Friday, April 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes, Vol. Cat Lady

1. I take my younger cat (Lea) to Petco to get groomed and usually they do a pretty good job. This time however, there are areas that are shaved unevenly and as of this morning I found the 3rd scab on her back. Meaning they cut her in 3 different places. Oh, and I never got her collar back. Petco, you fail.

2. I received a call yesterday from our vet who said "we got a call about needing test subjects for a type of animal prozac that you administer by rubbing it on their ear instead of giving them pills. They need animals whose behavior issues are extreme enough that it's obvious when it works or not... I thought of Lizzy."

The above statement is the best summarization of my older cat I've ever heard.

3. Lizzy is a wickedly smart cat with a very strong attachment disorder to me and very extreme food anxiety. Notice the use of two verys. It's warranted. She was on prozac but she figured out when we'd give it to her and would start disappearing. Then I switched the time and she switched the time of her disappearing act. So then I started moving around the times and she would recognize the bottle. So I put the pills into another container and then she recognized that one. This is also the cat who will not play with cat toys for any longer than 2 minutes (in other words, for as long as it takes her to figure it out). Laser pointer? Not fun, you are holding it in your hand. Ball that moves around the tube? Not fun, I'll never be able to pull it out but if I stick one paw here and another there it can't move anymore. Hand in paper bag... yeah I found your hand and bit you to make a point. Do I look like a moron to you?

4. Needless to say, she gets bored a lot and there is nothing we can do about it. So she screams. At windows, at people, at walls, at corners. And misbehaves. She knows she does things she's not supposed to because she looks at you while doing it and sometimes... she winks. I'm not joking. Once when she was a kitten she decided to claw the couch and then pee on my mom's shoe and then climb using her claws up the window screen and when she got to the top (all of this took about 5 minutes flat) she looked over and winked. If there was one thing to make me believe in reincarnation it would be this cat.

5. She was found in a dumpster as a kitten with her litter and if there was anything to drive home the point that anything you do to animals or babies no matter what age makes a difference it will be this. I adopted her from a rescue group at 8 weeks (she's now 10 years old), since that point she has always had food (I'm sure she had plenty at the rescue group too). Plenty of food. Cat food, treats, human food, she was spoiled rotten. When we would stay with my mom she would actually give her little mini plates of our dinner in addition to her cat food. She has never once gone hungry. However, I swear she remembers her dumpster days because she starts howling for every meal an hour before she receives it. She seems to honestly think that if she doesn't beg, remind, act starving she'll never eat again and die a long painful death from starvation. The overdramatics of the whole thing would make me laugh if not for the fact that her loud, ear piercing howling makes me want to cut off my ears with a dull, rusty knife. This happens twice a day.

6. The last thing you should know about her is that she loves me. So much. I am her selected human and anyone around knows it. She puts up with others, sometimes, but if we were the last two creatures living on earth she would probably be her happiest. When I was single she'd sit on the couch between me and any guy that might be over and if they reached in my direction she'd bite. She slept taking up half of my bed (sleeping with her head on the pillow like a human completely stretched out). You can imagine how well my getting married went over. The looks she gives Bill run from disdainful to outright hatred. I think if she knew how she would probably poison his food just to make him go away. To illustrate this point further I offer three stories:

- To help me out he'd try to feed the cats in the morning so I could sleep and she wouldn't touch the food. If he put it in the dish she would not eat it until I came downstairs, picked it up, mixed it up with a spoon and put it back on the floor. If you think we can ignore her please look at point 5. It's impossible to sleep through the howling and clawing and paw sticking up my noseing.

- He works late a lot and while I'm home by myself she ignores me. For the most part she's just wandering around doing whatever it is cats do. The minute she hears keys or the door though? She is velcroed to my lap. It's like she's staking out her territory to make sure it isn't stolen while she isn't paying attention.

- If I try to sleep at night facing him instead of facing her side of the bed, she pokes my back incessantly. If I do not respond she scratches my back. If still nothing she sits up and sticks her paw in my ear. If I somehow lasted through all of this she starts headbutting me until I turn over.

