Things I’m Afraid My Cats Will Someday Say To Me

IMG_0242I don’t talk to my cats, because I’m not a crazy cat lady.  Okay, I do talk to my cats, but I’m still not a crazy cat lady because they don’t answer me.  In English.  Yet.  I worry that someday they will, though, and here are some of the things I’m afraid they might say to me:

  1. Sometimes I just fake a purr so you’ll stop and I can get some sleep.
  2. I’m not sure the vet got everything down there, if you know what I mean.
  3. Not that I care what you’re wearing, because I’m a cat, and cats only have one outfit, and it’s awesome, but that shirt looks terrible on you.
  4. Why is it okay for you to feed us food you think smells disgusting?
  5. I can’t decide which of my favorite pee-spots to use.  Thoughts?
  6. We’re thinking of getting another human.
  7. So, I’ve memorized all your passwords and I just figured out how to type…
  8. Pass the remote, I want to watch that show about the Kardashians.
  9. Oh, hey, remember that time when you accidentally bashed my head on the doorknob and I couldn’t walk straight for, like, a week but you didn’t take me to the vet because it would mean you wouldn’t have beer money?  I do.
  10. Whatchu talkin bout, Willis?!

I’m a little surprised by number 8; I had them pegged as more “Say Yes To The Dress” types.  And if they ever do actually say number 10 I’ll die laughing, especially since in my head they sound like Zooey Deschanel.  I swear I’m not a crazy cat lady!  Maybe just crazy?


[Image in the public domain via]

Happy (Step)Father’s Day!


The original step-dad

When I was picking out my Father’s Day cards, I found all sorts of possible combinations:  from daughter to father, from father to grandfather, from son-in-law to father-in-law, even one from the dog (I’m not kidding about that).  I did not, however, see any that were geared specifically to a stepdad.  It can be a little tricky, picking out the right card for a stepfather.  It makes me wonder if the card industry has decided that stepfathers aren’t really family, or maybe they’re just hoping someone will make up a separate Stepfather’s Day so they can cash in even more.  In case there’s any question, though, I’d like to lay out the case for why my stepdad is definitely family and should absolutely get a Father’s Day card.  I think that, if you read all of my reasons, you’ll end up agreeing—and if any of you work for card companies, maybe you’ll come up with a few card options for next year.

My Reasons For Why My Stepdad Is Family:

 1.  He went to my school concerts and plays

I took this for granted when I was growing up.  If I had a concert, everybody went.  That’s just how it was.  Now that I’m old enough to have to be fortunate enough to sit through go to children’s concerts myself, I understand just how much that meant, because those concerts are terrible  horrible GODAWFUL.  When I was a child, I thought my choir or band or whatever was usually pretty good, and comparatively speaking, we probably were.  But that’s like saying that sour milk smells comparatively better than rotten eggs.  It may be true, but that’s still really, really bad, and he sat through it over and over and over, knowing how dreadful it was going to be, because he wanted to support me.  That’s family.

2.  He helped me move

Not just once.  Not just when there were elevators.  Twice a summer every summer while I was in college, and about a half-dozen times since then, almost always when it was either sweltering or freezing cold with icy rain just to keep things fun.  It’s not just help moving furniture, either, it’s cleaning up the apartment (including bathrooms) and fixing leaks and figuring out why that light fixture isn’t working and I don’t even know what else, because he does it all while I’m off doing something easy, and he does it without being asked, which is good because I’d never have the nerve to ask him to do half the things he does.  That’s family.

3.  He puts up with my pets

I once had a seven-week gap between apartment leases, and I had to ask my mom and stepdad to take the cats in while I rented a room for those seven weeks.  I don’t know that I would ever describe my stepdad as a cat person.  I think he’s the kind of guy that, if he had to have pets, he would pick a dog, but he’d just as soon not have anything else to have to clean up after.  He took the cats in without a murmur, though, and let them have their catty way with his house.  I even heard stories of him letting “that brown cat” (my siamese) curl up on his head at night, but I’m not sure I can believe that one without pictures (oh please, Mom, tell me there are pictures!).  Subjecting his wall-to-wall carpeting to creatures whose favorite pastime is horking up most of the food they just ate was really testing the limits, but he did it because I needed him to and never once complained.  That’s family.

4.  I can’t stand the thought of disappointing him

I love my dad.  A lot of the things I do, I do because I want him to be proud of me.  A lot of the things that keep me up at night are things that would disappoint him.  Most of the time, these things motivate me to make good choices (saving for retirement! yay!).  Sometimes, not so much (don’t follow that dream! it’s not sensible!).  But that’s on me because those are my choices.  At the heart of every one of those things that my dad wants for me, and that I want to do to make him proud, is his wish for me to be happy.  That’s how you know that someone is family.  Underneath all of the fighting and nagging and drama and stress, you all truly want each other to be happy.  So I make good choices because I don’t want to disappoint my father, who wants me to be happy, or my stepfather, who wants the same thing.  I want to make them both proud because they’re both family.

