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We went to Moomba today. Well, we attempted it. We wrote our phone numbers down for the kids to carry, in case we got separated. Josh refused it. He has a tiger purse thingy that clips to his pants, but he wouldn't wear it. So we were going to write on his arm. Nope, still not good enough. He wanted to go to Moomba, but more than that he did not want any insurance in case he got lost. He said he just wouldn't get lost. So I took the stubborn little shit home. Jesara got to stay in with Nathan.

The train trip did nothing to calm me down. There was a group of kids who decided that they could speak as loudly and foully as they wanted, and screw the other passengers. Somebody decided that everybody would like to hear their music, even though it was seemingly the same few songs on rotation. It may have been the same loud kids, I couldn't tell. If it wasn't them, it was one of two people with headphones, and therefore I dread to think how loud it was for them. And then there was the woman who got on, chewing some sort of gum noisily with popping noises every few seconds.

I tell you, I wanted to rip a few throats out with my teeth. I want to scream loudly enough to shatter every piece of glass within a 5-kilometre range. But I content myself with pouring it all out here, and swearing like a trooper at everything that goes at all wrong, and slamming every door I need to close.

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    pissed off pissed off
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It's so annoying when the word "addicting" is used. Just because English is a living language doesn't mean we have to try to kill it.
It's so annoying when two cars are going 5k under the limit right next to each other, blocking traffic behind them. And dammit, I've seen it with three cars in three lanes. AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH. One of you, speed up a bit, or slow down a bit. Either way, I really don't care; just get the heck out of my way!!

I had a newsletter email from calorie count. In that one email were links to stories on how our body image is distorted into thinking fat is normal b/c of the obesity epidemic; and stories on how our body image is distorted into thinking model-skinny is normal b/c of images of underweight models being shoved in our faces all day long. My brain hurts.
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    aggravated aggravated
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Josh and I had a lovely long walk along the beach today. We'd decided to take a bus and train ride, just b/c he loves bus and train rides. We got out as Aspendale to go to the beach there (which ps was incredibly beautiful). We splashed about a bit and started wandering north through the shallows. After a while I decided it would be a good plan to continue north and catch a train home from Mordialloc. You know, it's quite a long way between stations... Just looked on Google Maps, and it's 2.8km, then add more for darting this way and that, and experimenting with wet sand vs dry etc. And what a difference b/n walking along the shore and walking on the street. Josh is usually whining very quickly to be picked up b/c he's "full of walking" - but we got all the way to Mordy before he got tired! There was still a bit of walking to get to the actual train, but he did so well. I did get told off for calling it Mordy though - it's Mordy Alex apparently, LOL. We collected a lot of shells, and miraculously seem to have avoided sunburn; particularly miraculous considering we had neither hats nor sunscreen, not having planned a beach walk. It was supposed to have been all about the bus/train. And Josh was naked most of the walk, b/c he didn't like his clothes getting wet. :)
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    energetic energetic
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Some thoughts

Christmas is over, the decorations put away, my Christmas Hatchlings pets released (except for a couple I want to keep) - but it's ok, I'm talking cyber pets here, not real...

I had one of those dreams last night, in which I'm trying to get somewhere and never managing it. I'm not a fan of those dreams, b/c don't they mean I'm searching for something in real life? Deborah and I were at the airport (damn, I had to stop and think of the real word, as I'm in the habit of calling it a plane station, LOL) and couldn't find the departures area. Then we had a look at our tickets and discovered our flight had been an hour previously (now this part I really don't like, in case it means I've missed the boat on something). We still had to search for somebody to talk to to get a new flight. And for some reason there was a new Disney theme park being opened that day, so we had to fight through crowds. And I was helping a woman get her pram up an escalator, which for some reason had a break in it (not as in broken, but as in not continous), and I had to jump with the pram. I had to scrabble for purchase a bit, so that was quite scary.

On my iGoogle page today was a quote: "'Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.' - Kurt Vonnegut"
Umm, I don't think television can be blamed for that. WS Gilbert noted such a phenomenon in "Iolanthe" - and Gilbert and Sullivan were kinda before the advent of TV.
"I always think it's comical (fal, lal, la! Fal, lal, la!)
How Nature always does contrive (fal, lal, la! Fal, lal, la!)
That ev'ry boy and ev'ry gal that's born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative." - Private Willis
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40 Christmasses

So, today I celebrated my fortieth Christmas (are you kidding me?), and it never ceases to amaze me that it's a day, just a day like any other. It's never just "Thursday" - it's *Christmas*. I find it difficult to talk about "next week", or "next month". It's "after Christmas" or "next year". And yet minute follows minute; hour follows hour; and the day ends. There's no mist to step through to return to the real world. Strange.
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A hospital visit; and a bizarre list of things to do before I'm 40?

