Bathroom Privileges

by Jenn on February 5, 2014

I live with my boyfriend and our two roommates:

kitties

One of them, Seven, is the good cat. She enjoys squeaking, sleeping by radiators, chasing her tail, and keeping my spot on the bed warm. Seven is shy, but once she warms up to you she will be your best friend. Your chunky best friend who sounds more like a mouse or pigeon than a cat.

Voodoo, on the other hand, is a jerk. He likes drinking out of your glass, licking the cheese off of macaroni, spilling his water bowl, shoving his butt in your face, and jumping on everything he’s not supposed to jump on. Recently he picked up a new routine that has forced the manfriend to instate something called bathroom privileges.

You see, Voodoo recently discovered that drinking water from the bathroom faucet is way more enjoyable than drinking the water from his bowl. We found this to be entertaining as well because water would pour onto his head while he lapped up what was in the sink.

So we’d turn on the water for him while getting ready in the bathroom. But soon Voodoo began standing on the toilet, meowing, essentially telling us that he’d like the water on. Although I ignored him like a good cat mother, the manfriend would give in and turn the faucet on. Eventually this led to Voodoo meowing in the bathroom every morning.

I refuse to give into his pleas. You can lick the maple syrup from my plate, but I will not be your water wench. The manfriend, however, gave in every single time until a couple of weeks ago when he gave Voodoo bathroom privileges, which can be taken away. The rule is that Voodoo can go into the bathroom as long as he’s quiet. But if he continues meowing, the manfriend will escort him out, close the door, and verbally revoke his bathroom privileges.

He was so sure that this would work, and that Voodoo would give up his quest for the faucet. Instead, it has created a new game in which Voodoo tries to see how many times he can get the manfriend to say “shh” before closing the bathroom door. So in addition to a meowing cat, I now work beside someone who is constantly “shh’ing” and saying “shut up.”

Sometimes I wish I could lock them both in the bathroom.

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Revisiting 2013′s Reading Goals

by Jenn on December 16, 2013

I use Grammarly’s online plagiarism checker because a blog post is always better the first time.

Despite a pretty busy fall semester I was able to get in some good books this season. I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to reach that 50 book goal by the end of the year, but 32 is still an accomplishment. I’d probably have a few more, but I’m still working my way through a handful of titles — The Stand goes on forever.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve read since my last check-in:

The Death Dealer by Heather Graham – This is another one of those easy reads that just happened to appear on my bookshelf. I’ve read a couple of other books written by this author and I didn’t hate them, so I figured I’d give this one a shot. Much like the others, I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t love it either. It does have some fun facts about Edgar Allen Poe scattered among its pages though.

Curtains by Tom Jokinen – This is one of those books that has taken me longer than normal to complete. I picked it up while on my mortuary science kick. I had already read a few other industry-related books and Jokinen’s came highly recommended. It wasn’t as easy of a read as Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician, but it did prove very informative. I can’t remember how many times I referenced in during conversations with my family. If you or anyone you know is considering a career in mortuary science, I definitely recommend picking up Jokinen’s book.

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places by Mary Roach – Normally one to pique my interest with tales about human cadavers, the digestive system, and whether or not there’s a soul, this book tackled something a bit more interesting: life. This book is a collection of short articles written by the humorous science writer for Readers Digest. Roach covers everyday life with her husband in a hilarious yet poignant (at times) way — a balance not many can master. There’s a reason why this woman is still one of my favorite authors.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 9): Welcome to the Team – What can I say about this, really? I love Buffy. Season 9 is much better than season 8 (in my opinion) and it’s interesting to see how the everyone reacts to a world without magic. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy the whole Buffy-Angel-marathon-love-making thing as a valid reason for abolishing magic, but then again, BTVS has never been one for realistic scenarios. Just go with it, Jenn. Go with it.

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris – The last few books in this series felt really rushed, and the final one was a tad anti-climatic compared to Sookie’s previous novels. That said, the ending was pretty bittersweet and I’m not sure I’m ready for this ride to be over. [SPOILERS ahead: Read on at your own risk] I’m not 100 percent thrilled with Sookie and Sam, but I guess we saw it coming from the very early books. I don’t buy the arranged marriage between Eric and the Queen of Oklahoma — maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in me, but I really thought Eric would find a way out of it. But when I think about it more, Sam is the right choice. At least he’s alive, right? Although technically he’s kind of a zombie.

Lean Mean Thirteen and Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich – I’m still reading these books. The plot is almost always the same: Stephanie comes face to face with an unruly “skip,” makes out with Morelli and flirts incessantly with Ranger, finds herself in a precarious situation in which she is rescued from by Morelli and/or Ranger. Cue the next book. I will say that Fearless Fourteen was a pretty fun read. It was nice to see more of Morelli and watch how he dealt with his house being overrun by potato-gun carrying geeks. I’m currently reading the 15th book, but it’s too early to have an opinion.

I put a couple of books on my Christmas list so hopefully by this time next month I’ll be reading the third installment in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Allegiant. I also have another Richard Castle and Mary Roach book I’d like to pick up soon. What about you? Read any good books lately?

