If you never got to see Harvey Korman perform on the Carol Burnett Show, never got to laugh so hard you were afraid you're going to wet yourself, I kinda feel for you.

Sucks to know he's gone now...


Raise your hand if you've never seen a single episode of Sex & The City and therefore have no interest in seeing the much-hyped movie. Please do it, 'cause I don't want to be the lone freak who has no idea who Mr. Big is...


Ponderings Whilst I Procrastinate...

  • I have no idea why, but last night I dreamed that I had to get legal advice and help from the plumber on Desperate Housewives to get a nurse from General Hospital out of jail for possession of lawn fertilizer.
  • As I sat in Border's, working on sketches for Max's upcoming book, one of the employees started to walk past and said, "I didn't know you were an artist." I managed to not laugh, let him see the could-be-random pencil markings on the paper, and explained "It's supposed to look like a cat drew it." He nodded and said, "Keep practicing."
  • I saw a proof copy of my book; I was hoping I would like it more once I saw it, but nope, not so much.
  • Someone took pity on me since Max got his interview (which he is sure will spiral him into fame and fortune), and I will be interviewed for the Webster Rampage. The reporter is one Devon Crowe, who is taking a journalism class for summer school, and wants to feature me in their "People We Know" column. He is in 8th grade, and I am understandably grateful for the bone he's throwing my way.
  • His mother is my editor. He is being allowed to read a galley copy of the book before he interviews me. I am hoping he's not scarred for life; his mother is hoping he comes to understand that what kids see may not be all there is to a situation.
  • That will make more sense once you read my book. And you will read it, won't you? Of course you will.
  • Back to work. I have a toothbrush to draw.


Apparently, "Staycations" are the in thing now.


We've been quite trendy for the last 25+ years, and didn't even know it.

It's about time the rest of y'all caught up to us... ;)


I don't remember the Boy ever becoming so scared in the middle of the night that he needed to crawl into our bed. There were a few times he woke up and needed someone, but he settled back into his own bed and went back to sleep. If thunderstorms or things that go bump in the night frightened him, he never let on.

Over the past few days we've had some fairly strong winds blowing through the area. They've been strong enough to keep us from enjoying the otherwise nice weather with any bike rides, but not so bad to keep anyone from venturing outside. Just your average 25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts. No big deal.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning to the sound of a cat pounding across the floor downstairs. That's nothing new; Max and Buddah typically enjoy waking us up with a rousing game of Thundering Herd Of Elephants in the middle of the night...but this was different. I only heard one cat, and it was an odd back and forth panic run in my office, not the normal tearing up and down the stairs.

So I got up to investigate, and as soon as Buddah saw me at the top of the stairs he ran hard, and practically jumped in my arms. His scramble was a clear "Pick me up now!" so I obliged. I picked him up and he tucked his head between my chin and shoulder like a frightened toddler, and he was shaking.

That's when I realized the wind had really whipped up, and things were pinging off the windows, the garage door was rattling, and he had no idea what to do.

Max lounged on top of the short climbing tower in my office and looked up like "He's such a wuss," then stretched and rolled over.

I carried Buddah back to the bedroom and set him at the foot of the bed where he waited for me to get settled. Once my head hit the pillow he ran up my body, squished the unsquishables, and curled up as close to my face as he could manage. He stayed there for 45 minutes while I scratched his head and he calmed down, and then he moved to the foot of the bed where he stayed until 6 or so.

My little ADHD kitty, the one that can barely sit still for more than 5 minutes, the one that is normally fearless and curious to the point that it scares us, turned into a little furry black ball of Protect Me at the sound of the wind shaking his world.

Today he's nothing but Brave Kitty, stalking Max and trying to assert himself as the dominant kitty. And I'm going to bed early, because I'm just not used to taking care of a small scared little kid in the middle of the night, and dammit, I'm tired.


You know your cat is stubborn when he will pick through his food piece by piece to make sure he doesn't manage to eat a single bit of the diet food that's been mixed in with the regular...


Thankfully, I did not come off as the complete moron I thought I would; either I was not the mumbling, mentally fumbling fool I thought I was, or Mary Lou Wilson has the ability to write around the verbal hiccups of the people she interviews.

