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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog Fodder

Last night, my pal B was having a rough time. As someone who hasn't been a regular cook in the past, she made an effort, only to be thwarted by the rest of her family acting like 12-year-olds and not eating her yummies. From there, she got all down on herself thinking the food sucked. To my untrained culinary thinking, she did it all right and then some.

I found myself telling her to blog about it. "There is no crying in blogging - just blog fodder!". I promised I'd make a blogger of her yet.

It's odd how differently I find myself looking at certain situations. When I woke up from my endoscopy, clear-brained and fine, I was disappointed - I thought I was guaranteed at least two posts by having the anesthesia! Where was my crazy?

On the day of the Eternabus tour, I found my spirits higher than they should've been knowing I could later blog about it. Stupidity at work? Jot it down and turn it into a post.

So here's to the weirdos in line at the grocery store, the man in the hat on the train, and the nurse who misreads your test results! You may make life temporarily uncomfy but at least you're good for a post!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My living (green) hell

Joe's latest purchase is this thing that came recommended from the Wall Street Journal. And if there's one thing to be known about Joe, he does NOT argue with the WSJ. And if there's one other thing to be known about Joe, it's that his favorite color and philosophy are both green.

Anyways, this purchase sucks. I don't understand it exactly but I thought it was one of those lights or something you wear on your head when you're going coal-mining. Which, well, isn't a regular activity of ours. Turns out we had to hook it up to the electric meter outside while risking life and limb, dodging dive-bombing bees and neighborhood ninjas children. And now it tells us how much power is being used in the house at any given time.

So then if you're a math major genius data analyzer guru like Joe, you can actually tell how much power is being used by any one specific appliance.
Joe: OMG, what did you just turn on?
me: The lights in the bathroom.
Joe: They made it jump to 14!!!
me: What do you want me to do, shower in the dark?
Joe: Let me replace those bulbs.
me: The energy efficient ones are ugly in these fixtures!
Ten minutes later -
Joe: OMG, what are you doing?
me: Drying my hair?
Any advice how to accidentally dismantle this thing undetected? It may save my marriage. Or at least my legs because I'm not that good at shaving unassisted by the magical powers of sight.

PS - I'm mostly kidding because I <3 my husband most of the time and he's NOT quite this uptight about it. Plus, I do support his saving the planet - I'm kinda partial to living on it. But I still think those bulbs in that particular fixture are an unacceptable amount of fugly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to fit in at the office

Every office has at least one. Maybe it's you in which case you shouldn't tell me it's you because we won't be able to be friends anymore. The co-worker who constantly takes time off because their kid is sick, their kid forgot their lunch, their kid is playing a thumb in the school play.

In my office, only the one co-worker (let's call him Jed) has kids. If Jed's not leaving early, coming in late, or taking a long lunch for some kid-related happening, he's talking to them or the wife on the phone all day. It's distracting when he's there and limiting when he's not because the rest of us have to cover the office.

Joe has one of these as well - in his case a single mom. Part of me wants to applaud her for setting boundaries and putting her daughter first. And part of me wants to build a case to fire her and get Joe some actual help because on top of her short workdays and frequent absences, she also sucks at her job. It's hard to cheer her on for turning down 6pm meetings because of her daughter when it just ends up being one more thing Joe has to cover when his plate is already full enough.

Anyways, this is just a long way of getting to the point of this post - finally, we have a solution. Business Week magazine had a brief write-up in their most recent issue about a product called The Office Kid.

It's actually a little kit complete with a framed picture of a random kid (you specify gender and ethnicity), original artwork, and a welcome letter that includes starter excuses! For a small fee, you can order additional original artwork and doctor's notes on realistic stationary!

Rather than spend the $20 on a one-time photo though, I think it would be more realistic if I can borrow someone's actual kid - that way I can get updated photos. Anyone out there want to help me out? In return, I'll send your kid a birthday card every year with a crisp new $1 bill in it. I'm generous like that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

World Tourism Day

In addition to other "odd" holidays (Ancestor Appreciation Day, Gold Star Mother's Day, National Good Neighbor's Day, World Heart Day), today is also World Tourism Day. Their theme for 2009 is "Celebrate Diversity".

So let's talk international travel. I have no idea if that's what they want us to do today but that's what I want to do. And it's my blog so I win.

I haven't done much international travel but I've enjoyed the little bit I have done. I've been to Western Europe twice - Paris, London, Dublin, western Ireland. Oh, and Canada? Does Canada count? For anything? Besides beer? Not the most diverse countries ever but it's what I've got to work with.

