Friday, July 29, 2005
  back to school


going crazy @ work again. did some degree audits and whatnot and am reminded how short i am for an A.A.: 1 speech class, 2 math classes. signed up for speech. have to re-test into the math to skip a prep course.

yes, folks, i am a total retard when it comes to the math.
unless you had a recent standardized test, when you register at college, you have to take a placement test. a perfect score would be a 120. in english, i got a 119. reading, 118. when i brought my scores back, the guy looked perplexed: "i didn't even know you could get a 119." misplaced comma? anyway, my math score was something like 60. no laughing!

i took algebra and geometry in high school and that was it because that was all that was required of me. and i don't like math. fast-forward a whole bunch of years, and i don't even remember that much.

anyway, instead of paying $150 for this "three credit" math prep class (three credits which count as nothing), i'm buying the damn book and learning myself. then onto college algebra, which i also hope to test out of so i won't have to wait.

the CLEP rocks. i took the CLEP for spanish and earned 8 college credits (that do count) in, like, 45 minutes. i got nearly a perfect score there, too. :) so anyway, think it's too lofty an idea to study for and CLEP out of college algebra?

the problem is that until i have my 60 credits and my A.A., going to a 4-yr is somewhat more complicated. i can take classes, but i cannot enroll. if i can't enroll, i can't get financial aid. not that i qualify for anything beyond loans anyway, but better loaned $450 per class than rent money.

so yeah, that's what's happening now.

i'm kind of confused. what happens after the A.A.? what 4-yr program do i enroll in? what do i want to do? i think i've found a niche and a passion in helping the helpless neighborhood critters, but learning to, say, be a vet is all math & science, baby. neither of which being my strong points, that makes me a big hesitant. on top of that, if i enter a 4-yr program for biology, i should've taken different classes these first two years instead of all this fun spanish and french stuff. which means more than two years of classes for my first "two years" of classes. dammit.

look, sloths in a box. not related to subject whatsoever. just cute. :)

on one hand, regarding the bio major thing, i mean.. how many class-A idiots are out there, majoring in biology? and i'm not an idiot. so i should be able to do it, right? i mean, it may be hard, but i should be able to do it with some actual effort. on the other hand, math is the one area where i really really know what it's like to be a stupid person and THAT'S NOT GOOD. does that make sense?

one day i realized i was always squinting and it dawned on me: this means i need glasses. squinting is what people who need glasses do. well, one day i was in math class and the professor was droning on and i was TRYING to process it, but my brain just wanted to quit. my brain hurt. and i went, "oh my god, this is how some people feel about EVERYTHING. this is what being stupid feels like!" so at least with me, it's just math. and football. and following directions. and eating cute little octopuses. and, you know, waking up really early in the morning on purpose.

so, back to the proverbial..

yeah, so i'm a flickr geek. sue me. :)

input would always be appreciated. :)


  They ain't kiddin'.
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (World's Ugliest Dog)

  My friend Pam
Getting Healthy Journal

I used to work with Pam at my job there by the beach. The one I was at for only, like, 6 months.

Pam was definitely a highlight of the job. She would listen to all my cat/diving stories (I was new to both back then) with INTEREST! Very friendly woman who, get this, likes country music too! Has cats! Loves animals!

I got an email from Pam the other day that she was starting a blog about her new venture into getting healthy. She has lost 34 pounds already and I'm feeling jealous and inspired just reading it! Oh, how I remember the post-gym shaky arms! And the energy working out gives you!

I hope she keeps the blog up. I look forward to reading about her progress. :)
  Someone buy this for me? Please?

I am not the type to get crushes on celebrities. Really, I'm not. This man, though? I caught a few minutes of Smallville on TV last night and am reminded how edible Tom Welling is.

So I'm going to get a poster and hang it on my wall.

