Part 2 of My 200th Post Celebration Featuring Your Animal Rescue Stories!

The wait is over! I present the the follow up to the first half of the animal rescue stories sent in to celebrate my 200th post.

(A side note here is that I would be a terrible editor because, while I’ve become somewhat proficient at killing my own darlings, I was only able to bring myself to parse so much from these stories. They were just too excellent. Ergo, a few of these are a little long but they are so worth the read.)

~Emily & Melanie: Just Ducky

My fur baby is named Emily Ann, she is (we believe) a Blue Russian cat. I found her 13 years ago when she was just a tiny baby. I had taken the trash out and it was cold and raining. When I was heading back in I heard this low weak sounding meow. I checked my neighbors steps and found this tiny little ball of sopping wet fur that was just shivering uncontrollably. I immediately swooped her up and took inside with me. I gave her a nice warm bath and wrapped her up in a towel fresh from the dryer. After getting her to eat a little from a kitten bottle she perked up some and decided that I was her person.

I looked at her sweet fuzzy face and just knew she was an Emily (a name I had decided I would name my first born daughter). Emily quickly became nicknamed Ducky since she followed me like a duckling follows its mother. She is now 13 but acts like a kitten still, she also greets anyone who enters her bedroom (it’s really her room I just sleep there, lol) and will answer you by meowing when you talk to her. All in all I couldn’t imagine my life without this amazing, loving cat that I have adopted as my furry child. She is more like a person then a cat to me and I feel blessed that she chose me to be her human.

cat in a box

~Bengie & Emelly: Taking Him From the Streets (Twitter)

I was talking to my eldest daughter in the balcony of our apt at 10:00pm when we saw this white and terrified dog in the bushes in the middle of the avenue. We keep looking to see what he was doing and I started to get worried that a car could hit him. My husband wasn’t fond of the idea to bring the dog up to the apt but I didn’t have the heart to let him be so scare and alone in the street. I changed my clothes ( I was on my pjs),took my keys, went to the elevator ( we used to live on the 11th floor), crossed the ave and look for him. He was near the bushes in the middle of the street and trying to call him so I could get him he got scare, ran and almost got hit by a car. I started to run towards him and took him. We took him to the vet, he was infested with ticks, had skin problems, an ear fungi and low weight. This happened this past February and we would not be happier. He is a healthy and beautiful dog now.
rescue pup, rescue dog, rescue stories, animal rescue

~Katie-bug & J.Day: For the Love of Uneven Floppy Ears (The Ramblings of Charlie Brown)

I think I was about 14 yrs old; it had been about a year since our old dog JR’s death and we were finally ready to get a new puppy and playmate for my Lab mix, Dustie. Mom read about a litter of puppies that had been abandoned by the owners of a house – left in the laundry room. A neighbor heard puppies and had called the city pound.

As we left the house for the pound, Mom said, “They are Doxie/Terrier mixes, long and short hair. I’m going to pick out a short-haired female. Yep. That’s what I want.” Half way there it turned into, “Weeeelllll, any female shall do.” The second we walked into the kennels, “Aw shit, the first one that jumps on me is going home with me.” Fortunately, that was a long-haired female with completely uneven floppy ears.

We took her home, named her Katie (which soon became Katie-bug) and discovered her biggest flaw – she peed every time anyone came up to her. It took us years to break her of that. She fell in love with balls (tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, if it was round and she could chase it, it was her favoritest toy ever). Mom once hid the tennis ball in the desk so the dog would just stop playing fetch, and that dog sat there, staring at the desk for hours – like the desk may throw it and she didn’t want to miss it.

That silly ball-loving-pee-when-I-meet-someone-new-car-sick-getting dog was the most adorable uneven floppy eared dog ever. Until she dropped a saliva-ladden tennis ball in your lap with a big shit-eatin’ grin on her face – for the 700th time in a half hour. Then she was evil. And disgusting. But we still loved her.
animal rescue stories

~Tucker & Stephanie & Shel: The Perfect Mix (Odd Duck Studios)

Lilly is useless as a guard dog, so [Shel and I] agreed that another dog – especially something with a big bark – wouldn’t be a bad thing.

We probably argued for weeks. Shepherd vs. Pit. Breeder vs. Shelter. Shel was worried that a shelter puppy wouldn’t be young enough and, well, we already deal with enough early-life neuroses with Lill. Finally, I think we just sort of put a moratorium on the whole thing.

