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Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Bad Kitty Blues

In The Daily Drool on May 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

My parents and I are currently living with five cats… that’s two more cats than humans.

It’s risky business.

But this morning we discovered that their little boy cat, Ceasar, has been spraying his mark all over the house for quite some time (pre-me +my 2 kitties moving in) and I had the indelible pleasure of helping scrub away at cat urine with bleach, a toothbrush, and some tough rubber gloves.

I think my nostrils are permanently singed…

You see, my parents have cement flooring (it looks like lovely stone though, I had no idea you could do this with concrete) It at least makes for easier clean up; just pour on the bleach and watch it bubble.  YES.  Cat urine + bleach = a foaming, toxic mess that is sure to bring tears to your eyes.  I had no idea, but I almost lost my senses… seriously, I can’t smell anything right now.  They could probably use the combo to create weapons of mass disruption.  Forget smoke bomb, how about a Urine Bomb.  Blech!

Anyway, after all the hidden potty-places were discovered and scoured, I found that I had quite lost any and all respect I once had for Sir Ceasar… and I just hope and pray that my cats aren’t influenced by his bad boy behavior.

Additionally, my parents are concerned that they may have to give him up if he doesn’t stop doing it… any tips on how to nip this problem?

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My Cat has Dandruff

In The Daily Drool on May 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Look, it’s Sunday, I just spent the weekend in Phoenix drinking margaritas in toast to my AMAZING mother, sitting by the pool, and eating tons of delicious food.  My brain is operating accordingly, so I’ll speak in bullet points… Ready?

  • It’s a good thing my parents don’t have a pool.  I’d be a burnt out piece of leather by the end of the summer and not a hint of paycheck or written material to show for it.  Just brown skin, BLONDE blonde hair, and a pickled liver.  Because you can’t sit by the pool all summer without margarits.  Lots and lots of margaritas.  Although, strictly between you and me?  If I find a good deal on a kiddie pool, I’m hauling it home…
  • Census-Porn is apparently a big search item on the interweb.  I’m not joking, I got a lot of hits on that one.  Let me just tell you though, it doesn’t pay to make-out in Census training.  Literally.  They got fired.  I guess maybe all you really do need is Love…  Or lust.  Or someone to let you stick your tongue in their mouth without any sense of discretion.
  • Speaking of the Census, it’s official – I’m official – we’re all friggin’ official!  Tomorrow I start knockin’… and counting… and paying bills!!!
  • A friend of mine used to be an apartment manager.  He recommended I don’t cash the mal-nourished security deposit check staring up at me from its envelope.  I’m tired, my bills are due, and I ain’t got any dough because these assholes are trying to rip me off.  But I sold my fridge.  Seriously, if you told me at graduation that two years later I’d be at the place where I was so broke I’d be thanking the Gods for helping me sell off my stuff in order to pay for my cell phone, I’d… well, I’d probably have cried and gone clamoring back to UCLA, begging to be let back in.  But here I am, comfortably nestled into my parent’s loving home, so at least there are no end to the tissue boxes and snacks to soothe my woes.
  • My cat has dandruff.  It’s BAD.  And she’s black.  Any tips?  Please?
  • Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there.  It’s a wicked world, and you keep us safe, help us grow, and love us even at our worst.  I wouldn’t be anywhere near the sane (semi-sane?) creative and bold person I consider myself to be, if it weren’t for my amazing, loving, strong and beautiful mother.  She is my inspiration and role model, and I can’t thank her enough.

Now, I think it’s time for a little vacation recovery nap…

Deja-Deux

In The Daily Drool on April 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’m going to devote this blog post to the past… er, the present… future?

Because there were a moment or two this weekend where it all kind of dovetailed into one infinite blob.

I’m sitting on a stool, in a restaurant in my home town- a restaurant that I’ve eaten at before (although not in the bar, which is where I am now) –  And there’s tasty food in front of me, a bubbly drink in my hand, and a very familiar face staring back at me from across the table – a face with which I once kept great company.  We’re playing catch-up after way too long, and there’s a moment when he says something funny and I laugh, just really laugh, and I feel all the lines disappearing, shaken off by the giggles – the age peeling away, the weight on my shoulders melting, melting, melting… running down my shoulder blades to land in a puddle at my feet.

Because for a moment I felt eighteen again.

