Jun 27, 2015

SCOTUS - For The People!

Facebook Profile Pic by Finijo

This week the Supreme Court of the United States made the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legitimate and legalized gay marriage by nullifying the state laws that barred marriage equality for people who are gay. There are a lot of weeks that I question my government and think that the government and many of our citizens are on a path of hatred and aggression. This week is not one of them. This week I am proud that the judicial branch of our government protected citizens who needed the protection and who could not receive it any other way. 

The dissenters are as follows:

Obamacare - Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy

Gay marriage: Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts

I am troubled that both decisions were won with only a 5 to 4 vote, but I am not surprised that it all of the dissenters were men, and I am really not surprised that Scalia, Alito, and Thomas all voted like conservative old men afraid of change. 

Today I am focusing on the positive, so I am grateful and ecstatic that the SCOTUS vote went the way of love, rather than bigotry and fear. 

I know there will be protests and that there will likely be violence in the wake of these decisions, but change is happening, and today I am hopeful. 

Jun 15, 2015

New Profile

Station Museum Mandala by Finijo

I began my blog more than 10 years ago. It was a natural progression from paper journaling to a blog, but it was also rooted in my frustration with the election in 2004. Politics has turned my stomach a little more with each passing year, but I still blog about the minutiae of my life and at times the larger events in the world. Sometimes I still manage a book review or to blog about something that I just learned that seems pretty cool to me. My blog has changed in the past 11 years and I have changed some over that time, as well. 

When I started, I was a fledgling geek and the internet was just approaching it's adolescence and, as cynical as I can be, I had no way of predicting the revelations that would come to pass when Edward Snowden released thousands of NSA documents into the world. Reading my profile tonight, I realized that I can no longer say I would be first in line for the human modem. Of course, we are wireless now, but I would not trust that kind of tech in my body for any amount of money. I grew up during Watergate, graduated in 1984 (of course reading  and watching 1984) and on Logan's Run and West World, but it took government surveillance of our phone records to bring on a fairly mature case of The Conversation paranoia. This is my old profile quote.
When they perfect the human modem, I will be in line for the implant. Access to the internet makes me feel like I'm the smartest person alive - the internet being an extension of my own brain. There is nothing I can't access on the net. The key to the universe is Boolean. I enjoy words and art. Pictures painted with words are perfection, almost too beautiful to bear. When I can find time (and settle my mind), I draw, paint and make "stuff." I like to journal, tell stories, watch people, and laugh loud and hard.
I think I will just remove the first half until I can put some thought into what I want to say about myself and rewrite it.

Jun 13, 2015

Perimenopause



Story Bones by Helen Redman
http://goo.gl/nC38z9

I woke today about noon. It's Saturday with nothing in particular scheduled, so I took advantage of a rare opportunity to sleep in and didn't set my alarm. I thought I would wake up about 9:30 AM, but my eyes didn't even flutter until just before noon, probably due to my recent insomnia. 

Feeling rested for the first time in weeks, I have spent a lazy morning catching up on my friend's and family member's Facebook posts and I have cried. I have cried like a hormonal teenager at everything from a post about two friends who are lesbians who have been in a committed relationship for 20 years and are eagerly waiting to hear that the Supreme Court has made same sex marriages legal across the U.S., to a video about a woman in Texas who has metastatic breast cancer, to a video from the perspective of a dog, Denali, who died of cancer. I feel like a weepy drunk who didn't get the benefit of the fun party before descending into the wallowing blues. 

It occurred  to me that this is due to a wonderful condition that my doctor told me I had in 2010, perimenopause. I was diagnosed with this gem of a malady after I came back from a trip to England in November and told the doctor how I had been burning up for the entire trip, and had to sleep with my hotel window open and didn't even wear my coat for most of the trip, because it was too warm. Everyone else was running around in heavy coats and scarves and gloves, but I was in a light sweater and still couldn't go into some of the shops and the Tube because the heat was repellent to me. 

