Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Movie @ SIFF

The fiance has been excited and rarin' to hit up some films at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) and after a hike and some dinner on Sunday we raced to downtown Everett to catch a film called "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front." The other option he presented was an Italian film about a couple and hardship and yadda yadda but I was in the mood for more legal and moral intrigue than some flashy Italian thigh.

Anywho, I found the film to be well done and interesting. I'm going to get up on my pedestal of embarrassment and say that I'd never heard of the E.L.F. before this film and for whatever reason I don't recall hearing or seeing news about the arsons in the PNW. I found the film very educating concerning the events and the group itself as well as an insightful look into the lives of some of the members.

I would encourage people to see it, not just if you're interested in the events themselves or the group or ecological movements or logging drama, but just as a good film that will get you thinking. The film was good, but the discussion and the brain movement (haha like a BM!) was great afterwards.

The fiance and I didn't really know what to expect when we entered the theatre and we had refused to look anything up before seeing the film-so we had no idea what each others' reactions would be. I found myself energized but somewhat solemn and conflicted, whereas the fiance seemed a little disappointed and stated that he had "no pity" for those convicted of E.L.F. attacks.

I can't venture to excise his opinions and views, but I'm going to try and shake out some of my thoughts from the past couple days about the film. First off, a little summary.

Dude grows up in New York, dude finds passion for nature at off-the-wall bar scene, dude moves to PNW, dude meets activists, dude lights shit on fire, group disbands, dude goes back to New York life, FBI investigates, dude gets arrested, dude struggles internally, dude makes plea-bargain, dude goes to terrorist jail for 7 years (Original charges without plea-bargain where life plus 300-some odd years).

The film covered some other members' stories, but Daniel McGowan was the films major face and voice and it followed his house arrest and legal actions nearly exclusively. Some history of ecological movements and protests was also included-it would be very difficult to encapsulate the information this film presents, just go see it!

I know that there are people on both sides of this discussion, but I found myself conflicted between pity and scorn. I don't condone the arsons that McGowan participated in, but I value the passion and guts it took to take action. 

The truth is that the fight to protect nature is an underdog venture. Speaking with my fiance after the film I said, "You fight a money war with money," and I see the battle for Earth's ecology as an uphill battle against the forces of commerce. Without a capital gain (only intangible moral benefits) monetary backing for pro-nature ventures will continue to pale in the face of destructive commercial forces. Battling in court takes money, and I think that legal action might be the most valuable avenue toward success in saving Earth's irreplaceable assets. 

I can empathize with the exasperation and soul-crushing frustration McGowan and his comrades must have felt when they decided to amp up their protests, but I don't think I would've been able to destroy the livelihood and well being of so many fellow people. While none of the E.L.F. attacks injured or killed, they did cause millions in damage, scared many people, and damaged many people's lives. 

I was appalled at the proposed sentencing of life plus 300-some odd years but I was also captivated by the struggle McGowan faced between compromising his morals in the face of (what I felt) was insanely harsh punishment or bending his values and claiming whatever life with friends and family he would have left to him after prison. In the end he decided that avoiding life in prison was worth sacrificing his morals and many of his comrades did the same. 

There was also a lovely conflict expressed about the word "terrorist." McGowan was labeled a domestic terrorist or eco-terrorist and sentenced to serve his prison term in a specialized top security institution designed for terrorists with very limited outside communication. Being a New Yorker, he and his family found it astounding that the word would be used to label someone that never threatened human life. Even though I found myself sympathizing with McGowan, in the end I surmised that E.L.F. was utilizing terror as a tool, a means to get their message out and heard. If you use terror as a tool it would lead me to think of you as a terrorist (this makes me thinks that all domestic violence perpetrators should be shipped off to terrorist prisons as well). 

The film was focussed on important events and struggles in our recent history, but I found it to address much larger problems. "If a Tree Falls" wasn't just about eco-terrorism, I found that it spoke to me on a global level about human nature and conscious and the power of conviction. I empathized with figures of law enforcement as well as arsonists in this film and I find that a very valuable asset in any critical or artistic expression-it forces you to confront your own feelings and convictions and assumptions. 

I appreciate the neural exercise and I recommend the film to any and all even slightly interested-even if you're just a regular Joe that enjoys true crime shows on cable TV!

