missroserose: (Default)
{Stolen from Brian, since his morning-after Facebook writeup was far superior to my 1:30 AM groggy snarkfest.}

SCENE: A BEDROOM (interior, early morning, around 1:00am)

(Two people lay in bed, having just settled down for the evening. They have an early day tomorrow, and are about to drift off to a pleasant sleep. Suddenly, a crashing sound, from outside the room. Neither stirs, as these sounds are commonplace. The crashing noise, however, continues, growing more complex and, in fact, getting louder as the apparent source comes closer.)

ROSE: What is...?

(Shift to BRIAN'S point of view, without glasses. An orange blur shoots by the open door. The crashing noise has gotten even louder and more complicated. A moment later, this scene resolves into a dark comet of terrified TRIPOD KITTEN trailing an orange shopping bag filled with thrift-store ornaments and gifts hurtles into the room.)

BRIAN: Oh, Jesus Christ.

(The TRIPOD KITTEN bounces off the foot of the bed, scrabbles on the floor, then propels itself to BRIAN'S side of the bed. His nose wrinkles as certain smells become reality. The KITTEN has voided its bowels in terror indiscriminately as it has approached. Having at last reached the architect of its salvation, the KITTEN jumps onto the bed, still variously evacuating. BRIAN reaches over to the kitten and plucks the shopping bag off of its head with a resigned sound.)

ROSE: [Laughing herself sick]

BRIAN: (setting the bag aside, sighing, and petting the KITTEN) You stupid, stupid cat.

FIN.
missroserose: (Default)
I'm in Seattle, and appear to have lucked out with regards to the weather - it's been sunny and warm (for Seattle) and absolutely lovely with the fall colors just coming out. Monday I take the train up to Mt. Vernon to see Donna for the first time in far too long and meet my goddaughter, but for now I'm enjoying spending some time in one of my favorite cities. It still entertains me how the smells here translate to "home" for me in a way Chicago doesn't yet; much as I love my new city, that crisp-cool cedar-and-spruce smell just makes me feel at ease in a way few environments do.

[livejournal.com profile] thewronghands, whose social network I've long admired from afar, is graciously letting me stay in her swanky digs and meet a few of her local friends; especially graciously as she's kind of been swallowed by work lately. (Luckily I'm a little familiar with the "work is eating your world" crunch-time environment, heh.) But I've still gotten to meet [livejournal.com profile] canyonwren, whom I've long suspected is pretty awesome, after years of seeing her comment on LJ. Hi! *waves*

Adora Belle has adjusted far faster than we had dared hope, and is already sleeping in her kitty bed (as opposed to jammed under the far corner of the guest bed) and wanting to be let out to explore the rest of the house. Brian has been carefully introducing her to the other cats; as expected, she gets on fine with Dexter, and things look more or less okay with Tripp, but Leo's really not sure about all of this, and there's been some hissing and growling on his part. So, time to find some baby gates at a thrift shop and see about convincing him that she won't eat him. Sigh. I foresee our treat reserves becoming rather lower over the next couple weeks.

Work has continued to go well, although the clinic has had an extraordinarily slow October - possibly due to the Cubs hoopla and everyone saving their pennies for beer at Wrigley Field. Still, I've had a few rebookings - including one particularly enthusiastic client who told me she'd been telling all her friends to book with me - and I'm starting to get hits from the business cards I've been passing out. And as much fun as I've been having in Washington, I'm actually kind of missing work. Which was never a phrase I thought I would utter. Clearly I've been replaced by a pod person.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Longtime readers might remember Adora Belle, a cat we adopted some years ago as a companion for Dexter shortly after Mr. Jerry Brown died. She'd had an unhappy past, shunted between multiple homes as her various families left town, at least one of which had mistreated her, but was a very sweet and affectionate cat when she wasn't feeling skittish. Unfortunately, when Brian and I went on our honeymoon, she ran off, probably afraid that she was going to end up somewhere else unhappy. I can't really blame her, but as you might guess, we were rather sad about it - I think Brian in particular felt like he'd failed her.

Six months or so after we moved, we got word that she was still in the area. As it happened, one of our former neighbors took her on, making up a warm dry place for her to sleep under the house and putting out food for her. They've gotten to be friends over the years; Taf (the neighbor) spent quite a lot of time hanging out on her porch talking to her, while Adora Belle sat on the stump nearby and listened.

A week or so ago, I got a message from a mutual acquaintance that Taf was in the process of selling her house and had decided to trap Adora Belle and take her to the humane society, as that seemed the best option. I got in contact with Taf, who was more than a little torn up about the decision - she's an older cat, and with her history might have trouble finding a home, especially in Juneau where options are limited - and assured her that we'd be happy to take her in. She did manage to trap Adora Belle, and took her to the humane society for assessment and to make sure she was still in good health; luckily they said she was skittish but still in good mental shape, and got her shots and dewormed and de-fleaed. (Taf was kind enough to foot the bill for all of this; she must really love her too.) Thanks to them and our friend Jeanne (who, serendipitously, works for Alaska Airlines), she got on the red-eye flight last night, and will soon be waiting for us at the cargo office.

Last night I cleaned up the second bedroom, and we went over to the PetSmart that (conveniently) just opened on the next block over, and got her a bed and a new litterbox and a few toys and food dishes. So now I just have to go navigate the massive distortion of space-time that is O'Hare's satellite neighborhood and find the Alaska Airlines cargo office (no mean feat), rescue Adora Belle from the labyrinth, and bring her home. I'm excited, if also nervous - she got along with Dexter fine, but we've acquired Leo and Tripp in the interim, and frankly we never had plans to be a four-cat household. But Taf has told us that if she doesn't fit in here she'll take her once her house is sold and she's moved, so she won't be without a home no matter what happens.

