A Site of Beef by Ann-S-Thesia
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10/29/2000 - 11/04/2000
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11/04/2001 - 11/10/2001
11/11/2001 - 11/17/2001
11/18/2001 - 11/24/2001
11/25/2001 - 12/01/2001
12/02/2001 - 12/08/2001
12/09/2001 - 12/15/2001
12/16/2001 - 12/22/2001
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Saturday, May 26, 2001

Flogging an imaginary dead horse

Not to defend the Munchausen-by-Weblog Disney Witch or anything, BUT...perhaps Debbie Swenson put all that stuff in "Kaycee's" blog about the trust fund from the aunt and buying her mom the car so as NOT to elicit generous sympathy for the poor little imaginary rich girl...so she *wouldn't* have the problem of receiving gifts, (hence, the scamming by internet accusations) after all, why send gifts and money to someone who doesn't need them? There are real poor people in the world, people without health insurance, people who just die of cancer quickly because there is no chemo for them because they neither have medicare nor private health insurance...none at all. None. Zilch. How many of those people received gifts from generous donors?

Kinda backfired, didn't it?

OK, let's try this:

I just LOVE the brand new Jaguar that appeared out back in the spot where my crappy old '77 Chevy Monza used to be! Someone must know that I absolutely ADORE Jags! They are sooooo beautiful. Thank you whoever you are! You are soooo beautiful too!

Didn't work.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:36 AM || link it email me



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Friday, May 25, 2001

Weird confusing dream last night didn't make any sense. Stan and I were at some friends' house in Colorado. We were staying in a guest bedroom of theirs, but somehow it was like a classroom and I was taking a class. I don't know what the class was about or anything, I know we were in there after hours. I remember shoeboxes of small toys. I remember I was wearing a negligee with weird things dangling off the breast and crotch area. It was surreal yet stupid.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:24 AM || link it email me



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Thursday, May 24, 2001

Uh oh. Sources have it that MY Hieronymus and Plato put up a fake webpage supposedly authored by an intact male Bulldog named Bruno and a Boxer bitch named Spike, respectively. Those guys are in BIIIIIIIG trouble....

No press, please. This is waaaay too embarrassing. You try and teach dogs...
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 3:25 PM || link it email me


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Dream #1:

I was in a gross basement with slime on the floor that looked like spit but it was the color of antifreeze...sort of X-Filesish. There were some young minority teenage boys down there with me. I had to use the bathroom, and there were two toilets, but they weren't blocked off or anything. I didn't know which toilet to use. Then I was outside looking up at the sky for some reason. There were two planes flying high, and everyone was watching them. They start to descend, and as they appear larger in the sky, they look really weird. One of them looks like a raft with jets and propellors...the other looks like some odd goofy red cartoon character, but long like a plane. As the red cartoon one descends (I think I'm somewhere on East Washington Avenue, possibly near my own neighborhood or maybe about a mile east or so), I hear sort of a loud noise, like it didn't land correctly. I notice that one of the people standing around me is the late Joey Ramone. There's a chain link fence that I'm standing by. I'm wearing high heeled pumps (don't even own any...can't wear 'em) and I start climbing the chain link fence in my high heels to see if I can get up high to see anything. Joey says that he's going to walk down to the end of the block to see if he can see what happened. Then somehow the Ramone's song, "Beat on the Brat" is playing in my dream, and I am given these newspapers articles about the person that the song was based on (supposedly, according to my dream, that is). It was about a minority woman who was beaten up by skinheads or something.

