Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Oh, hello! Come on in! We’re having mini crustless Quiche this morning.

So, it seems that some of the biggest “news” these days is about this “celebrity” Heidi who had plastic surgery. 

To back up for a second, I recently discovered I have reached the point in my life where I have no idea who most of the people claiming to be famous are. I don’t watch their shows, see their movies, listen to their music, or whatever it is they do. This Heidi is in that group for me. I have no idea why she’s famous, but evidently she is and was showing off her new bewbs on the cover of People magazine.

Back to my point. It’s been widely talked about that she had all these surgeries. She’s been interviewed and said she feels good about it and is very happy about it. Her husband is supportive of her decision. In my opinion, the story should end there. And yet….

And yet, from reading the news online, I have seen a new story, seemingly everyday, where other celebrities (who evidently have some sort of expertise) are opining on Heidi’s choices and condemning her for them.

Who do these people think they are? If this woman is happy with her choice, then the discussion ends there. Personally, I wouldn’t want beach balls for bewbs, but what? Oh, that’s right! I DON’T HAVE TO GET THEM. If it’s right for her, it’s right.

I suppose the argument could be made that she made this a topic of discussion by appearing in People in a bikini. But she’s a celebrity, and that’s what they do. They create photo-ops to stay on the radar. That’s her job. (I’m guessing.)  It could also be argued that she did all this to combat some level of insecurity. So, ripping her apart for it is helping her how? If she was insecure about how she looked before, what must she be thinking now?

I get it that if we aren’t talking about a celebrity, they get concerned. I also get it that what they do/say/wear has absolutely no bearing on my life. And finally, I get it that there is a whole industry built on reporting what celebrities are doing. But how about we focus on what they are doing to better the world and not what “we” think they should be doing. Talk about/Promote the new movies/books/shows/music.

But let’s get away from the constant mental flogging about looks. Use what Heidi did as a spring-board to have a discussion with your kids (if you have them, that is. My cats? Not interested.) about body image. Again, it may not be right FOR YOU, but it was for her. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to agree.

But, step off, Judgey McJudgerson. Or at least remember your feeling of superiority the next time someone judges you.


Oh, hello! Come on in. Coffee is on, and cereal is on the counter.

Yesterday, I complained about being in a snit, for which I didn’t know the cause.  I think I may have figured it out.

Every time there is some huge tragedy in the world – the tsunami, Katrina, the earthquake – I start thinking about how small my personal world is, and how significant I feel in it. The fact that I have no power in one half of my house since Saturday (I know, how random, right??) really seems so stupid to worry about. Coming into the Gas ‘n Sip everyday to do these *really* important projects that will enable our customers to see a particular shade of green consistently across all the pages of the website seems so trivial.

I don’t typically watch the news (I think I may have mentioned this before) because it depresses me. So much killing and violence and hatred and sadness in the world.  I am definitely one who absorbs others’ problems thinking I can help. (Excuse me while I walk on water for a minute…)

I’m back… >_<

Anyhoo, Haiti. I think this is the source of my latest snit. I have watched an inordinate (for me) amount of coverage of this horrible tragedy, and it breaks my heart over and over. These people who are being rescued, now 2 weeks later, are so strong and brave. But what do they have now? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s wonderful that people are donating money, clothing, first aid, food, but they have lost everything.  The poor children, who are now orphans, can’t even be adopted now because of all the human traffickers who want to cause harm. So sad.

I look at this story, and I look at my life, and I think – This is it? This is what I’m contributing to the world? Consistent green coloring? And so the snit takes hold. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no idea what I could do if I were able to go to Haiti to help. My life really is sheltered and I’m sure I would freak out at the loss and the poverty. And really, working at the Gas ‘n Sip hasn’t prepared me for any kind of life saving, aid giving work.  But there has to be something more. There has to be.

I know I could volunteer in my community and help that way; starting locally is a good first step. Of course, then I would have to face my laziness. Then seeing the need so close to home and how they need so much and I’m complaining about having too many clothes. Oy. It really is a vicious circle. I really do drive myself crazy.

So, I just have to turn off the news again, and let my feathers get settled a little, and this snit will be history. Until the next tragedy.

But in the meantime, I can look for ways to “give back” close to home. Maybe that will mitigate the next one.

Oh, hello! Come in. Have a scone and some tea.

