The Amazing Adventures of Josie and Seb

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.


June 30, 2010

July? WHAT?!

Filed under: adventuring, neat!, pictures — Cate @ 11:47 pm

June has been a happy, sad, crazy month – and also a lazy month. These are the highlights:

1. I bought a car!

Isn’t she beautiful? She is, I know.

I got an awesome 1-week honeymoon in which she and I were blissfully happy and then the “check engine” light came on. For a non-car-person like me, “check engine” can only mean, “oh god oh god please do something before I EXPLODE!” Luckily, she didn’t explode. Also luckily, the problem is likely one that’s easily fixed. She has an appointment with the car doctor to find out.

Sort of figured I’d get a little more time to just enjoy being a car owner before I had to deal with all the yucky realities of being a car owner, but oh well. Such is life.


2. Little Pocket Rocket, hound of my heart, passed away.

He lived a long and happy life, consumed more than his share of yummy food, and was snuggled and loved till the very end. I still cry when I think about it.

What a good dog.


3. My baby brother graduated from high school, which prompted our first real road trip with the new car, which turned into an even longer road trip because we decided to hit up Buffalo, NY as well. My enormously talented friend from grad school just published her first book, so Joe and Seb and I headed up to her hometown to celebrate her and see the sights.

Buffalo was a much cooler city than I expected, though we didn’t get to go as much as we wanted, given that we had the doggy with us. We did a lot of eating outside or in the car and spent half a day just driving around town, looking at cool buildings and exploring the harbor, etc etc.

Highlight of the trip for me was definitely getting to go out in the sailboat. Yes, we even brought Seb in the boat and he was a total champ. A little rickety on his feet when he got out, but hey…me too!


4. My first ridiculous sunburn of the season! Also, my first “driver’s” sunburn! Yes, I burned myself a lovely stripe down the length of my left arm and it’s settled now into a perfect summer tan. If only my entire arm – better yet, both arms – was tanned. But then, who I be without my ridiculous tan lines?


5.  My first full-body itchy bug bite of the season! Yes, it’s officially summer: the skeeters have found me…to be delicious. I am covered in itchy welts, head to toe. Awesome.

I also developed a weird rash on my neck/shoulder that at first looked like a sort of tentacle pattern. You know what that means, right? Obviously some kind of mutant jellyfish broke into our house and assaulted me in my sleep. Damn you, jellyfish!

Could be poison ivy…but I’m betting jellyfish.


6. I had a job interview today! For a job I really want! I’m trying to think positive but after being fired (which I’m still extremely bitter about) and almost six months of doors slamming in my face, my first reaction is not optimism. Still, cross some fingers for me, won’t you?

This could be the start of a whole new adventure…

April 16, 2010

Impromptu roadtrip – first of many? (We hope!)

Filed under: adventuring, neat!, pictures — Cate @ 6:51 pm

One of Joe’s friends jetted off to Europe a week or so ago (poor guy) and is letting us borrow his car while he’s gone. We’ve been having a blast driving around and actually doing things and not having to take a bus. It’s a lot of fun being able to run errands when we feel like it instead of when the bus feels like it or all at once one night when we can get a Zipcar.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, my partner-in-crime said to me, “Want to get in the car today and just drive and see where we end up?”

To which I replied, “Do bears poop in the woods?!” (translation: “Yes, absolutely, of course!”)

Another perk of not having a job…

In less than 30 minutes, we and the dog were strapped in and headed out of town. (Poor Josie always misses out on these little adventures.) Where to? We’d know it when we got there!

We took some hilly back roads in a vaguely northish direction, our only navigation being gut decisions based on, “I feel like going to the left,” or, “this road looks nice.” Since we weren’t on a time schedule and didn’t have a destination in mind, we could just enjoy the sights and wander along at our leisure.

Soon enough we found ourselves in the Allegheny National Forest.

