Thursday, June 29, 2006
this cracked me up!

i didn't realize there were so many of them!

came across this subject at work...
if you have pets, research what you're feeding them!
(watch those by-products and "meals"!)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
  Miami heat's on fire
So, yeah, the heat sure has kicked in.

I was driving to work today when the song "Bojangles" by Pit Bull came on. Or is it Pitbull? Anyway, he changed the lyrics of it from "lick it, lick it" to "dribble, dribble" once the Heat got to, uh, the World Cup or whatever they have. He changed his sex-oriented song to be about basketball. Okay.

Anyway, so that got me to thinking about the fact that our sports team is named the Miami Heat. That should tell you something about our summers, right? Los Angeles has the Raiders (raiders are scary, right?) and Minnesota has the Vikings (they plundered! that's scary!). Chicago has the Bears.. and while bears are quite cute and resemble dogs, they also can eat people (scary!). Toronto has the Ma.. uh.. wait, this doesn't quite support my idea, so nevermind. But, yeah, Miami has the HEAT. And it's THAT HEAT that I get to drive around in all day, wear jeans in all day, jog in, work out in.. WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING!

I actually don't mind so much usually.. strangely, it doesn't bother me so much while working out or anything. And we still turn the air conditioning off at night and I'm dependent upon a window and cyclone-strong ceiling fan to make the air sleepable. But it's driving-in-work-clothes stuff is enough to make me road rage at a simmering pace each time I get a red light.

Someone wrote me to see if they could use my White Trash Bride picture of my sister in a book they're putting out next year. Of course I said yes, but I have to get my sister to agree.

White trash bride

I'll get a copy of the book as compensation. Hehe.

Hmm, okay, I think it's time to wash all this sand off!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I finally bought an MP3 player today.

After much, much talking myself out of it, I finally did it.

See, I don't spend much dough anymore. I spend money on food and cats and food for the cats, but beyond that I don't spend all that much. So forking over $100 at one time, for something that's optional, is enough to make my heart start beating a little faster; I had so much time in the apartment where I was close to $0 (or under) by the time payday hit that I constantly worry about getting there again.

However, this is a long-overdue purchase. I go to the gym. I like to jog. My car stereo works only intermittently. AND I LOVE MUSIC. Plus, you can now buy these things for pretty darn cheap.

So here it is. I wanted a Rio Forge Sport really bad (the kind I got my niece, so one I've held in my hand and thought was adorable) - they're have slots for SD cards so are expandable. But this ended up being a better deal, and is a well-reviewed product.

$63, with shipping. I hate spending the money, but OHMYGOD I can't wait until it gets here. :)
  Ha ha ha!

Fwd: hairy teeth, originally uploaded by estacey.

This is Alli's husband Luis's tattoo.

Alli pointed out that it looks as if this guy has a monstrous cold sore, care of nipple placement.

That's all I can see when I look at this now.

Monday, June 26, 2006
FORTUNE EXCLUSIVE: The world's second richest man - who's now worth $44 billion - tells editor-at-large Carol Loomis he will start giving away 85% of his wealth in July - most of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I know I seem to be pretty much animal focused in my thinking and concerns, but I do let the people news sink in from time to time.  I recently read a Time (or was it Newsweek?) article about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was absolutely in awe of what they have accomplished.  They have proven that, if you're filthy rich and want to make a difference for good, you can.  Pretty impressive.
On the subject of philanthropy, I'm halfway through the book Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty.  It's pretty amazing stuff, and more of what reminds me how effing lucky I was to be born into a poor Wisconsin family rather than a poor Bangladeshi one. 
  don't invite me to your party.

Not me, originally uploaded by Doug Lloyd.

ahh.. such an old lady, at a mere 28.

saturday night, one of balu's friends was having a crepes party. adriana would make the crepes, then we would fill them with the various fillings we brought. they were reeeeally yummy, and it was about the best even i could've wished for at my "forget about eating healthy" meal of the week.

since adriana & her husband live in a big house in miami beach, with a few spare bedrooms, we brought overnight things and swimsuits with the plan to go to the beach the next day.

by about 10 p.m., i was yawning on the porch. i called amanda to wish her a happy birthday since when i called earlier, she was in the middle of a nap. as i went to hang up, i said, "i love you, manda!" she responded with, "yeah, ok, bye!" ahh, the warmth. then balu joined me on the porch, where we talked as i blinked slowly and watched the traffic on alton road.

by midnight, i went from wishing i could go to bed but knowing it was too early to really wanting to go to bed and trying to figure out where those extra bedrooms were.

by 12:30, i was in bed, with the party continuing on the floor below.

all i could think was, "oh my god, i'm, like, the worst party guest EVER." in my defense, i had been up since 7 a.m., but let's not take that two-hour nap i took at 3 p.m. into account.

so, yeah, i'm that girl who can't stay awake past midnight at a party. sad, sad stuff.

