Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cookie therapy

So! Last Wednesday, I went to the dentist to have some work done, which ended the way these visits always do: My jaw is killing me.

I have a condition called TMJD, which basically means that the cartilage in my jaw is shot. Kind of like having a bum knee, except I have a bum jaw.

And it really doesn't bother me any more, except for any time I have to have any dental work done more complicated than a simple cleaning. At which point my jaw says, "Well, SHIT, sister, let's have some fun!"

And the pain cranks up and stays. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks, and on one memorable occasion, back when I was first diagnosed, for months.

All I can do is wear my nightguard and keep on a regular Advil schedule and wait it out.

Oh, and eat.

Ironically, one of the only things that makes my aching jaw feel better is chewing. Not opening and closing my mouth, not fake-chewing, but actual chewing.

Right now I'm working my way through a box of Friehofer's cookies. Those little mini-cookies. I'm pretty sure they'll be gone by Friday.

Time to dust off the Jillian Michaels DVD ...

Oh! Oh! And in totally unrelated news, which I thought of because of Jillian Michaels who is on The Biggest Loser which I tried to watch last night but could not because of all that grunting in the gym but it reminded me of another reality TV show ..

Is anybody watching Sister Wives? Is that not the most creepy show ever? I mean, let's put aside the whole polygamy thing, isn't the husband, like, really odd? Like a cross between Charlie Brown and Charles Manson?

Oh! And all they do is sit around and talk about how they're perfectly normal, of course they have sex but it's one at a time hahahaha nothing to see here move along ...

... moving along.

I can't even talk about the weather forecast here right now because I am not good in a crisis and lalalalalala jeezus wish me luck.

Think dry thoughts, okay?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The weekend in pictures

So, there was some good stuff that happened last weekend, other than that horrifying incident on Sunday - which, if past experience is an indicator of future performance, I will be having nightmares about for years.

I went to the Herbert Johnson museum at Cornell:

I'm not really sure what "Translate Allah" means, but the museum was fantastic as always. And it's free! (Don't worry; I'm not a total rube - I put a donation in the donation box.) They have The Goose Girl there, and lots of other cool stuff.

While I was in Ithaca, I went to the Ithaca Antique Mall, and bought my Christmas presents for myself. SHUT UP. Oh! And when I got home Saturday, there were two big ol' boxes of books waiting on my porch. I did a little wriggle dance when I got out of the car and saw them.

Sunday, the deer were out in force:

Lots of turkeys were calling as well.

Stained glass:

And it's the time of year when you have to get rid of the leaves if you want to see the cats:

He's hiding in plain sight.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Confession

I ran over a snake yesterday.

I. feel. AWFUL.

I even saw it in the road up ahead, but I swear I didn't think it was a snake. I mean, snakes in the road are NOT THAT COMMON around here, and it wasn't even moving. I just thought it was a piece of rope or something that fell off a passing car.

Until I was right up on top of it, and then it was too late.

Oh, I feel HORRIBLE. And the worst part is, I don't even think I killed it; it was still ... aw, shit ... writhing in the road when I looked in my rearview mirror after realizing what had just happened. And THEN I was all, like, maybe I should go back and run it over again to put it out of its misery? And then I was, like, but maybe it's a survivable injury and if I run it over again I really will kill it?

Bottom line, I didn't go back. I simply could not go back and do that again.

I feel awful. That poor snake. I didn't mean it, snake. I'm so sorry.

I suck.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freaky Friday - The story of the lamp

Okay, so this lamp isn't exactly freaky, but it does have a story behind it.

That lamp is the reason I bought my house.

You see, I had been living happily in a one-bedroom apartment for many years. It was in a four-unit building and had a big backyard so I could garden. The rent was insanely cheap. Most of the other tenants were long-term and we all got along fairly well, in general. If a jerk moved in, the landlord, who was a sweetie, was pretty good at getting them to move on.

And then, in 2007, the sweetie landlord sold the building. To an out-of-town slumlord who was determined to keep all the units rented, all the time, no matter to whom he had to rent them in order to do it. And then the slumlord moved his father into the apartment below mine. His developmentally disabled father, who was deaf as a post and, as a result, kept his TV cranked to max volume ALL THE TIME.

Finally, after a YEAR of listening to old B-movies at maximum volume, the dad dropped dead. But by that time, I'd had enough, and was tentatively running the numbers, seeing if I had enough money to start looking at houses.

And then the next tenant moved into the downstairs apartment.

This dude looked, well, menacing. The other tenants were scared of him. He had all kinds of sketchy people going in and out of his apartment at all hours. I wondered who he was and where he came from.

