Friday, May 22, 2009

For those who have not seen her...

Here is my brave little Toaster!

As you can see, there is absolutely no visible sign of her injuries remaining.

Even better, there is little to no behavioral sign of what she went through. She is shy - most of our kitties are, probably because I'm such a hermit that people rarely come over - and sometimes flinches if Chris or I move too fast, but she never runs away. She faces up to whatever makes her nervous. Even more significantly (and surprisingly): she is SO nice with the other kitties! She always has a friendly sniff, and is happy to sleep on our bed with Elcy, Tito, and/or Boo (Garlic is too cool for school, and never sleeps up there). The ferrets make her nervous, but not fearful. She is a little more interested in Dolly than I like, but she has never gone after her - she just sits and stares till I clap my hands at her. Aside from her interactions with strangers and the other critters, she is very playful - especially for her estimated age of 5 - and physically affectionate. She hasn't been as much of a lap cat these past few weeks as she was when she first exited quarantine, but she sleeps at the foot of our bed daily, and seeks out attention from both me and Chris on the same level as the rest of the cats.

I am thrilled with how nice a fit she is with our family. Considering that we were very firm on our "4 cats" rule, I am pleased we broke it, and she has made it completely worth having done so.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More guilt

Ok, most folks know by now that I am plagued with guilt over my fish. They (the goldies - Bill was spoiled rotten, bless his little scaly departed soul) have never been in a proper-sized tank. I am entirely to blame - I didn't do enough research initially, and I allowed people who wanted to be "nice" to me (rather than yell at me, as they should have if they really gave a shit about the well-being of the fish I have decided to keep) to let me think I was doing right by them.

I have known for some time that I need a tank that is at least 100 gallons. I was fortunate to acquire my 65-gal from Freecycle, but have not yet found a larger one there. Instead, I have planned on a future purchase of a good-sized tank and good filtration system. In the meantime, though, I've been watching craigslist for something to come along that would do the job for (hopefully) significantly less than retail. Because full price for a decent tank and filtration system is going to be at least$1500. A rather hefty sum, which I would play gladly if the cash was just lying around, but it isn't.

Something popped up last month, but was quickly gone again. Tonight I found something that would possibly do very nicely. An auspicious start quickly devolved into a situation that has me upset.

I wrote with specific questions about the dimensions of the tank and the condition of it, the stand, and the filtration system. The seller also mentioned that they could provide photos upon request, and I asked for them, of course.

In response, I received answers to my questions, as well as a single photo. Then tank and stand look nice, but they featured a planted, stocked tank. At least 17 tetras of different varieties.

I started worrying, and wrote immediately, "I have to ask - the fish in the pic are NOT coming along, right? I'm assuming they have a new home? My goldies are big, and the older one is decidedly mean (as goldfish tend to be)."

The seller responded: "You can have the fish to . im in townsend and dont mind transpoting it there for you." (All spelling and grammar issues totally on his/her end).

So now I'm upset. Was I not totally clear? I have no need or desire for more fish. I'm too lazy a fish-mama as it is. I cannot handle a planted tank, or a tank with this many fish. The whole point of the new tank was to get a home for fish who need one, not to get a bunch of new freaking fish! And I can't put a goldfish in with the tetras - aside from the environmental incompatibilities, the goldfish would eat all the rest in a heartbeat, and I could NOT handle that.

So now I'm worried for those poor little finny babies - this person clearly doesn't give a crap about them. What would he/she do to them if I said I want the tank but NOT the fish? Don't tell me - I know. Worse, what will happen if I do nothing (as I now must)?

I'm angry, because now I can't buy this tank. I can't trust that all those lives will be treated properly if I try to arrange things how I need them to be. Which means that Goldie and Alfie will have to wait, and they have already waited so long. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, but I did. And now I know of a whole group of animal lives in peril that I can do nothing about. And I don't know what to say to this person, someone who has also had hopes raised - in a pretty crappy economy - that they might be able to sell something they may no longer be able to support financially.

I just don't know what to do or how to handle things like this - so many hypothetical burdens on my soul. And once the potential is there, it will always be there. If I was able to forget this sort of thing, my being would be much lighter, at least for now. But this tank, with its school(s) of tetras will stay with me the rest of my life. I will always wonder if they were ok, or flushed away so the current owner could pay some bills. And not knowing, I will assume the worst and feel responsible.

THIS is why I pay retail.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

the bad and the good

The bad:


First off: *gag*, Marvel. Divas? Are you kidding me? You gave us Phoenix. Rogue. Storm. She-Hulk. All bad bitches who kick ass and take names. And while you may have discounted us, you gained a TON of female fans in doing so. But "divas"? Fucking DIVAS? Four gal-pal heroines who get together and re-enact Sex and the City scenes and personify pathetic old tropes of what it is to be female? I'm sorry, but this is a betrayal of the multitude of feminist fans you accumulated over the years. You debase your core female characters by allowing this pathetic mockery to take place on your publication's watch.

I am especially disappointed in Joe Quesada. First, to say (basically), "if you don't like it, don't buy our comics." And then to play it off as if what we are objecting to is the damn cover? That is the LEAST of the problems with the series. I can forgive all kinds of physics-defying boobage, physiology-defying waistlines, and gratuitous cameltoe. Hell, I've been doing it since I was 5 or so. He knows full well that the issue isn't physical appearance - sure, some people get hung up on that, but that hasn't been the uproar online and he damn well knows it - it's the trivializing of the lives of these female "heroines". Here's a sad question: in the Marvel Universe, is Cyclops "Big", or "Aidan"? And as a default, where does Logan fall? And how fucking disgusting is it that I have to draw this parallel to make my damn point?

I'd go further, but many of the commenters on the posts I linked to covered any and everything I might have to say. Except (possibly) this: All my spending money for the foreseeable future WILL be going towards the TPBs of Love & Rockets that I have been eyeing for some time now.

And now, the good:

I COMPLETELY understand the need/desire for caution when it comes to life-altering decisions made by minors. Hell, I'm someone who made the conscious decision to wait to have sex till I was 18, because I wanted to be an adult and as in control of my life and decisions as possible. That being said, I have never heard of a post-op transgendered person suddenly changing their minds and wishing they hadn't had any surgery or hormone therapy. Ever.

When did you KNOW you were a girl? Or a boy? I've known as far back as I can remember. Imagine having that innate conception, that bone-deep knowing, only the "knowledge" was incorrect, because your genitals proclaimed you to be the opposite sex. Can you truly envision being forced to enter the bathroom or locker room of the opposite sex, on a regular basis, feeling you were intruding somewhere you genuinely didn't belong? This poor child wore a DIAPER in order to avoid just that scenario. A diaper. In high school.

I have known pain in my life. Pain I will not discount for anything. But I know and understand that what I have experienced is nothing compared to that soul-deep crisis of identity and self that transgendered people feel day after day for years. If not for a lifetime.

I bless the Family Court of Australia for doing this (what else to call it?) mitzvah for poor, tormented Alex. And I pray that the courts in the U.S. someday have the wisdom and compassion to follow suit.