Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  8-dive weekend. :)
Okay, so i had done 16 dives to date as of Friday.
I managed to do half that number over the course of this 3-day weekend. Impressive, huh?

So here we go:

Dives #1 & 2
Dive with Alex, Alli, and Manny aboard Dixie Divers to the Hillsboro Ledge and Nursery of the Pompano Dropoff. Someone please correct me if I have the place names wrong.

I saw so much on this dive, particularly because I had never been diving with someone that moved so slow. And this is not an insult! It was great. Investigate and you find interesting things! This was the first time I had seen a blenny - wittingly, anyway - and got to get face-to-face with so many of them. They're the cutest things on earth - they're just tiny-tiny, but get close to their little hole and they'll open their mouth at you. Threatening. Nice to see a little guy with so much self confidence.

On top of that, Alex usually has a ID clipboard in hand and getting to know what fish you're seeing is really easy. Make a "What's that?" signal and he'll point to the fish name on his board, or write it if it's not already there.

One thing I learned:

This is the baby version of:

This! (French Angelfish)

Dive #3
Alex, Alli & I went to.. Hibiscus was it? to do a 4:30 dive with a woman from the fish ID class and her husband. Manny came with but was looking to do some exercise so snorkeled above us and free dove to see things with us. This is the dive where I saw my first shark. I got a come-here motion, which I always take for "Goddammit, Stacey, quit straggling" but which always is actually "Come look at something cool". This time it was a nurse shark resting on the bottom. His shark face was hidden so I had to do some maneuvering to get my face down close enough to the hole he was in to see him, but I did it, made eye contact for a few moments, and rejoined the group completely satisfied. No one else really gets excited about a nurse shark, especially people who dive a lot, but I love the sharks, nurse or not! And I still get excited about, you know, toads, so I'll probably continue to be happy to see nurse sharks for a while.

Matt's pic of a nurse shark.

I felt like I was really doing well on this dive - I could twirl down to the ground, headfirst to see things close-up and there was SO MUCH TO SEE that I never knew of when I hovered five feet above everything. This was a great dive.

After we rinsed everything off and took it back to Alex's place, we had a couple of beers while Alex quizzed us on our fish ID with the pics Manny took. The pics which Manny has yet to forward me. Ahem. We had a nice little dinner at Mulligan's and then Alex was so kind as to risk finding blonde hairs in his bed for the next year and let Alli & I use his bed as we had to be back in LBTS at 8 and we didn't stop talking until after 1. Poor Manny had to get up at 5:00 or so for a deep wreck dive in Miami. I'm still curious as to how that went.

Oh yeah, I ran out of air on this one. Not RAN OUT really, but I got under 500 and that DIR long-hose came in really handy as Alex & I swam back to shore, me sharing his air. Alex is part fish, see, so he always has lots left over. I had to shake my head underwater - sharing air on a shore-dive must be some kind of new record. Go me.

And may I say - this group of divers is absolutely the best. All three of them are intelligent, friendly, patient, and hilarious.

SUNDAY, 5/29
Dive #4
This was an 8:00 dive in LBTS with Laura and some others from the fish ID program. They went ahead of us so it was Alli, Alex & me. A standout from this dive was that Alli pointed out a sea turtle to me. I hauled ass over to see it up close and it let me get right next to him. I don't know what kind it was, but it was the biggest I had seen (of the three or so that I have). I got to touch his shell and give him a pat on the head before I realized the turtle was swimming away from my buddies and I had to turn back. Apparently that's illegal. Sorry.
Ooh! And we saw a flounder on this one! A FLOUNDER! It's one of a short list of things I really wanted to see - a shark, an octopus.. Now I guess I'll have to find things to add to the list.
Oh yeah, I had to share air on this one too. I think I got down to 250 on this dive. This time Alex shook his head. I was glad at that moment that he had a regulator in his mouth and was unable to speak. :)

After gear sorting, Alli split for home and Alex & I went for Indian food. We were both up for another dive, so I went home to feed my cats, water my plants, and take a PROPER shower, then went back to LBTS. I called my sister on the way to tell her about the shark, but she's pregnant so I had to make sure she was doing well before I went on about my new critter sighting. "What you doing?" "Eating cake and watching a Law & Order marathon." For a second I was jealous - cake AND Law & Order - but then I remembered I got to pet a turtle and see a little shark eye. I'm so happy I live here!

Dive #5
This time we went to the condo to see what the reef was like behind it. No paying for parking, shopping carts to lug gear, and no kids hogging the showers were definite pluses. We got in the water and swam out and realized we had a storm coming in, so went back in to shore. We waited out the rain on the pool deck and were rewarded just 20 or so minutes later with the sun and lovely water.

Alex & I with our shopping carts full of gear. And the necessary dive flag. :)

At first, I was worried maybe the dive wasn't going to be so interesting. But it was great - again! Fish, eels, arguing groupers - it was great. Our swim back to shore was at sunset and gorgeous. Lucky, lucky. :)

Monday, 5/30
Dives #6 & 7
9:00 (well, 9:30) dive with Parrot Island Scuba Adventures. This one was just Alex & me. We went to the Ancient Mariner, which is one of Alex's favorites. It rests at something like 70', so I was a little worried - I hadn't been that deep before - but it turned out to be fine. I had been struggling with my weight (-3 lbs, +2, etc.) so took the first minute trying to figure out how much I needed in my BC. I was much more anxious about this since we'd be over a wreck and not over the sand, where I could always find a handhold to adjust myself. Alex must've sensed my anxiety because he grabbed my hand and we inspected the site like that. Yes, Alex is cheek-squeeze worthy.

We hovered outside the wreck, where we could see a huge school of glass sweepers and a couple of dumb, floundering divers inside. We also came across a perfectly disguised scorpionfish. Ooh! And a damselfish - if you don't know, these guys are little farmers so protect their territory. Alex saw a little tiny damselfish chase off a big parrotfish, so they're good at it. Anyway, we came across an old toilet right by the wreck. It contained what I presumed to be three beer cans. Hovering over it was a bi-color damselfish. "My trashy home! Go away!"

I laughed and laughed at that. Strangely, I sound just like Dana Carvey doing an impression of George H.W. Bush when I laugh with a reg in my mouth.

Sadly, according to a fellow diver on the boat, we completely missed the four-foot long angelfish and the fish that "looked like a big barracuda, but was green." And wasn't a wahoo.

Our next dive was a drift over a reef, whose name I cannot recall. Alex? It was spectacular in the same way the rest are - you're swimming over parrotfish, angelfish, those adorable little sharpnose puffers, peeking at eels in their holes, grunts are everywhere, locking lips and not.. you can spot groupers, beautiful clown wrasses, porkfish, tiny blennies, balloonfish, nearly invisible gobies.. It's just awesome. I can't believe I waited until I was 26 to start diving.

Dive #8
After another stop at Fill-Express, more Indian food, and a nice long nap, we were up for another night dive. Two people who were thinking of going decided not to - the weather had been iffy and the conditions weren't looking great - so it was Alex & I again.

This time we were going in as the sun was going down. I've done two previous night dive and this was by far the best one I've done. Not even in the same category as the others.

