Cousin Laura is blogging her entire semester at sea. It's quite the experience for her and it's really cool to follow along. (The navigation is funny - it's all told from the links on the left, in order of each port stop).
Cousin Jamey? What do you think? I know it's really stark compared to what you have now, but I like it....
While we're on that note, Estella made me a Babymented onesie and sent chocolate, too - I will take a picture when I have a baby to put in it!
The last of the ghost knives (glass catfish) died and we will not be replacing them after all.
The cats are being introduced to the outdoors again, and so far, angry peeing has gone down 100%. This introduction came after Hobbes peed on a bag of potatoes on the kitchen floor.
Did anyone watch next week's preview after the West Wing? Did anyone SHRIEK like I did?!? Please tell me it's not a dream sequence.
This week's addiction is pina coladas made at home - and I'm still working on this one. It turns out a bit flavorless even with coconut milk and pineapple juice from concentrate. And yes, I've even thrown some fresh pineapple in there, which was difficult to give up (even for the drink) and a handful of shredded coconut from my baking supplies. Sean says it's missing the rum, but I'm wondering if I should be using coconut flavor instead of real coconut milk. Still dang tasty - just not the same as a virgin pina colada from a bar.
Happy Birthday, Cyndi, and belated birthday wishes to Aunts Nancy & Julie!
I have been voraciously reading natural childbirth books, and Sean has been assigned some reading as well (Special Delivery, for its excellent description [and pictures] of the phases of labor and birth, and all of Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, because he's going to be my coach). I just finished "The Happiest Baby on the Block" (which I can just summarize for Sean, as the book really, really repeated itself) and am now half-way through the Well Baby Book. I can't stop reading this stuff.
I wish I could stay five-and-a-half months pregnant for a couple more years. I am really enjoying pregnancy and every evening I look forward to sitting on the couch and reading these books while feeling the baby move and kick. It's a mover and shaker, lemme tell ya. Sean can locate it in my belly, and even find the head and butt. It wakes up at 6 a.m., an hour after we open at Starbucks. Starting yesterday, it can kick all the way over to my right hip bone. I'm amazed at how pleasant (physically) this pregnancy is going - I had prepared myself for the worst. This is just so very cool. I'm saying this because pregnant people tend to tell you the complainy stuff, because I guess it's the most newsworthy - the bodily changes, the fatigue, the heartburn, the difficulty sleeping, and I think maybe it's just not as conversational as just saying how I love this - something that is half-me and half-Sean is alive and swirling inside of me, and I just can't think of anything cooler than that. I now drink milk straight out of the gallon jug, eat entire pineapples in single sittings, rub my stretched belly before bed, poke at the baby while it kicks back at me, and stare at myself when I get out of the shower, in awe. There are things you imagine will happen when you are pregnant - the stuff you kinda glamorize a bit. But then it really happens, like I'm living the montage in She's Having A Baby, and I.... I just know this is where I'm supposed to be right now - good or bad.
I'm not sorry to be the only one to lecture you about what I still believe is a lack of responsibility, Stace. I believe your good intentions for your pets have been admirable, but when your good intentions are failing, and when your pets are literally wasting away before your very eyes, that is not so admirable.
Having pets is not supposed to be inexpensive. Having your cats’ teeth cleaned is a routine expense that
should not be done once in a lifetime, but on a regular basis. Quality food and regular medical care are all routine expenses. If you cannot adequately care for your animals, you should give them up to someone who can. The fact of the matter is that you know nothing about prioritizing or budgeting. If you cannot pay your bills, why do you have an Internet connection, or web hosting for that matter? Where do your priorities lie? What is truly frightening here is the larger issue. The fact of the matter is that you are about to have a baby when you cannot even provide for the basic needs of your pets. Frankly, I cannot imagine two worse parents than you and Sean. I believe that the only people who should be having children are those that are financially and EMOTIONALLY stable. I also believe that the only people who should be having children are those in a healthy, stable relationship.
