It’s a Shatnerpalooza, followed by a Nimoy-a-thon

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I was a kid when Star Trek was on air and sometime in my mis-spent youth, one of my cousins got as a present, an LP of the musical stylings of Leonard Nimoy, or as we knew him, Dr. Spock.

I mean think of it -Leonard Nimoy reading the Desiderata. I think there was also a Nimoy rendition of “If I had a hammer” It was pretty awful. But awful in that “can’t tear yourself away from the record player (tv, dvd) sortof way” that only celebrities who think they are artistes can engender.

Enter our buddy William Shatner (or for some of us “Denny Crain”) – he, too, had delusions of . . . well, can we really call it grandeur? How about he just had delusions. And in his deluded state, somehow these records got produced and we are all the richer for them.
Let’s start with William Shatner “singing” Rocket Man from 1978:
Hey, I’m not the only one who digs this – check out the Family Guy’s Stewie dressed up in tux and cig, loving him some Shatner:

Dr. Spock wasn’t above a little extra self-promotion during this time, either – this is pre-Lord of the Rings, but is familiar to just about everybody now:

Uh huh.  Those are little hobbits running around and Nimoy in a dickey.  I’m telling you!

There’s a trove of treasure on youtube; in looking for the audio, I found this rather trippy scene from the original show with both Kirk and Spock in together (along with a dwarf – gotta have a dwarf) – just remember, “neighing in Esperanto” . . .

Now wasn’t that worth it – ?

Lastly, though, and on a slightly more serious note, here is a more recent reading by Nimoy of The Desiderata.  He mentions recording this, but I couldn’t find any videos of that.  For the most part, when these guys were doing their recordings, there were no videos made.

I get the impression that both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have nothing but fondness for the places they went and things they did to promote their show and themselves back in the sixties and seventies.  Here’s a picture of them in recent times, still Capt. Kirk and Dr. Spock.

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A Bitch in Heat – Redux

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I live in Southern California.  We are lucky most of the time – we live in one of the very few regions in these here United States that has a Mediterranean climate.  Besides the Mediterranean, that is.  In fact, although I said “one of the very few” what I meant to say is “THE ONLY”.  I’m pretty sure it is the only one but it might be one of the few.  So sue me.

Almost every single day all year long we get a nice breeze off the Pacific Ocean in the afternoon which cuts the heat.  Plus, we have no humidity to speak of, so it’s all in all very pleasant.

See, we don’t need air conditioning – except when we do.  Like several weeks ago and this week.

Now a few years back after my gentle and sweet prodding (bitching and unending complaining is more like it), we bought a portable air conditioner for the bedroom, so at least I can sleep in a cool room.   The reason was practical – our bedroom has only one functioning window which is east facing – there are two north-south windows but they are just decorative, not functional.  So we get no cross breeze in the room and some nights the ceiling fan just doesn’t cut it.

Now in our family, I’m the one who runs hot, and my husband runs cool.  Which means – I complain during the summer and he’s fine.  And during the winter months, he’s too cold and I’m just putting on a sweater at most.

But the difference is that when you’re cold, you can just put on another layer.  And another layer.  And one more.  You can completely bundle up just like Nanook of the North if you want and then tumble outside and roll yourself down the street.  But if you’re too hot?  You are outta luck, as the kids say.  Well, they usually say “shit outta luck” but I’m not that crude.

I can strip off a layer or two but let’s face it, nudity gets you to baseline.  I’m not stripping off anymore at that point.

So the best I can do is dress lightly (or not at all) and try and find the coolness wherever it may be.  Since there’s no air conditioning in the rest of the house and I don’t want to spend my day entirely in my bedroom, I run the fans that I have, drink plenty of water, and try and move to where the coolness is.

Yesterday when it was 94 in our little beachy burg, the ‘Publican and I went to the movies at 2 in the afternoon.  That’s the advantage of being retired.  We can do wacky and crazy things like go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon on a work day.  And nobody else is there.  Except for other overheated retired folks.

Today, I finally gave in and toddled over to my local Starbucks.  Which is one of the best ones in our area, bar none.  Not to give them too much of an advertisement, but this one has a fancy Clover machine which is an automated french press thingy  – makes coffee amazingly well.  One cup at a time.  I’m sucking down a decaf made in the Clover right now.  Decaf is my sop to age – I have loved coffee since my teens but now in my 50’s, one cup of full strength caffeine per day is all I can handle.  If I want the flavor with a whole lot less of the bad stuff, it’s decaf.  (And yes, I know that decaf is a bit of a misnomer as it should be title ‘less caf’ since they don’t get rid of all of it, just most of it.)

