Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quoting Bugs Bunny.....


And boy am I glad to be leaving southern California. An earthquake that was first reported at 5.8, then went down to 5.6 and is now being down graded to 5.4 hit this morning as I was sitting at my desk. If I keep watching the websites it might be down graded to a slight draft that meekly traveled through the south land.

My office is inside of a California Craftsman style house in the City of Orange. We are about 15 miles south of the epicenter and I firmly believe that our wild ride this morning was very easily a 5.8. Ok, a 5.7. File drawers opened and things on my desk marched around precariously close to the edge. Nothing fell and nothing broke while I sat there dumbfounded by what was going on. My heart was beating in my head and all I could think was "Oh my poor sister." Tori is terrified of earth quakes. I don't like them at all but my reaction is a walk in the park compared to hers. My co-workers were at the back door yelling my name and telling me to get out of the house. When I finally gathered my wits I got up and walked out of the house like a drunken sailor. It's hard to walk on shaky ground. After I got outside I realized that I had evacuated without my cell phone...and then as an after thought realized that I had also evacuated without my Coach purse. I went back in to fetch my things and my co-workers told me to at least let the building stop shaking before I went back in. This whole scene lasted maybe 20 seconds but it felt like 2 hours.

So with all of that in mind I have to say, "I'm outtie! Kthnxbye."


Monday, July 28, 2008


Miss Nort is doing so well that she is now a cover girl. You can almost see her clef lip. She'll have to wear more lipstick for her next cover!

(The first time I published this post I had this picture in a program that made it look like she was on the cover of a magazine but apparently after an amount of time the link doesn't work, so I've replaced it with the regular picture.)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting nailed

I read many blogs each and every day. I'd have a "blog-roll" on my page but I don't know how to put things on my page that aren't in the "fill in the blanks" of the "edit my blog" page. I digress...

One of the blogs I read is written by a very funny lady named Holly. Her stories are always very funny and sometimes she illustrates her posts with hand drawn pictures. I LOVE hand drawn picture days on her blog! If I could draw at all I might try my hand at it, but I'm trying to lure readers to this blog, not scare them away!

Holly's post today was something to which I could really relate. She has inspired me to write my own post on this subject. Please go visit her page and read her story while I write my post. http://www.junecleavernirvana.com/2008/07/next-time-holly-is-going-to-get-root.html

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I spend a huge amount of time getting my nails done. I LOVE having acrylic nails and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting pedicures. What you may not know is that I went to manicure school and am the owner of a shiny new, never ever used, manicurist license. I spend hours in manicure shops...but I prefer to spend those hours in the client seat and not in the business seat.

As an adult I've always been crafty so I thought that learning how to do acrylic nails would be a breeze for me. Turns out...not so much. Way back in 1986 my mom paid for me to go to the "Marinello School of Beauty". I was just pulling my head out of a real live, miniature, nervous break down, and I had no job, no ambition, no money, no self esteem...no nothing. My mom probably would have paid for me to go to underwater basket weaving school if she thought it would stimulate me enough to want to get out of bed in the morning. I needed something other than my problems to keep my mind busy and we both thought that manicure school would be good for giving me something to do and I'd have a new career on which to embark.

The first couple of weeks of manicure school we read books and took tests and worked on rubber hands. When we graduated to working on each other I thought this was a pretty cool vocation....but then we started working on real people. I'm a bit of a germphobe so it was hard for me to touch people without making them wash their hands first. (graduating on to pedicures was a real party!) The Marinello School of Beauty was all about cleanliness and sanitation and I was happy to learn that we were to have every client clean their hands with medical grade alcohol before we were allowed to touch them. I can't tell you how many people I would get all sterile and clean only to have them sneeze in to their hands or pick something out of their teeth or scratch the flaky skin on their arm and then think nothing of offering me their hand to work on. I would make them wash up again before I would touch them and tell them, "School rules. Sorry." I would always clean my hands with the alcohol, too, just for good measure! You wouldn't believe how many people would come in looking like they had just been digging in the garden and all of a sudden decided to stop what they were doing and go get a manicure. I would let those people soak their hands until they had wrinkly prune skin. A lot of manicurists today wear latex gloves but we didn't have that option. We had a bottle of alcohol and that was it. Needless to say I went through a lot more alcohol than my classmates.

