Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Oh, hello! I was scolded recently that you had to make your own sandwiches in here, so here’s a plate of brownies to make up for it.

I’m sitting at work, here at the Gas ‘n Sip, and it is pouring rain out. It’s gray. It looks cold. All the trees and grass are dead. This is day 3 of rain and it’s expected to continue for at least 3 more.

It’s one of those days where you feel blue, but not for any good reason. It’s a good day for a nap. And to be home on the sofa with a snuggly blanket and a familiar movie. If you have a fireplace, it’s a day for lighting a fire and grabbing a book, settling in for a good read. It’s definitely a day to NOT be at work, desperately trying to avoid doing the work you have to do.

Today, I seem to have turned procrastination into an art form. There is something that I really do have to get done, and yet…. here I am sitting and looking out at the rain. I’m thankful that it isn’t snow. If this were snow, I think we would have 3 feet by now.

On this gray day, think about what you might be doing.  What’s your favorite way to survive a yucky, introspective day?


Oh, hello! Come in and have tea. And toast. With cinnamon-sugar.

Yesterday’s post was my 100th post on this blog. I didn’t notice it until after I hit publish.

I think I started this blog last June, not having any idea what I was doing, but knowing that I wanted to be writing. Something.  I thought I would be one of those funny bloggers, but it hasn’t turned out that way, I think. Some of my posts have some humor in them, but most are more serious or introspective or sad. I do know that if you had asked me last June, I would have thought – 100 posts?!? Are you crazy? I don’t have that much to blather on about. (Well, some of the people who know me IRL would say that I should have had 100 posts by August of last year, but still…)

I read/subscribe to a bunch of blogs myself. I envy their wit and humor and eloquence and depth, but while I love their writing, I don’t know how to write any other way. The way I write is the way I am – I tend to just put stuff out there and let the chips fall. I would rather be “real” than sugar coat stuff. (And, for clarification, I don’t believe the people whose blogs I follow are being fake; just in general life, I get frustrated with people who spend all their time carefully choosing their words so as to not offend people. The bloggers I follow all tend to do the same as I do.)

One thing that gets me though is the frequency with which I see, in other blogs, mentions of the number of drafts, and how much time is spent editing and re-reading. THAT is when I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I wonder if I should have more drafts. Or if I should take a long time, rereading and word-smithing. I do neither now. Maybe my readership would be better if I did. Maybe not.

There have been a bunch of blogs that I’ve seen lately where they talk about how many visitors they have daily, or how many hits they have, or they compare themselves to other bloggers. I think I do that to a point – I check to see what my “counter” is up to, but for the most part, I don’t dwell on it. (I do love to see the counter thing go up; I squee a little every time. ) In actuality, I would guess I have about 10 people who regularly stop by. But that’s okay. I love that *anyone* stops by. A huge THANK YOU to you if you are reading this.

So, about 10 months in, and 100 posts later, onward. I hope to keep improving and to keep you coming back. And I hope the days where I post something to go into the “don’t even bother to read this” category become few and far between.

Thank you again. Here’s to 100 more.


Oh, hello! Come in and make yourself a sandwich.

I took a few days off from work last week to just chill and sleep. I’ve been busy (for me) the past few weeks, and wanted some time to sit and do nothing. As a result, I ended up watching more television than I normally do. Not the best use of my time, I know, but I did, so let’s move on.

What I have noticed about television is that the advertisers must think we, collectively, are dumb as a pile of hair. The ads shown, regardless of the time of day, the station, the program, are insipid crap. I understand that networks need advertisers to pay the bills. I get that. And I also get that having a DVR-type technology available means that advertisers need to work harder to make an impression so that people don’t fast forward through them, but come on! Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone else, but if the advertisers spent a little time coming up with thoughtful and well executed ads, I might watch them.

Some examples? Anything by Burger King. That “king” is terrifying. He makes me think of a pedophile every time I see him. I’m pretty sure that is *not* the image the company wants to put out there. Yeah, I remember it, but for all the wrong reasons. Also the kid with the small hands. WTF?

How about the phone company, and to be honest with you, I have no idea which one it is, that has Flava Flav on it. Um, really? You couldn’t get anyone more relevant? You had to pick the least attractive “star”?

