Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Tale of Two Kitties

While cleaning house yesterday, I posted this picture to Facebook, captioned "This is where Krieg chooses to sleep, in a room with a bed and a wide windowsill."

Srsly, what?

Upon its posting, several of my German friends commented, saying "Your cat's name is Krieg?!" ("Krieg," in German, means "war.") Suffice to say, it's not a very common name for a cat. There's a reason for that.

At the beginning of my second year of college, I moved into my first apartment. While apartment-hunting, the one question that was absolutely a dealbreaker was "Do you allow cats?" I'm a cat person, aspiring to be a crazy cat lady. The landlord at my new apartment said sure, I could have a cat.

That September, I found a calico kitten on Craigslist out on a farm near Prague, Nebraska (pronounced "PRAYg"), and Spencer (who was just my friend at the time) and I took a trip to meet the little cutie.

Did you know that calico cats are almost always female? That's because the color of a cat's coat is a sex-linked trait. The X chromosome carries the trait of black and orange fur; white is a stand-alone. Since females have two X chromosomes (XX), they can be both black AND orange. Males, with only one X chromosome (XY), can only be black OR orange...unless they happen to have two X chromosomes (XXY), which occurs with about 1 in 3,000 calicos, and in humans is called Klinefelter syndrome. These males are usually sterile.

The calico is Maryland's state cat. I'll give you one guess why.

When we got there, I dibsed the calico immediately, but there was a little grey and white girl kitten who was also just totes 'dorbz. I felt kinda guilty that I might miss out on an awesome cat just because I was being petty about its color. They were itty-bitty-teeny-tiny, so I figured I wouldn't be breaking my lease (where I could have "a cat," singular) since the two of them together added up to one full cat. I brought them home and set about trying to find names for them.


After several weeks, much hemming and hawing, and lists upon lists of ideas for matching names, I finally decided on "Stella" for the calico and "Luna" for the grey and white one. Stellaluna, for the uninitiated, is an adorable children's book about a baby fruit bat. ("Stella" is Latin for "star"; "luna," for "moon.")

Bats are awesome, guys.

We settled into our life together...and Luna was a pain in my ass. She was pushy, she was obnoxious, she peed on my futon and on my bed. But goddamn were the two of them cute.

My friend Kiersten with Luna

About three months later, I was sitting on the couch and Luna walked past. I glanced at her and froze. There were some tufts of fur near her butt that looked...suspicious. I scooped her up and gingerly prodded at them.

Oh, god.

Luna's balls had dropped.

Apparently, this can sometimes take up to six months in cats.

I was furious. I had wanted a house full of girls, and this stupid boy cat was ruining everything. (It was now obvious why "Luna" had been peeing on everything, though.) Plus, I had put off having the "girls" spayed, since they were both indoor cats and naturally didn't pose a threat to one another, but now, I was DAMNED if I was going to have any incestuous kitty-babies running around my apartment. Plus, what the hell was I going to do about their names?!

As for getting them fixed, my mom was awesome enough to make that my Christmas present. But their names? Ugh, back to the drawing board. I didn't want to punish Stelly for her brother's dumb mistake of being born male, but what name could I match up with Stella?

You remember how I ended up renaming him "Krieg"?

Yup. My cats' names mean Star Wars.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fess-Up, 21June13

It feels like I just posted one of these! Ah, yes, I did, because I didn't post on time last week. For shame.

Highs: Um just let me link you to pictures of some of the delicious things I ate this week.

Bananas & strawberries in Cheerios (actually, Toasted Wheat
O's, but who's counting?) and unsweetened almond milk (4 PPV)

Super-cheap, super-delish raspberries

Also consumed: four pounds'-worth of cherries; nectarines; peaches; white flesh nectarines (here's a good post about them!); red grapes; and bananas. In addition to eating right, I made some super-easy but very beneficial choices: parked at the top of a parking garage and took the stairs, both up and down; parked at the back of several parking lots; kept at least two water bottles with me at all times. And when we were camping/tubing down the Niobrara this past weekend, I didn't drink very much booze at all, since I was still recovering from being sick. Plus, it turned out that most of us camping were healthy-ish eaters, so there were chicken brats, whole-wheat buns, and diet pop, as well as lots of fruit & veggies around.

