Friday, March 28, 2008


Here is the one unchanging law in my life: the second I have any extra cash in my bank account that isn't earmarked for rent/mortgage, bills, car payments, or other living expenses - the very instant I feel like I'm doing a little better than just breaking even - my pet, whatever pet I happen to have at the time, will need expensive surgery. There's no getting around it. Extra cash for fun things, that leather jacket I've had my eye on, maybe a piece of real furniture to replace some old piece of shit I got at a garage sale in 1987, or simply put into savings for a rainy day, is evidently NOT ALLOWED.

For I just learned that The Calico - Lieutenant Vinegar Matilda 'Fraid o' Nuthin' Badass Calico of Doom - my Second in Command - needs to have a growth removed from her ear and we just got the estimate from the vet's office. $600 plus for the removal of a growth that may or may not be benign - but we won't know until they remove it. How much do you want to bet that that amount is EXACTLY the amount of our state tax refund.

I just BET.

But I have to do it. This cat is too good, too cool, too necessary to me to take a chance on this thing not being benign. Nothing for it but to do this the right way, and soon - just in case. So, on April 15 (tax day, no shit, gotta love the almost teleological synchronicity there, huh?) she goes under for the third surgery of her life. She'll do fine, of course, for she is made of nails and a motorcycle engine. And when the biopsy comes back, they'll say "oh, it was nothing, a completely benign little growth...but aren't you glad you know for sure?" And then I'll rub her little head and say "you better not have any more little issues, because if you do, it's curtains." And not really mean it.

No joke, this has happened with most of the pets I've owned since moving to the Boston area and their health and upkeep was my financial responsibility. Get a few extra bucks - oh look, the cat's limping. Finally ahead on the debt? What's that wheezing sound?

I love all of my cats very much, but once they start dying, I think I'll replace them with guinea pigs. Nobody takes guinea pigs to the vet for expensive procedures, yearly vet exams, or vaccinations. They live for a few years, then some morning you find a stiff little cavvy corpse in the cage, which you then bury in a shoe box in the back yard. No fuss, no muss. Of course, I don't really MEAN it. Of COURSE I'll get more cats. Maybe a dog.

I am hopeless.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Toys for masochists

Years of working in shipping/receiving, lifting things that were probably too heavy for my small frame, and lower back - or lifting them wrong - have basically ruined my back for any kind of abdominal exercises. I literally cannot do any kind of sit-up or crunch - or at least not more than two or three before my lower back says, "Hey now, fucking stop this RIGHT NOW or end up in traction. I said STOP."

However, I have finally found a simple ab exercise that doesn't murder the lower back and bring me to tears. Meet my little friend, the ab wheel. Looks innocent enough, non? Don't let it fool you. This is an instrument of torture that would have given Urgha, Inquisition Torturer, kitten killer, and all-around bastard a righteous stiffy. But it is an instrument of torture for the abs, upper arms, and shoulders. To the lower back, nothing much at all. For all I know, as a bonus, it may even help strengthen the lower back and build core strength.

However - if the instructions say "do 7 reps" - DO NOT under ANY circumstances, do 14 of them, smartass.


That is all.

Monday, March 24, 2008


On a typical Sunday, I try to work out a little harder than other days of the week, because; A) I have the time, B) Saturdays usually involve more fatty foods and a LOT more beer or wine than I drink any other day of the week and need to relieve some of the guilt, and burn some excess fat calories, and C) Monday is a rest day anyway. I can never get up early enough for a workout on Mondays, since I can never get enough sleep Sunday nights, for worrying about...getting enough sleep. See what an awful feedback loop that is? It's ghastly.

But it seems even with the gruelling workout, all my afternoon chores and housecleaning, errands run, big dinner and the reward of a few glasses of nice red wine and some relaxing television, my brain doesn't want to shut down. And because most Sunday night TV is either too violent or insipid, that's when I watch some costume drama or other - Jane Austen, the Brontes, Anna Karenina - whatever features good looking leading men in high boots on horseback. I'm not very romantic, but put a good looking fella in high boots on a horse and now you're talking. And I can't watch anything too violent or scary when I'm detoxing from Saturday or I'll have nightmares. So there's my excuse.

Last night, I was awakened from an absolutely lovely (FILTHY) dream involving Kevin McKidd with his Alexei Vronsky costume draped over a chair, and a little trick he did with his...ummm...never you mind.

3:50 - Whuh. Now THAT was interesting. Didn't think I liked blonds. Go back to sleep, go back to sleep, go back to sleep...

4:10 - Shit. I'm not going back to sleep. That Mr. Knightly in tonight's "Emma" wasn't nearly as good looking as I would like. Way too much forehead. Not fond of Emma anyway, she's almost as insipid as that one in "Mansfield Park" with the big teeth. Okay, if I can't get back to sleep in half an hour, I'll get up and do some reading.

4:30 - Getting that new computer at work - remind myself to look again for any files I forgot to back up. Don't think about WORK! Go back to sleep. I think I already sent that e-mail...Do I need to pee?

4:45 - Okay, give this another 20 minutes and if I don't go back to sleep I'll get up and get stuff done. Maybe I could do a few minutes of cardio - a little bonus workout, since I'm so restless. But then I'll be luggage at work all afternoon when I finally crash.

4:55 - Shit. If I go back to sleep now I can still get a couple of good hours before the alarm goes off. Come on. Damn, that cat is the loudest bather I've ever heard. Okay, maybe a workout and I can make a sandwich for my lunch, maybe gurgle up a blog post or something.

