Tag Archives: cat

A new year post on the actual day. Go me.

Happy new year, people of the interwebs! OK, so I missed New Year’s day for some of you. I know. I’m the worst at thinking in a timely fashion for other time zones. Please forgive me, other time zones. Here is a photo of Dumbcat looking pensive to make up for my transgression.

Hapey Noo Yere, peeple of bloge. I had a birfday this weeke adn am nowe fifeteene. In humaene yeers that is 76 yeers old. I shoulde reetire.

Hapey Noo Yere, peeple of bloge. I had a birfday this weeke adn am nowe fifeteene. In humaene yeers that is 76 yeers old. I shoulde reetire and get soceel securtee so Momee can stay homee and pet my furrs all the dayys.

A couple weeks ago at work, one of my most favorite coworkers (there are a lot of them…I kind of work with the best people in all the land) and I were talking about blogging. Here, I’ll give you our conversation. If he happens to read this (and I suppose he might, the internet’s a very small place sometimes), apologies in advance for stealing your words and putting them on the internets for all to read, one of my most favorite coworkers whose name I will not put on the blog because I’m about 99% sure it would embarrass the pants right off of you and I enjoy you so much I would never want to do that to you. Plus, also, workplace harassment, yo, I can’t be taking work-people’s pants off. I think there’s a seminar or something about that.

I seriously just snorted orange soda up my nose at this. This was NOT the image I went looking for, but look at the chick's face. It's like she's oblivious to the butt-groping. Or she's looking at a really funny kitten-GIF. Or maybe she just really likes the groping, I don't even know. Either way, it is my best thing of the day.

I seriously just snorted orange soda up my nose at this. This was NOT the image I went looking for, but look at the chick’s face. It’s like she’s oblivious to the butt-groping. Or she’s looking at a really funny kitten-GIF. Or maybe she just really likes the groping, I don’t even know. Either way, it is my best thing of the day.

Impressive Reporter Coworker: So I noticed the other day you’re a tweetaholic. You have over 20,000 tweets!
Me: Oh. Yeah. I used to tweet a lot. I don’t do that anymore.
IRC: Why?
Me: Oh, kind of a long story. I used to blog? And then tweet a lot, kind of in relation to that? I kind of fell out of practice.
IRC: You had a blog?
Me: Yeah. I kind of still do, I guess, but it just sits there.
IRC: What was it about?
Me: Um. Mostly me ranting about some things and making fun of other things? Also I talked about zoos a lot.

By the way, this happened a couple months ago in Syracuse. I like it because it looks like I Munchausen-by-Proxyed my penguin-baby and have gone cheerfully insane.

By the way, this happened a couple months ago in Syracuse. I like it because it looks like I Munchausen-by-proxyed my penguin-baby and have gone cheerfully insane.

IRC: And people would read it?
Me: Heh. Yeah. Lots of people would read it. I won some awards. And I met amazing people. And I went to Finland last year. Got to stay with people I met through blogging, actually. It was fantastic.
IRC: So…what happened?

And I didn’t have an answer for him. Not really.

What happened? Oh, I don’t know. Life, I guess. Andreas and I have spent copious amounts of time discussing that. Priorities change. Things change. People come in and out of your life. Moods rise and fall. Jobs come and go. I can most sincerely say that the person I was three and a half years ago when I started blogging isn’t the person I am now. I think back on that person and she seems like a complete stranger to me. It’s not that I’m embarrassed of her; it’s that I don’t know her at all, and I don’t know how I ever was her. I have a record that I was, I can look back on old posts and I know I wrote them, but as for remembering it, it’s kind of fuzzy. Too much water under the bridge.

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking…and I realize there’s this itchy little part of me that wants to start writing again, and writing more. Otherwise I’m going to probably self-destruct.

I’m not juvenile enough to think resolutions ever stick. The first day of the year always seems so shiny and new, doesn’t it? Like you can accomplish anything. Like you have 365 days of newness (ooh, 366 this year, yeah?) to tackle and make your own. But I don’t know about you…but every resolution I’ve ever made has fizzled around February once you realize “oh, look, this shiny new year is very much like last year, what are the odds, yo.”

