Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Amber & Siren's Song

What does it mean that my iDevice woke me up to this song for the third time in recent memory?

It must mean something.  It seems really inappropriate for a wake up song, even though I do love those Timbaland beats.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Amber & Oh. Em. Gee.

I am not sure I have ever seen anybody more ridiculously cutie.

Or with a curlier belly.

Thank you, video chat, for making documenting Pickles so entertaining.

Amber & Art

If there is one thing you know about me, it's my answer to the question, "Do you like art?"  Why, of course, I do!  I can't get enough of it.

So, imagine my surprise when I came home tonight to find a stack of this postcard on the sharing table in my lobby.
On the front, as you can see, there is Art.  Really, really great art.  Art that really makes you think.  I immediately was thinking, "Why are these doggies and kitties so colorful?  Why is that one kitty wearing a mask?"

On the back is information about this event, Art Dogs and Cats of NY Exhibition & Benefit, which is a benefit for  a group of local animal rescue groups.  It also has a really descriptive name.  And it is sponsored by a pet store in between where I live and where the rest of my New York universe lives.

I sure am excited about all the art I will be viewing.  I need to get me down to the Upper West Side and check out the exhibition.  Like, right now the art is making me think.  Like right now, I am thinking, "When am I going to be motivated to take the local train to the 80's to see kitty art?"  and "What is that mousey guy doing with that robot kitty?"

I love art.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Amber & Pica Pooja

Today is the very special celebration of Pica Pooja, on which we contemplate and take lessons from the myriad qualities contained in the small kitty of Pickles.  "Pica" is the avatar of Pickles we recognize when he is sleeping in a small and curly ball.  But we know, even then, that he has a mighty mew inside him, ready to call for more play and joy in the world, being, as he is, the champion of fun and fleece wand.

Pica Pooja actually begins with the brother, Ginger, waking us by ritually grooming our hair with his tongue.  No one is a bigger devotee of Pickles than Ginger.

Later, there will be playful brother wrestling with feats of strength like Head Banging on Floor Loudly and Kicka Kicka Kicka, but the morning starts out slow with a plate of wet food, sprinkled with Pickles Powder.  As we sprinkle the Pickles Powder on the food, we are reminded that all kitties have special needs but some kitties have more special needs than others, and we say "Bam!" to remember the shock we had when we got the vet bills from Pickles's most special hospital pilgrimage.

And tonight, the celebration will really kick into high gear with many, many enrichments.  We may do Treats in Open Envelopes, or Treats Hidden Under Dixie Cups, or Treats Stolen While Taking them Out of the Bag Because Somebody with Curly Fur Is Too Impatient.

Pickles fur reminds us, again, to experience joy.  The hair could grow in straight lines, but it chooses instead to take a more circuitous route, to stop and form curls around the roses.

And Pickles reminds us that the highest form of love of the self and life is loving others, including those who are baby and needy.  We could, for example, spend more time painting our toe nails or ironing shirts, but isn't it ultimately more rewarding--and enjoyable for ourselves--to instead run back and forth through the house with the fleece wand, hiding behind doorframes and ducking beside the bed.  Doesn't that bring rewards that are many, many times beyond?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Amber & Totally, Like Fer Shur

I just rewatched Valley Girl.  I really enjoyed it, mostly because* I remembered how much I had wanted to share a coke with Nicolas Cage and his amazing, amazing hair.  And how pretty Gunne Sax blouses were.

That was 27 years ago.  And this song still makes me, well, melt.

*Full disclosure: I am on muscle relaxants for a frozen shoulder.  And I didn't sleep at all last night. But I am sure that has nothing to do with my film taste.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Amber & I Luff Her

Tiggy is all about togetherness this morning.  It took her a while to get settled in to a comfy place; there was lots of walking back and forth and milk treading.  I had to sort of actively manage her turning around to keep her parts out of my face.

But then, she found a comfy bed and has been sleeping there ever since.

It's surprisingly comfortable and leaves my hands free for typing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Amber & Oh, My Queen

Thanks to the tornado (which I witnessed outside while picking up farm share and running a fever of 102), I had no Internet yesterday.  Time Warner's lady robot who answered their phone when I called yesterday from my sick bed, desperate for amusements, described it as a "storm-related outage" and assured me that the technicians knew how important my cable was to me and were trying to restore my service.  (She also didn't understand my responses when I said "yes, please."  Robots do not appreciate courtesy.)

But, it came back in the middle of the night with a vengeance, in the form of a dedicated foe of evil, defender of the weak, champion of truth and justice.

I loved Isis.  I remember very little about the show, except that it was on at the end of Saturday cartoons and that she would invoke various Egyptian gods to give her powers.  I would get the TV listings from the paper and then highlight the shows I wanted to watch so I would know to change the channel when needed at the right time.  And, I always changed to channel 3 for Isis.  I seem to remember some episode about an archeological dig?  Or maybe that was just the backstory in the opening credits?  I remember, though, that I loved it.  And so it must be good, right?

After all, she's a snappy dresser and a part of my heritage.  And she predates this other part of my heritage by about ten years.

I wonder if she will scare Nick, Diana, and Kevin as much as that younger heritage.

Amber & Farm Share Week I've Lost Count

Corn, assorted potatoes, beans, eggplant, yellow peppers, beets and their greens, amazingly fragrant basil, leeks, lettuce and partially Ginger-chewed bok choy.  And?  Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.

Did I mention tomatoes?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Amber & Thank You, Autumn

Autumn, I appreciate you making it the perfect weather for button-down shirts and cardigans.  And ties with apes on them!

Wait-- did you see that?  It has like gorilla or chimpy buddies on it!  It's hard to tell which because they seem to have chimpy faces, but very gorilla-like developed pectoral muscles.  I love it.

