Friday, March 25, 2011

Here goes...

Well. Just when I thought I was ready to jump back into the blogging world, something else took over my thoughts. Something I haven't been prepared to talk or write about. Best laid plans and all that, eh?

But, as it seems talking about something bad is a good way to start healing from it, I'm slowly starting to try to do that. So, in that vein...

Remember how I said George Kitteh was not so well? And how we had high hopes for his recovery? Sadly, those hopes did not pan out. After a couple of weeks back home, George took a bit of a downturn and had to go back to the hospital. I should have started preparing myself for the worst when his doctor took one look at him and said "I'm putting him in the ICU." That was last Thursday.

Jason was in London, but thankfully got home on Friday. We went to visit George that night. And again on Saturday morning. And again on Saturday evening. And then the phone rang at about 11:00 on Saturday night. When you get to be 33 years old, you know that no good can result from any phone call that comes at that hour. I took one look at the caller ID, threw the phone at Jason and immediately burst into tears.

As expected, the news was not good. George was slipping away and they were certain he wouldn't make it through the night. So we got out of our pjs and got back in the car to make the by-now-too-familiar drive to the vet hospital. George looked pitiful. He couldn't even lift his head. After discussing things with his doctor and asking all those questions you never wanted to have to ask, we made the decision we thought was best for George.

We stayed with him through the end, tears flooding down both our faces. And just like that, for the first time in 12 years, we had only one pet.

And that's about all I'm prepared to say on the subject for now.

So, mainly as a catharsis for me, let's take a look back at the early days of George.

Our first, very blurry, family portrait.

"Who are these people? Wait? Wha..? You're my parents now? But you don't even have fur! I'm doomed."

He met his first friend at a young age. (Turtle was sadly lost in our move from Greensboro to Raleigh.)

"What do you mean you can't fist bump? Okay, let's head bump instead."

In his formative years, he showed great promise as a model. He practiced all the time.

"Look at me, Tyra! I'm smizing!"

And then, with no notice whatsoever, his life was flipped arse over teakettle with the addition of Elwin.

"He's right behind me, isn't he?"

George was unsure at first.

"Seriously? Him? But he's so fuzzy. And little. And squeaky. So so so squeaky."

But he was soon won over and took Elwin under his wing.

"Okay, I'll share. But you stay on your side. And the teddy bear has to go. Three's a crowd."

He taught Elwin all the important stuff.

"And after your paws, you get as much of your belly as you can. But you've really got to get those paws clean first."

George has always enjoyed a nice roaring fireplace.

"Well hello ladies."

Even if he did have trouble with telling the difference between a real one, and an iPad app one...

"Seriously guys, why can't I feel the heat from this one? Weird."

He mysteriously lost feeling in the end of his tail about five years ago and consequently, would sometimes do things like this without knowing.


But the best thing about George was how much he loved Baby Bear. We got him this little catnip toy when we moved to Raleigh and realized Turtle had been lost. It was true love at first sight. George carried Baby Bear in his mouth everywhere he went. To bed. To the food bowl. Everywhere. And if one of us was sick or upset, he could tell. He would use Baby Bear to try and comfort us. Like when I found out I didn't get that job I really really wanted last summer, I laid on the couch and cried my eyes out. George carried Baby Bear over, jumped up on the couch, dropped Baby Bear next to my face and went to the other end of the couch and then laid down by my feet.

But while it's nice to dig out all these old photos and remember George as a kitten; in the end, Elwin has lost a brother and best friend...

And we have lost our sweet boy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Party in the USA...The Raleigh Chronicles

I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed with blog content now that I've recommitted myself (again) to writing more often. So I'm just going to start with the biggest event of our recent history and work my way from there. Okay? Okay.

If you read Suze's blog, you may already know that Jason did her pretty much the ultimate solid by upgrading her to business class for her trip across the pond. Flying the fancy skies, indeed!

So you can imagine it was quite a shock to her senses when she got to her room and saw the conditions under which she would be living for the next several days.

The evening of Suze's arrival was very low key, you know, due to the jetlag and all. Also due to the fact that I had a few weeks' worth of Jersey Shore on the DVR. We settled in for some pizza and teeeeee-shirrrrrrt tiiiiiiime and all was right with the world.

Tuesday night, the plan was to introduce Suze to the world of hockey. We reckoned it would be best to throw her right in and got some pretty decent seats. Well hello team bench.

We were so excited to see some crushing checks and maybe even a fight or two, we could hardly contain ourselves! Our bloodlust is obvious, no? (Who wins this Hair Off: Ponytail Edition? Me. Of course. Because of my snappy red headband. Duh. Winning.)

Finally, it was time to get crunk. Remember how I mentioned we had pretty decent seats? Well hello Cam Ward, Stanley Cup winning All-Star goaltender.

Suze even developed a little crush on number 44, Jay Harrison. (And is it just me, or does Patrick Dwyer seem to be part ghost?)

Oh, and remember how I mentioned we had pretty decent seats? Well hello Jeff Skinner, leading rookie in the NHL and youngest player in history to play in an All-Star Game.

It didn't take long for things to get chippy. Suze's love for 44 grew by leaps and bounds when she saw him go a few rounds with Milan Lucic. Looks like someone had their tigerblood for breakfast!