Dream #2:

I was at some sort of graduate commencement thing, sort of. There were only a few other people "graduating" and for some reason they were shy or hiding so I really was the only one there, except for the audience. They were sitting in the bleachers or stands that were up high, and I was below on some stage with other people who had to ask me questions. It was more like a game show or something, and I had to answer a series of questions correctly and then I'd win a prize. I answered the first round correctly...it was sort of like Michael Feldman's "Wha'dya Know?"...and I opted not to go on with the second round because I was nervous. Actually, I wasn't nervous, but I just didn't want to go on with the silliness any longer. I remember just standing around on stage with the MC in charge, who was younger than me...probably around college age. Then everything started to let up and I was in a room with burnt orange/maroon colored furniture. I had to pack up all my things because I was leaving. I was gathering up a bunch of my jewelry that was on a futon mattress on the floor. Then I can't really remember what happened, but there were other people there, Stan's hair was suddenly shorter and blonder (like back in the 80s), and there was someone there who looked like this guy a bunch of us art students admired back at CSU, John O., who was the first person I knew who wore black everyday (proto-goth). His hair was dyed blond too and he gave me a strange look as I passed him by. This all spurred me to be on a crusade to speak out against college students who get privilege because of their rich parents at the expense of those less economically fortunate. I go back out to the audience and start making my speech...I start yelling. I'm ushered back to my room and I collapse on the futon and start crying.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:19 AM || link it email me



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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

They say every life should have nine cats. I have had my nine. There was Pepper, the grey tabby from the Humane Society who was my first when I was 14. We let Pepper outside off and on, and he'd stay around the house. Then one day he never returned. He may have been abducted...the cute "stray" kitten syndrome. I was mortified. Soon, like within days, I persuaded my parents to get me another cat, so we went to a pet store to get #2, Muffy. Muffy was sort of a calico tabby with white. Very sweet. Within a few days, Muffy died of feline enteritis at the same time I was home sick with a very bad flu. I was devastated. Because she had enteritis, we couldn't get another cat for a couple months as we had to give the disease a chance to leave the house so to speak. Here I was, 14 before I ever had my own cat, lost two within the matter of days, and then had to wait even longer before I got one again. As if 9th grade isn't bad enough on its own. I was ill a lot that year.

It was in February in 1976 that my parents went to the Humane Society on my behalf and came home with #3, a one-year old black Angora with tiny white moustache, bib and boots named Tina. We renamed her Velveteena. The humane society had a habit of letting all the cats socialize with eachother in one main room. It was there that Velveteena must have met a lover because around Easter of that year, she presented us with #4 and 5, Dottie and Beardsley (both females). Velveteena wanted me there with her to comfort her while she was in the process of birthing them. Because the humane society had probably given shots to Velveteena while she was pregnant, we suspected it may have affected her offspring, because Dottie, the one we chose to keep, never seemed quite right. In fact she sometimes seemed like a downright pinhead at times. Both Dottie and Velveteena died around the age of 14 or 15. They had pretty full lives living at my parents house.

When Stan and I got a rental in September of 1985 that allowed cats (at this time Dottie and Velveteena were middle aged or older and were now "my parents' cats"), we got Natasha, #6, at the Humane Society. She had a sister that looked very similar to her. We left the sister behind...I felt bad, but two kittens would have overwhelmed me. I'm sure she got adopted very quickly too. On April Fool's Day of 1986, we got #7 Vladimir, a grey tabby, at a pet store. Vladimir always had eating disorders...he was a binge purge kitty. Around the time we moved out to Madison, he developed one of those male cat bladder crystal problems...it was hellacious, but fortunately with a special prescription diet, we were able to transport a kitty who'd been very sick just a few days earlier 1000 miles across the country via car. No one ate well around that time. Vladimir didn't like our flat that we moved into. He was used to a house of his own with a partial basement, like the one we brought him up in back in Colorado. His litter pan was in our bathroom...something mom and dad didn't appreciate either. He threw up a lot in that house, and he and Natasha were both terrorized by Buddy the bully cat that lived upstairs and would try and break into our windows. Fortunately, we found an affordable house to buy, which is where we are now. I'm a very sensitive sleeper and there was only so much I could take of our upstairs neighbors...and they weren't even noisy compared to some people. I so appreciated my very own house, which also meant we could have a dog!

Natasha and Vladimir had their first experience living with a dog, Hieronymus, when we brought him home in late February of 1991. They were not impressed. Poor Hieronymus loved cats and wanted to be their friend, but kept getting hissed at or ignored. We realized how incredibly bored Hieronymus was during the day with no one to play with, so we decided to get him a buddy. Another puppy would have been too much for us to handle then, so we got #8, Persephone, a solid grey shorthair who has strong British Shorthair characteristics (chubby cheeks!)