And any of the weight-loss pill ads. I don’t mean Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. I mean those “You take this pill and you will lose 90 pounds in 2 weeks” ads. The women on these ads, who now claim to be able to strut around in a bikini, ARE ALREADY THIN! Show me someone realistic.

Again, I get it. The company has 30-60 seconds to get their message across, so it needs to be memorable. But, should the ads be SO dumb, SO inane that we remember them for the WRONG points? We (America) are not a stupid culture. (Sure, there are stupid people *in* the culture, but that’s not exclusive to America!)  Why do these advertisers think it is okay to treat us like we are stumps in a forest?

C’mon, advertising companies! I challenge you to stop dumbing down your material. I challenge you to speak to us like we have brain cells. Until then, I guarantee, DVR use is going to skyrocket.


Oh, hello! Come in and have some yogurt.

I’ve had a couple of days off. I love not working. I would love to get paid for not working.

*****

So, recently, I hired someone to fix my resume. I have known for a long time that my resume sucks. I have never known how to write a good one. There really should be a class in high school or college that teaches people how to write resumes.

Turns out, the man I hired is a “Certified Resume Writer”. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’ve had to go back through my past employment and describe in detail where I worked and what I did there. For the past 15 years. OMG. I don’t even remember the names of some of the companies. I did the best I could. I hope he can help. Then I will be able to get a job that will allow me to shine.

*****

I recently decided to get serious about changing my life. I’ve mentioned that before here. In light of that, I have started another blog to document my weight loss. I think that by documenting it, I will be held better accountable. Don’t bother looking for it. I’m not linking to it here, and I’ll never mention it again here.

*****

My nephew is a basketball player. He is a sophomore in HS. And he plays for the varsity team. He is the only one. Well, there is another sophomore on the team, but he doesn’t play. My nephew plays quite a bit. Of course, I am extremely biased, but he is really good. He needs to bulk up a little bit but next year? He’ll be really dominant. He wants to play for Duke. I hope he does.

*****

As much as I love the twins, sometimes they drive me crazy!! I have been trying to write, but they keep walking all over me trying to nap. Most of the time I love it, but sometimes? OY!


Oh, hello! Come in and have a sandwich.

I was raised a Catholic. But this is not a post about religion. I don’t like to talk about religion with people. It’s too squishy a topic. Too much chance for people to get really pissy and offended.

So, Lent starts tomorrow. Or as they say in the church “The Season of Lent”. It always starts on the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, the Wednesday also known as Ash Wednesday. Now, being raised in the Catholic church, having gone through all the sacraments, years of Catechism, one would think that I would have some idea as to what the meaning of Lent is. But sadly, no. I know it’s something important, but I’ve got nothing.

Anyhoo. Growing up, we always had to “give up” something for Lent. I think it was a way to sacrifice and an attempt to make life better. Basically, we always gave up candy. I remember having a shoebox, into which went every piece of candy and gum I got for the next 40 days. “The Season” ended on Easter Sunday with a candy gorge. So not the point, I know, but that’s what happened.

Then in college, I absolutely lived on Tab and Reese’s. (Yes, Tab. Don’t judge. It’s awesome!) So that year, I gave up soda. Tab, Diet Coke, everything. Nothing fizzy. At Easter, the sister gave me a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke. It was so GROSS!! (Try that experiment – go several weeks without soda, then have some. You’ll be off soda.)

A couple of years ago, I gave up drinking. (I KNOW!) For the most part, it wasn’t difficult. Except at hockey games. I love a beer at the games. That part sucked, but I made it through the 40 days with no problem.

This year, Herb and I are going to give up drinking, EXCEPT at hockey games. No hard alcohol. No wine. No beer. Easy peasy. But I am also going to give up chips. Well, salty snacks – chips, Cheetos, etc. It seems to be a weakness, so as a way to improve my health, I want to add to the “this is what I’m giving up” list. It should be interesting while I’m PMSing, but it’s only 40 days. Right? RIGHT?

At this point, for me, Lent has nothing to do with religion. It’s sort of like New Year’s day – it’s a way to jumpstart a self-improvement plan and get remotivated. Any excuse to start over, right? Rewrite the path you are on.

