Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Tale of the Lost Hat

The things that kept me up last night:

1. The high pitched laugh of some chick at the party in the condo across the courtyard

2. The shouting of boys playing beer pong at the party in the condo across the courtyard

3. Waiting for the cops to show up at midnight to tell the people to shut up at the party in the condo across the courtyard

4. The few boys left on the condo's roof, after the party, having this slurred, yet very audible conversation:

"Dude...You lost my hat."
"Where's your hat?"
"I can't find my hat. I can't find my hat."
"C'mon..Dude...C'mon, let go find your hat"

After the party broke up, here's the thing that kept me up:

Lying in bed, with my eyes closed, trying to do meditative breathing, but ending up mentally working on a PowerPoint presentation for work.

Now I'm too tired to actually do the PowerPoint presentation for work.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Will Remember You

Ornery Zelda
This past Saturday, I walked into the animal rescue, a place where I've spent every Saturday morning for the past 19 months and something was different. Zelda's name card wasn't in it's usual spot outside the room she had been staying. Zelda, a 16 year old, long haired tabby with bright emerald eyes and more spunk than any cat I've known, was nowhere to be found. She had been at the Lange Foundation for almost 2 years, ending up at the animal rescue with her mate Fred, when their owner had passed away suddenly. Their owner had been a dedicated volunteer for years and, of course, the rescue took in his cats.

Lange is a great no-kill shelter that rescues dogs and cats from death row at L.A. County shelters. They do phenomenal work and the caring staff obviously loves each and every one of their charges, taking great care of the animals. Zelda was in good hands.

Zelda's left leg was withered, a condition she was born with, and didn't hold any weight. It looked like a feline version of Cerebral Palsy on that one limb. But that weak leg didn't hold her back at all. She would use it like a nunchuck when protecting her afternoon canned food snack from other cats in her room. Zelda weighed almost 5 lbs and she was always hungry.  Last year, my husband and I visited her every day over the course of several months, giving her a can of food and protecting her from any younger or spry-er cats who tried to nose their way into the treat.

Zelda had been looking skinnier and sicker the last few weeks. It was hard visiting her. She reminded me so much of my own cat Munchy, our 18 year old tabby, who we had to put down in December of 2009. We still miss Munchy so. But no matter Zelda's condition, I still petted her bony head and back. She deserved to be loved, even if it was tough.

This Saturday, I asked Emylia, who works at the rescue, if they had finally made the decision to put Zelda down. Emylia told me that Zelda had passed on her own the previous Thursday night. They found her in room 1 on Friday morning, relieved she was finally at peace. She was with her owner on the other side of the "Rainbow Bridge" as animal grief advocates call it.

I'm not telling you this to bum you out. I wanted to write a post about Zelda, because she doesn't have an owner to grieve for her. Everyone at the shelter was saddened. I know many of the volunteers will be teary-eyed at the loss of Zelda dear. Volunteering to socialize these cats or walk the dogs expands your heart with all the love these homeless animals offer. Knowing they were abandoned, either intentionally or due to circumstance, just amplifies affection. That love overshadows the heartbreak of the times when one of them doesn't make it through to adoption.

Most animals, that are eulogized online, have had guardians (pet parents) who talk at length about how much they will miss their companions. I just thought that Zelda deserved a moment as well.

There have been several other cats at the rescue who passed this year while waiting to be adopted into a forever home. By spending time with these cats every week, I got to know each of them. Every single animal had a unique personality. Just because they didn't have a forever home, doesn't mean they weren't loved. They weren't just anonymous cats at a shelter. Animals pass every day, these are the souls I knew. They were individuals. I won't forget them. I do miss them.

Daisy - She was a spunky, chunky grey and white cat who was the first to greet anybody when they walked in the door of room 2. She talked a lot and loved standing on my lap.

Cayenne - A shy orange cat with FIV. His tongue never went in and there were a few times his drool almost reached the floor from where he was on the top of the cat tree.

