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Friday, April 30, 2004  
Okay, this is horrible. Don't look if you have been under the severely incorrect idea that Americans are ALWAYS good.

If you have the ability to make differentiations between some and all, then look. But I warn you. It's rough on the stomach. In fact, it's worse than it sounded on NPR this morning when I was driving home from the PF's house, drinking my coffee, thinking "how bad could it be???"

It's bad.

You might cry because you are suddenly really disturbingly angry.

How some of our "finest" men and women in the US army treat their Iraqi POWs (in Iraq). These people surrendered and/or were captured. This is what your taxes go toward.

Sick yet?

Now you know why they call Americans The Devil.

~Amelie, upset stomach, La Bonne

Edit: not that you wanted to know this much, but there's more. And it's worse. Dianna makes some good points, but if you just want to be shocked outright and horrified enough to march on Washington and REQUIRE the people responsible for crimes like these to be accountable, then click right here. The photos are so incredibly indecent and wrong, you will be ashamed of our military. I'm sorry for the truth of it all. Many of us knew it was happening, but we had no idea the perps were taking pictures of themselves doing horrible things to vulnerable, shredded people. Only to gloat and snicker and be evil as hell.

2:38 PM

Carpet Bombing

Okay crafty people. PF told me about something recently that both piqued my interest and made me a bit...I dunno. Nervous? Sad? Amazed by the beauty? Depressed by the subject? Definitely, I'm fascinated by the elevation of pain and suffering to art, at least in this "walk all over me" context.

If I were a very talented artisan of dhurrie or kilim wool woven rugs, and I were a hapless victim of war running from refugee camp to refugee camp, I might very well react much like these Afghan artisans did. And handcraft a War Rug to work out my issues/tell my story. Call it Arts and Crafts Therapy. It's an age-old form of story-telling (that's what men and women all over the middle east did long ago, they crafted rugs that told the story of their families in pictures) similar to every other culture in the world that created woven fabric: however, these included tanks, choppers, bloodied piles of human bodies, and other modern depictions of weapons/vehicles of destruction. It's commentary on the brutality of the human condition, but you can walk on it. According to the site, these were made in the 1970's and 80's, during the wars in Afghanistan. Makes sense.

The stories these rugs tell are brutal and artful and amazing.

War Rugs.

the newest war art collectible.

This one might be my favorite because it's so clever. I also like the one entitled "white chopper", but the 9/11 rugs sort of freaked me out in a weird way.

Many of these I'd hang on a wall because they are so beautiful and tragic.

Edit: more on war rugs: they were featured February 10 on NPR. I must've missed it.

Also, a very nice Forbes article.

More specimens to peruse


9:52 AM

Wednesday, April 28, 2004  
Okay, this is neat, so just hang on a second.

I know I complain about converse sneakers more than the average gal, but come ON! These shoes were 25.00 not 4 years ago. I remember when I used to walk into Sears and walk out with a new pair of lowtops for $15.99. Everyone wore them and I didn't care, because mine were BETTER. I had them in lake, green, black, and red (I was also a teenage fan of docs (the real tread, not the waffle stompers) and saltwater sandals: I had about 4 pair of these as well, but they're too flat for me nowadays.)

They have gone up in cost over 53% since then, mostly due to the fact that nowadays, Nike owns them. And sweatshops make them in Malaysia, where little kids pour hot rubber into molds.....

..........Molds that are, apparently LONGER than the original Size 6 converse sneakers. So today, after wearing my newest black sweatshop-created converse sneakers all over town, I have blisters. And they are all on top of my toes. This, from my SHOES??? The shoes I've worn for (oh my god) 20 years straight????

But looky here: No Sweat Sneakers.

That's right. Totally wearable replicas, and they are 100% union made/fair trade.

Nice, non?

And for that, I don't mind paying $35.00 + s&h of $4....

Well, I mind, but at least I can be less ornery about it. They could call them "Converts"....

~Amelie "Convert" La Bonne

PS: Sparky the White's Tree Frog just started talking. He's getting loud. It makes me proud that I've had him for nearly a year and he's just gotten huge and cute. That Sparky.

Okay. Remind me that I have waaaaay too many pets.

11:20 PM

Monday, April 26, 2004  
Neat way to get rid of guns. Smash them into art projects.

2:18 PM

Okay. Busier days, there could not be. I am swamped just by the pile of "tasks" set in my chair (aka: my IN box) for me this morning. One thing after another. Lordy.

This weekend was very nice.