I may be 27. Going on 13. But hey, it's my apartment; may as well make it full of things I like. :)
Thursday, July 28, 2005
  here's hoping john was right about the whole instant karma thing
mamacat still hadn't eaten last night and i was worried, watching her babies clamber over her for more milk. i gave her a lovely little mix of wet kitten food and tuna, which she ignored for an hour. so i fed her. a 13-year vegetarian, sitting on the bathroom floor, towel-wrapped cat in her lap, using her fingers to stuff mystery meat (+ tuna) in that little mouth. then we cleaned out her ears.

as a testament to what a good cat she is, she sat through the whole thing looking as miserable as you can imagine, but never trying to hurt me. kitten would've torn my arms to shreds three minutes into the whole ordeal.

so back to john lennon. shouldn't i be winning the lottery about now? if i do, i'm definitely going to pay someone else to get covered in iams and ear mites.

also, for the record, i'm not a cat person! a guy in my office was just bad mouthing me for being a cat person. luckily, it was just to his dog and i think the dog strictly speaks hebrew, so no worries there. but hey, i'm not a cat person! i'm an animal person. equal opportunity. if i had a flock of starving flamingos living in the parking lot next to my place, you bet your ass i'd be giving them whatever it is flamingos eat (crustaceans, i know).
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
  And now to prove I have life beyond the feline..

Look! I like margaritas too!

Alli came over Monday. We went out for dinner & margaritas. Or, shall I say, dinner & margarita. We got very tipsy and I started oohing at the cops at the table next to us. Then, after they left, of course, I took this huge pinata off the ceiling. Sat with it under the table as I tried to talk the host into letting me have it. He wasn't swaying, so I walked out with it instead. Ran out. Giggling the whole way.

Then we saw the cops on our way back to the car. Walking with our green-giant sized bottle of Dos Equis.

No, occifer, don't worry. We're completely sober.

  Lots of cat stuff today.

My adorable Fluffy, originally uploaded by estacey.

This is abnormal how? Anyway, I got so many cuties I can't help but share. This is a picture of the Fluffers that I really like. It captures him well.

Did I ever mention that Fluffy is the only cat that sleeps in bed with me? It regularly occurs that he gets so into me rubbing his belly that he nearly falls off the bed, and has in the past. Now I watch out for him.


  Look, I'm the Foto─čraflar! >> Saglik >> Hamilelik ve Dogum 2

Someone wrote me on Flickr to get permission to use some of my pics on a website about kittens. And now they're up! It's in Turkish, unfortunately, so I'll just have to assuming it's enthralling. :)

Mama and very mobile babies, originally uploaded by estacey.

They move quite a bit for being so tiny and helpless. Kind of annoying to try to take pictures of them, actually. But this one worked out okay - you can see how much the guy in the corner is not in control of his brand new little body.

  Look, a kitten.

Kitten or teddy bear?, originally uploaded by estacey.

Not much going on with regard to the new arrivals. They eat, nap, eat, nap.. Yep, they're pretty much livin' the life.

I brought Scooter the Cooter's basking light into the bedroom last night so I could get some decently lit pictures without torturing everyone with the flash. As you see, the results are alright; still a bit blurry, but at least there's no flash there to ruin everything and blind the little guys before they even open their eyes.

Mama has not been eating lately, which is worrisome. Luckily, I have some vitamin gel stuff made for cats so I squirt some in her mouth as she protests; at least she's getting SOMETHING.

I picked her up last night and it was amazing holding her without four babies in her belly. She's so tiny, like a little ragdoll.

The kittens are really nuts about eating. They crawl all over each other to get at the nipples. That little black one definitely has it goin' on in the (relative) size & strength department, so he can kinda shove the other ones away when they're feeding. I'm like, there are plenty of boobies for all of you! Share! Live with love! But they don't listen.


I love to see them snuggling and content, napping after they've filled up their little kitten bellies.

Can't wait until they get big enough to play with.. ! :D

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
  8-cat household
In case y'all were avoiding this math, FYI - I'm at present an eight-cat household.

Hey, look, a Stacey action figure!

My friend Alex (fish ID Alex) was making fun of me yesterday. When he met me, oh, three months ago or so, I had one cat. ONE. ONE ONE ONE ONE ONE.

Then I adopted Elliot so my cat wouldn't be lonely. Ha ha ha, as if that's ever a possibility now.

