Tag Archives: cat

Buckle Up, You’re a Traveler.

Last week I took a long weekend to travel up to Buffalo, New York to visit my better half’s family.  It was his Dad’s 80th birthday.  There were enough candles on the cake the wait staff actually brought in fire extinguishers…..just in case.

Had Dad had extra long eyebrows or nose hairs, we would have had some serious issues.  The dancing flames of flamenco dancing would have had all new meaning to the clan.

The joys of traveling.  A necessary evil.  Luckily we’ve been able to bypass the stagecoach nowadays.

A first for me was having to find a boarding place for our child.  I wasn’t going to bring her with me and while she’s 11 years old, she’s too young to stay by herself.  After asking around I found a highly recommended boarding facility about 45 minutes from our house. The morning of departure I packed her up and we traveled to the cottage.  The entire time in the car she pitched a fit.  Wouldn’t stop telling me how unhappy she was for all kinds of reasons:

  • She didn’t understand why she couldn’t go with me.
  • She was unhappy that she couldn’t stay by herself at home.
  • She’s never been to the new boarding place.
  • She was worried about making friends.
  • She was pissed she couldn’t see out the window.
  • She wasn’t happy about having to travel in the car while zipped inside a bag.

Needless to say, Liggy, was one pissed kitty upon arrival to the Country Cat Cottage.  After dropping her off at the feline spa, I raced home and threw on my dress and grabbed my suitcase.  I was off and running to the airport.

Yes.  That is correct.  I wore a dress.  On the plane.  With heels.  For one main reason: I wanted to see if I got treated better dressed up.

What do you think?

Remember years of yore when people actually dressed up to travel on the airplane?  Sunday best attire, hats and gloves?  Now everything including pajamas are acceptable.  It’s ridiculous.  I think there should be a little bit of a dress code to fly.  Honestly, there was a hooker on my return flight!  Forgive me, a working girl.  A gentleman’s lady.  An escort.

Seriously, she was a lady of the evening.  I saw who checked her in at the Delta kiosk.  That wasn’t her father.

Another reason for dress codes on the airplanes is because seats are now so close together that you pray the person sitting next to you doesn’t cross their leg….resting their ankle on their knee closest to you.  Chances are they’re wearing inappropriate shoes, right?!

Of course.  Flip flops.  Toes that haven’t been tended to in months.  Nails so long they’re leaving snags in the airplane carpet.  What is that tapping noise?  Oh, that guy’s toenails hitting the tray table.  Lo and behold, if you looked close enough you’d probably spy moving fungi between the toes.  Oh, wait up….that was jam.

What’s even worse (you’ll want to mentally prepare yourself for engaging your anti-gag reflex) the people who play with their toes or pick their nails and then put their fingers in their mouth.

Good grief….disgusting.   Miss Manners would be horrified.  Forget Miss Manners – I AM HORRIFIED.

Being this was my first time to the Fort Lauderdale airport as a departure contestant (think Fear Factor contestant) I drove around the entire complex TWICE before locating the proper exit for parking.  I can’t say it was a scenic drive as I was too busy trying not to be run down by the taxis.  The first parking garage I drove around and around and around was – full – of course.

There was a sign for Valet, which I actually considered as I was beginning to panic about finding parking, but couldn’t actually locate where the hell the Valet people were stationed.  Everything here in Miami has valet.  Seriously:  malls, restaurants, movies, bars, strip clubs, doctor offices…you name it there’s a valet.  You would think the airport would have a blazingly bright neon sign screaming, VALET.  Or at least a random homeless person with a sign around their neck with a big arrow saying, VALET….this way.   Nope, this airport is like Pandora’s Box.  Good luck with that shit.

Finally, I find a spot to park Norman….in a second parking tower.

Since the complex is so enormous, I actually took a picture of the garage parking map where it said, “YOU ARE HERE.”  At least I’ll have a general area of where the hell Norman is when I return.

I race down 6 floors to the ground level where I see a sign for a shuttle to the terminals.   The airport fairy sends the tram car and I hop on.  The gentleman in the back car smiles and gladly takes my carry on luggage.  Score one point for my test of dressing nicer for service.  I advise him of my airline and off we go.

Now, I am sweating, not because of the heat (well mainly because of heat) but I’m now later than I wanted to be walking into the actual airport.  I have a little over an hour before departure.  My time has been wasted trying to find parking and then taking the tram to the actual building.

This is ridiculous.

