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1. My cat, who was the biggest Mama’s Boy until a couple days ago, suddenly wants nothing more than to cuddle with John. Instead of me. In someways it’s a relief from his constant neediness the moment I sit down, but it’s also a bit sad. My baby doesn’t love me anymore!

2. Work is making me so angry these days, mostly because I’m spending a ton of time correcting/working on some stuff that theoretically the person I asked for help should have done. And they’re the sort of person who you can’t yell at, or even tell them you’re angry, because they’ll take it personally and take retribution. And they’re in a position to take retribution.

3. Brussel sprouts baked in a bit of olive oil, some pepper and some salt are delicious.

4. My grandmother-in-law is back in the hospital, but doing much better, and they aren’t going to send her anywhere for awhile. Glad they’re keeping an eye on her!

5. John is going to Las Vegas for the day Saturday. I’m going to see family. We both win, in very different ways.

6. I need a good savory stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving. My mom makes the best stuffing, but she says uses a different recipe every year. They all seem the same to me, and are so good.

7. I’ve been reading the comic Fable (highly recommended as a great comic story for adults), mixed in with the writings of Malcom Gladwell (interesting guy, great at getting a point across). Both a commentary on society in their own way. Both very good.

8. Tina Fey is really funny. Really, really, really funny.

9. In all the years I’ve bought running shoes, I’ve always bought them in some form of blue. My new ones are tangeriny-pinkish. I’m loving them.

10. (Geez, c’mon, I can get to 10, can’t I?) (Ummmmm…..) Peach tea is yummy.

11. Oh! Wait! Today officially opened the Stanford men’s basketball season, and Arizona opens tomorrow. Hockey and basketball are both back in my life–I love this time of year.

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Because, quite clearly, the bag full of extra, back-up, repair-type scuba gear, the sandy/salty mats we change on, and the shoe box are far more comfortable than, say, the carpet itself. (Fatty is the black-and-white one, and Skinny is the gray-and-white one. They’re brothers.)

cats

Then again, someone did yak all over one of the couch pillows during the night, so maybe I should just be glad that most of the stuff they sleep on can be hosed off.

Except I’d rather not have cat yak in my extra mask, or my extra reg hose.

Silly beasts.

Life has been scattered lately. So has my brain.

We’re making massaman curry chicken for dinner. I’m super excited. And hungry.

Easter was lovely. Good time with family, and lovely to see my grandparents doing well. Of course, after the left, things got even livelier–liar’s dice and lots of wine were involved. Lovely.

Not so lovely: I’ve been wondering if things don’t work for me in experiments because they just don’t, or because I’m not good at this whole science thing. Other people can make similar experiments work, so I’m starting to feel it’s just me. And I already feel like I suck at science, so this isn’t helping.

On a positive note, though, I got dismissed from being on a jury last week because the case involved disputed scientific evidence of the sort that I am familiar with. Neither the defense nor the prosecution wanted me. I’m guessing one side thought I’d agree with the evidence, and the other side thought I’d agree with the dispute. So apparently this science thing is somewhat worth it. And thankfully I won’t miss two weeks of work!

We went “fun diving” this past weekend with James, Cara and Sydney. We saw a thornback ray. The conditions weren’t great, but the ray was awesome. Plus hanging out with the three of them was awesome.

We’ve got a scuba class next week, and I’m super excited. Sydney is taking it, and I think I’m going to be allowed to carry gear, and hence be a useful member of the staff, so it should be awesome. And if involves boat dives! Whee!

I’ve managed to get rid of most of the tension and pain in my shoulders and back. Now I’m just working on making my muscles strong enough to do normal everyday things.

For the first time in about three months, I don’t have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning. So excited. And starting next week, I only have two a week instead of three!

I’m allowed to bike again, and Elizabeth and I went out this past weekend. It was freakishly hot, but well worth it. We got in a good 15-20 miles, and had a blast. There are plans for a repeat this coming weekend!

My mom, too, is doing really well. No further complications from surgery, energy recovering, doing well. We keep getting favorable reports from John’s mom, which are much appreciated. And I get to see my mom with my own eyes in just over a month. Sweet!

