Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

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Happy Friday! Hope you all have had a good week. Mine started off kind of blah because I’m feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the early part of the week was especially cold and grey and I just hunkered down inside and didn’t get any fresh air or exercise and wah wah wah. But then it got up to like a balmy 28 degrees on Wednesday and has stayed around there since then, so I’ve made a point to get out and walk as much as I can and that helps. I don’t have a fitbit, but my iPhone (and your iPhone, too, if you have one) monitors my steps every day and I try to get close to 10,000 steps (roughly 5 miles), which I managed to do the last few days. It really makes a difference in my mental (and, of course, physical, well-being). But so does the sunshine and I don’t have a whole lot of control about when I get my dose of that.

Anyway, besides a little sun and exercise in the second half of this week, I also got to see Louis C.K. at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night with Drew and that was so much fun. I love that guy (well, both of those guys). And how impressive that he sold out MSG not just one night but three nights. That’s huge. Also huge was the bag of Cracker Jacks I ate at the show. But, damn, I had forgotten how amazing Cracker Jacks are. Also amazing: taking advantage of living in a big city and seeing things like Louis C.K. perform and catching a Broadway show and eating some great meals out and walking, walking, walking (and never running out of stuff to see). I didn’t really make resolutions, but now I kind of want to make a belated one to do at least one cultural event/activity every month because it also makes a difference in my mental well-being.

Anyway, how was your week? Do you have any weekend plans? Are you doing anything special/different to help you get through the winter?

54 comments… add one
  • mylaray

    mylaray January 16, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I’ve been tracking my steps on my phone lately too. I left work a bit early and walked 5 miles since it’s the first sunny day we’ve had in awhile. I’m also very happy (and hopeful!) that the supreme court decided to take up same sex marriage today.

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  • coconot

    coconot January 16, 2015, 4:21 pm

    Ooh that’s a good idea for a resolution Wendy! I feel like I’m never taking enough advantage of NYC. This week I’m trying harder and going ice skating and out to eat Persian food, then I also booked an opera night next month. I want to go see the ballet or a Broadway show soon too.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

      Nice. Where do you go ice skating? I know you live in Manhattan, but Prospect Park has a nice ice skating rink now. We took Jackson there for the first time over the holidays. We saw Michelle Williams with her daughter too!

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      • coconot

        coconot January 17, 2015, 2:54 pm

        I would love to go there because prospect park is so pretty, but I’m too lazy to get out to Brooklyn so I’m just going to Bryant park. I’ve been to Lasker on the north side of Central Park several times because its closest to me, but I don’t really like that one much.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray January 16, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Louis CK was performing here – and *right* next door to me, in fact – Monday and Tuesday of this week, but I missed out on tickets. Why? Because I didn’t have anyone to go with me. I was happy to go by myself but I thought I should first see if others were interested before I bought tickets. I briefly thought “I’ll buy two and just hope I find someone to go and they agree to pay for the ticket” but then I thought “or maybe I can just quickly see who’s interested because otherwise I’m sure to be out the cost of the 2nd ticket.” Well, in the time that I went to ask my friends and they got back to me, the tickets were sold out. And then I had this deep thought: I can’t wait until my boyfriend lives here and I have an automatic partner to go to events with – and I won’t stall to buy two tickets. Does that make sense?
    *
    In other news, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Why? Because MY BOYFRIEND gets in tonight! We have lots of fun things planned. I got him hockey skates and we’re going skating at the new “ice ribbon” that opened down the street. (Not an ice skating rink but a “ribbon” that winds around and has a couple of slight hills – like a lazy river but it’s ice – how cool is that?). Plus Monday is MLK Day and my firm is closed. 3 day weekends make me so happy!
    *
    All in all, I’m just very happy these days, guys! Have a good weekend!

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny January 16, 2015, 4:55 pm

      I have that predicament too- I used to buy concert tickets as soon as they went on sale, and then usually scramble to find someone who was willing to go with me. So now I don’t worry about it, or I go by myself.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray January 16, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Guys, how do you track your steps with your iPhone? Teach me your ways.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 16, 2015, 4:53 pm

      Look at your app icons and there’s a newish one with a pink heart. click that and you will figure it out!

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      • othy

        othy January 16, 2015, 7:17 pm

        And it has to be an iPhone S or better.