After a few weeks of doing manicures and pedicures we went on to doing acrylic nails. Well let me be the first to tell you that creating a fingernail out of dust and liquid is not an easy task. The product we used in school was slow drying and thus we were supposed to be able to take our time when trying to form something that looked like a finger nail. Back then it wasn't the norm to put tips on first and then paint the acrylic over them. We used stupid little forms that went under your real nail and expanded out from underneath the finger tip. The finished product of we beginners usually looked like we had dipped our rubber hands into some gloppy mess. The dips and bumps and thickness and lopsidedness was epic. In time we were taught to buff and file the mess in to something that resembled a finger nail. Oh, and we were not allowed to use drills. We did all of our work with nail buffers and emery boards. It was only after we learned how to apply acrylic nails in this fashion that we got to learn how to apply tips and then put the acrylic on top of the tips which brings me to the first real story of this post.

I was working on a client, a nice elderly woman and I was concentrating really hard on what I was doing. I had glued the inch long tips to her nails and I was clipping them down to a more reasonable length. Just after I clipped one of the nails I felt something hit me in the eye and boy did it hurt. I rubbed my eye and it was watering like crazy. Then I discovered that I couldn't open my eye. I excused myself from my client and tried to find the teacher so I could let her know that something was wrong. When I found my teacher she said that I probably had a part of the tip in my eye and should probably go to the hospital and get it taken out. When I told her that I didn't have any health insurance and couldn't afford an ER visit she said that I should go to the restroom and see if I could find the errant piece of tip and take it out myself. When I got to the restroom I tried to find the piece of tip that was now ripping my eyeball to shreds. It hurt like H. E. double hockey sticks...but I couldn't see where it was. I went back to the teacher and told her my plight and she told me to sit down and she'd take a look at it. She pried my eye wide open and told me that the chunk of fingernail tip was stuck in the membrane next to my eye. With no warning or hand washing she stuck her grubby 2 inch nail inside my eye and plucked out the errant tip. My eye watered so severely I thought that I was bleeding at first. Once I had regained my composure I thought for sure that the teacher was going to send me home to recover from my traumatic experience however she sent me right back to my client who had been waiting this entire time. I was very apologetic and the client was very understanding








I truly just wanted a hole to open up and swallow me. I was so embarrassed and humiliated. I was sitting there trying to be all official with my "Popeye" type squint and I sat right there and somehow managed to Super Glue our skin together. Oh, well, not to worry...we had Super Glue solvent and we would be free from bondage in just a jiffy.

Or not.

I don't know if the solvent was old or what but it just didn't work. I tried using acetone and that didn't work. Medical grade alcohol? Nope. Quaternary ammonium? (the blue stuff they sterilize implements with) Nope. Soap? Nope. Cussing and tears? Nope. My client had just about lost her patience with me and I didn't blame her one bit. I had to soak our hands in the glue solvent and millimeter by millimeter pry our skin apart. When all was said and done us were missing chunks of skin and we were both exhausted. The teacher mercifully allowed a more senior student to finish the clients acrylic nails. She had been in the shop with me for over 4 hours.

Flash forward many years....my manicure license is still in the envelope in which it arrived and has since expired. It had been so long since I had done acrylic nails that I couldn't even do my own any more. I saw a shop near my house that was advertising "Full Set $12.00". That was such a bargain that I decided to go there instead of my usual salon. Upon entering the shop I was greeting with the standard nail salon greeting, "Peekala!" For those of you who don't speak nail salonese that translates to, "Thank you for choosing our nail salon from the millions of shops in this general area. All of our technicians are currently with clients right now but if you would like to browse our selection of nail polishes and pick a color someone will be with you shortly." I searched for and found my signature shade of "Million Dollars Red".
I have been wearing that same color for over 10 years and I still get compliments on it. (and no that's not a typo...it's "dollars" not "dollar".) As I waited patiently for my turn I had someone from the shop tell me that I needed my eyebrows waxed. I looked at her and was tempted to tell her that I had just recently finished a year of chemo therapy and I was pretty fond of each and every blond hair that was upon my head, including the 6 that were gathered above my eye that almost formed eye brows, but I just politely told her, "No thank you."

