Friday, March 31, 2006

Kill it, Kitty! Kill it!

This one's been sitting in my drafts for a couple months now... Thought I'd throw it up for kicks, just taking a break from the glorious grind of writing about textbook adoptions policy - it is such excitin' stuff ~ woooo hoo!
(sarcasm applied heavily)

I swear it's official - my bum has gone completely numb; I've lost all feeling in my bum cheeks, I've been sitting on this damn couch with my laptop for sooooo long.

Oh and DO NOT FORGET about my fundraising quest for the 2006 MS Walk coming up on April 8th - only EIGHT MORE DAYS left to collect donations, people!

Go see my personal MS webpage - - PRONTO - - and my two previous posts shown below this one, written about my very own Popstar, the lovely and super lovable Poppy Johnston, diagnosed in 2004 with MS at only age 26...
Come on! Help me keep her and others like her around! Help us find the cause of MS and a cure!

Owen loves to attack the lint brush and he gets all excited whenever I use it before leaving the house.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Very Grateful! Nonetheless...

The most-awesome Leslie and her honey of a daughter, Kati, have both contributed to my MS Walk fundraising quest... YAY ~~ woo-hoo!!! THANK YOU!!!

But the rest of you? What gives? Last year in the first 24 hrs of my fundraising announcement, we had $400 dollars in donations!?! I was hoping for a repeat = It's time to GIVE! But luckily, it's not too late to donate - it's never too late to give. Soooo, why not follow the wonderful, most wonderful examples that have been made by the lovely Leslie and the tre' cool Kati ~ and my darlin' honey-man! Help us raise funds to END the devastation caused by MS! And I'll be ever more eternally grateful for your generosity ~ See my earlier post for the story of my friend, Poppy Johnston, and links to my personal MS webpage, so you can make a will-totally-be-appreciated donation... purty please??? with sugar on top? plus some ooey gooey chocolate fudge with a cherry on top? please???

*UPDATE* Just scored another donation! Ooodles of thanks!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Time to Walk = Actions Always Speak Louder Than Words

One more thing, before I disappear into my gotta- graduate frenzy...

It's that time of year again,
except for this year's event, I've been serving on the 2006 MS Walk Committee, so I'm WAY more involved this time around... Planning the walk, attending lots of meetings, makin' decisions...

Come April 8th,
ONLY 11 DAYS AWAY, I'll be at the 2006 Annual Las Vegas Multiple Sclerosis Walk! And as before, I'll be doing it for my best girl, Poppy Johnston, a most wonderful and precious friend of mine, who was diagnosed with MS in November 2004, at age of 26. These are pictures of her and her precious, most precocious, most adorable 2 year old son, Matthew. Purty dang cute pictures, eh?

After last year's AWESOME fundraising success [$1,429 in Donations!!! ~ woo-hoo! ~ for a Poppy's Pal's Team TOTAL OF $4,908], I've raised my 2005 fundraising goal from $1,000 to $1,500!

Come next week, I'd LOOOVE to report that I've reached my individual fundraising goal! Even more so, it'd sooo totally rock if we could exceed my $1,500 goal ~

PUHLEEZE SPONSOR ME ~ please HELP me do it! Help us end the devastating effects of M.S.! Five dollars is NOT too little, nor is $50 too much; Every Single Dollar Counts! If you would please, please, please visit my personal MS webpage, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, you can make a donation online, easy as pie!

And this time around, if you do not want to submit your own email address online, please use mine; annejelynn at yahoo dot com ~ ~ and once I receive your donation receipt, I promise to forward it to you (and if I don't have your email address already, just let me know via email!) and then you won't be bothered by future Nat'l MS Society emailings... But I would hate to think the possibility of receiving emails in the future would deter anyone from donating!

And PLEASE don't hestitate to tell your friends about this! We all can help!
and Thank you so much for your support!!!

To make a donation, you may do so via my MS webpage, honoring the lovely Poppy Johnston, by selecting the LINK HERE ~ Patience please as the webpage loads...

And here's the long-hand for my personal MS webpage address:
plus the next line --


P.S. Did I say please already?

The Final Countdown

My dear fellow bloggers, friends and fam ~ The final countdown has begun. I have until April 14th to complete and distribute hard copies of my "thesis" to my program's faculty, and I must then defend it before April 28th - and then? Then I need to kick my job search into high gear, while I finish a final for my last class ANNNNND then I'm gunna graduate on May 13th!!! (woo-hoo!) - and then? Then I have to move out of my apartment by the 20th of May and put all my crap in storage... Wait a secky...

Do you hear that

Do you hear all that - - all of that screaming?

It's me!
I'm about to loose my mind under all the pressure to finish my paper on time! And ya know, like everything else... that's all. Yup, I'm a bit overwhelmed (GARGANTUAN, MOST HUMONGOUS UNDERSTATEMENT).

Last week I had a fitting for a nighttime mouth guard, which I will now wear every night I go to bed to prevent "stress fractures" in my teeth from the habitual grinding and clenching of my lower jaw at night. NOTE: I've been clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth off and on for years now, since high school. My father has told me that he could sometimes hear me from down the hall, my grinding was so loud! For a few years, post-divorce, I'd been jaw-clenching free, but since my return to school for grad study in the MPA program, I've been back at it. Usually it comes and goes in relation to the level of stress I may be experiencing... The past year n' a half though has been stressful, apparently. Anyhow, the mouth guard will be good - oh, and it's way sexy, I tell ya!


But really, I'm okay; I'll be okay... I had a migrane this past Sunday for nearly 3 hours, but I am okay - REPEAT TO SELF: I. know. I. will. be. okay. This will allllll be over soon... [Inside my head: " TOO SOON! OH MY GOODNESS, IT'S GOING WAY TOO FAST - NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR IT ALL!!!! - OH MY GOSH - OH MY GOSH - OMG!!! " and she begins to hyperventalate...]

