Feline Friday: A Box In Which I Can’t Sit

Ember offers to shake
Ember offers to shake

The three of us, Inkblot, Ember, and I, like to watch television together in the evenings. Last night, Ember watched the entirety of “Arrow” with me. She was as shocked by the ending as I was! Here is a picture I posted on Twitter of her watching last night.

The Mommy and I spend the dark hours together. The hours after kitty dinner time when the big ball of hot in the sky has gone away. Inkblot calls it “The Sun.”

Downstairs we have two giant cat beds. I think I’ve heard the Mommy call them “couches.” I don’t really care what they’re called, I just know they’re comfy and warm. It is on these couches that I sit with the Mommy and watch the big box on the shelf. It’s on a high shelf. A place I can’t get to.

There are moving pictures on this box and the Mommy will watch it with rapt attention – like i watch the red dot – except the Mommy’s eyes don’t dilate and her butt doesn’t wiggle. That’s a good thing because I use this time to sit on the Mommy and butt wiggling would disturb me.

See, the Mommy is warm and she pets me. If she stops petting me I mention it to her. Last night, though, she shushed Inkblot – which is weird twice because Inkblot doesn’t talk a lot and then I can’t imagine she appreciated being shushed. But she didn’t continue her discussion, she settled down in her basket and went back to watching the box. I’m not even sure what she was saying – something about why ‘silly humans’ feel the need to dress up in costumes and be something other than themselves. Don’t tell her, but sometimes I wrap myself up in sheets and pretend to be SuperCat.

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Photo Tuesday

It’s another windy, windy day here in the desert and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

Welcome to spring, here’s some Benadryl.

Bees being bees in the desert (Click for larger)
Bees being bees in the desert (Click for larger)

The pretty part of the season has already passed. The part where the ornamental plums bloom. That’s my favorite part of the year.

Wind brings with it dust. Lots of dust. Towers of dust that make it look like we have a ton of pollution in the air, and while we might have some pollution along the highway – it’s usually not too bad.

What else does wind bring with it? Interesting photo opportunities. I was really excited by the two photos below.

Any guesses as to what they are?

This photo has been colorized.
This photo has been colorized.
This photo has been tone and contrast corrected.
This photo has been tone and contrast corrected.

Feline Friday: Living together

Feline Friday took some vacation time the last couple of weeks. The stars are thirteen and fourteen years old, which is like, 80 in cat years. I try not to dwell on it too much. They don’t have many stories to relate these days as most days are spent sleeping and evenings are often spent watching TV with me. They do, however, sleep in my office with me, so they get a decent dose of news when I’m procrastinating. And they have thoughts about what they see and hear.

Inkblot.
Inkblot

I am an evolved cat.

Unlike my ‘sister’ (she’s not my sister, she’s a cat I am forced to share my house with) I do not worship my humans. I do not worship humans at all. In fact, I find them quite insufferable.

The female has been grumbling about a decision in a place called “Indiana”. She angrily pointed at the computer and asked me in the middle of my nap “What the…? I don’t…! How is that…? What year is this?!?! Bah!” Not that she is usually capable of much more than a few disjointed words at one time anyway. This time there was a bit of seething anger under her crazed mutterings.

Humans are silly. Why does it matter that someone else is loving another person? What does it matter if two male humans love each other? Or two female humans? I sleep with my ‘sister’ all the time. I don’t love her, but… meh, she’s warm and purrs me to sleep.

I haven’t read this thing the female calls ‘The Bible’. She keeps a copy of it on her shelf. An old copy. The pages are falling out. It’s probably about 100, like the female human (I’m not 100, Inky!!) but it seems a lot of humans do a lot of heinous things in the name of the stuff it’s about. Like going to war and telling people who they’re allowed to love.

While I love nothing more than myself – come on, let’s be honest here, I’m a cat – it seems wrong to me that humans feel they have a right to dictate something like that to other humans. Beyond dictating when it is time to feed me, pet me, or clean my litter box, I don’t command other living things. Okay, okay, I command Ember to get out of my basket. Or, really, I just sit on her until she moves.