Instead, I’m going to be kind to myself, and promise myself I’ll do things that are good for me – and writing’s good for me. So writing here? Good for me. Writing poetry, essays, maybe even some short fiction? Good for me. And it’s good for my mind, because I need it to stop being so itchy. An itchy mind never did anyone any good.

(Side note: I have an amazing job, and every now and then I get to write. I got to write part of an article – FOR THE ACTUAL PAPER! – a couple months ago, and then got asked to write a LONG article for one of our related publications. A three-page article about traveling to Albany and all the things you can do there. It’s not online yet – will be eventually, and then you can read it, if you’re so inclined – but long story short, I get to write for work. I also get to do our social media, copyedit, proofread, and sometimes there’s totally a STOP THE PRESSES! moment with late-breaking news which makes me jump around in my chair because I feel like I’m in a 40s film with very impressive fedoras. My coworkers are fantastic, because they’ve totally accepted me even though I’m the biggest goofball. And I can say, with 100% certainty, I’ve never had a job where I can be more myself, and where I’ve felt more immediately at home with the people, than this one. Ever. When you can completely dork out about something three days in and no one even bats an eye? You have won employment.)

Sometimes I like to imagine that I'm in "His Girl Friday" only there's a lot less sexism (and also a lot fewer typewriters, ashtrays, and, sadly, fedoras.)

Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m in “His Girl Friday” only there’s a lot less sexism (and also a lot fewer typewriters, ashtrays, and, sadly, fedoras.)

I’m kind of rambling, here.

Anyway: I have a couple of people I’m going to encourage to blog, and they’re going to, in turn, encourage ME to blog, this year, so we’re responsible to one another as well as being cheerleady. And this will, hopefully, stop the brain-itching and get me back writing and being creative.

Happy New Year, internets. I hope your 2014s weren’t as fraught with weirdness as mine was (and most people I know had a TERRIBLE 2014, what’s going on, 2014, why were you so cursed?) and your 2015 looks like 366 (or 365, sorry, people of other time zones, I really meant to do this earlier in the day but I was too busy painting a unicorn head to go over my new fireplace…YES THAT IS REALLY A THING I DID TODAY, WHY ARE YOU ASKING) new and shiny days of awesome that you can tackle and wrestle into submission and make yours, all yours.

This is my unicorn head that is hanging over my fireplace. I don't have a name for him yet, but I'm leaning toward Reginald von Sparklenstein.

This is my new unicorn head that is hanging over my fireplace. I don’t have a name for him yet, but I’m leaning toward Baron Reginald von Sparklenstein.

Much love to your shiny little new-year faces. *smooch*

It is my BIRTHDAY! (A very special guest post!)

Gude morneng, people of teh bloge. Momme said I culd blog today because it is a speshul day for me. It is my burthday!

I am blogginge! Mommee has used her lapetope so much she wore off all the silver on it. She needs a new one, she sayse!

I am blogginge! Mommee has used her lapetope so much she wore off all the silver on it. She needs a new one, she sayse!

Well, it is my pertend burthday, because I am adopted catte. Mome doesn’t’t know when is my burthday. I do not know ether because I am a catte. We do not haev calenders! But when Moeme adopted me, the vet sayed I was two yeers olde, and so she said my 2end burthday was on the day she adopted mee and I became a catte with a Momme who pettes my furr.

It is many yeers later. Do you know how olde I am twoday?

I am Foreteen yeers old!

Momme looked it up on the internetwebs and she sayed that when a catte is fouerteen, it is like a hoomanperson being seventy-2 years old. “Thatte is very old, Dummbecatte!” she sayed to me. Then she picked me up and kissed me on my noes and also cuddled me and that messes up my furres! So when I gotted onto the floor, I licked my furr until it was niec again. Momme doesnot understaynd how my furres need to always be so nice but she gives good cuddels so I still loev her.

O no! This cat has the mesziest furs! He must be SO MADFACE!

O no! This cat has the mesziest furs! He must be SO MADFACE!