I found a sick, dehydrated bunny rabbit in the street on Friday while walking home from work, so I've been coddling him and have him set up in the Z pens I borrowed from Erica (I froze a couple of water bottles for him to lay against and put the pens in the shade and gave him lots of cover and timothy hay. It's definitely going to be too hot for him otherwise.) He's in my backyard and I've been bringing him in every night because I'm afraid of oppossum and raccoons. Mostly I have to keep him away from Seamas. I've been using my stash of baytril and eye ointment on him, and he seems to be getting better. I did find an old abscess on him, so whoever adopts him will probably need to get that removed at the same time they get him neutered. He's cute. Brown ears, nose, toes and tail, white everywhere else. He's a himalayan. I put a couple of signs up and knocked on the doors of the houses he was nearby, but no one answered. I took a sign over to the feed store where I would assume any neighborhood bunny owners would buy their hay. So far, no takers. I don't think I can take on another pet, what with the Wingnut fiasco. So, he's up for grabs. But I'll long term foster him until I can find a good home. I'd prefer that he not go to someone who would leave him in a cage outside all day since he's a house rabbit, and I definitely believe in spaying/neutering, for longevity of the pet if nothing else. Sigh.

But my weekend was actually great, even with the added bunny tasks. I volunteered Saturday with the Wildlife Care Association. I was the ONLY volunteer who showed up! Unbelievable. Especially when you realize you are feeding 50 baby birds every 45 minutes, administering medication, dextrose and water, and keeping them at the right temperature at all times. It's HARD! And they are soooo fragile! But it was really fun.
After that, Seamas and I visited Maya at Earth Day celebrations and goings on at CSUS. There were a lot of people meandering around the tables and vendors. I am ashamed to say that I was hoping for real meat, but I eventually eschewed the "hamburgers" and "hotdogs" and went for an obviously veggie fry-bread taco. And I have to say, it was messy but good. I talked to the organic gardening guy, and sniffed some expensive soaps and that was about the nicest way to spend such a godawfully hot day. It's April, for crissakes. What is going on?? We need more rain, not more SUN.

Yesterday was a lazy morning. We made breakfast and watched IFC film shorts. Then we headed over to a BBQ/FUNdraiser for Poinsettia Mine. It's a favorite camping spot for PF and his pals (including me.) There was a lot of music, more kids than I'd expected, and plenty of food and beer. I hope it was successful. The painting by Tim White of the PF was raffled off and one gal won it, and two other cool prizes, in absentia. Let me tell you, there was a scuffle for that painting of my poor PF. I think Dave Smith is going to try to buy it off the gal who won.

It was a great day, only too hot. Today looks like it's going to be another scorcher.

If you've never been to Sacramento, and you hate the heat, you probably do not want to live here. It's the kind of town you come to grips with. It's hot. Very hot. But there are trees. Lots of trees. Tree lined avenues to bike down. It's flat. It's a grid pattern for the most part, so it's hard to get lost so long as you know your ABC's and 123's. It's full of little funky houses and victorians. There's plenty of eateries, and it's not bad fare for a smallish city.

But you will melt. And you will be made more miserable from the humidity, as this is where the rivers run. And there's no ocean nearby to breeze over you with coolness.

So basically, it's enter at your own risk.


~Amelie, Sacramentan

10:57 AM

Friday, April 23, 2004  
I just read my email from Michael Moore (you just go to his website and sign up for mass emails). He has a new film coming out soon. It's going to explore the murky business profits of the Bushes and the Bin Ladins during their even murkier business associations together.

and in other news, it's supposed to be in the 80s today. What happened to my nice, misty, chilly mornings that I love so much about spring? Jeez. Or spring came early, and left us with early everythings. Early daffodils. Early ladybug larvae. Early tomato flowers. Early foxtail weeds. and now it's just going to get hot. Ugh.

Are there jobs opening up in NW Oregon?



Cannes Picks Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911"

April 21, 2004


I just got word that my new film, "Fahrenheit 911," has been selected by the Cannes Film Festival to premiere there in competition next month!

This is only the second time in the last 48 years that a documentary has been chosen to be in the main competition (the first being "Bowling for Columbine" in 2002) -- and, in fact, another documentary has also been chosen for this year. The non-fiction film revolution rolls on!

I am deeply honored by this announcement, considering it comes from our mortal enemy, the French.

This year's jury in Cannes is headed by Quentin Tarantino and also includes director Jerry Schatzberg, Kathleen Turner, Tilda Swinton and others.

"Fahrenheit 911" will be in theaters across the U.S. (and the rest of the world) this summer. More info, gossip and all the juicy details to follow...

Thanks everyone for your support.

Michael Moore

9:06 AM

Thursday, April 22, 2004  
Okay, Wingnut fundraiser is over. He's paid in full, thanks to everyone who helped out!

I've been sick and out of it for the past two days, but apparently, Mueller Pet Medical Center is sending notices to check senders this week, and letting them know that he's out of the hospital and paid in full.

I had asked them to keep any extra donations to put towards a fund of some sort (no, not hashed out, but they've done it before they said) so that other folks don't have the problem I had with thinking they might have to give up their treasured pet because they can't afford the care.

