Nicole) I SHOULD be reading. Grate Lit-tra-tyurre can pretty much kiss my ass. Do I strike you as a reader of Grate Lit-tra-tyurre? I didn’t think so.

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I was sound asleep at 7:45 this morning (after slapping my alarm clock into submission at 7) when the phone rang. I thought it might be Fred calling with some more story ideas (he’s been having a lot lately), and so I didn’t bother to clear my throat before I croaked “Hello?” into the telephone. It was my friend Liz, who turned 35 yesterday. “Were you sleeping?” she asked. “Nooo…” I lied. “Yes you were!” she laughed. “Yeah, I was,” I admitted. I always claim I wasn’t sleeping when someone wakes me up by calling. Why is that? Why do I feel the need to deny it, when it’s clearly obvious by the sound of my voice that I just woke up? Liz does it too, for that matter. Liz turned 35 yesterday, I believe I mentioned. She lives at home with her mother, who is elderly and not doing too well, and her much older brother (I believe he’s in his 50s now). Yesterday, instead of being a lovely birthday, was apparently the day from hell, including a dead car (CAR, I said, people, not CAT), her mother falling down (she’s fine, but they kept her in the hospital for observation), and unresponsive nurses at the hospital (don’t flame me, nurse-readers. She said she went to get help when her mother was done with the bedpan, and the nurses looked at her and ignored her). This morning? An ice storm. I told her that with a start like that, her 36th year was going to be absolutely awesome. She said that that’s easy for someone who’s already married with a kid to say. She’s got me there.
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The Christmas card stats for 2002 are as follows: Total cards sent out (not including family): 331 (this is way more than the 195 I sent out last year!) States receiving 10 or more cards: California (30), Illinois (19), Indiana (10), Missouri (10), New York (13), Ohio (19), Texas (20), Washington State (16). States who don’t love me and didn’t want a card: Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming. (The list is getting shorter!) Other countries receiving cards: Canada (20), New Zealand (4), Australia (4), United Kingdom (7), Sweden (2), Netherlands (1), Republic of Korea (1), Portugal (2), Germany (2), Trinidad (1). Most often recurring first names: Ami/ Amy (6), Cathy/ Kathy (10), Chris/ Christy/ Chris/ Kris/ Christine (11), Elizabeth (5), Heather (5), Jennifer/ Jen/ Jenn (9), Karen (6), Kimberly/ Kim (5), Lisa (6), Lori/ Laurie (5), Marianne/ Maryann/ Maryanne (7), Stefani/ Stephanie (5), Susan (8), Tina (5). Number of cards kicked back as undeliverable: 2 (I readdressed them and mailed them back out to Umi in NY, and Layla in Smyrna). Percentage of probability that I accidentally sent out more than one card to at least one person: 99.999 Was I terribly organized about my card sending this year?: More organized than last year! Did I have a lot of fun shopping for funny cards?: You betcha – and I’m really looking forward to making cards for next year. What I’ll do differently next year: Not much, though I think I could have started cutting and pasting names and addresses to the label document in Word a little sooner than I did. Number of cards I’ve received: 159 so far. I’ll be going to the post office later today, and there will most likely be some more waiting there for me. I absolutely loved getting so many pictures of your cats and kids, thank you!
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Have I mentioned that I’m turning 35 (ha! I accidentally typed 25 at first!) in 10 days? Mark your calendars. It’s a national holiday, you know! I have this very strong feeling that this is going to be the year I really come into my own, and I can’t wait!
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Speaking of mail (like I was before I reminded you of my birthday on January 9th. January 9th, folks!), I went to the post office on Friday, which was the only chance I’d gotten all week, and BOY did I hit the jackpot. Not only were there about 50 cards crammed into the box, but there were several packages waiting for me as well. And because I’m a wonderful, sharing person, I’m going to share them with y’all. You’re welcome.
From Say – a chocolate candle, a container of chocolate milk bath (mmm!), and a knitted washcloth with a cat face knitted in! From reader Elizabeth – an addition to my Smiley Santa kitchen collection! From reader Christine – a Boyd’s Bear and a Buttercream Yankee Candle! I must say, it was very amusing to open the box and take out the Boyd’s Bear with my mother standing right there, because she collects them, and she doesn’t have this one. And she ain’t getting mine! The Art of Smiles calendar from Stephanie! Basically, works of art like the Mona Lisa and The Scream with smiley faces worked into the picture somehow. Hee! And not really included with the above gifts, because this one came to the house, Moira sent me Total Bitch Bath & Body Essentials. The lotion? HAS SPARKLIES IN IT! I am way, way too excited by that, I really am. And to go with the stuff above, a washcloth that’s just perfect for me. Hey, are y’all trying to tell me that I need to wash more often?
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And THEN, I went to the post office today, and found three MORE boxes waiting for me, along with 5 cards! (That brings the total up to 164).
My very first birthday present, to kick off the Birthday Month in style! Sarah Michaels Marine Spa lotion, bubble bath, bath pillow, nail brush, exfoliating shower gloves, all in a nifty travel bag. And, and, AND, an oatmeal raisin spice candle that is just to DIE for. From reader Jonica, who picked it up in the “Orleans” hotel in Las Vegas. (I think I’m going to hang it off my rearview mirror!) And last, but surely not least, from reader Debbie in England! It’s a memo/ picture holder. And luckily there’s room for 5 pictures, which coincidentally is how many cats we have. Whee!
Are you jealous of my readers? You should be, because they ROCK! (Readers Debbie (in England), Jonica, and Christine, please email me so that I may thank you properly!)
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This entry ended up a lot longer than I expected, but I can’t let you go before I point out that this kitty looks a mighty lot like Fancypants, tell you that I’ve started my own nation (I wanted the national motto to be “Goddamnit! What the fuck?!”, but they wouldn’t allow it, the bastards), and show you this picture of Spanky, who just cracks me up.
See you “next year”, with a whole new look! Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. I’ll be slugging down a virgin cup of egg nog, and turning in well before 2003 peers over the horizon. I hope there’s at least that much excitement in your own New Year’s Eve!]]>


