The Amazing Adventures of Josie and Seb

July 28, 2010

My latest favorite thing

Filed under: girls in the world, neat! — Cate @ 5:03 pm

I love web comics. I love finding new ones that have hundreds of strips to catch up on and I love spending a whole day or evening or hour at work just going back and back reading and giggling to myself.

My most recent find is Hark! A Vagrant, which you can tell by its title is absolutely awesome. Even more awesome: there are a bunch of literary comics in the collection, a lot that are influenced by historical events and figures, and all of them flat-out hilarious.

Like so:

HA! As much as I am not a great fan of Austen or the Brontes, I love it when they show up in the comics.

My very most favorites:

But really. Go read them all.

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July 27, 2010

Dr Quinn Plays My Life – Episode 6

Filed under: dr quinn plays my life — Cate @ 12:01 pm

I hate the summer.

July 26, 2010

Our little water baby…

Filed under: adventuring, apartment, pictures — Cate @ 4:44 pm

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about Josie. For those who are curious, she’s the same as always, with one glaring difference: her hygiene has really taken a turn for the worse. Maybe it’s because she sees how lazy Joe and I are and she figures, obviously the standards are low, why should I put in the effort? Maybe it started as skipping a bath one day and totally snowballed out of control. Whatever the reason, she had gross matted spikes of hair along her spine and finally on Sunday we decided enough was enough. Time for a bath.

Guess who was excited!

Hint: not the furry one.

Josie is not always the most well-behaved bather, but in all the times I’ve bathed her, she’s only really fought me the one time (coincidentally, exactly a year between that bath and this one!). She makes a lot of noise and acts like she’s being murdered, but doesn’t struggle too much. I was hoping we caught her on a noisy, non-struggle day rather than a tear-your-face-off-with-my-claws day.

Thank goodness for those Safety Swans!

As it turns out, she was somewhere in the middle. I’m definitely scratched up and I needed Joe’s help to hold her still, but she didn’t draw much blood. I don’t look like I was dragged forcibly through a nest of thorns, so that’s something.

I hate you guys.

For a little while I’ve been wondering if dear Josie is started to get a bit fat, but as soon as she got wet it became obvious that she’s as tiny as ever. For such a little cat, she has a ridiculous amount of hair – poor thing!

I'll destroy you for this.

We ended up not being able to get the clumps of matted hair taken care of with just shampoo and our hands. It was so gross. Josie, why do you let yourself get like this?!

I'm going to pee on everything you've ever loved.

In the end, Joe had to take a pair of nail scissors to the clumpy bits. I was scared to death that she might struggle and accidentally get stabbed (those things are sharp!), but she had the sense to keep still. And since she has so much hair, you can hardly tell she has a little bald spot.

I'm peeing right now. Game on.

Then she got the brushing of her life, to try to get some of that hair off her. At first she whined about it, but I think by the end she was enjoying it (or at least resigned to letting us brush her). Hopefully she’ll be a little cooler now without all that weighing on her.

Guys? Hey guys?

Seb was pretty upset by all the noise she was making – probably thought we were trying to kill her. Eventually we just let him into the bathroom with us so he could see for himself. He was all, “you look really pretty, Josie,” and she was all, “SHUT UP I HATE YOU I HATE ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!”

Don't touch me!

I figured as soon as we opened the door she would bolt to the closet and ignore us for days, but she only went into the kitchen and then hopped up onto the window ledge to fix the towel-dried mess we’d made of her fur. About twenty minutes later, she was totally over it (and feeling very soft and silky) and ready to knead our sensitive parts with her claws. That’s my girl.

I am a beautiful striped goddess.

July 13, 2010

Raccoon? No. Creek? Yes!

Filed under: adventuring, pittsburghing — Cate @ 11:36 pm

On Sunday, Joe and Seb and I took off for Raccoon Creek State Park. Poor Josie never gets to go; Seb wasn’t even supposed to come, but he charged out the door and gave Joe such a pitiful look that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave him behind. It was good weather for being out in nature – warmer than Saturday but not as hot as it has been.

Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about the outing. Joe has legs for miles and I have legs like…something with really short legs…not to mention I prefer to stroll at a leisurely pace over walking at a normal speed. Joe and Seb have a lot more hustle in them than me. Would they leave me behind to be eaten by raccoons? How long till I was at the point of exhaustion just from trying to keep up?

Turns out, I needn’t have worried. Joe let me set the pace for most of the hike and I got my second wind  on the second half of the Forest Trail (more like my first wind, since I griped and huffed through most of the first part). The Forest Trail was really lovely, up and down through the woods. We passed through a big fern meadow and climbed over fallen trees and tromped through the mud.

Seb had an episode along the trail, early in the hike. It was a muddy spot in the trail where they’re laid wooden planks for hikers to pass over. There was six to eight inches between the plank and the muddy ground and Seb kept losing his balance and falling off the plank or turning around to look at me and walking sideways right off the edge. Of course once he hit the ground he’d get sucked into the mud and would flail around for a bit before getting his footing. He must have done it about five times. I was doubled over when Joe caught up to us. He said, “what’s wrong? Is Seb hurt?” – mistaking my hysteria for panic. For the rest of the trip whenever I thought about Seb and those silly planks I would laugh so hard I had to stop walking.

