Monday, November 19

Los Gatos

Rocky and Simon went to the vet this morning for their annual check-ups and shots. Rocky was quiet as a mouse and looked rather forlorn. I think he recalled that he was just there last week and that it wasn't such a fun place. Simon cried the whole five minute ride and cried a good bit in the waiting room. He was angry about being in a cage. And boy, you should have seen how wide his eyes got when dogs passed by. I can only imagine what he was thinking! In Pittsburgh they had a house call vet so it's been awhile since they've had to deal with an actual clinic.

Anyway, Simon got a good report. He's gained about an 1/2 pound since last year and weighed in at 13 pounds, 6 ounces. The vet didn't comment on the weight gain so I guess it isn't a big deal. He's bulking up for the winter. And he's just a big boy.

Last week they weighed Rocky and came up with 13 pounds, 3 ounces which was totally shocking to me. He weighed 16 pounds, 4 ounces last year so that's a little too much weight to have dropped. But today when they put him on the scale he weighed in at 14 pounds, 6 ounces which sounds more reasonable to me. The vet said the scale may have been off last week. At any rate, because of the heart murmur, she was concerned about the weight loss. Rocky had to stay at the clinic for about an hour and it nearly broke my heart thinking of him back in the lab, wondering what the heck was going on. He had x-rays and an EKG. The vet said that his heart is on the large side and while she's not super concerned about it, she would like us to get blood work done and an ultrasound in the next 3-6 months. (Total cost about $450.00) We'll probably get it done sometime in January, after we recoup from today's visit! AND both cats were told that they need to have their teeth cleaned in the next year or so, a procedure that costs about $300 per cat. Holy moly!

So yeah, we're going to be spending more money at the vet for the cats health than we do on our own health, but that's okay. We don't have kids. The cats are our kids. And they are worth every penny. I suspect that Rocky is fine, but you know, I'd rather know for sure. If he isn't fine and needs to be on a special diet or heart medication, I want to know that now, not when it is too late. He's my baby boy and I can't imagine life without him.

And for the record, Rocky used to weigh twenty pounds. He did not like living in NYC so much.


He's done a great job of slimming down.

Rocky in the window

Pretty crazy, right?! He looks so good now and he's so happy. The vet also said it was fine to keep them on the R/D for now...but really, I don't think Rocky needs to slim down much more.

Thursday, November 15

A Little Quiet In Here, Please

I've spent most of my life with a lot of noise in my head. It peaks when I have a bout of depression and all I do is ruminate about negative and/or totally inane things. And it's not fun. All the noise takes up so much space in my head sometimes, it doesn't leave room for anything else. Love, creativity, fun. Nada.

Our lives in New Mexico are fairly quiet and peaceful so thankfully, my head has also been fairly quiet and peaceful. I have my moments when I find myself thinking about something, trying to figure *why* these things in the past happened, things that I have gone over so many times, it's kind of pointless to go back again, but the thoughts fade more quickly now. It's good. (Of course my favorite thing to ruminate about, "what am I supposed to be doing in my life", is still hanging around, especially now that I am growing a wee bit tired of my current job choice.)

Anyway, I'm reading this book right now and in the second part, the narrator goes to India to study with her Guru. Now, I'm not particularly into that sort of thing, and I have pretty mixed feelings about the book itself, but the whole trying to quiet the mind is pretty interesting. The narrator is struggling with meditation because her head won't shut up. I don't meditate, but still, reading about the process of learning to quiet the noise of one's mind has drawn me into this section of the book.

A monk tells her one day, "The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That's where you need to go."

I like that. So then, yesterday morning, I find my weekly horoscope in my inbox and this is what it says:

"Dear Rob: I have eight distinctly different
voices in my head. There's a hurt, oddly puffed-up voice that complains
about everyone who has ever done me wrong. There's an hysterical voice
that nags me with the thought that nothing I could ever do or say will
make any difference to anyone, so why bother. Then there's the still,
small voice. It has more gravity and feels more honest. It gives me useful
instructions about specific things I could do to live a more meaningful life.
The only trouble is, the other voices always blabber so loud I tend to
neglect the only one that's actually helpful. Any advice? - Drowned Out."
Dear Drowned: Set aside five minutes each morning and five minutes
before bed. Whisper "Shut up, all the rest of you!", and then listen
reverently to the still, small voice.

I find it interesting that all paths are pointing to the quieting of the mind this week. I take it to mean that I should pay attention to this message from the universe. Perhaps I can clean some of the junk out of my head that still gets in the way of living from time-to-time. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of those things that Dumbledore had? I forget what it was called, but he could just pull the excess out of his mind and put it in a pot for later.

Tuesday, November 13

Heart Murmur

rocky under my dresser using my running shoes as a pillow

Will took Rocky to the vet this morning to get his chest wound checked out. He got it last week and it wasn't bad so we let it be. It started to scab over, but then yesterday I noticed that he was licking and licking and licking. All the licking re-opened the wound and it was looking really raw so we decided we better take him in. No swelling and no infection fortunately. The vet put him on antibiotics so the cut will heal more quickly and he got one of those cones things to wear if he keeps licking. Poor guy.

Anyway, while he was at the vet, she checked him out a bit and apparently he has a heart murmur. Will called me at work to give me the report and of course I freaked out immediately. But apparently it's not that uncommon and it does not always lead to congestive heart failure. Rocky is in good health, his appetite is fine, he runs around a hopefully everything is fine. We're supposed to take him back in for x-rays or an ultrasound or something so that they can determine what exactly is going on. Guess I am going to be spending all my Christmas shopping money at the vet! Anything for my boy Rocky though.

So yeah, it's not necessarily anything horrible, but nonetheless, I am worried about him. The sooner we can find out more, the better.

Friday, November 9

Working For The Man

Working For The Man by Jeffrey Yamaguchi is another book that I am planning to purchase and you should too, particularly if you have an office job. You can get a sneak peak here. I love this page...there are so many times that I felt that way at work. I actually don't have an office job at the moment, nor am I working for the man, but I am sure I will be again one of these days. That's why I need this book. I'll be ready for the monotony.

Jeffrey is also behind the 52 Projects website and the book of the same name. The book explores creativity and is "a way of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, and finding a flash of inspiration in our everyday lives." I find all of his work to be incredibly inspiring and he's a nice guy to boot!

flickr faves from this week

1. yelloworangeredvioletgreencyanblueblack, 2. Three, 3. Untitled, 4. a look, 5. nov 5, 6. One More.....

I believe that I have said this before, but I'll say it again, if you are a pola fan, you should check out polaroidjesus. His photos absolutely blow my mind.

Wednesday, November 7

The Kept Man

A short film inspired by Jami Attenberg's forthcoming novel The Kept Man, which will be published in January 2008 by Riverhead Books. The film was conceived and created by Jon Stuyvesant of Milk Products Media. Find out more information at

This a beautiful film short and will only take about two minutes out of your day so check it out. I can't wait for Jami's new book! You can pre-order it at or request it at your local bookstore.