31 July 2013

Sci Fi Shindig Menu & More

John Criton. I would marry him if he
weren't taken. Or, well, if I weren't too.
Our weavings in the cosmic web are not self-contained. Rather, they are part of the design of our collective humanity.
~ Lisa Hunt

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Saturday evening’s Science Fiction Shindig was a colossal success. The bad news is that I neglected to take any pictures, so I have nothing to show for it except some leftover jello and a few burnt out glowsticks. But let’s focus on the positives, shall we?

I decorated my apartment with pink and green glowsticks and necklaces, tying some to ribbons and draping the ribbons across doorways. The table was spread with a psychedelic plastic tablecloth in rainbow colors to give it a sort of nebulous feel, and I used a shiny tire rim that kinda looked like a spaceship as a centerpiece. We had Star Wars paper plates and Avengers napkins, and I even made menus framed by aluminum foil and hot pink duct tape to both explain the culinary options and their science fictiony significance.

Concerning food we paid homage to many different shows, including Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape, Stargate SG1, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly. I served gagh (Star Trek), which while the Klingons would cry foul for my lack of worms, turned out rather tasty, if a bit spicier than intended. I sautéed glass noodles in soy sauce, hoison, siracha and Chinese 5 spice powder. The end result was a translucent reddish-brown mass of writhing, worm-like noodles. Luckily my guests were neither grossed out by the wormy resemblance nor opposed to the fire from the siracha, so the gagh went quickly and I had very little left.

As Farscape is my official favorite show of all time (I’ve actually seen that more times through than Buffy, believe it or not), I simply had to represent it. Thus, I made food cubes. Well, I called them food cubes—as did my guests—but they were more or less sugar cookies dyed green and coated in green sprinkles. I molded the cookie dough into squares before I baked them, but apparently cookies expand (hey, I’m not a baker!) so I ended up with a bunch of geometrically surprising shapes as the food cube cookies pushed into one another. I had zero food cubes left over. ZERO. And I had made quite a few. Just goes to show that you can’t judge based on appearances, because the cookies were neither food-cube nor cookie-shaped (nor cookie-colored) but the flavor was all there! Now I suppose I should start making cupcakes to use all my left over food coloring.

To pay my respects to Stargate, I made three flavors of jello and served them in a three-part acrylic serving dish (which I’m pretty sure it was designed to serve dips/condiments, but hey, jello in square molds works). They always seem to be serving jello in the DFAC at Stargate HQ, so it seemed appropriate. Also there’s nothing more science fictiony than a cousine that not only comes in ridiculous colors, but also jiggles. I went with bright green (s’lime), blood red (cherry) and neon yellow (pineapple).

Out of necessity for a main dish, and because no one in the crowd was vegetarian, I grilled some steaks and called them “cloned cattle” (Battlestar Galactica; they clone their meat-producing animals for sustainability). I just prepped it with a dry rub of finely ground coffee, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, and garlic. It may sound weird but coffee-based rubs go really well with a thicker cut, especially if you’re forced to, you know, George Foreman it because an outdoor grill is a fire hazard in your urban environment. Anywho, no complaints on the steak and several asked me for the dry rub recipe, so I’ll call that a win.

As most of us were avid Firefly fans—and they eat a lot of Asian food in Firefly—two of my guests (they’re married) brought home made spring rolls, which were absolutely delicious! So yay for that :] I might have eaten more of those than I did my own food cube cookies, and I was picking the cookies off as they cooled. I mean, I had to eat the broken ones, naturally.

Finally, we had beverages. As the entire crowd were responsible adults of drinking age, we had two alcoholic options and one virgin (I called it “galactic lemonade,” but it was just your standard pink lemonade served in a really cool container). From Star Wars I made some blue milk, which for me amounted to vanilla vodka, blue curacao and, of course, milk. I used skim milk because that’s all I buy but also threw in a little half & half for extra smoothness, and the end result was a sweet, creamy, sky-blue concoction of deliciousness. I served it chilled in a giant blue milk bottle, so the aesthetic result was both old-fashioned and futuristic, further adding to the Star Wars feel. The other adult beverage was two bottles of sangria that one of my guests brought (he was wearing a blue Star Trek shirt—oh yes, drool away!) and once we cracked out the Sangria it didn’t last long.

