It’s a certain kitteh’s one year hatch day toda~y! Happy Birthday to Buttons aka Buttins aka Buttonia.
Let’s take a look back at her miraculous life with Tinx.
Tuna, egg, and breadcrumb birthday cake awaits you tonight~!
It’s a certain kitteh’s one year hatch day toda~y! Happy Birthday to Buttons aka Buttins aka Buttonia.
Let’s take a look back at her miraculous life with Tinx.
Tuna, egg, and breadcrumb birthday cake awaits you tonight~!
R2 has a bird named Bootie. She is a cockatiel with adorable orange circles on her cheeks and the cute head tuft thing.
She is a notable bird, because she is <drumroll> TWENTY THREE YEARS OLD! A normal cockatiel lives in captivity for only 15-20 years. I think she has lived so long because R2 takes amazing care of her. She goes to the vet three times a week for subcutaneous fluid injections and she gets fresh food and water every day.
["When did R2 become a bird guy?" asked Daniel yesterday. "Well, when he was eight his parents said he could get a turtle, a gerbil, or a bird, and the rest is history," I said. "Cute," said Daniel. "Best decision of my life!" said R2 from somewhere.]
She is also the world’s biggest grump. Get too close to her cage and she will hiss. It’s a cute hiss that begins with a consonant like keh! God forbid if you try to touch her – she will bite your finger (ineffectually since she’s but a tiny bird). If R2 puts her on your shoulder, she’ll instantly fly away (in this case, her hiss sounds suspiciously like ick!).
Well, she’ll try to fly. But she’s 23, so she can’t fly. In fact, she can’t even walk, because she has gout (she takes allopurinol just like humans) and has painful feet, one of which is frozen. Her pathetic-ness is so toe-curlingly adorable I can’t stand it.
But she has eyes only for R2. She is hopelessly devoted to him – mero mero as we say in Japanese. Her love for him is deeper than the Mariana Trench. When he goes out of town, the vet can tell because she loses weight out of sorrow. When he says “Booter!” she chirps her cutest chirp. When his mom says “Bootie!” she goes “Keh!” When they alternate calling her name, she goes “Chyerp!” “Keh!” “Chyerp!” “Keh!” Awesome.
Except not awesome, because all I want to do is love her and instead I curl up into a rejected ball while she snuggles with him IN THE BED. I just want to have her hop on my finger and we twirl in a happy, cheepy whirl, but instead she glares at me and opens her mouth menacingly should my finger go within an inch of her face. Sigh.
So, R2 is gone for the week for business, and I am birdsitting her! This entails KEEPING HER ALIVE, first and foremost. This means keeping her happy and not stressed, which will lead to eating so she doesn’t lose weight, and I have to take her to the vet twice, where her weight is recorded as an official decree of how well I do. PRESSUUUUURE.
So. Here we are. The two of us birds. I remembered that R2 was excited a while back because Bootie’s weight was 69 grams, so this was my goal weight for her vet visit yesterday. I also remembered that R2 said she loves pretzels. I also also remembered that he said that birds are social eaters – probably an evolutionary adaptation to avoid consuming poisonous food? But it works even when humans are eating too. So if R2 eats bread, she’ll eat bread. If R2 eats Triscuits, she’ll eat Triscuits. If R2 eats whole-grain Wheat Thins, she’ll eat whole-grain Wheat Thins. And if R2 eats pretzels, she will nom the shit out of an entire mini pretzel – almost 3% of her body weight.
So I went and got pretzels at the market, came back, flicked the salt off of one of them, bit off a corner of one (so she could have a starting place – a pretzel is apparently too smooth and hard for her little beak to handle otherwise), held it through the bars of her cage a safe distance away, and bit into one myself.
At my first chomp, Bootie was like !!! and limped her way over and went Cookie Monster on that pretzel. And just like Cookie M., more of it got on my carpet than in her esophagus, but I was excited that she was eating. She ate so much of it that she came to the inevitable realization that the end of the pretzel was attached to something, and that something was ME, so she went PECK PECK at my finger, annoyed, and went over to her food dish and ate her regular food.
