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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] sir_cat, [personal profile] oxymoron67, AND [personal profile] klingonguy!!!



So... High-speed, low-budget post...

I slept in all of fifteen minutes this morning, since Rocky wanted food and insulin, Yoda wanted food, and Brigid and Brandon needed to go out and go potty. Oh well. Though, I've been napping on and off all day...

That's not to say I haven't been at least somewhat productive. I've gotten a start on laundry. I cleaned my bathroom. I've watered the plants. I've gotten other odds and ends done. I'm mid-way though taking care of the cat boxes and trash, but, I'm slowly whacking back my to-do list for the weekend. My goal is to have next to nothing to worry about for Monday. And the less I have to worry about for tomorrow, the better.

Not much else. Rocky is happy it's the weekend and has been following me around most of the time. He, Yoda, and I watched the series finale for Star Trek: The Next Generation, "All Good Things..." Now, I have finally seen all of the TNG episodes. Yes, there were a few that I never saw because I had set the VCR to tape them, only to have a hockey game or somesuch pre-empt them. Actually, that's why I stopped watching Voyager in the seventh season... It was never on when it was supposed to be, so, setting the VCR was useless. I'll eventually get Voyager (and DS9 and the enhanced Original Series [I have the regular Original Series on DVD]) on DVD.

To top it off, the last year of TNG was my senior year of high school, so, I was also a bit busy with graduating and getting ready for college. In fact, the original air date of "All Good Things..." was my high school graduation night. And I just never...watched the beginning of the episode. But now, I have seen the TNG run in its entirety. That last episode was like some sort of warped Christmas Carol as well. I mean, it starts and ends with Picard demanding to know the date. And he's visited by the past, the present, and the future.

Thing is, and thanks to all the wonderful Trek authors, I had a hard time watching "All Good Things..." as an end to TNG. Leaving aside the movies, the fact is that the books have done a more than adequate job in continuing the TNG story/saga. (Not to mention, DS9 and Voyager, too.)

Not much else. So, back to work, I suppose...

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It has been a busy few days. Half week. Something like that.

Mom is now Mrs. Magner.

It's a good thing I took Thursday and Friday off. Thursday, I took care of the errands of running to craft shops - Michael's and Joann's - to get stuff pertaining to flowers, decorations, and various other wedding festivities. I also picked up my tux. This might not sound like much, but, given that I'm not super artsy or anything, and being given a list of items I'd never heard of and sent on a seek-and-obtain mission to get them... It's kind of like a commercial scavenger hunt. I've been told that this was a "nice guy" thing to do, as other males would have simply looked askance. On the bright side, I got everything that was needed and managed to get the pew clips for just $1.oo instead of $2.00.

Friday, I dealt with more back issues and spent half the day with an ice pack on my back. I was originally going to deliver the goodie bags to the hotels where out-of-town guests were staying, but, my brother-in-law Scott got roped into that. My brother-in-law is awesome like that. Instead, we just had the rehearsal dinner Friday night. After the dinner, I went out for coffee and quiet time, and when I got home, I had apparently missed the festivities of the bridal attendants who helped finish making the centerpieces and assembling flower stuff. Instead, Mom was busy printing out the programs. Since she had had little sleep the night before, I helped fold them and cut the insert pages and so on. I did what I could to help her get to bed at a decent time in preparation for the next day's events. Except, she couldn't find the tiara hairpiece, and we spent the next hour and a half going through the house looking for it, to no avail. Turns out, it was with the rest of her stuff for her dress at the church.

Because I was up late, I got up a little later than originally planned on Saturday. Mom had already left with the rest of her entourage for hair and make-up. Rich called from down the street to make sure it was safe to come home and get breakfast, which it was. He left to get the lunch sub tray and pick up one of the groomsmen and head to the church. I stayed to grab a shower, make sure all the furkids had food and water, give Rocky his insulin, put the dogs out to go potty, and so on. I should note that the humidity was oppressive, and I was sweating even after my rather cold shower. Also, all the furkids were off the wall. Brigid and Brandon were almost constantly barking, which was excessive even for them. Yoda seemed to be permanently hungry and doing the alarm noise ad nauseum. Rocky was bordering on aggressive and howling more often than usual. Fortunately, I got everyone calmed down enough before I left. Giving Yoda a leftover stuffed shell from the rehearsal dinner seemed to mollify him immensely, and he was then able to call for Rocky and yell at the dogs, which helped get them all under control. Anyway, after the kids were taken care of, I made a pass through the house for anything that might have been forgotten and left for the church.

