Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Suicide attempt survivor

So I know that I have been promising photos of the birthday loot but I am starting to look like a suicide attempt survivior. (My friend, Megan, who is an owner of two cats taught me this over the weekend.) See the problem is that Natasha is severely jealous of the time I spend with my computer. Last night while checking email I ended up with a claw firmly attached into my collarbone. (This was after our bouts in the kitchen when she left marks on my knees that are still visible now. Oh, and did I mention that my knees were not exposed at the time? Gloria, I do not think that you would survive a cat.)

So out of the birthday loot, only two gifts are photo worthy -- the ones from my parents. Then again, the season is young. There are many more gifts to acquire yet. (For the record this last part took almost five minutes to type because a few words in, I suddenly discovered cat claws in the sole of my foot. Thank goodness I have not had any children. Contrary to popular belief, I would be a horrendous mother.) The only relatives who have given me presents to date are my parents. My family and my neighbor say that I am obviously a princess but we all know that I am really an empress.

Oh, and before I head off to sleep (if that is possible with the other creature who is vying for royalty status), I attended my first night of my Arabic class tonight. I think this just might be fun.

OK. So the Russian parent from work thought that I was completely insane for taking Arabic. She thought that Russian was a much more sane choice. And did she have to rub in the fact that she just got back from Italy?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Pictures soon

So by the time I left work on Thursday, it was 8:30. Then it was time for the half hour drive to my mom's. The lamb chops were tasty. I got home close to midnight. After being up since 6:30, I was too tired to go out. The good thing was that I did not have to work on Friday or Saturday.

On Friday I went to finally purchase a bed. The purchase is complete but who knows when I will actually receive the bed. I'm hoping that it will be sometime this week.

Friday night I was on my way out to look for food. I ran into my neighbor. She was in search of tonic as she had vodka but no tonic. As luck would have it, I had tonic. She then invited me over for dinner. The other dinner guests were this guy she has been seeing who lives upstairs and one of his coworkers. After the cocktails, the four of us managed to consume three bottles of wine. If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures of the meal. The main course was salmon in puff pastry. She had even shaped the pastry like a fish and "cut" little fins into the pastry. Natasha and I crawled our way back across the hall around 2.

Saturday I awoke and realized that I was wearing a cat muffler. (Natasha had fallen asleep across my throat.) I also realized that I had invited people over for a party. Around 2 (there's that number again) I finally rallied to go shopping. I didn't take photos of the food spread because you've seen most of it before.

I guess I am still suffering from party curse. Only four folks showed up. Luckily they were gone by 11. I quickly touched up make-up and headed out. At my new fave bar, I discovered that the cute bartender was working. I made sure to sit at his bar. There was also a cool band in from Santa Barbara. At the end of the evening, the bartender was impressed that I remembered our conversation about Crash. He doesn't go to movies often so I feel it is my duty to see that he sees more movies. On the way out the door, I met a cute Persian guy. Actually he was more pretty than cute. His bachelor's is in computer science and he's been working at Oracle. He has quit to go back to school and get his master's in economics. He was nice to look at but other than that ...

I suppose that I should head to bed (alone) now that my liver has started talking to me once more. I'll have photos of gifts after tomorrow. My mom went to exchange my gift for another color and I pick it up tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Happy birthday to me.

I am sitting here at work, desperately waiting for this one instructor to finish up his paperwork so that I can lock up. This happens whenever I am closing the center and have plans for the evening. If it were not for him, I could have been gone a half hour ago. What really sucks is that it's my birthday and I'm not working this weekend. There are cocktails waiting for me at the bar if I could just get out of this place. Well, that's after I escape the lamb chop dinner awaiting me at my mother's house.

Oh, and I will be posting pictures of the birthday loot over the weekend. I already received dad's gift on Sunday. I'll just say that those who like to cook may drool over the photo.

Gotta go light a fire under this guy's ass or I'll be here all night.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

20 Years of Tail

Well that's what it said on the t-shirts.

I asked my dad what he wanted to do for Father's Day. He said he had always wanted to go to Isleton for their annual Crawdad Festival.

