This cat is weird.

Link slept under the coffee table for about 8 hours on Saturday. We thought something was wrong with him, but then quickly realized that he likes to sleep during the day so he can RAGE at night, keeping us awake.

So far he has won over Evil Twin and BK, but Gordo still hates his guts. Link wasn’t helping his case much when he decided to climb on top of the fridge after Gordo, who had gone up there (and then one step farther up to the top of the cabinets) to escape the little shit.

I think by far, Link is the craziest kitten I’ve ever had. And even though he’s already ruined one of my favorite (and freaking EXPENSIVE) curtain panels and pretty much robbed me of sleep since we took him home, he’s totally awesome.

If anything, putting up with his batshit-craziness is worth it just to see the look on BK’s face when she realized that she is no longer the scampiest, most troublemaking cat in the house. But I expect pretty soon for the two of them to be thick as thieves. And for our house to be torn apart on a daily basis.

Meet Link

After a night that involved getting stuck in a bug glue trap (Ian freed him), tearing up Kleenex and putting it in his food bowl, snuggling with me in the bed and purring the whole time, the newest kitty is getting a little more comfortable here.

We let BK into the bedroom when we got home from work, where she tried to hide her extreme curiosity by hissing at him. We let him explore the house a bit, too, but Gordo is still really freaked out and cougared out a bit on him. So I think we’re just going to let him out a little at a time and hope everyone just chills the F out in a couple days.

Also, I just wasn’t feeling the name Elliott. It just didn’t really fit his personality—which is a brave, charge-on-ahead, curious, tiny little guy with a good heart. Ian and I both had thought about calling him Link because of this, and as Ian pointed out: It’s about damn time we had a cat named after a video game character.

And then there were four

Last night while buying cat litter at PetSmart we went into their adoption area (they allow local non-kill shelters to use the space for free to adopt out their cats) to pet all the cats, as we always do when we’re there. Usually I want to take all the cats home, Ian tells me I’m being ridiculous, and we go home.

But this time was a little different. In the last cage on the top there was a little gray/white guy named Elliott who grabbed me. Literally. He was so playful and sweet and there was just something in his eyes. We probably stood there for about 30 minutes trying to figure out if I was seriously considering adopting ANOTHER cat.

But Elliott’s story was so sad. His owner had gone to jail, and he was locked out of the house with no one to take care of him. The people working on the house said he kept trying to get back in, and so they brought him to St. Francis Animal Shelter in Nashville.

Ian told me it was up to me, which secretly made me really happy because I knew if he was 100 percent against it he would have said something along the lines of “Woman, if you adopt that cat I’m divorcing you.”

But I knew adopting a cat—especially a fourth one—was a big deal and I certainly didn’t want to impulse-buy one. So I said we would just come back Saturday and if he was still there we’d adopt him.

Except that all through dinner I kept thinking about him. And all night. And when I woke up in the morning I was still thinking about him. And by the end of the day, I knew I had to go back and adopt him. (Luckily Ian was still on board or I would have been crushed.)

So the whole drive home I was worrying that when we got to PetSmart someone would have adopted him already. I mean, I know the goal is to get the stray cats adopted out, but I know in my heart no one would be able to provide a better home for Elliott than Ian and I. (I mean for Christ’s sake, we are now giving insulin shots twice a day to a cat we initially just wanted to let in out of the rain.)

But we got to PetSmart around 8:15 tonight, and he was still there. Playful as ever. So a PetSmart employee came and opened the cage so I could hold him, and he just started nuzzling my chin and purring. It was all over then.

So we filled out the (tons of) paperwork for both PetSmart and St. Francis, paid the $75 and took him home!

Right now he’s upstairs in the bedroom. We know from experience with trying to introduce a new cat into the house that it’s best done slowly, so for the next couple days Elliott will hang out in the bedroom (with a litter box in the bathroom and some food/water near the window). We’ll eventually open the door and let the other three cats check him out. But Gordo is pretty freaked out, although I have to give him props for not going cougar on anyone yet. BK is mostly curious, and I don’t think Evil Twin gives a damn as long as he still gets fed.

As soon as I can get Elliott out from under the bed or the dresser I’ll take some pictures of him. He’s so small compared to these other cats, and he’s about a year old. So I think he’s going to be the first cat we’ve had that’s not going to be a monster.

Oh man. Four cats. That’s crazy-cat-people territory according to Ian. But are we really crazy? We don’t adopt every cat we come across. I swear.

Changes

Please excuse the updates going on around here. I decided I wanted a more minimalist theme than what I was using, and now I’m kind of in the middle of editing this one to get it how I’d like it. (Which is kind of fun since it has a lot of php for me to practice with.)

So I apologize if things look a little out of whack. I also have no idea how this looks in IE right now. But I’m probably safe in assuming that like everything else on the Internet viewed in that shittastic excuse for a browser, it looks like ass.

