Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kitchen Stuff Plus minus TV

What to do on a lovely Wednesday off with $100 Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket (Well, the Dude's pocket anyway)? Buy kitchen stuff! I'm proud of him, actually. There was a time not long ago he would have been likely to blow the money on nonsense. He's a fan of the nonsense, that one. It's part of his charm. But collectible kitsch, despite its fun qualities, doesn't really get us anywhere.

So putting the desire for nonsense aside, we went to Kitchen Stuff Plus and purchased necessary and helpful items to make our lives a little more adult: A wooden cutting board, new skillet, garlic press, pepper grinder and potato masher. Earlier this year I picked up a glass measuring cup, metal mixing bowls, glass tupperware and wine glasses. It's all coming together. Seriously, these sorts of things bring me joy as living haphazardly like a student got old the day after I graduated over six years ago.

And we've been entertaining more often, more in the past three months than we have the past two years. I think it's the paint job, the wine glasses, and the general cozy atmosphere. It's the sort of place that you want people to come over to.

And now I'm torn. I need to save money for a couple trips I'm planning for in 2010, both to weddings which require plane tickets and accommodations. I intend to make them both. But I also kind of want to buy new furniture...

The Dude wants a new TV. I think since the current tube TV works, we need to focus on other things. I'm the sort of person who will usually only replace an electronic item once it stops working, no matter how old it gets. I was given a phone when I was 13 back in 1995 and it finally quit on me in 2007. Unfortunately I discovered this when I was expecting a friend over and when she buzzed for me the phone didn't ring and she went home. I didn't need any more signs after that to replace it.

But as for the TV business, I think we've dissolved into clichedom. Someone brings up their TV or the Dude sees someone's flat screen and finds out it was less than $900 and it goes from there. I'm the girlfriend who doesn't want to waste the money on electronics and he's the boyfriend who wants to watch the Leafs in high definition. One of these days I'm going to come home and my TV will be missing and the Dude will be on the couch yelling at a hockey game on a wide screen with a sheepish face and no regrets.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pride, prejudice and sleeping in.

It's two days before New Year's Eve and I've spent the last couple days doing absolutely nothing. This morning I slept in yet again, made tea and started re-rereading Pride and Prejudice. Actually, I started it last night in an attempt to lull my mind into sleepiness through reading complex classical English. No dice.

I love days like this, though, where there is nothing to do, nothing expected of me. Terrible thought: I have only a week until I'm back to work. Happy thought: I have a whole week of pleasant nothingness until I'm back to work.

When I was a teenager, I slept in rather epically too. Only then I had a mother who shamed me for wasting my life away in bed, and I had homework looming. Or if it was summer vacation, I had a job, babysitting, and softball to ensure I didn't throw my time away in front of the TV or sleeping.

Now I have no such restraints. I also get very little done. And I don't really care. I know I'm supposed to care. And yet I don't. Hell, even my dance school is on vacation, so I don't even have my weekly class. In many ways, my life for this past short while has resembled Smokey's. And doesn't everyone always say they want the life of a house cat? He's at my feet right now, lounging and no doubt weighing his options, all of them involving his comfort and leisure.

Today, yesterday and for a short time in the future, I am/ will be a zen house cat. Hear me meow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Christmas

Christmas was good times. And probably it was one of the better Christmases I've had since I was in my teens. There was minimal running around, good food, and McPal and his boyfriend came over for an impromptu dinner, which was unexpected and awesome. They had no plans and we had lots of extra stew. I love when things like that happen.

My first time not being in my hometown for the holidays and doing things my own way has been a success. And Avatar was pretty damn awesome. Seeing a movie was great; a lot better than hanging around waiting for company and turkey, not that I didn't miss my family. Just... it was nice having my own loose schedule to follow.

Who knows what next year will be like. Hopefully I'll still have my Smokey. The two-year lease states we need to be in this apartment. The Dude and I have plans to be together for the long haul. But a long time ago I realized that no matter what predictions I made for the future, even just a year away, there's always some X factor that changes everything. Since I was 18 I've written down a chronological list of things that have happened that year. There's always something punchy in that list I didn't see coming.

