9/10/10 – Friday

The problem with this whole thing where I was sick and dropped 15 pounds and then gained it all back is that when I gained it all back, I apparently gained it in places other than where I lost it, so my bras ARE REALLY FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE and I spend all day twitching and trying … Continue reading “9/10/10 – Friday”

The problem with this whole thing where I was sick and dropped 15 pounds and then gained it all back is that when I gained it all back, I apparently gained it in places other than where I lost it, so my bras ARE REALLY FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE and I spend all day twitching and trying to get comfortable while wearing an uncomfortable bra and I have actually HURT MY SHOULDER from all the goddamn twitching. I could (and will) buy new bras, but not until my weight gets to a stable place and I can be sure I won’t suddenly put on 20 unexpected pounds in three days or something.

Which is why I’m not wearing a bra today. I feel sorry for anyone who stops by unexpectedly.


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Attention, cheese lovers! Go here and see how to enter to win THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of imported cheeses from Sam’s Club!

(If you win, feel free to share with me!)


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For the next 60 days, you can vote daily on www.givelitter.com for one of these three deserving Los Angeles-area organizations:

Alley Cat Allies in partnership with Baldwin Park Animal Shelter
Kitten Rescue
The Cat House on the Kings

Vote every day. They’ll donate a tenth of a pound of World’s Best Cat Litter™ for every vote you register. At the end of the voting period, the litter will be distributed proportionally to the total vote count.

I really like the fact that no matter who gets the most votes, all three charities get donated litter. You can vote every day, and I’ll stick the badge on my sidebar as a reminder.


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Is Newt really bigger than before, or is it the camera angle? He looks gorgeous, well-fed…large and in charge!

He’s not actually all that big, but he probably is bigger than he was earlier this summer. He and Maxi both tend to put some weight on in the late summer, perhaps in anticipation of the days of winter when they’ll starrrrrrve to death (sh’yeah). He’s not a fat cat, but he’s definitely very muscular. Probably the angle makes him look bigger than he actually is.


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Re nappin’ time (as opposed to snackin’ time) – what time do you and Fred get up and go to bed (of a day, not a nap). I love love love the idea of a nap but can’t quite work out when is the appropriate time to indulge. Do you nap on your beds or in a chair? Should I be up and running at a certain time of the morning to make a nap acceptable? At least I know the answer to the number of cats needed for a nap – as many as want to participate.

Fred gets up every morning at 4 am, whether it’s a work day or not (he doesn’t understand people sleeping in on the weekends because he’s a weirdo). He leaves for work sometime around 5:30, so he comes upstairs to say goodbye and give me a kiss. I usually roll over and try desperately to go back to sleep, but am rarely able to do so, so I’m up shortly after 5:30. On the weekends, I sometimes get up at 5:30, sometimes sleep in ’til after 6 (I know! The slackery!)

If we’re talking the weekend, we generally lay down on our respective couches in the living room some time after noon and talk for a few minutes, then doze off for as long as we need to. I’ve been known to nap in my bed, but I prefer the couch these days. Our naps generally last half an hour or so, though last Saturday I snoozed on the couch for TWO HOURS.

During the week, my afternoon schedule looks like:
1 pm: eat lunch, answer emails, surf the internet.
2 – 3ish pm: lay on the couch and watch TV. It goes in cycles for me in that some weeks I snooze every single day for that hour, but this week I’ve actually been watching TV.

At 3:00 I get up and go give the cats their snacks, putter around the house, and basically wait for Fred to get home from work (which he does between 3:30 and 4). I never (unless I’m sick) nap past 3, because I’m afraid it’ll mess with my bedtime.

In the evenings, we turn the TV off around 8:45, do one last email check, Fred checks on Coltrane and Maxi, lets Maxi in (usually), lets Newt out, we wrangle up the foster kittens, spend some time hanging out with them in the foster room, then lay in bed and talk for about half an hour. He goes off to his room around 9:45, and I usually lay in bed and read until I get tired enough to turn off the light. I generally make it to 10:00 most nights. If what I’m reading is holding my attention, I might stay up ’til 11 or 11:30, which happens a couple of times a week.


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I don’t consider myself a skimmer, but didn’t you do away with Snack Time? Did I miss when it was reinstated?

I think I only mentioned it in passing, but I reinstated it about a month ago. We were having an issue with Elwood and no matter what medication we tried giving him, nothing stopped the awful diarrhea he was having (and the vet was finding nothing). As a last-ditch effort, I wanted to try giving him Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth comes in a very fine powdery form, and the best way to give it to a cat is to sprinkle it on their food. I mixed it in with canned food to get it into Elwood’s system, and there’s just no way on earth you can give ONE cat in this house a snack and not give it to all of them, so snack time was reinstated.

I changed the time I give them their snack, because before I was giving it to them after Fred and I ate dinner. That meant they were all hanging around the kitchen while I was making dinner, getting underfoot and howling at me. Now I give them their snack at 3:00, which is a much better time – I give them their snack, get all the plates cleaned up, and then can make dinner without harassment.

Oh, and I don’t know if it was the Diatomaceous Earth or just time, but Elwood’s diarrhea has cleared up completely. THANK GOD.

