Thursday, September 10, 2009

Amelia is a stone-faced Killer.

So last night during a bout of insomnia, I awoke and wandered out to the front room for a movie lullaby. I noticed the front porch light was on, which Sean and I decided we'd use as a tool to make sure all kitties are in for the night. We'll leave the porch light on if we know one or both kitties are outside, and we'll turn off the light only when all kitties are inside again.

I opened the door to invite Amelia back in the house, only to find a huge (HUGE!) rat, dead on the porch about a foot from the door. Completely disgusting. Of course, the ruthless killer didn't want to come back inside- she had fled the scene of the crime. A similar murder occurred with the prior body killed in the same fashion and left in the exact same place on the front porch, about 2 months ago. Only the victim in crime #1 was a small mouse, not a one-pound-plus rat. I think I've been watching too many Dexter episodes on Netflix, but nevertheless, I think I've solved the rodent killer mystery.

Please note that while I normally like to include pictures in my posts, I have spared my viewers the horror of viewing evidence from the crime scene.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Catblogging- June 12

Last night as I was making up the futon for Barry's overnight visit, Ameilia thought she'd make herself at home and "help out mommy" by laying all over the bed. Yeah, well, it wasn't exactly helping me out, but it did pile on the cuteness and mama couldn't resist snapping a few pics. I guess her bahavior is fair, since the front room was originally the kitteh sequestering room, and she had it all to herself for her first three weeks after adoption. In that way, she's just re-asserting herself, and who could blame her for that?

Sadly, the 2007 version of MicroSoft piece-of-shit software installed on my work computer isn't letting me save pics from my phone, so please check again later tonight- I'll add cute Ameilia pics to this posting from my home computer!

Updated. . .yea!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

oh noes! food poisoning strikes again!

yesterday I went to work, but was feeling pretty bad- upset stomach, chills etc. In fact, I even drove in stead of taking the bus, thinking I might need to go home early if my symptoms got any worse. Then at 8:30 or so I got a text from Morgan- "are you feeling okay?"

My thought was, "how did you know?". Apparently Morgan got it, too and knew it was food poisoning because he was worshipping the porcelain bowl all morning. I think it may have been that burrito we shared? Anyway, the moral of the story is: Food poisoning sucks, but its better when you have someone to commiserate with, as long as you don't have to share the same bathroom.

I'm feeling a little better today, so I'm trying to tough it out at work. wish me luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The original catblogger

I forgot to take pictures of the kittehs last night to post today, so I thought instead, I'd show you the original catblogger, Kevin Drum from Mother Jones's catblogging page! imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so I've heard!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Disneyland Churros and Diet Coke

Nom Nom Nom!

This weekend I made the annual pilgrimage to Disneyland to see Mickey and Friends. This trip was especially memeorable in that I went with a few new friends, one of which, despite his 30 years of experience on Planet Earth, had never been to Disneyland before- amazing! His inaugural visit was a success, I'm sure he'd agree. And he has the ear hat to prove he's been there, done that!
Camie and Moshy- you'll be pleased to know we made not one, but TWO visits to our favorite crack dealer, the churro man and his cart located just east of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. And man, those churros were so tasty! I missed you both- you too, Aunt Kelly, Dad and Mom. How about Disneyland for our next family reunion?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Catblogging, part three

This morning Nermal was munching on a custom blend of Whiskas from the packet, combined with a mushed-up chicken-flavored cat treat with incorporated thyroid-gland medication. 3 days ago when I tried to give Nerms the treat straight-up, she ate it and immediately puked twice- once on her mama's precious dining table and once on the floor, so you can see why I'm trying to mix it in with the wet food! Sadly, Nermal needs to eat more and yesterday while at the vet for Amelia's leukemia booster, I was told that apparently Amelia needs to eat less or maintain her weight, so I guess we'll experiment with wet and dry food for a while until we can get the right amount of food for each kitteh.
While this was happening, Amelia was laying claim to precious bed real estate. Anytime Sean or I wander into the bedroom, she follows us (or sometimes runs ahead of us) and jumps on the bed for loves. I love that!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Victory Garden

Here are a few pics I took of veggie box #1 last night. In addition to this veggie box, there are 2 tomato plants in a wine barrel, and
then ethere's another smaller veggie box a little closer to the house.
As you can see, we already have green strawberries on some of the plants, and on others, white flowers have begun to emerge. I planted three 6-packs of three different varietals, so we can see which I like best within the next month or so!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weekend Wrapup: First Camping Trip of the Season

This past weekend, Sean and I packed up the hoopty and off we went to Samuel P. taylor State Park for two nights of "roughin' it". And oh! how we rough it was!

