24 February, 2010
19 July, 2009
What a freakin' horrible week!
Last Monday morning, Simon woke up barfy. It happens once in a while and the culprit is usually an impressively-sized hairball, so I didn't think too much of it at the time. But, a few minutes later when he was bumping my alarm clock (which he does when he wants me to get up), he cried out a little when I picked him up and moved him. That started my Spider Sense tingling.
We got up and went through the morning routine, but I noticed that Simon was especially quiet. I tried to pick him up again and again he cried out. I picked up the phone and called his vet's office (they weren't open yet, so I asked them to phone me if I could get him in that morning). I only fed Simon 1/2 of his breakfast, which he ate, though not with nearly the vigor and passion that he usually attacks his food bowl. While he ate, I got his carrier out of the closet and quietly unlatched the top hatch. I wrote an email to my co-workers saying I'd be in if/when I could and left to get my shot.
While I was en route to Kaiser, the vet's office phoned to say I could bring him in at 9:30. That would be cutting things pretty close with the allergy shot, since they expect patients to hang around for 30 minutes afterward. When I got to the clinic, I explained my situation to the receptionist and she basically told me that they won't even give me the shot if I can't/won't wait the FULL 30 minutes, and besides that, the nurses who were supposed to be there at 8:30 to give shots weren't going to be there until at least 8:45. (My displeasure with Kaiser is a much longer post for another day...). So I schlepped back home and sat quietly with Simon and Billie for a few minutes before I gingerly lifted Simon and put him in the carrier. As bad as he was feeling, his lungs worked really well! He howled the whole trip (which, thankfully, is only about 10 minutes).
We waited in an exam room for what felt like an eternity, Simon curled up on my lap, hidden under his blanket. His vet came in and checked him. She didn't feel anything wrong in his abdomen and she wanted me to leave him for at least a couple of hours so they could take blood and urine samples and watch him. I figured I should go into the office, so I asked if it would be OK if I left him until 5:00 or 5:30. The vet said it may be better as she'd have more time to watch him. So I flew back across the island to the ferry dock and caught the 10:50 boat. Obviously, I was a wreck the whole day and tried to dive into work to take my mind off of my little Schmoopie and wishing I had just taken the whole damn day off so I could have just brought him home after a couple of hours.
Around 4:30, the vet left me a voice mail, asking if I had noticed anything wrong with one of his eyes, because his left eye had suddenly teared up and was bothering him and she noticed an abrasion on his cornea. I phoned her back from the ferry (with a boat full of very rude tourists) and told her I had not noticed anything like that before. She was baffled as to how he might have hurt his eyes, as he only had his blanket, a towel a food and water bowl (with smooth edges) and a litter tray. There didn't seem to be anything in there that he could have scratched his eye on. The only thing I could think of was, the vet mentioned that Simon had been hiding in the litter tray and he may have kicked up a piece of litter in his eye. At any rate, when I got there to take him home, we brought a container of ointment with us that I have to put in his eye three times a day. She mentioned I may need to come back and get an Elizabethan collar for him if he tries to scratch his eye, though he hadn't tried to worry it while he was at the vet's office.
I don't know why I didn't get an e-collar on the spot: About a minute after Simon came out of his carrier at home, he started rubbing his eye. So I drove BACK across the island to the vet's office and plunked down another $23 for a small e-collar.
Then, we waited for results. And waited. And waited. I was a complete wreck, even though Simon was steadily improving (per the vet's instructions, he now ONLY eats Prescription Diet i/d and gets Petromalt for hairball relief). He didn't really seem like himself until Thursday night (and his eye was still blinky and I had to fight to get the ointment in his eye). I hadn't slept much and was feeling like crap anyway and by Friday the not-knowing had made me very, very over-sensitive. By mid-morning Friday, I was convinced I should never be responsible for any living thing. I had a front stoop full of dead plants, I nearly let Billie waste away to nothing and now Simon was sick and I didn't know why and there wasn't anything I could DO about it.
The vet phoned around 12:30 p.m. The blood panel she ordered included a pancreatitis test and that was what held things up (and she also wanted to talk to the lab tech). Thankfully, his kidney functions were normal (since his misadventures with eating toxic-to-kidney things last year), no sign of diabetes, urine concentrated (which was good in this case), no parasites...all good. It turned out he had an attack of pancreatitis. The vet said it could be brought on by irritable bowel syndrome (which is why Simon got Prescription i/d in the first place, though his diet had strayed away from it over the years) or liver disease, and an attack is usually triggered by high-fat foods, though that tends to happen more in humans and dogs than in cats. I pointed out that I had fed Simon a pouch of Wellness Chicken & Salmon Sunday night and we agree that there is a possibility that that may have triggered the attack. (This is not to say that there is anything wrong with Wellness food! Billie eats it all the time and she's doing really well with it. It's very good food and I recommend it if you want your cat to eat a good grain-free diet with human-grade ingredients!). So Simon has been on a VERY STRICT diet of Prescription i/d and Petromalt and he seems to be almost back to normal.
