STARTING 4/8/17: Six Word Saturday is now being hosted by the lovely Debbie at Travel With Intent. If you aren't already following Debbie, please visit her blog for Six Word Saturday and her beautiful photos. I'll continue to participate from time to time but please go to Debbie's for the official posts.


If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ahead

Yesterday I spent an hour or so with someone I don't spend enough time with - me. No Gwen, no tv, no laptop. Just me, bouncing around inside my brain with a pen and some paper.

I wanted to give some thought to 2010. Last year, I set what I felt were reasonable resolutions but life had other plans. I think I'm setting reasonable goals for this year but time will tell. Health-related, writing-related, etc. You'll hear me babble about it from time to time I'm sure.

2010. It seems like some kind of magical number. All "new decade" and even numbers (my favorite kind). I wonder what it will hold. I wonder how much of what it will hold fits in with my current hopes, what new dreams will spring forth, what speedbumps will be encountered along the way.

Somehow I think this is going to be a big year in a lot of ways.

P.S. I'm going to pimp 7 Days 7 Answers briefly. I like today's cue - Write a letter giving yourself instructions for the new year. I might even have to take a stab at it myself.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Angry

I hate feeling angry. I also hate hating. Such a waste of energy in a negative manner.

But if it truly takes the same amount of energy to love or be calm, why do I keep feeling the anger? Maybe I'm just that well-practiced.

It's like how they say "it takes x muscles to smile and x+y muscles to frown," arguing that smiling takes less energy or work. Except you know that whole thing is crapola because the numbers in the saying change with every version.

Plus, you know, the practice.

I'm late posting this morning because everything I think about to post is leaning towards angry or negative. So I'm just going to call myself out on it right here and get it out of my system.

I'm angry that:
  • my foot is in a lot of pain for no reason I can determine
  • my back has been bothering me now for several days
  • I'm grossly overweight and hurting too much to go workout
  • lately I've been losing things around the house
  • I have much to do and little motivation
  • I left out the best part of the story in yesterday's post
  • gifts I sent the family for Christmas were barely acknowledged, nevermind receiving any thanks for them
  • I can't do everything myself
There, maybe now I can move on to do something more productive with the rest of my day. Anything you need to get out?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Penalty Minutes

WARNING!!! This post doesn't so much involve judging of a parent by a non-parent. Well, it does but I left it unsaid this time. Because I'm awesome.

Yesterday, we ended up at Mount Vernon, former home of THE George Washington. You know, the dude on the $100 bills. Also our first President and inventor of the cherry tree or something.

The day was bright and sunny but oh so cold and windy. Plus, big crowds. And by big, I don't really mean HUGE, just that there was a wait of about 35 minutes to enter the mansion and apparently this was unusual for them.

As we stood in line, we were sandwiched between two families. The folks in front of us had two young girls who were very quiet, very patient, and very good at line-waiting. Behind us was a larger, louder family that included a boy of about 10-12 years old. He was NOT very good at line-waiting. Constantly weaving in and out of people, wandering off, breaking limbs off trees. "Armando, if I have to tell you one more time to stay in line..." Oh, the effectiveness of an empty threat when the kid knows there will be no consequences.

This little punk cherub also had no understanding of personal space. Know who has a very strong understanding of personal space? That would be me, your pal Cate. Not only do I understand it, but I need it. Add to this the fact that my back was still bothering me a lot and the extremely close conditions once we piled into the house and I was quite on the verge of a panic attack.

Joe, however, saved me from an anxiety breakdown by gifting me with a large laugh. As we made our way down the final set of stairs, he asked me the question that made it all better. "Would an elbow be considered offensive or defensive?"

Yes, Joe, speaking my (hockey) language. Offensive or defensive, I don't know. But either way it would've totally been worth the two minute penalty incurred.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"I don't know"

WARNING!!! This post involves judging of a parent by a non-parent. It also involves judging of a stranger without knowing all the details. It also involves pandas.

What's wrong with saying "I don't know"? Or, even better, "I don't know but let's find out together"?

(Note to self: in 2010, learn some punctuation rules)

So last night, we were at the National Zoo in D.C. for "Zoo Lights" which is their annual wintery "open the zoo after hours and charge admission to walk around and see a few lights even though most of the animals are sleeping or in for the evening" festivity. One of the few habitats open was the panda house.

A curious little boy-child stood nearby as we looked in on Tai Shan, the 4yo panda born at the zoo. His father (assuming) told him that this was the mommy bear and that the way he knew this was that "she" was smaller than the other two bears they had seen. I did not say anything since we all know I'm such a non-intrusive sort, but managed somehow not to punch the guy in the face as he misinformed his son.

When what to my wondering eye did appear but a very welcome sight - a zoo volunteer! The lady began telling the story of baby man-bear Tai Shan. The kid next to us proclaimed loudly "no, that's the mommy bear, my dad said so!".

(Seriously, the punctuation. It's embarassing.)

Yep, well, your daddy "educated" you incorrectly, small child. Why not tell the kid he wasn't sure which bear that was but let's ask someone and find out! Or let's look it up later! Make a project out of it, spend 5 minutes with the kid finding a volunteer or doing a search on Google when you get home.

As a non-parent, can some out there help me understand? Are parents really expected to be all-knowing beings? Such a lot of pressure that must be. It seems to me the more valuable lesson would be in admitting that nobody knows everything but that it's worthwhile to take the time to find the answer. These small "harmless" fibs to satisfy the child's curiosity seem designed only to suit the laziness convenience of the adult.

Anyways, I'm rambling. When I started this post, I thought it would end up a lot more coherent. But then, I usually think that. And we all know how that turns out...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Disgracebook

Recently, my mother signed up for Facebook. She started by choosing the most unflattering photo she could find as her profile image. It's like a scowling snarling mug shot. SO fitting. Next, she friended all of the people from her local church community. Then she started playing Farmville. Which I have on ignore.
me: my mother just emailed me to ask if i'm farmville on facebook
me: and i'm like - no, i don't play games on facebook
KarmaChameleon: o.O
me: "then what do you use it for?"
me: umm, stalking ex-boyfriends
me: DUH
KarmaChameleon: lmao
Other than Farmville and church friends, all she seems to do is comment on Joe's status. Not even my status. Just his.

Joe asked why she never updates her own status. I told him that all of the people she's friends with already know her status - it's called going to church for some reason every day and then everyone there is so in everyone's business that there's no need for Facebook.

It's all kinda creepy. I think some people shouldn't be allowed on Facebook. Pick a deity of choice and offer up a prayer or small offering if she ever gets a blog or Twitter account.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

How can it be over already?

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Note: Please be careful to make sure you've linked to the right post. I've had a lot of links to non-Six Word Saturday blogs lately. Just trying to cut down on the confusion. Also, if you want to link directly to the 6WS post, that's super-helpful as well. Thanks!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Typical Cate-mas

Since I figure most everyone else is out and about doing their holiday* things, I'm just going to give you a quick peek into a typical Christmas at the House o' Cate.

First, we sleep in. Which for me might mean all of 8am this year if I'm lucky. Then we shower, dress, hair and make-up (for me, Joe's beauty is more au naturel), and then head downstairs.

Next, time for special Christmas breakfast. I consider this part of my gift to Joe because I'm not a huge eater of the breakfast but he absolutely loves it. This year, we'll be having Cranberry French Toast with Cranberry Syrup. Also, coffee and turkey bacon.

Then, finally it will be time for gifts. It could be as late as 11am by now. Which also is about the time my parents will call. At this point they've been up for hours, opened all of their gifts, had breakfast, and they're within an hour or so of putting their big Christmas meal on the table. Me, I haven't even opened their gifts yet. Sorry, I'll call back later!

NOW we'll open our gifts. We take our time, one for Joe, one for me. Sometimes, one for kitties. This year, they have four gifts: a bag of fishy treats, a ball with a feathery thing in it, a scratchy mat, and a solar-powered crystal that spins in the window when the sun shines on it which is really more for me but sometimes the cats also like to chase it. We also spend a lot of time throwing bows and ribbons and papers at the cats.