So, five years later, the "peri" is still attached to my menopause and I continue to experience the not so wonderful changes that have been a part of my life since I was 13. The changes go on, only different. The promise to an end of what feels like a lifetime of bleeding is more elusive at the end than you are ever led to believe, because they never tell you how long "the curse" will impact your life. You cannot imagine my surprise upon hearing the doctor tell me, "It can last 10 years, or more." 

The impression I formed growing up of menopause, was only an impression, because nobody spoke of it except as a punchline on sitcoms. I was led to believe it was this terrible ordeal that happened to woman all at once, and it meant that you were old. Menopause was synonymous with drying up and being past your prime, but that is not how it really feels. I still feel vital and like I am still the same person I was at age 18, but with more insight and, of course, body aches. Perimenopause is like my daily craps shoot. Will I feel pretty good, or roll the snake-eyes of cramps, bleeding, and/or an emotional roller coaster ride? Today, I feel pretty good physically, but I am weepy and feel silly to be so affected by EVERYTHING. It is unlike when I was younger, in that there is no set schedule, the bleeding is mercifully lighter and some months non-existent, and the hot flashes are like nothing that can be described and truly understood without experiencing them. I now feel I know what someone who has spontaneously combusted feels just before they go up in flames, and it is only humorous after it passes and my body has cooled down enough to make laughter possible again.

I have read that men go through a similar experience as they age, but I cannot imagine how. I don't lament being born a woman, because I recognize the advantages of my own sex, but I do wish at times that women had not been shamed so much about their bodies and bleeding. The religious disdain for women, menstruation, and menopause has allowed me to reach this point in my life without having open and frank discussions with my mother and grandmother about what I had to expect. I am not ashamed anymore, as I admit I was as a teenager to have been "cursed" with monthly bleeding, but I am not as enlightened about my womanhood as I would like to be either. I have a grandniece who is 9 years old and I hope that she will feel comfortable enough to ask her mother and I whatever she would like to know about her body and what she can expect as she passes from childhood, to adulthood, to middle and old age.

May 15, 2015

A Little Me Time

 
 BAM Podium Pre-Sedaris by Finijo

I took a spontaneous trip to NYC last week and had a fantastic time. My friend, John, contacted me to say that David Sedaris would be playing near where he lived. I told him he must see him, if he got the chance and he responded by saying that he would buy the tickets for both of us if I would catch a flight to New York. It was an offer too good to pass up. I bought the ticket and then he found out the show as sold out already. I realized that I wanted to go anyway, so I went for a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, just for fun - and it was. We decided to keep trying to get tickets and to go see another show or two instead, if he couldn't. 

Kinky Boots Set by Finijo

On his way home from work he messaged me and said he got us box seats for David Sedaris and orchestra seats for Kinky Boots. Both shows were fantastic and my face hurt from laughing so hard. We had Chinese dumplings and watched movies. He made his traditional welcome banana bread and movie night brownies, and some great asparagus egg scrambles for breakfast. I brought Home for the Holidays and Saved and we watched Terrible Bosses 2 and Birdman. It was a wonderful way to spend the middle of the week. There is still a long list of things I want to do in NYC, so I will have to make it back up there again, soon...maybe in the Autumn. Central Park in October sounds beautiful to me. 

May 3, 2015

Patty Gay Toothman




I found out just now that while I was laying in bed last night composing a letter to you in my head, you died. I have missed your physical presence in my life for more than 20 years, but you were always a phone call or letter away. You were one of the best people I have known in my life and you gave me unconditional love when I needed it most. You were my second Mom. I am glad that your struggles are over, and all that is wicked and wretched in the world can no longer hurt you. You took care of me when I needed it, and I hope knowing that you had one more person in the world unconditionally loving you was a source of comfort for you at the end. You will always have a place in my heart and your voice will be in my head telling me that everything will be alright and I should do the thing that makes me happy. 

