Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Silvio's Stitches...

...are out!

The patient is still in solitary confinement, with his e-collar on until Sunday at the earliest. He'll get a taste of freedom then, under our supervision. Assuming that he doesn't do anything bad to his privates, and that he stops his "protest peeing" in unapproved locations, life will start to get back to normal for him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Receipts

No, I don't mean the dollar amount. I mean the actual physical size. Receipts have grown in recent years. Especially grocery store receipts. Good gawd! There are several linear feet of extras in those stupid things. Coupons, surveys, and all manner of unwanted crap.

I save all receipts, at least temporarily. I enter them into Quicken, and keep 'em until statements arrive and everything matches. Durable goods receipts get put into a file, in case we need to take things back or prove when we purchased an item. Everything else gets binned for eventual shredding in a month or two. The smaller receipts are the easiest the deal with. Size, not dollar value. Just give me the basics. Gas station receipts are the best. Tiny size. No extras. Grocery stores are the worst. Way too much stuff, nothing terribly important. *sigh*

And why is it so hard to find the DATE and TOTAL? Those two bits of data are the only things I care about on most receipts. Would it kill companies to make them bold, or larger font? It takes far too long to find these amidst all the clutter. Inefficient! FAIL.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Foods

Fall is the best time of the year for cooking up some great meals. Shorter days bring you inside earlier. The cooler weather makes it OK heat up your kitchen again. Sure, summer has dynamite fresh produce and is a great time to create cool salads and other less cooked fare. Maybe fire up the grill outdoors for the meat. But fall has the apple harvest and tailgating, the beers and sausages of Octoberfest, festivals and hot cider, and that huge turkey dinner. It is the time that we welcome hearty meals and comfort food. I start to crave substantial eats -- with roasted root veggies, cold weather crops, savory sausages and meats, sauces and gravies, mashed potato, and hot soup. It is a perfect time to cook up something spicy, or maybe a touch exotic, with strong flavors. There are still fresh herbs in the garden, just waiting for that last harvest before the first frost. We have basil, sage, thyme, chives and rosemary that need to be used before they go dormant for the season.

As I type, I am roasting a butternut squash and shallots in oil, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns. I'm trying a new recipe: southwestern butternut squash soup. After the roasting, the squash mixture will be pureed with chicken broth and cooked with cumin, lime juice, honey, minced chipotle in adobo sauce, and heavy cream. I'll throw in fresh chopped cilantro just before serving. I hope it is as yummy as it sounds.

I still miss the butternut crab bisque that I used to get at Margaux's Deli in Southbridge, Massachusetts. That would be a recipe worth searching for. Maybe I'll do that soon, because Fall is a great time for cooking, and what's not to love* about crab bisque?

* For the record, PDM is not crazy about cream sauces and bisque. Or crab. But he eats it if I cook it, which makes him a good sport, don't you think?

Friday, October 24, 2008

A creative endorsement, with nostalgia.

There have been some unusual endorsements so far this election, like Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley, and Scott McClellan. But the one below gets high marks for style and originality! If you can't trust Opie or Richie Cunningham, who can you trust? How about Sheriff Andy Taylor and the Fonz? Aaaaaaaay.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poor, poor pitiful he.

poor, poor pitiful he

Silvio is doing well. I can't say he is happy, but I did pick him up some good drugs today to help him get through the next week and a half. (My motives are not pure. I expect that his drugs will help us get through it also! He has been hard to handle since the painkillers ran out.) He REALLY wants to lick the surgical site, and he can't be allowed to for even a second. He's bored and so over the e-collar. It cannot be taken off, so we have to hand feed him. I come home during lunch time every day to check on him and make sure he hasn't hurt himself or gotten into trouble. Like when he gets his front paw stuck through the neck of the e-collar. Troublemaker!

He has ways of letting us know he isn't happy. Mostly involving inappropriate urination. Like when he got up on top of the shower doors and peed into the shower while I was in there!! Ok, I get it. Damn.

In honor of his present predicament, here is a theme song for Silvio's recovery. It is what goes through my head every time I see him with the shaved butt and the e-collar and the miles of unhappy.

He'll get his stitches out a week from tomorrow. He needs to wear the e-collar for a couple more days until the swelling and itchiness goes down. So we all have another week and a half of this to go. Can't wait...

unhappy cat

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Old Habits Die Abruptly

The pub is closed forever. The one that PDM has been going to for ten years. The one where he first took me to meet his friends back when we started dating. The same place that we've spent nearly every Friday night of our married life together.

There was no advance notice. In fact, the management shut it down in the middle of the evening shift on Monday night and kicked everyone out. A bartender texted a regular about what happened, and he sent a bunch of us an email to break the news on Tuesday. The pub is part of a small local chain. The management's official excuse for their decision is, get this, that they want the chain to be more "family friendly" and this particular location was next door to a strip club. I hate to break it to them, but it is a BAR. If it was full of kids, most of us would go somewhere else.

I am disappointed that it closed, and angry about the way it was handled -- pulling the rug out from under loyal employees and regular customers. There was no chance to say goodbye, no chance to get together and figure out where else to see each other, and no closure. I don't know even how to get in touch with some of the regulars that I will miss, because I don't know their last name (lots of folks are known by their first name, sometimes coupled with their sports affiliation or a nickname).

It hasn't completely sunk in yet. Last night was weird. We felt adrift... moping around at home when we should have been in our usual spot drinking our usual libations, trying to get on the trivia high score list, talking about tomorrow's games, and showing the bartenders the new pictures of Silvio. We ended up going to a place where it is more normal for us to spend Thursday evenings, but we were craving something at least partly familiar. Boomer did her best to cheer us up, and we did enjoy her company and the live music. But Friday night wasn't the same, and never will be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dumb Things To Do During A Financial Meltdown

1. Start a big home improvement project.

2. Drop several thousand dollars on your sick cat.

3. Open your 401(k) statements.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Silvio is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning.

