Perry’s Tale (or tail) – Saving Pinky

 Perry is a simple cat. Michael and I buy him nice things in an attempt to give him the best life possible. For example, he’d much rather use old boxes or bags as beds instead of the nice plush cat bed we bought him when we first adopted him.

The same holds true for his toy preferences. Instead of one of the fancy feather things we have or the plethora of cat chase toys he has available (sparkly toy balls, little mice, etc) he prefers things like pipe-cleaners, old balls of foil, and random junk. Thus, his favorite toy is an old pink string from one of my old sweatshirts.

I call this toy “pinky”. It’s his favorite. Hands (paws) down. As you can see, it’s gotten quite a bit of use and is fraying quite a bit on the ends. But this doesn’t matter to our simple little kitty. He loves it just the same.

Pinky almost always ends up in either our bed at night or by his food bowl. Apparently, when cats really like something they’ll often place it in or near their food or water bowls. They feel as though that is their “safe place” and that item is therefore protected.

(Please ignore that messy floor. Perry loves to get litter everywhere!! I’ll be cleaning that mess this weekend.)

Last night a tragic thing happened. Michael was vacuuming up a cricket (omg…so nasty…more on the cricket infestation at a later date) and he swept up pinky too!!!

Doesn’t he just look so genuinely sorry? Yea, not really. The horror was too much for Perry to bear, so he quickly fled from the scene. Meanwhile, I quickly instructed Michael to “saaaaaave pinky!!!!!!!!!!!”

This was a serious mission to save an animal’s best friend…

There in all of that grime and mess was that little pink string. Pinky was saved!!!

Perry was elated to find that his friend was safe and free from harm’s way. He vowed to never let go of Pinky again!

And they lived happily ever after! The End :)

Don’t Stop Believin’

Phew…things sure have gotten crazy at work!! I had an awesome 80’s inspired recap that I wanted to post yesterday, but then things just got NUTS. Before I knew it, the work day was over and I was crashed on the couch for the duration of the evening. So yea, no blogging yesterday. Oh, and when the heck did it become almost October?!?! Time is flying by these days.

Annnnnyways, on to my 80s fab weekend recap. Well, only Saturday (night) was 80s-tastic, but it was so much fun that it definitely deserves a post all its own. Michael and I attended the Journey concert featuring Foreigner and Night Ranger at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas!!

You all know I love Journey, so I was super excited for this concert and had been looking forward to it for quite a while. In fact, the concert tickets were my 1 year anniversary gift from Michael back in July. So it was a LONG wait! But so worth it.

Night Ranger actually took the stage early, around 6:45pm, so I was glad that I’m super anal-retentive about time and thus we were there nice and early and didn’t miss anything.

You might be thinking to yourself “who the heck is Night Ranger, I’ve never heard of them”, but I bet you’re wrong. Does this little ditty ring a bell?

80’s music videos are so fantastically cheesy. And if you’re wondering, yes, they still have that same long hair. Michael actually joked that from far away they appear young with their tight jeans and long flowing hair, but when you saw a close-up on the video screens you realized they were our parents age haha!

Next up was Foreigner and I do love me some Foreigner! They actually put on a great show and I would probably pay to see them by themselves. I was impressed with how long they played (almost an hour) and that I knew almost every song.

And yes, they also still have the long 80’s hair and interesting outfits. The lead singer wore a solid white get-up. That has to be custom-made because I don’t even know where you’d buy something like that these days!

And finally, it was time for Journey! It was awesome, so totally awesome!

Woo hoo…so excited for Journey (yes, that’s what that stupid face was supposed to mean)

They played for about an hour and 45 minutes which was a bit shorter than I expected, but whatever. All of my classic favorites were played, so I can’t complain. Including the best song of all.

I do wish Steve Perry was still the lead singer though. Arnel Pineda sounds so much like him, but it’s just not quite the same. I would think it has to be a bit strange for him to be on tour knowing that these songs were made so famous by someone else. However, I’m glad that I got a chance to see them and I would (totally) do it again.

So we danced, we sang, and we had a blast!! I love 80’s music, it’s just so much fun.

Friday photo flashback – first day of fall!

Happy first day of fall everyone! Now if only it felt more like fall and not summer here in Texas I would be a happy camper.