At the church, I changed into my tux. Of course, the room we had was sweltering. Thankfully, the rest of the church was decently air conditioned. While getting dressed, I helped Paul and Rich with their tuxes. While competitive dancing doesn't need a full tux at the level I danced, and even dance tuxes are different from regular tuxes, I still had done enough shows to know how to take care of bow ties and cuff links and so on. The tux pants we had were adjustable. Of course, I had a broken adjuster. Fortunately, Mandie had safety pins and helped me out.

Then began the busy-ness.

Somehow, I was drafted at random to take care of the boutinears. I found the 'fridge with the flowers in them, snagged my sister to help me figure out who gets what, and began distrubution of flowers. I had barely gotten that done that people started arriving. Got the young ladies set up with the programs and started escorting people to seats. Did what I could remembering who Mom said was to get front-row seats. This has a lot to do with the people who were there for us during some of the shittiest times of the past ten years.

Then the ceremony begins. Or, at least, the processional. They changed, at the last minute, where us groomsmen where entering from, which was neither here nor there, but, anyway. Then the ceremony begins. And fortunately, my sister and I get along rather well these days, so, I see the look of horror slowly crossing her face right before she mouths to me, in front of the pastor and the priest (Rich is Catholic, so, we had two officiants), "Oh shit! I lost the ring!"

You know that sinking feeling you get right when you realized you jumped out of the plane before strapping on your parachute?

So, I start thinking about my options. Do I pass out, let them cart me out of the sanctuary and then spring to life and go look for the ring? No, too dramatic. Sneak out? Might be considered rude. Fake a coughing fit or a bad sneeze? Yeah, that could work, but, let's save that as a last resort. And to note, this was planned to be a short ceremony. I look around me, as there's a piano behind me, some sound equipment off to the side... Maybe there's a coupling or somesuch that could work in a pinch. No such luck. So then it dawns on me that at least two of the other groomsmen are married. I whispered urgently to Nutsy next to me the situation and ask if he has a ring we can borrow. No, he's had problems getting his ring on lately, BUT, he had his father's wedding band on his keychain. Unfortunately, his fingers are still a little too swollen to get it off, so, I got it off, and we passed it down to my sister. Crisis averted. The ring, the "real" ring, was recovered shortly after the ceremony. It fell off of Mandie when she was adjusting Mom's train right before the processional.

After that was the receiving line and becoming borderline germophobic. Thankfully, there were the anti-bacterial hand sanitizer bottles throughout the narthex. After that was getting my Magic Murder Bag (Venture Brother's reference) packed with my clothes, and then pictures. Before the rain. Woot.

Fortunately, the rain stopped by the time we got to the reception, and we had a nice walk-in.

Pictures )

Now, the wonderful people at ThinkGeek.com have dinosaur plushies...



Thanks to internet memes, Mom and Rich have this joke about "I love you this much" with the picture of a T-Rex whose arms aren't very long, and so it doesn't look like very much. So when I got one of my regular e-mails from Think Geek advertising these new plushies, I got two of the T-Rex for Mom and Rich for a wedding present. I figured it would be a cute novelty thing that they'd like and would be better than a picture frame or somesuch.

Turns out, they were a big hit with them. They have been playing with their dinosaurs (curse their sudden and inevitable betrayal!) since I gave them to them. In fact, they had left them with the caterer to put on their sweetheart table (to raised eyebrows). You can even see one of them in one of the pictures above. Anyway, Mom told me that just about everyone, at some point, had come up to their table and asked about the dinosaurs, so, they had to explain the joke about 100 times. Mom says she should have just gotten on the mike and explained. I'm just glad I managed to get them a gift they enjoy, and are still enjoying. Especially when I wasn't expecting it to be such a hit.

Mom and Rich had a nice dance to their song (can't remember the title, but it's by Lady Antebellum). Mom and I danced a Fox Trot to Michael Buble's rendition of "The Best is Yet to Come." Mandie and Rich danced to "Thank Heaven For Little Girls." Then Mandie and I did a Cha Cha/Hustle to some 70s song. That was way too long.

