Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Phone Call

You'd think I would have seen it coming. I have a relative who called a few months ago and got me to switch phone companies. I was happy where I was, but he promised it would be cheaper and it's family so they have to be right. Right?

Well, it wasn't cheaper, plus they had a bunch of extra fees that when I called and explained that I hadn't requested those items that would incurr these fees, they said "Oh, I'm sorry," but wouldn't waive the fees. Even when they said they saw how I had declined them in the first place! AHH!

So, I switched back. Yesterday. I didn't tell my relative this. I had already tried calling at one point and saying how it wasn't cheaper and I was thinking about switching back and he said that his route would be cheaper in the long run. I don't feel like spending all the extra money in the short run, so I'm going to back out now. (Besides, I don't believe you anymore.)

But last night I got a new phone call. From a different relative. Apparently this phone company is a little like *ahem* Amway. She is now a salesperson in this company and said her mentor is so successful and wouldn't I like to be successful too!? Crap.

I used the "I'm too busy" line, which is totally true, and she didn't push the issue. Which surprised me since she said she was in her mentor's office. Apparently, she hadn't been told yet that you need to get three no's before you accept defeat. I got off easy. Whew.

It's bad enough when you get these kind of calls. But when it's your family or your friends, it just really sucks. I don't want to not like you. I don't want to feel like I have to avoid you because I'm afraid you're always going to try to sell me something. I hadn't heard from this relative in years. I think the last time I saw her was at a family funeral. But I get a call to join the crew in selling phone service. Riiiiight.

Seems like family should be given an out in these situations. But a company convinces you that you should "use" all your contacts. I'm just waiting to see what happens when they find out that I switched back!

**Update 02/03/06--Uncle called again last night...while I was watching a movie no less! (I have to remember to let the machine get the phone) He asked how I liked my phone service. "Actually, I just switched back. They weren't cheaper and charged me for things I specifically asked NOT to have." He said he was sorry for that and then proceeded to tell me how I could not only save money on my phone bill (didn't I just say that it didn't save me money?) but that I could make money on my phone bill. (here it comes) Oh yes, he wanted me to join the team. Sigh. At the end of the conversation he says, "Oh and your aunt said we should come visit you sometime. Maybe this summer we'll come and stay for a bit." Only if you promise not to try to sell me anything.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Have You Ever Been to Italy?

If so, where are the best places to go and the best things to see?

We are working on planning a backpacking/anniversary trip in May or September and I would love some ideas of places we can't miss!

A Cat Named Igor: Part Two--The Suicide Pact

He was such a sweet little kitten. Who would have thought he was so tormented inside?

Sure, he got locked in the bathroom every night. But what would you do if someone was licking your hair all night long while you tried to sleep!?

And I suppose we did love on him an awful lot. Playing chase, and "see how high we can get him to jump in the air when we make loud noises." Maybe he thought he just wasn't good enough for all the love.

Well, he loved his toys. One of the very first ones we gave him was a neat little on that had a long stick with a string attached and feathers on the end of the string. He chased it all over. He was quite a good little jumper, too. He could get at least three feet in the air! For a tiny kitten, that's pretty impressive.

He was also a pretty ferocious little guy back then (we tell him he's a vicious tiger--it's good for his ego) and had completely and utterly demolished his favorite toy within about a week. So I threw all the parts away and we carried on with business as usual. Or so I thought.

About a day after I threw everything away, poor Iggy started throwing up. This was the first time in his life and it was pretty scary. He couldn't even keep water down and at that point, I became very worried.

So he got to visit the vet for an emergency check-up. She felt around his tummy and said there was something obstructing it. "Hmmm," I think. When I saw the x-ray, I knew immediately what it was. On the end of the stick, there is a little red cap. Apparently, Iggy thought it was a snack. But he was too little for it to go all the way through. She said "maybe" medicine would work to get it to pass, but not likely since it was a plastic object.

I had only had him for about two months, but he was already my favorite kitty in the whole world. I couldn't just let him die from a silly toy that I gave him! So, $600 and a shaved tummy later, he was all better and back to his happy Iggy self.

However, I didn't really have a spare six hundred dollars, so I thought I would be proactive and contact the cat toy company regarding this situation. First, I went to the store where I had purchased it to see if there were any kind of warnings regarding the age or size of kitty who should play with this toy. There were not. In looking at the package, I wrote down the address and phone number of the company printed on the back.

