I’m pretty excited about this new book because it’s pretty and it’s set in space and it’s YA (Young Adult) AND a romance/struggle sort of thing. Anyway, if you like YA as much as I do, enter the contest. Plus, did I mention the cover was pretty?

Take a look for yourselves!

I was reading Jess Riley’s blog today and she wrote a post that has inspired me. Which is good, because I so need inspiration. Speaking of Jess Riley, I just finished reading her second book, All the Lonely People, the other day and it was fantastic. She’s really an awesome author and is being added to what I call my trifecta authors (great dialogue, amazing descriptions, and out of this world character development. There are only a few authors I’ve found that can manage this – Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Harlan Coben, and Jennifer Crusie are on that list). Anyway, her post was about how working at home leads her to talking to her dog. It’s quite funny and hits a little close to home.

As you know, I have two cats. Edmund Fitzgerald Orange (Eddy) and Kalypso Jean Grey (Kalli). They are both the light of my life and, also, the closest I’m ever going to get to having children. Which, you know, is probably a good thing since I once left Eddy in the apartment hallway overnight.

I do not work from home but I do find myself talking to them quite often.

Conversations with Eddy:

“Hi, pumpkin! Who is my pumpkin boy?”

“Bag licker! Stop it! (He loves to chew on plastic bags. No clue why)”

After hearing a thump from the kitchen: “Edmund! What are you doing? Stop licking the butter!”

“Eddy in a box!” You know, from when he jumps into a box which is what cats do.

“Eddy! Treat time! Treats! Don’t you want your treats? Oh, fine, I guess you can have them in bed.”

“No, you cannot have my pizza.”

“Edmund Fitzgerald Orange, you put that rib bone down right now! (Apparently he’s a fan of BBQ)”

“What time is it?”

“Cat, how come you never cuddle with me?” Even though he is technically my cat, the only time he comes to cuddle with me is when Kim (my roommate) is out of town.

Conversations with Kalli (or the Kitten as she is often called):

Taking her home from the vet after she’s been spayed. She’s in her cat carrier and is letting everyone know that she is not pleased about it while I’m waiting in line to pay. After one especially loud screech, I look down at her and say “Yes, yes, you’re so abused. No one loves you. Your life is so horrible.” Everyone in line started laughing and one woman said “Oh my God, that’s exactly what I say to my teenagers!”

“Kitten! Stop stealing your brother’s treats!”

“Hi, baby! Are you my little girl? Do you love the mama?”

“Stop growling! It’s just the pizza guy.” Shortly before we moved, Kalli discovered that she could growl. Now it’s her new favorite sound. She growls when the neighbors are coming home, when we’re getting delivery, when our sidewalks are being shoveled. Although it is kind of nice to have a kitten alarm clock.

“Seriously? It’s 3:30 AM! You do not need treats!”

“Kitten! Do not bite your brother!”

“Bless the kitten! (She sneezed. Yes. I’m that person.)”

“Kittens do not go into the dishwasher!” This phrase is interchangeable with refrigerator, washing machine, and “Please do not climb on the toaster!”

“Are you talking to your snow friends?” At the apartment, when she was actually a kitten, we discovered that she’s a chatterer. She chatters at snow, birds, the evil red dot from the laser pointer, and her spider friends (for some reason, our apartment building was a spider magnet. The 3rd floor laundry room windows were covered with webs and our 27th floor apartment always had two or three spiders on the windows. It was gross but also amusing watching her watch them).

“Kalli. Do not sit on your brother’s head. That is not very nice.”

“Why are you such a pain in my ass? Oh my God, shut up! You do not need treats!”

“No! Stop it! Dammit, cat! Get your tail out of the glue!” Trying to craft with a cat is quite impossible. Eddy gets fascinated by anything involving string or ribbon but Kalli wants to “help” with everything!

“No. There’s no water in the glass. Stop trying to tip it over. Oh, fine, here.” She insists on drinking out of my water glass. I let her. Because I’m that person.

And, when leaving for work in the morning, there’s this, which I’m sure makes the neighbors think we are insane. “Bye, babies! Have a good day! Make good choices!”

I love my cats. I think they help keep me sane. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Every once in awhile, I check WordPress’s spam filter. I love this thing. Usually it’s just a quick delete. No big, right?

