I GET that some people should not be allowed to adopt some pets. And some people should not be allowed to adopt ANY pets. But to just keep denying, denying, denying ... Gah.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I GET that some people should not be allowed to adopt some pets. And some people should not be allowed to adopt ANY pets. But to just keep denying, denying, denying ... Gah.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Now. I have something I have to talk about RIGHT NOW, because it is PISSING ME OFF. (Warning: Abuse of caps lock ahead.)
You ready? *RANT ON.*
That rescue group? The one out in the sticks, who would allow me to adopt indoor/outdoor cats?
The woman who runs the show has decided which cats are right for me, and she doesn't want me to even see any of the other cats. Unfortunately, the cats she has selected for me? Are not right for me. I know they're not.
The other woman in the group who has the cats I actually AM interested in? Is trying, unsuccessfully, to allow Head Woman to let me see her cats. And Head Woman is refusing.
You know what? F*cking cat people drive me crazy.
I swear to God, it's like when they start doing rescue work, they take a PILL or something that makes them:
1. Totally unorganized.
2. Completely unable to communicate with others in the group, even when it would benefit the animals they are trying to help.
3. Absolutely, positively CONVINCED that THEY, and THEY ALONE, know which cats should be adopted to which people. And if you dare to go up against that? NO CATS FOR YOU. Right now there is a whole f*cking FLOCK of cats living in an unheated TRAILER that this woman will not allow me to see, because she has DECIDED that I should take the OTHER cats.
And it's odd. On the one hand, we have the volunteer with the trailer cats, who is evidently ready for me to come and take all the cats I want, no questions asked. "Here! Stuff some in your pockets!" And then we have the volunteer who is above her in hierarchy, who says I have to take the cats she chooses FOR me or no cats at all. AGREE ON YOUR POLICIES, PEOPLE.
I know this sounds bitter. And I'm sorry. But holy Christ on a cracker, every. single. time. I start looking for new pet companions, I go up against this total bullshit. Even though I volunteer for two local rescue groups, I have to go through this absolute insane clusterf*ck every single time.
Look, these people can deny me because I have blue eyes, if they want to. It's their choice. I get that. It's just the total arbitrariness of the system that drives me crazy.
Last weekend, when I was at the adoption center, a young couple came in who were interested in adopting one of our, well ... less friendly cats. "Is there still an age requirement?," the young man asked. "Wha?," I responded. "Well," he said, "We tried to adopt this cat a few months ago, but they said we couldn't, because I wasn't twenty-one yet. But I'm twenty-one now! And the cat's still here! So can we adopt her now?"
Yep. That's right. The powers that be at the rescue center had denied the adoption of a hard-to-place cat because the potential adopter, although old enough to drive and vote, was deemed not old enough to adopt a cat. Because he was twenty, and not twenty-one.
And rescue groups wonder why more people don't adopt from them. THIS IS WHY.
1. American Idol
2. The Biggest Loser
3. The Amish: American Experience
4. My 600-lb. Life, followed by two! new! episodes! of 19 Kids and Totally Insane.
5. Doomsday Preppers
All at the same time, peeps! And I have NO TIVO.
(Do I watch a lot of crap reality TV? OH, YOU BETCHA.)
Okay, first off, it's Dude's Night on American Idol, so I can skip that. The Biggest Loser? The second hour is weigh-ins, so I could skip THAT and just watch the first hour. My 600-lb. Life? I loved the first episode, Melissa's Story, because she was truly inspiring, but I caught an episode the other night where the woman featured just whiiiiiiiiined all the way through, so that one's iffy. But 19 Kids! I can't miss 19 Kids. Let's see, that leaves Doomsday Preppers, which, okay, those people are just batshit insane, so I can probably skip that. (Of course, the people on 19 Kids are batshit insane, as well, but they're also charming and polite, so there's that.)
But. PBS has an ace in the hole. The Amish. Nobody, absolutely NOBODY, can take an interesting subject and make it boring as shit quite like PBS can. And hey! The Amish! God knows there haven't been any documentaries about THAT subject before. Heh. Good old PBS. So far behind the curve they're about to get lapped, as usual.
So .... survey SAYS! - First hour of Biggest Loser, followed by 19 Kids and Totally Insane.
Unless, of course, the deadly force-field of ennui that is PBS ends up sucking me in.
God, I love crap TV.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I ... don't understand. I mean, I understand that it's hard to quit. Heck, I quit myself, three years ago, after being a smoker for almost thirty years. And my boss has been smoking for longer than that, so I know it's difficult.
But ... I mean, he had a heart attack. His third, actually. And if this most recent one had not happened in a public place, where help was readily available, he would have died.
