Why Are Cats? Sneak Peak at a new podcast with Cat Behaviorist, Mirian Hasani

Ever wonder why cats do what they do? Every day? Yes, then you’re my people and you may enjoy this podcast with cat behaviorist and cat psychologist Mirian Hasani. Here’s a sneak peek where she tells us about Basil the blind cat who was rescued out of a very dark and dangerous shelter. Basil had been abandoned, blind, dumped on the street. The owner of a no-kill rescue took her to save her from certain euthanasia. A whole year passed and she couldn’t get near Basil for fear of being attacked. Finally, she found Mirian and reached out to her for help. What follows is the story of how this lonely little kitty finally opened up to love.

You Tube Influencers Have Keen Eye for Racism, But Fall Hard on Sexism

 

Aba and Preach are comedians with a keen eye for racial inequality. However, their unwillingness to use that same insight to understand the gender imbalance in male/female relationships and society more largely, presents a glaring inconsistency. They complain about double standards that, in their opinion, favor women, presenting their personal and anecdotal perspective as evidence, without ever examining the historical and systemic privileges that favor men and shut out women. Why does this matter? Because they perpetuate a toxic masculinity that, however palatable to most, is the very subtext that feeds the misogyny running in the background of our culture. Unexamined, this perspective drives the narratives that result in discrediting women and marginalizing their opinions and voices. Lauryn Moses and I cannot stay silent about it. This video is the first in a series to call them out and is a response to their first video on the recent revelations regarding Chris D’elia and the barely legal girls he routinely objectified and sought to use.

 

IG: @misslaurynmoses @punt_on_point_media Twitter: @amypunt

Ollie & Lena–A Love Story

The premier of LotusLand TV, a Punt On Point Media production. LotusLand TV is a channel dedicated to raising awareness about the rescue and fostering of cats. Saving a life, changes your own. The love you give to a cat, he returns 7-fold.

 

 

Dispatches from Lockdown–CA Edition. Americans refusal to know things is why we are now number one in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases. #coronavirus, #coronavirusoutbreak, #WearMasks , #stopgathering

Dispatches From Lockdown–CA Edition

Fragments On Suicide

I’m 15 and sitting on my bed in my room writing tortured poetry.  Joy Division, Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Smiths play on a loop. Suicide soundtrack. I try cutting my wrists, but a dull knife and a low threshold for pain ruins the romance.  I want attention.

Seventh period study hall, Freshman year. George somebody or other. A tall, wide, redheaded football player, ugly. Really ugly, this guy. But popular. His best friend, Steve, wiry, tan, sun-tipped waves. A tennis player. The Beast and his Beauty.

The teacher, assistant coach of some kind–an alcoholic, barely kept his head adrift and frequently left ten minutes into class never to return. Steve and George found sport in making fun of Lara, a not very attractive, overweight girl with unwashed hair. They drew pictures of her on the board, made the whole class laugh. One day I stood up for her. George made me his target from that day forward. He and Steve drew pictures of me on the board, my face a piece of pizza. They never relented.

Lesley sat in the back on the other side of the room. I’d never met her before the day she found me at my locker and gave me a forged library pass.  “Meet me in the Library for study hall,” she said. I did, and every day after that. She came from money and the right side of town. Her dad had the right kind of job and she had all the right friends–which didn’t seem to matter to her. She saved my life. In high school kids can kill you, but they can also save you.

That you never really grows up. At a certain point she dims, but she never leaves. She hangs around to see how it all turned out, wondering about the longing you told her you’d handle, wondering if you’d make anything of it.

And so you spend the next several decades reaching for it. Until you’re tired and you’re here again, on the page, facing your high school self blank-faced and empty-handed.

“Sorry.” I say. “At least the weather’s better here.” We’re in L.A. Not Chicago.

I’m starting to bargain with the past. It won’t work. I’ll change gears. Try to put it another way.

This thing with Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, well how do you make sense of it?

And the news makes you feel like a child again, because it was a longing to become something big that kept you going and now it’s betrayed you.

Celebrities carry the psychic weight of the public’s needs.  They embody our aspirations, and they feel that pressure. They know their role. Perhaps then, celebrity suicide is a fundamental rejection of us and our fantasies.

According to a report in the Daily Beast, Spade told a friend she didn’t want to seek professional help for depression. She feared it might compromise her brand of bright colorful bags and charming charms telling women we’re one in a million. I wonder if she thought that through to its natural conclusion, that her brand was more important than her life, her daughter, her husband…

I spent 15 years in the beauty industry working for a Spade adjacent company–Bobbi Brown. There’s a kind of symbiosis between them–clean, strong lines, bright pops of color, classic taste. If you wanted to project power in the early 2000’s you wore Donna Karan, carried Kate Spade, and made up your face with the neutral power of Bobbi Brown.

