This summer, when I travel to Nebraska, I won’t be able to leave Gus at home. That means taking Gus to Nebraska with me.

I’m hesitant to take him on an airplane. I’ve never seen anyone take a cat on a flight before, and I’m a little worried it will traumatize him and perhaps change his personality or something. That means driving him.

It’s not unprecedented – I drove Ned to Nebraska. It was pre-Bradaptation, so I don’t have very clear memories of those trips. I think I remember breaking down on a super-hot day with him in my old truck. I also remember sneaking him into a hotel inside a duffel bag.

Thanks to some impulsive internet shopping on my part, Gus will be bagging it in luxury. Behold his sumptuous carrier:

I'm leaving it out so he can get used to it.

I’m leaving it out so he can get used to it.

Posted in Cat | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Gusbag

  1. Gretchen says:

    We brought our cat with us to Germany! We got a sedative from the vet because I was afraid it would be traumatic, but the instructions were really vague about how long it would last so we planned to wait until just before we got on the trans-Atlantic flight. Then due to flight delays we nearly missed our flight and never gave it to her! She survived, but I am surprise she wasn’t hoarse by the end because I think she meowed the entire 8 hour flight.

    Be glad you don’t need an international pet passport. That was an enormous pain.

    Happy travels, Max!

  2. Lauren says:

    So you’re driving here? Crazy! I sense an adventure in your future……

    Gus, we welcome you! I would like to send you a training pamphlet about defending yourself from a big dumb orange cat. Emme will be your sensei. 🙂

  3. Diane Wilson says:

    I know it’s a pain for you, but I give you credit. I help with cats going to the mainland. The airlines accept a certain percentage won’t make it….especially in hot weather. They also make you take the cat out of the carrier when you go through security. Again, I’ve seen cats freak when they hear/see unfamiliar things, and bolt. Thankfully, we’ve been able to recover most of them. I would highly consider a leash if you have to take him out of the carrier in an open area and hold on. You’re a good kitty daddy!

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I was confused yesterday when I went to the staff room at school to use the bathroom. The door was closed, so I waited there for a while. Not hearing any noise, I finally knocked, anticipating the awkward “someone’s in here” response. There was no response. The bathroom was empty.

I realize I’m just stating an opinion, and perhaps other people feel strongly opposed, but I think if the bathroom is empty, you should leave the door open. It’s a quick, non-awkward way to see if the room is available. I understand exceptions for small children or animals or whatever, but otherwise I’m definitely a “door open when empty” person.

Is someone there?

Is someone there?

Definitely available.

Definitely available.

Posted in Journal | 3 Comments

Something Old and Something New

When I came home from choir practice last night, there were two packages waiting for me. Two! Woo hoo!

Thinkgeek?  Awesome!

Thinkgeek? Awesome!

One of the packages was the laptop I left at the Seattle airport. It was packed very securely, and included lots of styrofoam peanuts. They were full of static. I couldn’t resist sticking a couple onto Gus.

I thought he would bite them, but he just sniffed them.

I thought he would bite them, but he just sniffed them.

The other package was a blank book with unlined pages. It was a bit of an impulse buy, but it was on sale, and I thought it might help me do some watercolor painting. I did watercolor a long time ago, and enjoyed it. I’ve wanted to get back to it, but haven’t taken the time. I thought maybe having a cool-looking book would encourage me to do some quick little paintings… maybe of my garden or something. I’m not holding any great hope that I will actually paint in this book, but at least I’m trying something.

Its a really nice cover with clasps and everything.

Its a really nice cover with clasps and everything.

Posted in Journal | 7 Comments


I eat sandwiches for lunch at school. This year, I’ve been alternating between ham sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I end up buying a loaf of bread almost every weekend, and here is a strange thing: if the bread bag is held closed with a twisty-tie, it is often twisted counter-clockwise. That is, the factory is doing lefty-tighty.

I don’t alwyas buy the same brand of bread, so it doesn’t happen all the time, but my current loaf had the backwards-twisted tie on it. It seems strange to me, since the world is so consistent about the lefty-loosey rule. Maybe there is some precedent in the world of baking that reverses the notion of clock-wise and counter-clockwise?

Righty loosey

Righty loosey

Posted in Journal | 1 Comment

Expensive Experiment

I left school earlier than usual yesterday so I could vote in the Maryland primary elections. There was no line at the voting place, so I was in and out very quickly. I used the extra daylight time to stop by Lowe’s and check out their garden plants.

I’ve designated the area next to my pond for bedding plants. Last year, I planted a crazy mish-mash of all different kinds and colors of flowers. It was colorful and riotous and fun. This year, I have been thinking I would plant gerbera daisies there. The problem is that I’ve never grown them before, and they’re more expensive than petunias or zinnias. If I bought a bunch of them and they didn’t bloom or they died off, it would be be wasted time and money.

They looked so cheerful and fun when I saw them at Lowe’s, I got them anyway. I was worried that if I waited a couple of weeks, they’d all be gone and I’d regret not getting them.

By the time I got home, there was still daylight left, so I planted them. It was awesome to be out in the warm air with my hands in the dirt.


Goodbye, pansies.

Goodbye, pansies.


The little white border flowers are alyssum.  They smell like honey.

The little white border flowers are alyssum. They smell like honey.

Posted in Gardening | 7 Comments