Friday, February 29, 2008

Guest Post!

My sister Texas, with whom I am staying, has graciously agreed to do a guest post! This is her first ever blog entry. May I now present my sister Texas, with her terrifying true tale of The Cannibal Mice of Conklin Ave. Take it, sister!

Hi! Many moons ago I bought a really old home on Conklin Ave (1880's). Old stone foundation, slate roof, etc. It was just a little townhome, two story. The first major renovation was the bathroom, up on the second floor above the kitchen. What a mess! They had to rip it all apart - there was a full flight of stairs in the bathroom going up to the attic. Anyway, when they were finished, I was in the kitchen one night and heard this scrabbling noise. I looked all around and couldn't see anything, so I started opening the cabinet doors one by one. Finally I opened the doors above the stove and there were six mice eyes looking at me. I slammed the doors shut and decided that they would have to find their own way out. Well I guess that the workers had sealed off the bathroom floor (above the cabinets) while they were there and there was no way out. Several weeks later I summoned the courage to open the doors again and found that one mouse had eaten the other two, leaving only little puffs of fur and bones. And then there was just that one fat mouse staring back at me. Totally freaked out, I did the only logical thing, which was shut the cabinet doors again. What the fate of the last mouse was, I will never know. I never opened those cabinet doors again.

(RockyCat) - Thanks so much for that guest post! Let's hear it for my sister!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Howdy, Y'all!

Sorry - I just couldn't resist.

I MADE IT!!! I'm in Texas!!! Ahahahahahaha!!

The flights were only delayed a little bit, and I'm actually here - and it was seventy and sunny here this afternoon. For comparison, it was eleven degrees on my back deck when I left this morning.

I hope a little warmth will do me some good.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I petted Rocky as he died, but somehow his death does not seem real to me.

I (supposedly) leave for Texas tomorrow, but somehow that doesn't seem real either.

I don't know where I am right now, but it's not here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Wanna Be Sedated

It's snowing! Again! And the snow is supposed to mix with sleet and freezing rain and little pellets of plutonium and god only knows what else. How much snow will we get? It all depends on which radio station you listen to! Maybe 2 - 4 inches!! Maybe 3 - 6 inches!! Maybe 8 - 12 inches!! Take your pick!!

Just shoot me now.

In other news, a relative just e-mailed me with condolences on the death of my cousin, (insert name here). The only problem is that I have no idea who (insert name here) is. So I just now e-mailed another relative, asking who (insert name here) is. And I feel really really bad, because what if I was, like, best friends with (insert name here) when we were kids? And now I don't even know who she is.

You might not want to ask me to plan the next family reunion. Because evidently I don't even know who I'm related to.

Monday, February 25, 2008


"Well, I thought about the Army
Dad said, 'Son, you're fuckin' high'".........

From "Army", by Ben Folds Five

Right now, this song is about the only thing that cheers me up. I put it on "repeat", crank it up, and dance around the kitchen. Is fun.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all of your kind words, especially Letti and Exador, who I know just faced losses of their own.

I will resume posting soon. Right now I am still in that spontaneous-breaking-into-tears stage. (At the grocery store! On the phone with the cable company! In a meeting with a client OMFG! Right now as I am writing this!)

And for those of you who are rolling your eyes and thinking, "will she just get over it already!?!", I have two words for you, and I'm pretty sure you can figure out what they are.

Oh! And if you are at work, and you hear that a co-worker has to make a decision regarding their pet, just extend your condolences. It is NOT A GOOD TIME to launch into a heartbreaking story about the death of your own pet, complete with tears and a segue into grave-digging in mid-winter. DO NOT DO THIS.

Thanks again, everyone. Your words have helped me more than I can say. This would have been much more difficult without you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


March 1992 - February 19, 2008
Goodbye, my friend.

Monday, February 18, 2008


While waiting for x-rays to develop at the vet's yesterday afternoon, I looked out the window and there were little green shoots poking up from the ground. It gave me a little hope that even though I am awash in sadness right now, the world is turning, and I will not feel this sadness and grief forever.