Dear Patty,

Thank you for loving me unconditionally and with your whole heart.  Thank you for looking after me, and holding me when I needed to cry or just needed a hug. Thank you for all of the laughter over all of these years. You were one of the funniest and most gracious people I have ever known. Thank you for all of those late night talks sitting on the balcony in our nightgowns, drinking iced tea, and eating your homemade chocolate chip cookies. Thank you for trusting me with your secrets and for holding on to mine. I would love to get a peek at the journals I gave you over the years, just to see what I missed by not seeing you everyday. You deserved better than you got in life. You deserved to not have to struggle and fight just to hang on to your family, but even in that struggle, you were an amazing, strong, wonderful woman. I cannot begin to express how much you are going to be missed. 

Rest in peace,  Mom.

I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. 

With an abundance of affection,

Karen


Apr 18, 2015

Late Onset ADD vs. Spring Cleaning



Most weekends I have many (oh so many) things I need to do, but when I start trying to tackle my list, I am easily distracted by everything from Facebook and this blog, to meeting up with friends to spend an afternoon catching up. 

I think I can remember a time when I could start a task and work it to completion without wandering around my house starting, but seemingly never finishing, most of what I set out to do. It feels as though the clutter in my house is cluttering my mind and I imagine this how it feels to have ADD.

My plan this year is to start with my bedroom and work my way through my possessions to simplify my existence. With some some persistence, I will work my way through each corner of my room. Getting all of the clutter off of my dressers, out of my closet, off of the window seat, etc... until I feel like I can breathe again. I hope that seeing the effect in my room will spur me on to take care of the rest of the house, one corner of one room at a time. 

I think that by trying to de-clutter a whole room, I have been defeating myself and exacerbating the problem. My plan/hope is to work through my bedroom by quadrants, so I can finish in 4 weeks. If I am successful, I will move on to the other rooms in my house and even my yard. It's time to let go of my possessions and walk a lighter path.

For all of my good intentions, I started this post a week ago and I have gotten up at least 4 times before finishing today to plant herbs, clean out my terrarium, plant seedlings from the terrarium outside, and finally to trim and water my amaryllis bulbs....sigh.

Apr 10, 2015

Aspiring Author


Drafter Architect Desk Junk Drawer Clean Out Lot

 I think most people who keep a blog probably have a not so secret desire to publish something that they have written at least once in their lives. 



It takes an aspiring  writer to recognize another aspiring writer, which I did, while shopping the Goodwill auction site tonight. 


Much to my delight, I feel like I stumbled upon a kindred spirit. A stifled author channeling their inner J. Peterman wrote the most wonderful descriptions of collections of mostly tat. 

The descriptions of these lots of random items beautifully spin the beginning of a biography about the people who might have owned them. 



It is like an improv challenge for writers using props, or possibly a teaser about a character in the author's own half-finished novel. 



Whatever it is, I like it enough to have read all of the vignettes and I hope that there will be more to come from the anonymous Hemingway. I am amazed at the amount of nostalgia the author's words can inspire for people who do not exist outside my imagination. 


I found this photograph to be particularly intriguing. Her shoulder bared as she looks directly into the lens, as though she posed for a boudoir photo in an era that would have deemed her sensuousness improper. 



The description: 

Drafter Architect Desk Junk 
Drawer Clean Out Lot

The hard working Architect married to his job. All of his loved tools each one he knew by touch. The short breaks to sit out on the porch and smoke his cigarettes or his well use pipe. The picture secreted away of a love once lost. In this lovely lot you can almost feel the pride that was taken in his work. Perhaps even a hint of him playing poker with some of the other "boys." 
A peak into this lot and you will see a whimsical ashtray, vintage to newer drafting tools, prints of Governor's Place & a few other buildings, vintage Oregon license plate, magnifying glass, playing cards, stationary and much more.



Measurements
8.6 Lbs

Material
Wood, paper, plastic, metal and fabric.


Condition
Things are used. Tarnish and discoloration that adds great character. 

Somethings are used and vintage although not all things will be vintage. 


Even the pattern on these cards and the foil on their box hearken back to another time. I can't remember the last time I saw a set of playing cards like this for sale in a shop.



