So ol' Ernie turned out to be a whole lotta nothin'.. We did get wind (as evidenced by the waves here in Alli's picture). We did get rain. But a hurricane, or a strong tropical storm, never came. We never even lost power.
You know, yesterday I came home and was so happy to see the kittens. "I forgot how good kittens smell!" It was kinda funny.
Today I came home and, well, also seem to have forgotten how bad used kitty litter smells. (Ellie & Kitten use the bushes outside.) Yay, two months of this smell! In my bedroom!
Of course, I really can't complain. She's not just using a BLANKET or the CORNER like Jimmy the Stray did after I got him fixed. Or my COUCH like Mamacat 1 did.
OK, I guess that's the Cat Lady update. I'm back up to six cats now! I'm nearly a respectable cat lady again! :)
The stray mamacat had her babies, too. Four of them, it looks like.
I felt so horrible. I so should've had her fixed. I really dropped the ball on this.
I ordered a trap that arrived last week, so at least I will be able to help them soon, if I can just figure out how.
In the meantime, they're under a big shed, in a corner that was blocked off by heavy stacks of wood on one side. I blocked off the front too so that Ernesto wouldn't get them wet.
But then the kittens got here and it took a lot of time to give them the oohs and ahhs they deserve.
Wow, the mamacat really is a good cat. She's purry and paw-thingy and snuggly.. Doesn't mind if you hold the babies. Will snuggle up on your chest if you put her there. Puts my cats to damn shame. I hope we can find her a good home.
As long as I'm awake (goddammit):
- Ran 4 miles this weekend. Pretty sure my normal neighborhood-tour jogs are around that long, but can't be sure until I drive the route. But this weekend, for sure, I did run 4 miles. At 11 a.m. In the sun. And I didn't croak. In fact, had it not been for that god-awful bright sun, I could've kept going. That won't impress the runners amongst you, but considering the first time I tried to run, I couldn't even go a mile, I'm happy with it.
- Ernesto is weakening and weakening. This is a very good thing because hurricanes really suck.
- Tonight was absolutely gorgeous. Breezy and gorgeous. After I fed the strays, I plopped down on the hood of my car right there behind the Enterprise and stared at the sky for about an hour, looking at the three stars you can see in our light-polluted sky. That was nice.
Off to get the weeknight standard issue six hours of sleep.
So I have a kitty being delivered tonight from Kendall.
This lovely girl I know from sailing, Kasia, has been feeding a kitty by where her boyfriend is working on his boat. Although this cat, Oreo, seems to be just a kitten herself, it's become obvious in the past few weeks that Oreo is, in fact, full of kittens.
So Kasia, living with a roommate who is allergic to cats, and having a boyfriend who is allergic to cats too, is trying desperately to find a home for this sweet little thing.
Then Hurricane (or Tropical Storm, or whatever) Ernesto popped up.
I tried writing a few people today that have spare bedrooms.. No takers. And I can't very well tell Kasia to take her to the shelter (I'm guessing pre-hurricane is a busy time there, which isn't so good for the animals they have, considering most shelters these days do put animals down when it's necessary). So, eh, I'll take her. For a few days. It really bums me out that this ain't my house, though; I really like the idea of repeating the Mamacat experience. Those couple of months were really full of good, wow-this-is-hard-work-but-really-worth-it feelings.
After I talked to Kasia, I called Balu and had to break the news to him much in the way you'd have to talk to your dad about having gotten detention. Where you follow up the bad news immediately with, "But it wasn't really my fault!" In this case, it was, "But she'll keep trying to find it a home! It'll just be a couple of days! I'll keep her in my room!"
The last one is going to be.. well, I dunno what I'm getting myself into here. :) My room is becoming quite the little storage unit. It's just tiny. And we're not going to think about the fact that little Oreo may not be accustomed to litterboxes yet. Yeah, not going to think about that at all.
Nor am I going to think about the fact that a cat (mine or the neighbor's, not sure) killed a rat and put it in my closet for me to discover it once it smelled so bad that Balu had to call me and warn me before I came home. The rat was given a proper burial last night in the backyard, but my room still stinks. Off to wash the closet floor with Dr. Bronner's.
Nor am I going to think about the fact that I already had a pregnant stray to worry about - my little grey cat on 441. But she won't let me touch her, so bringing her home for a couple of days really isn't an option, I guess.
Pics tomorrow, I'm sure..!
Friday night, we went to this little hotel bar named Our Place. Ordered some rum runners.