Having never had to deal with hospitals before (except for child-birth), nor with the death of pets, I've had to deal with each twice in the last two or three months. Deborah had her laproscopy in September; my cat Tiger-Lily died in October; yesterday Deborah's two guinea pigs died (and in another new experience, I dug a grave and buried them); and today Jesara had the cyst removed from her eye in a day procedure under general anaesthetic. These are not the types of thing one normally chooses to experience before a milestone birthday...

To make matters worse with the guinea pigs (Lemmywinks and Ambrosius Junior aka AmbroJo) - as if it wasn't bad enough - Deborah called her friend to offer her the bag of hay she'd just bought, if she could use it for her rabbit Mr Hoppity. Well, Mr Hoppity had just been savaged by a dog, and had also died! What was going on yesterday? We were very happy to see Butterfly (our cat) had survived the day's carnage.

Jesara's doing well post-op, and will soon be plopping herself on the couch all day to watch DVDs as an important part of her recovery.
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This is a photo I didn't take of the receptionist at the eye doctor, holding the referral letter at arm's length so she could read it properly.
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    amused amused
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Hope springs eternal

The kids and I had two go-sees this week for possible ads - when it rains it pours, hey? Anyway, the little ... darlings took it in turns to be painfully shy, so we probably won't get either job. Sigh. Not even the promise of allowing them to buy themselves a scooter each and a new swing set was enough to convince them to be brave. Jess was "too shy" to hug Josh, or to spin around to show off her dress on Wednesday; then this morning Josh thought a request for a pic was quite scary. Still, I can hope the clients will think the kids are perfect...
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    frustrated frustrated
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Goodbye, pretty kitty cat

My cat Tiger Lily, was put down today. She was eleven years old, and this is the first time she's been unwell. She spent all Thursday sleeping on my bed, then when Nathan put her off it when it was our bedtime, he noticed her back legs were not holding her up. He put her on the couch, and she stayed there overnight. I actually ended up "sleeping" on the couch with her, partly b/c I was worried. I didn't get much sleep b/c of the way she always tried to merge with me when we were cuddling, and her very loud purr. The next day I made a cozy nest for her out in the garage after she peed a couple of times; I figured that when cats are ill they like to hide away to heal anyway.

So there was no improvement over the weekend. Today I booked a vet visit, and were able to get in basically straight away. When I picked her up to put her into the box, I noticed her eyes were all gunky, then when I looked closer, they looked all milky white.

The vet said she had a lump in her belly the size of a golf-ball; that coupled with the blindness probably meant lymphoma, and that steroids wouldn't do much to help. He suggested putting her down; I had already prepared myself for the possibility. Thank heaven Nathan was working from home today so he could come with us. He wasn't going to, but when Tiger tried to climb out of the box when it was in the car, I asked him to drive so I could have her on my lap. Also, he was able to take Josh out of the surgery so I could stay with Tiger in her last moments. My hands were shaking so much when I was signing the form.

I found Tiger Lily on New Year's Day 1998 in my backyard, this so pretty kitten, white and gray, a colouring I'd never seen before. She'd been tossed over the fence by a neighbour's kid. Another neighbour told me who she belonged to, and she said she'd go and let them know I had their cat. Well, they didn't appear until the next day, by which time it was too late - Tiger Lily had stolen my heart. I'd already given her a name and had booked her in to the vet for her shots, so I lied and said she'd gone. They said her name was Lily! How's that? I've always said she and I had a special bond. I knew her sex and age (3 months) before the vet confirmed it, and I also knew her name. (And no, she wasn't named after Tiger Lily Hutchence - she was named after the Indian Princess in Peter Pan.)

A couple of months later the neighbours cut open our flywire and took Tiger Lily away. As we arrived home that evening, we saw the girls walking by, holding something, and we made some joke about them having burgled our house. Then we heard a car leaving their property. About a week later we heard them nailing a board over their broken window, and we figured they were bringing her back from whereever they'd spirited her away to; I felt confident we'd have her back soon, b/c I knew these people would never have the self-control to be able to keep her indoors. Lo and behold, a couple of days later I was opening a tin when in through the back door walked a very dirty and hungry flea-ridden kitten.

She chose me.

I allowed her plenty of opportunity to go back to them if that's what she wanted, but evidently she did not. So for eleven years Tiger Lily has been my cat, and I have been her human. I know full well I was her favourite person in the world, and I loved her. The suddenness of her illness has been both a shock and a blessing - she didn't suffer much.

This video was taken only a month ago:

Princess Tiger Lily Bad-Ass Jones (she was called Jones before I ever knew Nathan!)
October 1997 - October 2008

Some songs we used to sing to her:
"Tiger Lily, Tiger Lily, tiny little thing; Tiger Lily dance; Tiger Lily sing. Tiger Lily, what's the difference if you're very small? When your heart is full of love you're nine feet tall."
"Ti-iiii-ger Lilyyyy, I remember yoooo-uuuu. Every time I hear this song, Tiger Lily roll along, until the end of time."
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    sad sad