Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

I was so happy to peek outside this morning and see that it had rained last night. I had Jason put down weed & feed on the lawn Saturday because The Weather Channel had given me a 60% chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Which never showed up.

I have received an invitation to my high school's 30th reunion. I shall not be attending. I haven't gone to any of them. High school was a very strange time for me: po' ugly white trash girl, socially retarded with no particular gifts or talents to share. Why would I want to go back? The thirty years since then have been far greater than I could ever have imagined back when I was that awkward, backwards girl. Really, I feel sorry for people who say that high school was the best time of their lives. That's an awfully short time span.

And I have completed my bird watching geekiness by installing a triple level feeder. Level one for freeze dried meal worms (Thor ate one! eeewww!) for the bug eating birds like my family of bluebirds and the mockingbirds. Level two for regular bird feed for my seed eaters. And Level three is a hanging cage for suet cakes. I've actually lured the brown thrashers up off the ground to nibble on suet cakes. And last, I purchased a bird bath. I've not seen anyone taking a bath yet, but have spotted the bluebird, the thrasher and Mr. Cardinal takings sips.

I'm thinking about this for my front room. The current rug is not quite right anymore. The walls are buttery yellow and the love seat is an olive-y green. I've hung several of Jason's Blue Ridge in Autumn photographs in the room. I just like the colors and the flow of this rug. I'm sure it's just a reaction to the stress of having to choose house paint colors. I've got a good track record with rugs, so it makes me feel better about myself to know I can pick out something that goes.

Thor sez: Excuse me, but I believe I was promised a love-gloving today!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Loki Sunday!

Yesterday, I asked Loki if he had any suggestions for his Loki Sunday theme. He did not. So he gets what he gets.

One of Loki's favorite things to do is to lick my thumb. He curls up on my lap, hooks a claw or two into my hand and drags it into licking position. I do not know why.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Don't Understand

This completely baffles me.

I understand the idea of prayer as a tool for recovery. I understand and as a true blue tree hugging just want gays to get married so I can buy them toasters for wedding presents liberal, I support any adult's right to refuse medical care and use whatever form of religious/spiritual care they desire. Go for it. It is your right as an American adult to have freedom of choice in religion.

What I don't understand is these parents. They claim that their religious view barred medical assistance. Their religious view relied on prayer to cure.

So why, then, when the poor girl finally died (and untreated diabetes and ketoacidosis is NOT a quick, nor pleasant way to go), but why then when she died, did her father attempt CPR?

That is a medical intervention.

Why would he believe that prayer was good enough to use as long as his child was only suffering horribly, but the minute she died, medical intervention was just peachy keen?

Or was it his ass he was trying to save at that point?

This is Miss Kitty:

We adopted her when my to-be-26-this-year old son was 4 years old. She was a cranky bitch of a cat. She was annoying because she always had to be on me, next to me, touching me. She didn't like anyone on the planet except me, although she would tolerate my son and not shred his skin on a whim. We had to lock her up when children came to the house.

She lived to be 17 years old. And one day when she was around 15 years old, I noticed she was emptying her water bowl every day and peeing like a race horse. So I snatched her up and took her to the vet immediately. She was diagnosed with diabetes and we began a regime of diet changes and twice a day insulin shots.

Insulin shots. Twice a day. I bought insulin, I bought syringes. I gave her a shot in the morning with breakfast and a shot in the evening with dinner. I took her to the vet once a month to test her sugar.

It makes me sick that a cat would receive more medical attention than a child. That child was given parents to love, protect and guide her.

They used God as an excuse not to do that. Then they used God as an excuse as to why they shouldn't be held accountable for failing in their parental duties.

And that is wrong. I don't care what religion you follow or none. It is wrong to let a child just lapse into a coma and die.

Friday, March 28, 2008

True Colors

The other day, an unfamiliar car pulled into my driveway. I thought the man who got out and walked to the door must have been lost and was coming to the wrong house.

