Monday, January 29, 2007

Let's Ride...

Her name is Awesome. Now if only it would effing snow in Tahoe already, I could ride Awesome! And THAT would BE really AWESOME.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Cat in my Apartment

We've been a family now for almost six months. AER, me, and The Cat. AER's cat.

The Fucking Cat...

The Cat wakes up right 6:00 AM every day. And he cries until one of us feeds him. "REER-REER-REER-REER..." Whoever suggested the onomatopoeia "Meow" is an idiot. The Cat's call for food sounds nothing like a cute "meow."

Each day, after breakfast at dawn, The Cat likes to go for a run around the apartment. Unlike me, The Cat is not so much an endurance athlete. No, there is no slow and steady for The Cat. The Cat is more of a sprinter. A track star, if you will. His specialty is the Feline High Jump. He runs and springs and clears obstacles like my desk. My nightstand. My bookshelf. And the television.

However like me, The Cat often runs into things. He breaks up his morning sprint around the apartment by running into walls. And doors. Also my bed. More than anything, The Cat crashes into my door. You know, my door that I have shut so I can go back to sleep. He crashes into it with his claws. Repeatedly. Scratching. And scratching and scratching.

Until he starts to whimper. The Cat whimpers and whines until AER or I wake-up and go into the living room. Not to feed him - he's already been fed. And not to get him water, as he has his own water fountain. The Cat whimpers and whines simply because he wants us to get out of bed.

And it is at this point that The Cat becomes a real pain in the ass.

Because as soon as one of us gets out of our beds, The Cat runs into either AER's or my bedroom. He then jumps onto the bed out of which one of us has just left. He plops himself onto the pillow on which we were just sleeping. And The Cat, himself, settles in, and goes to sleep.

The Fucking Cat!

The Cat is sitting next to me right now. He is just staring at me. Oh, how I wish I knew what he was thinking! Mysterious cat...

Tonight, when I arrived home from work, The Cat greeted me at the door. He can hear me coming down the hallway. And I can hear him scamper from his favorite chair (which coincidentally, is MY favorite chair) to the door. The Cat slides on our hardwood floors and flips onto his back. He comes to a stop inches from the front door, paws curled, belly exposed, and eyes wide, begging, "Scratch me!"

The Fucking Cat. So damn cute!

He follows me around the apartment as I put down my bag. Collect my mail. Cook dinner. If I've just come in from the gym, and I then change my clothes, The Cat gets comfortable atop my smelly workout gear. (He's particularly a fan of my stinky socks!) When I sit down at the table to read the mail or open my laptop, he jumps up onto my mail or laptop so that I cannot read anything.

And when I do win sitting rights in the chair, to crochet or watch television or to read a book, I often find The Cat is perched to my right on the armrest. I look at him, and he purrs. He crawls around and sits himself down right on my lap. He nuzzles his head into my arm and says, "If you didn't work, we could sit like this ALL DAY!"

The Cat. He loves me!

Sometimes I can't find The Cat. I often find myself panic a little when he disappears. Sometimes I even catch myself peering out the window to make sure he didn't fall out or anything. We have screens and we hardly ever have the windows open, but still, I worry. But deep down, I know I'll find him. And so I go looking... The Cat normally turns up quickly. Under my bed. Under my desk. Under my dresser. Inside my dresser. In my closet. Under my sink. In my shower...

The Cat is a lunatic!

Before I got to bed each night, I head to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. The Cat, sensing that it is time to go to sleep - meanders over to my bedroom. He looks around, tries to act natural. Pretends - just for a second - that he has no interest in jumping onto my bed. But sure enough, up he goes, and around he walks, settling himself right smack in the middle of where I intend to sleep.

He looks startled when I approach the bed. And he raises his eyes as I pull down the covers and request that he please, move OVER just a tad. I scratch his neck, and he obliges. Purring, he gives me a good night sniff. We play for a few minutes and he gnaws at my hand. He settles down and goes to sleep right next to me. Next to me - not AER. He's her cat, but he likes to sleep with me.

The Cat. I fucking LOVE this cat!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Beard Burn

My chin is kind of dry. And red. It's also a little sore. I look kind of silly, to be honest. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Light skin. Red chin...

Why is my chin so red?

Shit - I have beard burn!

Oh, that's SO good! Beard burn... Certainly NOT going to find any complaints about beard burn here.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

California Girl

Deep down, I'll always be an East Coast Girl. Particularly, one with roots in the Mid-Atlantic. I'll always walk at a quicker pace than the rest of the crowd. I'll always tell a story in half the time it takes my friend from Richmond, Virginia to relay it. I'll always roll my eyes at the cheesesteaks, pizza, and bagels sold in every state other than Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

But California - and in particular, San Francisco - has really rubbed off on me, I have to admit. Yesterday morning, I ordered an Avocado and Cheese omelette for breakfast. I just got back from running an errand and heard myself mutter, "It's effing COLD out!" (Please note that the outside temperature is 48 degrees.)

Furthermore, I've noticed that I no longer jump crosswalks. Why start crossing the street without the walk signal, just to risk getting hit by a car in order to cut 5 seconds from my travel time? Time is on my side! What's the rush? According to my new outlook, everything gets done. Eventually.

Believe it or not, I roughly drove my car no more than fifteen times in 2006, and 5 of those times were when my family came to visit me. (1 - To SFO, 2 - To Ocean Beach, 3 - From Ocean Beach, 4 - To Napa, 5 - From Napa.) Also during the past year, I received 2 parking tickets ($80) and was once towed ($300). Add in $1000 for car insurance, and the hours spent circling for a parking spot, and it is very easy to conclude that owning my very own car is far from priceless.