I found out yesterday that the "List" does indeed work. Rocky had an awful time Saturday night, and when he wasn't doing any better by yesterday afternoon, I made the call. The vet asked me to meet him at the office ("as soon as you can get there"), and when I arrived, the vet's wife, who is also one of his assistants, had come along as well. Those two people used their entire Sunday afternoon (a day when they were not even on call) to try to help Rocky.

They put Rocky in an oxygen tent to try to get him comfortable, and we discussed the options. The vet wanted to get some x-rays, do a fecal sample, and go from there. He explained that if things looked grim from the x-rays, it may be time to make a decision. He said he had basically tried everything he could, and if the x-rays looked bad, he could give me a referral to the Cornell Veterinary School, who are the local go-to guys for tough cases. I said that I was not willing to let Rocky suffer any further, and that if the x-rays looked bad, I wanted to ...... well ...... you know.

The vet developed the x-rays, and said that they did not look any worse than the previous x-rays. He explained that Rocky's decline might have something to do with stuff trying to work its way out of his lungs. The fecal tests came back negative, which means there is probably not a parasitic infection.

Because Rocky is bright-eyed and eating and drinking well, the vet suggested we give it one last shot. So they switched his antibiotics, and currently he is on oxygen 24/7. The vet said that if Rocky is going to turn around, he will do so by tomorrow. If tomorrow comes and he is still not better, we are going to ...... you know. Because I will not allow him to suffer. I will not wait until he is glassy-eyed and suffocating. I feel that this is the last, best thing I can do for him.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

There Is, Indeed, A "List"

While at the vet's yesterday afternoon, the vet let me know that although his office would be closed this weekend, another local vet would be taking his emergency calls. Then he said, "We're going to put you on the "list". If you need to call this weekend, and you get the answering service, just tell them you're on the "list", and they'll put you right through to me". Hmmm. I always suspected such "lists" existed, but I never knew for sure until now.

Comforting and disquieting, all at the same time.

The vet called last night with the results of the lab work from yesterday. He said that Rocky had a very high white blood cell count. I said, "that means cancer, right?" And he said, "no, that means infection, as opposed to cancer". He said that he was actually encouraged by the finding, because it will help to narrow things down, and it is pointing away from cancer. I have to take his word on this, because I know nothing about things medical.

So, Rocky will continue on the antibiotics, and we go back on Monday for more x-rays.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rocky Update

Rocky seems to be breathing a bit easier after starting the antibiotics. Although I must say, they are giving him the most spectacular case of "the runs" I have ever seen.

The vet's office just called. The vet tech said the lab tests revealed "no significant findings". When I asked if that was good or bad, she said, "good".

The vet wants to see Rocky at 2 o'clock today, I assume for more x-rays.

Again, please wish Rocky luck.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Right Now

Right now, Rocky is at home, on massive doses of antibiotics, on the off chance that they might help.

Right now, there are no answers. We are waiting for the lab results from the needle aspiration.

Right now, I have to go. Right now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Maybe a Cough Drop Would Help?

Rocky has to go to the vet tonight. Several weeks ago (right about the time the vet switched his arthritis meds, it occurs to me now), he started in with a "hairball cough". If you have a cat, you know what I'm talking about here. He never actually puked up any hairballs, just coughed. I kept thinking it would go away, and then I started thinking maybe I should call the vet ..... and ...... yeah. Time passes. You know how that goes.

So here it is several weeks later, and yesterday he started in with what I call "wet breathing". Ewwwwwww. You know how when you have a cold, and you're all congested, and it sounds like you are breathing underwater, because your lungs are so full of crud? And you're just kind of ..... wheezing? Yeah. That's what Rocky's doing. And when you combine "hairball cough" with "wet breathing", that's a pretty scary sound right there. Oh! And when he purrs, it sounds like a freaking FREIGHT TRAIN.

While it really doesn't seem to bother HIM at all, it is freaking ME the fuck out. So at 11:30 last night, I was up in the attic in my PJs, hauling down the humidifier, then rummaging through my desk looking for the instructions, and getting the whole thing set up, trying to ease poor kitty's labored breathing.

