Friday, December 30, 2011


Yep, they're coming out of their shells, thanks to the most fantastic cat toy ever (at least as far as the cats are concerned), the Undercover Mouse:

Not long after I took these pics, they became my first fosters ever to actually break this toy; one of them managed to snap the wand right off at the base. I glued and duct-taped it back together and ordered another one, which is on the way. I hope the replacement gets here before the old one breaks for good; if not, I predict anarchy.

I have never, ever had a cat who could withstand the charms of the Undercover Mouse.

Look at Mouse's (the cat, not the toy) ringtail! I'd never even noticed it until I looked at this pic. You can't really see it in natural light - the flash from the camera brought it out. Awesome!

Oh, and I should probably warn ya: That toy goes through batteries like shit through a goose. I'm hoping they come up with an electric version. Get on that, cat toy makers, would ya?

They stare at that dang toy with the intensity I usually associate with men and p*rn.

Of course, it's not all Undercover Mouse, all the time - I reserve it for times when I have stuff that I need to do without kitties in the way. You know, cleaning, getting ready for work, the boring stuff. It's like plopping toddlers down in front of a TV. Or, you know, men in front of p*rn. Heh.

So, yeah, the boys are doing fine. They're slimming down - you would not BELIEVE the amount of food these guys would EAT if I didn't limit it - I've never seen anything like it. They are friendly-ing up nicely, and hopefully soon they'll find their homes. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Maybe I'm not human. Maybe I'm a sociopath.

Okay, so I think it's possible that I'm going to regret hitting the "post" button, but I've been mulling something over for a while, so here goes ...

There are a few bloggers I read who are currently mourning the loss of a parent. And I mean they are GRIEVING, HARD, with post after post about how much they miss mom or dad and how sad it is and how they'll never ever get over this loss and ...

... when my Dad died, in 1999, I was sad. He passed away just six weeks after his cancer diagnosis. The doctors had given him six months; I think he just wanted to get it over with. I was scheduled to fly down to Florida to visit with him and Mom, but he died before I got there. I was sad about that; that I didn't get to see him one last time. But his death was not altogether unexpected; he'd been a heavy drinker and smoker his entire life, and he did make it to seventy-six. So I was sad, but I wasn't heartbroken. Everybody dies ...

... except, apparently, for my Mom, who is now eighty-seven. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease eleven years ago, not long after my Dad died. Mom just keeps fading, and fading, and fading. She doesn't know where she is or who anybody is. Sometimes I think she recognizes me, and other times I'm pretty sure she doesn't. Right now she is in respite care in a local nursing home for a week; a trial run, as it were. I'm sure that soon she'll be in nursing care full time, as she is less and less able to function. Ironically, other than the Alzheimer's, she's healthy as a damn horse - I could see her easily going another ten years, a husk of who she used to be.

And will I be sad when she dies? Yes. I'll be sad that she missed out on so many years, there in the fog. I'll miss the woman she used to be, before her brain started getting eaten away by disease. Will I mourn, will I grieve? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Does that make me a bad person? That I won't be falling on my knees, rending my clothes, sobbing my eyes out at her funeral, like all those other bloggers? I hope I'm not a bad person. But maybe I am. Because you know what? I mourned the passing of my cats more than I grieved the loss of my father. My cats were part of my everyday life, and I only saw my Dad a few times a year, due to geographical distance. My cats loved me dearly, and my Dad? Well, I'm sure he loved me, but he was a typical Dad of his time, and shows of affection were not something he did. Put simply, we weren't very close.

So yeah. I cried more over my cats than I did my Dad, and I don't think I'm going to be too awfully broken up when Mom dies.

Man. Maybe I really AM a shit.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feral cats and skunks, living together

At the adoption event/fundraisers I volunteer at, people love to stop and chat. Hoo, boy, I'll tell you what - the key part of working these things is being a good listener. Nobody wants to adopt a cat - they all want to tell you about their cats. Which is fine. And you hear some interesting stuff.

Like the man who stopped by and informed me that feral cats will often pal up with wild skunks. No, really! According to him, cats and skunks hang out together all. the. time.

The only experience I have with cats and skunks is that one time Rocky came home after being sprayed by a skunk, but hey! Maybe it was an accident. Maybe the skunk was just trying to be fraynds.

Oh, and then there was the dude who told me that you can get rid of fleas by pouring salt on your carpets. Actually, it turns out there is a little bit of truth to that one, but frankly, I think I'd rather have fleas than have to walk around on crunchy carpets.

You hear about the cats who have been left behind when people move. About the people down the street who have fifteen mangy cats. And about how when the local shelters are called for help, people are told "no". Unfortunately, around here at least, that tends to be the rule rather than the exception. As long as people think that a female cat has to have "just one litter" before she's fixed, as long as people think you can wait until a cat's a year old to get it neutered, as long as people like that awful blogger I stopped reading think it's funny for their cat to impregnate half the cats in the neighborhood, the shelters will continue to be overwhelmed. (The foster group I work for always tries to help - we often do not have a space in foster care for the cats, but we will provide food and, if possible, medical care until space opens up.)

And! you get to hear the stories about how people adopted shelter cats. Or about how they took in the stray that showed up on their doorstep and spent months and thousands of dollars nursing it back to health. One lady talked about how when she adopts a shelter cat, she always picks the "senior citizens", because she knows they don't have much of a chance. And isn't that what you hope will happen - that there's somebody out there who takes the older cats? Turns out, there is.

And now I've got to go google "cats and skunks". I don't think it's true, but hey! Who knows?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recently Read

So! I hope everyone survived the holidays intact. Here's a Recently Read - skip it if you wanna.

1. Strip Club by Lily Burana - Memoir of a stripper. Interesting.

2. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout - Novel about an uptight mom and her teenage daughter. Both of the main characters were so clueless that it made me cringe, although that may have been what the author was aiming for. Meh.

3. Nickel Mountain by John Gardner - Novel about a diner owner. Bo-ring.

Let's do some movie reviews!

4. Iron Maiden: Flight 666. Documentary. I stumbled across this one on VH1 Classics one night. I was never a big fan of Iron Maiden, until I watched this doc. I didn't know that it was them who did that song "Run to the Hills" - you know, the one that VH1 (or was it MTV) used for an ad, with the still-frame kitten?

Okay, it was VH1. ANYway, this was a really entertaining doc, and the lead dude can flat out SING.