Saturday, June 24, 2006
  whee :)
this website never fails to crack me up:

i bought new running shoes yesterday! my knees were all sore (probably from the lunges, but it could've been the run!) after my workout the other night, and i thought about it and realized i hadn't bought new shoes in foreeeevvveerrrrrrrr. so i went to and was so happy i chose that over, say, sports authority. they watch you walk to see what type of feet you have (mine: neutral), then have you try on shoes, make you wiggle your toes like ma used to do, then invite you to go for a quick jog outside to see how they feel. then the saleswoman suggested i take them for a full workout on a treadmill to make sure they were good for me so i could bring 'em back if they weren't! the phrase "you get what you pay for" comes back again and again, doesn't it?

i'm really enjoying the whole working-out thing, rather than trudging along as i have in the past. i'm going to see what kind of time i can get on a 5k on july 9, i think, then see how much i can improve that over the next few months. it's nice to have something to work towards other than those size 6 jeans.

today after our workout, i got my new swimsuit on and went to bask on the shore. the sun went away. i slept instead. i woke up to hear that the today show was interviewing people about summer reading. i tucked my book under my whole foods bag. i was sweaty and, after my nap, probably covered in sand. well, there goes the chance at my 15 minutes...

random thought of the day: why are people so goddamn crazy? honestly, do they not realize they're saying the things aloud that they are? you'd think you'd have some sense of "crazy" and "normal" and "things you should say out loud" and "things that will make me sound like a complete asshole." but apparently not.
Friday, June 23, 2006
  For any of those of you who know Bill..

Bill 86, originally uploaded by prissyhimmykitty.

You're giggling now. :)

  Earth-friendly diapers!
Flushable, biodegradeable, and even compostable! 
In case I ever have a little eat-n-poop machine someday, it's nice I would have an earth-friendly option other than cloth diapers..  Awesome!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
  nope, not fluffy
I figured it wouldn't be, but had to check.
While I was at the shelter today at lunch, I absolutely fell in love with a pretty little kitty.  It happens every time.  She danced by the bars to her cage, doing that paw thing, while I rubbed her chin.  Aww.
The thing that got me today was that there was a set of cats, a boy and a girl, obviously siblings.  They were tucked away in the corner of their cage, looking sad.  I looked at their little info sheet and saw that they had been surrendered by their owner, today.  They had similar names, were fixed..  These were pets.  Two years old.  I felt so bad, thinking of how scared my cats get at the vet's office.  Cats just are not good outside their comfort zone... And that lady's house, wherever it was, was their comfort zone for the past couple of years.  I'm guessing.  And now they were at the shelter with a release signed by their former "mama" saying that yes, she knew that they would be put down.  That was okay. 
They're competing with the kittens, so lord knows what will happen to them.. It's so unfair.  :(
  Need a reason to not eat fish?
Or at least to educate yourself about what you're eating? Or what you shouldn't be?

Watch this video on trawling. The waste of life caused by this method of fishing is nauseating.

"Around the world about 44 billion pounds of fish are wasted each year- 25 percent of the global catch. Nearly 1,000 species of marine life are caught as bycatch-caught inadvertently and later returned back to sea, usually dead-in the North Pacific groundfish fisheries (NMFS 1998). This bycatch includes hundreds of millions of pounds of halibut, crab, salmon and other species. This vast array of species, some with significant ecological importance, is dumped back to sea dead or dying because they are too small, the wrong sex, the wrong species, or of no immediate economic value.". --

The bycatch is on the left, the target shrimp on the right. Amazing, eh?

"Few people are aware of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of small whales, known as dolphins and porpoises, that are killed every year in frightening numbers as a direct result of entanglement in fishing gear. In fact considerably more dolphins are killed today than all the great whales that were killed at the height of the mechanized commercial hunts that brought many species to the brink of extinction."

Even the birds aren't safe!

It's amazing to me what people think their meals are worth.

Zicatela #2, originally uploaded by konaboy.

Not exactly shore diving conditions... (These waves are 20-25 feet high!)

  I wanna go here.

Life's a beach [on Ko Poda], originally uploaded by Kalabird.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
  Mandy's about to be a teenager

Stacey & Amanda, originally uploaded by estacey.

It's my niece's 13th birthday on Saturday. It really bothers me I can't be there.

Since I acted as her night-shift mom for the summer she was born, I feel like she's my baby.

I realized a couple of months ago, though, that while I still feel like I still know her, I worry that she doesn't know me anymore. She was at an age when I left Wisconsin when memories fade more than our adult ones do.. I hope she wants to come visit me on her holiday breaks sometime soon, so she can get to know me again and I can give her a blast of a time in Florida.