But tonight, I saw one that actually made me laugh. Apparently someone was searching for “Kalli gets tucked in with Ollie” on the Google and my post about my cat taking a nap with my newest stuffed animal was not number one. So I should totes purchase some sort of marketing thingy and promote my blog.

Yeah, I see that happening. It’s like Facebook with the promote your post option. Yes, spend $7 to promote a status update. Why? Who knows? But, according to one of my co-workers, all I ever post about is the cats, books, or odd dreams. Sad to say that he knows me so well. I did not come back with “Well, all you post about is your kid and football” but honestly, I don’t pay that much attention.

In other news, Eddy has been freaking me out. About a month ago, he started urinating in unauthorized areas. He’s an older cat so we were worried. Everything online seemed to point to a UTI or worse, kidney stones. So we take him to the vet and pay $186 to find out, nope, not a UTI, he’s afraid of the laundry room where the litter boxes are kept. Which we thought could be the problem because we’ve seen him high tail out of the room whenever we turned on the washer/dryer or the furnace kicked on. One fun part of the experience was when the vet’s assistant asked how old he was just as he jumped from the floor to the counter. I said he was 17 and she said “Well, it’s definitely not arthritis.” Anyway, we moved one of the litter boxes out of the laundry room and into the crafting area in the basement. Problem solved.

Until yesterday. Eddy threw up a couple of times during the night, which is not so odd. We call him our bulimic baby because a couple of times a week, he eats his food so fast that he’ll end up throwing it up. Which is thrilling for me since I’m the one that has to clean it up. Blech. However, throwing up has never affected his appetite before. Kim and I are leaving for work which is magic time for the cats since that’s when the treats are dispensed. But Eddy won’t come for treats.

We get home last night and we can’t find him anywhere, even after shaking the treat buffet (sounds fancier than an old Helluva Dip container that we use to contain the treats). He finally comes out and won’t eat again. Nothing tempts him, not even turkey. This morning, we realize he spent the entire night in Kim’s bathroom in the cat bed we moved in there (he had been laying next to the heat vent) and he wouldn’t eat again. I honestly thought I was going to come home from work tonight and find that he had gone to that big kitty play tower in the sky. It didn’t help that he was letting me hold him and kiss him repeatedly. Typically that is cause for squirming and running away.

But my story has a happy ending. We came home tonight to find him waiting by the stairs. He let out one or two meows to let us know that he was hungry and ate his treats happily. I know that eventually there will come a day where he does leave us but the longer I can put that off, the better. The vet said he was in great shape for his age and they were shocked at how agile he is. So he could live for years, knock on wood.

Long story short (too late), I love my cats. They make me happy. Which is really important when you struggle with depression. I think they’re like Effexor in fur form.

 

So on Friday, I had to pay a visit to the doctor. I’m trying to get FMLA at work. Not so much because I need it but I’ve been out of work before due to illness and written up. You can only miss so many days before there’s the possibility of being fired.

I was asked if I was doing anything fun with my day off and I said “I’m going to the doctor to get poked and yelled at, not my idea of a fun time.” Also, while I didn’t realize it, I was suffering from depression. Every year, like clockwork, my normal, regular depression starts pressing in more and goes from lower case to upper case Depression. Last year, I ended up screaming and crying at Kari and Kim about how they hated me and I was all alone and blah, blah, life sucks, blah, pity me, blah. Long story short (too late), Kim pointed out what time of year it was. I am not only bipolar but I have what a former therapist referred to as “milestone triggers.” So my birthday is a huge trigger for me. I’m sure I’ve written about my former “friend” that used to, every year on March 1st, say “Dana, your birthday is on March 11th and you’re going to be how old? What have you accomplished with your life?” Then I would sit there and try to defend myself and he would shoot down every response I made to prove that, once again, I was nothing. Obviously I know I am not nothing now but it was hard to realize it back then.

Anyway, this is the first time ever that I’ve been able to realize what was going on. I’ve got some major stress things going on right now (including the fact that I’m torn between loving and hating my job) and I caught myself on Friday morning thinking “What good am I? What purpose does my life serve? Have I accomplished anything?”

