I woke this morning at 2:30ish, feeling something wasn’t quite right. I thought about it for a few minutes before I realized that the kitten wasn’t on my face (where she is wont to lay), arm, or back. I got up and looked for her in the bathroom and closet, and then checked the living room, kitchen, and dining room. Finally, since I wasn’t hearing yowls of kittenish rage to notify me that she was being eaten alive by one of the Boys, I went back to bed. "She’s exploring," I told myself. "She’ll be back when she’s done being nosy." I lay down, flung the covers over my legs, and looked down to see a half-asleep kitty rolling across the bed. When she came to a stop, she sat up and swayed back and forth, blinking sleepily up at me. I tucked her under my chin, and we both went back to sleep.

Today was quite uneventful at work, but busy nonetheless. I continued to organize – my cheap four-shelf metal bookcase arrived via Office Depot, providing space for me to pile the tons of 3-ring binders I have cluttering up my office. One of my bright ideas, at the beginning of this year, was to assign each receipt category a number, and put each receipt in a binder, labelled with it’s assigned number. So, category 1 is Checking, and receipt # 1/1 is the first deposit receipt of 1999, 1/2 is the second, and so on. What I failed to take into account is that we accumulate a shitload of receipts each year, so I have 3-ring binders all over the place, and my office ain’t that big. Maybe next year, I can talk the bosses into purchasing a scanner, so I can scan in each receipt, then toss the receipt itself. That sounds like I’m just begging for trouble, doesn’t it?

So after work, I had to get groceries instead of rushing home to be with my beloved Scrappy-doodle. I’ve been going to Bruno’s lately, because it’s half a mile from home, and it’s a pretty nice store. Their frozen vegetable selection just sucks, though. They never have brussels sprouts or asparagus; instead, they seem to have an entire aisle of chopped onions and green peppers. What’s up with that? Today, I went to Publix, which is a lot further away, but it’s worth the drive. Well-stocked shelves and the people who work there are so friendly it’s frightening. I was able to find everything on my list with no problem at all. There was a Bill Gates clone intent on buying up every single shrimp in the seafood section, and I didn’t feel like waiting around, so I guess I’ll be picking up my shrimp elsewhere this week. George Stephanopolous bagged my groceries, though, so that was a big plus. It was "look-alike day" at Publix today – the cashier looked an awful lot like Shelley.

The only thing I don’t like about Publix is that they insist on taking your groceries out to your car for you. I just hate that, from the stilted conversation I feel compelled to make with the bagger; to the stupid "Oh, this is me" I blurt out, pointing to my truck; to the way the bagger stands there trying to figure out whether to put the groceries in the cab, or in the back of the truck; to the way I flap my hands around and say "Oh, just put them in the back"; to the way I stand there, trying to figure out whether I’m supposed to help; to the way there’s only one bag left to be put in the back of the truck when I decide I should help, and the bagger and I grab it at the same time; to the way the bagger says "have a nice day!" while walking away, and obviously thinking to himself "what a freak."



I got pretty much moved into my office today. I really like the color I chose; it’s a light lavendar blue. I’ll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow. It’s nice to be in my own office again. I spent the majority of the day straightening stuff up, ordering a bookcase for my office, and paying a huge stack of bills. I left about 1:30, because it was the kitten’s first day alone all day (I locked her in the master bathroom), and I was missing her. I half-expected to get home and find that the Boys had figured out a way to knock down the bathroom door and eat her. But she was safe and sound, and sitting on the carpet in the closet half-asleep when I opened the door. She did her princessy little meow, and immediately began purring as soon as I picked her up, so I’m guessing she’s not too pissed at me.

I had to take her to the vet again today, because her eye wasn’t looking so hot. She’s been sneezing since we got her, and the vet checked her out Friday and said it could be because of the litter or the change in her environment, but he didn’t think she had a cold. She sneezed all weekend long – usually in my face – and this afternoon her left eye was draining, and she was holding it at half-mast. The doctor diagnosed a cold (durrrr) and gave me two kinds of medicine for her – one in liquid form, one in pill form. Fred managed to get the liquid down her throat, but come Hell or high water we can’t get her to take the pill. She flails all over the place when we try to stick it in her mouth, and when Fred wrapped it in cream cheese (at the Dr’s suggestion), she licked up some cream cheese, and ignored the pill. Next, we’re going to try mashing it up in turkey baby food. She yowled all the way to the vet’s, and all the way home again. I suspect she’s noticed that every time she gets in that carrier, someone sticks something up her butt (the thermometer, that is).

