Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You win this time, felines.

Writing prompt from Mama Kat!
5.) Tell us the story of how your pet came to be a member of your family.

I was not supposed to have cats. I could have sworn I was a dog person. After all, when I was growing up the only animals we ever had were dogs. No cats, no hamsters, no rabbits, no lizards, no horses, just dogs. Well, there were a couple fish every now and then, but they were a--and I absolutely must say this, it's too tempting--short-lived obsession every time. No joke, once I tried to "show" my own goldfish a "trick" that my brother's goldfish could do. I scooped him out of the water, made a circle with my thumb and index finger above the opening of the bowl, and dropped him through the circle into the bowl. Ta-da! ...At least the first time. The second time I guess Fishy saw his chance to escape, but alas, flopped in the wrong direction, landing behind the (thankfully turned off) furnace. I couldn't reach with my stupid little arm, so I pretended nothing happened. I don't remember the outcome of that story, but I'm sure there was an interesting one. How the hell did I explain the missing fish?! Then again, my family is very good at coming up with bad explanations.

In any case, although I was never anti-cat, I was always a little suspicious of them. The few cats I was ever around were usually out of sight, only occasionally slinking into my line of vision. Otherwise they were porch-dwellers, sprawled out on decks, the railings, the chairs, or the steps. And of course, being mostly around dog-loving people I only ever heard about how all damn-cats (I swear it might as well have been hyphenated, because the words always went together) were anti-social, snooty and want nothing to do with people.

Then one day five years ago it was decided that I needed a companion for when The Hubby was at work. This was to be a whole new world for me. A litter box? What? So New Kitty is "welcomed" into the home by none other than me, home by myself, with no clue how to handle a damn-cat. I make sure damn-cat has food and water and toys and knows where the litter box is and how to use it. We're good. *Pat pat* kitty head, now I'm off to do whatever it was I was needing to do around the house. Problem? Damn-cat didn't get the memo about cats not caring about humans. This cat followed me around the house all damn day, mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-owing at me. And since she was to become our "woe" kitty, with the most pitiful drawn-out mournful *woe* cry, she'd chase her mrrrr-ows with woes. She was desperate for love, and I was panicking. "No Kitty, you can't eat my food! You have your own!! OH GOOD GOD What is it you want from me???" So I went about awkwardly petting her and holding her until she calmed down. But as soon as I'd get up ("Jesus, Kitty, I gotta put my bowl up! Give me a break!") she'd be following me and mrrr-owing and woe-ing. Sheesh, even the dogs I'd had before weren't this high-maintenance.

We gradually became more comfortable with each other, and after a couple of days we settled on the name "Kiki" for our little woe-kitty. (Eventually she somehow ended up "Kiki Pants," and is now mostly just called "Pants.") After a little bit it was time for the big vet trip--getting her spayed and de-clawed. When she came back home after that, I sat on the futon we had in "her" room, holding her in my lap and bawling my eyes out. She looked so pitiful, and it was so heartbreaking for me to see such a spirited, affectionate kitty all droopy-eyed and mangled-looking. That's when I fell in love with her. I missed her personality. I just chilled with her for a while until she jumped off my lap. After that, we were besties. She's the first kitty I ever had, and she's awesome.

She went from tiny cute damn-cat...
To lover of heights.

To attacking from boxes. (We had to buy a second one of those after they tore one to pieces.)

To a lover of laps. And staring contests.

To a glorious fetcher. Check out that back claw action. She's a warrior down to her toes.
(...And down to her evil glare of victory.)

To a stealth attacker of feet. (With soft paws, of course. She's still a lady.)
To a lover of boxes and soulful gazes.

And she absolutely slays a nap on her favorite blanket.

She's a very thoughtful kitty.

Once she brought me a half-dead cricket when I was in bed, half-asleep. I think based on my reaction she understood that Mama is simply not able, or willing, to learn how to hunt and kill her own food. The half-dead thing has never been repeated. She has, however, gifted us with fully-dead mice, thoughtfully placed next to the bed or in the doorway, where we'd clearly be able to see she's earned her keep. Or that we'd better be on our toes, because she's a cold-blooded killer. Even if she gives us hugs (a paw on each side of our necks, head brushed along the side of our faces) and begs to be held and walked around the house so she can bat at the ceiling fan pull chains and peek out the windows. But she's such a bad-ass, I'd swear she actually catches the red dot of the laser pointer.

We have another cat, too... but Juggabutt's a whole 'nother story.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holding pattern.