When it was my turn to get my nails done I was beckoned to the table of a jittery looking fellow who obviously hadn't washed his hair for quite some time. In addition to the dandruff he had manufactured himself, his hair was full of acrylic dust. It wasn't pretty. He attempted small talk but since he was wearing a medical mask and had a pretty thick accent I couldn't understand a word he was saying. He took great care to glue the plastic tips to my nails to the point of removing and repositioning them several times. I had the feeling that he hadn't been at this profession for very long. Once he had applied all 10 tips he took out his little dishes and poured the acrylic powder in one and then he started to fill the other little bowl with the liquid. This all seemed to happen in slow motion as I think about it today. He picked up a plastic bottle with a nozzle on the end and as he was starting to point it toward the little dish he started to squeeze the bottle. The little dish was between me and him and before I knew it he was squirting me in the eye with the liquid from the bottle.

I screamed and pushed myself away from his table. I staggered to the back of the shop looking for a sink so I could flush my eye. I thought my eye ball was dissolving. Finally I found my way to the teeny weeny bathroom and attempted to flush my eye with cold water. My knees were wobbling from the pain and I was afraid I was going to pass out or pee my pants.

After what seemed like 15 minutes but was surely only a matter of seconds I managed to pry my eye open and get some water in there. From the mirror in front of me I could see the reflection of every employee of the nail salon crowded in the door way, one of them offering me an ice cube. From his bare hand. Melting.

I turned down the offer of the ice cube and sat down with a wet paper towel on my eye for a couple of minutes. I was happy to see that my eye was not dissolving and I was creating enough tears to help flush the acrid liquid out of my eye.

I know I should have walked out of that place as soon as my vision returned but I had some place special to go that night and I couldn't go with half of a full set accomplished on my hands so I sat back down and asked the man to finish the job. The foreign language chatter that followed made me wonder if somehow they were blaming me for wasting precious drops of their product. When all was said and done he still charged me full price and never showed even the smallest sign of sorrow or regret for having nearly blinded me.

I did not leave a tip.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life with Lorenzo

I swear...the guy who draws these cartoons has HAD to have been spying on me and Lorenzo. The only thing missing from this video would be the occasional kamikaze leaps on to my stomach from points unknown.



Nort Report

Last night we were able to bring Nort home. When we picked her up at the Westminster hospital she seemed a little sedate. By the time we had finished learning how to give her all of her medications she had fallen asleep and was resting peacefully.

When we got in to the car she snoozed and stretched on my lap. I figured that after all she had been through that she was exhausted and I did what I could to let her sleep. (Andrew's KORN retrospective playing on the cd player didn't really help, but she managed to sleep anyway.)

I stayed in the car with her for about 45 minutes so that she could get as much rest as possible before everyone else started coming around sniffing at her and trying to figure out where she had been and what she had been up to. I stroked her belly and she purred. She looked at me with winky eyes and went back to sleep.

I gently brought her in to the house and layed her and her towel down on the couch. I turned to put my purse down and when I got back to the couch...Nort was not on her towel. She wasn't even on the couch. She was running for the food bowl. The vet said that he wanted her to eat a little bit several times a day so I knew that it was ok for her to dine. She ate like a ferocious tiger until I took the plate away from her. I thought she would relax and digest but what do I know? Before I had straightened up from taking the plate away Nort had found a jingle ball and was playing soccer with it down the hallway.

Throughout the rest of the evening I had to take her off of high places approximately 100 times. I had to fish her out of the refrigerator and also remind her that litter boxes are not hiding places. This kitty spent the evening playing with everything she could find and when she couldn't find anything to play with I swear she dreamt things up! All of the adult kitties took turns licking her and trying to clean her. I truly think they were trying to get her to settle down but they were all as successful as I was in this department.

I took her to bed with me hoping that being in a warm dark bed would cause her to relax and sleep. However my head had barely hit the pillow before she was off and running.