Later, we throw dinner in the oven. Today, prime rib roast w/ red wine gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, yams, deviled eggs, and my French onion soup. Yeah, for two people. For dessert, Joe picked out eggnog cupcakes which Beth cursed just because she doesn't like eggnog so while they're tasty, the frosting never really stiffened up.

Eventually we resort to getting the cats high on catnip while we drink too much wine or bourbon or whatever else is around before falling asleep midway through a movie.

Isn't Christmas exciting with no children and a family who lives not nearly far enough far away?

I hope you all have a fabulous December 25th, whatever it is you are doing.




*I'm so politically correct I could totally barf all over my "registered independent" voter registration.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Greetings

Merry Christmas Eve!!! (Wait, who the hell is Eve?)

Every year, I like to design my own cards. This year, we only mailed a few because Joe is all into saving trees. Most people will get a personalized email and a link to a special blog post we've set up for the occasion.

For you, my bloggy friends, a very special holiday greeting.





Some of you may remember last year's card. This year, I thought I had gone with a less specific greeting so all of my friends, even those who do not celebrate Christmas, would feel the love. However, SomeMonkey informed me that it was decidedly Old Testament. At which point I said screw it because I wasn't going to redo the whole thing.

So whatever/wherever/however you celebrate, hope it's warm and fuzzy and made of awesome!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sing me a song - or don't

Know who else shouldn't be allowed to sing Christmas songs?

Elvis.

Oh yeah, I totally went there. But Blue Christmas is one of my most despised Christmas "classics". I'll-ah have-ah a balooo (woo oo ooo) Charistmus with-ah-out you (woo ooo ooo). Barforama.

And just to finish getting this out of my system, I also would like to declare my dislike for Feliz Navidad and Mele Kalikimaka. Because I hate Puerto Rico and Hawaii. I wonder if I have something against small islands for some reason?

But on a more positive note, I love O Holy Night, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, We Need A Little Christmas, and Silver Bells. Thought I'd throw that out there in case you were beginning to think I'm completely devoid of holiday spirit.

Also, I like eggnog so if someone wants to bring on some of that holly jolly, I'm all for it!

Come back tomorrow for my 2nd Annual Christmas Card!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Worthwhile Reading

I've been trying since yesterday afternoon to come up with something worthwhile to post here. In fact, I've been trying (and failing) since Sunday, which is why you were short-changed blessed with a repost yesterday.

Today, I shall (sorta) continue that tradition. I'm just going to link to a couple of other posts that I want you to read. So please humor me and do it.

First, a post at C. Beth Blog about the Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays debate. You can read her post and pretty much just tag on an imaginary P.S. that says "Cate approves of this post.". Not that Beth needs or even desires my approval. I've thought about posting something similar but no need to reinvent the wheel when she's already written it so eloquently.

I'd just add that I tend towards Christmas-specific traditions simply because that's what I know. Santa, presents, trees, carols, Jesus and stockings are all familiar to me as that's what I grew up with. I may not be as firm in my practices regarding Christianity as I once was, but that's the habit I've formed over the past 30ish years. So if I say Merry Christmas, I'm not doing it to exclude anyone. And I'm not offended if you wish me a Freaky Festivus.

Beth also tweeted about The New Santa Tradition over at Eternal Lizdom. I don't have kids but I totally think the world might be a better place if you read that post and incorporate a version of it into your holiday activities. I plan to do the same if I ever am in a situation to do so. Liz's idea for teaching her children about giving makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

And if you're looking for a mix of holiday fun and some tender moments, I've been featuring related cues over at Seven Days Seven Answers for the last few days. Short little reads but some of the responses have made me giggle while others have really touched me. So while maybe that seems like a shameless plug, it's not so much encouraging you to go see what I'm doing as it is to go see what the others have written because they are awesome.

For having nothing to say, this post has rambled far too long. Go check those sites and I'll try hard to have something of my own to share tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Repost: If the shoe fits

Note: Today I'm going with a repost of something I wrote last year (December 12, 2008 to be exact). My apologies to the three people who read it at the time but also, how fun to go back and see those early interactions! The only thing I've changed is to update the link at the end.

This is a holiday-related post so I'm going to warn you right now that I say non-politically correct things like Christmas and Jesus and Walmart. Just in case that sort of thing bothers you, please feel free to bail now.

Specifically, I would like to address a certain Christmas song. It's one of only three that I find so horrid I must change the station immediately. The song in question is The Christmas Shoes.

For anyone unfamiliar (and I don't want to spoil it for you) the song is about a little boy in a store at Christmas, buying some shoes for his mama. The hook is that he's short on cash and his mama is dying. He wants to buy the shoes so she can "be beautiful when mama meets Jesus tonight". Of course the guy behind him in line rushes to pay for them and is jolted from his evil consumerism in time to remember the true meaning of Christmas. And then the choir of children make their final plea because if you haven't burst into tears at this part, the final push of wide-eyed youngsters should do the trick.

Touching.

Moving.

Except...

This song makes me feel bad in all the wrong ways. I don't feel bad for this kid OR his mama. In fact, I want to call Social Services. Why is this kid wandering around Walmart (c'mon, you know it's Walmart) by himself trying to panhandle strangers into buying his mama some "Made in China" shoes for $8.96? Where's his papa? I guess papa's too busy with mama to keep track of the kid. And if I happened to be the guy behind him in line I'd probably pay for the shoes just to get him to stop with the sob story and quit holding up the line.

This song makes me feel the same way I'd imagine I would feel if I kicked puppies or poked sleeping babies. (For the record, I have never kicked puppies. I may have poked a sleeping baby or two, but that was just to make sure they were still breathing.) I understand how I'm supposed to feel but that's not what I'm experiencing at all. I'm not proud of this but it is what it is.

I think mostly I'm just angry because I hate being emotionally manipulated. Anything too saccharin, too syrupy, too made for tv makes me feel crazy in my rebellion to prove I'm not susceptible to their ploys.

Yeah, take THAT, sorcerers of sentiment. My heartstrings will not be so easily tugged by your carefully crafted formulas. My heartstrings are impervious to your tricks. I'm not even sure I have a heart anyways, let alone the attached strings.

P.S. Ok, see what you people (Lyndsay, I'm looking at YOU!!!) make me do? I actually made myself go to YouTube and search for the song just so I could include a link. Do you know how messed up that's going to make my "recommended videos"? I'm crying on the inside. Again, for the wrong reasons.

P.P.S. Oh yeah, the link, complete with lyrics on the side. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cattention Span

After careful research, I have been able to determine the length of the attention span of a cat.

It is three months. I know this because Rusty poo'd in the tub again for the first time since we taught him a little swimming lesson.

Also, few things piss me off warm my heart like finding a typo in a post from three months ago. I'm totally firing my editor. Or at least decreasing her salary by 10%. Holidays, schmolidays. What do I care if she has three children to feed?

On a more positive note, the kitties are mostly leaving the tree alone. It's a 4-ft fake tree with only red velvet bows and a few pinecones on it. This due to the Great Christmas Tree Disaster of 2006. Because MY attention span is longer than three months, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Beach Boys shouldn't sing Christmas music

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Note: Please be careful to make sure you've linked to the right post. I've had a lot of links to non-Six Word Saturday blogs lately. Just trying to cut down on the confusion. Also, if you want to link directly to the 6WS post, that's super-helpful as well. Thanks!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Papa

Fourteen years ago today, my grandfather passed away. He had been sick for many many years and finally he was sick no more.

Papa died just after midnight, Monday morning. On Sunday night, our church had their annual Christmas music service where members of the congregation performed special numbers and we all sang Christmas hymns. My dad sang "O Holy Night", a Christmas tradition. He hasn't been able to sing it since.

But on the more upbeat side, my Grampa was a riot. Big gruff-looking dude and he put on such a growly front. But that man was SUCH a puppy. Especially when it came to me, the oldest grandchild.

