Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ollie Found a Home

One of the vet techs who took care of our cuddly little guest when he was getting neutered yesterday is adopting Ollie. She seems nice, and certainly responsible and experienced with caring for animals, and she will give him a good home. He's with us until Friday because she had plans to go out of town on Wednesday and Thursday. She didn't want to bring him home and leave him by himself right away. He definitely likes her.

And yet... There's a warm little ragdoll slung over my wrist as I type, purring like a motorboat. It will be very, very hard to say goodbye to this little guy. That said, the three of them- Bella, Fred, and Ollie- are a handful. Fred has adapted very, very well. He's usually the wild card (Spend a week kicking over any and all carbonated beverages? Why not?) Bella, on the other hand, has been, well... a pain in the ass. She just doesn't leave Ollie alone. She follows him everywhere and gets right up in his face. He doesn't wave around his pointy claws, so she just keeps at it. She's been demonstrating all sorts of puppylike attention-seeking behavior, including but not limited to dancing around the dinner table, farting. Thanks, Bella. What are you, human?

Somehow a dog and a cat are relatively easy to clean up after- one litterbox, several walks a day, vacuum once a week. But two cats and a dog means vacuuming every day and dumping llitterboxes constantly in order to keep this place smelling like a home and not an animal shelter. So I know this is a good thing. He's vaccinated and fixed now, and his chances of living a long and healthy life are much better now that he's off the street. We had our first killing frost this morning. Ollie's safe and content.

And it's just a matter of time until the next stray turns up anyway.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Five Favorites!

(Heart) Sickish

I feel like crap on toast in so many ways. The weather is crap. Big wedding on Friday. Feel physically beaten, as per usual. It POURED. Bride and Groom were rather lovely; Catering Manager was *this close* to getting the business end of a tripod stick up his nose. Home at 12:15 a.m.

4:30 a.m. Dog won't stop scratching the door of bathroom, seeking backstage pass to foster cat. Swollen glands, scratchy throat. Dog in crate, head throb with hate.

Joel woke me up early wearing cat lobster costume on his head for my train to D.C. for Gwen's post-birthday celebration and Jackie Chan's baptism. Dog protested overnight foster cat embargo by pooping in crate. We get cut off on 34th Street by frightening, frightening asshole in SUV. Joel narrowly prevents car accident with superb defensive driving skills. I narrowly prevent accident with superb bladder skills.

Construction on the West Side Highway + Rain + Every. Damn. Red. Light. = Train missed by 30 seconds. It wasn't a reserved train, and the info booth said the ticket was good for 365 days. Went to board train an hour later. Denied access because the ticket was "invalid." Argue with security guard. Threatened with arrest. Went to customer service. Ticket to be reissued. Missed second train. Fare + fee= $50 addition dollars. Arrival time 4:30 p.m. Weep. Make very difficult decision to cry uncle and cancel trip. Weep.

Hail cab. Cabbie wants to charge me $70 for 13-mile trip. Probably thinks I'm a tourist with bags and backpack. Go all New Yorker on cabbie, call out scam. Cabbie v. sketchy. Demand to be dropped off at commuter rail station in Harlem. Cabbie goes to 125th Street via 158th. Am very, very rude to cab driver. In typical New York reversal of "get more flies with honey" rule, cab driver respects rudeness, stops meter. Hate what this city has done to my manners.

125th Street Station. Have to pee. Bathrooms out of order.

Camera backpack zipper slips. Laptop falls out on platform. Damaged but working.

All trains express to Stamford. Wait. In the rain. Train comes, drops me off in Vount Mernon. Walk nine blocks home in rain. Arrive home soaked. Throat raw. Glands so swollen, deserve own zip code. Sleep like it's my job, trying to ward off illness.

Best Baby is getting baptized tomorrow, and I'm not going to be there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Goin' on a Ghost Hunt

I had a very interesting conversation with my friend Dan (significant other of HDL, for HHS readers in the know) the other night. We were talking about paranormal research, and the Sci-Fi Channel's show "Ghost Hunters." Tomorrow I get to tag along with a group of people for a story about ghost hunting. I'm totally excited.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All Your Suspicions Confirmed

Okay. I am now going to out myself as a Crazy Animal Lady in a way I've never publicly admitted before. Although I have my fingers crossed that Ollie might find a new home with a friend of Gwen's, she needs to figure out various logistics and variables before agreeing to take on a new member of the family. Totally understandable. In fact, that's how I know it's a serious possibility. Here he is, His Supreme Cuddliness.

And, just in case you were under the impression that Bella and Fred were somehow slightly less adored with Ollivander in the house, here they are in their Halloween costumes.

