Tag Archives: kitty stuff

I make my own opinions and you can, too.



Do you hate it when people go around telling you all of their opinions on everything from A to Z? Me, too. That’s why I pour many of my opinions into this blog – to save my colleagues, friends and family from days like today when I have an opinion on everything under the sun (***you, on the other hand, signed up for this blog; for your comfort, I put this warning upfront today). Maybe it is the caffeine buzz from two cups of strong coffee, maybe it is chatting and catching up with my brother, maybe it is barometric pressure changes – all I know is my mind alit on these articles from my inbox, facebook feed, and blogging community. Enjoy!

Uno (1). Taming Bad Financial Instincts. This is a post from “Daily Worth” – an email newsletter geared to professional women’s financial needs. Sometimes I am nowhere near the earning range of the newsletter topic, other times the advice is right on the spot. Today’s advice to automatically reroute money from a checking account to a less accessible savings account is spot on. I love this idea! Check out the hyperbolic-discounting explanation, too.

Due (2). Scott Colom: Advice for Chief McQueen. The eternal philosophical debate of how to reduce crime! A classmate of mine waxes philosophical about values in telling his story of recent burglary. He offers a lot of good suggestions for making safer communities, but I got stuck on his calculation of “better parents + better schools = safer community” – I think it ignores too many other factors. (I also think it is punny that Mr. Colom writes a column!!! har, har, har).

Tre (3). Feel Free to Ignore Iowa. Via my brother, Gail Collins yuks it up at the expense of the Iowa Caucuses. She is so right! For many years I have been wondering why so many people care what a bunch of Iowans thinks. Like Ms. Collins, I love Iowa and some Iowans, just don’t think they are the end-all-be-all of political bellwethers.

Quattro (4). Changing Time. Steve H. Hanke and Richard Conn Henry via the CATO Institute propose following Universal Time and adopting a new calendar with standardized quarters and an extra week every five to six years. It was fun and mind-bendy to imagine such a change, and I guess it would mean new and different ways of considering time. Yet, it feels like change for the sake of change, so I am not supporting the proposal (as if they asked).

Cinque (5). Funny Cats. Paul over at Paul’s Blog liked a post of mine so I wandered over to his blog and found a funny cat video that Dave actually showed me a few nights ago – How to Wrap A Cat for Christmas (third in his list of videos). It is hilarious and so worth a watch that I posted it below to make it super easy for you. Check out Paul’s post for other funnies.


Filed under 5-100

Movie Review: “Gates of Heaven” Errol Morris 1978


Personal Blurb-style Intro (aka “Why I picked up this book”):

Errol Morris made a huge impression on me when I watched “Fog of War” in the former theater at Midvale (Mall?) in Madison Wisconsin. The theater has since been torn down, but the memory lives on.

I have always been sensitive to animals. My mom grew up on a farm, so she was very sensible about animals, though perhaps more matter-of-fact that appealed to me. Though my allergies limited my pet access as I muddled through undergrad, traveled and domineered law school, I shortly thereafter indulged in pet ownership and have never looked back. Maki and Panther are a part of the family, and though I prefer cremation or another natural form of decomposition (as opposed to internment), they will be honored in death as they have been in life. I am grateful that I live in a time and society afforded such luxury.

When I met my husband, Dave, he loved Errol Morris and has been introducing me to his other work over time. The subject matter, a pet cemetery, intrigued me – more or less because I love my pets and because of my 80s fascination with Pet Semetary (remember the little boy, Gage?).  This movie is amazingly brilliant, with a simple and direct display of human understanding, emotion and complexity…ah, but now I’m slipping into review-mode. On we go!


*This is a pretty long review for the relative amount of content in the documentary. However, the bits I’ve included are just a small part of what makes this documentary amazing. For the best results, just rent it /buy it and watch it for yourself. If you still need further persuading, re what I’ve said below.

Errol Morris portrays opposing sides, a rendering company against a simple farmer animal-loving sensitive soul, Floyd “Mac” McClure.

But don’t be mistaken that Floyd is so animal friendly as to be vegetarian, or vegan. In one scene he bitterly describes how the fumes from the rendering company interfered in his dinner;

Then, we slowly watch the plans for McClure’s ideal pet cemetery disintegrate as the financial interests conflict with the sentimental ones. We also see the tensions arising between pet-owners in the community over the status of their pet graves.