Both trips to Europe have been great. I love taking in new cities, exploring the architecture, food, people. Growing up, I hated history (too many dead people and I had enough of that in my personal present without delving into the past) but I've found that I really enjoy learning about days gone by when I can see and feel it.

Oddly, I think I found more diversity on a few of my US travels than abroad but that's a function of where I've gone and sticking to mostly tourist areas. I found San Francisco to be amazingly diverse - and not just accepting of that diversity but encouraging it as well.

London is probably my favorite city abroad so far. It always feels comfortable and homey to me and even though I'm a complete freak an anxious traveler, it doesn't take me too long to settle back into London.

Our next international trip, maybe in late Spring of 2010, is likely to be back to London and then wandering a bit on the Mediterranean - Spain, Italy, southern France. We've also talked about South America - Argentina, Chile, Brazil.

What about you? In honor of World Tourism Day, what's your favorite city abroad and why?

Saturday, September 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.

My six words:
Can't expect results without hard work

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, September 25, 2009

Not Responsible

Stay back 200 feet - Not Responsible for broken windshields
I saw that on the back of a big construction truck on the way to work and it made me think. WHY are they not responsible? Just because they said so? If they aren't properly securing their load, isn't that negligent on their part? I'd think it takes more than a little painted message to absolve them of responsibility.

Roadway not properly maintained - Not Responsible if bridge collapses

Chicken not cooked to temperature - Not Responsible if you become ill
What "Not Responsible" sign would you like? I think mine would be:
In a bad mood - Not Responsible if I punch you in the face
Personal responsibility is WAY overrated.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lovely shades of beige

Know what makes me want to barf? (well, one thing, because there are a lot of things that make me want to barf) Home staging shows. You know, the ones where some cute little chick tells you that nobody is going to buy your house if your dining room is red. Or if you have a bucket of cat toys in the corner.

Guess what? My dining room is red! And when we put it on the market, I am *NOT* painting it beige. When we bought this house, the dining room was deep purple. The living room was minty green. The master bedroom was aqua. There were wallpaper borders. We bought it anyways. *gasp* Take THAT Lisa LaPorta!

When we were looking for a place, we saw some horrendous wallpaper. Disgusting tile. Putrid wall colors. We even saw photos of families and buckets of toys! Yet somehow we managed to look past those things to issues like floorplans, flow, overall condition, neighborhood.

People aren't nearly as stupid as television tries to make us. So IN YO FACE, HGTV.

Anyone with me?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Planning ahead

The Fall television season is upon us. Welcome back, old friends. Amazing Race, The Mentalist, The Office & 30 Rock, Mythbusters. I've missed you so! Perhaps I'll make new friends with Flash Forward or Glee. (Though Glee is already looking to be on my nerves so maybe not.)

In our home, we are well-prepared. The DVR is clear of leftover summer cable fillers like Mystery Diagnosis, Haunted, and Chopped. The big television is in working order. And Joe has arranged for our futon to be donated to Goodwill today.

Wait, what?

The facts are these (oh how sad I am for no return of Pushing Daisies) - Joe decided that since we were donating the loveseats downstairs (that we replaced with the Recliners of Death), he'd also have them take the futon at the same time. It's not in great shape, a Kmart special from 1998 in our first apartment and we did talk about replacing it. However, the futon is our only furniture in the tv-watching room.

Never fear, on Saturday Joe also ordered a new futon for that room. It will be delivered to the house in four to six weeks.

Anyone else see any issue with this? It could be the "four to six weeks" part. Am I wrong in thinking it was a bit of a planning failure?

Way to prepare for the Fall tv season. You can tell who rules the remote in our house - and who apparently feels furniture is completely optional.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My least favorite season

Ahh, the change of seasons... From "sweat my balls off" (not that I even have balls) to "election season".

Ha, you thought this was going to be a post about the first day of Fall, didn't you?

On the drive to work yesterday morning, I noticed it almost immediately. Overnight, little candidate yard signs had been hard at work procreating and littering the streets. Red, blue, green, they were in every direction like an exploded monkey piñata.

I just don't get the point of these signs. Besides being ugly and a waste of materials that just end up in landfills or streams, they really serve no purpose except to appease hot neighbors.

Really, since "green" is important to me, I think I'm going to start counting signs for each candidate. Then I'll vote for the one with the least amount of crap spewing forth on my streets.