She's a chicken; he's a lobster. They're Surf 'n Turf. Get it? Get it? I've never done costumes before. I've officially crossed over into some kind of line here, but the costumes were on sale and cost $7 a piece. I just couldn't resist.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Room at the Inn

My favorite, fantastic no-kill shelter is completely full. There's a four-week waiting list, so for the moment, we're fostering the most recent arrival to Angie's House of Suckers.

We're calling him Ollie. He is the snuggliest cat I've ever met. We're putting up Lost Cat posters, but he has no collar, no tags, no microchip and no way to determine if he's lost or homeless. He's a deeply committed purr-er, sproinging around and head-butting anything preventing you from giving him full-on ear/chin scratches and pats. My mom swears she could push her childhood cat Tabby around in a doll carriage and wear him around her neck like a fur stoll. I never really believed it until now. This cat is a total moosh. You can carry him around like a baby, drape him around your shoulders, anything. He got a bath, which he submitted to without a peep. He is the Anti-Fred.

So far, his accidental introduction to Bella and Fred wasn't exactly a failure. The dog's enthusiasm, in particular, was somewhat overwhelming to our cuddly little guest, and anyway, our eccentric dynamic duo is already a handful. Bella ate a bottle cap last Tuesday. She helpfully yurked it back out, saving us $3,000 we would have spent on obstruction-removal surgery, but turned into a Blast-Ended Skrewt all the same. $345 in vet bills, antibiotics and x-rays later, she is grounded and not allowed to have another cat.

Please. Wrack your brains. Is there anyone in the tri-state area who needs some unconditional love? Perhaps a living scarf to wear as the weather gets colder? I will drive him anywhere, do anything to find this cat a good home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate's life for me!

Just wanted to share this video from a certain pirate wench's birthday party. I actually make an appearance in this one, in part because- as I explain in the video- there has been some talk about how I make everyone else be in these but never show up myself. Ha! I will never ask my loved ones to do anything for posterity I wouldn't do myself.

Also, and this sounds dirtier than it is, but for those of you who were there and are dying to see the part where the lady of the house licks the flan (told you it sounded dirty), it occurs 1 minute 23 seconds into the video.

Ernie was dressed as the Dread Pirate Roberts from the Pirate Ship Revenge, complete with an R.O.U.S. I chose to work "Storybook Love," the theme song from the movie, into the video. It turned out to be a little more tender than even I thought it would be, but it seems only fitting. I really do want to give Ernie a shout-out.

As the calendar pages flip one-by-one toward the day when Joel and I get married, Ernie and Shannon really are role models for us. While my parents' marriage is strong and impressive, inspiring in its longevity, Ernie and Shannon are fantastic role models of a young married couple. They are doing the important work of building a family, maintaining a home, and creating a life around their daughter's best interests while still encouraging each other's career goals. They make it look so easy, even though I know it's not.

Anyway. I just wanted to say that. See for yourself. :)

"Come, my love, I'll tell you a tale,/
A boy and girl, and their love story."
-Storybook Love from the movie "The Princess Bride"

Come one, come all, to Angie's House of Suckers!

I suppose you could call it a gift.

The first stray cat I remember coming around arrived when I was three or four. I called him "Tommy the Tom Cat." He lived outdoors, except for one brief foray into the old house on State Street, alledly to catch a mouse. He panicked and wedged himself behind the piano. Not good.

My dad and sister are severely allergic to cats, so Tommy the TomCat went right back outside. (Coincidentally, 21 years later, my sister would meet and marry Tommy the TomBrother-in-Law, but I digress.) Tommy the TomCat wasn't around long, but he is captured in my "First Day of PreSchool" snapshots. Then the neighbors got tired of him spraying everywhere and hauled him away, supposedly to a farm nearby. The nice thing about growing up in a small town completely surrounded by farmland is that that IS what happened.

Shortly after that, we moved to the house where my parents still live. With a month or so, Marble showed up. Marble was a calico cat, female, adorable and incredibly sweet. At this point, I had a revolving door of pets my parents called "Angie's Menagerie." We intermittantly had gerbils, rabbits, parakeets, a hermit crab, a Russian hamster, goldfish, frogs, a tiny turtle (years before Senor Tortuga) and a salamander whose hatching I oversaw myself from a gelatinous batch of eggs, and of course, Canis, the family golden retriever. Eventually, the neighbors two doors down put a flea collar on Marble and took responsibility for her yearly checkups and vaccinations. I guess she become "theirs" after that, but she was an outdoor cat who hung around a lot.

My junior year of college we lived in a fantastic sublet when we got back from London. We heard the harrowing meows of a cat- loudly- for about ten days. At one point, it woke Jillian up at night, and she was certain the cat was under her bed. It wasn't. Kinda creepy? indeed.