If you're here looking for a laugh, check out the hilarious reviews for this amazing product. Seriously, who doesn't need a pair or two of handerpants?? And if you're not impressed, there's always the classic Three Wolf Moon shirt, where I can always find the most epic, amazing reviews that can instantly cheer me up.

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In any case, that was the "phoning it in" fluff so the few readers I have don't forget about me, and know I'm still alive and haven't forgotten about them! If you're here to read a rambling wallow in self-pity, read on, because after this sentence comes the *actual* post.

It's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted, and I am ashamed of that. It's not like I haven't had plenty of time on my hands, or plenty of ideas for posts... I actually have a ton of drafts of posts started, but I just haven't seemed to have the energy to do much but sleep or read or snack or watch shows on the computer or anything else that doesn't require much getting up off my butt or thinking. I go to work, come home, and blah. On days when I don't work, all-day blah. Folks, I think it's safe to say that the depression is back.

There was a couple of weeks solid where I was crying at the drop of a hat, and every time I went to sleep it was nightmare after nightmare. I just want to be left alone, I'm extremely irritable, don't feel like doing anything productive, and just want to sleep all day. That oh-so-familiar empty feeling is back, and I feel like my job is not helping at all. I'm basically selling my weekends and ability to make plans, and the tiny paycheck is totally not worth it.  I've already had to miss one event with my friends that I really wanted to be able to make it to, and I don't want to have to wait until Christmas to see my family again. This will most likely be the last year we'll all be together for a while, and it sucks ass that I will most likely only be able to spend a few hours with them on Christmas day. I so hate working retail. I've sent out resumes, but no luck so far. There's just not a lot of hiring going on right now, and although I totally rock at everything most places are looking for people with experience that I don't have, or it's more freaking retail.

I'm just kind of miserable right now. I hate that I've moved backwards like this in the job department. I hate that in every other aspect of my life I'm just in this kind of holding pattern, waiting. Waiting for our house to be finished. (I hope it's done by Christmas, and the fact that I have to *hope* for that pisses me off. It's been 6 months. It could have been done twice by now. "Progress" keeps getting stalled.) Waiting for a different job to come along. Waiting for The Hubby to leave for and be done with boot camp and all the training after that so we can get out of here and away from some of the toxic cycles we're stuck in. Waiting for our life to start. It feels like starting over, and I wish it would hurry up already. I feel like I'm about to lose it, but I can't allow that to happen because I wouldn't even be able to simply deal with it in the privacy of my own damn home.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Flailing limbs FTW.

 Thanks to Mama Kat's blog for the writing prompt!
3.) Married? Tell us the story of how the question was popped.

The Hubby proposed to me not once, but twice. I said "Yes!" both times.

Folks, I hate to say we were high school sweethearts, but that's the closest label I have. However, we didn't start dating until a month before he was to graduate (I was a year behind him). It was only a couple weeks before we were using the L-word. We spent all our time together, usually at his house because he's fairly reserved and let's just say my family, Jeebus love them, is not. Scatological jokes, TV/movie references, and profanity abound when my family is all together. There are few subjects my beloved ones will not approach, and approach inappropriately with great humor and gusto. But I digress.

It was a typical teenage romance, but we both knew it was "a big deal." I have never had any problem with knowing what I want, and after some of the shit I'd been through by the time I hit about 15 or 16 I was also damn good at knowing how to balance heart and brain in making decisions. Even my mom saw that I seemed much happier with him than I'd ever been before. (Whether she'd remember or admit saying that now I don't know... but I swear it happened!) In July of that year he unofficially popped the question. Of course, he couldn't just come right out and say it at first, but he's horrible at hinting and I'm awesome at figuring shit out. After about five or ten minutes of him "debating" out loud about "something he wanted to ask me" he finally just asked if, after I graduated, I would marry him. Of course, I said yes. Of course, this was also unofficial, because although we both already knew that we were just right for each other, it was a little soon to be declaring our ambitious intentions. A few more months went by, and we were into November. We were running around the mall and he suggested we go look at engagement rings. He bought the sweet little ring I wanted right then and there, but we had to order it in the right size. I expected that he would speak to my mom for "permission" first before officially popping the question, and that it would probably be closer to the time I graduated if not the night we graduated. Again, I'm awesome at figuring shit out, especially when it comes to anticipating what he's going to do. I guess I didn't count on his extreme level of impatience.

