Ahem. Sorry 'bout that. I'm just in a ridiculously good mood. Fluffy, fuzzy, wriggly kittens - two of them! - being the first thing I run into as I walk into work in the morning is just one of those classic great ways to start the day.

They were Goblin's siblings, a white one with black spots (and two extra toes on each front foot, one big one and one tiny little one between that and the regular toes) and a grey and white one (sort of a like a sylvester cat but with grey instead of black) with the softest fur I've felt on any animal, ever. As in, no living creature could possibly have fur that soft, but this kitten does. It doesn't feel real.

They were so little and hoppity and fuzzy big-eared and cute!

I get Goblin and Black Beauty (a temporary name until Matt meets her and gives her a real one) next Thursday, and although I was anxious before, now I'm practically wiggly myself with excitement. I wish I could take them home now, but the week will go by quickly.

In other news, I'm on the way to being a student again. I've turned in my re-entry essay and application, and now just need to fill out the FAFSA and a few other things before I'm officially re-enrolled. The FAFSA will have a to wait though, as I had to apply for a new PIN and I can't use it until it's confirmed (and I need it for the FAFSA and a few other things).

I have made a rather hard decision regarding school as well. Instead of taking two classes per term, which would have me graduating in about seven months, or taking the traditional two-one-two schedule, which would have me done in about eleven months, I'll only be taking one class per term, and so won't graduate for another fifteen months. I'm not thrilled about this, but with the situation at work as it is (every department is severely understaffed and overworked) and the difficulty level of the classes and the time needed to devote to them in order to maintain As, I simply cannot take on more than that. At least not right now, and not for the forseeable future. So for the sake of my sanity and home life, I'll take longer to graduate, but guarantee that final 4.0 grade-point average, which is much more important.

Besides, I'll be getting two kittens next week, and I simply cannot allow strenous studying, class chats, reports, and power point presentations to interfere overmuch with furball play time. ;)


Just in case you're so damned bored that you need anything - anything at all - to distract you and keep from literally kicking the bucket due to a chilling lack of anything to do, I have a second blog. A (kinda-sorta-when-I-feel-like-it) daily journal type thing, only it's a challenge journal in that I am limited to 100-words per post. No more, no less.

It's not thrilling. It's not brilliant.

But, you know - if you need some tiny little death-from-boredom prevention, it might do the trick. For a little while.

We're purty smart around here!


I've been able to pretty much reign in my anger as of late, but my astonishment at how incrediby stupid people can be just keeps finding new things to be drop-jawed-astonished about.

There is a story running in tomorrow's newspaper about a mysterious explosion in Cameron Park. Since my grandmother lives in Cameron Park, I read the story just to find out if she was in any danger (she's not).

Apparently, a very large "window-shaking" explosion occurred somewhere in Cameron Park recently, but no one knows where it occurred. Several calls were made to report the big boom, with each caller thnking it came from a different area. So far, the exact location has not been determined.

Now, here's what has my jaw in my lap: along with a big, incredibly loud, window-shaking boom, there was a plume of black smoke spotted right after the boom.

Now, while El Dorado County certainly isn't New York or L.A. with probably a bunch of money to throw at local police and fire departments, we do have helicopters here, used on a very regular basis for just such incidents as this.

Why, oh why, did not one of the various police or fire personnel think to get into one of these 'copters, fly over to the big plume of black smoke, and look down?!??

Sigh again.

Birds and bees.

Heh, so Goblin is a boy after all. Turns out the "puffiness" was exactly what my coworker had orginally thought it was, so I'm back to having my preferred boy kitty. Girl kitties are nice too, but I'm just partial to boys. It may not be the rule, but in my experience, boy kitties are spunkier, and I like cats that like to play and get up to mischief.

This means we're back to getting the female black kitten (still unnamed) for Matt, which I believe was his preference as well.

I would have loved a girl Goblin just as much as a boy Goblin, I'm quite sure, but this makes me happier right now nonetheless.

And yes, I will be getting a pair of argyle socks to turn into kitten-sweaters for their cameo appearances here. Much giggling will ensue, I'm sure.


I start (again) my daily morning walks tomorrow. Mama Wren will be walking with me, both of us shivering in the early morning darkness till the walking kicks in and we're warm.

The walking will do my body good. The conversation will do my soul good.

P.S. Ok, yes, you're right - Goblin is a good name for a girl kitty, and so Goblin she stays. Two and a half more weeks!

Goblin or Mona?

Is Goblin a good name for a girl kitty?

It turns out that the genders of the litter of kittens that my coworker is giving away got mixed up, but understandably so. He made the perfectly logical assumption that the ones that were, well, puffier "down there" were male, and the not-so-puffy ones were female. Makes sense, right?

Logic has a tendency to lie.

So, Goblin is a girl, and I've been going back and forth on changing her name. On the one hand, I'm not sure Goblin is a girly name, but that could be entirely due to the character the name comes from being male. Really, "Goblin" is a thing, not a name, so it actually works perfectly well for either gender. Further, I've been stuck on that name since before I knew I was going to be getting kitties at all, and so I feel I just can't change it. And well, the more I really think about it, the more I think it would actually be pretty damn cool to name a girl kittie Goblin.