I’ve been in a snit lately. Normally, I can get behind a snit and ride it out with great joy. But this one is different in that I can’t figure out the cause of it. I just feel…. off. It’s not depression this time because my happy pills seem to be working.

I just am irritated at… everything. Stupid things. Inconsequential things. Inanimate things. People. My phone. I think I first noticed it on Saturday. It’s now Tuesday and this snit, which I’ve named Jean-Pierre, is showing no signs of leaving. I don’t normally name my snits, but since this one has been around so long, I felt it was only fair to name it.

Jean-Pierre has caused me to snap at Herb, snap at my parents, bristle at coworkers, want to punch the copy machine (Related: OW!), and on and on.

(Unrelated: I’m listening to BBC America and having a hard time hearing since the host and both guests are ALL TALKING AT THE SAME TIME!!! GAH! Jean-Pierre is loving this!)

If I had even a slight clue about what brought Jean-Pierre to my yard (not a milkshake, that’s for sure…. MMMM, milkshake.), then maybe I could come up with a plan to get him to go away!! I don’t want to shop. I don’t want to drink. I don’t want chocolate. (Oh, who am I kidding! Of course I do!) I don’t even want to sleep.

I hope I get over this soon. J-P has worn out his welcome and this psychological un-balance is draining. I enjoy my company so much more when I’m funny and snarky and happy.

Oh, hello! Come on in and have some Check Party Mix. It’s really good.

Have you ever been talking about books or movies with a group of people and one (or more) of them say something to the effect of “OMG! You HAVE to see/read this. It’s so good!” or “You haven’t seen/read it? It’s a classic!” or “WTF is wrong with you?”

I’ve done that before. But the more I thought about it, the more I realize that sentiment is really obnoxious. Just because I like something, doesn’t mean everyone will. Or should. Ain’t that great?

I think the last movie I gave into peer pressure to see was “Eyes Wide Shut”. There was so much hype about it – the 2 stars were married, and the director died – I guess I wanted to see what it was all about. I should have known better. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a big fan of either Tom Cruise or his then wife, Nicole Kidman. They are probably delightful people in real life. I just don’t like their acting style. That should have been my first clue to not see this movie. What I remember about it is that about half-way through, I wanted to stab my own eyes out, but not before hunting down the cold, dead corpse of the director and killing him again. That is 2+ hours of my life that I will never get back and someone should pay for that. Luckily, in this instance, I am certain that I am not alone in my opinion.

As far as other movies that I haven’t seen, but have been told that I HAVE TO SEE IT!! are (in no particular order):

  • The Godfather (any of them)
  • Star Trek/Wars (any of them) (and really, what is the difference between them??)
  • A Christmas Story (I’ve seen parts of it, but not the whole thing)
  • Anything Vampire-related

Movies that I have seen, but wish I hadn’t or have no wish to EVER see again:

  • Dirty Dancing
  • Grease (any of them)
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Anything starring the above mentioned actors

While we’re at it, let’s list TV shows I haven’t seen or have no wish to see:

  • Lost
  • American Idol
  • Any of the cooking competitions
  • Anything vampire-related

And now books:

  • Gone with the Wind – read it after I saw the movie to find out if it was any better. Hated it.
  • Anna Karenina – read it once. Hated it. A few years later, read it again to see if maybe I just hadn’t “gotten” it the first time. Hated it.
  • The Kite Runner – couldn’t even finish it.
  • The Hobbit and any of the LOTR books – tried reading the Hobbit a few times. Not interested. At all. Didn’t even bother with the LOTR books.
  • Anything by Stephen King – I’ve read Misery and Pet Semetary. That’s enough. I don’t need to read any more.

I’m sure there are others in  the above categories that I could add. That was just off the top of my head. And there might be people who are offended that I have disparaged their favorite book/movie/TV show. But I’m sure that there are others who would hate most of what I like to read or watch. So we’re even.

Which brings me to another classic. I’ve written about this before, and had added it to my list of New Year Intentions. I thought I would try to read War and Peace this year. It’s been on my book shelf for ages, as one of those “Well, it’s a classic and it’s supposed to be really good and how many people can say that they have read it?” type things. I picked it up earlier this week, all 1,500 pages of it, and started leafing through it. Turns out, I had forgotten that this book was by the same author that brought us Anna Karenina. GAH!

