Thursday, September 30, 2010

110%? I think not

Ahem! I feel I must inform you...

There is no such thing as more than 100%. So anyone who claims they have given it 110%, or 150%, 200%, or some other arbitrary percentage, is presenting you with a crock of shit. In the real world, extra credit doesn’t exist. Extra credit is nothing but two words placed next to each other. If you have truly given it your all, poured yourself into the task or the work or the product or the relationship and done your best, your absolute freaking best, you should be proud as punch to receive 100%.

Think in terms of college grading:

A = 100-90 = Excellent, or “Hot damn! You did an amazing job!”
B = 90-80 = Very good, aka “Well done!”
C = 80-70 = Good. “This has been completed.”
D = 70-60 = Passing. “Almost inadequate.”
F = 60 and below. Failing! “Utter crap. Look ashamed!”

Readers, please try to get As with good deeds, and at work, with your family and friends, and at tasks and chores and generosity and how you treat people and your general daily doings. When grading yourself, be honest. You know whether you have done something excellently or adequately. But tip the effort toward the higher grades, and hey what? The As will extend to other areas of your life as well.

By the way, grades of A+ are completely imaginary. And in life, forget about a grading curve. It’s just not gonna happen…

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Green ash floors

His philanthropy aside, I'm not a big fan of Ty Pennington (from his annoyingly indulgent Trading Spaces days, way back when), but I absolutely love his choice of palest, jade-ish green wood: Eleuthera Ash. I'd love to do my living room in it, still with my red sofa and keep my black and light wood color palette intact. Walls? I dunno yet.

Aw, who am I kidding? Ideally, I'd do the entire place from room to room, including my pale pink bedroom. All I'd need is simply $6K for flooring...

Social Intelligence

I recently got an email about this meetup group because one of my interests is listed as "singles". But this one just sounds like educated people acting out and acting uneducated under the guise of social development. I feel bad that they have not been true to themselves until now!

"You may discuss just about everything as long as it's done tastefully. If you feel offended it's a good sign this is not the right group for you." Interesting concept, but ugh. I find this kind of opening statement neither cool nor offensive, but tiresome. So I guess this is not the right group for me!

But the funniest part about it is that "intelligence" is spelled wrong in the first two words of the description. Or did they do that to be cool, hmm? *sigh*

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I love books

And I especially love bargain books. I have even been known to spend gas money to go out of my way for book bargains. What can I say? I get a thrill from it.

And that was my plan for today. Hit the Nevins Library book sale in Methuen on its last day for exciting additions to my reading and crafting libraries. Last time I got two reference binders full of flower and plant pictures for crafting, along with an old, hilarious Better Homes and Gardens Handyman's Book from the 50's, complete with adoring-looking wives in wide skirts and tips on cleaning white-wall tires, for one dollar each. I also got an old Navy seaman's book from the 30's, for fun.

But it's raining cats and dogs out there and by the time I was in my car after work I couldn't bear the thought of driving to the library and to Target for an errand, fighting the rain the whole time. So I went home instead!

I put on pajama pants! I put on a cotton-knit top! I put on fuzzy slippers! Then I sat down to write this. And wow, am I comfortable right now or what!? (I can't remember the last time I put on pajamas after work without the reasoning of not feeling well. But I feel fine! Lazy, but fine. Teehee.)

So here is my plan for tonight:
  • Have a bite. Maybe make white rice
  • Give the cats a good brushing and clip their nails
  • Catch up on yesterday's Dancing with the Stars dances before tonight's elimination
  • Read something?
And that's basically it. I feel so free right now... hooray!

Idiots' Books

Very cool.

I snagged a copy of After Everafter at Paqui's Alley today for their amazing price. Who would chuck a fun book like that because of two drops that smudged the title? Their loss, my win.

Also, if anyone wants me to buy me a present, I'd love the Makers Tile Game, currently on sale for the low price of ten measly bucks.

On that note, perhaps I should do what Cory Doctorow has done. Write novels, then let everyone read them for free. Some people will buy copies, and some won't. Something to think about. The difference is that he's not interested in cash donations, whereas I am. A girl needs new accessories occasionally, yes? I don't expect to become rich from it, but a few books a month would be a smile-maker.