Pumpkin spice lattes, colored leaves, and political yard signs. Yep, it's definitely Fall.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seventeen Hours

In seventeen hours, you can:
  • fly from my home to Sydney, Australia
  • drive from my home to Tulsa, OK
  • do the wild thing (not counting warm-ups) 146 times
  • climb all 1576 stairs of the Empire State Building 106.7 times
  • ride "Small World" at Disney World 75.6 times
  • watch 11.2 regulation NHL games (not counting stoppages in play or tv timeouts)
  • run the NYC Marathon at fastest ever speed 6.7 times
  • watch Titanic 5.25 times
Or... You can take the Eternabus tour (thank you @dpringle) from San Franscisco to Yosemite National Park. During that seventeen hours you shall spend:
  • one hour waiting for the bus which shows up late to your hotel
  • one hour (30 minutes each way) at a grocery store for food and bathroom
  • thirteen hours on the rickety bus with no shocks
  • three hours in Yosemite National Park
Seriously. We knew it would be a long day but that's absolutely ridiculous. You can bet we aren't going to recommend the Total Yosemite Experience to anyone. And if we had it to do over again? Not so much.

P.S. Thank to Joe for helping out with this post. Because I suck at math, even when sober. Which I wasn't when I wrote this. And neither was he. But he's such a total dork that he can do math even when sloshed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

If you want something done...

Today's post is super-late.  And I'm going to use it for a bit of a rant. Thanks in advance for either indulging me or clicking the back button.

Joe and I are on a committee together at church (don't ask about church, that's a whole OTHER post because they don't seem so much interested in us as they are our checkbooks and so we don't show up very often and nobody ever contacts us to see how we're doing but you can be damn sure we'll get a reminder that our financial pledge is outstanding). It's the Green Committee, formed about two years ago.

Here's how the committee works. Joe agreed to co-chair with Fred, since Joe doesn't really have as much time to commit as he felt was necessary. Fred shows up to about half the meetings, doesn't let Joe know that, nothing. I ended up with the position of secretary because I nicely volunteered.

When we actually have a meeting, it doesn't matter if 2 people show up or if 30 people show up, it always turns out the same. Ideas are discussed. Great ideas are suggested. Then we ask who would like to follow-up on that idea.




I take the notes and mark that Joe will follow-up. Or I will follow-up. We had a meeting today and of 10 action items to come out of the meeting, every single one is marked with either my name or Joe's next to it.

WTH, people? Is your life so damn busy you can't commit to a bit of research? A phone call? Because I can tell you that Joe's life is WAY busy but you happily let everything fall to him. I had no idea being co-chair meant doer of everything.

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that we can't get the actual church to cooperate (eww, no, you can NOT put recycle bins there, they aren't pretty enough) when our own committee members can't be bothered.

And where's Fred? Slacker.

Yeah, I'm done ranting now. Thanks.

P.S. I'm beginning to think the fat lip I came home with after my endoscopy is not so much a fat lip as it is nerve damage to my lower lip. Awesome. Let's add that to the list of crap to deal with, huh? Right behind researching cellphone donation and adopt-a-stream, and don't forget that your pledge for 2009 is outstanding - feel free to increase the amount if you like, you can afford it!

Saturday, September 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.

My six words:
Everything went fine, waiting for results

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, September 18, 2009

Déjà Vu

Today, I'm having an endoscopy. For the most part, I'm not too worried. I've had one before (back in 2007) and it wasn't too bad. But what's fun is the sedation. To give you a feel for what today will be like for me (and mostly for Joe), I'm going to link to a post from January: SWYMM: Anesthesia Edition. That post will probably be new to a lot of you.

If you're looking for more new content today, please check out Never Fall Away (my somewhat creative blog) and Feast My Face (my food blog).

Or join me on Twitter. Because when I'm semi-conscious, who knows what I'll end up babbling.

Have a great Friday and come back tomorrow for Six Word Saturday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lost in Translation

I think I'm one of about four people in the world that didn't like that movie. Joe and I were so bored, waiting for something to happen. And the whole point was that nothing happens? If I want to be bored, I'll live my own life thankyouverymuch. And what did she whisper in his ear at the end? I'm fairly certain it was "can you believe these morons paid to see this dreck?" or maybe that's just what I was thinking.

