In Which I Attempt to Fix the Tiny Cat

So, yes, the tiny cat.  She’s in bad shape.  She’s pulled out all of the hair along both sides of her body and much of it on the top of her spine  (basically, on Thursday and Friday; it’d been thin, but she went to town on herself at the end of the week).  The skin where her hair used to be is a gross mess of red irritation and sloughing white blood cells.  And she itches.  So, the question becomes do I take her back to the vet yet again and have him yet again pronounce it an allergy and we yet again try to figure out what is different in her life in the winter than in the summer and try to eliminate it or rectify it only to fail miserably and have spring roll around and it go away and her hair grow back?  Or do we try to find something we can do to help?

Saturday, I spent all evening rubbing hand cream on her, to try to soothe her skin.  So, yes, it’s come to this.  If I invite you over to my house on a Saturday evening to lube up the pussy and see what happens, you should be aware that you have a fifty-fifty shot of getting stuck slicking up my gross, uncomfortable balding cat.

It was so disgusting, I can’t even tell you.  She looked like a mobile oil slick.  BUT, and I believe this is the important part, her skin was markedly improved on Sunday.  Much less red and she seemed to even want us to put more lotion on her.

And, in slicking her up, I noticed that what hair she does have left on her body is really dry.  So, now I’m wondering if she’s maybe, in the winter, for whatever reason, not producing enough skin oil naturally (maybe the dry food isn’t fatty enough and, since she’s not going out, it’s not getting supplemented with small rodents?) and so it’s causing her to itch, which causes her to over-lick, which causes her fur to come out, which irritates her skin, which itches, causing her to… I think you see where I’m going with this.

So, today we’re trying two things.  One, she’s getting some wet food, cheap, greasy 9 Lives, to see if the oil in that helps her coat, or what’s left of it.  She’s in there eating on it now.  And two, while she was eating, I rubbed some cortazone cream on her that claims to help releave itching and help skin irritation.  So, we’ll see how that goes.

In good news, her appetite is good and this is the most she’s ever cared to be pet, so that’s kind of a treat.

Government Workers Stimulate My Economy

So, I’m at the post office on Church Street and I go up to the counter and I ask for 40 postcard stamps.

“Oooo.  Fruit, that’s nice.”

“Yeah, and the coolest part is that, when you lick the back, they taste like the fruit they are.”


And then, a slight grin teases the corner of his mouth and he slowly and so beautifully winks at me.

I’m still giggling.

It’s Hard to Kill the Devil

Oh, y’all, I swear, I am still convinced that the TNGOP is better than any soap opera on television today.  I thought that the Williams thing had died down somewhat and we were left to see how it played out.  Would the reporters dispatched to Williams’s old stomping grounds find similar complaints from other women (you know where I’m putting my money)?  Would Robin Smith kick him out of the Party and, if so, would she use her tough-guy act to catapault herself into office?

All interesting questions, but lacking the panache one hopes for in a Tennessee political blow-up.  Where was that certain something that would make you throw back your head and laugh long and hard?

Well, my friends, here it is:

“Her exact words were, ‘Congratulations Speaker. It’s hard to kill the Devil but (in) two years you’re a dead man.’ That’s a pretty harsh statement.”

He said his “basic response was bring it on.”

Mrs. Smith said this afternoon that “that is an absolute lie” that she called Speaking Williams a devil. She said she was standing beside Rep. Mumpower’s desk and was looking at former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, not Rep. Williams, at the time she made the remarks.

“I just mouthed the words, ‘It’s hard to kill the Devil,” she said, noting she was “looking at Naifeh straight in the eye.”

She said Rep. Williams “continues to try to personalize this.”

In a subsequent e-mail to the Times Free Press, Mrs. Smith noted that as she stood beside Rep. Mumpower she also looked at Rep. Williams and said, “Good luck. You’ll need it.”

Rep. Naifeh recalled he was at the podium with Speaker Williams. He didn’t recall anyone calling him or Speaker Williams a “devil.” But Mr. Naifeh said he did recall a woman who “yelled” something like “we’re coming after you. Then he (Williams) said, ‘Come on.”

“Something like that. She wasn’t talking to me.”

I repeat, Robin Smith, the head of the TNGOP admits that she said “It’s hard to kill the Devil” to an elected official.  All that’s in dispute here is which elected official she said it to.  I ask you, in what world is this appropriate behavior for a person running a political party?  And how smooth is Naifeh being all “Oh, I heard some woman yelling, but she wasn’t talking to me.”?  Smith’s all making it out like there was some great showdown where she was staring in Naifeh’s eyes and mouthing words at him to scare him half to death and Naifeh’s all, “I didn’t notice any crazy yelling woman.”

