"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Baxter's World

Baxter is growing so fast. These aren't great pictures...I cannot emphasize enough what a little rascal he is and that he is in CONSTANT motion.
His favorite pastimes are:

~Trying (desperately) to catch and destroy the evil ceiling fan. This includes jumping wildly into the air (from the floor) and swatting, hissing and spitting in the general direction of the whirling ceiling fan.

~Playing with the little ball hanging down from the carpet covered cat "tree" (see photo). He LOVES this.

~Attacking Lilly at any and all opportunities. Sometimes the results are good and Lilly joins in, sometimes the results are not as good, and Lilly gets mad. Baxter's reaction is the same either way...POUNCE! (I have included a picture of Lilly on her "roost" where she debates whether to play with Baxter or not).

I have reassured Lilly that she is still my favorite and my baby, and she is doing well. Lucy has been a little grumpy lately, but I think it has more to do with all the traveling I have been doing lately. She has a hard time with that.

The big move is Monday-- and of course, I am nowhere near ready. I hate PACKING and all this crud. But, I had better get back to it.


The Elephant Sanctuary

Many of you may have seen me forward emails or information in the past about this wonderful place, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. This is a non-profit organization that rescues elephants that have suffered abuse in circuses, zoos, or captivity of some sort. I found out about this group once when I was channel surfing and saw a story about two elephants reunited here--after about 20 years apart (they had once been in a circus together) and they remembered each other!! For anyone that might doubt what they just read, if you see the video, you won't. The staff at the Sanctuary had no idea what was happening--only that the animals knew each other somehow...and then they were able to research and find out their history. It was an incredibly touching video--watching these animals cry out and touch each other. I cried, of course. But the show also highlighted the work that this organization does. Basically, once these elephants are rescued, they get to live free on all this land in Tennessee. It's not a public place, it's all about them. The work they do is wonderful, and the more you read about how some of these animals have suffered, it is horrible.
Their website is below, check it out, they are a fantastic organization!


Also, vote for The Elephant Sanctuary on ReZoom:

Final Weeks To Vote!
Rezoom.com's national competition for "A Better World" continues, and if The Elephant Sanctuary can tally the most votes by August 10, we could come away with a valuable $100,000 donation. But we need your help to get there.

Please don't forget to help us compete for this national prize by voting for The Elephant Sanctuary once a day, every day, until the end of the contest. Click here to cast your vote! (Be sure to "log in" in the upper right hand corner of the page, first.) Invite your friends, colleagues and family to join in, too, and help us make it "A Better World" for the elephants!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Must see Movies

I just got back from San Jose (took the redeye last night--ugghh). I was there for a training course I am in charge of that lasted two days--plus I had a presentation the day before. I always get all messed up with the time change and can't sleep, so I end up renting movies through the pay-per-view option in my room.
The first one I watched, "Zodiac", was one I had wanted to see when it was in the theaters. I guess it didn't do well, and I don't know why. I thought it was fantastic. But, I love all that kind of stuff. It was not gory at all-- the story was more about what the hunt for the Zodiac killer did to the detectives and reporters involved in the case. I REALLY recommend it. Robert Downey, Jr., who is always wonderful, absolutely outdid himself.
I finally saw "Dreamgirls", and let me tell you, Jennifer Hudson deserved every award she got. I was as impressed with her acting as much as I was her singing, and I thought the movie was truly more alive and interesting in the scenes she was in. She stole the movie right out from under all of them. Beyonce did do a good job, too, and Eddie Murphy also gave a good performance. It was also well worth the pay-per-view fee!
But finally, probably my favorite, "Waitress". I am going to require all of you reading this to see it. This is such a wonderful, lovely little film. Funny, sweet, touching, and just...watchable. I was caught up in it from minute one. I am a Kerri Russell fan, I think she is a fantastic actress, and she is perfect for this role. The sad story wrapped around this film is that the writer and director, Adrienne Shelley, was murdered shortly before the film's release, and didn't get to see her dream of a movie become such a critical success. (she is also in the movie). But, go see this movie (it is still in some theaters) or rent it, whatever-- you will love it. I will own this one.
That's it for now. I am packing for my move, ugghhh. I hope this is the last time I move for a loooonnnnnnggggg time. But, I love my new place. I will post pics of my new home soon!
Also, Baxter is growing SO fast, more pics of him tomorrow, if I can catch him!