Now look at them. Bobbi no long sells makeup. Karan came out in public support of Weinstein, and Spade is dead. Well, Spade’s death reveals a timeless truth about her industry, negative emotions have no currency. Traffic in them and you’ll lose everything.

Be positive, relentlessly, powerfully, positive. Successful people do it well. Until they don’t.

I wonder if, right after the moment of decision and right before their last, Bourdain or Spade regretted it, remembered their children, thought about their loved ones. People who have survived the 245 foot fall from the Golden Gate Bridge have reported regretting it the second they let go…And hanging isn’t painless…You have time to reflect on not being able to turn back.

Have you ever been depressed–seriously, clinically, you can’t move from your bed depressed? Your thoughts eat themselves. Enormous black feelings cannibalize every breath and you wish you could stop existing.

That’s rage, my friend. Inverted rage at your powerlessness to effect meaningful change. Round and round you go and each time you feel better you know it’s not for long. Right around the corner lurks a trigger–snap, bang, drag, fall and there you go again down the drain and out to sea.  So you dream of the end when you can stop trying and simply let go. It feels so much easier than fighting your way back. Reaching out requires honesty, vulnerability, strength. Depression wears you down until you feel like a thread.

It wears everyone around you down too. At a certain point you’re as tired of you as they are.

A Mourning Dove sits on a power line directly in front of my balcony where I watch. Every morning she sits for hours saying very little. What happened to your love? Where is your home? Why do you like this power line?

I think about suicide because of Kate Spade. That’s its contagion. No matter what you know or how smart you think you are, suicide seduces the damned. Obsessed with Robin Williams’ death, Spade read everything on it. Two years later here we are and there she’s gone. I read three articles on her death then stopped. It gets deep in your head. You can’t leave it alone, like that loose piece of skin on the roof of your burned mouth, you keep bothering it.

But I won’t. Suicide makes those you love angry. You’ve ruined their dream. You’ve killed their hope. You’ve robbed them of a piece of themselves. They will never again feel how you made them feel, and they may never forgive you for it. The violence of your last act chars your memory forever. Each time you come to mind the acrid odor of suicide follows until it’s just too painful to remember you as clearly or as regularly. You fade, forever damned by your last most significant act. Suicide as legacy.

These are all just words scraping the surface of something I’m trying to work out, but can’t. Something is stuck and I’m caught writing childish journal entries–anything to loosen the words and locate the story. Perhaps more of this to come. Stay with me and we’ll find the thread together…

In 2006 I wrote this about a man I can’t believe I ever loved Part II

The sun pushes the clouds up extending them way above my head
Pink light spreads like layers of
cotton candy across the sky.

I’m not angry with him
I don’t blame him
I don’t ever want to be near him again.

I want to be with him again.
I cannot see my life without him

My heart told me to wait
And then asked me if it had ever been wrong before.

No, it had been right before.
It told me to get away from him all along.

But now it’s changed its mind.

In 2006 I wrote this about a man I can’t believe I ever loved Part I

I woke to your voice clinging to my thoughts
a web of tangled conversations
shaken loose by the storm in my head.

You once told me I thought like a man
Not the thing you want to hear from a lover
But then, you’d have known that.

It’s my birthday today and I know you remember
I feel your thoughts upon my body so dense I can
barely lift myself from the bed.

But I do not call and I wonder if you will
Like I wonder this time each year.

I’m relieved when you don’t but
sometimes
your absence is so near it’s like that first day
I woke and remembered you were gone.

I always knew we were made for heartbreak
You and I
It never stopped me from loving
you.

Get up
Shower
Dress
Drive to work

But I have this sense I left my body back in bed.
I want to tell you that. You’d get it.

Carrie Fisher In Memoriam.

I haven’t written in weeks. I feel stiff and incapable. Everything I’ve tried to write in that time has been unfit for public consumption—rambling, self-indulgent, self-hating. That said, I’ll take Carrie Fisher’s death as an impetus and will write to honor to her. According to a family spokesperson, she died at 8:55 a.m., in Los Angeles, after suffering a heart attack on a flight back from London on Friday. I saw her in her last public appearance live on the Graham Norton Show on BBC America. She was funny, charming, self-deprecating, and sharp. It’s hard to imagine the world without her, or that someone so full of life last week will lie in the ground this week.