Max's article turned out to be more than just a little blurb buried in the back of the paper, which would have been plenty and I would have gotten a huge kick out of even a tiny mention in print; his picture was on the front page of The Reporter, in the upper right corner, and the article was page one of the Perspectives section, spilling onto page three.

I am going to embrace my inner dork, and wander out to buy a couple more copies of the paper, and then I'm going over to Border's, where I will sit with my laptop and work on Max's latest book...obviously my lot in life is to ride his coat tails, so I better help him get this thing finished.

Yep, I know my place.

(And yep, the article thrills me in a dorky, 12 year old, LOOK! kind of way...)


This is why I didn't even think about riding my bike anywhere today.

I did need to run some errands, and I noticed few bikes out on the roads, and the riders I did see weren't wearing much gear; lots of shorts and t-shirts, most had on half or shorty helmets. I did wonder if any of them realized they'd actually be cooler with mesh gear on, but honestly, at this point hot is hot and not much helps.

As I was coming out of Sports Authority, though, a girl pulled up on a little Ninja; she was in full gear--full face helmet, mesh jacket, mesh riding pants, gloves, boots. She cut the engine, put the side stand down, and leaned forward, hugging her tank. When she pushed her face shield up--still lying across the tank (which had to be wicked hot), I asked if she was okay.

"Is my face still sweating?"

I nodded.

"Then I'm all right for now. Please tell me they have water inside."

There was a water fountain by the restroom, I told her, and they sell Gatorade. That might be a better idea.

She started to slide off the bike, waving off any help. "I'm really all right. After I cool down here I'm going to find somewhere to sit for a couple hours."

I pointed to the nearby WalMart, where there's a McD's inside with the Magic of Free Refills. As soon as I said it I almost regretted it, because I was afraid she'd get back on her bike and ride over there. It's not far, the parking lots are even connected, but she had no business getting back on that bike, not yet.

Wisely, she headed inside, where she could get a big bottle of Gatorade. Still, I watched from the car for a few minutes, in case she came back out too soon and got on the bike.

Not that I could really do anything other than call 911 if she passed out, but I'm a worrier.

I know a lot of people ride no matter what the weather; some of them have to, because it's their only transportation. But in this heat, you have to stop every half hour or so and drink. You should stop and rest every hour. It doesn't take long for the effort of riding combined with the heat to just sap everything out of you.

For the next few days, my butt will remain out of the bike seat. I do love to ride, but I'm a hot weather weenie and don't do well in it. I'd rather sit inside with the a/c going, or dunk myself in the pool. I gotta give props to anyone who does ride when it's hot and knows how to keep from passing out...I just can't do it.

I'm not sure how we ever survived San Antonio, riding around in a car with no a/c, and working out in TKD classes with no a/c. Compared to that heat--with the high humidity--this is nothing, but it's still too much.

I know, it's because I'm OLD now.

Bring me a drink, then get off my lawn.


Want to know how many times you can read 60,000 words before your eyes begin to bleed and your head explodes?

As of right now, twenty-two.

They feel like they want to bleed and spew forth goopy matter all over my laptop and desk, but so far I've managed to remain intact.

I'm debating over one last find-the-typos look-see.

Face it, number twenty-three just might be pushing it.


Today's Award of Class goes to the woman who was escorted from the Game Stop today by two police officers, for her displaying of both middle fingers, arms outstretched as she walked across the parking lot. I bet her mother would be so proud.

Today's Crybaby Award goes to the kid who was busted at the grocery store. Don't know what he did, but his blubbering did not make him look like the big bad tough guy he probably thought he was right up to the moment the cuffs went on.

And Today's Pathos Award goes to Max and Buddah, who are both very sure that I not only withheld a can of cat food from them, but that I ate it as well. Apparently the explanation of "...but it's chicken spread" was not believed, and they are still shunning me.


Perhaps my expectations are just a little bit too high, but it seems to me that if you walk into a store, find on the shelves 10 boxes of the item for which you went into that store, that they would actually have said item in stock.