So that comprises my menu for the Sci-Fi Shindig. Now that you are all salivating in hunger—or grossed out, as the case may be—we can move onto a rundown of the entertainment for the night. I cracked out my ginormous collection of science fiction DVDs, to include all my shows and movies (some big-theater productions, some B-grade ones) and let my guests pick. We ended up first watching Serenity, which even though about half of us had seen it before we all still got choked up at the end, and then The Fifth Element. All in all, I am super proud of myself for pulling off such a gathering of nerds with food and movies and drinks and decorations despite my incredibly cramped schedule. Last week was particularly hectic; we have a lot of big projects going on at work right now. Craziness.

And Kitty Hera! She was so well behaved. She played with her toys and sat on each guest’s lap in turn begging for attention, and then when the crowd got a little too much for her she just curled up inside her pet-carrier (I leave it open for her so she gets used to it) and took a nap. She did not scratch or bite anyone, although occasionally she did play-pounce on their ankles as they sat on the couch and she darted out from underneath it. She likes to do that. Everyone seemed to be as taken with her as I was, and miraculously at work—most of these scif-fi nerd friends are my coworkers—no one makes fun of me for being a crazy cat lady anymore. Little Kitty Hera won over their hearts for me.

21 July 2013

Starship Nerd On The Horizon

Are you ready? I am SO ready!
My geekdom, like my craftiness, is about to swing into full effect.

This weekend I will be hosting a science-fiction nerd-fest, full of gagh and blue milk and loads of food cubes, possibly even some fish fingers and custard. Extra points if you understood all four of those references without googling them! I’m also trying to think of a way to make the light fruit the faeries ate in True Blood; I’m envisioning glowsticks in the bottom of a bowl full of pears. I know, True Blood is more fantasy than sci-fi, but it’s close enough and unfortunately science fiction food tends towards the gross.

To further my geekdom, I’ll also be attending a one-day-only showing of Starship Troopers in theaters with effectively the same group of nerd-friends that will be joining me for gagh. (For the record, I will not actually be serving worms.)

The best part: we’ll be dressing up for it.



Yes, several weeks from now, my friends and I will be storming a theater dressed as members of the Mobile Infantry. We’re heading to Wall Mart tomorrow to pick up some costume supplies. Twill be epic. Anywho, rest assured, dear readers, there will be awesome nerdy sci-fi pictures on here soon!

But back to Starship Troopers.

Having seen the movie multiple times on cable (because let’s be real, when is it *not* on one of the crappy channels?) before Orion forced me to read the book—it’s his all time favorite—I have come to realize that the movie is essentially a joke. I do not know much about director who made it, or really anyone involved in the process, but having now read the book I would say that one of two things happened:

1) The movie director read the first five pages of the book and then stopped, or

2) The movie director absolutely hated the book and wanted to parody it.

Either way, let’s all agree now that the movie, while intensely entertaining, completely butchered the book. Yet there are some things in each that I prefer, such as the complex political subtext in the book, the badassery of the Mobile Infantry, and Carmen shaving her head. In the movie I like the gender equality of the MI unites (yay! Dizzy is a girl! In the book she is a he, and he dies in the first few pages…a detail the director chose to ignore, and I’m actually glad he did as it brought to mind Starbuck’s upgrade in the retelling of Battlestar Galactica). The movie glosses over the “skinnies,” and focuses on the battles with the bugs. Did I mention I really, really dislike the idea of giant bugs? Perhaps I have subjected myself to one too many B-grade sci fi movies full of giant, writhing insects. Or arachnids.