His eye is still a concern. I think he let me believe he was going to leave his eye alone on Friday before I left for work so I'd leave the e-collar off, then bothered it while I was gone: It was a bit winky when I got home. We've continued the ointment treatment and I left the e-collar on all day Saturday and most of today. I finally took it off for a while this afternoon so that he could groom himself and take a decent nap without that damn thing getting in the way. He tried to wash his face, but stopped when I'd catch him wiping around his eye. He took a good, long nap and ate his "tea" (I gave him a little canned i/d as a treat) and his eye seemed to be doing very well. It was nearly fully open and he wasn't worrying it. Then at some point, something happened with it. A couple of hours ago, it was slightly teary and after he ate the rest of the wet food, he suddenly started trying to rub the eye hard. I immediately grabbed him and got the e-collar back on him and he hasn't tried to get at it since. I don't know if he somehow got food in it or what might have happened to have it suddenly bother him so much. He's resting now (on my pillow, just like in the photo above, except with the e-collar on now) and he's opening his eye again, though not all the way. He's due for another ointment treatment in a couple of hours and goes back for a re-check on the eye on Wednesday (unless he has another eye issue like today's).
I just wish the furkids and I could finally all be healthy. Yeesh!
01 November, 2008
I honestly was having a hard time believing that this was NOT a SNL sketch.
Bill O'Reilly, actually (sort of) defending Barack Obama? The souls in hell better grab a sweater: I think it's about to get quite chilly down there.
05 September, 2008
Stupid earthquakes! We just had a 4.0 (considered small to moderate). Simon is angling for a treat because he managed to "survive" it. Billie thinks Simon caused the earthquake, so she hates him even more. And while looking at the USGS site, I realized that what I thought was someone trying to break into my apartment at 3:30 this morning was actually a small (2.somethingorother) earthquake.
AND we're having an effin' heat wave here. Pffffffffffttthhhtttt!
23 July, 2008
Hybrid Car Drivers: That little sticker you got for your car entitles you to drive in the carpool lane, even when you're all by your self in your car. THAT IS ALL IT ENTITLES YOU TO. It does NOT mean you're allowed to run red lights and stop signs, thereby put the safety of pedestrians and law-abiding drivers and bicyclists in danger.
Pedestrians: When you see the big red hand, that means DO NOT CROSS THE STREET. It is not meant to beckon you to cross against your light, thereby endangering the safety of law-abiding drivers and bicyclists who have to either stop or swerve to avoid you. Unless you're having a heart attack or bleeding profusely, you can cool your heels for 30 seconds until the light changes and it's safe (and legal!) for you to cross.
Are we all clear on this now? Good. That is all.
20 July, 2008
Raisins. Yes, I said raisins. Grapes, grape juice and wine are bad, too, but for this post we'll just focus on the raisins, shall we?
And how did I come by this pearl of knowledge, you ask? Because someone got into the (very tasty) raisin scones my good friend made and brought over for us HUMANS to enjoy. Wirehead and I had some with a cup of tea before we headed to the navy base for a shoot last weekend. When I returned home, I discovered a trail of scone crumbs and there were teeth scrapes on the two remaining scones in the container. As I was vacuuming up the crumbs from the floor, I wondered about the raisins. How many might he have eaten? Did it matter? They're just raisins. They can't be bad for cats. Can they? I exchanged a few worried text messages with wirehead, who told me how many he used in the entire recipe and I tried to calculate how many Simon may have eaten. I guessed he ate 10 raisins.
My first-aid and cat care books weren't really specific about the toxicity of raisins, so I turned to Google only to find that the internets are kind of all over the place on the issue. They were pretty consistent in declaring them highly toxic for dogs, but wavered on whether they were bad for cats (because, evidently, dogs love them some People Food, but cats are such finicky eaters they don't eat stuff like scones. **SNORT**). I tried to go to bed, since by this time it was well after midnight, but Simon was hyper and my "spidey sense" was still tingling. After a few minutes, I was scrolling through the contacts list on my iPhone until I came upon Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, the 24-hour emergency hospital we had been to just a few weeks ago. The receptionist spoke to the on-duty vet for a few minutes, then came back on the line and said as far as they knew raisins are more toxic for dogs than for cats but they gave me the phone number for the ASPCA Poison Control Line. At this point, I was so completely exhausted, and Simon hadn't vomited and certainly didn't look or act sick. I thought of just going back to bed. But I just couldn't do it, so I dialed the toll-free number.