Subsequently, they received pictures of Iggy with his stitches, the red piece of plastic that the vet removed, copies of the vet's notes, bills and prognosis as well as a letter from me stating what had happened and why I thought that the cat toy company should pay for his surgery instead of me. I promptly received a check for the full amount I had paid the vet. No questions, no comments. I rule.

Coming soon: Part Three--The Grandkitty Out of Wedlock

Friday, January 27, 2006

Teva Update

Just so all are aware, this is Teva. The sweet little kitty that Heather is trying to bring home. Apparently she is a bit of a diva as she had her own photo shoot. She looks like a kitty whose fur you could get lost in very happily. I think she has a very human attitude in this picture.

I Wish I Could See the Sunshine

I like my desk ok. It's got chocolate, plants, pictures of my hubby and kitties and fun things all around.

But I can't see the sunshine. I couldn't even see a cloudy day if I wanted to.

I just wish I could see the sun. When I drive into work, I get a smidge of sun. I even had to wear my sunglasses today. But usually when I leave, it is already dark.

Maybe I just wish it was spring already. This middle of winter thing is really getting old. I'm dying for some flowers. To play in the fresh warm dirt and make things grow again.

Maybe you need some sun today too. If so, you can pretend with me that we are in a beautiful field of wildflowers with the hot sun beating down on our faces. It smells like sunshine and springtime and fresh grasses.

Soon. Oh, very soon.

A Cat Named Igor: Part One

A Cat Named Igor: Part One

I have a cat. His name is Igor Stravinsky (with a few extra surnames added on for good measure). We call him Iggy for short. He doesn’t really look like much of an Igor. He does have the exact same mustache as the real guy though. Not even kidding.

I got him about 5 ½ years ago. He’s getting so old... My roommate at the time wanted to get me a kitten for my birthday and she looked everywhere to get me one. She would call a pet store and hear that they had several very cute kitties, but when she would arrive, they would be already sold out. So we were on the hunt.

One day, I was out with some of my girlfriends at a wedding. It was a beautiful June day, the sun was shining and we were riding in a convertible with the top down. As we were on our way back from the wedding, we saw the sign. The one that is impossible to pass by without stopping. At least for me.

So we didn’t. We went into the little garage and looked at the sweet kitties in the little cardboard box. The tiny, orange one caught my eye. And I caught his. They gave us a box and a blanket to wrap him in and he was mine.

At the time, my boyfriend was in a band with a bunch of his friends and they were in California on a tour for a couple weeks that summer. They also lived together and I was watching the house while they were gone. So kitten and I had free run of the boys’ place while we bonded. As my husband (boyfriend in the story) is a musician and the kitty would be his as well (eventually) and I know he loves kitties, I asked him who his favorite musician was. He didn’t have to think very hard before coming up with Igor Stravinsky. Thus, Iggy was named.

Stay tuned for part two when Iggy attempts suicide. It's a tragic story.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Bring Teva Home Foundation

Here's a question: What is the cheapest and most effective way to ship a kitty (namely one named Teva) from Bethlehem, Penn. to GR?

The Bring Teva Home Foundation thanks you for your efforts.

Well Heather, this is what I have found out for you.

It's not horribly expensive to fetch your baby, but it's not a drop in the bucket, either. I have contacted a few places and the least expensive is potentially only $99. I spoke with someone from PetAir who said depending on which airport you flew her out of (the options are Pittsburgh or Philadelphia) it would be between $170-190. I also spoke with UnitedAir Cargo and they said that it would be $159 regardless of which airport and according to the lady I spoke to at American Airlines, it would be $172 for her. Northwest's website showed their rates with the smallest crate being $150. Continental's rates are based on weight, so if Teva is 9 pounds or less, you could get away with it only being $99! If she is 10 lbs or more, it goes up to $169. Finally, Delta's website has $153 as a minimum rate with an additional charge based on weight.

If you want VIP pampering treatment for Teva, you can get it.

Think Martinis & pedicure.....ok, not really. But you'd think that would be included at this price! For $325 you can get someone to pick her up from her current location, make sure she has a crate, ensuring all the proper certifications are in order as well as vaccines, get her settled on the plane and deliver her to your front door. They also do all of the ticket ordering and planning for all of those services. However, this fee does not pay for Teva's plane ticket. So, really, it would be more like at least $450 after all is said and done.

