Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good News for the Lowcountry!

This is exactly the type of program we need, not only across the entire country, but especially in our high poverty areas.

If we as a society are serious about reducing child abuse, reducing child neglect, reducing teen pregnancies, reducing school drop out rates, reducing crime and improving our education results, we must begin helping these most vulnerable of women and children.

Long time readers have heard my speech before, but a human being's brain is still being actively built until around age three.

The environment a baby spends its first year or two in - emotionally, nutritionally, developmentally(is the child read to? Does it get enough sleep?) - can set for life the child's ability to do well in school, to be able to learn behaviours that will make them able to learn and have friends, to have the esteem to shake off the negative temptations that living in poverty sometimes brings around.

We can't afford to not start really helping, on an individual basis, these young women lift their children up out of poverty.

They want to do it, but most simply do not know how or do not have any real emotional support to do so.

Loki sez: OMCC! The humans are beginning to make sense!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thor's Day!

Thor as art, by Jason's daughter:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stretch, Nap, Freak

Are you jealous that one of the things on my "must-do" list today was take a nap?

Yeah, well, just remember that when you are snoozing away at three a.m. and I'm awake and doing my schlep from one end of the hospital to the other.

Third beginners yoga class today was marvelous. I can almost sit on bended knee.

So, yeah, I get all blissed out in yoga, come home to finish up a mandatory (leave without pay if you don't have it updated) on-line test thing for work and there are something like 9 tests to take and you only have two tries to pass or you will be murderated in your sleep and I failed one already (because I was being over confident because I do that stuff all the time but then I got to the parts that we don't do so frequently and tried to take a test from memory) so I was really freaking out about taking this test because it was MY LAST CHANCE and then my stupid computer FROZE up right in the middle of it, so I had to dump it and just hope that it counted as a "complete later" choice and not a fail choice.

Then I went to take my nap. Hahahaha. Yes, I'm that crazy.

But I woke up refreshed from my pee-dream (you know, the dreams you have where you wander through some nightmare in search of a bathroom - mine was confused with the birthing baby stuff I'd been worried about and let me tell you, those were some weird dreams) and passed all my tests lickedly-split.

So now all is right with world. Except the kittens who haven't had supper.

Thor sez: Perhaps a bit of red with supper this evening?
(Photo actually by Jason's daughter.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Morning Slothiness

Hey, if Colbert can invent truthiness, I'm inventing slothiness. This Monday morning is so horrid that if I was a normal person, I'd have called out sick from work.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to see the Charleston Ballet's presentation of The Magical Mystery Tour.

It was awesome. Fantastic. I've heard a rumor that they will be performing the show again during Spoleto. Go see it. It was a great, fun show.

It was great to see that some of my clothes from junior high got a second life. Seriously. Half way through the show, one of the dancers came out wearing a pair of polyester hip huggers with the super flare cuffs and I kept staring because I had a pair just like that way back in the way backs.

But now I am suffering the results of my third day with a global migraine brought about by foolishly gobbling down Chinese food chock full of MSG which my brain has not been exposed to for many, many years, two hours of sleep Sunday morning after work, followed by the excitement of the ballet, my first real meal in 24 hours that contained more fried food than I've eaten in a decade and a nice big glass of wine.

My body is extremely mad at me.

Loki sez: It's okay that you didn't let me go see the ballet with you. I was fine, just sitting here all alone with nothing to do while Thor watched wrestling.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Loki Sunday

Looking up to Loki.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

From the Snowy Wilds

Of NORTH Carolina:

My niece discovers snow.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bonus Thor

For real folks, that's it. The wild wacky weirdfest that is the weekend has begun early.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thor's Day!

We continue our whiskers in winter sunshine theme.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

True Confessions

Like the native New Yorker who has never been to the Statue of Liberty, I had never been to Fort Sumter.

Monday, we made a quick stop at the CVS for dramamine and off we went into the wild blue yonder. Or Charleston Harbor if you insist.

I do get seasick, which is probably why I'd never made much of an effort to go before. But I only get seasick when the boat is still. It's that gentle bobbing in the water that does it. So I kept my head down, my eyes busy reading the tourist info brochure until we were under way. Then I was fine.

Along the way:

Our escorts:

Charleston Harbor Air Patrol, at ease:

Our destination:

Photographs by JAZ.

Thor sez: Fine, don't invite me! See if I care.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I rushed home from yoga class this morning with just enough time to slide through the kitchen and flop down and grab the remote before the festivities began.

Thank you C-Span for allowing me to watch without the constant yapping of talking heads.

I thought I'd be excited and tearful and overjoyed but I'm not. It's more of a deep contented sense of relief that now, maybe, we can get to work on restoring our nation.

It's wonderful to see such hope and pride soaring across this nation.

Kind of like a seabird gliding above you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mohandas, Martin and Barry

Yesterday evening we watched the movie Gandhi. It's one of those movies I had seen in bits and pieces, but never the whole thing from start to finish.

