more about me
leslie harpold is creating another fantabulous online Advent calendar. every day is a wonderful treat - some beautiful picture, or fun animated thing, and a story, and a link. i've loved her creations the last few years, and am thrilled that she's doing it again this year.
it was an especially lovely treat to find in my email box tonight, as this has been a rather hard day all the way around. snow was rough to navigate (although excellently pretty), the handle snapped off my emergency shovel, so shovelling out my car was rather like excavating the Grand Canyon with a beach shovel, and the tree decorating that i had imagined being a lovely bonding moment for us all was a lot of 'mom does it differently!'. legit comment, but sort of hard to listen to for more than 4 or 5 minutes.
on the up side: we're all warm and safe, cars are running, Ricky (as always) sold us a fabulous tree, and it does look pretty with all the lights and ornaments. and there's an Advent calendar to enjoy. i think i'll warm up my mug of chai and go play with the treats in the calendar. and if you're around here where the snow is dumping down, keep warm and safe, too!
as if the Cat Debacle were not enough? she's getting him a hamster.
honestly, i don't know how to stop thinking about this. it's so absurd, on the one hand, and selfish/manipulative/hurtful on the other. people i love are getting hurt, and that makes me mad. and yet, what can i do? it's immensely frustrating, i'll tell you that.
it's always easier to see thru your windshield if it's clean.
he'd spent the last day or so alone, because sleepovers are not for him. and while he's had sufficient food and water, i knew he'd be happy to have company again. so there i am, driving along, thinking about a happy little cat and what we were going to do (he likes watching TV with me, and has his own agenda of Things To Do in the Kitchen while i'm cooking). and then it hit me: what does he do when he's alone?
seriously - what sorts of things run thru that furry little head of his? what does he think about? does he watch soap operas when i'm not around? drink tea? play Parcheesi?
i did inquire when i returned home, but he seemed rather preoccupied with wrapping himself around my ankles. ;)
still hoping to find resources to head further animal adoptions off at the pass; exploring the SPCA site turned up ways to report active abuse, but not a way to prevent other animals from a similar fate. if worse comes to worst, it's good to know that i can call the animal protective services.
and kitty got loads of extra loving last night, because i just couldn't stop thinking about the other cats. i wanted him to feel appreciated, and somehow thought that would make up for what the others missed. not sure how that works, but kitty and i both felt better about it.
how does one go about putting someone on a black list* for the SPCA? or, really, for any animal shelter? does such a thing exist?
thanks in advance, all.
*details in the comments, if you're curious.
i mean, this is New England, not Houston, right? (no offense, Texans. i just don't think that snow is on the list of regular events down there.)
everyone seems to have had a singularly crappy commute, except for those who opted out. if i had known it was going to take two and a half hours to drive seven miles, i might have opted out as well. but once you're halfway to hell, you may as well keep slogging. or sliding - was that the issue? i didn't run into all that much ice, just a buttload of traffic. but i've heard from others that they figured their bus was going to wipe out every car parked on Mass Ave. how was it in your area? and did you have enough coffee to persevere? ;)
on a related note: there's a Dunkin' Donuts that i go by a lot of mornings now. it's just around a corner at an intersection, relative to my travel path, and in a strip mall. now, i have been known to be a tad cranky without my morning caffeine. (hush, you.) shortest path to caffeine wins, for everyone. so imagine my delight when, as i approached the intersection in question, i saw a big pink and orange sign with an arrow pointing right. 'aha!', i thought, 'a secret hidey back way to the drive thru! i am ecstatic!' ... or mumbles to that effect.
only there was a small catch: two jersey barriers. yeah. turns out that the sign is actually in advance of the turn that you need to take (at the intersection). however, enough people must have processed as i did - coffee! arrow! turn! now! here! except when the here and now is along the railroad tracks, on the other side of the fence from the strip mall and nowhere near the coffee, things will not turn out well. they must have one too many people drive down the tracks, and rather than move or modify the sign, they modified the access path. heh.
(why didn't i post this on Thanksgiving, you might ask? well. it's like this. Verizon decided to bone me, and take away my phone line. not my DSL line, mind you. just phone. which means that technically i could have been posting, because i could connect, but the thought of having one service and not the other drove me batshit, as did the service rep who blithely decided that all my phones must have mysteriously broken overnight and could they charge me a bazillion dollars to fix my (not broken) phones?. eh. so i just stayed away from the whole telecom thing for a while.)
so where was i? oh, yeah. thankful. ;)
there are a myriad of things going on in my life that are good. i have the great good fortune of a wonderful partner, a fabulous and funny family, equally fabulous friends, a steady income, a roof over my head, an endearingly wacky cat, good health (knock on wood), the luxury of being able to live my life the way i want - all in all, life is pretty damn fine.
i had the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with many of my favorite people this year; in what may be developing as a trend, i had two entire celebratory meals. (same as last year, which i thought might be a fluke, but two years points to a trend, yes?) The Dane and i headed down to my parents for a mid day meal, and had a chance to spend time with my parents and my grandmother. the only real hitch was the traffic, which was a surprise - last 6 or 7 years, there hasn't been anyone on the road. my dad, in his inimitable logic, tried to motivate us with garlic crostini and shrimp when i called to update him on our progress. nice try, and motivational for us, but it wasn't going to do much for the guy in front of us. ;)
after a lovely meal with my family, we trundled back into the car and back up to the city to have a second round with Chica Bean and Chef. whoofdy. a note of advice: if a recent culinary grad invites you for a holiday meal, eat lightly beforehand, and dress loosely. a good thing there was room on the couch to stretch out afterwards. i think we were all fairly inert after that one.
we did all have enough energy for several rounds of Fictionary, which was a blast. if you haven't played before, here's the basic premise: one person picks a word, everyone writes a definition and hands it in, and the person leading the round reads all the definitions. then everyone votes as to which one is the real definition. take a roomful of literate, creative, and silly people, add wine and a dictionary, and let the silliness start. man, oh man... i'll just say this: masaranduba, jinniwink, mastiphobic, gaberlungie. discuss. :)
well, that was sort of all over the place...
a lot of good people are participating in World AIDS Day: Link and Think as a way of making a difference, by sharing stories and information.
it never ceases to amaze me, the reach of this disease and the apocalyptic effect it has had around the world. i've been fortunate enough to not have any direct experience - which makes it altogether too easy to lose track of how many people do. when i participated in Link and Think last year, i sat for a long time staring at a paragraph that explained how entire countries are being destabilized by AIDS. looking at the statistics for sub-Saharan countries, seeing that one in every four people has AIDS, really puts a new face on the disease.
i will point to what i hope is news that progress can be made: from Voice of America News, a story about working towards making retrovirals more accessible internationally by 2005.
"I keep on saying that the cost of ARVs now is just about the cost of cigarettes, for those people who smoke, in a month," [Ms. Ngilu] said.