It's past 2:00 a.m. now. In celebration for the holidays (I'm off until January 4th) I spent the entire day playing my new Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Wii game. I won't shock anyone by stating the actual amount of hours I plugged into this venture.

The Dude is in bed. I should go join him.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve to all

T'was the day before Christmas and my brother draws near
I'll pick him up at the station, and then bring him here.
I made him a stocking but it's not up with care
I'll lay it out while he sleeps and when he wakes it'll be there.
That's how mom used to do it when we were small
so I'll sneak in quietly and hope I won't fall.
He'll sleep on the couch, and us in our bed
And visions of rum and eggnog will dance in our heads.
We'll open our presents after we've awaken
And then we'll all eat some good Christmas bacon.
We'll probably need coffee to be in good form
though when we were kids, 4:00 a.m. was the norm
Since things are quiet and so very low-key
With no running around to do, we'll go see a movie.
Avatar's out and with a glowing review
And once we're back home, we're eating beef stew.
We'll start cooking it tonight in the trusty crock pot
And half a day later it'll be juicy and hot.
We'll all cuddle Smokey and have a hot drink
and then toast to Jerry who was gone in a blink.
It'll be cozy and peaceful, quiet and light
Merry Christmas to all, and have a good night

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From Scratch

Day after the winter solstice and while it seems like every northern region in the Western hemisphere got dumped on (we're talking snow here), Toronto was left more or less alone. Since I barely have to leave the house if I don't want to, a part of me is bummed out about the lack of snow for Christmas. But I guess there's still time. And if not, I suppose it's nicer for drivers and cyclists to not have to deal with snowfalls that come up to your knees.

The Dude brought home the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and we have our little presents all around it. It's a quirky yet quaint little scene.

I was thinking about my mother's decorations. She had accumulated a number of them over the years, which is what people do. They're not the sort of things a reasonable person buys all in bulk one year. They each tend to have their own stories or sentimental value or special place in the collection of Xmas goodies.

After she died I know those things got packed away. But I've never seen them since. Boxes have a way of getting lost or misplaced when you keep moving around. Things go missing. It's a crying shame. Unfortunately, my personal collection of unique tree ornaments numbering about 20 or so were also in that box. My December birthday led a lot of people, particularly one aunt, to gift me with Christmas tree ornaments, very pretty ones.

And they're gone so I have to start from scratch. My Christmas item list now totals a candle from one of my aunts and now this Charlie Brown tree. I have a long way to go. I think I must be at that age anyway where you start to rubble up your own homey things like that.

To change the subject abruptly, I'm getting used to Jerry's absence. Still having Smokey around is a huge part of that. It would be too hard to have an empty house, and it would feel empty without my both cats. I've been thinking about the good memories I have of Jerry. And I have a lot. I also made videos of him that I've been watching.

Smokey still meows for his brother and looks for him, but less and less each passing day. It seems when he really misses him and is getting the picture he's not coming back, he comes to the Dude and I for hugs. We are happy to oblige him.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A brother for Christmas

I did all my Christmas shopping in one quick burst of productivity. I found out my brother was coming up for sure, so I set out to get some things for him to open under the tree. And we are getting a tree, this tree:

The Dude is out buying it now, supposing there are any left. I imagine this pathetic little number will be popular with the likes of other fellow 20-somethings-sans-children.

But getting back to my brother, while I'm really looking forward to a quiet Christmas with the Dude, having my brother here will add that family cozy element to the holiday. Also I can't help but feel a little maternal towards him and that makes me want to try harder to have a nice Christmas for him.

He really wanted to make it here before Jerry passed. Jerry was his cat. He named him Jeremy when he was 8 years old, I'm pretty sure after a kid in my class who was a bit of a troublemaker. He did this to bother me, I think, because having a cat named for someone in your class is awkward and my brother specialized in driving me crazy. I started calling Jeremy "Jerry" for short to make it less obnoxious. Luckily it stuck. I don't know how many cats have nicknames, but that cat did. Eventually we stopped referring to the cats as Smokey and Jeremy entirely.

