Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A lot of cool cats

As promised, here is the list of all my pets and little tidbits that made them special...

1. BeeBeeBahBah the cat. Calico, I think. I named her when I was less than 3 years old, thus the name. I only vaguely remember this cat hanging out with me in the basement when we lived in Tennessee -- I would play in my cardboard playhouse and she would warily watch me.
2. Zipper the cat. Grey and black-striped tabby. I **think** Zipper was related to BeeBeeBahBah. Not positive, though. I just remember Zipper never let me pet her, she was mainly an "outside" cat. We gave her to my Grandfather at some point so she could live out the rest of her years on his ranch, eating mice and such, since she didn't really like people. Or at least, small people.
3. Icky the cat. White with black and brown spots. Named for his predisposition for farting. And I may have been young, but cat farts. Dude. Icky. He also got into catfights a lot and we would have to patch him up in the morning. Pretty sure he got run over by a car on Bronzeglo Drive.
4. Muffin the cat. Orange. Got run over by a car on Bronzeglo Drive.
5. Sam the cat. Orange. Replacement for Muffin. Also got run over by a car on Bronzeglo Drive.
6. Fluffy the cat. Alley cat with siamese markings. Got knocked up and then ran away, never to be seen again.
6. Smoky Joe the cat. All I can remember is that he was gray. But not a shiny gray like Jess, more of a dull gray.
7. Powder Puff the cat. White with black and brown spots. Got her from a kitten farm in Kansas. She was a very talky cat, very chatty. Had three litters of kittens in the basement in KS, including one very traumatic miscarriage. Lived a long life and then succumbed to some kind of bronchial infection.
8. Patty the cat. Orange. PP's "brother" from the kitten farm. Thought he was a girl, thus the name; found out a few weeks later that he wasn't -- but the name stuck. When we moved back to Texas, he got run over by a car on Bronzeglo Drive. I won't go into the morbid story of his death because it still makes me sad.
9. Misty the cat -- a gray/tan tabby with enough siamese in her to make her eyes crossed and her meow super-ass-loud. Adopted from a shelter, along with her 5 newborn kittens, three of which we ended up keeping. So begins the reign of the Misty Clan.
10. Melissa of the Misty Clan -- looked more like a siamese, but with random white spots here and there, just to let you know she wasn't a purebred. Very mellow cat. For some reason, my dad always referred to her as "The Silver Cat", which, ?????. Not silver.
11. Socks of the Misty Clan -- Black, rotund cat with a white chin and white feet. She was deceptively cute-looking, but mean as hell. Heh. She did this thing where if you held your hand above her head she would stand up on two legs and meet your hand. She could stand like that for an alarmingly long time.
12. Hallie-Bones of the Misty Clan -- Black with a white stripe on his nose and a white chest. This was my first boy kitty love. He adored me and slept with me every night until I left for college. I tried to take him with me after the first semester because he was so distraught, but I hadn't even backed out of the driveway before he peed in the backseat of my car. He lived the longest of any in the Misty Clan, and eventually replaced me with my Dad. Other thing to note: in his older years, he got toe cancer and had to have two toes removed. Toe. Cancer. WTF?
13. TC (for TomCat) (Not Toe Cancer) the cat-- long-haired white and black. Perhaps the sweetest-natured cat EVAH. Chose my parents' house out of all the houses in the neighborhood -- personally I think other strays over the years had put an invisible cat mark on the house saying "Will Feed Strays." He lived a short life, but he was very sweet and cuddly, like a stuffed animal.
14. ChaCha the cat. Long-haired tan/black tabby. Another stray, adopted after I'd left for college. She was my brother's cat and ended up moving in with him after he finished college. Lived a long life.
15. Samantha the cat -- Himalayan. She was my mom's cat, the offspring of two of my Grandmother's Himalayan cats. Nicole and I never really warmed up to her for some reason. She had one kitten once. One. And it died after a few days. Perhaps I harbored resentment over this? Who knows. She and TC were boyfriend/girlfriend until TC died (although he was not the father of her kitten--that little slut)
16. Meggie the cat-- long-haired calico. This was the first cat that I got on my own. Got her my sophomore year in college with my roommate Kelly. She provided hours of entertainment as she was a feisty, outspoken cat. Very talky. Not shy. When Jess came along, she rose to the occasion and grudgingly mothered him until he outgrew her by more than 10 pounds and liked to sit on her, just to torture her. She lived 16 happy years. Now her ashes sit in the window by the LoveSac where Piper unknowingly hangs out -- so HAHA to Piper who doesn't even realize that she lounges next to her arch enemy.
17. Jess the cat-- shiny gray cat with a white chin and white chest. He's my handsome boyfriend cat, the namesake of this blog. He came along in 1996, the year my Grandmother died. The ex wanted to keep him, but I wasn't convinced at first. Thank GOD we kept him, because it's been 11 years and we're still going strong (me and the cat. NOT me and the ex). The coolest. cat. evah.
18. Piper the cat -- long-haired black/gray tabby. Another stray, found in a drain pipe. Very skitzy cat, but very sweet and soft like a rabbit. Can be talky sometimes, but mostly lays low and picks her moments to cuddle. LOVES Jess. You can see the adoration shining in her eyes whenever he's around. As much as she loves Jess, she hated Meggie. Lesson learned: don't get two chick cats at once. A boy-girl combo tends to work out much better.

