About Me

My photo
Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

Total Pageviews

Friday, August 30, 2013

August Meeting of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse

Hey All! It's the last Friday of the month, and that means it's time once again for the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. This wonderful group is hosted by The Armchair Squid, and if you are interested in joining or finding out more, go take a peek at his blog to sign up and/or gather more info.

This month, I'd like to discuss Far, Far Away, by Tom McNeal. I was drawn to this book because I am a huge fan of Grimm's Fairy Tales. If you looked on my nightstand right  now, you'd find a very worn copy sitting there. (It's actually the  second hard cover copy I've had to purchase since the first's spine ripped straight away I read it so often.) What does Far, Far Away have to do with Grimm's Fairy Tales, you ask?  The main character, one that's most unfortunately named Jeremy Johnson Johnson, is haunted by the ghost of one of the brothers Grimm, Jacob Grimm, to be exact.

I may be partial to my copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales but that hasn't stopped me from reading any other fairy tales I can get my hands on in any way, shape or form they are presented. Writing modern day fairy tales is no easy feat, but I believe McNeal is successful in his attempt with Far, Far Away. That having been said, I'm not entirely certain I would have loved this book quite as much, if it weren't for the ghostly presence and influence of one Mr. Jacob Grimm. His ability to whisper in Jeremy's ear and impart his snarky, ancient German wisdom and idioms, were the key to this book's success, in my mind's eye. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from evil and reminding him repeatedly to remember his "studies". Jacob knows studying and getting a quality education is the key to what Johnson desires more than anything else, to get out of  the heck out of the town of Never Better.

Never Better is a modern town that has electronics at it's disposal like cell phones and television yet, it remains the kind of small town that is ultimately timeless. Old habits, prejudices and customs die hard in Never Better. It provides the perfect setting for this dark fairy tale.

Although he tries his corporal best, Jacob Grimm can't protect Jeremy from everything. And he immediately smells trouble when the unpredictable Ginger Boultinghouse takes a liking to Jeremy. Especially since her interest in him just happens to spike when she takes her first bite of a Prince cake that only the Never Better bakery can produce, and is reportedly so delicious it’s thought  to be bewitched. Jeremy's own mother was rumored to have fallen under the very same spell of the cakes, when she ran off with another man, leaving Jeremy and his father to fend for themselves. I don't like to include too many spoilers in my reviews, so I'd like leave the rest of the plot twists here a mystery.

This book does contain an overall creepy, dark theme (like a lot of fairy tales) but is in no way overtly scary or demented. It's perfectly appropriate for anyone aged twelve and up.  There is a fair amount of humor and sarcasm brilliantly woven into the ethereal voice of Jacob Grimm that I just adored and don't think any Grimm fan should miss out on.  Overall, I really enjoyed this fairy tale and would give it a four out of a five star rating.        

What's the best book you read this month?  Anyone else a huge fan of the Brother's Grimm? What's your favorite fairy tale? Interested in joining the Cephalopod Coffeehouse? Don't forget to stop by The Armchair Squid's blog and check it out!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stupid Fall Woke Me Up Early

It is so rare for everything in my universe to align just right so I can sleep in. Just off the top of my head, I can think of three things that always prevent me from a solid REM. The Husband's snore. The cat's meow and that stupid buzzing noise emanating from my alarm clock which means I must smash it really hard every ten minutes until it can't make that sound anymore. But this morning, it wasn't any of those things that woke me up. Nope, it was a loud bang. Followed by two more bang, bangs.

I was quite certain the bang was not from a gun. You see, I am very familiar with the various sounds a gun makes. Especially since I live with Dirty Harry, spend an enormous amount of time at the range and almost everybody in my red neck town has a hunting license. Although I did duck under the covers and went very still out of pure instinct, I knew it definitely wasn't gun shot. So what was it?

Maybe a kamikaze bird, flew into my sliding glass doors that lead to the deck off my master bedroom.  But after careful inspection for any errant feathers and/or other various bird debris and finding none, I knew that wasn't it either. I was starting to get really perplexed, when all of a sudden, BANG! BANG! BANG! There it was again. But this time, I was standing out on my deck and had a front row seat for the sky falling.

