Wednesday, August 31, 2005
  Fwd: hello
Look at the email I got today.  Any suggestions on what to write back?  Maybe I should give him a try.. After all, wouldn't Stacey Dongstein be a lovely name?  Also, I highly suggest checking out his Yahoo! profile.  Deep guy.

I dunno, but I’m thinking I write him back, acting confused about the “play” comment.  “You mean, like, scrabble?”

Dan Dongstein <> wrote: Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 12:54:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dan Dongstein <>
Subject: hello

just wanted to say hello, very sexy,,in Hollywood in afew weeks,,do you play ... tall clean cut well very well endowed
  More pics are up..

Look how much they're growing up!

Being in my house now is like being in a minefield. I'm constantly almost stepping on kittens, almost tripping, almost falling. Constant excitement, I'm tellin' ya!

The kittens are crawling up bookshelves, crawling up curtains, crawling up the touch, crawling up my laundry basket..

It's like a nightmare. But, like, a really good one. :)

  A PostSecret that made me giggle
  This is the best picture.

Family Party Post Katrina, originally uploaded by tiswango.

This is Matt and Andrea's little niece, Ashley. We busied ourselves by putting her beaded necklaces all over Matt's ears and nose. I also taught her how to honk his nose, which she thought was pretty clever. This picture is the best because it captures the exact moment that she realized she could HONK his nose while there were BEADS around it. Could life get any better?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
  Ways in which I am cool (let's blame the hurricane)

  The Man's kids can't dance
The hurricane has done something weird to my cable.  Saturday night, Alli turned on the TV and I had nothing but the free channels (oh, the horror!).  I didn’t get around to checking on it again until yesterday, when I was back to having cable, but only some select channels.  No TNT or USA, which sucks, but I do have Comedy Central at least.

Anyway, the lack of Law & Order reruns led me to channel scan.  I came to some channel with no identifier in the corner.  It was a local dance competition.. Although not local to here, since I didn’t recognize any of the city/place names.  

Anyway, they were all kids dancing.  It was funny because they were SO HORRIBLE… I guess I’m used to watching teenagers on ESPN2 and all that, people who know what they’re doing.  These kids were, like, watching each other to see where they should be.  It was plain ol’ painful.  Kind of like when Matt was doing his superior dance every time he got a You Don’t Know Jack question right.  The kind of dancing that gives you a stomachache.  ;)

My mind was boggling: I swear, I’ve seen kids dance before, and it wasn’t bad like this.  Why are these kids on television?  Why are their coaches not kicking their asses for being this bad?  I mean, they were kids so you gotta be nice, but they were 12 easily.

Then it hit me: Waitaminute, these kids are ALL WHITE.  THEY’RE ALL WHITE!  NO WONDER!!!!!

So I started to think that Katrina sent me some weird Iowa dance competition or something.  Cable lines got crossed, something.

Then I hear the announcement for the next performer:  The Martin Luther King Center.  “Well, I guess I can now figure out if it really is because they’re just white or I’m just expecting too much from little kids.”  

And the black kids were awesome.  At the end, they even had a little kid with a big afro come out and be Ludacris.  It was kinda creepy when he lip-synced “Now hold your head steady and I’ll milk the cow.”  But hey, it was definitely better than seeing all my little white cousins raising the roof with their gangly little arms and kickin’ it with their rhythmless little legs!  Ah, being white sucks sometimes..
Monday, August 29, 2005
  Thank gosh for Flickr.

Dessert, originally uploaded by TheLawleys.

  the weekend report, take.. uh.. okay, i'm too tired to think.
it was a no-camera weekend. which is unfortunate, because the following snaps could have been captured had i kept my camera on me:


  1. the look on my face after coming home after a half-day at the office to a home with no power
  2. the insane traffic situation on the way down to doral - no stoplights, jerk drivers nearly causing accidents because they don't want to wait their turn in a friendly four-way stop
  3. alli's huuuuge cat and her roommate's huuuuuuge cats and the two miniature cats she found behind a dry cleaner's a couple of months ago
  4. the yum-yum pizza we got because i was whining and all i wanted was a pizza and a couch and a television set
  5. the box of wine, of which i had three glasses and fell asleep on the couch at 11 p.m. i highly recommend the box of wine! especially for us single people, 'cause it stays good longer..