It was as though I was relieved of the old, tired me and in her stead was left a young optimist, totally convinced in the just and harmonic nature of the universe, un-sullied by LA’s gritty, cold, sobering paws.

As though for a millisecond the past and present had merged and taken me along for the ride.

And I laughed some more.

But then I caught a glimpse of my hands, with all those little creases they didn’t used to hold… and I looked at that familiar face across the way –  It’s older too.

And I remembered my worries… I remembered my life…  I stopped looking at my hands, and I took another drink of my beer.

And do you know what it told me?

“You think too much, you find too many things to worry about, and you aren’t old (or crazy) enough to be hearing voices in your beer!”

… maybe I was drunk enough

The point is/was/may someday be – I’m back home in older (and hopefully wiser) skin… and it’s weird.

And fun…

But still totally weird.

Because there’s been a lot of activity on the path to here… a lot of living and adventuring.  To catch a glimpse of oneself within, to feel those eager young eyes looking at the world again, even for a moment… is something I neither expected nor know how to interpret.

And maybe if it only happened that once… but it showed up again Monday night at my Uncle’s birthday party.   We were all sitting around, my family and this same friend from the past, and some of my brother’s friends from way back, and I slipped right back there again… back into a strange sort of deja’vu soup of young Tiffany and this one, of family/friends Then and Now.  Things feeling familiar AND new…

Perhaps “returning home” holds more for me than just geography…  I guess we’ll find out.

Meanwhile, past or present, this girl needs breakfast.  Happy Thursday!

Driving home at Midnight with no one else on the Road

In The Daily Drool on April 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

Yesterday was a busy one- I started the day with a tall glass of apple juice and some oatmeal, and headed off for a fun meeting at the Prescott Fine Arts Association where (if all goes well) I’ll be teaching some workshops.  I’m really looking forward to it.  Grabbed lunch with a friend and then it was time to pick up miss Irma (my lovely Hyundai) from the repair shop.  Let’s just all hope and pray that this is the last time she’ll be in there for a loooooong time.  I got home just in time to get myself looking decent for dinner with a long time friend- someone I haven’t seen in (as we figured it) almost 5 years!!!  Unbelievable!

And we had a blast!

Dinner was great, we had tons to catch up on, and he still looks the same, which seems totally unfair, but hey, maybe I don’t look THAT much older myself… maybe.

Anyway, dinner and drinks,then my brother and his girlfriend joined us at the local hot spot, The Raven.  (Oh, I’m going to conquer my old stomping grounds and then some!) and we laughed ourselves silly all the way to last call.

Which was at midnight.

Because this is not LA.

And so there I was, heading home after this lovely day full of unexpected fun, with nary a soul on the road between downtown and home… and that was lovely too.  This long, quiet ride with stars above (because you can actually see them here) and the place seemingly all to myself as the world silently looked on.

What a great day.

A little sugar to go with that panic

In The Daily Drool on April 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Wow.  So I moved.

Yeah.

Let’s breathe.

I’ve got all sorts of catching-you-up to do, so let’s start with a little hallelujah to the Apple wo/man for fixing up my cyber-baby.  It’s been a sweet, sweet reunion.  Going without her for a week, and such a tumultous one at that, was painstaking.  Mac does things differently, and she does them just the way I like.  PC is like talking to grandpa- you have to shout and thump his pace-maker every couple minutes to keep the conversation going.

And on the topic of family, my dad and his wild buddy of too-many-years-to-count drove over to LA, braving what they term “The Land of Crazies” to help move me and my stuff.  They were heroic and it completely exhausted them (they ain’t no spring chickens) and I’m quite sure the next move will require some fresh goodwill from elsewhere (did I mention they ain’t no spring chickens?) but I definitely couldn’t have done it without them.

Nor could I have done without the valiant efforts of several sweet and wonderful friends- Corwin, Perry, Jim, Carolyn, Alex, Doc… you were amazing and your help made all the difference.  I’d love to tell you all about “The Things that Corwin Saw” but perhaps I can get him to write his own blog post about it.  Suffice to say, the man went through my junk drawer for me.  You never really know a person till you’ve seen their junk drawer… plus he did the spice cabinet where he unearthed a “Shake and Bake graveyard” populated with an abundance of lemon pepper.  He also dismantled my PC set-up, helped me carry out my delicates and didn’t even flinch when, upon lifting my mattress for loading, uncovered my gun.  Corwin, my dear, you could write chapters.