But no...I went into Staples yesterday in search of Adobe Acrobat 8 (upgrade version) and in spite of the 10 (empty) boxes on the shelves, they did not have it in stock. Oh, I assumed they did and took an empty box up to the cashier, where she did as I expected--she called to the back to have someone get the software I really really needed from the back. Fifteen minutes passed before the guy wandered out to tell me they don't have it. They have the full version, but not the upgrade.

I pointed out they had ten (upgrade version) boxes on the shelves, and the guy stopped just short of rolling his eyes and said, "But they're empty."

Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. You should take the boxes off the shelf. (I did say the latter, I refrained from the former. I sure as hell did think it, though.)

I could have been spared the annoyance if Windows Vista would play nicely with older software. Vista, however, does not want to install certain products, and others it does allow install only function partially...and my luck just happens to be that the things I need for business are the things it refuses to play with.

I miss Windows 98.

And Staples sucks.

(Ok, it doesn't entirely, but I'm not happy with Staples today...)


Interesting question posed on one of the motorcycle forums I lurk at (and truly, I lurk at far too many, but at least I don't actively post at all of them. If I did, I'd never be able to leave my chair and I wouldn't bathe for weeks on end...) that can be applied to just about anything that truly means something to a person.

If someone offered you a large amount of money to stop riding a motorcycle, would you take it?

The same question could be posed for any hobby that others find scary/dangerous/weird/objectionable. Sky diving, smoking, knife juggling. Bikes. Big, scary, loud bikes. Would you stop if the price was right?

The general consensus was "Hell no! I'll give up riding when they pry the handlebars from my cold, dead hands!"

I understand the digging in of one's heels at the idea that someone else would want to pay them off to give up something they love, but I think most of them are in denial. The $10,000 offered by one rider's mother might not tempt most, but what if the amount escalated? $50,000? $100,000?

I'm willing to bet that if the amount was enough, 90% of those riders who swear they'll never give it up would do exactly that. The other 10%...they might stick to their guns. One guy's father offered to buy him a house, but he declined; riding means that much to him. He'd live in a cardboard box if that's what it took to keep his bike and continue riding. It wasn't a what-if thing for him; the actual offer had been on the table and he didn't take it. Most of the participants in the discussion were only musing the Maybes of the idea, and they're young enough to believe their interests aren't fluid.

Emotionally, I would be on the fence; riding is one of the things I love that I can still do, especially alone. I can't imagine giving it up, but I'm also not naive enough to think I can't be bought. Oh, I would cry as my bike left with a new owner, but I'd survive. Face it, ten years ago if you had asked me whether or not, once I finally got the convertible I'd coveted all my life, if I'd ever be able to give it up, I would have snorted and said no. Yet last year I sold it and didn't blink twice. I had a bike, and it turned out to be way more fun.

Or maybe I'm totally wrong and am just easy. I'm not cheap, but there's the possibility that I might be easy.

Just don't ever ask me to give up my cats, though, or I will hurt you. Or glare at you with stabby eyes. Something mean, for sure.



When I was a little kid, mid-to-late 60's - early 70's, women were burning their bras and fighting for equality, while little girls were banned from things like Little League baseball and auto shop. Girls were discouraged from developing friendships with those dirty, dirty boy because ONE DAY those dirty, dirty boys would harbor dirty, dirty thoughts about them. While the boys played rough games of Kick Me Off The Monkey Bars during recess, the girls were expected to swing (with their legs crossed if they were in a dress, of course) or play hop scotch.

Girls had Girl Things to do, and boys had Boy Things. One certainly did not teach his young daughter to hook a worm and cast a fishing pole, and one certainly did not spend fatherly one-on-one time at the side of a small lake teaching her the difference between trout and crappie.

Except for my dad.

Whether it was a conscious effort on his part to blur the gender lines or if he just wanted to teach one of his kids to fish, my father ruined many of his own fishing trips by taking me along. He taught me how to get the worm on the hook in a way it wouldn't wash off, he taught me how to cast my own rod and what it felt like when I had a bite. He made me hold my catch myself, all slimy and gross, and get the hook out.

When we were in Germany, I spent more mornings with him out by the water than I can readily count. It couldn't have been much fun for him, sitting there with an overly talkative and whiny little girl, but he did it. He allowed me to step over those gender lines as if it was a matter of course.

There were no arguments about his little girl playing baseball in the giant community backyard with the boys. He even bought me a baseball glove.

