Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A View of a Hearts A Little Lighter

As I was driving home last night, this song came on my iPod. I really listened to the lyrics and they seemed to fit the current state of mind. We may have to muddle through right now, but I believe next year all our troubles will be miles away.

More later, after I wish you a very happy holiday.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A View of "Bah Humbug!"

Check out "Mutts," a comic strip with humor and heart, by clicking on the picture.

I want to be in the Christmas spirit this year, but it's just not happening for me. Having a new hyperactive kitten means no Christmas tree this time around, so I didn't decorate. I bought a baby live tree for my desk at work, but I forgot to water it regularly so it died. I've bought presents for the family and am technically done, but I haven't wrapped anything. I didn't even send out Christmas cards this year. Maybe I'll be more festive next year.

If I had sent out a card, this would've been in it. I'm betting a lot of people will relate with the sentiment. Here's hoping it makes you smile this holiday season.

A Christmas Story for People Having a Bad Day

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

More later, after I watch the Grinch. (Hold up - Mr. Shorofsky wrote the Grinch's music? Cool!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A View of a Home Invasion

So I'm coming home from work about a week ago, and I'm exhausted. All I want to do is get in my house, stretch out and get some rest. Turns out, I wasn't the only one.

As I'm walking up the steps to my front door, I hear a very insistent sound behind me.


I turn around and there's a grey and black tiger striped kitten running up stairs behind me. He's about six months old, nothing but tummy, and strolling up to my door like he forgot his door key.

"No, no!" I try in vain to shoo the little guy away. He just frowns and maneuvers around my ankles.

"Meow!" He then tries to stroll across the threshold. My two cats inside are watching our every move.

Cal, a seven year old black cat I adopted from the Michigan Humane Society last year, watches from the front picture window. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was laughing.

Bucky, a Siamese mix whose terrified of everything and everyone gets all wide eyed and runs to hide. More about Bucky in a minute.

I manage to get the interloper out the door and on the porch before he makes it into my living room.

"Wait right there, little guy," I say, then I shake my head because I'm trying to hold a rational conversation with a cat well versed in home invasion. As I walk in the door, Cal hops down from the window and follows me into the den. He never makes a sound, but his eyes are huge. The not making a sound thing is very intriguing because he's been known to howl loudly and fling himself against the living room window if another cat comes up onto the porch. For some reason, this little cat inviting himself in to his house doesn't rattle him.

Cal takes off when I open the den closet and pull out the dreaded cat carrier. Instead of running to the bedroom or some other unseen hiding place, he runs back up front to the door, where he sits to look out the window. Again, no kitty freak out takes place. Bucky is nowhere to be found, but I hear her meowing from the back of the house. This is par for the course with her.

I go back out on the porch, and the kitten is in my front yard at the foot of the steps. I put the carrier on the bannister and open the door.

"Meow?" How interesting that this sounds like a question. The little tiger striped kitten bounds up the steps, hops up on the bannister, gets to the edge of the carrier and looks up at me.


"It's okay. Go on in." I am not making any of this up, by the way.

The little guy sniffs a bit, then walks right in. I close the door and head back in the house. Once the front door closes, the little guy gets nervous and unleashes a torrent of meowing. He doesn't try to get out of the carrier, mind you. He doesn't paw at the door, or claw at the floor, or try to make an escape. He just meows. And purrs. Loudly.

Bucky, who came into my house in a similar fashion and at almost the exact same age six years earlier, slowing creeps toward the carrier, which I have on a small bookshelf. She walks over, stands up on her hind paws and sniffs the carrier. The kitten, still meowing, sniffs back. Bucky then gets down and walks away with no further drama. The kitten continues to meow while sitting in the carrier. Cal, who was curled up in the living room window, hops down to go eat.

I try to get in touch with the Michigan Humane Society to get info about surrendering a stray.

"I cannot have a third cat," I keep telling myself. I try not to look at the kitten in the carrier in a failing attempt to not notice how cute the little guy is.

I can't get through to the Michigan Humane Society. The one number I can find keeps going to voice mail. I try to look up their hours online. The website seems to say surrenders are only done until 5:00, but animal rescue is available until 7:00. I call my family, who had been talking about this crazy, ultra friendly stray cat in the neighborhood, to see if they can help. They have only one suggestion.

"You have to keep it! It's so cute! It's meant to be! We'll help take care of it!"

Remember Bucky, the scary Siamese? They said the same thing about her. I'm still waiting for them to give me their share of her sterilization costs.

"I cannot have a third cat," I tell them. They counter with a question that I find difficult to answer.

"Why not?"

I say the cost of food and litter, and that it's just silly to have three cats but I know that unless I get that kitten to the pound that evening, I'm going to end up having three cats.

I get my coat on, ask them to ride with me, and head over to MHS. When we get there, it's been closed since 5:00. The doors are locked and gated shut. This little kitty has to go back home.