My brother and his friends gave him other nicknames, like Jeremiah King of the Gypsies. The Dude's brother called him Little Jerry Seinfeld. I called him Geriatric Jerry. When the spirit moved me, he also went by Jerome and Gerald. He was born to be nicknamed, that cat.

But although my brother missed Jerry, Smokey could use the visit from him. He's been lonely and sucky, poor little guy. I decided to get Jerry's ashes returned to me, which I'm hoping to give my brother when he's here, thinking maybe he'd like to sprinkle them somewhere meaningful as a way to say goodbye.

It's an interesting season this year. There's been hard choices, loss, and a new feeling of adult responsibility. And now making my own Christmas rather than only participating. It's an unexpected little milestone to cross. Surprisingly and pleasantly so, I feel positive about it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Small favours

Something that breaks my heart is giving Smokey a treat and having him run to me, only to stop and look over his shoulder for Jerry, not once but twice. They used to run together. In fact they used to race.

When I was a kid, and a teenager for that matter, my brother and I did a race too. On Christmas eve we would do our pyjama race. First one back downstairs got to open their Christmas Eve present first. It became very competitive.

It started before I turned 10 and my brother and I petitioned our mom to let us open one present before bed. She agreed so long as we were ready for bed first. And we had to both be ready. This was the beginnings of the Christmas Eve Pyjama Race ©.

Rules developed. First person back got not only prestige, but the right to open their present first. Mom's role eventually became that of the referee. Boxers worn under pants did not count as pyjama bottoms. Carrying your pyjama top down the stairs was foul. As there was one race per year, we were in it to win it.

I miss those days. I miss being a kid. Being an adult can be great too, but you never grow up without losing things that matter to you. And you never stop losing what matters. I miss Jerry. But I have peace about losing him. It was his time. I just have the nurse the Jerry-shaped hole he's left in my heart and take care of Smokey, because he's grieving too.

Thinking about how much it hurt to lose Jerry, I realize how lucky I was to have such a great cat, and that I still have another great cat going on 17 years. They witnessed those pyjama races. I didn't just watch them grow up, they watched me too. My life is never without those kinds of small blessings. And like my aunt says, thank God for small favours.

Friday, December 18, 2009

He's Gone

He turned to face me. He didn't fight it. We looked each other in the eyes. I stroked his face and told him he was a good boy and that it'll be okay. And then he went.

Five hours

Jerry is cuddling beside me. I'll leave here at 5:00 to go to the vet to end his pain. I can barely stand it. I can't imagine a life without him in it. I haven't had a life without him in it since I was 10.

I love his old demanding meow that sounds more like he's saying, "Now!" I love his little ears and wee bald patches in front of them. I love the way he always comes when he's called. I love his attentiveness to strangers and how he doesn't make shy or snooty with anybody. I love the way he is always angling to be under the covers. I love how he was in charge even though he was the smaller pet. I love how easy it's been to make him happy.

He's made me happy. He's made Smokey and the Dude and my brother happy. I've been getting emails and calls from friends and family letting me know they're thinking of us.

Even though Jerry will not be here for Christmas, we're staying. I don't feel festive and I don't feel like travelling or leaving Smokey behind alone.

I have five hours left with my pet. My heart hurts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New plan...

Change of plans.

I took some time to reflect during a bath. Jerry was at the edge of the tub, looking miserable and staring into the wall. He looked at me, head low, eyes sad and tired. After I got out I tried to feed him again with the syringe and he wasn't really interested. And it hit me that after a biopsy in his mouth, if he doesn't want to eat now or can't, then he's really going to suffer tomorrow.

I can't do that to him, not for my own peace of mind.

I sobbed and held my cat. And then I called the vet, cancelled tomorrow's appointment and asked for one on Friday to end Jerry's pain. The Dude was beside me, crying and supporting my choice. I felt helpless and sick.

I hung up. And then Jerry jumped up from the foot of the couch with more ease than I've seen in days. He walked over to me, and sat in my lap and gazed at me. I stroked his face and it was the moment I had been waiting for. He didn't look pained or sad. I felt like he was letting me off the hook. He then walked down to my legs, curled up in a ball and fell into the most peaceful sleep I've seen him had in days. He even started to purr.