Besides the cool Clover machine (I’ve only seen one of them in Seattle before now), this Starbucks is twice the size as it once was and in the renovations, they gave a lot of thought to how real people use them.  I’m sitting at a long trestle style table with about 50 plugs underneath.  Now that’s thinking about the customer.

So I’m comfortable.

Of course right before I took off I had words with the ‘Publican.  As it may be evident, I’m no fan of the hot weather and, as the title of this post suggests, I go from nice to bitch in about .02 seconds.   So he’s looking at me and I’m preparing to leave and he innocently asks, “Are you going somewhere?”

No.  I’m just dressing up and washing my face because I think the dog prefers it when I’m more presentable.

Although that may have been an unfortunate answer, what popped out of my mouth was another unfortunate answer, “What does it LOOK like I’m doing?  It’s 20,000 degrees in this house?*!”

I’m pretty sure my fangs were out.

He took umbrage.

“Hey, I’m just asking.  You don’t have to act like I’m stupid.

Followed by me saying, “You know I get . . .” “cranky” “yeah, that, when it’s hot.”

Which is the go to explanation for my bitchiness.  It’s hot, I’m cranky, I’m miserable, I’m a terrible person because I’m hot, miserable and cranky.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

But let’s examine the concept of stupidity, shall we?  We all say stupid stuff, all day long.  I’m sorry – I know I do, and so do you, too.  Uh huh, even you, Mr. Smarty Pants.  Usually, in life, I let the dopey remarks just float on by because why make a big deal out of them?  Right?  Hey, I don’t want you to make a big deal out of my stupid questions, comments or remarks, either.

But when I’m hot, miserable and cranky, well, let’s say my tolerance for the ridiculous remark plunges to depths only seen in the Mariana Trenches.

Now, to recap – my husband is not stupid.  However, we’ve established that under these circumstances I AM a bitch.

Even so . . . I so wanted to just say . . . respond . . . remark . . . reply . . . okay, snarl, “But that IS a stupid question.”

Because, no matter what you were told in school, dear readers, there ARE many stupid questions.  In fact, since you don’t know the answer, even if you want to split hairs and say you are ignorant, c’mon, you are usually asking a dumb question.  What you are hoping for is to not remain dumb, stupid or ignorant with the answer, but to imply that your question is anything but stupid is  . . . well, stupid.

So yes, if we’re not getting our panties in a wad, there are stupid questions and you, dear husband, just asked one of them.

And since you asked, here’s the incredibly smart (ass) answer:

Yes, I’m going somewhere.  I’m going out.  I’m going to drink less caf but allow myself to be lied to that it is really decaf, and hope that I’m not up at 3 am, and I might even eat a cookie.  I’m going to stare at the blank screen on my computer and try and put words together into sentences and paragraphs.  I’m going to try and write something fairly witty, but baring that, at least not too horribly obnoxious.  See, it’s Friday and I’m supposed to be frolicking, but it’s so gosh darned (no, goddamned) HOT, I’m tired of having the sweat drip down into my eyes and fog my glasses.  I’m tired of swiping my hand on my forehead to forestall the drip, only to have sweat all over my hand, too.  Ick.  I don’t like sweating all that much.

So for the moment, I’m not feeling grateful, or happy, or loving, or any of a multitude of positive emotions.  I hate my life right now and I hate everything and everybody in it.

There.  Are you satisfied?  Now you know.

Of course you know I didn’t say any of those things.

I’m just not that kind of wife.

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Can I Have Some Cheese With That Whine?

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Now this is not about me or my son or any other human being on this planet.

Yep, it’s about my sweet little dog, Izzy.

When we first got her in our lives over a year ago, she’d been living with my mom since January.  She would bark at strangers and growl at men (young men mostly), but other than those two auditory issues, she was truly the perfect dog.

Now we also have two cats.  One is named Stanley who is about 17 years old and is strictly outdoors at this point.  Sadly, Stanley, who is one tiny cat in comparison to most, is an alpha who felt the need to declare his dominance by spraying in our house.  Yes, he’s neutered.  We found it everywhere – he ruined a set of curtains and he ruined baseboards which we are only now fixing (a real pain in the tush.)  So we made the very difficult decision to put him outside.  Of course Stanley gets his own cat house which he seldom uses, and we’ve made up a cool bed for him and when it’s cold we let him sleep in the garage.

Stanley is truly one of the smartest cats I’ve ever met.  He talks to you and head butts your hand as you reach out to pet him.  But the talking is the best part.  He’ll meow and you say, “hey, Stanley,” and you begin a back and forth that sounds suspiciously like any conversation you might have with a person.  He has a great ear for waiting until you stop talking before he picks up and meows again.  And he’s very affectionate.

It’s just too bad he’s got those nasty bad habits that he does.  I’d let him inside in a minute but I know what would happen.

