Ha.  That kitten's a born salesman, 'cause he got me to cough up a hundred and forty bucks.  On meds for him.  Go figure.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crazy world

  I was reading the paper this morning, and came across an article about a guy from Plattsburgh, which is upstate from here, trying to raise funds for surgery for his little dog.  The dog has a rare heart condition, and this dude, who does not have a lot of resources, was trying to raise $32,000 for heart surgery for the dog at a local animal hospital.  The dog helped him when he was down and out, and he wanted to return the favor.

He went to his bank and applied for a loan, but they would only loan him $20,000.  He sold a car, which got him another $2,000.  Ten grand to go.

He started a gofundme campaign, and six thousand came in, in dribs and drabs.  Four grand left to go.  The surgery is scheduled for a few weeks from now, without it the dog would certainly die, and he was running out of time to raise the money.  I swear, I got teary-eyed reading the article about the love this guy has for his dog, so I went to gofundme and chipped in twenty bucks, in memory of The Runt and Little Girl, both of whom died young of heart problems.  The least I could do.

I kept checking on the gofundme page this morning, wondering if there would be other people who, like me, would read the article and help out.

And then?  And then? 

Somebody donated ten grand.

Sandra Bass (or someone using the name of Sandra Bass), donated the entire ten thousand dollar amount of the original fundraiser.  And the donations keep coming in.  So far, funds raised exceed $18,000.

You can read about it here. 

The gofundme campaign is here. 

You can argue that there are other animals (or people) who would be more deserving of the money, you can argue that it's stupid to spend thirty grand on heart surgery for a dog, you can argue whatever you want.  *I* would argue that, every once in while, people are good.  They are.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mem'ries ... light the corners of my mind ... (OR NOT)

I was talking to a woman the other day with whom I went to high school, and while there was no love lost between us back then, we have become friend-ish lately, and it's funny how that happens, isn't it?

ANYway, she was talking about some trip the select choir took to Canada, back in high school, and I'm just, like, sorta listening, and then she's, like, "Don't you remember?  You went, too!"

And I'm, like, "---"

"You were totally there!," she said.  "I remember you being on that trip!"

I remember being in the select choir.  (It wasn't THAT select, obviously, if I was in it.)  I do not remember this particular woman being in that choir, and I have no memory of that trip whatsoever.

And honestly?  A LOT of my high school existence has faded out of memory.

Oh, sure, I remember some of it, and I remember going to Florida with the marching band, and I remember some of the boys I dated, and I remember my first after-school part-time job, but most of it?

Nope.  Gone.

It just ... wasn't that important, in the grand scheme of things.  I mean, sure, it was important at the TIME, but over thirty years have passed, for Pete's sake.  I can't remember EVERYthing.

Except I'm pretty sure that some people can.  Remember, that is.  Facebook has a great (or evil) way of reconnecting you with high school classmates, and some of the kids I went to school with (now grown adults, of course), can go on and on and ON about this dance and that teacher and this field trip and I'm just, like ...

okay?  If you say so?  Was it fun?

I mean, I'm sure that some of it is due to the fact that I went to a big high school.  There were six hundred kids in my graduating class, so obviously I'm not going to have the same memories as all of my classmates.  But to un-remember an entire field trip to Canada with the choir?  Seems kind of ... odd.

Was it the drugs I took?  I mean, I didn't do a LOT of drugs in high school, I was a good kid, but I certainly kept pace.  Lots of alcohol, some weed, some coke but not too much because nobody knew anybody who had it on a regular basis - just the same stuff all of my peers were doing.  (It was the seventies, after all.  Nobody'd even HEARD of Just Say No back then - it hadn't been invented yet.)

So now I'm curious.  How well do you remember your high school experience?   All of it?  Some of it?  Every detail?  None of it? 

Enquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014


Me, at bank, to teller:  "Hi, I was here on Friday afternoon, and I think I left a pair of sunglasses in here.  Do you have a lost-and-found box?"

Teller:  "Blue sunglasses?"

Me, excitedly:  "Yes!  Exactly.  Sunglasses with blue frames."

Teller, rummaging around behind counter:  "Hmmm, they're not here ... Hey, Matt, did you lock up a pair of sunglasses?"

