Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not Impressed

It's totally something I can't do, but how exactly does this advance science?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Judge

I judge. I hate that I judge, but still it doesn't stop me from thinking stuff like "Your ass is too old for that checked knit ultra-mini-skirt." or "If I was her trainer, her form would be a little straighter and she wouldn't swing those free weights".

Because I know that I'm mentally judging others unfairly, I usually have that internal dialogue with myself to stop it. This happened this morning during my AM walk. My brain was arguing with itself.

Judge Judgerson: "OMG she's trying to do push ups but she's barely bending her arms and she's bending from the waist so her head is almost to the ground and she's looking at her shoes! What muscle group does she think she's working?"

Amy Gupta Zenchild: "What are you judging? You can do maybe 5 girlie push ups"

JJ: "Yeah, because I'm focusing on getting the form right so I can build the muscles correctly."

AGZ: "You are not her. Not in her workout routine. Not in her arms or abs or thighs. You don't know the challenges ahead of her today, how her parents treated her when she was a kid, if she's allergic to eggs. You don't know ANYTHING about her. You are not her, so stop judging her."

JJ:  "If I was, I'd actually bend my elbows and straighten my spine"

AGZ: "Oh Judgy, at least she's out here doing something. And something is always better than nothing."

JJ: "Except in cases like Ebola"

AGZ: "...."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Say No to Poetry!

I said 'NO!' to keeping up with that project of writing a poem a day, but not on purpose.  It's funny how a day job can drag you away from doing things like writing poems, exercising, breathing deeply. Or is that just me?

The one thing my job has taught me is that just because something has an urgent deadline, doesn't necessarily make it important in your life (or the world itself.) It's possible to get something done on time and still take care of mind and body stuff that will matter for the rest of your life. It just takes a smidge of effort.

It may be time to take a vacation day or two.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Awesome effing day

Gazing at my navel because I had an Awesome F**king Day!

Take off Friday to start Birthaversary weekend (Birthday and 10th Anniversary on Sunday)
Start the day with a great haircut at a Groupon price - Check!
Get best presents from hubs with touching and genius cards - yupper doddle
Short jaunt to Santa Barbara to see creatures at a small zoo - Si Si Senor
Wander around SB until we find the perfect Italian restaurant where I have the best ravioli in the history of round pastas (ricotta, sage and brown butter sauce with a dab of marinara) - Yes. Yes. Yes.
Home in time to watch sunset on the roof, drinking a cold gluten free beer - G*d Dammit!

That's a good day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Motivation - Outdoor Poem #4

Lazy summer afternoon

He says 'We should go ride bikes'


He says 'How about a walk to the beach?'


He says 'We could walk to Menchies?'

Are you coming? I'm already out the door.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glue Me - Outside Poem #3

image credit: MargaretNapier
My mood is grey

like the ocean foam

like the overcast sky

Considering a name

Call me June Gloom

Monday, June 18, 2012

Feed me - Outdoor Poem #2

Credit: crowdive
Crow knocks his beak
against the skylight

He yells

"Come up to the roof!"
"Bring bread!"

But he spreads
inky wings, flying away
when I arrive

He thinks I am throwing
the crumbs at him
not simply towards him

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Park Poetry

Recently, I wrote a column on Fierce and Nerdy examining how a deadline will help work get completed.  Following that pondering, I decided to give myself a project, which is just an extended deadline, of going outside and writing one short poem every day, for at least the next month. Hopefully a few of them will be funny.

After working on a memoir and now a piece of novel length fiction, I miss writing poems. I miss the concise and precise language. So in the interest of concisity (which apparently isn't a word even though Noam Chomsky uses it a LOT), here is my first poem.

The Orange Hand

I used to walk, even
when the hand said


that collection of orange light
bulbs couldn't tell me
what to do

But now - I stop

regardless of empty
streets or anxious


It's nice to have
permission to stay

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One Year With the Spaz

Sound asleep, minutes after coming home.
Yeah, I like to mark occasions. It's been one year since we brought home little Olivia from Lange Foundation rescue.

Alright, you got me, it was the second time she came home with us.  The first time was on Easter Day, when we agreed to foster a Mama and kittens in our home so Lange would have more room to rescue even more kittens from local shelters.

From the two families available for us to foster, Olivia was in her cage with three tiny fluff-ball kittens. She rolled onto her back, batted her eyes at me and reached out a front paw.  I was not yet aware that her powers of manipulation exceeded far beyond that first enticement.

After 2 weeks in our home office, we brought the kittens and Olivia back to the rescue. They had colds and needed to be treated there, and also we didn't want our own house pets to come down with that nastiness.

We left them. I felt awful and empty. To help ease the pain, we watched the season finale of "Fringe". That did not help. Seen and I had chosen to name our fosters after the characters on the show, so every time Olivia talked to Walter, I pictured our little cat versions of Olivia and Walter alone at the rescue.

Olivia today
Seen and I continued our weekly volunteer trips to Lange, spending extra time with our former foster charges. Olivia was a bit aggressive, as cats with her coat coloring tend to be. She was playfully territorial. All the kittens in her adoption room were chased, tackled and cleaned by her, no matter who their mother was.  Generally, the biological mother was warned off with a hiss, a slap and a chase from our Olivia.

I knew that her rambunctious spirit would detract any potential adopters. Olivia was friendly, but not a cuddly lap cat. Olivia had also managed to wiggle her adorable self into my heart. I missed her at our apartment.

Based on all that, I told the Lange staff "We would like to take Olivia home." They happily agreed.

Over the past year, Ms. Olivia, who is now referred to as (ahem) Liver Toes, Liver Bottom, Spaz, Karma, Butthead, Punkin Head, Peabuddy and Sweet Olive, has taken over our home. I'd like to say that she is the alpha cat for just the other two cats in the house, but she pretty much controls Seen and I as well.

She is a weirdo who:

  • loves to have 1/4 of an ice cube tossed around like a ball, which she chases. Then holds in her mouth while running around and yelling.
  • attacks the bedding, even when there are no other toys, toes or cats present and freaks herself out if she rolls over too fast
  • grabs the mouse toy between her paws and rubs it alllll over her face, around and over and down her face for 5 minutes at a time
  • convinces Seen to give her treats with a little, teeny, short, high pitched "Mew" as if she were the most pathetic thing ever
  • hops on the other cats, biting their neck with a light nip that never hurts but does irritate them to no end
  • cleans everybody, even Seen, to the point of obsession. We think she's a little OCD
  • lies spread eagle, on her back, limbs relaxed to the maximum
  • has required her own floating shelf so she can see the entire room
  • MUST be in the bathroom with you no matter what, likes to watch the water run when you flush
  • cackles at the crows
  • cries at the door when Seen leaves her, but will get very happy and run to me when I let her know she's not alone
  • must have been an indoor/outdoor kitty before she went to the shelter because she meows at the door for about 2 minutes every single time before she uses the litter box, like she must announce the fact that she has to go
  • Lap time is rare, but when it happens, so sweet...
Um...Comfortable Olive?

So there is my Ode to Liver Bottom. Adopting her was the best decision we made last year. We are so glad she's part of our family of odd felines. If you get a chance, adopt a shelter cat. It is, after all Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!