"I don't mean to be disrespectful, ma'am," he told me when I answered the door, "but I've been doing some painting work down the street and..."

"And you noticed my horrible paint job?" I asked.

I took the man's card. He was very sweet. And very right. My house looks like a carnival horror house with peeling paint and spider webs and half the American population of mud daubers. It seriously needs a paint job.

But choosing colors to paint the outside of your house is HUGE. What if it looks horrible? You can't afford to paint twice. And I am completely incapable of accurately imagining the end results. And color blind.

Conversation with my mother over paint chips, one of which was destined to become my kitchen wall color:

Mom: See here, the floor tile you used, the green in it is more of a blue/cool tone and these paint chips have a yellow/warm tone to them. You can't use any of them.

Me: Huh?

Mom, snatching a couple paint chips out of the approximately ten trillion green ones on display: Use this one for the kitchen, that one is too light and won't effectively pick up the green tone in the flooring. You'll need to use this one in the TV room, it is one shade darker and will carry the green tone over from the kitchen floor to the flooring you have in the TV room, but you'll need to get a rug with the darker green tones to balance out the yellow/warm tones in the hardwood flooring that are in conflict with the cool green tones in the kitchen. If you use this darker color and get a rug with perhaps this color scheme (throws about 20 colors on the table) it will eliminate the difference between the two floors.

Me: Uh, okay. (wipes drool from chin)

What do I most frequently ask my mother? "Does this go?"

It's why I only wear jeans or black. Everything goes.

And on a completely unrelated note:

Loki joins the zombie craze sweeping the nation and attempts to eat his brother's brains.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thor's Day

I really don't think Thor deserves a Thor's day spread because of the laundry basket post. But I am aching to my bones, brain dead tired this morning, so he gets his way.

Thor's new bed:

(Look closely!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I blame you.

And Jason.

I've had to endure "Chocolate Rain" and its multitude of imitators more than is humane. Waterboarding is less torture, I'm sure.

It is so stuck in my head, I'm making up my own lyrics.

Loki's fat...
He's the fattest cat around.
Loki's fat...
He runs just like a little girl.
Loki's fat...
He could never catch a squirrel.

Loki sez: I'm not fat! I'm just big-furred!

Monday, March 24, 2008

One Plant, Multiple Solutions

How to solve a huge chunk of America's problems? Sugar cane.

Brazil has been successfully using ethanol made from sugar cane for many years. According to a National Geographic article I read a few months ago, sugar cane yields the most ethanol per gallon of regular oil used in production.

So, we invest in sugar cane technology. This will have many benefits.

We will control our own fuel supplies and stop indirectly funding terrorists with oil dollars. Cheaper fuels costs, improved national security.

We will revitalize the economy of the deep South - coastal Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana - and Hawaii, where the cane can be grown. Improved economy, jobs, better schools, better education, less crime, less social services needs.

Won't significantly impact the farming of corn, wheat and other crops essential to food production, so costs of basic foods won't spin out of control.

Because you get more ethanol from sugar cane than from corn, there will be less use of pesticides and land.

I mean, come on, it makes perfect sense. Oh wait, that's probably the problem then.

Thor sez: Good points, all, but you fail to address the most glaring problem with converting from use of imported oil to use of local ethanol: How will the oil companies continue to make billion dollar quarterly profits?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

to all our peeps!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Basket Case

I have this laundry basket. I bought it many years ago when the felines who resided in my home were elderly, sedate cats who had no need to strope their claws into razor sharp points.

So I bought a wicker-type basket. It was cute and a good size and cheap at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Times change as they must and if Thor liked to occasionally sink a claw or two into the soft weave of the fiber, well, that's what cats do and I'm not going to freak out about a few puncture wounds in a cheap basket.

Then, yesterday evening, I found Loki staring intently at the basket. "Loki," I asked him, "what's going on?"

"Ummm," Loki replied, nervously licking a paw, "nothing. I'm going under the bed now. Kthnxbai."

And lo and behold once Loki's giant head was gone:


"You called?"

