I eventually got out of my bedroom, used the washroom and returned with some paper towels and a plastic bag. I did my best to remove as much of the residue as I could without rubbing it into the carpet, stowed the bag and then staggered back into bed. I got up a few hours later, I think it was around 9:30 AM or so. I went back out to the kitchen, filled a Cool-Whip bowl with cold water and added some of the magical peppermint soap that I've written about here before. I'm using so much of that stuff at this point I think I could really do well for myself if I were to apply for a position with the manufacturer as a spokesman. I could even do TV infomercials. "Hi... I'm Feren, and I'm a cat owner. My cat gets sick a lot, and nothing I used could clean up the stains he left on furniture and upholstery. Then I found Harf-Away, now with peppermint scent, and my whole life changed!"
Okay, maybe not.
When I came back to my bedroom I was amused to see that Ra's instincts are so strong that he'd "buried" the soiled portion of carpet (which had no solid remains, since I'd cleaned those up earlier in the morning) to conceal the evidence of it. He'd taken debris from around my room and shoved it clean across just to cover that spot. A CD, a quarter that had fallen out of my pocket, a pair of socks that were only halfway in my closet and a rubber "Super Ball" painted to look like a soccer ball all were obscuring the spot where he'd been sick. I suppose I could attribute this to his feeling guilty for being sick, but I think the simplest answer is probably the correct one in this case -- cats bury evidence of bodily functions to prevent prey from being scared away. It was still amusing to be gone ten minutes only to come back and find my work more complicated by "camouflage" being heaped atop the target area.
I cleaned the spot up, as well as the numerous other places where he'd sicked up nothing but water or small pieces of food, and then changed into a t-shirt and shorts. I figured since I was up and about earlier than I normally like to be on a weekend morning I might as well make good use of it, so I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill running through my fat-burn program (I set up a custom program for cardio as well as fat burn. My fat burn routine is slightly more aggressive than the preprogrammed one, having the incline go to 6 instead of 4, and keeping me at 3 MPH instead of 2 MPH). It's been quite some time since I've been on the treadmill, but I promised myself that I'd get more exercise to go along with the diet, and this seemed like a logical first step. I think doing this every other night during the week should go a long way towards helping me achieve my goals with regards to weight loss and overall health. I certainly hope that once I'm back in the groove I won't feel quite so lightheaded when I get off the belt. It took me over five minutes to really feel like myself again, and my feet felt much lighter than they really were for quite some time afterwards. It's an odd sensation after I get off the treadmill... I've been walking for so long to stay in one place that when I walk to move from one place to another the whole room seems almost to spin around me. It's disconcerting, in a way...
After a shower I weighed in on the scale. 170 pounds this morning. Not too bad, I'm continuing to drop extra weight at around 4 pounds per week. At this rate it won't be long until I get back on my target weight, and what a day that will be. I daydreamed about it for a moment, got cleaned up and put on a fresh change of clothes, after which I felt much more like myself. I cleaned up the shower and then went to living room to put the treadmill back up. As I was pushing the platform upright and into place again I heard a horrible crunch sound. Inwardly I winced, as I suspected I knew what happened... a quick glance around the end table confirmed it, I'd crushed the power strip between the motor housing and the treadmill's frame when I went to put the platform back up. Okay, I thought. I start off the day with Ra puking on my floor once again, and now I owe Roho a new power strip. This is not a good sign. I was given a chance to redeem myself not longer after I broke it, because Roho and Kes wanted to go to Sam's Club to get some grocery shopping. Since I had a large hand in demolishing the household supply of water and soda this week I felt obliged to come along to pay for some of those groceries as well as to buy a new power strip. I bought two tins of Lowry's beef jerky to snack on (they're 1 gram of carbs per stick and taste so good they're hard to put down), a skid of water, a skid of caffeine-free Diet Coke, a tub of kitty litter (I owed Kestral, since Ra has been using Cailet's litter box as well as his own), a case of Miller Lite long-neck bottles, a new power strip and a few other items. It wasn't cheap ($98), but it was my fair share of the groceries, especially since Roho had picked up a case of Diet Coke earlier last week and the case was nearly gone.