I defy you to hear those reasons and then tell me that my stepdad doesn’t need a Father’s Day card.  As an adopted child with stepparents, I can tell you categorically that blood is neither the beginning nor the end of family.  Hallmark and the other greeting card companies just need to get with it.  Although, I did find a pretty good card for my stepdad this year.  On the front, it asked “Where would I be without you?”, and on the inside it said “Yes, but which prison?”  Really, I think that sums it all up, don’t you?

[All images are in the public domain via]


How I Got My Snark Back

Dear Weird Guy I Met At The Bar,

girl-1064666_6402I want you to know that, even though I wouldn’t give you my phone number or my real name, I’m so glad we met.  Not because you said you liked my hair; although that’s usually a solid move with a girl, I’d recommend against using the word “fetish” within the first half hour of conversation.  I appreciated the super-clear warning sign, don’t get me wrong, but maybe ease into that a little more slowly next time.  With someone other than me.  But that’s not why I’m glad we met.

It’s also not because we had a deep and meaningful conversation about the relevance of Eastern philosophies on contemporary Western living.  We might have, if you had been able to pronounce the words “Bhagavad Gita,” but even if your speech hadn’t been slurred from what you initially claimed was your third beer and eventually admitted was your seventh, I doubt we would have ended up discussing the theistic aspects of moksha.  Also, the “main dude” in the Bhagavad Gita is named Arjuna, not Arwen, and that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I did get some entertainment out of listening to you try to convince me that you like doing yoga because you enjoy the female energy and that you never even notice the boobs of the women in your class.  It was especially amusing because, for the ten minutes before you gazed into my eyes and made that earnest declaration, you’d been addressing most of your intoxicated musings to my cleavage.  Not an original move, no, but the fact that you clearly had no idea you’d just been doing it gave it that special something so often missing from drunken ogling.  Well done, sir!  But that’s still not why I’m glad we met.

I’m glad we met because, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t just smile awkwardly while secretly snarking at you in my head.  This time my smile was one of real  enjoyment.  I don’t know whether I was responding to some quality in you or whether there was just magic in the air that night, but when I heard you talk about actualizing your inner tranquility,  I was finally able to give myself permission to snark out loud.  You can’t imagine how good it felt after denying myself for so long.  It was snark without shame, reckless and abandoned, and it was bliss.  You gave me the best night I’ve had in a long time.  You gave me my snark back.  I’m so glad we met.

And if I didn’t say it last night, thanks for buying me the drink I was nursing while I mocked you to your face.  It was delicious.


Snarks and kisses,

The Little Blind Girl


[images in the public domain via]



How Not To Be A Workout Buddy

floor-exercises-825064_640So you’ve decided to get serious about going to the gym?  You know, one of the best things you can do to improve your exercise routine is to get yourself a workout buddy.  Studies have shown that people who exercise with a partner are more likely to reach their fitness goals.  After all, no app, tool, or supplement can give you the kind of motivation you’ll get from a workout partner who really knows you:

Little Blind Girl:  Hey, I know we’re supposed to go to the gym right now, but Skeeter’s Taco Shack is having this contest called “Guess the Fish” where you eat free if you can—

Friend:  Nope.  The last time we skipped our workout, you made me swear on Season Two of Grey’s Anatomy that I would never let you do that again, so go squeeze your doughy butt into some spandex.  We’re hitting the gym.

Little Blind Girl:  Nah, I’m gonna bail.  Sorry, but there is nothing that could get me into my gym clothes right now.

Friend:  (thinks for a second)  Remember how you wore your fishnet stockings to that party the other night, but they’d gotten so tight that you had little criss-cross marks all over your legs the next day?

Little Blind Girl:  Hand me that sports bra.

When you exercise with a buddy, gym time isn’t just more fun; it’s also more effective.  Your friend will know when you’re not challenging yourself and can give you that extra push you need:

(while going for a run )

Friend:  You sure you can’t go any faster?  Okay, okay.  Oh, hey, I’ve got a call.  (talking into cell phone)  Hello?  Oh, hi, Grandma.  How’d the surgery go? (pause) Me?  I’m just out for a run with the Little Blind Girl. (pause) Sure, you can join us!

Little Blind Girl:  Very funny.