Whoa. What purpose does my life serve? Former “friend’s” specter (and I can never say that without the quotation marks, I even make air quotes when I mention him) was rearing his ugly head. He used to say that my purpose in life was to make people laugh. Which doesn’t sound so bad until you tie it in with what he meant – I wasn’t supposed to make people laugh with me, I was supposed to make them laugh at me because I was so ridiculous and fat and stupid and whatever thing he wanted to say to bring me down.

So, I talked to Deb, I brought up how I’ve been feeling lately, and we discussed treatment. We can’t up my meds because I’m at the highest FDA approved dosage of Effexor (or faux Effexor since I’m on the generic version of it). But since I’ve realized what’s happened and talked about it, I feel better. I feel almost euphoric. It’s important that I’ve figured out what was going on.

What was this about? Oh, yes, things I’m loving.

  1. Pinterest. I am so freaking addicted, it’s not even funny. The ideas, the thoughts, the crafts! I’ve found so many things that I’m going to try and, even better, am now looking at Anthropologie and Pottery Barn and instead of thinking, oh, I’ll never be able to afford that, am thinking “Hey, I bet I could make that.” Also, if you happen to have a couple extra thousands lying around, I’d really like this bike. It’s pretty.
  2. Reading. I’ve always loved to read and being able to go to the library is awesome. I also got a Kindle for Christmas and do you have any idea how many free books are out there? I may look into self-publishing someday. You know, if I ever finish a book. This year I resolved to actually keep track of what I read and have been faithful about using Good Reads to do so. Which reminds me, got to track Catherine McKenzie’s Arranged, finished it last night. I liked it.
  3. Getting (slowly) back into blogging. I’m going to try to post once or twice a week month. Let’s be honest here. I’m not good at the blogging thing.
  4. Recognizing that I was depressed. It’s weird to realize that I love that but I do.

Kalli gets tucked in with Ollie

Ollie, in case you haven’t guessed, is the Owl’s name. Every year Kohl’s does a Kohl’s for Kids charity thing that I adore – they have CDs or books or stuffed animals for $5 each and the proceeds go to help children in need. This is where I got Mr. Calitri (Sandra Boynton chicken named after the hottest bad guy ever, Mr. Calitri from Gone in 60 Seconds). Ollie is named Ollie because a) he’s an owl and 2) I told Keem that she had to name her owl Stan so they were named after Laurel and Hardy.

Hi. It’s been awhile. September of last year, to be exact.

Anyway, how are you? Excited or disappointed that the Mayans were wrong (or people fussed over nothing). It’s starting to feel a bit like a verse from my absolute favorite episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Once More with Feeling, like that’s a shock to anyone that knows me. Oh, Dana likes musicals? Quelle surprise!):

Apocalypse?
We’ve all been there
The same old trips
Why should we care?

You know what I mean? After the Y2K furor, the pastor last year that predicted the world would end twice (and was wrong both times), and the 12/21/2012 predictions. Did you know that there were actually people that pulled their kids out of school? How embarrassing, right?

Anyway, nothing’s really new with me. I’m still working at the same place, I am still not working on the electronic resource (but don’t actually mind anymore), we still have two cats. I need to get a camera because Eddy and Kalli are way cuter than my phone’s or iPod’s camera can handle.

How are you?

In 2008, I was promoted to a new job as a Quality Monitor.  Part of my new responsibilities were taking over the Electronic Library.  It was a strange, hectic time (see this search for posts that relate to the hectic).  In the past, it was something that I loved but, over the years, it became frustrating because I was constantly overwhelmed.  But yet, it was still something I enjoyed.  I had a love/hate relationship with that aspect of my job and, throughout the years, it became harder and harder to remain positive.  During the last year, I had to seriously defend the work I was doing.  I was threatened with the fact that if I didn’t get better time management skills, I’d lose that part of my job.  Even though I was doing more work than anyone else on my team, I was being penalized.  So I made the adjustments, I got better at time management and then I was doing even more work.  I’ve been stressed out, I’ve felt like a complete and total failure, and then I was finally proud of myself for getting things under control. And then everything changed.  Long story short, I’ve been preparing myself for the fact that someday I might lose this.  Something I referred to as my baby was going to be taken away from me.

Today my manager asked me to meet with her.  Going forward, I’m no longer involved with the Electronic Library except as a back up.

Part of me is completely devastated.  The other part of me is relieved and glad I don’t have to deal with something I was no longer proud to put my name on.  Part of me is waiting for the entire thing to self-destruct without me and I will laugh.