For years, we had a every-other-Saturday-morning breakfast tradition. Either I would spend the night with my grandparents or he'd come pick me up in his big red truck but without fail, we would go to McDonald's for breakfast. Just Grampa and me. And some pancakes.

We also camped and fished a lot when I was younger. So many memories of camping and hanging out around the fire. Cruising around the lake at ridiculous speeds - or so it felt to a little girl with pigtails.

I'm grateful that Joe was able to meet Grampa; we began dating in May of that year and of course it took a bit to reach the stage where the boyfriend was running into extended family. Grampa called him "Fuzznuts". I don't want to know why. There probably wasn't a why - that's just how Grampa rolled.

So here's to you, Grampa. You crazy ole bastard. I'm glad you were in my life for as long as you were and yet I really wish you were around for me to know you as an adult. I have a feeling that what I saw as a kid and teen barely scratched the surface.

P.S. Sorry if today's post is a bit of a downer. I actually wrote three other posts but this is what's on my mind. And, well, it's my blog. Come back for Six Word Saturday tomorrow if you're in need of something lighter.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Annual Office Holiday Luncheon

Overheard:
HR Lady: Did you bring anything to donate to the food drive?
Coworker: Why would I? The whole idea is that you're supposed to feed me!

Coworker (referencing all of the green and red sparkly-barfy Christmas sweaters): Oh, you wore blue today. What are you, Jewish?
Me: No, I'm cold.
Me (in my head): What are you, a moron?
And a line I came up with that I'm just dying for an opportunity to use:
Me: Sorry I wasn't able to enjoy (the party, your speech, your company).
Whoever: Oh, I'm sorry you weren't able to be there.
Me: Oh, I was there. I just wasn't able to enjoy it. Because it sucked.
Hahahaha... Yeah, I'd never say that out loud. But wouldn't it be kinda funny? No? Okay, just me then.

In the end, I bah-humbugged the office luncheon yesterday because it's such a big production and I don't enjoy much of it except for the food, which my big booty doesn't need right now. HR actually assigns seating like we're five. They do this to split up departments so we're forced to socialize with other people. However, most departments are so large, they end up with a whole gang of them together anyways in every group. The end result is me sitting in the middle of a crowd of cops and/or firemen who are all buddies and I feel like a moron. Anyways, it's very uncomfy for me. And none of them are even hot.

Also, they give us name tags with our department on them. Nothing spoils lunch more than "Oh, you're in IT? I have this computer at home...". Guess what? I'm at LUNCH. I don't care about your computer at home. I don't even care about your computer at work. Furthermore, I'm the webmaster, not a computer tech, so I don't care about any of your computers anywhere EVER!!!

So instead of two hours of awkward conversation, waiting around for our table to be called so we can eat, all the while "enjoying" off-key employee performances and speeches by council members, I camped out in my office for some peace and quiet.

And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Your Christmas tree is a traitor

Question: What do your Christmas tree and Judas have in common?
Answer: They will both betray you!

It is my strong belief that Christmas trees are a burglar's best friend when it comes to researching when to break into a home. And believe me, I gave it a LOT of thought on Monday night when I was having trouble sleeping.

What, no lights on tonight? That sends a strong signal that the home is unoccupied this evening.

Lights on? Probably home. Oooh, the lights just went off? They're probably now asleep in their beds! Sleeping and vulnerable!

Surely I can't be the only one who thinks this.

Or at least not anymore since I've planted the idea in your mind.

Bwahahahaha...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Adventures in Caroling

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Aww, carolers! So sweet and happy, if not a little repetitive. I mean, my hearing's fine, I got the "merry Christmas part" the first time!
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin
Good tidings for Christmas
And a happy new year
I have no idea what you're talking about and it's cold outside. Are you almost done? Not to be rude but I'd like to close the door now, before Tonya escapes.
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding
And a cup of good cheer
Bring you some "piggy puddies?" Oh, "figgy pudding." Like that's any better. And, really? Didn't your mother ever teach you to say "please"? Plus, you came knocking at my door uninvited. What makes you think I have pudding of any sort? And "good cheer" doesn't come cheap these days. Also, you look underage. Do you have any id on you?
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring some out here
Kids these days! Now you're threatening me? I'm totally going to call the cops. Or your parents! You can't show up on my porch making demands and threats and making such a racket! Go away now!
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year!
Pretty sure Christmas came and went while you were out here babbling about pudding. Thanks for nothing. Hey, looks like my neighbor's home. I hear she makes a fantastic figgy pudding!

SLAM

Monday, December 14, 2009

Challenge? Bring It.

Dear Soulbrush has challenged me to tell you Seven Things You May Or May Not Know About Me. If she had just tagged me, I might've looked the other way. But a challenge? Game on!

1.) I once ran away to join the circus. I only made it as far as the end of our road.
2.) I'm Daddy's girl. Growing up, my favorite shows were the ones I watched with him. A-Team, MacGyver, MASH, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider.
3.) I started college as a Journalism major with a leaning towards PR and advertising. I often wish I hadn't changed that.
4.) One of the things that makes me saddest in life is unrealized dreams for my sisters.
5.) My dreams are very vivid and I often remember them. They tend to follow one of three basic scripts.
6.) I realized last night that I am terrified of bagpipes. There's something unnatural about them. The breathing doesn't match with the sound like when you watch other instruments. It's like watching a poorly dubbed foreign film.
7.) I believe 2010 is going to be my year. I don't know what that means yet.

The second challenge is to answer the following questions with only one word. Geez, at least I allow you all Six Words!

1. Where is your cell phone?… charging
2. Your hair?… static
3. Your mother?… obnoxious
4. Your father?… weak
5. Your favorite food?… alfredo
6. Your dream last night?… angry
7. Your favorite drink?… pepperminthotcocoa
8. Your dream/goal?… happiness
9. What room are you in?… office
10. Your hobby?… writing
11. Your fear?… car flags
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?… healthy
13. Where were you last night?… slanket
14. Something that you aren’t?… content
15. Muffins?… blueberry
16. Wish list item?… nap
17. Where did you grow up?… rural
18. Last thing you did?… sneezed
19. What are you wearing?… sweater
20. Your TV?… uncooperative
21. Your Pets?… evil
22. Friends?… some
23. Your life?… uncertain
24. Your mood?… exhausted
25. Missing Someone?… always
26. Vehicle?… reliable
27. Something you're not wearing?… tutu
28. Your favorite store?… online
29. Your favorite colour?… purple
30. When was the last time you laughed?… yesterday
31. Last time you cried?… Thanksgiving-eve
32. Your best friends?… imaginary
33. One place that I go to over and over?… home
34. Facebook?… sometimes
35. Favorite place to eat?… kitchen

Feel free to snag one or both of these challenges for your own blog as we ease into the new week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chanukah Song

Since the blogosphere is so quiet, just going to post a quick little posty today.

I remember watching SNL back in high school. Usually I'd stay up super late to watch it live. As long as I didn't complain about waking up early for church the next morning, my parents didn't say much.

So even though I know it was high school, I can't believe this song debuted back in 1994. Am I really that old? Oh well, still good for a laugh.

Adam Sandler's Chunukah Song. Enjoy!


P.S. Also, I keep forgetting to post this award that Rabbit gave me! Isn't it awesome? Check out Rabbit's blog at Redhead Dancing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Holiday spirit? Where are you hiding?

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Note: Please be careful to make sure you've linked to the right post. I've had a lot of links to non-Six Word Saturday blogs lately. Just trying to cut down on the confusion. Also, if you want to link directly to the 6WS post, that's super-helpful as well. Thanks!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two Weeks

How can it possibly be only two weeks until Christmas? TWO WEEKS PEOPLE!!!

As evidence of how out of control and unfocused my life has been lately, I shall present to you the current status of Christmas in my domicile.

No tree.

No cards.

