An Angry in my Chair

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She looks peaceful, but it’s an act. Boo-Boo Kitty doesn’t take kindly to being disturbed when she’s sleeping, and yes I am more than a little reluctant to take on my 9 lb black menace when she’s angry.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s not actually a candidate for My Cat From Hell. She’s just temperamental and very much a cat’s cat. She doesn’t go out of her way to fight and once she gets used to new people she is very loving, but it’s all on her terms and to get that response from her you have to respect her boundaries.

I had to learn to speak cat. I had to learn to listen to her wants and needs. I had to put what she wanted (like personal space or snuggle time) ahead of what I wanted. So if she wanted to be left alone, I learned to leave her alone and put down my knitting when she decided it was time for lap sitting and petting.

She’s taught me a great deal about unconditional love. To be with this kitty, you have to take her as she is. Some days she is grumpy and just wants to be left alone. Some days she’s a little lover: the sweetest little thing around. Most days it is somewhere in between. She is who she is, and everything she is has been completely worth the learning curve of living with her.

The thing is the whole world is pretty much the same way. If you want to get the most out of it, you need to accept it as it is; the good with the bad and everything in between. The only way to be happy in the world is to let go of your plans and take what life gives you when it gives it to you and accept it for what it is that day. Don’t try to make it conform to your time tables and your vision, because you can’t.

That isn’t to say that you can’t have goals. When Boo was a kitten, I hoped that one day she would snuggle on my lap, and she does for a while every day now, but not because I forced her to. The more I chased her and tried to catch her to put her on my lap, the faster she ran away.  Eventually I just gave up the chase and I just made myself available, and eventually Boo jumped into my lap and snuggled in for a nap.

Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes you can’t make what you want happen on your time table. You just have to wait  at the ready for the opportunity when it comes.

Fezzik

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Fezzik is one of a pair of litter mates that the roommate and I foster failed with in 2008. At 19.5 lbs, he is the largest of the fur babies (and about 2 lbs overweight.)

I fell in love with his tiger like markings from the start and knew when he came to stay with us that this was his home, even if the roommate wasn’t convinced of that just then. It was okay, because the roommate was secretly trying to figure out how to convince me that his littermate should stay, so it worked out. They have been with us for a little over six years now and I can’t envision life without them.

Fezzik tends to look big and tough, but he’s a baby who lives for kisses on his forehead. He will climb up under your chin and headbutt you to demand them– usually when I am having my morning tea. It is one of the quiet joys of my day.

Sophie

One of the things we have been kind of terrible about is taking photos of Sophie dog as she has been growing. She is so big now. It’s kind of hard to believe that just four months ago, she could fit in the crook of my arm.

I took this picture last night, just to try to capture how she is right now. She is kind of a ham for the camera.

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She’s already big enough that she goes for her spaying on the 23rd. Time really flies by with fur babies.

AJ got this picture of her on the way home from doggie daycare the other day. She’s such a beautiful dog and her eyes can be so soulful that you can forget she’s also the biggest goofball.

Sophie looking soulful.

Sophie looking soulful.

The View From Here

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So I got the new phone, finally and I can actually do real smart phone things with it, like take semi good pictures and post to my blog. So here are my jammy pants, my feet, and the Sophaloaf for your consideration.

Quote of the Day

“She carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb.”

– The Wind in the Willows

My latest obsession

I went with some friends to see Only Lovers Left Alive. I hadn’t heard or seen anything about it, so I went on the strength of the cast coupled with the whole “It’s an art film” thing. The music is intense and it’s nothing like any vampire film I’ve seen.

Recommended, with some caveats.

1) The film is visually beautiful and musically intense, in a style that almost seems to reflect the art films of the 80s. There are no grand special effects, just beautiful costumes and layered sets where every item you see on-screen has been thoughtfully considered. If you like explosions, you’re not going to find any here.

2) The film starts slow and continues at that pace. The pacing is the important thing. This is not a roller coaster ride. This is an invitation to live in the world the way Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) do, to take a break from your normal zombie experience, running from place to place without ever really noticing any of it, and actually see what’s going on around you. Immerse yourself in the scene.