Wish me luck.


Oh, hello! Come on in. Help yourself to some coffee. And sugar cookies.

I am my own worst enemy. I constantly self-sabotage and despite the best of intentions, my diet/job search/laundry/house cleaning goes by the wayside. I’m not sure why that is, and I know the best way to find out is to do a lot of self-exploration, but I can’t even bring myself to do that. I’ve tried meditation, but I cannot sit still for very long and quieting my mind is like herding kittens.

But despite several false starts, I am still plodding forward, in my quest to be better. At least it seems that the span of time between bursts of motivation seems to be getting smaller. I have finally gotten really serious about my job search. I have sent my resumé to a career advisor to get help with it. (My resumé sucks! I know it does. But I’ve never known how to make it better.) They will look at what I now am sending out, and when they stop laughing, they will tell me how to make it better and help me with the rewrite. (YAY!) I’ve decided that commuting farther than my current 6 miles won’t be such a bad thing. I’ve decided that I need to be confident in my abilities and to stop minimizing my capabilities. I know more than I give myself credit for, and I need to own that.

Another area that I’ve decided to stop whining about is house cleaning. I hate house cleaning. I’ve thought I would love to have a cleaning service come in to clean for me. Then I think, OMG, my house is TINY! There is no reason to have someone come in to do it for me. When I get started, it really takes about an hour to clean it because most of the time, it’s just tidying. So, instead of whining about it, I’m going to just shut up and clean it. And it will mean that I don’t have to spend a couple hundred dollars a month for someone to do what I am totally capable of doing myself.

My health. Recently, I ordered up something that is supposed to help me with my activity levels by motivating me to do a little bit more every day. I won’t endorse or disparage it here yet since I just started with it. But if it helps me a little bit, I think it will be worth it. I don’t want to be super-model thin, or tri-athlete fit, but I do want to be healthy. I think that is the important thing now. I view this as a step in the right direction.

So why did I pick the title of the post I did? I will no longer think of my faltering steps as failures. Not meeting my goal on the first try will not completely derail me, no matter what area of my life it is. If I don’t get the “dream job” the first time? There is something better coming. If I leave my cereal bowl in the sink in the morning? Big whoop. I’ll wash it that evening. And if I am tired at the end of the day, and want to lie down on the couch watching NCIS reruns (for the 83rd time) then that’s okay too. None of this makes me a bad person. It just makes me fallible and fabulous. In the grand scheme of things, faltering steps make me who I am.

And just like the little engine, I WILL get to the top. The top of whatever I decide to tackle. I am a work in progress, and I will never be complete. Each step is another brush stroke toward greatness.


Oh, hello! Come in and have a mini Twix bar. And tea.

I absolutely LOVE Valentine’s day. (No pun intended.)

It is my favorite holiday of the year. You would think (or should think) that I would hate it, because in all honesty, I have NO IDEA when it was that I actually had a “Valentine” to share it with. Seriously, no recollection. None.  (Please wait while I break out into “All By Myself”…)

I’m back. Sorry about that.

I love to see people at work get flowers. I love to see all the cards out there. I get it that people think it’s just a holiday created by the card makers to sell more cards. And that “everyday should be a day to show someone you love them.”

And that is very true. But, guess what? It doesn’t happen. People get wrapped up in daily life and forget to tell the people in their life that they love them or that they are happy to have that person in their life or that they make them smile. So, why not take one day for that. This way, the next time the dog horks up a piece of a chew toy, or the kids are ripping curtains off the windows, you both can know that there is still love in the air.

Many, many moons ago, on Valentine’s day, there were big red hearts taped up throughout the city. A caper committed by “The Valentine Bandit”. No one knew who did it, and no one claimed responsibility, but it was a nice thing to do, and it brought smiles to peoples’ faces. Turns out that it was the police department doing it, and the tradition continues and has bled over into adjacent cities and towns. Personally, I love that.

So, if you are with someone, make an extra effort on Sunday to tell, or show, that person how you feel. If you already do that every day, keep it up. And if, like me, you will be alone this Sunday, do something to show YOURSELF that you are the most important person in your life. See a movie. Buy yourself flowers. Buy yourself a fancy coffee. But do something that brings a smile to either yourself or to someone else. There’s too much yuck out there. Start spreading a little love in your corner of the world.