No gifts have been purchased. I know what I'm buying for everyone in the family, 99% of it is coming from Amazon and being shipped directly to their homes for somebody else to wrap. Oh, wait, I did already buy and send gifts for my sister and father so that only leaves... well, everyone else.

No baking, though I've done less of this each year. We always have "Goodies Day" at work the Friday before the holiday so I usually do my baking to correspond with that.

No Christmas music. We listened to exactly two songs in the car on Saturday night before Joe changed to another station.

And, probably the biggest indication of the State of Christmas in my home?

No Tonya dressed up in her red shirt and Santa hat. For which she thanks me.

I plan to remedy a lot of this over the weekend. We won't do many decorations and I plan to send our paper cards out as well (we'll be doing some email "cards" this year). I want to have shopping completed by Sunday night.

My hope is that by Monday I'll have the "work" out of the way so I can enjoy the last 10 days or so leading up to the holiday.

How are your holiday plans progressing?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't you wish?

Don't you wish, just sometimes, when you're feeling down, that all it took to make it better was more cowbell?



Yeah, me too.

P.S. If you want something more interesting to read, try yesterday's post, Give Back. Two comments and five links (including my own) is the best we can do this time of year?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Give Back

'Tis better to give than to receive...

Some people count their blessings at Thanksgiving. As do I. But the Christmas season inspires me not only to count my blessings but to also give back a little something in return.

That's where this post comes in. This is your opportunity to post about your favorite charity or cause. What's near and dear to your heart? Where do you feel your time, efforts and donations make the most difference? Who do you believe is most in need? What do you support? If someone came to you and said "I have one million dollars I have to give away", what would you tell them? Write a post and link up below or just leave a comment if you wish. It would be grand if you would also provide a link to the organization's website or information on how to donate, just in case someone is moved enough to do so.

And like all linkies, there must be a winner! Right? I'd like to think the winner here is everyone who takes the time to post or the time to read. Perhaps an organization will receive just $5 due to your words that they wouldn't have otherwise received.

I'd suggest leaving the name of the organization as your link below (as opposed to your blog name). I have no idea what kind of participation or feedback this will get (please spread the word) but I encourage everyone to read a post or two and think about how blessed most of us are this time of year.

To those of you reading this who do not feel particularly blessed, please know that at the very least a girl called Cate appreciates knowing you're out there.

Wine To Water

This year, I'm planning on making a donation to Wine To Water. Their founder, Doc Hendley, was featured on the CNN Tribute to Heroes on Thanksgiving night. I was very moved watching his video and listening to how important clean water is, especially to children. And also how easy it is to help provide that water. Wine To Water builds sustainable wells and sanitation systems, providing developing areas with clean water not only today but also in the future.

Clean water. Something so many of us take for granted. Something a lot of us gripe about when they recommend we drink 64 oz a day because we don't like it. Those kids like clean water but 1 in 6 people in the world don't have access to it and 1.5 million people die each year due to causes that could be prevented just by having it.

Doc was "just" a bartender when he started Wine To Water. The organization gets its name from some of its very first fundraisers - he hosted wine tastings in the bars where he worked and provided information about the clean water shortage facing so many. They've now provided water and education to over 25,000 people in 5 countries.

So every day, I do my best to drink my eight glasses of water. And sometimes now, as I'm struggling to finish that last couple of glasses, I find myself thinking of Doc and those kids. And remembering that I want to do something to make even a small difference.

Wine To Water

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How to Sucker the Husband Into Cooking Dinner

Here is my 100% fool-proof (because if ever there was a fool, it would be me) plan to spring the husband into dinner-making action.

8:30am - Text the husband. "Forgot my meds this am. Gonna be quite the day"
11:00am - Update Facebook status. "Cate is freezing in her office. Also, my head is starting to pound."
2:15pm - Turn to Twitter. Multiple tweets about how you are praying for the arrival of 5pm so you can drag your poor throbbing head home to your migraine meds. Lament about the cleaning you had planned for the evening and how you just don't know how you'll manage to do anything when you're in such pain.
6:17pm - As soon as you hear the garage door, switch off the tv and jump into bed, lights off, pulling the ice pack over your head as you yank the slanket over your pajamas. When the husband comes in and asks how you are doing, moan unintelligibly as if he just woke you up.

If the husband has any brains at all the will to continue living a dislike for sleeping on the couch a heart, he will go downstairs and prepare dinner, without being "asked".

Also, you need to realize I have left out the years of doctors' visits, medications, and headaches leading up to this actual day, all of which set the groundwork for a night off in the kitchen.

P.S. Joe actually loves to cook so we both routinely make meals. However, if your husband is not as awesome as Chef Joe, the above method may be worth a try.

P.P.S. I did have a real migraine last night. So I wasn't making it up. But it did occur to me that this would totally work if I just wanted a night off.

Please note, times are approximate. Results may vary depending on husband's resistance to sleeping alone. Technically, microwaved mac and cheese does count as a meal. No cats were harmed in the making of this post, except for Tonya who insists on being underfoot and may have inadvertently had her tail stepped on.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Woman vs Man

Some thoughts about the Battle of the Sexes on this freezing cold Monday.

I kinda hate being female sometimes. One word should sum that right up - cramps.

But then, I'm not sure being a male is so great either. I mean, can you imagine walking around all day with your clothing size printed on the back of your pants? I saw a dude the other day who was 42x30. Short little legs but big round belly.

Ladies, how appealing is it to you to advertise the size of your booty on the seat of your jeans? I think I'd rather go nekkid. Who came up with that brilliant idea? I bet it was a man but all I can say is I'm very thankful that the same punishment hasn't been dealt out to the women.

Plus, I always wondered how I'm supposed to deal with such information. Or am I the only one who can't help but look? I mean, if you wear a sticker that says "Hello, My Name is Joan", I'd assume you want me to take notice that your name is Joan and address you as such. Where do we draw the line on that? "Oh, hey there Joan, aren't you an itty bitty size 2 thing?". Why else display the info if you don't want it commented on? They could choose to wear pants that don't label the size of their assets so I have to think they're wearing the pants with the numbers for a reason.

Apparently these are the pressing issues on my mind this morning. What about you?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Running Behind

This has been a great weekend. Lots of running around, lots of fun, and also lots of rest. And somewhere in all that I managed to miss scheduling a post for today. So a few brief notes until tomorrow.

1. I'll be kicking off a give-away for an Amazon.com gift certificate over at Seven Days Seven Answers in the next few days. I was supposed to do that today but, umm, yeah... You might want to head over there (to play) to keep an eye out if you're interested.

2. On Wednesday of this week, I'll be hosting a link-a-thon here on ShowMyFace. It's better to give than to receive so post about your favorite charity or cause, link up, and help spread the word. No real "winner" of the link-up except maybe some traffic for you and some awareness for something near to your heart. Maybe someone will even been inspired to donate based on your post.

3. I've misplaced my holiday spirit despite my best efforts to find it. I'm hoping the post on Wednesday helps put me in the right frame of mind. But if you have any "ho ho ho" (as in Santa, not as in bimbo slut-monkeys) to spare, please feel free to ship it my way.

Lame post. Mostly wanted to post about #2 so people can think about joining in if they'd like.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Snow?  Probably just a cold rain.

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Friday, December 04, 2009

Not the Same At All!

Recently my boss, the Drama Llama, bought a new vehicle. Our conversation about it went something like this:
Drama Llama: I bought a new car this weekend. A Toyota, just like Joe's!
me: Wow, that's awesome!
Drama Llama: I can't wait to get it, it will have so much more room than my Mini Cooper.
me: You'll love it, for sure.
Drama Llama: Great timing too because (my woman) is moving next weekend and I can get get all of her furniture in there.
me: Wait, what?
Drama Llama: You know, her sofa, recliner, table, bed.
me: We fit a lot of stuff in the back but I think you may be overestimating...
Drama Llama: Nah, I'm sure I can fit all that in there. I already moved my treadmill last weekend.
me: In the back of a Prius?
Drama Llama: No, I got a Tacoma.
me: But you said it was just like Joe's.
Drama Llama: Yeah, it's a Toyota, just like Joe's!
me: That's not the same at all..
In fact, it's the direct opposite - hybrid tiny car versus big stupid wasteful extended cab truck for a single guy who 99% of the time has no use for anything more than a scooter. Except to haul around his big ego.