Because he dropped dead. Literally. And the paramedics were able to bring him back.
He got a second chance. He should be dead, and he's not. He spent a week in the hospital, and a week at home recuperating, and another week working part-time, and holy Mary Mother of God he's smoking again.
I am trying to wrap my mind around this, and I am struggling. Especially since I just found out that my sister-in-law's cancer has returned. Her daughter gave birth to her first granddaughter last week, and now she's learned that she only has a few months left to live. And my brother? Well, it will be several weeks before he learns if he's beat his throat cancer.
And my boss? He got a second chance. Another chance to live. And now he's smoking again.
Friday, February 24, 2012
That's what somebody said to me on the phone yesterday.
And I was thinking, "um, really? really?"
It was about possible cat adoption. That rescue group out in the sticks? Turns out they've been helping a hoarder, er, collector, who has an unheated trailer even further out in the sticks which is full of cat shit. And cats. About twenty or thirty of 'em, all in varying degrees of feral-osity, all different ages, all in varying stages of veterinary treatment for miscellaneous living-in-filth-in-an-unheated-trailer diseases. Any of whom they will let me adopt. And if none of those cats fit the bill, they've got more. Oh boy, do they have more. And unlike the local shelters, this group will allow me to adopt, even though I let my cats outside. I have found my people!
As far as the trailer cats go, turns out there was an elderly lady who had a few cats. And was known to be kind-hearted toward cats. So whenever one of her hillbilly neighbors had a cat they didn't want to care for or an unwanted litter of kittens, it was time for a midnight dropoff at the kindly neighbor's house.
People out in the country? Are assholes.
So. Here we go. After I explained what I was looking for (males; kittens or young adults; must be bonded and need to go together; must want to be indoor/outdoor cats), that narrowed it down to, oh, ten or so possibilities.
This group doesn't have a shelter, and the trailer cats are currently being cared for in one of the volunteer's homes. She is going to email me some photos this weekend, and we'll go from there. Sophie's Choice, all over again.
But! Back to the point! And I do have one. Ha.
In speaking with the woman who has the trailer cats, I asked if she needed more references (I had already filled out a generic adoption application), or photos of my home (to show the size of the yard), or if she would like to do a home visit.
And that's when she said it wouldn't be necessary, because she could tell she could trust me just by talking to me.
And, well, maybe I have some trust issues, but I don't trust ANYBODY just by talking to them. I've been burned too many times by people who seemed nice to take anybody's word for it. Shit, I don't even trust my own mother, although honestly that's all thanks to the Alzheimer's.
That old line, "Trust, but verify"? Not for me. It's strictly "verify", because I don't trust jack shit. Shit, I'll bet Jeffrey Dahmer TALKED a good game - just look at all the dudes he lured up to his apartment.
Am I cynical? Jaded? Or just practical? What do you think? What about you - do you trust people? How about people you've never met? I'm curious.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Shit, I'm old.
We'll see what it gets me. (Other than continued employment, which was far from guaranteed a couple of weeks ago. Close call, there.) Five years ago, on my twentieth, my boss totally blew it off, and I almost quit. Then he felt so guilty that he WAY overcompensated, and I made out like a bandit. A massive dose of guilt can be highly profitable ...
... we'll see what happens today.
(Anecdotes? you want anecdotes? Oh, I've got plenty. I think my personal favorite has to be the time my boss was running late on his way to catch a flight and asked me to call the airport and have them hold the plane for him. HAAAAAAAAAA. That one still cracks me up.) (Yes, I made the call. Because I knew he was liable to check. The airline people and I had a good chuckle together.)
(You want some more? Let's see, there's my ongoing struggle with the asshole AFLAC salespeople; the time a crackhead stole a flowerbox off the porch and then returned it; the times (yes, plural) when employees went postal; the co-worker who, when overwhelmed, would shout "BACK OFF!"; the copier repairman who, when confronted with a groaning, grinding copier, told me, "it's supposed to sound like that" .... twenty-five years. One office. Holy cow.)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Which puts me in an interesting position. Because I let my "permanent" cats go outside if they wish, none of the local shelters and rescue groups, including the ones for which I volunteer, will allow me to adopt. You have to sign paperwork indicating that you will keep the adopted cats inside.
I certainly understand their point of view - well, kinda. If you live on a busy street or in a crappy neighborhood, you absolutely should keep your cats inside. And indoor cats DO tend to live longer than outdoor cats, although I am prepared to argue the quality-of-life issue. The fact is, I let my cats outside if they wish to go. In my opinion, cats are wild creatures, not meant to be confined in what, to them, is basically a (large) cage. (This is probably why I have a problem with zoos.)