I spoke with a "Dr. Smith" there and she asked the usual questions, "How many did he eat?" "How much does he weigh?" "Has he had any vomiting, etc.?" I told her he looked and acted normal and that I thought he ate about 10 raisins, total and he weighs around 11 or 12 pounds. The words I really wanted to hear at that moment were, "OK just keep an eye on him for the next day or two and take him to his vet if he shows any signs of sickness."
Instead, she told me I should either take him to a 24-hour vet, or attempt to induce vomiting myself by giving him 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Thank goodness I still have a bottle of peroxide on hand. I frantically tore through the kitchen drawers trying to find a suitable measuring spoon and a medicine syringe to give him the peroxide. While I was doing that, Simon was helping himself to Billie's food, which I let him do because I had read in one of my books that it helps to induce vomiting if the pet eats a little something first. I finally found a measuring spoon and an old eyedropper from a herb tincture. I rinsed the eyedropper thoroughly and brought Simon into the bathroom with me. He did fight me a little, trying to get the peroxide down him a dropper full at a time, but bless his heart, he took pretty much all of it. The ASPCA vet said it might take up to 10 minutes: He was horking after two or three. I counted nine raisins. And I STILL want to know what my prize is for guessing how many raisins were in the jar!
I phoned the ASPCA back (they charge $60 for a consultation, but you get a case number and can call back on that number as often as necessary) and explained what had happened. They said I should keep an eye on him over the next 24-48 hours and that it wouldn't be a bad idea to take him to his regular vet. So, he had a couple of follow-up blood tests with his vet, to make sure his kidney values were stable (and to give him a little "fluid flab" to help flush out his system) and I'm happy (and very very relieved) to report that he is just fine.
So, here's a list of things that Simon has gotten into and generally how freaked out you should be if your dog or cat gets into the same thing. I have also included the ASPCA Poison Control number and a link to their web page. I hope you never have to refer to them, but judging by the amount of traffic this blog gets from people wondering if gerbera daisies are toxic to their cats, it may prove useful.
04 July, 2008
Because he thinks "mental distress" is not an acceptable health issue for late-term abortions.
"Now, I don’t think that “mental distress” qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions. "
I've got news for Senator Obama. Mental illness (including distress) is not a mere temper tantrum where you can put pregnant woman in time out until she "gets over it". Mental distress is a very serious medical issue and, yes, it can raise "real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term," if she is under such great distress that she might harm herself and/or her fetus.
Ceiling H. Cat, how can he NOT GET THAT?!?
So tell me again why NARAL couldn't wait to support him...
(h/t to Melissa at Shakesville, who actually made my point much more coherently than I just did)
26 May, 2008
This story makes my blood fucking boil. Twelve-year-old Jaime Nared has all of a sudden been banned from playing on the mixed-gender team she's been on since she was in the second grade. Why? Because she's a phenomenally talented GIRL.
Here's the money quote:
Neal Franzer, The Hoop's director of operations, said Thursday that parents were "adamant" that their complaints have nothing to do with Jaime's skills.
"They said the problem was the boys were playing differently against her because she was a girl," he said. "They'd been taught to not push a girl, so they weren't fouling her hard, and the focus had shifted from playing basketball to noticing a girl was on the floor with them."
Riiiiight. Because, you know, it's just so much easier to discriminate against a talented girl (or woman) than it is to teach boys that EVERYONE should be allowed the chance to compete and excel at the highest level they're capable of and that capability has nothing to do with being female or male. (For the record, the boys on her team seem to have no problem whatsoever with the fact that she's exceptionally talented--and already 6'1"--or that she's a girl. In this video, one of her teammates says that having her on the team makes them try harder and play better.
It saddens and sickens me that the lessons of teamwork and competing to their fullest potential have been interrupted (yet again) by the inappropriate interference from some of the so-called grown-ups who are teaching them, instead, that it's perfectly all right to discriminate against someone ought not to be able to compete with them because of their gender/race/sexual orientation/religion/economic class.
Full disclosure: That this story comes out of Beaverton, OR is 1) not a surprise to me at all and 2) a bit of a trigger because I dealt with this sexist bullshit when I went to high school (SHS, not BHS, if you're familiar with the area). I had hoped that the mentality there might have evolved a little bit in 25 years, but I guess not.
(Hat tip to Melissa at Shakesville and so on down the line...)
17 March, 2008
It's pretty much as horrible as I feared it would be.
24 January, 2008
On Monday, I finished off the last two tickets from my 2-week book of ferry tickets, which meant that I had to queue up to buy more tickets Tuesday morning. I saw the line and groaned, silently chastising myself for not taking advantage of the holiday on Monday when the ferry wasn't crowded.