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki January 16, 2015, 4:31 pm

    When I was in weight loss mode, I used a pedometer to count my steps. I started with a goal of 10,000 then moved it to 13,000 when 10,000 became too easy (I’m up and down a lot at work, going to the copier and to different desks and different sections). I lost 31 lbs from May 9th to around November 15th… and then my “morning” (aka all-damn-day-every-day) sickness made it impossible to walk 🙁 But anyway…. Definitely a good idea to count steps! Keeps you moving and motivated and provides an obtainable goal each day.
    .
    We have a lot of decent shows and whatnot here in our mid-sized city (about 250,000, capital city), but we’re often poor so we can’t afford to go. Blue Man Group is coming next weekend for the first time in about 6 years and we’re thinking of seeing them. And Lewis Black (!!!!!) will be here next Saturday and we so want to go but the tickets are pretty pricey. I blame the fertility treatment that drained our accounts. Bleh.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 16, 2015, 4:55 pm

      How is the “morning” sickness going? Hope it’s easing up now that you’re (I think?) just about in the second trimester!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki January 16, 2015, 5:05 pm

        It’s been better-ish the last few days so I’m hoping its on a downward swing. I almost feel human again. Today makes it 12 weeks 🙂 We’ve already seen him/her twice (two ultrasounds so the fertility docs could make sure there was just one!) and on Thursday we’ll get to hear the heartbeat for the first time which is pretty awesome. I’ve been keeping busy by planning my best friend’s baby shower and that has helped me get through the sickness by showing me there’s an end in sight and lots of celebration to look forward to.

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny January 16, 2015, 6:20 pm

        Awww, congrats Honeybee!

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny January 16, 2015, 4:54 pm

    I love the resolution to see more cultural events! In November I decided to treat myself to a subscription to the ballet (SF Ballet)- I got 3 pairs of tickets at a discount, plus one pair free to a ballet of my choice. And the seats are good too- a couple are in the first or second row! (But of the lower balcony section.) I don’t know who is going with me to most of them but my mom said she’d be my backup.

    It’s been in the high 50’s, which doesn’t feel like winter at all. And I’ve been coughing with a sore throat this week- If this turns into a cold, it’ll be the third one in as many months. Boo!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy January 16, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I should say that in my book any cultural event “counts.” It doesn’t have to be broadway (although I did see a broadway show last month) or a famous standup. Since I have performer friends, I’ve also been to see one in an off-broadway show in november and then another in a dance performance last month and then later this month I’ll see another dancer perform in a dance festival she’s producing. I love to see my friends on stage!

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    • Portia

      Portia January 19, 2015, 12:57 am

      As someone who was friends with a good number of theater and chorus kids in high school, I totally agree with the seeing friends on stage thing. It was always so fun to go when I was also supporting them, then celebrate with them afterwards.

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  • avatar

    greymama January 16, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Oh, I love the sound of the “ice ribbon”, Addie! My daughter and I ice skate every weekend but the rink gets kind of boring. We are going to see Disney on Ice next weekend, although I don’t think that counts as a cultural event.

    My resolution was to get out and do things more. I had planned on camping this weekend, but the cold weather got the best of me and I couldn’t face the thought of all the packing I had to do. Not a very good start!

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  • Lyra

    Lyra January 17, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Today has been relaxing but I managed to get a LOT of stuff done with wedding planning. 🙂 It feels so good to have an appointment to try on dresses (plus some ideas as to what I want), a potential photographer, and most of the guest list done.
    .
    Last night one of my friends from college and her husband came over and we had dinner plus game night with them. It was so much fun! I also was able to ask her in person if she would be one of my personal attendants which she totally agreed to and is already going above and beyond haha.

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  • avatar

    HmC January 17, 2015, 11:01 pm

    Oh nice I just saw Louis in LA last weekend!

    And yeah to get tickets you have to be on his mailing list so you know right away when they’re on sale! You must purchase IMMEDIATELY!! The faster you are, the better the ticket. This is important because he sells all of his tickets for the same price, and he makes it difficult to pirate them. I think this is great and he does it to keep costs down, however since economically the demand is high and the price is low, that means it’s just a matter of time before they are sold out and it is usually the same day they go on sale for the popular shows. I think he is particularly popular in New York since he’s from the east coast…

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  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed January 18, 2015, 8:15 am

    Successfully surprised my best friend yesterday. She got engaged and always wanted to celebrate that night with people, but she didn’t know I was flying in– she thought I was at home, surprising my grandparents, which is today. She freaked out. It was pretty awesome.
    Today is going to be rough on three hours of sleep, but I don’t want to miss big events because I live in Florida, so this is how it has to be done.

