The Basket

A few months ago, I took a basket I wasn’t using, put a pillow in it, and sat it under the window in my office. Sacha was the only cat who figured out that this combination was the equivalent of a cat bed, and it became his special spot. On days when I worked from home, he would sit there all day with me. And I think he spent a lot of time there alone, too.




One day, I walked into the room and was stunned to see Katrina in the basket! She had figured it out too!



But Sach still wanted “his” basket. He did not seem too pleased that he had to share.



They couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work. First Sacha showed his dominance by just sitting where he wanted, despite the fact that someone was there before him.



Then Katrina tried to be the “top cat.”



But finally, they learned how to share!



(To be fair, the sharing thing is rare. As I write this, they are more in the position where Katrina is in the basket and Sacha is uncomfortably squished along the edge.)

“I’m busy taking stock of all the things that I’ve forgot”

Now that my two insane weeks are over, I can finally breathe… a little… before the holidays start.

Two weeks ago was my big concert for band. I actually had taken a couple days off work since I have all these vacation days to use up, and it’s a good thing I did, because we ended up having lots of problems with weather and getting things printed for the concert, so I was running all over and doing some things last minute. Plus there was our dress rehearsal, which was an extra night out of my schedule, and our concert was on a Saturday, which is my usual “getting things done” day. I couldn’t even make up the time on Sunday, because we went out to Lancaster for the day to visit friends who are about to move to North Carolina. It was actually the first time I’d seen them in a while, so I got to meet their one-year old baby, who makes the best angry face! And MB and baby R were there! And also somehow I found the time to bake cookies to bring.

Then last week was our big face-to-face meeting at work that we weren’t even supposed to have. You may remember several months ago that I was on a committee to start planning for a F2F at our other site, then that became a virtual meeting. Then I went to DC with a few coworkers so we could at least get together on our own time. Then I was on a committee to start planning another virtual meeting, and we found out last minute it was actually going to be held here, in PA! It was just two days, but it was a really good meeting, and went much better than I’d expected. I ended up pretty much being in charge of the icebreaker activity, and I think everyone loved it! (We did human bingo.) We also got some extra time to spend with our boss after the second day, and he actually met GG… and I’m not fired… so that’s good.

I had a couple days to get caught up, and then my entire weekend was taken up with parties for my side job. My parties on Friday and Saturday were really good, but were about an hour away from home so I was out pretty late both nights. On Sunday I participated in a fundraiser for this animal organization (it was originally going to be another party, but then it turned to going to this event instead). I didn’t really fit in there – there is nothing animal-related about what I do. Plus, I thought this group was a cat rescue or something, but it was more like a PETA-type group. I was stationed next to a table where they played a video of pigs getting slaughtered and had pamphlets about all the companies you should boycot, and also this woman came around and offered me a copy of an essay she’d written from the perspective of a turkey on Thanksgiving. (I wish I still had it, but I gave it to a friend who was also working there. It was laughable.) GG had come with me to help out, and almost vomited after trying vegan lasagna. I was disappointed in the vegan mac & “cheese,” myself. So to make up for the afternoon, we went to Elevation Burger for dinner. And then I was so exhausted, I fell asleep pretty much as soon as we got home.

Looking forward to a calmer week, with only two Thanksgiving dinners (one of which is with friends), and hopefully less of a workload, since a lot of people seem to have taken the week off. I’m like two weeks behind on the DVR, too!

#SandyHelp

I already donated to the Red Cross today, and it was a lot more than $10, plus it was matched by my company. So I feel I am allowed to complain about NBC’s Hurricane Sandy telethon. It reminded me of the episode of “30 Rock” where they recorded celebrities talking about a generic tragedy that hadn’t yet happened, so they’d be ready to go – and just as this occurred to me, Tina Fey made an appearance!

I understand that this was a major tragedy for a lot of people. I was personally extremely lucky to not be affected at all, and I’m trying to pass along my luck by helping out others. And I know that there were some people who literally lost everything. But I found the telethon a bit over-dramatic:

  • They performed songs like “Under the Boardwalk,” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” and “Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway.” As one of my friends posted on Facebook, that’s like singing Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” for a 9/11 tribute.
  • They kept talking about how there were people who still don’t have electricity on. I know, it sucks. But remember the earthquake in Haiti? Those people didn’t have electricity on, and many didn’t even have electricity to begin with! We do not have it so bad here in the US.
  • Not to put the blame on the victims, because this really was a catastrophic event, but a lot of people did not take the storm seriously or prepare sufficiently. Probably because Irene was not as big a deal as they’d predicted last year, but this was not like Irene.
  • Even though it was clearly pre-recorded (referencing the Marathon that had already been canceled), they kept talking about how busy the phone lines were, etc.

And I won’t even start on the fact that in 1994, there was a huge blizzard and ice storm that knocked out our power for a week – we didn’t have electricity or heat, and couldn’t go anywhere because it was too icy – and nobody had a telethon for us…

Besides that, I have to say, a lot of places have been very cool about support for victims of the storm. My bank sent something out about how they’re waiving ATM fees and such; my company credit card is offering assistance in making travel arrangements and booking hotel rooms. I’ve seen lots of people from NYC sharing about restaurants and places where services are available, and doing nice things like this.

In related news, it appears that most of the local kids ended up trick-or-treating on Wednesday after all. But we were home tonight and ended up handing out candy to several groups of kids who did come around. Favorite costume: a blue Lego brick.