Plato the Boston entered our lives in late fall of 1996, bringing our pets up to five. But Vladimir departed two years later, leaving a deep void for the want of a grey male tabby. I needed a grey male tabby...I couldn't explain it. I set out to find one. I looked on the internet in our paper's pet listing. I found a woman who had rescued kittens. We went out to her house in the country and brought home #9, Caligula on December 2, 1998.

I've had nine cats in my one life. I wonder if that is all I am allowed to have.

All the pets mentioned above can be found here.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:44 AM || link it email me


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I suspect that so many of the questions emailed to me wanting me to detail the steps I take to create graphics, share my secrets, methods, and knowledge base, individualy, personalized to their question, are in fact coming from ONLY ONE PERSON, and that person's name is Joe King, and not all the pseudonyms they've been using instead. Why do I suspect this? Because each time I read one of these emails, I am compelled to say, "You must be joking!"

-.-.-.-.-

I can't remember my dream, but I do remember waking up in the middle of the night and I was having a nightmare with Stan in it. He was behaving uncharacteristically and was being mean to me somehow. I've taken Nuprin two nights in a row now and that somehow seems to be blocking out my dreaming or dream memory. Gotta get over these cramps.

-.-.-.-.-

I believe Natasha is in her final days. I discovered a growth on her chin. It seems hard. We suspect it is cancer as opposed to an infection which would be soft (and she has no fever). We debated taking her into the vet to get it checked out. She is nearly 16 and is slowly dying of kidney disease. We are strapped right now...cars keep breaking down, huge student loan payments...a slowdown in my own business... I don't want to be cruel for not taking her in, but what can be done? Just a checkup would run us into debt further, and we need that for our healthy pets' annual checkups. It just tears at my heart, but we just cannot afford to take the steps to prolong the life of an unhealthy pet for what...a few months? Prolonging the inevitable. She doesn't seem to be in pain...sometimes she eats well, sometimes she doesn't. We've always cared so well for her, taking her in whenever there was something slightly amiss like an infection. We gave her all her yearly shots up until she was about 10 or so and stopped as per the advice of a (perhaps unscrupulous) vet. We resumed a few years later per the advice of a (perhaps more scrupulous) different vet. We even had her teeth cleaned a couple years ago. At that time she seemed to be doing so well. But now her fur seems dry. She doesn't clean herself like she used to. She sleeps a lot.

I just don't know what to do. I am going to feel so bad when she's gone. We decided we wouldn't get another cat to replace her since we already have two healthy ones. Really can't afford another animal. We will be back to our pre-1996 four animal household level, except now it will be two dogs, two cats.

Whenever I go somewhere where there is a cat, it always falls in love with me. They can tell I'm a cat person. The other day we went to a greenhouse in town and found a mouser there. He was very friendly, but had fur like an outdoor cat and ears that looked like they'd been in many fights (they looked a bit unnaturally short). He had unusually thick forearms, like Popeye. He gave me kisses (licking my hand) just like Caligula does at home. We became instant buddies, and his eyes followed us around as we made the rounds of the greenhouse. It's going to be hard stopping me from wanting a new kitten.

I should be happy that she outlasted Vladimir (whose death was sort of shocking at the age of 12 and a half). I should be happy that Hieronymus, our miracle Pug, made such an amazing recovery after last fall's tumble down the stairs. (Now that didn't help our financial situation any, but worth every penny as that 10-year old dog has so much spunk and liveliness left in him). But there's a part of me that wants that cat that lives 22 years, like our neighbors across the alley. We feed all our cats Science Diet...none of those cheapo grocery store potash-filler brands. They're indoor cats, they get yearly checkups and shots. We do everything right according to the books. Yet no one is living to an overripe old age.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:43 AM || link it email me



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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

How I totally agree with this observation. No, can't be reserved about anything. You must wave your generosity flag high and rev its engine to let everyone know...

