Monday, August 29, 2005

That nesting feeling

For most people, nesting means shutting yourself in at home alone. For me, it means staying in and inviting a bunch of people over. That usually means that I need to find a reason.

I also know that it cannot be in the month of September. The coming weekend I plan to be in the LA area. The next weekend I have to attend a surprise birthday party for my stepmother. (Yes, Gloria, her birthday is the same weekend as yours. By the way what is up with all these September birthdays? Never mind. I know the answer. I can count back nine months.) The next weekend is supposed to be this great firefighter party. The following weekend is the Fall Equinox.

That brings us to October. October is wide open. Of course the thought of October brings the obvious to mind -- Halloween. My boss and I were highly upset to discover that Halloween falls on a Monday this year. She mentioned that she is used to taking the day after Halloween off because she is not necessarily in the condition to work that day. I knew I liked her for some reason. She was also a wee bit upset when she realized that she has not started work on her costume yet. When I was in school in VA, Halloween was a major event. Let's face it. In a town of about 12,000 a lot of things can easily become major events. Therefore, I somehow feel it is my duty to throw a Halloween party that weekend. I think I will confer with my neighbor first. I think that together we could throw one hell of a party. Knowing my flaky friends I also know that I'd better send out the evite asap.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A quiet Sunday

Started off the day by going to brunch. Actually I started the day by doing some cleaning. I need to do laundry but I am trying to find ways to procrastinate on that.

After getting home from brunch, I had thought about taking a nap. Then I remembered my overdue library books. Then I remembered that Ross is near the library. That sealed the deal. After taking back the library books, I stopped off at Ross. As luck would have it, they still had a set of the dessert plates I had seen two months ago.

I had originally seen them at a shop near where I work for $19.99. I was all set to buy them until I saw the same plates at Ross for $5.99. I didn't buy them before because I was already weighed down with library books. (Yes, all of my trips to Ross involve either checking out or returning library books.)

My next stop was Body Time. (The place was originally called The Body Shop. I assume they did quite well from the sale.) I have not been able to thoroughly enjoy the tub because I did not have any bubble bath. I cannot buy just any bubble bath; it has to be unscented. I like to add whatever blend of essential oils that I am in the mood for to the tub. The salesclerk said that this was probably the best way since their bubblebath does not hold fragrance as well as the rest of their custom-scented products.

So now I have a full stomach, pretty plates and bubbles. I guess it's time to tackle the laundry.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Favorite forms of entertainment

Last night my plan was to head out so that I could partake of one of my fave forms of entertainment -- knocking back cocktails while picking on men. I was temporarily sidetracked though by what is now becoming a fave form of entertainment -- stupid things that Natasha does.

I leave the lid down on the toilet because I figure that Natasha would do something silly like drink from the toilet. Last night after I lifted the lid, because I had need of the facilities, this blur of fur came racing past. I guess she want to get to the seat before I did. The problem was that she had too much momentum so it was the blur of fur and then splash. I wish I could have gotten it on film but who thinks of bringing a camera into the bathroom? (Please don't answer that. It was a rhetorical question.)

I did eventually get over my laughter and head on out to my fave place. Actually I like to think that I was pretty well-behaved. I did not make one man buy me a drink the whole night. OK. So when I closed out my tab, the bartender said that he gave me my last drink but that doesn't really count. Even if he is kind of cute. Because dating your bartender is wrong. I was planning to stay in tonight and do things like laundry but then the band announced that they would be back there again tonight. Guess I know where I'll be after the power nap.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

All better

I am proud to announce that Natasha is feeling much better. I kind of miss the sick Tasha though. She was calmer. Now it's back to saying, "How many times must I tell you to stay off of the counter?"

This is Natasha watching my dinner cook. Somehow she seems to think that she will be getting some of the poached trout. Like I would share all that buttery goodness with her.(I turned on the oven light because she seemed so fascinated with the whole process.)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's a good thing I don't have children

It's been an interesting weekend. By Friday night, Natasha had stopped puking her guts out, so I thought all was well, or at least well enough to head out. I ended up going to a party with my neighbor. When I got home at 2, I fed Natasha. She managed to keep the food down so I decided to cancel the vet appointment.

My alarm rang at the crack of dawn (OK. So it was really 8 but it felt like crack of dawn after the night before.) I called the vet to cancel, and Natasha and I went back to sleep. Around 1 p.m. the vomit fest started again. She looked so pathetic, I broke down and took her to the vet. They said it was a hairball, tainted food (Did you know that dry food can go bad?), or a combination of the both. They gave me a syringe so that I could force water into her as she was refusing to eat or drink anything. After we returned home, the puke fest continued until midnight. May I never have to clean up kitty puke again.

