december 2004 archive

Friday, December 31, 2004

::so long, 2004::

tonight, last minute plans (sort of) are taking me to the angela louise to ring in the new year. despite the pictures & music on the site, i have hope for a not so "girls-and-guys-gone-wild" night because our friend knows the owner of the boat. in addition a) it's raining, and b) josh doesn't do dancing. still, it should be a fun time.

this week rings in a number of other events, including my new part-time status at work, which i am thrilled about. mango is doing wonderfully, by the way, and has only thrown up once in the past week. *whew* i have also been blessed with friends in town and the past 4 nights have been very busy. junior-high pal, vicki, and her josh are visiting family out here. i was able to steal them away for an evening on monday for a date: movie, dinner, coffee. lauren and joe popped down from the glorious nyc for some misadventuring in the oc circa el rincon chilango. false hopes of "the new mexico city" led us to a restaurant with a walk-up order window and abundant seating beneath a sea of fluorescence in bright orange and green plastic booths. ew. so off to mi casa we headed (thank you, erin) for bottomless chips n'salsa and cheesy refried beans. oh, yum!

so, tonight, i hope everyone is with someone they love. let them know. don't be shy. life is way too short, as recent tragedies are teaching us. this year has taught me much about pursuing my dreams, my loves, my friends, my life, my faith. the transitions don't happen overnight, but truly this year has been a lesson in heartache for so many people i know (and don't). from close personal friends to those halfway across the globe, i feel my mortality on every side of me demanding to be lived and not ignored. christmas cards didn't get written, but that doesn't mean i don't love my friends. in lieu of, i've been working on a mix cd to encapsulate 2004 in song. it's a thowback to high school nostalgia, complete with the token cirque du soleil song (i think...) and i'm preparing it for the new year. if you'd like one and i don't know you, feel free to let me know by posting in the comments. we'll see how much time i have next week before the semester starts.

as the freeway signs in oc are boasting, i hope you will "designate before you celebrate". i love you all. cheers & blessings for a happy new year from my house to yours.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

::a most wonderful time::

it's been difficult to write lately because of all the holiday gatherings and last week's misadventures with mango. i miss it terribly, but how much am i willing to bore my audience? i mean, honestly now? do you really want to hear why the prime rib got cold on christmas day? or how monty finally warmed up to josh's brother mike and sat on his lap (albeit hissing the instant mike tried to pet him)? or why my sister and i should have given my dad what he asked for (a knife sharpener) instead of what we thought he needed.

yeah, i thought so.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

::what now?!::

ok, well, mango is feeling better, a fine chunk in my pocketbook later. and how doth he repay me? well, this evening i came home from work and there were no cats. high and low i searched. under beds and in cupboards. there was a putrid smell in the air upstairs and a starbucks bag minus one handle and some persimmons spilled on the ground downstairs. threads of what must have happened began weaving themselves in my head.
i finally found both cats in our second bedroom, barricaded between the bed and the wall. the air was foul-smelling where they had been holed up and one of them had peed on the carpet. i removed the handle from the starbucks bag that still hung around mango's neck and gently removed the frightened beasts from their hiding place. monty's tall puffed out as he starred down the hall wide-eyed. even with the clues left behind, i can't quite piece together everything that happened.

sadly, both cats, in peeing on themselves or on each other, did not lend themselves to any humanly affection. into the bath and crank up the heat and hope that mango will continue his no-vomit stretch here (we've passed the 24-hour mark! yeah!). i have to say, i'll take vomit over piss any day, as far as cleanup and odor are concerned. i now have reason number eighteen to buy new flooring: our upstairs is trashed after the whole ordeal.

::progress report::

after another trip to the vet for further testing, i am ecstatic to announce that mango is in recovery! yeah! more details to follow....

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

::nervous & exhausted::

my nerves are tweaked tonight & i can hardly bring myself to make a decent dinner. so far, i've had a cookie and some trader joe's brand pita chips with artichoke parmesan dip. yumm. all this to land me here at 7:00. sheesh.

last night i discovered that mango had yacked in quite nearly a dozen different places in our house. having two cats and freaking out on the whole "which one is puking?" question led me to drag both cats to the urgent care about this same time yesterday.

the urgent care is a fascinating and infuriating place all at once. i was greeted promptly upon arrival by one of the assistants who drew from me all pertinent information. then, i handed off mango to her care without question and went to fetch monty.

