Saturday, March 31, 2007

Love Pinky?

Yesterday, at my local grocery, I was standing in the check out line, gently chiding the young man ringing up my purchases because he did not seem to know what many of the veggies were. I told him he needed to be eating more fresh fruits and veggies. He agreed and my mom-moment was complete.

Then I was distracted by a not so young lady (well along in her 20's) who came in to purchase cigarettes. She wore a pair of lime green, low cut sweat pants and across the just a little too wide expanse of her backside, in black block letters were the words: Love Pinky.

I'm glad I am too old to have a clue about this.

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal wait in the green room at Cat TV.

Friday, March 30, 2007

But are they outraged?

My Sweet Lord is "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever".

Okay, I know I'm not a Christian, but I find Chocolate Jesus sort of funny. I mean, it's way better than that other guy who did something with Jesus and toilets. That was disgusting and rude and designed to offend.

I just find the fuss (OH NOOO!! It's anatomically correct! Everyone knows Jesus didn't have a penis!) exceedingly delicious. Pun intended.

Part of the complaint is that the display is taking place during the Easter celebration.

Okay, ya'll named your most holy day after a pagan goddess of fertility, part of the accepted American celebration of this holiday involves chocolate rabbits, chocolate eggs and little marshmallow sugar chickens (all PAGAN symbols of the spring festivals, well real ones, not candy ones) and you can't see a wee bit of humor in a chocolate Jesus?

Seems like it makes more sense than chocolate pagan symbols.

But really, is it the "worst assault" ever?

Thor sez: But is Chocolate Jesus as cute as me?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blatant Product Endorsement

Whenever I am finishing up a string of night shifts and only want to take a few hours nap so that I may once again sleep in the dark like a normal, I let the kittens sleep in the bed with me.

Because they are such lousy bed-mates, there is not a chance I will sleep much at all, much less beyond the second smack of the snooze button.

But, I do attempt to ensure that at their pre-mid-morning nap, they are a little more sleepy than usual.

By drugging them. Yes. The nip. You parents out there know, a little mild sedative every once and again never did no harm. Now, I know you can't admit it because your babies are, well, human, but I find no such guilt in a liberal dosage of the nip. Which leads to rambunctiousness and epic battles, then off to extra-sleepy land.

I've discussed nip here before and let me tell you: all nip is not created equal. First there is home-grown (which I am working on, it's just soon for harvesting) and then there is the Cosmic Cat Nip (you should read that and hear that voice from The Muppet Show: PIGS! IN! SPACE!

Read it again: COSMIC! CAT! NIP!

They seem to enjoy even the empty container.

And abra-ca-dabra one hour later:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random Wednesday

Today is Respect Your Cat Day. I must say that my offerings of respect entail no more than not scooping them up and tossing them on my shoulder whenever I feel like it. That and promising not to post any embarrassing pictures. Today.

I woke up from a dream that Donny Osmond was singing "Fernando". I know it was most likely due to unfiled bits of memory from the night of the play Mama Mia when my mom and I were talking about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat and I wondered if Donny would be in the touring version (probably not). But it was still a disturbing image to awaken with.

We watched the movie Happy Feet last night. I'd heard some right wing types had complained about the liberal leanings of the film. They were wrong. The film didn't lean, it was standing tall and proud in leftsville. I loved it. It made me cry.

Spoiler Alert!!!!
If you haven't seen The Pursuit of Happyness, stop right here!

Then we watched The Pursuit of Happyness. I can't remember when a movie made me have to get up and leave the room. Even when I came back, I couldn't stop crying for a moment. And what made me cry was that little five year old boy bumping around after his father and the care the father took to present a positive face to to the boy. I thought that there were thousands of kids in that position in this country right now.

And I'd heard some criticism of the movie from the left. That it gave ammunition to those on the right who would point to it and say, "That guy did it without government handouts, why can't you?"

But I thought the movie did a good job (except for the annoyingly convenient run-ins with various crazy people who stole his equipment right when he really needed money) with illustrating how Chris Gardner was an exceptional person. He was (is) smarter than the average Joe, he'd had some sort of discipline in his life (he mentioned being in the Navy), he was not drug/alcohol dependent, he was not mentally ill, he was savvy enough to know to hide his personal problems from the people at the brokerage firm where he was trying to get a job.