A little while later, a coworker of mine was looking for a SMALL dog, preferably to adopt. So, there I was, trolling Petfinder.com when I come upon this picture of a puppy who is totally not what my coworker is looking for. This little fella, who they were calling Harley, was there, staring out from between the bars of his cage.

We got to the shelter and asked to see him. Once he had all four paws on the floor, he headed for the door and looked back at Shel and I and barked at us – clearly telling his new Moms that he was ready to go home. Shel tried to be rational and give him a good lookover, but I can tell you that it wouldn’t have done her a whole lot of good to tell me that we shouldn’t take him home.

Tucker will be four in March, we think. We got him on Earth Day – I recycled him instead of getting a new one and let him get “thrown away” – and we’re relatively certain that he wasn’t less than six weeks or more than 8 weeks old. He is absolutely our fur baby and couldn’t be more of a combo of mine and Shel’s wishes–PART SHEPPARD, PART PIT–if he tried. If I am away from home, I miss him almost as much as I miss his Mom. We laugh at those bumper stickers that say, “Who rescued Who?” because that’s us.

animal resue story, pit bull sheppard rescue~Topaz & Michelle: Cat Envy No More

I grew up in rural Georgia and always had outdoor cats. My parents didn’t allow animals in the house, so I knew that once I grew up I’d get a house cat. After I finished college in Boston, all of the apartment buildings I moved to had a no-pets policy, which sucked big-time. Lucky for me the managers of the apartment that I was living in 11 years ago decided to change their policy on pets. Once I found that out, I couldn’t wait to get a cat.

After a bit of research I visited Boston’s Animal Rescue League. On my first visit I saw an older cat that I liked, but he had a heart murmur and I wasn’t sure I could afford the care that he would need. On my second visit I knew I had found “the one”. She was a black kitten with a tuft of white fur on her chest, and they called her Toesie because she’s polydactyl. Toesie was very playful and cute. After playing with her I knew I had to take her home. They told me that she was 6 months old and had been abandoned by her previous owners when they moved out of their apartment. How sad that they would leave such a sweet girl behind!

Once I adopted her, I changed her name from Toesie to Topaz, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Having her in my life has gotten me through some tough times. Men have come and gone, but Topaz has always been there.

(Note from Kat: Topaz is my goddaughter!)
animal rescue stories, cat rescue

 

~Buddy & Lance: Two Guys Living With A lot of Girls (My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog)

My wife, referred to on my blog and medias that are social as The Bobina, works at an animal hospital as an office manager. One morning in May 2009, only a few months after we’d been married, a 3 1’2 year old golden retriever came in that had been abandoned by his previous owners. Because he had heart worms and was much older than most rescues, he would’ve have likely gone to a shelter. We had neither the room nor the time to bring in a family pet, but we figured it out. When I cam home that afternoon, I had a son, a dawg son, to go along with my wife and 3 daughters. Buddy is about to celebrate his 8th birthday. He’s a daddy’s boy who chewed up my wife’s copy of “50 Shades of Grey”.

golden retriever, animal rescue stories

~Kodi & Kianwi: “Let’s Go Home Now.”   (Simply She Goes)

About two months after my beloved dog, Brady died, I was driving past the Detroit Zoo when I noticed a sign announcing their adoption event.  Hundred of dogs and cats from area shelters are brought to the zoo twice a year to hopefully find their new family.  I hadn’t felt ready to get another dog, but on impulse I drove in and began wandering around, looking at the precious poochies.  Though I was occasionally teary-eyed from missing my old dog, I asked to see two dogs that caught my eye, but put both back, saying I would think about it.  Feeling like it wasn’t the right timing, I was getting ready to leave when one of the shelter ladies said, “let me show you this one last dog.”

I looked over to see one of the very few dogs that was just sitting in his cage, not panting or barking, but looking up at me with serious brown eyes.  I got him out and she told me he had been in a shelter in Detroit for 2 ½ months.  I  remember thinking, “oh boy, I just got a new dog.”  I took Kodi to my car, where he hopped right in and sat down, looking at me as if to say, “let’s go home now.”  And we did.  For anyone that reads my blog, you’ll know that I have become his devoted slave ever since .

(Note from Kat: This is Kira’s boyfriend!)

animal rescue stories

~Apollo & Nicki: The Nega-MacGyver (The Loaded Handbag)

I first met Apollo in the parking lot of a Hardee’s. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the 100% legitimate meeting spot of a Carolina rescue organization, chosen for its convenient location off the highway and its proximity to Tidewater Virginia and not, shall we say, for its scenic ambiance. There were six puppies. Five were yapping and whining at the front of the cage. One was sitting by himself in the back, calmly lapping water runoff off the tarp.