  1. the cake, which was eaten for breakfast
  2. the one kitten trying to suckle on my t-shirt. he is now 3 months old but lost his mommy too early in life so now tries to suckle on people and it is the saddest thing
  3. all the hurricane damage in doral. it's so hard to believe a 1 does this much.. i can't fathom a 4 or a 5. there were trees down EVERYWHERE.. fences knocked over.. carports down.. it was bad.
  4. the insane amount of food we ate at the hoelschers'. leave it to the argentinos to have a two-course dessert. :)
  5. adorable niece ashley with her beads that entertained me the whole day
  6. alex's vacation slideshow and all that squatting
  7. blondie, the hoes' adorable foster dog. i tried to guilt-trip them the whole time into keeping her, but i don't think it worked.
  8. kicking matt's ass at "you don't know jack"
  9. getting my ass kicked by alex at "you don't know jack" and by matt. and by jan. dammit. AND THAT STUPID DANCE MATT WOULD DO EVERY TIME HE GOT A QUESTION RIGHT. star wars nerd. :p
  10. going home to a POWERED-UP place at 1 a.m.
  11. my mop during my three-hour OCD cleaning fit which lasted until 4 a.m... being chased by the kittens. they like the suds. i did two loads of wash, the dishes, swept and mopped the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, cleaned litterboxes.. all in the middle of the night. oy.


  1. fish id class, to which we arrived 40 minutes late for the sake of dunkin donuts coffee (i was workin on 4 hours of sleep; it was not optional)
  2. thrift-store shopping with alli
  3. me, passed out on hollywood beach <<<>>>
  4. the guy in the speedo with a flag on it a few towels over.. why do men wear those things?!
  5. the look on my face when i arrived home from alli's at 7:40 and had to hurry to get ready and back out the door as i had made plans with lucas before i knew i was going to only get 4 hours of sleep on saturday
  6. the cider lucas handed to me upon my walking in the door. and he bought it at publix, alli! i also highly recommend the cider. with the um.. bull on it? i can't remember.
  7. enzo, lucas' dog, which i love. pit bull mix, dumb as a box of rocks, and super sweet.
  8. lucas opening the car door for me. :) yes, he's nice and cute. i feel bad for thinking he must be a jerk (not as a person, mind you; just when it comes to "women" if that makes sense) when i met him, seeing as how he's so easy on the eyes.. because he really is just horribly nice, sweet, and funny. and vulgar, too, but that's fun 'cause i am too. :)
  9. our cozy booth at the melting pot.
  10. the confusion caused by the 50 million components to the meal and the corresponding dipping sauces. "which one was the angry sauce again?"
  11. THE LOBSTER I ATE. yes, i ate lobster. is that bad? i just couldn't see letting lucas spend $85 on our main course and me only enjoy the mushroom and squash parts. that is the first time i ever ate lobster.. and it was pretty good. now, i'm not turning my back on the vegetarian thing.. and i'm really kind of confused about the whole thing.. but point is, i felt okay about it. it's not as if i ate the other stuff that came with the meal - the sirloin, the filet mignon.. don't ask me where the distinction lies, because it confuses me as well. BY THE WAY, i HIGHLY recommend this place. i'd go just for dessert, really - strawberries, marshmallows, bananas, pineapple, cheesecake, brownies.. all for dipping in chocolate sauce. yum!
  12. swimming at midnight in the backyard. on a sunday night. in boca raton. 40 minutes from here. yep, i'm a responsible girl! (i played the hurricane card this morning for work so i could catch my breath.)
and now me, so. so. so. tired and looking forward ONLY to getting home and resting..

it was a hectic weekend, and far better than i would've thought going into it.. no power? yuck! but who needs power when you have sweet friends like alli, the hoes, and lucas. :)
Friday, August 26, 2005
  Matt's pic from the hurricane

2005-8-25 Hurricane Katrina, originally uploaded by tiswango.


I left my camera at work. I remembered about it, but the stupid power was flickering at that point.. I just spelled that flickring, THANK YOU. (Use the website a little too much, Stace?) So anyway, I was not going to risk getting stuck in an elevator, so alas.. no pictures!

Good thing Matt got some. And Matt is now flickring as well. :D

  I survived!

Yahoo photo, originally uploaded by estacey.

I survived!

And I got a lot accomplished during Hurricane Katrina, such as:

