Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Calliope (1999-2016)

April 4, 2016

CalliopeChairStretch

It’s hard to say goodbye, even under the best of circumstances. And it’s never the best of circumstances when it comes to losing a beloved pet.

Once again, far too soon by any measure, I’ve had to say goodbye to a feline companion. My lovely little Calliope left me today. She had been plagued by health problems over the years but it was a steady decline, unexplained neurological symptoms and loss of appetite that made an impossible decision necessary.

Calliope first came into my life when she was returned to SAFE Haven For Cats by owners I later discovered had abused and neglected her. This left Calliope with some psychological issues that got her labelled “too aggressive to adopt.” I believed that she was merely a cat who wanted and desired love but was unable to regulate her emotions in manner conducive to achieving that goal. So I took her home and within days she was a different cat – loving, affectionate, trusting and sociable. Calliope always had her special catitude but her issues lessened as the years went by and she grew to be the cat I knew she wanted to be when she was at the shelter.

I know it was for the best, and I know I gave her fifteen years she would not otherwise have had if I had not adopted her, but the decision to say goodbye was tough, painful and ultimately heartbreaking. I’ll miss her very much.

In Calliope’s memory, I’m making a donation to SAFE Haven For Cats. The no-kill shelter rescued Calliope and her siblings when she was a kitten and gave me the opportunity to rescue her when she was an adult. They do fantastic work and deserve all the support they can get. Feel free to donate in Calliope’s memory or for someone you’ve loved and lost.

April 3, 2015

BestOfTriangleVOTE

POLLS CLOSED!

Woo hoo! It’s that time of year again! What time? Time to VOTE in Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle for 2015.

Okay, yeah – you’ve got important things to do but if you don’t mind and you’re so inclined I would certainly appreciate it. Here’s the skinny:

Go to indyweek.com and vote for as many Triangle-area businesses, people and things as your heart desires. You’ll have to register but that’s relatively painless. PLEASE NOTE: You must vote for at least 25  to have your ballot count. You can come back to your ballot and finish it any time until polls close on April 26.

Ulterior motive? You got me. I’d love your vote for Best Blog and certainly think  Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria deserves Best Trivia Night in Durham County. But the voting is up to you. Just spread the word. The more people who vote, the more accurate results should be. Voters do not necessarily have to live in the Triangle – just have an opinion about the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill vicinity.

Best of the Triangle at indyweek.com. Please VOTE early and often. Thanks so much.

[It is now after April 26, so too late to vote this year. I hope you did already vote and I hope I win. If I do win, I promise to use the immense wealth and power the honor brings to end world hunger and create a new understanding between all peoples.] 

So Long and Thanks For All The Fiction

March 11, 2015

Today is the birthday of the late Douglas Adams. Sadly, my grief is still tender as we lost him, far too soon, 14 years ago. Has it been that long? Tragically, it seems longer. Here’s a piece I penned shortly after I heard the news of his death. A little something to manage the grief and bid adieu to a friend I only wish I had.

I didn’t know him.

We weren’t friends. I never sent him a card for his birthday. We didn’t go to see movies together, grab dinner sometimes after work or play Scrabble to pass the time. I never called him up late at night to talk about “The West Wing” or forwarded a funny email that someone sent me. He couldn’t have picked me out of a lineup if his life had depended on it.

But I met him. Once. An encounter, more like. At the ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

He was there to promote his newest book. I was there to catch a glimpse of my idol. I skipped class and sat in the back, just thankful to be in the same room with the man. (more…)

Sentimental

June 8, 2012

Just read the news that Bob Welch has died, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot. The former Fleetwood Mac member was 65. Now, I was a big fan of the Mac back in my teens and 20s, around about the time I discovered Welch’s solo album, French Kiss (an album that gave us the Top 40 hits, Sentimental Lady and Ebony Eyes). However, I initially had no idea Welch had been with the band in the early 70s. Fortunately, exposure to a decent AOR station allowed me to discover those earlier Welch-created tunes. So let’s remember the man with one of my personal favorites …

Gone But Not Forgotten

May 11, 2011

I awoke to discover it was ten years ago today that we lost writer Douglas Adams.  Sadly, my grief is still tender and this anniversary caught me by surprise.  Has it been that long?  Tragically, it seems longer.  Here’s a piece I penned shortly after I heard the news…

I didn’t know him.