She also sits in the bathroom with me, sits on my lap when I am at a desk, sits at my feet or next to the sink while I do the dishes, follows me up and down from the laundry room while I do laundry, lies on the kitchen mat while I cook, sits on top of me while I watch tv, etc. She's a literal shadow. And she hates it when I leave. The first time I left her with a pet sitter she didn't eat for the first 3 days. All she did was sit next to the front door waiting for me to come back.

7. You mentioned Prozac I can rub on her ears? Sign me up! :-P

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

I wish I could say...

I wish I could say that I've been busy, so busy with FUN and EXCITING things that I did not have time to blog.  Because I'm off having a wonderful life that you would all be jealous of.

To illustrate this:
Just last night I made pork chops, roasted potatoes and garlic and watched Missing on
Netflix to the Wii.

Last weekend I had a migraine which left me indoors moaning on Saturday, then I went to church and to work on Sunday.  Yes, to work.

Oh, then I helped Bill put together our new grill.  Whose big box was outside through the rainstorm we got that night... and Monday... then I got to attempt to drag that wet soggy, bigger then me box to the curb for trash day.

Did I mention that while doing that the cat ran outside in her endless pursuit to eat grass and puke it up later leaving me to wade across the mud in my slippers to get her.  My poor, used to be pink, slippers.

Last week I watched the entire series of Roswell, a total of 61 episodes at 45 min each.  Please don't do the math to figure out how much time I wasted.

Since I've been gone I also turned 30... but we aren't going to mention that.

Yeah, I knew you'd all be jealous. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Resolution check-in

22 Goals for 2010

1) Organize our office and basement
2) Go to bed earlier/get up for work on time
3) Create and follow a regular cleaning schedule
4) Sew one item of clothing from scratch
5) Settle into a workout schedule where I work out consistantly (at least) three days a week
6) Run two one 10Ks
7) Purge and create a workable wardrobe
8) Make the kitchen window curtains
9) Stop drinking soda
10) Finish the quilt I've been working on for years
11) Start a monthly dinner potluck club with the girls
12) Get my clothes altered so they fit correctly
13) Find a job in a smaller city
14) Take more photos
15) Eradicate 25% of my debt this year (including student loans)
16) Build up a savings account
17) To keep up with my email inbox so I don't blink and end up with 900 plus email messages
18) To concentrate on work at work, concentrate on home at home
19) Eat better portion sizes, better balanced meals
20) Start eating breakfast
21) Be better organized and on top of things at work
22) Take the time to read a book a month

1) I still have way too much leftover wedding crap in the basement to even attempt to organize it. Anyone have any ideas to get rid of it? Anyone know of anyone wanting to buy party supplies (some used once, some never used)?

2) Umm, yeah. This is still a work in progress. I think it will be for quite awhile.

3) Working on it, and getting better. I also have to adjust it to Bill’s work schedule since I’m infinitely more productive when he’s stuck at work all night.

4) Don’t have a sewing area set up yet.

5) I’m at about 2 days a week which is getting better. There was a work out tape made back in the early 90s with Cindy Crawford that was seriously the best work out ever. You would do it and feel it everywhere the next day and it would actual whip you into great shape if you consistently did it. I actually believe that I hurt more from doing that tape then when I had a personal trainer, it was that good. Then the tape was lost (plus it was a tape and wouldn’t have lasted forever). I have had zero luck finding a copy, it’s not made anymore nor do I believe it was ever released on DVD, and every other tape I’ve tried just really doesn’t cut it for me. The 30 Day Shred I found annoying and boring. Wii fit isn’t enough.

When Kim offered a great deal (all 3 for $24.99 and free shipping) to her Twitter followers I took it, and will try one of the tapes today. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m crossing my finger that this is the elusive at home workout that 1) is hard enough to actually work and 2) isn’t boring/annoying/shrill.

