Posts Tagged ‘behavior’

The crazies next door

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

At work, we’ve had about half of the floor for the past two years and now we’re taking over the rest of it. It’s nice to have the place to ourselves and my colleagues and I were reminiscing about some of the strange folks who worked across the way.

For the most part, it seemed to be the bathroom behavior of the ladies that drew a lot of raised eyebrows from our office. For example, many of these ladies would take phone calls in the restroom. Didn’t matter if they were in a stall or just standing by the sinks, it was awkward. Who wants to walk in on a phone conversation and have to do your business?


I mean, I understand that they’re a more traditional office so they can’t take calls in their space, but there’s plenty of hallway and it’s not hard to hop on an elevator to stroll around the lobby or even outside. It got to the point where someone actually printed a sign to ask them to take their calls outside the restroom.

Then there was a random woman who would apparently bang her head on the wall, consistently and very much out in the open by the paper towel dispenser. I never actually ran into that situation, but two of my colleagues described it and one said that when she asked the woman if she was ok, she was ignored. Maybe this was some sort of trance? Again, not something that makes you comfortable walking into a restroom.

And then there were the grooming habits that went on in there, with folks washing their faces, brushing their teeth, flossing, or even applying nail polish. I don’t understand why any of these matters would be so urgent that you must do it midday at your office (usually around 2 pm). I mean, if it was at the end of the day, I can see how you might need to tidy up before going straight to an evening event. But when you’re still going to be sitting at the office for a few more hours, what is that really accomplishing?

Granted, these behaviors were certainly less odd, but the most uncomfortable was the flosser who would let things fly out of her mouth and never clean the sink area when she was done. Ick. For someone who seems to care about hygiene, that is not a very hygienic behavior.

And finally, for those who did take their calls in the hallway, there was always one girl who seemed to argue on every single call and have no qualms about airing her laundry (dirty or not). You’d think private conversations would either not be spoken so loudly or be taken somewhere out of the way. Alas, she did neither and nearly all of our office heard her complaints at one point or another. Yet another awkward situation to walk into and ignore.

Suffice it to say, we do not miss the oddballs in bathroom or hallway. Funny enough, they apparently found us odd. It seems that our choice of clothing – not business casual – was something for them to raise their eyebrows over. Good thing they don’t work out west! I can only imagine how they’d react to flip flops, hoodies, and board shorts if our everyday wear was strange to them. So I guess we’re all crazy in someone else’s eyes.

Smokey’s calming collar

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, stories,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes, Missy and Smokey will get into wrestling matches. I can’t quite tell who is instigating it and who is causing more damage, but Smokey is larger, so just putting her weight on Missy is potentially dangerous. For a long time, I’d just make a loud noise when the fighting appeared to get aggressive. One day, Panda suggested we put collar back on so she can’t sneak up on Missy. We decided to give it a try and we found a surprising result: Smokey appeared to be much nicer overall with the collar on!

smokey cat sleeping on body pillow with red collar on

Look at how angelic she is! She’ll even touch my leg when she’s sleeping.

Not only did she and Missy fight less, but she was less aloof and more tolerant of being held or picked up. It seems that she became more docile, as if it exerted control over her and kept her bad behavior at bay. What a curious effect. It ended up being far more effective than we’d imagined, so now whenever she acts up, we put her collar on. She’ll sit there frozen as we strap it in and then calmly strut around, not looking for trouble. When she sleeps, she actually looks happy. Not alert, or wary, or downright uncomfortable/unhappy. It’s like she’s finally at peace.

This usually works for 2-3 days and then I start to feel bad because she can’t hide from Missy and I also notice her starting to kick at it. So by and by, I remove it and let her be free (but perhaps more prone to attitude too). At least we’ve found something simple that can help curb her issues if they escalate again! Overall she’s getting better at letting us pet her and even hold her at times. I’ll retrain her yet!

The homebody lifestyle

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
cat laying on newspaper on porch

Family activities include Smokey getting in the way of some reading downtime.