Tilia

I have never met a malbec I haven’t liked. This is the cheapest one I’ve tried ($9.99). I think I’ve photographed it before, but I couldn’t remember how it tasted so I tried it again this weekend. It’s not my favorite malbec—the flavors aren’t as rich and it’s a bit more musty flavored than I prefer—but it’s definitely not bad for the price.

It’s a long way back home

If someone asks me who I am or to describe myself, there are five aspects of my life that I always include (in an interchangeable order):

  1. I am a writer
  2. I am a longtime Barenaked Ladies fan
  3. I have been obsessed with Apple products my entire life
  4. I love to play video games
  5. I take pictures of everything

There are other hobbies and interests that I also list, but these five are integral parts of my life. They make up the core of who I am.

So a few months back when Steve Jobs (Apple’s CEO if you’ve been living under a freaking rock) announced he was taking a leave of absence to recover from a “medical issue,” you can imagine how my heart leapt into my throat and I got a little freaked out. Ok, a lot freaked out. But you know, some time has passed, the world didn’t end, and Apple keeps rolling. I kind of think this was the Universe’s way of testing how I’ll handle Steve’s inevitable death. (Yes, I realize how self-absorbed that sounds.)

:'(

:'(

But it’s been three weeks since Steven* Page announced he was leaving the Barenaked Ladies, and I am still in mourning. I’ve been listening to their music at work, crying silently at my desk at the songs that I know I will never hear again in concert. A twitter friend (@cjsorg) sent me links to YouTube clips of BNL’s first concert without Steve (their show at Universal Studios), and I watched every one with tears gleaming in my eyes. Today I downloaded the audio from that concert and felt the pain all over again.

Look, I love Ed Robertson’s voice, too. And he’s a funny dude on stage. But there is just something about the raw emotion and pain and suffering that only Steve’s voice can communicate. It’s just not the same to hear Jim singing “Maybe Katie,” or Kevin singing “The Sound of Your Voice,” or Ed singing all the rest of Steve’s parts in all the other songs.

And let’s just be honest here: Who the HELL is going to sing “What a Good Boy”? I’m sure now I’ll never get to hear “Helicopters,” one of my favorite BNL songs that I’ve never gotten to hear live. And what about “Call and Answer”? It’s one of my top three favorite songs ever. By anyone. There’s no way Ed or Jim or Kevin (or Tyler, the drummer, but I don’t think they let him sing anyway) could do that song justice. It’s one of those songs that 10 years ago reached out to me at the right moment, bitch slapped me and then pulled me out of a sinking depression I had been in for a while. Will I really NEVER hear it live again?

I know Steve has to do what he has to do. And I know the rest of the band has to keep on truckin’.

But this band is so important to me, I am just having a hard time letting it go.

I watched a video the other day of Steve on QTV talking about him leaving the band. It was really fucking depressing for like the first 15 minutes, but then at the end the host asked if there was any chance they would ever reunite.

And I’m almost afraid to even type it here, just in case repeating it jinxes it somehow, but Steve said that he wouldn’t be opposed to it. That maybe one day after he’s done what he needs to do and the band has done what they need to do, maybe they could reunite.

!!!

I mean, come on, Pink Floyd reunited (ok even if it was just for one show), Led Zeppelin got back together (minus one dead guy), Crosby Stills and Nash did it. Shit, even Van Halen reunited with David Lee Roth. Ok, maybe that’s not the best example.

But the point is that great bands that made legendary music but split under horrible circumstances have come back years later and reunited. Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page say they are parting ways on good terms. And he said it was possible.

So that’s what I’m going to hold on to. But so help me jebus if a reunion never happens I’m going to find those guys and neckpunch them so hard. SO HARD!!!!

*I just realized that it’s two Steves that are causing me such grief lately. So I’m putting a moratorium on becoming a fan of bands or companies with people named Steve or Steven at the helm.

Happy birthday, Finnegan Galen

Today is Gordo’s 10th birthday. I picked him up from the Rutherford County Animal Shelter when he was just four weeks old—they only let me take him home so early because he was able to eat on his own. (That should have been an indicator that he’d turn out to be a fat ass.) I didn’t know his exact date of birth but it was around St. Patrick’s Day, so I just decided his orange hair made him Irish and called dibs on the day for him.

He’s my little baby, a total momma’s boy, that I’m too protective of and swear never does anything wrong. But I can’t help it. He comforts me when I’m sick and his soft, cool fur always makes me feel better when I’m sad. We’ve been through a lot together in 10 years.

So happy birthday, Gordo. There’s some tuna in your near future.

The death rattle. I haz it.

