Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Woof. And gobble.

Did you know that pets can mourn?

I knew this but have never experienced it until now.  It's been about six weeks since we lost Maggie and today I finally realized that my poor Gigi bear is in mourning.

I didn't notice for a while because at first she didn't seem to realize Maggie was gone.  Or if she realized it, she didn't seem to care.  She ate a little less but I figured that was because she didn't need to chow down right away lest somebody else eat it for her.  And she didn't have somebody else's bowl of food to chow down on either if they hadn't finished it all right away. 

Not long after Maggie was gone, Gigi discovered how lovely her singing voice is in the wee hours of the morning.  Yes, eight o'clock is wee!  I realized today -- at around 3:00 a.m. when she woke me up -- that she's gradually starting singing earlier and earlier. 

She's also been tearing up the area rugs into a pile.  First it was just one time, now it's several times during the night.  The past few nights I've had to come down and lay on the couch with her in the early hours to settle her down.  It's now escalated into the same behavior as when fireworks go off.  This morning I found her waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, then she made like she was ready to head out the front door with me, wherever I was going.

I thought about all that and realized:  My doggie is in mourning.

So now what?  There are actually several sites with some good recommendations on dealing with a mourning pet.  Thankfully they all say don't go out and get a new pet to replace the lost one.  I'm just not ready for that. 

One thing I noticed in the recommendations is to change up your dog's routine, like taking them for more walks or walks to new places.  Unfortunately, Gigi can't go very far any more but I did realize that whereas I had been taking her on daily walks to the mailbox every day I'd stopped doing that about two or three weeks ago when the weather turned crappy.  After that was right about the time her behavior started to deteriorate.  I think we'll do some car rides too, just to be out doing something different. 

In other news, I do have a thanksgiving recap planned but there are pictures and I haven't downloaded them yet.  Soon.  I know you're all dying to hear about the Ollie fondling.

the CilleyGirl

Monday, November 21, 2011


Howdy everyone!  Did you have a fabulous weekend filled with fun stuff?

Yeah, me neither.  Laundry, bills, grocery shopping.

Yep, yesterday I pilgrimaged to the store to find a bird to sacrifice to the gods of haute cuisine.  Or, in my case, hot cuisine. 

Ha ha!  I crack myself up sometimes. 

Sometimes?  Who am I kidding?  All the times.

Anyhow, my fridge now holds a 12ish pound free range turkey.  Not so free anymore though, are ya?  In more ways than one:  Ollie was a $1.99 a pound. 

Why Ollie?  Because everyone names their turkey Tom.   And Ollie lends itself so well to post-feast rhymes.  Like "Goodness gracious golly, delicious was ol' Ollie!"  And, um, "We've eaten Ollie, now let's put up some holly!"

Whatever.  I'm much better with limericks.

I'm flying solo this holiday and am looking forward to it.  You know, with family you get (hopefully) good food but all the attendant drama.  If you go to friends you tend to get better company but the food may not be right.  Like if they only serve stuffing, no mashed potatoes.  Or no black olives with which to decorate your fingers.  Or other weird stuff; everybody's got their Thanksgiving quirk.  Plus, you get their drama. 

So, on my own. 

I'm usually pretty basic with the bird -- garlic, butter, sage -- but I think this year I will try a sugar-and-spice-cured turkey recipe that I found.  It means I'll have to get up a normal hour (i.e., before noon) to feel up the bird with various sugar and spices but then I can have breakfast and still be hungry for dinner.  As you may have suspected, my holiday weekend shopping included the fixin's for eggs benedict.  Because I can

My other Thanksgiving staples are mashed potatoes with giblet gravy and rolls.  That's it.  I've never been into stuffing since my parents always put in the evil onions and celery (ugh!).  My stepdad hates cranberry sauce so while we'd usually have that jelly kind straight out of the can for my mom, I never got into that either.  Sometimes there would be one of those green bean casseroles, but usually we just had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and rolls.  I'm not even doing a pumpkin pie this year; I've had a craving for apple and you can get away with having that for breakfast (or pre-breakfast, as the case may be) so I don't feel horribly guilty if I eat the whole pie over the course of the long weekend. 

