Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Amber & Freezy Breezes

How chilly is it today? I am wearing a sweater, but neglected to put on socks this morning. I know it's not the heat but rather the humidity that gets you in the summer, but what's the trick with today?
It would have been easy to wear socks today, but I was fooled by the bright sunshine and grandma apartment heat into thinking it was warm.

I found this Flickr Pool which seems to suggest a solution to my problem. Maybe I can find a pattern and whip up a pair with the yarn I was using to make Woody a blanky before I have to go home?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Amber & Art Imitating My Life

If I was as fancy as CRD and knew how to post clips from programs, this would be a better post. The thing is that I am Liz Lemon. Jimmy reminded me that when he was writing his 30 Rock script, he pictured me as Liz Lemon, and based the story on something that happened to me in real life. And, of course, there is Shane's compliment as previously discussed.

Well. In last week's epsiode of 30 Rock, Liz Lemon reveals herself to be a gorilla enthusiast. From the IMDB synopsis...
Liz tearfully retorts that she didnt expect to end up here either "I had dreams, I was going to live with the gorillas!" And stalks out.... In the prop room Liz is reading a book called "More Human Than We" when Jack enters and startles her. She says that she was just reading about gorilla researchers for a sketch for the show: "we're making fun of them for devoting their lives to the jungle and its noble inhabitants."

Liz Lemon loves gorillas, too! I totally stalk out all the time! I read about gorillas, too!

I think Tina Fey read my blog and is sending me a message. Maybe she based the character of Liz Lemon on me....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Amber & Uncertain Progress

By all accounts, Woody's boo boo leg was doing better on Saturday. Kevin noted that he was putting weight on it, and the boy seemed much more alert and interested in goings ons. Yesterday morning, I had to plant some foxgloves in the garden, and when I returned home around noon and freed W from his resty den, he seemed to be favoring it much more. Two tentative steps forward, two limps back?

James posted some photos of his visits to Boo Boo Woody and his sister from last week on Flickr.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Amber & Sum Totals

This week, Jimmy finally posted photos of my move to NYC. (A special thanks again to Jimmy, Kevin, CRD, and Matthew Howard for all of their emotional support and feats of strength and endurance.)

That is my favorite from the set. It's me looking at all of my stuff and wondering why I have so much of it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amber & Dopplegängers

Sara Kramer found this Flickr set while looking at pictures of stray cats and wishing she could adopt them all. (I know that syndrome.)

Who does Kali remind you of?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Amber & Tina Fey

One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me was when Kevin told me that Shane told him that he thought that if they ever made a movie of my life I should be portrayed by Tina Fey. I was horribly flattered. I definitely think no one plays depressive anxiety as well as Tina, and I love watching 30 Rock on

However, Tina's recent casting in the film Baby Mama shows gives me concern. Since I do not want babies or to be a mama (and I even thought it was spelled momma!), I wonder if she would now bring too much baggage to the role-- and by baggage I mean diaper bags, strollers, and breast pumps.

Still, she does have good flippy hair.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Amber & Appreciation

I spent Saturday digging in the Membership Booth at the Garden, filling in for a staffer who left us for a post at the zoo. On Sunday, Kevin came to visit me and we went Next Door where I got the misnamed Tower of Bagel (really one bagel, cut into four slices to make two sandwiches-- more like Fragments of Bagel). And, we visited Boo Boo Berkowitz.

I am really happy to be back in NYC. I appreciate being in such a beautiful natural environment, surrounded by green and blossoms. And I am incredibly grateful for my wonderful friends, who are spectacular human apes and mean so much to me.

I am surrounded by excellent examples of both flora and fauna friends.
(photo by James)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Amber & Cutie Germs

I'm not a fan of antibacterial soap. I think washing well with regular soap is enough and the over-use of antibacterial products will be found to have caused bacterial resistance down the line.

James, however, gave me a new reason to refuse antibacterial abundance. Germs are the cutest ever!

