Get your Show My Face and 6WS buttons HERE!

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Not Here! (But I Am)

Ahh, overnight flights. I'm sure that as you read this, I'm a loopy crazy jet-lagged mess. Poor Joe. Our flight was scheduled to leave the US around 6pm and arrive in London around 7am, serving up some crap food and a lot of noise that makes it impossible to sleep along the way. We did use a bunch of airline miles to upgrade to first class for the trip over so maybe it wasn't so bad. Anyways, two days, two nights in London before we hop along to Barcelona.

What's that mean for the blog while I'm away? I've spent the last couple of weeks making sure you'll have fresh new posts here every day while I'm gone. You'll be enjoying reading all of the regularly-scheduled features such as First Fursday (brought to you by Rusty!) and Six Word Saturday. Next week, I have four guest posts for you! And in-between, I'll be sharing pre-written updates on our scheduled travel plans.

So even though I'm gone, you don't get a break from me. My obsession with new posts every day almost broke me but with some help from my friends (and my cat), we've made it happen.

That's how dedicated I am to you. You're welcome.

Now, quiet down, I'm trying to get some sleep over here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Have a Great Trip!

It's been awhile since I've blogged about the crazy that lives inside my mother. Lucky for us all, she emailed me last week so I have an opportunity to share!

I had emailed her first, actually, to make sure my sister knew about the recall on baby slings. I mentioned that we were busy preparing for our trip. So of course she told us to have a great time and to enjoy the trip had to assume we're going to die:
Do you guys have a will made out? Having an executor in case something did happen would make it easier for us.
Easier for them how exactly? Easier for them to make off with our stuff? Easier for them to get their hands on our cash?

Yes, Joe and I have Wills. We had them made up after we bought the house because it came to our attention that in our undisclosed location without a Will, despite the fact that we have been married for a gazillion years, my parents would actually be entitled to half of my estate.

What?!?! Oh, HELL no.

So yes, we made up Wills. If one of us goes before the other, it all goes to the surviving spouse. If we should die at the same time, it's specified differently:
  • I left money to have my body disposed of put where I want it to go.
  • I left small sums to each of my family members - enough for them to purchase airfare and accommodations to attend a small memorial service.
  • I left the rest to various charitable organizations.
Why can't I have a normal mother? The kind that tells you to have fun, take lots of pictures, bring them back an awesome souvenir? Why do I have to have the one that basically says I'm going to die so she wants to make sure she can get my stuff?

Fine, then. I'm not bringing back any cheap plastic tourist crap for her! Muchas nachos, indeed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm Done Running

This Saturday, the weather was nice and cool so Joe and I took off to the trail for a run. I hadn't run all week, spending my time instead preparing for the trip. However, the conditions were too perfect to pass up.

I was about half a mile in when I just decided I didn't want to run anymore. As in, not just for today. But anymore. Period.

When I started running again back in January, I was hopeful that maybe this would be the time I finally managed to reach my goal of a nice 5k. It's not a crazy goal by any means. I did okay until that guy ran over me with his pony, but then I lost my courage. And not long after that, I felt like my lungs were no longer able to provide my body with the oxygen it needs.

You see, I'm carrying a lot of extra weight right now. And running with that is frustrating. My pace and progress are far inferior to other times I've done the c25k program. And the more times I find myself frustrated and cutting short a run, the more I think of the calories I could be burning doing other cardio activities.

A wise woman (C. Beth) wrote a post almost a month ago that really made an impression. It was called "Do I Really Want That?" and encouraged readers to think about their "I'd like to..." statements.

I keep saying "I want to run" but do I really? I see the benefits that Joe derives from his running - stress release, peace, weight management - and I want those things. My biggest reason for doing any kind of exercise though is to lose weight - and running really isn't doing that for me.

At least, not right now. I stopped running on Saturday and talked with Joe for quite a bit on the long walk back to the car about why I didn't want to run anymore. He shared that he and his running buddies had a similar conversation recently about how none of them are interested in being elite runners - they just want to fit as many miles into their life as possible and enjoy it. Not everyone has the same goals. He's awesomely supportive - running with me when I want to, encouraging me to instead go to the gym if that will make me happier.

And so, after the trip, I'm heading back to the gym. I'm going to make good friends again with the elliptical. I'm going to spend quality time with my recumbant bike at home. I'm going to take long walks with my husband after dinner.