Matt, aka Teller #2:  "Sunglasses?  Let me check out back."

Matt comes back.  "Nope, no sunglasses.  Sorry."

Me:   -----

Me:  "So ... you don't have a pair of sunglasses?"

Matt:  "No.  Sorry."

Me:  "Ummmmmm ... okaaaaaaaay ... thanks?"

WTF?  The first teller knew my sunglasses.  He remembered them.  But then Teller #2 said nope.  No sunglasses at all. 

I know I left those sunglasses at the bank.  I walked in with them; I realized five minutes down the road that I no longer had them.  And  I mean, they were dollar store sunglasses, which is why I didn't go back right away, but still.  They were pretty dollar store sunglasses, which is why I went back at all.  And sure, it could happened that the next person in line behind me saw the sunglasses sitting on the ledge and scarfed them, but Teller #1 remembered the sunglasses, and yet did not contradict Teller #2 who said no sunglasses.

I guess ... enjoy your new sunglasses, Teller #2?  Although I do think they'll look kind of silly on you, having blue frames and all.

Recently Read

As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.  Ms. Chazt is a noted cartoonist, so I'm not sure why I was surprised that her memoir, about her aged parents' decline and death, was in cartoon form, but I was.  Anyway, it's really good, and a really quick read, and her Dad had dementia, so I could relate to it in a billion different ways.  Plus, she's flat-out funny.  Favorite line:  "Where, in the Five Stages of Death, is EAT TUNA SANDWICH!?!?"  (Her mom, er, lived a little longer than the doctors expected.)

2.  Heartbreak Cafe by Penelope Stokes - Novel about a recently widowed woman who opens a restaurant. Think Fannie Flagg lite.

3.  Cruddy by Lynda Barry - Novel about a young girl with a hard childhood.  I was having a hard time getting into this one, but I knew I had read one of Ms. Barry's novels before and really liked it, so I did a blog post search and ...  it was this book!  I read it back in 2008 and, according to my review, really liked it!  This time around, I didn't like it, couldn't even get very far into it,  so it just goes to proves that your own life situation at any given time has a lot to do with whether or not you'll enjoy any particular book, I guess.

4.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  I wanted to read it before the movie came out.  It's a memoir from a woman who hiked portions of the Pacific Coast Trail.  Good.

5.  The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro.  Humorous essays.

6.  Untamed:  The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island by Will Harlan.  Biography of  naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel.  Really, really good.  Along with a fascinating portrait of a woman who truly loves wild things, this book also explains, in an entertaining way,  lots of subjects that might ordinarily be considered dry, like the Social Darwinism concept, and why Jimmy Carter is interested in monitoring elections,Very, very good and highly recommended.

7.  Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagan.  Novel about a child murderer on the loose in a small town in the fifties told from the viewpoint of a young girl.  Okay.

8.  Let Us Build Us a City by Donald Harington - Nonfiction about several small Arkansas towns and their inhabitants.  I loved, loved his novel When Angels Rest and I enjoy reading about small-town life, so I thought I would like this book as well.  Nope.  It just wanders all over the place, and not in a good way.  Didn't even get past the first town.

9.  O Pioneers by Willa Cather.  No, I'd never read it before.  Novel about Nebraska farmers in the late 1800s, written in the early 1900s.  Interesting, because unlike a lot of books of that era that come off as really dated, I felt like this one could have been written today.  Good.

10.  Found by Davy Rothbart.  Series of essays, mainly written by hipsters and people in bands nobody's ever heard of, about found things.  Meh. 

So!  That's what I've been reading lately.  How about you?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Stones of Jones

So, Sunday I ended up playing hooky from my responsibilities and I headed to Jones Park.  If you can do boring household chores on a gorgeous fall afternoon, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

I was happy to see that the stone arrangers have been out in full force.

Their works range from the fairly simple:

(I love the little pebble on the top - it's like a cherry on top of a sundae.)

To large-scale fortresses:

To the spectacular.

That last assemblage reminds me of the scene in Poltergeist when the mom walks into the kitchen and all of the chairs are balanced on top of each other.

Who builds them?  I do not know.  The Stones of Jones are a mystery.