By now it was getting close to Christmas-time, 2008, and I had been looking for a stained-glass floor lamp for the living room, for my Christmas present to myself. (When you are single, you give yourself Christmas presents. I do, anyway. SHUT UP.) When I found the lamp in the pic above on line, I fell in love. Oh, I wanted that lamp. It cost more than I wanted to spend, and the shipping alone was going to be fifty bucks, but screw it. Life in the apartment building was getting scary, it was dark and cold outside, and I ordered the lamp. And waited for it to arrive.

And waited. And waited.

I checked with FedEx; they said the lamp had been delivered to the building. I checked with some of the other tenants in the building; nobody had seen the lamp.
Finally, knowing that the lamp was probably gone for good, I called the cops. Who found the lamp in the apartment of the guy downstairs. Who said he was "holding" it for me. For four days.

I'd had enough. My neighbors were stealing from me. They took my beautiful lamp. I had to get out.

And the rest, my fraaaaaynds, is history. I bought a house. I live where I live now, all because of the lamp.

It's a pretty lamp, isn't it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A view from the park

I live in a valley, so in the evenings the hillsides are still sunny when I'm in the shade. Add in a moonrise and sometimes it's kind of surreal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm off!

... to the dentist's office, to have a great big ol' tooth ground down into a leeetle nub and to get fitted for a crown.

The last time I had crown work done, the temporary crown fell off after two days, so there's that.

Oh, and the last time I had drilling work done, I found out what happens when the dentist slips with the drill, so ... yeah ...


wish me luck?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Songs I LOVED when I was a kid, Part 1

Keep in mind that I was a child of the seventies.

Come Saturday Morning - The Sandpipers

I Think I Love You - The Partridge Family - If you were a young girl in the seventies, you had to have a crush on David Cassidy. It was mandatory, like gym class.

Eres Tu - Mocedades

Do You Wanna Make Love - Peter McCann

One Tin Soldier from the "Billy Jack" movie

One Toke Over The Line -- Brewer & Shipley. I'll bet my parents just about shit when they heard me singing along to that classic.

Afternoon Delight -- Starland Vocal Band

Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) -- Reunion

China Grove - Doobie Brothers

Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts

Seasons In The Sun -- Terry Jacks - This song actually depressed the living CRAP out of me, and scared me as well (what? People actually DIE?) until I went to my friend Sandy's house one afternoon and she played it over and over and OVER while she cleaned her hamster's cage. I became immune to it that day. What do they call that - immersion therapy?

The Night Chicago Died -- Paper Lace

Any song by John Denver - In the seventies, John Denver was required listening. I think they piped it through the water.

Precious And Few -- Climax

Beach Baby -- First Class

O-o-h Child -- The Five Stairsteps

Sometimes When We Touch -- Dan Hill. So dramatic!

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) -- Edison Lighthouse

The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia -- Vicki Lawrence - Oh, Vicki had an AWESOME backstory - The way I remember it, she was a big fan of The Carol Burnett show back when it was on the air (Lyle Waggoner, anybody?), so she wrote Carol a fan letter, and Carol wrote back and said, "Come on out to Hollywood and be on my show!", so she did.

The Free to Be You and Me soundtrack - I wore that sucker out.

Now, I am trusting Amazon as far as the named artists go - I was just a kid when these songs came out. I'm pretty sure "The Five Stairsteps" did not perform the version of Oooooh Child that I listened to, but I don't know who DID, so whatevs.

I'm also pretty sure that I had NO IDEA what the lyrics to some of these songs actually meant.

Okay, what songs were you diggin when you were a kid? Fess up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I TOLD you he was a jerk

Remember the sextuplet dad? The one who was a total jerk?

Looks like daddy's got himself in a little bit of trouble.

Ordinarily, getting yourself arrested is the fastest way to boost ratings for your reality show, but domestic violence?

Say goodbye to the cameras, bud.

Fun with furniture

aaaaaannnd .... they're off.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Freaky Friday!

He's a cowboy
On a steel horse he rides

This is a metal toy. The horse's hind legs balance on the bar, and the round weight behind the bar balances things out. If you give it a nudge, the cowboy and the horse rock back and forth. When it's not shoved up against a cabinet as in this pic, that is. If I leave it freestanding the cats go Godzilla on it. That's entertainment!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pioneer Woman - I'm just like her!

Except for showing off my La Creuset cookware and my kabillion-dollar guest house renovations like The Pioneer Woman, I show off the stuff I scavenge from the side of the road!

