30 January 2009

8 (more) things

well, on facebook there has been a "25 things you may not know about me" thing going around...after i posted mine, i thought of a few more facts that are (perhaps) more interesting, so i decided to share those here.

1. i am incredibly empathetic--not necessarily sympathetic, but moreso empathetic.
frequently little things make my heart break when i'm out and about--things that other people wouldn't find sad. well, not really sad, but touching i guess. examples of things that have made me feel on the verge of tears:
*seeing an elderly person on the bus doing the same motion that i can only assume they've been doing exactly the same way for decades (i.e. the way they take out and apply their chapstick, the way they put their gloves in their bag, etc.)
*in that vein, sometimes seeing an elderly person alone on the bus looking lonely
*i saw a homeless person coloring in an elmo page from a coloring book with a ballpoint pen and almost cried. most people would giggle. i felt so sad/touched inside
*a 20-something guy was on the bus, his hair all done, his outfit business-casual, on the side of slightly nerdy. he was obviously going somewhere and had put effort into his appearance. it touched me and i almost cried.
when i see these things it's not pity that overwhelms me--i feel like i get a glimpse into a moment in these people's lives, and i'm touched in some way. i feel like it's an intimate moment and for some reason i ache inside. weird? i don't know
3. i can pinpoint the exact moment when i started crying in movies. i used to only cry in particular movies, and my tears were very limited. freshman year in college, however, i went to see "pay it forward" with a group of friends, and i just started sobbing in the movie. i was with a group of guys and girls, and i was SO embarrassed and mad at myself for crying and kept saying "i NEVER cry in movies! i never cry! what's wrong with me?" since then i think it has been a downward spiral--i cry more and more easily as time goes on
4. i love going to concerts but always end up complaining about tall people always finding their way in front of me, and my vertical space being zapped up (inevitably at some point i lean over to say something to a friend--feet remaining in place--and when i upright myself i find that somehow someone has leaned into my space so i can no longer stand upright)
5. i frequently have professional jealousy for those in creative fields who have more talent/experience/knowledge than me. right now my current wish is that i knew more about photography and the mechanics of the camera. with that said, i am motivated and learning and willing to take on new endeavors
6. i mentioned on facebook my morbid mind, so i'll expand on that, or at least give some examples. i have sort of a more-or-less constant stream of "what ifs" going through my head. they don't paralyze me, but they're there. some examples:
*standing on a train platform, i have thoughts of "what if there was an earthquake and i fell on the tracks" or "what if someone walked by and just shoved moe onto the track" or "what if i walked by someone and just shoved them onto the track?"
*i was on a job site the other day, on the 4th floor of a building in an area where the floors had been taken out. there was plywood, but i was standing near the edge on a beam. i moved because i thought "what if there was an earthquake right now?"
*sometimes when i'm out and about i think "what if that building just exploded right now?" or "what if i saw someone get shot?"
things like that...this ongoing game of what if.
7. i don't like football. it runs in the family. my mom hates football, my sister hates football. i allow oregon ducks games without question, but other football games must be negotiated (luckily brandon doesn't like nfl). the sound of unwelcome sports events on the tv stress me out and make me anxious.
8. i don't do well when i think animals are in distress. i can't stand giving my cats pills, i was a wreck when they had to get fixed, and i was miserable when they were upset in the car. it breaks my heart and i'm total putty. i can't handle the sarah mclachlan aspca commercials (i have to turn them). even the noah wylie polar bear commercial kills me. brandon reminds me that they're cats, they're okay. i think it comes from the fact that animals are sort of helpless, and at our mercy for their care

well, i guess that's all for now. i have a cat chewing, picture hitting, glass clinking cat who is in desperate need of some activity/attenion....

