Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kitty Old Folks' Home

You know you are at the vet's office too much when the staff greet you with, "You're back here again today?"

My three cats have entered into their mature cat years now. So far, Nee Nee is diabetic, Gray Boy (pictured) has a thyroid condition, and Sissy's kidney's are going.

The most recent diagnosis is Sissy, and when I was getting ready to bring her to the vet (due to a general lack of appetite, which is so not like her since she takes after her mom and is normally a little piglet) my DH predicted, "It will have some sort of syringe involved." This is because we give insulin shots to one cat and thyroid meds via a syringe to the other cat already.

His prediction was correct. Along with a special diet, we will have to start giving her weekly injections of liquids to go under her skin as a way to hydrate her because her kidneys no longer are able to process them. Luckily - I guess - I've had to do this before with one of our dogs (who is no longer with us after 16 1/2 years). That and the fact that I'm used to giving shots now, it didn't faze me too much. Now, of course, how the girl cat will handle it is a whole different story.

Friday, August 24, 2007

From Prada to Janite?

I played hooky today and went to see Becoming Jane with C. As I suspected, it was a semi-entertaining story, and I emphasize the word, story! Also as I suspected, they'd have a way to skinny girl playing Jane.
This is not to suggest that Jane was fat, but back then, if a woman was as thin as Anne Hathaway, most people would have thought her family couldn't afford to feed her properly.

As a true Janite, I couldn't help but a feel a little uncomfortable with the liberties Hollywood took with her life, and when we left the theater, my uneasiness was confirmed. C., who has seen most of the movies based on Jane's books but has read no biographical information, was going on about how sad her life was and how awful it was that she died at such a young age (according to the notes posted on the screen at the end of the movie).

I then tried to explain to her that (a) she died in her forties (though, yes, to us in the 21st century that's young); (b) that she'd never have been able to write all those novels (which are actually 5, not six as the notes also said, and that's because I'm not counting her unfinished novel and I guess they are); and (c) finally, the whole story is fiction so don't stress too much for her because it's hard to say really if any of that happened at all, and I'd bet most of it didn't.

She was shocked and protested! No, the ending said she died young, and then her boyfriend actually named his daughter after her.

Err, yes, but young then and young now aren't the same, and Jane is a pretty common name, especially back then.

When I got home, I pulled out my copy of A Memoir of Jane Austen by Her Nephew. Though it's in pretty rough shape from being accidentally used a chew toy by one of my dogs the 15 years or so that I bought it, I fell compelled to read it again now.

For a full review of the movie, which I tend to agree with, see Contact Music.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cat Condo 4 Rent

We are now on the map! We have a Target that is only a few miles away. No more driving to the next county, yeah!

On my first trip to the new Tar-ge', I thought it would be nice to buy by kitty babies a cool cat condo. It's wasn't too expensive, about $30, and I always say I'm going to get them one, so I finally did.

Of course, it took my husband, the nuclear scientist to put it together, but now it's up and looking tre chic next to my Piliates reformer in the living room. When I told DH that I bought it, he said, "You know, you could have just brought home a card board box and they'd be thrilled." Yes, but this is so cool looking.

Well, so far, I'm the only member of the household who thinks so. We are going on 48 hours and no cat takers. I even put some of Sissy's toys in there, her hairy snake and one of her rats she loves to torment. She gave it a look, like, "Why did my mom put my toys in there. Now I can't play with them." And she wandered off in a huff.

Both DH and I have tried on two separate occasions to stuff a cat in there, but they are acting like we are trying to stick them in a garbage disposal. "Cats in China would love to have a cat condo like this!" But, they just lock up their little legs and squirm until we let them go.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Party Hardy

I finally got the library crew together for lunch after some emails and numerous phone calls. One of the things they teach you in WW is to take charge of your food experience when dining out. My attempt at this was to decide on where we'd eat. I opted for a place I knew I could get a half a shrimp salad sandwich (minus the bread) and salad with vinaigrette dressing. The few people who emailed me back were fine with this.

Fast forward.....Day of the lunch....

I just finish my 3 mile Leslie Sansome DVD, when the phone rings and it's D. from the library. I notice too there are other messages on my voice mail saying the same thing, "We have decided to meet at the super fattening place rather than the safe place where you can eat shrimp." Okay, they didn't say it in those words, but that's what my brain heard.

