Friday, September 14, 2012

Pros and Cons of Living Alone

I live with my cat. No one else, just the two of us. I love it. However, there are some drawbacks.

Pro: You don't have to clean. Your mess is your mess. You clean it up when it's convenient. If your favorite pan is dirty, you have no one to blame but yourself. You can leave your dirty clothes laying all over the house (because we all strip naked in our kitchens from time to time, right?)

Con: You don't have to clean. The freedom to not pick up after yourself is a cruel, cruel trap. It takes a lot more motivation to clean when your place is trashed.  Also, you can't have company over without apologizing.

Pro: You have a lot more privacy. Remember that thing I said about stripping naked in the kitchen from time to time? You can't do that with a roommate (at least a platonic one, unless you're really really close). Heck, you can exercise naked. You can even talk on the phone about anyone without worrying that your roommate is overhearing and repeating later.

Con: It's harder to have a social life. If you don't leave your house, you aren't going to see anyone that day. And unless your friends lives across the street/down the hall, you have to plan a lot more. No more spontaneous dinners out, or a spur of the moment decision to go to for a walk with them. It takes some effort to coordinate things. Despite how Friends made things look, no one leaves their apartment unlocked while they're not home. Nor will your broke friends constantly hang out in the same coffee shop every day. That shit's expensive.

Pro: You can definitely be inconsiderate. Unless you have neighbors in the same building, you can play music, watch TV, exercise, dance, cook, etc at all hours of the day. Get up at 6 and feel like turning up the metal and doing jumping jacks? You can. Want to make curry at midnight while watching your favorite Bollywood movie? If you can stay awake til 4am, go for it. Who is going to tell you "no"? No one. Because you live by yourself, and as long as there is food in the bowl and no crap in the litter box, your cat won't care what shenanigans you get up to.

Con: You don't have to stick to a normal person routine. While watching Shahrukh Khan make a puppydog face a woman half his age while singing and dancing at 3 am may be really fun, it is definitely not a normal thing to do. Being asleep at 3 am is a normal thing to do. Granted, having a roommate can keep you awake sometimes ("Is she still on the phone? It is 3 am!"), turning off the noise and light so they can get up for work in the morning will also help you get up for work in the morning.

Pro: You don't have to compromise. Yeah, it may be there turn to call the landlord about a repair, but you really want it done now. That picture of that turtle may creep you out, but your beloved yet ugly painting of a tree is across the room from it. Yes, you do most of the cooking, but their food deserves a cabinet too. You think he just needs to put on a hoodie, but having the heat at 55 in January in Minnesota isn't something most people are used to, you guess. Reasonable, but really?

Con: There's no pressure to get stuff done. Yeah, the hot water isn't hot enough, but I can live with that. I should probably hang up the painting of a tree, but it's just me, and I don't really need it up. Yeah, I should probably clean the bathroom, but I'm ok with cat hair on the floor.

Overall, I'm bossy and inconsiderate and anti-social and bachelorish (yeah, it's a word now) enough where I prefer to live alone. Despite the fact that I am terrible at cleaning, exercise mostly nude, play my music at odd hours, and have trouble going to bed sometimes, I think it suits me better than having roommates.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


To be completely honest, Craigslist is pretty janky.

However, I've had really great luck with it lately. Sold a bed within an hour of posting it, and bought a nice table for $15 and picked it up the next day after I emailed her.

I suppose, much like many things in life, you have to use it carefully.

Walking in the city after dark by yourself (Hey, I know I shouldn't, but I live alone in the city and I don't have a car. This is Minnesota, it get dark at 4pm in the winter. It is literally impossible to not walk alone after dark) is another example. Be smart about it. Act confident. Be polite. Keep to yourself. If there's a group nearby, you can keep close to them so creepers think you're with them.

I must be getting more street-savvy, right?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Life Update

So, I kind of forgot to blog for a while. My apologies. I haven't even been super busy, but life happens.

