Saturday, April 28, 2012

Release 4: Mozzarella

There is a lot of red tape when you adopt an animal from a shelter.
The people there want to make sure you're a good, reliable pet owner & the policies are set up in a way to discourage the non-dedicated.

I want none of that to overshadow the fact that, a week ago today, Solo & I went to Animal Care Services and  adopted a kitten to be Shakespeare's little sister.

Solo found her hiding in her litter's cage behind a small box & when we took her out, we both knew she was it.

We named her Mozzarella, because she's white & we both like cheeses.
Officially, Mozzarella Fitzgerald (like Ella Fitzgerald, but more Italian).

Some other names I was considering were Tracy Jordan
and Nibbler.


But neither really fit, nothing fit, until we brainstormed up Mozzarella Fitzgerald.

So far, she really likes using her claws to rock climb up into bed, meowing, eating, climbing into her bowl to eat, and demanding attention.
She and Shakespeare really seem to have taken to each other.

Here she is:

This was her first ever picture.


Hiding behind Solo in the car, this photo is more so for scaling purposes.
Spazzing in the car.

Napping

Her "surprised" face.

Being adorable.

Cleaning herself after stealing some of my yogurt. 

& finally, begging me to stop spamming you with cat pictures. :)

Release 3: Because I wanted a kitten

"Get in the car," Solo called out to me.
"No." I stood my ground.
"Lauren, I mean it. This is bad. Get in the car."
"NO!"
"Come on!"
"SHUTUP!!!"
"DAMNIT, LAUREN! GET IN THE CAR! THIS IS SO FUCKING STUPID!"

& then it started to rain.
I was forced to choose between standing on this stranger's uncovered stoop hoping they'd answer their door or to get in the car for shelter.
I reluctantly got into the car.

"Close your door."
"No."
"WHY?!?"
"Because the moment I do, you're going to drive off & I want to wait."
"Wait for what? We've been here 20 minutes AT LEAST. You know they're home; we could hear them inside. They're aren't coming."
"You don't know that!"

He put the car in drive and started to slowly drive away from the stranger's house.
"NO!" I shouted, jumping out of my passenger seat and out of the car.
"WHAT THE FUCK?" he slammed on the brakes.
"I don't want to leave!!!"
"Lauren, I'm sorry. You're not getting a kitten from these people. Look where we are! Look at this fucking place we are! They probably never even had kittens at all, EVER."
"But I had to text them! We drove all the way out here, 45 fucking minutes, getting lost every 15 minutes. I text him to say we were coming! They wouldn't do that!"
"Look, you're a smart girl who brought your boyfriend to what turned out to be a shady neighborhood and an obvious scam. There are no kittens here. Let's go."

I looked up from Solo's face, still standing outside of the car, and noticed that we'd began to draw attention from this stranger's neighbors. Elderly people and the inebriated young inhabitants of this neighborhood looked up from their lawn work and beer cans. They watched us.
Solo took a moment to look and noticed the same folks, peering into our car. Waiting to see what would happen next.
"Please," he pleaded with me.
I looked back at the stranger's home and huffed. I knew it was over. Defeated, I climbed into the car and closed the door. Solo reached over to lock my door for me and then we left.

I was angry. I wanted so badly to believe the strangers I'd found on craigslist, the first strangers in a very long time of searching and calling and emailing to respond back to my kitten inquiry, were going to give me a fuzzy little bundle of cuteness. I was bitter. & I was still mad at Solo; who's to say the owner of the home wasn't showering, wasn't listening to music with his head phones on, wasn't in the middle of choking on a bite of his ham sandwich, wasn't doing any of a million menial tasks which would have prevented him from coming to the door and handing me a free kitten? If only we waited, I dwelled on it.

Pulling into a sonic stop, Solo rolled down his window.
"Do you want anything?"
"No. I'm too upset to eat."
"I rolled down my window and lit a cigarette. The cigarette hung between my limp fingers outside my window and I could feel tiny raindrops kissing my hand.
I let him order.
"You know, it really pisses me off that you made us leave."
"Lauren--"
"No! We drove all the way out here, they KNEW we were coming! I think we should have waited."
"Listen--"
"Stop. Even if it was all a scam, it should have been MY choice how long I wanted to wait. I should have been able to stand there without you shouting and cursing at me to get in the car. That was really out of line & I can't stand it. I can't stand that you acted that way."
Silence for a moment, and then he started, "Things really got out of hand back there. But listen, I know you noticed that that place wasn't safe. You heard them inside, talking and playing music. If they had kittens, they're gone now & you weren't getting one. But probably, there never were any kittens. Probably it was a scam to lure naive women out there. I mean, you said yourself that they knew you were coming. If it was real, why not answer the door? or any of your calls? If there were ever kittens there & they ran out before you got there today, why didn't they call you & say so when you text them that you were on your way? You know why? Because you ruined the whole thing when you brought someone with you."

