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The Cozy Spot



93 posts categorized "Life"

August 03, 2008

Open Up and Say Ahh or 'Argh!'

I don't know what it is about dentists. They irritate the shit out of me. Is it their known love of money or arrogance that takes me over the edge? Oh, wow, they happen to know more about cavities than the rest of us and they'll quickly tell us about all the wrong things we eat, with a patronizing tone that makes me think, 'D'oh, of course I know that chocolate isn't great for my teeth. I'm paying you to fix the cavity so shut the fuck up!' After all, if there was such a thing is 100% preventative dentistry, which resulted in people visiting their dentists once in a lifetime, then most dentists would go into a tailspin. How else would they splurge on their luxury goods and golf club memberships?

What is worse than a dentist without a personality? A dentist that feigns a personality by mailing out greeting postcards as a last minute attempt to be friendly. I retrieved a postcard from my door the other day. It arrived in the mail. I thought, 'oh yeah, postcard,' to turn it over and think, 'urggh!' The card wished me a happy birthday. What? I thought. The date was completely wrong – a full month late. Something like this strokes my inner furnace. The fact of it being August induced more eye rolls than I can recall. It was far too late to get into my good books. The dentist in question comes across as a dominant male: brusque, firm and stoic, his bedside manner irritates the hell out of me. You answer one of his questions, like whether a filling feels even, to say "I don't know, it feels all right,'' for him to say, 'don't second guess it!' And I mean, Jesus Christ, how much can you feel when your mouth is numb?

Continue reading "Open Up and Say Ahh or 'Argh!'" »

August 01, 2008

Little Mishaps

Cuteness, fun and laughter aside, there is the minor issue of the potential mishap with new pets. The little bundle of joy (and hyperactivity that currently sees me taking on night shifts) decided to sneak up on me in the wee hours.

Kitties_005 The felines were running up and down the hall, and I did the usual thing - check if they were being good (no fur flying, bites, squeals, that kind of thing), and all was good. I had a bathroom stopover and after I finished, and made my way back (hopefully to quietude and bed), a small black streak whizzed by me, tripping me up, and maybe it was the time of morning, but it's safe to say that I had a wobbly,Kitties_009 my ankle took a dip (because I didn't want to step on Zelda), and I howled and whined.

Needless to say, I was in bed today, taking advantage of my miserly state, typing on the laptop with the kitties for company. And innocent gaze is amazing enough; I wonder what their memory span is Kitties_007 like, but the older cat sat on the bed, completely unamused by Zelda's cheeky attitude. She tried to grab his tail for the umpteenth time. He decided to tuck it away, and ignore her antics.

I took a break from writing, they watched Oprah, and I continued reading a Hanif Kureishi novella.

Such was Friday...

I'm going to minimize my television news viewing. This afternoon - the idea of travelling anywhere by coach took on a macabre hue. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

July 30, 2008

Kitty World with Pictures

You wouldn't believe how this new kitty parenthood has hit me. This afternoon, I fell asleep (luckily) as Ready,Steady,Cook was on the television. We experienced a minor milestone; Sylvester decided to sleep on one side of the bed, with Zelda on the other, and they remained there (keeping me warm), so I awoke and went into 'oh my God, what time is it?' mode. It wasn't too late in the afternoon, but I felt like I exited a sauna. We went through many names over the weekend: Bella, Priscilla, and my son even Img_0132 suggested 'Pussy Galore' (from the James Bond film), for me to remind him that we'd have to take her to the vet in future (and me not being in the mood to explain the name nor its origin - from my 14 year old son). Anyway, she's a cutie (on the left), but I think I've burned 2000 calories trying to catch her on film.
After three days of mayhem, with felines running amok, I think I experienced a huge milestone.

In fact, I'm still experiencing it as I'm sitting here typing this little Img_0134 morsel. You see, I've had to get others at home to make me coffee, because I can't move from this chair. I have both cats asleep on my lap, Zelda the baby, embracing Sylvester, and it's oh so cute, but how many swipes and hisses did it take to get here?
Plenty. The first day at home went smooth, considering. But day two saw Zelda on pounce mode; she was imitating Sylvester, and he didn't get it. She's used his tail as a toy, he's snapped at her (with his paws), quite hair raising for me because I've never introduced a new kitten to a fully grown male cat before.

Img_0135 Here's another shot of them from the front (sort of), ignore housemate to my left (he was having his regular Paltalk fix). While you're at it, please ignore my ratty house sweater. :D

It feels like I've got a comforter over my legs. Hey, I might melt a millimeter off my thighs!

Speaking of pictures, you will find a fantastically funny picture/post in The Erotic Garden. It speaks of fairy tales past and present. If fairy tales were true, or had a chance of being true (within the Twilight Zone), then women would have such an easier time finding Prince Charming.

