Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With The Old

So, as I write this, I am about three and a half hours from the new year. And, I have to say, I will not be entirely sorry to be done with 2010. Nothing horrible happened this year, thank goodness, but it did just seem to be full of annoying. First, there was the infamous Treadmill Saga, which was just disproportionately stressful (and ironically so, since it was all in an attempt to do something good for my health). Then there was the sinus infection from hell, which cleared up just in time for me to get my wisdom teeth out. Which procedure, admittedly, was nothing like my neurotic imaginings, but having holes in my gums for two months afterward was a whole different kind of no fun. Then, come the summer, I learned that I couldn't have the vacation I'd been hoping for because we were short-handed at work, something that also meant my hours got even more annoying. Then there were car problems. And finally, of course, the advent of Mickey the kitten, who is undeniably cute, but who has also been the source of quite a bit of worry and expense.

Not that it was all bad, of course. The Doctor Who convention was loads of fun, and I did at least get to see my sister over Thanksgiving, even if I couldn't make it in August. And so on. Still, my hope for the new year, overall, is less of that, please.

And such, also, is my wish for all of you: less of whatever was bad in the last year, and more of whatever was good. Happy New Year, all!

A Lesson In Feline Body Language

For those not sufficiently familiar with cats, there is a definite, observable difference between different kinds of cat hisses. There's one, which is perfectly normal when introducing cats, that indicates the animal is feeling somewhat defensive/territorial/threatened/generally unhappy and is offering up a bit of a warning and engaging in some social posturing. And then there's the one that means, "AAAAAAARGH!! GO AWAY OR I SWEAR TO BAST I WILL RIP YOUR FACE OFF!!!!"

So far, I have two of the former -- well, two-and-a-half, but the kitten doesn't really seem all that bothered -- and one of the latter. Which, charmingly, is aimed both at Mickey and at me. Ah, Vir. Always my problem child.

Yeah, this could take a while...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Kitten Update

Finally heard back from the vet, and Mickey's last test results were also negative, which means we can at least be pretty confident that he does not have FIP. This does not surprise me at all, given how well he's been doing, and it doesn't necessarily mean he might not have other issues that will give him problems later on. But it's still good news, so, yay! It also means that I now have the go-ahead to introduce him to the other cats. For this purpose, I have purchased a baby gate, which I am intending to use in the door to the spare bedroom, where Mickey has been living. Obviously, a baby gate is no real obstacle to a cat who badly wants to get across it, but considering that the four cats in question are, individually, tiny, morbidly obese, not very inclined towards jumping, and happier avoiding other cats, I think it will work very nicely, with supervision, as a way to let them make each other's acquaintance without throwing them immediately into close physical contact. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To Quote A Sweatshirt I Happen To Own: Books & Cats. Life Is Sweet.

I realized that I hadn't posted any "cat with books" pictures of Mickey here, and I consider those kind of obligatory, so...

I ask you, what makes a better combination than cats and books? Nothing! Awww!

I'd like to be able to post an update on Mickey as well, but I don't really have one to give, alas. I still haven't gotten the results from his follow-up FIP test from a week and a half ago. My vets went and had a baby, a little bit ahead of schedule, so their office was shut for a few days. Well, a few extra days, in addition to the Christmas holiday. They're open again now, but I called yesterday and their receptionist said they'd gotten in huge piles of test results while they were gone and hadn't even had the chance to go through them yet. So they're supposed to call me back, but they haven't so far. Which is annoying, because I'd like to update the person who was interested in taking Mickey. I strongly suspect the answer is going to be that I should hold onto the kitten, anyway, due to lingering uncertainties about his long-term health, but I'd like to be able to give the guy all the information and let him make up his own mind. I'd also really like to get the official go-ahead to introduce Mickey to the other cats. But, well, under the circumstances, it's pretty much impossible not to be forgiving of the delay. They do have a pretty darned good excuse!

So, anyway, all I can say is that, for the moment, he sure still seems healthy. And cute! See how cute?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Season's Greetings!

A very merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and general merriness to those who don't!

I have not had enough sleep, which is my own fault, but I do have presents, which is awesome! I'm thinking that today might be for relaxing and eating turkey and watching Doctor Who and possibly never even changing out of my pajamas, because, man, that's my idea of a holiday.