And the Republicans’ defense seems to amount to “Hey, we call everyone the Devil and insinuate that we might, playfully, murder them, so Williams can’t be sure we meant him.  God, he takes everything so personally.”  And Smith calls him a liar!  Well, good lord, woman, when you’re giving someone the old crazy eye from across the room, and shouting out death-threats, it’s understandable how the man next to him might be confused about which one of them you’re addressing.  I don’t think that’s “lying.”  That’s just good old fashioned fear.

This Film is Not Yet Rated

So, last night we ended up watching “This Film is Not Yet Rated” which is kind of a boring documentary about a guy’s strange obsession with trying to find out who the people on the MPAA ratings board are, in which is hidden the hints of a very interesting feminist film.

The thing that stood out for me in the film the most was how explicit it is who the real busybodies in our culture are.  And when I say “busybodies” I mean, who are the people who believe that they have the right… no, more than that… that they have an obligation to impose their will on you.  And those three busybody groups–and the three most closely aligned with the MPAA ratings board are 1. Politicians, 2.  “Parents”*, and 3.  The Church.  Growing up in it, especially with a pastor/father who’s not that big into trying to dictate what the whole world is up to (at least not from any “And I’m a pastor, so I know” perspective), I’m often taken aback by the audacity of someone from a religion that is not mine (and, often from a denomination that is not yours) thinking that he needs to help the motion picture industry figure out what is appropriate for people to view.  If you have that urge, it sure must be nice to be able to find a job that will let you act on it in clear conscience.

But the other thing I found really interesting was that it actually went a little farther than I’ve seen most folks go in arguing that it’s easier to get an R rating or a PG-13 rating if your film is violent than it is if it’s sexual.  Because, in this movie, Kevin Smith points out that it seems to be much easier to get an R rating if your film shows violent sexual acts against women than if your film shows women taking part in pleasurable consensual sexual acts.  And then they show clip after clip of women being chased down and assaulted and them screaming and crying or laying there very still from movies all with R ratings juxtaposed against clip after clip of women having pleasurable sex in movies where the Board told the filmmakers to recut it to reduce the time of those scenes on-screen.

It’s really shocking to see it compiled like that.

And John Waters is in it and I love him.

But the best part was Maria Bello talking about them objecting to her pubic hair in The Cooler and I about died, it’s so great.  I mean, folks, every day, I wish I had the grace and poise and confidence in my own body that I could sit here and discuss with you, say, my pubic hair without it feeling, for me, transgressive.  To see her talking so matter-of-factly about her body like that was pretty damn awesome.

*And I put “parents” in quotes because a great many people in our culture are parents and most of them do not give a shit about what you’re doing right now, but a small, vocal group believes that they have the right–for the children–to dictate how your life is shaped.  I mean the second group.

My Pretty Baby

We didn’t watch the Grammys, so I only have one Grammy thought that doesn’t involve spending four hours discussing the asshole move of beating up your girlfriend–which is a whole heaping pile of bullshit in itself–the day before one of the most important events of her professional career, thus rendering her unable to participate.

Anyway, here it is.  I have always thought that “Bo Diddley” was the strangest, most wonderful song ever, ever, ever.  I’m not saying it’s my favorite song.  Just that when I hear it, I feel like I’m hearing something profound I’m not smart enough to make sense of.  Like someone in my room is playing “Mockingbird,” “he’s going to buy me a diamond ring, and if that diamond ring…” and someone from the other room starts singing “….don’t shine he’s going take it to a private eye” and you think it’s just some variation on the same song.  But somehow, even thought it’s Bo Diddley singing, he’s the subject of the song, the person who can use a black cat bone to sow such discord in the singer’s house that the singer loses his woman.  And that’s in the stanza that makes the most sense.

What about the middle one, when the beloved ends up with a Sunday coat made from a nanny goat and a hat made from or by a bear cat?

The whole thing holds together like some magic-infused dream.

And then, at the end, when he says “Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, have you heard?  My pretty baby said that she was a bird.”

It’s corny.  I am embarrassed to even type it like it’s something profound.  But it feels profound to me, like it’s some great mysterious truth and the way he sings it gives me such a case of the heebie jeebies that every time I hear it I get goosebumps, like I’m pressed up against something important and it’s moving against me to that beat.