Thursday, December 30, 2004
  they have it so easy

how we found them the other day.

kitten looking especially comfortable in the dirt.

aww, my baby!
Monday, December 27, 2004
  pics i missed because i forgot my camera this weekend

We went to Ed's parents' place on Christmas day in North Port, Florida. In the mad rush to get ready, I left my camera behind, which I regretted when I was presented with the following photo opportunities:

  1. The ample handicapped parking space at the local clubhouse, illustrating the community’s ample number of old folks.
  2. The miniature golf-cart-only parking spaces at aforementioned clubhouse, illustrating the community’s ample number of retired folks.
  3. The miniature golf-cart only handicapped spaces at said clubhouse, illustrating… well, you get the picture.
  4. A big shit-kicker truck with... testicles. Classy!
  5. My happy self woken up at 4:30 a.m. by the kitten (as in The Kitten, who came along) who, locked in the guest bedroom with me and Ed, chose me as her litterbox. Not like she accidentally went on me or anything – she actually got up on ME and full-on peed. No waking me up by jumping on me and crying, like Lucy does when she wants food.. no, no. And no peeing on Ed, who’s the one who shut the door in the first place.. no, no. I am so not impressed with her. Then again, I have to remember that she’s a cat. You know when a cat is unhappy with you, especially when it’s 4:30 in the morning and you wake up to hot liquid on your thigh.
  6. Ed’s lovely parents, Sally and Ed, Sr. Okay, they're not a "photo opportunity" per se, but still - They were so sweet, feeding me and giving me wine and Benadryl.. And presenting me with a lovely black shirt and a dolphin necklace. Lovely!
  7. MANATEES! Eddie’s dad took me over to this little residential neighborhood a few minutes from their house that has a little stream that is fed by the local warm mineral springs. Manatees are known to frequent the area in the winter and, sure enough, I got to see a whole little family. We saw a big, huge daddy, a little baby, and the mama.. I think the mama thought we had food (alas, we didn’t) because she hung out at the water’s edge for a few minutes, just a few feet out. She surfaced to breathe and I got to see her big ol’ manatee nostrils and admire her baked-potato body close-up. It was so awesome. :) I love Florida!

Friday, December 24, 2004
pictures that will make you squirm a little even if you do like kids.

  the kitty says..

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
  all i want for christmas..
or: not a brake job and oil change

i really, really love cats. no, really. i've repeatedly asked for another kitty for christmas, but eddie has heartlessly denied my request. he says three is enough. but really, only one is mine. two are his. sure, my one tiny cat happens to live at his house, but really - two cats (for me) wouldn't be too many, would it?

eddie runs the risk of being the crazy neighborhood cat lady, despite the fact that he's a young, lovely man rather than a crotchety old lady covered in cat hair and reekly slightly of litterbox. i guess that's why i'm cut off at one.

still, i really want another cat. when i saw a young calico named 'stacey' on petfinder, i figured it was a sign. eddie didn't see it my way.

sadly, i still spend my downtime at work browsing through the kitties on PetFinder and PetHarbor. it kills me when i see a cat that looks like suki, lucy, or even the kitten and get mew-y at how unfair it is they don't have homes. they could enrich someone's lives just as much as suki or lucy do ours... but they don't have a chance! sadness! really, the nights i don't stay at eddie's... well, i just can't imagine life without the girls.

and now my soapbox:
THERE IS NO GODDAMN EXCUSE FOR BUYING A DOG OR A CAT THESE DAYS! i've watched helplessly as friends, acquaintances, and family have purchased pets and/or bred them and it just astounds me. buying is stupid anyway! i mean, some people meet the animals at the store before they bring them home, but too many say, "It's a bulldog. My wife wants a bulldog. Ring me up." makes no sense to me! i mean, i understand the love for a breed.. but that's when you have to put a request in with the local shelter and be patient. and no breeding, dammit! i also understand the allure of kittens, but there is just no excuse.. even if you find homes for them, you're preventing other little animals from being adopted by families that want them.

odd looking cat. she's available for adoption at the humane society of the palm beaches, (561) 686-3663 if you're interested.

ed, in case you change your mind: i would love a little cow kitty (like the neighbor one who came in that night).. or a little white one.. or a little grey one.. or a calico.. or anything ugly enough that no one else would want it.. but really, i'd settle for any little cat who let me hold it. :)

too cute to be homeless!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  sleepy lucy

Originally uploaded by jisou.
i have a whole photo essay of miss lucy dozing on the couch from this weekend, but i'm getting the kinks worked out from uploading... so this'll have to do for now.

lucy apparently pulled an all-nighter on saturday because all she did sunday was sleep. on the couch, on the chair outside, on the xmas tissue paper, in my jeans, ON A PLASTIC WAL*MART BAG (she made a nest. it was pathetic), etc. anywhere but the damn bed i bought them.

not that i'm bitter.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
my sister's dogs, hailey and poco.

poco's yappy and pees on stuff. 'nuff said.

