Monday, October 29, 2007

default: treat

We are ready. Bring on the tricksters.

The Hater wanted a scary jack-o-lantern.

Our friend wanted a sweet vampire. Of course she did-- look at that cutie she has at home!

We carved and gutted while she entertained the young'un. Next year will bring big time fun. Until then we'll feast on those pumpkin seeds ourselves. The real question-- will we still make a scary-o-lantern when we have one of those babies?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

kitty torture

When loving on Zoloft this weekend I noticed a new and different spot on her belly. There was a place that I didn’t remember having kitty freckles before. Monday I showed the place to The Hater, who also had not noticed it before.

Thus the decision was made to take Zoloft to the vet.

Let the games begin.

For those of you who have not heard our feline antics before, it’s important to understand that our cat is the textbook definition of a scaredy cat. She’s afraid of everything. She doesn’t like change or new things – and hates the outside and anything that is not part of her normal routine. She especially doesn’t like when we walk with purpose, even if we’re not walking towards her.

Her safe places in the house are under one of the beds or behind the toilet in the master bedroom.

So yesterday The Hater and I are home, trying to figure out if we can get the carrier out without spooking her. She was sleeping quietly on the bed, unaware that her day would soon get really gaggy.

In retrospect, maybe waking her up and immediately putting her into the carrier is the best way to go about it. She wasn’t really awake enough to fight us, and we had her zipped into safety before she even knew why she was no longer in her warm spot.

By the time we carried her to the car, our serenade started. Mreroooooorwr. Mrerooooorwr. Mrerooooorwr. Mrerooooorwr. Each cry became both louder and more pitiful than the last. She hates the carrier and the outside, and she was eager to voice her complaints. She didn’t stop until we got back home.

We took advantage of poor Zoloft and called home so that our parents could hear the baby crying. The Dorks felt very sorry for their grand-kitty.

Usually when we get out of the car and inside a building she calms down, but not so yesterday. She cried the entire time. She got the attention of every animal within earshot. I had to juggle the carrier so that the dogs never saw her. We thought that looking at the birds and rodents might interest her, but she was not in the mood to be entertained.

She continued crying when we took her out of the carrier. She jumped around for a little while in the small room, looking for a way out, but ended up curled in a ball in the sink. It was the only place she could hide, and she was pitiful.

It took three of us to hold her down for her exam, but she didn’t protest for her shots. The spots on her tummy are just spots, and everyone was happy, except for Zoloft, who would have rather been hiding behind the toilet.

She cried all the way back home. We expected her to run and hide once we got back home, but instead she followed us around. Somehow her fuzzy logic can’t put together that we were the cause of torment.

We made a conscious effort not to pick on her the rest of the night. We didn’t even play one of our usual ‘tease the kitty’ games. I set out the infant benadryl in case she had a reaction to her shots, but we didn’t need it.

This morning she was as normal as ever, prancing around and following us from room to room. Hopefully yesterday’s events have been deleted from her selective memory—at least long enough us to wrestle her into the carrier the next time we go on another outside adventure.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

great intentions

I was going to go out today and start grocery shopping for the low-Iodine diet that I start at the end of the week. I was going to get a massage (date-a-versary present from The Hater) and a pedicure. I was going to take advantage of him being away, and I was really going to paint the town red.

Trigger had other ideas. His oil is low, and I can't get the oil cap twisted off to add more. So we're homebound until The Hater returns with his super strength and manual dexterity.

Zoloft doesn't like that The Hater is gone. She woke me up at 8 this morning looking for love, demanding attention. And since I've been up, she's just calling out for me, although I'm in plain sight in the next room. She's all torn-up that he's gone, and I'm thinking we'll both be glad when he's back (as will Trigger).

We need a name for the house, but so far we've not come up with anything we like. So for now it's a bland "the house". Maybe if we pick a word in another langugae it'll make us sound sophisticated (goodness knows we're not, but we're smart enough to fake it!). I'll let you know if we come up with something serendipitious so you'll know what to cross-stich for our Christmas present.

It's a quiet day, a good day for Tetris since we're stuck inside. I've almost finished reading the book that's come out about Mother Teresa, "Come Be my Light". It's fantastic, albeit somewhat redundant at times.

