Sunday, September 30, 2007

crappy (but not too eventful) update

I realized (and I should have realized this a long time ago) that the contractor who was giving me such grief is actually not only the contractor on this project, but the owner as well. I was talking to my next door neighbor, who brought up the subject, and he reminded me that the short, balding pylon-obsessive is indeed the same person who paid nearly one million dollars for this tiny lot with a tiny house on it. (Incidentally my neighbor has also run over a pylon. "He's taking over the street!" complained my sweet-tempered neighbor).

This, to me, makes the contractor's behavior worse. He's not trying to please some fussy homeowner, as dear Mombo suggested (and hello to you, Mombo! I hope you are well!). He's just a rich jerk who came into this very quiet residential nook and doesn't care if he disturbs the residents who were here before him and will be here after him. Everyone's understanding is that he's here to build his mini McMansion and then sell it for a profit. There is some worry that he intends to turn it into more than one unit, which is NOT what the permit was for. I'll just be happy if he does sell it; he's not my idea of a dream neighbor.

I can't fathom the arrogance of someone who thinks they have the right to disturb other people for their own profit without apology. Not every real estate developer is like this. There was a major construction project on the lot directly behind our house, and the owner came to our home in person, carrying a nice bottle of wine and a business card. He nicely apologized for any disruptions and asked us to call him if we had any particular problems. We did indeed call once, when his roofers were dropping stuff into our backyard and we were concerned for our toddler's safety, and we all got along well enough through that major construction project.

I haven't had any more run-ins with the contractor in person. I am not going to take the approach suggested by several readers, who are nicer people than I am, that I kill everyone with kindness and run over with baked goods. I refuse to cook for a wealthy butthole who most likely tried to sabotage my car. IF he were to apologize, then we might see some cookies or muffins in his future... but there are no signs of that. What I'm going to do is to try to disengage to the best of my abilities and just not interact in any way with this little sociopath.

Today I was out in the street by my house, calling up critical suggestions to the Sober Husband on how best to display a festive Hello Kitty "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" banner, when I noticed a very large shard of glass strategically placed by a front tire of my car. It was an unusual piece of glass: unusually thick and unusually sharp. It was clearly not from anything broken in the street, because it was alone. It wasn't from a bottle (which would be the most typical thing for someone to break on a city street); the glass was too thick. If I had not been standing in the street today, I would have driven over the shard in the morning and most likely punctured my tire. I cannot assume this was the contractor again; I am going to keep an open mind. On the other hand, there's no one else I know of who currently has a hate-on for me.

I showed the huge shard to the Sober Husband, who gave me a very weary look in return. He thinks I'm paranoid and doesn't want to hear any more of it.

Just after I went back inside with my shard, poor birthday Lola threw up. Oh my poor darling, it was just a few hours before her guests were expected to arrive for her "Flower Kitten" themed party. The Sober Husband asked me to clean up the vomit, but I declined on the basis that I needed to immediately call all the parents to tell them not to come. Now, at the time we should be welcoming our little guests and having them eat homemade cake, bash our kitten-shaped pinata (how barbaric!), and play with our little herd of foster kittens, we are quietly resting. Poor old Lola, what horrific timing for a stomach virus.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

if anything should happen to me...

On my block a house is being gutted and turned into as much of a McMansion as can be squeezed into its tiny lot. This is an inconvenience to anyone in the neighborhood who is home during the day, but it should be a bearable annoyance. In my case, however, it has developed to a point where I actually have concerns for my personal safety, and my husband, who should be concerned about my safety, is instead concerned for my personal sanity.

The crux of the matter is that the contractor has a number of orange plastic pylons, which he likes to place in the street. This is a very narrow street. Although it is nominally a two-way street, it is just wide enough for one carefully-piloted car to squeeze through if cars are parked on both sides. (On this street, one must be prepared at all times to squeeze into empty parking spaces if a car is coming the other way). The street is not wide enough to play slalom and dodge those pylons.

As the only stay-at-home parent on the block, I am unique in coming and going all day: take Lola to pre-k, return, get Iris from school, perhaps take a child to gymnastics, go to the grocery store, pick up Lola at pre-k... It never ends. So perhaps it is inevitable that I would enter into conflict with anyone who chooses to put things into the street each day in front of my house. Once I got one of the loathsome pylons caught under my car and dragged it accidentally for two blocks.

Of course, the pylons are not the only cause of annoyance. I held my tongue when the workers woke me up early one Saturday morning blasting mariachi music at insane volumes. I didn't say anything when the excavations threw up so much dirt that my car was unsafe to drive each day (there was so much dirt on my rear window that I couldn't see through it to reverse, and it was scary). It wasn't until the day I was blocked in by trucks that open conflict erupted. That day I was on a tight schedule, returning Lola home from gymnastics in time to meet her speech therapist. As I turned into my block, a large truck pulled out in front of me. Irritatingly enough it waited -- as did I -- for a woman driving the other direction, but rather than wait for me, the truck decided, "Screw you, Oldsmobile-driving loser" and pulled out, nearly hitting me. It then just stopped, at an awkward angle blocking the street, and started performing various arcane construction maneuvers. Further down the block ANOTHER truck was parked in the street, fencing off the block in another direction (and mind you, the speech therapist paid $110 an hour was expected to arrive any minute by car). "I need to get through!" I said through my window to the contractor. "Just park here," he said. At that point, I was cranky and expressed that the street should not be blocked, I should be able to get through, and that they had thrown up so much dirt every day that it wasn't safe to drive my car. The contractor did not apologize for anything at any time, insisting that this was just a part of life and I needed to accept it, but did allow that he might have a worker hose off my car at the end of the day. I said that if he did that, I would really appreciate it, and then Lola and I rushed into the house.

A little over an hour later, Lola and I emerged, practicing our R-words as we drove our filthy, unsafe car to pre-k. I then took the car to the world-famous Touchless Carwash and ran some other errands. Later in the day, I drove home after collecting Iris and Lola from their schools. There was a pylon idiotically placed right in the street in front of my house, where I customarily (and obsessively, as I'm a bit of a crank about my god-given parking space) park. There was no way to park without hitting it unless I were to stop the car in the street, get out, move the pylon, park, and then replace it. I refuse to do that, and so I ran over the pylon.

