Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mexican panoramic photo

I have Windows Vista now, so I used the automatic panoramic photo maker to combine all the pictures I took of El Rey in Cancun when I was there in January. The original photo spread is very large; click here to view. (hosted on Flickr)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I feel like I am forgetting my cats who are dead and it has me in a panic. I tried to list a bunch of things about them and I know I didn't get everything that made them special. But here are my lists; badly written but set in stone now.
  • Zen was afraid of the dark, or of being smothered, because if you put him under the covers he would freak out.
  • He didn't happy paw, but sometimes his paws would flex, very slightly.
  • If something was on a table, he would knock it off with his paw and then sit where it had been. If Nutter was in a bed/basket, Zen would lay on top of him and Nutter would have to move or get out.
  • If there was a piece of paper on the floor, he would sit on it.
  • Zen slept on people, on pillows, anywhere in the bed, always purring really loudly.
  • Zen would get out of bed in the middle of the night and go downstairs for whatever reason. Once down there he would start to howl because he couldn't find us. If we called him, he would run up the stairs and jump into bed, purring madly and cuddling, even though we had never moved, as if we'd left him alone for days.
  • Zen loved milk so much that we couldn't even say the word. He would come running as if we had called his name. We had to call it "m".
  • I would drape Zen across my shoulders, lion-tamer style, and walk around the house like that, and he would purr and be perfectly happy. When I sat at my computer desk, he would get between me and the chair back, wedge himself right in there, and go to sleep, forcing me to sit very still, leaned slightly forward, until he chose to move or until my husband came along to pick him up and move him.

I seem to remember more about Nutter, but he's only been gone 2 months (as of tomorrow). It always seemed to me that Zen was the more interesting cat of the what I have forgotten about my black kitty?
  • Nutter liked to be spanked.
  • He liked to jump on people's shoulders and head butt them and butt-bump them, and if you held your arms out straight he would walk from one to the other.
  • If he was happy to see you, or hungry, he would attack your feet and scratch at them madly. He did this to shoes with no feet in them sometimes too.
  • He hated being picked up or held but loved to sprawl on a human. He would go completely boneless and sleep. Or he would suck on cloth and happy paw and purr. He would dig his claws into my shoulder, put his front feet on my cleavage and purr and go to sleep.
  • When he was a kitten, first at the house, one night Willy rolled over onto him in his sleep. After that, Nutter was scared whenever anyone moved in the bed. He liked to sleep hugging feet, or on top of a person. He would also crawl under the covers sometimes.
  • Nutter did a complicated food trick. First he would lead you to the corner where the food was kept. Then when you showed him two cans of food, he would sit on his hind legs and head butt the can he wanted. Then he would push the empty food bowl with his head to show you where the food went.
  • He liked boxes and would squeeze himself into the smallest ones, even shoeboxes.
  • We could not leave any loose threads anywhere. If we used a ragged quilt, Nutter would find the loose threads and chew on them obsessively. He also would eat curling ribbon, just gnawing at it and we'd pull a foot or more from his mouth, dripping with stomach fluids. Somehow he never ended up getting his intestines bound up from that bad habit.
  • He would sometimes sit on top of the bird cages. The birds did not bother him, and vice-versa.
Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of my dad's death so I'm feeling very melancholy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

new 2012 movie?

Went to see the new James Bond film today and there was a trailer for a new movie about 2012. Basically it showed a monk high on a mountaintop (Tibet, presumably) ringing a giant gong with a log over & over, and the tag line was something like "how would government prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world?" and they show waves crashing over the Himalayan mountains and then it says "they don't".
And then the mysterious find out more, google search for 2012.
No movie address, no plot, nothing.
Here is my guess. I am going to have to go to see that movie in a theater where they don't know me, because I am probably going to get my butt thrown out if they start with the whole "Mayan calendar is ending!" "Mayan calendar predicts the world is ending" BS.