About halfway through, Jason turned to me and asked, "What do you think of that Gandhi fellow?"

And I told him I thought that, like Martin Luther King, Jr, who followed years later, Gandhi understood humanity.

A truth will resonate with us. Truth, expressed simply, cannot be denied for long. One may attempt to deny it, but after some point, it must be actively denied. You have to willfully ignore the truth.

That is what Gandhi did, it is what King did: quietly held up a truth.

And on some level, it is what Barack Obama did during his campaign and continues today. I've read and listened to people willfully denying the truth since the election. They have become more and more rabid and are bordering on becoming incoherent.

Here is the simple truth. This is what appealed to me and, I believe, so many others in this nation.

We have the power.

We, the people, if we will just speak up, if we will just act, have the power to shape our government.

After years of feeling like our representatives had all the power over us, were ignoring us and acting in their best interests instead of ours, Obama simply reminded us that all we needed to do was take our rightful power back.

With our vote. With an email, a phone call, a letter.

The differences between Republican and Democrat aren't all that great. It's just that over the last 20 years or so, increasingly in the last eight, we've believed whatever the media told us and the media, seeking higher ratings, trotted out the most absurd examples of either end of the political spectrum and allowed the lunatic fringe to be the face of left or right.

We've stopped talking to each other. We call each other names and paste labels that hinder understanding and communication.

And deep down, on a fundamental human level, we know that is wrong. It is the simple truth that most Americans want the same things for this nation and their families that is finally being given voice again.

We want our humanity back. We want to be one nation. We want the anger and stress and strife to stop. We want to start working together again.

We want to be the America our forefathers dreamed of again.

The boyz say: Can't we all just get along?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Loki Sunday

Now that it is winter, the kittens seek out sunbeams more often. I've become fascinated by whiskers in sunlight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mousie in the Housie!

Not really. After Loki's Cat TV at Night Mouse Show obsession, how could I resist this little toy?

Neither of them seemed too impressed. But then, they are feline.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I know, I'm the laziest blog update person on the planet.

First, I've added a new link - Willow and Wicket - a super adorable cat blog. A personal I Can Has Cheezburger for thinking cats, if you will.

Second, I've updated the link to Joan and her wonderful Charleston strolls.

Third, I've pruned out old links.

Fourth, the voting for January Cat Blog of the Month is now going on.

Fifth, one of Thor's whiskers began growing out black a few months ago.

Sixth, Van Morrison is still the most awesome artist on the planet. Just so you know.

LIttle Lost Orphan

A couple days before Christmas, I received an email from the editor who had requested a copy of the manuscript of my poor little lost novel. He liked it a lot, he said. But.

The publishing house is going to focus on non-fiction this year.

So my poor little orphan is back home again.

Here's the problem. Every agent who has read the entire novel or just parts of it, liked it. But.

They say they can't pitch it. They say it has no clearly defined genre. It doesn't fit with chick lit. It's a bit too general (rather than literary) for women's fiction (which tends to be very literary - think Secret Life of Bees).

And all the advice I've gotten is to write something else, but the novel in progress will have the same problem. I don't write literary - my writing style is straight up tell the story and if I try to, it becomes a lumbering, self-conscious beast.

So I don't know what I'll do with either one of them. I'm either too lazy or not good enough to just go purposely write something with more commercial appeal because I can only tell the story that is in my head. If I try to 'make up' a story it will come out fake and shallow.

I polished off a chunk of short story that's been hanging around for several years and quite literally at the last moment sent it off to the Palmetto Fiction contest just to feel like I was doing something.

It's just annoying.

Loki sez: I think you should write a book about...uh...two cats who are...uh...brothers! And one is really a scaredy cat and the other is too brave for his own good and they can go on adventures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thor's Day!

Leaping Thorbee's


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Left Foot Goes Where?

I survived yoga class! Yippee!

I'm glad Jason reviewed some of the poses with me because I am not a natural athlete or even remotely talented at anything that involves a series of movements. I would have been completely lost (and was, indeed, partially lost at times) if I hadn't done the poses before.

My left knee still will not flex completely so I was unable to do some poses such as Child Pose. But I just did what I could and didn't worry about the rest.

But, whew, my shoulders and chest are mad at me this afternoon.

I figure I'll keep practicing then take one more of the beginner's class. If I still can't move my knee correctly, I'll drop down to the gentle/restorative class.

I hope I can move tomorrow.

Thor sez: Try this one. I call it Flat Dog Sleeping.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Morning Mish-Mash

Last evening we traveled to beautiful scenic downtown Goose Creek. That's extreme sarcasm for my out-of-town readers. Sorry if you live there, but for real. When we left, a guy was leaning up against a Hummer describing how his old lady didn't have enough money to get him out of jail so he told her to go get the car out of car jail.