Observation in retrospect: Bronzeglo Drive is a very dangerous place for cats.

Ahh, was that as fascinating for you as I suspected?? There was lots more I could write about them, but halfway through I realized the only people who might read to the end are my mom and my sister, so hey. There you go. If Nicole participates, I imagine our lists will look a lot alike, but I'd be interested to see her memories of each cat and how they differ from mine.

Meow and good night.

Weekly Blog Challenge: Heavy Petting

I do not have time to write my entry at this moment, but I certainly will later. This week's challenge is:
List all of your pets, past and present, and write a blurb on why they were special/what you remember about them.
I have a long kitty list on which I may need to consult my sister on any shady areas...betcha can't wait to read about them!

Don't forget to let me know in the comments if you participate...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Balm for the soul

I just threw away my very first tube of Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm. This is significant because I never, as in n.e.v.e.r., finish lipsticks or lip balms. No kidding, I have had this tube for years. I don’t know how many years, probably at least three. I know, it’s sick. The thing is, I’m so fickle that I am always trying to find the next lip product that will fulfill my deep inner longing for …well, I’m just fickle. I have TONS of lip products, but this is a first, actually using. one. up. I get this from my mother. But more on that in a bit.

So what usually happens to them, you might ask, as you picture a purse logged down by hundreds of lipsticks, glosses and balms? Well, my purse currently has 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8—9 lip products inside. It was 10, until I ditched the BB. And there are more all over my house. In my remote control basket thingie on my coffee table. By the front door. In my makeup drawer in the bathroom. On my bathroom counter. In my desk at work. Everywhere. And anything I’ve thrown away over the years has not been because I used it up, but because it started to look gross, it melted in the car (which shouldn’t happen now that I’m no longer in TX), or it started to smell like old wax. Unlike my mother, who still has lipsticks from the 70s, I throw away lippies when they begin to smell “off”. When they crumble as you try to apply them to your lips, it’s time to say bye-bye. Especially if they’re gift-with-purchase (read: free) lipsticks, MOM. :D I swear she still has lipsticks she inherited from my late Grandmother, because she never threw it away either. So you see in comparison, I’m MUCH better about it! I will throw it away, even if it pains me. [Incidentally, my mom/grandmother also horde/d other things, like shampoo, cleaning products, old towels – NOTHING ever discarded. But that could be a whole post unto itself: The Packaging Evolution of Windex, circa 1960 to Present” – just look under my mom’s kitchen sink.]