All quiet on the midwestern front. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

my first death threat

It's been a long day, and I'm tired.

This blog has been in existance to mark many firsts in my adult life, and now it's here to document my first official death threat.

I can't really say a lot about it except that it's being investigated and they have some leads. We're okay, and you can call us if you want the details. (Mom and Dad also have details, too.)

We're not excited. Sure, we had our moments of shock and surprise, but we're confidant now that the authorities will take care of everything. We have made weekend plans and we are moving on.

In the words of Sister, who could not have said it any better, "Why would someone threaten you? You're not that important."

Well said, Sister. Well said.

Friday, October 12, 2007

binging for a cause

They are cupcakes for a cause, and they have no calories! As if that wasn’t great enough… for every e-cupcake that is sent, CancerCare for Kids®, a program to help children affected by cancer, will receive $1 from a group of generous supporters – up to $10K.

I have had difficulties cutting and pasting my cupcake for you, but this is its link. Think you can do better? Prove it!

The CancerCare for Kids® program provides free support services including counseling, patient education, and financial assistance to children who are affected by cancer and their families. These services are provided nationwide by CancerCare's staff of professionally trained oncology social workers.

They also have programs for adult cancer survivors and lots of fantastic educational opportunities – from brochures to teleconferences. This really is a worthy cause, and it only costs you a little time.

Bake your e-cupcake today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

selfish girl

All the people with whom I work have been taking mini-vacations the last several weeks. Even The Hater had a few days off last week for mental health days.

I’m so jealous that I can hardly stand it.

I wish that I didn’t have to hoard my accrued time for sick days. I would like to be able to take a real vacation – one that doesn’t revolve around cancer treatments or mandated holiday/wedding/birthday visits.

If time and money were not issues, I’d go away for at least two weeks. I’ve not indulged this fantasy to the point of knowing where I would go or what I would do, but I am certain that it would be wonderful.

It’s nice to be able to close your eyes and imagine being somewhere else, but sometimes there’s no substitute for the real thing. For now it’s my only option, and I’ve taken several trips today.

Monday, October 08, 2007

queen of sheba

This weekend The Hater and I celebrated our 8th date-a-versary.

Friday night The Hater grilled steak. It was cheap steak, but we thought that it would be okay if we marinated it. We were wrong. It was so tough that we could hardly saw through them. We ended up throwing them out and enjoying the baked potato as the solo dish. Then we watched a bad mummy movie that we had DVR’d in honor of our first date.

We played a lot of video games between loads of laundry on Saturday. We have online accounts with the Xbox, which means that we can play with people all over the world. I think that other people like when I’m playing because I’m an easy kill.

We also figured out how to link our system with our friends in Vegas, and then all four of us were able to play Bomberman into the wee small hours of the morning. We have headsets, too, so we were able to talk and carry-on during the games. It was great for us because it was like we were hanging out with our friends, without having to drive all day to see them.

Sunday night we decided to go on an adventure after my Bible study class was over. We went to “Queen of Sheba”, an Ethiopian restaurant in town. It was in a scary part of town, but once we were inside, we forgot that we were still in Oklahoma City. The d├ęcor and ambience were fantastic, and complete with a projector set-up with ethnic music and dance throughout our meal.

We weren’t entirely sure what to order, and ended up with a variety plate. The food is of an oatmeal consistency, and served with bread. The bread was thin like a crepe, but spongy like a pancake. You would tear a small piece of bread and scoop up the food to eat – there weren’t any utensils, so you had to make do with the bread. Some of the food was really spicy, but I was able to find some milder options on our tray. There was also an Ethiopian potato salad that was fantastic.

The service was great, and they were really patient to show us how to eat with the bread. The menu had explanations for everything, including lineage linking the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. It was reasonably priced, and worth the trip. Let us know if you want to be different when you come to visit, and we’ll take you to Africa!

Picture (totally stolen, btw): The top is a potato and carrot dish, then clockwise, lamb, salad, lentils, beef, chickpeas, and green beans with a chicken dish (complete with two hard-boiled eggs) in the center. The bread is rolled-up in the plate above the platter.

In all, it was a fun, celebratory weekend. Even the Vols pitched in to make it memorable.