Maybe that helps you put it all into perspective a little. $150 seems more like that drop in a bucket now.

But that also brings up a few points.

1. She must have had all her vaccines and shots and be able to prove such with her vaccination and health certificates.
2. Her crate will need to have a name, address & phone number visibly attached on the top.
3. You will also need to make sure she is provided with dry food and a dish along with instructions in case there are any delays in flights. It is also recommended that you do not have her tranquilized or give her any food before the flight. :)
4. She will need to be watched until right before the flight leaves and you will need to be there right away to pick her up from the cargo area when her flight arrives.

A few other things to note: If you do not have a crate already for her, you will need to get one. They aren't much, between $15 and $20 for one. Make sure it follows the IATA Live Animals Regulations. It will usually tell you whether it is or is not on the packaging. The smallest crate size for my quoted shipping rates cannot be larger than 21"x16"x15". In regards to your kitty, she must also be able to stand up, sit down and walk around freely or they will put her in a larger carrier.

I hope this has been helpful to answer your question.

Probably wasn't a very encouraging picture...Hmm...

Road Trip?! I'd be happy to go with you! Name the weekend, I even have an extra carsafe litter box!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Snow Through the Grapevine

I heard from a little birdy that there is a question awaiting my answer. Ah yes, my lovely...I hear you.

Snow. I love snow for a very short period of time. About 15 minutes. After it has stuck to the ground and turns to slush and muck and is filthy, I am not such a big fan anymore.

Jean has asked me about snow. She wants to know why, when she is all snuggly and cozy inside with the warm winter sunshine (which is horribly rare here in Michigan) that the snow doesn't melt outside. Wisconsin has a great deal more sunshine than we do, they being on the other side of the lake. However they also retain a great deal more snow than we do.

Yep...it's all about the distance of the sun. This photo from Wikipedia makes it a big more easy to understand. Our upper portion of the equator faces the sun when we have summer. But during the winter, we are facing away the entire time. This is also why Australia is in their summer right now. Mel Gibson and Nicole Kidman lying on the beach, etc.

Therefore, we still see the sun just the same (when there are no clouds...) and can feel its warmth through our windows (since the cold air is not blowing on us at the time) but outside, it is not as hot on the ground. The sun rays are not as dense as they are in the summer for us.

I'm sure we learned this is school...but a good refresher is always in order. Plus now we look smart when someone comments on how nice it is to see the sun in January, but that they can't wait for the summer. "Yes, I can't wait either for the June Solstice when the rays of the sun in our Northern Hemisphere are more dense due to the 23.5 degree angle tilt of the earth to the sun in its revolution."


Recommended Movie Viewing

Sky Captain And the World of Tomorrow!

We just watched this last night and I have to say I loved it. Andy said it was goofy. Ah well. We can't always agree.

It was cartoony, and a really funky black/white/sepia coloring. Gwyneth was gorgeous of course and Jude was, um...a great actor. I made a comment in the middle of the movie to my cat, "You're so cute," and Andy said, "Did you just say Jude Law was cute?" Like I would be that audacious to say it right in front of him!? Though really, it wasn't Jude's cutest movie. But their interacting with each other did give me warm fuzzies. I am such a sap.

I would definitely watch this again and potentially buy it. It was really refreshing to me since it was so different from all the other sameness out there. And just darn fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wine Tasting on Saturday

Saturday we drove out to Temecula for a day of wine tasting and seeing the countryside.

The first place we went to was absolutely beautiful. Tons of hanging flowers and gardens and paths. Very country villa. But it was also packed in the bar area. We ended up grabbing our glass and just hanging out on the patio discovering what wines we did and did not like (and why) and admiring the flowers and water fountains.

The second place had free tasting and much cozier yet still pretty busy. We got a big loaf of toasted bread with brie and had a very good lunch. Here it was quite chilly and breezy so we found a table that was away from most of the wind.

They also had a ton of sweet Gucci rip-off purses...and of course, I couldn't pass that up. I love new purses. I do. Andy had to really sacrifice for me on this one, since we were technically spending his Chrismas money as our vacation money. What a good hubby. What a great purse.

Our last stop was our favorite. It was tucked away, with a long winding driveway up the hill. It was quiet and dark inside, so it was the perfect calm, chill ending to a fun day of wine. We got some more excellent cheese and just hung out together and enjoyed the rest of our day. Andy picked out a bottle of our favorite from the day for Valentine's. I'm hoping he's cooking that night...