Must breathe.
Inhale..... Exhaaaale.... - 1 banana, 2 banana, 3 banana, 4...

Naah, I'm okay - I'm just kidding (kinda). As one could expect, my presence in the Bloggosphere will be purty non-existent for the next 2-3 weeks. Wish me luck! and loads of it!

Monday, March 27, 2006


"If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat,
they, too, would purr."

- Martin Buxbaum -

Friday, March 24, 2006

For the Mommie in Leslie

Saw this and it made me think of you, Leslie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A New Home for My Future Fortunes

Packages sent my way are often kept at the Post Office for that fact that nothing bigger than a bread loaf fits in my mailbox! So I found a package "pick-up" notification slip, ohhhh a couple weeks ago? And then I misplaced the package pick-up slip, but finally I found it last Thursday of last week. I then made my plan to finally visit my local Post Office come that coming Saturday.

Soooooo, come Saturday, although I hadn't gone to bed before 4AM, I got up by 8:30AM and met with my friend Ryan by 9:30AM, so we could drive across the friggin' Vegas valley to get rid of all our hoarded recycling donations - - [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: Actually, Ryan makes the whole thing a pleasant experience and we have fun driving over together, but that doesn't mean it's not absolutely *?#@*!# ridiculous that we must drive across town to recycle!!! END OF TANGENT] After that, I had just enough time to run a couple errands and make it to the Post Office before I had to be at a baby birthday party by noonish, and thereafter, committed to an afternoon/evening of thesis and midterms homework. Blak. Given the kind of night I'd had (wearing thin on no sleep) and my inherently fragile state (it being March 18th - explanation here), I was trying hard to keep busy, nonetheless...

At the Post Office, my package was brought to me lickety-split and while paying for a cute, cheesy, retro "Greetings from Nevada" postcard for the angel boy-O, I glanced at the return address on my package = "Oh wow!" It was from Leslie!?! and I about crapped my pants, wondering what she had sent me. See, Leslie happens to be the lovely sister of Wendy (our chosen pseudonym for she who happens to be my honey-man's former wife). And so then? Then I saw the mailing date on the package = March 3rd!?! "Oh shit!" I began attacking the packing tape on that thing before I left the register - one hell of a taping job on that baby, Leslie!

I can't remember whether or not I had my honey-man on the phone while I finished opening my package in the car - I don't think I had called him yet, but when I did, he couldn't understand me through all the blurbering. It's a bit of an emotional blur. Anyhow, so I opened my package and waaahlaah! Instant tears! I was just thrilled and my eyes welled up and ran down my face, dripping off my chin ~ I was soooo stunned, so impressed, so very touched.

And the accompanying letter Leslie wrote for me? I had to hold it up in front of me so I would quit crying on it. What a sweet letter ~ ~ THANK YOU AGAIN, LESLIE! So, you wanna see what she gave me? (I know, it's right there already, but I'm playin' the little kid here! Come on!) Wanna see it? Wanna? Wanna know why she gave it to me? First - can I tell you, it's because Leslie's awesome! How awesome she is!?! Leslie is AHHHHESOME!~ Kati, your mother so rocks! Wendy, your sister is sooo wonderful, but I'm sure you know that already - and you too know it, Kati. Awesome.

It's Show & Tell time! Plus some explanation offered... Leslie is well known for her loving spirit and her very creative style. This AWESOME box is a testament to her very nature and her inventive, creative juices... I've heard so many stories about her whimsical, beautiful ideas and creations - plus, I so covet the scarf she made for Wendy ~ what a great color! so soft n' fuzzy! Trust me, it's yummy. As I was saying, the #1 Reason why this box is so ultra, mega awesome is that SHE MADE THIS BOX FOR ME ~ and #2 - no wait - the reasons cannot be ranked. Equally cool, another reason why this box is the utmost most-est is the purpose for which this box is intended... Anyone remember my collection of fortune cookie fortune papers shared in an earlier SPF post? Take a peek here, if not. My lil' O'Keefe Poppy stamp box in which I've kept my fortune cookie fortune papers, the lid won't close all the way anymore, and my more recently acquired fortune cookie fortune papers have been sadly, either loitering nearby in a snack-size ziploc bag or floundering in my purse.

This new box will now serve as the keeper of all my future fortunes!

NOTE: I had wanted to imme- diately share this last Saturday, but I was without a camera (imagine a super, super pouty face with tears welling in my eyes right now). Yesterday, I brought my lovely future fortunes box to work so I could use a friend's digicam...

How about that lil' dragon? eh? How cool is THAT!?!
See even the lil' fortune papers applied to the sides of the box? Ain't it so schweet!?!

I soooo love it (had to say it just in case I haven't made that clear) ~ I.LOVE.IT. ~
Hugs and kisses galore, Leslie!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Off to the Gym, I go-go home...

I just got home from the gym ~ long, deep sigh ~ Now, before you start thinking "oh good for you," let me tell the whole very short story...
So I got to the gym and went inside to change my clothes, proudly carrying my pre-packed gym bag ('proudly' for the fact that I knew it finally had in it everything I needed), complete with padlock, handtowel, an H2O bottle, extra deordorant, a pair of socks + one, a sports bra + one, a tank top, a t-shirt, one pair of workout pants and my gym shoes. [SIDENOTE: I can't count how many times I've made it to the gym without my gym shoes!] Before I could hit the stair climber, all I had left to don was two items in the whole annoying clothes-changing-switcheroo =my pants and shoes= and it was then I discovered that it was already time to go home and it wasn't because I had forgotten my shoes...

My choice of workout pants? a light pink color made of a thin, very comfortable stretchy cotton knit...

And my underwear?