All those pluses added up for him. Subtract any one or all and you have someone who needs assistance. This is where my thoughts on government assistance come in play. If we really want to get people off of welfare and in to the workforce, we need to address those issues first. They must be sober, they must be mentally sound, they must have proper education and they must have a basic understanding of the workplace "rules". Only then will we begin to see successes in this area.

Another thing about this movie, is that I think it did a very good job of showing all the stumbling blocks that could have caused a person with less confidence and determination to just give up. I am thinking of the scene where the Big Guy forgot his wallet and asked Chris to lend him five dollars. Nothing to you or me, but it meant everything to Chris and his son. It meant no food that night, no bus ride, so no stay at the shelter. Would you have had the strength of will to risk a night on the street for your five year old, knowing it might not pay off in the long run?

I admire people like Chris Gardner. Hell, my own story could be a much less dramatic (I only had to live in a nasty trailer park, not a shelter) version of his (plus I didn't end up a multi-millionaire). But I know that not everyone can do it. Not alone.

And I'm willing to help those who want the help.

Thor sez: Respect the nap!
(Photo by JAZ)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Loki's Long Lost Twin

Write Your Own Caption Day

Best caption will win a paw-to-graphed picture of Thor or Loki or both.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beautiful Day

I awoke this afternoon to beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine and Jason raking leaves in the back yard. I was so totally jealous. While everyone got to go out and play and have fun and enjoy the five days of spring we will have before the mercury hits the 90's with matching humidity levels, I was asleep.

I so wanted to go play out in the yard. Get my nose and neck and forearms all sunburned. I wanted to get my fingernails dirty and sweat and swat at mosquitoes. I wanted to take a barren little corner of the yard and turn it into something beautiful.

But I slept the day away.

Kitten picture make it all better:

The other night the raccoon(s) got in the garbage can. So the next day I went out to clean up the remains of the party. Walking along the path to the creek, I found a bread wrapper, a sliced swiss cheese wrapper and by the water's edge one of them fancy boxed soup boxes. Looks like the big raccoon party was soup and sammies!

Loki sez: You are aware that this is not proper cat attire?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Roller Girl

Why do I fail to realize that I am a creaky old lady until the day after I do something completely insane? Like roller skating?

I expected the sore legs. I expected the twinges in my knee. I half expected the spectacular bruise on my sacroiliac compliments of my spectacular fall.

But people, my arms are sore (probably from all the flailing to keep from repeating the bust-a-ass move).

Even my freaking fingers are sore! What's up with that?!

I can't wait to go again!

Loki sez: Let me get this straight: You strapped wheels to your feet. You propelled yourself around on a hardwood floor with said wheels still on your feet. You are surprised that you are sore. How did you humans climb to the top of the food chain?

P.S. Happy Birthday to Jason and the kitty cats!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I promised myself I wasn't going to write about this. But I can't not because it infuriates me so deeply that I'm sure I will be barely coherent on the subject.

S.C. House Representatives want women to be forced to look at the ultrasounds done before an abortion. The ultrasounds are done to determine the age of the fetus, this is not a new part of the legislation.

What infuriates me is this: This was not done out of any concern about the fetus, I know they say it is, but it isn't. It was done as a petulant, vindictive strike against women because they (anti-abortionists) can't get their way about having Roe V. Wade overturned.

Here is what I'd like to propose: I propose that every member of the SC House who voted for this nanny-nanny-boo-boo bit of discrimination be forced to look at pictures of fetuses that died as the result of placental abruptions due to the mother smoking crack or due to the fathers beating the mothers. Or look at the pictures of dead babies with massive brain bleeds from being shaken. Or the ones who are beaten to death by their parents. Look at those dead babies. Look at the babies who are starved, burned, beaten.

Look at them. They exist in greater numbers than you think. Talk to a neonatal ICU nurse or a pediatric ICU doc, there are hundreds and hundreds of these youngest victims.

And look at these dead babies until you start passing legislation increasing the number of drug rehabs so people who want to get off drugs don't have to wait months and months for a bed in rehab. Increase funding so that we can have shelters for abused women and their children. Increase funding so we can actually hire more social workers so they aren't "watching" over hundreds of children per worker. Increase funding for social programs that will identify and help at risk parents and children and teach parenting skills. Start teaching real sex education, not "just say no". Teach girls how to say no, teach them what to do if they don't want to say no.

Then come tell me you are looking out for the welfare of South Carolina's children.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Random Thoughts on a Wednesday

I hate insomnia.