But I'm done running.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring

Welcome to another edition of "Cate is trying to spend a little less time blogging so she can experience life and therefore have more to blog about".

Spring has officially sprung at Casa de Cate. Last Saturday, to mark the official entry of the season, two hornets made an unofficial entry into my living room. Since it seems all the creepy-crawly creatures are making their way back into our lives, I'm sharing a post called Mr. Rogers Didn't Live In My 'Hood. No, I don't know why I opted to call it that. But I did. Deal with it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

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.

You'll have to forgive me, please

I feel really bad about this but I'm not going to be able to visit your entries this week. Preparing to leave on vacation this Tuesday just isn't going to give me enough time. I'm sorry - it was either this or a nervous breakdown, which I'm already on the verge of with the upcoming travel. Instead, I'm going to encourage each of you to visit at least the two links ahead of yours and leave them a comment.

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!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating). I do eventually make it around to all entries. Some weeks it takes longer than others but I will get there eventually. Please be patient with me!



Friday, March 26, 2010

Random Stuff

I'm so scattered right now, trying to accomplish eleventy bajillion things and probably failing at most of it. So today, you get random bits of the stuff inside my head.
  • The Google Group for my subdivision spent all day Wednesday emailing back and forth about wildlife making mating and sex noises in the woods behind their houses...
  • ...except for the neighbor who noted it was Spring and that meant snakes and included a photo of a snake he had run over in his garage.
  • Someone at work hates the gov't-provided soap. I don't blame them - it's gross. They bring in a free-standing handsoap from Bath & Body Works. The latest selection? It's called Sensual. I mean, it's lovely. But for WORK?
  • Remember that time when I said everyone in my department at work ordered bbq from a church fundraiser but I didn't and then I had to sit around and smell it while they ate? Not this year - I ordered my own, thankyouverymuch.
  • Any dream interpreters here? I keep dreaming about my infant niece, Caley, and how insanely hard I'm trying to cradle her head so I don't break her neck. What's that about?
That's all I've got right now. Come back tomorrow for Six Word Saturday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Be careful what you ask for

On Monday, I sent a "second notice" to my committee at work in order to remind them that I will be out after this week. They need to send me their requests by this Friday or they'll have to wait until I return.

This has brought on a deluge in my Inbox. Somehow, I've had more requests in two hours than I've had total for the last month. Now, I'm only going to be gone for 8 working days. This isn't a particularly busy time of year for us. So how can I possibly have MORE work in this amount of time than I had for the entire month of March combined?

No wonder I need a vacation.

So, yes, be careful what you ask for - you just might get it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reading Suggestions

You probably haven't been keeping up with my bookshelf, which is fine because I created that list more for me. But all of the books currently "on the shelf" are actual paper books, which is lovely, but I need to download a few titles to my Kindle for our trip.

I'm asking for your book suggestions. You can check out my bookshelf link above to see the kinds of things I'm interested in. In addition, I give you these bits of guidance:
  • I need something easy to read in small, interrupted chunks (like in an airport, on a train, etc)
  • I love suspense, crime, and detective stories but I can't stand Janet Evanovich despite my Sue Grafton love
  • I tend to like James Patterson (Women's Murder Club) and Dean Koontz
  • I love a good ghost story
  • I'm not at all into sci-fi
  • I love a good biography if it's more of a story than an introspective of what makes them tick (if that makes sense)
  • I enjoy reading an occasional young adult novel
  • The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield) is an example of a book I adored
  • I'd prefer the book not be too heavy or dark
I think that about covers it. Any suggestions for me? Turns out my Kindle only has US wireless, not global (Joe bought it for me right after the second edition came out) so I need to do my downloading before next Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Handwriting Samples

I saw this over on fever, which is Lora's awesome blog. She says:
Supposedly you have the potential to tell a lot about a person if you can get a hold of a sample of her handwriting.
I've shared tiny bits of my handwriting before but this looked like fun AND it makes for an easy post. Plus, I'd love to see a sample of your handwriting.
The Rules:
write the following
1) Your name/blog name.
2) Right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous?
3) Favorite letters to write.
4) Least favorite letters to write.
5) Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
6) Write the following words in capital letters:
- CRAB
- HUMOR
- KALEIDOSCOPE
- PAJAMAS
- GAZILLION
7) Write your favorite song lyric.
8) Tag people!
9) Any special note or picture.