Princess Scrappy

It’s really cooled off around here. It was about 40 this morning, I discovered when I stopped on my way to work to return movies. Because I park my truck in the garage, I hadn’t realized how cool it was outside, and not only was I wearing a short-sleeved shirt, but I wasn’t wearing a jacket. Of course, even if I’d parked in the driveway I still wouldn’t have been wearing a jacket, since I don’t own one. I had a crappy $25 jacket last winter, one I ordered out of a Lane Bryant catalog, but I left it in Maine when I flew up for the weekend last February, and Liz never got around to sending it back to me. Doesn’t really matter, I guess, since I was outside maybe 2 minutes all day. You sure can’t get away with running around without a coat in November in Maine, that’s for sure, and I have to admit that’s something I don’t really miss about Maine. I guess I’ll be looking through the myriad Lane Bryant and Roaman’s catalogs cluttering up the house. I’m sure I can find another $25 piece of crap!

On one of Fred’s many trips to Lowe’s this past weekend, he purchased a music box which plays small records. The spud is completely enthralled by it, and for the past two evenings has spent an eternity each night playing record after record. It’s sweet and all that she’s getting into the Christmas spirit – they’re all Christmas songs – but it sure is mind-numbing after about the tenth song. They all tend to sound alike, you see, and hearing basically the same sound over and over ain’t the thrill at 31 that it is at 11.



Today is the two year anniversary of something very painful to remember. But for your entertainment, I’ll tell the story. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and Fred and I decided to make a big breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits, and gravy. While Fred prepared the gravy, I stirred the scrambled eggs. The eggs were almost to the perfect state of doneness, and Fred was still stirring his boiling gravy-oil, when he said "Oops – watch out!" I turned to him with a questioning look on my face, and an instant later it was brought to my attention that there was a great deal of pain coming from my right (bare) foot. In an instant, I lost my mind, and danced away from the stove, screaming "Ow! Ow! Ow!" Fred bent down and with his bare hand wiped the boiling gravy-oil off my foot, burning his hand badly in the process. He stood up and started running cold water into the kitchen sink. I stood there until he turned and told me to go into the bathroom and run water on my foot.

I went into the bathroom, and when the first spray of water hit my foot, I about lost my mind again. Fred came in to check on me a few minutes later, just as I was realizing that when he’d wiped the gravy-oil off my foot, he’d wiped the skin from the top of my foot off also. I had a big gray hunk of skin hanging down over my toes, and my foot was swelling rapidly. Fred offered to go to K-Mart for burn cream and bandages, until I informed him that there was no way he was getting out of taking me to the emergency room for this.

We hastily got dressed, grabbed the spud, and headed for the emergency room. We sat in the waiting room for three hours, due to a several-car accident that arrived right before us. I sat there, a sneaker on my left foot, my right foot bare except for a big, gray, nasty piece of skin hanging off my foot, rocking back and forth as the pain ebbed and waned. We finally made it back to where the doctors check you out, where we sat for another hour and a half. The doctor came in, checked out my foot, and pronounced that I’d probably live. He checked out Fred’s hand, too, and then went on his merry way. The nurse came in and popped me in the ass with demerol. Once that took effect, she cut all the skin off the burned area of the top of my foot and toes, which really hurt, demerol or no. Then she smeared the burned area with burn cream, wrapped it up in bandages, and we finally went home.

I ended up taking a week and a half off from work, because it was extremely painful to walk on my right foot. I had to clean and re-medicate my foot twice a day, and that hurt, too. The word for that holiday season was "pain." I did all my shopping at 3 am two days before Christmas at Wal-Mart. It’s not an experience I’d want to go through again, lemme tell you that. There’s a scar on the top of my foot, but it’s slowly fading away. What did I learn from the whole experience? 1. Don’t stand next to Fred in bare feet while he’s making gravy, and 2. I’m completely useless in an emergency. I would probably have stood there screaming for five minutes before it occurred to me to go stick my foot under the water. Thank god for Fred!