Monday, March 20, 2006

March 18th Comes Every Year

Last Saturday on March 18th, 19 years ago to date, it had been a Wednesday morning in 1987 when my mother died from pneumonia due to a lousy immune system, aggravated and tortured by a 15-year-long battle with Hodgkins disease, in a hospital room in Billings, MT. I was twelve years old and she was only 32. And get this - - when she was a 17 year old H.S. senior, she was diagnosed with Hodgkins (that's lymphatic cancer; she was in the 3rd stage of 4 stages, considered terminal) on March 18th in 1962.

Before I continue with what I have to say, lemme' just say this once and only once: I’m writing about this because I've been figuring some things out and I want to write about those things, not unlike any other post I may write; I want to share my understanding of my world and my life and my feelings. IN OTHER WORDS: I am not writing this as a plea for sympathy, nor as a ploy for attention = this is NOT a woe-woe is poor-whittle-ole'-me post, mmkay? Now if that sounds a bit snotty on my part, it's meant to be directed toward any meanies who may try to tell me, "Get over it already."

Anyhow... Although my mother has been gone for 19 years now, "March 18th" is a date that has never passed without note. Come the new year, I always buy a new wall calendar and I sit down to fill it with all the birthdays and anniversaries to be remembered. Before 2004, when my roomie Seorin moved in, I don't know why, but I could never not somehow make a mental note as to on what day of the week, March 18th would fall "this year." Really, I have never made a conscious effort to take note of the day; I don't try to remember it or even see it on the calendar, but invariably, I see it (now Seorin's birthday!) and if anyone were to ask about it or mention March 18th, I can tell them on what day of the week it'll be. This very thing happened last month in a work meeting... Something was planned for March 18th and someone wondered aloud on what day of the week would that be and I knew – "Saturday." Are you sure? "Absolutely," I say without any doubt. Now, I don't remember seeing that March 18th would fall on a Saturday this year. In fact, I have zero recollection of that moment, but I knew that I had seen it and somehow absorbed the information and that I was right... "It’s on a Saturday," almost adding "Trust me," but I didn't. Honestly, I have tried to forget. I've tried to ignore it. I've tried to hide it. I have tried and tried to treat March 18th like any other day of the year. I have tried.

Last year, a friend of mine unexpectedly lost her mother (only 55) to a heart attack. I offered to lend a listening ear, if she ever needed to talk at any time, whenever – the first time she called at one in the morning, we had a 3 hour-long talk. We’ve talked more and more since then and in talking with her, more and more of my own experience -dealing with my own mother’s death- has come back to my memory and it's been sorted some more and become more clear to me than ever before. The most prominent realization is this: If anyone -including me- expects me to ever forget March 18th and what happened on that day in 1987, I've realized this idea is completely nutso. No matter how much I try to be strong or nonchalant about the matter, I can’t forget it and certainly can’t ignore it; that day simply cannot pass without some acute pain felt, coupled with giggles and smiles through my tears, remembering her and the memories I still have... and ALL THIS IS OKAY. I don't need to apologize anymore.

At this point, I should mention this: I miss my mother every single day; not one day goes by in which I do not think about her in some way or miss her... not one day.

Whenever I eat cold cereal or hot cereal. Anytime I have French toast or a grilled cheese sandwich… nearly every song from the 60s and 70s is attached to my mum, especially anything from ABBA or The Beatles and Sergio Mendes with Brasil. The color red - the color green - and navy blue. Tulips and daffodils. Skyblue-pink sunsets. Watermelons. Raspberries. Any kind of fruit jam. Cotton pajamas. All pajamas. Every time I wash my face at night and fail to gently pat it dry, giving in to my urge to wipe and rub. Every vitamin I take. Clinique make-up and the light green color of Clinique packaging. Every cup of tea I drink. Every time I eat an apple. String cheese. Cottage cheese and applesauce. Yogurt. Tapioca. Rice pudding. Anytime I see melting chocolates or baking chocolate. Jasmine perfume. The smell of vanilla. When I go around the house (or work) turning off unnecessary lights. Every time I rinse and ring out a dishrag. Every time I vacuum. Whenever I floss my teeth. When I trim my toes and fingernails. When I brush my hair. Whenever I meditate. Shakespeare. National Public Radio. Every time I sing in my car (that's everyday). Doing yoga. Every time I kiss the angel boy-O, “Goodnight and sweet dreamings.” Every time I am sure to kiss my honey-man “hello” and “goodbye.”

Would you forget the birthday of someone you love? Okay, I know some people do forget birthdays and/or don't care about them, but typically, a birthday is considered an important day that one should never forget –just gimme’ that, k?… Well, if a birthday is considered one of the most significant days to pass in each year of a person’s life, celebrating the day that person entered this world, why wouldn’t the day he/she died be equally significant, if not more for the fact that the day someone dies, it’s the end of birthday celebrations for him/her? It’s their last day.

Another thing: I envy everyone who can simply pick up the phone, dial a number and talk to their mother.

Unlike any other day of the year, March 18th comes and goes, but knowing I’ve lived another year without my mum, it always comes like a slap in the face. When I was 24 and realized I had lived half my life without her? It's just not like any other day.

My friend has asked me when it will quit hurting. I’ve tried to be honest, and I tell her that for me, so far it hasn’t - - but that she’d learn to feel more and more grateful for what she had, and that that would help balance some of the pain and the sense of loss.

Another realization and the most important one: Last week I ran to the grocery store for some ice cream –a different friend of mine was feeling down and it was time for reinforcements! As I walked toward the store’s entry doors, I saw a big stack of bright blue plastic childrens wading pools on sale. I used to have one with a bottom textured with images of starfish, seahorses, crabs and bubbles. I used to play in it for hours and hours in the backyard, and my mum would come out every two hours with an icy cold homemade O.J. popsicle in exchange for her chance to slather me down with a fresh application of SPF. So last week, seeing the plastic wading pools, I burst into tears - - and why? Despite all the hospital visits and my mum being sick the whole time I knew her, despite my feeling a bit overprotected occasionally and despite the continued loss I now feel after all these years, when I had her I always knew without a doubt (and still do) that I was adored and loved - that I meant the world to her - and I always knew that nothing I could ever do would change that; I had a happy childhood despite it all.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Slightly Scattered" - or - "The Kirsch Search"

I wrote the first part below on February 28th, saved it in my drafts, and promptly forgot about it:

"To say I've been a tad outta sorts over the last couple months would be a totally right-on judgment... No, nothing really bad going on = no real crisis of any kind currently underway, but I'm so very scattered (severe understatement). My multi-tasking abilities are usually top notch, I gotta say, but lately? Those skilz have flown the coop! Twice this week already, I've almost stashed the milk away in the cabinet located BESIDE the fridge!?! I'm tellin' ya, I'm a veritable airhead right now."

