azriona: (Default)
Asmodeus went back to Gabbie this morning. I think Cleo is either missing him or mad at me, or perhaps both. She was downstairs just before he left, so she saw him go away in his carrier, and she sat on the rug and waited. She was still sitting there when I went out about half an hour later, and when I came home six hours later, she was still sitting there, although I suspect she might have moved a little. She's not much interested in being held or touched, and she's mostly been off by herself tonight, although that might be habit more than anything.

At the moment, she's on the futon giving herself a bath, and she did eat as much of her dinner as is normal, so I don't think she's desperately upset, but it's hard to tell.

Haven't heard from Gabbie, but I imagine Modi must have made it to New York okay.

Bill and I will be buying paint for the orange room tomorrow. While I freely admit that it will no longer be orange, we have altered the plan so that the trim is now....orange. Well, not QUITE orange - it's more of a dark, burnt peach color, with the absurd title of "Iced Tea". The walls will be off-white with rosy tones. I think it'll end up looking very nice. Plus, I can still get away with calling it the orange room. :)
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Without further ado: The New Windows )

In other news, Bill has been feeling industrious - plus, he's had the week off. So he's been working on the next project, one I thought would never get done: he's been painting the dreaded Orange Room )

And of course, because it wouldn't be me if I didn't include them: KITTENS! )
azriona: (Default)
The I-Didn't-Do-Its (as Bill has renamed the cats) have been unusually well-behaved the last day or so. Either this has been because they're aware that they are no longer kittens, and therefore must behave accordingly, or because it's just too humid and yucky. All the same, Modi got tossed in Azkaban last night because he was pounding on Cleo, who might have been able to fight back had she been allowed out from under the dresser.

It's the last full day of the Mundane Spoiler Challenge - there are currently 117 entries, which beats last year's grand total of 113, which makes me very pleased. I figure I'll close down the contest around noon EST Saturday, so you've got a little over 24 hours left to post your best stupid spoilers.

Also, because Bill reminded me I'd taken them....the kittens seem to have an unnatural fascination with Bill's bathroom.

azriona: (Default)
The kittens turn a year old today - which I suppose means they're no longer kittens, but CATS. Anyway, they've been tearing up the stairs and down the stairs and up the stairs and down the stairs, and every time Bill passes, they freeze. It's way funny. I think they're expending the last of their kitten energies, and now they'll sleep 24-7.

In other news: we have window approval for the Technicolor Townhouse. Happily, the ACC read the letter this time. Dorks. They'll be installed in August.

I saw somewhere that JK is going to write a Harry Potter encyclopedia, to give us all the bits and pieces she couldn't fit into the books. I'm good with that.

And lastly, because this is to be a short post: there are 97 entries in the Mundane Spoiler Challenge. I am all sorts of pleased - at this rate, we're going to easily break last book's 113 entries. Yay! Keep spoiling, people! Spread the word! (And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ashfae, who did.)

***

Edit: Do you realize, every time I've posted, the number of entries in the Challenge has doubled, or close to? First 26, then 48, now 97. (I couldn't post yesterday as LJ was down in the evening.) Following this logic, next time I have a chance to post, there will be nearly 200 entries. HA!
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
So I'm downstairs, watching the last three minutes of Dreamgirls, when Bill comes racing down the stairs from the office where he's been keeping track of his Brewers, or watching Frontline, or something that does not involve ironing his work shirts.

"Bring your camera and come with me."

"Er, why?"

"Kittens."

Ooookay. I follow, and Behold the cuteness that is kittens. )
azriona: (Soapbox)
I have begun switching the kittens over to adult food, putting in little bits with their regular food at mealtimes. Neither of them seem to notice; there's no change in behavior or eating patterns, and litterboxes appear to be normal.

I suspect that I could just switch them full-stop and neither one would bat an eyelash, but I've still got lots of kitten food left, and I'd rather it not go to waste, since it's (a) expensive and (b) definitely not contaminated.

Last week I passed on buying tilapia at the grocery store because it was from China. I mean, sure, it's fish, but you never know. And granted I ate there for a full week and wasn't ill for a single second (well, maybe about two hours one afternoon, but that went away with a couple of Pepto-Bismal tablets).

But still. I have found, since returning to the States, that I am becoming something of a food snob, in that I won't buy the frozen meals anymore, or anything in a box that isn't labeled "organic". I read labels religiously; if it says "partially hydrogenated", I put it back on the shelf. (Which is why organic is a relief; I trust those not to have anything that even resembles hydrogenated, much less partially so.)

There are some awesome farmer's markets out there on Saturdays. Most have dairy sections; one sells raw milk cheese, which I understand is very good (and I mean to try next time I see it). One has the yummiest cider on the face of the planet. Plus, I know it's all reasonably fresh and not shipped in from who-knows where. I have read that the conventional onion from the guy in the next county over is better than the organic onion from across the country, because it's likely to be fresher, and hasn't burned as many fuels as the organic produce. This makes a great deal of sense to me.