We weren’t friends. I never sent him a card for his birthday. We didn’t go to see movies together, grab dinner sometimes after work or play Scrabble to pass the time. I never called him up late at night to talk about “The West Wing” or forwarded a funny email that someone sent me. He couldn’t have picked me out of a lineup if his life had depended on it.

But I met him. Once. An encounter, more like. At the ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

He was there to promote his newest book. I was there to catch a glimpse of my idol. I skipped class and sat in the back, just thankful to be in the same room with the man.

Understand, I labored under no delusion that I would shake his hand and become fast friends, that he would invite me round to his flat for tea or down to the local for a swift half. That, I feel, is every fan’s deep, unspoken dream, that the object of their secret obsession will warm to them in a way unparalleled and that they will end up Watson to his Holmes, Pokey to his Gumby, Jughead to his Archie. “Hi there. I’ve been shaking hands and signing autographs all day long for hundreds of strangers but I sense a kinship with you. Won’t you sit down and chat for a while?”

No, I knew the fanboy fantasy was just that and had long since realized that stars, celebrities and the famous were simply people and treated them accordingly, albeit with the respect and reverence due their station.

And so, I watched and listened to him as he talked with a friend about his life and career. It was de facto an interview but it was pure softball, an admiration society of one, us the audience a lucky witness. When it was over, he took questions, signed books, spoke to his followers.

I wanted to tell him how much his work meant to me, how he had inspired me, how I stayed up all night reading his book the very first day I got my hands on it, how I wanted to emulate him, to know him, to be him. But, I simply proffered my copy of his latest and asked him politely if he wouldn’t mind signing. I mentioned to him that I had enjoyed his work immensely and asked if I might take some photos. He was gracious, to say the least, but I’m sure he paid me no more heed than he did the dozens of others there that day, the hundreds, perhaps thousands who had ever come up to him seeking contact, a signature, affirmation.

I have always remembered this experience with fondness and am heartened that I got this all-too-brief chance to rub shoulders with his genius. Because now … Now. It’s too late.

He’s gone.

British writer Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (the bestest sci fi comedy cult classic ever) is dead. He died suddenly, unexpectedly, tragically of a heart attack last Friday in his California home.

As I said, I didn’t know him. We weren’t pals. We weren’t relatives, co-workers, neighbors or acquaintances. But the knowledge of his passing shook me as certainly as would that of someone close to me. No more Arthur Dent. No more Ford Prefect. No more Zaphod Beeblebrox. No more Marvin the Paranoid Android. No more Dirk Gently. No more sentences like “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” No more Douglas Noel Adams.

The world will never be quite the same again.

I’ll miss you, dear friend.

Shelter Me

June 8, 2010

Hey, folks, I need some serious help here.  (Insert your own joke about my emotional and mental instability here.)

Seriously, help me out.  The Animal Rescue Site (a marvelous web page for helping feed animals in need) is offering a $100,000 shelter challenge, which could mean a $20,000 grant for some lucky animal shelter out there. 

As you may know, I volunteer at SAFE Haven For Cats, a fantastic no-kill shelter for cats and kittens in Raleigh, NC.  For those folks who want to make a difference, this shelter is the real deal.  Caring people who are determined to finds homes for homeless felines plus lifelong support and education for adopters and a low-cost spay/neuter clinic that’s making real humane progress to help end pet overpopulation.