So I finally get up to the register and ask for my usual book of 20 tickets. The deck hand swipes the card. Waits. Nothing. He asks for the card again and gives it another go. Nada. Tries again. We were just at the edge of the Estuary by then so it seemed obvious that we were out of phone signal range but we press on and he swipes it again. Noooooot quite. Finally, fifth try's a charm and out comes the receipt. I sign one copy and stuff the other one in my wallet, take my book of tickets and head back to the upper deck where one of my fellow commuters was watching the rest of my stuff. We were approaching the Bay Bridge, so there wasn't any point in getting comfortable.
Fast forward to around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. I had deposited my medical reimbursement and was going to make a payment on my credit card and nearly swallowed my eyebrows when I looked at my checking account activity and saw FIVE pending charges from Blue and Gold Fleet. For $85 each. I phoned the "customer service" number and, unsurprisingly, spoke to someone who was clearly stationed overseas. I explained what had happened and that only ONE of the charges should count and I could give her the receipt number and all of the other codes on it but please make the others go away, or at least put them on ice until I can sort it out with Blue and Gold. Her solution? Since we couldn't have a conference call with Blue and Gold (being it was 11:00 p.m. at that point), we could just let all five charges go through and file a dispute. In the meantime, $340 of my money is unavailable to me. You can bet if I had deposited a check for $340, they'd put a hold on THAT until the spirit moved them to release the funds to me, but they won't put a hold on $340 of charges that I'm already disputing.
wanting to say "Oh hai, I have something for you! Here's a big steaming pile of I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO, just for You!"
actually saying "I'm hanging up now."
Wednesday morning, as I waited for the Encinal, I phoned the office at Blue and Gold. I got a really nice gentleman called Aidan on the line and he took down all of the particulars and assured me he'd get the right person to look into it for me. Later in the morning Dolores called and said that their merchant bank only found the one charge to my card. She had me fax over a copy of my transaction history showing all of the pending charges and the receipt. She phoned me later in the afternoon and assured me that there really was only the one charge to my card (note to self: NEVER use the debit card for this stuff! Srsly!) and that the merchant bank said the other four pending charges should be gone by that evening, or the next morning at the latest. I thanked Dolores profusely for all of her help and patience.
I checked my account when I got home from work. The one legitimate charge had gone through but the four pending ones were still there. I sighed and went to bed. At lunchtime today I checked again. They were still there. I called the CS number and navigated my way until I could get to an operator. Except, a couple of steps before I could get to a live person, I was held hostage while they played a frackin' ADVERTISEMENT for their wonderous CD savings products, forcing me to either press 1 to learn more or 2 to continue with my business. I was about 16 different kinds of NOT HAPPY by the time I was allowed to speak to an actual person. I explained that I had talked to the very wonderful people at Blue and Gold and that the one charge that went with my receipt had been processed and that the other ones were not legitimate and their merchant bank said they should have disappeared from my account by now. This person demanded authorization codes for the four bad transactions. And if I wasn't able to get them for her right away? The remaining four charges would post to my account. So, not only are they currently holding $340 of MY money in limbo, they'll just hand it over to Blue and Gold, even though they don't have any authorization codes for THOSE transactions (and they never will because, according to the merchant bank they don't bloody exist!).
I phoned Dolores again and may the blessings of Ceiling Cat be upon her because she said she and her supervisor would look into it for me. A short time later, Arlene from Blue and Gold phoned and said she had talked to a very helpful person named Stacy at my banking institution and that if I go look at my account now all of the charges would be gone. And LO! They were! Arlene apologized profusely for all of the trouble but I kept telling her I was just so grateful that they were so helpful and patient helping me get this resolved. They certainly were more helpful than anyone I got in touch with at my bank. Arlene said they were implementing a new procedure for processing cards, based on this experience.
I was damn lucky. I had received a holiday bonus and I hadn't burned through it so, if I had to, I could have covered any outstanding payments (and don't think it hadn't crossed my mind that the bank stood to gain a lot in overdraft fees if I hadn't been able to cover the payments). A year or two ago, I wouldn't have been so fortunate.
So, once again, Blue and Gold staff rock! Everyone from the office staff to the captains to the deck hands are so friendly and customer-focused that I can't imagine commuting any other way.
11 November, 2007
Since you won't get a cell phone that gets decent reception in your own apartment and, therefore, insist on conducting all of your personal calls either outside my front door or outside my window, talking loud enough that I had to PAUSE my iTunes (I'm catching up on my This American Life podcasts) because your voice was too distracting, then I'm just going to take down your entire conversation, WORD-FOR-WORD, and put it in my NaNoWriMo novel!