I'll admit - I find myself becoming irrationally angry when I see certain vehicles on the road. Big vehicles. Vehicles meant for military or farms or hauling things other than one person and their purse or briefcase. It's probably Joe's influence with that whole green thing.

All I know for certain is that my drama llama boss has given me one more reason to think he's a moron with no common sense. And I already had 485,382 reasons so really another was not necessary.

Sigh...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

First Fursday: Catmas Edition

First matter of business: let the record show that I, Tonya Fluffy DivaCat, had everything very little nothing to do with the security alarm going off on Sunday. That was entirely the fault of the cat sitter putting in the wrong code because I deliberately tripped her on her way in the door Rusty distracted her by demanding attention.

Personally, I think the humans overpay that cat-sitter anyways. And she screwed up the alarm-thingy so the police came. Since it was a false alarm, the humans now have to pay a $150 fine. Way to go, stupid cat-sitter. We'd be much better served if the humans would just leave out the big bag of kitty crunchies for us. Down with rations!!!

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, we can move on to more important matters. Like what I want for Christmas. I have made for you this beautiful Wordle from my list. It's so beautiful that you'll be inspired to print it out and take it with you everywhere, making it a very handy shopping reference so you don't forget about little old me.



And because I haven't yet done my annual good deed, I will also post for you Rusty's Christmas List Wordle, as created by moi.



Can't say I only think of myself, right? So unselfish, I must surely deserve all that I've asked for plus whatever else you can think of to send my way.

So this holiday season, when you're running around doing all of those crazy things you humans do, just think of me and remember how the holidays are supposed to be enjoyed - from the top of a tree in the living room after snarfing down some pie that was left conveniently on the counter.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Waiver Schmaiver

Today in "Tis the Season", I'd like to discuss holiday deliveries. Whether it be gifts delivered to my home, gifts sent to other locations or just general every day deliveries, this is a crazy time of year for those folks at UPS, FedEx and the USPS.

So doesn't it seem they'd like to make their lives easier by not making it a nightmare to leave their packages? What's the point of having a waiver on file if they still insist you be home to sign for a delivery? I can understand in the case of our daily weekly monthly quarterly wine shipments - those have to be signed for by someone over 21. But we recently had to chase down a package at the UPS place because they wouldn't leave a $20 power cord. All of this because that vendor has a blanket "must sign in-person" policy regardless of the purchase amount. Really, why bother having the waiver at all?

By the way - did you know that FedEx delivers Tuesday through Saturday? I don't like Mondays either but I can't believe they'd want to work Saturdays. How is that any more efficient? They're just as unlikely to catch me home on the weekend as they are during the week.

And of course they attempted delivery of our latest "in-person signature" package on Friday at 12:42pm, Saturday at 1:07pm, and the final delivery attempt on Tuesday? Somewhere around 9am. How does that make any sense? Joe figured it was safe to run out to a meeting this morning because they'd delivery somewhere between noon and 2pm (which is also the time marked on their "next attempt" note) but of course they came early so now we have to track down that package as well.

Don't even get me started about deliveries to the family back "home". Their delivery people just do whatever they want because it's a small town and they all know each other. You'd think that's helpful except it's not. They leave things with random neighbors and don't bother telling anyone where it was delivered. Then you're left calling everyone in the neighborhood to try to find your packages because half the neighbors can't be bothered to let you know.

Last year, I sent my grandmother flowers deliberately from a place that said they would require in-person signature because where she lives it is damned cold. They were supposed to call her to arrange delivery time but of course they didn't. Instead they chose to leave her flowers out on the front step where they froze and were completely destroyed.

Let's hope this delivery season is a good one, hassle-free for the deliverers AND the deliverees.

P.S. Also, if someone wants to send something via FedEx to my work so I can see the totally hot delivery guy? Let me know. I might be willing to disclose my location in that case.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Don't know what you've got...

...til it's gone.

Remember when you were little and they forced you to take a naptime to get through the day? And you always resisted because you didn't need a nap when there were so many cool toys and people to play with that weren't at your house. Plus, you were a big kid now and naps are for babies!

Well, I take it all back. I want naptime reinstated immediately. Now I'm old and I see the value and I need it! Especially since sleeping through the night is so overrated.

I could do without the forced communal nap accommodations though. How weird would that be if we were ushered into a room at work every day at 2pm with all of our coworkers and told to sleep on the floor? Creeeeeeepy.

Who's with me? Maybe we can start a petition.

Also? Snacktime. I could get into that.

Monday, November 30, 2009

But why?

An unusual (but awesome) thing about the course design for Joe's marathon yesterday was that we were actually able to cheer the marathoners on as they hit the halfway point.

It was great to see Joe at 13 miles looking so strong. Not struggling at all, just kicking ass and running along with his pace team. It made me feel a lot better about how he was doing and I wish all races were set up like this.

Anyways, as I stood there, a little girl was nearby with her mother. Mommy yelled "Here comes Daddy, cheer for Daddy!"

The girl looked horrified. "What's he doing?!?!" she shrieked.

"See, Daddy's running! Go Daddy go, run fast!"

"But what's he running from? Is a bad man chasing him?"

That little girl kinda sums up my feelings. If I'm running that far, someone better be chasing me. Or there had better be a promise of free wine at the other end.

After the little girl was assured that Daddy was just running for fun, she then required explanations about why he was running in the street when she wasn't allowed to run in the street. And why wasn't he wearing a sweater when she had a sweater even though it was so cold. And why did he have to run so far? And who were all these other people? And why can the runners have a banana but she can't?

As exhausted as I was from waking up so early to see Joe off at the start line, I'm glad I didn't have to also field a bunch of questions from a small child.

We're at the airport now waiting for our flight. Many distractions around so sorry if this isn't very coherent. In fact, it may be completely pointless as I type with no focus whatsoever.

It was a good trip but I'm excited to head home now to my kitties. They'll have a very special post for you on Thursday involving their cat sitter and a visit from the police!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Done!

My post is so late but my day has been long.

After not much sleep, we woke up before 4am so Joe could run his first marathon. The conditions were perfect and he did really well, beating his goal of 4 hours and 30 minutes (I think his official time was about 4h22m).

The best part is that he did without injuring himself or becoming sick. In fact, after a nap he's doing very well this afternoon. He totally kicked ass and I'm very proud of him.

So that's why no real post today. I'll try harder tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Turkey Thursday, Black Friday, Snoozy Saturday

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Friday, November 27, 2009

26.2 Miles

We are currently in the great warm state of Florida. In addition to spending a few days with Joe's aunt, we're also here so he can run his first marathon on Sunday.

After months of training, early mornings, rainy afternoons, tired eyes and sore muscles... After completing 5ks, 10ks, half- marathons... After logging many miles, many pairs of shoes, and many loads of sweaty laundry...

All I can say is:

WHY?!?!?!? Isn't this why Al Gore invented cars? Why would you ever want to run that far?

I mean. All I can say is: I'm very proud of his dedication. I may have no desire to run that far. Ever. Three to five miles would be enough for me. But Joe's great at setting goals and accomplishing them. And he's doing something that not a lot of people will ever do.

So yes, I'm proud of him.

And I also think he's kinda nuts.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

This post won't win any awards for originality but that's alright. I've been having a rough time lately so it's good to spend a few minutes on what I'm thankful for in my life.

I'm thankful for my husband. We have our moments but he's a good man and I'm glad to have him by my side.

I'm thankful for my home. It dutifully provides shelter, warmth, and refuge.