July 28, 2008

Monday Morning Shenanigans with "Kittehs"

Monday morning begins with me trying to negotiate online work with two kitties in stand-off mode. I feel like I've re-entered new parenthood, and luckily kitties become adults after one year. This weekend has been filled with fun tumbles, swipes and muted murmurs of dissent, and I'm going to say something controversial - it's all her fault. Sylvester is trying to be a gentleman about his new little adopted sister, but she - in pure baby mode - enjoys testing her limits and she's quite a confident cat, completely undaunted by a male cat six times her size. She swipes, chases and surprises him, standing to her full height, which isn't much, and it's hilarious, but I tend to be a little paranoid because I've seen Sylvester in his manly days  - before the chemical castration - and he wasn't a pretty sight, but it seems that castration does work - for quadrupeds.

So I've been up these last two nights, this morning was funny because every time I tried to put her in her new room, she'd race out again ("I want to have one last swipe at Mr Male!"). She likes having the last word, but she's terribly cute.

This week, I'll also be collecting links for the Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy, so if you'd like to send me a few links for an upcoming showcase on this blog, e-mail them through to my email: [email protected]




July 26, 2008

A New Addition: Sibling Rivalry?

I adopted a new kitty today. She's tiny, at 8 weeks, and is a tortoise shell coloured kitty that has bundles of personality. We've just brought her home, and she's exploring the living room as I sit in the other room with Sylvester. So far so good. I held the new kitty for quite a while beforehand, for Sylvester to sit in my lap, and I haven't been scratched to pieces. I better not speak too soon. We're taking it a day at a time to introduce both cats, and are working on introducing scents.

The first step to scent introduction went fairly well. The new kitty climbed (raced out) out of her temporary home and happily explored the living room and kitchen - taking a whiff here and there. There's plenty of Sylvester scent everywhere. We'll be keeping her in her carriage when we introduce them face to face. It's easier introducing children, in comparison. An adult cat in defensive mode is quite a daunting sight, and it's something I'd like to avoid, but I'm still sitting here on my butt as Sylvester is chowing down next to me, and I'm betting he's already taken a big whiff of the newcomer.

I tried to take a piccie, but forgot to recharge my phone battery. This week. And I'll have to catch her first. She's busy exploring and won't tolerate any one interrupting her play or exploring time.

So cute!!!

July 24, 2008

Sins: To Covet

Dom_ I don’t believe in the ‘think it and you’ll be it’ new-age philosophy, but I do have fun pretending, just for the laughs.
Yesterday at the restaurant, I wanted a tour of the wine cellars and out of curiosity, asked about the champagne. There I was, looking at them, when I was shown a case of Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 1994.

The packaging is impeccable. Think eau de parfum (Chanel or Joy), but huge. Each bottle is boxed individually within a padded box with a fancy purple stripe, and it slides open (like pricy French perfume). There was another gift box with two champagne flutes that featured a beautiful instructional pamphlet on how to serve champagne, and believe it or not, there are a few important things to keep in mind: never serve champagne in chilled glasses and always make sure the glass is scrupulously clean, because residue can taint the taste. That aside, I had to find out how much each bottle was and I did:

“Five hundred and fifty dollars.”
“Really? That’s all right for 1994 vintage,” I said.
“Wholesale.”
“Wholesale price, you say?”
“Yes.”
“Oh…(!!!)…so that would make it over a thousand per bottle on the menu.”
“Around that.”
“Oh, okay,” I said, like we were talking about Twinings English Breakfast tea. I’ve tasted other varieties back in the bartending days, but this Rose vintage looked better by the second…

It’s so much easier (and affordable?) to covet thy neighbors spouse…Actually, what a great idea for a Paypal Donate button: "The Dom Perignon Fund." I'm only kidding (or am I? - I am joking)

July 21, 2008

The Crunch to End all Crunches?

People wouldn’t believe me if I say it, but it’s the whole truth, the entire truth, I swear by my morning hair and the fag dangling out of my mouth, but now as I watch CBS News, I’m slightly flummoxed by the dependency on credit cards for basic staples because, get this, I’ve never had a credit card.

Bankruptcy became a reality for me early in life. People I knew found it shocking for someone like me to Credit_card go bankrupt in my Twenties. Did I have a business? No. Did I heavily invest in a project? Absolutely not. Did I overspend on luxury goods? No. I took out a loan. A measly little loan for an amount that was far too much for me to handle at the age of nineteen - two and a half thousand dollars. Such a pissy amount, I know, but that is how it all started for me, and ironically enough, to benefit me in the long run as I see people in supermarket checkouts put their thirty dollar groceries on credit.