I thought originally, too, that as I read it, I could blog about it. Um, yeah. That is NOT going to happen. Why? Well, mostly because if you read my blog, I would like you to KEEP reading it, and that would just be cruel. I read 6 chapters and thought – there is NO WAY I will get through this. Ever. Back in the day, I would finish every book I started, just on principle. But then about 10-15 years ago, I decided that life is too short to read bad books. I have other things I could be doing and not slogging through some dreck just to say that I have read something. Even if that other thing is staring at my belly button.

So, dear readers, I will NOT be boring you with War and Peace synopses this year. Life is too short to read bad books. And while, Tolstoy is, no doubt, a prolific and much-loved author for many people, I don’t care for his writing style. Or his characters. Or his story development. Or his plot lines. So, I am putting down War and Peace, without guilt or sense of failure. My life will not become less enriched by having not read it, but it may become more enriched by what else I do read.

War and Peace has been crossed off my “To Do” list, and has been replaced with “Read or re-read the Classics (that you choose)”. So last night, I picked up Madame Bovary. I’ve already read more than I had in several nights of W&P. So, Mr. Tolstoy, I wish you and your fans much continued success. But I will not put anymore energy into thinking about you.

Oh, hello! Help yourself to coffee.

Last May, I shredded my credit cards. I still have balances, but I now have no plastic. Well, other than my debit card. Yay for me, but OMG, do you have any idea how difficult it is to live these days with no credit card?

Why did I do that? It really had become not a choice, but a necessity. For the past several years before I took this drastic step, I had come to rely on my plastic in a really irresponsible way. In fact, I was living well beyond my means and had felt myself sinking and sinking. It got scary. So, now, almost a year later, I am sucking it up, buying only what I can pay for out of my checking account, and paying down my debt.

Looking back, I think I have been a “spender” for as long as I can remember. I am definitely not a saver. I wish I was, but I like pretty things and shopping used to make me feel better. I’m sure I could come up with some deep psychological explanation about my childhood, and blaming my parents, and the mailman, but guess what? It’s my fault. I can’t blame anyone but myself for being in the situation I now find myself. I wanted to have the nice stuff and all the clothes and blah blah blah. I’m sure it made me feel better to have people comment on the nice bag or blouse or shoes.

So finally, in May 2009, after I hit a fabulous sale at Cole-Haan for my birthday – I got a $400 purse for $59! (I love coupons!) – I went home, plugged in my shredder, and bzzzzzzzzzzzz, my cards were gone. I was sad and scared and excited and freaked all at the same time. What do I do now??  Again, I needed to suck it up and grow up.

So that is what I have done. I called the credit card companies, told them to close my accounts, negotiated a lower rate, and have picked away at the balances. A few have been paid off already. (YAY!) A few will take longer. Either way, my goal is to be debt free by this time next year.

How am I doing that? I am selling my stuff. On eBay. On Amazon. To anyone who wants to buy it. No, I’m not getting nearly what I paid for it, but selling stuff is doing a few things for me. It is bringing in some money, while at the same time, thinning out all the “stuff” I have in my house. As much as I would like to think otherwise, I was a really materialistic person before. ( I say before, because now, I can’t buy anything! hee hee). Some of the stuff I have let go has made me sad to part with. Some of it had really good memories or a story attached to it. Other stuff? Seeya! Good riddance. What the heck was I thinking.

Would I change something if I had to do it again? Would I do it again? Of course, hindsight what it is, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into this situation to begin with. But, yes, I’m glad I shredded my cards. I find myself thinking about each purchase now – is this something I *need* or want? Is it something I absolutely love? Will it improve my life? Will it be something I will have/use/love 3- or 6- or 12-months from now? This sort of screening process has really cut down on impulse shopping. I can actually go into Target now without coming out with bags full of stuff that I “had to have”. I get what I need, and move on. It’s nice.

What would I change? I would actually keep one card, for emergencies. Or travel. Recently, my job responsibilities have changed and I need to travel and that involved booking plane tickets and hotel rooms. One would think that the Gas ‘n Sip would give corporate cards for those who need to travel, but that’s not the case. We have to use our own, then get reimbursed. And, while it may not be an issue for some, I don’t typically keep $1,000+ in my checking account on the off-chance that I might need to go somewhere. It has made for a couple of awkward phone calls. So I wish I had kept 1 card for that type of thing. But otherwise? It’s nice to not dread checking the mail. Or to leave a store and think “Well, okay, how am I going to pay for that when the bill comes??”