"Lie," everybody tells me, including people from the rescue groups. "Just check the box indicating that you'll keep them inside, and then let them out."
But I don't WANT to lie. It goes against my nature. I do not like lying, although goodness knows I have done it on occasion, and it always comes back to bite me in the butt. Like the pizza incident.
And I want cats who need to be outside. Cats who would never be content to live life looking out the damn window.
So when I found a rescue group out in the sticks looking for homes for rescued feral cats and barn cats, I thought, "This is my chance. Surely they can't object to someone letting a barn cat outside. And The Runt and Little Girl were feral cats. And I was allowed to adopt them, because the shelter I was volunteering for at the time said they were unadoptable." Yeah, that's me - I get the rejects. I love the rejects.
I emailed the rescue group. I filled out an application, explaining that I am interested in feral and/or barn cats, indicating very plainly that I would let the cats go outside if they so desired. I'm waiting to hear back.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Mom and I went to a local diner. Mom had an omelet and hash browns, and I had the "country skillet", which consisted of a plate of hash browns and sausage links, covered with shredded cheese and sausage gravy, with eggs on top and gigantic biscuits on the side.
And it was SO GOOD. Oh my GOD, that was good. I have NO IDEA how many calories were in that sucker (two thousand? three thousand?), but it was worth it.
So THAT'S why I can't do the plank pose. HA! I DON'T CARE. More sausage gravy, please ...
Friday, February 17, 2012
I KNOW that after the last time I injured myself, I said that I was going to take that damn DVD out in the yard and set it on fire.
I didn't do it.
Because I finally figured out what the problem was. I cannot work out every day. I just CAN'T. My almost-fifty-year-old body will not allow it.
So! I started working out every other day. Well ... almost every other day. How does twice a week sound? Because that's more, well ... honest. Ha.
And then? A new problem arose. I started getting bored.
It wasn't that the workouts were too easy. Shit, I STILL can't do anything in plank position for more that about two reps without collapsing like a beached whale. It was just that after hearing Jillian chirp, "Chop-chop, girls! Chop-chop!" for the billionth time, I was tired of it.
So! I was at Crapmart the other day, perusing the workout DVDs, and what did I see? "Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30"! With four separate workouts. I figured that with three workouts on the 30-Day-Shred DVD and FOUR on this DVD, I had plenty to keep it varied.
Except ... SHE'S STILL LYING ABOUT THE TIME. On the 30-Day-Shred, they are supposed to be 20-minute workouts. They're 27. On Ripped in 30, they're supposed to be 30-minute workouts. The first one, which is the only one I've gotten to so far, is 36-and-change. And don't even give me that bullshit about warmup and cooldown, Jillian. TWENTY MINUTES IS SUPPOSED TO BE TWENTY MINUTES. Sheesh.
Hey, this shit matters when you're jumping-jacking and grunting and failing the plank pose and hoping that your neighbors can't see through your curtains. Those extra minutes are a SNOT.
But! I am persevering. Because I am insane. And when I finally get those six-pack abs (HAAAAAAAAAA), I'll let you know.
Oh! And if anybody knows the secret to the plank pose, please let me know. Because I suck pretty bad at it.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
hmmm ... what do YOU think?
Guys. GUYS. I HAD to. Two bucks a bag? I'm only human, people.
(Please excuse the catastrophe that is my spare bedroom in that picture, above. Focus on the white plastic bags of awesomeness.)
I am ashamed to admit that I was so outrageously busy last night that I didn't even have time to open those bags yesterday. But that's all right. It's enough to know that they're waiting patiently for me in the spare room. I think I'll parcel them out, a bag a day, because is there anything better than having a Bag of Mystery to open up? I think not. And I have five bags. (Chuckles maniacally and rubs hands together.) I'm also pretty sure that ninety percent of what's in those bags will end up in the rescue group garage sale this spring. But that's okay! It's for a good cause! (And oh my God people TWO BUCKS A BAG.)
Behold some of the incredibleness that was in the original Bag of Mystery, the Bag that started it all:
Dudes. Wind-up toys. From left, a seal balancing a ball, the Jetsons' maid Rosie, a pair of shoes, and ... a monkey with clashing cymbals.
When you wind him up, he walks! And crashes his cymbals! Look at his little hat!
And the seal flops around while his ball spins on his nose! And the shoes walk around all by themselves, to the great consternation of Itty Bitty.
And Rosie? Rosie dances.
It doesn't get any better than this, guys. I'm fairly sure of it.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
But! There I was, and they were having a sidewalk sale out front, with grab bags for two bucks. So of course I bought one. Two bucks? I'm in!
