Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the road to the inauguration

Even before he is sworn in as president, Barack Obama has been very busy. There is so much to do and so many adventures to have on the road to inauguration. Meanwhile, lame duck President Bush has been busy himself. Here are but a few of the things that have been occupying their time.


Obama selects a cabinet.


Meanwhile, Bush is having trouble getting out of bed in the morning.



Obama meets with the leaders of the Republican Party.

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Meanwhile, Bush contemplates his legacy.


Stay tuned for more of their exciting adventures.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gracie


One of our four cats, Gracie, ran away from home. The weird part is that we watched her do it. On Monday, we took three of the cats to the vet for their yearly checkup. When we got home, I decided on a whim to release the cats from their carriers in the carport rather than inside the house. Ed and Frances are both indoor and outdoor cats, so they sauntered into the back yard and started cleaning the smell of the vet off their fur.

Gracie slipped under our neighbor’s fence into their back yard. J and I watched in amazement. In the past, whenever I let Gracie go in the carport, she ran straight into the house. Gracie was strictly an indoor cat. The furthest outdoors she would venture was our screened in front porch. We couldn’t believe she decided to run away from the house.

“I guess she wants to have an adventure,” J said.

Later, J pointed out that right before Gracie slipped under the neighbor’s fence, she looked back and shot us her best “fuck you” face.



We didn’t worry too much about her going under the fence because our neighbor’s back yard is completely fenced in. We figured Gracie would sniff around for a while and then scurry back home. We thought that maybe her little adventure would do her some good, give her some fresh air, and maybe get her to chill the fuck out.

Thirty minutes later, we began to wonder how long Gracie planned to stay out. We asked our neighbor if we could go into his yard to get our cat. He said sure. It wasn’t a big yard and we searched all of it, but no sign of Gracie. I even shined a flashlight under the shed. We did find where Gracie could have gotten out without us seeing her leave.

I didn’t put up signs for our missing cat because they would be a waste of time. Gracie doesn’t just hide from strangers, she hides from us. She won’t let anyone she doesn’t know get near her. Giving her medicine was near impossible because she’d run and hide if I had anything in my hand she construed might be for her. Nobody was going to see her. She didn’t wear a collar because she never went outside.



Gracie was paranoid and bitchy. She hated J and has been known to pee in J’s shoes. A few months back, she decided she didn’t want to crap in the litter box anymore and instead crapped right next to it. I was the only person she allowed to pet her and only when and how she decided. Gracie was so weird that the vet once prescribed kitty Zoloft for her, only it didn’t work because giving her the medicine made her more crazy than she already was.



Gracie was fourteen years old. I got her and her brother, George, from the Humane Society. George died years ago and after he was gone, we realized how much he kept Gracie’s craziness contained. Gracie had respiratory problems and possible kidney problems. She was a major pain in the ass, but she was our pain in the ass. I feel guilty that it’s been so much easier with the other three cats since she’s been gone. I haven’t given up on her yet. I walk the neighborhood every day on the off chance that I see her hiding under a car or scurrying across the road.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

When Movies Collide


So, I happen to watch "Brokeback Mountain" and "King Kong" back to back and somehow I got them mixed up in my mind and came up with "Brokeback Monster." It could happen. The best line in the movie would be when King Kong turns and says "I wish I could quit you, Godzilla!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Memoirist


I did this in honor of J whose memoir is coming out this coming April.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Memories of Halloweens Past



Most years we get so many kids coming to our house on Halloween that we run out of candy. And we always buy a lot of candy. We’ve seen some great costumes, both store bought and handmade. Our favorite handmade costume was done by a young boy who had taken two shirts, folded them in half and buttoned them together so that he had one shirt on the left and the other on the right. He also wore mismatched shoes and socks. Plus he wore a tie.

“What are you supposed to be?” J asked him.

“A hard working man,” he replied.

“Well, this hard working man deserves some candy,” I said.

Another great handmade costume was a boy dressed as laundry. He had cut a hole in a plastic laundry basket and attached it to his waist. He added clothes around him. The best part was that he took an empty laundry detergent box, cut the top off, and used it as his Halloween bag. He was part of a group of kids who were followed by their wine drinking parents.

“He came up with this idea all by himself,” laundry boy’s mother kvelled. “It’s so amazing to see how creative he’s become and it’s so fascinating how he’s becoming his own person.” (Oy, Lady, he’s a basket of laundry. Don’t get carried away.)

The strangest store bought costume we saw this year was the orange prison uniform that came with handcuffs. We counted four, which meant there were probably many more. What made this odd for us was the fact that there is a maximum security Federal Penitentiary about a mile away from our house.

Besides fun costumes, the kids always have something interesting to say. Here are the few I remember:

“It was pleasure to meet you.” (I see somebody was taught some manners.)

“Do you own a dog?” When I replied that I didn’t own a dog and why did he ask, the little masked murderer said, “You seem like the kind of people who would own a dog.”

“I don’t like these,” the pintsized Power Ranger said, holding up the mini Milky Way bar I had tossed in his bag. “Give me something else.”

“I’m not JUST a princess, I’m a Voodoo Princess,” said the girl in the clown wig.

“Can I have some candy for my little brother? He couldn’t make it up the stairs. Why do you have so many stairs?” (A legitimate question since we do have a very steep stairway and many kids are out of breath by the time they reach our porch.)

“You know who invented Halloween? The Devil!” (The hell you say. Perhaps I shouldn’t corrupt you by giving you candy.)

“I’m afraid of cats. Can I see your cat?”

We’ve had the opportunity to watch many of the same kids come year after year. The one child we always notice, for obvious reasons, is the boy with no arms. He is Hispanic and he has fingers at the edges of his shoulders. He always wears a muscle shirt and has his bag attached to a string around his neck. He is probably around fourteen by now. He used to be shy, but has grown more self-assured every year. It’s sad that he lives his Halloween costume year round. Usually he arrives with a group of Hispanic kids, possibly fellow family members, but this year he came with a black boy his age who was dressed as a funky clown. In the unconscious manner of kids, the funky clown turned to the no arm boy and said, “Man are my arms tired!”