Wednesday, January 31, 2007
  i totally randomly came across this picture

pestulent poser, originally uploaded by Mr. Mark.

i was doing a search for "dad" in someone's photostream... and somehow.. i got to most interesting pictures tagged "dad" for everyone. this was match #1.

i think it be cute.

  A Hummer in a TGI Friday’s parking lot

I thought, “Could there be anything more sad?” as I drove by.

Then I noticed the second Hummer.

Monday, January 29, 2007

at work today, we all said, "it may be cold out, but, ha ha, at least the air conditioning isn't on today." see, it was on friday when we were all cold.

well, then the air came on.

it's 63 degees outside.

and they expect me to not use my space heater. oh, okay, i'll get right on that.

so the rest of the weekend was fine. yesterday i slept in, then took the dog for a jog.. for 90 minutes! i had to take advantage of the cool weather, see. we went on the beach for a while. sebastian loved it - after all, we never get to chase seagulls at night. it was perfect outside! and my sebastian is such a good boy on the jogs. he's my little buddy.

i neglected homework this weekend, but it's okay since i did a lot of it last week. it was more of a boating-talking (poor Chris!)-enjoying-the-dogs weekend. now back to counting down until the next weekend...

Sunday, January 28, 2007
  long boat ride today
what a gorgeous day for a boat ride! seriously! sunny and breezy and cool and perfect. :)

me on the boat, workin' on that 365 project while steering

i took the helm the whole way to dania.

while chris chilled. ain't that always the way it goes? ;)

chris on the boat

we met squid & mary for a couple of drinks while captain bob played the geetar at this place, the boat house. it was nice. i had two coronas, and was all tipsy by the time we left. who's a wimp? :)

chris drove on the way home.

chris at the helm

i shivered and tried to figure out how i could fit my whole body into my jacket. got everything in there but the feet!

we ate fluffernutters.

eatin' a fluffernutter

they were finger-lickin' good. (actually, they were just alright, but i like this pic.)

mmm, good sammich

sunset off the boat

we got to watch the sun set over the water.

it was really quite pretty.


i got day 4's picture for my 365 photo project. i skipped yesterday, sadly.. it was 8 minutes past midnight when i realized i hadn't taken a picture.

me drivin' das boot

so yeah, that was that.. we went all the way down to hollywood and back. gorgeous day. can't wait to show my family this pretty state i live in. :)


Friday, January 26, 2007
  trite thought time

Japanese Lesson Time, originally uploaded by ZenzenOK.

but still valid -

isn't it a little unfair to be dealing with acne and worrying about wrinkles at the same time? i submit that it is.

i have a bad habit of assessing my aging lines in the rearview in traffic, but can soothe most of my worries by reminding myself that people often guess i'm younger than i am. just a few weeks ago, the 19-year-old at work guessed i was.... 22! or 23! sweet!

but the acne? i'm over it. i'm not quite sure what i do to piss my skin off so bad, but obviously it's something. then again, maybe it's just hormones, and what can you do about that?

Thursday, January 25, 2007
  math test = not so bad

we'll see what i actually GET on it though.. (i'm always forgetting negative signs and stupid shit like that, so who knows.)

anyway, i got a snap of the parking garage roof last night! not bad, right? i did my hour-long running-stairs-dips-pushups routine there again last night.

the funny part was when i was crossing an intersection at street level and some lady in a truck who was stopped at a stop sign, with apparent intentions to turn onto the intersection where i was running.. well, she started to go. this would have involved me having to halt mid-street in order to not get HIT. obviously, this is not going to happen; i demand decency, dammit! so i paused and made a "see the crosswalk i'm in?" gesture, a la vanna white. she stopped again, halfway through her turn, made a mean face, and.. well, she didn't quite REV her engine at me, but more like.. stepped on the gas pedal, pissed off. because i didn't think it was right to either stop in the middle of the street to let someone who had a STOP SIGN go, and come within five feet of me... or get hit by a car. god, i have some nerve!

i found this quite ridiculous. manners! where have they gone?

anyway, one of people in my class had what was maybe an anxiety attack in class. couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see… my professor stood by heavy-sighing and impatiently waiting for security to come help her, like he didn’t have time for any of this. what an ass.

i got into bed at 10:30 last night, freshly showered and ready to watch seinfeld. sadly, i fell asleep halfway through the episode...

  how cute is my girlsssss?

she always lays like this - it's so cute
Originally uploaded by estacey.
she lays all stretched out like this a lot. it's quite cute.