29 January 2009

the many faces of claire

i think jen's already had a post titled this very same thing, but claire makes enough faces to warrant this...

anyway, today i had the pleasure of watching claire while jen was at work (i took the day off). my dad, who is typically thursday's daycare, ruptured a tendon in his arm and had to have surgery and therefore is out of commission for a little while. it was fun to hang out with the baby all day! lola, claire and i had a day full of eating, sleeping, wii-ing, and a little bit of fuss (but not too much!). claire and i enjoyed a little wii fitness hula hooping and slalom skiing as well (although wii wanted to know why i had suddenly gained weight).

here are some pictures i took today...unfortunately a lot of them were blurry (even some of these are blurry) due to low lighting conditions and the squirmy baby factor...


bad cat behavior update

so, remember the other day when i spoke of stu shutting himself in the bathroom, and then mentioned how the next day he shut himself AND ben in the bathroom? well, we have now had 4 consecutive days of stuart shutting himself in. the 1st and 3rd days, it was just him. the 2nd and 4th days he shut himself and ben in there.

what a weird habit.

27 January 2009

bad cat behavior, ep.4

stuart has a strange habit of locking himself in rooms. our apartment building is old, and doors don't really shut properly, but they stick once they're partially closed. stu enjoys going on his hind legs, putting his paws on the door aaaaaand shut. he's done it when i'm in the room even. lately, he's begun doing it more and more frequently. sometimes he locks ben in the room too, mostly he just locks himself--brandon jokes that he does it on purpose to get away from ben. regardless, it's strange.

yesterday i came home to this:
bad cat behavior, ep. 4
a closed door. that can only mean one thing.
bad cat behavior, ep. 4
yup, he was at it again. even turned over the trash can (he likes doing that too). this time, he went as far as pulling down the hand towels. when i picked them up they were warm--someone must have been napping on them!

ben decided to check out stuart's damage...
bad cat behavior, ep. 4
***update. when brandon came home yesterday, stuart had shut himself AND ben in the bathroom. i'm sure ben was not happy with his brother...***

blood orange margaritas

blood orange margaritas
so my dear friend chris knows of my affinity for blood oranges. when i was in france, i used to drink blood orange juice (so, typing that makes me feel a bit vampirey...anyway, i digress) and i absolutely loved it, but you can't find it here!

for my birthday, chris decided to give me some blood oranges. the first few went to some amazing mimosas, and the next few were blended up with some lime juice and tequila to become blood orange margaritas. i have to say they were amazing, and we will be making more soon. i highly recommend trying it!

claire pictures

well, as promised, i have some pictures of claire from this weekend. she's growing up so fast, but she still is pretty miniature. she looks pretty cute in her little skinny jeans, in my opinion...

26 January 2009

double trouble

so i've been meaning to post and i just haven't gotten to it lately...i've been crafting and hanging out with the fam, etc. soon i will have some new pictures of claire and some new little crafty projects to show, but for now, some pictures of double trouble will have to do...i took these on sunday when the cats were basking in the sunlight streaming in our apartment...
in this first picture, i think stuart truly looks like a wildcat
double trouble_1
ben showing off his facial markings
double trouble_2
the two showing their nosies
double trouble_4
finally, stu sniffing the camera
double trouble_6
i promise i'll write more soon and post more pictures! hope your monday wasn't painful...

20 January 2009

inauguration day, 2009

today, as most people know, was inauguration day, and what an historic day it was! brandon and i were planning on watching at home, but we got a text from chris (well, brandon did, i tagged along) saying that he was heading to civic center and did we want to come along. we decided that watching the inauguration in that setting was a little more exciting and fitting of such a monumental day, so we quickly got ready, grabbed the cameras, and went on our way.
obama street, formerly known as bush street
obama bobblehead
the applause just after president obama took the oath
i was proud to be a part of such a monumental day, and i look forward to the years/months to come!

congratulations to president obama and the first family!

bad cat behavior, ep.3

bad cat behavior, ep.3
so, a frequent challenge in our house is changing the sheets if the cats are anywhere in the vicinity, especially with stuart (ben can usually contain himself).
bad cat behavior, ep.3
i mean, fabric that bellows as it gets fluffed and floats down onto the bed? wrinkles that move as corners are put in place? what more could a curious kitty cat want?
bad cat behavior, ep.3
stuart is typically locked out in order to to expedite the process, but the other night he snuck in
bad cat behavior, ep.3
this time, ben decided to join in on the action

luckily for me, there is an easy solution to this bad cat behavior...don't let them in the room!

