Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spending the Last Day of January at the Atwood Cafe

The last day of January greets us with blue skies and a slight warm-up. It's almost as January is saying, "who me?" with the freezing temperatures, snow squalls, and ice. To celebrate the last day of the first month of the decade, Steve and I are ascending onto "The Dirty Dan" (Dan Ryan Expressway) and heading to downtown Chi-town for a brunch with family at the Atwood Cafe. I wonder if it is named after Margaret Atwood? Located inside the Hotel Burnham, the Atwood Cafe has a beautiful waiting area/lobby. High ceilings, a fireplace, jazz playing in the background. A mural adorns the wall behind the service desk. Wrought iron gates cover the windows and provide a formal, ornamental, ambiance. All I can say is that the food is decadent. From the merlot to the salmon to the donuts they had at the rable, the creme broulet was amazing. It was a lovely brunch. After we finished brunch and said our goodbyes, we headed home. There was a automobile that caught fire on I-94 and took three lanes down to one, so we had to take a longer way home. Steve managed to drive us home safely, with ACDC's Back in Black playing on the CD. I am happy to say so long to January. This was the perfect way to end it and to start a new month tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Cat Zoo: Moshi in Heat

Moshi in Jungle Room LCS-2010
Friday is near. It's been another interesting week. I was warned that the full moon is coming soon. I believe it. Steve visited the v-e-t again, this time with Latte. She has an upper respiratory infection and infected eyes. (*sigh*) It's been the sixth (or seventh) trip to the kitty doctor. Soon I may request to direct deposit our checks to the vet's office. A friend did give us good advice: rather than getting pet insurance, put away a certain amount of $$$ in a fund designated for the kitties. I wonder what my bank would say if we opened a new savings account called "The Cat Zoo?" ;) Another interesting aspect of the cat zoo is that Moshi was acting strangely this week. It's like Moshula the Kitten transformed into this whirring, cuddly, kitten-butt-in-the-air. Steve brought up the notion that Moshi could be in heat. And he's right. We've always had our kittens spayed before they went into heat. However, with all the cat cooties, we couldn't let Moshi have surgery until she was well and her immune system can handle it. We now have an amorous kitten snuggling up to all of us. Java and Latte are looking at her warily. It's amusing and annoying at the same time. Heartening news, though: the fur children are all almost well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poem: (someday)

(someday) I hope the teenage girl realizes (someday) that the mother she told off tonight may not be around (someday.) lcs.2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mad Dogs & Irishmen at the Beanery

Mad Dogs & Irishmen Performing at the Beanery- Photograph courtesy of Judy Bradford 2010
It's Saturday night. Steve and I just visited a local favorite Italian eatery with friends. I had salad, pasta, blackberry wine, and half a slice of cheesecake. Delicious. Today I recovered from last night's gig and slept in until 1:00 p.m. Fighting a losing battle against the annual winter respiratory infection, spent from last week's activities and last night's gig. This is why I am writing tonight. Steve and I arrived at the Beanery early to set up. I brought the whole entourage of percussion equipment: congas, drumset, djembe, shaker, tambourine, triangle. The staff at the Beanery showed incredible hospitality. Soon, people started entering the cafe. The whole band showed up and we arranged ourselves accordingly. All my equipment took up a lot of space, but we still had room for a bass player, an acoustic guitar player and vocalist, and two vocalists. It was a fun show. The cafe was full and the audience even asked for an encore! So we sang The Rose. We are going to perform at Club LaSalle next for our second gig. I love jazz and blues, so it will be a pleasure!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Cat Zoo: Beast Feast Photographs

Moshi and Latte-LCS 2010
Java and Moshi-LCS 2010

Moshi-LCS 2010

(Almost) a Night at the Beanery

Tomorrow's the premiere night at The Beanery. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm stoked. I'm happy to be playing with a cool ensemble of people. I'll give you the skinny on how it went. Will post photos!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Cat Zoo: Beast Feast

