Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Or over on my sidebar to the left, under "Interesting People", where is says "Osprey Cam"!
In other news (hahaha NICE SEGUE *cough*), I have eighteen items on my to-do list for this weekend. How many of them do you think I will actually accomplish? How many items are on YOUR list? Come on, make me feel good.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
So, last Friday, the night before the supposed Rapture, I watched "2012". I mean, it was practically mandatory, right? Nothing like a good end-of-the-world movie to give you survival tips for the apocalypse that is coming the very next day.
Except, (a) the Rapture didn't happen, and (b) the movie sucked.
Did anybody else watch this dog? Holy cow, was it bad. And if John Cusack raked his hands through his hair ONE MORE TIME, I swear I was gonna snatch him bald.
The special effects were cheesy, even on my dinky nineteen-inch TV, and the movie was full of ridiculous sub-plots like that Russian dude with his bratty kids and his trophy wife, although honestly, I couldn't watch enough of it at any given time to really pick up on any of the finer points. I kept switching away, and then after fifteen minutes or so, I'd switch back, thinking maybe a miracle had occurred and the movie had somehow gotten better in the interim, and ... no.
But! Last Sunday, I did watch a movie that was actually really good. "Anvil - The Story of Anvil" originally aired on VH-1, and it's about these dudes in a heavy metal band ("Anvil", duh), who basically had one moment in the sun back in the eighties and have been trying to get back in the spotlight for the past thirty years.
And really, they actually are pretty good musicians, they just can't catch a damn break. And, well, not to be blunt or anything, but ... oh, shit, the lead singer's so damn ugly it kind of hurts to look at him. Then again, Kiss made it big, and they were so flippin' ugly they had to wear disguises on stage. And you've gotta kind of love a guy who wears bondage gear on stage, the way the Anvil singer does.
But you wonder what would push these guys to keep trying, for DECADES, after all signs point to No.
It was kind of depressing, actually, but still really involving. I kind of want them to have big hit song, just to justify thirty years of tilting at windmills.
So! "2012", bad. "Anvil", good.
Seen any good movies lately?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Okay, okay, I'll admit it - I watched (parts of) the finale of The Biggest Loser last night - I mean, how could I not? I've watched (bits and pieces of) the show all season, so it kind of behooved me to see how it ended.
And I have two questions:
What was UP with that blond chick in the (I think) blue dress? At one point, they showed all the contestants exiting the stage to change back into their workout clothes, and there was this blond chick all stomping off the stage, like, "I'ma gonna KILL somebody!". They even had a handler grabbing onto her arm, like she was about to punch somebody. Plus, she had the strangest looking boobs I've ever seen in my life. Who WAS she? Because I don't remember her from the show.
Second: Okay, so this was a LIVE finale, right? And they were getting weighed in, RIGHT THERE, to see who wins the money. And the opera singer won (yay!) by THREE POUNDS.
Question: When do you think was the last time any of them ate?
Seriously. As a contestant, you know when the live finale is going to be. You know that whether you win or not depends on how much you weigh, right then at the finale. You know that it could be close.
How far ahead do you stop eating? A day? A week? How many laxatives do you take? How do you finagle your way into a bathroom backstage so you can puke ONE LAST TIME before they weigh you?
Or - wait a minute - do the show's producers force them to eat? Are they all, like, "you HAVE to eat these green beans or else you'll be disqualified!" Because I could see this potentially turning pretty grim, otherwise. Like, "Coming soon to NBC, The Biggest Bulimic!"
What do you think?
It smells really, really good, and the bees love it. It's around twenty-five feet tall.
And here is where I confess that I'm about as good at tree identification as I am at bird ID, which is to say, not at all, so ...
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
So anyway, we were on our way back from the cardiologist in Ithaca on Monday, driving through all the dinkytown speed traps between there and here, and we were going through this one particular town. Candor. It was Candor. You've gotta love a town called Candor, right?
So we are driving down the main drag, doing the 30 mph speed limit, because, speed trap, and there's this dude meandering up the sidewalk with a plastic bag full of cans, collecting empties from the side of the road.
And as I'm driving toward him, he bends down to pick up a can, and just kind of ... crumples onto the sidewalk. It was this slow-motion collapse.