Since 1977 she has been my hero. She’s failed and started again showing as much courage, strength, and ingenuity as Leia herself. I’ve always told my students to push themselves into the market using whatever was at their disposal and never wait for anyone’s permission. Fisher could have faded into history after Return of The Jedi, but she didn’t. Most would and have, particularly most actresses. Who can carry the weight of such a character as Princess Leia then go on to seize other roles and carve out other spaces in Hollywood? Women fade more quickly than men. But not Carrie Fisher. She took smaller roles and all the while wrote and wrote and wrote.  She emerged as a force that no one could ignore. And while she never escaped the specter of Princess Leia, she never let it hold her back. Always one to laugh at herself, she embraced it, in the end, and was both Carrie Fisher and Leia simultaneously—finding that, perhaps the two had more in common than any of us really understood.

Forgive this sappy eulogy. I’m not saying anything others have not or will not say in the weeks to come. She was a national treasure and an icon in her own time. She was also a deeply flawed woman who never got in the way of her career or her talent. I wish I could say the same.

Oh Carrie, my Carrie, 2016 has been a terrible year and now we’ve lost you too.

Cat Forum Interview with Chloe and Charlie

Hello dear Readers, Chloe and Charlie had the honor of an interview with Snoops and Commando, two very witty cats from Michigan. Take a look to get to know them better. They’ll be featured in the continuing series, Kiss The Kitties. Also, read Snoops and Commandos’ blog. It’s edited by mice. Can you imagine?

Adventures in Cheeseland

Today we are here with Chloe and Charlie from Insights from the Edge  (We are not sure what it is the edge of; it must be a human thing.) It is written by their mom Amy. She does not write about cats, but it’s pretty interesting anyway. Apparently she writes for a living, so that’s probably why it’s pretty good. It would be better if she wrote about cats.

 2016-09-10-11-52-28
Tell us a little bit about each of you.
Chloe: My lady told me other humans found me under a dumpster at three weeks old. I was the only girl. I had many brothers. One was blind. He was a good guy. The rest were annoying. I met my lady when I was eight weeks old. She ignored me, so I liked her. All the other humans who came were so annoying. They picked me up and tried to…

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FICTION FRIDAY: The Place Where You Started–a libretto

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I’ve just finished collaborating on an opera with my husband, which will open in Portland in November. I wrote the libretto (script) he wrote all the music (much harder than the script). We developed the story together. This is the first act–about a five to eight minute read. The synopsis is just below the cast list should you only want to read that. I may post the rest, should anyone like it. It’s modern, funny, and toward the end, tragic. Enjoy.

Characters

Meredith – Frustrated writer
Macario – Gardner
Steve – Meredith’s long-time, underachieving boyfriend Brianne* – Steve’s sister-in-law
Brendan☩ – Steve’s brother
Samantha – Meredith’s agent

Soprano Baritone

Synopsis

A literary phenomena at age 19, Meredith never imagined that now, some years later, she would be writing un-produced screenplays and teaching part time at a community college.

Macario finds peace working as a landscaper and gardener. These daily tasks help keep him from becoming consumed with memories of a terrible tragedy in his past.

Through a chance encounter, Meredith and Macario discover they have much in common and form an unlikely friendship, transforming them both. But a petty act of jealousy will tear the friendship apart.

The Place Where You Started is about living fully in the moment, not being held hostage to past decisions, and discovering a future wide open to possibilities.

 

 

*Each scene should proceed immediately and without pause into the next. The one exception being between scenes 4 & 5, where a significant pause should be taken.

Duration: ca. 1 hour and 35 minutes 3

SCENE 1

(Lights up on MEREDITH in the living room of a small, very modest Southern California bungalow. There are hints of a window, a door to the outside, a door to another room. MEREDITH is sitting in front of an open laptop, staring at the screen.)

MEREDITH

Why is this hard?
Why is this so difficult?
It never took so long
To write a simple line of dialog

Stuck in a rut with a –
What?
A black cursor on a blank page

How can I not write this?
This should be easy
Samantha said it would be easy

Write it in a week or two.
It’s been three weeks instead

And I’m banging my head

Night and day

Be romantic, Meredith!
Be sexy, Meredith!
Be everything, but don’t be you, Meredith!

It’s good girl meets bad boy

Fantasy romance
I know how this goes
And yet I got nothin’.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Just do it.
Come on, let’s go.

Oh!
I just received an email
Turn off your goddamn email!

