December 23rd, 2006

ice cream

My 2006

Without looking at my LJ or calendar, I'm going to try and remember my 2006.

Let's see...

In early January I finally realized I had to go get a job. So I started a hunt and a month later, went off to Italy with Caleb. We went to some beautiful places, including Florence. Back in Atlanta, I got an interview for a job at the Atlanta Regional Commission. I wound up with the job, which had a lot of pros to it, but some serious negatives, including a lot of stress and a totally overbearing boss.

Getting a full time job also totally messed up my consulting business, forced me to give up volunteer work, and got me behind in my IP editing work. However, I did manage some good stuff, like going to Chicago with Caleb to see the big Pompeii exhibit and in May going up to Massachusetts to visit my Mom and Dad just as Dad was recovering from a long hospital stay. Another big deal was me joining a gym, which led me to workout 3-4 times a week and even go through a "boot camp" class, which I loved. I didn't lose any weight really, but I got in shape.

The summer was spent mainly stressing over work; my workload was huge, relentless and frustrating. I also got bit by Daniel's cat Pugsley, which eventually resulted in a big infection and a permanent scar. Stress at work was really getting to me and then they dropped a bomb on me that they weren't happy. I stressed a month more over that and then got axed. Ouch. I went out and ate delicious meals and drank for a couple of days, then moved on.

As it happened, I had freelance work piled up and more arrived just in time. I did do another job hunt, but I wasn't feelin' it, so I started to explore other futures, including going to grad school for planning and revamping my business to specialize in web work for planning, architecture and engineering firms. Meanwhile I was roped into taking up a part-time job as admin. asst. at the local municipal market, which got me out of the house, paid me a little much and kept me amused. Outside of that, I was able to keep up with some major freelancing projects and catch up on some major tasks I'd been dragging my feet on. Finally in early December I managed to actually get out of town again, for a nice nearly week-long trip to Munich.

And now the last couple of weeks of the year is here and the main deal will be going up to Massachusetts to do the family thing. Then Jan. 31 I'm doing some work with dogs at the humane society and doing some partying.

One of the best cat toys ever

For Christmas I got Luckie a couple of new toys and OMG, one of them is the best cat toy ever!

Cat Dancer

It's basically an arc of spring-steel wire with some twisted rods at the end. The thing is awesome because it's a wire so it bobs, weaves and bounces around unpredictably, which is key to getting a cat's interest. It also comes with a thing that will let you mount it to a wall or furniture, but it says on the box that you can't get it off and it might damage stuff, so I threw that part away. Instead I either play with the thing by hand or stuff the end into the side of the armchair and watch Luckie go nuts. This is a toy she will play with for a half hour all by herself, basically until she's either tired or has knocked the Cat Dancer out of the chair.

Anyway, it's awesome! If you know somebody with a cat and want to toss in a cheap gift, this'll work great. I got mine at Petco but it should be available all over.
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Creative Writing

Among the many reasons I'm such a fan of AirTran is their creative writing, i.e. spunky ads, email messages that crack me up, etc. They no longer do the old ValuJet routine of giving prizes to the passenger with the oldest penny, but hey, they still do things like this:

Tips for Hassle-Free Holiday Travel

Which has all the practical and safety tips but is charmingly written, rather than being the same stodgey, authoritarian-sounding crap usually spewed out.

Example of tip headlines:
- Silver Bells and other metals...Must Be X–Rayed
- Leave the Holiday Carving Tools at Home
- Nothing Should be Roasting by an Open Fire
- Remember That There’s Not Much Room in the Sleigh

My flight is at 8.
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x-posted from guinea_pigs

As an update, several weeks after her surgery, YinYang is doing just fine. She seems a bunch skinnier, since the ovarian and hormone problem was causing weight distribution. Her mood is vastly improved and her fur is growing back. All the fur they shaved for the operation has grown back, so no more bald belly. The sides of her belly are growing back more slowly but I think eventually they will return. So all went very well.

Meanwhile here are a three pics I took yesterday while cleaning out the girls' cage. I always toss them in a box with some food, which keeps them suitably distracted.

Abbie and YinYang settle down to a fresh batch of parsley

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