Let’s celebrate the first day of fall with some flashback photos of my favorite fall tradition, Homecoming!! It’s the one weekend a year that us old people are allowed to act like college kids again. I actually celebrated homecoming as a college kid, too, but I didn’t realize the true value of it until I was graduated. Sadly, I have to miss homecoming again this year for the third straight year. Super duper sad face :(

Homecoming isn’t necessarily huge at Kent, but it’s definitely huge for the Kent Greek community. Most of the sororities and fraternities do something special for homecoming. Each year, my sorority hosts an alumni brunch at the sorority house and a tailgate prior to the game. Many of the fraternities do things like kegs and eggs and one fraternity even runs the game ball onto the field for the football game.

Although I can’t go this year, I’ll share with you three pics from my first 3 years living it up as a KSU alumna. As soon as the weather gets cooler it’s homecoming time!

Homecoming 2006:

Kelly, Bryan, and Lisa 2006

Homecoming 2007:

Megan, Courtney, Lisa, and Kelly 2007

Homecoming 2008:

Lisa and Mandy 2008

So what about you? Does anyone else love heading back for homecomings or is it not really the thing to do at your school?

Texas transitions – friends

I’ve really been slacking on the “Texas Transitions” series. Sorry guys!! My iPhone is a jerk and decided to delete ALL of my notes (which included many great Texas Transitions ideas), so, um, yeaaaa. Not cool iPhone, not cool. I’ve gone back to doing things the old-fashioned way, with a notepad and pen. Thus, I hope that my future ideas are safe and sound and I won’t have another minor blog-tastrophy and loss of all motivation/funny thoughts. I really do have to write things down because if I don’t I’ll totally forget that brilliant blog topic idea about 35 seconds after it entered my brain.

So, let’s get to the topic at hand, shall we? Making friends in a new place.

Who in their right mind would want to be friends with this weirdo?!

 If I had to sum up the Texas transition in regards to social life and finding my “niche” it would be: HARD!! It’s not just been hard, it’s been hella hard. I think it would have been relatively hard to meet new people or find my fit regardless of where I had chosen to move, but there are a few things about Texas, my personality, and this situation in particular that have made this challenge especially difficult at times.

Here they are in no particular order…

1 – I moved really far away…like plane flight far, not just long drive in the car kind of far. If I had just moved to Pennsylvania that would be one thing, but I moved half-way across the country.  I no longer had the opportunity to visit college friends for the weekend on a whim. I didn’t have my awesome grad school crew around me anymore. I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time. And I had to work full-time. Where’s the fun in that?! So there were many times that I just felt very isolated and alone.

2 – I am TERRIBLE at dealing with and accepting change. Texas and Ohio are two different worlds and in many ways so are the people. It took me a long time to get over that fact. I remember the first time that I had that “Dorothy you’re not in Kansas anymore” moment so vividly. During my first week of work, a coworker mentioned something about going to “OSU” and I exclaimed “OSU?!?! I had NO IDEA YOU WENT TO OSU TOO, OMG HOW FREAKIN COOOOOOL”. Ok, so I’m exaggering a little, but only a little. Anyway, the coworker looked at me like I was nuts (b/c he knew I was from Ohio) and quickly corrected me saying OSU was Oklahoma State University. NOT Ohio State University. Uhhhh…say what?!?!? There’s another OSU out there? And I’m living in a place where saying “OSU” means an Oklahoma school and not THE Ohio State University. WTF?!

This will always be OSU to me

 3 – A lot about Texas culture is very different from what I was used to and my own views/beliefs/interests/etc. Some of the ways Texans regularly make friends (for example, through church related activities) are not things that I personally find valuable. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to relate.

4 – I was coming from 2 years (well, if you count undergrad and my year off before grad school too it was really 8 years) of party party party. I love the act of “going out” and the many things that can entail! I love going out for drinks, dancing, house parties, holiday parties, you name it. Social gatherings are fun! So I went from a jam-packed social calendar to nada. That was a bit of a blow to my social self-esteem.

Wait, what happened to almost daily happy hours?!