truly a lap cat! any takers? :)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
  Praise the Spanish
They are going to standardize clothing sizes.
Men: do you have any idea how frustrating it is to never know your clothing size because each brand varies so much? I've figured out a pattern, at least: the higher-end the clothes, the larger your size will be, and vice-versa. I feel like a skinny bitch when I'm shoppin' at Old Navy. :) Not so much when I find a pair of DKNY jeans at the thrift store, though...
And the Spanish are also going to phase out using smaller-than-size-8 clothes in window displays. I guess this is to battle the belief that this model here is the feminine ideal. 'Cause, ya know, whoa, that is not attractive.


my birthday gift! billy joel tickets!
Originally uploaded by estacey.
So the birthday, although my 29th, on a Tuesday, and on a night before a dental appointment and a math exam (ha!), turned out to be not.. too.. shabby! Chris showed up at home with armfuls of flowers and tiramisu. We ordered Thai To Go. We watched The Simpsons & Seinfeld holdin’ hands. Chris chased Sebastian around the house and made me happy.

Before Chris got home, we were talking on the phone and he asked if I had gotten my gift yet. “Gift?” (For the record, he already gave me a gift, two weeks ago!) “Yeah, on the kitchen island. A re-gift.” I walked into the kitchen, where I saw the bag that I knew contained a bottle of Jack Daniels. “Oh, wonderful – I’m getting whiskey!” Instead, inside I found a picture of us Chris had printed and framed, along with my Winnie the Pooh “You’re 2(9)!” card, which contained my…..


He’s in concert here in February, and I wanted to go so bad. Sadly, the tickets went on sale on, like, December 29th. This was when my bank account was in the red, so I couldn’t buy the tickets. Every day since, I’ve been hitting “Snooze” on my Outlook alarm to “Buy Billy Joel tix!” while kind of avoiding it because I figured they were sold out by now. And I was right – he had to pay twice face value of the tickets so we wouldn’t get nosebleeds. How’s that for sweet?

I’m really excited. I’ve loved Billy Joel forever, and he’s one of the very few folks I’d like to see in concert (others: Dixie Chicks, Beatles – heh).

Then Chris helped me understand something that was frustrating me in math. After he went to bed, I got back to work on my math with Oreo purring on my lap.


Before I went to sleep myself – well after midnight, with the alarm set for 6:30 – I took another look at my birthday card (“Pooh thinks twoenty-nine is a fun thing to do!”) and had to smile at what a sweetheart I’ve managed to find for myself. :)

By the way, that picture up there is the first of a 365 project I am going to try to do. A picture of me, every day, until I turn 30! In a year. I’m turning 30 in a year. Jesus.
  introducing - the mamey

mamey, originally uploaded by estacey.

i got a few of these at work last week. i had to do some detective work to find out what they were - they were hard as a rock and looked like a potato on the outside! it turns out they are mamey.

the taste? like a pear, but made of brown sugar. it's no jackfruit, but still pretty good.

that concludes the exotic fruit knowledge portion of today's blog entries. :)

  I’m always almost killing stuff, on accident.

tiny tiny snail, originally uploaded by estacey.

Like every time I take a shower at my house, there’s always at least one spider who has taken advantage of my absence and spun a web by the drain. I really have to implement a catch-and-release program in my bathroom one of these days.

Also, whenever I take the tortoises’ dish in to wash it, sometimes I forget to check for snails that like to attach themselves to the bottom. I almost washed this guy down the drain last night before I saw him. Once I carefully picked him off the dish, I had to take pictures – he was so TINY and perfect.

  happy hump day :)

big hair, originally uploaded by Least Wanted.

first exam in math tonight. wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
  good morning, good morning
(someone just watched singin' in the rain for her film class.)

so today i am 29. doesn't feel so different than yesterday.

i was 10 minutes late for work, and when i got here i made some coffee, then ripped open a pack of sugar while holding open the garbage can to toss in the empty packet. instead, i dumped the packet of sugar in the garbage can. at least i didn't try to stir it in.

this painting amuses me.

so far, i have been quite good about my new year's resolutions. the healthy eating basically goes out the window on the weekends, but hey. also, sticking to only spending $100 a week is much easier when your boyfriend buys your $30 dinner at bahia cabana.

one thing i definitely can claim for doing on my own is the exercising. i am trying really hard to not allow myself to excuse myself out of doing anything. i'm busy, yes, but that doesn't mean staying healthy should be thrown by the wayside. so last night, after tending to oreo and the bunny, after feeding and petting the dogs, after getting all my shit together to go home, after waiting for chris in the driveway so i could give him a goodbye kiss, after going to the store and driving home, after swiffering the whole house because it smelled like a wild animal had gotten in the house (the proof was the dirty paw marks on my toilet seat), after scrubbing my bedroom floor numerous times with resolve, febreze, and peppermint soap, after wanting to give up on math about five times because it made no sense but sticking with it because i have to get through this class, after doing laundry... it was 10 p.m. and i went for a jog anyway. an hour-long jog that involved dips, crunches, lunges, and pushups. ooh, and the plank! then i showered, watched seinfeld while working on speech, and finally got to sleep around 1 a.m.