The crawdads were delish by the way. There was loads of cool Zydeco and blues music as well. Overall, not a bad Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Chaos rules!

Today shortly after I got to work, my boss called me into her office along with my counterpart. They told me to take a seat. My boss then asked my counterpart who should tell me the news. Of course my first thought was, "I'm fired," but I knew this was ridiculous because I kick ass at my job. And besides, if I was being fired, my counterpart would not have been in the office. The news was that my counterpart had given notice. The 30th will be his last day. He just started the last week of April. I have been patiently waiting for him to get up to speed because I have been doing the work of two people since March 1. My reaction was to say, "I have gotten used to change. I have been through so many reorganizations, layoffs, and whatnot that I think I will be more worried when things are stable." I know. It's a sad thing when chaos becomes the accepted norm.

I have also been adjusting life with Natasha, or as I sometimes address her "el pinche gato." (I only say this when she is trying to climb up my leg and is biting me simultaneously.)

At least I have my birthday to look forward to. (It's next week in case you were wondering.) Since I was told that I have the beginnings of a party, I figured that I should just throw one. If I remember correctly, the text of the Evite said that I was celebrating getting one year closer to death. Next year will be a big one. *sigh* (I'll let you figure out what that may be.) The sad thing, or maybe it's a good thing, is that I can pass for at least 10 years younger than my actual age.

Gotta run. Natasha has stopped trying to help me type and is making no noise. I am worried about what she is doing.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

As promised

So I managed to snap a couple of quick photos of Natasha at one of the few times she manages to stay in one place. My neighbor has already told me to take loads of pictures because they grow up so fast. (Why do I suddenly feel like I have given birth?)

Between trying to teach Natasha that electrical cords are not chew toys, I did actually go out. Friday night I went out for dinner and drinks with one of my best friends from high school. In the middle of dinner, I had to ask for her autograph. Her job to pay the bills is in theater education or educational theater -- something like that -- but she still acts in local productions. In the middle of dinner, this guy comes up to our table and asked her if he had seen her in a certain production. He had indeed. He then went on to say that he is a critic and he thought her performance was so great that he has not gone back to the theater for fear that any subsequent productions would pale in comparison. See why I had to ask for her autograph? When we were in high school, I thought she was a fantastic actress. I was too shy to act and so did tech work on the productions. I limit my acting to hanging out at bars and parties.

Last night I went to see Sisterhood with another old friend. It was ok. If I hadn't read the books, I probably would have liked it a lot. After the movie, we went for drinks at a bar in my neighborhood. I hadn't been in the place since college. (Oops. I almost said high school. I didn't go to the bar in high school; my friends did. My high school drinking was limited to splitting a four-pack of California Coolers with friends on the Berkeley Marina.) Back to the bar. When we walked in, these people were being served a drink in a huge bowl with several straws. I figure that any place that has a long list of cocktails on the menu and plush armchairs and sofas for seating has got to be my new hangout. It also doesn't hurt that it is two blocks from home.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Photos soon

So I keep trying to take photos of Natasha but it seems that she only sits still when I am not around. She spent last night running the length of my apartment. She is also quite vocal. In between eating mouthfuls of food, she speaks. While she's in the litter box, she speaks. I think you get the picture. It is kind of fun to see her do that galloping kind of run though. Perhaps soon I can actually catch her when she's asleep. I also hope that she will stop thinking of the electrical cords as potential chew toys.

Monday, June 6, 2005


Years ago I had this wonderful cat named Bob. When I moved, he didn't like the new digs and took off. I'm sure I've seen him around since. At least the cat I think is him does acknowledge me when I've stopped the car and said his name. Maybe it's just someone who looks like him. Since he's left, I've wanted to get another cat but I wasn't allowed to where I lived before. That's all changed now that I've moved.

There is a cat clinic next door to my job. I found out today that they have some kittens available for adoption. I actually kept thinking that I would like to get a black female. Of the three kittens, two had already been adopted. The one who hadn't been is the most adorable little black female. They're holding her for me. I guess my mind is made up because my neighbor just gave me a bunch of her extra kitty stuff. There's just one thing. At the clinic they named her Kona. I'm not really feeling that name. She's only 7-8 weeks old so it would be easy to rename her. I'm thinking Natasha but I'm open to suggestions. Oh ... and she'll be coming home with me on Thursday night so don't come looking for pictures any time before then.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Window shopping

I finally managed to do everything on my to do list. So what if it took me three days to complete it all. All that matters is that I got it all done.

