Friday, December 31, 2010

Freaky Friday: So I went to see a lady about a porcupine edition

Oh peeps, it is a long, LONG story involving lots of twists and turns, but suffice it to say that I am now the proud owner of a three-feet-tall, eighty-year-old taxidermied porcupine.

Betcha it's the only one in town.

"There's a reason for that", you're all saying.

I know.

Happy New Year!

Notes from New Year's Eve at the office

1. Oh, shit, didn't we just do this?

2. My boss is an asshole. He thinks that by forcing his employees to work on holidays, it makes him look powerful. Actually, all it makes him look is like an asshat, but you can't convince HIM of that.

3. I KNOW that every other blogger in the free world is doing that boring-ass "Shit I did in 2010", 9,000 item list, and if YOU did it on YOUR blog I'm sure it's lovely, but frankly, I'd rather watch the religious channel than do that shit. And I have YET to make it past item seventeen or so on somebody else's list. Frankly? I don't care who you know who gave birth in the past year. I DON'T KNOW THEM. Jeezus. But! Because I am a giving person *cough*, here are just a few brief updates on things I've mentioned here recently.

- The toe. As it turns out, I can blame Jillian Michaels for this one, just as I can blame all my woes on Ms. Michaels. When I went up to Level 2 in the Shred, I discovered that it has an ass-ton of plank work, which basically forces your toes into a tip-toe position, except the rest of your body is horizontal instead of vertical. Fun! Bottom line: It's f*cking up my feet.

- The Runt's allergies. Some of you may remember how the vet and I struggled all summer and fall to get The Runt's digging and scratching and licklicklicking under control. As it turns out, a month or two of freezing cold weather is all it took to calm things down. Evidently his main allergy is to something that grows outside. He's completely off the steroids, and only has to take Chlortrimeton twice a week or so. Now we just have to wait and see what happens comes spring. Oh! And last night he hopped up on the bed next to me and was just purr purr purring like a loud little motor, which was just charming, truly, because The Runt is not a purr-er.

- The jaw. Remember that post I wrote about letting go, about having to learn to deal with chronic pain? A few weeks after I wrote that, the pain started to ebb, and I am almost back to normal now. I have no idea if the diminishment of pain had anything to do with my determination not to let it take over my life; somehow I doubt it, but I'll take whatever works at this point. Whew!

Okay! So! For all of you who were clicking around the blogosphere this morning, going, "Where the hell IS everybody?", here I am! You're welcome! Stay tuned, 'cause I'll be back a little later with a Very Special Episode of Freaky Friday, now with more porcupine!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Et tu, FitTV?

I'll admit it; I've been known watch FitTV from time to time. I like watching the yoga gals do their impossible poses, and I like watching that insane workout chick, I can't think of her name, the one with the brown hair who looks kind of like a buffed-up preschool teacher, lead the Cardio Blast.

Have you ever watched Cardio Blast? It's like the most intense workout show EVER, where they're all up and down and up and around on their little step thingies and they're lifting weights and I keep watching to see if someone's heart is literally going to explode out of their chest. Seriously.

So! Imagine my dismay when I discovered that, after the first of the year, FitTV is no longer going to be airing the yoga gals and Cardio Blast and the other workout shows in prime time.

What will they be showing instead, you ask?

"Untold Stories of the E.R." "Born with Two Heads." "8-Limbed Boy." "17 Kids and Counting." "Dr. G: Medical Examiner."

AND, perhaps most hilariously, " World's Fattest Man."

Oh, FitTV, I could watch that schlock on ANY channel. I counted on YOU to at least SHOW me how to exercise, even if I wasn't brave enough to attempt Cardio Blast without medical supervision. I even taped some of the tamer exercise shows, one of which, an ab workout, is in regular rotation in my exercise schedule. (Not that I really HAVE a regular exercise schedule, who am I kidding here, but HEY! I DO that ab workout! Occasionally. Sometimes.)

"Half-Ton Teen"? REALLY, FitTV?

I think you've lost your way. Time for an Intervention. Oh, wait, you're showing that at ten?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Maybe I really AM sleepwalking to the bathroom

I woke up in the middle of the night last night because my big toe was killing me. KILLING ME. I fell back asleep and woke up a couple of hours later still in pain. I stumbled to the bathroom, downed a couple of Advil, and went back to bed.

I woke up this morning, and that toe feels just exactly like it's broken.


Please don't tell me it's possible to break a toe in your sleep.

I got no other explanation. Yes, I've been exercising, but I didn't have a major exercise malfunction involving my TOE. I haven't even STUBBED the damn thing lately.

And yet here I am, stumbling around the office like a drunken sailor, because THE TOE. IT HUUUURRRRRTTTTSSSS.

The mystery of the broken toe. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dr. M

With my health insurance, I have to have a "primary care provider", a gateway doc who refers me, when necessary, to specialists. I call him my "doctor-doctor", and I go to Dr. G.

Except when Dr. G is not available, and then my health insurance allows me to go to another doctor in Dr. G's medical group.

For the last couple of years, whenever I called to make an appointment, it seemed that Dr. G was never available. But another doctor in his group, Dr. M, always was.

And I didn't mind. I really liked Dr. M anyway, so much so that I was considering making him my doctor-doctor.

Until I found out why he was always available.

As it turns out, twenty years ago, Dr. M admitted to exposing and fondling himself in front of a female patient in an exam room.


Man, that's just ... skeevy. Pervy. Extremely disturbing.

And you know what? You know what the first thing I thought was?

"Oh, well, maybe it was a consensual thing that got out of hand. I mean, it's not like he's an ob-gyn; she wasn't up in stirrups or anything. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding. Or maybe she was an ex-girlfriend with a vendetta."

Oh my dear lord, I was making EXCUSES for this dick-pulling perv.


If some dude pulled that shit in front of ME, the first thing I'd do is kick him in the nuts so hard he wouldn't be using his equipment for the foreseeable future. Then I'd run screaming out of the exam room, making sure EVERYBODY in a hundred-yard radius knew EXACTLY what just happened. Then I'd make sure charges were filed. Then I'd probably take out a BILLBOARD to let the whole town in on it.

And yet here I was, making excuses for this doctor. Because I liked him. He was a nice doctor. And after all, it was twenty years ago and he was young and



Monday, December 27, 2010

Guess what I got for Chrismas!

... a summons for jury duty!


Like it wasn't sucky enough that I had to work on Christmas Eve, when I got home there was a cuddly little jury duty summons waiting in the mailbox.


Oh! But on the way home I saw a bald eagle, so THAT was pretty cool. He was in a tree by the side of the river, chowing down on a big ol' fish.

In other news, I found out over the weekend that a couple of weeks ago, my niece drank her way into the hospital, again. I should probably differentiate, here, seeing as how I have TWO nieces with drinking problems. The one with alcohol-induced pancreatitis I'll call drunk-blond-niece; the one with two DWIs in two years I'll call drunk-brunette-niece. Just to keep them straight.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm about ready for the holidays to be over. What's left? New Year's? Okay, let's hit it and get it, and onward toward spring.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Freaky Friday: Nativity Edition

Okay, let me say right up front, I don't even begin to understand some of the stuff they sell at the dollar store.

Take, for example, this charming little porcelain nativity scene.

Cute, right? But wait - what's that little bow in the front? Are you supposed to open it?