At this point, I need to pat myself on the back while thanking my coaches Lisa Bently and Pete Taylor. They both taught the difference between competitive dancing and performance dancing. Both when dancing with Mom and with my sister, I thankfully knew enough floorcraft to make sure they were the center of attention. Having taught enough dance classes and having a derth of experience working with new dancers, my leading skills are still sharp, though I'm sure my sister felt tossed around a little. But, hey... performance! It was eough to impress pretty much everyone.

As for me? My footwork was atrocious (note to self: NEVER go to a wedding where I know I'll be utilizing my Captain Tango skills without my dance shoes!). My frame was okay and I felt my leading was on par with bludgeoning my partner to go in the right direction. However, again, I am forced to remember what I've been taught about the differences between competitive dancing and performance dancing: In competitive dancing, the judges know the steps and the technique and will grade you on it. In performance dancing, the audience doesn't give a fuck (Pete's words).

They had remarks from the best man and maid (matron?) of honor, which included my sister. She wasn't expecting that part, and the invective she used when she was called up was amusing. Nevertheless, she made a good speech and managed to use our phrase of "putting the 'fun' into 'dysfuntional.'" I don't think I've ever seen her husband, Scott, laugh so hard.

On an aside: I have to say I'm very proud to have Scott as my brother-in-law. He's cool to begin with, and I am glad that he takes care of my sister so well. He helped her where he could, made sure she had something to drink, and so on. After three (or is it four?) years of marriage, and years of dating before that, and he still dotes on her, is something nice to see in this day and age. Such treatment, I think, went a long way to keeping my sister on an even keel throughout. It was a good example of, "It's not her problem, it's our problem to solve." Hence, the support thing.

I think that about covers the reception. Afterwards, we changed and loaded up the cars and trucks and tralers with decorations, gifts, and so on. Managed to get the bulk of the stuff loaded before the clouds opened up again.

To give Mom and Rich some time to themselves, Mandie insisted I stay with her and Scott last night. So, I stopped at the house, gave Rocky his shot, refilled everyone's food and water, packed an overnight bag, and left.

Loki, one of Mandie's cats, who was adopted when she still lived with me and Mom, was taught well by TomTom. He remembers me from when we lived together, and in the same way TomTom would make sure to visit with Mandie when she came over after she'd moved out, Loki makes sure to visit with me whenever I go to my sister's. Anyway, he followed me around while I got set up in her guest room, looking at me funny. "Why are you here? What are you doing? You're not normally over here this late. Why are you sleeping here?"

I slept like the dead, but woke up around 10:30 to the sound of someone going through my stuff. I sat up on the bed, and sure enough, Loki and Lily were rummaging through my book bag and overnight bag. I asked them, "What are you two doing?" And they both looked at me like, "We're um, um, um... We were going to iron your clothes and put your books away for you. Hi. How are you?" This might be off-putting or just plain weird for most people, except, my cats do the same thing, so, yeah. They do better security than the TSA.

In general, I'm glad the wedding went off almost without a hitch. The only hitch being the intended hitch of Mom and Rich getting hitched. I'm glad my sister and I get along well these days, which has been the case since we had to break Mom out of a nursing home three years ago when she got her hip replaced. That helped a lot this weekend with averting possible situations and whatnot.

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Rocky has become a very good kitty. In some ways, though, this works to his disadvantage, in that he is often intimidated by the stepgoggies, Brandon and Brigid (yes, I've been spelling her name wrong). He doesn't like their barking and hyperness, and they bark if they just see him. But his aggressiveness has been curbed to where he simply runs away from them.

Until tonight.

The goggies were in the process of being put to bed, and Brandon was at the top of the steps, staring down Rocky at the foot of the steps. Well, I started going up the steps, and Rocky was creeping ahead of me. Then Rocky looked behind, saw that I was still there, and then Brandon started barking and "faking out" Rocky (moving like he's about to pounce). I don't know if Rocky felt emboldened by the fact I was behind him, took Brandon's stance as a threat to me, or if he'd just plain had had enough.

Rocky charged Brandon, chased him down the end of the hall and, from the sound of it, smacked Brandon around a bit. I didn't really hear anything from Rocky, but Brandon was yipping in a fashion that indicated he was getting his ass kicked.

Now, it would be nice for all these guys to get along. But Brandon and Brigid have been annoying, if not outright harassing, Rocky. If they see that Rocky will stand up for himself, then hopefully, they'll settle down a little and eventually, they'll actually get to know each other and such. Besides, Rocky is the alpha and needs to assert that; Brigid and Brandon are, for the most part, okay dogs, but I'm not sure there's half a brain cell between the two of them.