"What are you doing?"

"Sleeping on your laundry."

"Please remove yourself, at once."

"I never get to have any fun!"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thor's Day

Holy Ceiling Cats, it's Thor's day again already?

Random Thor fact: Thor loves his smelly buddy, Mick. Loves him. Thor used to get in Mick's cage with him when he was small enough to fit and just hang out smelling the piggie smells.

Photos by JAZ

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zombie, It's the New Black

What's up with the zombies? They are every where these days. Ah well, perhaps an infusion of the undead into our culture will distract us from those dead horses we're still beating.

Hmm...zombie horses.

I'm trying my best to do an accurate zombie impression. Insomnia has reared its ugly head. Spurred on by a nasty cold and fretting over a situation I can do nothing about.

I think I've not slept more than three hours in row for the last six days. And last night was spent tossing and turning and telling my brain to just STFU already and be quiet.

I tried meditation. I tried relaxation. I tried counting backwards from 100. I tried singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. I tried drugs. I tried listening to infomercials.

But alas, I managed to doze off for my prescribed three hours (10:30 pm to 1:40 am), then awoke to toss and turn until 4 am when I gave up and watched an episode of "The World's Most Exciting Police Chases". Thor and Loki enjoyed it.

So I am up at 5 am, having coffee and a peanut butter sammie. I will endeavor to attend a class I have missed twice already at work this morning from 8 am to 1 pm. That's going to be interesting.

Loki sez: The problem with you humans is you try to sleep all at once. You should take 12 naps a day like we do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shades of Grey

One of the last times I attended the small Baptist church in which I was baptized was a sunny Spring day. It must have been close to Easter because all the azalea bushes were blooming. I was hanging out at the front doors after the service, waiting for my mother to quit chatting with her friends. I was in my early teens, old enough to understand fully the conversation I heard.

The pastor and two deacons were at the door, speaking to people as they left the church. A black family, mom, dad and two young boys, perhaps eight and ten years old had visited our lily white church that day. The pastor and the deacons thanked them warmly for visiting with us. The pastor asked if they had filled out a visitor's card and the father assured him that they had indeed and complimented the pastor on his fine sermon.

As the family walked away, there was a silence. As they turned the corner, one of the deacons said, "Glad they filled out the card, maybe we can send them directions to the nigra church for next week."

The second deacon laughed and said, "It's only a mile up the road, figure they got lost?"

The pastor said nothing.

Does that make me a racist? I knew those men. I went to school with their children. They taught me in Sunday school. Did it make me a racist?

But that was long ago, you say. The world is different today. Things are better.

No they are not. We are as racist as we have ever been. We love to hate others. Black, Hispanic, gay, Muslim. We are equal opportunity haters.

I didn't hear anyone saying much of nothing after 9/11 when Jerry Falwell said the terrorist strike was God's revenge on America because of homosexuals, feminists and liberals.

That's because the far religious right loves nothing more than to hate gays and feminists with hand selected scripture to back them up, so it was okay to say that, or it could be brushed aside with a grin and a shrug and a "Oh, you know Jerry, always gonna say something over the top."

But good gracious Lord, let a black man give vent to some anger and frustration over the racism that still exists in this country. Let a black man go "over the top" with a statement and it's the end of the freaking world.

Oh, we puff up with our righteous indignation and rebuke any man of the cloth who says anything controversial or incendiary. Oh my goodness gracious, that wasn't nice, what he said.

What Fred Phelps says isn't nice. What Pat Buchanan says isn't nice. What Jerry Falwell says isn't nice. What Ted Haggerty used to say isn't nice. whisper- but they're white, so we overlook it.

Because that sting you may feel when you hear those words is shame and guilt, because deep down, unless you have no capacity to tell yourself the truth, you know there is a nugget of truth in the words. And we don't like to feel shame and guilt, so we project it back at the speaker. You know we are a racist, homophobic, xenophobic society but it's much nicer to just pretend that because you aren't that way, then no-one of your race is that way.

