Entries Tagged as 'tupac shakur'

The Passing of Our Family Cat, Shorty

February 13th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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Last week our family’s cat Shorty passed away after living a long, long life. He was almost 18 years old, which is older than both of my nieces! I say he’s my family’s cat because he started out with me, but over the years lived with my parents for a while before settling in with my brother’s family for the last 10+ years. He had a long life and lots of love and will be missed. Even though he has not been with me for a long time and my allergies were severe enough that I didn’t cuddle him much while visiting my brother, I thought of him often. We went through a lot, me and that cat!

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In the beginning, I decided to get a cat when I moved into the first apartment where I lived all by myself in Appleton, WI. I think I was 21 or 22 years old and it was kind of a dumb thing to do, since I was working a full time job (programmer), a part time job (retail) and going to college at night. I quickly realized I was spending no time with Shorty and I didn’t want him to be lonely, so I got a sister for him. For some reason I can’t remember, I named her ShellB, after myself!

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This blonde haired little girl pictured with Shorty will be attending college in a few months!

When people asked me what my cat was called I’d say “Shorty” and then they’d ask me if he was short. I’d say “yeh, compared to me, he’s short.” The truth is, Shorty was almost a year old when I got him. I remember going to this lady’s house in the country. Her son had gotten Shorty as a kitten and wasn’t taking care of him, so she wanted him to go to a good home. Her son named him Shorty after the Tupac Shakur song “Shorty Wanna Be a Thug.” This was on 2Pac’s album All Eyez on Me, which was released in February of 1996. The first vet records that my family has for Shorty were from June 1996. I think they were papers that the lady gave me when she gave me shorty, so this all makes sense. Anyway, Shorty knew his name, so I didn’t change it. Besides, the name Shorty is badass.

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Eventually I’d had it with my part time job. I used the money to buy a car and then quit. And then I had a bit more time with Shorty and ShellB. One Halloween I decided the cats should dress up. ShellB got wrapped in toilet paper to be a mummy. Shorty was already a black cat, so he lucked out.

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I moved to a new apartment. They moved with me. My cousin Kelly and I visited San Diego and I decided I was in love with it. I started thinking about a big move. I ended up getting a job in San Diego. In January of 2000, we loaded up a U-Haul truck and my cousin Sabrina and I drove to the west coast. We towed my Jeep on the back and the cats were in a carrier cage in the cab of the truck between us while we switched off driving. The vet gave me some sedatives, but ShellB still cried the whole way!

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When I lived in Wisconsin, ShellB would love it if I left my apartment door open so she could explore the apartment’s common area. Shorty never left the apartment, even with the door open. For some reason they switched roles in San Diego. Shorty loved to sit out in the ferns and birds of paradise in my apartment’s courtyard. ShellB would sit just at the threshold of the door and look out, but rarely leave.

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Shorty was always the lovey dovey. When you held him he would wrap his arms around your neck and cuddle. And drool, for some reason. He was warm and cozy. ShellB was a little more snarly. She had more attitude and didn’t like to be cuddled. But Shorty was my snuggler.

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Shorty was not a dumb cat. He only dug in the plants if I was out two or more nights in a row. And he also liked to get my attention by pushing things off my desk as he looked right at me. I remember he would inch pens. I’d scold him and he’d push it more. And I’d scold him again and he’d push it off the edge. Of course, then I knew it was time for some snuggling.

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And everyone could remember him drinking from an unwatched glass. I think he even broke a few of mine. And he wasn’t above drinking Santa’s milk!

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Rachelle Skipping I am really allergic to cats, I discovered. After getting two. We always had cats growing up and it was never an issue, but now I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to breath. I went to see an asthma and allergy doctor and found out that I was having allergy-induced asthma attacks. I got an inhaler. The doctor told me to shut my bedroom door and not let the cats into the area where I slept, which was impossible to do, since I lived in the tiniest of studio apartments. It was also impossible to imagine giving my cats away, so I just suffered through. Shorty and ShellB were there for many of my big life events. Like when I bought my first Apple Macintosh computer.

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In the late summer of 2001 I had the opportunity to transfer to my company’s New York City headquarters. I jumped on it. I sold all of my things and packed the rest into one huge suitcase. My cousin Kelly was on vacation in Arizona so she and her.. boyfriend (?).. fiance (?).. I don’t think they were married yet… Jeff, came over to San Diego and got Shorty and ShellB. They drove back to St. Louis, where they were living, and my dad and cousin Sabrina drove from Wisconsin to St. Louis to bring them back to live with the family in Wisconsin. 9/11 happened, but I still moved to New York two weeks later.

