Meet me in St. Louis

Woo, boys and girls, but I’m a hot property today.

Not only do I have an invite from Ev to attend a Blogger party with several thousand of his closest friends, but I also received a geniune, semi-personal, group email from Tim O’Reilly–yessir the O’Reilly man himself–to attend none other than Web Conference 2.0 this fall. Unfortunately, I don’t live in California so I can’t make the Blogger party. And I don’t have a couple of thousand dollars to register for Web Conference 2.0, so I’ll have to pass.

But if I did, I’d be truly A Listin’, on my way to the brass ring, boys and girls. Yes, indeed, I would be gold. Pure gold. If you’re nice, I’d let you kiss the hem of my low rider boot cut black jeans.

But since I can’t attend the Blogger Fest or Web Conference 2.0, I thought I would see about bringing the A List here to us in Missouri. Dave Winer has decided to stay in the States this summer and look for a place where the vote is undecided; to apply his vote where it would be most useful. Why, I just can’t think of a better place for Dave than right here in beautiful St. Louis.

Just think, Dave: This is the birthplace of Mark Twain himself, as well as the starting point for the Lewis & Clark expedition to the West. It’s not exactly the population center of the country, but it’s only a few hours away.

We’re less than a day’s drive from New Orleans, San Antonio/Dallas/Houstan, Chicago, Denver, Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge, Kansas City, Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, and various other cities I can’t think of right off hand; most of which are located in states that are swing states.

And there’s a thriving St. Louis blogger group that’s getting together this weekend for blues and brew on Friday, and bowling on Sunday. Not to mention that this year is the 100 year anniversary of the 1904 World’s Fair, which served as inspiration for the movie, Meet me in St. Louis; they’ve even built a replica of the World’s Fair ferris wheel for celebrations this summer. But the bigger event is the celebrations for the 200 year old anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

The country’s two largest rivers meet and greet here, and riverboats still ply the waterways. North and South each have a foot here, as does East and West. No other state blends all aspects of this country as Missouri does, and I’ve lived in a goodly number of them.

Cost of living is low, food is great, people are friendly, state is pretty, music is classic St. Lou blues, we have the last Victorian walking park in the US, the Arch, significant historical and literary roots, and it isn’t California, New York, Washington DC, or Boston. We be fresh meat. Just ignore the fact that both Rush Limbaugh and Ashcroft came from here. Or don’t ignore it–take the fight to their territory.

And if you’re nice, we’ll even see if we can’t throw a tornado or two, just for you, Dave.

Critters Just Shelley

My micro world

I have to take Zoe in today to get her teeth cleaned. I hate having to do this. She’s an older cat and she’s had seizures in the past and I worry every time she’s under general anesthesia. However, as the vet said, this is something that can’t be put off. But I hate doing it.

What’s worse is she knows it’s coming. When she doesn’t get fed in the morning and her water is taken away the night before, she knows she has to go into the vet. She gets very quiet and very hurt looking, and then she crawls up into my lap and presses as tight as she can to me, and talks softly in her little chatter. Every once in a while, she trembles a bit and presses closer.

Before we adopted Zoe we had a cat, Boots, who was one of three boys born to another cat we were taking care of for a friend. Boots was an amazing cat, huge, close to 20 pounds. He kept getting into one scrape after another, including getting hit by a car and losing sight in one eye.

Boots ended up having stomach problems, and had to have surgery a couple of times, but he’d always pull through. Then one spring we noticed that he was losing weight and getting quieter, and not eating as well. We took him into the vet and they diagnosed stomach cancer and recommended surgery. They also suggested that we take him home for a few days and just spend time with him before the operation.

He looked like a young kitten again from the weight loss. His eyes were huge in his face, and he was so vulnerable.

The day of the surgery the vet said for us to go to work, he’d call and let us know when the operation was over. (Neither Rob’s company nor mine was amenable to time off ‘just for a cat’.) Later that morning, Rob called me and he was crying so hard I couldn’t understand him. It was a shock, because I never heard Rob cry before.

He said that the doctor called and the cancer was very advanced. They could try to continue the surgery, but the chance of him surviving was only about 20 percent and if they weren’t successful, Boots would continue in a great deal of pain. We had to make a decision: continue or allow them to just let Boots drift off to a permanent sleep.

Rob couldn’t make the decision; he was especially close to Boots. I called the doctor and we talked, and he said I had to decide quickly–Boots was still under anesthesia. So I chose not to let him suffer. But all I could think of the rest of the day is that Boots didn’t understand why he was going into the vet, and he didn’t understand why we weren’t there with him, and this was his last memory.

I am writing about Zoe and having her teeth cleaned. My priorities are wrong. She’s just a cat and this isn’t about Iraq, where people are dying and the world has gone to hell. Where’s my civic duty, and don’t I have more important things to write about?

But she’s part of my micro world where my actions have direct cause and effect. I can’t control what I can’t touch, but I can touch her.

updateThe vet is holding on doing Zoe’s teeth until tomorrow, in order to do additional tests today to make sure that the general anesthesia won’t trigger another seizure. As much as Zoe’s teeth need cleaning, we’re all hesitant with her medical history. So poor little girl has to stay at the Vet’s tonight. The clinic is not charging us for either the kennel or the extra tests, since these weren’t anticipated.

The people at the clinic are just wonderful. I’ve always wished that I could have a vet for my doctor.