(My other favorite use for Diatomaceous Earth: I sprinkle it where ants tend to congregate (around the wood shed, in particular), and it takes care of them. I mean, they pop up in another location, but at least I don’t have to worry about them building their home in the bottoms of stuff that’s laying on the ground over there.)


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I was fiddling around and went to your profile page. I read this:

“We have six cranky cats who live indoors with us, and two more who live outside (left behind by the people who sold us this house); …. We have chickens, who provide us with eggs, and one day may provide us with meat. We’ll see about that.”

and laughed til I had to squeeze my thighs together.

Man, it’s been a while since I updated the bio, hasn’t it? Three years! It’s now up to date as of this moment – I’m going to just stop putting a number of cats in there, because it bites me in the ass every time.


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I just found out about Jonathan Coulton through Lucymarch.com, and I had to go on youtube and listen to all his stuff. His song “Code Monkey” reminded me of your “robust” and “elegant” comments in this entry. Not that I am suggesting Fred is a code monkey.

I found that video just a touch more amusing than he did!


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Video called Inception Cat. I haven’t seen Inception. It did not affect my enjoyment of this video.

Same here, I love it! (The two of you who haven’t seen that video yet, stick with it. It’s slow to start, but worth watching!)


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A clutch. A “litter” of chicks is actually called a clutch. I think. Maybe. I am not very helpful huh?

I know that a bunch of eggs that a hen lays that she intends to sit on until they hatch is called a clutch, but I don’t know that they’re called a clutch once they hatch. And really, you’d think maybe “flock”, but that doesn’t seem right, either, since it sounds like it refers to the whole bunch of chickens in residence. Maybe a sub-flock?

Okay, I went and Googled around, and apparently you’re right – sometimes the chicks that hatch are called a clutch, but more often they’re referred to as “the hen’s brood.” Which is clunky and does NOT roll off the tongue at all. I prefer clutch, or litter.


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This might be the opportunity to use your skimmer picture, as I just can’t remember -how did the turkeys taste that you guys raised? (Last fall I think? I’m going to guess you’ve eaten some?) The chicken pictures reminded me of them, and I still giggle the way you described the turkeys as having heads full of air.

You know, I don’t know that I ever talked about eating them, actually. We’ve eaten, I think, three of them and they taste really good. They’re smaller (and not pumped with saline the way a lot of grocery store turkeys are), so they cook faster than we’re used to. I really like to use the Overnight Turkey recipe, here, but instead of cooking it overnight I put the turkey in the oven when I get up in the morning, and it’s always ready long before dinner. The turkey falls right off the bones and it is SO good.

I stand by my assertion that god made chickens, and then he said “Hmm. I wonder if I could make something EVEN DUMBER?”

And he DID.


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I know you scoop the litter boxes every day, but what do you scoop into? We generally use old plastic grocery bags, but 1) we run out of plastic grocery bags, especially since most of our stores now offer paper ones, and 2) they aren’t biodegradable. I’d rather take the old grocery bags back to the store to be recycled. I was wondering if you had any other suggestions.

BioBag makes a dog waste bag that is intended for you to bring with you when you’re walking your dog, to scoop the poop into. It’s biodegradable and most days the bags are big enough to fit all the scoopings from all the litter boxes. (Occasionally I have to use a second bag, depending on the number of cats in the house.) They’re not as cheap as the old plastic grocery bags, obviously, but I buy them in bulk off eBay, and I think they’re worth it just so I don’t feel like I’m killing the planet every time I scoop the litter box.


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Corbett’s gahgeous…are you at ALL tempted to keep him? I tell ya, if I didn’t already have 3 cats and a demanding chihuahua AND didn’t live in Oregon, I would’ve taken ALL the Bookworms!

Oh please, of COURSE I’m tempted to keep him. I was tempted to keep Bolitar and Rhyme and Reacher too (I LOVE MY BOOKWORMS), but we really are about full to bursting with the number of permanent residents we have. Of course, now that I’ve put that out into the universe, we’ll probably end up with 30 permanent residents by the end of the year!


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Someone else has probably already mentioned it, but Corbett is very VERY Bengal. He looks just like my Ozzy.


Believe it or not, no one has mentioned it – but I absolutely agree! Bengals really like water, though, don’t they? Corbett hasn’t shown any interest in water… at least, not yet!


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Have you or anyone else out there ever used The World’s Best Cat Litter?? Expensive corn based litter…I’m in the process of trying to convert one litter box upstairs in the hopes of cutting down on litter dust. I HATE litter dust.

I have a bag of it, and I use it when I’ve got little ones who have just started (or are about to start) litter box training, since it’s safer for them than the Fresh Step I use for the big cats. Back when I was first considering buying it, a few people told me that they didn’t care for the smell of the litter. The smell isn’t offensive to me – I mean, it’s got a distinct smell that I notice, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t use it in all the litter boxes because of the cost, and because (in my opinion) it doesn’t clump as hard. Your mileage may vary, of course, but if you’re going to buy some and give it a try, check out this page for links to the rebate page.