TODAY: Later that same week, right before leaving Vegas for L.A., having prepped in advance the makings of a homemade genoise (2 layers) for my honey-man's traditional Black Forest birthday cake, I stopped by a local liquor store, so as to not repeat last year's birthday nightmare search for kirsch (cherry brandy). This time, I even called the liquor store in advance to confirm first that they had kirsch in stock. So, on my way out of town, kitty-boys loaded, car all packed, plus two Diet Rock Stars chilled and ready for the road, I stopped at the liquor store for kirsch. I ran in, they had known I was coming, gave me my kirsch (their one and only bottle in stock), which I paid for with cash (a very rare thing, me having any cash), and I was so preoccupied with the handling of my change, I ran out the door without THE KIRSCH! And I didn't have a clue until it was time to construct the cake and um, hello? No kirsch?!? What the **** happened to the kirsch?!? I ransacked my car, all my bags, and searched over the entire apartment, all at least twice over and still no kirsch. Finally, I gave in and called my honey-man to report I had somehow lost the kirsch. My honey-man asked me if I remembered what they'd given me the kirsch in... "It was in a white plastic bag." Before hanging up, I told him I had no idea where it went, that I'd look around one final last time, that I felt like a total goon, etc., and with a voice laden with sympathy, he sweetly insisted that it was okay to have another kirsch-less birthday cake, that it'd be perfectly good without the kirsch. [BACKGROUND: I never found the damn kirsch last year, which is why I thought I'd be smart this time around and locate some in Vegas first before ever leaving for L.A..] Once off the phone, I was resolved to locate some kirsch in L.A., hell or high water and then? And then I realized I had NO MEMORY of my ever grabbing any white plastic bag, nor did I have any memory of ever placing a white plastic bag of any kind anywhere in my car. Before conducting an online search for local L.A. area liquor stores that carry kirsch in stock, I checked my cell phone's 'dialed numbers' and gave the Vegas liquor store a call... "Um, hello. Earlier today, I had come to your store to buy some kirsch and beforehand, I had called..." They immediately remembered me and told me how two of them had run out the door after me, but I had already taken off, never looking back. Yeah, to say I've been slightly scattered lately? Um, yeeaah. I wish I had called the store first thing - I wouldn't have felt even half as crazy as I had searching the car, my bags and my honey-man's apartment 100 times over... When I returned to Vegas, I went back to the store to claim my kirsch. We have A LOT of kirsch now - can anyone recommend any recipes using kirsch?

P.S. I had to call 5 L.A. liquor stores before I found any one with kirsch!

Drugging Doggies vs. Lazy Cats

I've been house/pet-sitting this week for a friend and she has nothing but dial-up. Needless to say, I haven't been logging online at night - - Yes, since I finally gave in last year and ordered cable modem, I CAN'T GO BACK to dial-up. I can't. Anyhow, one thing my friend's home does have is a rather large HD TV with digital cable. Needless to say, I've watched more TV in the past few days than I have in the past few months' total time combined. Tuesday night, I stayed up until 3am watching Anthony Hopkins in "The Edge." I couldn't stop myself, and frankly, I didn't want to! I knew I should be in bed and knew that I was being silly, unable to TURN OFF THE TV, but the movie was scary without any supernatural mischief [RELATED TANGENT: Aliens and paranormal flicks freak me the hell out! The Ring? -OMG! The Exorcist? -I'm gunna puke! Alien -Imagine me hiding my eyes behind a gummy bears celephane wrapper! Those flicks gimme' me nightmares! ~ yet I love a good scare!] I was riveted (despite some lousy lines), and I felt like I was a college sophomore again; yes, a sophomore, not a freshman. [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: I didn't have a TV at all my frosh year (didn't miss it at all), and we only had a TV my soph. year because we had rented a TV/VCR combo (six of us paid $10/person each semester ~ not bad, eh?) for playing Tetris (and Tetris only - see here) and watching the occasional video rental, plus recorded episodes of Seinfeld and The Simpsons, lovingly provided by my roomie Suzanne's sister, Wendy, who lived in Salt Lake. We didn't have cable TV, nor did we have any TV station reception, none whatsoever. I know I've told this story before, um, as the link above indicates... duh!] So -um- yeah, watching "The Edge" until 3am, I felt like a college soph. again in that I was relinquishing sleep for a movie. Hardly ever now, do I fall asleep during a movie -I never do- nor do I ever stay up for a movie - - I'll just turn it off and go to bed. However, as a college undergrad, I could stay up until the crack of dawn to finish a movie, even if I had to go to work by 4AM.
Okay, enough about the TV.

