In addition to working at a psychosis and low self-esteem factory, I have also been dealing with the intricacies of living with a depressed cat who wants his fucking leg back and is just not. going. to. let. it. go. My Buggy is not yet a happy boy, nor content, nor grateful to be alive. Nor appreciative that I spent over a grand on having his leg removed. He wanted to keep that leg, dammit. He didn’t really care how it smelled, he brought it out of that engine, so who the fuck am I to pay some butcher to cut it off?
Aside: Junebug’s leg has left an olfactory tattoo on my brain that lies in wait for a few hours or a few days then, all Emeril-style, BAM! That smell is back in my brain, all August road-kill baking in the sun on a farm-to-market road. It was a scent that just won’t leave me alone.
So, Bug wants his leg back and complains about it mostly constantly. He demonstrates his feelings by being as un-catlike as possible. He has stopped grooming himself, a sure sign of feline despondence. He has spiky 80s hair all over his body. Yesterday I was sure he was Pat Benatar for a minute, and concurred with him that hell really is for children before I realized my mistake.
As part of the whole “No leg, no clean” campaign, he has also stopped cleaning his own butt. He has replaced the rotting flesh funk with small wads of shit funk that makes him, shall we say, less than enchanting to be around, unless you happen to be Katy, who loves to eat cat shit, even if it’s still caked on the cat. Junebug, in his “I want all of you with 100% of your allotted legs to die” phase, yells at her about this, even if she’s in another room. He’s not a happy cat. He is still eating, so he’ll get better, but he won’t do it happily or willingly. His sister tries to be supportive, but he hates her because she has all of her legs.
So we had some big fun on Saturday. Through a convoluted series of emails, we ended up finding out about an event sponsored by Austin Winos , a group organized by a very charming young man named Justin, who chartered a tour bus, made some phone calls, went shopping, and rented a movie. It all came together Saturday morning, beginning in a Sears parking lot with mimosas and bloody marys (lots more of them if you were in the back of the bus). The bus left not even close to on time, but who gave a fuck? I mean, if Junebug were there, he would have been pissed, but he hates everything except that fucking pus-filled, maggot-ridden leg that I had the gall to have cut off. Which is why he stayed home. So we headed off down the highway. I really only knew two people, the greggers and Randy. Randy’s girlfriend was also there, always an awkward situation because, for fuck’s sake, there have just been so many of them… Plus another friend of his, whom I shall call MaryJane, because this girl cannot function without cannabis in her system (in other words, she’s FUN!). So we were just talking, getting to know each other, and enjoying some refreshing libations. The first winery we went to featured a tasting room that looked just like the place I used to teach, also known as a trailer. It took the bus driver a couple of tries and some distance driving with the bus in reverse to get us into the gate, then we went up a long and winding road that the bus didn’t even fucking fit on, but Driver made it with no mishaps in spite of my gripping the seat and screaming. The vineyard did have a cat and a dog, so I didn’t really care about the wine. Good thing, as it turns out. The first taste, a Chardonnay, was quite nice and set an excellent tone for the vineyard. The next one, another white, was a Viognier. It had an odd aroma – after a good bit of discussion, we realized that it was the smell of cat pee. Ammonia. Even so, most of us (about 30 in all) went ahead and swilled down the entire two teaspoons that a tasting offers, and it really tasted pretty good. What kind of trust is that? Usually when something smells of waste, one doesn’t (voluntarily) consume it. Then it went downhill from the cat pee. There were a couple of reds that were generally appreciated (not by me), one that tasted like Japanese plum wine, and a couple more that even the dog wouldn’t drink.
Most everyone went off for a tour, but the five of us stayed behind with two bottles of the Chardonnay and regaled each other with wacky tales and sexual exaggerations. MaryJane (several bong hits before we left for the bus, more at the winery…) was quite impressed with White Trash Saturdays. Strangers who were not with the tour group were regaled with the story of Revenge upon the Pedophile. We got a nice chilled bottle of Chardonnay to go, and got back onto the bus. Due to insolence and snafus, we skipped our second scheduled stop and went on to the third vineyard. It had a horse, to which I fed a lot of Wheat Thins while standing in a fire ant mound.
The tour lady there was cranky because about 80% of our group was tipsy and loud by that point, and extremely entertained by itself. A lot like teaching tenth graders. At one point, Randy’s girlfriend was rolling around in the grass and passers-by were taking her picture. The wines there were better, and therefore many cases were purchased.
We were then herded back onto the bus and headed off for the Fredericksburg Wine Festival , which has a PR person who clearly doesn’t believe in complete sentences. As you can see, the cost of admission was $20. For suckers!! If you’re with MaryJane, you just push the fence open and flirt with the cops!! We actually skipped the festival, as MaryJane is hell-bent on starting a wine bar, and was thus determined to do some “market research.” So we went to a wine bar after ending up with some people from our tour who were like 17 years old and dysfunctional. Actually, they were chronologically older than that, but sooooo whiney. One of them had left her unconscious husband of 1.5 weeks on the tour bus. She clearly didn’t like him, even a little bit. It was weird.
Then Randy’s girlfriend became “That girl,” and had to put her hair in a ponytail because that’s how sure she was that it would end up with vomit on it. The wine bar was excellente, with lots of cheese, n stuff. We went to the wine festival briefly and illegally to find the rest of our group. MJ was chatting with a cop, and I asked him where he got that fabulous tan, and then he made me understand that I’m an idiot by replying, “In Iraq.”
Then we got back onto the bus where Justin was again cute and charming and Sideways started playing on the VCR then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz then HOLY CRAP it’s time to get off the bus and then it’s time to drive home.
So that’s the only sustained 12-hour period in the last three weeks during which I didn’t spend most of the time working.
Quick aside: greggers and I were having a nerd-based discussion about the feasibility of teaching academic skills to children with severe cognitive disabilities, and he pretty much distilled it down to “So you mean people think that Corky could be a doctor? I don’t want to go to a doctor who has 14 dum-dums stuffed into his mouth.” And I said, “Look again. He’s got one stuck to his forehead, too.”
Another quick aside: I became obsessed with the Style Channel a couple of weeks ago. I was watching it for three hours straight. The show that was on was about a big wine festival (THEME!!!) in Kohler, Wisconsin but it was really a cheese festival, but the Style Channel chick was all about the pairing of the wine and cheese and this show went on forever and I was loving it and homesick at the same time, and this cheese goes with this wine and then on to the meats, and blah blah yum, then eventually she gets to bologna, aka baloney, and, believe it or don’t, the best wine to go with bologna is a crisp white and I can’t even type that without weeping with laughter because jeezy kreezy does it have to be explained to you how funny it is that there even IS a best wine to have with baloney??