Oh yes, it's even worse than I thought. Here's the website.
Because it might change, here's a screenshot of the first page. Do you see the problem?
Yes, exactly. That is THE AZTEC CALENDAR STONE! ARGH. The Aztec didn't use the Long Count! Let's say that again, louder. THE AZTECS DID NOT USE THE LONG COUNT.
The center of the Aztec sun stone (shown in the screen shot) predicts THEIR end time, which is 4 Ollin (Caban in Mayan, or Earthquake). Not 4 Ahau (12-21-2012). In fact, because 4 Ollin comes around every 9 months, who knows when the world will end?
Here's the trailer:

If it doesn't show, here's the link to it on YouTube.
I'm sorry, I didn't think there was enough water in the world to overflow the Himalayas. Perhaps I have become STUPID in my dotage. I am 40 now, after all.
As I know more about this movie, which is sure to be a travesty since Roland Emmerich is working on it, I will post. 14 Ceh 10 Chuen

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

bye bye birdie :( (pets)

Onnie died around 3:30 as I was bringing her back to the vet.

Poor Onnie (pets)

My female perfect lorikeet is dying. Right now, as I write this.
This morning when I went to feed them, she was in the box. She came out, but she looked kind of puffy. I figured maybe she’d been sleeping. I fed them, she was eating popcorn all happy.
At five of 11, I was in my bathing suit, heading to the gym when I heard an awful “I’m being killed” racket from the bird room. Onnie’s head and right wing were stuck under the grate and she was having a seizure. I couldn’t lift the grate all the way because a perch was in the way but it took two hands to undo the perch, and one of them was holding the grate off her little tiny neck. Eventually I got her off the grate; she fell to the bottom of the cage (what we used to call the “basement” when Gwennie went down there). She was very still and I thought she was dead. Then she got up and found some popcorn and ate it. I changed my clothes like a lunatic, grabbed some popcorn, threw it in a bird carrier and went to get her. She was all limp and dead looking again but when I picked her up she was still alive. Her wings were all droopy. I called the vet and drove their like a maniac. She was eating popcorn the whole way. When I got there, I had to wait for about 15 minutes and I noticed there was blood all over the popcorn but I couldn’t tell from where. Turns out she bit her tongue half off. The vet said her wings weren’t broken and gave her some medicine and said she’d be okay. I wasn’t convinced but I brought her home. She climbed out of the carrier and right up into the perch forest.
I had to go swap a cord for my mom’s cell phone and when I got back she was in the corner, looking dead, barely breathing. If she was Lance (ie, if she liked me) I’d bring her with me in a towel while she left. But since she doesn’t like me I’m leaving her with her mate (who is indifferent to her suffering). She’s wrapped in a washcloth and I’ve got the heater positioned right near where she’s laying.
I feel so awful. I could rush her back to the vet, but he didn’t think she was dying, and he’s the expert. Obviously she was doing the fake perking up thing some animals do. So she’s there dying and I’m here writing and unhappy. That’s two birds and a cat in 5 weeks, plus a job.
When do the good things happen to balance this out? 16 Zac 5 Ben

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Missing Zen and loving kitties (pets)

