Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interviewed! Like a celebrity! Only not.

The divine Mrs. M (can I say that?) was kind enough to ask me five lovely interview questions; now follows my attempt to answer them with equal thoughtfulness.

1. Where does the name of your blog come from? What does it mean to you?

It's from a Dar Williams song with the same title. Here's a link to the song on YouTube; I'm not sure it works, because I'm at work and can't check.

When I was born my parents planned to have another child a few years after me. Being the efficient types, they dressed me in 'non gender-specific' clothing (that is to say, boys' clothes) in case their second child turned out to be male. Well, I have a sister, and she got all the girly clothes one might wish.

I don't tell this tale to say that any gender ambiguity in my part is the 'fault' of my parents actions (though I'll admit I did tease my mother about it quite a bit when she finally told me). I don't think that 'crossdressing your child' will 'make him gay' or any such rot; there's no clothing that's 'inherently' male or female. But it's a funny story.

I think people are born with a physical gender (more or less), and that they're born with a gender they feel is right (more or less), and sometimes the two match, and sometimes they don't. And that's okay. I hang out with people who are firmly their birth gender, people who waffle between one or another (or neither), people who occasionally dress in clothing that's 'inherently' that of the other gender because they think it's hot, people who present as a gender that's not their birth gender because the one they are now feels 'right' and the one they were born with didn't, and people who've gone entirely through transition, including surgery, and are now the gender they feel they should have been born as. And all of these are okay.

Me, I was born female. Sometimes I feel girly. Sometimes I feel like a guy. Sometimes I don't much think about it because the bits don't matter at that moment. Sometimes I wish with desperate intensity that I were physically male (usually, I'll admit, when I have to pee and there's nowhere to go).

This song could have been written about me.

I won't forget when Peter Pan
Came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy, I'm glad he didn't check
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck

I grew up wanting to fly, to fight, to be in the adventure books I read and the movies I saw, not as the damsel in distress or the cute love interest, but as the one doing things.

And I remember that night
When I'm leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it's not safe
Someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home

Somehow it's never occured to me that being a woman is somehow less safe than being a man. I mean, I know it, in the way that you know that Zimbabwe is in Africa and that traditional clothing in Germany includes lederhosen, but it never applied to me. I grew up walking my whole rural neighborhood at night; in college I walked Southside Bethlehem alone at all hours, never with a bit of trouble. Once I joined the SCA, people -- and it didn't occur to me to realize that they all happened to be men -- would offer to walk me back to my tent at night. I usually turned them down, since I was already attached to someone and why else would someone wish to do that?

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom
Climbed what I could climb upon

Still do...

And I don't know how I survived
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew

I bounced, like any other kid. And was perhaps a bit sheltered, and a whole lot lucky, and had happened on my own to pick up a lot of the tricks contained in the emails our mothers send us, the ones that say keep your head up and walk quickly and with confidence and always have your keys out before you get to your car.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too

I've learned to accept offers to walk me back to my tent, or to my apartment, with some grace. It's not an expression of my helplessness, especially not from those who know me. It's a courtesy.

Of course, I'm as likely to offer to walk someone else home if they look like they need it. I open doors for people, too. Sometimes they look surprised. *shrugs* It's a courtesy.

I was a kid that you would like
Just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw
My neighbor come outside to say
"Get your shirt," I said "No way
It's the last time I'm not breaking any law"

I remember the last time I got to run around the house topless. I guess I was eight or so. It was the middle of summer and a thousand degrees, for some reason I was inside but moving at full speed. My mom reached out and stopped me, and told me to go put on a shirt. I didn't want to, but it was that tone of voice so I did. I hated it. I'll still run around naked at near any opportunity.

And now I'm in a clothing store
And the sign says, "Less is More"
More that's tight means more to see
More for them, not more for me
That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

My fashion sense? I know a lot about the clothing of France in 1405 or so...

And don't get me started on the fashion industry and the way they've warped the perception of the human body.