Momme has been my momme for tweylve yeers. That is a longtime! I donot remember my home beefore Momme but probebly it was not goodtimes because they did not want me anymore and left me at a scary playce called a shelter but not inside but owtside where it was wintercold but Momme worked there and she bringed me home with her because she sayed, “I like yore fayce, you funny furree catte.” Me is Dumbcatte. Did I say hi? Oh, no. I always try to be saying hi. Hi from Dumbcatte. Hi to you, peeple!

Hi from me Dumbcatte! I am a litele scayred of you but not all the way scarede.

Hi from me Dumbcatte! I am a litele scayred of you but not all the way scarede.

On humanpeeple burthdays, there are caykes and presents and cards mayde of paper, and sometimes the phone rings and also peeple write on your wall of Faycebookings, but I donot have a phone or a fayceboke. I don’t think cates can hayve a faycebooke because we have paws. That seems unfayre. I want to talk to my congressmene. I would be good at Faycebookings! I would like all of your piktures and also say things like “helo from me i Am Dumbcatte!” and you would smile. Also I wuld post piktures of cattes. Momme says that lots of peeple do that on teh Faecbooks so yew would liek that!

I wulde post THISCAT! He is funny cat. He has a cowche! And WURDS! I like him lots much.

I wulde post THISCAT! He is funny cat. He has WURDS! I like him lots much.

Momme says I sholde tell you about how it is to bee seventee-two yeers old in hooman years and about importent things that haev happened to me in my lief because that is what olde peeple mite do on their burthdays so I was thinkeng all day aboute this. I forgette things a lot of tiems. This mite be becauz I am olde, or because Momme says I am a catte of very litel brain. But she still loves me the most of all the cattes of all the wurld! That maeks me lucky!

I am thinkinge hard hard. This is my thinkinge fayce, but also my almost asleepe fayce.

I am thinkinge hard hard. This is my thinkinge fayce, but also my almost asleepe fayce.

I will tell you things that are importent that have happened to mee! Dumbcatte! You did not forgete I am Dumbcatte, right? Gude.

When I am TWO yeers old, Momme rescued me from the cowld outsideplace. At furst I was scared of her because peeple made me scaredcat. But then I reelized, she is gudelady! And gievs me many pettings and many treets! So I luved her after some months of hiding under the bed where there was dust and also it was darktimes. Her howse was warm and no one throwed things at me and there was alwaeys food and waters, and treets. When I was two was a very gude yeer even though I was scared at furst.

When I am STILL TWO yeers old, Momme and me and my sistercat got in the car and drove for many many days! I did not know what is happeninge. The car had maney things in it like cloethes and pots and pans and all the books. Me and sistercat were in the front seet in a carrier with a seetbelt over us. Mostly I sleeped the whoel time. Sistercat did not sleep. She made meows the whole way but LOWD. Momme kept saying, “Please stop, Bittercat, you are giving mee migrayne hedacke.” Sistercat did not like cars or drivings and made so many meows. Mostly I just sleeped. Sometimes Momme would pet me and say, “You are my gudboye and a very gude traveller, Dumbcatte” and I would make purrs. I do not mind travels! Momme sneaked us into hotels for two nites and Sistercatte was crayzee and runned all around and maed more meows and mostly I sleeped more and headbutted Momme and eated some foods and treets. We were going to New Yoerk where Mommee was from! And we staeyed with Grandma and Grandpa at camp in the woods and I jumped on Grandma and she laffed and I catched a mowse and eated all of it but the tayle and that made Grandma say “Why couldn’t you eet the whole mowse, Dumbcatte?” but tayles aren’t delicious, Grandma!

Looke! This mowse eats this catte's fudes! Oh, this would make me sadest. I like my fudes but not for mowses to eat!

Looke! This mowse eats this catte’s fudes! Oh, this would make me sadest. I like my fudes but not for mowses to eat!

When I am STILL TWO yeers old, Momme and me and sistercat moved in with Niec Laydee and her catte and I falled in love with her cat but her catte did not love me back and maed hisses at me a lot of many times. Niec Laydee is Momme’s frend from college where Momme lerned to be actress adn writer. She gaev me many pettings and was niec and liked cattes. Our howse had flores made of woode and if I runned very fasttimes I would slied and run into the wall and Momme would say, “Oh, no, Dumbcatte, THAT’S not gude” but also laugh and hide it behinde her hand.