It gets dark really early in California and we tried to get as many pictures as we could before dark. As we drove back to the apartment, we stopped at a little grocery store and picked up some ingredients for dinner and then napped the rest of the way back.

I attempted to cook an amazing gourmet meal for everyone, but it was sadly not what I was hoping it to be. I broiled some very tasty tilapia fillets, but they baked much faster than I expected them to. They still tasted good, but were rather dry. Fortunately the asparagus and salad were excellent, so all was not in vain!

We then spent the rest of the evening playing speed Uno. It was insanity. Hysterical insanity. It may not look like it, but it was. You find out who your true friends really are in this game, let me tell you. Let's play it sometime...

All in all, an excellent day in somewhat sunny California!

Christmas in Cali

Ok, so I think that regardless of where you live in the country, when your Christmas lights are still up on January 14th, you need to take a serious look at your priorities.

But when you live in California, and have resorted to putting several blankets of fake snow on the ground, plastic icicles on your roof, a huge blow-up Frosty Family, and your decorations are all still up in the middle of January, then you really have a problem! I like Christmas lights and accessories as much or maybe even more than the next girl, but this house was hysterical! We just had to jump out to take a picture.

If you click on it, you can see it full-size and appreciate fully the lengths these people went to bring Santa to Santa Monica!

The worst were the houses that had the blow-up snow globes. I apologize to you in advance if you have one and you love it and you put it in front of your house. Please don't hate me. But man oh man, they are sooo tacky! Not only do these people have fake snow. But they keep their fake snow continuously blowing around in a bubble. If you really want snow that badly, move north. If you live north, just stand outside for a couple minutes. Yay! Snow!

This is more my style of decorating for Christmas. Classy and toned down. But still cheery and festive.

Ahhh. That feels better. Now I feel like some of that mulled wine. Hmmm...that wouldn't be against company policy, would it?

Friday at Santa Monica

We had arrived in California late Thursday night. Well, it was quite late for us, but only about 9:30 their time. Our flight was rather uneventful and easy, but apparently now NW airlines does not serve snacks. No snacks for a 5 1/2 hour flight?! We had to BUY a little box of trial size snacks. Ridiculous.

Anyway, when we got there we were very hungry so after driving around Pasadena a bit and getting the unofficial evening tour. We ordered pizza, which we almost fell asleep into, and crashed onto our lovely air mattress. Quite comfortable, actually.

(Since I'm on the topic of pizza, I need some help. My favorite pizza toppings are pineapple and sausage. I have been told numerous times that this is disgusting. Really? Because it's not that different from the typical "Hawaiian" with ham and pineapple. And I'm not that big a fan of the texture of ham on my pizza. So I need a bit of confirmation that someone else out there can testify that they also would enjoy a sausage and pineapple pizza. Can I get a witness?)

So, Friday. We didn't sleep in too late, but got plenty of rest, nonetheless. We were on vacation! Sat around for a good bit. Drank coffee. Ate cereal. Luke quite by accident got my favorite: Special K w/ Strawberries! Mmm.
We finally got showered and around and left to go to the beach at Santa Monica. It wasn't really all that warm, so we brought light jackets and shoes in case our toes in our flip flops got chilly.
Which of course they did. But I still wore my flip flops, gosh darn it!

We wandered along the boardwalk and got some good pictures of us by the water. And them.
We kind of look like we're on a boat.

But we're not. And it was a beautiful day in spite of the temperature.

We shopped along several lovely streets in Santa Monica. I believe we were on Third street most of the time. It's one of those streets that you can't drive on, but there are tons of sweet stores. Bought some fun panties at Urban Outfitters and gaucho pants--for $2!

Then we had a big ol' lunch at Fatburgers. Best burgers ever! And fat fries! Very tasty. With fresh lemonade. And a juke box and everything.

Apparently this was the last great hamburger stand. Ever. Who knew?

After lunch we wandered a bit more, watched a huge crane lift a new ginormous air conditioning unit onto the roof off a building and then got some stellar chocolate gelato.

It then took us an hour to drive around Santa Monica to try to figure out where to drive to watch the sunset. During which we missed the sunset. Oh well.

