Friday, July 29, 2005


i have noticed a trend among bloggers to post pictures of their pets on fridays, and have decided to honor this tradition by posting some pictures of my kitties. they actually have their own webpage, but i have not updated it in forever (plus it's in serious need of a stylistic overhaul), so here are some more current photos, all taken with the treo650. still love my phone.

samson is the sweetest cat i have ever had. he weighs more than a tub of lard and has fur as soft as feathers. he's a lap cat who loves to hang out and watch movies with us--his favorite film is the pixar short film, for the birds. he listens to the chirping very intently and tries to get the birds on the screen. he has a tiny little meow like he is mike tyson or something. he sleeps on my feet every night.
he likes strings and especially loves chewing on wool, alpaca, or any animal-based fiber i happen to be using when i am knitting. he's the only one who insists on sitting in my lap while i am trying to work.

the king of mischief, fergus is the funniest kitty ever. he gets in trouble about ten times more than the other two cats, and is capable of scaling up to five shelves of our living room bookcases. he knocks things over, is often found up on the mantle, and LOVES to play. he will chase a laser pointer like there is no tomorrow, and he has a ferret he tosses into the air and can backflip after--i have never seen anything like it. when he meows, it sounds like a static-y radio station trying to come in. he's a pouncer and an athlete, a beggar and a thief, but is also the most comforting of the cats to curl up and nap with. he is also a big fan of cereal milk and likes to jump into my lap when i am eating breakfast. he likes to help me knit, but will make off with the needles if i am not looking. he prefers bamboo to plastic or metal, as do i.

scout is the acknowledged alpha of the cat set at our house. more dignified than the boys, she generally refuses to play and looks upon our attempts to entice her with great disdain. she is the loudest animal on the planet, bar none, and often wakens us with the dulcet sounds of her screeching. it's an ex-stray thing--she can't stand to see the bottom of the food bowl and will yell until it is filled, even if it's 4am. she is so sweet though, and leans into the petting like a doberman. she tolerates the attentions of our two-year-old friends and just likes to be nearby. take caution if she gets on your lap, however--those claws of hers are lethal and don't retract the whole way. and for god's sake--do NOT try to pick her up! danger, will robinson. scout always sleeps nearby when i am knitting, but doesn't really like to help like the boys do.

all three of our kitties are rescues, and all three are fabulous. i think i paid up on the Bad Cat Karma with josephina, my former cat who was the meanest cat who ever lived. i loved jojo--we had an understanding--but just ask anyone else who knew her, and they will tell you she was a terror. maybe it was that whole hermaphrodite thing she had going. but anyway--dues paid. wonderful cats obtained. blog post about cats complete.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

really big kitties

the hippie and i took denise and tristan to the carnivore preservation trust when they were here, and i still can't stop thinking about it. it was just AWESOME, very different from a zoo, and utterly educational. this place started out as a breeding facility for smaller cats who are keystone species in their ecosystems and were being killed off by humans and environmental losses. they have a lot of servals and caracals and ocelots as well as some non-cats--binturongs and kinkajous, left from this program. eventually, however, other groups started picking up the ball on protecting these species, so the CPT evolved into a rescue facility. now they still have small cats, but they also have quite a few jaguars, leopards, and tigers as well. this tiger is 10 months old and was rescued, along with her brother rajah, about 20 miles from my sister's house. they just found these 6-month old tiger cubs walking along a dirt road. can you imagine coming across something like that??! can you imagine your 5-year-old coming across something like that??? holy crap!

what kills me about all this is how many people think it's a good idea to have a big cat like this as a pet. and then when the cat gets too large to handle, they just turn it loose. one of the cats at this facility was found tied to a lamp post in downtown houston! WHAT are people THINKING? and i learned while we were there that this facility gets 8-10 requests for rescues every month--WAY more than they can take. and if no one can be found to take the rescued cats, then they are just euthanized. horrible. sometimes i like animals more than people.

oops--that was almost a rant there for a second...