I can’t seem to repeat this enough – how does it affect anyone else if I were to choose to live with another (formerly) female cat? If I loved her – how does it possibly matter to my neighbor? Whether or not that is wrong appears to me to be a matter of opinion and nothing else. It’s not as if we’d be doing any kind of damage to anyone else whatsoever. Just because it would be an “abomination” in your eyes according to a book, doesn’t mean it actually is. (Seriously, I think salad is an abomination, yet the female human loves it. Especially with carrots.)

I hear the sputtering. “But what about murder! According to the Bible, that’s wrong!” Well, according to basic feline decency that’s wrong. I don’t need a book or religion to tell me that murder is wrong. I’m a smart kitty that way. Murder has a bad effect on another thing’s life – murder causes death.

But two living things, living together and having a relationship that involves love? If you can explain to me, in real, tangible terms, how that negatively affects anyone else – I’ll let you bend one of my exceedingly beautiful ears about it.

Edit: Since I poked this post out, it seems there has been a change in Indiana. The female said something about ‘anti-discrimination’. I’m not well versed on what, exactly the change was or how it really affects anything, but hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.

Blogging…

…isn’t something I expected famous people to do.

And I suppose that the famous person in question doesn’t blog anymore – now that he’s famous.

I don’t remember what I was looking for the other night, but I stumbled across a blog written by an actor before he got his big break and I was, I’m ashamed to say, stunned.

It was the intelligence with which the blog was written that had my jaw dropping. I never assumed this person was an idiot, but I never expected them to be so eloquent either. I was a little sad that many of the posts have been removed or made private – probably at the insistence of this person’s publicist. I was also sad that once he hit the big time, the blog was over. I enjoyed the insights into Hollywood and how it works. I remembered how much I liked being there – when someone wasn’t berating me, bullying me, or making me use a Genie lift. (Okay, the Genie was part of the job, but I didn’t have to like it.) The berating and bullying didn’t happen a lot but when it did it was devastating. Of course, that’s my own shortcoming. I can’t take that sort of thing. It makes me not come out from under the bed in the morning. Despite an unpleasant blip or two, working in TV and film was great, even though it was not a long lived part of my career and I kind of nuked that bridge when I left. Oops.

I think that those of us who don’t get to great levels of success in our lives crave the notion that it’s possible. We want to think that we don’t have to get on the treadmill of life and that someday we’ll have our own wardrobe, makeup, and lighting departments to follow us around and make us look divine even though we might’ve gone out on an ill advised bender the night before. (Not that I’ve ever done that…) This craving for a vicariously successful life is what makes us put celebrities up on pedestals. It’s what makes us buy their jerseys and support their causes. It’s what makes us mistakenly think that by adopting their values as ours we’ll be closer to them.

Moral of the story: If you’re wondering how you’re going to send your child to college or how you’re going to pay for your prescriptions, don’t buy that t-shirt with the celebrity’s face on it. This is another thing I haven’t done (for real, this time – I really haven’t chosen between a hoodie and my prescription drugs, nor have I ever purchased a t-shirt with a celebrity’s face on it. Except for Morris the Cat. I did buy Morris’ t-shirt. Once.)

I kind of feel it’s unfair for them to ask us to contribute money to their causes when it isn’t disclosed what they’re doing for the cause – beyond lending their name and social media platforms. They’re making $500,000-ish a year for 26 weeks of work. Most people I know are making roughly $50,000 for 50 weeks of work… … … I feel like I’m not being clear – it’s not unfair to want to make the world a better place through crowdfunding or fundraising. This is how we get things done. And not everyone is an idiot who thinks “If I just buy that t-shirt the celebrity will be my best bud and we’ll hang out on the beach!” But I see this… desperation… on Twitter and Facebook. People literally begging for a response from those who have attained fame and/or fortune. So these celebs are asking for money from people who really don’t have it, but have some crazy idea that if they give money, Joe Celebrity will show up at their door wanting to go to a movie! I’ve met celebrities. None of them have ever asked me to go to a movie*.

I see people attending Wizard World and Comic Con, then paying $50 for an autograph, and another $50 for a photo op. Those costs are on top of the cost of admission, the incredibly overpriced hotel, and the food costs that end up inflated because of location**. Not to mention the cost of the flight or drive.

