Saturday, September 27, 2008

I am happy to report that Cat is warming up to us! Today is one week since we got her, and last night she showed great promise. The entire week she has been laying in her new spot - a low section of our bookshelf, beneath the desk. She comes out and asks for food and whatnot, but that's where she stays. She lets us pet her, but doesn't come when we call or get too close.

Well, last night Boyfriend was out with friends from work and it was just Cat and me. She actually jumped up onto the couch and watched the presidential debate and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" with me! Once she got used to lying on the top of the couch, she continued to do it, jumping on my head as a sort of boost. She even showed up on our bed last night when we were going to sleep, though she didn't stay for long. These are all super signs that she is feeling more comfortable, and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I did it! I got myself a kitty! She is a 10 year old lilac point Siamese, i.e. a grumpy old lady. She is taking time getting used to us but lets us pet her now. I guess she realizes we control the food supply. When I first got her home yesterday, she hid behind the toilet for hours. Now she roams around, checking out the place and its inhabitants, before chilling in one of her spots. (Yes, she has been here approximately 24 hours and she has her own spots: beneath the living room desk, under the TV stand and in the closet on top of an old suitcase.)

I am anxious for her to fall in love with me but I guess it takes time...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Doesn't everything seem better on Fridays? I have a job interview Monday, and my pipe dream of getting a cat may actually come true.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't know if it is leftovers from the hurricane that totally didn't hit us, but temperatures have dropped in the good old former Lone Star Republic (tee hee). I had to wear a light jacket and pants today - pants! I've been wearing tank tops and shorts forever. Just last week it was in the high 90s, if not 100... I don't know, I've stopped looking at the weather. It's always the same temperature-wise, so what's the point? :) Everyone is rejoicing in this break from the heat, though who knows how long it will last.

You know your life is boring when the most exciting thing to talk about is your lack of sleep. It's not like I'm not doing anything from day-to-day, just very little that all of you would be interested in. I've been watching a lot of TV and movies, which isn't something I normally do, but I think I really just need to shut down at the end of the day. I've also been working on my writing, which takes up a lot of time.

The job search is not going very well. I am disappointed because, especially when it comes to the typical entry-level person, I feel highly qualified for what I am applying for. I mean, 3 years experience at real organizations with real responsibilities right out of the gate. I don't know if it is the bad economy or just the fact that I can only put so much effort into it, but it has yielded a whole lot of nothing so far. I'm not going to give up, but I am also coming to terms with the fact that I am comfortable where I am (despite annoying sexism) and with what I make (despite the fact that, in a perfect world, I'm worth more). My job has very little stress and after 8 hours I get the hell out. There is no working late, there is no weekend project to take home, nothing. At this point in my life, where I am trying to keep my head above water in terms of emotional health, it fits me very well. So while I will continue to look for better, I'm not ready to make this priority #1. I'm just not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the verdict is...

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Well - about 20 minutes of rainfall at midnight last night. That's it. I feel silly that we made such a big deal about it, but also lucky when I look at the devastation wreaked on those at the coast. I guess when they are sending evacuees to your city, you are probably not in danger. Note to self for next time.

I added "Relearn Spanish" to my 101 list but am nervous about actually doing it. I studied the language from age 10 to 16 and aced the hell out of it, but I can't speak a word. I understand a lot and can translate signs and such for people here in Texas, but I couldn't speak to save my life, honestly. I find that tragic. How could I have wasted 6 years of my life working on something that would open me up to new worlds of people and places, not to mention make me more marketable, just to lose it? (I have had to forego applying to many jobs down here because I'm not a Spanish speaker.) It just seems silly.

The only fear I have is that focusing on the Spanish will hurt my already fledgling Italian. No, Italian is not as useful in today's world (in a practical sense), but I have strong ties to it through my heritage and upbringing. It means a hell of a lot to me and I will be very sad to exchange it for Spanish. I know that they are similar, as all Romance languages are, but rather than enhance my learning, I fear I will become confused between the two. Maybe these fears are unfounded, but I don't really know.

To that end, I've started a blog that is exclusively written in Italian, so that perhaps I can get Italian speakers to comment, correct and dialogue with me there. Also, I just wanted a place to write in Italian several times a week. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

(Not Austin - this is what they got down on the coast.)

Hurricane Ike is coming for us. Well, not really, but we will get some piece of it. I keep hearing something different every few minutes, from "We'll be lucky if we get some sprinkles" to the schools are closed and the people in front of me in line at the supermarket are stocking up on Chef Boyardee and bottled water like it was Y2K or the eve of WWIII. Friend From Work, a native Texan, explained to me that the panic surrounding these things has been much higher in Texas since Katrina, because everyone realized that if something happens to you, you're on your own and you're screwed. In fact, refugees from the coast are pouring into Austin as we speak.

Being a non-native Texan, naturally I am completely freaked out. Native Texans have been pointing at me and laughing as they pass my desk. Let me take them home for an old fashioned blizzard and see how they deal.

I am planning on a weekend of knitting, reading, watching movies rented from the library, watching everything saved on my DVR list, writing, and sleeping. Hopefully no cowering under the bed, but can't promise until Ike arrives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I am on my third day of "sugar detox." Not as strictly as Dr. DesMaisons' book suggests, as I am still eating fruit. (I am of the belief that any diet or nutrition program that tells you not to eat fruit is bullshit. Fruit is important.) But I am not eating sweets at all, and I have completely and utterly given up "white things" (breads, pastas, rice). I have been off white things for a while but this time I've gone whole hog. That means no pizza unless there is a wheat crust (which we do have here in Austin; yay for liberal hippies), no quesadillas unless they're on wheat tortillas, etc. I can't even have Lean Cuisines anymore, since they have white pasta and noodles in them. But it is working out well. I am hoping to be able to drop some weight and stabilize my moods.

This morning I toasted two whole grain waffles (with flax - I forget what it is, but it's good for you) in the office kitchen. New Boss entered and said, "Heyyy! Waffles! Now you have to cover them with syrup; fill every hole." I practically ran out of there screaming.

Therapy is becoming progressively more difficult. I suppose this is a good thing. I am starting to get to root causes and issues, which is harder than I thought it would be. Yesterday I was talking about how the anniversary of September 11 is looming over me. I recalled the trauma my family faced because my father was in one of the towers at the time of the attack, and we didn't know if he was alive or dead. I talked about how we could smell smoke for days afterward - how it would wake me in the middle of the night, the smell of burning and death. I talked about how afraid we all were for months, even years, to come. How my mother and her colleagues volunteered to serve food to the rescue workers who worked night and day, digging up body parts at Ground Zero.

My father survived that day, and he survived several others things after that, but now he is dead. So the anniversary, which has long lost its power over me - I cried all day on the first 2 anniversaries - has come back with a vengeance. I've decided to use one of my vacation days on that day, just so I can stay home and not have pressure on me to be happy and smiling at work. Therapist was proud of me for making that decision on how to take care of myself. It's progress.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weekend Trip

I had a lovely 3-day weekend. On Friday Boyfriend had to travel overnight so I had Artsy Friend over. We ate dinner and watched "Gosford Park" and then we gawked over a giant craft book. Fun times.

Saturday he returned and then Sunday we took off for the Texas Hill Country. We spent several hours in a small rustic town on the river that still had its old general store and mill and all. It was super cute, and all we kept telling each other was, "We should take Bro here when he visits next month." After that we went a little further south, to the area where our bed and breakfast was. This was also supposed to be an historic district, with remnants of the German heritage of the people who settled it. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday everything was closed but the bars. German restaurants and bakeries, little shops... everything was totally shut down. So we wandered around the downtown area to no avail. We did walk by a (closed) train museum along the still active train tracks and we were able to take pictures because large trains are still visible, even when the museum is closed :)

We spent the night at the bed and breakfast. It was pretty cute itself, but it lost some of its charm considering that there was a Walgreens a few blocks away. We had expected it to be more in the, you know, hill country. The breakfast yesterday morning was also totally shitty. But overall, it was nice to get out of our apartment and see a new place.