Why, yes; yes you are. It's a nativity that doubles as ... a trinket box? A used gum holder? A place to stash your coke?

The possibilities are endless.

Let's take a closer look at the baby Jesus, shall we?

"What child is this", indeed. What the hell? Is that ... is that blood on his little cradle?

Oh, great. Now all I can think about is that old movie It's Alive. Thanks, Dollar Store!

May visions of cheesy seventies horror films dance in your head.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Notes from a Christmas Eve at the office

1. I could be asleep RIGHT NOW. *sob*

2. At least the commute was clear. Because NOBODY ELSE IS WORKING.

3. I passed a statie on the way in, parked on the side of the highway with his radar gun. Merry Christmas - here's a speeding ticket, motherf*cker!

4. I got here promptly at eight a.m., despite what may or may not be a hangover from the Christmas-Eve-Eve imbibing. My boss, who INSISTED I be here this morning, will wander in around ten-thirty*, and then promptly leave again to finish his Christmas shopping. Trust me on this one.

5. Oh! Oh! The office Christmas luncheon yesterday! Dear co-workers: If your boss is nice enough to take you to a mid-level restaurant for lunch, for the love of CHRIST wear something other than ratty flannel shirts and baggy-ass jeans. You looked like a bunch of FARMHANDS. Or crackheads.

6. Continuing on with the luncheon: I am happy with myself. When the boss made some weird comment about being proud that all HIS employees (all three of us) owned their own homes, I resisted the urge to say something like, "If I own my own home, it's IN SPITE of what I earn here, not BECAUSE of it, dipshit."

7. We did our Secret-Santa exchange yesterday. Anybody want a - wait, let me check the box - "ScentSationals Fragrance Hearth Wax Warmer (Not a Scentsy Product)"? It's free!

8. On the other hand, my boss DID come through with a hefty bonus for me. Which goes a long way toward explaining why I'm sitting here RIGHT NOW.

9. I hope some other bloggers are posting today, 'cause I've got a lot of time to kill, here. Get to work!

10. Stay tuned for Very Special Christmas Edition of Freaky Friday, coming soon!

11. I could be sleeping. RIGHT NOW.

*Better make that eleven. Or noon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rather spectacularly uncoordinated

So! After almost a year of intermittently, half-assedly doing Level 1 of the Jillian Michaels Shred DVD, last Friday I went insane and stepped it up to Level 2.


And you know what? It didn't kill me. It was a harder workout than Level 1, but not on, like, the quantum level I had been expecting.

But oh! The plaaaaaanks. Level 2 is just chock-full of plank work, which is basically where you get in push-up position and then do all kinds of funky shit.

That came out wrong, didn't it? We are talking EXERCISE here, peeps. Minds out of gutters.

And Jillian is evidently STILL trying to blow my knees to smithereens, because a quite a bit of Level 2 is not exactly ... hmm ... knee-friendly. At least not to MY old four-years-of-high-school-marching-band knees.

And! Here's the thing: There's this one exercise in Level 2, I forget what Jillian calls it, because she gives ALL her exercises weird-ass names like "Hammer plank side turn jack-ups", which, I don't know, maybe that's standard gym-talk, which I would know NOTHING about having not been in a gym since high school, and even then it was just for, like, dodgeball and rope climb and

where the hell was I? Oh! This one exercise, where you are supposed to point your bottom half one way and then point your top half the other way and then alternate! Like you're doing the Twist! Come on baby, let's do the Twist!

Except my body refuses to mis-align itself, and I only get, like, three twists in before my top half and my bottom half are all, like, screw this! And everything's pointing in the same direction, and I have to STOP and MIS-ALIGN myself and start over and NOPE everything's right back in sync again and

it's like when you rub your tummy and pat your head? Except I can actually DO that.

Good thing "The Twist" went out of style, like, fifty years ago, 'cause I'd be screwed on the dance floor.

And if you ever want to laugh your ass off, come watch me exercise. Seriously, I should sell tickets. I exercise in the living room, which faces the front yard, so I could just set up rows of bleachers out front.

Another genius idea!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taughannock Falls

Oh, first off, yes I DID go see a lady about a porcupine - seeing as how you'd all been asking. *cough*

And now for something really cool. Click here:

Taughannock Falls Rock Slide - Photos, Information

I have been at the base of those falls, many times, although never in the spot where the giant piece of rock landed. And now I'm thinking I will never go anywhere NEAR the base of those falls.

Holy cow!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I guess she's forgiven me over the whole "pizza allergy" thing

My neighbor T. invited me over for coffee and cookies last night. My other neighbor, L., was there, along with a couple of their friends whom I had not yet met.

One of their friends made a comment about remembering something that had happened when FDR was president, and I laughed, thinking she was making a joke about her age.

She wasn't kidding.

Folks, this lady is in her NINETIES, and she still lives on her own in the family farmhouse, drives everyplace (her son just bought her a new car), and mows her several-acre lawn. She was talking last night about the books she's reading, and the lawn ornaments that she decorates for every holiday, and how she really needs to take her car to the car wash.

Man, if I can age as gracefully as this woman has, let me at it. It doesn't look so bad, if you can do it her way.

Movie Review: Trick 'R Treat

Look, I'm so far behind on movie reviews it's pathetic, so let's just go for it, okay?

Here's a review from two months ago. Sorry about that.

I'm not usually a fan of scary movies, but I figured I'd get one to watch on Halloween, so I put "Trick 'R Treat" on my Netflix list.

"Trick 'R Treat" came out a couple of years ago and features Anna Paquin. It's basically a series of interwoven stories taking place in a small town on Halloween night.

And it's really good!

It reminded me a lot of the old "Tales from the Crypt" series on HBO, in that the scares were mixed in with a whole lot of camp. Even when it got violent and/or bloody, it was so stylized that timid me didn't get grossed out. Well, not TOO grossed out, anyway.

Recommended! Especially for Halloween.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Random on a Friday afternoon

First off, yes, there IS a Freaky Friday. Scroll down. Now on with random:

1. I can deal with the snow. I can deal with the cold, and the crappy driving conditions, and the unrelenting deadness of winter. What I can't deal with? The dark. Get up in the dark, go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, shovel snow in the dark, darkdarkdarkdarkdark. Makes me want to drink. Got a beer?

2. Everybody in my office is ready to kill each other. Should make the Christmas luncheon next Thursday interesting.

3. I loathe Christmas Eve parties. Loathe them. If you are planning a Christmas Eve party? Rethink it. All anybody wants to do on Christmas Eve is relax at home. Well, that's all I want to do, anyway. Because you know what's really sad? The local neighborhood dive bar is not only open on Christmas Eve, it's usually packed. Even sadder? It's open on Christmas Day, too.

Well, that's it from me for this week. Tomorrow, I'm gonna go see a lady about a porcupine. See ya Monday, probably with a tale to tell.

Freaky Friday - Birthday Edition Part 3

Sometimes you need a parrot watch, is all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Three Days of the Condo

Here is the old cat condo. You can see how The Runt is kind of scrunched into it. It was really made for smaller cats:

I love how he's all suave and debonair in that pic. Helloooo, ladeeeez.

Now, for the new cat condo.
First off, YOU try wrestling a forty-five-pound, six-feet-tall, multi-level cat tree out of a station wagon and into a house. The things I do for these cats.

They'd better be getting me something amazing for Christmas, is all I'm sayin'.