Sometimes my leggs would all go out sidewaysplaces. Momme would laugh but pretende it was coffing because she is nicelaydee.

Sometimes my leggs would all go out sidewaysplaces. Momme would laugh but pretende it was coffing because she is nicelaydee.

When I am EIGHT yeers old, me and Momme and sistercat moved into a NEW playce that does not have woode floors. It is littel and I liek it fine becuz Momme is still heer. I wuld live anywhere Momme is! And sistercatte and I sleep with Momme on her bed and sometiems we curl up with eech other becuz we are sister and brothercattes but only becuz of adoption but that is the sayme says MomMe.

This is me in new home cuddling with mommee. She is warm and soft and pettes my furrs.

This is me in new home cuddling with mommee. She is warm and soft and pettes my furrs.

When I am ELEVEN yeers old sistercatte getted very sick and would not coem out from under the bed or eet or drink and she made sad noyses and culd not breethe and losed all her weight and we culd see all her bones and I am sadcatte adn Momme is sadMomme. And one day sistercatte goed away and she did not coem home, and when Momme comed hoem she cryed and cryed and hugged me adn I looked for sistercatte for many days and sayed “Meow? Meiuw?” but she did not come owt. Momme sayed she had to go to sleep adn wuld not come hoem. I am sad adn Momme is sad.

When I am FORETEEN yeers old I am writing this blogge! And I am seventy-2 hooman yeers old. But I still jump around like a kittne because I do not feel olde. I sleepe with Momme every nite and purr in her ear and sometimes jumpe on her when she is sleeping but she does not get mad. She says, “Dumbcatte Dumbcatte no no. I am sleeping. Be a gudcatte” and I try but I liek jumping on her sometiems. I cannot help it. She is like trampoleen I love more than any of all the thinges!

Mommee says to stop writing now so I can have a can of squishy fude that is special burthday treet and smeels like fishes. Have a happy day to you peeple! Do not worry about beeing seventee-two becuase you will still feele like a yung kitten liek I do!

I loev you and wuld loev you more if you wuld give me treets!

Loev, Dumbcatte

This is me walking away bybye! I am going to sleepe on the box for the cableteevee now where it is much warm. It gets fur in the cableboxx. Momme says "Oh Dumbcatte" but she does not mind becauz she loves mee!

This is me walking away bybye! I am going to sleepe on the box for the cableteevee now where it is much warm. It gets fur in the cableboxx. Momme says “Oh Dumbcatte” but she does not mind becauz she loves mee!

I still want a hula hoop!

Mom. Mom. Mommee. MommE. I Help with blogge today? A litle bit?

Mom. Mom. Mommee. MommE. I Help with blogge today? A litle bit?

Happy Christmas Eve, people of the bloggiverse! I know, this is posting at a weird time. It’s been a (typical, for me) strange Christmas Eve: I had to work half a day, then it was all the running around, and now I’m loafing and enjoying the rest of the day from the comfort of my couch. I don’t plan on moving until bedtime. OK, fine. I’ll probably move a little. I mean, or else I’ll get bedsores. Couchsores. Something along those lines. Right?

And who wants couchsores on the happiest of days before the most happy day, I ask you? No one. The answer is no one.

So Dad was coming up today, because he and Mom couldn’t come up this weekend as planned due to the gigantic ice storm up north. So he made a whole plan-like scheme-thing to come up today, meet me after work, drop off presents, pick UP presents, take me to lunch, and then hit the road. This is because he loves me, and I am spoiled rotten. I’m grateful for the former and surprisingly ok with the latter.

I rushed home after work (after a quick stop in the parking lot because friend K. was picking up friend A. and I HAD to give her Christmas hugs! I mean, come on, who could stop themselves from doing that?) and who did you think was waiting for me at home?



She told her boss that my dad was coming down and her boss was all, “Then why are you here?” and she was all, “No one else is here to cover the department!” and her boss said, “No one’s here anyway. GO HOME” and so Mom DID! And got in the car with Dad and came WITH him! Aw, what a happy surprise!