As I got out of the car, the contractor came over and went into a rage that I had run over his pylon. (Indeed, I had not realized as I parked that my front wheel had actually come to rest on the pylon). He said that he had washed my car for me that day, but that was an out-and-out lie which did not take me in. I was home for only an hour, and when I left, my car was completely covered with dirt obscuring the rear window (indeed the poor workers at the Touchless let out exclamations of horror as I drove in; sorry, Touchless artisans!). There was no way the car could have been washed, dried completely, and become covered in dirt again IN JUST ONE HOUR. I didn't point out the lie, but I said, "Actually, it was unsafe when I left and I just paid $30 to have it washed." The contractor demanded I move my car off his pylon, and he got in my face in a rage. A former litigator myself, I am no stranger to men trying to intimidate me, and my trained response is to not back down. I refused to move my car and said that if he didn't want his pylons run over, he shouldn't leave them in the fucking street. Meanwhile Iris and Lola were nervously fidgeting. The contractor stomped off mumbling threats, and I ushered the girls into the house quickly. I felt genuinely unsafe, and I called the Sober Husband. He was in a meeting and declined to take my calls.

The next day, the Sober Husband walked over to talk to the contractor. The husband reported back that the contractor was obviously very upset over his run-in with me and felt I was being completely unreasonable in running over his pylon. The pylons are supposed to alert drivers that there will be construction ahead. The Sober Husband, without consulting me, agreed that I should stop my car in the street, get out while leaving the car running, move the pylons, then park and replace the pylons. Likewise when I leave, I should adjust the pylons, again leaving the car running. The husband looked chagrined and pissed when I informed him that I refuse to live by that. I do not feel comfortable leaving my car running on a steep hill with my children in it while I fuss about with a pylon, and I just don't feel that I should have to go through this inconvenience. In my opinion, if someone leaves something in the street, they should assume the risk it will be run over, NOT expect others to take care of that property.

Yesterday when I left at noon to take Lola to pre-k, there were no pylons in front of my house. They were placed across the street and further up the street from my house. I felt relieved and thought that perhaps the contractor had come to his senses and decided to just not put the stupid pylons where I was coming and going all day. Later I returned with Iris and Lola, and what did I see but a pylon placed very prominently, centered right in front of my house. There was no way to get into the spot where I traditionally park without striking the pylon (or, in theory, leaving the car blocking the street in order to get out and move the stupid thing). However, no one was parked in front of my next door neighbor's house, so I decided to be the better person and park in a different spot. I reversed and backed up so that I was partially in front of my house. When I got out, I saw that my bumper had just tipped over the pylon, although I hadn't run over it... and there was a big, heavy thing which had been hidden under the pylon. Fuck. I carried in the object, which appeared to be part of a construction pole with a large metal ring embedded in one end, and put it on my porch. (The Sober Husband opined later that it is a chock for stopping large trucks).

The only logical explanation is that the contractor planted that chock hidden under the pylon to sabotage my car and teach me a lesson. If I had run over that pylon on my way into my spot, it could have severely damaged my car. I was shaken. I considered calling the police, but felt that in my city, where there is considerable gang violence in places, the police would not want to bother with an incident of "I almost had my car damaged." I couldn't prove that the contractor had done this, although there was no one else who would have a reason to do such a thing.

This morning the Sober Husband told me that he was going to return the chock to the contractor in case he needed it. "No! It's evidence!" I said. He looked at me with a sort of pity mixed with disgust. "I don't want to be the guy who is against safety," he said. In the Sober Husband's mind, the contractor stands for Safety and Hard Work, and evidently the wife stands for Danger and Sloth. I think this contractor, a short, prematurely balding man, is likely suffering from Napoleon's Syndrome, which causes him to think he can bully women. I also think he's unhinged, trying to wreck my car.

My discussion with the husband was interrupted by a spectacularly ill-timed phone call. Over a month ago, I sent a complaint email after I had some astonishingly bad and rude service at my pet food supply store, and this was the moment at which the owner of the store was calling to discuss my complaint. It was the first time in fifteen years I'd made a complaint against someone at a business, and the response came just as I was trying to convince my husband that the contractor tried to sabotage my car. The husband's thoughts were transparent. Against my wishes, he carried the chock back to the contractor and went off to Doggyo to spend a day working and refusing to take his crazy wife's calls.

Dear readers, if you should cease to hear from me, look for my remains in the construction project on Mono Way in San Francisco (or perhaps in a burnt-out teal Oldsmobile with Burning Man and PETA stickers). Feel free to say, in a judgmental way, "She told you so" to my widowed spouse. And, incidentally, the Sober Husband drove over a pylon today and had great difficulty extricating it from the undercarriage of his car. "It was impossible not to run over it," he admitted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

it's not over until the drunken lady sings

On August 23d, late at night, the Sober Husband yelled for me to come quickly, and I discovered our tiny orange foster kitten hemorrhaging and crying. Our local raccoon had come in through the cat door, caught the kitten, and dragged the kitten back outside. Iris uber Alles and I raced the kitten over to All Animals Emergency Hospital, where he was admitted for the night. The kitten was in shock and had lost a lot of blood.

The next morning, Iris and I went back and picked up the kitten. His little skull had a fracture, his eyes had been mauled and were shut (although the vet assured me the actual eyeballs were intact), and he was very weak. Later that day, we took him to see the staff vet at the shelter, who gave us antibiotics, eye medications, and painkillers. I kept the baby on a heating pad and tried to get him to eat. A few days after the incident, the swelling had gone down enough to make him bearable to gaze upon, and he looked like this:

The kitten had problems with his head wound becoming swollen, and he had to have a surgical drain installed. At this point, the children christened him "Sideshow Mel", as his surgical drain reminded them of Sideshow Mel of the Simpsons' ornamental bone-through-the-hair.

For weeks, he kept his eyes shut as much as possible. Eventually he became able to open one eye partway, and by then he seemed to recover some energy. It happened slowly, but one day I realized that far from the little convalescent who didn't stir from his hotpad, Sideshow Mel had become the feistiest and most violent of our kittens, wreaking havoc throughout the household. Mel also went on a growth spurt and became the heftiest kitten as well. Unbelievably, the kitten mauled by a raccoon who nearly died was the first one of the litter to be ready to go up for adoption. The only lasting effect of the attack was that his eyes are shaped a bit oddly, and they don't point in the exact same direction. His left eye has a bit of a devilish slant to it, and its gaze is a bit off-kilter.