Okay, here's The Runt, whose opinion on this little endeavor was critical. I hadn't even gotten the thing out of the kitchen when he stared exploring:

Look at the muscles on that cat! I think he's been doing my shred DVD when I'm at work.

Level Two:

That's Little Girl on the bottom, and The Runt on the second story.

Level Three:

I was a little worried about how they were going to get up there. Okay, mainly I was worried that they were going to try climbing the Christmas tree and then jumping over to that top level. But The Runt just climbed the post all the way to the top. Oh, and that's a six-and-half foot Christmas tree, so you can see how gigantor the cat condo is.

I'm pretty sure they like it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Survey SAYS ...

Okay, so we had two yeas and two nays, so that means ...

... you should SEE what's in the back of my car!

Seriously, I am more than a little abashed at spending this kind of money on a cat tree. But I knew the old tree wasn't going to last forever, and to buy this kind of thing in a pet store would cost easily TWICE what Big Lots was asking, and {justify justify justify}

man, I'm lame.

But anyhoo, because I am apparently incapable of doing anything without making a big proDUCtion out of it, I had to turn this into a GREAT BIG THING.

I didn't want to go back to the FIRST Big Lots, the one I went to yesterday, because like I said, it is skeevy, and it's impossible to find an employee to actually HELP you with anything there. But! There is ANOTHER Big Lots on the other side of town, so I went to that one. Where they didn't have the cat tree in question. Nope. Not at all. And they were sure there weren't any in the back, nope, and NO they couldn't order one, and NO.

So. Back to the skeevy Big Lots. Where they had one of the cat trees on display, and I was assuming (ahahahahahahaaaaaa) that they had more in the back, in, like, BOXES, which I could load into my car, take home, and assemble.

When I finally managed to corral an employee, she informed me that nope, that one on the floor was the ONLY ONE they had. But they would be glad to sell it to me! All six feet and several levels of it!

"You got a truck?" she asked, as she loaded it onto a wheelie-thingie.

Um, no. I do not have a truck.

Two Big Lots employees, one wrenched knee, and much cursing later, the cat tree is in the back of my wagon.

And how I'm ever gonna get it out of there, God only knows.

Oh! And provided I DO ever get it in the house, the old tree will definitely be going to a shelter, if they want it. And if The Runt DOES decide he can't part with the old one, the new one will go in the spare room, because I do plan on fostering again, and when I do, the fosters will be staying in there.

See that? I can turn an ordinary shopping expedition into a several-day, angst-ridden, drama-filled extravaganza.

I think there's something wrong with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To buy or not to buy

Okay, so I'm posting like crazy today, so try to keep up, okay? :)

Remember, back a few posts ago, now I explained that I have a really bad habit of finishing up my Christmas shopping and then just ... keeping shopping?

It's happening again.

Big Lots has this giant cat condo/tree thing on sale for EIGHTY-EIGHT bucks.

I went to check it out at lunchtime, even though the closest Big Lots to my office is skeevy and awful and occupies some weird level of shopping HELL, and the cat tree is ...

... really nice. Well-built and sturdy and HUGE (it's taller than I am) with three napping levels, and it's even Made! In! America!, which means it's probably the only thing in the entire STORE that's made in America, with the possible exception of some of the employees


my cats already HAVE a cat tree. Granted it's old (a hand-me-down from a former neighbor) and kind of worse-for-wear and a little tippy, but The Runt looooooves his cat tree.

And what if I get the NEW cat tree and the cats don't like it?


Eighty-eight bucks down the ol' drain, that's what!

But I already shorted them out of their window seats, so surely a new cat tree is a reasonable purchase, right? RIGHT?

Oh, the dilemma.

You guys know me. I'm really, really good at justifying purchases, especially at this time of year.
So help me! Post a comment on whether I should buy the condo/tree or not.


The mysterious case of the shrinking toilet paper

Okay, so I've used Quilted Northern toilet paper for ... well, for as long as I can remember. TMI? Sorry. I do have a point. Lately, I was noticing that it seemed like I was buying toilet paper a lot more often.

And when I finally started keeping track of HOW often I was buying toilet paper (because I have nothing better to do with my time, OBviously), I discovered that I was buying a four-roll-pack of toilet paper ...

... once a week.

Whaaaaaaaa? Peeps, I live alone. It's just me. HOW ON EARTH COULD I BE GOING THROUGH A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER EVERY OTHER DAY? I mean, it's not like the cats are using it or anything. And it's not like I've got any sort of ... health problem or something that would make me go through more toilet paper.

I actually started to worry that there was something wrong with me, like I had some rare condition that caused me to sleepwalk to the bathroom in the middle of the night and ... I don't know, stuff paper into the toilet or something.

Hahahahaha sorry about THAT little mental image. I'll bet you're sorry you started reading this post now, aren't you?

ANYhoo, I had to consult with Google this morning, because, COME ON, toilet paper isn't exactly CHEAP, and I discovered that

it's not just me.

Oh, man, at least now I know that I don't have some weird sleepwalking disease or something.

What a relief!

Oh, and I'm now accepting toilet paper recommendations. Any brands out there that last more than a-roll-every-other-day? And that aren't, you know ... scratchy?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Pour some sugar on me

Bridgett called this one - everybody needs to be watching this season of The Sing-Off. Last night, watching the show, I was all, like, they can show this on network TV?

And now that they've delving into cheesy eighties rock, somebody really, REALLY needs to do The Reflex.

You've been notified, NBC.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mouse! Rescue!

Oh boy, that was the big news around my house this weekend - the successful rescue of a field mouse! I've learned that the easiest way to do it is to wait for the cats to corner it, then go in with a cup and a piece of cardboard. Cup over the mouse, cardboard under the mouse, and you're off to the great outdoors.

Yesterday's rescue also involved a butterfly net*, which DID seem to make the process a little easier.

Oh! And I went for a walk yesterday and came back with a plant stand. I think I should audition for American Pickers.

And Saturday! I was driving on a two-lane road in a little nearby town when the cars ahead of me slowed and then came to a halt in both directions. I don't know if there was a fenderbender or WHAT, but all of a sudden people were jumping out of their cars and yelling at each other! It was very entertaining. I rolled down my window so I could hear better, OF COURSE, hoping no weaponry was going to be involved, but by then everybody was back in their cars and on their merry way, just like nothing had happened.

Kate, you KNOW what town I'm talkin' about.

Oh, and after seeing a giant stuffed gnu head this weekend, I think I'm gonna have to go see a lady about a porcupine.

How was YOUR weekend?

*Why do I have a butterfly net? For situations just like this. DUH.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Is it just me, or ...

First off , there is TOO a Freaky Friday! Scroll down, peeps!

Second: It's snowing outside! At this time of year I still like to watch snow fall; it has a certain novelty to it - Hey, snow! Haven't seen you in a while! You're looking very pretty, I must say!By March, I'll be ready to scream at every flake.

Now, let me expose for you a few of my little "quirks" *cough*. Because I'm wondering if I'm only one who does this shit ...

1. After a concerted push the last two nights, all gifts that have to be shipped are now on their way, and all Christmas cards are in the mail. (It's still not too late if you want a card! Email me! rockycat24(AT)yahoo(DOT)com!) And here's where I get into trouble: Christmas is still two weeks away, and I'm all done, meaning I will have to fight MIGHTILY not to just keep shopping. Because honestly? Christmas is the one time of the year when the pursestrings get loosened and money gets spent on things wanted, not needed*. For the love of Pete, somebody keep me out of that antiques store!