So yeah, I'm house/pet-sitting and I have two doggies in my care right now... 1) There's Rebel, who is like a stout mini-black lab, but not, and his tail is like a thick, stubby windshield wiper stuck on "high", madly and stiffly swishing from side to side. He tries to hump my leg as I walk in the door and runs after me, trying to hump my legs as I walk down the hall or into the kitchen. When I turn around and tell him NO, he pouts like a little kid. Despite the leg humping, he has a great puppy-like wiggle-bummy when he's happy = very super cute and lots of energy. 2) And Jackpot, a creamy cockapoo [TANGENT: Who the hell thought that'd be a great name for the breed? even if it is derived from the combination of its origins; "cocker spaniel" and "poodle"!?!], he too has a great puppy-like wiggle-bummy when I walk in the door, but he calms down well before Rebel looses his wriggly wiggling. Poor Jackpot is 12 yrs old and his age is already hitting him with hearing loss and multiple medications to be administered; thyroid? 2 kinds of ear drops? infection pills? He must be given his drugs twice a day... Now, I've drugged animals before and this lil' Jackpot has been the EASIEST, hands down! There's o need for a 2-person team effort hold down,
no jamming pills down anyone's throat, no hiding pills in chunks of cheese... He'll eat 'em plain, right out of my hand!!! And the ear drops? There's no growling, no chase down or need to corner anyone; no struggle - he lets me hold his ear open and drip the drops in, nooo problemo. Drugging this doggie is a breeze.

The Real Point of my Post, however: I've had the chance to watch/care for these two wiggle-bummy boys for a few years now. This current stint as a pet/dog-sitter has confirmed for me, I'm just not a dog person. Don't get me wrong, doggies are cute and adorable and so loyal and so doting, I know, and I do all the baby talk and playing and cuddling with them, but they are SOOOOO FREAKIN' NEEDY!!! With these two, once the morning routine is done or after the welcome-home routine is complete, at all other times I find that I'm feeling guilty. When with them, any lil' move I make from a stationery position or any mere shift in weight while sitting on the couch with my internet-less laptop (in front of the HD TV), they both stop whatever it is they're doing and they both wait for my next action, with those big, brown, swollen puppy eyes. They follow me everywhere! I can't even take a pee in peace! (There's another story here -a cat story- but I won't start.) Of course they're cute, and it's amusing to see just how thrilled they are whenever I talk outloud to them about anything, as long as it's spoken using a babytalk-voice, but otherwise, I feel guilty all the time! I'm sure, if it was up to them, we'd just play, play, play and cuddle, cuddle, cuddle all of the freakin' time! I.CAN.NOT.DO.IT.FULL.TIME. They're stinky, smelly (as if 'stinky' and 'smelly' are two different attributes), drooly, dirty, dusty, snotty, furry lil' thesis-papers-disrupters! If I had a dog of my own, I'd go for walks with 'em morning and night, I'd scoop the poop daily, I'd have to move so I could have a backyard for warm outdoors, lazy-day doggie-lounging easy-access and crazy run-around-and-catch-your-tail play, and I'd have to tear out all the carpeting in my home and, and, and I'd have to have a labotomy!!! I can pet-sit, but I can't handle owning a needy doggie of my own.

Now Dog lovers, hold off! I already know that cats can be dirty and smelly too, but I have indoor cats ~ prestine, clean, oh-so tidy kitty cats! [TANGENT: Living in a city and off a busy road, I don't think an outdoor cat would last long, plus it's a fact that the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is 5 years, while an indoor kitty can live into his/her twenties. And yeah, I know, I know (I can hear my father speaking right now) - - "cats crap in a box and scrap at the litter with their paws" - - Yes, they do, BUT THEN they self-clean! Dogs? they just track their shit all over the place, completely oblivious! And although I know my boys -any cat- would love to be outside hunting birdies and mice, rolling in the dirt, indoors or out, cats sleep an average of 17 hrs/day, people. Here are my rationalizations for their in-house, imprisioned state: #1) They're safer indoors (irrefutable truth) and #2) I don't tease my kitties with trips outside, so they don't know what they're missing... #3 They'd rather lay around snoozing anyhow. I adore my lazy lil' cats.

I could write on and on, in what ways my personality favors cats over dogs, but I'll save it for a later post, maybe; this post has rambled on long enough. Tomorrow night, I'll be back home with my boys ~

P.S. I know my post title implies I'd be writing about drugging doggies, while it turns out, I wrote so very little about it. Furthermore, I wrote about a sweet doggie who is so easy to drug, but who said my post titles have to make sense? "Drugging Doggies..." sounds funny to me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

8th Grade Science & Math ~ I passed!

I Passed 8th Grade Science!

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

I Passed 8th Grade Math!

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

P.S. Before starting the math quiz, I was a bit worried that I'd do poorly! I have NO FAITH in my basic math skills! which is funny, since I get paid to track -um- a few million $$$ annually.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I am Wonder Woman!

Anyone remember Underoos? Now answer silently to yourselves! - I don't want to feel old here, nor do I wanna feel like a baby! Okay - so anyway, before Underoos came along to make things worse, I had always loved Wonder Woman and wanted to be her. I distinctly remember giving a shiny red apple to the Wonder Woman who came to our door, trick o' treating (this was a few years before the whole razor blade scare happened), the year I was four. She had the golden belt with the golden laso, the boots, the bustier and the hair. At the time, I really believed she was Wonder Woman... I would love to know how old that Wonder Woman chicky had been back then and to see just how complete her outfit had been. I'm tellin' ya though, I was starstruck! Wonder Woman came to my home trick o' treating! I remember that I told EVERYONE at preschool all about it! And thereafter, my insistence that I have my very own Wonder Woman Underoos became quite fierce. We moved into my parents' first house when I was five, and by then, I had two pairs of W.W. Underoos. I wore them around the house like my regular clothing... I also distinctly recall running the sidewalks of Laird Ave. in SLC, UT with my fellow Underoo companions, Whitney S. (a blonde W.W.) and Heather L. (Batgirl). Anna Dilemna? Didn't you and I also run around in our W.W. roos together too?
So check this out below = how apropos, don't you think?

My Results: (NOTE: Once published, the original table formatting goes real weird and I couldn't fix it, so I nixxed it!)
You are Wonder Woman

You are a lovely princess
with great strength of character.

