Tesla * 2 + 1... over there.

For those who didn't know any of this via Twitter, Twitter cross-posting to Facebook, or some other means of dissemination:

Sam accepted an offer with a company in San Francisco. Rather than be apart again, I elected to resign from my job and move with him. I've got another week at work and some packing and cleaning to do, then I sell the house* and car, and I'll be heading out there.

The decision to move with Sam this time wasn't a difficult one. I strongly believe in making my own opportunities, and believe I will find something out there if I decide I want to, whether that be entrepreneurial, freelance, employment, or whatever else. We were functional apart, but functional is way south of what we are together, which is fantastic.

The decision was only affirmed yesterday when I found out I'm pregnant. So, sometime around St. Patrick's day 2011, there should be a very wrinkly, tiny new Tesla in the world, with understandably little initial interest in cars or 80's hair bands. We can make no promises regarding initial interest in electricity, symbolic logic, squirrels, or ladies.

We're both very happy both about the move and starting a family. The moving part - which I'm bearing a great deal of the responsibility for - is immensely stressful, and I've found myself sufficiently fatigued that I feel like I'm going soooooooooo sloooooooooooow I'll never get there. I know that's not the case, but it still feels that way. My mom came by and helped some today. That was awesome enough, but she also brought me lunch, and took my alcohol collection, a blender I never use, and some of the contents of my overstuffed freezer home with her. The shelf over the cupboards in the kitchen seems mighty bare, but in a pleasing way. A relieving way.

My chore for tomorrow: figure out the bare minimum for cookware I need pre-move, and pack the rest. After the kitchen purge for the garage sale, this shouldn't be terribly hard or time-consuming - maybe 45 minutes or so. It'll feel like a huge accomplishment, though, and allow me to gain some traction. After this week, I can pack all of the clothes that don't make good sense for packing and moving. If I can knock out books before the end of the week, moving by the end of the month (when I'd have to renew the tags on my car) might be possible.

So, that's the news. It's a lot, and wow with the timing. But we're happy, and we'll get through this bumpy bit, and then I will go ahead and start making unreasonable culinary demands of my husband. Naturally.

Parenting cats

 I feel like a bad cat-mom.

Sam and I have two cats. We had three until last October when Five (the middle kitty, but also the smallest and blackest) slipped past me when I was heading out the door one evening. I cried, I put up posters, I walked the neighborhood with flashlights and friends, I coordinated with neighbors, my breath caught when someone would call saying they'd seen a cat of his description running in their yard.

We never found him.

Winter was rough. I was sick a lot, and there was a lot going on (as some of you might have an inkling is the case). In March, with lots of other stressors on my plate, I decided to go see an allergist. My allergy medicines weren't working so well, it was starting to warm up, and so I thought I'd best see one before seasonal allergies became a huge problem. Except what I discovered was not that I was allergic to seasonal stuff - no, I'm allergic to our cats.

The remedies? $250 to $300 in allergy medications every month, plus the creation of a cat-free bedroom zone. (Make sense; if I spent 8 hours in bed ever night, that's a third of my life I'm not being exposed.) But that was still crushing. Especially when Sam was away, the cats snuggling up to me at night was a huge comfort and pleasure.

Fast forward to now; we're moving. Sam has a job in San Francisco, we found a great place, and this is all happiness. Except realistically, maintaining a home large enough and segregated enough to make a cat-free sleeping zone is more difficult out there. It's feasible in this three bedroom house, but the cute one-bedroom with the bedroom separated by Japanese-feel paper sliding doors? Not likely. We lucked out in that we technically can have cats there if we feel like it's a good idea to bring them, but we don't. It's a long drive, with expensive medication and a lot of being cut off on the other end.

Our ex-roommate is going to take the youngest and largest of the cats - Kolya - but we still need to find a home for Neal.

It already feels bad enough that we need to give them up, but on top of that, after being away from them for a week, I can certainly feel the difference in my health (even medicated!) being around them versus not. And we sold most of our furniture, so the only reasonable place for me to sit and work on the computer is... the bed. In the room they're barred from.

So we need to give them up, but it feels like I've had to hide from them in my bedroom since I've been back in Omaha. I can hear them meowing out on the upstairs landing; I know they want attention, affection, all of those things cats get and give so well.