Besides, meeting the farmer (or his rep) is more fun.

This is the thing: more and more crap is put into food on a regular basis. Hormones, and additives, and extra vitamins and extra flavorings and extra everything. And at the same time, more people are getting sick and being diagnosed with various medical issues - everything ranging from asthma to Alzheimer's to infertility to Parkinson's to autism - and if you look at various studies, there's always at least one that ties them to food.

Granted, the studies aren't always conclusive, nor are they particularly controlled, but I can't help but there's something there. Smoke and fire, and all that.

I am not the crazy person who will pay $10 for organic, hand-picked, vegetarian-fed strawberries/chicken/bread/dish soap/toilet paper. And the kittens are eating regular old Science Diet, and not the fancy schmancy organic food I see geared at pets ---- but I see how I could easily get there.

(Well, maybe not toilet paper. Gotta have SOME standards, not to mention a sense of reality.)
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Two observations:

1. I ought to do soapboxes more often, since more people responded to that than to anything else I've posted recently.

2. There are new photos of the kittens available for viewing. Click the link or the photo below. Hey, as long as they persist in being cute, I'll persist in taking pictures of them.



I've been doing overhauls of the Photo Gallery at azriona.net - I think I like how the pages are shaping up. At some point, I might do scaled-back versions of China and Istanbul. (Considering China's got some 300 photos, that might be wise.)
azriona: (Azri's pantry)
A broccoli quiche is now in the oven - I used whole wheat flour in the pie crust this time. Not sure how that'll turn out, but we'll see.

Waitress has inspired me, I think. All day long I was thinking up pie combinations. Sadly, my names aren't half as good as the ones in the movie. Chocolate Caramel Mousse Pie does not have the same ring as "I-Hate-My-Husband-and-I-Want-to-Have-an-Affair Pie".1

I think part of it is the copy of Joy of Cooking that I got at an estate sale this weekend for $2. (1997 edition, for those who care.) I've wanted that book for a while, but never enough to ask for it or to buy it myself, but one does not pass up $2 hardbacks that are in PERFECT condition, save for one teensy rip on one teensy page that deals with mushrooms, which I don't eat, so who cares?

A broccoli quiche is now out of the oven, and looks divine. Sadly, it's also nine hours to breakfast, so it'll wait 'til morning. By all rights I should sit and play with the kittens for a bit - Cleo is feeling very put out by life in general, and Modi has far more energy than he knows what to do with. I've been making him run circles lately - literally, by rotating one of his toys around me - and it doesn't take much to get him panting. Funniest thing ever, to see a cat pant. He and Cleo are getting along better now, at least - I've caught Cleo grooming him once or twice. She'll start off by licking at his face, his ears, his neck...and right when she's getting into it ---- CHOMP. I think she's a vampire kitty. Bill calls them the West Virginia cats, because when they get going, they're facing each other and rolling around on the floor and...well, again. It's a good thing they're both neutered and spayed.


1 Just the name of a pie in the movie, folks. I told you I wasn't any good at coming up with pie names.
azriona: (Default)
Odd dream last night. )

Code Orange weather today, according to the paper, which means all the buses in Virginia are free. Pity that doesn't apply to the trains as well, or at least the parking garages - although those fill up very well on their own, even at $4 a pop.

Woke up this morning to the thundering herd of elephants that are the kittens chasing each other up and down the stairs. I laid down on the living room floor last night and looked at it from their perspective: the world is their jungle gym.
azriona: (Kitten Love)
Bill and I have had a weekend of thirds: yesterday we saw Shrek 3, today we saw Pirates 3. If we want to stick to theme, we ought to see Spiderman 3 tomorrow, but we'll take that as it comes.

Shrek was cute, although I agree with one reviewer who said the best bit in the movie was when Gingy had his "life in flashbacks" moment. Bill thought the part where the cat was nearly ripped apart was best, but then, Bill would.

Pirates was much better than the second incarnation, although neither are as light-hearted as the first. I think it's something akin to the Back to the Future series, where the first movie is light and fun and stands on its own, and then you've got two others which desperately need to lean on each other in order to stay afloat. (Pun intended retroactively.) Odd that in both series, the second and third movies were filmed simultaneously - perhaps that's a sign? I've been off LJ for so long, I'm sure I'm only parroting what someone else has said previously.

Anyway, against our better judgements, Bill and I left the kittens to have run of the house while we were in the movie. We've been separating them while we've been gone, but last night we forgot to do it. Though I was convinced we'd get home and find the Technicolor Townhouse in flames, and two kittens pointing at each other ("She/he did it!"), they were happily on the stairs, waiting for our return. So, afternoons being prime nap-time, we left them out.