Panda and I aren’t much for a partying lifestyle. We’re pretty big homebodies, completely content to stay at home relaxing together, enjoying takeout, and doing (or not doing) other such quiet activities. We could spend the whole night watching some shows or browsing online as we tuck ourselves in bed. It’s a nice sort of bonding for us. We may not be doing things together, but at least we are next to each other sharing our space. It’s comfortable and comforting. I’m at the stage where I’m ready to start building a home life. Suddenly I’m thinking about stuff I can get to personalize our home (guess that comes with the territory of having a home to personalize)!

I’ve always enjoyed this sort of home life, even as a teenager. Of course there have been plenty of times that I’ve gone out to various events or just to hang out with friends late into the night, but usually I just want to hole up in my room and spend my time on my computer, chatting with family, or reading a book. Back then I had plenty of homework to keep me busy for ages too. I see a lot of my peers going out to bars and parties and whatnot, but that doesn’t interest me. Similarly, more active home activities like board games or running around the house playing tag or hide and seek don’t interest me either. Maybe it’s not good that so much of my habits are sedentary, but I am in good health.

Just the other night, Panda and I were going out to eat, but on the way decided to get takeout. I enjoyed that option a lot more than sitting at the restaurant. It was really nice to have our food ready, eat at our own pace, and get some other things done while eating. Plus, I got to wear super comfy clothes that I probably shouldn’t go to a restaurant in lest I be taken for a slob. Perhaps that’s my true motivation – being able to relax without people judging me because I’m dressed so casually and never wear makeup. Home is a place to take off all those layers you throw on for the outside world, a place where the true you comes out.

Are we the only ones our age like this? Seems like everyone else always has some grand night or weekend plans coming up. Ours are just quiet – stay in most of the time, get some chores done, maybe go out to grab some food or stroll through Target, and return home again. No happy hours or late nights out or parties of any sort. It’s not that the opportunities aren’t there – in fact, Panda often turns down invitations to social gatherings with his coworkers and I often skip out on activities with my networks. We do like to plan some nice vacation getaways though!

So what’s your preference? Are you still living it up on the social scenes? Or maybe you’re like us and pretty settled into a calmer pace of life?

That whistling gal

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

Today, my coworker started chuckling when I walked towards her whistling. I thought it was because of something else, but when I asked her why she was laughing, she said it always amuses her when I whistle, since she usually only hears guys do that. I’ve never really thought about that before, but it’s true enough. I can’t seem to think of a single female I know who also whistles. I haven’t considered that from the perspective of those who see me. What do they think when I whistle? Is that an oddity?

It’s interesting how something so normal to me suddenly gets this halo of specialness just because of my gender. Why don’t more women whistle? In the public eye, the women I’ve seen whistling generally do those really shrill, loud whistles to get attention. Is there a time when they’re just whistling a tune like I often do? I’m going to be more self-conscious when I whistle now. It always seemed rather natural to me to try to whistle and when I finally taught myself how, I just kept practicing. Today’s observation has brought new light on this activity. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll certainly continue my whistling ways. With so few women whistling, I might as well represent.

Freaking out

laelene Posted in stories,Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight, Panda and I changed up Smokey’s litter because she didn’t like the lightweight one we were using. We’d gotten a more normal type that she was quite happy with and we haven’t had any accidents since we got her the new litter. With another litter box and a pan, we decided to add the new litter and see how she reacts. Right after the change, she came around to sniff the pan. She started to get in, sniffing hard, but then decided to go into the litter box she favors most. We waited as she kicked around and then did her business. As she was coming out, she was furiously kicking the litter.

Suddenly, she plopped out of the box. Like her butt landed on the ground and she was curled up with her rear tucked up under her. I thought her foot got caught, but then she stayed like that and suddenly I thought she hurt her foot. Horrible thoughts of paralysis and diseases raced through my mind as we watched her start to drag herself along, butt scraping the floor. She left little poopy drag marks. As she made her way down the hall to the bonus room (our giant room the size of a 2-car garage), Panda and I stared in shock. What was going on?