Anyways, this post is not about that awful movie. This post is about Google Voice. See the connection? Google Voice does some cool stuff but one of the features involves emailing you a transcript of voicemail messages. Sometimes this is very helpful! Sometimes it is not.
Process of area fluffy fluffy fluffy fluffy that. Hey I. I mean.
This is a test message we left ourselves when we were doing research for Winey Wednesday. It was something about Tonya is a very fluffy fluffy fluffy fluffy cat. Followed by something I absolutely cannot remember.
Hello, I'm calling with Organizing for America special project of the Democratic National Committee. I'm calling to invite you to a rally in support of the bombers call for health insurance reform. The president need do to make your voice heard. I really need to reform he paid for by the Democratic National Committe, not authorize by any candidates or Janet. It's Committee.
So let me get this straight. They've mistakenly called Obama the bomber. Or is Google Voice run by conservatives? I'd love for reform to be paid for by the DNC or anyone else not named Cate & Joe for that matter. And I have no idea who Janet is so her authorization probably wouldn't mean a whole lot to me anyways.
You can, and all my presented the temporarily. Please if you have a customers. Please continue to hold briefly and apologize for the deadline. You'll be connecting to the moment. Please continue to hold briefly hello.
This one makes me think Joe may have applied for The Bachelor without my knowledge. Connecting to the moment? Maybe if the briefly hello goes well, they can go on a journey together, leading to the most shocking rose ceremony EVER!!!

And finally, my favorite by far, which arrived just in time for this post:
Hi, This message is for Kate, This is the endoscopy Center calling to remind you of your appointment on Friday, September 18th. Your appointment is at 8. Hey then. Please arrive 1 hour prior to your scheduled appointment time. You must have a responsible adult with you to receive discharge instructions and to drive you home if you have a good day. Please be sure to bring that with you when you come. You are scheduled at our Location located at 401 North West Scary Parkway if you had any questions, please call 93741524. A copy of your patience, right. Please call or visit our website.
So let me make sure I've got all this - they started out well with my time and date, even though they do spell my name wrong. Hey then! And if I have a good day (IF?!?!?!), a responsible adult must be there to bring me home. I should bring that (the responsible adult?) with me. Guess I'll take Joe. Also, their location is actually on Kerry Parkway, not Scary Parkway. Yes, I'm a bit afraid now about my appointment on Friday.

For the most part, I really like the service (no, this is not a paid advertisement). It allows me to call people for free and usually the voicemail transcripts are helpful enough that I can at least tell who called without actually listening to the message. Still, it seems there is plenty of room for improvement.

Much like that sucktastic movie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don't mock my dreams

A while back, I went to the library. The book I wanted had finally come in. Within ten minutes of receiving the notification email, I was at their desk to pick it up. I wasn't taking any chances that they'd give it away!

However, I arrived so quickly that they had trouble locating it. While they searched, I picked up a few more books making my final selection three books about blogging and one fiction novel.
Librarian: You starting a blog?
me: I already have one.
Librarian: Oh, then why all the books?
me: I'm working towards world domination.
She gave me quite the look, like perhaps I was from the moon. Finally, she recovered.
Librarian: I saw Julie & Julia this weekend, the movie about the lady with the cooking blog.
me: Exactly! If she can have a movie, why not me?
Librarian: Have a nice day.
Why is it that our dreams make people uncomfortable? That kind of skepticism is what's kept me from pursuing so many of my dreams.

So what if the odds are stacked against us? So what if chances are slim we'll make it? Shouldn't we at least go down trying at something that interests us instead of playing it safe?

I wanted a career in marketing or public relations or writing. Instead, I let myself be talked into the safe bet - computer science. Results? A well-paying job that I dislike and it sucks my soul. A feeling that I missed out on something I should've at least tried at before admitting defeat.

All of my life, people have looked at me the same way as that librarian. People who should believe in me instead of contemplating a call to the guys in the white coats while willing me to pick the sensible route, choose the sure thing.

I'm tired of it. Screw that. I've gone that road for the last 10 years and I've had enough. Hence the recent brainstorming and talk of original ideas. I may fail but I'm going to at least to try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I'm going to make an attempt.

And you can all either laugh when I fall on my face or tell people you "knew me back when" when you see me rolling my eyes at Kathie Lee behind her back on Today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rusty's Big Surprise

Since I let the kitties post on their own once a month, I try to keep kitty talk to a minimum. I don't want to be the crazy cat lady who substitutes her pets for human children. This, however, seemed worthy of making an exception.

Rusty is a good kitty with very few exceptions - he likes to retaliate against Tonya's lack of hospitality by chasing her up the stairs attached to her tail, he smashes the blinds in the middle of the night so we'll open the windows, and he poos in the tub.

Yeah, ew, he poos in the tub. Not all the time, mind you. And it doesn't matter if his litter box is in dire need of cleaning, if it's just been scooped, or if it's a completely fresh box. He just randomly decides not to use it and instead hops over it (litter boxes are in the guest bathroom) to use the tub instead.

In the scheme of things, this could be a lot worse - he could barf in my shoes (oh wait, he already did that once). But still, I'd really rather he use the litter box like a proper puddy tat.

