Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet Copernicus

As I'm posting this, I hear the anguished cries of a stray cat. Sean and I have been joking frequently lately that I have the "mommy gene," and the discomfort I feel at the sound of those cries, the ache in my heart, reminds me of those jokes. The sound alerts Copernicus as well, as he leaps up and dashes toward the window.

Who is Copernicus, you ask?

Well, let me explain.

Thursday was my roommate as well as one of my best friends' birthday. The night began simply enough; dinner and drinks at a cute bar and restaurant, then off for more drinks at another bar a few blocks away. In the midst of a pretty cutthroat Candyland game (yes, this bar has Candyland), we noticed a girl with a tiny kitten in her arms. The establishment was always very welcoming of dogs, so we thought little of it and continued to play the game.

Shortly after that, however, the girl approached us and began to plead the kitten's case. He had been found in a friend's garage (gesturing toward a group of boys at this point), and could anybody take him in. She began to explain why she couldn't care for him, though I'm fuzzy on the details because at this point I was no longer listening. Instead, I was scooping him up into my arms and saying, "Yes, yes, I'll take him!" Unsure if I could keep him at this point, I needed to make sure he didn't end up in the hands of some drunken idiot. 

As the three of us girls cooed and snuggled this tiny malnourished ball of fur, Sean and the birthday girl's boyfriend stepped outside where supposedly, Sean grumbled "Well, I guess I'm getting a cat now." Though he only had to spend about 20 minutes with young Copernicus before falling in love with him.

Though, it'd be hard not to with this little guy:

We arrived at home with Copernicus, his namesake received at the bar, at around 1am. We bring him inside briefly when I discover that he has fleas. And so marks the beginning of my Very Long Friday:

1am- 4am: Spent spraying Copernicus down with an antiflea solution purchased at Walgreens, then picking them out of his fur as they died. With. My. Bare. Hands. I hate bugs, so this was awful for both of us. In an attempt to escape the chemicals, the bugs migrated to where I couldn't directly spray: his face. Pulling them out of the fur on his cheeks, chin and above his eyes was absolutely horrid. I killed at least 30 that night, combing through his fur OCD style and looking for more until there was no more to find.

5-7am: Changing on the back porch into clothes without the possibility of fleas on them under a halloween cloak, I went indoors to formulate a game plan for getting him vet care. Made a mental list of vets as well as what time they opened. Returned outdoors to give him company. Continued the search for fleas.

7-9am- Drove around, looking for a vet that would give us a discount or a payment plan given that we were trying to rescue an abandoned stray, with no luck. The entire time I'm so jacked up on energy drink, I feel like I'm experiencing all of the negative effects of taking amphetamines. My whole body felt strained, my jaw tensing up until it ached, my focus drifting away. Continue to search for fleas.

10am: I call my aunt, who told me she'd loan us the amount for the vet visit. Relief crashes like a wave throughout my body, downward into my fingertips and toes. Sean hears me thank her, and we share a look that my less than graceful use of the English language can describe. We make a vet appointment for 1pm. Continue to search for fleas.

Worn out little ball of fur
9:15-12:30: Unable to take him indoors and unwilling to leave him alone, Copernicus wait away the hours until his vet appointment on the back porch. We bring out his makeshift litter box as well as food and water bowls. A friend comes by with food and conversation. Along with not having slept, I also hadn't eaten since 3pm the day before as I didn't eat at the restaurant the previous night. Copernicus sleeps. And sleeps. And sleeps. Most of the time he's unconscious, but his waking moments slowly become more lively as he gets rest, food, and hydration. We leave to pick up my aunt and head to the vet's office. As before, continue to search for fleas.

One o'clock. We arrive for his appointment. We fill out the paperwork together, Sean and I. Another scary/exhilarating/exciting moments that make the whole "till death do you part" thing more real. Like when we got a joint savings account a few weeks ago.

Everybody in the vet's office is wonderful. Friendly, helpful, compassionate, sympathetic to what we've been going through. His checkup begins. He is about 12 weeks old, he weighs just over 2lbs. He's supposed to be around 3-4 lbs. Being underweight even 1lb is a big deal when it's 1/3 your body weight. They vet assistant brushes me off when I say I was thorough on checking for fleas, and I think I killed them all. He combs through Copernicus with a flea comb, only one dead one is found. He's given an instakill flea pill just in case.

