Monday, March 31, 2008

ten in ten

I've got ten minutes before I have to leave to give yet another darling harbor seal pup her midnight feed. I'm doing pretty swell, having now worked with two of the three that we've picked up from our area so far this year. I even got to help on the rescue (having put her on watch yesterday), despite my laziness (as I sent my friend out alone, sure she wouldn't still be there...), and the fact that I never work with seals on Mondays.

Pressed for time, here's a list of ten things I've got to do tomorrow:
  1. Pay the rent.
  2. Mail Kevin the last disk of the third season of the Wire. Apparently I left it in my dvd player and didn't check before mailing the others off...
  3. Feed the hummingbirds. Again. I've already made the juice so I am committed.
  4. Which also means I should clean the cats' drinking fountains, but I'm like months behind on that... Poor kitties drinking gross water. But then again, they'd drink from the toilet if I let them. And OC likes to drink from the bird bath. Which is seriously filthy looking.
  5. Deal with OC's sheepskin - which I just discovered Monkey has been using as a latrine. That fricking Monkey. Now I know they make kittens cute just so you won't kill them. I've washed the fur but can't remember if you are allowed to put them in the dryer. Either way it will never be the same.
  6. Take a walk. Though it is supposed to rain. And it's been damn cold. Hope it's warmer when Grace is here.
  7. Buy groceries. Erik might go with me which would make it a date.
  8. Hear from a Realtor. I should be more excited about that but now I am back to being terrified about the whole home-ower scheme.
  9. Empty the dishwasher. But I do that every day. No big deal.
  10. Sweep and vacuum. I got sand everywhere after my harbor seal rescue.
Not the most riveting list to end on, I know. But remember, it's not my last list, cuz I owe from Easter. It's just the best I could come up with in ten minutes.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

almost april

So tired. Long seal day. Only two keepers (McLovin, the scrawny elephant seal and Subprime, the California sea lion that isn't doing so well...) and two on watch (perfectly healthy harbor seal pups), and Chunky, of course, who we shipped off early. Need a shower but must make list.

In anticipation of my super fun visit from Grace and my sister, here's a list of some things we will do:
  1. Stop at In-n-Out on the way home from the airport.
  2. Stop at a winery that looks like a castle, also on the way home from the airport. If I am crafty, Grace will be wearing a princess hat I have made for her ahead of time.
  3. Go to the beach - often. Though not for long if it is cold and windy like today.
  4. Rent a surri (4 person bike, not daughter of TomKat) and ride it out the Rock to look at otters.
  5. Stop for cotton candy on the way back.
  6. Swim in the warm outdoor pool at the Inn at Morro Bay - either as pool hoppers or guests. Haven't yet decided, but they owe us a couple of swim sessions since the pool was closed when the folks were in town.
  7. Swim in the warm indoor pool at a hotel Erik knows in Pismo. Here we'll be legit cuz we'll be staying there before (and possibly after) the godawful early in the morning March of Dimes.
  8. Walk in the March of Dimes.
  9. Eat giant pizza slices in Pismo. Erik has wanted to do this for ages. I have ordered giant pizza from a place in SLO (that I think is now closed), but they didn't cut it into giant slices - just weird squares. Something about giant slices sounds way cooler.
  10. Eat clam chowder out of sourdough bread bowls - I'm sure also in Pismo. This is what my sis wanted to do in San Francisco. San Fran may be known for its sourdough, but Pismo is known for its clams. So should be close enough, right?
  11. Pay for parking in Pismo. This is a new phenomenon. So I will have to complain about it.
  12. Have a dance party. No sleep over is complete without one and Suz is in the mood for Depeche Mode.
  13. Watch Dora the Explorer. Which reminds me, I've got to get her added to my Tivo. I hope she doesn't conflict with my Spanish soaps.
  14. Play on Grace loves And I love the way she says it, "Nick.Junior.Dot.Com." This reminds me, I should buy more printer ink. She loves to print out the pictures she colors in. Trouble is, she prefers to use just one solid color.
  15. Build yet another graham cracker house. This time we are going for height. We think with a little patience and a lot of icing we can make one taller than Grace.
  16. Play with the kitties (at least Monkey, OC will most likely make himself scarce). Grace has discovered the joy of cat toys and Monkey loves attention. He doesn't jump as much or as high as he used to but he still fetches (usually).
  17. Drink Diet Coke. I will have to stock up. Suz is an addict and Grace has quite a taste for it, too.
I'm sure we'll do lots more things, but these are the firm items. And I am, as I mentioned, tired. And dirty. So there.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

things i smell like

I had a pretty ideal seal day today (two calls, but only one rescue, a relatively late start, with no midnight feed). Since our day started late, I have an overnight guest, Chunky. Chunky will be on his third tubing by breakfast, so he'll be getting his first taste of a delightful treat we call Elephant Seal Formula. Actually, I guess he won't actually taste it (since we place it directly in his stomach), but I suppose he could barf some up... Anyway, I didn't want to have to make Elephant Seal Formula at 8 am, so I prepared it already. Thus my clothes (and my hands) now carry that sickly sweet Sausalito smell comprised of:
  1. Fish and Fish Mash (fish blended with water)
  2. Salmon Oil
  3. Milk Matrix
  4. Dish Soap
  5. Nolvasan
  6. Bleach
  7. Latex Glove Dust
Nauseating as it is, it also makes me smile. Here's hoping tomorrow is equally manageable.

Friday, March 28, 2008

books i have loved

I have a confession to make. I'm not as big a reader as I ought to be. I'm certainly a fraction of the reader I used to be. A shadow of the reader I was meant to be.

I have fond memories of staying up late on school nights, feverishly devouring the Little House on the Prairie series. Once my pillowcase even caught fire, ignited by the heat of my hardworking reading lamp. I still enjoyed books in junior high and high school - though I felt it was absolutely ridiculous that we had to read the Scarlet Letter twice (our teachers couldn't agree over when it would be better taught....). And don't get me started on how little I enjoyed the Waste Land (although, really, that may not be T.S. Eliot's fault - I had a distinct disconnect with old Barf Bag, my teacher...). Anyway, somewhere along the way, under the weight of required college reading, I lost my way. I stopped reading for pleasure almost entirely. I began to look at books as expensive to purchase and heavy to move. I failed to recognize them as the treasures that they are.

Nowadays I'll read my mother's book club hand-me-downs. On occasion my brother will trust me with one of his favorites. And when visiting my nieces in Oakland, I'll often borrow from their extensive, eclectic library. But I have yet to branch out and reconnect with the world I used to love. Like MerryME, I have a collection of children's books that I cherish. Every now and then I'll read one before a nap. But grown up books are few and far between in my life. On a cold day, I'm more likely to cozy up with a good puzzle book than a new novel. This makes me just a little sad.

Reading more often is in the same category as yoga and flossing - something I imagine myself doing, but never actually make the effort. Something I have no excuse for avoiding, as I know it will enhance the quality of my life. And so, to remind myself of who I was and who I'd like to be, I offer a list of some of books I have loved, in the hope that it will inspire me to love anew:
  1. Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn - appealed to my inner freak show
  2. Mouse Tales, by Arnold Lobel - my childhood favorite. Erik and I often quote various lines such as, "Hello sky." "Hello roots." and "You are very clean now."
  3. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner - best with Cliff Notes, granted, and I wish that someone would print it in multiple colors as he first envisioned - or maybe different fonts for different narrators? Sure would help to keep the Quentins straight...
  4. The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot - I don't actually remember the plot much, and had to confess recently that I didn't realize the author was a girl, but I recall it was long but didn't feel that way...
  5. Middlesex, by Jeffry Eugenides - one of the few hand-me-downs from my mother's book club that I wasn't embarrassed to read...
  6. Claude the Dog: A Christmas Story, by Dick Gackenbach - I don't even like dogs, but this story makes me smile. It also makes me feel like a selfish bastard.
  7. Pretty much everything by Dr. Seuss (especially the Sneetches), Eric Carle (especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar, of course, though I loved when Grace read me Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? over the phone recently), Steven King (especially Thinner), and Charles Bukowski (especially Post Office - which I stole from a library ages ago - perhaps this started my book karma?).
  8. And, of course, the entire Harry Potter series. No shame there.
Not very sophisticated, I know. But no real guilty pleasures, either. My taste in books is, I see now, far better than my taste in television. Which isn't saying all that much.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

houses i could buy

Today I discovered there are actually houses in my neighborhood that Erik and I could afford to buy. By us, of course I mean Erik, cuz I have no job. And by afford, I mean, we could pay twice what we are paying now. This would be a stretch even if we ditched my favorite distractions - cable television, our cell phones, the internets, Netflix, Thai Boat, take out of any sort...

