noideadog: (lucy)
We've had a rough couple of weeks. All the men in our household had interesting digestive issues. All of the women were useless with depression. A combination of time, lightboxing, medicine and good pizza fixed three of us right up, but Lucycat got worse and worse until she was spending the day frozen on the sofa: no eating, no movement, no interaction beyond occasional eye contact.

We called the vet, who emphasised that cats who don't eat get dead pretty quickly: if they dont starve themselves to death (and they will if you let them), they mess up their livers badly enough that it's just a matter of time. She prescribed "stinky junk food". "Give your cat a big mac", she said. Sardines, cheap and smelly cat food, warmed up beef liver, cat treats, chicken broth, cheese, aerosolised catnip on everything, whatever smells strongly and don't worry about whether it's good for her. A few days passed during which we waved all sorts of appalling crap in front of our cat's face and received ennui and long-suffering silence in return. Fuck. Eventually the vet's office took her in for the day to inject fluids and stuff her full of valium and appetite stimulants. If that hadn't worked, we'd now be talking about hospitalisation and IVs and how much we're willing to spend on keeping our cat alive, but they did magic and we are relieved. She ate food last night and again this morning. Nobody dies today. Christmas is _on_.

Dudes, I had no idea I could agonise so much about a tiny mammal. I don't know how people with kids aren't constantly out of their minds with worry.

Christmas really is on. I walked home with a new box of Scrabble under my arm, looking in the windows at the poinsettias and decorations. Our house is all presents and cards and soft lights, cheeses and gingerbreads, fizzy wine, blankets to curl up in and Angry Birds to playgood books to read. It's a lazy, peaceful time of year, indoors and out. My neighbourhood is an even nicer mood than usual. There was a long line outside the pastry shop, and another at the cheesemonger's, everyone jovial and chatting. The florist gave me a lollipop, then called me back to present a second one, in case there were lollipop fights on Christmas day. I love living here.

Tomorrow we're going to have ravioli and champagne for brunch and open presents here, then head to the city in the evening to meet a bunch of people for indian food and a pint. A traditional family Christmas :-P
noideadog: (lucy)
I thought that having two cats would be, worst case, twice as much work as having one cat. Boy did I get that wrong. Lucy's not dealing well with the changes to our household. She's stopped eating; she vomits bile; she won't hang out with us; she digs holes in the plant pots, and then squats over the laundry. It's an exciting time. I think she's not intentionally being an asshole; she's just scared of the little dude and it's making her mental. She goes outside and doesn't come back until late and I can't sleep because I'm worried about whether she's going to be ok. More fool me, sure, but I'm getting some idea of what having a teenager must be like. (I mean, probably not squatting over laundry, but I guess it depends on the kid.)

Alex is still adorable and a pain in the ass all at once. He cries any time he's locked out of the room with the humans in it. If we let him in the bedroom at night, he sleeps in the bed with us, digging down under the duvet to find the crook of a knee or a neck to curl into. It's very cute until you wake up because he's suckling with tiny needle teeth on your fingertips, earlobes or nose. It's not his fault -- he's still a little baby really -- but let's just say we're making sure to wear clothes in bed. He wakes before dawn and runs around the room like a maniac, taking wild jumps from furniture, breaking his fall on sleeping humans. He still purrs loudly, and sits on laps, two of the best cat-attributes (the urge to say "cattributes" is so strong; it's a sickness), and two things which Lucy is just not into. He shares her love for walking on keyboards though.

Our house is chaos. There's litter everywhere. There's food everywhere. There are cats everywhere. We introduced these kids too early and it was a disaster, so we're trying to keep them completely apart for another week before doing it again. This is quite difficult in a small apartment with few interior doors. It's a logic puzzle: small cat must see humans regularly, but may not go outdoors; large cat should be allowed outdoors but needs regular reminding of where her litter is. Both cats must have food, water and litter. No cat may see another cat. The humans must be able to move between rooms without enacting a hilarious chase scene. The humans must also be allowed get some goddamn sleep.

