Hello Everyone

Tuesday, 8 May 2012 20:52
fatrockstar: (Default)
I don't blog as often as I used to. Heck, if you wander around LiveJournal for a while you'll see there are a lot of accounts that haven't been updated in months -- that includes personal and community accounts. I couldn't tell you how many of those were still active on a private or friends-only level.

My last public post was in December when album #2 came out. Everything else has been under lock and key for very good reason. Without revealing too much I'll tell you this: I went through a pretty dark time this Winter. It wasn't until my birthday in March that I actually took the first step in doing something about it.

The band still practices once a week. We've been adding some covers to our songbook so we can play longer sets and maybe a few parties or corporate events. As far as new songs go there have been only a few that I think are worth recording, but I am my own worst critic in that department. Ron went through our rehearsal archives and found another album in there somewhere. To be honest I haven't had much I've wanted to write about. I am blocked by the inability to truly express myself without repercussion and a dullness in my imagination for songs that are more entertainment than art.

I still live in the house I bought with my ex back in '05. Now that I'm in a position to refinance my horrendous mortgage I'm finding myself dreaming at night of other, more interesting and charming places to live. The ex's needs chose this house. With him gone it's kinda dumb for me to stay here if it's going to make me go broke. We'll see what the refi terms are -- being able to make a few changes could make a difference.

Martha is not Grady. She does not snuggle and is afraid of nothing. She will, however, lie on the floor with her paws up so you can rub her belly. I really wish I knew what she was trying to tell me, though, because she never shuts up. I feel like if only we could get past that communication thing we'd be golden.

My hair is getting really long. It's still candy-apple red, but these days I have more pink at the temples. Once in a while the roots get long enough I can make out my natural color. Still too much silver, so I color everything red again.

I roll in waves. Some weeks I'm very content and others I just want to go on a long drive alone somewhere. My life is not horrible. There are people I miss and hope to see again. There are songs I need to write. Until then, I am still posting entries here under lockdown where the search engines won't bother them much.

If you have a blog or another web presence I should know about please tell me where to find it in the comments. Everything is screened since I have no idea who actually checks here outside of LJ anymore.

Martha speaks

Monday, 3 October 2011 18:38
fatrockstar: (1960)

This morning I was getting ready for work and could have sworn I smelled something. I think it was Martha's butt, because I found no doodies anywhere and the smell went away as quickly as it arrived. If she is a farty cat I guess I'll deal with it. She hasn't been much of a lap cat, really. Farty lap cats aren't my ideal companion...


I didn't smell anything else, either. Instead I caught something shiny in the corner of my eye and realized it was a pool of liquid sitting in the bottom of the kitty astroturf under her litterbox...


Yup, pee.


I kinda flipped out a little.  Grady never did that!  I angrily told Martha that I wasn't going to have any of that, and if this was about being left alone all day or my unwillingness to pet her constantly as she eats then I'm sorry, there isn't much I can do about that right now! After cleaning up what I could I stood back and waited, paranoid she'd do it again. Then a strange thing happened.


Martha walked up to her litterbox and stopped.  She looked at me to make sure I was watching and then approached it from the side with the most of the mat to cross.  Step, step... then a hasty backtrack.  She then got in from the other side where there is a bit of carpet remnant to walk on, did her business, and leaped from the box to the carpet when she was done.  She sat in front of me, waiting.  We stared at each other.


"Well?" she asked cautiously.  Okay, I think I got it.


She is a smart cookie.  Weird, but smart.  I bought a shaggy replacement rug on the way home. So far it has been deemed acceptable.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

fatrockstar: (jokermartha)
I have determined that whatever is causing my sore throat is INSIDE this house. I don't know what it is or how I can pinpoint it, I just know that my throat is sore to the point where singing is difficult and I often have a dry cough. In addition to that I am also suffering from super-dry sinuses and my eyes are intermittently on fire. This overall pain and discomfort is very frustrating because I know my dad would like to hear from me and I also have a gig on Sunday afternoon to sing for. I can't have long conversations with a glass throat.

All this started to escalate after PAX, which is also when temperatures broke 80 here. Now that it's rainy and in the 60s I thought for sure it would calm down. Noop.

It's not Martha, either. I was having this problem before she came to live with us and it hasn't become worse by being near her. Is it a moisture thing? I'm worried that if I turn on my humidifier and I'm wrong it could make everything worse. I have a huge fear that my crawlspace, which I have not ventured into for a Very Long Time, is a biosphere all its own and has finally outgrown the space beneath my house to infect me with its alien micro-organisms.