I helped.
I contributed.
I made a difference.
I am kind hearted.
I threw lots of money at rich people who got their homes flooded out in Whitehead Bay while simultaneously contributing to research of genetically engineered food that develops Frankenrice to cure blindness in third world countries.

So I deserve that polluting SUV and five thousand square foot McMansion because I'm worth it, Dammit!
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 3:43 PM || link it email me


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You know, watching this whole Kaycee Nicole thing unwind is sort of like watching a conspiracy-based movie like Wag the Dog, but in reverse.

And I don't mean to Monday morning quarterback because I didn't ever watch the game (but who *isn't* MMQ-ing now?), I just flipped through the channels every once in a while and noticed that it was on and who was winning, but I did happen to catch a rerun of it and watched about 15 minutes of it last night. I about died from cancer myself from all that saccharine it poured out. Wow, I should've gone *against* my instincts that told me there was something wrong with it and paid attention instead of ignoring it. I should've read it in its day, in the "pre-exposed era" so that I could laugh my evil teddy-bear-beheading, slimy amphibian-loving laugh. It was so cheery, so angel teddybear warm fuzzy "ooh, look what someone left for me on my doorstep!" And the references to her buying a car for her mom from a trust fund. Make me spit! Had I read this in its day, I would've had absolutely no sympathy for this sanctified little lover of bad non-contemporary pop songs, cancer or no (assuming we all assumed it was still real). Give me a more realistic foul-mouth self-deprecating depressed fat acne-infested goth chick who's into Marilyn Manson any day! I would assume Kaycee never had an entry like, "Chemo sucks shit but at least it's clearing up my zits. But dammit, I can't dye my hair purple 'cause I ain't got none no more! At least I'll lose some weight this way..."

Of course, I can talk like this now and no one will care because now everyone knows Kaycee was a fake. Ooooh, but dare not skewer any sacred cows in their prime...nooooo. Not at least before they're uncovered as a soy beef substitute. And had I actually held my nose and read it in its pre-exposed era, I would've wondered about the tremendous amount of outpourring and support for this Barbie doll of a victim, while those who really need love but because of their status (unpopular kids from poor families without internet access or any social support network...the invisibles) they are the ones who are going unnoticed and dying, beit from cancer, gunshots, suicide or neglect.

I'm not mad at Debbie Swenson, the "mother" er,...author of Kaycee. She was just a twisted Disney Witch with too much time on her hands. I'm mad that people so easily accepted and cared for someone based on their sunny disposition, Christian values, model blonde exterior, athletic prowess and outpouring of sentiments our society finds positive (sound familiar?). Would you so easily accept my bitter Marilyn Manson fangirl from above? She has cancer too. Of course she's hypothetical, but that doesn't mean she doesn't represent others like her. No one likes an asshole or the mean spirited or someone who's even on a constant downer, but there's only so much treacle and syrup you can pour over bullshit before it smells worse than the poop itself. After all, honey and shit both attract flies. Know what I mean? (That's why I prefer vinegar ;) "You can attract more flies with honey than you can vinegar"...but who the heck wants to attract flies? Unless you need to feed your frogs.) And although my bullshit detector wasn't turned on completely to the point of premature fraud detection with this Kaycee thing (it just registered an "ignore this...it's treacle pap" on my shitometer), I'm pretty much amazed how many people never even seemed to *have* a bullshit detector at all!

So go ahead and keep making teddy bears...keep making these warm fuzzy icons based on vicious animals that attack campers and maul grown men. Keep giving your children teddy bears as presents so that one day your child will crawl in the Polar bear cage to take a swim with him, never to return again, or to return without a leg. In the mean time, squash the toads on the road, pollute the ponds to poison the frogs, step on the spiders you find in your house, exterminate the salamanders hiding in your window wells, and kill the bats in your attic. Who needs those animals, they're dirty, slimy scary creatures.

Yeah, I really like our society's values.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 2:41 PM || link it email me



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Monday, May 21, 2001

I don't know why this is so funny. It's also spooky, albeit in a Twilight Zone sort of way. I'm just laughing at it all.