As it started to get dark, we figured we should pick a place to spend the night. Bradford, PA (near the PA/NY border) seemed a good place to stop, just a little town along the way – or so we thought. Turns out, there’s a Pitt satellite campus up there PLUS the Zippo Lighter/Case Knives museum PLUS an adorable little downtown PLUS it has an airport AND a prison!

The radio waves were full of funny commercials about what an awesome place Bradford is to live and work. Maybe we hip young professionals will just relocate up there.

Thursday morning we left Bradford and headed eastish and southish, figuring we’d make a big loop and see some of central PA on the journey. We drove through a lot of teeny tiny towns and I’ve forgotten all their names except Emporium, because it’s fun to say.

Eventually we made it to State College, PA, home of Penn State. I’d never been to State College and Joe’s only been there once before, but he used his freakish memory to give me a tour of town and campus before we got back on the road. I think he must be part homing pigeon.

We made our way southish to the historic Lincoln Highway and followed that most of the way back home.

Along the way we turned off to find a covered bridge and ended up almost by accident at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. The whole thing was sort of eerie, an outpouring of sadness in the middle of a huge empty space. I’d assumed that by now the actual memorial was done, but it’s still just “temporary” (weren’t there going to be trees? a little park?). Just a big fence with messages and mementos and a few bigger stones with plaques or engravings, plus the benches and the little people with everyone’s name.

We didn’t stay long. It was sort of emotional for me and people kept showing up and I didn’t want to be there with anyone else. I don’t know why I feel so private about it – obviously that’s what the memorial is there for, to mourn together.

Anyway. After that we needed a bridge.

We got home in the evening, all three of us pretty tired from a long couple days of being in the car. Josie was happy to see us – a little mad, too, but happy. I wish we could have stayed away longer and gone farther – up into New York, maybe follow the border to Maine and then come back along the East coast. Maybe next time…!

Joe and I really haven’t made a secret of not wanting to stay in Pittsburgh, but I think hanging around here one more year won’t be so bad if we can escape every once in a while.

At the very least, we’ll always have Bradford…

March 21, 2010

In which I meet and am immediately adored by Dog The Bounty Hunter

Filed under: adventuring, pictures, pittsburghing — Cate @ 8:27 pm

That’s a total lie: I didn’t meet him. Though I’m sure if we had met, he would have liked me immediately, but I would have been super-annoyed with him so I might have said something snotty that led to him to revise his first impression of me to something less positive.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The Beginning

Dog The Bounty Hunter came to Pittsburgh yesterday! Wow! Excitement! Some friends and I planned to go down to the Barnes & Noble where he was signing books to say hey and high five and be obnoxious. I was hoping to get a photo of him holding a sign that said, “happy birthday, Mom!”

But as it turns out, Dog is insanely popular in Pittsburgh and the book-signing was a mad house.

There's more line around the other side of the building and behind me.

Also – and this is the thing that really annoyed me, hence the reason I’d probably mouth off at Dog when/if we met – you couldn’t get in to meet him unless you bought his new book. His new book, mind you. People who had already bought other books/memorabilia were S.O.L. because he refused to sign those ones. BOOHISS.

I get that it’s a ploy for Dog and B&N to make money, but I found it really annoying and more than a little distasteful. You’d think the guy would be trying to project more of a nice-guy image, since everybody knows he’s a huge douchenozzle.

PLUS the guy was late! I say, sir, do not expect me to wait around for your arrival! I have important appointments!

Pictures with the van were free! The only price I'd pay...

I had absolutely no intention of buying his book, so my friends and I did the only reasonable thing: skipped Dog and went to the bar.

Since I had no book and was denied getting a photo of him with a “happy birthday, Mom!” sign, you could say that Dog The Bounty Hunter ruined my mother’s birthday.

Admittedly, I was a little sad not to meet Beth…I imagine she’s a peach.

