Alex Lifetime Stat Sheet

For Alex pics, check out the PHOTOS section. And for the Alex Lifetime Stat Sheet, here ya go:

[b]Name[/b]: Alex Colchamiro

[b]Nicknames[/b]: The Buddy

[b]Born[/b]: Sept. 26, 1991 (est.)

[b]Died[/b]: June 4, 2008

[b]Hometown[/b]: Buffalo, NY

[b]Breed[/b]: Tabby

[b]Color[/b]: Olive green/grey with black tiger stripes and white chin

[b]Eyes[/b]: Yellow

[b]Weight[/b]: 12.5 lbs.

[b]Residences[/b]: Buffalo, N.Y.; Merrick, N.Y.; Tempe, Ariz.; Brooklyn,For Alex pics, check out the PHOTOS section. And for the Alex Lifetime Stat Sheet, here ya go:

[b]Name[/b]: Alex Colchamiro

[b]Nicknames[/b]: The Buddy

[b]Born[/b]: Sept. 26, 1991 (est.)

[b]Died[/b]: June 4, 2008

[b]Hometown[/b]: Buffalo, NY

[b]Breed[/b]: Tabby

[b]Color[/b]: Olive green/grey with black tiger stripes and white chin

[b]Eyes[/b]: Yellow

[b]Weight[/b]: 12.5 lbs.

[b]Residences[/b]: Buffalo, N.Y.; Merrick, N.Y.; Tempe, Ariz.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; New York, N.Y.; Queens, N.Y.

[b]Favorite Foods[/b]: Smart Puffs, Low-Fat (not sugar-free) Fig Newtons, Butter Peacan ice cream; cheese; whatever Liz or I was eating

[b]Favorite Beverage[/b]: water (that anyone else was drinking); cereal milk

[b]Favorite Activities[/b]: ripping up scratching posts; windowsill napping; hunting birds/mice; sleep; roughhousing; chase me; sleep; rolled-up paper baseball; catnip socks; swatting around twist ties and other circular objects; getting cheek scratchies; playing Aliens, wherein he attacks mysterious critters (my hand) underneath the blanket

[b]Favorite Sleeping Spaces[/b]: couch; bed (especially unmade); floor; Liz’s back

[b]Funniest Moment[/b]: watching him race across the apartment, off the bed and onto the back of the chair (as I’m siting in it), and then scratching away at it (as the chair swirls) until his spazz attack wears off, and then clings to top of the chair.

[b]Most Annoying Habit[/b]: World’s most annoying meow. Oh. My. God. Low, gutteral meow that’s more like a wounded otter. Incessant.

[b]Most Unusual Sex Change[/b]: When I first adopted Alex, I was told "he" was a "she." Alex (who at that time was nameless) also had a huge pouch, which seemed to be the result of a pregnancy. Well, a few months later during a check up, the vet assured me that "she" was a "he." Alex had also had the ole snip-snip before I got him, so that was another sneaky bit of transgendering. In the end, Alex was all man …

[b]Favorite Movie[/b]: Groundhog Day (at the beginning of the DVD there’s a screen with the cartoon map of the town, with little gophers that pop up; Alex was mesmerized).

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/06/04 17:05

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/06/06 05:57

R.I.P. Alex (a.k.a. The Buddy): 1991 – 2008

Well, I’m afraid that day has finally come, and Alex (a.k.a. The Buddy), is no longer with us. He died today.

Liz and I are sad now, and while we already miss him terribly, in a way it’s like he never left, because his mark on us is indelible. For those who met him, I’m sure you know how just great he was, and for those who didn’t, well, Alex was just one in a million. Mr. Cool.

And what a life he had:

* 1992 – Responding to flier in the classroom building during college, I picWell, I’m afraid that day has finally come, and Alex (a.k.a. The Buddy), is no longer with us. He died today.

Liz and I are sad now, and while we already miss him terribly, in a way it’s like he never left, because his mark on us is indelible. For those who met him, I’m sure you know how just great he was, and for those who didn’t, well, Alex was just one in a million. Mr. Cool.

And what a life he had:

* 1992 – Responding to flier in the classroom building during college, I pick up Alex from the mean streets of Buffalo.

* 1992-1994 – Alex establishes himself as the coolest of cats; fun and loving, gentle and a little bit crazy.

* 1994 – On Long Island, while I’m away in Europe, Alex gets hit by car in near-fatal bang-up; he goes bionic (we did actually rebuild him). Alex makes full recovery, with mechanical pin in shoulder and slightly misaligned jaw; becomes more superhuman than ever (or is that superfeline?)

* 1995 – Alex drives cross country with with me–twice–to Arizona and back, with stops in Wheeling, West Virginia; Tera Houte, Indiana; St. Louis; Albuquerque; and Tempe, Arizona. Alex preferred the second shift behind the wheel and driving with the windows open, as opposed to air conditioning. (I was the opposite).