Anyway, here is a list of my observations on the houses in our price range, in the order we saw them:
  1. Sold
  2. Built for hobbits, strange slanted room, no bathroom?, big yard
  3. Dump, deck collapsing, next to Coyote hill
  4. Orange, no carpet, cracked cement floor, good windows, decent yard, nice layout
  5. Tiny, built-in barking neighbor dogs, stained wood floors, disturbing light fixtures, broken window, nice jasmine plant
  6. Connecty, weird layout - even for a duplex, vacant lot next door, fence falling over
  7. Unsafe / condemned
We're going to look inside #4 tomorrow and we are actually sad to hear that #5 is already in escrow. #1 was the real blow. Erik had his eye on that house ages ago - before we were real grown ups who get a bank to loan us $300,000.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i forgot

Is anyone surprised I ditched my husband for the harbor seal? Stello was worth every midnight minute of it... 6.3 kg of pure sweet suckling goodness. Now I'm a bit sleep deprived (as I also went in for the 7 am feeding), and the only thing standing between me and my bed is today's list.

Since it seems that I've left something off of every list I've published so far, I'm thinking that's my theme for tonight. Here, in the order posted, are the items I should've included the first time around:
  1. In the future I will also be walking in the March of Dimes for preemies with Grace. Haven't sent out my beggar email yet, but my sister doesn't seem to think it is all about the fundraising.
  2. I was also awake thanks to Monkey's stinking up the litter box with his powerful Monkey poo followed by incessant, obsessive compulsive scritch-scratching.
  3. I apparently couldn't spell NaBloPoMo. This was one of many days I called it NaNoBloPoMo.
  4. It was also fabulous that I got to see my husband all day.
  5. Hm. Six fruits was it for my breakfast that day. I didn't even have OJ. But this morning I had craisins. That counts, right?
  6. I also can't climb monkey bars, don't do my hair well, and should learn to decorate cakes.
  7. I also did not buy a giant bean bag chair. Erik swears he wants one, but I think not as much as $300.
  8. I also needed toilet paper, but I felt like you didn't need to know. Today I need eggs, and I think it was evil they were not on sale before Easter.
  9. The uterus also thinks it is okay that I get foot rubs while refusing to give them.
  10. I also need to finish the papier-mache cactus, to honor a cactus I lost to a termite tenting. I've been struggling with the concept of the needles, but I have a plan - toothpicks.
  11. In other good news, Zoe got the same scholarship as her sister.
  12. I failed to list my love of snap dragons, and I recently realized that I didn't know that the "little / big dipper" I thought I was seeing is actually Orion's belt. Also, I never knew that Nevada is very similar to the Spanish verb to snow - nevar, the past participle being, I'm pretty sure, nevado. (Interestingly, it seems the words for "suffering" and "patience" are quite similar. I think I like this language...)
  13. I already mentioned the spiders keep haunting me. I just saw one by the light switch. Creepy.
  14. I also couldn't post cuz I was uninspired. Obviously.
  15. I also spend a lot of time on the imdb, working on my celebrity spotting and proving to Erik that I am right and he is wrong.
  16. I also cheat on my diet. But you knew that.
  17. Hm. I didn't leave out any secretly rescued animals that weekend, but I have had two ellies in between. (More on Brystyn and Hookis later...)
  18. You should also have Reaper & Pushing Daisies on your Tivos. Now that the writers are back, they might actually have new episodes / be on at all.
  19. I'm also excited that I live somewhere where I can watch the sunset while surfing the web.
  20. 14 - Sadie will be 14 in a couple weeks.
  21. How did I forget, in my relaxation fantasy I would still have to find time for a nap.
  22. As I mentioned in comments, I forgot my favorite new phrase "Suelte me!" or "Let me go!" And since I have noticed "Por el amor del dios..." or "For the love of God..." and "No puede ser." or "It can't be."
  23. Um, I forgot everything that day. I forgot a list. I also forgot to stop drinking.
  24. My brother and I also discussed the recipe for an Old Fashioned - my brother's drink of choice that night.
  25. And yes, indeed, I also love beets, and snow peas, and snap peas, and green beans, acorn squash, and celery even...
  26. And today, well, I'm sure I have forgotten something. Mostly I forgot to nap.
Whew. I feel much better.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

i like peas

I remember the first time I was suckered into this NaBloPoMo thing, one of the organizers suggested an entry could be as simple as "I like peas." Well, today I find myself in a hurry again (headed out of town last minute) and much as I do like peas, peas do not make a list. So here are some more veggies I also like:
  1. Peas (which, funny enough, I once served to my niecelet Savannah for breakfast - weird, eh?)
  2. Carrots (my favorite - but not when limp and buttery on a buffet line)
  3. Asparagus (love the way it reminds you that you ate it)
  4. Corn (especially on the cob)
  5. Broccoli (not if overdone)
  6. Cauliflower (with salsa or cheese sauce or in a curry)
  7. Eggplant (sometimes, other times it is really gross)
  8. Spaghetti squash (with spaghetti sauce or recently with a tapenade)
  9. Zucchini (again, only if properly cooked - and often for breakfast)
  10. Artichokes (yum, super yum, but so much work)
We'll see if I am back in town in time to post again in time. Just now I got a call inviting me to a midnight harbor seal feed which is tempting me to ditch my hubby and just stay home. Oh, those harbors are so darling... Decisions, decisions...

Monday, March 24, 2008

the agony of defeat

So, as my loyal reader(s) already noticed, I failed NaBloPoMo again yesterday. For real. No possibility of fudging the clock. I guess you could say I took a holiday - being Easter and all. The truth is, it was an unscheduled interruption. I failed to plan my day properly and my evening got a little more festive than I expected. I was enjoying a jolly little drunk dial from my brother and the drunk and the dialing got a bit too mutual. Next thing I knew, I woke up on the floor, lovingly cared for by my enabling husband. I'm glad he thinks I'm cute when I'm obnoxious. I'm pretty sure if I was married to me I'd be divorced.

Anyway, my memory is a bit foggy on all the details of our extended conversation, but here are the things I can recall:
  1. I'm pretty sure I successfully talked him into taking the LSAT in June. I told him I'd give him $500 if he can beat my score. I am banking on my mother's logic - that once I can get him to take the test his ego will drive him the rest of the way to law school. Evil, I know. See how I will be a good lawyer?
  2. I also learned that his friend / rival from high school / college is currently attending law school at my old alma mater (wonder if he beat my score?) - which makes him less likely to want to follow the same path, but whatever.
  3. And I learned that the Beatles once had a very disturbing album cover.
  4. I'm also pretty sure I agreed to fly up there in July to attend a concert - Elvis Costello opening for the Police. Now that I think about it, I'm remembering that I was designated as our designated driver. Fair enough. The way I feel today, I can imagine I still won't feel like drinking in July.
Anyway, today is traditionally the holiday I celebrate - buying up all the half priced Easter candy for my nieces - but I think they've finally grown too old (and paranoid about their gorgeous teenaged figures) to make it worth my while. I could continue the tradition for my niecelets, but that would involve postage (which eats up most of the $ saved) and, besides, it's really not a healthy practice. So good for me, I guess, though I feel sort of let down. Of course, that could be just the hangover.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

you don't say

I'm really having list envy. When I started this month I had delusions of grandeur. I thought maybe I could produce something half worth reading, something like you'd find on McSweeney's, but as you've seen, I've pretty much just cobbled together some crap each night so I could feel somewhat accomplished and go to bed. Sorry about that. Not sorry enough to change it, I'm sure, but sorry all the same.