Now I know why I never participated in that thing either.

Too funny.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 2:56 PM || link it email me


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Disclaimer: I never got caught up into the (pre-"death") Kaycee Blog thing. I do not know why. I should have had this poor teenager with leukemia tug at my heartstrings. It's not that I suspected fake from the start, however the whole thing seemed too perfect. It's just one of those things that is intuitive, as so many things are for me. I cannot put it into words, but some things just set off certain flags for me. I don't know immediately what the flags mean, or why they are there, until after it all comes to pass.

OK, now I know what the Kaycee thing reminds me of...the early days of teevee and game shows...scandals, rigged questions, chosen Aryan-looking winning contestants...remember the movie "Quiz Show?" The people in 1958 rooted for the prince charming Charles Van Doren to win on "21" just as the viewers of "Kaycee's" blog rooted for her to win at life, to beat her cancer. But instead of the studio being behind the conspiracy, now it's just one lone (or so we believe) Munchausen-by-weblog-proxy woman named Debbie.

But in both instances, it was our naivete with the new mediums that exposed our gullibilities. And now that we know what to look for, what to be cautious of, will we change? Will we become more questioning of what we read or see? I wonder what the internet will look like in 30 years. Will people still send in money to non-existent cancer victims? Over 30 years after the "21" scandal, one of the most popular shows on television is "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Ironic, isn't it? And my mom wonders why I think Regis Philbin is the devil.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 11:31 AM || link it email me


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Did I or did I not have a special guest appearance by Lou Reed in my dream last night? I really can't remember, but you know how when you think of something and you dreamt of it, it has a special ring to it? Like if you dreamt about Cadillacs, for example, but you forgot your dream but then you're driving and you drive past a Cadillac dealership, something goes off in your mind, and you think, "hey, I dreamt about Cadillacs last night!" Well, I think that's the case with Lou, but I can't remember a thing.

I do remember that I was at some store looking at these weird little dolls like I would've had when I was a kid, and I was going to use them as little blog icons (weird). Stan was with me and there was this other guy there (big goofy, muscular), and Stan thought I liked the guy in a romantic way, but I didn't...he was just a friend. Stan got jealous and took off and I was chasing him down all these aisles in the store trying to catch up to him to tell that I love him and that I'm only friends with the other guy and that we can all have fun together in a friendly, platonic way. It was so early relationship and horrible.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:35 AM || link it email me


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The whole Kaycee thing had a better season finale than the X-Files, that's for sure.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:30 AM || link it email me



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Sunday, May 20, 2001

Well, I don't know if this search request that brought up my site is what they were looking for, but I like the way they think.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 4:33 PM || link it email me


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Yesterday was strange. First of all, we had to go up to Plymouth to deliver a couple of paintings to a juried show I got into. I thought we'd make a day of it, maybe head over to Manitowoc by the lake afterwards. We got up to Beaver Dam and Stan had to get some gas. Then he realized he didn't bring his wallet. Stan likes to drive. I don't. Stan tends to get nauseous as a passenger when he's not driving. I don't. Stan drives 30 minutes to work every day...I work at home. Stan has much more experience driving...he bought his first car at age 16. I was 21 before I bought my first car. (These things matter in one's psyche!) Stan has better eyesight than me and doesn't panic in heavy traffic like I do. So obviously, Stan is The Driver. But the concept of him driving without a license was too much for me to deal with, especially since we have the uncanny luck of being stopped by the police once a summer for the past three summers in a row for some minor traffic violation (speeding past heavy highway traffic to get out of a potentially dangerous situation with semi trucks, going 40 in a school zone at night that never used to be a school zone before they built the school, squeezing through a yellow turning red light in a conjested, confusing construction zone on campus). Ironically, or fortuitously, all Stan got were warnings. We're not sure, but we suspect it is because when they pull up his profile, they see he obviously has no outstanding warrants or tickets, and they see he also has jail clearance, so the cops perceive him as one of the good guys. Who knows, but I didn't want to risk it. So I took over. I popped in my contacts (which I usually do not apply to my eyes until the afternoon), put on my sunglasses, and drove up to Plymouth. The roads are pretty easy going up there (traffic-wise...not bumpy-wise...very bumpy roads)...no heavy interstate traffic that I will not drive in. Because I also can't see well at night, we decided not to go up to Manitowoc because I wouldn't want to come home late and my contacts might not last that long. (They're fickle...sometimes I can wear them for 12 hours, sometimes I can only wear them for 4.) So we headed right back to Madison after depositing the art. We decided we'll make up for it on Friday when the opening is...make a day of it and go up to Lake Michigan early, and come down to Plymouth later. But one thing I wasn't thinking about was the sun on my arm. Travelling home the sun baked my arm steadily for about two hours. I was wearing a short sleeved shirt, so now I have a painful farmer's tan burn. On my left arm only. It's not pretty, and it hurts. Stan has built up a better tolerance to sun on his arms than me...it wouldn't have affected him as much. And his passenger-side arm doesn't show a thing. I've been applying Noxema to it steadily. It is very hot to the touch. I hate driving.