She got two doses of medicine this morning and if I come home and don't find both doses on the carpet when I get home I will be amazed.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is EXACTLY how I do not like to spend my Tuesday nights

Yesterday Andrew called me here at work and said that the grey baby, “Nort”, had been crying and was throwing up and then had a fit of diarrhea right in the middle of the living room. He said that she was obviously ill. I told him to race her to the vet and have them call me for payment information. So he got a neighbor to take him to the closest vet and they took her right in. They did a fecal test for parasites and it came back negative. They gave her subcutaneous fluids and gave Andrew some liquid antibiotics and sent them home. About an hour later Andrew called me and said that Nort was acting even sicker than before, so I told him to race her back to the vet and I’d meet them there. So after driving like a maniac…(I hit ever freakin red light between here and HB.) I got to the vets office to find that they are open until 6:00 but the doctor leaves at 5:00. HOW STUPID IS THAT?? So they referred us to an emergency pet hospital in Westminster. Have you ever tried to get anywhere in a hurry on Beach Blvd at 6:00? There was traffic, red lights AND construction. Nort was laying in my lap, pitifully crying, breathing short shallow breaths, eyes rolling back in her head. The hospital knew we were coming so they were waiting for us when we got there. (Of course we missed the drive way and had to make a 5 minute trip around the block!) They whisked Nort away as soon as we got there and then the wait began. (Incidentally we named NortNort” because she has a clef lip and we decided that if she were to snort like the other kittens she would say “nort” instead of “snort”. This fact comes in to play later.)

They asked us over and over if we had any idea what she could have possibly gotten in to. I told them that she had never been outside in her life and that the only things she could have gotten in to were in the bottom of my kitchen cupboard and everything in there was sealed. They told us to go home and investigate and see if there was any moldy food lying around or any spilled cleaning fluids. Well, I knew full well that there was no moldy food lying around but the possibility of something spilled that she could have gotten in to was feasible. So we left Westminster and went home and tore the house apart looking for something/anything that she might have gotten in to. We think we found what it was…but there is no way to be sure. One of them had knocked over a box of Borax soap in Andrew's laundry pile. I would have thought that anything that would have hurt the kittens would have been under the kitchen sink. They have learned how to open the cupboard and there is now way for me to keep the cupboard closed so they had free reign to go in and walk through the soap. So we packed up the soap box and headed back to Westminster. On the ride over I called the 800 # on the box for advice on ingestion of their product and they were closed. Sure glad it wasn’t my human child who had eaten their soap!

When we got back to the hospital they took the soap box from us and then came out and asked us about any possibility of physical trauma. Unfortunately last week Andrew was trying to pick up Nort and another kitty. The other kitty didn’t want to be picked up and scrambled which caused Andrew to trip over a litter box and lose his balance. Nort wound up getting hit on a dresser. She cried for a minute and limped around that night but by morning time she was fine and hasn’t limped since.

They took x-rays and said that there were no broken bones, her heart and lungs looked good but her tummy was inflamed. She wouldn’t hold her head up and it didn’t look good. They had given her pain meds, a sedative, antibiotics and something to try to calm her tummy. Now here’s the kicker….this hospital doesn’t have 24 hour care so we would have to transfer Nort to a hospital that does. So we took her to her 3rd facility of the day…this one in Garden Grove. There was one doctor in this entire facility and thus it took us over 2 hours to get her checked in. As I was filling out paperwork and answering the same questions over and over…the nurse asked me why we named a cute little girl kitty “Nort”. I told her that we didn’t know she was a girl until about an hour previous but we named her Nort because of her clef lip and I reiterated the story about her name that I told you a few paragraphs ago. Imagine my horror when after I told my funny story I realized that this nurse also had a clef lip that had been repaired so well that it was hardly noticeable.

We got home after midnight and I went straight to bed knowing that we had to be back at the Garden Grove hospital before 8:00 AM to pick Nort up and bring her back to the other hospital in Westminster. Why there isn’t a 24 hour pet hospital in the area is beyond me.

Andrew picked her up this morning and took her back to the Westminster hospital and said that she looked really good. The Garden Grove doctor called me and told me that Nort had made a miraculous recovery but was not out of the woods. He said that she was sitting up and occasionally batting at her IV tubing.

