Friday, February 22, 2008

I Got Nothin'

It's Friday, I'm bored, and not much exciting has happened this week. I finished the baby blanket I made for my cousin's shower on Sunday, so I hope she likes it. She BETTER like it after all I went through coming up with a design. I'll post pics later after the mommy-to-be has seen it.

I guess today is as good a day as any to relay the list I've been working on called:

Things I've Learned From the Cat

  1. It's more important to relax than worry about the kitchen floor.
  2. Vaccuum cleaners are evil.
  3. A nap in the sun is cheaper than a trip to the spa.
  4. There's always something interesting going on outside.
  5. If you yell loudly and long enough, someone will eventually get out of bed and feed you breakfast.
  6. The best way to get out of taking medicine is to wait until mom's back is turned, and then spit it behind the sofa cushion.

I never said they were all insightful and deep. But then, neither are my cats.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Am One Sexy Bitch

So I was getting ready for work this morning and took a minute to admire how nicely my ass is filling out. I mean, my overly tight underwear just accentuates the cellulite and the beginnings of a third butt cheek that Victoria's Secret cannot keep under wraps. Somebody call Cosmo and book me for a cover shoot!! Maybe they can slow down the shutter speed and get that nice blurry action from my jelly shakin'. And let's talk chicken thighs. KFC would kill to serve up thighs like mine. And my wings are coming in quite nicely. Someday soon I should be able to fly to work. Whoo hoo! Flappy arm skin!! About that time I realized how insane I was/am/continue to be and tried to find clothing that would cover rather than accentuate. (BTW, why can't we just put on weight in our boobs? Does it really have to spread everywhere else as well?)

Anyway, after the ego boost that had to take place after the morning naked visual, I picked up the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin--which I've had for about a month--and started paging through it. The tips in this book are just mind-boggling--like you have to exercise if you really want to lose weight. Damn, that blows my whole plan of sitting on my ass while stuffing my face with cookies and chocolate. But the way the authors say it is what really cracks me up and helps commit it to memory. To quote: "Give up the notion that you can be sedentary and still lose weight. You need to exercise, you lazy shit." or "You cannot keep eating the same shit and expect to get skinny." Really? Wow.

Seriously, I love this book. It's like a smack in the head with the hammer of common sense. They do promote a vegan lifestyle, but while I am willing to give up most meats, there's no way I'm giving up dairy.

So, I think I will finish reading this book, look into incorporating most of it into my life, actually take the Dancing With the Stars Cardio Dance DVD out of its case and play it (although it might be tough to do more than just drool over Maks), and try to get my butt down to where it fits within the confines of my underwear. Because let's face it--it's cheaper to eat less than it is to buy a new wardrobe.

If worse comes to worst, I'm pasting a picture of my underwear-clad self on the refrigerator. That would surely do the trick. And maybe it would scare the roaches out of my kitchen.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Promises, Promises

The Democratic Primary is coming up here in Texas and every time I turn on the TV or radio, I'm hearing Barack Obama outlining his promises. Not a word from Clinton, and the pundits keep predicting she needs to win in Texas just to have a chance at the nomination. Frankly, I've always thought it more likely we'd have a black president before we had a woman president. Sorry to my friends who are flag-waving Hillary fans.

Anyway, I'm listening to these fantastic things Obama wants to do as president--affordable healthcare for everyone, tax breaks for the middle class, closing the tax loopholes big business is always taking advantage of, giving tax breaks to companies who are keeping their business in America instead of outsourcing their labor to foreign countries. Sounds great, doesn't it? He believes the best way to help America is to fix Washington, DC. Whoo hoo! Someone with the right ideas!! Makes me want to vote for Jimmy Stewart--sorry--Obama. But this Utopia he's selling would have to make its way through the shark-infested waters of Congress and the Senate. Hate to say it, but there's no way those ideas would make it intact. They'll either be defeated, chopped up, or bloated with so many addendums that they divert money to other pet causes. Actions are going to speak louder than words for whomever wins the election.

And for the record, I'd rather have a Dem in office than a Republican, but somedays I start wondering what Mickey Mouse's political leanings are.