Iris and I bade a very sentimental farewell to Mel and his brother, Alastair, as we took them in to go up for adoption. (We still have the three smaller kittens from this litter).

Over Labor Day, I shamelessly declared a marathon here on this blog to raise funds to help defray Mel's hospital bill. The readers generously pitched in and contributed $395, which was an enormous help to me, not just budgetwise but emotionally. I felt supported, in so many meanings of the word, in this so often lonely work of animal fostering (the loneliest time is cleaning the litterboxes. No one wants to join in that part of the job!)(incidentally any donor who did not receive a thank you card or gift and who wanted one --- I know some donors prefer to receive absolutely no cheap crap in the mail, even cheap crap lovingly selected and mailed by a drunken person -- should please email me at drunkenhousewife@gmail.com so I may amend that oversight. "Capt. Steve", your thank-you card is in the mail, and everyone else should have received their already).

Several of the readers insisted that like Jerry Lewis, I should end my marathon with a song, and here you are. This one's for you, darling readers and donors: the Drunken Lady sings.

fear her

At the breakfast table this morning, Lola announced, "I am God! Watch out for me!" and chuckled demoniacally.

"What??" was my clever, witty response.

Lola gave a double take and looked at me and then said in a false voice, "Just kidding."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the wit of Lola

As I drove her to pre-k, four year-old Lola talked to herself in the backseat: "Duck... duck...duck..duck... duck... say goose, you stupid idiot!"

Later in the evening, I assisted Iris Uber Alles with her homework after the Sober Husband left (tonight is the annual dads' poker night benefiting Iris's school, and I bought the husband a seat at the game as his Father's Day present). The homework was playing a math cardgame, and Iris insisted upon singing rather than focusing. "Do you think Anton is singing as he plays poker?" I asked pointedly. "La la la, oh give me a card, la la la?"

Lola interjected. "Yes! He is singing, 'La di da, St. Doggyo! La di da, St. Doggyo!" Iris and I laughed, but this show of amusement meant that for the next forty minutes, Lola would not cease singing "La di da St. Doggyo!" at the top of her lungs.

"Survivor" premiere (live blogging off the cuff)

Do forgive us, but eight year-old Iris Uber Alles and I are die-hard "Survivor" fans. Some seasons are boring, but yet we still watch. Here we are, live blogging! With four year-old Lola!

Why are the contestants bringing PERSONAL LUGGAGE??? Iris says, "If it's not hard, I won't watch."

Why is one of the contestants wearing FISHNET TIGHTS and high boots!! Why on earth would anyone think FISHNET TIGHTS are useful to wear on "Survivor"?

One of the contestants is a "school lunch lady" with a mullet.

Courtney says, "I want to sit back with a lemonade. I don't want to be bowing" at the Buddhist welcome ceremony. Has she even watched Survivor? On Survivor Guatemala, they had to hike about 20 miles in the jungle after arrival.

Jeff Probst announces that the contestants must abandon their luggage. The idiot in the fishnet stockings whines that her heavy metal boots "weigh 20 lbs apiece." Courtney the lemonade-wanter whines that she's not wearing a bra. Instead, she's wearing a floor-length orange gown and a pashmina (she's vying to be the biggest idiot this season).

Jeff gives them Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." Once again, I am shamed I have not read this. When I was a litigator, I vowed to read it, but I lazily never got around to it. Recommend me an obscure Scandinavian novelist, and I WILL hunt down their works, but recommend to me a great book of strategy, and the decades drag on that I don't get around to it.

One of the contestants is a Christian talk show host. She says perkily when it starts raining before anyone has had the chance to build a shelter, "It looks like the big guy is providing!" That is exactly the sort of person who drives everyone away from church.

There is a professional poker player who feels he can read everyone and tell who is devious. His name is "Jean-Robert." I think this is particularly moronic that he is, on Day One, advertising his self-proclaimed excellence at intuiting truthfulness. This is truly the Season of the Idiots.

During the commercial, I force the children to go fetch their pajamas.

We see a panda! Iris gets excited.

Sherea is wearing heeled pumps and a pink, ruffled minidress. Another idiot for the ages! If you know you are going on reality TV, why would you bring anything other than comfortable clothing?

"Chicken" is a chicken farmer. I automatically hate him on animal rights grounds, and I'm sure everyone else hates him due to his drawl and condescension.

A monkey! We rejoice.

Ashley is "a WWW diva." She has two rings in her lip and pink and black streaks. "I know my fans are going to want me to win." The Chinese girl hates her. Peih-Gee says, "I can't connect to the wackiness. I feel like so serious."

In the distance, I hear kittens yowling (in our home, not on Survivor).

James is an inordinately muscular and handsome gravedigger. How did a man so gorgeous fall into such an occupation?

The lady wrestler runs off and horks on her first day. She has the chills.

Another monkey! Iris says, "Awww."

I love Todd the gay male Mormon flight attendant.

"Frosti" is a "student athlete." I love his name. He is a parkour enthusiast, which he thinks will make him a huge winner at challenges. I just want to know how he came by the name "Frosti."

The first challenge! The tribes will be tethered to giant dragons and make their way through an obstacle course. The immunity idol is statue of a handsome looking kneeling man.

Jeff announces off-handedly, "Oh another thing. You were given your running shoes for his challenge, you can take them back to camp with them." Damn you, Jeff Probst! I wanted to see that idiot limp in her heels!

Iris says, "Cool! It looks like dragons!" at an overhead shot.

James our hunky gravedigger is a great athlete! I'm glad his team wins. (Our new favorite looks a lot like the vegan spokesmodel lauded on this blog in the past).

I think Lola is asleep already.

The losing tribe has no shelter. Peih-Gee points out that the tribe won't win any challenges if they don't have a shelter. She's fed up with the lack of any work and starts driving everyone to build the shelter.

Ashley the professional wrestler feels Peih-Gee shouldn't be taking a leadership role. "Chicken" wants Ashley voted out instead. Ashley's immense silicon implants should win her some fans, though.

I feel for Peih-Gee. If I were in the middle of nowhere with a pack of idiots (and Peih-Gee is with the woman in the orange gown and pashmina AND the one who came out in heels), I'd be driving them to stop joking around and build a friggin' hut.

Tribal council! Dave the surf instructor is threatened by Peih-Gee's willingness to take the lead. He was voted the leader, but he hasn't actually led.