So began our pretzel binges. I’ve never eaten so many in my life. After that first time, I’ve had to eat at least four or five before she takes the bait and starts eating. She seems to respond to the CRUNCH CRUNCH noise so I have to generate this noise continuously, or she stops eating. To make crunch crunch noises constantly, I have to take many bites – in other words, eat many many pretzels. And since she is a super slow eater, it takes her five minutes to finish a pretzel, meaning I’m eating pretzels quickly and consecutively for five full minutes. I’m constantly thirsty because of the increased salt intake and they leave me less hungry for my proper meals, but it is worth it.
Before I took her to the vet yesterday, Daniel told me to feed her another pretzel before I went to get her weight up. “BUT MAKE SURE SHE DOESN’T POO!” Fuckitall. How was I going to do that?
I fed her a pretzel and she ate an entire one, so I thought it was in the bag. But then she pooed the biggest, most solid bird poo I’ve seen in my life, so I screamed “NOOOOOOO!” which may have scared her (great) and then when I reached in to grab her to put her in her travel cage her terror turned to fury and she struggled mightily (this would make a great Hyperbole and a Half post).
We got to the vet somewhat jerkily due to the way a SmartCar drives, but she seemed sleepy which is apparently a good sign according to her owner. When I got to the vet the people were like, “But…this looks like Bootie?” and I said “It IS Bootie. I’m the girlfriend,” and they looked at me like they had won the lottery and proceeded to talk my ear off. Everything about me was fascinating to them. Where did R2 and I meet? Did I like Bootie? What were my thoughts on Star Wars? Even my Nook was interesting – “Is that an I-PAD?!?” “How long does the battery last?!” “Can we touch it?”
The vet tech came out and I shouted, “HOW MUCH DID SHE WEIGH!” and she said “Who are you?” and the others said “This is JANET, the GIRLFRIEND,” and she said “OH!” and then said “She weighed 71 grams!” and I said “YEEEEES!” and the others said “Write that down! That’s great!” and I drove home very happy.
R2 was lukewarm. He said “I am afraid that I am being replaced!” and I texted back “By me or by her?” all the while thinking to myself: probably both akshully, and he texted back “BOTH!”
But it’s not all roses and puppies and double rainbows (What does it MEAN?) in this household. At night her cage is covered by a blanket, but it’s not big enough to cover all the way to the bottom. On Wednesday night, she was I think growchy that I was still up and reading with the light on until past her bedtime, because she came from her perch up top all the way down to the bottom of the cage (which is a struggle for her with her gimpy feet), hissed at me five times, and then climbed back up. I obligingly turned off the light.
And then last night, I noticed her sleeping in her food dish. This is very cute – it is, in fact, one of the rules of cuteness so I was thrilled. But R2 was concernicus. He asked if my apartment was hot, and hypothesized that she was trying to get away from her heat lamp. I offered to turn it off but he said it was fine.
[R2 gets back Monday night...I will be sad to lose my alone time with Booticus Maximus but I can't wait to witness their glorious reunion because it will be epic.]
Because dealing with the 1000+ photos from my Spain trip is overwhelming me, and because I just had to kill the hugest spider in my shower (I WAS NAKED! IT COULD HAVE CRAWLED INTO MY VAGINAAA!) with my bare hands (IT HURTED MY PALM! DID IT BITE ME AS IT DIED OR WERE ITS LEGS JUST SHARP? EITHER WAY, AAAAAUGH!), I am unable to properly blog any real part of my LA-London-Madrid-Toledo-Barcelona-Mallorca-London-LA trip. So I am going to kick off my series of Europe posts with the various animals I encountered. The series started because The Kraken (my new camera) has a pet setting, where one is to choose whether it’s a dog or a cat, and whether it’s a light-, medium-, or dark-furred thing. Love it!
First up – the cats that look like cows! Cowts! They were at R2′s friend Rog’s house in a freaking charming cottage outside of London. One was named Percy and one was named something else. They were both aggressively friendly. To the point where when I was lying down reading – BONK! Desperately needing a head rub, Percy bashed his head against mine purring like a dragon with laryngitis. Ow. They also loooved rolling around (like dogs that roll around all over the grass to scratch their backs) on my pillow, greatly exacerbating my allergies. Fucking rascals.