I do hope everything goes well and she fits in here, though. I've missed her more than I realized.
missroserose: (Default)
--My goddaughter is here! Sophie was born last Wednesday, and (judging by the pictures) is tiny and adorable and only looks a little like a squashed potato. (Or Winston Churchill. Or Yoda. Newborns. *grins*) I can't wait to meet her in a month! And to see Donna; it's been far too long.

--The first week of my new job went well. Lots of requests for the standard fluff-and-buff, but I did get to work on one man who was right up my alley - his muscles were all knotted up from schlepping suitcases around, and some myofascial and trigger point work did wonders. The receptionist told me later that he couldn't say enough good things about me. He's not local, sadly, but his employer has an office here; I did tell him I'd love to see him again when he's in town next. We'll see. So far this upcoming week is looking pretty slow, but that's life at the bottom of the totem pole - priority for appointments is given based on the hours you were available in the previous month, which with my current schedule should put me solidly in the middle of the pack come November.

--Brian was in Dallas for work all last week...and has to go back today for another week. Boo. I don't mind the time alone, in principle - I can set the thermostat to whatever I want, or better yet, turn off the A/C completely and throw open the doors and windows! - but two weeks at a go starts to feel lonely. As independent as I fancy myself, I've lived with someone else nearly continuously for more than a decade now; that kind of time spent leaves an imprint in your life and habits. (And let's face it, he's pretty cool to have around. Half of my more clever quips I steal from him.)

--I picked up a copy of The Body Keeps The Score on an Audible Daily Deal, and it's turned out to be completely fascinating. I initially thought it would be about the ways our body reacts to trauma, a useful thing to learn about for a massage therapist; as it happens, while it touches on that subject, it's turned out to be more about the neurological effects and how they affect the body and mind of trauma victims both. Fascinating stuff, but what's really been eye-opening for me is the discussion of victims of childhood trauma - neglect, abuse, molestation. These people display a well-known constellation of symptoms - difficulty with emotional regulation, propensity toward obesity or anorexia, high likelihood of self-harm, high predisposition toward autoimmune disorders like lupus or fibromyalgia, and a significant lack of bodily awareness, among others - but the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the "psychiatrist's bible") has no separate diagnosis for the condition, and the completely drug-oriented treatment framework that's sadly the norm now doesn't help either. So they'll reach a crisis point and seek help, and be diagnosed with depression, or bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder, or (if they have a particularly observant therapist whom they trust enough to open up to) post-traumatic stress disorder, and be given drugs to 'treat' that disorder, which won't help long-term because their problems stem from neural patterns and behaviors that were (tragically) adaptive in their earlier years.

This particular bit of knowledge slots nicely into a gap I've been wondering about for years now. I was initially a psychology major in college, but I got discouraged precisely because the field seemed to be all about figuring out which drugs treated what problems, regardless of the person's background or experiences or anything else about them. In all fairness, I know some people for whom such drugs are life-changing; however, in the years since then, I've also had a number of friends who fit exactly the profile described in the book - they've been in and out of doctors' offices for years, trying to figure out why they feel broken and nothing seems to help. Many of them have managed to have amazing lives nonetheless; now that I have some idea of why life has been so difficult for them, I'm even more in awe of their accomplishments. I'm looking forward to listening to the section on treatment strategies, as well; it's good to know there are people working on strategies that actually help these people, even when the medical establishment refuses to recognize their problem.

--I was petting Dexter the other day when I realized that he's developed several more little white furs on his face. In retrospect, this is hardly surprising - he's twelve or thirteen years old, after all - but it startled me a little that I hadn't noticed until now. We humans are so good at seeing what we expect to see, and it's sometimes a little discouraging how easily we fall prey to the assumption that life is fundmentally unchanging. Often it takes something momentous - a birth, a death, a wedding, a career change, a betrayal - to make us realize exactly how time's been passing, and things and people have been changing, despite our merry assumptions of stasis.

I don't really have any great conclusion or insight to this observation, but it's interesting to me how even though we experience time in a linear fashion, we certainly don't perceive it that way. It reinforces my conviction that it's important to take the time to really listen to each other and connect, rather than just taking each others' presence for granted.

And I should definitely spend more time petting my cat.
missroserose: (Default)
Flu recovery continues; slower than I'd like, but it's progress. Amusingly enough, my annoyance at the time recovery is taking has decreased dramatically today, as the weather went from sunny and warm to "35 and snowstorming". I think this anonymous person pretty well captured the citywide reaction. I'm slightly annoyed about missing class, but it's nothing I can't make up, and I have all of tomorrow, too.

