Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Two posts in one day? How'd that happen?

I am waiting for the vet to come to my apartment to sedate Bessie and Lulu. This is not a fun process for me because I have to starve them in order for them to be sedated. And that means feeding Coco, Vali and Manhattan in the bathroom. They weren't thrilled about their dining locale this morning but did oblige, begrudgingly. Until Manhattan had enough of being in a small space and starting jamming her paw under the door in a desperate attempt to escape on her own.

To pass the time, between waking up and sleep state for the Feral Two, I walked to ShopRite, bought coffee. Came back and have been furiously texting people, as well as returning phone calls. I also did a quick white tornado cleaning in the bathroom. You know, because that's what I do when given the gift of time...

Valentina is now camped out in the kitty playpen I bought to help with behavioral steps provided by the cat whisperer. Vali thinks it's grand. Coco and Manhattan have also checked it out. When B & L return from the vet, I'll attempt to put them in there, and get a barrier to block C/V/M from them while Lulu recovers from spay surgery, and while both B&L establish the scent of the household on them instead of the scent of the vet. That smell is likely to drive Coco over the edge into her full lioness personality. I don't need to find myself with any more cat scratches or bites than I've acquired in the last month, and don't know how I'd explain a second trip to the ER to anyone.

It's an interesting place to be in, sitting on the cusp of big changes. I'm not in full gear yet, but I am working toward that as a goal. There was a lot of internal work I needed to do to prepare for this time and place. I'll start sharing that soon. Like, how I had to come to terms with the end of a, well let's not go so far to say it was a relationship--so let's say the termination of contact with a male in my life; I'm so much better off without the anguish I allowed it to cause me. And the realization that my career is really more a succession of work assignments than the career I had imagined as as student at Hood College. Learning over and over again who are the friends that truly understand me, and those who find my external processing burdensome...all of these at first painful epiphanies have moved me to a state of feeling peace. Oh, not total peace. Goodness, no. I'm still working on the critic who lives inside.

I asked her to go on an extended vacation, but she doesn't seem to have access to a travel agent.

Looking around at the circumstances facing people in my life, even if those people are tertiary to me, I realize that there is a path to a better place if I'm willing to forge ahead. The book Broken Open was pivotal for me last year and has served to propel my search for The New Place. It inspired me to take the online blogging course. And to take a look at all of these seemingly terrible experiences from my recent and long term past, and find the truth about me embedded within; I'm still on that quest. And working on forgiving myself for a lifetime of transgressions against family, friends, ex boyfriends, co workers. These transgressions were all linked with finding my greater good. Fortunately, some people survived long enough to see the transformations unfurl. Others didn't; I lament that the image they have of me could be the younger Laura, tripping over emotions and adult complications. Perhaps these people only remember the good. I hope so...because I know I shared more good than I probably allow for in my critical mind.

And with that, I'll end this post so I can pace and wring my hands whilst I await Dr. H's arrival. Just shoved C and V into the bathroom so Coco doesn't go ape-shit when the vet walks in smelling like a vet. Vali wanted food. M will rush into a closet so I am not worried about her...okay I'm worried but have to divert that worry for now. This heart can only carry so much at once...

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Last time I posted I had all good intentions of writing again within two days.

And we all know the saying about good intentions, and the road that's paved with them....

I did, by the way, run 5 miles on Sunday of last week. And the running shoes are sitting patiently by my front door, waiting their next round on the treadmill.

It has been quite a ten day stretch. I started my new assignment in NYC. Loving *loving* not driving to work for 90 minutes a day. We'll see how I actually end up liking the work, but so far, so good. A designer has started work on the blog for me. I tried tweaking some things per her suggestions but she ultimately will come in and tidy up for me. Can you feel the progress?

Seems like there is positive motion with Le Chats~but it truly is a two steps forward, one step back dance. Lulu was supposed to go to the vet on Thursday, along with Bessie. This can only be accomplished by having the vet come to my apartment to sedate them. As luck would have it, the office was over-booked on surgeries that day and we postponed. So today I have to take off from work in the morning again, and occupy myself while I starve the poor little dears so they can be properly sedated. It is all very stressful for me so I leave the apartment and hang out at ShopRite with my favorite morning employees, then come back and ignore the cats. This should be a good story...

The real challenge I'm told will be in the re-introduction to the apartment. Keep everything crossed.

That's all for now folks. I chose a quote from Alice in Wonderland, asked by the Mad Hatter~Manhattan's nickname is Mad Hatter, for my post title today....You can read more about the Hatter's quote here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

It Keeps You Running

A busy week for an unemployed gal. I've taken care of all sorts of mini-projects. I even went for a run last night. (Let's not get ahead of ourselves, we have to see if I run again today...THEN we can say there is progress).

Found out that the landlord of my building is not interested in doing any further mold testing. He feels that  ripping out the dry wall to remediate any mold [that in my non-expert opinion is likely to be there] is "excessive". So, just for my own peace of mind I went to the Department of Health and Human Services site for NJ. This prompted a call, and I spoke with Paul. Paul was helpful, but then had to break the news to me: NJ does not have laws requiring landlords to do anything about mold. This, he explained, is not the position of the Department of Health. But it's the sad reality. And rather frustrating.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on this. We have differing opinions. There is deconstruction going on across the street/ outside my apartment window now, and so I feel that the universe is beginning to push me to make a bigger change. And I believe the temporary move to the penthouse and subsequent move back to my apartment would have been incredibly stressful and would not have guaranteed the problems were all appropriately addressed.

It is the opinion of this court (the one inside my head) that I need to stay @150 Bay, for now. Focus on the new gig and do well; work the kitties and facilitating dramatic improvements for them (and ultimately me). In the background, I can look for another apartment. So much more information will come forward as I settle into the new assignment--I need to allow that to come to me, organically instead of trying to engineer everything. Is that a result of having a dad who is an engineer? "I'll take 'Blame My Parents for $500,' please!". Let's not....let's just say it is one of my [sometimes] endearing quirks and a part of my personality that serves me well in some instances and not so well in others. There's certainly time to discuss that fact in future posts....

In other news, I've found someone who is going to help me with design on the blog. There are lots of little things going on, that will slowly accumulate to big things. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so said Lao-Tzu.

Today is a rainy day here in the ghetto. Secretly I'm happy because I have a lot to accomplish--some preparation for an offsite I'll deliver on Wednesday with a colleague, more filing and cleaning up of my documents on my personal computer. All mundane, adult-type tasks but ones that will help me in my struggle to stay focused.

For those of you reading along with me this far, I promise: this blog-thingy is going to get better. The fun commences with the Cat Whisperer's Behavioral Plan. First order of business: working on group scent and getting additional food and water stations around the apartment for Coco, Valentina and Manhattan. And get Lulu to the vet PRONTO for her spay surgery!

Tomorrow, or Sunday, I'll give some insight to the things I'll be deploying to help improve the tensions among the felines.  Here is Coco in her Pounce stance. And by pounce I mean like a Puma, not like Tigger....

Stay tuned for a run update! 3 miles last night. Easy. I see 4 on today's menu...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello, Goodbye...

I've imagined posting for a week. Each day, the topics roll through my brain. Somehow I've managed to escape opening the page and typing words. Probably because so many disparate thoughts and therefore emotions have converged in a small window of time, on such a small mind... hello, goodbye; grateful, hopeful; glad and sad...

Last week, I wrapped up my contract assignment in Somerset, NJ. While I won't miss the drive from Jersey City I will miss the people. Both projects I had were great learning opportunities for me and I was lucky to have made several good friends--people who will stay in my life despite the distance that will be between us as I move into a job in the Big Apple.

The next gig is the one I interviewed for last week. I'm 90% there, just a final reference check that must be completed. As I suspected, I conjured up a whole list of things to do (like organizing my old photos--yea, right) and won't have time to address even a fraction of them. But I did manage to get myself to a yoga class this morning, so I've got that goin' for me, which is nice..

For now, I post a picture of Manhattan. The Kitty, Not the City.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Story time: Yesterday, I went for a face to face interview for what looks like will be my next contract assignment. It's in Manhattan (big round of applause). Until I start, I'll withhold details of where and what company. Because whenever I get ahead of myself, it comes flinging back in my face like a misfired rubberband.

Everything went well. I liked the hiring manager, he liked me. We both are former PwCC/IBM Consultants, although we were in different practices. In our world (the I Used to be An Uppity Consultant world), it's like we were distant cousins meeting for the first time...anyway, this particular role for which I interviewed will not be terribly sexy in the beginning, but he told me--and the friend who referred me confirmed this fact--there's a lot to do from a transformation/OD perspective within the organization. And the contract could--most likely will-- evolve in to very interesting work and last longer than the initial few months originally quoted.

Tomorrow, I'm set up to speak with the agency that this company uses to handle contractors. I figure if they keep it to the basic security check, and reference checking--I'm good. On the contrary, if they ask me how many cats I've rescued in the last few years, or they attempt to gauge how I feel about the recent *ridiculous* commentary about reproduction and healthcare, it could be a slippery slope.

Assuming this works out and I land this gig, it means that I will go for less than a week without employment, which is grand. And it means that I'll get to wear jeans to the office. Jeans and other such casual clothes. This prospect makes me really happy. I feel the need to shop for fun and whimsical outfits....

This morning, I woke up to find Bessie and Lulu in the bedroom area windows. Well, actually this was after the 5A feeding--when I crawl back into bed and nap before I make may way to the shower...as I approached Lulu, I realized she was staring at me through the freshly cut hole she fashioned in my curtain panel. My ABC Carpet gauze like curtain panel. It's a really good thing she is adorable.

Next: working out the negotiations for my apartment switch...Let's Get Ready to Rumble!!!!

In future posts, owe you some detailed stories about my cats. Manhattan's rescue? Coco's arrival in my life when I had no job? Valentina's penchant for chewing wires? Sigh...where to begin? I will probably begin at the beginning~when I was feeding a beautiful black and white kitty who lived outside...