5. You Think You Really Know Me - The Gary Wilson Story - documentary about a local musician popular in the seventies who kind of fell off the face of the earth. Interesting for the local references.

6. Super 8 - Oh, man, this got really good reviews. The first half-hour or so is fantastic, but the rest of it was WAY too Goonies-ish for my taste. I can imagine that pre-adolescent boys LOVED this movie, but me? Meh. And the ending? Don't get me started.

Okay, let's go back to books.

7. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall. Novel about an orphan's adventures. Man, I tried, I really did, but I finally gave up on page 318, with another hundred still to go.

8. Here We Go Again by Betty White. I love her, and I thought this would be a memoir of her personal life, but instead it was more like a history of television. I guess it would be interesting if you're into that sort of thing.

9. World of Pies by Karen Stolz - Not as good as "Fanny and Sue", another book of hers, but still charming. A quick read.

So! That's what I've been reading. How about you?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day, 1966. That's me in the front. Ha! Little Bowl Bean.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas etiquette is tricky shit: Now with an update!

So! The other weekend, my neighbor T., the one who I helped out after the flood, gave me a $15 gift certificate to Panera. Isn't that nice?

And almost immediately afterword, I found out that the foster group was having a fundraising bake sale, and could I bring anything?

Well, I'm not really a baker, but I DID have a gift card to Panera, so ... yeah. Which actually was kind of a waste, because never having been to Panera before, I didn't know that they were charging TWO BUCKS A COOKIE. Which is flippin' highway robbery and a total rip-off, as far as I'm concerned.

Now. At some point between now and New Year's, T. will be inviting me and some of the other neighbors over for coffee and cookies. And I know - I KNOW - that she will ask me if I'd enjoyed using the gift card.

Do I tell her the truth? That I used the card for the bake sale? Or do I lie and tell her I used it for myself, which was her intent? And let's not forget that the LAST time I lied to her, the infamous pizza incident, I felt AWFUL afterward. But I don't want her to feel bad that I used the card for something else.

Gah. This holiday shit is confusing.

Update! I've got another one for ya - I just got a letter informing me that the IRS owes our company three hundred bucks. Good news, right? Except the reason they owe us three hundred bucks is because way back in August, I transposed some numbers on a tax form and overpaid them. The boss is not gonna be happy that I (accidentally) overpaid. Do I fess up NOW, upon receipt of the letter, or wait until next week, after the Christmas bonuses have been distributed?

Honestly? I'm gonna tell him today. I don't want that hanging over my head all weekend. But am I being a schmuck? Should I have waited? You be the judge!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

... because if a goddam ROOT CANAL won't get you out of work early, what the hell will?

Yeah, I totally pulled the root canal card yesterday afternoon.

Wait a minute, Rocky, you're saying. Didn't you just HAVE a root canal?

Why, yes, yes I did. And here's where things get squicky, so if you don't want to hear about dental stuff, turn away. I hear Pioneer Woman's got pics of a bassett hound up today. Oh wait, that's every day.

What I had done on the Monday after Thanksgiving, f*ck you very much tooth gods, was an emergency pulpotomy, where they pull the nerve to stop the pain. Unfortunately, that is not the total root canal package, as it were, so I had to go back yesterday morning for Step 2 of 4.

Over two hours in the chair. Granted, some of that was due to my glass jaw and having to take a break every fifteen minutes or so, but still, two hours of unspeakable dental shit is a long damn time.

Still all jacked up on novocaine, I made it back to the office, where I promptly informed my boss that I would be leaving early.

You know, it can be kind of risky taking time off in the week before Christmas, considering that we get our year-end bonuses on Christmas Eve, but hey. Sometimes a gal's gotta take that chance.

So I left early, went home, popped a Flexeril, and God only knows what happened after that, 'cause I was OUT.

Best decision I've made in a while.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Boys Are Back In Town

After their whirlwind, multi-county tour, Romeo and Mouse are back visiting with me.

Their whistlestop engagement started last Saturday, when we had an adoption event at the local Agway. They did remarkably well, mostly just sleeping in their crate as people oohed and aahed over their royal selves. A lot of the attention was directed at another foster cat there, a giGANtic orange named Lawson, who walks on a leash like a dog. No kidding!

Then, they were off to the foster coordinator's home for the rest of the weekend, so that they could go to a clinic in a neighboring county on Monday to have a little *cough* "work" done. Yesterday morning, they went to the vet to get, well, vetted, and yesterday afternoon they came to my office for a couple of hours, and then we all headed home.


When we got to the house, they playplayPLAYED for about half an hour, and then - out like trout. They slept so hard I was half tempted to dress them up in the Santa hats and take some incriminating photos, but they'd had a hard few days - I gave 'em a break.

So! Mouse and Romeo, back for a visit. Welcome, guys! Rest your paws awhile.

Monday, December 19, 2011

... and boy, are my arms tired

Last week, I hand-addressed the company's Christmas cards.

All one hundred of them.

Every year, I hope that the boss will forgo the Christmas card ridiculousness. I mean, we send out a SHIT-TON of cards to vendors and clients, and every year we get, like, TWO back. Waste of freaking time.

But every year, some time around Thanksgiving, he brings up the cards. And of course, it's MY job to come up with card options for him to choose from. I always give him a tasteful choice of cards, with cards featuring our profession, and cards featuring a charity, and cards with interesting graphics. And every year, he overrides me and chooses ...

Cards featuring Labrador puppies. From Ducks Unlimited.

Now, I like dogs as much as the next pers- okay, that's a total lie. I hate dogs. I hate that they smell and they're too freaking stupid to clean themselves, so you have to give them baths. I hate that they're too damn dumb to cover up their shit, so you have to clean up after them. I hate that they're so idiotic that if you let one out the door it can't find its own damn way home, so you have to walk them. On a leash. I hate flippin' dog OWNERS, who assume everyone else on the planet loves dogs and wants to be bowled over by an out-of-control dog. Blech. And I hate having to look at pictures of dumb-ass dogs, over and over again, as I'm stuffing the envelopes.

Okay. Change the subject.

So. The cards had been chosen and ordered. Next up, I compile a list of potential Christmas card recipients, based on the previous year's list, and give it to my boss for review. And he promptly places it on his desk and ignores it. For weeks. Until, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I just grab the damn list and start doing cards, because obviously, my boss, the one who INSISTS we do cards every year, cannot be bothered to give a shit about who the cards actually GO to.

