Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday


the littlest bird
sang all for me
its song was love
it set me free

sang at my birth
and at my death
it sang its song
with my last breath

the littlest bird
sang in my soul
its song was joy
it made me whole

it made me whole
it set me free
it sang its song
its song was me

-Alan Spence

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Word Jumble


I don’t know what it is, but it sure as heck sounds good. So now I’m looking for a really good local Greek restaurant. If this stuff is half as good as a Gyro? Well then, I’m set for life. And Dave, if you want to point me to a recipe I’m all “yay, goodness!” about the idea.

Stolen from Sundry (take that, internet mores!)

She had questions around the H1N1 vaccine yesterday (speaking from the perspective of someone with a pesky compromised immune system, I am all for it), and one of her respondents gave her a terrific decision-making tool I plan to add to my how-will-i-feel-about-this-in-10 rule (so I guess I’m actually performing a double-steal … good in baseball, prolly not so good in industrial espionage):

1 - What’s the worst that could happen?
2 - What’s the best that could happen?
3 - How often does #1 happen?
4 - How often does #2 happen (get your mind out the potty!)?
5 - How do I feel about that?

Bank of Mom&Dad

Wednesdays on Soapnet: a new television program where each week the parents of a woman who’s sure money grows on trees move in and teach her that, nope, those are just leaves … as soon as my folks see this they’ll be all, “What?!? Someone got paid for that idea? Where were these brainiac t.v. programmers three years ago when we pretty much developed it? Somebody better spell our name right on the fat royalty check that better be on the way.” And all I have to say is, “Thank you, Mom and Dad … you ROCK!

Regarding Make-Up

When I wear foundation I feel like I think I would feel if my face were spackled. I believe I may be doing it wrong. I’m not interested in learning the ‘correct’ technique for applying make-up (but knowing how to spackle may come in handy).

Roman Polanski

On the one hand there has to be a statute of limitations, right? And do I really want my legal system to spend the money?
On the other hand, the tool drugged and raped a thirteen year old child. A child.
Book him, Danno.

Garbage In / Garbage Out

Seriously handsome tech came out and installed our new garbage disposal this afternoon. Quite the eye candy treat (I refuse to dwell on the fact that I may well be old enough to be his … aunt). So of course what happens? He asks to use the loo. Which I did not have time to give a quick run-through, seeing as The Hotness pulled into the driveway rightbehind me when I got home. Sigh. I can’t win. Even my fantasies engage in the suckage.

The “L” That Flew Away

When I was a kid I asked my Mom two (un)related questions:
“Why do they call it a Health Bar when it’s candy?”
“How come they call it public hair when you don’t want anyone to see it?”

I Harbor Mad-Love for Spike Jonze

(And I have since, oh … a little “Praise You” dance number featuring the Torrance Community Dance Group … or maybe it was poor sweet Conrad Vig “we three kings be stealin’ the gold …”). There. I said it. Aaaaaand … I can’t wait for Where the Wild Things Are. Can. Not. Wait.

So Much Better than Moore

I’m told that if I plan to see just one documentary about the state of the economy I should skip Moore’s ‘Capitalism’ and check out Chris Smith’s ‘Collapse’, which features Michael Ruppert’s POV. You remember Ruppert, don’t you? No? Think hard; anything coming to mind about that dude who foretold this ‘economic downturn’ (e.g., downward-spiraling-recession … um, just where does a recession go when it’s going down, anyway?). Still no? Check out his book ‘Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil' … and then scream in frustration that you didn’t know about it when it came out in 2004.

Still Annoyed with NBC

Okay, I freely admit to being a watchaholic (…must … have … television…). No, I will not be joining any 12-step programs. Yes, still mighty annoyed at NBC (and Jay Leno, for that matter). In what world is it better to shut down production (and employment) for five programs and replace them with lame banter? Apparently in NBCLand. So now? If I have to choose twixt watch and DVR and do without? NBC ranks ‘do without’ every time, regardless. That’ll learn ‘em for betraying my vice. Pbbbt!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

The Wind

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky
And all around I heard you pass
Like ladies' skirts across the grass.

Oh wind, a-blowing all day long;
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all.

Oh wind, a-blowing all day long;
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

Oh, you that are so strong and cold.
Oh, blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?

Oh wind, a-blowing all day long;
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to Earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to Earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, September 14, 2009

RIP Joseph William, 1992-2009

Seven is usually my favorite number. But not today, because it’s been seven years since I’ve had a day like today, which is the fifth of its kind, and I could have gone the rest of my life without it, really. But there you go.

