How to puncture a cat.

Posted: July 28th, 2010

I have been conspicuously absent from The Social Internet due to the following:

Yokelly we are dealing with a sick cat. The vet says it is probably kidney disease, which is common in older cats. This requires repeated bouts of subcutaneous hydration to flush out the system, which you can pay the vet to do or do yourself. Step one is to stab the cat with the functional equivalent of an upholstery needle. Step two is to start the fluid flowing so as to convert the cat’s back and sides into a water bed—pockets of water form bulges under the skin. Step three is to stand out of the way when the cat vaults out of the administrator’s lap on feeling the fluid entering under its skin. The actual stabbing appears to be a case of “this hurts me more than it hurts you,” but apparently it is unpleasant to have water flowing in under your skin. Because you’re not trying for intravenous, an amateur can do it. The best I’ve been able to do so far in half a dozen stabbings is 150 ml. This ayem she escaped with about 35 ml inside and another 5 on the coffee table. As the YouTube video says, if the cat pulls away from the needle, massage the spot to close the hole and stick the needle in again. This experience, coupled with stuffing our flimsy camping tent into its long stuff sack—which always reminds me of barn scenes in All Creatures Great and Small—has convinced me that I did not miss a calling in veterinary medicine.

So there you have it.

For more gems like the one above, check out my dad’s blog.

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The dangers of silken tofu.

Posted: July 20th, 2010

Silken tofu and I are having a naughty relationship.

Every two weeks, I buy a 12oz package of silken tofu in the minuscule natural foods section at my local Fred Meyer. (Seriously, the percent of the store from which I actually buy edible goods is probably about 1% of the building’s floorspace. Three aisles and one freezer of natural / organic / vegan / non-dairy / gluten-free / cruelty-free goodies. But I digress.)

The silken tofu has a very specific purpose: to make the best re-creation of Yumm! Sauce that I can muster. If you’re among the uninitiated, Yumm! Sauce is the staple of Café Yumm!, which is a fantastic eatery based out of Eugene, Oregon (and is spreading like wildfire—yay!). In any case, Yumm! Sauce is used to make Yumm! Bowls (I know the exclamation points are a little repetitive, bear with me), which are an amazing mixture of rice, beans, cheese, tomatoes, black olives, avocado, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, and Yumm! Sauce. When I was living in Eugene we’d eat there once a week-ish, and there would always be a liter of this stuff in the fridge so we could make our own bowls (and slather it all over baked potatoes).

Cut to the part of this sob story where I moved away from Eugene and landed in Fairbanks, Alaska. There is no Yumm! Sauce for sale in a several-thousand-mile radius. So I’ve been using this pretty reasonable recipe I found for “Yummy Sauce.” In any case, it calls for soy beans (the non-edamame kind), which I’ve been unable to locate in Fairbanks. And that’s where the silken tofu comes in.

I’ve taken a rather circuitous route to simply say that the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of the stuff, leaving me with a ton of silken tofu that would go bad by the time I was ready to make my next batch of Yumm! Sauce. So despite having bought the tofu for healthy purposes, this is what’s been happening: I’ve been making vegan brownies. Oh. My. God.

The problem with vegan desserts is that they don’t seem so decadent. (And if you’ve ever had the vegan chocolate mousse cake with raspberry topping at Sweet Life in Eugene, you know just how decadent they can be.) I mean, my recipe replaces all animal products with tofu and margarine. As a result I end up inhaling the entire batch within two or three days. I mean, they’re vegan, which by definition means “this is good for you, you dirty hippie!”

In any case, it’s a good thing that I’m participating in that activity I mentioned in my last post. A very very good thing.

P.S. Dear anyone from Café Yumm! If you’re reading this, the moment I move back to a place where I can buy honest-to-God Yumm! Sauce I will stop making my own, cross my heart and hope to die. Mine is just not quite the same. Hugs and kisses, Me

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Posted: July 1st, 2010

I feel like an impostor.

All my life, I’ve been skinny-fat. That is to say, I’ve never had weight issues to speak of, but moreover, I’ve never been an athlete. Even back in elementary school when I played rec soccer, I was never particularly sporty, much less good at the game. (At the time, I had a soft spot for playing defense. I was convinced I was good at defense, in fact, because I kept getting put in there. The clarity that “adulthood” brings…) Point being, I dreaded gym and the mile run and in high school I completed my physical education requirement via correspondence. I was a nerd, flabby and skinny. And that was fine with me.

That part about being skinny-fat, earlier? That was a lie. In the last few years, I clung to that illusion as my body went from skinny-fat to fat-fat. This is temporary, I would think. I’m just dealing with a lot of stress right now. Just wait until X happens. When X rolls around, I’ll lose all this weight like THAT! I would snap my fingers, mentally, with a flourish. And then I’d order another brownie sundae online from that café around the corner that does delivery. Because X wasn’t slated to happen for a few more days, as far as I was concerned.

Sometimes, reality brings us things. For me, it came in the form of a cross-country move, a breakup, and chronic unemployment. Granted, none of these things were exactly inflicted upon me—instead, they were all choices I’d made, to some degree or another. I was determined that my move and breakup bring about a fresh start—a New Me, the sort of thing that the Disillusioned envision around December 30th of every year. (Never mind that when January 1 rolls around, we’re all too hungover to begin to contemplate hauling our sorry asses to the gym.) I wish I could say that I turned over a new leaf on that bright morning of Tuesday, February 16th, 2010. Instead, I climbed into bed and stayed there for much of the day—nursing an emotional hangover, if you will.

Point is, I did not become a new person on February 16th. I am still living at home, single, and unemployed. But, I am 20 pounds lighter, and still trending downwards.  Now for that part about me being an impostor. On February 17th, 2010, I climbed aboard my parents’ NordicTrack treadmill, iPhone in hand, Couch to 5K app at the ready. Ten weeks later, I completed the program and could run a 5K in the requisite 30 minutes. Now I’m working on the Bridge to 10K program with the help of this handy app. I’ve battled lactic acid and blisters and I’ve had to start over once due to injury, but I’m still plugging away.

I felt like a faux-runner for a long time. I was just some fat-fat-skinny-fat trying to wheeze her way through 30 minutes of being coached by a disembodied electronic voice. And now (oh Lord, here comes the smarm factor—it’s unavoidable) I’m a plain-old runner.

And to prove my point, I’m going to go get on the treadmill and log another 4-5 miles, completing Week 1, Day 3 of the B210K program.

Follow my running progress on Daily Mile—better yet, join and add me as a friend!

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