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Monday, August 29, 2011

Rules of Civility and Getting Ahead in Polite Society

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to read and review Rules of Civility, the debut author from Amor Towles. The book is a beautifuly written story about polite society in 1930's Manhattan. If that sounds like your kind of thing, feel free to click through to my review on BlogHer and leave a comment.

Note: I received a free copy of this book for my Kindle and a small amount of compensation for an honest review.

Fat Cats

It's been awhile since I dedicated a post to the little fur freaks so I might as well give an update. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that since I was doing my best Exorcist impression, Joe took the kitties to the vet for their annual appointment without me.

The vet says Tonya needs her teeth cleaned again. Only, because of her "attitude issues", they want to put her in some kind of gas chamber instead of giving her a shot of sedative. I have to admit that the idea kinda freaks me out. A lot.

In addition, turns out the fuzzbutts are a bit overweight. Tonya's about 16 lbs and Rusty's around 17 lbs. So once again, we've changed their food to a more expensive, lower calorie variety. And in order to tell what each kitty is eating, we now feed them separately and then take their food away rather than leaving the uneaten portion out.

As a result, Tonya has decided she now has permission to crawl all over the tables and counters to forage for food. Because, you know, we're starving her. She's also decided 4am is roughly the proper hour for her to receive another go at the dish and lets us know by screaming and knocking things off the dresser. Rusty has voiced his displeasure by pooing in the bathtub whenever he wants to eat and his food dish isn't available.

To say my patience with kitties is wearing thin would be a bit of an understatement right now.

With Joe traveling this week, many people have told me that it's nice I'll have the kitties to keep me company. They must've missed the part where I'll have the kitties constantly interrupting my sleep and crapping places they shouldn't. Maybe a kitty gas chamber isn't a bad idea after all.

P.S. I'm not around this week. I mean, I am, but I won't be responding to comments because I'm unplugged and focusing on writing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Keeping a wary eye on Irene

She's far enough from my undisclosed location that we shouldn't see more than heavy rain and a little wind. She's also close enough that we need to pay attention in case she shifts this direction. I hope everyone in her path will be safe.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to 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 with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

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).



Friday, August 26, 2011

Fractional Friday

Don't worry - there's no math involved. I'm just going to barf up a whole bunch of tidbits in no particular order.

Bits:

Joe takes off Monday morning for 5 days and nights in San Francisco for work.

My retreat begins Monday. You've given me excellent ideas and I'm really looking forward to it.

One of my retreat goals is to come back feeling a bit more enthusiastic about writing and blogging. Maybe I'll update more than once a week or so.

Hurricane Irene is incoming. We're far enough away that we should be fine but we're monitoring closely.

I'm so fed up with these cats that I'd really like to send them away for awhile. We've changed their feeding situation and they're displeased. I still need to blog about that - maybe I'll schedule it for next week.

I've been super-productive lately and it makes me very happy.

Something random that made me laugh:

My twitter pal @daanando (can I call him that?) retweeted this and it cracked me up.
If you were a cop, you'd probably get in lots of trouble for walkie-ing "Officer Down" whenever you felt sad.

I may make this post a semi-regular thing. It's nice to look back over the week and have a place to tie up loose ends, even if it's just a few random items.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stay At Home Retreat

We're all familiar with the idea of a "stay-cation" - too broke to take a real vacation, we pretend to do fun stuff while staying at home to reduce costs. Some people are better at this than others. My husband, for example, completely fails at stay-cations. If he's not on a flight at the ass-crack of dawn, it's not worth using a vacation day.

Along those same lines, I'm planning a bit of stay-treat. Free-treat? Me-treat? Whatever. The point is that I can't afford to take off to some meditation retreat or writing retreat so I'm planning my own without leaving the comforts of home. Joe will be on the left coast next week for work (Monday morning - Saturday morning) and I want to make the most of it.

What I'm really trying to do is take a break in my normal routine that will help ramp it up when the week is over. For example - I'm planning to workout, read, write, meditate daily. These are things I currently do sometimes. Or while multi-tasking on ten other things. I want to really focus and be mindful of these things next week, cutting out on a lot of the time-wasters like tv and aimless surfing. I want to really feed my soul and nourish my creative side. I want to spend the entire five days taking care of ME.

So how would you go about doing this? Do I set a strict agenda? No agenda at all? Since I'm not going to benefit from the change in location that a real retreat provides (though I have nothing against driving to somewhere local, especially if the weather would cooperate for some outside time), it will be tempting to fall into my usual routine. Those distractions that always get me will still be here. How do I ignore them? How do I make this different? Is it even possible? I suppose that's an advantage of going somewhere else for a retreat but since I'm home all day regularly, it's important for me to learn discipline when it comes to those shiny objects.