I've been looking for some lawn furniture for the backyard. I mean, come on, it looks kind of bare:

What's that? No, no, I'm not planning on raking leaves any time soon. Up here, you just run 'em over with the lawn mower. Done!

Anyhow, back this past summer I snagged an old wicker rocker from down by the creek, but when I got it home I realized it was really pretty much past redemption. So I was beyond happy when I scored some solid wood lawn chairs from a local curb a couple of weeks back.

And then, AND THEN, imagine the happy feeling I got when I saw that the people in one of the houses up my street had put a wicker loveseat out to the curb. Oh, I wanted that loveseat. But! I was unsure of the etiquette of scrounging from the neighbors. I mean, "tacky" comes to mind.

But, well, it wasn't a next-door neighbor or anything, but still, I knew the people who lived in the wicker-loveseat-at-the-curb house, at least to say "hi" to, and I wondered if it would be weird to go, well, re-purpose their furniture.

But oh, I could not let that wicker loveseat get away! It was killing me to drive by it, day after day, all alone at the curb. And garbage day was rapidly approaching. So, last night after work, I got myself together, moseyed up the street, and rang their doorbell.

"Hi, Sue!" I said when the wife came to the door. "I see you've got a loveseat at the curb! Are you giving it away? (well, duh, but I was trying to be polite, here.) I'd love to have it for my backyard, if you don't mind!"

Boy, was I glad to get THAT little speech over with. AWK-ward! And Sue was happy to part with her no-longer-wanted loveseat, because as it turns out, she had gotten BETTER wicker furniture at a garage sale the weekend before and the circle of life and all that.

My loveseat, let me show you it:

Pioneer Woman, eat your heart out! A little paint and that's going to be beautiful!

Oh, and here it is with the wooden lawn chairs, which are also in need of scraping and painting but you've got to have vision, people:

How many cats can you find in that picture?

Somehow I don't think The Pioneer Woman's going to be coming to visit any time soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sending the wrong message

Do any of you watch Teen Mom, or its precursor, Sixteen and Pregnant, on MTV?

Those shows have been described as the best teen birth control, ever, and it's true. Showing what it's like after the kid is born and the boyfriend takes off and grandma won't babysit and there's not enough money for diapers has got to be a deterrent for all those teenage airheads who think having a baby is no big whoop.

Imagine my dismay when I was standing in line at the grocery store and noticed that one of the Teen Moms was on the cover of People. And another Teen Mom was on the cover of, I don't know, Us Weekly or something.

And I was all, like, Nooooooooooo! Ur doin it rong! Because NOW all the teenage airheads are going to think that getting knocked up at 15 and having a kid at 16 will land them the cover of a national magazine.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Attention Readers!

Guys, Better World Books is having a sale - 4 books for ten bucks! And free shipping! And you can get more than 4 - each additional book is just $2.50!


Oh my God you guys, I just went nuts over there - nine books for $22.50!

I swear I am not getting paid to pimp for Better World Books - I just got an email this morning saying the sale was about to end, and I'm all, like, "what sale?", because evidently I missed the boat on this one somehow, so I headed over there, and holy shit you can save some mega money!

Now, not all books in their catalog are included in the sale, but at least half of the titles I typed in were included, so chances are good that the books you've been wanting to read are on sale. I usually borrow books from the library, but even with inter-library loans, there are some books that aren't available locally, so this was my big chance.

Oh, and Better World Books supports world literacy blahblahblah so there you go.

But the sale ends tonight! Hurryhurryhurry to Better World Books right now!

Whew. My work here is done.

(Oh, and here's what I ordered:
Lottery by Patricia Wood
A Ticket to Ride by Paula McLain
Leave the Building Quickly: True Stories by Cynthia Kaplan
The Wedding Dress by Carrie Young
Petal Pusher by Laurie Lindeen
The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring which I hope is better than that other dog of hers I tried to read
Shout Down the Moon by Lisa Tucker
As Cool As I Am by Pete Framm
Cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less (heh) by Susan Kosoff)

What are you waiting for? GO!

Movie Review: Precious

Yeah, here at RockyCat, we let movies age a few years before reviewing them. *cough* And I actually watched this movie back in June, so, well ... better late than never?

Okay, even if you haven't seen it yet (doubtful), you still probably know what "Precious" is about - a girl growing up in Harlem under brutal family circumstances.

Even though this movie was based on a novel and is not a true-life account, you just know that there's people out there who actually live like this, which is pretty damn depressing. And the movie is not exactly the feel-good flick of the year, but it's still pretty engrossing. Engrossing to the point that I actually felt a little guilty watching it, like I was spying on these people's lives or something.