So, what do you think? Do I write like a doctor? A serial killer? A fourth grader? If you know anything about handwriting analysis, I'd love to hear what you think of mine. Also, let me know if you decide to play along - it's a neat peek into your lives that we don't often get to see.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dear Monday

Dear Monday -

Let's be clear. You are going to behave yourself from here on out because we are NOT off to a good start.

So far this morning, I've snapped at Joe (sorry) because I was running late for work. Shifted lanes due to road construction almost resulted in a dude in a truck side-swiping me. I broke my shoe. And the absence-request system at work has decided to deny my request for a medical appointment tomorrow.

However, if the rest of the day runs smoothly, without attitude, without breakage, without the return of last night's headache, I will consider it all forgiven. Bonus points if my 4pm meeting goes in my favor.

Thanks for listening,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry, by me

For today's episode of "Phoning It In By Posting Links to Old Crap or Monkeys", I'm going to link you to one of my other blogs, Never Fall Away. It's where I like to occasionally indulge my creative side though I haven't posted much lately.

Here's a link to a rare poem I wrote a bit back. Even rarer than the fact that I felt inspired to write a poem? Eight months later, I still kinda like it. Listening to a House

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Bonus!  Playing 6WS counts as an entry for a blog makeover but the giveaway ends TODAY at 8pm EST.  Check out TMC @ Return to Rural for details on this and other ways you can enter for a little Spring cleaning of the ole blog.

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.

finally finding my voice - about time!

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!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating). I do eventually make it around to all entries. Some weeks it takes longer than others but I will get there eventually. Please be patient with me!



Friday, March 19, 2010

Belonging

Earlier this week, we attended a hockey game. Because we are cheap would rather spend our money on beer than parking, we ditch the car far away from the arena and walk in. We aren't alone in this, as evidenced by the large crowd we were walking with after the game finished.

Know how sometimes you're with someone in a group and you kinda get separated from each other while dodging traffic crossing the street or navigating stairs or something? And you're in the middle of a conversation and you just start talking again because you assume the same people are still with you?

There was this group of female students from a nearby university. You'd think they had been out clubbing rather than at a hockey game based on their shoes, the amount of cleavage, and their conversation about hooking up with this guy and that guy. They were what one might call "a hot mess" - the kind of girls you'd expect to see on-stage at a Pussycat Dolls show rather than at a hockey game.

As we emerged from the crosswalk, the crowd had been shuffled around. The blonde in front of me was still yapping away about the things she had done with some guy when she turns, looks at me and says "oh, you're SO not in my group!"

And in that moment, every dismissal I had faced at the hands of the popular kids in high school, every betrayal by a boyfriend for someone skankier hotter, every instance of self-doubt I had ever suffered punched me in the face.

No, I was SO not in her group.

And, as the years had taught me, thank goodness for that.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Super Joe Suffers an Injury

I've mentioned before that my husband, Joe, is a very busy man. His work creates a huge amount of time- and brain-strain but he does a great job and everyone loves him. Of course. Because he's Super Joe.

He may not be faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive but instead of x-ray vision, he has the ability to effectively conduct interviews while putting his phone on mute so the job applicant can't hear him slurp his lunch noodles at his desk. I had no idea it was possible to have an actual conversation while using mute but he has taught me that I was limiting my multi-tasking options without that magic button.

However, even Super Joe is human and poor housekeeping skills the Fates planetary alignment the universe has provided me with a great example earlier this week.

It was Monday night. I was slaving away over microwaving a dish from Emeril frozen vegetables while he grilled steaks for our dinner. That's when he stepped on a piece of glass. He hobbled to the table, rawring in great pain about the "massive chunk of glass" in his foot. Once he decided he couldn't find the infiltrator on his own, he asked me to chase down the tweezers and a flashlight. After a few minutes, I was able to latch onto the teensy bit of glass and remove it from his foot.

Of course, like a man, he wanted to see the offending particle, took the tweezers from me and promptly "accidentally" dropped it back on the floor. Right under my seat at the table. Brilliant.

He then spent 15 minutes washing the wound with peroxide, applied some ointment of some sort, and wrapped it all up in a bandaid. You'd think he broke his leg. Oooooh, the pain!!!