I knew he was probably right. The neighborhood was old. Front lawns were overgrown and littered with old furniture and empty beer bottles. There were cop cars just pacing the neighborhood and stray animals having their way with the sidewalks. The people were home, we could hear them. They ignored two of my phone calls, ignored both the times I rang their door bell, probably watched Solo and I argue in front of their house.
"...I still think you were wrong for acting like a fucking nut with all that shouting and cursing."
"What do you want me to say, Lauren? When I realized what I was going on I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. That's it. I'm sorry I yelled at you, I'm sorry I cursed. But you were being irrational."

His food came. He slid his burger and fries onto his lap and took a slurp from his drink.
The fingers on my right hand suddenly felt hot and I looked over to see that my cigarette had shortened almost down to the filter. I brought it in and took one suck before tossing it into the rain.
I reached for a napkin & started wiping off my lipstick.

"Why'd you wear so much make up, anyway?" He asked me between bites of his burger.
"I wanted to look nice for the kitten," I said, pathetically.
"I didn't realize you wanted this so badly, I thought you were just going to get a kitten to keep Shakespeare company while you worked or went to class."
I shrugged. "I mean, that is why I wanted a kitten. & I kept going back and forth about whether it was the right decision but then thinking I was getting one for sure today, I guess I had my heart set on it."

I was still looking out of my passenger side window when he started making phone calls,
"Hi, I saw your ad online. How much is your adoption fee for kittens?"




Monday, April 16, 2012

Release, 2

In the post immediately preceding this one, I mentioned that it was my best friend's birthday celebration this past weekend.

A trip to the tattoo shop was already in her plans but when I found myself there, I went for it.

Lately, Solo's been watching a lot of futurama, which brought me back to one of my old loves; the Life in Hell Comic Series by Matt Groening.

One of my favorites was always this one:
I'd like to be honest:
I'm what I would call a career mistake maker.
Sometimes, I feel like I AM Murphy's Law on legs.

& to be even more honest, I don't mind it.
Which isn't to say that when everything's going wrong, I don't lose my shit--because I do.
I lose my shit like none other, figuratively.

But, having a disposition towards humor and humility, I feel like every time I make a mistake, I'm able to turn it around & if not learn something from it, at least make a funny story of it.
That was the basis of this blog back in '09 & it still rings true today.

In my first ever posting to this blog, I admitted that I like (still) Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free," better known as The Sunscreen Song. It's true, I love this song. I'm only mildly ashamed.
Probably my favorite part is this line,
"Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who 
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of 
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the 
ugly parts and recycling it for more than 
it’s worth."


I'm getting way off track but before I get back on track, I just want to say, I have no idea who this blog is for. I'd like to think that I write for the few people who come here but in all honesty, I think a lot of the writing has been for me. I need to feel better about all the calamity I walk into. I need to feel like I'm not just blindly and vainly making mistakes for nothing and taking nothing away. Maybe this blog helps me process what's just happened and how to handle it. I don't know.

But anyway, so I got "Mistakes were made" tattooed on me. I think it's kind of funny, others seem less amused, some don't get it. It's cool with me.

& while I'm on this track, I feel it's important to mention that over the weekend I realized something-- I realized that all the worrying in the world about growing up and having to face responsibilities and expectations won't stop me from getting older. I guess all the birthday celebrations, seeing the movie, Young Adult, and spending nearly two full weeks with Solo (a story for another time), brought this about. 
Worrying about becoming an adult won't stop you from becoming one. The only choice we have in the matter is deciding what kind of adult we want to be. 
I still have no idea who I want to be; it's a work in progress & whatever I think now, time has proven, is probably a mistake. :)

Release

I've had a lot of things I wanted to write about lately but I haven't been sure where to start or what should be one long post and what should be one short one. Instead of mapping out my ideas, I decided to do what I, arguably, do the best: put it off.
And alas! here we are, 15 days into April & my first post for the month.
(Fortunately, I once used a picture of confetti eggs in one of my posts & the traffic generated by people googling pictures of "confetti eggs," presumably for Easter, has far surpassed that which I could ordinarily expect this far into any other month where I've actually written things).

Something I should acknowledge is that in the time that I've not written this month, my best friend, Darlene, and my big brother, Ray, celebrated their birthdays.

Both celebrated in Austin this past weekend & while there, I realized that it's really fucking difficult to be at two parties simultaneously and how much I missed living with my brother.

I guess this post boils down to another set of love letters;

Darlene-- you've been my best friend through literally everything: my awkward phase, my slutty phase, our teenage arguing for no reason in high school phase, my making poor choices phase, my "why in the hell do you date that guy?" phases. Our friendship is relentless and enduring & I am remarkably privileged to be your friend. You are a beautiful, wonderful 24 year old.

Ray--there's nothing I could say that I haven't said a million times before. You are my hero. It's that simple. In recent years, we've become much closer than we were for over 20 years and I'm so thankful we had that time together & grateful for the time we have left together. You are an awesome brother and an even better example of someone who is forever and individual despite the implications and successful nonetheless. Your bravery, humor, and uniqueness inspire me. Happy 32nd birthday.

& I think I should wrap this posting up here.
But, in the words of the glorious Terminator:
I will be back.

(& soon.)