Recommended, but be advised that this is an extremely, well, mature movie in theme. DO NOT let your kids watch this one, unless they're, like, forty or something.

Monday, September 13, 2010


So, I was watching "The Hangover"* over the weekend, which was an okay movie, until it got to what I call "the deal-breaker".

Namely, Mike Tyson.

There are certain people whom I will not watch. Not in a movie, not on a talk show, not in a cameo appearance, notnotnot. When they appear, I change the channel, 'cause they're deal-breakers for me. I'm not buyin' what they're sellin'.

Mike Tyson is one of them. Any man who beats the shit out of women is not someone I will allow to entertain me.

Oh, it's not just the wife-beaters. See also: Woody Allen (pedophile, in spirit if not technically), Mel Gibson (misogynistic anti-Semite), Tom Cruise (just too damn strange), and I'm sure I can think of a few others if you give me a minute ...

... Renee Zellwegger! I don't know what the hell is wrong with her face, but I'm not watchin' it. Jeezus.

How about you? Any deal-breakers?

*which, come on, that baby never needed a diaper change? Not even once? I'm not buyin' it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freaky Friday - Heaven Sent Edition

Among the many boxes of crap the previous owner of my house oh so thoughtfully left in the attic for me to clean out were these artistic masterpieces:

They're Heaven Sent! (As always, you can click on the pics to embiggen. And please to ignore the heavy coating of dust on these boxes; it's not like I'm gonna break out the Pledge on these any time soon.)

If Antiques Roadshow ever starts up a Resin-Pieces-Of-Crap Division, I'm gonna be rich:

This dude does not look happy about having to carry around that little diorama between his antlers:

Oh, and check out the "welcome" chevron on his chest! Look at his eyes and his bulked-out neck muscles; he's all, "welcome, motherf*ckers. Come on in; I dare ya." It's like Bambi on steroids, resin version.

Seriously, that last one is so hilariously bad that I thought long and hard about actually hanging it on my front door.

"Welcome. Come right on in so I can impale you against the wall with my antlers."

Shit. Maybe I'll go ahead and do it.

Please don't make me watch it.

Okay, I'll try to get a Freaky Friday up a little later, but first I feel like there's something I need to talk about, here.

I was flipping through channels last night when I came across the History Channel. They're already ramping up their 9/11 coverage, and as my stomach sank and my heart got sick, all I could think of before I changed the channel was, "please don't make me watch it."

This time every year on TV, it's the same thing: Hours and hours and hours of planes flying into buildings. Of buildings crashing to the ground. Of a thick, choking layer of dust permeating everything. Of thousands of people streaming across the bridges, desperately trying to get away from the city.

I've been watching those images in early September for nine years now, and I just don't think I can do it anymore. It's not like I'm going to forget. That day is seared into my memory; it's not going anywhere.

And while I certainly understand that these programs have a value, especially for people who were too young to remember that day, I just don't want to relive it anymore.

Here's the scary thing: This country's becoming less tolerant, not more. We're becoming more close-minded, not more enveloping. With the Limbaughs on the radio and that nutjob down in Gainesville who wants to burn the Korans and the Iraqis who are marching in protest, it's like everybody's going off the rails all at once. And I just want to tell them, "You know what? Go ahead and SAY what you want. BURN those Korans. MARCH that march. Do what you feel you need to do to express yourself, as long as it's not physically hurting anybody else. Go for it. That's the damn POINT. It's called freedom of expression."

All you have to do is watch some of the the video from that Glenn Beck rally to know that there are an awful lot of people out there who believe that anybody who doesn't look, talk and think just like they do should be taken out and shot. By that criteria, I'd be dead right now.

Just let me live my life, okay? And you can live yours.

And please don't make me watch those planes again.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


While I was moaning about my visit to the dentist yesterday, my sister Texas's home, with her in it, was hit by a flash flood courtesy of Tropical Storm Hermine.

She had to be rescued via jet ski. She could have died. Everything in her home, from the floors up to a height of four feet, is going to have to be gutted down to the studs and redone. She's looking at weeks, if not months, in a residence hotel while the work is done.

Hang in there, sis. Better times are comin'. And if you need me to come down and help out with the appliance selection*, just give me a call.

*stainless steel. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Christ on a cracker

On Saturday, I wrote a check for $1,700.00 for the replacement windows, with another $900.00 due at installation.

This morning, I went to the dentist and learned that I need a thousand dollars worth of crown work done.