And if you don't believe that overt, hateful racism still exists in this country, then pull your head out of the sand and spend a few minutes perusing the comment sections of It is appalling. I'm not even black and it offends the hell out of me what people say.

I've heard supposedly educated people in the "helping professions" call WIC supplied formula "welfare juice". I've heard those same people say that illegal aliens should be "shot and their bodies left to rot on the border as a warning". I've heard sentences begin with "all those blacks" or "all those towel heads" or "all those Mexicans" so many times it makes me want to scream.

All? All? You can't see what an insult that is?

Thor sez: Stop! I can't take it no more!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Getting My Irish Up

Every channel I clicked on this morning had clips and experts talking about Dennis Quaid's twins. The twins received a life-threatening incorrect dose of medication. This is a too common experience in all hospitals. All the experts were going on and on about labeling and new scanning devices which will help limit errors.

Not one mentioned the most efficient way to decrease medication errors:

Stop slashing nursing staff to the bone.

Study after study after study has proven again and again that the more RN's at the bedside, the less medication errors, the less infections, the less post-operative complications and better outcomes overall for all patients.

But hospitals continue to slash staffing. Why? Because we are expensive and cut deeply into the hospital's bottom line.

And this Irish dander moment brought to you by my grandmother Radigan, daughter of an Irish immigrant from Crossboyne, Ireland.

Thor sez: Kiss me, I'm Irish!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Loki Sunday

Random Loki fact: he loves chickadees. Sparrows, finches, Carolina wrens may come and go from the bird feeder, but the moment a chickadee arrives, Loki begins to chitter and meow.

Bird watching:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Across the Universe

A few days ago, Jason rented "Across the Universe". For those unfamiliar, it is a musical set entirely to Beatles' songs. Set in the late 1960's, it tells the tale of a young Englishman who comes to America in search of his American G.I. father and finds love and rebellion instead.

Jason pronounced it "interesting". I really liked it. In how many movies can you say, "Is that Joe Cocker?" and "Is that Bono?" and be correct? The changing tone and subject matter of the Beatles is most clearly seen (heard?) on the 1 cd, as they and American youth shed their innocence and struggled against the Vietnam war and the social upheaval of the times. This movie does the exact same thing, but with super talented singers and characters right out of the Beatles's songs. Jude, Lucy, Sadie, Prudence, Jo-Jo all tell their stories as their lives converge and they discover themselves and what they believe.

I was too young to participate in those crazy days of hippies and war and protest, but I was old enough to watch and to understand that something new and exciting was going on. I got stuck with disco as my generations' teen rebellion. Fun, but completely lacking in any sort of greater meaning.

Loki sez: Make love, not war!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thor's Day!

I know y'all just hang on, waiting for Thor's day to come around. I am whipped after my sixth night and I gave myself a nice knot on my head by walking right into a piece of equipment that I had JUST MOVED 10 SECONDS BEFOREHAND! I'm such a spazzoid.

But enough about me.....


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And The Winner Is....

Epstein-Barr! Or mono - the test doesn't differentiate. My titers were high enough to confirm a recent infection.

Okay Jason - YOU WERE RIGHT!

So, if I kissed you or stole a swig from your glass in November or December, I'm sorry.

I just need to continue to take it easy and not push myself. Gosh darn it, I guess those ceilings won't get painted any time soon.

I'm happy to just have an answer.

Thor sez: Yeah!

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's the Funny, Honey!

In Cat:

In English:

Still laughing.

It's the Money, Honey!

Yesterday, the Newless Courier...okay, okay the Post and Courier had an interesting article on the statistical analysis of expulsions and suspensions in Lowcountry schools. It went on and on and on about race and culture and expectations.

Why the newspaper engaged in the stirring up of the pot (other than to bring out the rabid racists who post on the P&C's website so they can get their "hit" numbers way up)I don't know, because right there in the third and fourth sentences was the answer:

"A family's income was the best predictor for whether students were suspended or expelled, the analysis showed. Low-income students were more likely to be suspended or expelled than their wealthier peers, and that was more true for black students than white students."

