Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo of the day: Why?

Why do I take so many photos of flowers? I don't like flowers. This one doesn't give me the screaming mimis though, and I like the color.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So I had a bit of an accident yesterday involving a runaway kitten and a hard concrete floor. The result is a swollen knee, a sore back, and a sprained ankle. It's nothing serious, and I'll be fine in a few days, but it brings to the forefront one of the things about me that drives Husband crazy: I'm a lousy patient.

I'm just not good at being sick or injured. I insist on doing all the things I normally do, even though I may be in pain or may feel like death on toast. I'll still try to carry a full laundry basket or make dinner. I'll insist on getting up to get my own glass of water, even though Husband has kindly offered to get one for me. I'm just, generally stubborn.

Many years ago when my best friend Steve was dealing with the first stages of being HIV+ he asked me what I thought he'd be like when he was dying. I told him that I think when people die they act like they do when they have the flu, multiplied by a million. I told him he was pretty pathetic when sick so when he was in the final stages he'd probably drive me crazy. (As it turns out, I was wrong.) And he told me that if my theory was true when it came to be my time I would get up and turn off my own life-support system. He's probably right. I'll insist on doing it myself. "No, don't bother yourself, I can hit the off switch."

I try to be good, honest. I admitted defeat and did not go to cat duty today, the first day I've ever missed. But since it hurts to walk and since I'm using a cane, I figured it would just be stupid to try and carry 18-pound cats around. But I was dressed and ready to go with my keys in my hand before I gave in. And while I did spend most of the day with my leg up and ice on my knee and ankle, I did put some laundry in the washer and put dinner in the oven.

But I have to admit, I'm a gimp. My ankle is definitely sprained (it's happened too many times to the same ankle to mistake it) and I am going to have to be a lazy slug this weekend if I want to make kitten duty on Monday. But I also know that at some point tomorrow Husband is going to look at me and say "what are you doing" as I try to clean the bathroom or sweep the kitchen floor.
Photo of the day: Beer by the Bay

There's a picnic table right on the bay where a lot of causal fishermen hang out. They no doubt swap fishing stories and share a Corona or two. I just wish they could hit the garbage can with their leftovers. I picked this up after I took the shot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We're surrounded by them. The guy who drives 95 on the freeway, cutting in and out of traffic and being only a few seconds away from being a statistic. The woman who parks her shopping cart in the middle of the grocery store aisle so that you can't get by on either side. The commenter on your favorite blog who always misses the point. The parents who let their horrible demon-spawn children run around like banshees and then get upset at you when little Boris runs into your parked car and lets out with an ear-shattering shriek (True story. The father asked to see my insurance info. What I showed him was my finger.)

I have serious pet peeves, all of them caused by jerks. I hate people who don't use their turn signals, people who talk too loudly on their cell phones (although it does make for great eavesdropping), people who chew with their mouth open, and people who preach loudly about their close, personal relationship with God and yet seem to know nothing of compassion, tolerance, and love. These people are all jerks.

And since it's 3 am, I'm wide awake and facing another sleepless night and I've got my cranky pants on, I'm going to give you my "this makes you a jerk list."

- being rude to waiters, store clerks, or anyone else without a 401(k) and a Porsche
- thinking we're freaks that we consider our cat to be part of our family
- people who don't give their money or their time to charities
- littering
- idiots who won't make way for a car with their turn signal on that is obviously trying to get over one lane to make the next exit
- overpaid, overprivileged white guys trying to act like rappers
- thinking music is crap just because it's popular. Yeah, OK, a lot of it is. But there are a lot of mega-music-stars who can still deliver a few good songs. I hate it when people get so hung up on being hip that they don't care about what's good. Trust me Elvis Costello will always be better than 99% of indie-feminist-breakup-crap produced from some record label that's run out of the back of a printing shop.
- signing up to be on a reality TV show and then whining about how hard it is to live in the public eye
- hypocrisy
- dismissing a critic's opinion because you think he or she just "didn't get it." It's an opinion, not a true or false test.
- putting so much emphasis on getting married that you don't think about what it will mean to actually be married
- denying equal rights to those you don't agree with.
- thinking you can write when you've never tried. Do you think you can play the piano without a lesson?
- being oblivious to others. You can't wait an extra 10 seconds and hold the door for the woman pushing the stroller?
- not being grateful. If I hold the door for the woman with the stroller, she'd better say thank you.
- being a teenager and moseying across the street like a 95-year old retiree in Boca Raton with a walker and a bad hip replacement. Great, seven cars stopped at the intersection waiting for you to cross and you do it like you're running in slow motion from Chariots of Fire
- talking during the movie
- dropping your allegiance to a sports team when they're losing or it's no longer hip to go to the games. Hey. either you're a fan or not.
- making endless lists of pet peeves just because you're tired and cranky
And Now, In the What Were They Thinking Department
OK, what genius thought this would be a good idea for children?
Photo of the day: 3:17 am

I didn't get any sleep last night. I finally caught 3 hours this morning and now I'm facing another sleepless night. I took this photo at 3:17 am for no apparent reason. But I like it anyway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Watch Out, Red Cats
Cats at the shelter are broken down into two categories: red cats and green cats. (OK, yes, they're also broken down into male and female. But that's not the point, is it?) Red cats are the ones that have behavior problems. Too aggressive. Too shy. Too aloof. They'll take a swipe at you if you go near them or cower under a towel non-stop. Or you take them into a room and they just ignore you. It's hard to find homes for cats that act like evil assassins (as opposed to the kind ones), dysfunctional loners, or teen-agers.