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

In other news: I nearly fell on my ass trying to get to an open seat in the darkened theatre. The fiance was under the impression that the film started at 6:30 pm but while I was enjoying my calming cup of coffee outside the theatre I cast a glance at the ticket and found it began at 6 sharp! We tossed the java and I found myself nearly falling down the aisle to my seat. I think the steps were different widths or something-either way it got my heart pumping and I seriously thought I might land my ass on a hard concrete step-edge. Yazowie!

A fake nail update-after an additional attempt at removing the scourge with 100% acetone and being met with extreme failure, the fiance took me to a nail salon before our hike Sunday morning. It took an hour of alternately soaking in acetone and sanding the gel/shellac monstrosity to get the gunk off my nails. The lovely nail lady did give me a rockin massage and good riddance, because I was exhausted after having my nails raped for an hour straight. They are now sanding down and look quite damaged, but with some TLC and time they should be back to new soon. Yippee!

As for the cats: Had a funny dream that Iroh and I were on a family vacation with my folks in Mexico or South America or something. I had a big suitcase with a couple random articles of clothing and three bottles of chilled wine (one had sprung a leak) and after some fireworks and a big rainstorm we were heading to our rooms (a combo of classroom/Cub Scout lodge) and Iroh took off up the trail and made it all the way to our lodge. In the dream I thought, "good for him, I guess he knows where the food comes from." 

Millie has been sneezing up a storm this morning and the fiance is concerned she might be ill. I'm suspicious that the new lavender melting wax is affecting her. I guess we'll just have to keep an eye on her!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Few New Things

This week was a week for "new." New counselor, new birth control, and a new experience battling my acrylic nails.

First off-new counselor. I started to get anxious the night before my appointment. Tightness in my chest, clenching my jaw, and a slight headache. No matter how many times I meet a new counselor, I always get anxious. I hate to hear about depression being something you live with-not cure, and how I lost the genetic lottery. I also anticipate terrible, degrading comments or mocking questions-but in reality, I've never had someone treat me that way. Just my mind playing games.

This counselor works out of a church with Samaritan Counseling Centers-FLAG UP. I'm not religious and I hate awkward conversations where I'm made to be a heathen damned to hell because of my beliefs. Luckliy, I didn't run into this problem. SCC is affiliated with some churches, but they offer secular and non-secular counseling, and they are more affordable and flexible than regular counseling groups.

Even better-my counselor was cool and funny. He's a fellow English major turned shrink and he helped cheer me up but also get me focused on some of my hurdles in just the first session. He gave me the option to speak with him again and didn't make me feel like I was embarking on some lengthy counseling commitment. I'm very happy with the match and glad I didn't chicken out (I was screening his calls and avoiding making an appointment, but the fiance helped nudge me toward getting in-and I'm glad I did).

I have another appointment next week and I'm also looking into switching my medication as well. Although changing medication is an even more costly endeavor since first appointments at nearly any clinic run upwards of $200. Great.

Second new experience, changing from oral contraceptives to an intrauterine contraceptive (boys-avert your eyes if necessary!). I've had a few girlfriends interested in IUCs and we've all heard mostly terrible things about them-so I'm going to launch some information into the interbutts and hope to help a few people.

First off, an IUC is a little device inserted into the uterus through the cervix that helps regulate periods (if you get the medicated kind like I did) and also prevents pregnancy with the good ole 99.2-99.9% efficacy. Mine is called Mirena and looks like this:

This model is laced with hormones to help regulate periods and can sometimes halt bleeding altogether. It can be kept in the uterus for 5-7 years or taken out whenever you like. 

The other model is called ParaGard and is laced with copper (sperm poison) and can be kept in place for up to 12 years. This model does not have hormones and might be preferable to girls with sensitivities. It looks like this:

Those little strings on each device hang down through the cervix and into the vaginal cavity. They're similar to fishing line and help docs get the devices out and help you keep track that the device is still in place. 

Like any other BC the IUCs come with risks, I find them comparable to OCPs with the exception of additional risks during insertion. Check out WebMD for some info or hit up your local Planned Parenthood (shout out to Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood-they have awesome staff who are fun and informative!). 

Anywho-now for the real life experience stuff. May be a bit graphic-just sayin! After my first appointment to update my BC I mentioned I was interested in an IUC and they gave me a run down of benefits, risks, and the procedure. Still interested, I scheduled my insertion appointment for a couple weeks later. The fiance came along for my insertion and I think he was more nervous than I was and had a harder time during the procedure-not to say that I wasn't uncomfortable!