Lows: You know, I think there's a great nursery rhyme that very much fits me.
"There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid."
This was one of my very, very good weeks, so nothing really on the "lows" side to report. Side note: when I looked this up to make sure I had it right (I think I remember it from our Children's Book of Virtues), I learned that it was actually a poem by Longfellow, and that the "very, very good" line is supposed to be "She was very good indeed." I prefer being very, very good, myself.

Activity PPVs: According to the website, I only earned 24 this week, but I didn't wear my AL at all on Saturday (when we were tubing on the river -- didn't want to risk losing it) and only put it on later on Sunday.

Stuff was stacked perilously as it was. So many coolers.

Mileage: Ran 8.62 miles; walked 6.56 for a total of 15.2 miles. Planning on doing a long run tomorrow morning, so that total should increase.

Weigh-in: I weighed myself on Monday morning, once we were back from camping. From that weight, I'm down 2.9 pounds this week! Success! And the great thing is, that's just from being good Monday-Thursday. If I can commit to tracking and being active the majority of the time (even if that's just 4/7 days), I should be fine. Tonight, we're getting pizza and going to a movie, but I'm already tracking it and I'll stay focused.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Belated Friday Fess-Up

Howdy, y'all! The Friday Fess-Up from last week was delayed due to sickness and a vacation, so here 'tis.

Highs: Welllll...there weren't a whole lot, to be honest. After my successful resisting of that-time-of-the-month gorging, I kinda caved after weighing in last Friday and ate a buncha crap all weekend long. It didn't help that Spencer was out of town, so I had the house to myself and no one watching whether or not I was eating healthily or drinking mimosas all day (no to the first, yes to the second). I spent a lot of time with girlfriends, so drinking and snacking were involved there as well, but we had fun, so that was okay. One high: on Saturday night, Abby (of The Grateful Project) came over to watch chick flicks -- Spencer and her fiance Mike were in Vegas together for Mike's bachelor party, so we figured we needed to get some girl time in while they were gone -- and instead of ordering pizza, we had sandwiches. It's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless! (I also was sick on Thursday and Friday, so I didn't eat very much at all those days. Silver lining of any illness!)

Lows: Ugh. See above. A lot of unnecessary mindless eating. The problem was, even after Spencer was back in town and we got back into a routine, I knew that we were going to be eating out for his birthday, so I didn't want to try too hard until after that, and I knew that we were going to be gone camping this past weekend, so I'd be able to get on track after all of that. BAD TORY! Here is where you do as I SAY and not as I DO. It's never too late to make a good decision, and every good decision will add up. I shoulda just tried harder, but that's in the past and I'm moving on.

Activity PPVs; I only earned 26 APPV this week, but like I said, I was sick on Thursday (spent the whole day in bed, really), and I forgot to put my ActiveLink on until later on Friday morning. Ah well. This week will be better.

Mileage: Ran 6.15 miles; walked 7.61 for a total of 13.76 miles. Weaksauce, yes.

Weigh-in: I didn't weigh in because we left town early on Friday morning for a camping weekend, but it wouldn't have been great.

In summary, last week sucked, but I'm back on the wagon and feeling great!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Solution to Gross Tan Lines: or, Why Tory Looks Like a Ho When She Runs

Okay, yeah, I'm basically a vampire. (But the cool-scary 'Salem's Lot kind, not the fruit-tastic Twilight kind.) My mom started me using a moisturizer with SPF when I was 13 (just as she was starting to get wrinkles), crying out, "You will THANK ME for this when you're MY age" [dashes to mirror; pulls frantically at face]. Since that started me off on the right (pale) foot, I've worked pretty hard over the years at maintaining my translucence. After all, if I've been using sunscreen every day for the last 10 years, why try to get tan, ever?

The problem becomes, of course, that if I get even the vaguest smattering of rays, I instantly burn/tan. Usually I avoid this by staying inside, but since I started running, that became kinda tricky, and I doubt the residents of our apartment complex would appreciate me running the halls at 6 a.m. Or at all.