so.. so far, at least in that regard, i'm pretty proud of myself.
i'm still patiently waiting to see a real change in my body from all this.. the scale doesn't move much, but i am somehow slightly less depressed when i look in the mirror these days.. i can't figure out if that's a physical change or just one of attitude, though.
in any case, healthy is more important than hot. a point of which i have to remind myself. :)

on another subject, my kitten amuses the hell out of me.
she kept following me around the house last night. bedroom, kitchen, bathroom - she was always there. staring. then this morning, even better - she was sitting all of two feet away from me, on the other side of the shower curtain... facing away from me. cats are so weird. so hot/cold (at the same time).

okay, no mas babbling!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
  Shark Valley
We went to Shark Valley yesterday, which is a part of Everglades National Park. I had done it a few years back and really have been wanting to get back to the Everglades.. Getting to actually get a little bit of bike riding in on top of getting to go to the Everglades is just awesome. So anyway, here are some pictures!


We noticed from the road that they were doing some burning (prescribed burning, we later found out).

there was a fire!

chris taking a picture
Chris took a picture of me.

I did the classic Chris-in-pictures face.

me doing the chris-in-pics face

The sky looked strange, from the burning.

chris, sky


This anhinga was doing all sorts of weird calls and contortions.

We saw tiny baby alligators.. They make cute little baby noises. Who knew little reptiles could be so cute?

tiny baby alligators

I wanted to hold one so bad. However, I practiced restraint, mostly out of fear of getting caught. :) (I mean, after all, these alligators live within five feet of tourists from Iowa their whole lives; it's not as if me holding one or tickling its scaly little belly is going to affect its impression of humans.)

It was, like, Lesbian Day at Shark Valley, so Chris figured he'd give all the ladies something to ogle.

chris's plumber's ass, for the ladies

heron or egret or something


this was the SUN.

The sun looked mighty weird. We could look at it. You shouldn't be able to LOOK at the sun. Many references to the apocalypse were made.

chris & me at the lookout

On top of the lookout, me shiny, Chris smiling. Note matching cutoff shirts. :D



These kids were funny.

bratty kids

As they rode by, the brother was like, "C'mon, hurry up - don't you want to be STRONG?" "No, I don't want to be strong!" the little girl screamed back, so so mad. He hurried along ahead of her. She yelled, "SHOW-OFF!" It made me want to go out and adopt a couple of eight-year-olds.


Alligator, you do not scare me. Unless, of course, you look like you may even maybe just a little may be aimin' to move anytime soon.

from the lookout tower

It was quite pretty. I was wishing the whole time that I had brought the good camera, but having my big, precious camera around my neck on a 15-mile bike ride didn't seem like a hugely appealing idea. Luckily, I realized early on that to get good pictures of the sky's colors, I only had to focus on the sky, then (while still holding down the release button) frame my shot. This picture would have been mighty bland had I let the camera focus on what you see above.

On the seven miles back, we only saw two other people, so we had the whole thing to ourselves more or less. It was really nice. And we saw lots of birds, including roseate spoonbills. You can see the gorgeous pink birds in this picture if you look close.


pretty sky

So yeah, it was a nice time. :) And it smelled so good out there. Like trees and plants. Just what I needed. :) :) :)

dean's new shirt., originally uploaded by estacey.

dean never fails to disappoint.

Friday, January 19, 2007
  eating healthy is such a challenge..!

working where i work is hard, originally uploaded by estacey.

especially when you have to pass THIS to get your morning coffee!


flying!, originally uploaded by estacey.

  ok, this is ridiculous

count the black & white cats!, originally uploaded by estacey.

There are two black & white kittens at the PetsMart. And three grown-up black & white cats. One black kitten, one black cat, one calico, one tabby manx kitten, one grey & white cat.

That means almost half of the cats there are black & white. No wonder little Oreo didn’t get adopted quickly; too much competition!

Thursday, January 18, 2007
  Song download

If you still are doin’ that for free, check out The Chieftains’ “The Foggy Dew” with Sinead O’Connor.  Actually, the whole “Long Black Veil” album is pretty good.  I’ve known this song for a decade, but in the past few days can’t stop listening to it… Love those drums.  And Cueball’s voice.  :)  And everything else in the song.


Ireland has brought us some good goddamn stuff, huh?

  mmm, now i want to try a durian.

it's that time!, originally uploaded by AraiGordai.