I don't know how cats know what they know. I don't know what they understand. But Jerry, I'm sure of it, knows I love him and that I'm going to do what I need to do to end his suffering. I feel a growing sense of acceptance about this, though the actual pain remains. We'll have our last day with him tomorrow, the Dude will come with me Friday, and then Jerry and I will go through this together.

Another part of my day

Jerry's biopsy is tomorrow. Today I resorted to feeding him his cat food with a syringe. I watched him eat this morning and it took a long time to eat little. I had no idea how fast this whole thing would take over his mouth. His breath is foul. He's drooling all the time and I'm always wiping his mouth. He just looks for cuddles now and anytime I come out with a syringe, he scampers after me, knowing it's something he wants and I'm going to give it to him.

I just need to bloody know what his results are. What is this thing? Living in limbo with this is too hard. I hate everything about it. I just want my cat out of pain at this point and I need to know the correct action to take. I can't end his life until I know I must. I just can't, even though I know at this point many people wouldn't blame me. But I'd blame myself and I'd never get over it without having tried everything.

My days have become long and tedious. My sleep is poor, I smell Jerry's foul breath everywhere. I brush the crusty bits of his fur where he's attempted to groom. I push water into his mouth every few hours. I give him his codeine and Smokey his insulin (which thankfully are timed together). I feed Jerry and fret over his strong appetite and inability to eat all that he wants. I do my job at my computer. I get housework done during my breaks. I realize I've skipped meals. Leaving the house makes me worry and gives me relief.

Jerry is curled up on my outstretched legs. Occasionally I hear an unpleasant gurgling noise.

Another part of my day is periodically crying. I just need this to be over.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Avoiding the bus is good

I crafted, I crafted! I'm pleased with my little card creations. I didn't make them terribly elaborate, but I did make them myself and I did my best to make as many as I could in one evening. I was aiming for 20 and I made 14.

Here are a few:
Most aren't as elaborate as the candy cane or stocking, but I'm pleased enough with them to send them out without worrying that the recipients will wonder, "What the hell is this shit?"

I also have to mail out a clock. In my infinite wisdom, for my aunt in Vancouver I bought this one-of-a-kind craft clock and that requires special packing to avoid damaging the hands and is also fragile. I've also now waited until 11 days before Christmas and counting, so I'll have to pay for faster delivery. Her gift to me arrived days and days ago. She's obviously more organized.

Christmas plans are taking shape. The Dude and I are most likely staying here to be with Jerry, my brother may come up and his brother and his fiancee may be watching movies with us on the 26th. Definitely low-key. I'm warming up to it more and more these days. Letting go of the idea of a big family Christmas is hard, but it's not without bonuses when you think about it.

1. No bus ride there.
2. No bus ride back home.
3. No waiting in line to buy a bus ticket.
4. No waiting in line over an hour for the bus. (See a pattern developing?)

So while I'll miss my family, this will also be the year of avoiding the godforsaken bus.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Distracted

Not feeling quite up to the follow-up post to my last one, so I'm going to talk about my life again, in all its feeble glory.

Jerry is slowly deteriorating. His biopsy is the 17th. So four days more of wondering. I've been mentally preparing myself for the most likely outcome, which will result in putting him down. He's eating a little less, drooling a little more... The growth must be growing very fast. The vet did say it would be aggressive. Poor little guy. Yeah, he's old, but who wants to grow dependent and die?

Today is going to be enjoyable, though. It's craft club day. I've bought the materials and I'm going to make Christmas cards. I'm going to try to make Christmas cards, anyway. I've never done anything like that before. I tend to have an artistic knack and usually I can make something decent my first go. I think probably having the confidence to try new mediums is what helps me. So I'm hoping this go will be successful.

Man... I feel distracted, too distracted to even try to make a good post. I can only think about my cat.