Big hugs to you.


Oh, hello! Come on in and have some tea.

So I’ve written about Meg and Ali here a couple of times. And I am going to write about them again today. I swear I should be getting paid for this. Or something. (I’m looking at you Mr. Meg…)

I work with Mr. Meg, and his wife and her friend started the company. You can read about that part of it on the website. I had written a post about how great their shirts were, with the complaint that the shirts are made for teeny people.  Seriously, an extra-large fits a size 10? WTF?

Since I shared that thought in a post, and with Mr. Meg, the info got filtered back to the ladies, and they researched new vendors – because big girls need peace signs too!! And guess what?? We can now buy these shirts!!! WOOHOO!!

They had an open house at their shop last night, and Mr. Meg “encouraged me to go. I hadn’t been to the shop, nor had I met Meg or Ali before. So before I gushed about them again, I wanted to see how things work. I put on my M&A hat, and went to see where the magic happened.

Turns out, the magic doesn’t happen at their shop any more. The good news is that they have grown to such a point that they have “people” for manufacture. (YAY!) I found out that while they still pick the fabric, local folks do the sewing and cutting, etc. So hooray to Meg and Ali for employing people close to home. It seems that it’s really quite a process to get these beautiful shirts made. The quality reflects that.

There are new products too. Don’t bother looking at the website for them yet. Their webmaster has yet to update that… (still looking at you, Mr. Meg. *stinkeye*) But look:

How cute are these??

 

I have a green one. It’s soft and really comfortable. Another new product is:

ADORABLE!!

ADORABLE!

 

The little leather piece that holds the ribbon between your toes is made locally too! YAY for local cows!!

There are belts too. And aprons. AND! When you buy something? They put it into a cloth bag. No plastic. Totally reusable. YAY for going green! (I tried to get a picture of that this morning too, but at 6:30 in the morning, in the semi-darkness, fighting off cats? Not so much.) (I bought a shirt. Coincidentally, it looks just like the one I put in the original post – brown with the blue peace sign.) (Yes, I had to pay for it…) (I KNOW!!)

OH! And about Meg and Ali, personally? ADORABLE!! But do you remember back in high school, there were those really pretty, thin, friendly girls who you REALLY wanted to hate, but couldn’t? Because they were nice and sweet and kind? So you just had to stand back in awe of them for their fabulousness? That’s Meg and Ali. They are petite, gorgeous, thin, friendly, and quite honestly, I find it a little annoying and not just a little unfair. No one should be able to have that much YAY going for them. Just kidding, ladies. You are wonderful. I wouldn’t keep going on about it if it weren’t true. Ask Mr. Meg. He’ll tell you.

Anyhoo. If you haven’t gone to the website, please stop by and check things out. I’ll keep on Mr. Meg to update the inventory list on the site (*stinkeye*) so that you can see. 

I’m sorry to keep posting about Meg and Ali. But to see a local business succeed? It gives me hope for the future. And if I have even a teeny part in helping them? That’s great too.


Oh, hello! Come in and have some coffee. I think there are bagels over there, too.

I just had the strangest feeling come over me. I don’t really know what to do with it.

I know I have posted before about my love of spending money. If I have $10 in my wallet, it WILL be gone before the day is over. Admittedly, since I cut up my credit cards almost a year ago, I have been better, but still. I cannot be trusted with cash.

So I filed my taxes already and have gotten a refund. (WOOHOO!) Not as much as previous years, but a good amount. And it is burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak. I really want to shop. Buy pretty things. Girly things. Whatever.

However, (and this is where the weird feeling comes in to play), I just went to get tea and as I’m walking back to my desk, I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what I want and which website I can go to get it. (That’s the other thing. I love to spend money, but I HATE going to stores. If I can’t get it online, I won’t get it.) The feeling? I don’t think I want anything.

Go ahead. Noodle on that. I’ll wait….

::filing nails::

::goes pee::

::checks “doneness” of tea::

Ready?