18 January 2009

san francisco photo adventure

so it has come to my attention that i've been spending a lot of time at home, and if i am out i am not with my camera. i mentioned this to brandon, and we decided to remedy this with a photo adventure on saturday morning. we first walked to civic center to drop some books off at the library, then wandered down to the federal building and through soma for our little excursion.
yes, that is brandon in the background
i took this next picture to commemorate my completely unnecessary trek up this hill...i started way down yonder at the flat part--about 10 blocks from the water. you know the hill is steep when it has actual steps in the sidewalk.

14 January 2009

chicken legs

poor little stu...he is the brother that got more of the tabby body as opposed to the bengal body. he's a little more stout with an adorable spotted tummy, but in contrast his legs...well...you can see for yourself
chicken legs
how ridiculous but cute is this photo?

cat wheel

i have found the (potential) solution to all my troublesome kitty problems...the cats (well, ben at least) act up because they need more exercise/want to be played with, right? now, this product that i'm going to show you via video has had a lot of responses on websites and blogs with people saying oh, quit being lazy, get up and play with your pet...laser pointer, a piece of string, toys...your cat can get plenty of exercise with these things.

OBVIOUSLY these people have normal house cats. cats that would rather be alone, that like to play for maybe an hour a day and sleep the rest of the time. when you have dog cats which would put the energizer bunny to shame in the long-lasting energy department, you understand why this product is appealing. we can play with stu for a while and he'll collapse from exhaustion and be down for maybe 5-10 minutes before he's back up. ben, however, has a bounce-back time of about two minutes. no joke. our cats also conveniently take turns, so while we play with one, the other will rest and vice versa. if the boys had their way, we'd play with them from the moment we got home until the moment we go to bed, and they'd probably STILL be trying to play once we were in bed.

i'd also like to take this opportunity to mention that, through the lovely invention of the cat dancer, we are easily able to occupy our kitties, but we have also increased their stamina. good for kitties, bad for us if we're trying to get something done.

anyway, enough of the ranting and time for the product--the amazing cat wheel. i've always said i'd love to see ben at a full sprint (in a controlled situation) and this would be a great way to do just that (there's an example around 2:10 in the video). thanks to the meridian bengals for demonstrating. by the way--according to various sites, the cat wheel was specifically invented for bengal cats (i guess i should mention here in case i haven't before that multiple vets have confirmed that they are pretty sure the boys are a bengal/tabby mix). what does that tell you?

13 January 2009

summer? faaaaaaaaaaaaaalse

remember this post, where i was complaining about the winter weather in july? well, the weather has decided to even itself by giving us summer in january. yesterday it was supposedly a high of 76 in soma. according to noaa, today is supposed to be a high of 71 in san francisco. i am not complaining, i promise, but oh...my...gosh. there are people (and i mean people--not a person) out in strapless sundresses and halter tops. people running in shorts and sports bras. i don't mind this, but i sort of wish this weather would stick to summer so i could feel like i actually have a summer. in the meantime, i've brought out the short sleeves and am loading up on the vitamin d!

12 January 2009

hold me closer, cat dancer

last weekend we bought the kitties cat dancer, an incredibly simple but addictive toy. it is absolutely like a drug for these two...they'll cry and follow you around and do all their naughty behavior until we play cat dancer with them. the first few days they'd play until they pant, but unfortunately we've played so much that i think they've built up stamina, which makes tiring them out even more difficult. i've found myself in trouble because i'll stop paying attention to where i'm dangling the toy and i suddenly have a cat lunging at me...whoopsies. i snapped some pictures of them playing with cat dancer the other day to give a taste of their excitement.
that's ben in the air, stu in the bed (typical)
cat dancer_1
again, ben jumping, stu watching
cat dancer_2
ben contemplating his attack
cat dancer_4
and stu this time, ready for his attack
cat dancer_5

11 January 2009


today i had lunch with some friends from high school--it was long overdue, and luckily our hand was forced since faren goes back to australia on wednesday. we met up in walnut creek with the additional purpose of celebrating the recent engagement of two of our friends--joanne and faren both got engaged over the holidays to a couple terrific (and very lucky) guys. we went to katy's kreek in walnut creek and had a fantastic sunday afternoon brunch. the food was great, and the company even greater. it was so nice to hang out and catch up--we don't do it often enough! here's to getting together more in the new year!