All of a sudden, Chris and his friend, Dean, are arguing. "You go! My certification isn't even current anymore.." "No, you go!" I couldn't figure out what was going on, trying to make sense of what they were saying.
Then I realized there was a small cluster of people by the hotel pool. Trying to revive a man, wet and laying on the side of the pool.
It was 11 p.m. on a Friday night and no one was sober enough to know what the hell happened. One lady went to get ice 10 minutes before and saw the guy swimming. When she came back, he was laying at the bottom of the pool. Another lady said, "We saw him go to the bottom, but we thought he was messing around." She didn't seem at all.. remorseful. Not that it was her fault, but it was just strange.
Chris, who was perfectly sober like me, did chest compressions. But to no use; the guy was gone. I was standing at the back and couldn't hear, but apparently Chris was trying to get someone to do mouth-to-mouth but everyone was too drunk or, I dunno.. scared? I'm disappointed that I didn't take the CPR class I was thinking of doing a good six months ago. Who thinks that stuff will actually come in handy? I guess we have classes periodically through work, though, so I guess I'll take it when it's available here.
When the ambulance arrived, we went back to the bar. The horrible lounge singer apparently didn't know what was going on outside and kept on crooning an awful rendition of "American Pie."
We skipped the rum runners and went home.
He was a fearless one, too.
Chris is in the process of coating his outdoor plants with a horrendous, toxic-sludge-looking mix of garlic and jalapenos to ward off the iguanas. They've eaten the hibiscuses down to stumps!
Ain't South Florida funny? Freaking IGUANAS in people's back yards. I think it's neat, but it's really too bad they're thriving as well as they are. People think of them as pests. Such pretty creatures to be considered pests! And vegetarians, too! :)
For the third week in a row, it was a beautiful, beautiful weekend and now, Monday morning, it's grey and rainy. I like the way the weather is timing itself. :)
Speaking of weather, now there's a hurricane watch! Wailey wandered out into the open the other day, so he's back his enclosure, but that stray cat I feed is definitely pregnant, so.. agh.. always something to worry about. I'm so kicking myself for not having fixed her before. I have a trap now, though; it got here last week. If I could just find a pregnant-mamacat motel for her...
when i was younger and my allergies were much worse (before my discovery of OTC claritin), i used to dream of getting a xolo.
i met one at our beloved hotel roma in cuernavaca outside of mexico city way back when. it felt like leather.
they have no fur. they're mexican. they eat vegetables. i was like, could there be a more perfect dog for me?
of course, they also cost around $800 or something crazy so i never got one. but a couple of them showed up on one of my flickr contact's photostreams, so i'm sharing. they're surprisingly un-unattractive, especially when you consider how god-awful hairless cats are.
(Hey, if dooce ain’t gonna use it, I may as well.)
Tell me repeatedly that I look nice with my hair up because, ya know, I have a pretty face and shouldn’t hide it.
Last night, I was in bed, sitting against the wall and playing on the computer.
I thought I felt something in my hair. I reached up, but didn't feel anything. I thought, "Oh, it must be an ant." I'd seen some on my nightstand a couple of weeks ago.. Ants are so tiny and fragile, I figured it was already brushed off of my head by now....
Then I felt it again. I shook my head and sat forward, looking back at my pillow. "Oh, it's a lizard!" I immediately thought. Without a tail. But that's not so unusual, considering most of the household geckos are tail-less, thanks to the cats.
Then it sunk in: Hey, that's a cockroach.
A cockroach. Was on my head.
I was pretty traumatized, and although I'll often kill the roaches when I find them nowadays, I couldn't deal with this one. I screamed for Balu, who came and dispatched it with a magazine while I looked away.
Now my (step) niece & her boyfriend (they share an account!) are on Flickr, apparently.. How funny. Gots to love the Internet.
Sebastian, yes, someday you will scratch through that glass.
I was holding up a treat. :) They do that all the time anyway... just not usually looking quite so hyper.
“DULUTH, Minnesota (AP) -- Troy Lee Gentry, of the country singing duo Montgomery Gentry, has been accused of killing a tame black bear that federal officials say he tagged as killed in the wild.”
But I had to take it - while driving - on the Interstate - through my car windshield. Maybe someday I'll get a passenger to get a better snap of it.
Anyway, it's really funny. It would seem that the birds love it right above LeBatard's head. No matter what time of the day I pass the sign - morning, noon, midnight (seriously!) - there is always a perfect little line of birds above his head. Just above his head. Nowhere else.
The guy on the left must find this hilarious.
"SEBASTIAN - Authorities searched Saturday for the body of a University of Central Florida graduate student who never emerged from a dive into the Atlantic Ocean after a 300-pound sea turtle."