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  • avatar

    Kate January 18, 2015, 9:05 am

    I got this new book “The Girl on the Train,” which just came out on Kindle, and I am very into it so far. It might be the next F
    Gone Girl?

    Also, I got a fitbit before the iPhone came out, and it REALLY helps me. I enter my food into the app too. I like to keep my weight under 115, closer to 110, and this makes it easy because you can’t fool yourself. I gave up and took it off when I went on a girls’ trip to Napa in early Nov, then didn’t put it back on again until 3 weeks ago. I had gained a little, but it’s coming off now. Stupidly I want the gold Tory Burch fitbit bracelet.

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    • avatar

      Kate January 18, 2015, 9:16 am

      I also have just switched to a daily SPF 50. All those articles are not kidding. Pretend I’m your future self and go buy some. If you’re over 30, use a vitamin c serum and a retinol cream too.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 18, 2015, 12:06 pm

        Can you recommend a serum and retinol cream? I’m only 28 but I’m freaking out about the newly formed wrinkles under my eyes (my eye makeup is now starting to bleed into the wrinkles if I’m not careful, wtf??) and I want to prevent that shit before it gets worse. I don’t smoke, I wear SPF 30 moisturizer every day and I TRY to keep hydrated (which I’m not so good at) but I’d really like to find a good cream as well.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 12:15 pm

        Yes, do you have the ROC brand in drugstores in Canada? If not, maybe you can order? Their sensitive retinol night cream is great. Neutrogena makes a good one too, I think it’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair. For vitamin C serum, see what your drugstore has. I was using a garnier one but just switched to a Rodan & Fields which was more than I wanted to pay, long story. And when your SPF 30 runs out, go with 50.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 12:23 pm

        The issue is, those ingredients will fix past sun damage and signs of aging, but the sun will fuck it up again.

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      • avatar

        MissDre January 18, 2015, 12:44 pm

        Yeah I think we have ROC at shoppers drug mart. I’ll check it out.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 18, 2015, 2:46 pm

        Kate, while you’re recommending things, do you have a recommendation for a dimple facial cleanser? I’ve been using Philosophy for years but recently I’ve had an adverse reaction to the scent of it and am looking for a replacement. I don’t have any special skin needs, but I like gentle cleansers and prefer for natural ingredients.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 3:17 pm

        Well, Cetaphil is the gold standard for gentle skin cleanser recommended by deems. Also, Purpose is very gentle, I believe it’s by J&J like the baby shampoo and you can even get it in your eyes it’s so gentle. I also like Neutrogena Fresh.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 3:23 pm

        *derms, as in dermatologists. Those are all award-winners but if you really need natural and organic, like Whole Foods type brands, then I don’t know 🙂 But I think the Yes To (Yes to Carrots, etc.) is supposed to be good.

        For skin care in general I LOVE Olay products. P&G has amazing science behind it.

        I’m very happy with my skin, it’s just that I told myself an SPF moisturizer was enough all these years and it apparently wasn’t, because I’m seeing some light brown spots on my forehead, hence starting to use the vitamin C and high SPF to get rid of them.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 18, 2015, 4:23 pm

        I love Olay brands too! I’ve used the facial cleanser (in addition to Philosophy) for years and years.
        I also have some sun spots on my forehead. I got a facial last year and the facialist recommended dabbing fresh lemon juice on them every day. She said that was as good, if not better, than anything expensive.

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      • avatar

        sarahhhh January 18, 2015, 7:08 pm

        I had to login just to tell you that you should to check out Shea Moisture products! They’re all natural, with no added fragrances or dyes or parabens or sulphates or anything. Most of the ingredients are certified organic and it all smells delicious. I really cannot recommend their products enough. They have great hair products as well as soaps, scrubs, baby and kids products and several varieties of bath and skin care products. Also if I’m remembering correctly, the company is owned by black women, who are underrepresented in business, so that’s cool. I’m obsessed. Target sells nearly the whole line and I’ve also seen their products at Walgreens. This has been my mini reader recommendation.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 7:28 pm

        I have heard really good things about their hair products but didn’t realize they have skin care too. I was reluctant to try the shampoo because my hair, although very wavy, is fine, and I thought it might be too heavy? But it gets rave reviews!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 18, 2015, 8:12 pm

        Ooh, I’ll try it!