Fred’s dad and stepmother’s xmas tree. Tuesday morning was spent at Fred’s mother and stepfather’s house, and Tuesday evening was spent at Fred’s father and stepmother’s house. (My parents, sister, and Brian spent the day at my aunt’s house) We got lots of loot and visited with the family, and in between the two trips, I made sweet potato casserole (which was a tad soupy, because instead of baking the potatoes and then peeling them, I peeled them and boiled them, thus making them soupy, but it turned out pretty good anyway) and a poppy seed cake for us to have on Christmas day.

Fred’s mother and stepfather’s cat, Graystone, who has the coolest markings. I thought this picture came out pretty cool. Fred’s dad and stepmother’s mantel.
Tuesday night, my mother, sister and I did stockings for everyone, then piled everything around the tree. We’d agreed that present-opening would begin at 8, and so I stayed up until about midnight reading.
Our little Christmas tree.
Wednesday morning at 7:30, Fred came upstairs, woke me up, and told me that everyone was up and had opened their stockings. I groaned about not wanting to get up, rolled around on the bed for a while, then took my shower and came downstairs, where I opened my stocking, then we began opening presents. I got tons of stuff, but I’m not going to list it all here, ’cause I don’t feel like it. So there!
Brian and the spud each got one of these little stuffed cats, which are soft and adorable.
We sat around for part of the day, and then around 3:30, left the house – Debbie, my mother, the spud, Brian and I – to see Maid in Manhattan. Cute movie. On the way out of the theater, the spud showed me her finger, and I decided to drop my mother and Brian off at home, then take her to the emergency room.
The spud’s nasty nail.
We sat around the emergency room for forever and a day, and then the doctor came in to check out the spud’s finger, and then poked holes in the fingernail with a needle. We ended up spending about 4 hours at the emergency room, because it was packed, and it was about 10:30 by the time we got home. Thursday, Debbie and I left the house at 7:30 to do the cats at the pet store, then met up with everyone else at IHOP, and then my father and Brian came back to the house, and Debbie, the spud, and I went shopping at the mall. And at Old Navy. And at Linens ‘N Things. And I must say that those after-Christmas sales just kick all kinds of ass, because I bought a ton of presents for next year. We went home, hung around for a little while, and then went out to dinner at Lonestar. After, my father and Brian went home, and my mother, Debbie, the spud and I did some more shopping. That’s right, two more hours of shopping! Amazing, is what that was, considering how much I hate shopping. Friday, we met my aunt at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then went to her house for a few hours, and met her new – adorable as hell – puppy. Leaving there, we went to Walmart, then home for a few hours before going back out. My mother, Debbie, and I went to see Two Week Notice (funny as hell, it was), and my father took the kids to see Die Another Day. When our movie was over, we went to the mall (yes, again!), then had dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. Can I just say that I fucking hate sitting and waiting for the check? Indeedy I do. By the time we got home, it was 9, and both Debbie and my mother had to do a few loads of laundry. Bright and early Saturday morning, after hugs all around, they were gone. I spent the better part of the morning putting Christmas stuff away and cleaning the house. And that was my week.
The sky looked cool Friday afternoon…