Friend:  (still talking into phone) No, Grandma, your wheelchair won’t slow us down.

Little Blind Girl:  Your phone isn’t even on!

Don’t forget that you and your exercise buddy can help each other outside the gym, too.  After all, no matter how much energy you put into your workout, you won’t see results if you don’t maintain a healthy diet:

(at Skeeter’s Taco Shack )

Little Blind Girl:  Well, Skeeter, I’m impressed by the addition of sushi to your menu, especially at that price, but today I’m more in the mood for the pasta carbonara platter—with extra parmesan, of course— and if you could bump the portion size up to “Last Meal On Death Row,” that’d be great.

Friend:  Guess how long you’d have to stay on the rowing machine to burn off all those calories?

Little Blind Girl:  I’ll have the grilled chicken breast, please.  No sauce.

And when all that effort finally starts paying off, no one will appreciate your hard-earned hard body more than the person who was with you for every rep:

Little Blind Girl:  Check out my new arm muscles!

Friend:  All right. (puts hand on Little Blind Girl’s bicep) Okay, flex.

Little Blind Girl:  I am flexing!

Friend:  Oh.  Are you sure?

The buddy system isn’t just for crossing the street.  When it comes to diet and exercise, there’s nothing like a partner to keep you motivated and on track.  So if you’re serious about fitness, make sure that when you head to the gym, you bring along the most important equipment of all:  a friend.


[Image is in the public domain via]

Insulting E-Cards By Shakespeare

Because I’ve had five migraines in the past two days and I’m not feeling very nice right now, and also because I love Shakespeare.  Migraines, these e-cards are for you:

1. First migraine, lasted six and a half hours


2.  Second migraine, woke me up from a dream in which I was a secretary for Johnny Cash, but he would only talk to me in song


3.  Third migraine, had me seriously considering a DIY icepick lobotomy


4.  Fourth migraine, I admit, made me its b*tch


5.  Fifth migraine, took my joy, my dignity, and my will to live, mixed them in a blender with some ice cream and chocolate syrup, and drank them


I hope you enjoyed the results of my pain!  Hang on, I feel another migraine coming on.  Awesome.  I’m gonna go not compare it to a summer’s day.  Peace out, ye fat guts (Henry IV, Part 1.  Sort of).

Miracles, Audrey Hepburn Movies, And Other True Stories About My Mom

woman-1334252_640 2

image in public domain via; text added

Mother’s Day snuck up on me, which seems appropriate because my mother often does the same thing.  I wanted to write a Mother’s Day post this year, partly because I’m running out of blog topics I have a fantastic mother who’s always worth writing about and partly because I’ve had particular reason to appreciate her over the last year.  I wasn’t sure quite how to approach it, though.  My Sainted Mother has made a number of appearances on this blog already, and most of the stories she wouldn’t mind me telling the entire internet have already been told.

Fortunately, I found inspiration in the news. I try to stay educated on current events because, appropriately enough, my mother raised me to believe that it’s my duty to stay informed as a voter and as a member of society.  I also like to check to see if we’ve gone to war with anyone new since yesterday, and I wish I meant that as a joke.  So I took a look at the news and oh, the news, the news did not disappoint.

At first I thought it did, and not because of headlines about serial killers, though there were headlines about serial killers.  The news I’m talking about was equally shocking, but it was also, somehow, horrendously mundane.  I read articles about political sniping and voters trying to decide which candidate for leader of the free world is the least worst; interviews in which global atrocities were politicized and romanticized, and in the process trivialized; and editorials in respected publications demanding that the moral beliefs of private citizens be enforced as law.  How can any rational being not be disappointed in news like this?

Inadvertently, however, all that muck made it obvious to me how I should approach this Mother’s Day post.  My mother is everything that’s missing from the news today.  She’s intelligent, free-thinking, non-judgmental, and familiar with the rules of grammar.  (She’s also, and this is really neither here nor there when it comes to the news, very good-looking.  When she went abroad as a young woman, snobby Parisian men lost their snobby Parisian heads over her in spite of her being an American.  True story).  What stands out to me most clearly right now, though, and what has lasted rather longer than the dew on her skin and the gloss in her hair, is how classy she is.  Life with my mother is like an Audrey Hepburn movie:  it’s beautiful, it’s fun, and it’s clearly better for having her in it.  It’s also simply not the same with anyone else.

All my life, whenever I’ve gone somewhere with my mother, I’ve seen the people around her just bloom, and I’ve tried for years to pin down why.  Other people can be nice, polite, thoughtful, helpful, all those same attributes my mother has, and they don’t have the same effect.  You can do the exact things she does and say the exact words she says with all the same tones and inflections, but you won’t get the same results–trust me, I’ve tried; it’s like the beginning of Peter Pan without the fairy dust.  But when you’re with my mother, something about her makes the world start acting like a dusty summer garden when it finally rains; all the beautiful things can lift up their heads and flourish, and they do.