On the upside, being confined to bed/couch has done wonders for both my social media interaction and my study time. Since the former's probably of little interest to anyone but me, here are some cool things I've learned from my Pathology reading over the past couple of days:
  • Growth hormone, in addition to its eponymous function in children and adolescents, is largely responsible for tissue repair/replacement in adults - in short, healing.  It is also secreted almost entirely during stage IV sleep, the deepest level.  This fits with my own lifelong observation that most of the feeling-better recovery from illness takes place during long naps or overnight; it also explains why the people I've known with sleep apnea or other sleep difficulties tend to seem operate under a consistent sort of run-down malaise.  (And it explains many of the statistics where lack of sleep/sleep disorders increase susceptibility to any number of problems, from colds to heart failure.)
  • For all that the vast majority of fad diet advice is absolute bunk, it's completely true that the typical American diet is damn near toxic.  The number of digestive and metabolic disorders that can be reduced in risk (if not outright prevented) by limiting intake of preserved/processed foods and refined sugar/flour is staggering.  Unfortunately, despite it having been repeated by the USDA with slight variations for decades, the dietary advice of "eat whole grains, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and some lean meat; keep consumption of processed foods and refined sugars to a minimum" has so far failed to catch on.  Maybe someone needs to take out flashy ads?  "Prevent cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes with this 1 weird trick!"
  • Be kind to your liver.  Seriously.  You likely have no idea how much it does for you, every day.  They call it a "live-r" for a reason.
  • Unlike the common cold (which is no longer contagious after three days of showing symptoms), influenza remains contagious all through (and, to a lesser degree, for a little while after) the recovery period.  Hence, I am refusing to feel guilty for staying home sick ever again.
  • My mother always thought 90s-era Barbie was antifeminist because her feet were molded to wear high heels.  Clearly she was simply suffering from a severe, untreated case of pes cavus.  New from Mattel:  Treat jammed arches and prevent bunions with Orthopedic Barbie!  (Unfortunately, her footwear is roughly five times the cost of her designer heels, because something something capitalism something big government something healthcare.  At least until she's 65 and qualifies for Medicare.)
Forty more pages to go, and then I'm done...until it's time to study for the final.  Almost there!

Also, current average grade is 97.8%.  Just throwing that out there, says the former-barely-B-average student.

Feel-good moment of the day:  pictures from India's first lesbian wedding. What a beautiful commingling of traditions.  They look so happy.

And finally, here's Homework Enforcement Cat, helpfully covering up the answers so I can quiz myself (and pet him).

Homework Enforcement Cat
missroserose: (Hello Grumpy)
Back when we first moved in to our Chicago apartment and finally invested in some proper (albeit IKEA) tall hardwood bookshelves, Leo, in his ever-present quest to explore every possible surface in the house, managed to use his impressive jumping abilities to get to the top of one of them. He had not, however, considered how he was going to get down, and spent a good few minutes making increasingly distressed murfling noises until Brian took a chair over, climbed up, and got him down. I remember being a little amused by this, asking "Don't you think if he got up there himself, he could probably get down?" But Brian insisted that it was more important to him that Leo know his Dadcat would always be there to get him down off the bookshelf.

Needless to say, when he came to pick me up from the airport at 8:30 AM on a Saturday a full week ahead of when I'd planned to be back, I felt more than a little like Leo on the bookshelf. I must be awfully lucky to have someone who'll always come get me.

Two nap-filled days later, I'm much more sanguine about my mental state. Saturday night was book group, which I'd originally been sort of bummed about missing (the group had taken my suggestion of Anansi Boys, one of my favorite books), so I slept a lot that day and got to show up looking only a little hangdog. No one made fun of me for having had a proximity-to-family freakout; Megan (of the Alternative Yoga Practice) even encouraged me to "Practice a little controlled comfort-eating. It's okay, you're among friends." <3 (Our host this time around was Heidi, who in addition to having just moved into our neighborhood, is apparently known in the group for providing Martha Stewart-level spreads. I'm afraid she kind of blew Brian's and my mini-cupcake-and-tartlet offering from our turn hosting out of the water. But it was some damn fine comfort eating.) Sunday I went to my friend Elyse's yoga class, which turned out to be thoroughly appropriate - not only was it a less-intensive-and-more-meditative practice than she usually does, but it was based around the story of Ganesh getting angry at the moon and slaying it with one of his tusks, thus trapping the Earth in eternal daylight and leaving its denizens unable to sleep until the other gods came down and insisted he fix things. Synchronicity! And then, after yet another nap on my part, Brian and I had a lovely twilit walk watching for fireflies before getting ice cream from our neighborhood's amazing shop.

My sweet mother has been sending me pictures from the Homer trip, which has been lovely to see, if a little bittersweet at times. On the upside, with all the flying I've been doing, I have enough miles to be within $300 of a (coach-class, but still) ticket up there again. I have some ideas for a make-up trip later this year, but due to the potential readership of this post I don't think I'm going to go into them in detail yet. I am, however, once more pleased to find myself living near a major airport; trying to get anywhere from Tucson on mileage was just Not Happening.

One last tidbit for the folks who don't read my Facebook: Before (and during) this trip, Mum and I had been joking about how the Grumpy Cat gene ran her side the family (she doesn't have it, being a Pollyanna of the highest degree, but my grandmother and I sure do at times, and my brother practically lives to be grumpy). So I was thoroughly entertained, as I was drifting to my airport gate in my sleep-deprived and weepy/overemotional state, to find my spirit animal at the airport bookstore waiting for me:


Grumpy Cat is my spirit animal.


She kept me company all through the long flight back, and now sits on the bookshelf in our bedroom, where the cats are occasionally eyeing her warily and generally giving her a wide berth.

So!  My truncated vacation has ended well enough, with hope for the future, which is about the best I could ask for from it.  I did write a short story while in the throes of sleep deprivation (my mother:  "It's only 8 AM.  Weren't you going to sleep some more in my bedroom?"  Me, typing and sounding more and more like Grumpy Cat:  "Can't sleep, muse will eat me."  Mother:  "Want some coffee?"  Me:  "YES."); I think, now that I've recovered, I'm going to poke at revising it.  Sleep deprivation may not be a great state for a lot of things, but when your emotions are all bubbling that close to the surface, it's rather easier to find a story's emotional core.  Odd how that works...
missroserose: (Default)
Good morning, Chicago! Yesterday was completely lovely; the weather warm but not hot. Brian had to work, so I went and had brunch with a couple of friends, one of whom accompanied me for a nice wander around the neighborhood afterward. We got mani-pedis (and, for the first time ever, I managed to keep from smudging mine), and I took her to my recently-discovered favorite salon for an appointment. Yay for girly days! And now my finger- and toe-nails are precisely the same shade of orange-red as my hair.