Then I started letting Fluffy in. Which I can't regret because, oh my god, he is the best cat ever.

Then his sister got knocked up.

Then she exploded with four babies.

It's quite okay, actually; I gotta clean those litterboxes every day when I get home, but it takes all of two minutes. We haven't had any accidents in a while, so everything is pretty clean and normal.

But still. EIGHT.
Monday, July 25, 2005
  I almost forgot to mention my dive Thursday.. (et cetera)
Matt, Alex, Manny & I went diving on Thursday night. I think that was dive #37.

A couple of things worth noting are that I scared a sea turtle away before I even noticed it. Matt pointed to it, I looked down, and next thing I know, it's bolting away. Later, I saw one sleeping and sank down to take a look at it. I am never satisified until I see a face, so it took some wiggling, but I got what I wanted. And even though its flipper was easily within grasp, I didn't touch it. Alex had better be proud.

One very cool thing that happened was that I saw a parrotfish sleeping in his little sleep bubble. A neat thing in all itself, but even more special in a personal way.

Years ago, my friend (Mike Souza for those of you who've been around that long) wrote to me. I guess I was sad about something or other. He said, "Don't be sad, Stacey. Just think of the parrotfish, sleeping away in a bubble made of mucous." Or something like that. And then attached a link to a story about sleeping parrotfish. It was the first time I had heard of such a thing. So, of course, I really can't be sad now; I saw one in person. :)


Saturday night, I went to a

(These were the shirts we wore.)

And stayed out way too late.

Hey, you could still see the moon!

I went with my old buds, Steph and Sarah. I missed them so much! Steph is like another big sister - she's actually quite tiny, but wise and sweet and encouraging and all that great stuff. Sarah is adorable and it was so fun to see her in action again. "Don't hate!"

We went to La Bare, a male strip club, and then out at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, where I did not gamble because, unlike all the other times I was there, I didn't have two guys named Ed slipping me $20 bills.

I had never been to a strip club, so that was.. weird. Now, I'm not a conservative girl, by any means, but, you know, I'm not used to seeing nearly naked men.. doing.. that.. stuff. At one point, I looked over and the guy dancing by the wall was pulling his silky little drawers down and nearly showing, you know, IT. I swear to god, I meeped! out loud and covered my eyes.

What's funny is that they all have BIG HUGE THINGS in their pants, but, of course, they're fake. The funny part is that whatever is in there is made to look real. You see outlines of what appears to be a foot-long fella inside the silky g-strings. I kinda think that's unfair.

I couldn't bring my camera in, so missed many great photo opportunities. I had captions thought up already: all 20 or so pictures would've been captioned, "This man loves his job." Except the tiny Mexican guy. The poor thing got, like, two $1 bills the whole time he was onstage. I felt bad for him until I remembered that he was the one who put himself up there.

All in all, pretty silly and not sexual at all, unlike what I would imagine women's strip clubs are like. Every once in a while, though, some stud of a man would do something with his hips that would make me furrow my brow, bite my thumbnail, and rethink this whole man-less existence of mine.

Then at Seminole, we watched people ride the mechanical bull. As the bull operator was a guy, most of the ride time was taken up by women and their bouncy cleavage; he'd kick the guys off right away. But a couple of the men were really good at it. You know where I'm going with this? If not, please re-read my last paragraph. :)
  The kittens are here!!!

Brand new kitten, originally uploaded by estacey.

So now we know the reason I was mauled the other night.

If I would've had a functioning hand, rather than the useless claw hanging at my side, at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, I would've been boarding a dive boat. Instead, I was awoken from peaceful dozing by the cry of a kitten. I sat up and there was a kitten on the floor by the side of my bed, placenta still attached. Fluffy and Mamacat were up on a storage container I keep there for them to sit on, looking at the newborn kitten like it was a mouse. Scary!

So I went into action and got a former tortoise enclosure that was to act as her nesting box. I tried to give it to her a week ago, but she kept peeing in it. This time, she used it right.

I had lined it with blankets covered with a towel and set her inside with the baby. She licked, licked, licked. I had read they typically had births a half-hour apart, so I was chillin' when the second one started to come out. This is when I ran for my car to get the camera.