Had I not been entirely slothful today (including a delicious session of "family nap time" when I joined Erik and the two kitties in bed this afternoon), I might have been able to make another list of elephant seals I've rescued. But considering I didn't help with the two they got today and I only got two myself yesterday and I don't believe two items makes a list, I'm out of luck. Besides, I've been too lazy to upload my photos. So that's out.

I could continue to list the places where the spiders have been taunting me (my couch side table, the bathroom floor, just now on my mouse pad), but that would be super redundant. Worse than just phoning something in, I think. Though I felt like it was important to share that the spider karma continues, you know, just in case any of you might find yourself tempted to entertain your housebound kitty with murder for hire.

So the most entertaining thing I have come up with tonight are the top ten phrases I have learned from watching Spanish soap operas.
  1. No te preocupas. (Don't you worry.)
  2. Va a salir bien. (It will come out well.)
  3. Estoy embarazada. (I'm pregnant.)
  4. No puedo creer. (I can't believe it.)
  5. Voy a matarle. (I'm going to kill him.)
  6. Secuestraron a mi hermanita. (They kidnapped my little sister.)
  7. Maldita! (damn)
  8. Andrea está emborrachando. (Andrea is getting drunk.)
  9. Andrea está en coma. (Andrea is in a coma.)
  10. Roxana está loca. (Roxana is crazy.)
Sadly, I don't think my new found knowledge will serve me well in the real world. Though it is good news that I am now able to comfort my imaginary Spanish speaking friends, I hope not to have to discuss with them my murderous thoughts, my unexpected pregnancy, or the kidnapping of any of my relatives.

Friday, March 21, 2008


This will be another phoned in NaBloPoMo entry, I think, as once again I feel rushed. As usual, I'm almost out of day. I have less than 90 minutes to work with at this point. Even if I had more time, quite frankly I'd rather spend it eating or sleeping or eating so I can go to sleep. I am depleted from my adventures chasing elephant seals. Today we got two new patients, did three tube feedings, attempted two subQs. It's the most action anyone's had for a week, but not so much that it should've been so hectic. The problem was we had to drive north three times (not just two) and the last time we were racing daylight. I think what I feel is a hurry hangover - I want to slow down, I am allowed to slow down, and yet I just feel kinda grumpy and wound.

So what would be a good list then, eh? Perhaps a relaxation fantasy. I would like to:
  1. Wake up naturally - no hungry cats, no telephone calls, certainly no alarm clocks...
  2. Then get a massage - 90 minutes at least. I find that an hour is simply not enough. It takes half that time for me to really let go and enjoy. Sadly, I need to find a masseuse that I love. I've had some that get me, but they've all been random city folks. No one local has really found a way to hit my spot.
  3. Afterwards I'd rotate through my favorites - sauna, steam room, hot tub, pool. I'm imagining a swanky hotel with very few guests (as opposed to gym or club) so I don't have to be courteous to others. The Kabuki Hot Springs in San Francisco would be perfect - if I had the place to myself. Some may disagree, but I have found there is a limit to how many naked women should be in one room at any given time.
  4. Since I'm in a hotel, apparently, definitely room service - a nice butter leaf salad, yummy rolls, a bottle of wine, and something chocolaty for dessert. Erik will order a burger and I will eat most of his fries.
  5. Hopefully we have a view so I can savor the sunset - though tonight the setting sun was my enemy, the moon rise was astounding.
  6. After sunset, maybe a little TV? - if I'm in a hotel with room service, apparently I am out of town (guess that explains why the kitties didn't wake me up, eh?) so I am imagining I am free of Tivo (LOVE my Tivo as you know, but sometimes I feel pressured - like now, I am far behind on my Spanish soap operas and Tivo likes to remind me with those pesky exclamation points...). With limited channels maybe we'd catch a movie? Then early to bed for sure.
Sigh. I feel better already. But I am still hungry. And sleepy. And on call for another hour still. I'd best get myself fed and not tempt the fates... They love to mess with me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

by the numbers

Maybe by the end of this month I will actually have come up with a theme for my list well before the list is due. As it is, I have less than two hours left to post and thus you are subject to my whim. Tonight's entry can only loosely be considered a list, I think. It's more like a game of word association - which, by the way, I've just discovered, you can play on line. As if I needed another way to waste away my days in front of the computer screen... Anyway, here goes:
  1. Love of my life - Erik, of course
  2. Cats I've had trapped in neighbor's garages - Fabe and now OC
  3. Boxes that Monkey has peed in lately - no more boxes for Monkey
  4. Pillows on my bed - sadly, I don't really love any of them
  5. Letters in my first name - proof I am not a Jennifer
  6. Fingers on Monkey's front paw - but you knew that already
  7. New deadly sins - it looks like I'm guilty of at least 3 of them so far...
  8. 8. 8? I forget was 8 was for - did you recognize the Violent Femmes reference? "Kiss Off" was a major part of the soundtrack to the best of my adolescence...
  9. The pathetically low number of pounds I have shed this year - but at least I can wear my ring again
  10. Commandments - jeez, who knew I was this Catholic? Since I know you are wondering, depending on your interpretation, I may have broken as few as four or as many as eight...
  11. More lists left this month - also my favorite number, since I was born on the 11th.
  12. Eggs in a dozen - funny story about eggs. Tonight I found myself in line behind a guy at the grocery store who was buying five dozen eggs. Though he looked a bit old for mischief, I couldn't resist asking if he was going to eat all those eggs or if they were for throwing at something. He played along at first but soon reminded me this Sunday is Easter. Forgetting Easter - one more reason I am surely going to hell...
  13. Triskaidekaphobia - a word I once tried to play in Hangman during elementary school. In hindsight, I'm certain my stumped colleagues were right to chastise me for using a word I didn't truly know myself, as I just now had to look up the spelling...
Whew. Getting this in just under the wire... I've never really claimed time management was my strongest suit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

i'm so excited

Those who know me well would not be the least bit surprised to hear I often ride the roller coaster of anxiety. Even when all is right in my world, I tend to manufacture things to fret about. (Usually I decide the kitties look sick. Thank goodness I am not a parent as I've always figured I would raise a hypochondriac scarred by Munchausen Syndrome by proxy....) I can't seem to help myself, though I've tried to learn from this pearl of wisdom (which I attribute to Oprah, who was quoting, apparently, William Ralph Inge) - "Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due."

Lately my anxiety level has been fairly low. I have been allowing myself to relax, enjoying the calm before the law school storm. I have been trying to stay out of trouble, thus at this very moment I am ditching yet another staff meeting with my volunteer group where I tend to get myself spun up over petty stuff. In fact, I've been in such a good place recently that I even tried facing some of my fears by walking across the Golden Gate bridge. (Sadly, anxiety won as repeated brushes with imaginary death forced me to turn around at the first tower. Still, I can say I have walked on the bridge, just not across it... and it will be there next time I am feeling brave...)