Ha! You know what? I think next year I should send cards to, like, NAMBLA or whatever that pedophile group is. And Hitler Youth. And Devil Worshippers United of Central New York.

I'll bet at least we'd get some cards in return. And I bet they'd be really, really interesting cards, too. Merry Christmas, and lock the doors!

ho ho ho!

I swear to GOD this shit only happens to me

First! The foster group got an email from Sammy and Deli's new parents - They are both doing fine and are busy exploring their new home - they've even made friends with the family's golden retriever. Way to go, kids! Also, send kind thoughts to Romeo and Mouse, who are going to the vet today to have their *ahem* snip-snip done. Sorry, guys, but trust me - it's for the best.

Now, on with the story.

I had to run downtown the other day to pick up some papers from a client. I go into his office suite and explain my purpose to the receptionist, who goes and gets the client's secretary, who comes out with the paperwork. I turn around, start back through the offices, and hear someone call out, "Hey Rocky!*"

It's a woman who I SWEAR I had never seen before in my life.

"How have you been?!" she asks.

"ummmm, great!" I reply. "How have YOU been?", frantically searching my brain because oh my God who IS this woman?

"Oh, I've been good," she says, "Are you coming to the Christmas party?"

(long pause)

"Gee, I don't know!", I say. Is it someone new from the foster group? A neighbor's kid? Someone I used to know from someone else's office who is now working for this client? Who IS she?

"Oh, you've GOT to come," she says, describing the party.

"Well", I say, "Sounds like I'd better not miss it, then!"

"Okay, see you later!", she says, as I make my exit.

You know, it sounded like kind of a lame party, anyway. Just as well that I won't be there.

*Not my real name.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meet the new kids ...

... who finally came out from under the bed in the spare room. And are now driving me crazy.

Here is Romeo*:

And here is Mouse:

Doesn't Mouse look like a chunkier version of Dumplin'?

And speaking of chunky, it is a mystery to me how these kittens, rescued ferals, came to me as candidates for Weight Watchers. I mean, I know a kind lady was feeding their colony, but what the heck was she feeding them, Twinkies and steroids? And yes, they have been wormed, so it's not worm-weight. Did I just squick you out? Sorry. You would be amazed at the amount of worms one kitty-belly can hold. Whoops - sorry again.

Look at those fat faces! Look at those big necks! If you look at them from above, it's like looking at the freaking Goodyear Blimp. Blimp. That's what they should have been named: Blimp and Zeppelin. Geez. Needless to say, they are on diets. RockyCat's Kitty Weight Loss Camp diet. No treats for you! Okay, maybe a leeetle one. Now, on to the exercise machines!

In the last week, they have friendlied-up sufficiently so that they will be going to an adoption event tomorrow. And you know what finally turned the tide? Toys. I started out with the "good" toys, the battery-operated ones that spin around and squeak and move, in the spare room where the kittens were hiding. A couple of days after they started venturing out from under the bed to play, I moved the toys into the hallway. Then into the far end of the living room. Then right in the middle of the living room, so if they wanted to play with the awesome toys, they had to tolerate my presence. And petting. And it worked!

Ha. All it took was an Undercover Mouse, and they broke. Patsies.

So anyway, wish us luck for tomorrow! And let's all hope that nobody gets food poisoning from the cupcakes I made for the bake sale.

* I DID NOT NAME THESE KITTENS. I am NOT the one giving the kittens these horrible, awful names, I SWEAR TO YOU. It is not I.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


'Tis the season for the Salvation Army bell-ringers. Who make me uncomfortable for two reasons:

1. They look like they're freezing their asses off. Here in upstate New York, standing outside a grocery store ringing a bell for hours at a time is NOT where you want to be this time of year. I feel guilty as I rush by them, all bundled up, to get into the nice warm store.

2. Okay, here's where the Grinch in me really comes out. I'm sure that the Salvation Army does many, many good things. And one of the good things is that they have a residence hall, not far from my office, for homeless men. That's good, right? Except, every freaking time I drive past that place, there's a bunch of the guys from the hall out by the curb, smoking.

Now. If somebody wants to smoke, well, that's their right. I did it for many years. But. These are the homeless men, whom the Sal has given a place to live. Where are they getting the money for the cigarettes? In this neck of the woods, cigs are now, like, NINE BUCKS A PACK. Shit, one of the reasons I quit smoking was because it was getting so expensive.

And I've got a sneaking suspicion that the money for the cigarettes? Is coming, directly or not, right out of the bell-ringers' red kettles. Oh, I'm sure the residence hall director isn't exactly saying, "Here, Joe, here's ten bucks, go buy yourself some smokes", but realistically? These homeless men are being supported by the Sal. And are somehow able to afford cigarettes. And I put two and two together, and, well ... it's been a long time since I've put any money into those red kettles.

Just call me Grinch.

Anything about Christmas that ticks you off?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aaaaaaand ... they're off!

I was invited to attend Sammy and Deli's adoption last night, so OF COURSE I went. I took along a CD of "baby pics" I had made for the new parents, which you may think is dorky, but hey, my middle name is "dork", so whatever. And I'm pretty sure that saying "my middle name is "dork"" just further confirmed my dorkiness, so I'd better quit while I'm ahead, here.

The new parents were very excited to take Sammy and Deli home and get to know them better. I'm sure it's a great match all around. The new mom actually hugged me when they left, which was pretty cool.

Bye Sammy! Bye Deli!

Lay off the booze, okay?

Bye, guys! Have a great life!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Before! After!

First off, in case you haven't been following the comments on the previous post, Sammy and Deli are getting! adopted! tonight! Yay! They will be going together to their home. Yippee!

Now, I'm pretty sure I do this every year, so here we go -



Hey, folks, I do the best I can.

And because I was feeling kind of down, and missing Little Girl and The Runt, I decided that more lights were in order:

Yep, I'm pretty sure the neighbors were about ready to call the fire department. More! lights! This is the first year I did outside lights - they do look cheery, don't they?

Oh, and here's a little bit of random:

That's a turkey, in case you can't tell. Sorry about the crapola pic - I took it through the car window facing the sun.

There's a spot on a local road where the turkeys cross all. the. time., and they have absolutely no fear. Every time one strolls out in front of my car, all I can think of is that video of the reporter frantically trying to avoid the menacing turkey. Dun dun DUUUUNNNNN! I'll tell you what, these suckers are BIG, and if one started toward me I'd probably run, too.