I've decided not to do a Thanksgiving run this year.  The weather forecast is for SUCK and I'm pretty sure my sinuses are rotting from the inside out.  Being out in the cold and wet holds no appeal for me right now.  I've been mainlining Vitamin C, trying to hold on to whatever level of health I'm at right now. 

Any turkey day plans out there you want to share?

the CilleyGirl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings

I HATE - Snorfling.  I am so tired of sniffing and sneezing and being stuffed up.  I had that flu thingy which of course turned into a sinus infection as they always do, but now I seem to be getting a cold on top of it all.  Do I really need sinuses?

I HATE - People who copy or print the same damn thing over and over and over.   Our office motto is "Death to trees!" 

I LOVE - That I am obligated to sing along and dance whenever "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" comes on the radio.  I can't not do it.  I also picture that cat food commercial that used that song in my head. 

I HATE - The fact that I have a cellular phone that is great for everything but making and receiving phone calls. 

I LOVE - That my college boyfriend calls me every year on my birthday to wish me a happy one. 

I HATE - That my stupid cell phone never lets me pick up his call to talk to him.  I will defeat you, cell phone, just you wait. 

I LOVE - That any Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, or Lindsey Buckingham song could be all about the relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.  They aren't all about them.  But they could be.

I HATE - Spending a whole bunch of time to find some useless piece of useless information and then, after conveying said information, am asked "What about the prior year?"  Well, if you had asked me to find that out for the prior year I would have but you didn't.  And it's a useless piece of useless information so who really gives a fuck?

I LOVE - Being able to indulge a bad mood.  I'm being (fairly) nice and all on the outside, but inside my head is a different story.  Muwahahahahaha!

I HATE - People who don't know how to do their jobs.  I don't mean people who do things differently than I think they should be done, but those who have actual rules and stuff to their job that they either do not know about or don't feel like following.  I work with a lot of government entities where there are laws about how they do things.  Way too many couldn't care less about that, or that they are breaking the law.  Although...

I LOVE -- Being able to point out that if they don't do their job I'm going to institute proceedings to have them fined a few thousand dollars for each incident of dereliction of duty.  It's not often that I get to that, but there's no better way than to bring down some of these bitchy little power mongers in these tiny little counties.

I HATE - That feeling sick is making me so damn grumpy.  And the weather isn't helping.

I LOVE - That David Bowie's "Changes" remind me of ninth grade homecoming and cute boys in gray tuxes with pink ties and cummerbunds.  Good times.

the CilleyGirl

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Facebook Experiment

Hello my cilley friends!

I'm doing an experiment through Facebook and would love to have your help.  Yesterday I created one of those posts that has you list X number of people on your profile list.  I want to see how far it travels.  So if you see a post that starts "You are in a fairy tale" and then lists the seven dwarfs, Snow White, Prince Charming, and the Evil Queen, please leave me a comment saying when you saw it and how many times you saw it.  I'm just curious to see how long it lasts and how many people pick it up.


the CilleyGirl

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Haven't done one of these in a while...

1.  Today I am wearing slacks that I haven't worn in several months because I figured they'd be too snug.  They're the skinniest slacks I have and my other ones weren't fitting well so these would've had to be off the menu as well.  Today they're a little loose, so yay, although I haven't really lost any weight.  But I have noticed my clothes fitting better since I stopped marathon training.  What's up with that?

2.  The radio station I usually listen to at work started playing Christmas music yesterday.  Bleah!  No Christmas until after Thanksgiving at the earliest.  Heck, in my family it's typically no Christmas until December 17, this being because my Dad's birthday is December 16 and the habit kind of stuck out of deference to him.  So I popped out the Pandora, looking for something peppy, something snappy.  I was hoping for some classic rock, but somehow whenever I start out with that on Pandora it inevitably morphs into emo rock, like Creed and crap.  Which Creed is fine and rocks and all but in an emo way.  I decided to start instead with my boys, the Monkees, and go from there.  MUCH better!  Everybody's so happy in those songs and singing about it in three part harmony.  Right now is a live version of "Here Comes the Sun."  And it has, y'all.  It has.

