Thursday, February 28, 2013

He. protected. child. molesters.

I swear, I am watching the news coverage of the Pope's last day, and I just do not understand it.

(a) Supposedly, God speaks directly through the Pope, am I correct?  I mean, as far as Church doctrine goes?  So does the Pope even GET to choose to "resign" from God speaking through him?  I mean, what if God decides to keep right on talking?  "Pope. POPE.  I'M NOT DONE YET.  GET YOUR ASS BACK TO THE VATICAN."

(b)  Dude was a member of the Hitler Youth.  And right now, that's the LESSER of his offenses.  I think it's saying something when a past association with Nazism is not your biggest problem.

(c)  He. Protected. Child. Molesters.

Quite frankly,  I am not sure how anyone can still be a member of the Catholic Church in good conscience.  Apart and aside from the fact that believing in God makes as much sense as believing in the Easter Bunny *ducks*, I simply do not understand how anyone would want to belong to a club whose higher-ups hushed up known pedophilia for YEARS.  I don't get that.

I don't get it at all.


Recently, I found a couple of snapshots in a book I bought at a library sale. 

I'm guessing mid-80s?  The big glasses are kind of a giveaway.  I do admire her choice in lipstick, though.  Not sure what's going on with the white windbreaker.

Ah, the time-honored "bathroom shot".  Again, I'm guessing mid-80s, going by the scrunchie.   And I love the tin of Bag Balm on the back of the toilet.

I wonder where they are now?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The thing about The New Yorker

Every couple of weeks, I go to the library and get some magazines to read.  Usually I throw a couple of New Yorkers into the mix, because who doesn't want to read a 50,000 word article about ice sled racing in Finland or the way the justice systems treats sex criminals or the different methods of ... organizing a magazine article?   Ummmm ...

Yeah, that last one kind of broke me.   I used to subscribe to The New Yorker, because some of the articles were actually interesting, until I realized that the ratio of articles that were interesting (to me, anyway) to articles that were boring were about 1 to 100.  If that makes me a less-than-sharp tool in the shed, so be it.

I am sure that every single nine million word article in The New Yorker is interesting to ... someone.  The author, probably.  And the people he interviewed to research the article.  And most of the articles in The New Yorker start off interesting.  It's just when you get to the third or fourth page and start leafing ahead and realize that there's still another five or ten pages to go that things can get tough.

"Doesn't this magazine have an editor?", I wonder, as I plow through an endless article about bread-making in France.  And then I laugh, because I'm sure that New Yorker editors are legendary and brilliant, and the people who have articles accepted into The New Yorker are obviously way, WAY above the slobs who write for GQ and People.

just please, please don't ask me to read another long-ass article about moss scientists or the theories behind testing mathematical equations or the various ways to reduce a pasta sauce on a molecular level.

Any nobody got time for that sh*t.

I mean, I try.  I really, really try to read every single stinking word of these articles.  I just ... my brain just fogs over after a while.  And then, when I'm already near my endurance limit, the author starts from the beginning, AGAIN.  "Craig Matthews was born to a seamstress and an itinerant brush salesman in 1942, which would serve to explain his later fascination with quantum physics, in that the way that a blahblahblah" oh my God I CAN'T.

I'm sorry, The New Yorker.  You're just too damn smart for me. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Update and Recently Read

So!  I survived the weekend.  I dosed myself up royally so that I wouldn't be coughing or sneezing on anybody and soldiered on.   I'll finally have a day off ... let's see ... next Sunday.  *sigh*  Oh!  And there is all kinds of drama going on with the volunteers at the adoption center, and where once I would have eaten that stuff UP, now I'm just, like, "keep me out of it!"  Man, that stuff gets tiring. 

Now!  On to Recently Read.  As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  The Living by Annie Dillard.  Novel about settlers in Oregon in the 1800s.  The basic storyline was good, but I never did get involved with any of the characters.  Meh.

2.  The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy.  Yep, it's Maeve Binchy book.  I enjoyed it - it's Maeve Binchy! 

3.  Movie review time!  The Queen of Versailles is a doc about a family who goes from insanely wealthy to just crazy-wealthy in the most-recent real estate bust.  Interesting.  And guess what!  The Queen of Versailles is from my home town!  No, seriously - the woman in this doc grew up in the town next to mine.

4.  I'm Sorry You Feel That Way by Diana Joseph - Humorous essays - meh.  She's quite frank about what a f*ck-up she can be, which is refreshing.