Just call me chicken. Bwahk bwahk bwahk.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Angels Sang

First off, an update on Thug Life - They are both coming out of their shells. Progress! Robyn had the excellent idea of separating them so they can't feed off each other's fear, and I will try that if they don't continue to improve. Thanks for the advice, Robyn!

And now! On Saturday, I happened to be at PetSmart. I had been there earlier in the day, visiting with Sammy and Deli (I miss them so much!), and I had to stop back later that afternoon to fill out some volunteer paperwork.

Oh! And in case you were wondering, I asked the foster coordinator if it was okay if I visited with the fosters at PetSmart. I didn't want to upset them, but the f.c. explained that no, the kitties would enjoy having familiar company, and I could visit all I wanted. So unless I learn otherwise, that visiting does bother the fosters, I'll continue doing so. They sure seemed glad to see me on Saturday.

So! I was at PetSmart. There were a couple of people there, a man and a woman about my age, looking at the cats in the adoption center. I couldn't help but overhear the woman saying how she wished there was someone there to show the cats (the volunteers working that day had stepped out for a minute and people can't access the animals when volunteers aren't there), so because I can't seem to mind my own business (cringe), I asked who they were interested in.

"These two", the woman said, pointing to Sammy and Deli.


You just KNOW that I had to start chit-chatting, explaining that I had been their foster mom and talking about the cats, while we waited for the volunteers to come back and open up the adoption center. The woman explained that they had had a cat who had just passed away, and they were looking for one or possibly two kittens to adopt. They had a golden retriever who got along well with cats, and they were really, really looking forward to taking in a kitten or two.

So I kept on talking, telling them how sweet Sammy and Deli were, and how they loved biscuits and peas and pasta, and how they liked to sleep next to each other, and the woman kept saying, "I can't believe you just happened to stop by. It's like it was meant to be. What are the odds? It's like, the angels are singing because you came by just now."

And she was laughing and a little bit teary, and when I left, they were in the adoption center visiting with Sammy and Deli, who were being their adorable selves.

Now. A lot of weird, weird things happen in foster world. Who knows? They may have visited with Sammy and Deli and decided that they weren't the cats for them. But they looked awfully happy when I left.

Fingers crossed, guys, fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thug Life

So! Sammy and Deli went off to PetSmart so their new owner could find them. And in return, I got two new kitties, Romeo and Mouse.

Peeps, I swear, it's like two old, cranky, fat-ass senior citizen cats have been somehow placed into kitten bodies.

They haven't tried to shiv me in my sleep yet (as far as I know), but these are the two most non-kitten kittens I've ever met in my life.

You know how most kittens are friendly and playful and adorable? Yeah. These two are terrified of people and spend ninety-nine point five percent of their time underneath the bed in the spare room. They only come out long enough to eat and use the litterbox (as long as I'm not anywhere near, natch). Oh, once in a while one of them will make a brave foray into the hallway, where they sit and shoot a death-glare at me in the living room, until I happen to look up and notice, at which point they make a mad flail to get back under the bed again.


I've dealt with ferals before. Heck, The Runt and Little Girl came from a feral litter, and were deemed "unadoptable" by the shelter I was volunteering for at the time. But Romeo and Mouse? They give new meaning to the term.

They were part of a small feral colony in a local town. A woman who has been feeding them contacted the rescue group, who managed to catch Romeo and Mouse. Romeo and Mouse are estimated to be about four months old, which means time is running out, kitten-shelf-life-wise. If they don't calm down and friendly-up real soon, it's going to be awfully hard to get them adopted.

Oh, kitties. Come play with me! I am friendly! I promise! And unless you want to go be barn cats (which can be a glorious life but, unfortunately, often a short one), you need to learn to trust people.

They are supposed to go to an adoption event next weekend. I've got my work cut out for me. Wish me luck, guys.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Samson and Delilah's Big! Adventure!

Yesterday was hectic, as space unexpectedly opened up at the PetSmart adoption center, and off Sammy and Deli went so that someone can see them and fall in love with them and give them a home.

Goodbye, Sammy!

Goodbye, Deli!

Don't worry, I won't put those embarrassing pictures of you guys in Santa hats up on the internet or anythin ... whoops.

Okay, readers, cross your fingers and send good thoughts this way. These guys need a home.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The hits just keep on comin'

This past summer, my brother's wife was diagnosed with lung cancer. She started treatment up here, and then they went back home to Florida where she continued treatment. She was responding well, and getting ready for a break from the chemo.

On Tuesday, I got an email from my brother titled "Cancer Update". And you know how there are some emails you just don't want to open? The ones where it's hard to click on?


My brother has been diagnosed with throat cancer.


This good, fine, funny, gentle man has been diagnosed with cancer.

They are hopeful that it's curable, but the treatment is going to be ... not pleasant. Thirty-three consecutive sessions of radiation therapy.

The kicker, of course, is that after being a life-long smoker, he quit. Over two years ago. It wasn't soon enough.

You know, I always had a laissez-faire attitude about smoking. Hell, I did it myself, for almost thirty years. But now? No. This is too hard. It affects too many people. There are no benefits.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Weather Report

It's snowing outside right now, big fat flakes mixed in with the rain that's been coming down all day. We're supposed to get more snow tonight. How much? Who knows? Anywhere from 1 - 3 inches to 2 - 4 inches to OMG ARMAGEDDON STOCK UP ON GROCERIES 4 - 6 inches, depending on which radio station you're listening to.

I guess I'm ready.

If it's going to be December and dark by four o'clock in the afternoon, we might as well have snow. This has been a weird fall - last weekend, I was out putting up the outside Christmas decorations in fifty-degree temps, which just seemed ... wrong. As much as I hate winter, I can't get amped for Christmas without some cold weather. And I'm gonna get it - By this weekend, when I will (hopefully) be getting a tree, the high is supposed to be thirty degrees.

Of course, cold weather means icy roads which means that everyone who has forgotten how to drive in the nine months since we last had snowy weather, i.e., EVERYONE, will be sliding around and skidding into each other and deck the halls and call your insurance agent on your cell from the side of the road.

Winter? Well, it's gonna get here, whether I like it or not, so we might as well get it over with. I guess.