On the flip side, John’s grandmother went into the hospital with lung problems again recently. It didn’t look good, to the point where we were ready to pick up and fly home, but thankfully she too is recovering and back at home.

I still miss my bunny, but it’s getting easier every day. I’m starting to even think of doing something with his cage. John has vetoed that “something” being filling it with a new bunny. Bah. Though I really appreciate all the condolences.

Randomness of the brain: Sometimes helpful. Sometimes not.

Once upon a time, a girl went a the pet shop with a friend. The friend wanted a pet bunny, but the girl was the one who fell in love with a little gray ball of fur who climbed all over her shoulders. The baby bunny was all gray with a white tummy, and a small ring of brown fur just between the white and gray. As she played with him, the girl also realized he had a little spot of brown between his ears, just above his nose, where he particularly liked to be petted.

The girl wasn’t sure her apartment allowed pets, and she was leaving on vacation for a while, and so she decided she’d leave her fate in the hands of the bunny. If he went home with someone else, she’d wish him well. If he was still there in three weeks, and her roommates and apartment manager approved, she’d bring him home with her.

Three weeks later, the girl and the bunny were reunited. She spent quite a bit of time finding the perfect bunny house, and making sure her new baby was comfortable. The bunny, a bit bigger now, didn’t crawl all over the girl’s shoulders, but he was content to snuggle in her arms.

As the years progressed, the girl and the bunny were happy together. The bunny would jump up on the girl’s bed and help her study at school, or would snuggle up against her if she was laying on the floor watching TV in the living room. He would sit and clean his ears in an adorable manner, and snatch carrots or broccoli stems out of the girl’s hand in an effort to eat them quickly. He was ornery, but the girl still loved him. She made up funny little songs to sing to him, and snuggled him whenever he wanted to come out of his cage.

Eventually, the girl moved to California with a boy who had two cats. The bunny made the three day car trip in much better condition than the cats, and was unfazed to meet his new family members. The cats, on the other hand, were a bit unnerved by this strange creature who jumped around. The girl was very relieved that the boy’s cats wouldn’t pose problems for her bunny.

The bunny still snuggled up to the girl when she laid on the floor to watch TV or read a book, and they spent many pleasant weekend mornings together, the bunny with his carrot and the girl with her coffee. The bunny tried to snuggle up to the cats, too, but they were always a bit wary. In the end, the bunny had the run of the living room, while the cats watched from high perches.

Five years passed, and after returning home from a Christmas trip, the girl noticed the bunny wasn’t coming out of his cage to play anymore. She could convince him to come out by luring him with food, but he wasn’t interested in galloping around the room, or playing with the ends of the blinds, or even snuggling anymore. The girl was concerned, but there never seemed to be anything wrong with the bunny.

Then, one day, just after Easter, the girl came home to find the bunny laying in his cage very listlessly. He hadn’t eaten all day, the girl could tell, and hadn’t used his litter box either, so he likely wasn’t drinking. The girl tried to tempt him with a carrot, but he turned his nose away. The girl tried to snuggle the bunny, but he didn’t respond.

The first thing the next morning, the girl called the vet. The bunny still hadn’t eaten or drunk anything, and most telling of all, the carrot was still mostly intact in the cage. The vet made room on her schedule to see the bunny that morning.

The girl took the bunny in with a heavy heart. She was very afraid she would not be returning home with him, as he seemed so listless.

The vet examined the bunny carefully, and even took x-rays, but could not find anything obviously wrong with the bunny except some indications that he needed more timothy hay fiber and less alfalfa hay fiber. She gave him a little IV to prevent dehydration, a shot to help with the fiber problem, and sent the girl home with some antibiotics and instructions to feed the bunny a timothy hay mix, baby food, and fruit juice for the next 3-5 days. The girl was very happy that her bunny would be okay, but was still very worried.

The girl and the boy dutifully gave the bunny his medicine, and tried to get him to eat some fiber gruel. They even picked up some pureed carrots at the store especially to tempt him. The girl spent much of the evening cuddling the bunny and feeding him apple juice with an eye dropper.

