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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Personalized calling card

Would it be wrong to make up little cards that say something like:



On the back it could say:



The situations where these would come in handy are endless.
  • Waiting for an appointment
  • In line at the store
  • Waiting for a table at a restaurant
  • Gynecologist visits
  • Drive-thru
  • Family vacation
I'm sure there are many other applications I haven't thought of but these could really make life grand!

In addition, Joe could keep a stash in his wallet to hand out. Like this past Friday when Joe was at a doctor's appointment. I worry an unnatural amount. I think I'm somehow less patient when I'm not the patient. While waiting, I was thinking it would be great if he could hand them something like this, maybe speed them up a little.

I'm totally going to call and get a quote.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Six Word Saturday

It's your favorite time of the week - naked Guitar Hero Six Word Saturday!

Here's what you do:: Describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

Here's what you DON'T do: You don't go putting your link into Mr. Linky all willy nilly if you didn't participate. That's just plain foolishness and I won't abide by it. Punk.

Ok, anyways, my six words:

Sometimes I zig while life zags

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:



For extra fun this week, Mr. Linky is feeling a bit overwhelmed so the handy little "same page" linking fun is all gone to hell. Instead, we have to deal with the following pain in the neck. Click the link below. It'll pop up a ridiculous separate window where you can enter your name and link. Want to see the other linkies?  Click the image and they'll also be in the new window.

I know, I know, it sucks. Let's just hope Mr. Linky gets his act together soon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

But can he fold my laundry?

Today, I call out for your help. After realizing how right you all were about the xanax, I now know what a valuable resource I have in my bloggy buddies.

First, I do sorta apologize. I try to at least alternate topics around here but I know the last few have been related to the upcoming trip. I apologize for lack of diversity but:
  • A. It's my blog
  • 2. It's probably not going to change any time soon
  • iii. It's my blog!
So, sorry, and yet, not really.

On to the call for help.

Clueless Aunt Cate doesn't want to appear completely clueless. I'm looking for a bit of schoolin' on two relevant (to me) topics:
  • The behavior of women two months pregnant
  • Fourteen-month old humans
What do they do? What do they eat? Can they talk? (That's about the baby, not the pregnant woman). Is he able to fetch me a drink? I'd keep the drink requests simple so he doesn't have to do much mixing. I know he walks, recognizes (and hates) "no", isn't potty-trained, and hates being at all restrained. He also tries to wave but it comes out very "heil Hitler!".

As for the pregnant woman, is that the barfing/napping/peeing stage? (Juliet, I've been following your blog as a study guide). Are there certain things she can't eat? Like, I'm not going to spike her drink with alcohol or xanax anymore but I just have no idea.

Yes, I realize I'm asking you to generalize, which I generally hate (HA! See what I did there?). Every child and every pregnant lady is different. But, overall, I'd appreciate some input!

Help me not to give myself away as the ignorant soul I truly am.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ok, so you were all right

Today's post is a fantastic story about love and sunshine. Kittens and lollipops. Rainbows and Nutella.

Yeah, right.

Yesterday, I did something dumb. Not "omg we're all gonna die!!!" dumb. Just "wow, could I be any dumber?" dumb.

This resulted in a panic attack. At work. Great, here we go again.

Only this time, instead of huffing and puffing and sweating and freaking out and crawling under my desk to lick my elbows, I took half a xanax.

Within twenty minutes, I felt almost completely calm. Maybe a teensy bit drowsy but mostly just calmer.

Huh, should've listened to you all a week ago. I feel better already knowing I'll have my new best friend with me on vacation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guess who's pregnant?

Hahahahaha.  No. Just no.

That would be my sister, Tina. It seems she celebrated the first birthday of my nephew by conceiving baby #2.

I've been trying to process this in my head since she told me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, this is what I was alluding to in my Six Words that Saturday and a few of you did guess correctly. One of you even made sure to send me a direct message on Twitter so your guess would be on record. I wasn't quite in a positive place when I wrote those words.

When she found out she was pregnant with Collin, she called me. Honestly, just the fact that her phone number was on my caller id when I arrived home and her message asked me to call back was enough to tip me off that she must be pregnant. You see, she can't afford to make long distance calls. In fact, that's the only time she has ever called me. Ever.

This time, the news didn't even warrant a phone call. Just an email. Never mind that she probably could've just kept the news quiet for another couple of weeks and told me in-person on Ye Big Ole Family Vacation O' Fun.

It's such an in-my-face reminder of so many things. Our lack of closeness. Her inability to afford even a quick phone call (or unwillingness to make it a priority). Her place in the family as the golden child creating grandchildren and great grandchildren while I'm failing at such tasks.

I feel bad for my father though. Because Tina and her husband can't afford gas money (and didn't pay a dime towards their share of the rental - my folks paid it all for them), they are riding down with my parents in the back of their Exploder Explorer. That's my mother and father, sister, brother-in-law, and baby (in a big car seat) plus all of their things. On a good day, this trip would take about twelve hours. With a one-year-old who has recently decided he hates "no" and a two-month-pregnant lady (plus my parents' unwillingness to drive through major cities, instead taking crazy detours), I expect it will take much longer than that.

Again, my overwhelming issue is concern. She can't really afford baby #1 and now baby #2 is on the way. My baby sister is now going to have two kids less than two years apart with no insurance, no stable income, at the mercy of family and friends to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads.