Cats are great. I am reminding myself of this constantly. Cats are great. Not "bag, brick, Red Hook pier". Cats. Great.
noideadog: (lucy)

This is Alexander, the newest member of the Reilly-Votaw clan. We've spent most of the rest of the evening just being in love with him. Kittens are the best fun on the planet. He's madly curious about everything, but he occasionally stops his urgent investigation of every single object in the room to do a couple of seconds of drive-by affection -- whom! love! petting! whom! -- and then he's gone again to see what else is going on. He makes jumps that I thought he was way too small for: he put himself into the sink here and I couldn't find him for a few seconds because he clearly couldn't have gotten that far off the ground. He purrs like a jackhammer. He plays ball games with his food. He has teeth and claws like tiny needles. He likes running up vertical surfaces, especially jeans legs. He's so great. We're smitten.

See his extra-pink nose? That's because he was covered in motor oil when he was found as a stray. He was eating it off his fur, so they shaved the oily parts to save his digestive system. His fingers are currently bald too. It turns out that cat knuckles are weird and cool, like bat fingers, but you can't really see them here because the little crackhead moves at the speed of sound: I was happy to get this much of him in focus after forty photographs of white blurs.

Lucy has spent the evening alternately hissing, brooding in a different room, and slinging Hurt And Betrayed looks at any human who walks past. Alex is going to live in the bathroom for a few days until she gets used to the smell of him, and then we'll do formal introductions, possibly while wearing kevlar. She's a dignified, sedentary, and irritable old lady who has strict rules about who she tolerates and when and for how long. He's twelve weeks old and a kind of a mentaller. I'm sure this will go well.
noideadog: (Default)
Life, in several sentences:

Our cat got lost during the week but I haven't had time to write about it. Short version: we found her again, but, despite concentrated efforts to reassure each other that cats get stuck in places sometimes and it's not a big deal, you just have to go get them, we were pretty anxious about cars/dogs/poison/voodoo/whatever. It meant we got to talk to our intimidatingly laconic Italian neighbour though, and he was helpful, if gruff.

The taxi commission lost property site didn't find my phone. Actually, they didn't even look; they automatically close your ticket without telling you unless you know the medallion number of the cab. Useful service. Their site lists a phone number for the police precinct that deals with taxi lost property, so I guess I go there next. In the meantime, The Company's phone people issued me a new sim in under a minute and I've got a borrowed G1. Tiarnan warned me that I'd have about two hours of being happy about knowing what time it was again, and then the old technology would start to be unbearable. He was wrong. It was more like an hour and a half.

I went for a run this morning and it was pretty cold and my legs just weren't into it. I need to either get better at warming up or get used to the idea of being in a gym all winter. Sometimes running is like "FUCK YEAH LIFE IS GOOD!" and sometimes it's like "I could be eating chips right now. Why would anyone do this ridiculous torturous thing?". Today was the latter, but worse.

Cycling home last night was pretty nice though. Manhattan's much easier on the way home because there's a bike lane and no construction. Brooklyn seems to have bike lanes and excellently marked paths in only one direction though, so coming home was a symphony of "What do I doooooooo?"s and "Am I supposed to be... oh shiiiiit!"s. Manhattan's the scary part though, so I'll swap being lost and confused in Brooklyn for a clear run across the city any time.

We're going to DC this evening for the Rally To Restore Sanity. We've watched a lot of West Wing recently (thanks for votes on my poll a while back by the way!) and so I have Expectations of what DC will be like. They're unlikely to be correct. The cat's locked in the house while we're away (this is a direct consequence of the aforementioned lost-ness) and she's already crabby about it.

Work has been unusually busy, and for the last three weeks everything I touched turned into three other things that were pretty broken and pretty urgent, but it's calming down now and I've left a good trail of fixed stuff behind me. Or a trail of hairless yaks, if you subscribe to the industry terminology.

