Wednesday, 21 July 2021

On the 1 Year Anniversary of Willow's Final Purr

It's been a year since my lovely Ms Willow Pussycat left this mortal coil and transformed into a spirit-feline (the true and most powerful form of kitty kats). I'm still finding fur and cat claws in my/our abode and, occasionally, I can hear a faint meow. So it is clear to me that Ms Willow is still lingering, which is comforting.

I will likely get another earth-bound cat one day, but for the moment I'm content just to have spirit-Willow. I can't take anymore photos of Ms Willow but that won't stop me uploading existing photos:

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Things of Pink and Zebra

 (This "collection" brought to you by the "artist's" inane obsession with pink and zebra)

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Infrequent Blogging May - or May Not - Continue/Adieu, 2020

Only a foolish, foolhardy fool would even attempt to predict the possible future frequency of blogging on this here Effulgent13 Blog. Clearly, Effulgent13 blogging has waned somewhat in recent times, and especially for the duration of this year. But, the blogging may yet continue (Lord Be Praised), for better or worse, and even without the help of New Year's Eve wine (which I may have started drinking a little early - and, yes, this blog is being written with the aid of a few wines). And I make no apologies for this - this year of 2020 is one which, very much so, necessitates the early drinking of New Year's Eve wine.

Of course, one does not have to blog whilst early NYE's wine drinking. But one can, and I am. And I'm feeling that I have neglected this blog of late; so if I can get one last, hopefully not too incoherent, but wildly meaningless, blog post written before the end of this year, then all is not lost.

So, since this is the final day of this year - the year of 2020 (Annus Covidus) - let me farewell thee; with grace, with compassion, with hope.
Dear 2020,
You were my final year with my beautiful pussycat Willow;
You gave us hard lockdowns - allowing me to justify excessive video game playing and excessive introversion;
You gave some succour to the flora and fauna (though not always to the humans) of earth;
You brought back long phone conversations (very Gen X);
You engendered face mask wearing - causing humans to realize how much we communicate with each other with just our faces(!);
You allowed the humans of earth to gain some understanding of the fragility of our existence (and, hopefully, to become more wisdomed because of this).

Monday, 27 July 2020

Vale Ms Willow Pussycat

1st December 1998 - 21st July 2020

(21 years 8 months)

You have been my furry buddy for the past twenty and a half years. It has been the most biggest joy to be your companion animal and your servant.You have brought me much comfort and solace over the years; during the ordinariness of each passing day and especially during my times of existential crises.

It was a privilege to be a crazy cat lady with you.

Rest in peace, my beautiful.

Friday, 27 March 2020

In The Time of Covid-19

When you get home after shopping for essential items (still no toilet paper - what the hell, Australia!) and greet fellow house occupiers (human or otherwise) with a smile and a wave and a 1.5 metre distance and you thoroughly wash your hands (with an extra chorus of "Happy Birthday", just to be sure) and then you can FINALLY touch that spot on your face that's been needing to be touched for the last 4 hours,

Walking through sparsely peopled shopping centres and worrying (or hoping) that you've been transported into classic zombie horror film Dawn of the Dead,

Being a high level introvert and not noticing too much difference between social isolation and normal life,

Being an introvert and feeling sympathy for extravert humans who are more likely to struggle without the in-the-flesh social contact lifestyle - the internet is invaluable during this crisis but it's not a total replacement for 'actual' human contact, even for introverts,

Experiencing alarm that people are being told to wash hands after going to the bathroom - WASN'T THIS ALREADY HAPPENEING?!?!,

Not feeling guilty for spending so much time playing video games - surely, in this extended time of having to stay home, passing copious hours lost in the worlds of Resident Evil or Tomb Raider is justified,

Wishing journalists and politicians would consult a thesaurus and find alternative words for 'unprecedented',

For example: extraordinary/unparalleled/unimaginable/freakish/novel/unique/holy guacamole,

Admitting that 'unprecedented' is probably the best adjective to describe this global pandemic.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The Secret to Cat Longevity is The Cat-Heater Hybrid