We've tried yelling, we've tried scrubbing the tub until it's spotless, we've tried keeping the shower curtain closed. All to no avail. Suddenly, last Friday night, inspiration struck - the whole point of a bathtub is that it holds water. And cats HATE water! Joe immediately ran upstairs and filled the tub with about two inches of water.

The trap set, we waited. And waited. All evening we waited with no results. Off to bed we went, disappointed.

Then around 7am, I was jarred from my sleep by the most horrifying noise! What could that be? Were the cats killing each other? Had Tonya fallen off the stair ledge in her sleep (again)? As I ran up the stairs, the answer came flying down the stairs - Rusty, soaking wet, making a hasty retreat.

He spent quite awhile licking his stripey fur, drying off. And glaring at us. But he hasn't tried to use the tub since so we may have been successful. Now we spend our time praying to the Ceiling Cat of Cheezburgers that we haven't created a new problem by inspiring him to go somewhere else.

Wish us luck.

P.S. I want to make it VERY clear that Rusty was not hurt in any way and there was not enough water in there to be dangerous to him.

P.P.S. And even though I kinda laughed at him, I also felt really bad about doing it. So I hope it's all over now. Poor little dude.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's in a Name?

I feel bad for certain names - through no fault of their own, they inspire cringing, nausea, and chills.

For example, Alice. As a child, Alice conjured up images of the beautiful blond-haired blue-eyed Disney darling of Wonderland. Until I met my Gramma's friend Alice. Chain-smoking dragon-voiced Gremlin of the Campgounds.

I've also never met a Derek/Derrek/Derrick that has been of any use. Always coworkers, always lazy, whiny, selfish people.

And then there's the name Kanye. Okay, nevermind, that one's just going to always suck forever.

The one that really does me in though is my mother's name. Thankfully, it's not very common but the few I've met haven't done much to improve my opinion. I still can't see it or hear it without having a bit of a physical reaction.

That's why I was especially annoyed to deal with a lady of that name all weekend on Craiglist. We went back and forth via email several times - did I have a closeup of the loveseats, could I tell her the measurements, did we have dogs? - before she agreed to come at 6pm last night. At 6:30 she emailed me - oops, she completely forgot, could she come at 7:15 after her daughter washed her car? Yeah, sure, whatever. By 7:30 she had emailed again that she wasn't coming but if we could hold the loveseats until next weekend, she'd like to come see them at that time.


Thanks but no thanks, Lady With the Lousy Name. I'm tired of these stupid loveseats and Goodwill can have them as soon as we can arrange a time for pick-up. I should've known from the start that anyone with that name would be a pain in the arse.

Are there names that you feel similarly about? I'm still rereading the Anne of Green Gables series and I can't find the exact quote but Anne talks a bit about living to beautify your name. I hope I'm not destroying Cate for people. All the fantastic Kanyes, Alices and Derricks in the world probably couldn't do enough to overcome the feelings I have about their names.

P.S. My apologies to any Kanyes, Alices and Derricks out there.
P.P.S. Actually, I'm probably pretty safe in saying screw the Kanyes because I think the numbers are in my favor there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Original Ideas

Do such creatures even exist?

Joe and I have been working on an escape plan for one or (hopefully) both of us but every time we come up with an idea, it turns out it's been done before. I'm easily frustrated by this while he's more of a don't-give-up, keep-looking kind of guy.

Anyone have a truly genius idea they just don't have time to work on? I promise I'd give it a good home, whisper sweet nothings in its ear, buy it dinner. I'll even thank you in my memoirs when I'm rich and famous. And send you a fruit basket in appreciation!

P.S.: I hit 200 followers! I mean, I didn't punch them in the face. At least not all of them. Only the ones who deserved it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

I want to assure you all that even though I didn't comment like I usually do, I did visit each and every one of your entries last week. Thanks so much for playing while I was away! This week, back to "normal".

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.

My six words:
I sense Fall is lurking nearby

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, September 11, 2009

Twelve Dollars

On our recent trip to San Francisco (I may be starting several posts like that so please indulge me just a wee bit), we encountered a lot of interesting folks on the street. Most of the people asking for money simply sat on the sidewalk with a sign encouraging people to give or not give without much intrusion. My favorite was the guy with the dog (dog was wearing sunglasses) and his sign asked for money so he could buy a cheeseburger for the canine. I wasn't fooled by that though - everyone knows it's cats who eat cheeseburgers.

There were, however, exceptions to the hands-off approach. One guy was so in my space that it made me afraid. Another practically jumped Joe at the ATM. A third was preaching the love of Jesus so aggressively that I was pretty sure his "hero" as he kept calling him would punch me in the face if I didn't declare my devotion.