After setting up the campsite, we headed into Olema for a schmancy dinner at the Olema Inn Restaurant. Super-scrumptious, many of their dishes' ingredients are entirely harvested in the Point Reyes area. We began with 8 oysters, of 4 different taste sensations. Next, we shared a pea shoot salad with sliced and roasted almonds, avocado, beets, and chevre in a light and tangy vinegarette. Sean had a tuna tartare dish as his main, which was intermixed with avocado and kumquat, and impressively molded into a disc shape, topped with wanton crunchies. I opted for the risotto- fresh green peas (I swear you would think they were dyed- they were so green!) and locally-foraged chanterelles. So good! Dessert brought Sean a berry-topped cheesecake and for me, panna cotta- the best I'd ever had- with a grapefruit/fennel/honey accoutrement that was pretty good but that Sean didn't particularly care for. 5 stars! Even more stars because the food quality and presentation were top-notch, but you don't have to dress up- this is my favorite combination. I hate dressing up for the privelage of paying $100 for dinner.
The picture above was taken on the hike we took on the Bear Valley trailhead. I think Sean was delirious from exhaustion!
We also met Heather and Michael last weekend. We got to tour Michael's familys' new house in Nicasio, and shared meals at the Station House Cafe and at Nick's Cove. . . a new restaurant for me and Sean. When I see the pictures Michael took of all of us with Boo, I'll be sure to post them to the blog.
In the meantime, Happy Trails to YOU!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday catblogging! (Sorry for the delay)

Friday was crazy-hectic with me being at an off-site meeting for most of the work day, and leaving work early to do some last-minute organizing (gasp!) for the camping trip. And so, with great anticipation. . . is Monday catblogging!

To the left is Amelia. . . with the fuzzy catnip pineapple in her mouth! Twice last night, she fetched the pineapple, carried it over to me and hopped on the couch, then dropped the pineapple before me. . . what a good girl! She even played "fetch" with Sean once- he threw it, and she retrieved it! Sadly, it was a one-time-only feat, but at least I captured a bit of it in the picture, as you can see the pineapple is in her clenches!

In the second photo, you can see that Nermal is not amused. We really need to get a few more pineapples going- both kittehs prefer the pineapple to the gay pride catnip raindow, and prefer the pineapple to any other toy, as a matter of fact.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday catblogging a'la Kevin Drum

So, every Friday my Mother Jones magazine email update shows up with a feature which I think provides a nice contrast to stories about environmental plundering, economic woes, and the US relationship with Iran. . . cats. MoJo reporter Kevin Drum has a feature called "Friday catblogging" which consists of a few pics of his cats, Inkblot and Domino, and a description of what they're doing, or what their mood is like.

I'd like to attempt to imitate (sincerest form of flattery, right?) Kevin's sucessful feature with my own, of Friday catblogging. Today's blog post features Ameilia, who we've now had for 6 whole days!

Well, you've probably never before experienced a cat who behaves this nicely at the vet's office. She was alert, responsive, quiet and patient throughout the visit, that is, once she was able to leave her cat carrier. She hates the cat carrier. After we'd waited for 20 minutes in the waiting room, I had to ask the receptionist when we were likely the to see the whites of the eyes of a vet, because she was literally doing somersaults inside the carrier. And she started to talk. When you can make an essentially mute cat talk, you're doing something wrong!
But, once inside the room and outside the cruel confines of the cat carrier, she was as polite and curious as a cat can be. I would call for her to jump on the exam table, and she'd do it. She liked it when the vet tech brushed her teeth with poultry-flavored toothpaste. She didn't mind when the vet felt all around her chest and stomach. She was a very good girl!
These pictures wer taken during the consultation time of the vet appointment, when I was discussing the pros and cons of a heartworm prevention medicine. As you can see, she helped herself onto the supply table, and then started licking her chops- damn! that chicken flavored toothpaste sure is delicious!
Happy Friday, from Ameilia and the entire Brown and Catanese animal menagerie.

Monday, April 6, 2009

There's a new kitty in my life

Introducing Ameilia!