I'm thankful for friends, especially those of you who are "new" since last Thanksgiving. I'm glad there are people out there who listen and help me hold the pieces together when the world seems so crumbly. I'm also glad there are people out there who provide laughs and distractions when I can't see outside the doom and gloom. And I'm glad there are those who share with me and rely on me because it makes me feel like I'm offering something back to the world, even if it's just an ear or a shoulder.

I'm thankful that my health isn't worse than it is - which sounds a bit jaded but for all of my problems, I'm very grateful that I'm not dealing with more serious issues.

And I'm thankful for those quiet moments, as rare as they are, when things seem safe and secure and I remember why I crawl out of bed each morning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S. I'm also thankful I'm not a turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quotes not by me

Today, I've got absolutely nothing. So I share with you a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes. Feel free to work them into a nice toast or blessing tomorrow.

No turkey, no stuffing, no pie. No nooky. Happy Thanksgiving. -- Dr. Theodore Morris, "Now and Again" (1999)
Save me? Your don't look like you can save a turkey from Thanksgiving. --Sam Cayhall, The Chamber (1996)

And, of course, Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler.
Turkey for the girls and
Turkey for the boys
My favorite kind of pants
Are corduroys
Gobble gobble goo and
Gobble gobble gickel
I wish turkey
Only cost a nickel
Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving
Told you I've got nothing.

P.S. I almost forgot that Technorati wants me to put this in a post so they can verify I own this blog. Ha, like anyone else would want to claim this crap! Claim Token: VT2PJGUQBSH5

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Choices

Door #1: Fall asleep quickly, wake up frequently due to coughing. Exhaustion due to lack of uninterrupted sleep. Generally have a sense that I'm losing my mind.

Door #2: Sometimes fall asleep quickly, other times toss and turn. Once you fall asleep, it's a long uninterrupted period (6+ hours). Constant headache and agitated feeling. Generally have a sense that I'm losing my mind.

Bonus: Since I'm currently playing with Door #2, I was "rewarded" with an extra nap last night courtesy of migraine meds.

I don't really like any of these doors. How do I go about obtaining a refund?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning

This morning, on the way into my office building, a man was walking out with a little boy. The little boy ran up to me, all excited.

"Look, I got a green lollipop! And I'm licking it!!!"

Don't you wish a green lollipop was all it took to make you so happy on a Monday morning? Or ever?

Ahh, simpler times. Sometimes I really wish we could all just go back.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bah-Humbug

I'm not really a Scrooge but other than a bit of gift shopping, I'm generally anti-seeing and anti-hearing anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Preferably December 1st but with Thanksgiving falling so early this year, I'm willing to give a bit of a pass to that last weekend.

This means the last couple of weeks have been rough for me. All of the stores have their Christmas decorations and candies out, Falalalablah ringing through the speakers.

Still, I've had to start thinking about shopping. Joe and I have some, umm, interesting family dynamics to deal with plus everything has to be shipped. This means we have to consider not only what the cranky greedy demanding difficult-to-buy-for family members would enjoy as a gift but we also have to consider budget and ease of shipping.

A further challenge? We're attempting to have a green Christmas. I'm tired of buying plastic crap or stupid trinkets. I'm also anti-gift cards (because then they still go buy plastic crap and stupid trinkets). We're making a commitment to buying environmentally-friendly gifts. Local vendors. Sustainable products. Minimal packaging.

(I should probably let Joe know we've decided to do this - see what happens when he goes away for a week?)

What started me thinking about this is a new blog by Ryan Ashley Scott of Optimistic Cynicism fame. The new blog is called A Free Christmas. Her goal?
"Cut out the entire cost of Christmas gift purchases, but still be able to give (new - not used) gifts to our regular people."
So far, she's detailed who she has to buy for and the usual budget. She's selling off junk they don't need or use for cash to buy gifts. Taking advantage of giveaways. Rigging Entering sweepstakes.

The best part is that she's sharing all of the information in the blog so you can do the same. Regardless of our financial situations this holiday season, it's always smart to spend less money out-of-pocket.

What does this have to do with my green Christmas?  Check out this post: "The Story of Stuff".  We all have so much stuff. I'm in the mood to decrease it, not add to it. And if you don't know what to do with all the money you save in the process, you could always send it to me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday (Important Update)

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Giving myself permission to slow down

Let's have a quick chat about what this means. I love reading all of your Six Word Saturday entries. I just never imagined there would be so many of them! So rather than fly through them, barely even reading them or beating myself up because I didn't spend the whole weekend making the rounds, I need to change how I visit.


I'll still be visiting all entries. But in order to keep myself from a complete mental breakdown, I'm going to visit them throughout the week. Hopefully sooner rather than later. This way, I can actually take a few minutes to enjoy and leave a comment.


Thank you all for spreading this little idea and making it so much fun.

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Inside

Yesterday was a very melancholy day for me. I'm not sure I would quite classify it as sad but maybe more reflective.

Perhaps it's the time of year. Holidays in general make us think of years gone by, how things were, those no longer with us. Holidays also have a way of magnifying the way we wish things could be, the short-comings in relationships, the things that are missing, the dreams that haven't happened.

Especially with Thanksgiving, I think the focus is supposed to be on gratitude for what it is that we have. Not the what-ifs. Not the could-have-beens. Not the if-onlys. But the here and now. Maybe with a nod to the future.

So fair warning - this seems to be the place my head is in lately. It's not necessarily a dark and depressing place, but it's also not all-funny all-the-time. Posts for the next week may tend to be a bit introspective or theoretical or thoughtful. I just can't seem to write anything else at this time. But, well, it's my blog. And you're always welcome to come with me, whatever I'm doing and wherever I'm going. You're also excused from the trip if you so prefer.

I just gotta let me be me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Relax

I debated not posting this. Because it seems kinda whiny. But know what? Welcome to my life.

Why is it so hard to relax?

It's been a rough week. For those of you not receiving my daily sleep updates on twitter, the brief summary is that I'm still not sleeping. It's been a year now since I started having problems sleeping through the night. My mental state continues to suffer and one day last week I actually fell asleep at my desk (not unusual at this point) and fell out of my chair (hoping that remains unusual). As in, kaboom, Cate on the floor.

I was excited a month ago to reinstate my gym membership, only to be thwarted by new levels of exhaustion and the time change. When I leave the office at 5pm, it's dark and it's all I can do drag myself home for the evening. This is furthering my lack of energy, low self-esteem and weight gain.

But that's not really so much what this post is about. This post is about the inability to take care of ourselves and just relax. Or is it just me? Surely it can't be just me.

I slept until about 8am, lounged in bed until around 9am or so, and had breakfast. Having slept well and fed my belly, I felt energized! I decided I should clean the house today! Maybe go to the gym later! Let's make a list of all the things I'm going to do!

And then I remembered I should be resting. Sleeping. So I'm trying but I feel like I should take advantage of that little bit of energy while I'm home to clean the house! Organize the closet! Return the guest room to a livable state! Oooh, also, I can write some blog posts! Work on the project for Joe! And this and that and ten other things!

What I need more than anything is rest and sleep. Why can't I let myself have that? Why can't I let things go?

I kinda feel like this post sounds like it's sponsored by Walrussians. I'm not looking for pats on the back or "poor Cates". I don't mean it to be all wah. I'm okay. I will be okay. I just need to remind myself that it's fine to completely chill for a day. Maybe even the whole weekend as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Age-appropriate gifts

With the upcoming holidays, I'm starting to spaz think about gifts. Everyone in our family is difficult to buy for and expectations are huge when it comes to their expectations from us. You know, because we both went to college and we don't have kids and we know how to manage our finances so we're not currently collecting any kind of social assistance. Yep, Joe and Cate, the rich ones.

Add to all that the idea of age-appropriate gifts for the nieces and nephews when we have no concept of what's proper really. My mother, who should've known better, bought my then 3-yo cousin a pocket knife for Christmas. His parents, who should've known better, let him play with it. I think it was barely February before we received a phone call that he had sliced apart the back of their new sofa. See, not age appropriate.