1. Cleaned and scrubbed my porch
2. Washed dishes by candlelight
3. Used my divelight to clean the house, washing floors and all
4. Chased Itchy and Scratchy (or Itchy and Flaky, your choice) for, like, an hour. Finally, Itchy ran under some wood that was stacked against the wall. GOOD ENOUGH! I came out a few hours later to check on him and there he was, huddled up with his brother. My heart broke for them for the 784th time. So I brought them food.
5. Chased a skittish Catherine around until she let me pick her up. Sat with her in my bathroom while she cried. Thought better of the whole thing and took her outside to the crawlspace. She ran in. Success!'
6. Got in a fight with my scum cross-the-street neighbors who took to the street once the power went off. To SHOOT BIRDS. I swear. I saw the guy aiming, so I looked at what he could be aiming at and went, "Oh, a street sign. Okay." Then a shot. Then a bird flies away, faltering. The scum low-life neighbors proceed to cackle and slap their hands on their knees. Once I realized what they were doing, I ran over and told them what idiot low-lifes I thought they were. The girl called me a "white bitch" and told me I'd better mind my own business before she punched me in the face. "Real cute." Then I called the cops on them. :)
7. Ate a handsome dinner of cold Twistaroni out of the can.
8. Prepared a budget. Ha ha ha!
9. Took a cold shower. By divelight.
10. Fell asleep after reading approximately one page out of my current book about the Everglades.

I had my phone off most of the evening last night, due to one bar of battery remaining. It died today when talking to my boss. I'm at work now, but will hopefully not be here long as I still don't have power at my house and have some things to take care of in case it's out again tonight. i.e. BUY BATTERIES FOR MY RADIO.

It wasn't so bad. I'll admit, when things were at their worst and I was standing at my door, staring out, it was pretty scary. Tree limbs were falling all over. The wind was howling. Rain was coming down. But after that settled down, it was just like a thunderstorm. In fact, during one of the calm periods, I thought maybe I should go for a jog down to Young Circle to see what post-apocalyptic Hollywood looked like. Then I realized I'd really rather not be the recipient of a posthumous Darwin Award so went back to torturing the Kitten by PETTING HER instead.

This hurricane was supposed to hit up north, toward Palm Beach County, the worst. Instead, it made landfall at very near the Broward-Miami county line. May I state that I am two exits from Miami? Then it passed on to Miami-Dade County. Probably just because Alli was all, "Ha ha, I still have power." KARMA, ALLI, KARMA!!!

So there you have it. My first hurricane. (The others, last year, I hopped over to the west coast for.) :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005
  rock u like..

so im in it. power went out at 6 or so, in the middle
of x-files. but i have a dive light and some cold
spaghetti, so im fine. the wind is pretty fierce, and
this is just a cat 1. battery is low on cell so thats
all for now!

stacey t. <-- go look at this. please?
i'd like to know i'm not just writing for myself.
although, of course, i kind of am.

  Damn the hurricanes
We are under a hurricane warning.  Most people are home.  I'm at work.  But I'll be leaving soon and won't be back tomorrow...  I'm all unprepared with not much to eat in the house.  The cats are well provisioned, however, so most of the creatures in my house will be happy at least.
Fluffy wanted out this morning at 8.  That means I normally wouldn't see him until I came home from work.  However, Fluffy was SITTING ON MY CAR when I left at 9.  He probably has that whole animal sixth-sense thing going on and DID NOT want to be outside today.. How better to make sure Stacey doesn't spot you than sit on her car?  Smart cat, that Fluffers.
It's good I have some time at home with not much to do.  This means I can read, watch some of the blasted television, do some yoga, and clean out the long-neglected fish bowl.  Maybe tackle my closet (it is the worse setup ever) but I don't count on it.
I had my first night of speech class last night.  I like this teacher a lot, even if I don't like the subject at all.  I'll suffer through.  And the great thing is that it only took me 15 minutes to get there.  For those of you in South Florida, I gotta take 5-95 to get there.  And be there by 6.  Yes, 5-95 during rush hour!  I am feeling more and more like Hollywood was a good choice for location (location, location!). 
Pray for me - the storm won't be bad, but pleasepleaseplease let our power stay on.  :)
  I am the biggest softie on the planet.
Riding the Underdog Railroad - Yahoo! News

The bad stuff makes me cry, but so does the good stuff.. :)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
  Happy 278th, Dawn!

sid and her bday cake, originally uploaded by ketj.


I don't mean to be a downer, but you do realize this means you'll be 30 in two years. I boggled this the whole time I walked to the store today. 30. Two years. Don't think I'm making fun of you, because my very next thought is: That means I will be 30 in two years. In five months. AGGH!

Anyway, back to the original point: have a great one, baby. You're the sweetest girl ever, yet you always make me feel loved for being bad (you do know we're going to hell, right? but, together). And that's nice too. :) Love you!!!

By the way, I hope someone makes you cake that looks NOTHING LIKE THE ONE IN THE PICTURE! :D

  And the crying commences.
Sun-Sentinel: South Florida weather

A hurricane? By myself? With all those cats outside to worry about? I hope they know they can go under the house. Cry, cry..
  here's mini fluffy, the first to leave the bedroom..

but where were the others?

  found the others - behind the door

  stop with the flash, lady!

  and more fighting..