2. "O Holy Night" is one of my favorite Christmas carols. That whole "fall on your knees" thing just slays me, the idea of something being so awe-inspiring that it drops you to your knees. But every single time this song runs through my head (which is A LOT, this time of year), I think of it as "O Holy Shit". I don't think there's any hope of this changing any time soon.

3. I am re-thinking the whole "tip-your-paperboy" thing this year. I was GLAD to do it when the carrier was one of the neighbor kids, but now that it's some dude on a motor route who was late with the paper THREE TIMES this last week, well ...

4. Ditto the mailman. I mean, come on, he doesn't even have to get out of that little truck, and he keeps delivering stuff addressed to the previous owner, which, COME ON, dude, it's been a year and a half! Get with the program!

5. I keep finding excuses not to do my Jillian Michaels workout. Last night, I shit you not, I was doing the jumping jacks, and the ornaments were bouncing around on the tree from the earthquake caused by my exertions, and I was all, "WELL! OBviously I cannot work out again until after Christmas! I'm BOTHERING the TREE!" Lame.

6. Now dish: What's your quirks?

*Freaky Friday-type items are a NEED, not a WANT, at any time of year. SHUT IT.

Freaky Friday - Birthday Edition Part 2

I don't know why I like cigar boxes; I just do.

I like the idea of having a box to store your treasure in.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Oh, man, I know I'm gonna catch a bunch of shit for this ...

... but something about an event named the "Arizona Burns and Trauma Festival of Trees" just sounds a little ... off ... to me.

Happy ... um ... holidays?

Recently Read

As always, skip it if you wanna.

1. The Blue Cotton Gown by Patricia Harman - Memoirs of a midwife. Interesting.

2. Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer. I got about a third of the way through this one before realizing I'd read it before. It's a memoir about a woman who, among other things, raises a few chickens. Good if you want to learn about chicken-raising.

3. Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes by various authors. A collection of adorable short stories about the South - recommended.

4. Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy. Ah, Maeve. I love her books - you just sit right down and sink right in. This one is about a little town in Ireland and its inhabitants - very entertaining.

5. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart - Self-explanatory title, there. Good book.

6. Leave the Building Quickly by Cynthia Kaplan - Vignettes and stories from the author's life - Interesting and very funny.

7. A Good House by Bonnie Burnard - Novel detailing 50 years in the life of a family. I never did get into this one, mainly because the author seemed detached from her characters. I finished it, but I can't recommend it.

8. Welcome to Utopia - Notes from a Small Town by Karen Valby. The author went to a tiny Texas town and wrote down the stories of the people who live there - very good.

9. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott. Novel about a beloved drunk. I'll bet English Lit teachers love this sucker, but I was bored and quit about sixty pages in, mainly because I know too many drunks to find anything about them "charming".

10. The Wedding Dress by Carrie Young - Short stories set in the Dakotas - very good.

Okay, so right now I'm struggling my way through The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, which made a lot of "100 best books" lists, and all I can say is, Really? Woo boy, so far it's just a bunch of proper people sitting around talking, and maybe it was, I don't know, scandalous for its day or something, but I really don't care about a bunch of self-important twits out in the English countryside, so whatever.

What are YOU reading right now? Is it any good?

I'm probably reading this wrong, but ...

... I was in the shower this morning, thinking about the famous woman who died yesterday. The politician's wife, who fought cancer for the past several years before finally succumbing.

And everybody's talking about how great she was, because she was selfless and caring and forgiving, and you know what I see?


She gave up her career to help her husband run for president, and what did she get for it? He cheated on her. So she forgave him, and what did he do? He knocked up the other woman.

The cancer was just an extra added turd bonus from the universe.

You know what? I spend the first half of my adult life acting a lot like this woman. I let people walk all over me and forgave them. I gave and I gave and I gave, and what did it get me? A shitty ex-husband, a lousy ex-boyfriend, and a bunch of people standing around with their hands out waiting for what I'd give them next.

So about fifteen years ago, I made a sea change. I cut off all the people who were only there for the good times, meaning about ninety percent of my friends and relatives.

And it felt GREAT. For the first time, I wasn't worried about making anybody happy but myself. And no, I didn't start taking from other people, I just stopped giving MYSELF away.

And now I'm happy as a pig in shit. My real friends are still here. The chaff got left by the side of the road a long time ago.

Selfish? Maybe. But I'll tell you what right now, the woman who died yesterday spent her whole life making other people happy, and what did it get her? Dead. Oh, sure, people are calling her great and selfless and caring and forgiving, but I can't see that her sacrifices got her a whole hell of a lot, other than a lot of kind words at the news of her death.

And you know what? Maybe she wanted it that way. Maybe that's what made her happy, giving her whole life to other people, and if that's the case, great! It's all about what makes you happy. That's the point.

Personally, I don't care if people call me selfish and grinchy and not a team player. Because I'd rather die happy than be called a great person, and I would not die happy if I gave up my life for other people.

I'd rather live happy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A note about cat window seats

First off, scroll down to the previous post for the scintillating details about how to score a Christmas card!

Go on, I'll wait.

(tapping fingers on desk)

Okay! Back already? Here is a quick (okay, really, really LONG (you've been warned)) story about cat window seats, aka "perchs" ("perches"?), for anyone who may be googling them trying to decide which one to pick.

I thought I'd buy my cats window seats for Christmas.* You know, those ones that attach to the windowsill and have a nice fluffy cover on the seat part?

So I started googling and discovered that a halfway decent one would run about thirty bucks, at which point I figured that the cats could flippin' well SHARE and decided to buy one seat instead of two.

I went to PetSmart last night, picked up a thirty-dollar Lazy Pet Kitty Window Perch**, took it home, got it out of the box, grabbed my cordless screwdriver so I could bolt it to the window frame, and discovered ...

... it attaches to the window frame with Velcro and tape. VELCRO and TAPE.

What. The. F*ck.

Look, I don't know about your cats, but my cats are pretty enthusiastic and energetic and klutzy. I'm guessing it would take about two days of cats jumping up on that thing for the Velcro and tape to give, and for it all to come crashing to the floor. And then I'd be left with a nice wide strip of tape goo on my windowsill as an added bonus. And possibly also a vet bill.

Well. Maybe it's some sort of super tape!, I thought. Maybe it DOES hold and not peel off the sill.

So I went on line and started googling.

Hah! Fail. The tape does not hold. I THOUGHT SO.

But! All is not lost. There is another type of cat seat, called the Cat Napper Window Perch, which evidently comes with optional bolting screws so you can SECURELY ATTACH the damn thing to the windowsill, as opposed to giving your cats a complex on the fateful day that they hop onto their window seat and send it, and them, crashing to the floor.

So! Am I going to return the Lazy Pet Kitty Window Perch and replace it with a Cat Napper Window Perch?

Not exactly. Because while I was perusing the ads in the paper today, I noticed that Dollar General has adorable little fluffy comfy cat beds on sale for five bucks each.


