Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Post

Not really sure what I want to talk about...my brain is still pretty much a gooey mass from spending time with four kittens who are currently in residence. They're living in the office at present, until they get tested for various feline diseases and can mix with the rest of the gang. I know I'm gonna have to give 'em all up eventually...and it's already a heart-breaking prospect.


I knew this was gonna happen...but it still hurts every time. However, without the emotional investment I put into every cat that comes into my life, even for a short time, I don't think I'd make a good foster mom. These little kittens were on death row in an over crowded shelter, stuck in cages, scared, separated from their mom...they need love. They need unconditional, overflowing, baby-talking, human momma cat adoration until such time they're adopted by an individual or family that'll give 'em the same kind of love.

Yeah, I cry like a baby when they go away. Sometimes I cry in front of the person adopting them. And yeah, I feel like a real ass when I do that. I don't want the adopting parent to feel bad about taking the kitten. But sometimes it just happens.

I managed to get kitten poo on my shirt again tonight. Not sure how, but that's okay. In the course of acquiring my decoration of stinky shit, I had four kittens in rotation on my lap, purring, playing, snoozing...happy. And when I think of their little frightened, sad faces the first night they were here and see the difference...that's worth a few tears. Not to mention a little kitten crap.

So...does anyone want a kitten?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Woman's Brain Melted by Kittens!

No, not a Daily News headline...just the reason I haven't been doing much writing at home.

We recently adopted four kittens who were on death row at the Oakland shelter. This is a foster parent situation...and yes, I have actually fostered kittens and NOT kept them...but I cry every time I give one away.

Anyway, they're very demanding of attention, as are my seven full time feline children. So...most of my time at home is spent catering to cat whims. So cute...

Anyone want a kitten?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Guest Post By the Fabulous Mr. Fabulous!

Yup, I have been honored beyond compare. Mr. Fabulous, has agreed to do a guest post for Zhadi's Den! It WOULD have been up this weekend except for the fact that a: I was too busy playing with kittens to do much online, b: the few times I WAS online my connection sucked and c: I did not, in fact, get the post till this morning 'cause Mr. Fab sent it to my work email. So...for those of you who may have looked for it earlier if Mr. Fab mentioned his guest appearance in his own wonderful blog, sorry for the delay! And now, with no further ado...Mr. Fabulous!

How honored and privileged do I feel to have been asked to guest post on Zhadi’s Den? Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, I’m on top of the world! There is a bounce in my step and a song in my heart as I write these words. There may be other more outward manifestations of my joy as well, but Zhadi’s Den is a PG blog, and so let’s leave the rest to the imagination, shall we?

Why am I so pumped? I’ll tell you why. Because Zhadi is on my short list of Way Cool Excellent Bloggers (yeah, I know, it’s a clunky title for the list, I need to work on that).

Zhadi is a writer, an actress, a swordfighter, a surfer, a martial artist, and a flamenco dancer. She’s like…a superhero.

Let’s face it, she is as close to a slice of Hollywood as I am ever gonna get, except for that time in New York where I tried to get Carol Channing’s autograph and she had her goons stomp me like a narc at a biker rally. Then as I lay there in the gutter on Fifth Avenue, Miss Hello Dolly herself kicked me in the crotch and spit on me.

God, it was great. But I digress.

Plus Zhadi loves the big cats. Tigers, leopards, jaguars…she’s like Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

I cannot help but picture her leading, as Sheila E. would say, The Glamorous Life. I don’t get to see much of The Glamorous Life, you know. I am typing this in an abandoned crack house as I sit on a stained mattress in the middle of a floor littered with rat droppings and empty Colt .45 bottles. And I’m typing it on a stolen computer.

While Zhadi takes her twin ocelots for a walk along the beach during a beautiful sunset, I am trying to run over rats with my three-wheeled shopping cart in the crackhouse.

While Zhadi dines on roasted duck breast with cherry sauce and Kristal champagne in a four star restaurant, I am subsisting on bugs and used gum and drinking my own urine behind an abandoned K-Mart.

While Zhadi hobnobs with the beautiful people in exotic locales and parties all night I am shanking a bum and taking his shoes in the restroom of the local bus station.

So…we travel in different circles, Zhadi and I. But today, just for today…we share the same blog.

I can’t wait to tell my welfare case worker.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son
Originally uploaded by zhadi.
The night after Foster's retrieval, snuggling with Beezle. SOMEone was very glad to be home...

