Monthly Archives: May 2013

Goodnight, Mrs. Norris, wherever you are.


So last summer we took in a tiny cat who had been abandoned in an empty apartment.  She was all of six pounds, and striped, and we named her Mrs. Norris after Filch’s cat.  Because Harry Potter.

She did not care to be held, nor petted overmuch, but would allow for some cuddling now and again.  If you sat on the couch she would sit on your lap if there wasn’t too much fussing about by dogs or children nearby.

She loved to sit on my desk so much that I had to create a little bed for her to keep her from sitting directly in front of my screens.  This became her haunt, and she and Our Hermione occasionally skirmished over it.

She was an odd little thing, keeping mainly to herself except when there was food to be had.  When I crate-trained Dobby using lunch meat, the demon hellspawn cat within was awakened.  She preceded me across the dining room toward the crates, yowling loudly and launching herself from surface to surface.  When the lunchmeat was offered she would snatch it away and devour it nearby with a zeal that was frankly terrifying, or would be in an animal weighing more than a small bag of sugar.  She was nearly as enthusiastic about Cheez-Its.  More than once she was caught making off with chicken bones left on dinner plates.  She was voracious and extremely focused.

In retrospect it was probably a couple of weeks ago that she started slowing down.  She was never terribly playful or active, so it wasn’t that noticeable until a couple of days ago.  Then it became apparent that she was losing weight.  She still wanted the lunchmeat, but today when I got home, the lunchmeat was still on the table with just a few chew marks on it.

Not, as they say, a good sign.

I took her to the vet this afternoon, which I had already decided to do in any case.  She had lost two of her precious six pounds, two that she could not really afford to lose, and was dehydrated.  The vet warned me, gently, that she was terribly sick.  They wanted to do labs.

Her labs were terrible.  BUN was off the charts.  Like a normal value is around 30… hers was 239.  This is an indicator of kidney trouble.  Essentially, her kidneys were failing.

She was only two years old or so.  We don’t know why they failed.  Maybe she got into something outside… we don’t know.  But the road to recovery was looking long, hard and expensive.

We made the decision to put her down, because it seemed like the compassionate thing to do.  Poor sick little thing.

Goodbye, Mrs. Norris.  We hardly knew ye.


Why I didn’t do my homework tonight


So we have this little black dog and he occasionally gets a little neurotic and pees in the hallway.

My theory is that he does it when he thinks he’s home alone.  We crate him and the other dog when we’re not home, but sometimes The Lovely Rhonda leaves for work before I get up and I think that Jake, for that is his name, forgets that I’m home and figures it’s his opportunity to saunter down the hall and leave us a little token of his esteem.

This morning was one of those mornings, and after putting enzyme solution and a towel on the offending spot, I texted TLR to inform her of her dog’s actions.

He’s not my dog.  He’s HER dog.

MY dog is the one we got to keep HER dog company.  MY dog digs holes in the yard and is too mouthy, but what he does NOT do is pee in the house.

So anyway.  TLR came home from work and looked at the hall and festered about the pee stains until I got home.

We decided to think about laminate flooring.  We decided to do this at Ikea, because reasonably priced probably horse-meat-free meatballs.  Sadly, Ikea is phasing out their laminate flooring, at least at our location, so even after traipsing all over the store we came away empty-handed.  Well, sort of.  It was Ikea.  We had to buy a Kermit-the-frog-green spatula and some other odds and ends.  One does not simply leave Ikea without buying things.  Gah.

And we ate dinner.  Because HELLO MEATBALLS, GET IN MY BELLY.

What should we have been doing?  Going home to do our homework, of course.  What did we do?  We went to Home Depot instead.

So now we have laminate flooring.  Because painting the entire interior of the house isn’t enough to do.

This is where Kenny comes in.  He comes in, rips out carpet, and lays down laminate flooring like a boss.  He does this without displaying more than a soupçon of buttcrack, and for this we shower him in money.   And sarcasm.

Mostly sarcasm.

Preventable Injury


So yesterday morning we took the children to a Girl Scout event held at a local park.  It was called “Fairy Myst” and the girls got to make their own fairy crowns, wands, and houses.  There were snacks and they all got some pretty high-quality fairy wings too.  It was kind of awesome.

The second best part of it was a song they sang as an icebreaker while waiting for girls to arrive.  It was called “Wiggalo” and went something like so:

Hey hey Betsy!

Hey what!

Hey hey Betsy!

Hey what!

Show us how you Wiggalo!

With my hands up high and my feet down low, this is how I Wiggalo!  (throws hands up high, then points to feet, then performs movement or gesture)

Wig, wig, wiggalo!  Wig, wig, wiggalo!  With her hands up high and her feet down low, this is how she Wiggalos! (everyone throws hands high, points at feet, performs movement)

My kid, the oldest, had that deer in the headlights look at first, but got into it before too long.  Rhonda’s oldest was grumpy and stated that she would refuse to participate because it was embarrassing, but we more or less forced her to take a turn.  When it was time to present a movement, she blew a raspberry.  It was completely delightful that without missing a beat they all went, (shrug), Okay!  and raspberried right back.  And thusly was she assimilated.

Rhonda had to actually get a good grip on the youngest and put her through the motions like a puppet, but once everybody sang and wiggled her wiggle she loosened up a bit (pun probably intended, knowing me).