Fight, fight, originally uploaded by estacey.

  once i woke them up, the play-fighting ensued

  the flash woke them up. they went straight for mama, who ran away.. you see her tail in this picture, making its getaway.

The flash woke them up.., originally uploaded by estacey.

  the black one just slept

  mama jumps up on the bed..

  for head scratches

And to get head scratches.., originally uploaded by estacey.

Monday, August 22, 2005
  Phitar really has the most amazing photos

frog at sunset, originally uploaded by phitar.

  The kittens are not playing fair

Mini Fluffy, asleep, originally uploaded by estacey.

So I am going to HAVE to give them away someday, right? Do you think they make this easy on me? No!

Mini Fluffy, aka Fluffball, was licking my finger the other day. Since I was trying to get them to eat - and having no luck - I thought to dip my finger in the food and let her lick it off. She totally got into it and actually started licking the food. Success! But that was Friday and, so far, she's the only one who's eaten anything. She eats with gusto, though, so I'm hoping the other ones notice...!

Well, last night I was laying on the floor by my bed. They're all under my bed now. I had given them a plate of food, which Fluffball and Mamacat attacked. The other cats just kinda walked through it and stuff. Anyway, while I was laying there, watching the amazingness that is the Kittens, the little black cat came over and started scratching at the shadow of my arm cast on my leg. I was basically in the fetal position. Next thing I know, black cat is cuddled up with me, by my tummy, and sleeping. Great, I thought, as it was about 2 a.m. and I was aiming for bed with a book. Instead, I was laying on the hot, litter-strewn floor by my bed. Dammit.

And it gets worse! Then Fluffball finished eating and came over, right by the black cat. She started doing the comfy-kitty feet thing that Fluffy does all the time.. He walks around on the bed, stomping his feet.. like the paw thing, but moving.. She apparently was very tired as she kept blinking... then falling asleep.. then falling down and smacking her face on the floor, so she'd be startled awake and the whole thing would happen over again. I took pity on her and put my hand under her head. She snuggled down on it and went to sleep. So there I was, spooning with a tiny black cat and my hand propping Fluffball's head up. I was so so so not comfortable but so so so did not care; life does not get any sweeter than that.

Finally, I realized I couldn't stay there all night, so I gently set Fluffball's head down and she kept sleeping.. I saw that under my hand, she had crossed her little arms to go to sleep. It was about the cutest thing I had ever seen.

I love that they like people off the bat. They have no reason to like me at this point; it's been Mama giving them all their food. But they do mosey on over if I sit down by them. They do curl up to sleep by me. It's great.

So anyway, once I sat up, I saw my purse (and therefore camera) were in reach, so I snapped this picture.. And I love the picture, because it captured a memory, not just a moment. :)

Friday, August 19, 2005
  And now to cleanse the palette..

The cutest dog ever, all two pounds of him! His name was Louie and all I could think when I held him is that he was full-grown yet just a wee bit bigger than the kittens!

  I'm sorry to do this to you.

Really, I am. But if I had to see it, so do you. It was worse in person, too. F'real.

I'm trying to get better with the stealth photography thing. This lady didn't suspect anything and I was standing four feet away. But alas, no flash!

  *bluebirds chirp*
This weekend, I have a Scubaboard get-together tomorrow afternoon, and Sunday should bring a long, lazy day in the sun, reading and diving. Hopefully I will also get my ass to the gym and I have long neglected the butt-blaster and I am never going to create a respectable ass out of my white-girl, flat-as-a-pancake butt without it.

I was thinking.. It's funny to think what changes my life has seen in the past year. I only have a benchmark because today is Ed's birthday. But this day last year, I was:

1. Working at that horrible, horrible office in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
2. Renting from Seth in Coconut Creek
3. Spending an hour on the road to get to my place from work every night
4. Then spending another 30-45 minutes to get from my place to Ed's every night
5. The owner of one cat. ONE. ONE ONE ONE!
6. NOT DIVING YET. I couldn't even swim at this time last year. COULD NOT SWIM.

Now I:

1. Work at a much better place, despite the fact that I'm bored most of the day. There are worse things than being bored, right?
2. Renting from my landlord and LIVE ALONE
3. Have a commute time of approximately three minutes
4. Have more cats. I will leave the math up to you. And they are the most important little things in my life. I can feel my blood pressure sinking every day when I go home and greet them.. Kitten gets a head scratch, til she starts crying.. Fluffers takes extra-gooey love, in any form.. Elliot likes to stomp around on me with his claws out (ow!) as I rub his head.. Mama gets the belly rubs.. and the kittens get belly scratches.. lord.
5. Try to dive weekly. I can't believe I didn't dive for the first three years I lived here!