The desperation is depressing but I get it. We all want to hang out with the cool people. Goodness knows I want to hang out with someone. I don’t care if they’re famous, I just want them to be nice and cool and fun. But first, I have to get out of the house, away from my computer, and I have to meet real people***. Not that celebrities aren’t real. Most of them are. Some of them are even cool and fun. I certainly wouldn’t turn one down for a drink, but if they ask me to give money to their cause – they better be the one buying the drink.

This is not to say that celebrities and their causes are bad. They’re not. But… sometimes it feels… calculated. Some are really trying to change the world. Some are saying, “Sure, I’ll have my media team put this on my feed, but you have to pay me $5000 and give me a puppy.” I guess it is our responsibility as consumers to know how much money we have to spend on any given thing at any given time. It’s called being an adult. But some of us are better at it than others.

* I ran into William Shatner in a catering line on a movie set. He asked me “Do you know what this is?” and all I could do was shake my head and stare. I was working in lighting and never, ever expected to have William Shatner ask me to identify food. Apparently, it was fish. Needless to say, this encounter did not turn into a movie invite. Then there was the time when, after a long shooting day on a TV game show set, a former MTV VJ offered me her Subway sandwich. She didn’t like mustard and somehow the sandwich had been made with mustard. I didn’t take the sandwich because I, too, do not like mustard. This encounter did not turn into a movie invite. I’ll point out that I also did not invite either of them to a movie, maybe that was my mistake. “No, thank you. But I hear there’s a Rocky Horror Picture Show revival at the Arclight. Wanna go?” ‘Cause that wouldn’t be weird at all… Security!!!

**I paid $5.50 for a mediocre slice of pizza the other day just because it was A. my only option since I hadn’t brought my lunch and B. on the Vegas strip. Also, it was my client who paid for it because he’s a super nice guy and I talked about my cats. While I’m at it, Aria Las Vegas – you need some quick serve options for people who are allergic to wheat. I’m not, but I know people who genuinely cannot eat it.

***I’m working on meeting real people – hence the woodturner’s association meeting, the romance writer’s meeting, the book club, the return to archery, and hopefully soon, my not-so-triumphant and probably injury-filled return to fencing.

What a …

… suck day Saturday was.

It all started with a relatively sleepless night, so that when I woke up and finally realized that I was, in fact, panicking, I had nothing left in the tank to deal with the aforementioned panic. Cue the frantic call to the husband (hereafter referred to as “K”). After ranting at him for a few minutes in full meltdown, I calmed. Sanity returned. I got in the car. Pushed the start button. Opened the garage and then drove with Brother Sal’s “Cotton” playing on loop all the way to the Vegas strip.

More about the song later.

The day was almost completely as expected except my client was very cool, which always helps because yelling just makes me want to hide all the more. Loud noises scare me. Yelling, doubly so. So, gear was missing. Incorrect pieces were sent. There was a rat’s nest of cable, and I was sent The. Wrong. Computer.

Sigh.

Here’s the thing about me – perhaps I shouldn’t admit this in a public forum – but I always assume everyone knows more than I do. I don’t know where I picked that up, but if I could time travel and give my younger self a bit of advice it would be to shake that off right away. There’s a reason I received a Bachelor’s degree at eighteen and it’s certainly not because I’m dumb as a brick.

I also rarely stand up for myself. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did. I didn’t stand up for myself on Saturday. (Although the client did, I found out. He’s my new favorite.) I knew what the problem was, but I still spent hours on the phone, troubleshooting. The problem was the computer but I couldn’t seem to get anyone to believe me.

It took having the guy who replaced me two years ago when I walked away from the glamor of live production coming to my location after a full day of his own – and having him say, essentially, “This computer doesn’t work.”

Double sigh.

In the end, it all worked out. I made everyone happy today by bringing in my gluten free peanut butter cookies. And despite having to box surf due to a rigging line having jumped a sheave, my truck was the first one off the dock. That’s never happened. The component I work with is always the last out of the building. Not so today and I was so happy about it that I nearly danced down the hallway after returning my badge to security. Leaving before everyone else, after years of being the one shutting off the lights, felt really good.