I'd feel a lot better if I know Neal (the oldest of the cats) was going to a good home. If you think you or someone you know might be interested in taking in a gorgeous mid-hair male cat, please let me know. He's neutered but not declawed, with excellent claw discipline (even around kids who tug on his tail I've never seen him swipe with claws out). He's extremely well-behaved; he scratches at stuff, but that stuff can be the appropriate stuff (scratching posts/mats/towers) if supplied. He does not play bite or nip. He likes to jump up on laps and butt your chin with his head to say he loves you. If you pet his stomach, he will flop a leg over your arm for maximum access. Sometimes when he carries around certain toys, his meow changes to a croak. If you imitate this noise, he'll bring you the toy he's carrying. He'll also generally chat with you if you meow in similar tones to him. He will figure out where you keep the treats and absolutely be underfoot anytime you approach that part of your home in even the most vague sense. He is fascinated with the other side of any door. He does not always want to stay on the other side, but he knows he wants to get there. He is not overly needy, and does not need attention every moment of the day; he's quite independent and happy to lay in a sunny spot, bright white belly up, airing himself out.

I love him a million billion. Do you know someone who could, too?

True story.

Originally posted on my blog, cross-posting here:

I've had a few inquiries, so to put this to bed:

The owner of Personal Threads filed a lawsuit against me.

I intend to defend myself against the allegations, and have retained an attorney to that end.

If you wish to follow the proceedings, you may do so, as they are a matter of public record. The case is in the district court, Douglas County, Nebraska, Doc. 1104 No. 235.

Letter to the owner, Personal Threads Boutique

I wrote a letter to the owner of Personal Threads that I'll be mailing off Monday, and I felt it should be shared. It explains why I won't be shopping there any longer. I'm not organizing a boycott, and I'm not trying to influence anyone on the topic; like I say in the letter, I simply feel like everyone deserves to have information to make decisions for themselves, particularly when money is changing hands.

Read the letter here.


I do the resolution thing some years, and not others. This year? Is an on-year.

1. No fast food, as in drive-through cardboard lies.
2. Work on something creative every day, barring self-evaluation that contraindicates. (Fancy way of letting myself off the hook if I'm sick or in need of recharging.)

I have some other things I want to work on, but that will do for resolutions.

Happy 2010!

Location:Omaha, NE


But does it have a pulse?

When I was growing up, I read voraciously. I'm not talking like, book-a-week reading. A day I didn't read a book, start-to-finish, was a very strange day. I often read two. My teachers gave me dirty looks for bringing 1,000-page Stephen King novels to class in fifth grade, but it was mostly because they thought the covers would scare the other kids.

I think all of this petered out sometime around my junior year in high school, in which the great excursion to India happened - lots of stuff to do, so I read far less. When I got home, the internet was there. I was still reading, mind, but I was reading a lot on the internet. Still, I'd put down a book a week most weeks.

It's when I got into college that my book-reading truly died. Since summer of 2004 (when I started taking classes), I think I read, on average, perhaps a book every three months. I'm not counting stuff I read for classes or jobs (physics isn't a very literature-heavy degree, though). Even as it was happening, I regretted the slow death of my reading habit, and promised myself I'd get back into it once I wasn't trying to go to school, teach, have another job, and possibly a social life.

This brings me to today, a scant thirteen days until 2009. I've decided I want to tackle a reading goal this year - one fiction and one non-fiction book per week, for a total of 104 books in 2009. I have a few books already on my reading lists. For example, rustycoon loaned me a copy of James P. Hogan's The Two Moons, containing both Inherit the Earth and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede - I've read the first, and need to read the second. Also, my copy of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver will finally get read. (I'm starting that one now-ish though. If you have to ask me why, you haven't tried reading it yourself.)

Because I want to remain sane, I'm going to place a few restrictions on each category. Novels nearing the 1,000 page mark may be considered two novels, as may novels which persistently draw comparison to stuff by authors with a penchant for discursive or excessively layered style like Umberto Eco or Thomas Pynchon. (Actually, I may try to see if I can get through Foucault's Pendulum at some point.) Non-fiction works that get too much past 500 pages might likewise be given an extra week. I mean, there's no point to reading stuff I don't give the time of day.

Anyway, all of that is a long-winded way of asking: what should I read? Pick a handful of fiction and non-fiction books you believe I'd enjoy, and leave them in the comments.