This Message is Jezebel-Approved, Good News, and So Forth

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Jezebel likes it. Whatever it is.

I love black cats, and I especially appreciate Jezebel.  I acquired Miss Jezebel in October of 2012- she was live trapped on the body shop lot when the owner of the shop requested we trap some feral cats for him to transport up to his horse barn.  I told Jerry that the shop owner could have any cats we trapped, but if one happened to be a young, black female kitten that I wanted it.  We trapped several cats- some grey kittens, a couple of adult calicos and so forth, but one night we ended up with the Perfect Cat.  Young (about 7 weeks,)  all black, and female.  The only problem with Jezebel at that time was that she was feral, and fiercely so.

I warned Jerry to handle her with welding gloves…at least until we could get her through a socialization process.  He learned the hard way that kitten baby teeth can still penetrate (and latch on to) the webbing between one’s forefinger and thumb, and that something that weighs less than a pound can inflict a shit ton of damage under the right circumstance.

There is a process for taming feral kittens which is generally effective (this site outlines it well under “Taming Feral Kittens” ) and it took about 2 weeks with Jezebel.  Now it would be hard to tell that she was ever feral as well as she gets along with people, other cats, and dogs.  This is probably only because we got to her very young.   She’s probably the most laid back cat I’ve had with the exception of Miz Izz, may she rest in peace.  Isabel was also a tamed feral, but Isabel was even younger than Jezebel was when we got her.    Older cats usually don’t do too well.

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Jezebel is 2 years old and all of 5#.  Almost exactly the same size Isabel was.

Miss Jezebel is not my only cat.  I also have Fanny, who is 17# of big, fat cat.  Fanny was bigger than Jezebel is now by the time Fanny was four months old. It’s strange how the variations work, but Fanny was of what I would call rural barn cat stock, while Isabel and Jezebel were city ferals.  Even the male city ferals around us are nowhere near as large as Fanny.  Perhaps small size has its advantages in the city.

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Fanny only looks small in the first pic.  In the second, the freezer gives one a sense of scale.

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This is F.B. (Fluffy-Butt) who generally won’t allow pictures.  She’s a sweet cat, but very reclusive.

F.B. is our only normal sized cat.  We inherited her several years ago when we got Heidi, but we really don’t know much about her other than she was spayed and that she was a few years younger than Heidi.  If I had to guess her current age she’s somewhere between 11 and 13.  The first six months or so that we had her she pretty much lived under the basement stairs, but now she is social with the other cats and the dogs.

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It’s baaa-ck!

My awesome ride has finally been returned to me, thankfully with a flawless paint match and with everything lined up as it should be.  There was a smattering of body dust on the inside of the decklid from where it had been repaired, but other than that no real reason to split hairs.  I’d almost forgotten how much better the stereo is in the Corolla vs. the truck.  Now I just have to get used to the shift pattern again (traditional Toyota 5 speed vs. the sort-of-screwy VW shift pattern that Toyota uses on the 6 speeds)  and the brakes.  I almost put myself through the windshield a couple of times this morning.  The brakes are a lot more touchy.

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Steel Panther- yeah!

Speaking of reasons to crank up the stereo.  I know they’re vulgar, sophomoric, puerile and vile, but I recently discovered an ’80’s hair band knockoff called Steel Panther.  This stuff is positively hilarious.  The video for  “Community Property” . is pretty good as well as is the one  for “Pussywhipped” although I would caution not to watch that one if you are offended by depictions of ball sacks.   I also enjoy the inspirational, “Just Like Tiger Woods.”

It’s a pretty good day.  Especially for being in February.

Side Effects May Include “Death,” But At Least I’m Enjoying the Ride

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I have to wonder at all these TV ads for various prescription meds.   There are a lot of them- especially the ones for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis- that actually say in their disclaimers that using that drug can lead to death.  I think I’d rather deal with  joint pain and skin rash.  The last time I checked, stiff and inflamed joints and/or unsightly skin are just a tad bit less severe than death.  Of course you have to weigh the risks vs. benefits when you decide whether or not to take a certain medication, but I try to steer clear of the ones where “death” is listed as a possible side effect.  I’m not a fan of “occasional bleeding from the eye sockets” or “prolonged anal itching” either.

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I know that the trial lawyers are always trolling about to strike it big on the pharmaceutical companies because someone dies (or is somehow maimed)  from a side effect of a drug.  There’s always a commercial on telling people they can get compensation if their son’s ADHD meds gave him titties, or if the pelvic mesh or the artificial hip gives out, or if that pesky vision loss brought on by gratuitous use of ED meds just won’t go away.

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Speaking of rides, I am enjoying mine immensely.  I am quite impressed with the Corolla so far.  Usually I know pretty well what I will and won’t like from the build sheet and tech specs.

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This car doesn’t really scream “mom sedan” like the older Corollas.  I had a 1998 (that was the last Corolla I had) that I really liked- but it was a bit on the frumpy side.  That’s why I just had to have the 2000 Celica when it came out.  I did take a moment to drool over the Scion FRS while I was at the dealer, but I need a four door, and I really don’t want to attract the attention of law enforcement.  This Corolla is about the same size as the older Camrys and is quite a bit larger than the Yaris, but it still doesn’t feel like a land yacht.  The steering and suspension are a lot more responsive than the Yaris (not a surprise there) and it doesn’t get blown around in the wind like the Yaris did.