I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be, but I had read up a little so knew enough to help/not get freaked out when, for example, Baby #4's feet came out and then WENT BACK IN. Mama also didn't chew off any of the placentas like she was supposed to, so I cut the umbilical cords for her. She left Baby #3 in the amniotic sac long enough for me to get worried and open it myself. But once they were all out, she was the picture of a good mama - licking, nursing, cuddling.

So now the poor girl is sick and has four babies to take care of, but she's doing quite well. If one cries, she scoots over to show more of her belly.

Anyway, here they are! I'm sure they will have the best documented kittenhoods in the history of photography, so keep a watch on my Flickr kitten set!

Friday, July 22, 2005

IMG_1006, originally uploaded by littlegreenheron.

She squints for pics. And was sick here. See the eye? Lucky for me, Alex is a vet and was able to put me at ease about her since he wasn't alarmed at the icky eye.

People keep commenting that these guys are ugly. I don't get it. In person, the first people say is, "What a beautiful cat!" Then they laugh at the tails, all squirrel-style.

Don't get down on a cat cause s/he isn't photogenic, people. It is not becoming of you. :)

  Fluffy with his eyes open!

IMG_1005, originally uploaded by littlegreenheron.

My friend Alex (Alex the Vet - now there are two Alexes!) got this pic of Fluffy with his eyes open. SLRs are like magic, see?

  what a cute cat!

cute, originally uploaded by estacey.


got home from dive last nite and saw this cat, being friendly. pet, pet, pet. then it bit me. hard. AND scratched. left arm ugly & immobile from pain when i move it. :(

  bloody mess

How strays say thanks, originally uploaded by estacey.

doesn't look so bad clean but hurts like a mofo

  kitten watched me the whole time

Kitten concerned, originally uploaded by estacey.

concerned, or maybe just wanting tuna.

Thursday, July 21, 2005
  Did I blog this already?

tiny hermit crab, originally uploaded by algal ed.

How tiny & perfect is this little guy?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
  Chinese translation of "Love"

Chinese translation of "Love", originally uploaded by estacey.

This is an older pic I took of a page in my Learning Chinese Symbols book. Ha!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
  By the way..
is it becoming as painfully obvious to everyone else as it is to me that I should be in another line of work?

After spending last evening marveling at the movement in Mamacat's belly..
then having one of the gemelos come cry to me for food at midnight and ending up in my PJs in the neighbors' parking lot, crying because I can't help them..
and now, on my way home to clean out a pregnant cat's ears so her babies don't get ear mites..

I just really need to spent my days doing something other than keeping this chair warm.
  My old stomping grounds
I take a Spanish class on Monday nights. It's over in Fort Lauderdale.
While I dread the fact I won't get home until 10 or so, it's right near where I used to live, so I'm always happy to be in my old 'hood. That means I get to go buy my favorite shampoo at the Whole Foods Market or visit Borders. Last night, I did the latter. Read a bunch about cat pregnancy. And I'm nowhere closer to feeling comfortable with this whole labor thing..!

My purchase of the evening was a CD by Miranda Lambert. I normally never buy CDs, but I absolutely love this one song of hers and I can only hear it, every great once in a while, on this one online station. So I broke down and spent the $13.

When I brought the CD up to pay, the cashier said, "Well, she even looks like you!" Now that's a compliment I can accept gracefully: "Thank you!!" I said. "Maybe she should thank YOU." Yes, Rogelio (the nametag says "ELIO" but I'm pretty sure that's not it) is the best guy ever. I remember him from before.. every time I went up to pay, we would have a nice little conversation about whatever it was I was buying.

Also, he needs glasses. This is the CD. :D
But isn't she cute? She makes me want to go blonde(r) and say "ten" like "tin." So cute!

Then I got a cheese & sundried tomato sandwich and a root beer, like in the old days, and took it outside to eat by the water.