But whether in the world of the book or the realm of the movie, I would love to be a member of the Mobile Infantry. Just imagine! The training (in the book) was so intense, so inspiring, and at times reminded me of my college days—only briefly, however—and at other times caused me to think that perhaps I might not be able to make it through such an ordeal, and I very, very rarely think I may not be able to do something, so naturally that made me want to try even more. Perhaps Starship Troopers is one of the reasons I would jump in a heartbeat to go SF or Infantry if they open them up to my gender. Sure, Congress said, “You will let women in!” but nothing has changed, not yet. The Army gets to decide how—if ever—they will allow women to participate in combat. Right, because bullets and IEDs discriminate based on gender.

But that’s a whole ‘nother topic, one that is likely to set my raging feminist on a lengthy tangent, and right now I’d rather focus on my nerd-dom.

Mobile Infantry. Mobile Suits. I really, really want a Mobile Suit. The capabilities! The weaponry! In a way they brought me back to when I used to watch Gundam Wing on Toonami, lusting after their version of the Mobile Suits. Reading about them in Starship Troopers straight up made me drool, and the movie just skips them entirely. What a shame. But for the upcoming theater showing, we will be rocking the movie-version of the Mobile Infantry uniform. Without the suits, though, they’re really just your standard issue Infantry grunts. So we’ll be wearing black t-shirts, military-esque pants, vests, black-spray painted ray guns. We’re still trying to plan out how we’ll make/acquire the helmets, but it shouldn’t be too hard. We are clever little nerds, after all.

In conclusion: Nerdom in full effect. All systems go.

15 July 2013

Of Councils And Unicorns

Snow Skadi, Gold Unicorn
“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

When I was a child, I was obsessed with unicorns. By “child,” what I really mean is “from toddler years up through time now,” and by “obsessed,” well, I mean that unicorns have remained an ongoing fascination with greater and lesser periods of intensity. Watching Rainbow Brite was my introduction to magical, horned horses, and my fascination culminated with a compilation of literary works devoted to the unicorn for a middle school literature class. I remember being about 12 or 13 and traipsing around the woods behind my house with my best friend Amphitrite, searching for traces of them. We followed hoof prints that likely belonged to deer, and we collected twisted pieces of wood that we called shards of alicorn. We glimpsed shadows in the distance and raced after them, wandering and wondering in equal parts. We’d stay out until the darkness finally chased us home, where we would drink tea and giggle over our secret adventures in the forest. We never found any unicorns, but the magic was there. The magic is always there in childhood escapades.

Then came high school, and my priorities shifted: cross country, homework, papers and projects, boys, college. I still secretly read stories about unicorns and wrote them as characters into my own, and I still would go for hikes whenever the notion struck me, but I was not searching for unicorns anymore. I was searching for something equally elusive and magical: myself. Then came college, and after that work, and now I am left wondering what my original point was.

Ah, yes. Unicorns. Recently I dreamt a dream about a unicorn and the consequences of its presence. It was the first dream in quite some time that I remembered upon waking, so I spent several weeks chewing on its potential meaning. The dream and its interpretation follow below:

I was in a rich, dense forest wearing its late-summer emerald green. I was standing with a group of faceless friends about 100m from a mist-enshrouded lake. There was a wide, pine-needle coated path leading down to the lake’s edge, where an old, crumbling dock extended over the water. Suddenly I saw movement, and my friends urged me to go down to the water to see what it was. I approached slowly, and out of the mist stepped a tall, slender horse with a honey-brown coat and a golden mane and tail. A pale, latticed and spiraled bone horn protruded from its forehead, and I recognized it as a unicorn. I felt my breath catch in my throat, and I was afraid to go any closer lest I scare it away.