So Mom and Dad brought in THREE LOADS OF GIFTS! Because, as mentioned, I AM SPOILED! One of the loads was all the food I need to make myself Christmas dinner just like they’re having at home tomorrow. I know, right? SO SWEET!

And as for the rest of it…


Look at all those presents, yo!

Some are for Dumbcat (because he’s Mom’s grandcat so of COURSE he gets gifts!) but the rest are for me me me! Some from BFF and one from my grandmother and the rest from Santa! That’s what the tags say. Who am I to call gift tags liars, I ask you?

I think this means I have been a very good girl this year. I don’t think someone naughty would get all these gifts, would they?

(My family tends to go a little overboard with gifts. Anyone who knows me knows, upon receiving a gift from me, that it’s usually kind of out of control. I get a lot of “you went a little crazy here” emails once people start getting gifts. Here’s the thing: it’s what my family does. It’s what we’ve ALWAYS done. Christmases, birthdays, whatever. We do a lot of gifts on special occasions. It’s our thing. I have a little trouble NOT doing that. So anyone that’s ever freaked out about getting too many gifts from me – please look at that tree and realize it’s apparently genetic or something.)

Then we had Chinese food (and no one was at the restaurant and Dad LOVED that and was all, “IT IS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!”) and they hit the road because Dad doesn’t like to be late to get home or something, I’m not really sure.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. WHY HAVEN’T YOU OPENED ALL THESE GIFTS YET?

Because I like to make things last. If I were to open them all now, Christmas would be over! And Christmas only happens once a year, yo. You have to wait until NEXT year for another tree with all those gifts under it! So why NOT make it last?

So, tomorrow, actual Christmas Day, first thing in the morning, I’m off to visit The Nephew and his mom for Christmas brunch and the exchanging of gifts. I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks. Want to see why? Here. I’ll show you.

OMG YOU GUYS. Can you imagine a BETTER person to spend Christmas morning with? LOOK AT THAT FACE! He’s going to be so excited about gifts and brunch and LIFE!

Then after a couple hours of brunching and seeing all of The Nephew’s new toys, I will head home so they can go to Christmas at his other grandma’s house, and it will be time for…MY OPENING OF GIFTS!

That will make my Christmas Day last longer, and give me something to do while I’m watching A Christmas Story on repeat over and over. (That’s my Christmas Day movie. I’ve already watched the rest of my Christmas movies: Love, Actually and It’s a Wonderful Life and A Wish for Wings That Work and The Grinch, but the CARTOON Grinch, not the terrible Jim Carrey Grinch who looked like he was wearing a scruffy puke-green bath mat. These movies all make me cry  to a different extent. Christmas movies and cartoons make me weepy, what can I say.)

Then I will spend the rest of the day doing NOTHING. Maybe playing with my new presents, depending on what they are, I suppose. Chatting with my friends about THEIR Christmases. Then it’s back to work on Thursday! And Christmas is over for another year! Well, except for the planning for NEXT year. I’m always planning for next year’s Christmas. I want each Christmas to be better than the last Christmas for the people I love. It might be a bit of an obsession with me. I’m ok with that.

Hope you’re all having the best Christmas Eve! Even if you don’t celebrate it. In which case: I hope you’re having the best Tuesday night! I’ll come back soon and do a little gifty-gift show and tell at some point. Dumbcat says I can share his gifts with the interwebs. He doesn’t mind.

I am PRETIE, Momme! I am gud boye. I will shaer my prezents with interwebz! HAPPEE CHRISTMES EEVE INTERWEBZ!

Evacuate all the schoolchildren…

Sometimes you feel really, really lucky.

Today at work, our on-call called in. We have an off-site on-call who checks in with us periodically, just to see if we’re still alive, if all the employees showed up for their shifts, if the place blew up in a random missile attack, etc. Today’s on-call was CAZ. That’s not her real name. We go by initials there. And strangely enough, those aren’t her initials, as she got married a few years ago. But her new last name doesn’t sound as good as saying “CAZ!” does. So those of us who’ve been there a while still call her CAZ. Yes. Yes, that’s a thing that happens at my part-time job. (I don’t go by my initials there, only because my initials don’t sound good if you say them. I’m just Amy. At one point, there were like five Amys but I outlasted them ALL. I would say “I win!” but I’ve been working at this place for eight and a half years so I don’t think that’s a win for anyone, as that means I haven’t had a true weekend for eight and a half years.)