They say the sea turtle dragged him down. I didn't know they did that! Then again, I guess my little Turty would get surly sometimes (he bit me once!)... imagining Turty at 300 lbs is pretty scary.
Ahhh.. so yesterday, I went on a jog with Chris. He does 8 miles and, yeah, I can't, so I turned back after 25 minutes. I got to his house, let the dogs out of the garage (because I love them, even though they jump on my legs) and took them out to the pool with me. He has three puggles, but one was away for the weekend, so it was the two in this picture.
They hung out by the pool with me for a bit, playing on the deck and licking my wet hands. It struck me that cats are more like furniture (lovey, great, adorable furniture, mind you!), whereas dogs are your little buddies. It's nice.
They were running back and forth, then that light-colored one, Gretchen, disappeared around a corner. Then went buddy, the one on the right. (They're both older than in this picture but still puppies.)
I thought, "Hmm, that gate on the side of the house wouldn't be open, would it?" and got out to check. I got to the side of the house just in time to see Gretchen and Buddy's little tails disappear.
Barefoot and wearing a swimsuit, I ran into the front yard after them. Gretchen was doing the hyperactive run in circles while Buddy trotted along after her. She started running east, towards A1A. I ran after her, yelling in the best happy voice I could fake at the time to try to get her to come back.
Finally, I picked Buddy up (good dog!) just in case I ever did catch Gretch, then I'd have both of them. Gretchen kept running towards t he street.. I saw tons of cars going by on the road and started SCREAMING, freaking out and imagining the worst. Chris LOVES those dogs, and they're so sweet.. what if Gretch got hit by a car???
Luckily, the traffic calmed down as Gretchen reached the road. There was just one car, which went by in the other lane without incident. There were more cars coming, but I ran into the road and scooped her up, then sat down on the median with the two dogs, hugging and scolding them for running away like that.
So I had a block or so to walk holding the two dogs.. By the end, Gretchen was basically standing on the fronts of my legs as I walked since she kept sliding down.
I was really just so relieved and grateful that they were OK.. the face-licking they did on the way back to the house was just overkill. Cute little buggers.
They went back to the garage when I got them back to the house, and I went back to the pool to catch my breath. Dogs!
I snapped this yesterday.. look at that water! It was amazing.
Of course, flat water means no breeze, so it was a bitch of a day to work out.. Luckily, I was video-taping (video-smartcarding?) the workout, but even that was exhausting. I stripped down to my sportsbra and shorts and jumped in the water.. and could've stayed there all day.
After the swim and breakfast and a million things to do, this cutie Chris and I went for a dive behind one of the condo buildings. It was his first time diving in Florida, so I was honored to be taking him. :) It was really nice.. strange day since we swam for over 7 minutes from the first reef and never got to the second (typically, it's 5 minutes, max). I finally felt bad about dragging him over sand for that long (and to be honest, was really weirded out), so just turned around and went back to the first reef. And wondered why I left it in the first place.
I saw staghorn coral.. which I had never seen before.. it was everywhere on our way back.
Funny how things exist in pockets like that; I didn't see one bit of it on our way out. Saw lots of hamlets; I don't usually see many of those. It's like that one dive Alli, Laura & I did a couple of months back when there were crabs everywhere. We always see crabs, but on this dive, I saw three times as many. Or like the one day when I saw goatfish everywhere, which I don't see that often on shore dives.
Blah blah, blah. Anyway, yeah, nice weekend so far.. and since Chris is renting his gear, we're going for another dive today (to get another use out of it) after I spend some quality time with the kids (cats).
You can pick a color (here, blue) in a scene and have the camera only pick up that color. Not sure in what scenario I'd really want to use that (portrait of a person with striking eyes?), but the results sure are cool lookin', eh?
He was being cute. :)
His paws looked adorable, too. I dunno if it's the pic or this screen, but you can't see them so well here.
Look at his little teeth that still stick out! Alli used to tell me, "Don't worry, he'll grow into them." I thought that was so cute. Cuter still that he hasn't. :)
I’ve used this site to shop for digital cameras from my very first bricklike 3.1-megapixel camera four years ago. It’s great – overview, shows controls, conclusion, and THE BEST part: sample pictures. He takes pictures of the same things (candy in his office, etc.) with all the cameras so you can compare.
Once you go to the site, go to “Our Reviews” in the upper-left. It makes shopping for a camera so much easier.. Trying to do it in the store is enough to make your head spin.
Everything, including the pile of decomposing refuse, is green and flowery and pretty.