Perry, oh Perry, who braved the uninvited adoration of my dad’s loud friend- you went through my cabinets, salvaging food, helped carry things I probably should have tossed, and spent considerable time on the phone trying to get a donation truck to my door, all while shouting out cheers and goodwill.  You were awesome, and kind, and I’m so very thankful you shared your afternoon with me and my tired bones.

Jim and Carolyn, I may have had to put down my end of the desk twenty five times for want of ANY muscle left at all, but you helped me carry it, and then you helped some more.  Thank you for your multiple trips to the dumpster, and to Jim for helping me slap that first coat of “I-knew-I-was-going-to-have-to-repaint-those-red-walls-but-I-didn’t-think-it-would-suck-quite-so-hard” white paint.  It took three coats, but the first one went up the quickest because of you.  Thank you, thank you, thanks 🙂

Then Alex!  Alex who flew in from NY for in for a West Coast visit with friends, took a chance that I might still be in LA and brought Thai food over for a last-apartment-supper… Alex who helped me load the final baskets and the basketed kitties into my car for our late-night crash-session at Doc’s and then followed with the borrowed vacuum that just wouldn’t fit in my car… you were a total bonus surprise to my crazy LA departure!

And Doc… where can I even begin?  These past three months or so have been some of the most taxing I’ve been through (and considering what I’ve been through the past year and half, that’s saying something)  It seems that at every turn there have been new challenges- emotional, psychological, and financial- You have been here for me in the most supporting of ways, whether to listen to me rant, or just whisk me away to a movie- and I would NOT be feeling anywhere near as sane as I do if it weren’t for your generous spirit.  Thank you, my dear, dear friend!  What a blessing you are!

In fact, this past year has delivered many such blessings of friendship… it seems that just when I needed it most, the people in my life rallied around me to make me laugh, to remind me that I am loved, and to help me feel safe.  It is amazing that in this world of so many distractions, it really is the people in your life that define your worth.  I may have an angry checking account and screaming credit card bills, but I am truly rich with family that believes in me enough to say “Yes, come home, write!” and friends who find the time and spare change to take me out to tea when I’m re-using my own tea bags for want of a paycheck.  I have always had a hard time asking for help, I hate to appear weak or in need, but these past few months I have had little choice but to accept the grace being shown me, and it has made all the difference in the world.

And to that end, I would just like to say thank you to each and every one of you who have helped me not just with the move, but this past year.  I love you all so very much.

Because Jason started talking about dogs…

In The Daily Drool on March 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

My friend Jason keeps a lovely blog about the writer’s life.  He ruminates on things theatrical, familial and sometimes just downright funny, but today (or maybe last night) he posted something about a family he knows who’s dog (only 2 years old) has a form of devestating cancer, and how the sadness that had overcome the family at their beloved pet’s short time left made him realize that he didn’t want to go through his own love-em and lose-em dog story.

And I totally understand because when you bring a pet into your home, you are building a special and unique love affair… a love affair that leaves you hopeless to protect yourself from their eventual passing.  You don’t know how long it will last (Do we ever know how anything will turn out?) and you can’t imagine the sorrow left behind when they leave… But the adventures you share?  The love and the laughter?  Oh my!

I think about our crazy dog (the only one we ever had) WILD THING.  (Yes, she really deserved that name. In CAPS)  Wild Thing was a springer-cocker spaniel… a runner, a chaser, an M&M thief… she loved chocolate, and our first Christmas with her she dove into Santa’s stash, stealing a giant Hershey’s bar, tearing it open and giving herself the chocolate rush of a lifetime.  When we woke up in the morning we panicked and called the vet to see what we should do, to which he calmly replied that if she looked alright, she probably was alright, and that it was dark chocolate that was the real drama-inducer for pets.   We looked down at her goofy grinning face as she snuffled amongst the gifts, looking for more things to steal/eat/chew up and had to admit, the dog looked to be in pretty good spirits.

She learned the words M&M, Cats, Squirrel, Walk, and Bath…  And while I think she actually understood most words most of the time, these are the words she let on that she knew.