Alternatively, I'm ok with letting people read/download/tell their friends about my book for free, but there are other things to think about with that, too:

What if someone wants a hard copy? I still need a publisher. So I'm back at self-publishing through Amazon? The thought of talking to publishers still has me shaking in my boots! (Which may be silly, but still the way I feel.)Also, I still find the Creative Commons licenses confusing for some reason. But now I wrote it, and I want to get it out there, away from me. Out into the world! And I'm tired of whining to myself about it.

Ok. I've decided I am going to make a decision about what to do by the end of October. Keep reading, readers!

My Blog Cabin Adventure

Garlic Festival, here I come!

My Blog Cabin friends invited me to their cabin somewhere in western MA (I don't even know where it is, actually) for the weekend… to visit the North Quabbin Garlic Festival and help with the final footing! It will be the first time I have seen the cabin in person. Although I can’t dig or pour the footing because of my carpal tunnel symptoms for the last 1.5 weeks (flare-up almost all better, hooray!), and I don’t enjoy garlic so much (I like it, but it doesn’t like me) I just love festivals. But I won't be sitting on my butt just looking pretty. I’ll be acting as waitress for the parched tradeswomen and Their Wayne as they sweat up a storm.

Sooo, guess who will be featured in this weekend’s post of the Blog Cabin blog? That’s right! The Clever Cat herself, in the (soft, but non-furry) flesh! Maybe I can even get a pic with Budrow Wilson (a doggie), the newest addition to their fam. I haven’t seen them in months and this is going to be so much fun… stay tuned for the follow-up!

p.s. I will try to blog from the phone, but they are so far out in the sticks that there isn't even any cell reception! So you might just have to wait. Sorry!

Monday, September 27, 2010

They are with us

Sometimes, I swear I see Max at my parents' house.

Max, also known as Maxie Paxie, Maxie Paxie Pudding and Pie, El Baroncito Maximiliano (when he was small), El Baronissimo Maximiliano (when he got fat for a while), Max the Manx, and of course The Cat, was the premier pussycat of my family. He was the smartest, fastest, most charming, funniest, boldest cat of them all. Oh, one more thing... he's dead.

But he comes around, visiting. Yes, really.

He's not there all the time, but when he does pop 'round, I usually see him in the kitchen or around the stairs. And Thursday I saw him in the dining room peeking out from around the wall! He was interested in the sukkah on the deck. Before I realized what I was doing, I had closed the door and said, "No, no, hon. You can't come outside." But of course he could have come outside. Anyway, he looked at me with those gorgeous eyes, blinked, and was gone.

My dad was upstairs during all this, and when I told him I saw Max, he was dubious. Very dubious. I explained, and he kissed me on my forehead and told me he loved me very much. Harrumph.

Next time I'll invite him Maxie onto the deck... if he's careful not to fall off, that is...

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I feel bad for the goat.

Yesterday's Yom Kippur readings got me thinking, and I was really affected by the thought of the Azazel-goat. You know, the scapegoat that was sent away from the Temple in ancient times, laden with the sins of the worshippers. I wonder what that goat was thinking. Maybe something like "Yes! Not sacrificed!  Dodged that bullet!" Little did it realize it would be wandering  in the desert alone, until it died alone, too.

Or maybe I'm just anthropomorphizing.  But there's a part of me that just can't bear the thought of that poor goat, hungry and thirsty and hot...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Activeion wins again! (At least, partly)

Folks. Why didn't anyone remind me to try the Activeion FIRST to at least get the stain out of Butchie's piss-fest, if not at least part of the smell? What's that? I should have remembered myself? How could I, when I was so worried about my kitten-cakes?

No matter. I tried it tonight, since the stain remained on the mattress despite the three bottles of Febreze, as well as part of the stink. Naturally, the stain is gone. It smells weird now, though. I guess because of the ions? I'll wait until the water dries and see how it fared. Maybe I'll do it again, just in case. Good luck to me!

New lip gloss

Did you know... that the filling inside strawberry Starburst GummiBursts makes a flattering and tasty (and sticky) lip gloss? I'm going to use it the next time I have a make-out session.

Old lady shoes?

Do you think these are old lady shoes?