At this residence was another cute creature.
THAT’S NOT AN AMINALLL! Get out of this post, rapscallion!
Next, we arrived at our destination of Espana – lovely, lovely Espana. We didn’t encounter any animals in Madrid, our first stop.
But in Toledo, shoot.
On the windy (windy as in winding as in curving, not windy as in blustery – yeah that confused me too in the guidebook) and impossibly narrow streets of Toledo, we encountered this sad/bored pupersons. Sad/bored also means sitting still, which was good for the photo.
We found this tiny Basement Cat in a gift shop just off the Plaza de Zocodover. When you got near him with an outstretched hand, he would immediately flip onto his back for a belly rub. See how his tail is also wagging, doglike. Squee. The shopkeeper was so enamored of and distracted by his own pet that he utterly failed to talk me into purchasing Toledo purse hooks as gifts for my girlfriends.
Contrary to what was written in our guidebook, Toledo was a fucking ghost town after 9 pm. To the point where it was kind of eerie. And then – perfect! A ghost dog! I couldn’t even get a good picture of his face – that’s how ghostly he was. I named him Casper-Marshmallow.
It was an animal field day in Barcelona, our next stop. On the famous Ramblas, there were several pet stalls, hocking conventional wares like hamsters and boids (causing R2, a cockatiel owner, to continually emit small, delighted gasps followed by cries of ”ohhhhhh!”), although some of the bird selections got super weird, like pigeons that sadly sat in their too-small cages while wild pigeons strutted about inches away, free.
Also – BUNNERSONS!
Basement Bun! So fluffy I couldn’t stand it. It brought back memories of Will the Wabbit, my pet in college, who loved my roommate more than he loved me and so I returned him. (Actually, I returned him because of my heretofore undiagnosed extreme rabbit allergy.)
Also, look at this adorable Alien we found!
Mom, can we keep him? MOoooOOOOM! PLEEEEASE?
In the courtyard of the La Seu cathedral, we found a buncha geese. Apparently geese are too far from cockatiels to be interesting to R2 so he didn’t care, but I liked them. They have been there for five centuries and are used as an ultra low-budg warning system against intruders.
Near La Sagrada Familia were two awesome catches. The first I named Big Cashew and we found him sitting near where we had a cafe solo and cafe con leche, respectively. He was exceedingly mellow, good for photography.
Tinx likes it when dogs go gray/white in their fur from old age, so I am guessing she would have loved this puppers.
The next dog we saw from across the street. The light had turned green so I had to get my shot in quick. The dog was not old or mellow and was trotting hyperly towards me so this is all I got:
This one I named Cashew. This is R2′s favorite photo. I like it too, because it looks like I resized the photo but got the aspect ratio wrong so it’s squished, when that’s just what he looked like. (All dogs are boys and all brown ones are named Cashew in my book.)
Gaudi, master architect genius/crazyperson, was also apparently a dog lover. I know this because on the one facade (Nativity facade) that Gaudi worked on, I spied this:
You don’t see it? Look closer.
Bam. I named him Rocky-Cashew. Oh, man, Rocky-Cashew – you got bird shit all over your face!
Up on Montjuic, we found two wild specimens.
I named them Sushi and Mochi, from left to right. As I frantically stalked them with my camera, snapping a rapid succession of pictures, the people nearby got super interested in what I was photographing. When they realized it was just cats, they were a little bit angry with me for wasting their time.
Finally, in Mallorca, R2′s bird-spidey-sense tingled and he made us lunch al fresco at a restaurant that had this:
He was big! I named him Big Bird. When excited, he would release a eardrum-shattering SQUAWK and shift his weight from one foot to the other. He would also show off by retrieving fallen seeds from the bottom of his cage through the grate. R2′s boid Bootie has gout in one foot (she IS 23 years old, after all) and it’s frozen solid so she can’t pull tricks and shit like that. So every time Big Bird did his trick we would shout “SHOW OFF!” in his direction.
In sum, I has confirmed that animals also exist on that side of the ocean, and I love them just as much.
