Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let's try it for the third time. A week ago I had the corner of one of my front upper incisors bonded- it had chipped off sometime in the past year. On Friday I was sitting at my desk and I heard a click and then proceeded to spit out the bonded section. Today I returned to the dentist at 12:30 and they replaced it. At approximately 4:40 it came off again.

I guess I'm no good at bondage.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I bought a red striped slip cover for the $800 scratching post (my couch) today. Also flannel sheets for my bed and a toilet brush and a first aid kit. I never buy stuff like that, but Mummy is coming Saturday and a few purchases were in order.

Sandy is coming too, in early December. I'm excited to have him here and I'm going to schedule a Holiday Tree decorating get together for either the 7th or 8th of December and invite a handful of people over. I've decided not to have the huge Holiday Party this year- and to tell you the truth, it is a relief.

Sitting here with acid reflux tonight. Burp! Nasty. If you can, don't get a hiatal hernia. Just advising.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Instead of going to Vancouver, I decided to stay in Tucson. For several reasons. On Friday I sat in bed and read the last Harry Potter book, spending half the time confused about various minor characters and plot information from prior books. Vince's friend Eric brought me a pumpkin he had raised and so I immediately made a pair of pies.

Yesterday was Ray's annual Halloween party. I was Homer Erectus, the caveman. I wore the same costume in 2003, but was 20 pounds lighter. Still, it gets a lot of attention. Loin cloth!

Zombie Forrest.

Hepatitis Bee.

Super Flu.

Flash, Robin Hood, and a Nurse.

Another Nurse.

Nurses, Doctors, and Patients were popular costumes this year.

Today involves making a birthday cake for Patrick- white cake with white frosting.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And now for something different.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what is your costume going to be?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mollie had started to have health problems in the last four months or so. It started with difficulty in walking- she was losing strength in her back legs. Eventually I had to block off the kitchen, study, and my bedroom because she would fall down on the wood and tile floors. The amount of food she ate lessened and she lost weight. Mollie often got lost and stood in the corner until I tapped on her shoulder. She stopped scratching on the door to be let back in. A spot on her back became infected and it took forever to heal, her skin was so thin. Then she started coughing, loud, long coughing spells.

On Monday her face and neck started to swell up and by yesterday morning I had to remove her collar it was so huge. I took her to the vet and they examined her, identified a heart murmur, and answered my questions. Her quality of life had deteriorated dramatically. Whatever measures they took would not help her stand or walk better. The swelling suggested something was very seriously wrong. She was probably in pain and was just not expressing it well. At fifteen and a half, her body was worn out.

I've never had to make this sort of decision before. My other two dogs died when I was away at school. My three cats are just entering middle age and are very healthy. There were some things that Mollie still liked to do- wander slowly through the yard, eat her favorite treats. But most of the time she sat on her bed and coughed up crud. The vet and her assistant agreed that now was the time to go, before she got worse off.

I was too chicken to stay. I would have been a blubbering mess. When I got home last night I had a little cry. Later I sat at my desk and once I wondered why I didn't hear her toenails clicking as she walked around. Then I remembered.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'll miss her.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Les and Forrest were very disappointed that Buster wasn't blowing up balloons.

Les and Forrest.

We were out at the Venture for their Levi & Leather party. I wore my overalls. Guys like guys in overalls. Buster was wearing ass-less chaps.

Homer and Buster.

Buster was very friendly and hasn't let success go to his head. At times the crowd got very frisky. There was an almost unfortunate accident with a hook coming loose, but no one was injured.

Buster and the whipper-snapper.

Les and I are having a fun time together, recalling our obnoxious college days. I believe he is enjoying the small town atmosphere of Tucson. He also liked the pumpkin pie I made him.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Forrest and I drove down to Hereford to see Ray and Cobban. They live in the country and at night there are three million stars in the sky over their house. We hung out and talked and Ray made a lovely dinner and we ate the pumpkin pie I had made, the one where I used molasses instead of brown sugar and it tasted less sweet and was very nice.

Yours truly and the hosts, Cobban and Ray.

I practiced holding my camera at arm's length and taking self portraits. It is amazing how many different expressions I can make.

