From The Department Of Useless Knowledge

“Hey baby, you smell nice!” she says.

He grins, “thanks, it’s Calvin Kle—”

“ROWR” goes the leaping jaguar.

“Why can’t I ever meet a guy who lives longer than ONE date?” she wails.

: cue sad trombones :

My little story is a parable. A lesson. A warning.

Seems that large kitty cats with big claws and big teeth get a little fired up for….

…wait for it…

Calvin Klein Obsession For Men.

Makes ’em nutty. Makes ’em curious. Makes ’em lusty. Serious, click the link and let the knowledge seep into your brain.

(Regarding the feline in your home, your milage may vary, but give it a try. Ol’ Scratchy might just become Fluffy McLapcat.)

Jaguars, tigers, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, peccaries and coatis, oh my!

Hey baby, wanna see my ocelot?

I learned this random fact this morning while perusing the news over a onion bagel.

Now you know it too.

My work here is done.



Hey baby, how YOU doin’?




Image found here.




I Guess That Is What Autumn Means?

When poets, musicians and bards speak of the seasons, they speak of the cycle of life. Birth, life, death. The never ending cycle that none with a soul and a heartbeat can avoid.

I like to think of autumn in philosophical ways as I crunch the leaves under my feet. Ah yes, the earth must turn. The leaves must turn brown. My hair must turn gray.

But really, autumn isn’t quite just a philosophical thing for me anymore. I guess as years go by I have racked up painful scarred notches on my soul. Reminders. Injuries that push me from the figurative to the literal.

We are just a week away from the Thanksgiving holiday, and I am reminded that the anniversary of my father’s birth is also next week. He always favored an apple pie for his birthday, which occasionally fell on the actual day of Thanksgiving.

It has been almost nine years since he passed, and this autumn day has caused me to think of my father, and the deep well of sadness that I will likely not ever recover from.

His death broke something inside of me. Resolve? Courage? Strength? I don’t know. I do know that in the wake of his passing, I cry a lot easier. I get sad a lot more quickly. I grieve more profoundly. And I love with gusto because time is always ticking away. The world does not stop turning. The leaves cannot help but turn brown.

Today, when coworkers casually passed me in the hallway and asked, “How was your weekend?” by way of making small talk, my answer couldn’t be the usual “Fine, and you?” Sure, I said that a few times. And a few other times I said, “Actually, I had quite a terrible weekend.”

It’s true, but not everyone wants or cares about the truth when crossing paths in the break room on the way to the coffee machine on a Monday morning. Lying is hard for me.

My precious Feline is sick. A few months ago we knew she was sick but it didn’t seem terminal. Two months later and it’s not good. She spent the weekend at a pet hospital where too many people grabbed at her and poked needles in her and she wasn’t at home with her humans.

She’s home now, and that helps. They sent us home with bags full of medications and regimens. We cannot cure her, we can only make the symptoms a little less awful.

The prognosis is tough to make. She may live another year. She may only live until tonight. I have no idea.

But the clock is ticking. As I watch her lose weight and refuse to eat I know that the specter of death looms large. As large at the oak trees that line my residential street, spilling their leaves and showing me their skeletons.

This is autumn. As sure as I am not ready for pumpkin spice lattes, I’m also not ready for what this autumn has in store.





Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth




Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.




All The Many Ways I Told You So

Mmm, hmm. There are things I know and know with certainty. There are things I know that people deny. There are things I say that are fundamentally true but are denied time and again by those around me.

Know this, good readers of my blog: Squirrels are vermin. They are not cute, they are not cuddly, and they are not adorable. They are rodents and should be treated as such.

I say this to the squirrel huggers and they tell me that I’m being silly. I say plague and they scoff.

So here’s how we are going to play this today. I am going to repost something I wrote in 2007. And then at the end I’ll give you an update to show you just how exactly 100% right I am.

Then I will do a superior dance. You’ll have to just visualize that one but know I’m dancing hard like I’m counting coup.

I am a woman of the west. The real west. The range land, unpopulated and dirt covered west. I know things. Behold.


____________________________


People who are not like us…

First published June 12, 2007

So, where I live, we have a lot of squirrels. Now when I say “a lot of squirrels” I don’t mean “oh my, there’s quite a few out there”. I mean a whole horde, an army, a remuda, of squirrels.

They run around everywhere, up and down power lines, around trees, hither and yon. When I go for a walk at noontime from work, I walk down this one street and they scatter in all directions like a squirrely sea of doom.

People here think they are cute. Find them amusing. The fluffy tails make them laugh. People here FEED THEM. Yes, they put out food for the little b*stards.

They don’t understand my revulsion, my utter HORROR that these vermin are allowed to roam free in a civilized society.

They don’t understand this because I am a New Mexican. One of the bonus features of being raised in New Mexico is, da da dummmmmm, bubonic plague.

In fact, according to an article in today’s ABQjournal, there have already been four cases this year, including a boy who died.

To quote the article, “Plague, a bacterial disease, is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, such as rodents, wildlife and pets.”

Unh huh, no wonder every little rat with a fluffy tail gets the suspicious eye from me. Early on in life my mom would yell at all us kids to stay back from any wild creature, especially the small rodenty kind.

I will not draw one of those beady-eyed plague-carrying varmints closer to me or my home! I live in a duplex and for a while my next door neighbor put out bird seed with no cover or protection from the squirrels. I would stare horrified out my living room window to see a swarm of the things eating with reckless abandon in my back yard.