Then last night I tried to awake my iBook after not having used it for a few hours, but it wouldn't awake. I didn't think much of it...maybe something happened. So I tried to restart. It was dead. Nothing could wake it. No chime, no sound, nothing. Total unresponsiveness. I was in total panic. How could it just die like that without any warning? I got out my Apple extended warranty plan. I wouldn't be able to contact them until Monday. I would have to live with a dead iBook, my TV sofa companion when I'm sick of sitting upright at a desk, until Monday before I could even talk to a tech rep. Then I'd have to package it up and ship it to them and then wait for repairs. I couldn't eat dinner...I was nauseous. I remember when I first bought my iBook a month later I had problems with the hard drive. Apple promptly (VERY promptly!) replaced the drive for me. But I remembered being talked through various procedures on the phone. One of them I remembered, was doing a different sort of start that involved a special little button and hole somewhere. I looked for my little iBook book that came with the computer (had to have Stan find it for me because...well, did I tell you I have bad eyesight and couldn't find it myself?). I found the reset button, inserted paperclip, then pushed the ON button, and CHIME!!!!! I was back in business. I was so glad it wasn't anything major. Who knows what happened, but it was so easily remedied.

I have been working on Macs since 1985. I've had my own Macs since 1995. And even now, when something goes not as planned, I panic. With all my experience, I wonder how on earth people new to the whole concept handle these problems. Like if I were to die, and Stan got my equipment and things went wrong, what would he do? Would he think to look in a book to find remedies? Where would he find the books...I have them all stowed away on a shelf in the computer room, but what would he know to look for? (At least he could *find* the books, unlike some blind people I know) How does my mom handle her iMac when things go wrong? She won't even open up the System folder because when she bought it, the person selling it to her told her not to go there, so once when I was trying to explain something to her long distance, I told her to go to her System folder, and she said, "huh uh. I'm not opening that thing." If Stan were to die, I wouldn't know the first thing what to do with the cars. Good thing we have eachother, huh?

Oh, and Friday I discovered that Natasha has a growth on her lower jaw. We suspect it's cancer, as old animals often develop cancerous growths in their mouth area. In addition to her beginning stages of kidney failure, we are coming to grips that she does not have long now. Funny, she doesn't act sick at all.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:47 AM || link it email me


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Had a dream last night about a weird old house that I think I've had in dreams before. It's pretty run down, but we're looking at it to live in. Lots of peeling yellow paint and weird rooms that look like they were added on to. Sort of hard to explain. I also had Plato outside and in a yard with a fence and somehow he managed to escape and he turned into a Borzoi, so he was really hard to catch. I finally ended up coralling him into the fence, but then escaped through another gate that was left open.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:11 AM || link it email me




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Copyright 1996-2001 Ann Stretton. All Rights Reserved. No part of this web log may be copied or reproduced, however text may be quoted if a link is given in return. Permission is not given under any circumstances to use any of the graphics or art on this site, however If you ask first, I may grant permission at my discretion. Please check the link above to my Ann-S-Thesia site for web graphics if that is what you need.