Just so you know.
01 November, 2007
October was just a lousy, goddamned month. There were some bright, wonderful spots (i.e. any moment spent with my friends), but there has been so much stress piled on me from so many directions (including a random line of questioning from Kaiser over blood/urine tests that I took nearly a month ago where they won't tell me what the problem might be but keep calling to ask me about this and that and I'm really freaking out right about now!) that now it takes every ounce of discipline I have to get out of bed.
And then, just to flip its evil middle finger one last time, a teenage girl was murdered IN MY FRONT YARD, more or less. A 15-year-old child, shot to death during a brazen robbery IN A FUCKING PLAYGROUND. I am absolutely sick about this. It's Alameda's first homicide this year, but my neighbourhood is particularly prone to rather violent, armed robberies.
Anyway, to October, I say "fuck right off!" I'm
hoping intending to start fresh now that it's November.
26 October, 2007
Miss England, Georgia Horsley, has been told by Miss World pageant officials to put on some weight because, as Ms. Horsley put it, "[pageant organizers want] their girls to be more voluptuous and womanly and curvy, you know, rather than the stick-thin, size-0 models that you see around." (Ms. Horsley is, for the record, a size 4.)
The thing is, she says she tends toward a more athletic, boyish build. To her credit, she's vowed to put on those extra inches by eating healthily (oily fish, nuts, avocado, etc.). So the obvious question is, what if those healthy fats go straight to her waist/thighs/chin/whatever?
"I'll obviously scrap the idea and I'll just accept the fact that I'm a naturally athletic build and can't do the curves." says, she.
Hey, here's a really radical idea: Why don't you just skip all that and just ACCEPT YOUR NATURAL BUILD and tell the pageant officials to GO FUCK THEMSELVES!
15 September, 2007
Looking around my cubicle Tuesday, I was growing dismayed with the somewhat chaotic state of the folders that I had inherited. So, attempting to bring order to my workspace, I started sorting and organizing boxes and buckets of files. At one point I felt a slight twinge in my lower back but it wasn't much and, though I took it easy walking back to the Ferry Building, I mostly forgot all about it. I came home and fed the cats: I stayed in the bedroom with Billie and had a quick lie down while she ate her supper. Everything was just dandy until I tried to get up. Muscles spasmed, a nerve became pinched and I suddenly could only wash my hands and brush my teeth by kneeling in front of the bathroom sink.
(Those were the Good Old Days...)
I woke up in pain later that night and had trouble going back to sleep. Around 4:30 a.m. Simon finally came and snuggled around my head, purring. That relaxed me enough that I finally slept. I "snoozed" the alarm and went in to work an hour late (I would have called in sick but had a meeting and, well, it's a week where I really had to be at the office). I asked a co-worker who teaches yoga what asanas I might try to unlink my back and she suggested a couple of easier, more gentle ones to try. I hobbled my way through work, modifying my cubicle so that I could type and write standing up (sitting was rather out of the question at that point). I came home that night and realized that I had forgotten to stop and pick up ibuprofen. I figured, though, that between the yoga and relaxation and icing my back, I should be all right. After all, that's worked in the past and these incidents always started clearing up after a day or so.
A little after 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning I awoke to a back that was shrieking with agony. I tried the yoga asanas. I tried ice. I tried massaging. Nothing helped. At 3:15 a.m. I was finally so desperate that I put my green polar fleece jacket on over my oversized pink flower pyjama bottoms, put on my glasses and grabbed my keys and went to the 24-hour Wallgreens for some ibuprofen. As I got to my corner, I seriously considered heading over to the ER, hoping that maybe I could get a prescription for a muscle relaxer (which I had never taken in my life). I decided that Wallgreens was closer and faster and, since I hate medicating and rarely do it anyway, a small handful of ibuprofen might take the edge off of the pain enough that I'd be able to function. Then, as I turned onto Otis, an evil thought crept in about how nice it must be for those people who have boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses who would go to Wallgreens for them. I've worked hard to not indulge myself in such pity parties lately, but this one had the positive effect of getting my mind off of how fucking much my back was hurting. I pulled into the lot, shuffled inside the store and got two bottles of Wall-uprofen (they had a buy one get one free sale), a bottle of Vitamin Water and, miraculously, remembered to pick up a pack of toilet paper (I had been forgetting to do that for almost a week). I stifled a scream as I got back into the car (have you ever tried getting in and out of a car with mostly cloth seats?), opened the Vitamin Water, opened one of the bottles of ibuprofen and took four of them before starting the car.
Unable to sleep and somewhat delirious, I took this photo and, because there was nothing better to do, posted it on my Flickr stream:
(My thanks to those who posted kind comments on the photo, BTW...)