Speaking of Martha, she is painfully adorable. She is also painfully codependent and follows me everywhere, chirping at me in her squeaky little meao. I am concerned I will end up with two cats anyway, which will upset me, but I don't want to traumatize an animal with endless hours of loneliness she doesn't want.

So far we haven't really established a Grady-esque rapport. The only things that really come through are LOVE ME and WATCH ME EAT. We'll get there, I'm sure.

I pulled a white corset out of the dark corners of my closet and decided I was going to fuck with it. Why not, right? I spent $40 on it for my wedding back in '02 and have worn it maybe once since. At first I considered spray painting it red and doing the WW motif, but that's way too predictable. Instead I ripped off the tacky lacy trim and am painting it a lovely royal blue. Maybe I'll add some new trim if I have something worthwhile here in the house, but for now it's drying in the garage.

My new washing machine arrived this week and will take some getting used to. Instead of standard washing machine noises this one sounds like it's heaving during the wash cycle. I honestly thought for a moment that it was going to vomit my clothes all over the interior of my laundry room. That would have been terrifying.

I've been thinking about my former in-laws a lot lately. I put away Nate & Karen's wedding party photo a long time ago, but the last family picture they sent me is still up on my wall along with photos of other family members I don't get to see very often or at all. I'm pretty sure a lot has changed since the last time we heard from each other. The more time that passes the more awkward it seems to reach out and say hello, but life goes on. I don't want to make things uncomfortable for the Blues. Despite my ex's past behavior, I still love them and want them to be peaceful and happy.

Has anyone using Netflix seen The Hard Times of RJ Berger? I finished season 1 and loved it. Season 2 isn't available for streaming, which sucks, but I'm digging it. Word to the wise: I like strange television. My recommendations are not solid.
fatrockstar: (fambly)
I found a cat to keep me company. Her name is Martha and she looks a lot like Grady except for her emerald green eyes and a thin patch of white fur on her belly. She's not nearly as talkative, though. We still haven't moved beyond knowing glances and the occasional squeak. She does like catnip.

She's been at the house for a couple of hours now and I think it will be time to let her explore the rest of the house soon. So far, so good.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011 19:50
fatrockstar: (Mrs. Clean)
The band took a hiatus... accidentally. We had three weeks of no rehearsal for one reason or another (illness, work, family emergency) and just got back together this week. Funny how now that we're back in sync and I'm finding the energy to book shows again everyone is going on vacation. We won't play another show until late August. By then we will have released album #2. I guess it all works out.

I guess for a while there I was starting to burn out on music. I had no time or energy for booking, people don't offer us shows out of the air (except for SeaStar, and we love them for that), and nobody else was stepping up to do it in my place. You guys might think I'm this super-cool musician lady with a record and an awesome stage show, but to the Seattle scene I'm just another squawking hack without a draw. Worth and talent are hard to prove without the crowd to support it. I needed those three weeks to regroup and figure out my head.

I realized I wasn't using my free time wisely enough. I downloaded apps to my R2, researched portable recording gadgets, re-prioritized the things that brought me peace... Most of what I needed was here all along, I just had to find enough calm to remember where I put it.

In the real world I have credit card information on Reverb Nation and SonicBids to update, features on my Yamaha keyboard I need to learn how to use, and a couple of songs to clean up arrangements for.

Here is where we are
How many years since we've grown apart
I'm on the opposite end of the world in a hundred ways
And I'm so not the same

I do miss Grady. This morning I was by the mantle where his urn sits and I thought I heard him in my head. «Hey,» he said, «I'm coming back you know. I don't know how, but I can feel it. And that thing you were worried about? It won't happen. Have the tuna ready for me, 'kay?» I'm not sure what that meant, but it is true I've been considering another animal. When I'll follow through on that I couldn't tell you.

So... I'm around. I'm making music. We're looking at playing outside the city a few times this year. My Etsy store will get updated in the next week or two. It'll be great. You just wait and see.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Every time I think I'm calm enough to not be shaken by the thought, something comes up. Today it was going to the grocery store after work and thinking "we should get home to feed Grady or he'll be really pushy," only to remember that he's gone.

Then there was the "sanctuary box" I moved to the master bedroom a while back and forgot about. When he truly didn't want to be touched or was spooked he'd go there. It was an understanding we had -- if he's in that box, no touching of any kind. The box is huge and set on its side. One of the flaps inside has been pried away from the others so he could bat at a toy mouse.

I piled up a bunch of cardboard scratching palettes in the office tonight. It's funny how I remember buying every single one. "Oh, Grady has worn out his old one," was usually what I was thinking. At the same time I was doing that I found a couple of cat toys on the office doorknob.