Anyway, if you had wanted to send anything now, go ahead and donate it to your local animal shelter or favorite pet centered association (Here in Sacramento: SSPCA, Happy Tails, City Animal Control....PETA....) or know that it's not going to Wingnut's care anymore, it's going to other animals at Mueller. It's up to you. Everyone came through for me, so I'm not hurting half as bad as I was. You'd be surprised. People are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

I am still a little flu-y, but I'm going to work today because, well, because I can. And I need the distraction. I got some more heartbreaking news this week, so I'm all on edge again, but this time it's for my friends and not my pets or family. How do you help a friend who needs something you can't quite give? I've been thinking good thoughts and doing some research, but really, all I can do is support and comfort. And boy, I'm all over that with BELLS on!

Oh, and this was funny, so try to smile.

~Amelie La Bonne

9:06 AM

Tuesday, April 20, 2004  
Wingnut is home. He looks pretty good. He's definitely spent awhile cleaning himself vigorously. Boy, was he a mess.

I just gave him his nosedrops and I have to corral him for antibiotics treatment soon, but right now he's busy trying to sniff the drops out of his nose and is hiding under the bed. Very strategic of him, since I can't crawl around after him because I'm SICK.

That's right.

The moment my stress levels faded, I got something that is like the flu. I have the sore throat, the requisite headache, pain in joints, weird appetite (I made PF go get an entire bucket of KFC, and then I basically only ate 1 leg and some cole slaw), and general fatigue. It's been building for awhile though.

I nearly passed out 3 times from dizzy yesterday while at work. I finally finished my project and caught a cab home. Boy, those cabbies are shamelessly greedy. They all have $10 minimums when my fare should by rights be only around 6 bucks. I was OBVIOUSLY sick. I found one who would take me and not require the $10 fare even though his cab said there was a minimum. He felt sorry for me. So, I tipped him generously. I understand that no one takes cabs in this town, but wouldn't you think that drumming up business with lower fares would be better than sitting around all day waiting for the 10 people who didn't hire a supershuttle to the airport?

I do.

Anyway. I went home and slept. This time I had all 3 kitties and my dog in bed with me. It hasn't been like that for at least a week. And boy, was it nice.

I stayed home today because I'm still zonkered. But nothing beats having Wingnut home safe and sound.

Much love,

~The Amelie

1:13 PM

Monday, April 19, 2004  
I have the ragingest headache you ever worked a full day with.


1:23 PM

Saturday, April 17, 2004  
Wingnuts and Peep-Offs:

Better news on the Wingnut front:

Either he's hearing your good thoughts being sent to him, or he's FINALLY responding to the Zithromax. He ate some kibble last night, and some this morning. I swear, I think my vet sh*t himself, he seemed so relieved. So, if Wingnut keeps this up, he may be back no later than Monday. Which is AMAZING news.

I also wanted to thank everyone who is sending cash on his behalf. Moe put a post on her own livejournal and that generated over $100 for his care. I started weeping, because many of these people donating on her journal have never even HEARD of me or Wingnut before this. They are just lovely people. Moe, you are so wonderful. Mel, I heard how much you donated, and I swear, you are an angel as well! g(odd)sends, all.

Everyone who has pledged their help on my blog, you are in my most happy thoughts. You're beautiful, and you should be wearing a cat-sized halo. I mean it. Your hard earned cash for my kitty??? Consider it payed back if you ever need my help with your own pets in the future (bearing in mind I have to get slightly situated and prepped for it---I'm seriously seriously poor right now, but it won't last!) I also wanted to thank anyone who linked to the Wingnut story on my blog; the Sacramento Lifestyle blogger also linked to Wingnut, and that was so touching! It all just means so much. I have been so heartsick, and worried about how I was going to pay for this poor cat. It's the worst feeling in the world to feel your resources just draining away and not being sure if it was even going to HELP the poor animal in the end. But things are looking brighter, and everyone's help is just so completely appreciated. I may even start believing in g(odd) or something.

I have had a headache and a slight fever since Wednesday (I actually was worried I'd caught something from my cat!) but it turns out, it was all just stress. And it's slightly alleviated by the response he's gotten. Yeah, I was desperate, but I was DESPERATE. And you all responded. That means so much. I can't get over it. It might take awhile.

Anyway. I FINALLY have had a good day. It's the first one in WEEKS, I tells ya. Headache notwithstanding.