Now, I'm not opposed to getting a little bit of color (because honestly, you can see all my dang veins and it's actually pretty gross), but running does not afford the best tan lines. Have you noticed what most people wear on their legs while running in the summer? Shorts. And have you noticed where most shorts (at least on girls) end? Mid-thigh, which is just about the widest part of the leg.

Hello, yes, these are definitely my legs.

Now add the slightest tidbit of UV rays, and what do you get? Let's just say, this is an artist's representation (term "artist" used loosely) of what I look like in a swimsuit in the summer:

Except my inner thighs are snuggle buddies.



Which leads me to my confession: I mayyyyy have been showing some butt cheekage on my run home from work tonight, but it's only because I had my shorts rolled up to *HERE* in order to avoid that stupid thigh tan line. Which is a perfectly legitimate reason to dress like a ho, a'ight? A'ight.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Inaugural Friday Fess-Up!

I had a brainflash last night! (Oh yeah, it was thrilling. You know, in the "I'm lying in bed trying to go to sleep, so why won't you please shut up, brain"-kinda way.) Basically what it comes down to is, even though I'm a Weight Watchers leader, I'm utterly still human. I still make mistakes, I still struggle with making the right choice, and I still can be a lazy slug sometimes. I want to share those mistakes with you in the hope that 1) I'll do right by you throughout the week and 2) you'll draw some inspiration in the knowing that you're not alone-slash-you'll be able to look at my slip-ups and think "pfft, even *I* can do better than that!"

I've been trying to find something that would motivate me to post more regularly, and I think this is going to be fun, redeeming, and cathartic. And maybe hold me somewhat accountable? After all, if I'm sharing my lows with the Internet-connected world, perhaps I'll do better at avoiding some of them in the first place!

Basically, "if hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution."

I weigh in every Friday morning, so Fridays are going to be my recap of the previous week. I'll share any particular highs and any particular lows; how my weigh-in went; how many Activity PointsPlus Values I earned over the week; and my mileage for the week.

Anyway, without further ado, here is your first "Friday Fess-Up," where I confess to the sins and ...not-sins (? obviously I am not well-versed in the correct terminology for being a GOOD person for once. Virtues?) of the previous week.

I'm gonna be completely honest: this last week was really tough for me. I was at my parents' house in Oklahoma all weekend, and there are always all kinds of temptations there. I'm not criticizing you, Mom! I'm just saying that when there's chocolate and Oreos and Goldfish in the cupboard, I will probably end up eating all of the above, plus any salted nuts I can find (and lots of beer). We also belatedly celebrated my birthday. Then as soon as I got back to Lincoln and my normal routine, a certain terrible week (let's just call it "ladytimes") commenced.

I was home for a girlfriend's wedding.
Congratulations, Sarah & Kyle!

Proudest moment: not giving in to absurdly strong cravings for chips/cookies/pizza/ice cream/anything and everything else on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Instead I had some WW Cheddar Twists, bananas dipped in PB2 (powdered peanut butter), nectarines, WW ice cream cones (2 PPV!), sugar-free canned mandarin oranges, and some Life cereal.

I couldn't wait to eat my nectarines -- first of the season! --
so I nommed down while still in the Walmart parking lot.

Activity PPVs: 31. That's fewer than the last couple weeks, but still puts me at 113% of my weekly goal. I didn't run at all when I was home over the weekend (bad Tory!) but I was pretty good once we got back to Lincoln.

Mileage: 10.42 miles run so far this week. Technically, my running weeks go from Sunday through Saturday, so if I do anything today or tomorrow, that'll get added in.

Weigh-in: Despite being home over the weekend and then dealing with that time (sidenote: did you know that in Germany, they call it "Erdbeerwoche"? This translates to "Strawberry Week." I think this is really cute yet totally disgusting)...I only gained 0.6 pounds!

All in all, this week could have been a lot worse, and HAS been a lot worse in the past! I'm pretty pleased with myself.

If you want to try your hand at a Friday Fess-Up, then link me up, dude and/or lady!