Acorns. Lots and lots of acorns! Acorns were falling off the ginormous tree in my backyard and  hitting my deck in rapid succession, mimicking the sound of gunshot. But it's still AUGUST for crying out loud! But that didn't stop stupid Fall from waking me up early.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good Times

I'd like to start today's post by saying thanks so much for all of the well-wishes guys! I really do appreciate it.  I am happy to report after keeping to some strict bed rest last week, I am finally feeling better. But boy does this chick hate being confined to bed. It's torture for a Bird like me to have their wings clipped. All  I can say is, Thank God for good books! Most of the time, reading is all that keeps me from going bonkers. Considering last week virtually stood still for me, I just can't believe how this week whizzed on by. Here's what's been going on at the Bird's Nest this week:

*Despite being trapping in the house on bed rest, I still haven't worked on anything writing related. I know this seems like the perfect time to do so, but trust me, I've tried to write before when I was in a brain fog, and it's not worth it. I just wind up scraping everything in the end because it makes zero sense. I do, however, like to read in the genre I'm working in. This week, that means I read a lot of Urban Fantasy. Good times, good times.  If you can't BE a kick-butt heroine or write about one, reading about one is the next best thing, to me. :)

*The Husband and I went to a wedding. I was a  little worried because I am still recovering, but I thought if I just take it easy and not dance or run around, I'd be alright.  The reception venue was one I hadn't been to in years, but had a very solid reputation.  Although the wedding itself was lovely, the food was the worst I have ever tasted. If The Husband is hungry and doesn't eat the meat he's being offered, that's bad. I felt so sorry for the parents of the bride, because I know they spent a fortune on that food. I have to say it was the first time I ever came home from a wedding having to hit up the Wendy's because my $150.00 plate of food sat untouched. Tragic.

*I had to take all three girls to the doctor for sports physicals and shots and eye tests and all the general well visit stuff kids need before starting school again. Looks like one baby bird might need some glasses. I thought she might squawk at this, but instead she surprised me by being kind of jazzed. She can't wait to pick out the "most sparkly bright purple" pair of glasses. *Fingers crossed I can find frames that come in extra gaudy* 

*It was Shark Week and our TiVo memory has been filled to maximum capacity. My daughters  go crazy for these shows. Many of you know I hate to swim with things. That is particularly true of the ocean. I usually only go in up to my shins. After watching Shark Week, I am now hitting the ankle mark. My little mermaids, however, go all out. They love to push it and see how far they can go, before the lifeguards start blowing their whistles. Punks.

So this week, imagine my surprise, while I was sitting my crazy ass up on the beach, diligently scanning the horizon for fins, like I usually do, when all of a sudden I see one!! I actually had to do a double take. But that's exactly what it was, an extremely large fin!!  What did I do? I did what any other psycho lunatic mother would, I jumped up and down and waved my arms like that scene in Jaws and started screaming "Shark!" A few minutes later, a couple more crazies spot the fin and start yelling for their people to come out of the water. Before I full on hyperventilated and keeled right the hell over onto the sand, three more fins popped up. And oddly, that's when I grew calm. You see, I knew, from watching freaking Shark Week, most sharks don't hunt in groups. Right when I came to that conclusion, all four fins broke the surface at once and jumped. It turned out to be nothing more than a  pod of graceful dolphins. The whole ordeal left me feeling winded, a bit ridiculous and totally tuckered out. The kids took pity on me and stayed close to shore from then on. Still, that night, I had a horrible nightmare about my girls getting eaten by a shark. Stupid shark week. Messing with my head!
I'm so sad to say over 200 dolphins on the East Coast have reportedly died this summer and no one knows why :(
Hope you all had a great week! Anyone else hit the beach? Ever see any fins? I'm still in the process of scrolling down my blog list, trying to catch up with everyone. If I haven't hit you up yet, I will soon. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What's That Smell?