Things I've been doing:
1) Beat Pokemon White.
~Snivy was my starter for this one, and he was pretty great, but Seismitoad has to be my favorite pokemon in this entire generation. Unfortunately, my beloved cat has chewed my DS charger in half, so I am still waiting for my new one to arrive from Hong Kong. I got part way through replaying Black, but it has to wait because I finally ran out of battery.

2) Went to California.
~My friend Katie and I went to California to our friends wedding. We went to the beach, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, museums, and Jeannette's bachelorette party was in Disney Land! The wedding was beautiful and they are so cute!

3) Got a promotion at work.
~I've been trying to find a new job that pays more, but instead the Lead Teller position opened up at work. So now I am living within my means! Yay! And have more to do at work.

4) Exercising.
~While I've dropped from 4-5 workouts a week to 2-3, I've still been working out pretty regularly. I've even been biking more often, and I don't really enjoy riding my bike, but it's a good workout and gets me places faster than walking.

5) Listening to music
~I've been renting CDs from the library, and listening to the radio more often so I can hear more music and finally listen to all those albums that have been on my list forever.

6) Volunteering
~My new years resolution of 4 hours of volunteer service a month has been mostly working (except I only had 2 hours in July, but most have had 6-8, so it evens out). I have discovered that volunteering gets you free stuff and free admission and something to do during the event. I have a ton of t-shirts, have gotten out of at least $30 in cover charges/admission fees, free meals, free drinks and other random swag. And of course, volunteering gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. And I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile instead of just bumming around and spending money.

7) Having a social life
~Sort of? I have been succeeding at my 1 social event per week minimum, but I was hoping it would snowball by now. I am terrible at initiating contact, and setting plans. And I like hanging out with friends, but laying on the couch usually trumps getting up and doing something. I need to get better at making obligations for myself so I get my butt off the couch.

8) Being single
~Still single, still not dating, still enjoying it!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Faire du Camping

I love camping. Mom and I went to Lake Itasca State Park, where the headwaters to the Mississippi are located. It was a good time, even though we were down by a family member (brother, who was being a dutiful son to our dad and stepmom).

One thing I love about camping is the fire. Even when we don't need to heat anything over the fire, or roast any marshmallows, there is something comforting and traditional about a campfire. Make one first thing in the morning, even when it's plenty warm, to sip your coffee by. Or use to cook your hashbrowns, eggs and beans in the morning. At night, make it to eat dinner by, and to prepare the dessert. Smores, every evening. Who cares if you're full or are sick of marshmallows? You're camping. Smores are a must! A campfire is a good start and end to the day, and usually a good middle to the day.

I also love all the exercise. Even when you just hang around the campsite all day, you still need to walk to the bathroom, to the water pump, etc. Unless you're in an RV or something, camping means roughing it. You need to lug water, you need to stand up and stretch because your butt hurts from sitting on uncomfortable wooden benches and sleeping on rocky ground. Plus, there's hiking, bike rides, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and climbing. We went for a sixteen mile bike ride. My butt still hurts!

The wildlife is also fun. From a big, lazy raccoon looking for handouts from all the campsites to a grouse who needs to look where he's flying before he takes off, we saw quite a few cool animals. Even the multitude of tent caterpillars (including several on our tent, coincidentally), and the many adorable chipmunks and squirrels entertain me to no end. I'd love to have seen more animals, as the park also has moose, wolves and bears, but being in the middle of the campgrounds, the only animals we're likely to see are the ones who want something from people. The grouse however, seemed just surprised as we were to see us in the middle of his flight path.

Camping is a great escape. It's a literal happy place. Even with rain, and forgotten items, and unexpected events, it's hard to not have a good time while you're camping.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

States I've visited

I have only a few states left to go in the US, and most of them are in the Bible Belt.
Red means I've driven through it. Amber means I've slept there at least once, but don't really know it very well. Blue means I've been there multiple times or spent extended time there. Green means I've lived there, or have been there a lot.

You can make your own map at:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First Sunburn of the Year

My face is pink! I love the feeling of being sunburned. It's just warm and cozy.

