Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I was named after my father's mother. Her first name was Ouida but her middle name was Elaine.

As a child I hated my name because it wasn't very common and I often was called Eileen or Ellen from kids not familiar with the name Elaine. Popular culture of late has alleviated this unfamiliarity what with Elaine Benes on Seinfeld and Elaine, the uber slutty secretary on Ali McBeal and I have grown accustomed to having a name that isn't exactly common. There is still a sense of amusement upon meeting other Elaine's and I have looked at all of the phone directory pictures of the six Elaine's at my work searching for similarities to my own face. I once had a fairly close friend named Elaine and we always giggled when saying "Hi Elaine" to each other.

Doing a bit of research with my friend Google the other day I found even more references to my name.

Elaine is:

-a construction company in Massachusetts (who own
-a bed and breakfast in New Mexico
-a city in Arkansas with a population of 865
-a high end clothing store in Palo Alto
-a flower shoppe in Buffalo, New York
-a bed and breakfast by the sea in Newfoundland
-the lover of Lancelot
-a fine dining restaurant in Connecticut
-the star studded restaurant in New York (which has veal on the menu by the way)
-the title of a song from Abba

It's a dead end street
They tie your hands and tie your feet
And the street is narrow
A nowhere lane
A nowhere train for Elaine, Elaine, Elaine
You're like a goldfish in a bowl
Elaine, Elaine, Elaine
They have your mind, they'll take your soul
-a verse in the Robyn Hitchcock song Freeze

There's a justice in this world
She's cruel but she's fair
And I know just what she's called
She's called Elaine

I have many times emailed several of these businesses asking if I could order a t-shirt or some sort of marketing material from them but they generally end up thinking I'm rather odd. On eBay I have twice found jacket patches with the name Elaine on them (both of which I purchased). I don't know what the fascination is exactly, maybe I'm trying to reclaim my name by emphasizing how it is not as random as the kids on the playground thought when I was a kid? I fantasize about doing a road trip and visiting some of these places to see if they have a gift store or going to the thrift stores in Elaine, Arkansas and see how many items I can find with my name on them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The transformation from cat lady to cat nerd.

For the first time since I was 19 years old I have less than three cats. Frankly my house seems empty and carefree with Twinky being the only animal I have over the age of 7 or 8 (I forget exactly how old Jingles is at the moment). This causes me to I still a cat lady?

My friend Teagen and I have discussed this label many times before (while Teagen may not currently have any cats she is without question a cat lady). While it is of course mentioned light heartedly, the label cat lady brings with it a stereotype of a spinster woman in tennis shoes talking to herself much like Eleanor Abernathy, the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons. In fact, the image is so severe that a group has been formed to combat the assumption that cat ladies are animal hoarders without a productive connection to society.

Someone once told me that you are allowed to have up to one cat per bedroom in your house without receiving that title. My den is technically considered a bedroom despite the fact that it isn't actually big enough for a twin bed and that it has french doors leading into the living room. That would allow me two cats, which is what I currently have. So I am now declaring that I am no longer a cat lady ("Not that there is anything wrong with that!" she said reminiscent of that infamous episode we all know and love). Instead I declare myself to be a cat nerd. While nerd was once considered a derogatory term it has become an affectionate label of someone who is highly enlightened towards a subject but not to the point to cause alarm.

Of course, one factor threatening to effect my status is Barry White, the previously mentioned stray cat I've been befriending. Just last night in fact I was discussing with him (as he was doing his best to get past the screen door into the living room) that I am not a cat lady and therefore he is not allowed to be "my" cat. I suspect he knows as well as I that I won't be able to hold out for long. As the weather cools and as his health improves (turns out my next door neighbor to the South has been able to pet and romance him just as I have been and I have been treating him with antibiotics left over from Max) I will eventually adopt this very loving and affectionate little critter into my home and become a cat lady yet again.

**For those of you curious about my follow up to vindicating Max's death I offer you these updates. I have filed a very thorough complaint with Multnomah County regarding the two dogs (or really the owners of the two dogs). While I do not wish any harm to come to the dogs I do want the owners to be held accountable. According to the ordinances I have read, the worst that will happen is that the owners will be fined, required to restrain their dogs in a 5 foot enclosure while outside and carry a liability insurance policy.

In order to hopefully (but I am certainly not holding my breath) recoup some of the $1,700 I spent on vet bills I will be filing paperwork to go to small claims court. Yesterday I spoke with an attorney who sued the neighbor of his mother last year for nearly the same identical issue. He gave me a lot of helpful advice and support which will no doubt be of great use to me.

For those keeping track, I am in the "anger" phase of the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Something old, something new

I nested this weekend and this is the new look of my bedroom. The quilt is new (purchased on eBay for 1/2 of retail), the curtain is a freshly purchased vintage sheet from Goodwill, the metal clock on the wall is from Pottery Barn via Goodwill, the nightstand was free from a friend, the little dresser is a piece of doll furniture my grandfather made for my mom when she was a young girl, the metal letter E is from an old marquee, the floral card hanging above that is a blessing with an inscription on the back dated 1921 (the same year my house was built), the metal lamp is old, the lamp shade is from Ross. Something old, something new, but nothing borrowed and nothing blue.

In other decorating news, I purchased this amazing chromolithograph at an auction Friday before last for $40.00.

As soon as I saw it I knew that it was going home with me no matter what I had to pay for it. Turns out I probably could have purchased it a lot cheaper but the people behind me kept bidding against me. We found out too late that we each wanted a different item (the auction was for one of any three art pieces held up at the time). Regardless I got to bring this old, old print home and hang it up in my living room so it is the first thing you see when you walk in my front door. The frame is rickedy and the old glass is broken but to me it is just filled with charm. When you consider some unlucky bidder paid $197.50 for almost the same print (only in an albeit nicer frame) on eBay you realize what a steal $40 really was!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Heart Goodwill

I'm a slut for organizers, containers, most storage paraphernalia. In fact I finally have more organizers than I have things to organize but that doesn't keep me from picking up a good deal when I find one. Hence the two new additions for the craft room. The first is a rolling cart that after a little bath is just like new. I only paid $3.00 for it rather than $19.99 or whatever the original owner paid for it. The second addition is the little three drawer matching unit I have placed above it. That was purchased for $2.00 making the entire set $5.00 when retail would have been over five times that much. They have already been put into play serving as a caddy for my tape assortment, ribbons/strings/laces, glue sticks and such (yes, I have an entire drawer of salvaged glue sticks), adhesives, paints and miscellaneous items such as vintage photographs, Shrinky Dinks and origami paper.

The key to successful artwork is having everything right at hand. Plus it looks cool. Or at least it looks cool to an organizer.

Apparently I'm not the only Yaris fan that likes Goodwill.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Maxwell Silver

Rest in peace, Mister will be missed!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Welcome to my cat blog.

Seems like all I'm doing is talking cats lately...welcome to my cat blog.

We have a new cat tree in the house! At first I had it inconspicuously set to the outside of the living room but nobody would acknowledge it. Tonight I moved it to the center of the living room and it hasn't been empty since. Better entertainment than tv.

The update on Max...he was better then worse, then better, now worse. The last few days it seemed he was well on his way to recovery but tonight he has blood in his urine again. The vet seems to think this isn't that out of the blue as it is supposedly common when the bladder is bruised.

I got the paperwork from the county today telling me who owns the dogs that attacked him. They live three blocks away. Apparently the dogs have been loose many times over the past few years. I really want to knock on their door and give them a piece of my mind but I guess I'll wait and serve them with a court order instead.