Look at this cutie little mad cow guy! Makes me want to eat British Beef! And who knew herpes was such a little sunshiney critter?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amber & Kitty Mystery

Kitties are tapped into what Jimmy calls Kitty Mystery of Life. Chances are you've witnessed Kitty Mystery. You're sitting on the couch with your cat and it hears a noise and goes dashing off into who knows where. Your cat is dreaming and running in place, but what is he thinking about? Kitty Mystery.

Here is the Kitty Mystery of Yesterday:

How did THIS cat

(photo by Jimmy)

manage, while in his resty den, to move his glass of water into his food bowl?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Amber & Speechlessness

I have absolutely no idea what to say about this--not because there is nothing to say, but because there is so much and I can't even begin to figure out where to start.

Ah, the past.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Amber & Veterinary Medicine

I often contemplate whether or not I should have become a vet. In the pro column is that I love animals, was good at science, and am not grossed out by animal poop. In the minus column is that it breaks my heart to see sickie animals and that it is very expensive to go back to school at this point in my life.

We are trying a new vet this afternoon to talk about next steps in Woody's care and to get more pain meds. I hope this vet wanted to be a vet as much as I sometimes think I do.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Amber & Stifle Injuries

Poor Woody. The good news is that he does not have a fracture. The bad news is that his injury is consistent with a cruciate tear which means, in lay terms, that he tore a ligament in his knee. The non-medical term for this is boo boo knee.

We're going to try medical management first (pain management and putting him in a crate when I'm not there to make sure he doesn't jump or leap and further injure himself) for two weeks and see how he heals on his own. If he's not improved, we'll need to investigate surgery.

I'm going to choose and take him to a neighborhood vet today or tomorrow (I really wish we were closer to Schaubhut since I trust him implicitly) to get more pain meds and make sure he's doing okay. The poor baby is in a tiny crate today, but tomorrow a bigger one will arrive. It makes me feel sad inside to know the baby is in pain and confined to such a tiny area.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Amber & Boo Boo Legs

Yesterday evening, Woody leapt up for sink hands, missed the sink, and fell to the floor, boo booing his leg in the process.  We spent the night at the emergency vet clinic, with visits from CRD and Nick, and some trail mix.  Woody got x-rays.

The vet think it's soft tissue damage, but it could be a fracture in his pelvis.  His discharge report says...

There is a dark linear opacity at the junction of the left femoral head and neck. r/o fracture vs superimposition of pelvis. Minimal soft tissue swelling over left thigh. Other skeletal and soft tissue structures are within normal limits. Pending radiologist's review.

I sure hope Woody didn't pull a Berkowitz and break his pelvis.

Poor baby.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Amber & Grouchiness

I've had a frustrating work week. But, it's hard to stay grumpy when you're in the middle of a botanical paradise. The daffodils are beginning to bloom, the cherries are sprouting, and even the corylopsis reminds me that it's spring.

I sure love my job-- weeds and carbon-copy forms in triplicate that have to be manually typed and all.

Plants are like the kitty cat who defends my Tokyo from the Grumpzilla monster.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amber & Continuing Education

I woke up this morning and decided to pursue a certificate in Ethnobotany from The New York Botanical Garden's School of Continuing Education. The Botany program has three different tracks: Field Botany, Plant Systematics, or Ethnobotany. I was trying to decide between Field Botany and Ethnobotany, and finally decided on the latter on account of the fact that Herb Identification and Cultural Importance is being taught at the beginning of August. I want that. Add to Cart.

Now, I just need to convince Diana to be my classmate. She doesn't get tuition remission, so it might be a tougher sell.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Amber & Prunes

Lately, I am really enamored of prunes in the morning. I put them in my congee, eat them as a snack with my coffee at the office, and even sort of smoosh them onto my toast. Prunes are dried plums, as this rebranding campaign tries to point out. (First, we reject the Metric System, now we rename our fruits. I'm sorry, Rest of World, for America.)
You would not believe how hard it was to find a nice picture of a prune.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Amber & Kitty Services

I am good with kitties.  I work hard at it.  And it feels nice to be good to them at every opportunity.  Therefore, I like to offer my kitty services to my friends, including kitty rubs, nail clipping, kitty sitting visits

and kitty enrichment activities.