They distract him with a can of cat food to take a fecal sample, which he devours into ravenously. A tiny growl during during the extraction, but he never even stops chewing. They draw his blood, and I have the realisation that I'm going to be that mom, when/if I have kids. When he cried out I felt a cold, helpless sort of panic. "But he's hurting my baby" is the exact phrase the went through my mind.

Sean and I had discussed the possibility of this not going well back home. "We have to be prepared for the possibility that he might come up positive for feline leukemia," I told him. Even so, it was an emotional moment when the vet announced that all of the tests were negative. FeLV, Heartworm, FIV: all negative. To hear that all he had was a few roundworms at the end of an emotional day with no sleep and little food released all of the stress at once. We both got a little misty. Sean asked if we could be his forever home. I asked the same question back. They gave him his first round of vaccinations, and we finally were able to go home, with the newest addition to our family. 

And he was finally able to go inside.

This is him today, already looks so much better!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In other, vaguely Wu Tang related news:

Remember this post?
Barversation made it onto Urban Dictionary!

I got the email a few days ago, and decided to wait until it was published to say anything. Which, I only succeeded in doing because I completely forgot until just now.

In other, other news, I got THIS game from Goodwill for 3 American Dollars:

If you're not thinking that's the most awesome game ever then I don't know who you are anymore, internet. Who doesn't want to play a good old-fashioned game of Good, Bad, and Mystery smells? Well, my friends, apparently.

Whew, deep breath.

Oh yes, it's been some time since I've written here.

I'm sure most of you that know me assume that the abandonment hiatus was brought about by my inability to stick to anything. Normally you would be right but this time that was not the case.

I don't want to go into all the details, because overexposure was the problem in the first place, but in a nutshell:

I became afraid of my blog.

One night out after a few too many I posted a video on YouTube exposing a little bit too much of my feelings/life/circumstances. The point was to use it anonymously as part of a project, with no intention of it being seen by anybody who actually knows me. An incredibly flawed plan if you're not half in the bag/feeling hopeless at 3 am.

The problem was, my YouTube account is connected to my Facebook.

So, the next morning afternoon when I awoke I saw that said video was linked to on my Facebook account, and also reposted by well meaning friends. I instantly deleted it from my wall and later made toe video unviewable, before deleting it completely.

Now, I'm a relatively open person, but this was exposing not only my life but the lives of others. The exposure of those I care about because of my carelessness is what resonated within me so much.

I felt a sense of betrayal, but the only thing at fault was my own carelessness. Then the social anxiety set in. And even though my blog was in no way related to my mishap, I needed to hide from any sort of internet exposure for awhile which included my blog. I went back to posting on Facebook, etc, but the blog took a little bit longer. Looming in the back of my mind, me longing to write again but hesitant to take the first steps. The heartbeat thud-thud-thud of small panic whenever I'd try to push myself to write the words I'm writing now.

Sometimes, I get afraid of the world. I've lost jobs because of it. Panic strikes and I can't will my body to move from its hiding place under my bedcovers. I cringe if I hear a roommate walking about because that means I can't eat, use the restroom, without them seeing me.

Due to my carelessness, I've now learned that same feeling of anxiety can happen for me online. But, I've gotten over it.

And I'm back.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to Celebrate Paddy's like the Man Himself

Are you bored with the way Americans (or, Insert-Your-Country-Here. I have a limited world view due to my lack of omniscience!) celebrate St. Patricks Day? Do you think celebrating like the Irish still isn't "authentic enough?" Well here is a list of ways you can spend March 17th just like the holiday's namesake- St. Patrick . 

- Go to an English pub, and drink English beer. Not to be a hipster or "ironic." St. Patrick wasn't Irish. That's right. He was English.

-Become a slave. Apparently the young Paddy found his way to Ireland via kidnapping from his wealthy English family's estate, and was sold into slavery tending sheep.

-Own slaves. See "wealthy English family's estate" above.