As of today, I'm in a strange sort of limbo. I was originally supposed to be going to Detroit this week to help with more survey administration, but due to some bureaucratic argy-bargy (apparently two weeks is not enough time for Detroit Public Schools to run a background check) they had to send someone else instead. So now my schedule for the next several days is unusually bare.

This morning, at least, that turned out to be a plus. We woke up to discover a very bedraggled Leo looking shamefacedly up at us. At first we thought he'd taken a dip in his water fountain, but when I wandered out into the kitchen I found the counters and floor turned into a beautiful abstract oil painting. (Brian had been deep-frying chicken pieces last night and left the oil out in a bowl overnight to cool. Which, in all fairness, he normally does without incident.) Mop, drugstore for baby shampoo, bathtime, in that order. Now someone just needs to clean the kitchen up. Guess who's been elected. (Brian held Leo in the bathtub - fully clothed - while I poured water on them, and still got several scratches for his trouble, so really, it's only fair.) Meanwhile, Leo is furiously grooming all the water out of his fur. I predict a massive hairball or two later.

As it happens, I'm still going to the Detroit area on Thursday. Originally I'd been planning to go and visit CJ and Amanda and John the weekend after survey administration, but since that didn't work out, CJ offered to buy me a train ticket. I'm actually moderately excited about the prospect; I haven't yet been on Amtrak, and I'm quite fond of trains. And anything that means less time dealing with TSA is perfectly fine with me.

Mood-wise, there's been a lot of up-and-down recently. I wonder if the lack of yoga is part of it; I applied for CorePower's yoga-for-trade program and got back a generic "we'll let you know if there's an opening at a location near you" response. A month ago. I'm honestly wondering if I should just find a darn part-time job so I can pay for it; I still think their studios are way overpriced, but the improvements I saw in strength and mobility when I was going regularly were...marked. Not to mention how it always improved my outlook and emotional state. Sigh.

Still, I've had a good week now where I haven't been turning into Grumpy Cat every few minutes, and I'll take what I can get. I'm even playing the guitar again! I'd been doing it sporadically for several months, and then for a month or two I wasn't playing hardly at all. But I'm actually excited about it again, which hasn't been the case for a while now. Been thinking about making a video or a recording. Say it with me, folks: we'll see if anything comes of it.

The weather is beautiful today too, if warmer - approaching thunderstorms seem to love pushing the heat ahead of them. I suspect that after lunch I may put on shorts and sunscreen and wander down to the lakeshore with an ice cream bar.
missroserose: (Warrior III)
It's turning out to be nearly as much of an adventure settling in to this place as it was getting here. One of the many awesome things about our house in Bisbee was the truly ridiculous amount of storage it had; closets everywhere, two separate built-in chests of drawers, a pantry, etc. Accommodations here are...a little scantier (though we do have a giant walk-in closet that's probably going to house the dresser and some formerly-drawer storage). Most frustrating is the bathrooms; the previous ones both had medicine cabinets, and the master bath had one of the aforementioned built-in chests of drawers. Here we have...nothing! No drawers, no cabinets, flat mirrors, no counter space. Feh. I have a strong suspicion that this place has seen a string of bachelors as tenants.

Today, therefore, was an IKEA trip. As it turns out, the bed and traditional-style bookshelves will both need to wait until we can borrow or rent a truck, but we picked up some bathroom shelving that should serve for my hair things and whatnot, a modular shelving unit that should hold some books and such in our bedroom, and a sofa table that we're hoping will serve for a TV stand. Along with all sorts of nice little touches like candle holders and bathmats and some nice new bowls and plates. Because it's IKEA, and if you don't end up with a bunch of little items in your cart then you're probably not human. (I'm only half-joking there; those stores are almost scarily effective examples of market psychology being used in behavioral engineering.) Now for the fun part - interpretive construction! At least, trying to follow IKEA instructions often feels like an interpretive dance shaped toward eventual construction of your pieces.

We didn't make it to the Field Museum yesterday, but we did get down to Brian's new office to check it out ahead of his starting Friday. I'm pleased to report that it appears thoroughly awesome. The culture there is extremely laid-back and friendly; Brian's cubicle comes with a stock of company-branded foam darts, and the office has - I shit you not - a lounge with a hardwood pool table and fully stocked wet bar, along with an open invitation for spouses to join Friday-after-work cocktail hour. I have a feeling I may be getting to know the folks there rather better than at some of Brian's previous workplaces. :D

As to my own work, I've begun practicing again. Fortunately I don't seem to have lost too much muscle memory over the past week; and while my calluses are gone, I still have fairly tough skin on my fingertips. Chicago is a notoriously busking-unfriendly town, so it's looking like coffeeshop gigs are going to be a good goal to work towards. We went by our new favorite guitar store (the Chicago Music Exchange) so I could try an acoustic amp or two. I'm eyeing the Vox AGA30, as it's a nice portable size (I could haul it and my guitar along on the train without too much trouble) and not too expensive, but Brian (who's done sound work before) isn't sure it'd be loud enough for a good-size coffeeshop, especially with all the ambient noise. But at the moment it's all theoretical anyway - I've got an email for a local place that's looking for performers, but I'd like to have a song or two up on YouTube so I could send them the link first.

