Saturday, January 30, 2010

One of Them

Friends, it is time for me to take a long, hard look in the mirror and admit to myself and to you that I am one of them. A lover of cat. However, my affections does not apply to other* feline beside my own. If I see one slinking around outside I think, "Go away, dummie." Because feral cats don't want you to pet them. Thus, they are useless.

We figure Bentley is roughly 18+ years old and came to us as a stray in 1993. He's out-lived two other cats, two birds and four dogs. Now he's all fur and bones, deaf, donning a wonky eye, has remarkable halitosis, some broken front teeth, a dumb tail, anger and defiance issues, and has been drawing on unemployment benefits for years now, but dadgumit, I love him to pieces.

My mom used to get a kick out of my "in memoriam" plans for Bentley. I will first dry out his osteoporotic bones in order to make a wind-chime that will hang and clink in the kitchen window. Then I will fashion his silky paws into a key-chain ornament (and not his whole arm, mind you, just his paw. Anyone who would pull out of their purse a long and skinny cat arm with a ring of keys, quite frankly, needs help).

Anyone out there scared yet? Well, simmer down now, those are just thoughts. I have no immediate plans to market those ideas to the public or to carry them out in private. Plus, mom thought it was hilarious and if there is one thing you can be sure of, it's a mothers sound judgement regarding their children's sanity and physical attractiveness.

By the way, Bentley can be summoned by any one of these names:
Eugene (his middle name)
Jeanie (a derivative of Eugene)
Chocolate sticks

Bentley had just made 7 fruit pies and was taking a break.

And here he is with the devil in him.

Here he is as Queen Elizabeth.

Bentley likes to pretend he could make it "out there" again but he doesn't like grass, noise, other people, other animals, searching for his next meal, searching for water, et cetera.

Here we are dancing. As a side note, I am completely normal and am in need of your friendship more now than ever. Obviously.

... And here is Bentley getting wind of the post-mortem plans I have for him.

*This is excludes Simba, Little Cat, Tux, Zachary, and Otis.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oooo, sparkly things!

Since typing the title for this post, I have officially checked my email-twice, Facebook, the MSN homepage, checked my nail growth and stared off into the khaki walls of my room thinking about absolutely nothing until my attention was brought back to what I originally set off to do which was to write to you about attention deficits. Make that twice for Facebook.

I've never lived in anyone else's brain for an extended period of time so maybe I'm plum normal. Probably not, but I digress. In hoping to pass the buck around a little, I would like to propose to you that, in part, my wandering hapless brain could be a consequence of my generations' speed-crazed bamboozlement and cerebral sabotage begun at an early age.

In my short lifetime, we have seen the absolute necessity of the remote control, fast food drive-thrus that substitute for sit down meals, jet liners (because who wants to sit in a car for x number of hours), EZpasses, microwave dinners, FedEx Overnite, Minute Made rice, cell phones and because there is nothing more time consuming than calling to ask how someone's day was, texting. We are enamored by things that sparkle, accelerate and shine, blurring our ability to sustain focus on things that frankly don't entertain or dazzle us, like taxes, birds and pro-football. Our newly formulated human consciousness says we are in constant need of stimulation to be productive and amused. And we are.

In a book I read (and strangely enough, finished), author Richard DeGrandpre points to that very fact. He claims that today's youth have grown up in a sensory addicted world and have acclimated to it well enough. So well that when presented with situations that take precision and due diligence, we would rather be skewered on a bowling pin and set out to die in the scorching African sun. Deliberate living, as he called it, has lost relevancy because our brains are conditioned to seek out things that are in keeping with our hyper-paced experience at the expense of a balanced, purposeful life.

Even now in writing to you, I have my TV on mute. It's not off mind you, but only muted. I am neither facing the television nor do I have any other senses telling me it's on other than just my own memory telling me so. Admittedly, the activity flickering in the background reassures me that I am once again, traveling at my accepted rate of normalcy. It's oddly comforting, like an electrified blankie, only I would not suck my thumb in tandem for fear of a crispy death.