And I'm also fully aware that my reaction is probably much more about my own issues regarding children and family than anything else.

I don't mean to sound like I think the little ones are evil or unloved or undesirable. I just can't help wishing the circumstances were a bit different.

Yes, Auntie Cate once again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A trip down memory lane

Even though this blog is fairly anonymous, I try to avoid too many details about my work. However, I've just spent a ridiculous amount of time on a tedious task and I feel I've earned the right to wallow in self-pity whine share.

See, part of my job duties somehow involve creating and manipulating PDFs. This is mainly because the users here are not so capable of doing it themselves and since the documents are ultimately placed on the website and I am the master of the universe webmaster, I have to turn their documents into nice little fillable PDFs for them.

That's your boring background. And here's what I'd like to gripe about more specifically: the youth activities registration forms.

These forms all require the following information.
  • Mother's Name
  • Mother's Work Phone
  • Father's Name
  • Father's Work Phone
So it seems my employer has evolved as far as, say, the 1950s? Women are allowed to work, yay, we ask for their work phone number!

But, also, all youth will have both a mother and a father to list on their form. I guess we haven't yet heard of single parent households. Children raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings. Same-sex parenting.

Maybe they'll figure that out in another fifty years. All I know is I don't plan on still being here updating their forms at that point.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How not to enjoy a movie

Sunshine Cleaning came out two months ago and we finally made it to the theatre on Saturday. The cast is fantastic - Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Mary Lynn Raskjub, Alan Arkin, and this wonderful little guy whose name I missed. The writing could've been a little tighter but overall, very good movie with a nice mix of fun and heart.

So want to know how to make the experience border on a panic attack for me?

It's an out of the way independent theatre and there were less than ten people in the audience. Yet just as the film began, a woman stumbled in and sat right in front of us.

But not just any woman. No, this woman was my ex-therapist.

Yes, the theatre is literally next door to her offices. Yes, she told me she often catches a movie there after finishing up with her patients on Saturday afternoons. But what were the chances that she would pick that particular showing of a movie that had been out more than two months?

I spent the entire film thinking about anxiety issues, my dissatisfaction with the therapist, the upcoming family vacation. As soon as the credits rolled, I darted out of the theatre and into the bathroom. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then I was afraid to exit the stall.

Eventually, we made our way to the car and continued on our day. I'm not sure why she caused such a reaction in me. Honestly, I've been teetering on the edge of panic for the last few days (Friday morning I had a full-blown attack before work - wish I'd spaz at a time I felt comfortable trying out one of those xanax!).

Anyways, the movie is worth seeing.. Just not with your uninvited therapist if you want to have a good time.

P.S. Yes, I spell it theatre as opposed to theater. It's because I think I'm British I'm totally better than you old habits are hard to break.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What the world needs now

While away a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. And as usual, we ate our food in the car. I just don't like eating inside fast food restaurants, I don't know why. I think it has to do with my fear of clowns piggy flu how dirty they often look.

As we sat stuffing our faces with breakfast sandwiches and iced coffees, a man walked up and sat at the table on the sidewalk in front of our car. I mentioned to Joe that I've been really making a conscious effort not to make assumptions but that he looked homeless and hungry when in reality he was probably just enjoying the nice weather.

We finished eating and Joe hopped out of the car to throw away our trash. On his way back to the car, the man spoke to him. I couldn't hear him from inside the car but they spoke for a minute and then Joe reached in his pocket and handed the man some cash. I saw the man smile and he gave Joe a huge squeeze on the shoulder before heading inside the store.

When Joe got back in the car, he told me that the man said he was homeless and had lost his job when his plant closed. He wondered if Joe could spare a few dollars so he could get something to eat because he was hungry. When Joe handed him a $20 bill, the man told him "thank you and God bless you - what goes around comes around."

I felt good afterwards. Twenty dollars to us isn't a huge sum of money but to someone out of work and hungry, it probably seemed like a lot for a stranger to hand over.

Maybe he played us and walked away thinking we were suckers. Maybe he took that money and bought beer. Maybe he was just conning us for cash.

Or maybe he is in a bad place in his life and had to really swallow his pride to ask for some help. And maybe we helped him keep his belly full for a day or two.

I like to think it was the latter and that he's right - the kindness will be passed forward and repaid somewhere in the world. If nothing else, our intentions were good and I don't think it can be a bad thing to put a little compassion out there.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Six Word Saturday

It's that time again, kids! What time? Howdy Doody Time! Six Word Saturday Time!

Here's what you do:: Describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

Here's what you DON'T do: You don't go putting your link into Mr. Linky all willy nilly if you didn't participate. That's just plain foolishness and I won't abide by it. Don't make me give you an award!

Ok, anyways, my six words:
sometimes the little things feel big

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:



Note: I'm really hoping Mr. Linky is working. They sent out a notice that they're making some changes to decrease their server load (and downtime). Let's cross our fingers!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A new award

Because what the blogging world really needs is another award, I introduce to you the "Punch you in the Face" award. And now I shall award it to two worthy losers recipients.