The kitties are all settling in well enough. Ian put together their cat tree last night and that's had a soothing effect on Leo The Neurotic Cat's psyche especially. (Between the new environs, the fairly loud central air, the occasional sirens, and some carpenters that've been installing a new deck on the building next door, the poor guy's been rather frazzled. Even when we just had the parts for the tree stacked up in the corner he was spending a goodly amount of time hiding in one of the houses. Fortunately he's doing better today.) Dexter is rather miffed that he's been on a wet-food-only diet, though as the vet predicted, it's doing good things for his coat. (And it's not like he can't stand to lose a pound or two.) Tripp spent the first few days sleeping an awful lot (not unlike his humans...), but as Brian put it when his petting hand was pounced upon this morning, "I can tell you're feeling better because now you're all crazy again."

Somewhat entertainingly, we've been here four days and still haven't gone grocery shopping (other than the earlier-referenced trip for salad supplies for dinner the other day). The last time we moved across the country, we had to go shopping almost immediately, as the only non-fast-food options were mediocre chains. This time, between being so tired from travelling and being so busy putting our house together and being so eager to try all the amazing food (at least two pho places within a block of our house! Ann Sather just a couple of streets over! Better Mexican food than we had the entire time we were in Arizona!), we haven't even gotten around to cooking in our fabulous new kitchen yet. But it's only a matter of time, I'm sure.
missroserose: (Kick Back & Read)
Oh thank god we're almost done with the driving.

Actually, today wasn't bad at all. It definitely felt less stressful than yesterday, despite the fact that the drive was only an hour shorter. Some of that might have been the fact that we weren't losing an hour to time-zone changes - even though it's just a psychological effect, there was a definite impact. Also we got a somewhat earlier start today and therefore weren't driving far into the night like last night. And then there's the "this is the last full day of driving" part to look forward to.

The landscape was much more pleasant. Missouri has lots of farmland, but also lots of trees and rolling hills (and no feedlots that we saw). I was a little nonplussed when I started seeing all the signs for Mark Twain Historic Sites (I didn't think he lived in Missouri, but perhaps I'm wrong?), until we broke through the trees and onto the bridge over the Mississippi River. Holy crow. I mean, I'm from Alaska, I'm no stranger to large bodies of water (or larger-than-life geographical features in general), but...damn. I may have to come back down this way for a long weekend sometime so I can properly appreciate it, rather than just sneaking glances over the side of the bridge.

No major curveballs today, thankfully. We did discover that rural gas stations often don't sell premium gas, but that wasn't a big problem as there were plenty of truck stops that did. At one point Leo's carrier fell off the blanket and tipped slightly sideways, enough to alarm him even through a full dose of sedative, but a bit of repacking (along with propping-up help from my new favorite hoodie) got him righted again and he settled back down. Other than that, things were pretty uneventful, and we got to Lincoln just fine.

Much to my surprise, the cats have been adapting to the various hotel rooms with almost no trouble at all. When we took Dexter and Leo from Juneau to Sierra Vista by plane, they kept us up almost that whole night, yowling and rattling cupboard doors and generally making their displeasure known. I'm not sure if it's the presence of drugs or the lack of issues specific to plane travel (maybe cats really hate pressure changes?), but while they certainly haven't been happy about being stuck in their carriers for hours on end, they've generally settled right in once we let them out. (Tripp is actually snuggling up with Brian and purring like mad right now - it's pretty adorable.) Which isn't to say that I'm not glad they're getting a break, too. They've been such troopers - Bast knows they deserve it.

Tripp the Trooper deigns to bestow snuggles upon his loyal manservant.


I'm probably most pleased with this place of the various hotels we've tried. For one thing, it's the only one that has actual conditioner (as opposed to "conditioning shampoo") in the rooms, and for another, the furniture/paint is newest and the bed's probably the most comfortable. Also the front desk girl is super-nice, and (perhaps most importantly) the room doesn't smell like dog pee covered up with cheap air freshener. (I mentioned this to the front desk staff at the last place, and they apologized, but said that they were full up last night and wouldn't have had another room to give us, so I guess it's good that I was too tired to raise a fuss.) But then, my perceptions might also be colored slightly by the fact that WE DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE AT ALL TOMORROW. And then it's all of a three-hour drive to our new place on Monday. Thank God.
missroserose: (Hello Grumpy)
Oh good goddamn. And I thought Phoenix to Bisbee was too much goddamn driving.

Today, dear reader, we drove through northern New Mexico (quite pretty!), the northwest corner of Texas, the panhandle of Oklahoma (OOOOOOOOklahoma!), and (most of the way) through Kansas. From about Texas all the way through Kansas, there was a whole lot of nothing between towns - the most interesting parts were a beef farm (I was corrected on Facebook by a Midwest native that they're called "feed lots"), some grain fields (prettier and far less smelly), a few pretty horses, and (midway through Kansas) an opossum crossing the road. Although we did most of the Kansas leg at night, I have a feeling we probably didn't miss much.

Google Maps had estimated the day's trip at just over nine hours - although, oddly, Apple Maps estimated it at closer to eleven. We ended up splitting the difference, coming in at about ten hours of driving, counting (very short) breaks. Google Maps probably was pretty close to accurate, as I imagine we probably took an hour's worth of breaks (fifteen minutes in a couple places, twenty or so for lunch, and a quick ten-minute bathroom break). The estimate for tomorrow is eight hours, which will probably become nine or so with breaks, but it's the last big long day of driving - we'll be hanging out at a Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln (three hours outside of Chicago) for a day or two until the current tenant vacates and we can move in. And they have a pool and a hot tub! I'll have to buy a swimsuit, as mine is currently in the depths of the Penske truck, but I strongly suspect a large portion of my time will be spent there.

