Saturday, August 28, 2010

Updating the numbers.

Guess what?

That's right, I am awesome--so awesome that someone decided to hire me.  But not as a starship captain. Which is unfortunate.  Who cares that I never went to the Academy, I would rock at that job.

I will now have a lot less time to write mildly amusing blog posts about nothing.  Don't cry, I know how upsetting that will be for my devoted fan base of approximately four people (and one of them isn't even related to me!  Boo-yah!)   

On the plus side, I will be able to feed and clothe my family.  And buy books, which is always important.  Oh, and the job is actually very neat.

This leads to an awkward segueway....of a list update!

3. Get a professional job.
I have a job.  I'm using both my degree and professional experience, which is great.  I'm working with an education non-profit organization to plan events and raise money through individual giving.  Tons of work but I'm loving it.  

54. Go scuba diving

Cozumel.  Family scuba diving.  Evil Dr. Porkchop, stepmother, Batman, Meat, and ....stepbrother who needs a faux name all scuba-dive.  I hadn't been in over five years, back when I was in Fiji.  It was AMAZING!  I saw sea turtles, sharks, lobsters, mantarays, and lots and lots of little brightly colored fish.

Batman managed to brush up against some coral and come home with a nasty rash that spread and oozed and blistered for a couple of days.  He ended up scrubbing it out, pouring vinegar and rubbing alcohol on it, and it finally stopped spreading.  It's semi-healed now.

I bet you're so happy that I have a blog, so that I can share such marvelous stories about rashes with you. 

Things from the list I did but didn't blog about because I'm lazy and so feel guilty about not mentioning before now

1. Graduate with my master's degree with a 4.0 GPA

7. Become proficient in GIS mapping software.

11. Bring Mo-mo to the zoo

22. Plan and execute a successful 1st birthday party for Mo-mo

62. Have a garage sale

78. Update blog at least two times a week for four months

80. Get at least 25 followers to my blog

96. Move to St. Louis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Five reasons that my toddler is awesome.

Okay, I know that every parent thinks that their child is the smartest, cutest, most amazing child in the world.  But this is different.  My daughter really is.  

The first year of life was pretty nifty.  She figured out the basics of rolling over, crawling, walking, and a bit of talking.  But I have a feeling that this next year is going to be really fun...

1)  She has advance problem-solving skills.  She couldn't reach the doorknob, so she pulled a book off the shelf, pushed it by the door, and stood on it.

2)  Everything is "monkey-see, monkey-do".  She tries to use the furminator on the cats.  She steals keys and tries to use them on the door.  If she's yelling and you shush her, she shushes you right back.

3) She adores cats and dogs.  She pets cats with a minimum amount of smacking.  If there's a dog on TV, she makes a sound like a very excited tea kettle and yells "BUPBUP" (puppy).

4) If you pretend to be asleep, she'll come up and poke your mouth.  That is your cue to pretend to wake up and eat her hand and growl like a monster.  She'll run away squealing-- until you close your eyes again.

5) She sings.  Okay, that doesn't sound too impressive.  But it's still really freakin' cute.  And she isn't quite up to mimicking all the words so most songs just sound like "Bah-bah-bah".  We've actually renamed patty-cake in our house, it's now called "Bah-bah-bah".

Friday, August 13, 2010

Books I read in July

My newest goal:  Review each book in three sentences or less.  I decided this after realizing that I spend waaaaay too much time writing these monthly posts

Ready?  Set.....GO!

1.  Bloodhound: The Legend of Beka Cooper #2 by Tamora Pierce
Bloodhound: The Legend of Beka Cooper #2 

Sequel to teenager fantasy novel.  Good but not great.  Plot: Beka the policewoman aka "Dog" investigates counterfeiting. 

2.  The Lightning Thief (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) 

 Enjoyable kid's book, gets young 'ins interested in Greek mythology.  I heard the movie was crap though.  Plot: Percy is child of a greek God who goes on a quest to prevent war between the deities.

3. Revenge of the Spellmans: A Novel by Lisa Lutz

 Revenge of the Spellmans: A Novel 

Great series (see other months blog entries for the two previous Spellman books).  But sad about the ending. But it's not really sad, like a puppy or person died kind of sad, but rather didn't work out quite the way you wanted sad.

4. Conrad's Fate (A Chrestomanci Book) by Diana Wynne Jones

Conrad's Fate (A Chrestomanci Book) 

 I love the Chrestomanci books.  Not my favorite of them, but still quite fun.  Plot:  Wouldn't make sense if I tried to explain, it's a juvenile fantasy novel with a rather intricate back story of magic and different worlds.