This picture 2. This picture 3. This picture 4. This picture 5. This picture 6. This picture 7. This picture 8. This picture 9. This entry, this entry, this entry, this entry, this entry, and this entry. 10. Several copies of US, the best damn magazine in the world, and one copy of Playboy magazine, with all the nudie pics torn out, because some of the best interviews I’ve read have been in that magazine (did you know I subscribe to Playboy? Yes, indeedy, I do).. 11. Hallmarks of Felinity. 10 things this past year has taught you 1. You cannot actually roll your eyes so hard that they pop out and roll across the floor, but you CAN roll them so hard that it makes you dizzy and makes your eyeballs ache. 2. Cats can be mightydamn expensive when they have to go to the vet all the time. 3. I really, really like my life most of the time. 4. I’m a better writer than I think I am. 5. But I ain’t no Stephen King. 6. I really, really, really wish that Debbie and Brian lived a lot closer than they do. 7. That if you’re not vigilant, old patterns and ways can come back with a vengeance. 8. That my feelings can be hurt more easily than I’d like. 9. That I can’t wait to turn 35 on January 9, because I have a feeling that it’s going to be the year when I really come into my own. 10. That fewer people are offended by bad language than you’d think. 9 things you could have done without [this past year] 1. The bullshit. 2. The petty crap. 3. The whiny bitchy losers who whine about me behind my back and then backpedal like big fucking wimps when they’re confronted about it. 4. The junky food. 5. The self-doubt. 6. That fucking Mulvaneys book (strictly speaking, I didn’t read it this past year, but the horror still lingers). 7. Getting my first real cold in three years the fucking DAY before my parents, sister, and nephew got here. 8. Having to blow my nose every five minutes for the entire time they were here. 9. [deleted] 8 of the best books you’ve read and/or movies you’ve seen [this past year] 1. Most of the Red Dress Ink books. 2. Good in Bed. 3. In Her Shoes. 4. Life as a House. 5. Two Week Notice (I laughed my ass off) 6. Unfaithful 7. In a Sunburned Country 8. Frailty 7 little things you’ve done to make the world a better place [charity work, donating time/money, making a point to smile at people, etc] 1. I feed the kitties and scoop poop at the pet store twice a week. 2. I helped Fred raise more than $300 for the animal shelter. 3. The Giveaway page. I think that winning something off that page has brightened the day of a person or two. 4. I do make a point to smile at people and ask how they’re doing. 5. I contribute money to the local no-kill shelter every month. 6. I contribute money to the spud’s school’s PTA instead of letting her sell crap to people who don’t want to buy crap, and that is an act of kindness in itself, I think. 7. Random acts of kindness as they occur to me. 6 things you’d like the New Year to bring [resolutions or whatever] 1. The inclination to get my ass caught up on my email. 2. The inclination to update in my diet journal at least twice a week (Uh, these aren’t resolutions, by the way. Just something I’d like to happen). 3. Serious weight loss. 4. Sunny, warm weather every single day (a girl can dream, no?) 5. The motivation to keep the house spotlessly clean (ha!). 6. Peace and joy and happiness to everyone all over the world. And all that crap. 5 gifts you’d like to give and to whom [tangible/non-tangible/if money were no object] 1. A million bucks to each of my friends, online and off. 2. The intelligence to have their pets spayed and neutered to every pet owner out there. 3. A loving home for every cat, dog, and animal in existence. 4. The love of reading, for the spud, who does not love to read the way Fred and I do. 5. The perfect man, a gorgeous house, and a great car for my sister. 4 non-tangible gifts you’d like get 1. The motivation to sit my ass down and write the stories that come into my mind. 2. Self-love. 3. Patience. 4. The cessation of yearning to be in Maine. 3 tangible gifts you’d like to receive 1. A yellow VW Beetle. 2. A house in the country with a big barn with plenty of room for lots of kitties. 3. A summer home in Maine. 2 favorite holiday memories [from any time] 1. I don’t remember what year it was – 1998 or 1999? – but the spud went to Rhode Island for Christmas to spend it with her father. We had a wicked ice storm, which knocked out our power so that we couldn’t cook. We drove into Huntsville, checked into a hotel room, and then had Indian food for dinner. We watched a movie in the hotel room, and when the power at home came back on, we went home (it was about 10 pm). It was just a great, relaxing day. 2. When I was 7 and we lived in Guam. We opened our presents, had breakfast, and then went to the beach for the day! 1 thing that surprised you the most [about this past year] That I still haven’t gotten tired of the whole journalling thing.]]>