I asked two friends whose clothing style I trust, and one friend does and one friend doesn't. My mom would like them because they are more sensible than shoes I usually wear. My family would call them "school shoes", or "muffin feet." (That's a good thing because it means your feet look sweet). But who can resist leather Easy Spirit shoes at Kittery (regular price $69), for the low, low price of just $15, on clearance? Not me! I snatched them up.

Today is the second time I've worn them, and I am liking them more and more. They are comfy, supportive, and cute, with a charming flowery design on the sole, which would show up in sand or dirt I imagine. But I won't wear them in sand or dirt, so it's my little secret.

By the way, it turns out I am not a 9.5, or a 10. I am a 9W. My college friend finally convinced me, even though my mom has been telling me so for years. Basically, they said the same thing, in different words: "I told you! When you stop buying cheap shoes, you get ones that fit properly." And you know what? They were right!

Injections and infections

I'm finally able to bring myself to report on my very traumatic day on Monday. It was awful!

I've been feeling uncomfortable for about a week, so I peed on her bed (I guess it was a few times) to try to tell her. And her favorite t-shirt, as it was laying on the next laundry pile. I couldn't help it! It was the only way I could think of to get her attention. So yeah, she noticed. And she blocked us from the bedroom! I didn't think that was going to happen, but harrumph. That's my favorite place to sleep, too, you know. And she was all sniffly and sad-looking and talking about "not that old!", but I don't know what she is so worried about. I have lots of life in me yet!!!

So she shoved me into the rolling screened-in box and took me to that place… you know, the place with all the DOGS. Big clumsy oafs, with their slobbery tongues and bad breath and gigantic paws. Let meowt of there!

But it gets worse. Little T came with me in his picnic basket, and after waiting in that room with people and their DOGS, we entered a small room. But I know those metal tables! And people in white coats never make me happy.

After anal probing (they call it "temperature reading", whatever that is) they shined light in my eyes over and over and the white coat lady said something like, "handsome mumble mumble cataract mumbly star mumblejumble twelve mumbledom mumblestom." I finally had to shake my head to make her stop. Then she did some more poking and said something about a "a little bladder for me?" What torture. And poor T-baby. He had to go through the same thing. I think he clenched up even more than I did!

Finally, I was able to hide in the box again. But just when I thought it was over, White Coat Lady carried me off to the back room and well, I don't know how she did what she did, but after a moment of uncomfortableness I didn't have to pee anymore. She also stuck me with a long thing and out came dark stuff which she collected in a tube-y thing. I was sooo tired after, but glad to finally be on our way home.

Later, I tried to relax, but a big scary storm came, with loud booming and bright lights and flickering and eek! I ran under the sofa so I wouldn't have to see it and Twinkie jumped into the litter box, where he cowered a bit until she went into the bathroom and said something about "Blah blah blah inappropriate." So he sat under her chair quivering with his eyes closed until she picked him up while she sat the computer doing meow-only-knows-what. I was certainly not coming out until after the noise was over… which was for several hours. (Actually, it was quite boring under there. And I got hungry, so I came out for a snack during a quiet section. What can I say? I like to eat.)

Tuesday, she got the "results", which showed that I had some "bacteria" in my "urine", whatever that all means. Apparently, "antibiotics" will "take care of it." So yesterday, she picked them up… and reintroduced me to the "pill-shooter". Not exactly the best experience I've had. And these pills are huge! The ones I took for my leg had at least been quartered. And I have to be subjected to it for two whole weeks, twice a day! I have only one word for that – MEOW! If she thinks it's going to be easy for her, she has another think coming…

Signing off,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Approaching sell-by date?

Poor Butchie. 

And poor me!  Butch has been using my lovely new mattress and thick, fancy memory foam topper as a pissoir!  How many times he did it I'll never know, but woo-wee!  P. U.!!!  I used almost three full bottles of Febreze trying to make them new-smelling again.  Thankfully, I'm almost there.  But I kept the doors to other rooms closed yesterday and didn't allow them in at night in case they were planning on peeing again… on me! 

It was sooo hard to sleep without them, and my heart almost broke when I went to bed with Butchie and his handsome, fluffy self dolefully watching me out of his undamaged eye (the kittyract is back, and it's bigger than ever.  Btw, the vet who checked out his leg in Maine was very impressed with his thick coat and very good teeth for an old guy; no broken bones, arthritis, or cancer either.  And they were also fascinated with his star-shaped cataract.  I guess you never know what will interest a vet.)  And I felt worse when I got up this morning to find him in the exact same spot.