We came home, unloaded the groceries and chatted idly online. Kes favored us with more of her tasty cooking, preparing a meal of stir-fry. I'm not sure entirely what went into it but she seemed intent on proving to me that she could indeed spice it up to meet my tastes. It wasn't bad, either! It was made up of red peppers, onions, steak tips, crushed red pepper, Tabasco and several other things all smothered in mozzarella cheese. All in all it was quite tasty and I felt quite satisfied after I finished. I spent more time lazing about, chatting online and watching Farscape on DVD. I found out later in the day that at $105 I came in $20 cheaper (not counting shipping) buying it on closeout from Wherehouse than if I had bought it from Amazon. I'm not surprised, really. Amazon doesn't have the monopoly on good prices, but it was nice to know that I'd gotten a good deal none the less. When the disc was over I took care of some online banking, paying off the balance on my MBNA and putting some money in towards my Citi and Discover balances. MBNA is offering me a 4.9% balance transfer up to $3k, and I've got about $2k sitting on my Discover account at this point much to my annoyance. I think I'll be playing the balance transfer game later this week, and see if I can't save myself some cash. I just have to keep telling myself that if I stick to budget I'll be completely free of unsecured debt (credit cards) within four months. I just need to maintain discipline....
Dinner was Atkins-friendly pasta with a meat sauce and Atkins bread. I indulged in one of my beers as well tonight, so I'm running very close to crossing the line on my intake of carbohydrates for the day. Hopefully I didn't go over. While we ate we all sat on the futon in the living room and watched another of my DVD acquisitions from Wherehouse. Tonight I had the distinct pleasure of introducing Kestral to K-PAX, a film I've only seen once before. It's been about a year since that flight to California, and watching it on an airplane leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the comfort of watching it in your own home, with good food, good friends and a DTS 5.1 sound system. It's the little creature comforts that matter the most.... ;)
The rest of my weekend wasn't of a lot of note. Saturday saw Roho, Kestral and I at BD's once more. We had the same waiter (Matt S) as we'd had on Thursday, and he was pretty good about taking care of us. We also found out that the griller that day was also named Matt. I couldn't let a coincidence like this go by unpunished so I borrowed a bit from Roho's past and dubbed our waiter "Original Recipe Matt" and the griller "Extra Crispy Matt." Crispy Matt seemed to take a little pleasure in the nickname. Should I be afraid that we've become so well-known as regulars at that restaurant that employees start taking pride when we give them nicknames, and try to get our party to sit at their tables when they're serving?
When we got back home the three of us couldn't resist an idea and stopped at the office leasing office to get a tour of one of the complex town homes. I have to say, they really are impressive to look at, with a lot of interesting architecture. There's more space, and instead of one bathroom they're one-and-a-half baths. The bedrooms are upstairs and the living room, dining room and kitchen are downstairs. It would certainly give the three of us a lot more room for our things, but I can't help but have the though that what they'd be charging for rent (around $1,300 a month) I could make one hell of a mortgage payment on a house. This has of course re ignited the urge to go house-hunting and try to qualify for a mortgage loan. Roho and Kestral have each had developments in the last four days that make them a little more reluctant to leave this area right away, which means I could have them for roommates and help defer the cost of the monthly mortgage payment. The part that worries me, though, is that I still don't know what I'm doing with myself in the next 18 months. Will I stay with DeVry and remain in Illinois? Will I quit the job and find another, and stay in Illinois? Will I quit the job and move back to Minnesota to live on the farm? Will I stay in the U.S. at all? There's so many variables I'm just not sure that buying a house is the right thing to do at this point, no matter how convenient it might be.
Sometimes I wish there were two or three of me so that I could pursue all the different options and not feel like in choosing one I'm losing out on the opportunity for so many others.
Saturday evening was spent online talking to my friends. I was pleasantly surprised to find LiinSara on, and a lot of my time was spent talking to her. It's always a joy for me when I get to share her company, and I got to indulge in quite a lot of it last night. I know it's a rare thing, so I treasure it a little more just because of that knowledge. We talked about a lot of things, none of them terribly serious, and she stayed up quite late to chat with Koz and I that evening. I used the opportunity to fulfill a promise I'd made to her and so I felt pretty good about myself when I went to bed Saturday night.
Wow, I've been working on this journal entry for over 45 minutes. I didn't even notice how time has been moving steadily buy. It's 2304 in the evening, and I have work in the morning. I probably should take the opportunity to wrap this up and slip off to bed so I can be fresh and ready for the day I'm going to be faced with. There's nothing like battling a deadline to wear me down, so I'm going to need all the energy I can muster tomorrow.
I was strong but desperately brave