And then there was the man that approached us as we were walking back to the hotel on Thursday night. He was dressed reasonably well and told us that he had been taking Greyhound buses across the country. He was on his way home to Alaska but had left his ATM card in a machine earlier that day in LA. He had a cellphone but was unable to reach his parents. However, the bank was sending him a replacement card the next day. His intent was to stay in a hostel for the night but he was $12 short. He assured us that he wasn't crazy or homeless, just that he had fallen on a bit of bad luck.

Joe felt compassion, as Joe often does. He gave the man not $12 but $13. Everybody "awwwww"...

Except, and I didn't say anything which I later regretted, I felt reasonably certain Joe had been taken this time. It seemed we'd never know so there was no point in raining on Joe's parade if it made him feel warm and fuzzy.

Let's now fast-forward to Sunday morning. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you will recognize Sunday as "The Day of the Bus Ride To and From Hell Via the Scenic Route With the World's Suckiest Tour Guide EVER". Look for a post on the "Eternabus" (tm @dpringle) coming soon. Anyways, Joe jetted off for the ATM while I waited (and waited and waited) for the tour bus to pick us up. During my wait, I was approached by a familiar face.

"Hi, I'm on my way back to Alaska via Greyhound but I left my ATM card in the machine yesterday in LA and I can't reach my parents. I'm supposed to receive a new card today but in the meantime I wanted to go to a hostel for some rest and a shower. Could you help? I'm $12 short. Also, I'm not crazy or homeless, I just had some bad luck."

Oh, really?!?!?

I could've/should've just said no and walked away but could've/should've is so dull I couldn't quite let it go. I told him we had already given him $13 a few nights before and asked what he'd done with that. I told him no way was I giving him any more money because he was a lying liar that lies! I wanted to tell him it was a good thing he couldn't reach his mom and dad on that fake cellphone because they would be ashamed of him but I'm not a completely cruel person as soon as he realized I wasn't giving him a handout, he turned and walked away. This left me yelling on the sidewalk like a lunatic. But dammit, I was going to speak up! And speak up I did.

I'd like to say I felt better afterwards but that wouldn't be entirely true. Mostly because I now regretted my earlier decision to not speak up - on Thursday night when I wanted to tell Joe I thought he'd just been bamboozled. Because now I had totally bungled my opportunity to say "I told you so!" when Joe returned.

And that's the real bummer to me. Not the loss of $13 but the loss of the "I told you so." Best wife ever, right here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Step Back

Being a bit disconnected during vacation made me realize a few things.
  • My life is SO full of noise. I need to learn to be more discerning.
  • My work environment sucks my soul. I need to respond to it differently and I need to focus on an escape plan.
  • My work duties do not feed me. I need to incorporate more creativity elsewhere.
  • My health has to be a priority. I need to make some major changes.
So now I need to figure out how to make this happen in my day-to-day life. I was in a dark bad place prior to this trip and I refuse to let myself slide back to how I felt before.

Hold me to it, folks. I need to organize and create a plan of attack. But mostly, I just need to do.

Promise, more interesting post tomorrow. It's taking a bit to find the blogging groove again.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home from San Francisco late last night. It was after midnight before we made it back from the airport after a very long day of travel that involved an all-day headache for me. But we're safely home with all of our luggage (and wine!).

Seems I took 1063 photos while we were away. Joe only took 679 because he's not as cool as me his camera battery wimped out a few times. I'll be posting them all soon and expecting you to comment on each and every one. Totally kidding - I only expect you to comment on mine, not his.

I must say that I'm feeling quite happy that he was able to talk me into taking today off after arriving home so late. Bags are not unpacked (except the wine - had to make sure it arrived safely because our priorities are totally in order), fridge is empty, and I have some catching up to do.

Vacation was fantastic and I didn't really want to come home but now that I'm here, I'm glad to return to some sort of routine. Perhaps it will feel a bit fresher than before the trip. Let's hope, right?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


While killing time working diligently on a project at work, I chatted with SomeMonkey. She, in turn, was cleaning papers off her desk at home that hadn't been dealt with in a couple of years.
SomeMonkey: oh no
there's a baby announcement in here
me: uh oh
you had a baby!?!?!?
someone wanted to give you one??!?!
SomeMonkey: hell to the no
me: wait
why didn't you send me a gift for my baby?!?!
SomeMonkey: psh
me: i kept waiting for you to acknowledge it
SomeMonkey: had i SEEN it, i wouldn't have sent a gift
me: not even for MY baby?
wow, you are SO not my BFF anymore
SomeMonkey: okay
a) you're not having a baby at the moment, crack head
b) you are not the one who sent this
To which I say - Oh YEAH?!?!

