Spay and Neuter: Pets Don’t Need the “Miracle of Birth”

I work as a fundraiser for an animal welfare organization. I write phrases like, “anything you could give would be truly appreciated” and “because of you more animals will find and keep loving homes.”

But we can’t help every pet. Part of the reason for this is that there are still many more animals than people to care for them.

Eighty percent of cats and dogs put to sleep in shelters are healthy but can’t find an adopter. There still aren’t enough loving homes to go around. Other reasons to spay/neuter:

1.) Your pet will be healthier (no testicles, no testicular cancer) and less likely to get into fights.

2.) Cats and dogs in the wild have a lot of sex. Cats can get pregnant every few months. Do you really want to find homes for a new litter every quarter?

3.) In the long term, it’s much less expensive. Kittens and puppies cost money.

4.) Less chance of spraying. Animal urine really smells. Don’t find this out the hard way.

5.) Your pet still needs to be fixed even if it’s male. Cats and dogs don’t give birth asexually. Basic biology people.

6.) On that topic, neutering your male won’t destroy their masculinity, and they won’t be pining for their lost balls–so relax. It’s not like we’re neutering you.

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Vote: It’s Like Standardized Testing Only Relevant

Vote: It’s Like Standardized Testing Only Relevant

I voted in my state, Washington’s, primary election yesterday afternoon. Then I lay around my deck, sunning myself and sipping green tea. Both these things are important. Here are reasons why you should vote.

1.) It’s not hard to google someone or read their statement in the voters’ pamphlet. If they don’t have a statement that tells you something right there…that they’re the only one on the ballot.

2.) Protesting  is wonderful. Especially if you have fun signs like “Grab them by the midterms,” but to do that you have to vote.

3.) You have tried to affect the outcome, so you now have the right to complain. Roll your eyes as much as you like.

4.) In federal elections, these are the people that decide if we go to war or not (possibly with nuclear weapons). The proper place for a nuclear winter is in dystopian fiction, not where you live.

5.) Your choices (or lack thereof) can have serious consequences for people other than you.

– Those consequences can be good i.e. in 2012 Washington voted to legalize gay marriage a few years before the Supreme Court did.

– Or they can be bad i.e. closing your state’s lone abortion clinic. Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and Mississippi have only one as of January 2018.

Democracy means a government by the people, so vote. Because absentee governing never ends well.

City Driving: It’s You They’re Honking At

City Driving: It’s You They’re Honking At

I drove in San Francisco recently for the first time in years. It didn’t go well. I spoke (yelled) exclusively in swear words, and I’m surprised I didn’t break off the steering wheel. Here are pointers to make your trip smoother than mine.

1.) Be sure you have the right address in your GPS. There’s a big difference between 70 Santa Rosa Ave, San Francisco and 70 Santa Rosa Ave, Sausalito.

2.) You’ll zoom off one freeway and swoop across four lanes in under a mile to get to your exit. You will miss this exit.

3.) Calling the car in front a jackass for not turning (even though they’d get t-boned if they did) does not make traffic move faster.

4.) When you go left and need to yield, pull into the intersection anyway. It’s like calling dibs.

5.) One-way streets are god’s punishment for tourists.

6.) Threatening to make your navigator drive does not make them less cranky.

Weddings: Why Love Needs Patience (and Appetizers

Weddings: Why Love Needs Patience (and Appetizers

My dad got married last weekend. I got a migraine and puked in an upstairs toilet during the reception—should have rethought those bobby pins.

Dad isn’t the only one walking down the aisle. Two co-workers have children tying the knot, and two high school friends had weddings last year. Everyone is looking for an affordable honeymoon. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1.) From my co-worker: A mother of the bride dress is hard to find. They’re all beige, and designers assume you’re entering a nunnery or a nursing home.

2.) Speaking of dresses, don’t assume your jogging bra won’t show under yours. And don’t pack only one bra. You’ll have to borrow your sister’s, and your boobs will spend the day making a break for it.

3.) You do a lot of striding in heels. Sit when you can.

4.) Fluids are your friend, until you need to pee. It is physically impossible to pee in a wedding gown.

5.) If there’s an awkward pause after you’ve finished 1 Corinthians, don’t ask, “Is there more?” There isn’t.

Last but not least, loose the bobby pins. You’ll thank me later.

Wrath of the Desperate: Electronics and You

Wrath of the Desperate: Electronics and You

You’ve turned your computer on and off. You’ve clicked on “Devices and Settings.” You’ve gone into “Printer Properties.” You’ve watched the little bar at the bottom of your screen turn green. And nothing happens. You will not be getting any hardcopies this millennium. We can all agree that the next logical step is to throw the computer out the window and dance on its remains (after yelling and swearing at your loved ones first of course).

Here are some ways to avoid that. It’s not fun thinking, “I’ll have to apologize for this” as your saying/spiting something.

1.) Exercise helps. Instead of hitting the computer, hit a punching bag. Your fingers will thank you.

2.) Meditation.  It’s as corny as it sounds.

3.) Stop—give up on having paper documents ever again. You keep thinking you’re this close; you’re not. Seventy-seventh time isn’t the charm.
4.) Find something funny. I recommend “Best of Tyrion Lannister” from Game of Thrones. Stay away from world news.
Lastly, these don’t work all the time. I’ve screeched myself hoarse at my computer and will again. Tea with honey is always good for a sore throat.

When the Weather Inside is Frightful

When the Weather Inside is Frightful

I live in Washington, and it’s February, so I spend a lot of time shivering in my apartment. I’m in my twenties and too cheap to pay for heating. I have a $23.98 electricity bill and numb, purple toes. Here are a few creative ways to get warm when, like mine, the inside of your house is somehow colder than the outside.

1.) There’s no limit to how many blankets you can have. I’ve piled seven on my futon so far. Raid your parents’ place if need be.

2.) Get a neck pillow, microwave it for two minutes, and feel your skin turn red. You can also use an electric heating pad.

3.) Your hot shower is now the highlight of your day. Especially if your landlord pays the water bill. For me, the warmth runs out after ten minutes, so it’s a short highlight—but still.

4.) On that note, don’t go to bed with a wet head. Dry it when you have the heater on unless you want to get sick.

5.) If you do get sick, either leave your house or make yourself into a human puff ball of sweaters, blankets, and pajamas.

6.) Lastly, don’t be a cheapskate like me. Turn up the damn thermostat before your fingers drop off.

Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Advanced Advocacy: Food for Legislators

Humane Lobby Day happened last week, and I spoke with my legislators’ staffers to advocate for animal welfare. I learned that politicians really like pictures of themselves with middle school classrooms and what my representatives’ names are. I also learned how to get those politicians to listen to you.

1.) Don’t freak out if you can only speak with their assistant. Legislators are busy (as their staff will say more than once). It’s their people’s job to tell them what they need to know from their constituents.

2.) To get on that need to know list…bring food. If you attach a piece of candy or a cookie to a document, it adds an extra minute to the time they look at it. Think of it as a micro-bribe.

3.) Only contact your own representatives. If you call someone else’s, they’ll listen to you, nod politely, and do nothing.

4.) Know where your bill is in the process. Bills need to make it through their subject committee and the rules committee before they come to vote. Then they go over to wherever they didn’t start (senate or house) and travel through those committees.

5.) If a bill fails once, it can still be reintroduced.

Turning a bill into a law can take several years. Bring snacks, and not only for your legislator.