On the way out, we saw a juvenile scorpionfish, who looked pretty much like this:

Yes, it's a.. nothing! With eyes! :)

And then a batfish! A freaking batfish!

Not this type, but you get the idea - it has a funny little mad face and FEET that it WALKS ON. Hello!

We saw a big ol' sea cucumber. It was huge. And a sea slug, big and beautiful. And another nurse shark. Another flounder! And Alex pointed out a squid, which I looked up to see and came crashing onto the ground (whoops). I hung out with a HUGE porcupinefish for a couple of minutes, interrupted some crabs mating, another crab's dinner.. Saw a million perfect little shrimps and crabs and fishies.

We also saw the weirdest crab in existence. It looked like a smiling rock. Alex found it online, the rough box crab:

Then Alex succeeded in his mission: He found me an octopus. It was in a tiny little crevice, so I could just see its eye, but then it would wipe its tentacle past it.. Tiny little perfect tentacles! I was elated! And later, he found an octopus out in the open for me, which darted goofily in its reaching way under a rock. He was compressed but visible under there, and I could not believe my luck.

We did the same time in the water as Sunday's shore dive and I came back in ON MY OWN AIR at 750 or so PSI. Huge improvement - yay!

Oh, and funny - after the dive, everyone we saw wanted to know how the water was and, you know, "Didja catch anything?" Why do people think that's the only reason someone would go in the ocean? Maybe I need to start carrying a picture of a batfish with me so they'd understand.

I didn't get home until 11, and I still had a car full of wet, smelly gear to contend with and an equally smelly litterbox to clean - but I could not stop smiling. I had the best weekend! :) So much cuteness, so many interesting things to see and interact with, a great new buddy who makes diving such a great experience - it was just great.

Plus, it's horrible outside today - but we were blessed with perfect weather - so I even feel luckier!
Friday, May 27, 2005
  And so starts the weekend...
I'm leaving now. I have a bunch of emails I should respond to, but it's 6:17. I want to go to FedEx, then I want to go to Starbucks, then I want to go home.
I hope everyone realizes I don't have a computer at home now. Obviously, that means that if I'm busy at work, I don't get to write much.

I got some dives planned this weekend! I still haven't had a sealing-your-camera-in-its-housing lesson from Mateo to make sure I won't drown my camera, so I still won't get any underwater pictures, but maybe I'll take some topside. I have a really sexy beanie I wear when I dive and I'm sure you'd all love to see it.

This week has been long. I look forward to bed. :)

Dawny, I hope the annoyance goes away soon enough for you to write or call or something! Damn you, home since Monday. *grumble, grumble*
McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Pickup Lines: The First Drafts.
  I don't think I can ever go to China.
Eight African lions and other animals starve to death in Chinese zoo - Yahoo! News

Just way too fucked up.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
  oh god, oh god, oh god - cute!

itty-bitty baby chameleons! awwwwwwww!
  I took this pic last night.

These seedlings are probably a foot higher by now. Seriously - this picture was taken SIX DAYS after I planted the seeds. SEEDS. AFTER SIX DAYS. Crazy, huh? Green stuff grows in Florida like nobody's business.

Big news of the day: I GOT A REGULATOR! My own! No more borrowing, renting, or more borrowing. Yay yay yay! And Matt gave me an octo, the hoses I need, and a.. you know.. gauge thing. And he tested them all. Yay Matt! Keepin' me alive and everything! And he loaned me tanks! Yay Matt! Now all I need is tanks and I'm totally set.

And yay three-day weekend! I'm going diving Saturday morning - OFF A BOAT. Novel idea, huh?

Speaking of boats - ahh, I want to find someone with a sailboat that needs beer fetched or, uh, seats that need slept in. I'm good at both of those things on the boat. To anyone who hasn't been on a sailboat, it's nice. You're moving fast, but it's not loud or diesel-smelling. You just gliiide and everything's beautiful. Florida is so great. :) Gotta find someone with a boat so I don't have to miss that!

OK, time to go home. The cats - indoor and outdoor - are probably all totally pissed at me; I've been gone all day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
  What a little lovebird!

Oh my gosh, Elliot is such a SWEET CAT!, originally uploaded by estacey.
(I also uploaded some new pics to my flickr tonight. Mostly of the cats. Duh.)

We actually had fun tonight, but I have to admit the claws/teeth hurt a little.

I'm on my way to bed. Long day. I have absolutely NO energy and should've just accepted this and gone to sleep at 9. No, no - must get things done! Which means I just stared at what I should've done for a long, long time.

My house is a mess for the first time since I moved in. It's mostly shoes and clothes I've taken off upon walking in the door - did you know it's, like, 90 degrees here now? But anyway, it's still a mess. And I'm leaving it that way tonight. I didn't even do my dinner dishes! Muahaha!

Mr. Anole died. Not a huge surprise - he looked awful. Half of him had turned color, even. I realized this weekend maybe force-feeding wasn't the best thing for him; it'd be one thing had he swallowed it, but he'd let everything just sit there in his throat. Eventually it would go down, but it wasn't like he WANTED to eat, you know? So yesterday I gave him food at lunchtime - peach baby food with worms in it - and made sure it was in reach and in view of his good eye and it doesn't appear he ever touched it. He looked half-dead by the time I got home today, so I put him in a little box so he could have a peaceful place to pass. And he did. Then I buried him in the backyard with Fluffy trying to play with the shovel.

I have a terrible schedule. Setting your own routine is bad when you're 1) a night owl and 2) have a day job. I'm so, so, so tired. I need to set an alarm for 11 p.m. which will be Time to Wind the House Down. Doors get locked, lights get turned off, and I retire to the bedroom with a book and A Fish Called Wanda on the TV. Asleep before the opening credits with that soothing fishtank scene is over. Yeah, that starts next week.

But, hey, tomorrow is Thursday already! And then it's Friday! And then.... LONG WEEKEND!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
  Ha ha ha! I'm drunk!
Okay, I'm not. I had one drink and then one glass of wine, but I'm a total lightweight, so let's just pretend. Then I can use CAPS A LOT AND YOU'LL ALL FORGIVE ME.

Anyway, for all those of you WITHOUT LIVES who READ MY BLOG, here is the report on the salsa class: Not so bad!

To give you an idea, those of you who have not gone with me to places where people typically dance on a routine basis: I danced at a Christmas party last year, only to not be the party pooper. Before that, my sister's wedding. Before that, Mexico. Before that, PROM. Junior prom, even.

Alex didn't know this, of course, when he invited me to try this whole salsa thing. I met Alex diving, by the way. He's a nice guy who can ID fish like a motherfucker and speaks, like, four languages. Very cool fella.

Anyway, being me, I came in five minutes late, and they apparently had started five minutes early. So I took my place at the end of a long line of stepping Latina girls completely confused. Luckily, the pretty dance instructor girl noticed me flailing in the corner and came to help. Steps, okay, fine. THEN THEY STARTED TO TWIRL! Jesus, people! Shouldn't we be concentrating on the 7-part step for the next month or two? :D

But naw, it wasn't so bad. Alex was nice and didn't laugh at me. Then we rotated and no one else laughed at me either, but that was probably because I had a foot or on most of them (as in 12 inches, not an actual foot.. although they probably felt that was an imminent danger) and they were scared I'd hurt them. Some little 15-year-old twerp WHO WAS BAD AT LEADING kept yelling at me when I'd get paired up with him for looking at the floor while I danced. Finally, I was like, "JUST LET ME! AND I'M COUNTING OUT LOUD TOO!!!" Twerp.