Know what? Here's a funny blog about terrible crafts, in honour of craft club day. May we do better than these people: http://www.regretsy.com

Friday, December 11, 2009

Abortion

Lately I've been reading a lot of feminist research, literature and articles. As time has gone on I've felt a subtle push against women's rights and freedoms, perhaps as a backlash of the feminist movement which changed the Western world and ruffled many feathers. I think maybe also with gay rights now in the forefront gaining more and more recognition, the same sorts of people who either hate change or can't empathize with people who aren't just like them are tightening their holds elsewhere.

Abortion laws, in particular. The Stupak amendment, which although won't affect me or my fellow country women in Canada, is pretty much on of the emerging great tragedies to women's healthcare of the new millennium. Seriously. No funding for abortion? None?

Here in Canada it's federally funded. Women have the right to choose and choose they do. Of course there are organizations like The Back Porch, located in where else but Alberta, who more or less work against Planned Parenthood and counsel women to continue their pregnancies. Which, I have to say is pretty unethical. I've been doing a lot of reading about this group. Their goal is to talk to "abortion-minded" women. This translates to mean "we actively talk women out of the choices they've decided to make." And they don't advertise this. So women with an unwanted pregnancy and are looking to explore their options can find themselves in the hands of these pro-lifers whose concern is not for the woman herself, but her fetus.

And this rather pisses me off. Yes, a fetus does eventually become a baby. But until it's actually of this world and a separate entity from its mother, it's not a person. It's certainly reasonable for an individual to feel differently about that and consider a fetus a person if they choose. But it's no longer reasonable to enforce that feeling into either law or another person's decision making.

Consider: The risk of an abortion is 13 times less likely to result in complications/death than giving birth. The risk of severe mental anguish is distinctly higher for women undergoing adoption than abortion. In countries where abortion is illegal, a total of over 70,000 women die from unsafe abortion practices each year.

So who are we going to care about? Whose life should matter? A full-grown woman with a life, dreams, responsibilities? Or a grouping of cells which have yet to form into full person and is engaged in a parasitic relationship with its host? Yes, the wording is harsh, but pregnancy while important and beautiful is also a reckless force of nature that if imposed on a woman without her consent is cruel to her body and mind. I object to laws and movements which treat women like vessels. It's not a woman's fault she was born with a uterus and she is not under any obligation to give birth at any time.

But going back to the adoption path... if there's one thing that strikes me as terribly painful, it's continuing a pregnancy to term, giving birth and then giving my baby away just as all the chemicals kick in to create a devoted attachment to it. Then to recover from the birth, breasts leaking milk that no one drinks, hormones dropping and causing mood swings with no recourse to feel better because every day forward will be a day you're not with or raising the baby your entire being is calling to. This is a deeply personal decision that no woman should feel compelled to make due to another person or people's agenda, any more than a woman should be compelled to have an abortion for reasons that are not her own.

There have been people in the pro-life movement who claim something called Post Abortion Syndrome, citing high risk of depression, self loathing and suicidal thoughts. However, the American Psychological Association has studied this issue and has concluded: "Although there may be sensations of regret, sadness, or guilt, the weight of the evidence from scientific studies indicates that legal abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in the first trimester does not pose a psychological hazard for most women." Women coerced into an abortion from family or unsupportive partners are more likely to experience these negative feelings, which only highlights the importance of allowing a woman to examine her own feelings and needs and make the right decision for her.

I could rant on and on about this, I really could. Whether a single mother of two needs an abortion in her second trimester because the child is going to be severely disabled and she cannot care for it without detriment to her existing children, or a woman in an abusive relationship can't bring a child into violence, or any woman with a new or current health condition makes pregnancy dangerous or fatal, or her necessary medications will critically damage her fetus, or she was raped or requires a D&C after a miscarriage (Which still counts as an abortion, even though the fetus is dead and D&C prevents infection or infertility), the choice must be hers.

I'll leave this rant with a cartoon which depicts how I feel about the direction the United States is going with their healthcare.


Jerry's condition is unchanged at this point, and if it remains so, my next rant may have to with birth control access, which of course is directly related to this post.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jerry's News

I got Jerry's results yesterday in the early evening. I had been hoping for a kidney problem, which could then be treated with meds and the growth would shrink and disappear.