Parker the cat was not harmed during the taking of this picture.

The guys' cat Parker came out of hiding to visit. He is very big and has to live indoors because the coyotes would think he was delicious. We discussed expensive vet bills and animal health for some few minutes.

Homer and Forrest say, "It's fun to pump gas at midnight."

On the way back to Tucson I actually felt cold. Forrest and I talked and talked and talked. I got into bed at 12:45 and of course I woke up at the usual time (6 AM). Joey waits impatiently for me to have my bowl of cereal. If I eat it slow she meows because she wants that little lick of milk at the very end, even though it isn't good for her.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I was surprised to see that some of the furniture at IKEA looked less college dorm-like, although most of it was still cheap, veneer stuff. Many of the display pieces were pootly put together and I watched with amusement as a pair of gay guys tried to get a wardrobe door to close correctly. The housewares are always more inviting. I bought a garlic press and paper napkins and a fish-shaped rug for my bathroom.

I was up in Phoenix for the day for work. I was on the road at 4:40 AM. As I got near that mighty city I realized I could smell its mighty pollution, which is so dense you can't see the mountains that surround it. Tucson is very clean, in contrast.

Nothing exciting to report about work. I returned home, arriving at 5:30 PM and promptly started to clean house. My college roommate Les is coming on Friday. We are going to be obnoxious, rest assured. He's very excited about the Leather & Levi weekend that's happening. I hope he remembered to bring his chaps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ben Cohen!

I wonder if he is any good at food styling and dusting?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Poltergeist II. We returned to the excavation and removed the second burial. It was an adult male, the osteologists will examine the remains later this week to determine the age at death. He lay in a coffin painted red with dozens of the diamond-shaped decorations on the sides and a few on the lid. I was able to determine that there were originally three rows. A small crucifix was at the foot of the coffin, and we also found 5 handles (the sixth had apparently broken off as the coffin was being placed in the grave, we found a part of it underneath the body).

The man was wearing an undershirt, a shirt or jacket, and pants (as indicated by the various kinds of buttons). No shoes. They didn't check his pockets and in his left pants pocket held a coin purse and his right pocket had a hard-rubber comb and three very corroded silver coins. This was very unusual- it suggests the man was buried in the pants he died in.

I have lots of paperwork to complete tomorrow. Ryan asked about photography. Before we remove burials we have to have a permit from the state museum here. Usually photography does not take place on skeletal remains because many Native American groups object to such photography, thinking it is disrespectful of the dead. Instead of photography we carefully draw the remains on graph paper, adding in the location of buttons, coffin hardware, and whatever else we find.

An interesting couple of days, that's for sure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I didn't have much pride for Gay Pride this year. Instead I lay in bed with a mild cold most of the day. I shouldn't have said "I haven't been sick in a long time" on Friday.

I picked up the chair for my mother and have it in her spot. She better like it!

Mummy's chair.

Today I'm feeling better and I made a Sweet Onion Quiche.

Quiche Homere.

It was rather bland (perhaps because of my runny nose) so I ate it with hot sauce. I think I'm going to have another nap now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Poltergeist. Tucson, like many communities, has built over its historic cemeteries. There are three in the downtown area, dating between 1776 and 1909. One is beneath a street, another is currently being excavated for a new courthouse, and a third is in a residential neighborhood.

An acquaintance of mine lives in that neighborhood, which was the cemetery for Tucson between 1875 and 1909. Some businessmen decided the land was too close to town and should be developed, so they built a new cemetery further away from downtown, and arranged to get ownership of the land. They claimed the bodies were all moved, but since the 1940s a dozen have been found. My guess, perhaps 10 percent of the burials were actually dug up, and it is probable that only the skull and the larger bones were removed. I told my friend that his property probably had many burials (it is in the Catholic section, which had about 4,500). Last week a sinkhole opened up and when he poked a shovel in, he hit a coffin and some bones.