From Wikipedia:

Writing in 1856, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace provides a much-quoted description of the flavour of the durian:

"A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy."

Wallace cautions that "the smell of the ripe fruit is certainly at first disagreeable"; more recent descriptions by westerners can be more graphic. The English novelist Anthony Burgess famously said that dining on durian is like eating vanilla custard in a latrine.

Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:

"... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia."

The unusual odour has prompted many people to search for an accurate description. Comparisons have been made with the civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray, and used surgical swabs. The wide range of descriptions for the odour of durian may have a great deal to do with the wide variability of durian odour itself. Durians from different species or clones can have significantly different aromas, and the degree of ripeness has a great effect as well. In fact, three scientific analyses of the composition of durian aroma — from 1972, 1980, and 1995 — each found a different mix of volatile compounds, including many different organosulfur compounds, with no agreement on which may be primarily responsible for the distinctive odour.

This strong odour can be detected half a mile away by animals, thus luring them. In addition, the fruit is extremely appetising to a variety of animals, from squirrels to mouse deer, pigs, orangutan, elephants, and even carnivorous tigers. While some of these animals eat the fruit and dispose of the seed under the parent plant, others swallow the seed with the fruit and then transport it some distance before excreting it, the seed being dispersed as the result. The thorny armored covering of the fruit may have evolved because it discourages smaller animals, since larger animals are more likely to transport the seeds far from the parent tree.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
  random picture to accompany post

land of the black flip-flops
Originally uploaded by estacey.

pheeeeeeeew, i'm wiped out!

first, let me say how much i hate fluctuating hormones.

why? because the following story would not end the way it does if it weren't for the hormones.

today i left work at 4:30 for my 5:00 class. a bit late, yes, but i have to make up any time i miss, so i am trying to leave as late as possible. i should have left at 4:20, i was thinking.

i drive-drive-drive. traffic isn't so bad, but i still don't get downtown until right around 5. no problem, i think; i'll have to hurry and will just be a few minutes late to class.

that's before i realized i had to park on the 7th floor. if you have a decal, you don't have to pay to park in this garage, but only on the rooftop level. had i known how long it took to drive up seven floors, i would have just paid the $4 and parked on the first level.

so, i drive-drive-drive up the parking ramps.

get to the top. park car. where the fuck are the elevators? oh, on the other side of the garage... so then when i get off the elevator on the street level, i am in a.. courtyard? with restaurants around? where the fuck am i? i start walking, hoping desperately to recognize something. then i spot a lady and ask where las olas is. that way, she points. i walk that way.

then i get to the fau/bcc building.. then i remember there are two. they don't look anything alike, really - one is about twice as tall as the other - but you can't tell that from street level. plus, i had been in BOTH buildings last week.

i try to find my syllabus to figure out where the class is.. then i discover my SEALED kombucha had somehow come open and had spilled on EVERYTHING - my bag, my books, my papers.

i went inside the bcc/fau building to ask for help, but no one was at the desk, so i took a seat on the couch there. by this time, i was sweaty from running everywhere in jeans and 80-degree muggy heat, lugging a purse, a bag, and my sweater around. i was late for class. MATH class. and i had questions on the homework! and the teacher had warned us about being late! and i had no idea how to get to class! and i had kombucha on everything! and why did i have to park on the 7th floor when i passed by about 500 open spots on levels 2-6??? at this point, i totally started crying. bawling. my god, i am such a crybaby. i wanted to just forget it and go home so bad. but, dammit, math is a requirement; i can't just forget it and go home.

so instead i used a newspaper to soak up the kombucha from my things and went to the other building. i asked the guy at THAT front desk if he knew where my class was. luckily (for him and for me), he found out where the class was for me. so into math class i went, my face bright red and my eyes puffy from crying. at least the teacher didn't give me a hard time for coming in late. you can't pick on a chick who's already crying, yo.

at 5:30. (yes, it took an HOUR to go 7.6 miles.)

luckily, the rest of class was fine. he even let us out early. i went up to the 7th floor and changed into workout clothes and ran loops around the rooftop (great wind!) followed by a run down the stairs, a loop around the two parking garages on the street level, then a run UP the seven flights of stairs. i did really well the first time. a few of these later, and i was huffing and puffing regularly by the 4th floor. on my last go-round, i started moaning and groaning by the 2nd floor. the SECOND floor! it was an excellent workout, though; i don't know the last time i've felt winded or sore after a jog, and i certainly was tonight...

and it's good, because it's helping to prove to myself that i CAN balance exercise with everything else; i just have to make a requirement, rather than optional in my mind. and tonight it was, what, an extra hour after class? big deal, especially considering the teacher let us out :50 early!

