Saturday, May 09, 2009

Husband and I had dinner tonight with friends. And it reminded me how there are few things in life as nice as dinner with friends. Since my family and I get along like a bunch of kittens in a pillowcase, my friends are the ones I consider family. Tonight involved delicious food, fun conversation, two adorable cats, one adorable dog, and a great deal of laughter. It did not involve taxes, bills, stress, deadlines, politics, or anything negative. Instead there was yummy pork, a crisp salad full of fresh veggies, killer brownies, and beer. Plus some music and a lot of plain old can't-get-enough-of-it conversation.

Thanks to Elke, our charming and gracious hostess. And to Finny and Bubba for the laughs. (And to Jada, Willow, and Tara for the licks and the cuddling.)

Tomorrow I'll be cooking dinner for the Mom. It should be suitably stressful.
Photo of the day: Purple-y Red-y Flower-y Thingys

I have no clue what this is. And, in fact, I think it's kinda creepy. (I have already confessed my creepy-outness of little flowers.) But I like the photo anyway.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Photo of the day: Meter Reading

The meters in San Mateo make fine photographic subjects. Mind you, the cops in San Mateo sure give you dirty looks when you photograph them. I swear if there's a rash of these things being broken into, you'll see my face on a wanted poster.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Something Sounds Different
Because Husband is having Week From Hell at work, I'm going to be covering his show tomorrow morning on KZSU. 6-9 am. That's the bad part. Yes, I am usually awake at 4:30, but it usually involves jammies, feeding the cat, and hoping to fall back to sleep for at least another hour. I'm not usually getting dressed, pretending to be coherent, and heading out to be on the radio. But I digress...

Tomorrow's show I'm calling The Rent Party and it's a departure from my regular show, At the Cafe Bohemian. When I do my show I play almost exclusively world music. I might throw in a jazz track here or there, but it's 99.9% pure world. Pretty much united by my inability to pronounce any of the artists or tracks correctly.

But when I take Husband's slot I get to branch out into artists whose names are in English. And I gotta tell you, it's kinda cool. Oh, not the English part, though that doesn't hurt. No, I like the not playing what I'm used to. Even though KZSU doesn't tie you to one style of music and you can play whatever the fuck you want, when you have a show in a particular genre you tend to stay close to home. But every so often you get to play in the mudpies. The Blues Marathon, for example, gives me a chance to kick some serious Delta ass. And tomorrow it's anybody's guess what I'll get up to. I've done The Rent Party before and it frequently involves jazz and blues, some classic Motown, some world, and pretty much anything that fits my mood. It's only very slightly mostly insane. I always make my shows up as a I go along with no previous planning and, in this case, I play artists with whom I might not be very familiar. So there's always a bit of "how long will it take before I seriously screw up" going on. But that's the fun part. Yes, I'm just dull enough that my idea of risk taking isn't bungee jumping, it's following gypsy jazz with Japanese pop.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Photo of the day: I'm Starving Here

If you have pets, you know this look. It tells your shameful secret to the world. This poor, starving animal hasn't been fed in days.

Cipher (TWMACSYIYDA tm) has a quite impressive internal clock. She knows when dinnertime is and, starting about an hour beforehand, she pours it on. The quiet meowing. The big green eyes. The pathetic look that she must practice in the mirror when we aren't looking.

I mean look at her. Don't you just feel her sending you brainwaves? Feed me. I'm weak. I need tuna. I must have tuna.

In the face of, well, this face, I always cave. Just after I took this photo I gave her dinner. Yes, it was tuna.

Overheard at the shelter
Woman to man: What kind of cat is that?
Man: Cats don't have kinds, they're just cats.
Woman: What about Persians and Siamese?
Man: They're just nationalities, not kinds.

Overheard at the grocery store
Woman to man: How about chicken?
Man: I think they're vegetarians.
Woman: OK, how about chicken with rice?

