Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Cardinal

We've had a plethora of wildlife in our back yard lately, but I managed to get a picture of the baby Cardinal that's been visiting.

We've also had a wild turkey, nicknamed Nika by Lucy, several Northern Flickers, as well as the usual bevy of bunnies, squirrel, red-bellied woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, nut hatches, tufted titmice, orioles, and rose-breasted grossbeaks.

Nika has been coming to our yard for a couple of years now and she's absolutely huge! I'll try to get a decent shot of her next time she's in the neighborhood.

I included a picture of Inga taking a break from watching the birds and attempting to climb the screens that are no longer there.

Compared to just last week she seems enormous.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

We did it!

Yesterday we adopted a kitten. I guess that means I'm weak. I made it just over a week without a cat in the house.

I feel so much better already. As I type this the kitten is asleep downstairs. Henry is watching YouTube, Lucy is playing with Moonsand on the deck, and all is temporarily right with the world.

The kitty is 11 weeks old and weighs just over 2 lbs. She has very soft fur, beautiful tabby markings, and is a polydactyl.

Except that we don't just have ONE pet snake outside. We have two! Those were pictures of two different snakes I posted the other day. We're calling them Snakey and Snakina.

We still don't have a name for the kitten, but for once I don't feel like I need to rush into something.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hair of the Cat

Beware. The following is a long, rambling post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It has been just over a week since we said goodbye to Sufi. Though I know hardly any time has passed I am still having trouble sleeping, eating, or thinking about anything else besides getting another cat. I don't want to garden or read.

Cary and I have also discussed getting a dog. Specifically getting a Boston Terrier. But here's the thing. There are only a few Boston Terrier breeders around, and it's hard to know if they are reputable or not. But I can go on Petfinder and pick out a dozen adorable cats that might not cause Cary any more allergic discomfort than Sufi did. We're also considering adopting a Siberian, but there's no guarantee that a Siberian kitten will not cause an allergic reaction. Nor do we know how he will do in the presence of a Boston Terrier -- he just thinks they are very cute.

While I know full well that there are many, many worse things in life than losing a pet, I've been stunned by how acute the pain is. I want it to end. I want to take the ragged empty spot in my soul where Sufi used to be and stuff it full of kittens.

And when I'm tired and cranky I have less patience with the kids, and I don't want to do all the things I should do for them, like take them to the park, and feed them balanced meals, and read to them.

But wait, there's more! I took Henry to the dentist today to get a spacer put on two of his teeth. The dentist informed me that she would like to pull two teeth while we were there. So boom. Out came the two teeth! Being exhausted was helpful because I just had to trust her, and he did great. I think the teeth were pretty loose, and his discomfort was minimal. Maybe the tooth fair will bring him a kitten?

Henry also taught Lucy how to play Pokemon Diamond on her DS, so now she's a little video game addict. At least we get a little peace around here once in awhile.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sufi's Tree

I planted a Corkscrew Willow in Sufi's memory on Thursday morning. Supposedly the Corkscrew Willow is a fast growing tree that will do well in the swampy nether regions of our back yard. I put an ugly deer fence around it to keep the critters away. I will be damned if this tree doesn't thrive.

I'm finding life without our sweet kitten changes how I look at things. Things like snakes. Since we won't be welcoming a new pet home any time soon, I've decided to adopt our snake visitor as an ad hoc pet. I even took pictures. We named him Snakey.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Today we said goodbye to our sweet Sufi. I was lucky to have 15 wonderful years with her. She was affectionate and playful. I will miss the way she used to put her paw in my hand, or stretch out on my outstretched legs each night. I will miss the little golden patch of fur under her chin. I will miss seeing her watch the birds or nap in the sunshine.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

What Went Wrong Index

Like Harper's, only on a smaller scale and with more bodily fluids.

This week:
Number of school days Lucy missed: 3
Number of school days Henry missed: 0
Number of apology letters Henry wrote: 5
Number of times I cried in public: 3
Number of acquaintances offering tissues: 2
Approximate number of times Sufi urinated outside litter box today: 4
Number of cans of salmon Sufi consumed: less than one
Number of cans of cat food Sufi consumed: zero
Tickets ordered for Lucy's Spring Ballet Performance: 7
Cost of tickets: $97.00
Bags of mulch purchased: 20
Bags of mulch used: 0
Cost of mulch: $97.00
Number of globe allium blooming in garden: 12

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crosseyed and Painless

Last Friday night I was supposed to go see Sleigh Bells with my mom. I had the sitter. I had tickets waiting for us at the Will Call. But I'd had a migraine for three of the past four straight days, so I decided to skip the show.

I had a vision of my name on the list. The last name on the list that hadn't been crossed out. This isn't the first time I'd done this and our concert scene is tiny, so I thought, "what if people start recognizing my name as the person who never picks up her tickets."