There are several collections, Military, Farmer, Miner, Small Town Doctor, and no telling what the author will come up with next. To see more, check here, and search for "junk drawer" or possibly "collection,"  and hopefully, the adventure will continue.

Mar 31, 2015

GOP Tripping


It is no surprise to me that the GOP presidential candidates are tripping all over themselves to defend the right of their constituents to deny a group of people (specifically gays - this time) the same civil liberties that they enjoy. It may not be a "right" to purchase from whomever you choose, but it is a right to not be discriminated against, and it should apply to race, religion, gender (including trans), or sexual orientation. 

We live in America, and freedom of religion is supposed to be a freedom to pray (or not) to the god (or gods) of your choosing. It was never meant to be a tool to systematically discriminate against any group of people because you don't like the way they live, love, or who associate with. Quit picking out the parts of the Bible that suit your hateful agenda and perhaps peruse (and take to heart) the parts that pertain to loving your fellow man, whether you think they are sinners or not.

The world is changing, as it always does, and bigots are less tolerated with each passing decade. Gay marriage will be legalized nationally, hopefully in my lifetime. Marijuana will be legalized, as well. Things change and you can either rail against change and whine that the world is not as good as it used to be when you were young, or you can stop trying to control other people, learn to embrace change and let go of fear, and just try being a better person than you are right now. 

Mar 30, 2015

Google Autocomplete vs. Religion



I started off this day in a great mood. Even after I hit a big piece of concrete in the road and tore up the splash guard under my car, I just drove on into work and scheduled an appointment at the dealership to get it fixed this afternoon. While waiting for the car to be fixed, I had to endure a couple of hours of CNN posting non-stop doom and gloom. From the  German Wings pilot who flew into the Swiss Alps to the breaking news of two men dressed as women trying to breach the NSA and being shot to death. 

All the while I am thumbing my way through friends' Facebook posts and marveling at the state of the world through their eyes. That's when my mind started to wander and I began to wonder about Google and religion. A couple of years ago, I remember seeing a post that showed how typing into a Google search the phrase "I'm afraid of..." would be completed at that time by the autocomplete in Google with the phrase "Chinese people." I checked today and the top answer is "Americans." Thanks, David Bowie...and scary Americans. 

So I started typing in world religions and entertained myself with that until my car was ready. I stopped at 20, but obviously the list is not all-inclusive, nor is it static. The same list could turn up much different answers next week. The results found today are as follows:

1. Christians are..."annoying" (only answer)

2. Buddhists are.... (seriously, there was no suggestion, which may mean that Buddhists don't count. Weird.)

3. Jains are... "the richest" and "stupid"

4. Muslims are..."not terrorists" (only answer)

5. Hindus are... (no suggestions...just like the Buddhists)

6. Jews are... (no suggestions, but if you just type "Jews" the first suggestions is "for Jesus," which is a dirty rotten lie, leading one to ask, "WTF, Google?!?!")

7. Scientologists are... "insane," "idiots," "morons," and "crazy"

8. Jehovah Witnesses are..."a cult," "right," "wrong," and "weird"

9. Methodists are... "Baptists who can read," "weird," and "going to hell"

10. Mormons are...(no suggestions)

11. Quakers are... "awesome," "weird," and "a cult"

12. Atheists are... "wrong"

13. Agnostics are ..."cowards," "the smartest," "right," and "atheist"

14. Pagans are..."the reason for the season," "stupid," "evil," and "idiots"

15. Wiccans are..."evil," "retarded," idiots," and "satanists"

16. Baptists are..."not Presbyterian," "crazy," and "evil"

17. Presbyterians are..."wrong," "puritans and puritans are Calvinists," "the spirit of the Antichrist," and "baptists who can read"

18. Catholics are..."not Christians" (only answer, and I think they may disagree with this one, just sayin'.)

19. Shakers are..."celibate," "still around," and "Amish" 

20. Religion is..."the opiate of the masses," "bullshit," "fake," and "dying"

I had several thoughts (and laughs) while compiling this list. A few of my thoughts are as follows:

1. Who knew that Presbyterians were reviled enough (or in any way) that they would have such terrible results? Note to self: Look into Presbyterianism, this could be much more interesting than you might expect.