In my haste to get to the airport, I completely forgot you have to take your shoes off at security.  There I am BAREFOOT in the airport.  The best I could do was try and keep my little piggies up off the floor.  Most people wear socks right.  Wrong.  I look around and 99% of the people going through the security gates are sockless.   Walk on your heels.  Don’t walk on your heels – they’ll think you’re mental.

Finally, I make it to the gate only to learn the flight is 25 minutes late.  Great.  There goes my connection in Detroit.  The gate agent assures me it won’t be a problem, there’s a tail wind and all connections will be made just fine.  I try to think positively but in my heart I know this is going to be a mess.  You know like when your gut tells you not to open that piece of junk mail but you do it anyway and it turns out to be a virus.  I felt like that.

Once on board the silver bullet we take off and the pilot comes on to announce our arrival time into Detroit.  Oh yeah, by the way, we’re still going to be 30 minutes behind schedule.  Luckily I am in the second row of steerage so I’ve formulate a plan.

As soon as the “double-ding” occurs I am up and out of my seat heading towards the door.    I race up the gangway and leap out into the terminal like a ninja.  Where’s a monitor?  I need to see the monitor!  (No.  Thanks Delta, but you were’t able to provide gate information coming in for the landing, you didn’t care I had a connection and there was nobody at the gate to assist.)  We’ve arrived into terminal A – and my connection is in terminal C.

YOU MUST BE KIDDING.  With 10 minutes before departure, I give it a solid try.  My feet have already been contaminated so what’s it going to hurt?  I yank off my high heels and begin sprinting through the terminal like OJ Simpson.  The exception is I’m shorter, pulling a wheeled bag and I’m barefoot.  AGAIN.

I’m following the big C signs with the arrows  and come up short when I realize, there’s a  shuttle to the C terminal!  I hurl myself into the car as the automated announcement tells us the doors are closing.  No shit, really?  The gentlemen next to me asks about my connection, I tell him it’s to Buffalo.  A Delta employee is sitting there and says, “Oh, they shut that gate 7 minutes early.”

The doors open and I weigh my options.  Continue like a crazed nutter and hope the guy was lying or put my shoes back on and stroll up to the counter?  Yep, you guessed it.  The Nutter won.  I continue sprinting along the long hallway, which obviously must be under an runway as it went on forever.  My little naked feet are pounding against the moving walkway as I keep praying silently to myself, “I will not get foot fungus.  I will not get foot fungus.”  It was like being in a horror film….running down one of those long hallways that you never get to the end of….and Jack Nicholson is chasing you with an ax screaming “Here Comes Johnny!”

As I’m dashing down this hallway, more like a character from a Dr. Seuss story than a long distance runner I notice with horror one thing.  I’m loosing my panties.

My under ware is falling down.

By the time I get on the escalator going up to terminal A, I realize half of both cheeks are exposed.  Well, how the hell am I going to pull these up?  Thank god for the person who invented the pockets.  My dress has pockets.  Insert hands and pull up panties.

Good grief.  I’ve never.  Ever.  EVER.  Had a problem like this before.  What’s next?

Finally I get to the counter and there are THREE Delta agents there.  Nobody making eye contact with me.  Oh so sorry, that flight is already gone.  We’ve already booked you on another flight this evening, here’s your ticket.  No seat assignment?  Oh, we can’t do that, you have to go to that gate.  Alright fine.

I walk away, sit down on the bench and burst into tears.  Now I know how people feel on American Idol.  You give it your best shot, do everything in your power and you still loose.  My cute dress didn’t even help me.  They can’t even give me a seat!

Finally I pull myself together, wipe the sweat and melted eyeliner off my face and walk to the departure gate.  I have about 90 minutes before the next flight.  I ask the agent if they can assign me a seat.  Nope, they are not dealing with my flight yet and suggest I come back in about an hour.

Are you kidding me?  There’s computers and technology sitting all over counter.  You’re telling me you can’t assign me a seat?  For real?  OMG.  Where is the customer service?  Not at Delta Airlines.

Don’t worry, it gets worse.  Trust me.

I get something to eat and head back to the gate.  They assign me a seat and while I still have 30 minutes to kill before boarding I wander the terminal and make some phone calls.  I stand across from the gate, while I’m on the phone, waiting for the flight number to read “now boarding.”  All of the sudden the gate number changes.  WTF?  I rudely tell my friend, “I have to go!  The flight is now departing out of B terminal!”

Once more, I ponder my situation and decide, in order not to miss the possibility of this next flight also leaving early, I better take the heels off again.  I dash through the airport, pulling my purple wheel bag and praying to God my panties don’t end up around my knees.