I KNOW!!! WTF is wrong with me? I cannot think of a thing that will make me feel like a kid at Christmas and will be pretty and shiny and end all my problems. Can you even imagine?? (I can’t. This is a first!) Yeah, I know I could buy a dress or a necklace (I would really love pearls, but too expensive.) but I’m not feeling it. Even shoes. (I KNOW!!) Just not there. I even went to Amazon to look at books to buy. (I know about the Macmillan thing, but, whatev. Don’t start, please.) I found a couple of free ones for my Kindle, but I DIDN’T EVEN BUY ANY BOOKS!!  THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME!!!

There are plenty of “things” that I want. But in the end, it’s all just more “stuff”. And since my goal is to eliminate stuff, I guess that seed has taken root and I’m going with it.  I don’t know if this will last and become a way of life for me, but I guess I’m going to ride this out for a while to see how I feel about it. It’s new and scary and uncharted for me.

I’ll let you know.

*****

COMPLETELY UNRELATED: I read an interview with a very famous blogger yesterday, and something this person said stuck with me and I don’t know how I feel about it. This blogger has way more readers than I do, or will, and I am a HUGE fan. This blogger was asked about how someone gets started with blogging and what if there is “nothing to write about”. The response? Something to the effect of: put it in a draft, re-read it, and if it’s not something you would want to read 5 years from now, don’t publish it.” Obviously, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what I took from it. If you know to which interview I am referring, and took something else away from it, don’t yell at me. I’m hoping to be all philosophical and stuff, so, shhhh.

What bothers me is this: I haven’t even been doing this for a year yet, but what I wrote about when I started? I wouldn’t publish that today. And 5 years from now, this post will be dreck. (Well, it really is NOW, but you know what I mean.) I would like to think that 5 years from now, I will have grown and changed and developed as a person and as a writer so that things will continue to improve.

I guess I look at this site as a brief snapshot of my life at that moment. I will get better at it. I will get better, period. 5 years from now? Who can say.


Oh, hello! How are you? Come in and have a muffin.

I really suck when it comes to blogging lately. I really meant to do better in the new year, but pfft. No matter what, I’m definitely more prolific than Lesley. But she makes up for it with funny stories and awesome Photoshop work. So, she wins.

*****

One of the blogs I follow is Perez Hilton. (Don’t judge me.) Most of the time it’s stupid, but it seems that he is trying to do good by posting a link to a good cause every day. One that caught my eye was Bosom Buddies. It is a bra recycling program, currently in the Arizona area, but how cool is it that these women can get something so basic. Granted, most days, I curse the creator of bras and wish I had the bewbs of a 12-year-old boy so that I would never have to wear one. But then you see a woman wandering around, the girls swinging free, down near her naughty bits, and think: OH DEAR COD! PUT A BRA ON!! But what if she doesn’t have one? This will help.

*****

We are doing a Biggest Loser type thing at work. It’s building wide and it benefits the American Heart Association. People who want to take part pay $10 and it runs from Feb 1 to May 7.  There is no prize except for a thinner you. I have written here before about my weight and how I currently reside in a larger body. I thought I would give it a go. And if I end up losing only 10 pounds? I’ll be 10 pounds lighter. And that’s a good thing.

*****

I had to go to Toronto for work last week. Yup. The Gas ‘n Sip is going big time. I like Toronto. I think it’s a very pretty city. Granted, I would like to be able to go and spend some time there, and see it for more than 36 hours from inside an office building, but still. I traveled up with Mrs Nun. She’s very nice, but where I tend to like solitude and quiet, she is very outgoing and a bit of a loud talker. It made for some uncomfortable silences. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and cranky and wanted nothing more than to not talk to anyone for days.  Okay, that’s not new for me, but it was intensified after this trip.

*****

What else? Um, I think I’m going to like my new boss. The Leg Jiggler is still around, but he is SO MUCH more tolerable now that I don’t actually work for him. And my new boss has already given me more praise in 3 weeks than TLJ did in 3 years. Yes, that has a lot to do with my opinion of her, but who doesn’t like to hear “We are happy you are on this team and want you to stay” now and then.

*****

I guess that’s it for now. Check out Bosom Buddies. What a nice thing to do.