So ladies, if you've had a pelvic and you've had crampy periods-you'll have a good idea of what goes on. As a lady who doesn't have bad cramps, I found myself ill-prepared for the cramping during insertion, but all in all it wasn't too bad. 

First off the nurse checks to make sure you have a uterus and it's in the right spot. Then she opens you up with the speculum thing and cleans up your cervix with a few good swaps of iodine and some other stuff. Next is when it gets uncomfortable-the nurse has to pinch your cervix to create an opening to measure the uterus and insert the device. The pinch is uncomfortable but not unbearable-just like an intense cramp. The measuring got me a little nauseated and gave me a little heat flash and a little woozy. Concentrate on your breathing and it only takes a couple seconds. 

Good news! I have an average utereus! Just over 7cm :o)

After the measuring, prepare for the insertion. The nurse uses a special device that fits through your cervix and into the uterus, pushes out the IUC and then retracts. This can be pretty intense cramping, but between squeezing the fiance's hand, a soothing nurse at my side, and breathing steady it wasn't too bad and was over relatively quick. There were a couple of surprise "pops" when the device pushed the IUC out and retracted shut, but they didn't hurt. 

The nurse trims your strings, cleans ya up, and takes out the speculum and you're all set. They offered to let me lie down for a while, but I was fine right after the procedure, sat up, and we left within a few minutes to go get some Boomer's (drive-in burgers). 

I experienced cramping for the rest of the day and evening, but the next morning was back to normal. If you have bad cramps during you period anyways, it probably wouldn't bother you too much-I'm just a wee sissy in that regard because I don't have to deal with cramps on a regular basis! As for life with an IUC-I'll have to update ya'll on any changes. So far-I'm pleased with the choice. No more pill popping every night and my BC is taken care of for the next five years or so. SWEETNESS!

Lastly, I tried to remove my acrylic nails at home. I was warned not to do it and while I didn't try to rip them off I did inadvertently dye my fingertips blue. The internet said "soak in nail polish remover for 15-20 minutes then peel off" etc etc. No big deal-or so I thought. The special shellac top coat didn't budge and my fingers turned blue from my nail polish remover. Brilliant. In the end I gave up on the experiment and just trimmed the tips down and filed them smooth. 

Maybe I'll go to a nail salon and get them removed, or I'll keep my ugly nails to myself and wait for them to grow out. I look a little mutated from my removal effort. Oops.

As for the cats: Iroh and Millie got their nails trimmed today and are enjoying a midday nap at the moment. All is well on the home front, although our scratching post is in dire need of repairs!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meatballs and Medication

Watched the animated movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" with lunch today-very very good. I had no idea what to expect (other than bulbous animated heads and jumbo eyeballs) but the flick was awesome. Great sense of humor and an awesome storyline with great characters. Some of my favorite parts were:

The cameraman/doctor/pilot/comedian saying "I need a celery-STAT."
Flint's dad-eyebrows/character/computer illiterate-ness/monkey translation-ness.
Jello castle-I will have glorious dreams for many days to come.
Fun science-lingo (not overdone, but done just enough)
Gummy bears!

And I'm usually not one for monkeys-but Steve was all right. It was gross, but totally funny when Sam thought he was throwing "chocolate snowballs" and it... well, it wasn't "chocolate snowballs." And Steve has a translator and it was hilarious watching him try to touch Manny's mustache and listen to the translator-"mustache... mustache..." 

In more serious news, still in a depression slump. Appointment tomorrow with the only affordable clinic that had an opening or would help me. Very frustrating and even more depressing trying to get help and realizing that without healthcare of a jump your options can be very limited. 

I don't think this doctor can prescribe meds, but I'm hoping he can make some suggestions and help me find someone who can look at my prescription and my options. It took me a long time to come to terms with medicating for depression and I've gone through another personal hurdle contemplating changing meds for something that packs a little more punch than my Lexapro. 

Someone once told me, "If you had diabetes, you'd take your insulin shots-wouldn't you?" I try to remember that whenever I feel like medication is just another thing that emphasizes my inability to succeed or survive in the world. With my depression/thought patterns I'm constantly tearing myself down and focusing on my flaws and negatives-so much so that I end up suicidal and thinking that I'm of no use in this world. Often times when I get that low I feel like I was simply meant to die, that I'm not fit to go on. 