The unicorn looked directly at me, lowering its head, and so I called out softly, “Hello?” Then it nodded to me, and I returned to my slow, cautious approach, holding my empty hands out in front of me. As I got closer, I could hear the unicorn’s voice in my head, greeting me, although I did not see his mouth move. Eventually I was close enough to put my hand on his neck, which I did. He was warm and smelled like earth and lake. He told me his name, and I told him mine, and we talked quietly for what felt like hours in dream-time. Then I asked him if I could take a picture with him to show my mom, and he said yes, so I pulled out my phone and took a selfie with a unicorn (probably one of the more random details, but hey, even in my dreams apparently I wield a smart phone). Then he told me that he had to go, and he turned and faded back into the mist on the lake.

The next thing I remember, I was in a coffee shop, and a faceless man in a suit and tie approached me. He told me that I was summoned to testify and present evidence at a military council concerning the existence of unicorns. I asked him why, and he said the government found out about my photo, and that I had no choice but to give it up to the Army. He left, and I immediately tried to call my mom and Amphitrite, but in my dream neither answered their phones.

Then I was waiting in a paneled room, sitting alone on a wooden bench. I was wearing my military dress uniform, and I waited for what felt like forever, feeling very anxious. Eventually a door opened, and an older man with a kindly face entered. He was also wearing a dress uniform, and I saw that he was a Lieutenant Colonel. He stopped in front of me and told me it was time, so I stood and followed him through the door into a much larger, open chamber spread out like a giant courtroom with benches and pews and a council of gray-haired, uniformed men at the very front. The officer walked me to the front of the room, which was filled with military personnel and government officials. I was terrified, but I was determined not to let my nervousness show. I also remember being painfully aware of the fact that not only was I the lowest-ranking person in the room, but that I was also the only female.

Then, before I ever reached the podium, I woke up. That was it. No conclusion, no resolution, just me walking through a room full of critical eyes, unsure if I was going to prove that unicorns existed or protect their existence by saying nothing. My feeling, upon waking, can only be described as unsettled.

I have talked to several people about this dream, to include my fiancé Orion, my mother, my brother, and of course Amphitrite (who remains one of the best dream-interpreters I know). If you try to look up unicorn appearance in dream interpretation resources, you’re going to find a different meaning in every single source. In Chinese folklore dreaming about a unicorn was a mixed symbol, representing the imminent arrival or death of a loved one (or, in some cases, an important political figure). While remembering this tidbit of information from one of my research-heavy periods of fascination, I was particularly nervous about my fiance’s deployment; however, the unicorn from my dream was decidedly Western in appearance (despite being brown and gold instead of the more stereotypical white), as opposed to the Asian styled dragon-deer-horse-ox creature combo. Thus, that fear was at least temporarily quieted. In Western folklore the unicorn is far more often a symbol of purity and magic and innocence, not a harbinger of death.

Dreams are tricksy creatures. They come into our brains at night, amusing and scaring and confusing us while we sleep; but the tricksiest dreams are the ones that linger, that paw at the edges of our waking psyche, wanting to be revisited and reborn. This was the first time I have ever, in my many years of persistent fascination, actually dreamt of a unicorn. My dreams frequently take me into summer woods and post-apocalyptic cities; I’ve walked through the mouth of a sun-god; I’ve been a superhero, fought demons with magic and zombies with swords, and chased giant spotted ants through a fire. But prior to that night several weeks ago, I have never dreamt of a unicorn. So I’m wondering why. Why now, why after 24+ years, after a lull of not thinking about unicorns at all, do I finally see one in my dreams?

I think I saw one because I needed to. Magic and mystery were missing from my life—I have been as remiss in my magical practice as I have been in my blogging—with all my energy being channeled into work, which in the case of the dream was represented by the government wanting to take the one magical thing left in my life (the photograph of myself and the unicorn) and turn it to their own benefit. I didn’t want to share the photograph; I wanted to keep it to myself, to hold onto the memory of the magic.

So that’s what I’m trying to do, remember the magic.

