Saturday, January 31, 2009

Event Horizon

The call from the vet was not good news. Bodhi’s kidney levels were through the roof. Apparently she had been sick for some time and was suffering renal failure. It was just a matter of time. So we said our goodbyes, and I took her back to the vet’s yesterday afternoon. What a heart-breaking day.

Kyle’s friend picked him up later in the evening and took him to a band event at the school for a couple hours. Chris went to bed early. I watched a little TV and then grabbed my book – I’m almost hesitant to tell you what I was reading, lest you think I am intentionally trying to re-read my youth. Which I’m not, but an interesting idea all the same.

I was reading Neuromancer. Which I’m pretty sure I read the first time while I was still in Detroit. Which means – hold on, gotta do a little math and that’s always painful – 17+ years ago. Holy crap. That can not be right. I no longer trust my math skills. Anyway, I read this book a long long time ago. And unlike Jailbird and The Watchmen, I remembered none of it. At points I even doubted that I had really read it before. Science Fiction was not (still isn’t) my usual genre. But I did read it, and at several times throughout the book, I really wanted to go back in time and ask the younger, completely not-geeky in the sci-fi way, me it I enjoyed it. Did I even get it then? 20 years later, the concepts of AI and the matrix are not that hard to wrap your head around. But in the late 80s?! Yeah, not so much. I really would like to have been in my poor brain on that first run – man, that must have been one hellofa mind fuck! Or I was completely lost. Yes, I know – I was in my brain that first time, I just don’t remember the experience. Don’t remember any of my thoughts about the book. Nothing. Nada. Kinda strange don’t you think? Maybe it was completely over my head, so I just moved on, retaining nothing.

But I hadn't planned on reading this book. I was in the Science Fiction section at the library looking up books by Neil Gaiman, when I noticed Neuromancer by William Gibson on the shelf below. And I remembered that Chris, who is always reading SciFi, had told me he had never read it! I, of course, gave him some shit about it being a classic and that even I had read it blah blah blah. So I checked it out for him. But he’s reading some work related books right now, so when I finished The Watchmen, I picked up Neuromancer. Simple as that.

Kyle didn’t get home till around 10pm last night. I stayed up to 11:30 finishing the book. When I finally got to bed I was completely exhausted. Emotionally beat-up by the week, and up hours past my normal bed-time, I hoped I would fall right to sleep. No dice. My head hit the pillow and I closed my eyes…

I was in the exam room. Petting Bodhi’s gaunt frame. Waiting for the doctor to come and…

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Move along, nothing to see here

Typically, the day after a migraine-induced post that is barely lucid, I like to follow-up right away with something light, sunny, and well - sane. Push the ramblings of a lunatic down the page some on the off chance that a new reader might stop by. Hey, it could happen! Leave a girl her dreams eh? I have gotten a few comments from complete strangers over the years. Although to be perfectly honest, it kinda freaked me out.

Sadly, today you're not going to be getting that happy post. Our cat, Bodhi, is sick. And the outlook is not good. Chris took her to the vet last night. She has a mass in one ear that has basically paralyzed half of her face. And she has stopped eating and only weighs 7 lbs. We won't get the results from the blood work back until tomorrow, so we don't really know anything conclusive yet. But still, I'm a bit of a mess. We all are. So, yeah. It sucks. She is only 10. We've had her since Kyle was 2 1/2 and she sleeps on his bed every night. So as you can imagine, they are kinda tight. Well, as tight as a boy and an aloof cat can be. And I'm not even going to think about how much thumpin' that crazy cat gets from Chris every morning, or how he carries her around upside down...

And where the hell is the part of my brain that tells me to wear water-proof mascara when I need it?! Stupid brain. Stupid mascara. Stupid mass.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And the ones that mother gives you. Don't do anything at all...