But I know that I have a place here. That I see things in a way that not everyone does-and not just the depressive goggles I have, but the way I appreciate catching sight of a worm in a flower bed or seeing a beaver swimming in the lake. Even listening to Iroh's trucker-snores and wondering how many people don't notice that their pets snore or wink or have special mannerisms. And I have a special guy that loves me dearly and makes sure that I feel wanted and that I belong and I am cherished. 

Fiance-I'm so glad I found you and I can't thank you enough for the support you've given me (especially these last few weeks). Not everyone can get me to talk as openly as you do and more than that I appreciate all the love and laughs!

As for the cats: Millie has been exceedingly cuddly and loving lately-I'm a little suspicious. She's not one to be held but yesterday she was stalking me in the kitchen and wouldn't back off until I'd picked her up and pet her two or three times. Iroh seems to need some decongestants and has developed a little bald patch at the base of his tail (neurotic hair pulling). The fiance is going to take him to the vet as soon as we have the extra cash and hopefully they'll have some answers (maybe kitty Valium).

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Tourist

AKA-The fiance's bad movie pick of the week. We couldn't even finish it. That's saying something if your man turns off an Angelina Jolie flick! Johnny Depp couldn't save it for me either-or Paul Bettany (whom I love). If the writing doesn't make you gag the extremely anti-climatic action scenes will. YAWN.

Guess we'll watch some more NCIS-yeah baby!!! We're waiting for Chip to get the boot and Director Shepard to cut her hair already (Season 3). 

My Best Friend's Wedding

This weekend was my best friend's wedding down in our hometown of Yelm, WA. I've known this gal since preschool and we've been best friends practically ever since.

Considering my recent engagement I was paying rapt attention to all the preparations and processes. I have to say that I came glad A) We ain't Catholic B) Our families our reasonably small and C) My momma is as cheap as I am. My approach to wedding planning is toss the traditions and do what makes you comfortable! And I have a feeling my wedding will be a lot more backwater-casual than my best friend's, haha.

All in all it was a traditional American wedding and I was a little overwhelmed. The scale of the wedding was also much larger than any gathering I've ever experienced and tending to a jam-packed schedule was essential.

We woke up at 5:30 am the day of to pick-up bridesmaids and get to the hair salon by 7:00 am. By 10:00 am we were hair-sprayed into place and blazing toward the church to get dressed and ready for the first glance and pictures. (The first glance was SPECTACULAR-you couldn't imagine a more perfect reaction than my BF's hubby! Tears, smiles, and straight-up love!)

By the time guests began to arrive we had been forced from the park into the church by a little rain shower and had to hurry up with the family and bride/groom pics so we could hide the bride away before the ceremony began at 2:00 pm.

The ceremony went over without a hitch (even though the bride was PISSED that an unwanted priest showed his face and forced his way into the ceremony-it was kinda funny, he has a silly accent!) and we headed off to the reception is a Hummer limo (after I flashed the congregation my polka-dotted panties trying to get into the beast).

The reception was great fun and my maid of honor speech went over well. I did cry my eyes out though! There was a slight hiccup when we realized the bride's garter was in her car at the church, but on of the groomsmen handled the mini-crisis with ease.

All in all it was a grand ole American wedding with hundreds of guests and I felt like I was at a personalized prom from my BF. The entire time I couldn't help thinking-"Thank goodness I won't have to deal with all of this!"

We've always known that my wedding and my BF's would be night and day and luckily my BF knows me well. We're already planning a much more casual and informal affair without too many traditional wedding activities and a lot of crafty personalized touches.

Upon departing the reception we were attacked with buckets of birdseed (which is still littered around the cars). After a short stop at the bride's mother's house we gathered up cash and checks, hit up Burger King for a late night snack, stopped by the bank, and then charged onward to the SeaTac Raddisson. A weary bride and groom hugged my fiance and me goodbye and thanks and headed up for a few hours of sleep before a 3:00 am date with SeaTac security and check-in.

The wedding went over very well and I'm ecstatic about the new couple-I couldn't have asked for a better match for my best friend. While they're enjoying Mexico, the fiance I will be recovering from our crazy reception dance moves and hobbling around like old farts!

As for the cats: Iroh and Millie were very happy to see us Saturday night and have been enjoying many cuddles and pets. I swear Iroh put on five more pounds over the weekend, or not seeing him for a few days helped me gain new perspective on his mass!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Conspirator

A must see. Go see it!

If you don't know much about Lincoln's assassination-don't worry. I wouldn't even look it up, just go see the movie and then satisfy further curiosity afterwards.