5. Cart and Cwidder (Dalemark Quartet) by Diana Wynne Jones

 Cart and Cwidder (Dalemark Quartet) 

 Again, juvenile fantasy novel.  Interesting but without ever really going anywhere (yes, I know this is the first of a series, but the next one doesn't quite fill in the gaps for me either).  Plot:  Singer's son finds magic and helps a revolution. 
6.  The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel by Rebecca Welles

 The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel 

 Same author as the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood", but this book had no depth, no true character development, and occasional cringe-worthy scenes (i.e. throwing herself at a gay guy).  Had potential in the plot but never quite got there.  Plot:  Calla Lily grows up in the South and cuts hair and has a perfect life despite random disasters.  The End.   

7.  Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi

 Hello Kitty Must Die 

I was expecting a more edgy and sexy Amy Tan, but instead got a wannabe-Dexter-Asian-woman-serial killer.  It felt like the second draft of a very excellent novel that needed two more revisions.  The repetition was a bit too much at times and it needed a bit more consistent character development (example:  main character says how much she hates being in pain but likes heels because of the pain...huh?), but still was a quick and thrilling read.  

8. Best Friends Forever: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner

Best Friends Forever: A Novel 

I love love love this author, especially Little Earthquakes, but this novel just wasn't as good.  Better than the average piece of chick-lit but not up to par with her other amazing works.  Plot:  Best friend who betrayed main character in high school is back and needs help.  

9. The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee

The Ex-Debutante 

Trashy but fun brain-fluff.  The plot:  Divorce lawyer comes home to rich southern family to help salvage a debutante ball.

10.  Nation by Terry Pratchett


 Not the norm for Pratchett (less silly but still funny at times), this juvenile fiction book tackles themes like imperialism, death, and religion without shoving it down your throat.  Plot: two teenage survivors with very different cultures (one from a shipwreck and one who didn't perish in a tsunami) band together with others to form a new nation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Temporary break in your usual programming.

As some of you may know, I just got back from vacation on Sunday.  I was all prepared to write some witty and clever posts about how amazing it was.

Those posts will wait.

When we got back from the airport on Sunday evening, my cat Anoosh couldn't stand up.  Her eyes were glazed over and she didn't seem aware of us.  We took her to the emergency vet clinic where my friend Crystal works.  Several hours later we made the difficult decision to put her down. 

Anoosh was at least 12 years old, possibly older.  She had uncontrolled hyperthyrodism, a heart murmur, and liver issues.  We're not sure exactly what was wrong in the end:  her blood work had a lot of possibilities but showed no solutions.

But I don't want to talk about that.  I don't want to talk about how it broke my heart to see her slip away at the end, how I wasn't even sure if she knew we were there.  I don't want to talk about how thin she was or how her fur was matted.  I especially don't want to consider if I made the right decision.  Because how can it ever be right?  How could I have done anything else?

I adopted Anoosh five years ago, about a week before Batman and I went on our first date.  I was living in house with three veterinary students and they told me about a blood donor cat that needed a home.  Anoosh had spent several years living in a vet lab, giving blood every so often.  The other cats were mean to her.  I met her and fell in love.

 I considered several other names:  Gizmo (after the Gremlin) and Pi, because of her perfectly symmetrical face markings.  But "Anoosh" just seemed to fit.

She was a weird cat.  All cats are weird to a certain degree, but she was odd in an un-catlike fashion.  She liked to be held upside down and cuddled like a baby.  If you scratched her under the arms, she would gently touch your nose with her paw and lick the air.

We joked that she wasn't actually a cat, but rather an alien species sent to observe human behavior

She was fascinated with water.  She loved drinking from the sink.  If you made the mistake of leaving a cup of water where she could get it, she'd gently hook her paw over the rim and spill it.  Then just watch the puddle as it spread.

One summer we didn't have air-conditioning, so I got her shaved.  The poor thing looked like a squirrel with a tiny body, huge fluffy tail, and giant head.  She didn't let me pet her for several weeks after that.

She was a world-class cuddler and spent hours with me when I read. 

Most cats didn't like her because she didn't behave in a cat-like manner.  She never participated in dominance games, nor did she react when other cats hissed at her.  It took about a year, but Fat Momma and her finally became friends.

I worried that when Mo-mo was born, she would be jealous.  She, more than any of my other pets, was my "baby". 

But she loved Mo-mo and Mo-mo loved her.  She'd let Mo-mo pet her, even when the pettings were more like grabbing and slapping. 

I was lucky to have known her.  I was lucky that I had Batman, my stepmom, and my friend/vet Crystal with me when I had to make the crappy decision to let her go.  I am going to miss her. 

I already miss her.    

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. "
--Anatole France

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Only with white sand instead of white snow.

(Last night as we try to get to sleep.)

Batman:  Tomorrow we head to Mexico. 

Me:  Mmmmm-hmmmm. 

Batman:  It's like Christmas. 

Me:   Mmmmm-hmmmm.

Batman:  And when we wake up, your dad will be in a Santa outfit and say, "Ho-ho-ho, Merry Cozumel!"

Me:  ...One can only hope.

Peace, ya'll.  I'm out for a bit.  See you next week.