UPDATE: As of Monday morning I have seen ONE Hillary Clinton ad on TV.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sarcasm At Its Finest

Here's some good rules forwarded to me by my favorite propagandist:

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 40 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days--mowing my lawn.

New Rule : Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?

New Rule : Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule : There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket. Water, but without that watery taste? Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water. Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt! That's your flavored water.

New Rule : Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule : The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a 'decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet,' ooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule : I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing 'Enter,' verifying the amount, deciding no, I don't want cash back, and pressing 'Enter' again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule : Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule : Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting???? Oh wait! They're already doing that. It's called 'The Howard Stern Show.'

New Rule : I don't need a bigger mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two. New Rule : No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

New Rule : and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your web cam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule : When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. '27 Months'. 'He's two,' will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place.

New Rule : If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh!!! If so, then plan your future around saying, 'Do you want fries with that?'

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Needed a Good Laugh

Sucky day at work thanks to yet another irritating conference call that did nothing more than raise my blood pressure. So what did I do? First, I resisted the urge to hurl something heavy through my office window. Second, I went to Cute Overload to look at cute pics of tiny animals, which is where I rediscovered the following video. I saw it a few months ago and it really cracked me up.

And when the heck did this become the cat blog?? Damn, I need to get a life. Turtle is fine, btw, he spent the evening rather drunk from the anesthesia, but he was back to his cranky self this morning.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spot the Real Fiction

Well, Turtle is at the vet this morning getting his teeth cleaned. It's possible he could lose a molar, but at least he's been a little perkier since taking the antibiotics. And it's been easier on me just popping that pill down his throat instead of getting every drop of liquid medicine in there. He was pretty ticked by the time we got to the vet's office. My car now needs to be thoroughly detailed to recover from the poop and vomit on the back seat. Or maybe I'll just light a match. Kidding! I only have 4 payments left on that car and it has to last quite some time....

On to other things... I have an uncle whom I like to refer to as "the Republican Propagandist" because he will send out any email that makes fun of the Democrats and puts positive spin on the Republicans (yeah, I know, I almost couldn't type that last part! LOL!!) Today I got an email titled "Hillary's Dream." This one cracked me up not because the photoshop pics put Hillary in fictional settings, but because of one little thing in this "Driving Miss Daisy" parody:

Someone please tell me when you've ever been able to get a paper sack at a Wal-Mart!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Craft Project Friday

I took the day off from work to take the cat to the vet and take care of some other personal business. Turtle has a massive dental infection and has to go back on Tuesday to be put under for a cleaning. In the meantime we get to take antibiotics. At least this time it's capsules instead of liquid. I'm tired of cleaning that stuff off the walls. And it tastes horrible! We had an incident last round when Turtle knocked the eye dropper with his paw just as I was squeezing the medicine out and it flew right into my mouth. It took a good five minutes of scrubbing with cinammon toothpaste just to get rid of the taste. And that stuff left a stain on my couch! No wonder my poor cat would rather fight to the death before he took it.

The vet will also be taking a closer look at Turtle's blind eye while he's out just to make certain there's no tumor or cancer involved.

After all the drama of driving the cat to and from the vet (at least this time he didn't rip strips of flesh off the poor doc), I decided to work on some craft projects that I've needed to finish and/or start.

The first project was finishing the crocheting of a felted purse. I got the body of the purse sewn together, and the handle created and sewn on. Now I just need to finish the project by washing it in hot water to shrink it, which will tighten the wool together enough to disguise the individual stitches. This is the first time I've done this, so I'm hoping it all comes out well. Here's a before picture. I'll post the after when it comes out of the wash. And since I live in a tiny apartment with no washer and dryer, I have to take it to my aunt's house tomorrow.

My other project today was a decoupaged recipe box. I've spent a month picking out the right paper and paint. The scrapbooking boom has given us a plethora of designs to choose from. I also picked out a grab bag type selection of letters to use to spell out "recipes" on the top of the box.

Here's a picture of the near-finished item:

I was thinking this was a pretty cool-looking little project, if I do say so myself, when I noticed something wrong. And no, I didn't misspell "recipes."