a picture of the two engaged girls:

jen's birthday evening

on saturday night my parent's threw my sister a cocktail party for her birthday (which was thursday). it was a lovely evening with family and friends...at time to relax and visit (and if you're me, hold babies...haha. these pics were obviously snapped between me holding baby davis and baby claire).
the setup
jen party_1
brandon's sugar art
jen party_2
a portion of the bar
jen party_3
cocltail napkins hand-stamped by yours truly
jen party_4
a toast to jen
jen party_5
jen party_6

08 January 2009

mystery unveiled

so after i left a note on my neighbor's door, i heard a faint knock. i went to answer it and it was my neighbor saying he had received his note. he said it had been him that flipped it--apparently in the chinese culture, there are a lot of superstitions with mirrors (this is all according to him). he's apparently been having serious nightmares lately, and the mirror is the only thing he could think of that might be causing it. i found an article which states:

"Remove mirrors opposite your entryway door. The mirror will reflect beneficial Chi -- and prosperity -- out of your home before it has a chance to enter. "

the mirror does face his door directly. luckily in my note i had included that if there was a reason for the flipping, i'd be happy to come up with a solution. he even complained to the landlord, asking him to remove the dresser. we, however, have grown attached to it and i would hate to see it leave--it's the only place we can have fresh plants because of the kitties. after speaking with the neighbor for a few minutes, he said it'd be fine if i just covered the mirror. yay! mystery solved, and everyone's happy.

creepy [cont'd]

***update 1. contact attempted, but no one was home. left a note on their door.***

soooooo, the mirror was flipped again this morning. i've determined it HAS to be either neighbor across the hall or a visitor to neighbor across the hall. regardless, i'm going to inquire tonight if they have been flipping the mirror, or if they have had a guest possibly flipping it on their way out of the building. honestly, if i know WHO is flipping it, i don't mind--they can flip as often as they please. until then, however, the flipping is freaking me out. if it's a prank, fine. if the mirror freaks YOU out, fine. i'll find some fun pretty paper to cover it and we'll call it a day. if it is the creeps-out-the-neighbor factor, however, why wouldn't you just say something to us? obviously we're just going to keep turning it back. it's been suggested that i leave it and see if someone then flips it back, but i'm too much of a wuss to do that. some signs i'm tempted to put up:
"i'm a mirror. i see you. please stop flipping me."
"if you can see me, i can see you. please don't turn me over."
"please don't turn me over, the wall isn't very fun to look at."
"would you like it if i kept turning YOU over? please stop turning me around."
"what you don't realize is that i am actually a hidden camera. i know who you are. please stop messing with me."
"i'm sorry you don't like to see yourself in the mirror, but it's not my fault that you're scary looking. please don't turn me around."

anyway, hopefully the mystery will be unveiled and i'll have an update later tonight...

07 January 2009

christmas gift

i realize i never shared what brandon got me for christmas, which is surprising because i'm EXTREMELY excited about my gift. this year, especially since we just got back from new york, brandon and i decided to set a very low price limit for christmas gifts. in november i blogged about brevity designs, and the necklaces and earrings i was swooning over. i didn't know that brandon actually does read my blog, but the husband paid attention to my swooning post AND he was paying attention to the time i said in passing that i wanted to start wearing earrings more often. i was genuinely shocked when i opened my little package from brandon--i had no idea he knew about those earrings! i have been wearing them constantly....here's a picture i snapped today
christmas present

bad cat behavior, ep.2

so, remember that cute little cat curtain i made for my bookshelf? and how i mentioned that i only had a makeshift curtain rod and needed something else? well, the need for that became a little more urgent. i came home from work and it was obvious that two little cyclones had hit our apartment:
bad cat behavior, ep.2
bad cat behavior, ep.2
apparently we have a woodchuck or two residing here. not only was the curtain down and stick chewed in half, but the blanket was halfway across the room, their bed was flipped over, and the bathroom trash was knocked over. looks like the boys had a wild day! never a dull moment at our household....i really need to get some kitty cams up