Finally, late that night, the boy told the girl she’d done all she could. She laid the bunny back in his cage, as he was too weak to jump in by himself, and put him to bed for the night.

The girl herself went to bed, too, caught between fearful thoughts that her beloved bunny boy wouldn’t make it and the reassurance of the vet that he would be okay. It was a long night.

As soon as she awoke the next morning, the girl rushed into the living room, only to find that her little boy, her little gray ball of love, had died during the night. The boy tried to console her, but she felt very guilty for not having done more to help her little bunny.

The boy called the vet, who said to bring the bunny in. The vet examined him, but could still find nothing wrong with him. The vet told the girl that bunnies weren’t hardy creatures, and that maybe he just didn’t make it. The girl said that the bunny was 5 and 1/2, almost 6, and maybe it was just his time. The vet agreed, and the girl was relieved to know that there likely hadn’t been more she could have done, though she still felt horribly sad and guilty.

The girl tried to cuddle the cats, both to reassure herself that they were still there, and for comfort, but they were not amused. She resorted back to cuddling with the boy, and occasionally just bursting into tears at the sight of the bunny’s old cage. She felt as if she’d lost a family member, but the boy was kind enough to remark that, truly, she had. Her bunny had been a part of their family.

A week passed, and the girl missed her bunny terribly. She still had his cage set up, and felt as if getting rid of it was a final step she just wasn’t ready to take. Her friends had all sympathized, and had even taken her out to dinner, going so far as to raise a toast to her little bunny. The vet’s office had sent a sympathy card. Her family and the boy had been very comforting.

The girl was still sad, but she was reassured but the fact that her little baby bunny, her little boy, had been loved and had been well-taken care of right up to the end. And she wondered if, someday soon, she might be ready to have another little ball of fur come into her life.

The little bunny boy

So we’ve sat on the dog for three days now, but he hasn’t hatched into anything else…

No, in all seriousness, the dog sitting is going well. The cats have decided they just don’t care about the dog, the dog is still wary of the cats, and we’re all getting along well. Walks have been fine, no more bowel accidents have occurred, and we’re enjoying have a large house to lay around in, as well as a large TV to watch.

The only low point is that the internet has ceased to work at this house. And I, for one, do NOT approve of this. Not when I’m so damn close to the end of NaBloPoMo. I mean, seriously?

So I’m back at home to use the internet, letting the bunny run around for awhile. He didn’t make the trip since the dog has been known to not play nice with the local wild rabbits, and I figured it was better to just give him a little less attention each day than to let the dog near him.

So, yes, life is all good except for this. Deprived of email, blogging, blog reading, poking around on the internet, reading the news… It’s sort of like being on vacation, only not.

At least the dog is comfortable to sit on.

It is not a good idea to be holding a jumpy cat while watching the OT of a Sharks game.

It is also not a good idea to then cheer when the Sharks score a goal and win the game. With said jumpy cat in your arms.

The cat may or may not dig his claws in for purchase and flee.

Thus, I may or may not have a claw mark on my stomach, and three more on my thigh.

Thus, I may or may not have a band-aid on my stomach and a large pad taped on my thigh.

Thus, I may or may not be bleeding a lot.

OUCH!

P.S. Go Sharks!

Does it weird anyone else out when street lights right above/in front of them go out? Because it does me.

It also doesn’t make me too happy when I arrive at work 2 hours early, but leave more or less at the same time. On the bright side, I suppose I could have left two hours later.

Two of my samples have switched identities. This throws everything up in the air.

We’re having gyros for dinner. With french fries. From the diner down the street. No dishes to do. Huzzah!

I’m so looking forward to having Thursday (mostly) and Friday (mostly) and Saturday and Sunday off. I need a break.

Basketball tomorrow night despite the freakishly long day. I’m going to try to get Sydney in on John’s ID. We’ll see how well that works. If not, she and I will find something else fun to do.

I love the days when John remembers to turn the porch light on for me. So comforting.

I just performed my last secretarial duty for a local club. Well, okay, I’ve got to run by the bank (ok, twice), and co-sign some more checks, and help with the holiday party… Damn. I thought I was done.