February 22, 2010

Weekend in Review

Filed under: googly eyes, neat!, pictures, pittsburghing, triumph! — Cate @ 3:02 am

Friday afternoon, inexplicably, our electricity cut out. Like any sensible young people, we decided to wait at the bar for it to come back on.

In our case, “the bar” was Sharp Edge Beer Emporium – yes sir, an EMPORIUM of beer! – and we arrived in time to take advantage of happy hour. Joe is not a huge fan of Belgian beers, which of course is their speciality, but they have enough other things that he was happy. I was happy too, because happy hour means cheap beer means I can try different things. I only had two, but they were both good.

Beer #1: De Konninck

Beer #2: Bavik

As it turns out, the Belgians can also fry a mean onion. Mmm onions.

Saturday, Joe took off to play with his friends and I watched season two of Tool Academy. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a GENIUS show about men who are tools and the women who love them, but wish they weren’t tools. So they trick them into going on a reality TV show where the men are enrolled in therapy and couple-strengthening challenges and eventually (we hope) come to realize that they shouldn’t be such tools to the women they love. It’s great – and it makes me appreciate Joe (my non-tool) so much more.

Ooh, such quality!

While I watched, I worked on a new necklace – pale pink rectangles and some darked pink squares. Used the leftovers for earrings and voila…I have successfully made a jewelry set! I find it very soothing. And pretty.

Later my friend came over to watch a movie and catch up. He also brought his Puggle, Aston, who’s a little over a year old and SO CUTE. I used to live with Aston and I wasn’t always his biggest fan, but you know how it goes…you move apart and learn to appreciate each other a little more.

Josie and Aston used to play, so I thought she’d be happy to see him, but it was Seb who really had a blast. I’ve never seen him play with another dog like he and Aston played. It was pretty adorable.

Then they laid down and napped for awhile. Awwwwwww.

Sunday I had a pretty lazy day – rebeaded my bracelet on new jump rings and now it’s strong and pretty. I even had some left over to make earrings. I am a MACHINE. I doubt I’ll be able to translate this to a money-making venture like I’d hoped, but it sure is fun.

Then me and Joe (mostly Joe) made Indian for dinner and I don’t want to talk about it. Ugh. Samosas.

And then the weekend was over. Not like it matters, though; when you don’t have a job, every day is the weekend.

February 18, 2010

Que sera, sera…

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

One morning last week, I was laying in bed thinking about how much I liked being unemployed. Except for having no money (and, honestly, being broke is old hat by now), being unemployed is kind of awesome. Nobody tells me what to do. I don’t have to get up early and go to an office and do a job I don’t like. I have time to write, read, bead, make soup, bake, watch Doctor Quinn, etc, etc – all those things I used to wish I was doing when I was at work. I get to see Joe and Seb and Josie a lot more than I used to. I’m no longer an insignificant cog in a big, boring machine. I think I’m, in general, happier and more relaxed.

I’m sure the universe had a good chuckle at my expense when, less than an hour later, I got called in for an interview at one of the 50-some places I’d sent resumes.

My interview was yesterday and, well, I don’t think my unemployment is going to be ending any time soon. And that sorta stinks, even if being unemployed is basically a non-stop party.

Martha is seriously disturbed.

At first I was determined to be grumpy for the rest of the day, but Joe wouldn’t let me (what a jerk, that guy). We had lunch and then went grocery shopping and segued into a little date night: some beers and mac’n’cheese at Kelly’s, some cupcakes from Vanilla and some pizza (for later) from Pizza Sola. My man knows how to treat a lady.

BRRRRR-ing...BRRRRR-ing...hahaha, get it?!

Then we came home and warmed our chilly bones by the fire radiator. The animals were happy to see us – and by “us,” I mean “Joe.” He has some kind of voodoo magic going on in the apartment and all the creatures flock to him. Not that I’m jealous or anything.

Not pictured: that girl, what's-her-name...

So I probably don’t have a job (still), but at least I have a nice boyfriend and some goofy critters to keep me entertained and a little humble. That’ll do.

