Category Archives: Kitties

Lazy Weekend + Random Items

Happy Monday friends! I saw Super 8 with Caron on Friday – it was great! Definitely a scary modern day twist on E.T. and… The Sandlot? It was scarier than I thought it would be though. The child actors were pretty phenomenal, so they will be on my watch list for the next 5-10 years.

Leo picked me up early Saturday morning and we ventured to Connecticut to watch a college golf tournament. It was really fun, despite the dreary weather. We found some future PGA stars to follow as well. When we returned to the city we proceeded to stay inside my apartment from about 3pm Saturday to 5:40pm Sunday. HAHA! Clarissa is a lazypants. I’m pretty sure we ordered three meals in a row too. For anyone who doesn’t live in a major metropolitan area, you don’t know the wonder that is SeamlessWeb.com. You get to order food to be delivered without ever having to pick up the phone. Leo and I are big fans. I think we could have used a bit more exercise but we watched a lot of sports and movies, slept well and played with Crazy and The Dark One. After months and months of studying it was nice for us both to have almost a whole weekend of doing absolutely nothing and loving it.

Crazy was happy to be lazy with us

Sunday afternoon officially ended my study-free week and I had a call with a consultant about how to prepare for my exam retake. For anyone who is new I took a graduate school entrance exam last week and did really well, but I am taking it a second time to see if I can get a smidge higher because I’m just so close it would be silly not to. Most people take the test at least twice anyway.

Finally at 5:40pm it was time for us to leave Casa de Clarissa. I had an appointment with my Sunday my ASL (“Awesome Sponsor Lady”) in Central Park to read Chapter 2 of the Big Book. Leo begrudgingly left with me since it meant he would miss the last 20 minutes of the golf on TV. It felt great to finally be outside again! ASL and I sat for about an hour in the park reading Chapter 2. We had to move spots after the first few pages in order to avoid two teenage disasters using language that’s probably illegal in 12 states.  You kiss your mother with that mouth? Yeesh! We also determined that I am not consistently performing my sponsee responsibilities on weekends. Did you know being in recovery is a 7-day a week job? Apparently my brain thinks it starts on Monday and ends on Friday, oops! Time to put more reminders on my phone!

After our time together, I went to Whole Foods to pick up some more raw treats. I’ve been bad about eating 80% raw lately with my headaches continuing despite my diet, but I know it’s better for my digestion to eat this way so I picked up some treats to get myself re-excited about eating raw. Emmy’s Chai Macaroons are my favorite! I also got a new kind of Raw Ice Cream: Mint Chip and some Blueberry Granola by Two Moms in the Raw. I had a bowl of the mint chip during Game of Thrones last night:

Tonight is the business meeting for my AA clubhouse and I am the new Treasurer. That means that I get to count all the seventh tradition money we bring in and deposit in at the bank, pay the rent and other various expenses. I’ve never counted so many one dollar bills before in my life. I think the lady at the bank might have thought I was a stripper or a drug dealer…but standing there in my business suit today I proudly explained that I am a treasurer for a club. Riiiight. I felt a sense of accomplishment when the fancy money-counting machine reported that I had counted all the bills correctly!

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Filed under Food, Fun, Kitties, Recovery, Service, Studying

My Recovery Kitties

Happy Friday everyone!! I am itching to get out of the office early today. Leo and I are driving up to New England tonight to spend the the loooong weekend with his parents. I can’t wait! We’re going to my most favorite state ever…I guess it should remain anonymous but…Live Free or Die, friends. Unfortunately for us we will be studying all weekend since our big exams are ONE week from tomorrow. But he’ll get to play a few rounds of golf while we’re up there and I am hoping and praying we get to go to the beach for a few hours. We’re also taking Tuesday off from work so we don’t waste our Monday sitting in horrific traffic on our drive back to the city. I hope nobody else has the same idea…

Part of what happens when I go away is that I need someone to watch Crazy and The Dark One. For weeklong trips I have friends do a “stay-cation” in my apartment. I’ve had two of my besties in the program do it for me! And for a lot of weekends, an AA friend in my apartment building feeds them. But for holidays (like this one), I ask Kathy, my cat-sitter to come. My friends shouldn’t have to work on holidays! Look how lady-like The Dark One was last night?

She always crosses her legs when she sits like that. It’s hilarious. And adorable. 

Crazy only looks adorable when she’s a sleepypants. Otherwise she is fierce, loud and whiny.

I miss them whenever I leave though. It’s always nice to come home to love and affection even if it means The Dark One bites/nips at my arm when she wants to be petted. They are my recovery kitties. They’ve never seen me wasted or high. They’ve seen me cry. They’ve seen me laugh. They’ve seen me alone. They’ve enjoyed the company of Leo, their “Daddy.”