Over the past 24 hours, however, it seemed anxiety was mounting. But now, as I watch the sun settle slowly into the ocean, I celebrate that so many of my concerns have been resolved. Here are the top three reasons I am currently so excited:
  1. The worry cycle all started shortly after midnight, when I went canvassing the neighborhood looking for my orange cat, OC. He'd missed lunch (not really his style since the jihad died with Blackers) and I hadn't thought much of it till he missed dinner too. My heart raced and my spirits fell as I called his name out into the quiet of the foggy night. Usually he finds me quickly. Something was wrong. Thirty minutes later I came home, defeated, hoping to find him inside. He wasn't. So I called over the back fence one last time and finally he answered back. He sounded a bit panicked. It didn't take long to realize he was trapped in the neighbor's shed. Knowing she is a cat lover, I figured she wouldn't mind that I went trespassing to free him. He could've taken the shortcut home (over the fence) but he followed me the long way (around the corner), thanking me for coming to his rescue.
  2. Then this morning I woke to an emergency call from my best friend who was having a bit of a meltdown. She's been nursing a pretty serious plane phobia since before 9/11 (when she lost 4 colleagues in the towers) and though she'd told her employers before they hired her that she doesn't fly, she recently found herself scheduled to speak at a symposium in North Carolina. We'd made plans to weather the worry together (with Ativan and / or alcohol), she was no longer convinced she could board the plane. She hadn't slept for days. Today it was my job to convince her that it was okay to back out. In fact, it was better for the company. And so she summoned the courage to talk to her boss and now she is free. She's hard on herself. She's not particularly proud of her choice and she doesn't completely buy my logic that it is more than fine. But she is done with the worry. Like me and the bridge, she thought she was ready to face her fears. We both turned around. And it's okay.
  3. Then this afternoon, while savoring a particularly enjoyable entry from my blogging buddy Merry ME (to whom I wish the happiest of birthdays), I finally received an email I've been anticipating for over a month. It was my TA confirming that he'd be happy to write me a letter of recommendation for law school. Bless his heart. I had pretty much sour graped myself to death, arguing that his letter would have been at best generic, and that generic letters are worse than no letters at all. I scolded myself for even thinking he'd remember me. I told myself I didn't deserve his time. I told myself that academic letters aren't expected of non-traditional applicants such as myself. But inside I worried. I knew that my stats are pretty darned great, but they aren't perfect. They are just enough to get me on the cusp of some really good schools. I knew that my boss would write me a decent letter (especially as we will likely collaborate), but my work history is far from stellar. I knew that the letter from my volunteer friend would also be strong, but really, what have I done lately but cause trouble and ditch meetings? I needed this letter, but I was too worried to admit I wanted it.
So hooray. I can hardly contain myself. My kitties aren't sick. My friend's not scared. And my TA does remember me. To quote a really dorky 80's song, "My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

five things on my tivo that should be on yours

So I recently learned that it was not Monkey who was prank calling Santa Barbara. It was my Tivo (something about Vonage and VOIP...) So this got me thinking about my Tivo and how I love it, even if it does make prank phone calls on occasion. So in honor of this great love, here is a list of season passes I have that I think everyone should have:
  1. Breaking Bad - So good it surely won't be on long. Shows I love this much never last. They had a very short season (now in rerun) which is another bad sign, but I can hope for the best.
  2. Dexter - I was late in the game discovering it (caught it on Netflix), but I love, love, love it My only concern is that it reminds Erik how much he thinks he wants to live in Miami. It's more than a bit graphic, sure, and definitely twisted, so I was surprised to see regular cable picking it up, but then I realized I've certainly seen more gore on the evening news - without the clever dialog and plot lines.
  3. Nip/Tuck - Erik won't watch it with me cuz he says it is still technically a hospital show (and he gets enough hospital at work), but it is really part soap opera part soft porn. I can't tell you how often I have seen Julian McMahon's butt. This show has definitely jumped the shark a number of times, but that is part of its charm, I think.
  4. Ninja Warrior - I must confess, it gets old and is on often in rerun, so we recently deleted it from our season pass list, but now I am bummed because I haven't seen the new obstacle course and it is apparently defeating everyone. Erik and I enjoy it so much we've even talked about traveling to Japan to watch the Sasuke competition live...
  5. Monk & Psych - I have them share a spot as they are pretty much the same show, only different. A nice way to cleanse the mental palate before the weekend.
Of course I did not include all the classics - Survivor, Lost, 24, Amazing Race (my idea of hell on earth, but still a hoot to watch), Grey's Anatomy - cuz, well, you probly already have them on your Tivo, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

irish eyes

It seems that all the world is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. By blood I know I have a legitimate 25% claim, but if Irish-ness was measured in freckles, or affection for alcohol, perhaps, I'm certain I'd score much higher. Anyway, I know I should have some clever Irish theme in honor of the holiday, but I'm feeling a bit wed to this whole list idea. Unfortunately, I only really have two Irish-ish tales (both brief and not all that interesting) and I'm pretty certain two items do not make a list. Still, I hate it when people hint at stories and fail to tell them, so I guess I ought to share them all the same...

The first is when I felt my most Irish. Many of my aunts and uncles were out visiting (to attend my sister's wedding - which I often cynically refer to as the pre-divorce party) and one evening a couple of my uncles broke out into song. Their Irish tunes - some traditional, some made up - were delightful and spirited, and the feeling of joy and lightness was contagious. Granted, my uncles are actually much more Irish than I am (McGowan, O'Malley...) and they married into the family, but still... Anyway, I think perhaps I enjoy this memory so much especially as it contrasts with a distinctly less pleasant Irish-ish memory from the same period. This more haunting memory involves waking up (always early) to same darned cd (River Dance) every fricking morning (until we hid it). My Dad doesn't recall his River Dance period, but I had always interpreted it to be his own pathetic attempt to establish his own Irish-ness. Now that I have seen how my parents relate to technology, however, I believe it may just honestly be that he had no idea how to change the disks in the player...

Anyway, my second Irish tale is when I felt my least Irish. This was when I lived in Santa Cruz and had just moved into the best (and worst) house ever. There we had a very Irish neighbor - red hair, Gaelic accent, proper posture, great garden... he even had an Irish setter - and one day I made him a strawberry pie as a gesture of friendship. He accepted my pie fairly graciously but when I tried to claim a shared heritage he asked my name. The conversation ended shortly thereafter when I told him I was a Thomas. "Thomas?" he replied dismissively, "That's Welsh." Which I guess I should've know (Thomas' English Muffins and all) but it hadn't dawned on me to tell him my grandmother was a Bruton...

Anyhow, since I've got to satisfy the list theme, here are the four animals I've rescued over the last two weekends.

1. First, the Saturday before last, we rescued Valet, a skinny little elephant seal pup with an eye injury. He was at the bottom of the stairs of a very busy hotel and we had to utilize the valet parking to get anywhere close to him. You can see the scratch across his eye in this photo. The vets say it is old and he's likely lost the sight permanently, but luckily we've released a number of one eyed seals. Still, sure did look like it hurt.

2. The next day we picked up Hangemhi, another ellie named in honor of a team member's pending jury duty. Hangemhi seemed rather ordinary until I noticed his bloody broken tooth. You can see the few droplets of blood beneath his head here. Later it turned to blood and pus and was also coming out of his nose. We gave him some antibiotic and I assume he is okay as he is still on the list of current patients and hasn't made the radar of the head veterinarian.

3. Then, of course, there was yesterday. We picked up yet another ellie off dog beach. We named him Roo, in honor of our Australian volunteer who had her first rescue (and transport) that day. Roo seems pretty darned fine (in fact, he was juicy enough to be snotty, as you can plainly see) but he was seriously underweight and in a bad location. Definitely a good pick up.

4. And then, as you've already heard, I got to visit with Repo after sunset last night. My pictures aren't great, this is the only one remotely usable, but then I shouldn't have been taking any at all. This was taken outside of a friend's house. We convinced him to come along for the drive as the tide was high and we didn't want to get stuck in the river. Turns out I probly could've handled the terrain, but it was nice to see my friend anyway.

So I guess that's it for now. Can't believe this month is still only half over. I have no idea what tomorrow's list will be but I guess the surprise is half the fun?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

foiled again

So only super obsessed readers may have noticed that I have once again failed NaBloPoMo. Others will be fooled by the fact that I have fudged the time stamp to make it look like I posted on time. Few will be surprised that I cheated, for those who know me know that I have cheated on:
  1. Spelling tests (looking on a friend's paper)
  2. Calculus tests (sharing answers with a friend)
  3. Monopoly (I was banker and gave myself interest free loans so I could stay in the game)
I have never cheated on:
  1. My husband
  2. My taxes
  3. Yahtzee (though sometimes I am tempted)
Anyway, at least tonight I have a good excuse for my tardiness. I just spent the last 4 and a half hours relocating an otter. Not just any otter, either, but Repo, the otter I could have rescued as a pup many years back, but I was out of town that weekend. He came from a beach right in my neighborhood but he was picked up illegally by members of the public and my friends repossessed him from their garage. Thus, the name, Repo.