Moshi the Beast--LCS 2010
I contemplated starting another blog about kitten and cat care. After talking with Steve, we agreed that I should keep one blog and introduce a subcategory called The Cat Zoo. He also had a great idea to blog about the kitties once a week and call it Caturday! (He read about Caturday somewhere.) So, this is my first official Cat Zoo posting. And how appropriate to add Beast Feast as a subtitle, because this is what they do... a LOT. Feeding time is quite interesting Chez Sigety. Since we have a kitten, an adult cat, and a senior feline with kidney disease, we have three different cat foods in three different bowls. Steve and I set out the food twice a day. Sometimes, if Java gives me sad eyes, Latte pats the lower cupboard (where food is stashed), and Moshi squeaks, I will set out the food a third time in-between. Yeah, I know. Sap. Softy. That's me. This is how the routine usually goes: Latte runs downstairs, rubs against our legs, and dashes to the cat cupboard (located in a lower cabinet on the right side of the kitchen.) She starts petting the cupboard and gives me a soulful look. Next appears Moshi with her snowy paws. She sits, tilts her head, and then peeps. Then Java the diva cat makes her cautious yet grandiose entrance, and meows. As a circle of gray, cream, and white fur sits in the kitchen, Steve or I will make our way to the cupboard and hand out the grub. First, the kitten chow in a red dish is handed out, so Moshi will be the most distracted. Next, a bowl of adult cat food is set down for Latte. Then, presented on a white saucer is the kidney food for Java. Now the Beast Feast commences. The girls decide that the other's bowl has better food and attempts to sample the other's food. It is not a big deal, except that each has specialized food for their health needs. So Steve or I have to redirect Moshi back to her bowl at least three times, since she runs right for Java's plate, which angers Java, hence the hissing and an occasional swipe with a paw from an irate cat to Moshi's head. Meanwhile, kitten chow is much more appetizing so as the Moshi/Java drama ensues, Latte is heading for Moshi's food. (Sigh) So we redirect the fur children and the cycle continues for the entire meal. To add to the drama, we need to give Java some wet cat food to stimulate her appetite and add some moisture to her diet. It's a special cat food prescribed by the v-e-t. I call it kitty crack, because as soon as Steve opens a bit from the pouch and places some on Java's plate, the other girls leap to her food. We comply and give a small bit to the others to keep them out of Java's food. Thank goodness this is temporary, and the cats are fine with the water situation (speaking of moisture.) We installed a small kitty fountain in addition to water bowls and all the girls enjoy it. Perhaps we should break out the Lion taming chair and whip? Most likely not, but we have considered feedings in different rooms. I compare ourselves to human sheepdogs, herding the felines to their proper spaces. It makes for an interesting post. It's feeding time soon. Wish us luck. :) (Photographs will soon follow in a new post.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cat Zoo, CD, and Dreams Matter

Members of the Cat Zoo--Latte, Moshi, and Java-SJS 2010
Right now I am in my favorite flannel pj's and bathrobe, nestled under the covers with Latte sleeping near me. The other members of the Cat Zoo (Java and Moshi) are downstairs and the pirates of FreePort (Steve's gaming group) are on a seafaring adventure downstairs. YAR!
I'm also listening to the CD that one of my bandmates burned for me so I will be prepared for tomorrow's rehearsal (last one) before next Friday's Beanery gig. This morning I painted. Today I hosted a cool collage program in libraryland. It's our Dreams Matter, Part One. We had between 10-15 people in attendance. It was great to have J. there from Artpost. I also wrote and posted a poem on our library's blog entitled "Dreams Matter." Dreams Matter "I Have a Dream." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreams Matter. Dreams Matter. Dreams Matter. What are your dreams? What are your thoughts? What is your vision? (dreams matter) Who do you admire? Who do you love? Who inspires you? (dreams matter) How will you start your journey? How will you take the next step? How do you want to make a difference? (dreams matter) Dreams Matter. Dreams Matter. YOU Matter. lcs. 2010 Monday Steve and I will attend the Martin Luther King, Jr., breakfast and continue parts two and three of Dreams Matter. We'll have an open mic-poetry performance and then have postcards for people to send their dreams. It should be a great day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13

Moshi and Latte Sleeping--LCS, 2010
I cannot believe it's been a year. A lifetime of emotions and events seemed to occur in that space between the 13s. It's been so difficult. It brought some friendships closer and I am grateful for my family and extended family (that would be friends) that have been there through the long haul. I appreciate you. I really, really do. This evening Steve, Dad, and I drove to Heston's, located in the LaPorte area. We met up with extended family from Gravel Lake and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner by the fireplace. The service was fantastic. Enclosed is the latest photograph of Moshi. She is a spark. She represents unconditional love (in-between vampiric kitten bites) and new beginnings. We are happy she came into our lives. Happy Heaven Day, Mom. I love you and miss you always.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Winter Poem from the Past

It is very interesting reading poems from my journal. I have to restrain myself from editing the older poems, because doing so would alter my younger voice. This was a fun night in Canada. I will preface this poem by saying that the more wine I consumed, the better I spoke French. ;) 2073 rue St. Denis, Montreal In winter On exactly January ninth In nineteen-ninety-three Four American students (Snuck out of the bed-and-breakfast) stumbled into a place called Les Beaux Esprits. The musicians from Manhattan Played jazz and the blues Patrons cheering and smoking Speaking in bilingual tongues and one student conversed with the kindly bartender laughing and joking— in French. LLC/Winter 1994

Sunday Already!