So hey, I got home at 10:30, but it was a nice evening. Also, Mamacat blissfully pooped IN the litterbox ON the couch rather than just ON the couch, so I was walking on air.. :D
Monday, July 18, 2005
  Stacey gets a visit from Mr. Hanky
Today, a list of things that nearly made me cry over the weekend
  1. When Chandler proposed to Monica on an old episode of Friends.
  2. When Mamacat escaped from my bedroom during the night and pooped on my couch for the second time
  3. "Deeper than the Holler" by Randy Travis on the radio
  4. "Something to be Proud of" by Montgomery Gentry on the radio. At this point, I figured I should probably be buying some tampons.
  5. The way Bob gently touched Charlotte's foot and said she was a nice girl when they were laying in bed on Lost in Translation. (Note to self: also buy ice cream and Pamprin.) I've had that movie for, like, a year and never watched it. Luckily, Alli put it in the DVD player on Saturday and made me.
  6. Getting seasick. Luckily, I'm becoming an unflappable puker. I may get teary-eyed and pathetic during, but then I rinse my mouth out and smile and carry on.
  7. Encouraging Joey the nympho former stripper-masseuse in his fondness for Alli. "Yeah, she may be engaged, but that just means she has some wild oats to sow!"
  8. Laughing my ass off at a three-hour dinner with divers Mary, Rafael, Alex, Donna, and Alli.
  9. Letting Mamacat out of the bathroom because she had been good about the litterbox all day and 10 minutes later finding a steaming pile of nasty poop on the sofabed apparatus.
  10. Investigating the lingering poop smell after cleaning up aforementioned poop pile to discover shitty little pawprints walking up my couch, curtains, and then the windowsill. AGGGH. After my time with Mamacat, I am going to be able to handle anything.
  11. Having to take a cold shower after that really long day because my hot water heater broke again.

Look, it's Mamacat!

Even though I had 11 things that just about made me cry, it was a pretty good damn weekend, if you don't count Saturday up until 8 p.m. or so.


The diving was post fish ID class. I had a really miserable first dive, on which I got hit in the head hard by a guy on the line during our way down. The wreck was infested with divers, and really bad ones at that - ones that walk their dive, ones that use their hands to pull themselves through the wreck - and I was short a wetsuit and didn't feel I could get my buoyancy right. I guess this is the reason I used up my air in about 20 minutes (sorry Ralph, Alli!). When you're on a small dive site, like a wreck, and you have a lot of people.. well, for me, it's not even worth it. I spend most of my time worrying someone's going to hit me (it happens), or that I'll hit someone (" ") and none of my time actually enjoying my surroundings. I really hated the first dive.

Then we jumped in the water on the second dive and I immediately felt comfortable again. Phew. Puffers and hamlets and eels and no one's fins in your damn face: now that's the diving I know & love. :) :) :)

Can I reiterate a sentiment I had after my checkout dives? Sure, Stace. Okay.
It struck me as we were coming up slowly from our second dive (I came up slowly! Go me) and we were approaching the surface: It's just another world down there. And while I slowly drift upwards, and the parrotfish darting from here to there fade into a blue-green blur, I am amazed that this world exists and that I get to spend time there, 2500 PSI at a time.

SOME PICTURES (By the way: Please hit me the next time I go a whole weekend with only taking, like, five pictures. Okay? Thanks.)

Mary, our resident sandbird, taught us the international sign language gesture for "Snook Head Soup"

Alli also shared gestures, but the Canon was too slow to capture them.
Can you see how cool Alli is with her little Wal*Mart shirt? Yes, Alli is one of the coolest chicks ever. :)

My dinner companions. (L-R: Mary, Ralph, Donna, Alex, and Alli)
Do you believe such an innocent-looking group of people managed to scare off three tables of people just TRYING TO ENJOY A PEACEFUL DINNER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH? Of course not.


  Hogwarts Students

Hogwarts Students, originally uploaded by andrea z.

This picture made me giggle.

Friday, July 15, 2005
  Announcement: I'm having kittens!!!

Actually, Fluffy's sister is. But I get to watch. :)

She's living at my house for now, until she has her babies and everyone is weaned.

I'm really excited. Even now, I get to feel them moving.