Then buried down further: "But black students also constitute a higher number of low-income students. For that reason, it's impossible to determine whether black students are suspended at a higher rate because of biased school policies or because they are poor and facing the myriad of challenges accompanying poverty, such as family instability, Politano said."

In other words, the number of low-income white students is too low to make a statistical comparison. Could be low-income whites are suspended as much as low-income blacks, they can't tell. So why the P&C felt comfortable with reporting "that was more true for black students than white students" when the analyst they hired to do the numbers said it couldn't be done, I don't know.

It's poverty, people! It is not a racial issue, although because blacks and Hispanics make up the majority of the poor in Charleston County it seems like a race issue. Go to a predominantly white state and you will find whites at the same percentages getting kicked out of school, having babies too soon, committing crimes and whatever else racists want to label as norms for minorities.

It is coming from living in poverty, not the skin color. And the numbers of poor are growing every day. And we need to wake up and realize that our current system of social welfare is hurting people, not helping them and we need to get serious about stamping out poverty.

Thor sez: supported hatred gives me a tummy ache.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Loki Sunday

Loki was very miffed about sharing his Sunday last week, so the spot-light is his this week.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Time for the Happy Dance!

It's daylight savings time time! The good one. For many, many years I worked only on the weekend so I did the DST shuffle twice a year, dragging the step-stool from clock to clock to change the time. Mournfully in the fall, bemoaning that my 12 hour shift had just become a 13 hour shift. "But the first two a.m. sucked! I don't want to do another one!"

So it should be no surprise that tonight I will be capering like a leprechaun from clock to clock, giggling madly and clapping my hands in evil enjoyment of the fact that the morning crew has to get up an hour early this time instead of, like they do in the fall, be-bopping in all refreshed and happy after an extra hour of sleep and bragging about it in cold disregard of night shift's bleary red eyes and haggard faces and death ray glares after working an extra hour so they could get that sleep. (And we don't get an extra hour of sleep - we stayed an hour and still have to be back in twelve.)

So pardon me while I gloat a moment, I earned it last fall.

Blogger spotting: Psycho's dad, Nice Mike at BiLo this morning.

Thor sez: Does this mean we will be fed an hour early in the morning?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thor's Day

I have been slowly working my way through a monumental task: sorting kitten pictures. It is embarrassing how large a project this was. But I have cleaned up the computer and all the pictures are safely stored away in two vast files. It was fun to see some of the photos that I haven't looked at in a few years. (The boys will be three this month!)

So I give you, this Thor's Day, vintage Thor:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Newest "Social Disease"

It's the next plague! It's the end of the world as we know it! It''s....the dreaded, horrid LIBERAL BRAIN INFECTING VIRUS!!!

or L-biv as I like to call it.

There is no cure and the only way to avoid it is to cut yourself and your family off from any and all contact with the entire world. Every bit of information that comes within 100 yards of your family must be shot, gutted and disposed of immediately. Don't check it out to see what the information is, just kill it immediately! You know everything you need to know already and you don't need to know no more, thank you very much!

High school and college age children are most vulnerable to this insidious disease. They are the most at-risk because they are the targets of this evil thing.

Don't let anyone try to confuse you with all that liberal spawned clap trap about developmental stages and how teens and young adults often explore other religions and political views and other cultures as part of their psychological adaptation to adulthood. It's all just a trick to get them alone for one second, then WHAM, in goes the L-biv. And your child is infected for life.

Burning with interest and compassion and empathy. Oozing with respect and tolerance.

Oh, avert your eyes, the spectacle is too gruesome to consider! Teens and college age children choosing their own paths in life! The horror! The shame!

Loki sez: I think I see it! It's eating Thor's brains!

(And just because some people will need this, please note the above was intended to be written in heavy sarcasm, but I couldn't find the font labeled as such. Thank you very much.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hell Does Exist on Earth

And ye shall know it by its true name:

Chuck E. Cheese.