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I eventually moved back to the midwest.. but the cats continued to stay with my family. Eventually ShellB ran off.. and then reappeared .. and then disappeared. But Shorty was with my brother’s family for pretty much all of that time. He even got a kitty step brother, Bailey, and a doggy step brother, Milo.

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So, even though Shorty and ShellB only lived with me for three years or so, we went through A LOT. And now both are gone, but those were some crazy years and I will never forget that they were there with me through it all!


***PSA: I’ve looked around a bit and I can’t find any photos of Shorty and me together. If you have a pet, go take a photo with it TONIGHT or you will regret it later on.***

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Thanksgiving in Las Vegas

November 30th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Previous year’s family trips to Las Vegas have been relatively mild by Vegas standards, but this year 5 of our friends from the Boston area – Molly, Matt, Sarah, Adam and Ross – joined us for the trip and it felt like some kind of crazy bachelor party. We were out every single night until 3 or 4 in the morning and didn’t really sleep in at all. We had a great time, but I think by the last night we were all just done. Exhausted!

The first night Dallas and I arrived first around 9 p.m. We set our bags in our room, then turned around and went to the casino immediately. Molly, Matt, and Ross arrived a few hours later and joined us.

On the first day Molly, Matt, Dallas and Ross drove out to Mesquite and went golfing. I stayed in town, slept in late, and explored The Strip a bit. I’ve always stayed downtown when I’ve been in Las Vegas, so The Strip and its casinos and resorts was a bit foreign to me.

Ross had a ton of points from all the traveling he does for work that were about to expire so he set us up in some great rooms at the Planet Hollywood Resort. This was the view from our room. You can see the Bellagio fountain show, Caesar’s Palace, and the Paris resort.

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View from our room at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

One of the first things I saw while wandering around our casino: a sign advertising strip karaoke. Not sure how that works.

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Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

Connected to the resort was a huge shopping mall called the Miracle Mile Shops. I spent several hours walking around there.

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Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops, Las Vegas

After a while I stopped for lunch at La Salsa, a Mexican chain restaurant that I used to visit when I lived in Southern California. Of course, in Las Vegas, it was all done up garishly, but I still liked the food I ordered.

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La Salsa, Las Vegas

A lot of the ceilings in the shopping center are painted like blue skies, which is neat, but after a while I felt like I should see some real blue skies so I went outside. It was so gorgeous. Sunny and I had a tshirt on, no jacket, and was just fine. The resort to the south of ours was the Paris. They’ve got the fake Eiffel Tower out there and the Paris balloon, but what I was drawn to was a gorgeous fountain.

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Fountain Outside the Paris, Las Vegas

I decided to walk to Caesar’s Palace. It was only a little bit farther down the street and across the street. Inside were a bunch of really beautiful statues and fountains. I walked through the shopping area there a bit and then headed back to Planet Hollywood for a rest before everyone came back.

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Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

We decided to spend the night at the MGM Grand. At first we thought maybe we’d go to craftsteak, Tom Colicchio‘s steakhouse, for dinner. After looking at the menu though, we decided on something a little less spendy, since we’d be spending money on gambling later on. Ross had been to a great Italian place right down the hall called Fiamma so we went there. I had the best gnocchi of my life.. lobster, truffles, mushrooms. So delicious.

Adam and Sarah flew in that night and met up with us at the MGM casino. We were probably there til 2 or 3 in the morning, when there was a super bizarro Fat Burger run. We walked in and they started blaring Biggie Smalls so loud. Everyone in line started dancing and singing. Even the fry cook was raising the roof. Molly was dancing like crazy. For the whole time we were there they only played Biggie and Tupac. So awesome/strange. Also strange? This high chair full of ketchup.

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Fat Burger, Las Vegas

Also at Fat Burger, some guy who said he was from the south side of Chicago gave me his CD. He said his friend was from WI and I said I was too. When he asked where I told him and he shouted out to 920, our area code up there.

The whole end of that night was super bizarro. There is video that exists somewhere and I must find it!

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Jess’s First Tooth!

November 19th, 2003 · 7 Comments

Jessica's First Tooth
Jessica’s First Tooth!, Oak Creek, WI (Photo by Richard)

This is where I was starting to write something about the Tupac Shakur documentary that Mark & I just saw. .. but then I got this late breaking news that Jess cut her first tooth!!!! I can’t believe how big she’s getting. It makes me sad that I’m missing everything. When I saw her she was soo little and couldn’t do anything except pee, poop, cry and drink a bottle.

Update: The Tupac documentary, Tupac Resurrected, was good. The entire film, 2 full hours, is narrated by Tupac which is eerie because he’s been dead for something like 8 years. On the way home Billy played my favorite Tupac song, Shorty Wanna Be a Thug, for me. My cat is named after this song.

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