Not sure about you, but my girls are like three little mermaids all summer long. From the second the weather cooperates and The Husband opens our pool, those girls are in it. They will go in early in the morning and not come out until it's dark and they are shroomed' and shriveled and even then, I have to practically drag them out of it. The only time they willingly come out is when I yell into the backyard, "Who  wants to go to the beach?" Yes, it's only with the promise of yet more swimming, I lure my little mermaids out of the water.
Funky Frankie finally clean.
Last week, I got sick. Real sick. And just like that, I was taken out of commission. I had to stop and leave what I was doing (which was teaching VBS), so I could go home and rest. I had no choice but to stay put, in bed. It's really hard for me to swallow, living with these limitations, but this is my life. And this is what happens every so often to remind someone like me, who has a compromised immune system and tries to live like I'm normal, that I'm not. I have to stop pushing my body until it just gives out.  The Husband and the girls accept these limitations on me, much more easily than I do. They are really great about stepping up when Mom hits a wall and is down for the count. They don't seem to miss a beat. Everyone pitches in and helps taking on my chores and responsibilities. Sometimes, (I'm ashamed to admit this) it makes me feel bad that they can all just go on turning so easily, without me. But last week, they missed something.

The girls did all the things they usually do but instead of me navigating The Husband took the wheel of the ship. My little mermaids went on their play dates and to their doctor's appointments and school shopping and to VBS and of course, they continued to swim everyday. Since I was confined to bed rest, I only saw my girls for a couple of minutes, at different times during the day. One night, when my littlest mermaid came to say goodnight and crawled into bed with me I smelled something funky. It didn't take me long to figure out who it was. This is how our conversation went:

Jaybird:  "I see your hair is wet. Did you take a shower?"
Frankie: "Oh no Mom. I'm good."
Jaybird: "What do you mean, you're good? Did you take a shower or not?"
Frankie: "I took a pool."
Jaybird: "You took a pool?"
Frankie: "Yeah. It's the same thing as taking a shower."
Jaybird: "Um, no it's not."
Frankie: "Dad said."
Jaybird: "Dad said what?"
Frankie: "You're chlorinated kid. So I thought, I'm good."
Jaybird: "Frankie, you're funky. Go take a shower.
Frankie: "I'll take one in the morning."
Jaybird: "Go take one now."
Frankie: "But I don't want to take a shower. I'm clean." (insert a really bad NJ whine and tired kid voice here)
Jaybird: "Frankie, you smell like parm cheese."
Frankie: "Really?"
Jaybird: "Yep. You are ripe kid. Go take a shower now."
Frankie: "Kay'."

Sometimes,  it's nice knowing you are still needed, after all :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Unexcused Absence

If I were still in school, I know I'd be in big trouble right now. Because I was absent from my blog, (for two whole weeks) without written permission. Back in high school, we had a Truant Officer named Alphie, who was a legend. He took his job of catching truant  kids- to whole other level.  This dude would show up at your house to make sure you really were sick and/or find out what was your excuse for missing school. If you drove, that did not mean you were safe. He knew all the Junior and Seniors cars. Make, models and years. If your car wasn't parked in the parking lot at school where it should be and you did not have an excused absence, Alphie would come looking for you. And all of a sudden, (no matter how far away from school you happened to be)  he would just show up behind you! Then he'd ride your bumper and flash his lights until you made a U-turn and headed straight back to school.  Sometimes, Alphie would go into stealth mode and hide. This guy knew all of our favorite places to hang out, and where we were most likely to go while ditching. Once, he hid under a blanket at our local beach (for hours) just watching and waiting. When all the kids saw no signs of  Alphie following our cars, we falsely assumed we lost him.  Just when we started to set up our stuff in the sand and waxing our boards, he jumped out and started yelling, "You are all busted! Get back to school!"  Good Old Alphie. I often wonder what ever happened to that guy...

I am very happy, however, there is no Blog Alphie, who comes looking for us truant bloggers. I would be so busted! Although I do have excuses for being absent, and my excuses are all extremely valid, they are still excuses and I feel  bad about ditching. So, my goal this week is to comment and catch up with all of you, to see what I've missed. I'd also like to try to get back to my regular posting schedule of Mon,  (sometimes Wednesday) and Friday, without any excuses. Here's hoping life slows down enough to allow me to follow through with this plan. Fingers crossed!! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

August Birthday Blitz, Part One

We celebrate The Husband, my mother and daughter #2's birthdays, all in August. And these celebrations come right on the heels of the three birthdays our family celebrates in the month of  July. Summer is always a busy time, but throw in six big birthday celebrations and it becomes more like a Birthday Blitz.  Here's part one of the tale of The Husband's birthday celebration...