5 – I’m an extrovert. I always test strongly extroverted on MBTI type tests. Once we’re friends I’ll yack your ear off and beg you to hang out with me all the time. However, I refer to myself as an “introverted extrovert” because I kinda suck at getting out there and meeting new people unless I have some kind of “in”. I hate small talk, so I prefer to meet people through other people, via common interests, through work, through activities like a sorority, etc. I’m just no good at going into completely new situations all by myself and putting myself out there. If I know a couple other people in the area, great, I’ll probably make 20 new friends in no time because of networking and connection. If I’m all alone in a room full of people, sucky…I’ll be the one awkwardly cowering in the corner pretending to do something very important on my phone.

So yea, needless to say meeting new friends in a totally new place has not been the easiest thing ever. Not to mention, I really love my friends back home and I miss them terribly. Sometimes I deal with sadness that I am missing out on so much and I don’t want to put in the effort to reach out to new people because I just want my old friends back (plus, then I can network through them and make a zillion new friends easily haha!). However, I just keep on keeping on and recently I’ve tried some new things like going to meet-up groups or getting more involved in my job.

At least I know I have an awesome support system back home and it makes me appreciate holidays and those times we get to hang out that much more!

Food poisoning makes a fabulous (or not) diet!

Ok, before I have anyone jumping all over me screaming ED…ED…I am totally 100% kidding about food poisoning being a good diet (sort of…whatever…it did shed a few pounds remarkably quickly, but it sure is HELL). In case you missed it, I got a terrible case of food poisoning the day after moving to Michael’s and I was sick for about 4 days. I spent a lot of time bonding with this bad boy…

Too bad our bathroom isn’t quite as Pottery Barn chic as that one in the picture above. It might have made the hours that I spent on the floor more bearable. Note – it’s funny how when you’re totally fine (and sober) the thought of laying on or around a toilet is the most disgusting thing ever. However, when you’re terribly sick (or possibly intoxicated) nothing feels better than laying on that cold bathroom floor…so gross!!!

Anywho, I’ll save you the especially gory details, but needless to say I may never eat crappy Chinese food again. And I know for a FACT that I’ll never ever eat sweet and sour chicken again. Gag…

Being horribly sick for 12 hours and eating not much other than ice chips, saltines, and plain toast for almost three days really did a wonder on me. First, I developed a migraine three days after “the incident” and again had to miss work. See…that’s why not eating is NOT a decent weight-loss idea. However, during the entire horrible ordeal I did lose 6 lbs. 3 of which I gained right back when I could actually eat again (stupid water weight), but the other 3 I’ve managed to keep off!

Ok, I’m rambling, so where am I going with this you’re asking?! Well, for one, I took food poisoning as a sign that maybe it was time to start treating my body a little better. I had been eating like total and complete CRAP and was eating out A LOT. The chaos of the move was partly to blame, but I was also just being really lazy and careless about my health.

Cheesesteaks, though delicious, do not need to be a regular staple in my diet!

Therefore, since recovering from the “poison” I’ve really been focusing on eating more balanced meals, eating out less, and making better choices when I do actually go out. And I am feeling really great!! I know it’s only been a week, but I can already tell a huge difference in how I look and feel. My “skinny” pants are fitting again and I have a lot more energy. I’ve also been focusing on not being so rigid with my expectations. Right now, I think it’s reasonable to stay 100% on track during the weeks because when I’m in my work routine it’s easy to eat well. And on the weekends, I’ve decided to not be as strict with eating, but to also continue to make good choices instead of going all crazy like I have in the past. For instance, this weekend Michael and I spent all day Saturday in Dallas and we popped into one of my fav chain restaurants Gordon Biersch for lunch (I hadn’t had GB since leaving Ohio and was SO excited to learn there is one in Dallas). Instead of inhaling both of these oh-so-amazing soft pretzels the size of my head as an appetizer, I split them with Michael. And we took most of the second one home! It was nice to actually be able to enjoy my entree salad without feeling like I was going to explode.

These puppies were Ah-mah-zing...and even better when I took the time to actually taste them instead of shoving them down my throat

So yea, I basically took this entire long rambling post to say that I’ve reconnected with the “healthier” side of living again. And I feel great! I even took the time to workout last night (previously I figured packing/moving my stuff down 3 flights of steps made up for months of not getting my butt off the couch) and I’m loving the slight burn in my muscles today. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I really think eating/working out/living is more enjoyable when you are being good to your body and not indulging in every single sinful item on the menu. So here’s to a more healthy and happy fall (or extension of summer because it’s still 90 down here!).