I'm about half way into Gödel, Escher, Bach, the Ulysses of computer science (there's an argument that that's Knuth, but I know several people who have read all of Ulysses. Go on, fess up if you've read TAOCP.). It's astonishingly good, much more witty and linguistically delightful than I'd expected and of course as clever as a clever thing on a particularly clever day. It's brilliant fun actually. I find myself exclaiming and laughing out loud on the subway. Highly recommended if you like thinking about things.

It's 12:38 and I should go to school.
noideadog: (lucy)
This is how my day started: I looked through the big glass panel of our upstairs back door and there was a dead squirrel on the doorstep. I stood there for a while trying to decide what I thought about this. Squirrels are crap, so that's a good start, but a dead thing on the doorstep isn't perfect. It was kind of funny looking too: I could clearly see the remains of a bushy grey tail, but it was too bloody and raw. There didn't seem to be enough skin. I couldn't see a head.

Great, I thought. A voodoo-practicing neighbour has expressed their displeasure with a skinned squirrel. I'm not sure what to do about that. Should we send an apology note for something?

Joel pointed out that the squirrel wasn't skinned; it was inside-out and boneless. Now, I'll grant you that this is better -- a merely everted rodent (an extroverted rodent Joel suggests) certainly beats any pelt-removal scenario -- but it opens up new questions. Somewhere in our garden, perhaps in our cat, there is now a squirrel skeleton, complete with skull and internal organs. Or maybe it's in someone else's cat. Lucy doesn't seem big enough or smart enough to catch a squirrel, and there's a big black and white cat that has been calling around from time to time. (We rarely see her, but Lucy yowls the place down whenever she comes within twenty feet or so).

On the other hand, Lucy's become unusually fierce recently. It's been interesting to watch. She's always responded aggressively to unreasonable human interactions, such as picking her up, cornering her, petting her, or existing while not being me or Joel, but she's never attacked anyone before. (Uh, except Cliph that one time, and we're still not sure what that was about. She's sweet, honest!).

But now, she's getting menacing! Our kitchen has stairs that spiral down to the basement, so it's possible to stand with your head in the kitchen and the rest of you on the stairs. As I mentioned, our cat rarely displays any anger about her lowly status, but once your eye line is lower than hers, she immediately starts a play-fight, batting and swiping at your hands and face, claws in, just messing around with her power to defeat your hair in single combat. Very recently though, claws are out; teeth are bared; the tail's lashing around; this cat means business. I can completely imagine being a small creature confronted with all of those sharp pointy parts at once. It must be terrifying!( I'm glad cats are little and we are big, because we would be eaten.) When I get tired of indulging the ferocity I move back up one step and she remembers that she's small and can't open tins. Purr, love, etc.

So. A newly fierce cat. A dead squirrel. It is, as Joel points out, quite a small squirrel. Maybe it was asleep at the time? If Lucy did it, it's her first kill. I'm proud? I guess? I'd be even prouder if I thought she didn't eat any of the probably-diseased rodent, but that's optimistic.

On one hand, I do feel that our tomato plants are now a little safer. On the other, I'd be ok with this not ever happening again. Either way, I'm thanking $deities that the offering was left at the upstairs door outside on the deck, rather than hauled in through the cat flap where my bare feet could find it first thing in the morning.
noideadog: (lucy)
For the last few days, Lucy's been more like "shrug, I could eat." and less like "Holy shit it has been twelve hours since the last food and all of the cats in this family are close to death. Is that what you want? IS IT?". I wonder whether someone else in the neighbourhood is feeding her. She didn't do her usual Pavlovian breakneck tumble through the cat door when my alarm went off this morning. She didn't even head butt me. I... kind of missed it.

