Aroma d' foot

The latest cat cuteness:
I was sitting on the carpet with my legs stretched out in front of me, sans shoes. Matti was intrigued by the sight and had to go over and sniff my bare feet very thoroughly.
Cute, but wierd.


Too much fun?

I have, in the past, been a wallflower (out of my own choice, God knows why). After shucking that appellation, I decided not to pass up anymore opportunities for fun and entertainment. It wasn't really a conscious decision, like a New Year's Resolution or anything, more like a necessary step towards taking part in life. Well, I have lived up to this decision and rarely regretted it. Last weekend I kinda did. No, let's say Last Week.
Monday, after work, I went shopping (cat stuff, vinyl tile, etc. - multiple stores, thankfully in the same general area). Tuesday I went to Tai Chi class after work. Wednesday I went to dinner with aunts and uncles. Thursday I went to a BBQ. Friday I went to Tai Chi class having missed my regular Thursday class (the instructor was a real taskmaster). Saturday, I painted more of the basement and tried to spend some quality time with the cats because... Saturday afternoon I drove up to Steamboat Springs to join my friends camping. Sunday morning I drove back to Denver (the cats still remembered me! Whew!) just in time to unpack the car and get changed and go to participate in a Tai Chi demonstration. Then we went out to dinner afterwards. Once again, I got back with just enough time to change and go to a 9:30 soccer game.
I was pretty tired by that point, but I knew that if I didn't show up, I'd be dooming some poor gal to playing the entire game. There were 3 girls (including myself) which wasn't as bad as only 2, but it certainly wasn't as nice as 4 or more. I'm glad I went, but I felt awful immediately after it. We lost 7-3. :( One of those was me making an own-goal, which frustrated me *so much*, but it happens sometimes.
So. Too much fun? A tiny bit, yes. I'll still accept invites, but hopefully I'll be able to scale it back a bit. Tonight I'm going to paint pottery with friends, but next weekend I only have "tile the basement floor" to be accomplished (with a friend who has offered to help). I may see about visiting family up in Loveland, but I don't know if they're having a get together for the holiday or something. We'll see.
In the meantime, Carpe Diem.


And what have I accomplished?

Boy, do I feel like an underachiever.
Mattie Stepanek, child poet, died today at the tender age of 13, succumbing to a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. He wrote five volumes of poetry that sold millions of copies.

My deadline for achieving that... 37.


H2 Oh!

I bought the cats a water fountain to drink from (cats preferring aerated water). Thier reaction was very cute. Martin just stared at it from a distance of about 18 inches, while Matti investigated, biting the stream of water and touching his paw to the surface of the water. Hopefully they'll get over the novelty and just drink from it.
And if this was as cool a website as Reuben's and if I had thought of getting out the camerasaur and if my blog supported photos (which it will, I promise), I'd have a cute photo to illustrate.


Historic Day

Today Mike Melvill became the first civilian astronaut to pilot his craft to the internationally recognized boundary of outer space (100 km above Earth).
Details about his flight and SpaceCraftOne are available here.

In not so historic news, my soccer team lost again to the Hooligans, 6 to 3 (though it was 4 to 3 until the last minute!). They sure run us around a lot, and thier female players have strong skills.

I'm adding a link for one of my favorite blogs (besides Reuben's Mecha Nations, already there). Stephanie is a chef and a writer with acerbic wit. She lives in San Francisco and works in a cheese shop. I don't know if I would call her site, The Grub Report, a blog, since she updates on her own schedule, but her articles are always filled with lovely descriptions of food and she sometimes bestows a recipie on her audience.

It's raining raining raining and all the world is wet...
Seriously, it's been raining A LOT for Colorado. It's nice, 'cause it reminds me of Back East, but people around here are not used to it!


Palmistry -- "I see you are bull-headed..."

Why yes, yes I am.
I bashed up my right palm removing the leftover tack strips in the basement. I used a small crowbar and my hand as a striking device. Why didn't I use a hammer, you ask? Well, I felt more flexible and able to fine tune my efforts AND it would have been too noisy with a hammer. I was listening to a book on tape, you see.

Aileen was right about the cats. Yesterday I saw them chewing on the edge of the sofa. Of course, I was disappointed. Up until that moment, I was firmly a resident of La La Land. Aileen reminded me that Butterball had her flaws too and we loved her. That helped a lot, bringing me down to earth. I have now got an inkling to the extent of how I romanticize things. So, I hold fast to the notion that they are, indeed, real cats and therefore flawed.
(Muahahaha! I love saying cat and flawed in the same sentence. They would be extremely offended, but fortunately they can't read this... I think.)