I feel this tribal council is awkwardly edited. Jeff keeps saying that they made a "first tribal decision", but I am not sure what that was.

Frosti is the first to vote. I wish Jeff would ask him about the provenance of his name.

Peih-Gee votes against Chicken the inarticulate chicken farmer. Why doesn't she vote against Ashley the malevolent pierced-lip wrestler?

Chicken shouts, "Damn!" in a very angry voice at being voted out.

Jeff throws a flint to the losing tribe nonchalantly. God, this is a cushy season of Survivor. They are given running shoes and a fire-making flint for doing nothing??? Where is the picturesque suffering which added so much viewing pleasure in the past??

Summary: "So, Hassepfeffer, what do you think so far?"

"Of what?"

"Survivor!

"Meh. I say Meh!"

After some consideration, Iris added, "I liked the pandas and monkeys."

who'd a thunk it?

Last night we were talking with one of the fathers from Iris Uber Alles's school about the Bohemian Grove, as this father is a devoted regular attendee of that annual gathering of powerful white men. My friend told me something I never, never would have thought true: there are a number of men who go straight from the Bohemian Grove to Burning Man. Wow. I never imagined there was an overlap of those subcultures. I'm fascinated.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

cranky pants!

There's nothing like coming back from a relaxing long weekend away and plunging into a life of crankiness and errands. I can feel every bit of relaxation being stripped away from me. Right now, my shoulders are a mass of pulsating knots, and I have a pounding headache (undoubtedly a tension headache).

Why? All day I've been behind. I woke up to a hideous mountain of laundry, a filthy house, stinking catboxes, and a husband who reminded me as I was reading the morning paper that I stupidly invited another family over for a dinner party tomorrow night. "Motherfucker!" was my sprightly rejoinder.

The day didn't improve much. It was my day to work at Lola's pre-k. The pre-k boys were tearing around like rabid weasels. Lola had a giant tantrum leaving school because I carried her grape juice. We were late to get Iris. Lola had a second giant tantrum because I refused to walk in place and play other games on the way to get Iris(I was paying by the minute for Iris's care). Lola's idiotic cat has been growling and hissing non-stop.

Today I think my biggest accomplishment was not getting into a traffic accident. Sigh.

a request for the readers (will it never end? Not monetary, thank the merciful God)

My darlings, could any readers who are located outside the United States or who will be travelling abroad soon please consider assisting Iris Uber Alles's second grade class? The girls are studying geography, and as a class project, they are writing letters to people in farflung places. They hope to get letters back telling them what it is like to live in those exotic locales.

If you'd like to get a letter from Iris Uber Alles, please send a mailing address to drunkenhousewife@gmail.com. smooches, your old Drunken Housewife

UPDATE: Iris is all set, thank you! However, if someone somewhere ESPECIALLY exotic for a California girl sees this (e.g., Dubai, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, etc..), I'm sure she can add you in...

Monday, September 17, 2007

a hodgepodge

- In a free San Diego newspaper, there is a column which reviews and rates churches. I could not believe that they actually give stars to churches (the one reviewed got 2 1/2 stars), based upon the quality of the sermon, the snacks, the music, the architecture, etc... I was fascinated. The actual awarding of the stars seems so sacrilegious, but the review was written very respectfully. What a brilliant and ballsy concept!

- Despite having learned how to doggy paddle quite respectably at her expensive swimming lessons, Lola refused to swim an inch at the hotel pool. She spent a lot of time in the water hanging onto the side of the pool, splashing about on the steps, and letting Iris ferry her about. Iris later explained it to me: "I asked her to swim, and she said she only knows how to swim in that one swimming pool" where she takes lessons.

Huh. I guess this is the generalization problem I heard so much about in the context of speech therapy: if a child learns to do something in a special setting which is removed from the child's everyday life, the child often has difficulty using that skill in any other context. That is a big part of why we chose to have private speech therapy in our home, rather than using the public system for free group speech therapy in an office.

- I failed to pack my mascara and went without for three days. This was good in the sense that I didn't have to worry about raccoon eyes when I was in the pool and jacuzzi. However, I learned that "the smoky eye" does NOT work without mascara. I smudged on some purple eyeshadow for a beautiful smoky eye one evening, and it was completely wrong with natural lashes. Keep that in mind when you're getting glamorous, people!

- When one goes to rent a car, children will insist upon getting a convertible, but then when it actually comes time to drive in the rental car, the children whine endlessly about the wind if you have the top down. "Close it! Close it! I'm cold! My hair is blowing in my face!"

- Today's Wall Street Journal reports that a Filipino judge regularly converses with three elves which only he can hear. The Supreme Court of the Philippines had this man removed from the bench on the theory that he is psychotic, but since then, a number of mysterious tragedies have befallen the Court and its members. The Supreme Court, hedging its bets, has not put the man back in office, but has requested that he revoke any curses he has set. The public protests: they want their judge and his elves restored to power!

Friday, September 14, 2007

vacationing with my family

We're in San Diego for the weekend, taking advantage of Southwest's triumphant return to SFO ($26 one way to San Diego!). It's our first real vacation in four years, albeit just a long weekend. It's delightful (Lola says, "Best... vacation... ever!", and Iris, looking through the minibar, said, "This is heaven! Mom, can you imagine anything more like heaven than this?), but vacationing with this family is definitely unique.

The Sober Husband didn't want to eat out all weekend and found a grocery store. He proposed that we eat room temperature lentil soup and canned baked beans for dinner, served in water glasses. The man was actually surprised that I found his plan disgusting. After this reaction, he decided to heat his mass of beans in the room's coffeepot over my objections ("I may want to make some coffee, and I don't want lentil coffee").

We went for a long walk along the beach in the evening, and the children became frantic after we walked past a house where the inhabitants were watching Spongebob. "We're missing valuable TV! We need to get back to the TV!"

But on the other hand, our hotel room is lovely, and when we're lounging by the pool, there is a little flag on the back of the chairs, and if I raise that flag, a polite woman will come around and bring me a margarita. What's not to love?

Today we went to the San Diego Zoo for much of the day, and it was truly amazing. The zoo is artfully built in a canyon, so there are many levels and things tucked away hither and yon. The family favorite was the hippos' enclosure, where glass allows you to see the depths of the hippos' pond. Who knew that huge hippos float underwater like balloons, bobbing gently in the water, completely submerged but occasionally sticking their nostrils above the water level? How can something so heavy float so effortlessly? Iris and I saw bonobos playing tag and a delightful sort of monkey called a swamp monkey, and so much more.

