little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
I'm watching a lot of documentaries lately. America the Beautiful, which looks at American standards of female beauty, is very good. Preschool University, on the difficulties of getting into elite Manhattan preschools, is probably more interesting if it's relevant to you. Like, if you live in Manhattan, have a two year old, and can afford fifty grand a year in tuition.

The Billionaire's Tea Party, made by a Brit trying to figure out what the loving fuck is going on over here, makes me sad. No, Tea Parties, you're not a grassroots organization. Poor dude in Walmart clothes who built the website for free? You got hosed. The guys backing your barbecue are worth over $20 billion and that shit just ain't trickling down. Know what else? It's never going to.

Also, if you want to call the president a communist/socialist/Marxist/whatever, please learn what those words mean. 'Cause someone might ask you to defend the accusation and that shocked, stupid look, followed by orders to "look it up" is not helpful to your cause. Because I know what the words mean. I just don't know what you mean.

Tammy was just here dusting and fighting off the dogs because I forgot and scheduled the lawn guys for the same day. But she appreciated the seahorses I stamped on my thumbnails this morning. Probably no one else will notice, so that makes me feel better.

I'm supposed to be paying bills and doing financial stuff, but it's Mom's birthday and I'm taking the day off. It's also Willow's birthday. Dog's never give you a day off, but at least I don't have to bake her a cake. She's perfectly happy just chasing her rope.

The catbox experiment is working well enough that the cats are behaving. Kenny not so much, but I still think that's mostly obesity. That's not exactly news. It's more of a progress report.

Work is still up in the air and the insurance company is still a pain in the ass. They had a meeting yesterday with an agent to answer questions. I gave Russell a list. Most of the questions revolved around prescription copays and my curiosity as to how I'm saving money by paying more. Our last insurance had a three tier system, $15/$30/$45. The new one is two tiered, $15/$30. Yet when Mark picked up my last prescription, which used to be $45, he had to pay $60.

I realize this is a significant savings over the $233 and change that the drug company wants (is Cymbalta shit by California condors or something?), but there's still a lie in there somewhere. I'm so sick and tired of these guys lying to us. And the whole defense of the massive premium increase is that we'll save so much everywhere else. Yet everything costs more. The only thing we haven't tested is hospitalization. I shudder to think what the radical markup and ensuing justification on that would be.

Of course Russ went off on the guy in the meeting, showed him the receipts, pointed out the numbers in the handbook, called them liars and thieves, the whole bit. Dude had no explanation whatsoever and said someone would call me to clear it up.

Ask me if that's happened. Go ahead. I dare you.

They're just lucky I got my Cymbalta or shit'd be a lot crazier right now.



Here's Murphy Sloane in his exoskeleton, looking a little bit crazy, too.

That platform he's on? Is a piece of plywood laid over the bathtub. It doesn't work as a tub, but it's good for storage. And Murphy. Also, true fact: the bar of Irish Spring in the soap dish behind him? Came with the house.

There's a new sea urchin in the house. This one's a cute little spiny critter from Africa, dating back about 50 million years. I haven't gotten a new urchin in a long time, but I was on ebay looking at chondrites and it popped up.



This is the new urchin, along with a thumb for perspective and seahorse showing off.

The chondrites are coming from Germany. I don't know when they'll be here. It's very exciting. For some reason we don't have any. I've never even held one before. But I read about them in Scientific American and it said the slices are gorgeous under a microscope. I love microscopes.

I also love The Hunger Games. I'm going to go read now.
little_tristan: (Bunny)
All the library books are read and ready to be returned. I worked out a recycling system for Murphy's little tin cans, and found a great deal on his food on Amazon. They not only have the good stuff available by the case, it's Subscribe & Save eligible. And the cases are variety packs, so I can have two sent every month and get six or seven flavors.

Murphy's definitely better in some ways. He loses his balance more than ever, but the problem isn't new. He was less than a year old when the guy we were living with sprayed him with a toxic chemical and Murphy licked a lot before I could wash it off. I don't know if it's a neurological problem or an inner ear one, but ever since then he falls over when he shakes his head. Now he falls over when he tries to groom, too. The other night he wanted to sleep on my ribs and went rolling off down my back four times before he got settled securely. I love his determination.

The good thing is that he's put on a little more weight. And the skin breakdown on his rear legs, the part kitties sit on, has reversed. The little sores are all healed over and starting to grow new fur. Even his coat, which has always been amazingly glossy, is suddenly more so.

On the subject of pretty coats, Ranger's having a good winter, too. Her prior recurring problems haven't come back, so we know the meds are working. Other winters she's been having treatment instead of preventative care, which made her fur turn dusty grey and fall out. Constantly. In ridiculous amounts. This year she's as pretty as a puppy.

