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Author Topic: The Cat Room 2  (Read 43584 times)

March 17, 2023, 09:14:34 PM
Reply #1020

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1020 on: March 17, 2023, 09:14:34 PM »
This is going to be a short update, mostly because my depression has spent the last couple of days kicking my butt.  Part of the problem is that paperwork for next weekend's HOA annual meeting.  Knowing that I have never in my life won an election, now I'm facing the prospect of myself as loser and having to be gracious about it.  It's the loser part that's been getting me down, and there's sod all I can do about it.

Last night I looked in the downstairs trash for the old sponge before I cleaned the litter box and dumped used litter on top.  It wasn't there, but it was in plain sight in the trash can in the upstairs bathroom.  I fished it out and brought it downstairs to use on the kitchen sink, which now looks much better.  It's not perfect because I ran out of arm before I could do that much scrubbing, but it's a world better than it was.

Coloring has turned out to be therapeutic.  Today’s image is a peacock surrounded by a random collection of small leaves and flowers.  I cheated and used a picture of a real peacock for reference for the colors, though the drawing doesn’t lend itself to trying for an exact copy.  The leaves and flowers are all of the same type.  I used a single dark green for the leaves, and four different dark reds for the layers of petals on the flowers.

I’m down to the last two pages in the coloring book.  For my next trick, I’ll be coloring what I’ve decided is a lion mask, rather than the profile of an actual lion’s head.  That way I get to be more creative with colors, which will be more fun.

March 18, 2023, 10:25:13 PM
Reply #1021

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1021 on: March 18, 2023, 10:25:13 PM »
This morning I couldn't get myself out of bed, and it took James three hours after my usual time for getting up to investigate.  Even then he only stirred off the couch because Baal told him I wasn't doing well.  That's right, the cat was more observant than the husband.  We spent a few minutes actually talking, which is more than we usually do. 

Somehow he decided that replacing the laptop with the tiny screen would cure my ills even though I told him there was no hurry, and I could wait until something appropriate came in to his work.  What did I get from him about an hour after he went out to have fun?  Possible replacement computers on Amazon and Ebay, all quite expensive. 

Of course, they wouldn't be as expensive if he'd listened any of the half dozen times I told him I don't need a touch screen, but that didn't happen before he got this one, so I don't know if I should bother trying yet again before he spends too much money on a new one with a touch screen I'll only use once a month for a particular mahjong challenge.  Which I could take care of on the current laptop because I’ll need to have it upstairs to drive the TV.

All I accomplished today was laundry, but I did accomplish that much.  It helped to throw my time sense totally off-kilter, since I’m usually finishing up at about the time I started it today.

The weather was glorious – by far the best day so far this year.  It was sunny, and the temperature might have hit 70.  Too bad I wasn’t up to going out to enjoy it.  In fact, I wasn’t really even up to eating, though I nibbled on a couple of snacklike things.  I’ll probably regret it tomorrow.  Oh, well.  Maybe tomorrow I won’t be quite so depressed.

March 19, 2023, 09:53:27 PM
Reply #1022

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1022 on: March 19, 2023, 09:53:27 PM »
Last night I went to bed at 10:30 because that was when the Fringe marathon I’d been watching for most of the day ended.  I had no trouble falling asleep, and I slept through to about 8am without even needing to get up to pee in the middle of the night.  I did get up at my usual 8:30, so at least that much is back to normal.

Depression-wise, I'm doing a lot better today.  I still have no appetite, but that's not unusual for me, and getting zero exercise isn't helping, I'm sure.  I basically spent the day coloring because it's what I flet like doing.  I'm working on the last page in the coloring book that came with the colored pencils, and then I'll have to tackle the coloring book James got me.  The images are a lot more complex, and they tend to include real animals, which means I'll have to decide if I want to keep them something resembling realistic - which will be a lot of brown - or go fanciful with them.  Maybe some of each.

I did tell James (again) about not needing a touch screen.  Or, rather, not needing a second touch screen, since I'll have the current one if I ever feel a real need.  He explained his decision - and almost admitted it was his decision - as trying to make some aspects of graphicking easier, even though I'd have to blow any graphic I was working on up to probably at least 400% to make it large enough for me to manipulate just what I wanted to, even with the e-pen he decided I needed, which I've never used. 