When I was a boy, see that picture, that was me
Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees
And I know things have gotta change
They got pills to sell, they've got implants to put in
They've got implants to remove
But I am not forgetting
That I was a boy too

I think she's still talking about the things people do to make themselves 'look right' these days, but this verse always reminds me of my transsexual friends, and all the pills and shots and surgeries they've gone through to make their bodies be right. I'm grateful that I'm comfortable enough in my body that I haven't had to go through all of that.

And like the woods where I would creep
It's a secret I can keep
Except when I'm tired, except when I'm being caught off guard
I've had a lonesome awful day
The conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard

And I tell the man I'm with
About the other life I lived
And I say now you're top gun
I have lost and you have won
And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked
And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too
And you were just like me, and I was just like you

I've rarely been shy about expressing myself like she is, here. I don't necessarily say 'bigendered' or 'gender ambiguity' or anything like that but I'll happily talk about what I do and don't like to wear, about climbing trees and falling out of them. It's an easier age for that kind of thing than most. I get a few odd looks when I show up to a wedding in a suit, but no more than that. I'm grateful for that, too.

And that guy? I know him. I know a lot of him. I bet you do, too.

When I started this blog I intended it as a place to discuss sexuality and gender, LGBT topics, some pretty edgy stuff. The place has gone in entirely different directions while my life has done the same, but I keep the name -- it's still who I am, and everything I was going to talk about still applies.

2. Where do you find God most easily?

In nature. In my friends. In the Eucharist. In what I write in my blog. In my cats. In my lovers. In a number of books, only a few of which are overtly religious, or even nonfiction. In a good meal, or a good conversation.

3. If you could write a perfect-for-you job description, what would it include?

Funnily enough, this is a question I've been agonising over for quite a while now...

When I was a senior and getting ready to go to college, my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, so that I could decide on a major. I had no idea. Somehow I thought that everyone else did, and that I was the only one questioning what I wanted to do.

I think most people my age have at least an idea of what they want to be when they grow up. I think a lot of the ones who think they know have simply settled into something that works. I think that some of the ones who think they know are right, and are either incredibly lucky if they're actually doing that, or very unhappy if for some reason they can't be doing what they're meant to.

I'm still not sure. I know I want to make things -- real things. Almost nobody these days actually creates things as part of their job (or even at all); most jobs make naught more than ones and zeroes of one sort or another. That's all mine does.

I want to make food, to make bath salts and other herbal concoctions; I want to make good sturdy comfortable clothing and rag rugs and hats and socks. I want to make furniture and cat trees. I want to build houses like my father did. I want to make trophies, like I did when I was a kid, and when I worked for my mother as an adult. I want to make new, beautiful, useful, well-made things.

I want to minister to people. I want to listen to them when they have something to say, to hold them when they're upset or feeling alone. I want to be with them when they're giving birth, hold them when they're sick, be with them when they're dying. I want to help them realize how very much God loves them. I want to feed them, give them places to live, make them clothing. I want to help them learn how best to be themselves.

I want to learn about the Earth. I want to climb up into the mountains, to walk along highway cuttings, to crawl down into tunnels and see how the rock goes and figure out why it does that. This is both the oldest and most newly rediscovered of the things I want to do when I grow up, so it's not a lot more specific than that, but let's just say that Rocks Friends.

Not much of a job description, is it? Not one you'll find in the classifieds (believe me, I've looked). But that's what I want to do when I grow up.

4. Tell us about a time you felt deeply loved or cherished.

The first five things I thought of I really couldn't post.

Then I thought of my sister. And was a little surprised. We never got along well as children. She was tall, attractive, athletic; I was short, a little dumpy, geeky. She tried, intermittently, to help me be more popular, that being all she knew how to do. This involved her doing my hair and putting makeup on me, at which point I would go and look in the mirror, declare that I looked like a clown, and wash my face. Needless to say, this didn't go over well.

She's always been very protective of our mother, especially after Dad died. At times this manifested itself in anger at me, for not talking to Mom enough, for getting into fights with her -- stuff like that. But she was never protective of me, or so I thought, until I left my ex.

She told him over the phone that I wasn't there when he called my mom's place. She argued with him over IM, telling him that he'd frightened me and really ought to apologize for that. She told me to stand up to him, called him crude names to make me laugh. And when I had to go up to the house that he and I used to share to pick up a last few items, she insisted on coming along, offered to drive on the way home if I needed her to, and was so visibly protective of me while I was there that Lewis later said that he'd been worried she would beat him up.