5.  Fields and Rivers New by John McCormack - Memoir of a veterinarian who began practicing in Alabama in the sixties.  I'm a sucker for a good vet memoir, and this was a fine example of the genre.

6.  Room by Emily Donoghue - Novel about a woman and child held captive for years - The premise was certainly interesting, and parts of the book were really compelling, but overall it was a bit simplistic.  Still, it was a fast and interesting read.

7.  Another movie review!  Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  I think I've talked about this one before - A man, some fish, whatever.

8.  The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson.   Essays from a guy driving cross-country.  He portrayed the people he met with disdain.  It was supposed to be funny, but I just found it mean-spirited, and I didn't finish it.

9.  Tinsel by Hank Stever - An examination of a modern-day Christmas season in Texas.  Eh.

10.  Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion - Memoir about an RV trip across the US - Interesting and funny.

11.  Movie review!  Beasts of the Southern Wild is about a little girl with a sick dad and a big imagination.  The little girl was incredible, and the movie was full of striking images.  Good.

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

Friday, February 22, 2013

The cure for the common cold

Anybody got one?  A cure, that is.

I have come down with ... something.  Sinus headache, sneezing, sore throat, general malaise.  And I have to put in a full day at the office today, and then work a special adoption event all weekend.


I took some Nyquil last night and within an hour was shivering so hard I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head.  I don't know if it was because of the Nyquil or because of the cold, but the Nyquil did knock me out enough (finally) to get a good night's sleep.  Well, except for the waking up and moaning from the sore throat part.  So then I got a cough drop and went back to sleep, hoping that I didn't aspirate the cough drop and choke to death.  NOT what I want in my obit, thankyouverymuch.  Dying from a cough drop is just so ... lame.

Chocolate milk is helping with my sore throat, but my other sick-time standards (coke with ice, saltine crackers) don't even sound good right now, so if anybody's got any favorite shaky-stomach foods, I'm all ears.

It's gonna be a long weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tale of the tails

From the left:

Tinks, part Maine Coon and part Siamese, as best as anybody can guess. Former stray. His tail is a thing of beauty.

Sodapop, mutt cat, former crazy-trailer-hoarder-lady cat. I sometimes call him Stubby, because his tail is short, at least compared to Tinks' and Pony's.

Ponyboy, mutt cat, former crazy-trailer-hoarder-lady cat. His tail is long, lean, and ringed.

Three cats, three tails. There ya go.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some observations on yoga

Okay, so, first off, "My 600 pound life:  Melissa's story" is on TLC right now.  It's my favorite doc on obesity, ever.  Very honest.  Very good.

Now.   Tonight was a night off from Jillian, so I thought I'd try a yoga DVD, because I'm, like, the least flexible person ever, and I thought some yoga might help.   Because, obviously, doing a yoga DVD once is going to improve your flexibility.  Ha.

And there was lots of plank position, just like Jillian, and some moves that, well ... at one point, I swear to God, the demonstrator actually levitated her entire body off the palms of her hands, which, well, I predict I will be able to do that ... never.   Is it an age thing?  Should I be able to do all of the things the much-younger demonstrator can?  Because somehow, it seems like maybe I should be able to do this stuff, well, after practicing for a while, anyway, regardless of age, but what do I know? 

And while I liked the lady instructor, I kind of yucked out when the man instructor came on.  Leg hair?  Armpit hair?  Yeeccccccccch.

Does this mean I'm gay?  Yeah, no,  I don't think so.  (Insert standard "not that there's anything wrong with that" disclaimer here.) It kind of skeeves me out, frankly, when Jillian pretends to bite the butts of her (female) demonstrators.  It's like, jeezus,  Jill,  we already KNOW, okay?

Rocky.  Thinking way too much about workout DVDs tonight.  Excuse me while I go dispose of the mouse that  Ponyboy brought in.  Don't mice hibernate during the winter?  Evidently only the smart ones, because my cats have been making a killing lately.

Hey, he's no dummy

The cats' favorite spot on cold winter nights?  My recliner. (That's my preferred spot as well.)  Second favorite?  Directly in front of the space heater in the living room.

(And yes, his eye looks like that all the time.  It's because of his wonked-out immune system.  Yes, he's on meds.  No, surgery will not help.  Yes, he is under veterinary treatment.  Yes, he will have this condition permanently.  Thanks for asking.)

What's the favorite spot in your house?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Say my name, say my name

On Saturday, I took my mom out to lunch.

