Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: New Year

I haven’t been around much. I promised myself I wouldn’t post just for the sake of posting. I want to get away from posting just crap. Hopefully, this won’t be that.

I am 33 days free of processed sugar. WOOT! For the most part, it has seemed pretty easy to do. There are days, like today, where it seems I would kick a small child for a donut. But, even with that, I know I wouldn’t like it. And won’t get one.

I feel I have to add the “processed” adjective because there are some negative people around who insist that “there’s sugar in everything.”  Or “There is sugar in fruit.”  Yes, but the sugar in fruit is not processed to within an inch of its life, is it? And last I checked fruit is good for you. Or at least better for you than a donut.

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Speaking of those people… I am going to really try to eliminate such negativity from my life. If you feel the need to be negative and not support me, I feel the need to not associate with you. You are welcome to your opinions; encouraged to have them, in fact. I just choose to not be around you. It all falls in line with my word of the year: KINDness. I am trying to be KINDer to myself and others. And you don’t meet that requirement. I will remain cordial to you, but you no longer warrant further interaction.

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Speaking of KIND….This has been working out very well for me this year. One month in, and I am still going strong. My attitude is better, my eating habits are better, my interactions with others are (mostly) better. I feel lighter, and I am noticing that I am looking brighter. My eyes are not as dull. I like this. It’s fun to be KIND and friendly to others.  I did miss an opportunity to be KIND the other day at Starbucks, but I’ll not miss it the next time.

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REALLY random question of the day: I was watching the Closer the other night (I love that show!), and this question occurred to me. The main character is a wine drinker, and her husband is a recovering alcoholic.  Yes, I know they are just playing roles, but it made me wonder about this in a real life situation. If a person takes a drink, and then kisses an alcoholic, does it trigger something in them? Or is it not the same thing? I really don’t know. Perhaps this is a silly question, but I think about these things.

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What else?

Oh, I have been doing my Morning Pages for about a month now. These are my 2 pages of journaling in the mornings. It’s really been good. Honestly, I have fallen down on it of late, but I’m getting back to it. It really helps me get a focus for the day and to replenish my soul. Sometimes I feel really depleted after it seems like I have been giving to everyone else. My Morning Pages help me take care of myself so that I can take care of others.

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Lately, I have been attending a lot of my nephew’s basketball games. He’s a junior in HS, and is a starter. He has gotten so much better and had turned out to be such a nice kid. He’s respectful of his grandmother, which I love. And he has the most adorable girlfriend! And she’s respectful too. It’s delightful to see that in 16-17 year olds! It restores my faith in youth.

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I think that’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to. Perhaps I’ll have a “real” post here again soon. Until then, hugs all around!


Goodbye 2010.

That seems to be the consensus from most people I follow on Twitter and also the 3D people I know. It seems the outgoing year was less than kind to many people. It was a year of parents passing, children passing, relationships ending, broken bones, broken hearts, and other general events of suck.

However, this past year was also a year of good things: babies born, weddings, new jobs, new relationships and other events of YAY. And, quite honestly, these things, in both categories, were all experienced by people I know.

I’m not going to pretend this is a “normal” year in review or recap or look back. I am also not going to do a look ahead at all the things I want for the coming year. One would be trite and the other would be presumptive.

What I will say is that while 2010 may have been horrible for so many, and yet so tremendous for so many others, here is my hope for 2011 for all.

I hope for all that the new year is filled with excitement, love, challenge, growth, health, happiness and adventure. I hope each person is I encounter experiences kindness and wonder and some level of bliss.

There will be times when things will be horrible. There will be times when things are beyond wonderful. But, in my opinion, ALL of these events will help each of us to become more full, more well-rounded, better people. We will learn how to better treat each other, and how to treat ourselves. This is my goal for the new year. Based on this post by one of my favorite people on the planet, KINDNESS is my word for the new year. I want people to be kinder – with themselves and with each other.

Please approach the new year gently and kindly. There will still be bad things, and old hurts, but my wish for you and for the planet is to be kind and to have the best, most interesting year possible.

I know I’m going to try to do that.


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 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! 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 televisionwithoutpity.com 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.


Oh, hello! Come in. It’s the last day for donuts, so take two. The next snack will be *gulp* good for you.