Wonder Woman 80%
Supergirl 75%
Superman 70%
Spider-Man 70%
Green Lantern 70%
Robin 65%
The Flash 60%
Hulk 50%
Iron Man 50%
Catwoman 40%
Batman 25%

My Open Letter, Revisited

Last month I wrote an open letter addressed to an ex-boyfriend of mine who'd apparently been having a hard time moving on... and still is, apparently. Anyhow, in the open letter (see here), I briefly addressed the concept of a site meter and the wonderful info. mine provides me regarding those who visit my blog. At this point in time though, I feel the need to clarify some things about site meters:

#1 A site meter does not identify anyone by name unless someone has actually given his/her IP address an assigned name and that assigned name is his/her own name.

#2 A site meter's primary purpose is to count a site's number of visitors and does so by recognizing the info. that distinguishes one visitor from another = the server "location" of a visitor's IP address, including some of the following additional visitor details: Domain (Las Vegas Valley Water District - that'd be one of the more very specific domain listings I've seen, for example), ISP (e.g. Cox Communications), City, State and Country, and even the longitude and latitude of the location, plus the date and time of the site visit, and the referral page or web search and/or site that brings a visitor to my blog.

Using some of the aforementioned info. provided by my site meter, if I already know some things about a reader or a friend and I note particular details too close to be a coincidence, I can make an accurate guess as to who's who. Of course, it's always easier to identify visitors who comment since I can compare the date and time of a comment's posting to the site meter's record. However, let's say a friend of mine who uses AOL and lives in the rather large San Diego area (HI STEPH!) were to visit my blog only occasionally and by no means daily, and she never made a comment (until recently), I would never figure out it was her because there'd be no obvious visit pattern, no individual specific info. provided, nor any timeframe in which I could identify her visits or any comments. But if say, an old college friend of mine who uses a small internet provider and lives in a very small military town in Alaska comes by for a visit to my blog, even if she only visits once a month and never makes a comment, I can still be sure that it's her. I can also, sometimes, figure out who's-who via referral page listings or search threads, but only if I'm really paying attention.

Don't get me wrong - I am in no way tracking every visitor who comes by. I still don't even know my honey-man's IP address!?! and since he has never left a comment and never will, coupled with the fact that he's in L.A. and uses one the most common ISPs in the valley -even if I tried- it'd be nearly impossible to identify him. Only on a fluke have I been able to consistently note a few who's-who details via my site meter, able to identify Amanda B., CanadianAmy, CircusKelli, ClosetMetro, DocErn, Southern Fried Girl, my father and my friend Wendy's sister in Utah... ha! And don't forget, Mr.-not-so-anonymous-T.R. ~

Seeing that my open letter didn't do the trick (move on, I tell you -- MOVE ON!!!), I think I'll be ignoring my site meter now. I may take an occasional peek, but there's never been a need to do so.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday! My last for a while...

This will be my last SPF until who knows when, with my poor, witchy baby being sent away to Jersey today. Because of her current condition, refusing now to even take a semi-out of focus picture (see the first picture shown? - can you even see it? that's supposed to be a pic of my trunk!), alas, my trunk will not be featured for today's SPF - - I know, I know - - you're all really broken up about it, I know. I'm so sorry. This is all I have to offer for now and it'll have to do... FOREWARNING: This post is quite a rambling rambler...

#1 My garbage can: Behold, this is my ridiculous garbage can kept in the pantry of my kitchen. I'll come back to the "ridiculous" aspect in a moment, but I gotta say something else here.
[TANGENTS: 1) In the upper left corner? Blue packaging? Anyone recognize this item? See here. 2) All that crap to the left of the can? It's my paper and glass recycling and I know, it's a bit outta control. You have NO IDEA though! If you could see above the can?!? there are 3 HUMUNGOUS bags hanging from the wall, loaded with plastics, all waiting to be taken to the recycling center located at the opposite side of the Vegas valley. {NOTE: Usually, my friend Ryan and I will make a morning of it on a Saturday - we have breakfast together and thereafter, we drive across town to dump our weeks' worth of recycling. Yes, we're that nerdy and that devoted to our recycling. And no, there are no recycling services at my apartment complex or his, nor do any of my local grocery stores offer recycling services, bastards! Not even Trader Joes! Why? Because Vegas sucks in the recycling department, sitting amongst the bottom 5 worst, most poorly ranked recycling states in the US. (I wrote a term paper about it last semester.) The problem is that Nevadans have access to thousands and thousands of acres of undeveloped desert property available for unlimited landfill use, and because legislation is under zero pressure to conserve the land for commercial or residential development [remember, this place is a vast and empty desert], they "don't see a real need to promote recycling." What do I think of that? Utter bullshit. Utterly shameful. I won't go on about the diverse ecosystem here or the reasons to recycle - I'll spare you.} Anyhow, having spent my H.S. years in Iowa, where they recycle more tons of material per year than some metropolitans areas and have their own bottle bill (a 5 cent payoff for each glass or aluminum bottle returned), I was well trained to conserve/recycle considering all that and the fact that my mother's family comes from rural Idaho... At my Grams' house in Bear Lake, if you ran the water for too long, the well water would turn a nice gritty, sandy seafoam green. May I also remind everyone, I'm a person who feels guilty if I let the water run in the bathroom sink while I brush my teeth.] As I was about to say, before my tangents/rant [WARNING: Here comes another weird rant!], I am quite serious about placing trash where it belongs - in the garbage - and I absolutely hate it whenever I find trash elsewhere. Because of this, coupled with the fact that I'm all about convenience in many regards, I have conveniently placed several garbage cans just about everywhere throughout my home; beside the toilet, beside the bathroom vanity, beside the bed/compooter desk, and atop the dryer. I had an extra can that I recently gave up to my honey-man and it's been placed under his desk in L.A. and I tell you, the man couldn't be happier! He has thanked me THREE TIMES on three different occasions for the wonderful convenience of having a garbage can beneath his desk. It has changed his life = I'm soooo not joking! Really! Anyhow, so far there's never yet been a garbage can in my living room, but don't think I haven't been tempted.
As for the ridiculousness of my kitchen's can (finally), do you see its size? Let's count: There's me, my roomie and my honey-man only visits about 2-3 days each week and that's it; only 2.5 people contributing trash; not a family of 5 or 6. My can is too big!!! Why I ever bought one so large, I dunno, but we do all know that when a large garbage can doesn't fill quickly, it doesn't get tossed quickly, and if anything organic and/or wet is thrown in there, it will stink to high heaven in less than 24 hrs. In my case, it doesn't help that I have a roomie from Japan who cooks sometimes super strange, super smelly foods daily and I'm in love with a carnivore! The can must go! Twice, I have sworn to get rid of the damn thing, waiting to do so until I'm out of large-size garbage bags. So why hasn't it happened yet? My sweet and most reliable, most courteous roomie, Kanako, dutifully switches off with me for the buying of water filters (we share the same Brita) and dishsoap (we share this too) and also GARBAGE BAGS! A few months ago, just when there were about 6 bags left from the bulk size box my previous roomie had bought, Kanako beat me to it, buying ANOTHER BULK SIZE box of 55 bags before I could tell her not to do so!!! Right now we're about 1/2 way through that box. Once the bags are about 3/4 of the way gone, I imagine it'll be time for me to move. *sigh* I am soooo not taking this can to Cali with me. Honey-man? Do not let me do it!!! And do not let me rationalize its use as a can to keep our recyling in either.