It's 7:30 and I'm about to go to work. I've noticed this weird thing where if I set my alarm for 8:15, I'll still be dreaming about puppies at 10, but if I set it for 6:45, I'll be at my desk while the office is still deserted. Pink-eyed and with early morning coffee burning an ulcer in my gut, sure, but awake and mostly functional. Working theory is that my brain thinks we're going to the airport or something. Have a nice trip, brain!
noideadog: (lucy)


"No sign of the baby bird. I hope a cat didn't get it."
"Maybe that's why Lucy wasn't hungry this morning"
"Lucy wouldn't win that fight."
"It's a flightless baby bird that probably can't even see yet!"
"..."
"Ok, you're probably right"
"She'd be all wide-eyed amazement. What's going on!"
"Not a cat built for single combat"
"Curious. Not too bright."

(I know this is a rubbish photograph. I will try harder. *shame*)
noideadog: (lucy)
In other news, our cat is engaged in a battle of wits with a piece of cheese. I feel that it would be unsporting not to applaud clever ripostes on both sides; she considers this to be disloyal, particularly since she's the underdog. Undercat. Whatever.

Edit: the cheese retired undefeated.
noideadog: (lucy)
Cat sat on the laptop's eject button, then jumped a foot straight up when the DVD poked her in the ass. Perhaps it was unkind to laugh, but IMMD.
noideadog: (meerkat)
This week I have been mostly wondering where all of the time is going to.

Owning an apartment has so far been marvelous. After something like twelve moves in ten years, it's such a happy thing to be making long term plans, setting up house and planting things that might take years to grow but it's ok because we can stay here forever if we want to. I'd expected it to be exciting (and it was) but I hadn't predicted the inner peace and contentment and niceness of it all. I'm pretty peaceful and content, I have to tell you. It's all lovely.

The first project is painting the downstairs, which we'll probably start this weekend, once we decide whether the chosen colours (gloriously obnoxious children's television green and retina-searing fiery orange) are really what we want for the bedroom and the under-the-stairs-room respectively. They're splodged in swatches on the walls, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in real action and experiencing the regrets that my mother claims are inevitable: "You have to make your own mistakes", she says, cheerfully explaining that the stupidly-bright palette is one that new homeowners grow out of very quickly indeed and then have a hell of a time painting over. We'll see.

While Joel's doing all of the work of sanding and preparing the walls, I've moved on to project two: the far more fun job of finding the garden underneath the mosquito-clouded jungle outside. TV programmes about polar bears have taught me that destroying habitat is the approved way of reducing the number of a species, and out I went on Sunday with a pruning shears and a spade and a rake and I joyfully annihilated almost everything in my path. God, destructive gardening is brilliant fun.

Foot-thick ivy perimeter? Gone. Twenty years of ant-infested tree bark? Gone. A-for-effort but ultimately failed tomato plant? Gone. Little leafy things that I don't know what they are? All gone. "Wait! I'm a perennial! I'll be lovely next year!": Gone. No mercy. Cleverly hidden pot of stagnant water, all tucked away behind the leaves? Aha! So very gone. No more illicit sex for you, mosquitoes. Go breed in someone else's garden.

Oh, of course they fought back. I counted 34 bites on Monday morning.

Lucy's been outside three times now, with increasing curiosity and confidence each time. She thinks it is the best. thing. ever, enough that she almost forgives us for the collar and the little bell.
noideadog: (Default)
Day two in Carroll Gardens, which, I don't think I mentioned, is a traditionally Italian neighbourhood. This is fantastic because the Italians are as good as it gets, neighbourhood wise, if you like good food. Fresh mozzarella. Barrels of coffee beans. Locally grown vegetables. Pastry shops every two blocks. You buy a sandwich from a sandwich shop here, it's going to be an A1 perfect sandwich. Add in a weekly farmer's market, a fine cheeserie, a specialty chocolate restaurant, several good bars and one of the most complete beer shops on the planet: this place is a joy of food.

The rush of things to do has slowed down somewhat, and either this made me feel like I had time to crash, or a week of highly scheduled organised chaos finally caught up with me. Either way, I powered down unexpectedly this evening and couldn't boot again; I spent an hour sitting very still and watching the cat and wondering whether I was going to stand up again, followed by an hour of achieving very tiny tasks. "Now it is time to wear shoes. Find shoes. Good work! Let's rest a bit before the next epic challenge.". This algorithm for greatness has gotten me out to Brooklyn, filled my belly with pizza and salad (the pizza was good; the salad was spectacular) , and will (after this little rest), put a beer into my hand and an episode of Doctor Who into my brain. Slow and steady.