So anyway, now I'm stuck trying to find her a gift that is appropriately special for her special day. Nothing seems to fit the bill. Grr.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I looked up the tag "stray cats" for this post and wound up with the touching photo that became my last entry.

Anyway, I'm still feeding the two stray girls that live down the street. And the one's very wild kitten. And the possum that toddles over every once in a while. I skipped one night a few Fridays ago, rationalizing that it's good for them to not depend on me every day. Plus, I was tired. Saturday afternoon, I felt horribly guilty about how hungry they seem. So now it's an every-night routine.

Saturday night, after Balu & I had gone jetskiing and then used our proximity to Las Olas to go out for a yummy meal and a lychee martini, we were on our way back home at around 11 or so. We were both very tired and ready for bed, with a dive planned for the morning. All of a sudden, I realized I hadn't fed the girls yet. "Balu! I need to feed the cats! I need food!"

We were nearing a Walgreens at the time. We passed it just as I said, "Let's go there!" So Balu made a U-turn and we went to Walgreens for some overpriced Friskies.

I was pretty impressed that I did not get a hint of a hint of a hint of annoyance at my request. I'm pretty sure my bunny-huggin' tendencies are a pain-in-the-ass thing sometimes, so I sure love it when I find people that don't seem to agree. :)
  This is about the saddest thing I've ever read.

"One of the things that was really hard for me traveling in Myanmar was the way dogs are treated (and cats too I spose, tho they just stay out of sight, with none of the abject desire for love that dogs display). They are considered little more than scavengers, something that takes more than its share, and its share isn't enough to live on.

"The dogs, in their endless loyalty, would still pick their families, pin their ears and dodge the kicks and rocks, come around, but not so close you could hurt them, and live in uneasy symbiosis with the people. In my time there, I only saw two "pet" dogs.

"As pups, they are sometimes played with, but soon become wary and unfriendly as no one can be relied upon not to whack them. With few exceptions, they all look remarkably alike too, as if sired by the same mongrel papa.

"Found this little guy sleepily warming himself in the ashes of a fire. I came as close as I could without making him leave his spot, but often found myself fighting the urge to gather up the young ones in my arms, to return with 57 Burmese strays & their accompanying vermin.

"My housemates are relieved I showed restraint."

Hopefully Myanmar will be enlightened someday soon.

  The Morning News - Mine & Theirs - Black & White & Read All Over

Angelina Jolie turning into cat lady but with babies instead of cats.

Now, like the rest of the planet, I love me some Angelina, even despite the article in Rolling Stone when she admitted to having her pet snake put to sleep because she didn't, um, have time for it? Also, her tattoos are awfully pretentious ("What nourishes us also consumes us" - in Latin) and the whole public affinity for knives was pretty annoying.

Anyway, what kinda of quote is this? "We don't know which -- which country. But we're looking at different countries. And we're -- I'm just -- it's gonna be the balance of what would be best for Mad and for Z right now. It's, you know, another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids."

If race, ethnicity, and nationalities shouldn't matter, why are they taking any of those into account when "choosing" their next child? Seems odd. It sounds as if they're building a collection.

Teddy bear USB drive great for geeks, terrifying for children.

The Morning News cracks me up every day. :)

Last night was my first Pilates class. It was great! The instructor was this awesome older lady - strong, funny.. and she didn't make me do partner stretches with a funny-smelling guy. I love doing all these types of workouts.. Just when I think I'm doing pretty well at boot camp, then I do something like last night and realize that I have all these body parts that still really need attention. Before I had done some cardio and afterwards I did a few minutes of weight lifting, so I had a really good workout in all.

The bloodmobile was parked outside the gym, so at 9 p.m., I turned my head away and offered up my arm. Blech, I hate giving blood. Then I met Balu for grocery shopping. A pretty productive night, if you ask me!
Monday, June 19, 2006
  And my inner environmentalist sighs
So Balu has this client who owns a $2 million house on Las Olas but lives in Virginia. He invited Balu to take his jetskis out for some "exercise." Balu and I both kinda eh'd at the idea; I'd never been on one but didn't have much of a desire to change that. Jetskis, like snowmobiles, are loud, obnoxious, and fuel wasters. Typically their riders are inconsiderate on the water and often well-deserving of the wrath they get from divers, sailors, and other boaters. Then Balu's client asked him, please, take them out. He'd pay for the gas. So Saturday evening we took them out for a test run. Sad to say, but I had fun! We took them out to the ocean, which was a bit too choppy, and down to the area off the beach where I work out. We both wished we had snorkel gear so we could go check out the water -- but next time!

The jetski I was using had a broken speedometer, so I have no idea what I got it up to. Probably not all that fast; I'd start to go fast, woo-wooing the whole way, but then would get a bit too fast for my liking. Once we hit the flat water in the port on our way back to the house, however, I floored it. It was awesome. And I saw a school of fish, apparently being chased, jumping out of the water in sync four or five times. It was awesome.So, sigh, they're pretty fun. But I doubt I'll ever have a spare $10k, so no worries on becoming someone who jetskis often..

