I lost my cat today.

I can't find him anywhere. I hope he comes home. I've heard of people losing their cats for weeks and it coming sauntering back.

I grew up with this cat. He's been my pal for 7 years, and I'd like to see him soon. I don't even know how he got out, but I suspect it was while I was bringing groceries in from the car.

His food dish is full. His litterbox is clean. My feet are cold.

If he's not home by morning, I'll bw posting posters around the neighbourhood. I've already been to the animal shelter to fill out a report, and spoken to my neighbours.

Looking for the cat is moot. This is a very lush neighbourhood, with all kinds of porches, decks, and foliage for a cat to hide under. I just hope he can find his way home. He's never been outside before.

I tried to sit outside, with all the lights on, a blanket, and a bowl of milk. I sat out there for about an hour, and couldn't take it anymore. I've left all the basement windows open, and all the lights on in the house so he can come up and meow and I'll hear him.

I miss him so much. He was like my best friend. He's has no front claws, and is helpless to defend himself.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

3 A.M. here. My mom came down and told me that she thought she saw the cat outside. I ran out the back basement door, and saw him on the deck, meowing into the kitchen. I was so happy to have him back. He was shivering and cold and hungry. He's somewhat overweight, and pretty defenseless, so I'm glad we found him sooner than later. Thanks for all the kind words and advice.
I'm thinking about entering therapy again. Last time it was a spectacular failure, I don't know why I'm hoping it will be different this time, but a friend recommended a place to me... basically, my life has been so fucked up for a while, I can't make sense of it anymore. I pretend that that never happened, it's easier that way, I forget the way I felt, forget that it hurt, and just pretend that it never happened. And he seemed genuinely surprised when he asked me if I was mad about it...so surprised that I just acted like I didn't care at all. Which I don't feel anything about it...my feelings don't matter, apparently, I'm supposed to make everyone else feel better...demand nothing for myself. No one else has imposed this upon me, this is just the way I do things. Easier that way, I guess, ignore things if they hurt you--and ignore things if they make you happy as well. Is there any difference? It's all just emotion anyway, it's all just chemicals. None of it is real...

I can't blame anyone for this either. The fact that I can't speak up and tell people what's bothering me and tell people how I feel and why I feel that way...that's entirely my fault. I wanted you to stop, so why didn't I just tell you to stop, risk causing a stir, causing an awkward situation for everyone else involved--I thought I made it clear when I wouldn't kiss you, when I wouldn't touch you back. When a girl rolls over in the fetal position away from you and crosses her arms around her chest without inviting yours around her, that's not exactly an invitation, and I can't believe you took it as one. And spending three hours pushing your hands away and telling you to stop, I guess that was an invitation as well. Then again, what do I know?

Wow, I'm getting awfully mad for pretending that it never happened. I'm over it, remember, but I'm over a lot of things...that I still think about, that I still let bother me. It's not that I have a drug problem, it's just that I was so fucking upset...and being upset went away as soon as I started snorting coke...and I'm okay now, okay with you and okay with everyone.


The Internet (or, The Downward Spiral of Common Business Ethics)

It is not a good business tactic to annoy every person who comes into contact with your business logo until they simply must find out what you're about. This kind of business tactic (such as pop-ups or SPAM) makes about as much sense as people getting ritually beaten just to make a point clear. Imagine your teacher swapping you upside the head, in order that you remember 2+2=4... which is more likely to come to mind in later years? The formula or the knot on your skull?

If you're a strong, reliable, powerful business, then you don't need to annoy people into buying your product. And if you've got a product worth getting the public's attention, then word will get around without much help from you. Advertising is all well and good, don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with advertising. But unremittingly beating people over the head with your ads, being completely and unabashedly invasive in your techniques, is right up there with pouring a full bottle of perfume all over your body just to catch the attention of a few men- it just isn't done, ask any woman.

Politicians do it all the time, right? Yep, they sure do. And how much do we really trust those guys? Not a whole helluva lot. Same goes for televangelists. So what makes a business think it'll succeed where politicians and bible thumpers don't?

Cookies, pop-ups, SPAM, banner ads... these are perfectly clear signals that business, which is a reasonably noble field in and of itself, has been cheapened by the uneducated. Only a fool truly believes that "there is no such thing as bad publicity." If bad publicity wasn't such a bad thing, then the whole concept of the "cover-up" wouldn't have come into existence. Folks, there is such a thing as bad advertising and Internet business seems dead set on making it their #1 tool.

