Thinking of Catsby

October 10, 2013 at 11:38 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

It’s been two years since my best furry friend had to be put down while I was out of the country.  I still miss Catsby every day.  I miss her greeting me as soon as I came home and I miss playing fetch with the hair ties she’d steal from me and bring over while I sat on the couch.  I don’t miss giving her insulin shots or worrying constantly about her health but I’d do it all again in a heart beat if I could have her back.  I used to have some dreams where we played together but it’s been a while since I’ve had one of those.



I miss her companionship and the funny noises she would make that sounded like responses to my questions.  I miss the way a perfect black circle formed when she stood up straight and I miss her cuddling with me on the couch.

The Dude is a great cat and I love him but no animal could ever replace Catsby.  She was my only family member during my first, loneliest and most difficult year in Chicago and she was there for me through quite a lot of change.  She was also the first pet I got as a kitten and raised entirely on my own.  I will always regret I wasn’t there to properly say goodbye to her and I just hope she knew how much I absolutely loved her.

I miss you, Castby.

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So Dreamy

October 9, 2013 at 11:58 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Do you ever have a random dream featuring someone you haven’t spoken to in years?  Say, for example, a professor you had back in college and may or may not have had a tiny crush on?  And in the dream the professor confesses his love for you and you have to let him down easy because you’re already in a serious relationship but the two of you kiss anyway and then you both confess said kiss to your current love, who gets mad and storms away right before the dream ends?

Yeah, me neither.

But if I did, I think it would be bizarre.  I typically remember my dreams for a while after I have them and if I were to dream about some old friend or flame then I would think about it for a few days.  And if I were to have any sort of romantic dream about someone I’ve never actually shared a romance with, then I would imagine it would make me feel really weird around that person.  Not that it’s happened.  Much.

I dislike having people from my Facebook feed end up in my dreams…

What’s the solution?  It probably involves a hiatus from Facebook before bedtime, to be honest.  Which is likely a good thing because I can’t log on right now without thinking about a particular former teacher of mine.  Perhaps I should just jump the Facebook ship altogether?

In a somewhat related, albeit very odd note – I’ve noticed that in every dream I’ve ever had where I’ve flirted with another person who isn’t Scott, the person has red hair.  Scott has red hair.

So did one of my favorite professors in college…

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Thanks, Obama!

October 7, 2013 at 11:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

While the nation rants and rages over the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d just like to say how it is directly affecting me.  I realize that I’m pretty healthy and don’t need to utilize my insurance much (thankfully, because even for the healthy that stuff is expensive as hell) but I do have one prescription I get each month.  That would be my birth control.  I’ve been taking The Pill basically for as long as I’ve been getting periods because mine were particularly unmanageable as a teenager and the pill really helped.  Of course, once I got older I enjoyed the other perks of contraception, but I’ve always had to pay for it.  Even being completely covered by an insurance plan, I’ve had to shell out roughly $15 a month for my pills.  While I realize that isn’t a lot, an extra $180 a year could come in handy.  I could spend it on candy!  Or ice cream!  Or Cheeze-Its!  Or gas to go home for a couple of weekends!  Or more candy!

Thanks to the Affordable Health Care Act, I now get to save that cash each month as my pills are covered.  They’re actually an entirelly different type of pill


All this for the low low price of NOTHING!

than I used to take and I’ll now only get my period once every three months instead of once every month.  While I like the checks and balances of a monthly period, I also like not paying for birth control and paying way less for tampons and chocolate bars.

Our healthcare system in America is far from perfect (it’s actually pretty awful).  I’m not naive to think that Obamacare will really help everyone who needs it and I’m not even positive it’s going to help me much more than the whole free birth control thing.  What I do know is that it’s at least a step in the right direction and fighting over funding something that’s already been passed into a law is just kind of dumb.

For a more concise breakdown over what damage government shutdown is actually doing, please read this blog post by The Bloggess (who’s pretty great in her own right).  She also outlines a few ways you can help, mostly by donating to Feeding America (which helps the food pantry I volunteer for, among countless others) and by donating blood.  This political standoff is hurting many, many people and it’s really just because the two political parties that we’re stuck with can’t seem to compromise or even get along.  It’s embarrassing as an American, especially since there’s nothing I can actually do about it.

Stupid politicians.  I guess if I wanted to get paid for not doing my job I should’ve moved to Washington.

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Foodie Friday

October 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

So this isn’t the normal food-related post.  Some of you may remember that I’ve been volunteering for the Common Pantry for about four years.  They provide food, toiletries, resources and education to just about anyone in the area who has a need.  The pantry is a big part of my life and I’m proud to be involved with an organization that helps to give back so much.  The food that the pantry distributes comes from the USDA, Feeding America and donations from various people and places all over the city.  Unfortunately, the government has been cutting back on the funding provided to these types of pantries and the need hasn’t exactly decreased.

Where some of the magic happens!