In their short lives (almost 4 years) they have been lived in 4 apartments and 2 houses, 2 states. They have slept on many beds and couchs. They love me unconditionally. They usually love me more when I have treats to give them, at least Crazy does. Crazy once faked an injury so that I would give her more treats. Once she ate them she had no trouble jumping and walking again. Leo and I have given them a bath once…that was a huge mistake. Never bathe a cat. It doesn’t end well.

I might end up an old cat lady some day, but for some reason I am ok with that. I love them and they love me. They helped me stay clean in those first few months of my sobriety. I knew I couldn’t just leave them at home alone for more than a few hours at a time in their young fragile state. They depended on me to be responsible. I couldn’t let them down. They have helped me get through a lot of really hard times in my recovery and I am eternally grateful.

Do you have pets?

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Filed under Kitties, Recovery, Studying, Uncategorized, Vacation

Story Time

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Friday again. Story time!

I took a second practice exam on Wednesday night. It was terrifying.

I sat down at my new desk (without eating dinner first – not smart). My laptop was all plugged in and ready to go. I started to shake. I logged in to the test site online. My heart was racing. I clicked start on the 75-minute 37-question Math section. FREAKING OUT. In the first problem it took me 3 minutes to remember how to add the numbers 3 and 5. It felt as if at that exact moment my brain decided to melt into a pool of dumb.

Not to mention that Crazy and The Dark One were relentless in their attempts to hijack my laptop for the 75 whole minutes.

Every time a new math question came up my I was so scared and/or stupid my brain just went blank. Why God, why? Oh, wait. I sometimes forget that I was a humanities major in college and I am half way to idiot-ville when it comes to numbers. I pray every day that my boss doesn’t find out the truth about my lack of math skills. Thank goodness for Microsoft Excel and financial calculators.

Somehow I completed all 37 questions with time to spare.

I was going to do the Verbal part of the exam Thursday night but decided I wanted to know my score really badly and therefore had to finish both parts. I took a break to eat dinner between the sections because it’s so much easier to think clearly with a full tummy. Pizza Rolls!

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I know, super healthy. When it came time to start the verbal I was much more calm and ready. I took my time on each question and before I knew it the test was over. Hooray! Then it was time for the moment of truth…

Exam 2 Results: Verbal: 85% ; Math: 48%

Yay for verbal! I was up 18 percentage points from Exam 1. But with math I was only up 3 percentage points. I couldn’t believe it. After 6-7 weeks of class and homework I’m still basically at square one on the math front. I will have to consult my teacher about what to do. Luckily I know it’s not the concepts I don’t understand. I just felt terrified when I was actually taking the exam. It was as if someone was holding a gun to my head the whole time. A math teacher I had in high school once told me to take a few Tylenol before my tests because it might help calm me down. What kind of ridiculous advice is that?? I do need to find some way of controlling my anxiety though – preferably sans drugs.

My total score was up 60 points from Exam 1 and I am aiming to increase it another 70-80 points before I take the official exam. Let’s just hope it’s not a nightmare when I attempt a practice test again in two weeks.

For those of you who don’t care about my trials with standardized testing…

I AM CURRENTLY FIRST IN MY OFFICE MARCH MADNESS POOL! And you know how I did it? I made picks solely based on ranking. I am awesome. Some of my colleagues are less than pleased with my success.

And for those of you who don’t care about standardized tests OR college basketball… Happy Friday!

Do you have any secrets for taking exams?

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Filed under Anxiety, Kitties, March Madness, Studying

Gratitude List

Today I put a list together of the things I’m currently excited about. This is a more fun version of making a “gratitude list.” I make a gratitude list (list of things I am grateful for, if that wasn’t obvious) whenever I’m feeling sad about my life or when I am acting unappreciative for the things and people in my life. Today’s list of exciting things tends to include more material things and activities than a typical gratitude list.

Here’s the list (in no particular order)

1. Girl Scout Cookies! My friend from Maiden Voyage (Porscha’s Tuesday Night Women’s Meeting) has a daughter who is selling so I ordered 10 boxes. Naturally.  Samoas anyone?

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2. 2010 Tax Refund! Woo hoo shopping here I come! Slash, I will keep it in the bank like a good girl so I can someday have a prayer of paying for grad school. I hate it when a good chunk of my paycheck goes to the government every two weeks, but it is quite a nice surprise to get some cash back every Spring. Thanks Dad, for continuing to do my taxes even though I’m an adult.