I am going to return the thirty-dollar velcro-and-tape kitty-window-perch-collapsing-travesty, and replace it with two five-dollar fluffy comfy cat beds, which I will then place on top of the dressers in the bedrooms so the cats have a nice window view. And I'll put some of that dollar-store shelf-liner-gripper stuff underneath the fluffy comfy cat beds, so they don't go flying off the dressers when the cats jump into them, although frankly I would probably pay to see something like that.

There ya go. Total savings? Twenty bucks. And I get two beds instead of one. And I don't have to worry about the cats getting PTSD from having a window seat go crashing out from under them.

Ta Da! End of story! People who got here by googling "cat window seat" or "cat window perch", you're welcome. Come back any time. Here's a cat toy review I did a couple of years ago, if you're interested.

To my regular readers who just wasted ten minutes of their lives reading about cat window seats and are now pissed, I am sorry. I'm performing a public service here. I should get an award, for Pete's sake.

See you tomorrow!

*Yes, I DO buy them Christmas gifts. SHUT IT.

**It just about killed me. I am CHEAP.

It's the most wonderful time of the beer

... erm, YEAR, that is. I meant "year". Sure I did.

But! Christmas cards! It's time for Christmas cards!

If you got a Christmas card from me last year, don't worry, you're still on my list. If you did NOT get a card last year and would LIKE a card, email me your name/address to rockycat24(AT)yahoo(DOT)com and you'll go on the list. If you DID receive a card last year and DO NOT WANT ANOTHER ONE, EVERRRRRRR, let me know that, too. Oh, except for Fish. Fish, your card already went out, 'cause I wasn't sure how long it would take to GET there, so if you didn't want a card this year, too bad.

I'm doing a mixed bag last year - some snarky, some scenic, and some store-bought, so it's hard telling what you'll get. Luck of the draw! You'll definitely know if you got a homemade one, seeing as how I've got the crafting skills of a preschooler. Just ask anybody who got a card from me LAST year.

Christmas cards!

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

So, I went to a tree lot yesterday (okay, okay, it was Lowe's) and grabbed a Doug Fir and took it home and wrassled it into the stand and hauled it into the house and set it up in front of the living room window, and man, I'll tell you what -

There is nothing like the scent of a real live pine tree in the house.

Yeah, yeah, technically the tree is dead, and I don't know how politically correct it is anymore to cut down a living thing for my own personal enjoyment and let's not even think about the carbon emissions required to get it to the store and

My GOD I love that smell.

Here comes Christmas!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Freaky Friday - Birthday Edition

Okay, so DESPITE the fact that evidently nobody except for Faithful Reader Rob is reading today, I am going to keep posting. Because I'm generous like that.

Here we go with Freaky Friday:

I had a birthday this past week, and per usual, I bought some presents for myself.*

This is the Infant of Prague.

He'll be a companion piece to my terrifying statuette of Saint Jude.

His eyes aren't really that wonky; it's just a trick of the light. Although he does look ... rather ... peaceful, doesn't he?

*What? Of COURSE I buy presents for myself. Somebody's gotta do it.

Seriously, I have two boxes in my bedroom closet - One marked "birthday", and one marked "Christmas", and throughout the year, sometimes when I see a little something that I like, I buy it and it goes into the boxes. And because my memory is shot, by the time the day rolls around, I've forgotten most of what I've bought, so it's Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Look what I bought for myself!

Oh, come on, it's a GREAT idea. Admit it.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: I'm Confused

Okay, so I SWEAR there's a Freaky Friday coming up, but I've gotta talk about Santa first.

As explained in the previous post, last night, I watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", the Christmas cartoon. Don't judge; there was nothing else on.

Now, I don't really wanna talk about the creepy way Kris Kringle's pupils kept changing size, and I don't particularly care to discuss the oddness that is the Burgermeister Meisterburger, but I've gotta say ...

... I watched this sucker for the first time in well over thirty years last night, and not only did I remember the salient plot points, I also remembered the lyrics to a disturbing number of the songs.

"It's ... a ... difficult responsibility (doodle-oodle-oodle-oo), when you accept an appointment from his majesty (doodle-oodle-oodle-ooo) ..."

Wait. What?

Keep in mind that there were no VCRS or DVDS or TV On Demand back when I was a kid. The Christmas specials came on once a year, ONCE, and if you didn't catch them when they aired, you were SOL until the next year. So I saw this special ... let's see ... MAYBE a total of ten times, over thirty years ago, when I was a KID, and yet I remember "accept an appointment from his majesty?

Why can't I remember how to conjugate French verbs with such clarity? I don't even remember the first time I had SEX all that clearly, and yet I can remember "accept an appointment from his majesty?"

Man, the brain is a funny thing.

Now please excuse me ... I have to go accept an appointment from his majesty.

Oh yeah! And according to this special, the reason we decorate Christmas trees is ... to commemorate Santa's marriage to Mrs. Claus? Now I've got a headache.


Okay, first off, yes there will be a Freaky Friday up here at some point today, and I'm probably going to wander into a dissertation on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town: The Cartoon" before that, but first let's talk about lavender.

Wait, let's talk just a little about "Santa Claus" first. So, the mailman is explaining the chronological history of Santa to the little kids, and he explains that the foundling who became Santa was found with a little tag reading "Claus" (how convenient!), so that was his last name, Claus, and one of the little kids pipes up and says, "But why do they call him Santa? Because he's good?"

"Ex-ACTLY!" the mailman smugly says, and the plotline moves on.


Okay, I get that "Santa" means "saint" in spanish, and I guess you could equate "saint" with "good". Or maybe "saint" means "good", literally? But then why not just call him "Good Claus"? Where the hell does Spain (or, you know, Mexico) come into the picture?

I'm confused.

But anyway, I'll get back to the Santa Claus cartoon later. Today's burning question is: Why does lavender make me have crazy dreams?

A while back, I was having trouble sleeping, and somebody (one of you, maybe?) suggested lavender. And somewhere I heard that if you rub lavender on your feet before you go to bed, you'll sleep like a baby. So I bought some lavender moisturizer, and rubbed it on my feet, and ... I had the weirdest dreams I've ever had IN MY LIFE. At first I thought it was a coincidence, but it's not. Every blessed time I use that moisturizer before bed, I have kookoo-for-coconuts dreams.

Maybe Santa knows why. Being a saint and all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Our Little Felon

So! The big news around the Thanksgiving table this year was that my sister Ditzy's daughter S. just got her second DWI.

In three years.

Oh, and not ONLY was she driving drunk, she was speeding at the time.


Have fun at the Big House, little girl.

It cost Ditzy a cool grand to bail her out of jail, which, personally? If it was me? I would've let her sit there. The lawyer wants twenty-five hundred up front, to try to keep her ass out of the pokey. And because she refused the Breathalyzer, she's automatically lost her license for a year.

You know what? Maybe she should lose her license permanently. Obviously, she is unable to restrain herself from drinking and driving; therefore, the state should make that decision for her and pull her license for good. Or at least for a good long time.

Oh! And Ditzy (her mother; my sister) was mining the situation for sympathy. She was all, "How will she get to work? She was going to move to Poughkeepsie! How will she do that now?"

Well, she won't do that now, is the answer. She ain't getting any sympathy from me. Drinking AND speeding?! She could've killed someone.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Dudes! The weird noise is back.

I was sound asleep and dreaming about going to a ballgame when I was jolted awake at 5:30 this morning by a loud noise. Except instead of sounding like a radio, like before, this time it sounded more like what I imagine it would sound like to stand next to a power plant or a hydroelectric dam. Kind of a "whhmmmmmWHHMMMMMMwhhmmmmmmm."

