Friday, December 26, 2008

Some Merry Pictures

And now I offer you a merry Post-Christmas. Hope yours was merry and bright!

John and I started the day around 8 with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and cinnamon buns. Then we gave Hammy his presents. By Wednesday night he was feeling pretty much back to his old self, so he was able to enjoy his new toys very much! He absolutely goes bonkers for his new fishing pole game, which has feathers, crinkly strips, and a sparkly ball on the end. We gave that to him first, so he basically wanted nothing to do with his laser pointer, knit mousy, or catnip mice. haha Later, though, he was able to check everything out.

Iz okay, guys...
dinner's on me.

Here, Hamlet checks out his new fishing game...I especially love when he stands like a human. Oh so cute!

Aside from Kitten, we hoomins had a very nice holiday, too. I gave John an MP3 player, a movie, and a handful of little stocking stuffers. MAYBE he'll pop on later and write about it. MAYBE... As for me, I got two movies and this:

Always a good sign!

Ta daaaa!

After gifts here, we watched the Disney parade and then went our respective ways. I got some pretty sweet loot from the rents, too! And Mom, Dad, and Kev seemed to like their presents, so everyone was happy. Then I went and visited Tara for a bit, which is always a treat. : ) We stared at Sangha and tried to lure himout from under the tree with gifts of shoelaces, but he was having none of our games. He did come out long enough to be straddled and forced into a Santa hat and beard...amazing. Simply amazing! You'll have to see Tara's blog for those pics, though. (Stay tuned!) You can imagine that after that he was completely humiliated, and so he squished his not-so-little body sa far back under the tree as he could, and there he remained. God, I love that kitty! We're in the process of arranging a kitty playdate between Hamlet and cousin Sangha...that will be pure magic! I've obvioulsy only seen Hamlet interact with other cats by way of mewing in the shelter, and I don't know that Sangha has ever had real contact with any other four-legged creatures. So it'll be an interesting experiment if nothing else!

And I don't have any pics from Xmas Eve in Edison, but we got spoiled there, too, with presents, good food, and lots of laughs (as always). I was so glad to finally be part of the Xmas Eve fiesta. It was just nice to relax with everyone. Now to start planning our New Year's Eve!

I will leave you with this, Hamlet's very first interaction with Thing in a Bag, his present from dear Aunt Tara...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wishing you a merry Christmas from me, John, and Hamlet!

We wanted to do a cute family photo, but Hammy's been a bit of a recluse since he's still recovering. We can't wait to give him his presents tomorrow, though.

In other kitten news, he's healing up quite well. We gave him back his toys today so he can start getting back into his active lifestyle. He'll have to re-learn how to grab his toys, I suppose, but for now he's content to watch us flail his mousy through the air like lunatics. If only I could read his thoughts...

Well that's all. I just wanted to check in and let you know we're all doing well. This evening we'll be in Edison at John's aunt and uncle's for fun festivities, then tomorrow will be a nice brekky, presents and Disney parade, then we'll go our separate ways for MORE presents.

Have a merry!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hamlet, sans Claws

So my Hammy kitten came home from the hospital today after staying overnight for his declaw surgery. Ugh, I cried all morning yesterday when we dropped him off...putting him in his carrier is probably just as emotionally traumatic for me as it is for him. He cries and it's like a knife in my heart. But all the staff at Banfield is very nice, and they are all smitten with my cutie, so I know he was in good hands. All the same, I know declawing is horrible, and all day yesterday I regretted it. Then I came home today and say his little hands, all matted with surgical glue (instead of stitches, which I feel is better)...I just burst into tears and buried my face in his fuzzy little tummy. He gave me a quick kiss, then decided it was a little too much closeness, and rolled over.

He seems to be feeling okay, though. He's eating and drinking normally, if not a little more than normally. He's very sleepy and groggy and will have to take medicines for a while, but he still looks at me with those big eyes and even purred quite profusely when I was petting him earlier. If I can still turn on the purr machine, I think we'll be just fine.

I'm just really really really stressed about him licking and nibbling at his wounds. The vet (and all the literature they sent home) says that it is normal, as long as he doesn't do in incessantly and obsessively. But now I'm the one much constitutes "excessive"? Ugh! If anyone reads this and can give advice, please do! I feel a call to Tara will come as soon as my free minutes kick in...I'm trying not to be an overprotective mommy, but how can I not? Ugh. Right now he is curled up in his bed snoozing away. I hope I'll be able to get some sleep tonight. I feel like I need to watch him every second lest he should hurt himself...I don't want him to reopen anything.

In other news, we had quite the wintry weather today. Nothing accumulated, and it was worse in Princeton where I work, but around noon it was really icy and awful. I hope the weather the rest of the weekend will begood enough for travel...TDangerous is supposed to come over tomorrow, and Mom is supposed to come up Sunday for shopping and hanging out.