Lots of changes. On one hand it is sad.. I had a person I cared about to make lop-sided birthday cakes for... I had a person who was leaving for Pennsylvania the next day that I hugged and kissed and told I'd miss.. Tonight, on the other hand, it will be me and my pride (of cats, not that other kind, for alas I've lost all that on Hollywood Boulevard) and a bowl of homemade pasta. Not that this is a bad thing. :)

You know, the other day driving home, I passed nearby that old office. I had a flashback to me standing in the women's bathroom, crying so hard I couldn't breathe. It was after a fight.. I was saying I couldn't live without him, that he was my everything - he was my best friend, I lived there, HOW CAN I LIVE WITHOUT SUKI AND LUCY!?!?! I thought of this while in the passenger seat of Alli's car last Sunday, after a long, lovely day in the sun and eating ice cream bars that were making a mess of both of us.. This probably makes no sense, except in my own head.. It's just strange that I pictured my life as this big void without him, when in fact, I had people and things swirl in from a dozen directions that filled my life with happiness, laughter, cat hair on all my shirts, and sand in my bathtub.

I guess there are many ways to have a happy life. Petty theft, stray cats, pointless photojournalism, conch molestation, getting all the "inside" jokes on Friends, and occasionally pissing off the neighbors.. Well, that seems to be working for me right now, even in the shadow of overdraft fees and funny noises my car is making. :)
  Oh lord, this made me laugh
Open Letter: "Flying Spaghetti Monster "

If y'all checked out my links and are reading like good people should, then you've seen this already. If no, go read!
  Awesome photo tag on Flickr
Flickr: Photos tagged with savedbythedeletemegroup

Sometimes I have a hard time finding pics of interest on Flickr simply because.. well, I look for tags like "kitten" and "sloth" and those pics are always cute, but they don't lead to STUNNING pictures.. and how do you do a search for that?

Then I came across this group today, the Delete Me group. It's like American Idol for pictures.. and trust me, people get very rude. Basically, if you have a good picture, you submit it.. people can tag it "deleteme" or "saveme" and if you get enough SaveMes, then the picture is tagged with "Savedbythedeletemegroup".. Do a search for that tag and you'll see some awesome damn pictures.
  Look! It's a vegetarian lhasa apso!

My Unhappy Baby !, originally uploaded by bocavermelha.

This lady has some really cool pictures, not of domestic canines. More of Africa, diving Indonesia, etc...

Thursday, August 18, 2005
  My 2nd cousin, Sierra

michelle, sierra, mary, originally uploaded by dawny.

Look at the size of this kid! She's six months old!

  I am one tired mamacita.

That's what I get for going out on a school night, I guess.

Lucas is funny. I like to tease him. You know, like one night he was supposed to call me and didn't. I told him that I've seen "The Big Lebowski" and that I know how things like this work. (One of his jack-of-all trades is he's a contractor for the cable company.) All I'm saying is that it must be very difficult going through life so.. pretty.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005
  Another batch came up, but still not all of them!

:), originally uploaded by estacey.

  Kitten therapy

M, originally uploaded by estacey.

I took some pictures when I went home today at lunch. I meant to go home and do some chores, but then I went to check on the kittens and, well, they're entrancing. After a half hour of laying and watching them bounce around, I started feeling guilty for not taking pictures recently so broke out the camera..

I posted a whole bunch but only about half have shown up yet. Frustration!

They're 25 days old now and officially cute and playful. And hideously difficult to photograph still. Ah well.. :)


Weds 2, originally uploaded by jakedobkin.

Yesterday, I bought a newspaper. I set it on top of my car to gather my things. The wind caused some papers to fly out of it. I couldn't get them to stop, and next thing I knew, I was swearing OUT LOUD, grabbing all the paper, and STUFFING IT IN THE GARBAGE CAN. Then I thought calmly, "Damn, now I don't get to read the newspaper."

Instead, like the night before, I went to sleep SUPER early and had lots of wacko dreams. Things like Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood getting married at my apartment.

Ed's birthday is Friday. My nature would be to mention it, tease him a little for getting older, and ask what he's doing. Then the thought occurs to me that I may very well not want to know what he's doing on his Friday night birthday. Sigh.

Hopefully tomorrow there will be new pics to add to the margarita set; I really need a night.. away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
  People suck.
Animal Concerns Community- Dogfighting article

I know this is a topic we come back to often, but it is one that often comes to mind.

I'm reading a book called "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. We read the first chapter long ago in one of my classes and it stuck with me, so I am finally reading the book.

For those of you who have read it, last night I got to the water buffalo scene. It was horrible, and after I read it, I had to put the book down and cry. And cry and cry and cry.