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3. The end of my three-hour-saturday-class! Only two more classes! Oh, then I have to take the test…ok, I will have to rethink this one.

4. Niece #1! She’s due the first week in May and I can’t wait to meet her.

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5. Being a bridesmaid! Twice in 2011! Can’t wait for the first wedding in April!

6. NYC Ballet Spring Gala! I’ve never been to the NYC ballet and it turns out the tickets were totally reasonable at ~$30! It’s a black tie event too so Leo in a tux and fancy dress here I come!

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7. Renewing my lease. I have yet to live in one apartment for more than a year in NYC and this month I am renewing for another year! Hooray for feeling like I have a home.

8. Cheap Massages! My last year in college (first year in recovery) I got a deep tissue massage every week because my mom thought it might help with my mental and emotional health (it did!). Sadly, massages in NYC usually cost 5-6 times as much and therefore my check book usually says no thank you. However, Groupon and LivingSocial have had some great deals lately and Leo and I are taking advantage!

I think that about covers the next two months of my life. In general I am grateful for: my friends, my family, my sobriety, my kitties and my newfound love of the blogworld.

Also – completely unrelated to today’s topic, but have I mentioned that one of the main reasons I love NYC is that everything is so convenient? Not that I frequent fast food joints but look what I found in my ‘hood:

We may not have Drive Throughs, but we have Walk Ups!

What are you excited about today?

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Filed under Food, Fun, Kitties, Love, Recovery

Weekend Wrap / Lunch Challenge Prep

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was great! Friday night Caron and I saw Hall Pass – without the significants of course, don’t want to give them any funny ideas…. the movie was funny, but I wouldn’t give it two thumbs up. Owen Wilson’s character was lacking something. There were definitely some scenes that I couldn’t BELIEVE were actually happening…if you see it, watch for the whirlpool scene, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Saturday morning was an early one with an 8am Physique class. Then I had my three-hour getting smarter class, my final therapy sesh and then I got my hair done which was long overdue. Look Ma, no roots! You know it’s time to go to the salon when your significant asks you, “Hey, why is your hair two different colors?” Thanks hun…

Date night with L on Saturday did not go exactly as planned but we ended up ordering chinese food and watching Due Date on Demand. We’ve both seen it but it’s so funny we wanted to watch it again! Two thumbs up for sure, so SEE IT. Sunday morning we got up early and decided to go get some more stuffed french toast! This time – we took the advice of some friends and tried Eatery’s version instead of traveling all the way to Hoboken. It was equally delicious and so much closer to home! On honor of the Oscars, we took advantage of the pre-12pm $6 movie ticket price and went to see The Fighter after breakfast. It was pretty good, I love Marky Mark and all, but I have to say it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. (yay, Christian Bale won an Oscar! Wait…he’s not American? What is with the accent?)

Also, did I mention that it was GORGEOUS weather outside? After the movie we walked around Central Park for a while and enjoyed the sunshine. The ponds are still quite frozen. Here’s a picture of The Boathouse:

I can’t wait for the weather to get much prettier!! When we left the park we ended up on W81st Street and decided to make a trip to the Natural History Museum which was just a few blocks away. I’d never been there before, so I was excited. The tickets were a whopping $16 each, which sucked. And to make it worse, we realized after purchasing them that no one was going to check our tickets! Ugh. Oh well, supporting a non-profit educational facility is a decent thing to do. We had a good time, but I was tired from so much walking. What is the best part of the museum in my opinion? The gift shop! We stopped in so I could get my nephews some presents – a dinosaur, stuffed penguin and penguin cup. One loves dinosaurs and the other one is a penguin fanatic. The dinosaur actually walks with the help of some battery power, cool! I can’t wait to ship them off this week! After the Museum, we got some tasty pizza at Patsy’s, stopped in at a few clothing stores and didn’t buy anything, and then had a lazy afternoon at home with the kitties. Got Pita Grill for dinner, yum!

And now for the real focus of this post:

Bring My Lunch to Work Weeklong Challenge preparation!!

Since I was busy doing other things this weekend I left the grocery shopping until Sunday night – go figure. I was too lazy to go all the way to Whole Foods so I settled for the normal grocery store two blocks from my apartment. I also didn’t make a list before I went, so forgive me if I didn’t take your suggestions from Friday! My goal was to try to stay under $50 and get enough food for five lunches. Let’s see how I did…

Proteins:

Turkey, Pre-cooked Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese

Carbs:

Croutons, Deli Flats (for sandwiches), Wraps!

Veggies:

Romaine Lettuce and Carrots/Celery

Tasty Spreads:

Reduced Fat Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

And last but not least… DESSERT:

Reese’s Cereal and Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups!