also, i spent the whole jog trying to memorize where buildings were in relation to one another. "first wachovia, then regions bank, then bank of america.." maybe next time i'll have more of a clue of where i am downtown. and if not, i'm coming prepared - i'm getting a map!

anyway, post good jog and cool breezy ride home, my mood is back to veh-coo. normal. happy. not freaking out about seven floors of parking ramps. i realized this when i caught myself singing ac/dc's "shook me all night long" to the cats tonight. they put up with it even though they much prefer whitesnake because i was simultaneously dishing them up their wet food treat.

i realized something else: i've been hanging out with dogs too much. how do i know this? well. once about a week ago and again tonight, as i've gone to give them their half-a-can-of-wet-food-on-individual-plates treat, i've authoritatively commanded them to, "SIT!" before i set it on the ground. as IF that is ever going to work on a cat. instead, kitten just stood on her hind legs and batted the plate down. i guess that works too. hopefully gretchey doesn't figure out that one. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
  Poor Sebastian

c'mon, lady
Originally uploaded by estacey.
I got the leash out last night and then took pictures. He was about ready to LOSE HIS MIND and was biting at the leash as I snapped this photo.

I’ve been taking the puppers jogging lately, almost always Sebastian. I tried to take Gretchey last week, so gave Sebastian a pig’s ear and put Gretchey on the leash, only then she went and stole the pig ear and Sebastian ran inside and started doing the let’s-go-jog dance on the floor. So, yeah, he’s made it clear – he’s the runner of that dog family.

We run around the neighborhood, then past the Intercoastal restaurants (Taverna Opa, Charley’s Crab), then used to do a big loop around where we ran by the condo I used to live in and back into Chris’s neighborhood through the brain center thing (Byron, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Then I decided to start taking him on the beach, in a few blocks south of Oakland and out at El Mar. We’ve only gone running there a few times, but it’s SO NICE. There are no people around, no other doggies’ smells around to make Sebastian linger and stop me dead in my tracks.. Once in a while, he'll spot a coconut to sniff at or chases sandpipers in the dark, but there's a whole lot less distraction than on A1A Plus, running on the beach is a lot more taxing than running on the pavement, so I would deduce that it’s a better workout.

Last night, the water was gorgeous and the breeze was blowing and the stars were out. I ran for an hour. If I can just keep this up 3-4 days a week, as I have been doing.. That will be good stuff.

Then last night, Chris made Boca burgers & mashed potatoes (traditional family recipe), I snuggled with Oreo a whole lot, then I went home to snuggle with the other felines in my life. Kitten stood on the scale in the bathroom the entire time I was showering & getting ready this morning and watched. She loves me.

I got great news – my sister Kamille is visiting in March, with her two daughters, Amanda & Macy Mae. I am so so so looking forward to that! :)

chris & gretchey
Originally uploaded by estacey.

how cute is this picture? chris is such a good doggy papa.

i'm still having a hard time figuring out my camera. this picture is very nice, but today i took a bunch of pictures for a conference at work and they're all really dark. i tried messing with the ISO and everything, and they're all DARK. it's frustrating.

i'm testing flickr's new posting options, so bear with me...

Monday, January 15, 2007
  Someone has a case of the Mondays!
I've been bad about updating this lately. Busy and/or not in the mood, I suppose.
It seems I have had absolutely no energy the past couple of weekends, this one worse than last. I blame the hormones. And the allergies. It sucks, though; we only have so much time off in a week. To be dragging through the whole weekend just sucks.

The good part is that I finished my first speech, and I got 25/25 points on it!
And I was EARLY to class. Yes, me, early! To a 9 a.m. Saturday class, even.

I'm now enrolled in four classes, three of them online. I was feeling a little overwhelmed this weekend, trying to get all the information organized that I will need to juggle these classes, but I think it'll be okay.

Wanna know how much Chris rocks? Let me count the ways.

1. Oreo is at his house. He goes in the garage and lets her sit in his lap and happy-paw his legs to shreds. I felt just awful for making her stay in that cage at the PetsMart, so this is awesome. Awesome of Chris. Awesome for Oreo. I just hope I can make this work out for everyone.

2. He gave me my birthday gift early.

3. He cooked, um, everything we ate this weekend. I guess my little trick the last time I tried to cook, when I burned the French toast.. well, I guess it worked. ;) ("Never let Stacey near a hot stove again"!)

4. He's patient and cute and generous and.. well, about all the good adjectives you can think of. :) This weekend was definitely one that reminded me of what a good boy he is.