The Great Escape

When Dave and I got home Sunday night after a leisurely and relaxing drive up the coast, the cats were waiting for dinner, but I noticed that Foster was not in the throng around my ankles as I mixed their food. Highly unusual because he's a piglet. Searched the house from top to bottom in case he got in a cupboard or closet or something weird...but no Foster.

The likeliest explanation was that he got out through the garage when the dogwalker brought Boska back from her walk, which meant he was probably in someone's backyard. Problem in our neighborhood is that the houses in the Sunset all have landlocked backyards that butt up against each other on three sides - there's no way to get to them unless you go through someone else's house/backyard. We'd gotten in at 10:30, which is too late to go knocking on doors. So I went up and down the blocks and called him, but got no response. Went into the backyard and called for him...nothing. And it was getting too late to be hollering "FOSTER! HERE, BABY" in the backyard or wandering the streets.

Now I was already dead tired and had a meltdown. Not a tantrum, but a 'my baby is gone and he's dead and I'll never see him again and he's been eaten by wolves' type of crying jag. Couldn't sleep 'cause I kept thinking I heard him meowing for me every time I drifted off. Got up in the morning, called work (I work for the nicest, best people ever) and went outside in the backyard with the tupperware container of dry food, hoping that the sound of food would get his attention. Called and called, shook the damn container...and finally heard him meowing somewhere off in someone's backyard/shed/garage. Foster has a very distinctive meow when he's upset: "MEEEEEEE-OOOOOWWWWWWW!!!" With the accent on the 'meeee', descending on the owwwww.

Climbed a dead tree in our backyard, the branches of which kept breaking off under my feet. Called some more and heard him again. I figured he must be trapped in a shed or garage, because although he kept crying, the sound wasn't getting any closer. So I grabbed his picture and started off around the block, hoping to catch people coming out for work since it was too early to go knocking on doors. Went back home after a half hour of that, went back in the backyard, stood on the picnic table...and saw the little booger in a yard across the way about three houses over.

NO possible way to get to him from my yard, so I figured out which house it was and went hauling butt back around the other side of the block to that house. Naturally there was no one home. So I went to the houses on either side of it, got an elderly chinese man in a smoking jacket to let me in to his backyard, and found my boy on the other side of a very tall chain-link fence on one side, wooden one on the other, with no way to climb out. I tried to coax him down to a tree to see if he'd climb it over the fence, but he was too freaked out to do more than wander around crying for me. Oy...

So I thanked the guy, tried the house next door again, no luck. Decided to go back around the block and see if the people two houses down were home 'cause their yard butted up against the backside of Foster's temporary prison (which was really poorly kept, with rotting tires and all sorts of crap in it. Very Texas Chainsaw).

Rounded the corner in time to see a truck pulling out of that driveway, thought that this would blow my chance to get in there, so I started waving my arms and running after the truck. You have to picture me in baggy yoga pants, an oversized flannel shirt, my hair a flyaway mess...scary woman. I was surprised when the guy actually stopped 'cause anyone in their right mind would have probably gunned the motor and raced away from this crazy dame running pell mell up the street after them.

I explained what had happened with a little difficulty - he was Cantonese and spoke some English, but not a lot. I used Foster's picture as a visual aid and wonder of wonders, the man not only understood me, but agreed to take me into the backyard so I could try and rescue my cat. This involved cutting through a bedroom on the bottom floor of his house, where a young woman was asleep in bed. I was mortified.

We went into the backyard where there was a shed up on a platform at the end of the yard with a four foot drop down to the ground in between the platform and the fence that separated the two yards. Foster came up behind the shed in the other yard, then freaked out when the guy tried to put a wooden ramp over the fence for him to climb on. Hid under some bushes. So...he gets a ladder, puts it over the fence on very uneven ground, holds it for me as I climb over the fence, down the ladder and onto a pile of rotted tires crawling with insects. I had to go over that, under the bushes (also crawling with insects and covered in spider webs) and under a shed (did I mention spiders?) to get Foster out. Then I had to toss him over the fence onto the platform so I could climb back over on the ladder, and THEN I had to coax him out from under the deck at the other end of the yard. When I finally got him and carried him through their house, he howled loud enough to wake the woman sleeping in the bedroom.

Anyway, got him home, fed him, let him wander around the house and reassure himself that all was as it should be, then we took a nap together, his head curled up on my shoulder. He didn't stop purring the entire time. Neither did I, although in my case it would be called 'snoring.'