Before bed, he insisted he could still feel glass in there and asked me to check again in case it had worked itself loose. What if it got infected? What if he lost his foot? Laying on the bed, he stuck his foot up in the air for me to examine. I couldn't find the spot and asked where it was. "Under the bandaid!" Except there was no bandaid. "Oh, must've fallen off." I spent a few minutes poking around, found a spot that might've been it, but there was nothing there to tweeze so I gave up. He reapplied ointment and a bandaid.

The next evening, I asked him how his foot had been that day.
Joe: I found the bandaid.
me: Was it downstairs?
Joe: No. It was on my other foot.
me: Huh?
Joe: I gave you the wrong foot. The glass was in the other one.
me: So you ended up with a bandaid on both feet last night?
Joe: Yeah, I noticed when I got in the shower this morning.
Super Joe. I guess he just has too much on his mind to keep track of which foot is experiencing pain due to a major gash.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top of the Morning to You

Today is St. Patrick's Day. I wrote about it last year and there's really nothing to add. I won't be wearing green again this year though after being sick off and on since Monday I guess my skin has taken on a bit of a green pallor.

So grab yourself a pint of Guinness or a coffee with some Baileys or a potato and have a read. And have a lovely St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clarification about "Travelling"

In yesterday's post, I wrote this:
Also during my research, I ended up doing a lot of reading about hamsters.
The presence of low-level light at night also accelerates recovery rate in both east- and west-travelling hamsters of all ages by 50%; this is thought to be related to simulation of moonlight.
The problem is, I am neither an east- nor west-travelling hamster. And no, Mo, I am also not a north- or south-travelling hamster. Because I knew someone would ask and it would probably be him.

SomeMonkey My editor pointed out after I published that it should be "traveling" as opposed to "travelling". One L vs two.

I agree with her. Travel, traveling, traveled. I run into the same issue at work with cancel, canceling, canceled. My instinct at the time was to type traveling. According to Merriam-Webster, both are equally acceptable. Thank you, Merriam and your little friend Webster, for being absolutely no help.

Apparently this is yet another British English vs American English issue according to WordReference.com (and every other source I found):
In American English, the rule is that a single final consonant preceded by a single vowel in a two-syllable word is doubled only if the stress falls on the second syllable - hence, "traveled," "marveled," and "canceled" but "forbidden," "deferred," and "referred." There is at least one exception: "kidnaped" can be spelled "kidnapped" because "kidnaped" looks as though the "a" should be pronounced long.

So, to test the theory, I asked my Scottish pal Chixor. She chose "travelled". And then she asked if this was a test to see if she was allowed to retain her UK passport since she's going home in May. Yes, you passed.

Say "type traveling" three times fast. Sounds kinda like "time traveling" and now Joe wants to know why I'm zipping around messing up the time-space continuum.

Anyways, I just thought it was important to bring this matter to your attention. Just think, if I didn't have a blog, I wouldn't have a platform from which to speak. Now, I just have to hope my blog doesn't get cancelled canceled.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Avoiding Jet Lag

Are you tired of hearing about my trip yet? We don't even leave for another two weeks but I bet some of you are growing weary already. Sorry about that.

Speaking of being tired and weary, today's topic is jet lag. Did you know it even has a medical name? Desynchronosis. Yep, now when you win on Jeopardy, you can thank me for helping you win by splitting your day's total.

Anyways, in my limited amount of travels, I've flown east twice to Europe, and west twice to Las Vegas and San Francisco. Yes, my undisclosed location is on the east coast of the US but I think that's already been somewhat established. What I've found is that heading west is fantastic. Up early, fresh for the day, I take time for breakfast, I'm good through business hours and then I maybe start to fizzle around late evening. Not bad at all.

But flying east is a special kind of hell for me. My anxiety usually means I don't sleep the week night before the trip. By the time we're strapped in for the flight, I'm so keyed up I can barely sleep even if the woman with the herd of rugrats behind us isn't allowing them to run amok. Once we land first thing in the morning, I'm completely out of my mind with exhaustion and now it's time to giddy up and go enjoy our fabulous destination city!

Ugh. Last time, the jet lag plus the exhaustion managed to really feed off each other. By the time we arrived in London, we went straight to the hotel (I had a near-miss with oncoming traffic along the way), checked in early, and I crashed. It was 5pm before we were able to leave the room for some dinner and I was disgusted with myself for wasting an entire day and also for being forced to behave in a way that wasn't going to help at all adjust for the rest of the trip.