Yesterday was a fun, happy blur. One of my friends called me (and I was still sleeping--it was noon). She wanted a shopping buddy. Steve and I didn't have any plans for the day except for having a friend over in the evening. So I crawled out of my warm bed and managed to get a move on to shop. We hit Hacienda first to get sustenance for energy expended pulling out the checkbook and credit cards. We hit a few stores and then returned home. One of my other friends came over at 7:00 p.m. and we all ate pizza, chips, and hung out while meeting and observing the cat zoo. On the feline front... Java is doing much better. Her fur is lush, her beautiful eyes sparkle, and her insistent meow returns. Latte and Moshi are still under the weather with kitty colds and droopy eyes, but are on the mend. We are anticipating three healthy felines soon. Today one of my girlfriends is coming over to help us redecorate our living room. New paint, new furniture, and a new look for the new decade. :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Cyber Friday Night

It's been a whirlwind of a week. It started off quite well and sort of took a nosedive around Wednesday and Thursday and then sort of came back up today. I'm grateful to be home in my bedroom, in my flannel pajamas and surfing the web and updating my Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, etc. On the cat front, Java appears to be feeling much better. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the bladder infection has not spread to her kidneys. The v-e-t gave Steve samples of a soft cat food (for cats with kidney problems). This stuff is like kitty crack. All the cats are going nuts over it. I am fighting off Moshula the kitten because she is all teeth and claws with this food. Anyway, Java is hanging in there.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

An Evening at the Kitty ER

Java Relaxing--LCS/SJS 12.09
It's been a weird day and evening all together. In a way, it was a disguised blessing that I took that fall, because if I wasn't around today, we may have not noticed the extent of Java's illness. We knew she wasn't herself. In fact, Steve made an appointment to take Java to the v-e-t tomorrow evening. I noticed today how listless she was and how nauseated she was from the toxin buildup from the kidney disease. She was hardly drinking any water and her throat seemed parched. She could hardly meow. So when Steve came home tonight, we decided to take her to the kitty ER because she was dehydrated and weak. We honestly thought that this was it, Java had her run.
Well, Miss Paw (one of our pet names for her) had other ideas. After blood and urine tests, her counts were good and the vet was optimistic. (She ended up having a bladder infection and suffering from dehydration.) So after a subtaceous (sp) iv (just under the skin), Java was free to come home. Tomorrow evening Steve will take her to our v-e-t and will find out if she has to stay there for a kitty iv. :(
And Latte will be visiting the v-e-t on Saturday for her eye that she caught from Moshi. (*sigh*)I hope these kitties will be on the mend soon so we can all have a restful weekend.

The Mystery of the Windshield

I wanted to share a story that happened last week. I was working late in libraryland and the weather was a lot like today: icy and snowy. Well, as we left for the evening, I noticed that there was no ice on Greenie's windshield. The side and back windows were clear, too. Hmmn. My security officer guessed that maybe the lake effect snow may have spared my car. I really didn't think any more of it while driving home. I walked in the door to be greeted by Steve, Java, Latte, and Moshi. When I walked into the kitchen, Steve asked me with a smile on his face, "Did you notice that your car windshield was clear tonight?" I thought a minute and then said, "Yes, we were wondering about that." It turns out that Steve drove to my workplace after work and cleared off the snow and ice on my car. What an angel. He is a constant, positive presence in my life. Kudos to him for being such a good person. I am very lucky. This story came up because as I am laundering sheets from this morning's cat incontinence, I realized that Steve switched detergents. With my allergies, I can only tolerate Tide. (I have been itching and breaking out lately.) So I sent him an email that we can only use this brand. I did not mean for him to go out on his lunch hour and get it and bring it to the house. But he did. And gave me a hug because I was having a terrible morning. I am anticipating a peaceful afternoon.

Sad Sore Thursday

I didn't sleep well last night. I called off today, because I am still sore and would be useless at work. I attempt to go back to bed and there is a suspicious cat smell. Someone decided to soil the sheets and the comforter. Damn it. Double damn it. So I am descending down the stairs with bedding when I'm supposed to be resting with ice packs. We also have three sick felines in the house. Java has been chronically ill, but Moshi was sicker than we first thought when she was brought to us, and she has infected our other cats. Nice. We have to bring two of them back to the vet. We love Moshi and she is a sweet kitten, even if she may be the culprit for soiling the bedspread. I am trying to stay positive. I am striving to be the sunny person I used to be once upon a time. Karma is not making it easy.