So, the point. The point is I’m heralding this using-up-of-the-lip-balm as a symbol of my new life in Colorado. I’m finally getting through my old stuff and truly starting fresh. Ta-da! See how neatly that all comes together??

Now I think I’ll break out the brand new, sealed tube of BB I bought last week, in anticipation of this dramatic event.

Meeting my own challenge

Well, no one (that I know of) has taken this week’s blog challenge, including myself. In order to lead by example, I will do it now. About a day before NEXT week’s challenge appears…

I knew everything had changed the very first time it occurred to me that I could get a divorce. The world WOULD NOT END if I left my marriage. Suddenly I could picture myself not married, and happy. And from the surge of relief and excitement I felt in my body, I instinctively knew, in that moment, that I would do it. I would free myself.

It took me months of therapy to make my move, but even in retrospect, I couldn’t have left a moment sooner than I did. It was a long, arduous process, sparked by one brief moment of clarity--a moment that changed everything.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Week 3 - WBC*

*(that's "Weekly Blog Challenge" for those not in the know...)

I am super-short on blogging (and sleeping) time this week, but I’m still going to announce the blog topic for this week:

Talk about the moment in which you realized you were facing a major turning point in your life. The moment in which you had the startling realization that “nothing will ever be the same after this.” It always comes down to one moment of clarity, does it not?

I will be posting mine at a later date, probably this weekend. In the meantime I will start sifting through my alarming collection of such moments and decide which one deserves a public forum.

Write about yours, then come back and tell me!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Week Two: Weekly Blog Challenge

Here we are on week two of this, and I think it went well last week! Maybe I was inspired to choose this week's topic thanks to the premiere of American Idol, but nevertheless, here tis:
Write about the rudest thing someone ever said to you. You know, that one thing that has stuck out in your mind and you can't quite forget it or get over it, even though it was YEARS ago---oh wait, is that just me? Surely not...

A few weeks into my freshman year in high school, I was BFF with this girl named Christy who I'd met in 7th grade. We were sort of friends by default, as we were both "the new kids" in middle school. She had skipped a grade and was even more insecure than I was, but in her case, it manifested in bossiness/meanness/put-down-ness. Whereas my insecurity manifested in...well, insecurity. Anyway, this drama was building in which the boy she had had a crush on (unrequited crush, it's important to note) was starting to flirt with me, and this was the first boy who had EVER flirted with me. And I wanted to flirt back. It helped that I had just gotten contact lenses after years of coke-bottle glasses, and was feeling a little prettier than I had, in say, the last 14 years of my life. She picked up on all of this and was trying her best to thwart it.

So one day in PE we were walking across the gym and she said, conversationally, "...actually, I think you looked better in your glasses because your face, it's kind of plain. Y'know?"

I think I might have nodded numbly and changed the subject, inwardly crushed. And it shouldn't have mattered, because the boy in question ended up being my HS sweetheart, and she and I parted ways halfway through 9th grade, but I never forgot this. Even today, on the rare occasions when I'm wearing contact lenses, I look in the mirror and feel compelled to put on more makeup to brighten up my plain face.

I appreciate the mini-orchestra of tiny violins, thanks.

So, what's yours? Write about it and come back and tell me!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I can be...challenging.

1. likely to change, esp. due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable
2. not constant or loyal in affections

I have an early childhood memory of my mother explaining to me the meaning of the word fickle--since she had used it to describe me, her small daughter. I don’t remember what I did to merit this label--perhaps I had spurned the PB&J I had demanded just yesterday--but it made perfect sense once she explained it. And it’s stuck with me ever since.

As I grew older, I preferred to think of myself as whimsical, or even mercurial. But let’s be honest: fickle pretty much nails it.

There is some part of me that wants--no, expects--to be constantly entertained, and is impatient with the least bit of monotony. In high school, where there was no time to be bored, this translated into boyfriend drama. In college, I was at my best during finals and breakups. Plus, I changed roommates and apartments almost every semester. Today, this trait is evident in my long resume, my choice to go from a house to an apartment at age 36, and the fact that I haven’t had a long-term relationship in almost 10 years. Oh, and that moving-from-Texas-to-Colorado thing, too.