Easy - This one really got me. Easy was a young tabby and white fatty. He was polydactyl and such an easy going, funny guy. He got sick, kidney failure I think, and left us quick.

Eddie - Eddie was not easygoing. He was a bitey pain in the butt. But he loved catnip and would purr if you could get to the spot on his neck where he liked to be scratched.

Aimee - A beautiful, fat calico who stuffed herself into a corner and hissed, Aimee was terrified when her owner of 8 years returned her to Lange. As the guardian of a scaredy/feral cat, it was my goal to get Aimee into my lap within a year. She fell ill and passed before I had a chance to mellow her out.

Carmen - This sweet, scrawny tortie cat was Carmen. If I gave her love, she asked for more, even though she never chased me down for it. She was just unimposing and gentle. 

Garfield - He was a sweet lump of an orange kitty. He is greatly missed by everyone who met him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Squeezable

Ya know those random thoughts that ramble through your brain repeatedly? One of my redundant mental rambles is "The positive aspect of working from home is (your item here)." There are negatives too.

So I decided that since I need to make SJ more of a habit (that's Stinky Junior people), on the days I got nuttin', I'll do a short pro v. con of working form home...which I you know.

1st exciting and earth-shattering entry into this subject:

One of the cons of working from home is that the toilet paper runs out a lot quicker.

The counterpoint pro is that I don't have to go into a bathroom stall during the day and try not to toot while Angie from Merchandising re-applies her mascara.

Some times my profundity shocks even me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Have Harry Potter's Chair

This is my 100th posting on Stinky Junior. Waa hoo!!! That deserves a round of beers! (for me, come buy me a beer.)
Walter The Awesome
Let me start ole hundy off with the good news (not the Jesus kind); Walter got adopted! The staff at Lange Foundation said his new human Mom is perfect, she had her last cats for a few decades. She adopted him with another orange kitten named Tubs, so he's got a buddy to harass. Good job Walter! We told your Mom and she's happy for ya.

The Kloves Chair and I
Old business has been completed. We move on to our first item of new business. My kick-A** new chair!! (new to me.)

The Lange Foundation (animal rescue shelter where we volunteer every Saturday) started it's annual Estate sale last weekend and will be running it through the end of August. Pretty much all of L.A. has donated art, furniture, jewelry, old boob implants, pretty much anything you can think of... (kidding on the boobs) 

Before we went into the shelter, to do our usual love up on the kitties this past Saturday, Seen and I headed to the sale. Our apartment needs redecoration and just wanted to see if they had any furniture that might be appropriate.

Boy howdy, did we get a find! Seen sat in this really cool, ultra-unique white ivory suede, comfy, round, swivel chair. It was $100, the money was all going to the charity, so we said 'YAY!' and bought it. As we were loading it out, the rescue founder, Gillian Lange, told us the chair had been donated by Steven Kloves, writer of all the Harry Potter movie scripts. What the what? That is bonus-ly awesome! I've read all the books and have liked nearly 2/3 of the movies. And the last HP has just opened, so completely timely. Totally worth the $100, if not more.

Planking, like the kids do.
I decided to plank it out on the chair, just to be hip, modern and a dork. We'll be seeing the movie on Sunday and writing my review from the scriptwriters chair, just to be holistic.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm in Love with Walter

Hi Friends! So much has happened in the last 6 months: Fostering kittens, job interviewing, living next to Whitey Bulger. Check out the highlights at my FierceAndNerdy Blog. It's totally all about having fun, and junk...

One of those things, the fostering kittens for Lange Foundation, turned out to be lots of fun. We adopted the mama kitty, Olivia. She's a tiny tortie. The reason I'm rehashing here, at the risk of over-kittening you lovely readers, is to post about Walter. Of her 3 kittens, the other two being Peter and Astrid (the Fringe litter, doncha know), Walter is the only one who hasn't been adopted yet.