Librarian With a Sore Bun

Thank God for extra padding. That's all I have to say. Perhaps I will wait until the snow melts to lose those last few pounds. The staff at the clinic laughed at my librarian-and-sore-bun humor today. It made several people laugh today, actually. :) For those of you who don't know the story, I slipped on the ice Wednesday morning and landed on my left side. Hard. And of course with me, it wasn't half-assed, well-sort of half-assed, as I landed on one side. It was a dramatic fall. I was opening the trunk of my car to pull out my computer bag and both of my feet came out from under me. Hit my bum, hit my elbow (right on the funny bone), and my knee. My papers flew everywhere. Gratefully, I did not hit my head (but it was close) and no one was around to laugh, point, etc. Perhaps I will invest in snow shoes and shuffle into the front door. I do think that parking lot hates me, though. Both Greenie and I have been injured in that parking lot. Hmmn... I later had my aches checked out, though, because I was still hurting. It's always a good idea after a fall, especially on the ice, to get it checked out by a physician ASAP. From my experiences with injuries and what the doctor confirmed, adrenalin is usually increased when first injured, and pain is not as noticeable but the pain and any damage will surface later. So it's a good thing that it is winter, because there's plenty of snow outside to stuff in a Ziploc bag to affix ice. Another tip: use ice 48-72 hours, then use heat. Ice will help with the swelling. Our friend from New York suggested (facetiously, I hope) that Steve and I indulge in excessive alcohol, painkillers and then sit outside in the snow sans clothes for the pain. Thanks, but no thanks, T. I'll stick to Aleve and ice. Speaking of, I'm going to take some more Aleve and then go to sleep.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Last Night's Gig and Lake Michigan Evening

Mad Dogs and Irishmen Minus Two- January 2010
Yes, I was concentrating because I have never played the song before. I only brought the bare minimum of drum equipment. Luckily, I caught on quickly! No one threw eggs or tomatoes at us, so it was a good show. Two members of the Mad Dogs and Irishmen ensemble were out of commission due to snow and flu. So, the lead guitarist/singer, bass player, and I played for about eight people. It was a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. I am positive that if we weren't in the middle of a snowstorm, more people would have attended. But we gave it our all to people who ventured out in the weather. Steve and I dined with friends tonight in town. We gave them a framed photograph of Lake Michigan (southern Michigan) and they found a beautiful black and white rock on the beach of Lake Michigan (northern Michigan) and had a necklace polished and made just for me. The gift was amazing. I almost cried at the table. My garden bathroom is full of stones from Lake Michigan and sand (in a bottle) smuggled from Mission Beach, California. So I love rocks. So cool!
It was a great first weekend of the New Year.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Surprise Saturday Read: Something Fresh

The Watchful Cat by John Alonzo Williams
Today as I untangled myself from sleeping, unwatchful cats and stumbled out of bed, Steve told me that I had a surprise in the mail. Cool! I glanced down on the coffee table and underneath the Netflix envelopes was a brown envelope. I opened the envelope, and there was a beautiful card (see illustration above) and a book from my sweet cousin who is also a bunhead (aka librarian)! The book is entitled Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse. P.G. Wodehouse was a humorist and this book was written in 1915. Since I just finished a humorous book, I look forward to continuing the trend and reading another one. This surprise Saturday read is the highlight of my snowy day! :)

A Saturday Read: Get Well Soon

Today is a good day to curl up on the sofa with a warm blanket, sip hot coffee or tea, and read. And this is exactly what I am doing. I finished a book that I picked up in a booth at ALA held in Chicago. The book is entitled Get Well Soon and written by Julie Halpern. The middle school librarian from Chicago creates a compelling read about a girl named Anna who is committed to a mental hospital for three weeks. In the story, Anna writes a series of journal entries to her friend Trace about her adventures. The characters are strong and the story is well- written, light, and humorous despite some of the topics mentioned in the story. It is apparent that Julie Halpern works with teens and writes accordingly. Kudos! I am going to donate this book to my library. I sent her an email today and asked if she is going to write a sequel. I want to know more about Anna and her adventures.

New Year's Night

Snowy Night, LCS 2009
So far, so good. It's been a good New Year's Day and a great evening. Today we slept in late and woke up to Latte sleeping next to me on the pillow, partially on my hair. This afternoon, two of my bandmates came over in the snow and ice (thank you) and we rehearsed for a couple of hours. I love it when my studio is rocking with musicians and the house is rocking with live music! We have a volunteer gig tomorrow night. It's in a clubhouse in an apartment complex--a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This is close to my heart because someone I love has CF and is an inspiration every day. I am dedicating this show to him. It's good to start out with the band playing for a fundraiser. Hopefully the weather will improve.
Tonight Steve cancelled his Freeport game because of the holiday and the inclement weather, but still had gaming for all who braved the roads. It was great to see people and I met a new friend tonight. I don't think you are ever too old to meet new friends. :)

November Musings and Happy Early Thanksgiving

Has it been two months already? Happy autumn! In about a month, winter will be here. It's starting to feel like it outside. Enough ab...