I realize this is not the most romantic opening. I realize that a dog licking water off a tarp would not say to most people, “Hey, this dog’s a keeper!” But in my head, I went, “He’s calm! He’s smart! He’s resourceful! He’s like the MacGyver of dogs!

Five years later, I can safely attest my dog is not the MacGyver of dogs. But he is a gigantic goofball, one who would happily spend every waking moment of his life chasing flying objects (literally any flying object. Balls. Sticks. Shoes. Bananas.), engaging in epic battles with the sprinkler, and licking pants. I don’t know, man.

For the first year of his life, this dog kept me sane, kept me company, kept me looking forward to waking up every morning in what became a very hellish time in my life. Luckily, we eventually met someone with a dog of his own, and today we all live together in Brady Bunch-esque combined-family bliss. But as much as Apollo loves the love of my life, I know he’ll always be mine, the one who kept me sane, kept me company through some of my darkest hours.

animal rescue stories

 

~Ashley & Skittles: Just a Handful (Instagram)

I was working in a dog boutique in Irvine, CA last year when we got a call at the store from this family saying they had found a puppy in a dumpster in their apartment complex and could not keep her and wanted to know if we could post a flyer in our boutique to help her find a home. We of course said yes!

They walked into the boutique with this 3 lb little puppy who fit in the palm of your hand. And I instantly fell in love with her. After visiting with them for a little while they headed home to make her a flyer to post in our store. After they left I tried really hard to get her out of my mind but the more I tried to, the more I couldn’t! So the next day I called them and told them I would be interested in possibly taking her and I would be going on a vacation for a couple days and would like to take her to meet my family and see how she was, with the deal that they could take her back for the 2 weeks while I was moving….they agreed and I went and picked her up the next day. Within a couple hours of my vacation with her I knew she was going to be my dog. Fast forward 4 days and I was coming home from my vacation and not looking forward to having to give her back to them while I moved.

The next day I couldn’t stop missing her, and 2 weeks seemed so long, so I did some begging and pleading and got the go ahead to move into my new place a week earlier than planned so I could go get my four legged little girl. I went and picked her up with my car loaded with boxes and she and I moved into our new place and started our life together. She is the craziest and most high energy pup I have ever had, but she has been my best buddy and wing woman this past year and has been by my side through 2 moves, my dad losing his battle to cancer, and a heartbreaking break up with the man of my dreams! When she walked into my life it was apparent she need someone (who turned out to be me), but what I didn’t realize was I needed her just as much as she needed me.

mixed breed, animal rescue stories

~Asta & Tara: Kintsugi (Thin Spiral Notebook)

One reason we were so charmed by [Asta], is that she is physically challenged. She will have a pin in her hip, a remanent from her surgery, for another month. Her injured leg appears shorter now, and the prognosis is that she’ll always have a limp.

For older dogs, imperfect dogs, it’s much harder to find Forever Homes. We sought out such a dog, mainly on the expressed wish of our son. Being a bit different himself, he can empathize and wanted to give a loving home to a needy pet.

Watching Asta peacefully sleeping this morning, the Mister mentioned how much happier she seems, and asked if I was still glad we adopted her.

“Do you still like your smelly, broken Valentine gift?”

I told him about the Japanese tradition of repairing broken pottery with gold-filled resin. The art of Kintsugi, “golden joinery,”  mends shattered vessels so that they are considered better and more beautiful.  I said I thought of Asta like that. She was broken, but with all the love we can offer, her wounds would mend and be made more beautiful.

labrador retriever, animal rescue stories

And that concludes my 200th post celebration! Thank you all again for being here and reading, and an extra thanks to the people who sent me their adorable stories.

My 200th Post Celebration Has Gone to the Dogs! And the Cats! PART 1

This is my 200th post.
And it’s HUGE!

First of all, the fact that I, an extremely slow writer with the most erratic life which simultaneously creates inspiration for posts yet prevents me from having the time to actually write them, have completed and posted two-hundred entries is bloody monumental.

Second, it’s quite literally huge because when I put out the call in my last post for your animal rescue stories, I wasn’t sure how many of you would have time to respond, but lot of brilliant peeps came through big time. You came through so much in fact that, despite editing your stories a teeny bit where I could, there was just too much love to put in a single post so this is the first of two celebration posts. When we party we party big up in here, yo!