Yesterday morning, Balu and I, with his friends Roy, Michelle, and Geoff, went out for a dive. The water was less than ideal, but the diver offered up its usual surprises: two soapfish sightings, the lookdowns, a baby porcupinefish, a school of pipefish (?), a school of jacks swimming over the reef and ducking into holes in perfect harmony.. It was a really nice time, better than I was expecting from the lack of viz and abundance of surge.. It was a fairly short excursion for us (an hour) before we decided to call it a dive, but I suppose there's no reason to stay out to use your air up if you've had your share of underwater fun. I felt bad, though, because Geoff & Michelle are fairly new divers.. well, Geoff dove a lot when he was younger but not so much anymore. Michelle was really new and it was probably less than ideal for her. Hopefully she'll give it another shot.

Shannon is visiting over the Fourth of July and I'm surprised to be looking forward to acting as tour guide for her. So far we're planning snorkeling, sailing, a trip to the Fruit & Spice Park for mangos and lychees, boot camp (ha - lucky her), beach time, aquarium-sized margaritas, fireworks, and Pilates. Should be a good time!

I'm happy to report that, after weeks and weeks of seeming to not lose any weight, today the pants I just bought a month or so ago are noticeably loose! So the workout/eating regimen is finally kicking in. Yay, results!
Saturday, June 17, 2006
  checkin' in
i've been a busy girl


thursday night, ed invited me to do a run with him at plantation's central park. despite it being pretty close to my house, i'd never been there before, so was happy to check it out. while ed did track laps, i ran the trail going around the park, past the little lake.. it was really neat. there are a few burrowing owls that choose to live at the park, standing guard outside their burrows, despite the hoardes of soccer hooligans and their over-made-up moms.

ain't they cute?

last night was an ocean swim. i had fins and a wetsuit on, ed wore neither, so i was able to keep up a bit better this time. no horrible gasping for air! yay! :) it was really nice out there.. viz was bad, but i could still make out a puffer or a parrotfish here and there, and was started by a huge tarpon. anytime you happen across a five-foot-long something in the ocean, it makes you jump, even if you realize within a half-second that it's something big and harmless.

today was boot camp. VERY HARD today, thanks to the fact that i'm still sore from the gym the other night and that the humidity was roughly the same in the sand that it would've been underwater. the colonel toned down the cardio for us, luckily.. i coped by drenching my hair with water. this mile of hair that can be so annoying sometimes surely does come in handy when it's hot out.

i had my swim stuff still in the car from last night, so i hopped in the water after boot camp and coffee. the water has cleared up and is just GORGEOUS. unfortunately, a lifeguard rekindled my dislike for authority figures by tugging on my fin (i didn't know he was there!) and telling me i wasn't allowed to go out to the buoys. arrrrrgh. that's where it's fun to swim, because you can actually see things underwater. he said the furthest swimmers without bcs, flags, and a buddy are allowed is halfway between the shore and the buoy. wtf? grr.

i'll bring my dive flag next time. maybe then they'll let me enjoy my swim!

it seems like every time you go swimming in the ocean, you end up with little fishies swimming under you. today, it was a baby snapper (maybe). no matter how many times i tried to CATCH him, he would just dart away to avoid my hands and then re-plant himself just under my chest. then a friend joined him. fish tend to do that.. like, if you have a huge gathering of kelp in the water, it will start a dense community of fishies taking refuge under the shadows of the plants. i remember on a nature show once, a bunch of fish were gathered under an orange that had fallen off a ship in the middle of nowhere. an orange! even though it's more of a camouflage, it makes me giggle to think that they're hanging out by the orange because, hey, it's something. it's a landmark. a watermark, rather. you know, a convenient place to meet up with your fishy friends. :)

i love the fishies swimming under me, but then i always feel so bad leaving the water.. to make it worse, they follow you the whole way in.. today i was in waist-high water, taking off my fins, and the fishies were still there. 10 feet in from shore and they were still there. i just hoped they wouldn't flap out of the water to follow me in the sand.

i didn't see one of these or anything, but they're certainly cuter than baby snappers.

great pool:

time to go take a nap, assuming i can sleep in this heat.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
  You gotta love a good rescue story.

Free Range Veal

"Traditionally, veal is considered a male dairy calf that is raised until it's about 16 to 18 weeks old.

"Under conventional production methods, the calf is separated within three days of birth from its mother and fed a milk replacer, which critics claim causes anemia. The calves' lives are spent in individual stalls "to allow veal farmers and veterinarians to closely monitor the health of each calf," the USDA says. But critics say stalls and crates cruelly confine the animals so they can't move their muscles, which produces the trademark tenderness of the meat.