It was close but I managed to get home with just enough time to drop off my laundry before rushing over to the movies. In case your interested, I went to see Layer Cake.

On my way there, I saw that Top Dog has opened another restaurant on Center. Now I don't have to go all the way up to Telegraph.

On my way home, I passed this boutique in my neighborhood. I could try to describe the dresses to you but then I gained sudden inspiration from Jennifer. Thank you again for showing me new uses for the camera phone.

The clearer photo is what actually made me stop.

I think as soon as I finish furnishing my apartment, I will be stopping off at the shop to do a little in-depth investigation.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Just keep thinking about the chair

I had all these wonderful intentions today. I was going to go to the public library. (I needed to return three books and pick up two that they were holding for me.) I was then going to head to the school to check on the time for the promotion ceremony. After that it was off to Ikea to pick up chairs. I was to finish it all off with a trip to my mom's house to make sure everything is ok there. I was also going to do some laundry and wash my car while there.

How much of this did I actually accomplish? I went to the library. Of course on my way to the library, Ross Dress for Less beckoned to me. I should not have gone in. The Berkeley Ross always has interesting things in their housewares department. I saw this lovely Pfaltzgraff dinnerware. (I'm not sure if this is the right pattern. I can't believe that I didn't write down the pattern. I know it was something similar to this though.) There were also this cute set of dessert plates. Also calling to me was an 11" Farberware frying pan. I think the only reason why I didn't buy anything was the realization that I would have to walk 5-6 blocks carrying my purchases. That and the fact that the "extra" money I had was to pay for the chairs at Ikea.

As soon as I buy those chairs though, I'm heading back to Ross. OK. So they haven't closed yet and the dessert plates were only something like $6.99 ... so much less than the cute set I saw at the antique shop next to where I work.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The kid in me

So today The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants opened. I was tempted to head down the street tonight to see it. Actually I guess I still could since the last show doesn't start for another forty minutes. I'll probably go tomorrow instead.

Why must I go see this? Because I've read the books. See, that's the thing I've come to realize lately. I read more children's or young adult books than adult books these days it seems. It comes in handy for work though. I always have parents saying, "I'd like for my child to read more. Can you recommend any books?" Parents always walk away with a list of at least five. Sometimes it's more but it all depends on the age of the child and the genres he or she likes.

Speaking of kids, I am off work on Friday and have to remember that I need to go to Montclair to ask about the 8th grade promotion. I know the date but I need to know the time. I also need to ask if it is ok if I attend. I don't think that it will be a problem as they still love me there. They must. Why else would they keep a link to a website I created on the school website? (I just checked a few weeks ago.)

When the current eighth graders were in the sixth grade, it was my first year teaching. On the second day of school to prove to them that I had actually read the interest forms that I had had them complete, I answered all of the questions they had written for me. As they started to feel comfortable, they started to directly ask the questions they had forgotten to write.

One girl asked after raising her hand, "Do you have any kids?"

I answered, "No," but after thinking for a minute added, "I take that back. I do. I have about 75 kids."

The first girl and another then said, "We don't mean us. Do you have any kids of your own?"

When I told them that I did not, they answered, "You should."

I have always thought that that is the highest compliment that a child could pay to an adult.

I looked forward to watching my kids mature and grow over the years. Instead I was laid off at the end of the year due to budget cuts. (That was my first layoff from the district. Do not even ask me my feelings on them. They are probably worse than Gloria's on "that school.") My students were heartbroken when they heard of my layoff. Some wrote letters to the Superintendent. On the last day of school, they gave me wonderful gifts and cards. By the end of the day, it was difficult to stop myself from crying. (I did a lot of crying that week but never in the kids's presence.) On that day I made a promise to them. When it came time for their eighth grade promotion, I would be there no matter where I was working at the time. I intend to keep that promise. Hopefully my boss will understand.