She didn't know who I was.

That was ... odd.

Mom has Alzheimer's disease.  And as it eats away her brain, she remembers fewer and fewer people.  My niece, who mom sees daily, is "that woman".  My niece's kids, mom's great-grandchildren, are "those children".   She's always polite to people, but it's clear that she knows who very few of them are.

And now I've joined the "forgotten" list.

Oh, it's not sad.  I mean, it IS, but it's not like anything can be done about it.  Just like nothing can be done about how mom can't cut up her own food anymore, or really even eat without getting half the meal on the floor and in her lap.  It's just the progression of the disease.

And my mom is not unhappy.  Just as the disease takes away her memory, and her ability to handle a knife and fork, it takes away the realization that there is something terribly, terribly wrong going on in her brain.  Mom has no idea that she's not, well, herself anymore.   She is what she is.

Sometimes, I just miss what she was.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Adoption Center Cats

Crazy Grace:

Isn't she pretty?  She has ... issues.  I have no idea what happened to her before she came into rescue care, but she hisses and spits and swats and scratches and ... does not care for most people.


Rorschach (named after the ink blot.  Get it?  Get it?  Gah.) still has lots of play in him.  As of last Sunday, he had three applications, so he'll be going home soon.

And Superstar Scruffles:

Isn't she lovely?  Those eyes! That fur!  She is friendly and cuddly and one cool cat.  I really thought she'd be adopted by now.   We are trying to get her adopted out with her housemate, Skittles.   Skittles is somewhere between eleven and fifteen, age-wise.  He's a sweetheart. 

From what I understand, there will be a new pair of kittens at the adoption center when I go there tomorrow, so things should be busy!  Everybody wants kittens.  I wish it was that easy to adopt out the older cats.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sports bra

Okay, so, what's the dealio with these things?

I mean, I bought one because the straps on my regular bra kept slipping off my shoulders while I worked out.  So I figure a sports bra was in order.

Are they supposed to ... squish everything like that?

I'm not the most chestically-blessed in the first place, and when I put that sports bra on, well ... I look like a boy.

And it's NOT comfortable.  It's like wearing  a bra made of Spanx or something.  Are sports bras supposed to hurt? 

Belatedly I realized that if my only bra-workout-problem was sliding straps, I could take one of my regular bras, criss-cross the back straps, and problem solved.

Oh well.  At least I can say I own a sports bra.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Soda says, Hey!

Soda took umbrage about his tail being the only part visible in the family portrait.

Okay, okay, here ya go, Soda:

Ha,  just kidding, Soda.  Here you are:

Soda says,  Ta Da!:

That's my boy.

p.s.  According to blogger, this is my 2,000th post.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stupid question

Okay, so I'm watching the live CNN feed about Christopher Dorner.  Right now he is supposedly holed up in a cabin which is burning to the ground.

And because this dude was evidently pretty heavily armed, it got me thinking about the whole gun-control debate.

And on the CNN feed, they were talking about the tactical weapons that the San Bernardino and LA police would be able to deploy.  Things like infrared stuff and high-tech surveillance and all kinds of James Bond-like stuff, and I'm thinking, well yeah, but why couldn't Dorner have access to that stuff too?

Because it's fantastically expensive.

Today my boss and I were separately surfing the web in work areas adjacent to each other, when all of a sudden I could hear "Chiquitita" by ABBA blaring from his computer.  And the song went on, and on, and on, until I started laughing and said, "Boss, I didn't know you were an ABBA fan!"   And he said, "I'm watching the new Bugatti ad, and that's the song they're using."  And he went on to say that the new Bugatti has dual engines, and a top speed of 246 mph, and costs a cool 1.6 million.

And I'm thinking, well, that's excellent, if you've got 1.6 mil to blow.

So.  My point.  I do have one. 

I do not know what semi-automatic weapons cost.  I really don't have any idea.  But why not, say, pass legislation that says that if you want to buy one, fine, but we're gonna slap a tax on it.  A tax of, say, thirty grand per weapon.

Wouldn't that get them off the streets?  I mean, sure, people would still have access to Saturday Night Specials, if they're so damn intent on protecting their home or robbing people or whatever.  But the shit that  fires sixty rounds a minute?  Yep,  you can still get it, the same way you can buy a Bugatti, but it's gonna cost ya.  And yeah, you could still steal one, but how many of them would actually be OUT there, available, if they cost thirty grand each?  I'm thinking they'd be about as common as Bugattis. 

