I got another cat

It’s ironic that I had my first-ever pepper sneeze today, an hour after I took Claritin for the first time.

And yeah, I acquired another kitty cat.   My roommate is moving to China, and his cat is staying.  Her name is Toosil, and for the past year, her grooming maintenance has been taken care of entirely by my cat.  He holds her down with his paw and grooms her until he’s satisfied.   Before that, she just walked around kinda dirty and oily.  She’s a very good-natured cat.  Before we had four roommates, I used to have to round up the cats to put them in the front half of the house so I could turn on our motion activated alarm system, before I would leave in the morning.  She would hide in the skirts of my roommate’s bed, and meeow.  She’s not very bright, but we really like her.

My doctor said that people who live in California eventually develop allergies.  I could go with that theory, or look at the fact that my cat sleeps pressed up against my face.  The ear pain is possibly an effect of my ear tube closing on the one side to protect itself from allergens, i.e. my cat?   It’s a small price to pay for all that fluffy cuteness.

Behold the cat lady.

My hill, my coffee beans

I’ve had a sinus infection type-thing that lives near my ear, for 2 weeks now. It makes it so that I have to conduct my life as though I’m sick. If I don’t, then my ear hurts. Conducting my life like a sick person means getting a lot of rest, no coffee, drinking a lot of water, and getting a lot of sleep. And whatever function of the body that makes it so that drinking coffee while sick is a no-no, can just f*** off. My days are currently filled with visions of large coffee cups full of latte, lots of thick foam, and the espresso dribbled just so, making swirls and heart shapes, and maybe my initials, and then a cute little wavy line of steam rising above it. My latte is either mocha or caramel, or both. Then sprinkles of chocolate. It’s flanked with a large cranberry scone, and maybe some fruit or cheese, and it all greets me first thing in the morning before work. After work, I race off to look at art galleries in L.A., then I go to the beach at either Rancho Palos Verdes or Malibu, and watch the sun go down and contemplate how great I feel. I follow this up with a grueling Bikram yoga class, and then home, to drift off into a well-earned deep sleep. This is the would be day, in the absence of being “sick”.

Thank Gaud I have a laptop.

I heart cooking (lately)

I mentioned a while back that I’ve taken an avid interest in cooking for myself, if only to avoid eating out so much, and for the experience of cooking at home (it makes the house feel so much more like home). It’s going great. Last week I made “World’s Best Mac and Cheese” courtesy of A Thinking Stomach, and used Penne instead of macaroni ’cause I got a thing for Penne. It was freakin delicious, so much that I am craving it and will probably make it again tomorrow. It’s big dish, too, so a lot of people were able to enjoy it, and it will probably go in there as one of my all-time favorites. My other favorite recent discovery is this greek salad, with homemade dressing, and so easy to customize and throw together. It’s so delicious that I feel somehow guilty for not paying for it somewhere. I am not big on salads lately, but this has feta cheese and olives and pepperoncinis. How can you go wrong? I also made my favorite scones, so I would have something to grab on the way out the door for breakfast that’s still homemade. I was dying to do some baking today while it was pouring out, but I didn’t want to venture out into the rainstorm for ingreds, so I had to resort to my backup plan, which was free movies on the internet.

Collaborating

I just discovered GoogleDocs, and immediately put it to use before the tutorial was even over.  I paused it, and created an account and a document, and then went back and watched the rest of the tutorial.  It’s so perfect for when you have to collaborate on anything, especially if it’s a large group.  It takes all of the work out of updating a document.  I can see our family using it to plan our Thanksgiving dinner, avoiding the chaos of e-mailing and backtracking through the e-mails to bring ourselves up to date on what we’re supposed to know/bring.  Although that can get kinda fun.

Oh, and if anyone wants to collaborate on a novel with me, just say the word.

Daughterhood, sisterhood and attachment parenting


I got involved in a discussion about breastfeeding and early child care today. This is a subject that I can carry my end of the conversation with, despite not being a parent. I was around it all for years, and the babies in my family and our extended family/friends were breastfed for a really long time. I mean, the kids in our family were still breastfeeding when they were old enough to hold conversations about it. I agree with breastfeeding for as many years as the mother and child need, and I agree that women should be able to breastfeed in public.