Links to movie websites:

Waitress (2 sites) http://www.foxsearchlight.com/waitress/

Zodiac: http://www.zodiacmovie.com/

Dreamgirls: http://www.dreamgirlsmovie.com/


Friday, July 20, 2007

My kind of town

I was just in Chicago for business...we were hosting a workshop there, I was in charge of all the logistics. These things are so tiring for me, because while I am handling all the details, I also have to be handling my everyday work--all the emails, etc. I went into town early--on Sunday--so I could scout out good evening plans for the attendees--dinner loactions, etc.
Since I was there early, I went to the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum was amazing-- surpassing even my favorite in DC. I have posted my favorite painting--it took my breath away--"Resting", by Antonio Mancini. This copy doesn't do it justice, of course. It is amazing.
The impressionist gallery there was also fantastic, I was in heaven.
I hadn't been to Chicago--at least not since I could remember. My aunt lived there for a long time, and we went when I was a very little girl. The city is amazing-- if it weren't for the winters--I could totally see myself living there. So much to do, and so gorgeous. I have to say, though, I was accosted by more homeless people than any other place I have been. And remember, I have LIVED in San Francisco and DC. But even after living in those places and traveling a lot to NY--the homeless people here were more numerous and more aggressive. I think most of you know I am tenderhearted on this issue, but in Chicago, after being harrassed constantly, I kind of got numb. A funny story...I was walking around downtown and was waiting at a crosswalk. I watched across the street as a young homeless man bothered an elderly tourist couple--completely harrassed them until they practically emptied their wallet to rid themselves of him. As I had to cross over to the corner where he was, I was ready. Immediately, when I stepped onto the sidewalk, he started in on me, and I just ignored him. he then- grabbed my arm!!! I turned around sharply and very loudly said BACK OFF! He just walked away. As I stood to wait and cross to another corner, I noticed the same elderly couple waiting nearby. The elderly man turned to his wife and said, "See honey, she lives here. She knows how to handle them." Made me laugh.
On the side bar are some pictures from Navy Pier, the only other place I managed to venture to, for just a short walk. I really want to go to Chicago for a fun weekend when I have a chance.
As for the kitties, I came home, and all was well. And today-- I walked into my bedroom and got a shock--Lilly and Baxter were asleep on the window seat together--Lilly's treasured favorite spot! Now, that's progress!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

A little less fur flying...and deep thoughts

Well, I am almost afraid to write this, afraid of jinxing things. But, for the last 48 hours, Baxter has been out amongst us, and has survived. No more separation and limited freedom. There is still some hissing, but not quite as scary and threatening as before.
So, when I leave the house, I leave them all out and have come back and everyone is alive! Lilly even seems to be playing with him a little--which was one of my original reasons for adding to our little family. Lilly is still SO playful and she drives Lucy bananas.
Baxter is such a perfect fit for us, he is brave-- neither Lilly or Lucy scares him--in fact, he taunts them and is hilarious with what I now call "drive by Baxter attacks".

Onto other things. Work has been going so well, a bit stressful, but only because I am doing so much, and my department is growing. But, it is all so good. And for those of you that know what I went through in 2004 and 2005, the fact that I am here, doing what I am doing, that I survived, and that my biggest worry right now is helping my new kitten adapt to the house...it really is almost unbelievable. Honestly, not a day goes by that I don't marvel at the miracle of it all. At the lowest point, in September of 2005, no one could have ever convinced me I could ever be this happy, this present, this thankful. And I am so lucky to have this close circle of friends who are my family who took care of me and wouldn't let me give up. It is amazing. Truly.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Baxter photos

Ok, this post is just to share some more cute pics of Baxter. It is hard to get pictures of him because he doesn't stay still for a minute! I have to catch him sleeping. He is adorable, purrs almost constantly--and wants SO badly to play with Lilly and Lucy. We are making SLOW progress. Lucy is OK, actually I can have them in the same room together OK, I just have to reel Baxter in when he can't stand it anymore and pounces on her.
Lilly is pissed, but every day, she does a little better. I am getting some evil looks, though!


Monday, July 2, 2007

If Lilly ain't happy... and poetry ?

Whew! I forgot how scary Lilly gets during times of change. She is NOT happy about this little being in the house. Baxter is staying tucked safely away in the bathroom upstairs...and he is remarkably content. I go in and stay with him for long periods of time and then get him out and bring him into my bedroom and close Lilly out. Lucy is cautious, but fine. She is normal. Lilly is hissing at me, at Lucy, at everything. There was some progress today...Lilly had refused to come upstairs altogether because Baxter was up here. She finally came up here--to her favorite spot- her window seat.

I talked to a couple of people that have been through this with similar "Lillys" in their households and I am trying to hope for the best. I also had this flash yesterday that I always joke that "Lilly runs the house". It's scary, but true!

And on a TOTALLY different subject, I have this free HBO thing going on right now with my cable company, and I also stay up late, so I am seeing movies I would probably never watch otherwise. One came on the other night-- "In Her Shoes"--with Cameron Diaz (don't like her) and Toni Collette (DO like her). But, I am snob about books, and this was a book I had tossed aside in the bookstore-- I had read the first few pages and thought it was stupid fluff. I expected the movie to be the same. It wasn't. It was a nice, sweet, touching surprise. And, I love this--stupid Cameron Diaz--who actually did a good job in this movie-- read a poem for her sister at her wedding. I just thought it was beautiful and it made me go online and look up (and discover) e.e. cummings. Now, of all the writers and poets I love, I had never looked deep enough into e.e. cummings to get hooked. It's amazing how one poem can hit a nerve and hook you. Also, though, the way she read it in the movie, the pace, the tone, it was, I have to say, perfect. And although this is a love poem, it carried more than one meaning in the movie, and you can see that it could have meaning for family and friends. I love things like that.

Oh, of course, I'll include the poem:

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)



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