Because really I didn't have much of a comeback. Damn.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Q: Is this really necessary?

A: No, no it is not.

P.S. Thanks for nothing, Germans.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Trip Check-in

Hello all! I'm having a fantastic time in San Francisco so far. Today we're on an all-day bus tour to Yosemite.

I've really only had one meltdown and that was when I thought it would be a good idea to head back to the coast last night. Turns out fog had moved in so not only was the sun hiding but so were the roads. Joe managed to return us safely to civilization with only minor spazzing (from me).

A little birdy tells me there were at least 70 Six Word Saturday linkies. I can't wait to visit them when I have internet access again. I've been relying on Gwen for access and she doesn't display the linkies OR play well with Blogger comments. (In fact, I'm posting this by email/Gwen so I hope it looks okay.)

If you're interested in a few pics, check out my Twitter feed. You can find the link over to the right of my page. There are a few photos as well as other random trip babbles.

Otherwise, look for trip posts after I return late Tuesday. Like, not right after because it will be late and as much as I love and miss you all, I might do the sleep thing before posting.

So behave and accept my apologies for late replies to comments and tardy visits to your blogs. And just know that I'm having a fantastic and much-needed good time.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Note: I'm currently on vacation so it's very doubtful I'm going to get around to all of your entries until much later. But I will eventually get there! I debated not having 6WS this week but I figured you can all still have fun without me. So play nice and I'll be around at some point!

You know what to do by now - describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here.

My six words:

So much to see and do!

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, September 04, 2009

Furst Friday: Interview Part 2

Tonya, of course, had to hog "First Fursday" so here I am completing my half of your interview questions on Friday. Hope you're all still out there. I'd be really sad if nobody reads my post today.

Moxie: Have you guys ever hacked up a hairball in your mommy's shoes before? If not, have you considered trying it?

Hairballs are much more Tonya's department than they are mine. Have you seen her fur? In the past few weeks though, I did gobble down my crunchies too fast one day and puked them in long-haired human's sandal. She wasn't very impressed with me but it was totally an accident. If I don't eat fast, Tonya steals my breakfast!

Anonymous - Cats often seem to hear or see things that people don't. Since your kitties are so communicative, please ask them if they can see or hear ghosts...? Hey, wouldn't it be fun for those Ghost Hunters to take along their kitties!! ... Eeeks!!! And do they have psychic abilities? Kitties always know who doesn't like them, that's always who they 'go for' too.

For someone with no name, you sure posted a really long question. ;) Tonya and I definitely see things the humans don't seem to notice. Sometimes these turn out to be bugs and eventually the humans squash them. But sometimes, I see this nice little old lady in the bonus room and she scratches my ears. I think she lives under the stone in the backyard.

As for psychic abilities, Tonya only seems to have psycho abilities. We both seem to be skilled in reading people but who wouldn't love us? Especially me.

Strange Mamma: When everyone's at work, do you surf the web looking for new LOLhumans? You know, like "I can has catnip!".

My humans usually lock up the computers because we tend to spill things on them. I dream of being famous enough for that cheezburger site some day.

Quilly: Please share your favorite recipe.

We aren't allowed to have access to knives or fire so we don't do much cooking. As for eating, I just chomp down whatever Tonya leaves behind. I guess my favorite recipe would be:
one human
one Rusty

Use one human to scratch gently behind the ears until Rusty reaches purring point. Maintain position indefinitely.

Blognut: Ask them what annoying habits their humans have, and promise not punish them for being honest!

Long-haired human says you are a bad influence. What does that mean? Mostly it's only the short-haired human with annoying habits but they're both guilty of leaving their shoes out where I can barf in them. They also lock me inside instead of letting me on my porch. But by far their most annoying habit is this thing they do called "travel". They're doing it right now and it leaves me alone with Tonya. The world is a scary place without my humans.

Rena: Would either of your cats look evil with a mustache, or would they vaguely resemble a janitor?

I think Tonya's too fluffy to ever resemble a janitor (and she always looks evil) but with the right overalls and hat, I could totally rock that look. Especially with the mustache.

It's been fun, humans. Now I must return to my nap and dream that my humans will soon return to me. Do you know when they're coming home? Please tell me it will be soon - Tonya's taking all the good sleepy spots and not leaving me much to eat. I may starve to death!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

First Fursday: Interview Part 1 (and Part BEST!)

For this edition of First Fursday, our long-haired human asked her readers for questions. Since there were so many great questions, I'm going to answer half of them today and Rusty will answer the leftovers (in the order they were submitted) tomorrow.