Ho ho ho?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Don't EVER wake a sleeping baby

Lest anyone think that fostering kitties is all sweetness and light, let me paint you a picture of last Saturday, when, after the cats had broken a lamp, knocked over three houseplants, and repeatedly tried to scale Mount Rocky by climbing up my pants leg, I finally put them in Time Out.


Oh, I know they just wanted to playplayPLAY, but it was like someone had unleashed a couple of whirling dervishes in my house. If I could only harness up their energy, I could probably heat the place with it. Now, with The Runt and Little Girl, when they got a case of the crazies, they'd just go outside to run off some steam, but of course, with the indoor-only fosters that's not an option, so I finally just ran them around chasing a feather duster until they weren't quite so frantic.

And then they slept. Oh, boy, did they sleep. Right past dinnertime, as a matter of fact. And did I wake them up? HELL, NO. Every parent knows that the first rule of survival is don't EVER wake the baby.

But did I see a chance to enact some revenge? Well, maybe ...

Payback, amigos.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I call bullshit

You may remember my niece L., the one in her mid-thirties with pancreatitis due to chronic alcoholism. Yeah, that one.

I haven't seen her recently, so at Thanksgiving I asked her dad how she was doing.

"Oh, well, she's still drinking", he said. "But just beer now. No more of that vodka. It's the hard stuff that caused the pancreatitis. Beer's okay."

Well. All you have to do is google "pancreatitis diet" to know that beer is not "okay" when you have pancreatitis.

Evidently my niece has convinced her family, and possibly herself, that she can drink oceans of beer, and as long as she stays away from the "hard stuff", it's "okay".

I guess denial is a powerful thing. And so is addiction. This niece's boyfriend claims he "has" to keep drinking, because when he stops, he has seizures. And if he keeps having seizures, he'll lose his job, so, he says, drinking is actually job security.

I used to know a barfly who had to have a couple of beers first thing in the morning in order to get her hands steady enough to put on her eyeliner.

And oh, man, I knew a guy who woke up one morning after a historic bender and couldn't remember his name.

I think I know too many drunks.

Friday, December 02, 2011

(More) things that are driving me crazy.

1. People who say "Me no likey." Stop it. Just stop it. See also: People who declare someone to be their "brother from another mother", "sister from another mister", etc. JUST STOP. IT'S NOT FUNNY.

2. People who don't let other people merge into traffic. See also: People who start to merge three miles before a lane closure. UR DOIN IT RONG. You are supposed to use BOTH LANES of traffic up to the point of the closure, BOTH LANES, and then take turns merging. If you merge three miles back, thinking that you're being a good doo-bee, and then refuse to let anybody in at the point of closure? YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE.

3. Calling people "ginger" instead of redheads. "He's a ginger." I don't know why this grates on me so much; it just does.

Okay! Must be I'm getting mellow in my old age, because I can only think of three things right now. How about you? Anything driving you crazy this morning?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cards here! Getcher cards here!

Because pinched nerves, root canals and a couple of highly entertaining kittens are evidently not enough to keep me busy, I'll be doing Christmas cards again this year!

So! Here's the deal: If you got a card from me last year, you are on the list for this year. If you did NOT get a card from me last year and you would LIKE a card, email me (rockycat24 AT yahoo DOT com) and you'll go on the list for this year. If you DID get a card from me last year and you now hate me and are not speaking to me, email me (that doesn't count as speaking, heh) and you'll go OFF the list.

Got it? Personally, I'm kind of confused. Bottom line? If you want a Christmas card, and you haven't gotten one from me before, email me. Rockycat24 AT yahoo DOT com. Most of the cards will be homemade, and as I am quite possibly the least-crafty person on earth, prepare to receive a card that looks like it was made by a third-grader. Peeps who got cards in previous years, you KNOW what I'm talking about.

Let the gluing-together-of-the-fingers begin!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sam I Am

"What? You dare to impugn the integrity of my sister?"


Yeah, I'm bad.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So! Emergency root canal!

Yeah, that was fun. Or not.

And the thing is, it will (hopefully) stop the god-awful toothache I had over the weekend, but it's not gonna touch the underlying jaw pain. But with the tooth going south in a hurry, I really didn't feel like I had a choice.

Because you know how it is - when a tooth starts to pound, all of the sudden the dentist is your best friend. I practically cried on the phone yesterday morning when the receptionist said they could fit me in. (Oh! And my dentist had a girl! That makes four boys, two girls. So far.)

And OH MY GOD why is that root canal shit so expensive? By the time I get done with the permanent root canal and the post and the crown and the fittings and the blahblahblah, we're talking - and I almost hate to say it - two grand.

TWO GRAND! For a TOOTH! Oh, they woulda pulled it for ninety bucks, but "hillbilly" is not really the look I'm going for.

So! I bid two grand! Anybody wanna top it?

Monday, November 28, 2011

You know how ... Now with an update!

You know how your car can be making a funny noise, so you take the car to the mechanic, and then the car won't make the noise?

yeah. This morning, in desperation, I called my dentist's office. My jaw blew up over the weekend, and when I could no longer eat or brush, I realized it was time for help. Oh! But my regular dentist is out on maternity leave (Kid #6! Go doc!), so I had to schedule with another dentist in the practice.

And sure enough, after several days of dental pain, virtually as soon as I hung up the phone, the hurt abated.

I'm keeping the appointment anyway. In, let's see, half an hour. Let him poke and prod and piss my jaw off. It deserves it, the motherf*cker.

I'll let you know how I make out.

Updated to add: It turned out to be a tooth in need of a root canal. F*ck.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Look who came back for a visit

Remember back in October, when I was doing foster care? Well, the kittens got bigger, and restless, and they were no longer happy in my spare bedroom. Because the littlest one had not yet been leuk-tested, I couldn't let them out into the house and risk exposing Little Girl, and so they went back to the foster coordinator's home.

And then, well, Little Girl passed away. And the house was awfully, terribly quiet. Dumplin got adopted (yay!), but Samson and Delilah were still waiting for a placement. And so, until they find their forever home ...

... they're baaaaaaack!

Jeez, Deli, why so tense?:

Sammy says, "gaze into my eyes":

Welcome back, guys.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pinched Ow

In what is perhaps a bit of karmic comedy, I, possibly the laziest person on the planet, have somehow managed to exercise my way into a pinched nerve in my back.

(Of course, at the first sign of pain, I'm all, like, "Oh my God, it's cancer!" Because once you have been a smoker, "cancer" will always be your first thought when something goes wrong, health-wise. Yet another reason to not smoke.)