The children are campaigning to move to San Diego. I can't argue with them. Neither the Sober Husband nor I ever intended to live in San Francisco permanently; it just happened. It would be a lot of work to move, however (sell the house! find new schools! make new friends!). And here I am an anomaly: I notice a lot more people staring at me as I walk about. I'm an example of a type found all over San Francisco: black-haired chubby girls with very good tattoos and sometimes a bit of a retro thing going (a brush of the old Bettie Page). In San Diego this phenotype does not seem common, whereas in the Bay Area, you can't swing a stick without striking several.

Now I'm dying to go to the beautiful outdoor hotel bar, but the children cannot bear to leave the television. Sigh. It's such a romantic destination here, but when the fruits of one's love are with you, you can't expect much more romance than watching cartoons.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the traumas of parenting

My daughter Lola is in a co-op preschool, which means I work a shift a week (it means a lot more than that, sigh, but we'll leave it there for now). Today I was supervising the bike deck (historically where the craziest, most dangerous play occurs). A small child was at risk of being run over by a larger child in a little car. I said to the car-driving child, "Be careful, you don't want to hit her!"

As it turns out, I inadvertently made a huge faux pas. The child I'd referred to as "her" said tearily, "I'm not a girl!" His father was within earshot, and the father came over, scooped up the child, and said in a nasty voice, "Of course you're not a girl." The father didn't speak to me but turned his back on me and then stomped off.

The little boy in question is a three year-old with an angelic little face and a high, piping voice and long hair several inches past his shoulders. If it's so frigging traumatic to him to be called a girl and if it's so upsetting to the father, then why the hell don't they cut his motherfucking hair?

I never got pissy with anyone who mistook my older daughter for a boy when she was little, and it happened quite a lot. Iris Uber Alles had a very serious demeanor and I tended to dress her in overalls and other practical, rough-and-tumble clothes. (Lola, on the other hand, was a very girly baby from the day one, with a very feminine face, giggly bearing, and an insistence right away on wearing beautiful dresses).

Of course, the long-haired little boy, being in a bad mood, refused to obey the basic safety rules of the bike deck, and when, as a consequence, I told him he had to play elsewhere, he said, "I hate you", refused to obey, and hit me. Oh, what a joyous life we lead at the preschool. (And people keep telling me I should go into teaching ... oy vey. To be fair, the other children were, for the most part, charming and respectful to my authority as they careered about madly, but yet it remains true that the Drunken Housewife is not cut out for the teaching life).

That was not the worst part of my day as An Involved and Active Parent, however. That came when I registered online to pay for Iris Uber Alles's school lunches. Her school has given its lunch business to a new outside company, and now we are required to pay online with Paypal. I was fine with that... UNTIL I LEARNED THAT IRIS HAD RUN UP AN $11.25 DEFICIT ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. It costs $11.25 for her frigging school lunch now??? One day's lunch for a SECOND GRADER is $11.25??? When Lola starts kindergarten next year, it's gonna cost $22.50 a day for their motherfucking lunches???

Trying to figure out why her lunch cost so much, Iris mused, "I had soy milk." "Did it come in a golden cup?" I acerbically remarked.

Monday, September 10, 2007

shocking others with sucky mothering: it's your Drunken Housewife

So today was Iris Uber Alles's first day of school (yes, on September 10th. Her school keeps a more casual, truncated calendar than most, and this year's start was pushed back even further to allow for construction). Following our traditional division of labor, her father got up early to make her breakfast and take her to school, while I slept in with Lola.

Truthfully we needed the sleep. Lola had been traumatized by a giant, lunging Venus Flytrap playing "Second Life" the day before and had nightmares. She already had a pre-existing fear of Iris Uber Alles's venus flytrap and of one of my orchids, and running across a gigantic attack plant on "Second Life" caused the little phobic to utterly freak out. Lola's plant trauma is getting to be practically on a par with something from Scott Smith's "The Ruins" (which if you haven't yet read, you must read. It's out in paperback. Oh, and if you're an avid "Second Life" player and you run across a player who types in gibberish, keep in mind that on the internet, no one knows if you're a preschooler).

I did want to get up and kiss Iris goodbye on the first day of school, but after being up much of the night with Lola assuring her that blankets were not plants and that no plants were present in the room or likely to enter it, it didn't happen. When I went to pick up Iris, one of the other mothers quizzed me about this. "Isn't it normal that both parents go on the first day of school? I got up super early to be sure to get a parking space. Just about everyone had both parents there."

I scoffed politely. "That's people with ONE CHILD. I was home with my other child. I'm not going to drag Lola across town in the morning." The other mother (who indeed has only the one child) wasn't convinced. I could tell she was judging me as insufficiently interested in my child and/or her education. But for Christ's sake, we're talking about the first day of second grade. I was there for the first day of preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten. Is that not enough, people???

Over at pre-k, I noticed as I signed Lola in that there was a big old Venus flytrap in the classroom. "Fuck", I thought to myself. I had a confidential chat with the teacher and filled him in on Lola's nightmares and the fact that Iris's Venus flytrap had to be kept out of Lola's sight at home. He listened attentively, thanked me for letting him know, but then shook his finger at me sternly. "No more of this computer game for her!"

"It's Anton that does it with her," I said weakly. "It's not my idea." Talk about a rousing defense of my mothering skills! 0 for 2, people, 0 for 2.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

the sordid truth: a guest blog

One of our regular commenters, 2AM Somewhere, came out to the Bay Area the other day from his Midwest den and met up with us. I told him in advance that the price of admission was writing about it for my blog (not his blog, MY blog), and he complied. Of course, I edited out the part where he recoiled in horror as he observed the drunken woman clubbing the oddly sober and bitter husband with a bottle of Ketel One, as the little children covered their ears and huddled closer to the television set. Just kidding, just kidding...

Disclaimer: The following account contains elements of fiction, fabrication, absurd exaggeration, and shameless hyperbole, all of which have been added to enhance the levity of the narrative and preserve a modicum of discretion. None of it should be construed as an attempt to obfuscate negative experiences.

So, once it became clear that I would be flying out to the Bay Area for another interview in early September, world famous blogger Drunken Housewife renewed an invitation for me to have dinner with her and her family. Given that both of us place some degree of value on our anonymity, we had to negotiate the terms and conditions of this groundbreaking occurrence.