We seem to have found the optimal sedative dose for each of the cats today - Leo the Aspiring Straitjacket Wearer gets a full dose, while Tripp and Dexter seem to do fine on the half-doses the vet recommended starting with. Additionally, when we grind up the pill and mix it with tuna broth, it seems to go down easier (with Leo and Tripp at least) and hit their system a bit faster, too. All three gave only token resistance going into their carriers, anyway, and were quiet almost the entirety of the trip - enough that we were a bit worried about them a couple of times. (Further evidence my husband is awesome: if he's concerned enough about the cats, he thinks nothing of pulling over to the side of the road - on an interstate! - and double-checking to make sure they're still breathing and okay.)

Today's curveball was a thunderstorm over Kansas. Conditioned to Arizona storms, I had sort of assumed it would be fierce and over quickly. Instead, it went on for a good hundred miles, although we were lucky enough to be mostly on the edge of it rather than in the middle. (Ian got caught in the middle of it with the truck and is consequently staying the night in Pratt, an hour and a half west of here, since he didn't want to push on until 1 AM.) There was some pretty spectacular lightning, though, and it was nice in that it washed all the bugs off the windshield.

Really, for all that the driving's been tedious, we can't complain too much about this trip. The truck both fit in our driveway and was exactly the right size for all the stuff we wanted to bring. We had friends to help us with the packing and loading. The cats have been generally well-behaved and haven't had adverse reactions to the sedatives. Plains states aside, there's been some pretty scenery. We have a good friend we trust driving the truck with all our stuff in it, and helping us with the cats. Nobody's broken down or had a flat. And if our motel room today smells rather strongly of cheap air freshener, well, it's clean and inexpensive and they didn't charge twice the room rate for the cats like the first place I called wanted to.

And now, more sleep! Really looking forward to that hot tub tomorrow night...
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Things are better. We ended up stopping in Albuquerque; originally we'd planned to keep going until Amarillo, but that was going to be another four hours of driving. We probably could have managed it if we were fresh, but given that none of us slept well last night and the first part of the day was a frenzy of last-minute packing/cleaning/loading, and therefore everyone was starting to nod over the steering wheel outside Albuquerque, we decided not to push things.

I need to take this moment to extend a very public and hearty thank-you to our friend Robin, her boyfriend Bob, and our friend Michelle for all of their help packing and loading the truck. (Additionally, Michelle was able to take a bunch of our extra furniture, which both saved us the hassle of Craigslisting it and gave her a somewhat nicer household. Win-win!) Also on the roster of thanks is Ian, who not only came to help with packing and loading but is driving the moving truck. And, of course, my husband Brian. All of these folks have been incredibly mature and self-motivated, but with Brian especially, during stressful times like this, it means so much to know that I can trust him to get shit done and not feel like I have to look over his shoulder all the time. (Perhaps the fact that I marvel at this says bad things about my expectations of folks' maturity; I prefer to think of it merely as my impeccable taste in friends.)

All in all, so far this hasn't been anywhere near the disaster it could've been. The biggest curveball has been with the cats; we'd originally intended to fly them up ahead of time and either board them or have them stay with me at a hotel. However, no airline will take pets if the forecasted temperature for the day is over 85 degrees F, since they often sit out on the tarmac a while; given that it's still 90+ in Tucson this time of year, that meant flying them was out and we'd be driving the car with three carriers in the back. I was admittedly panicky about this point; one of our cats goes nuts when you lock him in the carrier, and another goes nuts if you even try to put him in the carrier, so we knew there were going to have to be drugs (and the associated hassles/nervousness) involved. But my mother (bless her soul) said something that put it all into perspective: "Well, it can't be much worse than driving with your two-year-old daughter in the car seat who's just puked all over herself thanks to the windy mountain roads." This startled a laugh from me, as I actually vaguely remember that trip (and definitely remember subsequent trips where my parents were careful to have soda on hand and drive slowly). So today, when I started to freak out about the cats in the back, I just reminded myself that people have to do this kind of thing every day with their own kids - I've got it easy by comparison.

Driving through New Mexico was surprisingly scenic - lots of mountains and fields. Driving through Hatch was especially entertaining, as they're a small town known for exactly one thing (Hatch chile peppers) and are riding that one thing all the way into the sunset. I think we must've passed twelve different chile stands, four different restaurants advertising Hatch chile salsa, and a "Picante Plaza" strip mall.

The cats were somewhat noisier and more active during the first half of the trip than the second; I'm not sure if the sedative effects took a while to kick in, or they decided it wasn't worth the bother to keep protesting, or both. Still, they got through the day with no major casualties; Leo bloodied his nose during one of his more active bouts, and tugged part of the blanket we had up against the back of their carriers inside and shredded the duvet covering. (Fortunately, duvets aren't hard to replace.) They were definitely getting noisier as we hit Albuquerque, which helped with the decision to stop here; they were definitely curious about the room when we let them out but settled in surprisingly quickly. (The familiar-smelling duvet/blanket seems to have helped with that.) And for all the hassles of driving with them, it's awfully nice to stay in a hotel room that *does* have our cats here to walk on us as we sleep. Odd, how you miss that...

Also odd, I don't think it's quite sunk in that we've left Bisbee permanently. My thoughts keep wandering back to our house there when I think of "home" - even though, when we left it, it was completely cleaned out. I guess being in that in-transition period doesn't help, since we're technically homeless until the 30th or the 1st. :)

Feeling much more sanguine about my prospects for sleep tonight - we've proven we can do this! Just two more days (and a short three-hour drive once the current tenant vacates) and we'll be in our new home! I was actually realizing that I've never done a cross-country road trip before, and while "with cats and a household packed into a moving truck" isn't necessarily the way I would have picked, it's interesting seeing the differences between it and flying. Everyone cross your fingers for an uneventful trip!
missroserose: (Default)

(Because every LJ account has to have posts about the owner's cats. It's in the bylaws somewhere.)