I am so very conflicted right now.

Today I signed up for Weight Watchers.  It’s being offered at work and I’m pretty excited about it.  The program has changed a lot since the last time I was a member.  I figured it’s about time I start doing something about my weight and the fact that I’m completely out of shape.

The division of Wells Fargo that I work for has two offices.  Until recently, one was in Mendota Heights and the other was in South Saint Paul.  Kim was at the SSP office while I was in MH.  About a month ago, Kim’s office is now up the street from mine, maybe a quarter of a mile away.  She typically calls me to let me know when she’s on her way to pick me up.  One day I walked outside and thought “It’s too hot to just stand here” so I started walking up to meet her.  I try to do this about two-three times a week, if not more often.  It’s more exercise than I normally get.

My body is displeased with me.  It doesn’t like the walking and starts to throw temper tantrums.  Back spasms, knee pain (still sore from our move over two months ago), heavy breathing (I sound like I’m competing for world’s most obscene phone call), etc.  But I don’t care.  I am tired of being obese.  I am going to do something about this even if it kills me.  And it might.  With the weather hitting above 90s all this week and the godawful humidity, I need to be careful.  So I have Kim drop me off and walk to work in the morning.

Hopefully there will be good results.

Now I must go.  It’s 1:35 AM and Kalli has decided she wants to cuddle so she’s trying to climb on the keyboard.

I am going to blog more.  I am.  I need to blog.  I miss it.  Facebook is fun and I can be snarky and all but I miss actually sitting down at the computer and writing.  So I’m going to give it a shot.

Anyway, what brings me back?  Yet again, I opened mouth and inserted foot.

Conversation with co-workers on the way to lunch.

Christy:  Oh, hey, the liquor store is having a sale.  We should go buy beer.
Dana:  Blech.

This leads to a conversation about what our favorite liquors are.

C:  I don’t really like hard liquor anymore.  I had a perfectly made G&T and it tasted like crap.
Jessica A:  Well, yeah.  Gin.  Blech!
Dana:  I second your blech!  (or something similar to that).
Brett:  I like gin.
JA:  It tastes like pine needles.
D (snorts):  Uh, yeah, that’s what it’s made from (well, actually it’s juniper now that I think of it).
C:  What’s your favorite, Brett?
B:  Tequila.

Both Jess and I wince.

D:  I haven’t had tequila since I almost threw up on the cute guy I had a crush on when we were playing spin the bottle.

Why?  Why do I open my mouth?  I know this just leads to trouble.

C (incredulous):  Were you 15?
D (sheepishly):  No.  28.

Later tonight, I was talking about Beth and mentioned this to her.  I told her some day I’m going to write a book of really dumb things that I’ve done that probably no one else has done.  She said she could probably add a few stories as well and that some of them are even written down.

So that’s why I’m here.  I was wondering if that story has been written down and decided to check out my poor neglected blog.  Oh, look.  Yes, it has.

Beth and I were talking the other night (April 16th because it’s now April 21st) and I decided I am going to go through this blog and pick some of my favorite stories.  Stories that I will clean-up and think about publishing some day.  And, I am going to try to blog more.  I promise.

Thanks for your nice comments, guys, I appreciate it!  I have calmed down a little bit.  I know there’s some major things I need to do to get out of this hole and I’m going to make the effort to figure it out.

Now, for non-cranky news:  I am sick.  Which, actually, does make me a little cranky.  I hate being sick.  The first day is always the worst because you’ve got the fuzzy head and absolutely no cold medicine except for some lousy cough drops that you bought at the convenience store which taste terrible and don’t seem to work at all.  And your co-workers are making the sign of the cross every time you look in their general direction.  What’s even worse is that Keem went to LaCrosse and I am home with the kitties and there is no one here for me to whine at.  My co-worker Jessica said I couldn’t whine at Keem about being sick with all that she’s going through right now and I agree.  So I just sent her an email telling her that I missed her and also said “I am sick.  It sucks.”  Not one word about how I’m probably dying.

Nyquil is quite possibly the best drug ever.  Dayquil is also not too shabby.  And Ricola cough drops taste good AND also assist in suppressing coughing.  I am going to take two Nyquil and go to bed.  Hopefully the plague will have passed me by tomorrow.

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