Part Deux is going to run on Thursday (statically the other high traffic day and I want everyone to get as much exposure as possible…and because I’m not off until Wednesday and I’ll need to sleep at some point this week) so make sure to come back to read the rest of these wonderful tales of rescue love.

As I mentioned above, I work a lot of hours (pretty much all of them between writing and my second job) and whenever one of your stories popped up on my phone it truly made my day, so thank you all so very much for sharing them with me. Not only did your stories make me smile (and sniffle in a few cases) but they are the very things that make a difference in spreading the word about how awesome it is to adopt an animal. As most of you know both Kira and Seamus were rescues so it’s a cause that is very dear to me.

Finally, thank you, thank you, two hundred times thank you for being here and reading my what-the-fuckery and helping me to reach this landmark. I’m a writer which means that I can’t not write but it means the world to have you all here to read it. MASSIVE GROPING HUGS TO YOU!

And now without further ado, here are your animal stories! PART ONE!

~Brody & Stacy: The Bromance (Instagram)

I didn’t think I’d get another fur kid. I saw something on facebook about a dog at a shelter an hour from my house and I just remember thinking how awful it feels to be left alone. As I was walking around [the animal shelter] wondering what to do (and panicking because I *could not* leave without bringing a pup home (I can’t articulate that feeling)), I saw a brown bear right there in a cage. Good God he was huge. And his fur! If an afro and a cloud mated, the result would be what I was seeing before me. And I met Brody. In the 10 or so minutes we spent meeting each other, he showed me no less than 15 facial expressions, a freckled tongue and a gentleness that surprised me.

It’s been three weeks today since we rescued each other. He is kind and gentle and playful and curious and still tilts his head when he’s confronted with anything out of the ordinary. And I’m lucky. It boggles my mind why anyone would get rid of him voluntarily (the story was a “change in lifestyle” and that “he doesn’t get along with other pets” which is ridiculous), but I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m going to write the shelter a letter and a separate one and ask they forward it to his previous owners. Thank you, Person Who Didn’t Want My Dog.

nightmare dog, animal rescue stories

~Roxxi & Gina: Pibble Love

Roxxi is the sweetest girl & best companion anyone could ask for! I went to the shelter in search of a puppy. I sat cross-legged in the middle of the floor amongst all of the dogs & Roxxi came right up, crawled into my lap & laid her head on my shoulder, we’ve been best friends ever since. She was due to be euthanized & I just couldn’t let that happen. I could say that I rescued her that day…but really, in every way that counts, she is the one who rescued me!

animal rescues

~Alexandria, Nineveh, Lucy & Brenda: Finding Out You’re a Dog Person

I found Alexandria & Nineveh in a shelter in South Carolina around 2005 or so. Alexandria convinced me to take her and her sister home, and they have been running the household ever since. (Though I suspect that Nineveh is really the evil genius behind most of their plots).

Lucy adopted my father-in-law several years ago. The story goes that he was at work (I believe he was repairing engines at the time), and Lucy walks into the workshop, walks past several of my FIL’s coworkers, and sits in front of him with a look as if to say “You’re the one. Take me home.” He got her a bowl of water and they were inseparable until just this past year. Sadly, he was diagnosed with ALS last year, and the rapid progression of the disease has made it impossible for my in-laws to give Lucy the time and space an active dog needs. Keith and I took her in, and she has since convinced me that I was, in fact, also a dog person. (I swore I wasn’t, but holy crow I love that dog).

cats, dog

Note from Brenda: Lucy broke her leg in the backyard at the beginning of the summer in a suspected squirrel-related mishap, but she refuses to tell me the details. I think the squirrel won that day. That’s why she’s wearing a cast in the picture. It has since come off and she is running around chasing squirrels and rabbits once again like the vicious hunter (not really) she thinks she is.

~Ozzie & Nancy: Brotherly Love (This Crazy Life of Mine)

We adopted Ozzie in April 2011. We had a crazy idea to adopt a brother or sister for Blue who we had since early 2010. The Humane Society of Pinellas County happened to post a video one day of an Australian Shepherd that had been dropped off by it’s previous owner because they had to move. That video sent me to the Humane Society immediately to meet him. He was shy and timid and oh so handsome. Someone else was in the process of adopting him, but it fell through and we were next on the list. Later that day, we took Blue up to meet him as they recommended. They didn’t even look at each other and we decided that was all we needed to take Ozzie home and spoil the heck out of him.

