Thursday, June 30, 2005

10 Reasons I Hate Going to the Vet

by Hobbes

1. Getting into the cage. I always put up a big fight because - well, I'm a cat. I don't want to be confined. Can you blame me? I usually can sense when things are up and can run and hide so it puts off getting into the cage for a while. But I usually get found then stuffed into that cage. It really bites.

2. Riding in the car makes me feel the urge to howl uncontrollably. Only when my mom is driving though, of course. Because it makes her feel sorry for me or something. When other people take me places I just sit there and say nothing. But when she's driving I howl and moan and make noises like I might die, or puke, or both. It's a little embarassing but it gets me lots of sympathy.

3. The vet always sticks that thermometer up my butt. I don't get it. They make ear thermometers for babies (or so I've been told) - why can't they make them for animals?

4. The vet's table is always freezing cold. So when I'm nervous already, I shiver and howl uncontrollably and make myself look really pathetic. I wish I could control it. But I can't. It's embarassing.

5. The vet's assistant always talks to me like I'm a baby. As if I'm already not humiliated enough....

6. The vet talks to my mom like she's stupid or something. Like she never had a cat before let alone ever took it to the vet. They usually talk for a while about what to do with me. None of it really makes any sense. The only phrases I hear frequently enough to recognize are "Urinary Tract Infection" and "He needs to Lose weight." - whatever that means.

7. The new vet isn't very good at making me pee when she needs a urine test. So they go in with a needle and it's scary and weird and it hurts and they use this stuff to clean me up with that smells really bad. It's awful! I liked the old vet better. He was gruff but he could get me to pee every time without using a needle. He used to tell me to relax, and enjoy. I can't say I ever enjoyed it, but it was better than a needle.

8. The new vet is apparently very expensive because Mom complains about it every time. She says "You're a CAT, not a Toddler! Why am I spending all this money on you!?"
I'm not sure what that means... cause I don't really understand money. By that time I just want to get home.

9. Getting back in the cage. For some reason, even though I know that I need to get back in the cage to get home, I usually put up more of a fuss getting back in there than I did on the way out the door at home. I can really put up a fight too. I still got it.

10. Riding home in the car - well, this is the same as #2.

All the way around, this has been a long hard day for me. First it thundered and stormed and interrupted my breakfast. I got so scared I ran to hide under the bed all morning. Then when I finally found my way back to the food my little sister had eaten most of it. After a short nap in my favorite perch, I was rudely awakened and crammed into my cage before I could even get my bearings. Then it was off to the vet - and - well, you read all of the above. Now, I just want to hide under the bed some more, eat dinner, and sleep all of this off.
::sigh:: Who said being a cat was easy?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Concrete Restoration

Today I've gotten some quotes on fixing a foundation issue on our house and our sadly crumbling concrete porch. The results were pretty exciting. I found that lots can be done to restore concrete - even when it looks as bad as our front porch and steps. It's cheaper than tearing it out and re building it, that's for sure. The pictures I saw even look a little TOO perfect. I realize a new seal and a complete seal is important or else all the rest of the ancient, crumbly mess will go to pot in no time atall. But I sort of don't want to cover up all the old stuff. I don't want it too look TOO perfect, because that's just not going to fit in with the rest of our house. But there's still more contractors coming to talk to me about this so who knows.

It got me to thinking how bad I think things get. I want to just tear out and re build. But sometimes, some cleaning out, widening of the cracks, filling in with filler, patching, covering, sealing - you'd never know the old mess was there.

This rabbit trail got me thinking also about how I'm not sure I always want my old mess sealed over and hidden completely. Maybe there's safety in that - so the old stuff around all the old obvious damage stays preserved, no one knows how very cracked up I was/am. Everyone gets to see the "fixed up" me - the me that cleans up suprisingly well with a little effort. The me that no one would ever suspect has found herself in the fetal position in the hallway because life was too overwhelming. - Or, sprawled in the hallway after drinking too much. I'd rather rely on my tailored outfit and serene expression to cover up all suspicion of such things ever touching my life. It's much safer that way.

I don't know about you, but I find myself uncomfortable around people who are too polished. I've learned over time that people who present themselves too perfectly often are a touch more neurotic than one might think at first glance. Granted, MOST people are more neurotic once you get to know them. However, based on my experience, some people give off more of that vibe simply by trying too hard NOT to appear a mess.