“HELLO CAZ!” I said. And we chatted a little, because I do so like CAZ.

She warned me that one of the apartment complexes we answer for was on fire, so we would probably be getting a lot of calls on that account.

Which one? Oh, not a big deal, just the one where I live, that’s all.


“CAZ, do we know more about this fire? Like, what BUILDING is this fire in?” I said, in a freaked-out tone.

“Why? Oh, so we can tell callers what’s up when they call. GOOD IDEA!”

“No. Um. I live there?”

“Oh. CRAP. Um. Let me ask my husband. He saw it on Facebook. HUSBAND!” she yelled. It is one of CAZ’s more endearing qualities. She’s really loud. She’s an all-capser, if anyone is. “DID FACEBOOK TELL YOU WHAT BUILDING’S ON FIRE? He says no. Sorry!”

So all day at work, I was freaking merrily the hell out. I don’t hang with anyone in my complex so I wasn’t going to call anyone, and at one point we tried calling the front desk because callers were calling us all “NO ONE’S ANSWERING OVER THERE” but no one answered so I couldn’t even ask them what was up. I assume the front desk guy, who’s super-timid (he’s like a Dumbcat of a human) saw the fire and scurried away into his own personal pots-and-pans cupboard.

I kept thinking of Dumbcat. And all my things. I really like my things. And then Dumbcat again, who, the one time we had a fire at my old place, was SO SCARED. And my things. But mostly my Dumbcat. And I did my job, but I kept thinking, “Maybe you have no home to go to? Maybe the ENTIRE PLACE burned down. Maybe you have no more things or cat. Maybe you have your car and what you’re wearing. You have renter’s insurance, sure, but you can’t buy a lifetime’s worth of things. Or Dumbcat. Dumbcat is worth more than ALL the money.”

I drove home kind of crazily. Sorry, other people on the road. You were driving TOO SLOWLY. I wanted to know if I had a home.

I had a home.

(The building that burned, however, wasn’t far from mine. Only a few away. It’s a HUGE complex. Building after building after building.)

It was all over the news. 4 apartments burned. REALLY burned, too, not just a little singed or whatever.


They don’t know how it started, only that it started in the top floor apartment and burned four of the places to a crisp. Like, nothing left. The Red Cross is helping the people without homes. I didn’t see anything when I drove in (the building that burned is past my driveway) but WHOO does it smell like smoke around here.

In news of “everything is an excuse for getting blasted,” my neighbors decided to have a “WE DIDN’T BURN UP!” party, and a gaggle of like ten of them got drunker and drunker in the parking lot. In-between my frantic pettings of Dumbcat (“OMG, my good, good boy, who isn’t dead, how much do I love you? SO MUCH. More than ALL THE THINGS. You are the BEST.” “MOM! This are the BEST PETTINGS!1!!! PURR PURR o no I falled off the cowch from hapinesss”) I peered at them like a creeper. Things got super-loud about three hours after I got home. One of the very classy partygoers decided it was time to BE VERY LOUD and SCREAM OBSCENITIES and BANG ON OTHER PEOPLE’S CARS (I was all, “Don’t you touch my car. Don’t you even. DON’T TOUCH IT” but he didn’t, I don’t think) and then I wandered off because other people’s insanity due to overimbibing got boring to me in the mid 90s but when I heard someone say “GET IN THE CAR DUDE WE GOTTA GO!” I peeked out and he sped off and there was a guy on the ground in a puddle of blood with a girl hovering over him all “You ok, buddy?” and the other partygoers were scurrying around cleaning up detritus because you could hear cop cars coming.


The cops showed up, and then an ambulance, and they took the Victim of the Fire Party away on one of those backboard thingies that you strap people to when they’ve had a spinal injury and then the lady who lives in that place went around apologizing to people for the ruckus and that was the end of that.