Why is this?

Simple: because any IDIOT can start an online business. Hence, "the downward spiral of business ethics." If you put idiots in charge of a small company, you can expect them to take idiotic measures in their ad campaigns. More to the point, you can expect them to make uninformed and uneducated guesses as to what is considered apropos in the field of business.

If I was in charge of a major business powerhouse then I would go to great lengths to make SPAM and unsolicited advertising illegal. Why? Well, such business tactics sour the entire industry, not just one business. I mean, that's common sense, isn't it? If Joe Blow is shouting from the rooftops that his product is the best (when it clearly isn't and is, in fact, a scam), then people will most likely end up looking at Joe Public's business and wonder, "Is he any better than that Blow guy?" Without even thinking about it Joe Blow has hurt not just himself, but everyone else in his industry simply because he was a loudmouth who isn't aware of how to advertise responsibly.

I surf the Internet on a 130mHz laptop computer- trust me, it's not because I like it that way. Whenever a pop-up explodes onto my screen it takes up extra memory on my system which already starved for attention. It bogs it down to a snail's pace and reduces my productivity by 50% until I can manage to get the damn thing closed. To make matters worse, some pop-ups spawn new pop-up windows as soon as you try to close them, which can kill a system in minutes. Is this friendly advertising? Nope. Will I be inclined to check out the offending business' products? Hell no.

And even if I was running on a considerably faster system, my attitude would be no different.

I don't give my money to bums on the street, so why would I be inclined to do so on the 'net? That is, after all, what these business idiots are: bums, and nothing more. A bum looks for a hand-out, an easy ride. A man who's willing to earn his keep will use his brain.

I fucking hate, hate, hate idiots. That hate grows more with every time some idiot makes a vain attempt to get my attention. After all, what does an idiot, one who is clearly lacking in something, have to offer?


Alive and Well? Well, Alive anyway.

I've returned to the world of E2, if only briefly. Real Life has managed to throw a few curve balls my way recently. Returning to the world of semi-gainful employment hasn't helped. I hate job hunting, and hate temping even more. But what's a person to do? The current economic state means mid-level types have to whore themselves for an "IN". I have found myself submitting resume after resume, only to recieve fuck you letters or no response what-so-ever. Now, some of you might think that means I'm severly under qualifed, but I promise you that's not the case. Our local job market currently has approximately 10 applicants for every opening... this makes companys just a bit lax in good manners, and even more able to be PICKIER than ever. It sucks, but it's life, and I move on.

A quiet, understated THANK YOU goes out in this note to one who took the time to contact my husband. You, alone, realized I was among the missing and cared enough to take the time to find out why. On a day when my ego had been bashed beyond recognition, you showed there was still some who cared. And believe me, that's apprecited!

I've some thoughts for some new w/u's I want to do. Nothing real concrete yet, but I'm working on it. Maybe in between job hunting and my kids I'll find the time to actually get them written.

I was going to come in here and bitch about how I'm thirty and my life is a shambles, but you know what? Where will that get me? Will complaining about not weighing 120 make me lose thirty pounds? No. Will wishing that I a was a published author make the agencies call? No.

So instead, I'll say that I'm thirty years old, and I have never suffered from acne. I have never broken a bone. I have only experienced ONE death in my family, been to one funeral. I've been to Disneyworld THREE TIMES. I've been married to my very best friend for almost eight years. I have a dog. I have a job that I have had for almost six years. I have health and dental insurance. I have a car. I've met Till Lindemann. I've been to Europe. I wrote a play and had it produced in the third biggest market in the nation. I was selected as a finalist for a radio sidekick and was on the radio for forty five solid minutes in the third biggest market in the nation. I wrote a WHOLE NOVEL (312 pages). I've never been arrested, never been in a fist fight, never been cheated on. I make the best apple pie of anyone in the world. Three separate dentists have told me that I have the finest set of teeth they've ever seen. My gynecologist says I have a particularly LOVELY uterus. I'm in a movie and I have a big part. My dad thinks I look like Debra Messing. I'm alive, my back feels much better, I don't smoke anymore and I have a ton of friends.

Also, I had a bagel today! Yay for me.

A former student of mine wrote to me the other day and asked me for help on an assignment. She said that her English class was asked to write a poem on academic integrity. She knows that I have written really bad poetry in the past and asked for my take on the situation.