It all started as I was traveling back from Washington, D.C., on March 4. The sore, scratchy throat. The body aches. The clammy skin. The swollen glands in the throat. I tried to chalk it up to allergies, but by the time Ian picked me up from the airport that night, I knew I had a fever. When I got home my suspicion was confirmed.

I went to the doctor the next morning, and I have to admit I was disappointed in my diagnosis. An upper respiratory virus does not warrant antibiotics, so all I got was some Allergra-D 24 hour (which works for SHIT, btw—Zyrtec and 4-hour pseudoephedrine are pretty much the only sinus drugs that work for me) and a caution that if I didn’t feel better in two to five days I needed to come back in.

I worked from home Thursday and Friday because I couldn’t shake the fever, swollen throat, and I was coughing up blood. (I think it was probably from my nose, but nevertheless, it was nasty and I felt like shit.) I did convince the doctor’s office to call me in some really awesome Robitussin AC (with codeine!) cough syrup, which succeeded in getting me high but really didn’t touch the cough.

I think I slept the entire weekend—I have barely any recollection of it at all. I went to work Monday and Tuesday, but I really wasn’t feeling any better. My fever would subside for a few hours, but come back every evening around 8 p.m. My throat glands were still swollen and I was coughing so much that I was constantly apologizing to everyone around my cubicle for the noise, and one of my coworkers brought me cough drops in what I expect was a “take these or we’ll kill you” offering.

Wednesday morning I woke up and knew something was wrong. I had a tight feeling in my chest, but not the something-is-pressing-on-me tightness. This was a there’s-some-kind-of-blockage tight. I imagined it as a ball of something holed up in my lungs, and I could feel a rattling when I breathed in (and sometimes when I breathed out).

So back to the doctor I went, and as soon as he listened to my chest he started talking a little faster. Apparently my upper respiratory virus had turned into (or maybe it was all along) a bronchitis-like infection, which had then gotten worse and turned into walking pneumonia. AWESOME.

I was given two shots in the ass—Rocephin, a powerful antibiotic, and a cortisone shot for my inflamed lungs—a prescription for Bactrim DS (antibiotic), a Medrol Dose Pak (a seven-day steroid pack to continue to reduce the inflammation in my lungs), a Ventolin inhaler and Tussionex, the most powerful prescription cough syrup available (I didn’t get it, though, because even after insurance it was $50 for just 4 oz.). I did pick up some maximum strength Mucinex DM (basically a ridiculous amount of guaifenesin—the stuff that breaks up the phlegm and shit in your chest/lungs—and dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant) which is freaking awesome. I still have a lot of crap in my chest to break up, but this stuff is like Robitussin on crack. I mean, it has like six times the amount of guaifenesin in it so it ought to be good.

So I hauled my ass back home and onto the section of the couch I had turned into my home office and proceeded to work. For as crappy as I felt I was amazed at how productive I was, but I think hearing “pneumonia” kind of scared the shit out of me and I was a little afraid of going to sleep. I kept feeling and hearing the death rattle every time I breathed and started overreacting and imagining myself going to sleep and never waking up. You know, like old people WHO ARE THE ONES WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO GET PNEUMONIA do.

I’ve started to feel a little better, but I still have a lot of crap in my chest and lungs that needs to be broken up. I’m lucky in that I’m able to work from home, because my doctor told me I can’t go back into the office until Monday since 1. If I don’t rest and get rid of this walking pneumonia it will turn into full-on pneumonia, which could possibly send my ass into the hospital and 2. I’m basically the walking plague still. I offered to come into the office but several people there told me it was preferable if I kept my black death at home. No sense of adventure, I tell you.

But seriously, people. I’ve been sick now for almost 10 days. I heard about this “superbug” that’s been going around, but come on. COME ON. Pneumonia? Seriously?

I shouldn’t have said in my last post that I couldn’t catch a break. I shouldn’t have tempted fate or the mucous gods or whoever it is that I pissed off. BK is the only living thing in the house that hasn’t been scared to come near me, poor Ian’s been going around the house using Lysol after me so he doesn’t catch this, and I haven’t slept in my bed for a week.

Please. I give up. Enough is enough!

I can’t catch a break

So far 2009 has been The Year Megan Gets Sick Every Goddamn Month. After a quick trip to D.C., I now have an upper respiratory virus. Which so far has included swollen throat glands (to the point where I can hardly swallow), a weak voice, a cough that just won’t quit (seriously, I have been gagging myself for the last two nights/days), and a low-grade fever.

And all the doctor did was give me some Allegra-D samples and tell me to take Motrin. I just called him back and asked if the office could call me in some freaking cough syrup. Let’s hope they take pity on me (and the cats, who I’m coughing all over as I work from home) and call me in something good.

UPDATE: I have been given Robitussin AC, which totally has codeine in it. Relief is on its way. Which is good, since I have now both sneezed and coughed blood today.