Any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Book suggestions, website resources, tip and tricks, whatever you've got. I'm excited to spend some time this week planning so I can make next week special without spending a million dollars.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Been busy lately, making great progress



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to 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 with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

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).



Friday, August 19, 2011

Spam Sampler

Yesterday I realized that one of my blogs was not only receiving a lot of spam comments but also publishing them. Awesome. So I spent awhile cleaning them up and then installing an anti-spam plug-in. Some of them were interesting though and so I'm sharing them with you.


  • great way to start the day out (Aww, so sweet!)
  • You could be the most significant dummies on the internet. (No, I think YOU are the most significant dummies.)
  • Congratulations are in order. You’re a huge stupid man. (At least this one makes grammatical sense.)
  • I am afraid of major pink things. (I'm afraid of minor green things.)
  • I appreiate nothing at all (And nothing at all appreciates you.)
  • Never put up anymore of these things. (Wow, really? I thought I was a decent writer!)
  • Thank you for not a thing. (You're welcome for not a thing!)
  • Comprehensive Rubbish. (Hey, at least I'm thorough.)
  • Congratulations. You’re a big mindless gentleman. (Seriously, I'm a chick!)
  • In light of that episode of 60 Minutes I'll be sure Lance Armstrong is caught. (Oooh, what did Lance do?)
  • There’s no doubt that this will be one of the best things to happen of the recent years. Felicitations to the happy newlyweds and any one that doesn’t agree is a republican.  (Eww, not a republican! That IS horrible!)
  • I don’t agree with it, thanks to whoever thought of it and for showing the initiative to write it down (Yeah, I'm just full of initiative.)
  • There’s no doubt that this wedding will be one of the best things to happen of the decade. Congratulations to the happy newlyweds and any one that doesn’t agree is a stick in the mud. (Republican is a bigger insult)
  • I am over the moon about it and I think that this will be one of the greatest things to happen of the recent years. Congratulations to the happy couple and any body that doesn’t agree is a republican.  (Over the moon?  AND a republican reference? I think some republicans are FROM the moon, if that's what you're saying.)
  • Given the 60 Minutes Program I be sure Armstrong is doing the perp walk soon. (Whoa, perp walk? Must've been bad!)
  • Ever since that episode of 60 Minutes I would conclude Lance is done for. (And now he's 'done for'?  Is that a threat?)
  • Since watching the 60 Mins show I think Lance Armstrong is going down. (Lance may want to alert his  security guys.)
  • wtf you speaking about ? (If I had any idea wtf I was speaking about, I wouldn't be here.)
  • Nearly all of the remarks on this weblog don?t make sense. (No kidding.)

I hope you enjoyed your spam sampler. Next time, I'll add cheese and crackers.

P.S. I've switched my blog feed to feedburner. You shouldn't need to do anything. In the past, feedburner didn't play nice so if you notice any issues, please let me know. If it seems to be working okay, I'll look into making it more prominent. Thanks!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Testing Feedburner - Again

Just a quick post. I'm testing Feedburner, once again. You don't need to do anything at this point.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Messed Up

I'm having a bit of an off morning. I just wrote a really lovely blog post and then screwed up something related and now I can't post it for reasons I can't share.

Also, a member of my extended family (REALLY extended, I think of him more as a friend's father, and that friend is actually something like my 43rd cousin) passed away overnight. I found out via Facebook.

And, I discovered this really awful show on ABC Family (I think) that hits kinda close to home. Do you think I watched it anyways? Of course. Did I sit here and blubber like a baby over my own life? Well, duh.

I'm determined to turn this day around because there's still a whole lot of day left and I'm not keen on wallowing anymore.. I'd like to do this through either music or stupid jokes. Feel free to leave your happy songs and silly jokes below in the comments or tweet them @showmyface.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Chocolate is my very best friend



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to 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 with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

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).



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WANTED: Bootcamp Buddy

Out-of-shape female seeks remote workout accountability buddy. Must be willing to purchase membership to BCOR Bootcamp (regularly $209 but Groupon has a deal for $35), sync schedules to attend once per week for six weeks, and exchange pep talks.

I'm serious about this. I found the Groupon offer while doing a general search on fitness deals. I've got to do something to jumpstart myself and an accountability partner for bootcamp would be great. If interested, please leave a comment below and I'll email you the link. Locations are listed here and seem to cover most major cities.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Also, if anyone has any feedback about BCOR, I'd love to hear it. Their Facebook page is flooded with people buying the Groupon and having trouble finding the exact location. The location I'm planning on going to has no street address and that's a bit puzzling.

This post is not sponsored. I'm paying for my own membership. You're paying for yours. Groupon and BCOR have no idea who I am. Neither do I. Neither do you.