-Take hallucinogenics and/or develop schizophrenia. After all, it was the voices that prompted St. Patrick to escape from Ireland. And also, to return to Ireland.

-Persecute anybody with religious views that are different from yours. After all, there are no snakes in Ireland, and there never have been. Snakes were used to symbolize the evil, and what war really driven out was pagan beliefs. So, have all of differentially-religious neighbors evicted, then spread the word that ridded the building of cockroaches. It's the modern day, apartment version of the banishing of the snakes. Well, it would be if you made sure to kill a bunch of 'em in the process.

-Die, but leave everyone around you confused as to when March 17th is the accepted date of St. Patrick's death, but there are 4 possible stated years of death on his Wikipedia page: 420, 460, 461, and 493. It's possible they clear up which date is the real one, I didn't pay that close attention.

Of course, you could always cut to the root of the United State's version of Paddy's Day. Have a slice of apple pie while playing baseball. After all, the modern idea of how to celebrate St. Patrick's day has "almost nothing to do with the real man" and "was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans." (Luther College Professor Phillip Freeman).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

(Re)Learning to Draw: An Exercise in Cthulhus IV: "Business Time"

Oh, Creativity. That special kind of mental illness that causes you to spend 12 solid hours drawing Cthulhu with a fedora on. So, if the written part of this post is mangled, that's why. I can't brain anymore. Really wanted to do it all from scratch, buas hour 12 approached, this seemed like an interesting/fun way to keep it from getting sloppy whilst finishing all in one go.

Find the first three installments herehere, and here.

I'm pretty proud that these four drawings are my only experience with a tablet- with no other attempts before or in between.

While making this, I had the best/worst situation ever. I thought of a blog post that I really wanted to write, but also didn't want to stop drawing. Write?Draw?Write?Draw? The creative's dilemma.

Credit where credit's due:
The Background
The Briefcase

Blarg. Done thinking. Also, I just attempted to put a comma into the word done 4 times. Umm... apostrophe, actually.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Condescension really isn't a good look on anybody

This is a post I've been wanting to write for the past few days- would have a few false starts then put away to write later. It doesn't help that, even now, I'm having a difficult time focusing my eyes to write this. But more on that in a different post. Perhaps. I don't promise eloquence on this one, just an expression of something that I find maddening.

There is very little that I find more insulting than an individual or organization advocating for my "own good" against my desires. About a week ago I found myself reading a discussion on the Evils of the Cosmetics Industry that followed the same regurgitated pattern of:

"The cosmetics industry manipulates women into thinking they need to wear make up to feel pretty!"
"It perpetuates poor self-image and low self-esteem!"
"Those poor girls!"

Hold on, now. As a woman, a self-identified third wave feminist, and a lover of cosmetics, I do take offense to this. The notion that I am somehow too weak-minded to see that I'm being taken advantage of by big bad corporations feels incredibly insulting. Telling me that I'm not capable of making my own decisions or thinking for myself in the name of feminism makes that insult so much more scathing.

I'm making this personal because I cannot speak for other women. I can only speak for myself and don't pretend to have an omniscient view into the heads of Every Woman. What I know is this:

I do not think I'm hideous without makeup. I am not afraid to leave the house without foundation/eyeliner/whatever. I do not wear makeup to give me "confidence." Sometimes I wear it to enhance features, sometimes for a more polished appearance, mostly to play with color. I love cosmetics because of the ways that they can be fun and artistic. I spend money on good cosmetics for the same reasons an artist spends money on quality art supplies- you can most assuredly tell the difference in quality as you use them. Just because you *can* create an amazing drawing using Crayola colored pencils, that doesn't mean you don't want the richer pigments and superior blending ability of a box of Prismacolors.

That's not to say there aren't women who have an unhealthy attachment to cosmetics, but in my experience the vast majority of women do not fall into that category. Many-to-most women think they look better with makeup on, but just because a guy thinks he looks better in an Armani suit that doesn't mean he thinks he's cripplingly disfigured in sweat pants.

Ultimately, this rant isn't just about cosmetics. It's also about anything that sounds as though it is speaking for your gender, your race, or even you as an individual, but in the process places that group or individual in a diminished capacity to speak for themselves.

Knock it off.