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The point is not to forget. [Fuck You Friday]

April 26th, 2013 by

Guernica by Picasso

April 26 is a date that must be remembered.

What happened to Guernica in 1937 needs to be remembered.

Those whose decisions led to this? They deserve invective, death, and remembrance. Fuck 'em.

How can we rise above those who made those decisions? By remembering.

Remember, remember, remember.

Learning about relaxation. [Fuck You Friday]

June 15th, 2012 by

It's a Fuck You Friday.Fu is an expert at relaxation.

Michele asked me to ask Fu about how to relax.

Here's what Ms. Fu had to say on this Fuck You Friday:

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A good answer.

Then, as I began putting together this very post, she did this:

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Thanks, Fu. I'll try to learn from you.

About Grace and cancer.

March 4th, 2012 by

2012-03-03.

She's right here. She's in the room with me right now.

My small friend.

She's my friend. She's my comrade. She has comforted me gently when I was at my most distraught. I love her dearly.

Soon, she'll leave.

She's leaving. I don't want her to leave.

An elegant, brash, long-haired orange cat 14-years old, my small friend Grace has oral cancer. Squamous-cell carcinoma to be specific.

She was just diagnosed last week. Events have been moving chillingly fast.

There are tumors growing along the inside of her lower jaw, even now. Right now. I can't stop their growth. I couldn't stop how large they've become. She is slowly but surely losing the use of her tongue.

A few days ago she could barely eat her customary dry food. Yesterday she could not eat liquified wet food. Today we fed her wet food from a large plastic syringe.

There is no action I can take to stop what is happening. There is no throat I could grasp. There is no extreme thing I could do to parley away or to delay this story's coda. I am helpless.

I am not helpless. Writing this right now is my way of fighting back against cancer.

And here is why: Grace is the best cat I have ever known. She makes it all look so easy. And it's not even quite accurate to call her a cat. It almost talks down to her to call her a cat; I call her a creature. My creature. And I am hers. I live with two strange, singular creatures. I love them both dearly.

Let me tell you about Grace. Grace is contrary. Often are the times when she leaves a room strutting her hips away from appeals for her to make an appearance, her impeccably-kept tail sailing after her like a flag.

Grace is grace.

Grace is loud. There is no sound like it in the world. A demanding atonal honk of a voice: "Weghnr." she'll say, green eyes staring back with authoritative insistence. She'll demand your attention and get it. She declaims. She is calmly persistent. She is sure in her arguments. And when she likes you, she'll pursue with the most indirect maneuvers. First taking over your jacket cast over on the bed or chair, later making her way onto the couch with you. Next thing you know, she's asleep beside you with her chin atop your knee. Her indirect adoring leads over time into open full-fledged adoration. I see what you do now, Grace. Adorably devious.

Grace is comforting. In my time of greatest despair, when I almost lost the woman I love to a car accident, whenever I could be persuaded to leave the hospital, Grace would greet me when I returned home. I'd open the door to a acknowledging Whheghnr. At night, Grace slept at my hip, right near where my hands rest, so I could stroke her fur as we both drifted to sleep.

Grace on my hip.

Grace is insouciant. She knows that she isn't supposed to drink from the toilet and despite having both a water bowl and 60-ounce water mug, Grace makes it her mission to sup from the porcelain chalice as often as she can. When admonished, she doesn't slink from the bathroom -- no, she trots from her arena of infraction, tail held high and proud.

Grace is exacting. No feline has ever operated in such a well-adjusted way when navigating blankets with people under them. Grace isn't afraid of what legs or feet might be doing under sheets and comforters, no. She triangulates where and which lap or leg will grant her the most warmth, and then she moves calmly across the bed (no matter the turbulence), closing in on the chosen site to make muffins (kneading and kneading and kneading). Finally, when she is satisfied, she flumphs down and deigns close her eyes.

Grace is model-quality.

Grace is tough. When faced with a human's (farcical) challenge to her haughty authority, Grace will parade to her scratching post and scratch and scratch and scratch her claws in, all the while radiating defiant vigor. "You dare?" she seems to sneer at her audience.

Grace is unafraid. She's a queen. She appraises. She inspects. She fears nothing on two legs. She enters a room not by the side of the doorway, but coursing right through the middle of it, confident of her place in things. No enemies here, not in her domain, but things to be overseen.

Grace considers whether or not to disapprove.

My small friend is leaving soon, and there is nothing I can do to prevent that.

I can clean the blood and spittle from her muzzle. I can help hold her while she drinks from a plastic syringe. I can brush her still gorgeous fur that she can't bathe herself any more.

She is not in pain. She simply doesn't understand why her mouth doesn't work anymore. She's frustrated. She has gotten slower each day. More spittle around her mouth each day. The spittle slowly grew pinker, and now every so often, redder.