I missed Zenzen constantly, I think, from the moment the vet told me of his death until I got Sputz a year later. Now that Nutter’s gone too, the pair of them have receded, as if Nutter’s been gone two years also and not just a month. I think it’s because they were a unit, always together, best friends. I’m sad that Ursi and Sputz don’t love each other that much. They never sleep together, and play rough. I wonder if that is because Sputz bonded so much with Nutter, thinking Nut was his mommy, or because Ursi hated everyone for the first few months (and only now is figuring out we might not be planning to kill and eat her).
So this weekend I drank milk for the first time in several years. Zen loved milk so much we couldn’t even SAY the word around him. Then I started getting sick from milk and stopped drinking it. But now I don’t get sick anymore. Saturday I made chocolate chip cookies and drank a big glass of milk. Sputz was on the couch and I offered him the glass and said “milk” in the way I always said it for Zen, and this wave of longing for my smelly black kitty came over me and I’ve missed him for the past few days.
Could I have forgotten how much Zen loved milk? I mean, when Tom did his fake “got milk” commercial Zen was one of the stars! When’s the last time I thought about Zen’s poor little half-tongue, chopped up by two surgeries, and how he had to curl it sideways to drink? Or how bad he used to smell before his second surgery?
Turns out Sputz loves milk too, and drank it eagerly out of my glass. It did not make him sick. Ursi wasn’t around so I don’t know if she’ll drink it or not.
I remember how Nutter would roll over in his sleep to have him tummy rubbed, and how much he liked to be spanked, and to have his chin scratched. How Zen would sit and stare at me with such love, as if I was God and he was abashed in my presence. He would lie along the back of my chair, and gradually fall between me and the chair back, purring, fast asleep, happy to be near me. He slept on my head at night. Sputz sleeps on my head too, and I’m glad. For the year in between Zen and Sputz, I still slept toward the bottom of the bed, with my arm curled around the empty space where a cat should have been sleeping.
If Nutter was sleeping somewhere, Zen would try to lie there too, and end up pushing Nutter aside (or Nutter capitulated). If Zen was sleeping somewhere, Nutter would cuddle with him and they would hug each other in their sleep. Sputz and Ursi never sleep together. They don’t hang out. If Sputz is in the bed at night, Ursi sleeps in the dog bed on the floor, and vice versa. Very rarely, Sputz will be on the pillows and Ursi will be hugging my feet, but that’s the closest they come to sleeping together.
Ursi has been more cuddly lately, since we came home from Bermuda. Maybe 4 days without us taught her that she really DOES like us. She often gets in the bed with me while I’m writing and curls up nearby. Sometimes she curls against me. More rarely, she gets on me.
Saturday, after the cookies and milk were gone, Ursi came running down the stairs, howling as if she’d lost her best friend. We called to her and she ran over and got on the couch and laid half on the arm of the couch and half on Will’s legs (he was on his back, his legs up on the side of the couch). Eventually he moved her to be on his chest, and he petted her and rubbed her head, and she purred. But she is a weird little thing. Even when she’s happy she’s always got this grumpy look on her face. My friend (who has six or seven cats), says that Ursi is bitchy, and she is.
And of course the irony about Ursi is that Will picked her because she was the calmest, sweetest cat of the litter, and she was happy when he picked her up and cuddled her. He wanted her even when he thought she was a boy. (A boy with that face? She is such a girl. I can’t imagine a boy cat with her markings.) When the breeder called me and said there was a mistake and our chosen cat was actually female Willy didn’t care at all. And the little boy who lived there said that kitten was his favorite because she was “calm” and sweet. Something happened to drastically change her personality on the way home, that’s all I can think of, because when I brought her upstairs and took her out of the carrier she backed into a corner and hissed at me, all 2 pounds of her, and she’s pretty much hated me (and Sputz and Willy and Nutter) ever since. Except when she is hungry. Or when SHE wants to be cuddly.
A few weeks ago Sputz demonstrated that he learned how to fetch. He has two of these weird hedgehog toys, these little gray balls of fur with mechanical tails. If you pull the tail the toy goes across the floor. He carries them around in his mouth and brings them to bed. In the middle of the night I’ll wake up because he is pulling the tail over and over. I sewed one back together after he disemboweled it. And bought him another one after he completely ripped the tail off and lost it. If you throw the hedgehog, Sputz chases it and brings it back. He did it about a dozen times in a row.
Ursi’s love is for the laser. I had one that was purple (the case, not the light) and one of the cats stole it. We completely moved everything in the bedroom and never found it. So I bought a new one (blue, so if the purple one turned up I’d know it was a different one), When I pick it up, Sputz comes running to me and bats at the chain. Ursi comes running too (she knows the noise of the chain) but in her smart cookie way, she doesn’t come to me. She sits in the doorway and looks around on the floor for the light. She knows that when I have the blue thing in my hand the light is on the floor. That’s pretty intelligent. She never comes over to investigate the pointer itself.
I started out writing about Zen and how much I missed him and moved naturally, gradually, into talking about my new cats. I guess that’s right and proper. I can’t ever get Zen or Nutter back. I think sometimes, would I trade either of my cats to have my old cats again, back as kittens? No, something about that trade strikes me as wrong.
And now I’ve lost my Zeebo too, he who used to throw his food bowls and swear and yell “hey hey hey” (always three times) for attention. I was worried that Lancelot would keel over and die by himself, but he seems okay with the perfect lorikeets in the other half of the cage. The cage divider is up, and they haven’t fought once through the bars. I would take the divider out but I think that Hogan, who is a bully, might hurt Lancelot, who is a wimp, even though Lancelot is a lot bigger. The three of them were at the vet last week (I picked up Zeebo’s cremains in a lovely wooden box) and I asked Dr. Giddings how long they would live and he just laughed. I am going to be in a nursing home and still have Hogan, I just know it. He’s 16 or 17, in perfect feather and perfect health, has never been sick once since I got him in 1995 (used).
- 15 Zac 4 Eb