Today was good otherwise, for me at least. Lucy Cat may feel differently, having today suffered her yearly physical, blood tests, a rabies vaccine, a cat leukemia vaccine, uncomfortable thermometer action and (presumably least pleasant) a microchip between her shoulder blades. If she's going outdoors, she's going to be as prepared as she can be. The vet suggested a quick-release collar with a bell, so the hyper-protective parent (that would be me) can be reassured by jingling noises. It might be one indignity too far for our girl though.

Lucy's still in Chelsea until after the movers come on Monday, and Joel's in Indiana until tomorrow, so I have the new place to myself tonight, all alone with the no furniture and an inflatable mattress and the lovely 1980s brown wood and cream metal Hotpoint appliances. Cheesemonger alert: there is no place I would rather be.
noideadog: (lucy)
One of my side-quests (Operation Take A Cat For A Walk) reached a milestone this afternoon when Lucy and I ventured out onto the fire escape for a stroll. I'd expected her to be afraid, but she was perfectly calm and showed every sign of being delighted by the experience; I was the one who was tense and anxious, keeping a tight grip on the leash, re-checking the harness straps, flinching every time a noisy truck went by in case she would get startled and take a running jump into the street. (Added to the "con" list for parenthood: would be insane and hyper-protective. Remind me to show you the list some time.)

So, how much caution is required when taking a cat for her first foray into the outside world? Well, most of the cats in the world spend their whole lives outdoors, so you could be forgiven for thinking that even the most parochial feline would have enough sense not to fall off the fire escape. What makes this a special case though is that our Lucy, bless her tiny furry heart, is has the mental acuity of a shoe. (I'd use my mother's expression: "not as much brains as god gave a cat", except, well, you see.)

While Lucy seems capable of Pavlovian responses (the morning alarm clock means it's time for food), even basic reasoning seems to be as far beyond her as calculus. Unkind? Perhaps. But here are some concepts which I feel should be within the reach of an average cat:

- commutativity. It is possible to reach the top of the bookshelf through climbing the conveniently placed empty shelves like stairs. It is only possible to reach the bottom of the bookshelf through mewling, freaking out and taking a wild jump.
- opacity. Neither light nor cats can pass through solid objects (though the cat will certainly try). Once one object (e.g., food) is moved to behind another (say, a book), that first object ceases to exist in the realm of the possible and must be mourned. This remains true if said first object is moved to behind the cat.
- leverage/centers of gravity. If a book is balanced on the edge of a table, there is a near 100% probability that Lucy will identify that book as the best seat in the house. When the book carries her abruptly to the floor, she will react with surprise and indignation, and yet this will in no way influence her future seating choices.
- gravitational pull. I have more than once seen Lucy get comfortable on top of the recycle bin, stretch out contentedly, roll over and go splat onto the floor. Contrary to all of the stories, cats do not always fall on their feet. (They do always take it personally when you laugh though.)
- momentum. A cat should not be surprised by its own inability to stop running.
- spatial awareness.
- causality.
- goddamn tail control.
- letting me sleep in at weekends.

I was too afraid that I was going to get her killed (and, worse, while Joel wasn't there, so it would be entirely my fault), so we didn't stay out there long. Man, she was so furious at me when I took her back inside, not regular fiery hissing anger, but slow burning contempt: she stalked off, tail slamming from side to side, and refused to sit near me for the rest of the evening. I expect we'll repeat the whole thing again soon.
noideadog: (coffee)
The moving boxes arrived just before 8am. I don't think I even became fully conscious while I dragged my carcass to the door, mulled over whether one tips people who are delivering things that the same company will later collect, didn't, and then folded back into bed. Zzz.