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Wii Fit U Ambassador Challenge

by Jenn on December 4, 2013

Offline life has been busy. The fall semester is wrapping up and the unexpected family emergency(s) are finally under control. Does this mean I’ll have more time to write? Let’s hope so!

One thing I wish I documented more of during my unexpected radio blog silence was the Wii Fit U Ambassador Challenge I participated in. One month ago, myself and 59 other Nintendo Brand Ambassadors embarked on a fitness journey — the Wii Fit U Meter Challenge.

Like most pedometers, the Wii Fit U meter measured the amount of steps taken, altitudes climbs, and calories burned in a day. Unlike other pedometers, this one synced with my Wii U and tracked my progress virtually. Awesome right?

I didn’t rack up the miles like some of my teammates did, but I’m happy to report that the Green Team (#OnLikeDK) won the challenge in both distance and altitude.

WiiFitU_OnLikeDK_WINNERS

Green Team (#OnLikeDK) — 1673.5 miles (distance) and 88,848 feed (altitude)
2nd: Blue Team (#WiiFitBlu) — 1528.3 miles and 57,238 feet
3rd: Yellow Team (#TeamYellow) — 849.4 miles and 25,279 feet
4th: Red Team (#TeamRedHot) — 799.9 miles and 25,132 feet

I am impressed by the distances my fellow ambassadors traveled — Erini from the Green Team contributed 161.3 miles! Katie, also from the Green Team, climbed a total of 9,685 feet! In one month! But regardless of the miles or feet you accumulated, I’m so proud of everyone who participated for getting up, going out, and being active. Kudos!

As for me, I look forward to checking out some more of the workouts on Wii Fit U during winter break. Here’s hoping I can beat my current monthly record of 22.8 miles walked.

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All. The. Feelings.

by Jenn on October 1, 2013

I generally try to avoid political conversations because the current state of our government makes me feel all the feels. I get irrationally angry when someone tells me what I can and can’t do with my lady parts; when funding for NASA and education get cut but we’re still feeding wars; and when people fuck with my health insurance. Today is all about the latter.

You might remember my epic win against Blue Cross Blue Shield last year when they tried to deny me health insurance. I fought back and was able to get approved for the plan of my choice, but it seems that my victory is going to be short-lived.

Yesterday I received a letter from BCBSIL letting me know that as of January 1st my current plan will be nonexistent and that I have the choice of selecting from one of the company’s “comparable” plans. Curious, I logged in so I could see what type of options they had for me.

Before I continue, I should note that I cover my health insurance. As a part-time employee, I don’t qualify for benefits through my company. I currently pay $212 per month for my $500 PPO ($238 if you include dental insurance).

Here’s what BCBS considers “comparable” to my existing plan:

Blue Choice Bronze: $6000 deductible
Blue PPO Bronze: $5000 deductible
Blue Choice Gold PPO: $1000 deductible (for almost $50 more than what I’m paying now)

I’m not a math wizard, but I don’t think a $6000 deductible is comparable to $500. Why the hell would I pay more money for something of less value?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that insurance companies won’t be able to hide behind the pre-existing condition bullshit anymore. That means (hopefully) less fighting and paperwork on my end. But none of that matters if I can’t actually afford healthcare. I realize that January is still a few months away and that I have time to shop around, but I’m not feeling very optimistic now about my choices.

In fact, I’m not feeling very optimistic about this country at the moment. I’m ashamed of both sides, and I’m embarrassed that our country would rather throw money at weapons and wars instead of education. It’s not about what you want Mr. Senator, it’s about the people. Way to fucking go.

All the feelings, guys. All. The. Feelings.

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Already Missing August

September 5, 2013

What is it about getting older that makes time feel like it’s passing by much faster? I say this at the end/beginning of every month, but I can’t believe it’s September already. Didn’t we just celebrate Memorial Day? This is what getting old feels like. Well, that and knowing you were alive before Google was […]

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation: With NASA!

August 29, 2013

Earlier this month I took one of the best trips of my life. When the manfriend and I originally decided to spend a weekend in Florida, we planned on relaxing by the pool, mellowing out by the ocean, and catching up on Stephen King novels. And we did. We spent a lot of time in […]

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What Am I Doing Here?

August 27, 2013

Remember yesterday when I was all “I’ll suck it up and re-familiarize myself with Microsoft systems”? Well that was poppycock. After just one class I already know that Intro to Microcomputers is going to be an epic waste of time and money. Here’s why: Instead of multitasking, the teacher followed the sign-in sheet around the room […]

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And So It Begins

August 26, 2013

The fall semester is upon us folks! Well, it’s upon me and maybe some of you. Whatever, school supplies! This is the first time I’m taking two classes at once. I tried to pair an easy one with a slightly more challenging option. I hope I made the right decision. Tonight I attend my first […]

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Working from Home: Conquering Distractions?

August 7, 2013

I have been working from home for two years, and as glamorous as you think it might be, the grass is always greener my friend. If you think your co-worker who snaps her gum is distracting, try getting anything done with two cats that climb all over you while a pile of dirty dishes leers […]

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The Best Thing About BlogHer 2013?

July 31, 2013

Getting reminders like this one: And promptly heading over to the booth to pick up my brand new plushie uterus! (It makes a nice addition to my kidney and lime disease.) Facing(?) my fears… And channeling my inner el capitan

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