This topic has many components to it, including the addition of medication to curb the behaviors associated with this kind of fragmented living (which I have personal experience with and will write on one day). But for now, I hope I have sparked some internal dial…

Oooo, a fly!

*scratches self*

*pats distended belly*

*swivels around in chair and screams "Weeeee!"*

Where were we? Oh yes, leave me some comments.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dog's N Bones

There are precious few things in this world that I love more than canines. In going through pictures today, I came across a few that melted my little heart. Dogs are the best.

Exhibit number one, Ramsey, aka "Ramsicles". We got Ramsey from the newspaper apparently. When I inquired about his origin, dad told me, "Well, he was free." Well of course he was. How could you put a price on those drooly jowls? Ramsey is best known for doing the "boot-scoot" across my freshly steamed carpet and putting me into an OCD induced cardiac arrest. Anyway, we gave him away when he started biting everybody.

This dog is not stoned but is a dear companion of a family friend. You should ask my brother how he feels about her sometime.

Who doesn't love a chocolate lab puppy? This little guy was a gift given to my friend for graduating medical school. It made total sense that she'd be working 90 hour work weeks for the next few years, however the neighbor boy made some serious dog-walking cash last summer.

Meet Honey. She is my sister's pooch and has been through some tough times as of late. Please note my sisters bang-up swaddling job on her tail. She injured it by wagging too hard and smacking it against the cupboard. Probably out of sheer love and joy at something The Master was doing. I'm pretty sure she should have been taken to the vet but it's a rough economy you know.

And here I am pulling on Honey's healthy limb because I'm really good with dogs. I'm also a lady and don't you forget it!

"Sugar" was a dog that I was going to adopt and then promptly rename. I got as far as a preliminary conversation with the foster mom when she asked me, "Now, what is the name and phone number of the vet you're registering with for her shots and de-worming?" I answered honestly as I could. I explained to her the Brdlik way of dealing with dogs. In the morning, you let them out the backdoor and hope for the best! She hung up. I cried.

Now, this dog. This dog is my very good friend. I watch him when his parents go out of town on vacation and sometimes I just watch him when we're sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and drinking pop together. He looks to be a mix between a lion and Don King. He has the sweetest disposition.

One night while dog-sitting, I saw that he left the room for awhile. I thought that was strange so I turned my head and found him leaning up against the back of the couch, just staring at me. By the way, that kind of behavior is only cute with dogs. Grown men try this and get restraining orders.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vader and Co.

Honestly, when was the last time you saw a grown man dash down the hallway in his Darth Vader costume and it not be Halloween? If you answered just last week, you might work in mental health. It just so happened that The Dark Lord of the Sith had an appointment the same day that my computer was being fixed by our IT guy. As we listened in to the purposeful and labored breathing of said Darth Vader reverberating down the hall, the IT guy turns to me with one eyebrow cocked. I looked back, smiled and nodded. Understanding abounded.

My purpose is not to belittle those with mental disorders as they are a real and sobering part of people's lives. However, that does not mean that I cannot occasionally tickle your ear with some HIPPA approved anecdotes. In fact, my co-workers and I are comprising a small booklet of memorable occurrences throughout our years in mental health. I haven't settled on a title yet but I'm leaning towards "The CIA, Brain Chips, and You."

Also to note, it's never in good taste to use words or phrases like, "You're so crazy!" or "That's just plain nuts!" in any psychiatrists office, even if completely warranted by your co-workers. Apparently, those aren't proper terms to use, or so I've been told. Or maybe scolded by upper management.

Recently, the good doctor had finished with a new patient and sent him out our front door, out to discover a new life with renewed hope. As he was closing the door behind him, I shouted out "Excuse me, sir!" Thinking he had not heard me, I ran towards the door, swung it open and summoned him back into the office explaining with a tinge of innocent good-cheer, "You weren't hearing things! I was really calling your name!" Slowly and painfully he looks up at me only to utter, "That's why I'm here... hearing things... ain't real." That's precisely when I excused myself, went back into my office and sucked my thumb in silence for over an hour.