Lucky for him, it was actually in the city right-of-way, and he wasn't lagally responsible for their removal (they had to be moved because the right-of-way is where all utilities are placed). I went out with two other archaeologists and excavated the burial. It was a 3-or-4-year-old child, in a shouldered coffin (the kind that is wider at the shoulders). The coffin was decorated with diamond-shaped brass appliques, with a crucifix and lamb applique on the front (lambs symbolize children), zinc carrying handles, and a cross-shaped handle to lift the lid up and some rusted iron items that are probably hinges. The child was wearing a dress that was buttoned up the back, and a bundle of clothes were next to the feet (the buttons of which were all that was left)- perhaps the clothing of the child, or perhaps something added to kept the body from sliding down to that end of the coffin when it was being moved.

We finished around 1 PM and as I was cleaning the last remnants of the coffin wood up I noticed the ground was soft, so I removed some more dirt and another skull appeared below. On Monday we will remove that burial.

After we examine the remains and artifacts the two burials will be reburied in the local Catholic cemetery in a special vault with other remains found by archaeologists.

This isn't a typical work day for me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Post 1400. Mummy is coming November 3rd for two months. I went shopping for a chair for her today- the one she liked to sit on broke when a certain bestfriend sat on it. Four furniture stores- ohmigod did people just puke on the upholstery and slap it on? What's up with five different fabrics on one chair? I purchased a Mission style dining room chair with arms- something that will be easy for Mummy to get in and out of. Of course I spent more than I wanted, but only the best for my mother.

Picture tomorrow (it is still at the store).

I'm trying to eat more vegetables. Tonight Mexican squash. Salads for lunch. I get so hungry in between meals. Someone should just taser me when I walk towards the cookie drawer at work.

Going to Vancouver at the end of the month, I'll be in the city for I think three days. Maybe I'll have lunch with one of my regular readers, Art?

Trader Joe's is selling miniature pumpkins- about seven or eight inches tall. So I bought one and made a pumpkin pie last night.

Sliced pumpkin, waiting to roast.

It came out alright, despite the fact I had run out of cinnamon and the brown sugar was rock hard.

I used a store bought crust, though.

This is the first time I made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin. It tastes very good- I had it for breakfast.

I really need to force myself to learn how to make pie crust. Part of the reason I dread doing so is my small kitchen- I have to roll the dough on my table and I end up with a mess of flour everywhere. If I ever sell my house my next kitchen will be huge, have a dishwasher, and a nice counter space to do things on.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fruity. I had the most excellent peach pie ever on Sunday night. I think my next culinary exercise will be a fruit pie.

What kind should I make?

Monday, October 08, 2007

So the weather is really nice and sitting inside is driving me crazy.

Click on me!

A coyote walked by the window at work and stared at me. I'm sure it was busy thinking about how dumb the humans are for being inside on a perfectly lovely Monday. Luckily, I should be out one day this week digging up something interesting.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

So far today:

- I took some chocolates to my friend Karen
- I bought three shirts at J.C. Penneys
- I bought a striped rug for my living room, it makes the room much brighter
- the neighbor's six-or-seven-year-old girl was playing outside with an oversized devil's trident and as I waved at her she flipped me off

Friday, October 05, 2007

I may be wrong, but apparently I am racist, sexist, and classist for using the phrase "well-to-do white men." This was a surprise to me.

Last time I checked, "well-to-do white men" were still running most of the country. I'll use an outdated CNN story from 2003 to point out that at that time 40 of the 100 US senators were millionaires, somewhere between 35 to 37 of whom were white males. Times are changing, thankfully. Today, in 2007, there are 16 women, 2 Asian-American males, 2 Hispanic males, and 1 African-American male in the Senate. And 79 white men.

There are also currently 8 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. And 492 men. In 2006, four of those men were African-American. I didn't bother to check the number of other minority males, but I assume that many if not most of those 488 men are white.

The top echelon of political and business leaders in our country are mostly rich, white men. I admit not knowing the financial status of certain political commentators, and perhaps it was in poor taste to deem them "well-to-do." I am deeply flawed in this regard.

Last time I checked poor and middle-class people had very little power in this country. Less power in recent days because a certain unnamed political party, the leading politicians of which repeatedly refuse to attend minority-sponsored debates or meetings, have also developed elaborate methods for kicking poor and/or minority voters off of voter rolls in places like Florida and Ohio. This, of course, has influenced elections and helped maintain the status quo for certain people, mostly rich white men.