5:15 - Did we leave the toaster oven on? Should I go down to check? Do I need to pee? What's the next Austen thing on Masterpiece Classics? Sense and Sensibility? Did I like the Emma Thompson version? Don't like Hugh Grant, but Alan Rickman is always good.

5:30 - Wha...? Was I dozing? Thanks, purring kitty, for waking me up. Almost got five minutes there. Why do you need to be on my head? Don't yawn in my face - too late. Ugh.

5:45 - Remind myself to follow up with that student who's about to get kicked out for lack of progress. Don't think about work! Don't start composing that e-mail now. Do I need to pee?

6:00 - Okay. Relax - don't move that foot, if the cat wakes up she'll want to play. WHY HAS ALAN RICKMAN NEVER BEEN CAST AS MR. KNIGHTLY? Or has he in some production I don't know about? Hmmm.

6:00 - ZZZZZZZZZZZ....Wha? Jesus! Those recycling guys come by earlier and earlier every week. Beep, beep, beep, SLAM! We must be the first area on their route. I'd hate to have their job.

6:30 - ZZZZZZZZZZZ.....

7:00 - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ......

7:20 - Buzzzzz. GAHHHHHH! Snooze button.

7:30 - Buzzzzzz. Oh hell no. Snooze button.

7:40 - Mffff! Cry, cry. Up.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Don't wait up

Pogues, Boston. Tonight. Meeting best mate and drinking enough before the show to put Shane to Shame. Or at least enough to invite Ab Fab comparisons. Sadly, I'm the short one. (Ha!)


I'm off.

Friday, March 14, 2008

An Update, by 'eck!

The Carrot, 1699
Willem Frederik van Royen

I just got an e-mail from an old friend which started, "How's it goin', you bitter old slag?"

You all feeling the love? I sure am.
Hey, how about that clearly insane woman who sat on a bog for two years, huh? I know it's old news by now but I somehow can't get over it. How does one even DO that? How did she sleep? Was she never cold? Bored? Was there a TV in there? Some books? A change of clothes? Did no family members, coworkers, or friends EVER wonder where she was? The boyfriend must have had a second bathroom, otherwise steps would have been taken, calls made, alarms raised, much earlier than two years. Right? RIGHT?

HOW THE HELL DOES ONE SIT ON A TOILET FOR TWO FRIGGING YEARS? Did it not FEEL like an incredibly long time after only a day or two? An HOUR or two? Is this bathroom some kind of weird rip in the space-time continuum, that two years felt like...I don't know...20 minutes?

I have to stop worrying about this or I'll have nightmares. I'm sure of it.
It's kind of freaking me out a little bit.
Oh well, my 3+ weeks of no booze ends tomorrow. Beginning around noon or so, I'll be imbibing like the pro I once was. Thanks to my weakened alcohol resistance I should be well polluted by the second period of the Bruins game. For all I know, I'll spend all day Sunday in the bog, but I trust I'll be out long before my legs atrophy and my butt fuses to the seat. Cross fingers.
Happy Friday, my spiky little hedgehogs. I'm off to see the Wizard. The Wizard of Bo(oz)e!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Don't think I won't cut a bitch.

So the greatest thing that's happened to me in a long time is that I got satellite radio in my truck. No longer do I have to choose between obnoxious DJ's (and their pandering to the bad tastes of the masses) and unwieldy and cluttersome CD's (which nobody wants me fiddling with in traffic anyway).

So far, I've got about six presets - The Verge, for new and emerging artists, Fungus for punk and ska, X Country for good alt country, WITHOUT nasty MOR post-9/11 country shit, a Latin station for a change of pace, some classical, etc. But the one station that I fell in love with right away is Fred, the "classic alternative" station. For the first few weeks, I was absolutely head over heels. It was like someone took my record collection, threw it in a blender, and pressed 'random play.'

Oh Fred, you knew my heart like no other - no, wait. Fred, you knew my heart like that morning guy Ty on WFNX in the late 80's. Now THAT guy had my number.

However, as with all things you fall in love with right away and then begin to notice they're not living up to their promise - like low fat ice cream, say - Fred is beginning to wear out its welcome. It's like it's being programmed by someone who wasn't really there when this stuff was new and cool, or got the entire playlist off of one of those lame top 40 compilations by Ronco.
They play WAY too much New Order - not NEARLY enough Joy Division.
WAY too much Love & Rockets - not NEARLY enough Bauhaus.

WAY too much General Public - not NEARLY enough English Beat.
WAY too much Big Audio Dynamite - not NEARLY enough Clash.

WAY too much Police, Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tears for Fears, Devo - not NEARLY enough Buzzcocks, Jam, Madness, Pogues, Cocteau Twins, early Ramones, Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees...
But the main point of this post is to say to the programmers at Fred, and I think I can safely say for just about every member of my generation:


One last giggle on a Friday afternoon. I thought Medbh would get a rise out of this:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lost Blogging Predictions of Nostradamus

Nostradamus Blog Predictions Part III Gaius and the Hanged Man Tarot Card

"Fire and smoke as from a mightly spliff - from a long night of the soul,
He shall be reborn unto himself
And call himself gheyus.

Hangs upside down, childlike, coins fall from his pockets -
Suspended on the tree of wisdom, inebriated unto buggery.
Torrents of anger and raillery - wise in dissoluteness.

Come and 'ave a go, if you think you're 'ard enough.