Pancake (2003-2017)

Our Pancake was selective. We always joked about how he would rub against our guests’ legs but hiss if they touched him. It took years for our best friends to become “acceptable” to him. And, I’m not sure he ever met a vet that he didn’t injure. (Sorry about that to all his vets, by the way.)

But for me, he was like putty. He would sit politely at my feet and look expectantly at me until I acknowledged him. When I tapped the arm of the couch, he’d hop up and sit next to me, cozy and content, under my arm like I was a spy movie villain and he my faithful minion. If I was sitting on the bed, he’d sit with his tail or leg touching me, just to be sure I was there. When my husband and I slept, he slept between us until it was time for his evening rounds. He led us upstairs every morning and evening; I still “see” him at the top of the stairs sometimes or darting around a corner ahead of me. I miss him so much.

He flew across the country with me, from Chicago to Seattle. He lived in three different places over our time together, one of them a temporary apartment. He could have freaked out about that, but he didn’t. For him, home was wherever we were. He loved to watch birds. He loved kicker toys. He loved being up high and sleeping in sunshine. He loved us. He protected us, from threats both laser and insect.

We adopted him when he was three. We held him in our arms and said goodbye when he was fourteen. We will love him always. We are so proud to have been his home and so happy he chose us.

The Inside of Pancake

Ever wonder what Pancake’s insides look like? I meant to post these awhile back, but I’m only just now getting around to it.
Pancake Lateral X-Ray
Pancake Thorax X-Ray

The clinic where I take Pancake gives me digital copies of X-rays and whatnot, hence me having pictures of his insides. He’s getting an ultrasound tomorrow, to check for kidney stones. I’m hoping I get images of that, too! 🙂

Happy Pancake’s Day!

This is the anniversary of our adoption of Pancake. 🙂 We’ve had Pancake for 5 years now, so it’s a very special anniversary. To celebrate, Pancake got a new bamboleo toy and tuna for dinner!

I recently read a post called, “Thanks a lot, asshole.” If you haven’t already read it, go check it out now. I’ll wait. 🙂

I decided to do my own version for Pancake’s Day:

Five years ago, I adopted Pancake from the wonderful Tails of Hope shelter, and they had gotten him because he’d been abandoned. Despite having been in a loving foster home, Pancake was very scared.
Being in a carrier terrified him, and as that’s the only safe way to transport a cat from place to place, he was spending lots of time in the carriers to be shown to people. He was angry, and he would lash out at people who were interested in adopting him because he was in a carrier at the time. He did the same thing with us at first.

After we got to know each other, Pancake came to trust us. Now, he sleeps in our bed. He gets up every now and then to patrol the house, but every morning when I wake up, he’s right there, ready for head pats and nuzzling as I become awake. When we go out of town, he misses us so much that he follows us from room to room when we get back and howl-meows if he loses track of us. And here’s the thing…he’s the best cat. Seriously. I never had to train him to not go on counters when I’m cooking or not to beg for food; he just knows. He doesn’t shred things that he shouldn’t (at least not on purpose). I have been able to change his food, his litter, to move him temporarily into a different room…no problems. The one time he got out to explore the giant outdoors, he came dashing back home, even though it had only been his home for a brief time.

This is Pancake now:

So, although I say FUCK YOU to whoever abandoned him, I also say thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet and love this cat. He is loyal, protective, loving and affectionate. He’s amazing. So yeah, thanks, asshole. Couldn’t have done it without you.

The Victory PT

Associated gallery: The Victory PT

Well, it took me long enough to post about this. 🙂 I bought a new car on Friday. Well, technically, it’s a used car, but it’s new to me. I’d fallen in love with the PT Cruisers a year or two ago. I kept ending up with a PT as a rental car, and I really loved the versatility and feel. It had a very comfortable driving position for me, due to the raised seats. I also liked the ability to basically change it into an open van in the back when needed and to use the shelf as a privacy guard, shelf, or picnic table. When Chrysler said they were discontinuing them and that 2009 would be the last year, I was heartbroken. I’d been hoping they would do a hybrid PT.

As y’all know from the news, Chrysler isn’t doing so well, and as it happens, the PT isn’t selling so well. Plus, dealers get a glut of high mileage PTs from auctions since they are popular rental cars. I decided to take a shot at getting a good deal on a PT given the economic situation. Also, my Sentra, my Terimasu, was coming up on needing some not-insignificant maintenance and repair. I initially looked at buying a new PT, but, after research, I decided I could get a much better deal on a used PT, to the point that I could practically just buy it and re-sell it and make money on the deal.

