the torch-ginger

My Quarterly Update - JoJo Barely Averts Disaster

JoJo (my 3-year old, ittybitty cat affectionately known to the world as MoJo-JoJo-Josephine-Baker or "Nyquil Kitty" because she puts people to sleep when she curls up in their lap) swallowed a two-inch sewing needle (one of the big ones meant for putting stitches in denim or canvas) this morning about 4:30 am.

I was at my desk, heard her start to hack, turned around and found her sitting on my sewing table where she likes to pull pins off a magnetic pin tray, bat them off the work table, and strategically place them for collision with bare feet. I noticed the absence of a large sewing needle where I had just two days prior lazily tossed it on the magnetic tray instead of putting it away, thinking, "I hope JoJo doesn't decide to eat the thread on that like Russ Matthews's cat and choke." (Aside: Thankfully, Russ's cat also survived. He found her while the needle was still in her mouth, and he took the time to write about it on livejournal where it seeded my memory and prepared me for the day my cat, too, would play "seppuku".)

The vet that I bombarded with apologies at 5 am told me to *try* to feed her bread and bring her in when the animal clinic opened at 7:30. I corralled JoJo into the bathroom so she couldn't hide under a bed or in the back of a closet. I sat on the floor,
she curled up in my lap, we waited for two hours of barely-controlled panic while her retching went from hysterical to occasional to once-a-quarter-hour.

When I was able to take her to the animal clinic, the vet tech, Mark, whose charming face was all smiles and six inches of a lovingly-tended, luxuriant chin beard (no mustache or side beard, which is an unusual sight), could sense the worry in me and whisked JoJo away for an x-ray. We were lucky — the needle was enormous and JoJo tiny, so it couldn't go very far. The needle had lodged in her larynx and not her stomach, which could have poked holes in her organs and necessitated surgery. So the vet sedated her and pulled it out via her mouth, and all is well. A couple days of amoxicillin and Izzy growling at JoJo for smelling like "the evil place", and we'll be back to normal.

I hope JoJo and I both have learned our lessons — I will put my sewing needles away and she (I daresay) won't pull a lady-and-the-tramp with a deadly object ever again.
the torch-ginger

Worked Hard. Not Done.

Somehow, it was tremendously difficult for me to throw away a bit of ribbon tonight. Seriously. It had no sentimental value other than I'd had it floating around my bedroom for several years. Yet somehow, I was trying to find ways to use it, the dingy old thing, as a bookmark (what it has been used for in the past), a pin-holder, a tie. There were four pieces of ribbon like this, and I only managed to throw away two...Something is buh-roken in Ginger's head.

I worked really hard (for me) today. I swept, mopped, dusted, scrubbed, sorted, stacked, shuffled, and trashed. And I'm not finished. I've got at least another day of this (although that day will probably not be tomorrow; gotta spend most of the day sitting at the Dodge dealership so they can flash the computer in my intrepid).

This is good for me, by the way - working consistently over a longer period of time. I have trouble staying focused unless something is finished in one or two sittings. So even though this cleaning is making up for six months of not-cleaning, it's good for me to learn how to stay focused on a project. It's hard for me to maintain a work ethic over aforementioned long periods of time, if there isn't a pressing deadline, if it's not the top priority, or it isn't in such a terrible state that I'm mad enough to do something about it.

So, it's good, for me.
  • Current Music
    Prince - "Little Red Corvette"
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the torch-ginger


I ruthlessly purged my closet last night.

Only about 25% of the hanging clothes remain on their hangers. The clothes I removed are now packed away into remarkably small boxes, which I labeled "5-15 lbs" and "10-25 lbs". I'm thinking about wrapping each box with birthday paper and an enormous bow. If I shed the amount of weight written on the box, I'll be rewarded with a present; I'll get to wear all these awesome clothes again.

And if I haven't lost the weight in two years, the boxes are going to GoodWill.