So Repo is special as he was the last otter pup rehabbed by the Marine Mammal Center (now all otters go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium). Apparently we didn't do the best job keeping him from habituating to humans. Repo is now a serial restrander - showing up on piers, in kayaks, and on very populated beaches. In fact, he was picked up in the very same spot just a week ago. Though I know it's not what an otter should do, I was happy to get to see him again. And I was happy the Aquarium didn't want us to bring him in and happier still they let us relocate him rather than leave him be with the drunken spring breakers around.

Anyway, now I'm due a shower - I'm cold to my core and I am almost certainly tainted with otter poop...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

webthings i love

I spent most of today in a meeting and then on the road home from San Francisco. Since I knew I'd be away, I prepared this bit of insight into the sites I visit when I ought to be blogging. Inspiration or procrastination, you decide:
  1. Checking up on This one is my favorite.
  2. Passive Aggressive Notes led me to a million other fun places, including
    where this one made me cry and this one made me laugh.
  3. I forget to check Postsecret on a weekly basis and I know I am missing out.
  4. But I keep a watchful eye on Bent Objects because he's just great.
  5. and the more twisted Really Bent Objects where I find this one naughtiest.
  6. I found him through the Sneeze, where you must read Steve, Don't Eat It.
  7. At times I obsess on the TLS forums. The site is a great resource for my law school prep, but the forums are as addictive as VH1.
  8. At least they have helped wean me off my other addiction, Yahoo's Alchemy. I think you can only be free of this game when you get someone else hooked. I shared it with my brother, Kevin.
  9. Of course I check a number of other blogs regularly including Random Thoughts, Stefanie Says, Dooce, and She Walks. All of these ladies are in my life (real or imaginary) thanks to my dear pal Wendy, who should keep a blog herself, I'm betting, cuz she's really quite charming and insightful.
  10. And I've been learning Spanish for free on LiveMocha where you can hear my terrible accent here. (Maybe, I'm not sure the link / audio works - I have trouble at home... this could be a blessing...)
Tomorrow I am on the seal schedule and today they were busy, so perhaps tomorrow's list will include my rescues for the last two weekends...

Friday, March 14, 2008

reasons i can't post right now

I really can't post right now. At least not anything interesting. Here's why:
  1. I'm going to a meeting in Sausalito tomorrow and I've got to hit the road right now to get through San Jose and San Francisco before traffic.
  2. I've got to play with Monkey before he goes. This will be his first truly abandoned overnight. He will be lonely. I will feel guilty.
  3. I'm also in a hurry cuz if I get to SF early enough and fresh enough I plan to walk across the Golden Gate bridge. Not sure why I want to - tall, scary, cold - but I do. And this is one of the few times I can bring Erik with me to protect me.
Something more interesting tomorrow, I promise...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

spider karma

Ever since I helped Monkey kill that spider last month, it seems I have been suffering arachnid revenge. At first I thought it was just a matter of perception (the noticing all the red lights when you are late to work theory...). Then I thought maybe it is just spider season (could still be, in fact). But now things have seriously escalated. Here are the disturbing places I have encountered spiders in the last few days:
  1. On the couch, on my favorite green and white blanket (a wedding gift from my Aunt Kathy). This spider was quick enough to disappear before Erik could escort him outside so the blanket remains under quarantine.
  2. On the couch, again, on my other blanket (the yellow quilt my mom made ages ago) - but this time I was sitting under said blanket. I only noticed as I felt him scurrying across my arm. Before I knew it, he had crossed my lap. To my dismay he disappeared into the couch cushions. What a way to ruin a very rare OC snuggle.
  3. Finally, just moments ago, I ran across another spider in the kitchen, on my Agave Nectar. Again he was also too quick for Erik to capture. And unlike most spiders, who head for the darkness, he is now guarding the microwave, rendering it and the nearby toaster totally useless.
Guess it's time for bed. Think I'll sleep with the lights on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i never knew

What is it that they say? You don't know what you don't know? Well, recently I have been learning all kinds of things I never knew:
  1. I accept that my floral knowledge is, shall we say, limited. I'll always adore my childhood favorites - Daisies (for Daisy Chains), Dandelions (for wishes), Buttercups (for flirting) and Johnny Jump Ups (my favorite). As an adult I grew to love Hyacinth (great fragrance), Roses (of course), and various Orchids (mainly for killing). But never did I think much of those ubiquitous yellow flowers that pop up everywhere this time of year. I guess I just figured they were weeds. Well, I have recently learned they are called Sour Grass. As you may have surmised, the stems are edible and sour. Erik says they taste like dog pee. Surprisingly, he has yet to convince me to try one.
  2. I also accept that I know next to nothing astronomical. I did take Astronomy in college (to satisfy a science requirement without taking a lab) - but that was all math and it was many many moons ago. Still, I was shocked to learn that I have long mistaken the Little Dipper for the Big Dipper, meaning, I suppose, that I have never really seen the Big Dipper at all. Tonight I couldn't find the tiny cluster of stars I have always called the Little Dipper, but I have learned that I am not the only one to find them dipper-like. My error is apparently common enough to inspire this forum post, titled "Will Make You Laugh." For those who are curious, here's a great guide to the real deal. Trouble is, I was out there gazing tonight and I think my new Little Dipper was oriented the other way...
  3. Finally, it is no surprise that my geographical skills are weak. Still, I always sort of assumed Death Valley was in Nevada because, well, Nevada is the hot state, right? Sad, I know. Anyway, I'm learning about Death Valley as Erik is planning a trip there. I believe it is a trip I will skip, cuz much as I dig a good swimming pool and those mysterious rocks of the Racetrack Playa, lately I have just not been drawn to the heat. This surprises me as I have always been cold to the bone and suddenly I'm just not. I don't know if I am packing around too much personal insulation or if it's a change in my hormones or what, but it makes me nervous about Erik's desire to live in Miami after law school...
Anyway, I am confident that there are a ton of other things I don't know but for now I feel my work here is done...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a bit of good news

Seems like I am always bitching about something, so today I have for you good news:
  1. My niece, Sadie, was accepted to her first choice high school today. (Very competitive, great Ivy League placement, not far from home, looks like a ski lodge - they even serve free hot chocolate and allow their students to nap - we know cuz her sister Zoe already goes there...) Not only did they accept my dear Sadie, but she scored a generous scholarship, too. I was confident she'd get in all along, but it sure is nice to know I was right.
  2. Researchers saw one of my favorite harbor seals from last year, Luka, chilling out on the Farallon islands. They even got a picture and she looks happy, fat and sassy. We don't usually get confirmation that our rescues survive the season (the harbors are wearing numbered hats as part of a study - much easier to read than a flipper tag) so I'm soaking up the warm and fuzzy feeling of a job well done.
  3. I also knocked a few things off yesterday's to do list. I put away the laundry, emailed my TA, and caught up on some of my on line Spanish lessons.
I'm sure there are other great things going on in the world, but in my slothful corner of the universe, these are the things that made me smile today.

