Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Katrina And Trixie Remembered

My Eppy had some thoughts about the hurricane that ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast one year ago. In memory of those lost during those days and to celebrate those facing challenges head on, below are links to My Little Monster's posts from this time last year:

Keep Your Chin Up
Mi Casa Es Su Casa
When You Care Enough
Be Strong Little Guy
Getting The Hook Up
Over The Rainbow

"...Hook Up" includes a link to a story about Snowball. This is interesting because that was the sign I needed when I went to Rolling Acres to bury my Eponine. The gravesite picked was next to a little dog named Snowball. It was comforting to be found.

It is with heavy heart that I share that Trixie at Meezer Tails went to the Rainbow Bridge. Her family is strong and they are cherishing all Trixie brought to their home. Just a few months ago, though, they also lost their Norton. I know it has to be tough. They are blessed in that there are two other monsters, Sammy and Miles, in their home helping them to keep their chins up.

Having other monsters in your home is so very wise. Once loss is felt, it hurts. Knowing someone else is there helps to push forward, I imagine. It doesn't lessen the hurt, but likely provides some sort of comfort. The Meezers are special folks. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I look forward to many more tails.

Two Updates

The lowest price witnessed tonight was $2.54. That's a welcome sight for sore eyes. If only it would go just a bit lower. Surely, the oil companies are still going to make a big profit even at this level. Aren't they? I'm all for essential services making money. As long as I can still afford to do what I want, when I want and not spend all my buckaroos filling up the tank. OK, enough of that soap box.

Well, Phoenix is still there. A while back I thought he was being 'dopted. After the long conversation I had with that one lady, I was certain she clearly said she was taking him home. She was filling out his paperwork as I sat next to her.

A check just two minutes ago shows Phoenix still leaning over that shoulder on the Wayside Waifs site. I sure hope he picks someone soon.

Celestial Beings

We likely have all the heard the news that Pluto has been dropped as a planet. Pluto is now scientifically known as an icy dwarf. It's the evolution of science.

More important, do you know who the celebrities are on this fall's Dancing with the Stars? From ABC's website, there is a "spectacular lineup of stars" that will be making their way to the dance floor. I know, you likely can barely contain yourself. I didn't watch the first one, but looks like the show easily will be a guilty pleasure. It premiers Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 7 to 9 U.S. Central Time.

By the way, let me know if you have a pic on your site of you dancing!

The Long Haul

With Hurricane Katrina not having made landfall yet but expected within hours, I recall a year ago driving home late that night and seeing gas prices at $2.05 a gallon. I couldn't believe the jump! It literally gave me an anxiety attack. I wondered how we would be able to handle gas prices being so expensive.

A little more than a year ago, a change at work led to a longer commute to the office. It was less than six miles before, one way, while now it is right at 26 miles. Not a too horrible drive. Mostly against the flow of traffic in that it's away from downtown. Also almost all interstate or state highway. But, it is almost 26 miles.

Today, most gasoline stations passed on the voyage had gas at $2.72! It's so exciting. I'm giddy over two-dollar and seventy-two-cents a gallon gas prices. A gallon is cheaper than the No. 4 at Burger King. How cool is that?

According to the spreadsheet I keep, my average is 54.67659 miles driven each day. Those miles divided by the average mpg come to about 2.6 gallons consumed each day by the PT. At an average of $2.85 a gallon that equates to $7.41 a day. Annualized, it will be $2,704.65. Not to mention the new tires, oil changes and other wear and tear. Nice, huh?

Be sure to honk and wave if you see the PT zooming by next time you're in KC.

Say No To Crack

My Little Monster was scared of all worker folks that showed up with a tool belt, ladder, remote radio, or anything like that. She'd hide. Occasionally, she peeked to check out the action, but mostly she just hid under the bed or in the back of the closet.

Besides knowing she was illegal when we were renting, hiding to not get discovered, my theory is that she also hid because she was trying to avoid a bad, accidental experience with crack. I think, at some point in her past, just as she peeked, she caught a workman crouched over showing just more than that cat brain of hers could possibly handle. She didn't want a repeat offender. That's right. I'm talking about butt cleavage.