In exchange for an evening of fine dining and lively chatter, I agreed to write a guest post for her ever so popular media property. I also granted her exclusive right to comment, annotate, and heckle in italics anything I submitted. In exchange, she waived the right to use my likeness in any blog related merchandise, the allaying my fears of crass commercialization in the form of commemorative wine glasses, mouse pads, and so forth.

So, I arrived in SFO Thursday evening, about half an hour late from the O'Hell Airport in the Windy City, wondering if I had outrun my luggage in a mad dash to catch my connecting flight from the Circle City. After breathing a sigh of relief to see my suitcase on the carousel, I proceeded to take a train to downtown, where I would lodge for the evening. I got checked in, and then I set out to make my social call.

Getting to the Drunken-Sober residence is no easy task, for it is nestled somewhere in the steep hills south of downtown. To get there, I was given the following directions:

1. Take a form of public transportation to the end of its line.
2. Find a nearby location with lots and lots of colorful flags and locate a taxi driven by some guy named Vladim.
3. Get in the cab. In the backseat, there should be a blindfold. Don said blindfold and do your best impression of "Don't Leave Me This Way" in a Jimmy Somerville falsetto.

Vladim would then drive me to the undisclosed location and leave me at the door to knock.

I received a call around 8:30 pm, during the later stage of step (1) in the directions above. It was the Drunken Housewife. It was the first time we had spoken by phone, so she wasn't sure she had reached me, and I wasn't sure I had been reached by her. She was calling to make sure that I hadn't gotten lost, stolen, or stressed out. I told her that I was fine and most of the way there, which gave her much relief.

I was greeted at the door with a hug from the Esteemed Hostess and an very energetic Lola. We made our way to the living room, where everyone was gathered around a coffee table. I was introduced to the Sober Husband, Iris über Alles, and Michele, a long time friend and hairdresser to Drunken.

Noting that I was dressed in shorts on a night where temperatures were in the 50s, I was ribbed for looking like the "quintessential tourist". Personally, I wondered what my wife would have thought had I dropped dead or been insured in transit. Me with a floral/leafy pattern polo shirt over in the Castro probably would have left behind a Robert Stack grade unsolved mystery to my family back home.

Because I was running late, they had started eating without me. Not to worry though, Drunken had saved some additional goodies for me, with which she promptly set me up, along with a generous glass of sangria.

What follows a recollection of my dining experiences. In a followup e-mail, I asked Drunken for the official names of the dishes, and she declined to give them to me because she was more interested in learning my impressions of them.

The first item was an Hors d’œuvre, a mixture of shrimp and other finely chopped ingredients, which I think may have included nuts and herbs, served atop a slice of endive. It was a pleasant mixture of flavors with a subtle crunchy texture, and a refreshingly crisp substrate.

The next course was Spanish tortilla, for which both Drunken and Michele sang its praises. For those of you not familiar with this dish, this ain't something you'll find on the Taco Bell menu. Were it a French dish, I'd swear it's origin would have been over a domestic squabble where one spoused wante quiche, and another wanted au gratin (picture the classic Reese's "You've got peanut butter in my chocolate..." standoff with potatoes and egg and in French). It's a mixture of thin sliced potatoes and egg, served with a side of red sauce. The sauce had a bit of a zing to it, making for a tasty accent. I enjoyed it so much, I had to have two helpings.

Then Drunken brought out some roasted cauliflower. As someone who had way too much steamed and boiled cauliflower in his past, I can highly recommend it. The roasted form does not have that limp pulp texture that results from boiling. Drunken had seasoned it with something that had given it a reddish appearance. It was mildly spicy and maybe a little sweet. Maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg? Cayenne? I don't know, but I had plenty of this, too.

For desert, we had homemade chocolate ice cream (or was it frozen custard?), prepared by Drunken and Iris. They noted that the yield was a bit small, so they would have to ration the portions. This rich treat was topped with bits of toffee.

There was plenty of chatter as we all ate... Michele and I learned a little bit about each other, and I talked some about the interviews I had done. She was interested in the one I had done for Broadshoulder Broadsides because it was located in a town where she had lived previously. Drunken and Michele both spoke of their love for Spain, tortilla, and sangria.

There was a discussion of an ex-German boyfriend of Michele's, for whom Drunken's ex-husband had high regards ("He's so good to her", was the prevailing quotation). The ex-boyfriend seemed to be a hopeless creature of habit, doomed to spend his time being non-sociable and sketching things all the time. His dressing habits, they said, also made him something of a guy magnet. Drunken apologized for having veered off into a "chick" conversation. It didn't seem so bad to me, given that the reason we know each other is because of my overanalytical relationship blog.

There was a discussion of the Premature Burn at Burning Man scandal and the perpetrator. Sober asked me if I had heard of the festival. I said that I had been aware of it for several years (I think I may have seen an article about it on Wired's website at one time), but that I had never been involved in anything like it.

Just as there were chick conversations, Sober and I hit it off with various and sundry techie topics. We talked about the magic of the filtering system at his current employer, Doggy-o. To his credit, he did not invoke any references to "iPhone" or "podcast". We talked about the annoyance of no real type safety in scripting languages, like the one they used at his employer. We also discussed the pains and peril of object serialization, which is a topic very much near and dear to my heart (seriously, it is).

We also talked about my past work history at Tungsten Technology and the quirks of the company's president and founder. I gave him some inside information about what the guy's personality is like, and why he wrote his book the way he did.

He asked me what I was truly looking for in a job. I mentioned three things: 1) Challenging and interesting work with a path for professional growth, 2) Good compensation, 3) Stability. Upon further discussion, I realized I wasn't really categorizing (3) properly because I wasn't looking for a job with a company which was stable, instead I was looking for an employer which had a promising vision and the smarts to execute on it properly. My current employer was clearly failing on all points right now.

Both he and Drunken emphasized just how much word-of-mouth networking goes on out in that area, so that a lot of people wind up working somewhere because either a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend
There were kittens a plenty around the table, and there was one cutie which had nestled itself in a nook on a bookshelf.

I got to meet Sideshow Mel, the kitten for whom Drunken had raised funds. For a cat who probably came close to having a "come to the light" experiences only very recently, he certainly was very lively. Later, he would be observed working on a puzzle toy that verified he definitely has eyesight.