One of the most interesting parts of watching this documentary is the way the characters bare their souls, largely without agenda. It is easy to see that even the businessmen are operating without an agenda, especially when the manager of the rendering plant admits they lie about rendering zoo animals. In this day and age of reality TV, it is refreshing to watch these characters. Don’t worry, there are still the eye-roll-inducing characters – like the sons of the California pet cemetery owners. Maybe it was less pathetic back then? Or maybe just less awareness of the way entitled children sound so pathetic? (btw, I actually adore the younger son, he is so earnest.)

Best Lines & Watch for’s:

Floyd “Mac” McClure:  North Dakota guy (with suspenders and red pen in his lapel, scales of justice visible behind him on his right side and the bronzed shoes behind him on the other side) “[That]…was the most beautiful piece of land, as far as I was concerned, in the whole valley. And boy, I knew what to do with it. Make it into a pet cemetary.”

Watch for: Guy with the Coors can and ashtray in front of him every time he’s featured in the documentary.

Rendering Industry Man: “Rendering is one of the oldest industries. It dates back to the time of the Egyptians.  They can trace it back this far. Rendering. In the bible, ya know, way back in the old testament, the guy cut off the sheep skin, right? And put it over’im. Put the lamb fat on’im ta keep ‘im warm. It could be the oldest industry in the world. It could be. It’s possible.” [Jill says: keep an ear out for this guy, all of his words are gems. Probably because of his sunglasses on his desk, his matter-of-fact demeanor, and the amused look on his face. Genius play, Mr. Morris.]

“I want my mama!” (Woman holding dog on lap, singing to prompt dog’s response).

“And the next day you go out, take flowers,  maybe meditate a little bit, think of how often, maybe, you cried into her fur. ” (Woman in green and white, with poodle portrait displayed behind her).

Watch for: Artistic depiction of putting one’s heart over the dollars in a project.

Floyd: “I was not only broke, but broken-hearted.”

Woman in pink apron over blue/brown print housedress: “But you know he (her son) should help me more, he’s all I got. He’s the one who brought me up here. And then put me here by myself among strangers. It’s terrible when you stop ‘n think about it.” [Watch this entire segment! Amazing.]

Successful pet cemetery owner, (Bubbling Well Church of Universal Love, Inc. 1977), in straw hat and blue button-up shirt: ” “I would say that the pill is largely more responsible for the pet explosion than any other factor…It’s very simple…today the husband and wife both work…when the young mother comes home, she has to have something to fondle, something to mother, something to love.”

Watch for: The “R2A2” formula and it’s red-phone poolside inventor.

There are so many other rich characters and moments that I have to pause now and recommend that, if you are hooked by now, you should just go ahead and rent the movie.

Wait! The Eagle trophy guy just said “People never really get negative and they never really get positive.” GEMS, people! I tell you, gems.

Watch for: Prickly pear cacti behind the yellow-shirted and orange-tank topped couple – just like in Sicily!

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077598/

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Filed under Movie Review

Enter Panther


  1. After our 5am wake-up call, I got to return to bed from 7:30-9:30am. Something about this rest was reminiscent of home, of Shell Lake, and of Wisconsin, all in one semi-sleepy-but-not-dreamy moment.
  2. Got a great relaxing run in today.
  3. Confronted some mild fears about having too much unscheduled time ahead of me (and scheduled some stuff for the coming days).
  4. Attacked my blogging to-do list.
  5. Loved and cherished my kitties. Our kitties. Yes, our kitties.

Maki “Macchiato” W was a feral kitten abandoned in our Bremerton shed. As we tended him, we fell in love. My understanding and compassionate husband deferred to me the decision of keeping our castaway, for I am allergic to cats. Maki’s tiny mews and ferocious spirit endeared him beyond daily allergy pills, chronic-tho-mild wheezing, and the cat-fur-everywhere effect. Maki soon needed a companion; enter Panther. Panther hails from Tacoma; he was a purrrr-ful shelter kitty from IBKC, who was warmly adopted into our Seattle home. His feisty spirit and agility quickly addressed any bug concerns, and merely raised rooster-imitation concerns.


Maki greets me with the morning sun at his back, and uh, yea, that’s Panther at his side.

Panther is so precious.

It is easy to forgive the early morning rooster cries of such a cute kitty.