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 4:59 pm

        Oooo, did you try the lemons? Maybe I’ll double up and do that too! My parents didn’t really get the whole re-apply thing and I got a few sunburns as a kid, I think that’s part of it.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy January 18, 2015, 8:15 pm

        I did try the lemon thing for a couple weeks and didn’t notice a change (I think you’d have to do it for at least a couple months before you noticed anything though). I just got too lazy to cut up lemons every couple days.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra January 18, 2015, 10:06 am

      Yeah, my goal is to do a slim down by the wedding — and basically tone all over. Joining a gym tomorrow, and I’m starting to use MyFitnessPal again. It will happen!

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      • avatar

        Kate January 18, 2015, 10:22 am

        I can’t recommend T-25 DVDs enough! Comfort of your own home, they come with resistance bands, are a mix of cardio and strength, and only 25 mins!!! They toned me up for my wedding. Including legs and abs, not just upper body which was cool bc it was a destination wedding. If you have a decent amount of self-motivation they will get you there.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra January 18, 2015, 7:22 pm

        I will have to get them! I have to say looking hot in a wedding dress is pretty motivating — I also want to tone up overall and have always wanted that. I will say that whenever I buy my wedding dress I WILL NOT order it a few sizes smaller as motivation. One of my best friends from college told me that her work friend is getting married right around the same time as me and she purposely bought a dress 4 SIZES too small in order to “motivate” her to lose 60 pounds. Such a bad idea. You can always take away some of the dress but it’s usually close to impossible to add more to it….

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      • TheLadyE

        TheLadyE January 18, 2015, 11:39 am

        I do Walk-at-Home workouts with Leslie Sansone and I can’t recommend her highly enough! She does a mix of walking, aerobics, cardio, and strength and I do about 15 miles/week with her. She has awesome energy and I just love how my body is starting to feel. Some of her videos are on Youtube but even if you get a couple from Amazon they’re cheaper than a gym membership and I just love her.

        Sorry, you didn’t ask for advice, but I had to share because Leslie is awesome!

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      • Lyra

        Lyra January 18, 2015, 7:24 pm

        Thanks! I’ll have to look into that too. 🙂 I will actually probably get a membership too because I’m finding in the winter months I don’t move nearly enough, plus my health insurance lowers the gym membership cost considerably if I go regularly. We will see!!

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  • TheLadyE

    TheLadyE January 18, 2015, 11:46 am

    Wendy, I am SO JEALOUS that you got to see Louis CK live!! That’s totally a dream of mine. I love standup, and I actually have to drive 1.5 hours in February (probably in snow) to see Craig Ferguson live. I’ll do it, but it would be so much easier if I lived closer!
    .
    I actually went on my first “date” last night since my last breakup about 8 months ago (I use quotes because it was technically drinks for the first time with a dude I met on eHarmony – that’s a date, right?). I tend to not get excited about meeting guys anymore because most of them aren’t much to get excited about, but this guy was really sweet and much cuter than his profile pictures. And, bonus, he thought I was really funny! He actually almost spit out his beer at something I said and that was really adorable. I forgot how much I enjoyed sitting and talking with a new guy for hours. He seemed pretty nervous and I don’t think he has had a lot of dating experience (I think I’ve had way more, and we’re both 32) so I just have to figure out how to encourage him without scaring him off, haha. Maybe a short text this afternoon? Oh, and when I went to the bathroom and came back he had gotten the check and paid for it all and refused to let me help. SUPER sweet. 🙂

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    • Lyra

      Lyra January 18, 2015, 7:28 pm

      That actually sounds a lot like my first date with Navy Guy! He was SO NERVOUS. And it was adorable. His parents told me after we got engaged just how nervous he was for our first date because it was Black Friday and he was at their place for Thanksgiving. He also paid the entire check without letting me touch it saying “my dad taught me to always pay for the first date”. Super sweet and super chivalrous. He is also someone who doesn’t have all that much dating experience prior to me, but he really just “gets it” and he seems to get me. He’s such a good man. 🙂
      .
      I hope you go on another date with this guy!!!

