July 16th, 2020



Ouch the first: I was eliminated from Idol on Tuesday, and I'm still reeling from it. Such a shock—I'd hoped to make it at least another week or two, and I wasn't quite prepared. I was confirmed as going out at #10, but that's also the earliest I've ever been eliminated—including the first season I played! Still, the competition has been pretty fierce these last few weeks because there are a LOT of super-talented writers this time around. Plus, I found this season really hard, for some reason. I think the earliest I ever posted an entry was about an hour before the deadline, and most went up with only 1-10 minutes to spare. o_O

It was a great ride overall, though, and I think I got quite a few really good stories out of it.

Meanwhile, HalfshellHusband (aka rayaso) is still playing. He feels even worse about my going out than I do, but it's nice that he'll have the chance to keep shining. He always underestimates the quality of his work (though he's gotten better the last couple of years), so maybe this will help hammer the truth home?

Ouch the second: I found out yesterday that the original Banana Boat Baby 50 SPF Sunscreen has been discontinued, which is super-worrisome. It wasn't something I ever used on our kids when they were young (and probably wouldn't use on an actual baby), but it was my go-to sunscreen for my arms, neck, chest, and other areas that get relentless exposure while swimming or bicycling. The thick, tarry texture (it's almost like diaper cream) is annoying but is also what forms a really good barrier against the sun, and it holds up better against water and sweat than any other sunscreen. I sent our son to water polo practice with this stuff in high school, and his friends teased him about it at first but eventually started borrowing it, because it worked better than anything they had.

I have tried a LOT of other sunscreens (including other Banana Boat products), and none of them offer the heavy-duty protection I need for those more damage-prone areas. And this is SUCH a challenge in Sacramento, because it's so freakin' hot. Longer sleeves/etc. are not really a feasible solution (apart from the swim shirt I bought), because I just overheat. I grew up in Oregon, and my people are from Wales, so this is not the climate for me. I'm in better shape than my mother (who thinks 80o is hot), but after almost 33 years here, this might be the best it gets.

So, now I have to start researching other sunblocks and asking other Palest of the Pale People what holds up against a UV Index of 10 or 11 for them. /o\

Ouch the third: I caved last night and Googled "How to get your cat to stop meowing." :( Our kitty spoke very little when we adopted him about a year ago (at age 2 or 3), but now there is epic talking and it is super-annoying. The Whale was like this too, but he was half-Siamese, so there wasn't much hope. Kashka, OTOH, has evolved his way into this behavior. He yells while making his way from one room to the next, or even while he's sitting right by you—including when you're already looking at him. A few months ago, the main annoyance was late at night, when I'd be half-asleep on the couch and he'd hop up next to me and moan in my ear. Piercingly. Now, it's all the time!

It's gotten much worse over the time our son has been home, and a lot of it involves the cat's pursuit of Boy Botheration. He's almost as obsessed with our son as Jinx was. :O

It turns out that the best way to reduce this behavior is to treat the cat like a toddler, and either ignore his vocalizing OR put him in another room and shut the door for a while (like a time out). But this also means retraining our son, who tends to respond this way because he thinks it's funny (which it is):

Cat: Mowr!
Son: Hi!
Cat: Mowr!
Son: Hi!

Our son is pretty good at applying his proto-parenting skills to the cat, but I think this will be a challenge for us all... :O