"Under new USDA standards on the humane handling of livestock, free-range calves are kept with their mothers up to six months and graze on grass or are fed grain and hay. Feed tags are kept to verify ingredients. They are not given implanted or synthetic hormones or growth-enhancement drugs. They have free access to the outdoors for a significant portion of their lives and are never confined to a feedlot."

* This is the least shocking picture I could find on veal calves. I hate the way I feel when I see pictures like that, so don't want to subject them on you unwitting folks. But if you do want to see the full picture, do a google image search.

Something about this really gets me... I guess the mention of keeping these calves with their mothers. It's obvious an issue of maintaining optimal health for the calves, but I don't know if anyone would deny that a baby cow should be with its mother. I've seen a mamacat in action, and there's no doubt in my mind that non-human animals feel love and tenderness for their babies. And when you recognize that, then why the heck would you think it's okay to eat him? And I ain't just talkin' veal here.

It seems so logical to me that it's pretty amazing that people disagree with me. Hmpf.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
  i'm not sweating, i'm sparkling
i'm so proud of myself.

i spent the whole day talking myself out of going to the workout tonight, sans a small moment of anti-weakness when i hopped back to the house for my workout clothes.

last night, before i went to work, once i got to work, once i left work, once i got to the bookstore, as i was leaving the bookstore.. at each point, i had 10 reasons to not go tonight. but, i was already nearly at the beach, so i went ahead and just DID IT. yay! :)

good workout. afterwards, i had 20 minutes left on the meter, so i went for a 20-minute run, including a sad, whimpery part when i tried to run in the sand. i wouldn't call any of it running, to be honest. slow-paced jog is more like it. wouldn't win a race against anyone but this guy.

or maybe the head detective.

regardless, by the time i got back to the car, i was absolutely drenched. i am always filled with such pride when i work up a good sweat, not sure why. maybe because i was 25 by the time i realized i could sweat like that.

so anyway, that was my night. bookstore, where i could not find what i wanted, dammit. workout. stray-cat feedin'. home. dinner.

oh, btw, it's now two years to the day since i found kitten.

i meant to buy her some shrimp in celebration, but in my busy schedule forgot. i was so disappointed with myself. but too tired to go back out, so instead she got some wet beef cat food with golean cereal mixed in (she really likes it, oddly; she chases me around if i eat it) and catnip as a garnish.

wasn't she just adorable? :)

amanda is 13 in 10 days. i had a nice thought tonight that maybe someday she'll come visit me. heck, she could even spend part of her summer here. snorkeling, someday learning to dive.. coming out sailing. i would love to introduce her to all of that. someday kyle and macy can come visit, too, but by the time that rolls around, i'm going to be clueless old aunt stacey. they'll probably like that, though; they'll be able to get away with so much more. :)

  A Father's Day Top 10

The first one, as a teaser:


Red fox.
Photo: Charles G. Summers, Jr.
Long before the male red fox's love gets tough, he is an attentive, indulgent mate and father. For the first month after the birth of his young, his vixen must stay in her den, doubling as a food source and thermal blanket for their young. Dad's job is providing her with food every four to six hours until she can leave the den and start hunting as well. Researchers have seen fox dads exhibiting much excitement about their pups, playing with them endlessly. One father was even observed waiting for a watchful aunt to fall asleep and then quietly calling to his pups to come play with him. After three months, it's time for life's first harsh lesson: no more free meals. "Through years of observation, I've come to believe parents start reducing food as a tactic to get the pups moving away from the den," says David Henry, ecologist for the Canadian National Parks. "And it's the father that takes the lead with this strategy." Fox fathers don't just leave their young hungry, however, they help teach survival skills. They bury surplus food close to the den and disguise it with leaves and twigs. This technique, says Henry, teaches the pups to sniff and forage. Biologist Shelly Pruss (one of Henry's students) studied the closely related swift fox in a region where they were being killed by coyotes. There, she saw a male fox playing ambush with his offspring as if teaching them how to escape from predators.
YouTube Logo

I want to share the following video with you:

a fat scuba diving cat. no, really. one word: uhhh...


from another angle, originally uploaded by april2.

I posted this girl in her cute Anderson Cooper shirt a while back.

Well, now that he's written a book (and is going into bookstores to sign them), she got the opportunity to show him too.


  "No comments"
From TreeHugger
Photo credit: Tien Chiu. ::Potrero Hills, via ::Sierra Club's Blog
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
  love this pic

The Fishermen, originally uploaded by Sara May.

  Random entry
I like Carl Hiaasen, who likes manatees too.

Bears are having a rough time of it all over. (Watch the slideshow. It's a funny link, not a depressing one!)

I think this picture is awfully cute.

As is this one.