It was pretty easy to dismiss that thought, but it reminded me of another list that my name is still on. The list for people who don't know what they want to be when they grow up. An Ivy League education is like buying an advance ticket on the rest of your life and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in my graduating class still waiting to pick up my ticket. Just as I really wanted to see Sleigh Bells, but I didn't want to stand for several hours, sit through a lousy opening band (or two), and leave the house around the time I normally go to bed, I am deeply ambivalent about the work world. The longer I stay out the harder it will be to go back, yet unless something wonderful landed in my lap, I don't think I want to go back right now. I realize that's not a very good attitude to have.

I've recently discussed looking for work with a few of the people closest to me. The discussion alone was enough to throw me into a complete tizzy. And it didn't make things any clearer to me about what I should do next.

I think David Byrne said it best on "Crosseyed and Painless":

I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
The feeling returns whenever we close out eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
The island of doubt, it's like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight, got the message from the oxygen
I'm making a list, find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right (Right), right, facts are useless in emergencies
The feeling returns, whenever we close our eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, (Thank you) I'm still waiting, (We like to thank our crew) I'm still waiting

Monday, March 29, 2010

I always knew my mom was the coolest

but now everyone knows just how great her taste in music is.

I have a piece in PopMatters today about how much my mom loves her iPod. I write about how she and my friend Jeff actually buy a lot more music now because they can download MP3s and use the Internet to learn about new bands more easily than in the past.

The negative comments crack me up. It's worth checking out the piece just to see how riled up people can get. At least someone cared enough to complain.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's not that things have stopped going wrong...

Why just last week I had pink eye. Then Henry threw up at school three times in four days at school, so he and I got to spend some quality time together when he was recuperating.

Why don't I blog any more?

I have been reading more books and trying to stay off of the computer. Jasper Fforde, Alan Bradley, and Greg Mortenson have been keeping me busy.

Sharing my kids issues isn't quite as cute now that they are a little older and Henry can actually read. I feel more like I might be violating their privacy.

Plus I am absolutely no closer to knowing what I want to be when I grow up. But I'm happy with my jobby, and don't have much motivation to look for something more substantial.

I have yet to have one single day where I feel bored while the kids are at school. Usually I am busy down til 2:29 when I gasp, grab my coat, and rush out to meet the bus.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Just this week alone

2010 is shaping up to be a bang up year so far.

Here is what has already gone wrong:

1. I have learned that spending more than one or two days in the house with my entire immediate family makes me extremely cranky. It's as if the other three family members hog all of the oxygen in the house causing my brain to fuzz over like it has been put in long term storage. I do things like order a 2009 engagement calendar, wait for it to arrive, and wonder why none of the dates match up to all of the reminder cards I've been squirreling away for the last six months.

2. On Monday, the day that everything was supposed to return to normal, I was dressed for the gym, minding my own business, when the car would not start. Long story short, 6 hours, $200 odd dollars and no work out later, the car was working again. But I had to put off enjoying life in the quiet house again until Tuesday, and I was not pleased.

3. On Thursday (actually very, very early in the morning on Friday) Lucy puked all over her carpet, her PJs, her bed, and her hair. I spent about an hour stripping sheets, changing her clothes, inflating the air mattress (in the dark -- didn't want to wake Cary) so she could sleep in our room. Lucy's bedroom is tiny and nearly every walkable bit of floorspace was now off limits. It still is. I've applied three treatments of Nature's Miracle to the carpet, and the stench is finally beginning to wear off. Maybe tonight she can sleep in her own bed again.

4. When Lucy was home on Friday I got a call from the school saying Henry was in the nurse's office. He'd been sledding and was having trouble breathing, so Lucy and I had to go into school with his inhaler and dispense albuterol poste haste. Needless to say I am not in possession of a spare inhaler and doctor's note, so that doesn't happen again.

Here's to hoping that no one else in the house gets sick! I'm going to go lie down now.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What the oughts hath wrought

My ten favorite albums of the decade:

1. Arcade Fire - Funeral
This record got me to listen to music again, and I'm still grateful.

2. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?
The best record about mental illness ever made.

3. LCD Soundsystem - Self-titled
James Murphy is more of a singles artist but "Losing My Edge" was my song of the decade. Definitely lost my edge.

4. M.I.A. - Arular

5. White Stripes - Elephant
Before Henry could speak he could hum the beginning of "Seven Nation Army."

6. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

7. Metric - Grow Up and Blow Away

8. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Wasn't really a fan of Jenny Lewis until I saw her live. Even though there are songs I have to skip on this record, it also includes a few of the best songs she ever wrote.

9. Thao With the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All

10. St. Vincent - Marry Me

And now for something completely different...
Ten favorites from 2009
1. St. Vincent - Actor
2. Metric - Fantasies
3. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster
(These three acts happen to coincide with the three interviews I did in the last 12 months. I am a lucky girl).
4. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
5. Emily Wells - Dirty (EP)
6. Taken By Trees, East of Eden
7. Happy Hollows, Spells
8. Future of the Left, Travels With Myself and Another
9. YACHT, See the Mystery Lights
10. Jay Reatard, Watch Me Fall

2009 was one of the best years for musical releases that I can remember.