Well, more to come as the saga continues. Everyone think happy thoughts for Hamlet tonight. : )

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


A three-post evening! You, my readers, have hit the jackpot! haha

This one is compliments of Tara, as brought to her by Ashley.

Rule One: I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

Rule Two: I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.

(Not that you can tell, but insert a time lapse here...I was grabbing the nearest book, and knocked over a plant. So I had chase Hamlet away from the new playground, the vacuum.)

I now commence the game...

"...had set down the palace
for this prince and this princess."

And that's all I can play cuz there are only six lines on page 56 of Ruth Stone's Ordinary Words.

: ) But I will share my favorite of her poems with you now, in its entirety:

from Ordinary Words

The moon rises as Shizu rises from her couch,
still in the shadow of her husband
who puts her to work early at his vegetable stand.
The mountains take the light.
Her calligraphy, the dark brush stroke
with which she frees herself,
lies in loose sheets on her drawing table.
The tide recedes, the tectonic plates
grind into the flesh of the peninsula.
She is one grain of sand
in the rippling ground swell;
a fan opening and closing.

That last line gets me every time.

So I will now tag:

Follow the rules above. If you don't have a blog, email me your page 56. : )

I Owe you More Pics...

So here they are! I will start with the cuteness of my kitten:

Chia Milk...? When your dairy sprouts a kitteh, methinks it's past its prime.

Hammy makes his baby face...the cuter the face, the greater the crime...

Now here are some pics from my office holiday gala...

Nathalie and I at cocktail hour. Nom.

The hottest double-stuff Oreo ever...Johanna, me, David, and Nathalie. : )

And lastly, Fishmas!

More to come!

Snow, and the Philosophy of Selecting a Seat on Public Transportation

Hello, and happy winter weather advisory! I had to clear about a half an inch of snow off my car before leaving work this evening. ::sigh:: So happy. Just call me Loralie Gilmore.

In other events, John and I went to Fishmas at the Adventure Aquarium this past fun! The aquarium did a lot of renovations to old exhibits and added some new ones. It seems that we will never get bored of the AA. What was really nice was that we took the RiverLine right from Btown, and it dropped us off at the Aquarium parking lot. When spring comes, we'll take the RL to some Riversharks games, too! Score!

On the way to the aquarium, though, I started thinking about something I overheard on train to the Rangers game Thanksgiving weekend. A man and his son got on the (awesome double-decker!) train and asked, "So where do you want to sit? Do you wanna see where you're going, or where you've been?" He was obviously talking about the seats facing the front of the train or facing the back, but the implication is interestisng. One of those unconscious expressions of character. I gravitate toward the seats facing the back of the train - where I've been - because it is different. I don't drive my car facing out the back window (and I hope no one else does!). I guess to me, it's a gesture of ease and surrender, of putting faith in driver by not looking out the windows to see what's coming next. I'm just along for the ride. But when I heard that man ask his son what he wanted to "see," I thought, "Do I sit here because I get stuck in what was?" And maybe I do, partially. But I also think part of that philosophy is also enjoying examinging the past with respect to the present and using it to look ahead to the future. Do people who sit facing forward disregard the past and focus on what's ahead? That might be their main tendency, but the past is always there...even if it's just in the next train car. Anyway, I'm probably overanalyzing this, but I've been mulling it over since, and now toss it to you for pondering and feedback. Where do you like to sit, and what do you think it says about you?

In lighter news, our holiday decorating here is finished, and we are enjoying thr tree and other festive touches. While we wait for our PartyLite goodies to arrive, we have Yankee Candle Balsam and Cedar burning (though I also recommend the new Sparkling Pine). The bathroom and back of the apartment smell especially wonderful.

I've gotten almost all my shopping done, and will do the rest next weekend when Mom comes for a visit. We're totally gonna hit up Red Robin. I just recently experienced the magic, and after years of seeing their commercials without being certain they actually existed (there are NONE in that area), Mom and I will be chowing on some amazingly yummy burgers. Last time I had the Shroom and Swiss burger...oh, heaven on a bun!

Anywho, that's what's been up with me lately. I hope to check back in more regularly. In the meantime, I hope you're having a great holiday season, and you're thinking about all the goodies you'll find under the tree (or under the menorah...?). I know I am!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Owe you Pics

So here they are. First, Xmas in our apartment:

Dining room table.

Reading nook (and stockings!).

Our tree. So cute!

Dining room windows.


