this is an update instead of a link roundup.

  1. The past month has been weird.
  2. My 89-year-old grandfather had a heart attack. I went home for three days. He is, shockingly, basically fine now.
  3. I am now on the writing staff for Limelight Magazine, which covers the local St. Louis theatre scene and it is kind of a dream come true.
  4. A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, GQ.
  5. Next month I am traveling to Reno, NV to visit my best friend and we have almost no plans except gin drinking and shoe buying.
  6. Shocker, having my ADHD meds get messed up by both insurance and my pharmacy and therefore delayed for several weeks makes things hard; I couldn’t figure out why I was exhausted and foggy all the time for no reason until I realized that it was not for no reason. (Everyone, do better than me to stay on your meds).
  7. A real and lovely Facebook post on whiteness, racism, and the LGBT community in St. Louis by Keith Rose.
  8. I am having a bout of relatively minor hormonal acne and though it is nothing like the horrific and borderline-disfiguring cysts I had as a teenager before I took Accutane, it hurts and is a major annoyance.
  9. Life happened the way life happens and as soon as I decided to start freelancing For Real This Time, I got promoted to full time at my job so now I have that, writing gigs, and school on top of the high level of general maintenance my life and brain require.
  10. I continue to spend many, many nights that I don’t work at The Gin Room inside of Natasha’s Cafe and it is probably my favorite place to be in the entirety of St. Louis, second maybe to the room in the Central Library where they keep all the play scripts and magazines.
  11. This blog has two (!) new logos by Tayyba Khawaja and I have some cool new headshots by Logan Corry.
  12. I think my cat is mad at me for being out of the house too much.
  13. My chiropractor told me that my boobs are slowly giving me scoliosis and pulling my shoulder out of socket, so there’s that delightful bit of news about existing in the world with a body.
  14. I’m really, really tired.

How have you been, friends and weirdos?

a chronology of cats, part 1: ashley.

I’m probably a perfect stereotype of the 21st century millennial cat lady: a single woman in her 20s, not interested in having kids or buying a house or getting a corporate job anytime soon, obsessed with her cat to the point of having a tattoo portrait, a lesbian, a self described weird girl, owner and wearer of multiple pieces of cat clothing. Until I purged my follow list last month, my Instagram feed was full of more cats than people. I have full on conversations with Ilse, my cat/needy roommate who poops in a box of sand. My first word as a baby was “kitty.”

Jokes aside, cats have been constant companions for me. I have never not had a cat, save for the year or so between when Ashley, my mom’s cat who pre-dated both my dad and I, died and when we got my first kitten, Rorey. It seems a small tribute to the cats of my present and past is in order.

This is the first in a series of eight posts for eight cats. Meet Ashley.

Ashley (pre-me – 1997)

Image description: a photo of a large, orange cat who is sitting with his body facing the left and his head turned toward the camera. He is sitting on beige carpet, and his shadow, a door, and a table are in the background of the photo.

My mom got Ashley from a friend whose backyard he appeared in. He was giant and friendly and had those amazing black nose freckles that orange cats get, and when I was a baby I would try to ride on his back. I’m sure my first word was in reference to him.

A framed portrait of him sits on a shelf right inside the door to my mom’s house, where I grew up. She has an incredible set of photos of Ashley reading (wearing her glasses and posed with a book) and Ashley drinking wine (next to a glass and bottle).

He was very old and diabetic by the time I was born, and had to be euthanized when I was still a toddler. I don’t know if I exactly remember him, but he certainly ignited my love for kitties.