You need special training to become a red cat volunteer and tomorrow I'll meet up with one of the animal behaviorists and learn how to deal with problem cats. I love the idea of helping the most-in-need kitties with their behavior problems so that they can go to a good home. But I'm a bit uncertain as to whether or not I'll be any good at it. It takes tons of patience (not my best quality) and a genuine love for animals (OK, that I have). What I find the sticking point for me is that when you work with these cats you might not get the usual paycheck you get from working with the green cats -- purrs, a ball of love in the lap, a hand lick. You're more likely to come away with scratches than a shirt covered in cat fur from too much cuddling and too much shedding. (I swear there are some cats that shed little whirlwinds of fur when you just look at them.)

So far the cats I've worked with have given me far more than I've given them. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to play with them, comb them, and have them cozy into my lap. But these new cats will probably not be as generous. I may spend 30 minutes of love, patience, and attention and be rewarded with a bloody hand. So will I still love this when I'm not spending time with non-stop cute? Some of the green cats can be unpredictable and I've had my share of scrapes and difficult kitties who didn't want to leave the kennel or wanted nothing to do with me once they got into the room. So maybe I've already had my trial by fire. I just worry that I'm not good enough to give these problem children what they need.

I'm am looking forward to my next step as a TLC volunteer and am happy that they think I'm ready for it. I'll still work with the green cats, so I don't need to give up on my favorites. But this way I'll be cleared to work with every cat up for adoption, which is a very cool thing.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this? I swear I've found my calling. Too bad it doesn't pay. I'm going to mourn when I have to go back to work and give up my furry children.
Photo of the day: My Favorite Flower

I know most people consider it a weed. But I've always been rather fond of dandelions. I suppose to call it my favorite might not be entirely true, but since I have this freaky, well, thing where most flowers give me the heebie-jeebies, this is one of the few that doesn't make me want to go all peculiar. There's something admirable about their persistence and their insistent cheeriness. If dandelions were a person, they'd drive me crazy. But in a plant like this (that doesn't make me go all peculiar) it's kind of nice. There's a huge lawn near the shelter with dandelions growing wild all over it and I think it's so pretty, all those yellow dots in the sea of green.

I bought a new camera bag today so now I can carry my new lens with me. Now I have no excuse not to go out and shoot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photo of the day: Reunion #14

What happens when the ennui of contemporary man overflows the psyche. Rather than a pastiche of form it is, rather, a conscious deconstruction of structure. Cheeky and yet articulately tragic with an inherent truth than can be denied, but never ignored.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Photo of the day: Spiderweb and Goo

I like spiderwebs. Odd, as I'm not real fond of spiders. (Sorry, PETA, I kill bugs.) But I love how intricate webs can be. I think they're really quite beautiful in a way. This one....not so much. It's done its job too well and has trapped every bit of spew and goo that's come its way. Bits of plant life. Bits of....well, just bits. But it's still one of those marvels of nature. Like, say, Hugh Jackman.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Catching Up
Oh, what did insomniacs do before the internet? Here I am, wide awake at nearly 4 after having had only 30-minutes sleep. So, to share the love, I'm sharing the links.

For my fellow grammarians. I give you the unnecessary quotes blog.

For appreciators of how weird people are, check out passive aggressive notes.

And for sheet WTF-ness, you suck at Craigslist will provide you with random glimpses of our surreal world.

Enjoy, possums.
Our Backyard Buffet
The kibble we feed Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) was recalled due to a manufacturer error that put in the wrong balance of nutrients. Until they start selling it again, we've tried to feed her something else. One brand she wouldn't go near. Rather than toss out a back of perfectly good cat food, I decided to put out a few piles for the feral cats that frequent our backyard. It was a huge hit.

This is Orange Cat 1 nibbling away while, in the background, Plaid Cat waits her turn.

Orange Cat 2 (note the difference in tails between the two orange cats, one long hair one short, that's how we finally figured out there were two) chowing down in the side yard. I later saw him at the pile in the front yard, along with a Siamese-colored cat who ran away when she saw me watching from the front window.

Plaid Cat at a table for one. Soon after she left, Mama Cat came buy for the no-plate special.

In all I counted six different cats enjoying our hospitality. I don't want them to come to rely on food here, although I'm not sure why...they're already here all day anyway. And I'm wondering if it might help us trap them and get them spayed or neutered (I'm still trying to figure out how to fit a cat trap into the back of a Honda Civic.) But it's a good way to get rid of the food that is, apparently, not good enough for Queen Cipher. They seemed to love it. And, I have to confess, I feel less concerned about them knowing they all had a good meal today.
Photo of the day: Prickly

From our front yard. One of the few things I photographed today that wasn't a cat.