Oh Hai! My name is Walter and I'm pretty much awesome.
I am madly in love with Walter, but can't take another cat! He's so smart. He also absolutely loves playing while on your legs and snoozing in laps. He will stare at you lovingly while chewing on a toy or before he zonks out for a nap. He's a gorgeous kitten, about 12 weeks old now. We did a photo shoot with him just before we brought his Mom home with us. Share these pictures with SoCal friends who might want to adopt the best orange kitten in the history of the world.  Get Walter a home! (click on this link to get his current address, so you can, ya know, go pick him up...)
What's in your cat turret Olivia? 
Seen and Olivia 

Olivia liked to wrangle kittens. This wasn't one of her biological kittens, but Seen found her sitting on top of the poor girl. Take a look at her wet neck, Mama Olivia was cleaning her.

Walter had a cold, so they put him in Iso (I call it Jail)

Walter started off the photo shoot with a booger.

So I picked it for him.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Feathers Make Me Sleepy

Workin' Hard or Hardly Workin'?
Hello Sports Fans!  I really just wanted you to check out my latest and averagely fine Fierce and Nerdy blogumn about Super Bowl Commercials.  I wrote it yesterday because I was on my arse in front of the TV and too sleepy to come up with anything else.  Genius!

Too. Many. Feathers.
I'm sleepy because, for 3 nights and/or pre-dawns in a row, KoE the cat was tossing cookies.  Not like ninja stars, but as in hurling up the contents of her stomach.  On Saturday morning, let's say around 4:45, she woke me up with that cat "uh-hurk, uh-hurk, uh-hurk" sound of vomiting.  I know that cats throw up, it's just something they do, but Saturday morning, she continued to throw up and throw up and throw up, probably over a dozen times, with just foamy bile coming up the last several goes.  Not yay.  A doctors visit was in order.

I had noticed, as I was cleaning up after her, that there were little bits of orange flecks in her mess.  Seen and I turned into detectives.  There was no orange bits in her food or her treats or any of the myriad of safe toys lying about the shack.  Then I remembered, the orange feather on the end of her feather on a stick toy.  I dragged it out of it's "safe" spot in the closet and sure enough, little bits were missing. 

Time for a nap!
At 9:00 we took her to the vet.  They squeezed us in for an exam and an x-ray.  Dr. Metten showed us on the x-ray where teeny bits of white spots were in her tummy, bits of undigested feather.  From the looks of it, probably about 3-4 dozen little bits.  It was irritating her stomach and making her hurl. 

She is on a bland diet, which she is hating, for a few days and will be fine.  She hasn't tossed her lunch since Saturday, so I've been catching up on my rest.  I've also had a heart to heart chat with her about trying to be sick during regular business hours going forward, because the human lady needs her sleep.  Not sure she's paying attention, she's been busy looking for her missing feather toy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sweet Knits

I wish my hobby was knitting, because I could make myself something warm to wrap around myself on these chilly mornings. (And yes, I feel silly saying "chilly" when it's 45 degrees and the rest of the country is  around -4000, with windchill.)  My hobby/passion is writing, so I am going to make myself a shawl out of rejection notices.  Mmmm cozy.

That's totally me at Grandma's house!
Other than being cold, I'm on a hunt for candy.  Since being made aware that I am now allergic to chocolate, I need to find sweet stuff that won't send me into vertigo.  All the good stuff is either chocolate or covered in chocolate.  I've been searching for caramels.  Unfortunately, all the caramels I've found so far live in chocolate houses.  My Grandma used to have a candy bowl with Brach's flavored caramel Royals.  Seen suggested I ask her where she found them, but as she passed away over 23 years ago, the conversation probably wouldn't be productive.

The Whole doesn't have caramels. Target didn't even have Kraft caramels.  None of the 80 grocery stores we've stopped at had caramels sans cocoa.  So now I'm pondering Amazon, which apparently has an abundance of caramel selections (including Royals which I would find delicious, but eating them would make me miss Grandma).  Or I could make my own, but we all know how incredibly lazy I really am.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have a code

Me in training courtesy of

The world has gone crazy in a handbasket, so I'm learning how to build websites.  Don't call me a Hero.  Ok, go ahead. 