Focus, Meredith, focus Here I go  (She writes)

 

FADE IN

Lucinda and Roland…

(Lights come up on LUCINDA, hip virgin and ROLAND, brooding, sexy vampire – think “Twilight.” They sing dialog as MEREDITH writes.)

LUCINDA

Roland – I’m excited And nervous
But I feel safe with you.

ROLAND

You should not feel safe with me, Lucinda Ever

LUCINDA

But I do
You’ll never convince me you’re evil

ROLAND

I’ve done terrible things

LUCINDA

I see kindness in your eyes

ROLAND

You’re so innocent

Vulnerable to the world
A world that takes advantage

That is my world

LUCINDA

I want to see your world

ROLAND

I will show you things you cannot imagine

Terrifying things
Wonderful things
Things no mortal should ever see

LUCINDA

I want to see

ROLAND

I want to show you

 

LUCINDA

I want to spread my wings

ROLAND

Spread your wings and let me in – To your mind

(ROLAND takes LUCINDA’s hands)

LUCINDA

(Reacting to his cold hands)

Ah!
Your hands are so cold

ROLAND

You smell like life

LUCINDA

Smell me, Roland, smell me!

(ROLAND and LUCINDA freeze in their current position)

MEREDITH

Smell me?

(Lights down on ROLAND and LUCINDA)

Is this the best I can do? I can do better
I’m better than this

Vampire romance sickly sweet

Uninspired fantasy

How did I get here?

Once a “literary phenomenon”
A fresh new voice!
Endless potential
The New Yorker at nineteen!
“On the threshold of a spectacular career!”

That’s what they said

But I chose film
Derailed by flickering promises of fame and fortune

 

Ah well, too late to undo

I might have been more

There were no guarantees

But I was on the right track

On my way

People believed in me, heard of me I want that time back

I want to rewind
Start again, start over, have another chance!

I’ve wasted so much time!

Is this the best I can do?
I can do better
I’m better than this
I want to be better than this I want…

(STEVE emerges from somewhere)

STEVE

I want a beer
Do we have any beer?

(Opens the fridge – success!) (Opening beer)

How is it going?

MEREDITH

It’s not

STEVE

Want a beer?

MEREDITH

No

STEVE

Hungry?

MEREDITH

Nope

STEVE

 

Wanna watch TV?

MEREDITH

(Getting frustrated)

No

STEVE

(Thinking, taking a long moment)

Want to…fool around?

MEREDITH

(Thinking, shrugs)

Okay

(Fast lights down. End of scene 1)

 

SCENE 2

(The next morning. MEREDITH is getting coffee. Her laptop is open on the table as it was in the opening of scene 1. MEREDITH’s cell phone rings.)

MEREDITH

(Answering)

Hi, Samantha

(Fast lights up on SAMANTHA, wearing a power suit. SAMANTHA is located somewhere on stage indicating that she is calling from her office.)

SAMANTHA

Hi, honey!
Is it going well?
Are you almost finished?
The studio loved your treatment

They had some notes:

Make it more romantic
More sexy
But not too much!
Lucinda should be sweet and innocent

But not too much!

They have other writers working
But don’t worry, you’re their first choice I know you’ll get the offer
If you finish soon
No pressure
But finish soon!

How about tomorrow?
Is that possible?
This is such an opportunity

You’ll be set

You’re on your way

On the “A” list
Their go-to writer

We’ll be on our way! So finish soon

Can you finish soon?
I know you’ll finish soon

Remember: keep it hot

Make it steamy
But not too much!

 

Roland should be dark and dangerous

But not too much!
I’d love to send them a draft
Perhaps tomorrow, or Wednesday?

No pressure

But finish soon!

I know you will
You’re perfect for this

Just the right voice
You always come through

Know how to deliver

Work well under pressure

You’re on your way
We’re on our way
So finish soon

Let’s get a draft to them tomorrow, or Wednesday

But no later than that
Call me when you’re finished
Once you’re finished

I can send it to them
Before the other writers
Don’t forget the other writers
But you are their first choice

Make sure you’re their first choice

No pressure!
But finish soon!

Okay, honey Call me!

(SAMANTHA hangs up. Lights off her quickly. Beat. MEREDITH’s phone rings again. Fast lights up on SAMANTHA.)

SAMANTHA

Oh, I almost forgot
Can I bring anything on Saturday? No?

Okay, honey
Call me!

(SAMANTHA hangs up. Fast lights down again. MEREDITH sits down at the computer.)