Growing up is hard! Oh, and by the way. The purse I bought myself at Cole-Haan last year? I still have it, still use it, still love it. It’s been the only one I have used, mostly, for almost a year. So that was a great $59 I spent! \o/

Oh, hello! Have some whole wheat pasta. I just made it.

I’m so jealous of people who write or blog and seem to always have something to say. It might be something funny or poignant or serious or sad, but they write. They write sometimes every day.

Me? I have every intention to post something here every day. But then, my mind goes blank. Or I come up with some whipped up rant about, say, commercial radio, but then I start to write something and find myself extraordinarily boring. Maybe I listen to the voices in my head too much.

Even with this post, I’ve had at least 2 other “brilliant” ideas for posts, but right after I start them? Poof. Gone. And those ideas are replaced with blank spaces and the voices that tell me “Nah, don’t write that! That’s just dumb.” So I don’t. I would love to kill the little voices that hound me all the time. They tell me all kinds of things: I’m great. I’m not good enough. I am fat. I am proud of myself for working out. I want cake. I don’t want cake. And on and on and on.

Is it possible to control those voices? To change the constant flow of blather from negative to positive? To quiet them? Even for just a little while?

So, here’s another lame post. I’m sorry for it. I’d say the next one will be better, but I can’t make any promises.

Oh, hello! I’d offer you something, but these pictures might make you gag, so I’ll spare you. But just this once.

Remember when I told you about getting my tattoo removed? And I would post pictures of it now? Well, here they are, but if you get grossed out easily, don’t look. I’ll put the least offensive one first.

Okay, they aren’t quite as gruesome small, but you get the idea. Try walking around with THAT on your leg. SO PRETTY! Even better, try getting a pedicure with it. The technicians get all squinky about it. I can’t imagine why. *heh*

OOO, and click on any of the above to see it bigger. (Hork!)

Also, this MAY NOT happen to you. Clearly, I went to a “doctor” who sucked ass. The last laser treatment I got was almost 10 years ago and I still deal with this about twice a year. If you want your tat removed, ask around and talk to A LOT of people to find out who is good in your area.

Oh, and if you have any ideas about how to make this *points to leg* better, I’ll try anything!!



Just wanted to leave you with something cute.

Oh, hello! Have a muffin. I think they are lemon poppyseed – my favorite!

So, evidently, at the end of last year (aka a week ago) I contacted my friend Moo and said – Yeah, I’m fat. I’m sick of being fat. I’m going to work out. Will you help me?  And she said – Hellz yeah. And then kept the email. Damnit! It’s in writing now so I can’t get out of it.

After much whining and denial, I dug the Wii board out from under the couch, found the remote and nunchuk, and popped in the EA Active disk. I am LOVING it. I really like the Wii Fit games and the little Mii – although I could do without the voice asking me if I’ve been too busy to work out, or if I tend to fall a lot as I walk, and groaning “OH!” as I step on the board. *stinkeye* I could also do without the computer puffing up my Mii to remind me that I am “Rubenesque”. I know I am. But the games are fun.

With the Active disk, I actually get a series of exercises that include running (in place), strength training, balance, and a variety. Before I know it, I’m through all my exercises and done for the day. I’m starting at the easiest level, and it takes only 25-30 minutes to do all of them, but I’m starting. That’s the best part. Baby steps, right?

Yes, I did this as part of the New Year’s intention that everyone makes – get skinny. That would be nice, but my goal is to be healthier than I was in 2009 and to not get winded on stairs. (Don’t judge me.) I deserve to be healthy and to take care of myself. If I don’t do it, who will?

Somewhat related, but not, is that the new season of Biggest Loser starts tonight. Don’t worry, I won’t be blogging about this season. I am pretty sure no one read it anyway. And Potes, over at does a GREAT job of recapping the episodes. She is laugh-out-loud funny – for real. So I’ll just be watching along with the rest of you to see if the dude over 500 pounds can get under 300; or if the couple who, together, weigh almost 1000 pounds can make it through a workout without dying. I hope so.

Anyhoo, I’m back to Wii-ing, and am pretty pleased with myself. Maybe I’ll do it every day and blog about it, then they can make a dull movie about it, with someone fabulous playing the “before” me and someone MORE fabulous (i.e. ME) playing the “after” me.

Healthy again in 2010.

I’ll keep you posted.