Category Archives: Pictures

“So, how are the kitties adjusting?”

As you might already know, I started my new job as a kitchen prep at Chipotle. It’s going well, so far, but it is EXHAUSTING. The muscles I used to have, from my time in the Chili’s kitchen when I got out of high school, are LONG gone, so it’s probably going to be a painful transition. That is, I’m so freaking sore…

But I really don’t feel like dwelling on my little aches and pains, so we’ll move on…

TO KITTIES!!

One of our biggest concerns with the move was how the cats were going to handle the change. Silly us, apparently. They took the car ride like champs, sleeping in their kennel the whole way. The only issue was in the hotel rooms. Elliot (the orange tabby) was terribly confused as to where upstairs had gone. You see, they’ve lived a very sheltered little life, only leaving our two story apartment for quick visits to the vet. So, I’m sure they had no real comprehension of the world at large. The vet’s office was just another room, somehow connected to the apartment. They went there and then came back. On the trip, every time we stopped for the night and let them out of the kennel in the hotel room, Elliot began a fairly systematic search for “up”. She climbed on the highest furniture and stood her tallest, searching every corner for her room. (The spare room that all there stuff was in at our old apartment.) It was adorable. Molly, on the other hand:

Once all of their stuff was present, the frantic search for “up” has ceased. As soon as we let them out of the kennel after we had unloaded the uhaul, Molly set off to look for boxes to get into and Elliot started running back and forth on the couches, just as happy as she could be to have her stuff back.

Now that we’re settled, they are totally happy with the sunbeam situation. In our old apartment we only got sun inside for about an hour in the afternoon, in a very small patch. Our new place has a large patch of sunlight in the spare room for most of the morning into the early afternoon, when it moves into our bedroom until sunset. Molly and Elliot are seriously ecstatic about the arrangement. They spend the majority of the day lying in the sun, only moving to stretch.

The rest of the time, they spend sitting in the window. They LOVE the windows. Since we now live in a climate that allows/requires open windows, their little kitty world has just been vastly broadened. I can’t say how many times I’m sitting in the living room, watching Netflix or on the internet and I hear meowing from one of the rooms. Most of the time it’s just Elliot freaking out about the trash truck or something outside and then she comes running to tell me what happened. :)

Last week, though, I hear Molly’s distinct meow from the spare room. LOUD. And she didn’t stop, so I got up to investigate. There she was, on top of a stack of boxes, meowing at me. So, of course, I went over, petted her, picked her up and made a general big deal of her and she was all purrs the whole time. That same day? Three more times! The last time, I got this:

I don’t know what I would do without our girls. And we all can’t wait to have the man of the house back.

I don’t have TIME to read!

I don’t know who’s bright idea it was to have NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) coincide, but they are not on my list of favorite people right now. My Reader was already backed up and now? Forget it!

*Note: I apologize for the low quality of the photos in this post. We were pretty far back from the stage and flash wasn’t allowed (of course). Motion capture drive 4TW!

So, if you haven’t gathered by now, we went up to Austin last week to attend w00tstock and, let me just say again, it was fantastic! The self-description of “Geek Vaudeville” is totally apt. Seriously, if you have a geeky bone in your body and there is a w00tstock happening close to you, ever, you are under direct orders to go. From me. For all that’s worth.

Let me just sum it up for you: imagine an event so awesome that with each passing moment of awesome/hilarity, you keep thinking “I need to remember this.” or “This is the best moment ever!” A week later and I’m still randomly chuckling about things that I remember. So much awesome!

We started off the evening with Adam Savage coming out onto the stage to apologize for replacement Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman being delayed. There had been some trouble with his flight so at show time, he was on his way from the airport. Paul and Storm took the stage, noting the ASL translators with the quip “We’re so not gonna break that toy by the end of the night” and launched into their go-to set starter “Opening Band”, always a crowd pleaser, especially the final note that seems to go on for ever. As Aaron put it, “Damn trained singers. ::grumble::”

During one of their songs, Paul moved over to where the translators were seated, sat on the male translator’s lap and serenaded the female, who was translating at the time. They really were great sports all night and I COULD NOT STOP WATCHING THEM!

Somewhere in the middle of their set, they announced that in lieu of Wil, they had a facsimile prepared and a poster on wheels of “recursive Wil Wheaton” was wheeled out by none other than Neil Gaiman! It took some of us a moment to realize it was him, as the poster was funny and awesome and no one really notices the stage hands, but once he was spotted, applause and cheers abounded! Squee! (For the remainder of the post, I will probably refer to him as Neil himself in homage to his twitter handle and because I think it sounds awesome.)  He said hello and then left the stage after a dramatic head shot was featured on the overhead.

Up next, after a video break from Wil Wheaton (from here on out, I won’t mention all of the video breaks, which were plentiful and hilarious), was Bill Amend who writes the comic strip Fox Trot.

I’ve always appreciated his nods to geekdom, ranging anywhere from characters playing Dungeons and Dragons to quips about computers. He was understated and didn’t seem to know what was expected of him, but he came prepared with a slide show of what he called his 2% comic strips. e.g. the strips that only two percent of readers would really get. They brought down the house! Funny, funny stuff! My favorite was a nod to the horror that is the impending “Star Wars 3D”. Everyone booed at the right time and it was great!

Next Neil himself took the stage and we were treated to not one, but two short stories:

I took a wide shot to include the Wil Wheaton poster because it amuses me.

Let me just say that if you’ve never heard Neil Gaiman read, go buy one of his audiobooks, find a reading of one of his short stories or something. I could listen to him talk for hours… But that’s beside the point… Moving on…

The first story was a “scientific” experiment to examine the effects of alcohol on creative writing. It was witty and, as the drinks flowed in the story, progressively more incoherent and crass. Perfectly appropriate for this crowd! About half way through the bottle, he started talking about a program he had seen on TV about elephants and mused that a single ::ahem:: dose, shall we say, of “elephant spunk” could feed an ant colony for a year and proceeded to provide a dialogue between an ant child and mother which ended with the mother telling the child to “finish your elephant cum” Needless to say, all eyes turned to the translators at the choicer moments and “elephant spunk” became the joke of the night.

The second story was a noir murder mystery set in a fairytale world focusing on the death of Humpty Dumpty. Great story including many a nursery rhyme character, though the first story was a bit more memorable for obvious reasons.

After intermission, it was Stephen Toulous (or Stepto), who is XBOX Live’s Director of Policy and Enforcement. With Paul and Storm chanting the Halo theme randomly, he read from a big bible-looking book about a player (p00nhun+er) that fooled the system and ruined lots of people’s fun. And lo, the banhammer did fall upon him and there was silence in the land. And it was good!

Then, I think it was Mary Jo Pehl (who was on Mystery Science Theater, apparently) who came onto stage in an emotional tizzy and apologized. She said that she had just read “the latest” issue of a comic book in which Super Girl (I think?) was killed in some elaborate, out of this world, way. She stopped for a moment, hand to face, then concluded with “which is exactly how my grandmother died.” and walked off the stage.

More video, including a Red vs. Blue PSA especially made for w00tstock, after which the creators came out, drinks in hand, said they didn’t have anything to say and walked back off stage.

Then it was Molly Lewis, with her ukulele:

She started with “An open letter to Stephen Fry” in which she offers her womb as a surrogate since his genes should clearly continue to grace the earth after he’s gone. Sweet! Then a song about Wikipedia. She closed with “Our American Cousin”, a song about Abraham Lincoln that is simultaneously awesome, thought provoking and heart tugging. I’ve already listened to it several times since we got home and I love, love, love it!

Last, but not least, was Adam Savage (for real this time):

The man would not stay still and this blurry mess was the best I could do.

He started with a funny story about Jamie Hynemen and then went on to share about the porn talk he had to have with one of his eleven year old sons (he has twins) during which we got to learn the sign for c**k-sucker (which is pretty much what you would expect it to be). It was kind of cool that he would share such an important and private thing with us and I think the way that he handled it was admirable. He didn’t shame his son but he did stress the fact that the internet can be scary and dangerous if you’re not careful and that there are a lot of people out in the vastness of the internet that hate women. He told him, “Savage men respect women. We are not those men.” Seriously, mad props, Mr. Savage! We could use more dads like you!

Finally, like all w00tstocks, the four hosts, Neil (as Wil Wheaton), Paul, Storm, and Adam took the stage:

Amazing! I managed to get a shot without anyone moving and therefore blurry! Sweetness!

And so began “The Captain’s Wife’s Lament”, a song about pirates with full audience participation (ARRRRR!) that Paul and Storm always do at the end of their shows. The song can be stretched to fill any amount of time, as there is a lot of banter and randomness that usually goes something like this (complete with pirate-y accent):

Storm: “Give us an ARR!”
Audience: “ARRRR!”
Storm: “What’s that spell?”
Audience: “ARRRR!
Storm: “Pirate S.A.T. You all pass!”

And so on for a very long time. But no one really minds. It’s great fun! There was a gag in which they made Neil himself put on a monkey hat (which you can see in The Bloggess’ post about w00tstock and interviewing Neil) and giving us a small polite “arr”. And elephant spunk was said a multitudinous amount of times, much to everyone’s delight. The song ended, after a very long time, the way it always does, with a rousing verse about sea men (har, har) that’s loads (snerk!) of fun.

Once the show ended, we queued up to get autographs. An hour later, we reached the end, getting autographs from (in order) Bill Amend, Stepto and Molly Lewis. Aaron chatted with them while I stood mute as mud, struck by social awkwardness. Then we went around the bend:

My heart got all fluttery, lump in my throat, as Paul, Storm and Adam defaced each other’s little likenesses on the poster, while they signed. I kicked myself, yet again, for forgetting to bring a book to get signed, and then we were there. After Neil signed our poster, I swallowed my anxiety and told him it was an honor to meet him… And HE HELD OUT HIS HAND! My breath caught and I reached to shake his hand. I said some more stuff that, for the life of me, I can’t remember. I don’t know why (WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?!?! No one cares!) or how I mentioned being a teacher and he said that he found teachers inspiring. I’m sure I grinned and muttered something else no one cares about and that was it.

Aaron shouted a final “Farewell Nerds! And thank you!” to which our hosts replied with a hearty “Thank YOU!” and we were outside. As we walked back to the car, what had just happened sunk in. We entered the building were we had parked and as we approached the garage elevator, I started getting all squealy just as a trio of girls entered from the other door equally squealy. In the elevator we had a little Neil Gaiman fangirl party of squeals and OMGs before going our separate ways and heading back to the hotel.

I think, aside from meeting Neil himself, the best thing about w00tstock and other such things, is the feeling that you are surrounded by people that “get” you. As someone that often feels like the odd one out, the feeling of belonging is priceless. It was truly fantastic.

Phantastic Photo Phriday: Part Eight!

Today is a mixed feelings kind of day. It has been an awesome day, but at the same time, it is the last day off I have until August. But what can you do?

First thing this morning, Aaron and I went to the outlet mall that’s about half an hour away. The key to any outdoor activity in South Texas is getting it finished before the sun hits its peak, otherwise it’s way too hot. We were a little sad that the half price bookstore was gone, but I was super happy to find that one of my favorite stores was having a 40% off sale and I found a bunch of new summery clothes. It’s always fun to see this on your receipts:

I bought more than I usually would have because of the sale prices and the fact that I just got paid, but I'm always in need new clothes! :)

After that, we went to a dollar store because a) what day out shopping is complete without a jaunt to the dollar store and b) because it’s the only place that has a certain kind of candy that Aaron loves:

Seriously... Some times I wonder if he loves the candy more than me... ^_-

And what trip to the dollar store would be complete with an obligatory look around the store for hidden treasures? Like bargain panties:

Or piñatas (Why does the sun look angry?):

And what author doesn’t aspire to grace the spinning rack?

And who wouldn’t want a singing, fishing donkey? :D

And lastly, I was actually tempted to buy this one (you can’t see it, but it lights up!):

And that concludes this weeks Photo Phriday! Have a great weekend! :D

I probably shouldn’t post when I’m sleep deprived…

Or sleep depraved, either, which seems more apt somehow, but doesn’t make sense. I thiiiink…

As if it wasn’t apparent enough to me that I didn’t get enough sleep last night from the fact that it is taking no small amount of concentration to type (Seriously, it’s like trying to walk when you’re falling down drunk… Not that I’ve ever really been falling down drunk… It just seemed like an apt analogy… Oh, look! I’m writing a whole blog post in “half circles”! Bad me… Bad! I really should get back to the real post… All I have to say is: Thank God for muscle memory!), for some reason the “Publish immediately” text to the right of the text box thingy just amused me much more that it should have…

I mean, really, wordpress. What in the world could be soooooo dire?

Must… Publish… IMMEDIATELY… ::GASP:: ::CLICK:: There… The world is safe… I can die in peace now…

ELLIPSES!!

So, I’m already struggling not to giggle at the little scenario that’s playing out in my head so that Aaron doesn’t think I’ve lost it and one of the cats makes an odd noise as she jumps onto the couch and I erupt in giggles… And my World of Warcraft stealing husband DOESN’T EVEN NOTICE! Couple that with the fact that I woke up Three Dog Night’s “Black and White” in my head and you’ve got the materials for a very interesting morning. If you wanted it to be, anyway.

I really didn’t know that Three Dog Night did “Black and White”… I think I always thought with a name like Three Dog Night (I TOTALLY JUST WROTE THREE DONG NIGHT!!) that their music would have been more badass for some reason, but looking through their music, I know a lot of their songs. Actually, I know a lot of them enough to sing along with.

And, being the generous soul that I am, I fully intended to embed the song into this post, but it wouldn’t work. I’m sorry. I tried.

I think the giggles have subsided and now I’m just hungry and my eyes are all burny and stuff and we have no eye drops because Aaron hates them the way that I hate nasal spray and I’ve been too lazy/don’t need them very often and I’m really regretting that right now.

Oh, look! Kitties!!

Elliot under the futon... CAT BUTT!

And Molly hanging out by their awesome homemade cat condo. (i.e. A box with holes cut in it.)

Manic energy fading…

I need to go lie down now…

Phantasic Photo Phriday: Part Seven (The Saturday Edition)

Blerg! Why is it that as soon as I get my equilibrium back after state testing, we have another one? It’s just one thing after another! :(

Sorry I’m late, folks! It was a busy day of doing nothing productive. Gotta love that, huh! :)

I’d like to start today with a little something that probably a grand total of 2 of my readers will get (which is why I’m trying to get it out of the way first). We were eating at Whataburger, an awesome Texas burger chain that we always miss when we’re out of state, and I got this number:

Which, of course, is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. It made me smile! :D

Then, a few days later, when I got home from work there was a flier hanging on our doorknob. I glanced at it and did a double take. I must have read this thing ten different ways and concluded it was just badly written:

I assume that it means that the price of your pizza will be what time you call or something like that, but that grammar is awful!

And last but not least is the scene that met me when I ran downstairs after hearing a crash sometime last week:

::gasp:: What happened here?

Why are my flowers here? And where is...

SPOCK!! :O

I was angry enough at the attempted assassination (which it was, obviously) that I kind of sort of offered my cat (well, Aaron’s cat) to the internet… It was done in the heat of my anger, but I didn’t really mean it. Spock was saved by the trash bags, after all and I did manage to salvage some of my flowers:

Even though some of them were missing:

And the rest ended up here:

That’s the trash, by the way. ;)

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Twitchy Itchy! [Another Flea Update…]

or “Oh Lord! People Must Think I’m a Crackhead, I’m Scratching So Much!” Also, my eyes jerking randomly to check the floor and myself doesn’t help, I’m sure. Also, also, I’m sorry to be posting about the same thing twice in a row, but when you’re entrenched in combat there is little time to think of other things.

This morning, upon arriving at work, I glanced down at my gray pants to find an army of fleas storming the keep, so to speak. UGH! Seven or eight fleas were slowly making their way up my legs. I leaped into action, pinching the little bastards from my trousers, gathering three or four between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Using the back of my hand, I dispensed some ultra high tech suspension liquid* onto my desk and released my prisoners into it, then killing them at my leisure**.

I then rushed to my supply stealthily*** closet, grabbing my industrial sized can of specialized flea immobilizing and debilitating spray**** and spraying the hell out of anything on the floor that a) was jerking creepily on the floor toward me or b) small and black. The enemy must have had some sort of defensive shield because I was soon hacking and coughing in a cloud of my own weaponized spray.

Around me, though, the bodies of my enemies twitched and jerked in the pools of death. For good measure, I destroyed their bodies with my deadliest of weapons: my own hands. The battle is won, but just like the Great Ant Invasion of 2004, I am sure the enemy is regrouping and will redouble their efforts.

The floor is littered with the crushed corpses of my enemy and I feel nothing*****.

The weapons of my warfare:

My flea-war gear

Ultra High Tech Suspension Liquid

Specialized Flea Immobilizing and Debilitating Spray or SFIDS

The deadliest weapon of all

*read: it was hand sanitizer

**read: pinching their little heads off as fast as possible

***jerking and scratching and looking for all the world like a huge crackhead

****generic disinfectant… Kind of like a more noxious, school approved version of Lysol

*****Except for itching

The Lord of the FLEAS!

Sorry, folks. No white conch shell here. But at least no Piggys will die, eh? ;)

This is getting ridiculous! As I mentioned a while ago, our campus (not just my classroom) has been inundated with fleas. ::shudder:: Just thinking about it makes me itchy. :(

At first, I have to admit, I thought maybe a student had brought some from home with them but as time went on and the kill count the truth became apparent. I talked with other teachers and sure enough, they were having the same thing happening. Of course, we alerted our administration that fleas had taken up residence and they promptly called maintenance to come and spray… Outside… (O_O)

That’s right! They sprayed the grass OUTSIDE and did nothing for the little buggers that were in our classrooms leaving red marks all over our ankles! To make matters worse, the day that they sprayed it rained. And it rained the next day. AND the next day. (Seriously! SO ITCHY just thinking about it! ACK!) I don’t know much about pesticide, but I doubt it works very well when it gets washed away by torrential South Texas rain. But I could be wrong. (Even though I doubt it.)

Given the situation, we are all pretty paranoid about it. Our eyes scan any bare skin regularly, seeking out the little paracites. I find myself jumping at flecks of pepper, pen marks (cause I’m messy like that) and even freckles that I know are there! Little tickles and itches that would normally be dismissed and ignored are suddenly VERY IMPORTANT. As I type my earring brushed my neck and made me slap myself… Cause I’m smart like that.

Today alone, I’ve killed four fleas that I caught in the act. Filthy little beasts. Can anyone tell me what ecological purpose fleas serve? I mean, I know that while mosquitos are just as annoying and ITCHY they are a souce of food for birds (as adults) and fish (as larva). What about fleas? Are there any “benefits” to fleas. I mean, sure, they carry the Plague and typhus and who doesn’t love that, but what other benefits are there? O_o

I actually managed to get a semi-decent picture of one of my attackers. I killed him carefully (not carfully) to preserve the look of horror on his evil little face!

He got what was coming to him!

Bet you didn't know they had such human faces! THEY DO!

FEAR ME!

::shudder:: I think I need to go take a four hour bath in boiling water with lye soap and bleach!

Phantastic Photo Phriday! Part 6

Ah, it’s Friday again! Too bad I have to work today… But on the plus side, that means I have a chance to at least start this post and if no students turn up for tutoring, I’ll get to finish it too! (^_^)

Looking though the photos I took this week, it occurred to me that the ones I picked for today, as the best and most interesting, would tell an interesting story if left on their own. It would be an altogether inaccurate tale, probably but funny, in any case. But that may just be my own, strange sense of humor so I won’t assume anyone else would piece them together the way I would. That’s why the last set has the story all made up for you! Aren’t I generous? (^_^)

Anywho, I’ll get on with it, since I’m sure you’re here for the pictures and not my prattling. First up we have a “WTF?” brought to you from my unsuccessful shopping trip midweek. THIS is everything that is wrong with plus-sized “fashion”. For every article of clothing that any self-respecting fat girl would actually be willing to wear, there is something like this (no offense meant to anyone who wears giant sequined zebra heads on swirly purple backgrounds):

The only person I could see wearing this is my grandmother. In fact, I'm pretty sure she's GIVEN me stuff like this... Not my cup of tea!

~~~~~~~~

Next up in our lineup is the picture I would have posted with Monday’s blog post, but I was still dealing with filter issues. I was playing white and Aaron was black. Now, I’m sure Aaron would like to assert that his loss was due to the Jack, but I’m just that good! (^_-) And, let it be noted that after confessing I had been going easy on him when we were playing backgammon, he told me not to, SO I gave it my all during our Othello match!

In Othello, AKA Reversi, whoever has the most of their color at the end, wins.

~~~~~~~~

Last, but not least are some pictures of the lovely surprise that was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. There was no card, but I’m pretty sure they were from Aaron. Even though Spock is clearly trying to take credit for them, that sly dog:

Orange Peruvian Lilies! Just like the ones that were in my wedding bouquet! :D

Spock: Do you like these flowers?

Me: They're lovely...

Spock: Will you run away with me?

Me: Hmm? What?

Spock: Please, I can't live without you!

Me: So pretty... Wait... What?

It was at that moment that I realized he must be playing me, cause everybody knows Spock is all about cold logic, not passion. And besides, how would he know what kind of flowers I had at my wedding? I mean, he’s only been coming around for a few months… Pretty sneaky Spock!

(Thanks for the flowers, Aaron. They made my night!)

Phantastic Photo Phriday! Part Five (Updated)

Edit: To give credit where credit is due, here is the original ginger ale for sick tummies post where I talk about how my fabulously wonderful husband went and bought me  soda (even though Spock brought me some with ice and a blue straw… WITH ICE! because obviously he loves me. It’s so hard being adored. ::swoon::).
There. Happy Aaron? :P

For today’s post I’m dipping back into my photo archives since I managed to take absolutely no pictures other than a couple of the cat this week and Ive promised myself I’m not going to turn this into a gallery of Elliot and Molly, so yeah…

First up, we have a picture that I meant to post the week I was having tummy issues. I had intended it for the morning post, but I couldn’t figure out how to put images into posts via email. (Thankfully, the posting from work problem should be clearing up in the next week or so. We got an email about it.)

Who better to bring me ginger ale for my stomach woes than Mr. Spock? Look at that heroic stance. He even brought me a blue straw! :)


Next we have a dinner I made not too long ago. Everything (except for the bun) was homemade and had I not been missing a few ingredients for the mac & cheese I would have posted about it. But, it didn’t turn out so great.

I put a little too much cayenne pepper in the burger, so it was spicier that I would have liked, but still good. Too bad the mac and cheese was a flop. It looked delicious.


I was playing with the macro feature in the computer lab one day a couple months ago. This was the only picture I liked.

I usually don't post pictures with people in them, but you can't see the details anyway.


That’s all for this week. I’ll do my best to take some non-cat pictures for next week. Have a great weekend! :D