Here is the Bag of Mystery, before opening:
I stuck my foot in there for size reference.
Look at all the stuff they crammed into that bag!
First off, please to notice Miss Itty Bitty, to the left of the pic. She is still gracing my presence! If I could just get her to stop biting my hands when I pet her ... Now, on to the grab bag:
There's a Christmas garland thing-y, which is perfect, because I STILL have some Christmas crap out in the garage which has not yet made it up to the attic; some artificial flowers; some kids' foam animal hats, which of COURSE I had to wear around the house last night; some unbelievably fantastic wind-up toys, which I was not able to get a good photo of last night, but I'll keep trying, I promise; COBRAS HATCHING FROM EGGS, not one but TWO!; let's see, some stickers, and rhinestones, and an expanding dinosaur, and also some, well, less explicable stuff:
I do not know what "Rexlace" is, but I've got a hundred purple yards of it. If anybody wants it, or heck, if anybody knows what it IS, please let me know. It's some kind of vinyl cord, and that's about all I can tell ya. (Look! To the left of the Rexlace! It's one of the cobras! Coooooooool.)
Gee, I wonder why Paula Deen ended up in the grab bag?
Those are wax candle melt thingies. Hm. I wonder why fake frying pans filled with fake butter and stamped "Paula Deen" didn't sell?
Okay, this next thing had me mystified at first. Some kind of snow globe ...
OH MY GOD! SANTA! WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU?!
A disembodied Santa head snowglobe. With RED snow, like blood drifting down. That's so wrong it's just about perfect.
So! An evening's worth of entertainment for two bucks. And hell, I predict some of this stuff will be tickling me for quite a while.
I think I'll go back to Michael's tonight and see if they've got any grab bags left.
Monday, February 13, 2012
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said. "I need to get my girlfriend a cat for Valentine's Day. I guess I'll take ... that one," he said, pointing at a cat.
Oh boy, I thought. Where do I start?
"Um, I'm really sorry, but there is an application process that has to be completed, and there's no way we could get it done in time for Valentine's Day."
"Really?," he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "And, plus, we don't really adopt cats out without meeting the person who will actually be caring for the cat. The only time we really do "surprise" adoptions is when it's a parent adopting a kitten for a child. And even then we like the child to meet the kitten first."
Plunging on, I asked, "And are you sure your girlfriend even wants a cat?"
"Well," he said, "She really wants a kitten. Why don't you have any kittens here?"
Okay, so at this point, this dude was ready to adopt an older cat, even though his girlfriend wanted a kitten. I went into a brief explanation of why kittens are not available in the wintertime. I suggested that if he wanted to, he could try other local shelters, although they probably didn't have any kittens either, and there was no way they could push the adoption process through in two days. I explained again that no shelter will adopt out a cat for a "surprise". I said he could maybe print up a certificate, like, a "good for one kitten" kind of thing, and give THAT to his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, and then they could go pick out a cat together.
"How about if I at least start the adoption process," he said. "On one of these cats. And that way I can at least show her the paperwork on Valentine's Day."
Okay, this dude was desperate, and starting to ... well ... irritate me.
"I'm really sorry," I said. "But there is no way the adoption group would start the application process on a cat knowing that you're planning on surprising your girlfriend with it. How about if you come back on Valentine's Day, and bring your girlfriend with you? You can surprise her by bringing her here, and asking if she's interested in any of the cats."
"Okay, thanks," he said. "But I really need to get her a kitten for Valentine's Day," he added, and left.
Look, I know that love makes you do crazy things, but "surprising" someone with a pet for a gift, a living, breathing thing that needs a lot of care and can live upwards of twenty years is, like, a really bad idea. Those are exactly the kinds of cats who end up in shelters. "Well, my boyfriend got me this kitten, and it was really cute, but now it's all ... big and my landlord says I'm breaking the lease and I can't keep it any more." Oh man, we get that a LOT.
I really, really hope he just gets her a card and some chocolates. MUCH better idea. But I'm pretty sure he spent last night on Craigslist, trolling for kittens.
Friday, February 10, 2012
1. Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb - Novel set in the sixties about an elementary school's Christmas pageant - told from the point of view of a fifth grade boy - cute and funny - good, quick read.
2. Black Mountain Breakdown by Lee Smith - meh.
3. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin - Historical fiction about Lavinia Warren - Very good - I enjoyed it.
Okay, let's do a movie review! Last Play at Shea was billed as a Billy Joel concert documentary - it really isn't. It's a history of Shea Stadium and the Mets and Billy Joel's early career. It's kind of interesting, but it's not a Billy Joel concert.
Okay, back to books.