I had my Joey euthanized today. Such a nebulous way to say I killed my cat. My little man, who’d been with me through thick and thin these last seventeen-plus years. Oh, my God … this hurts. I can’t breath. Drove home in tears, pulled into the garage, shut the door, and fell apart. Cried that cry where no sound comes out. Soaked my shirt. Blew snot.

Cried like an abandoned child. Wailed. Sobbed. Howled. Begged his forgiveness. Told him to go find Benny, the last recipient of this toughest of loves from me, seven years ago.

But that time I had my Joey to snuggle, to ease my conscience, to ‘share’ my loss.

I remember the Spring evening I got Ben & Joey; May of 1992 … I picked up my younger cousin Melissa and one of her little friends to come spend the night, and on the interstate drive from my Aunt’s home in MA to mine in RI, we made a stop to pick out a new kitten for me, as my Sammy had just recently passed.

We got there, and of the four kittens available, two were male, black, polydactyls (double-pawed) … we couldn’t choose between them, so ended up taking both. I knew Benny was a ‘Benny’ right away, but we pondered on a name for Joey … he almost ended up a ‘Petey’, but by the time we made it back to my house his innate joeyness had made itself known.

That was the night we were stuck on the interstate in such a horrific storm that it literally brought all traffic to an absolute halt. You could hardly see the taillights of the car in front. I’d never experienced the like before, nor have I since. Dead stop. Due to rain. Rain, people.

Melissa and her little friend sat in the backseat and snuggled those kittens the entire time, not a care in the world, completely oblivious to the eminent death we were courting. I was terrified … and what was I going to tell my Aunt if anything happened to my cousin? Auntie Sue would kill me!

Joey moved with me from New England (a fairly HUGE event, as we New Englanders tend to stay in New England), then halfway across the country (a 22 hour drive he did not enjoy, with his three ‘siblings’ Benny, Maddie, and Annie). Joey was with me when we lost Benny. And Annie. When I bought my first home, and first became acquainted with that Bastard RA, and got laid off after almost 16 years with Ma Bell, and paid off my credit card debt, and finished my college degree, and started a whole new career.

I don’t remember not having my Joey around. He’d play the feline version of Marco Polo almost daily …. mrrowling at me from somewhere in the house, repeatedly, until I called him to me and put the pats on him for awhile. He sprawled in complete ownership across whatever perch he deigned to use, whether it be me, my bed, the desk, the windowsill, or the top of the stairs … the rest of us could just work around him, thank-you-very-much.

Joey has been noticeably winding down this past week, and completely stopped eating yesterday. I spent all day today filming him … mostly sleeping, occasionally talking to me (tried to upload one here, but blogger is not cooperating). Wherever I went in the house today, he followed, then lay down, then fell asleep. I’d try to quietly tiptoe out to another location for whatever reason, but he always followed. I don’t know how you’d interpret that behavior, but I believe he knew, and was saying goodbye in his own Joey way.

I popped him into his crate for the trip to Awesome Doc, and that little shit yelled at me the entire drive, then continued to grumble in my direction at the animal hospital, as I sat next to him with my arm stuck to the elbow through the top of the crate, rubbing his ears, chin, nose, cheeks, head, back, legs, etc … every part if him he exposed to me. And my Joey obliged, practically rolling around to ensure I hit all his ‘ooh yeah’ spots.

We waited 20 minutes for an open room (so much for scheduling a personal heart-rending during a slow part of the day, best laid plans and all), then Awesome Doc gave Joey a sedative, and he snuggled up into my chest and fell asleep with his big ole noggin in the palm of my hand. I thought he was gone then, after awhile, and lay my head on him, but he was simply deeply asleep (to be honest, I don’t think he could have recovered from that point, due to oxygen-starvation, if his blueing tongue was any indication). Then Awesome Doc came back in and gave him *the* shot.

She said not to worry if he spread out, because that tends to happen … but not my little man. Nope. He curled right up in a little ball, gasped a couple times for breath, and then relaxed. Noggin still in my hand. My Joey, my little man, my Joseph William, my Joe Willy Punkaliscious, my Guiseppe Guillermo, my Jobijo, my Bubbaloo, my Boo, my buddy … he was gone.

So now I sit here at my computer, telling you about my boy. And Maddie, my sweet little girl, is ey-yow, ey-yowing her way through the house, looking for someone who’s no longer here.