Ozzie has come so far 2 1/2 years we’ve had home. He came into our home unsure of how to act around my husband, very timid, and afraid of little things like a belt being picked up off the dresser and more. We realized very quickly that he probably did not live in the best circumstances prior to our home. We worked with him closely every day and he is now a happy go lucky dog who is so happy to be in our home.

Ozzie and Blue get along like most “brothers”, sometimes they drive each other nuts, but it’s also not uncommon to find them snuggling on the floor or couch. I am thankful every single day that we rescued Ozzie and have given him a home where he is spoiled rotten. He is incredibly loyal and he just wants to be loved. We joke about how the dogs don’t live with us, we live with them. They are our children and we love and adore them.

australian shepard

~Bear & Andrea: Ten Acres and a Dog  (My Everything Corner)

We had been living at our new home on a 10 acre piece of land for nearly a year, when I decided that enough was enough. Being that I am often alone out in the yard, I deserved a dog, the large space deserved a dog, and a dog deserved the large space.

It didn’t take too long looking at nearby shelters for our puppy to come in. The story was that he’d been dropped off in a Saskatoon parking lot with two young girls. Their big hearts took him home, but being that they already had a dog, and she didn’t get on well with Bear, they would have to take him to the SPCA.

We drove the 3 hours to Saskatoon, fell in love, and brought our new puppy home. His looks, his disposition and his size would suggest that he is Tibetan Mastiff cross.

It’s been well over a year, and with lots of training and even more love, we have the perfect dog. And myself, Bear and our 10 acres couldn’t be happier.

~Yoki & Bryan: Not Your “Classic” Rescue But a Rescue All the Same (A Beer for the Shower)

I rescued Yoki from a pet store. I know, that almost sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out. I was at the mall one day, walking by the pet store, when I saw this poor disheveled dog looking out at me from behind a glass cage. She was sharing a much-too-small pen with a huge bulldog that had been bullying her. Her hair was matted, her ears were down, and the fur on her tail had been chewed off completely to the point that her tail was nothing more than a limp noodle covered in red, raw flesh. I’ll never forget the sign that was posted beneath her.

“$100. Please take me.”

It was Christmas time. Everyone else was so excited to look at the other dogs and bring home a cute, well groomed puppy for their Christmas gift, but no one was even giving Yoki a second glance. And her, she just sat there, helpless, staring at me. Whimpering. Pleading with me to help her. She was getting old for a puppy – 6 months according to her tag, easily the oldest dog in the store – so I walked up to the counter and asked the girl what they did with puppies that didn’t sell once they got too old. The girl said, “We’re not allowed to disclose that.”

AKA they were going to put her down.

I saw potential in that dog. I knew she could be beautiful if the right person just took care of her, and nursed her back to health, and loved her. I knew that person had to be me. I knew if I walked out of that store that they were going to put her down. That I’d regret it for the rest of my life. I bought her on the spot.

She’s been my best friend for 7 years now, and even though I got her at a pet store** (the very place I hate), I have no doubt in my mind that on that day I saved her life.

**Said “pet store” has since been shut down
animal rescue stories, american eskimo, eskie

(By the by, Yoki is Kira’s unrelated nearly identical twin and if you want to read the comic that they made together then you can check that out here.)

That concludes PART ONE of my 200th post celebration, but please make sure to come back on Thursday for PART TWO and read the rest of the stories because they are all so heart-warming and adorable and so worth the read.

Get Ready FOR EPIC AWESOMENESS!

To quote Dave Chappelle who was quoting Rick James: “It’s a celebration, bitches!”

Or at least it will at my next post, which will be my 200th post!

american eskimo, eskies, dog, 200th post

I knew that I wanted to do something special for this landmark post but I couldn’t think of anything until the other week when one of my Facebook friends mentioned that she was going on a roadtrip to bring home a pup from an animal shelter. That’s when it struck me that I wanted to celebrate by having my 200th post dedicated to the awesomeness of animal rescue. I could do this just by talking about my own experience since both Kira and Seamus are rescues but whether I’m celebrating the anniversary of my BONing or my 100th post, I like to include other people and pimp the love out. Also, since I personally know that many of my awesome peeps have rescue stories of their own, I decided to open the floor–in other words, I want to hear your stories of rescue love and share them in numero 200.