I've done some research and nothing I've tried seems to really help much. I try to adjust my schedule a bit but I'm already suffering from an hour's adjustment due to daylight savings that doesn't do me any good because everyone else made the same adjustment. At most, I may be able to adjust my sleep schedule by another hour or so before the trip.

In order to increase our chances of sleeping on the plane, Joe used a bunch of points to upgrade to first class. I also have my headphones, ear plugs, and sleep mask. I'm hoping some combination of these might help.

I've read about melatonin but when I've tried that before when I couldn't sleep, I found it didn't help at all. Ambien also seems to be of little use (plus I'm out). Joe took those No Jet Lag pills on his last big flight but that was heading 12 hours the other direction to China. Plus, he's Super-Joe so of course he had no problems.

Also during my research, I ended up doing a lot of reading about hamsters.
The presence of low-level light at night also accelerates recovery rate in both east- and west-travelling hamsters of all ages by 50%; this is thought to be related to simulation of moonlight.
The problem is, I am neither an east- nor west-travelling hamster. And no, Mo, I am also not a north- or south-travelling hamster. Because I knew someone would ask and it would probably be him.

What helps you with jet lag? Any tips or tricks for before, during, and after travel that might help me hit the ground running? Heck, I don't even care about running. I'll be happy to not cry going through customs, not wander into traffic, and stay awake until about 8pm or so that first night. So bring it on - what have you got for me?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

For lack of any better ideas...

I'm sharing this old post called Separate Checks today. It's from the olden days, back in October of 2008. You know, before Kindles and 3d movies and Octomoms. Or maybe not. Anyways, go read it and tell me how paranoid I was waaaaaaaaaaaay back when. Because it hasn't really changed that much.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Bonus!  Playing 6WS counts as an entry for a blog makeover!  Check out TMC @ Return to Rural for details on this and other ways you can enter for a little Spring cleaning of the ole blog.

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.
Preparation is the key to relaxation

At least that's what I keep telling myself as I plan our trip. I'm looking forward to it but so much to be done beforehand so I can go away with minimal anxiety.

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!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating). I do eventually make it around to all entries. Some weeks it takes longer than others but I will get there eventually. Please be patient with me!



Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing Favorites

Yesterday afternoon, SomeMonkey was telling me about something one of her kids had done. I responded that this is why Child #3 is my favorite.

And that made me think. They say it's wrong to have a favorite child. It made me feel bad that her children #1 and #2 are not my favorites. Does she resent me for it? Was I being unfair? Rude?

But the thing is, they aren't my children so I guess it doesn't matter. Really, that works to my advantage - it's well-known that outside of my family, I'm the favorite. The smartest, the brightest, the most successful. Inside of my family, it's well-known that I'm the least favorite. The most rebellious, the coldest, the one that occasionally stands up to our mother's lying and narcissism. So it's to my advantage that people outside of the family are allowed to have favorites, especially if that favorite is going to be moi.

I'm sure that with time, SomeMonkey's Child #2 will be my favorite anyways. #1 and #3 are boys and eventually, boys are gross. Child #1 has already crossed that threshold and Child #3 has about two more years before he falls from grace. And then it's all about the girl.

Be warned, Child #2. Cate is coming for you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bananas

Warning: This is one of those days when I'm just kinda puking up a post. I figure if you don't have high expectations, you won't be let down. Better luck next time!

SomeMonkey asked me how I was doing this morning. Because she cares about my feelings. That's why I keep her around. When I replied that I hadn't slept well and I had no idea what to post about, she suggested bananas. I guess because she's a monkey.

When I was little, I loved bananas. My mother seldom made it a priority to provide us with fresh produce and since bananas weren't available floating in a can of artificial sweeteners, I rarely had the luxury of a banana. And my favorite? A banana and peanut butter sandwich. Heaven.

But then, when I was 16, I had a (long tedious details skipped) medical situation that resulted in several days of hospitalization on what they called a "liquid test meal diet". This involved clear broths, juices, jello, popsicles, and bananas. Apparently potassium was important to my situation. I swear every time a nurse entered my room, they made me eat a banana. I was forced to eat at least six bananas a day.

Now? I can't stand bananas. I can eat about three bites before I feel physically ill. Even the smell of banana turns my stomach. It's the surest way to ruin my fruit smoothies.