2. Pagans, who exist in infinitesimally lower numbers than Buddhists, are funny - "the reason for the season" and also, apparently thought about by Googlers a lot more than Buddhists.

3. The Church of Scientology is not as good at scrubbing the internet and all media of negative information about them. Perhaps laying off the lawsuits and easing up on the control issues might win you a few more converts, Scientology...probably not.

4. Wiccans rank right about even with Scientologists when comparing their Google autocomplete results. I don't think that is fair to Wiccans, but that is how the cookie crumbled today.  

5. Which is it, Methodists or Presbyterians who are "Baptists that can read?" 

Mar 8, 2015

Lazy

3 PM on a Grey Day by Finijo

The sky has been grey all morning, as if the day has been in perpetual gloaming. Even though the weather has been temperate this weekend compared to the rest of the country, today's rainy grey offering has begun to creep into a colder, nastier version of itself.

This weekend was deliberately spent in the most lazy way I could manage. After months of working through lunch and late into the evening, I just unplugged. I have been in the same purple fleece pajamas for two days and as much as I keep telling myself I need to shower and go get groceries, I can't seem to make myself do it. Zero volition.

Yesterday, I binged on season two of Hannibal on Roku, then finished the season of Blacklist that I missed, when I walked away from Dish Network in favor of saving more than $1200 this year. I watched a few episodes of The Following to finish off my evening, then realized it was 4 AM and I should probably be getting to sleep.  

Of course I slept late and woke around 10:30 am thinking I needed to do something more with my time than yesterday. I did some basic (very basic) yoga with one of the yoga channels on Roku, which is not a bad way to force one's self awake. I changed one one purse for another and watched the movie, Dear White People. Luckily she went to New York Bagels up the street and got us breakfast burritos for brunch, or I might have skipped eating altogether. 

For the record, Hannibal is the most beautifully artistic show on television that I have ever seen. The visual style and the sound editing and music are superb. I enjoyed Dear White People and thought of how well it book ends School Daze, which came out when I was in college. So much has changed, and not much has changed, depending on how you look at it. 

I've given up on a shower today and will just wait till morning. I know, gross, but it has been really good to not force myself into action today. 

Feb 18, 2015

New York City!

Over NYC by Finijo

Years ago I posted a blog entry titled John Trent Kuykendall, because I was looking for a long lost friend. A few months back, I found him and was fortunate enough to have -an unused ticket that allowed me to fly business class to New York City for a reunion and a pretty fabulous weekend. 


Snit by Finijo

I managed to choose the coldest time of year for my trip. Not only the coldest time of year but the coldest it had been in 20 years, so our activities were somewhat limited. Braving the cold, we managed to do a few things on my list for this trip, and having the list unfinished, leaves the necessity for a return trip to do all of the things we did not get to.

Subway Escalator by Finijo

When I got to the apartment from JFK, we decided to grab a bite to eat and happened upon the TKTS booth with no line, allowing us to get tickets for the show I was dying to see, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theater. It was fantastic, all the more so because David Cameron Mitchell was starring, even though he injured his leg and was in a full leg cast. He is brilliant in his hilarious show and he managed to work the injury into the show (he was attacked at a Dress Barn). It was an unforgettable performance. 

Down by Finijo

With a wind chill factor in the negative, I thought my face would freeze on the way back to John's place after the show, but managed to survive. We also got to have we got to have a conversation with an interesting couple on the subway and share some very interesting people watching.

 Ed Koch is Gay by Finijo

This was my first trip to New York City since 1978 and things have most definitely changed. The last time I visited NYC it looked pretty much just like it looks in The French Connection, dirty, dangerous, and bleak. Although I only got out to a few places, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Roosevelt Island, everywhere I went it was so much cleaner than I remember (with the exception of the snit piles which consisted of grey snow and trash). I think that in spite of all that transpired in NYC over the years, the city and the people have managed to make the city better than ever and also developed a sense of humor. 