hailey, on the other hand, is a wonderful dog. hailey holy moses is her full name. she love fetch more than any dog on earth. that is, she'll stand and stare in the living room window.. you'll feel bad for her and get up to let her in.. it's then that she grabs a stick and run towards you, excited. (my response is typically, "Dog. It's 20 degrees out there. Come take a nap. Have a marshmallow.")

if you do play fetch, expect to be outlasted.. i've played for an hour and felt compelled to stop for hailey's wellbeing. (when they said retriever, they weren't kidding.) this dog will run excitedly towards you when you're pulling up the driveway.. with a stick too heavy for her to carry, so she drags it. i wish i had a picture of that.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
  jake, five-year-old ham
i was messing with my camera one day in wisconsin, reviewing the pictures i had taken, when i looked up and realized my sister's nephew, jake, was staring - and smiling - at me intently. he thought i was focusing the camera. so of course i took some pictures. look at this boy! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  New Mall Rules

During an exhaustive trip to the Coral Square Mall last night, I had some ideas to improve our mall experiences.


No screaming kids.  This is #1 for a reason!  If parents insist on bringing their crying, stomping, bawling kids to the mall, then the management should offer some type of Muzzle/Cough Syrup patrol.  My lack of empathy for parents of crying children may seem heartless, but the mall is bad enough without them..


Perfumania stores should be located in rooms much like the smoking rooms at airports.  Or, I dunno, in Hialeah.


Malls should take upon the holidays as they do hurricanes.  This hurricane season, my local Publix was kind enough to set up a makeshift check-out counter with an old-fashioned cash register and a hand-held product scanner.  It was 10 items and under and cash only and allowed those of use whose hurricane shopping list consisted of: Beer, Twizzlers to get out of the store in under an hour.  Standing in a 30-foot line at J.C. Penney over the weekend, I wondered why the malls don’t grab onto that smart little tactic. 


Only one location of store chain per mall.  Last night, I made a note that I came in the mall by an FYE store.  When I finished shopping, I hunted down the FYE and exited there.  My car wasn’t there.  After a few minutes wandering around, confused, I went back into the mall and stared at the mall directory.  It turns out there was another FYE at the exact opposite end of the mall.  That’s just not fair!  It took me an hour to get there, which leads me to my next idea:


GPS devices should be standard hand-outs at mall entrances.  See, I have a little disability I call an Innate Sense of Misdirection.  If I feel I should most definitely go one way to get home from an unfamiliar location, I have realized that I should just turn the opposite way because that will be the correct one.  Now put someone like that in a mall, disoriented by the fumes of knockoff Burberry and Cinnabons, and I have no idea where I am.  On the trek from one FYE to the other last night, I’d see something interesting (i.e. a plant pot shaped like a coffee mug.. with cats on it. My tastes have gone a strange route since I started liking cats) so make a turn into the store, decide it cost too much, then turn around and walk in exactly the wrong direction.  I’d continue on my merry way until something distinct caught my eye: “Hey, I’m pretty sure I just saw that ‘If you can see this, the bitch fell off’ shirt. Damn!”  My solution?  GPS with turn-by-turn navigation.


Slippers should be considered appropriate attire while shopping.  Right?  And there should also be bars with to-go cups.  The Build-a-Bear would’ve been an even better experience after a couple of margaritas. 


I’m going to another mall on Friday, so I’ll probably come up with more then.

Sunday, December 12, 2004
  ed's xmas party
last night was the fiserv christmas party. i had a really pretty dress on, but i didn't really get any pictures of it.

i also did my hair, but you can't reall tell. me and eddie:

this is ed's tie.

this is eddie, tracey, me, and dan.

and this is the much beloved chocolate cake.

how floridians do christmas:

i like it better than the frostbitten-caroling thing.

a candle.

and i just included this picture because i thought it was funny.. i looked out the window, at a christmas party, and thought, "oh, look at the snow!" then it dawned on me: it's sand.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
  cats are assholes
because the holidays are coming up, and because i'm a dork, i've been thinking of what i should get the three little feline princesses for christmas.

there are a lot of cat products on the market, of course. for example, they have a $130 kitty condo (three levels of places to scratch and climb) at my local pet supermarket.
however, i worry about spending $130 on something that i'm not sure the cats will use. and deep down, i'm pretty sure they won't... you know, to spite me.

but if you browse pet products online, they make it tempting. you see all these happy cats in their comfy little beds and think, "well MAYBE they'd use it!"

did they have to drug this one to get it to sit in the bed? or maybe it's a stuffed cat.

and i fell for it once. i got a $15 cat bed for the kitty right before her surgery. they like things to nestle up in, right? well this is perfect - round and kitty-sized. well, in the month it's been here (occupying different spots around the house, as i try to find one they may actually use it in), i have witnesses lucy in it once and that was when it first appeared.

this is more typically the scene around the house:

this is how i found suki this morning: asleep in a cardboard box. please note that the blue thing on the chair above her (on the chair! double cushioning!) is the cat bed i bought for them.
  today's cool moment
i was at the gym and had just finished an exhaustive journey-to-nowhere on the treadmill. instead of doing the automatic 5-min. cooldown, i hopped up and put my feet on the stationary base of the treadmill and wrote the stats in my little book (it's a good idea! keep track of what you do/how much ya bench, etc.).

when i finished writing, i stepped back onto the machine, in "the machine is off and i intend to dismount" mode. remember, the machine was under the impression i was doing a cooldown, so the ramp was still moving at 4.0 mph. so, with five (more?) rows of occupied machines behind me, i fell. or, better said, was tossed off the treadmill and landed on the floor.