now, once they had the cats behind closed doors, i waited very nearly half an hour to speak with the dvm on duty. i learned of a bull dog who had tried to eat a bee and an entire side of her face swelled up. then, there was a dog with bloody broken nail who was waiting to be seen. and, there was a woman, about 45, with wavy, blonde hair. she came in, cradling her cat in a rust-colored towel, sat down and sniffled as she filled out the paperwork. i never learned what was wrong with her precious feline, but i felt her sadness hit me like a wave as i came to understand more of what my mom must have felt before she lost her precious cat last week.

i also heard a discussion take place as an owner was checking her pet into the hospital for treatment. i shuddered at questions like "do you want us to resuscitate your cat?" and "how hard to you want us to try?" though probably worded in a slightly more fashionable sense, the words still irritated and saddened me. in essence, there were different degrees of effort which could be put forth depending on how much you were willing to spend. i was glad it wasn't my conversation. i felt very strongly about wanting mango home with me.

so, needless to say, here i am 24 hours later. mango hasn't vomitted since about 12:30 this morning, and things seem to be on the up & up. i'm so proud of the li'l trooper!

oh! and, well, monty was his usual self and they couldn't really examine him, so i ended up just taking him home. thankfully, he has been simply right as rain. whew!

Friday, December 17, 2004

::who will it be?::

the compelling *new* weight-loss drama

after much deliberation, josh & i have decided the cats need to lose some of that extra poundage. as a sacrificial act of love & support, we have also joined a gym. we love our cats, and we want them to live long and healthy lives.
beginning on december 11, we began feeding both cats science diet r/d. we will chronicle their progress below & hope you will be duly entertained and educated.

december 6 weigh in
mango: 15.6 lbs
monty: 18.8 lbs

neither cat seems very fond of the cat food. i feel bad for having to switch them so abruptly from the tasty trader joe's brand to science diet. the canned food looks a bit, er, lifeless and grey. however, subsequent can openings reassure me that's normal.
p.s. sara went to the gym. once.

december 13 weigh in
mango: 15.2 lbs
monty: 18.6 lbs

ah, small progress! josh notes that both cats seem well-adjusted to the food. however, mango often leaves canned food behind half-eaten and monty will clean up BOTH dishes. josh predicts monty will gain 4/10ths. we'll have to wait and see.

december 20 weigh in
mango: 15.4 lbs
monty: 18.8 lbs

yep, well, the weight gain thing? you know i can't really explain it...

december 28 weigh in
mango: 14.4 lbs
monty: 18 lbs

well, perhaps a little more weight than i would like to see them lose in one week, however, i've really had to limit their food intake because mango was so sick last week. i'm not able to leave dry food out for them to freely graze on because i haven't been able to work mango up to that point yet (poor guy can't seem to stomach it very well). that said, mango is quickly getting back to normal and monty is acting his usual "loner" self. ah, cats!

january 3 weigh in
mango: 14.8 lbs
monty: 18.2 lbs

well, i'm still searching for the perfect formula here, but it's obvious to me that more control & less "free feeding" is in order. both cats are healthy though, which brings me great relief. i haven't quite figured out what their target weight should be, and i did weigh them in the evening this time, so there may be some small differences. that said--mango just peed! should i weigh him again??? (there was no noticeable change. but he is headed back to the litter box again at this point. man, i just cleaned it!)

january 10 weigh in
mango: 14.6 lbs
monty: 18 lbs

so, with a little more control on their feeding, it looks as though they can be sucessful. does anyone know what the best way is to figure out how many ounces six-thenths of a pound is? i think if i multiply 0.6 x 16 (the # of pounds in an ounce) = the correct conversion. but i'm not sure. if that's right, then mango weighs 14 pounds 9 ounces. and this goes better with how they measure weight at the vet's office. let me know!

january 17 weigh in
mango: 14.8 lbs
monty: 17.8 lbs

insert thoughtful commentary here

january 25 weigh in

mango: 14.8 lbs
monty: 17.8 lbs

wow: they are actually maintaining their weight! woah! so far, monty is the biggest loser, having dropped a full pound. mango is right behind him though....

february 15 update

scheduling conflicts have resulted in my slacking off the past couple of weeks, but i will resume weigh-ins on the 18th.