So. That’s where I’ve been. Feline Friday languished last week, but I’ll watch the kitties closely for antics this week. At thirteen and fourteen years old, Ember and Inkblot sleep a lot. As cats do. Oh – almost forgot! Ember was featured on Katzenworld’s TRT (Tummy Rub Tuesday) – for the second week!

She’s a star!

Also also, the song by Brother Sal – I don’t know what it’s about. I haven’t looked up the lyrics. I really hope it’s not offensive to anyone, and because of who the musical tip came from, I doubt it is. But the song has a great sound, and that’s what I listen to. There are influences of rock, blues, jazz, and even gospel. It’s got a happy, upbeat melody and you can definitely dance to it.

My mind… (Warning for four letter words. If you have no appreciation for coarse language, turn back now. It’s okay. I won’t hold it against you.)

… has been a bit unsettled of late.

Partly because I agreed … again … to do something I really don’t want to do. It’s not illegal. It’s not even particularly dangerous. It’s just … argh. If I talk about it, I’ll get really pissed off and say something I, or someone close to me, would regret. Long story short – I’m going out for a few days to do work I quit doing two years ago because it made me cry. So, if you see me in the next few days, I apologize in advance for growling at you. It’s not you. It’s me. Maybe next week I can take you out for cocktails to apologize.

It’s almost 2AM (see, this dumb favor is giving me insomnia) and I was reading a book that kind of, as the kids say these days, ‘got me in the feels.’ It was called Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros. It’s certainly not something I would’ve picked up except I thought it was a cute concept and it was on the swap table. What’s “the swap table,” you ask? I go to a romance readers’ group at my local library and the lovely lady who organizes it asks everyone to try to bring books for the swap table if we can. We bring books that we’ve read and are willing to allow others to read. Anything that isn’t taken at the end of the meeting goes to the library bookstore. So, we support each other and we support the local library. I’m all for that. Since I’m an e-reader user, I often end up bringing back whatever book I took the previous month. I hope that’s not cheating, but I’m not giving anyone my iPad. I’ve got Fruit Ninja, 2048, and Peggle on that iPad. Those things and the Kindle app keep me busy in waiting rooms.

So, this book is about a writer, Abby Donovan, who is lost in a sea of writer’s block. Her blockbuster came out a few years ago and she hasn’t been able to get past chapter five in her new book. Her publicist comes up with the brilliant idea of having Abby join Twitter.

This is how she ‘meets’ Mark Baynard.

Large swaths of the book occur over Twitter, so I can see how someone unfamiliar with Twitter might not really get it, although Mark does ‘teach’ Abby how to use Twitter. I even picked up a few pointers. (I’m almost jealous I didn’t come up with the idea since dialogue is my jam.)

As happens in most romance books, we eventually discover that not all is as it seems *SPOILER ALERT* – Mark, instead of being a professor on sabbatical, traveling the world for fun and sun, is actually a patient being treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and it’s not going well.

This is where the ‘feels’ part comes in.

Cancer sucks. I have been lucky enough to not be touched too closely by it as yet, but I know lots of people who have. I have a friend I went to college with being prepared for a stem cell transplant at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore right now. She has AML. She eats healthy food and loves her cats, yet she has Leukemia. I sent her a pair of space kitten leggings to wear in the hospital. I do hope they brought a smile to her face. I have another friend whose wife is being ravaged by breast cancer. Another friend who lost her mother to skin cancer. I knew someone who was taken by stage IV colon cancer before she turned forty. That’s some effed up shit right there.

So far, cancer has tiptoed around me. I know four skin cancer survivors, one breast cancer survivor, and one colon cancer survivor. With any luck the survivor list will continue to grow. It would be better if no one had to deal with it in the first place, but for now, I’ll take survivor.

What’s kind of awful about this is that I don’t know that many people! I’m a bit of a hermit. I don’t have a lot of friends! Yet look at that list… and those are just the ones I can remember right now – at what is now 2:30 in the morning.

In the words of the great (celebrity-I’m-currently-obsessed-with-of-the-week) F*ck Cancer. Let’s get this bastard.

Here's a cute picture of Ember to make you smile now that you've read my sad, depressing, ranty post.
Here’s a cute picture of Ember to make you smile now that you’ve read my sad, depressing, ranty post.

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