Poor Seb. Such indignity.

After the Forest Trail, we headed to the Wetlands Trail. It started out nice enough – shady and cool, crossing over a bubbling little creek at one point. We took a break at the creek so Seb could stretch out full-length in the water and cool down a bit.

It also gave us an opportunity for some cell phone portraits, since I didn’t bring the camera along. I really am having a fun time, I’m just being eaten alive by bugs.

The Wetlands Trail turned out to be kind of horrible. It left the shady woods and snaked through dense tall grasses, with a muddy pond on one side and razor-sharp hell plants on the other. The bugs were making me crazy and my arms were bloody from all the prickers and I just wanted to get out of there ASAP. Joe said later he’d never seen me walk so fast. I was miserable and I was truckin’.

After that, it was a slow easy stroll back to the car on a mostly shaded road. We were all tired and sweaty and bug-bitten and bloody but in very good spirits. What a great way to spend a few hours.

When we got home, Joe wanted to sit down and chill out but I had worked myself into a paranoid frenzy over the prospects of all of us being covered in poison ivy (not very far-fetched, given where we were walking). I immediately got in the shower and made Joe give Seb a bath before I would let him into the house and then I made Joe scrub himself down. He was maybe a little annoyed with me, but I wasn’t about to risk it. Two days later and I have bug bites and scratches galore, but so far no sign of an ivy rash so I’m happy with my decision.

We’re hoping to make a regular thing of these little outings, now that the weather is (mostly) nice and we have the means to travel. Where will the winds take us next? Who knows…somewhere cool, I hope. And no more freaking wetlands!

July 7, 2010

Home Remedies

Filed under: adventuring, neat!, triumph! — Cate @ 9:49 pm

Being a person who gets poison ivy with some regularity (and who has sensitive skin that reacts very strongly to the devil’s plant), I have a routine for dealing with the itching and rashiness and general gross discomfort. Things like calamine lotion, oatmeal baths, hot hot hot showers, ibuprofen – and, of course, a trip to the doctor for some steroids. Since I’m currently a person without health insurance (or any money, if we’re being honest), when I was poisoned this time I figured, “no big deal – I’m sure I can fix the problem using my superior Google skills and a few items I already have in my apartment.”

Google is filled with helpful remedies like fels-naptha (huh?) and golden seal root extract (what?) and sage advice like, “go talk to your doctor and get a prescription for steroids.” Still, I was determined not to give up. There had to be an easy, cheap solution. For once, I would defeat poison ivy instead of poison ivy defeating me!

Home Remedy #1: Hydrogen Peroxide

Good old HP. So useful for so many things. Why not poison ivy? I was careful not to accidentally pour it on my hair and instead doused my ivy rash very liberally a few times a day. It only lasted for one day, because here’s the thing: HP doesn’t hurt.

I don’t know about you, but I subscribe to the belief that a remedy ought to hurt pretty bad (so you know it’s working). Can’t say for sure if HP would have cleared up the ivy, because I just didn’t have faith in its effectiveness and so abandoned it early on.

Home Remedy #2: Rubbing Alcohol

I read online that rubbing alcohol was especially effective if you scratched the rash in an extremely brutal way before pouring it on yourself. And wow – this one hurts. Hurts pretty bad. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic. Once the burning stopped and I was able to unclench my jaw, I noticed the itching had completely stopped. Score!

I repeated the rubbing alcohol method for a day or two, firmly believing that my rash was getting better. I was beside myself with triumph. “Doesn’t it look good?!” I would ask Joe, forcing him to look close at my rash. The sight didn’t make him puke, which I took as an excellent sign.

All was going swimmingly until I told my Mom about my miraculous cure-all and she said, “Catherine, don’t be ridiculous. We’re going to the pharmacy.” After that it not only completely stopped working – of course – but got even worse. The next day, Mom recoiled in horror from the sight of my bare shoulder, which led to a forceful application of…

Home (sort of) Remedy #3: Tecnu EXTREME

This is a sort of soap-lotion that you use to scrub your rash (or, if you’re me, your entire body). It has little gritty bits mixed in that supposedly break up the blisters so the medicine can get to the inner skin, but also there’s something in it that bonds to the poison oil so the whole nasty mess can be washed away. It’s not cheap, but thankfully I have a Mom who loves me and doesn’t want to see her only daughter succumb to poisons. (It’s also not expensive, by any normal person’s standards. It’s just more expensive than free and so, for me, is too expensive.)

I’m sad to admit it, but it needs to be said: this crap is the real deal. Wow. Sometimes it really is best to leave things to the professionals. I scrubbed myself down on Saturday and by today (Wednesday), the rash is almost completely gone. Not just not itchy – gone. GONE. Gone gone gone-itty gone.

So I didn’t end up solving the problem totally on my own, but at least it is solved. And I didn’t have to sell all my possessions to pay for treatment or even go to the emergency room this time, so…I’d say that’s a positive. Plus, I discovered a new miracle cure whose restorative benefits I can now screech about from every available mountaintop. I’m appointing myself Official Spokesperson.

TECNU EXTREME, people. You can even “like” it on Facebook.

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