Everyone tells me I was a good cat "mom." You did the best you could, they all say. I guess I did. It's all anyone can do for their animals, right? There's that strange bit of unfinished business he and I had, though. I keep wanting him to come back so he can get better and show him I can straighten myself out. I know he won't. I'm not delusional. I simply miss my little buddy.

I cannot promise bridges made of rainbows
Or tell you more of where your soul will be
All I have is gratitude love and many tears
and the prayers of St. Francis of Assisi

So far the hardest part of Grady's passing has been coming home. I keep expecting to hear his voice behind the front door telling me to «get inside already! I've been home all day and you are seven minutes late with the gushyfud, lady! Come in! Come in!» The silence weirds me out. A lot.
fatrockstar: (hello)
«What's the matter?»
I'm just sad.
«Sad? I don't understand.»
I'm sad because I miss you. It's not the same without you here.
«But I'm with you now. I always will be, just without tuna.»
Yeah, that... I can't do tuna anymore because it reminds me of you.
«Your loss.»
Don't be cruel.
«I still don't understand. I'm with you like I always have been. My body was a formality - you needed me to be tangible, so I was.»
«Do what you have to. Would it make you feel any better if I went away?»
No, don't. It will take a while for me to process this. I feel a little ridiculous for mourning at all. It was the right thing to do but I feel horrible anyway, like I failed you.
«I'm not complaining. The body failed me, not you. I can't leave anyway. Where would I go?»
You were so young... I never got a chance to--
«to what --give me tuna? ::purrs:: Truly the highlight of my decline...»
I miss you, Grady.
«I know.»
I can hardly function.
«That will pass. I'm always with you, always a part of you. Find a warm spot and take a nap. Enjoy new smells. Ask questions. Stay clean. Oh, and one more thing..»
What's that?
«Thanks for all the tuna. It was awesome.»

It's time.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011 11:31
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady just let me know, in so many words, that he's ready. «I think I'm done here,» he mewed. «It's been a lot of fun. Thanks for the tuna. Can I get a shoulder ride?» Little buddy, if I thought you had the strength to stay up there, I'd build you a perch and wear it all the time.

I have some phone calls to make.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Yesterday Grady began to respond a little more to conversation than he had been earlier in the week. "Grady, are you hungry?" Ears perk up. «Yeah... I could eat. Is it tuna?» There were a few occasions where he actually cleaned his plate. The vomiting he had during Christmas weekend went away once I began pureeing his food. I am debating giving him back his kibble, knowing that he's been having issues with things not breaking down completely.

Today he jumped on my lap for the first time in several days. Later on, after he had wandered back to his spot beside the sofa, he came back and jumped up to sniff and visit. It's becoming apparent that his hind legs aren't keeping up. His jumps are incomplete, whether it's to the sofa or a countertop he's not supposed to be on. That he's trying gives me a little peace. That he decided he wanted to sit on my lap for a spell was reassuring.

He seems okay for now. I don't expect him to improve or recover from his illness. It is a little odd for me to have to check his butt every day since he stopped bathing himself, but he seems to be okay with it. It's a waiting game.

Grady in Hospice

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:19
fatrockstar: (hello)
I originally posted this as a note on FB:

I posted a status last month that Grady's days were numbered. The vet confirmed this tonight, declaring Grady officially "in hospice" until the time comes when he either decides to go on his own or he is no longer comfortable. For now, he is comfortable and friendly if not terribly active. He spends most of his days on a heated throw on my sofa.

Everyone who has had a pet has had a Grady. That one special animal companion who knows you well, is there when you're sad but don't want to talk about it, and knows just what buttons on you to push to get a snack out of you. Grady saw me through the most stressful times in my life and was there to keep me company when I wasn't fit for the company of other people. That's a true friend.

If my Grady holds a special place in your heart, even if it's been a while, please come by New Year's weekend and visit. He's a good boy, yes he is, my itty bitty kitty wumpus boo-boo. Thank you for all your support and thoughts for my little buddy over the years. He is truly an amazing cat.

I don't know how long he really has. Could be a couple of weeks, could be a month. He's wrapping things up for now. The vet said that animals decide on their own when they're going to go. I heard the same from my mother many years ago. I got a lot of reassurances that I wasn't a bad pet owner, but I still feel like I failed my best friend on a deeper level. He was my familiar and deserved better. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, I don't know. It's just now hitting me.

For now I'm just going to go sit on the sofa with him. Now that his belly is drained he's curled up in a ball, full of tuna and sleeping.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010 13:18
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady is going to Dr. K to be drained today. How he can be engorged with fluid and still be dehydrated to the point where he gorges himself on water is a mystery to me. Most of the major vomiting episodes over the last week have been due to him overdoing it with water. His last one was in a place that was much easier to clean up -- all water.