6) One down. Completed the Ukrop’s 10K in Richmond, VA the last week of March in 104 min 36 seconds which works out to about 17 min a mile. Not too shabby since Alaina and I walked it. Our goal for the Turkey Trot in November (5 miles) is to run it. Or at least part of it, and by the Ukrop’s 10K next March to be down to the 10min mile group.

7) I’m a purging maniac. Really, I’m merciless. If I put something on more than 2 times then take it back off because I don’t want to wear it, it’s donated. If I can’t remember the last time I wore it, donated. If I don’t like it anymore, donated. The smaller my wardrobe gets the happier I am because it’s just so simplified and better organized. Also- less laundry.

8) I really, really need to get on this. Our back windows freak me out at night.

9) Le sigh. Nope, not yet.

10) Nothing to report.

11) Completed

12) Completed

13) I think this is something that I’m just not quite ready to do yet for a few reasons. One, my tendency is to wait for Bill to find a job. The fact is, I don’t really care what I do for a living. To me, my job is a way to make money in order to provide the means to do the other stuff I actually want to do. That’s it. It’s a means to an end. What I do has zero to do with what I studied in college, my job is generic enough and I have enough experience that I can find a job anywhere doing something that relates. Also, quite honestly if we moved to an area this was feasible, I’d prefer to only work part time (if I couldn’t find something that was telecommuting at least half time).

On the other hand Bill works in the area he studied. He has concrete ideas of what he would like to do and what would make him happy. If I found a job in an area he couldn’t work in within his current field, he wouldn’t be happy. Not in the end anyway. It just makes more sense to me for him to find something and then me to follow. So my current idea is to only seek out jobs that are fully telecommuting. That way I could work from anywhere and in the meantime I’d be a lot happier. In my field those jobs do exist, I just need to figure out a way to get one or to transition my current job into at least part time telecommuting.

14) You know what’s a huge help to accomplish this? The Iphone and it’s photo apps. Now I literally have a camera on me all the time.

15) As of March I’ve eradicated 6.7% with 25% of the year gone. If I evenly distribute my goal across the year my goal would be 6.25% so I’m running pretty much exactly on schedule to accomplish my 25% goal. My debt pay down method was to start with the account with the lowest balance and work up or the “snowball” method. One thing I did decide that I need to do is to lock up all my credit cards. Having them in my wallet is too tempting. Not too tempting as in spending money I don’t have, I’ve pretty much taken care of that problem, just too tempting to spend in general. The more money I spend the less I can apply to getting rid of the debt and bulking up savings.

16) Made a huge step in March towards this. I’ve been reading a lot of information from the Money person for the Washington Post and she suggests having multiple savings accounts: The Emergency fund and the Life Happens fund. The emergency fund should have a min of 3 months of living expenses while the Life Happens fund has about $1000 for incidentals that pop up such as car repairs. That way you never have to use credit cards. My new goal by the end of the year is to have 3 months in the emergency fund and $1000 in a Life Happens fund. Then I’ll consider a down payment fund.

17) Iphone helps me to stay on top of this a lot better. Whenever I’m in line or waiting, I go in and clean out my email boxes.

18-22) Nothing to report.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 17

1. What two cities should be moved closer together?
Corpus Christi area of TX and Washington DC. Bill really misses his parents, and I really think we’d both love having them around more.

2. What was the first plane ride you took?
DC to Bangkok, Thailand. I was the minimum age to be cleared for air travel, a couple months I think. Until Pan Am airlines folded, I held the record for the youngest international air passenger that ever flew on their airline. Maybe even the youngest passenger period.

3. What continent would you most like to visit?

4. What’s your favorite place to window-shop?
Georgetown. No particular store, just all of them; especially on a nice, not too hot, sunny day.

5. What’s the least fun you’ve ever had at a place specifically tailored for fun?
I can’t think of any place specific, but when I was a kid most of our vacation locations would fit into this. Beach, Disney World, etc. My mom was the type to plan out each day so much that you felt like you had to work to be on vacation. No sleeping in, no down time. Just go, go, go! I would always be more tired AFTER vacation then before.