This year The Husband decided he wanted to go stay at The Borgata in Atlantic City for his birthday. I can't tell you the last time he and I went away alone, sans kids. It might have been two years or three. Neither one of us could even remember, which means, we really needed to go.

Atlantic City is not my first choice of a romantic get away spot, but it wasn't up to me. We started out by checking into our room, and then going to stow our luggage in it. The room was nice, with a pretty view. It seemed so foreign to see a room with only one bed in it, since we are used to no less than two and extra cots and cramming in as many kids and people as you possibly can. I was also kind of surprised to see a sign in the bathroom that said if you so much as touched the samples of soap, shampoo or toothpaste, you had to pay extra for it. I always bring my own, so it wasn't an issue, but I thought that was kind of stank. Maybe this is a common practice, but I've never run across it before.  Charging extra for the soap was nothing, compared to what I encountered at the vending machine.
This was the view from our room.
I was thirsty and wanted a water, so instead of going all the way down to the lobby to one of the restaurants, I decided to purchase a water bottle from the vending machine. The machine had the label of water, but black covering the window of what that water bottle looked like. I should have taken that as a bad sign. But I went ahead and forked out a whopping $2.25 in quarters and waited. What dropped out, was half of a half of a water bottle. I couldn't believe it! The older man behind me, waiting to use the same machine, (in typical Jersey style) started cussing and shouting real loud, outraged on my behalf. He yelled, "You gotta be f-ing kidding me! That's what you get doll? For $2.25! Forgettaboutit! I'll walk down 28 flights before I pay that. What a f-in rip off!" Then he huffed and cussed his way down the hallway and all the way back to his room. Oh well, lesson learned. From now on, I won't be buying any more water bottles from the vending machines. By this time, The Husband was really itching to go, so I gulped down my one sip of water and we were on our way.

My favorite penny machine.
The Borgata, is set up in a circular pattern, which is a good thing for someone like me. I tend to get lost and distracted by all of the bells and whistles and people watching and I always wind up forgetting where I am. But at least I know when I'm here, eventually I will wind up back where I started. I'm not a big gambler. That comes from being poor. Every time I put money down on the table or in the machine, I realize I'm never seeing it again. And that's hard for me to swallow. Yes, I know there is a possibility I may get more back, and maybe even win big but that possibility, rarely becomes a reality. That's why I like to spend most of my gambling time, in front of the penny machines. It doesn't hurt as bad, when I loose pennies. (At least that's how I justify this to myself) Besides, I can sit at those for quite a while before I loose everything. My favorite machine to play, are the penny slot Wizard of Oz.  They are fabulous! Those machines are loud and glittery, and they sing and dance and make all kinds of noises. I lurrrve it! As I'm sure you may have guessed already, The Husband, not so much. He was torn. He doesn't like leaving me alone in AC. (He says when he walks away from me in a place like AC it almost feels like he's leaving one of the kids behind, LOL). I told him to go and gamble at the testosterone filled tables,  where he would enjoy himself much more and I would meet up with him in time for dinner. Besides, (as per usual) I had already bonded with the gays playing the Wizard of Oz machines, to my right and my left. I would be fine. :)

There are many fantastic restaurants in Atlantic City to choose from. We narrowed our choices down by agreeing that neither one of us wanted to leave The Borgata. I thought an earlier seating would be best because we had tickets to a comedy show that started at 9:00 and we didn't want to be worried about rushing back for that. Since it was The Husband's birthday, I left the choice up to him. And, surprise, surprise, he choose a steak house. Of course, he felt like eating a steak. When doesn't he?