So we have his nephew (10), his niece (8), my nephew (1.5), my niece? (debuting in January). My niece will be easy and we'll probably just send a token small something since she's not here yet. I'm thinking we'll get my nephew some drums. Or an orange vest and some signs to go play in traffic. Hooker boots for Joe's niece, and maybe a cigarette case for his nephew. All good, right?

Or, we could take a page from my MIL, whom we lovingly appropriately refer to as FruitLoop. She just sent Joe his birthday gift in the mail. Here it is (excuse the lousy pic, Gwen was so unimpressed she was laughing and out of focus):

Yes, she sent him 77 cents. Because he was born in (wait for it) 1977. Age appropriateness at its best!

The only question is whether this is a belated gift or an early gift? His birthday is in late January. I received a definite "Happy Belated Birthday" card from her the next day (my birthday is nowhere near this time of year). No 78 cents though so I think I got screwed. She did call me her "Sunshine Catey" though. Yep, that's me. Sunshine. And Catey. With a Y. Maybe $1.65 was just too much for her to come up with all at once. I'll be on the lookout.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unsupervised

Joe has left the building. I repeat, Joe has left the building...

Stay calm, don't panic, I am now running amok.

Unsupervised.

Out of control!!!

With my bag of frozen broccoli.

I was thinking, what do I do differently when Joe's not home? There really isn't much. I tend to simplify my meals because cooking for one is a nuisance. I talk more to the cats (which they find to be a nuisance. I sleep in the middle of the bed (if I'm in a bed-sleeping kinda place in my life, which I currently am not).

If he's gone over an entire weekend, I might do a little shopping or indulge in a massage. Maybe an extra trip to the gym or a meal in front of the television.

The biggest difference is probably the noise level. Joe is a lover of sound. I am a lover of silence. So while he has music on from practically the time he arrives home until the time he goes to bed, I tend to sit with my thoughts and be silent in the evenings.

So, farewell, Joe. Safe travels. He's looking forward to this conference and eagerly anticipating running in San Francisco so it's truly not mean for me to encourage him to go enjoy himself. And sometime this weekend, get your booty back home. Hopefully by then I'll be more rested and less cranky.

Yeah, and monkeys might fly out my butt.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wild Child

Tomorrow, at the butt-crack of dawn, my husband is leaving for San Francisco. I don't know if when he's coming back. Originally, Friday afternoon. But then his boss said to take the red-eye home Friday night. That costs exactly eleventy bajillion dollars at this point so I told him to convince the boss to pay for an extra hotel night and fly him home on Saturday. Late. Because I'm totally digging the alone time supportive like that.

Anyways, on Sunday, we went to CostCo to make our monthly sacrifice purchases. Joe kept reminding me to "buy something awesome" for while he's away. How sweet of him to give me permission.

As we're unpacking the car, I notice him scanning the goods.
Joe: What did you buy for while I'm gone?
me: This!
Joe: Really?
me: Uh huh.
Joe: You're never allowed to call me lame again.

So what did I buy?

Yeah, that's right, I bought frozen broccoli.

I'm so bad-ass.

P.S. If anyone knows the secret handshake for entrance into the "hot dudes" aisle at Costco, please email me immediately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I Learned in Cooking Class

Waaaaaaaaaay back on our anniversary, I bought Joe a gift card to a local shop that has cooking classes. We'd talked about doing this forever as we both enjoy cooking and thought it would be something fun to do together. Somehow, we never actually did it so I decided to buy him the gift card, thus ensuring we'd finally make a reservation.

Our class was yesterday and we had a blast. It was a bread-making class. I showed up, ready to dump my ingredients in the bread machine and hit "start" (what, that's not how you make bread?) and learned some interesting things.
  • Everything sounds awesomer if you say it with a French accent.
  • Apparently, you can make bread without a bread machine!!! Who knew?
  • Dough is sticky, y'all. And a lot of work. Where's my bread machine?
  • If you have a mild panic attack on the way to class and take a xanax, you'll become so chill you'll forget you even took the xanax. Then you'll gladly drink the glass of wine you're offered at class and be super-duper-loopy.
  • The above is the kind of situation that leads Joe to believe I shouldn't be unsupervised in the kitchen.
  • Ever.
  • French bakers hopped up on percoset are FUN, WHEE!!!!
  • That awkward "oh man, I'm doing it wrong, let's make a joke because I feel like an idiot" feeling from high school still exists even in professional adults.
  • Sometimes the dough is so sticky and you think it will never end and it's all stuck on your hands and you discover an entirely new way to feel claustrophobic.
  • Don't ask the French dude if he has any chocolate chips or cheese to add to the bread. He's medicated and French and a little punchy.
But probably the number one thing I learned at cooking class? "Artisan" and "rustic" are both cooking words that mean "lumpy".

Still, my lumpy Rustic French Country Bread turned out very yummy. And no, I'm not willing to share. If there's one thing I learned from the French dude, it's that it's totally cool to be stabby as long as you say it with an accent. Besides, I put a lot of blood, sweat, and xanax tears into that bread. And a lot of swearing love.

P.S. My bread was much less "rustic" than Joe's. I think he was petting it instead of kneading it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Nobody cares about Saturday the 14th

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Friday, November 13, 2009

There really IS an app for that!

No, this isn't a commercial for the iPhone. It isn't a paid advertisement for anything. Besides, Gwen would never allow it. And I will not be switching to AT&T. Anyways...

Wednesday night, I lost my mind a little bit. Specifically, there was a song and I kept hearing it in my head but I couldn't figure out the artist or even the lyrics.

I sent on a search, pleading to a friend over IM, bothering Joe while he was trying to work, and even begging Twitter for assistance. My pleas went something like this:
Help me figure out this song! It's kinda folksy or acoustic. I heard it on Acoustic Cafe on XM. Or maybe on Scrubs. Or it could've been in some Indie movie I hated. I'm not really sure if it's a chick or a dude but maybe someone like Jack Johnson or Ingrid Michaelson. And all I have for lyrics are "Do doDodo dododoo dodoDodo, DO dodoDo dodoDo dodododooo, DO dodedo dodedo dodadoDooo, blah bye you".
What? You don't know it either? What good are you?

Then, @dpringle took the opportunity to mock me for not having an iPhone said it was too bad I didn't have an iPhone because there's an app for that! (cue marketing vomit and eye rolling ickiness - except @dpringle is pretty awesome so I forgive him) He finally convinced me to search for a pc or online version of the iPhone app, Midomi.

Guess what?

It exists. I found Midomi.com and right up top was a little "click here and hum" button. So I gathered my gin courage, hit the microphone, and gave it my best "Do doDodo dododoo dodoDodo". And don't ya know? It came up with the song. Immediately. Way more efficient than 2+ hours of Youtube, Google, ITunes and SlackerRadio searching.

The song was Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches. It may not be Ingrid Michaelson but it WAS used in an indie movie I hated (Juno).

And actual lyrics?
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu
Du du du du du du dudu du
But you
I wasn't that far off afterall!



P.S. This is a lot like that time I was going on and on to someone (SomeMonkey?) about this word they use in London for guys that are kinda tools. And it starts with a B. She guessed every B word she could think of, British or not. The word I was looking for? Cad. Yeah. Cad. That's how I'm wired. I need repairs.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Elephant

This may be one of those entries people have no idea how to respond to and that's fine - I think I'm writing it more to hear myself talk. Please feel free to respond but don't feel obligated because Cate's losing her marbles again. Really, I'm not losing my marbles. I'm just trying to figure out what to do with them.

You know that saying about everyone ignoring the elephant in the room? Even though the elephant is completely obvious and there's no way you could possibly ignore it?

I have my own personal elephant that tags along behind me and it's hard for me to be comfortable enough to share with many people. I think a lot of people realize there is an elephant of some sort but they have no idea what it is. Just that there's something.

As an adult, I've only shared the details of my elephant with a handful of people. A few others have gotten just the most basic of information. All of them internet "folks" that I'm quite close to (well, minus one who had a kid and dropped off the face of the earth when I wasn't all excited about the *wiggle wiggle poo report*). And, really, that's fine. It's my elephant. I can share or not.