In hotels, when she travels, she knows the names of the concierge, the manager, the assistant managers, the coffee shop baristas, the housekeepers, the gardeners, and the maintenance staff.  She doesn’t learn their names to curry favor, she does it because she wants to know their names.  She knows which waiter in the hotel restaurant has a child applying to colleges and whose grandmother is recovering from surgery, and she also knows which colleges and what kind of surgery.  When someone is in distress, she asks if she can do anything and hopes the answer is yes.  She’ll read this, I know, and she’ll think I’m painting a picture of a rosebush and leaving out the thorns.  I’m not.  Even my mother can’t deny that I’m not the kind of person who leaves out the thorns.  I’m just the kind of person who recognizes what she’s got, and I’ve got an exceptionally classy mother.

This blog post was almost very different, though, because the twist in this particular tale is that I’m adopted.  I suspect that, no matter what the circumstances are, most adopted children never really stop being afraid that they’ll be rejected, and that’s still my biggest fear.  Rationally speaking, I know that my adoption is probably not going to be undone after thirty-five years, but tell that to a kid who grew up knowing she’d been returned to sender once already.  My mother (and father and sister) gave me a home and a family and I will never stop being grateful for that, but a home and a family couldn’t soothe my fear because they’re the very things I’ve been so afraid I’ll lose.  It would take a miracle to banish that fear.  So my mother performed a miracle.  She raised me with a love so strong and so good that it overcame every fear and doubt, and made me believe.  She made me hers.

My mother gave a motherless child the impossible gift:  total and unshakeable faith in her love for me.  I will always be her daughter and she will always be my mother.  She told me so, and she lives her life with such honor and grace that I could never doubt her.  She made room for me in her home and her heart, and she’s my mother not by blood or even by court order, but by a lifetime of love.  She’s a class act if ever there was one, and no matter what else is going on in my life or what horrible things are in the news, all I have to do to find the good in this world is think of her.  I know that my sister, her biological daughter, feels the same.  I’ll never be able to repay my mother for what she’s done for me and been to me.  All I can do is say thank you.

Thank you, Mom.  I love you so much.  Happy Mother’s Day.

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Go To The Gym


image in public domain  (

Any time I need motivation to do some chore I’ve been putting off, all I have to do is tell myself to go to the gym, and like magic, I’m suddenly cleaning the bathroom grout. I don’t know why I hate going to the gym so much. I don’t hate actually being at the gym. Once I’m there and I’ve started exercising, I usually get into it. I certainly don’t hate the self-satisfied glow I get after I’ve been to the gym. Plus, then I get to stop off for a post-exercise smoothie and say, “I always hydrate after I work out,” and watch everyone who wasn’t at the gym look guilty.

I’ve had to start facing facts now that I can’t fit into any of my jeans. I don’t know why, but as far as getting myself to put on gym clothes and head toward the shiny, pretty building with the shiny, pretty workout equipment and the shiny, pretty people, I’d rather chew off my own hand at the wrist and use it to punch myself in the throat. Heh. I’d rather tattoo my entire face hot pink than go to the gym. Ooh! I’d rather walk through a room full of clowns than go to the gym. Hey, this is fun! I wonder what else I’d rather do than go to the gym?

Top 10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Go To The Gym

  1. Give a bath to five feral cats, all at the same time.
  2. Prepare, bake, and eat a dirty-sock pie.
  3. Find that video of me from my fourth-grade school play, the one where I’m wearing some sort of metallic tutu and have glitter on my butt, and post it on YouTube.
  4. Take a selfie. Any kind of selfie.
  5. Find the source of that weird smell in the refrigerator and lick it.
  6. Trim my toenails with my teeth.
  7. Run a resort for obese exhibitionist nymphomaniacs.
  8. Tell my parents what really happened to the Mercedes.
  9. Go through natural childbirth.
  10. Write a blog post about things I’d rather do than go to the gym.

I’ll be honest, that got a little disturbing. But we’ve all got our dark secrets; some of us just choose to make them available to anyone with an internet connection and basic literacy skills. So what is it that you would rather eat a dirty-sock pie than do? Clean out the garage? Get a tetanus booster? Go see that play your significant other is in that you’re trying to be supportive about? Come on, leave me a comment with your shameful confession. It’ll be just between us! And if you believe that, I’ve got a truly impressive workout routine I’m going to tell you I did. Now, to round up five feral cats….