This isn't as amusing a scenario as you might think. My sister is six foot three and played field hockey and lacross in high school. She probably could.

It felt really good to have my sister there keeping an eye on me. She did have to drive home, too, because I was crying too hard to do it. It occured to me, sometime between then and now, that she was trying to do the same thing in high school, in the only way she knew how. I haven't thanked her for that yet, but I really need to.

5. Tell us about the outfit (clothes) that make you feel most like you.

Old comfortable torn-up bluejeans. A t-shirt of mine, swirly tie-dyed blue, with the silhouette of a howling wolf against the moon. My father's old flannel shirt, navy blue and soft from years of wear. Good sturdy sneakers. Hair up in a ponytail out of my way.

Clothing, you'll note, for cooler weather. I don't like hot; I don't much like the summer. Fall and spring are my favourite seasons.

The moon and the wolf, of course. The wolf is me, the moon is when I'm out and about.

Clothing, as Dar Williams would say, which would help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat. That's comfortable and doesn't get in my way. Has pockets. Doesn't get hung up on things. Easy to take off the flannel if it's warm, or add more layers if it's cold.

Does it make me look good? I don't know, but it makes me look like me.


Thank you, Mrs. M! You made me think; I love that.

Anyone out there bored? Want to talk about yourself? We all like doing that, don't we? Well, I've gone on about myself long enough and it's only fair to give someone else a chance. So here are the rules.

1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying "Interview me."

2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Tandaina tagged me something like last week or the one before, and here I am, finally levering my tuchus free to do the meme.


1) You have to use your own belief system for the meme. No fair using someone else’s to make a joke or satire. Being humorous about your own religion is encouraged!

2) You have to have at least one joy and one trial. More are encouraged. And no, they don’t have to be equal in length, but please be honest.

3) You have to tag at least one other person. More are appreciated!

4) Please post these rules!

The joys of being a confused, intermittently church-going Independent Catholic with occasional pagan leanings:

1) The Eucharist. Every week. Three times a week if I really want to.

2) The freedom to think about what the Bible says, and what it means, instead of having to take someone else's word for it.

3) Finding the sacred everywhere, not just in a building someone's dedicated to God.

4) Drinking wine out of the same glass as everyone else.

5) Sharing a religion with some of the most wonderful people I know (that would be a lot of you who read my blog, y'all).

6) Having the freedom to think the rest of y'all are pretty cool too, even if you worship rocks or trees or something (kidding! Put down that pitchfork!).

7) Being able to be Christian, to follow Jesus, and show people who've had bad experiences with people who call themselves Christian that we're not all like that, and, as far as I can tell, neither was Jesus.

The trials of being a confused, intermittently church-going Independent Catholic with occasional pagan leanings:

1) Watching Dogma.

2) The Texts of Terror.

3) The concept of Original Sin.

4) Sharing a religion with a whole lot of people who really, honestly think I'm 'not fit to live'.

5) People who assume I'm one of the people in 4) when I tell them I'm Christian.

6) Trying to reconcile the thought of a loving, all-powerful God with all the horrendous shit that happens in the world.

I'll tag Plain Fool and Wulfila, cos I'm really interested in what they'll say.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A brief crisis, et al

Up and feeling fine at 8:30 Saturday morning, ha! Living right makes many things better. Now that I can make a link without anything exploding, here's what Dwen wrote. It's significantly funnier than mine.

Ups and downs with the Shanti. She didn't get her meds Friday night; I wasn't fighting with her while drunk (I did find her just fine though). Saturday I wasn't home most of the day, so I couldn't let her out some evening; when I did get home around eleven, she'd peed on my pillow. Now, it could be because she'd missed a dose and wasn't feeling well; it could be that she was pissed because I didn't let her outside at her now-accustomed time. I don't know. Since I was heading right back out, I grabbed my pillow and let her out for the night.

Saturday was spent running errands and doing a bit of Salvation Army stuff. Ray got a call from friends of his partway through the afternoon and wound up spending the night at their place gaming; Tim and I went to a really great aquarium store where Tim bought a couple of pretty fish for his new tank. No idea what they're called, but they're sort of white and iridescent. They're pretty.