Yesterday, after the spud and I got home from taking Scrappy to the vet, I was downstairs at my computer reading email or something, when I heard my name ("momma", that is) two or three times within about two minutes. Later, Fred told me about the conversation he and the spud had been having:

spud: The vet asked momma if she was gonna let the kitten go into heat, and momma said no. But the kitten has already been in heat!

Fred: No she hasn’t, she’s too young.

spud: Momma let her go into heat!

Fred: No, she’s too young to go into heat. (pause) Wait, what are you talking about?

spud: Momma let her lay in the sunlight this morning.

Fred: Er, that’s not what that means…

Cute, huh?

That’s it for tonight, folks. We’ll revert back to your regular-length yammerings tomorrow.



Kitten update: We named her Scrappy (yes, like Scrappy Doo), and I took her to the vet’s today to make sure she’s healthy (she is). She’s been sneezing since we got her — and let me tell you, it’s amazing how much spit one little kitten can spray when she sneezes — but the vet said there’s no sign of upper respiratory infection. And I forgot to mention her princessy, demanding little meow when she feels you aren’t paying enough attention to her. She’s so damn adorable.

Fred apparently woke up this morning with his mind missing, because he left for Lowe’s around 8:30 for fire extinguishers and other various things. Busiest day of the shopping year, and the man goes shopping! "You hate people!" I reminded him. "Yes, but I like gatherings," he replied. "Ironic, isn’t it?" Nah, we didn’t really have that conversation.

So he came back from Lowe’s with fire extinguishers, a big plastic sweater box (more on that later), electric candles for the windows (Christmas decorations – a light in each window), and a wooden sign to put in the yard that says "Merry Christmas!" on it. I was amazed and impressed, because we talked about putting electric candles in the windows last year, but I never got around to buying them. The total extent of our Christmas decorating last year consisted of a wreath, ordered from L.L. Bean, hanging on the front door. Then, he wentback to Lowe’s tonight, and bought big red bows for each window, a wreath for the front door, and lights for the front stairs. Is he in the Christmas spirit, or what?

Amazingly, the leftovers from dinner yesterday are almost gone. They were even better reheated and eaten as a late breakfast/ early lunch this morning. I never did bake the frozen pumpkin pie I bought; guess we’ll have that some other time.

Has anyone started on their Christmas shopping yet? I have gone so far as to make a few lists in my head, but 90 percent of my shopping will be done online this year, thank God. Fred and his sister, step-sister, and step-brother are going in together and buying a computer for his dad and stepmother. Well, I guess it’s technically from me, too, but I don’t really think of it that way. Fred and I have agreed to only exchange one gift with each other this Christmas. We’re at the stage in life where if we want something, we pretty much just go out and buy it (clothes, cds and movies, I’m talking about here. I haven’t really splurged on that oceanfront mansion in Maine yet), so it’s hard to come up with a decent Christmas list. We’re asking my parents for a scanner (so y’all can see that horrid picture of my tubby ass in a ballet costume at the age of 14!), and his parents for a pressure cooker.

About that covered sweater box I mentioned earlier. We’ve been feeding the kitten canned cat food, because she doesn’t seem to be able to comfortably eat dry food yet. We’ve put her litter box and food in the master bedroom closet (I think I mentioned that yesterday), and every time I turn around, one of our Bad Bad Boys (I suspect Snoopy, but I could be mistaken) goes in and eats what’s left in her dish of the canned cat food. They’re also using her litter box from time to time, but I’m guessing that’s a reminder that she’s not exactly king of the hill around here. Fred decided to solve the food problem by buying a big covered sweater box, turning it upside down, and cutting a hole in it so that only the kitten can get to the food. It works great, but guess what? She found the bowl of dry food we feed The Boys from in the kitchen, and eagerly scarfed down some of that. I guess she won’t starve to death, anyway.