I’ve already put the call out on Facebook last week and have received some completely face-meltingly adorable stories but there’s plenty of room to add more stories and to get yourself so exposure since I’ll definitely put a link to your blog or twitter or Instagram or whatever you want. Email me at katsidhe@gmail.com and send me a pic of you and your rescue dog/cat/ect, and a brief bit about them. I’m taking submissions until October 12th which is a little over a week so make sure to send me your stories ASAP, peeps!

LET’S PARTY!

PS-I made a form below that you can use to send me your info information but the only problem is that I don’t think you can use it to send a pic. And given my recently documented lack of computer skillz the odds aren’t good that I’ll figure out if this is possible, but I’m leaving it on here in case it helps anyone.

More Shit That’s Pretty Cool!

I feel like lately my posts sound like a first grader coming home from school hyperventilating to their parent about everything that happened that day.

“And then this happened and this happened and then THIS happened!”

But a lot has happened already this year and I’m still trying to organize and process it, and I’m bringing you all along on the ride because who likes to go on road trips alone right? I mean, it’s a lot easier to siphon gas from people’s cars when you have a lookout.

That said, I’ve mentioned in passing that I have some heart issues.

Over the past twenty years I’ve been to half a dozen cardiologists, tried a number of medications and had surgery twice. It seemed like the last surgery I had in 2010 had done the trick until about June of last year when I started to really feel like shit again. I didn’t want to have another surgery I had to go down the medication experimentation route–and let me tell you how much fun this was because I’m one of those people where if there’s a 1% chance of a bizarre side effect I will be that 1%.

Over the year I ended up trying so many different meds that I was seriously losing track of which one I currently taking. In April the doctor decided to think outside the box and prescribed me two new meds. The first thing that I noticed when I picked up the meds from the pharmacy was that the one bottle was a lot larger than usual. I unscrewed the cap and made a face at the contents.

“Holy shit these things are huge! Are you sure they’re meant for humans and not for horses?” I asked him.

“That’s them,” he replied without looking up.

“Well there should a Linda Lovelace instructional video that comes with them because I have no idea how I’m supposed to get these down my gullet.”

The eighty-year-old pharmacist finally gave me his attention and gave me a dirty look. That was good enough for me so I grabbed my bag of horse pills and left.

I took the pills as soon as I got home–which was not the best idea since I was going to fall asleep soon but I’m impatient like that.

And this is going to sound cliched but when I woke up the next morning I already felt like a different person.

Seriously it was like this:
awwww yeeaaa riding on a t-rex

Over the next three months I continued to feel better but it wasn’t until I happened to see a recent picture of me next to a picture from a few months ago in a Facebook album that it I realized just how shitty I had felt and how shitty I looked this past year.

I’m not completely fixed–I still get tired and I still have the occasional arrhythmia–but I’m feeling so much better and most importantly I’m writing a lot more efficiently since I’m not fighting to stay awake all the time. That right there is worth choking down some horse pills every morning.

That Noise You Heard Was Just Me Screaming My Face Off

I’ve had a number of different jobs throughout my life but there has never been one as difficult as being a writer. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I work at least 100 hours a week. Seriously the only breaks that I take are when I go to the gym for half an hour or when I’m at my part-time-get-me-out-of-the-house-so-I’m-not-a-recluse job. Some people would argue that this isn’t healthy but welcome to a writer’s life. It’s long hours of work coupled with even longer hours of waiting. I truly believe that writing is a calling where you either are a writer or you’re not because no sane person would choose this career. Hell there have been many times when I myself have questioned if I’m making the right decision to pursue this dream and if I shouldn’t just get a comfy 9 to 5 job with health benefits, vacation time and a 401K.

Then something brilliant happens.

Your work is published.
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk
“Steaming into a Victorian Future” is the textbook used in the University of Maryland Alternate History course.

And my work is referenced in it.

I’m referenced in it.

Four. Fucking. Times
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk, calen spindler

I did not even know that “Alternate History” was a legit course but apparently it’s more popular than I thought, in fact it’s a course in universities all over the world. Guess which textbook is the new “go to” book used for all of those course.

Yup.

I’m being read in universities all the way down in New Zealand and Australia.
steaming into a victorian future, steampunk, alternative history college course
I want to cry and laugh and scream and throw up at the same time whenever I think about it.

I’m published.
In academia.

Me.

The dumb broad who has always been recognized for her chest rather than any so-called talent…

…who was encouraged to marry rather than pursue a career…

…who didn’t even go to college herself…

…is being read in universities all over the world.