But I just realized recently, someone I thought I had shared with long ago, apparently I did not. And now it feels kind of awkward to me. This isn't just "oh, hey, did I ever tell you about the time I was in the high school cafeteria and milk shot out my nose?". It's more like "oh, hey, know how you always listen to me rant and rave about the gazillion issues I have? I have an elephant that explains about 99% of those and I kinda forgot to mention it."

Part of me wants to get it off my chest. Part of me really isn't up to talking about it in the amount of detail it would take to explain. A huge part of me is thankful for those few friends I've told because if I'm having a bad day, all I have to do is utter two words and they know exactly what's on my mind. No further explanation needed.

So what do you do about your personal semi-invisible elephant in this situation?

P.S. My elephant would be pretty pissed to be referred to as an elephant. But then, wouldn't we all?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Etiquette

Dear Miss Manners,

Please help me determine which is the bigger breach of etiquette.

A) Family member throwing a baby shower for her second baby in 18 months.
B) Family member hosting an "open house/house warming" in her home that she did not purchase, does not pay rent on, and has lived in for 5 years.
C) Either of above events so people can bring "baby gifts or house gifts or whatever else they want to give her".
D) Non-family member glad she told me about the event I had heard nothing about so now I can rush some gifts for the occasion.

Signed,
Sister "with money" who is told nothing but should send random gifts every week just in case there's a gift-giving non-event

P.S. If one felt inspired, what would be the proper gift in this situation?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hurry up and wait

Being a bit extremely anxiety-prone, "hurry up and wait" isn't one of my favorite activities.

Airports, for example, make me batty. I'm obnoxious about arriving early, then we hurry through security just to wait forever to board, then we rush to our seats and wait for take-off.

But at least that's a "hurry up and wait" process I understand. What I don't understand is the complete lack of process at my work lately.
  • Hurry up, let's put this on the website NOW!
  • Oh, wait, we're going to hope that councilman doesn't win re-election so we can ignore the request.
  • He was re-elected last night, it needs to be on the website yesterday!
  • Hang on, let's tie it up in committee for a month.

This particular project changed status four times yesterday. At the end of the day, we were in stall mode but I decided to work on some of it last night anyways. And guess what? This morning the boss says we're back in go mode.

So, I go. At least until this afternoon. When I'm certain we'll be holding off yet again.

Aren't politics and local government grand?

I <3 my job. (Which means I totally want to punch someone in the face.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is nothing sacred?

Yesterday, I received the following email. "Hi Cate! Your Mother added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Your Mother in order for you to be friends on Facebook."

Ugh. Really? Admit in public that this woman gave birth to me?

Friend?!?!?

And she chose a photo that looks like a mug shot for some reason. I really don't need that staring at me every time I open the site.

Fortunately, I don't really use Facebook much. I use it more to stalk keep in touch with other people than I do to post intimate details or play games or whatever. That's because I realize in a professional capacity, I don't need people seeing that "Cate called in sick because she's hungover" or "Cate thinks her boss sucks at life". Mostly I post things like "Cate is running amok" or "Cate isn't allowed to play with fire" because that's way better.

Some of you were lucky enough privy to a Twitterbarf session about my mother a couple of weeks ago. The history is long and complicated but the less she infiltrates bits of my daily life, the better. Facebook isn't somewhere she needs to be.

Seeing her smiling face may have just ended my association with Facebook for good.

Anyone on Facebook that you feel like you can't not accept as a "friend" that you'd really rather just avoid altogether? What do you do?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Beautiful Sunday Advice

I don't know about where you are, but here in my undisclosed location, the weather is fantastic today. While I have a few inside things to take care of, I'm also planning on taking the camera for a walk to the lake and spending as much time as possible doing necessary computer work from the back porch.

But a note of caution when you're out enjoying this lovely weather.

If you are trying to turn left onto a busy street with poor visibility and no stop signs, be careful what you say when a big truck pulls up on your right, making it impossible to see around him.

Because your windows are open.

And he can hear you.

Not that it makes him any less of what you muttered quietly under your breath blurted out rather loudly. Just, you know, he can hear you. And will remind you about those open windows.

Just a little hypothetical situation advice from your pal Cate.

You're welcome.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does each week with their entries.

Because I said so - that's why!

All that's necessary to participate is to post your own six words. You can post an explanation if you wish but it's certainly not required. If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!) but I'm not going to delete your entry or punch you in the face if you don't. Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.



Friday, November 06, 2009

Tell me what to do

Lately, I'm struggling a bit for post topics. It's not a big deal; it just happens sometimes. But this entire week has been tough and this morning I've been staring at the blank page for far too long.

So I'm going to ask you all for ideas. Or questions. What do you want to see me write about? Anything you'd like to know about me? Interested in my thoughts on nuclear physics or bananas? No topic off-limits, no question too big or small*.

Post a question or topic or whatever in the comments and I'll work on addressing them next week.

I reserve the right to bend the truth lie practice being a politician depending on the nature of the question.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

First Fursday: Halloween Report

Long-haired human is kinda struggling with this blogging thing lately but I'm happy that I can fill in for her on First Fursday.

The people went away yet again this past weekend. We're starting to take it personally. Or at least I am (not sure that Tonya cares much either way). I'm a perfectly good cuddly purring kitty but they keep leaving us all alone to go to places without perfectly good cuddly purring kitties. Unless of course my humans are cheating on me. How sad!

As soon as the humans were gone, Tonya decided to we should throw a party for Halloween. I didn't think it was a good idea - I never want to do anything to make my humans angry except poo in the tub but I haven't done that in ages.

Tonya called me a wuss and said that as long as we didn't get caught, it would be fine. She started by disabling all three kitty cameras so the humans couldn't check in on us.

What happened next, I cannot tell. She swore me to secrecy and threatened that if I ever told, she'd make the humans send me back to the shelter. I like these humans a lot and don't want to go anywhere so I have no choice.

We estimated the humans would only be gone one night based on the amount of crunchies they had left us so we cleaned up the next morning. As far as I can tell, they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary other than the cameras that Tonya had forgotten to fix. Lucky for her, they blamed it on something called a "wireless router" and all is well in our world!

Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wishing Wednesday

I wish...
  • my headache would go away
  • my boss would grow a pair and instead of taking away my work from home privilege he'd tell the jealous immature coworkers to suck it because I'm adhering to policy and doing a good job
  • Joe's boss would quit twiddling his thumbs and make a move. Or at least let Joe make a move
  • nighttime brought sleep or at least rest
  • my sister could be here to lend a shoulder
  • for some peace and happy for my friends
  • people in general were less afraid of the unknown and more willing to learn before making a decision
  • I had something more interesting to blog about today

Feeling a bit of a slump the last day or two when it comes to blogging. Think I'll let everyone's favorite fur freaks post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ketchup

Ketchup. Catsup. Catchup.

Ahh, yes "catch up", that's the one I'm after.

I'm very behind on a lot of things and really struggling to stay afloat. A lot of it's my own doing (yay for launching a new blog though I love it to bits so it's worth it AND I have eleventy bajillion other projects) but I'm fighting right now to adjust to the new routine.

And that's my excuse for STILL not visiting all of your Six Word Saturday entries. I have about ten left. I swear I'll get to them today.

So, anyways, if I owe you email, or a visit, or some cat hair or if maybe my posts are a little late or if I'm sorta stabby, please be patient. Give me a couple of days and then maybe a gentle reminder.

Hey, I said GENTLE! That hurt!!!

P.S. If you're busy like me (nice segue, huh?) and now it's also holiday entertaining season, how about a recipe for awesome healthy bread you can make in only five minutes? C. Beth Blog is giving away a copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. She raves about this book and the bread. I want a copy so I can see if she's making it all up. Go to her site and leave a comment to enter. Also, if you mention my name, Beth will come to my house and make the bread for me I get an entry as well.