Again, although your intentions are admirable and honorable, your intentions are not good enough and will not cut it. I think it is a travesty that you purposely planned to bring a child into the havoc that is your life. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. And all these hangers-on who sugarcoat everything and pat your back and proclaim what great parents you and Sean will be don’t know what they are talking about.
And frankly, I think that it is pathetic that your life thus far has been funded by your family and by your website. I thought that it was absolutely ridiculous that you asked people to send you money to move to Canada when you had been working part-time for years. And don’t say that you couldn’t get full-time work, you weren’t looking for it. The fact of the matter is that both you and Sean are lazy, and you are where you are in your lives today because of your own indolence. And you want the rest of the world to feel sorry for you? Forget it. I have worked full-time since I was seventeen years old. I supported myself and put myself through college. I have worked countless numbers of overtime in order to pay for my trips to Europe. You should be ashamed of
the fact that your family has to help you pay for your bills and your vacations. You are thirty-five years old, and you are still dependent on your family for money? I haven’t asked my family for a dime since the day that I moved out. And if you would put half as much effort into your real life as you do your website, you wouldn’t have to rely on the rest of the world to take care of you. And now you’re using your website to solicit donations to help pay for your baby? PATHETIC. You are a spoiled, immature brat who is having a child for all of the wrong reasons. You have a lot of growing up to do, and I hope for the sake of your child that you do grow up. I think that this uncalled-for tirade against me is proof that that will never happen.
Dawn. Really. Go away please.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Let me tell you something about responsible pet ownership.
My cats are famous for living so long. Wizzard and Blizzard were given away when I was in junior high school because my Mom and I left Las Vegas and moved to Bloomington, Indiana. When I moved back to Vegas a mere four months later, I got my cats back. Jeff had Wizzard, so that was easy. But Blizzard required me getting a ride to our old condos so I could knock on that door and say "Remember me? Yeah, I'm back. I'll take my cat back now." and would you believe it? She just handed him right over to me. And you would think she should have been concerned - I had a shaved head and nine earrings.
Since then, Wizzard and Blizzard lived a long, long, long life. Wizzard died of a very early case of feline AIDS when he was 17, and he survived SO LONG with the disease that, upon his passing, the veterinarian asked for his body to study it. Blizzard died at 19 after moving to London (Ontario), Indiana, Michigan, and Seattle. When we drove to Seattle I pulled over at the Badlands and got Blizzard and Jalen out of the car to look. I just held them in my arms and whispered "This is the Badlands. Remember this." Of course Blizzard was deaf by then so I just kinda pointed.
In 1997 when we had that horrible house fire that I still haven't told you guys about, we had five cats at the time. We got all five cats in our possession without even knowing how bad the fire was - we only knew our building was on fire and the fire department kicked our door and yelled to wake us up. We had a crate and a box with the cats, and I had Blizzard in my arms. Once we got down to the second floor, we saw the fire and the firemen putting it out. I paused and spun Blizzard around to see it. Then I finished running down the stairs.
I held him in my arms when I had to have him put to sleep. He was too old to control his body. It shaped me so strongly that it's mentioned on my "about" page.
Hobbes was a kitten in a basket at a stripper's apartment where I delivered a pizza. Dominique was a homeless kitten under a car in the rain in a parking lot, and Jalen was homeless and feral and hit by a car right in front of me. That's how we have our cats. They find me.
Sean and I are poor people. We don't have a savings, 401(k), or even Starbucks stock anymore. We don't have anything of value which we own except for my 1994 Honda, which my Dad signed over to me after we moved to Canada. Our cats eat $40-a-bag diabetic food and with Hobbes and Dominique having old, sore teeth (Jalen's teeth were thankfully removed in 1999), we also buy them canned diabetic food for every-other-day.
Jalen also gets nightly shots of insulin. Expensive human insulin, which JenB regarded as imperative to get for us, knowing our just-having-moved-and-now-broke situation.