Dear Feedburner,

Though I am completely capable of following directions and have done so, you continue to refuse to burn my feed in a timely manner. Since this is your primary purpose, this means you fail at life. While I would love to have an idea of how many people are receiving my feed, it's more important that they actually do receive my feed. So for your superior ability to screw up this simple task, I present you with this award. I tried all day to "troubleshootize". No go. Goodbye, Feedburner. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Feel the burn,


Dear Twitter,

Since you completely fouled up the @replies, my little Twitter window has been strangely silent. This has forced me to find other ways to fill my time. Crazy ways such as being productive at work. Talking to my husband. Brushing my cat. Watching paint dry. So I am choosing to reward your inability to understand the point of social networking with this award.

Tweet this,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A new neighbor

We have another new neighbor to discuss. I'm not sure that he's "new" so much as our paths are suddenly crossing. I'm guessing his routine has changed, not mine.

But for the last two days when I've arrived home from work, this neighbor has been using the stop sign in front of my house to stretch before his run.

And yes, this is a good thing.

You've heard about Angry Neighbor. We also have Canadian Neighbor and Tree Hugger Neighbor. Now, we get to add Totally Hot Running Shirtless Neighbor.

I think he may be my favorite neighbor of all.

P.S. I am trying again to use Feedburner. I'm really hoping it behaves this time or I'll punch it right in the face (and disable it).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

GGWii

A quick search of the interwebz will provide many references to the obnoxiousness of the WiiFit game. I've even posted here about the WiiFit calling Joe a dog. Having tired of the snarkiness (THAT's overweight!!!!), I decided to see what other Wii workout options were available.

My hero Amazon provided several matches and after weighing reviews and prices, I ordered Gold's Gym Cardio Workout. The price was right, only $20. And the other game I was interested in (EA Sports Active) was more expensive and not available at that point (it actually released yesterday, 5/19, but I'm a bit impatient).

As I mentioned above, I read the reviews carefully. Because of this, it was very clear to me that this game does not provide a lot of workout types. It's primarily cardio boxing, starting at a basic level, teaching you the steps, and moving upwards in difficulty and skills.

After the initial setup/session, I'm now greeted with the option to pick my exercise myself or to allow the trainer to pick a sequence for me. I've been following the trainer's suggestions though I usually tack on another exercise at the end. The program tracks your progress, calories burned, weight, hit count, and adjusts your routines accordingly.

There are many options in this program, including multiple trainers, settings and songs. The Balance Board isn't necessary for this game though it does have some integration - a few exercises, such as push-ups, for example.

Now, for the more important information. What has my experience been?

I've worked out with this five times now. The first couple of times I found my back very sore, I think because I haven't moved from the sofa in so long. That's gone away, replaced now with some soreness in the arms (which would be expected). My coordination is lacking but I'm finding myself much more comfortable now. The game works up a sweat and holds my attention as I try to master the skills and move ahead.

I'd say this game provides a better workout than WiiFit. It's more structured, harder, and much more adult. Not that I'm anti-cartoons and cute but I feel like I'm actually exercising instead of playing with this game. Also, the male instructor doesn't have a stupid ponytail. And nobody has insulted my husband (so far).

The only issue I've had so far with GGWii (as I like to call it) is that sometimes I have trouble registering my hits. I haven't determined yet if that's the fault of the system or my fault for not doing it right. Regardless, I know that I'm performing the hits so for the sake of exercise, I'm fine with that. Also, I suck at jumping rope. Not surprising - I kinda suck at it for real. The game's just accurate about it - and I did make some progress on it last time.

This guy gives a pretty good review and you can see what it's all about if you're a more visual person:



So not my most exciting post. And no, it wasn't a paid advertisement. But I've mentioned it several times on Twitter and a few people asked for my take on it. Since it's too long for the 140-character treatment, here ya go! Tomorrow, another fitness-related post but much lighter.

P.S. I forgot to mention that you should really be careful doing uppercuts. I was a little too enthusiastic about one last night and almost punched myself in the face. Apparently my face-punching knows no bounds.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My first time

Another gem from the family vault today. Over there on the right, I've added a handy countdown clock to the start of our family adventure so you can properly prepare to pity me.

Most people remember certain firsts - first kiss, first job, first car. I think "first gray hair" is one that most folks recall, even if they'd rather not.

My first gray hair was discovered a few years back. It was the day of my brother's college graduation. Already feeling anxious due to travel and proximity to my mother, the hot weather was only adding to my discomfort. While the crowd around us was showing the usual sense of decorum at this important event, my mother was loud and obnoxious, drawing attention to herself in negative ways. This, for her, is the norm.

It was during the long and boring inspirational and fascinating commencement address by some dude I've never heard of a visionary leader that I felt a sharp pull at the side of my scalp, accompanied by "Ooooh, my daughter has a gray hair, I found a gray hair! She's only 27 and she has gray hair!". All the while waving the hair around for anyone nearby to see.

I wanted to die, of course. Or at least punch her in the face. Thankfully, with the outdoor setup, my brother was blissfully unaware of my mother's outburst.

As for me, I bit my tongue, even when she asked if I wanted to keep it. I only said "no thanks". But what was in my head was "it's fitting you found it because you sure as hell caused it!".

P.S. As I said, that was a few years ago. I haven't found any gray hairs since only really blonde hairs that are natural highlights, right?. Until recently. Coincidence that I'm finding a few grays now, with family vacation looming? I think not.