Take That Poseur by Finijo


Because of the weather, we only ventured out during the day for the rest of the trip. We talked and caught up and watched so many movies I lost count. One of the movies was one of John's favorites, and it is now one of my favorites, too: The Normal Heart. I never knew Ed Koch was gay, which makes his inaction with regard to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 80's all the more sad, because it fostered an atmosphere that allowed the virus to spread unchecked and kill thousands of homosexual men in NYC. We laughed our asses off watching Bad Words and This is Where I Leave You. Jane Fonda is still amazing and Jason Batemen could read a cookbook and make me laugh. I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretel much more than I expected, and the rest of the movies we binged on during the freezing nights in Brooklyn escape me at the moment. The delicious brownies John made are, alas, still with me.

View from Roosevelt Island by Finijo

Another outing that was on my bucket list was to take the tram to Roosevelt Island and have breakfast. This was totally worth braving the cold for, especially when it started snowing while we were on the island and we got to take the trip back in the snow. I got a pretty good video (albeit with some glitching) of the tram ride. Our breakfast at the Riverwalk Bar and Grill was delicious and our server (Teri) was awesome. I think we sat there for about 3 hours reminiscing and catching up on our lives over the last 20+ years. I don't think either of us realized it was Valentine's Day until Teri brought us each a little signed Valentine's Day card with Hello Kitty on it. 

Junior's Cafe in Brooklyn by Finijo

We ventured out for breakfast at Junior's, an old school deli cafe in Brooklyn for a great breakfast and more conversation. With the record low temperatures, we became very adept at bundling up before leaving the apartment, but we were still at the mercy of arctic wind gusts that sliced through the buildings and hit your face like the smiting hand of Mr. Freeze. I was surprised and very pleased that the street vendors still made it out every day that I was there, mainly because they all seemed to have a pretty good selection of scarves, ear muffs, and knit caps. Damn, it was cold!

Freedom Tower by Finijo

Coincidentally, my trip to NYC overlapped with my cousin Andy's work trip. We met up for a drink near Freedom Tower. He had just gone to the 9/11 Museum and I wanted to see Freedom Tower and the fountain, but knew I couldn't handle the museum. Andy did visit the museum and told me that I made the correct choice.
9/11 Drained Fountain by Finijo

I don't think I will ever want to visit it. I have been to the Holocaust Museum in Houston several times over the years, and while it moves me, there are several decades separating me from the events that brought so much misery to so much of the world. I am touched by the events profoundly, but there is a level of detachment for me that allows me to read about and view the relics of that era that I don't think will ever exist with 9/11. There is no detachment, only a wound that is very slowly healing as the years quickly pass since the event that changed everything.  I think the museum should exist and I think it will be necessary for understanding for generations not yet born. They will need what that museum offers to put the events in context with the lives they were born into. I do not have than need, or the desire to relive the impetus for what has evolved into more than 10 years of wasteful war. I see the result of that on a human scale in my job each day and it wounds me.

Brooklyn Statue  by Finijo

To end on a lighter note, I have to say that I can't wait to go back. The city has a bit of whimsy to it that didn't exist 35 years ago. The people were actually friendly and even the public art makes you smile. I loved getting to see my friend again after all these years and I have a laundry list of things for us to do when I return. I am not going to wait 20  years for our next reunion.

Jan 31, 2015

Rod McKuen



I was going to try to write something eloquent about the passing of the man who is my favorite poet, but I am at a loss for words to describe how big I think this loss is, not just to me but to the world. The death of Rod McKuen on January 29, 2015 will likely bring about the reissue of his books and recordings, and no doubt inspire documentaries and perhaps even biographies, both penned and on film. I will simply post words that can be readily found on his website, as they are comforting and seem fitting at this time. 

A Safe Place To Land

There should be some silence in this place so thought can harvest things it's lately caught. I hope that you will take this as a resting space. A bench provided just before the clearing up ahead.