When we got home, neither cat was in sight. I eventually found them on the futon, just waking up. Cleo immediately jumped off the futon and began licking her paws, as if to say, "I was SO not sleeping there." Except there was a warm spot on the futon, just to the left of Asmodeus, so I think I know what happened. Good thing they're spayed/neutered, or I'd have other things to worry about.

In other happy news, Bill started getting his stuff from Yakistan back. He is proud to be the owner of more than five button-down shirts. I've washed everything (because it's been MONTHS) and if we start now, we should be done with the ironing by Thursday.

Asmodeus would like to say hi: ukdjsdklidiuius
azriona: (Default)
Due to a strange series of events, Asmodeus is back in the house, much to Bill's chagrin, because it means there are TWO cats to make his life a living hell. I seem to spend much of my time now with a squirt bottle close to hand. Doesn't help, although it's fun to get both of them in one shot - as I did this morning, when I found both of them on the kitchen counter. Clearly, one is a bad influence. I just can't figure out which one that is.

Anyway, there are pictures of them ready for viewing at azriona.net, either by clicking the link or the photo below. (That's Modi in front, by the way.)



****

On a similar note, I saw in the Washington Post that their Travel Photo Contest is open for the summer. They don't accept digital version of photos, which is probably what stopped me from entering last year, which is too bad, because my China photos aren't eligible for entry this year. However, the second and third gos at Istanbul are good, and my cat-inspired trip to deliver Abby and Lou is good, so I'm not entirely out of luck. The only thing is, one entry per person, which means I have to pick ONE photo out of the last year and a half.

I'm supposed to surprise them. The meat market in Bishkek springs to mind rather rapidly....

****

Edit: And you only THOUGHT Yaks couldn't ski. Although it sounds more like bullfighting, except with snow, and nuts, and yaks instead of bulls, and the matadors wear parkas and not sequined short pants with purple leggings. Which, in retrospect, is probably a good thing.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
My NetFlix queue obviously does not want me to see Chasing Amy, because today I received The Shipping News instead. Of course, I watched Mrs. Brown last night, so it was sort of a Judi Dench double feature. I liked both movies, although I have to wonder if watching Americans try to speak with British accents is half as funny as hearing Dame Dench speak with a Canadian one.

Is there anyone else out there who defines a good movie by whether or not it makes you want to go to the library afterwards, either to read the original story or just to learn more about the historical personage within?

Cleo went to the vet today for her last distemper shot. Gabbie and I arranged it so that she and Asmodeus would have appointments at the same time, so they had their first chance to play since Thursday. Picture! )

Anyway, Cleo is tired (distemper shots make you tired, or so the vet says. But with cats, who can tell?), as am I, so we're off to bed.
azriona: (Default)
Well, Asmodeus has gone to his permanent home, so it's just me and Cleo now. She seems to be doing very well without her brother, so far. We played with her cat dancer and with her mouse, and she's been kind of clingy (she hasn't really liked me typing and therefore not scratching her head). What she doesn't know is that tonight, she'll be allowed to have run of the house, as long as she's good, and that tomorrow while I'm at work, she'll be confined to the guest room again.

It was pretty funny, though - after Asmodeus was put in his new carrier, I brought Cleo over to say goodbye. She immediately took stock of the situation and proceeded to jump on the carrier, claws fully extended, in full attack mode. We figure she was either attempting to get him out, or getting one last fight in. Considering when she and Modi did fight, he always had the upper hand, I'm guessing it was the latter.

Anyway, now she's happily in my lap, watching me type. This is new, because usually Asmodeus is a lap-hog, and therefore she never got a chance, since my lap is big enough for only one kitten.

They'll see each other next week, though, as Gabbie and I are working out a vet appointment together, and they'll be in cages next to each other when they are spayed/neutered next month. I suspect they will have much to tell each other.

It's very quiet here, with only me and Cleo. I hope Modi's doing all right.
azriona: (Default)
I get to keep Asmodeus for another day because I am sick and upon coming home, had every intention of drugging myself to sleep, which would have prevented Gabbie from swinging by to pick up her kitten.

Therefore, one extra day of double-kittens. They were very good, slept on my legs right up to when the drugs started to kick in, which was when they decided I should not fall asleep but should have to keep telling them "No" while they tried to tear the bedroom apart.

Later, they assisted me with spilling the soup on the couch.

Helpful little beasts, they are.

However, a small observation: this is how you know I am not well. Not only am I DREAMING about eating chicken soup, but I actually make it from chicken and carrot and onion that does not come from a can.

(It's not hard, it just involves standing and some chopping before you collapse gracefully on the couch to wait for it to cook a little. I like NyQuil, it enables me to do things almost normally, but it makes my tongue feel fuzzy.)