And that’s why I screamed my face off.
im so happy, happy screaming

Let’s party, peeps.
Thank you so much for believing in me.

The Hoo-Ha Freezes in Hell AKA The Polar Bear Plunge Recap!

freezing unmentionables, frostbite on my unmentionablesWell, we did it. We plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of January.

And the verdict of it is? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It definitely helped that the air temperature was 46 degrees–and I am extremely grateful that God smiled on our stupid asses and waited until this week to send the current deep freeze which we are experiencing on the US east coast–but that said, it’s still no picnic to be standing on a New Jersey beach in nothing but a bathing suit in the middle of Winter.

I woke up on Plunge Day and my nerves immediately started twisting my guts into knots. The first thing that I did was yank my hair into a set of messy pony tails because when you are going to plunge into a cold ocean you really don’t give a fuck about the world seeing you looking like the dirtbag that you really are.

polar bear plunge wildwoodAfter a very *ahem* entertaining hour and a forty minute drive to the shore, my mother, brother, Jewels and I arrived at the check-in point at the Wildwood Convention Center. I noticed that I was shaking–not unusual for me with my arrhythmia–but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t my blood sugar dropping so I crammed a piece of a bagel into my face despite my jumping tummy. Finally at 12:30, the organizers began to herd us all out to the beach. Now, the thing that I don’t like about Wildwood is that the beach is hella long–you have a decent hike to get to the water line–so I’m not surprised that they made us move out that early since the Plunge was at 1pm sharp. The problem with this was that you had half an hour of just chilling freezing on a beach, staring at the water and thinking ‘what the fuck am I doing?‘.

The plungers had their own roped off area where we were gathered into our huge group to countdown and then take off for our freezing Hell together. I had noticed in our “Plunge Packet” of info that it suggested that if it was your first plunge to not go near the front of the group so that you could go into the water at your own pace… so who wants to guess where we stationed ourselves in the group? Yup. Right near the front.

polar bear plunge wildwoodIn typical Kat fashion, my countdown was off and as I was screaming “Four!” the pack started taking off. Nonetheless I grabbed Jewels’ hand and began running, too. I’ll be honest and say that I kinda, sorta don’t remember details about the run because I was so jacked on adrenaline and just determined to get as far into the ocean as I could before cold/nerves/my heart gave out that I went on auto-pilot. I remember screaming as we approached the water at full speed. I remember losing my flip flops as soon as we entered the water and not even considering to stop and pick them up. And then the next thing I knew the waves were crashing around my waist and I was only a few feet from the wall of life guards stationed in the ocean at chest height to keep the plungers from going too far.

I’d made it!

I turned around to Jewels, held my fingers up to do a “1, 2, 3!”, grabbed my nose and then dropped my full body into the water as a swell came. As soon as I stood back up, I started to feel dizzy and was having trouble breathing. Jewels had stood up too but since she couldn’t feel her feet she ended up falling back into the water for a second dip. She managed to gain her balance and we started trudging back to the beach. I fucking hate admitting this but I was really struggling and it was only the thought that if I passed out that it would be into freezing water that kept me upright. Jewels may not have known it at the time, but she was holding me up during our celebration hug when got to the shore. The good news though? When you are about to pass out you feel warm so that when we reached the beach, while most people were beating it for the towels and robes, I was just like “Nah, I’m good, don’t need the towel right now”. I eventually did wrap myself up and then we began the hike back to the convention center where they would have lunch for us.

When we reached the ramp to get onto the boardwalk there was a huge clot of people made up of both plungers and spectators making their way on the boards.
“I think that if you didn’t plunge that you should have to wait and let us dripping wet people go first!” I complained to Jewels.
A lady in front of us who was bundled in a hat, gloves and jacket turned around and stepped aside so that we could walk ahead of her. I was shocked because I spout off so much goofy shit that I’m used to people not taking me seriously, so I felt like a jerk and started stammering and apologizing. The woman was really, really sweet though and just smiled and told me that I was completely right. (I still felt like an ass though.)

The food at the lunch was, um, rather… not good. But it was food and it was warm and it as nice of them to provide us with lunch in the first place so I didn’t complain–especially because each plunger could bring a guest to eat for free, too. While we were eating the Special Olympics athletes came on the stage and did a group bow to say thank you, and if the chicken soup didn’t warm you up then that certainly did.

