Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guy stuff and activities

Ryan went home to Oklahoma this past weekend to see his family. It was a good break for him, especially since last Monday was his departmental seminar and this semester has been particularly hairy. He had a really good time there and was given an early birthday present from his brother Chris....a shotgun. His brother also has a skeet pull so they went skeet shooting all weekend. He LOVES it. They were shooting so much, he came back with some bruising on his shoulder. There is a skeet club in town, and I think he wants to take me this weekend. Should be interesting. This post is particularly for the men in my family....maybe a hunting trip for the fall/winter break should be in order soon? He's never been hunting before, and is itching to go. Dad, Ben, you guys haven't been in a while would be good for some male bonding time! Just a thought. =)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


What do you think of....

1) Rajah - princess Jasmine's tiger bodyguard.

2) Ramesses - greatest pharoh of Egypt. Since he does look like one of those Egyptian cats and is so huge and regal looking.

3) Ozymandias - a sonnet written about Ramesses. He could go by Ozzy for short.

4) Bagheera - mowgli's panther friend, is still an option.

Any other suggestions?


Miraculously, Samson and Tesia are getting along just fine. They aren't buddy-buddy yet, but they aren't at each other's throats either. They are starting to play with each other. . . Tesia will just start to randomly run around the apartment, I think because she wants him to chase her (you know, classic schoolyard game - boys chase girls =P) She could use the running around, compared to him, she's a little pudg-o (don't tell her I said that). But, I LOVE my new cat, he is so awesome. I did another measurement....ground to top of shoulder ( I guess the same way you measure horses). He is a little over thirteen inches. Tesia is nine and a half. wowzers.
He is still following me around everywhere, and runs into the kitchen whenever I open up the fridge. Tesia usually comes whenever I use the can opener (she thinks I am making her tuna). But I think he just likes seeing whats in the magic cold box.
The sounds he makes are so funny. He has this meow that sounds like a little baby kitty. . . coming from this lion of a cat. he also makes little cooing noises.
Last night when I was in bed, he was sleeping up against me and then my next door neighbor's door closed, quite loudly. He woke up and looked around to see what that was and then went to the end of my bed by my feet and was sitting/ keeping watch for a while. He stayed down there the rest of the night, and then when I woke up this morning, he came back up by me so I could pet him. He is like my own little bodyguard or something. Tesia also tried to come get some love from mommy this morning and saw he was in her spot. I thought there was going to be a little dual or something, but they just sniffed at each other - actually touched noses!- and then she moved to put me in between herself and Samson. I think they will be best friends by the end of this week.
The only thing his is does not really answer to his name, which makes me think that Samson is a name the shelter gave him. He answers to "baby" and "kitty" more. I like the name, and it fits him since he is so big, but is there a better name for him? What do you think, any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm so proud of Ryan!!

Today, Ryan found out that he won the UT Continuing Education Fellowship! It is a one year fellowship awarded through the UT system, but it is a good one. Each professor is allowed to nominate one student, and then the fellows are selected from this group - this isn't limited to chemistry.
So, congrats to him! Now that he has a larger stipend from this fellowship, I hope he puts it to good use. =P
I love you mister!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello, My Name is Samson.

(sorry I can't get rid of the crazy eyes)

This is my new kitty. Let me tell you his story.

