Yesterday I worked from home, as I was hit with my third bout of vertigo. I’ve gotten it every year since I turned 28, always in late spring (though I guess this year it’s considered summer), and I’m starting to wonder if allergy shots might be worth looking into. Spending the day unable to walk straight, alternating between feeling like I’m on a boat and feeling like I hit the bottle too hard about an hour ago (without actually have gotten to hit the bottle at all), is not exactly my idea of fun.

About halfway through the day, though, I migrated from my horizontal position on the bed to a half-horizontal/half-vertical position on the couch, a format that always seems to draw cats around our house. Link settled in on the blankets by my feet; here you see him using the ball of my foot to prop up his tiny, tiny head as he slumbers in the early evening sun.

The Michael Jackson that died yesterday is not the one you are mourning

I don’t understand the “He’s gone too soon” reaction to Michael Jackson’s death. Two days ago, Michael Jackson was a broke pedophile freakshow living in Dubai. We were never going to get another Thriller, another Off the Wall, even another Bad.

It’s always sad when someone dies, especially 30 or so years before normal life expectancy. But Michael Jackson wasn’t normal. Did we really expect to see him at 80 sitting in a rocking chair on a porch some day?

At one time, he was an extraordinary talent: He made incredible music and danced like no human will ever be able to perfectly replicate.

But the Michael Jackson that everyone is mourning today?

He died years ago.

On kids, cussing and self-centered parents

I’m going to let you in on a well-known secret: I don’t like other people’s kids*. I don’t like to listen to them whine or cry during a movie; I cannot stand to sit in front of one that kicks my seat during an airplane ride; and I don’t want my dinner interrupted by some random toddler allowed to run wild through a restaurant and who won’t leave me alone.

If this sounds harsh, blame the parents of these hellions that have collectively ruined my tolerance for their bullshit over the years. I helped raise my 12-years-younger sister, and while that certainly doesn’t qualify me for full-time-parent status, I do have insight into how difficult it can be to teach a child to act properly in public. And guess what: It’s not impossible.

But what really bothers me, more than the snot-nosed brats I encounter in public places from time to time, is the parents who insist everyone in the world has some sort of rug-rat radar that engages the moment their child is near—and demands the cessation of any activity that could perhaps interfere with their specific child-rearing curriculum that we all supposedly were given a copy of the moment we moved into the same ZIP code as said progeny.

I admit that in private conversation, I swear like a sailor. But I also know how to rein it in when in public. And I will own up to dropping the occasional F-bomb at Kroger, but it’s not like I zero-in on an angel-faced tot, inch closer to its angelic ear and unleash a string of vulgarities that would make George Carlin blush.

Shit happens, or so it is said.

Over at Suburban Turmoil, I made a few comments regarding the issue of language around children, specifically that I do not subscribe to the school of thought that says even if a parent brings a child into an adult-oriented environment (bar, concert, football game) where it is a given adult-oriented activities will be taking place (cussing, drinking, making off-color jokes), all non-child-friendly activities must cease immediately for fear of the child witnessing it and, I don’t know, bursting into flames? (I’m still not sure what is so bad about a kid overhearing a bad word. I don’t ever remember being physically or emotionally hurt by overhearing someone else cuss.) However, apparently there are a lot of people who do subscribe to this theory. And they get really pissy if you disagree with them!

You can go over there to read my comments and the resulting backlash, but let me highlight a few of my favorites for you:

Barbara says, “Know what I can not handle ? When I take my child to a supposed child-friendly place, like a football game, and the adults around me are sloppy drunk and swearing. You can bet your ass I’m asking them to stop.” Right, because a football game is totally child-friendly. I mean, people swearing and getting drunk at a football game? WHO DOES THAT?! MY GOD! THE HORROR!!

Barbara also says, “It’s good manners to respect the people who are present.” My point exactly, Barbara. If you willingly bring your kid into an atmosphere that’s not kid-centric, you need to respect the adults’ rights as well. And one of those rights is to be able to ask Jeff Fisher what the fuck he was doing with that last play, the son of a bitch.