There are a couple of places to get a good steak in The Borgata. There are the chains and big names, like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck but then there's also The Old Homestead Steakhouse. Which is a restaurant that a couple of brothers from the meat packing district in NYC started way back in the day, and that's where The Husband wanted to go. They seated us on the beautiful second story balcony, overlooking the restaurant and I was quite pleased. I love being up high and being able to see everything like that. The Husband started by ordering his favorite appetizer, fried calamari. It came with a pad Thai dipping sauce that was out of this world. I honestly wanted to lick the bottom of the dish. IT was fantastic. I started by ordering a Rose Sangria. It was, hands down, the best sangria I have ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot...
Me and my Rose Sangria. Yum. Although I'm certain it looks like I've had more, I only had room in my tummy for one.
Caution: Objects in this picture are actually even larger than they appear.
The only thing I wish I did differently, was I wish I asked more questions about the menu, because if I did, I NEVER would have ordered what I ordered. Unless I knew five other people were also going to eat my entrée, with me. For some reason, once The Husband said he felt like steak, I felt like it too. I almost always order the sea bass when we go out. But I decided to change it up and ordered the prime rib. When they brought it out to me, it was a Fred Flinstone-sized side of beef that was so obscenely large I just stared laughing. I thought I was being punked. This had to be some kind of joke, right? The cute, classy little blonde at the table next to me, looked over and said, "Holy crap, you ordered that?"  Yep. Yes, I did. And now I was going to act like I knew this place was going to put forth an entire side of a cow on my dish. From the taste of what I managed to gnaw off the sides, the prime rib was delicious. I decided to try and make a respectable dent in it. But after a few minutes, I got the meat sweats so bad I felt like I was going to die. We couldn't order dessert or coffee or anything else, because I was full to the rim with meat. I needed to go walk off the meat sweats, STAT.

That's some serious meat. Note: See the cute little blonde I told you about at the table next to me?
She was smart enough to have a salad and order only one entrée, which she shared with her husband.
The Borgata is connected by some high end shops to The Water Club, so we took a stroll down the corridors and cruised around through all the stores. But I didn't stop to shop; I couldn't. I felt like a shark that had to keep swimming or else it might die.  I thought briefly about taking the stairs, instead of the elevator up to our room on the 28th floor...but that thought was fleeting. So I kept walking and The Husband stopped every once in a while to gamble here or there. Before you knew it, it was almost 9:00 and in was time for our comedy show to begin.

Most of the time I am really skeptical about going to see comedians. For those of you who read this blog regularly, I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor and can take a joke. I also don't take myself very seriously.  But I have had bad experiences in the past with going to comedy shows. Once, (a very long, long time ago) I saw George Carlin and he was so disgusting and just flat out rude to the people in the audience, I walked out. I didn't find him funny at all and I was shocked by his later success. I'm sorry to speak ill of the dead, but I thought he was a complete tool. Anyhoo, this night wasn't about me, it was all about The Husband. But I'm not beat. So I went to the bathroom WAY before the show opened, so not to become a target, and I made sure (although we were early and totally could)  NOT to sit in the first few rows. Then I waited... The comedy show surprised me. The first comic was from Texas, and did a whole thing about that. He didn't mess with the audience at all and I thought that was a good sign. He was OK, I laughed a little at a few of his jokes, but overall that's what the opener is. Just the opener. Then came a guy I think I had seen before on Comedy Central- and he was hilarious. I laughed at all of his jokes. But then the headliner came out, and I waited for the torture to begin. He didn't torture the audience, but he definitely messed with a few women in the front row. I overheard the lady next to me whisper to her husband, "I'm glad we didn't sit in the front."  Overall, the show was much better than I expected and I was glad we went. On another happy note, I had finally overcome the meat sweats and I was ready for dessert.

Another giant bonus for me, besides the circular layout to the Borgata is that they have a Ben & Jerry's in their basement! And that's where The Husband wanted to go...um. No. Honestly, nope. That's not at all where he wanted to go for dessert but he knows how much this Bird loves her some ice cream. So we went. By that time it was really late and we were super tired. We decided to call it a night and went back up to our room. And that's where I'm going to cut this off.  Cause I'd like to keep this a PG blog  :) Stay tuned for Part Deux of The Husband's birthday weekend extravaganza to find out what we did on his actually birthday.

Happy Friday Everyone- Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August-Insecure Writers Support Group

This month, my IWSG post may be a bit convoluted. Please hang in there because somewhere along the rocky way, I'll get to a point that's relevant to IWSG. Don't know about the IWSG? Check out the list and learn all about it over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog.

When my sister Emily was dying, there was very little she could eat. Even her favorite foods didn't appeal to her  anymore because taking massive amounts of chemo ruined her taste buds and crushed her appetite.  Eating, which used to be such a pleasurable experience for her, had become a daily battle and dreaded chore. One afternoon,  I was at my sister's house and we were wracking our brains, trying to come up with something, anything, she could eat that wouldn't make her sick, when the door bell rang.