Before I sign off, a great many thanks to Tinx and DJ Deer for their fantabulous guest posts, and Daniel for conceiving two posts without the proper gestation period.
I hang out with a gang of four other girls and we unabashedly call ourselves the Fab Five. Now separated between LA, SF, and DC, we had a reunion last weekend up here in the bay. Despite the fact that it took the LA girls NINE hours to get here (flat tire and then dead battery on the 5), and despite the fact that the ENTIRE objective of Friday night was for the Fab Five to drink Strawberry Fields cocktails together (muddled strawberries, vodka, soda, simple syrup, lemon juice) at Tipsy Pig and they were fucking SOLD OUT of them (luckily Doris, R2 and I went on a stealth mission earlier that night, armed with thermoses and brought some home in case they didn’t make it here before last call; we poured the drink into the containers in the bathroom stall and a LOT of it fell [a] into the toilet [GROSS LOOKS LIKE...] [b] on the floor, causing the girl in the stall next to us to shout, “SOMEONE’S PEEING ALL OVER THE FLOOR!”), all was well by Saturday when we went to Sonoma in the late afternoon for some wine tasting.
Our first stop was Viansa. Here we encountered the strangest employee ever (I’ll call her Barbara). We spent a lot of time, individually, trying to figure out if she had some sort of legit brain disorder or other psychopathology. She began pretty alert, telling us that she likes to “tailor tastings to each person’s palate. So tell me what you like and I’ll pour you something you’ll find is delicious!” Tinx went first, shyly (in her unique “I’m talking to grown-ups” voice which I think is hilarious but also love) saying, “I’m not sure, but I like light wines – nothing too intense.” Barbara said, “Alright, I’ll start you off with our Cabernet Franc – it’s rich and delicious and very full-bodied.” WTF?? Then, Logo: “Actually, can I try that? I love cabs.” Barbara: “Oh, well for you I’ll pour our Pinot Grigio – so CRISP!” WTF squared. I said “I like raisiney blends” and Babs said, “Dessert? You like dessert?” ”No, RAISINEY, like, tastes like raisins.” ”Are you saying ‘dessert?’” ”No, RAISIN, you know, like, dried grapes? In the sun?” “Oh, well if you like raisins you’ll love our dessert wine.” Sigh. She poured me grape juice with sugar in it – their Frescolina, which made everyone a little ill but which we (actually, ReeRee) bought as a gift for R2, who goes up to bars and announces “I’m a lightweight, please give me a girly drink” to bartenders.
Anyway, standouts from Viansa were the Arneis and the Pierina Vernaccia, both very unique and unique to their winery and only a handful (fewer than five) others. Tinx also picked up some truffle cheese which was the bomb.
Poor Doris. At this point she started getting green around the gills; massively hungover from the night before (the sad kind where you wake up in the middle of the night and barf alone in the dark whilst others are sleeping). She announced that she was going to puke and put her head over a barrel-turned-trashcan, but didn’t actually puke.
So we piled into the van (Logo’s younger brother Pogo was driving us in her family’s van – THANK YOU!) and headed to Gloria Ferrer winery. They don’t really do tastings – they are more like a “wine bar” they said. Weird and un-fun, but we obliged and got a bottle of bubbly and sat outside, shivering but forcing ourselves to enjoy the view. The woman who came out and opened the bottle for us failed epically – first by messing up the cork popping and then making our glasses overflow (esp embarrassing for her because we watched the bubbles go up and up and up in the flute and we were like “ohh nooo!” and she said, “Nope! Just watch – it’ll be fine. This is my job, you know. I have a lot of experience at this.” and then it overflowed).
Doris missed out on this all, because she was in the bathroom allegedly puking (she did not).
Next, to the Larson Family Winery; everyone’s favorite [don't be sketched out by the shady-ass dirt road on the way to the winery lined with what look like hillbilly crackhouses]. We were riding on a cute animal high because we passed a buncha sheep with baby sheep that looked like little cotton balls stuck to their momma’s legs. SO CUTE.
THEN, we were greeted by three labs – yellow (Sunny), choco (Bubba), and black (Pete). They wanted to play fetch with us – with LEMONS! Fuckin A that’s cute. Sunny (the alpha) would fetch the lemon but then drop it on the ground in front of you and stand on it. Pete was less interested in fetch and more interested in getting petted. They were three happy and uber muscular dogs that had one job and that was to run around.