Again, they get so bad that I seriously consider just stopping and yanking them off.  I don’t care at this point.  But then I think to myself, “what would you do if you fell and didn’t have anything on underneath?  You’d be embarrassed….”  So instead I stopped and pulled them up three times on my run to the next terminal.  What baffles me is they were cute new roos.  How could they not fit?  Good grief.  Leave it to me.

I finally arrive and sling-shot myself into the counter in B terminal.  The agent tells me I have plenty of time, not to worry.  So I decide to use the restroom, wipe the sweat off all exposed areas of skin and secure my panties.  I’m not just misting or glowing, I look like I’ve been enjoying myself on the slip & slide.

Pulled together once more, I walk on to the tiny plane.  It’s one of those with 2 and 2.  My seat, last one, by the bathroom and it’s a window.  Of course.  Nothing like being a nervous flier stuck by a window, in a seat that doesn’t recline and enjoying the aromas of the freshly used toilette.  Love it.  Sign me up to do this multiple times a day!

I get to my seat and the guy on the aisle is very nice.  I figure it must be the dress.  I get my ear plugs out and a piece of gum.  Departure time comes and the Delta crew tells us they’re waiting on a few connecting flights that just landed, giving those folks time to catch this flight.  Fuckers.  You didn’t wait for me, you sent my plane early!

Really though, it was a lie.  Nobody else joined us on the plane.

20 minutes later.

30 minutes later.

45 minutes later.

60 minutes later.

We’re still sitting at the gate.  Trapped in this silver bullet.  Waiting to go to Buffalo.  It was a mechanical.  It was paperwork.  It was the dispatchers. It was the hokey-pokey.  I don’t know exactly which excuse it actually was but just be honest.  While you’re at  it….  offer us something to drink for crying out loud!  This was the first time that I didn’t travel with my Quart Size Bag filled with alcohol bottles.  Yes, I am the only person who actually  uses those bags properly.  Had I stuffed it with my little bar bottles, I could have made a fortune on that plane.  $5 a bottle.

70 minutes into our collective meditation on the lack of service provided by Delta and we’re on our way.

Ahhhhhhhh…….

Had a great time with the family.  Lots of laughter.  Met new faces.  Ate the same thing for lunch two days in a row….the sub shop is AWESOME.  Bought hosiery cause I can’t find any in Miami.  Wandered through the village.  Went to the zoo.  Chased little kids.  Played one hand of some sort of card game (I don’t like cards….too many numbers.) And ate a steak for the first time in months!  Was also the only one who didn’t get sick after eating at the weird taco place….

I would like to say on my return, I did not wear a dress.  It obviously had put the hex on my customer service experience.  Upon arriving at the Buffalo airport I had plenty of time to get to my gate.  Once on board I relaxed and happily anticipated enjoying an adult beverage from the cart.

We push back from the gate and guess what?  Delayed.  AGAIN.  Trapped like a sardine.  AGAIN.  Are you kidding me Delta?  The people around me immediately start balking.  Their flights before this one were all late and now this one is leaving late.  Connections are going to be missed.  It’s a fiasco.  Previously, I had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta.  Now, I have about 60 minutes, which is fine.  Not a problem.

The real problem however was when we landed in Atlanta and I walked to the next gate for my flight to Fort Lauderdale.  Yep, you guessed it, my last flight of the day….delayed!  Honestly, they should consider renaming Delta to Delay or maybe just Delete.

Things I learned from this experience:

The dress didn’t make a damn bit of different.

You can’t drink alcohol in the Buffalo airport before noon on Sundays.

Never to work for Delta, let alone fly with them again.

Always travel with your own bar.

Oh and yes in case you were curious, I threw out the panties.

 

 

 

 

Get Off My Ass…Unless You’re Buying Me Dinner.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Alaskans.

We.  Like. Our. Space.

That’s why we prefer to live in a state where there’s only 1.5 people per square mile.     Love that.  In my square mile I’d designate Liggy, our cat, as the .5 measurement.  (That’s correct, Eric can get his own square mile…mine is full.) Unfortunately, however, I’ve moved to Miami and the luxury of personal space went out the window along with owning sensible shoes.

Which, by the way, if you would have told me at this time last year I’d be wearing platform heels I would have laughed myself to the point of a side cramp.  Now, I have several pairs to choose from in the closet.  Not to mention the colors.  Yes.  The shoes I get the most complements on?  The hot pink Jessica Simpsons – thank you very much.

There was this one pair I drooled over in DSW.  They were vanilla colored, satin fabric, platforms that not only had a rhinestone on the front but feathers as well.  LOVED those shoes.  Went to try them on several times.

shoes

Then I thought to myself:

Self, when are you realistically going to wear these shoes?