The fiance and I went to see this film with his parents (a compromise between a chick flick and a cartoon and an action flick). We all enjoy history and while my future dad-in-law thought the movie might be "old news" about the escape attempts and capture of the assassins, we were pleasantly surprised by a different take on the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination. 

The film does capture the assassination and the assassins' capture and escape attempts-but the film's main focus is the plight of a young lawyer called upon to defend Mary Surratt. James McAvoy portrays Frederick Aiken, a young soldier returned from the war to work as a lawyer, and does a wonderful job. Robin Wright is glorious as Mary Surratt. Her performance catapults the audience into the shoes of Aiken and the tumult of emotions and suspicion during Surratt's trial. 

The film captures Aiken's struggles against his own convictions as a Yankee soldier defending an accused Confederate conspirator and also examines the political maelstrom following the assassination of President Lincoln. As someone who doesn't know much about this point in history, I found it fascinating and remarkable that Surratt's story hasn't seen much light until now. Even my future father-in-law who has extensive Civil War knowledge was impressed by the film. 

I was a little put off by the modernized English used in the film, but in the end I came to appreciate it. While it does alter the realism of the film I think too much would've been lost with the use of that era's verbage. Overall I very much enjoyed the settings, costumes, and cast-Tom Wilkinson and Kevin Kline didn't let me down and Danny Huston did what he does best-make me resent him (he was utterly creepy in "30 Days of Night"). I've been and continue to be disenchanted with Alexis Bledel-but others might enjoy seeing her. Another enjoyable sight was Justin Long-always entertaining and I hope to see him in more serious films in the future. 

My biggest props go to James McAvoy and Robin Wright. While I watched their acting I forgot everything else except their characters' plights and that's what good actors do!

Also can't forget Robert Redford-snaps, my man! Good film!

In other news: I've had a relapse and am looking into altering my antidepressants-never a fun time! Iroh is starting to wrinkle noses with his spit-covered neck from Millie's attacks and Millie herself was performing some impressive acrobatics in pursuit of a large fly. We all enjoyed a nap in the sun this morning and I got to eat "Cars"-themed Mac n Cheese while watching "Cars" for lunch. Delightful and delectable.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Internet Returns

Internet service has returned to our household in the form of Comcast. So far-it is faster. I didn't know that our old internet was slow, but I have been taught better.

This weekend was a whirlwind! Bachelorette party in Seattle and parents from both sides converging in our apartment. First for the party...

The party consisted of myself, the bride, another bridesmaid, and a bridesfriend. We all met up at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Seattle (very nice-I recommend it) and the good times began. I baked the compulsory penis dessert-a huge chocolate chip cookie version-we played some party games and had a nice dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. For a bunch of girls from the country it was a pretty "city" night-taxi cabs and fufu drinks! At one point our bridesfriend got stuck in a cab because the passenger door wouldn't open! She had to crawl over the seats and out the back.

The dance club was hoppin' and we had some super sweet fem-shots before hitting the dance floor. Lots of people were confused by our tiaras, beaded necklaces, and sashes. We ended up explaining ourselves to many people and I even handed over my sash for a photo op (a jealous sister who wanted a Maid of Honor sash). We were bombarded by the usual ass-humping cologne units but like a good friend-group we watched out for each other and rescued each other from the scariest dudes. By the end of the night we had swollen feet and sweat-soaked clothes, we were very thankful for the quiet and very comfortable hotel room around 2:30 am ;o)

After brekkie with the ladies the next morning I had to pick up my future in-laws at the bus depot. I found King Station all by myself (no GPS or directions!) and sat around for about forty minutes. No show. Called the fiance-no idea. Called the in-laws-we're at the GREYHOUND STATION. Whoops! The fiance said Amtrak and I ended up in the wrong part of town. After a harried dash to Stewart St. I was able to obtain the in-laws and get on the road. We had a good afternoon with a little shopping, lunch, and some delicious cupcakes at the Alderwood Mall and the fiance was able to meet us at the apartment shortly after 4pm (he was in Spokane part of the day for his best friend's graduation from Gonzaga Law).

The dinner with all the folks went well and we had a good time playing games and chatting that night. My folks headed back south and the fiance and I had a good rest of the weekend with his parents. All in all it was a successful but busy weekend and the fiance and I were very glad to relax last night with a couple beers and just the two of us.