Off we went to Hollywood. The city of the stars! Or at least the streets of the stars. Yes, that is the very handprint of Johnny Depp. Yes it is. Sigh. :)

One of the theatres along the strip was showing Narnia and even had "snow" falling all around the theatre outside. If tickets hadn't been $13, we would have gone in. They had a whole huge setup around the stage and everything.

After much sight-seeing, we tried to see/find the Hollywood sign, but to no avail. It's there though. I'm sure of it!

A good Friday. And even though it was the 13th...no fears. Well, there was this weird guy outside the Chinese Theatre dressed up like a horror movie character. He freaked me out a little. And the guy dressed up as Elvis. He was a bit scary too.

When we got back to the M apartment, we discovered their dog Wesco had gone nutso during the day while we were gone. He had been punished by Luke's brother who lives with them and Wesco was in his cage. The carpet by the door and the strip along the bottom was all torn up. Stay tuned for more adventures from him at his new blog. He is very naughty. Sure, he looks innocent. But don't be fooled for a moment!

We had picked up some very yummy Thai food which we ate voraciously while watching Envy. Very funny movie. Definitely worth renting for a good laugh!

Ok. Saturday is coming up next!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Basement is Peach

Last year when my brother moved in we had just finished a series of renovations. I have spoken of it before.

We mostly-finished off the basement. Didn't install any ceiling, so it's just the bare beams, but I like it that way. But we put in walls and turned one huge basement-y room into a laundry room, unitily room and big living room.

The big living room is the "bachelor pad" where my brother keeps all of his fish tanks and tvs. (There are three of those. Though technically one is also a fish tank.)

Anyway, he painted his living room NY Mets colors. He is a big Mets fan. Always has been. Therefore his room is very blue and very orange. He even took the time while painting to fill in cement and plaster cracks in some of the foundation bricks. Sweet. It actually looks pretty cool for a boy room.

I had asked him at the time (last winter) if he would paint the laundry room for me too. Since he had gotten so adept at that plaster/putty and Kilz technique, I figured he was the man for the job. But baseball season came around and since he gets every baseball station, he was busy watching...baseball.

Every now and then I would say, "Hey, if you want to paint the laundry room this weekend, feel free!" Or something like, "Hey, I found that pale yellow paint in the basement so you can paint the laundry room if you want to." Gentle nudges.

Well, it has happened.

While we were in California this weekend, to be precise.

I went down Monday afternoon to feed the cats, I noticed a bit of a glow that I had never seen before as I went down the stairs. Lo and behold! Peach!

If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that I said I had yellow paint set aside for this project. If you were paying even closer attention, you would have already figured out that if you add very orange to pale yellow, the resulting shade would likely be peach.

I don't mind it, actually. It brightens up the room a good bit and makes it look much cleaner and fresher. :)

It probably looks quite orange here in the picture. But it's really peach. Mmmmm.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm Really Going Now...

:) I am off! In half an hour I will be driving to Detroit to fly to LA! I will miss you all over the weekend...but not tooooo much...

I promise to have many exciting tales to regale you with when I return!

Farewell! Adieu! Tootle-doo!

(Oh, and make sure you post tons so that when I get back, I'll feel missed...)

Where are all the Kitties!?

Kassi is wondering where I found the cute white kitty graphic for my site and where she could get an "orange striped kitty who is either drinking coffee or riding in a hot air balloon"...or some other form of kitty nonsense, I imagine! A kitty drinking coffee...that would be hysterical!

First of all, so she and anyone else is aware, I had my site done by Kelly from Diary of the Nello. She did an amazing job, and if you've seen any of the other sites she's done, they are splendid also! I sent her the kitty that I liked that I found off off istockphoto.com and she took him and made the rest of the graphics off of the idea. My husband would have everyone believe that the cat is farting (great, now that I told you, that's all you'll see) but the kitty just has a very fluffy tail!!

Another great and easy (and free) place to find cool photos and graphics is simply google images. I find a ton of my pictures from these two places. I really want to get Andy to work on drawing me some cool cartoons and caricatures and show off his talents but we haven't gotten our scanner set up yet so I haven't pushed him too much yet.

Ok, so I did some looking. I didn't find anything that was exactly what you were looking for. But found some cute ones nonetheless. From here I would recommend contacting Kelly and seeing what she can do for you. Or what she could suggest. You could relatively easily photoshop in a hot air balloon or coffee cup into this last picture or the first one.