I realized I put the letters on the lid upside-down....

Wouldn't be so bad if the lid weren't cut at an angle. If it were straight I could just turn the thing around. Well, at least it's something I was planning on keeping for myself. But I will forever know that I screwed it up. It really messes with my OCD, but at least I can laugh at my own idiocy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fat Free Cookies Just Aren't Worth It

Stuffing yourself with fat-free cookies when you're depressed just makes things worse. At least the gooey goodness of the real thing gives you a temporary high when you eat it. I'm just chomping on chocolate-colored cardboard--which really makes me even more unhappy.

What's wrong, you ask? The inspection on my house came back on the horrible side. Twenty-six pages of issues. After seeing it for myself and reading the inspector's report, I'm wondering how the roof hasn't collapsed from all the buckling rafters in the attic. Oh, and evidently the garage is sinking, causing quite a bit of foundation damage, and pulling the rest of the house with it. So, I canceled my option on the house, told my apartment management that I won't be moving in March after all, and am now dumping all the renovation plans I had mentally made.

On the bright side, I got out of a money pit before it got hold of me, I am prequalified for a mortgage, and am now more of a veteran at shopping for homes. I think I might take a break for a couple of months, save some more money, and then go back to it. Here's hoping interest rates will still be good, and the market will offer more choices by that point.

Until then, I'm off to find some decent cookies.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Do I Smell Gas?

Wow. That last post was way different from all the others. Too serious. If it actually helped anyone, let me know. But I think for the most part I will do what suits me best.

The contract on my house was finalized on Friday and now it's time for the inspections. But first the utilities need to be turned on so the inspector can do his job. There's been a bit of a disagreement with the seller about whether or not they were actually on, so my realtor and I went over on Saturday to check. Nope, no power and the breaker box was not shut off.

Utilities are scheduled to be turned on tomorrow, and I'm hoping someone will be there to let the gas man in to light the pilots. I'd hate to have my house blow up before I even move into it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lenders, Mortgages and Credit Scores, Oh My!

In my first post, I revealed that I just recently purchased a house. What made me do such a crazy thing, you ask?

Well, thanks to the rather horrific neighbor that moved in next door here at my apartment, I started shopping around for another place to rent. I got a bit of sticker shock when I started looking. Most of the apartments around town are 200 sq ft smaller and $200 more expensive than where I live right now. So I decided that if I'm going to be paying more for a place to live, I might as well be getting something out of it.

The first thing I did was poll my family. Being single and having been through a bad financial situation a few years ago, I wanted to gauge what experienced home buyers thought my chances were. The resounding consensus was "you'll never know until you try."

OK, that helps, and there's constant news about falling interest rates. But what to do now?? I admit I made a few missteps that didn't really throw me off track, but did slow me down. I thought I would pass along what I learned to other non-number centric first-time homebuyers like me.

1. Do what benefits you the most. Do not stray from this. It has been my mantra from the beginning and I have not been shy about sharing it with my realtor and lender.

2. Determine how long you will actually stay in a home. If your job is going to be moving you within the next year or you're planning on running off to Montana to marry the guy you met on eHarmony, stick with renting. If you are staying put for 5 years to 10 years, find yourself a nest to call your very own.

3. There's no such thing as "no money down." You might be able to purchase a home without making a down payment, but there are still closing costs, earnest money, and inspector fees that you have to come up with.

4. Remember that lenders only look at what's on your credit report--they don't take into account what you need for utilities, medications, food, child care, insurance, etc. Make certain you know exactly what you can spend on a monthly mortgage, property taxes and home insurance. And don't forget budgeting for higher utility bills. Bigger space=more energy used.

5. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Your lender can run some good faith estinates for you that can estimate what your monthly payment will be. This will help you narrow down the price range you should be looking in. Don't get in over your head like many Countrywide customers found themselves.