I sent the following:

The sunlight like a dog makes its way across the campus
Marking its territory with light and shadow,
As the night flees like a meter reader with torn pant leg
And racing heart
I slide from my bed and open the blinds
Greeting the day with a squint and a muttered curse

My soul cries out in self-loathing and dread
I am worthless! I am worthless! I am worthless!

The leaves swirl beneath my feet as I make
My way toward the class.
My skin feels damp and slick and I check again
The notes written on my left wrist.
I feel the blood coursing through my veins
Pumped by the heart that is blackened by the ink
Of my cheat notes.

My soul cries out in self-loathing and dread
I am worthless! I am worthless! I am worthless!

She turned it in for her assignment. I would be upset but it so appeals to my sense of irony.

My daily commute is done, ideally, by bicycle. Yesterday afternoon, amid an unusual amount of traffic, one gentleman decided to tell me what he thought: “@#$%’n biker!”

I wasn’t pleased, but, in years of being an adult cyclist, have learned to blow off most of this sort of reaction. I’m allowed to ride on the road, and, so long as no one tries to run me down, words will never hurt me.

What bugs me is what happened a bit latter, when I was halfway home. It was a four-lane road (two eastbound, two westbound). In the lane to my left (same direction as me) was a car with its hazard lights on, and a man directing traffic around his disabled vehicle. It was a nice day, and I was feeling pleasant, so I thought I’d be nice.

“Do you need a phone?” I called out.

“Maybe if you rode on the sidewalk people would be able to get around you!”

Ignoring, for a moment, that it is illegal for a bike to be on the sidewalk, I was extremely put off by the fact that this guy, who I extended an offer of assistance (minor, by still positive), was met so hostilely.

It’s been kinda bugging me ever since.

Day 5: The Voyage Home

Whenever you have a day where you don’t see land, you will inevitably find yourself discovering a few universal truths about the human condition. Over the course of this last day at sea, I have discovered three.

  1. Bingo is not a reliable source of income. The balls bounce in mysterious ways. My family spent a total of 200 dollars for one last chance at a jackpot of $8500. Not only did we lose, but we didn’t come within 5 numbers of winning. To win, every number on your card needs to be called. I found myself sitting with the only “O” and “I” numbers not called. A frustrating afternoon indeed.

  • Only 1 in 100 white women can pull off Jamaican braids. This is the expert opinion of yours truly, your self proclaimed Sultan of Style. I can’t explain why this is true. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Every woman under 35 (all twenty of them) had their hair braided in Ocho Rios. And they all look like idiots. I’m guess that they wanted braids to let their cubicle neighbors know they were in Jamaica. I think they should have bought an ash tray. No one was sadder than the one man who had his hair braided. You know his girlfriend made him do it. At least he’ll get laid.
  • You cannot even out a bad sunburn with more sunburn. Well… you can. But it’s a really stupid idea. I now find myself unable to sleep on my stomach as a consequence of this universal truth. My gut is pinker than the belly flop competitors. Taking a shower sucks too. All week long, I have been ridiculed because of the handprint emblazoned on my back. Now I’m paying the price for trying to impress others. I wish I understood that feeling good is much healthier than looking good.
  • I remember thinking that the blacklight puppet show was the worst cruise show ever. Not anymore. Tonight’s grand finale made the puppets look like they should be flying around Carnegie Hall. Smacking my sunburned stomach would hurt less than sitting through this show. My time would have been better spent passed out drunk. .

    Imagine a group of eight year olds learning how to sing and dance. The culmination of their education is a big concert where they perform hits from Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Flashdance, and Saturday Night Fever. You enjoy the show, not because of the quality but because you realize that these are eight year olds and your daughter is the second girl from the left. Now make these kids 30 years old and take your daughter out of the equation. Now you can partially imagine the torture. The scary thing, however, is how much the blue hairs loved it. .

    I won a lot of money on roulette tonight. My grandfather had coupons that make the casino match your bet if you win. So my $10 won me $40 instead of the normal $20. Now I can go to sleep happy, if not pain free.

    Tomorrow we will be back in the U.S. There’s a lot to miss about these boats. Good food, good dessert, good drinks. And it’s all free (until you get your bill). I wonder what’s going on next summer?…

    It's over. But you can always look back...

    Day 1: It rained on my Paradise
    Day 2: Ernest Goes to Sea
    Day 3: Labadee, Labada, Life Goes On, Bra!
    Day 4: I seis the Rios, I siete the Rios, I Ocho the Rios.

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