Monthly Archives: September 2010

The HOG gets fleas. Again.

The HOG gets fleas. Again.

To preface this, I live in the HOG. As in House Of Glee. No, I’m not in Glee club, but that’s a story for a different day.

Maverick pre-fleas. Also my bedding before I washed it daily.

I have a cat, Maverick, who up until a month ago has been an owner’s dream. He cuddles when I want to cuddle, is ok with being home alone if I need to work or go to class and is colloquially described as fricken’ adorable. That is, until he got fleas.

How, you ask? There are no less than eleven stray cats that hang around my house. Sometimes they get in. This was especially a problem when people were moving in mattresses and such at the beginning of the school year, because they’re so sneaky. Barbara Walters (male) is the worst amongst them. I’ve found him snuggling in my bed multiple times.

So Maverick has been through multiple combings, two flea baths, one flea drop and one flea collar. Not working. In fact, I think he’s pissed he now has to itch around the flea collar. It’s like the fleas are snuggling under there for safety, which is NOT what I signed up for.

But here’s what’s weird. My house has no carpet. Where are these fleas hiding? I’ve washed all my bedding, all my clothing, vacuumed all of my rugs and furniture, and yet they return. The HOG is infected, and it’s still a mystery.

Lost: one notebook

Lost: one notebook

I picked up some journalism karma this week, I’m sure of it.

I got out of some long boring class, and was heading home for some much-anticipated chicken noodle soup. But on the sidewalk I passed a notebook on the ground. And not just any notebook, a reporter’s notebook.

I flipped through it scanning for a scoop, but it turned out to be a photographer’s notebook with just names, majors and descriptions of people. I knew that if this were on deadline it was important, and if not the notebook was probably useless. But the owner had his name on front of it, so I gave him a call. We met in front of the admin building.

“You just saved my life.”

It was the first thing he said to me, and he said it with sincerity. I nodded because I knew what he meant. We all do. A deadline is a deadline is a deadline, only they’re more stressful when there’s a print issue on the line and three editors on your back.

So I think my journalism karma is at a good level right now, and I’m definitely going to put my name and phone number on front of my reporter’s notebooks from now on.

Meet my ‘hoe

Meet my ‘hoe

I’m going new-car shopping this weekend as part of the Lawler Family Tradition* where college graduates get a new car upon graduation. But before I talk about new cars, it’s important that I introduce my current car, affectionately termed “da hoe.”

This is me with da hoe. We're a glorious duo, but soon this all shall end.

She’s a 1996 Chevy Tahoe, and in some ways I love her. She’s huge, she’s moved half my friends, she’s DD’d all of my friends at once and in general she gets me from point A to point B.

However, in addition to negotiating for a strict 15 mpg, she demands fluids like oil and power steering fluid on a semi-weekly basis. She also refuses to fit in certain parking spaces and most parking garages, especially in Ann Arbor (where she once got stuck). She doesn’t like idling too much, and will stall during traffic jams. This trait alone has earned me more middle fingers than Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) could give all the reporters in the White House Press Corps.

Anyway, new car coming soon. I know I want to buy American, and I think Ford is my number one choice at this point. I want something kind of large, but at this point fuel efficiency is probably more important. Top candidates are the Ford Fiesta and the Escape, both of which come in crazy green I like. My dream car is unfortunately off the list, as its fuel efficiency doesn’t even rival da hoe’s.

Anyway, hope you fancied her after this introduction, and I promise to accept nominations for the naming of my new car as soon as I figure out what it will be.

* Note: not a real tradition

Slacklining: not for slackers

Slacklining: not for slackers

This is my setup. I did some internet research on proper knots and equipment.

So lately I’m loving this new distraction called slacklining. It’s essentially a low to the ground setup between two trees. I bought “webbing” (the flat lines used for walking on and tying) and five carabiners at the Moosejaw in East Lansing for about $50.

The system is pretty simple to set up, it takes me less than ten minutes to anchor the line and create a simple pulley system out of carabiners. And because of this, I’m doing it ALL THE TIME. I keep creating time I don’t have and counting it as my workout. I’ve gone almost every day since I bought the materials last week.

I’m an extreme amateur; so far I can get up by myself, but from there my options are taking four steps and falling or balancing for four seconds and falling. No big.

But it is exercise! It uses a big range of leg muscles. I run pretty frequently, and muscles I didn’t know I had are hurting. The leg I get up on is pretty sore on the outside of my calf, probably from trying to balance on that leg while swinging up my other foot. My butt hurts too, both in the “there are muscles in there, huh?” sense and the “fell on that one too many times” way.

Many thanks to my friend Jen Lada for loving this new sport as much as I do! We’ve been practicing together, and setting up on campus has gained us some new friends. A kinesiology professor from Germany stopped by yesterday to show me the balancing exercises he does, and a seasoned slackliner told Jen the key was to balance first on one foot, then the other. We’re trying out these techniques, and it’s good to have somebody to laugh the bruises off with.

One of my fabulous moves about two seconds prior to falling.