* 1995 – In Tempe, Alex gets bitten by alley skank cat; gets massive infection; makes full recovery.

* 1995 – 1996 – Back on Long Island, Alex brings me numerous decapitated birds and mice, dropping them on my pillow as an early morning wake-up; he wins both my horror and pride.

* 1997 – Alex moves with me to Brooklyn – becomes neighborhood mensch (and brawler; gets butt kicked several times; gives out a few beatings as well); also brings me the occasional bird (sometimes headless). Settles in to the Brooklyn digs.

* 1998 – Alex begins tour as indoor crumpled-up-paper baseball prodigy. Has line drive power; hits to all fields.

* 1998 – Alex gets mouth infection; has three teeth extracted

* 2000 – Alex bonds with Liz; love at first sight!

* 2001 – 2006 – Alex establishes himself as neighborhood mainstay of Manhattan’s Upper West Side when we all relocate to Liz’s apartment. Thriving on energy of the big city, Alex goes in full bonkers mode at 9 pm nightly, doing his best Tasmanian Devil impersonation. That boy could move!

* 2002 – Alex establishes 6 am wake-up call with full meowing thunder; protests to postpone rise and shine until 7 am go unheeded. Alex has set the time.

* 2002 – Alex works on switch-hitting as indoor crumpled-up-paper baseball prodigy; shows more power from the right side, but has a sweet lefty swing.

* 2002 – 2006 – Liz supplants me as Alex’s favorite resting buddy; there’s just nothing like the warm embrace of a good woman (my woman!); despite my protests, Alex was unmoved; Liz was now his; I had to wait in line. Alex usually sleeps on Liz’s back.

* 2004 – Alex sets indoor speed racing/slalom record, traversing entire apartment and furniture in 4.317 seconds–.021 seconds better than his previous record.

* 2005 – Alex gets near-fatal case of E-Coli poisoning (likely from a mouse he chowed down, protecting the home from those scurrilous critters). Emaciated and days from death, Alex is finally diagnosed properly and treated; again makes full recovery.

* 2006 – Alex gets another mouth infection; looses two more teeth.

* 2006 – Alex moves to Queens when we all relocate to Forest Hills; claims every corner of new apartment as his; finds new levels of comfort and sprawl. Perches on all windowsills; runs like mad from end of apartment to the other. Timing is off record pace, but control and precision improved.

* 2006 – Alex now establishes 5 am wake-up call with full meowing thunder; protests to extend that time until 6 am go unheeded. Again, Alex has set the time.

* 2008 – Bionic implants start to short-circuit. After a few wobbly months of attempted repairs and maintenance, Alex signs off.

I could probably go on forever about Alex, so I’ll just say that all the time I had with him was a gift from the gods. Alex may be gone from this world, but Liz and I will spend the rest of our lives celebrating his …

If you want to see pics of the coolest cat ever, click on the PHOTOS section, where I’ve uploaded lots of Alex moments dating from our days in Buffalo to now.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/06/07 05:48

When My Belly Budda Went Too Far

About a year ago I got some medical news that made my eyes pop open–and not in a good way–and when I looked down at the scale, I kinda figured why. I registered at–gulp 181 pounds. For someone who’s 6 feet tall, that’s a great weight.

Well, I’m 5′ 6", so at 181 pounds, my blood-to-cheeseburger ratio was tipping way too far in the wrong direction. My belly Budda was growing in stature, and claiming more and more territory as the days went on. So I made a decision.

LAY OFF TAbout a year ago I got some medical news that made my eyes pop open–and not in a good way–and when I looked down at the scale, I kinda figured why. I registered at–gulp 181 pounds. For someone who’s 6 feet tall, that’s a great weight.

Well, I’m 5′ 6", so at 181 pounds, my blood-to-cheeseburger ratio was tipping way too far in the wrong direction. My belly Budda was growing in stature, and claiming more and more territory as the days went on. So I made a decision.

LAY OFF THE FRIGGIN CHEESEBURGERS!

I am happy to say that as of today, I now weigh 159 pounds. Yep, I’ve lost 22 pounds in the last year. It’s weird for me, because I haven’t weighed less than 160 pounds since I was in my early 20s, so this is taking some getting used to. But so far so good.

If there’s a down side, none of my pants fit me, but I guess there are worse problems to have.

Truth be told, I’d actually like to lose another ten pounds and rid myself of my belly Budda once and for all, but Liz says it’s just a little Budda at this point, so not to worry.

Lucifer

For the last few months I’ve been catching up on the trade paperbacks of LUCIFER, an ongoing series about–yep–LUCIFER.