Hmpf. This blog needs a new post. I finally have a little breathing room this morning while I wait for IT to call back, and what do you know- I feel like crap. I’m border-line contemplating getting a headache. So, fun for you. Buckle up. Odds are this will make no sense at all. Hmm, I wonder if Bob Mould is on Twitter. No. So onward for better or worse. Ya know, somewhere there is a smart-part of my brain that is shouting “take the pill now!” I’ve heard it’s message faintly a couple times this morning. I suspect that part of my brain is being sat on by the ‘you-only-get-6-pills-a-month’ pill-horder part of my brain. The same part that has enough vicodin to choke a cow stashed away in the bathroom, but never sent up the suggestion to take some while I was suffering excruciating pain pre-ER visit last month. Yeah, that part. The evil s.o.b. part of my brain. Oh dear, this is not going well. Must focus.

So, last Friday was a good day. I had planned to write a nice post on Friday afternoon, telling you all about this wonderful chickpea sandwich that had brought me one step closer to world domination. But no. As soon as I got home – woosh! I was swept away by Chris’s Big Weekend Project. His plan is to get rid of our storage unit. To do that we need to make room in the garage for the stuff from storage. Of course this can only happen after a giant purge of crap that we no longer need. So Chris started to go through all the boxes and sort the things we wanted to keep and the crap to toss or items to donate. Now, my possessions were already pretty streamlined. But Chris has been luggin’ around a lot of stuff. Like all his college text books! All of them! To the dump they go! In fact much stuff went to the dump. Two van loads of stuff. And then a van load of stuff went to Goodwill. That's a lot of stuff!

It was a weekend trippin' down memory lane. Chris looking through boxes of old climbing mags – literally – boxes! Photos. I won't even mention the love notes from high-school girl friends. Yikes. I went through all my old artwork. Whoa, the Blurry years watercolor phase is some seriously weird shit. Sadly for you, I didn’t think to pull out the camera and photograph any of it. Now it is all repacked is nice new portfolios and back up on the shelf. But my old canvases are still to come back from storage so we have that to look forward too. I’m sure that some twisted stuff in that stack too. I did find the self portrait I painted while I was going to Wayne State. I don’t think Chris will let me hang it in the house.

So, the point – yeah, like there is a point to any of this! - is that we worked in the garage all weekend. And we got a lot done – beside my canvases, a couples chairs and the shelves, the storage unit is empty! But my thoughts of world domination were lost. And when I got back to work on Monday, I was faced with an email migration that still is not working right. So blah. What’s a girl to do? I babbling on one monitor and staring at this on the other.

All while waiting for someone from the IT dept Helpdesk to call me back. It could happen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

its like a Commandment or something...

President Obama didn't mention anything about not stealing in his speech right?

Cause I swiped this pic from and I'm not sorry. Because it's too funny to not share. And I'm a small fish in this bloggy sea - more like a little tiny baby krill - so I don't think she'll notice. I would have asked, but she's a bit busy today with the all the happy happy joy joy dancing she's got going on. So, I'm just gonna spread the Miyagi-love on her behalf...

And my favorite Inauguration Tweet of the day from redwhiteandnews: "What would rock is if Carrie Fisher came out and put medals around Obama & Bidens necks while the Star Wars theme played."

Hell yes!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Wow. I just finished re-reading The Watchmen last night. Damn. On so many levels.

And with that stunning assessment, it is time to catch you up on what I have been reading. After finally finishing The Shock Doctrine last fall, I hunkered down in the fiction section to nurse my wounds and regain my strength.
According to my Goodreads* account, I've read:

  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Blah. Didn’t finish it.

  • Pagan Babies – Good ol’ Elmore Leonard. Started out kinda slow (coulda been the Elavil) but wrapped up nicely at the end!

  • How to Be Good – Nick Hornby being not so good.

  • Jailbird – pulled this old Vonnegut book off my bookshelf. It had been so long since I had last read it that I had forgotten everything, but would remember/recognize it as I went along. So it goes.

  • American Gods – Oh yeah baby, this was good. There should be more Neil Gaiman – such a great story teller. And you can never go wrong with gods right?I must convince the Sain’tly one to send me the rest of the Lucifer series.

  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir – Cynthia lent this book to me and I must say, I avoided it for the longest time. But I picked it up between books and was quickly sucked in. Amazing story.