His tests show a healthy normal body. This growth in his mouth, which is growing and making eating difficult, is likely a tumour. Tumours, even benign ones, can't be treated. To remove it would take a portion of his tongue. There is an outside chance it's not a tumour and is something else that can be treated. But I have no hope.

I'm going to get him the biopsy anyway. I need to know for sure there is nothing I can do before I end his pain. I need to know if there is anything else that can be done. I love him terribly, unconditionally, with the sort of love my heart would lavish on my children someday. I won't let him down by not seeing this through till the end. And I can't live with myself unless I know for sure I'm doing the right thing.

God...

He's been cuddling with me a lot more these past few days. He looks in my eyes with a new expression now. It's like he knows the end is near. I feed him water with a syringe and though he doesn't enjoy the process, he accepts the water and relaxes into my arms. I hold him like a baby and tell him what a good boy he is.

The Dude is heartbroken. Jerry has been sleeping next to him under the covers for two years now. He was talking about Jerry this evening, about how he warmed up to him immediately and never made him feel like an outsider when he moved in. And that's Jerry for you, he always makes time for anyone in the house. He's not snobby about his attention and affection. That's a rare cat.

Right now he's sleeping in a ball on my outstretched legs. I don't know how much longer I have with him. I'm cherishing every moment.

The Dude and I may stay in Toronto for Christmas if Jerry is still alive because he'll need care. I told the Dude I would stay and in the next heartbeat he said if I stayed, he would stay, for me and for Jerry. I'll miss my family at Christmas, but in my home is where my family is, the Dude and my cats. And I can't miss one day of the last time we'll all be together.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jerry the sweet

Jerry had his vet appointment yesterday. They took some blood and urine to see how his overall body function is, specifically his kidneys. They also found a growth under his tongue. It could be an ulcer, which would be a result of failing kidneys. Or it could be a tumour. The blood and urine tests come back today, which should offer more insight. But the ultimate test is a biopsy.

Yesterday cost $250. A biopsy would cost $450. And then there is treatment after the biopsy. Fuck me. I'm really worried about being able to afford his care. If I can't... well... that's it. And I can't bear the thought of not doing what needs to be done, not if it's life or death and the treatment would not only save his life but let it continue to be a quality life.

The nice thing is we have six cans of wet food here and Jerry loves it. Can't get enough. It's calorie rich, so that'll help put the weight back on. The vet said to give him as much as he wants. And it's encouraging that his appetite is just fine. That's one less symptom to be worried about. Seems the growth is what was making it too hard to eat kibbles.

The unfortunate thing about the food is Smokey. Smokey is diabetic and can't eat this delicious cat crack. And I know it's delicious stuff because I have never seen him so aggressive for a meal before. I've had to lock him in the living room while Jerry eats, which subjects me to lengthy wails and howls that both annoy me and break my heart.

So it's been an interesting day at home for me. I'm thankful I do work from home because I can take breaks to feed Jerry some water, see if he wants more food (the answer is almost always yes), brush his fur (his drool is making his fur icky) and otherwise spend time with him. And he's affectionate and sweet as always.

I hope he'll be okay. I really love him. I hear back about the test results today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Childhood Pets

I'm on a posting spree it seems.

I'm worried about Jerry. Geriatric Jerry. I love the little guy, and lately he's gotten more and more little. He and his brother, Smokey, are 16 years old, 17 in May. He's only eating raw egg and treats. I've forced him to drink a lot more tonight because he seems dehydrated. And in spite of the forced drinks, he's been very close to me all evening.

He's usually with the Dude, cuddling under the blanket. Tonight he's been by my side, snuggled close and occasionally I reach over and pet his skinny back. I can barely remember life without him. He and Smokey came into my life when I was 10.

Pets, fuck. You know, they fill you with joy and they elicit unconditional love. And they have the power to make you feel as awful and worried as they do make you happy.

I want to solve their health problems. I don't want to prolong their lives if it means they suffer either pain or indignity. I'm hoping a simple change of cat food could get Jerry eating again, or maybe some short term meds. The worst news would be that he's suffering from something expensive and fatal because I can't afford extensive treatment, and I'm unwilling to subject a 17 year old cat to anything invasive or very unpleasant.