But that was only the second best part, because the best part of course involved me injuring myself doing something stupid.  Because me.

I had raced home to fetch something we left behind and as I returned to the park I got a work call.  I was hanging up the phone and checking that it was really hung up, because I have the stupidest phone ever.  It likes to make me think that I’ve hung up, so that the party to whom I was speaking gets to hear anything humiliating that I might feel compelled to do once I believe I’m safely off the phone.

Naturally I wasn’t really looking at where I was going, so the humiliating thing I felt compelled to do was to walk straight into a thick, heavy metal cable strung around the shrubbery in lieu of what any normal person might construct, i.e. a solid, visible fence.

I hit this thing going full bore as I hurried back to Never Never Picnic Shelter Land, and it hit me a few inches above the left knee, effectively stopping me in my tracks.

Also I nearly performed a head-plant over it, but managed to prevent this by windmilling my arms and cursing loudly and repeatedly, which is my default response to painful accidents.  (I once wrecked my bicycle at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, and the good Samaritan who helped me up and dragged my bike out of the path of traffic was treated to some really, really interesting language.  Sorry, nice lady!)

Fortunately nobody was near enough to have their ears blistered, and I’m fairly sure nobody witnessed this brilliant act either because the picnic shelter has a big high wall at the end facing my location.  There weren’t that many other people around because it was a misty, breezy morning and all normal people were probably at home watching TV.

Naturally this forces me to confess the incident to both of you, dear reader(s).

I was left with a stripe of puffy, swollen bruise running across my leg above my knee.  It happens to be in exactly the right place for The Lovely Rhonda to poke and/or punch me if I say something insulting when we’re in the car.  She likes to arrive places quickly so she usually drives, because I am boring and old and drive sensibly.  So she’s usually  sitting to my left and if I am bothersome to her, she jabs at me in exactly that one spot on my leg which is now painfully bruised.  I only wish this stopped me from saying insulting things as we drive, but no, and nor does it prevent her from jabbing or poking.

I think I’ll drive for the next couple of weeks.

What Happened in Vegas, Part 2


So Monday in Vegas was spent shopping with The Lovely Rhonda and Allie.  Josh opted out as he is not much of a shopper.  Mel and Marie wanted to bask their comely figures by the pool since a) cheap drinks could be had there and b) they are from Minnesota where, as they delighted in telling us, it was currently snowing.

Once the fun of shopping was over we found ourselves at the Hard Rock Cafe.


The food was great and there were things to look at, like some Britney Spears costumes and a hairy jacket belonging to John Entwistle of The Who.


And a real live Elvis leisure suit of which sadly I did not get a photo!  Rhonda drank a really enormous beer.  We felt cool for a few minutes, both literally and figuratively.

We also wandered through the Coca-Cola store where the polar bear was available for photos also.  It seems that Vegas is filled with casinos and people in costumes to take photos with.  Rhonda pretended to be freaked out by the bear who of course made creepy advances to her every time we passed by.  It was hilarious.  And creepy.


As we walked back to the bus stop or some casino or something, who cares what, I saw this sign and was amused:


After that we went back to the hotel and cleaned up a bit for the Penn & Teller show.  Which was super fun!  Penn Jillette is both smart AND tall.  And Teller is like a cheeky little elf next to him.  I learned a few things and laughed like an asshole many times.

Once we’d been mystified and hoodwinked we set out for The Fremont Experience, because Mel and Marie were supposed to meet up with us there, but there was an unfortunate occurrence in which Marie fell into a large amount of alcohol and the only cure was to dance with strangers and almost get abducted.  We received several texts from Mel on this topic, each one more desperate than the last, and TLR was ready to mobilize in defense of Marie’s endangered virtue.  But Mel prevailed by sheer force of will and managed to hustle Marie into a cab and spirit her away back to the hotel, so by the time we got to Fremont they had left.  This did not stop us from checking out the Fremont Street Experience, which is super cool.  The only way it could be better was if I had a lawn chair and a yard-o-marg, but we made do with standing around gawking like tourists.


I know you both will find this shocking, but there on Fremont we also found a variety of people in costumes standing around for photo opportunities.  One of these, of whom I sadly do not have a photo, was a rather scroungy looking guy in high heels and short of the “Daisy Duke” variety, also a halter top, and wielding, for reasons known only to himself, an inflatable toy hammer.  I believe he wanted people to pay him for the privilege of appearing in a photo with them, but everyone stayed away.  Like, far away.  Comically far away.  I would have felt sorry for him but he was a grown man in Daisy Dukes, a halter top, and ugly pumps.  Clearly he had brought this on himself.  As they said when I was doing my practicum in the regional burn center:  A lot of people end up here as a result of making a long series of really unfortunate decisions in their lives.

Then we saw him:  ELVIS.

The REAL Elvis.

And of course we had to give him five bucks to marry us in the street.


He was pretty frisky, and I found that it was necessary to specify NO HUMPING.


A little later on we came across a couple of the guys from KISS, and Josh let a girlish shriek fly.  We therefore had to agree to get his picture with them too.


Um… where’s your other hand, Josh?

At some point we hopped a cab back to the hotel and after drinking and gambling to a very slight excess we wandered off to bed ourselves.  The end.