#3 My junk drawer, as found: If our new place in Cali doesn't have room for a junk drawer, I'll be sad. I use something out of this drawer almost daily. I love my junk drawer. Every home should have a junk drawer.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hasselhoff, Hooked on a Feeling (OMG!)

I was visiting Journalicious this morning (had finally asked for and received access), where I discovered one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen online. Ya gotta go take a peek here. I copied the link and sent it to some friends... Wendy emailed back, telling me she couldn't open the link because her place of employment blocks access to the site! I was actually impressed to hear this! Such wise, very wise employers for whom she works, indeed! Of course, the site's name should serve as a wildly flaming red flag for any employer anywhere...

Farewell, Sweet FinePix 550E, Until We Meet Again

A couple weeks ago, my digicam's LCD quit working inexplicably. I called and emailed all the proper FujiFilm warranty authorities [NOTE: First of all, how dare my girl try to quit me like this? and with only a month before the warranty expires?!? She's screwin' with me, I swear!! Lil' witch needs to be spanked!], and I was given the instructions for arranging her repair. However, not wanting to let go when my honey-man's bday was just around the corner, I held off and continued using her, all the while taking generally terrible and painfully out of focus pictures ever since. So as of tomorrow, I'm sending my poor witchy baby off to New Jersey for repairs and I'll be digital-camera-less for who knows how long (sniff, sniff). I do still have my very nice, very reliable, very neglected Canon RebelG 35mm, but using a camera that requires film?!? Do they sell film still? I'm sooo no longer into taking 'mystery' pictures anymore, always having to wait and see what only developing can reveal - - not that I took bad pictures though! By the time I finally bought my digicam, I had become a pretty a-okay amateur photographer. Anyways, the point is this: I'm now digital all the way, man and I'm quite certain I will be going through a serious withdrawl while my baby is away. Also, I seriously doubt I'll resort to film in her absence. CLARIFICATION: Yes, my digicam is a girl.

Blogging Blockage

See this? Oh sure, Otis is so cute n' all, but do you see that lone lil' kitty leg of his hanging over the desk's edge, sitting atop my hand which is placed over my keyboard? This lil' disruptive habit of his makes it entirely impossible for me to work on my blog, I mean, my thesis research...
Granted, I could move his lil' fat furry bum outta my way, but he looks so cute and too comfortable, doesn't he? Anyhow, I've learned that were I to move him, he would spontaneously return to the spot, just as he'd been.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

One of the Many Reasons I Love My Honey-Man

This past Sunday, driving into Vegas from L.A., we saw a large, very prominent casino dance club billboard posted to the right side of the I-15 highway, touting the slogan "Tap This" with the image of a svelte woman wearing a dress with a deep, plunging, severe backline, and male hands reaching from what would be her front, back to her behind... My honey-man saw it before I did and spoke up with firm conviction, "I find that offensive." At first I didn't know what he was talking about and he then angrily read aloud, as much as two words can be spoken angrily, "Tap this." I couldn't help but grin like mad, pleased with his disgust. He is such a cutie-patootie.

Monday, March 06, 2006

55 More Trivial Things About Me

Adding to my first list of 55 trivial things about me, here's another 55... *UPDATES* for #s 35 & 38!