Pics from my office party still to come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Sorry once again for my prolonged absense. This week was a little hectic. But we did manage to get about all of our holiday decorating finished. It looks so pretty and festive. I'll post photos at a later date. I'm too wiped out to fight with formatting right now. haha

Friday night John and I went to my company Christmas gala at the Heldrich in New Brunswick. The hotel was gorgeous, and the shindig was pretty swanky. We met up with my friend, Nathalie, and her boyfriend, and then a few other pals. It was good freakin times.

Saturday we went to Somers Point and helped Lisa pack up and paint before she moves to PA for an assistant editor position with a scifi publishing company.

Today I had some friends over for a PartyLite demonstration, which was great, but I'm totally wiped out now from cleaning all day and just generally being on the go go go! All worth it, though. I love having company. Plus, everyone did an awesome job of spending money cuz I got to go on a $200 shopping spree with the hostess rewards I got. Sa-weeeeeeeet! Got some gift shopping done with that in addition to getting lots and lots of stuff for myself.

Tomorrow is back to reality, boo. It's a pay week, though, and my first paycheck! Word!

Well that's about all for now. John is cooking dinner, and I'm gonna go watch The Wedding Singer on TV for a bit.

Pics to come!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Comes to Bordentown

This evening John and I went to our town's tree lighting, and it just reinforced how much I love living here. For years, Mom and I had been going to local towns like Collingswood and Haddonfield for their holiday festivities. It felt so nice to drive about a mile away and walk down the streets that are becoming very familiar, and be a part of a small-town tradition. I have my own Stars Hollow...minus the lunatic Town Selectman.

The Farnsworth House restaraunt.

We got there just in time to see the end of the Drum and Fife Corps. performance, and hear the carolers sing a few tunes. Then we counted down to the tree lighting:

After that, we walked around and poked into the shops that were open. We found a really great little tea shop called Beanwood Coffee, who apparently had their grand opening for tonight. It was fantastic! I had mint tea and a cannoli and John had coffee and a slice of yule log cake. As we were warming up, the carolers came in and sang for the shop! It was so great. Just a completely perfect way to start the holiday season.

When we finished our tea, and the caroling quartet was treated to free tea and snacks by the shopkeepers, we headed home, feeling a bit cheerier than when we left. : ) Earlier today we went to the mall and I bought a dress for my office gala on Friday night. Then, at Target, we got some tree trimming supplies. We'll decorate our little Christmas tree Thursday after dinner. It'll be a week into December, and will feel a little more welcome. haha I was so excited today that I wanted to decorate it as soon as we got in the door. But John talked me into waiting. I've never been one to celebrate Black Friday by tearing down the harbingers of fall for the heralds of Christmas, but I'm just so excited that this year John and I get to do things our way that I got a little ahead of myself. For now, though, the tree awaits.

Bordentown Town Hall

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Lazer cat spies his target. You has three seconds to run...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you're all stuffed full of turkey and another year of memories.

My day was great...disasterous pumpkin waffles...and then disasterous pumpking pancakes aside. I went home to my parents', where we just relaxed and Mom and I made some Christmas cards. Mixing holidays, I know, but it was still fun. John met his parents at his grents' and from the sounds of it, had quite the yummy feast! : ) We had some of the leftovers for lunch today...delish!

I'm so happy that tomorrow is only Saturday! Such a lovely long weekend! Next Saturday we have my office Xmas Gala to look forward to. Tomorrow we'll go out and see if I can find a dress to wear. Then Sunday we will be in NYC for a Rangers game! We'll take the train into the Garden, and we'll have Wawa sammiches for lunch.

In addition to being thankful for my friends and family, my new job, and my nice new home with John, I am also thankful for my new little ball of fur. And here are some pics so you can be thankful for him, too.

You has comfy literachur.

Gettin clean, one lick at a time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thinking about Post-Collegiate Life in the 2000s

Disclaimer: I am not an economic analyst, and don't pretend to know the inner working and meaning of the sagging global ecomonic situation. These are merely observations.

I've been thinking a lot since I've graduated, and actually since before I graduated. I have this Literature degree. I always knew I wanted to write, and I always assumed that meant earning a living as a writer in some capacity. Then I thought that might actually kill the joy in writing to work on someone else's projects, someone else's timetable, and under someone else's expectations of what I should be turning out. And then the horror struck: what the heck do I want to do with my life?

I still don't know. But I had the following realization at dinner tonight: with the economy as it is, is anyone fulfilled by their job? Has doing work that means something to you become another fallen American (global?) ideal? I have been feeling like I need to apologize, in a sense, for my degree. I know how to write a mean essay. I know that doesn't help [insert company/industry here], but I need a job. Sorry. That's bullcrap. I spent four years and a nice chunk of change following my heart and studying what I love. I don't need to apologize to anyone, and I need to stop doing so to myself. The world can take its lack of a hoot and stuff it like a Thanksgiving turkey.