I got my sunburn by apartment hunting. I unfortunately have to move because rent went up, and my roommate moved away. And I don't really want to live with anyone else, so I should probably get a 1 bedroom or studio so someone can take the larger space who needs it.

So, I hoofed it around some areas in uptown and eat street and phillips to see if there are any rentals around there. I have a couple I need to follow up with, because they looked promising. I don't really want to live in Phillips, but it's more convenient than Uptown, and I get less angry about the privilege in our country.

For some reason, every time I'm in uptown, I just get upset that white privilege exists, and that wealth is so concentrated with one class of people. I know it's not the fault of the people who live in Uptown, but people jogging with their dog past the lakes, or pushing their children in fancy strollers past their beautiful gardens just makes me sad. Especially when I then go to Phillips, where people are taking the bus to work on a Saturday afternoon, and asking strangers to help pay their bus fare, and the sidewalks and road surface quality is noticeably worse than in Uptown.

So, I probably shouldn't live in Uptown. Plus the bus ride would be 40 minutes instead of 15 from Phillips. Even though Uptown is prettier and safer. Plus, Uptown is expensive and tempting! So many amazing restaurants and coffee shops. In Phillips, there are good bakeries and coffee shops and stuff, but most of the restaurants aren't so veggie friendly, so I will spend less.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Found Pet - Thankfully!

Twice this week, I've almost had to make "LOST PET" signs.

First, I must have snapped the leash on the tag ring instead of the collar, because the second Hazel and I stepped outside, the ring broke and she zipped off after a rabbit. "ffuuu...." was my first thought. I ran around the block and neighborhood, calling her name, and asking random people walking by if they'd seen a dog. Considering it was 10pm on a weekday, there were only two or three people, and no one had seen her. Resigning myself to calling animal control, I trudged back home. As I turned the corner, who was sitting on the front porch but Hazel! I was so happy, I just gave her a hug and a "good dog" for coming home, and put the leash back on. We found the tags laying in the yard the next morning.

So relieved.

Today, I got up at 6 to feed the cat, and take the dog for a walk. I had a headache (not from a hangover, though! I went to bed at 10 because I was so tired!), so I went back to sleep for a couple hours. "Odd that the cat didn't come when I poured her food out. She must be hungry by now," I thought as sleep took me again. When I got up at 8, she still hadn't eaten her food. So I went searching in all her favorite spots. Not on the cabinets, nor under my bed, not in the shower, or in the closet. I had left the window in the living room open last night, so maybe she was still hunkered down there, even though the dog was in there. I pushed back the curtain only to find a big gaping corner of the screen pushed out. "Fuuuuuu.... How long has she been gone? She could be anywhere!" The last time I saw her was 10pm when she jumped off my bed after cuddling before I fell asleep.

So, I run outside, looking up trees and under neighbors porches. Around and around theg neighborhood I go. "Momo wouldn't go very far. When she gets scared, she hides under stuff or jumps up." A lightbulb when off after twenty minutes. "Is it possible she wiggled through the trellis skirt on my porch?" I went to look. Sure enough, there are definite signs of digging underneath the porch skirt. I go inside to grab a flashlight. I don't see her right away, but I go around the corner, and look again. Lo and behold, what is looking back at me but those two adorable green eyes? She let out the most piteous "mew." I pull the skirt back enough for her to wiggle back through, and she jumps into my arms, covered in dirt and spider webs.

Thank goodness my pets know where they live!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!!

To celebrate, I baked and brought a french silk pie, pumpkin pie and berry pie. I should have taken a picture of the berry pie. It was my first crust I've made with a lattice top crust, and I put a cute little pi symbol on it. TASTED AMAZING TOO!!!!!

Hope you celebrated this irrational day!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Saturday, Mommy helped me pick up my first doggy, sort of. She's a rescue dog that I'm fostering. She's really cute and friendly, and calm for a dog, but hyper and needy compared to the cat. Haha.

She is very clingy, in a good way. She is the type of dog who leans on your legs when you pet her, and gets a little anxious when you stop petting her.

But once she realizes you're not going to pet her in the next minute, she just lays down and chills out.

She also doesn't shed much. Lucky me!