I’d wear them to work?

No.

Performing art?

Maybe.

Grocery shopping?

Definitely.

No.  I didn’t buy them.  Sigh.

Anyway, back to the issue.  I wish the people of Miami would do me one little favor:

GET

OFF

MY

ASS!

I have never been anywhere in this short lifespan of mine that has had so many strangers trying to climb up my ass every single day.  Not only that but they’re pissy people at that!

It would be one thing if you were a smooth talking, good looking, sweet smelling suave and swanky personality that would cause me to swoon as soon as you grinned.  However you’re not anything close to making my knees buckle Miami…..

Driving down I-95.  Am I supposed to be impressed as your flashy Porsche flies past Norman like he’s standing still?  Probably.  And I am impressed.  I’d love to go for a ride in that!  Sexy and fast.  Sign me up.

However it’s the idiot in the Honda with the stupid loud muffler that’s trying to act like he’s all that AND a bag of chips….but when in reality he isn’t even the stale pickle on the plate.  Really?  You’re going to tail me and try to intimidate me?  Okay well I’m slowing down by at least 5 mph.  Oh yeah baby, that big rip of a scrape along the left side of your car door – that’s so hot.  Meeeeoooow,

No.

If you’re going to get that close, I hope you brushed your teeth.

Then there’s the cars that when you look in the rear view mirror you already know what’s coming next.  (It’s like watching a Heat game and you just know they’re going to win….the opposing team really shouldn’t have bothered to show up.)  Before you can change the radio station with the flick of your thumb on the steering wheel….no, Norman doesn’t have that ability….it’s just wishful thinking…..the car has climbed up over your back fender and is changing lanes just as fast.

Damn really?  And then the traffic slows down and you’re side by side with Mr. Slick Ass.

Sucker.

And the point of that was what exactly?

More than driving, the one thing that absolutely brings me to the edge of insanity in :15 seconds flat is personal space.  I have gotten to the point where anything inside my imaginary hula-hoop is MINE.  The hula-hoop is made of titanium and can’t be broken.  You step inside the hoop and you’re going to be in my way.

BACK  UP!

Enough already.  Do I have a sign on my forehead that reads, “newbie….transplant from Alaska” which gives you the permission to try and body check me at your convenience?  Oh, there wasn’t a sign, you’re just rude by nature?  Wow.  Your parents must be so proud!

Case in point:  tonight I stopped at Pet Smart.  Liggy, was in need of kitty treats, which I can only find at Pet Smart.  I stood in line.  My purse, which isn’t a suitcase by the way, was hitched over my forearm…..comfortably cradled in the crook of my left elbow.

This woman comes up and while there’s nobody standing near me for 3 miles….manages to walk into my purse as she’s going around me.

Really?

As she gets around to my right side, where I am holding another bag in my hand….from the grocery…she bangs into that as well.

OMG what am I?  Magnetic?  For pete’s sake….you have the entire front of the store yet you are drawn to me like freedom fighters to a noble cause.  Can you really not manage to give me a few inches to breathe?  Even the casher grimaced at me with an apologetic face.

The grocery stores are even worse.  Nobody has any concept of personal space.  I don’t just mean in the check out lane, where they push their cart all the way up to the handle bar of your cart the moment you turn your back.  I’m talking about walking down the wide main aisle of Target and it’s three across going one way….large and in charge.  And two coming directly at you.

Cue the Wild West Gunslinger Music….there’s going to be a shoot out.

It’s gotten so bad at Target that I will go out of my way to avoid certain areas because the people are going to drive me crazy before I can even get to the toilette paper.  You try and go around and it’s like they have crazy ESP.  Fake left, they go right.  Fake right, they go left.  Double back to go forward and they’re right there….quietly pondering what to have for dinner….steak or chicken…as they push the cart…down the middle of the expansive aisle.

The side aisles are the trenches of warfare.  Forget trying to make your way from one end to the other if there’s another person in the row.  The rule of “finders keepers” is definitely in play.  They won’t give you an inch to spare one square.  It’s a new game of ostrich….

“While I don’t have any available sand to stick my head in so I can ignore you….if I just plain out pretend I don’t see you then you can’t see me and life is good.  So fuck off and go around me because I own this universe.  Okay, I own this aisle!”

Okay, get over yourself and move your damn cart already.