It didn't help. So! At five o'clock tonight, we have a date with the vet. Hopefully we can get this breathing thing straightened out, because it is scaring ME to death. Oh, and while we're there, his nails need to be clipped back, and he's got these weird lumps on his neck, and I think it's time to try some new arthritis meds, and he needs some more flea stuff, and ..... we could be there for a while.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

But Isn't That What Blogging Is?

Cartoon in The New Yorker:

Two women are at a cocktail party. One woman says to the other: "Tonight I'll be performing a monologue about where I like to shop, my hair color, and something my mother did that upset me."

Yep, that's my blog.


Oh, the moon! Just a bright little sliver hanging in the sky. Moonlight is sharper, more brilliant when it's very cold out. And the stars were bright bright pinpricks scattered across the dark.

That's what you get to see when you put off taking the garbage to the curb until 9 o'clock.

Just a Quick Question

If you are against nationalized health care, then what do you have to say to the approximately 45 million Americans who have no health insurance? "Go pound salt"? "I've got mine, tough shit about you"?

Just curious.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Six degrees and windy is just not right. It should be illegal.

Victor on The Young & The Restless is being such an asshat lately that I think he's finally gonna put me off the show for good. Enough is enough. Plus, twenty-odd years is long enough to watch any show. Unless it's the news.

Out of boredom, I decided to paint my bathroom. And because it is February and I am being driven slowly insane by the weather, I decided to paint the ceiling a sky blue, the walls a light green, and the trim "fuschia fizz", which looks exactly like it sounds. So! I got the ceiling done, and it looks really cool. Then I started with the green walls, and ........ I'm rethinking. I mean, it's a lovely light shade of green, but I'm afraid if I do all the walls that color, it'll look like the inside of a toothpaste tube. I'm all for "different", but not "bad different". So, the walls that I've already painted will stay green, but I'm thinking about yellow for the other walls. No off-white for me - I want COLOR, dammit!

It really does pay to buy better paint. I had been dicking around with the cheap shit from CrapMart, but on Sunday I splurged and bought Kilz, and holy cow is it worth it! One coat! Whoopee!

When you are walking around a store with a quart of light green and a quart of Fuschia Fizz, everybody feels free to add their two cents about your color choices. Shove it, peeps - it's my bathroom. And you're sporting a really lousy haircut.

Soup explosions never happen in the microwave at home - only in the microwave at work.

The first new episode of Lost was just so-so, but the second episode rocked, so I'll keep watching. On the other hand, the first new episode of Survivor was so lame that I may never watch that show again. On the plus side, Johnny Fairplay is gone. On the minus side, Yao Min is still there. (I felt stupid even typing "Johnny Fairplay". I hope to god that kid's fifteen minutes of fame are over with.)

Spell-check still not working. WTF?

Did I mention that it's six degrees out? And windy? Suck.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Now He's Literally Trying to Kill Me

I woke up at 5 o'clock yesterday morning to the smell of smoke and the sound of a blaring smoke alarm. I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, headed to the kitchen, pulled a coat on over my PJs, pulled on my boots, headed for the door, and realized ....... wait a minute. While I could smell smoke, there was no visible smoke in my apartment, and while I could hear a smoke alarm, it was not my smoke alarm.

At first I figured that one of the guys in the building had stayed up late, gotten drunk, put a TV dinner in the oven, and then passed out, until the TV dinner incinerated itself to a smoky, smelly crisp. When you live in a building full of guys, that scenario is a familiar one.

I decided to head downstairs, just to make sure it wasn't something more serious, only to discover that Jabba the Hutt, that fat fucking bastard, had dumped his ashtray into his bedroom garbage can and then passed out. Turns out there was a still-burning cigarette in the ashtray, which then caught the contents of the garbage can on fire. And when the smoke and the smoke alarm finally woke the fucktard up, instead of calling 911, he tried to put the fire out himself. And when he could not do this, instead of calling 911, he yelled to the people in the next apartment for help. P., who lives in the apartment next to Jabba's, heard him, ran over, and put out the fire. And then Jabba bitched out P. for not getting there fast enough (!), then settled onto his couch for some quality TV time.