Our other cat, Milhouse, is really my son’s cat and we’ve just been fostering him for the past – oh, nine or ten years.  Any day now, my son will want him back.  Well, probably not, but one can hope.

Okay – that’s meaner than I meant it.  Milhouse is almost the perfect cat.  He’s very sweet, lets you pick him up, he purrs easily and often, he has the softest rabbity fur which really calms you down as you pet him, and he’ll snuggle right in while you’re watching TV.  He’s a great cat – almost.  His worst habit is that he will not – WILL NOT – bury his own poop in the box.

I know – not the worst thing because he’s never sprayed anywhere like old Stanley has.  But Milhouse will use the cat box downstairs and the aroma of doody will waft upstairs – every damn time.

The ‘Publican growls, “Milhouse, you old bastard – BURY YOUR POOP” which as any of you know who have had the pleasure to be owned by a cat pretty much falls on those cute deaf ears.  The ‘Publican has done plenty of poop burying for Milhouse over the years.  Just to save our nostrils.

His other bad habit, if you want to call it that, is – Milhouse is one whiny son of a gun.  Capital W whiny.  He’s just like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.  At our bedroom door the moment he hears a toilet flush it’s  “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.”  In the whiniest tone ever.  When he wants in to my husband’s office, he just sits at the door and whines – until he’s let in.  And he doesn’t stop until he’s let in.  I can say, “Hey Milhouse, come upstairs” and that won’t do a thing – he’s stuck until he gets exactly what he wants.

Now you might think his whiny meows are directed at anybody within earshot, but no.  He’s quite particular about just whom these whines are directed towards, and it’s usually my husband.

That’s because, if it wasn’t obvious by now, the ‘Publican is the feeder of the animals, the primary dog-walker, and the definite catbox scooper-outer (and often times poop burial service, too.)  So Milhouse is quite aware that if I exit the bedroom first in the morning, that I’m of NO USE TO HIM.  He waits until the ‘Publican (or feeder) is around to start up with the whines for food.

I probably don’t have to mention that Milhouse is one big hunk of cat – or as my husband refers to him “20 pounds of quivering cat flesh.”  He probably outweighs Izzy by at least eight to ten pounds.

So imagine my surprise when about three or four months ago, as Izzy was attempting to get up on the couch where we were that she just stood there, and out of her sweet little jaw came – a whine.

What?  A whine?  I’d never heard her whine.  A few days later, same thing.  And under the same circumstances.

Because, yep, after her first whine, I’d helped her up.

It was distinct and breathy, but it was a whiney little “Help me, mommy”.

And then I was in the kitchen and she came in looking for food (what else?) and she lowered her sad chihuahua eyes, and out came another whine.  So now we’re up to what?  Three whines?

We can’t stop her, although I’m now not giving in to the whines.  Unless she’s really in distress, I just don’t respond to them.

But they completely annoy the living crap out of me.  We didn’t have a whiny dog until a few months ago.

I decided to give it a think.  My first thought in this think was – well, she’s mimicing somebody – and who could that be?  D’oh.  Yep, she’s doing what her cat brother has done for years – she sees that he whines and then he gets fed, why not try that to get what you want.

I shared my hypothesis with the ‘Publican who didn’t exactly laugh out loud.  He actually gave it some thought of his own and said it had some merit.

But on my second round of thinking, I realized it could also be a form of settling in.  And this is where it gets all psychobabbly and stuff.  Sorry, can’t help it – I was a therapist after all.  But for humans.  Not dogs.

I know I’ve mentioned that she had been found by someone and eventually ended up in a foster home situation before my mom, then we, adopted her.  Well, the lowest count of homes that I came up for Izzy was four.  There may have been even a few more than that, as often foster situations change.  Four different sets of people, four different survival scenarios to contend with, four different homes with four different sets of house rules.

We have no way of knowing if she’s been with us the longest.  But she’s not that old – just about four years old – so it’s likely.  We’ve noticed she’s gotten more comfortable, snuggling up with one and then the other – and often we hear a sweet sigh from her.  That’s a real heart-melter for sure.

So it’s entirely possible that it wasn’t until recently, oh about three months ago or so, that she finally decided – “this is my home and these are my people.”  She could finally exhale.  We weren’t going to leave her anywhere or abandon her to the streets, or give her away to someone else.  She was ours and we were hers.  We are family, and all that stuff.

So maybe, just maybe, the whine was a way of testing the boundaries of our love.  I’m not saying there’s anything conscious here.  Maybe it was a way of giving all of herself, both her winning ways and her less-than-stellar moments, too, to us.

After all, we’ve pledged to love her, poopy pants and all, metaphorically speaking, of course. The only poop meister we really have to contend with is a big gray cat named Milhouse.

Of course my psychobabble might just be that – psycho and babble.

Maybe it’s just all Milhouse’s fault.