Know what’s awesome? It’s Friday, I’ve had three days off, and I still have two more days until I have to go back to work! That just rocks.

Have a good night, one and all!



the kitten. The spud had yesterday off from school (and, what’s up with that, I have to ask – when I was a kid, we never got Wednesday off in addition to Thursday and Friday! Kids these days…) We left the house around ten to pop over by the office so I could type up a quick license for Fred to fax to a customer, and after that I swung by the credit union to deposit Fred’s bonus check. (side note: every time a somewhat large amount of money comes into the company, the owners immediately begin salivating for a bonus. This time, I had the bonus checks made out and ready to go before the customer had even called with their visa number. ) After we sat in line for about 15 minutes at the credit union (really, what was I thinking? it was the day before Thanksgiving!), I surprised the spud with lunch at her very favorite chinese restaurant, where we hit the excellent buffet a couple of times each. Then it was my intention to take her to the movies to see “The Bachelor”, since I doubted she’d be much interested in “Being John Malkovich” or “Dogma”. When we pulled into the parking lot ten minutes before the movie was to start, the line was about 30 people long. “Huh,” I said, nonplussed. “Want to go to the movie store instead?” “Okay,” said the always easygoing spud. As I turned the truck around and pulled back out of the parking lot, I had a stellar idea. “Want to go visit thekittens?” “Yeah!” the spud said eagerly. As we drove in the direction of The Classic Cat, I called Fred on the cellphone (yes, I have one of the obnoxious things. there a problem with that?) and said “Hey, there were too many people at the movie theater. We’re going to visit thekitties!” Fred sighed dramatically and said “Just remember, if you get one, you have to clean the litter box out every day (instead of taking turns, as we had been doing).” We walked through the door, and she spotted me, and began howling immediately. Now, I’m not a dumbass. I know she’s probably been doing that to everyone. But, still. When I took her out of the cage and started petting her, she acted like she was home. The spud checked out all the kittens, and then went into the room where they keep the adult cats and petted all of them. I actually, you will be shocked to learn, put the kitten back in her cage and told the spud it was time to go. “Can’t we get a kiiiiiitten?” she begged. “Oh, please, let’s get a kitten! I’ll help take care of her!” Well, I resisted for a few minutes, then told her to get my wallet from the front seat of the truck before I changed my mind. And here she is: Isn’t she adorable? Fred thinks she’s ugly, but I think she’s about the cutest thing ever. She’s ten weeks old. We haven’t decided on a name yet, but I think Suzy would be a good name. I will, of course, keep y’all posted. The Boys are hugely freaked out. Spanky has dealt with us bringing kittens home – Stimpy and Snoopy, to be exact – but neither of them was nearly this little. He won’t go near her, only watches her carefully from a distance. Snoopy is interested in her, and has sniffed her from up close, but he isn’t sure what to make of her. Stimpy thinks she’s the spawn of satan, and hisses every time she gets within two feet of him. This morning, she was in the master bedroom closet using the litter box we put there for her, and he went into the bathroom to watch. She apparently finished and was coming back out through the bathroom, and out came Stimpy, running like the hounds of hell were after him, and hissing to beat the band. It’s hilarious, considering that he’s ten times bigger than she is. Spot isn’t particularly freaked out, but he’s not a big fan, either. He’s been through the new-kitten thing before. He has hissed at her once or twice, but it was kind of half-hearted. For her part, the kitten isn’t particularly interested in the Boys. She’ll glance at them from time to time, but mostly ignores them. Happy Thanksgiving! Did everyone have a good one? I slept in until 7:30 or so (because I was up several times in the night with the kitten, and even when I did sleep, I had horrid dreams of rolling over and crushing her, or of Snoopy kicking her ass), and then had to run to the store for Tender Vittles and soda and other stuff I can’t recall. When I got home from the store, Fred informed me that we only had dill pickle relish for the devilled eggs, instead of sweet pickle relish. So I went back out and got pickle relish and tin foil. We ate dinner at noon, and boy did it kick ass. Have I mentioned what a great cook Fred is? He did 99.9% of the meal himself, and only asked me to make a few things. We bought the turkey from a place called Tim’s Cajun Kitchen (a smoked cajun turkey, even), and it wasn’t that great — kinda dry, and the smell of smoke has been following me around since we ate. Everything else rocked, though. We had cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, summer squash casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli, corn, and devilled eggs. There are tons of leftovers, so that should carry us through the weekend. Sorry about all the kitten talk. I’ll try to keep it to myself for the most part — I know it’s boring to those of you who aren’t cat lovers, and probably boring to those of you who are! —– ]]>