If your water pressure drops today, I'm sorry, it'll be my fault as I literally have a (laundry) room full of laundry that I am attempting to get through.

I think there should be a ban on people being 'outraged' for at least a year. Can we be irritated instead? Being outraged all the time is such a drain on the emotional energy.

Freezing your daily dose of fish oil (personally, I prefer cold water salmon oil) cuts down on the nasty fish burps.

Yes, I know I have an inch of gray hair showing at my roots. I'm growing it out to cut all the dye off so I can see what is going on under there. It's an ugly process, but thanks for pointing it out.

It is official that Thor is the strangest cat on the planet. His new favorite thing of all time? To be 'rolled' with the lint roller. You know, the backwards tape thingie? That, and his strange affinity for anything rodent.


or unreal

makes no difference to Thor.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Grand Tour

I may have mentioned that every year on or around my birthday, we take a trip. My original intent was that every year, I'd go some where I'd never been before. But after I went to New Orleans, I so loved it that I had to share it with Jason (I'd gone alone the first time). So we went the following year.

Then decreased discretionary funds curtailed travels for a few years to the mountains of North Carolina. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore the mountains, but after three trips, well I was looking for something different.

This year the plan (and I do mean plan, discretionary funds aren't at their peak this year either) is for the Arizona Grand Tour 2007.

I lived in El Paso for a year, but that's the closest I've come to being in the desert Southwest. So it's going to be a totally new environment for both of us.

Plan is: Fly to Phoenix, rent a car, drive north to Flagstaff with a stop at Sedona along the way. Stay in Flagstaff. Drive east through Winslow (where I SHALL be seen 'standing on a corner') and on to Holbrook, hitting the Meteor Crater, Indian ruins, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest along the way. Stay in Holbrook. Drive back west, hitting whatever we missed on the first pass, up to the Grand Canyon. Stay overnight. Visit Grand Canyon. Drive to Camp Verde, visit Montezuma's Castle (not revenge). Drive to Phoenix and fly home.

Sounds ambitious, huh? If anyone has any tips/hints about this area, let me know.

Thor sez: Um, these plans do include me, correct?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A tip o' the hat to my Irish granny who was practically the first in her family born in America.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

And now back to reality

Okay, now that my ego has stopped stinging, what my doc actually said was that I was borderline overweight, not obese. Normal BMI is 18.5-24.9 and mine is 23.6.

See, I was the skinny chick that everyone hated. When I was in high school, up through my late 20's actually, I weighed around 115-120. At five feet eight inches in height. I ate like a trucker. When I was in my twenties, my cholesterol levels ran around 90, all good, no bad.

Now I'm old and fat and falling apart.

So, I've recommitted myself to getting back to my previous exercise routine which was one time through Van Morrison's Moondance CD on my good old Tony Little Gazelle every day I don't work a 12 hour shift. (hey, it's about the only thing I can do that won't kill my knees). I've got my vitamins and supplements all fresh and lined up, ready to go. (I was anemic too.)

I've got water. I've got fresh fruit and salad fixings. I had an emotional good bye scene at the Bi-Lo with all my favorite sausages and breads and jelly beans and cashews and almonds and Little Debbie snack cakes.

See, my problem is that I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. Once I am in to my routine, I will keep at it. But the minute I slack off, I'll stop and it takes me forever to get back to it.

And now that I've made a public confession and commitment, I'll be too embarrassed to slack off (at least in the next few weeks when I could still talk myself out of it, just for today. Long enough to make it to that I-feel-too-much-better-to-stop stage.

Loki sez: Exercise is overrated! Naps are what's good for you.
Thor sez: Exercise is great! Wait...naps are good for you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No, you're not going to die, but you are fat.

Here’s the thing about being a nurse. See, we know all this medical stuff, but that’s only for you, not us. And any illnesses (in ourselves) we either ignore or we jump to conclusions that scare the shit out of us.

Last Saturday night I was working with a couple of ladies who had an in-depth conversation regarding the ravages of cat scratch fever on their loved-one’s lymph nodes. I rather snottily remarked that, although I’d had cats all my life, I’d never had cat scratch fever. Thus implying my superior immune system.

So karma had to intervene. Sunday morning, I arrived home and in the process of undressing, feel a stab of pain under my left arm. And double dog damn if there wasn’t a marble sized, very painful lump there. (I tend to be extremely suggestive with asthma type symptoms, but nothing has ever swollen up on me before due to my borderline hypochondria.) I showed it to Jason, who was more interested in his looming deadline than my armpit. I told him it could be bubonic plague. His reply: “What other ‘don’ts’ can I list for visitors to Charleston?”