Today she has not puked anymore and seems more her old self. She is drinking water but still does not want food. I decided to go get her some chicken broth. I also needed to pick up some leeks, thyme and vanilla extract. (No, I am not going to put them all in the same dish.) Yesterday after dropping Tasha off at home, I went grocery shopping. The first two items were out in my local store; I forgot to pick up the third.

I do not get nearly enough exercise so I decided to walk to the other Andronico's -- the scenic way. A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of the map of walking paths in Berkeley. The following photos are from the paths I walked today and are from the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association website. (When I thought of taking photos, I had difficulty locating my cellphone. I was also lugging a bag of groceries because of course I bought more than what was on my list -- like the croissants and raspberries to make the bread pudding that is baking currently.)

This is the first path I walked.

The next path was the Fountain Walk.

This is the final path I walked today, the Indian Rock path. I believe it was the longest of the paths.

On the way home, I only took the Terrace path. I had had enough of going up and down hills that were a bit out of the way. Many of the homes along the paths have beautiful gardens. I know I will have to go back to take pictures of some flowers I noticed in one garden on the Terrace path. I have no idea what kind they are. The other fascinating thing is that some of the houses along the paths actually have front entrances on the paths. It made me wonder if they had garage access from a street. I just could not imagine hiking along the paths all the time to reach home.

Well I'd better run along. The bread pudding is cooling and I need to make a creme Anglaise.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Training new recruits

Well, my neighbor has finally gotten rid of the boy and now is ready to be my new best friend. She is definitely an American Princess without the need for all the training. Like a true princess, she received her training at home. Her apartment is tastefully decorated in antiques and Oriental rugs. She eschews showers, taking baths every day. She is also a fantastic cook. I still dream of the salmon in puff pastry that she made a couple of months ago. (I need to get the photos from that night from her. I know that besides food shots there are ones of us wearing her tiara, a leftover from her days as a ballerina.)

So my plan was that this weekend, we were going to start our quest in becoming more like girls in Sex and the City. (So friends used to compare me to Samantha but that's a whole other post.) It seems that my plans may have changed though. Natasha has spent the afternoon throwing up everything she eats. We have an appointment with the vet at 9:30 tomorrow morning. I'm not too worried because after purging, she then becomes her usual playful self. I am beginning to think that she has gotten her hands on issues of Cosmo (see"I Blame Cosmo") and thinks that the binge/purge thing is chic. Guess it's going to be an evening in.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Now I remember...

Why I get the lovely monthly bonus checks. I was at work yesterday for 13 hours. That's right -- 13 hours! And this after having several G&T's the night before. Needless to say, I consumed copious amounts of caffeine throughout the day.

Tuesday night I headed into San Francisco to catch the Landmark's fall preview. Unfortunately I started out from work too late. I realized that by the time I found parking, the chance of getting a decent seat was slim. I then figured I was in San Francisco and there was no sense in heading back to Berkeley immediately. Therefore, I headed over to one of my fave neighborhoods -- North Beach. Once there I went to my former home away from home. Now I also remember why I use the word former. They had no Myers. There was only Captain Morgan's, Malibu, and Bacardi white. How wrong is that? I was therefore forced to switch to Bombay Sapphire G&T's. As the only female in the bar, I had plenty of opportunities to chat with folks. I ended the evening talking to a 1L from USF. When he was leaving, he asked if I needed a ride home. Ummmmm ... NO.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Things to do with my bonus check

Part of the thrill of my job is that the majority of my pay comes in the form of my monthly bonus check. Now that we have gone through a change of ownership, we now have a new bonus structure. In looking over the paperwork a couple of weeks ago, I came to the realization that my bonuses will now more than likely be double what they were previously. That has left me thinking about what to do with all that extra money.

First and foremost is to put aside money for a fabulous vacation. I haven't been to London in a few years so that seems like the obvious choice. Then again I could stand another trip to Barbados. Since I am planning to take this trip in February or March, Barbados seems like a pretty good choice. Upon returning I could really gloat as everyone else will have been stuck here with lots of rain, or at least overcast weather, and should look pretty pasty.

