It was unseasonably warm on December 31, 2004 and me, Kristyn and Amanda had no plans. We decided that this would be the year that we’d brave Times Square for new Year’s Eve. Unlike the thousands who’d arrived to secure their spot at like, noon, we showed up around 7pm. We’d all had to work that day and weren’t interested in finding a way to hold our bladders from noon to midnight in the middle of Manhattan.

Even at 7pm, it was pandemonium. People were EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t even actually GET to actual factual Times Square anymore. All those sections were LONG taken and closed off by the NYPD.

We entered a maze of areas sectioned off with metal police horses. In each area, there was a set of police officers. You had to show your ID to the officers if you wanted to advance to the next level. It was so weird.

We finally got to the section we’d be in for the rest of the night. When I say it was “unseasonably warm”, it was probably 45 or 50 degrees outside, which is pretty warm for New Year’s Eve.

Because I have no sense, I took this to mean that it was beach weather and wore a flimsy jacket. I mean it IS still December/January and it IS still NYC and it IS still winter so I don’t know what I was thinking. So we spent a lot of time concocting ways to make our bodies fit in such a way that we were all always siphoning heat off of one another. There was nothing better to do.

It was weird to be in that caged up like that. You weren’t allowed to leave at all and if you really really HAD to leave for one reason or another, you’d probably never find your way back because of the elaborate (and necessary) screening process you have to endure on the way in. So we just willed ourselves not to urinate. We noticed that there were food vendors cleverly selling pizza and other things from the sides of the cages. Naturally we threw ourselves at the screaming melee of people and ordered a pizza. There were pizza boxes fng EVERYWHERE. We even scooped some of them up so sit on so we wouldn’t have to sit on the cold ground.

In front of us were a bunch of Norwegian tourists. They really made us happy. They were just so joyous and excited. If not for them, our moods would have soured with a quickness because unlike most New Year’s Eves, there are no couches to sit on, no champagne to sip, no hors doeuvres to much on. It’s just you, a cardboard box, the NYPD and a thin jacket.

After five HOURS (I don’t know how the “noon people” do it), it was time for the ball drop. We could see the back of it as it dropped but not for its entire trip down. As it got toward the “3…2…1” position, the buildings covered it up. Such is life. In the distance, we saw a ton of confetti rain down on the crowd. In our area, we were confetti-free, woo.

So basically immediately after the ball dropped, the entire crowd about-faced and started walking toward the train stations. So, we followed suit. We got back home probably about an hour later and didn’t want to go to bed yet. So, we decided to go to the Loop Lounge.

We’d bought “2005” sparkly glasses on the street in NYC and were still wearing them when we accidentally cut off an entire line of people waiting to get into the Loop. We literally sailed right in like we owned the place. The bouncer knew us and just let us go. We didn’t find out until later what we’d done. We were stone cold sober, just idiots. He’d been holding the line and letting people in as other people left so as not to overload the place and here comes our asses…OMG.

Inside, people were dancing and having a good time. We got some beer and started dancing too. Some gal was wearing a gigantic dunce cap that said “2005” on it. She approached me and asked if she could wear my glasses for a little while in exchange for her allowing me to wear her dunce cap. Of course, I agreed, thinking it would be a “little while”.

I was keeping an eye on her because I didn’t want her walking off with my glasses. I’d sat on the ground for five hours in NYC and probably had hemorrhoids now to earn those glasses. I lost track of her and got really pissed off at myself for letting that happen. BUT THEN.

I saw her in the crowd. She saw me see her and kind of tried to skirt away. I grabbed her arm and asked for the glasses back. She suggested that we keep the trade as it is. I told her that I went to Times Square and bought those glasses. They’re a keepsake and I want them. She actually told me that she knew that’s where I’d gotten them and had hid from me the entire night hoping I’d get drunk and forget so she can keep them. I snatched them away from her and plopped that stupid dunce cap back on her head. Haha…Shit.

Times Square!

A little later that month, George H. W. Bush was going to be sworn in for his second term. Like I said in my last blog, me and Kristyn were mad as hell and we weren’t gonna take it! We had enough bees in our bonnets that we decided to drive down to DC and protest the shit out of that inauguration and that is exactly what we did.

Krissy and Riot Police, haha.

We stayed in Bethesda, Maryland and took the Metro into DC on the day of the inauguration. It was craaaaaaazy there! Speaker systems everywhere broadcasting news coverage of the event. Barricades up everywhere. Riot Police on motorcycles, on horses, on foot. Protestors, revelers, families, DC Fat Cats. It was incredible.