Kinda glad Ray went out, because he would have been bored stiff at the place. Tim and I wound up talking about that for a while, along with generally worrying over his untreated bipolar. I mentioned to Tim that it seemed that he and Ray had very few interests in common, and he shrugged a little and said that he tried not to think about it too hard, lest he come to a conclusion he wouldn't like.

This is not the way I want these conversations to go.

Since Ray was out and for once I didn't have to get up early in the morning, Tim decided that Tonight Was The Night and he was going to show me Dogma. He also invited me over for the night, which was lovely; it'd been a while. I headed home to give Shanti her pill and pick up my own evening meds, which is when I discovered my poor pillow; when I got back to his place I was in a pretty crappy mood. I actually had to wait at my place for a bit before I could give Shanti her pill and put her outside; I was so upset I was worried I'd hurt her.

This is new. I never used to get that mad. Or let myself get that mad; maybe I didn't feel safe expressing anger. I don't like it much, but I handled it properly.

So I get back and Tim says 'Watch Dogma! It'll cheer you up.' He's still apologizing, too. :/ It...wow. I guess I'd had a crisis of faith building up anyway, but once the movie was done I spent about twenty minutes trying to argue the plot away, because lurking underneath that was the concept that if I couldn't convince myself that the movie didn't make any sense, then God wasn't anyone I could serve. Instead of getting that far as a logical argument (though I did manage more logical argument than usual, which impresses me) I wound up crying on poor Tim, great heaving sobs that only stopped when I realized that if I didn't stop I was going to throw up.

He managed to talk me down from it, more or less, but I wound up hashing through my issues with the concept of original sin again, as well as the whole Texts of Terror, with a side dish of the whole mess in the Episcopal Church and a brief detour into 'what if we're wrong and being gay is sinful?'. It was not pleasant and it wasn't pretty and eventually he wiped my eyes and got me to blow my nose and just tucked me into bed. I am so, so very grateful that he'd asked me to stay over already -- if I'd had to go home and sleep alone after that, I don't know what I would have done. I didn't sleep very well as it was, but it helped so much just to be next to him. Even though he snores.

Somehow by Sunday morning the whole thing had eased again. I don't know if the crisis is actually over or has just wandered off for a while and will be back. I haven't gotten back on balance enough to be able to tell; this whole work thing has me very focused on the physical. Sometime I'm going to have to slow down long enough to do something about that...

We got a whole bunch of things done on Sunday, enough, in fact, that I ran out of energy around seven and went home. Gave Shanti her pill and let her out, since I hadn't got the chance earlier. Slept like a rock and had a hard time getting up this morning. I couldn't find Shanti before I left for work, so she's missed her pill again; it was raining this morning so I figure she was hiding out somewhere dry. I hope I see her tonight, and I hope she doesn't pee on my pillow, too. We shall see.

More later -- I still have two memes to do -- but for now I should actually do some work at work.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I was all good and workking oin my place. But dwen made me come over and drunk. we Had wine.

Now she's making me post. she posted to. hers is at LJ at bratgrl or something i'll tell you later.
If i try to make a link now it would be bad. bad. i'd make code and it would splode. Cose! Splode!

there was wine and chips and cheese and salsa and chocolate ice cream because sometimes women we need chocolate ice creem. also a dog but not for dinner. I like Inga but not that way cos she is a dog.

i think dwen is asleep now i hope she is comfortable cos i cant pickk her up.

i should go home but there are stairs

my cat is outside and its dark. maybe shell carrry me home?


It's Friday!

A slow afternoon at work. Going to try to catch up on a few things I've been putting off.

Seanan McGuire, filker, poet, writer, artist, and all-around wonderfully insane woman, wrote this lovely poem for me, as part of one of her intermittent Iron Poet challenges. She'll post asking for prompts, you give her three words and (optionally) a mood or form, and she'll write you a poem. She usually limits these to ten or so requests, but she left this one open for more than a day and got a couple hundred, I think. She is amazing and the poem she wrote for me simply blows me away. My words were Mountain, Wolf, and Courage.