The gist of the overall storyline is that Lucifer finally got fed up being the ruler of Hell, and decided, that’s it, I’m outta here, and settled into modern-day Los Angeles as a nightclub owner. (The character–and this situation–actually orginated in [i]Sandman[/i]). But as luck or fate would have it, he gets called back into the ‘life’, and now he’s got his hands fullFor the last few months I’ve been catching up on the trade paperbacks of LUCIFER, an ongoing series about–yep–LUCIFER.

The gist of the overall storyline is that Lucifer finally got fed up being the ruler of Hell, and decided, that’s it, I’m outta here, and settled into modern-day Los Angeles as a nightclub owner. (The character–and this situation–actually orginated in [i]Sandman[/i]). But as luck or fate would have it, he gets called back into the ‘life’, and now he’s got his hands full again.

Overall it’s a good series, with lost of Heaven/Hell conflict, demons and such. The language gets a bit over the top flowery/dark for me–a bit too much of the "crimson rivers of time and heaven rolls beneath the dying light of the ancients" kinda thing–but the plotting is pretty good and twisty, and it’s keeping me coming back for more.

So far I’ve read the first five trade paperbacks, and as long as the quality keeps up, I’ll likely keep reading. I won’t go so far as to call this a must read, but if you’re looking for some dark fantasy reading, this is pretty good.

LOST Season 4 Finale

Wow! Another killer episode a season finale. I won’t give away any details, but LOST really came back ths year with a mission, and with only a few minor bumps, has been great, great, great.

I can’t believe we have to wait ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR before we get to see LOST again!

ARRGGGGHHHHHHH!

So gooooooooooooood …Wow! Another killer episode a season finale. I won’t give away any details, but LOST really came back ths year with a mission, and with only a few minor bumps, has been great, great, great.

I can’t believe we have to wait ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR before we get to see LOST again!

ARRGGGGHHHHHHH!

So gooooooooooooood …

The Iconic Family Image

After my grandmother’s funeral last year we went back to my aunt’s house, and after chatting with the family for a while, I received an unexpected gift.

I remember it was a cool and cloudy day, and my uncle (my dad’s brother) walked me out to his car. In the trunk was a large, framed picture I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years–and it really stunned me. In the photograph, I’m about 4 years old, and I’m standing outside, in front of my mom and dad, with some trees in the background.

(AsAfter my grandmother’s funeral last year we went back to my aunt’s house, and after chatting with the family for a while, I received an unexpected gift.

I remember it was a cool and cloudy day, and my uncle (my dad’s brother) walked me out to his car. In the trunk was a large, framed picture I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years–and it really stunned me. In the photograph, I’m about 4 years old, and I’m standing outside, in front of my mom and dad, with some trees in the background.

(As a side note, my uncle, who gave me the picture the day of my grandmother’s funeral, was the one who actually snapped the photo way back in the early 1970s).

This photograph gleaned our walls for years and years, and no matter what else was going on in the family (usually lots of chaos), this one photograph always took me back to that gentle place. It’s an iconic photograph in my family’s history, one that everybody knows. And even though my parents are long since divorced (they’re now divorced longer than they were married), having this photograph means a lot to me. I’ll keep it always.

And this got me thinking about the iconic images of our lifetimes. Friends and family. Trips we took, tiny moments we shared. The treetops out of our bedroom windows. Lighting candles during a blackout. Halloween candy.

I’m not big on reminiscing (for better or worse), but I do think it’s a wondrous experience to revisit the iconic images from our own lives, and track them as a journey from then, until now. What stays with you? Most of the moments are gone from us forever, but the moments that stick with us are precious. They’re embedded in our psyches. In our souls.

What are the iconic images from your life? And when you think of them, what else floods through your mind?

Whatever those images are, I bet you’ll treasure them always. I know I will.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/06/06 05:57

I Surrender: iTunes Wore Me Down

Like a lot of people, I love music. I listen to it often. But when iPods first hit the scene, I was all: [i]No way Jose. You’re not getting your corporate mind-control hooks in me[/i]. In fact, I bought a handy-dandy mini-disc player (partly out of spite and rebellion), and I loved it. Good quality, good size. Long battery life. I took it everywhere.

Well, a few years have gone by, and as much as I hate to admit it, I finally gave in. Transferring music was becoming increasingly time consuLike a lot of people, I love music. I listen to it often. But when iPods first hit the scene, I was all: [i]No way Jose. You’re not getting your corporate mind-control hooks in me[/i]. In fact, I bought a handy-dandy mini-disc player (partly out of spite and rebellion), and I loved it. Good quality, good size. Long battery life. I took it everywhere.

Well, a few years have gone by, and as much as I hate to admit it, I finally gave in. Transferring music was becoming increasingly time consuming, so I bought an iPod about a year or so ago, and I have to admit, aside from the occassional spaz attack from my iPod, I dig it. Buying music off of iTunes is easy–especially if I only want one song–and the library is massive (albeit not entirely complete).