But anyway, yeah, pretty sure it's a pinched nerve.

F*ck you, Jillian and your thirty-day shred. We're not friends anymore.

I have had pinched nerves before, and it is NO FUN. But they never lasted more than a few days, and I knew that when the pain started to migrate around, the worst was over.

This time, it's a week in and counting.

I am sure that some if not most of this is due to the stress I've been under. I'm tighter than a piano wire, and I CANNOT seem to relax enough to start things on the mend. Combine that with the weight-lifting exercises I had been doing (evidently, not doing CORRECTLY) (not kidding, Jillian - we are THROUGH), and I am basically screwed.

Badass Nature Girl was kind enough to give me some advice on OTHER exercises (not Jillian - dear God, not Jillian) I could do that may help, and I am giving them a shot.

In the meantime, I sure could use some good drugs, if anybody's got some to spare. (KIDDING.) (Okay, not really.) (Help meeeee.)

Ouch. Jillian, I'm going to put your DVD out in the front yard and set it on fire. We are OVER.

Anybody got an ice pack to spare?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recently Read

First, thanks to all of you and your kind comments. The loss is great, but your nice thoughts are making it easier to get through.

Now, let's do some Recently Read. Yeah, that's all I got. Skip it if you wanna.

1. Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe. This was supposedly one of the first "novels", and this dude really could have used an editor, because the sentences run on and on and ON. And it's boring - he couldn't even make a brother/sister incestuous relationship interesting. Hell, even V.C. Andrews knocked it out of the park with THAT subject matter. I didn't finish it.

2. The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell - Memoir about two hipster guys who buy a farm. It starts out funny, then turns into an ad for their business about a third of the way through. Then it gets better at the end. An okay read.

3. Fanny and Sue by Karen Stoltz. Novel about twins growing up during the Depression. Charming, full of period details, and G-rated. Give it to your grandma for Christmas - she'll love it. Very good.

4. Good Grief by Lolly Winston. Novel about a woman whose husband dies unexpectedly - meh. I gave up about halfway through.

Let's do a movie review! Burlesque with Cher and Christina whats-her-face. Frankly, I wasn't paying that much attention, but what I saw seemed awfully derivative of "Chicago", which was a much, much better movie. Watch that instead.

Another movie review! Ballou is a documentary about a high school marching band going for the championship - ahh, memories. Really good if you're into that sort of thing - which I am.

5. All About Lulu by Jonathan Evison - Novel about a teenage boy with a crush on his stepsister. It got good reviews but I didn't find it that interesting.

6. The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton. Novel about growing up in the sixties in the segregated South. A quick read.

7. In Zanesville - Novel about an adolescent girl growing up in the seventies. I could relate. Good book. The description of the slumber party - Well, I could have been there. Heck, maybe I was there.

Okay, anybody reading anything good?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The End of an Era

I first met The Runt and Little Girl when they were part of a foster placement I was taking care of for a local shelter. There were four kittens: Fluffy, Tuffy, Little Girl and The Runt:

Oh, and let's not forget their mom, Evil Momma:

When the kittens were old enough, I took the whole crew back to the shelter to be adopted out, and I accepted another foster assignment. There was just one small problem: I had fallen in love with The Runt and Little Girl. And so I adopted them.

There is, of course, more to the story. So much more.

Thanks for the memories, guys.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What happened

Thanks for all of your kind comments.

Little Girl died of heart failure, the same thing that got her brother. Evidently the medications were enough to give her a few more months, but not the years that the vets and I had wished for. She did get one more summer of hunting mice and chasing leaves.

I found her on Saturday afternoon in the backyard. It was a beautiful warm fall day, and she died with the sun in her fur and the grass under her paws.

Her neighborhood kitty friends all came to pay their respects on Sunday, and I am not even kidding. I had a backyard full of cats.

Goodbye, honey. You'll be forever young.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Little Girl

May 2008 - November 12, 2011.

Oh, honey.

I love you. Always.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oh, man, I just can't let this go

So, I was talking to my boss yesterday about the whole Penn State scandal. And he was all, "Well, when Joe Paterno found out about it, he told his superiors, right? So why is he getting fired? I mean, legally, he's not responsible, right?"

Hoo boy.

And I'm getting that attitude from a LOT of people around here. (We're not that far from Penn State. Heck, my brother is a Penn State alum.) And let's not forget, those kids down in State College weren't overturning news vans because a coach is a pedophile and the University covered it up. They were rioting because their beloved JoePa got canned.

Here's the thing. If I had a neighbor who started a charitable organization to aid young men, and then one day I looked out my kitchen window and saw him giving a kid a hummer in his backyard, well ...

The shit would hit the fan.

I'd call the town cops. I'd call the county sheriff. I'd call the staties. I'd call the DA. I'd call the media. And then I'd head next door with a baseball bat. Hell, if I had a gun, I'd take that.

But here's everybody whining, "But JoePa TOLD his supervisors. He DID his duty."

Duty? Well, there's legal duty, and then there's moral responsibility, and sometimes those are the same and sometimes they aren't. But the fact remains that ol' Joe KNEW what was going on, even if he didn't actually witness it, and once he discovered that evidently the powers that be were going to cover it up, he went along. He went along, as young boys (probably) continued to be abused because he knew and he didn't do enough.

Oh, it wasn't just him. Evidently there's plenty of blame to spread around down in the ol' Happy Valley lately. LOTS of people knew what was going on, and said nothing, or told someone higher up and then let it drop.

Sometimes doing something isn't doing enough. And sometimes you have to up your game to make sure justice is done. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb, and say things that could cause you discomfort and unpopularity. Hell, maybe the crowd's going to turn on YOU. But sometimes you have to do it.

Because right is still right, and wrong is still wrong. The last time I checked, anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Exercise your right to vote! Or, you know, stay home

On my way home from work on Tuesday, I stopped by my polling place to vote. I was number 200 for the day. There are 730-ish people in my voting district, so that's not a super turnout, but then again it was an off election year.

Although there was an important office up for grabs - Town Supervisor. For reasons related to the recent flooding and also some other issues, hello NEPOTISM, a lot of people (me included) really wanted to see the current supervisor booted out. So I made sure to stop and vote.

And yes, yes indeed, I am one of the sanctimonious jerks who stroll out of the polling place all, "I voted! I am a good citizen! Go me!" Yeah. Somebody give me a cookie.