Did you see the recent big news update from Fort Worth, Texas-based Williamson-Dickie? This company is the maker of "Dickies" jeans/work pants. Starting in the spring of 2007, the Dickies work jeans will be designed with a lower rise and a roomier seat. The idea is that it will prevent the pants from unnecessary slippage. According to Fort Worth media reports, Williamson-Dickie is glad to do all they "can do to beautify America."

Sunday Afternoon

Some weeks zoom along. Drive to work on Monday morning and then, shazam, it's Friday's happy hour. Others drag along and one would swear that Monday and Tuesday had more than 24 hours and by Wednesday you're praying for Friday. You feel totally beat up by the the time the weekend arrives.

This past week passed at warp speed. I can't believe it is Sunday morning, there's a cup of coffee by side, the laptop is fired up, and I'm visiting with you. We were here just yesterday. I'm sure of it!

Last Sunday, I saw the movie "Nelly Don: A Stitch In Time." She had a fascinating role in the fashion industry in the early to mid-1900s. She also was married to James Reed, a Missouri U.S. Senator and former Kansas City Mayor, was kidnapped, had a "secret love child," went through a divorce, made lots of money, at one time employed more than 1,000 women, was well liked and admired, and lived to 102. The producers plan to take it to film festivals nationwide. Be watching for it! More information about Nelly Don is available at the Kansas City Public library.

Next on the agenda was a visit to the American Jazz Museum, which shares a site with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Specifically, I went to see the special exhibit "The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936." You can see the exhibit online, but don't miss visiting it in person if it comes to your neighborhood.

The exhibit marks the 70th anniversary of these Olympic Games. It is organized and circulated by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which I visited while on a June work trip to D.C.

"The 1936 Berlin Olympics were a crucial moment in history, when the world chose to ignore the ruthless racial policies of the Nazi regime, policies clearly in conflict with the Olympic movement.... The exhibit explores themes of racism, antisemitism, propaganda, the indoctrination of youth, and international responses to Nazism. It also recognizes the accomplishment of athletes like Jesse Owens ...."

Interestingly, the Berlin Games were the first to have an Olympic Torch Run from Greece. At these games there were 18 black U.S. athletes competing, winning 14 of the 56 medals awarded to the U.S team. Celebrated at the games for challenging the Nazi ideals of race, they came home to segregation and prevalent racism in the U.S. Thirteen Jewish athletes, regardless of nationality, received medals in 1936.

By the way, last Sunday, Aug. 13 was the anniversary of when the Berlin barriers were closed in 1961 between East and West Berlin.

Today, I expect to stay home all day.

Specialized Treatment

Saw a story on a health program show the other night about a vet clinic that provides extra-special treatment (bottom paragraph) during those times of need. When an overnight stay is required, beans are allowed to stay with their monsters.

I know during my last days with my Epster I could not at all bear leaving her alone there without me. Not that I thought they were going to do anything wrong to her, but because she had never been outside of her home without me. OK, and maybe I couldn't handle being without her. Plus, I would have been on pins and needles everytime the phone rang thinking it might be the vet calling.

Here's a link to more information about their "Compassionate Care" program. It appears they are in New York.

New Kid On The Block

Below is the message I received Monday morning from SAK and family:

"We got the E-Girl today (on Monday) at 10 a.m. China time ... about 9 p.m. Sunday night in KC. She has been wonderful all day... cooing with the Z-Man, took a 2-hour nap, and a great eater. I'll try to send more pics later... time for dinner here! Lots of love! A, SAK, Z-Man and E-Girl writing from Wuhan, China!"

Forever Home

Phoenix got 'dopted!Check out the eyes on this guy! Aren't they amazing? He's Phoenix, a seven-year-old monster that was at Wayside Waifs. When I stopped by there Thursday evening, he was getting adopted. A super sweet, lovable guy. A little timd. He hadn't been at the shelter very long, but he was not having a good time adjusting to the environment.

His new mom seemed like a good egg. We visited. She lost her baby of many years not even a week ago. She couldn't handle the quietness of her home and knew she did not want to waste anytime. Went to Wayside and just like that, Phoenix picked her. I felt jealous. She's one lucky lady. I bet Phoenix is very lucky too.