I get bored with… well… pretty much everything. Jobs. Homes. Cities. Boys. TV shows. Lipstick shades. Food. The list goes on and on. And as for a long-term relationship--I’m afraid, at this point in my singledom, that I will never be able to cohabitate again--with a significant other or even just a regular ole roommate. And while that does worry me, on some level, I feel a sense of relief that I may never again have to compromise in my personal life, yay! I know. I’m on medication already, thanks. But it’s much easier to be single than in a relationship. You can make all the decisions yourself--about your finances, d├ęcor, free time--and no one gets pissed if you change your mind.

I seem to be on a four-year cycle with change and/or upheaval. My working theory is that this began as a child, when as an Army brat, I moved every four years to a new school, new town, new friends, new life. Then high school was four (miserable) years. Then college was four (better) years. Married for (technically) four years. A new car about every four years. I broke out of it when I actually bought a house and stayed there for six years, but that was an all-time record for me. I was in Austin for 12, which is a multiple of four, so, see! It still works.

Being fickle also means I can be indecisive and change my mind easily. I might begin the day excited about happy-hour plans, carefully applying makeup and donning all-black attire, and by 3pm all I want is to go straight home and nap--the thought of being “on” in a social situation the furthest thing from my mind. I can change a food craving in a heartbeat. Just suggest something else, try me. I also have a hard time buying furniture, because I might stalk a piece for months, then when it comes time to buy it, the commitment of it freaks me out and I decide it’s not what I want after all. (You have to look at it EVERY DAY. Come on. Hard.) (Do you SEE why I'm single??)

However. And it’s a big, fat however. With BIG life-changing decisions? I have been known to move quickly. Like with buying new cars, or my house (which I chose on the first day of house-hunting, and never looked back). Making friends. Falling in love. Let’s stop there, shall we?

This post is a roundabout way of introducing this new thing I’m starting, It’s a service, really, to help myself and fellow bloggers struggling with occasional writer’s block or lack of inspiration. I am going to introduce a topic each week, and I, and hopefully you, will write at least one post about it. Let’s call it…
The Weekly Blog Challenge.

(I know – I write headlines for a living, can you believe it??) I used to do this way back when, sporadically, but I think it’s time to do it formally. And while it’s late in the week, I have been suffering from Stale Blog Syndrome lately, and I want to get started immediately.

So, this week’s blog challenge is – Write something introspective about yourself.

Go, do it! Then come back and tell me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Avalanches and seven-foot snowdrifts -- AWESOME

Yes, I know, Happy New Year and all that, whatever whatever. Sorry, but this is going to be another riveting Weather Post. The only thing that's been going on for me lately is the freaky weather here in Colorado. So, yeah. Last Friday? Another. Snow. Day. Which may sound like a lot of fun to my Texas friends, and 6 months ago I would've agreed with you, but Damn.

Oh, great. Just saw on the news that Pres. Bush is declaring a state of disaster for parts of CO in order to clear out the mountains of snow. Mountains of snow. Get it? Haha. So besides the piles of gloopy snow everywhere and the persistent ice that won't melt because it won't get above freezing for the love of God and All That is Holy, tonight we have Wind Advisories! Because there are Category 2 hurricane-force winds blowing outside, stranding people on highways as 7-foot-piles of snow cover their cars in one 90 mph gust. Good times, people. Good times.

But! I still love it! So, ha!

And now is where I give credit where credit is due. I present to you a stock photo image of my (previously) shiny new vehicle. A stock photo b/c the actual vehicle that I have is covered in snow mud. So, here tis:

See, mountains and everything! And that's the color of mine too, so there. I don't know how anyone survives up here without AWD, and I have been so very grateful for it in the past few weeks.

Mazda and I are renewing our formerly lusty love affair, and it's going well so far. I'll keep you posted...