MEREDITH

Finish soon

 

Tomorrow?
Don’t sleep
More coffee
I can do this
It’s just girl meets boy

Who wants to bite girl

(She takes a deep breath as she begins to type. Lights back up on LUCINDA and ROLAND)

LUCINDA

You can’t understand how I feel

ROLAND

I can see into your soul

LUCINDA

You only see my youth

ROLAND

Your beauty is eternal

LUCINDA

Beauty is fleeting
My body has a sell-by date!

ROLAND

I…don’t understand

LUCINDA

I’m on the clock here, Roland! Yesterday I found a gray hair

Down there!

ROLAND

Um…

(Sound of a weed-whacker – loud. It’s coming from outside Meredith’s house. LUCINDA and ROLAND freeze momentarily. The weed-whacker stops and MEREDITH sighs and continues.)

LUCINDA

Roland, aren’t you hungry?

 

ROLAND

You have no idea!

LUCINDA

Then take me…

ROLAND

Never!

LUCINDA

(Pouty)

Don’t you want me?

ROLAND

More than anything

LUCINDA

Then what’s the problem?
Make me like you, and we’ll have eternity! Everybody’s happy

ROLAND

I will not condemn you to my existence

Roaming the night
Never aging

LUCINDA

As long as I’m young I’ll always be relevant

ROLAND

Frozen in time
In perpetual youth

LUCINDA

I don’t see the down side…

ROLAND

Ah, sweet innocent, pure, Lucinda

LUCINDA

Would you bite me already!

 

(Weed whacker. Everyone stops. Waits. MEREDITH aggressively erases last few lines, stabbing the “delete” button. She starts to type again, aggressively)

LUCINDA

I need more time…

ROLAND

Be careful what you wish for

LUCINDA

I wish to live forever!

ROLAND

Forever is damnation!

LUCINDA

Oh, don’t be dramatic!

ROLAND

I only want to protect you

LUCINDA

Okay, here we go!

ROLAND

You are my everything

Only you understand me

LUCINDA

Of course I do
You were born in the 18th Century
To you mouthwash is a technical marvel

ROLAND

(Wistfully)

It’s so minty…

LUCINDA

(Exposing her neck)

How about it, Roland, just a little nip You know you want to!

ROLAND

No!

 

LUCINDA

But I need more time to restart my career!

ROLAND

Wait…what?

(Hysterical weed-whacker. Lights off immediately from ROLAND and LUCINDA)

MEREDITH

Jesus!

(MEREDITH slams the computer closed and stomps over to the door to the outside and goes out. Lights up on MACARIO, who is yielding the weed-wacker and wearing ear protection)

MEREDITH

Excuse me! Excuse me!
Do you mind…?

MACARIO

(Jumps – surprised. MACARIO removes his ear protection.) My apologies, Señorita
I was not aware…

MEREDITH

Can you do that somewhere else?

MACARIO

I am sorry for the noise
But I noticed this area needed work

MEREDITH

Do you have to do it now?

MACARIO

No
It can wait (Turns to go)

MEREDITH

(Guilty)
Wait! I’m sorry Please – it’s not you

I forgot the day

 

MACARIO

It’s alright

MEREDITH

Please, continue

Anyway, I need a break

(MACARIO goes to put the ear protection back on.)

MEREDITH

Oh – may I ask you a question?

MACARIO

Of course

MEREDITH

I was thinking that some flowers here might be nice

Growing something might inspire
It’s just…
I don’t know how

MACARIO

It is not difficult
Depending on the flower
But they all require some attention

MEREDITH

I can learn
It would be good for me
Are Marigolds difficult to grow?

MACARIO

Not difficult
But they are…
(Attempting to translate internally) Not – nativo?

MEREDITH

Native! Of course
Hard to grow in the desert

MACARIO

(In his element)

Have you thought about… Cacti, aloe

 

MEREDITH

Succulents

MACARIO

Si

Zanzibar, agave, echeveria, rosea

Some even bloom with proper attention

Plenty of sun
Not too much water

MEREDITH

That sounds like a lot of work

MARCARIO

At first much work
But rewarding!
Working with nature

Calming the mind
One simple task to the next

Brings…paz interior

(Taps his chest)

Peace

MEREDITH

I could really use that

MACARIO

If you would like, Señorita, I can help you get started

Bring the right soil
Next Tuesday

Arrive a little early?
Show you how to elevate the ground

MEREDITH

Yes
And please, call me Meredith

MACARIO

Macario

Encantado

Next Tuesday then, Meredith

MEREDITH

Thank you

Gracias

 

(MACARIO puts ear protection back on. Lights down as MEREDITH goes back into the house and MACARIO goes to re-start the weed whacker. End of scene 2)