14 July 2013

Critical Rebuttal-ing

Gustave Francois Lasellaz,
Young Seamstress with Kitten
So little kitty Hera seems to be settling in just wonderfully. I spent my lazy Sunday morning watching the Tale of Desperaux on Netflix, and Hera kept stalking and attempting to catch all of the mice and rats on the screen! It was the cutest/most infuriating thing ever, and I naturally melted and laughed the whole time. She’s just so darn adorable. I’m so glad this little rambunctious kitten found me :) she has SUCH a big personality!

In other news, I’ve discovered that sewing silk chiffon is a colossal pain in the ass, but the fabric is worth the effort because it’s just so gorgeous and flowy and ethereal that I can’t imagine using anything else in my wedding dress. Layered over the champagne crushed taffeta, the overall dress should turn out well, especially with the Venice lace trim I’ll be adding along the edges and seams…which brings me to a brief rant.

Yes, I am making my own wedding dress. I would also like to make my bridesmaid’s dresses. Many of my friends (to include my three bridesmaids, who will be sporting my handiwork, and thus arguably are the most important voices in the matter) are hugely supportive of the idea, saying they’re excited to see the end result and think that making the dresses will be even more meaningful. However, some people are rather critical, saying that my wedding day is not my personal art show, and that making a wedding dress is a huge undertaking. So what follows is my rebuttal to each of the primary complaints I have been fielding from certain individuals. (Side note: love you, Mom!)

I know that making a dress of this scale is a huge undertaking. Hello, I’m not an idiot (just ambitious). I have several motivations for a project of this magnitude, not least among them that I need a massive undertaking to keep me sufficiently busy and distracted while the love of my life is in the dreaded sandbox. Even with four dresses, a sporran, place cards and table centerpieces, and whatever else strikes my fancy I may run out of projects. I’m a very efficient worker, always have been, and nine months is a long time for me to be productive. At the rate I’m going, my dress alone won’t take more than a month.
2) But it’s SO MUCH WORK!
Not to me, it isn’t. I love sewing and painting and sculpting and beading and making things. The act of creation for me isn’t work, it’s like breathing. I need to be able to make something new to keep sane. It’s part of what makes me who I am. When I’m working on a new project, the more complicated and difficult, the better; the less I have to think about what I’m doing, it just comes into being like I’m being used as a medium for creation.
3) But why would you MAKE something you can BUY?
….Why would I buy something I can make? That way I get to enjoy the process of making it, not just the one day I get to wear it. (Also, why would I have a dress I only can wear once whereas I can make one that is both bride-like and more versatile!) Not to mention I have a very specific vision in my head of what I want to look like walking down the aisle, what I want my Orion to see, and it would cost an inordinate amount of money to get that custom made because I am certainly not going to find it on a rack at David’s Bridal. However, if I make it, I only have to pay for the supplies—which although they may be expensive, the fabric itself is significantly less expensive than a custom-made dress. 
4) But a wedding dress is SO IMPORTANT! Why risk it? What if you make a mistake?
Yes, the dress is important. Culturally, I get that. I get that getting married is a huge flippin deal in modern society, and on some levels I agree that it should be, but a dress is a dress is a dress. Yes, I want to be beautiful and gorgeous on the day I get handfasted to my soulmate in the eyes of the gods and everyone, but the clothes don’t make the person—I do. I make me. So when I’m saying “I do,” or whatever it is we decide to say, I want to look like me. As for making a mistake, that’s all part of the process. If something unintended works itself into the design, I’ll work around it as I always do to make something even better than what I first imagined. This is me, not wearing my *worried* face.
5) Your wedding ceremony is not your own personal art show!
Really? Now we’re just being hypocritical. It’s a day that’s all about me, but I’m not supposed to show off my talents or cleverness or creations, I’m just supposed to stand there and smile and look pretty. Modern society makes such a huge deal about the Bride getting everything she wants on her perfect magical wedding day, and yet my wanting to *make* my dress is somehow going too far? I’m not trying to show off what I can do. Everyone who knows me, knows what I can do. My sole goal in wanting to create my dress and my bridesmaids’ dresses is to bring as much joy as possible to all those involved with completely unique and beautiful clothes for a very special day. It’s not like I’m going to be hanging my paintings all over the place. Hells, I would rather the finished products be so good that no one can even tell they were made by me.
So that’s my rant. The primary complaints I’ve been fielding (again, love you Mom!) and my rebuttal. I mean, am I crazy for wanting to make my own dress? Or even three more? I think it will be fun and relaxing and sufficiently distracting, especially with little kitty Hera trying to help by forever stalking my scissors…or sleeping in the box my Charmed DVDs came in like any good familiar.