THE PLAGUE!!! THE PLAGUE!!!!

In my old place, a couple of squirrely warriors had an epic territory battle on the roof right over my apartment. Not only did I have to hear the squeals and the death call of the loser, I *freaked out* about the dead rodent right there over my doorway. As you know, fleas leave the dead rodent searching for a new home.

I shall print out the referenced article and keep copies handy for the next person who looks me and says “how can you not like squirrels, they are sooooo *cute*!!”

I’m keeping an eye on you, you plaugey b*stards!!!!


____________________________


And now, the update and my vindication:

Plague-Infected Squirrel Closes California Campground

A plague-infected squirrel has closed a California campground for at least a week, according to Los Angeles County health officials.

The squirrel, trapped July 16 in the Table Mountain Campgrounds of Angeles National Forest, tested positive for the infection Tuesday, prompting a health advisory and the closing of the campground while investigators tested other squirrels and dusted the area for plague-infected fleas.

…L.A. County health officials are urging Angeles National Forest campers to avoid contact with wild animals, steer clear of squirrel burrows and report any dead squirrels to the department of health. (emphasis added)

Oh! Oh! There it is. The I Told You So Dance.








You Don’t Hear That Every Day

So I was rolling home last evening after a really long day of cranky behavior and I was a bit brain dead and just ready to be at my own little home.

I put on the radio to the local news chat station and turned off my brain for the ride.

Somewhere along the way as I was bumpitty bumping along a torn up stretch of road, my brain locked on to a couple words uttered by the news caster.

The words were: loose kangaroo

Huh?

“Oh,” thought my tired brain, “They are probably talking about something that happened in Australia.”

Nope. They were talking about something that happened in Florida.

Doesn’t the weird stuff always happen in Florida? It seems like any of the weirdest of the weird news I read either went down in Thailand or Florida. The humidity must make things odd.

Reader’s Digest version: A loose kangaroo held up traffic on US 301 and the authorities were called. Police and fire chased the animal around for a while and then a former wrestler named Kevin Wehling showed up. He tracked it to a ditch and then grappled with the beast.

Side note: I understand kangaroos are sort of mean. If they get a back claw into you they can open you up pretty good.

But Wehling prevailed and finally subdued the beast. It was then taken to a local kangaroo ranch for safekeeping. Evidently it was not their ‘roo. Evidently it’s normal to have a kangaroo ranch? Evidently it’s normal for many people to own a ‘roo? Evidently a loose kangaroo is to be expected?

Um. Ok.

Just another normal day in the Sunshine State.





What?




Image found here.




Some Thoughts On February

Here we are already in the second month of this crazy New Year. I’m not sure I’m even over my New Year’s Eve hangover and here it already is February.

So to honor the shortest month of the year, I’m going to borrow from a couple of my own previous February posts.

First of all, my cross-cultural thoughts on Groundhog Day. Seems not all the world has an annual rodent pulling day:

—————-

From the post titled “You Do What, Now?” originally posted February 7, 2011.


My boss has a sense of humor about to the level of mine, so lately we have this ongoing riff.

It goes something like this:

Boss: “So, what is this, um, let’s see what do they call it…yes, this day of groundhog you people celebrate in the US?”

Me: “What, they don’t have this holiday in the UK?”

Boss: “I don’t think so, what is this all about?”

Me: “So, wait, you’re telling me that in the UK they don’t pull rodents out of the ground in order to determine the extent of winter?”

Boss: “Not as such, no.”

—————-

Really, how do you explain Groundhog Day to someone who doesn’t understand?

Hell, I don’t even understand, but my personal confusion not withstanding…

When the poor burrowing rat, Punxsutawney Phil, had bright lights shined directly in his sleepy eyes yesterday, he did not see his shadow.

I guess that means we are game on for an early Spring.

I’m totally ready.

I love this time of year. Spring makes me so utterly happy. It’s all full of fun and color and happy expectations.

Here’s some thoughts on February:

—————-

From the post titled “An Ode To The Shortest Month” originally published January 18, 2011.


The second month of the year. The shortest month of the year.

February is a beautiful month.

In February, winter is not quite over, but spring is not quite here. In February we start to see the brilliant yellow of blooming daffodils against the monochrome hue of stormy skies. Daffodils are the harbinger of warm sunny days to come. They give the cold body hope.

I believe the daffodils and tulips and the snowfall of Cherry Blossoms in February are meant to keep us going like the carrot at the end of the stick. The “something wonderful just around the bend” that helps the human soul stay willing to endure the cold and damp days that are yet to be endured.

In February, Punxsutawney Phil, pokes his burrowing animal’s head out of the ground and lets us know the score. The planning can begin.

The ground begins to thaw. Birds start to think about coming back this way. There is hope.

Heck, February is also the birth month of at least three of my favorite people (wait, four! Just thought of another).

I’m looking toward the second month of the year with a not-so-secret anticipation.

So I will get all poetic and speak of daffodils and warm days.

—————-


Speaking of daffodils, I optimistically purchased three bunches today. Their buds are closed up tight and I am not sure they will find a way to break free. Only time will tell.

For today they tell me, “not yet…but soon”.

Sort of the same message that February has for me.

I feel, dare I say it, optimistic.



Hope springs a daffodil.




Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.