Of course, guess what Joe eats for breakfast every day? Yes, a banana. Because he hates me. One of the most inconsiderate things he's ever done to me was the day he woke me up at 5am to pile into the car on the way to somewhere. As I was trying to drift back to sleep, I smelled the unmistakable stench of a banana. And when he finished eating, he handed me the peel. WTH am I supposed to do with a banana peel when he's telling me we aren't stopping for at least three hours and there's no plastic bag in his car to at least tie off the smell? I couldn't even put it down because it was all mushy gooey banana-peely. So for three hours, I had to smell AND touch a smelly banana. Pure torture. I swear the man does this kind of thing on purpose.

Yuck.

Gross.

Hate.

Please don't ruin my morning life with your stupid bananas. Go eat them somewhere downwind and out of sight.

Oh, and know who else hates bananas? Tonya. You try to give her a piece of banana and her furry booty practically beeps as she backs away in high speed. Smart cat.

If you think that's a whole lot of opinion about bananas, you should see how I feel about peaches!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Spaghetti Thief

I recently posted a cue on Seven Days Seven Answers called The Spaghetti Incident. The cue was this:
Someone has stolen your lunch (leftover spaghetti) out of the work refrigerator. They didn't even bother to leave the bowl behind. Leave a note on the fridge to the spaghetti thief.
And some of the responses were awesome.

Since this was based on a true story, I figured I'd tell the tale of over here.

Long, long ago, back in 2004 maybe, I worked with this very quiet and passive guy. We'll call him Roy (because that was his name). Roy was meek in a very creepy kind of way. The kind of way that terrifies you because some day the wrong button will be pushed and he is going to SPLODE!!!

Roy was also, as luck would have it, a total mama's boy. At 35, he was still living at home, mama paid his bills, mama cooked his meals, and mama financed the ring he bought his mama-approved fiancee. And one day, Roy brought a huge bowl of mama's spaghetti into work and placed it in the communal refrigerator. From there, it disappeared, bowl and all.

This left Roy outraged. He left a note on the refrigerator door scrawled in the kind of angry handwriting you see on one of those true crime stories. Underlines, exclamation points, and general homicidal mania.

It went something like this:
Dear SPAGHETTI THIEF!!!!

The spaghetti you took from the refrigerator was not yours, it was MINE!! And not only was that my LUNCH but it was also going to be dinner for me and my FIANCEE before PRAYER meeting tonight! Also, that was my mother's bowl, which was HER mother's bowl. I will be praying tonight that GOD convinces you of the HORRIBLE thing you have done so that you will return my mother's bowl AND my spaghetti. Because it was NOT YOURS. And now we will have no dinner!!!

Over the next few days, multiple notes were placed on the refrigerator in response.
The spaghetti was good but could've used more garlic. Thanks!
Signed,
Spaghetti Thief
God has convinced me that this spaghetti would've been great with some breadsticks!!!
Yours,
Spaghetti Thief
And finally, a note left inside the (clean) bowl, placed back inside the refrigerator.
Sorry for the delay returning the bowl. It was too much spaghetti for me so I gave the rest to my dog. I wanted to run the bowl through the dishwasher a few times to remove all of his tongue germs. By the way, my dog was very sick the next day so there was probably something wrong with that spaghetti. The way I see it, I did you a favor. You're welcome.
Signed,
Spaghetti Thief
Roy has since moved on to another employer and even now, nobody will own up to being the Spaghetti Thief. But we all get a kick out of telling the story!

P.S. No, it wasn't me.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I'm the only one...

Am I the only person in the world who really doesn't care about the position in which toilet paper is loaded onto the little spinny thing?

It wasn't long ago that SomeMonkey asked me "over or under" because apparently there's a right and a wrong and I think I was going to once again vote with her to prove that her husband (like all husbands) is some weirdo that should consider himself blessed that she graces him with her continued presence in his life.

Anyways, my answer? "As long as it's within reach of the toilet, I don't much care." For some people, this is equal to kicking puppies. I guess we have to have a preference. I couldn't care less if the roll of toilet paper is sitting on the floor next to the toilet instead of on the holder.* If it's somewhere nearby when I need it, I'm happy. If it's not nearby? I scream for Joe. Because somehow it's probably his fault.