I've been thinking about the people I know. Remember in elementary school when it was exciting to shop for new clothes, to pick out the perfect Trapper Keeper and fill your pencil case with perfectly sharpened Teconderoga #2 pencils, when you'd fall asleep in your new Lee Dungarees and LA Gear sneaks? Who does that as an adult? Everyone I know, or at least the people who immediately come to mind, pretty much wants to murder their alarm clock when it beckons them to work. Even if you like your job, I'm sure there's some part of you that is a little sad. I'm a writer. I will never stop being a writer, no matter what I do 9-5. But there is still that hunger to want to go to sleep at night, proud of what I've done, so that when people ask me what I do, I can say "I ______," and I can honestly mean it when I smile and say, "It's great."

Which brings me to another point, another global phenomenon. Why are we defined by what we do? The mythical do. When someone asks you what you do, they want to know what your job is, what your title is, what kind of car do drive, and how many people work under you? I never know quite how to handle this question of what I do. I do a lot. Don't try and cram me into a one-word definition. But all the same, when I ask myself that question, I'm blank.

I spoke with a friend and former roommate earlier this evening, and she just reinforced what I've been feeling about a "wasted degree." She has a BS in psychology, and is attempting to pursue her masters and enroll in a PhD program. The area she wants to study, however, will not provide the job market or the paycheck she'd need; she even said after going through the programs, the degree wouldn't even pay for itself. It's this kind of conversation that makes me wonder why there is so much emphasis on college, and why people go. So few of us graduate and actually move into the fields we studied to enter, or at least find work that means something to us. Everywhere requires some kind of degree, but I feel like job opportunities are either so generalized that a specific degree doesn't matter (as long as you have one to your name), or the job is so specific that you're chasing it your whole life only to skirt around it on the peripherals. Bachelors degrees seem to be a dime a dozen now, and so the push is toward the Masters. Eventually everyone will a Dr. Jon/Jane Smith, and then what? Will someone have to create an even higher degree just to keep the hierarchy going?

The point I'm trying to make is that I'm very disillusioned with this whole growing up thing, but for reasons I think are unique to my generation and those immediately surrounding it. We are graduating into really shaky times, times where the trades are no longer enough. It used to be that a man (pardon the sexism for a minute) would work his ass off in some labor-intensive job all day to support his family. Higher education, often past grade school, wasn't common. That man would come home with the pride that comes from knowing what he did mattered. What a man did, he often did until he died, usually as the result of that occupation. What a man's father did, he did, and so one. Family business meant something. My generation faces the opposite: it's alarming that five career changes is considered standard now. And more and more kids are pushing against their family business. Dad pushes son to be a doctor just like him; son joins a rock band to push back and away. Mom wants more for her daughter; daughter winds up just like Mom anyway. These are exteme examples, I know. But I need extreme to try and get across what I feel.

Where is the fulfilling work? Why are we measured in salary, and why are job interviews all about settling? When did we stop believing we can achieve our ultimate goals? I know part of me has accepted I will spend most of my life settling. And that disturbs me more than anything else. That is the new American reality.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Week of Work, Debriefing

So my first week was really good. It was overwhelming, stressful, new, and somewhat scary. But I work with some of the nicest people (sometimes I think it's not possible to use please and thank you any more, and then I hear them again). I guess I'm just not used to uberpoliteness.
In any event, the day I started was also someone else's first day, and it turned out she was my cube mate. I couldn't have asked for a better match! I think the newness of it all definitely helped us bond, but it's nice that I'll be sharing space with someone who is so similar to me. And the other people I'm getting to know are great, too. The office itself is pretty swankity swank. I'll just say poor old car sticks out like a sore thumb in the parking lot. Hm...someday, maybe, I'll get something that was made in this millenium. I can dream...

The only thing that sucks is that I won't get my first paycheck till December 12...gee golly gosh am I glad I don't have Christmas shopping to do...oh, wait...I have to DO IT ALL! Harumph.
And if you're wondering what it is that I do, I'll try my best to explain. Navigant is a legal cosulting firm, and I am a data entry analyst working on their World Trade Center Disaster Site project. So I basically look at lawsuits and prepare them to be delivered to the appropriate legal counsel. It sounds kinda dry and simple, but it's really labor-intensive (you have make sure everything in EXACTLY PRECISE) and tedious, but it's also nice to know that what I'm doing will eventually help people. Not an idea career for a Litt Kid, I'll be the first to say it, but it's not a bad place to start out fresh out of college, either.
Wednesday John met me at the office (only 10 minutes from his!) and we went to the First Annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar that was held in my building's atrium. It was fun, and there was tons of yummy food. Since that was my dinner, I piled my plate to the sky! haha Also, December 5 is our company Chrstmas gala in New Brunswick. It'll be nice to get dolled up and go out with John. There will assuredly be pics from that!