Friday, October 05, 2007

killing aliens

The Hater and I beat Halo 3 on normal mode earlier this week. We thought we'd play through again on the next level up, heroic, but we kept getting sniped and killed.

Who knew that aliens were such a good shot!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

shoot the moon

There are three things that Dad's family does well: turnip greens, sweet tea, and card games.

The cousins were not allowed to watch television at MamaLou and PapaLu’s house, unless PapaLu was already watching baseball (the Braves) or wrestling. If the weather was nice outside, the cousins were expected to go outside to play. If there was inclement weather outside, we would raid the toy closet.

The toy closet was a magical place behind an olive green door at the end of the shotgun hall. MamaLou tells stories that when PapaLu was building the house, she asked him to make the hall wider so that the kids would have a place to play. He did, and the next generation of cousins took advantage of the space (and many of the same toys) where our parents had played when they were younger. We had many options for board games in the toy closet. Although we played a lot of dominoes, Scrabble and Sorry, our favorite games were played with a deck of cards.

Playing cards was serious business in this family. I have many memories of watching my uncles and PapaLu play cards. All of the cousins wanted to play cards with the big kids, and we were taught how to play primer games at an early age. “Rat’s Tail” taught us how to follow suit. “Rummy” taught us how to plan tricks. “Doggone It” taught us how to bid on our hand. At the time these were just fun games, but we had no idea that we were being taught strategies for Spades, Hearts and Rook—the big kid games.

We picked up Spades first, and it’s still my favorite because I like to catch tricks. I can remember the cousins playing Spades around a card table in the living room while the big kids were playing cards in the other room or the “catch’em house” next door. The catch’em house was one of PapaLu’s rent houses that he turned into his shop. The old kitchen had a wood-burning stove, and the big kids would huddle around a card table next to the stove when they played serious card games. The cousins were never allowed to play in the catch’em house without the big kids’ supervision. (I think it’s called the “catch’em” house because it ended up catching everything that PapaLu would find for future projects. He would “get the idea” and bring something back to the catch’em house. Later, when it was incorporated into a project, he’d say he was “cooking with gas”.)

One Christmas Jerry was home and the cousins were playing Spades. He took our cards and told us that it was time we learned how to play Hearts. He explained the strategy and walked us through a few hands.

When the cousins played cards, the big kids would watch over our shoulders and coach us – tell us which cards to play when, how much to bid, and remind us of the rules. So even if it was technically a game of the cousins, the big kids always came around to help us.

This particular time I was looking at my hand, trying to decide how many to bid when Jerry pulled up a seat behind me and a whispered conversation took place:

Jerry: What are you doing?
Me: It’s my bid. How many should I say?
Jerry: Are you kidding? I’m going to teach you how to Shoot the Moon!

And we did! With Jerry’s coaching, we caught every single heart. The next hand was dealt.

Me: Can we do it again?
Jerry: No, but this time I’m going to teach you how to cheat!

And we did! And we got away with it!

Jerry would have argued that knowing how to cheat in a game is as important as knowing the game itself. Successful cheating is at the heart of all game strategy. Ask any of the cousins!

In Memory of Uncle Jerry
October 25, 1946 - August 14, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

me and my buddy, Peyton

Peyton and I have a lot in common.

1. Both of us are 4-0 in our game. His with the Colts, mine with a fantasy league. (Remember that we both won our first Super Bowl rings last year, which is supremely good mojo.)

2. Both of us will be cheering for our Vols to beat the Bulldogs on Saturday. (The Hater wants to add that this will be Phil Fulmer's chance to get off the hot seat.)

3. We're both brilliant at calling audibles.

4. He has a hospital named after him, and I work at a hospital.

5. Peyton endorsed Sprint telephones. I was actually a Sprint customer before Peyton signed that contract, so he actually came over to be with me on this one.

6. Peyton has trading cards. I have business cards!

7. Peyton has a degree in Speech Communication. I married someone with that same degree.

8. Peyton was nominated for the 2007 Teen Choice Awards as "Best Male Athlete". I can spell a-t-h-l-e-t-e.

9. Peyton hates the University of Alabama. I hate the University of Alabama.

10. And, finally-- Peyton and I both wish that Eli's career was going better than it is...
(and we're both glad that it's not as bad as Notre Dame, who is looking to start 0-8.)