Overheard at the shelter 2
One man to another (looking at cats): I still think we should get mom a big-screen TV.
Photo of the day: The Fall of the Roman Bookshelf

Once a proud ornament upon our shelves. Now two proud ornaments upon our shelves. The capital fell off the column but looks just fine as a ruin amid the dust of books past.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Letting Go
My favorite cat (next to mine, of course) has been adopted. Little Ismael was the most endearing little guy. A black and white charmer who completely stole my heart. I spent almost 30 minutes with him last week and didn't want to put him back. He was just such a little love.

Well, I checked the adoption page and he's found his forever home. I am so happy. And so sad.

The one hard part about being a shelter volunteer is letting go. I realize the whole point of my being there is to care for these animals until they find a family. And I am, in fact, thrilled every time one of my charges get adopted. But it's so hard to see them go on a selfish, personal level.

One of the first things I do when I arrive for my shift is to check the board to see who has been adopted since my last visit. I usually do a happy dance. I love knowing that the little gray has found a home. Or that bonded pair that had been there for months now have non-stop lap access. But every so often there's one animal that is more special to me whose adoption makes me a little sad. Ismael (Izzy, as I called him) was the cat I would have adopted if Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) was willing to share. I would have been so happy to have given him a home. And I am happy to know some incredibly lucky person now has that little guy curled up on their bed. But I cannot help but feel sad that I won't get to snuggle with him again.

I know when I go in tomorrow there will be new cats. And I know that I'll have a new favorite kitty. But I've learned that there are some cats that are more memorable, or that I love more than others. And little Izzy was one of those cats.

I'm going to miss him. And I'm so jealous of whoever it scratching his tummy now.
Photo of the day: The Fan

This cheapo fan has been around the world with me. I bought it for about a dollar at a Cost Plus over 10 years ago. It went to Africa with me where it saw some use. It then came with me to Paris for a huge heat wave one September. I recall wandering through the galleries at the Louvre with this fan to stir the air of ages. It's been to New Orleans where we strolled down Bourbon Street one hot night while I laughed at the "Wash a Woman of Your Choice" sign and sipped something pink and lethal. It's been to St. Louis, Boston, DC, Las Vegas and Death Valley. And it lives, out of cat's reach, on my bookshelf. Reminding me of visits past.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Photo of the day: Totem

Unfortunately this beautiful totem on the Stanford campus is surrounded by fences and scaffolding while it undergoes some repairs. Perhaps getting ready for next weekend when the Stanford PowWow takes place. If you've never been to a PowWow, you must go. It's fabulous. Dance contests. Drum circles. Arts and crafts. And, yum, frybread. Frybread tacos! It's a wonderful multi-tribal gathering at the eucalpytus grove at Galvaz and El Camino. Check it out.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Curse of the Cat Carrier
We had to take Cipher (the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) to the vet this week. Nothing serious and she's fine now, but the event involved the scariest thing in Cipher's world the cat carrier.

She knows that if this menacing object makes an appearance, she's going in a car to a place where some man will stick a thermometer up her butt.

Really, you can't blame her for hating it.

We're trying to leave it out so she'll get used to it. And a few minutes ago I had occasion to move it. Cipher was in the room, all calm and cute. She saw me touch the scary thing....and ran and hid under the bed.

The poor thing is terrified of this monstrosity. I even went a bought one much bigger than we need so that she has plenty of room in there. But just the sight of us near it sends her running for cover.

When a vet visit is necessary we take the carrier into the music office, then bring her in and close the door so she can't run and hide. We do this after I made the mistake of trying to put her into the carrier while in the living room and she ran like her tail was on fire into the bedroom, under the bed, and refused to come out for nearly an hour. I had to cancel the appointment. Now we make sure we do the process in a room where there's no place to hide. And I, with my Catholic upbringing and love of animals, feel like Cruella Deville for putting her through all this trauma.
Photo of the day: An English Cathedral

Discovered in a book on the subject. Just playing around with photographing pictures in books. Playing with lighting and generally being lazy. But I liked this one for some reason.