Almost like a hum that kept changing in pitch. And it would get louder, then softer, then louder again.

It sounded like it was coming from the hillside across the creek. I could only hear it on the side of the house that faces that way. But when I left for work, I couldn't hear it outside at all. Of course, it was raining pretty good out by then*, so that could've masked the sound.

WTF? I know we talked before about what it could possibly be, i.e., auditory hallucinations, radio transmissions, etc. I just hope to hell I don't hear it again tomorrow morning, because I NEED MY SLEEP. Jeez.

*Let's not talk about the flood watch on for today, shall we? LALALALALA not talking about it at all ...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well, since you asked ...

Okay, here's the before. Blah beigey-yellow walls, chock full o' paint drips, nail holes, etc.:

And here's the after! This was the only pic I got that shows the true color, kind of a turquoise (look at the corner juncture to get the color:

And yeah, that cabinet really IS in that bad of a shape. I was thinking about painting that one end that looks the worst, either with a brown stain or maybe white?

Then again, I don't want to go anywhere NEAR a paintbrush any time soon. Four-and-a-half freaking hours, is what it took me to do ONE COAT on that bathroom. And it's TINY! Sheesh.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Swimming Pool

After a year and a half of stalling by any excuse necessary*, the bathroom is FINALLY painted.

Swimming Pool blue.

And oh my God the taping and spackling and sanding and painting and cleaning and I swear I am NEVER painting that damn bathroom again.

Swimming Pool it is. I hope I like it.

*A year and a half! I'm like a professional procrastinator. I should get business cards.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Freaky Friday

Okay, okay, so evidently none of you are too fond of bones, so let's do stuffed animals this week, shall we? You DO like stuffed animals, don't you?

Meet Uneveneye, her baby Uneveneyesewedin, and Rufus:

Uneveneye is the kangaroo on the left, so named because, well, her eyes are uneven. And her baby, down there in the pouch, is Uneveneyesewedin, because ... oh boy, keep in mind I was a KID when I named these guys ... her eyes are uneven, and she is sewed into mama's pouch.
My sister Texas spent several years in Australia, and she came back to the states when I was maybe ... ten? Eleven? I don't really remember for sure, but I remember Sis had an Australian accent when she came back. I'd beg her to say, "cup of tea, mate", because it sounded SO COOL with that accent. Heh.
Aaaannnd she brought me Uneveneye and Uneveneyesewedin, so how cool is that? They are supposedly made out of real kangaroo skin, which I'm pretty sure is illegal now, but whatever. Bygones.
The dog on the right is Rufus. He's got a little wear and tear, but then again, I've had him for forty-four years. My Dad brought him back for me when he went on a business trip when I was four. I've since done a little research and found out that he is a Dakin Dream Pet. He's stuffed with sawdust. I slept with him every night for years and years and years. I used to make him little outfits and play with him like a Barbie. I puked on him the first time I ever got drunk. That dang dog was like a best friend to me.
Awww, now I'm getting all sentimental *sniff*. How about you? Any favorite stuffed animals?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Evidently, "Peep is Risen" didn't go over so well

Usually, when I go to my sister TIB's house for a holiday meal, it's my assignment to bring dessert. Which tended to involve a couple of kinds of pie, until this past Easter, when I decided to get all creative and do an art installation instead.

So anyway, I called TIB the other night to see what she wanted me to bring for Thanksgiving, and she said, "rolls".


As it turns out, I guess I was the only one who thought "Peep is Risen" was hysterical.

Rolls it is.

Maybe I'm adopted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it just me?

Okay, okay, I've gotten in trouble for this kind of thing before, but ... check out this link. Check out the last name of the mayor.

Oh, people. If I had that last name ... scratch that, because I WOULD NOT HAVE THAT LAST NAME. As soon as I was old enough, I would change that sonofabitch so fast it would make your head spin.

Because think about it. It's not just her. She is also gifting that little prize onto future generations. Nonononono.

That's just wrong.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The reasons men grow beards

First off, I've never been a fan of facial hair. Mustaches just look ... too seventies, and it itches when you kiss. I think some guys just don't like to shave, but hell, I've been shaving my legs for thirty-odd years and it hasn't killed me yet. I do think, though, that there are three main reasons a guy grows a beard.

1. He's a total stone-cold fox and grows a scruffy beard to knock you out with his now-foxier-than-ever self.

2. He's getting bald and is desperate to grow hair someplace, ANYPLACE.

3. He's getting fat and is trying to conceal a double chin.

Sadly, it's almost always 2 or 3, and almost never 1.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Freaky Friday: Bones

Warning: This post contains pictures of animal bones. If that squicks you out, you're gonna want to skip this one.

Okay! Still here?

This is a deer skull that rests in a wicker chair in the willow tree out back:

In case you're wondering where I get all the bones, well, it's mostly from walking in the woods. Hunters will often drop and field dress a deer, and then just leave the carcass behind. Sometimes coyotes will scatter the kill, but several times I've found entire skeletons, just resting on the ground. I try to always display the bones in a respectful way, just because it seems the right thing to do, although hell, I don't care if somebody makes a xylophone out of my bones after I die; it's not like I'll be using them or anything.

I don't know what the little skull below belongs to:

I put the feather there for scale; the actual skull is about two-and-a-half inches across. Check out those teeth! Chomp.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy SHIT when the f*ck did that happen?!?!

I was looking at the calendar the other day and noticed that I have a birthday coming up. I'm going to be 48.


How on EARTH can it be that I'm going to be forty-frickin-EIGHT? That's OLD! That's, like, one foot in the grave time, for Christ's sake!

Where did the time go? What have I accomplished? I haven't even been to Hawaii yet!

Holy crap, instant midlife crisis.

I think I've got a new motto: "Life is short. Whoop it up."

Maybe I'll get some t-shirts printed up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I picked up one of the cats' toy mice last night to give it a toss so they could chase it, only to discover ...

... it wasn't a toy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Isn't it ironic, doncha think

On Saturday, my neighbor asked me to help her with her lawnmower, which HAHAHAHAHA talking about the blind leading the blind, there, but as it turns out, she has carpal tunnel syndrome and couldn't get enough leverage on the pull start to get the engine to turn, and seeing as how MY lawn mower takes an average of 462 pulls to get it started, I'm kind of an expert on the ol' pull start, so it all turned out fine.

Although it kind of boggled my mind that she'd be out there mowing in mid-November. I mean, I put my lawn mower up for the year a good three weeks ago, and it would take an act of Congress to get me to haul that thing out of the shed again before next April. My neighbor said that there was just one patch of her lawn that was shaggy, and she wanted to get that finished up, which - well, my lawn's gonna be shaggy till spring, is all.

Oh! But I DID wash the car in the driveway on Saturday. It was sunny and sixty and it probably won't get that warm again until next year, so make hay while the sun shines and all that.

Then! Speaking of making hay, I walked into the living room yesterday to find Little Girl up on the coffee table (NOT allowed), licking jalapeno dip off a plate.

Really, LG? Really? I hope she doesn't have a tummy ache this morning.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Freaky Friday!