Amelia is a 4 year old tabby/tortie mix (called a Torby at the Sacramento SPCA). We tried out 3 beautiful girls Sunday morning, and I picked Amelia as our new housemate! Right now, she's in the kitty sequestering room, but she will probably have her "coming out" to Nermal, family and friends this weekend. Amelia is friendly and a little playful, but also enjoys making biscuits on the red fleece blanket and curling up for a nap. A few days ago, our Dove parents who have been nesting in an alcove on the porch hatched their babies, and they've been of interest to Amelia, who can see them from the cat condo and windowsill.

Sean and I had discussed getting another cat for a few weeks, and had just not taken the plunge until this weekend. In my opinion, Nermal appears indifferent. . . and that, I think, is a very good sign. Nermal turns 15 years old this spring and while Sean and I sought to provide her with feline companionship for her Golden Years, we also want to make sure there's not too much adolescent energy around!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Videoblogging with nomads

So, last week when Chris and Cherie paid us a visit, they told us about a new project they will be working on as they travel around the U.S.- video "Tales from Technomadia". For this project, they will be videotaping short informational videos of locals who want to share their favorite sites, a little history, or whatever may be of interest to travelers. And Sean and I were the first interviewees!

Here's a link to their website.

Sean did a piece on the Spanish War Memorial in Capitol Park, followed by me talking about magnolia trees. Then, I talked a little about a cool urban forest hidden in downtown. Check it out! My lisp even came through on the audio!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fake boobs, fake nails, fake rock? only at REI.

I took Heather to REI, bceause she needs some hiking boots for the trips up to Nicasio. She tried on a few pairs and wouldn't you know it, REI had a fake rock you can climb, presumably to try out the tread. I like to think the grab bar was installed to make all parts of the store accessible to all users.

Friday, March 20, 2009

animals are good subjects for blogs

A little "new" news on the Brown-Catanese animule farm. Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Sean's friend Phil's beautiful feline named Stella. While at first she proved full of spitfire, over the course of 3 days she really warmed up to me. Sean, however, has the scars to prove he didn't get the privelage of ever calling her a friend during her brief stay with us.

In other news, starting a few weeks ago, a pretty grey dove took up residence in an alcove underneath the roof of the porch. The alcove seemed to be too small, though, because eventually she lost her nest and the eggs that were in in. Then, after a one week hiatus, she has returned and seems to be doing fine, with her nest in the same spot as before. She is one beautiful bird! This picture doesn't do her justice, I hope you can still pick her out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Success! Apology from iResQ and a full refund on the way

Hooray for persistence, the amazing webspace that brings together friends, family and strangers, and the eventual triumph of customer service. The general manager of iResQ called and left me a humbling apology and offered a full refund of the money I paid to get my iphone's screen replaced. He was couteous, humbled, and apologetic about my prior experiences with the customer service department at iResQ . . . he in no way endorsed the attempt of another iResQ employee to retract his offer of a partial refund unless I removed my "letter of complaint" from my blog. . . . I was assured he will continue to work with his customer service department so this deplorable situation won't happen again.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog postings, commented, or empathized with my outrage! I hope this experience has turned into a learning one for a company which has a lot to lose by failing to make their advertised service turnaround times, providing less-than-adequate customer service and sending veiled threats to blog authors.

BTW, I hope to receive my precious iphone via UPS today . . . . I cannot wait!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I hate IResQ

Update in iResQ:
After some excessive “fact-checking” on their part, iResQ removed the diagnostic fee and overnight shipping charges from the bill, but not the cost to actually repair my phone. I agreed, finally, because it was obvious that this was the closest thing to customer service they were willing to provide. However, even though I already expect piss-poor customer service from iResQ, today they’ve exceeded my expectations. Today iResQ threatened to “rescind the refunds” UNLESS I REMOVED MY BLOG POST.Short of libel, independent consumers have every right to express anger and dissatisfaction with businesses that fail their expectations. iResQ’s blatant attempt to stifle negative feedback is completely unacceptable.

Since I know iResQ is reading this, let me address them directly: iResQ - If you cannot provide the service turnaround times promised on your website and by your customer service representatives, stop advertising them! As an “authorized service provider”, you should be grateful if I stop short of filing a complaint with Apple directly. Consumers deserve to hear the good, bad, and ugly about potential service providers. I’ve given you partial credit for a partial refund. You have responded with threats. You’ve already lost me as a customer, and I will leave this thread up as a notice to my friends, family, and anyone else who would consider using your “service.”