Erica and I finished our diorama for the Peep-Off. I'm sure someone took good photos, because it turns out my digital camera needs new batteries. It was the Peepmen Of Dune, based on Frank Herbert's Dune series. We had a giant slug to play with, and we painted it grey and glued white peeps to it. I cut the eyes off and carved out the face a la David Lynch's film adaptation (we kept rewinding just to get it right). Turns out, it was hard to keep the mouth open, so we came up with the clever idea of using toothpick teeth. That was partially working, but we shoved some yellow peeps inside and called them "Harkonnens" and left it at that. It was propped up enough. Then we made a "sand dune" out of boxes and desert sand planting material from Home Depot. The peeps we used cost about 30 cents total on sale, and the rest of the materials ended up being about $7 (thanks to the Trader Joe guys who gave us a couple of pieces of cardboard for free). Our Peepmen were aryan white and had glowing blue eyes. We left it on Dave's sofa.

I ate 1 peep. I couldn't even BEGIN to imagine eating 15 again this year. Seamas scarfed down an entire box of purple peeps and then moved on to Jeremy's creepy orange peeps leftover from October. Actually, quite a few people were enjoying the stale peeps. I understand they are better stale, but I was seriously sick just standing around watching people eat them. Gillie, I believe, won this year, with a total of 63 peeps and no vomitting. An amazing feat. The other two women who managed to eat too many were not here this year, but last year they tied for "most for a woman" with 40. Erica figured out that if you mush them into "taffy" they are far more palatable. Basically, you squash the air out. She ate 15 with very little difficulty. There are no rules on "shape maintenance"; the only rule is "if you puke before the 35 minute time allotment, you either have to start over or eat your vomit." Apparently, this rule has been enacted during previous Peep-offs, but thankfully not for this year's event. Some gal took a picture of me in my peep tee shirt. I'm kind of surprised no one else was wearing one, because they are pretty cute (okay, don't buy extra large. It's wayyyyy too big on me.)

Other news: Mr. Dave Smith and Miss Donna Poole were legally married on the stairs by Bill (their significant others were also in attendance). Congratulations to the happy couple. I think she is keeping her name. The bride wore tennis white, but we didn't believe her. Dave wore a spray painted silver suit and an aluminum-foil helmet "to keep the martians from listening in on" his thoughts. When the cops showed up this year, I stayed to listen. It's pretty funny when they waltz up. The tough one was scowling and it was pretty obvious he was trying not to laugh. The other guy was giggling as they came across the alley (site of the peep-throwing war, another annual event) and it was, well, littered in pink/yellow/blue/purple marshmallows, and there were a lot of people still chucking the mushed ones. Tough cop yells "Who's going to clean all this up??" and someone said, "We will." and then he yells, "Yeah? Well, I want to talk to the person who is in charge of this thing." There is a documentary going on, so the interviewer just sidles up to the scowling cop and shoves a microphone in his face and says "This happens every year, does it make you MAD????" And the cop actually said something like "No, we are simply responding to a call. I simply have to do my job/standard operating procedure" or something equally calm. Giggly cop looks like he just walked into a cartoon. Someone else tells scowly cop it's a wedding. Dave walks up in his aluminum helmet and tells the cop it's his wedding and also an annual peep-eating contest. That made the other cop just start laughing harder. I pretty much lost it when Dave pointed to Gillie sitting greenly on the steps and said "See that gal?? She just ate 63 peeps in 30 minutes. Can you believe it?" I couldn't stop laughing. I had to leave about then because I was feeling sort of oogie.

I left PF at the party where he was pretty much getting sh*tfaced and eating a marshmallow-contaminated grilled sausage (he's now sleeping in the bed with a contented little "I'm tipsy" smile on his face). I walked back with Jeremy and Erica and the dogs. When Jeremy and I were crossing the street to go back to the cars, the cops pulled up to the light and bleeped us and said over the loudspeaker

"Have a Very Happy Peepy Day!"

And so far, I have.

Have a lovely one yourselves!

~Amelie, who is going to try to visit Wingnut in a few minutes and who is seeing Kill Bill 2 tonight.

8:44 PM

Friday, April 16, 2004  

This is Wingnut.

He's my cat who is sick. He is currently fighting a very resistant bacteria. It's a secondary infection to a Calici virus infection that started on Monday, after he had a bad reaction to the antibiotics he was on for a bad acne infection. Basically, this cat has been fighting infections for 3 weeks and his body is giving out. However, he is probably going to recover, as long as he is maintained at a high level of care for another week or so.

It is costing approximately $200/day to keep him in the ICU at Mueller Pet Medical Center. They told me it would be about 5 more days on antibiotics, feeding tube, in the isolation cage. He's miserable, and they won't let me see him because I will just freak out. He is super contagious to other sick animals, so it's more expensive to keep him isolated from them. I would hate for him to get anyone else even sicker than they are! My poor kitty...

I'm resorting to begging, because I know this is the only way I can afford to help him. I've already borrowed all the money I dare borrow from friends and relatives, and I have another 300 bucks in reserve to help him if the begging doesn't work. But that means I have no money for food, gas, and bills the next 2 weeks. I've basically spent my entire "extra" budget on my cat, and he's totally worth it. I'm pretty scared he will die no matter what, but I want to give him a fighting chance.