Oh damn, here I go again with the waterworks. Know what I’m going to miss the most? He’s never going to aggravate the living shit out of me, ever again, by sitting on the floor next to me when I’m on the computer and mrrowling at the top of his furry little lungs with the repetitiveness of a metronome until I give in and follow him out to bear witness to his next goofy adventure somewhere in the house.

I am really going to miss that.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I spent my morning drive in tears, listening to Johnny Dare and his crew discuss 9/11 and re-broadcast reports from NYC that morning. One was a re-broadcast of a local NYC radio station interviewing a woman, who lived in the city, after the first plane hit (before there was even an idea it was other than a horrible accident), and during that interview the second plane hit. Over the terrified sounds of this woman's screams you could hear the explosions and the multitude of sirens and emergency vehicles.

They also spoke with a man who told his story of being in the WTC when it was hit, and the 50+ minutes it took to descend the stairs to get out: how at the bottom the police lined up to cordon off from view the bodies of people who had jumped or fallen out the windows and splashed across the grounds below.

September 11, 2001 and the days immediately following it were the most harrowing, soul-destroying, and in one way uplifting (simply seeing how this country, and the world as a whole, came together immediately following this abomination) of my life to date, and I hope never to surpass them.

I learned that day that I am capable of feeling hatred, actual hatred, for a fellow human being ... which has been a sobering experience for me, but which also hasn't changed all that much in the subsequent years.

Maybe someday I'll be a better person, but I am still so bitter that I just can't forgive. Yet I do hold out hope.

I flew out of NJ, directly over ground zero, two years ago on a trip back home, and the fact that it was still a gaping hole in the landscape just about dropped the bottom out of my heart. I was glued to the window of my plane, tears streaming, inarticulate with grief.

I simply do not understand how anyone can take the gift of Free Will to such an extreme.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Busy

Spoke with Awesome Doc for awhile this afternoon. All Joey's bloodwork is complete and it isn't good. Not only does he have CRF, but also Hyperthyroidism. Really no treatment for a fellow of his advanced age, as a major side effect of the meds is loss of appetite, which he simply cannot afford. And any surgical intervention (aside from being entirely too expensive ... yes, I love my little man, but it is simply out of the question) has the very potential side effect of death due to anesthesia problems (e.g., he'd never wake up).

The Hyperthyroidism also rules out the Lactated Ringer's subq, as it won't do him any good. Awesome Doc says that's actually not so bad, as it would have put a lot of stress on his heart, which she's not entirely sure he could have handled all that well anyway (this being the kitty with a heart rate so fast she was unable to count it).

Bottom line is that as long as he remains comfortable and continues to eat, drink, and evacuate with no problems, Joey's good. Right now he's at 12.5 lbs. Awesome Doc assures me this is not terrifically underweight, especially for a 17+ year old, but he can't support healthy body functions below 11 lbs either. It's such a small amount that I'm all "What?!? Seriously? That's a glass of milk!" Completely forgetting the whole percentage deal ... you know, where 1.5 lbs is actually 12% of his body weight, which is significant, especially since it wasn't that long ago he was once a muscular 20 lbs.

So anyway ... best case scenario is Joey falls asleep one day while he's still in this condition (no pain, stable medically) and simply slips away to visit Ben. Worst case scenario is Joey develops some other problem or drops below the 11 lb line-in-the-sand, in which case I'll bring him in and Awesome Doc will euthanize him.

I'm surprisingly okay with all of this. Knowing what's happening has taken a load off my mind. My top priority is to ensure Joey's last days are lovely, and to let him go comfortably and with dignity, no matter what. I owe him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

The Catsup Bottle

First a little.
Then a lottle.

-Ogden Nash

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Awesome Doc Checks In

Got the call ... Most of Joey's bloodwork is complete; just the thyroid left to go, and those results won't be in 'til next week.

No diabetes (yay!) but he is in the early stages of kidney disease, or Chronic Renal Failure (boo!), so I'll be taking him back in next week and Awesome Doc will show me how to administer Lactated Ringers subcutaneously, which he'll prolly need twice a week. I'm not too worried, since I already give myself a subq injection every other week, so it's not like I'm a stranger to needles.

This should make a big difference in a few of Joeys problem areas, as it should result in increased appetite and alertness, weight gain, decreased water consumption and urination, elimination of foamy vomitus, and he may regain some of those wasted muscles! P'AWESOME!!