Okay, so you all have seen my iphone post about the screen shattering, etc. iResQ has a guarantee that they will fix your broken iphone the day it arrives. Well, it had been over a week, I upgraded to overnight shipping, and it still hadn't arrived. Finally, I call customer service, the representative went to the back where they fix the phones, and IT STILL HASN'T BEEN FIXED! I am SOOO frustrated! And all this, when there has been zero communication from iResQ to me. No phone call, sayting it is taking them longer to fix it, and they'll get it to me ASAP. Nada.

My recommendation? Don;'t ever send your iphone to iResQ. ever. I hate iResQ.

below is a copy of my email "letter of compaint" that I sent to iResQ.

I recently called your customer service line to ask about the status of my iphone, which I mailed to your office on Tuesday, January 27th using overnight express mail via USPS. I was expecting the 24-hour turnaround that your website promised, and thought that at the latest, I could expect my phone on Friday, January 30th. It is now February 5th, and I still don’t have my phone back, even after I upgraded to overnight shipping. And, to top it off, I have received no further communication from anyone at iResQ letting me know that my phone repair has been delayed, and that the 24-hr turnaround time for servicing my phone could not be met.

I called your customer service line, and the representative went to check on my phone, and it still hasn’t been fixed, even after you’ve had it for over a week. While the customer service guy was as polite as could be, it does not remedy the situation where repair and delivery of my phone takes over a week longer than advertised, from a company who prides themselves on same-day service.

It is very frustrating to be without my phone for now, almost 2 weeks. I use it for personal calls, sms, work calendar and meeting planning, and business email. While I am seething and really want to complain to the Better Business Bureau, writing negative reviews to my blog site, etc., I would like to give you the opportunity to remedy the situation by not charging me for the cost to repair and return my phone to me via overnight shipping. I would like it very much if you could do this for me.

Please feel free to contact me about my request via email at

daytime phone at

Or at my husband’s cellphone after business hours at xxx-xxx-xxxx

Thank you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Steeler Win = No Laundry for a Week

Neither one of us were too jazzed about the teams participating in the "world championship" of football yesterday, but we made a freindly wager nevertheless. After a minute of throught, we decided to wager doing all of the laundry for the week (including the backlog) single-handedly, with all the laundry being cleaned, folded or hung, and put away by the weekend. I was partial to the Steelers because it was Arizona who defeated my beloved Philly Eagles 2 weeks prior. the Steelers win effectively exhonerated me from helping out with the laundry for the week. Go Steelers! That'll make a football fan out of anyone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

iphone ist kaputt. *sad face*

This is pretty much exactly what it looks like. . . it "hit the ground running" so to speak, on the sidewalk in front of the house. I have sent it along to iResQ in Olathe, Kansas for an emergency repair. I am hoping to see my pretty return sometime on Thursday. In the meantime, I can be reached on Sean's phone. All those who see this- take heed! Put that iphone case on your baby, right away!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Imelda Marcos lives on. . . .

for some, in their hearts. For me, in my closet. Can you believe I can fit all of my shoes in this space? I can hardly believe it myself. then again, I did put 10 or 11 pairs in the goodwill pile.

Props to Sean for installation and patience, and to John and Kelly Barry for the awesome new cordless drill.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Movie Review: Revolutionary Road


I saw Revolutionary Road last night at our indie art deco theater in land Park, after deciding to play hooky from massage class. I am impressed- what a thought-provoking movie with lots of enriching dialogue and great 1950's-era costumes!

The film is about the changing relationship of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, set in a 1950's suburb of NYC. Leo works in a souless job as a sales rep for a business machines company, and Kate is a stay-at-home mom. Neither seems to get that much satisfaction from their jobs, and this poses a sharp contrast to the scene when they first meet each other, and Kate is an aspiring actress, and Leo is floating his way through his young life. In this early scene, they were both vibrant and idealistic people.

There was a scene or two when my jaw dropped and I thought " . . . is he really saying that?" Lots of shock value throughout the film, and I liked how they downplayed the 2 kids to focus instead on the relationship between Kate and Leo. It cetainly morphed over time, that's about all I can say about that. Kate did an excellent job of portraying progressively increasing emotional indifference toward Leo as the film progressed.

One downside (or impact?) of the film was that I came home thinking I definately don't want to have kids anytime soon. . . . . . fine with me!

Heather recommended this film to me- I'm not sure if she saw it already and loved it too, or just really wanted to see it. Either way, I highly recommend it. In theaters everywhere on January 23rd.