Rest here, be foolish, not merely lady, gent. Be a little useless for a time. Turn around and chase your tail. Roll on your back, paws up and out. Rub up against me as you pass. My old leg is sturdy and as good a scratching place as yonder tree. Lap the day up in my lap. Inhale the earth. Suck in my breath. And breathe it back to me in ways I have forgotten.

Arms around me these past years have not been commonplace, your comfort passed to me from out there, somewhere - dare we call it outer space, has kept me safe. Your thought embraces better than the memory's triumph over time. I have longed for you, thought up songs for you, missed and mourned you as the times passed past. Here you are. Brought back to me by your wish mixed with mine. Noise cannot touch us here. I will try and make for you the calmest place there is within this loud and getting louder world.

No map to help us find the tranquil flat lands, clearings calm, fields without mean fences. Rolling down the other side of life our compass is the sureness of ourselves. Time may make us rugged, ragged round the edges, but know and understand that love is still the safest place to land.

Rod McKuen, April, 1998

Jan 30, 2015

Bodhi RIP

Bodhi came into our lives 10 years ago when we rescued him from the inside of an armchair that had been unceremoniously chucked into our apartment complex dumpster. Today we had to put him to sleep, because he became very ill, very fast, and the prognosis was an imminent and  painful death. 
 Bodhi of the Dumpster Day One by Finijo

He had inflammatory bowel disease, a mass in his bowels, and lymphoma. He was a good cat that had a few idiosyncrasies, like licking and pulling his fur from his belly and legs...completely off. We thought that he must be a nudist at heart, because he liked to keep things really "clean,"  pretty much bald and it was a full time job for him. When it first started, we were told that we would have to put him to sleep, because it would cause problems with his bowels. We decided to wait and see how he did and 8 years later, I guess they were right. I'm glad we didn't listen at the time.
Belly Fur Growing Back In by Finijo 

He loved all kinds of dairy and didn't mind helping himself to what was in your spoon, whether you wanted him to or not. Damn, he was fast with the swipe, then he would just sit there and lick it off his paw right in front of you, like he had every right to what you were eating. His favorite dairy was yogurt, with cream cheese being a close second. 
Bodhi's Toof by finijo
He was a fan of peanut butter and in his last couple of days, he wouldn't touch food, but he would still eat a little peanut butter and in the end, he would only eat cat treats. When he was feeling good, he would chase cat treats thrown into another room. He like the long chase and he would even catch them in mid-air with one of his massive paws and eat right from his paw, just like he did when he successfully swiped your ice cream from your spoon.  
 Bodhi and Con Asleep by Finijo

Bodhi had two fangs, but one was HUGE and we loved it. When he would sleep on my lap, he invariably slept with that fang digging into my wrist and he drooled. When he left, I would have a pool of cat drool in his fang indentation and it never failed to gross me out, but I let him do it anyway. He couldn't help it, where do you put a tooth like that?
Bodhi and Lena ca. 1995 by Finijo

Bodhi loved to snuggle with everyone. Lena and Saffie both groomed him and he ate it up and let them take care of him, right through his last night. I awoke this morning to find them wrapped around him like they have done a thousand times before, even though I knew they knew something was wrong. It seemed like they were extra gentle with him in his last week and they didn't abandon him when they smelled the cancer or he got a little cranky with them. 
Bodhi and Steve ca. 1995

Even though Bodhi would snuggle with anyone, he was always grateful to hang out with the boys. He would lick the water from Con's hair after a shower and he cozied up to our nephew, Steve, whenever he visited. Any repair man who came to the house was treated to his loud meows, insistent on being petted, whether they wanted to, or not.
Lena Groomd Bodhi by Finijo

He was even-tempered with everyone, even though he never got tired of pinning Lena or Lenore by the back of the neck and then kicking them vigorously with his hind legs. Oddly enough, neither cat really protested when it happened, they just got up and acted like nothing was amiss when he finished kicking them. 
Bodhi, Lena, and Saffie by Finijo

When we found Bodhi, we already had Lena, a 5 year old Siamese and Saffie a 2 year old Birman/Siamese mix. They were very patient with him and he never lacked for a play partner for rough housing or a snuggle partner for sleep.  
 Bodhi, Lena, and Saffie 2 by Finijo