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Filed under 5-100, Kitties

“Running just as fast as we can…”**


  1. Got a date for our housing inspection! September 15th.
  2. Used the bidet. They are everywhere, I decided it was time to get with the program.
  3. Found out that, as a devoted pet-owner (they are family), I am in good company in Italy. About 9 million Italian families brought their pets on vacation in August (Ferragosto); estimated to be almost one-third of vacationing families. And guess what! 1 million of those pets were cats. I still prefer to get a cat-sitter, but I do miss the guys when we’re away.
  4. Worked out some more details with friends who are visiting in October, and settled on some Skype times with friends and family for calls on Thursday and Friday.
  5. Spent time exploring blogs, brainstorming about this blog, and drafting potential changes. Your input and suggestions are always welcome!

Not much excites me the way planning a running schedule does. This morning, when I obtained the “Base-2-Base” Race Series calendar from the gym, I was ecstatic! (Yes, enough so to warrant the exclamation point). Here are the races you can look forward to hearing about:

September 9: POW MIA 9/11 Remembrance Run 5k (3.1 miles)

October 15:  Walk the pink out of it Run 2 miles

November 19:  Turkey Trot Run 5k

December 10:  Jingle Bell Jog 5 miles

January 7:  Resolution Run 6 miles

February 11: Stupid Cupid Run 5k

March 17: Base-2-Base 10k

I love to run!

A photo from the archives. Running rocks.

I ran the last 10 miles of the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon with a great friend in June 2011. She dominated the full marathon. We had a great celebration, like always.

**Extra points to anyone who picked up on the blogpost lyrical title and is currently singing: “…Holdin’ onto one another’s hand/Tryin’ to get away into the night/And then you put your arms around me/And we tumble to the ground/And then you say/I think we’re alone now…” Which version is your favorite? Tommy James and the Shondells? Or the 80s classic Tiffany version?


Filed under 5-100, Running

Chicchirichi! (“kee-kee-REE-kee”) Or, cock-a-doodle-doo!


  1. Went to the Fish Market in Catania (see photos below).
  2. Bought bags of fresh produce:  tomatoes, figs, nectarines, limoni (no distinction between lemon or lime here), onions, basil, oil-cured olives, mortadella (a meat similar to bologna, but a bit more refined and with delicate flavor, our purchase was studded with pistacchio), ricotta salata.
  3. Ate my first fresh fico (fig) in Italia.
  4. G-chatted with my cousin Maddie, who is living in Prague.
  5. Watched “Il Postino” (great movie; slow and beautiful development).

“Chicchirichi!” says the rooster. “Miao,” says the cat. It is fun learning the animal sounds in Italian, even by necessity. We have a rooster. A block away from our hotel lives a rooster who crows every morning. And now, we have a kitten rooster – Panther. Yes, every morning, around 4:30am, Panther wakens us (and anyone else with ears) with his imitation rooster call. We’ve tried ignoring it (sorry neighbors) to no avail. Today is Italian Kitten Academy, Day 1; topic: “Il Miao.” We’ll cover the “hungry” miao, the “thirsty” miao, and the “ball play, please” miao. No more rooster crows!


And now, for some Fish Market pics…

Yes, that is a swordfish. She’s welcoming you to the market!


See that man in the black t-shirt? See the red guts he is swinging away from the swordfish? Yep, those were the innards.


Here’s something a little more appetizing, a smorgasbord of seafood – yummy!


Scooters, and sea urchins.


And, to finish things off, a lovely selection of shellfish.


I like the motion in this picture, it gives me a slightly woozy, disoriented feeling when I look at it. And, that’s sorta how I felt after walking through the market.


Ciao, bella!


Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo., Kitties

Ridiculously Adorable Kittens.

Happy Birthday IBKC!

For those of you wondering, IBKC is the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. The blogmistress Laurie is the woman who fostered Panther (and 126 other kittens in the past 4 years). She lovingly opens her home to kittens in need, and then she does all the work of finding them good homes. The past few years, she has even offered her blog as a major fundraiser for the local Humane Society. And she is a wonderful artist, check out her blog for more details including the chance to purchase Sparkle Balls for your kitty.

To celebrate her blog’s birthday, she compiled a list of her 50 favorite kitty pics.  Panther is in there, see if you can spot him!

“Peter” Panther, as he looked on adoption day.


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Filed under Kitties