After Michele said her good-byes for the evening, I made good on my pledge for the Sideshow Mel fund. I then got a brief tour of the upstairs, where I got to feast my eyes upon the view of the front of their house. You have to kind of look sideways out of the right side of the window to get a glimpse of the downtown, which is truly beautiful (imagine me saying that with Eric Burdon's voice). The view of the lighted houses on the hill is also amazing.

On the way down the stairs, I met Frowsty, the immortal god, who for some reason has chosen to assume the form of a large cat with the deepest, most mesmerising eyes. Had I stared into them much longer, I probably would have fallen into a trance or fainted, falling down the stairs. Even more puzzling is why Frowsty has chosen to make this known first to Iris and Lola. I just hope that the feline didn't lure those young, impressionable girls into some sort of Frowstian pact for this knowledge.

After the tour, I was introduced to the resident Amazon, Zoe. She's a beautiful bird with a pleasant demeanor, but because she is strongly bonded to Sober, I dared not attempt touching her. Drunken and I discussed how Zoe came into their lives and her routines with the family members.

I told her about Lenny, a medium sulfur crested cockatoo we adopted about ten years ago. Lenny came to us with issues aplenty because he had been abused. I explained how we had to find a new owner for him this winter because he and our older daughter were involved in an escalating drama positive feedback loop. I said that the new owner had an Amazon and an African Grey.

Drunken expressed her desire to have an Grey, against which I advised because they can be very neurotic and averse to change. She said that she was jealous that Zoe had picked Sober over her and wanted a bird that favored her. I got a tour of the back yard so that I could see the tree that Zoe gets to play in.

Drunken talked about the guilt she has regarding Zoe's quality of life. They had fostered her through a bird rescue program prior to the arrival of Iris and Lola. As the kids came along, there was less time for Zoe. Nonetheless, there was enough interaction in terms of the "breakfast with the tribe" and a stimulating cage environment to keep Zoe plenty happy. Parrots, when lacking stimulation, resort to either disruptive or self destructive behaviors, and she was doing neither. Drunken rated Zoe's life as a C+, but I think that's probably a bit harsh.

I also got to meet the rats, whose names have escaped my memory. Drunken recounted the saga of their origins from the infamous house of rat squalor. One of the rats has an adventurous streak, climbing out of the cage with nary a fear. I'm sure he has a future as a stunt double in the motion picture industry, but if he wants to get the role of Templeton in a (heaven forbid) sequel to Charlotte's Web, he will have to put on a few pounds. She rated their quality of life a B, but considering that most rats don't enjoy such amenities as these do, I suspect she's not grading on a curve.

Lola was gracious enough to let me commandeer her computer for a few moments so that I could log onto a photo hosting service and show Drunken and Lola pictures of my daughters and Lenny. Drunken and I remained at the table as Lola resumed her surfing, talking about kids, the many educational opportunities out in the Bay Area, and the pains of divorce. Lola showed us what she had been working on, dressing up dolls and furnishing their abodes. I also got a brief survey of the culture of Club Penguin.

As midnight drew near, it was time for me to leave. Both Sober and Iris had already retired to bed and said their goodnights. [Here is where 2Am lived up to his nomme du blog: it was 2AM his time, midnight ours, and he was still lively despite having a big day ahead]. So, I started to say my good-byes. We had a brief detour to the hallway, where Druken showed me a collage she had made from many travel documents and other mementos of her far flung travels. Then she showed me some of Iris' works.

I expressed my thanks to Drunken and the rest of the household for an enjoyable evening. I quipped that if I did wind up moving out that way, they would sorta be like a foreign student host family to me. We probably could have talked for another hour out there on the doorstep, but cool night air was starting to get the better of me. So I headed on out.

In all, it was a wonderful evening, a welcome diversion from the stress of the past couple of weeks. It certainly made me feel more at home than those "Gavin Newsom welcomes you to San Francisco" billboards at the SFO baggage claim carousels. If you ever get an invitation for visit, I recommend that you go.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

so disgusting, yet educational


One of my foster kittens just passed a huge tapeworm, which somehow he managed to wind around himself. Ewwww! We had some debate over whether it was a worm (which I thought it was) or not (the Sober Husband thought not). Further cleaning of the object and closer examination revealed that yes, it was a tapeworm.

No wonder the poor baby has been having accidents and disgusting bowel movements. Thankfully I started them all on worm meds yesterday, under the suspicion that there were worms afoot in this litter. Incidentally I just learned that fleas are a vector for spreading tapeworms: a flea lands on an infected animal and ingests tapeworm eggs around the animal's anus, which then hatch in the flea. The flea goes on to infest other cats, and eventually a cat may eat the wormy flea as the cat is grooming. The tapeworm then goes on to attain its full majesty inside the flea-bitten cat. Oh, the glories of nature.

ouch

The Sober Husband is a huge fan of the cult BBC science fiction show, "Red Dwarf", and Iris Uber Alles loves it as well. Lately she has broken out the "Red Dwarf" collection again. Last night she was watching an episode in which the slobby hero plants a lot of geeky and annoying objects in a love rival's living quarters. "They should just put a Doggyo business card there," she said sardonically. Ouch.

The husband, so in love with his new employer still, has three main topics of conversation: Doggyo, his new iPhone, and various podcasts he discovers. The children wanted to offer him a reward over Labor Day if he could get through an entire day without using the words "Doggyo", "iPhone", or "podcast." He refused to even try. "There's nothing I want enough."

At just turned eight, Iris Uber Alles has decided that her father is not cool. He's "Dorky McDork of the Dorks." Somehow, unbelievably enough, I am still officially cool. I'm enjoying it while it lasts, but I don't harbor any illusions that I can stay on that wave and ride it through the teen years.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

kitten update and another round of thanks

Yesterday was a good day for the raccoon-mauled kitten. He had more energy and got up off the couch, even playing with a pipe cleaner and climbing the stairs by himself. He ate independently, and his face looks more like a regular kitten's than a horror movie outtake. Today he's supposed to see the vet again to get his seroma drained again and his stitches on his surgical drain checked. I personally think this surgical drain is not working and another one should be put in, but I am not a vet.

The donations continued to come in, with another $115 in donations and pledges, bringing us to a total of $370, which leaves me only $30 out of pocket for the little mauled kitten's vet bills. Thank you, my darlings. I cannot express how much I appreciate this. It really makes the Sober Husband and I feel supported with this kitten rescue volunteer work, and that especially has an impact on the husband.