And it was COLD. Oh my LORD was it cold. BUT we had bugs up our butts and we weren’t happy about it so we braved the cold so’s we could use our right to dissent in the form of a middle finger to the Commander in Chief. (Any Bush lovers reading this, settle down because if you could give President Obama the finger you’d revel in the opportunity especially in such a heated election as this had been.)

The crowd was crazy and super tense. The GWB fans were holding three fingers up in righteous indignation at the protestors’ signs. Me and Kristyn hadn’t thought to make any signs so we found some posterboard and scribbled some shit on it, haha.

So earnest.

There were like Puppets of George Bush, posters claiming all kinds of things like that Bush was responsible for the downturn in the environment (which he is) and that he is responsible for trying to tear down women’s rights (which he is) and that he is responsible for starting a war we can’t win (which he is) but whatever I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s just say it was interesting to see and leave it at that.

Some of the protestors were ridiculous and made us cringe. Like why would you riding unicycle in a clown suit while banging a drum make the Republicans say, “Oh they DO have a point there, don’t they?” That’s the kind of zealot I can’t stand…the ones who are there just to soak in the chaos of the moment and act a fool. Whatever.

I wanted to run through this banner so bad.

The FUNNIEST part though was the DC Fat Cats though. Here we all are, jammed into our winter coats, thermal underwear under our clothes, scarves covering our mouths and noses to keep warm. And here comes the Fat Cats. The men were decked out in tuxedos with calf-length expensive black wool coats and cravats. The women had ankle-length gigantic fur coats. You couldn’t have created a more divisive statement if you WANTED to.

So we got us a spot right on Pennsylvania Ave a couple of blocks down from the White House. There were sharpshooters on the top of all of the buildings. Decked out in all black, you could sometimes see their silhouettes when they stood closer to the edge of the building to get a better vantage point. It was terrifying.

We were on the sidewalk and in front of us, FACING us, were a line of Riot Police in total Riot Gear (with even the face shield). There was a divider but they wanted to make absolutely SURE that nothing happened to the motorcade and therefore stood watching us. It was definitely extremely eerie.

We’re standing there people watching and taking pictures. The crowd is largely chanting anti-Bush sentiments on and off. At this particular moment however, the crowd had settled down. There was a girl who’d been standing in front of us for a while. In a split fng second she was completely naked save for a pair of underwear. I don’t know how she did it or what it meant but one minute she’s standing in winter gear in front of the Police and the next minute she is naked and being lifted up and over the divider being naked arrested. It was awesome and I am so glad I caught a picture of it.

Clothed not a second prior.

As the motorcade started approaching, there were either three fingers or one finger stuck up on the air depending on which side of the party lines you fall on. Typically the President will get out and walk that last stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue where we actually were but not this time. The tension was too thick and it could not be risked.

I have to tell you, although I admit that it was immature, it was really, really awesome to be able to protest the inauguration like that. It didn’t change a damn thing but for sure, but it sure was nice to make a point.

At this time, Kristyn had like psychic lightening fingers. She was constantly finding us weird, cool shit to do at a moment’s notice. Somehow she found out that the cast of “The L Word” were having their premiere in NYC. We HAD to go just to see them and take pictures. It was pretty awesome and we got really close to the cast. I can’t find all of the pictures but we took a picture with Alice (Leisha Hailey), stood very close to Rosie O’Donnel and her wife as well as Tina (Laurel Holloman). We got pictures of Sandra Bernhard and even talked to Gloria fricking Steinem for a hot second! I saw her and tried to take her picture. She said, “What’re you taking a picture of me for? I’m just a publicist…” My FOOT.* But what was most awesome was that Kristyn got to take a picture with Shane (Kate Moennig). SO exciting! Oh AND, if you ever thought for one second that Jennifer Beals was just “alright looking”, you are WRONG. I thought she was just “eh” until I saw her in person. “Statuesque” is the word I’d use for what she looks like up close. “Stunning” is another word. Damn, good for you Jennifer Beals!

Kristyn and Shane AKA Kate Moennig

Bette AKA Chick from Flashdance AKA Jennifer Beals

* I think it was this same year that we got tickets to go to V Day event at the Apollo Theater. Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Rosie Perez, Marissa Tomeii and a coupla other gals were there. It was so awesome. Michelle Branch played a rendition of “Wild Horses” on the piano that made me cry so hard! It was awesome.