3.    I don't think I'm going to do the Turkey Trot at the Zoo this year.  For one thing, I just went to the zoo.  For the other, packet pickup is such a hassle -- it's only on Wednesday and I have to try to fight my way over to the zoo and back during my lunch hour to do it.  I do still want to run on Thanksgiving though so I may do the one in Tigard that morning instead.  For that race, first 300 to register get a pie!  And it's also only $25 and starts at 9:30.  It's chip timed too.  AND it's on my nemesis course in Cook Park.  Hmmm....

4.  I'm going to shill for Swagbucks again.  Since I joined at the end of May, I have earned enough points for $50 worth of Amazon gift cards.  That's free money people!  I earn most of my points by using Swagbucks as my web search engine (it's hooked up with Google) and by surveys.  It's so easy and you don't get flooded with spam, etc. for doing it.  If you sign up, tell them cilleygirl (at) comcast (dot) net sent you.

5.  I'm still pondering what I'm going to do for Thanksgiving itself.  Been thinking about going up to the ranch, but it's a six hour drive each way and there may be snow in the pass.  I'm checking with my bestie from high school who lives up that way to see if she'll be in town for the holiday weekend.  If she won't be, then I probably won't go up there.  The drive is really draining, especially if the weather is bad.

6.  I love my job.  Still working on a raise, but I do love my job.  And I'm good at it.

7.  Did you hear that couples are flocking to Vegas so they can get married on 11-11-11? 

8.  Students are rioting to protest the firing of Joe Paterno?  I had no idea so many students were for facilitating child rape.  Have they read the allegations?  One of the assistant coaches reported he actually witnessed Sandusky assaulting a 10 year old kid IN THE PENN STATE SHOWERS.  TEN YEARS OLD.  You know what tips the scales on the rape of a child, is more worthy?  ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING.   Least of all football.  Get some perspective, you dumbfucks.

9.  Sorry, but the whole failure to report sexual assaults on college campuses really pisses me off.  Particularly since I have a vagina on me at all times.

10.  And there is Herman Cain.  Enough said.  I'm still annoyed over the whole Clarence Thomas thing.  I don't care about what anyone does legally with a consenting adult.  But other than that.  Sexual harrassment means this guy believes that women are worth less than men.  Yes, please, I want that as my president.  Gah.

11.   Take a deep breath now.  Okay, I'm trying to get back to your regularly scheduled programming.  Here, check out this photo of child star Jonathan Lipnicki.  Yowza!  Reminds of Jerry O'Connell's transformation a decade or so ago.  And that of Anthony Michael Hall.  Remember when he turned up all buff in Edward Scissorhands

12.  The Muppets are coming!!!  There, that makes me happier.  I may have to go see that movie on Thanksgiving weekend.

13.  Ambien also makes you run marathons.  I speak from personal experience on that one.

the CilleyGirl

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Recap: The Big Day

My 41st birthday was fabulous.

It was a perfect fall day.  Temperature around 50 degrees, bright blue sky and sunshine.

I love fall.

It went exactly as I had planned.  I slept in til almost noon then had my favorite breakfast, eggs benedict.  Then I was off to the zoo!

With the temperature weather, just about everybody was out and about.  Including at my very favorite exhibit at the Oregon Zoo, the otter!

I spent a good thirty minutes with this little guy.  He was taking advantage of the sun to give himself a bath.  He was scrubbing with his little paws and at the same time his little feet flippers were scrubbing away too. 

Then he would wriggle around on his back for a while...

Then he would do flips, side to side and back to front.  But don't take my word for it, see for yourself:

You'll notice that front to back flips apparently afford the best opportunity to clean the southerly regions.  (Let me know if the video link doesn't work, this is my first time using YouTube.)

This guy is also known as the horny otter. 

The polar bears were enjoying the sun. 

As were the tigers.

It's always great when the animals are all out.

This was the first time I've ever seen this guy awake.

I can't decide if I like this shot or not.  I was trying to get the giraffe's reflection in the pond but he's so damn tall it was tough to get it all until he obligingly bent down. 