Moneyhooning... er, I mean, Honeymooning

I still love the cats as much as ever. They continue to be all around cute. I got purring in stereo yesterday. Martin is starting to "talk" to me. They chase each other around the house like maniacs. They were a little perturbed when I closed the windows yesterday (it was rainy and chilly) because they like to sit on the window sills and watch doings outside. Such nice boys.


Cat Pics

As promised, here is a short page of pictures of the kitties.
I (so far) have not regretted for a second bringing them home. I keep adding caveats, thinking that some time they'll have to be less that what I hoped they would be. So far they are all that I hoped, and more. :)


The Best Cats in the Whole World!

I'm sure every petowner (just like every new parent) thinks thier pet (or baby) is the best pet in the whole world. Far be it from me to break with tradition.
The honeymoon continues at Casa Ana. I just went home during the lunch hour to check on Da Boyz and make sure the house was still standing. They were, of course, sleeping. Nothing had been destroyed or broken or even put out of place. I ate lunch, then petted them for a while before I had to tear myself away to go back to work.
They still don't quite get sitting on laps. The most I've been able to convince Matti to do is put his forepaws on my leg while he was being scratched behind the ears. Martin won't even go that far, though he will lie down right next to you.
I could go on about how perfect they are, but I won't. I wouldn't want to make you diabetic... :)


The Fabulous Felinini Brothers

And now I have two cats.
They are an adorable pair of brown tabby brothers, 1 year old. One is slim and slinky, with gold-green eyes and an intrepid personality. The other is more plush, with a stockier body, dark gold eyes and a more reserved demeanor. I love them both already. They are currently hanging out in the spare bedroom until they get settled. I don't think it will take long.
I'm still working on names. I'm thinking Mattimeo and Martin (some of you will recognize the source of these names), and Matti makes a good nickname. Marty I'm still thinking over. I'll post thier picture sometime (after the battery of my digital camera finishes charging) soon.


Pets loom large again...

Mum was kind enough to send me the link to Petfinder.com and that set me off again. This time, it's cats (plural)...
First I was just looking at the selection, browsing different breeds and colors...
Then, one handsome fellow (grey tabby short hair) caught my eye. But the description said that he came with a sister.
The sister (black medium hair) said she was shy and bonded with the brother.
"Hmm," I thought, "I wasn't planning on getting two, but should I?"
After much thought, it seemed to me that it might be preferable to get two because they could be company for each other while I'm at work.
I consulted with my Great Cat Advisor (Paden), who said yes, two is good, and also gave me bunches of other advice, # of litterboxes, Simple Green spray, cat carriers, etc.
The organization under which I would adopt them is Rocky Mountain Alley Cat Alliance and they are having a general cat visitation session tomorrow at a local Petsmart. Paden and I are going to that, and if my pair are not there, then we will make an appointment to visit them specifically.
Oh, yeah, and there is a second bonded pair, two brothers, and a single cat (part Russian Blue) that look interesting too.
Yep, I'm in it up to my eyeballs...
(See this space for updates over the weekend.)

And for those who will ask: yes, I still would like a dog, but since my "nephew" Strider will be coming to stay at the end of July, I will have a chance to sample dog ownership before making the full plunge.


Tunder coming, Mummy, tunder.

I love thunder. Actually, come to think of it, I also like deep voices and percussive music (even had a crush on a tympani player during art camp one summer). One of my favorite pieces of music is the 1812 Overture (I have a version with actual Napoleonic cannons).


Soccer Results -- Bad

I don't remember the score, 4 to 2 or something, but I'm pretty sure we lost. :(
We had everything in our favor, mainly lots of substitues, while they had practically none and had to scrape up a gal from the stands (she was a player from a different team). Somehow we lost anyway. The defense played pretty well, though there was one guy who could dribble like a madman and shoot like nobody's business. I was standing right in front of him and he somehow shot the ball past me, past the keeper and into the goal. The other problem was that our offense just couldn't get the ball in the other goal. They had lots of chances, but just couldn't -- I don't know why and don't want to disparage their efforts.
To put it bluntly, it was one of the most depressing games of the season.
Next week the playoffs: will we be 5th or 6th place in the division? :(


Jo's Cool Site

One of my pet interests is storytelling through internet technology. I just found a cool website made for author J.K. Rowling. It tells a story in a new way. It gives a glimpse into Joanne's own writing life. Little audible and visual cues give it a flavor of reality. It's got some fun puzzle games, questions answered by Jo herself, and it's not dependent on Harry Potter.
It's Flash based, so it might take a little time to download for dial-ups (not an extreme amount though). It's a fun site.
JKRowling dot com (English version)


Health Alert

According to a recent study (published recently in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition), eating dark chocolate is good for you! There is justice in the world! :) The amount tested: a small, 1.6-ounce bar (equivalent to 5 Hersheys Special Dark mini-bars or 10 Dark Chocolate Kisses)every day. Now that's a health regimen I can stand. More details are provided in this WebMD article.