His appetite is improving. He has this odd tendency to only eat if one of us is nearby eating, and if he's feeling ornery he'll ignore the food we've put out for him and come begging. I hate that. This morning was the first morning in a long time he hopped up on the bed to beg for breakfast. Ken got up to feed him while I tried to wake up. When served, Grady just stared at the plate. "You gonna eat that?" Ken asked. «Yeah... I guess.» And then he ate. By the time I was ready for coffee it was gone, and that was good.

The Christmas tree came down yesterday along with all the other holiday decor. As I packed everything up I wondered how much of my ornaments and other stuff wound up with Garret. I'm missing a lot of garland and my childhood stocking. I'd be willing to trade him if he did. I'm pretty sure I have at least one major holiday decoration he wishes he hadn't left behind.

Working from home today, but not a lot is crossing my desk and my to-do list was pretty much covered by 9 this morning. I'm in "waiting for email" mode.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady didn't fare well during our trip across the state to visit my dad. It wasn't his caregivers' fault, Grady is simply a sick and stressed out little guy. His appetite had been waning in the days before we left, and I don't think he's settled into bed with me for a very long time. He pretty much sits on the heated throw on the sofa. Once in a while he'll reposition himself to sit next to me if I'm on the sofa with him. He doesn't purr as often as he used to.

He will eat and be okay for a while. After a few hours he will decide he's thirsty and then drink enough water to projectile vomit. That done, he will go eat and be fine again for a while. Tonight I came home to a new spray of barf that was bright green. I think I know what has been causing his recent troubles: The little fucker has been drinking out of the Christmas tree stand. Great.

The tree will come down tomorrow or the next day. Until then I have taken a long swag of aluminum foil and wrapped it around the base of the tree so he can't get to the reservoir there. This is distressing in so many ways -- first I couldn't have a fake tree because Grady would chew on the branches and barf up plastic, and now I can't have a real tree because it's just as poisonous (if not more). Nobody ever told me about this possibility. I thought I was blessed that he wasn't interested in knocking down ornaments.

This is all in addition to the liver failure he's been experiencing over the last few months. If he can't or won't eat his symptoms worsen because he isn't getting his medications. It's been a long time since I lost a pet. I am ready and I am not ready to let go. Figuring out when the right time should be is causing me a little distress. I don't want my little buddy to suffer. I just want him to be my little buddy, you know? He's so skinny now. He is, at least, still talkative.

Having him look up at me from the floor and meowing «Can I have something to eat? I'm not in the mood for what you gave me and my English isn't that good, but I *know* you have something in the Big Cold Box I like if you'd only let me IN there...» makes me think he still has some good time left. It's hard to say how much.

I cried at my desk when I read some of your entries about dear friends passing. Mr. Cat, Baba, Albert, Drake, and the kitty with the Egyptian name I can't remember right now -- they all got my tears, among others. I think about Eddie, too, because I know he's had a rough go of it this year. When it's Grady's time, I hope I have the strength to send him across the rainbow bridge.

He's a good little guy. You all know that already.
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady went in for draining this afternoon. He growled a lot, and there was hissing. With less people in the room it went a lot easier. I hardly had to scruff him -- he was okay with me just holding onto his neck and forelegs. I am very grateful to Dr. K and [livejournal.com profile] kistha for helping me out with him.

This time around 25-30 60mL tubes' worth of fluid was drained from his abdomen. There was a little more time to do this (last time we were working with a hard deadline), so more was taken out. He looks very gaunt now, but is extremely energetic. When I let him out of his carrier at home he rubbed his face on everything and proceeded to jump on furniture a lot. He even spent some time riding on my shoulders. At one point I poked my head into the office to check in on him, only to find him up on my desktop sniffing around! CAT-LIKE TYPING DETECTED Holy crap!

He is now in his usual chair, licking his butt. I guess when you have a liter of fluid in your middle that inhibits your flexibility, some things don't get done very often. He's got some catching up to do.

I may have to have him drained again in a month. Let's hope the new diet continues to do good things for him.
fatrockstar: (hello)
The fluid in Grady's belly has been slowly returning since we drained him last week. Last night he was still social and I could tell he wanted to be more active, but it was becoming a little tiresome to lug around those extra pounds. Still, he's more active now than he was prior to the draining, and it looks like he's put on muscle since I changed his diet. Whether that's enough to help him recover from whatever it is he's suffering from time will tell.