She doesn't get the litterbox concept, so the past couple of days have been pretty stinky, but today she went to the bathroom and will stay there until she figures out where to go. She's not happy about it, but she pooped on my couch and that is JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE, so she will have to cope.

Anyway, yay - kittens! And they'll be adorable, so I will be able to rehome them no problem.

This cat, who I call Mamacat, is a sweetie, but much more timid than Fluffy. They look identical when I scratch right under the chin, though, and it about makes me cry. I can't even explain. I just love Fluffy so much that to have his sister there, and to be able to help her with her babies, and help her for in the future - no more going into heat and getting terrorized by all the neighborhood bullies... It's a very good feeling, even if I have had to do like three loads of smelly laundry in the past two days.


  Cool new blog I inspired, kinda!
Emergency Vet

I found this fella on Flickr (my friend Flickr, again). He's a vet, in Miami of all places. He began posting pics from the animal ER. I contacted him about Flaky (thanks again for the name, Bethy; you crack me up), he saw my stuff, and was inspired to create a blog himself.

Could this wee puppy be any cuter?

This is exactly what I love about Flickr, blogs, online photography, etc. You get to "experience" something you wouldn't normally get to; read about others' lives; hear and see stories that are going on 10 miles to the south.

Anyway, I hope he keeps his blog up! Unlike SOME PEOPLE! (This is flogging in jest, dear girl. I understand.) :D
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Using this picture that I took:

And this tool:

With the help of the cats:

I made this:

This is what it looks like up close:

It was my first attempt and a learning experience, so this doesn't look great, but maybe the next will be better. :)
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
  Also cute, but slightly scary.

Phoebe as vampire, originally uploaded by *Zig*.

  This picture is so cute.

Zoe the vampire, originally uploaded by *Zig*.

Look at all those little fang marks on the box!

  Can I be reborn as a cat? Please?

This can't be comfortable..., originally uploaded by khami6cr.

I left my JOB in my STUPID CAR whose A/C NOR RADIO WORKS RIGHT today to deal with my BROKEN FRIDGE in my NOW HORRIBLY DISORGANIZED KITCHEN and it was 600 DEGREES OUTSIDE (780 with humidity) and then swore at my STUPID BLINDS because they wouldn't close right and it was HOT AS HELL in my living room.

Then I realized neither of the cats had come out to greet me, which is unusual.

After a 10-second scout, I found Kitten atop the comfy bed in the breezy, cool bedroom. (Elliot was under said bed, I'm pretty sure.) I laid down with her for a few moments, petting her and listening to her purr.

I never wished so bad I were a cat.

Or, you know, unemployed.

But, alas, back to work..

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
  Baby pandas!
So this is what one-day old pandas look like!

A panda cub was born in the National Zoo on Saturday adn I guess this is what it looks like, although we don't get to see it yet. Hopefully it survives!
Monday, July 11, 2005
  I gots me a new couch!

Hi, I'm cute!, originally uploaded by estacey.

And it is great! See, Elliot loves it already.

It's a sofabed. It was fun to move! Really! I had to recruit our neighbor's Mike Tyson (but short), complete with neck tattoo, who lives next door. I stood back and looked horrified while Ralph and Johan (I'm pretty sure I'm remembering his Dominican name wrong) moved this puppy into my living room.

Johan hung out with us for a little bit afterwards and he said the coolest thing which I just cannot relay correctly. Basically, he noted that he has some Puerto Rican neighbors that go at it all night. "And I respect the fucking, but man.." He RESPECTS THE FUCKING. Hm, maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, Ralph is the man. 3.5 hours of manual labor, plus lots of driving, in exchange for some fishbowl-sized margaritas when it is NOT 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. Yay, nice people!

  Cuteness for a Monday morning!

Twin White-tailed Fawns, originally uploaded by lucycat.

Friday, July 08, 2005
  A few things, quickly, on this Friday afternoon
Lordy, it's warm out there.