Idea Blossoms, Writer Rejoices!

I'm feelin' good today because one of my story ideas just blossomed. It had been just a bud for a while, but today it sprang forth to the next level. I was obsessing about something irritating that a friend said to me this weekend and I thought "I wish I could put that and my thoughts on that in a story!" Apparently my brain thought that was a good idea, because it riffled through the story ideas I have stored in the back of my head and with a flashing light and a triumphant "bing!" it produced the aforementioned story idea, now blossomed into something fuller and more lifelike. It's a contemporary story told through a series of emails about a young woman who is a "late bloomer." I think it may be a tragedy, actually. I don't know why the story came to me, I'm not particularly interested in contemporary novels or tragedies, but it's there and I think it would be a good venue to exorcise (or exercise) my personal frustrations.
Now to find the time to write it... (and for the mothers in the audience, yes, I dictated it to my new mini recorder, so I don't lose the idea.) :)


Extreme Website Makeover

Back in January, I was asked to join a committee of the AIA (of which I am not a member) that was being organized to oversee revamping the AIA Colorado Website. (Yes, it's hideous and they've gotten many complaints about it.) They've finally cottoned to the fact that the website is representative of the whole organization (out of date and not very useful, in my opinion). So, the committee got together to decide what exactly we're looking for, what can we afford, what should be the schedule, etc. I'm there as a representative of the younger, more computer savvy set. We sent out RFPs (Request for Proposals) to several website design firms, interviewed a couple, and settled on one. On Friday, we have the Design Charrette (big meeting where the design is all talked out and needs/wants are discussed). Once we started into the real application of the ideas we had been talking about, it really started getting exciting.


Dry Face, Moist Eyes

Summary of trip -- cons:
- it was windy and cold nearly the entire time (except, of course, for the last day, when we had gorgeous weather for packing up);
- by Monday I was filthy (there's a big difference between two and three days' dirt);
- and it's really not as relaxing as it sounds -- even though I slept reasonably well every night, I still felt tired when I got home.
Summary of trip -- pros:
- we camped by a gorgeous lake, with pine trees all around;
- I didn't forget anything too vital and I accidentally brought hat and gloves which *did* turn out to be vital;
- the fishermen of our group were superbly successful and we had enough trout to grill for everyone (there's something wonderful about sharing a meal like that);
- the people I go with are really nice, though oddly enough I didn't talk as much with the people I know well, and talked more with people I don't know as well.
Even though it was partly cloudy most of the trip, I got enough sun to give me a very slight burn and dry my skin out. I keep applying chapstick and moisturizer in the hopes it will stop feeling funny. The underside of my nose is really dry for some reason. That usually happens when you get sun reflected off water, but I didn't spend that much time right by the lake. [shrug]
When I got back, I took a shower and rested a bit, then went to a Memorial Day BBQ of some friends of mine. They are Scottish, and had a friend visiting from Scotland, as well as an English friend, so I just sat and listened. Very nice couple.
Then I watched a very good, but very sad film by Steven Spielburg called "Empire of the Sun." It was about an English boy who gets separated from his parents when the Japanese invade Shanghai (WWII) and how he survives until the end of the war. It depicted everything very realistically (except, perhaps, the Americans seemed a little stereotypical) and the boy who played the main character was amazing. I think it was supposed to be inspirational, but I felt mostly terribly sad.
And lastly, the other tear-enducing event -- today I applied to my immediate boss for a half day of personal time for a meeting for a volunteer cause (more on that in a different post) on Friday, and he said, don't worry about it, just list it as unbillable time. The cynic might suppose that it would end up being charged to the company as unbillable anyway and this just elimnates paperwork, or something to that effect. I just felt like it was a sign of them valuing me and the volunteer cause I'm doing this for. It's definitely a sign of how stressed I am about this job that I can get a little teary about this one expression of trust and value.