P.P.S. Can anyone recommend a decent at-home product for covering silvers (because silver sounds so much sexier than gray, sorta like that hot Silver Fox Anderson Cooper, rawr!)? Must be easy to use because I'm an idiot. My other hairs are brownish, if that matters.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's some words

Ever pat yourself on the back because you're absolutely brilliant only to realize no, you're absolutely a moron?

I thought I had solved a big bad work problem on Friday. In fact, I was 100% certain I had determined the cause of the issue. I put things in place that would prove my excellence and went home to enjoy my weekend, confident in a job well done.

Except, of course, that when I arrived at my desk this morning it turns out that wasn't the problem at all! So I'm back at the beginning, starting from scratch, feeling less competent and more confused than ever.

Plus, it's Monday.

And this is why I'm puking up a post this morning instead of sharing the phenomenal story I had planned. You have no idea what you're missing out on. No idea.

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Confession: Zzzzzz

I have a confession. I am not a morning person.

It's not that I'm necessarily grumpy or snappy. It's just that I'm wandering around in my own little world while I try to wake up. You may speak to me, but please don't expect an intelligent answer or recollection later in the day.

During the week, this usually works for me. Sometimes I wake up, shower, and find I've been at my desk for an hour before I truly gain consciousness. Since my job is very quiet, this is ok.

Oddly enough, I have more trouble on the weekends. Yesterday, I was able to sleep in and relax. Great, though I probably did a bit too much of that. Around 4pm, I freaked out that I hadn't accomplished anything and went a little nuts reorganizing kitchen cabinets. Then I also needed to workout and be ready to leave the house by 7pm for a show.

Last night, I didn't do a whole lot of that sleeping thing. We went to bed around 12:30am and I ended up "sleeping" on the sofa because I was coughing. I put sleeping in quotes because it's hard for me to sleep sitting up. It was more like dozing. Joe was up at 5am so he could run a half-marathon (in the rain).

And this is where my "not a morning person" is weighing on me. Let's compare morning accomplishments:
  • Joe: Joe's a morning person. At this point, he's already been running for 90 minutes. He's about done with thirteen miles.
  • Me (planned): Workout, vacuum house, clean kitchen, prepare grocery list.
  • Me (actual): I crawled out of bed about an hour ago, dragged myself (and my trusty laptop) to the living room, and I'm watching Food Network.
I'd cut myself some slack if I was instead a night person, finding my productivity while the rest of the world turns in for the evening. Nope, by 8pm, I'm about finished. 10am - 1pm is probably my productive time.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing this. I think people tend to confess when they're feeling guilty. This morning, I'm definitely feeling guilty. The overcast skies aren't helping to inspire me. What am I going to do about it? Maybe at 9am I'll consider some WiiFit action. Or a nap.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Here's how it works: describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

Did you really need another one?

Yeah, going a bit abstract this week. You still love me, right? I'm sure I'll post about it soon enough but at this point I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole deal.

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:



Friday, May 15, 2009

Step One in Family Vacation Planning

Twenty-two days until vacation! To make sure you are all able to feel adequate sympathy for me when the time comes, I'm going to be sharing several family-focused posts in advance of vacation.

Preparations for family vacation have officially begun. As any over-anxious freak sane person me would tell you, the first step in gearing up for family fun is to visit the doctor for refills of important prescriptions. Like Lexapro.

Since I've now been on Lexapro since October and it's completely saving my sanity (not to mention my marriage), the doctor felt comfortable offering me the option to switch to a similar medication that is available in a generic to also be saving me some cash.

I totally support the idea of saving me some cash. I'm a big fan of that. However, she also said sometimes the generic isn't quite strong enough and there can be a period of adjusting the dose to find the appropriate level. With that in mind, I asked her if I could first have another 30 days of actual Lexapro before we start playing around with my ability to not kill people meds. I expressed my concerns over family vacation, citing 7 days (and nights!) under one roof with my parents and siblings as the biggest test of my sanity EVER.

Dr V agreed that it was not a good idea to play with my brain under those circumstances. We talked some more about the stress of the trip and time with my family given the fact that we have almost nothing in common except DNA and I'm 98% certain I'm adopted. She encouraged me to have some responses ready for topics that might come up and asked for an example. I told her about "baby" sister and her little guy leading to questions about when I'll have a child of my own. My doctor encouraged me to shed a tear and just break down in hysterics so they'd drop the subject. I told her if I really wanted to shut them up, I should tell them we're considering adopting from China since they are horrified by "foreigners".

It was at that point she jokingly offered me Xanax. And I laughed and said "probably not a bad idea".

We moved along to discuss my other meds and she printed out prescriptions for what I needed. When she went over them with me, not only had she refilled my meds for my allergies, my reflux, my migraines, and my Lexapro, but she did give me a supply of Xanax.

Sometimes it scares me how quick my doctor is to hand out meds. But in this case, I think it's interesting that discussion about my family has made a medical professional feel chill pills are necessary. My only question is - the prescription is for 20 pills. That should take care of move-in day but what am I supposed to do for the rest of the week?

P.S. Despite the fact that I often make light of my medications, I do take them responsibly and encourage everyone else to do the same.