I started scouring the internet for PTs. The problem with buying a used car is that, if you want a particular trim level or feature (as I did), it can be a bit of a hunt just to find a car that fits the criteria. But, lo and behold, I found an ad on eBay for a 2008 PT Limited Turbo that was above my needs and was priced (on the eBay ad) just at blue book, below NADA. I did as much research on it as I could do online (Carfax, etc.), and everything seemed good. Then, I made an appointment and drove down to the dealer (who was a good 30 miles from my home). I test drove the car, and it sounded fine. The oil had been recently changed. The tire treads were reasonably and evenly worn. There was some minor rust on the exhaust (pretty normal and unavoidable up here) but no rust on the exterior or undercarriage. The interior was in excellent shape. There were some dirt stains in the cargo area but nothing major. Also, there was some minor chipping around the Chrysler logo on the hatchback door.

I went into negotiations with the dealer. I started out, as recommended by a few places, by putting a time limit on our discussion. I said I was meeting a friend for lunch (true) at noon (not true) and that I would be leaving then unless we had reached an agreement. I also said that I wanted to separate my car from the discussion of the PT, that we could discuss a potential trade-in after we agreed to a price. The salesguy whinged a bit at this, but I stood (sat) firm. We eventually came to an agreement on a price that was 1K under what was posted online. In retrospect, I should have pushed harder on the price, probably could have gotten another couple of hundred at least, but I was intimidated by the fact that I was already well under blue book, so I couldn’t really point to anything and say, “match that price.” All I could do was repeatedly point out that there was another PT with the same trim and same miles in Milwaukee that was selling for less (but which I knew was a 2007, not an ’08, and which I knew was not in as good shape as this one, nor as loaded with options) and point out the few cosmetic flaws I had seen. (side note: I ended up about 1K above the ’07 in Milwaukee.)

Then, when we’d settled on that price, we started on the trade in. They offered $3200. I laughed. I asked for $5300, pointing out that it is a fully loaded limited edition in good shape that they will be able to sell far easier than the car I’m buying. The salesguy pointed out some minor damage on my car. I pointed out that the parts would cost them around $100 and offered to buy them the parts myself if they disagreed. I showed them my maintenance slips that proved that I’d just put some work into the car (stupidly, but I wasn’t 100% on selling it at the time). Long story short, we ended up at $4200. I accepted this because I ended up saving $300 on sales tax via the trade-in, plus it was much easier to just sell to them than go sell it myself (though I was willing to do that had they not come in with a decent price).

And…here’s the best part: I bought my PT in cash, outright, no financing. 🙂 That’s a huge win for me. I’ve never bought a car outright before. (Well, in fairness, this is only the second car that I’ve bought.) I’d made a promise to myself that my next car purchase was going to be outright, and I did it.

In the past, my cars have generally been named based on the nationality of their make. My Sentras were named Terimasu and Terikumo. (My Tracer was named Kobee, which is American-ish, I suppose.) In choosing a name for this one, it needed an American name that fit its retro-chic appeal, and I wanted celebrate my accomplishment in buying it. So, I decided to call it the Victory PT. (Euro gamers may catch the pun. 🙂 )

In other news:

  • DH is doing well, mostly. He did get a chest X-ray on Friday because he feels like he’s getting fluid build-up. His thoracic surgeon has been bloody useless, by the way. He won’t return calls, not even to schedule the mandatory follow-up appointment, not even when DH left a message saying he felt like he was having a problem with fluid build-up and occasional chest pains. Once we’re done dealing with this guy, we’ll be leaving an extensive negative review on Angie’s List. But, thankfully, our bridge-playing doctor friend did DH a solid by reassuring him that while it’s worth getting checked out, it’s nothing emergency-worthy yet. (Thank you, you-know-who-you-are!) It’s worth noting that this problem stopped DH from going geocaching with a bunch of us on Saturday, but it has not stopped him from working a 12+ hour shift today. In fairness, VP is far less strenuous than geocaching…and far more profitable.
  • DH bought a netbook! We got it from woot. It is tiny and red, and he is thrilled with it, mainly because he doesn’t have to play second fiddle to me to use a computer on the 1st floor. 🙂
  • Pancake has a twitter now, and his own page. I decided I was posting too many tweets on his behalf, and also it’d be fun to have his Catbook page get updated more frequently. He’s doing just fine without those 9 teeth. He’s on a wet-only diet now, though he can chew and bite when he needs to. I got him some dried salmon treats to use for training purposes, and he is able to bite through the chunks. He’s so finicky. He won’t touch most treats. He’s never liked things like Pounce treats, but he loves the dried salmon chunks that cost 3 times as much. 😛
  • I took this past week off of work to be with DH. I was glad for it, too, because he only started to feel comfortable driving on Thursday evening. Thus, he needed someone around to chauffeur and to generally help him out during the day. We had a really fun week being retired together. We played daytime bridge, and we saw a movie during the day. If this is what being retired together will be like, I can’t wait. 🙂

Update on the boys

First things first: to receive the latest updates on my DH’s surgery (for family and friends), please watch either my facebook or the twitter feed in the right-side sidebar…or follow me on twitter if you’re so inclined. My sn on twitter is “myTsuKata”. Tweets will be duped to Facebook, so either way will work. However, I’ll only write longer blog posts like this as I have time.