We then realized that she was rubbing her butt because it somehow didn’t feel good. When it looked like she was going to continue her duty on the carpet of the bonus room, I quickly went to try to pick her up. She stayed in that awkward vertical position, making it difficult to carry her. At first she meowed her sad, complaining little meow, but then she hissed at me – that’s the very first time I’ve ever heard her hiss. I quickly let her down and we managed to get her in the hallway again, where she continued dragging her toosh on the ground. Finally, something came off and she ran off to lick her wounds.

I guess she’s not getting enough fiber, because that’s one odd issue that I’ve never seen before. I wonder what would have happened if Panda and I weren’t there to observe. Thank goodness we were, and quickly cleaned everything up. Smokey then sulked around for much of the night, before collapsing in exhaustion and sleeping the stress away. What a little worrywart.

cat curled up in circular wooden tray with one foot sticking out sleeping

Before the chaos, I was admiring how cute she is.

Sunday stroll

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday after dusk, Panda went on a walk to Walgreen’s to pick up some food. Along the way, he spotted a ton of fireflies, so tonight we decided to go back along the walk and catch some on our way to get groceries. We got some bug bites out of it, but it was well worth the effort. We both came away with five each, proudly stored in our respective jars. Our little stroll turned out to be a bit of a nature walk and we came across all sorts creatures! As we approached the first area we saw fireflies, a bunny rabbit scurried off. Then I spent a little time poking at an Eastern Bess beetle running across the sidewalk (thanks to my time volunteering at the Smithsonian Insect Zoo for that knowledge!). After getting our groceries, I stopped for a quick look at a June bug and then a toad.

I was pretty thrilled with our little excursion and soon we got home to play with our new firefly pets. Smokey immediately started stalking them even as they climbed around in the jars. We let one out, which she swatted at, so we quickly learned that they are not safe around her. Since they like humidity, we took them into the bathroom and let them fly free as we ran the shower. Seven out of the ten took advantage of that time to crawl out and explore. After my shower, I recaptured them all and then took the jar to the porch to set them free. Again, seven eventually made their way out (some with a little “help” from Smokey) and I decided to retire and keep the last three overnight. Smokey’s been having a blast staring at them so much that I don’t know if she’ll sleep a wink tonight!

eastern bess beetle on sidewalk at night june bug on sidewalk at night toad by sidewalk blending in with wood chips

8 ways my cat is like my fiancé

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever marveled at how similar a person and an animal have been? I often wonder if Smokey is just Panda (my fiancé) in feline form. They’re so similar in their personalities and preferences that they’re perfect for each other. So much for me getting a pet cat! More like them finding soul mates in each other. Curious what I mean? Here’s a round-up of ways “my” cat is like my fiancé…

1. They’re both kinda awkward. Panda’s an engineer who often fits that stereotype. He’s a bit gangly, not always socially appropriate, and just kind of off in his own world at times. Smokey can stare into space and get lost in her little head. She doesn’t always respond the way you’d expect and she runs kind of crooked. Both very silly, but totally adorable nonetheless.

2. They’re both bad communicators. I am always working with Panda on how he expresses himself (like how he used “veer” when he meant “leer”) and how he misinterprets the meaning of phrases. He doesn’t always use the English language to its full advantage. Meanwhile, Smokey will meow at us as if she wants something, but never follows through. My other cats make it clear when they meow if they want attention or food or something. Smokey just meows and then appears to have no purpose. I wonder if that’s because…

3. They both have poor memories. Panda never seems to remember things I bring up and Smokey seems to forget something happened as soon as she turns around. Perhaps their confusing communication efforts are due to these memory lapses?