Am I racist? I was taught by my mother to view people as individuals. I have never discriminated against anyone based on their skin color, as least as far as I can tell. Pointing out that white people have more decision-making power than people-of-color is not a racist notion.

Am I sexist? Pointing out the unfortunate, that men have more political power than women is not a sexist action.

Am I classist? Yes, I will admit to a suspicion of wealthy individuals. I grew up in a relatively poor household. We were never hungry, but there was no money for luxuries, you know, those little things like visits to the doctor or the dentist.

I knew we were poor but I didn't know how poor until I went away to college with my one pair of shoes and a single suitcase. What an eye-opener to meet other students and learn about their lifestyles, so different from my own! I remember being told by someone (a well-to-do white male) that I didn't deserve to be attending the University of Michigan because I was there on financial aid. A few other, similar incidents tainted my impressions of rich people. I know I should just get over this and not judge people based upon their wealth. But wealthy people do have a lot of power in this country, and they have often used that power to make life more difficult to those who don't meet their criteria of what a good person is. Currently, that criteria excludes gays/lesbians/bisexuals and especially those darned transgenders.

This is, of course, a generalization. There are many fine wealthy people who would not dream of discriminating against others. It's too bad that there are also a lot of wealthy people who dream of discriminating against others.

What an endless ramble of thoughts! But I guess being called anything-ist disturbs me, because I try to be a good person, as much as I can. I try to do everything I can to make sure that everyone has the chance to live a good life.

I'll state this again, excluding transgender people from civil rights legislation that includes other sexual minorities is wrong. Nothing I have read, including the "tiny steps for now" and "transvestites were there at Stonewall, not transgender!" arguments have changed my mind.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

At work today:

- computer issues continue, but at least I can use the printer.
- one of the computer guys isn't here because he got bit (twice!) by a rattlesnake last night.
- I've seen a pair of Arizona woodpeckers, some sort of yellow finch, butterflies, and little lizards outside my window so far this morning. The cottontails sit out there in the afternoon.
- I wore gender appropriate clothing to work.
- only 5.5 hours till I can go home.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sometimes I am embarrassed by the loud-mouthed gays who claim to be our leaders. John Aravosis is one example. Today he wrote an opinion piece basically stating that transgender people should not be included in the ENDA legislation that is winding its way through Congress to meet up with ClusterFuck's veto pen. Let me channel John:

"I don't understand transgender folks. I don't want to sit next to them on the bus. They should have their own bus, even though we are going on the same way and people watching us often confuse us. Who let them on the bus anyways? They should get off the bus and shut the fuck up. If you disagree with me you are an insolent asshole. Because no one should ever question me. I used to work in Congress so I know better than you. Especially better than transgender people. None of whom I have ever had a conversation with. Who I can not emphasize with. Since they only recently got on the bus, they should be the first ones thrown off to make the politicians happy. They will really love us if we hate the transgender bus riders as much as they do."

Andrew Sullivan apparently agrees with Aravosis.

Does this surprise me? No, not really. Couple of well-to-do white men. Enough said there.

People who discriminate against gays/lesbians/bisexuals are not going to differentiate between this group and transgender folks. Excluding them from civil rights protections just makes them THE MOST HATED group. You see, G/L/B are awful folks, really, but they aren't as bad as those Ts.

Which is precisely why transexual people, as a sexual minority, should be included.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The view from my window at work. I finished a couple of reports today, and felt productive.

Embalming fluid bottles.

Out in the exterior walkway a dazed lizard, who had been trapped in our library for a week, ran around.

Collared lizard.

I bent down and picked it up, planning to move it to a better place. On the way there Beth wanted to see it and it promptly grabbed her finger with its mouth. And wouldn't let go. Apparently it pinched.

Click to make a bigger lizard.

I see a lot of wildlife out my window at work- cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, lizards, mourning doves, hawks, and the occasional coyote. The nearby Rillito creekbed serves as a wildlife corridor- even with the increased development I expect I'll still see animals.

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