I just kept thinking of this:

OMG I am totally laughing so hard I can’t type properly right now sdohgoisgohsdogih.

So: all in all, it all worked out. I have a home. I have a DUMBCAT in the home. (Who doesn’t like the smoky smell; he’s all sniffing near the windows and making his sour-face and running off.) I feel very, very fortunate. (I feel terrible for the people who lost everything, though. Fires scare the bejeebers out of me. When I was little, I used to have panic attacks about our house going up in flames. Dad was all, “WE WOULD BE FINE I WOULD SAVE YOU” but we had to watch some terrible movie about fires in your home and I WAS SO SCARED so I was all, “DAD YOU COULD NOT SAVE ME FROM A WALL OF HUNGRY CHILD-EATING FLAMESSSSSS” and he just shook his head and walked away which I think is what happened with most of my childhood, to be honest.)

Tomorrow I am going on an adventure to meet the most lovely Bronwyn and her EQUALLY-LOVELY fella. I am excited. We will have an adventure of epic proportions! Or just eat dinner and talk and talk, but that can be totally adventurey if you’re meeting someone for the first time you’ve known for years on the interwebs.

Happy Sunday, everyone. May you all have a good thing happen that makes you realize you are very, very lucky to be alive and well and have what you do have in life.

Adventures in Inadvertent Homesteading

So, as you may be aware, I am on vacation. 9 days in the mountains! In my parents’ nice, quiet cabin! Just me, the pine trees, and Dumbcat!

What’s that loud noise from next door?

That’s the best-laid plans of mice and men going astray, ladies and gentlemen.

I am presently sitting at the picnic table, trying to beat sunset to write this. Because when it gets dark, well, that’s it. You can’t blog well by flashlight. I tried last night.

But, I’m jumping ahead.

Yesterday I came home from work, threw everything in the car, and immediately almost passed out from heatstroke. It was 95, but the handy-dandy weather app on my phone said it felt like 105. (I’d put the degrees sign in there, but I don’t know how with the WordPress app. Sorry. We’re bare-bones until my brother brings me his mobile hotspot thingy tomorrow around these parts.)

It was probably not best to travel under those conditions, but what can I say. I’m stubborn as hell, and I wanted an extra night of vacation.

I put an icepack in a towel for Dumbcat, prayed to the gods of weather that it would cool down, and took off. (I also packed a ton of cold water and ice for myself and some cold wet washcloths in a baggie in case I needed to swab myself off, guerilla-style, while driving. I’m awesomely planning-ahead like that.)

We got about an hour and a half from home (with Dumbcat melodically alternating between yowling and panting the whole way, which scared the shit out of me, even though when I’d pet him he was purring, weirdo) when I realized he was soggy. “Why are you soggy, buddy?” I asked. He yowled. I thought, maybe the icepack is leaking?

The smell in the car made it immediately apparent it was not a leaking icepack, but a Dumbcat TAKING a leak. In the carrier. All over his fur.

So I pulled over at a rest stop, praised all the random deities I may or may not believe in for the planning-aheadness of the wet washcloths, and swabbed off my cranky-as-hell pee-soaked cat. And his carrier. He then looked like a drowned rat, and while I cleaned the carrier he ran around the car saying “Meow meow MEOW” very cheerfully because he thought he’d escaped. (I’d let him ride without the carrier, but he’d fall out a window. He’s not called Dumbcat for shits and giggles.)

Back in the carrier. Hit the road and BAM! Thunder! Lightning! The way you love me is frightening! Oh, wait, that’s a song. No! HAIL! All the hail! And rain! In the ten minutes to clean Dumbcat’s mess, AN APOCALYPSE HAPPENED!

I drove in the terrible rain with my windows only cracked a little so as to not get soaked and grumbled about my lack of AC.

I FINALLY arrived at camp, Dumbcat yowling the whole way, and the lights weren’t on. “UGH!” thought I. “Why did Mom and Dad not turn the lights on?”

I called them. “Where’s the breaker box? You guys didn’t turn the lights on for me.”