1. Help re: cat pee! The goddamn cat, Kitten I think, really loves to pee in my big plant. That causes me to have to dig as much dirt out of it as I could last Saturday night, replace it with some soil I had, and cover all of it with pillowcases. Today I see the pillowcases have been tampered with, one covered in pee, and.. well, I didn't really care to smell the dirt, but I'm guessing she used it as a litterbox again. Any suggestions on what I can do to steer her away from peeing in there? The only thing I can think of to put in the dirt that Kitten won't like and will therefore avoid is, well, another cat.

2. Got too much time on your hands? Read this book. The story behind the book is here. Long story short: on-demand publishers are scamming writers by offering to "publish" their books. Writers pay a fee. Nothing ever happens with their book. This company called Publish America is one of the scammers. They claimed to have high standards of what books they would accept for publishing. A group of sci-fi and fantasy writers got together over a weekend and each wrote one chapter of a book written to be unpublishable. Atlanta Nights is the result. It was accepted for publishing. Ha ha ha. :) If you don't like chapter one, the next chapter was written by someone else, so move on!

3. My fridge sucks. It stopped working Tuesday night. Had to take my stuff to my office refrigerator. They replaced it with another fridge, another old one - the space is so small I don't know if they'd make full-sizes refrigerators small enough to fit anymore - that started getting loud on night #1. Last night, it was so loud it kept me awake. This morning, so loud it made me grumpy. It's like having a goddamn motorcycle in my kitchen. And now I just got word they can't fix it and will have to get me a new one.. on Monday or Tuesday. It's been quiet today, so pray for me!
  4. I made Catherine fat!

I totally made Catherine fat., originally uploaded by estacey.

She looked nothing like this when I moved in. Then the cats all sniffed "softie" wafting from apartment #2. I've stopped feeding the strays right outside my door (I do it down the street).. all except for Catherine. She gets fed on demand since she's too shy to eat around the big boys. I was worried she was pregnant for a bit, but now I really just think she's fat.

Catherine in her svelte days:

  5. The next cat?

My next new stray project?, originally uploaded by estacey.

Kidding, I can't have any more cats. But I really would like to make this guy come around and find a home for him. He hangs out outside my house all the time.. past being fed. It would seem he just wants some attention. He's still scared of me, but it only takes a few minutes of talking before he'll let me pet him. Then he gets all into it, and I cringe because he's covered in little scabs and stuff. But I pet away anyway. Maybe we can make him better. Anyway, Ed, want a cat? You always wanted a boy cat! :)


This is as far away as he'll run., originally uploaded by estacey.

See? He ran away, but stopped this close and just stood there. For like a whole minute. Then he came back..

Thursday, July 07, 2005
  Gatos del Tercer Mundo

Tercer Mundo Gatos, originally uploaded by kirkh.

This picture was taken in Cuernavaca. I'm reminiscing about some of my time there today. Flickr is great for that: "I've been at that restaurant!" "I remember that building!" Thank gosh I never saw these little gatitos or the poor ninos would've had to share my pesitos with the poor gatitos.

  Every night, this happens at my house
Unfortunately, now that I am in the regular habit of giving the cats tuna, they think any time I'm in the kitchen, it's time for tuna. Including first thing in the morning, while I'm making my dinner, or 10 minutes after they had tuna.

Last night I got video. Go watch.

Please keep in mind that none of these cats are normally vocal at all.

And this video is hilarious because you can see just how uneasy the Kitten is with the other cats. Poor girl - they're not out to get her, but she just doesn't understand that! I put her up on the counter to eat because she's rooming with two formerly unowned cats. They scarf down their tuna in about 30 seconds and move onto hers while she watches helplessly.

Loud background noise - new fridge. Super loud. Needs a new fan. Yay.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
  4th of July dive - Dania Beach Aerojacks
Yeah, I'm posting this at 1:30 a.m. I'm at the office because my darn fridge stopped running tonight, right after a trip to the grocery store. So now the soymilk and yogurts are safely tucked into the office refridgerator.

Yesterday morning, I met up with Matt, Andrea, and Alex to do a beach dive in Dania. I haven't ventured far from Commercial Boulevard in the past, so a change is always welcome.

This is Matt's pic of a starfish up close. I think they look very much like alligator teeth.