Anyway, Rocky cried afterwards. I don't think he liked having to be mean, but, in this case, I think he had to be. The dogs need to learn that they can't bark at him just for walking in a room, or steal his food, or chase him around the house, or anything else. He's okay now, and he knows I'm not mad at him, so, we're good.

But... Wow. My cat beat up a dog. Go Rocky!

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Semi-quick, worn-out post before bed, in an attempt to alleviate some insomnia...

After receiving advice from several people that I trust that it would be better to just get the damn temporary pass from DMV than risk getting pulled over and having my car impounded, I've decided that tomorrow morning, I'll be making a trip to the DMV and going in to work late and staying late. This is teaching me that there is no such thing as "a little, minor fender-bender." I'm not mad at the person who caused the accident, because, accidents happen. Instead, I'm frustrated at all the bureaucratic bullshit that has accompanied it. The insurance companies have been okay this time around, but... The DMV, shops refusing to work on it because of its age (they don't see it as a classic), manufacturers not updating their inventory to show discontinued parts... All for a stupid lens! For a side marker light that actually works.

I'm also rapidly approaching burnout from all the stuff with the cats. Not that I begrudge them at all. But the multiple vet trips and rechecks on sutures and so on... For example, Rocky needs to go back Tuesday morning for suture removal. They didn't take them out today because his scabs keep getting into the area. So, I need to keep giving him drops and maybe cleaning his face daily. Thing is, he knows how to get the cone off. He uses his hind foot to move the bow knot to the front, then steps on it with his front paws and pulls to undo the knot. However, he hasn't removed or attempted to remove his cone for over a day now. Despite being frustrated with it. Tonight, the cone got caught on the edge of his dinner dish and he flipped the dish. We all take this in stride, get him cleaned up and such. He really is a good kitty, despite the rough patches we had when we first got him. No one can replace TomTom, but TomTom taught Rocky well, and Rocky is doing what he can to fill the role of "hoomin helper."

Riffy is doing okay, though, he's definitely lonely without YoYo. I'm hoping this will help him to decide to rejoin the World Beyond the Door.

Minerva managed to unbuckle her new collar, but was ever so happy when I put it back on her tonight.

The one positive thing about all these trips to the vet for checks and such is that I'm pretty much over associating the drive and the trip with TomTom's and YoYo's final trips. It reaffirms my focus on the living furkids which, I think, is what both TomTom and YoYo would want. TomTom didn't have many issues at all after we got him cleaned up after adopting him, and YoYo would probably remember everything we did for him when he started having urinary tract problems, and both would want the same care given to their siblings and successors.

Mom is still recovering. Moving around a little better today, but...yeah.

The stepgoggies came over early this weekend to make it easier for Rich to stay here with Mom. It's all good. According to Rich, they love coming over here. As he's driving them over, they recognize the way and get really excited the closer they get to here.

Rocky's all happy now. I just cleaned his cone a little from leftover food and such sticking to it.

Anyway, I'm finally feeling a little tired, finally, instead of all wound up. Time for some sleep...

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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] jaddziadax AND [profile] lundarbluekandi!!



With the shit storm that is the Paterno/Sandusky/Penn State debacle, there was at least one person who stood up to Paterno and, by extension, the status quo of sports worship... To clarify... I'm not against the enjoyment of sports, the playing of sports, and so on. I'm against people getting a pass on being Decent Human Beings simply because they can throw a ball, run, or whatever, or because they are integrally associated with those people. I am against the idea that if you don't care for commercial sports, that there's something wring with you, especially if you're a male, and that bullying for this is a part of life. I'm against the hypocrisy of commercial sports fans who do all sorts of painting and fanatical behavior, then mock sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and Renaissance cosplayers. especially when those cosplayers often participate in charity work. I'm against the commercial forces of these sports that cover up and deny wrongdoing, let alone illegal and harmful activities and, when they get caught, try to sell a sob story of a hard childhood or portray the activity as an exception and not the norm that is usually covered up. And then those commercial forces saying someone is redeemed when they're not and having the power to alter history, make people forget, and make a problem go away. I'm against sheeple being so entrenched in the cultural norm of sports worship that they go along with it and throw their money at these people for jerseys, tickets, and so on, rather than to stand up and say, "Enough is enough! I have standards!"