It almost makes up for this ridiculous heat.. it was something like 100 with the humidity today. And I made the mistake of leaving work for lunch.. in my jeans and sweater (that's dressed perfect for my office!). In my ghetto-ass car with no air conditioning.
I became really painfully aware of why they named them sweaters!
A cute little possum must have been going for something in the compost when I surprised him with my kiwi peelings. He crawled up a palm tree and I got my camera to get a look at him. :)
i'm sending leta a build-a-bear this week!
So it turns out that I can get the 7.1 MP powershot online for the same price I paid for the 5 MP powershot at Target....
Thankfully, Target has a liberal return policy - I kept most of the packaging and can use the stuff I did throw away from the new camera's box.
I don't often make prints, so the coupla extra megapixels may not make much of a difference, but even onscreen, there is a difference in the picture quality. Plus, I may as well upgrade as long as I'm going to the trouble of a new camera. Plus, you know, SAME PRICE. How could I not?
Not much happenin' here. Still recovering from the weekend. (Well, it's probably not its fault I'm tired.) Still wondering why the hell my jeans don't seem to be getting bigger despite the mostly good behavior and regular workouts. It's really, really frustrating. I'd like to feel like myself again, and right now I feel like a walrus.
Speaking of which, I guess I should go for a run...
see my flickr for a couple more pics of this guy - wow.
he rode by on his bike today while we were working out and the whole class stopped - "what was THAT?" some of us had gotten a view of him from the front so assured the rest, yes, he was actually wearing something on his lower half.. even though you can't tell from the back.
i guess around christmastime, he came out to the beach wearing elf shoes and christmas bells dangling from his thong. phew.
the best part was when i saw him put on his crocs!!!!
anyway, i actually went out to dinner last night, stayed out past midnight, had a few drinks, and STILL made it to boot camp this morning. :D
after boot camp, we had breakfast at the cafe across the street. i heard a "stacey!" from behind me and there were ed and his parents, ed & sally. at the table right behind ours! it's been a long time since i had seen them.. and i really liked them.. so it was a nice surprise. i was touched to have sally ask how the new job was going - how did she know? :) they're so sweet. i was happy to get to give them a hug and a kiss before going on my way and let them get back to admiring the ocean and the nearly naked guy...
last night was nice; i got a tour of my old neighborhood. now why is it that i lived at the condo for years but never checked out the little bar down the street? it's full of mulleted mexican guys and old queens! i definitely missed out.
oh, and hey, i got a new camera. i just got my taxes back (little-known fact: the april 15th deadline only applies if YOU owe the gov't money, rather than the other way around).. i did responsible stuff with most of it, but indulged myself a little with the camera purchase.. i just hate not having a camera. the old camera will cost $150 to fix anyway, so i got a new one and now, when i get the other fixed (soon!), it can be my back-up.. and i can actually take it on dives without freaking out that i may ruin my only beloved camera.
haha.. look at the battery door! and the memory door is being held closed with tape. i don't know how i managed to break either; all i know is that it happened at the toby keith concert. i'm going to try to wear the wrist strap with the new one to prevent any drinking-and-photographing accidents.
the new camera is basically my old camera, but a little smaller, lighter, less ghetto.. i'm just starting to break it in now. i wish i would've taken some more pics last night though. dammit.
i found one of these on my run last night. he was on the sidewalk and seemed to be freaking out.. slithering but going nowhere.. when i stopped to investigate, he actually started to slide BACKWARDS, towards the busy road. unacceptable. i started to worry that he was blind or something, but his eyes seemed fine...
so i picked him up and started jogging over to where i feed the cats, since they have a big yard there.
the lizard kept slithering around in my hands wildly, twisting himself around my hand and fingers..
and then, SNAP! his lower half popped off, fell onto the sidewalk, and continued to flail around on the sidewalk.
now, i think it's real cool that they can do this and all. what a neat trick! tossing off half you body to throw off the predators! but i've never had it happen IN MY HAND before. startling, and kinda icky.
he was fine once i set him in the grass, though. weird little creature.
i look at this guy's flickr pics.. he's a gringo living in a town near puerto vallarta, surfin' and havin' a nice life with his cute little mexican girlfriend, marcia. he has a blog, so i put it on my bloglines.
recently, every time i see an update to his blog, i think, "i wonder if he asked marcia to marry him yet." so far, the updates have popped up and instead told of good surfing conditions or of trips to guadalajara. but today, i was right.
how cute is this? i'm very happy for two folks that don't even know i exist. funny how the internet works, eh?