Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Professor Klug

Is it bad that I enjoy this class a lot because he has a plesant voice with a South African accent?

Not that the constitution isn't TERRIBLY interesting...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Double post!

This is my entry in my "Everything Hedgehog" blog. It's still relevant to this blog, mostly because I'm all about hedgehogs, and so hedgehogs are about me. This is the logic I have after finishing half of my lawerying training.


As I sit here feeling every inch of the two miles I jogged this afternoon, it ocurred to me just HOW MUCH our wee ones can run! Last night I switched Lola’s and Yoda’s wheels, since Yoda runs laps now and seemed to enjoy running UNDER Lola’s wheel, and Lola runs so much that she might as well have a solid jogger. The result is that I can now track Lola’s miles (Yoda’s are now a mystery, though his feet get plenty poopy). Lola ran three (3) miles last night, which seems about on par with what these guys tend to do, but THREE MILES. What kind of physique would I have if I ran 3 miles every day?!?

Well, and ate cat food. :)

I also am sad to share that Lola and Heddie’s co-hab experiment ended with them at eachother’s throats, pretty literally. They seemed fine over the weekend, though to be honest I didn’t see much of their actual interaction. Since there were no squaks nor evidence of bloodshed, and since they had gotten on so well before, I figured everything was fine.

Well, last night I woke Heddie up for a while with Lola, so I could see how they interacted in their new set-up. Well, no sooner was Heddie out of her pigloo than Lola was huffing and shoving. “Let them sort this out,” I thought. That lasted for about another 30 seconds before Lola bit and PULLED, and Heddie latched on and pulled in turn.
I had to literally pull them apart. I quickly set Lola up in her old set-up.

So, what went wrong? Could it be they could co-hab while running around in my 15x10 living room and nothing smaller? I made a coroplast and cube cage that was 3.6’ by 2.5’, which was admittedly smaller than I had imagined but with a good amount of floor room. Too small for two?

What I really need to do is move into an apartment with space for three hedgies, but that won’t happen until August. I’ll have to re-think my plan...

Hugs to all,
Kristen Z., Lola, Yoda and Heddie

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Weight Watchers:Watching, Waiting...

So, about a month ago I joined Weight Watchers. No, I don't go to meetings, because I'm like that. I prefer my therapy alone, thankyouverymuch. I do the online version. Very convenient, I have to say.

Why WW? Because my doctor, who has helped me reduce my migraines to maybe a few times per month from daily headaches a year ago, told me that WW was the only plan he has seen work for people taking my migraine medication. Apparently my medication causes increased hunger and decreased metabolism. No wonder I gained 50 pounds.

I'm not on the plan where I have to count points for everything I eat. That sounded like too much work. Instead, I'm on a plan where I can eat however much I want from a list of foods, specially chosen because they provide nutrients and a lot of bulk per calorie. Foods I can eat a lot include fat-free, sugar-free instant chocolate fudge pudding (made with skim milk); 94% fat-free microwave popcorn; diet soda; lean meats such as chicken or turkey; all veggies; all fruits; whole-grain products, up to one serving per day. Basically, I donated all the food in my pantry and stocked-up on diet-safe products. I eat a lot of pudding. A looot of pudding.

So far I've lost almost 7 pounds.

To understand how significant this weight loss is, consider my weight-past. When things in my life were going poorly last spring, I was eating cookies for every meal, turtle sundaes regularly, and basically anything else I wanted. Surprisingly, I gained weight. Late summer and early fall I ended my junk-food binge and started working out. This fall I worked out at least once per week, and got through all of the latest Harry Potter only reading during work-outs. I dropped in size, but I didn't lose one ounce.

I'm a bit frustrated because I didn't lose any weight this last week. I'm wondering if any weight loss could have been off-set by weight gain from working out. I think I worked out four or five days, each of which left me noticeably sore (as opposed to doing something like biking that would feel fine the next day). Still, I haven't GAINED any weight, and I'm eating foods that are good for me, so I have been able to remain positive. I'm considering taking my measurements to keep track of any loss in inches when there is no loss in pounds. Honestly, I just haven't gotten around to digging out my tape measure, which is in a small white container no more than 7 feet from where I am currently sitting. Measuring can be so miserable.