I absolutely hate that people are the way we are and that will never change. I think as time goes on, civilization becomes more and more enlightened, and therefore strives to be more humane.. But there are always going to be creeps. There are always going to be jerks who kill kittens and fight dogs and starve horses.

I think that the fact that it's human nature to be horrible to others, whether they're people or animals, is awfully depressing. I don't understand the desire to make someone else unhappy. I don't understand the desire to watch something suffer. I hate that we have it in us to somehow be fulfilled by causing suffering. Sigh.
Monday, August 15, 2005
  Me & a kitten - picture by Chris

Me & a kitten - picture by Chris, originally uploaded by estacey.

Look what a nice pic this is! It was taken with Thor, my dream camera, a Nikon D70. They have a nice flash, too - it was dark in this room when they took the picture, more or less. I had to upload it to my own account, Bethy, because I love it. Thank you!!

  Night out with the Bollers

I haven't had time to write, but you can look at the photographic evidence that I have NOT yet destroyed on this set:

  Check out this set!

Bad pic 3, originally uploaded by estacey.

I decided it'd be a good idea in the Chamber Lounge to take everyone's pic from below. I was crying in between the takes because they made me laugh so hard.

Also, I met Jim Defede at that bar. A pic is up there somewhere.

  Sunday in the Water
Alli & I went diving Sunday morning with Donna, Bill, Susan, and Donna's friend Kevin. We were going to go at Victoria Park, but they had parking and I had a very unexciting experience diving there before. As Datura & Hibiscus are at present being ripped apart, leaving them parking- and shower-less, I suggested the condo at last minute. Good call.

We somehow lost the others within the first, oh, five minutes of the dive. This is okay, as Alli was carrying a flag. We had a nice, leisurely dive. After the dive, we showered and hung out under the patio umbrellas and talked for a while. Then the rest of the gang took off as Alli went for food and air fills. After refueling, we went back in the water.

On this dive, Alli pointed out this completely weird, alien creature. You know those wide, deep holes that go on as far as you can see? Well, creatures do live in them, and we saw it. It is some kind of mantis. Some ALIEN mantis. Big huge eyes. Seriously weird. We also saw the biggest moray eel I've ever seen.. four or five feet? And not being shy at all. It was awesome.

And now for the weirdest part - thermoclines! The viz was SO BAD on our second dive that I lost Alli at one point and surfaced.. She had surfaced too and we were all of 15 feet apart. The water was also HOT. Hot hot hot. Annoyingly hot. At one point, when I was laying in the sand to get a good look at something tiny, I felt the water was cooler down there. As we swam east, that cooler thermocline fortunately began to take up the bottom five feet rather than just the bottom one foot. Alli & I swam as close as we could to the reef to enjoy the cooler water. The temperature difference was crazy, though - I could raise my hand and the water up there was HOT. Many degrees warmer. I only wish I had the computer on at the time. Also, the warmer water was where the bad viz was, so while we swam in the cool water, it was as if we were swimming under a hazy sky. If I raised my head into it, I couldn't see ten feet away; Alli disappeared. Lower again and there Alli and the fish were, plain as day.

I had the best time diving Sunday that I had had in a while. It was as it should be - relaxed, a walk through the woods. I love it down there. :)
Friday, August 12, 2005
  Alas, I have no one to have an anniversary with
Mermaid Cat And Scuba Diving Cat - Anniversary Card

If I did, you bet I'd give them this card.
  Food? Food? Food food?

Turtles, following, originally uploaded by estacey.

Tomorrow afternoon, I am meeting up with a nice turtle lady who is going to give my cooter a nice home. (Ha ha ha, I already know your jokes.) Seems I'll never get her ready for life in the Everglades - she won't eat anything but pellets! And the other option is investing all over in a turtle setup for her.. and she'll be huge someday so that won't be good enough anyway. Luckily, I had me a connection and suggested Mary. Mary has several indoor enclosures, as well as a huge outdoor pond. And she feeds them every day, which means little Scooter can be stubborn and just want pellets, if she wants to.

She sent me this picture. She said she was going to feed them and it appeared they were a bit overanxious. See all those turtle heads in the background? I'm looking forward to visiting her place someday in Loxahatchee.

  The club is full of Bollers...

steadygirl, originally uploaded by cooks.

Tonight, Alli & I are going out with the Bethy & Chris for their last night in town. I've been given some suggestions on where to take them, lucky for me. A pub was one. A pub! They should appreciate the South Florida attempt at one, I'm sure.