As the middle of winter approaches, the necessity for a winter-themed photo increases. Thankfully, I have just such a photo handy.
Here is my cat, Ms Willow Pussycat, managing to not burn herself whilst trying to fuse with the heater:

Willow is 20.5 years old and refuses to die. She is a lovely housemate (I've had her for 19.5 years), though in recent times, she has taken to peeing in the corridor instead of in the litter tray - so I've had to line the corridor with garbage bags. Still, she seems mostly happy and reasonably healthy, and occasionally she will pee in the litter tray. I appreciate that this is not ideal and that once a cat starts not using the litter tray properly, it might be time for kitty to go to cat-heaven. However, I don't think she's actually incontinent, I suspect that her older bones find the litter tray a bit cramped so she prefers to go in the corridor (thankfully, she hasn't chosen to prefer the kitchen or my bed). I'm not sure I'm okay with sending her to the afterlife for the crime of wrongly placed pee (unless she starts peeing on me, then we're going to have a problem - only I'm allowed to pee on me).

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Spanish...I am going to (attempt to) learn least some of you...


With the aid of Google Translate, Spanish for Dummies, a Spanish-English diccionario and Spanish language shows/films (with and without subtitulos), I am attempting to learn me some Español. Fantástico!

Why (por qué)? Because (porque):
(1) I like Spanish
(2) I've been disappointed for many, muchos, years that my high school Spanish class was prematurely discontinued
(3) I believe that I've reached a reasonably proficient level of English (though, I'm sure many would disagree) such that it might be time to take on the challenge of a different language
(4) I feel that having knowledge of another language has some kind of 'humanity' value (though, I'm not entirely sure what I mean)

I have started my language learning by trolling for Spanish words (and their meanings) through Google Translate/Spanish for Dummies/Spanish dictionary, then trying to say the words out loud, then trying to pick out these words (and others previously not encountered) from Spanish language shows. I suspect this is not the traditional way to learn a language (as an adult) but I'm having fun.

I'm not very good, however, at joining the words together so as to form coherent sentences (I sometimes have the same problem with English). My deficiencies include, but are not limited to:
(1) sorting out the variants/gender/uses of Spanish words and, specifically, of 'the'
(2) changing the endings of words to give them the correct tense
(3) where/when to use 'accent marks' (known as 'diacritical marks', eg ñ)
- all of which creates havoc in my English-only brain.

Some of my favourite Spanish words, so far, are:

bruja(witch)/cuchillo(knife)/diablo(devil)/Feliz Navidad(Merry Christmas)/fuego(fire)/gato(cat)/gracioso(funny)/idiota(stupid)/llave(key)/infierno(hell)/loco(crazy)/luna(moon)/milagro(miracle)/muerte(death)/mujer(woman)/nieve(snow)/pesadilla(nightmare)/siento(I feel)/siesta(nap)/sombra(shadow)/suerte(luck)/tengo(I have)/tormenta(storm)/tranquilo(calm)/triste(sad)

(words have been arranged alphabetically and without explanation - though there is an evident psychological profile of my brain (cerebro) on display here)

So, obviously, the thing do to now is to use all of the above words in a sentence paragraph; firstly in English, then in Spanish. No problema (sarcasmo).

English (Inglés):
I awake abruptly from my nap; a funny nightmare has shaken me from my calm sleep. By the light of the moon, I can see my cat, Luck, going crazy. I feel cold, so I light a fire, this creates sad shadows on the wall. I have an overwhelming sensation that a storm is approaching. I look through the window and see snow. I also see a woman standing in the snow; she is holding a knife and a key. I go outside and walk towards the woman. As I get closer, I realize that she is a witch. She wishes me a Merry Christmas, but, shockingly, her "Merry Christmas" is actually a fatal curse from hell and I immediately experience death. Frustratingly, a stupid miracle happens and I am reincarnated as the Devil!