Lora: Do they ever not use the litterbox?

I am a champion litter-box user. Rusty sometimes has issues though - he likes to poo in the tub. I don't quite get it myself - it's a lot of effort to jump over the side of the tub when the litter box is only two feet away. The vet says he's just expressing his displeasure about something. Maybe Prop8 or global warming.

Comedy Goddess: What's it like to have 9 lives?

We have no idea how many lives Rusty has since he came from the streets. I keep hoping he's about out because I really don't like having him around. In that way, I think having 9 lives sorta sucks. But for me, it's great. I've only used one or two so I'm pretty sure I'm going to live forever.

Andy: Does mummy ever give you catnip for her own amusement? if not, maybe you should ask for some so that the next time her and the short haired human go away for the weekend the hours will just fly by!

Oh, I know you - you're the president of my fan club! Hello there! We're not allowed to have catnip unsupervised. Something to do with puking in shoes and me on top of the fireplace mantle? However, catnip is part of our traditional Christmas activities. After playing with the papers and ribbons, humans sit back and cut us loose with new druggy toys. It's a good life.

Pooba - Do they rub against every doorway in the house? All the corners on my doorways are black from the cats rubbing up against them! Seriously, do you have to rub against everything?

Yes, yes we do have to rub against everything. Perhaps if you would wash your cats every so often, they wouldn't leave grime everywhere. Of course, I only suggest this if you are referring to Rusty. Or any other cat who is not me.

Beth: Favorite food?

Myself, I'm a big fan of most of the classics but some of my more non-traditional picks include pumpkin, whipped cream, honey ham (which is bad for me) and salad greens. Rusty eats cat food and spiders.

Betty: How do they feel about dogs? friend or foe??

Tasty with ketchup? I haven't had much experience with dogs. They smell funny and make a lot of noise, sort of like children. I tend to hide under the bed in those situations. Rusty plays fetch so I think he'd actually like your dog. He's weird like that.

Tomorrow, I have to let Rusty use the computer to answer his questions. Ladies first though so I'll be sleeping in. I'm sure he won't be nearly as interesting as me but he generally isn't.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Running Amok

Hello everyone! As you read this, your pal Cate is running away to join the circus going into hiding with SisterFriend at the convent off to spend a week in San Francisco!

Thanks to my new BFF Gwen (aka my BlackBerry Tour) I will be somewhat connected. But for the next six days, I shall be Blogging Without Obligation. Sure, there will be a post of some sort up each day but responding to comments and reading your blogs is going to take a bit of a backseat to this:

and this:

and most definitely this:

Wish me luck - this is my biggest trip since making the acquaintance of my other BFF Lexie (aka my little quite anti-anxiety pills). Joe and I have been looking forward to this for quite awhile so I'm really hoping to make the most of it.

P.S. No good trying to rob my house while we're away. The guard-kitties are on duty. As well as our sweet little cat sitter and her big burly husband.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I could be on Mystery Diagnosis

Sorry I'm so late with the post this morning but I thought I'd bring you all up-to-speed on the joy that is Cate's Medical Experiment.

Herpes Toe is 90% better. The doctor will confirm it's completely clear later this month.

Anxiety has been not too bad lately though it seems I've moved on to depression. However, last night I had my first severe anxiety attack since going on the meds almost a year ago. I thought we were done with that craziness... However, it kept me up until 3am before I could obtain enough control to go to sleep.

Recliners of not death were delivered yesterday and all is well but if Rusty tries to claw them one more time I'm going to make a rug out of him. Also, for the amount of time I was able to spend in them, I slept reasonably well.

Reflux stuff is moving forward towards some sort of result I suppose. The 24hr pH test definitely showed reflux (duh). In addition to ordering blood drawn for a thyroid panel (which resulted in me blacking out), the ENT referred me to a gastroenterologist (who shall henceforth be called Dr Endo). I met Dr Endo this morning and he is awesome (bonus - he has a hot male nurse). He's scheduled an endoscopy for later in the month and depending on the results of that he may want to repeat the horrid 24hr pH study while I'm still taking the meds. Ugh, seriously. Bad news is that after reviewing my information, he's afraid I might be a good candidate for surgery but good news is that he's going to do everything possible to be damn sure surgery will actually fix the problem before we do that.

So that's what's new with your pal Cate. Anyone have a spare body they want to donate to me? Preferably living. And hot.

Sorry this wasn't the most exciting post, especially since you had to wait so long for it. They can't all be winners.

P.S. I would never make a rug out of Rusty. He's far too small. Maybe a hat.