I hope this is somewhat helpful in getting you started on finding the perfect graphic/picture/photo/cartoon for your site and getting just the right feel! Though I think it's darn cute right now as it is!

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Fish Who Walked Upstairs

If you thought the cat barf was disgusting, this was like a million, bajillion times worse. See the lovely little sucker fish over there? Sure, he's nice and plain in the fish tank, surrounded by pretty fish and colorful rocks and flowing fronds of plastic weeds. But what do you think he looked like lying in the middle of my hallway directly outside my bathroom door?

I'll tell you what he looked like. Like a nasty, disgusting, grey, weird, dead fish. How I avoided stepping on this creature at 7 in the morning without my contacts in is beyond me. But on emerging from the bathroom, I took one step and stepped no further. Hubby and I just stood there. Staring.

"What is it?" says Hubby.
"I have no idea," I reply. "It looks kind of like one of those sucker fish," I say.
"That's disgusting," he says.
We continue staring.
"How did it get up here?" he asks.
(The fish tanks are two floors below us in the basement.)
"I don't think it walked up here," I reply. "Do you think a cat brought it up?"
"How would they get it out?" he asks. (Our cats are declawed...fishing isn't their best sport. Besides the fact that most of the fish tanks have lids. Plus, the door to the room which contains said fish tanks is usually closed.)
"Maybe it died and they just pawed it out or something."
This whole time we have been just standing in the hall staring at the thing. One of the cats walks by and bats it a bit.
"Eeew. Gross. I'm not touching that," I say.
We don't touch it. Hubby toes it out of our direct path and we continue getting ready while trying not to look at it.

That afternoon, when brother comes down (he doesn't usually get out of bed until around 2 pm on the weekends) we say, "Uh, hey, there's something up in the hall you need to see."
He walks up, stares at the fish and asks how on earth it got up there. The door to his basement room had been open. But the tank where the fish came from had a lid on it. And this is not a swimmy-type of fish. He basically just sits there and sucks the side of the tank. Well, he doesn't anymore. Anyway, brother picks up the fish and goes down to look in the tanks to see what may have happened. He couldn't figure it out either.

It's a mystery. The things that bump around our house in the middle of the night...and the gifts our cats bring us. Blech.

The Look in the Hall

I have a situation and I need to know what is kosher. What is politically correct. What is the most proper. The best manners. The appropriate business etiquette. Or at the very least, what is most common.

Where I work there are a lot of halls. Really long halls. Lots of little cube centers separated by extensive halls. Each department is on their own but attached to the next department by a hall. So, to get from here to there or from hither to yon, or from near to far, one must traverse a hall.

Now, there are a lot of employees in this building that must navigate these passageways. And so as we travel down the never ending hallway, what do we look at? It's not as though this is a very exciting, visually stimulating corridor. Just a plain ol' walkway.

Say it's just me, and it's just you. And I don't know you from Joe Shomoe. I probably have never seen you before, and may never see you again in spite of our relative proximity. I have to walk a good hundred feet or so before I even pass you directly by.

Do I look you in the eye? If I do, do I say hello? If I say hello, where do I look after that? If I don't say hello, how long do I look at you? Do I ignore you completely and look down at my feet and risk appearing meek and just shuffle along, or do I look straight ahead and stride directly past you and chance seeming arrogant?

I think about this as I wander along to go to the bathroom. Or go to the ATM. Or to get water. Or buy some lunch. Otherwise, I just try to stay holed up at my desk.

I just want to do the right thing here, people! I'm generally a pretty friendly person. Though I tend to be very shy around strangers. It just always feels so very awkward.

Advice please.

To Wax or Not to Wax

Since I am going to California this week and am planning on spending some time on the beach, this topic was of interest to me this week.

I believe there is a large disparity among women based on how they choose to *ahem* keep their bikini area bare. I was introduced first to waxing before I got married. And I will NEVER go back. I personally hate shaving as it is, and am quite happy for a quick fix that lasts for a long time.

But I am curious as to whether I am in the majority or minority.

Do tell.

A Little Bit Crazy

Preferred Bikini Hair Removal Technique

Waxing by a Professional
Waxing by yourself
Au Naturale

I'm Leaving...

Tomorrow we get to fly away! :) A six hour direct flight to Los Angeles. Hopefully it will be uneventful, but my flights always seem to be a little bit crazy somewhere.