So anyway, time to drag myself to his place and see if I can muster the energy to take little Sebastiones on a jog. Then I have to do MATH. Yick.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
  Welcome back, Oreo
Thursday night when I went to see Oreo, she broke my heart. She was happy to get up on my lap, but was so so so angry, at me, at the other cats.. She even scratched me. Thankfully I was wearing my face mask or she would've gotten me there. Getting her back in the cage was a challenge.

It was obvious there would be no way she'd get adopted being grumpy and scratching.

Plus, she's getting fat. Can you imagine living all but a couple of hours a week in a little cage?

Chris said, why don't you bring her to my place? I can't let her inside here, which is a problem. And I could never bring my cats here if she were here because they're scared of her. Also, George gets to live outside most of the time and I don't want Oreo to attack her.

But Oreo was weighing on my mind a lot, so today after class I went to PetsMart and got her. She's in the big garage now, where she has lots of hiding spots. I took her outside on the harness. She hates the dogs so I took her down to the dock, where the dogs can't go. She seemed happy. After a week or two, after she figures out that her food is here, I'm hoping I can let her outside. I'm hoping to get her used to the dogs. I'm hoping to make sure she won't eat George. (So far, she seems really curious about him but also scared, so I think that's a good sign - she doesn't see him as lunch!)

Bless Chris, right? Such a good boy.

I'll keep looking for a home for her, someone who maybe has a yard and wouldn't mind a cat that likes her freedom and also loves your lap.

The dogs are terribly interested in her. Ahh, the dogs. Last night, Chris worked late so I let Sebastian in to keep me company. The other two, well.. you have to babysit them to make sure they don't eat a couch cushion or knock over the Christmas tree (yes, it's still up). Sebastian is real chill; he just sits with me on the couch and sighs happily.

The other two dogs last night, though, were laying on a chair and staring at me and Sebastian in our cozy couch bliss. I eventually felt guilty enough that I brought them out some treats and realized that the both of them had TEARS RUNNING DOWN THEIR FACES. Dogs cry, apparently. At that point, I broke and let them all in and it was a nightmare. Then Chris called to say he was on his way home so I had to usher them all outside - quickly! Hehehe.

First day of Speech today. Not so bad. And no more meetings until February. :)
Friday, January 12, 2007
  seriously tho
wtf is wrong with people?!

Access over 1 million songs - Yahoo! Music Unlimited.
  Mind-Boggling Conversation of the Day
"How can I help you today?"

"I want to pay for a class."

"Okay. You want to pay for a class?"

"Yeah, I just registered and now I need to pay."

"You need to pay for a class?"


"You registered already?"

"Uh huh."

"You mean.. you need to pay for the $35 fee to take the class?"

[At this point, I realize she thinks I'm saying "CLAST" which is a test you have to take prior to getting your A.A.]

"No, no, no - a CLASSSSS. C-L-A-S-S. You know, a COURSE."

"You said you wanted to pay for a "TEST" and now you're telling me a class?"

"I never said test. I want to pay for a class. Oh my god."
Thursday, January 11, 2007

We all have them, don't we?

I've been kinda figuring mine out over the past couple of weeks.

Of course, the old standby - improve my health. I've been a bit better at exercising & a lot better at eating right (save for yesterday morning's Dunkin Donuts coffee & last night's Pollo Tropical.. mmm, fried plantains.. what can I say, I had a weak day.. oh, and pumpkin pie this past weekend).. Still not ideal on the exercising, since I'd like to be doing an hour daily. I went running every weekday after work last week, but this week I went Monday night, then Tuesday night I was in a beyond-sour mood, last night was the first night of Math.... Ah well. I'll keep trying to improve, and I guess that's all I can really do; back on the horse, again and again. Tonight, again, with the horse - a jog before cat duty. My plan is to bring tennis shoes to math class so afterwards I can use the seven flights of stairs to get to my car as an advantage - do 45 minutes of huffing & puffing up and down them and still be home by 8:30 or so.

You know I like to read, but I can go months without finishing a book - it seems there are always more pressing things to do. But, dammit, no more. I am going to MAKE TIME for reading.So far I have finished two books this year. I hope to keep that going, and finish a couple each month from now on, provided that I find something good.... Suggestions?

This isn't a by-choice resolution; I've done some hard thinking. Ideally, I'd get a car with a/c before summertime. Ideally, I'd move closer to work/Chris to make that whole annoyance go away ("Where's my belt?" "Where is my nail polish?" "Where are those one pair of shoes?" The answer is: at the house where I'm NOT, so retrieving them would be an hour-plus endeavor.)And, you know, I don't make much, but I make a helluva lot more than some people so there's no reason I should be driving a 12-year-old car AND be living with a roommate AND still have nothing in the bank. Two of the three, okay, but not three of the three! So I'm putting myself on a severe financial diet. I get $160 per paycheck for gas and food and birthday gifts and $4 kombucha tea and new clothes and cat food and everything else. Everything else not paid out in bills stays in the bank. Forbidding anything bad & expensive happening, I should be able to save several hundred dollars each month. But sadly, even with tightening the belt, I think the living and automobilic situations will have to stay as-is for now, due to my next resolution...