For those of you who've asked, Tripp the Three Legged Wonder Kitten has settled in fine and is doing well. Once he figured out the trick of navigating on three legs (part answer: hold your tail off to the missing-leg side for balance when running), he was zooming around the house with the other two cats, no problem. For their part, Dexter and Leo seem perfectly pleased to have him about; I frequently see them snuggling together, and the only time I hear growling seems to be when wrestling matches get out of hand. He's grown somewhat, from about half the size of our other two to about three-quarters; I have a feeling he'll end up being our three-quarter cat in more than one way. :) His coat has also gotten remarkably thick and silky, and he's starting to get a little fat.

And, like all proper not-quite-adult cats, loves to cause mischief. Just now he hopped up onto a dining-room chair, saw that I was watching him, and very deliberately jumped up onto the table (which he knows he's not supposed to do). I chastised him and chased him off the table, so he waited until I was settled back down on the couch with my back to the table...and promptly hopped right back up. Now he's settled down on one of the chairs, looking at me with that "See? See how good I'm being?" expression.

It's a good thing he's so adorable.


"See? Totally not jumping on the table. Yet."


You have no idea how difficult it is to get a good picture of a wriggly kitten.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

missroserose: (Default)

(Because every LJ account has to have posts about the owner's cats. It's in the bylaws somewhere.)

For those of you who've asked, Tripp the Three Legged Wonder Kitten has settled in fine and is doing well. Once he figured out the trick of navigating on three legs (part answer: hold your tail off to the missing-leg side for balance when running), he was zooming around the house with the other two cats, no problem. For their part, Dexter and Leo seem perfectly pleased to have him about; I frequently see them snuggling together, and the only time I hear growling seems to be when wrestling matches get out of hand. He's grown somewhat, from about half the size of our other two to about three-quarters; I have a feeling he'll end up being our three-quarter cat in more than one way. :) His coat has also gotten remarkably thick and silky, and he's starting to get a little fat.

And, like all proper not-quite-adult cats, loves to cause mischief. Just now he hopped up onto a dining-room chair, saw that I was watching him, and very deliberately jumped up onto the table (which he knows he's not supposed to do). I chastised him and chased him off the table, so he waited until I was settled back down on the couch with my back to the table...and promptly hopped right back up. Now he's settled down on one of the chairs, looking at me with that "See? See how good I'm being?" expression.

It's a good thing he's so adorable.


"See? Totally not jumping on the table. Yet."


You have no idea how difficult it is to get a good picture of a wriggly kitten.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
This weekend has been pretty excellent. Why? I'm glad you asked! Here's a list of the highlights:
Pictures and general niftiness below. )
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
This weekend has been pretty excellent. Why? I'm glad you asked! Here's a list of the highlights:
Pictures and general niftiness below. )
missroserose: (Red Hair)




This week's hair color of choice is Special Effects Devilish. I think I'm beginning to discover why everyone cites SFX as the go-to choice for funky hair color - in addition to dyeing effectively and wearing well, the color has surprising depth. When I did Wild Flower last (and, unfortunately, neglected to get any pictures), it would look very blue or very purple, depending on the light. Devilish, similarly, can look pink or orange, also depending on the light.

Additionally, considering how well it stays on your hair, it cleans off your skin surprisingly easily. Which I was particularly glad of with this color - during the dyeing process I ended up with a streak of it across my neck, and would not have much enjoyed going about looking like one of Sweeney Todd's victims.

Still, I'm not counting Manic Panic out quite yet - the pink was a nice shade, and it'll definitely look more consistent now that I've managed to get most of the orange out of the ends of my hair. Definitely more testing ahead in the future.

And now, also as promised - I'd like to introduce Tripp.



He's a little difficult to get pictures of, being entirely black (including whiskers and claws). He's also about half the size of our other two cats, though to be fair, he's all of six months old, so really still a kitten. And, as you can see in this picture, he's missing one of his back legs.



He's also really impressed with that cone.

According to the shelter, he was brought in as a stray with a broken leg that was infected, healing improperly and he wasn't using anyway, so rather than re-break it and put pins in and all that jazz they just cut it off. He's still surprisingly mobile, even if he'll never be a huge jumper. We'll just have to make him a ramp so he can clamber up on the bed.

Temperament-wise, he's extremely sweet - loves to sit in your lap and purr and be petted. We're crossing our fingers that he'll get along with Dexter and Leo, as we really don't want to bring him back to the shelter this time. It's a big house, there should be plenty of room for all three of them. Especially since, if they need to get away from Tripp, they can just hang out at the top of the cat tree. :)
missroserose: (Red Hair)




This week's hair color of choice is Special Effects Devilish. I think I'm beginning to discover why everyone cites SFX as the go-to choice for funky hair color - in addition to dyeing effectively and wearing well, the color has surprising depth. When I did Wild Flower last (and, unfortunately, neglected to get any pictures), it would look very blue or very purple, depending on the light. Devilish, similarly, can look pink or orange, also depending on the light.

Additionally, considering how well it stays on your hair, it cleans off your skin surprisingly easily. Which I was particularly glad of with this color - during the dyeing process I ended up with a streak of it across my neck, and would not have much enjoyed going about looking like one of Sweeney Todd's victims.