P.P.S. If anyone has any experience going from Lexapro (10mg) to Celexa (or its generic specifically), I'd love to know how it worked for you. Same with any experiences with Xanax - I'm wondering if I should try a dose before the trip, just to know what I'm dealing with (she prescribed .25mg and said I should try half a pill first). If you're not comfy leaving a comment, please email me at showmyface at gmail dot com.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Five senses

I may have absolutely no sense in my head but I do (mostly) have my five senses. You know: taste, smell, sight (ok, I'm pretty blind without my contacts), hearing, touch. And each has their purpose and each is probably important.

But you know those hypothetical questions that are always asked? The ones that are supposed to really difficult? I have no problem at all with "which of the five senses would you give up if you had to choose?".

The answer is smell. Without hesitation.

Yes, I adore the smell of certain things.
  • lilacs
  • coffee
  • baby powder
  • Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • lasagna
  • Joe's soap (but not that man soap he was using for awhile - yuck!)
But more often I find myself offended by an odor rather than enjoying it.
  • cat box
  • that dude on the elevator
  • asparagus pee (TMI?)
  • burnt popcorn
  • gas (both kinds!)
  • skunk
  • boiled cabbage
  • the HR chick's perfume
  • gas station/rest area liquid soap (compliments of Sass)
  • sauteed mushrooms (compliments of C. Beth)
  • burnt chocolate (compliments of Guaca Molly)
  • garbage trucks (compliments of TMC)
Also, is there any smell in the world worse than burnt broccoli? I'm sure there must be but that one is exceptionally awful to me.

They say if one sense is weak, another one will compensate. I think the fact that my eyes suck somehow has caused a hyper-sensitive sniffer. I rarely wear perfume and even walking past the counters at the front of a department store is enough to give me a headache. And while I adore scented candles, I can't spend much time in the candle section of any store.

So today, I'm willing to give up my sense of smell. Maybe in exchange for a nap. Or a pony. Oh wait, those smell too...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walrussians: It's what's for dinner

I have been abducted by Vladmir the Walrussian. It happened sometime yesterday though I can't quite pinpoint when. Consider yourself warned and feel free to skip this one - I'm totally puking out this post.

Yesterday, I woke up in a fabulous mood. Beautiful weather so I opened the sunroof and blasted some U2 on the drive to work. Once I arrived, there was an email from the drama llama boss saying he'd be out for the day. I grabbed a coffee, eager to make progress on some work projects so I could finish the afternoon with blogging.

Instead, I found myself bombarded with work issues. Ok, not a big fan but it happens. It brought me down a bit (mostly due to the people involved - I'd like my job a lot more if the people-factor could be removed) but I soldiered on.

Next, an email from my mother. "Did the check I sent you for vacation bounce? Did you get charged fees?". Short story is that she didn't have the money in her account to cover it so they charged her $30 to cover from her line of credit. We were paid fine, no fees. Knowing my mother, this is her way of making sure we know they're short on cash. Maybe because they're covering my sister's share? More on HER later.

Accident on the highway equals drive home from hell.

We then attended a sporting event. Not only did the score not bring me joy but this woman behind me kept screaming in my ear. It was all I could do to not turn around and punch her right in the face. You would've been proud (or horribly disappointed), folks.

Upon arriving home, I found out Twitter has decided to be stupid, hiding @replies to people you don't follow. This was already an option! But now, it's not an option. Twitter has drastically decreased the social networking capabilities of their site. It's worse than the Facebook redesign debacle and the natives are staging quite the uprising.

And then, the final straw. Which I'm not ready to talk about yet because I'm still processing it. It was an email from a family member and it's going to make things quite interesting for family vacation. Mostly from an emotional standpoint for me. Yes, still trying to figure out my feelings on this one.

Thankfully, half a sleeping pill let both my body and my mind rest. Today shall be better. Right? Yeah... Or I'll punch it in the face.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

200

Main Entry: two hun·dred
Pronunciation: \ˈtü\ \ˈhən-drəd\
Function: noun

1: the natural number following 199 and preceding 201
2: an HTTP status code indicating a successful connection
3: the sum of dollars given in the classical Monopoly game to a player passing "Go"
4: the upper limit of a desirable cholesterol level corresponding to lower risk for heart disease
5: the number of people I'd like to punch in the face at any given time
6. the number of posts (including this one) currently posted in this blog

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm a winner!

The last few days I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of topics that have come to me for future posts. (This is not one of those posts.) But there are definitely times when the ideas just aren't flowing and I must go searching for prompts.

That's how I discovered The One Minute Writer. The idea is to just take one minute to write something each day and daily prompts are provided. I don't participate every day but I've been responding a few times a week. I've even had a couple of wins recently!

So today, I'm going to work on writing up some of my fabulous new ideas. And in the meantime, I'll share my winning TOMW responses and encourage you to go check out that site if it's your sort of thing.

What are your thoughts about swine flu, and the media coverage of it?

I believe every word of it. The news would never lie, right? I'm sad I'll have to stop eating pork but I already knew it was a bad idea to make out with pigs so I think I'll be safe. As a precaution, I taped plastic in all my windows and gave up caffeine. Also, I heard you can get it online if you click on ads.

I think it's safest if I just move into my bomb shelter for a few months. I'll be the one rocking in the corner with my tinfoil hat.

What door would you unhesitatingly walk through, if it opened?

It was hazy as I walked down a long hallway. There were doors on both sides, each with a label.