This morning he came into the bedroom and slept on my legs for a little bit. Jumping up on the bed is good. For now he's at his station on the chair next to me, and that's fine.

He'll get drained again on Tuesday. It won't be fun, but it's something for now.
fatrockstar: (hello)
After the grim diagnosis and belly-draining ordeal last week, I was pretty sure my cat was going to just continue to decline. I have been giving him his new food (elderly feline formula) and supplement for not quite a week -- is it possible he could be improving already? Over the weekend he started coming out of the office to visit and explore, and this morning I found him sitting on the back of the sofa staring out the window (he's been isolating himself for several weeks, so this is a good sign).

He still prefers to hang out on the folding chair next to my desk, but at least now he'll get out of it. He has surprised us twice today: Once by jumping on the bed after we made it (he hasn't jumped on the bed for ages), and a second time by curling up next to me on the sofa.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a very good sign and not his second wind before dying. If nothing else, I'm very happy he's feeling better.

Happiness is...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010 11:50
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady has been spending his waking hours catching up on some bathing he's been unable to do for a while. I'm sure he's pretty happy about it, but then there are those moments where he stops and makes a face, usually the squinty-eyed one with his mouth open and tongue hanging out. «Ugh, how long has *that* been there?» He blinks, then gets back to work.

I got some food to tide him over last night. Today I head out to the highway robbery store to buy the special diet.

Grady's Days

Tuesday, 14 September 2010 23:43
fatrockstar: (hello)
For a couple of months now Grady has been sporting a very swollen belly. Taking him to the vet when I first noticed it did nothing -- the vet there said he was old and fat. I'm pretty sure that guy is an idiot and will not be going back there. Twice I have taken Grady to that clinic (which came highly recommended, by the way) and twice they have failed to diagnose a very serious health problem in my cat. Last year's fatty liver was diagnosed by an emergency vet closer to home, and this time around I find my cat is slowly dying of liver failure.

Liver. Failure.

I already feel bad enough about not having the means to get Grady to a vet, much less paying one. After last year's ordeal the last thing I wanted to do was let another serious medical symptom go unchecked. When the doctor Grady saw today told me "had the fluid not been clear, there would at least be something we could treat with antibiotics" my heart sank. I have no idea how much time he has, only that this makes one too many liver problems for one little guy. My best bet is to give him the supplement prescribed by the vet and change his diet dramatically.

It's hard not to blame myself. Every time Grady has been sick, it's been something that could have been an easy fix had I been quick enough to get him medical attention, and much of that has been dependent on money (and more recently, transportation).

Today [livejournal.com profile] kistha called in a favor from a veterinarian friend of hers, and drove us to the clinic. Grady got an x-ray to confirm the fluid in his belly, and was then drained of about a liter or more of clear yellowish fluid. He was not terribly happy about either. In total he lost about three pounds from the process. It was good to see him walking about without straining when we got home. I'm sure he feels a lot better.

What will determine the number of days Grady has left is how quickly he puts the water weight back on. The supplement and diet change should help a little with that. In the meantime I have quite a bit of kibble and wet food that I can no longer use. If anyone wants to take it off my hands it's yours. My apologies if it's not your brand.

Grady is comfortable for now. When he is not napping he is bright-eyed and affectionate, eating and using his litterbox like always. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will beat the odds again like he did last year, but preparing for the worst.

Poor little dude

Wednesday, 8 September 2010 15:41
fatrockstar: (hello)
My poor little buddy has been swollen around his belly for several weeks with no improvement in sight. You can tell it keeps him from walking or sitting properly, and he's gained enough weight that big jumps are tough.

A few days ago Charlotte and I were in the den and caught Grady barely finishing a jump from the floor to the back of the sofa. A day or so after that I noticed his paw looked funny. Further examination revealed an injury to one of his toes.

Grady does have a tendency to stick his paws under our feet when begging, but when he gets stepped on we hear all about it. This had to be from the clumsy jump we witnessed.

I don't think my cat is simply "old and fat." I think he has a problem that needs to be addressed. Grady might need a ride or two to the vet once I have the money to pay the bill. Luckily that might not be too far off.

This is a really dark and blurry snap of his poor liddle toes:


Feline Fury

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 01:18
fatrockstar: (hello)
Grady attacked me tonight in an effort to get me to drop him. He was freaking out over something he saw outside so I held him while Ken checked the yard.

It's pretty excruciating, bloody, and very bruised, but okay for now. I can't use it for much until the pain goes down.

I'm a little upset.


This pretty much rules out dyeing my hair for this week's show. If anyone can help me with that, or drive me to go pick up the PAX passes I said I'd pick up on Tuesday, I think this might suck a little less.