Ok, so I realize I didn’t purchase the most creative ingredients. I have really been craving a Turkey, Bacon, and Pesto on Ciabatta. But my tiny grocery store didn’t have any inexpensive, easy-to-cook bacon so I decided to skip that part. Also – no Ciabatta to be found, so I went for the Deli Flats instead (only 100 calories, fun!). The veggie category is also lacking in substance but the produce wasn’t Whole Foods quality or reasonably priced. I was full from dinner when I went shopping, so it was hard to find anything all that appetizing in the moment. But looks like there will be a mix of wraps, sandwiches and perhaps a salad this week. I also decided against purchasing a salty side since I couldn’t find Cheddar Goldfish at the store and I remembered we have Wheat Thins at work! What did the total come to? $40.50. I’m under my budget but not by much. Hope I can make it work!

The biggest disappointment of the Challenge Prep is that I could not find a reuseable lunch bag! I went to CVS and Walgreens and couldn’t find anything but travel makeup bags…boo. It’s not exactly Back to School time, so it makes sense. I’ll have to use a grocery bag for tomorrow until I can find something fun to use for the rest of the week. That’s what I get for waiting until Sunday night to do my shopping!

To summarize, this weekend was filled with sober fun: Movies, Yummy NYC food, Walking in Central Park, Trip to a Museum, Exercise and Lunch Challenge Prep.

What can’t you leave the grocery store without?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Kitties, Movies

President’s Day Weekend Part I

Wow this weekend was so full of activities I’m not sure where to start. I’ll have to segment into multiple posts since this week is going to be busy with actual work at work!

FridaySushi. Friday night’s belated Valentine’s Day dinner was delicious but a little bit too portion-controlled if you ask me. After dinner we watched The Karate Kid (new version with Will Smith’s kid). It was very very good and although L fell asleep 30 minutes into it – I stayed up until the bitter end. I give it two thumbs up! [I love belated holidays]

Saturday: Skeet Shooting. It was so unbelievably freezing that I think I may have mentally blocked out the majority of the activity, so I’ll just give a short summary. Leo and I headed out to NJ in a zipcar with a few of his friends and an hour later we arrived. The boys shot 12-gauges and I shot a smaller shotgun because the ball-busting old lady behind the counter wouldn’t let me shoot the big-boy gun. It’s ok though, apparently I am terrible at shooting moving targets. I only got 6 of the 20 clay pigeons I attempted. Watching the orange clay pigeons explode in the air when I did hit them was extremely satisfying. Since it was freezing outside, I sat the second round out and had some hot cocoa in the lodge while the boys shot trap (more difficult skeet). Probably the most random thing I’ve done in a while but it was certainly entertaining! [guns and substances don’t mix!]

Sunday Morning: La Isla. Leo was raving about an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay recently about Stuffed French Toast. So naturally, he developed a craving. Luckily the restaurant featured on the show was La Isla which is just a short PATH ride away in Hoboken, NJ. We arrived at a small hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant with only a 15 minute wait. We sat at the breakfast bar and enjoyed Exhibit A:

YUMMY!! Ingredients: Two slices thick egg bread filled with strawberry/guava cream cheese, dipped in cinnamon batted and coated with cornflakes and almonds. Delicious! Afterwards, we played around at the big CVS nearby. We discovered NJ is much cheaper than NYC…love it. Leo wanted to take the ferry home, but it didn’t seem to be running, so we settled for the PATH again. [delicious food and traveling to new places!]

Sunday Afternoon: Petco. Some of you know I have two little ones at home. They get pseudonyms too: Crazy and The Dark One since they will most likely appear in future posts. In September of 2007, I adopted these two pretty girls from the SPCA when they were 6 weeks old (the usual age is 8-9 weeks but they were desperate for someone to take them). It turns out Crazy and The Dark One were born on August 18, 2007 which is just a few weeks after my sobriety date. Therefore, they are my Recovery Kitties. Lately, The Dark One has been sitting on the floor near the heating unit in my apartment – she likes warm places. Leo hates the thought of her sitting on the hard floor all the time, so on our way home from Hoboken, we took a trip to the Union Square store to get her a bed. We didn’t get one for Crazy since she rarely chooses to sleep on the floor and she’s a pain a lot of the time (although she’s adorable). Hours after we put the new red throne down in The Dark One‘s spot – this happened:

Yep – The Dark One still sits on the floor! I felt bad about not getting two, since they will never share it – oh well. [I love my recovery pets!]

First half of the weekend was really fun – second half includes two movies, a yoga double date, stirfry and physique57. Stay tuned!

How was the first half of your weekend?

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