As for reaching these small goals (and also the weight-related goals on my 101 in 1001 List), Jimmy and I have made a bet. We have challenged each other to see who will lose the highest percentage of body weight by March 15th. For each percentage point that the other person loses, we will have to pay $100. Example: If Jimmy has lost 8% of his body weight, I will owe him $800. If I also lose 9% of my body weight, he'll owe me $900 (notice in this example I give, I am the clear winner).

Ideally, we will both lose considerable weight, and most of the money exchange will cancel out. However, we both have the potential to make over or LOSE $5000 (Jimmy could make $6000+ if he loses 2/3 of his body, but in 6 months, that would be unhealthy and unsustainable).

I am uncertain as to whether it would be a good idea to get our friends involved (to cheer us on, antagonize us, or make bets on the winner).
the torch-ginger


I love to find unexpected places where wildlife refuses to give up its last, inhospitable patch of land, no matter how many millions of square miles of natural habitat we've stolen:
  • crickets chirping from the potted plants in the Olive Branch Kroger parking lot - last patch of green in a forty-meter radius;
  • the clever, willow-legged spiders that craft their webs in front of my kitchen window (and its never-dimmed stove light) where other insects are sure to fly;
  • a birds' nest cradled in the hook of a neon 'e' in the "Uniquely Southern" sign of Batesville's outlet mall.

Such a mix of emotions - pride for the resilience of animals, shame for the greed and waste of humans, the tiniest spark of hope that almost feels a betrayal.

One day, we'll ruin this place for ourselves, and it will all be yours again.
the torch-ginger

Letting Go

You know, I think I might be ready to let this place go. I logged on to make a post, checked to see if anyone else was actually updating, and most of what I see is twitter account syndication.

It's a shame, only in-so-far as I just bought a permanent account in December (and immediately fell into one of the longest stretches of non-use).
the torch-ginger

Dear President Obama

I just sent a message to President Obama via a White House feedback webform. I plan to send him a fax tomorrow with the same message. I urge all of you to write President Obama and your Senators and Representatives and tell them to provide a public option, and even better, a single payer.

Here's what I wrote:
Please, for the health and welfare of the people who elected you, please provide greater guidance to the senators and representatives in the creation of a health care bill. The bills that are currently being crafted by the Senate and House are ineffectual, lacking any significant change, and will most likely leave us in a worse state than before. This is OUR one chance, in our lifetimes, to make this happen. We need a real, competitive public option (and single payer, too, but you've given up on that) and strong requirements for businesses to provide GOOD health care options. If those things aren't in place, then all this legislation is going to do is stick us with a tax penalty for not insuring ourselves, the same exorbitant prices (on health services and insurance) that we currently pay, and another forty year wait before we have the right political climate to try again. Not only am I asking for you to help guide our Senators and Representatives, I am asking for you to guide ME. Tell ME (and people like me) what I can do to help. I will work with you to make this happen, but I don't know what to do. I live in Mississippi where it seems as if my Senators and Representatives have already made up their minds to sabotage any health care reform. Please, give us direction, tasks, encouragement, anything to pass effective health care reform legislation.
Required reading:
Sick & Wrong
The Five Biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate
the torch-ginger

How to Handle Cross-Posts - Requests for Advice

How do you guys handle cross-posting on multiple outlets, i.e. LJ, twitter, facebook, etc.?

So far, I'm treating twitter and facebook as duplicates, but I'd prefer to include only the most noteworthy posts in livejournal. I suppose I treat my journal as something I will keep for posterity, make a copy locally, and consider printing and binding later in life. As for microblogging, as witty as I like to think I am, I can't imagine wanting to read these things four or five years from now.

Perhaps I should duplicate any significant microblog post here under a private filter so y'all don't have to read them again, but I'll have them in the future when I back up my journal.

Any advice?

As examples, are some of the few microblog posts I'd like to keep:

"Ginger Cox had a Little Miss Muffet experience this morning. Somewhere between the kitchen and my car, a spider decided to jump in my oatmeal. I didn't notice him til I was driving down Panola Street. He threatened to escape and made me chase him all over the top of my oatmeal with my spoon. I was so hungry I ate it anyway...the oatmeal, not the spider."