The secret behind my bankruptcy is simple, and it was my first lesson in being young, stupid and trusting a bloke. I was sharing a house with three males (two co-workers), and over time they became like older siblings, keeping an eye on my ‘virtue’ and ensuring I didn’t date any idiots, and at one point the eldest flat mate decided I had to find a better job, one that was more savory than serving drinks in a caberet-nightclub bar. He loaned me money, against my will, to enroll in a travel agent course, and although I did learn one good thing (typing), other problems emerged, namely an overseas visitor friend of theirs who was the ultimate sleazebag. Needless to say, I had to move out because I offended them by rightfully accusing the visitor of making unsavory moves. One of my flat mates couldn’t  handle me saying it as it simply was: that their barrister friend was a predator, and that I wasn’t anyone’s whore.

Continue reading "The Crunch to End all Crunches?" »

July 20, 2008

On Cluckiness

A recent -scary- moment for me occurred when I realized that I craved another addition to the family. No, I'm not talking about human babies, but a little friend for Sylvester (Alpha cat). It may seem absurd, but it's the closest I've been to experiencing cluckiness outside of cute children's wear sections in department stores. Tiny clothes are enough to set me off, and it's only when I return to the escalators, that the impression diminishes. In fact, I recall the sleepless nights, crying, more crying...teething...biting...the first supermarket tantrum, first obsession (Thomas the Tank Engine), toy injuries (stepping on Thomas the Tank and the entire set of mini trains).

Catbrain Pets are easier, or are they? The cat debate is continuing at home. I've decided to wait a while - that was four weeks ago. The urge hasn't abated. Is this close to the ticking bodyclock? I don't know. I've never experienced the thirtysomething ticking body clock phenomenon, but now...? I'm not sure if the feeling is similar, but I quite fancy the idea of adding more cuddly critters to the house and while I do like dogs, I don't like eau de canine and don't fancy entering a Pavlov state of mind to train a dog because let's face it, dogs need operant conditioning. Cats don't respond to operant conditioning in the way dogs do, and its this independence of mind that attracts me to cats. If a cat doesn't want to play, it doesn't want to play. Cats aren't going to go out of their way to please their owner, sorry 'staff' and that's the difference right there. Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.

I've had the pleasure of being in the company of dogs in the past. My foster mother was an avid dog collector, and by that mean that one could see her parenting skills via her pet skills; when she tired of a breed (a pure breed), she'd give it away and buy another. Dogs were like shoes. In the space of five years we went through various two terriers (snappy), two Collies (the Lassie dynasty is the only clever Collie, most are high strung), one Shi Tzu (45 minute blow waves, temperamental and fussy), one Chihuahua (never again), and one Papillon (my favorite). With the exception of the Papillon, the rest were a right pain in my ass, and lord knows I tried. The Shi Tzu would always peeve me off. It was as though it had regency bred into its DNA; it stood with its head up high in the tub waiting to be shampooed, and after a towel dry, would expect the hairdryer. 45 minutes later, and he'd be dolled up, and then he'd go and roll around in the damned soil (to annoy me?). I couldn't water the plants in the garden if the Collies were out. They'd fret and run away. Terriers yap like hell and Pomeranians can be snappy fuzz balls. They all had one thing in common. They had to be ruled with a near iron fist, and by that, I mean constant reinforcement. I couldn't believe it, but no one succeeded in training them to poo in the far end of the yard. As for the Collies? None of us managed to succeed with usual walks; they'd walk us. My foster mother even paid a trainer - all to no avail.

You buy a kitten, bring it home, feed the little furball and place it in the litter box and the business is done. There is no constant reinforcement. Cats may as well have an inbuilt toilet mechanism. They're not as messy as dogs, and I'm not a clean freak, but there is nothing like the fresh dollop of dog turd in the middle of anywhere at any time of the day, including the morning. When I see films depicting city dwellers with pets, I ask myself how on earth do these people do it, living in an apartment with a dog? How many times (a day) do they have to take the dog outside to learn, and how many misses are there? I've never been able to successfully toilet train a dog. Never. Don't ask me why. I've done the newspaper trick (in apartments). I've taken dogs outside at the crack of dawn and late in the evening (to wind up with a turd in the laundry at the crack of dawn), and I gave up over time (thinking: "Jesus, do I need to give you electric shocks to get it? Outside = toilet, for chrissakes!), deciding that I am not the reincarnation of Dr Ivan Pavlov.

I don't know how my cluckiness for another feline will go. Lately, I've had to really restrain myself at malls with pet shops. The other week, I almost caved in after seeing an adorable female tabby. I rang housemate and clucked over the phone. His response? "Step away from the pet store, it would be ethically better to adopt from the RSPCA," for me to resurrect my inner child with, "But it's cute and a female! You should see it. Do you want me to send a pic via your mobile phone? I can do that..."