So I'm selling! I spent today scheduling appointments for people to check out my car, which I recently posted as FOR SALE on SF

Once I sell, I'm going to take the funds buy a road bike and a snowboard. A trade-in that my co-worker, also an East Coast transplant, says completes my transformation from a Philly Hoe (kidding!) to a California Girl...

Sounds good to me, but I think I forgot to start surfing, so I'll get working on that.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Getting back into the swing of blogging this week, and what do you know, I've been tagged! (Walchka!)I have a meeting in a half hour, but let's see if I can get this done...

The Book Survey

1. Find the nearest book. (OK...)
2. Name the book & the author. (Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris)
3. Turn to page 123. (OK...)
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
"When the holidays rolled around I used to rent a moving van and drive into the city, snatching up every bright new extravagance that caught my eye. Our twin sons, Taylor and Weston, could always count on the latest electronic toy or piece of sporting equipment. Beth might receive a riding vacuum cleaner or a couple pair of fur-lined jeans and those were just the stocking stuffers!"
5. Tag three more folks. - I'll take volunteers...

The A-B-C Survey

A-Available or Single? Always...
B-Best Friend? AER, my roommate.
C-Cake or Pie? Pie. With ice cream.
D-Drink of choice? Red wine.
E- Essential Item? Cell phone.
F-Favorite color? Red.
G-Gummi Bears or worms? Bears. Orange ones.
H-Hometown? Newtown, PA - outside of Philadelphia!
I-Indulgence? Lately - snowboarding.
J-January or February? February! Birthday!
K-Kids & names? One day, 2 boys and a girl. Or three boys. Perhaps Kyle, Regan, and... Well, I guess the father should be able to weigh in, so I'll only pick two.
L-Life is incomplete without? Laughing.
M-Marriage Date? Not sure I'll get married...
N-Number of siblings? 1 - The Brother
O-Oranges or Apples? Oranges. Unless we're talking pie.
P-Phobias/Fears? Open water swimming.
Q-Favorite Quote"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot
R-Reason to smile? I'm going to see Justin Timberlake tonight!
S-Season? Fall. Fall in San Francisco...
T-Tag three people: Volunteers?
U-Unknown fact about me: Like I'm going to share that?
V-Veggie I hate: Broccoli.
W-Worst Habit? I say "sorry" too much.
X-X-rays you've had? Arms, legs, teeth...
Y-Your favorite food? Ice cream.
Z-Zodiac? Pisces.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Warming Up

Here's a surprise - I'm not too fond of doing things that I'm not good at. Hold the phone, I know. I really hate being bad at anything, so quite often, I just completely avoid those things that I'm bad at.

Enter The Year of Yes, and I can no longer run from these deficiencies. These perceived weaknesses.

Yes, in The Year of Yes, not only am I putting on a bathing suit - more than once a week! - I am also donning a cap and goggles. I'm jumping into the pool. Taking a breath, going under, and pushing off. I kick and crawl and flip and turn... And to date, I haven't drowned.

It's not that I can't swim. I spent a good few years on a swim team when I was growing up. Practicing twice a day - 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Diving in, swimming laps, and getting out. Diving in, swimming laps, and getting out. Staring at the black line, waiting for the "T", and then doing a somersault. Staring at the black line again.

The fact that I'm willingly subjecting myself to the monotony of swimming is appauling.

And the fact that I just might be warming up to it... well, that's just an example of what can happen when you start saying YES.

Today's Stats:
Type: Swim
Distance: 1 Mile
Time: Too long...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hope and Tonic

The results are in - I have been receiving treatment for major depression for nearly three months, now: and I feel better. Happy, good. Therapy - in all its shapes and forms - truly is ameliorative.

Unfortunately, I'm still exhausted, and my doctors weren't pleased. So it was back to the blood work. And as it turns out, I have subclinical hypothyroidism. I've read various articles that report as many as 10% - 20% of women have subclinical hypothyroidism; however most cases have no or very mild symptoms. Other research I've encountered is more alarming.

In one study, researchers found that subclinical hypothyroidism may increase the occurrence of depression. And in another article, I read how both subclinical hypothyroidism and major depression share a common physiological basis: triiodothyronine and L-tryptophan. Triiodothyronine, also referred to as T3 , is a hormone produced by the thyroid. L-tryptophan is a chemical present in the brain and a precursor to the manufacture of serotonin. Lower availability of L-tryptophan results in lower levels of serotonin in the brain - yes, the dreaded, "chemical imbalance."

Findings show that both T3 and L-tryptophan appear to be taken up by the same portion of red blood cells in the brain. And studies based on these finding suggest that taking a thyroid hormone replacement to treat subclinical hypothyroidism in addition to antidepressants speeds recovery of depression.

So that's the plan. I am now taking a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is a synthetic derivative of thyroxine, also referred to as T4. Taking the medication should normalize the levels of TSH, T4, and T3 in my bloodstream. I take this new medication every morning. And luckily, it's available in a generic form, so it will only cost me $10 a month. (And believe me, I never thought I'd be complaining about prescription drugs at 26...)

It may take up to six weeks for my symptoms improve while taking a thyroid hormone replacement. However I should expect moderate weight loss (yes!), less puffiness (yes-yes!), improved pulse (no complaints!), improvements in anemia (woo hoo!), less dry skin (nice!), thicker hair (very nice!), and lower LDL cholesterol (fantastic!).

Levothyroxine - please, start making miracles happen! Because I simply cannot wait to not always be so tired. There is just so much I want to do. And I don't want to sluggishly experience any of it! I want to be alert and energetic and excited! And I'm hopeful that I will be. Thank you modern medicine!

And thank you, Orison Swett Marden. I'm not quite sure where I originally found this quote, but it seems rather apropos at the moment.

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” - Orison Swett Marden