here. Enjoy!

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Okay, y’all. One of the things I plan on working on over the next few weeks is an FAQ. Is there something you think I should put in it? Ask away! (Unless it’s “Why do you and Fred sleep in separate rooms?”, because that’s far and away the most-asked question, and will definitely be in the FAQ).
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On my shit list today: 1. The people who work at the pharmacy where Fred and I have our prescriptions filled. They always and forever insist on stapling the fucking prescription information sheet onto the bag, and they invariably put the staple directly over the RX# or Claim #, both of which are numbers I need to fill out the Prescription Drug Claim form, which I have to send in to Blu3 Fuckin’ Cr0ss. (Could be worse. Could be an HMFucking0.) 2. The M@dison School system. In the mail yesterday, I received a survey, apparently sent to the parents of all kids in the M@dison School system. The survey was about the 2003 – 2004 school calendar. Imagine my amazement – until now, I’ve very much been under the impression that they slap the fucking thing together sometime in mid-June, well after I’ve had to guess at when to make ticket reservations for the spud to come back from Maine. And invariably, she’s scheduled to come back after school starts, so I have to call and pay to have the ticket changed. Fuckers. Anyway, here were the options: A. No fall break and three days off for Thanksgiving with school beginning on August 13, 2003. B. A two-day fall break in October and a full week off for Thanksgiving with school beginning on August 7, 2003. C. A two-day fall break in October and three days off for Thanksgiving with school beginning on August 11, 2003. D. A five-day fall break in October and three days off for Thanksgiving with school beginning on August 6, 2003. Oddly, there was no Option E, which if worded by me would have gone: E. What the fuck do they need a fucking FALL BREAK FOR, for the love of god?? They fucking get Labor Day off in September, they fucking get whatever fucking holiday that is in October off, they fucking get Veteran’s Day off in fucking November, and then they get fucking Thanksgiving off. What the fuck? WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL WE GOT TWO – TWO! – DAYS OFF FOR THANKSGIVING, WHY THE FUCKING FUCKETY FUCK DO THEY NEED A FUCKING FALL FUCKING BREAK?!?!?!? You know, I just don’t get school systems in the South. Why the fuck do they insist on starting school in the middle of the fucking summer? AUGUST IS STILL SUMMER. And what’s more, the fact that school goes from practically the beginning of August to the fucking middle of May really fucks it up for those of us who are trying to coordinate schedules with kids who live in Maine and start school at the beginning of September and go to the middle of June. Hey, here’s a fucking idea! Don’t give them THREE FUCKING WEEKS off for Christmas, don’t give them ANY FUCKING FALL BREAK, and let them attend school from Labor Day to fucking Memorial Day. Oh, wait. That would make sense, and we certainly don’t want THAT. Fuckheads. Oh, but here’s why the M@dison School system is really on my last fucking nerve. I completed the survey (I chose Option A), filled out my name and address, refrained from using any profanities (see? I can do it when I really try to!), and then glanced at the letter on the other side, to see where I needed to send it. “We ask that you return your completed form to your child’s school, no later than Thursday, December 19, 2002.”, it said. Hm. Odd. When did I GET this form in the mail? Oh, let me think, when was it?… IS IT POSSIBLE THAT IT CAME IN THE FUCKING MAIL YESTERDAY AFTERNOON AFTER SCHOOL HAD BEEN LET OUT?! Why, yes. That IS when I received the fucking form. In the mail. On the 19th. After school had been let out. Yes indeedy. YES IN-FUCKING-DEEDY. So I’m sending it directly to the Office of the Superintendent, BECAUSE MY VOTE HAD FUCKING WELL BETTER BE COUNTED, MOTHERFUCKERS. That is all.
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My parents, sister, and nephew are flying in Sunday afternoon. They’ll be here until the following Saturday morning (they’re leaving very, very early), and so I have no clue when or if there will be any entries up next week. I may get one or two up, or I may get none up – I just don’t know. We’re going to have a fairly busy week, what with going to Nashville on Monday, then Tuesday Fred, the spud and I are going to his parents for part of the day, Wednesday is Christmas, and I have no idea what Thursday and Friday have in store. Hopefully, there’ll be a good story or two to share with y’all. Basically what I’m saying is, I’ll see you when I see you, and if I don’t put up an entry next week, I hope you’re having a good one!]]>