10 July 2013

Deployment Kitty

Little Kitty Hera seems to think
that she can best help me sew by
stalking my scissors and then
pouncing on top the fabric
as I try to cut it.
I know, I know, it’s been months. Consider me properly chastised for bad blogular behavior. Even my Twitter, Etsy and Facebook pages are hurting. It’s been hectic and crazy as always, but even extra so, and I have lots of news to report on what has kept me away from the interwebs so long. Some of this news is of the very depressing kind, some of it is on the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ll start with a quick rundown of the highlights, and then we’ll see where I end up from there.

1) My fiancé deployed to the dreaded sandbox. He made it over there safely, and I hear from him as often as he can spare, but it still sucks. Having now experienced both the leaving and the being left behind due to the Military, I much prefer the leaving. Being left behind sucks way more.

2) I am no longer a Platoon Leader. My year and some change finally caught up to me, and they drug me out of my Platoon kicking and screaming and forced me into a staff job. The one perk: my work life now resembles a more standard 9 to 5 job, except for the fact that my days still start at 0430 and go until about 1730 or 1800 (5:30pm or 6pm for you non-military types). I still terribly, terribly miss my Platoon, and I’ve been stuck on staff for over a month now…I am just not at all a staff officer. Not remotely.

3) In other very sad news, my family’s dog, Achilles, died recently. She was epileptic and only about four years old, a wonderful Greater Swiss Mountain puppy with just the sweetest personality of any dog ever, and we all loved her dearly. I would always wrestle her when I was home to visit, and although she easily weighed the same as I do, she wasn’t too difficult to get into a submissive position (probably because she refused to use her teeth and claws, which would have been the obvious advantage for her in any wrestling contest with a human of equal weight). Anyway, my mom called me in the middle of the night after it happened. They had let her out to pee for the evening before bed, and she had a seizure and hit her head and fell into the lake and drowned. It was over very quickly, but still…we were all heartbroken. I cried most of that night, and in my dreams my little Achilles came to visit me, so I gave her a hug and told her to go play with the other puppies. She always took her guard dog duties very seriously, so I am sure she is still doing her job and keeping my parents and youngest brother safe along with Atilla and Cookie, the other two puppies we lost.

4) In slightly less depressing news, with the help of my wonderful and amazing fiancé Orion (well, he helped until he deployed, and then I finished it), we constructed a replica of us in our wedding wear for the big ceremony and reception to use as our cake toppers. The resulting statue was a little heavy to put on top a cake—at least in my (not so) humble opinion—but I figure we’re using multiple cakes on stands instead of a layered monstrosity anyway, so why not have the statue on a pedestal too! The final product looks pretty awesome, if I say so myself, and is definitely the best thing I have yet made. The little Orion portion is sporting a kilt in his family tartan, old-school style, and the little Anden is wearing the dress I’m making. Orion helped me construct the frame/skeletons out of armature wire, which for me has always been the trickiest part. Armature wire is very unforgiving and very stubborn, so it was a huge help having an extra set of (much stronger) hands to bend it into the right humanoid shape. He made the skeleton for the mini-me, and I made the skeleton for the mini-him. Then, unfortunately, he deployed and I had to complete the rest on my own, but the adding of the foil and then the sculpey and then the painting are the easy parts.

