Wolffy and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Birthday Week

With apologies to Judith Viorst.

Last night, after midnight so really this morning, I discovered something terrible.

There is malware on two of my sites. This malware redirects you to porn or something else if you try to visit the mobile version of the site. It has no affect on the desktop versions that I can see, but use an iPad or phone to access the website and you’re going to get porn. Or taxi services. Or something.

This site is not one of the affected sites. The affected sites are, of course, my mom’s site and my publishing site.

I stayed up most of the night trying to fix the problem. Today is mom’s birthday and I wanted it to be…well, malware-free at least.

At around 4 am I noticed there were buzzing insects in my room (which is also the library). A lot of them. A lot of black and yellow buzzing insects.

Fuck. Wasps. About 8 in the room and TEN ON THE WINDOW OUTSIDE, TRYING TO GET IN.


I tried to close the window but I’m not strong enough. I was talking with the fiance and he asked if there was anywhere else I could sleep. No, I said. There’s the bed in the library or the floor in the kitchen, the floor in the bathroom, or the unfinished floor in the living room. That’s it.

What about upstairs on the floor with your mom and the dog?

Then I’d wake her up, and how better to truly ruin her day?

I decided I’d sleep in the library and just pray to the gods I didn’t get stung. After I announced my plan to the Ogre, the wasps got angry. They heard what I’d said. They didn’t like my plan. They started divebombing the lamp, flying close to my face, buzzing with purpose.

I said a hurried goodbye to the Ogre, clicked off Skype, and grabbed my pillow and blanket and ran.

I slept on the bathroom floor. I figured, it’s heated and I can put towels and bathmats under me. Shouldn’t be too bad.

I was wrong.

Mom found me at 7am. She got me up and sent me upstairs to sleep on her bed and get an actual rest.

My back still has not forgiven me.

And then, as if sleeping on tile wasn’t enough for my poor body, at some point during my blissful sleep on mom’s bed I woke up and got up on one elbow, as if I were about to leave the bed. I then fell back asleep in that position and woke up a few hours later, still up on one elbow. My entire arm and left side had gone numb. I turned over onto my other side and the feeling started rushing back, undulating waves of numbness and tingling, dancing out blue and green in my brain.

I ended up getting up around 2pm. Mom was not in a good mood, but the wasps were gone from the library at least. The malware is still on the websites, and I am still trying to fix it.

But this story is a perfect example of how amazing my mom is. She woke up on her birthday to find me curled up on the bathroom floor because of a wasp infestation — another problem she has to deal with — when she’d gone to bed right after we discovered the malware problem. She went to bed with bad news and woke up to bad news, and you know what she did?

Sent me to have a good sleep in her bed.

Then she started baking koek.

With a still-broken foot.

And now we’re at Breakwater Books, where she plans on hosting the Live Poets’ meeting. (If anyone shows; summer fell on a Saturday this year so everyone is out enjoying the sun. If no one shows, then she and I get to sit and write and read for a bit, which is awesome.)

I’m fairly certain that, ’twere I in her shoes, I would have crawled into my closet, cried, and left the Ogre to deal with the mess in our lives.

I don’t know how my mom got so good at handling crises. But she’s fantastic and she keeps me going, even on a day that’s supposed to be for her.

And even on days when it gets to be too much, when she just has to have a good cry, she does so. She lets herself feel her emotions. And then she picks up the pieces and keeps going. She doesn’t let anything get her down for very long at all.

So. You may wonder: how do I write such resilient, persistent, strong and brilliant female characters in my stories?

I have one hell of a role model.


PS Mercury is retrograde right now. I’M JUST SAYIN’

Why Wolff isn’t coming to SMF this year

You’re probably aware I’ve been doing some fundraising to help my mom and myself, or Kat & Wolff, get to Spring Mysteries Festival this year.

Well, mom can’t come anymore. It’s just going to be me. (I could still use any financial help y’all are willing to give, however. I just barely made my registration cost.)