Monday, March 10, 2008

unfinished business

Tonight I finished my newly started knitting project. Hooray. I should be happier, especially since I had a serious mishap and was forced to start over half way through. (To those who can drink and knit, I salute you... I do not share your skills... At least I confirmed that I can cast on without my mom around...) But instead of celebrating my victory, I find myself thinking about all the other unfinished business in my life. Including:
  1. I need to find a new cat sitter. Mine quit at Christmas time and I haven't replaced her since OC's been so fragile. I'm actually going out of town this weekend and could even take Erik with me, but I haven't bothered to find someone else I can trust with my house keys and my kitties. Lazy? Paranoid? Just in denial? Afraid to leave OC? A mix of all four, I suspect.
  2. I need to finish or discard the papier-mache penguin. He's been in my life for a decade now and he still has no eyeballs. I almost parted with him during the purge but the thoughts of dismantling him or tossing him away whole were both too disturbing to bear. Which means, I think, I should finish him.
  3. For that matter, I should paint the papier-mache cat. I could never finish it before because I started it for Wendy. Now that I traded her for a nifty purple scarf, I feel I can finally paint him black (like my lost cats) instead of white (like hers).
  4. And I really need to finish the papier-mache Zoe doll I started when she was two. Yeah, that was nearly 14 years ago. I am ready to let go of all the overly ambitious animatronics I had had planned, but I really need to at least assemble the limbs.
  5. Beyond arts and crafts, I need to send a follow up email to my former TA. I sent him a package by snail mail a few weeks back soliciting a letter of recommendation for law school. I failed to include any sort of reply postcard (it seemed very fourth grade at the time - Do you like me? __ Yes __ No __ Maybe) and I didn't request any sort of confirmation receipt from the post office. So now I obsess on whether he just doesn't want to write me a letter (no big deal since he hardly knew me at the time so the letter will be generic at best) or my package got caught up in his office's version of a spam filter. Why am I afraid to email, then? I guess cuz I hate asking for favors. And I hate even more being rejected. Still, this is a must do. Just for peace of mind.
  6. I also need to finish the laundry. As if laundry can ever really be finished. I feel so hypocritical, bitching as I did about my husband's jacket robbing me of my sense of completion. Everything is clean, and everything's dry. Only one load remains to be folded. But nothing at all is put away. Shameful.
  7. I need to download my elephant seal pictures so I can tell you all about Valet and Hangemhi. And, for that matter, I ought to follow up with vet staff to see how they are doing. They've been on my mind.
  8. I need to work on my Spanish. Beyond just watching my Spanish soap, that is. LiveMocha is very insistent that I am behind in my lessons (still afraid to do the speaking ones) and I know I could be making serious headway. One positive sign - I've begun to dream in Spanish. Or rather, I've had Spanish speakers making guest appearances. I have noticed, however, that in my dreams their Spanish is horrible. So again, I need to finish studying.
  9. I also need to burn my Rocket Spanish on to disk(s). I don't trust my hard drive. It hasn't been clicking for a while, but it is very tired. I would hate to have to download all those lessons again...
  10. I should also be working on my optional essays for law schools. Application season isn't until August, but how relaxing would it be to be entirely prepared?
  11. For that matter, I should figure out how to get a Dean's Certification from my Registrar. I know I'll need one for at least one application.
  12. I should order OC more Lactulose from the vet. It usually takes a few days to get it in and I don't know why I wait until I am nearly out to re-up. I think I secretly believe it is not a vital part of his therapy, but even if it isn't the key, I am too superstitious to change a thing. We're approaching six months here, people.
  13. I need to stretch. And walk. And floss. And eat more vegetables. And drink more water. And go to bed earlier. You know, I need to get on with the business of being a better me.
I'm sure there's more unfinished business in my life but my brain feels lighter now. At least now I have finished one thing. I finished blogging for today.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

nine lies my uterus tells me

Though I thought yesterday's grocery list was scraping the bottom of the inspirational barrel, I was pleased to learn it was enjoyable to at least one loyal reader. And, indeed, I found it handy as I printed it out and made it to the store - a virtual miracle given the fact that I've been busy with elephant seals this weekend. (More on them later - I don't feel like Photoshopping their pictures just now and I have less than two hours remaining to come up with something to honor my Nanoblopomo obligations...)

Anyway, I thought this evening perhaps I would try for something a tad more entertaining. Tonight I will share with you a number of wholly irrational thoughts I revisit often. Although I know they are nuts, I am powerless against them. I have found it impossible to purge them from my mental playlist. Since they seem to be more persuasive at certain times of the month, I like to think of them as lies my uterus tells me.
  1. My uterus says that my husband puts his ugly tan plaid jacket in the laundry hamper just to aggravate me. It seems that he waits until the basket is perfectly full to discard this particularly oversized piece of clothing, thus ensuring I cannot wash all the clothes in one load. My uterus claims that this is a plot of his to squash that satisfying feeling of having all the laundry done at once. In truth, I know he puts the jacket in the laundry because it is dirty.
  2. My uterus says that I should eat the chocolate ice cream because I deserve it. When my mind protests, calculating the number of points in real ice cream, my uterus claims that I actually like being fat because then I get to have big boobs. My uterus fails to remind me that my boobs are actually also quite cute when they are small and perky, because my uterus simply likes chocolate ice cream. My uterus also strongly believes my husband when he says he likes me at every size. My uterus is the only part of my body that believes this. The rest of me knows my husband is too smart and too sweet to tell the truth.
  3. My uterus is convinced that it is okay to go out in public while wearing Happy Bunny pajama pants. I'm actually often inclined to agree, but I know that Oprah Winfrey would call me a "shlumpadinka."
  4. My uterus thinks the cats can sense REM sleep and they dedicate their lives to disturbing it. Again, I tend to agree with the uterus on this one.
  5. My uterus thinks that the cooking of any meal which does not involve either the freezer or the microwave is insanity. The uterus prefers take out.
  6. Along the same line, the uterus feels strongly that the family that operates Thai Boat should never ever be allowed to go on vacation. They should certainly never be allowed to take an entire month off to go to, oh, I don't know, Thailand or someplace far away like that. The uterus feels that at the very least Thai Boat should have to notify its loyal customers in advance to warn them of the pending shortage of this very addictive food. (The uterus would not be at all surprised to learn that their recipes include some sort of narcotic...) The uterus also believes that their take out menu should be a legally binding document and the uterus would like to force them to adhere to the part that reads, "Open 7 Days" which is in direct conflict with the part that says, "closed Wednesdays." At the very least the uterus thinks the matter should go to an arbitrator.
  7. The uterus thinks the world revolves around me. This is not an altogether unpleasant thought (it certainly justifies much selfishness), but it comes with an unpleasant side effect. The uterus thinks that all the world recalls each and every horrible thing I've ever done or said. My uterus is fond of reminding of what a dumbass I have been.
  8. My uterus thinks I should have a cocktail. It never thinks I will have a hangover. And when I do wake up feeling poorly, the uterus always blames me. The uterus claims it never said I should have the second, third or fourth cocktail, only the first. I suppose my uterus has a point there, but still.
  9. My uterus has horrible taste in TV but prefers to think of our time spent in front of the tube as hours spent partaking in pop culture. Even the uterus knows this is a lie. The uterus and I agree that it is sweet and adorable of Erik to let us have the remote control even though we use it to watch trash.
On that note, I guess I am off to enjoy my Thai Boat with some trash TV and perhaps a cocktail. Hopefully I can at least resist the ice cream...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

things i need at the grocery store

What list is more basic than the grocery list? Since I don't have anything embarrassing on the list just now, and I don't have anything more inspired on my mind, here's my list now:
  1. Milk - non fat and whole (Erik won't drink anything but whole)
  2. Tortillas - flour for sure, maybe corn?
  3. Oatmeal - at least I've been good at breakfast
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Carrots
  6. Asparagus (cuz it's in season - zucchini if it was not)
  7. Onions
  8. Water (I hate buying water but our tap water is gross)
  9. Ready to Eat Bacon - Erik's new favorite
  10. Bread? (mine is on the verge of molding, Erik needs some sort of white bread, he looks like he likes white bread...)
  11. Sugar? (once I feed the hummingbirds again I will be low)
  12. Yogurt? (if it is on sale - I don't always eat it. Though I used to be a yogurt junkie, I tend to forget about the ones I buy. I think they suffer from poor product placement - on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Total tangent? I remember my mom even had a yogurt maker... which is gross, if you think about it.)
  13. Butter? Could go either way but if Erik gets on a grilled cheese kick my supply could be gone.
  14. Diet soda of some sort. Not the Diet Coke junkie my sister is, but they may be how I am leaning. I've been drinking Diet Sunkist of all things which is strange as I usually hate the artificial orange flavor (reminds me of baby aspirin).
  15. Chili? I suspect Erik has eaten all of his, but he can always live off beans...
  16. Mint Chip Ice Cream - Erik's ultimate staple. He's always sad when Breyer's is on sale cuz he strongly prefers Dryer's but I can't bring myself to pay full price....
  17. Fruit Cocktail
  18. Raspberry Jello - Erik claims he's making a Jello mold...
  19. Peaches and Oranges - in plastic jars, not cans (I got Erik hooked on the good stuff)
  20. Cinnamon Graham Crackers - again for Erik...
  21. Sliced Salami
  22. Smoked Gouda
  23. Sour Cream
Ok, now I have to go feed an elephant seal (and again in the morning after daylight savings begins...), so the shopping will have to wait.