I USED to be one of those annoying assholes who'd bug everybody to go vote on Election Day. But I don't do that anymore. For one thing, a lot of people are really alarmingly uninformed on the issues. I was talking to my boss, who lives in the same town I do, on Tuesday, and he wasn't even sure who was running. Then when I started listing the candidates and their platforms, he stopped me at "Shaeffer" and said, "Oh yeah! I think I voted for him!" So. My boss had ALREADY gone to the polls and voted, yet he wasn't sure who was running and he couldn't recall who he had actually voted for.

And then I was talking to a co-worker, who ALSO lives in my town. He asked where my polling place was, and when I told him, he said, "Okay, so that's where I go to vote, right?" I told him it depended on what voting district he lived in, and he was flummoxed. No idea. Sheesh.

Look, it's okay to be uninformed. Just stay home on Election night, okay? Leave it to the people who care. Don't just go blindly filling in little circles, because you could do some inadvertent damage.

Oh! And while I'm on a little rant, here, it's OKAY to cast a vote for some things and leave other things blank. For example, you can cast a vote for mayor and for alderman, but if you're really not sure who the best candidate for treasurer would be, just LEAVE IT BLANK. It's okay!

Ahhh. Rant over. I feel better now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

JoPa gets the bum's rush

So, it looks like Joe Paterno's gonna be out as head coach at Penn State. Turns out you can't let the people who work for you diddle little boys in the locker room and not report it to police. Geez, there's a shocker.

Oh! And now there's a big brouhaha about how Herman Cain's latest accuser is, for lack of a better term, a grifter. You know, I'm not sure that her past should necessarily have anything to do with what she's accusing Cain of doing. Then again, your past matters. Just ask Cain.

And in the whoa-now-THERE'S-a-big-surprise department, Mamma Duggar is preggers again. You know, at the age of 45, and with what she went through with the LAST kid, I'm not sure that this is the best decision, but it is, in the end, HER decision. I guess the only thing that nags at me about this is the REASON she keeps popping out kids, which is basically to provide an army for the upcoming war between the Christians and everybody else. Don't believe me? Check out the Quiverfull movement, of which she is an adherent.

Oh! And then! And then! They had a special episode of Nineteen Kids and Totally Insane on last night, where viewers got to ask the Duggars questions. And somebody asked Jim Bob how he could justify having so many children when the planet is already overpopulated.

And do you know what he said? Do you know what he said? Oh my God, this is priceless. Here is what Jim Bob said:

"The whole world's population could fit into the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida."

ahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh really, Jim Bob? REALLY?

Look. I have no idea how many square miles are in Jacksonville, Florida - no wait. I just googled it. Answers vary, but evidently it's somewhere in the vicinity of 800 square miles. And good ol' Jim Bob says the entire population of the planet, which I understand to be around seven billion people, can fit into that space.

Okay, math majors, do your stuff. How many people would there be per square mile if seven billion people were living in 800 square miles? I'm guessing it would be a little, well, uncomfortable.

Oh! But wait! Maybe he only means Quiverfull people? Maybe he's talking about after the upcoming war between the Christians and the non-believers, and after all the non-believers are slain, the Quiverfull people all go to Jacksonville to live?

Oh, Jim Bob. You're so earnest. And insane.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Don't those damned things ever SLEEP?

At four o'clock this morning, a time with which I am intimately acquainted thanks to Little Girl's habit of bringing me live mice in the middle of the night (thank you very much, LG - now CUT IT OUT), there was a big ol' doe out in the front yard, not fifteen feet from the front door.

As I blearily prepared to live-release LG's latest gift (I DON'T EAT MICE, Little Girl), I noticed movement in the front yard. I switched on the porch light and there she was, a hundred pounds of venison on the hoof, and she wasn't moving. The brazen hussy just stood there and looked at me. She finally ambled off into the brush when I opened the screen door and started toward her.
Last weekend, I deer-netted the side garden and the part of the front garden that's closest to the brush line. But if the deer are going to start hanging out in the damn front yard, I'm gonna have to deer-net all the gardens, which will be a pain in the ass, but really it's my only option, because in case you didn't know, deer eat EVERYTHING.

There they are, down by the creek, in their happy little deer-world, all pretty and peaceful, surrounded by acres and acres of nom-worthy plants, and what do they do? They come eat my lilies, that's what they do. And my peonies and my hibiscuses and every other living thing they can get their soft little muzzles around.

And NOW, as it that wasn't bad enough, I evidently have insomniac deer in my neighborhood, coming to raid the proverbial fridge, i.e., my gardens, in the middle of the damn NIGHT.

Christ. Pour yourself a glass of warm milk and go back to sleep, freakin' deer. Leave my flowers alone.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Closing Dress

So! A few weeks ago, I pulled a dress out of my closet. It's one that I only wear a couple of times a year, mainly because it's black (which says fall/winter) but also short and sleeveless (hello spring/summer).

I figured it was okay for a warm day in October, so there you go.

Oh! And it's The Closing Dress.

It's the dress I wore the day I bought my house, July 30, 2009. And every time I pull it out of the closet, I think of that day.

It's not the only item of clothing I own that I associate with one specific event. I have an old flannel shirt of my dad's that I always wear when I'm putting up/taking down the Christmas tree. And, of course, there are the lawn-mowing clothes - ratty old clothes that I wear when I'm mowing. And I have a pair of socks that I wore when ... when ... well, that's a post for another day.

So! Do you have a Closing Dress? An article of clothing that you associate with one day? (Other than your wedding gown, obv.) I hope I'm not alone, here.

Friday, November 04, 2011


After years of pinching pennies until they squealed, I am finally beginning to be able to spend money on things that are not absolute necessities without going through a massive guilt trip. This is worrisome. I sure hope I don't end up at the track, blowing my life savings on the ponies.

Highly recommended: Hell on Heels by the Pistol Annies. Both the song and the CD. I'm no big fan of country, but this is ear worm material of the best kind.

I tried watching that new reality show, Long Island Medium, about the woman who supposedly talks to dead people, and ... I just can't. God knows I do love some reality TV, but to pretend to be talking to someone's dead Uncle Bob ("He wants you to go to the salon more often!") just seems cruel.

And speaking of reality TV, I was sad to learn that The Little Couple's surrogate mom had a miscarriage. The Little Husband seems like kind of a douche, but I was sorry for The Little Wife, who appears to be a sweetie-pie.