I went home today for a bit to escape the boredom of work and, well, let's just say I love the cats, in case that point had yet to be driven home. Mama was on the bed, for some reason, and Fluffy and Elliot followed me in to say hi. Everyone was purring and snuggling.. big orgy of kitty love. Quite sweet.

Mamacat's new name is Jezebelle. Thanks for the suggestion, Alli! Close to her old name, Jesse, but much more appropriate.

Thursday, August 11, 2005
  And so the word begins to catch on..
We have this friend named Manny. I saw him on one of the first night dives I did with Matt and then not again for months.. See, Manny often backs out of plans or does not show up when expected. Alli & I started using the phrase "Manny out" when speaking of flaking, as in: Sunday morning, we Mannied out on a dive because we were out late the night before. I teased Manny about it, and next thing I see..

stacey t.: i hear you and alli have a wager
Manny : we do?
stacey t.: yeah
stacey t.: about your dir checkout dives or whatever
Manny : i wont manny out on the class dives

I just about died when I saw that. MANNY is using the phrase NAMED FOR HIM. Oh god, it's totally going to catch on now.

Later, he shows his acceptance by defining the word for me:

Manny : manny (verb): to break plans on something you have not committed yourself to or to break plans on something youve committed yourself to and pay the price for it
  My babies growin' up so fast!

So. Cute., originally uploaded by estacey.

Last night, I sat by the babies for a while and watched them. It was amazing how quickly they've grown.. The black cat is shakily walking.. A couple of them were crawling up and peering over the side of their "nest".. They apparently just learned to suck and play within the past couple of days.. It was awesome. One would lick another. One would suck on its hand. Black cat would bobble his way around the nest. One actually (play) bit another's ear. Movement, action!

Mama is actually ASKING for attention regularly now. Unfortunately, she prefers me to sit on the floor while I'd prefer to sit her in bed with me. But last night, she finally hung out in bed with me for a little while. Then Fluffy came up and they play fought. And let me tell you, Mama holds her own. It was very cool. They would "bite" each other, then lick one another.. Very sweet to see littermates interacting like that.

Anyway, there's the cat update! I hope to get more pictures in the LIGHT of them MOVING soon. I so need another set of hands to do it, though!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  This made me laugh out loud. Does that make me a bad person?
The Onion | Why Somebody Always Around Every Time I Drop My Baby?
  I love sub-cultures..

Bears, originally uploaded by AlanLK.
Especially if they consist of flabby, hairy, bare-chested men who like to make out with each other..

It was only a matter of time before I started using Flickr to look up weird sexual stuff, right?

  Another nice t-shirt
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
  How to charm me*

Visited By An Angel.., originally uploaded by * HoNe$t *.

Open your email with "Pretty Girl,"

*Yes, I know this is dooce's line. It fits so well, though.

  So this is what a baby cat that looks like a hand looks like.

Cupid's First Picture, originally uploaded by Venus927.

  I've been blogged at Gatofilos

And I'm in damn good company. Bookmarked!
  Awesome set of pics taken by my budd Matt Hoe
Capt Dan and Samie's Reef on Avid Diver

Awesome, awesome pictures.
  Chris & his nice designated-driver drink.

Chris gettin all coked up.., originally uploaded by estacey.

Bless you, Chris! :)

  Look how happy that margarita has made her.

"Do I really have to finish it?", originally uploaded by estacey.

  Bethy & Chris @ Cancun Mexican Grill

I hadn't seen Bethy since she got married, in 2000. Wow, huh? She and Chris are doing a two-week U.S. tour (NYC, New Orleans, & Miami), so I was lucky enough to get to see her.. They drove up to Hollywood ("We got a convertible, baby; we'll drive anywhere"), met all my cats, then we went out to eat. OF COURSE WE WENT FOR MARGARITAS.

I absolutely love these folks. They have two fishies they named Jeffrey & Finley. They name their cameras (the D70 is Thor - how appropriate). They take Spanish classes together. They're just.. very sweet. Very much what you'd hope for in a partnership.

Bethy & I went to the bathroom together and walking back to our table, giggling, it struck me how sad it is I only get to hang out with her once every, oh, five years.

After we FINISHED our margaritas, we went back to my place with the top down and Chris took pics of the kittens. Looking forward to seeing those!

So, yes, very nice visit. Alli & I are trying to figure out a cool thing to do with them on Friday night, their last night in town. Suggestions?

After they left, Mamacat and I had a breakthrough! I was laying in bed and Mama came over to the bedside and meowed. "Whatcha want, baby?" I picked her up and put her in the bed with me. I rubbed her chubby little tummy and we PLAYED - I had no idea she was a playful cat 'til then! Then I did something that spooked her and she hopped away.. but within 30 seconds, was back at my bedside, meowing.