anyway--if you live in north carolina or are traveling to this area, this place is totally worth checking out. i took that picture above while standing about 3 feet from kaela. how cool is that?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

cheese grits

a while ago, i asked the hippie, "do you love me?"
he replied, "of course i love you!"
and i said, "why?"
i admit, i was in an insecure mood and feeling the need for some reassurances--it was probably pms or something. anyway--his response was classic: he said, "because you have a sweet ass and you make me cheese grits."

simple. to the point. and as my friend sonya said--pretty damned good for a Southern woman. i mean seriously, can i ask for anything better than that? love my hippie. :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

day at the beach

while denise and tristan were here, we went down to the beach (ten days ago already!!!) for the day. our friends betsy and charlie just moved to wilmington about a month and a half ago. they have three kids, the oldest of whom is lucas, who is only with them over the summers and is a scant 6 months older than tristan. those two totally hit it off when they met two summers ago, so now we try to make it a point to get tristan some lucas-time if we can. plus--who doesn't love a day at the beach???

the pseudo-in-laws and i caravanned down with jenn and gabriella, then picked up betsy, lucas, and betsy's fabulous girls, bailey and olivia. then we headed to the NC aquarium at fort fisher. we looked at seahorses, clown shrimp, jellyfish, turtles and various other cool stuff. then the kids looked for fossils outside, where it was almost too humid for me.

after the aquarium, we headed to the beach, where i could NOT stop taking pictures. i will post them all--i promise! but until i get time to get everything onto the server and into the gallery, there are a handful of them on my flickr gallery. :) the kids were so cute, getting spanked by the waves, digging holes in the sand, catching fish in their nets, and just generally raising a ruckus.

tristan was totally sad when we had to leave at the end of the day, and i have to admit, i would not have minded staying a little longer myself. the hippie and i definitely need to make a trip back down soon. i miss charlie and betsy and the kids.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

stuff and nonsense

all kinds of stuff has been going on lately, but as stated--i have been too damned busy to say much about it. now that i have a free minute, ai am like--let's see--what are the highlights again? prepare yourself for a long rambly post.

numero uno--the sam came!
she was here over 4th of july weekend, and of course, it was FABULOUS to have her here and just get some time to hang out. she always times her visits such that we end up putting her to work. she has come here to help paint, to help throw parties (like this time), for job interviews, etc. the one time she just came to visit (the first time, actually), i was in the emergency room with a nosebleed that wouldn't stop and a blood pressure of 172/134. i had to get our friend steve, who she barely knew at the time, to pick her up. and then she got to see my apartment looking like a murder scene. there was literally blood everywhere. so yeah--we need a do-over just hanging out weekend sometime. the sam, i love her.

numero dos--the peach cobbler incident.
while she was here, sam threatened to revoke my Southern Card®! can you believe the nerve of that wench??? and all becasue i have never made peach cobbler. like THAT is all there is to it! it's true i need to learn how. peach cobbler is one of those things that i would give anything to have my grandmother back in her right mind long enough to learn. my grandmother is alive and in good physical health, but her mind is gone. and every time something like this comes up, i am sorry i can no longer call her for advice in the kitchen or to learn one of her longstanding fabulous recipes that is now lost forever. her sage stuffing, her pecan pie, her blackberry and peach cobblers. *sigh* dimentia sucks. but i digress... samantha brought with her not only her grandmother from texas's peach cobbler recipe, but also her great grandmother from goergia's as well. i have grandmother jealousy. i STILL haven't made any cobbler--but the one sam made was awfully tasty. :)

numero tres--we had a big old cookout.
on the third of july, we had a bunch of people over for burgers and dogs and baked beans and potato salad and watermelon and peach cobbler and banana pudding, etc. oh yeah, and mint juleps and vodka limeade and beer. there was a dozen tiki torches, a yard full of kids pretending to be tyrannosaurus rexes, a cast aluminum table generously offered for party use by our neighbor janie, two kinds of artichoke dip, a trio of 4 year old girls drinking lemonade with cocktail umbrellas and various party straws (fish, flowers, birds), a herd of people all just hanging out, and a couple of games of bocce in the park a block from the house. friends and smiles and drinks all around. things ended on the early side, but it was still a good time. did i remember to take pictures? of COURSE not! that is always my failing at these events.