6. Forget you ever heard about adjustable rate mortgages. 'Nuff said.

7. For those who need hand-holding, I recommend skipping the online lender sites. That first heady blush of all the attention is great, but they don't know you, and they are out to do what's best for their banks. (I can only compare it to the experiences I had with online dating--not good!) I did not speak to a single one who was willing to actually spend the time to educate me so I could make a better decision, and with all the different terminology each one used, I was lost in the miasma and ready to just cancel the whole process. It was very hard to separate the truth from the sales pitch. I'm sure there are people who will give glowing recommendations for shopping online for mortgages, but I prefer a more personal touch.

Poll your friends, relatives, and co-workers and find a local lender who puts his customers' needs first. I finally dumped all the banks that had contacted me from my online application and went with a local guy who came highly recommended to me by my good friend S.G. John was kind enough to spend two hours talking with me and educating me about mortgages, mortgage insurance, and the differences between FHA and conventional loans. No question was too stupid and his patience was unending. Not one of the others had bothered to even answer questions I had posed to them. Because of his honesty, plain speaking, and dedication to getting the best loans for his customers, John won my business hands down. (If you're in the Denton area, holler at me and I will pass his information on to you.)

Once I got past the quicksand that is financing, I was able to concentrate my home search on houses within my price range. No more dreaming and wishlisting about those multi-story homes with master baths you can live in. Tales about my home search are to come.

Thirty-seven days until closing....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Meet the Pe(s)ts

Now it's time for a segment I like to call: Meet the Pets.

This is Turtle. (aka Turtle Dove, T.K., Shi**head)

In this shot he is posing for the website Doesn't he look thrilled?

At the ripe old age of 16, he and I have been together longer than most married couples. And I think sometimes we get along just that well. Most times he yells when I'm late getting home, late feeding him, late getting out of bed to feed him, spend too much time in the bathroom, and these days he yells when Sam bugs him.

He became my roomie back in 1998 when my boss at the time moved and gave him and his brother Nick to me.

A few months ago he went blind in his right eye, so he sticks pretty close to the beaten path. No more wandering for this kitty!

This is Sam. (aka Sammy Sam Samminaminam, Samuel L. Catson, Samonella)

He came to live with us at Thanksgiving after moving onto my patio and refusing to leave. I tried to ignore him when he cried at the door. I refused to feed him no matter how much he begged. I even tossed him over the fence in my efforts to discourage him from sticking around, but he was going nowhere. Finally, my nephew broke the impasse when he simply pointed out that it was really cold outside and I really should let him in.

He hasn't gone back outside since. At least he came to me litter trained.

Not sure how old he is, but I would place him at no more than 2. He races around chasing and playing with anything he can get his paws on--especially any drinking vessel left on any flat surface. We're working on training to not touch those anymore after he dumped a glass of milk on the living room rug. And I have to remember to put such things in the sink before he can get to them. Other things he likes to do--wash his feet in the water bowl after using the litter box, play in the toilet, and race around yelling like a mad man. I think it's some sort of kitty war cry.

Last, but definitely not least, in the kitty department is Nickel. (aka Nick, Nicky, Nickelas Nickelby, Doodlebug, Fat Cat).
Nick is 12 and currently lives with my grandparents. He's a big 'ol Persian mix who--when he sits around the house, really sits around the house. He's a definite wanderer who simply cannot do well in an apartment. Hence the reason why he lives with the grandfolks. I think I have lost permanent custody of him as he has Granddad trained to do his bidding and he has their neighborhood wired to his liking. Based on his bulk, I would say he has several neighbors feeding him. He comes and goes as he pleases, and is just too much of a wanderer to stay inside all day, or survive the dangers of city living. Don't worry folks, he's neutered and up-to-date on his shots.
That's it for the cats. I never thought I would be in my 30s, single, and have 3 cats. Somebody put my name on the spinster wall!
I'll chat about the bunnies and how they came into my life in another post.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's called a Pooper Scooper, People!!

Let's talk doggie doo. Not my favorite topic, but I seem to be surrounded by it. Every time I step out the front door, there it is.

I have a neighbor who seems to think that letting his dog take a crap outside our doors is acceptable behavior. Hey Dude, anything that comes out of the ass end of anything is disgusting and puts public health in jeopardy when left strewn about common living areas. Try letting the dog do its business in areas relegated to such activities.

Thirty-nine days until closing....