"I'm on the cusp of social networking technology, if cusp is the guy limping at the back of the drum line playing a triangle three beats late."

"Ginger Cox thinks you should bring as much happiness into your life as you are able."
  • Current Music
    Jimmy is listening to Billy Joel in his office across the house.
the torch-ginger

"Found" Memories

This week, I'm in Hattiesburg helping my sister, Kelli, work on her new house on my dad's family's farm. She inherited it several months ago, along with its reeking carpet, gouged walls, and other disgusting things I'd rather not list in detail. By the time I got there, the most revolting work had been done by my stalwart sister and our unflinching cousins, but I've spent the week detoxing bathrooms, sanding porch columns, organizing cabinets, and today ripping soiled upholstery off antique chairs so that I can refinish them tomorrow.

I've worked harder this week than my wizened work ethic allows in a whole month. After each day's work, I've gotten cleaned up and spent time with family. This extended week has afforded me casual time with my dad's extended family that I've not had in over a decade. Most of my trips home involve dashing among houses over a weekend or, at most, four days during the holidays when enormous food and great-grandchildren steal the show.

I've not been able to "hang out" with my dad's family without scheduling it ahead of time since I was in elementary school when I visited every other weekend to see Dad. Tonight was my last night of the week I could linger at the farm (Mama, Kelli, and I are going to the Coast tomorrow for the evening), so I spun a little genius and came up with a plan.

While sitting on the exposed sub-floor tugging out upholstery tacks with needle-nosed pliers, I saw a bottle of unclaimed (i.e. left on the floor for the last six months) cheap sparkling wine. I also had on hand an empty mop bucket and a fridge that has done nothing but churn out ice for an empty house. So I texted all the womenfolk who were on the farm that night and told them to meet up with me. Kelli brought pizza, I iced down the ballatore in the mop bucket, and I gathered my Gamaw, step-mother Rita, Aunt Alethea, cousin Sarah, and Kelli's roommate Crystal on the front porch of my family's 140-year-old farmstead.

I poured us all a toasting round of oversweet bubbly in red solo cups, and we sat for two hours talking. These are the memories I crave, that I feel like I miss out on by living so far away. It might have been nothing special to anyone else, but it was magical for me.
  • Current Music
    Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Texas Flood"
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the torch-ginger

Broken Promises

I made myself a promise I'd start updating again. It seems like as soon as I bought a permanent account, I stopped even logging in here. I still plan to keep my promise.

I have lots of news I've neglected to post; perhaps that's because I see most of my friends list face-to-face on a semi-regular basis. I finished several medium projects on my 101 in 1001 list. Two weeks after I get engaged, my fiance loses his job.

In the meantime, John convinced me to join the world of the ADHD microblogger. You can find me on twitter as windchas3r. I guess I'll give into facebook, too.
  • Current Music
    Shannon McNally - "Pale Moon"
the torch-ginger

Man Dies, Trampled By Black Friday Shoppers

A temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death Friday in a rush of thousands of early morning shoppers as he attempted to unlock the doors of a Valley Stream, New York, store at 5 a.m., police said. - Source

In an attempt to buy discounted things, you reduced the value of a life to zero. You stole his future. You stole his Christmas. His family will spend their Christmas grieving and will not be able to celebrate a Christmas without thinking of your actions.

How could you not hear his cries? How could you not feel the thickness of his body under your feet? When your feet stumbled over a man's FACE, did your eyes never strayed from the things you'd hoped to buy for yourself or your children who still have their faces?

He has nothing now just so that you could have something for 50% less.

You may have been only one of hundreds of people who stepped on his face, his chest, his stomach, his limbs, but you put yourself in the position to do it. You waited all night, probably, to be at the front of that line. You let yourself be in a place where you had to shove someone else to get something before they did. You chose to live in a world of scarcity rather than a world of abundance.

You chose to make your holidays more about things than about people.

You chose.