Probably between 2004 and 2005, we had gotten heavily obsessed with a memoirist named Laurie Notaro. Unless you hate yourself and don’t like laughing, READ HER BOOKS. They are beyond hysterically funny. We both worked at a publishing company at this time and drove to work together. We used to read her books aloud to each other on the way to and from work and just cry laughing. Start with The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club and go from there. SO good.

Anyway, Kristyn’s psychic magic fingers found out that she would be doing a reading and then a signing at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square so we were THERE. She was so nice and so funny and it was a total honor to meet her.

Kristyn, Me, Laurie Notaro

THEN Kristyn’s favorite band, Sleater-Kinney, came out with a new CD, “The Woods”. I liked Sleater-Kinney at the time but I didn’t LOVE Sleater-Kinney at the time. After seeing them live a couple times, I totally do. BUT being that I wasn’t star-struck, I was like, “Hey Kristyn, lets get our pictures taken with them.” She was like, “Oh no we can’t do that, now way, please omg, yes let’s do it, not let’s not I don’t want to piss anyone off.” I was all, “What’re they gonna do, shank us? They say no, we just scram.” So like the naturally annoying person I am, I asked them for a picture and this is what happened.

Carrie was the sweetest and I’m glad because I read a blog that she does for NPR and I’m glad I can read it knowing she is a legitimately nice person.

Me, Carrie Brownstein, Kristyn

Corin was really, really friendly too!

Me, Corin Tucker, Kristyn

Janet was a little annoyed at us frankly, haha. She wasn’t annoyed to take the picture necessarily but she BECAME annoyed with us (understandably) when we wouldn’t stand still for the picture. She stood on the right side of me which would have made the picture be her, me, Kristyn. Since SHE is the person of interest in the pictures and since Kristyn is the bigger fan, I wanted her to be in the middle. So I started kind of playing musical chairs like running around her because the more I moved, the more she moved until she was basically like, “Will YOU cut it out?!” Haha. I was like, “Yes I will but you have to please stand HERE.” So yes I managed to turn a celebrity photo op into an episode of the The Benny Hill Show but we got our picture and she got to get away from us. Everybody wins!

Me, Janet Weiss, Kristyn

2005 was also the year that we met the Gossip which I outlined in a previous post and will not bore you with again. Still, I had to add a picture because it was awesome.

Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie

We did other things apart from meet celebrities but not much. We were working pretty hard at this point and dealing with bunny drama for much of this year.

Did you know that the gestation cycle of a rabbit is 30 days? Also, did you know that they can be impregnated immediately following birth or even while pregnant? Were you aware that rabbits can become pregnant OR impregnate a rabbit oh, almost immediately? Yeah us neither.

THIS is how we ended up with twelve rabbits. Despite our best efforts, Little ended up pregnant, three separate times. I mean guys, we made cages for them in separate rooms, padlocked the cages and STILL put a gate up between rooms and Biggie was still able to tap that ass.

Long story short (too late), we ended up having to spend much of 2005 finding homes for rabbits. We gave them to people we knew and worked closely with the Humane Society in Lyndhurst to find them homes as well. Actually, one of the rabbits is living at NYU’s Rusk Center for Rehabilitation. He is an on-site rabbit who is there to be petted by and played with by children and adults with physical or mental disabilities. I went to see him last year and I could *swear* he knew who I was. I wanted to bring him home!

It was really rough parting with all those little guys. They were soooo cute BUT it was also REALLY rough caring for all of them. Once rabbits reach a certain age, they cannot be together anymore. Rabbits will fight to the death if you keep ones that don’t get along together.

Also, not all of them survived. On Little’s second pregnancy, we counted the babies in the morning and the sum total was six. When we went back and counted again, there were only four. Wha-wha-wha? We had no idea what could possibly have happened and prayed that we wouldn’t come upon a bunny zombie later on.

WELL on Little’s third pregnancy, we DEFINITELY found out what happened to the bunnies we couldn’t find. She’d recently given birth to some babies that all seemed healthy but she’d done it on the top floor of her cage. I found one of them on the floor. She must have given birth and it must’ve just fallen through the cracks. WELL, initially he looked fine but we eventually saw that his hind legs were atrophied. They were stuck out straight, kind of dark and totally useless. We like animals that are disabled so we LOVED him immediately. One night, I was sitting in the kitchen with the bunnies. I had him in my hand when Little hopped up. She started sniffing him and I held him out thinking she might groom him. Bitch actually BIT OFF a section of one of his legs!!! WHAT?! I couldn’t even look at her. Both of us were SO DISTURBED and immediately separated him from the pack. Clearly we were dealing with a mini lop-eared psychopath.

