Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photo of the day: Vigilance

She never gets tired of keeping watch. She stands firm in the rain and withers not in with the baking sun. She carries your name, announcing your identity when you can no longer announce for yourself. And through it all, she pays no attention to the flowers growing around her lifeless feet and over your sightless eyes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Updates from the Shelter
It's been another busy week in the world of cat caretaking. 29 kittens in the nursery. Countless cats in the adoption area. I worked with many new faces this week, plus some old favorites. It's weirdly hot and humid today, so many of the cats were grumpy....especially the ones outside. I worked with two red cats today and had my most successful session ever with one of the guys who gives me trouble.

"Joe" tends to get hissy, swatty, and bitey and I haven't been able to figure out his triggers. Today I was extra watchful of his body language and noticed this tiny ear twitch that he gives before he turns. Because of that I was able to stop petting him before he got over stimulated. Everything was fine until I picked him up to bring him back and he became hissing, yowling cat from hell. Luckily one of the other volunteers was nearby so she opened doors for me, which made the return much easier.

One of the other red cats is a shy girl. Having learned my lesson from "Joe" I put her carrier down right in front of her cage. To my surprise, she jumped right in when I opened the door. Nice trick. Once in the socializing room she explored a bit, would come by for a pet and then wander away once more. After about 10 minutes of this she curled up in my lap and began to purr like a Ferrari. I think she eventually dozed off, having curled herself into a perfect ball. I had her out for 30 minutes because I just couldn't bring myself to disturb her. Once I did move again she jumped down and, to my surprise, hopped into her box again. She's so sweet and such a lovely girl.

Words cannot express how much I love volunteering there. And days like this, when your patience is rewarded with a shy girl making herself welcome in your lap, are the kind of days when this is the best paying job in the world.
Photo of the day: Corinthian Dawn

I know, you were expecting another cute kitten. Sorry to disappoint but a girl's gotta branch out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo of the day: Scarves

As soon as fall comes I'll pull them out and show them off. I love my scarves, many of them come on the advice of my beautiful Husband. He in his bow tie, me in my scarf, we're styling those jazz shows.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things I Believed When I Was a Kid...
- I thought the word "signed" was actually written on all those notes and letters people read in movies. "See you in two weeks. Signed, John."

- I thought alligator was pronounced "all-a-ga-tor-ay." Must have thought they were Italian.

- I thought there was one really, really long street in California called "Frontage Road."

- I thought that stars hummed and the really twinkly ones were humming the loudest.

- I had a hard time with the concept of the past and aging. So I'd see a handsome photo of Robert Taylor from the 40's and think he was gorgeous had to do be convinced that at that point he was either dead or 80.

- I didn't hear whatever good stuff my parents said about me but I heard loud and clear all the bad.

-I couldn't handle the "L part of my fist name and said my name was"wisa" My siblings would correct me "no it's LLLL-isa! So then I'd say "ULLLLL Weesa" I still get teased about this.
Photo of the Day: Little Cat With Little Pink Tongue

Because I'm a sucker for those little pink tongues. This guy was non-stop adorable in the nursery, and quite a bit of trouble as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photo of the day: Whatever Happened to Missing Kids?

This is the ad on my gallon of 2% milk. Really? If I'm drinking 2% milk I will also probably be denying myself brownies. So taunting me with them is just plain mean.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scenes from Silver Creek: The Art Show

The Silver Creek Arts Guild was, unfortunately, one of the most popular and certainly the most prolific club in town. They met once a week to gossip and, ostensibly, to work. I could never understand how everyone worked at once because they all seemed to have different mediums. At any one time you’d walk into the rec center and see Mrs. Hodges turning lumps of clay into differently-shaped lumps of clay or Mrs. Morgenstern painting yet another pastel seascape that would look exactly like the last pastel seascape.

Each season they had a “showing” which typically featured paintings with no perspective, slightly boring and out-of-focus photographs, and the occasional still life with unappetizing fruit. To see these still lifes you would assume that no one in Silver Creek had ever seen real fruit. They bore no resemblance in either shape or color to any fruit known to man.

Sadly for us, dreadful Aunt Camille was a member of the Guild and expected us to attend every show Her artistic oeuvre seemed limited to malformed ballet dancers or anemic poodles who always seemed to have either not enough or too many limbs. She would only branch out when the Guild would do themes. I remember for the “Childhood Dreams” theme she contributed a nightmarish series of scenes from Mother Goose that, quite frankly, scared the crap out of me when I was 6. I recall actually shrieking the following Christmas when I unwrapped her watercolor of The Old Man and the Shoe and, subsequently, I had to coaxed out from under the dining room table by my father before the rest of the gifts could be unwrapped.

The spring flowers show was a much-detested annual event and produced some exemplary pieces of horticultural horrors. I think I attribute my dislike of flowers to early exposure to oddly colored blobs of paint thrown on top of dead-fingers of stalk. They were universally awful and I was comforted to know that I was not alone in my hatred of the spring show above all others. I would typically try to get the flu that week. Once, when I was 14, I actually kissed 8-year old Benny Martin on the lips because he had strep throat I wanted to get sick enough to had an excuse to miss the show.

The amusing thing about these shows is that everybody won a ribbon. We had blue ribbons for first place of course, and red and white for second and third. But we had so many shows in town for so many various things (ranging from growing the largest watermelon to the best costume in the Halloween parade) that the city never could afford to have the name of the event put on the ribbon. Silver Creek bought them in bulk so all they said was “First Prize”. Not “First Prize, Spring Art Show.” Eventually everyone in town had a ribbon for doing, growing, or making something, even if it were just for showing up to the event.

Aunt Camille always won at least one blue ribbon per competition because everyone was afraid not to. I remember looking at one of her malformed ballerinas, and the combination of elongated body and disregard for perspective made me feel as if I were standing down a steep hill and looking up at a fun house mirror. I was vaguely seasick form the battling viewpoints and lines and kept finding myself leaning slightly back and forth to orient myself. I pointed this out to my friend Gina and we noticed that other people did the same thing. Eventually we stood in a corner and giggled as we watched everyone in town pause, look, and weave.

The landscape show was notorious for several unique and decidedly phallic geographic formations and bleak winter landscapes so depressing that the suicide hotline had an upswing in calls. Aunt Camille’s contribution that year was entitled “The Mighty Mississippi,” which she had never seen, depicted in an unlikely turquoise blue more suitable for the Caribbean. This wound through an idyllic, Mark Twain-esque dreamscape of weeping willows, rounded hills, and blue sky. Unfortunately her trees looked like green cigars, the hills looked like two breasts, and the sky was filled with clouds shaped like barnyard animals.

The only really good artist in town was Dr. Foster. But he only painted trout. That’s it. Not even other fish, just trout. And always dead. No mater what the theme Dr. Foster would contribute a trout painting. They were exquisite in detail and execution, but they were, after all, only dead trout.
Photo of the day: Black and White And Sleepy

Her Majesty Cipher, the World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Photo of the day: Flame

Pretty self explanatory, I should think.

Disclaimer: No houses were burned down while attempting this stunt. Do not attempt.