Friday, 28 October 2011

Fun with kitties

Charlie and his mini-me play with the iPad.

Playing with the iPad

A rare shot of Little Miss being still and in focus.

Little Miss

Monday, 24 October 2011

Making friends

Saturday, I caught Hermione and Chloe sharing a windowsill briefly. Chloe still tolerates Little Miss, but hasn't been captivated by her tiny charm.

My cats

Tonight I looked over and saw THIS:

My cats

Charlie was deeply ashamed to be caught sharing his favourite bed with Little Miss ... nah, I'm joking, he was actually bathing.

My cats

I've noticed that Charlie has grown fond of Hermione, but this was my first time catching them cuddling. So adorable!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

More kitten pictures

Little Miss is enjoying herself.

Little Miss
Little Miss

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Little Miss

Hermione has settled in quite nicely, thank you. In this picture she's with Mel, a koala beanie baby that I gave her to play with, so she'd stop trying to eat my hand.
  Little Miss

Last night, she slept on a pillow next to me, Charlie was on the foot of the bed, and Chloe was sleeping on the baker's rack by the window. Bliss.

 When I got up this morning, she and Charlie were chasing each other around the apartment. She's not afraid to squawk when he gets a little rough, and he steps back when she squawks. Charlie seems happy to have a wee little playmate. Chloe is still curious about Hermione, she's taking her time.

 This morning, I took Hermione to a Petland-approved vet for a mandatory (and free) check-up. She weighs 2.4 lbs and is healthy. She charmed everyone. One of the clinic staff has a ragdoll kitten one week younger - who was spending the day at the clinic. So we introduced the kittens to each other. Hermione was unimpressed. We decided she is not a DSH (Domestic Short Hair) as determined by Petland. Right now she's a DMH (Domestic Medium Hair). The vet declared her to be a torbie, because she's got the facial markings of a tabby, but the rest of her is tortoiseshell. She remains delightful and adorable. :-)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Kitten of Terror

I'm going to have to lock up Little Miss for the day. She chases and corners the big cats, they need a reprieve from the two month old Kitten of Terror. :-)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

So Little Miss has been hanging with me, wreaking havoc when left alone in the bathroom - she has a talent for climbing and leaping.

Little Miss Hermione

She's been playing tug-of-war under the door with the big cats.

Little Miss Hermione

She particularly enjoys romping on my bed.

Little Miss Hermione

Or putting herself on Facebook.

Little Miss Hermione

I held her when I got home from work tonight and observed the big cats' reaction. They didn't seem disturbed, so I let Little Miss go free. The big cats hated that idea. They retreated to the cat tree, which she has yet to climb.

The big cats

Hermione paused to play some "mousey game" on the iPad.

Little Miss Hermione

She chased Chloe around for a while. When Hermione got too close to Charlie and he started to growl, I whisked her away and locked her in the bedroom. Not because I was afraid he would hurt her - I locked her away because she was starting to really get on the big cats' nerves. They needed a break from her kitten levels of enthusiasm. I think she'll spend tonight in the bathroom again, to give the big cats a reprieve.

It's funny - Chloe now checks my hands whenever I get home, to make sure I didn't bring another kitten! Charlie has become naughtier, he's climbing up on the counters and TV stand more.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The big cats are slowly adjusting to the presence of Little Miss. I bought two toys and tied them to a piece of yarn. The yarn is under the bathroom door, so they can play with each other on both sides of the door, playing tug of war. Little Miss thinks that is great fun!

How small is Hermione? She can fit in my camera bag.

Little Miss Hermione

The cats have all seen each other, when the bathroom door is open. Today I tried a new experiment - I put Hermione into a carrier, then placed it where the big cats could see it. I stepped back and observed.

Chloe tentatively approached the carrier. Hermione stuck a paw out of the door. Charlie approached, then hissed. That's when I stepped in and picked up the carrier.

;Big yawn!

Little Miss Hermione

She's getting restless, so I brought her into the bedroom tonight while I sorted and put away my clean laundry. She had a great time roaming the bed, then jumping down and exploring.

Little Miss Hermione

As part of the Petland warranty, she has to be seen by one of their approved vets within seven business days. We've got an appointment booked for Saturday - not my regular vet, but it is close by.

She's just delightful.

Little Miss Hermione

Saturday, 15 October 2011

I has a kitten

I've debated getting a third cat for a while. Not enough room, would that make me a crazy cat lady, etc. I have two grown cats.