Family-type people: thank you so much, because all your gifts are great! Feel free to call me whenever. Well, okay, maybe not until I've had a little more coffee...

Friday, December 24, 2010

People Talk To Me!

Here I thought nobody loved me anymore, but, no, it turns out that Blogger hasn't been e-mailing me my blog comment notifications for the last ten days or so. Or, rather, a quick check shows they've been going into the spam trap. Funny enough, I get the notifications on my gmail account, and Blogger is owned by Google, so that means Google has been basically marking its own mail as spam. WTF, guys? Well, now that I've realized this, I've gone back and replied to some older comments. You guys were all very entertaining while I was inadvertently ignoring you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Am trying to decide whether I have the ambition or the energy to bake fruitcake again this year. I'm still astonished by how well it came out last time. But I also seem to remember it taking a lot longer to make than I expected it to, and I appear to be running out of time before Christmas.

Damn my conflicting impulses towards laziness and accomplishing things!

[ETA: OK, my love of cake won out over inertia. I'm in the process of cooking it now. And, man, this recipe is easier than I remember it being. Yay!]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kitten Update

So, Mickey had another vet appointment today! At this point, the vet thinks it's unlikely that he has FIP, but they're doing another blood test as a confirmation. If this one also comes up negative, that'll be pretty conclusive. However, it's still within the realm of possibility that he might have some other kind of problem that's caused the weirdness on his x-rays. Since there really isn't much to be done about any of the more serious possibilities, they recommend continuing with a wait-and-see approach and will look at him again in a month's time. So, I'll talk to Mickey's possible adopter after I get the test results back, but it's looking like he'll definitely be here at least another month. Or possibly indefinitely, if the uncertainty continues, or the guy backs out, or I just get too attached to the little critter to let him go. All three of those strike me as entirely possible.

The good news is, if the test results are negative, the vet thinks it should probably be OK to finally let him interact with the other cats. Which is something of a relief, both because it's difficult to set aside time to spend with him in his isolation room, and because he's showing definite signs of wanting to get out and explore the house. The other cats are becoming more interested in his presence, too. It's definitely time for them to get to know each other, if he's going to be here any longer.

Oh, and while he was there, the vets' daughter, also-Mickey, came in and said hello to him and gave him some cuddles. Aww. He has friends!

It's Been A While Since I Did A Stupid Internet Quiz.

I am a d10

Take the quiz at

But isn't "nerdy" kind of a given if you're doing a "which multi-sided die are you?" quiz?

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Am A Hamster.

I think that from now on, I am going to link to this article as my excuse for every brain fart or moment of stupidity I have.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mickey Kitten Will Get You!

It has been pointed out to me that I am not keeping up with internet standards for minimum number of kitten pictures per unit time. I am attempting to rectify that, but it's actually really hard to get Mickey to stand still long enough to have his picture taken. Here, however, is an excellent action shot:

It's almost crying out for a LOLcat caption, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Links, Featuring Lots Of Webcomics And, As Usual, Doctor Who

I seem to have accumulated a lot of these in the last month or so, but I've mostly been too busy or lazy or distracted or whatever to get around to actually posting them. Well, I shall delay no more!

Yo Mama Jokes: Astrophysics Edition: These are actually really funny if you've, y'know, studied astrophysics. The physics ones are kind of great, too. I LOLed.

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol preview: Preview of the Doctor Who Christmas special. Which is clearly going to be interesting. Hopefully in a good way.

Better Book Titles: All kinds of literature, retitled for greater accuracy.

This is why people should learn statistics: A webcomic succinctly sums up something I've been saying for years.

Craig Ferguson does Doctor Who: Late night comedian/talk show host Craig Ferguson had Matt Smith on last month and devoted his entire show to Doctor Who. Including a hilarious opening dance number that CBS refused to air for copyright reasons. But fortunately, um, I mean shockingly!, said dance number leaked onto YouTube. Somehow. And it is both a thing of cheesy awesomeness and a surprisingly good summation of what Doctor Who is about.

Dinosaur Comics - December 6th, 2010: Another web comic that has captured my own thoughts with eerie precision.

Doctor Who's trusty invention is anything but sci-fi: Sonic screwdrivers could be real! This, of course, means that everything that has appeared on Doctor Who ever is now scientifically vindicated.