Anyway, he might now be more likely to be able to rebuild a laptop that comes in to his job, though he said that laptops with screens larger than what I have now are few and far between, because what they get come in from businesses, which are unlikely to provide staff with anything larger than a 15" screen, and I'm looking for 17" or larger.  On the bright side, even if he ends up buying something online, it shouldn't be too expensive for him to start out low end except for the screen and upgrade important things like memory himself.  But there’s still no hurry, and I don’t know if he believes that.

March 20, 2023, 09:56:54 PM
Reply #1023

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1023 on: March 20, 2023, 09:56:54 PM »
This is going to be a short update because I’m not yet out from under the apathy aspect of depression.  The good news is that I’m past the point where I couldn’t find a reason to get out of bed.  Having cats waiting for me to feed them definitely helped with that.

I might be reinventing art therapy.  Disappearing into the coloring is helping my state of mind, and I'm not too concerned about missing lunch because I know James will bring home dinner.  I can't see the point of forcing myself to take a break from what's giving me peace when I'm not the least bit hungry.  I've moved to the new coloring book, and the only brown critters in my first page are bunnies.  The other critters are birds (three blues) and butterflies (two orange/reds and a very dark gray).  There are some abstract interweaving lines at the center, and the rest is all vegetation.  Quite a few of the flowers are multiples, so I can come up with one color pattern and do it a bunch.

My first attempt at cushioning my tailbone from the springs in the hide-a-bed mattress is officially a failure.  I brought the pad/cat blanket back down to its spot on the living room cat bed.  Tonight I’ll be trying again, this time with the towel I take out to the pool, folded until it’s thicker.  If that doesn’t work, I have a third option, but hopefully it will because I’m tired of being so uncomfortable by the end of my upstairs TV watching.

March 21, 2023, 08:23:47 PM
Reply #1024

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2 - Happy Birthday, Frey!
« Reply #1024 on: March 21, 2023, 08:23:47 PM »
Today is the official birthday of the Frey cat.  He is 13, which means I have three teenage sons.  I’m so glad they’re of the feline variety!

Last night it took me a while to fall asleep, but once I did, I was down for the count.  I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed, thanks to one snuggly while cat (Albus) and one playful white cat (Baal, who should have been red because he has that kind of mischievous personality).

Today's weather has been absolutely glorious.  I managed to take advantage and go out to run a couple of errands.  I was starting to get low on cash, and everything costs more than I expect these days, so I hit the ATM at the bank down the street. 

On the way back, I stopped off at Safeway for a bit of basic food shopping.  I was getting low on bread, half and half, and lemon juice, so that was where I started.  I'd been thinking in terms of English muffins for a change, and by remarkable coincidence, one of the things on the "oops, we baked too much" rack was a loaf of English muffin bread for 99¢ instead of $2.99.  Done!  I also picked up a package of hot dogs that were on sale, to get cut up and thrown into things like ramen, and I spotted some cottage cheese for 50% off, so I gave it a good home.  I've had some cravings for dairy that was not ice cream or regular cheese, and now I'm set for that. 

There is good news in the foot department.  The one that’s healing has unswollen to the point that my favorite trainers now lace up almost equally tight on both feet, though I felt the walking more in the recovering foot.  Baby steps.

I’ve finished the first image in the new coloring book.  When I picked up the book today, I noticed that the back cover is the same design I was doing.  I didn't notice at first because it's so very different from the way I'm doing it.  The cover version is very polished and professional, but it misses the point of mandalas, which is the theme of the book.  Mandalas are all about patterns, and the cover version has no patterns at all.

March 22, 2023, 09:29:44 PM
Reply #1025

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1025 on: March 22, 2023, 09:29:44 PM »
I doubt this is going to be much of an update.  Last night the insomnia hit again, so I started the day so tired I felt slightly queasy, which meant that breakfast was coffee and a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese.

I did go out again while the weather was still cooperating, but I didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped.  I made it to my first stop, which was Kohl's customer service to pay my whopping $6.99 credit card bill.  That's where I got the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans that were originally $48, which is what that bill was for.  I'd been hoping to go on to Grocery Outlook since I was most of the way there, but by the time I finished at Kohl's I felt so lousy that I gave up and came back home. 

I'll probably try again the next time the weather is nice, though according to the forecast that won't be until next Tuesday.  In fact, we just had a couple of flashes of lightning in the east, followed by thunderboomers.  No rain yet, but it's in the forecast.

I spent the rest of the day coloring.  The front cover of the coloring book happens to be the same design as the one I'm working on now.  It's mostly feathers, featuring four peacock feathers, and the artist's interpretation is glorious, including metallic light blue in places, but not at all the way I'm doing mine.  I'm not done yet, and I won't be until tomorrow, but so far I like mine better.