McSweeney's List: Reasons Not to Fear the Reaper

Also, I ended up catching the end of a Smile of a Child special on the Trinity Broadcasting Network yesterday. (Reason: no cable.) I spent the whole time trying to figure out where that crazy lady with the pink hair was. Later, I learned it was Haiti.

I just love that. I mean, I am sure Haitians see white people from time to time. After all Brangelina made a stop there too. But, wow.. What they must think of the old white lady with huge pink hair and a hot pink scarf to match. Also, she's giving out bibles. And little blonde dolls. I swear I could see the Haitians stifling a snicker as she spoke through a translator.

And, wow, a story about these folks. She makes $361k a year. Her husband makes $403k annually. Hey, at least they're giving the poor Haitian children donated blonde dolls, right? Yeah.
Monday, June 12, 2006

My beloved chicks done screwed up.  Sadly, I am annoyed with their behavior as of late as well.


Feeding time - 6 days old, originally uploaded by valerioti.

My friends the Hoes (Matt & Andrea) foster dogs for the Miami Humane Society. It's such a cool thing for them to do; they take in unhealthy, maladjusted, or special-needs dogs to prep them for being rehomed. That means they get dogs with skin conditions or advanced pregnancy, help them past their "ailments" and then watch them go to new homes - all the hard work of getting a new pet without that great-pet-for-the-rest-of-its-life thing. Admirable, eh?

It turns out they're fostering a second mama dog, which I just discovered from Andrea's Flickr photostream. Look at those little puppy bellies!

Someday I would like to do this, too. Maybe for cats instead. Maybe for dogs, who knows. Someday. :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006
  Aww, it's a baby wolf eel!
For those of you who saw the scuba IMAX movie, remember the creepy-ass wolf eel?

I found a baby picture of one. Ain't it a cutie?

Even though they may look badass, especially while eating a sea urchin...

apparently they're pretty harmless.

Funny, that's the same face my cats make when I smooch on 'em. :)
  Peaks & valleys
I've always been morbidly curious in those types of adventures I could never see playing with my health or life to experience.. Deep wreck dives in the North Atlantic to retrieve teacups and silverware; freediving to 500 feet for no other purpose than to get deep; and risking it all to climb a tall mountain, such as Mt. Everest. 
Now, I'm not down on any of the remarkable individuals that do those types of things; it just blows my mind that something in those people drives them to take those risks.
I came across a $5 book at B&N yesterday, a collection of firsthand accounts from summiting Everest.  Wow, the things those folks have to go through to say they've been on top of the world (literally) are just scary.  Especially the ones that do it without supplemental oxygen! 
Anyway, I found this article online and it's quite interesting:
How to climb Everest
Friday, June 09, 2006
  Fwd: Help End Animal Cruelty at Japanese Bear Parks!
This makes me nauseous.
Why is it that humans take glee in things like this?
Sign a petition to have it stopped here.
  He did it!

Ed in Triathlon, originally uploaded by estacey.

Ed's triathlon in San Francisco was last Sunday. I didn't hear from him for a day or so afterwards, so I started to get worried, but he did call me back - he survived it, and did great. :)

He said that the course was very challenging (picture training for a SF race on a landscape that only varies once you hit a landfill) but beautiful. It does look really pretty in the pictures; I need to get to San Francisco someday. Dive the kelp forests. Visit the Monterey Bay aquarium. And look how great Ed looks! Now you understand all that sexual harassment, right? :)

The race took about 3.5 hours.. that just totally amazes me. That's nearly half a workday! Of swimming/biking/running! Wow. I'm very impressed, and very proud.

I've been watching the kitties for him while he's been gone. It's bittersweetly touching how sad they are without him here. I was in a hurry last night when I went by, and planned on running in, filling food dishes, and going right back out the door, but Lucy's heartbroken cries swayed me into laying in the grass with her for a bit, petting her while she alternately cried and purred.

Last night, I continued with the few resolutions I have recently implemented for myself: 1) No more DD coffee. Well, maybe on the weekends. 2) Make one new dish per week. 3) Stop getting dehydrated! (I now keep a gallon jug and a glass of water on my desk.) 4) Attend at least one fitness class at my gym each week. (Not GO to the gym once per week, but actually take advantage of the classes they offer..) So last night was Power Yoga.

I tend to go into panic mode in any of these do-things-in-public-that-you-may-look-stupid-doing deals, but I've overcome that. Well, then I met the yoga instructor who had us PAIR UP with other people in the class. I hate that whole pairing-up thing; they did it to us at BCC, too. It's so awkward to look around the room if you don't know anybody and figure out who's going to work with whom.