My sleep cycle has been drifting later and later, and it was around 4am last night when my scheduler finally convinced the rest of my brain that it was not time to go ride bikes. Ugh, waking up hurt a lot. Recent sleep-resolutions were called upon: without enough sleep I'm useless and stressy, and I decided a while back that being well-rested will always trump having a normal human schedule. Which is to say that I woke up again at 1pm. *streeeeeeeetch*. And I'd do it again.

Lucy loves the towers of boxes. You know in the Sims where each Sim walks up to a new object all "!" and "What's this?"? Our girl does exactly that with anything she hasn't seen before, or presumably anything she hasn't already marked as her own. I plugged a new WAN card into my laptop once, and she immediately identified as a thing that hadn't been there before. I was impressed.

What do you think of these? Cat stairs!.
noideadog: (chimney rabbit)
We're puppy sitting. Lucy and Murray did this great introduction where they touched noses, both looking quizzical and sweet like animals in a cartoon, but it's not harmonious since then. He's all running and excitable and "Hi!" and "We're having fun!" and "wag wag wag wag WAG WAG WAG!", whereas she's wary of strangers and doesn't like to be bothered. Add in that he's a tiny baby with no self-preservation or common sense and you end up with us hovering, poised to create a human barrier if he's in danger of losing an eye. God, Lucy is so pissed off right now. She's also twice his body weight. Some animals would take the hissing as a signal to be in a different part of the cityroom, but Murray is having a brilliant time. Daft little guy.

It's nice to spend time with another animal, particularly one so eagerly affectionate. Lucy's way of showing she likes you is to sit two feet away in companionable silence and spend a pleasant evening together. And that's very grownup and lovely, but this uncomplicated saliva-filled adoration is a whole new thing. Puppies are great. We should get a dog.
noideadog: (meerkat)
After midnight and I'm not even a bit sleepy. Here's a life update.

Apartment: Some day this won't be the first thing I think about when I ask my life how it's doing. Whew. After hours of poring over small print, I think I might have a handle on what's left to be done. It's all in a list now, twenty eight items like "arrange lien search" and "give two copies of recognition agreement to co-op" and "authorise UCC Financing Statements". At the closing they'll want two forms of photo id from each of us, both of which must be issued by the Government. Which reminds me that I should add Item Twenty Nine: find out if an irish passport is sufficient id.

Oh, and now that I think about it, I didn't include the co-op interview (August 17th!) or the process of giving the down-payment to someone, whatever that involves. Thirty. Thirty one. And I still need to get the cat micro-chipped. Thirty t.. no, that's a different list.

My complacent lack of knowledge (a happy state before reading the loan commitment letter) has travelled through fear and incomprehension and stress (first several readings of the loan commitment letter) and ended back at complacency again. I'm still not claiming to understand allmostany of this (because that would be a hilarious lie), but we have an ordered list of the things we don't know and need to learn about, and I trust that the attorneys and brokers and realtors and lenders will let us know if we left anything off the list.

Check that out, by the way: a loan commitment letter! Banks want to give us money! Did you see that xkcd strip last week? That is exactly how I feel. Especially about Batman.

Code: Things are a bit quieter recently (despite what I just said), and last night I picked up the old laptop again and wrote some C++. I should probably be less impressed with myself for completing basic undergraduate student exercises, but I am so proud! I made C++ go! Life will be better when I stop generating "Invalid conversion" errors on every second line (C'mon, compiler, it's obviously an integer. Look at it!), but I'm starting to only hate it a bit. It'll be a while before I can solve problems without the code getting in the way though.

You know, the way I got decent at shell scripting was to stop writing perl, and I only know python because I forbade myself from writing any shell for three months, so there's an obvious and unpleasant path to not having to fight for every line of C++. Shudder.

The aforementioned old laptop: Apple haven't made a computer I liked since the 12" powerbook. I love this little guy but, even maxed out in memory and running his little heart out, you can kind of see the cogs turning inside him. You can certainly hear them. Churn, churn, wharrrrnn, gurrrrg. I don't know what I'll do if he ever stops. Very regular backups, for now.