I thought this was great! great! great! until this morning, when it was still half-dark outside and Mama tried to crawl up the side of my bed. But hey, how cute, huh? She likes me now. She wants to be around me. I get all teary-eyed writing that! :)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cor blimey!, originally uploaded by BethBoller.

And then we are going out. For margaritas. Ha ha ha!

  Lunchtime photo shoot

Got some pics of the babies! Go look! I took the whole nest out on the porch, Mama included. Of course, Kitten started hissing and getting mad, so Mama ran back to her lair. I went to check on her and she had pooped on the floor. This is the first time she's pooped outside of the litterbox in weeks. And just so she knew it was no accident, she pooped RIGHT NEXT to the litterbox. Ah well, I HAD stolen her babies; I guess I deserve that.

The kittens are very cute right now. Very sad looking, though, with their big, sorrowful eyes. Hard as hell to get pictures of. Seriously, if a picture of a kitten is in focus, I consider it a keeper.

They're starting to get a little more movement, a little more personality. The black one is pretty interesting. We caught him cleaning himself a week ago, which was pretty amazing. Now he lays around on his back and kicks and stuff. Very cute stuff.

I get six more weeks of this! Then.. well, we'll deal with that when we come to it.

  The weekend
You saw what happened Friday night. Wooo, that was a good time.

Saturday, I spent the morning recovering, which mostly involved trying to drink water and complaining about my headache. Lucas made Donna & I breakfast and then I headed home to nurse myself back to the place where you are comfortable, say, leaving a dark bedroom. Then I called Alli & we decided to take a bike ride to the beach at around sunset and go hang out down there. Unfortunately, it started to pour right around the time she arrived, so instead we.. of course.. went out for Mexican. We managed to stay at that place for, um, like 3 hours. At least, I am pretty sure we put three hours worth of quarters in the meter and we had 4 minutes remaining when we got back. Alli is adorable.. If she weren't engaged, I'd be proposing domestic partnership right now. Alas, I have no mullet, so she probably wouldn't go for it anyway.

Sunday we were supposed to dive at 9 with Scubaboard. Alli announced before bed that she didn't think we'd make the dive. I woke up at 6 feeling horrendous (sick, not hungover, thank you very much) so figured I'd leave it to fate - if Alli or I woke up before the dive, we'd go. We both slept til 11. Whoops.

So we went for breakfast at IHOP and Alli fantasized at length about the guy who owned this car.

My bud Bethy is in town, and I was supposed to get together with her, but after the pancakes, I was still feeling pretty icky (" "). I called her to get permission to Manny out of the whole thing, since they're in town til Saturday. She was cool with it, so we're getting together tonight instead.

Get this - Saturday, after they arrived in MIA, Bethy & her husband Chris had a little while to kill in their convertible before they could check into their hotel. So they drove to Hollywood. "Went to a Publix." "Which Publix?" "The one by a huge roundabout." "THAT'S MY PUBLIX!!!!" Bethy was at my Publix! The best part is that I had just been there to get quarters - we missed each other by less than a half hour. Had I seen my friend who lives in ENGLAND at MY PUBLIX, I would've fainted.

Yesterday, just as I had settled in for an evening of doing nothing - as in, I had no food in the house so decided I just wouldn't eat dinner - I got a call from Lucas, who was in Hollywood. I had some things I needed his help with, so he came over. It was great having a man in the house, for a little bit! I had him open all my jars, kill a bunch of bugs, leave the toilet seat up.. He also got the flashlight open that NO ONE ELSE COULD. Yay, upper body strength! Then we went out for yummy Italian food and I spilled a glass of wine. I still can't get over the fact his family lives in Viroqua, that he's been there.. The accent is proof, but still. :)

The kittens are growing cuter every single day, I swear. I am taking pictures. Soon. I already dread the idea of giving them away, sending them into the unknown..

What else? Oh, Elliot is cute.

  Classy guy, spotted yesterday at IHOP..

Saturday, August 06, 2005
  Another gem from the set.

If Donna had just been in the corner, making that face.. maybe I could photoshop that in there somehow.

  Toby Keith concert

Donna, Stacey, Alli. Cute. :), originally uploaded by estacey.

Dammit, dammit, dammit. I did a writeup for this and then the power went out! And I don't have time to re-write it, so it'll have to wait until Monday.


I do have to mention that the fine man in the pics, Lucas, is from Wisconsin. Lake Geneva. "But most of my family lives in La Crosse now.. well, in a little tiny town named Viroqua." Viroqua. My hometown. Population 4,500 in the middle of nowhere. He knows people I know. He lived there for 6 months. Entirely too weird.

Anyway, go look at the pics!

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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