When I woke up Sunday evening, it had grown to the size of a golf ball and was so painful I couldn’t put my arm at my side. I spent the night with my hand propped on my hip. I also spent the night being scared shitless by a former oncology nurse.

“Did you do a breast exam?” she asked.

Well, yes, I did. The real one, I told her, the stand up, lean down, hands on the hips shake ‘em, squeeze ‘em, toss ‘em over your shoulder exam that you are supposed to do every month.

“You have breast tissue in the armpit, you know.” She said.

Yes, I know that. I also had a strong suspicion that it was a lymph node and so began to feel a little panicky as I hadn’t had any infections/cuts on that arm or anywhere for that matter. I rushed right home Monday morning and called my doctor's office and begged for an appointment first thing Tuesday morning, then went to sleep with the assistance of a generous dollop of Nyquil.

And woke up with a tiny pinpoint of a lump and some residual tenderness.

So I went to the doc, embarrassed, but not embarrassed enough to cancel my appointment in less than 24 hours and have to pay the entire cost. “Hey doc, wanna feel my armpit? There’s nothing there.” She agreed it was probably a lymph node, did a breast exam and found nothing, sent me on my merry way with instructions to “Keep an eye on it. And lose some weight and start exercising”. Because my bad cholesterol is up. Thanks. I come in half expecting to have cancer and am told that I’m borderline obese and probably going to have a stroke from the goo clogging up my arteries.

I stopped for a sausage Egg McMuffin on the way home. That’ll show ‘em.

Loki sez: I think I have a tumor on my head.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lions in the Living Room

Have you seen the new Taco Hell commercials? The ones with the two lions chilling under a tree on the African plains, watching some people and talking about how to roll their r's to pronounce whatever monstrosity of "food" that is being advertised?

It cracks me up because all I can think of is, "that's how Thor and Loki see themselves".

When they are perched up in the window, watching the birds, squirrels and lizards, in their minds they are the supreme beasts, the mighty hunter lions who could lay waste to entire flocks of birds, who could decimate the local squirrel population, who could drive the lizards to extinction........if only mom would let them go outside.

Thor sez: I could take that mockingbird. One jump. I'd grab him and bite him and he'd be gone in two bites.
Loki sez: Oh yeah? I'd swallow that squirrel in one piece!
Thor sez: (looking at Loki's belly) Looks like you already did.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mama Mia! It's White Puff Ball Time!

Okay, so we went to see Mama Mia. I didn't know a thing about it other than it featured songs by ABBA. Let's just say I laughed until I cried. Giggly, snorty, oh-my-god-that's-me laughing.

Loki is his own Broadway show. I'm sure it's a musical, in his own mind.




I need a DVD recorder.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I feel better now...

That first bit of spring fever has abated. I carried myself down to Lowe's (they pulled advertising from O'Meanie's show, remember) and bought some flowers.

I bought this one specifically because of this flower:

The Indian Hawthornes are blooming away. My poor azaleas, they are so confused. One popped out a flower in January, so I had a talk with him about global warming and he stopped. Now he's got one feeble, pathetic looking half bud going on, the others are in such a state of anxiety they don't know what to do. I may have to get some aerosol Valium to spray them with and let them know it's okay to bloom now if they want to.

And this just cracks me up. The long suffering look in his eye.

Loki sez: I consider this an invasion of privacy, you know. Put this on your blog and I'm gonna chew something in half.

Breaking News..

Since he won't do it, may I please direct your attention to this article (scroll down to the next to last paragraph), where our very own Jason from Wicked Winter is referenced regarding his comments on the demise of Captain America.

Told ya he was one of the kewl kids!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kewl Kids and Fishies

Since Jason is one of the Kewl Kids (don't listen to his protestations to the contrary, he is), he gets a couple of tickets to the freakiest show in town - the Charleston City Paper's Best of Party.

Where they serve sushi at the aquarium, which I find highly disturbing, but hey, free booze, free food, great people watching, who am I to complain?

And as my place of employment was one of the Best Of's, a couple of my cohorts were there to represent.

That's the best dang neonatal nurse I've met Charlene and hubby on the left and labor nurse extraordinaire Susan and hubby on right. We rock!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm sorry...