The name I was considering changing it to is Mona, another character from Blackwood Farm. Mona is awild, wonderful, indescribably intelligent and romantic red-headed witch, and is Quinn's love - his Ophelia Immortal (he is her Noble Abelard). She's just wonderful, despite having a penchant - until meeting Quinn, and Goblin - of doing her best to sleep with all of her male cousins (and in the Mayfair clan, there are many).

It's an odd story, but endearing.

So, Mona or Goblin? Goblin or Mona? I like both names very much.

What do you think, dear reader?

Sunday, April 6, 2008, somewhere between 6:45 and 7:15 p.m., in the car, going home.

I found my official first white hair. Not gray. Not silver. White. A vibrant shock amongst the kinda-sorta-reddish-brown. Right side, a little above my ear. Not at my temple, exactly - a little ways back from it.

I am telling myself it makes me feel distingushed.

Edit: I guess this is the perfect time to start that journal ...

Stubular, Tubular, Nubular Bub!

Ok. So, this beats whiskey any day. Maybe I just need to watch this when I start to feel grumpy. It worked like a charm today.

This is why I'm addicted to Cute Overload.

Oblivion's call

I've come to the slow realization that I've become a very angry person, and I don't like that. Granted, there has been a lot - a whole freaking lot - of stuff going on in my life lately to legitimately make me angry on an almost continuous basis, but it's my reaction to the anger that I don't like.

I used to have an almost infinite amount of patience with even the most mind-bogglingly stupid people and decisions and the worst, most cruel, arrogant and unjust people and decisions. I knew that such things were not the be-all and end-all of my peace of mind. I still know that, but so much anger and frustration and disgust has built up over the last few years that I find myself full-on outraged and enraged at even small things now.

My work life has become damn-near unbearable, with so few people working in every department that those of us with even half a conscience know that we cannot take any time off without royally fucking up the workload and sanity of those left behind at work for a few days. Those without a conscience take two or three days off a week anyway, and then have the gall to freak out at everyone else because they're so far behind in their work, and couldn't we all just drop what we're doing and pick up their slack because they'd like to leave early today you know.

The boy's work life has been bad for a while as well, with incompetent and unethical workers as well as higher-ups, and now that's been made worse since he got hurt on the job about two months ago. There's a good chance he will need surgery on his left shoulder, and his boss - who doesn't know a damn thing about running a business and is in debt way over his head - is freaking out about the cost of all the therapy and the possible upcoming surgery. Workman's comp insurance only pays so much, and the rest will come out of the boss' pocket. The boss has been playing dirty, tyring to make the boy mess up some how so that the case can be dropped and the boy can be fired and left to suffer. And he and the manager have been making lots of not-so-subtle remarks implying they don't believe the boy is really hurt all that badly, and that he's just milking it for time off. Because, you know, we're rich and can totally afford for him to lose so many hours, right?

Now, there are plenty of very very good things going on in my life as well, things that should (and do, when I forget myself) have me giggling with glee. The boy and I are engaged! (That still makes me squeal happily at times.) We moved into a bigger place, with a yard of our own. We have our own washer and dryer now. We just bought a used but in fantastic condition Honda Civic to replace my beautiful but tragically broken Subaru Legacy, which would have cost twice as much to fix as what we paid for the like-new Civic. We'll have two fuzzy, playful little kittens by the end of the month. I am actively pursuing a tattoo apprenticeship and althogh there have been a few let-downs so far that's because of the economy, not my lack of talent. And there have been rumblings of discontent with one shop's current apprentice, so that I may have a shot there after all. I took last term off from school, and am taking this one off too, to finally unwind and relax a bit.

Despite these good things, these wonderful things, I become damn-near murderously enraged when simple things don't go smoothly, like the key not being quite lined up with the key-hole right away, so that it takes me two or three seconds of curse-riddled fumbling to be able to open the front door, and I am left in such an incredibly foul mood that even I tell myself I'm being ridiculous. Then I mentally tell myself to fuck off.

And compared to work, that's nothing. At work, I am done. I told my boss last week that I am now actively looking for a new job - any new job - after a decision was made that should have flat out shocked me but instead just disgusted me. He said he understood and is right there with me, updating his resume.

This anger, and the lack of real time-off to get away from it (I was able to take last Sunday and Monday off, much to my delighted surprise, but it just wasn't enough), is starting to break me down, and worse, it's starting to break down my home life. With the boy and I both super stressed, exhausted, and pushed to the limit, we're starting to snap at each other. Simple conversations turn into arguments even though neither of us intended it. We tip-toe around each other and the house, afraid to get in one another's way, or to say or do just exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. His rants and frustraded sighs stress me out, and mine stress him. Although we want to be there for one another, we're both too caught up in the various stresses we're dealing with that no healing is found in such conversations. Instead they only add fuel to the firey anger of feeling helpless to stop or change things, or end in arguments about approaches to take to stop or change the things at work that are going so very horribly.