The pills did take the edge off enough that I was able to lie down for a little while before the alarm went off, though I never did go back to sleep. By the time I made it to work, I was exhausted and still in incredible pain. My game plan was to the input only for the stuff that HAD to be in by Friday and then take the next ferry back to Alameda. Well, it went slowly and I only ended up leaving an hour early. Actually, I had planned all week to be on the 4:10 ferry on Thursday because I was going to SFlickr that night. However, considering I hadn't slept since 2:00 a.m. and the state of my back, there was no way I was in any shape to drive across the bridge and socialize. I was bitterly disappointed at missing the SFlickr meet up; the one thing I had been looking forward to all week...I still want to cry, I'm so upset about that.
Between the ibuprofen and a rearrangement of my body pillow (doubled over and placed under my knees so I slept only on my back), I managed to get a full night's sleep. Friday it was back to the office to finalize the data I had put in and then start on the less time-critical stuff. My back was actually quite a bit worse, but at least I had slept so I managed the best I could. Every move hurt. It was all I could do to shower and get dressed. Have you ever tried getting dressed WHEN YOU CAN'T FUCKING BEND IN ANY DIRECTION? I nearly abandoned the underwear and went commando. Interestingly enough, the only thing that seems to not bother my back is walking, though it's much slower going lately and I've taken nearly everything out of my backpack to lighten the load.
And then there's the cats. Mind you, they've been very good at trying to nurse me back to health. Simon is constantly giving me shoulder rubs and he'll actually lie on my stomach to help straighten out my spine. Billie gives me leg rubs for encouragement. But everything I have to do to care for them requires bending, squatting, and crawling around on the floor. Friday morning I dropped Billie's dish, scattering a few kibbles outside of it and eliciting a dirty look from her. She ate her food anyway, then promptly horked it all back up. Which meant being on the floor to clean up that mess. I'm always spilling their water, trying to replace the water dish and am always begging Simon to move out of the way so I can pour his kibble into his dish. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DEALING WITH THE LITTER BOXES!
So that brings us to now, nearly 10:00 p.m. Saturday night. I'm still in an unbelievable amount of pain: I managed to write this post because I found one particular way to position myself in the chair where I'm not in constant shrieking agony and I ain't moving unless I absolutely have to. I still have trouble showering and dressing. This afternoon, after my shower, I stood in the doorway to my bedroom, holding my underwear and sobbing because I had spent ten minutes trying to get them on and could not. Once I was finally "dressed", I ended up watching most of Bread and Tulips (a very sweet Italian movie) standing up because I couldn't find any way to sit that wasn't excruciating. This is the closest I've come to not being able to take care of myself and it is terrifying and depressing all at the same time (which probably isn't going to help me in recovering from this).
At this point, I'm going to see if there's any way I can see my acupuncturist or find a chiropractor that uses ultrasound therapy (that used to help). But I'm also hoping that it will respond to a couple of days of rest. I'm not sure I can take much more of this. Physically, I'm beyond my breaking point, and emotionally...I'm pretty damn close.
10 September, 2007
1: Enough with all the talk about Britney Spears' "paunch" already! Maybe her performance at the MTV VMA left much to be desired, but, seriously, how many of you people ripping her for having a tummy would look ripped after having TWO BABIES?
(UPDATE: OK I've finally seen the photos from the VMAs. SHE'S NOT FAT!!! Anyone who says she is really needs to get therapy.)
2: Regarding Kyla Ebbert, the young woman who was just about booted off of a Southwest Airlines flight for looking a little to hawt: WHAT THE FUCK DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE THAT SHE WORKS AT HOOTERS? Would it be as important if she worked at, say, Denny's? Or in some office somewhere?
For Frack's Sake!
07 September, 2007
Breastfeeding (or photos of) is not obscene! Breasts exist to provide nourishment to developing infants, full stop, end of story. If some people here cannot handle the image of a woman feeding her child, then they need to go away and come back when they've developed beyond the maturity of a 12-year old.
(once again, h/t to Shakesville)
21 August, 2007
Tourist/Day Tripper Dude: (after regaling his sons/nephews/whatever with stories of being on a boat and claiming to have watched a fighter jet crash into the Bay as it took off from the Alameda Navy Base some years ago) "Just look at all that land! They should develop it, like Blackhawk, and put, you know, a BIG golf course and a shopping center and lots of big homes on it!"
Me: "So that only rich people could afford it? Oh goody, we don't have enough of THAT in the Bay Area!"
Me: exit stage right to go to the lower deck while I could still resist my urge to make Tourist/Day Tripper Dude "go for a little swim".