February 14, 2010

SEE! I do stuff sometimes!

Filed under: adventuring, apartment, food, neat!, pictures — Cate @ 8:57 pm

While Joe’s been off lallygagging in the woods, I’ve been having a semi-productive weekend. Not only have I watched almost two full season of Doctor Quinn* (one disk left until the WEDDING!), I have washed just about every dish we own (ugh), made soup, baked bread, baked half a batch of sugar cookies and beaded a bracelet. Oh yeah – and managed not to kill Josie, though believe me when I say I have been sorely tested.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Friday I got a big package from Fire Mountain Gems filled with beady goodies. I knew I wanted to make something but I was feeling overwhelmed and not very creative and didn’t manage to do much more than look at the beads. Saturday I watched Doctor Quinn all morning (which as we all know is the best way to get creative juices flowing) and worked on a bracelet. It took me roughly four episodes. Actually, I think one was a double episode (twice as nice), so technically five episodes.

It was good practice and I like the outcome, but unfortunately the jump rings I used were too small a gauge to hold up to the weight of the stones. So it looks pretty, but I don’t dare wear it because it keeps falling apart. Listen to me – I’m totally legit as a beader!



Hard to tell, but it's made of rough-cut onyx stones.

It broke. :(

After I finished the bracelet, I did the dishes. I had to break them up into shifts – there were so many, the hot water kept running out. We’re total slobs, I admit it, but we’re working on that. It’s a process.

Then I watched more Doctor Quinn.

Around midnight I started making potato soup (don’t judge) and it was super easy and came out really well. In a move that can only be described as pure genius, I used some leftover bacon grease in the roux, so there’s a lovely bacony flavor even though it’s just veggies in the soup. Did I mention it was delicious? It was.

Josie was really bugging me while I was in the kitchen so I figured I’d give her some catnip and have a good laugh. She didn’t react to sprinkling some on the ground so I tossed her the baggie. She went absolutely batty, rolling around on the floor, mraring, jumping around. I got some cool videos of the insanity, but haven’t gotten them off my phone yet. When I took the bag away, she took it back. All night long I could hear her in the kitchen, doing whatever it is high cats do in the dark.

Later (I’ll in night owl mode lately) I made some sugar cookie dough to chill overnight. Joe asked me to try and make some different recipes. He’s the sort of person who likes to get something different every time he goes to a restaurant. I’m the sort that develops favorites and then sticks to them, and I guess this is reflected in my cooking. I certainly don’t ever tire of chocolate chip, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try something new.

Sunday morning (ish) I mixed up some bread I’ve been meaning to try. It was SO GOOD. And a great companion to my potato soup. Mmm, carbs.

It looks like a meatloaf, but it's a slice of bread.

After a bit more Doctor Quinn, I decided to try the sugar cookies. I thought it would be easiest to roll the dough up in a log and just slice cookies off it – like the ones you get in a store. Problem being, I’ve never actually done that before and it’s harder than I thought it would be. Mostly I just mashed piece together. My logs looked pretty sad.

They look sort of like little brains...

Bad as they look, they cooked up yummy. I’m no food stylist; looks don’t matter as long as it tastes good.

Now I have an almost-made bracelet, a clean kitchen, homemade foods to put in my belly and goofy-looking cookies to follow-up. I guess these solo weekends aren’t so bad after all.

I look forward to seeing what Joe will make when I leave town… ;)

February 12, 2010

In Which We Venture Into The Snow and Return With Goofy Glasses

Filed under: adventuring, neat!, pictures, pittsburghing — Cate @ 3:15 pm

Yesterday Joe and I hooked up the dogsled and made the long journey into town to run some errands. OK, not really. (We only have 1 dog and he’s old…not much of a sled team. Sorry Seb. Just sayin’.) The buses are back on track and for the most part the city seems to have dug itself out, so we were able to get around just fine. (Unless you count all the unshoveled sidewalks. This neighborhood sucks at shoveling their sidewalks.)