Oh the love of a mother!

Two young women, age 18 and 19, don sunglasses, enter a bank, steal a "considerable" amount of money, lead police on a car chase for about twenty miles and are arrested.

The mother of the 18 year old said her daughter is sorry. I'll bet she is. Sorry she got caught. Sorry she landed in a pile of shit that mommy can't talk/excuse her out of. I'd laid down good money that this mother has been rescuing and excusing her daughter's behavior all her life.

Mom also says her daughter "isn't a bandit, she just fell in with the wrong crowd and made a bad choice."

Bank robbing is a choice? As opposed to what? Shoplifting? Murder? Carjacking? "Choosing" to participate in a bank robbery isn't something that a previously upstanding citizen does.

Mom also states that these criminals are just "little girls".

Way to infantalize your adult daughter there, Mom.

This is part of the fallout of the installation of false self-esteem in children in this country. We smooth over and excuse children from every 'wrong' thing they do (oh, Junior didn't shoplift that candy bar, he just forgot he put it in his pocket.) If there are no consequences for bad behavior, then what is the impetus to not engage in it?

Small infractions lead to large infractions and having mommy or daddy swoop in to pat your head and tell you that it wasn't your fault, it was those icky people who made you do it, that you don't deserve punishment for what you've done because it was just little girls making a boo-boo is parenting at its worst.

It's so common now, it has a name: Helicopter Parents

Loki sez: You know it was all your fault that Thor ate your bra. He's just a little itty bitty kitten cat and you left it right out in plain sight.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thor is part dog.

When you work on the night shift, you live your life differently than the "normals". Basically, it is a matter of creating a routine and sticking to it.

Some times Jason has to work the next morning, so he goes to bed before I leave for work. On those nights, I hang my work clothes in the front bathroom so I can change into my scrubs right before I leave the house. (Otherwise I go to work covered in cat fur, even with my newly acquired Dyson vacuuming habit, you can get cat fur on you just by driving by my house.)

Sunday night, I am, per my routine, doing my anti-Alzheimer's exercises (playing Spider Solitaire or Bookworm) when I realize that I've let time slip away and it is fifteen minutes before eleven. I rush to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and find this:

That is my bra strap. Chewed in half. I now have ten minutes before my shift begins. It is at least a ten minute drive + walking tour of the entire hospital to get to my unit. Getting another bra will involve turning on lights, waking Jason and a five minute search through the collection of "too small", "too big", "too tight", "makes my boobs look pointy" bras. On the other hand, I did have a tee-shirt to wear under my scrub top since it was going to be below freezing that night. So I went upper commando.

The next morning, I confronted Thor with the evidence.

Thor sez: I'd like a lawyer.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rug Monster Must Die!!!

The Scene: Kitchen, early morning.

Me: Eeeeek! Rug Monster!

Loki: Stand back! I'll handle this!

Loki: Aha! I've got you now, evil Rug Monster!

Loki: And now, Rug Monster must die!

Thor: Rug Monster? Where?

Loki: Under there.
Thor: Under where?
Loki: Haha. I just made you say underwear.

(Okay. I'm overly exhausted and partially insane. My blood sugar is low. I'm not rational.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Mean people reveal who they truly are. At some point, the mask they wear slips and with a word or a deed, their true core is revealed.

Sometimes it is an entire group that allows the mask to fall.

Anne Coulter calling John Edwards the "F" word is not a surprise. She is not a good person.

No, it was the conservative Christians in the audience who applauded who let the mask slip. The followers of Jesus, the man who preached love and compassion, they applauded her statement.

You cannot claim the love of God while applauding the speech of hatred.

Thor sez: That makes my tummy hurt.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Stop the presses!

For those of you waiting in suspense over the baby bird on the window box issue, I am happy to announce that this will be the kittens second birthday present.

That way, I can provide home building material for underpriviledged birds, but they still have to do the work themselves, so they can have a sense of accomplishment and pride of ownership in their homes.....wait....that's Habitat for Humanity. Nevermind.

So, no I will not be contributing to a generation of birdies who think that it is okay to be different, okay to ignore the traditional values of their parents and indulge in cross-species friendships.....wait.....that's Jerry Falwell. Nevermind.

Now on to the Jason birthday present search.

Thor sez: But Daddy said we could help unpack his bag.
Loki sez: Please notice that I am technically not involved in the destruction of Dear Father's work materials. Am I in trouble too?