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      • TheLadyE

        TheLadyE January 18, 2015, 9:19 pm

        Awww! That’s so sweet. You and NG have such a lovely story. I hope I go on another date with him too. I haven’t heard back from him yet and it’s driving me crazy! Haha.

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    • avatar

      Kate January 18, 2015, 7:39 pm

      I hope you sent a thank you text and told him you had a great time.

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      • TheLadyE

        TheLadyE January 18, 2015, 9:17 pm

        I did exactly that! I said something like “Thanks for the fun evening! I had a great time talking with you and I hope to see you again soon.” I haven’t heard back from him yet…ahhh!

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  • Portia

    Portia January 18, 2015, 12:18 pm

    My two best friends from college have been here for the last few days and it just reminds me of how much I miss them. We’re scattered across the country, so we don’t all get to hang out that often, but when we do, watch out…

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  • Lyra

    Lyra January 18, 2015, 7:36 pm

    So I had picked out my day for trying on dresses and I had made an appointment at the bridal salon I texted Navy Guy’s mom to invite her to come with. (NG had previously told me that she had mentioned that she would love to come with.) She was so flattered and thanked me for asking, but they are going on a cruise and she was getting back the day after my original appointment. I called the salon and was easily able to make a different appointment a week or so later, and I then called Navy Mom to let her know. She was almost in tears and was so glad that I had included her. I told her that it meant a lot for me if she would be there — it’s a great time for her and my mom to bond — but also because since she only has boys I wanted her to have the opportunity to have this experience as well. 🙂 We went with her and Navy Dad to church this morning and she was introducing me to all the church ladies and telling them about it. I’m so glad I’m able to include her and I’m so lucky to have such great future in laws!!! 🙂

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  • Diablo

    Diablo January 19, 2015, 11:49 am

    It’s a boy! Hey, everybody, a year has passed since my little buddy Rocket passed away. I had asked M for a break, because i really was grieving the loss of my little pal. Anyway, yesterday, we adopted a new cat from the local SPCA. He is a year and seven months – we liked the idea of adopting a slightly older cat, as kittens will always be saved, but not always the case for older cats – but one still young enough that we should not have to say goodbye again for a good long time. His name is Simon (no relation to Simone), and I made him my new avatar because I’ve never had any success posting picture links here. I think he went hungry for a while as a stray because he is absolutely crazed about feeding time so far, more than any cat I’ve known (plus he has already shown an inclination to raid for people food, having effed up my bagels last night). He is already a level 4 adept at the well-known cat game of “Assface.” This morning he managed to get up between us and get his ass in both our faces at the same time for the 50 point bonus.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra January 19, 2015, 9:38 pm

      Navy Guy adopted his 7-year-old boy, Nigel, from the humane society last summer. He is a big kitty at 15 pounds, but oh so lovable. Nigel had been in the shelter for a good 3 months. I’m really glad we were able to save him. 🙂 Nigel (and my cat of course) made the Christmas card this past year.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo January 20, 2015, 10:24 am

        We felt really sorry about this 8 yo female they had, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of having to say goodbye again so soon, and who knows what issues she might have. You steel yourself and say “can’t save ’em all…” but it’s hard when you get in the room with all those doomed cats. And the families with kids are only looking at kittens. Or so it seemed.

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  • avatar

    Kate January 19, 2015, 8:29 pm

    Whoa, um, American Sniper is intense. I’m not a movie person or very emotional, but I started crazy crying toward the beginning when he got to Iraq and then afterward was walking down the street bawling. Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn you! Has anyone seen it? Very upsetting.

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    • avatar

      snarkymarc January 19, 2015, 9:30 pm

      Sorry if this sounds dickish, but I was underwhelmed. I agree that a number of the scenes were emotionally raw, but overall it just didnt seem very thoughtful. Its a straight up hero movie without any subtly. There were good guys, bad guys, and nothing in between. The truth of the Iraq war is far from that.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 20, 2015, 5:44 am

        Yeah, some of the reviewers agree with you re: Clint Eastwood’s treatment of it. It’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s intense and freaked me out.

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      • avatar

        Kate January 20, 2015, 6:21 am

        Actually, I think watching it through the lens of my own views on that war (different from Clint’s) is what made it so upsetting. What you see on the screen is bad enough, but it’s worse if you don’t, to say the least, glorify the Iraq war.

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