Visitors: [livejournal.com profile] shootbambi and [livejournal.com profile] rbpixies were here and brought brown bread: actual soda bread with actual buttermilk in it. The first loaf went directly into my belly and the second one is in the freezer and I am currently resisting it using my superior will. Seeing Mark and V was just joyous, but three days wasn't long enough: I barely had enough time to fully register that they were here before I was putting them on the E train to JFK.

[livejournal.com profile] jillzilla was also here, and, since we'd arranged to meet about twenty minutes after the aforementioned putting-on-train excursion, I was worried that I'd be too brain-tired to maintain conversation. But, on the contrary, we had excellent Mexican (God, I could eat chile relleno right now. Why is it 1am?) and then a couple of cocktails at Pegu with lots of stories and belly laughs, and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable nights out I've had in ages.

Gym: I'm going a lot. I like it. It makes my brain feel so good. The only time I don't like it is when there are distractions, like when I get stuck beside a hyperactive TV that won't switch off, or like the dude who was beside me last night who spent forty minutes of loud monotone telling his friend about health problems (detailed) and people they both knew (boring) and the health problems of people they knew (detailed and boring). I felt bad for the friend for about five seconds until I realised that he had the sort of mild snotty cold that requires occasional throat clearing to avoid making constant slurping rattling bubbling phlegmy noises. He chose to not take this path however and OH MY GOD the horrible sounds he produced every time he spoke. I was distressed. I sang out loud to try to distract my ears, but it didn't really happen. Earphones from now on, or becoming more comfortable with punching strangers.

Lucy: Is shedding. She says to say hey.
noideadog: (lucy)
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

The word of the month over at JoelAndTanyaHQ is crepuscular. In case it's as new to you as it was to me, I'll rip off wikipedia's definition here and tell you that "Crepuscular is a term used to describe some animals that are primarily active during twilight, that is at dawn and at dusk." This creature classification includes our own Keeper of the Schedule, who woke us up at dawn by racing around the living room then falling into a basin of water I'd left on the floor. Since she normally wakes us up by thumping me until I feed her, I found this a pretty entertaining start to the day.

Wouldn't Crepuskula be a good name for a cat?

I bought a small animal harness and a bag of tuna snacks, and my project for the next few weeks is to brainwash Lucy into associating the harness with nice things. Day one was inconclusive: nobody got bitten, but she backed into a corner with an expression like the end of the first act of Full Metal Jacket. The tuna snacks are our only hope for reconciliation.
noideadog: (Default)
Really interesting comments, both online and offline, on my locked-up-brain post. I love that some people are like "Yes of course" and other people don't understand what I mean at all. I will think some more on what this all means and report back. You're on tenterhooks, I can tell. (I'll reply soon too. Thanks for the comments!)

In other news, this weekend is Pride, and there's a street fair and a parade and masses of other things. The Company has a bunch of people in the parade, and I was thinking of going along and waving my flag if they'll have me. I'm not certain that it's ok to be in the parade if you're marrying a dude and you're not a dude, but I reckon that's it's similar to people from everywhere celebrating Irishness in the Patrick's Day Parade. Wouldn't you think? Is anyone else going?

In other other news, the cat is sprawled out on the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World giving her underbelly a thorough scrubbing. A cat and an atlas makes a good still life, I think, but I'm not sure exactly why. It's just a good combination.

Six Feet Under now. I have only seven episodes left, in the world, ever.
noideadog: (lucy)
Lucy tried to join me on the fire escape where I was doing lemon tree maintenance[1], and was clearly disconsolate to be shooed back inside. Can you buy a leash (or an encounter suit) for a cat? I'd like to let her explore out there, but I'd be afraid she'd get startled by the traffic below and we'd never see her again. A super-long cat leash would be brilliant. I'd love to take her to the park and let her do some squirrel chasing[2].