We’re at the hospital, me and MIL and FIL. They’ve taken my DH back to get started. I met all his doctors. One of his poker buddies has a wife that works here as a surgical nurse, and she stopped by to reassure all of us and explain anything we had questions about, as well as to wish DH well. DH was in good spirits, and I know he really appreciated having all of the good wishes from everyone. He was way braver than I was. 🙂 Aside from his bravery, the process was pretty much the same. Oh, and they put stockings on him. I didn’t get stockings. We won’t have news for another couple of hours. He’s getting both surgeries done today, for the bronchogenic (sp?) cyst and for the hernia, with two different surgeons. For the hernia, it’s the same surgeon as did my gall bladder…it was good seeing Dr. Ganshirt again…just as cheery and nice as I remember him.

As for an update on Pancake, he is doing very well. He’s beginning to forgive me. 😉 He’s eating well. The medicine he had seems to have given him a little diarrhea, but otherwise, he’s good. But, his appetite is fine, and he is playful and friendly as usual.

We had a good weekend this past weekend, with friends staying at the house most of the time. We saw No Doubt in concert at Summerfest on Thursday, which was awesome.

My boys are sickly :(

Those who follow my tweeting may have seen that the two most important males in my life, DH and Pancake, are both in need of surgery. 🙁

For DH, he is getting a bullectomy. I’d love to link you to a site explaining it, but much googling (and binging) has led me to few if any results. I mean, there’s one site that talks about it in reference to emphysema (which is apparently the most common way to end up with a giant bullae in your lung) or to COPD (other common way), but neither of those apply to DH. DH has a congenital bullae. It is possible that he’s had it for 2 years or 20 years. It’s caused by a weakness in one area of the lung that causes a pocket to form where there shouldn’t be one, hence being common in patients with emphysema (b/c that weakens the lung tissue). It isn’t causing him any immediate breathing problems or stress, but it could burst or become infected (the latter being more likely) at any point and cause him lots of pain and potential lung collapse. The thoracic specialist/surgeon said that if DH were in his 70s, they might not bother with it, but with him being in his 30s, the chances of it becoming bad are higher. So, to remove the large bullae, what they do is go in kind of like they did for my gall bladder (although they won’t blow him up the same way…they’ll collapse his lung and get room to work that way, from what I’ve read…I watched a video of it being done), with camera and instruments. First, before they cut in, they’ll send a camera down his throat and into his lung to verify that it’s where and what they think it is from the cat scan. Then, assuming it is, they’ll do the bullectomy using 3 small incisions for camera and instruments, triangulated to allow them to work without tripping over each other. They’ll basically remove the air from the bullae, and there’s some other bits, too, but the point being, they’ll make it so his lung can inflate fully again. He’ll be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the surgery, and during that time, he’ll have a chest tube. The surgeon said he’d be able to work again in about a week but that it’ll take 3-4 weeks for him to be at 100%. DH and I still need to talk more about the plan for this. He came home for awhile, but he was restless and wanted to go to work. 🙂 So, he’s at the casino now, and he and I will figure out the details later…but surgery is scheduled for 7/6. It’s very likely that I will work remotely from the hospital during that week, though I need to check in with work on that…I may also just take the week off so I don’t have to worry with it, but problem is we have a project milestone that I need to be there for during that week, so…well, point being, it’s a TBD situation.

While DH was finding this out, I was at the vet with Pancake. I’d been neglectful and not taken him in for a checkup for ~18 months. (I’d taken him in because he had a bump on his head during the summer last year, but I hadn’t scheduled a check-up b/c Banfield ticked me off during that visit…and then my work project (now cancelled) kicked in and I lost track of time until now. Point being, I was a bad cat parent. 🙁 ) So, I was taking him a new vet that is a cat-only practice. And around the same time I made the appointment, coincidentally, his breath got really nasty smelling. I’d changed his cat food, so I changed it back, but the really nasty breath persisted, so I asked them to take a good look at his teeth, figuring he probably needed a cleaning and he’s at the age where I might need to start brushing his teeth. But, it was worse than that. He has advanced periodontal disease. His gums are all pus-filled and nasty. He’s already lost two of his small grooming teeth in the front. 🙁 And I feel terrible because if we’d caught this earlier, it’d be better. Plus, he’s probably been in pain, although, as cats do, he’s hiding it. He’s been eating dry food and such, and his appetite is strong and healthy. But, anyways, this is why yearly check-ups are important, because this sort of thing can sneak up on you. He probably had some plaque build-up that just got worse without care and I didn’t realize it. 🙁 Anyways, so he’s getting a full cleaning on Monday and they may have to take his teeth out if any of them have more than 50% decay. The vet said his gums are receding badly, that there’s a bump on his canine teeth that is visible that shouldn’t be visible, so she suspects that he will have some teeth that have to be removed. The good news is that this doesn’t really affect his lifestyle. Even with no teeth, he can still eat both soft and hard food. It may change his face structure a little, but generally, the most important thing is that he won’t be in pain. And I feel like a total jerk, because I let it get to this point, unknowingly, but still. I should have known better, and he should have been seen 6-8 months ago, and maybe we wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Granted, Maggie never needed a cleaning in her life…she had all her teeth when she died, and she never had more than a tiny bit of build-up that the vet cleaned with a little scraper and a regular cat toothbrush…but all cats are different. The vet pointed out that some cats are more susceptible than others. These are excuses, though. I was a bad owner, and Pancake is suffering for it. 🙁 Pancake goes in for dental cleaning and potential (likely) surgery on Monday. He’ll be on antibiotics until then, and he’ll be on painkillers and antibiotics for a week or so afterward. And tonight, he’s having Alaskan salmon.