Can I also interject here? Can I? That when we go on trips, we find someone to LIVE at our house the entire time, requesting that they sleep in our bed so the cats have a human staying with them. Past housesitters include Joe (Happy late birthday Joe - we'll call ya this weekend), Jason & Jolene, cousin Shane, Manuel, and you. If we are gone for even 24 hours (usually short trips to Vancouver), our neighbor Sylvia would stop by and her daughter Eleanor would play with the cats. Sylvia always had our house key just in case anything bad happened to us, the house, or the cats.
I sold that Starbucks stock last December to pay for Dominique and Hobbes to have their teeth cleaned, against everyone's advice. I was newly pregnant and not working, but it just had to be done. Dominique even had a $150 vet visit to get the blood work done (required before the teeth cleaning), which is when we found out that she, too, also had hyperthyroidism, just like Hobbes. While I was unemployed.
Once we returned to Vancouver from Florida, which is a trip that my Grandmother paid for and my Grandmother ALWAYS pays for*, thankyouverymuch, we were ready to get the cats appointment made for the teeth cleaning (and, most likely, teeth removal). I got a job making $8.60 an hour, CANADIAN, at Starbucks, part-time because that's all you can get around here, because I'm knocked up and nobody's gonna hire me, and on my third day working, that Wednesday night, the Russians gave us a Notice To Vacate. And that check that JUST arrived in the mail from Fidelity Investments for the Starbucks stock I sold? Paid our deposit on our current rental house.
[* Oh and by the way, whenever we visit family they always ask, incredulously, "How many cats do you have now?" and we ALWAYS say "The same three." And they always have to go "THREE?" like we're crazy people. Farmers find cat-ownership, particularly housecat-ownership, very funny.]
Grandma? I know you're reading this, but I really really need you to stop reading now. Okay? I apologize.
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME WHEN YOU TELL ME THAT I NEED TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER WHILE I'M 5 MONTHS PREGNANT, WORKING 20 HOURS A WEEK, WITH A HUSBAND WORKING ZERO HOURS A WEEK, WHILE I JUST BOUGHT A NEW $40 BAG OF DIABETIC CAT FOOD, WHILE I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW I'M GONNA SURVIVE ON $2 AN HOUR WITH A BABY FOR THE NEXT YEAR, LET ALONE PAY RENT IN TWO WEEKS, WHILE I HAVE A GERIATRIC ASTHMATIC TOOTHLESS WHEEZING DIABETIC CAT WHO SLEEPS ON MY PILLOW SO I GO WITHOUT A PILLOW EVERY NIGHT WITH TWO OTHER CATS PILED AT MY FEET, PURRING RAPTUROUSLY, CATS WHICH WE HAVE HAD FOR OVER 15 YEARS, CATS WHICH HAVE MOVED WITH US IN TWO COUNTRIES AND MAYBE TEN HOMES, WHO HAVE COST US PROBABLY $5000 IN VET BILLS OVER THOSE YEARS, INCLUDING ACUPUNCTURE FOR ARTHRITIS, $100 BOTTLES OF INSULIN, ASTHMA MEDICINE, STEROID SHOTS, HOMEOPATHIC POWDERS AND GROUND UP HERBS AND VITAMINS. REMEMBER THAT MY MOTHER'S HOUSE IS CALLED "THE BIRD HOUSE" BECAUSE SHE FEEDS SO MANY HUNDREDS OF BIRDS (AND FLYING SQUIRRELS) EVERY DAY, EACH FEEDER WITH FOOD (SOME HOMEMADE BY HER) SPECIFIC TO THEIR SPECIES, AND THAT MY FATHER OWNS A NO-KILL ANIMAL SHELTER. WHAT SORT OF MORON DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING TO? BE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER? IF I WAS ANY MORE OF A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER WE'D BE LIVING IN MY HONDA WITH SAID CATS - AND YOU'D THINK I WAS AN IRRESPONSIBLE PET OWNER THEN, TOO. BUT HEY THEIR TEETH WOULD BE CLEAN.
Fuck you. You didn't touch a nerve. You OPENED A VEIN.
I'm off to go have dinner at the Ritz Carlton now.
Previous March 2006 entries