The vet’s office called the other day to let us know that it was time for her to go back for a re-check of her puffy, deformed lip, and another shot of steroids. I made the appointment for this morning so I could take her, because Fred’s been taking the cats to the vet a lot lately, and I thought I’d give him a break. And since Miz Poo is one of the few cats (Fancypants being the other) that I can actually get into the carrier box, all the better. I got the carrier box out and left it on the bedroom floor about half an hour before we needed to leave. Spanky took one look at it and ran like hell down the stairs and out into the back yard, where he crouched behind the tree for quite some time. Miz Poo sniffed at it, then went and took a nap. I went and took my shower, got ready to go (I had already been out earlier, of course, to feed the kitties at the pet store, but I didn’t shower before I went out, because I come home with my hair smelling like stinky litter boxes), and then went over to pet Miz Poo. She looked up at me, her eyes full of love, and chirped. I picked her up, and she rubbed her head against my cheek and purred some more. When we approached the carrier box, she made a little whining noise in the back of her throat, but before she was fully aware of what was going on, I’d popped her in the box and shut the lid. Because I’m just that good. We were at the vet’s office less than ten minutes later, and spent maybe ten minutes talking to the vet, having Miz Poo’s temperature taken (it was normal. Unlike Miz Poo), and had her weighed (10 1/4 pounds. Which makes her less than half the size of Tubby, if you’re wondering). The vet said her lip was doing better (did I ever tell y’all that it was definitely not cancerous? It’s an ulcer, caused by her licking at it too much), popped her with some steroids, said he wanted to see her in another 60 days, and we were on our way home. Ever since we got home, she’s been needing the love, purring and rubbing on me, jumping up on the desk to lay down in front of me, jumping up on my lap to rub on me, bringing me her toys and looking expectantly at me (when I toss the toy in the other room for her to chase, she looks at the toy, then looks at me, and then just sits there, as if to say “What the hell was THAT all about?”). It appears that she’s not holding a grudge, in any case.

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So while I was out shopping yesterday, I called Fred from the parking lot of Bed, Bath, and Beyond, to tell him I’d spotted something he could buy for the spud to give me for Christmas (don’t give me that look – he’d been asking for ideas). It was a fountain like this one. “And it’s where?” he asked. “Bed, Bath and Beyond, in the Target shopping center,” I said. “It’s in the front window.” He made a mental note, and then I went about my business. Later that afternoon, he called me from his cell phone. “Where the hell did you say that fountain is?” he asked, sounding harried. “Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Why?” I said. It appears that he’d gotten it into his head that I’d been calling him from the mall, and he’d wandered into Bath and Body Works and asked the salesclerk there where their fountains might be. Hee! According to the salesclerk, that happens ALL the time.
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I made an unusual Thursday run to the post office today, because I had a bunch of cards to mail, and (I think I’ve mentioned), I don’t mail stuff from my mailbox anymore, because too much stuff’s been getting lost in the mail. Imagine my surprise when I checked to see if I had any mail! In no particular order, I received: From the wonderful Joley, who has somehow gleaned my love of smiley stuff…
and my love of kitties! Whoo! From an anonymous reader, not only a 9 Chickweed Lane Clock (see the cat pose at 1:00? That’s Fancypants, right there)… But also a 9 Chickweed Lane t-shirt, with this on the front. Hee! Anonymous reader, if you’d contact me so I can thank you properly, I’d appreciate it! From Say, a knit mouse cat-toy, made with her veryown hands! I took it directly to Fancypants, who sniffed it carefully… And then immediately acted like he was on a catnip high, flopping down to stare at the wall. Later, Miz Poo claimed it, and carried it off to the library, where she spent some time batting it around.
This stuff I didn’t receive from any readers, but bought yesterday while I was out shopping. I know, you’re not supposed to buy stuff for yourself when you’re Christmas shopping, but a girl can only be so strong!
Remind you of anyone? Not a very good picture, but I had to plug the camera in to recharge, and it can only zoom so far. I bought this Santa at Dillards to put by the fireplace, so I could toss the cheap angels we’ve been using for the past few years, and which were slowly losing their body parts. If Dillards has a decent after-Christmas sale, I may go back for a different one for the other side of the fireplace. Gotta keep it balanced, y’know.
Man, it’s looking nasty outside. I hope we don’t blow away before I get a chance to wear my new shirt and tell time on the new clock, and put up my new calendar, and spend some time admiring my new Quarry Cat, and toss the mouse across the room for the cats to play with! ‘Cause that would, like, suck. (Confidential to reader Pat, who bribed me with happy face stickers: The recipe will be up in the next few days)]]>


