Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to Total Drama Island!

Ever feel like you're stuck in a really, really bad drama series?

Like, one in which the main characters are embroiled in a web of intrigue and vile character assassination over project review processes? In which, literally, dozens of highly emotional emails are exchanged in a single 24-hour period, over how to format a compliance document? In which supporting characters are reduced to tears over generating a purchase order for mailing tubes?

How about the one where the phone ominously rings and the other end of the conversation features an eight-year old in complete hysterics over a lost mitten? Or the one where the main character is greeted at 5:45 am by the discovery that her 125-pound dog has suffered a cataclysmic bout of intestinal distress overnight?

I had a 2-hour commute to work this morning, in a white-out snow storm. It was the most peaceful two hours of consciousness I have spent this week.

I think tonight will feature a hot bath and a glass of wine.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Yeah, we took the cat in. The vet pronounced him clear of dread diseases, we flea-dipped him and he has been wormed, vaccinated and otherwise violated by the feline medical establishment. Little mutton-head purred through the whole thing.

Come to think of it, the little mutton-head purrs constantly. It's rather unnerving, to tell the truth.

He also eats. Constantly.

When we got the Russian Blue, we named him "Hoover" because he used to suck up anything that hit the floor. In Hoover's late middle-age, his appetite has abated somewhat. However, he's still the one who will, literally, toss his food bowl across the laundry room floor to signal his displeasure at its emptiness and who will climb on top of the freezer to push the big bag of cat food onto the floor and thereby garner the admiration of his fellow kitty friends.

But Hoover doesn't hold a candle to this cat. This one will muscle all the other cats out of the laundry room and will guard the door with tooth and claw, until he eats every morsel in all four bowls. He tried to crawl into the refrigerator to get at the leftover lasagna. He licks the spoon rest on the stove. While I'm cooking. He will eat until his little kitty belly sticks out on both sides.

And then, this morning, I came downstairs to find him, face in the kitchen sink. He had an empty soup can wedged in the drain, and was dipping his front paw in to get at the suet and bacon grease I had poured into it after yesterday's cooking spree.

He paused as I entered the room, paw midway between the can and his mouth.

I regarded him with a mixture of pity and disgust, "Dude, you're sick. You need help. I mean, just look at you!"

He said nothing, but jumped out of the sink and under the table, leaving little bacon-scented splots of grease on my kitchen floor.

S entered the room. I held up the remains of the soup can grease catcher. "I'm starting to understand why they dumped him."

"I say we name this one Shop-Vac," he said, laughing.

K's face appeared around S's waist. "Nope. Kirby." she said, "We'll name him Kirby."

Welcome Kirby. I hope you don't eat us out of house and home!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I was reminded today of one of my favorite proverbs about wisdom. I believe it's Persian in origin, although it's attributed to everyone from Conficius to Bruce Lee.

I can think of many highly-prominent figures today who fall into each of these categories. Come to think of it, I know a lot of people who aren't prominent who fall in to these categories.

I hope we all have the wisdom to Follow, Awaken, Teach and Shun those we should.

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him.

He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is simple. Teach him.

He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep. Wake him.

He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I am allergic to cats.

Nevertheless, I have three of them.

Two are long-time friends. Mudge is a 16-year old calico, a tiny cat who takes crap from exactly no one, be they human, feline or canine. Hoover is a 12-year old Russian Blue, who loved me with mindless least until my daughter started reaching a size and temperament that reminded him of me. Now he's just as likely to run to her.

Gigi is a stray who found his way to our house after husband and daughter discovered him under the car at K's swimming lessons last summer. 18 months old, 14 pounds...he's strong like bull, smart like tractor.

We also have three dogs. You met the goobers last May, when they arrived here after being abandoned by their prior owners. There's also Angus, A/K/A The Moron, a 7-year-old Kerry Blue Terrier who believes he's solely responsible for our continued safety.

In short, I live in a menagerie. I didn't plan this. It just happened.

So tonight, as we're cleaning up from dinner, Mr. Bean hears a plaintive meow from the back porch. We start counting noses; all our cats are de-clawed, so we don't let them out. He opens the door and in walks a grey male kitten, perhaps 6 months old. He immediately rubs on everything in the house; Mr. Bean, Me, K. He hasn't eaten in a few days, and puts down a week's ration of food in 10 minutes. He then jumps into K's lap, purrs his little kitty brains out and curls up.

He's wonderful. Seems to get along with the other cats. Not terribly afraid of the dogs. We live in a cul-de-sac; chances are that he was dumped here. He clearly has no clue whatsoever how to live on his own. And he's just adorable.

So I find myself wondering, at what point is my quality of life suffiently decreased by the critters I bring into my house to enhance my quality of life, that I should start cutting back? I can only sneeze so much.

And who the hell is going to clean that extra litter box?

Monday, November 03, 2008


You have a really important job to do tomorrow. Get out there and vote. Don't be dissuaded by long lines or crabby, overworked poll workers. This is the most important thing you can do to improve your life.

I don't even care who you vote for. (OK, I do care, but if you are smart enough to find your way here, you're probably smart enough to know what's best for the country). Just vote.

OK, truth? Here's what I'll say about who to vote for: Vote for the people who will lead us forward out of this current mess. Vote for the people who will enrich your local city councils, your school boards, and your local judiciary. Who will look after the best interests of your schools, your needy citizens, and your public safety infrastructure. Vote for people who are smarter than you, who are more educated than you, and who speak better than you do. Vote for people who can pronounce "nuclear".

(And if you live in Ohio, it's YES on 5, and NO on 6. Seriously. Don't screw this up for the rest of us.)

Good luck!