These aerojacks, I'm told, were placed on the beach during WWII to stop planes from landing. Alex told me they were used in Russia to prevent tanks from invading. They look just like jacks - you know, like kids' toys - except they're, like, four feet tall and made of concrete. The word "aerojacks" didn't click until I got underwater and thought, "Hm, those look just like jacks! Oh, wait!"

They were put underwater in Dania to control beach erosion, I read, and now act as an artificial reef.

Matt's pic of the aerojacks underwater.

Anyway, it was a march out, fully geared up, and then a bit of a swim out after that to get to the site, which is marked by a couple of jacks placed on the beach. I was getting knocked around in the surf - wearing fins in water that suddenly got very shallow, and contrastly not wearing fins in water that was too deep and getting stranded. Matt and Alex came to my rescue, respectively. Matt even held my hand on the swim out, which I appreciated hugely since I'm always falling behind on the swim and was already a bit flustered by the surf-zone beating. See, now, Matt, I've mentioned you. A few times in the last few posts, did you notice? :D

As on the beginning of all dives, we descended and I immediately figured I was going to be disappointed by the dive, that there wouldn't be much to see, etc. And as always, I learned a lesson to not judge a dive by the first two minutes.

Aerojacks underwater. Picture link.

I saw some snooks, which always make me smile, and itty-bitty baby porkfish.. well, juveniles, but that's even cuter than the babies 'cause they are just tiny replicas of the adults.. baby blue tangs.. They were actually hanging out, the tangs and the porkfish, along with some mystery juvenile fish. Some weird little mismatched gang, they were.

I looked up baby tangs for y'all, but this doesn't look anything like what I saw:

Alex tugged at my arm to show me something... which turned out to be starfish! I've always wanted to see a starfish and never have - until this dive, on which I saw lots. They were awesome. I laid in the sand to get a good look at one and, remembering Alex's scoldings not to touch everything, let one of them touch ME instead. It worked. :)

The starfish would hold onto me with these little suckers:

Starfish are neat. They're just so weird they hold onto an air of mystery, no matter how long you stare. And I'm such a big nerd - I really could've just laid on the sand and watched it "walk" ever.. sooo.. slooowly.. for, well, much longer than allowed when you have buddies. This is a great thing about diving! For people who like to observe and admire nature, there's no way you can get closer topside! Underwater, lots of stuff 1) is stationary; 2) is confident in its hiding spot, whether that's a hole or its shell; or 3) goes slow like this. Observe away!

We saw a monstruous porcupinefish. How big was it, I asked Alex, as I'm not too good with anything number-related. "That thing had to be as big as they come." It was really, really huge. Hiding, though.

I saw a tailless.. well, probably some type of snapper. Big whiteish fish with faint yellow markings. It had no tail. It was hiding, wiggling its stump. Alex said it wouldn't survive too long. Maybe it will, I think, as long as it lays low and nothing bigger comes around. And it was pretty big, so we can hope!

I've seen Atlantic Spadefish before, but never up close. There was a school I spotted as I waited for Matt & Andrea to have a power conference underwater (they were talking and everything). I swam over slowly and they just hung out. Next thing I know, I have a few investigating me. They started brushing against my wetsuit like they had been doing to the sand. Then one gave my hand a little kiss, then turned around and looked at me some more. They are very cute fish, especially up close. Very nice. :)

This picture of Atlantic spadefish was taken at the aerojacks dive site, so one of these could very well be my little fishy suitor! Picture link.

All around, another great dive - as usual. Give me some fishies, I'm a happy girl. Give me some fishies that are willing to come close enough to kiss me, I'm even happier. :)

Now, is it wrong of me to want to send these guys hate mail? I really do. "You're a dick." Like, you really needed the ENTIRE SCHOOL?

You know, I'm sorry that this poor fella's dick stopped working ages ago, but that's no reason to take it out on the nice, trusting little spadefish. Grr.

Anyway, we ended up doing over 100 minutes. I started sharing Alex's air on the swim in when I got to 500 psi. The swim in was really cool, too - lots of starfish and other critters to wave at as we passed by.

Ahh, diving. :)

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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