March 23, 2023, 10:14:26 PM
Reply #1026

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1026 on: March 23, 2023, 10:14:26 PM »
Last night’s sleep was much better, thanks to the pill I took when I failed to meet the deadline I set myself for falling asleep naturally.  Being properly rested doesn’t mean I got enough done for an update of substance, but at least I was properly rested.

I had the first of the English muffin bread this morning, and the crust was a lot like the outside of an English muffin.  It is too bad that the slicing means no nooks and crannies, but it's still not bad.  I did have a bit of an incident with the extremely thin piece from the end of the loaf.  It fell into the toaster and went all the way to the bottom, where I couldn't reach to get a grip and pull it out.  I prevailed eventually, but not until after I pulled out the crumb catcher tray, and when that didn't work, I turned the toaster upside down over the sink.  The good news is that now the crumb tray is empty and clean for the first time in too long.

Once again I spent most of the day coloring.  I finished yesterday’s feathers and moved on to a new design.  The focus of this one is a circle of four horses, which I did in traditional (for me) quarter colors: east/yellow, south/red, west/blue, north/green.  I suppose that makes them quarterhorses.  *ducks*

March 24, 2023, 11:26:19 PM
Reply #1027

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1027 on: March 24, 2023, 11:26:19 PM »
Here comes another short update.  I managed decent sleep last night, but I’m still dealing with depression-related apathy and lack of energy.  Besides, other than about fifteen minutes of sun, the weather mostly sucked.

I finished the quarterhorse coloring.  What took a lot of the time was the foliage, particularly the long grass(ish) under the horses’ hooves.  I ended up doing it in all four quarter colors, because why not?

The day ended with the monthly general esoteric Christian zoom chat.  Most of the time there were only four of us, but it was still pleasant.  Then one of the usual conversation hogs showed up, and there it went for the rest of us.  From then on I just kinda stared and the screen and faded out.  Maybe next time that happens, I’ll leave instead of wasting my time.

March 25, 2023, 11:19:01 PM
Reply #1028

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1028 on: March 25, 2023, 11:19:01 PM »
Last night’s sleep was horrible again.  James knew he’d be crashing on the couch, so I took the regular bed, which turned out to be the opposite of helpful.  I went to bed at 11 and wasn’t yet asleep at 12:30, when the folks on the other side of the shared wall started arguing.  That went on for at least an hour.  Meanwhile, the white cats were probably thrown off by being in a different place and were at their most restless.  Eventually I did fall asleep because I woke up at about 4:15 thanks to the bladder alarm.  While I was up, I heard both the TV and snoring from downstairs, so I went down and turned off the TV.  Turning off the snoring might have involved a cushion, and that would have been bad.

One advantage to the kind of depression both James and I suffered from this week is that it means less of his clothes in the laundry.  I could probably have jammed it all into one load, but for some reason I didn’t try.  Even so, it was done in plenty of time for the annual homeowners’ meeting.

… Which was a disaster for me.  I took my coloring book and the one colored pencil I needed to work on the background of the image I’m working on, so I’d have something to do with my hands and attention while we waited for the meeting to start.  That’s about the only thing that made it possible for me to stay.  The energy in the room was beyond horrible, and not just because I was packed in a room with more people than I’m used to.  The acting thing I did a few weeks ago was also crowded, and that energy was wonderful.

As I predicted, I lost the election for the seat on the board.  That would have been less infuriating if not for the people who asked who the person who won was.  They voted for someone without knowing who she was?  Really?  If they’re going to be like that, my inclination is to un-volunteer for opening the pool on Sunday mornings, which I’ve been doing as long as there have been pool volunteers, because really why should I disturb my weekends for people who care so little for me?

On the subject of the folks on the other side of the shared wall, they are renters, and the owner of that unit was going to have a mini-meeting with the condominium attorney after the main meeting, to discuss whether their breaking of house rules was sufficient to justify breaking their lease.  I sure hope so.  I don’t know how disruptive they’ve been to the neighbors on the other side of their other shared wall, but they got so bad with us that James had to call the owner to complain.  Fortunately she knows us, and particularly James, since he was the one who rushed her daughter to the ER when she was in the last stages of liver failure, so she took his complaint seriously.

My current coloring project is an ocean themed image, with sea turtles, crabs, and a variety of shells and plant life.  I've found a sea turtle picture that's mostly shades of orange, which is nice because I've been rather neglecting the oranges.  I'd like to find a good picture of a crab in warm colors, to complete that circle of the image.  There's a nautilus shell at the center, and I know they come in all kinds of pretty.