6. You’re stuck on an island with plenty of food, a companion, and a relatively stress-free lifestyle. What do you say when the rescue ship comes?
I’d hide. That sounds like heaven. I could exist quite happily without tv or internet.

7. Which day of the week do you look forward to most?
Friday. There is always the sense of possibility and promise with Fridays, the work week is coming to an end (and I try to schedule my work and meetings so my Friday afternoons are quiet) the weekend is coming and you don’t have to go to bed early.

8. What’s your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors?
The beach. I love everything about the beach. The lifestyle, the water, the noises, the people… I wish we could live at the beach, putting up with hurricanes and high insurance rates would be completely worth it.

9. What’s on your “to do” list this summer?
More BBQs, being outdoors more, making time to relax. Unfortunately every 5 years is a really busy time at work so no vacation for me this year (I have leave restriction starting May 1 through the end of September), so I’ll just have to make the most out of what I can control.

I also want to buy a hammock for our back yard this year. I meant to do it last summer but never got around to it.

10. Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?
Earthquakes. For one year Iin high school I lived in an area where the main street of the town (where the high school was located) was literally on a fault line so in the place of fire drills we had earthquake drills. They would have an emergency bell ring and then actually play “earthquake noises” over the loud speaker. We’d have to go underneath desks and protect our heads or find doorframes to stand in and wait for the noises to stop. Scared me to death. To this day I refuse to hang anything above beds (even though we are no where near earthquake zones now) because of the constant warnings that an earthquake striking at night could cause the stuff to fall on your head and possibly kill you.

Also, if the school was on the fault line itself, I seriously doubt desks and doorframes would have helped us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 15

1. A study making waves this week is one that states that not breastfeeding is costing our country $13 billion a year.  My issue with studies like this is that it's one thing to throw out all of these studies and quite another to actually do what needs to be done to support women following advice.  In the area that I live in, it would be nearly impossible to live on only one salary a year (unless that one spouse makes well into 6 figures) so both people need to work.  Then unless you work for a wonderful company in this workaholic region, they don't even like you to take sick leave much less maternity leave, and federal law only forces them to provide 6-8 weeks.  If we are supposed to breastfeed for 6 months, I don't know about you but the idea of spending my days at work pumping with what I've heard is a greatly, greatly uncomfortable breast pump in the bathroom for another 4 months is just not at all appealing, nor will it happen.  I flat out refuse to feel like a dairy cow when formula works just fine as a viable alternative. 

I guess there's a new law about providing private rooms at companies, but that still doesn't work for me.  My company bills by the hour, if I take time out in my day multiple times to pump I can't charge those hours meaning I would have to work extra time to make up for it.  Then my baby would be in day care even longer than the 9 hours it already would be.  If this country wants women to breastfeed for 6 months, it's simple- give us 6 months of maternity leave.  Canada gives their new mothers a year so surely we could do half.

2. There are a lot of reasons we will not be having babies anytime soon and this is just one of them.  Another one; Do you know how much full time day care costs in our area for infants?  On average $1400-$1800 a month.  Heaven forbid you have twins since you only get 10% off the second baby.  Like I said, living on one salary is not an option, the second salary will be cut in half by only one baby in daycare, plus the idea of leaving a 12 week old in day care for 9-10 hours a day just terrifies me.  It seems so wrong.  Also, I have a hard enough time taking off one day without panicked calls so I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I took off 12 weeks.  To put it into perspective for you, I was off work the week before my wedding and I was in the office building around midnight many of those nights doing work so I can tell you exactly how maternity leave would go and it involves me unshowered, exhuasted and stressed out in my office building furiously doing work at 11pm two days after giving birth.  *shudder*

Quite frankly it amazes me that anyone in the DC area has kids at all (and doesn't live an hour+ commute away, which is not an option.)