I was surprised to see my friend Lisa standing on my sister's porch. But there she was, like Little Red Riding Hood, holding a basket of goodies. She had just baked a whole batch of homemade biscotti and knowing Emmy was struggling to eat, thought maybe she might like to try some. It was such a sweet thing to do and we were so touched by her thoughtfulness. Of course, I invited her in, but she couldn't stay. Lisa had tons of errands to run and things to do but she wished my sister well and left her basket of cookies with us. I immediately made some tea and  put the biscotti (that were still warm) on a plate for my sister.

The fact that Emmy thought they smelled amazing was encouraging and she actually got excited to try one. She took a tiny bite. Then another. And another. Then we waited. She didn't feel sick! Her stomach did not reject it. I know this may sound so trivial but when you haven't held down anything in days, this was a monumental victory.  We couldn't believe it.  Lisa's homemade biscotti were a hit! I couldn't wait to call her and tell her. I also planned on begging her for the recipe so I could immediately try and bake more for my sister to eat.

But when I called Lisa and told her Emmy loved her biscotti and could I please have the recipe, she wouldn't even hear me out. She said she would give me the recipe, but insisted on providing my sister with all the cookies she might ever want or need from here on out. And that's what she did. Lisa went right back in the kitchen and started baking. And like clock work, she would show up and deliver cookies to my sister's house.

On Monday, I found out my sweet friend Lisa, passed away. It came as quite a shock. I was not even aware she was sick. Turns out, she had cancer too. But decided to keep it a secret- I'm not entirely certain why she didn't want anyone to know. Although I can guess. The woman who gave up so much of her time and attention to those who were suffering, didn't feel comfortable allowing anyone the opportunity to return the favor. That's who she was. Someone who was truly more comfortable giving than receiving,  a wonderful example of a what a friend should be, mother to three girls, beloved, supportive wife of  a NYC cop.  And someone I will never forget.

As I sat here, contemplating what I should write about for the IWSG this month, I really struggled. My thoughts kept returning over and over again to Lisa. Her loving kindness, her generosity and her overall quiet, gentle spirit. She was someone that was so good she seemed surreal. She was like a character an agent or your CPs would tell you, "Hmm, she doesn't seem real, give her a few flaws...." Every once in  a while in this life you will encounter a "Lisa". A character with no flaws. One that doesn't fit the mold. Someone who doesn't conform and will stand true to themselves.  What do you do in that circumstance? How do you deal with that? Do you write that character as they are? Or do you change them for the sake of the story and throw in a few flaws to make them seem more believable?

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Cat-Dog, A New Breed

My brother Chris is seriously prejudice. Against catsThe boy mocks me mercilessly for being a crazy cat lady. (Even though I only have one and not fifty running around inside my house.) He also loves to tease my kids. One of his favorite forms of torture is to never call our cat by her real name: Princess Filamena Joy or Mena for the short version. No, Chris prefers calling her things like Princess Dingle-berry Turtle Head and then laughs when she comes running to it. He is relentless. He never tires of teasing us about how much we spoil and love her. I guess because sometimes little brothers, no matter how old they get, will never stop being total butt munches :)
Since the very first  day we rescued her and I brought this little kitty home, maybe  I have bragged about her incessantly. AND maybe nobody really cares about how many neat little tricks my cat can do and how loving and sweet and cute she is. This is the first cat I've ever had, after a lifetime of having dogs and I'll be the first to admit that I have become completely and utterly impressed with her. Mena is highly intelligent, super affectionate, attentive, playful, loving and so entertaining to watch.

This cat somehow managed to win over The Husband. Which is a dang miracle. Because he used to be as equally prejudice as my brother. I asked him what changed his opinion about her, and he said, "Well, I guess it's because she acts more like a dog." From then on, we started to joke around and refer to her as a new breed, a sort of hybrid mutant. We call her "The Cat-Dog". 
Which do you prefer cat or dogs? Why? Maybe you have mad love in your heart for both, like me. Or are you prejudice towards one or the other because of preconceived notions of what they are like?