next: a cocktail party. love the kids, but once in a while, you gotta lose them and hang with some grown-ups.

numero quatro--my pseudo-mother-in-law is coming!
that's what my boss calls her. :) the hippie's mother and baby brother are driving down from PA tomorrow for a visit. i think i look forward to their visits every summer even more than the hippie does. i think i am lucky that i like my SO's mother, and that i get along with the rest of his family pretty well, too. i am going to take some time off at the end of this week to hang out with them, maybe drive down to the beach for a day. tristan (the baby brother) has only been to the beach once in his life (when we took him), and he LOVES it. if only the remnants of dennis will go away and leave us alone...

i am thankful that unlike wendy, i don't have to stock up on pork products and gin when the (pseudo-)in-laws come! (wendy just survived a rather trying visit, and did so with humor and style and grace. her's has become one of my most favorite blogs.)

numero cinco--my friend tom is in town.
and that means sushi for dinner tonight! tom is one of my favorite people i have ever worked with. when i was working in tech support for this company, i actually started out LIKING my job, if you can believe that. i was working with tom and our friend chris, and it was fabulous! a blissful 3 months before all hell broke loose and never let me look back. but again, i digress. tom lives in PA now, but is in for a week of work here in RTP. we get to relive the time when we had tea together every morning for a whole week. :) yay for more friend time! tom, by the way, is the crassest person i ahve ever met. it's like his claim to fame. well, that and the fact that he is also one of the smartest people i know. miss the tom.

ok--that is SO enough rambling for now. i should go do some more work, although i swear, people--i am burned out today!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

reading: The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
this book is simply amazing. the plot is a bit of a mind-fuck, but seamless and totally original. the concept of involuntary time travel as a disease or a genetic mutation or the next step in the evolutionaly process is fascinating. the characters are real enough that they made me laugh and cry as though i knew them personally. audrey niffenegger's descriptions of people and places and events are very sharply visualized--i think it absolutely shows that she is an visual artist using words as a medium to paint a story. i have mental images of some of the events in this book that i know i will keep for a long, long time. and when nearing the end, i simply could not put his book down. i finished it at 2am this morning. i don't want to say a lot about this book's details--hard to talk abut it without giving things away. but i DO want all of you to read it. it's one of the best books i have read in years!

one side note: does anyone else find the book group questions they have stated including in the backs of books nowadays annoying? why is it that the publishers assume i can't understand this book well enough on my own to come up with decent discussion topics without being led into them by the nose?

Friday, July 08, 2005

fried on friday

this whole not-having-time-to-blog thing is getting old. i have been totally bogged down in the details of a conference i am planning for work. the conference is next week, so hopefully things will finally slow down a little bit. i can't wait to get it over with so i can get back to my normal work. don't get me wrong--i love planning a party, but this is whole week of meetings, with over half the attendees traveling and needing help with their travel arrangements, plus dinners and parties, trying to coordinate cars and transportation, and trying to come up with stuff for people to do in california where i don't live or know my way around all that well. it has been a TRIAL, and i am TIRED--whew!

at least i HAVE found time to knit a little bit this week. i am making progress on my crumpets top at last!!! check out the update i squeezed in over on the knit-along today. i think i have shown this top to anyone i can get to look at it. it's nice to be so excited about something i am making. :)

Friday, July 01, 2005

you, too, can be a statistic

i took this weblog survey at MIT because i am all for helping the scientists. Take the MIT Weblog Surveythese guys are trying to figure out how weblogs are changing the way we communicate, which i think is pretty interesting. if you are a weblogger yourself, go check it out! it only takes a few minutes. the bigger their sample, the better their study will be.