Speaking of Alaska, some of y’all may know that we were tentatively planning to take a cruise to Alaska in July. We held off on booking to see what happened with DH’s lung thingie. Given things as they are, we’re going to skip the cruise this year. DH will probably be recovered in time, but we don’t want to tempt Finagle’s Law by booking a non-refundable cruise. 🙂

In other news, I’m doing fine! 🙂 Also, it’s too damn hot outside. You may have seen my tweet that my credit cards melted into one congealed mass in my wallet, that I’d left in my car all day while at work. My Dad quipped, “That’s one way to consolidate your credit cards.” 😛 He’s too funny for his own good.

Not again…

It feels like writing this will make it more real, so I kind of dread writing about it…but I need to get it out of my system, as well as inform the people who read this and thus care. 🙁

You know our brand new laundry/mud room? The one I spent all or most of Saturday moving everything back into? Well, my dear husband decided to do laundry today, to do me a favor…it was a very sweet gesture. He made sure the machine started up okay and then he then went into the basement to study. Unfortunately, it seems that the workman who reset the washing machine didn’t seat the output tube fully into the output drain. As such, the pipe fell out as soon as pressure got into it and spewed water all over the floor, which then flooded the carpet. If you look in the picture that I took in my last entry, you can actually see that the pipe isn’t in properly, if you know what to look for. But, we didn’t realize this, and because DH was in the basement, he didn’t realize it was a problem until midway through the cycle. I’m guessing 4-6 gallons of soapy water got dumped.

The ceramic tile did its job. The problem was that it spilled out into the carpeted hallway. And, because the rooms just got done, we hadn’t gotten the carpeting re-attached yet (another contractor, hired by the insurance company, was going to handle re-attaching the carpet and subsequently cleaning it). So, the water may have seeped out of the room, into the carpet, and then back into the laundry room between the tile and the subfloor. If that’s the case, we will have to have the floor all ripped up again and re-done. 🙁


For now, we have the evil and noisy fans going again, 24-7. It sucks so bad because they slip into my mind unnoticed, until some random moment when I startle and realize that they’re there again. Pancake hates it, too. He’s so upset. He had just transitioned to using his regular litter in his regular place, and he was clearly relieved that things were back how they should be. He had explored all the corners and nooks. He liked the new shelving. Now, things are crazy in his house again, and he is not pleased. He keeps meowing piteously. I brought him upstairs with me and gave him pats and cooed at him until he relaxed, but he’s on edge. Poor kitteh. At least I understand the crazy…he doesn’t know what’s going on and why we keep doing this to him. 🙁

We’ll find out on Wednesday what the verdict is…cross your fingers and think happy thoughts for us that the water didn’t seep under the tile, or if it did, only a little that has gotten dried out by the dehumidifiers and fans.

It left me in stitches!

I woke up late today. It was nice to sleep so long, but I had a busy day planned. I put on a sports bra and one of my running skorts, and I grabbed some socks. When I got downstairs, I fed Pancake and settled into the couch to have breakfast before going for a run (more walking than running, but that’s what I call it at any rate). After a much too long time had passed, the doorbell rang. It was the postman dropping off a large package, from my aunt. I read the letter, and she was sending our holiday presents along with some things that had been my grandfather’s that she thought I might like. I grabbed one of my knives and cut open the package. The box was full of plastic bags (for cushioning) and items wrapped in some of the bags.

As I was digging through and pulling things out, I reached into the box and grabbed something that felt really sharp, like grabbing a porcupine or knife. I yelled an expletive and dashed over to the sink. I had blood streaming down my hand and arm, dripping on me and the floor. I rinsed off in the sink in cold water, and it looked like it was just a small cut on my finger, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and started cleaning up the mess. I knelt down on the floor and started wiping up blood drips and washing off the drips on me…and it just seemed like there were so many spots! I kept cleaning and cleaning…and then I realized…I was still bleeding. The blood had soaked through the wrapped up paper towel and had drizzled down my hand to form all those drops on the floor.