A New Little Penguin

The Z-ManHave you seen "March of the Penguins"? Every year, those animals trek something like a gazillion miles across frozen land, to produce one egg, and then to protect that one egg through thick and thin until a little baby penguin is hatched. The work is not finished even then. It is a fascinating documentary. It's out there on dvd. Try to see it if you haven't.

The penguins are monogamous. Well, monogamous for the season. It's likely more like a partnership to produce and care for an egg and eventually a baby penguin. The deal is null and void if anything adverse happens to that egg/baby penguin. The couple goes their separate ways in that scenario, hooking up with a new penguin the following mating season. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh? I am just kidding.

The Z-Man and his folks took off for China last week. They left Wednesday, with a Friday arrival date. I hope they did not have to experience any of the recent travel woes and extra security. Maybe things will get cleared up and we'll be feeling more secure in the air as they head back next week with their new daughter.

That's right! Their adoption will finally be complete. It's been about a yearlong process. They could very well be greeting their daughter as I type this. Giving her a big hug at this moment. Can you imagine? It is a very exciting time. I know SAK (Z-Man's Mom) will be filled with emotion with tons of tears. She was adopted and feels very blessed to have this opportunity to love this baby girl. I saw the pink-filled, bunny nursery. It's just waiting to greet an adorable little girl!

Oh, I'm Sorry ... I Thought You Were

Went to lunch Friday with a colleague. My first lunch ever with this person. She's 30ish, seems very driven and motivated, educated, and a nice spirit. I consider her hot. I was even a little nervous about the lunch. The two of us met over three years ago through common interests. She recently went through a divorce after nine years of marriage. I know the former husband too.

We talked quite a bit about a guy she knows that I know of. I've seen him in public and he's very over-the-top "out there." I don't know how else to describe it. Anyone meeting him would likely make certain assumptions about him. According to my Friday lunch date, he's the first to talk about his wife and kids.

While visiting Friday, I talked some about my past experience with heartbreak. Let's say, hypothetically, a person might have had a young love that led to marriage and then later to a few years of depression. It's just a hypothetical. A hypothetical that likely would provide someone opportunities to reach deep inside to learn what truly makes them who they are and to eventually learn to celebrate being themself. To stop beating themself up wondering why they are the way they are and just accepting and appreciating who they are. And to not necessarily need a partner/lover/date/husband/wife or whatever to complete them. Just a cat. It's just my thought, if in fact that type of situation was to have really occurred for someone.

At one point, Friday's lunch date said something along the line of "Oh, I guess I was wrong." I responded, "Oh, and I thought you were hot and happily married."

Hillary, Oprah, Stedman, Anne, Tom, Nicole, Katie, a governor, a university president, this guy, that girl, that husband, a wife, his son, her daughter ... are they getting a divorce, surely they're finally tying the knot, when are they having children, they seem so unhappy......who know's who is doing what or where they are in their relationship? People usually expect speculation to end once they are married. Or they try to get it to end by saying something about marriage. But lord knows, there is someone, somewhere talking about it and trying to "figure it out."

We're complicated creatures. It seems we have gotten even more complicated over the last decade or so. Or maybe I'm just getting older and my perspectives have changed and just think we are more complicated.

The rest of the lunch seemed a little awkward. The food was good. Strangely, I found myself wondering if her ex-husband might be gay.

Dog's Night Out

Kansas City's MLS soccer team, the Wizards, is hosting a dog's night out at the stadium this weekend. Dogs planning to come to the game were required to pre-register. Well, I guess their human companion was supposed to pre-register the dog. Dogs wanting to go now are out of luck. I'm sure there will be news coverage. Can't wait to see the pics of these creatures enjoying the soccer game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Now, I know Charlie (as in MegMacB's dog that now lives with her mom because George tried to eat him) could be a good soccer player. His grandma claims he would be an awesome goalie. As much as my Ep loved batting around toy balls, I bet she would have made a good soccer player. Updates I've seen on tub hockey matches could also lead some to believe that a few cat bloggers have skills that likely could easily transfer to a soccer field. I wonder if they'll let the dogs out there to have a try!