I'm simply blown away by this. She doesn't know me from Adam, and yet she's gifted me with this work of her hands/mind. Wow.

I also have a piece of her artwork coming, but that I paid for (and gladly!) It's, err, well, it's worksafe, but I might take it down from my wall when my mom comes to visit again. She's awfully pretty; go take a look if you're so inclined.

I tend to swing back and forth between being more interested in men and being more interested in women. I think I'm swinging towards women again (no, not that kind of swinging, ya lot). Dwen's not my type but awfully attractive; I've been turning to look at women when I pass them on the street. But! Life is complicated enough, and I'm staying faithful to my men. They don't mind if I look, though.

I have a meme and five interview questions to answer, and I have two different posts to make with pictures in em. I have a post on the title of this blog that I've been meaning to do for months (Mrs. M, thanks for making that an interview question, cos now I'll have to actually do the post). I have a sermon or so to write up (me! with a sermon idea!) and a few thoughts on things that aren't sermons but might get there. Working on a regular schedule is great for me getting the physical things in order but it seems to be making it harder to focus on mental, emotional, spiritual things. I'm going to have to work on that.

Things are okay with Shanti. Alas, my lease does say something about all pets must be on a leash, so they've got me on the 'don't let her run around alone'. I think I'll be relying on a combination of letting her out after work and the occasional 'oops the cat got out'.

I've also talked to Lark the Expert on All Animals who has given me plenty of suggestions. Her theory that it was all a territory problem seems to be borne out by the results of giving Shanti more space -- even when I kept her inside yesterday she was still happy, and my pillow was still dry. I can't usefully make my one-bedroom apartment larger but I can give it more cat-space -- I've already cleared space on a couple of shelves for cat beds (though they're not using them yet), and I stacked the little cat tree (two feet high, alas) on top of the big wooden box in my bedroom, so it's about four feet off the ground now. Shanti's using that to look out the window and enjoying herself thoroughly.

See, for cats, 'up' space is just as good as 'over' space. And I can make plenty more 'up' space where I am. I don't know if it'll help enough to let Shanti integrate with the rest, as Samson is still insane, but it's worth a shot and they'll be happier anyway.

Lark pointed out, correctly, that bigger cat trees would give them plenty more 'up' space, but also that cat trees cost an average of 6589021394867390154 dollars. I'm going to set about making a few, though, as it's not hard. Knew there was a reason I've been pulling lumber out of the dumpsters. The apartment complex is remodeling, too, and I'll be able to get plenty of carpet for free. All I'll have to buy is sisal rope and possibly a staple gun. I may scam Tim's camera and document the process.

Blah, blah, blah, mundane stuff. I want to get back to writing about my spirituality again. I think I need to find it first, though. Maybe it's in my left back pocket, or possibly up in the park. Wouldn't surprise me if Shanti ate it. She's a stinker.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An improvement

So I called the vet on Monday, and she said Shanti might have a urinary tract infection that just wasn't showing up in the tests. Worth a shot, I said, so I stopped overe there after work and picked up the antibiotics. I chose pill form; I haven't given Shanti medicine before so I went with what I'm good at. (Yes, I seem to have a talent for getting pills into cats. Available for your cat for a modest fee! No guarantees.)

Got home, got the pill into her with no troubles, let her out. She ran about for an hour or so while I got things done at my place -- made pasta to go with the spaghetti sauce I made last week and packed that up for lunches at work, made two tuna sandwiches for Tuesday lunch, did dishes, filled the crockpot insert with beans to soak overnight so I could start them in the morning.

One of the neighborhood kids apparently rescued Shanti out of a tree, or so I learned when she was precipitously deposited on my porch. (Shanti, not the kid.) I use the word 'rescue' advisedly, but it was amusing, anyway. I brought her in (about which she was not thrilled) and eased her annoyance with some tuna juice, then spent the next half-hour or so in the bedroom with her, cleaning the carpet and keeping an eye on her. She demanded attention, spent some time running from one window to the other, and eventually plopped down on the bed for a nap.