4. They both eat and sleep a lot. You’d never know it looking at Panda, but he eats a ton (and never puts on weight). He can certainly chow down and Smokey does the same. She goes through bowls of food like nobody’s business! And when they’re done eating, they can both sleep up a storm. Whereas I usually wake up after 7 or 8 hours, they’ll go on for 10, 12 hours easily.

cat sleeping soundly against soft blanket and pillow

Big sleepers in this family.

5. They both love to play. Panda is always enjoying games and toys, like his little Lego people and even happy meal toys. Smokey will bat around anything she can find, from bottle caps to wads of paper. She’s a huge fan of chasing around a laser dot and playing with her squeaking mouse toy. Lucky for her, Panda is more than happy to play with her. 🙂

6. They both like to pet people. Panda will come around and pet my head like I’m a cat sometimes, which is a funny goofy thing he does. Little did I know that Smokey would like to “pet” us in her own way… by putting her paw on our faces (claws out, ouch!). Maybe they just like to put their hands on things.

7. They’re both scaredy cats. I’m the brave one in the family, staying calm for most things. Panda gets super nervous/worried/scared about things and stresses himself out. He gets startled whenever Smokey is feeling playful and decides to pounce on his feet. He’s intimidated by bugs. And Smokey? Every little noise or movement could cause her to jump alert and/or run off in fear.

8. They both stretch strangely. I often find Panda in a strange position on his side with his knee stretched up and his arm extending through his bent leg. Apparently he finds this comfortable. Smokey is more about stretching completely long, which I’ve never seen a cat do before!

cat laying on carpet with legs stretched out straight behind her

So you see, they were really made for each other. Wouldn’t you agree?

No more date nights

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tonight, Panda had a Groupon that was expiring and needed to be used, so we arranged to have a date night dinner. As I headed home, I let him know to get ready and when I arrived, we eagerly headed out. We were both hungry and looking forward to the meal. When we got on the on ramp, Panda commented that he hoped he brought his wallet… and when he went to check, he found he didn’t have it!

plates of dishes from california pizza kitchenWe were instantly brought back to the night when he forgot his wallet on one of the earlier “date nights” we had out here. So there we were, waiting for our food at CPK when Panda realized he hadn’t brought his wallet. At that point, I wasn’t carrying around any sort of purse or wallet with me, so all I had was my phone. We stared at each other in disbelief as it dawned on us that he’d have to drive back to the apartment to retrieve said wallet. I then sat at the table as dish after dish came out. Pretty soon, the waiter started to look at me funny. Where was my dinner partner? Had he just left me?

It was a good 40 minutes before he finally made it back. I’d eaten some of the food, trying to go slow and wait for him. Meanwhile, our date night had become a singles night as we had to spend it apart. So this time when he forgot his wallet again, we were glad that at least I brought mine. Still, I’m never having a date night again. It always seems to mean a missing wallet. 😛

Just enough exercise

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes people do the silliest things. When I was at the airport a few weeks back, I noticed this guy putting his suitcase on the escalator, then rushing down the stairs to meet it at the bottom. Apparently taking the suitcase down the stairs was too much exercise for him and taking the escalator himself was too little exercise (or something like that).

suitcase on escalator from Mary Qin on Vimeo.


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

I hate wearing socks and I generally try to avoid wearing shoes as well. This doesn’t seem to be commonly done though, since I often get comments from people when they see me not wearing socks. Is it such an unusual thing to do?

bare feet crossed at ankles sitting atop blanketFor a long time, it wasn’t anything that came up since for the most part of the past decade I’ve been living in climates that don’t get very cold. With flip flops and flats as the common footwear, it’s normal to not see people wearing socks. But now that I’m back in a place with a true winter (and quite a snowy one at that!), people seem to really notice when I take off my uggs and have no socks on. They also seem to notice that I walk around barefoot indoors, which I guess is not something you do in the winter? I’m surprised people have actually commented on it, which I presume means it’s something odd enough for them to say something rather than notice it and wonder to themselves. Well, all you wonderers, I do indeed leave the socks at home and off my feet unless absolutely needed.

In fact, the only time I do wear socks is with sneakers. What about you?

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