The freaky thing about this car is the electronics.  It has navigation and Bluetooth and all the toys (which I am still learning) and those things are pretty fun.

Of course I am weird in how I buy cars.  I know pretty much exactly what I want before I even contact a dealer, and I know pretty much what I’m willing to pay.  I know the tech specs – all that stuff about suspensions, transaxles, engine displacement, torque, horsepower, etc. – and features better than most salespeople, although the navigation and smartkey options are new to me.

I’ve always appreciated the four cylinder sports car- along the lines of the ’83 VW GTI  or the 2000 Celica, both of which I can still smack myself for trading off- but in practical application I’ve had more four cylinder econoboxes and mom sedans.

I think I’ve found an interesting compromise here.

A Clockwork Heart, Burned Out, and Possibly Quite Nuts

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I’ve always admired the art of clockwork.

I was a holdout on analog watches (watches with actual moving pieces inside them- and imagine it- hands!) for a long time.  I wore an old windy-type analog watch (and that old Timex from 1970-whatever still works) for many years even when digital watches were easy to get.  I still have a nice Fossil analog watch I wear on occasion, although it has a quartz battery movement which has fewer moving pieces and is more accurate than traditional clockwork, and doesn’t need winding.

There’s something to be said for the representation of time as movement, because time does move.  A metronome moves (at least the traditional ones do) back and forth keeping time as it moves, and as the rhythm of music moves it keeps time.  There’s something about that tick-tick-tick of a conventional metronome that is comforting and maddening at the same time.

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Even with my bad coordination I could play music.  As a bass player – and this has been a very long time ago- it was infinitely important to feel the rhythm and play along with the drummer.  Drummers are generally sort of weird people- but perhaps that’s because they are in tune with natural rhythm more than most.  I don’t claim to understand it, but regardless of the instrument, the rhythm has to be there first, a skeleton to clothe with the melodies and harmonies and chords.

Although I did enjoy playing bass, it got to be too painful for my hands and wrists and shoulders with the joint damage I have.  I am a singer- the voice is still there- though I don’t use it much anymore.  I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter if a woman has a good voice if she doesn’t have the body or the stage presence to go along with it.  I might enjoy singing, but there’s no way in hell I could ever make a living doing it.  There’s no visual to go along with the auditory.  I gave up on that a long time ago too.  I can sing in church.  That’s good enough, and it keeps me out of trouble.

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Dudes do metal better than chicks anyway.

The coolness of Metallica aside, right now I’m fried.  Fried in so very many ways that I can’t see daylight.

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I don’t like admitting weakness, but it’s harder and harder to keep up that “iron guts” faςade these days.

I’ve been reading a book (The Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins) that gives some commentary and encourages one to memorize a Bible verse per week in each of its 52 chapters.  This week’s verse is John 11:35, which is the shortest verse in the Bible-  “Jesus wept.”

There are times that for the love of God I wish I could weep.  Sometimes I think the reason why I find it so incredibly difficult to cry is that I’m afraid once I get started that the tears won’t stop.  I may be an emotional desert, but when it does rain it pours.  Worse yet for me, the tears come largely unbidden, without any kind of reason, and  are virtually impossible to control.

As if control were everything?  As if I have control over anything?

It’s curious that in my own personal economy, showing emotion=weakness.  I don’t like to be seen as fragile, human or vulnerable even though I know good and damned well I am all of the above.

Maybe that’s why I’d rather sing.  It’s sort of a stealthy way of showing emotion, after all- unless I’m singing something that for some reason sets off the tears- and that happens too.

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Oh, and my new ride just came in.  2014 Corolla S Plus.  Black metallic, black interior…

I wasn’t going to do it.  Until I discovered just how feasible it is.  It helps not having a credit rating that’s in the toilet. I’m going tonight to drive it and hopefully get paperwork, etc. done.  There’s nothing wrong with my Yaris (and getting a new car wasn’t entirely my idea) but having pretty much the same drivetrain I had in my Celica (which was a 1.8L 5 speed manual) in a sedan is going to be fun.  Especially because this is a VVTi 1.8L 6 speed manual, which to the non-techie means I gain about 40 HP over what I have in the Yaris (Cliff’s notes- more power!).  With every possible toy known to man, except for the automatic, which I absolutely don’t want anyway.  From what I see on the build sheet this car was custom built for the 13%.

* 13% of American drivers prefer manual transmissions, which means we generally don’t get many options when compared with the 87% who for some whacked out reason don’t like to shift when they drive.

I’m only going to live once, and it’s not like it’s a Porsche.  It’s a Corolla…as in mom sedan, but with a bit of a twist.  If I’d really wanted to go over the edge I’d have gone for the Scion FR-S.  But I need the 4 doors, have a hard time seeing out of something that sits that low to the ground, and I don’t want to be cop bait.

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Tempting, but not very practical.

More on the new ride later- the Corolla- after I get to drive it.