* * * When I was done at the pet store this morning, I walked around the store and picked up a few presents for our kitties. After leaving there, I went to Target to pick up a list of things, and to kill time while waiting for the mall to open. I’d been planning all week long to hit the party store and mall today and finish up my Christmas shopping. But is Christmas shopping ever really done? Anyway, I hit Target, and about halfway through my visit there, I started feeling sleepy. I thought about going into the Christmas section and laying down under one of the trees for a nap, but decided against it. I finished up my shopping, and bought a Diet Coke (for the caffeine) and a pack of M&Ms (for the sugar), and once I was back out in the Jeep, I ate and slurped, and almost immediately felt better. After Target, I hit Michael’s (and spent the aforementioned long, long time in the scrapbooking aisle), then went over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (for new bath mats, because the spud’s was getting gross, and so was the one in the master bath). Upon leaving Bed, Bath and Beyond, I called Fred from the parking lot. He asked me last night if I had any suggestions for something he could buy for the spud to give me for Christmas, and I’d spotted something. I left the Target/ Bed, Bath and Beyond parking lot, and headed for the party store. The party store is a great place to pick up stocking stuffers, and I think that, aside from my dad, I’m all done with buying stocking stuffers for the year. And then? What did I do then? Oh, like an idiot, I left the party store and went to the mall. Yes, a week before Christmas, and I hauled my ass to the mall. Could I be any dumber, could I, huh? I think not! But it actually wasn’t, aside from the parking, all that bad. I bought a few things at the Hallmark store, and then headed to Dillard’s. See, we’re all doing stockings for each other this year, and I thought that a very small box of Godiva chocolates for each person would be cool. Don’t you wish I were stuffing YOUR stocking? So I found the display of Godiva chocolates, and I was disgusted. Chocolate coins, seven dollars? Fuck THAT. I was on my way out of the store, stomping my weary feet with disgust, when I saw another display with tiny boxes at a much, MUCH better price. Score! So everyone’s getting a (yes, one!) Godiva chocolate in their stocking this year. Because I rock. By the time I got back out to the parking lot, I had walked my poor, aching feet down to nubs, and all I wanted was to get my ass home and eat lunch. So I picked lunch up at Wendy’s, and home I am. Where I intend to stay for the rest of the day, resting my weary self. And tomorrow? Tomorrow, I get to go do the kitties again (which will be the bright point of my day!), then I’ll be coming home to scrub the floors, make sure the guest bedroom is up to Bitchy Code, and going around with the Swiffer to gather a million, trillion cobwebs from all corners of the house. If it’s not raining, I’ll run to Lowe’s to buy some mulch for the daffodil bed, and chop down some weeds. In and amongst all this, I will make chicken curry (which I’ve never made before – I hope it’s good!), and possibly wash some windows. Envy me.]]>


* * * Y’all are a crafty sort. If one wanted to make one’s own cards for Christmas 2003, using a certain picture (no, you may not see it. Mostly because I haven’t taken it yet), is there a place (preferably online), where you can buy, basically, blank cards that come with envelopes that you can decorate as you wish? (Note: I’m a dumbass. It never occurred to me to check at Michael’s! Duhhhhh…) Tell me, for I am clueless when it comes to these things.