I stayed home sick from class one day, and the meowing was so loud, I was determined to find this cat once and for all. I checked under the porch, the bushes, everywhere I could think of. Finally, exasperated, I went into the basement to throw in a load of laundry.... and saw a slinking orange tail disappear behind some boxes. I brought down food and called Animal Control. They told me they had a four week waiting period. The cat, probably crazed with hunger, hunkered down behind a mattress. Stephen spent the better part of an evening keeping it company. The landlord came over, took one look at the 5-inch space by the dryer fog vent to the outside, and insisted he didn't need to fix that, and the cat certainly didn't get in that way, it must be slipping in behind us when we opened the door (WTF?) and then banged a ladle on a frying pan until the cat freaked out and streaked into the frigid Syracuse night. I have never stopped feeling bad about that.

It's partly due to that guilt that led me to chase 15-pound-puppy Bella away from Ostrom Avenue on Move-In Day senior year. She ran into our backyard, got stuck in a rose bush, and ten minutes later, I had her in my arms. I opened the back door to tell Jo I would be out front, waiting for Bella's people (she had a leash and a collar, no tags). I hadn't even gotten a word out when Jo said, "Ang, NO." Bella's people never came, and we all know how that turned out.

Fast forward to Florida , finding Fred and George, helping George find a home, keeping the Fred, trapping Fred's crackwhore cat of a mother, getting her spayed and releasing her to her feral colony.

Then one day a gray cat turned up on my porch in Florida. Fred, just a kitten then, was staring out the sliding glass door, and I thought he was looking at his reflection... until the reflection moved, and he didn't. I named the Reflection Cat NoEsMiGato (NEMG), got him fixed and brought him in the house for one night... during which I discovered he was really smelly, and no amount of bathing him could eliminate the funk. He ultimately adopted one of my neighbors in the apartment complex, following at her heels as she walked her yippy little dogs.

Fast forward to living here. Stephen and I spent our last holiday together chasing a stray dog around on New Year's Eve, trying to get him off the street. He ran from us, and it was all a little sketchy, and we had to let it go eventually. I saw the dog again a year later, but he wouldn't trust me then either...

Last year at Rehoboth, we were in the beach house one night when a stray cat came right up to the sliding glass door and pummelled with its paws. I was the only one awake and was starting to get freaked out by the drumming noise until I saw him on the other side of the sliding glass door. Anyone else seeing a pattern here? Damn cat brought me a frog.

Then there was Jack, though admittedly, I pulled him out of traffic deliberately.

Things got so crazy-busy about a month ago that I never did get around to blogging about the *second* dog we found, a Jack Russell terrier who was crouching in the bushes in the front yard. I swear to God, they just show up. They just show up! Much like the day she found Fred, Bella went lurching and pulling to a bush, and the dog trotted out. Bella liked him a lot. They slept together in our bed that night. Fred, on the other hand, was the very model of a Major Freaked Out Kitty Cat. We took the Jack Russell Terrier to my favorite no-kill shelter. I hope he found a new family, but I suppose I'll find out tomorrow-


This entire entry has been prompted by a certain male domestic short hair cat who followed me home tonight when I was- wait for it, wait for it- out walking Bella. I saw him in the shadows near my car, thinking he was Rogue Skunk. He was all tense when he saw Bella, who was doing her traditional Dance of Leapy Leapy "I see a kitty! I see a kitty! Fred is a kitty and he's my friend and I-see-a-kitty-be-my-friend! Be my friend! BE! MY! FRIEND!" Joel walked Bella away, and the cat rubbed up against my legs. He let me pick him up and starting purring instantly. He has no collar, but there's a house at the end of the road that has a lot of outdoor cats. I walked him down the street, set him down in their yard, and patted him on the head. He followed me back up the street. I crossed the street. He crossed the street. I walked. He walked. I stopped. He stopped to dart in and around of my ankles. No collar. Street dirty, but not malnourished. No visible fleas, young looking, clean ears and clear eyes.

At the moment, he's confined to our bathroom with some food, water and a disposable casserole pan full of fresh litter. Fred is somewhat dumbfounded that his litter box is outside the bathroom, but is otherwise oblivious. Bella on the other hand, has been chasing her tail and hopping up and down for the last 45 minutes doing her Kitty! Kitty Kitty Kitty! Dance.

Fuck. This little guy is really cute.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Let's try again

No, really, the Crazy Burger King Lady calling 911 over her Western burger is too funny to miss. This version still works. Thanks for the heads up, Becky!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Bug in the Burger

When I was four, my parents took Amanda and me through a McDonald's drive-thru in Morristown, N.J. A few minutes after we pulled away with our food, they heard me carrying on a full conversation, seemingly with myself.

Mom: Who are you talking to?
Me: All the little bugs that came with my burger!