Spanish (Español):
(mostly from Google Translate/ I changed some things to make it present tense and closer to the original text/don't know if this is allowed/apologies to all Spanish speakers for my ineptitude and possible offence)
Yo despierto abruptamente de mi siesta; una pesadilla graciosa me ha sacudido de mi sueño tranquilo. Por la luz de la luna, puedo ver mi gato, Suerte, volviéndose loco. Me siento frío, así que enciendo un fuego, esto crea sombras tristes en la pared. Tengo una abrumadora sensación de que se acercándose una tormenta. Miro mediante la ventana y veo nieve. También veo a una mujer parada en la nieve; ella está sosteniendo un cuchillo y una llave. Voy afuera y caminar hacia la mujer. Como yo meterse más cerca, me doy cuenta de que ella es una bruja. Ella me desea una Feliz Navidad, pero, de manera chocante, su "Feliz Navidad" es en realidad una maldición fatal desde infierno y yo inmediatamente experiencia muerte. Frustrantemente, un milagro idiota sucede y yo soy reencarnado como el ¡Diablo!


Monday, 24 December 2018

Merry Christmas from Richard Nixon

Here is a (ye olde) Christmas card given (with love) to members of the press gallery in Washington DC from President Nixon (and his missus):

A reminder of a time when American Presidents still had respect for journalists...even diligent, investigative journalists who bring about their downfall.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Fuck You, Grace!

[Special note to person's named Grace; I don't mean you...unless you are an asshole!]

"Grace" - from the (Australian Concise Oxford, 4th edition, 2004) dictionary -
  • attractiveness, especially in elegance of proportion or manner or movement
  • courteous good will (had the grace to apologize)
  • an attractive feature; an accomplishment (social graces)
  • in Christian belief - the unmerited favour of God/the state of receiving this
  • goodwill
  • delay granted as a favour (a year's grace)
  • a short thanksgiving before or after a meal
  • (Grace) (in Greek mythology) each of three beautiful sister goddesses, bestowers of beauty and charm
  • (Grace) (preceded by His, Her, Your) forms of description or address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop
[For the purpose of the rest of this blog, I'm pretty much using grace to mean 'being nice to people' or 'not being a jackass'.]

Once upon a time, I believed that to strive for grace in all my actions and attitudes was a proper and noble endeavour, that being gracious (kindhearted, benevolent, civil, obliging, considerate, merciful, magnanimous, charitable) was the pinnacle of human humanity. Indecorousness; this is a word that never rolled off the tongues of my well-meaning mentors when I was growing up, as they tried to instill a sense of proper conduct into my existence. Well, the times they are a changing, and, quite frankly, I've had it with grace (though, not really) and I wonder if incorporating some elements of gracelessness (uncouth, coarse, crude, boorish, ill-mannered, unsophisticated, shameless, tactless) into my persona would be a sensible, if not liberating, path.

Can too much graciousness be stultifying? Unhealthy? Would a little more obnoxiousness pave the way to enlightenment? A socially inappropriate, expletive ridden, tantrum-fuelled rant might exorcise even the most tightly imbedded of demons; either those of a personal nature or the ones that emanate directly from Hell. If only such outbursts didn't upset proximate people; but there might be a way around this unpleasant side effect. Perhaps all people could have a screaming rant at exactly the same time, then no-one would have to listen other people's offensive diatribes but, instead, everyone would be able to simultaneously get things off their collective chests. A Universal Unburdening. We, as a society, could schedule regular therapeutic yelling - just like the people did in that wacky Orwellian novel...although it wasn't framed as therapeutic yelling so much as it was framed as The Two Minutes Hate:
"The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp."
[Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell, pg 17]
If an organized 'hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness' can contribute to a productive and accommodating society in a (so-called) dystopian novel, surely it can work in real life. After all, the novel does end on a happy note:
"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
[Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell, pg 256]
And surely to love is the greatest state to which humans can aspire, so to love Big Brother surely must be super-duper. And if we can achieve this state (of grace)(see what I did), then we can know that War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. And why has my seeming aversion to Grace led me to George Orwell? Maybe Grace is Vulgar. Or Grace is Obscene. Or Grace is Evil Incarnate. Or This Blog Post is Making Me Crazy...