5) So this last story starts out a little pathetic, but it ultimately ends on a happy note, promise. So. There I am, 4th of July, the day after I dropped off my fiancé at his unit for their deployment. It’s about 2200 (10pm) and I never even bothered to change out of my pajamas or brush my teeth or hair all day, so I’m pretty much as messy as I get. I’m sitting on the couch with a gallon bucket of Blue Bell on my lap, watching The Glass House on cable, and eyeing the wine rack…when all of a sudden this loud, pitiful meowing comes from outside my apartment. I am not entirely sure whether I am really hearing what I think I’m hearing, so I mute the television and listen more closely, and sure enough it’s some very sad-sounding meows, accompanied by the neighbor’s dogs yapping and some very suspicious sounding teenage laughter. So I sigh, put my ice cream back in the freezer, put on some real clothes as quick as I can, pull my hair into a somewhat less-messy ponytail, throw on a pair of flip flops and head outside. But by the time I get there—roughly 2215 or so—there’s no dog, cat, or kids in sight. I walk around the apartment complex for a while, but see nothing and no one. So eventually I give up and go back inside.

Then, about an hour later, I hear the sad meowing come back. No dogs or kids laughing this time, so I just go outside immediately and low and behold, there’s a little kitten right on my doorstep looking thin and underfed and very, very lonesome. So I call to her, and she jumps right up into my arms and starts purring. She was mostly black with little brown speckles all over her, like a reversed tortoise-shell pattern almost, with one golden-cream colored paw. She had a collar on, but no identification or anything, and she seemed pretty thin. I took her inside and gave her some milk—it was all that I had, although in hindsight apparently milk is difficult for cats to digest—and then promptly started kitty-proofing my apartment. As an artist I tend to have my crafts spread all over the place, but I couldn’t have a little kitten accidently swallowing a bead or heaven-forbid a needle, so I picked up everything and ran the vacuum just to be safe.

Now, Orion and I debated getting a kitten before he left so that I would have something to cuddle while he was gone, but we ultimately decided to not acquire a pet since it would bond with me and then resent him when he returned for taking my attention away from it. He kept joking that I would come home from work today and he would have brought me a kitten from the pound, and I kept telling him he better not. His point was always, “If I bring you home a kitten, you can’t say no. You’re going to keep it.” And I would always reply, “I know, but they’re work and responsibility and I’m barely home as it is, and with all my projects I like to do, they’ll be destroying them and getting in the way! The wedding dress I’m working on—all that silk chiffon—will be clawed to shreds! We can’t get a pet.” But clearly the gods had other things in mind for me, because this little kitten chose me. She parked herself on my doorstep and mewled until I let her in, and she seems bonded with me from the first.

I took her to the vet the next day to see if she had a microchip or if they recognized her, but there was nothing and they’d never seen her before, nor had anyone in my apartment complex. The vets said she’s about 6 months old, although she’s very small for her age which means she was probably on her own for a while. She now has kitten food and all her shots, an appointment to get spayed, more toys than she knows what to do with, a catnip-infused scratching post, a fuzzy cat bed complete with pom-pom she paws at, spectacular purple-glitter food & water bowls…she’s already spoiled rotten and made herself completely at home. Little Kitty Hera prowls around my apartment like she owns the place, to include my lap. She demands that I hold and pet her for at least 20 minutes whenever I return from work, and makes the cutest little half-purr, half-meow, half-chirping sound when she wants attention…which is more or less all the time. She even stalks me and then pounces up on my lap to give me little kitty-kisses on my nose.

Like I said…spoiled rotten.

So I am now the adopted mommy of a kitten—I maintain that she found me, rather than the other way around—and I have a new collar, complete with protective pentacle charm, already in the mail. Now that I seem to have acquired a real familiar, I should probably start brushing up on my magical practice. Apart from daily lighting a candle for my fiancé while he’s away, I have been somewhat lapse in that area of my life. It’s definitely time to get back involved. The gods are calling me, and they sent me a kitten to show the way.