UPDATE (10/14 6:20pm) - Silvio had his surgery and everything went well. He should be able to come home tomorrow. Thanks for all the good wishes and concern!

Yet another UPDATE (10/15 7:20pm) - Silvio is home now. I wish I could say that he was resting comfortably, but he isn't. He is trying like hell to lick his privates. The Elizabethan collar he is wearing will not allow him to lick anything. So he is put out about it. Plus he looks ridiculous. More later (with pictures!).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Silvio, again.

He's back at the emergency vet with another urinary blockage. The kid has a knack for dramatic timing. Once again, this happened when we were scheduled to travel. Fortunately, it was only an overnight trip, and Mom was here to take care of him. Silvio was showing a few symptoms yesterday morning. We took him to our vet for a quick look-see. His bladder was empty. So Mom came over, and we left for Montgomery. His distress just got worse. He didn't pee all day, in spite of constantly trying to. Then he started puking. Off to the vet! (Thanks, Mom.)

He is catheterized and is doing well. We'll take him to his regular vet Monday morning and figure out a plan for his treatment. That "turn him into a girl cat" operation is looking very likely. We don't want him to keep going through this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanks, Zima. No, really.

Zima knocked over a container of sugar this past week, right next to the stove. Of course the sugar went damn near everywhere, including between the stove and cabinets. *sigh* So we had to pull the stove out in order to get to the spilled sugar. And found out that we have spilled a lot more than sugar over the two years we've had it. There was a lot of gunk that ran down the sides of the stove. The episode turned into a big deep cleaning exercise. So thanks, Zima. No, really. We mean it. Turns out we really needed to pull that stove out and give everything a once-over. Maybe more often than once every two years.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Getting any sort of rain here in Atlanta is, sadly, now a noteworthy event. It has been a bone dry September. Great for sports, but not so good for gardeners. The yard is a dry, dusty wasteland of crunchy weeds and dead grass. Trees are stressed, and smaller plants are comatose. We got less than an inch of rain last month, and no significant rainfall since the remnants of Fay passed through. Hearing the rain once again make music on the roof overnight was a welcome sound. Gray and rainy? No complaints here. It was a nice, cool change of pace.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Toilet-Shopping Misadventures and Other Hazards of Home Improvement

It turns out that shopping for a temporarily tax-exempt item on the last day of a sales tax holiday is a very bad idea. Who knew there would be such a run on high efficiency toilets? The timing seemed perfect. The State of Georgia was offering a sales tax holiday on energy- and water-efficient items for a few days, ending today. Our old toilet is in the dumpster and we needed to get a new one anyway, so off we went. Holy crap! There was a feeding frenzy going on in the toilet aisle. People were buying them two and three at a time. It was impossible to find anyone to answer questions or to look up stock. We went somewhere else and ended up coming back to the first place, where they had the bowl we wanted, but not the tank. We decided not to be so damn picky about it and got a similar model. It's just a toilet, right? As long as it does a decent job with #2 and isn't a pain to clean, we're happy.

One of the downsides to large home improvement projects is losing the use of the room you are renovating. This was really a problem when we had the kitchen done. Not such a big deal this time - we still have 1.5 baths that are usable, and only two of us live here. What's the problem, you ask? The problem is that the 1.5 baths are located adjacent to each other and neither has a fan or any other type of noisemaker. So if the urge strikes both of us simultaneously... lets just say that it gets awkward. We would both prefer to preserve a little mystery, and there are definitely some things you don't want to know and/or think about regarding your spouse. One of today's many purchases? An exhaust fan for the new bathroom.

Saturday was more enjoyable than Sunday, except for the early start and sitting in the sun for most of the game. (Yes, it is still really freaking hot here.) It was a defensive battle for much of the day, with Tech ahead 3-0 at the half. But by the middle of the third quarter when the shade of the upper deck finally reached us, Tech's offense started to heat up. It ended up not even close. I am happy that Duke's fortunes in general have changed this year and wish them luck with their new coach. And how about Vandy's excellent start? It has been a good season for academically challenging schools so far. Of course, some things never change -- even though Tech won and Georgia did not play this week, the Atlanta newspaper devoted half the cover of the sports page to Georgia, with Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Falcons splitting the remainder. We're still not getting any love from the polls either.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Moxy and Silvio check out the destruction.

The shower walls and tile floors, along with a lot of drywall, are now in the dumpster in our driveway. We'll be shopping for a sink and toilet this weekend. In the "good timing" department, this weekend is a statewide tax holiday for energy efficient and water saving appliances. So we won't be paying any sales tax for the toilet. Somehow this does not make me excited about toilet shopping. Never done it before. Not really looking forward to it. I'll probably have a hard time getting through the experience without making a lot of sophomoric jokes.

And speaking of sophomoric jokes, we'll be tailgating early for the Georgia Tech vs. Duke game on Saturday. The early start means two things: mimosas and sausage balls. Guess what happens when I drink a few mimosas and am around sausage balls? That's right! Raunchy sophomoric "ball jokes". I've got a million of 'em! PDM is already practicing rolling his eyes in advance. He does not share this aspect of my sense of humor. He's not a fan of ball jokes, salty or not.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Sink - gone.
Toilet - gone.
Shower wall and door - gone.
Wallpaper - gone.
Medicine cabinet - gone.

Cats - wondering what the hell?!?