I’m not thrilled that you can’t just trade music among iPod users without burning tracks to a disc, but nothing’s perfect.

I’d love to say with that rebellious fire that I rebuffed the mighty iTunes and that I will never submit.

But I no longer do, and I did.

What can I say? I guess iTunes is here to stay, and unless something better comes along, I have joined the fray. I am mind-controlled by iTunes.

Alex Needs a Shout Out Part III

So here’s the lastest on Alex:

I’ll give you this … he’s still keeping Liz and I on our toes, and he’s certainly not lost his sense of humor.

In the last several weeks, this seasoned cat has now gone totally, if not mostly, blind in his left eye, so he’s got that going for him. We first noticed that his left eyelid was drooping a little, and then that his left pupil is now humungous compared to the right. I did the eye test–waving my finger in front of him–and he doesn’t notice anySo here’s the lastest on Alex:

I’ll give you this … he’s still keeping Liz and I on our toes, and he’s certainly not lost his sense of humor.

In the last several weeks, this seasoned cat has now gone totally, if not mostly, blind in his left eye, so he’s got that going for him. We first noticed that his left eyelid was drooping a little, and then that his left pupil is now humungous compared to the right. I did the eye test–waving my finger in front of him–and he doesn’t notice anything from the left, but clearly with his right. So, the eyesigh is going.

It also turns out that he now has an infection of some sort on his right big toe, very similar to the back toe that he had amputated because of cancer. He likely has cancer in that front toe, but at this point, why have it removed? It does seem to bother him a bit, but not so much that he appears in regular pain. More like an annoyance.

And if that wasn’t enough, he’s wheezing more now, and having trouble sitting still (likely due to his labored breathing), so he’s meowing all the time.

And oh yeah, similar to the drooping eye, he’s losing muscle function in his lower mouth, so he’s now just shoving his entire face into his food and liquids, so he comes out covered in liquid–and drool. It’s quite the scene. Liz and I will be on teh couch, and Alex comes wandering over, face covered in gunk. Then he hops up on the couch, shakes his head, and the drool and water (or milk) goes flying. So we’ve got Alex’s gunk stains all over the place.

Alex still manages to squeeze in his attention time, making sure we give him plenty of pets and cheek scratching, because, after all, he’s him, and he needs his to get his TLC. If he ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

So there you have it. Alex is still kicking, getting crankier by the day, but at least he’s still here to be cranky at all.

Re:INDIANA JONES 4

OK. I have now seen [i]Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull[/i]. It’s almost 20 years since the last Indiana Jones movie, and the big question is: was it worth the wait?

I won’t go into too much here, as I’m sure many people haven’t seen it yet, but I will say this:

Stay home, pull out your DVD collection and watch [i]Raiders of the Lost Ark.[/i] There may not be a more fun movie in the history of movies. Stick with the original.OK. I have now seen [i]Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull[/i]. It’s almost 20 years since the last Indiana Jones movie, and the big question is: was it worth the wait?

I won’t go into too much here, as I’m sure many people haven’t seen it yet, but I will say this:

Stay home, pull out your DVD collection and watch [i]Raiders of the Lost Ark.[/i] There may not be a more fun movie in the history of movies. Stick with the original.

Blast from the (Buffalonian) Past

From 1989 to 1994 I spent the better part of my days (and some very, very cold) nights, in Buffalo, N.Y., having gone to school at Buffalo State College. And aside from a quick trip there in 1995, I haven’t been back since.

And then a few weeks ago I received an email from an old friend, one I haven’t spoken to in at least 10 years. She was walking past a comic book shop not long ago, thought of me, and then googled me. Through that she found the Finders Keepers Web site, and sent me a notFrom 1989 to 1994 I spent the better part of my days (and some very, very cold) nights, in Buffalo, N.Y., having gone to school at Buffalo State College. And aside from a quick trip there in 1995, I haven’t been back since.

And then a few weeks ago I received an email from an old friend, one I haven’t spoken to in at least 10 years. She was walking past a comic book shop not long ago, thought of me, and then googled me. Through that she found the Finders Keepers Web site, and sent me a note.

It was indeed a blast from the past, one of those voices I thought I’d never hear from again. She’s now married with two kids, still living in the Buffalo area, and yet I couldn’t help but flash back to my younger days, back when I was only 18 or 19 (that’s half a life ago! yikes!), with images of tiny moments running through my mind. The elevators in the dorms. The Elmwood strip. Mighty Taco. Art History class (don’t ask me why I thought of that).

It was great to hear from her, feeling a connection to my college days that I’ve mostly left behind. I’m not nearly as nostalgic I thought I would be at this point, as I tend to look forward, and not back, but it was great to remember so many fun little moments, all because one person I hadn’t spoken to in a decade reached out, through sheer inspiration.

And for that, I’m grateful.

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