We get back home, and I get my sewing room set up for what I say is a temporary boarder. I put in some food, fresh water, a litter box, and some toys. As I'm setting up the room, I leave the carrier on that bookshelf in the living room. Cal wandered up and stretched out to see what was inside. The kitten stretched out his paw through the door, and Cal reached up to the door. I swear they did a little kitty fist bump, then Cal walked away. No hissing, no growling, no drama.

Did I mention that the kitten never stopped meowing or purring?

Anyway, I bring the carrier in the room and close the door. Then I let the kitten out to explore and eat. What's the first thing he does? He walks right up to me and, purring loudly, let's me rub his belly. Then he hops onto my lap, stretches out and nuzzles my neck. Bucky and Cal sat outside the door and never made a peep. They took turns over the next couple of days sitting outside the door, purring, meowing, trying to fit their paws under the door to touch the mystery kitten on the other side, and making noise or running if they heard something that raised some sort of concern.

That next day, I bought the third cat I absolutely couldn't have a collar, some more toys and a name tag. I also made an appointment for him at the vet. When I got home, I gave Cal a tummy rub, said hello to Bucky who was hiding under the living room couch, and went to visit the third cat I absolutely couldn't have. When I opened the door to walk in, he marched right up to me and wrapped himself around my ankles.


"It's good to see you, little guy," I said as I reached down to pick up the third cat I absolutely had to keep. He started to purr as if he knew he was home.

That's also how I ended up with Muffin, the third member of the TEM's Fuzzy Bunch. It's also the probable start of my transmogrification into the Eleanor Abernathy of Detroit's New Center.

More later, after making this vow - I cannot have a fourth cat.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

A View Of Insanity

Real Life Adventures - Real life, only funnier. Click on the picture to check out the website.

Over this weekend, it occurred to me that maybe it's time to start thinking about dating again.

It wasn't a pleasant thought, but it did come from a pleasant experience. I was out getting some Christmas shopping done over the weekend and ran into an old friend from high school. We haven't seen each other in many, many years and did a quick catch up. That, of course, means the inevitable question came up:

"So, are you married?"

That question still stings.

For the record, the question was asked not out of attraction, but as part of the "long time, no see" checklist a person runs through when encountering someone from the past. I just shook my head, said no, and was thankful that my former classmate was working and had to take a customer. We hurriedly said goodbye, made vows to keep in touch (which probably won't be kept), and went back to our normal routines.

That night at home, I went to Classmates to check out some of my former friends and walk down memory lane. As I did, I came across my first husband's profile. We met back in high school and were high school sweethearts. When his profile came up, I went to another site.

The memory of that romance - happy beginning and failed ending - still stings and we've been apart since 1995.

How long does it take to get over a failed relationship? I wish I knew.

On Sunday, I read an advice column by Carolyn Hax in the paper where she addressed this very subject. The man who wrote in for advice had been divorced for two years, but his ex-wife was still in his thoughts and dreams. "I'm eager to start dating," he wrote, "but would it be fair to a potential partner if I'm still a little hung up?"
Change a pronoun here or there, and it's like I could've wrote that letter. Her answer was you're ready to date when "you meet someone you're sure you'd like to date" and to let the process work itself out.
Easier said than done, at least in my case. When my divorce was finalized this July, I impulsively signed up on a couple of dating sites. I went on one date and never heard from the guy I met again. I went on another date, and have been kinda, sorta seeing that guy since. I say kinda, sorta because I hear from him for a while, we spend a couple of days together, then he's persona non grata for a while.
In a way, this is a good thing. I'm still quite bitter from my past experiences, and I don't know if I'm ready for something serious. On the other hand, it's not so good because every gut instinct I have tells me that the reason this guy comes and goes is because he's involved with someone else (or elses, to coin a new phrase), and comes around when it's convenient for him.
Which would be cool if he's only seeing someone else, and the other(s) are cool with this arrangement too. It would not be cool if he's married and I'm the other woman. I have no desire to be a living example of a Lifetime movie. Been there, done that with my last marriage and it hurt like hell. I don't want to do that to another woman.
The problem here is that my sense of trust is all off whack. Did I mention I'm still very bitter? The guy in question has been up front about everything else in his life. He keeps telling me that he's not hiding anything and I want to believe, but still there's that doubt. That nagging shadow of doubt that hangs around, tapping me on the shoulder and whispering, "You know something's up, don't you? Something about this just ain't right...." And that shadow will not shut up.
The comic strip I posted compares dating to riding a bike. Carolyn makes a reference to getting "back in the saddle." To me, dating is like an often quoted (but often misattributed) definition of insanity, it's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I suppose this means I shouldn't be thinking about whether or not I want to date again, but whether or not I want to be sane.
More later, once I find out whether or not Victoria's Secret sells lace push up straitjackets.

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