I passed by "hot body", "bottomless bank account", "dream job", and "supportive family" though each tempted me.

Finally I found the door labeled "contentment with what you are and what you have". (Yes, it was a long label) And that's the one I chose to walk through.

P.S. TOMW is brought to us by the letter "C" - as in C. Beth. I actually discovered the two blogs independently before realizing they were from the same awesome author. Makes me feel completely clueless cool!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Confession: Happy Mother's Day

I have a confession... I'm not that into Mother's Day. I, myself, am not a mother (that should be abundantly clear from posts earlier this week). My relationship with my own mother is cautious at best.

Instead, I'm going to give a shout out and send my love to all the fantastic mothers out there. I've met so many of you since I started blogging last Fall. And a special thought to anyone who is experiencing a Mother's Day without their beloved mothers. Or their precious children.

So many of you seriously rock. You give me hope that I could possibly do the "mother" thing some day.

In the meantime, here's wishing you a "surprise" breakfast of burnt toast and coffee with grounds floating on the top, wilted flowers and hand-drawn cards featuring flowers and disproportionate representations of your family. Because, really, I think that's sorta what it's all about! And sorry but I decided the best gift from me would be to not make you a Mother's Day card - because it seemed kinda rude to be punching anyone in the face today. Except maybe SisterFriend because it seems she wants a fight.

Me, I'm "celebrating" by being out of town (so expect late responses). Except the place we're going says "Bring Mom to undisclosed location for free admission on Mother's Day. Adult or youth ticket purchase required." My thinking about that went something like this:
Damn, it's gonna be busy there on Sunday.

Wait, how do you prove you're a mom? I want to get in free!

I guess we could just say we left the kid at home. I bet a lot of people do that!

Huh, isn't that completely bizarre for people to celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day by escaping from their kids? Though probably not an uncommon desire.

Think I'll just do the right thing and pay for my admission.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Elevator of Death - an update

I can't believe it. They've disabled the sad pathetic bell in the Elevator of Death.

Still, it's creepy. And hermetically sealed like a coffin.



And since we're only one floor up? I've been totally taking the stairs.

Six Word Saturday

Here's how it works: describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.
Not back by Monday? Send help!

You may remember my trip last December that included the Elevator of Death. No? You can read about it here! I'm out of town this weekend, staying in the hotel with the most depressed elevator in the world. This means responses are going to be quite delayed but I'll be looking forward to your Six Word Saturday entries!

And if I don't respond by Monday at the latest? Please see my six words above and assume the elevator's got me.

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:



Friday, May 08, 2009

The dingo ate mah baybay!

On the lighter side of judging parents (kidding!), I'm sometimes concerned about my sister and little nephew. This is mostly because she and her husband are flat broke, have no insurance, quite young, and seem not so great with managing what money they do have. To me, these are all scary conditions for raising a child! However, my sister is DAMN good with that little guy. Still, as the big sister I have my concerns.

Anyways... Yesterday is one month and counting until I completely lose my mind family vacation. I celebrated by dreaming about it. The dream went something like this.

My sister and her husband had wandered off to spend an afternoon alone, leaving nephew Collin with me and Joe. We decided to take him on a double-decker bus tour because, hey, isn't that what babies like to do?

Somewhere along the tour, we hopped off the bus to visit the family of local sheep-herders when suddenly their doorbell rang. For some reason, I knew they were coming for Collin. I quickly stashed him in a storage bin (yeah, yeah, shush) and filed him between Acupuncture and Camels.

When Alan Rickman came in demanding the boy, I put on my best Clueless Cate act. I've perfected it, really, to the point where it's no longer an act but a reality. Alan Rickman wasn't falling for it and quickly found Collin filed under B for Baby. If only I had filed him under N for Nerf-herder!

Maybe Alan Rickman isn't a dingo but he's still British or something so I'm pretty sure that's close enough. Plus, he stole the baby. He didn't eat it. Just sayin'.

As usual, Joe was nowhere around to save me or my nephew from the evil Alan Rickman. You can bet if it had been Joe's nephew, Alan Rickman would've gone away empty-handed. But no, I am a total sucker for an accent not really a fan of babies anyway a teensy bit weak.

My sister was pretty mad when I told her Alan Rickman took her baby. Now what was she going to do with all these pureed carrots? Plus, no more tax deduction! To make her feel better, I made a carrot cake and we all watched Love Actually. In the morning, having gotten her first good night's sleep in almost fifteen months, she told me it was totally worth the loss of the tax deduction and she thanked me.

P.S. Aren't you glad I gave you a glimpse inside my head? It's kinda scary in there even when I'm sleeping. Also, after so many heavy posts this week, I decided I'd end on something light since I apparently need to try way harder to offend people will be leaving work early and heading out of town for the weekend.

P.P.S. It always amuses me when people constantly refer to celebrities by their first and last name. But then I guess not everyone's as awesome as Oprah or Bono.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

First Fursday: Filling in for busy human

First Fursday! And since long-haired human had such a busy day on Wednesday, this is good timing. I'll write a quick post, she can catch up on her comments and reading.

Tuesday night, there were a lot of ba-booms outside. Also, pretty lights! I decided to go upstairs and take an awesome nap but it wasn't long before the humans scooped me and Rusty up, threw us in our cages, and then we all (both humans, their clicky computer machines, and both kitties in cages) crammed into the bathroom downstairs. Short-haired human kept talking about tornadoes nearby and I don't know much what a tornado is but it sure did ruin my snooze! Rusty, of course, was all scared even in his cage so he had to smash around and try to escape. He's such a girl.