I love kitties.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Amber & WTF, MTA?

(photo by Jimmy)

What on earth happened to the subway while I was away?  Did the loss of my $2 per trip mean a serious budgetary setback for repairs and now that I am back and on the $81 monthly pass they've started up again with gusto?

For several weekends now, perhaps since I moved back, the A doesn't travel above 168th Street on the weekends.  I live on 175th.  There are, of course, free shuttle buses which make the train stops for the rest of the route to 207th, but all of the people on a train don't seem to fit exactly onto a bus.  At least not comfortably.

Yesterday, I went to hang out with Amy, David and Hazel and discovered that it's not just the A.  On the way there, we discovered that the F stands for "WTF" in Brooklyn on the weekends.  Amy said that she felt like they were frogs in a pot who had been slowly brought to a boil and I was shocked by the lack of weekend service, horrible communication and inconsistency of messaging because I had just been thrown in the pot after it came to a boil.

WTF, MTA?  I am not a frog soup.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Amber & Blanketed Kitties

My mom, dad, and sister came to the Garden a few weeks ago to see the orchids and had a nice visit.  My mom brought with her a pretty blue crocheted spread for my bed.  I was very excited about it-- and so were the kitties as it turns out!

Here are Woody and Tiggy (and Alice) testing it out, immediately after it was put down.

And here is Woody after he has decided It Is Good.

Who knew kitties loved blankets so much?  CRD did.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Amber & Irish Souvenirs

Kevin & Diana get Home Safe this afternoon.  I had a pleasant time kitty sitting for them but am glad to have them back in America.

Kevin e-mailed me to make sure I had read about the mishap resulting from their attempts to bring home a souvenir from Ireland.  I asked them to bring me back something Irish (and specified not a potato famine) and they know I love apes.

Maggie would have been a perfect gift!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Amber & Lucie

Good softy, cranky, big boy. We miss you.
(iZone photo by Jimmy on Kitty Second Birthday, 4/23/2000)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Amber & Mooses

I am very disappointed this morning. The photography class that I wanted to send Jimmy to is sold out. It was going to be a Moose Adventure. From the class description...

For the past several years, each spring Michael Reichmann has traveled to Algonquin Provincial Park in North-Central Ontario, Canada, to photograph moose. In April and May the Moose come out of the deep woods to lick the salt used to keep the highway open during the winter. This means that on some days, there are as many as a dozen or more moose easily photographable from the highway. Some are at a distance, requiring the use of long lenses, while others can be so close that they walk across the road right in front of your car.
I love Mooses and Jimmy loves photography, so what could have been more perfect? He could go, and I could look at his photos afterward. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Amber & Intersecting Universes

I love Jimmy. When I moved to Madisonwisconsin, Jimmy was just starting school and he made a bunch of new friends. I got to know those friends through Jimmy's photos and his stories, but it was as though they existed in a separate Friend Universe since I had never actually met them.

I met two of his friends in Cyberspace when Jimmy convinced me to join Facebook and Kirk and Stella became my Facebook Friends. (Superpoke!) It was nice to know them, or at least know what books Stella was reading and how many ladies Kirk was dating, but last night I really met them-- over ramen noodles.

(Photos by Jimmy, of course)

I liked them both alot, although Stella was much more miniature than I expected and Kirk was much more tea-totalling. Friends are pretty awesome.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Amber & Distinguishing Characteristic Properties

In chemistry, we learned all about distinguishing characteristic properties. Those are the traits that a substance has which help uniquely identify it. It's kind of like a signature style, but not at all changeable. Like, if a compound finds out it has lead in its lipstick, it can't stop using the lipstick without becoming a different compound. I, on the other hand, am still ALH whether or not I have floral handbags.

Some people are mean. That seems to be a distinguishing characteristic property for them. I don't like those people.

The central struggle for me, many times, is to figure out how to be a happy little flower when surrounded by Mr. Means. Tap Dancers are surprisingly nasty people and those flexible legs have a surprisngly long reach. So far, Gardeners seem much nicer.