We met up with some bloggie/twittery people at the Amazon Grill, a Brazilian restaurant. The buffet was yummy. There was also an option to have them bring something like 10 different kinds of meat on a spit to you and carve it off onto your plate until you exploded or told them to stop, but I passed on that. I'm no vegetarian, but that much protein sitting in my gut? No thanks.

Loki seems to be back to normal and they were actually left unsupervised last night and both survived. A young lady at dinner last night asked me if Loki was crazy (because of the influence of his name) and I asked her if she had seen the movie The Birdcage. She had. I told her that Loki was Nathan Lane's character.

I'm excited because tomorrow I'm starting a four week beginner class at yoga. After that, I will take a restorative yoga class that is for people with neck/back/knee and/or other injuries. Jason showed me some of the basic moves and I can do most of them. My knee still doesn't have full range of motion, so I can't completely do the poses, but that's the whole point, to get the function back.

Loki sez: I love yoga! Can you do this pose?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Loki Sunday

Oh, it's been high drama around here the past few days. Loki in a hissy fit is probably one of the most annoying things to deal with. Maybe talking to the robot voice on a customer service line is a tad bit more annoying, but it's a close call.

After several retreats, a couple of ruined moments (but can you really blame Thor for jumping on his brother's back and biting the snot out of him, I mean, Loki has been hissing and growling at Thor for two days now) and a few trips to the hissy fit basket, Loki seems to have had a break through.

At this moment in time, they are sitting together peacefully.

Loki sez: I love my brother. For now.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day Trippin'

Being that it was sunny and 70 degrees today, we took a quick trip to Magnolia Plantation this afternoon.

The camellias were blooming.

We went for as long a walk as my knee would tolerate, actually finished the garden walk.

Then went to my favorite part, the petting zoo.

And Jason made a new friend.

Deer sez: Human has a flavor.
(Photos by JAZ, except the last one of course)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Frazzled Friday

There was a giant, funny looking black and white "squirrel" on the window ledge this morning.

Loki had a major hissy fit and separation protocols were initiated.

Unfortunately Loki's safe place in under the bed. And his calming behavior involves hours of licking my thumb.

And Thor gets frantic about where his brother is and why he can't see Loki. And meows. His meow that can peel paint from the walls.

Then there is me, trying to sleep so I can go back to work tonight.

We shall begin the re-integration process tomorrow.

Loki is a hot mess.

Loki sez: "I was just trying to save us all from the funny looking squirrel. They can be very dangerous, you know."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thor's Day!

Nothing is safe!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Whining Wednesday

Giant needle inserting into a knee joint?

Not one of my favorite things.

Best fella in the world buying me wine and hunting down my favorite type of cinnamon tea?

One of my favorite things.

I'm bad at being a girl. I haven't had my eyebrows waxed since before Halloween. I finally went this morning to the hoochie-high-brow spa to have it done and while I was there, I asked if there happened to be any openings for a hair cut (since I last had a haircut, ummm...last summer?).

The very nice, extremely young and pretty receptionist with the rocking kewl kid 20 year old bod clothes checked and told me that there was an available spot with X, but that X wasn't a "master stylist".

Expectant pause.

Me, desperately trying to come up with some appropriate, spa-cool thing to say about that, finally motioned to my old fat gray haired self, so well groomed with my Brezhnev eye brows and Carol Brady shag, oh so sophisticated in my jeans, tee shirt and "Happy Bunny" zip up hoodie and said:

"Do I look like I need a master stylist?"

Which the proper answer probably was HELL FREAKING YES, YOU SLOB.

But I meant it like I don't really care, I just need someone moderately acquainted with a pair of scissors.

Then I had to sit there, listening to the oh-so hip crowd, dressed all in their college kid cool clothes talking about stuff I had no idea about, feeling like a big fat toad, swearing that I would mend my ways.

I'll buy grown up clothes. I'll stop wearing tennis shoes all the time. I'll put freaking make up on when I leave the house. Hell, I might even wear a bracelet or ring or something. I'll carry a purse.

That's why I hate those places, because I always feel like I'm doing everything wrong when I go there.

But my hair and eyebrows look great.

Loki sez: Bet they laughed at you when you left!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

May Dreams

Once again, I turn my thoughts to my birthday trip. Last year's trip was postponed for a good cause and this year my imagination is fired up.

Oh, I've been looking at Eurorail passes and Bavarian forests and Swiss lakes and dreaming of long lost Irish relatives. I've been having envious thoughts about Samantha Brown. I'm longing for Greek Isles and little known Spanish villages.

Then I look at the air fare.


So I think we will resurrect the southeastern Utah trip. Moab. Arches and Canyonland National Parks.

I am to see the orthopedic doc this afternoon. I will tell him that I hope to be hiking in Utah in five months. We'll see how hard he laughs.

Thor sez: Can I go? I want to see a dinosaur bone!