Tuesday, December 07, 2004
  goth talk
in some tiny town between sparta and westby, wisconsin, is an old, big house.
when you are driving up, you're pretty sure someone overdid halloween and just hasn't taken it down yet. but no..

please note hummingbird feeder, little witch, and chili pepper. creeeepy!

i could've taken dozens more pictures and still not have captured it all.. i really wished i could've gotten pics of the equally-crazy black vans, but i didn't really want to meet up with the owners of this eee-vill place..

spray-paint shrine

and really, this has all just been a lead-up to this:

check it out! the la crosse tribune delivery box of doom!

blessed be!

Friday, December 03, 2004
  celebrity encounters
so i haven't met many famous people in my life.
there were the kids in the hall, of course. that made me pretty damn happy.
long story short: after a show of theirs when they were touring, our car broke down and we walked back to the small town where they had performed.. got a room in a hotel i later discovered, at the hotel bar, that the kids were staying in too. ahh! :)

once, on the phone at my old job, i talked to leslie abramson, the menendez brothers' lawyer. she prefers the term "attorney" (mrow!). she's not a celebrity, i s'pose, but she was spoofed on SNL (jan hooks, puffy hair, john malkovitch hosting), so she counts in my book.

another time, i talked to the mom from home improvement, patricia richardson. she was pretty nice.

i also had the opportunity to talk to a sci-fi author, orson scott card. i doubt anyone else in the 200-person company would've known who he was, so what luck i got the call! he wrote a book named pastwatch that made me cry for the last 20 pages. such a beautiful past/future this guy dreamed up for us! i had to put him on hold to collect myself.

anyway, while in wisconsin, i was enjoying pasttime #2, hanging out at the bookstore. #1 is eating. i swear, just being in the midwest quadruples your appetite. anyway, so i was in barnes & noble, by the magazines, and saw a guy who looked very much like ron livingston from the corner of my eye. however, i am still in florida mode, where i avert my eyes from contact with any male strangers, lest they approach me, smelling strongly of cologne, and try to get my number while i divide my time between 1) thinking up an excuse to get outta there and 2) wondering if they're mentally deficient or just high.

so i go up to pay and the bookstore girls are whispering excitedly with one another. "has someone spotted a cute customer?" i asked, amused. "no! it's an actor!" "which?" "i dunno.. he was in a movie with brittany murphy..." i have no idea what she was talking about, but i did think that guy looked like... "nuh uh," i interrupted. "you mean the guy from office space?" "yeah!" she exclaimed. "ron livingston." "omigod, i'm going to get his autograph!" she handed me my change and scampered off.

okay, there are some things you have to realize about ron livingston:
1. he was in office space. as a girl who works in an office, this means a lot to me. now when i get possessive about my stapler, i think of that movie and laugh instead of slitting my wrists because THIS IS WHAT MY LIFE HAS COME TO.
2. he looks like my friend, steve.
3. his brother, john, was in mr. wrong as walter. long ago, my friend anna and i (we were 18 or so) used to watch that movie on a near nightly basis, speaking along with the words ("the three-fingered dawn crept slowly up the hills and the foothills...") and cooing over how cute walter was and, "ohmygod, look at his hands!" walter has nice hands.
4. he was on swingers! (by the way, i'm trying to link to that all-too-painful message-leaving scene but am coming up with some mighty disturbing links when i google that.) and sex & the city!

okay, so #3 shouldn't count towards ron, but still! i had my freaking camera with me for once! (other photo opportunities lost include aforementioned kith encounter and a dog on a motorcycle)

so after Shopgirl was done telling him how much she loves brittany murphy, i asked him.. well, stammered to him may be how to say it.. as politely as i could if i could have a picture. amanda did the honors. turns out he was in la crosse for thanksgiving with his sister (no word on walter).

ha ha! i got a picture! i, however, due to unexpected throat-closing nervousness, did not get to tell him how much i love my stapler or how good adaptation was (you'll remember, the agent. who fucked that chick in the ass.), nor did i get inquire about his brother's hands.

but i did get a picture!
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
  dogs + marshmallows = fun!
alternative title: wiener dog art

my sister's wiener dog, poco. i think she prefers the term "dachshund", but poco is definitely more of a wiener dog.
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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