Now this shot I do like.  This year's Christmas card!

I almost never take pictures of people that I don't know but the circumstances cracked me up.  I was trying to get some pics of the goats and then this little girl comes running up to this goat yelling "Rawrrrr!" with her arms up.  Her mom immediately chastised her (I was laughing) so the kid gets down to the goat and I took the shot.  What makes the picture for me is knowing immediately what came before it.

The hippos were very obliging and I immediately felt the urge to diet.

I saw this little guy on my way out.  It's a beaver, in case you can't tell.

The reason it may be hard to tell is because he has smashed his little nose and teeth right up against the glass of his tank as he's swimming for all he's worth.  It was the funniest site.  He'd do that for several minutes then he'd do a flip then smash back up against the glass and start swimming all over again.  Not sure where he was trying to go but he was giving it all he had.

Now for the best part of the day.

My second favorite exhibit at the zoo is the lorikeets.  That's a lorikeet I have for my profile picture here on Blogger.  Here's a better look from an earlier visit:

The lorikeets live in an aviary that is open to people, meaning you go in and they're flying around.  You can also buy a cup or two of nectar and feed the lorikeets.  Normally you get two or three landing on you for the nectar.  There weren't that many people in the exhibit and the guy who gave me the nectar said they were unusually hungry that day. He was not kidding. 

On my birthday, I had at least twelve on me.  At the same time.

It was fun at first and then it started to get a bit like a Hitchcock movie.  Particularly when one landed on my shoulder and took a liking to the sapphire stud earring I was wearing.  He decided he wanted it for himself and starts tugging at it.  With his beak.  Meanwhile I'm holding two little paper cups of nectar, one in each hand, with two to three birds sitting on each hand plus they're sitting on my forearms, shoulder, on top of my head, and on my chest.  So I head over to the keeper inside the exhibit for some assistance before I lose part of my ear. 

We get most of them off but one lorikeet -- dubbed Mr. Orange, I learned later -- got so excited by everything that he started making his way from my elbow up to my hand.  With his beak.  That rapidly began to resemble a pair of pliers pinching my bare skin.  Luckily I was still with the keeper and she noticed my "ow.... Ow.   OW!" and pulled up my sleeve and got him off me. 

This is post-massacre.  As you can see, I brought my boobs with me to the zoo.  They split their own admission ticket.

Once I was all out of nectar and no longer the subject of birdie attentions, I noticed that my arm hurt quite a bit.  I went back over to the keeper where we discovered that Mr. Orange -- the keeper told me "he's a little shit" -- had actually broken the skin in three spots.  So off we went to get the first aid kit.  One of the bites bubbled up quite nicely from the hydrogen peroxide.  Eeek.  This isn't the greatest picture, but here's the damage:

I had three spots where the skin was broken -- look for the red spots, the brown spots are moles -- two really good ones, and they all bruised up to the size of silver dollars.  They've all scarred and the one closest to my wrist is still sensitive because he got the tendon and nerves right along the radius.  It twinges every time I use the mouse. 

I have to keep telling my mom that no, I'm not suing the zoo.  Despite the wounds, I had a blast.

the CilleyGirl

Friday, November 4, 2011

The good news is, I don't completely have the flu.

The bad news is, I don't completely have the flu.

My boss I'm sure was not thrilled that I followed up two days of birthday vacation almost immediately with two days of sick leave, but what can you do.  Sore throat, wicked sinus headache, fever, chills, and aches.  I won't come in with stuff like that, in part because I hate it when other people do and then I catch whatever they've got. 

I'm starting to feel better although my sinuses keep choking me.  Very happy tomorrow is the weekend so I can sleep another 20-plus hours.  Overall, I guess it's a good thing I was healthy enough thanks to running that whatever bugs have been stalking me never fully got a grip. 

Once I feel up to it, I'll be posting about my fabulous birthday and the not so fabulous (for me, at least) Runaway Pumpkin Half.  I never wanted to drop out in the middle of a race so badly in my life and it was not the way I wanted to end my 2011 race career.  Not sure what I'll do about the latter, I need to get healthy again first.

the CilleyGirl