Remember that SNOW STORM we had in Los Angeles last week? This is right down the street from me; my neighbor Betsy's yard. I know this is nothing compared to what other people have to go through, but considering it's never snowed anywhere near where I've lived in LA in my lifetime, this was pretty exciting for us.
It's been a while since I checked in. I've been writing entries but I tend to get interrupted a lot and never end up finishing and editing them so I can put them up. Thank you for all of your wonderful holiday cards and presents. I just went to my P.O. Box and picked them up. We loved getting them!
Mine are finally going out this week, phew. I'm including a New Year collage along with the little Lenticular kitty card. Right now I'm struggling with my Avery labels. I can't seem to figure out how to fit my little red and white mushroom people graphic, my return address, and your addresses all on the same label. I work and work on this, then I get frustrated, take a break, and then come back to it. I refuse to give up. It has to be possible. I even downloaded the Avery Wizard that's supposed to be of help but really isn't. I'll figure this out somehow.
I took these pictures of our snow day here in LA the other day. We were all so excited about this. I know that this could be a sign of global warning, but then again maybe not because it has happened before, just not in my lifetime. People freak out here in a heavy rain so you can imagine how excited we were over snow!?! I was trying to exchange my defective I-Pod at Best Buy, but as luck would have it, after everything I've bought there, this was the one time I forgot to buy a warranty, argh. So there I was being friendly with the gal behind the counter when the rain suddenly got much louder. I love that sound, you know, hard rain on a tin roof, there's something kind of sweet and warm about it, makes me want to snuggle with loved ones. When I was done I walked to the front of the store and was surprised to see so many people standing around staring at the parking lot. I kind of laughed it off and walked to my car and that's when I understood; they were staring at the layer of snow covering our cars. I was late to pick up Beau so I quickly scooped up as much snow as I could, forming a big snowball, put it on my dashboard, and rushed to his school with it so I could throw it at him. I wanted him to have the experience of being hit with a snowball at school. It was so funny because by then any snow they'd had was melted and I showed up with this big ball of ice and smashed it in his face. Everyone laughed, even Beau.
I'm still doing Nutrisystem and have been losing weight slowly but steadily. This is a huge relief after having been gaining a few pounds every month for the past year. I had felt so defeated and now I feel hopeful again.
Here's a shot of my neighbor's tree. I took pictures of our yard as well but they just didn't have the same appeal for some reason.
My Mom is doing well. We're still monitoring her ovarian cyst/tumor and the good news is that it hasn't grown. If it were an aggressive form of cancer it would have grown substantially by now. Her oncologist told me that if she were younger and healthier he would have opened her up and taken it out right away but she is a very poor surgical candidate who probably wouldn't be able to tolerate chemo so we're taking a conservative watch and wait approach. Meanwhile she's happy and doing well, keeping busy with her bridge playing and social life. She loves reading and I keep her supplied with a steady stream of her beloved romance novels, occasionally sneaking in something a little more challenging every once in a while.
Beau had a great Christmas with lots of everything he wanted. He was very lucky and I feel blessed and happy about this. He's making lots of friends and continues to grow as a guitarist. He loves writing his own music and it makes me so happy that he's found a creative outlet. At school he's doing really well in the classes where he feels a connection with the teacher. He'll work hard for a little praise. Unlike me he's a whiz at math and biology, but despite the fact that he is an amazing poet, (I promise to share some of his writing here soon), he's having trouble with English. The good thing about this is that he adores his English teacher so I feel confident that he'll work through this.
The class where he's having the hardest time is World Civ. He doesn't do as well in classes where teachers are rigid and authoritative. This teacher has a completely different style from most of the other teachers at his school. She's stubborn and rigid, the hallmarks of a young and less experienced teacher. Whereas most of the teachers will tailor their teaching and grading to the particular needs of their students, she refuses to. She really seems like a square peg in a round hole, and it comes as no surprise to me that so many other kids and parents are telling me that they are having similar problems.
It's such a heartbreaking situation because she's reallllly smart, and I'm sure she means well. But this is a super diverse school, its strength lies in its diversity, in the rainbow concept of humanity, and this kind of philosophy requires a much more fluid approach to teaching. We have kids here who come from every neighborhood and background. Fully half of the student body are there on scholarship, their tuition being paid for by the other half of the student body. There are kids in motorized wheelchairs, a boy who is a little person, another who is severely disfigured by burns, and this year they admitted a girl who is in the process of changing her sex. And all of the kids do their utmost to treat each other fairly and as the beautiful individuals they are, despite any challenges or disabilities they may have. The problem comes when they hire a teacher who won't bend, who won't make room for individuality in a school that prides itself on supporting individuals and fostering community. Oh well...
Snowy Los Angeles Grass.