Why do cats prefer to lay on things other than carpet? Shoes, paper, random boxes, the mail. Wouldn’t the carpet itself be more comfortable? Or the couch? With the blankets?

Elizabeth and Mark are lovely people. They’ve offered to look in on the rabbit while we dog sit down south. Of course, it would help if I had a key to give them… Damn.

Why do I always wind up with holes in the front of my shirt, about where a belt buckle would be? That is, if I wore a belt. I can’t explain them and I don’t like them.

Homemade french bread is the best thing ever. And coincidentally, just about the only thing to eat in our house. Sadly, we’re now out of bread flour.

Dammit, that’s why I was thinking we should drive to get dinner and go get Mexican. Tasty, plus we could stop at Safeway on the way home and buy essentials like milk and cereal and food in general.

I’ve been using the word “damn” a lot. Hrm. This doesn’t bode well.

There are only two more Wednesdays in my Freakishly Long Gigantic Experiment. Oh, and the prep day Tuesdays, the follow-up day Thursdays, and the final analysis days of Monday and Tuesday.

Soon, ten weeks of the past year of my life will be wrapped up in 3 excel graphs and some pictures. One fifth of my year. I’m not sure if that’s comforting or depressing. Either way I should get a paper out of it. I hope.

We got new phones. The texting sucks. I’m giving mine about a week longer to make me happy, then taking it back and trading it in.

Is 8:30pm too early for bed??

We’re dog-sitting over Thanksgiving weekend and the following week for some of our friends. They live south of us, conveniently near where John works, and not-so-conveniently far from where I work. Oh well, he’s had the longer-distance commute for four years now, never mind that they take the same amount of time.

In order not to have to stop at home and add to the commute time, we figured we’d try mixing the dog and our cats. The dog likes to chase rabbits, so we’re leaving the bunny at home and I’ll just stop by and see him, hopefully every day, but if I don’t have time, it’s no big deal. Also, there’s the mail to pick up. And the DVR to check to make sure it’s not full and is about to delete essential things while meanwhile recording the 10-hour marathon of Mythbusters. (It’s happened twice. And we keep losing other good shows because of it. If Mythbusters weren’t so entertaining…)

Anyway, so, we decided to take the cats over to meet the dog last night. Along with some homemade spicy blackbean soup and some homemade bread (I got me a good husband!) to make up for any infighting that occurred.

If I’d been asked to make a prediction, I’d have figured that the dog would take a couple joyful sniffs, maybe a lick or two, and move on to something else, namely watching food or trying to get a human to pet him. Meanwhile, I figured there’d be plenty of puffed up fur, growling, and glaring from high perches from the cats.

Umm, not so much.

The gray one growled a bit, and hearing a growl come from a seemingly harmless black bag made the dog pretty uneasy. We let the cats out cautiously from their two carriers, and stood around watching to see what the interactions would be like.

The dog retreated to a safe distance and the cats set about exploring the house. For the rest of the evening, that was pretty much how it went. The cats laid around, occasionally balefully staring at the dog, occasionally exploring new nooks and crannies (or taking over the big plush dog bed–that was Fatty).

And the dog would retreat to the farthest corner that was near his mommy, and usually try to climb into her lap. There was a good amount of whining from him, not in a threatening sense, but in a “what are these things and why are they in my house?” sense.

No fighting, no real interplay. It was a bit reassuring. I’m not worried about leaving them alone now, and I’m figuring that after a day or two, they’ll come to terms with each other and either be reluctant co-occupants, or friends.

Of course, we’ll still keep a close eye on them over the Thanksgiving weekend.

But I have to say it’s pretty hilarious to watch a 100lb dog try to climb into his mom’s lap over two 10lb (okay, okay, one 10lb and one 12.5lb) balls of fur.

How, you ask??

Here’s how: The cats had fleas awhile back (and thanks again for the advice on how to get rid of them). We treated them for 3 months and called it good.

The gray cat sort of stopped grooming himself while we were treating him, and we figured he didn’t like the taste of the flea meds. After he didn’t resume, though, we got worried.