Eek! So, I rinsed the cut again and realized it was still bleeding profusely. I wrapped it tightly and applied pressure, raising it over my head. I consulted the in-house doctor (aka the internet), and I couldn’t find anything that definitely told me whether I should be really worried. Finally, I found one site that said that if your skin wasn’t staying together on its own, you should go to the emergency room. I looked (which made it bleed profusely again, as soon as I removed the pressure) and the skin was definitely gaping a little.

Right, then. I ran upstairs to get some medical gauze pads. I wrapped one of those around the finger in place of the purple party napkin that I was using at that point. I tried to get a rubber band to hold it in place, but that didn’t work, so I held it tight with my thumb. Then, I tossed on a shirt, and I grabbed my purse and a coat. I’d left my keys in B*’s car last night, so I had to retrieve the spare set. (My DH was at work, so I was home alone.) I awkwardly drove over to the nearby urgent care center.

The attendant at the window gave me a form to fill out, but I had hurt my right hand, so I couldn’t write. She ended up filling out the forms for me, but I still had to sign the waivers. I signed with my left hand, so it was illegible. I might as well have just made an X. She told me that there were 4 people ahead of me and to go wait unless I started feeling faint. At this point, the bleeding had slowed, so I wasn’t too worried. I sat down in the waiting area. A call had come in on my cellphone while we were doing the forms, and it was Ms. Moo. She was in Third Lake (not far from Gurnee) performing in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is how the conversation went when I called her back:

Ms Moo: Hey sweetie!
Me: Hello. (pause) What’s up?
Ms. Moo: What’s wrong? Are you okay?

Seriously…three words, and she knew something must be wrong…and I was relatively calm, I thought. I explained what had happened, and she said she was coming to where I was right then, and no protesting on my part could stop her. 🙂 She rocks. 🙂

Granted, I wasn’t spewing blood any more, so I was beginning to feel silly for going in. But, then I soaked through my gauze and had to get more gauze from the desk attendant. (One thing I learned from the internet: don’t remove the gauze or paper towel or whatever if you can help it…just add layers…because every time you remove it, the clotting stuff gets removed along with it. That’s one thing I screwed up at first.) Around an hour and a half later, I finally was taken back to the back. In the interim, Ms. Moo entertained me. We laughed and chatted so much that, aside from me having ten layers of gauze on my finger, you might think nothing was wrong with me.

When I got back, the nurse tutted over the fact that I’d been waiting so long, given that I was actively bleeding. Then, she cleaned up my finger with saline and asked me to rate my pain (1 to 2…it wasn’t hurting too much, just bleeding). I gave a brief medical history, and she put a wet compress on my finger and made me comfy in the little bed.

It was the same bed that my toenail was removed in,back in November, 2003. 🙂 But, this time, instead of my DH holding my hand, Ms. Moo was holding my hand and keeping me sane. The doctor came in to take a look, and she initially said it was no big deal, no sutures needed…but then she looked a bit closer and got concerned. She said I could get sutured or I could just get glued, but she thought the sutures would do a better job given that the cut was on the fleshy part of my finger and it was fairly deep. I opted for sutures.

They refreshed my tetanus shot, just in case. (My tetanus was 9 years old.) They also positioned my arm in like twenty layers of fabric with a special finger-isolating hole in it. Then, the doctor got me numb. It hurt like bloody hell when the needle went in, but it didn’t take long for it to numb up and stop hurting. I looked at it, and it looked bright white and swollen. It was really freakish looking, but I couldn’t feel anything. Then, she started sewing. I didn’t watch that part. I intentionally looked at Ms. Moo and she talked to me about other, unrelated things to keep me distracted.

I ended up with three stitches. They’re black and look like little bugs. They coated it with neosporin and wrapped my finger in a band-aid. I have to keep it dry for the next two days, then do a checkup, then get the stitches removed in ten days.

Ms. Moo came home with me. She brought me a chicken sandwich and a McDonald’s toy. (It’s a bobble-headed frog!) We watched TV together all afternoon. I should be doing homework right now, but I need to get this story out of my system first. Typing is a bitch. I’m using my other two fingers for what that finger usually does. It’s my birdie-finger, by the way.

It hurts to press on the finger, but aside from that, it’s doing fine. The tetanus shot arm will probably hurt tomorrow, though, and that’s my other arm.