At this point I’ve spent around $1,500.00. I’m about ready to hold a car wash and a bake sale.


Friday, July 11, 2008

"Poor Little Greenie"....*

The other day I came home from work and I was surprised when I didn't see all of the kitties sitting in the front window anxiously awaiting my arrival. I was a tad more concerned when I got out of my car and Lorenzo wasn't in the kitchen window bellowing my welcome home as he has done every day of his life. I quickened my pace to the front door and lowered my purse towards the ground as I walk through the threshold trying to thwart the inevitable escape attempts, but alas...no one was trying to escape. My heart dropped because I immediately assumed that all of the kitties must have gotten out and were roaming the neighborhood....then...out of the corner of my eye I saw one kitty emerge...and then another...and then all of them came to greet me. They had that sleepy, content aura about them, sort of like when they had exhausted their poor little kitty selves when they spent all day rearranging the bathroom for me. Everything appeared to be in it's place but oddly enough no one was climbing up my leg looking for the cans of cat food I keep hidden in my hair. Lorenzo was all but silent and he is NEVER silent.

"Why aren't you guys hungry?", I asked. My answer was just a bunch of lazy blinks and a slight brush of my ankle. I went ahead and opened a can of food and Willow sort of mosied over to the bowl and attempted to take a few bites. I could tell that he was doing this in an effort to make me happy and not because he was completely starving, totally ready to parish, on his last calorie like he is every other day.

"Are all of you guys sick?", I asked as I bent down to pick up the one remaining white kitten. "Your belly is suspiciously full....what have you been eating?", I said to him. We have been crafting the last few nights and my first thought was that the kitten had found a silk flower or a ribbon and had chowed down on it. Of course that wouldn't explain why none of the others were hungry.

I chalked it up to the fact that it had been a super hot day and they were probably just too hot to eat and the white kitten had probably gone over board eating the crunchy food during the day and just didn't have any room left for the canned food.

Then as I walked down the hallway towards my bedroom I found this:

Just last night this had been a brand new bag of "Greenies" cat treats. (*I can never look at this brand of treats without singing to myself David Bowie's song, "Jean Genie". There is a line in that song that says, "Poor little greenie..."thus the title of this post.) I've never read the ingredients before but I'm pretty certain that they contain crack and heroin and meth. My cats go nutty freakin coo coo over these treats. They are kind of expensive so I only pass them out when I want to distract the kitties from whatever I'm doing, like the aforementioned crafting. Apparently they didn't think they had been given enough so after I left for work someone, and I'm pretty sure it had to be Lorenzo, knocked them off of the kitchen counter and then it was probably a tag team effort to get the bag ripped open. Ashleigh loves to chew on things as do both of the kittens so I can only imagine the field day that was had when they were trying to get to the booty inside of the foil/plastic bag.

There is no doubt that Lorenzo didn't allow Elijah to have any of the ill gotten goodies so I took the few crumbs that remained and fed them to Elijah in the bathroom. For the first time in his life I heard Elijah purr and then he chirped. Elijah has been my gentle little boy who was a sick kitten in the hospital when I came home from Europe last year. Because he is the weakest of the cat mob Lorenzo picks on him relentlessly. Elijah is afraid of everything and everybody...but all it took was a handful of "Greenies" crumbs and all of a sudden I have a new best friend. If I had known this was going to be the outcome I would have left the opened bag of "Greenies" in the hallway months ago. I haven't heard him purr or chirp again yet but Elijah actually sat next to me, touching me, which has never happened before. I think I see more clandestine "Greenies" fests in the bathroom in Elijah's future.

I apologize for the spacing in this post. I have played with it and tried to fix it but apparently Blogspot isn't going to participate. Idiot foolish Blogspot.


Monday, July 07, 2008

4th of July

So, yesterday, did you see that dorky girl at the Huntington Beach Park concert, (who was sitting with her mom and a cute little dog who was wearing the red, white and blue bandanna), who sat there and cried like a baby when the orchestra played a theme song for each of the branches of the armed services, just like she knew each and every single veteran who was there in the park with her?

Yeah, that was totally me.

Patriotic Angel.

How cute is my mom for putting a red, white and blue bandanna on her dog for 4th of July?