Tourist/Day Tripper Dude: glares
20 July, 2007
Around 4:40 this morning I awoke from a dream. I could hear Billie scratching the wall next to the litter box (it's how she cleans her toes of the dust and...oh, never mind, it's too early for such ick). Suddenly the apartment started shaking moderately violently and for quite a while.
The stats (so far):
Centered about 5 miles ENE of Alameda (that's CLOSE! And on the Hayward Fault, I believe.)
Depth was about 3.6 miles (rather shallow)
So, between the shallowness and the close proximity, we got a good, long shake. I was concerned about the pots of herbs I had to bring in from the front stoop (don't get me started on THAT bit of asshattery). Because Simon likes to munch on them, I've had them up on top of the high shelf...until about 10 minutes ago, when I relocated them to a less dangerous location.
Of course, it woke me up all the way, so I never did get back to sleep before the alarm went off. Fair warning: I'll probably not be in a very sunny-bunny mood today.
18 July, 2007
As of this morning, this poor guy still had that fucking wire and line wrapped around its foot (feet?). It looks like the Animal Control officer was unable to reach it safely to tend to it. I phoned the shelter this morning and someone there told me the officer tried yesterday to reach the chick (okay, juvenile, but it's still a baby to ME) and was unsuccessful and that she was going to return today. But it looks like she still couldn't reach it, and if she could, it really is a two-person job to recover the bird (while keeping the very-protective adults from pecking her to bits).
I went back this evening and met my friend K there. We agree that this is a job for someone with more skill and experience in this sort of thing than either of us have. He found the name of a bird rescue organization and he's going to contact them. Perhaps if they cannot come to Alameda, they can give us direction on how to recover and help the bird ourselves. Either way, this little guy most likely will need some care and rehab.
I was relieved to see that the adults are being so protective of it. They hovered and squawked and got REALLY testy if they thought either one of us was getting too close to the chick. K also said he saw the bird swimming around, so at the very least it should be able to get over to the pier pilings to eat the shellfish that cling to them. And it seems it found a shelter for the night underneath a concrete piling, so it should be reasonably safe until high tide sometime in the early morning hours.
I'm still so fucking angry about this that it took every last ounce of self-restraint to stop myself from going over to where a bunch of guys were fishing and screaming blue murder at them. I am tempted to post photos of this chick near the fishing areas, though.
02 July, 2007
But instead I saw the headline that Bush commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence and then my head exploded.
Hours later, I still cannot seem to find the words to adequately express my anger. And yet, I'm sort of at a loss as to where, exactly, to direct my anger. From BushCo to the wingnuts who continue to support him, to the mainstream media who continue to give them a free pass, to that ever-shrinking-but-still-there percentage of people who STILL support Bush to, to, to...
25 June, 2007
...that is requiring increasing amounts of chocolate and ibuprofen. Gah!
24 June, 2007
Simon and I were enjoying a nice, Sunday morning lie-in. While I snoozed, he purred and curled his body around my head. He dozed off with a big, purring sigh. Our idyllic peace was disrupted by the rumbling of this monstrosity pulling up outside our front window.
Already wrapped tightly around my head, Simon got upset and, as he does, clung more tightly to my head which, painfully, included slightly digging his claws into my scalp. To my credit, I did not yelp in pain, but stroked his chin lightly while he relaxed his "grip" on my head.
Evidently, the Roto-Rooter crew is digging a big hole in the front courtyard. I don't know WHY they're digging a hole as no one from building management has posted or sent a notice telling us that we should not expect to be able to hear ourselves think today. But every so often, they stop digging, turn off the CAT (Simon argues that it most certainly is NOT a cat) and discussing the digging of said hole.
Given his aversion to machinery that is big and loud and sounds like it might just eat kitties, Simon has been most unhappy today. He just got himself comfortable in his basket when they cranked up the digger again and he retreated to his "safety spot" just outside the bedroom door. Billie has also taken cover under the chair. As for me, I've given up on trying to work on tasks that require a lot of focus and concentration and am just glad they haven't shut off the water the the building. Yet.
14 June, 2007
Bravo you, in your Prius, all saving the environment and shit. It's great that you and your fellow hybrid vehicle drivers get stickers to use the carpool lane, even if it's just you, the driver, in your vehicle*.
However, I am fairly certain that the Department of Transportation (or the DMV or whoever sends out the stickers) does not issue stickers to hybrid drivers allowing them to RUN THE FUCKING STOP SIGNS.
(*Though I would think that, if hybrid drivers were really all THAT concerned with helping protect the environment they would eschew the sticker and head straight over to the bus stops and BART stations and, you know, ACTUALLY PICK UP PEOPLE AND CARPOOL. Yeah, I know, that's just crazy-talk.)