Believe it or not, even though this entry is long, this is actually the condensed account of The Polar Bear Plunge. There was so much that happened, and it was just such an incredibly fun experience. To help convey more of what it was like, we shot a lot of video and then put it all together into a mini movie. It’s long, but I think it’s entertaining enough to get you through 17 minutes. 😉 (FYI, watch to the end for an Easter egg–especially if you’re a fan of my dog, Kira.)

Finally, another huge thank you to our supporters. I’ll be putting your links in my sidebar very soon!

PS-This is so Number 11 on my List of Shameless Shit: “Dress to show some skin” because putting on a bathing suit is daunting enough, but you have to be completely shameless to put one on in the Winter when you’re pale and not only at your “Winter weight” but at your “writer weight” where you have been too busy with edits to hit the gym. Not. Attractive.

100 Times 7 Is Me Talking A LOT!

7 x 7 blog awardSeveral months ago I was tagged a the “7×7” meme by the lovely Nikki at My Cyber House Rules. (If you’re not reading her then you really need to check out this kickass roller derby chick.) It works out well that I hadn’t done the meme yet though because it’s perfect for my 100th blog post. Which this is.

I originally had something else in mind for my 100th post, but I would have needed to do some creative preparation and I ran out of time. I’m storing the idea though and I’ll bust it out on another time, like for my 143rd entry or something.

In the mean time here is the 7×7 Meme!

1. My Most Beautiful Post
It’s so difficult to choose since all of my posts are overflowing with eloquence and beauty.

Oh wait.  I meant that it’s so difficult to choose since all of my posts are overflowing with profanity and sarcasm. Right, right…

Okay, I guess I’ll go with “Skippable Red Entry“. The introduction is my usual ridiculous burblage, but the entry itself is based on the Studio 30+ Prompt “red”. I did a poem for the prompt and I thought that it turned out kinda pretty. I also received a lot of very kind feedback from it, which meant much since this was the first post I did that was creative.

2. My Most Popular Post
This way easy enough to find since my little sidebar gadget already lists the most popular posts, and sitting at the numer uno spot is “A Very Kat Sidhe Christmas”, because you can’t spell “dysfunction” without “fun”. You also can’t spell “unconscionable” without “scion”.

Also, isn’t it interesting that “brood” can mean “descendents” or “to worry”?

Vocabulary can be fun, kids!

3. My Most Controversial Post
This is surprisingly difficult. You would think that with all my cursing, drinking and writing smut that I would have stirred up some time of tempest, but I guess I do it with such charm that I can get away with it. I guess I’ll go with “How Not to Write Smut” since it’s pornographic writing. Very horrible pornographic writing, but pornographic just the same.

4. My Most Helpful Post
My posts are like oysters with each one containing a pearl of wisdom. I seriously should be living on a mountain in Tibet with pilgrims scaling snowy peaks to seek my sage council. I’ll go with “How To Have a Lasting Romantic Relationship” though.

That’s right, eat your heart out Anne Landers.

5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
I could go with a number of entries listed in the “Greatest Hits” sidebar, but I know that a few of them are only popular because the pictures in them show up in images searches and that’s why they are clicked.

Can it be a page? Fuck it, I’m going with a page.

My “About Me” page gets a lot of reads and that surprises me.  It’s apparent from my entries that I’m a disturbed person and I’d think that people wouldn’t want to peer further into my brain.  For God’s sake, you might fall in and then you would be fucked!

6. A Post I Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved
I’ll go with “Here. Which Is Short For ‘Here I Am Rock You Like a Hurricane”, since I wrote it when I had about ten followers and it’s another entry about my habit of doing things without thinking.

7. The Post That I am Most Proud of 
You know what I writer freak I am? It’s really bothering me that the title there is written in incorrect English. I could fix it, but I cut and pasted this meme and I’m too lazy to correct it.

At the risk of sounding sappy, conceited and just like an all around prat, I have to admit that, as ridiculous as most of my posts are, I’m actually proud of them all.

As I said in my Thanksgiving post, whether a post of mine is a lot of goofyass nonsense or if it’s a serious one, I’ve always tried to still be myself.  I can stand behind all of them and say that they are me, and that’s admittedly been scary at times. There’s been fear that people wouldn’t understand my warped sense of humour and not find me funny, and then there’s been the fear that, after people did find me entertaining, that they would reject me when I chose to be serious. Despite the risk though, I would hate myself if I wrote something I didn’t believe. I think that Harlan Ellison said it best: “[Writing] means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possibility of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear.”

Thank you all for attending the circus that is my brain.

*BIG GROPING HUG*