There are many things that can be done to combat this and a fellow volunteer of mine named Chris is going the extra mile – 26.2 miles in fact – to help.  He’s running in this year’s Chicago Marathon and I think it’s pretty awesome.  I could never run in a marathon and I honestly think that people who willingly sign up for such a thing are a little nuts but more power to them.  There’s about a week left until the big race and if you’re interested in making a donation to a truly great guy and truly great cause, go here.  See that picture of Chris?  Yeah, I took that.  We’re all about teamwork at the Common Pantry, unless you’re running a marathon.  Then you’re on your own.

Anyway if you choose to donate (seriously, every little bit helps!), here’s a huge THANK YOU!  And even if you don’t, just the reminder that there are people out there struggling to meet their basic needs is something worth keeping in mind.  Here’s hoping Chris runs like the wind!

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Chow Time!

October 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Contrary to his name, The Dude is not always a laid back cat.  Most of the time it would take a pound of catnip or a cat toy the size of a small car to get his lazy ass off the couch but come 4 or 5 every morning, he gets needy.  It’s because he knows one of us wakes up around that time and when we wake up, he gets fed.  This has resulted in him meowing and scratching around our door super early every morning.  It is more annoying than mere words can say and it basically ruins my morning from the get-go.  On Friday of last week I jumped out of bed yelling something about strangling the cat with his own tail and that is when Scott and I decided we needed to take action.

We searched some solutions online and it seems that an automatic pet feeder is our best bet.  This would simply feed Dude at a scheduled time each day and eventually he’ll learn to meow at the machine rather than at my door.  At least, that’s the plan.  We got one of these feeders over the weekend and, while he seemed pretty confused by it at first, I do believe it’s working.  We had a few good solid nights with no interruptions though he did cry a little last night.  If this behavior is on the way out, though, I’ll take it!

Come and get it!

Come and get it!

The first time Dude saw the feeder in action was pretty funny and I managed to capture it via photo (seen above).  He basically stood on his hind feet and just stared at the contraption while it spat out food.  I’m not sure if he thinks it’s some new god that was created to feed him or what but it was pretty entertaining to watch.  It’s relatively quiet and is nice because now we can leave him for a few days without worrying about having someone stop by to feed him.  Of course, now I’ll worry that the feeder will break and he won’t get fed anyway but I guess I can deal with that.


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Starved Rock

October 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This was much cooler and larger in real life.

This was much cooler and larger in real life.

Scott and I had another camping excursion last weekend, this time to Starved Rock State Park.  I’d never been before but Scott used to go about a decade ago and was under the impression we could hike the awesome trails of the park right from our campsite.  In reality, the campsite was a few miles drive from the park but we were still able to do some hiking.  Here are the pros and cons of this site compared to the one we went to at the Illinois State Beach Park a few weeks ago:


  • We got to do a lot of great hiking and I saw places in nature I’d never seen before


  • It was about an hour further of a drive (each way)
  • The campsite wasn’t as nice/secluded
  • The bathrooms DEFINITELY weren’t as nice
  • Alcohol was technically prohibited but just about everyone was drinking anyway

All in all, I think I liked the campsite at the Beach Park better but the hiking at Starved Rock made up for any difference.  We spent about 3 hours hiking around, going through canyons and up and down various overlooks and peaks.  It was gorgeous.  My photos didn’t really do the view justice at all and I didn’t take too many since I was so involved with the scenery.  Obviously I took the one of breakfast because I just love food so much and that photo did do the meal some justice.  The hike was the highlight of the camping experience though and I’m looking forward to the next time we make that trek.  There was a Visitor’s Center that had a small museum and some info that I enjoyed reading and there were plenty of trails to choose from.  Kids, families, groups of friends and couples were everywhere but the crowds tapered off the further you got from the Center.  It was definitely worth the trip.  There’s a lot of history to that area and the name of the place comes from a Native American tribe who was fighting with another tribe and basically chose to starve at the top of the plateau rather than surrender.  Kind of depressing but absolutely interesting.

Breakfast of Champions!

Breakfast of Champions!

We almost didn’t stay though because the weather called for strong storms all night.  The winds were really strong when we were setting up camp and we had to chase down our tent more than once – until we stuck the cooler in there to weigh that sucker down.  We decided to tough it out though, come hell or high water, and the only thing we dealt with was the water.  The rain managed to hold off until about 10pm so we had enough time for veggie dogs and s’mores before it hit.  When it started, though, there was no avoiding it.  We basically called it a night then and slept through the worst of it.  The tent held up fairly well and only got soggy in one spot, so that was nice.  In the morning the weather cleared up and became beautiful again so we were able to dry all of our equipment off while making the delicious breakfast seen here.

The whole experience was a great way to welcome the fall and I hope timing and weather cooperates so we can go once more before winter really hits.  Who knew camping could be so much fun?!

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Fighting Like First Graders

October 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I think they all need a time out.

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