So anyway, I'll go back. :)

By the way, salsa is so much easier for the girls than it is the guys. We just get bossed around. I think that'd be kinda sexy if I could just LET THE GUY LEAD FOR CHRISSAKE.
  Hey kids!
I got a few minutes before I have to leave, so a quick note. I don't want to stop updating my blog thereby frustrating my few faithful readers. I don't care if you're in Texas or New York or whatever.

1. I'm going, uh, salsa dancing tonight. Don't worry, I won't chicken out - I have a bottle of coconut rum I plan on downing as soon as I get home. Now, I may get there and start crying or something, but I'm at least going to try.

2. Look, I found my claddagh ring! I've had this thing since I was 17, when I bought it in Montana for $6. Wore it every day until a couple of years ago, when it got too big on me and started slipping off. I came across it in a jewelry box the other day and it fits my middle finger now, so I can start wearing it again! Yay, $6 (but meaningful!) jewelry! :)

Those scratches are from a cockatiel.
Yes, this is some high-quality stuff here.

3. I'm starting that new part-time gig tomorrow that I've told some of you about. :) Half-day there, half-day here tomorrow and Thursday. The next few weeks will determine if this becomes a longer-term thing. Wish me luck!

4. I had another Brutus encounter last night. I am so not going to be able to catch him on my own. Last night, both cats were on the porch, which means that something interesting is happening out there. Interesting to kittens, anyway, which could very well just be a beetle. Or Stacey's new seedlings that they like to WALK ON. Anyway, no - it was Brutus on the steps. I was all smart and stuff and brought some tuna out on my porch, then walked around the back way and tried to shut the door, but Brutus heard me and jumped off the porch, abandoning the tuna. So I moved the tuna further in the door and tried again, this time being AS QUIET AS I COULD. This Brutus, although he looks like he's falling apart, is very alert and fast. The door was ALMOST closed when Brutus trampolined off it.

After that, he didn't have much patience for me beyond chin scratching. Which I did to earn his trust, even though there's a hunk of flesh hanging three inches to the left of where I'm scratching. God, that poor thing. What I realized last night - I need help. I can't catch him on my own; he's smarter and faster than me. I don't smell dead, so at least I have something up on him.

After I gave up on catching him, I went to get my camera. He was gone when I came back (thank god - I've only seen him in the dark and maybe it's best that way), but I did get a pic of cute Catherine, who accompanies me wherever I go outside, despite the fact she won't let me PET her. I took this in the dark while crossing the street.

Monday, May 23, 2005
  A stalk down memory lane
This post will make a couple of you snicker, I'm sure.

Remember this guy?

He was actually very cute. Had that all-American appeal, you know. This picture is horrible. One of my friends said, "THIS is the guy?! He looks like a goddamn rubber chicken." I think he was then likened to canned meat. But this is all I had, stolen off the company bulletin board and returned discretely after it was scanned.

For those of you who don't, his name is Erik. I used to work with him at The Company Store. I was a lowly telephone representative and he was in - drumroll, please - Customer Service. He was 27 or 28 or something, a student, and I was in looove.

So yeah, I ended up developing a huge crush on this guy that I hardly knew. What I did know, I gleaned from company newsletters. Birthday? July 21st. Maybe the 27th, and I'm relieved that I'm not concretely sure about that anymore. He liked to watch the news, or at least, that's what he did on his breaks. Sometimes I could figure out when he'd take his and be in the same room at the same time. My heart is aflutter at the thought. Alas, he was always hanging out with that goddamn Robert and I never had the chance to speak with him. As if I would've. :)

And before I transferred to Customer Service myself, I did actually get to talk to him once in a while. "Erik, Customer Service" was enough to give me a speech impediment. And he was always super nice, so I used every nice thing he did or say to strengthen why I adored him. "Dawn, I swear, then he just said to transfer the lady over and that he'd take care of it. Isn't he the best???"

I was madly in.. crush? ... with this boy for, what, a year or so? Nearly a year, at least. During which I enlisted my friends to help me in this embarassing mission.

Once he posted a sign in the breakroom that he was selling a radar detector. I made my cousin, Dawn, call for me. The conversation went something like this:

Dawn: Hi, I saw your sign in the kitchen that you're selling a radar detector. Does it work well?
Erik: Yeah, it's saved me more than once.
Dawn: Oh, yeah, okay. Do you have a girlfriend?

To think of all the things I did, I both laugh very hard and get very embarassed at the same time. Anonymous chocolate on Valentine's? Check. Find his house by looking the address up in the phone book? Check. I won't go into any more detail, lest the statute of limitations not run on that stuff yet.

Too bad I didn't have Google at the time.

Now, of course, I do. The scary thing is that this page probably tells me more about him than I ever knew before. For example, he likes Better Off Dead. And must like to camp. Good man.
I'm glad to see he's been able to move on.. even had children.. That is one strong guy.

Hey, I was 20. What can ya do? At least he didn't wear baggy pants. :D

  Someone wanna go kayaking with me?
Big fish, little fish:

I went to bed last night so sad!

Brutus made another appearance. He came over to eat and again let me pet him. He is such, such, such a mess. I laid on the ground outside, trying to decide what to do - it was 2 a.m.! I couldn't take him to a vet at that point and couldn't keep him in the carrier overnight! But he looks so bad and smells so bad. I had to do something. So I shooed my cats into the house so the porch would be empty and grabbed the towel to try to catch Brutus.

Unfortunately, it again didn't work. He likes me to pet him, but gets anxious when I put any pressure on his body, just like any other cat. Forget a towel. And when he threatens fangs, I back off. At one point, he batted me with his paw - I felt nothing. I can't help but wonder if some asshole had him declawed and he escaped and that's half of the reason he's in as bad as shape as he is - he's defenseless! Or maybe he kept them sheathed for me, I'm not sure.

I tried to talk nice to him and get close right until he ran over a fence I couldn't scale. He really, really wants to trust me - and does until he thinks I'm going to pick him up.

In any case, the wound looks worse, not better. He's a total mess. Poor thing. Tonight I'll make sure I have a sweatshirt and some gloves handy come 2 a.m.

Wish me luck!
Sunday, May 22, 2005
  Weekend Update
1. Pretty quiet weekend. Friday night, I went out for a couple of happy-hour drinks, where I rediscovered my fondness for boys in glasses. And may I say - is there a better way to end the workweek than a couple of drinks? Happy-tipsy and to bed early? I think not. Saturday, worked outside (& inside) almost all day, then had some yummy Indian food for dinner. Samosas- yum, yum, yum! Today's not really worth mentioning, but at least I got some stuff done. I did answer the phone when my sister called though! Yes, again! I'm getting so good!

2. I officially have watched too much Friends. Unfortunately, I've discovered that there are TV programs I like other than Law & Order. I have two seasons of Friends on DVD now. I can't help it, it makes me laugh!! Today I was in Target and said, out loud, "How you doin'?" Joey-style to this package:

You can hardly blame me, but.. Yeah, time to break the books back out. :)

And in case hitting on a DVD cover didn't clue you in, I'm back to my normal, goofy-happy self. I've resumed singing, laughing (yes, I amuse myself quite well), catching the cats to give them hugs, and all that good stuff. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled - one came to my door today to let me know my laundry was done and caught me singing Juan Luis Guerra very out loud. I'd better not hear any complaints about it, either, after having to listen to all that sex. Yick.

3. Someone broke my frog. My sister got me two lawn ornament frog thingies.. A little boy frog and a little girl frog sitting in chairs. Well, Friday night, someone apparently smashed one against my door. Hi, rude neighborhood. And this was before the singing thing, so I don't need that comment - ha ha.

4. My cats are so cute. Did I mention Elliot is continuing to progress by skittish leaps and bounds? Tonight he got the courage to come up on the counter while I was making dinner and try to steal a waffle. I got back to see him dragging an entire waffle off the plate. A waffle! What cat wants a waffle? And yes, I was having waffles for dinner - shaddup; I wasn't that hungry. He still runs away constantly, but typically does a U-turn even before he gets to the bed and comes back out.

Oh, and get a load of this one. I got this storage thing for my dive gear today and thought it would be a nice place for the cats to sit, so I topped it off with a blanket in a pillowcase. Apparently the cats liked the idea:

Do you see this? Sitting together! Closely! No growling or anything! And I got close enough to take this picture without Elliot bouncing off! :)
Friday, May 20, 2005
  My god!

IMG_6716, originally uploaded by aquanerds.


  I am a happy girl tonight!
I had a feeling about Elliot, you know? From when I first saw him through the window at the adoption center. They weren't open at the time, so I had to come back after work.. and was then disappointed that he didn't seem to like people. But after the mind-boggling experience of trying to choose another cat, I went back to the one cat I really had a good feeling about (that wasn't an adorable 6-week old kitten, anyway).

The first night at home, I admit I was worried; had I just made a mistake? Did I just sign myself - and Kitten - up for a "companion" that just hid under the bed? The last people that had him took him for two whole weeks, of which they never saw him.

So I reminded myself constantly that it would take time - months, possibly.

But within days he started to come around. It was amazing. He's mostly hiding under the bed all day, but come nighttime he's out.. And active long after I go to bed. I wake up to mousies all over the floor, things knocked over, and an empty food dish. I smile as I put everything back in its place and am happy he's enjoying himself.

Now tonight it finally struck me how lucky I've been. He and the kitten are actually playing. And she's not much of a player, either. They're scampering around the house together and play fighting. Even when Elliot takes a break, Kitten is out-of-character playful, pouncing on cotton mice and chewing on toys.

On top of that, Elliot is just a tiny little teddy bear when I get my hands on him. Tonight I hugged and patted him for a while and he never did the I-want-to-go stiffening up. He really liked it.

It made my night. :)

Alright, onto pictures!

Look! A kitchen island! Great for Kitten storage.

Elliot actually used the catbed no one else has! He is officially Best Cat Ever in my book now. :)
See his clipped ear? I still have no vampire teeth evidence, but I'll get it.

Bethy asked for a Fluffy update. He's doing great! Unfortunately, now his friends are coming around too so I have to fill the bowl, like, four times a day - but that's okay. He wants to come in my house SO BAD, but I just can't let him until he gets vaccinated ($140!). In the meantime - tonight, esp. since it was raining - I shut my cats in and let him come on the porch when I'm out there. He's a great little helper. Tonight, he helped me by:
- Trying to knock my bike over, as in this photo.
- Laying in the finished seedbed.
- Laying in my tortoise's enclosure (no, no, no!).
- Trying to kill the broom as I swept up dirt.
- Jumping in the mound of swept-up dirt like it was a pile of leaves.
He cracks me up. :)
BTW - he is not at all evil looking, unlike in this picture. His face is actually amazing lionlike, but I have unfortunately not been able to capture that in a picture yet.

Seeds! 1/4-inch of soil added to this, and in 6 weeks I should have a mini pasture fit for tortoise-grazing.

In sad news, while I was planting these, a new kitty came to my door. He was a big'un - a cow cat - so I immediately named him Brutus and went over to see if he was friendly. I realized right away that he either had a clump of mud on the side of his neck or he was not in good shape. It turned out to be the latter. I called the people I had adopted Elliot from to see what my options were and left a message. Then grabbed the cat carrier and a towel and went outside.

I followed him around the yard and he let me pet him through a tangle of bushes. I tentatively tried to pick him up but he wasn't too keen on the idea. Meanwhile, I wasn't too keen on the idea of being scratched or bitten by a really dirty, smelly cat - they still do rabies shots, right? Yeah. So I lured him back to my place with food and realized I could throw the towel over him quite easily and get him in the carrier. He seemed hungry, so I figured I'd let him eat first. But then something spooked him and he jumped off. I followed, but he went through a fence and was gone by the time I made it over..

I'm so pissed because he was RIGHT THERE and CALM. I coulda had him instead of worrying about him, as I am now.

The lady called me back and told me she could hook me up with the vet they use and they'd probably give me the same discount. Now, this sucks as I don't really have money and I'm trying to cope with this getting-paid-once-a-month thing, but.. you know, I get a bug bite and it drives me crazy; I can't imagine what a huge OPEN WOUND would feel like. Plus, this guy was a big ol' sweetie and just not making it as an outside cat. He had scabs all over his poor little head, which he so calmly let me pet.

He came back around an hour or so later but skitted off as soon as I tried to approach. I'm hoping sometime this weekend I'll be able to catch him. I hope he realizes more quickly than Fluffy that I'm not going to eat him or anything.

Then maybe I can find someone with a cat vacancy that can take him in. Ahem.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
  An hour after the bosses left yesterday..
This is how we found our narcoleptic new co-worker.

This was like 4 p.m. No, really.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
  i have probably told a few of you about hailey by now
Hailey is my sister's dog. She is the sweetest, best dog on earth. She makes me sneeze like crazy, and wheeze too, but she is such a lovey girl that I can't say no and she ends up on my lap. I can always sleep sitting up.

When not inside, whining to be loved, she is outside with a stick in her mouth.

See, Hailey loves to play fetch. Like you can't imagine.

The times I've visited my sister's home since she's been with her husband, and therefore Hailey, I have always left in the same fashion: my luggage is in the car, then I throw the stick for Hailey to fetch, jump in the car, and slam the door as to beat Hailey from making it back to the car with the stick before we're on our way. Irresistible, this dog.

Any time you go into town, when you come back you can be guaranteed Hailey will be chasing the car with a stick as you're pulling up the drive. IT'S A MOVING CAR, HAILEY! BACK UP WITH YOUR LITTLE STICK!

If you come outside to stand on the deck and enjoy the fresh air, you will soon here a CLUNK!CLUNK!CLUNK! as Hailey drags a too-big stick up the stairs for you to throw. There is nothing funnier than the clunk. Or when she is dragging what is basically a log.

And you throw it. But 45 minutes later, she still wants you to throw it and it's cold and you're tired. I've had to stop throwing sticks before because I started worrying she was overdoing it. Like a goldfish with food or something - relax! Too much is not good for you!

Apparently she has taken this whole "Golden Retriever" tag to heart.

Also, the sticks are also really slobbery and gross by the time you've played for a few minutes.

So anyway, Hailey is really funny. I like her.

Here starts the story.

My sister's pole shed burned down.

When the firemen came, shed remnants still smoldering, Hailey was following them around with a big damned burnt stick. Wood from the shed? Who knows. But I've been laughing at this mental image for the past two days. Kelli had to laugh too: "Our house could be on fire and all Hailey would care about is getting someone to throw her a stick!!!" Good dog.
  My gosh, look at this girl's legs!

Gwen so purdy!
  I saw a news article about this recently
WSPA - Campaigns - Bear Baiting - The facts

Who the hell thought of this? Who the hell would watch this? Bears are so precious. Big and toothy (not the ones who fight, of course), sure, but.. there's something about them. The fact someone would do this to such a creature is incredibly sad.

Ashamed to be human, yet again.
  Highlights of Tuesday, 5/17
I had a really long day yesterday. It involved:
  1. Spending my lunch hour watering plants and feeding worms to an ungrateful lizard.
  2. Stops at Kinkos, Starbucks, Target, Publix #1, CVS, and Publix #2 after work.
  3. Fighting with Kitten to get the harness on so SOMEDAY I can let her sit outside, tied up.
    Then I got to watch her crawl around the house like, pathetic as you can imagine. She acts like her leg bones liquify when the harness goes on.
  4. Getting by until 10 p.m. on a Slimfast, a bowl of cereal, and a waffle with PB&J. Then I had a big ol' cheesy burrito. :)
  5. Trying to keep up with the food bowl outside to avoid being cried at by precious and sad homeless kitties.
  6. A 35-minute run.
  7. Cleaning my car.
  8. Driving to three different gas stations to find a vaccuum/car wash that worked.
  9. Once I found one, having to get out of my car three times to go see what was wrong with the carwash. It was 1 a.m. by this time and I was pretty homesick.
  10. Not getting home from there until 1:30.
  11. Having the asshole Kitten dart out the door once I opened it.
  12. Having the asshole Kitten run around outside like a bunny and then finding an entrance to the CRAWLSPACE UNDER OUR HOUSE.
  13. Having to sit at the entrance of the crawlspace shaking treat bags for five minutes.
  14. Eventually penetrating the crawlspace - bare knees on gravel - to sweet-talk her.
  15. Having her get pissed at me for taking her back in the house. Claws and everything.
  17. Not getting to lay down until 2:30 a.m.

So yes, I'm tired today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
  this guy's pics are absolutely amazing

IMG_6164, originally uploaded by aquanerds.

  Yeah, so my house is really interesting.

Yes, that's a can of worms in the fridge.

And when I go home for lunch today, I get to try to feed the min-dino without getting bitten. Joy.

Onto my normal format..

1. New cat Elliot is doing great. Catching him is still work, but he has been spending most of his time out from under the bed. If I get too close, he'll run under the bed but is back out within about 10 seconds and looking comfy again, sprawled on the floor. Spaz!

2. Tolanda's wisdom comes back to me again. T, you still reading this? If so, you will be happy to hear your words of advice have come to mind lately. I remember you always said, "You can do bad on your own" to your friends' whose low-life boyfriends/husbands weren't helping out. Now, that statement doesn't apply to my relationship with Ed; he took care of me well. I felt like I had someone here, you know? I don't now; that's hard, scary.

But modify Tolanda's statement, and it makes sense for me - I can be unhappy on my own. Ed wasn't happy with me, showed it, and I became miserable. So I'm sad now, but I was sad then too. And granted, this is a horribly lonely version of unhappy, but at least it's peaceful. And there's hope here. I hope someday I find my own Jason Hatstand, who wants to make me feel "like the most special girl in the room".. But I don't count on it, and that's okay; I've made it this far alone. Nothin' a little trip to the sex store won't help. :)

3. Living alone is weird. I have the most retarded schedule on earth right now. And it doesn't matter! The cats don't care! I fell asleep at 8 last night, then was back up at 11. Cleaned, pestered the cats, and then at 1:30, I went for a jog. I jogged through Young Circle, down the sidewalks where people were drinking at little tables, dressed up for a night out. I was like, "Oh, god, I'm one of those people!" But hey, I figure it's a safe place to jog, and it was late enough to not be that busy. And someone told me they loved me. At least that's a nice way to be rude to strange women on the street, at least - no kissy noises or obscene comments. Just, "I love you!" It's like when I was in Mexico - I got sick of the catcalls, the creepy gueras whispered to me on the street.. But once in a while, someone would call me a princesa or a reina or, once, diosa - and I would forego my reflexive sneer and actually smile. "I'm a princess!" Skip, skip! :D

  stacey's dancing ability, or lack thereof
I've been invited to try salsa lessons with a friend who is going to do them.
Funny thing is, I'm tempted.

Now, I am white. I am sure I dance like I'm white.
But I enjoy dancing, once I get past the really self-conscious thing. Which is usually after drink five or so. Before that, I sit on the sidelines and watch my friends and really wish I were out there. But I just can't do it! Unless I have a five-year-old to twirl with, anyway.

Shannon, if you're reading this - remember when we were downtown and Mambo #5 came on? And we went out and danced and, like, 30 seconds into the song, we looked at each other and said, "We're not ready for this." We had some more drinks and, when that same song came on an hour later, we were comfortable and having fun. Pathetic, huh?

I actually signed up for a salsa class at UNAM while in Mexico, thinking that style of dance was incredibly sexy & cool when I went to the clubs. I went to the class a couple of times. I remember I was the only woman there with shaved legs. Anyway, one day the instructor told me to get something form-fitting to wear so she could see how my hips were moving, etc. "Oh, yeah, okay, where would I get something like that?" I so never went back.

Anyway - I learned to swim last year. This is something else that makes me panic, alongside SPEAKING IN PUBLIC. Conquering 2/3 wouldn't be a bad thing. That kinda pisses me off - I would've thought the painfully self-conscious thing would've passed by now. I'm 27, for crissake.

The jury is still out on whether or not I'd be allowed to come to the weeknight class drunk or not. If so, I'm there. If not, I'll have to think about it.. :D
  Fluffy is the best cat ever


How did he turn out to be such a good cat as a stray?

No offense to Kitten, but when it comes to being a Good Cat, Fluffy kicks her ass.

1.5 months into my stay at this apartment, I'm already worrying what will happen if I move someday. Take Fluffy with, I guess. :)

Monday, May 16, 2005
  happy monday (or something)
hey kids :)

1. a trip!! i actually answered the phone last night to talk to my sister and we talked for, i dunno, an hour or two? it was nice. she and her friend jen have been talking about doing a vacation, sans husbands and babies, in november. kelli invited me too! i think it would be a lot of fun. kelli said it's kinda been left up to her where they're going and all that, but since she's internet-not-friendly, i've taken it upon myself to find someplace where we can 1) lay on the beach, 2) have girly drinks on the beach, 3) stay out late, and 4) dive. well, where i can dive. i'm excited! it'll be great to see my sis again and spend time with her.

2. new cat elliot was OUT FROM UNDER MY BED when i left for work. on the windowsill, behind the curtains, sure, but that's okay. this process has been a lot speedier than i expected. :)

i won't bore y'all with details of feeding mealworms to the anole, so i guess that's about it. :)
  oh how i would love to live in / go to new zealand
Happy Snaps Daily : Rainbow Lorikeet 2: Gordon Train Station

these gorgeous birds are native there. how nice!
Saturday, May 14, 2005
  hello on a saturday
1. new cat progress! (see below.) i so have to get a pic of those teeth. my little bat!

2. i got a flat tire today. what timing! it was sort of.. how to say.. well, bad. i got the flat tire on my way to what i thought was the fish id class (it's actually tomorrow; duh) and heard the telltale flapflapflap! right around the bridge on commercial. i was so not wanting to deal with it, so grabbed my stuff and trucked it over the bridge to get to the nat'l save the sea turtle foundation, where the class was. only - the door was locked! luckily, i had a printout of phone numbers, including the class's instructor, alex: "nope, i said sunday." "shite!"

at that point, i just sat down on the ground and let it sink in that i was a half-hour drive from home, had a flat tire, and had no one to call. no one.

i did know that alex lived in that part of town, though, so called him before setting off on my hike to a tire shop to make sure the goodyear really was on oakland & federal. (turns out it was commercial & way west of federal.) he was in his car already so hopped over and gave me a ride to goodyear, where they said they'd take me back to my car with some air to see if it would hold so i wouldn't have to pay for a tow. alex gave me a can of fix-a-flat and sunglasses to protect my eyes in case i needed to use it, which turned out to save the day - so that was nice. :)

three or so hours and a stack of entertainment weeklys later, it all turned out okay. a nice guy named anthony gave me a hard time about why i didn't have a man in there to pay for all this for me (men pay for these kinds of things?! who are these men??) and then gave me a big ol' discount on everything they did. and some wise advice - date married men. no, i swear he said that. that way, they pay for everything and i have someone to be with and then you can send them home and have your space and your place to yourself. so noted, anthony, thank you.

3. frigginant! haha!

4. anyone look at my flickr pics? if not, news - i found a goddamn knight anole the other day. i have to hand feed it. crickets. it's blind in one eye. today i got it some mealworms. i am so excited about this. no, really. not only is he all mean and tries to bite me every time i feed it, but then he doesn't bite down on the cricket i have placed in his mouth so it hops out and i have to go repeat the whole process. little goddamn ungrateful mini-dinosaurs.
  From this..

Elliot in the box spring, originally uploaded by estacey.

  to this.
and this was over the course of 10 hours or so. :)
he has been named elliot. i figured it was about time to show some respec' to the fine people at law & order. after all, they have given me a good six years of obsessive television entertainment. so new mr. kitten has been named after the fine detective elliot stabler of law & order: special victims unit. funny, considering i have often thought of naming my kitten olivia (his partner, olivia benson), but i'm not sure if i'm ready to have cats with, you know, "cleverly" connected names. olivia is a good name, though, isn't it?
anyway, back to elliot - he actually seems to like being held sometimes. i got purrs already! sometimes you can tell he's just waiting for you to let up a little so he can dart, but other times i don't even have to hold him. he just sits there and blinks while i rub his cute little head and big satellite ears. his little teeth stick out of his mouth! he's a total batcat.
so yeah, last night i was at the sink and i saw a black moving figure out of the corner of my eye. it was elliot! coming out to sniff the big plant! the kitten hissed him back under the bed, so i figured that was the last of the activity for the night but was so, so proud.
a bit later, i was playing with a new toy and the kitten. left it on the ground when we were done. from the next room, i heard bells. went to look - elliot was out and playing! so he had a grand old time last night, whomping mousies and biting string. he's not scared of the kitten, either. it takes a good five hisses before he runs away. go, elliot! :)
he still doesn't like it when i catch him and he still spends 99% of his time in hiding, but these were BIG, HUGE STEPS.
anyway, i think the key to all this was loving and petting and reassurance. also, i gave him tuna two nights in a row. :)
Friday, May 13, 2005
  Kitten making sure all the new-cat smell is out of the pet carrier box

Sleepy kitty in a box, originally uploaded by estacey.

kitten is getting better. for example, she came to bed last night for the first time since the new kitten has been there. not sure if this is improvement, actually, or if maybe she thinks the new kitten left since he has taken to hiding inside the box spring. and therefore is pretty much invisible.

Thursday, May 12, 2005
  very cool photostream

Fish tank @ work, originally uploaded by spyzter.

this fish has a better view than me

bob the betta

  This poor cat.

He TREMBLES when I take him out from under the bed. It makes me so sad for him. I hug him and try to make him feel safe - see, the birds' chirping outside is not hurting you! The train on Dixie is not hurting you! The car that just went by the house is not hurting you!

He did relax a little last night when laying on me on the couch. As in, I got to release my grip slightly and he didn't try to get away. Hey, I'll take it.

This morning he was in the box spring. I got him out only so he could run under the unliftable couch again.

In good news, the kitten took a good minute to start growling at him this morning when I came out of the bedroom with him in arms. Again, I'll take it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
  i am the proud mama of a new scaredy cat
1. byron is driving to atlanta as i type this. he got a new job, promoted within his current company. so he's moving, first pet cat in car (a stray that lives at a friend's house that he took a liking to). i'm excited for him but realized i'm going to miss him and regret not spending more time with one of my oldest and dearest friends while he was here. ah well, there's always email. as if he writes back. and the way i see it, i may be from wisconsin, but now he'll be living in georgia. no more makin' fun of my homestate rubes; at least i got out! :D

2. i'm buying a phone from a guy on craiglist. so chill out, everyone. i'll call. :)

3. i got the cat! and what a night it was. the kitten is so, so not happy about this. like her whole world is just SCREWED now that there's a strange cat under the bed. last night, she wouldn't come in my bedroom. "fine!" i went to sleep, door open to get some circulation. she came in at 5 a.m. and hopped up on the bed, did a round, obviously smelled the cat, then hopped back down, mewing. then there were scratchy noises.

i figured i'd better check to make sure little kitten was okay. but there was no kitten.

i looked for 45 minutes - behind the cooter container, under my blankets, in the bathtub. where the hell could he be??? right around the time i want to cry because i want to go back to sleep, i think to look under the couch. see, i don't even worry about my tortoise crawling under there; there's no room and the opening is covered w/ a quilt. well, the kitten got under there somehow.

oh, there you are!

the kitten wishing i'd leave him alone.

apparently the kitten is part octopus or something.

anyway, now i need a name for the little guy. token? (then again, he has some brown in his fur.) octopussy? boo? i have no idea. something good for nicknames, because i use them copiously. poor fluffy - WHO LET ME PET HIM THE OTHER NIGHT & YESTERDAY A LOT - is fluffy, fluffers, fluffycat and, ashamedly, fluffernutter. this shit just pours out my mouth, i swear.

this cat was originally part of a spay/neuter & release program, which is why the top of one of his ears is clipped. he was so young & sweet, though, they figured they could get him a home. he came to the shelter on 2/14. he was adopted but wouldn't come out from his hiding spot after two weeks, so the people gave him back. or, actually, the shelter lady had to go with a friend and CATCH the cat - it took 20 minutes. i'm hoping so bad this kitty learns to trust me.

time to go check on the cat! help with name!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
  Cool new IMAX movie comin' out - skydivin' over the Keys! (and the desert; and the fjords) - Greater Sudbury on the Web
  i snapped a few pics this morning of my apartment
for those of you who like to see how the other half lives.. ;)

unfortunately, i have had, like, no money to spend on the place. and it shows, especially in the living room. the tough thing is that i have no storage and lots of eye-unfriendly type of stuff, e.g. dive gear. i'll figure that out eventually. also, NOTHING ON THE WALLS. and even if i had stuff, you can't trust ME with a hammer! aggh!

this is my bedroom. maybe the bed would've let you infer that, i guess.

the living room needs work. or, as i like to call it: furniture.
and curtains not made of neoprene.
the hump to the left there is a bird cage.

go look at the set for the rest; i added little notes and stuff. i'm hoping over the next couple of months to get a full-size couch, work out a better storage system, get all my seeds planted, and make the place really nice. in any case, i'm happy there. :)
Monday, May 09, 2005
  adventures in adopting a cat
so as you've seen, my audience of one or whatever, i'm in the market for a new little cat.

looking has been horrible. it's been horrible.

there are so, so many adorable sweeties out there. sweeties that won't try to disembowel your hand for rubbing their bellies. cats that will push themselves against the bars of their cages for a head scratch. kitties that will purr the instant you touch them. so many good cats that want good homes! so many that deserve more than they have. so how do i choose? how do i even start? sweet, playful tuxedo cat over there.. loving, snuggly cat that's been at the shelter for a YEAR over there.. it just sucks.

so i went back to the starting point, the first cat i had a feeling about, that being the scared little halloween cat at petsmart. they named him shadow. he's 6 months old and was feral-caught. he's since stopped thrashing when people hold him and now just sits, terrified. the thing is, though, i think he's even improved since last week - not such a scramble to get back into the cage, back into the corner when i let him go. he sniffs other kitties and lets dogs get close and bark and just sits, taking everything in, tail between his legs. it's like a terrified baby. i put my application in tonight.

i'm kinda operating under the belief that i have one more spot left for a cat and i should fill it with a good cat, but one that may not get a chance otherwise. that leaves me with an adult cat, an ugly cat, or a problemed cat. i guess i'm going for door number three.

today, i had called about a cat on craigslist. the lady called me back just now and i am so tempted to be like, "sure, i'll take her!" she sounds sweet and i love the kitties that talk. but i want to take shadow too. so i can't take this one. aggh, difficulty.

so this has been an exercise in feeling useless.

this is the kitten, skittles, that i fell in love with. he'll find a home.

see how cute? sorry it's so blurry; i don't feel right about using flash on babies or little animals. as for you adults..

i obviously forgot to turn the flash off for this one. this is the calf kitten being adopted by one of the shelter workers. such an adorable, sweet little kitten. he wanted out of his carrier while i was filling out the app., so i took him out and put him on my shoulder, parrot style, and that's where he hung out until i was done.

look at those neat spots!

this is the biggest cat on earth. 9 years old, the size of a suckling pig, and now at the humane society. all i'm saying is there had better be a damn good reason for that.

this is my future cat, assuming all goes through as desired. i need to think of a new name. i'm excited. :) all it will amount to for a while is the knowledge i have a cat under my bed, but maybe someday soon he'll start to trust me and the kitten and be happy. take that tail out from between his legs. i hope so.
  Kitten Jeffy and "Uncle" Harvey

Kitten Jeffy and "Uncle" Harvey, originally uploaded by lucycat.

This is just too sweet. If you go through this Lucycat's pics, you will see a pic where the situation is reversed; the white cat, Harvey, is 14 years old and now has cancer. Jeffy is now taking care of Harvey. It's so sweet - agggh!

  news on the hour, every hour
1. kamille is pregnant! due date: december 20. happy baby news.
i said a little prayer last night that everything will be alright, just in case there is a god. well, it was more of a threat.

2. kittens all get adopted, says the lady who answers the phone at the humane society, so no skittles for me. back to the halloween scaredy cat, i think.

3. went on a shore dive sunday morning. it was a beautiful day, but the water was a little rough. maybe rough's not the word. but rougher than i'm used to. it required a little more effort than i'm used to, but probably very good for my helping my abilities; i was REQUIRED to be close to people (i hate that) and REQUIRED to stay close or i couldn't see the people anymore. not much to report, sightingwise, but i did start to notice the little tinies i never did before. little drums, little got-my-hole-staked-out-so-leave-me-alone fish, etc. matt gave me some of his old gear - a flashlight, backup light, weight belt.. i'm so close to having, like, a whole set-up. it's nice being a charity case, as matt putts it. :)

4. lost 5 lbs! (actually, more like 6 0r 7. seems kinda strange, but that's what the scale said.) in, like, the past week or so... week and a half, whatever. all that means, though, is that i'm back to my normal weight -- what i weighed prior to eating out all the time and having an evening nightcap of rocky road ice cream. this does mean, however, that i'm a mere 4 pounds away from being my lightest ever. except, like, when i was born. not having anyone to go out to eat with nor any motiviation to go to the store is good for something.

5. i give up on giving a status report. it changes every minute. i'll be fine and smiling, even while i have bags under my eyes from the enormous amounts of tears i've shed over the past week, weekend.. i know this is the right way for it to be; if he can't treat me like i matter, then i can't be with him. i didn't want to be with him like that. but that fact doesn't make me feel even a smidge better. i don't understand why it changed, why he started to treat me so differently. and all that leads me to is dissect and focus on every criticism i've received and feel so bad about myself that i can't walk by a mirror without hissing something mean. on top of that, the person who i would normally go to when i was feeling bad.. is the person who put me here, told me i wasn't wanted enough to treat like his girl. and i'm alone here.

diving without him was hard. no, diving without him was fine. i had great buddies who are safe (safer than me), skilled (much more skilled than me), and kind. but when i thought about having someone down there who got scared when he couldn't see me.. held my hand for the whole dive when i got scared at devil's den.. then it became too metaphorical for my life right now. i don't have anyone that cares like that anymore. i don't matter to anyone like that now. i don't have anyone that wants to squeeze me just because they like me. AND MY NEIGHBORS WON'T STOP HAVING SEX IN THE MORNING WHEN I'M TRYING TO SLEEP. thank god we share a wall and they leave their window open. really!

i just wish i could fast-forward three months or something.

luckily, i feel fine when i'm outside and active, such as when diving. so tonight begins jogging. and yoga to help ease some of this stress.

6. dawn, i'll be visiting in december, then. stop asking me! and stop eavesdropping on my greeting my cat when i get home! you're programmed as #2 on my phone, so that's how it happened. :)

7. oh, almost forgot - Fluffy let me pet him for the first time this morning! Just three pats, but that's better than nothing. :)
  adopting a cat is tough business
i want to find a friend for my kitten. she was actually crying as i was trying to open the door the other night, after a long day away from home. as a little girl who doesn't vocalize unless you're holding her ever, my heart was broken.

so i'm going to pet store adoption centers and the humane society and stuff trying to find a cat. but there are so many!

i liked a little 6-month old cat named shadow. halloween cat. the thing is, he is terrified. tail-between-his-legs terrified. now, i am willing to have years of patience to make that a good, trusting cat, but i'm worried that a cat that terrified of people will never be a good pet or a decent companion. i don't know, though; i have no experience with cats. i feel so bad because i want to take him home and make him trust people, but what if it doesn't work? i guess when they first found him, he'd thrash when people would try to hold him. now he just sits there, tail between his legs, terrified. does anyone know how this could work out?

then there's the humane society. aggh, there are so many cats, i just can't even decide.
and i can't get a kitten.. that's just wrong when they are so much more likely to be adopted than the adults.
but then i saw skittles.
OH MY GOD. i mean, there were 100 kittens there, but this one.. cutest thing i've ever seen, i swear. looks mildly retarded, but that's ok.

this is skittles. the pic does not do him justice.

this is another cat that interested me.
old enough to not be adorably adoptable. and kinda ugly anyway. ;)
i wouldn't know 'til i held her.

the last cat, an adult named sasha, there is no pic of. she looked so so sad. but sweet.

there are just SO MANY cats that i don't know where to begin. :(
Friday, May 06, 2005
  puffer love
i am so so tired. i can't tell you the last time i got home at 1:30 a.m. on a school night. loved on the cat til 2. fell asleep reading a book.

anyway, stuff -

1. did a night dive last night. after a rainy, ugly day, the sky cleared up and we had a lovely sunset and smooth water. it occurred to me swimming out to the reef that this is such a better way to be spending a thursday evening than most things i can think of. at home with a law & order marathon included.

we saw a sea turtle, which got me so excited i was floating (literally), lots and lots of puffers, porcupinefish, a sand diver (i'm told it was), and the other group of divers saw TWO OCTOPUSES. i hope i see one soon.

i was smiling throughout the dive. and this is hard, seeing as how i had a big ol' regulator stuffed in my mouth. except when i had that leg cramp. ow.

mad props to matt for helping me so much. he brought his wife's gear for me, told me what went where, didn't make fun of me too much for messing up or screwing up the out-of-air drill, then shared his crack pipe with me in the parking lot afterwards. nice guy, that matt. :)

2. my kitten is the best. her sweetness has doubled since coming to my house. she does happy paws while eating now, sleeps in my bed, runs out from her hiding place when i get home and purrs for attention. i have pangs of guilt leaving her alone in the house all day, but am going to work on getting her a little feline buddy soon.

3. i'm okay! ed and i have talked and i feel better about the whole thing. getting used to sleeping alone every night is going to take some getting used to, though. i woke up a dozen times last night. so, you know, having your own apartment and being single is nice and all, but.. by definition.. it's pretty lonesome, especially when you're really tired and just had two coronas and would like nothing more than to fall asleep warm & happy with chest hairs tickling your nose.

no offense to the cat; i appreciate her cuddling hugely, despite the fact that she smells a little. guys usually do too anyway. :D
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
  I'm okay.
It's not as if I didn't see this coming.
Our anniversary, a day that I sadly watched go by without celebration, was the wake-up call.

It's the rare person who doesn't a partner for life, or at least part of it, that makes them happy.
I take solace in that. Someday I will be happy. Someday I won't feel unloved and unlovable.
Someday I'll wonder why I let myself cry so much lately instead of just moved on.

In the meantime, I have to deal with the fact that I've been told I'm not wanted by my best friend.
Go on, get out - go!

But hey, shit happens.

I'm melodramatic, I know. I'm feeling sorry for myself. Sorry.

I'll get over it and be back to my cheery self soon enough. Unless you're a MAN. Then there's no hope for you. ;)
  Ed & I are no longer
And if you think I want to talk about it -
I don't.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
  Getting me on the phone just became even MORE difficult
(as if that were possible.)

Oops, originally uploaded by estacey.

I, um, dropped my phone today. My nice old battery-conserving Nokia. Now I guess I really do have to send my little LG back for repair. This one still works though, you know, no screen. Which means no caller ID. Which means I'll probably never answer.

On the bright side, I did witness my first drug deal today. Black dude standing on the street corner on 19th Avenue while I was trying to find the bank (1909 Tyler). I had to do a U-turn because, you know, I've only been to this particular bank, oh, 8 times now so of COURSE I can't find it on the first try.

On my way past him again, I noticed the woman on the bike with a black eye I noticed earlier ("Oh, she has someone special at home - how nice") had stopped by him. They did a quick exchange and she nervously put a small something in her pocket. So if anyone needs drugs of an unknown nature, just go to, um, 19th and Johnson. Look for a black guy by a speed bump.

Night dive tonight. Cross your fingers for me that I don't get carried off by a giant squid or attacked by rabid puffer fish. And Matt, yes, I have the goddamn quarters.

Monday, May 02, 2005
  omg i have the cutest nephew
yeah, that's me.

see dawn's latest picture of my nephew, kyle. adorable!

  My pet stray cat, Fluffy

Stray cat, Fluffy, originally uploaded by estacey.

There are, like, eight regular stray cats in my neighbhorhood. This one, Fluffy, is particularly cute. He sits by patiently while his sister, Mamacat (she just had babies), eats. Then when he's satisfied, he takes his place on my, whatdya call it? Stoop? Where he'll stay half the night. I went out at 2 a.m. last night and he was sleeping on my steps. Now he won't let me TOUCH HIM, or at least, not without claws out.. but he seems pretty interested in my cat, my apartment, and me.

  A few thoughts
After a particularly lonely and down-with-love weekend, I feel inclined to write something here I normally wouldn't because, you know, people I know read this.

EVERYONE IS FUCKING MARRIED. Everyone is fucking married and happy. Or engaged and happy. The latter is particularly saddening, for some reason.

Okay, so tell me how this makes sense.

I've never been one of those girls who dreams of getting married. Never been the type to write Mrs. So-and-So with little hearts all over my notebook. Never been the type to look wistfully through Bride magazine and dream of my special day. In fact, when the idea of my and wedding come together, my only concern is if that were to happen (ha ha), who the hell would I invite? Stacey better make some friends, pronto.

However, I am desperately fond of the idea of being engaged. The mere sight of a rock on a woman's finger makes me ooze jealousy, and not because I have any special attachment to expensive baubles. It's that those rings exude happiness; an engagement ring is a blinking neon sign that reads, "I have someone that loves me." Someone that loves her so much that he had the idea to propose and spent oodles of dollars on a ring to accompany the question - will you have me? How wonderful must it be to have someone love you and want you like that?

I don't know if that's going to happen to me. I had that feeling a while back, that marriage wasn't in the cards for me. And back then, that didn't seem bad. But now.. now I can't help but get a little down. I can't help but wonder what's wrong with me. What kind of love repellent is seeping out my pores? Am I too silly to be taken seriously? Too accepting to be appreciated? JUST NOT FUCKING CUTE ENOUGH?

As you can tell, this has been a bad weekend. But hey, at least I have my cat.
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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