And I was all, like, "hahaha DRUNK!" Another plastered hobo passes out while collecting cans to pay for his next 40-ouncer.
But then I was, like, "what if he ISN'T drunk? What if he's suffering from a medical condition? Maybe I should stop!"
And you know what I did?
I kept. on. driving.
F*CK that shit. I had just gotten some very bad, awful, no-good news, I had a scared cat in the back of the car who had been in her carrier for HOURS at that point, and I kept right. on. going.
And you know what? I don't feel bad about that at all. Sue me.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
And let me tell you right now, that cat is a saint. On Monday, we had to go to Ithaca to consult with the cardiologist. According to my car's odometer, the cardiologist's office is 55 miles from my house. We were at the office for three hours. Little Girl was in her crate from quarter to nine in the morning until two-thirty in the afternoon, except when she was removed to be ultrasounded and EKG'd and x-rayed and examined, and that little sweetheart never made a peep.
Oh! And let me tell you about the greatest invention EVER. While we were at the cardiologist, after all the tests had been run and analyzed, the vet started going over the pills that Little Girl would have to take. She asked if I was okay with pilling a cat, and I told her, "it depends on the cat". See, some cats are easier to pill than others. Rocky, my old cat, did not object to being pilled. The Runt haaaaaated being pilled, but I could usually get the pills down him.
Little Girl? She barely tolerates being petted, so I knew pilling her could be, well, difficult.
I explained all this to the vet, and she said, (oh! And she had this really charming accent! I think it was Polish, but I'm not sure. It was ADORABLE. I wanted to marry her just to listen to that accent.) "Have you tried a pill pusher?"
And I'm, like, "Huh"? Because in my mind, "pill pusher" sounded like "drug dealer". I'm, like, what exactly is she asking me, here?
"A pill pusher!", she said. "You put the pills in one end, and push the plunger, and it pills the cat!"
As it turns out, the technical name is "pet piller". It looks like this:
And yeah, you put the pills in one end, put the thing in the cat's mouth, toward the back, and push the plunger.
And it works! Oh, IT WORKS. The cat has no chance to p-tooey the pills back out - they just go right down the hatch.
My life, and Little Girl's, got a lot easier with that thing.
So! That is where we are. She is on an ACE inhibitor for her heart, a diuretic to counteract side effects from the ACE inhibitor, and baby aspirin to prevent clots. And hopefully the rain that has been falling for a freaking MONTH now will stop soon, so we can both get back outside.
Because that lawn ain't gonna mow itself.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
All the pens.
All the pencils.
All the post-it note pads.
The white-out thingies.
And, most egregious of all, my stapler.
For f*ck's sake, you'd think this shit was gold, not office supplies.
She scored over 700.
Examination - Cardiology. Cardiology - EKG. Echocardiogram. Radiographs.
Diagnosis: Restrictive Cardiology. Mild congestive heart failure.
Enalapril 2.5 mg tablet 2x day. Lasix 12.5 mg 2x day. Baby aspirin 1x every 3 days.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The same thing that killed her brother.
She seemed to be feeling a little ... listless, last week, so on Thursday we went to the vet. The vet couldn't find any obvious reason for her distress, but suggested we have some blood work done, just to rule out any problems. One of the tests was for heart function.
Last night, the vet called me with the results. A normal "count" for the heart test is under 100. A count of 100 to 240 is reason for concern, and anything over 240 is not good.
Little Girl scored over 700.
We are going to see an animal cardiologist in Ithaca on Monday morning. She will do an ultrasound, and an EKG, and probably a PB&J and God knows what else. The results of these tests will indicate what treatment Little Girl will need.
Look, my lack of action with The Runt was a mistake. With Little Girl, it would be murder. She will get the treatment she needs.
Hopefully, we have caught this in time. We do have that. We do have hope.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Now, a "Recently Read" that you may have seen before, if you were here on Wednesday, when it went up the first time. Skip it if you wanna.
1. Scorched Earth by David Robbins - This was a murder mystery, which I don't normally read, but Badass Nature Girl was kind enough to send it to me, and I'm glad she did, because it was a real page-turner with lots of plot twists. Good!