On the other hand, I'm also uncomfortable around people who don't have the social skills to hide any of their neurosis. Heh. Honestly... It's great to talk about being real and stuff but when some people are REALLY REAL - let's face it - it can be very uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable but slightly jealous of these folks.

Most of us don't want to let it ALL hang out - that's for sure. Ok, well maybe YOU don't have any thing lurking under your surface that might creep other people out. Bless your pointy little head. But for most people I think there's a fine line between being real and coloring so far outside the lines people don't have any clue how to deal with it.

As for me, I'm still working on finding that balance. My geekiness I'm ok with. My woundedness, my occasional freakishness - I'm not ok with letting that hang out very much. Oh, I'm fine to talk about it once I've got things under control. But to invite anyone into that - right in the middle of the crap storm - I don't EVER feel like that's a good idea when I'm in the midst of it. I think most people I know feel the same way. It's dang hard to show our real selves when we've deemed our inner life unacceptable.

But when we look at it from the other perspective it looks a lot different. How often have you wished someone had called you BEFORE things had gotten so bad they couldn't take it anymore? How often have you wished you could have at least prayed for someone if you'd known they were having a hard time? How often could we ALL have talked about things sooner, asked for help or invited people into our freak show? Perhaps we could find healing a little sooner? And how healing it is when we exchange those gifts with friends or family members. When we are in that place with them - to bear witness to their craziness, sadness, grief, weirdness - no one exits such a place unscathed. I think we know that, and I think it's part of why we protect each other and ourselves so much by not letting each other in very far.

It's not easy to be there for each other, but it sure is worth it, and it's truly a healing type of honor to be in that kind of community.

Some of you reading this are a part of my real life community, and you know exactly what I'm talking about here. We're all trying to figure it out together, and that is a blessing.

Friday, June 17, 2005


I had a class in H.S. called Poetry and Music. It was taught by Mr. Basil. He was a pretty cool dude. We read poetry and talked about it, not in a literary sense, but in a "how does it affect you and me as persons" sense. How are we moved by the music and poetry around us? What music and/or poetry might be in us that we can share with each other? He had us watch Leo Buscaglia videos and read Robert Fulghum and Hugh Prather and we talked and wrote poetry and brought in our cassettes of music to share. It was a very groovy class, and it introduced me to these writers (free thinkers) that really had quite an affect on me.

You may have read or at least heard of the book called All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, written by Robert Fulghum. Well, he wrote another book that inspired my wacky titles. He wrote a book called It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It.

In this book he includes an essay on Geek Dancing. (Not Greek Dancing) It's a beautiful essay in which (among other things) he talks about two older folks who don't look like they could walk across the street much less dance but have been dancing together for so long they move with ease and grace that has been perfected over the years so well that they don't even need to speak, they just dance, and it turns out beautifully.

Within that essay is a paragraph about geekiness that I sort of relate to, and I'd have to contest his assertion that this happens around age 60, because I'm not even close to 60 and I feel like I'm nearly there.

"At some point your genetic code presses a switch in your head. You look in your closet to dress for the day and you say to yourself, who cares? You reach the point somewhere around sixty when you decide to just go ahead and weird out. You start out the door in your house slippers, headed for the grocery store, and you don't go back and change into shoes. To hell with it. Or you go out to the mailbox in your bathrobe--your oldest, sleaziest, comfiest bathrobe--and don't give a damn who sees you. Or when someone rings the doorbell, you don't check in the mirror to see how you look. You just open the door. It's their problem, whoever they are. So you aren't color-coordinated anymore. So? So you don't make your bed every day. So? Your life becomes like your old car--just as long as it runs and gets you there, who cares how it looks? Some people call this going to seed. Others call it the beginning of wisdom. Take your pick."

I don't know about you. I call it wisdom. Once, about 6 years ago, I got to church and someone said "Dude! I love your shoes! Where did you get those?" I looked down and lo and behold I had gotten all the way to church in my brown fuzzy slippers. When I told them they were my slippers they sort of looked at me in awe and said "You came to church in your slippers? That is SO COOL!" I tried to explain that I didn't do it on purpose, but the cool factor had gone way up and I have to say I kind of liked that. So I felt a little stupid (but cool) for about 5 minutes and then I remembered the Robert Fulghum paragraph and thought "Yup. I've become the Geek. But I'm a WISE Geek!"