Dave and I took flowers over to our neighbors last night. At first there was some confusion as to why these two strange Americans were bringing them flowers, but I showed the picture of Foster and the girl who answered the door started to laugh and nod her head. I suspect she was the victim of Foster's morning serenade as I carried him out through the bedroom.

Last night while I was doing dishes, I caught Foster staring at me from the kitchen table, his blue eyes slightly crossed and at half mast. I could hear his purrs across the room. He knows that I'd go through hell and spiders to rescue him. I am Ripley to his Newt.

Get away from him, you BITCH!

That's me.

I may have my shortcomings, but I am a damn fine Mommy. And a very relieved one...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Itchy Feet

It's Friday, it's nearing the time that I'm gonna blow this popsicle stand, go home, and get ready for the weekend. I'm already out the door in my mind. Sometimes it just works that way. Other times I can happily stay at work several hours past quitting time. Today is definitely one of those 'I'm OUTTA here' days. It's been a good day at work; I'm just ready to have a good late afternoon/evening at home.

I'm both looking forward to and dreading the weekend's activities. The dreading part would be a six hour drive through the barren Central Valley to Rosamond, which is out near Edwards Airforce Base in the desert. Drive a few more miles East and you hit the Mojave. This is where my beloved EFBC/FCC is located. Tomorrow night is the Fabulous Feline Follies, one of their yearly fundraisers, and I am once again emceeing the event, with the assistance of Dave as co-emcee. Brian will hopefully make his appearance at the last Twilight Tour in September - he have a fan base from previous years fundraisers who expect to see him for at least one of the events.

I'm looking forward to the actual event - I've missed all of the cats out there dreadfully. Caesar, Meesha, Annie, Cisco, Isaac, Angara...the list goes on. Check out the website, btw, for a lot of gorgeous exotic feline photos. And if you live in the Los Angeles area (or are planning a visit), make sure to take the time to go out there. Entrance fees are only $3.00 per adult and $1.50 for kids between 3-18. The toddlers are free. You will never see such gorgeous animals, most of them highly endangered, in such a pleasant environment from such a close distance. 3 feet away in most cases.

I'm NOT looking forward to the drive there. As I've bemoaned in past posts, the Central Valley is a long, flat stretch of farmland, rest areas and truck stops. It's hellish hot in the summer, dusty, and dry. If you don't have wiper fluid, you're doomed 'cause your windshield will collect dozens of splatted insects during the drive. Shades of green found in nature, but you wish you hadn't found 'em...

I am looking forward to hanging out at my sister's afterward. We'll no doubt have some very good red wine, possibly watch old Star Trek, and I'll undoubtedly fall asleep on the couch in the middle of everything. It's one of my super powers.

The drive home? Well it'll be long, but since we're planning on going up the coast instead of through the valley, it should be pleasant. The route up the 1 though Malibu to Ventura is a gorgeous drive and stress-free, provided you hit it before beach traffic begins. So I'm NOT looking forward to getting up early Sunday morning. But it'll be worth it. Breakfast at Jack's Famous Bagels in Carpinteria, a stop at a winery or two in Paso Robles...Sweet! And hopefully home in time to relax for a few hours before bedtime and the new work week starts.

So...until next week!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good things that have happened this week

1. I received my first official UT paycheck (UT being a partial acronym for the company that I work for, about which I have nothing but good things to say). I was hired on full time as of last Monday and am quite happy with the situation.

2. I received a big old box of U goodies (U being an acronym for UT's mother company, which I'm also very fond of) to welcome me on board. Nifty!

3. I got a gift certificate and award from Westaff as their Associate of the Month for June. Sweet!

4. One of my work colleagues called me 'efficient.' And she was serious! I feel all grown up now...

5. Another work colleague brought me a bottle of cabernet from China to try!

6. Dave got a new job!

Needless to say, some lovely Prosecco was consumed last night to celebrate the occasions. Otherwise, the diet remains in place!

On another note, go check out Mr. Fabulous's new blogsite. Gotta love the noir graphics! I'm very chuffed that he hadn't heard the expression 'Glee Globes' before running into me. Hah!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

On another note...

Why do I do this to myself?

I'm cleaning up some photos for ebay auctions I'm going to put up later, sitting in my favorite rocking chair, iBook on a pillow on my lap...with the Sci Fi Channel on.