We brushed him. No luck.

So we bathed him. Even less luck.

And yes, we’re both still sporting battle wounds.

As John was taking the cats to the vet the next day for their shots, he asked the vet about it. She couldn’t find anything wrong with him.

So she shaved him.

But only the area where his fur was matted and knotted. And only enough to get the clumps out. So it’s all a bit ragged, and he’s just the funniest looking cat.

Poor guy. We’ve had fun laughing at him, but he’s super soft where he’s been shaved, so he’s gotten lots of petting to make up for the laughing.

The Gray Cat...Shaved

The Gray Cat...Shaved

The two highlights of my week so far right there.

Saturday was a mostly lazy day, with nothing much happening other than a lot of productive football watching. We gave up on the USC-Ohio St game at half-time and headed to James and Cara’s place for the night, where much grilling and Xboxing was done by all.

Sunday, we went diving, and it was easily one of the top 4 dive days I’ve ever had in Monterey. Flat water, partly sunny, no swell or surge, beautiful visibility. Best of all, we were helping Nate and Shelly with their “supervising certified divers”, the last requirement for their Divemaster candidacy. This means we’ve helped them go from Open Water divers and in the ocean for the first time ever all the way to professional divers. It’s a super cool feeling.

The diving itself was pretty awesome, too. We’d planned to head out to the Metridium Fields (think super large white anemones that look like bunches of cauliflowers), but as we kicked out, we realized we were about 20-30 feet from a mother and baby dolphin, who were splashing and playing and possibly fishing right beside us. There were a lot of schools of fishes, so that may be why they’re in the area, but they’ve been reported at Breakwater beach for about a month now. We just floated in the water for quite awhile, letting them swim around us. Then, instead of heading to the Metridiums, we dropped and headed in the direction of the dolphins, hoping to see them under water.

No such luck, but we still got to play with a friendly harbor seal, and saw a ton of fish and crabs, including one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen at Breakwater. It looks like the marine protected area restrictions are working out–there’s a lot more life at Breakwater now then I’ve seen in the past. We swam in and around the kelp, enjoying the dappled light and just being underwater, for about 45 minutes.

Our second dive was out along the Breakwater wall. We swam freakishly far out before dropping, and ended up in the 30-40 foot depth range along the wall, where the visibility opened up to probably close to 50 feet, which was pretty amazing. We had another harbor seal come play, and also saw a ton of fish and crabs, lots of nudibranchs–Sea Lemons, Mimics, and San Diego Dorids. A lot of the nudibranchs were pretty big, as in the size of a sub sandwich. It was pretty cool. We saw what we thought might even be a crab eating a nudibranch. Or they were just getting up close and personal. John and I also found a 2.5-foot cabezon (lingcod maybe?). Those suckers are ugly, but damn tasty eating.

All in all, an awesome day, and Nate and Shelly are officially Divemasters–the lowest rank on the Professional totem pole, but easily the hardest rank to earn. This is what John and I are, although we’re working on Assistant Instructor. Good times.

We also learned, upon arriving home, that our white cat, Tubby McFatterson, can hold his bladder for at least a 24 hour period. Poor guy snuck into the bedroom, and then got locked in there while we were gone. This also means that it is definitely the gray cat, Baldy McSkinny (I’ll post pics soon), is the one pooping on the bed when he gets upset with us leaving him alone. Mystery solved.

Then, Monday, Bob arrived! My new computer is shiny and fast and wonderful and I love him. He’s all that I hoped he could be. And best of all, I can check email at work now (or, you know, blog a bit) without worrying about using one of the public computers. That said, it’s been a bit of a crazy week, with lots of stuff to do during the day, but also something diving related every damn night. I’ve headed south (or will head south) all 5 nights this week–twice for meetings, twice to take a class, and once to teach a class.

I only hope something else super good happens–good things come in threes, right? If I could pick, it’d be a successful visit to the reptile house at the SF Zoo on Sunday, but I’m not holding my breathe. We’ll see if the phobia therapy has paid off. Cross your fingers for me, eh?

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