March 26, 2023, 08:49:15 PM
Reply #1029

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1029 on: March 26, 2023, 08:49:15 PM »
This is going to be a short update because of the neverending depression.  The good news is that I slept well last night – not that I had a choice after yesterday on top of insomnia.

I’m still considering un-volunteering from being a pool volunteer.  The only thing that’s giving me pause is that the pool volunteer coordinator is one of the two people who voted for me, which makes her one of the few people I don’t want to penalize.  I don’t know… not that I have to decide any time soon, since the pool won’t open for another three months.

I’ve made progress on the current coloring project.  Today I finished off the big, easy stuff:  regular crabs, hermit crabs, center nautilus shell, scallop shells, and spiral shells, plus a couple of small things in one of the borders.  Tomorrow I need to look up corals and seaweeds, or I might just fake it because they both come in enough colors to make pretty much anything plausible.

March 27, 2023, 08:59:49 PM
Reply #1030

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1030 on: March 27, 2023, 08:59:49 PM »
Here comes another short update.  I’m not getting anywhere with – and because of – the depression.  In fact, it wiped out an audition I was going to do yesterday.  I just couldn’t get myself out the door and on the bus, and besides, as low energy as I was feeling, I wouldn’t have a stood a chance anyway.

The closest thing to an accomplishment for the day was finishing the ocean-themed coloring project.  It’s bright and colorful and a lot more cheery than I am.  I’ve also moved on in a small way to the next one, which is African themed, with eight animal faces.  Some of them I don’t recognize, and I’m hoping a general online search for African animals – or birds in the case of two of them – will produce useful results.  If not, I’ll just fake the colors and hope for the best.

I have thrown my name in the hat for a possible extra job in April.  If I get it, it will be my first union (SAG-AFTRA) job, and my third paid acting job ever.  Such fun!  Now I just have to get it.  Hopefully there won’t be a lot of old women applying, or at least no more than they’re looking for.

March 28, 2023, 09:01:33 PM
Reply #1031

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1031 on: March 28, 2023, 09:01:33 PM »
This is going to be another short update, partly because of sleep that was so crap that I had to pill the hell out of myself before I finally nodded off.  I still didn’t get enough sleep, and as a result I’ve been drowsy all day.  Hopefully I’ll do better tonight.

For the past several weeks, I’ve had an irregular spot on my left check, which I’ve been trying to get rid of by picking at it because that’s worked in the past.  This morning it and the cheek around it were sore and inflamed, and it feels like there’s a lump under the surface.  I should probably have gone to the doctor’s office today, but I couldn’t summon the energy.  I need to plan on doing that tomorrow because it doesn’t seem to be getting any better on its own, and I don’t feel safe giving it any more time.

The coloring for the day was eight African animals/birds, plus an interwoven center circle that I did in red, yellow, green, and black, as colors associated with Africa.  I had to fake it with one of the birds because I couldn’t find anything with that profile, but the colors I used were similar to a bird with a similar profile.  There was also a big cat I couldn’t nail down, so I did it as a black panther, in black and a couple of shades of dark gray and one lighter gray.  There’s one outer circle of leaves and flowers left to color, and then I’ll be done with that picture.

March 29, 2023, 09:43:57 PM
Reply #1032

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1032 on: March 29, 2023, 09:43:57 PM »
I don’t know how much of an update this is going to be.  Last night I took a piece of chill pill and crashed at 9, so at least I got some good sleep.  However, that doesn’t mean I accomplished anything worth mentioning.  I really didn’t.

Last night I got James on the case with the thing on my cheek.  I couldn't see what was going on, but he said it had a head, so he poked at it with a needle and squeezed some ick out of it.  I was going to visit my primary care provider to have it looked at, but she isn't available on Wednesdays, and besides, if it's just some kind of zit, there's no huge flaming hurry about it.  I've made myself an appointment for next Thursday morning, which was the next available time that fit me, and by then the whatever it is should have either done something rude or mostly healed.  In either case, I'll be able to get it looked at for free, and then do whatever she recommends.

I finished coloring the African drawing and moved on to the next, which is birds and flowers.  There’s a big flower at the center, with rows of petals rather like a lotus flower.  The circle outside that is alternating little birds that are similar but not quite matching, and groups of three simpler flowers.  There’s foliage filling out the drawing, and that’s all I have left to color.  I’ve used more pink than I usually do, but that’s what fit the big flower best.

