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Archive for June, 2007

A guy walks into a bar and orders three beers.  He sits quietly and drinks each one in turn, raising each mug in a silent salute before drinking.  He pays for the beers and leaves. 

The next week, he comes in and does the exact same thing.  The bartender, having heard his fair share of stories, wonders what this guy’s story must be. 

“Hey, buddy, what’s with the three beers?” 

“Well, I’ve got two brothers, and we’re very close.  But we don’t get to see each other very often, so we agreed that once a week we’d each go to a bar and have a beer in one another’s honor.” 

“Fair enough.  Enjoy your beers.” 

Every week, the guy comes in and orders his three beers, raises each glass in a salute, and drinks them down.  This goes on for months.  One day the guy comes in and orders only two beers.  The bartender is concerned. 

“Hey, buddy, I don’t know what’s happened, but I’m sorry about your brother.” 

“Ah, my brothers are both just fine.  But the wife and I joined the Baptist church last week and I had to give up drinking.” 

— Mox

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In my never-ending quest to torture myself at the gym and beyond, I bought a pair of hand weights to use while I walked my four daily miles.  Measly little 1.5 pounders, even.  And it’s evident that I have lost all the muscle tone I acquired hoisting a baby all around, because two miles into my walk and my arms felt like they were going to fall off. 

I can’t even tell you, folks, how much energy it is taking me right now to lift my arms and use my hands to type this. 

While I realize that a woman “my age” needs to do some strength training in addition to aerobic exercise, I have resisted the weight room at my gym.  Mainly this is because it intimidates the hell out of me, all those machines and weights and well-built he-men strutting around in their tank tops.  Though I think I could really get into weights, because, setting my Delicate Southern Flower persona aside, I like to sweat in the name of good health.  When I leave the gym with sweat pouring off my head and soaking through my shirt, man, I feel really good about myself.  Left to my own devices and given enough free time, I could become a gym rat of sorts. 

For now, though, I’ll use the walking weights and see where that gets me. 

— Mox

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Ok, y’all, kittens are cute.  No? 

Oh, yes, they are.  So very cute. 

But here’s the thing:  I have called the humane society and asked for one of their traps, because I need to trap these little cutie-pies (and their mama) and at the very least have them assessed for health.  Because the day is coming when I won’t be able to keep this secret from Spawn, and I want to make sure that Spawn doesn’t get hurt trying to catch a wild kitten. 

The year we got married, my husband and I acquired a kitten.  We saw a yard sign that said “free kittens” and we stopped and got one, and because we were stupid we didn’t take into consideration that the kitten might not be 100% healthy.  Fortunately the kitten was for the most part healthy, other than being wormy and flea-ridden and pretty scrawny.  But he scratched my husband and then my husband developed Cat Scratch Fever. 

Not much you can do about Cat Scratch Fever, incidentally.  A few antibiotics, sure, but for the most part the thing just has to run its’ course, which could be 3 or 4 weeks.  While it does, though, you’re feeling like you’ve got the flu or something. 

So you can see why I don’t particularly want to take the risk with my kid. 

My husband and I talked it over, this “problem” of the kittens, and we were very sensible about it.  While we wouldn’t necessarily mind having some extra cats hanging about, we 1) don’t want legions of them and 2) don’t want unhealthy ones.  So I get to be the Gestapo and trap them for the humane society. 

I hate it when common sense wins out.

— Mox

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It’s not a big secret amongst our friends and family members that Spawn is a cataholic.  The kid loves cats with a single-minded adoration like nothing I’ve ever seen.  I don’t know where this comes from, though I am myself a professed cat person — which is to say that I got bitten by a dog when I was a kid and that pretty well soured me on dogs.  I’ve had dogs in the past and will likely have a dog in the future, but given my druthers I’ll take a cat for the simple fact that they are a lot less work.  Food and water in a bowl, a litter box, and a few catnip-scented toys and you’re good to go.  One thing I do not need right now is more work to do. 

But Spawn is a cat lover above all else.  Anything that resembles a cat, features a cat, has a cat imprinted on it, or is actually a cat is fair game.  I’ve seen the kid peel a ratty sticker up off the sidewalk simply because it had a cat on it.  And a real cat… well, that cat had better be prepared to soak up the love, because Spawn is a cat catcher and cat love-on-er like you have never seen. 