Little plotting her next kill.

We soon found out that rabbits eat their young if something is wrong with them.  This is another prey mechanism for protecting the whole of the family.  They can sense if there is something inherently wrong with their young like if they’re sick or damaged and in order to leave zero trace of the rest of the babies, they just eat’m up.  “What baby?”

Separating this little guy from the pack posed a problem though because it is vital that a rabbit feed from its mother when it’s born. It’s chances of living are 0% to 0% when they’re that young. They need to drink from the mother but also, and this is sort of gross to hang onto your cookies…The mother begins producing poopies called “cecotropes”. Typically bunny duts are just little hard balls of like hay or whatever. The cecotropes are a little different in shape and consistency and are SERIOUSLY infused with vitamins and minerals that are absolutely vital to a rabbit’s health. I mean, I spose you could stuff a poopie in the rabbit’s pie hole but I don’t think that’s how he wants to eat it. And you CAN buy synthetic kitten milk and feed it with a bottle but that’s not really useful for the rabbit so much as it is for you feeling better about not letting it starve to death.

So we named him “Stumpy” and were hoping for a full recovery. We’d already decided that should Stumpy pull through, we’d keep him and make him our favorite pet. We wanted to lavish him with a little bunny wheelchair and laugh at him as he tooled around our apartment. We made him a bed in a shoebox filled with towels. We woke up in the morning and found that Stumpy had taken the first Haley-Bopp comet out of town and would see us in another lifetime. *Sads*

So we wanted to give him a proper Viking burial but no one had a boat or flaming arrows to speak of. So we went to Amanda’s house and decided to bury him amongst Amanda’s sundry ex-pets on the side of her house. We brought little Stumpy in his box and each took turns digging the small grave. We’re all lapsed Catholics so we read a passage or two from the Bible and “lowered him into the ground”. Amanda started filling in the hole and wanted to make sure that nothing could dig it up because her cats are outdoor/indoor and there are a lot of strays in the area. In her zeal to make sure Stumpy’s grave would be untarnished, she forgot the reverence of the moment and started taking the shovel and BASHING it into the dirt over and over again, intending to flatten it down. The sight of Amanda wielding a shovel so VIOLENTLY at a bunny funeral had me and Kristyn questioning her sanity and laughing hysterically.

That Spring, we came home one night and for no damn reason at all, Biggie was dead. In order to keep him away from Little, we’d taken to separating them in cages, in separate rooms with a gate between the rooms. Still, he was always finding ways to break out of his cage and get into the kitchen. SO we started piling things up in front of the gate to save Little and ourselves any further grief. In our enthusiasm to help the situation, we probably inadvertently caused Biggie’s death. We found him in the kitchen. He must have just died. I think he probably tried to jump over the obstacle, got caught on something and broke his back. Rabbit bones are hollow and therefore extremely easy to break. SO, we had another funeral on our hands. This time, we buried him in Kristyn’s parents’ yard. Again we had another little ceremony.

One good thing that DID come out of Biggie and Little’s union was Moe.  He was one of the ones we were SUPPOSED to get rid of but ended up keeping.  He was beautiful and huge and VIOLENT.  He was the leader of the pack and had not only attacked all of the other rabbits but also once accidentally bit Kristyn’s FACE.  I had to take her to the doctor for a tetanus shot and while she was there, she accidentally flashed her derrierre off to all of the nurses.

Moe in a bookcase.

But bad news comes in threes so naturally, and I knew it was almost Mitten’s time to hang up her hat. I knew that I wanted to get another cat IMMEDIATELY following her death because I just couldn’t imagine living without her and wanted a distraction. We went to Petco on Route 3 and they were having a pet adoption fair. When we approached, there was this little kitty that looked EXACTLY like Mitten from behind. When she turned around, we saw that she was missing one eye. She was so sweet and so pretty and we LOVED her. I said, “If we didn’t have Mitten, I would have adopted that cat today.”