Speaking of contests, recently attended the 13th Annual Wiener Dog Nationals. It was at Kansas City's Woodlands Racing Track. MegMacB and friends, Sexy Lady and Army Boy joined me. In between the eight heats each with eight wiener dogs were greyhound dog races.
A race participant strutting his/her stuff!It was all very interesting. And the day was super hot. Around 102. It was hard not to feel sorry for the dogs, much less the kids and others working there. Spectators were inside. Overall, it was mindless and somewhat fun entertainment. The SL and AB walked away big winners too, winning more than 100 bucks on like $20 worth of bets. I know that's not "lottery winnings," but to this nongambler, that's big time! You should have seen us all hoopin' and hollerin' hoping our favorite dog would win.


Sittin' in a tree!Got to take care of Mr. Peepers and the other bird while BET & M were away the last several days. BET provided instruction to not have any ceiling fans on while the bird house door is open. Very good advice for a house sitter! Don't think the two knew what to think of my cell phone trying to snap their pic. They were very leery. They sure hopped around in that clean water, though.

Good news! BET is now Mrs. BET and the M is Mr. M. It is very exciting. They were away last week on their honeymoon -- Las Vegas and a cabin somewhere in Utah. While hiking, though, BET broke a bone in her ankle/lower leg. (hehe...I said bone while talking about newlyweds...hehe) The couple arrived home last night. Despite the injury, they report they had a good time.Newlyweds

This couple started on this path about 16 years ago. I met them while they were students at the Kansas City Art Institute. I wasn't a student there, but The Artist was their classmate. It's also important to note that BET and I share our birthdate, with one of us being older and wiser.

What makes the wedding so exciting is that there's no real reason they needed to do it. Their love and commitment are very evident to all. They are an awesome couple and are a strong team. They add much to each other and balance each other. They challenge each other to become better people. They are committed and have a strong relationship. Well, I guess those are the reasons why they decided to get married. That's really cool.

Can't say the wedding day happened without incident. For instance: The step dad fell in the hotel room and broke his arm, which meant an ER visit just hours before the ceremony. There was a cat fight among the maid of honor, the opera singer and BET's dear friend Lisa just about an hour before the ceremony. The parents got lost and were stressed after the ER visit, arriving to the church about 20 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to start. I escorted the mothers down the aisle out of order. The priest couldn't find the communion cup, so he decided to just provide some extra blessings. Those are the highlights. My "finale" speech went well, though.

All that to say the wedding and the dinner reception were wonderful. Both venues were beautiful. The heart-felt joy by the 60 or so attendees was so very clear. It felt like everyone was there because they wanted to be. Not out of obligation. It was a fantastic celebration of love and commitment. Lots of tears of happiness, lots of friends and family very proud of the bride and groom, lots of fun times and laughter, lots of hugs, lots of folks honored to share in the ceremony. I wouldn't have traded any of the moments.

In addition to the actual wedding events, I shared some good times with BET's family on Thursday and Friday. A week later and I can honestly say I miss them. They were entertaining and I felt like they really liked me. It was fun. We had a great "rehearsal dinner" on Friday. Ribs, margaritas, apple pies ... Mmmm Mmmm! And in between the wedding and the dinner we relaxed in Crown Center. Very nice. At the wedding dinner, I sat with Jay, another art school friend, who I haven't seen in many years. Had good visits with her husband and baby girl as well as Jay's twin sister, Jan.

Friends that feel like family don't replace family. They are in addition to family. Love'em or hate'em, they're all our blessings.

All the best for the newlyweds!

Good To Have Options

Learned today that the U.S. Army recently raised its age limit for enlistment to 42. And just in case you're curious, the minimum age is 17 (with parental consent).

I guess that is good news and an option if I ever was facing or was considering a career change. If I did enlist, I bet the hometown folks would put yellow ribbons on everything. I likely would make jaunts to far-off places like Killeen, Lawton, Fayetteville, El Paso and other fascinating locales. Maybe even Fort Leonard Wood. I wonder if there are blogging cats or dogs in those cities?

Until then, I'll keep plugging away at the current gig.