As I stumble through this WordPress training, I feel like a monkey trying to learn to communicate via computer screen.  If I focus hard enough, someday Jane Goodall will give me that dang orange. (I know, mixed monkey metaphor)

It also occurs to me that I'm an impatient soul.  I've always gone for the quick gains, usually skipping the basics, because, come on, lets face it, the basics are for slow people .  Impatience is the reason I get so friggin bored during basic information sessions (like during my training for the census.  That took for. friggin. ever.)

For the WordPress training, I actually started from the top and paid attention.  There were cool little things I learned that I might have missed had I skipped ahead.  I think my mindset started changing toward the basics over the last week or so, when I started teaching myself piano.  Piano isn't something where you can skip to expert level on the first day.  Patience is learning Aura Lee, at advancing speed, without screeching in frustration as my finger hits "F" instead of "G".  Someday I'll get to Carnegie Hall... with lots of practice. (It's still called Carnegie Hall right?  It's not "Groupon Hall" yet is it?)

The other thing I need to tell you is to check out my Fierce and Nerdy blogumn on being nice.  My default setting is Cran-Key.  When I eat right and exercise, I'm nicer.  Being mindful of being a citizen of the world, also helps me tone down the crank. 

My Dad set an example of how to be kind and trust people, a courtesy he gave to nearly everyone he met.  Before he passed, Dad told us a story of a man, who he hired to work for his concrete business back in the 70's.  The guy called him in 2008, while Dad was battling MDS, to let Dad know that because Dad had taken a chance on this wild drifter guy, that guy had learned what it took to work and create a good life.  The guy went on to build a successful business.  That was just how Dad treated people, with patience and belief.  That's good stuff to learn.

Courtesy of Quasi's owner Renee
Before we part, you totally need to check out this cat.  Seriously, it's not Photoshop.  He is a real cat. His owner made cool character art, My Ugly Kitty, and seems to have a great sense of humor.  We dig Renee and Quasi!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Revolving resolve

Hot Topics!

Resolution number Six for 2011 is to update this blog at least once a week. As this is the first week of 2011, I am off to a stellar start. So, let's update shall we?

1. I want this. A notepad. For the shower!! This brilliant device will do one of two things: Either I will write down all of the genius ideas that bombard me in the shower, or it will scare the muse out of the shower and I can actually wash with a calm, peaceful mind. Click on the pic to find out where you can buy it for me.

2. I decided to make some catnip toys for the kitties at the shelter. Since the sewing machine is broken, I hand sewed little pockets and filled them with batting and nip. To entertain my brain, whilst my fingers were stitching, I watched Boardwalk Empire on demand. I got sucked into the really great writing, unpredictable characters and inside jokes about history. Plus, I stage managed some theatre with Micheal Shannon a few years ago, so it's always fun to see him working.

SPOILER ALERT - (Ok, not really a SPOILER but more of a frowny emoticon) The last episode of Season 1 was lousy. I got totally hooked on the first 11 and then, ppllbbt. It seemed so contrived. At one point, during Michael Shannon's last scene of the season, I felt like I was watching an episode of Three's Company. Not sure why the writers/producers made those choices, other than JUST to keep a successful cast.

3. Joined a writing group. I knew 2 people going in, but had weird random historical connections to the other 3. Connections I didn't know about until the meeting. Sussing out those connections led to me rambling. I have two social modes, shy/terrified or rambling. In the moment, rambling always feels like a triumph over my timidity. Later, say, in the shower when I have monkey mind, I wonder why I say dorky things and get embarrassed. Aside from my neurotic reactions to being social, I am really looking forward to the group. It's giving me deadlines to get seriously serious and finish draft 2 of my NaNoRhino novel.

And now, as the rambling for this week comes go a close, I wish you a very warm and happy 2011. (Check out more resolutions and top picks for movies/books/TV/music for 2010 on Fierce and Nerdy.) Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the paper towels on the top shelf.