Binge and...

I spent part of this morning purging my Google Reader subscriptions. In a moment of OH-MY-GOD-I'M-CLOSE-TO-THIRTY panic a few weeks ago, I added a number of fashion blogs to the rotation. In retrospect, it wasn't the best use of my time.

It's tiring looking at countless pictures of hungry narcissists standing around looking wistful in clothing I wouldn't ever have occasion to wear, let alone hope to maybe possibly be able to someday justify purchasing ($5,000 on a single bag, OR 1/3 to good causes, 1/3 to savings, 1/3 to debt? Hmmmm...).

Besides, many of these people get their "looks" as kickbacks for promoting brands. Not sure if it's my journalism training or just my moral compass, but that all just leaves me troubled.

I'm certainly not anti-fashion and consider myself to be very visual, but ugh. Stop. It. Or don't, whatev floats your boat, really. I'm just tired of looking at it.

P.S. There ARE some lovely fashion blogs that skew towards practical advice and affordable style, I think it's just the immense ego involved in photographing oneself and declaring the result "inspiration for others" that seriously rubs me the wrong way.



Me: When I'm really down, I smash my feelings in the face until they pass out, drag their unconscious body to the trunk of my car, then dump them in the sea. But, like all good super villians, they always come back for a sequel.

Friend: Supervillian is an interesting word for something you brutally assault and try to murder.

Me: Feelings are unnatural, goshdarnit. ;) Also, good point.


Chocolate can kill your dog

Your pets are not little humans. They have different needs and different vulnerabilities. If you choose to bring one into your home, it is your moral obligation to care for them properly.

I bring this up because a Facebook acquaintance posted about how funny it was that her dog broke into the family's early stash of Halloween chocolate. I was horrified. (Also freaked out that Halloween candy is already on the shelves, but that's another matter entirely).

Here's a fantastic interactive chart that shows how much chocolate it takes to seriously harm or even kill your beloved canine companion.

Ever since Cheeto ate Christmas (and $4,500!!!), I've essentially banned chocolate from the house. If it does come in, it must be eaten or discarded that same day. As a big chocolate (and food) fan, it's tough, but necessary.

Other precautionary measures:

- Chicken bones and corn cobs are discarded in the garbage dumpster outside - they never, ever go into the regular can in the kitchen.
- These Simplehuman trash bins are awesome, thanks to their simple locking function. Despite dragging a full bin from the kitchen to our bedroom (it's where she hides her stolen loot), Cheeto didn't manage to unlock it.
- Household cleaners and chemicals are carefully locked away, and I try to opt for safe, mild, and natural alternatives, when possible.
- I also put a cage cover on our guinea pig compound. It may be four feet off of the ground, but I could never forgive myself if Cheeto managed to eat our other furry baby, Little One.
- I aggressively vet houseplants for toxicity before bringing them into my home.

An animal is a serious responsibility. If you're not going to care for them properly, don't get one.

Little Miss Trouble, lookin' all innocent and stuff.


Inane Music Video Roundup

First, Can't Hug Every Cat.

Second, the One Semester of Spanish Spanish Love Song.




Don't tell my doctor or any nutritionist who ever existed ...

I feel awesome today. And yet I started the day with a McDonald's egg, cheese, and sausage biscuit (soooo bad for my arteries) plus an extra large iced coffee. For lunch I had chocolate. Just chocolate. Throw in some questionable-but-upbeat music on my iPod and I'm feeling the best I have in awhile. Seriously.

Why does junky food make me feel so much better than the nutritious stuff?


From the archives

Me, back in January of 2003.

"I'm going to go make pancakes.

I love pancakes.

They'll never worry me, or get mad at me. They don't make me jealous by going out with other pancakes. They are delicious."


Goals for 2011 (updated)

Things are plugging along fairly well in Cat-land. Here's how I'm doing on my goals for the year:

1. Secure a job in the Bay Area that does not kill my soul: Getting there. Lots of leads, lots of interviews, and jobs I'm genuinely excited about. (An optimistic 0.5 pts.)

2. Move to San Francisco, preferably the actual city-city: when #1 pans out, this one will follow. :) (0 pts.)

3. Travel outside of the states: Still gotta get that passport! (0 pts.)

4. Read no fewer than five "for fun" books: Don't judge: A Place of Yes, Dreams of Joy, The Hundred Secret Senses. So far, so good. Lots of time for two more. (0.6 pts.)

5. Find Cheeto a friend to hang with regularly: Ha. We'll see, I'm finding this more and more unlikely. Little Cujo. (0 pts.)