I resolve to work hard and get it done with! Although I have nearly 60 credits at BCC, I am still 87 credits away from my degree of choice at FAU. How is that possible, when Bachelor's typically are 120ish-credit deals? Poor-slash-no planning on my part. All those great electives I took? I should have taken different ones. Nothing I can do now about it, of course, except plod ahead.Luckily, a lot of classes I need to take at FAU are offered online at BCC. BCC costs half as much, approximately. Online classes are great. So I am going to take as many classes as I can at BCC, and finish it all up at FAU. So here I am, in two classes this semester, and trying to talk two other teachers into letting me register late for their classes so I can get some more classes over and done with and maybe finish with everything by 2009. Ha ha ha ha! And that will involve taking 5-6 classes per semester! Yeesh!So anyway, to bring it back to finances, I have to pay everything myself unless I am officially accepted to a program at FAU, which I can be in the fall (as long as they let me continue to take classes at BCC simultaneously).. Until then, everything is outta my pocket. So I must save! save! save! for my summer classes and books. And probably after that, too, although I'm doubting the Civic will last until 2009!

Also, I would like to eat more raw food. I would like to be better about getting Birthday cards to folks before their birthdays. Oh yeah, and saving some $ each month towards Christmas so it's not a huge financial hit in December.

So anyway, this is the plan for my year. :) How about y'all?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
  Angela's Ashes
Reading this book, Angela’s Ashes, which I found on one of Chris’s bookshelves.

I honestly wanted to stop reading soon after I started; it’s so sad, the fact that it’s real makes it a story you don’t want to have to face. I keep getting this feeling, like.. that kids/poor people/poor kids back then, in an unfortunate place such as Ireland.. the way they were treated.. it’s the same way animals are sometimes treated nowadays. I wonder if that makes any sense. I feel like people look the other way much too often when it comes to animals and the way they are treated, whether it’s their neighbor’s dog tied-up outside day and night, or looking the other way when you see a scrawny kitten on the street. In Angela’s Ashes, it’s that way for kids too. Kids went to school barefoot, even in the cold, because their parents couldn’t afford shoes. They went hungry, with only some daily bread & tea to sustain them. They daydream of getting something as wonderful as an egg. An egg! The sad part is that there were people to help them.. How could teachers see their students come to school each day, shivering and starving, and not spend their last penny until they had some food? Or shoes? How could you not help your neighbor, if you were able?

Anyway, the story is not all sad-sad-sad. Frank McCourt writes the story from his childhood perspective, when it seems he didn’t realize things were as bad as they really.

This passage last night made my eyes fill up with tears; I thought I would share.

…and then remember that if I die tonight I’m in a state of sin for stealing and I could go straight to hell stuffed with fish and chips but it’s Saturday and if the priests are still in the confession boxes I can clear my soul after my feed.

The Dominican church is just up Glentworth Street.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, it’s a fortnight since my last confession. I tell him the ususal sins and then, I stole fish and chips from a drunken man.

Why, my child?

I was hungry, Father.

And why were you hungry?

There was nothing in my belly, Father.

He says nothing and even though it’s dark I know he’s shaking his head. My dear child, why can’t you go home and ask your mother for something?

Because she sent me out looking for my father in the pubs, Father, and I couldn’t find him and she hasn’t a scrap in the house because he’s drinking the five pounds Grandpa sent from the North for the new baby and she’s raging by the fire because I can’t find my father.

I wonder if the priest is asleep because he’s very quiet till he says, My child, I sit here. I hear the sins of the poor. I assign the penance. I bestow absolution. I should be on my knees washing their feet. Do you understand me, my child?

I tell him I do but I don’t.

Go home, child. Pray for me.

No penance, Father?

No, my child.

I stole the fish and chips. I’m doomed.

You’re forgiven. Go. Pray for me.

He blesses me in Latin, talks to himself in English and I wonder what I did to him.

