Friday, June 22, 2007

New Bali Pix

Here's Bali sitting on my desk; the surface of the desk is newly visible after an intensive burst of throwing out tottering piles of paper, and Bali loves to hang out there now that he's no longer risking an avalanche by doing so. And, of course, lying on my desk has the added attraction, often, of blocking whatever I'm actually trying to do at the moment, a lure cats can never resist.

The remaining pile of paper, in that basket behind Balthazar, is the draft of Driving to November.

Here's a close-up of his fuzzy little face. I apologize for the goop in his eyes; I'm a terrible cat mother, I know. I could have sworn I'd cleaned his eyes just a few minutes before taking these photos, and look: new eye goop!

The mermaid postcard on the lamp base is a writing icon I bought back when I was working on a mermaid story. I haven't finished it, and at this point very well may not, but I like the image (and, as it turns out, there's also a mermaid in November).

On the base of the lamp are a quartz crystal I picked up while hiking on our local mountain, the one right across the street, and a tiny bronze Christmas tree my mother gave me one Christmas, and which miraculously hasn't been batted into oblivion by the cats.

Here's sleepy Bali. I love this position, totally sprawled out: it always makes cats look like they're actually beanbag animals who have no bones.

Harley does a hilarious variation of this in which he looks like he's flying, like Superman, with his front paws stretched in front of him and his hind paws sticking out in opposite directions.

Here's a front view of sleepy Bali. Gary likes this shot better than the previous one, but I like both of them. I'm just happy whenever I can get a picture of Bali that's actually in focus; that's much easier, from whatever position, when he's sleepy!

In this picture he looks like a toy cat, doesn't he? The couch in my study is home to a variety of pillows and stuffed animals, and sometimes when the cats are curled up there too, it's hard to tell which animals are alive and which aren't.

Here's the photo I was trying to get when I started this series. The black kitty has white toe tufts! I noticed them last night, right after Bali had been mock-fighting with Harlequin, and I thought the white tufts were bits of Harley's tummy fur that Bali had gotten caught in his claws. But no, they're his very own white toe tufts, and they're only on his hind paws, not the front ones.

Harley has magnificant toe tufts: Gary always says his feet look like snow shoes. Figaro has long, lean, knobby toes that are, I swear, as flexible as fingers. I'm expecting him to develop an opposable thumb any day now.

And, finally, here's a shot of some of the glass in my study window. I love art glass, and can rarely afford it; most of these pieces were gifts from my sister and my college roommate.

That crooked little blue and red and yellow panel, though, the third from the left? I made that during a one-day stained-glass course I took in New York City. The class was eight hours of torture, as it turned out: we did everything from selecting and cutting the glass to finishing the panel in that stretch, and our teacher was an elderly, embittered woman who provided neither a first-aid kit nor eye protection while we were grinding the glass. I got a small cut fairly early on, and when I asked her for a bandaid, she gave me a disgusted look and said, "You cut yourself already? I don't have any bandaids. Just suck on it."

Stained Glass Boot Camp. Just what I wanted.

By the time we got to soldering our panels, we were all so tired that our hands were shaking. Some of us, me included, had skipped lunch because we were so far behind: it's hard to learn new physical skills all in one day! We definitely shouldn't have been trusted with soldering irons. The woman next to me was in such a fog that she put her iron down on a pile of newspaper, whereupon the instructor yelped and rushed to put out the fire. No real damage was done, luckily.

At the very end, we had to solder on small hooks for hanging the panel. My hands were almost useless by then. I called the instructor over and said, "I'm having trouble with these hooks."

She looked down at my unsightly, messy panel, sniffed, and said, "That's not the only thing you're having trouble with."

The panel isn't great art, but I keep it to remind myself of having persevered through a difficult day, and I'm fond of it. It's my glass Ugly Duckling.

In other news, the radio show today was great fun, although when I emerged from the studio, I had a parking ticket! This, mind you, even though I'm UNR faculty, with a UNR parking permit, who was parked in an uncrowded UNR lot. I had mistakenly parked in a lot to which my permit doesn't give me access -- even though I pay $300 a year for the privilege of parking at my own job -- so now I have to pay another $30 to the university.


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