We Did It!

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Well, tomorrow Renfield goes in for his overnight stay. Wednesday is his dental surgery. The good news is we met our fundraising goals. Thanks to the kindness of friends and family, I was able to meet and slightly exceed my fundraising goals. I’m nervous, but have a feeling of pride and accomplishment to have been able to meet a preset goal. 

I’ll update everyone on how it goes. And the next step is making rewards!

Recent Manis

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My first inspiration was a Pinterest post with this image:

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I used a beige/nude color as the base, then used masking tape to block off most of it at a diagonal. On the left hand I did the upper portion coral and on the right hand I did the lower portion, as a mirror image.

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When I finished, it reminded me of the cover of the Ziggy Stardust album:

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I think the only think that could have made it more of an homage would have been a rhinestone on the index finger, but those never last. I just don’t live the life of luxury required to get those to stick around for more than 2 days, tops.

My next inspiration was a nail polish I got in this months Birchbox. It’s “cactus”, but both my roomie and I feel it’s more of a jade color. That, in addition to the Stylenomics Essie color (a greenish black), made me want to try a “plaid” look.

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(As was expected, when you Google search “Highlander Plaid” images like this will appear..)

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Warning: the actual mani didn’t turn out totally gorge. It’s best viewed from a distance…

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It’s the cactus color with crossing stripes of the Stylenomics. Then I used a silver nail pen for the small stripes.

I thought that the green plaid was called “Highlander Plaid” but apparently all the plaids are tartans in Scottish culture. And though it Wikipedia I learned that there are patterns for different areas, but the symbolism of the colors is a modern concept. Huh. You learn something new every day…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartan#Colour:_shades_and_meaning

And lastly, I’ll throw another plug in there for my fundraising. (Don’t worry, there is only one more Monday before it all goes down). 9 days left until Renfield’s surgery. So, if you’d like to contribute, there’s still time. Not to ever be forgotten, a ginormous thank you to those who have contributed thus far. I can’t wait to get down on making those art pieces for rewards. Fodder for posts to come….

http://www.gofundme.com/21seh8

(p.s. Sorry my adorable little “widget” for the page didn’t work in the html… But trust me, if you go to the link and look at his super sweet grey face, your heart will melt…)

Renfield

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Sorry to have missed my usual Monday posting. Life has been crazy.

I’m dedicating this week’s post to my cat, Renfield.

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Ren came into my life in April of 2001. I moved in with my boyfriend with one cat, Pork. My friend’s cat had gotten pregnant and had a litter of extremely adorable kittens. I convinced my fiance, Buddha, that we needed a second cat. A kitten from this litter could be *his* kitty. He could chose the kitten and name it. Okay, maybe this was more of a ploy for me to have a 2nd cat.

We were both excited when we met the kittens. Despite having a small eye infection, Renfield came right up to us to say hello. He was a tiny bundle of grey fur. He was a charmer from the start, with no fear of life what so ever. Buddha decided to name the kitten after the crazy assistant to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We brought him home once his infection was treated, and right away he was up to kitten shenanigans. He was always climbing things. He tried to nurse from me once in my sleep. He sneaked out once overnight and came home with a tender bottom and suspicious sniffs from the other household cats. I suspect he got his first dose of prison love from a big, burly Tomcat on the outside. The cats worked as a team to capture and mangle a large grasshopper, and left the sloppy remains for me as a trophy. He made me laugh, he frustrated me, he was loved.

One day, when the cat was about 2 years old, we were sitting around the apartment and he was no where to be seen for the evening. This is unusual behavior for the little grey shadow, always wanting to be where the people are (and thusly the action is). I sought him out and found him hiding under the bed. When I touched his abdomen he let out a pitiful meow of pain. It was late in the evening, so we had to take him to for an emergency veterinary visit. His urethra had blocked with pH crystals. We didn’t have the money for him to stay overnight, so they flushed him and we took him home. He soon blocked again and we had to take him back. By the time it was all said and done, we spent nearly a grand of borrowed money to save the cat.

At this time, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me emotionally. The cat had to be isolated for a couple of days before he was returned to the populous of the home. Renfield and I spent an entire weekend in my bedroom watching The Royal Tenenbaums. We bonded that weekend and he’s been my boy ever since. Generally speaking, if I’m in the room, his preference is my lap. If I’m home, he is usually not far behind. My love for him cemented as I stared into those gold eyes with white eyeliner, with my heart broken, that weekend. He was my guy, too. Often I refer to Renfield by the nickname Stinky Pete, which came from the Cartoon Network Adult Swim show Sealab 2021.

At one point the relationship with the fiance ended. He moved to New York. We still owed money to my mother for his vet visit. So I looked at Buddha sternly and said, “I hope you don’t think you’re taking that cat with you.” He didn’t fight me on it. As much as he also loved Ren, I had a stable home that he was situated in and Buddha was moving in with his new girlfriend. So keep the cat I did. I continued to feed him his prescription food as often as I could afford it, and make sure he had a warm bed, and boobs to cuddle up to (he is still overtly fond of kneading my chest until I start scratching his chin, and then he’ll settle down for a good petting session).

When times got tough and I had to move back into my mother’s house, my landlord/roommate at the time cared for the cats for a while (with funds I sent on a regular basis). Initially I couldn’t move the cats into my mother’s house because of her allergies, even though she loves them dearly. Eventually the friend caring for the cats began making plans to move to Florida, and there was a panic about where the cats were going to live. My mother made the concession that the cats could stay in the basement. On occasion I would sneak them into my bedroom to spend more time with them.