If he doesn’t make it, or more money is sent than necessary, it will be donated to Mueller Pet Medical Center to help other owners who cannot completely afford their pet’s emergency care.
Please make checks out to Mueller Pet Medical Center and send them to:

Mueller Pet Medical Center
C/O “Wingnut The Cat”
6420 Freeport Blvd.,
Sacramento, CA 95822

Please write “For Wingnut” in the memo section of your check.

Thank you so much for your help!

~Amelie, terrified. And incredibly tired.

11:46 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2004  
I think that I'm getting stressed beyond beyond.

It's a good thing I ain't a mom right now, because I'm having a LOT of animal issues.

Wingnut is in the hospital. Again. This time it was $720.00 for the down payment. He's in isolation and has a feeding tube. They are doing the nebulizer/coupage thing that you'd do for someone with cystic fibrosis. This is fucking depressing. I spent my student loan and car payments on my kitty, and he still might not make it. And what do they say he has??? A COLD!

That's right. A severe upper respiratory infection from either Calici virus or feline herpes virus, both of which he's been exposed to but vaccinated against. I personally think that if you are a cat with have a chin infection, and then a bad reaction to the antibiotics, you end up more prone to the stress related infections. My poor cat. He's on IV fluids again. The gal who did it on Saturday came out to tell me she knew he was out of it because on Saturday he fought her. Wednesday night he didn't even move, he's so exhausted from not eating/drinking and breathing. I cannot fix my cat at home. I am totally ignoring all my other pets. I've spent every night this week at home taking care of Wingnut and he's not getting better.

The doctor was very nice. He ran Xrays and said "um, looks like he also has kidney stones." Which will be a problem. Eventually. He also appears to be a hyperthyroid cat. No one told me that before, but sure enough, if you stroke his neck, he's got a big giant thyroid gland.

I spent 3 hours crying last night before I took my poor cat to the vet. I called them and made them listen to his breathing on the phone and finally they said "Yeah, bring him in. That sounds awful." But he doesn't have pneumonia. Thank goodness. Although, with the plethora of antibiotics he's been given lately, he'd be hard pressed to find a bacteria willing to lodge in his lungs in the first place.

I also tried to rescue a baby fledgling sparrow that I found huddled near a curb while I was walking home. I find a lot of animals when I'm walking, but this was a baby with bloodied abrasions on his head and blood around his little nose who didn't try very hard to get away from me. So, I picked it up and took it home. I know, I know. I've got enough on my plate. But he made it through the night in a cozy "nest" made of cotton balls and toilet paper, on top of a heating pad on low, in a humid bathroom. At 6 AM, I noticed he was failing, so I tried to give him water the way I'd given it to him the night before (you soak a qtip with room temperature water and gently stroke their flanges on both sides of the mouth, you never force a bird's mouth open or use an eyedropper---just FYI.) I had an appt. to drop him off this morning at 8 AM at the wildlife rehab program here in town for baby bird. They have a "bird house" and volunteers go in for 4 hour shifts to just feed and care for all the wild baby birds that somehow end up orphaned (or removed from their nests by stupid people who don't know any better but who manage to call the rehab in time before the little fellas croak.) Anyway, I knew he was a goner when I heard the water gurgling. I knew he'd aspirated it, which means sudden death. It happens; I knew he was pretty injured already, so it was probably the best thing. At least he died somewhere cozy, right? He is buried under my roses. But the good thing is that I'm going to see about volunteering at the baby bird rehab. It's different than anything else I've ever done, so we'll see. But I sure would like to have an "in" somewhere so that I can take little orphaned things I find on my walks home from work.

Anyway. I need to get out of my sick house that smells like cat pee.

Me and animals. It's not going so great right now.

I'm still tired.

~Amelie, breaking down.

11:48 AM

Wednesday, April 14, 2004  
Life, things, whatnot:

I'm taking half the day off to spend time with my grandparents and my aunt and my cousin. They drove up from LA for Easter, and I hooked it up so that my 82 year old grandmother got to meet a playmate/2nd cousin she had from her childhood. Yup, my 15th cousin 30 times removed brought his mom and his sister to lunch yesterday. I rented a private room at Pyramid Ale and we all had a really good time. They went to the Crocker Art Museum for a private viewing of my great-great-great-grandfather's paintings, but I had to go back to work, so they went without me.

I found out that while pediatric neosynephrine (the only OTC decongestant you can give cats) is unavailable to me for some reason, "Little Noses" is the same exact thing (they neglected to tell me the active ingredient at the vet, I had to figure it out myself.) Wingnut has been getting the decongestant nose drops. It's not helping him, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something. He is apparently the only cat on the planet that doesn't like cooked ground turkey. It makes me nauseous just cooking it, so maybe I am giving him The Vibe. In any case, he's not eating much more than once a day, so the liquid antibiotics that I'm supposed to administer every 12 hours are not going to work for him. This is miserable.