Excuse me while I go rob a bank ....

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

This past weekend

I actually had a lot of stuff I was going to get done this past weekend, but sitting down on Saturday morning and writing out a check (for more than I paid for my first car, dagnab it!) for the replacement windows seemed to take the wind out of my sails. Plus, they can't even do the install until November, so we're looking at an extreme case of delayed gratification, here.

But! I did manage to get some stuff done:

Cleaned out the car, which was beginning to look like somebody was living in it. I can actually see the carpets now.

Found a roadside ditch where monarch caterpillars were having an eating competition on the milkweed.

A few feet down from the caterpillars, found some solid wood lawn furniture that somebody had put out at the road with a "Free" sign. Whoopee! A little sanding and painting, and that's gonna be some fine-lookin' outdoor seating. Jeezus, I'm cheap.

On a related note, fished a Razor scooter out of the creek, where it had landed after evidently being tossed off the bridge overhead. The water was cold, but it was worth it. Why, I'm not sure. I'd better watch it, or I'm going to end up on an episode of "Hoarders".

Saw a great blue heron playing with its food. It'd pick up a fish, thrash it around a little, drop it back in the water, let it get a little bit away, then charge after it again.

Finally got some bedding for the Craftmatic! Adjustable! Bed!

Weed-whacked the ditch, which is probably my least-favorite chore.

Covered some of the exposed insulation in the garage. Wasn't that doing to get done last year? Yes. Yes it was.

Got buzzed by hummingbirds going to the feeder. Those little dudes are aggressive, bless 'em.

Sat down and read a "National Enquirer." It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

So, I did get some stuff done this weekend. And by writing a ginormous check to the window people, my main chore in weekends past, which was scraping and painting the window frames, is no longer an issue. How will I ever fill the time? I don't know, but I'm sure I'll find something.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Freaky Friday!

Okay, first off, if you don't want to see, like, bones and stuff, you should probably skip this one, okay?


This is a box that used to contain Christmas cards:

In case you can't read my chicken scratch, the note on the box says "Do not shake - skeleton inside".

When you come to my place, there is stuff like that just lying around all over. Which is probably why nobody ever comes to visit.

Here is what's inside the box:

That's why I was asking you guys about where birds like to be. I found that skeleton in the parking lot at work, at the base of the stairs. And it was really weird, because usually there's an intermediate stage before something gets skeletal. I mean, first it's like a dead bird with feathers and guts and stuff, then it starts to decompose and the bugs are eating it, and then, eventually, it reaches skeleton stage. But this thing just appeared one day as a full-fledged skeleton, with no in-between.

Well! Of course I had to pry it off the blacktop, poor thing. And now I'm going to incorporate it into some kind of art-thingie. I was just going to mount it on some cloud fabric with some leaves around it so it could be like it was in a tree (per your suggestions), but then I had to go and start thinking about the whole thing, and now I'm bogged down in, "what would be the perfect way to display these bones?", which means I've basically screwed the pooch, idea-wise, and the project may never get done if I don't just choose a direction and GO. Oh, and I tend to anthropomorphize the shit out of everything, which doesn't make working with bones and stuff any easier, I'll tell ya that right now.


You just got a little glimpse into my brain, there. Scary, isn't it?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Just call him Ah-nold ...

... or, you know, Roger Clemens.

Poor Runtman had to go back on the steroids. The over-the-counter stuff was working for a while, then it wasn't. (For those of you who are new (hi!), The Runt is one of my cats. He developed inhaled-allergy problems earlier this summer.)

I don't know why I'm so disappointed. I guess it's a combination of hating to watch him dig and twitch and scratch when we thought we had this all figured out, and the fact that he's only two. Two! He's just a baybee cat, too young to have all these med problems.

Poor dude.

But! He did manage to catch a gigantor dragonfly last night, so he can't be feeling too poorly.

Oh! And that dragonfly was HUGE. And it's so funny; The Runt'll swat 'em right down out of the air, and then carry them around in his mouth while they're still buzzing madly. That's got to be a strange feeling, a dragonfly all a-buzz in your mouth, but he does it all the time. Weirdo.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It happened last night

Back this spring, the kind Jess Riley sent me some milkweed seeds to plant to attract Monarch butterflies, but because I'm a spaz, I failed to get the seeds to germinate.

So earlier this summer found me by the side of a nearby road, digging up milkweed from a ditch and transplanting it to the edge of my yard.

Last night I was puttering around outside and noticed something on one of the milkweed plants. Check it ouuuuuuutttt: