Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three Weeks In

Three weeks in to my new semester and I had a breakdown that pretty much consumed my entire Sunday. Mark dealt with my massive meltdown like a trooper since he’s had plenty of experience in this department. He made me get into bed, got me tea, and then made me take a nap. I still have anxiety, but at least I didn’t cry for the rest of the day.  

I basically realized that I have mass amounts of reading that I can’t keep up with. Having to go to school as well as work when you’re taking five classes is harder this semester than it’s ever been before. I know that there are multiple reasons for this, but I can’t get over how much work I’m being given for an undergraduate degree. Right now I’d guess that I’m somewhere around 700 pages a week and that doesn’t even include all the written assignments that I have to complete. I was overcome with panic when I realized that I had to read one book by Tuesday and another by Friday. For different courses. And that’s only for TWO of my FIVE courses. Plus I still have to go to work and school every day this week.

I’m now taking strategies for how to pick the winning lottery numbers. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Get Fuzzy

Get Fuzzy is an awesome cartoon strip that is written and illustrated by Darby Conley. It circles around the life of Rob Wilco and his pets; crazy feline Bucky and the dumb but lovable dog, Satchel. Think of Garfield but with way more of an edge.

My super cool cousin, Jess, first turned me on to it about eight years ago. I tried to follow it regularly for the next few years, but after that my only interaction with it was when I happened to pick up a major newspaper that ran the strip. I also read it continuously during my 2008 fall semester since I was required to read The Washington Post everyday for a journalism course. But for the past year, I’ve been completely out of touch. Until today, that is.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a fair amount of the Get Fuzzy compilation books. I have noticed them sitting on my bookshelves for the past couple weeks and meant to take a quick peek to get a laugh or two. Since DC was hit with an unexpected (to me, anyway) snowstorm today, it was a great day to sit around and read some Get Fuzzy.

I had forgotten how funny some of the plotlines are. I kept laughing and then pointing out ones that Mark had to read. If you’re looking for something to brighten your day, check them out. And maybe make some connections between your own pets and the ones in the cartoon…  

Friday, January 29, 2010


This was our beloved pup, Duke. You might have heard me mention him here the other day. We had to put him down almost a year and a half ago and I still can’t talk about him without crying. It breaks my heart every single time. So on to my story before I start having a breakdown.

When we first moved to DC, Mark’s parents took the dogs to for a while so that we could get settled without two big mutts running around a tiny apartment. Their first night at our new place, we were stoked. We were so excited to have them back that we forgot about the havoc they can wreak.

The next morning we’re all rolling out of bed when I walk into the bathroom and see urine all over our toilet. Instinctively, I yell at Mark.

Me: What the hell were you doing in the bathroom?

Mark: What? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Me: There is urine ALL OVER the toilet! What did you do, go in the dark?

At this point, Mark walks into the bathroom to see for himself what’s gotten me so upset. Right after seeing it, he says, “I didn’t do that.” Oh, really? Well, if he didn’t, who the hell did? Of course you already saw where this story was going, but we pretty much realized who the culprit was at the same time.

Not only did Duke feel his need to mark his territory on the toilet, but also on numerous other surfaces in our apartment. He’d been quite the busy boy during the night. From the next night on, the doors to the bedroom were always closed and Duke had to suffer with snacking out of the cat box, one of his favorite hobbies. But that’s a story for another day. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's 10:16 pm and...

I'm going to bed! Sorry for the short post and I promise better things for the weekend. I'm considering it a miracle that I'm going to get into bed by 10:30pm on a school-night! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleepiness Everywhere

I can’t seem to learn my lesson. I keep going to bed after midnight every day of the week. There’s so much that needs to be done. First work, then school, then homework, and finally exhaustion. It’s the third week of school and I haven’t figured out how to keep up yet. Maybe it’s because I have five classes this semester instead of four like last semester. Maybe it’s because I made the mistake of having two of those five be graduate level. Or it could be the fact that I have to squeeze in work as well. I feel behind, cranky, tired beyond belief, and stressed out. Is college supposed to be like this?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


For a few short minutes today, I thought this beautiful girl would be mine. Mark saw her wandering around the street in front of our apartment and went outside (with Jade) to investigate. He said she was suuuuper sweet and very well trained. He worried about her getting hurt so he took her inside. He sent me a picture right away and I was totally sold on a dog that I’d never even met. I’d been begging Mark for a puppy for some time (truthfully, almost since we had to put Duke down last year) and he has refused me time and time again. But a stray dog who needed a home? In this economy, where shelter numbers are up because people can’t afford to keep their pets? OF COURSE he would let me keep her! Yeah, not so much.

Within 15 minutes he had found her owners. They were visiting people in our neighborhood all the way from North Carolina and their beautiful pup’s name was Isis. They were extremely grateful and Mark was just as glad that he was able to help. I’m very happy that the nice people got their doggy back, but I’m also disappointed that I couldn’t keep her. Oh well.

Now, if I could only find a way to get a puppy to wander right into our backyard…

Monday, January 25, 2010

25 Days and Counting

I’ve now blogged for 25 days straight. And now I’m proud to announce that I’m out of ideas. Not completely, but as far as today goes, I’m dead. I need more than 5 hours of sleep and a day doing something OTHER than working in order to give you people good reading material.

Currently, my kitchen is full of dirty dishes that I keep hoping will wash themselves, my bathroom is sprinkled with cat litter that I wish would magically find its way to the trash, and there is just overall clutter everywhere. And since I’m sure you don’t want to hear a pathetic story about how I can’t keep my apartment clean, do my homework, go to work, and just get through the day without strangling someone, I shall end it here. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finally... Productivity!

I’m going to take a minute here to tell you that I’m overcome with joy about getting crap done today. I think did more homework today than I did all of last semester. I was even surprised to learn that the readings are interesting! My normal weekends are spent zoned out in front of out big-screen, but not today! Today I got up (mind you, it was at 11:30, but I still got up!) and bulldozed through my week’s work. I got through a good amount of the readings, a journal entry, part of a book, and even part of a questionnaire that needs to be completed for Thursday. Did you see that?! THURSDAY, people. Today is SUNDAY and I’m preparing for things that aren’t even happening until the end of the week! I even got some non-school stuff done, which is even more incredible. I’m praying that today wasn’t some weird fluke, that someone didn’t slip me an Adderall as a cruel joke and that by tomorrow I’ll be back to my procrastinator ways. Please let this be some inspiration to get me on a roll for the rest of this semester… It felt so good to be productive! 

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I’m going to let you in on a little secret that will change your life. Peapod. Yes, the service that delivers your groceries. Since we don’t have a car and there was an unfortunate incident with our grocery cart, we use Peapod to get our groceries every couple weeks. You have no idea whatsoever how many countless hours this wonderful website saves me every month. First of all, you’re able to compare prices and see what’s on sale, all on one page. And in the side column it shows you all the groceries that are in your virtual cart, as well as the total amount you’ve spent so far. Plus, if you’re trying out recipes from online, all you have to do is open another tab and click back and forth. SO EASY! And you can shop from home! In your pajamas!

I also find that Peapod helps me spend less because I don’t impulse buy. I’m usually able to plan well enough that the groceries last for two weeks. I think that’s pretty damn good, especially because I can normally do it for about $150. Oh, and that amount includes not only dinners, but breakfasts and lunches too. One of the best parts is that they normally offer you a great incentive for your first order. If you’re looking to save some time in your life, you need to try it. Once you try it, let me know how much you love it! 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pizza Night

A few days ago, Mark and I came home to a pizza brochure stuffed in our mail slot. It’s a place we used to order from all the time before Mark lost his job. It’s pretty good, and only pretty good because that’s the best you’ll get in DC. These people have NO idea what real pizza is, and since we’re from Chicago, of course we consider ourselves to be experts (or snobs. Whatever). Mark commented that pizza would be really great for dinner and I agreed. The only problem was that we couldn’t afford to spend $15 on one night’s meal. That much normally lasts us 3, maybe 4 nights if we play our cards right.

Well, remember when I was complaining last week about how my allergist bill was $80? I told my mom about it and she offered to pay for it. I told her no, that I was a grown up now, and that I could pay it. It would suck to lose that kind of money, but I told her I would do it but that I’d ask her for money if I really needed it.  A couple days ago I got a card in the mail (I know, something good!) from my mom. Inside was a sweet card about what a bumpy road life can be, and inside the card was a check. She included a little extra and instructed that I MUST use it for something fun. I emailed her the next day to thank her and explained about the pizza brochure incident and how depressed we were that we couldn’t even afford order a pizza. I promised that I would use the extra money to get us some pizza for an end of the week treat.

You have no idea how much being able to buy an artichoke, garlic, and feta pizza cheered us up. I really have the best mom in the whole world. Thanks mom, I love you! 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oscar, aka "Cone"

Our poor cone-kitty. In short, the vet still doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. His eye started to improve a few days ago but now it’s back to looking all gross. We refuse to take him back to the vet we’ve been seeing, because we feel like she’s ripping us off and not fixing the problem. Instead, we’re going to call the low-cost clinic and make an appointment with them. I’m not sure if they have specialists they work with, but it’ll cost a hell of a lot less to take him to the low-cost clinic for a second opinion than to see the kitty ophthalmologist. Paying full-price for a specialist is a LAST resort!

But in the meantime, I feel so guilty for keeping his cone on. I know that we can’t take it off or else he’ll scratch it out, but he looks so pitiful when he bumps in to everything. Please keep your fingers crossed that we don’t have to take his eye out!

Oh, and one last note: The letter that I posted to my neighbors yesterday will never actually be sent to them. It was more for my own emotional release. I just thought you all might enjoy seeing how petty people can be. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Neighbors

Yesterday we received a letter from some neighbors on our block about trash collection. These people took it upon themselves to band together as somewhat of a neighborhood board. They reminded us of the guidelines for putting out trash during the week, and there was even a section that was highlighted. It claimed to be friendly, but in fact it took a rather condescending tone. I (as well as others) took offense to the letter and so I’ve crafted a polite but firm response.

Dear Neighbors:

I realize that your letter probably didn’t mean to offend anybody. You go to work in order to pay for your home, and consequently you want it, and the neighborhood it’s in, to look nice. However, I feel that sending everyone on the block a memo about appropriate trash etiquette was rude. We received a really nice note after our first week here when we weren’t aware that you were supposed to put your trash on one side of the street only. From then on, I assumed that another reminder would not be sent our way.

We all have lives to lead and quite frankly, some of us are more stressed than others. Some of us work in jobs we despise, others go to school, and some are even unemployed. We worry about how we’ll pay next month’s rent or if we’ll have enough money to last us until payday. There are times when we can’t even afford to order a pizza. I apologize that sometimes we forget to retrieve our bins on the day the trash was picked up, but for most of us, trash isn’t the first thing on our minds when we get home. We’re trying to focus on shaking off the anxiety we’ve been carrying all day so we can at least try and enjoy the rest of our night. But then we walk in our door and find a letter about making sure we’re putting our trash in the correct spot, somehow insinuating that we’re not as good as the rest of you.

Honestly, if we don’t have a problem similar to someone on Hoarders, I don’t think it’s necessary for you to try and scare us with the threat of fines. Next time, before you send out a note to the whole block, please consider that everyone has different priorities and no one appreciates being treated like troublesome neighbors. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

OMG, Graduate Programs

Just out of plain curiosity, this evening I went to my university’s webpage to look at graduate programs. I had a few ideas in mind, and at the top of the list was creative writing. My undergrad degree will be in journalism, but I’m not sure it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m actually not even sure I’m all that interested in the discipline at all. I like the writing aspect of it so I thought that maybe creative writing was a possibility. Not only do you need 48 credit hours to get your MFA (you’ll see why this is such a large number in a minute), you need to take an entire course on POETRY. I don’t mind poetry when it’s just a tiny section out of a semester-long course, but when it’s an ENTIRE course, I get a little nervous.

I decided to look into an MA in journalism, and get this: you only need 30 hours worth of credits to graduate from that program! I mean, hell, why waste another 18 hours and thousands of dollars of my precious money?! Oh, but wait… I’m not that fond of journalism in the first place. So now I’m back where I started. I decided to look at one final topic, public communication. To be quite honest, I don’t even know what it’s about but it’s also 30 credit hours for an MA, which seems a whole lot better than the 48 for creative writing that I had looked at earlier.

I think that creative writing is still what I’d most like to study. I mean, you get to turn in a manuscript of a BOOK as your thesis! But the prospect of being done in one year or less is extremely appealing. The less time the better, in my opinion. Except that I want to end up doing something I love, which might not happen if I end up in the journalism or public communications program. I think I’m actually more confused than when I started out…

In any event, I’m entirely freaked out by this whole experience. Just the thought of the GRE, applications, recommendation letters, and poetry is enough to make me reach for the Tums. 

Monday, January 18, 2010


Do you remember when it was good? When the plotline was so intense that you couldn’t stop watching? I first got hooked last year over winter break and thought it was one of the most fascinating shows I had ever watched Now, I spend most of the show saying, “This is the worst episode I have ever seen.” It makes me so sad when shows go south, especially when they started out so strong. Mondays used to at least be tolerable because even though the day might have sucked, there was Heroes to look forward to. You got to go to this cool world where people had superpowers and saved the world. It’s come to a point recently where I can’t keep up with all the storylines because they’re all over the place. What a waste of a great series. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy Sunday

My weekend was lazy and somewhat boring. Which was actually nice since it was my first weekend after starting back up at school. Overall, school went well except for the amount that I had to shell out tonight for textbooks. It’s truly outrageous that books cost students so much. That’s all I’m saying about it because I’m not “dwelling on the negative” anymore.  

I don’t have school on Mondays, but I do have to go to work. I think I’m really going to enjoy not having school on Mondays this semester. I don’t have anxiety on Sunday nights about starting my next week. And by the time I do go back on Tuesday, it’s only a four-day week. I hope it helps me do better and be more productive for the next few months. Here’s to hoping!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Get To Leave The Apartment

You'll never guess what I'm about to do. I'm going to go out for the SECOND time today. Earlier today, Mark and I went to a coffee shop near our place to get some work done since we always seem to get so distracted at home. We only ended up staying an hour and a half because part of it becomes a bar at 5pm and they turned down the lights and they cranked up the volume on the music. So here we are, about to head out again. A friend of ours has graciously offered to pick up the tab for a some drinks and we couldn't refuse. It's been so long since I've been out for anything fun... I'm not sure what to do with myself!

I'm sure I'll come back with plenty of blogging material for tomorrow, so come back for an update!

Friday, January 15, 2010

End Of The Week Waffles

Last night as well as tonight, my sweet boyfriend made me dinner. Well actually, he made me brinner. His parents got us a waffle-maker for Christmas and we’ve been dying to use it. When they asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told them a waffle-maker, just the cheap kind you can buy at Target or Wal-Mart. What did I get? One of the super-deluxe brands that flips and beeps and basically cooks the darn thing for you. The gift was so thoughtful and generous and it’s been a treat to have Belgium waffles again.

My favorite type of waffle is chocolate chip with cherry pie filling on top. This time we happened to have semi-sweet chocolate chips and white-chocolate chips so I mixed them and used both. Then I topped the waffle with the cherries and devoured it.  I don’t remember the last time a meal made me so happy. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mail Lesson

Today was one of my long days at school and I was particularly tired when I got home. It might have something to do with the fact that I am staying up past midnight and then averaging less than six hours of sleep, but I’m working on that. Upon entering my home, I saw the mail and hoped for something good. Getting the mail was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger. I always hoped that there was something for me, something good. Now that I’m an adult I have realized that mail pretty much sucks. Gone are the puzzle magazines, books, and cards that I anticipated as a child. Delivered to me now are bills, only bills, with an occasional solicitation letter thrown in for fun.

Grabbing an envelope with my name on it, I ripped it open and pulled out the letter. What I should have checked for was the return address. It seems that my insurance didn’t cover ALL of my allergist appointment and testing, so now I owe them $80. I’m completely aware that I shouldn’t bitch about $80. For being young, I have one of the best health insurance plans a person can have and am able to have my pick of the litter when it comes to doctors.

Sadly, I can’t help but feel frustrated at the thought of more money being wasted. I’m mad at myself for agreeing to an allergy test without making sure that my insurance company would cover almost all of the procedure. And I feel guilty for being so upset about $80. The damages could have been a lot worse. It’s just that I haven’t bought non-necessities in weeks, maybe even months. No takeout, no restaurants or bars, and no coffee shops. Trivial as it may sound, $80 is a lot of money to someone who barely has any to begin with.

Is there a lesson to be learned from this? Of course. Don’t expect good things to come in the mail when you’re an adult. It just doesn’t happen. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goodbye Sweets, Hello Skinny Jeans

I have a love for junk food. And people, I mean a SERIOUS love. Sweets are my favorite and I think that in times of desperation I’ve eaten them for days at a time. The one problem with this love is that it has taken a toll on my body and my jeans no longer fit comfortably. After feeling tired, lethargic, and just plain crappy for too long, I’ve decided to make a change. To try and combat my recent low energy, I’ve started to work out and improve my eating habits. I don’t have the money to join a gym, so I’m a little restricted but I’m still going to make the attempt. And I’m putting it in writing and on my blog which means that now I HAVE to make this work. I’ll keep you all updated and I promise to try and keep the whining, moaning, and crying to a minimum. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Someone Prick Me So My Anxiety Can Escape

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start talking about all that is crappy with my life again. But today was my first day of classes and oh boy, has my anxiety kicked in. I suppose I’ve always had anxiety about school but I didn’t realize what it was until I was in college. More specifically, until I started going to a prestigious university where the standards are higher and professors assume you have unlimited time to work on their class alone.

I’m pursuing a minor in anthropology which basically means that other than a select few requirements, I get to choose most of my courses. Due to a computer glitch last year, I was slated to register last for fall term and got stuck in a graduate level archaeology class. I survived and decided to take another one this semester because it’s being taught by the same professor. I did enjoy the course from last semester even though it involved copious amounts of reading and at times I thought I would collapse in a big heap on the floor due to repeated thinking I wasn’t smart enough to be in the class. And knowing all this, I STILL signed up for another round. I know, I know. Way to make smart decisions!

Our first class was tonight and I walked out with chest pains, even though all we did was go over the syllabus. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m aware that I’m just feeling overwhelmed, like on top of everything else I deal with, now I have to participate in a graduate level course that isn’t even related to my major. I haven’t broken down yet, but give a girl time. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Inability To Function Must Die

I’m experiencing a major inability to function tonight. That’s the nice phrase for my describing my current attitude. Dwelling on the negative was what Mark called it, and even that was prettier than the truth. I will be totally upfront and honest here: I’m a glass half-empty person. I’m trying to change it but there are days when I’m frustrated, angry, or insecure and they’re not easy emotions to feel very positive about.

I want life to return to a time where we can eat a meal out once in a while, where we have enough money to live comfortably but not over our means. I’m frustrated that every cent we have has to go to rent, bills, and food. Or emergencies like our goofy cat having an infinite eye infection. I’m angry that I have to eat so many processed foods because they’re cheap, especially because in the past year I’ve put on twenty pounds. I’m insecure about my weight but lacking the motivation and willpower to change my bad habits. I’m depressed that these things are the only thing that I’m capable of focusing on.

But like I said, I’m trying to change and I can’t let the most stressful time I’ve ever been through break me or my relationship. Here are some more positive (and in some cases, kick-ass) parts of my life:

I’m thrilled that I live in an apartment I love, located in a rockin’ neighborhood, near some people who couldn't be cooler, and that includes cleaners who ease my pain of scrubbing, picking up, and organizing. I’m thankful that I have a small backyard and will be able to grow my own vegetables in an effort to eat more produce but still save money. I have a pup that loves me to pieces and I’m guilty of not giving her as much attention as I once did. Jade, I’m sorry for that and I’ll try to be more patient the next time you chase the cat, eat out of the garbage, steal something off the counter, eat a pair of my underwear, try to kill the vacuum, or growl when a dog 15 blocks away starts to bark . I’m fortunate to go to a top university even though I don’t come from a wealthy family. And lastly, I’m a lucky girl in that I have a boyfriend who puts up with my crazy bullshit. Anxiety attacks, meltdowns, tears, screaming, and irrational fears, he still loves me. If that doesn’t say it all, I’m not sure what does. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Pasta

Gorgonzola, Spinach, and Fig Pizza

Mark vs. Eliot

I mentioned in earlier posts that my boyfriend goes by two separate names, Mark and Eliot. He’s graciously given me permission to blog about it and help explain to all of you his reasons for changing names.

His given name is Mark Eliot but he absolutely hates the name Mark. You see, his dad’s name is also Mark and when he was younger his family nicknamed him “Markie” or “Little Mark.” Sadly for him these nicknames stuck into his adult life, even after he got a professional degree. He decided from that point on that he wanted to go by Eliot in professional circles.

He explained all this to me when we first met and I immediately asked him if he’d rather I called him Mark or Eliot. He told me that it didn’t matter so I chose to call him Mark since that was his first name. When we moved to DC he wanted to start going by Eliot and informed me that from then on I would have to call him that. You can imagine my reaction. You can’t just date someone for 6 months and then have a name change. I did my best to call him Eliot in front of his coworkers but I know him as MARK. Don’t get me wrong; I COMPLETELY understand why he wants to be known as Eliot rather than Mark. I just think he should have told me that on our first date. Now it’s gotten to a point where half the people we know in DC call him Eliot and half of them call him Mark. Them calling him Mark is mostly my fault because that’s how I introduce him. I’m sorry, sweetie. I just can’t help it.

Depending on my mood I’ll call him Mark or Eliot. Some people reading this blog will know him as one or the other and I wanted to clarify why I’ll often refer to him as both. Feel free to do the same!

P.S. Starting tonight, I’m going to be posting pictures of food I’ve made and when you click the link below it will take you to a page where I’ll have a write-up of how it went. There will also be pictures of wine I try as well as anything else that relates to my kitchen. I hope y’all find it useful!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The End of Sleeping In

My sleeping habits are way off base lately and I can only imagine the trouble I’ll have when school starts up next week. Fortunately, I don’t have any early morning classes this semester and will still be heading off to work first and then over to school. I’m excited because after the semester is over I’ll only have one more to complete until I graduate. I also look forward to the change in seasons that will occur in another couple of months. Even though I don’t have the fear that normally occurs with going back to school, I’m still slightly disappointed in knowing that I’ll have less time.

Getting to stay up late has been an absolute treat for me, at least for the few select days it’s actually happened over my break. I’m normally so exhausted by the time 8:30pm rolls around that I can’t bear to drag myself off the couch and away from TiVo. There’s just something special about being able to watch The Golden Girls and Cheers until 3am. And I know exactly what you’re thinking; doesn’t she know that television is on DVD now? Yes, I do know this, but it’s just not the same.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wanted: Cleaners

Go ahead, judge me. I have cleaners. They came with the apartment. A team of 6 or 7 women come into our place and it’s like a cleaning tornado. In 45 minutes all the dishes are clean/ put away, our sheets have been changed, and the surfaces are shiny again. And they’ve been gone for WEEKS because they get a break over the holidays. WHO GETS A BREAK OVER THE HOLIDAYS? Just kidding.

Because of their extended absence, today was supposed to be our own “cleaning day” until the cleaners come back to us next Friday. It didn’t get off to the most productive start, being that I slept until after noon and then lolled around in my pajamas for another hour and a half. Yeah, I know. SLACKER.

Now remember, we have two cats and a dog, so you can imagine the kind of shedding that occurs on a regular basis. And in order to vacuum, Jade has to be put in her crate. She LOATHES the vacuum. She will run up to it and start attacking it even if it’s not in use. I start vacuuming and Jade is in the other room barking so intensely that you’d think an intruder was attacking us. We’re lucky that our neighbors didn’t call the police. The only successful thing that got cleaned (besides what got vacuumed) was the bathroom, which I made Mark tackle.

Today’s procrastinating means that tomorrow is the new cleaning day. Yeah, right. I need my cleaners back.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

About Me

In the future there will probably be a section devoted to this subject. There will probably be sections devoted to another subject or two as well, but this is my first blog and it still needs work. I want to give people who may start to read this an idea of who they’re following. For starters, my name is Alicia (a-lee-sha) and I live in Washington, DC with my boyfriend Mark (or depending on the situation, Eliot).

I’m obsessed with watching movies I love over and over, especially if it was made in the 80s. The same goes for television except that I’m partial to one show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also have a passion for reading and for owning lots and lots of books. I adore animals and I enjoy wine, being outdoors, and barbequing. I have a dream that one day I’ll get a job where I can sleep in and work from home in my pajamas.

I’m a vegetarian, almost vegan because my stomach doesn’t handle milk all too well. Cooking is one of the things I look forward to everyday, so I’m going to try and devote a section of my blog to recipes and their results. Since money is tight, the meals I make are generally inexpensive and relatively simple. However I love using fresh ingredients and do my best to create meals that are wholesome yet don’t break my bank. That’s not to say that I always eat super-healthy. There are times I revert back to veggie burgers with mac n’ cheese or soy chicken nuggets with fries. But I’d still like to share with all of you what I find that’s vegetarian, delicious, and economical.

Like I said, I have many goals for this blog and am in the process of figuring out how to execute them. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I’ll start posting pictures, if anyone is at all interested. Please feel free to ask me questions, send me emails, and leave comments.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No More Needles

A little over a month ago, I started to have extreme sensitivity in my teeth. I could hardly eat or drink anything without being in pain. It might have had something to do with the fact that I hadn’t been to a dentist in two years, but I have an irrational fear of anyone going near my teeth. But since the pain was interfering with my ability to exist, I decided to break down and make an appointment to find out what was going on.

I was relieved to find out that it was a problem most likely attributed to my night-time grinding. The dentist took x-rays, concluded that there were no cavities, and sent me home with a prescription for fluoride toothpaste. She told me that I had to come back in two weeks for a cleaning because she wanted to make sure that I’d actually come back (I think she sensed my fear of dentists) and not just skip it because I felt improvement with the sensitivity. The toothpaste helped and two weeks later I went back for my “routine” cleaning, feeling relieved because the sensitivity had not turned out to be anything too serious. Remember when I said that things can never be too easy for me? You see where this is going. So I’m lying in the chair while she exams all my teeth, making observations for the assistant to note. She finishes, sits me up, and tells me that I have nine cavities. No, that is not a typo. NINE, not NONE. They weren’t deep enough to see on the x-ray, she said, but they were definitely cavities that could cause bigger problems. Right away the panic set in. She told me that she’d have to fill all of them and that I could elect to do it in quadrants or in halves. I chose halves because the thought of having to go back four times was unbearable and carefully scheduled the first appointment for after Christmas.

Last Monday I went in for the right side, which was home to five cavities. I was completely anxious for the entire weekend beforehand (did I mention I hate needles?). The dreadful morning arrives and I got the Novocain without even crying, although that wouldn’t last long. The upper portion goes pretty smoothly and since I didn’t need a break, the dentist elected to move on to the bottoms. She starts the drill, touches it to my tooth, and I immediately jump like she’s trying to pull the thing out. She stopped instantly, reached over to her tray of tools, and grabbed the pointy thingy that they use to scrape plaque. When she touched my gum with it I could feel the sharpness so I needed another round of Novocain. I won’t lie, I did cry a little bit. I was only prepared for two shots and had no idea that sometimes they have to numb one section a couple times. The second shot was in and the first tooth on the bottom had been successfully completed with no pain. And then there was the second tooth. OMG, STOP RIGHT NOW. Right away I sensed pain from the drill but couldn’t feel the sharp instrument. Then, the words of horror: I’m going to have to inject you again. FULL BLOWN TEARS. I’m bawling because there is no way that I want a FOURTH needle piercing my gum. And this is where it gets intense. I worked through the pain. I sucked it up and didn’t cry for the rest of the appointment. When she finished, she told me that the cavity was a LOT deeper than she thought and therefore it was close to the nerve which was why I couldn’t feel the sharp instrument but I could feel the drill.

I got the last four filled this afternoon and it went a whole lot better than last time. No tears, no blood, and only two shots of Novocain. I don’t have to go back for six months, and even that will only be for a cleaning. I just have to point out this little fact; in the past week and a half I have had 40 allergy test shots, 8 injections for ambiguous allergy test results, and 5 shots of Novocain for a grand total of 52 shots. Rockstar? I think so.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two Cats, One Dog, and an Apartment

I've already discussed Oscar at length and it's only fair that now I give you a glimpse into all the pets that I own. Besides Oscar, there is our second cat Daisy May (DM for short) and our Australian Cattle Dog, Jade. They make this apartment absolutely insane, chaotic, and hairy, but I love them anyway.

Daisy May is an orphan that I raised since the day she was born, along with her two siblings. I adopted the other two out to great homes and then decided to keep her for myself. She’s almost three now and at times is the strangest cat you’ll ever want to meet. DM hasn’t realized that she is a cat yet and I’m sure it will come as a shock one day. She’s quite destructive and all the doorways in our apartment are proof. Mark can’t stand her (or so he claims-I’ve seen him snuggle her) but she’s my baby.

And as for Jade… Well, have you ever met an ACD? They are CRAZY! She’s extremely energetic and has a bark that makes you want to hate her. You think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. But you can’t hate her because she’s adorable and loves just about everyone. Except DM. More on that later. Mark got her when she was a puppy and she’s taken to me with extreme affection. She is a protector, food-stealer, and champion cat chaser. Jade is also VERY well trained except if there is chocolate within snout’s reach.

I’m taking the time to put up a short post about them because in the future you’ll be hearing more about my life, and some parts will involve them and the craziness…er…happiness that they provide.

Monday, January 4, 2010

We Lived To Tell (or meow) About It

Since all of you are dying to know (or at least I’m going to pretend that you are), my trip to the allergist was met with bravery and triumph. Sort of.

I started off getting the regular 40 injections where they test for things like dogs, cats, mold, ragweed, etc. The nurse pricked me all over both my arms, each time with a different liquid. It didn’t hurt too much, but then she told me that if I reacted to something, I would begin to itch. And let me tell you, boy did I begin to itch. But the worst part is that you’re not allowed to scratch. So for 16 of the longest minutes of my life, I had to sit and not scratch while my arms grew welts as big as quarters. QUARTERS. After the 16 minutes were up, I finally got to find out what I was allergic to. But wait… that would have been WAY too easy, especially for me. There were 8 spots that they weren’t sure about- they reacted, but not as big as the others. This means that I had to get 8 REAL shots, under the skin, and completely painful. Then I had to wait again while those injection sites swelled up like quarters.

After another eternity of waiting and itching, the nurse practitioner came in to give me my diagnosis. Well, she said, looks like you’re allergic to everything. No joke, that’s totally what she said. Cats, mold, ragweed, dust, pollen, and oak are just a few of the things that came up positive for an allergy reaction. She gave me a whole packet of reading material and I’m faced with the decision of getting allergy shots sometime in my future. No more shots today, though. I think I was already traumatized enough.

It went about as well for me as it went for Oscar. His eye still isn’t much better and he has to keep his cone on for another week. Which trust me, is just as bad for us as it is for him. And on top of all that joyous news, the vet charged us $47.50 for the “re-check” and $18.00 for his third dye test. Yes, that’s right; a simple re-check put me over $60 in the hole. We really dislike this vet, mostly because we seem to spend endless amounts of money and the cat isn’t showing much improvement. It’s also putting a huge financial strain on us since Mark (or Eliot depending on how you know him. That’s correct; he goes by two different names. I’ll get into it eventually) is still unemployed. We don’t need to go spending hundreds of dollars on the cat all within the span of a month. The vet briefly mentioned that if it doesn’t make much progress in the next week, we might have to consider seeing a kitty ophthalmologist. Oh good lord, she did NOT just say that. But she did and I was not the only one who heard it. Across the exam room, Mark was motioning (jokingly of course) that we should just remove the eye. Don’t worry, we would NEVER do something that drastic unless it was absolutely necessary. On that note, please keep your fingers crossed for a super-speedy recovery for cone-kitty.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Tomorrow is a big day for a couple of us in this household. Though to be honest, I consider most days big days because a) I got out of my pajamas, b) I showered, and c) I'm dramatic like that.

I have my second appointment with an allergist (after a few months of wicked asthma attacks), this time to get a series of 40 injections that should pinpoint my allergies. I know, doesn't it sound like fun? Not. I hate needles and the thought of getting 40 shots IN A ROW has me a bit freaked out. I cried getting Novocain at the dentist last week, so I can only imagine how this will unfold. I'll probably pass out, cry hysterically, or do something else equally embarrassing. I'll be sure to Tweet about my anxiety beforehand, my pain during, and my relief afterwards.

Around the same time that I'll be getting my injections, our cat Oscar will be going to the vet for the third time in the past four weeks. He developed what we assumed was an eye infection so we took him to the vet where we paid a large sum of money to get the official diagnosis of an eye infection along with some drops. Two weeks later he was still winking so he went BACK to the vet and got a different diagnosis. This time it was a scratched eye, and we had to pay an even greater amount to get more medication. This means that for the past four weeks we've been putting some kind of medication in Oscar's eye twice a day, everyday. He's STILL not better and to make matters worse he's been wearing a cone since last Monday. We've taken to calling him "Cone Kitty" and you can smell his cone coming from across the apartment. The poor thing can't even get in and out of his litter box without causing a scene. Oh, and the dog keeps chasing him like he's some sort of alien.

I hope that everything goes well for both of us and that there are no more needles, medications, or cones in our near future.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Years Resolutions

Like most people do this time of year, I’ve succumbed to creating my own list of things that I want to improve. Even though the list may be a bit long, they’re all important to me. So, here I go:

1. Join Twitter and start a blog. I’m about to graduate with a degree, I have no idea what I want to do with it, and I need practice writing for an audience (if an audience ever even reads this). I’ve started both (PLEASE follow me on Twitter!) and am making my best attempt to keep at it everyday, barring extreme disasters that leave me without Internet. My life is a series of neverending misadventures and I’m going to tell people about it along the way.

2. Eat healthier/ exercise more. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that almost EVERY person on the planet vows to make this happen. But lately I’ve had a downfall of eating things that add up to days worth of calories just in one meal. I’m going to stop snacking on junk and get out more to exercise. Jade is looking at a lot more walks to the park.

3. Take more pictures. I’ve seen a couple video tributes to 2009 where people take their pictures from the year and add music to show people what they accomplished. I could only think that, oh great, if I made one of those it would consist of two events. Now don’t get me wrong, they two AWESOME experiences, but I’d like to think my life consists of more fun times. (Also, I want to look skinnier in the pictures, hence the eating better and exercising more).

4. Be more green. Even though it’s the trend to be environmentally friendly, I want to do my part. My worst habit is to leave the lights on in every room in my apartment. Although I’ll admit that I’m currently pretty darn good at making sure no one puts anything in the garbage that belongs in recycling, I know I can do better in certain areas.

So there you have it, my aspirations for 2010. It WILL be better than 2009!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Very First Blog

Well, I did it. I started my very first blog, and I'm making it my New Years resolution to try to write for it everyday. I'm looking forward to the next year of blogging!