Today I got on the elevator at lunch.  It was crowded.  The last guy on rather than turning around to face the door, decided to keep his back to the door and face the rest of us.  He was busy emailing.  Good grief people!!!  Save yourselves and release the smart technology for two minutes and join in the rest of society.  Buddy, you closely resemble an ass and if you had any idea, you would have been horrified, of this I am certain.

Yes, he finally turned around and in the process moved closer to me so his screen was nearly eye level with my eyeballs.  Do you really think I give a fuzzy hamster’s butt about the upcoming meeting regarding the 42-B template for designs of toilette flush handles?  No.  I.  Do.  Not.

Stop being so pretentious.  Stop trying to put your business in my face.

I. Don’t. Care.

While we’re on the topic of elevators and people and being pretentious and putting their business in my face….I want to discuss sweatpants.  Specifically the ones with words across the butt.

I have two observations.

1.  Whoever thought of this concept obviously didn’t think about including regulations  for appropriate wearage.

2.  Just because they fit doesn’t mean they look good on you.

Dear heaven above, save my eye balls from bloody ruptures if I have to see another butt going by that rolls so much I can’t even make out what the words are:  AGNES, NAGES, ANGLES, AGILES, ANGELS, LANGS…..

w. t. f.

Thank Goodness For That

It’s the time of year when we  give thanks for the things we are so grateful to have in our lives.   Granted, many of us share the same thankful thoughts.  Right?

Your list may or may not include:

Family and friends

Lack of family and friends (yes, that can be a blessing)

Health, wealth and social status

Food and shelter

Military protection, doctors and scientific discoveries.

There’s also a segment of us who will be thankful for our educations, pets (if you didn’t already include them with the family as they should have been in the first place), cars, hair stylists, video game high scores and special abilities in the bedroom….or out of the bedroom.

Our list of thankfulnesses (yes, I made that word up) could go on and on with serious things, mundane things, common-sense things and mind-numbing idiotic things.

When it comes to your turn at the family dinner to name one thing you are thankful for this year….throw a curve ball and be thankful for something you normally wouldn’t think to appreciate.  To help you get your creative talents flowing, I offer you my list of unusual thankfullnesses below:

Toilet plungers

Not having to wash clothes in the river

Reflective paint

Double sided tape

Toothpaste

Ear plugs

Chapstick

Not being attacked by domesticated house animals (i.e. dog, cat, lizard, pig, goat)

Flashlights

Tongs

Tape dispensers

Escalators

Elevators

Dental floss

Air conditioning

Cursing that idiot who (fill in the blank here) with severe diarrhea in rush hour traffic

Animals that eat the damn mosquito

Hand sanitizer

Sex toy sanitizer

Air sanitizer

Public pool sanitizer filters

Bleach

Hide-a-keys

Inflatable beach rafts

Costco samples

Not married to or dating an axe murder

Hidden agendas

Invisible ink

Hooker shoes

Rubber

Candy necklaces

Heated toilet seats

Wheeled suitcases

Lint rollers

Glow in the dark condoms

Inventory control specialists

The first person who decided it might be okay to try and eat a King Crab

and lastly……

for now….

my favorite….

Kola Bear farts (they smell like cough drops)

 

If you are desperate please feel free to use one of the suggestions listed above.  It’s only a small sampling of the endless list of available thankfullnesses.

Wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving and remember, it’s now officially okay to put up your Christmas decorations.  However, if I catch you preparing for Valentine’s Day before Christmas has arrived, we’re going to put you through an intervention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strobe Lights In My Sleep…They’re Keeping Me Awake!

It’s hard enough to fall asleep, let alone stay asleep. Like the annual arrival of Girl Scout cookies, my sleep pattern is such that if anyone needs a wake up call at 2:30AM – I’m your person. Want to play Scrabble at 2:45AM, I’m in. Need your dog walked at 3:00AM, call me.

Seriously.

Like clock work.

I’m up.

Sunday night friends came over for dinner and we watched Inception. Very interesting movie. I won’t give anything away, in case you haven’t watched it yet. But sure enough 2:30AM and I’m up pondering an entire scene where I should have gotten up to get my calculator to get the answer easier but no….I tried to do math in my head.

My theory on math has always been:
There are number people and there are letter people. I am a letter person.

Had I gotten up to get the calculator, even an abacus would have worked, my mind wouldn’t have still been rolling about at 4:00AM. No, I never did get the answer I was looking for…I needed more than ten fingers and toes.

Monday night, I had my better half download an app on his iPhone for me to try. It was an Inception Dream State thing you listen to with ear buds. Okay, this should be cool. Lights out, ear buds in, cats snuggled in…..one, two, three…sleep. Notta. I’m laying there listening to this music, which is on a short repeat cycle. Deep breathing, calming music….come on sleep!