Good book; check it out. Maybe the movie's decent, but I haven't seen it.
  something wrong with this picture...
it's a sad situation when you find yourself sitting in your south florida office with your portable space heater on your lap, because it's so cold that having it running on the floor is just not good enough.
relax with the a/c, people.  we live here because we like it warm.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nuclear Plantor RetirementCommunity?
- - - -
1. Palo Verde
2. Vista del Rio
3. Turkey Point
4. Braidwood
5. River Bend
6. Monticello
7. Sterling Glen
8. Curtis Creek
9. Hope Creek
10. Peach Bottom
11. Pinegate
12. Seabrook
13. Thunderbird
14. Point Beach
15. Wolf Creek

Nuclear plants: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15
Retirement communities: 2, 7, 8, 11, 13
  much-needed lazy weekend :)
wow, i have just had no energy this weekend. i think the past few weekends have taken their toll on me...

yesterday, i read (angela's ashes). i gave the dogs baths. i laid outside with the dogs. i re-organized the kitchen cupboards, a closet, and the bar. i watched a little tv. i went with chris to lowe's. we watched a movie while sebastian snuggled with us.

so far today, i slept in (10) and have since read. later we're taking the dogs to the park and then much later have a party to go to for captain squid.
i've just been super-duper tired this weekend. and a little bummed that there are no more 3-day weekends to look forward to. maybe i'll have to start figuring out when i will be seeing costa rica so i have something to count the days towards.

i've been taking the dogs jogging lately, which has been fun. it gives me a little more motivation to go out and run when i know what a good experience it is for the dogs. they pretty much lose their mind when they see me grab the leash. the only troubling part is that i can never choose which to take. i want to take all three more than anything, but then gretchey spends all her time trying to bite sebastian and i don't make it out of the front yard. the other night, i had a compromise - gretchey & buddy for the first half, then sebastian to close it up.

classes start on tuesday. i scored schedulewise and found an online version for one of the two classes i'm taking. that means, i go every tuesday night to the one class, and just once per month to the other, on saturdays. and the tuesday night class is 5-7:45, which is much better than the 6:30-10:20 class i thought i was going to have to take. so, this shouldn't be so bad. :)
Thursday, January 04, 2007
  click on this; you will not be sorry
Modern Pooch - pics of a dog & kitty.
  (Successful) escape artists they’re not
So one day, Chris discovered that the rabbit and/or tortoises had dug a hole under one of their little fences. He found Bjorn, returning by way of the hole, from a jaunt outside where he had apparently found something to eat.

That hole has since been patched with the aid of some dirt and some bricks.

Apparently after Chris did so, George the Bunny came over and, looking quite upset, started digging again.

This morning, I woke a bit early because I had no excuse; due to New Year’s resolution, Chris has started to go to bed before 10 p.m. Trying to follow his good lead, I went to bed early last night too and couldn’t justify my usual sleep-in time (8).

So I made a ridiculously yummy salad for the torts (hibiscus flowers & leaves, jackfruit, cantaloupe, carrots, food pellets) and surprised them with a morning feeding. I walked around saying, “Bjorny pooh, come out! Stacey has food!” And, would you believe it, he did? I hadn’t seen him in well over a week! I also found Wailey, because he’s too big to hide anywhere good.

However, I didn’t find George. Anywhere. So, in my PJs, a robe, and Chris’s shoes, I walked into the yard. And there was cute little George, sitting by the bushes. I went over, not getting too close (or they go into she’s-gonna-catch-me mode) and crouched down. “Here, Georgie.” And he came. He fought quite a bit once I picked him up, but I got him into his cage in the garage without incident.

And I had to laugh – you know, these little creatures try their damnedest to get out, but once they’re out, they don’t know what to do. Escape artists, they may be, but successful fugitives, they are not.

Also, all three dogs got outside last night. They got into the house, nudging their way in. I was getting ready to leave anyway, so figured I’d let them have their fun for a few minutes before I put them back out. Then they discovered a weakness in the front door; apparently it wasn’t closed until it caught. So, yeah, they ran outside. Straight for A1A, as is the custom. Luckily they found something interesting to smell in the neighbor’s yard. Luckily I was able to tackle Gretchey. Luckily I was able to convince Sebastian that I really, really wanted to rub his belly (and not catch him at all). Luckily my arms didn’t give out while walking a 25-lb dog in each arm. Luckily Buddy II likes his cousins too much to not follow me back into the house if I’m holding them. That was a terrifying few minutes, in any case.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
  this girl impresses me so much
this chick on flickr helps with feral cats. this one lived in her bathroom. she named him "super angry kitten."

at first, he wouldn't leave the bathroom. then he would leave the bathroom but only to go under the bed. when she tried to hold him, she had to do so with a towel and he got this terrified look on his face.

now look at him!

he looks so much happier and so much healthier.

the best was when i realized the cat in the upper left hand corner was super angry kitten (now: little buddy). from feral to a cat that would let you put a new year's tiara on him? that's an awesome accomplishment. incredible it's the same cat, isn't it?

if i ever go to los angeles, i'm bringing hurokitty a cake. and will also have to people-watch with malingering. :)
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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