One day he called and asked to speak with my mom. I can't remember if he also spoke with my stepdad-at-the-time or not, because ultimately that didn't matter to me. A couple days later I was over at his house. We had gone into his room to watch a movie, and he told me to sit down on his bed. Naturally, I said "No." Cuz you ain't tellin' ME what to do. He asked again, looking me in the eyes, hands on my shoulders, and naturally, I said "NO!" Why the hell is he bossing me around?!

Only this time, in the process of jerking out of his grasp I stumbled back onto the bed, throwing my arm up and hitting him in the face in the process. Right in the nose. With my elbow. I apologized profusely, he cussed profusely. He sat down next to me with a heavy sigh, grasping his abused face. I continued apologizing, until finally he held up a hand to shush me, still holding his nose with the other hand. Then he took the hand down, and reached over to his nightstand drawer... and pulled out the box with my ring in it.

The moral of the story is: If you try to do something spontaneous and romantic around me, odds are you will end up exasperated... and maybe injured. Although in my defense you should know by now I'm a little accident-prone, and frequently take people down with me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November News!

So there's been a lot going on in my life here lately... Not so much a "constantly staying busy" thing as a "a hell of a lot on my mind" thing. And until some of it had sorted itself out I wasn't really feeling like I could blog about it. Plus, The Hubby had requested that I keep a bit of it under wraps until some things were squared away. He's a much more private person than I am, and I respected his wishes and waited until I got the go-ahead to spill. But enough with the cryptic bullshit, eh? Here's what my month has been like so far.

This past week The Hubby went through MEPS, the Military Entrance Processing Station. He has been sworn into the Marine Corps. He's been back and forth about wanting to do this for the past couple years, but he's finally committed to it. He started talking to a recruiter a few months ago, had to make some changes before and after going to MEPS for the first time a month or so ago ("clothing" a tattoo on his back, and getting the holes in his ear sewn up--he had two holes stretched to 0 gauges), and then waiting on going back to MEPS for the second time so they could verify the changes and get him sworn in.  At this point he's not going to be able to ship out until around the beginning of May, and he'll be going through the 13-week boot camp in San Diego.

How am I feeling about all this? Honestly, I couldn't be happier. Any time he has mentioned the possibility of entering the military I have supported him. I think this is a great opportunity for him, and a great opportunity for us. I know it will be difficult for us both, in very different ways, but totally worth it. We both understand the risks involved--with our country having been at war for the better part of a decade it would be foolish for us not to anticipate a Marine to be deployed into a war zone. They have made it clear that because he is married his first permanent duty station will be within the continental US, but after that? It will all just depend on his job and where he is needed. I will admit to feeling some trepidation... After all, I talk a big game about my independence and toughness (I'm super tough.), but my hand has never been forced like this. Being without him for a weekend is one thing, but I'm about to be away from him for a solid three months while he's in boot camp. And then another month for combat training. And then up to a year while he's at his MOS (Military Occupation Specialties) school. And then at some point I know I'll have to face the separation of deployment, and everything that means. At least he'll get some time in between all that to come home, and while he's gone for boot camp and all the training after that I'll have the support of my friends and family nearby.

But in the meantime, and throughout his military career--whether he stays in for four years or until retirement--we'll just do our best to take it one day at a time, and deal with whatever comes our way. Besides, it gets us the hell out of this area. We'll be selling the house as soon as I'm able to move with him. Unfortunately, it'll probably still be a while.

But that's not all that's been going on... November also marks my youngest brother's birthday. I adore that kid--even if having just turned 18 he's officially not a kid anymore. I spent the Saturday after his birthday with my family, celebrating at Buffalo Wild Wings and at Mom's house with a homemade ice cream cake and lots of music. Youngest Brother had a friend over who, like Y.B. is talented with a guitar. I had so much fun listening to the two of them singing and playing guitar. Our house had frequently been filled with music in the past, but it's been a while. At least for me, because The Hubby doesn't play as much anymore and Y.B. isn't always playing when I'm over there (which is nowhere near often enough). Y.B. has also enlisted in the military as of this month, but like my other younger brother who is older than Y.B. (he will be O.Y.B. I guess...) Y.B. has enlisted in the Navy. He will most likely be shipping out sometime around August or September. Lots of big news in my family these days.

However, the same day that I was celebrating with my family, The Hubby was mourning the loss of his maternal grandfather with his. If it was any month other than November, I would have been with him. But there is no way I would have been able to handle a funeral that day. In any case, things have been a little rough lately for The Hubby's family. Maybe in another post I'll talk about why I personally find life a little more difficult every November, but I'm not feeling like going into that right now. Besides, this post has been long enough, don't you think?