my hands are thai’d.

I have had a rough time lately. Consequently, my shoulders have been resting pretty much at my earlobes twenty-four seven. So on my way home today, I decided to treat myself to a massage. It turned out to be more than the soothing Swedish touch I was expecting.

Shortly after it began I did that thing where I worry the massage won’t be as hard as I need it to be, and will feel like someone kind of making sure my skin got stroked instead of my muscles worked. “You can go a little harder,” I said.

She chuckled. “First five minutes, warm-up,” she said. You guys, she wasn’t kidding.

Five minutes later, I’m sweating. “Yo,” I involuntarily say as she’s got her elbow jammed under my scapula. “That is intense.”

“Yes,” she says, not letting up. “Yes, um-hmm.” Continue reading

grateful and grumpy (aka: old-lady pamie)

For those of you who are crazy cat ladies/actual veterinarians/long-time fans: Thank you for writing in about Cal and his new meds. That’s very kind of you, and your advice is much appreciated. Yay for Pill Pockets. Now if only Greenies made a “Liquid-y Vomit Catcher ™” for thirty minutes after Cal’s had his medicine.

I don’t need to be yet another person to tell you how hot it was in Los Angeles this weekend, but I will be. It was hot. Very hot. Continue reading

pill pusher

It’s been three attempts now of trying to get Cal to take two pills and switch to wet (diet) food in order to treat his asthma. That’s six pills and half a can.

That means I’ve accidentally eaten about half an antibiotic, more than a few fingertips worth of cat food, and almost gave Taylor his insulin twice when I couldn’t remember if I’d already (just) given him a shot. Cal is so depressed after we wrestle to get the pills into him (the antibiotic is big and I use a piller; the asthma pill is small and I have to get him to open his mouth in anger so I can toss it in) that he won’t eat his food. The pills are supposed to be increasing his appetite, so I don’t know what’s going on, other than he might have overheard the vet tell me that Cal now weighs twenty pounds, and “all that extra weight” around his chest isn’t helping his wheezing.

But he hasn’t wheezed in two days. He’s also barely eaten. His mood is exactly the same; no personality change. But if he doesn’t start eating soon, I’m going to be very worried. Tomorrow morning I’ll try the pills after I’ve fed him, which probably means I’ll be adding “washing cat-puke covered clothes” to my to-do list.

So, yes. If you’re still figuring out my Sexy Quotient, that’s one cat with asthma and a weight problem, plus one cat with diabetes and arthritis, multiplied by four different medications administered twice a day, divided by one sharps container for used syringes, to the power of dork plus infinity. Squared.

i sound like sneeze.

Wha?! Hello? Whazza–hunh? Mmf.

I just woke up on the couch. German subtitled movies aren’t so good on a Friday night when you’re ill, unless you want to fall asleep.

I’ve figured out where this cold came from. The recipe:

1. Picket in the rain.
2. Picket in the cold.
3. Picket in the cold with extremely gusty winds with patches of rain.
4. Picket on a day that starts cold, gets really warm and then right when you take off three of your layers it becomes cold and windy again.
5. Play Rock Band for the first time. Your friend says, “I think I’m coming down with something, but first I’m gonna sing the crap out of ‘Creep.'” Once she’s finished, immediately take the microphone from her so you can wail out to ‘Maps.'”

Yes, my weak Picket Lung gave way to Rock Band Flu.

I understand why some women hate video games. There’s a severe zombie-like quality that is necessary for being skilled at them, and for the most part the talent involves knowing when to push a combination of buttons. But this is one of those games that can break down even the strongest hater. Take the other night. I watched this happen to one woman. (These are all pretty close to direct quotes.) Continue reading

cat nap.

It’s not so much that he’s bigger than the chair and needs to ooze over onto other furniture, even though that’s really a big part of it. He’s really more a circus tiger than any kind of housecat.

But it’s more about the fact that he’s using the remote control as a pillow. His outstretched legs are propped up on sharp corners and hard edges. You can’t really see it, but because of the remote control and the angle at which he’s reclining his mouth is pulled back and his fangs are hanging out. His eyelids won’t even close all the way because his skin’s yanked back at an awkward angle.

There isn’t one thing about what Cal’s doing that should be so relaxing, and look at him. Bliss. I’m completely pampered in my bed — comforter to pillowtop mattress — and yet I can’t fall asleep for more than an hour without waking up covered in sweat and confused. So I’m insanely jealous that my cat could drop his head onto tacks on sticks and totally REM-out.

(Allergist visit number one happened at nine this morning. Full report to follow, because what else am I going to talk about over here?)

because i feel stuff.

To put it mildly, I’ve been dealing with an overabundance of feelings. Apparently this is all very healthy and normal, and I’m handling it with the closest I can come to grace. “Grace,” for me, is crying until snot falls, flailing around my bed like an angry pre-teen, whining to any friend who will listen until he or she says the one thing they all say, “You will be okay.”

Visiting my book at a store the other day, I came across Andrea Seigel‘s To Feel Stuff. I was drawn to it for two reasons: Continue reading

Cal-ifornia Love

I think Cal has decided his time with us is over.

About three weeks ago, I came home late and watched The Sopranos on the couch with stee. Afterwards, as I was falling asleep, stee asked, “Where’s Cal?” It wasn’t like him not to be on stee’s legs, or in front of the television, or standing on my neck. I realized I hadn’t seen him the entire time I’d been home, which was more than an hour.

It was one in the morning, and it was time to go to sleep, but there would be no sleeping until we knew where Cal was. Our house is rather small, and it only took about three minutes of searching to determine he wasn’t in the house. Continue reading


We have been battling ants for the entire summer. This is nothing new. Every summer in Los Angeles, dehydrated ants make their way into our apartments and houses, coffee shops and restaurants, trying to find something to drink. Or at least, that’s what I thought. The ants seem to be uninterested in food (save for a horribleĀ scrambled egg experiencewe had last month), and spend most of their time lingering around our pipes. They like faucets, drains, toilets, and… bodily waste. Any sign of a piece of cat food that has been licked or nibbled by a kitty becomes an ant swarm. I once found the largest ant invasion behind the photo albums — Cal had puked in the corner between the wall and the chest holding the frames. Hours later, the floor was black with frenzied ants. I almost passed out. Continue reading