Time Travel

As many of you have noticed, the blog has gone back in time to catch up on posts from our (very awesome, wanna go back NOW) Disney trip. As such, I skipped over quite a few events that would normally warrant a blog post. I don’t want to spend another month re-capping, so below is a one paragraph, catch-all summary of the things that were, January 2009. As is fitting for anything dealing with time travel, I shall start with Lost

Lost is back on! Desmond’s baby named Charlie, the others speak Latin, woohoo! B* made me a cake with a Dharma logo. It was delicious…disappeared very quickly, did Ben turn the wheel, shift cake through time? Obama officially president, yay! Didn’t care about inauguration until the day it was on, then was sad I couldn’t watch live and had to work instead. Re-org’d at work into new group but otherwise similar. Got one estimate for the pipe burst repairs from the guy(s) who did our basement, liked their work, but the painting estimate alone was higher than was to paint whole basement. Something smells funny in Denmark, yo. Business name is of the form, [name] the [job]er…which led to Joe-the-plumber, bob-the-builder joking between DH and I. DH has been working odd hours at his second job. Very stressful. Ran Survivor at Mensa AGOG. Had to scramble to get to the minimum ten to play, but once we got there, it was AWESOME. Everyone had bonzer good time. Yay. Knee has been hurting alot lately. Also, period has been irregular. (Not related.) WTF is up with me? Wish knee would stop hurting. But yet, I will be going skiing on Saturday, yay! And knee can just suck on that, thank you very much. Pancake continues to be adorable kitteh. Races me up the stairs. I almost won last night, but only because he let me have a 5 step head start. Thought L4D was an evil time suck, but then Mr. Moo introduced me to Braid, which now is on my bedroom xbox (not mytsukata gamertag). Damn you, Mr. Moo! Got special L4D achievement last night for blowing the witch’s head off, Cr0wnd! Sweet. So cold outside. But weather Saturday promises to be ski-awesome. Found giant and strange fruit at the store, called Pomelo, is huge and we could kill a small child with it, but we won’t. Instead, will eat. Also got some honey tangerines. Enjoying finding and trying out new fruits. Finished second term of class, am 12.5% done with MBA. Group project ended much better than it started. Next term, taking two classes: Effective Leadership *coughbullshitcough* and Negotiations & Conflict Management (win win win). Hoping negotiations will make me awesome at negotiation such that I can help Mensa with hotel negotiation stuff. Will speak quietly so they have to lean in, then will change meeting location suddenly without notice…then will threaten to kill their daughter. 🙂 Oh and how did Frogurt’s shirt fit Sawyer? Nonsense.

First Lostie to catch the embedded (very subtle) clue in the style of Lost gets something nifty, though I’m not sure what. Adoration? That’s nifty, right?

Going home ID-free

Amazing, but true: it is faster to get through the Orlando airport security without an ID than it is to get through with one.

I had three security guards checking my stuff, but I got my own private line, while DH joined the masses. I was done, re-assembled, with shoes on by the time he came out and plopped onto a bench to re-lace.

But, I’m ahead of myself. The morning started with us sleeping in and enjoying the hotel’s internet. The shower was a lavish experience, and I felt like I was betraying Disney by enjoying it FAR more than my Port Orleans shower. I washed away my face paint. It washed away easily, with minimal scrubbing, and there was no bleed onto my pillow from last night. Awesome!

We packed and then had lunch at BW3. We had access to the hotel’s pool all day, so we went for a swim after lunch. The hotel’s pool had a shaded area! And, the jacuzzi was in the shade! Woohoo! Granted, it was cooler in the shade, but I loved that I could swim with less fear of the sun. Then, we relaxed poolside for a bit while we dried off, before we changed back into street clothes.

Because our joint credit card had been stolen, DH had to talk to the rental car main desk when we returned the car. It was going to be auto-billed to our card, so he had to switch the billing. While he stood in line, I re-arranged and re-packed stuff to be more compact.

I finished up my Accounting homework once we got closer to the gate, and we changed into warmer clothes just before boarding. Mr. and Mrs. Moo picked us up from the airport (they are awesome for this, btw) in the snow. Pancake was thrilled to see us. He nom-ed a Nutrigrain bar while we were gone…all over our bed. But, it was a minor mess that was easily fixable and the poor kitteh had probably gone a little more than 24 hours without wet food. Our flight was on time, and our luggage came out fast.

All in all, it was a good trip home. I’m glossing over a few hiccups and stress moments, but as I said, flying home without ID was really no big deal. I showed the gate guard what identification I had (school ID, a couple of credit cards, the police report info), and I went on through. I think they re-packed my stuff better than I had. 🙂

Editor’s note: And that ends the backposting Disney saga. Hope you enjoyed the show! If you ever want to read the full saga or link to the Disney trip and nothing else, the link is Just remember that you have to click on the post title to see the whole post. 🙂

Twas the night before the night before the night before Christmas…

I don’t normally Twitter-ship, but it’s the best way to blog this:

about 10 hours ago from digsby: 5-starred Don’t Speak and Underneath It All on Hard…singing & guitar simultaneously. Only 4 stars on expert tho’
about 8 hours ago from digsby*&#@!!!! We just had a pipe burst, spewing water through the wall and all over the place for about 20 mins before we got the water shut off.
about 8 hours ago from digsby At least it was a hot water pipe
about 8 hours ago from digsby: Thank goodness (and our night owl selves) that we were awake. Otherwise, our whole house would have flooded before we knew.