No, really!  My tie is covered in purple apes!  Jimmy tells me that in the 1950s and '60s, an editor at DC had a list of things to put on comic covers to increase sales and that a purple ape was one of them.  My tie is going to sell like hotcakes!  Did you see the apes?

Thank you, fall.  And thank you Nick for the tie.  And thank you YouTube for teaching me how to tie a non-bow-tie on myself.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Amber & Success vs. Failure

This playing thing is hard work.  There have been some minor successes, though.  For example, the new game we call Chair Mouse.  To play, the kitty sits on the folding chair and I move Flatty McMousington around, in between the slats of the seat, through the back and peeking around the sides.

Pickles actually is the key Chair Mouse player, but he absolutely refused to do be enticed on camera.  Of course, we had just played for about forty minutes before I got the idea to film.  So, he might have been a little pooped.  Ginger stepped up as a wonderful understudy.

Figure A:

The chair, as it turns out, is key to the efficacy of the game in soothing kitty anxiety.  Played, for example, on a kitty resting place, and it actually may increase kitty anxieties.

Figure B:

Kitty play FAIL.

Amber & Strengths vs. Weaknesses

I've been doing a more structured play time with the kitties every evening before their dinner time.  Not only is group play supposed to help with kitty relations (since Woody came back from the hospital he has no patience for his little brothers, and inexplicably, Tiggy has even less than he does), but more diversion is supposed to help with Pickles's anxiety which is a prime suspect in his pee problemsEnergy spent on PLAY EMOTION means less energy spent on FEAR.  (Illustration of FEAR provided by Pickles's eyes.)

On Monday, I wrapped a few treats in four little strips of brown paper bag and gave one to each kitty.  There was some initial sniffing, but, even though they had seen me put the treats inside, no one seemed to understand that the treats were still in there.  I tried partially unwrapping each treat pack, but only Woody really did any digging.  Ginger did mostly eat one corner of his paper pouch, but then didn't seem to notice that he had exposed the treats.  Sigh.

So, today, I bought one of these things.

See how the cat in the illustration is poking at the toy?  Well, Tiggy, Pickles and Ginger all did that.  They even worked together to knock it about and knock out the treats.  But Pickles?  He took a couple of sniffs, tried to eat treats the others knocked out, and then retreated to the blue donut with the cardboard it came with.

So, let's just say his weakness is Problem Solving and leave the hidden treat games to the other cats.  And then think up another game that somehow uses his strengths: Curliness and Babyness.

And in the meantime, I'll be playing the game where he and I chase each other up and down the length of the apartment until he decides it is dinner time.  (Sorry downstairs neighbor.)

Amber & Bespoke for Me

This recon from ever-ape-vigilant Jimmy is either the Best Thing Ever, or The Worst.

If somehow the procedes go to help my primate cousins, I am all over this.  If, however, it actually smells anything like gorillas, I may pass.  Or will I?  Only your nose will know.  And the noses of everyone on the A train with me.

I'm not sure how making us smell like them aids the Ape Revolution, but I am sure there is a plan.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amber & Clichés

It was a dark and somewhat stormy evening.

Amber & Some Sundays

Some Sundays, you just can't blog.  You are too pooped in the hamstrings from taking a class with this amazing woman.

And so all you can do is something like this.

Or this.

Amazing role models: I gotz em.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Amber & I Love You, New York

Now, more than ever, New York is my city boyfriend.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Amber & BFFs

I know it's a shoe commercial, but it has the sweetest friends I have ever seen and lovely shots of my home town and an awesome cover by The Ravonettes.

And it's so darned happy making.

It reminds me of me and CRD.  Or me and Kevin.  Or me and Diana.  Friendship.

(Plus I get to use the rare "smoking birds" tag.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Amber & It's Like Looking in a Mirror


Lifelike rendering by CRD.  Maybe even more lifelike than this other one.  Your friends do often know you better than you know yourself.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amber & Math

Listening to this song... Fellowship in the afternoon leads to...

How could it not?  Laws of mathematics.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Amber & August Search Traffic

August was a busy month with visits to Amber & peaking around August 25th.  (I wonder why....)  Search traffic was pretty predictable.

I think I am repping pretty well for the CSA on my blog.  And I think my site is a great center for research on "nice beasts."  That number 10 sort of scares me.  Who keeps a honey bear for a pet?  And aren't all bears really honey bears?

There was one item further down in the ranks that gave me some concern.

I bet this is one of his students looking for intel about their mysterious professor.  These two posts don't seem to reveal anything too personal.  And really since he is now a famous poet, you've got to imagine that he expects this kind of Googling.  I bet his proud of that Kate Hepburn tidbit.  I hope so, since I made it so public.

Amber & Adaptations

As a species, I have evolved such that if my sleep is threatened by really (really really) loud music from my neighbor, I move my mattress into the living room. Science!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Amber & Not Laboring

Except for that part on the path in the woods.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Amber & Fall Wardrobes

Now that Hurricane Earl (not to be confused with Erl) has ushered in cooler, more fall-like weather, I found myself staring at my armoir, completely unable to figure out what to wear.

I mean, which one of these outfits is the snuggly and warm, but also fun for a September Sunday?

Why does it take so long for me to get dressed in the morning lately?  And why is my dresser always so messy?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Amber & The News from Upstate

James, our favorite bagpiping competitor and foodie, reports: "I got two silvers today. And midget chili dogs from Hot Dog Charlie's. It's been a productive visit to the state capitol."

And he sends these photos as proof of a) medals...

...and b) chili dogs.

Keep in mind that all of this is happening even further north than where I live.

Friday, September 3, 2010