My best friend's latest baby is being baptized on Saturday. I actually would have gone had it not been for the cat. I need a break from Sactown. I would have foregone the Peep-Off just to go see her, I miss her so much. But I can't. Cat is sick. It's always something.

Bonus for me: It looks like rain. I'm really hoping. If nothing else, that will help with all the dust and pollen in the air. We need it so badly. We're halfway through April with not a drop of rain in sight. Do you know how rare that is? In any normal year, it would have flooded a few times and I'd've been dancing in puddles.

~Amelie, waiting for rain.

9:48 AM

Tuesday, April 13, 2004  
Update on The Wingnut:

He is more alert today. He didn't want to eat, so an entire dose of antibiotics went into the toilet to keep the other cats from chowing it down. Last night, he blew snotbubbles on the PF and me. Poor kitty. Still can't breathe properly, but nothing yucky is in his lungs. Eventually his lip will even split from sneezing close to walls and tables and hitting his head on hard surfaces. It happens every year. This year is just horrible for allergies. It's like all hell broke loose and the trees went into an orgiastic frenzy of baby making.

And my pollen prone cat? Is having a major reaction.

I still think he looks pinkish and the prednisone is working, but poor kitty. It had to be the other antibiotics because he's actually getting BETTER now and hasn't had a fever since he's been home. He just wants to curl up on my bed and make snot and snore heavily. Which is fine by me so long as he is alive.

~Amelie, really tired, La Bonne.

10:53 AM

Sunday, April 11, 2004  

Wingnut Kitty took a turn for the worse. He almost died on Saturday.

It started out okay, I caught him and gave him his antibiotic and his ointment treatment (2X/day, 10 days, we are on day 5). He was not happy, was miserable and blowing snot and spitting because he chewed the gelcap and was really pissed. I figured he was getting allergies, as it needs to rain here to wash away the pollen. I took Seamas on a hike. Was gone all day long. When I came home, Wingnut was nowhere around. But I wasn't too upset, since he comes out when I feed the kitties.

Only, he didn't come out.

And I kept calling.

finally, I found him, and he was really hot.

I mean REALLY hot. Like he was sleeping under the oven or something. He was super dehydrated, and his nose and eyes were running. He was also bright red everywhere his skin was showing (apparently, no one I know has seen this before. The vet and techs certainly hadn't and even Erica was surprised that he was bright red all over under his fur.) A bright red in his ears, which I noticed first. They looked sunburned really bad where they are normally white, but they were red all the way down. And then I noticed it everywhere else... Oh yeah, and he was struggling to breathe, but it looked a big like an allergy attack, which he gets annually.

I tore my house apart looking for my rectal pet thermometer because he was so hot, and had to rush out to buy one. When I finally took it, I was shocked to see it going past 104.5, and was so scared, PF and I rushed him to the vet at 11:30 PM.

We were there until 1:30, after paying the over $600 deposit (mein gott. makes me wonder how people without insurance afford kids when I can barely afford ER for my cat) and they were going to get him on IV fluids and check his blood for FIV/FELV etc. etc.

I was so freaked out, I spent a lot of time reading about feline AIDS. It's a really horrible disease, but the cat can live a long time. Until he starts really breaking down his own immune system...and then there's a point where the cat won't even make antibodies to the disease. You have to run a western blot to see if he even HAS it.

Well, as far as they can tell, my cat does not have these two diseases (actually, the FIV is pretty rare.) But still. He's not recovering well.

He's still red, still in the hospital on IV fluids and a different antibiotic (I'm convinced it was the antibiotics, but they are not willing to say that outright.) I am REALLY not convinced that it's some random bug or plant that he ate outside. Since it happened at some point after he was given his latest antibiotic/ointment treatment.

But then. Vomit, uncontrollable diarrhea, fever, upper respiratory infection, and lack of appetite are all signs of late stage feline AIDS.

But no one knows why he is red. The red is really freaky.

My dad once saw a guy in the ER who reacted to his penniccillin badly. He seized, and turned red. It's called Red Man Syndrome
dammit. That link? describes a reaction to the most potent antibiotic available to humans. Vancomycin. But from what my dad was saying, it's super rare, and it happened to some guy on regular pennicillin.

I have a cat with red cat syndrome. My poor baby!

My cat is vaccinated against all of those diseases, but it's totally possible he caught something from the last cat fight he was in...

I'm praying it's an allergic reaction (but jesus, this is MASSIVE! I must have the most allergy-prone cat on the planet!)

Poor Wingnut baby....

I'm so tired. That was how I spent my easter. Napping, calling the vet to check on Wingnut, and trying not to let my mom annoy me too much during the easter supper.