So, just like every single other blogger, I am going to look back to see what I accomplished over the last year. But unlike ever other blogger, my introspection will be fascinating, I’m sure. You know, like watching grass grow.

2009. What can we say about this year. I’ll be ending this year the same way I ended last year – at a hockey game. It’s something I love to do. It will get me out of the city before all the real craziness starts. I’ll take it.

2009 was the year I came out of my shell a little bit more. I joined Twitter, which, in all honesty, is the ultimate time suck/chat room. It’s silly. It’s stupid. It’s fun. It’s make-believe. I noticed the other day that I have tweeted more than 6,100 times. And of that? 99% have been silly and fluffy. But I got some laughs from it, so I’ll keep doing it. I can Tweet something that is authentically me and if someone doesn’t like it, I can click “unfollow” and eliminate the judgement.

I also started this blog in 2009. I had thought about blogging for years. I even attempted to do one before. But I didn’t ever tell anyone about it, or do it with any idea about how it would go. (Clearly, I know what I’m doing now. I’m practically fluent in blog these days. *heh*) I started this one with a lot of trepidation, a lot of fear, quietly. I didn’t know if anyone would read it, or if anyone would like it, or comment, or re-visit. And while my count of people who have visited my site is low by some standards, and my comments section has the honor of a few regular visitors, I am flattered and a little bit giddy about every single view that is listed. *Someone* is reading. And for all the times I have looked at it, whether to reference a previous post, or just to “check the stats” (don’t judge me), I still have had what I consider a huge number of visitors and I want to thank each of you.

Work wise, I bid farewell to the age of the Leg Jiggler, and ushered in Smiley. The Gas ‘n Sip became the Gas ‘n Stuff. I don’t remember anything huge happening, although I’m sure that at some point through the year, something huge happened and I was traumatized at the time. I’ll take my memories, or lack thereof, as they stand now, thank you very much.

I also, most recently, spent some time wallowing in my grief that Madame X is sick. She seems to be doing a teensy bit better, but I have also (mostly) wrapped my head around the fact that she may be leaving my life sooner, rather than later. I can (almost) say that now without sobbing violently. Big steps for me.

Oh! I almost forgot that 2009 was the year in which I shredded the credit cards. I still have balances that I am really trying to pay off, but no new debt. YAY me! It’s really hard to live without a credit card, can I just tell you? I almost wish I had saved one, but I’ve met me. And it was all or nothing. And all was the only real option. Now I really think about what I buy, and whether I need it, or can afford it, or can still pay my mortgage if I buy it. It’s made me appreciate that which I do buy so much more.

So 2010 is about 14 hours away. I’ve already written about the regular intentions that I foresee. I have been tossing it around my brain, too, lately that I may actually attempt to read…. wait for it…. the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments. I’ve read parts of it. But never all the way thru. I think before I can say it’s great or sucks or somewhere in between, I should read it. I foresee it being a full year’s project. I’m sure there will be a lot of it that I don’t understand or “get” but that’s okay. And who knows. After that, I could move on to the Torah and the Koran. Who knows. I might as well learn about the religions that are affecting the world most these days.

The other book that I want to get through this year coming is War and Peace. I want to see what all the fuss is about. And if it will really take me 42 years to get through it. I’m not skeered….

And, speaking of skeered, I would like to make 2010 the year I faced my fears. But more in the way of you know when you are asked to do something and you immediately say “Nope, can’t.” or start sweating or curling into a fetal position while whimpering? Those kinds of fears. Public speaking. Figuring out what happened in my early thirties that has virtually erased a number of the years from my memory. Something must have happened, however uneventful. What was it? Those types of fears. Not the “I’m afraid of bugs and heights” types of fears. I’ll save that for another time.

Will I achieve success with these intentions? I think I already have by putting them in writing. And however far I get in the reading of either the Bible or W&P, I will have made the start. Better than looking at them and thinking “Someday…”

So, 2009 was pretty uneventful in a lot of ways. And I’m starting 2010 with big goals. I hope that this time next year, I will be able to check off at least some of those as “Wins”.

And to you, my lovely, wonderful readers, I wish for you a 2010 of wonder and joy and health and laughter and love. I hope you all get what you ask for from the Universe and that it makes your life full and fabulous.

And however you are celebrating this evening, do it with loved ones, safely, and fully. I want to see all of you back here next year.

xoxo