Thursday, January 31, 2008

of sine waves, rearing heads and dictionary wars

... so today, I'm at the computer, playing scramble on facebook (an online version of boggle) when I hear the cat pawing at the floor. You know, pawing/scratching on the floor, like what you'd expect her to do if she were covering up her "business" with kitty litter. Except that she was pawing at the floor. NOT a good sign!

So I peeked around the corner and whaddaya know, there was a piece of turd, along with what I call "sine waves" : sinusoidal marks on the floor left by butt-dragging. Do YOUR cats have this problem? Once in a while our crazy kitty can't quite completely squeeze one out, so she'll clamber out of the litter box with a turd tangling out her butt, which she then removes by dragging her butt across the floor.


... if nothing else, at least it was a relatively easy and hassle-free clean-up.

= = = = = =

and what I expected to happen has finally started! I was in French class and found myself wanting to add "también" to the end of my sentence to indicate "also", LoL! I'm still having the stray Italian word / number / rhythm emerging during Spanish class, it was just a matter of time before Spanish started rearing its head in French! I'm not complaining at all, though, don't get me wrong! I'd love to be able to just switch from one language to another without hardly any hesitation or conscious effort... long time to go before I can do that tho :p

= = = = = =

... so recently I've been online playing Scrabulous (a Scrabble rip-off), Scramble (a Boggle rip-off) and Text Twister on Facebook as well as playing Scrabble on the PC itself. And I've been getting more and more irritated by the different dictionaries used by different games and applications. The worst offender is Text Twirl - after training myself to spot words what would otherwise look like nonsense (aas, ais, dee, cee, ...), it's like running into a brick wall when these words are rejected.

Then there's my PC game, an official Scrabble product, that doesn't accept "qi" yet it's fine in Scrabulous which uses the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary as reference.

... and if you look at all the possible words from one Boggle/Scramble game, well, lets just say I question the validity of SO MANY of them!!

but at the end of the day, I suppose one just needs to keep track of which words are accepted by which games and play accordingly, or, be like me and don't get too hung up about it: at least Boggle/Scramble/Text Twirl don't penalize you for guesses/wrong words. So type away in those games, and just play it safe in Scrabble.


Friday, January 25, 2008

"de man, streaker?"

A while ago, back when the weather was nice and warm, and I had my weekly tennis sessions with my Russian French classmate (who I hereby dub "Meg"), there was this rather harried woman who approached my side of the court, so I went to the fence to see what was up:

"De man! De man streaker?", she asked.

I did a double take: "I'm sorry, what?" I asked.

"De man! Streaker! De man streaker?" she asked again, rather agitated.

All I could think of was gee, I certainly didn't notice any naked man running past here, so I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and said "Sorry, I didn't see nothing", apologetically walking away...

... to see my tennis partner at the net, with a puzzled look on her face, as if trying to figure out the direction of something.

As I approached, Meg said to me "I never remember which street is where, but maybe Damen is over there? Oh, she's gone now, I hope she finds it."

I'm looking at her stunned, I just started laughing so hard.

Note for the future: The next time a Russian-accented lady asks about a streaking man, she might just be asking for directions to Damen Street.

= = = = = =
and here's a bit of whining: dunno what I'm battling, but this morning my temperature was "a hair's breadth away from triple digits", and pretty much all afternoon my gastro-intestinal system has been rather unhappy. Fun.

So come join me on Facebook and let me battle you on scrabulous (while it still exists) to keep me occupied! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

the cat is like Britney Spears...

... because she did it again.


this time, ON MY BAG!

ruining my Spanish workbooks,

and of course I'm not going to try to salvage the bag,
which now reeks of pee.

It's not even a separation anxiety thing, it's more of an "ooh, here's a different surface to pee on, let's do that!" thing.

I guess that'll teach me to not leave my bag on the floor, close to but not by the front door???!!


... and now I need to find a replacement bag.

I've been half-tempted by this, but wonder if they have a more "messenger bag" style, and less ugly, LoL!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

overheard in my apartment lobby last week

"... no, that's ma birth mama's father's first name ..."
(said in a very Forrest Gump like manner)

I can't help but wonder where that conversation was heading :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

catching up and cat tales

It was a particularly horrendously cold weekend that just went by, and it's still cold!! The word to to the wise was to not go out, and instead just spend the time indoors in front of your fireplace or something. Well, we did that, kinda, except that we drove 2 hrs to get to a fireplace at Kosh's folks' place, and of course drove back again yesterday, LoL! We were marking his birthday lah, already planned well in advance of Mother Nature's shenanigans... otherwise you wouldn't have seen even our batang hidung (noses) this weekend!