Aside from the obvious money issues, and the issue of my car not being fixed yet (and the fact it will cost 400 or so dollars to do so, not to mention renewing insurance on it), Wolff can’t go because of this beautiful monstrosity:

Yep, we let him on the couch.
Yep, we let him on the couch.

Lord Tyee Houdini-Wolf, the Awful Pawful. Occasionally also known as Col. Ty, because mom and I are big fat Battlestar Galactica geeks. (Our last dog was known as Major Adama.)

Tyee is sweet, thoughtful, caring, careful, loving, affectionate, playful, and a complete fucking terror. He also has major abandonment issues.

He’s a wolf-shepherd and he’s a rescue. Those things don’t combine very well — neither the breeding of wolf and shepherd by macho men who want a “tough guard dog”, nor the combining of said hybrid with a past that contained neglect and, quite likely, abuse. Wolff has had to work very hard with Tyee to get him to be as well-behaved as he is now.

"Morning Mom! What's for breakfast?"
“Morning Mom! What’s for breakfast?”

He likes to jump on peoples’ shoulders still, but we’ve got him to a point where he’ll do it on command instead of whenever he damn well pleases. We’ve also taught him that he’s not to howl at sirens while he’s in the apartment — trust me, that was not easy! Sirens go by here every few hours, and we’ve never had a wolf dog who wouldn’t let out a song with such invitation. But he’s very smart, and figures out what we want soon enough.

Of course he still has his bad days. That’s to be expected. And we can’t fully trust him around kids — simply because we don’t know enough about what happened in his past, and he still has some behavioral issues that may be related to the mixture of wolf and shepherd more than how he was treated. (Seriously, folks, only ever breed wolf with husky. Anything else is just a really fucking bad idea.) This is not to say that he’s dangerous — he’s not. He just seems to have issues with younger mammals: he needs to tell them off. Combine that with a kid who doesn’t know how to treat dogs with respect, and we’ve got a recipe for the city putting down our ~*~dangerous~*~ wolf-dog. [insert rant about breed-specific legislation and stupid human attitudes towards wolves here]

Sleeping on my bed. He scampers up there as soon as I vacate it.
Sleeping on my bed. He scampers up there as soon as I vacate it.

Because of Tyee’s abandonment issues, whenever mom and I need to travel somewhere we need to leave him with people he’s already accustomed to — a secondary wolf pack. It takes time and effort to build up that sort of trust and rapport, and we had a place we could leave him — a boarder who had several other dogs and a lot of room for Tyee to run and play and frolic.

The plan was, we thought, to leave Tyee with this secondary pack when mom and I went down to Spring Mysteries Fest. He loves his pack so much that he barely notices us leaving: bye, Mom! Gonna go play! He bounds off, excited to spend time with his friends again.

Except that’s not happening. Tyee’s not going to his boarder — not this time, not, apparently, ever again. He was dumped.

Reasoning? No clue. Something about Tyee “not being safe” anymore.  The boarder states we’ve been told all the details, but there’s obviously something missing — because the details don’t add up to our dog being classified as dangerous.

And here, you see, are the dangers of having a wolf-dog in your life. They are amazing and they will take up a massive portion of your heart, until your heart must grow to contain all the love you feel for such a wondrous creature who chooses to let you share your life with him. They are messengers of the Goddess Silva, lady of the True Woods, Queen of the Deep Furs, here to teach us back to our true selves. If ever you get to spend any part of your life with a wolf-dog, consider yourself extremely lucky.

But if you are to share your life with a wolf dog, you must be prepared to give up a large portion of your time. They are high-maintenance. They require the attention of a pack-mate — not an owner. You never own a wolf-dog; do not ever convince yourself otherwise. They need to have their place in the pack, and have it secure. And if you need to travel, you need to find someone to take care of them who is also like a pack-mate — abandonment issues or not (though, obviously, this is doubly important in cases like Tyee’s).

And if you lose that person right before you have to travel on a trip that was planned for months? Then you lose your ability to travel.

So, mom will not be coming along to Spring Mysteries Fest this year. She will be staying home with Tyee. And we will be spending the next months trying to find someone new to take care of him during our absences — someone who won’t dump him with no warning.