4. Candy Girl by Diablo Cody - Memoir of a stripper. Yeah, I'm a sucker for a good stripper story. This was written by the woman who wrote the screenplay for "Juno". I didn't care for her writing style at first, but I did enjoy the book. Good story.
5. Come in and Cover Me by Gin Phillips - Oh, man. Man, man, man. I absolutely LOVED her first book - The Well and The Mine - it's one of my all-time favorites. This one? Nope. I 'm so sorry, but I can't recommend it. It's about an archaeologist - full of cliched dialogue - yuck. Sorry, Ms. Phillips, I didn't like this one.
6. What My Heart Wants to Tell by Vera Mae Slone - Memoir of growing up in rural Kentucky in the early 1900s - Very detailed as far as planting, harvesting, butchering, etc. - Interesting.
So that's what I've been reading. How about you?
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Boy, that'll shake you up, am I right? And it was all tied in to the OTHER big thing that happened, to a person with whom I not only work but also consider a friend, so ... yeah. Scary stuff yesterday.
Things today are much sunnier, for both of us. I am happy to report that after some (frantic) research, it appears that my skill set is still very much valued in the work force. I'm never going to get rich, but I should be able to continue to pay my mortgage, even if the worst had happened yesterday, which it didn't. And the other person is doing much better as well.
I'm sorry to be so cryptic here, but like I said, it's not my story to tell. What I can say is, well, be glad you're still kickin'. Because you never know what tomorrow holds.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Monday, February 06, 2012
Friday, February 03, 2012
She totally has a mustache. Shhhh.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Now, here's the story.
My neighbor, L., went in for hip replacement surgery on Monday. She told me about the upcoming surgery a few weeks ago, when we were both out in our yards, and while she was a little nervous, she was looking forward to not being in pain all the time. Evidently this is a fairly common procedure for former school-bus drivers - maybe it's all that sitting?
ANYhoo, I was going to pick up some magazines and a card and go visit her, either in the hospital or when she comes back home.
But ... well ... these are the same neighbors who parked in my driveway for weeks at a time. The ones whose sons gouged tire tracks in my backyard with their pickup trucks last fall and never repaired the damage, even though they promised to.
I just ... the bloom is off the rose a little bit, neighbor-wise. And while I do care about L., if I go visit her with gifts and stuff, is that sending a sign that it's okay to basically ... well ... park in my driveway for weeks at a time and gouge the shit out of my backyard? 'Cause I'd really like for that to, you know, STOP.
I mean, it just seems horrifically petty to deny an elderly woman who's just had surgery a gift, so I'm sure I'll visit. Probably.
I just wish they'd fix my lawn ...
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
So, I'm reading the local paper this morning, and there's this article about local therapists offering free "marriage checkups" for Valentine's Day, and blah blah blah and the article goes on and on and then I hit this part:
"Reeves says she doesn't work with homosexuals, just married couples or those in a long-term relationship. She's a faith-based Christian counselor, she said, and "most homosexuals will not want to come to me and hear they're living in sin.""
Oh boy. My first reaction was, "How DARE she?! How DARE she turn away gay people?"
And then I was thinking about it, and I was all, "Well, if she really thinks gay people are evil, then I guess it's her right to not have them as clients." But THEN I was all, "But what if it was black people she was turning away? Would THAT be all right? Of course not!"
There was a similar hoo-hah around here a while back, when gay marriage was first legalized in New York, and a local town clerk said she would not issue marriage licenses to gay people, because it was against her religion.
I just ... I don't know. I think gay people have just as much right to be married and miserable as the rest of us. And if their marriage hits the skids, they should be able to go for counseling, just like the rest of us. But what if the therapist thinks gay people are sinners and going to hell? Is it okay for her to turn them away? Should she be FORCED to treat gay people? What if she was a medical doctor, instead of a therapist? Would it be okay for her to refuse to treat them then? I mean, of COURSE not! But she's NOT a medical doctor, she's just a marriage therapist, so does that make it okay? Is prejudice a valid reason for refusing to counsel someone? And as far as that whole "living in sin" thing goes, don't Christians believe that any two people who are living together without benefit of marriage are "living in sin"? But she says that she WILL treat "those in a long-term relationship". Isn't that, like, splitting hairs here? Like, it's okay if you've been "living in sin", as long as you're not gay, and you've been doing it "long-term"? I'm not sure where she draws the line, there.
Frankly, I think she's crazy, and wrong. But if I was gay, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't WANT to go to a therapist who hated me for what I was, so maybe she's right to be up-front about it? But is that even legal? Aren't there, like, laws against discrimination?
Man, now I'm just confused. What do you think?