The way we were distributed on the floor, it made most sense for me to pair up with the one guy in the class. Mistake. I mean, I figured he wouldn't be masterfully flexible, so that was good, but.. it just. yeah, not cool. We had to hold hands and face each other and stretch, lock arms from the back and stretch, put our feet together while we stretched out our legs.. On top of that, the guy smelled a little funny (and when I say "funny", I mean "bad"), which made me question the stain on his jogging pants. Blech. On top of that, he was about 1/4 as flexible as I was, even though I'm 1/4 as flexible as the devoted yogis in the class. So, needless to say, half of the hour-long class was pretty much a wash. A stinky wash. The second half was good, though, and I followed it with 40 minutes of cardio on the machines. With good eating combined, if I don't start fitting in my regular pants soon, I'm gonna throw a fit.

Ha ha, Balu knows me entirely too well now. He came to the workout Wednesday night at the beach, where it was incredibly breezy; there were a dozen parasailers in the angry-looking water. I honestly about tore my hair out right there; I had to re-do it about five times so it wouldn't whip in my face and in my mouth, etc., while we were working out. When we got back to our cars afterwards, Balu made a comment about how nice it was outside. "Yeah, except for this GODDAMN WIND!" I said, frustrated and trying fruitlessly to keep my hair tucked behind my ears. "Can I ask you a personal question?" he asked. "Huh?" "Are you getting your period?" Hehehe. I'm pretty sure that a woman killed her husband a while back and got off without legal punishment when he made some bitchy-period comment, but I just laughed and said, "Maybe. Even though it'd be a week early, I think that's why I slept all weekend." And maybe why I about had a meltdown trying to get dressed for work yesterday ("NOTHING GODDAMN FITS!"). Or why I almost started crying when Ed's gate wouldn't lock and I wanted to go home ("GODDAMN LOCK, IT'S LATE! SEINFELD IS ON IN A HALF-HOUR!"). Et cetera. Anyway, we were both right. :D

The nation's favourite Attenborough moment
"An obscure clip of a bird mimicking a chainsaw has been voted the nation's favourite Sir David Attenborough moment. "
This clip made my jaw drop, I swear. 
  Too bad I already have two little ingrates
I should stop calling them ingrates; they really are the best.  Kitten sleeps outside my bedroom door if I forget to leave it open for her.  She stands outside the shower and stares at the curtain for the 20 minutes I'm sudsing up.  She always gets up to come say hi when I get home from work.  It's very cute.  And Elliot spoons with me!  Seriously, I just about died the other morning when he curled up near my belly when I was laying on my side.  So cute!  :)
So screw the $4,000 cats, even if the furry ones make me sneezy. 
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The top 10 ways to get healthy
In the moments I have accomplished everything I needed to at work, I try to keep at least on subject of my job, meaning I read up on health and organics news.  Hence these kinds of links.  :)
  Everyone should read this.
10 flagrant grammar mistakes that make you look stupid
Wednesday, June 07, 2006

CeremoniaElott7, originally uploaded by balupix.

Balu just got back from a trip to Hungary & Italy. This is from a wedding in Italy. Look at that background.. ! Amazing!

  happiness is...
In my ongoing quest to design myself as harmonious a life as possible in this crazy, franchised, cats-have-ear-mites-that-I-can't-get-rid-of, road-raging, car-with-no-air-conditioning, Interstate-parking-lot world we live in, I have been making an effort to be more Zen about my dealings with the less-than-Midwestern folks I am forced to interact with.

My whole theory is that people who are grumpy tend to be so because they're unhappy folks (chronically, or maybe just for the day), unless, of course, you've really done something to make them ornery. Rather than let myself get mad or grumpy, rather than ruin my day, I remind myself that whoever it is that just shit on me has a reason beyond me that made them do so. Like the grumpy lady at the gas station who yelled at me for accidentally walking into the cashiering section of the store after coming out the bathroom door since they left the door to the area open. Seriously yelled at me, despite me saying sorry and not even imaginging it was a big deal. I assured myself it wasn't me -- "She's working at a Hess Mart in her middle ages, with a bad perm to boot; no wonder she's unhappy with the world. Let her attitude slide off you." Now, I doubt this is what the Dalai Lama does to not blame the negative people of the world, but it works for me.

Human nature can be really unfortunate at times. Feeling down? Be bitchy and bring everyone else down with you. Feeling fat? Be catty and shitty to every skinny girl you come across. Jealous of what someone has? Try to make them feel that it's not that great. Been burned in a past relationship? Try to make everyone as cynical about love as you are.

While I find human psychology very interesting and try to be mindful about its effects on my own behavior, I know I'm not immune to the bad stuff. Just yesterday, I overheard the tiny, cute girl who works in the store next door say something, and of course I don't remember what exactly, but it had the same effect as when someone uses the word "death"to describe someone who can't hear. Inside, I went "Ha!" You know, as in, "Ha! She may be a size 0 and have huge boobs, but least she's dumb!" Now, I know that's a less-than-ideal to be thinking of my fellow ladies, taking glee in her shortcomings, but it happens. It's also less-than-ideal of me to point out the fact that she's Asian (and tiny -- did I say tiny?), so there is just about no way those things are real. But I just did it anyway.