He once bought me a guitar while he was on TDY and held it on his lap on the plane ride home; while other little girls were learning feminine woodwinds, I learned to rock out.

I played on the junior high school basketball team, and never once heard "girls don't do that."

I mowed the lawn; one summer he hired the son of a family friend to cut the grass, but when I wanted to save money to buy a 10 speed bike, the job was mine. I never heard "that's not girl's work," though many of my friends heard it from their fathers. Mine handed over the lawn mower to his 12 year old daughter, paid her $4 a week, and when I had almost enough money, he drove me to pick out my bike and he covered my monetary shortfall.

About a mile from home he pulled the station wagon over, and told me to ride it the rest of the way home. I hadn't asked, but he knew how badly I wanted to ride my new toy. He pulled the bike out of the car and let me go.

My dad, whether he intended to or not, whether he was comfortable with it nor not, stepped a little bit ahead of the times and let his daughter soar. I don't know if he went with the changing times or if he saw that no matter what, his youngest daughter was never going to be a girly-girl and accepted it for what it was, but he allowed me to be me before the climate of the times would.

Whatever his reasons, what he gave me was the gift of being comfortable with myself. My parents are amazing people, but it really sticks with me that my father was a little progressive when my friends' fathers were not, and could not, be. Very quietly, he gave me that sense of comfort, he showed me strength, he showed me what real men are made of.

Today my dad is 81.

You may thank him for the gift of me. I am that special ;) Oh, and wish him a Happy Birthday, too. He deserves all the good wishes the world can muster.


Found via Stuff On My Cat... I just thought it was way too cute...

I'd put my kitties in the tub to see if they like it, but I don't want to die in my sleep tonight.


No longer will I wonder if this bike makes my butt look big...

After nine months of the poor thing sitting in the garage, wondering where the love went as I consistently chose the other bike, my little white Rebel went to live with his new owner today, someone who will ride him and care for him, and polish him till he sparkles in the sunlight.

I'd say I'll miss that little bike, but truly, I'm just glad someone else was thrilled to be able to ride off on him. And the exchange of cash wasn't a bad thing, either. We are now this much closer to a down payment on a house.

At this rate, we'll be moving in 18 more years!


I suspect I am going to officially become That Crazy Cat Lady after this... The interview went well; Max even allowed himself to be photographed, something that surprised the heck out of me. After posing for a few pictures he ran off and left me to fend for myself, where I discovered that I am not especially good at in-person interviews. Through e-mail, I rock. I can think about answers to questions, and I can edit. In person, I stutter, blank out, gesture with my hands far too much, and pretty much come off like a bumbling lunatic.

They were very nice, though. The reporter did not laugh at me, and the photographer laughed at passages he read out of one of Max's books. It was noted that this is a very cat-friendly house: the climbing towers, the baskets of toys, the scratching posts, and the way we lined up the bookcases so the cats can get up to the wall cutouts. And that's just what they could see. There's another climbing tower upstairs (a bigger one, even) and another cat bed, and there was no way I was admitting that I don't make my bed because that's the way the cats like it. I also was not admitting that the house of often cluttered with empty boxes, because the cats like to play in them.

They knew within 2 minutes of entering the house that I am owned by these cats; there was no reason to make it worse.

The actual article from today's interview should be in the paper on the 18th. The article from which this sprang forth--they picked up on Vacaville's blogging kitty from the newswire--has appeared in at least 4 papers that we know of, including one with a screen shot of Max's blog (before the Great Template Change of 2008.)

And yeah, I'm getting a weird little thrill out of this.

In other news, the Boy moved out yesterday BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LOVE US ANYMORE.

Ok, it could be because he's 25 and working and had a shot at renting a house with his friends. But you can bet I'll use Mommy Guilt when I can to inform him I know why he really moved... =sob=

(I get his closet!)


Well now.

I've written three books. They've done ok. Not NYT Bestsellers, but my mom wasn't the only one who bought a copy. Well, heck, she got freebies, so obviously someone out there liked the first one enough to buy the other two.

So tomorrow a reporter from the local paper is coming over to interview...


I kid you not.

My cat is going to be famous, and in the end, I'm just his minion.