A huge thank you to Thi in Texas, 2AM, Steve "Vacas Magras", Carol "Marketer", and Sena "Pieho," as well as Zim, Silliyak, Hughman, Michelle in SoCal, Alison in New Zealand, Missy, Joyce, Captain Steve, and Lee in Oregon. Smooches to all from your old Drunken Husewife.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

wrapping it up, but with less to vacuum up than Jerry Lewis

The readers may be relieved to learn, bless your little hearts, that I'm wrapping up our Labor Day Internetethon! I'm not spraying confetti everywhere (the kittens would probably try to eat it), but I'm celebrating. We currently have $255 in pledges and donations, plus another two unspecified pledges of support towards the poor mangled baby's $400 vet bill.

Thank you, everyone, with special love going out to Zim, Silliyak, Hughman, Michelle in SoCal, Alison in New Zealand, Missy, Joyce, Captain Steve, Lee in Oregon. I love you. You have made my life so much better. Before Internetethon: husband complaining many times a day about cost of kitten's care, even sleeping in different room at low point. (It's a psychological breaking point for the man whenever I spend more on an animal than he earns in a day. "I can't work for rats", he said once memorably, and evidently he can't work for kittens, either. Now in general there is a mood of generosity and love reigning in our home, without the stinginess and pennypinching associated with Husband 1.0, the Scotch-Drinking Husband, but whenever the Daily Earnings Threshold is exceeded for an animal, the grudge is on). After Internetethon: Sober Husband touched by support of readers, no longer complaining, complimenting wife's appearance in tank top, even assisting in syringing out the poor mauled baby's surgical drain. So yes, you've kept me in the kitten rescue business; I can only continue this time-consuming volunteer work which fills our homes with kittens and litterboxes with his support. It's a messy, smelly, expensive business, but with so much fluffy love at stake.

And, although it is time for our dear Internetethon to draw to a close, those who have too been busy cavorting in the Labor Day sun to participate may jump in at the last minute. You can click on the button below to donate instantaneously, or you can send a check to me at Box #452, 2261 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114.



Monday, September 03, 2007

it's the Labor Day internetethon!

We had a hard day today, the raccoon-mauled kitten and me. He was very low energy and refused to eat any Fancy Feast or get off the couch. I checked his hydration (incidentally here is the Quick Hydration Test, which works on people & cats alike: pinch a fold of skin. Let go. Does it return to its orginal shape immediately, or does it stay pinched for a while? If it stays ridged/pinched up, you --- or whoever you pinched--- are dehydrated). He was dehydrated. I got out my hydration stuff and gave him some subcutaneous fluids, even breaking out a nice new butterfly needle for the occasion, but the kitten was not amused. He bit my hand, drawing blood, as I was pumping in the fluids. I was glad to see him taking any kind of action, although I was not thrilled to get another hand injury (I sprained a finger in the garden yesterday, which is quite painful, and I am still nursing a burn on one hand from the Sober Husband's caramel lemon birthday cake). Pretty soon I'll be reduced to typing with stumps.

I took the kitten over to see the head of my kitten rescue program, bugging her on Labor Day. For her (and she is the ultimate crazy cat lady, which I say with all due respect and affection), he ate a little baby food. Possibly that was because he felt better due to the fluids I'd given him, or possibly it was because she is a more accomplished crazy cat lady than I am. Either way, we decided not to take him to the veterinary E.R. unless he goes further downhill. I'm going to force-feed him with a syringe and give him sub-q fluids if need be, plus continue his meds.

And if you're feeling emotionally involved in this, feel free to donate to help pay his medical bills. Exciting sponsor thank you packages available!





We currently have $230 in pledges and donations, hoping to gain another $170 (if we were to go over the poor mangled baby's $400 vet bill, any overage will be donated to the kitten rescue, a registered 501(c)(3)).

Sunday, September 02, 2007

mangled baby update du jour


Today the baby took a turn for the worse. After we returned from a family outing of riding bikes in Golden Gate Park, I tried to tempt the little convalescent's appetite with some Fancy Feast. He declined to eat, while his siblings went insane with canned food-lust. I took a closer look. His little shaved head had become swollen. Evidently his surgical drain is not working.

I called the head of my kitten rescue, who in turn called the vet. The vet said that since this is a seroma, not an abscess, it's not an emergency which needs to be treated today. I should myself try to flush out the surgical drain with warm water (I am NOT looking forward to doing that. I am the kitten torturer all too often, with my eight year-old Iris Uber Alles as my assistant. The Sober Husband wants nothing to do with all this). If the kitten is still not wanting to eat and listless tomorrow, then he'll need to go back to the veterinary emergency room, since it's Labor Day Weekend. That means more out-of-pocket vet bills, sigh, but the head of the kitten rescue offered to put this round on her personal credit card.

Meanwhile here we are thrilled by the outpouring of support from the Drunken Housewife readership. We currently have pledges of $205, and we're hoping to raise another $195 to cover his vet bills. If I take him back to the E.R., I'll hope to raise more money to compensate the rescue. Anything I receive over what I'm directly out of pocket will go to the kitten rescue, a registered 501(c)(3).

Help pay the poor bald baby's bills! Get a fabulous Sponsor's Package in return! Keep the Drunken Housewife married and in the kitten rescue business!



Saturday, September 01, 2007

mauled kitten update & Labor Day festivities

My poor baby is recovering from his surgery yesterday, when his seroma was drained and the surgical drain inserted. Since he came home, he has been very low energy and petulant, but thankfully he has had an appetite. This afternoon he started to perk up a tiny bit and came out of his bed to be with his littermates. He's still on three medications (one antibiotic, one eye medication, one anti-inflammatory/painkiller).

We (meaning Iris Uber Alles and I) are vacillating over naming him Alameda or Oscar. Lately everyone calls him "the poor bald baby." The children worry that it hurts to be bald, but I, who once sported a shaved head, tell them that it's painless.

And you can still reach out and help this poor bald baby! The Drunken Housewife Labor Day Internetethon goes on. We have received $50 to defray our vet bills so far, and we're hoping to raise $350 more. If we go over the vet bills, any remaining funds will be donated to the kitten rescue (a registered 501(c)(3)).

Help pay the poor bald baby's bills! Get a fabulous Sponsor's Package in return! Keep the Drunken Housewife married and in the kitten rescue business!