The main problem will still be diet, seeing as I had him on the k/d prescription diet until he refused to eat it anymore ... we'll try IAMS for kidney disease to see if that may ne a better match.

Anyway ... things are looking up.

Little Man and Awesome Doc

Just got back from the vet (aka Awesome Doc) with Joey, also known as Little Man. I've been having the creeping crazies well over six months regarding my guy ... but who wouldn't? He's been by my side over 17 years.

YEARS, people.

Seventeen of them.

In his prime he weighed in at 22 lbs. Mostly muscle. You may recall he was one of two giant polydactyl littermates (we lost his brother to a failed thyroid seven years ago). Joseph William (his official name) has been the pet constant most of my adult life. He's lived with me in RI, then NJ, then back up in RI again, and now out here in MO.

He's been here through Benny (his brother), Tia (our rescued Persian we had for three years 'til she succumbed to a nasty viral infection), Maddie (our rescued 'feral' who's been with us the last 13 years ... and if she was ever feral then I'm a monkey's uncle), Annie (our rescued barn cat we had for five years until a venomous spider did her in ... and if you don't think I kill every spider I've come into contact with since, you didn't pay close enough attention to Annie's COD), Lily (our elderly rescued Lhasa Apso we had for two years), Boogie and Kaia (our two six year old Labs), and Briggs & Stratton (our 'houseguest' littermates we hand-raised three years ago who think they're some form of catdog hybrid, seeing as it was Boogie who adored them and slobbered all over them like they were her puppies).

Joey went and got very thin very quickly, and I got very freaked, thinking he had the same hyperthyroidism-caused-by-cancer as Benny, and remembering how much that sucked. So I've been watching Joey and feeding him and basically making him cuh-razy with the constant eyeballing his every move (not really ... he totally looooves the attention).

Anyway, it got bad ... he's drinking tremendous amounts of water, eating very little (but fairly often), he's mostly skin and bones, his musculature has taken a serious hit, his rear end goes right out from under him sometimes, and he sleeps about 22 out of every 24 hours. I'm now on deathwatch, and am absolutely paranoid I will err on the side of anthropomorphism and force Joey to stick around longer than is fair to him. The absolute last thing I want to do is make him suffer. Or starve. To death.

I've talked with my vet about him. By the way, I have the absolute best vet ever ... if you're in the area I highly recommend Dr. Laura Williams of the Southport Animal Hospital ... she's the most dedicated animal doc I've ever, ever, met ... and with my brood (past and present) that's saying something, seeing as I've experienced a few (those two in RI the first time, the three in NJ, the other one in RI, and the three out here).

Here I was all doom and gloom, and Awesome Doc says, at least on the preliminary results, that other than a ridiculously high heart rate he looks terrific (her word). We discussed all his little habits and whatnot, and she totally put my mind at ease: he’s the equivalent of an 86 year old man; of course he’s not going to eat much!

The heart rate does give her pause, as well as his water consumption, so she’s checking him for diabetes, thyroid, and kidney disease. All three are somewhat treatable for a kitty of his age. Or it could be nothing and he could simply be winding down.

I'll hear from Dr. Laura within an hour or so, and we'll go from there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bleh ... Stupid Stuff

Man, I cannot seem to drag myself out of the end-of-Summer doldrums.
  • I want the new Fall television season to start. Right now. Tired of waiting. No need to have a 'break' between end of Summer programming and start of Fall programming. Stupid network programmers and their stupid limited budgets.
  • I want the local stations to broadcast every Patriots game this season. In MO. Stupid living halfway across the country from my home team.
  • I want those lame extra-tall paperbacks to go away. All they do is add a year onto how long I have to wait for the 'right' size paperback to come out. Refuse to read them. That'll learn ya, stupid diabolical publishing house plot with your stupid money-making schemes. The world is on a budget, people!
  • I want to know why it's such a bad thing for the dooce to complain about barely-there customer service when its quite all right thank you very much for her to sing the praises of good customer service. Stupid customer disservice.
  • I want to know that all dogs, and cats, really do go to Heaven. Stupid old age.
  • I want Dr. Laura to make the decision for me Saturday. Stupid running away from my responsibilies.
  • I want Joey to get well, and younger while I'm at it. Stupid death and grief and sadness. Stupid snuffling every night while putting the pats on him. Stupid in love with my 17 year old little man. Stupid can't remember life without him. Stupid indecision.
  • I want to leave this funk behind and never look back. Stupid.

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth steal away,
Death's second self, which seals up all in rest.

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

-William Shakespeare
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