You know, I have been hoping for quite some time that Jabba drops dead soon. I just don't want him taking the rest of us with him.

Oh, and don't forget to vote!

Vote Early and Often!

I entered a shadowbox in a contest that Amy is running at Charming Sam Studio. I'm afraid my entry looks pretty juvenile compared to the others, but please feel free to head on over there and check out all the entries! And vote! (For the best one, of course; not necessarily for mine.)

(Mine is the one by Wendy W. It's kind of hard to tell, but it is a shadowbox. I know it looks pretty amateurish, but I had fun doing it. So there.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's That Time of Year

Why is my spell check not working? Is anyone else on blogger having that problem? I apologize in advance for any future misspellings (sp?) until this gets fixed.

Anyway, February in Upstate New York is pretty bleak. At lunchtime today, I took a ride around town just to get out of the office for a little bit. It was rainy and cold and cloudy and dark, and dirty slushy piles of plowed snow were everywhere, along with all the garbage that gets revealed when the snow melts.

The boss has been out of town, so I've been keeping myself busy with paperwork. He just called and said I could go home early if I wanted to, and I actually mentally recoiled because, well, there's nothing to do at home! I'd rather stay here and get paid for being bored than go home and be bored for free! I just can't seem to get excited about any of the "artistic" stuff I'm working on, and I can't seem to muster any energy for dusting, cleaning, etc. Not even my magic steam carpet cleaner interests me at this point. I can't seem to muster any energy for anything - there's a Netflix movie that's been sitting on my coffee table for weeks, and I just .... can't........seem to getting around to watching it.

A funny thing happens with the sidewalks in my neighborhood. Back when the snow first starts to fall (in OCTOBER, thankyouverymuch), my neighbors and I are all prompt about going out and shoveling the sidewalks. By January, we're not quite as quick with the shovel, and by last Friday, when the latest shitstorm hit, NOBODY in my neighborhood bothered with their sidewalks. It was like some collective subconscious decision had been made: "Screw it. We'll wait until it melts".

Oh, and I am so tired of getting up in the morning and getting ready for work in the dark. That's just not right.

SO, does anybody have any coping strategies for this time of year? Because I'm hanging on by my fingernails and fresh out of ideas.

Updated to add: The other night, I was actually thinking about going to the drugstore, picking up a bottle of temporary hair dye, and ...... No! NOOOOOO! Step away from the hair dye! I am usually extremely good at keeping myself entertained, but this winter is just kicking my butt. Hard.


I answer the phones at my office, and believe me, I field some pretty strange calls. From time to time, I'll get what I call a "chatterer" - someone who doesn't really want to hire our company, who doesn't even understand what it is we do exactly, but who just wants to talk.

Some old guy called today and went on and on and on about this building he rents, how it's possibly chemically contaminated, how the landlord isn't giving him any answers, and blahblahblah. He didn't sound crazy, just lonely, and I wasn't that busy, so I just let him go on until he ran out of words (about twenty minutes).

There used to be an old lady who called here wanting to talk about a bridge that was on the road she lived on, and how she thought it was unsafe, but the State said it was ok, and ..... you get the picture. Eventually she'd segue into stories about her grown daughters, her deceased husband, etc. She hasn't called here for a couple of years, and sometimes I wonder what happened to her.

I just think it's so sad that there are lonely, needy people out there who have no one to talk to. Or maybe they do have people to talk to, lots of people, but need more people to talk to. Maybe they could tell their story to everyone in the world and still be looking for someone to talk to.

Maybe that's why I have this blog - so I'll never run out of people to talk to.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Don't Even Know What That Is

I just dropped my car off for an oil change. The guy asked me which oil change service I wanted, and when I said "huh?" he pointed to a laminated placard on the counter with their three levels of oil change service:

1. "Good" - i.e., You hate your car, and it will soon drop dead to spite you because you bought the cheapest oil change.