As I listen to the dream sequence I selected there’s this great sound in the far reaches of the musical notes. Almost a deep drumming sound, hard to explain. I figured it was one of those deep sleep, sonic mind-wave tracks that was playing, lulling my mind to sleep. Amid the tingling waves and gentle notes I focused on the beats of this drum tone.

Veeeerrrrrrmmmmmm.

Veeerrm.

Veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmm.

Veeeerrrrm.

This went on for about ten minutes and I thought I felt sleepy enough to turn off the music and rid myself of the ear bud cords. (If I hadn’t taken those things off, I’m pretty certain I’d have wrapped myself up like a spider’s snack in a web of torture.)

Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing….and hey, there’s that drum tone again…but louder. For pete’s sake you have to be kidding me! Those weren’t dream inducing sonic mind wave drum beats….that was my better half snoring! The music had drowned the snoring out enough to make it seem like a lullaby. Drum beat my ass!

Last night, I’m exhausted after two nights of crap sleep. After reading 30 pages in my bedside book I finally feel strong enough to attempt sleep. I’m delighted. I’m out like a slowly burning candle.

Until I’m awoken by two Pterodactyl dinosaurs fighting.

I sit bolt upright in the bed. What the hell IS THAT?

Two cats in bed sleeping – check.
The better half in bed snoring – check.
I’m in bed awake – double check.

Certain death is being had on our cul-da-sac. I wonder for a moment if James Cameron is filming a new Aliens movie and forgot to tell the neighborhood. The screeching and rumbling is nearly ear splitting.

Now I’m fully awake and realize what’s happening. It’s the fucking road grater, clearing the snow in our cul-da-sac. Wait, we weren’t supposed to get snow.

Two things come to mind immediately:

1. If we did get a bunch of snow then the grater wouldn’t be making that kind of noise.

2. If we did get snow, our cul-da-sac wouldn’t get plowed for three days.

Which leads me to the conclusion they’re clearing snow at 3:00 in the morning, simply for entertainment. God isn’t even up yet at this hour! I get up and look out the front window. Sure enough, the street has been scraped nearly down to black pavement…..hence the screaming Pterodactyl Dinosaurs.

Apparently, this must be the annual, “Road Snow Beautification Sculpture Contest” for the road crews as our cul-da-sac is perfectly groomed and would make Tiger Woods proud, if placed on Pebble Beach Golf Course.

And the point of this at 3:00AM is what?

Idiocy.

Back to sleep I struggle, now that we have our beautiful snow green out front. I think of what the gentle golf announcers would say on tv:

“Watch out for this one ladies and gentlemen. Looks like the Idiot is going to go for the double birdy on this shot. Hope he sees that white SUV in the rough. Let’s watch.”

Double Idiot.

Finally, at some point I fall back asleep. I only know this due to the beautiful music I hear in my dream. It’s quite lovely, like a 12 piece band playing at an USO dance. Lots of horns and trumpets, quite nice really.

As the music continues, I start to wake up, only to realize it’s that damn road grater AGAIN! Now clearing the snow from the road behind our house.

Really?
Can this not be done by daylight?
Well now, it’s obvious.
Our road crew is made up of vampires.

I flop around in bed and open my eyes only to be greeted by strobe lights from the road grater. Is this all necessary? Only vampires who want to be golf course groomers are up at this hour…let the rest of us sleep! Let’s call more attention to ourselves and turn on the strobe…just in case they can’t hear us already. Like there’s a lot of traffic on roads that aren’t even secondary roads in the middle of the night.

Between the screeching Pterodactyl Dinosaurs, orchestra horns sounding from the backing up beeper and now the added disco strobe light…I can’t stand it any longer. I may as well get up…it’s 4:00AM.

Apparently, my cat FeeBee thought the same. She decided to get up and have a hairball. Lucky for me she managed to projectile aim it off my side of the bed.

Awesome, I’ll go get the paper towels….

Can You Hear Me Now?

Could someone please….invent a portable language interpretation device? Maybe I haven’t found it yet at the local Brookstone Store. Oh wait, I live in Juneau, Alaska – we don’t have a Brookstone. Damn. I don’t even have a Taco Bell for that matter.

This device would have to be small and light. It would also have to be cute. I’ve tried using the delightful “Point It” book but all I get are blank expressions and more confusion. I’m thinking I could strap it to the voice box area and it could interpret what is being said automatically.

Does anyone else get frustrated with not understanding what is being said to them?