TORNADO, NATURE UNLEASHED just finished. Some nonsense set in Romania about a supernaturally caused mega-tornado called 'El Tempestado' or some such crap, summoned by a bunch of nerds in red robes for the purpose of wiping out a village of gypsies. To call the acting of the cast 'wooden' or, in some cases, 'over the top' would be kindness. To call the dialogue 'unrealistic and cliche' would be the understatement of the decade. And the final climactic scene with the hero (who saves everyone by wearing a gypsy talisman...I know, I know, it makes no sense) facing off against the villain as both hover in the air, caught in the tornado's winds...Badness. Oh, and the tornado growls like a monster. I guess I should be grateful that they didn't give it the ubiquitous pteryodactyl squeal/screech that they use for every monster from anacondas to spiders in most of their movies.

And a force of nature would NOT be caused by red-robed dipshits chanting to Satan, okay? That would be a supernatural force. I mean, even the NAME of the movie is stupid.


I saw ads for 'VOLCANO, NATURE UNLEASHED.' The only way to survive the once every thousand year eruption of this particular volcano is to 'solve a prophecy...of survival.' Also on the lineup for today is EARTHQUAKE, NATURE UNLEASHED. It's worse than I thought, people. Can we see a theme here? A lack of originality, perhaps? Can TSUNAMI, NATURE UNLEASHED be far behind? The programming geniuses in the movie department of SciFi Channel could conceivably milk this for a good dozen movies, everything from hailstorms to dust bunnies.

Now some movie about an avalanche is on. I didn't catch the title, so I'm not sure if this is part of the NATURE UNLEASHED series...wait a sec, let me check.

Yup, AVALANCHE, NATURE UNLEASHED. And so far the acting and dialogue is as craptastic and poo-rific as TORNADO. I feel sorry for the few actors that obviously have some talent as they try to overcome their stilted co-stars. I mean, this is so bad that it's making me flinch. I'm waiting to find out if the avalanche will growl.

Why am I still watching this?

I think it's a sickness.

And the snow just growled.

I can't take it any more. I'm switching to NORTHANGER ABBEY.

Momma's little migraine

Remember a few weeks or so back when I had the four day migraine? Well, this is why I got it in the first place. Maddie decided she wanted to sit on Momma's lap, which was already occupied by my iBook. So she slowly insinuated herself up onto my shoulder, where she stayed for an hour or so. The weight of my little purring angel torqued my neck into a very uncomfortable position and put one of the vertebrae (the old C-1) out of whack.

But isn't she adorable?

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I dunno what it is, but I've just got no energy. Is it the South Beach diet, which I started Monday, after a bout of urgly stomach? Dunno. But my engines, they're not firing on all cylinders.

I mean, the South Beach diet is a healthy enough way to eat, even in the first two weeks (otherwise known as Phase 1), which is sans bread, alcohol, fruit and anything high in fat. Phase one allows lots of veggies, lean meats, low fat cheese, nuts, seafood...all stuff that I like. And you'd think that I'd have more energy what with cutting out sugar, right?


After a day at work, I get home, walk the dog, make dinner, and then settle on the couch in true potato-esque style in front of the television. I can see my laptop sitting on its case, but it seems like too much trouble to pick it up. Tonight is an exception, only because I swore on the heads of my cats that I'd at the very least post something on my blog this evening.

I'm hoping that this is just a side effect (affect?) of toxins making their way out of my system and that next week we'll see a new, improved Dana, full of creative energy, one that can't wait to crack the lid on the laptop and write, write, write!

I mean, jeez louise, I fell asleep in the middle of SHAUN OF THE DEAD the other night. It wasn't even 9:00 yet. That's just wrong. I mean...SHAUN OF THE DEAD, people! I think it's a crime in certain countries to fall asleep during this movie.

Monday, August 07, 2006


This is the sound of my stomach talking. I fed it sausage rolls, scones with clotted cream & raspberry preserves, and tea yesterday. It's not happy with me. I was awake most of last night with severe stomach pain, nausea, fever and chills, and sweat enough to float a small boat. I felt cruddy enough, in fact, to take a sick day today, something that I rarely do these days. I have to feel crappy enough to know that if I don't stay home, I'll be even sicker the next day or, like today, know that five minutes on the Muni and I'd be throwing up on someone's shoes.

I'm feeling better now, thank you. But my stomach is still saying "urgle" at regular intervals. So I'm watching THE CAVE, a bad horror movie that T.C. sent me. I figure my stomach is already urbly, so what better time to watch a shitty movie?