In the past several weeks, Grace took to strongly insisting on drinking from our plastic water cups that we put on the bedside tables when it's time to go to bed. She was getting thirstier and then we didn't know why. She might have been searching for the particular cup of water that would quench the thirst inside her that wasn't going away like it used to when she drank.

Yet even as she weakens, her sharp green eyes still shine with the same bright, brash unstinting love.

Grace loves.

It is among my worst nightmares to go the vet with three members of my family, returning home with only two.

Now, tonight, she sits on the hassock in front of the chair I sit on. As ever, her head is pointed away from me so if she opened her eyes, she could see whatever might be coming towards her. Her ears, though, are cocked back. She's listening to me breathe. She's listening to my fingers stroke her long soft warm orange fur. She's right here. I love her. I don't want her to leave.

Since her sickness has intensified in the last weeks, sometimes I catch a glimpse of her seemingly staring blithely off into the distance at nothing. This is unlike her. I recognize what she is doing. My childhood cat Bowdrie did the same as his organs began to stop working. We are near on towards the end. She seems to be looking at something off over an imagined horizon line, where I imagine that she imagines an oasis of water where she can drink as much as she could want, where she can finally feel as refreshed as she remembers water once made her, and rest.

I know that she's going to leave. I don't want her to leave. She's my friend. She's part of my family.

I can't take the cancer from her. Would that I could. I can't. So this is how I fight: I write about it, I write about her, and now I'm going to tell you what you can do to fight cancer.

Do as many of these as you can:

These are Lauren's awesome knuckles.

These are Lauren's knuckles. They are also awesome.

• 1.) My epic friend Lauren is going to shave her head again for charity to help kids with cancer. She's doing this with the St. Baldrick's Foundation in Chicago. Here is where the money goes to. Lauren is awesome. Fight cancer by pledging money to her charity drive. Do it now.

* Lauren Vega

Participant ID: P-502891 Role: Shavee

I've answered the call to be a hero! I'm having my head shaved to stand in solidarity with kids fighting cancer, but more importantly, to raise money to find cures.

Please support me with a donation to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This volunteer-driven charity funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

Your gift will give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. So when I ask for your support, I'm really asking you to support these kids. Thank you!

Click "Make a donation" to give online, or donate by phone or mail.

Make A Donation

• 2.) If you have a pet or pets or live with someone, stop smoking. Pets in homes with smokers at least two times more likely to develop cancer. Use this as your excuse to stop smoking. Do it.

• 3.) Tomorrow isn't a given. Today: Call or write someone you love that perhaps you'd been putting off contacting. Do it.

2012-03-04.

She left today.

Grace Kelly Blanche DuBois Hirschfeld Rogers, AKA GraceFace From Outer Space – 1997-2012. She won. You won, Grace.

Rest, my little friend.

Goodbye, Grace. I love you.

Goodbye, Grace. I love you.

Hard Work Pays Off

December 9th, 2011 by

Keep working, keep focused, and you can accomplish what you set out to do.

Proof:

Make that moon.

So, yeah. Keep on going. You can do it.

(Via Black Bunneh Sees via design-thinking.jp.)

Get in the ocean. [Do This]

October 3rd, 2011 by

The ocean.

When was the last time you were at least ankle-deep in it?

Get in the ocean.

You should. And soon.

(Photo via thedayafteryoudie.blogspot.com.)

Pick your own speed.

April 10th, 2011 by

All this hurrying

The world is yours when you choose it to be.

2011? Let it come. [Fuck You Friday]

December 31st, 2010 by

It's a Fuck You Friday.Every day is a new day.

Do you know what today is?

Fuck-yes, it's a Fuck You Friday.

One year ends, another one begins. Each day is what you make it. Each day is yours.

Onward, friends. Onward.

Go.

2011? Go.

Rest.

December 30th, 2010 by

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Remembering to rest is important.

Good dog, Lulu.

Do you know what today is? It's Brickday.

October 15th, 2010 by

It's October 15.

That means it's Brickday.

It's Brickday.

Look, it's Brickday at West Portal Station in San Francisco.

Brickday? Yes. Or Brick Day if you like.

Here is how to celebrate this glorious holiday:

1.) On October 15, call in sick to work.
2.) Get a brick.
3.) Take the brick to a bar during the day. Ideally the Stork Club in Oakland.
4.) Set the brick gently on the bar or table.
5.) Drink.

Read the full coverage and listen to the podcast over at The M-OceanView Journal.

And make Brickday your own.

On this Fuck You Friday, be the cat.

October 15th, 2010 by

It's a Fuck You Friday.Yeah.

You know.

You know exactly where we're at.

It's a Fuck You Friday.

And on this Fuck You Friday, be like this cat.

FUCK YOU. I AM CAT.

Yes.

And fuck you.

(Picture via doobybrain.com.)