1. Your name spelled backwards. - nnylejenna
2. Where were your parents born? - Ovid, Idaho (mum), Pittsburgh, PA (father) and Orange, CA (step-mum)
3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? - "I Like the Way" by Bodyrockers ~ goooood song!
4. What's your favorite restaurant? - hmmm... for right now? I've got a crush on The Bangkok Orchid, but I really and truly love Hires in Salt Lake City, UT.
5. Last time you swam in a pool? - early February
6. Have you ever been in a school play? - Yes, I was a house mouse (age 9), a news reporter (age 13), and a bratty, gum chewing teen (age 15).
7. How many kids do you want? - Originally three, but my honey-man has one already, his angel boy-O ~ hopefully we'll have at least one, if not two.
8. Type of music you dislike most? - Ggangstah rap
9. Are you registered to vote? - you betcha, although I haven't yet been happy with any of my voting options!
10. Do you have cable? - Not to insult nor to judge anyone out there, but this one's a big, fat NO THANK YOU; I think cable/digital is a waste of money and more importantly, MY TIME! The basic channels do me just fine if I ever feel the need to veg out, but honestly, there's a ton of stuff I'd rather do than watch TV. For sure, I could watch TLC or The History Channel or the Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel round the clock, 24/7, but that doesn't mean I should.
11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? - Yes, plus I own a 1971 bright, almost dayglow, orange Honda Trail 90 - bore the core to 105. Top speed is only 45mph, but it's street legal. I bought 3 different bikes to make this one. I call 'em "Whippit."
12. Ever prank call anybody? - Of course, when I was like, 8? and 9 and 10 and 11 and when I was 12 and, um, 13 and... ?
13. Ever get a parking ticket? - Never (total sarcasm applied heavily)
14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? - OH YES! me! me! yes! ME! (wavings my arms wildly, jumping up and down).
15. Furthest place you ever traveled? - Honolulu, Oahu
16. Do you have a garden? - Not at this time (*sniff, sniff*)
17. What's your favorite comic strip? - What? um, geesh, I dunno! I've always liked Calvin & Hobbes - ?
18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? - Yes
19. Bath or Shower, morning or night? - Depends; I do it all; I like to mix it up, crazy girl that I am (again, apply heavy sarcasm).
20. Best movie you've seen in the past month? - Um, I really did like Brokeback Mountain. We both cried.
21. Favorite pizza topping? - Pineapple without the Canadian Bacon or ham, please. Just pineapple.
22. Chips or popcorn? - If ya got any Salt & Vinegar chips, oh yes... or Act II's Kettle Corn? oh oh oh yes!
23. What color lipstick do you usually wear? - I hate lipstick - I use Clinique's Almost Lipstick in either "Black Honey" or "Almost Blush"
24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? - What the hell does this mean?
25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? - Heck no.
26. Orange Juice or apple? - I'd have to pass on either one - I'd rather have something else.
27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? - With my honey-man at Pei Wei's.
28. Favorite type chocolate bar? - Something with cookie or waffer crisp = 1) Twix and 2) Kit Kat ~ also like York Peppermint Patties, Caremello, and 100 Grand.
29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? - November 2004
30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? - September 2005
31. Have you ever won a trophy? - Long gone, thrown in the trash; meant nothing to me.
32. Are you a good cook?- I like to think so.
33. Do you know how to pump your own gas? - What kind of question is this?
34. Ever order an item from an infomercial? - No.
35. Sprite or 7-up? - Neither; I usually don't do soda (or beer) unless I'm up for some tummy torture. [*UPDATE* I can't voluntarily burp, despite all the coaching offered by my many male cousins, and I don't often burp involuntarily.] I'll happily suffer for a Dr. Pepper though - mind you, I don't ever buy soda for home consumption = it's no good for anyone.
36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? - Why yes... "Welcome to Hardee's. How may I help you?"
37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? - Low Ogesterol
38. Ever throw up in public?- Unfortunately, yes - - age 6, in a McDonald's entrance, after consuming a Happy Meal ...that could be a story in itself. [*UPDATE* How could I forget!?! Also at age 24, the first time I ever got drunk. I had had FIVE Long Island Ice Teas, completely unaware as to how much hard liquor I was consuming. One moment I was fine, talking annimatedly, and the next? - WITHOUT WARNING - No dizziness, no salivation, no queasiness to speak of - I threw up right on the bar! I then threw up in the parking lot, in my uncle's front yard, in my boyfriend's front yard (had left the uncle's home, realizing he shouldn't witness my state at the time) and in my boyfriend's bathroom, twice! NOT A PROUD MOMENT!]
39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? - True love, all the way.
40. Do you believe in love at first sight? - Absolutely.
41. Ever call a 1-900 number? - No.
42. Can ex's be friends? - Yes - this topic should be a whole 'nuthah post.
43. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? - Not sure, really. Jasey, post back surgery?
44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? - Yes, I had a veritable shag carpet on my head!
45. What message is on your answering machine? - "Hi, we're either away from the phone or screening our calls, so please leave a message. Thanks."
46. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character? - Gilda Radner's lil' Girl Scout
47. What was the name of your first pet? - Thumbelina, along with Simon, Solomon, and Sampson (goldfish).
48. What is in your purse? - My cell phone, a sterling clasp (essentially my wallet), my business cards case, a USB flash drive, a ballpoint pen, lip gloss and chapstick.
49. Favorite thing to do before bedtime? - no comment.
50. Favorite Girl Scout cookie? - Carmel Delights, with Shortbread running a close 2nd.
51. Favorite grade school teacher: Mrs. Kristoff from 1st grade at Uintah Elementary, 1981
52. Favorite grade school playground equipment: Monkey bars
53. Favorite grade school subject: Social Studies
54. Most hated grade school subject: Mathematics
55. What is one thing you are grateful for today? - My life

Friday, March 03, 2006

Blurred Vision

*UPDATE/CORRECTION* Things DID NOT slow down in pace = I was wrong; the moment came and quickly passed once I published this post last Friday. It was just another BUSY BUSY BUSY weekend of constant plans to attend to and continual running around, EXCEPT we did sit down after a 4hr+ brunch/lunch gathering to watch a DVD together on Saturday before running to Moorpark for a Symphony performance, followed by a long wait in a long line at Pink's. Back in Vegas now, my honey-man gave me a ride to work this morning, and while on our way, we had difficulty recounting all the many things we did over the weekend.
It's all a blur.

Written March 3rd: I'm in L.A. right now - arrived yesterday. Funny enough, for the moment things are finally slowing down to a pace where I may soon be able to see straight... in L.A. of all places. This week has been a total blur - I had tried earlier in the week to write a post about my feeling real scattered lately, but I was too scattered to finish it.

I have some things to work on - that thing called my thesis - and some errands to run later, provided I really do get some work done. I'll stop before I run on and on, incoherently. I'll only say this: The quest for some decent house slippers for the angel boy-O continues... NOTE: I DID NOT SUCCESSFULLY LOCATE ANY SLIPPERS FOR THE ANGEL BOY-O, NOT ANYWHERE.