It's a hard one. Sometimes you want to meet negativity with negativity, attitude with attitude; I swear that lady at the gas station was lucky that I decided to walk out on her still-yellin' ass rather than start yelling myself (and that I resisted the temptation to go back in and demand to talk to her manager), a la the time at the pet store when the owner threatened to call the cops on me. Nice girl, ain't I? In my defense, it wasn't my fault -- they wouldn't intervene when their quail chicks were pecking one of the chick's eyes. Its EYES WERE BLEEDING and they didn't care. At that point, I offered to buy it and they said no. Who does that? Refusing a sale so that the little bird would suffer, just to spite me? Anyway.

Maybe someday I'll have gritted my teeth and smiled to enough grumpy folks (or at least ignored them) that I will morph into one of those kindly ladies who always has a smile, never seems to get the attitude, and calls everyone "dear." I hope so. In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to keep reminding myself that unhappiness breeds unhappiness (self-satisfied folks rarely try to bring others down, right?) and keep trying to not blame people for their shitty attitudes.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
"Of all the things airport security screeners have discovered as they rifle through travelers' luggage, the suitcases full of frogs were a first.".
Sad, hopeful....
Monday, June 05, 2006
  agggh, the cuteness
Sunday, June 04, 2006
  i have just had the laziest weekend ever
ever, ever, ever.

i took a nap when i got home from work, then stayed up too late friday night, but went to bed with the full intent of getting up for boot camp in the a.m. i set the alarm. it went off. i hit snooze. next thing i knew, it was 8:46 (it starts at 8:00). so i went back to sleep........ until 1 p.m.! that is seriously the latest i've slept by hours in ages.

i'm getting the impression that my whole six-hours-per-night of sleep is just not enough to keep me sustained when i'm busy. i don't quite get it - i used to be better about getting to bed earlier. now that i've been working out pretty regularly, it seems that i go to bed later. i guess i have more energy. but energy is not what i need at midnight! i guess i need to start some type of wind-down activity earlier...

so last night i went to hollywood with alli & alex for mexican and swimming-pool margaritas. alli & i had a fight that was a long time coming. i felt bad that we had to do it 1) in public (women were giving me WTF looks if i looked up at them as they passed) and 2) with alex as a witness. all he wanted was to go see some latin ladies at spice! plus, arguing sucks. it's too bad; i miss alli the way we were in the old days. we had such a good time. now, not so much. i certainly don't think it's my fault, but she doesn't think it's hers.. so what can you do?

i think that's my weekend in a nutshell, so far..
Friday, June 02, 2006
  mariah carey creeps me the hell out
(after that thoughtful post, how about i move onto something superficial. i try to shake it up, ya know.)

i realized that every time i see mariah carey, she's kinda posing the same way. i did a google image search for mariah, and sure enough - she always faces the same way. do a google search for "mariah carey right side" and you get this, which explains that, yes, she demands to be photographed from her right side only, as she considers it her good side. i had heard of things like that before, namely i think a rumor that barbra streisand has the same sorts of demands. but, like, to really see the evidence of something like that.. yeah, wow.

i mean, the whole good side/bad side thing has merit; i tried it out once with a photograph of mine; you know, when i first heard about the whole symmetrical-face theory, i used a straight-on headshot and replicated the sides so i could have a full face of my right side and a full face of my left side. one side is significantly more attractive.

but anyway, regardless, isn't a little crazy to actually pose for pics like that? a little, um, superficial? a little self-absorbed? anyway, i thought that was weird.

also, she is completely nuts. every few months, i see pics of her outside "walking her dog" and she's always completely glammed-up and slutted-out. to "walk the dog". (also here. and here. that poor dog looks so confused.) mmhmm.

there's also, but i don't even know what to say about that.

needless to say, the lady needs help.

ADDENDUM: now she's in a pepsi commercial - watch it! it's hilarious! she is faced the SAME WAY for the whole commercial. singing, smiling, going down a freaking slide.. all from her right side! crazy!
Thursday, June 01, 2006

jesus christ, we are so fucking lucky.

i'm lucky for having a job to have gone to today. for having a car to drive home. for having a home to drive to at all. for being able to feed my tortoises better than some people eat. for not having three more precious little mouths to feed because i've had the choice to not have babies. for having the $4.71 to buy some friskies for the street cats. for having my choice of what to make for dinner. for having dinner. for that being my third meal of the day. for getting to go take a shower now, with $8 soap, then retire to my four-pillow bed with a fan in the window. and for getting to do it all again tomorrow.

ever think about how much you have to feel lucky for? and all because you got lucky to have been stationed here for your time on earth, rather than there.
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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