2. Talk to the Tail by Revilo - BNG also send me this cartoon book - cute!
3. A Separate Peace by John Knowles - Novel about boarding-school students in New England during WWII - I've got a sneaking suspicion that this is a favorite of English teachers. I found it boring, although I'm not the target audience, which I would presume to be teenage boys. Meh.
4. Hey! Let's throw a movie review in here. A Piece of Work is a doc about Joan Rivers. This was interesting. She was a ground-breaking comedian and is still a tough old broad. I just hope that when I'm her age, I'm not working that damn hard, but then again, her work seems to fulfill her, so who am I to judge.
But oh! Speaking of judging, Ms. Rivers has had so much work done, she's starting to look like Jocelyn Wildenstein, which ... why? She's in her seventies; she's supposed to look old, for Pete's sake. Maybe she thought it was the only way she could keep getting work, which is sad. Because it could be true.
5. Okay, back to books. Petal Pusher by Laurie Lindeen - Memoir about life in an indie band (Zuzu's Petals) in the eighties. Good. And she recounted getting an abortion, which a lot of women are (still) reluctant to do.
6. Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. This was so similar to "It" by Stephen King that I actually checked the dates to see which one was written first. (It was "It".) Summer of Night is about a group of kids fighting a supernatural evil power in a small town. It was kind of cliche-ridden, but still very good, and a real page-turner. I'd read it again. Oh, but you might not want to read it right before bed. Word.
7. Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott. Novel about a teenager's summer spent babysitting. I'll say one thing about Ms. McDermott - she sure can suck the life right out of a story. With both this book and Charming Billy, she takes good premises and makes them dry as dust. Her writing is almost robotic, it's so unfeeling. Blech.
8. On High Steel by Mike Cherry - This out-of-print memoir is about an ironworker learning his trade. Interesting read! My only carp that would be at one point, he talks about working on a twenty-story hospital addition in my hometown, and there ARE no twenty-story hospital additions in my hometown. Still, a good book.
9. Brothel by Alexa Albert - Study of the Mustang Ranch in Nevada - Interesting, especially the part about how a lot of legalized prostitutes still have pimps.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I got home from work last night, and
Oh! There was a package on the porch from Badass Nature Girl!
I knew she'd been working on something top-secret, and it had arrived!
"No!" I told myself. You mow that goddamn lawn FIRST, and THEN you can open the package. "It will be your treat." I'm all about the carrot and the stick, don't you know.
But! First, I went in the house, where there was ANOTHER surprise!
Little Girl had left me a great big bullfrog, right in the middle of the hallway.
And here's the thing: She always brings 'em in alive. She's got a mouth like a Labrador, I swear. How the heck she can transport a big ol' frog all the way from the bog out back, up the yard, through the pet door, and into the house without injuring it I have no idea, but she manages.
So! Out came the Cool Whip container, and Mr. Frog went back to the swamp.
Now! It was time to mow. I gassed up the new mower, put in the oil, held my breath, and turned the key.
And the angels sang.
I mowed the front yard, and the side yards, and the front of the backyard. I even managed to mow some of the back-backyard, out back by the Okefenokee, where the land is all squishy. The old lawn mower would NEVER have done that; last year I ended up weed-whacking that part of the yard. But the new mower said "no problem!"
So! An hour-and-a-half later, and it's time to open Badass's package.
She looked at this picture:
And painted this:
It's a little box. For mementos, or photos, or, you know, ashes. Isn't it gorgeous?
I sure wish I had that kind of talent.
And she does all KINDS of cool stuff that she sells at her Etsy shop. Oh! And she also donated her home-made pet gifts to her local animal shelter, in memory of The Runt. How cool is THAT?
BNG, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness is very much appreciated.
And now, I go home to weed-whack. The work is never really done, is it? *sigh*
Monday, May 09, 2011
Yesterday I went out to mow. And I pulled that pull cord and pulled and pulled and PULLED, and that Christless no-good motherf*cking piece-of-shit of a lawn mower WOULD. NOT. START.
I THOUGHT we had an agreement. Evidently the terms of the contract were voided without my knowledge.