My mom, horrified, grabbed the food out of my hands and discovered that I did, indeed, have tiny insects crawling all over my burger. How that experience did not put me off McDonald's for the rest of my life is a mystery. However, "there's always a bug in the burger" became a family catch phrase after that, similar to "a fly in the ointment."

So. I'm kind of having a crap day at work. Nothing major, just the proverbial shit that hits the fan when PR people get too big for their britches (apparently I'm working as many idioms as possible into this entry; let's go with the flow.)

I was hungry. I was pissed off. I went to McDonald's. The drive-thru lady hands me my food, and as I open the bag to check for ketchup, a fly flew up out of the bag. It was in the bag. The bag with my food. Ewwww.

So I turned to the lady at the drive-thru and said, "I'm really sorry, but.. um, a fly just flew out of my bag of food."

Drive-Thru Lady: No, it didn't.
Me: I promise you, it did.
DTL: That's not possible. I just checked it.
Me: (thinking, "for napkins, maybe, but did you check it for bugs?!?) Look, I am really sorry, but I'm not trying to make trouble. I'm hungry. I'm in a hurry. I paid for it. I really do want this food. I wouldn't just make this up.
DTL: It didn't happen.
Me: Believe me, if it hadn't happened, I would be driving away, eating my food.
DTL: ....
Me: Can please have some clean food?
DTL: (very reluctantly) I guess.
Fly: lands on top of rearview mirror, rubs disgusting little buggy front appendages together greedily.
Me: Can I speak to a manager?
Manager: I know what you said happened. Can you park over there until we can make you a new order?
Me: Sure.

::: Twenty minutes passes. I'm starting to have just the slightest ability to at least partly grasp the frustration the Crazy Burger King Lady on YouTube felt when she called 911***:::

I walk up to counter. I explain the situation. The manager went home, and a new guy is working the drive-thru window. Neither woman who spoke to me about the fly are anywhere to be found. The guy behind the counter listens to me. Then he shrugs and asks what I ordered. He comes back a minute later with my Extra Value Meal. I go out to the car and open the sack o' grease. The sandwich and fries are both kinda cold. They feel, oh, like maybe they've just been sitting near a drive-thru window for 20 minutes.

I just know the fly is laughing his ass off.

*** Which, oh my God, if you haven't watched this YouTube video of a woman calling 911 because Burger King won't make her a Western burger, you have to listen to this right now. Some people... just have to be a bug in the burger, I guess.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Introducing Baelin!

Joel and I drove out to Long Island yesterday to meet the latest addition to our circle of friends-who-are-like-family. Baelin is so smooshy and brand new. They are a family. The word "Congratulations" feels so very inadequate.

You can see more photos here

Engagement Photos!

Starring... Alissa and Todd!

You can see the slideshow here


You can now see more than 100 photos from Meredith and Sean's wedding here!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


You can now see the photos from the Pirate Party here

We briefly interrupt this barrage of photos...

... to report that air traffic control has spotted the stork! Tanii's doctor estimated Baelin would arrive weighing 8 lbs or more, and that was over a week ago. Let's all send them thoughts of strength, endurance, courage and victory, shall we? It'll be like a feminst collective hum of vibey of maternity support, kinda TheOnion.com's description of Lilith Fair, ready?

mmmm (ow, I bet that hurts) MMMMMM (hope he has a wee tiny head) MMMMMMMMMM (just keep going) mmmmmMMMM (so proud) mmmm (can't wait to meet you, baby boy) mmmmmmm

EDITED LESS THAN AN HOUR TO SAY: Baelin is here! Mama and baby are both doing just great, labor lasted about 12 hours and he's 7 lbs, 2 oz (not the 9 lb baby that was predicted, but healthy and big and just perfect!) YAY!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I shot so many photos this weekend that when I packed away my gear for the final time (you know, until I get up and go to work tomorrow ;), I noticed that there was a new smooth spot on my camera body where the grip rests on my hand. Now THAT is a great weekend.

I have so many pictures, stories and adventures to share. It's going to be an avalanche of photos here very, very soon, and yes, I have just few to hold you over.

From the wedding:

And Shannon's birthday:

And Alissa and Todd's engagement session.

By the way, there will be some new folks hanging around just as soon as I post sneak peek photos and the highlights slideshow from Meredith and Sean's wedding. Feel free to throw rice, because that whole "deadly to birds" thing? Turns out that's a debunked urban myth.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Furry Little Whackjob: Part Three

Fred's Neurosis of the Week manifests in the form of his refusing to drink out of anything other than the big blue bowl. Although this is decidedly better than the week he refused to drink anything that wasn't in the form of droplets on the shower curtain, two out three water bowls agree: They have been boycotted. Enjoy!