Willow's being extra pretty too. I wish the light had been better in that pic the other day. It didn't really do her justice. I've been spending more time on her coat, raking the fine hair behind her ears and on the backs of her legs so it flows properly. She likes to play in water and mud. We have a lot of that in the yard right now and much of it comes inside on her legs. I don't know why it's on her head.

I woke up at one this morning needing to fix my blankets. Mark is a terrible blanket thief. But I couldn't budge them because there was a cat in between us, weighing them down. I couldn't even get my hand under the cat to reach Mark. Murphy's gained weight, but he's not that heavy. He is, however, the only cat that sleeps at the head of the bed. There are rules. I got my hand out from under the blankets to feel the cat and discovered it was Big Orange Roy. (12 years old and still 13 pounds of lean muscle and attitude.) He was so happy to be petted he stood up and started licking my hand so I got the blankets. Then he curled up on my pillow and went back to sleep.

Mark says Roy can never have Murphy's place. He'll never be Head Cat of Gilead, even if that means the post stands empty after Murphy moves on. I agree that Roy and Kenny aren't Head Cat material. But I hope he lets one of them sleep on my pillow anyway. Roy's been sleeping between our feet for a decade now. He deserves some face time. If he promises not to lick our faces while we sleep*.

I finished online Christmas shopping yesterday, and the cards I ordered arrived. They're so very cute. If you've never gotten a card from me and want one, PM with your address and I'll be happy to add you to the list. If you've gotten one before, you're already on it.:) (Except maybe [personal profile] amine_eyes, because you keep moving!)

Heather's coming over soon so I need to get writing or I won't accomplish anything today. Except for all the stuff I was doing earlier, but that hardly counts.

*He'll totally lick our faces while we sleep.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Happy)
Well, not the whole day. I was working on household stuff this morning, and then went to continue my business by picking up prescriptions at Walgreens. On the way back, taking the same route, I spotted a really flashy cigarette box on the sidewalk and went "Ooh, shiny object!" Because it was. Camel is apparently angling hard for the lady market because it's black with hot pink edging. And they're called No. 9 100s. Love potion in cigarette form, anyone? Since smokers are like crack addicts who will smoke dead bugs if they're high enough, I snagged it (what? it couldn't have been there more than 15 minutes; it's not like that time I was seven and wanted to pick up a pack of gum off the ground but it was covered with ants) and giggled with joy to find only 3 missing. Sign of things to come.

I really was going to get back to work, but Homeless Steve (not to be confused with Dickless Steve) is back in town and was hanging out with some friends at the bank plaza. So I ended up staying for about three hours, sharing my lady-smokes and handing out spare lighters. One of the new guys, Frank, isn't actually new to the city. He used to live a couple blocks from us, but after a few trips to jail and a stint in the state pen, he seems to be in transition. I learned a lot from him about conditions in the prison (I'm all for punishment, but no a/c when it's 100 degrees out and 120 in does seem a little extreme) and can just feel my writer muscles expanding.

He's also a big reader of the kinds of books you find in such places, like James Patterson and Michael Crichton. He suggested I plant some of my books in detention centers because prisoners will read anything and if they like it they'll tell their friends on the outside. I've always wanted to do something for prisoners, it's one of Jesus's big five--along with clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and sheltering the homeless, but Mark's never allowed me to get involved. (Who can guess why? Show of hands. Yep, not a secret.) However, I already asked him and he thinks giving them books is just fine. So that's on for later in the week, when I have time to walk over to the jail. Also conveniently located in my neighborhood.

The other big event was running into Rob and his girlfriend, whom I met when they were playing music on the sidewalk a few weeks ago. This time he had his cat with him. It's a nice medium sized cat, like Murphy Sloane only younger and sturdier, with a shiny black coat. The cat was on a leash attached to a studded collar, and wearing a little harness with saddlebags resting on its shoulders so it could carry its own toys. Everyone pulls his own weight on the street. Rob carried the box of cat treats, though, and the cat did some tricks for us in exchange for chicken bits. These included slapping five, playing patty cake, and sitting up to beg. Cutest. Thing. Ever. When it was time for them to go, Rob put the cat on his shoulder and away they went.

I sure hope we meet again.
little_tristan: (Default)
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The Colony of Cats, because its about a houseful of talking cats that has trouble finding good help.
little_tristan: (Kitten Interwebs)
I have to cut one together for the boys to show their lawyer and they want something slightly better than my previous efforts. So I started experimenting with new software and put this together in about ten minutes from video I shot a couple years ago. The one thing it illustrates, if anyone was wondering, is the difference between Murphy Sloane and Kenny Whiskers, my two tuxedo cats.

little_tristan: (BBT Sheldon Mad Genius)
I get a box in the mail. And what's in it? A genuine Big Bang Theory Soft Kitty. It's soft, it's fuzzy, and when it plays the song, it sounds a lot like Penny. I can't say for sure that it's her, but it could be, so you know it's sung right. (Not like when Sheldon's mom did it that time.)