This led to the topic of attachment parenting, as it’s all related. And I am writing this as a daughter and a sister, not as a mom. I know there are varying degrees of attachment parenting, but I didn’t even know until recently that there was a word for what that is. I only knew a general description. I knew that in many, many households, babies come into the home in carriers and sleep in cribs, and that in our household, the babies spent a lot of time in people’s arms. I knew that babies slept with their parents in our house, while in other households, the babies always seemed to sleep in another room. I knew that in our home, if it was warm, the baby would often be wearing just his or her diaper and maybe a little cotton t-shirt, and other than that there was a lot of skin on skin contact. I even slipped into these patterns quite naturally when I was a nanny for a six month old baby. Once the baby and I got used to each other, I would carry him a lot, in my arms. I even started carrying him in some pretty odd positions, that I had only seen in my own home, where you hold one leg and let the rest of the baby balance on your arm. I did this without thinking; I just realized I was doing it one day. I also remember, as a kid, watching my mom sit the sunny spot by the window and letting the baby crawl around without anything on, to let his or her body get fresh air. I remember how happy it made the baby, because most babies love being nudie. I remember the baby looking at the mommy and they were both so happy, having that little moment in their day to just bask in something so simple and wonderful. I also remember laying down a blanket in the living room or out in front of the house at sunset and hanging out, and all of our attention would end up going towards the baby or toddler because there was so much joy and energy coming from its little body. These were moments that, I’m sure, we all benefitted from. I knew that our household wasn’t the only one in the world that was like this, but when I talked about it with friends, I didn’t quite know how to describe it. I just understood that there was something very much non-assembly line going on in our household, and it the households of a lot of my parents’ friends. Along with this seemed to come a very extreme feeling that the child was being treated as an individual little person with its own individual personality, and not just a wearer of all things blue or pink. I’m sure it’s like this for most kids, but maybe since ours was OURS, it seemed like so much more than a baby. I’m sure the parenting had a lot to do with it though, affecting both the baby and my view of the baby.

When I was younger I assumed that I would have kids someday. This, of course, was before nannyhood changed me. The baby that I nannied for had an older sister who I also cared for, and she came out of hell and made my biological clock freeze over in a way that nothing has ever melted, not even those wonderful memories of my younger siblings. I used to stare at those parents that I worked for, and it hit me with such force that something so evil could come out of two perfectly normal people, and I knew then that it could happen to anyone, no matter how good your prenatal care was. Things like that just happen in nature. It’s a risk that other people take. These people took that risk, and I wanted to call in an exorcist for that poor little girl, with her head all spinning around and pea soup shooting out of her mouth.

Before all this, though, in the long long ago time, I used to really want kids. I also knew that it wouldn’t matter if I had children at the same time as my friends or not, because I would probably be raising them a lot differently than my peers. When pressed to describe this “different” way, I could only say that they’d probably get frustrated watching me parent my children. They’d probably think I was too lax and didn’t do things in a normal way. The breastfeeding would go on for years, and the offspring would be a high priority. I wouldn’t work, and that wouldn’t be because I think the mom belongs at home, it would just be because I belong at home, and wouldn’t want it any other way. I couldn’t have imagined anyone else raising me other than my mom. And I couldn’t imagine having to wait for her to come home, and only getting a bracketed amount of time to spend with her each day and each week. And, most importantly, I wouldn’t want to miss out on those precious years that go by so quickly. My sister had it the same way, in that she was able to raise her daughter without having to work full time, and it showed. Her daughter never felt like she was anything less than her mom’s highest priority. They were very much in tune with each other, especially in those very early years when a little kid’s mommy is the world to them.

Parenthood is a lot of work, and no matter what, people deserve a lot of props for what they go through in raising their little ones. Night terrors, trails of toys around the house, having to worry when they’re sick, having to make every decision knowing that it’s going to affect someone’s life; it’s a harder job than anything else you’ll ever do with your life. I’ll have to enjoy it from the sidelines, and believe me, I am watching in awe.