What else? It's been a little crazy trying to get into a routine since John and I leave within half an hour of each other and our downstairs neighbors are on the same schedule (showers are rough, haha), but I think we've got it down. It just sucks that John and I can't eat breakfast together cuz when he's eating I'm showering, and he leaves as I'm getting my own brekky together. And then there's kitten. He's been waking us up at 5:30 wanting a meal and a playmate. Ugh. He has to get used to the new routine, too. I have to say that it's a great feeling to come home and hear him come running over to the stairs, where he pokes his head around the corner, and mews to me that he's happy I'm home. : )

As for this weekend? Right now I'm home alone with the cat while John takes care of some auto business back in Hazlet. It's nice to be here with Hamlet, and I think he's happy, too. Then I'll pick Mom up from work around 3:30 and go to the house for the afternoon and evening. We're gonna go to Winslow HS's production of Arsenic and Old Lace.

That's about all I've got for now. Sorry posts will be sporadic and probably short. After staring at a computer screen for 8 hours at work, I don't have much energy to come home and stare more. Plus this week was hard cuz we had to run out after dinner a few nights, so I had even less time to take care of personal business and all. Again, still adjusting.
We also bought Wall-e on Tuesday, watched it, and I cried once again cuz it is simple THE CUTEST MOVIE EVERRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go and buy it. It will change your life. : ) I loaned it to my new pal, Nathalie, for the weekend since she had never seen it. Tara, you're next!

Until then, I leave you with the following:

Hamlet carts off his prey, having won the battle.

He looks like he's sailing a little tug boat.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Maureen and Tara of the cat world...

Cheezburger, you are my life. I would also like to offer the following for a great belly laugh:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick One

Just wanted to check in and say the new job is going great so far. I'm making friends, and enjoying the work. Everyone is so helpful, kind, and welcoming. : )

Tonight John and I attended a Holiday Shopping Bazaar in the atrium of my building. We didn't win anything in the raffle (rats!), but it was fun anyway. And there was lots of free, delicious food.

I hope to post a real update on Saturday since I'll be home on my own with kitten for the day. I'm working on managing the little time I have when I get home, and usually I barely have time to respond adequately to emails. Mainly cuz I stare at a comp screen all day for work, when I get home I really just wanna fall asleep. haha

So ta ta for now, but I wanted to let you know I'm still alive.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some Teaser Pics

Well, friends and family, the rain held out until we were on the (cool, double decker!) train coming home, so thank you, weather gods!
I start work tomorrow, and my head is kinda spinning at the moment, so this won't be a comprehensive blog, but I do wanna post some pics and give a brief synopsis of our day in the city. : )

Ready to hit the town!

Tim Gunn, I'm ready to make it work! I know you're in there...

For my brother: GIANT bobbleheads...I should've taken video cuz they were a'bobblin!


And now, it is my extreme pleasure to introduce Frankenkitty...

...would've been a perfect pic if in addition to red-eye removal they had blue-eye removal. But it's cute all the same!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last Day of Unemployment

Such a strange mix of feelings today, as this is mylast day at home full-time. I start my new job Monday morning. The company called to confirm and give me some last minute info for what I'll need for that first day.

I won't miss being poor broke, I won't miss living on the Internet and TV, I won't even miss the constant access to my fridge (which is usually pretty bare anyway). What I will miss is being able to enjoy the stupid little domestic things: now cleaning will feel like a chore, eating away at my delicious weekends rather than being something to pass the long, boring, lonely hours of my days. Plus, I'll of course miss my kitty to pieces. Just look at this face, and tell me how you could leave him:

But this will be a fun way to celebrate the end of my stay-at-home status and kick off my well-funded life as an employed American. (It felt so good to call the temp agency and tell them I found a full-time gig all on my own.) Tomorrow John and I will be up early to get ready to go the NYC for the day! John got us tickets for Young Frakenstein at the Hilton Theatre on West 42nd Street. (By the way, our seats are 11 rows back from teh stage!) We'll take a train out of Hamilton into Penn Station and will wander around until the show (at 2). Then we'll go to Ollie's Noodle Shop for what I'm sure promises to be a scrumdiddlyumptous Chinese dinner. All that then we'll come home to kitty and crash out. I am really jazzed about my outfit, too. haha I bought this fabu sweater dress a month or so ago, and it looks like despite the chance of rain, it'll be warm enough to wear it comfortably. I'm mostly concerned about my feet, though. It looks like we'll do a few miles of walking when all is said and done, and I've been wearing my boots with my new Dr. Scholls inserts to break them in, but city streets will be the true test. If all else fails, I'll call myself Monica and John Chandler, and make him carry me home. haha Any fans out there know the ep I'm talking about? Anyone...?