I have some religious medals up on the Giant Wall O' Religion featured in last week's Freaky Friday. This one is interesting:

This thing is only about the size of a quarter and the print is really small, so I took the words that I could read, "Confraternity of the Precious Blood", googled, and voila!

Crazy Catholics. Seriously, if you've got some time, go check out that web site. You can even buy this medal! There's an education in nutso-land, right there.

Look, I'm just saying, if you think that wearing someone else's blood around is going to protect you from harm, you might want to lay off the Twilight books and zombie movies for a while, is all.

Frankly, I'd be a little afraid that Jesus would come after his blood. I mean, how many people are wearing these things? He's gotta be a little light-headed.

Then again, I'm not Catholic, so what do I know?

Oh! If you want to go check out some really cool old pics, head over to Mental Floss, where they're doing a series of them.

And oh my God, you guys, I have found my people. I was flipping through channels last night and happened upon a show called "Oddities" on the Discovery channel. It's all about a shop called Obscura Antiques and Oddities, which is chock full of Freaky Friday. Someday I WILL work in that store. Count on it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kitty Pr0n

Some of you may find the following images disturbing, but I think they're funny, so stuff it.

This one's for the laydeeez:

Strike a pose, Runt:
The sunflower dishtowel on the right is his nuk-nuk. Hey, everybody needs a security blanket now and then. Oh, and you can see that he actually has fur on his stomach now, as opposed to the plucked-chicken look he was sporting a few months ago. Thanks, steroids!
Just so you can see how long he actually is, I put a ruler on the bed:

Oh, and here's his sister:
We prefer the term "special".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

They just leave the stuff lying around

So! I got home the other night to find an aluminum-bending machine and a case of aluminum in my backyard.

I am assuming that they were delivered there by the window-trimmer guy, who then ... got sick and had to leave? Got a call that his wife needed a ride and had to go pick her up? Forgot about daylight savings time ending and ran out of daylight?

Seriously, I have no idea, because all the equipment was there, but the windows still weren't trimmed.

And that aluminum-bending machine, also known as a break, runs upward of a grand.

You know, I live in a good neighborhood, but I'm pretty sure that even I wouldn't leave an easily-loaded-into-a-pickup-truck piece of equipment worth a thousand dollars just lying around.

Oh! And earlier this summer, when the surveyor guy was at the house (the surveyor dude who never did find the corner pins to my property, because evidently the entire neighborhood was laid out somewhat wonky, to the extent where, at one point, I shit you not, he was scratching his head and asking me, "Do you know if they ever moved that road?"), okay ... um .... where was I?

Oh yeah! The surveyor went to lunch and left his digital transit, a very expensive piece of surveying equipment, set up by the side of the road. Where anybody passing by could just scoop it up and drive away.

Then again, maybe it was how I was raised. My dad would have KILLED me if I had so much as left a bicycle out on the lawn overnight. Even today, I don't even leave the flippin' lawnmower out in the yard, although maybe I should, in hopes that someone actually WOULD steal the damn thing and then I could buy one that actually RUNS ...

Wait! Where was I again? Oh yeah! Do you leave steal-able stuff out in the open? Because now I'm starting to wonder if I'm some kind of non-trusting weirdo.

Oh! Oh! One more question! How do I know when to use "lay" and when to use "lie"? IT'S KILLING ME. I mean, I know that if you place something, you "lay" it down. But is the object then "laying" there or "lying" there? I CANNOT FIGURE IT OUT.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

.... and then there was that OTHER weird thing that happened this weekend ...

... other than the smoke alarm, that is:

I gave a thumbs-up to a grocery store clerk.



What is WRONG with me? What am I, the Fonz?



Monday, November 08, 2010

What the f*ck, smoke alarm?

Preface: Let me just say RIGHT NOW that I went to Home Depot on Sunday and bought a new smoke alarm. Okay. And now that I think about, I think I'll go back and buy another one.

So! Like a good little doobee, on Saturday I was changing out the batteries on my carbon monoxide detectors and the smoke alarm. I changed the battery in the smoke alarm and pressed the test button, bracing myself for the ear-piercing, instant-headache-producing shriek, and instead what I got was this:

meeeeeeeeeeep ee ee meeeeeeeeeep

Whaaaa? That ain't right! I tried another battery, and still all I got was a pathetic little mewl. I never knew smoke alarms had a "crying kitten" mode.

Seriously, I thought when a smoke alarm was dying, it was supposed to beep, like, every fifteen seconds, to let you know it's on the way out. I had NO IDEA a smoke alarm could just give up the ghost without notifying you.

Whenever I read an article about a house fire where there wasn't any smoke alarm, or the batteries had been taken out of the smoke alarm, or .... waaaaaait a minute. I think I remember reading a couple of times about house fires where the smoke alarm was "non-functioning."

IS THIS WHAT THEY MEANT? When the smoke alarm gives out a little "meep" instead of a brain-damaging scream?

Because I always read those articles and go, "What idiots!" about the homeowners. Who on earth is TOO F*CKING STUPID to have a working smoke alarm?

Evidently, I am.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Freaky Friday!

Way back this past spring I mentioned my Giant Wall O' Religion in a different Freaky Friday post, and then forgot to show it to you. So, here 'tis:

This was inspired by the awesomely terrifying statue of Saint Jude I found a while back. Now, whenever I find a piece of religious imagery sufficiently tacky and/or strange, up it goes on the wall.

The local Catholic religious store is a gold mine for this stuff. I'll tell you what, you walk into the local evangelical religious store and it's all rote-issue bibles and crosses and boring. You walk into the Catholic store, and it's, like, BLAM! Bleeding hearts and daggers and angry angels and ... oh, it's fantastic, is what it is.

Ya gotta love those crazy Catholics.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The new windows are in, and they're specTACular!

Despite a steady rain, the window guys showed up this morning, and I want to tell you, those dudes can MOVE.

Two men took out eight old windows, installed eight new ones, leveled, trimmed, insulated, caulked, and cleaned up, all in a little over two hours.

The exterior sills and frames still have to be wrapped, and then it's all done. Needless to say, I'm not paying the balance of the bill until all work is complete, meaning I'm pretty sure somebody will show up to finish the job.

So, because they were only there for a couple of hours, I decided against feeding and/or tipping. Hope that was okay. Oh, and queen, one of them DID ask to use the bathroom, so at least I know they weren't peeing in the backyard.

Next up: Gutters.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So this is progress?

I went to vote at my new polling place last night. It was to be the first time I'd voted using the new electronic system, as opposed to the old levers, and I was excited! Yay, technology!

So imagine my surprise when I signed in and the guy handed me a piece of paper.

"Um ... paper?", I said. "What ... is this?"

"It's your ballot!", the guy explained. "Take it over to a privacy booth, fill it out with one of the pens provided, then take it to the scanner and enter it face up!"

Paper? Pens? Little circles to fill in, like on the old multiple-choice tests in high school?

I think we're going backward. I want my levers back.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Please to ignore the scratch on her nose; I'm pretty sure that was inflicted by her brother in one of their wrestling matches.

Those black spots on the end of her nose aren't dirt. When the cats were about a year old, I noticed some black spots in The Runt's mouth when he yawned, which led to a tussle and hold-down so I could see what was going on in there. There were random black spots, kind of like freckles or specks, on his gums. A few months later I noticed some on Little Girl's gums, and then some on The Runt's eyelids. The ones on Little Girl's nose showed up last, about six months ago.