Urgent looking eyes.
Angry eyes.
Frustration.
Hissing.
Spittle.
Failing arms in all directions.
Stomping off in confusion.
Yelling louder and louder…hoping to get your point across.

I’m thinking, in an ideal world, I would hold up the device to the throat of the person I’m speaking to, so I can understand what they’re saying. Then I could hold it up to my throat to translate my answer. That seems logical.

Maybe it could have accents too. British, Australian, American, Russian, French, Scottish. If it had an accent capability, then maybe it could come with a function to read random bits of information to you. For example:

Can’t sleep at night? Switch on the “Dream Story” and listen to a sexy Scottish man, like Sean Connery, read the phone book to you…yummy!

Having a hard time getting motivated to get up? Switch on the “Rise and Shine” function and listen as an Asian Drill Sergent, with the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons, motivates your ass out of bed.

Need some encouragement to discipline children or jump off the high dive? Switch on the “You Can Do It” and get into gear as a man who sounds suspiciously like Vladimir Putin whips your weak heart into shape. (Of course, I just like saying the name Putin….and actually had a cat named Putin….who I nicknamed….Poot Poot. Probably wasn’t the best choice of a name, but it made me laugh.)

But of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the “Lover” program. Within a quick 3 minutes, a smooth talking Frenchman will have you melting like chocolate over a strawberry.

Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven’t found such a device. Rosetta Stone won’t help me either. Would I use it in my travels all of the world? Perhaps. In all honesty, the reason I want to find one of these devices is so I can attach it to my cat FeeBee.

She is driving me nuts.

She’s lost most, if not all, of her hearing.

Huh?

What?

Luckily she still has her eyesight.

Where’d you go?

She screeches all the time. At the top of her lungs. If I’m in the same room — she screeches then looks at me. If I’m in bed at night, she tears around downstairs and then let’s loose these gurgling shrieks….that used to send me bolting down the stairs —- thinking she’s injured.

First time it happened I leaped out of bed, grabbed a bath towel and went running. She was a the bottom of the stairs looking at me:

blink.
blink.
blink.

I stood half-way down the stairs with my mouth hanging open.
Are you serious?
What?
It’s bed time.
GO. TO. BED!

She’s not a kitten. She’s not a teenager aching to get out of the house. FeeBee is in her elderly years and is hell bent on driving me crazy with this new found vocal routine.

She yells at me and then looks at me. Then she’ll yell a little louder. And look at me. She’ll soften her shriek and look at me. All day we could go without the screaming routine and then suddenly….she let’s 4 yells go all at once. Almost like she forgot and had to get her quota out. If I could just figure out what she wants….

I love her more than anything (don’t tell her sister or my better half) but damn girl….I need some help here!

I’m suspicious that she’s really asking for the keys to the car, so she and her sister can go joy riding. Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen.

Keeping It In The Family – Vet Style.

We have two kids.
FeeBee, a small, gray, snuggler – rescued from the pound.

FeeBee with Festive Hat

And Liggy, the only Manx in the litter with a tail – who is a light 18-pounds. She was rescued from my hairdresser.

Liggy contemplating exercise.

About five years ago, Liggy started to smell unpleasant. I couldn’t figure it out. Since she is a long haired cat, I would check her butt to make sure nothing got stuck….but still, she smelled off.

After a while I made an appointment with the vet, thinking maybe cats are like dogs and sometimes need to get their anal sacks squeezed. What do I know? My cat smells like poop! That’s not normal!

Off we go. Liggy in her extra-large cat carrier – 6 miles to the vet’s office with Liggy telling me about how unhappy she is the entire way. Anyone with cats will tell you, car rides for cats generally aren’t like car rides for dogs. Although FeeBee, our other cat, could care less….

We get to the vets office and are ushered into an exam room and the vet comes in. I explain that my cat smells like poop and maybe she needs to be squeezed. Poor Liggy, she’s the size of a watermelon, and trying to get her to sit on the baby scale for an accurate weight is not an easy thing. Especially when you have hairy feet. That long hair between the toes must be a bitch.

The vet pokes and prods her. Checks her vital signs and then looks at me and says, “I’m going to take her in the back and will be back in a few minutes.”

I remind the vet how heavy Liggy is and to not to throw his back out when lifting her….could you imagine that lawsuit?!

So I sit down and wait. I thumb through the magazines in the exam room and learn that dog beds with cedar chips help to combat smell. I ponder the idea of making Liggy a necklace with cedar blocks used in closets….when the vet returns.