And it does make me feel better.
little_tristan: (Kitten Hug Me)


Yes, I thought the headline was snark, too, and then I read the article here on Jezebel, and what do you know? Glow in the dark kittens may well be the future.
little_tristan: (Kitten DJ)


A friend just hooked me up with the English version. It actually works both ways.
little_tristan: (Kenny)

Kenny Whiskers, the little fat kitten. (Some of what looks like bedding is really Kenny. He is one fat kitty.)
little_tristan: (Roy Tongue)
Okay, I've been compiling this gradually, a few lines a day, because I've been so lonely since the incident. Somehow I hadn't realized that not being able to type would cut me off so completely from humanity. Except for my cousin, who calls once in a while, and the boys, who spend ten or fifteen minutes a day with me (talking about work). It's been distressing, to say the least.

So what's new? Um, I've switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox for better web browsing. More or less. It has some minor flaws, but nothing like I was getting from IE9. It wasn't just that whole spending six hours trying to upload my book cover (which turned out to be a ten minute job), it also wasn't letting me reply to comments on AO3. And that was sad, because I didn't want people thinking I was ignoring them, but every time I clicked reply, it jumped from the page with the comment I wanted to reply to back to the first page where I could only leave a new comment. And when I tried that, in case it would magically apply it to the right page, I ended up making a new comment on the first chapter of my own fic, and then I couldn't delete it. There was a delete button, but the confirmation button flashed by so fast as to be unclickable. So Firefox solved that. Although it did allow a bunch of ads on my FaceBook page that I've never seen before. I found an add-on for that. I need more add-ons, but there's time. I'll find them.
Sad Mom stuff... )
Kenny Stuff )
Cat and Dog Stuff )
Random Dream and Book Stuff )
Monday Sucked )

Now my biggest irritation is suddenly having a plot bunny and no way to write it.
little_tristan: (Kitten Simon's Cat)
True Fact #687: The average cat can jump five times as high as its tail is long.

Now I'm getting awesome mental images of those tea cup Persians jumping just as high as they possibly can... And getting absolutely nowhere. My head. It is full of tiny kitties. And they hover just above the floor.
little_tristan: (Catloaf mini)
Surely everyone's noticed the trend toward smaller and smaller dogs. Purse dogs, pocket dogs--surely at some point someone will develop the pillbox dog which will fit right in there between the Xanax and Vicodin. So what's going on with the cats?

Seriously. As far as I can tell, there haven't been any major advances in disfiguring cat breeding since they figured out how to make the Persians' faces concave rather than just flat, which I don't think anyone was even asking for. (Same goes for the engineered hairless kinds. Miss the point much?)

This has got me wondering, where are the pocket kitties? Seems like all the cats are still starting out small and getting bigger just like they always have. When it seems to me that the popularity of Hello Kitty has proven that we as a society desire adorable tiny cats that can ride around in our pockets. Or maybe use those sharp little claws to cling to our shoulders.

Why is no one working on this?
little_tristan: (Catloaf mini)
I just remembered that I forgot to tell you all about the awesome thing that [livejournal.com profile] gr8kat's cat did when we were over there on Sunday. Cousin H took me, and she had her baby, Cousin C along. He's about 16 months old and quite the little toddler, so keeping track of him can be a chore. And he was fascinated by Sister's kitties, Adam and Grant. Maybe a little too much, because Grant eventually sought refuge from him in a decorative cut-out in the wall that separates her living room and kitchen. Little C followed Grant over and put his hands on the wall, staring up raptly at that switching, twitching kitty tail.

We all kind of stopped paying attention at that point. People were talking, there was cake, you know how it goes. And then we became aware of a soft little sound, sort of a hacking cough. I knew what it was immediately because I hear it nearly every day, but everyone else thought it was the baby coughing. Everyone turned around just in time to see Grant hack up a hairball and miss C's upturned face by about two inches. Of course, being a toddler, the first thing he tried to do was pick it up. After that, we kept hold of the baby, and Grant removed to the bedroom where he could barf in peace.
little_tristan: (Roy Tongue)
Roy DeSoto again, in his more natural environment. (We don't usually see much of him.)

little_tristan: (Ranger)


I've been pushing this idea since I started camping alone in 1998. This guy kept trying to pick me up at the lodge, and then he followed me to my campsite. All the time I was thinking, why can't I rent a German shepherd or a nice, barky golden retriever for the weekend? (I have to admit, though, even I didn't think of rent-a-cat.:)

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