Wednesday a bunch of people showed up at my house. They were loud but they brought food with them. I guess pizza isn't good for cats but I really wanted to try some. They all stayed on the porch most of the evening and even though I tried to be a good hostess, everyone was rude and ignored me. I finally retreated back upstairs. If they aren't going to appreciate my presence, I'm not going to bless them with it. Ingrates.

In other news, I overheard the humans talking earlier and it seems like they might be leaving for a few days. Rusty and I will be totally running amok. I've spotted some new green things on top of the kitchen cabinets so I need to figure out how I can get up there. I'm thinking if I leap from the table to the counter to the toaster oven, it just might work. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Incident

As promised, The Incident that set me thinking a bit about the whole judging parents thing from yesterday. Brilliant comments, by the way. This is the story I related to my accountant friend.

On a recent Saturday night, Joe and I attended a concert. The venue was new to us and kind of cool. It was definitely designed for the specific purpose of hosting bands and crowds. A stage at one end, a bar on one side, a bar in the back. Lots of standing room in between. Upstairs, a balcony open on three sides to allow a view of the stage from above and another bar. Add a couple of bathrooms and a merchandise table, that's about it.

The tickets stated "doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm". It also said "16+, under 21 = $3 surcharge". Because, obviously, they expect to make money on the drinks.

We arrived around 8:30 and the hall grew increasingly jammed. Not being a great fan of crowds (and also being short), this wasn't ideal for me but their air conditioning worked well and I've found that overheating is one of my worst anxiety attack triggers so I did ok.

The opening act started around 9:30. I looked to my left and saw something that seemed a bit out of place. What was it? It was two children. I'm not great at estimating ages but I'm guessing five and seven. And if family resemblance means anything, they were there with their folks (or at least very close relatives).

I kept expecting them to leave. Maybe they were relatives of the opening band? But they were still there when the main act took the stage at 10:30pm and remained through the end of the show which was well after midnight.

The main act, by the way, features some of the following lyrics (some may find these disturbing but they're a sample of the band's set):
Then through the glass I see your dress fall to the floor
As he embraces every inch of you
The woman I adore.

As I walked calmly numbing paralyzed beside the bed
I said “I know I’m not allowed to be here. I just had to see
How good this new man really f&*%s you. Cause you both been f&*%ing me.”

"You sit and watch me while I do this s%^& and learn from what I’ve said."
I cocked the pistol pulled the trigger, and all I saw was red

These are from a song about a husband sneaking back into his home, catching his wife and lover in the act, and shooting them both before committing suicide.

To be honest, I don't like to listen to a lot of that sort of thing (and it seems even worse here but I've deliberately selected some of the more offensive bits). The song above actually really bothers me and caused me to have nightmares that night. Seriously. And not EVERY lyric or song has that tone. But that intensity does run amok through most of their songs.

So, here's where all that "judging of parents" came up in conversation. Accountant Person asked about the concert and I was telling her about the venue, about how the live show was fantastic and intense. Then I mentioned the parents next to us with their two small children and "what in the world were they thinking bringing their kids to a bar at that hour to be exposed to that kind of language".
Accountant Person: You don't know what the circumstances were. Maybe they didn't have a choice!
me: No choice? About whether or not to bring their kids to that kind of show in that kind of environment at that hour?
AP: Yeah, maybe they couldn't find a babysitter.
me: Then it seems the option would've been to not attend.
AP: Life doesn't end when you have children! Why should they have to stay home if they want to go to the show?
me: Because they wanted kids and those are some of the choices you have to make? I'm not saying life has to end. But that just seems really inappropriate to me.
AP: Yeah, "it seems". You're not even a parent and you don't know the details so you have no right to judge.

I really can't think of any situation that would force the parents to bring their children into that environment. Unless that tall dude with them had a gun in his jacket, which seems unlikely.

However, poor choice aside regarding content/environment, it wasn't a situation that probably put the children in physical danger. There was no pushing or fighting. The bartender obviously wasn't serving the kids drinks. The club is even smoke-free so that wasn't an issue.

Maybe this is one of those gray areas. It's certainly very different from situations we've probably all (unfortunately) witnessed that were clearly dangerous or abusive.

So, tri-fold feedback I'm looking for in this post I guess since you all rocked the comments yesterday. Was I wrong for judging this situation (aka was I not allowed)? Am I wrong in thinking this was a really poor parenting choice? And when are outsiders allowed/obligated to speak up/intervene?

P.S. For the record, I didn't say anything, didn't give any looks, and wouldn't have said anything unless the crowd nearby was rowdy or something of that nature - like if they had been placing their children in a cage with armed robot armadillos, I probably would've objected. Instead, I judged them silently. And to Joe. And on my blog.

P.P.S. I'm not anti-accountants. Joe was almost an accountant. Until I talked some sense into him.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Good enough for Obama but not yo mama

I've gone back and forth about whether or not to post this. I still don't know for sure that it will ever make it out of the draft stage. But at the risk of unintentionally offending a reader (heck, RAS has already promised to hate me and I haven't even written it yet!), I feel I need to get it off my chest. And, well, it's my blog. Sometimes, it's just like that.