I just don't think the over/under of the toilet paper is a battle worth wasting energy over. Also, I don't care if the lid is up and down. I'm not so lazy that I can't put it down myself. And I'm not so tiny that I'm going to fall in and be flushed into the sewers. It's just not worth fighting over or working myself into a tizzy about.

That energy is better spent on more important offenses - like leaving the top off the toothpaste or putting the butter not in the butter compartment of the fridge. Because that? Is just wrong.

Anything like this that you just don't care about at all?

*Unless company is coming. The bathroom downstairs always has the toilet paper on the holder where it belongs. I do pretend to have some standards.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Plan my trip!

I guess it's not MY trip. Joe's coming too. But Tonya and Rusty are most certainly NOT invited.

Anyways, we're going to be spending about 5 days in Barcelona and 2ish days in Edinburgh.
I'm looking for suggestions, tips, must-sees, must-avoids. Yes, we will be Barcelona over Easter. Because the Pope hates Joe. And who can blame him? I mean, he's the Pope!

Everything I thought I knew about Spanish cuisine is apparently Mexican. Everything I know about Scottish food is haggis. My Spanish language skills are limited to "hola", "adios", and "¿Dónde están las drogas?" or something like that. Yeah, basically, it's Amazing Race-levels of excellence. Joe, however, is much more skilled, which is why he's so awesome when he negotiates with Jesus (the yard guy, not the Savior - I don't think it's good form to argue with Easter-Jesus).

We're thinking of a day trip from Barcelona to Girona and down the coast. Possibly heading to the Montserrat Royal Basilica as well. Those would be booked through tour groups since we will be sans auto. Worth it? No? Scotland is going to be a damn quick trip so we'll have to really prioritize.

So help your bloggy buddy out. Or help me out. If you've been and have any words of advice, resources, funny anecdotes or leftover European coin, let me know! Muchas gracias. And nachos.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

As promised

I keep my promises...



Don't be surprised if you see that one over at Seven Days Seven Answers sometime soon. Like next Saturday.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

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.
Focusing on blessings, minimizing the rest

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!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating). I do eventually make it around to all entries. Some weeks it takes longer than others but I will get there eventually. Please be patient with me!



Friday, March 05, 2010

Clarification about my "hypothetical baby"

Last night, I tweeted the following:
Also, in our hypothetical pregnancy, Joe wants it to be a surprise. And then he wants it to be a boy. Eww.
Then I went to bed.

This morning, I woke up to multiple tweets of this nature:
ZOMG babies? Did I miss something? Congratulations, you're having babies?!?!?!?111one!?!
Back that pony up!!! HYPOTHETICAL babies. As in we were watching a show (The Office) and there was baby-related content and we were talking about "someday, if WE ever have a kid, blah blah blah".

And Joe said that he wants the gender to be a surprise. But then he wants it to be a boy. Yuck. MY hypothetical baby is female. I like to tell him that I'll insist on naming her Gertrude and he won't be allowed to argue with me because I just carried this hypothetical baby in my belly for nine months.

But it's just a "maybe someday" baby. Unfortunately, when you're as screwed up in the head as I am, especially when it comes to mother-issues, it's just not as easy as it ought to be.

So settle down, folks, and cancel BabyWatch2010 for this uterus. No babies here!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Before Coffee

Like many other refrigerators in the world, ours sports a whiteboard on the front for quick notes and grocery items. Half the fun of the board is trying to figure out what we actually scribbled on it when the time comes to head to the store.

About a week ago, I stumbled downstairs on the way to work and found the following note:
LV 6:20
Say what?

For some reason my still-sleepy mind knew instantly that Joe must be making a joke or playing some sort of game. And of course LV 6:20 must mean Leviticus Chapter 6 Verse 20. I looked it up online:
Leviticus 6:20

This is the offering Aaron and his sons are to bring to the LORD on the day he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening.
As I stood there scratching my head, thinking maybe we were out of bread or flour, Joe came in the front door from his run.
me (pointing to the whiteboard): Leviticus 6:20? Huh?
Joe: LEAVE 6:20. As in I left for my run at 6:20am.
me: Oh, yeah, I knew that.
I still say he was messing with me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Why so afraid?

In working my way through Six Word Saturday entries, I find myself constantly slowed down and frustrated at blogs that have not only word verification but also comment moderation turned on.