All of which helped me begin to realize that for the last couple of months, when she's in my bedroom alone, she's mostly been slinking about under the bed or otherwise acting schizoid. And also gave me confidence to leave her in the bedroom alone for a bit while I sat down for a well-deserved bowl of popcorn.

When I eventually went to bed my pillow was dry and Shanti was waiting for me. I woke up pretty often, just to check on her, but she spent most of the night lying next to my pillow, perfectly content. Tuesday morning I gave her her pill and let her out, then went to work. Yesterday was the first time I'd let her out and left the apartment, so I spent the day kinda scared. I walked around looking for her when I got home, but with no luck; she showed up before I left for fighter practice, though. I saw her across the field, and called her; she galloped towards me and leapt into my arms, purring.

I left her alone in the bedroom for several hours while I was at fighter practice, with no problems; she slept next to me all night, waking early in the morning to pace and await being allowed outside. She's a whole new cat. I feel like I've got my Shanti back, and I love it. If all I have to do is let her outside and keep the boys out of the bedroom, I can deal with this.

Edit: Of course, I just got a call from the apartment complex telling me I couldn't let her outside. *growl* Not sure what I'm going to do, though 'let her out in the evening after work' and 'check my damn lease and make sure they're not making it up' are high on my list.

We shall see. Only three months until I can move, and I am going to.

Monday, September 10, 2007

...and the weekend

At Crown Tourney this weekend, Kerridwen acqitted herself with honour on and off the field, and fought well. Also, she didn't win.


So Tim isn't king, and we can all breathe easy. It would have been far too exciting. That said, we all had a pretty good time, though Ray and I ran out not long after the tourney and we wound up leaving earlier than expected. Missed a brilliant feast, too, by all reports, but we were done.

Sunday morning I got up and let Shanti out. I was terrified about it; I've never, ever been the kind of person who let my cats outside, but it was about the last thing I could think of to let her stay. She trotted happily off, and I watched her go, not knowing if I'd even see her again. Then, I went to get a loaf of bread started.

An hour or so later I was sitting at the computer and heard her meowing outside the bedroom window. I went to the balcony and called her, and she came running to me. I held her tight and buried my face in her belly, and she didn't even kick me for it, she purred and purred. I put her back in the bedroom and gave her a bunch of treats, and stayed in there with her for a while, just paying attention to her. She wanted to go back out, so I let her.

While she was out I got thinking. I've been letting Chocolate stay in the bedroom, day and night, because his presence keeps Shanti from peeing on my bed. If she won't come up onto the bed, will she come out from under the bed at all? So I pulled the bed out a little. Sure enough...the back corner under the bed is full of poop (and black cat fur, but that was expected) and dark stains. I pulled the bed out further. Blood.

As far as I can tell she's not hurt, but someone's been beating the hell out of someone and it's a lot worse than I'd thought it was. Samson's nose is scratched up but doesn't look that horrible. I don't know. It's going to be awful getting it out of the carpet, but I'm more interested in not letting it happen again.

I cleaned up the poop and vacuumed that part of the floor. Apparently the fur was a little thick because it seems to have let the magic smoke out of my vacuum cleaner. I let it cool and I hope it still works. I sprayed cleaner-stuff on the carpet, too, but there wasn't a lot of it and I'm just going to let it marinate there until I get more.

I puttered around for a while, waiting for Shanti to come back and the dough to rise. Cleaned up a little, took some things out to the trash, cleared detritus out of the car. Eventually Shanti wandered back and spent some time laying under the tree outside my balcony; by then I was involved in pulling the seat off my bicycle in hopes of getting a new one that doesn't hurt my bits so much. She lounged around and I petted her every time I walked past. I called her from the balcony a few times, but she showed no inclination to come inside, so I left her until I was ready to go.

I thought about just letting her stay outside while I was out, but I felt uncomfortable with it -- I'm still getting used to the idea of letting her out when I'm home! -- and I also wanted to see if getting what she wanted would improve her disposition towards my pillow. I'd scooped the litterboxes while she was out, so that was good. I carried her inside, petted her a lot, gave her more treats, and headed out.