Two weeks later, in the span of a week, she stopped drinking, stopped eating and lost a ton of weight. I was holding out hope for her to rally but really I knew that this was probably it. On Friday night, we came home from work and Mitten was on the armchair. She jumped off of it to greet us like she always does but when she hit the floor, she collapsed. Her forehead was extremely stiff and we were SO freaked out. I called my mother in hysterics and she came over. My mother is a nurse and told me that Mitten was just dehydrated and this is what happens to people and animals when they’re dying sometimes. It was an extremely stormy night and I wanted to go put her to sleep immediately because I couldn’t take the thought of her suffering. My mother pointed out that she wasn’t suffering at all and I realized that that was true. She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t in pain. She was looking up at me with love. If we’d gone out into the storm, it would have been nuts because it was like, flood conditions outside. So my mother gave me some money, told me to wait until morning and just to keep her comfortable. I’d hoped she’d pass away over night like I always wanted her to. When we woke up the next morning, she was even worse off and it was time to go. She was clearly uncomfortable now and couldn’t move. She followed me with her eyes but I could see that she was ready to go. We put some soft beach towels in a box and laid her on top of them. In the car, I petted her and we listened to soft music. The last song that played before we got out of the car was “Modern Girl” by Sleater-Kinney. The refrain of that song is:

My whole life
was like a picture
of a sunny day

My whole life
looked like a picture
of a sunny day

I am crying now thinking about it, ugh. We brought her inside and were brought into a room. The vet tech was immediately sympathetic because she’d had a little Tortie herself who’d passed. The doctor explained what was going to happen. I sat there petting her and staring into her eyes as she passed. She knew she was loved.

I’m so glad it happened like this. I’d always hoped that when she died, she’d go at home, in peace. But honestly, in all likelihood, she would have been alone because that is the nature of cats, to go hide and die alone. Instead, she told me that it was her time and I got to hold her hand and comfort her as she went. It was perfect.

I love you Mitten!

After that, we immediately went to a couple of shelters. Kristyn suggested that maybe we wait but I didn’t want to. Mitten meant a LOT to me and her loss would create a HUGE hole in my life that I really, really didn’t want to face. Plus there are a lot of kitties in this world that need a home TODAY. Why not let one little guy or gal do double duty and make us both happy?

At work that week, when Mitten was still winding down, suddenly the name “Edith” had popped into my head. I love me some “All in the Family” and ESPECIALLY Edith but hadn’t seen the show in a long time. BUT that name popped up and I knew I was looking for Edith.

We went to a couple of shelters and met a few ADORABLE cats who were all contenders but not quite Edith. None of them felt right. At the end of the day, Kristyn said, “Why don’t we go back and see if that one-eyed kitty is still there?” We did and as soon as we saw her again, I was like, “THAT’S EDITH!!!” We signed the paperwork but couldn’t take her home for another two weeks.

This pictures sums up Edith. She's a tough broad who deals with my craziness with grace and hilarity.

In the meantime, we decided to have a funeral for Mitten. She’d been my best friend, sister and advisor for 18 years and deserved a proper sendoff. We invited our friends, cleaned the house and prepared a spread. All funerals have the “after funeral eating times” so we figured we should provide the same. Also, for no damn reason, we bought a shit load of cat bobbleheads from the dollar store to give out as souvenirs. Bad taste I know but you love it. The BEST part was that I made a kitty litter cake which basically looks like this:

So delicious, so disgusting.

Here’s the recipe:

Oh and it’s delicious even if it did shock and anger our guests, haha.

It was rough going with her at first bc a) she’s come from an abuse situation and doesn’t trust humans or other animals and b) I was used to having a cat who wanted almost too much of my attention, not one who wouldn’t let me touch her. So it was kind of heart-breaking at first, actually HAVING a cat but not being allowed to interact with said cat.

But she’s come a long, long way. She still hates cats but she looooooves her some humans. She lets me pick her up, she lets me pet her and she’s such a happy little girl. She IS a total weirdo though. She tends toward sudden violence, she hisses at everything and doesn’t like to move around if she doesn’t have to. We learned quickly to laugh at the hissing and violence because it’s all just drama. And we basically had to FORCE her to enjoy being petted and picked up but tough titties on that. You WILL be loved and you WILL like it…and she does.

I think that’s enough for 2005. It was a crazy year. I made a helluva lot of vegetarian empanadas in 2005. Also my brother gave me a lamp that said, “Bitch” on it for Christmas and I cried but now I think it’s funny. Also we had a huge snowstorm and my brother walked to our house in the middle of the night in shorts and socks to come play board games with me, Kristyn and Christine, haha.  Oh and I realized I was bisexual in 2005. Oh I also slipped on a patch of ice and broke a bottle of wine in 2005 which sucked. Oh and we went to an anti-nuclear war rally in 2005. AND we marched in some protest that I can’t even remember what it was for and got mixed in with a section of Communists.

Like I said, 2005 was a radical mess, haha.

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