Sunday won't be as exciting, but Hamlet has a vet follow-up, so John and I will hang around Hamilton Marketplace while he's in the vet's care (it's a drop-off thing where they spend a few hours with him so he can meet the staff and get used to going there). I may also go to Deptford to meet Mom at our Longaberger rep's house for an open-house sale and gathering. It'll depend on what goes on with kitty, and how I'm feeling after a very active day. Ashley, I think I will sympathize with you after tomorrow, though there aren't really any Hell Hills for me to scale. I'll jog up and down a large flight of stairs for you, though. ::wink::

So that's really all for now. I can't wait to blog about New York. I haven't been in the Broadway area since my senior year of high school, and the last time I was in the city was last winter when John and I went to Central Park (most of which I still have to explore!). And I was planning out what to do tomorrow, and it's just so completely stay within a 10-block radius will take up all day. Of course the time we'll be in the theater takes up most of the afternoon, but still. I hope to spend time in the Hershey and M&M stores, as well as see Bryant Park (Project Runway ahoy!). Times Square is implied since the Hilton is right off the corner. I'd also love to get up to Rockefeller Center once the Christmas tree is lit (December 3). And by the way...the tree this from Hamilton, NJ! That's the town next to us! Word!

Okay, that's all for real now. More to come...

And hope for good's looking kinda bleak...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'd Like to Dedicate this to Ashley

Ash, I just rediscovered this video and laughed so hard I scared my cat. I hope it's not too dark.


Piggybacking on My Last Blog

I do have to add one more thing that makes me feel archaic: I cannot stand reading the e-version of newspapers. I haven't taken up a subscription for the Courier Post yet cuz frankly it's one less thing to pay for at the moment. Anyhow, there's just something about unfolding the giant pages over breakfast and getting newsprint fingers that staring at a screen with annoying adspace can't touch. Plus I miss getting advertisements (which also suck to look at online). Not the most eco-friendly option, but we have paper recycling here.

Believe you me...once my paychecks start rolling in, there will be a paper newspaper on my doorstep waiting for me!

So there, digital media!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Slice of the Unhealthy Life

More TV commentary: is anyone else disturbed and upset by the new, much less creative, Comcast HD ad campaign? You know the ones: Comcast representative performs an HD intervention in the home of a poor DirecTV customer. The intervention is not the cause for concern; it is the family on whom it is being imposed.

Each ad features a (stereo)typical American family: Couch Potato Dad, Harried Mom, Lazy Kids, and Too-Close-for-Comfort In-Laws. In both commercials I am familiar with, it is Dad who must be saved from the DirecTV vortex. So here is the problem I see: the point is that Comcast has more HD selections at any given time. So when we are presented with two very overweight families, what immediately goes through my mind is: Yes, let's give them even more reasons to stay planted on the couch...

It upsets me because these commercials seem to be condoning the lazy American stereotype. Yes, God gave us the Wii to get the next generation of fat couch potatoes off their butts, but the amount of time in front of TVs, computers, and other media (cell phones are ridiculous now!) is astounding. I, too, am a victim, of course. I have my TV schedule and I love my Internet. And it makes me sad that I feel I am not as creative as I used to be. The generation that is being raised now is learning by media: there is an upsurge of educational TV programs, DVDs, and kid-friendly video games. Toys have gone almost completely digital. "Classic" games, like Uno and Clue, have either added flashing lights or sexified characters in order to capture the attention on children and stand a chance against the Leapsters, the Baby Einsteins, and the Wiggles. Is it good that kids are learning? Yes, absolutely. But I just feel so OLD and so old-school that I learned with blocks, and Barbies, and dress up, and the outdoors.

Just think: how rare is it to see an advertisement for a toy? A real toy that a kid has to use his imagination for? There are the playhouse-type toys that are reminiscent of things I had as a kid (the Cherry Blossom Market playset for girls and Elmo's Restaraunt for a more gender nondescript crowd). But mostly it's the Leap Frog, it's Uno I'll Fire Cards at You while also Blinking and Threatening Deadly Papercuts, it's Xbox...speaking of, I think the latest Xbox commercial is very fitting: the one with the kid on the couch with a creepy, blank stare; then the camera pans around his head, and we discover that it's...empty...except for an imagine of the kid on a couch with his dad, playing a video game. Is that what childhood imagination has been reduced to? What happened to tree forts? What about couch cushion condos? Where are the lemonade stands? And why do 10-year-olds have cooler phones than I do? WHO ARE THEY CALLING?

Anyway, that is my ten cents (8 more than you probably wanted). Just things I've been thinking about. And stay tuned for a sister article, about the teenaged children (referred to as the 6-going-on-16 phenomenon).