First stop: lunch at Chili’s. Joe got a giftcard for Xmas, so we figured we’d use it. My meal came with the saddest ear of corn I’ve ever seen. But it’s Chili’s in February, so my expectations were pretty low to begin with. Joe had equally sad little tacos. Not a great meal, all told, but it was free. And it makes me look forward to corn season returning…YUM! I think Chili’s must be looking forward to it, too, because they were pushing the summer drinks.

Uh? It's February?

We went other places and eventually ended up at the party store. In typical Cate Makes Bad Decisions fashion, the first thing I did was try on a St Patty’s hat covered in green glitter. Within seconds of walking in the door, I was also covered in green glitter. Joe had a good laugh or six. Luckily there were plenty of other things to fool around with and pretty soon I forgot about the glitter.

There are simply not enough occasions in one's life for one to wear a jaunty sequined top hat and veil.

I wish I’d bought that silly hat. I would wear the heck out of that hat! Forever!

Joe had to stock on goofy costumes for his Awesome No-Girlfriend Party With Awesome People Who Aren’t My Girl Awesome Weekend (whatever). I think I made him try on most of the stock of goofy glasses. Just like old times in Rite-Aid!

Joe's got a good head for wigs, right?

He offered to let me buy the pink wig for him, but I didn’t. Damn! He would have worn the heck out of that wig!

On the way out, I spotted a little piece of my childhood and got all nostalgic and misty-eyed.

Luckily, I managed to leave without stuffing my pockets.

Then other stuff probably happened but I don’t remember anything noteworthy. So we got back on our dogsled the bus and went home to watch some Doctor Quinn Law & Order. The End.

February 8, 2010

Winter wonderland!

Filed under: adventuring, neat!, pictures, pittsburghing — Cate @ 12:58 am

We got dumpins of snow Friday and Saturday – Joe was a grumpy disbeliever, but I knew we were going to get lots of snow and I was right. It’s pretty surreal outside. Everything is buried. The city still hasn’t recovered – schools and businesses are closed tomorrow (Monday) still, some roads aren’t plowed, people still don’t have power, garbage pick-up is canceled, etc. Doesn’t bother me being stuck inside, but Joe and I have done our share of exploring and playing in the snow, too. Seb still does his business out-of-doors, you know.

Friday night around 10:30pm I wrapped up my camera in plastic bags and painter’s tape, snapped it onto the tripod and we went outside. There was only (only!) about 8-10 inches on the ground at that point and it was still coming down pretty hard. “Taking pictures” really consisted of putting down the tripod in random areas and hoping for the best. They turned out pretty nice, though. As we were walking down the alley behind our house, the power went out for the whole street. We ended up going home, warming up as best we could and watching Indiana Jones by candlelight until my laptop died (it may be in league with the Nazis to steal the Ark of the Covenant).

Saturday we got up, got dressed and went back outside. Joe thought to bring a yard stick (smart fella) and measured at various places – between 19 and 21 inches total. Not bad!! Seb bounded around the back yard a little, but mostly he followed Joe’s trails (me too…way less tiring).

It’s fun to be able to play in the snow or hole up inside if we want to, but I know this storm has been awful for a lot of people. Thank goodness we don’t have any emergencies that need attended to. We can just take it easy, snuggle and watch Law & Order. Hopefully the city gets back to functioning before too long. All the same, I’m not going to hold my breath over it…

February 3, 2010

What We Do When We Are Unemployed

Filed under: apartment, human training, pictures — Cate @ 8:48 am

We read. Constantly.

We goof around.

We TRY to nap but the STUPID HUMANS won’t LEAVE ME ALONE.

We vie for attention. (And watch Law & Order.)

…Seriously. Do you want to die?

We strike poses that should be embroidered on pillows.

We keep our humans in check.

(Actually, I’m pretty sure being annoying is Josie’s full-time job.)

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