As for the cats: Millie is increasingly skittish and I'd like to see her relax a little bit. All the running and spooking is cramping our family style. Iroh is still very much Iroh and enjoyed some of Daddy's tortilla chips today and a good grooming this weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Woohoo NPR & Bears!

Last week I was listening to NPR on my way to an interview and was fascinated by the guest, Chris Morgan. At the end of the program, they mentioned that Chris was speaking at the Seattle Public Library that night. He was very entertaining on the radio (a lovely British accent never hurts) and the library event was playing a preview of the special in addition to a Q&A session, sounded like a great Thursday night plan! I immediately texted the fiance and we made a "bear date."

Chris Morgan is a bear biologist who recently completed a PBS special on bears in Alaska.  After a short detour in downtown Seattle we made it to the event and had a great time from the get-go.

The series and book are based off of Chris' research in Alaska and Canada on motorcycle, during isolated camping trips, and other journeys. In the preview we saw, Chris and his photographer were dropped off by plane into an Alaska park where they set up camp in a valley surrounded by bears. In the snippet preview we saw adorable cubs, fighting grizzlies, and curious foxes. I'm sure the whole series is just as wonderful.

The preview of the PBS show "Nature" special was impressive and had some amazing footage of wild bears in Alaska-black, brown, and polar bears. There were also copies of Chris Morgan's book based on the experience and we bought a copy for the coffee table. It is full of beautiful pictures and information about bears in our region.

Chris is also working on an upcoming film called BearTrek. Producers at a nature film festival liked Chris' work so much, they recruited him for another production!

Growing up in Britain the largest mammals he saw in the wild were foxes. During an exchange program as a camp counselor in the PNW he met a bear biologist during a lecture at the camp for the younger children. He was blown away. Chris begged the man to take him out to see bears and a couple nights later the man picked him up for a night of bear tracking. They found a group of bears near a local dumpster and a chase ensued after the man shot a tracking device into the bear. In the darkness Chris nearly collided with the tranquilized bear. Terrified but fascinated, Chris quickly forgot his dreams of becoming a graphic designer and pursued bear biology. 

Without the radio spot on NPR I would've never known about this opportunity and I love how KUOW and NPR give me access to local events and tips for interesting books, lectures, or groups that actually interest me. Other radio stations only plug concerts, gambling, and store sales.

We also met a representative from Conservation Northwest, a conservation group based out of Bellingham. Oddly I hadn't heard of the group and the representative and I talked about the lack of presence on WWU campus. The fiance and I are interested in exploring Conservation Northwest and possible volunteer activities. We've had a lot of fun volunteering for Washington Trails Association-and we're always looking for productive weekend activities. 

In other news: I can't win an eBay auction to save my life. All I want is a reasonably priced typewriter, but I can't seem to focus on an ending auction long enough to bid before the time runs out. AHHHH! It's not that hard-but I fail so much!

Millie has been acting a little odd and was all over the desk today begging for pets and playing with the plant. Iroh isolated himself in his bookshelf cubbyhole while I did laundry and cleaned, although he made sure to make an appearance in the living room to pull hair and sit and pout once things quited down. Lovely.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

What I'm really celebratory about is the fact that I didn't throw up this morning. Yesterday between roughly 3:30 am and 8:00 am I threw up five times. Not pleasant. Definitely blasted my previous barf record out of the toilet.

Also celebratory about the fact that my soon-to-be-hubby (aka "the fiance") was so helpful during my barf-day. He missed the first episode, but awoke during the second and then brought me a glass of water after each subsequent puke. He also slept on the floor by the couch while I battled my nausea and made bathroom runs. Even more amazing- he offered to stay home with me, brought me 7 UP on his lunch break, did the dishes once he got home AND *drumroll please* cleaned the barf-stained toilet!

Yeah man, if any of you had doubts 'bout the man I picked *pfftchawoozie* they're outta here! Which reminds me...

Before the nausea and barfing started the fiance and I had an awesome goodnight rap-sesh in bed.

A few days before we had some yams go horribly wrong in our spud drawer. One of the yams could've been cooked, but we deemed the whole batch inedible after seeing the white fuzzed, soggy, mushy, yam-life-juice-leaking corpses in the bag. A couple of the yams went so bad they were oozing liquid out of the grocery bag and into the drawer. Just imagine this specimen below in a pool of its own yam-blood.

We have become much more cautious in our fresh vegetable and fruit supervision since this incident.