Renfield has won the hearts of friends and strangers by being the one to greet you when you come in the door. At a recent New Year’s Eve party, he literally walked into the middle of crowded rooms and sat as if to say, “Hello, thanks for coming to my party. Who wants to pet kitty?” He made no qualms with being passed around for petting and generally being fawned over.

Ren, the seat stealer, says "I'm people".

At the NYE party: Ren, the seat stealer, says “I’m people”.

Renfield is also an excellent model, and doesn’t mind terribly my penchant for dressing the cats up for “holiday fun”.

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In the time that Ren’s been back with me, he’s had pH crystals on the other end of the pH scale and sometimes occasional colds, etc. His health has always been the tricky, silent issue. He’s had allergic reactions to plastic feeding bowls and most recently, since he has officially hit the “senior stage” of his life, he has started to lose some of his kidney function. His teeth have always been healthy, but most recently it appears that there are some that will need pulled and his vet and I agree that we should address this before his kidneys get to the weakened state that makes surgery extreme difficult. As it is he’ll have to stay over night to receive fluids.

Financially this is going to be difficult. I work for a non-profit, which means I don’t bring home the big bucks. I’m an artist, but that generally makes no money at all. So at the suggestion of friends, I created a WeFund page for Renfield and his dental surgery:

http://www.gofundme.com/21seh8

As a reward for helping this outgoing, loving, quirky tabby cat, I will personally create artwork as outlined in the rewards on the link. But I’m also open to negotiation for donors of all levels. Any thing can help and if you can’t contribute, spreading the good word is also helping.

These days, Renfield is still the cat that goes on random running sprees and has learned how to break into the cabinet despite my addition of Velcro to the door. He likes to poke his head out of the vinyl cube in the corner and has a fascination with the bathtub bordering on obsessive. He makes me laugh every day. He’s a big guy with a tiny, almost silent, meow.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for anything you can do for a poor artist and the general love of cats. Ren would thank you with loud purrs and kneading your chest with his large paws, if he could.

Mondays

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Is it Monday again?

I guess that means it’s time for a post. I’ve been sticking to my promise to myself to post weekly, on Monday/Sunday nights. At first I thought I’d post something more philosophical, but I wasn’t feeling the vibe. So I think I’ll just update with the weekend and what’s going on.

This weekend was more than a little crazy, but in a good way. Friday night after work I went to see John Waters comedy/speaking engagement at the Carnegie Music Hall. For those of you unfamiliar with John Waters he is a filmmaker and connaisseur of the unusual and outlandish. He is probably most well known for his movies Pink Flamingos, where the lead character played by the female impersonator Devine eats an actual dog turd. But his most famous mainstream movie would probably be Hairspray, which was a movie with Ricky Lake, then a musical with Nathan Lane, and then a movie again (adapted from the musical) with John Travolta. 

John was very warm, amusing, and insightful. He talked about everything from his thoughts on Justin Bieber to “blossoms”. I bought a signed copy of his book and a t-shirt that says “Have Sex In a Voting Booth” (a reference to his movie Pecker); which I forgot that I was wearing the following day at the grocery store until a woman I had seen in various aisles smiled at me warmly and said, “I love your shirt.” As John kept talking about his age, I was struck with the impression that this man is an oral historian of the perverse in pop culture, and a national treasure unlikely to ever be duplicated. A great influence on my own life, inspiring me to be the weird little creature I’ve become. 

Saturday night we had a small, intimate gathering at the house. We attempted to use an antique Ouija board with little success. We presented the theories that the house just isn’t haunted by the spirit world, or else we’re all a little too mature and jaded for such things. That won’t ever stop me from playing with a Ouija board, regardless of the reason. Those things are just plain fun. Later, we all drifted off to slumber to the Hunger Games movie, like all good slumber parties do. Ouija board and YA Lit film adaptations, FTW.

Sunday I drove my friend home and had such a rampant case of navel gazing discourse that I drove a good thirteen miles out of the way.  I was in such good company that I didn’t notice until a sign said “Hempfield Dinner”, then I was pretty sure I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. 

Sunday night I got to dip my toe back into the gaming world with a night of Shadows Over Camelot with my friends at their home. I ended up missing all of the Puppy Bowl, which I am a little sad about, but I’m so glad to get to play again. Games have been a part of my life that I have been missing fervently and these friends are good company. There were lots of belly laughs and good-natured ribbing to be had. 

So onward to another week that looks just as busy. Tonight I’m taking a hip hop dance class with the girls from work and tomorrow I get my hair cut finally. Later in the week I get to take the cats in to the vets. 

I’ve made a new promise to myself. I know it seems like I’m making one every week, but I don’t mind the struggle. I do want to try to re-institute my “me night” once a week. One night to do what pleases me, once a week. It’s good for the soul, really, to try to set aside some time for myself, peace, and wellness. 

Otherwise, I’ve broke my January break from painting my nails and despite my assertion that I was not going to tweeze my eyebrows until they had grown in all the way and then get them waxed or try to thread them, I ended up tweezing them again. So I’m back to being 75% less Frida Kahlo. I’ve started actually reading one of the books that are on my current reading list. There is a movie that I just have to see that came out this week and one I really want to see coming out next week. I’m meeting with friends later this week to plan a trip this summer to Maine. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m back to juggling all the things. Back to a full, rich life. 

I keep learning everyday what it means to live my life for me and not someone else. I have heart palpitating moments when I realize the scope of opportunity before me. If I can make the decision and the commitment, I know that I can have anything I want. It’s the same feeling of standing on a cliff, waiting to jump, excited and scared. I can only hope great things are on the horizon.