Scott quit his slave wage job at the law firm where he had been working so hard for so long and is now working as a paralegal from home. He isn't making anywhere near as much as he was making before and with a large mortgage and so many bills to pay he's feeling anxious about this change he made. I think that as soon as he decides he's ready to take on more work that it will come. Meanwhile, if he feels up to it, he's free to write music and maybe even get back to acting again. I'm happy for him. I just want him to be happy for him.
I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Scott and I are both members of The Screen Actors Guild so we get to vote for the SAG Awards. Knowing that I make a hobby of studying good acting he turned his ballot over to me and I helped him vote. It's fun to have a hand in the process. We're also members of Film Independent who sponsor The Independent Spirit Awards and as members we get this special code that we can enter into our Netflix accounts. This allows us to receive DVD's of all of the nominated films, some of which are still in theaters and many of which are no longer in distribution. This is what Meryl Streep was talking about in her acceptance speech at The Golden Globes, the fact that so many deserving films won't have a chance at success because it's impossible for people to see them when they have such limited releases. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these films and then getting to vote. I'd really love to go to the actual awards ceremony on the beach because it's so much fun and super casual but because it has become so popular it's harder than ever to get tickets. At a whopping three hundred dollars a ticket, for the crappiest of tables, you still have to be one of the lucky members to have your name drawn from a lottery. We're going to enter and cross our fingers.
Snow and... Pansies?
My beloved Harry Houdini cat is going to have surgery tomorrow. He took a bad fall over a year ago when he got into a scrap on the stairs, (He's always been super scrappy), and fell. He hit his eye pretty hard and we rushed him to the vet who said there was nothing they could do but that it would get better in time. It looked horrible for about two months and then it cleared up. We thought everything was fine, but about three weeks ago things took a turn for the worse, apparently his retina had detached when he was injured and they didn't catch this, and now there isn't anything they can do to save his eye, so tomorrow he's going to have surgery to have it removed. It went from slightly foggy to full out terrifying overnight. I won't even take a picture of it to show you because it's so awful.
I'm surprisingly calm about the whole thing because I went through this before when Priscilla lost her eye. That was my first experience with anything like this and I was a wreck, complete with sobbing and unfair self recrimination. It really wasn't our fault, she is a nutcase of a cat who clawed out her own eye. We love her just the same, but I have to consider that I saved her from the "shelter" where with her super aggressive and crazy personality, she would have certainly been killed. There aren't a lot of people who want to adopt older cats who randomly sink their teeth into you and rip up your skin. One minute you're petting her and she's purring and then suddenly, without any warning, she snaps and perceives you as some kind of monster. Anyway, getting back to the whole eye thing, Priscilla sailed through surgery and just has pretty cat fur where her eye used to be. I like to kiss it so she knows we don't mind. I'm assuming it'll be the same for Harry, poor Harry.
I've been doing collage again, which is so much fun. I'm making a few ATCs for some upcoming trades and am really enjoying this. One of them is a Frieda Kahlo theme and the other centers around emotions. I get to do limerence and happiness. I was hoping for grief or ennui but they were taken. I like limerence though, lots of possibilities there, and I understand the feeling all too well, it's been a while, but I know this one.
Two nice things happened yesterday; I got a check in the mail that I hadn't expected, and I heard from an old friend who sent me a picture of her adorable baby boy. Nice. (You heard that as Borat would say it right?)
Farty Little Yoda Kitty.
Oh Lord, Yoda is farty tonight, but he won't be put down. He just wants to be held here against my chest while I type. Why are you so farty my sweet little Yoda cat?
I'm going to finish up all of my most recent older entries; Christmas, our stay at The Mondrian, and a few other stories, complete with pictures, and put them up soon. I think part of the problem, beyond my Blogger's Block perfectionism, is the fact that anything I have to say about my life, my little stories, seem so small in comparison to the bigger picture, the tragedy that is going on all around us. I read about The War in Iraq and get so angry. I talk to anyone who will listen about how twisted it is that we claim to be a free people complete with freedom of press and speech and yet all you have to do is watch a news feed from another country to see how much is being kept from us. How is this kind of media blackout any different from the kind of propaganda we decry when other countries engage in this kind of thing? Where are the images of coffins and wounded soldiers?
I guess I just want to be something small and sweet in the midst of all of the sadness. I want to be like that episode of Scrubs where one of the patients was depressed and needed therapy that required pouring a box of kittens over him. I want to be that box of kittens for anyone out there who is looking for a little distraction, a real life soap opera with heart from my corner of the Blogosphere.
Uh oh, what's this?
Could this be my friend Jenny's next cat?
Isn't my Meow baby beautiful? I don't know if you remember him when he was a sickly baby who had been stolen away from his Mommy before he'd been weaned, or could even go to the bathroom on his own, but he's a big healthy wonderman now. You should see his brother Mew. He's even bigger.