Beauty and Grace and Wisdom and Geekiness really can go together, I'm finding out. And it's a gift, the ability to see it all in the same place.
What lovely messes we are, when we aren't trying so hard to hide from each other.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Congratulating Myself

It's been a week. At least a week - that I've cleaned out the cat boxes EVERY DAY.
YUP. I made it a goal, and so far I'm doing OK.
Ok, I may have missed one day. Maybe. But I don't think so. I think I've managed to do it every day now since cleaning them out and starting fresh. Ask me again in a month - see how I'm doing. Maybe this time this little impromptu Mid Year Resolution will stick.

Once again, I pondered the mystery of why that is such a big deal. Whyfor art the catboxes so much of a pain in my arse? For years, I cleaned them every day. Every day Every day Every day... no kidding. I never minded, I loved my little boy and my little girl so cleaned up their poop daily I did do and did not mind. My Preciouses... And then one day or one week or one month - I don't know anymore - I just snapped. The kitty litter morphed into a Dreaded Chore and I began hating it.

And I tell you - when there's only one, it's not that big of a deal. They pee twice and poop once a day. That's it. No problemo. But then there are two, and the competition begins - or something. I swear they must feel the need to out do each other. The amount of waste does not double - it triples.

I think when you get that kyooot little pweshusskittykat so cute and cuddly wuddly you're not thinking about 20 years of cat box cleaning. I'm remembering my parents saying "No, we're not getting another dog when this one dies."
Now I understand.

I think about when Hobbes kicks off, not that I'm looking forward to that day, mind you. I'll be sad, he's been my little buddy for 13 years now and I've been falling to sleep with his purring all that time. He likes his Momma at night most. He has to be on me or on the bed with us when we go to bed. And he won't budge sometimes for anything. - And I do mean ANYTHING, if you get my drift... ahem. but I digress...

It's during this Dreaded Chore of cleaning the cat boxes that I can't help but think about how after he dies, then I'll only have one box to clean. WHEW. So much easier.

But then I think maybe Mocha will be lonely .... she would like a play mate, and besides, I don't know if I would be able to resist the kyoot little cuddly wuddly squinting with kyoot widdle paws and pink fat widdle belly....

So for today. Right now, in this moment. I'm happy to have clean cat boxes...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Theology And Bodily Functions

Got this one from Bobbie at emerging sideways:

You scored as John Calvin. Much of what is now called Calvinism had more to do with his followers than Calvin himself, and so you may or may not be committed to TULIP, though God's sovereignty is all important.

John Calvin


J├╝rgen Moltmann


Martin Luther


Paul Tillich


Karl Barth






Charles Finney


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Jonathan Edwards


Which theologian are you?
created with

Sorta fun.

Highlight of my day: This morning, someone called my cell phone from a restricted number and reached my voice mail. The only message they left was a burp. I think that's what it was - a burp. It sounded like a burp. I'm going with the Burp, cause that is totally awsome! I just wish I knew who did it...Cause I'd really like to know who to thank.

If it was you, then thanks - and call me back, cause I don't know who you are, and I can't return your call!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Steal Magnolias

I took this picture over a year ago just outside my office. Part of my job was to make sure the grounds/facilities were kept in good shape. I did well with that in some ways, not so hot in others.

Contracting quality carpet cleaning for the entire building - Thousands.
Hiring window cleaning service for the entire building - Many many dollars.
Paying a little extra to have magnolias added to the landscape - Priceless.
Because, as it turns out - who loves Magnolias?
No, not ME, silly! The president of the company!


Hey, a little magnolia scented brown nosing is OK, right?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Playing with the camera

These doves have been living in our neighbor's tree. Sweet little lovebirds. They sit together like that for hours then suddenly they'll get up and do their little flirt thing for a while, groom a bit then settle back down to more sitting. So cute.

Hobbes. He loves the cat tree. It puts him out of reach of his annoying little sister Mocha. She tries to bat at him from the step below, but he's got the high ground. Makes it easier to take his picture, too.

Flowers from the front porch. So purdy!

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Farting Nun

A good while back, I was in the bookstore at Marywood, a nearby Dominican Center which also houses some retired (and probably un-retired) nuns. I was there looking for a specific book. As I approached the section near the back of the store where I knew I'd find the book I was looking for, I saw an old woman bending over looking at the same section I wanted to look at. So I hung back and looked at other books, giving her some personal space. As I was browsing, I heard a very long and conspicuous noise coming from the bent over region of this woman.