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Movies rented today: Goldmember, Notorious C.H.O (I’ll be watching that one by myself, I’m sure), Halloween: Resurrection, and The Crocodile Hunter. This has been your public service announcement for today.
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The spud’s band is having a Christmas concert tonight, which I am simultaneously looking forward to, and dreading. Looking forward to, because at least it’ll be over with for this year. Dreading because we have to sit through another band before the spud’s band plays. The band teacher tries to get all bossy every time there’s a concert, saying that the kids from the first bands that play need to stick around and watch the other (older) bands. Know what? We’ve never stuck around once the spud’s band is done playing, and we’re not going to tonight. The first band to play will be the 6th grade band, and I wouldn’t expect them to stick around and watch the Spud’s band play, either. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be watching them leave with a hearty wave and jealousy in my heart. Lucky bastards. The spud told Fred that the only reason she’s still in band is because she doesn’t want to do gym – see, in our local school system, you can do gym, or you can do band, but not both. The rumor according to the spud’s friends is that gym is “Like boot camp!”, and “The gym teacher yells at you and makes you run around!” The spud is certainly giving me a run for that “Laziest Gal in the South” title lately – her school is a mile from our house. Actually, no, it’s less than a mile. Once a week, she has to stay after school for band practice, and every single week she throws a fit about having to walk that entire .9 mile home. Poor abused child.]]>


* * * I ended up waiting until after ten to go out in the back yard with the drill. Why would I go into the back yard with a drill, you ask? Am I building a small barn to house all the kitties I want to kidnap from the pet store? Am I building a small barn to house Tubby’s tubby ass? Am I building a small building to which to banish Fred’s ass when he gets particularly gassy? Alas, no. None of these are being built in our back yard. I went into the back yard with the drill because years ago I bought a drill attachment (I see that it’s apparently called a “bulb auger”) to dig holes to plant bulbs – it’s an attachment for that very purpose, you see – and forgot that we had it when I planted the daffodil bed last Fall. The daffodil bed, which was really too small for 30 bulbs, and so the daffodils that grew there were all crowded and unhappy. So this time around, each daffodil bulb got plenty of space and it’s own little hole, along with a shot of fertilizer, and topped off with a nice little layer of mulch. If that don’t make ’em happy, nothing will. The entire time I was using the drill – it’s a very powerful drill, have I mentioned? – an obnoxious voice in the back of my head and yelling “LA LA LA. WOULDN’T IT SUCK IF YOU HIT A ROCK OR A PIECE OF CONCRETE AND THE DRILL FLEW UP AND THE BULB-DIGGING PIECE WENT IN YOUR EYE, AND YOU WERE TOO SURPRISED TO STOP PRESSING THE BUTTON, AND SO IT DUG INTO YOUR EYE SOCKET AND SHATTERED IT? WOULDN’T THAT SUCK? HERE, THIS IS WHAT I IMAGINE IT WOULD LOOK LIKE, AND THIS IS HOW I IMAGINE IT WOULD FEEL.” That’s the same voice that, when I’m walking down the stairs with a large armload full of stuff, whispers “Wouldn’t it suck if you fell down the stairs and landed on the top of your head and were paralyzed, and then lived to a ripe old age, wouldn’t that just suck, huh? Especially if you were laying there for hours before the spud got home, and then when she got home, she’d fling the door open and smack you in the top of the head again, and you’d go blind, and you’d be paralyzed and blind and live a really long life. That would just suck, it would.” In any case, I did NOT hit a rock or piece of concrete with the drill, and I did not shatter my eye socket, which I am pleased to report. And I got those damn bulbs planted, and they’d better grow some gorgeous-ass daffodils, is all I have to say.

