Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Years Resolutions Fall 09

This Week, school started on my campus. The beginning of the fall semester resonates even more with me as a fresh start than January 1st.

Here are some resolutions:
1) Walk 30 min every day for 21 days
21 days because that is how long it takes to form a habit. And I need to get back into the habit of cardiovascular workouts. 21 days in a row was the ideal, although today is Day 6 and I have walked 5 days (including today). I didn't walk yesterday because my experiments lasted too long and I was sleepy in the morning from having watched CHOPPED- this awesome Food Network at Night reality TV show. It is a cooking competition where you get some odd ingredients in your basket - (Celery for dessert) and the chefs are timed with how they make their meals.
4 contestants start.
20 min and for an appetizer.
one contestant gets eliminated.
3 contestants and 30 min for an entree.
2 contestants and 30 min for a dessert.
and one winner.

This is BRILLIANT because the best part of all reality shows is the elimination, and in ONE show you get THREE Eliminations! And you get to see some creative cooking puzzles.

Back to the resolutions:
Walking 30 min because I am so out of shape that this is a good workout for me. I do go at a 7.5 to 8.0 level incline on the treadmill and as fast as I can 3.4 to 3.9 speed so I get a good workout for my current fitness level.

I think I will get myself a *prize* after 21 days of walking even if I can't get them all in a row.

2) Work Less
If all of our readers haven't already left for good- you may have noticed that I haven't been doing much of the blogging lately.
I haven't been doing much of anything other than working.
At my peak it was 70-73 hours a week AT WORK. That counts walking into my desk/bench and out- no commute, no working from home included.

Right- that is a bit much if you want to nourish ANYTHING else in your life and get sleep.
Sleep is a must for me as my brain goes to mush without it- and as it turns out- nourishing your body, and your relationship with your spouse and dogs help you to enjoy life more.
Imagine that.
So now my limit is 60 hours a week.
The only drawback to this is that I fear the amount of time I will be in graduate school. Sure it won't be forever- but it seems like it has been already.

3) Have a nice house
By house I mean apartment, and by nice I mean somewhat clean and not full of crap that I don't need.
I have started this by trying to clean up some - and by taking 2 Camry Trunk-fulls to the goodwill drop off. I need to take some more. I got rid of lots of crap that we had inherited from our families and friends. (13 piece nativity set, anyone?)
Also I got rid of any clothes that I cant imagine fitting into again (From 8th grade before puberty widened my hip bones.) And clothes that are worn out and don't look nice, or clothes that do look nice but I cannot imagine myself ever wearing.

Worn out clothes = LOTS of Natalie Dee T- shirts. I might do a post about this later on.
I had been keeping the shirts for sentimental value, and because I love the artwork- although I rode public transit and sweated alot in the shirts so there are nasty arm pit marks on them. Yes- I should not wear these.

Do goodwill people care about arm pit marks on t shirts?

So I took some digital photos of shirts that were painful for me to get rid of, and the Husband was looking through them and was very alarmed and distraught about the fact that I had taken these shirts to goodwill.

Still I think this will help my apartment be more livable and be filled with less crap.

Have you noticed that Natalie Dee has been not putting out new shirts since her baby has been born? Sure- they are probably hella busy but she used to have new shirts all the time. and now I KNOW they reprinted anxiety girl and the will knit for tattoos because I am a long term ND fan who is a ND shirt fan no longer.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

on losing a pet

It's been over a month since I've seen Occie, my beloved kitty. I was house-sitting out in the Styx and decided to bring him with me, since I'd be stationed there for two weeks and I'd been away the entire week before. Amidst the confusion of so many cats and under the shade of night, he slipped out the back door and out of my life altogether. -- Dammit, I'm already tearing up. This is why I haven't wanted to write about him. -- It was not until morning that I realized he was not inside with me. I walked outside in the most blazing of Junes that my stores of memory can conjure, bag of cat food in hand, calling his name to no avail. Sinking, sinking, sinking was the over-riding feeling in the deepest part of me. How could he be gone? How.
Every day thereafter, all I could think about was finding Occie. I walked the streets of the neighborhood, eyes peeled and calling his name in despair. I consulted a pet finder. I bought raccoon traps and set them. For days, I checked them every five to six hours only to catch a variety of ants. I concocted the unholiest of unholy fish solutions and created trails all over the neighborhood leading back to the house.
I hung up fliers and encountered a couple who asked me what I was looking for. My cat, I reported heavy-heartedly. We've had a cat that's been at our house for the past two nights, crying loudly. Does he have a collar with a heart on it? I said yes, knowing that they'd mistaken his rabies tag for a heart. I knew from their description that it was Occie. But he was no longer there. I almost wish I'd never run into this couple. Because then I wouldn't think: WHAT IF?! What if I'd made the fliers ONE DAY earlier? What if they would have put food out for him? What if I would have been out in the middle of night when they saw him crossing yards, hopelessly lost and trying to find his way? But I suppose it isn't fair to blame them for my asking "what if"? I know good and well that my mind would be gnawing on "what if"s regardless.
I checked the animal shelters. I put ads in the paper. On craigslist. In the quickquarter.
None of my efforts have produced Occie.
What remains in his absence is a gaping, aching hole. I have not been able to bring myself to get rid of any of his things. I still have his litter box, bed, purr pad and various catnip-laced trifles. His hair still clings to some of my things, which I mostly seek to ignore despite the fact that I'm terrified of the approaching time when no more remain. I feel like I can hear him wailing for me on errant breezes. Sometimes in a flash out of my periphery, I see him in repose, sprawled out on the floor, contentedly purring. When I'm in the restroom, I expect him to come butting in, big ole noggin first, looking for some attention. Whenever I get a day off, and I take my time getting out of bed to start the day, I can't help but think he's not there to share it with me. He's not there to lay across anything I attempt to read or write, and I miss that adorable annoyance. I miss coming home from a long day to his unconditional love and unique personality.
He was such a singular, peerless presence in my life. I cannot imagine that a day will ever come that I will forget him, much less not be haunted in some way by his disappearance.
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation," said Kahlil Gibran in his profoundly moving and timeless work, The Prophet. I always recognized the beauty of truth in this quote, but I'm not sure that I've ever experienced it with such intensity as I have these past couple Occie-less weeks.
There. I did it. I have survived losing him and it looks as though I've survived writing about him too. But now that I've made the patrons of River Ranch CC's sufficiently uncomfortable, I think I should either wrap it up or choose something else to write about. After embarrassing myself enough for one day, though, I think I'll just wrap it up.
I'd love to be able to say that I feel better . . .