A little worried (OMG IT'S CANNNNNNCCCEEERRRRRRRRRR), I asked the vet about it, and she said that it's a quirk of orange cats. I asked her if the spots were freckles, and she said no, they were "random pigmentation". A little nosing (heh) around on line revealed that the technical term is "lentigo simplex", just in case it ever comes up in a trivia contest. About spots. On cats.

Little Girl calls them beauty marks.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010

Come on over to my place! The rats are waiting to greet you:

Favorite moment of the night? When a wee little girl, dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, reached up to pet the giant rat on the railing, sighing, "Oh, I just love your bears."

Earlier in the day, one of the neighbor kids, who proudly informed me that she was a skele-biker, asked me why the giant bat was wearing a tiara.

Heck, why not? In the land of the strange, anything goes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Awwww ,,,,,

Sorry - Couldn't resist. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Freaky Friday!

After three attempts to remove Thinkpoint from my computer, including a total scrub of the hard drive, it's still f*cked up. Which means I'll have to haul it BACK to the computer dude (because they're too SPESHUL to come to YOU, doncha know) for yet another attempt.

This is getting old.

And! I lost all my bookmarks, all my favorite blogs, so I need some help. If you are in the list over there to the left under "Interesting People", I already have your site saved. If you read this, and you're NOT on the list over there, please let me know so that I can find you again. Email me at rockycat24(AT)yahoo(DOT)com or leave a note in the comments. Thank you!


Here we go: Freaky Friday!

You should be able to click that pic to embiggen. It's a movie poster for "In the Realms of the Unreal", which is an absolutely fascinating documentary about Henry Darger, who was either a genius or crazier than a shithouse rat, or possibly a little of both. People who devote their entire lives to their art, especially if said art is a little out there, fascinate me. This dude spent his whole life inventing and chronicling a fantasy world where children fight the forces of evil. And nobody ever even found out about all he was doing until after he was dead, which is a bummer, because he never got any recognition during his lifetime.

Happy Freaky Friday, everybody, and have a happy Halloween! I think I'll give away my computer to a trick-or-treater.

Still Gone

Well, my computer's in the shop for the third time in two days. And I'm beginning to intensely dislike computer dudes; they ACT like they're the king turds of shit mountain, but when you ask them to actually FIX the problem you're paying them to repair, they just shrug their shoulders, like, "what do you want ME to do?"

I want you to FIX IT, asshole. And if you shrug your shoulders one more time, I'm gonna go postal on your butt.

I'll be back as soon as I can. Miss you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


1. A box of checks came to the house yesterday. A box of checks addressed to the previous owner. What do I do with them? And why is he getting checks with his old address sent to his old house a year and a half after he sold it?

2. The window installers are coming next Thursday, provided the stars align. It will be the owner of the company along with one or two helpers. They will be there the entire day. Do I tip them? How much? A percentage of the cost of the labor? Do I buy them lunch?

3. Is Corona beer made with Mexican water? Could drinking it give me Montezuma's revenge? Just wondering.

Monday, October 25, 2010


One good thing about going out on a rainy, gloomy day is that you've got the woods to yourself.

There was that one horrifying moment when I sneezed a big sneeze and ... well ... I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear about it, but other than that it was all good.

I don't know what kind of pine tree this is, but its needles were just as soft as down:

Back home, it was time to put up the Halloween bats, with help from The Runt:

And then I caught the end of the Bills game, which ... all I can say about that is, I sure know how to pick 'em. NOT.
Oh! Oh! And later, on The Amazing Race, came the best line I've heard all week. The poor vegetarian girl had to, like, eat the face off a (dead) (cooked) cow in order to stay in the game, and as she choked down the meat she grimly smiled and said, "Tastes like money!"
So, okay, question of the day: If you were a vegetarian, would you eat meat in order to have a chance at a million bucks? What's the worst thing you'd do for a chance at a million? What WOULDN'T you do for a chance at a million?
See, I haven't smoked for a year and a half now, and I have no intention of smoking again, but if I had to smoke a pack of cigs to advance to the next round, I'd do it. I could eat gross food, as long as it didn't involve live bugs or anything that had gone rotten. I couldn't do any kind of bungee jumping or anything that involved heights. No way. And I couldn't do anything, like, ethically bad.
How about you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freaky Friday

Okay, I talked in yesterday's post about how when I get sick, I go shopping. Hey, it makes sense to ME, anyway.

So! After getting my totally ironic flu shot, but before I found the world's best chest of drawers EVER, I headed for the junk shops of antiques row. Outside of the first store, out on the sidewalk, I saw an awesome (yes, I am aware of the fact that I totally overuse that word. See also: "totally") carousel horse. I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it, because people around here collect carousel stuff like crazy and jack up the prices.

I went into the shop and started nosing around and chatting with the owner, and I asked him how much he was asking for the carousel horse, just for the heck of it.

"Well, I'd have to have thirty bucks for that," he said. Thirty bucks?


Now, while the metal pole the horse is mounted on is obviously quite old, the horse itself is not, which is why it was priced so reasonably. (See also: The horse is plastic, not wood.) Still, I think it looks really cool in my entryway - hell, the thing's four feet high, and it makes a good companion piece for my koi-fish-and-lily-pad birdbath.

What's that? Why is there a birdbath in my entryway?

Because it's the land of Freaky Friday all up in here, that's why.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I did last Saturday

Okay, so the first thing I did last Saturday was drag my butt out of bed and go keep an appointment for a flu shot.

Which, hahahaha is so FUNNY, here I am, half dead* from TMJD and pharyngitis, and I've got to go get a flu shot! Whee!

So THEN, once I was up and out, I felt so damn lousy that I figured I'd do a little shopping. Does that ever happen to you - you feel so crappy that you don't want to go home, because you know that once you do, you'll just lie on the couch and whine and the rest of the day will be shot? No? Just me? Okay then.

ANYWAY, I went to the local "antiques row", except I tend to gravitate more toward the "junk store" end of things, and I found something that is absolutely, totally awesome, which is without a doubt going to be the focus of this week's Freaky Friday.

Now, I should probably interject here that I'm not a compulsive shopper. For one thing, I'm cheap as all get out - I don't even get McDonald's that often because I think it's too pricey. Ninety percent of the stuff I buy comes from thrift stores and junk stores, and I very, very rarely buy anything that costs more than, say, five or ten bucks.

Okay, that said, once I found the awesome thing at the junk store, I was all, like, "I might as well quit now. I just used up all of my shopping mojo; there's no way I'll find anything else cool today."

But! See: Illness making me not want to go home. And I'd been looking for a chest of drawers since I moved over a year ago, so I decided to stop at the used furniture place.


Dudes. Duuuuuudes. How awesome is that dresser? Okay, you might not be impressed, but I think it is teh bomb. I love old shit like that, with the carved curlicue stuff that's impossible to dust (see pic) and all the ornate details. I'm trying to figure out if the heart motif on the bottom looks more like the Batman symbol or like Mickey Mouse ears.

You know how much they wanted for it? This full-size, awesome chest of drawers with a built-in jewelry box on top?

A hundred bucks. A hundred bucks.

"Sold!", I said. I even did that thing where you grab the tag off of it before you go to the counter so that nobody else can claim it.

heeheeheehee TWO awesome finds in one day. I may never shop again.

And that was my Saturday.

*wild exaggeration