Brooke says, “I hate when I’m at the park and grown men are playing basketball and calling each other vulgar names and screaming obscenities. Happens daily. It’s a PARK. It is for CHILDREN. Have some kind of decency.” I guess where I grew up (Chicago), our parks were laid out a bit differently than wherever Brooke lives. The basketball courts weren’t exactly right next to the slides and merry-go-rounds. Also, interesting that she deems a park that has a basketball court–or at least a few hoops–for children only. Selfish much?

And blog-owner Lindsay (let me reiterate that I love her blog and her writing, I just disagree with her here) chimes in, “Why be the one who contributes to a child’s loss of innocence?” Lindsay, I gotta say that made me laugh. Children really lose their innocence from hearing a stranger say “shit” or “fuck”? I would have thought it was from watching the nightly news and seeing all of the murders/crimes reported, or from watching movies where killing is glorified, or accidentally stumbling across an episode of The Hills.

Look, if you parents out there don’t want your kids to use cuss words, that’s awesome. I can respect that. And I will do my best not to cuss if I see a kid coming down my aisle in Kroger (OK probably not, but I’ll try harder.) But you all have to stop demanding the world walk on eggshells around your offspring. And anyway, it’s not like I walk around intermittently screaming cuss words wherever I go like I’ve got Tourette’s. FUCKSTICKS ASSHAT BASTARD SHITBALLS!

But if your kid ever overhears me cuss, be glad it’s in public. Because I can guarantee I’d make his ears bleed if he were privy to a conversation in the confines of my own house. And I’m not even fucking joking.

*By “other people’s kids,” I mean kinds belonging to strangers. Kids belonging to my friends, acquaintances, family members and co-workers are cool. And if they’re not, chances are I can be honest with the parent, or even before I have to say anything the parent reins the unruly kid in.

A day in the life

Me: Is this cranberry juice expired?
Ian: It’s cranberry juice cocktail, it doesn’t expire.
Me: What? But it’s not real cranberry, you’d think that would make it expire for sure.
Ian: No, it’s not real. Things that aren’t real don’t expire.
Me: So I guess unicorns don’t expire?

Later that night, setting up a Blu-ray player we got as a wedding gift…
Me: We have too many god damn remotes. We need a universal remote.
Ian (after about five “or somethin'” beers): You need to universally suck my balls.

Disharmony in the crazy cat house

I’m not really sure what to do about Gordo.

Link and Evil Twin put up their dukes

Link and Evil Twin put up their dukes

See, back when we first got Link, I knew Gordo would have the most trouble adjusting to him. He’s the oldest, crabbiest cat we’ve got. But he did adjust to Evil Twin, an already grown male cat, so I figured adjusting to a kitten might not be as bad. It took him about three weeks to adjust to BK, so I figured maybe a month and a half tops.

Well, the only thing I didn’t take into consideration was that Link is totally and completely insane. Instead of just wanting to play with Gordo, he stalks him. And chases him. And jumps on him. Every single time he sees him. For the first couple of weeks Gordo tolerated him, but then he hurt his foot, most likely from running away from Link.

So we kept him upstairs in the office for a couple of weeks, allowing his foot to heal without him having to worry about running away from Link or jumping on/off the bed to get away from him.

His foot has been healed for a few weeks now, but he won’t come downstairs. At first I thought he wasn’t eating/using the litterbox, but one night I was up late and after Link passed out (he plays hard every night until about midnight), I saw Gordo come slithering down the stairs, grab a quick bite to eat, use the litterbox, and then hot-foot it back upstairs.


When we see Gordo upstairs, he acts normal. He meows, purrs, sleeps next to me, etc. But it sucks that he won’t just beat the shit out of Link until Link gets the picture. That’s what BK did, and Evil Twin has done that to a certain degree (most of the time he just runs to the other side of the room and eventually Link leaves him alone).

So what can I do? Lock the two of them in a room together and let them fight it out? Gordo is declawed and none of the other cats are, but he has no problem being the Alpha Cat when it’s just him, BK and Evil Twin in the room. Hell, BK is a lot bigger than him but he shows her who’s boss all the time.