Personally, I’d love to see SAFE Haven get this $20,000 grant and that’s why I’m asking for your help.  All you have to do is go to The Animal Rescue Site at www.theanimalrescuesite.com (worth doing even if you don’t vote for my shelter) and follow these instructions:

1. Click on the purple box to give free food

2. Click the “Vote Now” button (upper right area of screen)

3. Scroll down to the purple box, type in SAFE Haven for Cats, select NC and click search

4. Click “vote” next to the shelter name

5. Type in the type of animal you see (in all lower case letters) and click the “confirm vote” button

It’s really easy (easier than it may sound, at least); you don’t have to register or sign in.  You can even vote every day (and please do) until the contest ends August 22 … and encourage your friends and family and coworkers to do the same!

So please, help out a deserving shelter and vote in the THE ALL-STAR ANIMAL RESCUE SITE $100,000 SHELTER+ CHALLENGE (brought to you by Petfinder).  The cats would really appreciate it.  As would I.

Holly Days For The Home

December 14, 2008

holly2

The little girl pictured above is named Holly Hox and she’s looking for a home. 

She’s cute, she’s sweet, she craves affection, she likes playing and she would love to meet someone who will be her best friend for life.  Right now, she’s at SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, NC, a no-kill shelter that’s a great place to be if you’re a homeless kitty, but she’d much rather be in a forever home.  See, unfortunately, she’s been with the rescue group for almost half a year.  Her mom got adopted … so did her four sisters … but Holly has been passed over for younger, more outgoing cats time after time.  It’s not her fault that she’s a little shy; she was the runt of the litter and very scared when first rescued, but she warmed up to people quickly once she realized she was in a safe, nurturing environment.  Her mother, Jenny Mae, took great care of Holly and her siblings until I found them, rescued them and brought them to SAFE Haven.  That’s why I’m taking a moment to write about Holly Hox – because I have a vested interest in her future.  I know this wonderful feline and know she could be the love of someone’s life if only she had the chance. 

Perhaps you aren’t looking for a cat right now.  That’s okay.  But maybe you know someone who is.  So spread the word.  Holly Hox is available for adoption now and you can find more information at the SAFE Haven web site at http://www.safehavenforcats.org/.  She’d do best in a quiet home, one without children and I’m guessing without dogs.  She is used to other cats and would probably enjoy a feline companion to play and snuggle with. 

And, of course, she’d enjoy a human companion to shower her with patience, love and understanding.

[UPDATE: December 27, 2008.  Holly Hox has been adopted.  Fingers crossed she’s found her forever home.]

SAFE But Not Home

November 14, 2008

I still could use your help in voting online for my favorite shelter, SAFE Haven For Cats.  It takes very little time and you can vote every day between now and December 1st!  Just read my previous post HERE and help out a worthy cause.  Thanks.

Also On TV Tonight…

October 5, 2007

The season premiere of Friday Night Lights.

It’s a bloody miracle NBC renewed this after apparently only I and one of my friends and a few critics watched it last year but, dammit, this show deserves to be seen.  Trust me: I’m the LAST person to become enthralled by a sports show, but that’s the beauty; while it may be ostensibly about a high school football team, it’s NOT a sports show per se.  The football could be a metaphor for practically anything.

Friday Night Lights.  Watch it.  Please.  NBC.  Tonight at 9pm EST.  (You can tune in it after Pushing Daisies.)

Flower Power

October 5, 2007

The fall television season is well underway and already I’ve discovered a few new series that have sparked my interest. But, so far, only one I want to wholeheartedly recommend: Pushing Daisies.

In case you missed it (or the surrounding promotional blitz), the show centers on a pie maker with the power to resurrect the deceased. Sounds like the premise for something Rob Zombie would cobble together with Martha Stewart, eh? Yeah, I know, but Pushing Daisies is less zombie horror than latter-day fable. It’s filled with charm and wit and magic.  All that and Kristin Chenoweth … what’s not to love? 

If you’re interested, ABC is rebroadcasting the series opener tonight, Friday, October 5, at 8 (EST). The show airs regularly Wednesday nights. Give it a chance if you like intelligent, engaging, whimsical television fare.  Or, hell, you can just DVR Cavemen and call it a day.