I'm now going to see how John's progressing on his homemade butternut squash soup...

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Cat is Awake...Sometimes!

So I finally snagged some pics of Hamlet with his eyes open. I was a little disturbed when I realized all the photos I have of him were taken while he was sleeping. Not that I can help it. He looks absolutely adorable asleep, and that's how he spends most of his time. haha

But here, for your viewing pleasure, are some photos of him in the play tent from Becky, and in the bathtub.

With his favorite mousy toy, Hamlet contemplates his prey.

Not his best face...haha He blinked as I was taking the pic. Which makes me sad, cuz I just wanna show off those gorgeous green eyes!
Also, check out the profile I made for him on the Purina ONE website, a great place for pet info, or just to browse other profiles of cute kitties and puppies. Maybe some day Hammy will be Pet of the Day!

Last Week Before Employment

So this is my last Monday to enjoy being a stay-at-home cat mom. Sad, but also exciting. It'll be a nice change of pace (at first, at least!) to have something to do all day aside from finding things around here to occupy myself. I will miss Hamlet terribly, though. But really...he'll probably just sleep all day. haha And it'll be nice to come home to John after a harrowing fifteen minute drive and have a nice hug. It'll also be nice to have a morning routine together.

In other cat news, Hammy had his last dose of antibiotics today! He hasn't sneezed much at all the last few days, so hopefully he'll get a clean bill of health from the vet on Sunday. Then he can get his vaccinations, and we can schedule his declaw, which will be hard cuz he'll have that when John and I are both at work all day. I'll be a worrywart. As for now, I'm trying to get him to realize he can't stay in the bath tub all day. haha

Anyway, I hope I'll get a paycheck the last week of the month cuz my November bills might just bleed me dry at this point. I had an overage charge on my cell phone...unemployment + homesickness + depression = lots of peak minutes. Oh well. I also hope my office will be closed on major holidays. I mean, it's a basic 9-5 schedule, and they're not open weekends, so I feel like national holidays are given...but I'll see I guess. If I have to work Thanksgiving, though, I'll be a very very sad person. I'm planning on going home to my parents' for Turkey Day (unless they decide to come here), but since John and I will be apart we're planning a mini feast to spend together. I'm all about all the turkey I can get!

I had a very successful shopping trip to Kohl's Saturday. I got some more pieces for my new prefiessional wardrobe. Everything was at least 50%, so I got a mega deal on a handful of sweaters and a pair of black trousers. Sweet!

More to come soon, and sorry to be boring today. Tomorrow should be fun, though. Mom and Dad are coming to visit, and it'll be nice cuz John has off for Veteran's Day. We'll spend some time with kitten, and then have some kind of lunch plans before they head home.

And I just wanna add that I know I'm bad with transitions. Just roll with it. This ain't no essay!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

KatManDu, and Barack Obama, too!

So tonight will be my first experience with the (early) nightlife in my new metro area. I'm gonna meet John and his work buddies at KatManDu in Trenton for Happy Hour. It'll be nice to get out for a bit (aside from running errands).

Also, it's my first post since we have a new President Elect: WORD UP TO BARACK! If you know me, you know I'm pretty much politically challenged, but I do have my ideas of what is right and wrong, and my ideas about what needs to change in this country. I rarely advertise my political affiliations, mainly because it leads to dead-end arguments in which I am the stupid one, and to be honest, until about two weeks ago I was really torn about how I was gonna vote. I was all about Hillary when she was in the running, so it took me a while to really warm up to Barack. I think, though, Barack and Hillary share a main attraction for me: their passion, charisma, and genuine qualities. Plus, their youth. Not that Bush is pushing up posies (McCain sure is, though), but I think he has the typical Old White Guy politics, and those politics no longer serve this country as well as they might have in the past. So when Hillary dropped out, I was upset...did I want to write her in on the ballot, or did I want to support the democrats by way of Senator Obama? What I ultimately decided, though, was that this election was too important, and every single vote was more important than ever. Not that writing in Hillary would have been a waste, but I knew the democratic nominee would need every vote to keep the gap between himself and McCain as wide as possible. So Barack it was! And after voting against Bush in the last Presidential election, it was really exciting to watch the votes come in, and to watch Barack win, and know that I was a part of it. I was a part of this change for (what I feel is) a more positive and hopeful future for America.