My god, I am so embarassed. I was designated to choose colors for the offices which would be unoccupied for the time being, along with paint colors for the hallways and bathrooms. There’s an office up near mine that will be empty, and rather than choose a simple off-white or cream color for it, I decided to be daring. "I’ll choose this pretty green color," I said to myself. "I mean, green is a pretty, soothing color. And we don’t want it to be too dark, so this one right here will be just perfect." Yesterday, they painted the office with the aforementioned "pretty green." :

Puke office

"HOLY CRAP!" I screamed when I saw it. "That’s so fucking ugly!" Fred said, "Yeah, I told everyone you picked it out. We couldn’t believe it." If you look closely at the picture, you’ll note that it’s very close to the color of bile. I swore up and down that I hadn’t picked that hideous color, but in retrospect, I must have. But it looked so purty on the little piece of plastic…

Luckily, they’ve agreed to repaint the office off-white. For which I am thankful, because I could only imagine how many times I’d have had to hear "Oh, Robyn chose that color. Makes you wanna vomit, doesn’t it?"

This is Fred’s office, which I am currently sharing with him. I like the colors he chose, although his stepmother did the actual choosing so he doesn’t deserve the kudos. He’ll have more room once I move out with the fax machine, credit card machine (that’s it, on top of the fax in the middle of the picture), and printer. This picture doesn’t really do justice to the chaotic mess that is Fred’s office right now.

No, I didn’t put up this picture for you to admire the toilet (lovely, isn’t it?), or the blue tile (which looks much uglier in person), or even our trusty little plunger (six men in this office, you know). I put this picture up so that I could tell you a story. When the lady from the rental company was coming through our office, before they began work, she noted that the doors on the bathrooms weren’t "up to code", that is, wheelchairs couldn’t fit through the doorway. So they expanded the doorways of both the bathrooms, one of which you see above. Look closely at the picture above. You’ll note that a wheelchair could, in fact, fit through the doorway. However, once the person in that wheelchair goes through the doorway, what are they supposed to do? There’s no room for the wheelchair to turn around. And there sure as shit isn’t any way the door’s going to close with a wheelchair in there. But, ya know, they can go through the doorway; that’s apparently the important thing!



ibc root beer bottle

At the dinner table:

the spud: What does "MI 10 cents" mean?

F: In Michigan, you can take this bottle to the recycling center and get ten cents for it.

R: When I lived in Rhode Island, I always saved up all my cans and bottles and took them to Maine with me, and returned them. I’d have, like, a trunk full of cans and bottles and I’d get a dollar-fifty for them.

F: Aren’t you glad you don’t have to do that anymore?

Yes indeed.



So Fred called the "Who wants to be a Millionaire" number last night, and answered all three questions correctly. They put his name in for the random drawing, and he waited excitedly from noon to 3:00, but they never called. The bastards. It was nice to daydream about it, though. Except that Fred said I couldn’t go to New York with him because I had to stay home and be one of his Lifelines. "You’re too smart to waste sitting in the audience!" he said. Sweet, isn’t he? I’d still like to visit New York someday, though.

Couldn’t you just see me in New York City? Someone would glance at me and I’d get all paranoid. "Fred! I think she’s gonna rob us! Look at her looking at me! Call the cops! Help! Help! Police! SOMEONE WANTS TO ROB US! For the love of GOD, won’t somebody help us?!?!" "Jesus Christ, Bessie, she’s 90 years old and blind to boot." "Yeah, well, I still don’t trust her." That, or I’d be the total hick. "Lookit them buildings, Fray-uhd! They’s so TALL! And look! A homeless person. Give him money, Fred! Give him money!" Ih. You know, this paragraph just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Let’s just leave it at that