2. "Better" - You are demonstrating a little car love, but for pete's sake, don't be a cheapskate, just jump on up to -

3. "Best" - You clearly love your car, and it will run forever because you bought the most expensive oil change.

OK, you all know which one I picked. Anyway, I was reading the lists of services under all the different levels, and the last item on each one was "free courtsey check". And all I could think was, "Shit! I don't even have a skirt on today! Can you even courtsey in slacks?"

Of course, I know they meant "courtesy". And as it turns out, that funky little bow of respect is spelled "curtsy". Which just looks wrong to me; way too close to "crusty". Actually, if it was up to me, "courtsy" would be the correct spelling. Of course, it's not up to me.

This particular place is part of a franchise with, like, nine billion locations, and I am sure that the laminated placard is on the counter in each one. I wonder if anyone besides me is curious about that free "courtsey" check. Probably not. I'm just weird like that.

Philly, I'm Warning You

So! My trip is all rebooked for the end of the month.

The reason I couldn't get out of town last week was because the Philadelphia airport, where I needed to make my connection, was shut down for two days. Due to "weather conditions".

This morning, my boss needed to get to Florida, via Philly. Guess what? Philly was shut down again. Due to "weather conditions". Folks, it is 47 degrees and raining in Philly right now. WTF?

To recap, out of the last five days, the Philly airport has been shut down for three of them.

Philly, I'm warning you. When I come through there later this month, do not fuck with me. Because if you do, I will burn your ass to the ground.

Donut Quiz

I took the donut quiz. According to the quiz, I am a boston creme donut. Now all I can think about is donuts! Yummm, donuttsssss .........

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Not Wallowing In It

Seriously, I'm not, but I do have to say, it's pretty damn depressing to unpack your bag from a trip you never got to take.

Right now, I'm looking at flights toward the end of the month. If I stretch it out into March, the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens has this butterfly thing which I have been assured is seriously cool. (Geek Geek Geek I Am).

It's hard to even think about planning this whole thing all over again. But I will. Back in the saddle, and all that. Where's my inner Pollyanna when I need her?

Saturday, February 02, 2008


....... oh yes they did.

I got a call at home last night around 7. It was an automated call from US Air, notifying me that my flight out on Saturday morning had been cancelled, and advising me to call to reschedule.

Aaaaggghhhhh! So, I got on the phone with US Air, talking to a person with limited English-speaking capacities (no big surprise there), and he informed me that the flight had been cancelled due to "weather conditions". WTF? It was still twelve hours before the flight, and all it was doing outside was raining. I guess "weather conditions" is code for, "everything is backed up all through the system, we oversold all the flights, and you're shit out of luck".

So. I asked what my options were, and he said I could try to get out Saturday afternoon (I just checked the web, all the afternoon flights are oversold), I could try to go Sunday on standby, or I could try to go out Monday. Oh. My. God. Major suckage. US Air can kiss my butt.

So, I am not going to Texas today. Or, any time in the forseeable future. Because evidently, ONE DAY of ice equals no travel for anyone anytime soon.

My sister kindly talked me down off the ledge last night, and now we are looking at March. Shit.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Well, damn, if Upstate New York in the winter isn't just a laugh riot!

I got up this morning at 4:30 and got ready to go. The first sleet was hitting the ground as I got in the car. By the time I got to the airport, the roads were solid ice. First the flight was "on time", then it was "delayed". There is a big picture window in the gate area, and it was covered with a thick sheet of ice. My connecting airport was not accepting any flights, so we could take off, but we couldn't land. Then, finally, after two hours of listening to pounding sleet, "cancelled". And, the flight after that was cancelled. And the flight after that. Etcetera.

Crap. So I'm gonna try the whole thing again tomorrow. Wheeee!

Actually, it's not so bad. I'll leave a day later and come back a day later, so no harm, no foul. I really felt bad for the party of six, who were trying to get to Fort Lauderdale to hop on a Carnival Cruise. "Come back tomorrow" doesn't really work in that case.

Oh, and Listie, I'll try to blog from Texas!