I just feel bad because I thought I was doing the right thing by taking this stray cat into our home—a cat who BK now loves, and who really is a fun (albeit patience-trying) little kitty. But Gordo is my baby—I’ve had him for 10 years now. And I feel horribly guilty that I’m letting Link push him around. But then again, all he needs to do is stand up for himself.

Ugh. What can I do? I miss my little guy.

I can haz Google-fu?

In an attempt to corral all of my random Google accounts and products under one ID that I can live with, I’ve been switching over and revamping my Google profile. I’m still using the email address (I don’t care how much ass Yahoo sucks, I still like my email address at rocketmail better than my Gmail one; I just check it in Gmail now—also, how effing cool is it that Gmail lets you check another email account and respond from it right from within Gmail?), so no need to update that.

But if you’re curious, bored, stalkerish, etc., you can check out my Google profile here. Feel free to add me as a contact or friend, especially on Google Reader, if you’re into that kind of thing.

That’s what friends are for

Well, we did it. Married off Melissa Sue to Brent, who she’d dated for more than 11 years.

Melissa is my BFF (and quite possibly reading this entry), but I gotta say: That wedding almost killed me. Between some last-minute preparations, the 90-degree heat and 2,000 percent humidity, and a couple of people who needed a kick in the ass to get-moving-people-we’re-on-a-time-crunch-here!, there were moments I was sure the light I was seeing in the sky was heralding my impending death.

Alas, I ended up with heat stroke and legs, ankles and feet that cramped all night, but Melissa and Brent ended up married—with hopefully happy memories of a sweet ceremony and a fun (albeit hot and late-starting) reception.

But Melissa is the sweetest person I know, and considering the fact that she once offered to remove a catheter for me after I had surgery, I think we can call it even. Sue, I hope you enjoyed your day. You looked beautiful in your dress, but it was nowhere close to matching the beauty of your soul.

Days go by

I’m still here. It’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks full of ups and downs and it only seems fitting to relate them in bullet points.

  • I TURNED 30 and lived to tell about it. I did find a gnome in my living room, and it did bring me wine. I need to post pictures of that soon. I had a birthday party and lots of people came out to celebrate with me at the Mellow Mushroom in the ‘boro. It was a lot of fun and I like to think my little present from the universe was not being horribly hung over the next day despite what appeared to be my best effort to ensure I would indeed be.
  • IAN AND I WENT to a friend’s wedding at Pickwick Landing State Park, and it was gorgeous. We used to work with Starla at CVS when we were all in college at MTSU, and she’s one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Oh, and being the lushes that we are and knowing it was a dry wedding (no booze allowed on state park land), we brought our own wine. Which we guzzled quickly in our hotel room before, during and after the reception. I couldn’t help but feel 17 again, all sneaky-like and easily intoxicated.
  • AFTER THE WEDDING I drug Ian to Brownsville, Tenn., to visit Billy Tripp‘s Mindfield, which I read about on Lindsey’s blog. Ian thought I was crazy, and he’s probably right—but not for this reason. The Mindfield is basically a large steel mindfuck with little brain presents littered within. You can check out my Flickr set of it, but you won’t be moved one way or another by it unless you see it in person.
  • FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS I have been working on a major project at work—basically the first site I’ve built “myself” (I did have lots of help from a friend/former co-worker who helped me learn Movable Type 4, boost my CSS skillz and deal with the API coding portions of the site) for a client, and last week I flew to D.C. with four coworkers to attend the conference it was being used for. I have to say it was really nice hearing all of the compliments, and I had to restrain myself from standing on a table shouting YES THANK YOU THAT TASTY PIECE OF BADASSEDNESS YOU ARE WITNESSING IS MY CREATION. (Modesty was not one of the skillz I learned whilst building the site.) Also: I work with really awesome people.


On Saturday one of my BFFs is getting married to a dude she’s dated for almost 12 years, and I’m a bridesmaid, so this week has been a bit hectic with trying to prep for that. But at least I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to wear, I have my hair appointment booked and I’ve got a ride to/from the ceremony if it rains (it’s going to be on her fiance’s family’s farm and the Civ just doesn’t do 4-wheel drive).

And once this weekend is over, I’m going to lay down with a bottle of wine and breathe a huge, couch-shaking sigh of relief and begin some serious relaxation.