... and the weekend before that, on the Friday, I jokingly pointed out to Kosh that "Hey, it's BBQ Beef Ribs day!" (for those not in the know, we used to live in Urbana-Champaign, and there was this bbq place that has the most awesome bbq sauce, and daily specials, the Friday one being the most totally addictive and delicious half-slab of beef ribs I've ever found!)... and whaddaya know, he managed to escape from work really early, and off we went for an overnight trip to Urbana, buying FOUR order of ribs, two consumed there and then, and the other two transported back to Chicago to be eaten sparingly over the next three days... yummmmmm!!!

so yeah, any healthy eating plan has been totally disrupted over the last week or so. Back on the wagon... tomorrow? :-)

... ... but, with all these trips out of town, we've been forced to leave the cat alone for long periods of time. Prior to August 2007, it wouldn't have been a problem. But, ever since Kosh left the kitty cat alone in the apartment for 5 days (with ample food, water and toilet facilities!) to join me in Switzerland, I think she's developed separation anxiety or something. Remember the pee-saturated rug I'd mentioned that greeted us? Well, we threw out that rug, cleaned the spot well, making sure the best we could that there was no pee aroma to encourage a repeat offense, and all seemed okay... but then, ,, we'd leave her alone for 10 minutes and whaddaya know, she'd peed there again. Kosh would be showering in the morning and whaddaya know, she'd pee in that same spot. She'd get antsy in the middle of the afternoon for daddy to get back while I'd be at home but not paying her much attention (I was in the Sim City fever at that time), and whaddaya know, Kosh would get back to pee by the front door.

Cleaning up liquid pee from your entranceway is NOT a fun thing to do at any time, let alone getting to do it so often! There was no way we were gong to be able to leave her alone anymore,,,, but what about my classes??? My French, Spanish, pottery...??!!!

Kosh came up with a solution. So, now, whenever she is to be left alone during the day, we put her in her little carrier, what is usually used to transport her to the vet and back. Very small and cramped quarters, but, I can't find pity for her anymore,,, I decided to not crate her that one time and, hey, whaddaya know, I came back to pee by the front door. Ugh!! By now, she seems to have surrendered herself to the trial of being locked up almost every day, for hours at a time. So far so good, she hasn't "gone" in the carrier, and she's not peed by the front door, or anywhere other than her litter box, in retaliation for being locked up.

BUT.. crating is not an option for long/overnight absences.

So, on the past two weekends, the cat was confined to the bathroom. To avoid cleaning up kitty pee, we instead clear out the contents of our (tiny) bathroom, and install her litter box, her carrier, food & water, and some toys, and shut her in for the duration of our absence. So far so good, no non-box peeing! Of course, the cleaning up of the bathroom takes up lots of time too, what with the litter sand scattered all over,,, but hey, it's SO much better to clean up than pee! Besides, it provides an opportunity/excuse/impetus to actually clean the bathroom properly once in a while (not that the bathroom *never* gets cleaned, it just probably isn't cleaned as often as it should!)

... and today? Today she has a puking incident, then runs into the bedroom, and seeks refuge in, of all places, the laundry basket.

... silly kitty!!

UPDATE @ 1:40pm... the cat toppled the basket to the floor as she finally decided to leave the laundry for a spot on the couch instead.

No, she's not trapped underneath. But thanks for having me clean up another of your messes, cat!!

silly kitty indeed!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


... another indication of how I've been spending my time...

Here's 333 @ mid-December, best time = 164 seconds

A week later I'm at 444, and have shaved 20 seconds off my best time!

Almost 2 weeks later I'm at 555 games, another 3 seconds shaved too.

And a week after that, today, I hit the number of the beast, and can boast of a best time in the 130's.

If you take a look at the wins % over time, you can see that I'm improving 1% for every 111 games... whoohoo :-)

Ah, that's a quality leisure life,,,,, not! :p

Monday, January 07, 2008


hi all,

i swear i have witty thoughts running around in my head, thoughts that make me laugh to myself and say "hey, i should blog about that"... and then when I am at the compose page i. go. blank.

So instead, here's another one of my fave Family Guy scenes. Enjoy!

[in case that link dies, here's the page on]

oh.. and... HAPPY 2008! :-)
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