And I haven't spent one half-hour period of time in months without being unusualy frustrated with something. Even a nice, hot, relaxing bath at my grandmother's house (I was dog-sitting for her while she was out of town) turned ugly when I ran out of hot water before the tub was full. I stubbornly sat there shivering, muttering, and telling myself I was damned if I was going to get out of the tub because I never get to take a bath at home, damnit, so I'd find a way to enjoy it. Damnit.

After waiting half an hour for the water heater to heat up enough for a new tub-full water, I emptied out half of the luke-warm water and began to refill it. And at a little under three-quarters full, the hot water ran out again.

I was in a ridiculously, damningly black mood the rest of the night.

Actually, I have been in a damningly black mood for weeks now. That's why I haven't blogged anything lately. I've plenty to blog about, but it would all be seething bitching, and I bitch enough about it already in real life. I'm tired of hearing it.

I've been trying to calm myself lately, because I feel out of control, too on-edge to think before I react, and I don't like who I've been because of it. This is a destructive anger. This is a catastrophic anger - the kind that rips apart friends and families and it's no one's fault really, life just sucks and eventually you stop being able to deal with it. You run out of ways to deal with it. You run out of solutions and the dream of evertything being ok again feels like a child's dream - very pretty but unrealistic.

I have had many thoughts lately about "getting shitfaced" so I don't have to think anymore, and that scares me. I've never been a big drinker, and due to years of dealing with an alcoholic family member, I am very leery of such thoughts. I don't want to turn into someone who drinks to forget their troubles, but damn if it doesn't work. I've only drank to "get away" a couple of times (I've wanted to many more but haven't done it) and both times I was left fuzzily happy and relaxed and carefree, even if only for a few hours. That scares me, in a way; that the only way I seem able to let things go and stop thinking about injustices is to be under the influence of something doesn't seem right to me. It doesn't seem ok.

What scares me more is that despite that, I've wanted to drink everyday for the past few weeks. I haven't, but I've wanted to. Really badly. I suppose I should tell myself I'm perfectly fine becuase I haven't caved and drank myself into oblivion, despite having three (three!) different bottles of whiskey, some leftover beer from St. Patty's Day, and a whole bottle of Champagne right at home, and living a whopping five yards or so from a liquor store, and a ten minute walk from three different bars. But strength formed from fear of becoming like that always angry, always yelling, always drunken family member is entirely different from simply saying "this won't solve my problems, so I won't do it."

I know it won't solve anything, but I still want to do it. I still want that oblivion, that nothingness, that too temporary escape.

Determined not to become what I secretly despised for so many years, I've beem reading about anger and non-destructive, effective ways of managing it. I've thought back to other things I've read in the past, like the Tao Te Ching. I've thought about the simple logistics and reality of what too much stress does to the body, to the health of the person who is always angry. I've watched my weight rock back and forth between "ok but not great" and "too much," and I've felt the effects of too little nutrition and excercise combined with way too much stress.

I need time to myself to calm, to center, to just do nothing for a little while, but I'm not going to get it anytime soon. There's simply too much going on right now, even with school off that list for another month.

I need to find a release for my anger and fears, a distraction, a ritual or routine that allows me to get away for a little while each day. If I don't find something, I'll lose everything, little bit by little bit, and what I have - all those good things that keep getting better - I'll be damned if I'll give up without a fight.

Although I was unsucessful with it when I tried it a few months ago, I think I'm going to give daily morning walks another shot. I'll get used to the getting up earlier. I'll get used to an hour or two less of sleep. I'll get used to waking up outside, in nature, in the wild, away from home and work. I'll get to where I like it, to where I'm ready to go when the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m.

I need something, and walking has always been an escape, and a useful, healthy one. I can think or not think, ponder or not ponder, plan or not plan, as I see fit. When I need time away from the grind to figure somethng out, walking will give me that. When I need time away from everything to think nothing beyond the feel of one foot and the other and swing the arms and cold air and waking birds, walking will give me that.

And slowly, over a matter of weeks, a month, two months maybe, I'll start to feel better. Being aware of what my anger is doing to me and those I care about is the start. Without that I'd never be able to change it. But it's not enough. I need a peace-time. I need a quietness, a silence of though and feeling. I need a kind of nothingness, to clear space in my head and heart for all the things that challenge and tempt me to rage, and as much as I enjoy whiskey, it's an occasional fun thing, not the answer to my prayers. Walking will give me that nothingness, and it will help me get back into shape, which will help my self-esteem and health. And both of those will help me more to be able to deal with the everyday things.

I think I'll start a journal-blog, a different one than this, where I do what Mama Wren's done - write 100 words everyday. Only I won't stop after fifty days. I'll keep going with it, with maybe every fifty days being where I look back and see what I've been through and learned or not learned, accomplished or not accomplished, dreamed and realized and cursed and drank for a kind of fuzziness that different from kitten-belly-fur. Maybe I'll post a photo with each post, just to remind myself that there is something in every day that is worth stopping and smiling at. Or maybe, to challenge myself to find that something every day.

Because, in all my anger, I think I've forgotten how to realize the good things in life still outweigh the bad andthat if I let them - if I remember how - they always will. I need to get back to that, somehow.