*Ahem*

Moving along...

One of the things I watched this weekend was the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie. Overall, it was well done. Cut for potential spoilerage. )

I think I'm coming down with some sort of summer cold. I'm feeling slightly congested, and right in my throat, too. It's making me snore, which I hardly ever do anymore since I had my tonsils out. Consequently, snoring is making my throat even more sore. Meh.

Rocky... Rocky is a bit stressed and is still pulling his fur out. He can handle one of the stepgogs at a time, but, when they gang up on him, as they've done twice this weekend, that's too much for him. When he has the high ground at the top of the steps, he can keep both of them at bay. But in the kitchen, say? One will circle behind him, and then it's all he can do to get away from the jumping, slobbering, barking monsters. Of course, Brandon and Bridgett are sent to their room when this happens, and I try to help Rocky escape as best I can. But ultimately? He needs a buddy. Riffy or Minerva. Or both. They can cover each other's backs. Must think on this some more.

Have to share this because waaaaay too many of my Discworld friends have left Facebook but, thankfully, are still here in blog land...



Comics )
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Yay! Friday! And a three-day weekend ahead!

And maybe a shortened day, if TomTom gets discharged from the vet today.

So... I visited him last night. I was hoping to sit with him for awhile, maybe read with him on my lap or next to me. Instead, it was a rather short visit. They brought us in to a room and put him up on the table, and he was hooked up to an IV machine. It looked pretty much like the ones for us humans, except it was a little smaller. I told TomTom that the machines for humans had a button we could press for pain meds. He asked me where the button was to make me shut up and get him out of there. I pet him a bit, trying to be careful of his still-sore tummy, but he kept pushing his head and bib against my hand. And he kept trying to pull out his IV (it was secured to him pretty well). Then all of a sudden, there was this...smell...and he'd had an accident. So, I then did my airplane impression by using one hand to keep him from jumping off the table and the other hand to wave out the door for help. Fortunately, the nurse/tech came back in and helped me clean him up. Okay, she actually did the cleaning while I held him. He stuck his head in the crook of my arm and, though he was alert, seemed a little groggy, and I think he thought I was there to take him home and was pissed he (1) still had an IV and (2) didn't see the carrier. The nurse/tech told me that yeah, he'd been rammy most of the afternoon, and since I didn't want TomTom to hurt himself trying to jump down from the table and walk out the room and the whole facility, I decided that it was time for him to go back to his kennel.

Still, I'm glad I went to go see him, even if it was a short trip. What sucks is knowing that if I'm in the hospital, he can't come see me. Which doubly sucks because I'm sure I'd recover faster if I had my little purring furmonster with me. Though, he'd probably swat away those nurses that come for blood at 3 or 4 in the morning...

Both the ramminess and the accident, though, kind of show that he's doing well. The accident in that food/nutrients are moving through his system. The ramminess in that he feels strong enough to put up a fight, or at least assert his orneriness.

Rocky and Yoda have both shown some...concern...over TomTom's absence. Yoda, I think, understands the concept of going away for a few days and the reassurance of, "He'll be home tomorrow." Rocky simply hugged my TomTom-orange-fur-covered-shirt when I took it off and tossed it on the bed last night. He's...been hyper. Not wandering the house crying for TomTom hyper, but still running through the house like he's got to secure all that territory. He purrs loudly at bedtime and is trying to fill in for TomTom. Though this morning, he woke me up and then promptly trapped my arm with his 25 or so pounds so that I could pet him but not get up.

Now, as for today... TomTom is doing well, except he's not eating, at least not voluntarily. It could be he doesn't have an appetite, what with everything going on in his guts, or he could just be pissed that he has to wear a collar/cone of shame. Other than the eating bit, though, he's doing well, no temperature, but a little vomiting. He's hesitant to give him anything for the intestinal swelling until the biopsy comes back, because with some forms of IBS, the cortisone could make things worse. However, they've had him on fluids, so, it's not like he's in anything critical. But they don't want to send him home until he eats, so, I have to call them later this afternoon to see how he's doing and if he gets to come home or if he has to wait another day. They're going to try taking off the cone and see if he'll eat then, except once the cone comes off, he gets really ornery and either tries to clean himself or run away, and he'll just sulk if the techs hold him or hover over him to keep him in front of the food bowl. They may try feeding him with a syringe, too. Again, not sure if he's avoiding food or just being a brat. In any event, the fact that he's being rammy is a good sign.