Five Sci-Fi Children's Books: Classic kids' books revamped with 100% more science fictional goodness.

The Top 14 Astronomy Pictures of 2010: There were so many amazinig astronomical pictures this year that the Bad Astronomer couldn't bring himself to limit his annual roundup to ten. It's not difficult to see why.

Victorian Star Trek: Star Trek characters in Victorian dress. It's oddly wonderful.

Simon's Cat in 'Santa Claws': Simon's cat is as hilariously cat-like as ever. This sort of thing is a large part of the reason why I don't put up a Christmas tree these days.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Betty's Kitten Adoption Agency Newsletter

Well, I might have someone who's willing to take Mickey the kitten in, if he gets a clean bill of health. Of course, at this point I almost don't want to give the little guy up, but there's no question that it would be best for all concerned. I already feel bad about trying to split my limited attention between him and the three older cats, because there's no way there's enough to go around. Keeping my fingers crossed that the vet will have good things to say at his next appointment...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Cheerful Currently

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. Blue t-shirt from Powell's Books, which I got when I was there last month. White socks. Black sneakers.

Current mood: I feel really good and happy and optimistic and stuff! I'm on vacation coverage this week, which means I don't have a set shift of my own to work, and for the first time in ages I'm not actually scheduled to cover for anybody. So I'm taking advantage of that and the fact that I still have a lot of vacation time saved up to work short hours and get some things done at home this week, at a nice, relaxed pace. Also, I'm beginning to feel a little excited about the holidays. Um, mostly because of this Secret Santa book exchange thing I signed up for, but hey. And Mickey the kitten definitely seems to be doing well! So overall, things are pretty good.

Current music: Mr. Bad Example by Warren Zevon.

Current annoyance: I have a cut on my thumb. I don't even know how it got there, but it's in a really annoying spot.

Current thing: Buying too many books! Kitten rescues! Playing Scrabble on my shiny new phone!

Current desktop picture: Still the same meteor and thunderstorm picture from last month.

Current book: The Rough Guide to the Future by John Turney

Current song in head: Well, now it's "Mr. Bad Example." Which beats the random annoying Christmas music that keeps playing in there.

Current DVD in player: Disc 2 of season 6 of Numb3rs. Apparently this is "the final season." Which I think I can understand. It does feel kind of like it's running out of steam.

Current refreshment: Nothing. I might need some tea soon, though.

Current worry: Eh, I'll worry tomorrow.

Current thought: OK, I've got a couple more things to do here this afternoon, and then I really should at least go in and put in a couple of hours at work. No need to burn through all my vacation time.

Kittens Are Entertaining.

Cutest thing I have seen so far today: a kitten hissing at a dust buster. Ah, the traditional enmity between cat and vacuum, it starts young for both species.

Monday, December 06, 2010


So, I um. Yeah. I, uh... I went to the Barnes & Noble. It wasn't my fault! It was right there where I pulled in! I was parked right outside it! And it occurred to me that I might find a couple of extra little Christmas gifts there. Plus, there's a Starbucks inside and, you know, I need my caffeine when I'm driving around running errands. And then they unfairly ambushed me with a buy-two-get-one-free table, which just happened to contain exactly three books from my wishlist. I mean, that's just fighting dirty. Also -- and I swear I am not making this up -- there were people there raising money for "cat rescue and adoption" by offering gift-wrapping with paper featuring Christmas trees made from piles of books. It's like they knew I was coming!

Sigh. There goes pretty much any remote chance I might have had of not creeping up over 400 books again.

Other than that, though, it was a very productive day. Between the mall run and a lot of clicking around Amazon over my coffee this morning, I do believe I'm now pretty much done with my Christmas shopping. I also, among other things, replaced my busted El Cheapo suitcase with a new $180 one... which was on sale for $71. Yay! I even got the oil changed in the car, which it was way, way overdue for.

Um... That means I deserve books, right? Right?

Why Do They Put These Things Where Vulnerable People Will Be Exposed To Them?

I'm off soon to run some errands in Albuquerque, including a trip to the mall -- an exceedingly rare thing nowadays, given the attractions of online shopping. And I must keep repeating to myself: I will not visit the Barnes & Noble. I will not visit the Barnes & Noble. I will not visit the Barnes & Noble...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Stupid Need To Earn A Living.

Waah, I don't want to go back to work!