CATS:  Wild Thing was our Cat Patrol agent.  Whenever the cats got into mischief, she would find a human and prance back and forth between us and the offending feline until we made the “Pssst” sound or told her to go on “Cat Patrol” – then she would take off after that cat like it was dipped in chocolate.  Even now, the cats remember her and take off when the “Psst” noise gets trumpeted.

SQUIRRELS:  Wild Thing was OBSESSED.  When my parents lived up in Lakeside there were no limit to the number of Squirrels living around the house.  Wild Thing would sit at attention for hours beneath a tree if she knew a squirrel hovered in its branches.  And those squirrels hated it!  They would cuss her out big time.  If she was inside and saw one, she would lose her mind, and you’d have to let her out so she could go barreling outside after it.

WALK?:  She would get so excited at the prospect of going for a walk that it almost became my habit to not tell her what I was planning until I snuck the leash onto her collar, otherwise I’d spend 5 minutes trying to get her to sit still enough to do so.  She never learned to “Heel” and she never learned not to pull at the leash… what you wound up with was a headstrong, nearly choking, bird-dog pulling you through the neighborhood as though you were a stone in her shoe.  “Hurry UP!!” she seemed to scream, as she sniffed, licked, and peed her way through the streets.

BATH: No thanks!  This dog LOVED hopping in the water of the lake, splashing in the mud, and (ewww) rolling in the cow-patties or (if it was an especially fortuitous day) dead things.  Returning from a victorious romp at the lake would inevitably become a “Saddest dog EVER” display as the water hose was turned on and poor little stinky Wild Thing had to have a bath.  Puppy-dog-eyes indeed!

And when she got sick, she seemed proud of her 14 years of love, service, loyalty, and insane irritation.  She took to getting up from the comfort of her napping-space (wherever it may be) and bringing her farts into the room with the most people in it,  so as to avoid stinking up her sleeping area.  She stopped hopping on top of the couch like the cats, and was content to keep to low ground most of the day.  She got slower, more cautious, and her hearing was weak, but she never took her eye off those cats, and she never gave up that M&M fetish.  And when she said her goodbye, we cried and promised ourselves we would never get another dog again, because it was just too hard to say goodbye…

But I suppose what I think of now, when I feel my heart tremble at the idea of loving another dog, is all the love she brought us when she was here and all the joy we get at celebrating her memory.  The dog was a chore, a challenge, she could be monumentally frustrating… but she was one of us.  So many of our memories have her in them… as though she is part of our collective thread.  And I wouldn’t change that for a moment, even though loosing her was just impossibly hard.

We adopt our pets with the understanding that we’re going to be taking care of them for a long time… it’s only later that we see just how much they’ve been taking care of us.  So I understand the hesitancy… and maybe getting a pet is a bad idea for all sorts of reasons (not enough room, not home enough, too many delicate vases and valuable rugs) but to not invite that kind of love into your house just because you know it will end?  Woof, that one’s hard to wrestle.

SURPRISE!!

In The Daily Drool on February 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Last night my friends turned “Writer’s Karaoke” into a Surprise party, and knocked my perky little socks off.

This is what I’m talking about when I say that I have made some amazing friends out here, friends that I love and appreciate and who make me feel safe even amidst all the craziness.

And they are super crafty too.

I knew that Jacob had sent an invite to the cast of Jane Doe because it inadvertently got sent to me (I didn’t read it because I got a text message telling me not to, but I did see the subject line).  But I did NOT think that he had contacted everyone I had told I was leaving!  Walking into the bar and seeing so many faces that I wasn’t expecting to 1- see at all, or 2- see together, was very overwhelming and sent me into a bit of a spin.

A happy spin.

The kind that made me want to go back and re-live it when I woke up this morning.

It’s true that love can hurt, but people are what make this life worth living- the love that you share with friends and family really is all you need!

Because they will always have a place for you to lay your head and get your feet under yourself again.  They will hug you and hold you tight and they will remind you that even though you’re scared, they are there to help you get through it.

And that is more valuable than all the diamonds and gold and time-shares in the world…

So thank you, Los Angeles, for introducing me to these wonderful, beautiful people.

And thank you to my amazing friends for the awesome surprise.  🙂

Waking up a little bit at a time

In The Daily Drool on February 2, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I’ve slept so solid the past two nights that I’ve woken up utterly confused and completely refreshed.  And when I say “Confused” I mean, it’s like someone hit my reset button, I was that asleep.  I wake up with this “What day is it?  Who am I?”  feeling that isn’t the least bit unsettling because I feel so rested that I don’t really care all that much.