So, chicken soup, with carrots and onion and a little leftover rice, and some crushed garlic gloves for good measure. I ate two bowls, because either it was actually really good, or I'm too sick to remember that I don't like chicken soup. Which is also why I had two bowls, because I'm sure that once I'm well, I'm going to look at the leftover chicken soup and think, "Ew."

I have been watching Star Trek: Next Generation season 7 while waiting for my next NetFlix movies to show up. (Darn federal holidays with no mail delivery.) It's turning into a game of Spot the Celebrity. So far, Kirsten Dunst, Sabrina LeBeauf, and Terry O'Quinn. It was even Terry O'Quinn with hair, and at the end of the episode, he was going to be court-martialed out of Starfleet, which if you ask me, explains perfectly why he was then on the plane from Sydney to LAX; it was because he wouldn't have been allowed to use a starship.

These are the musings of a chicken-soup drenched mind, people. Take all necessary precautions.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
The topic of conversation around DC today (other than the state funeral, which we listened to on NPR) was the recent announcement that the Fairfax County Library system is planning to ditch some of the classics in favor of more contemporary novels.

I found this story particularly intriguing, since I (a) use that library system and (b) was just at the library on Sunday and checked out Henry James's The American, which while is not actually on the short list, could very well be on the long one.

Honestly? Though in the last month I've checked out two books that are considered classics (Pride and Prejudice being the other, whereupon I rediscovered why I hate Jane Austen), in general I don't think this is such a bad thing. Before you flay me, let me add that I don't think it's a good idea to get rid of every single copy of any classic book. I think any good library system needs to own at least one or two copies of not only the classics, but of books that people want to read. However, I don't think it's necessary for every branch of a library system to own one or two copies of the same book. It's a waste of space, particularly when the Fairfax system is really good about moving copies from one branch to the other very quickly.

(Sometimes too quickly. I can only get to the library once a week at most - but a book I requested arrived in 2 days, and by the time I showed up to retrieve it, my time had expired and it had been sent back to its original location.)

Getting rid of every copy of any book is not a good plan - but culling the stacks to make room in a seriously overcrowded library system in order to make room for new titles is something that happens every day.

***

In other news, Asmodeus goes to his real home tomorrow. I tried explaining this to him, but eh, cats. He just blinked and pointed out that it was well past dinnertime.

Pictures! )
azriona: (Default)
Have just finished watching Tristan & Isolde from NetFlix. Jeez, what an awful film. ) Next up, Shopgirl and Chasing Amy, both of which ought to be better.

The kittens are racing back and forth and up and down. I had a hard time trying to find a chew toy for them - they seem to want to chew on everything, kind of like puppies. Most of the chew toys out there, however, have catnip, and they don't react well to it. I think it's too hard on their kitten tummies. I managed to find them some furry mice, and I ended up buying them a latex doggie chew toy, so we'll see how they like that. Anything that keeps them from chewing on my shoes. (I told you - just like puppies.)
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Two more pictures for all of you to ooo and ahhh over while I'm away for the next few days.
Kittens )
azriona: (Kitten Love)
Those Christmas stockings people were posting - is it just me, or is it really hard to read those? Eurgh. I squinted and leaned in and I still think I couldn't make out the lime green letters on the bright red background.

I mean, yeah, I know it's Christmas, but who the heck thought that combination was a good idea?!?!

(So ends the "Bah Humbug" for the night.)

Speaking of which, I read in the Express today on the train that some man somewhere in America has decorated his house not with cheerful lights and a Santa display, but glowing letters that spell out Scrooge's famous phrase. His neighbors are a little confused. Me, I'd just like to shake his hand for having the guts.

The kittens have made it home from their day's adventure and are currently asleep on the futon behind me. I think they slept on the train again, coming home. We took the bus from the Metro, and when I finally let them out (they'd been in the carrier since we left the vet's, sometime around 12.30), they were jumpy and talkative.

But the big news, which I forgot to share, is that Cleo lost a tooth at the vet's! She was grooming herself after having her claws clipped, and I saw something on her back, and I picked it up, thinking it was a claw, but NO. It was a tooth!

The props guy, Lance, wanted to know if I was going to give her a quarter for it. I figure I'd just give her an extra treat. Anyway, the tooth is in a plastic baggie with her passport.

But yay for having their claws clipped - Asmodeus tried to jump on my leg while I was serving dinner, and you know what? He slid right back down again. Couldn't get a grip. Hee! I win!
azriona: (Default)
The vet appointment went very well, and the kittens are fine. (I'm fine, too.)

The Kittens' Big Day Out )
azriona: (Default)
The kittens have their first vet appointment today. Gulp*gasp*whimper. (The gulping and gasping and whimpering is all me, by the way. The kittens are slumbering in happy ignorance downstairs.)

Edit: Oh dear. I feel ill. Poor kittens. They're not getting shots, are they? Who's want to give a shot to a poor, sweet, fuzzy widdle kitten???

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