[1] not a euphemism
[2] not a euphemism

Edit: Yes you can!
noideadog: (Default)
I had three "yes"es on my immigration form, for "was on a farm", "touched livestock" and "am carrying food". I've never had any yeses before, so I was all psyched up for some quarantining or hosing down with bleach or something, but they just looked at my shoes and said it was ok. "But, I milked a cow! I petted a pig![1]" "Have a nice day" "Okey."

We're back in New York. I'm really too tired to make proper posts or even sentences, but the summary is that [livejournal.com profile] rbpixies's and [livejournal.com profile] shootbambi's wedding was super-lovely, except that our poor [livejournal.com profile] inannajones was viciously attacked by the chicken pox and couldn't have any of the fun. It was horrible timing and entirely unfair of the universe. Hope you're feeling better, Nina!

Sleeping time now. I have a headache and an earache and a slight temperature, so am almost certainly going to die of swine flu tonight. If I do, someone should please move me out of here before the cat eats my face, thanks. Oh, and I should also thank the people who cat-sitted while we were away: normally she meets us at the door all "YOU BETRAYERS!", and today she's more like "Hey, how was your trip?". Thank you for maintaining her sanity, you chaps.

[1] We went to Causey Farm so that V could learn some valuable wifely skills, like baking bread and feeding hens and cutting turf: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1059894@N24/pool/page5/
noideadog: (natural dancer)
A status update from TanyaCorp:

Taxes: I get $1700 back. Do I understand why? No I do not. Am I ok with that? Certainly! Of course, the irish return has yet to come in, and may eat it all up again, so I'm not spending it on sweets just yet.

Health: I did Weightwatchers points counting and lost seven pounds last week without even mild inconvenience or lifestyle change. Do I understand that much either? Nope. Nope. Nope. I certainly didn't mean to. One of the good things about WW is that you can save up your discretionary points and have a pint of mashed potatoes and half a bottle of champagne for Sunday dinner if you want to. (I wanted to. I'm still kind of in a carb coma.) It's unclear how that will affect this week's results though.

Work: After a rough start to last week ("My project is hard and working with other people is hard and getting things done is hard and aaaaangst!"), I finally got my shit together on Wednesday and was a productive little cog in the corporate machine for the rest of the week. I'm always much happier in real life when I'm productive at work. I'm never sure if that's a bad thing.

Wedding: God, we should do something about that, shouldn't we? The only place we're really looking at so far is Fallon and Byrne, which looks fairly perfect. Right now we're out-doing each other in laid-backness and lack of interest in doing things traditionally, but I'm sure there's plenty of time for stressing later on.

Cat: Isn't really talking to us, apart from when she's hungry or we're showering. Not much love for us right now and we don't know why. We don't know why she likes to come talk to people in the shower either, but she does.

Weather: It's SPRING! It's so spring! It'll only last ten minutes, so I should be outdoors enjoying it right now. I love spring so much.

Joel: is lovely. I nearly said no when he asked me on a date two years ago on the grounds that dating a coworker from another continent couldn't go well. Isn't that just mad? I owe V and Nina a lot for talking me into it at the time.

Travel: We're going to Athens next month for a few days with Joel's folks, and I was thinking that it might be the best thing ever to take some trains to Syria afterwards, have a look at Aleppo or Damascus, then travel overland back to Holyhead. I just mailed the Syrian embassy in Greece to see if I can get a visa from there (I can't from here) and got a "mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded" bounce message. Well, the objective is just to be on a train as much as possible, so I suppose it doesn't matter where I go.

Arabic: is suddenly very difficult. Jesus Christ, the change in brain-resources needed between semester one (drawing carefully formed alphabets) and semester two (writing sentences; using grammar) was bigger than I expected. I'm still enjoying it though.

Accommodation: We're looking at maybe buying a place. We went to see Fort Greene at the weekend, and based on two hours of walking around, I reckon I could live there for the rest of my life. We're looking at some interesting places we can't afford. It's an exciting time.

Apartment: still tidy. NOBODY TOUCH ANYTHING.

Current life score: 10/10.

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February 2014

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