Permanent jet-lag?

When I was a kid I used to be the one in the house who slept in. I don’t remember what time I used to wake up, but it seems like it was around 7-8. When I woke up, everyone else was already awake and had already started their day. When I’d go to someone else’s house to stay the night, I was the one who woke up hours before everyone else. Usually around 7-8. Everybody else in the world seems to prefer to sleep until around 9 or 10. That’s how I got interested in interior design as a teenager. I spent so much time at other people’s houses just laying there, staring at the walls, and thinking about what I’d do if that was my room.

Lately I’ve been trying to get up earlier, so that I can get home from work earlier, and maybe get a little more done during the day. And since it’s hard to wake up to an alarm no matter what time, I went ahead and started getting up at 4 a.m. so I can get to work at five. Then I’m off at 1:30, and it’s wonderful. I’ve been doing it for five weeks now, and it’s going pretty good. Last Friday, I made lattes for everybody at work who had also gotten there at five, which turned out to be around 9 people. It took a while, but I like to think I helped boost productivity.

The thing is, I get home and all I can do is sleep. I think about sleeping all day while I’m at work, daydreaming about it. I spend the day longing to go back to bed and cuddle up with my cat and sleep. Me and my cat, and then I start thinking about cats, and then daydreaming about a whole field of cats, and we’re all happily cuddled up together and sleeping.  But yeah, I get home from work and take this big long stretched out nap, then wake up for a little bit, and then I go to bed. I’ve done a little bit of cooking, but I had to force myself to stay awake for it. So I feel like I’ve spent the past month sleeping. I feel like I should start checking for bedsores. I’ve just been sortof rolling with it and treating it like jet lag, like I’m just going to get past it eventually and it’ll start feeling normal, and I’ll start getting productive again and very productive at that, because I’m off work in the middle of the day. But it’s not happening yet. I’m a little frustrated too, because I thought after I got over this hurdle I’d start going to Bikram again, but I’m waiting to go until I get the urge inside to go, like what happened before. It’s like a spiritual calling, and going to yoga just answers the call. Otherwise it’s a very grueling ordeal for no reason. But I might just have to nudge myself a little harder and look forward to the energy boost as an after effect, because this isn’t cutting it. I’m going to turn to mush.

On the bright side, I’m finally getting up at the same time as the rest of my family!

Emmy night. Let’s do that again!

My roommate got an Emmy! The Amazing Race won for best reality show contest, and so she got an Emmy for producer. I checked it out yesterday morning at 3 a.m. in all its dangerously spiky glory. Two feet south of it was my roommate. She was sitting on the floor, leaning all the way forward with her face stuck in a small trashcan, vomiting her brains out. It looked so funny, because her hands weren’t even involved in the ordeal. I think they were just splayed out to the sides. Her date had decided to come get me at yes 3 a.m. because, it turned out, he didn’t think she would be comfortable sleeping in her dress. We got her pukey hair pinned back from her face and then I wrestled her into her pajamas, and she decided to sleep exactly where I found her. Her date, the human alarm clock, also woke me up from my nap later on that day, after I got home from work, to say he was sorry for waking me up earlier.

So somewhere in there I got caught up enough on sleep to wake up and go take a pic of her statue, which she said she accidentally poked somebody from the cast of Heroes with. And then she told that person that it shouldn’t hurt, because they’re invincible. Aww. She and her date are so nice to people. So yeah, now both of my roommates have media awards. Brian’s is an Academy Award. But can they walk in 8 inch platform heels? Because I can. And I think I’m going to have my heels bronzed so I can put them on the mantel next to my roommates’ trophies.

The coolest thing from her night was the gift bag she got from the Entertainment Tonight party. It was a designer bag, filled to the rim with chocolates, lotions, candles and makeup, and somewhere in there she got a great Italian Cookbook that I’ll totally be taking over on. She looks great, too, in spite of the hangover. I need to find out where she gets her skin done because I mean, she’s glowing. I would look like a chemo patient if I was that hungover. It must be the new Emmy.

Cris, don’t sleep with this on that shelf above your bed. I’m going to have nightmares about earthquakes.

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