The other thing I would like to be able to do is to dine out more. I have been wanting to check out The Fifth Floor for quite some time. Then there's also Slanted Door. I also have not been to Crustacean in a few years. I dream of the garlic noodles every now and then. I just started to notice a trend with the restaurants. That means I may as well include Le Cheval, another one of my favorites. To round it all out, I also need to go to Yank Sing. At least I've been there in the past year but a year is too long to go without dim sum.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Quiz time again

So I spent most of the afternoon at work checking out blogs. Some of them were truly frightening -- like the one from the guy who says he wasn't a stalker but I beg to differ. After getting home, I have been killing time waiting for my neighbor to return to see if we are heading out tonight. (She has finally gotten rid of the boy -- ok so he actually moved -- so maybe now I can stop calling our building Melrose Place. If we start hitting the town like we have been planning, it may become more like Sex and the City.) I digress. Back to my trying to kill time. I decided to check out more blogs once more. I came across this quiz on one of them and just couldn't resist. Besides it's been some time since I've done a quiz post.

Your Musical Tastes Match: Nicole Kidman

See her whole playlist here (iTunes required)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I watch too much cable tv

So tonight I was sitting around watching one of my fave reality shows, Big Brother. After the show ended, I tried to think of what to watch next. I could have taken the easy route and just put in one of the dvd's I got from Netflix yesterday. Then again that would be too simple. Instead I found myself watching WE. They have a new reality show starting this weekend called American Princess. Every time I see the ad, I can't help but think, "Where were Gloria and I when they were selecting contestants?" I figure they wouldn't have to do much with us because we are already princesses. As an afterthought I always include Jen because she seems to like reality shows as much as the next chick. Besides she's from NorCal; she's just gotta be cool.

Enough of that. I guess I should head back to teaching Natasha that the stovetop and the kitchen counters are not acceptable places for a kitten. She discovered last night that she can now make it onto these surfaces. The first time she made it up, she had this shocked look like, "I actually made it..."

I am also looking forward to a return to sanity next week when my boss returns. She will have been gone for two weeks by then. To say that I have been stressed would be an understatement. I cannot wait for my trip to the LA area.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

A mini-vacation

Well it looks like I am finally going to be able to take a break. Last year I received a voucher from American Airlines due to the fiasco that occurred when I was trying to return from Barbados. I realized in the last few weeks that the voucher was going to expire if I didn't hurry up and use it. Because I can't really take any additional time off from work, I decided to use it for a trip to SoCal over Labor Day weekend. (Fortunately I have that weekend off.) Now I just have to make sure that my neighbor can watch Natasha over the weekend. It looks like I will be staying with an old friend who Gloria knows best as Shrew in lovely Thousand Oaks. The rest is up in the air. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Gratuitous kitty photo

I figured that I hadn't posted a Natasha photo in some time so here are a couple taken yesterday.

She is lounging in one of her fave spots, my desk. Perhaps it is the booster shot she had yesterday that has caused the change. At least she's stopped hissing at everyone.

It used to be that she climbed up as soon as I sat down so that she could swat at the cursor moving across the screen. (Try reading a blog when the cat is in the middle of the screen.) She still does that but only for a minute. Now she just curls up on the desk for a nap while I surf and type. It's kind of a pleasant change.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Reality TV update (Nearing that birthday with a 0 on the end)

So I just finished watching the finale of Kept. (I did the dvr of the episode because on Thursdays I work late and got home in the middle of the episode.) There was also the delay in chatting with my mom. Oh yeah, and I had never seen the first two episodes so I decided to watch those first.) I had a long conversation with my cousin about who would win. Here's where the age thing comes into play.

My cousin who will be 21 next month thought that Austen would be the winner. I told her that Seth would win. My reasons were because (1) Seth has always been himself throughout the competition, (2) Austen is way too stiff, and (3) on the dates in Paris, Seth's outfit was the only one that Jerry wore because he had actually paid attention to what her personal style was. Actually for me the second thing would not have mattered. I would have been so blown away by the outfit thing that it could have been enough alone. I also had to remind my cousin, especially since that she is Montgomery, that Southern women like Jerry like men who are comfortable being themselves. It's a huge thing for a man to recognize who a woman really is and not to try to make her into his vision.

With that said, I must go and watch Big Brother ... or anything that will get Jessica Simpson off my TV. (I'm sorry but "These Boots" is a classic that should not be touched much in the same way that Sabrina should never have been remade.)

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Airline voucher

Around this time last summer, I was sitting on a beach in Barbados. Unfortunately I had the return flight from hell. As a result the airline gave me a travel voucher worth $250. It just dawned on me that the silly thing is going to expire in a few days. That means that by this weekend I need to book a trip to somewhere.

On the way into work this morning, I did think about trying to go to Savannah for the holiday weekend but the fare is way too high. Perhaps another time for Savannah. That leaves my old holiday weekend standby -- SoCal. I guess I'll know definitely once I've spoken to my college roommate tonight.