~Amelie. Not fond of Easter for so many reasons.

11:48 PM

Friday, April 09, 2004  
Fabulous Skateboarding Bulldogs.

this one is Sabrina
She's good, but she's not as good as THIS guy:

This dog was on MSNBC last night (dunno name, but this is fantastic video)

Success!!! Skateboarding Bulldog!!!!

Man. Why is it allways a bulldog lately that gets me all sentimental?

~Amelie, who can't even do an ollie.

PS. while trying to hunt this sucker down, I found a dog in Taipei that could skateboard as well. Go figure.

2:41 PM

Thursday, April 08, 2004  
“He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped,”

Thank you Summer for my first laugh of the day.

~Amelie, refusing to look at this link for all she's worth.

10:14 AM

Wednesday, April 07, 2004  
Two things of note I just grabbled from Mel's blog.

Apparently, if you write "jew" a lot on your site, and then search for it, you will come up number 1 on google. So, if you have a hate site, that's what some poor Jewish kid will find during passover. Luckily, though, Google has apparently disabled the site. However, it takes a phenomenal amount of asshole genes to do something like that. But I learned a new word. Googlebomb.

She also linked to a blog that made me laugh and cry. It's about the trials and tribulations of infertility, and the gal going through it has a lot of strength. You rock, I say. I hope you get pg soon.

~The Amelie

9:24 AM

Tuesday, April 06, 2004  
More on the Cat Acne From Hell:

Wingnut just wasn't responding to hot wet compresses and betadine swabbing, although the betadine appeared to be helping the most. I had the vet come yesterday and he gave me cat a shot of antibiotics. He also gave my cat an Rx for some green antibiotics and an ointment called Animax. Which I googled for, and got a bunch of Japanese animation links.

Anyway, just 2 days later, my cat's horrible acne has cleared up and he is eating and acting normally again (except that he's terrified I'm going to grab him and press a very hot, wet washcloth on his neck region, apparently terrifiying to cats. He is looking normal, like a giant Wingnut Kitty, but I have to look for a new water dish because my vet thinks he's allergic to plastic. This sucks, because I bought a big self-waterer bowl/bottle for Shabazz, who has urinary crystal issues and needs clean fresh water EVERY time he drinks. We haven't had any problems in 2 years. I can't believe my cat would just "suddenly" develop this allergy to the water bowl, but my vet thinks it can happen. As Ally kat says, "allergies can just develop and no one knows why." So, if anyone has a good lead on a pet waterer that is either ceramic or stainless steel, and has a water bottle that you can refill (the water receptacle looks like a sparklett's or alhambra container), I would be much obliged. I am going to search around on the internet for non plastic versions, but I'm way happier when I don't have to pay S&H.

The acne is clearing up.

But of course, my vet issues come in 3s, and they come every 3-4 months. So, Seamas, my darling dog, is walking funny. I noticed his gait was off on Sunday, but I thought I had just clipped his leg hair weirdly on Saturday so as to create an optical illusion. But yesterday, I noticed he had his head lowered and his back spine slightly tucked (think: what a dog looks like when it's deciding to potty, but hasn't committed yet). I was kind of concerned, and felt all his leg and back muscles for lumps or painful spots, but got nothing. He finished the walk, AND, we went to agility last night. He was very active in agility, but I had a vet in my class watch him walk and she DEFINITELY thought something was up. So, now I have to get XRays, which means going to the even MORE expensive vet.

I always say I don't know where my money goes, but actually I do.

It goes to my vets.

I should just quit work and go back to vet school. That would solve a lot of my problems.

~Amelie, pobracita.

11:54 AM

I am seriously amazed by this FRIGHTENING Cake. It's called The Thorax Cake. Of course it was stolen by me from Megan, who always puts me on to the loveliest and creepiest of snacks.

I am absolutely fascinated by this cake. The person who built it? Should be a craft services person for zombie movies or something. She rocks ass.

And if she doesn't know this already, livers are the most friable of organs. So your entire creation was spot on.


10:26 AM

Monday, April 05, 2004  
Yesterday I got up at 3 AM (or was it still 2?) No matter, if you want to deal with the spring ahead time change (which I hate as much as I hate Dr. Laura), go fishing with the PF. I swear. 5 AM, blasting along Lake Berryessa in a flash bass boat while the fog is still rolling in, and you will wake up. And freeze. And if you go with him, he will keep you out there until 5 PM. A solid 12 hours or so fishing. It's fun, though (even if you don't catch anything, like me, who only caught a few Zzz's in the sun). Things of note: the hills at Berryessa are looking prime velvet color and lushly green. Sort of like Ireland or something. Except, with sun. It was cold all day, though. So, I wore this tyvek-like sweat shirt thing. I had about 15 shirts on, and only a pair of cargo pants. My leg skin went all pink-and-white striated, sort of like a chubby baby coming out of a cold swimming pool. Except. I'm in my 30s. How embarrassing.