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Thanks for the pictures of the litter boxes, by the way… after the other commenter asked about them, I realized that I, too, had no idea how the setup worked. And I LOL’d at your intro paragraph. You sound like me… I can get through spending 18 hours cleaning my house top to bottom, upside down and inside out, and if someone walks in my front door three seconds later I’m all, “Please don’t mind the mess, it looks like a tornado went through here, I try to keep it clean but it just gets away from me…” hee!

Well, you know. I’d go into YOUR house when you thought it was a complete mess, and I doubt I’d notice that it was a mess, but if you came into MY house, I’d be very much aware of the dust bunny peeking out from under the couch. We’re always way harder on ourselves than we’d ever dream of being on each other, am I right? 🙂


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Once again you have proved you are a Yankee! That nasty sweet Yankee cornbread shouldn’t even be called cornbread. Real cornbread is made with some serious cornmeal and is NEVER sweet. I have moved across the Mason Dixon line myself, but I still know how to make me some cornbread and believe you me there is no sugar in it! Fred would love my cornbread. I was raised in East Tennessee. My daddy taught me how to make it and he was a Georgia farm boy.

If I ever had cornbread as a kid, I don’t remember it. I just do NOT care for unsweet cornbread! Fred loved the cornbread I made for him, using the cast iron skillet and everything. He had his southern cornbread, I had my sweet cornbread, we were both happy. 🙂


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I want a video of you unleashing a stream of obscenities in your sweetest softest voice. Your voice is so sweet and soft anyway!

I’ll see what I can do, but I’ll be honest – I’d feel like an asshole making a movie of me talking shit to one of those poor sweet babies when they’ve gotten me riled up!


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I can’t imagine cornbread that isn’t sweet -seems unnatural to me. Is most Southern cornbread sweet? I think of cornbread as a food that originated in the South but I could be wrong.

No, Southern cornbread isn’t sweet – or so I’m told by Fred, who always calls me a Yankee when I express my preference for the sweet version!


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Now here’s a question for you! I’ve been reading here for absolutely ages but I can’t for the life of me remember if you’ve already mentioned this. Has Coltrane been “done”? And if he has did he only have one ball?

I’m not being really pervy but my cat Gizmo who looks so similar to Coltrane has a high pitched meow quite like that and he only had one ball… so I wonder if its anything to do with that? Or just cos they are ginger?

We did have Coltrane neutered soon after he first showed up this Spring – as far as I know, he had both of ’em; the vet didn’t say there was only one, and I didn’t think to ask, so I’m guessing both were present. Newt also has that really high-pitched meow, and he’s a similar shade of orange, so maybe it’s a color thing. Or possibly the two of them are related, we’re not sure.

Sugarbutt, our other orange kitty (he’s darker than both Coltrane and Newt) doesn’t have the super high-pitched meow. Sugarbutt always sounds like he’s asking a question when he gets going. That’s another movie I’ll have to try to get!


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Susan sent me the link to this article, and I’ve been meaning to post it for ages (it made her think of me because they refer to the cat’s expression as “smug”, which I also do. And I have to agree, that is one smug-looking cat!)

Cat sneaks on to train, gets lost, is reunited with owner via Twitter.


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I’d like to ask you about kitten behavior… I have a kitten, maybe 4 or 5 months old, I believe he was taken away from his momma too young as he was miniscule when I adopted him (my local humane society was so over filled they were adopting out cats for $15 for the first one, $5 for each one after. I grabbed two babies, the $15 baby was a very sick kitty and although I tried he didn’t make it). He was barely bigger than my hand and I have tiny hands. He liked to nuzzle my neck and face, which is precious, but he hasn’t grown out of doing that. He does it with such urgency, very important nuzzling, it’s cute and loving, but I have to get some sleep. Yes, he wakes me up to press his cold wet nose into my face and neck. I’m trying to be consistent at stopping him before he starts when I’m awake, but he doesn’t seem to be getting the message.
Any suggestions?

I have no helpful advice on this topic – none of my cats do this. Though now that I think about it, Sugarbutt used to wake me up in the middle of the night every once in a while, kneading on my shoulder and licking my neck. He stopped doing that of his own accord not long after we moved to this house, over three years ago. I don’t know why he stopped, maybe he grew out of the behavior.

Y’all, help me out here – who has helpful suggestions on this topic for Becca?


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(Yes, I am wearing boots with shorts. Don’t mock me; Corby’s clearly already doing that.)


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I mentioned, perhaps, that Martin helps out during afternoon snack time? After only a few days, he already understands what the sounds of snack time are (me taking plates down out of the cabinet), and he’s with all the big cats, meowing and pawing at my legs.




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Loony Jake, hanging out in the foster room.


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2009: I think sometimes that dreaming of what we’d do if we won the lottery is more entertaining than actually winning the lottery would be.
2008: Torturing the Toms.
2007: Google is THE SHIT.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: “Fuck it!” I said.
2002: “Stinky?” I said.
2001: I stole this survey from Noreen, but I’ve seen it all over the place recently, and god knows how much I love to be one of the cool kids!
2000: Look! It’s nay-chuh!