Over the weekend, as I was doing a little routine cleanup around the house, cleaning out the Roomba brushes while on the deck, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a small movement.  A small, kitten-shaped movement.  Further investigation revealed not only a calico kitten but her two sisters, also calico, and apparently living under our deck. 

What to do… what to do….

Obviously these are wild kittens.  They won’t come within five feet of me, so Spawn getting ahold of them won’t be much of an issue.  But the last thing I need is three more cats, all female, plus their mother, procreating with wild abandon in the relative comfort of beneath our deck.  Not to mention the decimation of the songbirds that I work so diligently to feed each fall and winter. 

I have begun feeding them as of yesterday, because I spied one of them munching down on a song sparrow and that grossed me out.  I figured that if they equated me with tasty minced up chicken breast, they might be more receptive and I might be able to catch them.  Once I catch them, the very least will be a trip to the vet to get them fixed because see above paragraph. 

Spawn has no idea that the kittens are there right now, and I’m wondering how long I can keep it a secret. 

— Mox

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My husband and I managed to get the hell out of town this weekend, and it did us both a world of good. 

It also pointed up the fact that I really need a break. 

I have hit a wall with both of my jobs, and have started banging my head on it.  Really, y’all.  My well of enthusiasm has just. run. dry. 

I don’t know what has gotten into me here lately, but I have had a hard time mustering up the energy to do anything at either one of my jobs.  Seems all I want to do is just sit and stare and/or putter around the house all day.  In other words, my brain has shut down. 

 The weekend was nice, a change of scenery and an opportunity for the Mox family to do something together.  I don’t necessarily recommend spending four hours walking around the zoo in the rain, but there comes a point at which you can’t be any more wet and really, it was kinda fun.  The rain kept the crowd down to a reasonable level, and none of us really cared that we looked like drowned rats.  It was nice just to walk around in the rain and be together.  No one got sunburned.  It wasn’t too hot. 

At the end of the day, Spawn and I snuggled up together on the front porch and enjoyed a couple of snow cones.  I always enjoy these little rituals, the chance to spend a little quiet time with my kid, and if I could have frozen that moment in time I would have. 

I think what I need is a lot more of that. 

— Mox

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So today is trash day in my neighborhood.  I like having trash day on Friday, because it gives me a real sense of clearing out all the crap from the week and tossing it so we can have a good clean weekend.  (Notice I did not say “good clean fun” because what fun is that?)  I’m funny that way. 

It will probably not surprise you all that much to learn that I am pretty particular about the trash, the methods by which we assemble the household garbage and the manner in which it gets deposited in the can.  My feelings about this are pretty clear:  1) we use trash bags and 2) we tie the trash bags shut before we take them out. 

The yang to my yin, my husband, he’s not so much invested in the mechanics of garbage takeout.  He’d just as soon dump loose trash in the can and let it go at that.  Well, that just goes all through me.  And this is why:  the highly-paid professionals that my city has hired to work in sanitation, those guys who admittedly get paid what they deserve to handle stinky trash all day long, well, they don’t care if it all gets into the truck or not.  If they turn the can over into the truck and some of it falls out into the street, they don’t stoop to pick it up.  They just leave it.  They drive off and leave trash lying in the street. 

So this morning, as I was driving in to work, I noticed that the trash men had come and gone, and sure enough, left trash from my neighbors (who are not nearly as anal as me) lying in the street.  And not just any trash, but disposable diapers.  And it was raining this morning, so not only were they dirty diapers, they were sodden.  My neighbors, they won’t pick it up, either.  So the cars will run over it and squish it everywhere and there will be flies and…

I don’t think I even want to go home anymore. 

— Mox

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Every year for the past 22 years, my little podunk town has hosted a music festival that includes a folklife component.  Folklife, for the uninitiated, is all of those little rituals and crafts that identify a culture.  To that end, the festival has always included dancing or soapmaking or weaving or some such attraction, and it is an integral part of the festival’s calendar of events. 

Somehow, by the forces of nature that operate in this town, I managed to get appointed to the festival committee last year. 

Now, I think the last committee I served on was some goofy committee in my college sorority.  So it’s been that long, and I’m rusty. 

And it gets better.  The subcommittee I served on last year was a small, four person group.  This year, we’re down to three and guess who got volunteered to head this thing up? 

Right. 

 I am totally out of my depth on this one, folks. 

— Mox

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