So I went to Lowe's and bought a new lawn mower. One with an ELECTRIC start.
And I got it home and wrestled the elephant-sized box out of the back of the car and started putting it together. Which ... why do they call it a carriage bolt? Why can't they call it, "that doohickey that connects the bottom handle to the top handle"? It would have made my afternoon much easier.
So! The mower got assembled. I'm ready to mow! Which is when I discover that the electric start has to charge for eight to ten HOURS before using.
Well, I know what I'm doing after work tonight.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Neither one of them was particularly demonstrative. Their mother was feral, and both of them were deemed "unadoptable" by the shelter as kittens because they were "too wild".
They weren't lap cats, nor were they snugglers. But The Runt would act happy to see me when I got home from work. He loved to hop up on the bed next to me for some quality time with his nuk-nuk towel, and if I was puttering in the garden he'd stay close by. He liked for me to comb him in the morning, and he'd hang out in the bathroom while I was getting ready for work.
Little Girl? Not so much.
I always got the feeling that I was pretty much on the periphery of Little Girl's radar - I was The Lady with the Cat Food. Oh, she'd tolerate a petting on occasion, but she was more likely to meow with indignation if I tried to pick her up. On summer days, sometimes the only time I'd see her was when she'd come in to eat.
But now that she's lost her brudder, I'm not looking so bad to her. Imagine that. She brings me (dead) mice and (live) frogs*, she actually hopped up on the bed and cuddled with me the other morning, and she's decided that SHE wants to get combed in the morning, thankyouverymuch.
Oh, and it's not just me. There's a neighborhood cat whom I call the Cow Kitty, and Little Girl has started a campaign to become Cow Kitty's bff. It's adorable to watch her moon after him.
If she's out in the yard with me and she sees Cow Kitty in a neighbor's yard, she's off to pal around with him.
Little Girl sure misses her brudder. I wish I could make it all better for her. I just don't know how. Any suggestions on how to cheer up a mourning cat?
*oh sweet Jeezus I awoke at four-thirty the other morning to a giant FROG in my bedroom - gah.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I've gotta try to squish this in here, 'cause I think tonight somebody gets voted off Idol, which means if I let this sit here until tomorrow, it will no longer be relevant, but then again, is American Idol ever really "relevant"?
Again, as with Survivor, I'm not paying much attention this season, so I'm not really sure who's left on Idol at this point.
There's the squinty dude, who has a pretty good range, but dude, lose the squint! I mean, I guess he's got, like, Tourette's or something, which makes me wish he'd let loose with some f-bombs in the middle of a song, but seriously, that squint is unnerving. It makes me wonder what the kids would look like if he and Renee Zellwegger got married.
Okay, and there's the big black dude who is evidently channeling Pee-Wee Herman. Trying to live in the group home with THAT dude must be a serious ass-ache. I'll bet it's all drama, all the time with THAT guy.
Who else? Oh yeah - country dude! Why is he still there? I'm pretty sure he's been singing the same damn song, week after week. And that haircut? Horrible. I will guarantee RIGHT NOW that he's gonna be selling cars by the time he's, like, twenty-five.
Okay, now who's that girl - the gravel voiced one? She's actually pretty good, if she'd just stop trying to growwwwwwwwl her way through every damn song. Even Janis only broke that out once in a while, honey.
So ... that's four. And there's five left, right? Who am I missing? Who's going home tonight? Do I care? Um ... no. I predict squinty dude. Although it could be gravel girl, because evidently the masses of teenage girls who comprise the main voting bloc of this show tend to oust their own. Whatever happened to girl power? Sheesh.
Poor Rob! He won, but then he starts wobbling all over the platform and his voice went up about two octaves and he asked two of the other contestants to hold him up, and I'm, like, holy CRAP, this dude's about to bite it, but then I'm like, nah, if he had actually croaked, they would've dragged it out into at LEAST a three-hour special, with all kinds of promos about "a very special episode of Survivor", so then I was okay to watch the rest, 'cause I knew he was gonna make it.
But! You know who I really want to win? That blond religious dude. Matt? Is that his name? That poor bastard's spent the entire show on Exile Island or whatever the hell they're calling it this season. He deserves to win.