Bodhi always seemed to be a little obsessive-compulsive to us. He had rituals. When he got into my lap, he always jumped up from the right facing left, then kneaded my lap for a few minutes, then he turned to face the left and kneaded it a little more, and finally he would start to sit down, but at the last minute twist his body so that his head would rest on my left arm. The process usually took a few minutes and I learned not to fight it.
 Three Amigos by Finijo

He had a similar ritual when he wanted to sleep in my bed. It started by taking a running leap from the floor to my stomach, then paw at the covers, then do paw the mattress and finally he would lay down with his head toward the foot of the bed and all four cold feet firmly and simultaneously planted in my side and hip. Again, it was part of his charm.
 Bodhi Claims the Rug by Finijo

Another of his oddities was his reaction to the doorbell or someone knocking on the door. He ran toward the door and growled, just like a dog. We often said to him, "Good dog," and he earned the moniker "puppy-cat." His love of chasing treats that were thrown was very dog-like, too. 
Bodhi Eats Yogurt by Finijo

Con assisted in Bodhi's euthanasia by giving him the first shot, a sedative. Marilyn, Connor, and I stroked him until he fell asleep and then Dr. Sloat gave him the last shot and we all continued to stroke him until he drifted out of our lives. We enjoyed him very much while he was here, and we think that he had a pretty fine life after we snatched him out of the death chair so many years ago. Today was a sad day, but we know we made the the best choice from the hard choices we were given. The other kitties will adjust in time, as will we, but today, we all just hurt. Bodhi is gone now, but he is definitely not forgotten.

Jan 7, 2015

Week 1, 2015

Abstract Aksel 2014 by Finijo

One week into the new year and it's already shaping up to be a mixed bag of nuts. I have not quite shaken my end of the year illness (strep and a mystery stomach virus), but feeling like hell throughout my vacation has me back on track to eating better and taking care of myself. If you asked me on December 15th if I had any New Year's resolutions on my mind, I would have told you definitely not. I didn't feel like eating better or exercising before the 1st, but as soon as the stomach virus cleared, I had no appetite for food that is bad for me, not to mention that I dropped 8 lbs in about three days. I think I need to think of it as a blessing, and work at not allowing myself to become so run down that I catch everything this year. 

Dec 24, 2014

Wish For The World

Cathedral Candles in Lyon by Finijo

I was up early this morning - 5 AM to be exact. I awoke and couldn't get back to sleep. I started my list of things to do, since I am off today for Christmas Eve. Four hours later, I have not really done anything on the list, except make coffee. It is my first cup of coffee in about a week, because I have been down with strep throat and had to go to milk-less tea for to avoid the phlegm factor. I guess I am ending the year on a low note, but that means there is no place to go but up for 2015, right?

I would like to think I have some lofty goal for the coming year, but I don't. Healthy and happy would pretty much make the year grand from where I am standing now. Standing is an exaggeration - more like doubled over and coughing up a lung, but I can still laugh at myself, so I guess that about sums up this year. That and my wish for peace. There seems to be a destructive force in the world that is gaining momentum, but I don't think it is much worse than it has been throughout history. In a random bit of reading last night, I read the wiki entry on the French Foreign Legion and found myself surprised by a couple of things. The first is that the French Foreign Legion still exists - who knew? and the second, that France has not been able to avoid war/military conflict for more than a 20 year stretch in the last 200 years. I will get around to looking at the US military history, but I suspect it has been the same for us. This does not bode well for the future, but I guess it also means that the world will likely go on, as it always has...le sigh.

Things I am thinking about in no particular order:


  • Travel blog for cheap, but adventurous middle aged women
  • Violence and destruction in the world today - and always 
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Sustainable gardening
  • Retirement
  • Aimee Mann
  • Chinese foot massage
  • Panettone
  • Impermanence 
  • Wanderlust
Happy holidays - be happy and do what enjoy
(and to hell with anyone who tells you to stop).