february 18 weigh in

mango: 14.8 lbs
monty: 17.6 lbs

it's actually very exciting to know that my "kids" are being successful with this. poor monty actually had to go in for a dental cleaning (his first) on monday. i felt so bad leaving him with the vet: it's just so dang upsetting for him. but he did fine. one of the technicians commented on how nice it was to pet him for a change (they had to knock him out for the procedure). that was pretty funny.
mango has been his normal, weird self. he tears up and down the stairs after breakfast most of the time, and i really think that's what keeps him so slim.
at this point, i'm not sure how long to keep this going. there have been some requests (ok, will, one) to pimp "judd for american idol", so i might have to update my sidebar. still scheming on that one though....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

::awful holiday confession #7::

um, er, i actually planned on doing one of these for each day in december, however, circumstances convinced me otherwise. so here i am in the wee hours having just completed my psych final online (twice!) and not really caring about my score but pretty darn sure i'll end up passing the class. i slacked on one of the observations, but i'm lacking the motivation to pursue any sort of retroactive credit. the online class format sucks and i'm never doing one again. in addition, post-speech class discussions with ms. jessica led to the discovery that the teacher plagiarizes her test from the publishers' website, so i cry foul. it's darned lazy if you ask me.

in other news, tomorrow is my last class. also, my previously planned schedule has flip-flopped a bit as i plan on dropping postponing japanese and anthropology in order to pursue a writing course through the uci extensions program. with all this extra time on my hands as i hope uci grants me asylum from my tedious general ed studies in the winter of 2006, i've decided to make the best of the next year. i was also considering this course, so if you have any constructive input, bring it.

it's 12:51 a.m. now. really. must. sleep....

Monday, December 06, 2004

::awful holiday confession #6::

it is so cruel.
just one more week from today and life will be normal again.

please stand by.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

::awful holiday confession #5::

we have a fake christmas tree. last year, josh & i decided, while standing in the parking lot of home depot freezing our butts off at nine o'clock at night, that enough was enough.
happily, we decked the halls on november 28. it was virtually painless and the tree came with its own lighting. imagine that!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

::awful holiday confession #4::

i actually love christmas music. even the muzak that they play at work. i get all choked up when i hear a favorite piece and it makes my day a million times better.

i'm currently listening to the chieftains: the bells of dublinicon. yummy!

Friday, December 03, 2004

::awful holiday confession #3::

today's lethal combination of sudafed and tylenol and caffeine has me flying through the workday. i do believe if we weren't as busy as we are, i'd be bald from tearing at my hair and my fingernails would be chewed down to the nubbins. i can only imagine what it's like to be on speed.

oh, how i detest winter colds & congestion!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

::music pick of the week::

the boys of rock n' roll, indeed! this album rocked my vacation, let me tell you. and then some. poignant lyrics and song writing that harkens back to the days of yore. how beautiful they have matured over the years. and now, like a fine wine, perfectly aged, oh how delicately the notes sit on my tongue. a first hint of the flavor combines bits of all that you can't leave behind with joshua tree...but continues back into the early eighties as well.

clever marketing coupled U2 with iPod and there was a point at which i thought i might never want to hear vertigo again, however, that moment of temporary insanity has passed. this album is a sign that, unlike some aging pop stars (uhhum, sting?) the fire has not gone out of their souls. U2 still writes incredible songs. original of the species is the first time i have heard them hint at the beatles with the ascending minor chords and percussive strings. one step closer has a rich, vibey, pedal steel part that just makes me melt. as i found myself out of sorts somewhat last week, sometimes you can't make it on your own provided much needed comfort. music is a wonderful way to get one's mind off of one's troubles. or homesickness.

i do hope you will enjoy it as much as i do!

::B L O G::

for a medium that has existed since the previous millenium, it sure took them long enough.

but, ah well, let's celebrate!

::awful holiday confession#2::

i cry when i watch elf. i cried last year when it was in theaters. i cried when i saw it last week (both times). it's always at the finale, when everyone is singing "santa claus is coming to town".

i really can't explain....

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

::awful holiday confession #1::

i'm actually watching nick & jessica's family christmas. yes, and i do believe i have a case of the warm fuzzies. or maybe i'm coming down with something.

in the meantime, i'm thinking:
how does ashley simpson really feel about singing with her big sis?

why do i fall for this sappy stuff? (i'm such a sucker for this time of year...)

nick lachey can sing!

i still find jessica simpson's facial expressions (while singing) nightmarish, yet, strangely facinating.

that whole tongue-stuck-to-the-pole routine was just about as ridiculous as i could stand it to be.

is it true?! oh, martha, for shame!

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