Friday, March 07, 2008

five things i did not buy on the internet

This morning I received another early phone call. I was afraid at first that it would be Monkey's friend again (who, I have noticed, was amongst my missed calls a couple days ago so I wonder if he is still receiving calls?) but then I heard the voice of my credit card company. They wanted to know if I had recently spent $1700 on Indeed, I had not. Perhaps something about my purchasing history (involving mainly pet food stores and Wal-mart) clued them in to the fact that I am not very techie?

Anyway, you would think if the folks who are trying to steal my credit are techie enough to need $1700 of stuff on D-Link they would be techie enough not to get caught. On the other hand, Cecil Ericson, the guy who is trying to steal my brother's identity, also has a flaw in his system. He's apparently overweight (as he used Kevin's card to order Nutrisystem) and he may be disappointed to learn that his the food was recently delivered to Kevin's address.

Anyway, since March is all about the lists, today I list the five things I did not buy on the internet:
  1. This cat butt wallet that was in stock when I bookmarked it but is sadly out of stock now... I wasn't sure if I was getting it for myself or my sister (who always buys me fun wallets) so I hedged. Alas, I guess the internet has made the decision for me.
  2. A pepper mill that is taller and easier to fill than the two I currently own. I figure I will get one eventually, just not today. (I've had fantasies of drunkenly swiping one from a restaurant, but now that I've been shopping around I see the restaurant sized ones cost big bucks so I might get in some real trouble...)
  3. This bear shaped ottoman, though I am still seriously considering it. Erik lost his ottoman to OC's leakage many many moons ago (now OC enjoys it in the garden), and it way past time to replace it. There are many ottomans which are cheaper and / or more functional than a grizzly bear, but seriously, none are cuter. And he comes with free shipping...

  4. An electric tandem bicycle on Craigslist. Erik and I have been considering a tandem bike for a while but due to our differing heights, it seems unlikely we'll ever enjoy a bicycle built for two. Anyway, I love how this listing tells you if you don't want to pedal then get a motorcycle...
  5. And, of course, $1700 of merchandise on
Anyway, I guess in theory this list is endless. Since I bought nothing at all on the internet today, all things that are available should be listed. But who's got time for that?

As for now, I am wondering if I regret not buying Thai Boat for dinner this evening. Erik is claiming the window for ordering closed when the sun went down, but then I am very good about reminding him that he promised to fetch in his wedding vows.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

things i can't, shouldn't, and might someday do

Today I am feeling a bit blue. Perhaps it is because my folks are gone (back to my regular life - no more Scrabble, no more eating out). Perhaps it is because I haven't had a good long walk in a couple days (need to keep those endorphins coming but once I lose momentum...). Perhaps it is because those darned kitties woke me up every two hours just like clockwork last night (but then what else is new?).

More likely I think I am feeling down because I received an unexpectedly high bill in the mail which, really, doesn't affect me so much as Erik anyway. And I know I should just be grateful that we have the money to pay since we just got our tax returns back. But I had already counted those taxes before they hatched so I am feeling like there's a big old hole in our get out of debt plan. Again. Which, ironically, makes me want to go out to eat.

In the spirit of feeling blue (esp. as I just discovered my usual favorite take out place is unexpectedly closed), today's lists are all about things I could do better, if at all...

Here's are things I can't do, but wish I could:
  1. hula hoop - I even bought a hoop recently (it's purple and it lights up) to encourage myself but if I couldn't do it when I was young, I'm not sure what makes me think I'll catch on now
  2. cartwheel - this is something I could do when I was young. Now I think I am off balance (too much lower body weight) and scared.
  3. yo yo - yeah, manual dexterity, not my thing
Things I do, but not well:
  1. sweep - it's always been challenging for me. Ever since my first job (McDonald's), I found that the physics of the broom escapes me.
  2. speak Spanish - though I have optimistically included Spanish on my law school resume, my "friends" on LiveMocha might advise me to exclude it. They recently gave my writing assignments 2 out of 5 stars. But I should have known better than to conjugate gustar so sloppily. At least my Spanish soaps are helping. Now if only I have the occasion to tell someone not to worry (no te preocupas) or express my disbelief (no puedo creer), I will be all set.
  3. knit - I am half way through my mystery project but as usual my stitch count has varied dramatically. Hooray for forgiving yarns. Will I ever be ready to knit something that has an actual pattern?
And things I plan on learning, if only in the most basic fashion:
  1. ballroom dancing - maybe just the salsa. And for the record, I thought ballroom dancing was groovy before Dancing with the Stars...
  2. bee keeping - if the rain continues, that is. Otherwise the honey guys won't need my help.
  3. American Sign Language - at least as much as I can pick up from the kid's show Signing Time.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

six yummy fruits in my breakfast

I think the absolute best part of my honeymoon four years ago was the fabulous selection of fruits available for breakfast each morning. I was reminded of this Mexican bonanza today when Erik served me:
  1. Watermelon (as an appetizer), followed by French Toast covered with
  2. Nectarines
  3. Bananas
  4. Kiwi
  5. Blueberries
  6. and Mangos
And of course I can never eat Mangos without thinking of this great short film, Bobby Loves Mangos, so I have been whistling the theme song all day.

Would write longer, but Monkey thinks it is time to play.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

five fabulous things that happened today

Today was full of sunshine and laughter and a few extraordinarily pleasant happenstances including the following:
  1. My mom started my newest (2nd ever) knitting project for me. I'm certain I could cast on if my life depended upon it (provided I had my instruction book handy), but somehow it seems that something knitted is even more especially special if my mom has a hand in it.
  2. I found the bestest piece of sea glass ever. Well, probly the bestest. I do still love the pink piece I found on Hearst State Beach by the San Simeon Pier. And I have only found two pieces of red ever and only one piece of yellow, so I can't turn my nose up at those either. But today? Today I found an entire jug handle and neck. At first glance it looked like your average brown piece (inch long, half inch wide) but when I lifted it from the sand, out came this entire apparatus. I know, some think it is trash. I think it is beautiful.
  3. My dad suffered revenge. Though Erik didn't mean to torture him by driving way too fast and way too far on the winding old highway one, he did confess to catching on to his discomfort at least a mile before my dad expressed his car sickness. Oh how Mom and I chuckled hearing Dad detail the adventure. Like most of Dad's classic stories, it involved many hand gestures, whistles, and high pitched noises. He insists Erik could have a second career as a race car driver. He recalls being on 16 miles of twisty road and finally having to speak up when the sign said 11 miles of turns remained. To make things worse, their final destination (a mountain hike) was unavailable (road closed) so they went to an alternate location (Erik's secret swimming hole) where Dad was so unsettled he didn't even want a beer. And the water there was cold. So cold. He could only sometimes put his feet in. Dad made us both feel the cold wet cuffs of his jeans. But the best part? Erik shared with me a specific quote, sure to become an "old tape," which happened after Erik told Dad he didn't think he got car sick (since he always subjected his family to the scenic route...) and Dad replied, "I think it might be different if you're not the driver." Priceless.
  4. O.C. got a new plant for his garden. It is cat mint, not cat nip, but he appears to enjoy it at least as much. When I shared it with him, he rubbed his face all around it, ate the tenderest, youngest leaves, rolled around a bit, hugging the pot, and gave me a big old bump on the forehead with his gigantic pumpkin head to tell me thank you. Even now he is hanging out with me by the computer (not his usual routine). I am pretty sure we are in love.
  5. My sister agreed that the San Francisco portion of her pending visit might be superfluous. I was starting to dread the hours and dollars spent in the big city but I thought it would be much more difficult to convince her just to come to my quiet beach town and enjoy life. What a relief.
So life is good, eh?