Dad was silent. “Um. Amy? The power’s been out in the whole area for about three hours. The lights are out. REALLY out. We had a huge storm.”

This means no water, no showers, no toilet-flushing, no lights, no television, no phone-charging, no laptop-charging, no Kindle-charging…


So I unpacked the car with a flashlight, was VERY pleased to see I had cell service so I could tell my people I wasn’t dead, tended to a very smelly Dumbcat as best I could, and went to bed early. What the hell else am I going to do? It’s not like I could do anything else. TOTAL DARKNESS.

When I woke up today, the power was still out. (The loud noise mentioned earlier? The neighbors’ obnoxious generator. SO LOUD. Yet I want one, because I WANT A SHOWER.) So I tried to call home. House phone was out. “How lucky my cell works!” I said. Nope. No coverage.

No power, water, phone, or cell.

I did what anyone in this situation who hadn’t showered in 36 hours, was covered in sweat and cat pee and sunscreen, couldn’t have breakfast because the milk had gone bad and hadn’t eaten in 15 hours would do.

I started to cry and threw on clothes and headed to my parents’ house.

Yes, I’m almost 40 years old, thank you very much.

On the way, I stopped at McDonalds. SHUT UP I AM ON VACATION. That Egg McMuffin was like manna from on high. I HAD NOT EATEN IN FIFTEEN HOURS.

I also emailed people because I couldn’t when I woke up and called Mom and Dad and said, “I AM COMING HOME I AM DISGUSTING AND SMELL TERRIBLE I HATE VACATION RIGHT NOW.”

They very wisely agreed this was a good plan.

I got home. I showered. It was GLORIOUS. I felt like a new woman. Until I spilled iced coffee all over my clean clothes, but we can pretend that didn’t happen.

THEN I got to spend a few hours with The Nephew! That was unexpected. We played Lego and raced cars and he showed me all his toys and he was SO HAPPY TO SEE ME! And listen, if you haven’t heard the person you love most in the whole world say, “You’re funny, Aunt Amy” and giggle? (Well, substitute your name in for “Aunt Amy,” unless you, too, are an Aunt Amy.) Then you have not LIVED, my friend. He makes my whole heart hurt with the happiness of him.

(Tomorrow I get to hang with him for all the daylight hours. ALL OF THEM! We will be watching Finding Nemo and reading books and playing games and blowing bubbles and playing with Play-Doh and I am MOST excited. I cannot wait!)

I got to meet my brother’s cat, Abby, who is the teeniest calico you have ever seen and who I wanted to hide in my teeshirt and bring home with me, and cuddle with his dog who I love very much and she went “haroo! HAROO!” when she saw me because she is a beagle and that’s how she rolls, and my brother made me lunch! WITH A FRYING PAN AND MEAT AND VEGETABLES! “I’m a grownup who cooks now!” he said gleefully. (I’m apparently still a kid, because when he wasn’t looking, I put my carrots on his plate so he would eat them. Blech, carrots.)

Then I braved it and came back to the mountains. Where there is still no power.


There are 178 people without power in this town, and 180 people live here and are serviced by National Grid.


Better still, where do they live, and can I come take a shower at their house?

(I told Dad I thought it was the mayor and his mistress; Dad said “That town doesn’t have a mayor. It’s too small. Stop making up things.”)

Also, on the drive through town, I saw many funny things, like:

A sign that said “wood ahead” and I yelled, “EUPHEMISM!” (Really, they were just selling wood. FIREWOOD. Not “wood.”)

A lot of houses that had just collapsed from neglect; I kept saying, “Well, THAT fell down.”

A deli named “Shat’s.” Is that not the worst named thing you’ve ever heard of? When I told Dad that, he was all, “That’s a good name. You city folk are so weird.” YOU DO NOT NAME YOUR DELI SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE POO.

Now I am going to publish this, and read on my Kindle for a bit because it’s too dark for anything else, and go to bed early because what else can I do, and also, The Nephew will be here early! (Also, supposedly, the power will be back on around 10pm-midnight. WISH ME LUCK!!!)

Oh, vacation. You certainly are turning out to be more work than was intended.

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