Also? I may follow Mom's suggestion and go up there and see if he'll eat for me. Stop at the house first and maybe get one of his bowls, and maybe grab one of his kooshes, a shirt from the hamper (has my scent on it) and maybe one of the toys around the house. Like one of the ones Mandie made for Christmas.

And in somewhat related news... If TomTom needs some significant care for a few weeks, I may skip out on Ryan's (cousin) wedding in two weeks. As is, with all of us going, my sister needs to get someone to feed her cats and we still don't know who we can ask to come feed our cats and birds. I'd be perfectly okay with staying home, since I don't like most of those people anyway...

Mom and I were talking last night... Even if the worst happens, the fact that TomTom lived an amazing 15 years with us, coming as a dumped kitten, getting cleaned up, cared for, loved... I can't have any regrets. But...in this day and age, we have better technology, better nutrition, and a much better understanding of our feline (and canine, avian, amphibian, etc) companions that we can extend their lives and their quality of life. More than that...TomTom, as evidenced by his orneriness, has a will to live. He's not just giving up, and so, I'm not giving up on him. He knows he's got a pretty sweet home with hoomin servants. He also has a sense of purpose. I mean, he has helped me with my sleep disorder to the point where I am functional with it. He helps keep the other cats in line. He's absolutely wonderful with helping keep the stepgoggies in line. He was really patient with Rocky, which I think helped Rocky settle down after we got him. He and YoYo broke into my room after I rescued Riffy to welcome Riffy while I was in class. He and the other furkids are not just ornamental; they all have a purpose, even if it's just to offer comfort and understanding.

The other thing that has floated through my mind is that, once again, I see a higher standard of care given to my pets than what was given to Dad. I mean, even when we lost Lucky, we were still better informed by Dr. Lon than we were from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Likewise with TomTom, there's been a higher level of communication and a higher professionalism and thoroughness in figuring out what's wrong with TomTom than there was in arresting the infection Dad had and eliminating it before it blew up into sepsis.

This is not to say that TomTom, Lucky, or any of my other pets are less deserving of the care they get. It's not even saying that it's "wrong" to have such a high value on our companionable critters. But, to me, it seems wrong that we value other humans so little. We shouldn't downgrade how we treat our pets; we should upgrade how we treat each other.

On a final (for now) note... Mom said something about renegotiating my monthly "rent" payment to help out with the vet bill and such. Might take her up on that, but, that's all secondary at the moment to getting TomTom healthy again first.

Tall Stack o' Comics )
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So...it's been a semi-relaxing, semi-productive weekend thus far. I still have some stuff I want to take care of, like finishing my laundry, but otherwise, it's going okay. I spent the better part of the day yesterday cleaning out my linen closet so Rich can get to the pipes to fix my shower. I didn't think it would take all that much time, but, there was more crap there to go through than I thought. On the bright side, I threw out some broken stuff and a ton of things that were past expiration or not used or whatever. Old contact lens stuff and weird shampoos and stuff like that. I'm hoping that when the shower is fixed and I can put all this crap away that that will take a little less time and things will be a little better organized.

Last night, I went over to Jess' place because she wanted to have a Big Bang Theory marathon. She had a drinking game set up, but, since I can't drink, she made popcorn for me to use instead. Anyway, we watched the first four or five episodes of the third season. It was fun.

Since she lives in Wilmington in an area I'm not familiar with at all, I finally tried out the GPS "tomtom" unit my co-worker gave me when she got a new GPS a year ago... Anyway, the device worked out really well! Got there, got home, no problems, easy peazy... Woot!

This weekend, I also went to Concord Pet and got some rawhide bones and chew bones for Bridgett and Brandon. There seems to be happiness on their end and less destruction of cat toys. Hoomin wins! I also got a laser pointer that has a diffuser to make shapes of a butterfly, a smiley face, a star, and a mousie in addition to the Red Dot. I tried it out with TomTom and Rocky. Hilarity ensued. For a 15-year-old, TomTom is still quite spry! Then there was when I projected a laser butterfly on TomTom's hind leg, and Rocky did that little bunny hop thing to tackle it. As if that wasn't funny enough, TomTom just looked at him and said, "Really? Are you really that fucking stupid?" Anyway, I need to try it on Riffy and Minerva. I'm hoping to engage them in cooperative dot hunting with Rocky to see if that will help them all bond a little better.