Monday, March 03, 2008

ten things I couldn't do today

So here are ten things I couldn't do today:
  1. Sleep in - nothing new here. Besides the regularly scheduled Monkey business, I had a breakfast date with the folks. Sadly, tomorrow's breakfast date is even earlier...
  2. Ride a bike very far - we borrowed cruisers from the hotel and my pedal fell off a half mile away. At least I didn't crash. I usually crash.
  3. Swim - turns out the hotel pool was closed for maintenance. Now I have an imaginary rain check and will feel entitled to pool hop there in the future.
  4. Convince Dad that he no longer has to coast to save gas. He used to do this, calling it his poor man's hybrid, but now that he has an actual Prius it turns out he coasts even more often to get the consumption meter closer to 50 mpg.
  5. Positively identify either a Whimbrel and a Whillet at a distance. We went bird watching today and we are definitely amateurs. Amateurs with poor vision and vastly varied opinions.
  6. Nap - I went shopping with Mom instead. I was a wee bit jealous that Dad was napping but it turns out his rest was brief (again thanks to Monkey...).
  7. Replace the mug I broke a billion years back. I actually went to get a new one right after the tragedy but tricked myself into buying a different, far less functional piece. Now that I realize the error in my ways, I found the store was no longer carrying my beloved mug. I do think I will bring it in, though, and see if they can find the artist to have him duplicate it...
  8. Finish my dinner - we went to Taco Temple, yum. I can almost always finish my regular (house salad and a veggie taco) when I get it as take out, but I know that is because I don't have to move afterwards. I can just slip off into a delightful food coma. Having to walk the three blocks home, I chose to box up the rest of my meal...
  9. Roust my Dad into a Scrabble rematch - he won last night by over 20 points and he never wins... I don't think his pride is the obstacle, though. The poor guy is just exhausted from not napping.
  10. I couldn't not post. Not this early into this imaginary Nanoblopomo, at least. But clearly I couldn't come up with a clever idea, either. Seriously, I should get more organized if I am going to attempt these things.
Oh well. At least I made it to 10. And now I am off to bed. If Monkey allows.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

ten reasons i am awake right now

Ah, another Kitty Wake Up Hour. How delightful. I know I should be grateful to find the sun shining, the birds chirping, my health intact, another gorgeous day of leisure ahead of me. Instead I find myself wondering why a cat who sleeps away 90% of every day thinks that 5 am is a fantastic time to roust the family. Try as I may to adjust his sleep schedule (by rousting him all afternoon), Monkey persists in being an early riser.

Since March is all about the lists, here are Monkey's top ten tactics to disrupt my REM:
  1. Bringing a paper ball to bed and tossing it around... if I throw it he will fetch, but throwing, of course, still involves being awake
  2. Bringing a feather stick to bed, after pathetically dragging the stick slowly across the floor... again, if I wave it he will play, but this too requires being awake
  3. Mewling loudly while looking up at imaginary bugs on the walls
  4. Mewling loudly at nothing at all
  5. Batting OC through the canopy... very ineffective and somewhat comical, devastating for the canopy
  6. Jumping on OC's head when he sits by the door asking to leave... just plain mean
  7. Scrambling under the covers to claw my feet
  8. Scrambling under the covers to claw my ass
  9. Jumping on top of the covers to capture feet in motion
  10. Knocking over mystery items in other rooms - today it was the ceramic "duck" that looks suspiciously like a vulture that Kevin made in elementary school... usually he just knocks the glasses off the blind pig or dismantles Darth Vader's head...
Only if he is feeling special will Monkey come snuggle my head and even that turns ugly. Like most cats he prefers to snuggle with his butt in my face. If he is does grace me with his cuter end, it often ends in a sneeze (his, not mine) - though this is less frequent since changing to expensive cat litter.

In any event, I am awake. And my husband is on vacation. And my parents are in town. And they are staying at the hotel with the adequately heated pool so I am excited. Tired, but excited.

P.S. I seriously doubt anyone read this during the hour it has been posted, so I am not bothering to make this tidbit into its own post, but apparently Monkey's Kitty Wake Up Hour is effective in at least two counties. Just got a call from a man in Santa Barbara wondering why I have been prank calling him at 4 and 6 in the morning the past couple days. Yeah, Monkey also sometimes steps on the phone...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

past, present, future

Since I haven't posted for a long while (again), I figured perhaps I owed it to my loyal readers (can you be readers if there has been nothing fresh to read?) to participate in the newly torturous version of NaBloPoMo - the one which is available monthly and with a theme. March's theme is lists. Much as I love a good list, I'm thinking this first post only loosely applies, for here I am playing a bit of catch up with the little bit of news you've missed since my last efforts...

First a list of things past:

1. On February 16th I rescued my first ever blackcoat, an elephant seal pup still wearing his long blackish baby fur. Blackcoats are in theory automatic pick ups cuz they are still too young to be separated from mom. In fact, Rustin still had some remnants of his umbilicus. Strange that in my six years rescuing he was the first blackcoat I'd ever seen. Anyway, we found him beneath the Estero Bluffs, at the water's edge, barely responsive, and only 53 kg (less than half the size he should've reached with mom). It was late so he got to spend the night, which is great fun cuz elephant seal pups are what we call the "trainer model." I got to let all kinds of new folks do the tubing and restraining while I just supervised. With the sea lions and fur seals I pretty much hog all the action as the inexperienced handler could very well get bit. Much as I love hogging the action, I like how elephant seal season makes me feel like I might not actually be the selfish bitch I know I am.

2. The next day, while preparing to ship Rustin, we got a call on Chubina, a gal twice his size hanging on a popular beach in Cambria. We were a bit perplexed by her healthy body weight, but after discussing it with the professionals, we decided a rule is a rule and a blackcoat is an automatic pick up. Chubina was pretty cooperative but even so it was a feat to fit her 107 kg in the carrier. Thank goodness the fire department was on hand to help us get her off the beach. Sadly, we did not get to play with her at all because it was time to transport and, as the vet tech said, she wasn't going to die of starvation any time soon.

3. Shortly after my transport driver left with Rustin and Chubina, the call came in on Michigan. He was on a crappy beach, the Sandspit, and I didn't want to torture my entire crew with the hike out there just to discover he was a perfectly healthy weaner. So I went out as the scout, foolishly failing to bring a jacket. Imagine my surprise when again I found that long dark baby fur on my little 93 kg darling. So I waited there for at least an hour before my crew showed up (one of them with an extra jacket, bless her heart). Sadly, by the time we got him back to the site the professionals had decided to end all this madness. Plans were made to relocate both Michigan and Chubina. The whole blackcoats as automatic pick ups rule has now been modified to exclude weaners who have yet to molt... Interestingly, this is the second rule I have inadvertently been integral in changing. The other was in Ms. Grindle's calculus class, 1989. She now specifies that students can not use fruit as a vehicle in the annual egg drop competition (this coming immediately after Wendy and I successfully used a watermelon...).

On to things present:

1. I am presently finishing up celebrating my first ever real wedding anniversary, yesterday. Today we must finish decorating our graham cracker castle (something we enjoyed so much with the niecelets we decided to do it on our own) which became a daunting task when we ran out of time and icing. Like most homeowners, we overextended ourselves and had nothing left in the budget for upkeep...

2. I am also ignoring the flat tire on Erik's car. We noticed it the day before yesterday but didn't want to be bothered on our anniversary. Kindly, the neighbor came up to notify us as he knows Erik works at night and commutes on a winding road with poor cell reception.

3. I am also debating whether or not to have a healthy breakfast (oatmeal and tea) or a decadent breakfast (tiramisu from the same bakery that made our wedding cake). Guess which one is winning?

And in the future:

1. My parents will be showing up some time today in their brand new car (the Prius Touring). I convinced them to stay at the Inn in Morro Bay (cuz it offers a winter special unlike their favorite bed and breakfast) which means soon I will be floating in the Inn's yummy heated pool. I put their room in my name so I could check in early.

2. In April I will get to see my sister and my youngest niecelet, Grace. They are coming down for 5 days, to my actual house. They are not just coming to my state and saying they are visiting me. They are actually coming to my town. To visit me. Grace and I are so excited. We were chatting about it on the phone after she found out. She kept saying, "Do you want to go to April? I want to go to April." And now, apparently, she keeps asking her mom "Are we at April yet?" So cute.

3. And at some point in the future I will regret having tiramisu for breakfast. I'm pretty sure.

So that's all for today. See you tomorrow, it seems...