Now, I'm still not political-minded or a Super Patroit, but I feel heartened now that there will be a change in the guard. I think the democrats will have big changes in store, and we may not like them all, but I that the end goal will justify the short-term disagreements. : )

That's all for now. Until next time, friends...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hamlet's First Vet Visit

This morning I took Hammy to the vet for his first visit. He was good boy! He didn't cry in the car this time, but still hates being carried in his carrier, so there was a lot of crying then. But he was a sweetheart and melted everyone at Banfield. My little lynxface. : )

He wasn't able to get any vaccinations or schedule his declaw (mandated by the apartment contract), though, cuz he has a cold! Oh noes! (Speaking of, I have a Cheezburger pic for you.) He caught it most certainly from the shelter, where lots of kittehs were coughing and sneezing. Other than that, though, he is a perfectly healthy little guy. Of course his least favorite part of the checkup was getting his temperature taken (cue Cheezburger saying, "Thermometer goes WHERE?!").

The trauma of the vet plus a very active night and morning of playing with his toys resulted in a tuckered-out kitty...he slept for like four hours this afternoon. And he seemed a little cold, so I wrapped him up all snug in my sweater.

Sleepy sick kitty, dozing with my sweater.

In other non-feline news (in case you were wondering if this has just become a kitty-centric blog), John and I will go over Donna and Rachel's tomorrow for an election night party! I'll make my famous double-layer pumpkin pie...NOM! And we bought pumpkin ice cream, too, to enjoy here at our place...mmm, I will be on the best kind of overload possible. Yes, food shopping tonight was our first test of leaving Hamlet home alone. Everything was still in one piece when we got home (most likely cuz he slept the whole time), so he was a very good boy. He even ate his antibiotic willingly with his dinner tonight. And thank God, cuz I did not want to have to jam it down his throat myself. See there...back to kitty centric. I can't help myself!

I'm excited, too, cuz Lisa and Becky are coming to visit this Saturday while John is at home for the weekend. Then I'll head back to my house Sunday for Mom's Longaberger party. Yesterday Mom and I went to Becky's for a Tastefully Simple party, which was freaking awesome cuz the whole thing was food sampling! Sign me up! I ordered some yummy things, bread mix, a pesto pasta sauce mix, and a spinach dip. Can't wait to get them and eat them!

::time lapse:: Just got off the phone with my far-flung godmother! Yay! I like when she surprises me with a phone call on her way home from work. This one was to check in on me, my new job, and the animals! Oh, it makes me think of how fun that week in Vegas was. I look forward to the next trip.

Well that's all. Jon and Kate Plus 8 is on in half an hour, and that pumpkin ice cream is calling my name! Nighty night.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lack of a Creative Title

It's been an eventful weekend, and I am tired, so this will be mainly pictures. : )

Kitten's first two nights went rather well considering the mayhem he could have caused. He knocked over a cup of pens Friday night, and was in and out from under the bed (his favorite hiding place) a lot. But that was about it. Last night we kept the door closed so he can start learning he can't sleep with us--no kitties on the bed. And last night, he discovered...the top of the fridge. I'm sure, though, his ultimate goal is to leap from the floor to the countertop to the top of the fridge to the ledge on top of the cabinets...and tonight might be the night he succeeds. haha We'll see.

And John got lots of bonding today, as I was at home for the day. So here are the pictures, and I hope the formatting works cuz I am sleepy...damn cat waking us up...but as you can see, HE has no trouble sleeping. Silly cats, they think night time is play time. Must convert him to human time.

Sorry all the vidoes are dark...we have no overhead lights, and no recording light on the camera.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hamlet's First Day at Home

Here are some initial pictures and video of Hammy's first few hours with me.

He's been a very good boy, and is understandably nervous and skittish (especially when you pop around a corner), but he's been checking everything out, and is warming up to the apartment very quickly. And he has been very affectionate and lovey with me. I think I got my snugglebunny! So here he is: Hamlet!

And now, I present a Shakespeare in the Bathroom production: Hamlet.

Thanks to everyone for the advice...keep it coming. Rachel and Christine: I showed him the litter box, his bed, and his food dishes as soon as I brought him home. Worked like a charm! I never would have thought of that, so many, many thanks! He's been largely uninterested in his water, though (I plan on only putting food down in the morning and at dinner time so he doesn't expect to be free-fed). I hope he'll develop an appetite once he's more comfortable and learns the routine around here.

There will surely be more to come. But I must say Hamlet is very photogenic, and a bit of a ham...though I guess that shouldn't surprise me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More kitty preparations...

So John and I went to PetsMart to get the rest of the kitty starter are some pics of what we got, and you know there'll be like a million pics and vids tomorrow once I get Hamlet (as he is now officially renamed) home. So yes, ours pets are now named Hamilton (though I just call him Fishee), and Hamlet. And now, random pictures that are probably exciting to no one but me:

Here is kitty's bed and a catnip pillow toy...

...and his food and water can't see it well, but there are fish skeletons on them.

...his carrier (with a little food dish, in which I'll put treats for the ride home)...

...and this is his welcome home present from John that will keep him company on the way home.

So stay tuned for homecoming pictures. Good night!