Still, I'm not counting Manic Panic out quite yet - the pink was a nice shade, and it'll definitely look more consistent now that I've managed to get most of the orange out of the ends of my hair. Definitely more testing ahead in the future.

And now, also as promised - I'd like to introduce Tripp.



He's a little difficult to get pictures of, being entirely black (including whiskers and claws). He's also about half the size of our other two cats, though to be fair, he's all of six months old, so really still a kitten. And, as you can see in this picture, he's missing one of his back legs.



He's also really impressed with that cone.

According to the shelter, he was brought in as a stray with a broken leg that was infected, healing improperly and he wasn't using anyway, so rather than re-break it and put pins in and all that jazz they just cut it off. He's still surprisingly mobile, even if he'll never be a huge jumper. We'll just have to make him a ramp so he can clamber up on the bed.

Temperament-wise, he's extremely sweet - loves to sit in your lap and purr and be petted. We're crossing our fingers that he'll get along with Dexter and Leo, as we really don't want to bring him back to the shelter this time. It's a big house, there should be plenty of room for all three of them. Especially since, if they need to get away from Tripp, they can just hang out at the top of the cat tree. :)
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Made breakfast. Dyed hair. Petted cats. Wrapped ribbon. Bought groceries. Cleaned house. Vacuumed floors. Cleaned kitchen. Doing laundry.

Saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D, which was beautifully converted and entirely spectacular. It always was my favorite from the Second Golden Age of Disney, and I'm glad to say the presentation felt like an extension of the original rather than a desecration of it. Not that I expected any less; Disney knows where their bread is buttered when it comes to their classics.

As a side note, it was a bit of a trip realizing that I was the same age as my friend's daughter the first time I saw that film. Time marches on.

Found supplies for a nifty sewing project at Wal-Mart, of all places. Which makes me very pleased; I've been wanting something to work on with the nifty new Singer I got for Christmas, but had been stymied by the lack of craft stores in the area. Now to see if I can figure out where I put the iron. And to trawl thrift shops for an ironing board.

Also, for those of you who aren't on Facebook and haven't been hearing about the adventures of the theoretical new kitten - we have a new (non-theoretical) kitten. He's still very much in the adjustment period, so we're waiting to see if he'll be a permanent addition or a temporary one a la Fiona. But we're hopeful. He's younger, and a lot more laid-back. Also, he has three legs.

Pictures of both the new hair and the new kitten scheduled for tomorrow. Stay tuned.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Made breakfast. Dyed hair. Petted cats. Wrapped ribbon. Bought groceries. Cleaned house. Vacuumed floors. Cleaned kitchen. Doing laundry.

Saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D, which was beautifully converted and entirely spectacular. It always was my favorite from the Second Golden Age of Disney, and I'm glad to say the presentation felt like an extension of the original rather than a desecration of it. Not that I expected any less; Disney knows where their bread is buttered when it comes to their classics.

As a side note, it was a bit of a trip realizing that I was the same age as my friend's daughter the first time I saw that film. Time marches on.

Found supplies for a nifty sewing project at Wal-Mart, of all places. Which makes me very pleased; I've been wanting something to work on with the nifty new Singer I got for Christmas, but had been stymied by the lack of craft stores in the area. Now to see if I can figure out where I put the iron. And to trawl thrift shops for an ironing board.

Also, for those of you who aren't on Facebook and haven't been hearing about the adventures of the theoretical new kitten - we have a new (non-theoretical) kitten. He's still very much in the adjustment period, so we're waiting to see if he'll be a permanent addition or a temporary one a la Fiona. But we're hopeful. He's younger, and a lot more laid-back. Also, he has three legs.

Pictures of both the new hair and the new kitten scheduled for tomorrow. Stay tuned.
missroserose: (Gifted & Talented)
I have been informed by the Powers That Be (or, at least, the Powers That Keep Track of These Things) that the cat-picture-post ratio in my LJ is severely lacking. Given how much I hate to be behind the curve, and given that a very special elf gave me quite a nice point-and-shoot camera so I wouldn't have to get out Brian's behemoth of an SLR every time I wanted a quick snap of something, I thought I'd work on bringing things up to par.

So, without further ado...I bring you Leo.

Kitty! Holiday kitty! )

A few notes:

--Leo is quite possibly one of the most photogenic cats I've ever met. (Look at that last one if you don't believe me, and tell me it isn't Christmas-card ready.) I swear he mugs for the camera - if he sees you taking pictures, within a few minutes he'll adopt some classically adorable pose and look at you with those "Picture now plz?" eyes. And then he'll hold the pose until he's absolutely certain you're done. (I think Brian may have inadvertently trained this behavior with his habit of giving him treats after taking his picture.)

--For a $200-level point-and-shoot, the Sony DSC-H55 takes some remarkably nice low-light photos. In all three of these, the only light source was the Christmas tree, and while they came out a bit dark, a bump of Picasa's auto-contrast button brought it up to just about perfection. They're not super-crisp like you'd get with a flash or a bright light source, but they're surprisingly non-noisy (and the dreaded smeariness from noise reduction isn't bad at all).

--Speaking of Picasa - I hate to sound like a broken record, but have I mentioned I love Google-made products? Easier to use even than iPhoto, a surprisingly wide variety of editing tools, and not intimidating at all - plus, auto-upload is the shit, yo. Honestly, I think a large part of the tapering-off of my interest in pictures, even before my last camera disappeared, was how much time it took to edit/crop/resize manually and then go log in to Photobucket and upload. Kind of feels like cheating, being able to do everything in one spot. And, it's free. How do you beat that?

--And now...chocolate-chip cookies! Who says the holidays are over?

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