Oh! And I was kind of surprised when the other religious dude, the dark-haired guy, said something last night along the lines of "God wants me to win."
Dude? Okay, two things:
A. There is no God.
B. If there was a God, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't give a shit about Survivor.
That's what kills me about religious people. They always presume to know what God wants. Shit, maybe all God wants is a beer and a joint, okay?
One other thing I noticed during last night's show - When it was time for their significant others to show up for a tearful reunion, the "others" didn't really seem all that "significant".
I mean, there were no girlfriends or wives or boyfriend or husbands. It was all, like, moms and sisters and, in one case, a brother-in-law. And I was all, Dude! That's the best you could do? Your brother-in-law?
Okay, I mean, I can get how people would be reluctant to make the trip. I'm assuming it's a pretty long flight, and the contestants only have eight days left anyway, but still, I would have thought at least one hubby or wife would have shown up. I mean, I know Rob's married, because he met his wife on the damn SHOW, which is both awesome and cringe-worthy. Then again, I get how his wife, Amber, has maybe had enough of bug-infested, hot-as-hell tropical islands.
Oh! And I totally understand why Phillip is still there, strategy-wise, but seriously? Dude's gotta go.
So! I was going to talk about American Idol now, but this has already gone on way too long. Coming soon: Why is that country dude still on the show? And also: Little Girl decides I'm not so bad.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
I started to get my whistle back. A little. It came out as sad little disjointed squawks. Then it went away again. I'm sure my co-workers are grateful.
As much as you guys are probably thinking, "Holy shit, she killed her cat", trust me, you are not thinking it as much as I am. Although I do keep trying not to beat myself up too much. Then again, I'm sure that Hitler considered himself a pretty decent guy, too.
A week after The Runt's death, we had some pretty major storms here, with, like, tornados and flooding and shit. And friends were calling me at ten o'clock at night, all, "OMG, are you going to be evacuated? Do we need to come help you get away?" And I was all, like, "meh". The park next door flooded pretty big-time, and my crawlspace was full of water, and I was just, "whatever." I guess a death pretty much numbs you to everything else.
The crying has finally eased up, although I do spontaneously sob at odd moments, usually while in line at a store or similarly surrounded by strangers.
The gutters finally got done. The day they came to do the install, it was pouring rain. Those poor bastards spend two-and-a-half hours up on ladders tearing off the old gutters and installing the new ones. They looked like they'd just gone swimming by the time they were done.
I found a pretty wooden box at an antiques store for The Runt's ashes, only to discover when I got it home that it was not big enough for both his ashes and his nuk-nuk towel. I'll keep looking.
There is supposed to be more flooding tomorrow. Whatever.
The Michigan Bulb magnolia tree I planted last year has a leaf on it! One. Leaf. Go tree!
Monday, May 02, 2011
He had his whole family out there cheering him on. His first attempts were along the lines of -
wobble wobbbbbllllllle CLUNK
wobbbbbblllllle wobble wobble THUD
Honestly? I think this kid was more uncoordinated than I am, which frankly I did not think was possible.
But! Dad stepped up with a hand to the back, the pedaling increased in speed, and by dinnertime, the kid almost had it down. I'm pretty sure he'll be biking around the neighborhood by the end of the week.
So. I am back. Things are still terribly sad, of course, but Little Girl and I are soldiering on. The annual neighborhood Mexican standoff over who's going to be the first to break down and mow ended on Saturday, when I got home from work to find my neighbor B. (of driveway fame) mowing his lawn.
I got out my pain-in-the-ass mower, which fought me all last summer. I gave it a little talking-to, letting it know that I was fully prepared to jump in my car and go to Home Depot and buy its replacement if it didn't for the love of Christ START already, and it started on the second pull.
I think we've come to an agreement.
And! Um, was I the only one who thought Bin Laden was, well, already dead? I mean, he hasn't exactly been on my radar screen for the past few years. Oh, and now that the Tea Party nutjobs have lost their birther bone to chew on, how long before they start questioning whether he's REALLY dead? I'm sure that whole "burial-at-sea" thing will give them a whole new conspiracy theory to work on.
I am ready for spring.