I dunno. I'm just throwing it out there.

Family Portrait

Pony, Tinks, Me, and Soda (well, Soda's tail):



Yeah, the recliner's the most popular spot in the house on cold winter nights.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The weekend

So!  I have been diligent with my Jillian workouts (if diligent = working out more than once a week) (and I hesitate to call it "working out" - it's more like "flailing around spastically"), with one minor problem.

My bra straps keep sliding off my shoulders while I exercise.  Like, over and over and OVER again.  It's disTRACting.

So I went and bought a sports bra.  Awwwww!  Rocky's first sports bra.  It has racerback straps, which hopefully will end the bra strap slide.  I'll let you know, when I actually get around to doing Jillian again.

And then!  I found a package of Christmas cookies in the freezer that I had totally forgotten about.  Jillian, we're going to have to work a lot harder.

Saturday night, I watched "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", a doc about, well, a guy named Jiro who makes sushi.  All the reviews made it out to be, like, the best documentary EVER, but I just found it to be ... meh.  I can't get that excited about raw fish.

And oh!  On Friday, I watched my neighbor L move their cars into the park next to my house.  Why?  I have no idea.  The only thing I could think of was that they wanted to get the cars out of their driveway in advance of the storm so that when their plow guy came he could clear their whole driveway, but ... well, the town plow would've plowed the park in, so they would have had to dig their cars out of the park, and the whole thing made no sense.  I figured that B, L's husband, had to be behind it, because, well, B's an idiot. And then! A couple of hours later, L moved the cars back into their driveway.  And then back into the park.  And then back in the driveway.  This poor woman is pushing eighty and she's out there in a snowstorm playing musical chairs with the cars.

"These people are insane," I thought, only to find out Saturday morning, when chatting with their son, that indeed, B has been diagnosed as Bipolar.  THAT explains a LOT. 

And, let's see, yesterday I was at the adoption center, where there was another! escape!  Luckily, I was able to grab the cat, as he already has three applications on him. Everybody wants him. And oh, the cat is named "Rorschach".  Because he's black and white, like an ink blot, get it?  I DO NOT NAME THESE CATS.  But listening to people stopping by the center trying to pronounce "Rorschach" was pretty amusing.  "Like Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter!," I tried a couple of times, only to be met with blank stares.  Yeah, I guess I'm old.

Horshack?  Anybody?  Anybody remember Horshack?

Snowfall totals!  Let's hear 'em!  I got ... a measly five inches.  How about you?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Sports bra, Christmas cookies, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and the neighbors

Sometimes just thinking about what I'm gonna blog about makes me happy.  So much to talk about!

(And was there supposed to be a comma after Sushi?  I'm not really sure what the rule is about the last item in a list.)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Freaky Friday!

A while back, I noticed that someone - perhaps Vintage Vixen? - had decorated a chandelier with bead necklaces.  What a fabulous idea, I thought.

So, I thought I'd give it a try.  I don't have a chandelier, but I do have a stained-glass fixture in my kitchen.  (Please ignore that horrible, horrible ceiling.  As soon as I win the lottery (HA), every ceiling in the house is getting ripped out and replaced.)



Well, *I* think it's festive.

and in other news, HOLY F*CK WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Yes, it's Snowmageddon Part MCXXIII around here.  Yet another "snow event" of "historic" significance is bearing down on us poor souls here in the Northeast. 

Hey, for every half hour of shoveling I do, I figure that's the equivalent of one Jillian workout.   It actually gets marked down on my workout calender (which doubles as Pony's medication calendar).  Instead of "J2.2", I write down "shovel" and call it even.

Works for me!  Bring on the snow.  I'd rather shovel than do mountain climbers or plank jacks, any day.

(And what the hell is that move where you do push-ups while bringing your knee up to your elbow?  CAN ANYBODY ACTUALLY DO THAT?  Because every time I try, I just end up in a crippled heap on the floor.  I can do the push-up. (Well, kind of.)  I can do the side knee move.  I CANNOT do both at the same time.  I'd be interested in knowing if anyone outside of the gals on the DVD can actually do this move.)

(Another one I'm having difficulty with?  The jump-rope-and-skip thing.  HAHAHAHA I cannot jump rope and skip.  My legs just go all ... spastic, like I'm being cattle-prodded or something.)