6. Host a par-tay: Kind of hosted a few mini parties. I think that counts. (1 pt.)

7. Finish the upgrade on catwendt.com and finish the two secret sites I've been working on: Upgrade on catwendt.com = complete. Secret sites are pending. (0.333333)

8. Focus more on myself: Yes and no. (0.25 pts.)

9. CLEAN ALL THE THINGS: Occasionally. (1 pts.)

10. At 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, feel relaxed/calmly happy: Working on it. (0 pts.)

Total score = 3.68. Gotta try harder!


What's the what?

I miss the catharsis of writing.

In recent years, I've found myself able to blog less and less. I fear both the risk of banality and the career and personal consequences of over-sharing. Yet I can't bring myself to create an anonymous account somewhere new.

I enjoy spewing out hyperbolically-enhanced versions of my neuroses. Ranting about politics. Rambling excitedly about everything and nothing.

But - the older I get, the more secrets I have to keep. Some belong only to me, but others aren't mine to divulge. Self-censorship ensues. It becomes harder and harder to get anything onto the page.

In addition, I've been feeling increasingly lost. I'm sure the myriad of stressors in my life is a contributing factor but ... Okay, maybe THE contributing factor.

Or maybe it's not just stress. Maybe it's just a normal twenty-something thing to go through. A healthy dose of existential angst? Part of self-discovery?

I'm tempted to be a little more selfish, share a little more, and work up the intestinal fortitude to be bold. Bold-er, at least. Or I could just escape the world by curling up on my purple couch with Cheeto, the two of us safely burritoed in my fuzzy green blanket.

Maybe a little of both.


Always nice to know you're not alone.

"Multiracial individuals note that mixed identity requires a constant negotiation of insider-outsider status; belonging to both can often mean feeling at home in neither."

Yes. That.



I happened upon an FB conversation where someone referred to a design of mine as sexy.

Not a life-changing adjective, but, ain't gonna lie, that felt awesome.

It wasn't a conversation about me. Or with me. Just something said by someone who probably didn't even know I was involved or think for a moment that I'd see the comment.


This has been a good week for ego boosts. Thank you, universe.


Dear Internet

Shall I start posting about my politics again, or do you find it obnoxious and draining and would rather I stick with navel gazing, life events, and professional development?

I'm so torn.



Best reaction to the State of the Union

"Obama announces we are once more at war with Russians."

LOVE The Onion.


Navel Gazing

2009 was going to be a great year. I felt it in my bones. (Them bones was right.)

At the start of 2010, I declared that it was also going to be a great year. Wasn't so lucky with that one.

Right now, as 2011 commences, I feel amazing. I hope the year follows suit.


Goals for 2011

1. Secure a job in the Bay Area that does not kill my soul (suggestions and leads are more than welcome). :-D

2. Move to San Francisco, preferably the actual city-city.

3. Travel outside of the states.

4. Read no fewer than five "for fun" books.

5. Find Cheeto a friend to hang with regularly.

6. Host a par-tay.

7. Finish the upgrade on catwendt.com and finish the two secret sites I've been working on.

8. Focus more on myself.


10. At 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, feel like this (relaxed/calmly happy):

2010 Goals: Final tally

Time to revisit my goals and see how I done did...

1. Audition for something, anything.

Status: Fail

2. Take one of the following classes: dance, piano, acting, or voice.

Status: Semi-Fail
I found a voice teacher, but our schedules didn't mesh up until 2011.

3. Get my passport.

Status: Fail

4. Buy (and wear) a dress (I haven't bought a dress in FIVE years. Five!)

Status: Win!

5. Gussy up and attend the SF Ballet's Nutcracker (I performed in it 15 years ago. Lordy, I'm old.)

Status: Fail, with a caveat.
There weren't any performances while I was in town.

6. Read three books for fun (last year I only managed two, believe it or not.)

Status: Win!
I read Snowflower and the Secret Fan, Shanghai Girls, and The Kitchen God's Wife. I also ordered a bunch of new books to hit in 2011.

7. Visit one new place.

Status: Multiple wins.
Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, baby. Ooooh yeah.

8. Attend more shindigs (in other words, try not to turn down invitations).

Status: Multiple wins.
I can tell I've been more social just from the number of pictures I've been tagged in on Facebook.

9. Photograph stuff. Lots of stuff.

Status: Win!
My fancy new camera died in a tragic Diet Coke accident, but I replaced it and moved on. Yay pigtures!

10. At 11:59 PM on December 31st, feel like this: :-D

Status: Win. Oh. Yes.
New Year's Eve, for the first time in ages, was full of win.

Final score: 6/10

By academic standards, 60% is not great. In terms of making memories for a life well-lived, I think it's fantastic. Here's to a fan-freaking-amazing-tastic 2011.