At this moment I'm fretting over the other details such as introducing a new kitty to 8 year old -eccentric-Sylvie and how he'll take it. Then there is the naming process. My son named our cat when he was six years old. He naturally associated the cat with the eponymous cartoon cat. Then there is the introduction stage. It's similar to parenting without the diapers, teething and tantrums.

I'm turning into the weird cat lady.


Image: Cat Stuff

 

July 15, 2008

The New Yorker Takes First Prize for Tastelessness

Newyorker_narrowweb__300x4390
This is the most recent cover of the New Yorker. I'm not really one to critique the New Yorker. I only read the online fiction the magazine publishes. Everything else tends to go over my head, and is beyond highbrow or highbrow to the point of being elitist.

However, I do think this cover encapsulates the New Yorker magazine as being snobbish, snooty or anal. Can one really say 'satire' and truly feel comfortable with that definition?

What is the title of the cover on the July 21 issue?
"The Politics of Fear"

I've purchased the New Yorker a couple of times. If you include the customs tax, you can buy it here for around fifteen dollars an issue, and it's a thin little magazine that doesn't really justify the fifteen dollar price tag - you get much more in the free online editions. But seriously, there are many interesting articles within the magazine, or in the online edition, at least. I wouldn't fork out fifteen dollars for another print issue.

It's simply a shame that a silly magazine cover, like the one above, will overshadow other articles, but it says a tremendous amount about 'race' relations in the United States. Terms like 'race' and 'women/men of color' are still used in the 21st century. Recently, I came upon a fiction submission call for erotic fiction requesting fiction from 'women of color.' Is that really necessary within a nation that is a multi-cultural nation? The term is only a stone's throw away from the other vexing term, 'colored people.'

The Perfect Quote For Blogging

I've stumbled on the perfect quote that can be applied blogging:

"After all is said and done, more is said than done," - Aesop

No, this isn't a resignation letter post, but an observation. One thing that doesn't escape me each time I trot along with a post is my veering toward a state of hypergraphia. Really, what do momentary observations or glimpses truly mean? I no longer read personal confessions, so I'm not sure why I even bother writing personal observations. It's like my pack a day habit - a habit (or ritual).

I almost bought David Sedaris' new essay collection yesterday, but I realized, as I flipped through the pages at the bookstore, that no matter how glib, funny and tart, it was just another personal observation - and I then wonder if it's just me or I worry about reading yet another "my struggle to quit smoking" essay. I opted for a Richard Matheson novel and a Sci-Fi anthology, and it was a difficult choice, but my finances overruled my impulses. I took a rain check; the essays would have to wait.

I've read a lot of celebrity-writer struggles with 'filthy,disgusting habits' (ie smoking), and I'm no closer to finding the answer. I've even known an author of a quit smoking guide who was smoking as the final draft was being edited. I know it all boils down to a combination of willpower and desire to quit fagging. I have neither at this point in time. I'll probably pay for it later, or go to hell for polluting the atmosphere or 'indirectly' killing a passerby out in the open air, but that is what most of us 'filthy' smokers deal with and amazingly enough, I don't feel guilty about it. We do definitely live in strange times; have a condom free orgy with an entire football team today, and you're not filthy. A little misguided perhaps, but it may even be considered sexy in the Sex and the City kind of way. Smoke, and you're immediately 'filthy and disgusting.' Go figure. So I'm tired of reading 'my struggle to quit smoking' essays written by any one. They tend to remain on the safe side, when really, being down to your last cigarette of the evening (without any means of immediate resupply) can send an addict into a complete tailspin. That's how crazy it is, and a lot of serious essays on this subject have the crazy omitted. Even the idea of having a cup of coffee in a coffee shop is out of the question; it's like the cigarette equivalent of 'I don't do B grade films.' I don't do indoor coffee shops well, and if I'm forced to do it, I have to be in and out, faster than a porno movie - sans money shot.

At this present time I have an estimated 3 post a day habit, and I'm seriously trying to whittle that down to one a day, or one every couple of days - possibly once a week. Why? Here's a secret that probably isn't a secret: I don't find blogging constructive as a creative process. It's a cake walk for someone who types at 90 wpm, has an eye for detail/news and is currently unemployed in the day job sense and knows that there is a current load of other writing to be continued. In the short space of a year I've noticed that my vocabulary has changed; its simplification is something that lurks in the background, and it's the only thing that can create a guilty feeling, for that feeling to circulate like a convection current within my head.

Last week, I noticed that I misplaced one of my writing pads. The pad in question had ten ideas jotted within it, along with notes - possible short stories - and it annoyed the fuck out of me because I'd been distracted by other things. Sometimes the online realm can be a little too much. It can be distracting. So I'm nowhere near commencing the story ideas, and yet here I am in this blog, killing time until I remember where I placed the stupid notepad.

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© Anastasia Mavromatis 2005 - 2008