No wine, though. No alcohol for two weeks. No sausage rolls either. Which is probably a good thing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I'm taking advantage of the fact that my 'net connection at home is currently up and running to write a quick post. Of course, given the way my computer luck runs, the minute I finish writing, the connection will go all wonky again. Then I'll get cranky (which sort of rhymes with cranky), get in a snit and read my Janet Evanovich book. So there.

I bought a USB wireless access thingee called a Zonet a couple weeks back and have spent two days trying to get the little bugger to work. No reason it shouldn't; I have the proper software upgrade on my iBook, which told me the installation was successful. But when I click on 'Network' to do the final steps to initialize the little bugger, the thing I'm supposed to click on (Ethernet adapter EN1), which is below 'internal modem' and 'built-in ethernet', won't let me check the little box next to it. It's there, but I can't access it. I can click on the other two options, mind you. Just not the one I need.

Why? WHY?!!

I don't want to send Zonet back to Tiger Direct, the online company from which I purchased it. And I don't want to take my iBook to the Genius Bar at the local Apple Store 'cause I can't bring myself to pay $50 right now. See, Dave lost his job (the NYC office changed the position to something that is not his area of expertise), so 50 bucks to find out I'm an idiot and am probably missing something really obvious is just not in the cards right now.

Stupid NYC office. Stupid Zonet!

On the upside, it's really gorgeous here in San Francisco right now. Sunny, with a cool breeze, not too hot, not too cold, not humid, not dry. Kinda perfect. I've spent a great deal of the weekend outside on the beach with Boska. Yesterday she tried to eat four dead birds, stole bait from a local fisherman and trashed a sandcastle. Nothing to take away the appetite like the sight of one's dog carrying a rotting seagull wing in her mouth. She got a bath yesterday afternoon and I tried to rinse her mouth out too. And yet, she still loves me.

Oops! Jen is here. We're having scones, clotted cream and jam, tea and watching Jane Austen movies.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Weird Encounter

I went to the ladies room today and found a pink sweater hanging on the hook in the big stall. I figured someone had forgotten it and would come back for it. When I went back an hour or so later, it was still there. There aren't a lot of women on our floor (there's only three companies in total on the floor) so I thought I'd take it around and see if I could reunite the sweater with its owner.

I went into the first one. I'd met D, the office manager twice, both times in the ladies room. She'd recently replaced my friend, G, but I didn't hold it against her. She seemed nice enough. The second time she'd been doing her hair with a curling iron, which didn't seem weird. What did seem kind of strange, though, was that the curling iron was still in the ladies room a few hours later sans its owner. I've forgotten things in bathrooms before, though, so I didn't think too much of it. It did occur to me, however, that she was a likely candidate as the sweater's owner.

So...I go into her office, smile, and said, 'Hi, I found this in the bathroom and was wondering if it was yours."

She stares at me blankly, no smile. "Yes."

Uncomfortable pause.

Well, this was kind of weird. Maybe further explanation would help.

"Um...well, l thought maybe someone had lost or forgotten it, so I thought I'd check around and see."

"No. It's mine. I spilled something on it." Silence. Still no smile. I felt like I'd farted in her airlock.

"Ah. Well...like I said, I figured maybe someone had forgotten it or..."

"No. You know me."

Um, no, I really don't.

And here comes the kicker. She looks at me a bit impatiently and says, "Is it dry?" The whole subtext being if it's not, I should go hang it back up and mind my own business.

"Um...I guess so. I didn't notice it was wet in the first place." I hold out her sweater, which she takes without a word. By this time, the awkward factor has shot through the roof and I just want to get out of there. "Uh...okay, bye!"

"Bye." And right before the door shuts, as a definitely insincere afterthought, "Thanks."

Okay, is it just me or was this not only a weird exchange, but a rude one as well? And granted there are only a few of us on the floor here, but it seems pretty inappropriate for her to be treating the ladies room as if it's her own. There's no space in her office to hang up her sweater to dry? She's either very trusting, very self-centered, or both.

Whatever. Next time I see something lying around in the bathroom, I'll leave it there. After dipping it in the toilet first.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What Were They Thinking?

Who was the person that chose this man as the face of Enzyte? Is there anyone out there who thinks this is attractive? And do they really want the general public to think that taking Enzyte will give a man this death's head rictus of a smile?

It's enough to put me off sex.
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