I'm taking a stack of books and our laptop for watching movies. Sit back, eat my pretzels and anxiously await disboarding (is that the right word?) and removing my snow boots to be happily replaced by flip flops! Yippee for flip flops!

Hopefully we will be kayaking in Carlsbad, surfing, laying on the beach in Monterey, wine tasting and shopping every chance we can possibly get!

It will be a very short trip as we have to fly back on Sunday night, but we get almost three full days in sunny California! (even though it's only supposed to be in the 60's and raining...but I am going to have a positive attitude!)

My brother is supposed to be watching my kitties while we are gone. I am a smidgen nervous about that as my kitties don't really like him very much. He's really loud. And they are rather skitterish about loudness. But he does eat a lot of tuna fish and he always gives them the leftover juice, which they loove. So we'll see how it goes! If he forgets to feed them, they will just start eating his fish out of his fish tanks. Ha!

I'll be sure to post tons of pictures from our trip!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Great Read

If any of you have read any books by Helen Fielding, you already know you love her. Bridget Jones' Diary, The Edge of Reason, and Guide to Life. HI-larious. Sometimes I don't think the movies do the books justice. But I watch them over and over nonetheless.

I just read another great one of hers that I am highly recommending. Not necessarily to the boys...but to any girl who just totally digs a great story and some very well-written "chick-lit."

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination. I loved it! I had no idea where it was going to go, it kept me laughing the whole way through, and it made me want to jump up and start traveling the world fighting crime. As a kid, I adored Nancy Drew. I wanted to be Nancy. The strawberry-blonde hair, the hot boyfriend Ned, and the Mustang convertable. Not to mention and exciting life solving all kinds of mysteries. This is much better literature than my high-school favorite and now I have a new alter ego to follow after!

Well worth your time. Grab a cosmo, kick off your shoes and crack it open.

I borrowed it from my sister-in-law but she might not get it back...


Yeah, that's reeally nasty. And yes, I am blogging about barf. There are some things we really shouldn't want to know about. But the question has been asked, and I must answer. Blech.

"Where do they come from? Where do cats store all that hair and why?"

They come from kitties who very conscientiously groom themselves. They keep themselves so clean and fluffy and nice that unfortunately they have gross consequences for this cleanliness.

The fur stays in a pile in their tummies until it just gets too big and then, "HACK, HACK" out it comes. Lovely. Just lovely. Right on my white carpet. Or my comforter. Or the middle of the hall so I step on it in the morning. Why thank you, kitty. That was so kind.

All I know is that I very fortunately got out of the "hairball-cleaning-up duty" and I am oh so thankful for that. I'll trade almost any job for that one. That and the litter box. Ugh.

Tell me about Purring

There is nothing better than a quiet afternoon on a warm day, laying in the hammock with a good book while a snuggly kitty purrs contentedly on your lap. Nothing. Better.

Just look at those guys. You can almost hear them purring now.

But what about the purr? Why do they do it? Is it something they do intentionally or can they simply not help themselves?

Let's look into the historical theories of cat purring. It has been thought that cats have a special "cat only" purring organ. But no, there is no such thing. Some think it is blood in their throat hitting their aorta. But that proved wrong also. A third theory says that, "purring might have been caused by the vibrations of the hyoid apparatus, a series of small bones connecting the skull and the larynx that nominally serves to support the tongue." I think that one seems to make the most sense. Especially if you feel their throat while they are purring.

As far as the voluntary or involuntary part of purring, according to scientists, the jury is still out on that one. Kitties seem to purr when they are being petted or are snuggling, hinting at their contentedness or happiness at the attention and physical contact. But they also purr when in pain or they are uneasy or nervous, such as a mother cat giving birth, when at the vet's, or if they are threatened. So this could inply that purring is just as soothing for the kitty as petting itself or that it helps them heal or stay strong and healthy. Kittens are also known to purr while nursing which could show their mother that all is well with them or that they are happy to be eating.

Huh. Who knew? I am still very much of the opinion that they are happy or content to be sitting on my lap and are simply enjoying my attention and companionship. They love me, what can I say!

Interesting factoid: Cats can either purr or roar. But they cannot do both. I had heard a rumor once that lions were able to make both sounds. But it's not true. Only roaring from those guys. However, neither the cheetah nor the puma are not roar-ers, but are purr-ers, so that rules out the idea that only little cats purr.