This story did not surprise me: Moms Brawl at Chuck E. Cheese

No, what surprises me is that it doesn't happen every day in those hell-holes known as Chuck E. Cheese.

I mean, what kind of stupid herd following SUCKERS are we moms? That we take large groups of small children into a swirling cacophony of blaring discordant sounds of what is supposed to be music, constantly wailing bells and sirens from video games, amplified voices distorted into unrecognizable syllables, screaming overstimulated children who are usually terrified of the dancing mechanical animals, and adults on the verge of nervous breakdowns screaming at children.

We then put into our mouths and bodies the slimiest pools of grease and flour and tomato paste and call it "pizza". We wash it down with water and high fructose corn syrup mixed with chemical colors and flavors. Then follow it up with lard and even more HFCS mixed with flour and call it "birthday cake".

Then we deal with diarrhea and vomiting and behavior issues from strung out, chemically altered children all night.

And we call it fun. We say we must do it for the children. Because the children enjoy it so.

I'll tell you a secret. When my child got birthday invitations to that place, if it wasn't from an immediate family member, I'd throw it away.

And if it were a family member, someone would get horribly, contagiously ill the day before the party.

Loki sez: I went there once. It was horrible. I still have nightmares!

Monday, March 03, 2008


I've now had more doctor visits in the last two months than I've had in the last four years combined.

We've opted for the simplest next step: blood work. Hemoglobin and hematocrit since I was anemic two years ago. Thryoid juice. Epstein-Barr (because Jason thinks I had mono late November/early December).

Karma was serving up the good stuff again, because my doc told me that I didn't have to be fasting for the tests. So I just peeked in to the lab next to her office, just to see how busy they were. And they had not a soul waiting. So I got that over and done with.

If the labs are all normal, then we will proceed to a pulmonology work up.

I'm leaning more towards the male methodology of medical management: ignore it until you drop dead.

Now I need my nap.

Loki sez: Join the pile.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Swamp Walking

We ventured through the wilds of Goose Creek to Cypress Gardens this morning. It's been about a billion years since I've been up there and they have improved it greatly.

I really enjoyed the butterfly house.

And the crocodiles.

And Pedro, the Galapagos Tortoise.

The sun was a bit too bright for really good pictures of the swamp, but I tried.

This winter has been so mild, everything is blooming already.

Pink azaleas.

White azaleas.


Then we picked a sunny spot and had our yummy picnic.

Loki sez: Whatever happened to Loki Sunday? Huh?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Go Ask JanetLee

There seems to be another tempest in a teapot raging in the Lowcountry. Once again, it seems common sense is just trampled to death in the rush to appear to be doing something about this most important issue facing our youth today. (Sarcasm off.)

Go Ask Alice, the book, pretty powerful stuff. So is the song, man how jealous I've been of Grace Slick's vocal range over the years.

I understand the mother who made the initial complaint. I don't think students should be reading the more mature portions of this book aloud in class. It's hard enough just getting out of bed in the morning when you are thirteen, much less reading "embarrassing" stuff in front of boys and the girls who are going to verbally trash you later.

But I don't think banning this book is the answer. Now, my mother would probably be, by today's standards, considered a "bad" mother because she let me read anything I had an interest in reading, regardless of content.

And I read Go Ask Alice as an impressionable twelve year old. And it scared the shit out me. Seriously. I may have smoked some pot in my day, but I was always too terrified to ever try any other kind of drug. Never did, never will. Because of this book. Not anything anyone may have told me about drugs. All because of reading this book.

Fear is not a bad thing. It provides powerful motivation. Have a grown up tell you not to use drugs because it is wrong. Ho-hum. Watch as a young teen falls lower and lower into humiliation and debasement all the while knowing that she was just like you except she experimented with drugs. That is powerful stuff.

This is your cat:

This is your cat on drugs:

This is your cat after listening to Grace Slick sing Go Ask Alice ten times in a row: