Thursday, June 30, 2005
  Hey look, it's a dog in a sweater.

drive'n, originally uploaded by Gadgethoundz.

Again, I fall back on my Flickr faves as I 1) haven't taken any pictures lately, and 2) don't have much time to post.

I'm doing a night dive with Matt tonight! I hope the weather holds up. Alex was supposed to come but lost a $200 key.

Fluffy's taking his first trip to the doctor on Saturday. Funny thing is, I'm a little excited at showing off what a good cat he is to someone that may appreciate it. :D

I just signed up for two classes at BCC that may or may not fit my schedule by the time August comes around. Ah, the uncertainty, such fun! Speech and Oceanography. Speech because it's required, not because I enjoy it. Because I don't.

July 4th is just around the corner. That means I should be in the Bahamas. Bah. Ah well, I'm sure I'll manage to have fun and get too much sun anyhow.

So anyway, back to my original point here: Look, it's a dog in a sweater and, like, hair.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Fluffy being Best Cat Ever, originally uploaded by estacey.

Sorry I've not updated this. I've been very busy! I hate to neglect this, because I know how frustrating it is to check and check someone's blog and see over and over that they've not updated it. Ahem, ahem, Dawn & Beth. I have job stress and seem to now regularly be cleaning after THREE cats, one of whom pukes on a regular basis because he overeats on a regular basis because I don't think he's come to terms with the fact that there is ALWAYS A FULL FOOD BOWL IN THIS HOUSE. Fluffy is still an "outdoor" cat, mainly because I do not want to accept that I've had three cats. But I can't make him stay out in the rain, though, and it's been raining every day.. So Fluffy has gotten quite comfortable, sleeping in bed with me and everything. He's seriously The Best Cat. Elliot just wants me to give him tuna and Kitten wants nothing to do with me. Fluffy loves me, though. :) Kitten's not too happy to have another cat around, since she's terrified of everyone, but Elliot likes to wrestle with Fluffy and seems to think his tail is a toy. That's fun to watch - Elliot chewing away while I just wait for Fluffy to react. Anyway, that's all for now!

Monday, June 27, 2005
  Last night sucked. Really bad.
WARNING: Quite long and very sad.

I went to sleep nice and early last night, beat from another weekend of diving.

I woke up at 11 or 12 because a lady was sitting on my neighbor's steps, yelling. Lots of profanity, lots of anger.. apparently her brother was left to die in an orphanage by himself because her mother was too busy at the bar with her policeman boyfriend. Repeat 1000 times. She was basically outside my bedroom window, so there's no way I could sleep through it, but she was scary and crazy so I didn't want to try to talk to her. I called the police and they said they would come but they never did. A while later, she had quieted down and I had a cat outside wanting food. I stepped out my door and she sat up. It totally freaked me out; she was SLEEPING on the steps. But, she just watched me as I gave a handful of food to the cat and hurried back in.

Fast forward to early this morning.. 5 a.m., I'd guess.
I woke up because the damn cats outside were going at it again. When I snapped out of my dream, I realized that it was a dog I was hearing. A dog and a cat.

I flew out of bed and for the front door. When I got to my porch, I could see a cat crouched down and and surrounded by a big pit bull and a fluffy chowlike dog. I screamed and the fluffy dog ran away. The pit bull stayed. The cat I was the neighborhood all-black cat. There are two, actually, but one is very pretty. This one looks as if it's had a harder life. I remember the first time I saw the cat, about a month ago, I thought for a moment that it was Lucy, until I realized how far from Davie I was. So here were the dog and the cat, the cat laying on its back and staring up at fear at the dog.

I stood at my front door screaming and screaming at the pit to leave the cat alone. My first instinct was to run out there and grab the cat, but I've read way too many stories about people being ripped apart by dogs so stood there, helpless and screaming.

Just as my mind started racing, taking inventory of what I had outside that I could throw, the dog obeyed and backed down. He stood in the grass, trailed by a tie-up leash he somehow had liberated from its base.

By now, two of my three neighbors were at their front doors. One called the police for me. I was standing in my underwear and an inside-out, zippered-up sweatshirt, but had to stay put because the dog WOULD NOT LEAVE. Every few seconds, it would start to look in the cat's direction, and I would yell at him until he returned his focus to me. At this point, the cat was laying in the grass.

I started to get upset because I wanted to go get the cat but couldn't dare to approach the dog. I was already out of safety range, standing on the sidewalk, but felt pretty secure the dog wouldn't hurt me unless I tried to get between him and his new toy. I yelled for the neighbor to call the police again and kept wondering why it should take so long - the police station is literally within two miles.

My other neighbor kept whistling for the dog, which was just pissing me off. I had it where I could see it, and wanted it to stay there for when the police arrived. In very un-Staceylike fashion, I told him to knock it off and everything was OK where it was. And anyway, the owner of this dog was GOING TO PAY FOR THIS CAT'S VET BILL, goddammit.

When the pit was just laying by himself in the grass, I softened. I had not forgotten what he had done, but.. damn, that's a dog I'd happily go up and pet if I had seen it anywhere other than attacking a defenseless cat in my front yard. When I would yell at him to stop looking interested in the cat, he'd put his head down, as if he knew he had been bad. The cat at some point tried to crawl away, which was horribly pathetic and terrifying at the same time - I wanted to go get him but was now even more worried that the dog's interest would be renewed.

Then out of nowhere, he looked off towards the street and skipped away.

I ran over to the cat, who was soaked from laying in the wet grass. I ran my hand over and under his body and looked at my hand in what light I had to relievedly see that he wasn't bleeding. But he had something oozing out of his mouth and was gasping for breath.

From the moment I saw the two dogs standing over the cat, I had accepted that a trip to the emergency vet was in my future. But looking at this pathetic creature, I decided to give him a moment to pass if that's where he was headed; I didn't want his last minute to be filled with jostling around in the arms of a human he wouldn't normally let touch him. I laid in the grass by him, rubbing his little head and telling him he'd be OK, hoping to god I wasn't just scaring him more.

Then the gasps stopped and I collapsed in the grass, sobbing. Then another breath.

At that point, I went into action, picked him up, and balanced him on my chest as I ran into my still-dark house. I set him on the cats' rubbermaid-container bed and looked for pants while the neighbor lady tried to find the number for the vet. My cats kept trying to investigate this poor creature, wet and smelling of pee. "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Every few seconds, he'd gasp for breath again. Big, painful gasps. And then he stopped.

It was at the moment I realized he was dead that I heard the police officer outside my door. "Ma'am?"

I picked up the cat on his little bed and brought him onto the porch.

I told the officer what had happened and he went in search of the dog, who was now out wandering our cat-rich neighborhood. Great.

I spoke with my neighbor for a few minutes, and then the cop returned. It was the dog of the guy at 2300. He had it fenced in but the neighbor opened the gate. And then he prepared to leave.

"You're not doing anything?" He said he couldn't since there was no victim. "How about the CAT?" "The cat can't be considered the victim, and since it lived outside and doesn't have an owner.." "Fine, say I'm the owner then." "I can't do that." I was so so so so so mad and fought with this poor police officer for five minutes about how unjust this was. He finally gave up: I don't make the laws!

He called animal control for me to collect the cat since I didn't know what to do with it. I sat next to it on my bench and waited. After 10 minutes or so, Officer Marino came back. Apparently he went and reviewed the laws to see if there was anything he could do, since he saw how upset I was. He could write him up for not having his dog on a leash and I was put down on the citation as the owner/witness. Ahemahem, Stacey. I am welcome to attend the hearing. He then started speaking with me candidly about the whole thing. The dogs are behind a four-foot fence, and there are three of them. They are all chained up and neglected. The owner is probably a drug dealer. But there's really nothing we can do...

I was still awake when the sun came up and the cat lady next door came out to do the morning feeding. I went over to tell her the bad news and realized she was calling for the cat. See, she does a morning roll call every day before she puts down the food to make sure everyone gets some. "I don't know where Jesse, Ricky, or Tarzan are." "Ricky's a black cat?" So that was Ricky. She cried and I felt awful for her.

It's an awful shame that these strays have to live like they do, but the fact that one had to die that way? What an awful, awful way to go.. and then to have to go through whole minutes laying five feet from the dog that hurt him? I feel awful I couldn't have scooped him up and carried him off, to at least let him die in peace.

On top of that, the reason this whole thing happened is because some asshole chains up his dogs. That's the best way to ensure you'll have a killer of a dog - chain him up and ignore him.

I was so relieved to see Catherine this morning and to know that Fluffy spent the stormy evening tucked into my cozy home. Fluffy actually LIKES dogs - loves to rub against them in that affection-showing way.. I am so grateful they're okay. I just hope to god that the other cats were all under a car someplace when this crazy bear of a dog got out of his yard.

I am so sad today. :~(

The part that kills me is that I have always defended pit bulls. And I'm sure there are still plenty of nice ones out there. But to see one in action? All I could think of was my cats with lizards. My cats CANNOT CONTAIN THEMSELVES if they see a lizard. That's how this dog was with the cat. The cat was just its plaything, and he could not contain himself unless he had a Person there, YELLING AT HIM TO LEAVE IT ALONE. That's scary. I have no doubt that had I turned my back to go get my phone or pants, both of which were very much desired at the time, he would've pounced right back on the dying cat.

How can someone rest easy knowing we have one of those in our neighborhood? And knowing that the reason the dog left is that his owner came for him, whistling so quietly we never noticed him? It kills me that this bastard saw four people standing in a circle around his dog in the dark and never thought to see what was going on. He probably knew it was something bad so sneaked off with his dog to avoid the trouble. Asshole.

Friday, June 24, 2005
  Those $10, 46-oz. margaritas will be the death of me.
WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS?! Sorry the layout is all screwy; I didn't do anything, though!

So last night, me and my co-worker, Joel, went out to dinner.

I had shopping to do, for my niece, and he's bored out of his mind here since he doesn't know anyone. He has friends, but they're in Orlando, and a wife, but she's in Brazil. So he offered to come with me shopping and I offered to go get something to eat with him.

Then the rain started.

For those of you NOT in South Florida, it has rained just about every day this entire month. And not little rain showers that pass by, either; they're full-on storms.

So we were basically stranded at the Mexican place for two hours while we watched the water levels rise and fall outside. At one point, the table that we had been sitting at outside had five inches of water at its legs.

By the time it stopped, all the stores were closed and I was tipsy. On a school night!

So anyway, then it was 10:00 and I was home and too tipsy to be productive but too awake to go to bed. So I cut my finger when I tried to prepare the tortoise's food (it could've been much worse) and then called a bunch of people.

Including this guy that I had met last weekend who had called me. I don't usually give out my number, but he was insistent and I was drunk. We chatted for a little bit, then said our goodbyes and hung up. He called right back. "Are you dating anyone?" "No?" "Oh, okay, I just wanted to make sure. I'll sleep better now." I laughed and closed the call again.

I feel kind of bad now. I should've said, "No, but I don't want to be dating anyone."

The way I look at it, I'm kind of a weirdo. Like the other night, I was coaxed out of the house by a crying cat. It was late, but I gave into his pleas for attention and sat on the (wet) ground to pet him. Someone pulled in the lot and I had to get up to get out of their way and shoo the cats to safety. I saw myself in that guy's eyes for a second and was like, "Whoa." Some girl sitting outside at 1 a.m. getting wet to pet a scrawny little stray cat? I think there are people out there that would appreciate this - maybe 1 out of 1,000 people - but most people wouldn't get it, and would just think I was weird.

And I like not caring.

This guy who I talked to? If I told him I had 2 cats and feed a half dozen more, all of whom I worry about, and some of whom have been given names..

I guess what it boils down to is that the whole animal-loving side of me is way too significant to even think of being with someone who isn't like-minded, and most of the world isn't. The fact that most of the people on my block look at these poor creatures as a nuisance is proof of that. This is proof. This is proof. This is proof.

And no, meeting someone and agreeing to go out on a date with them or something wouldn't be a big deal, but.. eh, why bother?

Maybe I just need some type of disclaimer to wear. "You may like the hair, but I'm totally nuts. And have no desire to apologize for it."


Thursday, June 23, 2005
  Check out this week's Onion!
The Onion 2056
I didn't want to, at first. I'm lazy with figuring out new layouts. Then I realized what they were doing.. clever.

Damn dolphins.

  It's so weird to see a celebrity next to a "normal" person.

Isn't it?

I want to be this tan and thin and pretty. Dammit.
  I made it like 45 seconds.
Emilie's Don't Yawn
  Mostly about cats. Duh.
Last night I went to Target, where I spend 80% of my money, and spent an exorbitant amount of money on lots of really luxurious things, like a mop and a box of cat litter.

Happily, I did get a deal on some little cat hideout-toy things. $5 for two, so I bought two sets. They have holes on most sides of the little hideouts, and you can hook them together. The cats actually liked them, playing and lounging around in them for the rest of the evening.

I was greeted upon walking in the door by a horrible, horrible smell, a.k.a. cat pee. Luckily, most of that was from Fluffy’s carrier, but it also was wafting from Fluffy himself… and my bedroom. Oh, I was so ecstatic about that one. The carrier got washed, Fluffy got scrubbed with a wet washcloth and baby shampoo, and then I got to play everyone’s favorite game – Find the Smell. Fortunately, I did, so the targeted shirt is now washed, but I discovered that I am horribly, horribly, horribly allergic to cat urine. Does that even make sense? In any case, once I won the game, I was a mess for the rest of the night. Wheezing, sneezing.. Ahh, the joy of allergic cat ownership!

I have another adamant cat friend now outside, unfortunately. He wants to be petted and wants some food and wants to be all psycho while he eats, making unhappy little noises to himself. He’d been around before, but never seemed to want anything besides food. Last night he surprised me at the kitchen sink by jumping up to my VERY HIGH window and crying at me. Grumble, grumble, as I grab the bag of cat food and march outside.

Those outdoor cats just kill me. Catherine has only let me touch her at length on two occasions, but she’s always outside my door, always follows me around when I’m outside.

And then there are the boy cats that hang out at the next apartment complex. Poor fellas. The one is just the sweetest thing on earth. Last night, I sat down in the parking lot and loved on him and his scabby little head and balding tail and wondered what was wrong and wished I could help him. I’m trying to reach the Pet Aid League today to see if there’s some affordable way for me to help the unhealthy ones. I hate that these people-loving kitties don’t have anyone to watch over them the way my lucky, glossy-coated cats do. :(

Rahr! Elliot had just bolted across the room to pounce.

In non-cat news, last night I felt fat. I weighed myself and, lo and behold, my sick- and PMS-related, indulgent, Dunkin-Donuts-based diets have made a dent at my progress. Which means I gained all of three pounds back of what I had lost last month, but still. It’s never a surprise when I find out I’ve gained a couple of pounds because, say, I eat whatever I want for two or three weeks.. but it’s always a disappointment. When am I going to be able to efficiently metabolize Boston Market and Ben & Jerry’s? I await the day, but in the meantime it’s back to shakes and boring sandwiches for me. I do appreciate that I notice two or three pounds now. There was a day when a loss or gain of that amount would’ve gone completely unnoticed. I can tell now, though.

Amanda's birthday is tomorrow. I still have no idea what to get her and I have to send it, like, NOW. :(

Okay, phew.. That’s that.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
  This was probably Fluffy's worst day ever

He had to 1) be kept away from food & water since midnight last night; 2) go in a little kennel; 3) ride in a scary car; and 4) have his little boy parts messed with. Poor boy.

I dropped him off at 8:30 and was told to come at 2:30 to get him. When I did, he was in his kennel, crying, and covered in pee. I had to drive home with my head out the car window to escape the smell, a la Ace Ventura.

Fluffy is not impressed.

It appears that boy cat surgery is much easier than girl cat surgery. The incisions are tiny, as opposed to Kitten's huge one. Fluffy is up, around, feisty, and even eying up the birds.

In any case, he's still a mess. I'm just praying he gets the whole litter-box concept, since he needs to stay indoors for the next few days.


Amanda apparently sleeps 'til noon. She's 11. Kamille got up at 4 a.m. the other day and Amanda was wide awake. No, no, she's not my niece. :D
She's 12 on Friday and I was told to get her "anything purple." Thanks for the great tip!

Um, okay, I guess that's it. Wow, things sure got boring, huh?

  This is what a conch looks like.

, originally uploaded by leted.

See that thing in the middle of its two eyes? I guess that's its little butt; can't blame me for thinking it was a mouth, can you?

Not sure why it was hanging out of its shell like this.. Sad story, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
  The night I wanted to kill the Kitten.

See what I got to crawl in?, originally uploaded by estacey.

Sunday I woke up at 5. A.M. I got home at, what, 11 p.m. or something? Nearly. I was tired and I hadn't eaten and just wanted to lay down, but had a whole bunch of stinky wet gear to rinse. So the kitten helped me out by darting out my door as soon as I opened it and ran into this crawl space.

She did that once before, but I was able to sweet talk her out right away. This time, that didn't work.

I brought a bag of food to shake. I brought a can of tuna. Nothing.

So I tried to use my divelight to see if she was even IN the crawlspace. Wouldn't work. Replaced the batteries. Still wouldn't work.

I couldn't just leave her in there, so I ended up going inside and putting jeans and a sweatshirt on and crawled in with a lighter to guide the way. I saw her right away but she ran into the SECOND room of the crawlspace, so I had to crawl over and go in that tiny door. I had to lay down to get in that one; hands and knees wouldn't even work.

So then she ran to the far end of that room. I had to crawl under a pipe and through god-knows-what- IN THE DARK.

Finally, I reached her and grabbed her. We got to crawl all the way through two dark, dirty rooms while I held her and she cried and tried to get away.

It was such a nice way to end the weekend!

If you look at this picture, you can see Fluffy hanging out inside. Apparently the strays use that for shelter when they need it. Sad, huh? You can also see the tuna I brought out. And a roach on it! Apparently cockroaches live in the crawlspace too. Shudder.

Monday, June 20, 2005
Sunday, June 19, 2005
  A four-dive weekend :)
Yep, four dives. Two with migraine, two without. The latter were slightly better, as you can imagine. :)

I have Tofutti pops melting in the car, so I'm going to make this quick.

Yesterday were boat dives. It rained. This is Alex & Alli. Aren't they cute?

My nice dive friends! I love this picture! :)

This was a post-Fish-ID-class dive. This is a group of us again.

Before we got wet, as you can tell because we dry & comfortable. :D
I don't know who that guy is, but he was really nice. He probably thinks I'm a big sour girl because I was headachy-nauseous the whole time. Trying to smile and be cool, but on the verge of tears the whole time. But that didn't stop me from noticing how awesome the boat, American Dream, and its staff was. They gave us crackers and canteloupe and the one guy came to check on me like 10 times even though I kept assuring him I was fine. Very nice folks. :)

Anyway, then we really got wet. Headaches aren't so bad when you have fishies to look at. :)

That's Alli and me. You can tell me 'cause I always have a braid. If I don't take the time to make a braid, then I have dreadlocks. Ay de mi. My arms are crossed because I was only wearing one wetsuit and was therefor cold for I am a total wimp.

Matt took this of a hamlet. I just discovered these fish. I thought they were boring, until Alex pointed out in class that they're related to groupers, as well as a number of interesting things about them. The grouper thing was enough for me - they're little fish, but they got big grumpy grouper faces, which I hadn't noticed before. Hey, cool. :)

Hi, grumpy mini-grouper!

Crewcuts look really, um, interesting underwater.

Doesn't his head look like something you would clean your shoes with?
This guy's name was Julio. He was supposed to be with us, but kept disappearing. Scubapro? Mmhmm.

Weather today was gorgeous. Gorgeous!!!

I was in a great mood, despite the fact I had awoken before the sun was up.

This is today, looking at little fish.

You see so much great stuff when you look close. I love it, and I still don't see half of it!
Thanks for the pic, Matt. :)

Here's us today after dive #3 of the weekend.
Stephanie, you will notice I'm wearing the frog towel you got me for Xmas. :)

Alex & I did another with the Conch.. um, well, we'll leave that out.. Marvel & Jenny in the afternoon because these other folks bailed just because they have "fathers" or something like that. Yeah, yeah, nice excuse. On this dive, I missed out on seeing a turtle, a tarpon, and a ray. Grr.

Yesterday on the dive, Matt let me use his camera. I think it was to take my mind off the headache. People do such nice things for you if you're not well - if you get seasick, you get to drive the boat. If you get a migraine while diving, apparently people will trust you with their beloved gear. Apparently, if you don't feel your best, people will put you in control of their really expensive stuff. That's great!

Scorpionfish! I am a huge fan of anything that looks grumpy/unamused. Hence my love for tortoises, sloths, thorny devils, etc. Needless to say, there are many fish I love. This is one.

Sea fan. Unspectacular pic, but I TOOK IT. They were trying to hide behind the fan or, I dunno, blend. Maybe they don't see in color. :D

Me, trying unsuccessfully to smile with my mouth full.

I'm pretty sure Matt took this picture to document the guy scuba-walking behind me. :D

No big firsts this weekend, but it was really great nonetheless. I was pretty miserable yesterday, unfortunately - it sucks to be miserable on a $40 dive, but hey. The headache went away by today so the weekend was salvaged with some shore diving.

Alex pointed out a really huge queen conch for me today. I had seen them snorkeling before, but never really got to see one up close, at length, unless I had lifted it out of the water. Then they look at you with one little eye and that's really all you see. Well, UNDERWATER, I discovered they have, gasp!, two eyes! And I got to see it huff itself on its big foot. And I touched its anus. That was a mistake, don't worry; I love my ocean critters, but I do not love my ocean critters, if you know what I mean. I thought it was a mouth-type thing. Like a tube it was feeling around on the ground with. WRONG! Oh well, I guess I'll just be popular with the conchs from now on. :D

Saw some snooks. I love the snooks, mainly because they are big and homely. Saw some scorpionfish. Saw lots of tiny itty-bitties - gobies, blennys.. some really pretty blennies, too! Yellow stingray. Eels gaping at me. Huge crab. Small crabs. Small shrimp. Lobsters. Huge sea cucumber, whose butt I did not touch. Although I later learned there's a fish that has evolved to LIVE in there. What kind of crap evolution is that? No pun intended. Har har har.

Mm, okay, time for tofutti.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
  Do you realize you can't find a picture of a snook online unless some dumbass fisherman is holding it?
Well, you can't.

But I want to show them anyway. I saw a bunch today on the dive and they're just so funny looking. They have, like, a major underbite.

Matt trusted me with his camera, for some reason, so I actually got to take some pictures. Of snooks, of scorpionfish, some grunts trying to blend in with a seafan, a damselfish that was attacking me in tiny little pecks for getting too close to his domain..

Unfortunately, I've had a headache all day. Migraine? Not sure. And I had something weird going on with my mask. Put the two together and you have Stacey just trying to keep her shit together underwater. That doesn't make for the best day of diving. :(

Anyway, I still have the headache, so back to bed for me.
Friday, June 17, 2005
  So I guess I want to live in England.

cawsand and seamist, originally uploaded by algal ed.

This guy's whole photo stream just makes me ache to go there.. water, fireplace & all.

  Proof I actually dive

Finally. :)

  I switched to wheat kitty litter.

I guess it wasn't so good, hmm?, originally uploaded by estacey.

And both Kitten and Elliot ate it. Yes, I have genius cats.

I haven't had much free time this week, so sorry about the lack of blog updates. I finally uploaded some pictures to Flickr, though. Mostly of the hilarious litter-eating event, though.

Little Fluffy was due to get neutered & vaccinated today. He made himself scarce this morning, conveniently, and we will have to wait until next week. I've let him in here and there this week and he's taken to being an indoor cat like a champ. Last night, it was raining, which would normally mean that I wouldn't see him as he's off hiding under a car or something. He had wits enough to come to my door and cry last night, though. Then let me towel him off. Then went straight for the food bowl. That's my boy!

The other job is going great. I like the boss there a lot. I may get to go to CT in August to help them on an event and am excited about it. Not only do I get to LEAVE FLORIDA for a bit, but it'll be to a beautiful port town. Yay!

I'm diving tomorrow. Maybe I'll take pictures. :)

  Stef's trip
Raincloud trip

This is a woman I know through Ed. What an awesome trip! Jealousy!
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
  Most envied overheard statement of the day
"I'm going to the Bahamas on Friday and then off to Monaco on Monday.."

Ah, the life..
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
  Hey, look, it's me on a much, much better day

Me, post-dive, originally uploaded by estacey.

I think we will have a moratorium on posting for, oh, three days or so. Hormones are a dangerous levels and I am at present a pretty pathetic creature.

  Kitten's & My One-Year Anniversary

I found the Kitten exactly one year ago today! What a nice surprise that today in an email I got pictures of her that someone had taken late last June.Unfortunately, I was digicam-less when I found the Kitten, or her kittenhood would have been documented much better. At least I do have a few pictures to remind me how itty-bitty she was. And make me laugh, like this one. Funny, after a year of loving and treats, she still cries like this when I pick her up. It's truly strange.

She really is hilarious. I’ve let Fluffy in here and there and it’s funny watching the Best Cat Ever and She Who Sucks interact. He’ll rub against her in affection and she’ll bat at him. Or even worse, like yesterday, Elliot and Fluffy will try to rub against her, one on each side. She looked so panicked and miserable that I even felt sorry for her, FOR BEING LOVED ON, then trying to slink out an escape.

Even though I’ve come to this realization that she sucks, and she really does, I love her to death. She loves me too, but she has to show it in her weird, distant way. She wakes up every morning to come lay on the floor outside the bathroom so I have someone to say hi to when I pull the curtain back. Unless she and Elliot are wrestling, she nearly always is where she can see me, even if she has to move four feet back and forth as I go from the kitchen to the living room to do it. She loves it when I pet her, just as long as I keep it quick. She’ll close her eyes and rise to meet my hand, so I scratch-scratch and leave it at that, lest she be forced to run away because I’m giving too much attention.

Sometimes I can’t help it and I have to pick her up and hug and pet her and she protests the whole time. But then I just laugh and feel bad for the Kitten that she has someone who loves her so much she has to show it and hug her. Gosh, the poor thing! :)

Monday, June 13, 2005
  Florida sky

I didn't get a chance to update today, so be satisfied with a pic I took on Friday instead. There are a couple of new pics up at Flickr, though!

I had a pretty good weekend. Humbling, but good. Details.. or some of them.. later.

Friday, June 10, 2005
  Actually overheard today:

"Could you cut an inch or so of bread off of each side?"

Where? Doris' Italian Market, deli
Who? Customer to Deli Worker. Customer appeared to be pregnant with twins, although probably wasn't as it was a guy.
When? Just as Deli Worker was slathering a cup or so of mayonaisse on Customer's sub.
What? A cheese, meatball, and roastbeef sub. I didn't even think you mixed that stuff, but this guy was all about shattering my preconceptions about meat consumption, apparently.

"I'm trying to cut down on my bread consumption."

I love people who think the Atkins diet is an excuse to eat the nastiest shit on earth, only with no bread. Or in this case, less bread. Lord.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
  A Flickr fave :)

Mala snoozing, originally uploaded by FuzzyButt.

  Fla. girl, 6, killed trying to save turtle
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

How sad is this? :(
  Good lord.
Tom Welling images
Since I have no cable and have been homebound as of late, I have been reduced to watching whatever crap the networks have chosen to offer. There are highlights, such as reruns of Friends and Seinfeld. And then there's Beauty & The Geek, which I like quite a bit. I pride myself on not getting caught up in what a friend once termed "prole TV", but it's sadly addictive, especially if most of your energy is concentrated on breathing.

If you're not familiar with this show, they pair up a stereotypical geek and a stereotypical dumb blonde, team them up, and give them tasks which takes each out of their respective comfort zones. The geeks have to give an ALMOST NAKED GIRL a good massage (these are guys who have never touched a girl in their lives), the girls have to change a tire. Then, to make all the at-home viewers feel superior, at the end a couple of the teams are part of a trivia-based elimination. Sample questions which were not answered correct are: Who was Al Gore's vice-presidential running mate? Who was the president during the Civil War? What is the name of a Madonna song that is also a dance and a magazine? Which past president is a former governor of Arkansas? I was so embarassed for those fluffy girls and awkward boys.

Anyway, back to my main point.

That guy from Smallville is hot. I am not often reduced to a drooling idiot by the mere sight of a male form, but this man - OH MY GOD.

LOOK AT HIM! I'm all ready to set him as my desktop.

Maybe lusting after young men on the television is the sad version of a sex life I will have to get used to in my future as a crazy spinster cat lady. What a fun idea!

Anyway, girlfriends, check this man out. The show's on the WB. Wednesday nights. You won't be sorry.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
  Check out all our reptiles!
Florida Exotic species by class

According to this, we have VEILED CHAMELEONS living in Florida. CHAMELEONS! I know it's not a good thing, and I should consider this a shame, but... CHAMELEONS!!!

This list also shows a whole bunch of unexpected species are established here, such as the nile monitor. Now that'd be a scary thing to find in your back yard.

And hey, Floridians, did you realize Muscovy ducks aren't native? It makes sense, but they're just so everywhere that it's strange they're introduced.
  I haven't had a bad day in a while..
but yesterday was one of them.

Ed is out of town for a few days so asked if I'd like to come by to check on the cats for him. Of course I did.

Driving over there was a little funny. It's the route my body's auto-pilot immediately goes for when I get on 5-95 these days, still, so relaxing into it was.. strange. When I first met Ed, I was going to school off of Davie Road, which two exists east of his Pine Island exit. I couldn't help but think of how nice it was back then. I sat through 3 hours of astronomy after a 9-hour workday, shivering the whole time, and was rewarded with hugs and kisses from Ed, who was always incredibly warm and tasted of yummy things, like rum. This was back when he was happy to see me, when we'd spend our evenings drinking wine, talking, and reading. It was always great end to a long day.

Anyway, the cats were really happy to see me. That's only because they wanted fresh food, of course, but I neglected that for a couple of minutes so I could squeeze them and they'd put up with it.

taken pre-meal, as you can tell by lucy's toleration of me.

After everyone was happy, Lucy disappeared and Suki wanted to be brushed. We settled into our old routine where I brush her, she acts happy and content, so I sit down to be more comfortable while continuing to brush, and then she walks three feet away and wonders why I'm not brushing her. So then I scoot the three feet over and we repeat the whole process.

So why was this a bad day? I miss them. I handle it better than I thought I would, because I know they're continuing in their happy little lives, only with a little less cuddling. But it still sucks.

Suki agrees.

It got me to thinking later.. About how last week someone asked me what I was looking for and I didn't know. I don't know. Of course I want to be with someone; holding hands and kissing are a distant but fond memory. But I don't think showing someone that amount of trust is in me right now. Point 1: I'm a big softie; I can't trust myself to be logical about someone after I grow to care for them. Point 2: If things go well, they eventually become part of your life, at which point they have the ability to change your life. And unless I'm moving to Hawaii, I don't want the places I'm used to, the people I'm used to, and my surroundings to change overnight. Not to mention the precious little cats I'm used to cuddling with daily.

I'm not whining. I'm happier now than I had been in the past few months, and none of these changes are horrible anyway - just different. It just occurs to me that trusting someone enough to give them a place where they become part of your life is.. well, for lack of better terms, a Very Big Thing and Not To Be Taken Lightly.

Oh well. Men are nicer when they're just your friend anyway. I just wish they weren't so pleasant to touch. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
  I like this picture :)

baby spiders, originally uploaded by Cryptik.

This reminds of something that happened to Ed. One day, while I was not there of course, he found a spider in his house and stepped on it.

(I am of the let-it-be-or-at-*least*-catch-and-capture school of thinking when it comes to spiders.)

So anyway, he stepped on it and, when he lifted his foot away, there were, like, 200 baby spiders in the mama's place. I guess he popped her just as she was ready to pop.

As a side note, I love baby spiders. I love how they're perfect, working, REAL spiders, only tiny-tiny. No big heads or undeveloped motor skills. Just tiny.

He went on about how it was like a nightmare. Try to kill one thing you don't like and wind up with 200 little carbon copies of it!

I guess that's karma. :)

Monday, June 06, 2005
  oh god, i hate being sick.
yeah, i'm still sick. i'm pretty sure i got sick twice actually; i started to feel better on saturday (i even picked up the house & went to the bookstore) and then BAM! i got bad again. this is all congestion, in my head and my chest. fun, fun. my house is a mess and it's driving me nuts 'cause i don't have any energy to clean it up. please let me get better soon!

i went to work today anyway, and the 2nd gig. it was a long day, but i'm glad i toughed it out. i about started crying when the traffic got slow on the way home, but hey, i eventually made it back to bed. oh, and i got actual channels to come in on the tv in my bedroom, so i really can't complain about how my day has gone.

ok, other stuff:

this chick on flickr has nestboxes set up around her property and takes pictures of the goings-on inside. it's the neatest thing!

a picture from today:

these guys JUST hatched. :D is where to find her pictures.

i finally got a capture of elliot how he sits all the time that's so cute. he looks like a little person!

see how he has his little arm up on the ledge thing? he sits like this all the time at night. i had to take this picture from outside, which is why it sucks.

and finally i got a pic of brutus! there's another one where he looks happy and is eating catnip, but this is the one that kinda gives a sneak peek at how bad his neck is.

he seems to be doing okay. he still runs away with a lot of energy if he gets the vibe i'm going to try anything funny. and he was loooovin' the catnip, which i was happy to see. a human with an untreated, uncovered wound like that would be, like, dead or something by now, though. poor big fella. :(

finally, it pays to keep the camera in bed with you:

this post isn't that long, it's just all the pictures...

okay, i came across this in a magazine today. it's paul allen's yacht, the octopus. cool name, huh?

413'. two helicopter landings. it has a recording studio. a theatre. a basketball court. a swimming pool. A SUBMARINE. yeah, i'm waiting on my next check to buy a book and someone out there owns a YACHT that has a SUBMARINE inside. agggh!

finally, a dolphin story. one of these days, they're going to grow thumbs.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
  this weekend = like, opposite of last
last week it was sharks, turtles, octopuses.. this weekend, this is basically all i've seen:

the kitten did join me from time to time, though.

then i would move too much and piss her off so she'd have to find other comfy places to sleep.

yes, it looks cozy to be nestled amongst lamps and regulators and books on a hard, wood desk.

i did figure something out today, though. i totally need to be a photographer.

i apparently am becoming a fish geek because i had some extraordinary urges to look at pictures of fish to get to know them better but all i had is my little underwater pamphlet thing. so i dug out all my "fantastic animals" and such books and my nature photography ones.

so anyway, i didn't find many fish, but i was reminded at how much i absolutely love pictures. i love taking them, i love looking at them.. i have this "wildlife" book i've looked at 100 times and i still love to go through. there are all these amazing creatures and amazing things happening all the time. and the photographs take you there. :)

while we're on that subject, let a recent photograph snapped by yours truly take you to lovely hollywood, florida. south florida is a very, very genuine place. :)

visit flickr for the tree closeups.
Friday, June 03, 2005
  weekend update
weewee died today. :(

his kidneys started to shut down, so they put him to sleep. my sis and her husband had him since he was 6 weeks old and he was 14, so he had a nice, good life. going home will not be the same without weezer jumping all over me or watching me eat. silly little weezer. :(

less important news...

i'm sick! not deathbed-type sick, luckily. just miserable-on-the-couch sick. not so sick i can't watch tv, but sick enough to not want to get up to find a different video. hence, i watched a fish called wanda three times in the past 24 hours. it was nice to get through the whole thing, finally. i have the first 1/3 memorized, but i always am asleep for the rest of it.
at least it happened just in time for the weekend! bah!

cat update. i haven't done one of these in, what, a week? so here goes. elliot is great. i'm so proud. he doesn't even make me catch him anymore. before, he'd be nice once i got him, but the getting took some effort. now he just hangs out and lets me pick him up. and purrs when i hold him. i try to get the kitten to pay attention: "see what a cat is supposed to do when you hold it? NOTICE HIM NOT CRYING?" she doesn't seem to get it yet.

ok, time to go back to the store to get all the stuff i forgot there. all the stuff i paid for and forgot. i love being sick and out of it. :)
Thursday, June 02, 2005
  Diving folks

This pic was taken about a month ago, on the first night I hung out with Matt's friends. We were supposed to do a dive but it was lightning, so I did some Houdini-style clothes change in the car and met up with them at Mulligans.

So this guy in the shark shirt is Matt, the nice fella who has been lending kind words of wisdom. And gear. Lots of gear.

The guy in the back is Alex, the one kindly spoken of in last weekend's diving report. You can't tell from looking at him, but he is actually part fish.

  Dad and Kelli

I love pictures so much. It's never the big things that I love, either. In this one, it's those glasses.. A white undershirt and a flannel (how more Ike could you get?). And cigarettes sticking out of his pocket; I heard he used to smoke.

And then there's the expression of this big huge guy cooing over his tiny baby girl.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
  Put on your sunglasses before you look at this one.

Stacey & Doug, going to prom, originally uploaded by estacey.

I realized yesterday that I'm sitting next to a scanner - all day, every day. So I brought a photo book.

This is a picture of me and Doug on the day of our Junior Prom. Doug got a tux to match my dress. I also matched my dress. What was I thinking, white on white?

Anyway, nice trip down memory lane, back to when I had braces, bad skin, and skin the color of a beluga. :D

  Look! He's walking!

Demon fishy!, originally uploaded by Spamily.

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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