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Fat actress

Tonight I saw something that truly inspired me: Dateline's interview with the erstwhile Kirstie Alley!

NBC's Matt Lauer conducted the interview with her tonight, and I found it to be more insightful than I was expecting it to be. They talked about the usual things, how skinny she used to be back in the day, her frequent appearances on the covers of all the rags lately (National Enquirer, Star, etc.), showing her in the most unflattering light a person could be shown in. She was, as Mr. Lauer described, "charming" and "disarming", even confessing her true weight: 203 lbs. (at the time of the interview, anyway). Back during "Cheers" days, she only weighed 130 lbs.!!! (And for those of you that really care, when she made the appearance on the Star Trek movie, don't ask me which one, she only weighed 115. She is 5'8".)

For those of you that didn't see the interview or don't otherwise know, you may have heard about her new show, "Fat Actress" which is set to make it's debut in March on Showtime. The premise of the "unscripted" show is actually about a, well, fat actress, and her unsuccessful attempts at getting work because of her weight. The material she's using for the show is, as you might guess, taken from her real life experience. I guess Ms. Alley plans to lose weight as the show progresses. I don't want to make any predictions, but the clips they showed from "Fat Actress" were pretty funny, and I'm inclined to say based on those clips I saw, the show might be worth watching. At least the first episode.

As she told Mr. Lauer, Kirstie Alley likened her weight gain in real life to being like, what if the proverbial kid in a candy store could stay as long as he liked? She said, if the kid spends too much time there, eventually he's going to want to leave, because he'll have too much of a good thing. That's how she framed her epiphany at needing to lose weight -- she's had too much of a good thing.

I had been enjoying the interview anyway, but that statement right there made me admire her. She laughed her trademark husky laugh throughout her conversation with Mr. Lauer, at almost every comment she made or story shared, and she smiled endlessly, the twinkle never leaving her eye. She especially enjoyed talking about how the idea for the "Fat Actress" show came about, becoming quite animated. She was the picture of health, if not physically, then on every other level.

But they saved the best for last. Dateline happened to catch up with Ms. Alley at a photo shoot, and at the very end of their story put together a montage sequence of various moving shots taken over the still photographer's shoulder put to the music, "Brick House". It was absolutely hilarious! Made me feel not nearly so bad for chowing down on a yummy, yummy Butterfinger Crisp bar for dessert tonight. :)

First weather-related death of season

Tonight we reported on a story that will make you so sad, you'll need a good laugh of the kind Kirstie Alley can provide, after you hear it. Last night, a man confined to a wheelchair froze to death because he was locked out of his apartment at the Herkimer Apts., and could not get in. His keys had apparently fallen out of his hands, because they were found under his wheelchair amid some scattered loose change.

That fact is bad enough; it's the other details to this story that make it so unsettling, however. A man who lives in an adjacent building happened to hear the man's cries for help and called 9-1-1. The dispatcher simply said, "We don't do things such as that," to which the caller insisted the guy outside needs help, and could they at least try? The dispatcher replied they would call the apartment building's security, as well as the owner of the hotel. With that, the caller, Silas Deans went to bed, satisfied that something would be done, and there would be a happy ending to this story.

Imagine his surprise when he got up the next morning, looked out his window, and saw the guy was still sitting outside in his wheelchair!!!

Mind you, the temperature dipped into single digits overnight, with wind chills in the negative digits. The man died of frostbite.

So what happened?

Dwelling Place, who owns and operates the Herkimer apartments, said a security guard was notified and responded, but as it turns out, they treat all calls for people who are locked out of the building the same way -- very casually. The reason for that is simple: by the time they get to the door to let the person in, someone else has already let them in. Completely understandable. How were they to know this one was different?

As if that weren't enough, the security guard only checked three of the four entrances to the building. Guess which one the victim was sitting at? The one the security guard *didn't* check.

As for the guy who called 9-1-1, he feels horrible about what happened. "I shoulda came down, that thought did go through my mind too, but by calling the police I thought that was just as good as me going down."

And it certainly should have been. I feel just as bad for Silas Deans as I do for the guy that died. This story, certainly a lesson in why you should NEVER feel like you're doing "too much", but instead, worry that you're not doing enough. A lesson that no doubt weighs very heavily on Mr. Deans' heart.

Final Thoughts

Since I hate to end this entry on such a depressing note, I feel I must add this here: Pasha the Wonder-Cat is almost completely back to normal. The surgery went well, her blood tests checked out 100% great (although I have yet to get her checked for Feline Leukemia or FIV), her recovery is going swimmingly, and there were *NO* major changes to her personality. In fact, you'd think she never left my apartment for so much as a walk through the hall and back!!! She still head-butts me, she still makes that gurgling/cooing sound when I call her by name, her eyes are as bright and alive as ever.

People may criticize me... but you know, it's kind of like renter's insurance. Most of the time, nothing happens, but then there's always that slim chance that something will happen. You never want to be the one that "something" happens to; you never want to be caught unprepared. And spay surgery -- ovariohysterectomy -- is "major abdominal surgery" requiring general anesthesia and an overnight stay at the vet's. So this was kind of a big deal, I've been stressing out over it for about two years now, and frankly, I'm probably more relieved that it's over with than most people who get their cats fixed at a young age.

I am here to tell you, if I had it to do all over again, I'd still wait two years, or at least sometime after my cat turns one year old. Because their personality hasn't fully developed until they're a year old; I'm inclined to think the "personality changes" people witness in their cats after spay surgery comes about because the event is so traumatizing to a young kitten, that it does alter their personality a bit. When they're older, they're more set in their ways, and have a routine, and they're used to a somewhat predictable lifestyle of eating, sleeping, playing, eating and sleeping. And oh yes, did I mention sleeping???

Once Pasha was back in her familiar surroundings, it was just like nothing happened, in many ways. So I think it's safe to say, based on that, that cat's memories are different than ours are. Lucky them; they don't know how good they've got it!

Then again, I guess it's good for me, too, in the end. I got my cat back, minus the compulsion to mark her territory.

Here's my prayer that all animals have a warm place to be tonight.

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