I also saw Hidalgo. Which was okay. It's not a kid movie (mainly because it's subtitled), and it's not as fun as Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark. I have no idea how I managed to stay up until 11 (or was it 12?)

I got to work okay. I met with my vet at 8:30 (I love my traveling vet with his surgicenter winnebago.) I think he raised the prices on me, though, because just looking at Wingnut's poor ravaged chin and shooting him up with some antibiotics, as well as supplying me with cat-appropriate ointment (and more antibiotics), cost me about $105 bucks. That's a lot. I think it would have been even more at my emergency vet (I use another vet in a pinch when mine is sick, or too busy or his RV breaks down, or whatever). Sigh. I am such an idiot for having so many pets. I still want to give away Churchill, but right now he's not causing any problems. Turns out my water dish may have something to do with this chin mess. Apparently, not only can food oils build up on the cat's chin, but they can become totally allergic to plastic food and water dishes. So he may have less cat acne than pyoderma. Ugh. I need a good watering hole now. Suggestions taken.

Also, I got my Peep Tee Shirt for the Peep Off. That'll be me in the giant peep tee April 17th. Unless I can figure out how to modify it. I got an XL, because really, how do you know??? The Mr. Bubble tee shirt I ordered once (I had to save like 5 proofs of purchase and took a bunch of baths that stained my tub pinkish) was too small. So, you never know.

~Amelie "speckly legs" la bonne

4:00 PM

Friday, April 02, 2004  
Well, my day got slightly better.

Especially when my 15th cousin 30 times removed sent me this link about my great-great-great grandfather, the painter Fortunato Arriola.

This painting is for sale, but no one I know can afford it...

Also, my coworker emailed me a letter she wrote to Martha Stewart. The folks at MSL emailed her back, and told her to email Martha directly at martha@marthatalks.com. Here's the link to the site, so you can keep updated on her situation. Personally, I am mainly perturbed that there's nothing on TV at 9AM. I used to watch MSL on channel 10, and then they cut the show right after she was convicted. So stupid! Do they not know there is nothing whatsoever to watch??? They tried a stupid animals show, and now I think it's Pyramid (also stupid.) All they've done is chase me out of my house that much earlier. I miss Martha!!

xo-the amelie

5:22 PM

I am having a bad day already.

I want someone to quit so that I can get their position. I hate being a front office worker.

It will never happen again. I'm way too ambitious, and of course I know I'm over educated; they know it too, so they give me a lot to do, pay me more than they ever wanted to pay, and yet they still expect me to schlep old catering trays after their parties are over. So far, my job is: office management and equpiment repair, check logging/bookkeeping, events planning, phones and reception, bill tracking, website management, article clipping/mailing, project editing/assistance, annoying coworker's job when AC ain't here, and GOFER. It ain't stay even later and clean up our crap. "Because that's what front office staff does."

A coworker, with the same degree as me (we graduated from grad programs the same year), pulled me into her office to "discuss" the aftermath of a reception that she had hosted and that someone else had set up catering for. The caterer asked me if I wanted him to come clean up his stuff in the morning, and I said Yes. I figured, since I certainly hadn't set this up, everyone else knew the drill. I didn't tell her, though, apparently, so she got mad when I said I didn't know what we were going to do with the extra food (because, well, I didn't know. We have a mini fridge. No fucking room.) and apparently she had intended to imply that I should clean up all the trays and "extra food". Nevermind that I was refreshing the trays and cleaning up messes all over the office DURING the event (and between all the 5 meetings our office had hosted PREVIOUSLY that whole day while I was here by myself). I was supposed to stay even later than I was already, and clean up. Fuck that. She didn't ask me who was cleaning up (the caterer, in the morning), she asked me what we were going to do with the food. And then, she told the janitors to throw it all out. So, they threw away the caterer's stuff. And now??? He's mad at ME. And she took it upon herself to berate me for being "a bad office staffer who doesn't tow the line."

Fuck this.

She even said there wasn't enough stuff to do in the front office, as if they only need 1 person up here. Which I am, most of the time, due to my annoying coworker's (AC) mom being ill lately.

I worked 10.5 hours yesterday, got no lunch break, and had personal stuff to do that took up a lot of my time. And I still got here on time this morning. The day before?? 9 hours, no lunch break. The day before??? 8 hours, no lunch. Because

Fuck this.

I'm still mad. I can't believe someone would tell me my job is to stay late and clean up after them.

Fuck this. I'm going to report her to my boss. And then I'm going to seriously consider quitting.

Rumbly, are there still jobs in Wisconsin??? Or are you going after all the ones that are left?

~Amelie, The Pissed OFF.

11:24 AM

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