There are some issues, though. I live in a predominantly Somali neighborhood, and we have yet to pass one Somali neighbor who isn't terrified of her. She looks like a shepherd or a rottie (and probably is a mix of both, with some other stuff in there), but she is a calm, happy and friendly dog.

She also doesn't recognize her name. Not sure if she was renamed, or if her original owners just didn't ever use it, but it's very hard to get her attention when she sees a squirrel or cat running away from her.

And good lord, can this dog poop! I forgot how much dogs poop! I only get one free bag a day, but use at least 3 or 4. I'm going to run out of bags! I'll have to buy more vegetables or something, just for the bags, because this is ridiculous. She pooped 6 times in her first 24 hours here.

My main worry, though? Momo. She doesn't like Hazel. She is curious, and will come and sniff around or creep over the wall or from behind the couch, but the second Hazel sees or smells her nearby, Hazel just wants to meet her! She is so excited to meet Momo! But Momo is terrified, and hisses and growls and is frozen solid. I have to carry her out of the room, and she goes and lies on my bed or in the kitchen for twenty minutes before she's calm enough to walk around normally. So, Hazel is confined to the living room while I'm home, and is crated during the day while I'm at work and at night. I'd love to leave her out at night, or during the day, but I can't trust her with Momo yet. I don't want to wake up to a beat up cat because I wasn't supervising closely enough. What I see as excited and happy to meet Momo may actually be a prey drive that I am preventing from manifesting.

We'll just have to wait a few more days to see if there is any improvement. So far, it's been mostly stressful between the two, which is too bad because they are both really friendly and sweet. Just not to each other, yet.

If you're interested in adopting Hazel, please let me know! You can also go to

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life doesn't stop

Well, so far I've been sticking to most of my New Year Resolutions.

I guess I haven't been super good at making necessary doctors appointments, but I finally got the dentist scheduled for mid-April.

Exercise is going well. I catch myself checking myself out in the mirror a lot, so the getting in shape thing is working, even though I haven't lost very much weight. Any weight loss can be attributed to a bout of the flu halfway through January. Instead of a gym membership, though, I work out at home because I bought my brother's elliptical, and pay myself to work out. Plus instead of getting home at 8:30pm every night, I now can get home at 7, and work out at home. My cat enjoys sitting on me while I am doing yoga, and playing with my resistance bands and balance ball. Quality time with her is good, too.

Saving money is going mostly well. I can't eat less than $100 of food in a month if I want fresh fruit/veggies, which I do. I've been a super couponer though, and have only bought food at a restaurant twice since January 1st.

I don't think cleaning was a resolution, but I'm failing at it in any case. Now that my roommate moved out, I don't really have a reason to clean. She left some bowls and plates, and I brought mugs from home, so now I can go even longer before I have to wash them.

I have been winning at reading, though (you should read the hunger games and if you like fantasy, A Game of Thrones. Go!). And playing pokemon. And listening to new-to-me music. Also not resolutions, but things I'd been meaning to do.

I just need now to find a better job and a new place to live. I like my job, but if I can get a higher paying job with the same benefits, I will. I also can't afford to live in a 2 bedroom on my own, but I don't really like living with other people, I've realized. Perhaps a 1 bedroom would be better, even though it would reinforce my hermit-like behavior. But I'm a lazy, sometimes anti-social, crude person to live with. Perhaps living on my own for a while would suit me better.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Volunteering Experience 2

Through Wells Fargo today, I volunteered for Second Harvest Heartland. The group of us, who were mostly strangers who just happen to work for the same company, helped repackage food from bulk to smaller packages for distribution to different food shelves and soup kitchens.

What was our food that we were repackaging?

Dove Chocolate.

We took it from 24lb boxes, and put them in 2lb bags, then sealed the bag with a label and put them back in the boxes. My job was to seal the bag. The whole time, that episode of I Love Lucy was in my head, the one where she and Ethel get a job in the chocolate factory and end up eating and hiding all of the chocolates. I restrained myself, and only had 2 of the leftovers.