Having never fully matured in my sense of humor surrounding bodily functions, I feared I might laugh right out loud, so I casually turned around and tried to get very interested in a
book. Soon little snickers threatened to fight their way out of me and I didn't want to embarrass this poor woman or myself, so I wandered nonchalantly down the aisle toward another section, away from the epicenter of this hilarity. I tried not to show any reaction, was trying so hard not to laugh, when I realized I was standing in the grief recovery section - grinning like mad!
- Which made me want to laugh even harder. It was very hard to contain myself but I did ok, considering the circumstances.

When I noticed that the woman had moved on a bit, I hurried back around the shelf so I could look at the section of books I wanted to look at that she had been looking at.

To make the situation even more uncomfortable, the smell was horrendous! I hurried on to another section of the store and pretended to be interested in some greeting cards in order to give area some time to air out some. Finally, I took a deep breath, dove for the book I wanted , grabbed it and made my way to the front of the store to check out.

The same woman was in front of me paying for her books when I heard the cashier say "Thank you, Sister."

I very nearly lost my composure completely at that point - when I realized I was in the presence of a Farting Nun.

Toothless Guy

Some of us lose track of our glasses - and some of us misplace our teeth, apparently.

It's not such a profoundly funny story except that it was heard in the course of a morning conversation standing in line for coffee.

There is this fun little coffee shop just a short walk from where we live. One morning Kevmo (aka Amazing Man) was there with a buddy of his and they saw an acquaintance of his friend. His friend said "Hey, how you doing?" And the acquaintance (hereafter named Toothless Guy) said "Well I'm not doing so hot today."
The friend said "Oh really? Why is that?"
And Toothless Guy piped up:
"Well, I lost my teeth again!"
He went on to explain that he drives truck for a living and likes to take his teeth out while he's driving. For comfort. He puts them in his lap and then when he stops somewhere he puts them back in. Well, that day he must have forgotten they were in his lap because when he got home, they were gone. No teeth.

Now, that is a bummer thing to have happen in the morning, don't you think?

We see him around now and then... I'm sure by now he's replaced his teeth. But we still call him Toothless Guy.

I promise, I saved the best for last. It will take me the longest to write, I think.
Stay Tuned For: The Farting Nun.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I Dream of Sushi

Well, it's official. My little Ivy is dead. It was old. Like, I think I've had the thing since 1992 or something. That means it's moved 7 times. Maybe it just didn't like being moved around so much, maybe that's why it never really thrived. Maybe it just never was able to make new friends after a while. Though I must admit I think that it was more my fault than the moving, somewhere along the line the romance died and eventually I realized I couldn't keep up the act anymore. I didn't push through my walls to nurture it or talk to it anymore. I felt badly at first but toward the end I just sort of went numb and ignored it. I've killed other plants along the way but this one sort of nags at me more than the others. I don't really know why. Today I'll take it out and throw it behind the shed, scattering its poor dried leaves to the wind. RIP, little Ivy.

Yesterday I did the Asian Store Route. So far I haven't found an Asian market here in GR that has everything I need in one place so I have to make the rounds. There's the one that is sort of Chinese/Vietnamese and then there is the Korean Market and then there is the WOAH! I'm Not Sure What It Is market but they have cool live fish and crabs and other aquatic treats in tanks that you can pick out if you really want your seafood fresh.
However, getting the Very Good Soy Sauce in a huge bottle for $1.39 and coconut milk for half the price of Meijers and being able to find chili pepper paste that is actually HOT - is a good thing.

Naturally, I dreamed about sushi last night. It's been a while since you got to hear one of my dreams, so just for fun, here's my Dream Journal entry from this morning:

Sushi - June 2, 2005

Dreamed that PD and SN and LJ and I were all going to have sushi at a new sushi place. PD wasn't sure what to wear so I told her it didn't matter what she wore because she looks great in everything.

As for me, I was very consciously trying to make sure I didn't go off to dinner in my brown fuzzy slippers again.

Ms. I. wanted to come too so we invited her but after we got there, she called us on my cell phone and said she was going to be late so she wanted us to try the sushi and tell her if she'd like it - then maybe she wouldn't bother coming at all. I told her I wouldn't know if she'd like it or not since I didn't know her taste. I was eating a piece of red salmon (raw) at the time and I remember holding it my hand, waving it around while I was talking on the phone, and feeling very annoyed with Ms. I. for presuming that we would just know what her taste buds were like. Seems like we were also waiting for CM.

The salmon wasn't all that great after all, I remember it had a mealy texture like it does at the sushi place on Breton that I don't like.

And there you have it folks - cruelty to plants, Asian market adventures, and Sushi dreams.
Hope you're havin a groovy day!