Actually TWO vets have returned. The second vet is cradling Liggy like she’s a 18 pound new born. First vet, probably did throw his back out – duh, I warned you! Liggy does not look happy. But then again, neither would I if I needed my anal sacks emptied.

Wow – two vets, this can’t be good. Immediately I start thinking what could it be? Tumor? Cancer in her butt? She’s dying from some rare form of feline disease yet to be discovered? I’m not a very good mother. This is why I don’t have human kids. Oh Liggy, what are we going to do? You can’t die. You’re too young. We’ll fight this! Shit.

Vet 1: “We tried to squeeze Liggy’s anal sacks and they were fine.”

Me: “Ok.”

Vet 1: “That wasn’t the problem.”

Me: “Ok.”

Vet 1: “The problem is your cat is so fat she has fat flaps.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Vet 2: “If you look here on your cat. (turns her butt towards me) Sorry, we had to shave her butt….but see here, she has two fat flaps on either side of her butt.”

Vet 1: “Yes, they’re about the size of peanuts in the shells. (points at two definite flaps)”

Me: —– dumbfounded —–

Vet 2: “Unfortunately, she’s gotten so fat that she’s unable to clean herself properly. Because of this, the poop has gotten up under these fat flaps (points at flaps) and has irritated her skin.”

Me: “uh-huh”

Vet 1: “We had to shave her butt, due to the amount of poop that had accumulated under the flaps. You’ll notice the area on either side of her anus is very red and raw?”

Me: “Yes.”

Vet 1: “That’s due to the compacted poop. It’s diaper rash.”

Me: “What?”

Vet 1: “Your cat has diaper rash.”

Me: —- dumbfounded —-

Vet 1: “I’m going to give you a prescription for medicated pads. You’ll need to wipe her butt area twice a day for the next two weeks. If she shows a flare up during the two weeks, then we can write a prescription for an ointment. She needs to loose weight. Until she does, you’ll have to keep shaving her butt.”

Me: “So, my cat is fat. Has butt flaps. Has diaper rash. And I have to wiped her ass twice a day with the medicated pads. Are you sure she didn’t need to be squeezed?”

Vet 1: “And keep her butt shaved until she looses weight. You can bring her in for shaving, one of our technicians can do it.”

*****

They help me load Liggy back up into her extra large carrying case and we head out to get the perscription and pay our bill. On the way home I tell Liggy, this will be our secret and we won’t mention it to anyone. How humiliating…fat, non-existent self cleaning abilities, diaper rash, medicated wipes, potential of ointments and now regular butt shaving! I’m thinking: They need to offer a shot service to the parents at the conclusion of your vet visit. Would you like a tequila, whiskey or jello shot before we continue? I need a drink.

Fast forward a month – and it’s time to go get Liggy re-shaved. I call the vet and they tell me to just swing by and one of the techs will take care of her. Apparently it only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Back in the extra-large carrier Liggy goes. Into the car – both of us screeching the entire 6 miles to the vet’s office.

We get to the vet’s office and the front desk gal tells me to take a seat while she notifies one of the techs. There we sit. I point Liggy’s carrier towards the window so she can watch the birds and cars go by. It also takes her mind off the enormous black lab that just walked in for an appointment….when suddenly….

I hear Liggy’s named called…..by a voice that sounds oddly familiar.

How strange is that?

Then I hear: “Donna! It’s you! I didn’t know this was your cat!”

I turn around to greet the person who is talking to me….

It’s Ed.

My literal next door neighbor.

I mutter a cheerful, “Hey Ed, how’s it going?” And we exchange pleasantries for a few minutes. I don’t see Ed very often, except when we’re both on our balconies.

Then Ed says, “So Liggy needs to get her butt shaved…It’ll only ttake me a minute.”

I mange to squeak out: “Wait. What? You’re shaving her butt? I thought you worked in the vet pharmacy?”

Ed: “Oh I do, but I also do tech stuff too. Did you want to go with us for the shaving?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Now mortified, that Ed, my neighbor, knows I’m not a good mother….and I have a fat cat….with fat flaps on her ass….that had compacted poop….which caused diaper rash….who needs her butt shaved….so much for keeping it in the family.

I’ll take that tequila shot.

Liggy and Ed return.
She won’t even look at me.
I can’t look at Ed.

Fast forward a month….the patron saint of pets and their unfit mothers has smiled down on me! In the “lost and found” box at work I happen upon a Wahl Hair Trimmer set. Score! We’ll be closet butt hair shavers!

I wrap it up and present it to Liggy as an early birthday gift.

She looks at me and orders a double cat nip.