i've been wanting to get another cat for a few months now, ever since my family got their new kitten. And I wanted a baby one. Well, I also wanted to adopt one from the animal shelter and save a life (since they euthanize there) and thought that I would wait until kitten season when they were just overloaded with kittens. So, I have been checking the animal shelter and craigslist regularly. Well, on Saturday, I saw an ad on craiglist that said "This giant cat has only 24 hours left!" I had to look. I read that ad and it said that not only is he big, but he is also very confident and gets excited when he plays (biting, scratching - these were the owners complaints and why they surrendered him. He sounded like a cat Ryan would really like (he does not like it when Tesia gets all slinky and scared of him, and prefers a cat he can play with) so I thought we should go check this cat out. I went on Saturday to the shelter and saw him, but they had him in isolation so I was not allowed to really visit with him. Pretty much just petting through the bars on the cage. He seemed really sweet and affectionate then, but any cat (unless its feral) could be under those circumstances. And I was really kind of confused because the lady who was taking me to see him seemed like she was trying to convince me not to get him. I was thinking, "aren't you working here because you DON'T like to see animals get euthanized, and DON'T you WANT them to get adopted?" Anyhow, she was kind of being a "b" with me. But I still got the hold on him, so that they would not put him down, and Ryan could come with me on Sunday to see him. I stuck around afterwards and was asking other workers what they thought of him, if they had been able to spend much time with him. One said she had to clean his cage, and had him out, but since he was in isolation, her time with him had been pretty limited. But that he had been really sweet and no problems. Another went and took him right out of the cage and was holding him and kissing him and said he was just a gem. At that point, I thought it would definitely be worth it to come on again on Sunday.
I called on Sunday to let them know I was coming, went and picked up Ryan, had lunch and headed over to the shelter. I went to the isolation building that he had been in and saw that he wasn't in the cage that he used to be in. completely empty, no papers or anything. I thought he was gone in the worst way. So I went over to another building and asked the workers about him, and they said that he had been moved to the adoption building. . . which was awesome because then that meant that we could see him outside of his cage and visit with him in a private room.
We spent about 15 fifteen minutes with him. He is a really curious cat, and very confident. He saw the other cats in the room and would make noises, but not necessarily ones that sounded like he wanted to fight. He looked more curious than anything. And he would jump on Ryan's and my lap, and the stances he would take almost seemed like they were more protective, like he was guarding us from the cats outside. He is also very playful and affectionate, always rubbing up against us and wanted to be petted. So, we decided to get him.
When we were in the claiming office waiting for them to bring him out, the lady (a worker there) came and asked us if we were the ones getting him. When we said yes, she just said, thank you, oh thank you so much! She told us that she posted the ad on craigslist (something they aren't supposed to do) but she just couldn't bear to see him put down. She just kept going on and on about him, so I was glad with my decision then.
We got him home to my place and let him roam around, while Tesia was kept in the bathroom. He really is so cool to watch. He is a big cat. not fat at all, just big. When he sits, he is about two feet tall. last night I measured him tip of his nose to tip of his tail: 36 inches. Tesia is 25 inches. yeah, he's big! I should have measured him ground to shoulder. .. . will do that later. But he is so agile too. He is very statuesque and regal looking, like mini-panther. I think he is very appreciative of me, because he follows me around everywhere, talks to me (especially when I am in the kitchen - caught onto that one fast) and is super lovable. I think he is going to be the "sidekick" type of cat, always helping you out, your business is his business kind of deal. i hope so. . . Tesie isn't really like that. I let Tesia out that night because he really wasn't being as aggressive as the behavioral warnings (based on previous owner) made him out to be - they HAD to be lies. Sure enought, they just look at each other and hiss/ growl a little bit but no fighting or anything. Just normal "new cat" behavior.
Last night, I fell asleep on the couch because I had been reading, and he was sleeping up against me. He really wedges himself up against you, like he can't get close enough to you. man, that guy is like a heating pad or something! i got so hot, and I would try to wriggle away from him, but he would just keep scooting closer to me. Also, when he lays up against you, he tries to anchor himself to you by hooking his front legs over my arm, or whatever. I CANNOT believe this cat had been given up on so easily! He really didn't even have a chance based on what his previous owners said.
I am glad that he is mine, and Ryan already loves him too. I think he is going to be a great addition to my little family, and Tesie does too (she just doesn't realize it just yet).

Here, he is under my desk. He is completely taking up the length of it, his head is up against the slider glass and his body is sticking out of it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So, I finally downloaded the pictures off my camera from when I went and saw Mem in San Antonio. Sorry it has taken so long. . . I don't have a computer at home (there isn't really a point to having one running there since I don't have internet), so I have to wait until I have time do this kind of stuff at the lab, and obviously cannot be caught "playing on the computer" during the workday. whew. Anyhow, here are some of the pictures from my time with her. She was swimming her last collegiate finals (both because she is a senior and UAB is no longer continuing their synchro program).
Take a looksie!
Meryl swam three times that day. Trio, then duet and finally team. How exhausting! Plus she was awful sick, so she was a TOTAL trooper. I tried to get some cool action shots of their trio swim but failed. =( My camera was too slow and I kept getting just ripples since their legs were back underwater.