(Come on over to my place and watch me work out, guys!  You'll laugh your ass off. Guaranteed.)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Understatement of the year

From a book I recently read (The Living, by Annie Dillard):

"It was in May that the Sharp family met with an accident; they all drowned, except for John Ireland."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Seen on Craigslist

These are all from the "Pets" section.

1.  "A bit skid-dish, but lovable as well. I do not know why he is skid-dish"
It's "skittish", you dipshit.  "Skittish".  Jeezus Christ.

2.  "They do have flea's"
They have flea's what?  His guitar?  His amp?

3.  "Free long hair oragan tabby cat"
I have no idea what an "oragan" is.
From the same ad:
"litter trained not fixed but doesnt spay"
Your cat does not perform spays?  That's a pity, because you could make a ton of money if he did.

4.  Im sad i have to do this because hes a very loveing kitty im going to miss him but im pregnant and i think getting rid of him is my best option hes about a year old supper friendly loves to cuddle at night hes also funny he will sit with u watch movies and eat pop corn and chips with you he loves them...ive only let him 2 times because i dont want him to get sick but the vet said it was ok for him so i did....not the point anywho im going to be giving him away for free please be kind and treat him good i gave him away to a family and they where mean to him so i took him back just hopeing he goes to a great home this time...  

Okay.  A.  Obviously no one has ever been pregnant and had a pet at same time.  Moron.            
           B.  The fact that anyone with grammar, punctuation and spelling problems of this magnitude is                         pregnant makes me feel sorry for the kid.    

5.  I am a college student that is moving into student houseing and I unfortunetly can not take my dog with me. He is a five year old pure bread pekingese, with gold hair. He is looking for a good home and a paitent owner who is familure with this breed. Cantact me if interested.

College student?  Really?

I swear, Craigslist makes me lose faith in humanity.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Gold Rush. Bamazon. Ax Men.

Yeah, I can't watch any of those shows.

Don't get me wrong, I love some reality tv, but those shows are, basically, about people destroying the environment as fast as possible so they can make as much money as possible.

I'm not really into that.

Maybe I'm just ultra-sensitive, living here in upstate New York, where a pitched battle is being waged over hydrofracturing, a method of getting natural gas out of the ground.

The pro side says it's a safe, efficient way to reduce our dependency on foreign fuels.  The anti side says it's a rape of the environment that may carry consequences for years to come.

All I know is Montrose.

Montrose was a beautiful little town just south of the border from me, down in PA where fracking is already allowed.  It was a picturesque small village, with a little town center, mom-and-pop stores, and churches, surrounded by rolling hills.

Today?  Montrose is an industrial waypoint.  Heavy equipment trucks roll through the streets constantly, on their way to the fracking sites, and all kinds of big-box crap has sprung up to accommodate the out-of-town gas workers.  Crime has skyrocketed, and so have rents, as there isn't enough housing to accommodate the fracking workers.

Is it a boost to the local economy?  Absolutely.   Will  people's property taxes go down as a result of all the commercial development?  Probably.  Will some previously-struggling farmers hit the jackpot by  leasing their land to the frackers?  Damn straight.

Is it worth it?  Is it worth selling out a beautiful natural environment to make a few bucks?  To change the tone of your town, possibly forever, in order to make some money for a few years?

The people who are benefiting will say hell yes.  The people who have nothing to gain and a lot to lose say hell no.

And me?  I say no.  Once you sell your soul, it's hard to get it back.

Just my two cents.

Friday, February 01, 2013


Yeah, I think this winter is finally getting to me.

Oh, I know all the tricks.  Light up the house like a landing strip at O'Hare, keep track of how sunset is a little later every day, make sure to exercise, blahblahblah.

Frankly, by the time February rolls around, I'm scrounging around in the bottom of my bag of tricks, looking for ways to make the winter endurable until Spring sashays in.

So when Walmart had a clearance sale on houseplants last week, well ...

I bought a Schefflera.  Then I bought a Ponytail Palm.  Then, I went back last night and bought a Marginata Palm.  I have no idea if I even spelled any of that correctly, I'm just going by what was printed on the little tags, but AT LEAST I HAVE GREEN STUFF TO LOOK AT.

It is a comfort on mornings like this one, when I wake to discover that - surprise! - we got a couple of inches of unexpected snow last night, and I had to shovel, AND the plow guy had not bothered to come through by the time I had to leave for work, meaning I had to muscle the car up onto the main road to even get to the office, and

Hang in there, pretty green plants.  It's you and me until the Spring.