The day is ending sunny, though still cold.  If it manages to be sunny tomorrow, I might just drag myself out for a walk.  There’s a prescription waiting for me at the Safeway pharmacy, and it would be nice to be able to pick it up without getting wet.

March 30, 2023, 08:14:55 PM
Reply #1033

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1033 on: March 30, 2023, 08:14:55 PM »
My sleep last night was back to sucking, which meant no energy for me.  Bleah.  I’m really hoping that someday soonish my retirement will get off the ground.  Even as it is, I’m enjoying not working, but I feel like I’m wasting an awful lot of time.  The problem so far, even without the depression at its current level, has been total lack of motivation. 

Also, I've been finding that my interest in going out decreases as it gets later in the day. Unfortunately, we've been starting out cloudy, and by the time the sun burns through, I've totally lost interest in going anywhere..  When I’ve had something specific to go to, I’ve mostly gotten there, but I’ve always had trouble inventing reasons to go out when I haven’t actually had any. 

I consider it a good thing that I have little furry faces guilt tripping me into getting out of bed, not to mention Albus and Baal both yelling at me.  Who came up with the stereotype of quiet cats?  Obviously not someone who lived with and was in charge of feeding them.

The spot on my cheek has already improved enough for me to tell the difference, though it still has far enough to go to warrant examining next week.  I'm inclined to get it looked at no matter what because of all the time I've spent out in the sun without sunscreen.  If it turns out to be biopsy-worthy, better sooner than later.  I have big freckles and things all over my body, but for some reason this thing on my face is much more concerning.  Maybe because it's on my face.

In among the news items about stupid people doing stupid things, I stumbled across an interesting and rather disturbing piece about how the anti-transgender crowd has started conflating autism and gender dysphoria because of the relatively high percentage of autistic people who are also trans or non-binary.  Besides the troubling aspects, I found one section that does a wonderful job of verbalizing my own journey: 

“In a May 22 study in the journal Autism that surveyed 21 autistic adults, one of the participants said, ‘Being autistic is like everybody else has got the rulebook and you didn’t, so you can understand why gender would come into it because that was in the rulebook you do not get.’

“This makes sense in so many ways. Gender is the ultimate social norm, and the social norm for autistic people might as well be a foreign language. So naturally, autistic people will question why they have to perform in a specific way because someone put an ‘F’ or ‘M’ on their birth certificate.”

Yes.  This.  Exactly.  But I would also expand the underlying principle to propose that in today’s society, gender roles are largely irrelevant.  Did it makes sense for men to select for single-tasking and competition back when they only had two basic tasks (hunting and fighting, first for a mate and then for territory), and did It make sense for women to select for multitasking and cooperation when they had to do everything else, and at once, and often needed to support and assist each other?  Yes, but these days, when people’s lives are less limited, it is absurd and even counterproductive to perpetuate the roles that prevailed at the dawn of mankind.

March 31, 2023, 08:42:43 PM
Reply #1034

JudithC

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Re: The Cat Room 2
« Reply #1034 on: March 31, 2023, 08:42:43 PM »
Here comes a short update for a not really a day.  Sadly, I no longer enjoy that it’s Friday.  In fact, I prefer weekdays to weekends because I have the place to myself so much.  That might be part of the reason I feel no urge to go out.

I swear Baal is telepathic.  I had just set aside all the coloring stuff to start typing this, and Baal invited himself into my lap after ignoring me all day.  I got him to move, but only as far as my arm rest cushion, where he's now lying and making my left arm position awkward.  He is also giving my left elbow a purr massage.  Oh, and his usual spot behind me is empty and available, so it's not like he needs to make other arrangements.

The cheek healing is moving right along.  I'll feel silly if it's completely gone by next Thursday, though better to have the appointment and end up cancelling than not to have it and need it.  I should probably do some online research into skin cancer, so I have a clue what it's likely to look like.

The coloring of the day featured two pairs of huge moths, along with their egg, larval, and chrysalid forms.  I cribbed a color scheme from a moth with a design that was similar to the more complex of the two in the drawing, and then I used the same color palette, or some portion thereof, for the rest of the forms.  There was also foliage, but for a change it was minimal.  I’ve been using the lightest colors for background, but that’s running me lowest on those pencils.  I’ve decided that going forward, I’m going to use other colors but pressing lightly so they aren’t as aggressive.  The one thing I haven’t yet done and want to is finding an image that lends itself to a black background, just for dramatic effect.