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I’m super sick and hating life a teensy bit right now. I had to go to a new doctor this morning to get some tonsil-saving medicine (Z-PAK! to the rescue!) and the only appointment available was at her office located right off of Michigan Ave. Right by Water Tower Place. On a gorgeous summer day. The week of the Taste and two days before July 4th. I can’t tell you how close about 157 smiley, non-traffic-light-following, self-absorbed,  super-annoying tourists came to being mowed down by a feverish and frustrated Keem.

Luckily, Neatorama pointed me to this Flickr set of extra duckies that turned my frown upside down. They aren’t all winners but there’s something about the way the duck keeps looking at me and seems to be posing and grinning in each one that keeps cracking me up.

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I just found out that the Superbowl is this weekend.

You know where I’ll be: Rooting for my favorite starting line-up.

P.S. I found my iPod!

P.P.S. I changed my mind – I do hate going there every morning.

I have the weirdest cat. I realize that is a very bold statement, but I feel confident in the assertion. He can’t jump, for one thing. There are lots more but this is not the Crazy Cat Lady post. (Save that for another day)

One of our biggest problems is that Magellan won’t eat. The vet and I are still trying to figure out if this is a medical problem or just a bratty catty. For example, right now Mags has a plate of boiled chicken and duck and is shoving it under the oven. I realize duck is not for all palettes, but please, this is an animal who licks itself clean. I’ve spent so much time, energy and money on trying to find SOMEthing that this cat will eat…any suggestions are welcome and frankly needed.

To be fair, other than the eating thing, I love this cat like crazy. We are a good fit – cautious and bitey when uncertain, lovey and sweet once we  feel comfy. Also — just now he killed his first spider ever in 8 years.  Just like me.

As if anyone needs more reasons to like otters OR Neil Gaiman.

“”Writers are otters,” states Neil Gaiman, firmly.

“Otters are not trainable,” he explains. “Dogs are trainable – if you want them to sit you train them and give them rewards and they sit each time. But otters… if they do something cool and you give them a fish, the next time they’ll do something even cooler. Or they’ll try to do something completely different. I think that most writers – or at least a lot of us – are otters.” ”

from a recent interview in The Guardian.

I love pigeons. I also love Scottish newscasters.

I also like seagulls, which is what this guy is. -K

According to the weather robots, it is 96 degrees with the Heat Index today. Stupid August, all hot and sweltery. So, instead of going to the yard sale I planned on, I went to the air conditioned library. I got lots of goodies, including the audio-book of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass on recommendation from Sunday. So far I’ve listened to about 20 minutes and I like it about 40 times more than the book. I guess I need someone to tell me fantasy stories instead of reading them because I enjoy fantasy movies (and evidently audio books) so much more than books. Reading them feels like too much work. Anyway, I’m getting back on the His Dark Materials wagon in preparation for the upcoming movie version (hop on board, you know you want to!) and it starts with this. Please take a gander at my awesome daemon, Callum, and let me know if you think he should remain a lion by answering a few questions about me, your darling Keem.

Check it out here. Currently Callum (read:Keem)  is modest, responsible, a leader, inquisitive and sociable. But what do you think?

Last weekend I went to Chicago for various parties and events. It was a great time — I ate good food, went dancing, listened to music, saw a good movie and most importantly I was able to spend time with pretty much all my people that I miss so much. However, I also contracted some sort of Hipster Malaria whilst at Pitchfork and I’ve been sick for most of the week. So sick, in fact, that I stayed home from work and have been holed up in my house for days.