And thanks to a trip to a local pet store to get new cat toys ... I have a kitten. This is Hermione.

The new baby

When I was holding her and trying to decide if I really wanted to adopt her, people kept smiling at us. Like we looked as if we belong together. She curled up in my hands and purred. I knew she was the right kitten.

Confessions of a fangirl

I first took notice of Kevin McKidd when he appeared on Grey's Anatomy. I'd stopped watching GA during Season 4, but caught the season finale with the house of candles and decided to give Season 5 a try. Owen caught my eye, and I remembered how much I liked Cristina Yang and Miranda Bailey, so I kept watching. Slowly, I started to want know more about Owen Hunt and the man who played him, Kevin McKidd.

I can tell you when I became a Cristina/Owen fangirl. It was during episode 5-10, in the scene where Owen takes Cristina to the Vent. In the exact moment that Cristina laughed for the second time, I was hooked. I remember thinking, "Anyone who can make Cristina Yang laugh like a little girl is someone I want to watch."

Fast-forward to this summer. Kevin McKidd decided to do the Tough Mudder Event in California, bringing attention and donations to Save the Children: East Africa. He worked with his fan club to establish "Thank you" gifts for different donation levels. One of the gifts was a group video chat with Kevin himself.

At first I didn't think I'd want to do that. What would I say? Besides "Talk Scottish to me"? He'd shown himself to be a great communicator through his Twitter feed, but I was still hesitant. Then I happened to be online when he joined a group chat with his fan club. He was so personable and friendly that I decided to go for the video chat. It was for charity, after all! And he raised over $14,000 for a very worthy cause.

Kevin McKidd

My group session was on October 13. And it was awesome. Myself and other fans Skyped with Kevin, aided by the lovely moderator, Leanne. I've gotten tons of requests for details, and I've shared some. This is my attempt to capture everything I remember.

The first thing is that Leanne said we were surprisingly quiet, given how vocal we can be online. Heh. Kevin asked where everyone was from. I represented the Canadian fangirls.

I think we were all trying to be polite and give everyone a chance to speak ... or were too shy/starstruck. Consequently, nobody wanted to break the ice. I'd prepared a couple of questions so I decided to not be such an introvert, and ask the first question. I asked if he'd prepared a back story for Owen or was he given one by the GA writers?

Kevin replied that he wasn't given much at all. He senses that Owen has a sister, who may appear in the future. He thinks Owen's father died a while ago, of a heart condition, so Owen's mother has been on her own for a long time. Owen is very close to his mother. Kevin likes working with Debra Mooney and hopes she'll appear on the show again.

I asked if Owen's mother has a first name (something I've wanted to know for my fanfiction). Her name has never been determined, but Kevin thinks it's something like Imogen.

I had another question prepared and it was a huge one - "the Teddy thing". I asked if that was a hard story to sell, because we fangirls certainly weren't buying it. The battery in Kevin's laptop started to die, so he had to briefly drop out of the chat and find the charger. When he came back, he asked me to repeat the question and then answered it, with a lot of detail.

Kevin talked about how in the early seasons of GA, the writers created MerDer, then split them up with a triangle the next season. They tried to do that with Cristina/Owen in Season Six - Kevin said he "sensed" that Owen was supposed to go off with Teddy while Cristina spent some time with Jackson. Kevin and Sandra didn't like this, but as actors they decided to go along with it. What happened next was that the fans were far more angry about the plotline than the writers expected. We were so vehemently opposed that the plot had to be changed. (Fangirl power!)

Most of us in the chat, if not all, had something to say about the Triangle of Doom. We could not believe that the Owen of Season Five could ever love two women at the same time, and Kevin agreed. I referred to the Writers Blog where Shonda shared that some of the writers really believed that Owen could, and we shared some strong opinions about that.

Kevin talked a bit about that - he said that the writers were not ill-intentioned, but what they envisioned in the writer's room as an interesting story to tell, did not materialize onscreen as something that the fans could accept.

I want to stress that while Kevin may not agree with some plot points, he was very professional while discussing the writers. He was respectful. Katherine Heigl could have taken some tips from him.

I'm glad I brought up the Teddy thing, it was interesting to hear Kevin be candid about how it failed. He also talked about the differences between most men and women - a woman could conceive of being in love with two different people easier than a man could. And he doesn't think Owen can be in love with more than one woman at a time.