My greatest hope for my cats is that old age takes them, with minimal pain, and that when they pass I know I did what I could and my best was good enough for the life expectancy they were meant to have.

But God, if it doesn't ache and worry to have to face this reality now. They're old. My precious kitties are very old. And they're so attached to one another that I'm sure to lose one means to soon lose the other. I'm not ready to deal with this yet. But I'll never be ready. They're living relics of my childhood, a life I lost in my teens, and they're my family.

Jerry.

Smokey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Belly pictures

So here is a photo of me at the gala. My arms are looking a little bulgy, but that's nothing new. Alas, I'm not smiling much either, though I could have sworn I was! Actually, I have one of those neutral faces that is very serious looking, which old men on the street tend to disapprove of and then command me to smile. When I think I'm giving a small smile, in reality I'm actually bringing my face up one notch from serious to calm and unaffected.

Serious Jendra is serious!

I'm pretty sure I gave real smiles at some point in the dance, but I'll have to check out the DVD to be sure. Oh, the DVD! The bringer of good and bad news. Look at what you did right! See how you utterly screwed up. What's with that weird face you're making? And so on.

Here's another picture that makes me look thinner:

Ah, the light is hitting my tummy juuuuust right.
Looks flat, don't it? Hehe! Success.


PS I know I haven't written about my actual birthday. I'll get to it eventually. The gala is still fresh and full of joy in my mind.

Just Dance

I showed my tummy. I totally danced belly exposed to the world. And I loved it! I may post some pictures at a later time. We'll see if any turned out.

I also only ate one piece of banana bread and one grain cracker so I would avoid the inevitable food baby gas pregnancy that would have made such exposure unbearable. After dancing I ate fried food from the Falafel House, which was catering the event. Mm-mm-mm. Post-dance gluttony. One of life's great unknown and untapped pleasures.

I put about, oh, six times the amount of makeup I usually wear to gussy up for the gala. It was sexy, it was tarty, it was barely noticeable under the harsh lights, and it was a bitch to take off. But it was also completely worth it. I felt hot.

There were these two dancers who were utterly to-die-for amazing and, frankly, hot stuff. After they were done, I turn to the Dude:

Me: Have a boner?
Him: =o
ME: 'Cause I know I do.
Him: =O

Heh heh heh.

I had a friend in the gala as well, and McPal showed up for moral support and good times. One of the better exchanges of the evening came courtesy of him, also after the two amazing dancers of wowness:

McPal: This is when being gay makes me feel like I'm missing out. That's hot! And it does nothing for me. Men don't do that.
Me: Some do.
McPal: Well, yeah, but when men do it it's not sexy!

And he's right. And I've seen men come into the belly dance classes. Without T&A and some extra pounds of well-placed flesh, the whole thing doesn't really work. Of course, with men there's nothing quite like a nice set of defined abs. Women can have those too, but like bellydancing men, a sixpack on a woman just ain't pretty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Almost 27

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 27 and officially enter the world of "late 20s". It's going to be nice, I think. I've requested a cake. That's really all I want. I know the Dude is getting me something from his sister-in-law-to-be's fashion collection. He's also cleaning the house tomorrow and making me dinner and we having drinks with my friends on Friday. My aunt sent me a gift in the mail, which I am excited to open. All of that is awesome.

But hot damn, the cake! Jazzed is the word. I'm jazzed to pieces about it. It's come to my attention I haven't had a proper birthday cake in years and I've been craving one. I have a deep-rooted soft spot in my heart for cakes.

My cats, usually unaware of my birthday, bestowed a gift upon me today. They both fell in the tub while the Dude was taking a bath. Owning a cat is sometimes better than owning a TV. Owning two geriatric lunatic cats makes life worth living. Smokey was pushing his water dish around last night and woke up the Dude, who filled the dish back up irritated, and said, "Here you go, your highness."

And something in his tone struck me funny and then I was the one keeping him up while I chortled. And now I refer to Smokey as his Lordship. Happy birthday to me. My cats are awesome.