Because today was to be a light day for work, I stayed up late and waited for my DH to get home from the casino. I worked on our holiday card (which is in the mail for anyone whose address I had) and used my brand new mic stand (from B* – yay thank you!) to test out my Mad NoDoubt Skillz. Then, DH got home, and we adjourned to the bedroom. While we were letting a Season 1 30 Rock ep lull us to sleep, I heard something that sounded like loud static. I thought something was wrong with the TV, but I muted it, and the noise was still there. I roused DH to take a look, and once he figured out what I was talking about, he said, “WATER!” and we ran to the laundry room. Water was spewing everywhere, like a fountain. It was hot water. DH’s chest got burned a little, as he fought his way to the source. We thought the water pipe was backing up at first or that the laundry machine’s valve had burst, so we tried to turn off the water sources for the laundry, but that didn’t stop it. DH realized that the water was actually coming out of the wall. Our hot water pipe had burst and the ensuring spewage had burst through the wall. There was 3 inches of standing water in our laundry room, soaking into our hallway, spilling into the garage. Our shoes, Pancake’s litter, and our coats all got soaked. While we were shutting off the water, we realized it was raining in our basement crawl space, and a small waterfall had formed where the crawlspace becomes a walking space.

We managed to find the main water valve cut off and shut off the water to the house, which stopped the incoming flow. Then, while I got out our handy-dandy shopvac out of the garage (best $30 I’ve spent, for all the times it’s de-flooded us) and set it up to start sucking up the excess, DH called our homeowners’ insurance to start the process of clean-up and recovery. As of right now, Homepro is setting up fans, dryers, and dehumidifiers in the laundry room, hallway, 1st floor bathroom, and basement storage area.

A bunch of my pictures, posters, and such from the old apartment got ruined. I’d had them in storage, still in the box from when I moved, along with a bunch of silverware, my old microwave, and my old toaster. I thought they’d gotten lost in the move, so it wasn’t as painful to lose them as you’d think. All of DH’s records and tax forms for the past 10 years got soaked.

But, we are thankful for what is good, despite the bad:

  • (TMI alert – highlight to read) We almost had sex instead of watching 30 Rock, but I didn’t want to get messy right before bed, and I was tired. It was bad enough that we were buck naked while doing most of the initial panic and clean-up, but can you imagine if we had been mid-coitus? 🙂 (/TMI)
  • Most of what got destroyed this time was stuff that we had in “deep storage”…meaning we hadn’t touched it in years. It’s probably for the best that we’re cleaning it out and throwing it out. The tax forms and papers were, unfortunately, in that area because they’d gotten re-located to high ground after the basement flood last year.
  • The Homepro people think that the carpet, pad, and walls will dry out. Granted, it’ll take 2-3 days of us having loud fans going…and this time it’s in our primary living and walking space instead of in the basement where we can shut it off and ignore it. Well, I guess we’ll just watch TV and “live” in the basement for awhile, as the fans down in the basement are not nearly as loud.
  • We were awake. If we had been asleep, who knows how bad it would have gotten before we realized something was wrong?

For those with holiday plans with us, things are a bit TBD right now. We’ll keep in touch. Plumber is on his way, and that’s the next hurdle before we know things.

PS – Pancake is quite upset by all of this. He’s had to relocate his pooping twice in the past 12 hours. 🙂 He’s currently locked away in the Iguana room, with food, water, and his box all strategically placed. I also opened the window for him, which should amuse him enough. Poor kitteh!

Going back to work blues

I’m really not looking forward to going back to work “normally.” I’ve been working from home this past week, and my home office in our basement is *way* better than my work office. Because my old (from 1999) 19″ CRT died, I now have a spiffy 22″ widescreen LCD for my home office. I do like my work keyboard and mouse better than my (older) ones at home, but otherwise, home is better. I have a speakerphone on my desk, absolute privacy, and a quick walk to/from the bathroom and fridge. I don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount for soda, and I also have lots of other options (e.g., water, tea, grape juice). I have a warm and playful Pancake to keep me company, who lays next to me and purrs. I don’t have to commute or worry about traffic or gas or bringing lunch…it’s all right here.

Most of all, when I need a break or lunch, I just head upstairs, click on the Tivo or start up a show on my personal computer, and relax. I wear whatever I want, which, for this week, is loose PJ pants or dresses. I sleep in a bit, shower when I have a break (or take a bath so I can multitask), and I eat when I’m ready rather than when the parking lot madness allows.