Anyway, although my babies are now 12, they are so sprightly and lively that it's hard for me to think they could be very close to the end.  I have been preparing myself for this since they were kittens, but I hate to see an uncomfortable animal.  Hopefully it is just an infection, not renal failure.  So I'm taking him to the vet this afternoon to find out.  I'll keep you posted. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

CC's foible #2734

Washing my clothes with fabric softener... for months!

To explain. On our way to Maine, my best college bud and I bought some laundry detergent for the cottage, All Small and Mighty, Wild and Fresh (like me, heh). While at the store, I wanted to show her a lovely scent I had found, a lemon verbena one. So I pointed it out. She pointed out right back to me that the bottle was actually fabric softener. Gasp! Had I been doing my laundry with fabric softener for almost 50 washes? I laughed and laughed. "Doubt it."

Then I thought more. "Hmm. Do I smell?" "Nope." I am sure one of my friends would have told me if I smelled funky enough to warrant investigation. In fact, I had been getting compliments on my (cheap!) perfumes recently (Pink from the Gap, and Pink Grapefruit from Bath and Body Works) so I was pretty sure I wasn't offending someone's delicate nose.

I wasn't so sure about recent laundries, though. But we were on our way to vacation, and so I thought nothing of it. She found a bottle of the right stuff anyway at a local store in Maine so it wasn't at the front of my mind. "Yeah, yeah! That's the one!!!"

Two weeks later, when I needed to do laundry again, I grabbed the new bottle (since we had left at my place in our haste to get to Vacationland). And I finally checked the older, nearly empty bottle... and she had been right. I had been doing my washing with softener! Guess I bought the wrong one. No wonder my clothes felt so nice...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A good weekend

I had a lovely Labor Day weekend. Although I had to miss my blogger meetup on Friday for a non-existent hurricane, I did other fun stuff.

Saturday I went to the beach at Revere (of all places) and enjoyed the warm water and 99% EMPTY beach! Then I stopped at the pool, had another shower (without becoming waterlogged), and went out to Denny's for burgers (mine with cheese and my parents' made of veggies). After, we dropped into Christmas Tree Shops where I picked up a pair of Pampered Toes Spa Therapy gel toe separators by the makers of Ped-Egg. Just three measly dollars. And they feel great! Don't you just love a bargain?

Sunday I went to a friend's and ate seafood and watched Surrogate on her fancy new tv with Bruce Willis. Well, not exactly with Bruce, but he was in the movie. Heh. I really liked it! I wanted to see it in the theatre but that never happened. But this was a very good movie-watching experience. We were all hooked up with a huge 43" flat screen, comfy sofa, popcorn, surround sound, and pillows. The only thing missing was a cat, as far as I'm concerned. Very fun.

Monday I made a bunch of beautiful paper bookmarks (laminated!), then pooled for an hour, then out to pizza, then out for a dessert donut, then raced back to choir practice and was a half hour late because I forgot it was Monday! Whoops.

Now it's Tuesday, and back to work. Busy week, too... the High Holy Days are nearly upon us, not to mention the start of school. Yowza!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer star

I love this.  Summer may be almost over, but the Vega star shines at its brightest and highest tonight.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Throwing errors

This has to be one of the most annoying phrases ever.  Technically, zeros and ones cannot throw anything.  Who made up throwing and catching, anyway?  There has to be a better set of words to describe exceptions within frameworks and platforms. I believe this phrase should never be used unless discussing actual, real-life actions with actual, real-life balls.  In fact, I find this phrase so intolerable that when someone uses it in my office, I feel the need to leave my desk for a short break.  Like this morning, bleh!
I looked it up, and the closest I could get (with the OED, natch) was definition #32b: "To put deftly into a particular form or shape; to express in a specified form (in speech or writing); to convert or change into some other form; to turn or translate into another language."
But the most recent usage they posted is from 1893!  Soc. Eng. Introd. 30 C├Ždmon..throws Scripture into metrical paraphrase."  And Javascript and other computer languages were not around then.  So sheesh, why not something like "disengage" or "commix"?  They sound a lot geekier than a sports term...