And because I seemingly cannot STOP speaking about reality TV, am I the only one who thinks Nineteen Kids and Totally Insane would be a much better show if they would just lose Jim Bob? Just ... drive him out into the woods and drop him off or something.

Coming trends: Mermaids. Barn swallows. Trapper hats. Trust me.

For two cents I'd skip putting up a Christmas tree this year. But I can't. I'm trapped by societal norms. *sob*

Did I tell you guys about coming home one day to find a bunch of pickup trucks in my backyard? No? This was courtesy of my neighbor B., he of driveway fame. He was trying to mow out in his backyard and got his riding lawnmower stuck. So he called one of his sons, who drove across MY yard to get to his dad's lawnmower in order to tow it out. Unfortunately, his son got his TRUCK stuck, so he called his brother, who brought over HIS pickup and drove it down my side yard. By the time I got home from work that day it looked like a mud-bog rally in my backyard. And they STILL haven't fixed the damage.

I think it's time for a new front door. The old one is starting to bug me.

Oh, man, one of my co-workers just walked in with a birthday cake his girlfriend made for him. It's red velvet. Gotta run.

How about you? Do you have any random to share?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hoo boy

Evidently, somebody talked my neighbor L. into doing one of those neighborhood "stop cancer" letter-writing campaigns. You know, where people stuff their neighbors' mailboxes (illegal) with requests for money to go to a certain charity?

I mean, it's pretty harmless, and once or twice a year I get a form letter from one neighbor or another asking for money for the American Cancer Society or the Red Cross, which I promptly toss. I prefer to pick my own charities, thankyouverymuch.

Except L.'s recent request for money caught my eye. Mainly because on the form letter she had crossed out about three different names before she wrote in mine, making me pretty sure I'm not real high on her begging priority list, which is excellent.

So I brought the letter in to work and ran the charity through Charity Navigator, which gave it a very low rating. And the reviews were equally damning, with stories of elderly people being given the hard sell to donate.

And I have to wonder - there are so many good, needy charities out there - why is L. shilling for a "charity" that is the equivalent of a Nigerian bank collapse e-mail scam?

It's a mystery. Maybe I'll ask her.

Then again, judging by all the names she crossed out on the letter before she wrote in mine, evidently she's not real sure who I am, so maybe I'll just leave well enough alone.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

She's still got it

Even though it was her brother who was (justifiably) famous for catnip-plate dancing, Little Girl wants you to know that she's no slouch, either.

Here she is, finishing off the catnip:

Just getting warmed up:

Go, Little Girl, Go!

Yeah, she still likes to party. Rock on, Little Girl.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I don't know why I let blogworld get to me like this

A while back, I wrote about a fairly popular blogger who begged for money on her blog (nothing wrong with that, I guess, if you've got the balls to do it), and THEN she wrote about how she spent a bunch of money on bullshit (nothing wrong with THAT, either, unless you want to piss off a bunch of people who believed you when you said you needed money to pay your mortgage).

I'm not going to give the name of the blog here, because I don't think she needs any more attention, but let's just say that it rhymes with "my, my, my", and leave it at that. (Oh, and email me if you can't figure it out.)

So, after the whole give-me-money-so-I-can-buy-garden-gnomes thing, I almost stopped reading her. But I didn't.

A few months ago, she got a couple of kittens. Because God knows that when you're broke as a joke, adding more pets to the household is always a good idea. So she got the kittens. And then, a few days ago, she writes about hearing a ruckus in the backyard. As it turns out, one of her now-grown kittens was out there impregnating a neighbor's cat.

Yep. She didn't have the cats neutered. And she let them go outside. And now there are going to be a bunch of unwanted kittens, who knows how many litters' worth, in her neighborhood.

And she thinks it's funny. She's writing about her cat "sexing up the neighborhood", about how he's looking for "hot chicks", like it's a f*cking joke.

That's it. I'm done. Bookmark deleted.

Some things aren't funny.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh, I can't let this day pass ...

... without bringing you my Halloween story.

Click here. For the true story of growing up in a haunted house.

Happy Halloween!

An early snow

Saturday afternoon, the snow started to fall. By Sunday morning, all was white:

I woke up with Little Girl sleeping on her back (TOO cute) beside me, and I looked out the window and saw that the trees were all covered with snow. I grabbed my camera, threw a coat on over my PJs, headed outdoors and started taking pictures.

By March I'll be cursing this stuff, but right now it's beautiful.

Oh, and Happy Halloween from a snow-covered vampire bat.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Because I am twelve, that's why

Parsons Mobile Homes. Parsons Tour-ette. Tour-ette? Tourette? I'm picturing a road trip with lots of swearing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about

I actually had a good experience with customer service yesterday.



Backstory: Ever since I bought my place, over two years ago, I've had a problem with the lights flickering. It only happened sporadically, and usually when the wind was blowing, so I figured that the problem was with the electrical wiring passing through the tree branches out front. Every once in a while it would get bad for a few days, and I'd get ready to call NYSEG (the utility company) but then the problem would stop and I'd forget about it again. Besides, who wants to have to call customer service, and get the runaround, and take time off work to wait for the crew to get there?

Except ... I got to wondering. What, I wondered, if the problem ISN'T with the lines outside? What if there's some kind of SHORT in the HOUSE wiring and ohmyGod I'm going to burn to a crisp ...

I called NYSEG yesterday morning and left a message. And - get ready to faint - somebody CALLED ME BACK. Who SPOKE ENGLISH. And last night? A very nice NYSEG man came to my house, and got up in his cherry picker in the dark and the rain (bless his heart) and FIXED MY PROBLEM.

And the angels sang.

Oh NYSEG, I love you. You may charge the highest utility rates in the country, but right now I am ready to forget all that because when I called, you came.

As opposed to Verizon. When our offices flooded, it took goddamn Verizon a MONTH AND A HALF to get our phones back up. They'd miss appointments, show up when no one was at the office, and generally dicked around for SIX WEEKS. F*ck you, Verizon.

NYSEG, on the other hand? I want to marry NYSEG. Right now. Let's get a ring and a date!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Squirrel Car

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Salt Springs, and came upon this:

There are lots of old cars out in the woods. Evidently, back in the day, when people got done with a car, sometimes they'd just drive it out into the forest and leave it.

Let's go for a ride!

Hmmm ...

I'm guessing it's a Chevelle.