Anywho, the raps! I performed a rendition of "God Bless the USA" aka "I'm Proud to be an American" about a yam and his fallen comrades. The fiance belted out a rap about rotting peppers and yams and how he and his "homes" Iroh went to their favorite curry place down the street instead of eating mushy peppers. We also coordinated a "Singing the Yam Blues" duo that had some pretty graphic sections depicting catastrophic yam decomposition. With such a good send off to bed, I can't believe I woke up to pukes.

As for the cats: Iroh has been sitting just out of arms reach next to the desk for days now, occasionally ambling around my legs for some pets. I moved his kitty bed from under the coffee table closer to the desk and he's been happily snoring away next to Mommy. Millie is still possessed by evil kibble spirits. The fiance and I squirted her with water, tossed pillows, and shooed her away for nearly an hour before we got out of bed this morning. We may initiate consistent late night feedings to keep the morning kibble monster away.

In other Millie news I locked myself and the demon in the bathroom today. Not seriously locked, but left the door mostly closed and unlatched. The Mill-star couldn't crack the code. After five minutes of trying to dig her way out through the linoleum she began the "woo technique," rubbing against me and purring her brains out trying to get me to do the work. No dice. I tried getting her to paw open the door, then opened the door a crack where she could press a paw through. After another five minutes of purring and inept pawing, she finally smooshed her face far enough into the crack to pop the door open. I may have to schedule another lesson soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

News Across Our Nation

While making the fiance a grilled cheese sandwich for brekkie, I heard the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. My first reaction was simply surprise. I can't say that I ever cared too much about the enterprise. It struck me as a bit silly to pursue one person like some gang-war vendetta. I went on making my sandwich and listening to the radio banter and some patriotic song and forgot about the news until I came to the computer.

Then my feelings began to develop as I perused the news clips, videos, and articles. I was sad. Disappointed and a tinge heartbroke. My country was cheering death while watching baseball. My country flooded Times Square to celebrate death. My country is reveling in death and hate and vengeance. I know that some would call it justice, but I thought justice took place in our courts-not assassinations overseas. If that is our brand of justice, I don't see much difference between us and the terrorists we so label.

Today I feel remorse for our country and I can only hope that we never walk this path again. I am not sure how we can compensate ourselves for the pain and loss we've inflicted on fellow humanity since 9-11. After observing behavior across the nation I find myself skeptical of our capacity.

I only hope that someday we find ourselves in a world where murder is never condoned, and certainly never celebrated.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meet the Cats: Millie

Millie was rescued from the streets of my home town. My parents and their neighbors kept track of her for a few weeks before the fiance and I came down with Iroh to see if they could get along. They didn't hit it off immediately, but they didn't try to ninja-slit each others' throats, so we all piled in the van and came home!

Millie was around six months old when we rescued her in the fall of 2010. Neighbors had been feeding her and seen her sneezing and coughing around the neighborhood and they knew that the fiance and I were looking for a new kitty to try and calm Iroh down and keep him from pulling his hair out (newsflash: it didn't help). It was a teary farewell from the old neighborhood, but the helpful neighbors were glad to see her go to a good home.

Within a few hours we knew Millie was a spitfire. Darting around the house, attacking any movement under a blanket (feet are a favorite), and ambushing Iroh as often as possible. Even when we had her spay surgery she was up and at 'em within hours of returning from the vet. We considering temporarily taking down the kitty tower she loves to climb to try and stop her from rippin' stitches, but she held herself together.

Millie is adjusting to domestic life, although she still wanders towards the garbage can when she gets really hungry and has stolen a rib or two from the garbage for a snack. Iroh is teaching her the wonders of lunch meat, ham, and cheese and now we have two greedy-cheesemongers in the house. She is cuddly often enough, but also likes to run away from us as if she's seen a ghost on occasion.

Bathing is still a challenge with the Mill-star. Unfortunately Iroh hasn't been able to pass on his composure to his little sister. The fiance and I have had some bloody battles in the bathroom with Millie. I'm sure more are to come since she just rolled around in sand and pine needles on the balcony this afternoon.

All in all Millie is an uber-adorable, soft ball of fanged fury with a lovey-dovey side and we are very happy that we rescued her. The jury is still out on whether Iroh likes his little "Orphan Annie" sister. Quite often he gets his furry buns handed to him on the kitty battlefield. Other times he and Millie can be found grooming each other or napping side-by-side on their kitty beds. Wait a second-sounds like a regular sibling situation to me... Jury dismissed!