I do like getting to see and interact with people at the office, but it’s so cozy here! Honestly, I’d use this week as a jumping point to ask my boss about becoming a remote worker part-time, but he fought so hard to get me my cube (and it’s a nice cube, much better than my old one) that I’d feel shabby giving it up so soon.

I’m holey!

Specifically, I have four holes that are roughly in this formation:

- -

They’re like dashes. My surgeon today said that the stitches are all on the inside. All I see on the outside is tape over a cut. I’m to leave the tape alone until it falls off naturally. I can shower today and basically go about my normal eating and doing business, as much as I can manage.

My night in the hospital was interesting. As a few folks warned me, I didn’t really get to sleep through the night. They came in about every 2 hours to check my vitals and see if I needed anything. (Most often, I needed to pee , which required help to get to and from the bathroom with the IV tower…and since I had to pee into a tray on the toilet so they could make sure I was putting out what I was taking in, it was a bit of an art form to get centered on the tray.) They had massage thingies wrapped around my legs to make sure my blood didn’t clot since wouldn’t be moving as much. My magic button was clipped to the front of my gown, and I slept with my sleepy mask on, when I slept.

For dinner last night, I had a “clear fluid” meal, which was a fruity ice popsicle, warm chicken broth, decaf tea with sugar and lemon, orange jello, and water. This morning, my nurse told me to make sure to order breakfast early because they wanted me to have some solid food in my system before they switched me over to vicodin instead of the morphine drip. When I called the room service line, though, they said my meal had already been ordered. I shrugged it off as my befuddled head misunderstanding the nurse, but it turns out that the night nurse was supposed to cancel the clear fluid meal order and never did…so I got a clear fluid breakfast of almost the same stuff except a lemon italian ice instead of the popsicle. It was still tasty, and my throat is still really sore from the breathing tube, so I didn’t really mind. But, the nurse was upset and got it taken care of ASAP…so that about an hour later, I had a bacon and tomato omelet and a banana on my tray. In that hour wait, my surgeon and anesthesiologist stopped by to check on me. I thanked both of them, and my surgeon said I was all clear to leave, so he started the checkout process. The process took another hour or so.

As of right now, I can walk around, slowly. It hurts to sit down or get up from sitting down, but once I’m in any position, it doesn’t hurt much to stay in that position. There’s two types of pain, too…I have the abdominal soreness that most closely equates to how you feel if you do way too many sit-ups…and I have a stinging/burning that comes from the incisions if they get jiggled or stretched.

Trying to keep Pancake from jumping on my belly without offending him terribly is proving to be a challenge. He really wants to be near me right now, but I’m very nervous about him hurting me without meaning to do so.

My DH just went out to get us some lunch and pick up my prescriptions. 🙂

That’s all the news I have.

Something completely different

So, I have come to the realization that I am actually being cut open tomorrow, and it’s going to suck aspirate ass no matter how minor this is versus a million other procedures.

But, I’d rather talk about the Emmys (Emmies?)…

What was that thing on Heidi Klum’s arm? Did someone sign her or does she have a tattoo? Who is Emily May or whoever Baldwin compared Tina Fey to? Did that one guy really forget his kid’s name or was that just an inside joke? Who made Martin Sheen drink the kool-aid to think that West Wing was nonpartisan? Did anything interesting happen in the acceptance speeches we forwarded past? Specifically, we skipped the ones for shows we don’t watch. Hope that helps. 🙂

Oh and yay Mad Men, Colbert, Stewart, TAR, 30 Rock (begrudgingly said on behalf of my DH), Ricky Gervais (for begrudgingly getting his Emmy), Probst (dude deserves it), and Pushing Daisies. Oh, and Don Rickles was awesome.

Thank you to all my friends and family that made this blog post possible, particularly my dear husband who has supported me and kept me sane through all of this. I couldn’t have done it without you! [music plays] Oh and thank you to Pancake and my producer…and my web host!…and the domain registry for giving me…thank you!

Pancake’s day!

Today is Pancake’s day. This is the day that I’ve chosen to celebrate Pancake’s birthday. Much like George Washington, Pancake’s celebrated birthday is not the day he was born. We decided to celebrate Pancake’s day on the anniversary of his adoption date (roughly, as we will always celebrate Pancake’s day on a weekend that we are home). Check out the August 2006 archives (click any post title to read the whole post) to reminisce about Pancake’s early times with us. 🙂

As his Pancake day treat, Pancake got a new water fountain. I also made him a special treat of tuna for dinner last night. However, the still-full dish this morning tells me that Pancake, despite tuna being his favorite catfood flavor, does not like actual tuna. Strange kitty! Maybe it’s the lack of garden greens?

PS – Check out Pancake’s gallery for some Pancake Day pictures!