Their reasoning for this was that the fattening place had bigger tables and there were a lot of them coming to see me. How sweet! But, dang it!

Fast forwards....Phone rings again....

It's C. and I start immediately babbling about my food hurdle at lunch. What the h, e, double toothpicks am I supposed to do? She calms me down and says, either split your lunch with someone or when you order immediately ask for a to-go box and put half of your food in there right away. "A-ha!" She's brilliant. I reason that I can even give my half box of food to someone there to take back for one of the pages (who is a big kid and eats every one's leftovers).

So, I luck out and one of the gals agrees to split the turkey wrap with bacon and guacamole. She'll take the fries and I'll order a side salad. Lunch is fun. They are such a great group and I'm having a good time, glad I came, etc. - zing...They start in on me..."Did you know it's S0-and-So's last day today? We are having a big party for her. She'll be here in about an hour. You should stay. We've got chips dips, MJ made her famous mac-n-cheese, B. made her layered Mexican cheese dip, yada, yada, yada."

I had met them there on purpose to avoid this sort of problem, (a) food, food, food, and (b) sucking up my entire day so I couldn't get any work done. They all have this illusion that since I'm not punching the clock there any more that I don't actually work any more.

The pressure was intense, especially because the girl they were having the party for is someone I worked with a lot and helped with school stuff, so they worked that angle like there was no tomorrow. But, I persisted. "Oh, I wish I had known. I have to get some where and then I've got so much work to do when I get back to my computer." I said all this as I pulled myself away and walked back to my car, which I had parked away from the library parking lot.

Yes, I did feel bad that I didn't go, but I also realized that the whole party hardy issue (there's a party, birthday, etc. there almost every day) was one reason I gained so much weight while working there. I just refuse to go back and do that to myself again. Can't! Won't!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poor Anonymous

I know I haven't been over here in a while, been bizzy, ya know. Funny thing was that I was thinking of bopping by and talking about how I lost another lb...yes, slow, but it is coming off. Or, I was thinking about writing about how I finally got some scam artists to stop calling me.

But, then I got this really funny comment posted on my blog here and I just had to laugh. No, I'm not going to approve it because it's a very meany weany post. The person had a lot of nasty stuff to say about how I'm a sucky writer and how every writer worth his or her pencil (notice how my pronouns matched there) should shun me.

Of course, this same person doesn't have the ca - hoonas (I have no clue how to spell that, sorry) to sign her name. Nope. She signed it Anonymous (and I just have this gut feeling it's a her because we gals can be so catty like this sometimes). No name, just her unsolicted opinion. Um, yes, nuff-said.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Blog Story Published

Toby Bloomberg has a very cool site called Blogger Stories.

On this blog/site she publishes the stories of bloggers and how they got started in the blogosphere.

My story was just published over there today, way cool!

If you want to tell your story, check out her Welcome page that gives you the how-to.

It's a good opportunity to promo yourself some if you are a blogger, and I have to admit that writing out "my story" about blogging was more challenging than I had expected. It really made me think, so it is also a good exercise. How did you start? Why did you start? Why are you still doing it? With all the blogging I do, I don't really have time to think about this sort of thing that often.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Little More Progress

After a little over three weeks back at Weight Watchers, I've lost 7 pounds. Of course, I have a long way to go before I see a comfortable size 8 again, but I am starting to notice a difference in my clothes finally.

Another three pounds in the next few weeks will mean 10 gone before school starts, and that means a lot when you have to be in front of people talking. Teaching is really a performance. You need to dress right, feel psyched, and be prepared to engage your audience, who nine times out of ten are not thrilled to be there. The first day, especially, is critical. You want them to leave thinking, "Maybe English sucks, but Dr. P seems okay so maybe I can survie this semester."

If a class doesn't like you, it's just an awful experience for everyone. About six or more years ago, I had the unfortunate duty of taking over a class because another adjunct had left two weeks into the semester. So, I had to go in there and basically tell them she's gone, I don't know why, and now you have me. And, to top it, we had totally different teaching styles. I mean, I couldn't "be" her. Other than a handful of students, the rest hated me and acted like it was my fault she left. 95% of the class were high school students, and they just wouldn't cut me a break. Near the end of the semester a few more warmed up to me, but it was one lonnnggg semester!