Monday, August 08, 2011

What a Weekend

It started out fine, went rapidly downhill, then took a slow climb back to a nice ending.

Friday night, Joe grilled up some (I'm going to ask that you use your Gordon Ramsay voice here) of the most amazing filet mignon, served alongside the most perfect with the finest quality wine for the most amazing meal of your lives. It was THAT good. Then, the wine bottle empty, we mixed a cranberry and vodka to take upstairs for movie-watching.

I had a horrible time falling asleep, then woke up insanely sick around midnight. I'll spare you the details but it was Exorcist-like. All night. Yuck. Nothing's worse than vomiting when you have a migraine - am I right, fellow migraine sufferers? At 6am, I finally crawled into bed to sleep, stomach settled (or at least empty) and migraine still raging.

At 6:30, our alarm went off. It was Annual Take Your Kitties To The Vet Day!!! Joe and I usually tag team the furries but I told him to cancel the appointment. There was no way I could handle an angry Tonya, bright lights, loud noises, the sight of the huge bill, and a migraine all at once. "I'll go by myself!" said the brave and naive Joe. I tried to talk him out of it but my energy was low (as were my verbal skills) and so my hero-husband headed out with both cats in the pouring rain.

I'll give the lowdown on the appointment tomorrow because that's kicked off a whole 'nother chain of events in our house that make it grand to be here. Also, Tonya did her OWN Exorcist impression and there was talk about putting her in a gas chamber so you won't want to miss that!

It was 1:30 before I finally crawled out of bed. We canceled our dinner reservations for the evening and finished watching the movie we had started the night before. Early to bed, late to rise, I finally woke up Sunday feeling better, though dehydrated. I STILL feel dehydrated - I can't drink enough water!

We ended the weekend with a matinee at our favorite independently-owned theatre followed by an early dinner downtown.

I'd rather not have another weekend quite like that for awhile.

P.S. No cats were harmed in the making of this weekend. Though they may have been a bit were quite pissed off.

P.S. No Cates were harmed in the making of this weekend. "I'm just fifteen one stomach flu away from my goal weight!"

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Annual Kitty Appointment - Having Heads Examined!



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to 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 with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

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).



Friday, August 05, 2011

Stripy Cats are the Best

KABOOM!!!!!!!

Stripy Cat (aka Rusty) runs inside from the porch. What the hell was that loud noise interrupting the peacefulness of my porch time?

He spots me on the floor, where I have fallen after stepping on something ouchy. He headbutts my hand and curls up next to me to purr. You okay, long-haired human? He then stays there until I pick myself up off the floor, then happily returns to his porch.

Job well done, Stripy Cat. You have earned your keep for the day.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

All Heathers Are Equal

I should probably post about the trip to San Francisco but here's the highlights: the weather was amazing, Joe finished his half-marathon at a slower pace than desired, and we took a redeye home Sunday night.

You know how you reach that point that you're so exhausted it's like being drunk? Suddenly everything is hilarious. That was us Sunday night (as evidenced by my Twitter stream). Our hearing was adversely affected as well, causing us to be sure they were paging "Wolfgang Puck" over the PA system. Then the gate next to us was insistently calling for "Pig Pig" to come see the gate agent immediately. Oh, the laughs we had over Pig Pig. We even ate bacon the next morning in Pig Pig's honor.

Around 10:30am we made it home to our undisclosed location. We unpacked, started laundry, and took a much-needed four hour nap. Feeling refreshed but still owchy from running/walking/airplane sleeping, we headed off to massage appointments. Booking massages for that afternoon may have been the smartest decision we made regarding the entire trip. Since Joe had run the big race, I made sure his appointment was with his favorite massage therapist, Heather. Heather Harrell, specifically, as there are two Heathers in this location.

When some random chick came and called for Joe, he looked around the room for another Joe. This wasn't his Heather. Was it the sleep deprivation causing the confusion? Had we landed in some alternate reality? Who was this woman?

It turns out his Heather has left this location. Rather than let the customers know, they just moved all of her appointments to the other Heather, resulting in a lot of confusion. Did they think people wouldn't notice? (Actually, the night before, we may not have noticed.) Also, how much must it suck to go into every appointment saying "Sorry I'm the wrong Heather." Talk about an inferiority complex...

Also, all Heathers are sadly NOT equal. This one wasn't nearly as awesome as his Heather. It wasn't that she was bad, she just wasn't great. Bummer.

But, there was of course a bright side, according to Joe. "At least she wasn't Pig Pig." Being the wrong Heather beats being Pig Pig in all situations.

P.S. Yeah, I just barfed up this blog post. But I wanted to get back into the groove of posting so there ya go.