I quite liked their Pinot Noir and quite LOVED their Meritage.
At this point we were pretty sauced; alternating between singing Tik Tok at the top of our lungs and singing Bad Romance at the top of our lungs. Tinx accidentally buckled her seatbelt through the handles of her Viansa bag and thus couldn’t access her cheese, which she lamented loudly. Doris didn’t drink but instead, every so often, would threaten to puke and then not puke.
ReeRee: She’s been false alarming all day! I kinda HOPE she pukes at this point!
Next, to Jacuzzi Winery. They have FREE tastings (they also have olive oil tastings)! They are, accordingly, miserly portions, but they had the most sublime Merlot and a chocolate shot ($2) that was reminiscent of this shit so I drunkenly made my forearms into an “X” and cried “NOOOOOO~”
Lastly, we went to Cline Cellars, open latest in Sonoma till 6 pm. Our attendant had cleeearly been drinking all day long himself. He could barely get us through our tasting and devoted all his energy to slurring his words and flirting with us. Here, the Cashmere was amazing and the Carignane transcendant.
We then went to Logo’s parents and soaked in their jacuzzi for an hour, toasted (except Doris, who can someone tell me if she actually ever puked?) and happy (all), residually giggling over things that had happened that day, and this silly picture I took of Pete (he looks stupid lol).
O hai. Welcome to the new site! Please say hi to Daniel, co-creator of morethanafoodblog.com!
You know, I’ve thought a loooong time about what I should write about as the post that takes away the new blog’s virginity. How about something slippery, beautiful, and DEADLY!?
I speak, of course, of jellyfish. I was just in Boston, and aquariums are my Disneyland. So I took my ass and some friends’ asses to the New England Aquarium, and, in my childlike excitement which may or may not have involved almost peeing, was not at all fazed by the 30-minute line just to buy tickets. After grabbing our tix, we immediately pissed off aquarium staff by not pausing to get our picture taken (apparently it was MANDATORY!? WTF?) and immediately slipped into the jelly exhibit.
The exhibit, while beautiful, was fucking weird. Schizophrenic. Everywhere, hugely painted, was the statement: “Pollution. Bad for fish, great for jellies.” I think their point is that human pollution is very intensely affecting ocean habitats, and that it’s terrible because it’s killing fish. But then, in quite literally the same breath, they are saying how that pollution is great for jellies, who thrive in polluted waters.
Are we supposed to be sad about this? I mean, the title of the fucking exhibit is “Amazing Jellies.” Quite honestly, after seeing these gorgeous, exquisite, beautiful jellies, I was tempted to throw a cigarette, can of oil, enriched uranium, and some of my poo into the ocean to help propagate the jellyfish population. I mean, LOOK at them! Do you blame me?
New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf, Boston
Remember when I adopted a manatee? That was sweet. As they promised, in the mail soon thereafter came a little package with my manatee plushie and my manatee newsletter.
The plushie is the cutest thing evar. He is tiny and soft and fuzzy and shaped and sized just like a hamburger; makes it all the more difficult to resist eating him. Even the care instructions are cute: “Hand wash in cold water with mild soap. Air dry. Fluff fur with a comb or brush to restore the cloth’s fuzzy nap.” Fuzzy nap!
The newsletter was quite informative, albeit very upsetting. Did you know that the state management plan is a disaster?!? They downgraded manatees from endangered to merely threatened, which allows for a 30% decline in manatee populations! Poo state managements’ faces!
The other articles in the newsletter were also fairly alarming. For example, did you know that 2006 was the deadliest year on record for manatees? Fucking watercraft and cold stress! There were other heartbreaking articles like “No Sightings of Ginger and the Boys.” Aack!
Time to act, folks! Adopt your own manatee at savethemanatee.org.
The best part is this damn plushie. Just when I had recovered from my acute cute attack, I flipped him over and discovered…his pink lil’ tongue! I am vanquished!
P.S. Deep Dent was spotted on December 28th after not being seen last year at all! Yays!