Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Anyone want a lovely cat?

I can offer a choice of two. A friend of mine adopted Mabel a year ago. She recently adopted Casper, and it turns out that the two cats do NOT get along. So, one of them needs to be re-housed.
  • Cat #1, Mabel, is a seven-year-old black semi-oriental with short plush fur, likely a Birman. She is one of those happy, sturdy, friendly indoor/outdoor cats who likes laps and visiting all the neighbors. She can live with another cat, but needs to be the dominant cat.
  • Cat #2, Casper, is a four-year-old mackerel tabby male. He one of those handsome, rangy guys who twines around your legs. Not a lap cat, but would like to be scritched and petted for hours. Casper came from a home where they had just had a baby and moved to a tiny apartment (from a house). He didn't want to be an indoors-only cat, and the new parents didn't have time for him.
Both cats are healthy, have had all their shots and vet stuff, and have perfect manners: They eat anything, use a litter box, and don't scratch furniture or people.

Please let me know if you are interested. I'll deliver anywhere in the Puget Sound region.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zozobra: Fire power

The Wall Street Journal had a great article this weekend about the Santa Fe community's annual Zozobra event.

Artisans build a giant structure of wood and chicken wire known as Zozobra. Then citizens bring things symbolic of their troubles (legal papers, wedding dresses from failed marriages, photos of old lovers, letters and notes with their secrets — even hospital gowns) to a public "gloom tent." The evidence of all these woes is stuffed into the Zozobra.

On the night of the festival, dancers with torches set fire to the figure — a functioning marionette that writhes with agony — and everyone's worries symbolically go up in smoke.

And, to think, I was planning on selling my fire pit on Craig's List. No way!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


A dozen or so years ago a friend of mine was trying to get onto "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" According to today's Seattle Times, he's done it!

Tune in 6 p.m. today and Monday on KONG TV to see if Alan Carver wins the $1 million. Very cool.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Kitty, kitty. . .kitty?

I've been gone for a week, with neighbors and cat sitters coming in to feed the cats breakfast and dinner. This led me to wonder if the tabbies would forget about their annoying habit of waking me up at 5 a.m. for breakfast and an early outing.


When I feed the three cats, I still look out the back door to the foot of the stairs where Garibaldi, the tough orange tabby, used to wait for his handouts. He disappeared early in the summer, and I assumed he'd either fallen victim to a coyote or had been captured, neutered, and put up for adoption by a neighbor.

Last night, when I got in from the trip, there was a beautiful orange tabby waiting in Garibaldi's spot at the bottom of the stairs. This cat behaved exactly like Garibaldi, but was so much sleeker and cleaner I can't believe it was the same cat. He got his handout, gobbled it down, and vanished into the night.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


It's 11:30 p.m. in Phoenix, and we're halfway through the first North American Discworld Convention. We've found the one really good restaurant (Cafe Bao) plus the one cup of tea that isn't made with the horrible local water (thank you, Starbucks).

There was a football game at Arizona State today, and the streets are packed with celebrating students tonight, so the conventiongoers are staying in the safety of the hotel. There was an extraordinarily elaborate maskerade, a great game of Werewolves, a disco dance, and a party in the con suite to chose from -- way too much to do after a full day of panels. The highlight of today's events was the interview with Terry (another of his standing-room-only presentations). He closed by talking about his plans for dealing with Alzheimer's Disease (he was diagnosed with a rare, early onset, form of it).

"I won't die of Alzheimer's," he said. "I'll die and take the Alzheimer's with me."

There's no evidence of the disease in Terry's speech or appearance -- except that he moves a little hesitantly. He explained that he has some trouble with spacial perception.

Tomorrow the Scholarly Gentleman will be moderating the panel Publishing Terry with Terry, his agent, and his two U.S editors. Then we're both working on the auction.

I could write for hours about the extraordinary costumes people are wearing at the conference. There is one older man who dresses as the Bursar, and has the worried, delusionary character down so well that I was getting a tad worried. Many of the best costumes are simple, such as the couple who came robed as the Auditors. We found them in the lobby, frightening a fellow from the local film society who had come by to leave some posters at the conference.

I'd blog more, but the computer, disabled by the recent cat-pee incident, is a bit balky.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The turtle sweats

It's 8 p.m. in Phoenix and the North American Discworld Convention is about to get underway. This isn't just any convention; many of us signed up back in the spring of 2008 for the first New World convention to honor Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels (a body of work I like to describe as political satire in the guise of fantasy).

I just got back from a gathering of women in the Seamstress Guild. We were figuring out how to lace up the purple satin corsets we need to wear for the opening ceremonies tomorrow. It turns out there's a "quick lace" method that really makes a difference.

It's been in the 100's in Phoenix -- not just hot but searing. That really takes a toll.

The Scholarly Gentleman and I skipped dinner and went to the pre-conference mixer and Pub Quiz -- a real cut-throat event! Our team, the Overheated Trolls, placed third (our downfall was failure to correctly identify details from 30 Pratchett book covers).

Tomorrow I'm participating in the opening ceremonies, then running the Igorlympics, and finally working with the other Seamstresses to host the opening night party. Fortunately, those duties end around 9. I'm involved with a panel Saturday and will be a gofer at the auction Sunday, but otherwise just plan to enjoy the convention and go shopping at the steampunk booths in the dealers room.

And, no, I haven't seen Sir Terry yet. But there is a fellow who looks remarkably like him, a bit taller, whose nametag says simply "Not Him."