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I needed to go to the post office this morning, because I never did mail the stuff from last week’s giveaway, and I needed to get that stuff out (you who won that stuff should have it in 2 – 3 days). While I was there, I checked the box, and was amazed to find that since I was there Friday, not only did I get TWENTY-NINE cards, but I also got two packages. Reader Layla sent me:
A smiley-face dish towel, two smiley-face hot pads, a bookmark that says “Shhhh! I’m trying to read” and has a little smiley-face on the dangly part (is there a name for the dangly string part?), AND a 4-color pen with a big-ass smiley-face on top! Reader Layla is just way too cool. (Your proper thank you is on it’s way to you, Layla)
From reader Jenn, a wooden magnet with a picture of Miz Poo on it! Y’all KNOW how much I adore the Poo, and to have my veryown magnet with a picture of her on it? Perfect! Reader Jenn is also way too cool! (And your proper thank you is on the way as well, Jenn!) Not only did I get cool reader mail, but I also got an issue of US Magazine, and the cover just made me drool:
THE WAR IS ON!!!! You know, I about wet my pants when I saw that cover, because it is JUST the sort of thing I love about US. Because whether or not US has the facts right, I know that it’s going to SOUND like it’s all true, and it will be entertaining (because, after all, Britney and Justin had a fucking DANCE-OFF, and could you possibly get any more delightfully cheesy than that? I think not!). I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that US is rapidly becoming my favorite magazine, even more than People or Entertainment Weekly. What can I say? I love the cheese!
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Not only did I get all those damn bulbs planted this morning, but I also got out the steam cleaner and steam-cleaned the area of carpet outside our bedroom door, the guest bedroom door, and the laundry room/ litter box area. That’s the area Fancypants always targeted when he got mad at us and shit outside the litter box (which he hasn’t done in many months, thankyajeezus). I don’t know that there’s any visible difference in the cleanliness of that carpet, but the water I emptied out of the steam cleaner was pretty nasty, so I feel like I got something accomplished. Now all I have to do is clean up the pile of barf someone left under the Christmas tree. I’d like to think they thought of it as a gift to me, but the truth is that someone probably tried eating some fake pine needles, and found them not to his liking.
* * * Miz Poo is always careful to clean between her toes…


here: 1. When do you feel your best? a) in the morning b) during the afternoon and early evening c) late at night A. In the morning, but only because I’ve been trained by Himself to be a morning person. If given my druthers, I’d probably stay up until 2 am and sleep ’til noon. 2. You usually walk a) fairly fast, with long steps b) fairly fast, with little steps c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face d) less fast, head down e) very slowly D. I have stubby legs, and can’t go that fast, y’all. Plus, if you don’t keep your head down, how will you know whether there’s something on the ground in front of you, to trip you up? 3. When talking to people you a) stand with your arms folded b) have your hands clasped c) have one or both hands on your hips d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair C. Though actually, I think I mostly let my arms dangle by my side. 4. When relaxing, you sit with a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side b) your legs crossed c) your legs stretched out or straight d) one leg curled under you C. Because that’s most comfortable, but if we’re talking about on a plane, or sitting next to someone else, I usually sit with my knees bent and my legs neatly side by side. 5. When something really amuses you, you react with a) a big, appreciative laugh b) a laugh, but not a loud one c) a quiet chuckle d) a sheepish smile A. Unless I’m in public or with people I don’t know – in which case I chuckle quietly. 6. When you go to a party or social gathering you a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed C. Because I don’t want everyone staring at the dorkiness that is me. 7. You�re working very hard, concentrating hard, and you�re interrupted; you a) welcome the break b) feel extremely irritated c) vary between these two extremes C. Vary, because it depends on what I’m doing. 8. Which of the following colors do you like most? a) Red or orange b) black c) yellow or light blue d) green e) dark blue or purple f) white g) brown or gray C. Yellow. 9. When you are in bed at night, just before going to sleep, you lie a) stretched out on your back b) stretched out face down on your stomach c) on your side, slightly curled d) with your head on one arm e) with your head under the covers C. I also hug a pillow. During the night I flip onto my stomach for a little while, but most of the time I’m on my side. 10. You often dream that you are a) falling b) fighting or struggling c) searching for something or somebody d) flying or floating e) you usually have dreamless sleep f) your dreams are always pleasant C. I wish I had more flying or floating dreams, though. My score added up to 35, which means: 31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who�s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken. Mostly true, I suppose, though I don’t know that “sensible” always describes me.

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Someone googled “kitten+anal+leakage” and ended up on my site. Unfortunately, I had nothing to say on the matter, since I was talking about the kitten (Miz Poo) in one paragraph, and anal leakage (as in Xenical) in another. But I’ll say this – if your kitten is suffering from anal leakage, y’all, TAKE IT TO THE VET. It’s probably an infected anal gland. Your poor kitty. A painful, impacted anal gland, and you’re wasting time looking for an answer online, you bastard. What kind of owner are you?!
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I was going through an old box the other day, and found this poster, which used to hang on my bedroom wall when the spud and I lived with Debbie and Brian in Lisbon Falls:
That’s right, it’s a poster with pictures of Beavis and Butthead cut out of magazines and taped to it. Dork? Me? I still have a soft spot for Beavis and Butthead, the mouthy little bastards.
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And I always wonder why there’s so much cat fur on the bedspread… Spanky watches me write my entry, and offers constructive criticism. “More kitty pics, Mom! More kitty pics!”