Then I rub my eyes and the world comes into focus again.

But I think part of the reason I’ve been sleeping so well is because I’ve kind of resigned from the panic of this past year – I mean, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking for work, hunting and scraping just to “Get by.”  It’s as though finding a job has become my business and pretty much the first and last thing I think about on a daily basis.  But it’s recently become apparent that I’m not even going to be able to maintain this frantic scrounging lifestyle and… well, it’s sort of freeing.

And what is this girl talking about?  I’m talking about going home.  I’m subletting my apartment and heading back to AZ to get my feet back under me, which is terrifying and all sorts of crazy in and of itself, but also perhaps the best decision I could possibly make at present, if it were in fact a decision…  Haha, it’s really sort of an end and unavoidable result of this past year.  But it’s also probably all kinds of salve to my presently confused muse who isn’t getting the attention she deserves because everything has been coming in second behind the panic.

So I’ve been sleeping better.

Because I’ve reached the point of “I’ve done everything I could do” and am now in “You’re hands are free of things” territory…  I’m currently not in control of my own destiny ( and perhaps we never are )  Life, it seems, has shown me that it has other plans.

And today I felt great for the first time in a while.  I drove with my window down and a happy little muse warm in my heart because I might actually have some time to write!  To refocus… to be still and listen to the pulse of things.

Because sometimes you need to pull the car over, take out some snacks and just enjoy the view…  And I can’t do that here.  I can’t afford it.  But I can go home… go home and listen.

Inter-Break

In The Daily Drool on December 26, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Soooo, I’m home.  And when I’m home I don’t have the best internet availability because I have to haul my laptop into the computer room which is always 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house (the computer probably likes that) and I turn a pale shade of blue.

But it’s also an opportunity to take a break and unplug… which is kind of amazing and terrifying all at once because I am soooo internet-obsessed.  I’m on my computer all the time- so I am plugged in pretty heavy – so TWO days off was like, mind-numbingly weird.

And you know what?  I’m kind of looking forward to closing this puppy down again tonight even though I’ve only been on for a half hour, and getting back to the fireplace, butter cookies, and CSI reruns- because that’s what coming home for Christmas is all about  🙂

So, again, we’ve got a short post… but don’t worry because I’ll be back to my long ruminative self in no time!

Merry, merry to all, and to all a cozy night!

The Holiday Letter

In The Daily Drool on December 12, 2009 at 9:03 am

Now, I know there are countless numbers among you who have slaved over this time-honored tradition… some of you may have lost sleep, developed a nasty eye twitch, or even fallen asleep at the keys winding up with something akin Greetings from the HOFFENzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz only to wake up in a panic and churn out a substitute letter in half the time.

But I do not walk among you.

Oh, I’ve tried to be festive, sending out the holiday cheer… I even bought Christmas cards a few years ago.  Mhm, yes I did.  They’re sitting on the same shelf as the wrapping paper, and I reach past them every year with a slight ting of guilt because I have never sent them out.

I don’t have time.

Or, I have the time, but I have other things I’d like to do with it.

Like write this…

But really, until I have a family of my own to brag about (and let’s face it, when that happens, I’ll probably talk about them all the time right here anyway, making a holiday card mute… or akin to something like this – “Happy Holidays!  I’m not clogging up your mailbox with another Holiday Letter because you should be pretty much up-to-date per my fablous blog.  For you slackers out there, shame!  Santa be angry! Click here to catch up and we’ll call it even.”)  Wow, that was a long parenthetical!  The point being thus, I haven’t a lot to tell you that you shouldn’t already know.

But, I do enjoy receiving everyone else’s little cards, photos, and recaps.  I look at every single one of them, I get a bit jealous at my friends who have husbands and children, and I think “Wow, will I ever count myself amongst the coupled?”  Then I eat a cookie, stay up as late as I want, and refuse to wash my hair for a full day and half just because I CAN DAMMIT, and I feel better.

(sigh)

But joyful, joyful, to all and to all (in lieu of an actual Christmas Card from me)  Merry HanaChrismaKwanzaWhatever-you-celebrate!