I think the most difficult aspect of dieting is social. I hate having to have to request altered meals at restaurants, explain why I'm not participating in pizza-night, and why I eat so much pudding. I don't like being one of those people who has to pick apart every single thing I eat to separate out the cheese or meat, leaving a dissected mess on my plate. I especially don't like having to choose foods that are good for me over and over again while watching friends and family eat the foods I miss. Dammit, if I'm on a diet, shouldn't everyone around me have to be on a diet too??

I'm still trying to figure out the best ways to create tasty meals without things like white rice, regular pasta and cheese. I like microwave popcorn, but my microwave burns more than it pops, leading me to buy an air-popper last week. Unfortunately, air-popped popcorn is very bland, and salt doesn't stick to bland, dry popcorn. I tried spraying the popcorn with water and then salting it, but that didn't really work very well. Who knew that soggy popcorn would be disgusting?

In any case, there's my Weight Watchers story. Maybe I'll soon have a "this one time, I lost 50 lbs" story. Stay tuned.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Hedgehog Society News:

The organization for which I do hedgehog placement and rescue has just been awarded a national animal rescue grant. Check it out!

See, it's not just in my head...


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Back again:

I've been enjoying my winter vacation tremendously, so much so that I haven't wanted to take time to write about it here. Though I had a long list of things to do, including knitting, quilting, finding housing, organizing and the like, I have really only successfully worked at the very important tasks of playing Diablo II and watching my hedgehogs play in the red light. Both very important.

The red light is my newest discovery. I have known for a long time that red lights were used to accustom fighter pilots' eyes to the dark before night flights, and that while walking on a beach at night when turtles are coming to nest that it is best to have red lights to minimize the impact of your presence. It seems very logical that red light would illuminate, say, my apartment without bothering my hedgehogs, but for some reason it took a long time for my brain to put the pieces together. I blame school.

I picked up a red party-light bulb for a couple bucks, having tired of using the red led setting to my [boyfriend's] camping head light thing. Tonight I turned it on and let the three of them run loose in the living room. It was quite amusing! Heddie and Lola visited eachother's cages, as buddies do, trying out the other's food, water, and wheel. I was able to watch Lola run her routes through the living and bed rooms at full speed, without her dashing in and out of shadow. Yoda perked up when a lady would come by, but was pretty content to sniff my face and hair, then snuggle next to me for a nap. Heddie found Lola's lavender sachet and pranced around the room with it in her mouth, way up in the air like a little flag. This was of course followed by her foaming at the mouth and depositing the lavender-hedgehog-foam on her back.

Again, it seems very obvious that I would be able to interact more with my hedgehogs with a red light. I have to say, though, that it's really amazingly different. Seeing my hedgehogs relaxed, curious and unafraid, being able to interact with them like that, is really, really fun. I feel as though I'm seeing a completely different side of them, one that isn't just sleeping and begging for mealworms. Well, except Yoda, because he sleeps and begs for mealworms just the same.

In any event, I am glad to have the time once again to enjoy the small things in my life. Two other small things I enjoy quite a bit these days are chocolate pudding and fleece pajamas. The pudding is fat-free, sugar-free and diet safe (I've lost 6.5 lbs by the way; more on that later) so I eat it all the time. The fleece pajamas are a SUPER COMFORTABLE gift from my parents for Christmas, nicely timed with the sudden normal-ness of my apartment's temperature. After living in a nearly 80-degree apartment (with a thermostat literally controlled by my housemate from south africa) I am QUITE chilly in the 65-degree coolness! Fortunately, the hedgehogs have heating pads (except for Heddie; she's quite chubby enough to keep herself warm!) and I have my fleecy pjs, so all is well.

I hope the holiday season found you happily with loved ones, and that this new year has brought you safely back to non-holiday reality!