Here is Mem and Maggie, her duet partner waiting to hear their scores after their routine. They were totally ON during their swim, you can tell these girls gel well together, and Maggie is super sweet. She is from Croatia.

Meryl and Maggie's duet scores. 9.7!! Everyone was FLOORED when they came up and the place just erupted in applause (except for the seated section directly left of me. This was where the "home team's" University of the Incarnate Word fans sat. Apparently they are UAB's rival (the UAB team is not sure how this happened) but they were completely obnoxious. Then, these scores came up and they were silent. HAH! They knew their duets would have a hard time beating this. Go Mem and Maggie!!!
This next is a video of their team routine. I recorded it on my camera, so it's not the best quality, but you can still watch it. I missed the last 30 seconds of the swim, but got the best parts, 4/5 lifts. The very first one, about 15 seconds in is Meryl!!! Enjoy.

Meryl right after her swim. You could see her (and most of the team actually) crying as they were exiting the pool to receive their scores. Here, she is sharing a tender moment with two of her old swim buddies from RAQ (Jackie and Hannah, who now are at The Ohio State University).

The whole team and Coach. You can still see some sad faces.

Awards time. Mem and Maggie got 4th place for their duet! (Take that UIW.) Ohio State A and B teams usually duke it out with Stanford for the one, two and three spots. (Maggie is waving here and Mem is next to her)

Here, the All-American girls. . . Meryl made it!! Receiving her medal here. She is one of the five to ever come out of UAB. Maggie made honorable mention. Sorry for poor lighting. =(

An RAQ reunion. I seriously felt like I was at one of those shows. Sue Nesbitt was there watching Barb (OSU) swim. There were also other alumni there from RAQ as well as the girls that were compet. Meghan Kinney (back row, defense shirt) went to Beijing this year.

Meryl and I after it was all over!!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Hello. Yes, I am still alive. I don't know how so much time manages to fly by in between my posts. I hope everyone is well! I am. Been busy, but that's nothing new.
Well yesterday was really nice! I had some friends over for late lunch/early dinner. The forecast was supposed to be rainy all day. . . so I planned to cook everything indoors. Of course, it only rained early in the morning, and was gorgeous, sunny and hot the rest of the day. Which meant that my apartment, with crockpot and oven going, a busy Vanessa and Tesia running around all day and air-conditioner that refuses to work was to say the least, very warm. But my guests were gracious and understanding.
Anyhow, I prepared a roast brisket in the slow-cooker, roasted veggies in the oven, Nikki and I made mashed potatoes and Evie brought a delicious pasta salad. It was so good! I also made homemade cinnamon rolls and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. . . from scratch! delicioso.
We had so much food since Nikki and Nick also brought spinach artichoke dip and fruit too. But we had a good time hanging out together since being so busy, we haven't really seen each other. since the fall. After dinner, we played some games. Scene-it and Apples-to-apples are always musts over at my place.
It was a glorious day and I am extremely thankful for it.
I cannot wait until the weather is more predictable so that I can spend more time outside!

Some of you know that I was crocheting some stuffed animals - bunnies to be exact. I wanted to send them to Ryan's niece and nephew for Easter. Well, yeah. . . not done. When I picked out the yarn, I got this bucle-angel hair blend, which is SO soft. But the angel-hair is practically a nightmare to work with since the hairyness makes seeing any of the stitches very difficult, so they are taking me much longer to do. Plus time to actually work on them has been far from plentiful. I'm almost done with Maddie's (a pink one), I just have to finish of the head and ears. I have to get another skein of yarn though. I started Hayden's (a green one) and am using a smaller hook, so this one skein should be enough. I've only got his arms done. So, that's still on my plate to get done and hopefully I can at least send those to them while its still spring! I think they will be really cute though.

I did not get to see my little "missy" kitty at the pound. The animal shelter was closed on Sunday, and I could not make it in time after work on Saturday. I'll keep an eye on her online and maybe get to stop by this week. hope so!