30 May, 2007
Because DING!DING!DING!DING!DINGGGGG!!! I think I can confidently say we have a winner for Asshole of the Year (and it's not even June, yet!). The Pink Pucker Award goes to:
The Unnamed (as yet) TB Patient. Quoting the article (emphasis mine):
"The man flew to Paris from his home in Atlanta on May 12 for his wedding and honeymoon, even though health officials told him they “preferred” that he not get on the flight, he said in an interview published today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Days later, while he was in Italy, he was contacted by officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was told that he had a rare and potentially virulent form of the disease and should turn himself over to Italian health authorities immediately.
"Officials of the centers said at a news conference today that they had begun to make arrangements with the Italian authorities to isolate and treat the man in Rome. But instead of cooperating with the plans, the man traveled to the Czech Republic and took a flight from Prague to Montreal.
"He said in the published interview that he did that in the belief that he had been put on a no-fly list and would not be allowed to board a flight bound for the United States. "
To which I can only add, FUCKING DUH!
Oh, but check out his AOTY acceptance speech; IT'S A REAL HOOT:
"I’m a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person. This is insane to me, that I have an armed guard outside my door, when I’ve cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing."
Let's hope that good edjumucation was in civil litigation and that he's made a shitload of money from it because, right now, there are several hundred people, with several hundred attorneys with their lawsuits drawn up just waiting to fill in the name of the Defendant.
Take a bow, Asshole!
(Full-disclosure: I fully realise that this guy is dealing with a horrible disease and is in for some bad times ahead. While I don't begrudge him marital happiness, being "successful, well-educated, etc. etc." is no excuse for not exercising some common-fucking-sense.
More disclosure: I never knew my grandmother (my mom's mom). When my mother was six years old, her mother contracted tuberculosis and spent most of my mother's childhood in and out of the TB hospital in Portland (there's a whole sad tale about this that, one day, I'll go into). My grandmother died when my mother was just thirteen.)
05 May, 2007
So, a couple of months ago the CD player in my car, Luna, suddenly quit reading CDs. I took it to the dealership a couple of weeks ago and got it replaced (at no charge, since she's still under warranty). So this morning I wanted to switch out my Morrissey/Smiths mix CD for my Wilco mix CD but the player is refusing to spit out--or play--the Morrissey/Smiths one. Which means another call to the dealership and another appointment and another all-to-early morning on the road. And at least another week of NPR which isn't such a bad thing, except it's feckin' pledge drive week and I get so sick of the way they start sounding so condescending.
P.S. Anyone out there with a Subaru have this much trouble with their OEM stereo(s)?
17 April, 2007
Somehow, I've got "Point Me In The Direction of Albuquerque" by The Partridge Family stuck in my head tonight.
08 April, 2007
If you want me to file my tax return, you should really SEND ME THE BLOODY FORMS AND BOOKLET.
05 April, 2007
Several times in the last two or three months, I've pulled the litter box away from the wall to sweep the litter that the furkids (well, Simon) scattered, only to find wetness behind the box. Given Billie's history of occasionally deciding that she just can't be bothered to keep her entire ass in the box, therefore peeing half in-half out of the box, I naturally assumed she was either A) being lazy or B) making yet another Political Statement.
A couple of weeks ago, I switched out the short-walled red box for the high-walled blue box, specifically because Billie can't do the half in-half out business with the blue one. I noticed small clumps along the back wall of the box, consistently, every time I cleaned out the box (my apologies if you're reading this over lunch or a snack). I realized that neither cat is that consistent.
It turns out the drain pipe under the sink has a bit of a leak. And probably has had that slight leak for, oh, a few months. (I thought it was odd that whenever Billie peed over the side of the box back there that it was colourless and odourless...)
Ssssssssssssorry Miss Billie.
30 March, 2007
Avoid the Chinese food bar at Lee's Deli. Unless you have a tremendous craving for obscenely-priced, stale, cold food.
That is all.
23 January, 2007
January pretty much SUCKS.
The short list:
* My work, academic and artistic "careers" are in a death spiral;
* A former co-worker was murdered in his home (only to have the local cops declare him a druggie and/or a dealer which is just so fucking NOT TRUE);
* My friend's cat just died a horrible, tragic death;
* And I'm sick of scraping ice off my windshield every morning. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area for crying out loud, NOT MINNESOTA!
I really, REALLY must stop here.
22 November, 2006
The sadistic bitch--or bastard--who came up with duvet covers! It is just simply not possible to get the damn comforter spread out evenly in the cover. The hilarity and hijinks don't end! Try shaking the cover/comforter ensemble out, only to realize that it is so damn heavy because THE CAT SLIPPED INSIDE THE DAMN COVER!