Lulu's artwork. If she were in kindergarten, would I be mad at her for coloring on the wall? Yea, probably....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This Life's More Than Just a Read-Through

I heard the song Can't Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers yesterday, and changed my Facebook status to the final lyrical lines in the song:
Can't stop the spirits when they need you
This life's more than just a read through...

This isn't uncommon for me--Facebook status updates are frequently lyrics to songs that are either stuck on continuous loop in my brain, or just cycled on my iPod. I find profound meaning in lyrics, and prior to the internet used to spend hours hitting rewind to memorize all the words to my favorite songs.

As I reflected on this particular notion--this life's more than just a read through, I found myself wondering how much time I've spent treating this life LIKE a read through. And, at what point would I decide the play, the movie, the video--whatever--was no longer a rehearsal but live--for real. 

I don't have an answer to the question. Maybe this is related to all of the changes coming my way; maybe not. Could it be that I'm pouring over the last 10 years of my life--the 10 years that have swept by since Joey's death, wondering if I've made any significant progress on this journey? Perhaps it's a mixture of both. 

There are days where I feel that I've not matured, improved, grown. Other days I know I have taken steps forward, but somehow I still feel stuck in rehearsal mode. You know, when I make enough money, or when I can find someone who will travel to Italy with me, or next year. These are my convenient excuses for not putting myself in full PLAY mode.

I'm finally at peace with working as a contractor, so much so that I don't know if I want to go back to a full time job and deal with the politics, the competition, the endless overtime hours unpaid and under-appreciated. Because I am not independently wealthy, I have applied not only for contract assignments but also full time jobs in two geographic areas: NY/NJ, where I currently live, and DC/MD, close to my parents. And my life long friends. I hope for contracts, but will accept full time. A girl's gotta have great shoes...

I'm not exactly sure where blogging will take me, from a career standpoint. But I'm hoping that doors open as I look at the chronicles I establish. Also hope to polish my writing skills because I do believe there is a way to monetize this skill. Maybe not on the blogosphere, at least not through Squeedunk--but somehow.

Add to my list of changes: Robert, my friend who turned 50 last week, just packed up for a 5-6 week stint in his hometown in PA. Robert is my best friend in the Jersey City area. He checks on me every day. He lifts heavy things for me and hangs artwork, keeps me up to date on the local gossip. He makes me laugh and feeds me. And I rely on his opinion and point of view heavily. I cried when I said goodbye to him today. He's two hours away and we both have iPhones. While I know change of all kind can be good--often is good--I struggle with the process. 

In summary, my mind is racing. I want to embrace all of the change, I want to evolve. I want Robert to be successful creating the beautiful sculptures he will make in his PA studio, I want us both to end up in living situations over the next few months that help us live life in PLAY mode, not rehearsal. 

But, the tears are flowing. Maybe it's time to go for a run. Ah, what excuse can I come up with today?
None? Oh. Sigh.

This is Coco, next to two of Robert's spheres, at approximately 8 months of age. She is an art kitty.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just Toss the Dice

When change finally hits, it typically has an unexpected velocity. I find myself in the middle of such change at the moment.  None of it is completely unforeseen, but each piece of it has enough not-yet- answered questions that I find myself swimming in my own anxiety.

First, I took on two foster kitties in August. How I went from August to March with them still in the apartment is not quite clear to me, but here I am. Lulu is a kitten, and she is going through heat cycles. I want to have her spayed but she isn't the easiest kitty to catch. I can't even touch her mama, Bessie. So long story short--and it is a longer story--the vet has to come over with a pole and sedatives and shoot them under the bed to cart them both off to her office for the surgery (Lulu only), a mani/pedi, and other important health checks. So there's that. (Did I mention that Lulu's heat cycles are accompanied by a need to mark territory--her favorite spot to pee is on my comforter? Yea, that's fun).

Second, I've had a leak in my apartment since the day I moved in on June 1, 2006. Oh boy, had I been blogging at that point in time the tales I'd have told. To get to the point of today's anxiety,  let's say I'm considering a move out of my apartment on a temporary basis, to a smaller but very cool space on the penthouse floor. This is only one floor up, but it is a move and requires packing, bubble wrap, organization and patience. And the skill to move 5 cats. (Really, the crazy cat lady remarks are unfounded. I mean, I may be crazy. But I don't own a housecoat).

Third, I am out of work next week. If I knew that I'd be back to work in a week or two, I would enjoy the time. But not knowing when I'll be back, how long between paychecks, or what my new pay rate will be~I'm a tad uptight. I'd really rather jet off to Florida but I'll likely be here in Jersey City overseeing such tasks as endless networking to land the next contract assignment and frantically preparing for the move.

Oh, to top it all off, I'm supposed to run a half marathon in April and I continue to find reasons (mostly health related but not really) to avoid my training runs. I have a feeling this anxiety will end up fueling the runs. And that is a good thing.

The water tower on top of my building. Did I mention I'd have a washer and dryer in the Penthouse apartment? Yea, no sharing machines, no waiting... That would be cool...right???