This has given me a lot of time to catch on up my summer cable television programming. I’ve been watching almost non-stop episodes of Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel and Dirty Jobs on Discovery. I can’t get enough. I’ve even tried using Cesar’s dog psychology on Magellan (it doesn’t seem to work on cats, especially when they are sleeping) and I’ve developed a mighty crush on the host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe. Those who know me might be surprised by this, since I generally don’t care for the muscly, brawny, “I can lift that for ya” types. Nor do I necessarily go for poop-jokes – a major staple on a show about grody jobs.  But then in one episode he started singing (he used to be with the Baltimore Opera Company) and making up silly songs and I was sorta hooked. Plus I have great admiration for people who can walk into a weird situation with complete strangers, have to work with them ALL DAY, and be gracious and friendly and funny and productive. It’s a brand of social ability that I have yet to conquer and I’m sort of in awe of it.

Also it makes me grateful that I don’t have to wear waders for my living. Though I did enjoy wearing them for wading out into the blood-colored fountains to light torches during Fright Fest…but I think that is a very specialized, narrow area of wader-acceptance.

This weekend I made the long journey into Iowa in order to throw my sister a rockin’ baby shower. Okay, it wasn’t that rockin’, but there were all the makings of a successful baby shower: finger foods and petit fours, monkey-, frog- and baby chick-themed onesies, old friends and (I’m not too ashamed to admit) a little bit of happy tears. I think a good time was had by all. Or at least by the mommy-to-be, who is all that matters, don’t you know.

I drove out Friday night in order to squeeze in as much time as possible with my sister and her husband, aka Mr. and Mrs. G-pants, who are two of my most favorite people on the planet. As we were sitting around the dining room table, undoubtedly having a Very Insightful Conversation, we all sort of simultaneously noticed that there was a very frightened, very flappy, very adorable bat flying around in the house. Let me tell you, things went from zero to frantic awfully fast. My favorite parts were the bat’s increasingly frenzied — and ALARMINGLY silent — laps around their house, my seven-month pregnant sister repeatedly apologizing for not chasing the bat down bare-handed in between her (and my) shrieks every time the bat dive-bombed our heads, and Mr. G-pants tearing off his shirt and yelling “Calm down!” just before throwing himself flat on the floor when the bat suddenly reappeared in the TV room.  He very bravely chased the bat out of the house through an open window a few minutes later and everyone, bat included, resumed our peaceful evening.

On another topic, though not entirely unrelated to the title of this post, I think that watching Robin Williams on Inside the Actors Studio sounds like the worst possible way to spend the evening.

Good lord. Like I need more reasons to be afraid of bugs. Or deep sea creatures. Or butterflies, for pete’s sake.

“dear diary: WORST ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE EVER? seriously, diary.”

From my very favorite talking dino-centric place: Dinosaur Comics

Simon the bird is no longer with me. On Friday I decided that I really didn’t want & couldn’t handle another pet and that keeping the bird for a week or more (and inevitably falling in love with it) until the owner appeared would simply end in tears. As it turned out, handing the bird over to the avian vet on Friday afternoon also ended in tears, but those were mostly a result of the relentless insistence of the entire animal clinic that, in fact, I could keep the bird. You know, if I had a heart beating in my body or any sort of thought for small adorable animals or could function as anything other than a cold evil robot.

So I was feeling pretty sad about the birdie — who was determined to be a female and only about 1 year old — and the whole situation and then E found the owner! Long story short, Lemon got to go home to her owner and her brother Lime this morning and everyone is very relieved, me included.

This was also an opportunity to re-solidify my personal stance that even though I love working with animals and living with animals and helping animals, I don’t think I could ever foster or rescue them, as I think I have unhealthy levels of empathy for them. It isn’t that I would want to keep them all, it’s more that I imagine how scared they are and how confused they are and how they don’t understand what is happening to them and then I get all worked up about making things as okay as possible for the animal. I consider myself to be a pretty realistic and practical person, but this is the area where I kinda lose my footing. I mean, I get all upset about inanimate objects’ feelings, for pete’s sake. And don’t get me started on the emotional journey that is Weeding a Section of the Library Collection. I really need to figure out a way to get ruthless about that one, or else my collections are going to be all medical handbooks from the 1950’s and history books that end right before the Vietnam War.