3. The first meeting of the dinner club that I will be attending is this Sunday.  The theme is Indian, so I am going to attempt to make Vegetarian Korma.  Bill is not a fan of curry nor Indian food so I'm sure he'll love the perma curry smell our house will have for a few days but hopefully it will be worth it in the form of yummy food.

4. Is anyone else really sick of being smacked in the face with Tiger Woods' and Jesse James' inability to keep it in their pants everytime they open a newspaper or other news source?  I don't understand how this is news.  Who is it helping by making it so public anyway?  Not their children, not their wronged spouses, not anyone who has to read about it.  As far as I can tell it just makes the mistresses money, which yay! let's reward women for sleeping with married men! and gives the men more publicity for being scum.  That's a great idea!  In summary: it hurts the people who matter, it helps the people who are crummy.

5. Our bedroom (aka the dumping ground for all the mess in the house) has now been clean for a whole week! You can see floor!  You can walk around without tripping!  Next up to fix: the office (aka the black hole of junk).

6.  Has anyone seen the Runaways?  It's getting decent reviews and I think it looks good but I am automatically wary of seeing anything with any of those Twilight people in it because I find them extremely annoying.

7.  I've run out of things to say, it's a bit sad that I can't even think of 7 things to talk about.  Next week I'll be back to regular posting, so tune in :-)  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 16

1. If you could travel back in time, would you? What decade would you visit?

I would want to just go back to high school. I have some key things to tell myself back then, nothing that would have changed anything huge but I really wish I was a better student and concentrated on the right things.

2. What was your best Halloween costume? (fun to make? most creative?)
I love Halloween! My college roomate and I were a devil and an angel once with glitter dresses that we found on a clearance rack in like August. How's that for thinking ahead. I actually think I have a picture...

There you go!
We reused this costume a few times.

3. Do you like your name? If you weren’t called by your name, what would you want to be called?
Yeah, sure. When I was younger it was unique but as I got older there were more Kims and Kimberlys in the places that I went. I once worked in a 5 person office and two of us were Kims. I had to go by Kimberly because she was there first. But other than that, it's fine. I think it actually suits my personality pretty well because it's not overly feminine... and neither am I.

4. In the past year, what is the BEST recipe you made. Please share it!
Simple Pan Fried Pork Chops from Pioneer Woman's website. My husband said hands down they were the best pork chops he's ever eaten in his life and that he could have eaten about 100 of them. His mom and aunt are really good cooks so I take that as a high compliment.

5. Look around – what is the nearest object or picture hanging on the wall?
A wall calender with Gary Patterson cat pictures on it.

6. What was the last movie you saw in a theater? Would you recommend it?
Shutter Island. I was underwhelmed but others really loved it so it's possible that I just missed something. Leo is quite scrumptious though.

7. Did you go to summer camp? Will you/do you send your kids to camp?
I did. Being raised by a single mother meant lots of activities in the summers to keep me busy. I went to day camps and overnight camps. It was really fun and the friendships you make, especially at overnight camps, can't be made anywhere else.

8. What kind of ringtone do you have?
Right now it's some sort of guitar noise thing that came with the phone. I find most ringtones annoying so I tend to keep it on vibrate all the time, but then leave my phone random places and end up missing everyone's calls. People started complaining. Now, I try to turn on a ring sound at least when I'm at home so there's actually a chance I'll answer.

9. Where is the farthest away from home you have ever been?
Ever? When I was a baby until about 3-4 I lived in Thailand and travelled all over the place. However, since I can remember- Cancun, Mexico.

10. Has anyone ever written a song or a poem for or about you?
Yep, a guy I dated at the end of my senior year wrote a ton of poems about me, including one in the back of my yearbook that likened me to the Titanic. I guess I was sinking him? He was that brooding, angsty type. The thing is I was a senior, he was a junior, we had just started dating and then he told me to pick between him and my now best friend, because I "couldn't have both in my life." I was a 18 year old girl, of course my girlfriend won. That's just silly.

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