Tim and Ray had made breakfast -- bacon, home fries (homemade, of course!) and eggs. Add half a perfectly-ripe cantaloupe and it was a lovely meal. The plan was to drive down to Black & Read (a local gaming/used books/used music emporium), then ce to attempt to trade in books for cash and/or credit, and then go to Sam's Club for staples.

I only got five dollars in credit for my books and I still have most of them, alas. They've gone through three used book stores and soon they're going to the Salvation Army. I promptly spent my five dollar credit and more, picking up a couple of D&D first edition books in decent condition and new-to-me copies of a couple of novels I'd left behind with Lewis.

Tim, in the meantime, spent his time there buying gifts for Ray and I, to thank us for our help with Crown Tourney. He got Ray a copy of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which I am totally going to borrow when Ray's done with it; he bought me a book on edible foods of the Rocky Mountains, and a blank book with lovely handmade paper and an image of a dancing Indian woman on the front. I declared that the woman was Inara, from Firefly; I have no idea what I'm going to write in it yet.

On to Sam's Club, thence to purchase far too much, because, well, 'bulk' and 'cheap'. Though as we discovered later when Tim went out to Safeway to pick up a few things for dinner, not so much with the cheap, as most of it would have been less expensive at Safeway. Alas.

Dinner was an experiment: fish. Tilapia fillets, to be precise, in a lemon-butter-caper sauce that was absolutely delectable; fresh green beans with a trickle of the same sauce; and rice cooked in chicken broth with minced onions and a little bit of tarragon. It worked, and it worked well. We'll be doing fish again.

Eventually, spare pillow clean and dried, laundry loaded up, I went home. To discover that despite all my efforts, Shanti had peed on my pillow again. Mind you, she had also peed in the litterbox. I fear she's formed a habit and I haven't the faintest idea how to change it.

I'm going to call my vet over lunch today and see if she has any suggestions. I'm also going to call the Humane Society and see what they think. I'm about out, myself. I just have no idea, none, whatsoever.

She was glad to see me home and purred and rubbed against my legs. She's not even mad at me; she's just peeing on my pillow.

Tonight is stuffed peppers for dinner; I'll be making something to eat for lunch the rest of the week, too, and possibly making little pasties to eat for breakfast as well. And deciding what I'm going to do about my cat, because I just don't know.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Shanti, my beautiful girl-cat.

Unless I can come up with a solution, I'm going to be taking her to the humane society soon.

She's young, beautiful, quite friendly, and is willing (in fact, loves) to go for walk on the leash. She should find a home soon.

See, she pees. At first she occasionally peed on clothing I'd left on the floor; then on clothing left on a chair; then on the chair itself. The chair is now thoroughly cleaned and living in a closet, and I got used to washing my clothes a lot.

Then it was on the bed, and more often. Once a week, then several times a week. Now, if she's the only cat in the room, she'll pee on my pillow. While I'm using it.

The litterbox is spotless, so it's not that. She has a clean bill of health from the vet. I know she doesn't much like it when the other cats are in the room, especially Samson - he beats her up. But she pees when they're _not_ in there. I've taken to leaving Chocolate in the room all the time, simply to protect my bed.

I don't know what else to do with her. My only hope is that she'll be okay as the only cat in the family, or as an inside-outside cat somewhere that's possible (with coyotes audible most nights here, I won't let her out).

I'm desperate. I love her. She's beautiful and loving and I can't sleep for fear she'll pee again. I don't know what the hell to do.

I'll miss her.

Boring Friday Posting

There's nothing to do at work today. Really, actually nothing. I have no independent tasks of my own -- I do what Stephanie and Katie tell me to do. Well, Katie isn't in, and Stephanie is working desperately on a spreadsheet and doesn't have the time/energy/attention to be able to give me a task.

So I'm caught up on my email, and my Livejournal, and my blogs; I've read (and printed) a number of articles on how to make various things at home; I took fifteen minutes to pet somebody's dog. I'm bored, bored, bored bored.

The Assistant to the Dean position fell through; he isn't sure what he wants in an admin assistant, so he's going to hire a temp for six months until he gets it figured out. A lot of people have tried to console me by telling me I'm probably happier not working for him anyway, but I think his decision makes sense -- if he doesn't know what he wants someone to do, how's he going to know who to hire?