We had no idea what this conversation was about but it sure looked to be an interesting one.

Unfortunately, things were not going so well for the home team.

Time out Carolina. STRATEGERY!

Alas, whatever Ron Francis was cooking up in the photo above didn't work and the Canes dropped one to the Bruins. However, I'm not blaming it on the team. No no. I blame it on Suze. You know how she's a bad luck magnet for shitty weather? Well, here are the facts:

1. We take Suze to the Bruins game. We lose.
2. We take Suze to Carolina Ale House to watch the Leafs game. We lose.
3. Jason and I get wi-fi on our flight to Colorado and sit way across the aisle from Suze, listening to the Thrashers game without her. We win.
4. We watch the Devils game with Suze and Phil in Breckenridge. We lose.
5. We watch the Flyers game with Suze and Phil in Breckenridge. We lose.
6. We watch the Thrashers game alone once Suze is safely tucked away on another continent. We win.

I'm not saying anything. But I'm just saying...

On Wednesday, I continued my quest to pump Suze full of all Raleigh's best culinary delights. And since proper Mexican food DOES NOT EXIST in the United Kingdom, I knew it was my duty to give her the good stuff. Cantina 18 in Cameron Village knows what's up. Suze didn't know the difference between an enchilada, a quesadilla and a burrito but she was sure as hell familiar with these.

Wednesday night was gig night at Lincoln Theatre. We were rather enamored with the first opening act, Andrew Allen.

So enamored, in fact, was Suze that she ran to the merch table - like a preteen chasing a Bieber - as soon as the band left the stage. She came back looking very smug and showed me this photo.

Not to be outdone, I ran to the merch table like, well, like a preteen me chasing the New Kids and got a photo of my own. I returned looking even more smugger than Suze. (Smugger is probably not a real word. But it should be.)

Well, Suze's competitive nature reared its ugly head and she ran back to the merch table like Charlie Sheen chasing hookers. And she returned looking the smugest of all. (Smugest is also probably not a word. But also should be.) I gave up after this because the headliner was due out any minute and, truthfully, I was a little scared of what she might do to try and top me.

And the main event...Joshua Radin. He did not disappoint.

After Suze and I took turns assaulting a vending machine for Fritos and Reece's Pieces (I think? Suze, feel free to jump in here.) Jason decided no trip to Raleigh is complete without a stop at Krispy Kreme. I never fail to be awestruck by the doughnut conveyor belt.


Doughnut makers everywhere, we salute you.

And here it is. I've said before that every single time Suze and I get together, there is a photo of us totally cracking up.

And here's where my past indiscretions catch up with me. You might remember that time Suze visited us in Brussels and Jason fell asleep first so we decided to try that old hand-in-warm-water slumber party prank on him. Well, my bad. I fell asleep first and Jason wanted to get me back.

Again, it didn't work. But I love how Elwin just sat there on my lap and watched him, without so much as a warning meow for me.

When they were done torturing me, they turned their attentions to Elwin. Who, you should know, does not care for hats of any kind.

You know it was a good night when you wake up with a wristband.

And you know it's a good day when there's Chick-Fil-A.

The American adventure continues with a chick flick matinee and very American sized refreshments. Suze was pretty horrified at the bucket of Coke they handed her.

We even cooked up a storm that afternoon. (With some "mother's little helpers" in the background....)

As you already know, the Hurricanes lost this game to Toronto, but the night wasn't a total wash because we got our picture with Big Mike. (Plus, I totally win another Hair Off. By my count, that's Me - 3, Suze -0.)

For our final trick before we head west, we decide to go bowling at the fancy new alley across the street. Well, it wasn't so much us as it was our alter egos - Dre Doctor, Noodles Mahoney and Babs McCoy.

So from Babs, Dre and Noodles...we bid you farewell for now. See you in Colorado!

P.S. Sorry for the Charlie Sheen references. I hate that he's culturally relevant for being a jackass but come ON! TIGERBLOOD? HIGH PRIEST VATICAN ASSASSIN WARLOCK??? DUH. WINNING. It's too good to leave alone.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Remind me. Who are you again?

Holy hell. Every time I think I'm just going to throw in the towel on the blog, something drags me back. I don't know why. I really have to get my shiz together and start posting on at least a semi-regular basis. Either that or give it up for real.

Things here at Sanger HQ have been...less than perfect lately. George, you know him - the 13 year old cat we have had since he was a preshus bebeh kitteh, has been sick. Very very sick. As in, two weeks ago our vet told us to take him home and love him, pet him, cuddle him and just spend time with him and if he makes it through the night, tomorrow we have to talk about putting him to sleep. THAT sick.

I really can't write about all that was wrong and all we've been through in the past two and a half weeks because my heart can't handle it. It breaks all over again every time I even think about that night we spent crying and thinking he was gone.

But for now, after spending over a week at the NCSU vet hospital, he's home and hopefully recovering. He has diabetes which means two doses of insulin each day. And by doses, I obviously mean shots. And if you know me, you know I've had a serious needle phobia my whole life. I almost passed out when the doctor showed us how to do it.

Anyway, I promise to at least try real real hard to post again before the week is over. Because believe me when I say there have been some very blogable things going on around here.