I'm not sure if the other women in the chat want to be identified publicly, so I'm not naming names, though I hope they will their memories to this. One asked him about an interview in which Kevin had said that Cristina was supposed to have been pregnant at the end of Season 5, and Season 6 was going to be about them raising the child together. Kevin said that a pregnant Cristina was supposed to have been the cliffhanger, but he doesn't recall ever being told that she would go through with the pregnancy.

We also talked about the current abortion storyline. Kevin is emphatic that it's not over yet. They just did a table read for 8-09, and there will be a catalyst for Owen and Cristina to really confront the issue. I felt that he tried to put on a professional demeanour about the storyline, but I don't think he's really enjoying playing it. He talked about how Owen and Cristina get the "darker" storylines. I said it was frustrating to have drama all the time, when Callie and Arizona only had to deal with chicken pox. I blurted out "I want Cristina and Owen to have chicken pox!"

"I want chicken pox!"


Kevin had a chuckle and pointed out that they did just deal with food poisoning.

The session wasn't all venting about GA. He loves working with Sandra very much - his whole demeanour changed while he talked about her, he clearly adores her.He agreed with us that it would be cool to see Owen and Meredith clear the air between them, maybe get stuck in a situation where they have to talk with each other.

He definitely feels that Cristina and Owen are "end game", no matter what. He thinks Cristina is a hard person to be married to, where she is so stubborn and headstrong and self-centred, until hit with the truth. It's very clear that he wants Owen to always be Cristina's love interest, that's what he was hired to be and what he wants to be.

Other details ...

Kevin knows how to block people on Twitter, but prefers to just ignore them. He's only blocked two people.

We got to meet Pippa, one of his dogs. When the chat session got quiet, I asked if his ukulele was nearby. It was! He played it for us - I think it was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I can't be sure. I kept thinking, "Kevin McKidd is playing the ukulele for us! Kevin McKidd is playing the ukulele for us! Kevin McKidd is playing the ukulele for us!".

Kevin doesn't go to the fan forums to read what people are saying about his work - it messes with his vision of his character too much. He did read the ABC message board for a short time. James Purefoy once suggested that he check out Television Without Pity. Kevin is never going back to TWoP again. :-)

He's looking for another event like the Tough Mudder, or maybe something that involves a mountain. He doesn't want to do a triathlon - he can't swim very well, and the training that he would have to do would take him away from his wife and kids too much.

Some people have approached him and congratulated him on his promotion to Chief of Surgery.

In conclusion, I'm very glad that I participated. I learned quite a few things about Cristina/Owen, but more importantly, Kevin is very friendly and gracious, and made it a great conversation.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

I am a blood donor

I was scheduled to give platelets this Saturday. Yesterday morning, Canadian Blood Services called and asked me to come in tonight, as I was a match. I figured this was a special request, and I agreed to do it, although I said I might be late. I prefer to donate on Saturdays so that I don't have to deal with downtown traffic. I got there half an hour early, actually, by avoiding the Deerfoot. I had cookies until a chair was ready for me. One of the nurses was the one who helped track me down as a match - they were having a hard time finding someone for this particular patient. When someone needs a match, it means that their health is often so precarious that they want to match as many antigens as possible, or reduce the risk of antibodies and clotting. As someone with AB+ blood, I don't have any antibodies to pass on, blood type wise (in platelets, I don't donate any red blood cells). This patient is a woman who is in the Foothills Hospital, with aplastic anemia, and she was born in 1981. As always, I mentally cast some blessings on my platelets and told them to go out and do good things. My own platelet count was unusually high - another nurse thinks it was turkey from Thanksgiving this weekend. Whatever the cause, I was only hooked up to the machine for 55 minutes - a new personal record. Once I got the call yesterday, I began to drink extra glasses of water to juice up my vein. My vein was in a terrific mood today.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lake Louise

Taken August 9, 2009.

Lake Louise

One of the many benefits of living in Calgary is being close to the Rockies. I like to just drive out for the day, exploring Banff National Park.

Friday, 7 October 2011

I like to take pictures

Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. August 2010.

Cathedral Grove

My sister and I stopped here and walked around for a few hours. For the first time, I filled up 1.5 memory cards. Just drinking in the green.

Moving In

I've been using as my blog since 2003. I closed it to the public a year ago, out of a greater desire to minimize my online presence.

Then I realized that I was posting to a diminishing audience, as more and more people leave LJ. So ... here is my new blog. I post for me, not an audience, but at the same time, I don't like feeling like I'm posting in a vacuum.