I'm still applying for other jobs at the university, and my high scores still stand. In the meantime, Crocs will do. Crocs will do nicely.

I feel like what I'm doing contributes nothing to the betterment of the world, mind you, but I suppose that can come later. Right now I need to feel like I'm remotely financially secure, or at least not in a huge hole. Which Crocs will do. I got my first 'full week' paycheck today and it's a lovely lovely feeling. :)

In other good news, my new doctor refilled my antidepressant prescription without a qualm. He rocks. So now I'm on my happy meds again and much more stable.

Sunday (or was it Monday?) I baked bread. There's a brand of whole wheat flour that's specifically designed for high-altitude baking, and it's got a bread recipe on the back; I just followed it. Kneaded it by hand, which didn't hurt near as much as I'd thought it would (which is why I haven't tried it before; I'm careful of my hands). I let it rise three times but apparently not for long enough, because it came out fairly dense. Still very good, though, and I've been eating the results all week. I think I'll be baking my own bread in the future.

I should give props to Tim, who tried the bread thing first. His second batch came out just fine, so I'm going to follow what he did. (His first batch did the same thing mine did; fortunately (or unfortunately) Sarah got up onto the counter and ate most of one loaf. Alas, dog.) It's hard to find a simple bread pan these days, which depresses me, but who's surprised...

I've spent down moments for the last week and more reading The Archdruid Report, a blog on Peak Oil and what he calls the coming 'deindustrialization' of society. Interesting stuff. I'm not sure I agree with him, but his points about doing more things sustainably, and doing more things without the aid of machines, do appeal to me. I've spent part of the day today looking for ways to do things myself -- for example, I printed out three pages of recipes for things to make out of crabapples, and a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. I shall report back on the results of both.

It seems only right to do what I can to take care of this Earth that God has given us to live on. Most of it's more work, yeah, but you know what? Oh well. I 'work' all day and yeah, it does tire me out but I'm not doing anything, not creating anything except lots of little ones and zeroes, and a lot of printed-on paper that will shortly be recycled. When I get home (and when I have the energy) I want to make things.

When I have the energy. I'm still getting used to getting up in the morning. It's a slow process but I'm getting there. I'm afraid I slept in a little today -- Chocolate was being insistent. Since I've been working nine-hour days I don't feel too bad about it, though.

I've been working on getting (back?) into a habit of prayer. Little muttered prayers throughout the day, and stolen moments (usually in the bathroom, I'm afraid) of just being quiet and paying attention to God. I've felt His presence a few times which is good; I don't know if my faith is strong enough to carry me through years without it, like Mother Teresa. Her story still makes me want to cry, and then smack the people who think that her long darkness of the soul makes her less a saint.

I think a lot of people don't understand faith. I know I didn't. I thought it meant a surety, a lack of doubt that humans generally don't actually get. And so I thought I had no faith. A different definition might have made things very different.

Ahh, well. What is, is. And that's what I have before me to deal with.

Tim and Ray have been fighting. I've set aside time with each, just to listen to them. Tim vents upon me in huge bouts of anger. (Not at me, just near me, if you know what I mean.) Ray quietly tells me he's depressed and goes back to reading. I'm praying hard for them both. Ray cheered up while his parents were here (and they talked him into going to a doctor, thank God!) but he spiralled right back down when they left. Tim's trying to convince him to actually go to the doctor, but we'll see. I'm out of it, apart from listening and prayer. I haven't the energy. We shall see.

Tomorrow Dwen is fighting for Tim in Crown Tourney. For the non-SCA folk out there (most of you, I think) if she wins they'll be King and Queen of the local SCA kingdom for six months. A lot of work and a lot of politics. I find myself for the first time hoping that someone I like doesn't win. Tim would be miserable and Ray even worse -- he doesn't enjoy the SCA.

It should be a pretty fun day, though. Dwen isn't likely to win but I do hope she fights well. Tim and I both got silk banners with our arms on them from Adhemar, and they're gorgeous. There will be pageantry and such. I'm looking forward to it.

Kinda scattered today, huh? And nothing too thought-inducing. Ahh, well. Perhaps more on Sunday if I can get my home computer up and running.