Last Wednesday, my pal SomeMonkey had one of those afternoons of running errands with the kids when time gets away from you a bit. She had given the kids a rare treat of cookies and Icees, only to realize after that it was almost dinner time. This information is necessary to understand the following conversation from Thursday:
me: My a/c unit lives to serve another day!!!
heat exchanger is still fine so they topped it off again with more coolant
it could die tomorrow but who knows
so could I
SomeMonkey: that's the spirit!
me: i KNOW!
So, what's for dinner tonight? rock candy and milkshakes?
SomeMonkey: are you, perchance, commenting on my parenting skills?
me: absolutely not
I said I COULD die tomorrow
not I want to guarantee it
SomeMonkey: haha
Now, first I must say that I truly think SomeMonkey is one of the best and coolest moms I know. She's awesome with her kids, praises them, disciplines them, doesn't let them run with scissors and usually gives them a decent non-cookie meal. All of this while still being someone I, a non-mother, can relate to and really have a blast talking to. Yeah, she's pretty spectacular. And I don't just say that because I'm afraid she'll punch me in the face. So, no, other than joking around, no way am I commenting on her parenting skills.

But this exchange, plus an incident from last weekend, makes me wonder: why is it so off-limits to comment on someone's parenting choices? Especially if you yourself are not a parent.

I get that it's a really hard job. A really complicated job. I totally respect that. Yet being President is a really hard job. Being a CEO of a big company is a really hard job. A teacher. A doctor. A telemarketer. Heck, most jobs are really hard. But it's perfectly acceptable in our society to pass judgment on those folks, even if you aren't experienced in that life or profession.

So why not parents? Honestly, I try hard not to judge people. Sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that I don't know the whole story or that it's none of my business. The wisest thing my father has ever said to me was "just because it's not the decision I would make, doesn't mean it's necessarily the wrong decision". I try hard to apply that to most situations involving puzzling behavior.

What brings all this on? The incident I mentioned above. I observed what I feel was a questionable choice by some parents last weekend. I might even go so far as to say it was a wrong choice. (I don't mean I saw a kid eating ice cream before dinner - that kind of thing barely registers with me. I'm talking about something much larger.) But when I was talking to someone about it (not SomeMonkey), someone that happened to be a parent, she was instantly offended that I was insinuating these parents might be in the wrong. She then changed the subject so she could rip apart the CDC and their response to swine H1N1 flu. Because she's a doctor specializing in infectious disease. Oh, wait, no, she's actually an accountant.

Also, I've noticed that if you praise someone's skills or tell them they're doing a great job, they never tell you to shut up and mind your own business because you don't have the right to judge. What's that about?

I'm interested in other thoughts on this. At this point, it seems like a bit of a double-standard. And for kicks, I'm going to post about The Incident tomorrow so you can all weigh in on that as well. It'll be your opportunity to tell me if I'm being too sensitive or if these people were exercising poor judgment. Or, in either case, if I should even be allowed an opinion.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine flu?

I wanna be like the cool kids.  I'm not sure if what I have is swine flu, bird flu (remember when that was all the rage?), scurvy or Cate-itis. My symptoms are as follows:
  • inflamed and infected pinky finger (this has been going on for two months now)
  • coughing at night (since November)
  • nasal congestion
  • itchy (no "b" on that, tyvm)
  • thumb-print shaped bruise on left foot (like I was grabbed by aliens in my sleep)
  • cranky
  • sleepy
  • generally wonky
So, what do we think? Undiagnosed condition that requires working from home for the next few days? Maybe if I start some sort of petition I can convince the drama llama boss to let me run amok require me to stay home for the safety of everyone around me. Especially the children. Because it's all about the children.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I have bird flu because I completely chickened out of posting my intended topic for today. I didn't want to make people angry and I haven't taken the time to properly edit it yet and run it by my sponsors therapist moral guide.

P.P.S. Also, I'm not making light of the current epidemic. I just tend to think the media is a little out of control at times. I'm living with hand sanitizer just like so many others.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stupidity

Main Entry: stu·pid·i·ty
Pronunciation: \stü-'pi-də-tē\
Function: noun

1: the quality or state of being stupid
2: a stupid idea or act
3: passing up bbq for lunch and then having to smell it anyways while your coworkers eat theirs

Me last Friday = dumb dumb dumb.

Other office smells that make me crazy when I'm not offered a bit?
  • popcorn
  • General Tso's chicken
  • fried aardvark
  • pizza

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Here's the dealio: describe your life (or something) in just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

I want to be a pirate


Eh, why not?

Please share your six words either in the comments or on your blog - be sure to use Mr. Linky below so we can all visit! And here's the code to link back with the shiny button if you like:



Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day

It's that time again! Except I really don't feel like going back through those resolutions. That alone should give you an idea how that's going.

Instead, let's look at how the blog is doing.

Popular searches:

Booty shots
Delaware
confessions of a woman driver
bum shaped cake
play pop out the bubbles and the scary face pops up

Disappointing. Not a single hit for robot armadillos. Also, no visitors from Wyoming, West Virginia, or Delaware. Where ARE you people?

April's Wordle:


And an update: The spatulas have been found. My sanity? Not so much.

Please come back tomorrow for Six Word Saturday!