To give another little peak into my supposed brain... I stopped at Path Mark last night to get another big bag of cat crunchies, since I had just emptied the last one. On the way to the cat aisle, I passed the produce section and got excited when I saw they had peaches. Because they haven't had peaches the last time I went there and needed fruit for the parrot. So, I think all the pets got something from me this weekend. I guess I should be too surprised - or put off - that I can't move around here without some critter hugging or licking me.

Eh, it is what it is.

Weekend Comics )
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HAPPY BIRFDAY [personal profile] awallens!!!



Feeling a little drained at the moment. Today was my appointment at the blood bank. Alas, I wasn't able to do the ALYX donation, since my hemoglobin was too low. It was great for whole blood donation, but not for them taking twice as many RBCs away. It could be allergies, or it could be asthma. In any event, I may try ALYX later. Maybe even over winter. In the meantime, whole blood donation is still pretty damn good, and I'll be donating again in July.

Since then, I've been getting some weekend chore stuff done and napping. Really feeling drained this time around. Probably still a little out of it from the severe GERD bout the other night. On the bright side, this is a lite chore weekend, so, hopefully, it'll be a nice, relaxing, recharging, restful weekend for me. Then again, the stepgoggies are here.

On a semi-related note... I'm reading Jackson Galaxy's book Cat Daddy. I've tried the "I Love You" blink with TomTom, but, so far, there's no reaction. Then again, he's pretty secure anyway, so... Yeah. Last night, he was sleeping on my head, as usual, and I touched his paw. In response, the purring went from "idling lawnmower" to "Saturn V rocket" and he insisted on licking my face. Not really a problem, except for the really bad fishy cat food breath. Oh well. Both Rocky and TomTom like that contact thing... Many times, I wake up and one of them has a paw resting lightly on my face or my hand.

My sister's cat, MiMi, used to crawl under the covers so she could snuggle under my chin. I still miss her, but, at least she opened a place in my sister's life for Lily.

You know... I really think the side project memoir of all the furkids I've had might stand a good chance for publication, all things considered. Gods know I have enough amusing stories of all the cats, dogs, and parrots, not to mention stories of their interactions together, from Yoda liking to ride on Boomer's head, to Nemo making Sugar psychotic with respect to squeaky toys, and back to Yoda for trying to teach the cats to say his name. Then I think about the times I lay on the couch and Yoda asks, "You okay there, bud?" Like he's going to do anything if I'm not okay. And the time TomTom and Rocky got me when Mom couldn't get up after her hip replacement. Or Rocky waking me up earlier this week when the house had no power, I had no alarm clock, and I needed to get to work.

When I hear stories of other peoples' pets performing similar intelligent acts of helpfulness and loyalty, I have to wonder if Human arrogance isn't actually a hindrance in our evaluation of these creatures' intelligence and awareness. One popular test they do on animals in general to disprove their self-awareness is to put them in front of a mirror and watch the animal either react to the image as a threat or whatever, but to not give any evidence that they recognize the image as themselves. And yet...four weeks ago, Bridgett and Brandon were on the steps, which have a mirror at the bottom, and they were at eye level of the mirror. They saw me coming in the mirror, then looked at me. Then they saw other movement and turned around to see TomTom at the top of the steps. In short, they were reacting to the reflection and understood that they saw the reflections of other actions and looked at the appropriate areas. I'm not sure if this has been replicated in a laboratory setting. Now, this doesn't quite go with the whole "mark them with lipstick and see if they try to wipe it off" thing, though (1) I see humans at Rocky Horror who don't remove the lipstick... Maybe these animals think that they're being marked in some sort of initiation like the kids going to RHPS. Maybe (2), given their lesser acuity, they don't really see the lipstick or they aren't familiar enough with their own reflection to know that something's different. I mean, honestly, we tend not to see certain zits right away or notice the formation of certain scars. In conclusion, I think the animals are fucking with us. Intentionally. So that they get spoiled with toys, food, and have the supposedly superior race fetch food for them, clean up their poop, pay for their food and health care, and show them off to their friends. A bit of an oversimplification? Perhaps. But the intelligence of cooperation, adaptability, routine, and so on is still there and higher than what people in general are aware of. Then again, I'm still convinced that the average person is an idiot.

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January 2015

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