What are they so afraid of? Disagreement? I say a little disagreement is good for the soul. If you're open-minded, you may even learn something. It doesn't mean you have to change your opinion but a dissenting comment may just help you see the other side. Or is it fear of spam/vulgarity? Comments can be deleted! I deal with about a dozen spam comments each week and all it takes is click, checkbox, confirm, done. In the meantime, how many commenters have been discouraged or run off because of the restrictive abilities to comment?

When I see comment moderation enabled, I feel as if I am awaiting judgement. Was my comment good enough? Was I witty/kind/supportive enough? Are my words worthy of your approval?

My anxiety over ridiculous things is no secret around here. I'm afraid of car flags, bagpipes, spiders, death, the crazy guy who lives behind us and the angry guy who lives two doors down. I am also now afraid of rollerblades and ponies. But I'm not the least bit afraid of comments.

I blog for me but I also blog for the feedback. That's the whole point of a blog, is it not? I welcome comments. I want comments. I certainly don't want to do anything to discourage comments. That's why this blog is minus word verification and minus comment moderation. It's also why I do my best to respond by email to every comment left here.

Maybe some day I'll understand why other people put such a fortress up around the ability for their readers to engage in a dialog about their posts.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cate Go Boom

I haven't posted an update recently on my running progress. Not that you asked. But I know you meant to - you've just had other things on your mind. It's alright, I'm very accustomed to being last on your list.

*sigh*

So if I had posted this update on Sunday or Monday, it would've gone something like this:
I ran week 5 day 1 of the c25k program and it went just swell! I ran with unicorns and butterflies and felt all dandy and fantabulous after! The world is such a lovely place - ooh, look, rainbows!

Instead, I'm writing this after w5d2, Monday night, so you get to read something more like this:

Joe said his knee was bothering him so he encouraged me to run on the lake path near work. I haven't done this in a very long time but it's fairly flat, well-traveled (lots of people in case of emergency), and a nice distance around.

So I drive over there, hit the button on my iPod, and it's all "yo, the battery is low, you can't be using your Nike+ chip to track your distance or time!" And I was all "yo, I'm so dedicated, I'm going to run WITHOUT the Nike+ chip and just listen to the podcast for my running vs walking cues."

I started off on my 5-minute walking warm-up, all proud of myself. Look at me, going on a run like a big girl! The voices in my head dude on the iPod said it was time to run. Like the dutiful soldier I am, I kicked it into running mode and found my rhythm. Run, run, run, oh look, a ducky on the lake!

And then, oh look, Cate on the ground in a pile of fail! This rollerblader came up on me from behind, on my left. His rather large dog, on a leash, came up on me from the right. This left the leash in the perfect position to collapse my knees and send me slamming into the pavement.

If this dog had been one of those nice little weinerdogs, I might've been okay. But since this dog malicious drooling pony was such a horrendous amount of mass, I took the tumble.

To his credit, the guy felt really bad about it. He was very polite for an inconsiderate jerkface with no regard to others on the trail. He offered to let me use his phone (which I didn't bother) and then accompanied me to my car.

And that is why I didn't finish day 2 of week 5 on the c25k program last night. Assuming I'm feeling okay, I'll give it another try at the gym tonight. Where there are no ponies.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Going to See the Pope

We've booked another European adventure. Let's hope that this time, my anxiety cooperates and I don't spend half the trip in a hotel room praying to the porcelain gods and puking my fish n chips.

We like to fly into London because we can do that directly from our undisclosed location. Once there, we usually wander around London for a bit before hopping a discount airline to another destination. We've done Paris, Dublin, and Western Ireland. This time, we were choosing between Italy and Spain.

Here's the thing about both locations but specifically Italy and even more specifically Rome - our trip is right around Easter. As in Catholics flocking to the Vatican to see the Pope. As in a gazillion people in a small space and fewer hotels and restaurants and it's a holiday and now it's going to cost a fortune.

What I really want to know - is Rome like Disney World? At Disney World, I had special Mouse ears with a veil attached and it said "bride". If I pack my Pope-hat equivalent, will people give me free desserts? Maybe move me to the front of the ride line?

It'll either get me discounts or deported. Either way, it'll make a great blog post!

P.S. In the end, we chose five days in Barcelona and then two days in Edinburgh. I guess the Pope didn't want me there because he made sure it was impossible to make arrangements.

P.P.S. And that's probably Joe's fault because he's been eating meat on Friday. I think the Pope is angry at him and taking it out on me.