Sisterly advice

Next time you mouthe words about the lead singer of a band, make sure his sister isn't deaf and he can't read lips...


Yo. Yo.

In two weeks...I'll start my new job!

My negotiating skills? Suck. Auto dealers, salesmen, real estate agents and flea market vendors love me because I never try to get the price down. If it seems fair, I pay it. Last time another company took over our contract and I was offered a smaller salary than expected, I cried and decided to quit because 'counter offer' was a foreign concept.

This time? I asked for 25% more money than I currently make, never realistically expecting them to offer it. They did. And when the woman from HR explained some of the benefits package, I asked if vacation time was negotiable, to which she replied "sure" and added another week. Just like that. She probably pays too much for new cars, too, I'll bet. Suckah!


Don't call me Bubba

I have, apparently, wiggled my way into the professional good ole boy network of southern Alabama.

I had just started my current job when some sort of incident involving a vacuum pump device, a faulty hose, and a few gallons of oil took place. On me. I had showered that morning, but it turned into a really bad hair, with lots of advice from co-workers on the best way to get oil out of clothes. Dawn dishwashing detergent is not the magic elixir they claim, by the way.

I couldn't go home (which was my plan A) because Sam, a computer/environmental scientist/geek from Louisiana, arrived to install a new program and help me learn it that day. We became fast friends, though he later told me the image of me covered in oil was one he'd always remember.

His company is hiring a few people on my base, and, since he's helping in the hiring process, asked me to send my resume so he could write a job description using MY skills and certifications. I asked if he wanted my height, weight, and a photo to attach to eliminate the prospect of someone else applying.

His human resource department started the background check on me this week, and when my current company found out I was leaving, chaos ensued. Who knew I was such a hot commodity? I've always been tragically underpaid in this field, but it appears we're about to have an all out bidding war...for ME!*

*I'm almost afraid to post this entry, in case I somehow jinx myself and both companies wind up saying, "Nah, you can have her."


Money order

Last night, I talked to my sister, who asked if I had received anything in the mail from Tony (our dad), because he mentioned that he was sending something for both of us.

I replied, "Yep, a check for $6,000."

"NO WAY!", she said. "How crazy! Six thousand dollars? I can make my car payment, and..."

[She just makes it too easy to mess with her].


Quarantine: do not enter

5/06 - 10/22/06

While it's not my intention to start an online cat obituary log (catobitog?), I have to mention the frail, sweet, one-eyed Bowie, who entered my life, and heart, this summer. She was the runt of my foster cats, surviving every possible illness and recent death of her brother, with an adorable one-eyed sense of sweetness.

When my sister's boyfriend offered to take Bowie in July, I lied and said she had an appointment the following week, so he couldn't have her (I believe I might have some sort of underlying pathological issue. Or two).

My personal veterinarian (ha!) has no clue what's causing the quick, successive deaths of my cats, but sent a blood sample for full screening when I showed up with Crunchy Black (always fun at the office, when they call us in and I mumble, "my son named him" as we walk back to pet photo-covered walls). He told me he'd like to perform an autopsy on the next one to die, which made for a rather awkward silence. I told him the previous two had died on the weekend, wouldn't rigor mortis set in during that length of time? He told me, gently, that I could wrap the body in a plastic bag and put it in my freezer until Monday, when I could bring in the body.

What does one say to that? I feel like I'm stuck in a morbidly bad b-movie written by Stephen King.


Highways and byways

My ex- starts his new job today with training in Orlando so he had our son for the weekend, then flew him back to Tallahassee for me to get Sunday night. Post-party pick-up mom.

Most of my life, people have told me to slow down when driving, but my son? Nagged the entire way because I was only going 80. He missed his car and could not possibly wait another minute for the reunion, even going so far as to tell me that he could claim youthful offender and his car insurance could cover it if I got a speeding ticket (which I pay, incidentally).

We arrived home (finally!), and he took his poor car with cat-prints on the hood out for a spin. Just like a neglected girlfriend, she paid him back for his weekend getaway, stranding him on the side of the road about ten minutes from our house.

My son, who knows next to nothing about cars, had the hood open, peering inside, as I pulled up.

"It sounds electronical, don't you think?"

Rule #1: if you know nothing about cars, make up words.


Yes, we're going to a party party...

For birthdays during my obsessive, all-things-Beatles phase (which later evolved into one of all-things-George Harrison), my dad would take me shopping at Harmony House, where I would select the perfect album and we would try to answer the age old question: Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. We shared this interest in music, so browsing together was like being in a candy factory with a chocoholic.

I don't recall a special tradition for his birthday, which is today, though I do remember buying many ties and candles over the years. 2003 stands out for the best surprise, when my mom & I painted his kitchen while he was at work.

For something different, I thought it might be nice if complete strangers on the internet could wish him a good one... (GO!)

You say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too--yeah
You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

"I called you and it went straight to voicemail." Yep.

My cell phone, which is also my home phone, has been dead since Wednesday and I'm in no rush to recharge it.

I get like this sometimes, when I'm not able to articulate thoughts, let alone share them with others. It seems much easier to turn inward and avoid people (I wonder if this is what autistic feels like.) If brains are prisons, mine is solitary confinement.

My dad struggles with this, as well, although I always found it a quirky and endearing trait in him. He drove three hours to his neice's wedding reception a few years ago, because he knew he should be there, but he couldn't tolerate the crowd (which was mostly family). He entered the front door, walked though the entire hall, then exited out the back door and returned home. Odd, now, that I should so completely understand.

My ex- used to say to me, "You're going to grow up just like your dad* - alone in a cabin in the woods somewhere, drinking beer."

And? What's so wrong with that?

*he recently got married, moved out of the woods, and switched to whiskey (just kidding).


Addison was here.

Parents with many kids always say they love them equally, though perhaps in different ways, but I don't buy it. Of my ten cats, Crackhead Kennedy and four month old Addison have always been more affectionate, and consequently gained exalted "favorite" status.

Addison was lethargic Saturday, but I didn't really notice...he's a cat. Around midnight he started wailing, and when I got closer I could hear his shallow, pained breathing. His eyes were open, staring blankly and I knew there was nothing I could do. He continued having convulsions and crying loudly, as I helplessly held him. The other cats gathered around, equally confused and concerned.

I laid down on the floor beside him, holding his head tenderly in one hand, and petting him with the other, as he passed away. He still twitched, so I kept holding and petting for probably another half hour. To stop would mean giving up, I suppose, and I was clinging to some desperate hope that he would be alright. He wasn't.

I wrapped him tenderly in one of my favorite, softest hand towels and placed him in an empty box, with a lavender rose from my garden and a catnip toy mouse. My son dug the hole next to the pink Camilla bush that's starting to bloom, and we buried him together.

His brother has spent the past two days wandering around the house, crying. I'm equally as subtle, walking around with my puffy eyelids and sobbing whenever I think of him.

Addison used to sit on my laptop keyboard when I left for a moment, surprising me with gibberish, pop-up windows and odd searches. This one's for you, sweetie. MMMDHGEHEKLJK. Rest in Peace.