3) There’s a moral to the story, but I didn’t find it to be heavy-handed within the framework of the movie. Your mileage may vary, but by the time they really got to that point, I was so in to the character’s world that it really felt natural to come to that conclusion.

It’s on limited theatrical release and scheduled for video release in August – when I’ll be buying a copy and binge watching it for a couple of days. That’s how much I loved this film. I wish it had a book, so I could read it right now instead of having to wait until August.

On with the countdown, Casey Kasem. . .

“And for the most part, that message hasn’t changed a lot over the years – love is still love, and heartbreak is still heartbreak.” – Casey Kasem, 1932-2014

I built a radio from a Radio Shack 130-in-One Experimenter Kit so I could listen to you count down the top 40 because my mother wouldn’t let me have a radio, but she’d let me have a learning toy. Thank you for bringing me a wider world of music.

Best. Unintentional birthday present. Ever!

So today I saw this IO9 post leading me to Stephen Pastis’ blog, where I found out I got the best unintentional birthday present ever. I laugh at Pearls Before Swine regularly, but the strips drawn on June 4, 5, and 6 of this year struck right at my heart because they were drawn in part by Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes – my favorite strip of all time.

I know it’s purely coincidence that they ran starting on my birthday, but thank you anyway to both Mr. Pastis and Mr. Watterson for the best unintentional birthday gift ever.

Why I don’t play online games if I don’t know the group

http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20140127

A typical PUG in any game for me. From Ctrl+Alt+Del – JLA: DCUO-style (2014-01-27)

I have friends who can play in Pick-Up Groups (PUGs) and have a great time playing the game with people they just met on online via the Looking For Group Tool. I envy them, for I have no such luck. My old WoW guild went so far said I had a cursed PUG trinket. 

I was a healer. (Okay, I still play healers when I play, but I’m thinking specifically of in WoW.) I had no problem finding groups using the LFG tool, but inevitably I’d find the group with the undergeared tank who named himself Göd and thought he was God, but didn’t know his name would be pronounced gooed and who would rage-quit half way through the first boss fight because the rest of the group “wasn’t good enough for him,” the 10-year-old DPSer who would invariably get called away from the computer by his mom in the middle of a boss fight to go clean his room, and the chick who just plays because her boyfriend plays and really didn’t know how her class worked, and her boyfriend (who was distracted by trying to teach her how to play) – all in the same group.

I took to only using the LFG tool if I could bring along a guild tank and a guild dps in order to minimize the number of slots filled by random people preferably the tank who lives in my house and a reliable mage friend, but any guildies willing to do the job would do – so long as I at least had a guild tank. Guild tanks listen to their guild healers when they say things like “You make meat shield. I make the healies now,” “Pull faster I got you,” or “Ahhg! AAHG! Get it off me. Get it off me.”

I really miss those days. It felt like we had lots of good game time ahead, but in the blink of an eye it was over. My guild effectively died when one of our tanks lost his brother in a tragic accident four years ago. He so strongly associated the game with time with his brother, and I can hardly blame him for not wanting to play any more. It still took the heart and guts out of our guild to lose them both. In less than two months afterward, everyone had moved on.

And my perpetual guild search began. It’s like job hunting to some degree. Search for guilds. Interview them. Try to decide if they’re a good fit for you and if you’re a good fit for them. Are they too serious? Too young? Too heavily into PVP?  Too casual? Do they have too many guild rules? Not enough guild rules? Do they play on the right days? Do they jump games too often?

Inevitably it ends up in failure. Rinse and repeat.

It’s pretty much killed my gaming. I still have a few friends who play, but mostly it’s this thing we pick at from time to time. Nothing seems to stick. There’s no raiding. No progression. No camaraderie from the shared experience of grinding gear, wiping while learning new boss fights or from the one jumpy DPS overagro-ing the boss before the tank can get control. These were the things that made the game worth playing, and without them, there’s no real reason to play.

I miss it all terribly, so I keep looking for a new guild so I can get off the PUG circuit, but I’m afraid I’ll never find what I’m really looking for. I’m looking for my old WoW guild, circa 2008 – 2009, and nostalgia makes that a damned unlikely thing to ever really find again.