Proud of me, Mom? Mom has amazing will power, and restricted everyone in the house to eating only 2 dove chocolates a day. So tempting, but I've never broken that rule. Even when I'm not at home, I only eat two.

This is what I wanted to do, though.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Well, finally! After missing the bus and ending up in Minneapolis somehow instead of St. Paul the first time, and getting the flu the second time, I finally volunteered this month. I helped the Minnesotans United for All Families call voters to talk to them about voting against the ban on marriage for gays and lesbians (and bisexuals in same-sex partnerships, but in typical mainstream lesbian and gay issues, bisexuals are never mentioned).

Out of 41 times I dialed the phone, I had 2 conversations. 9 other people stopped me and told me they didn't want to talk to me. It was fun anyway, though. I helped convince someone to vote no on the marriage amendment. Yay! I helped!

I'm going back next week (fingers crossed; my luck was not so good before). I'm also going to box food at Second Harvest Heartland later this week through work.

Volunteer resolution so far? Check!

As for the gym membership, I don't really like exercising. If I get the 12 month membership, I know I will go 3 times a week, even if I don't really want to. However, I've been going 4-5 times a week so far this month, and I've already noticed I'm more toned, and down a notch on my belt. My skin is clearer, too. I think I am getting healthier, so it might be worth the $17 after insurance. I thought about just doing exercise videos at home, but I know I wouldn't do it.

So the real question is: Is being in better shape worth $17 and 5 hours a week? I still have a couple weeks to decide, but I am just not sure. I was fine before. I wasn't overweight. I wasn't out of shape, but I wasn't in shape either. But if I don't start now, will I when I need to?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great TV Show: United States of Tara

I started watching a TV show called the United States of Tara.

It's about Tara, a 35 year old mother and wife with DID (or multiple personality disorder). It's a very funny, but with very serious issues. Tara has three main alters: Alice, the perfect housewife; Buck, the Vietnam vet who loves guns and pussy; and T, the 16 year old party girl.

Tara is married to Max, who is probably the best husband in the world. They have two teenage kids: Kate and Marshall. Kate is a little lost and trying to find her way, and a little rough around the edges. Marshall is little mister perfect, who wears ties and suspenders and is looking for love from a bicurious pastor's son. Her sister, Charmaine, is a single woman who just wants to be normal, and had lot of love and resentment for Tara.

It's a really funny show. It's available on netflix, both instant watch and dvd. There's a lot of swearing, but it's really funny. And sad.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Progress on New Year Resolutions

So far my New Years resolutions are moving along nicely.

~I bought a month-long gym membership for $30 from Anytime Fitness through Group-on, just to test it out and see if I like it. I'm going there the first time on Monday.

~I just signed up to volunteer for an hour this week, and 3 hours next Wednesday, so there are my 4 minimum hours of volunteering for January. Plus I get to watch a movie in theaters for free, so it is saving me money, too.

~I went to the mall yesterday, and only used $2 beyond the gift cards I had from Christmas. That is pretty impressive to me, that I left with a bag full of kitchen swag, and only spent $2. Good job saving money!

So far, winning this year. I also had an awesome day at work, so that's pretty cool. It's an unofficial resolution is to do an exceedingly good job at work, but that isn't something new at all. I should always strive to exceed expectations at work.

A photo that I took in New Mexico, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I normally don't make New Year's resolutions, but now that I'm not in school, I actually have some time and mind to prioritize my own betterment.

Anyway, so I have a couple general goals, with some ideas of how to achieve those.

1) Get more physically fit
~Exercise regularly, likely by joining a gym and going at least 3 times a week
~Get some upper arm strength
~Push myself, even when I'm tired and all I want to do is lay down.

2) Get out more
~Volunteer at least 4 hours a month
~Have a social event at least once a week.
~Keep my house clean so I don't feel embarrassed to invite friends over.

3) Be responsible
~Keep my little obligations, even my little obligations to myself
~Save money! Don't drink at bars, don't buy dessert, stay in and cook!
~Make doctor/dentist/vet appointments promptly, instead of procrastinating like I normally do.