Which brings me back to The Watchmen. Damn. It was fanfuckintastic. The Sain’t gave it to me to read the first time in – let’s see, we determined it was my second stay in San Francisco, so that would have been ‘92? Early ‘93? And like the Vonnegut book, I didn’t remember much of anything about the plot, yet turning each page there was a familiarity, a “oh yeah!” moment. I did remember the comic with-in story, but the end was a complete surprise. How nice. (It seems 15+ years does the trick. There was a postcard for a gallery opening dated 1992 in the Vonnegut book.) And now it’s finished. And I'm feeling rather lost. But hey! The movie will be out soon! And when it comes out on DVD later this year, I’ll finally get to see it. I'm not worried. Those uber-in-laws will take care of me. Bob's TV is large enough to rival any movie theater. And there will probably be cake. Whether I like it or not.

What am I reading now? Dreamweaver CS3 – The Missing Manual. Cause I just can’t stand not lugging a big heavy programming book around with me everyday. It’s an illness I tell ya, an illness.

* ya know, I was just talking to Chris about my FBI file. Everyone has one right? Mine should have a flag on it by now don’t you think?! (I’m now following Karl Rove on Twitter!) Anyways, "they" say they track your library records and searches on Amazon etc. Well and its ilk make sure they don’t miss a thing! Books bought at a garage sale? Loaned from a friend? Handed to you in an airport with a marigold for a bookmark? Let me just add that to my Goodreads account. It’s the equivalent of polishing the silver tray, donning white gloves, and spoon feeding the info right to the data miners. Damn. I should quit everything and start focusing on the JFK conspiracy full time! And UFOs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Dead Kennedys** Ear Worm of Love

Wow, we were barely unpacked from our last trip to Santa Cruz (hey remember Christmas? yeah that was only like 2 weeks ago!) and we turned around and went back last weekend (check it - the grandparents still have their tree up!). Seemed rather sudden, but the waves were pumpin’ dude. So, we threw our bags in the van, and 3 hours later were back at the beach. It appears that our travel plans will now be based on the swells. Bitchin.

And you know what else is bitchin’? My in-laws. In fact I’m upgrading them. They are henceforth to be referred to as the uber-in-laws. Cause my in-laws are better than your in-laws and that’s all there is to it. There is no need to go into any long drawn out list of how and why they are better, no need to mention mercury glass, or Sigg bottles piled on top of all the love, all I need to tell you is that they read this blog. And they saw my last post and they were ready for me when I came back.

While the boys were surfing, Bob and Paula took Erin and I to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park so that I could get my big tree fix! That’s right, there is a redwood forest right down the road - 6.25 miles from the comfy bed I sleep in! I knew there were redwoods nearby, but this was right there in Aptos. Behind Fleur, and that little shop were I spend too much money on fancy barrettes for Erin’s hair. Happiness was so close all this time!! So we strolled thought the trees for an hour and all was right with the world! I'm now thinking we're gonna have to put bike racks on the van.

And the next morning, sans fils, Chris and I went back downtown and stumbled upon a street fair. Oh the joy. I picked up a couple books. Snapped some pictures. And then found the treasure of the day. An Argus 75 Twin Lens Reflex camera. Hot damn! I can't wait to try this baby out. Just looking though the ground glass viewfinder makes me happy. Chris said I actually "squealed" when the guy said it was ten bucks. I can believe that.

So yesterday I dropped off the first roll of film from the Supersampler* to be developed! Then I stopped by the camera shop to get a quick lesson in working the new Argus and picked up some more film.

Ya know, I’m gonna have a heck of a time convincing Chris I need to upgrade my digital camera body sometime in the future if I keep buying cheap film cameras.

I can stop any time I want to.

* for the record - that camera was a Christmas present. Oh! and the Holga was a gift/payment for design work done. So technically, the Argus is the first film camera I have purchased. So there.

** because I have far too much time on my hands, I found California Uber Alles on YouTube. Damn, that's some funny shit.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lookin' good Billy Ray

So, here we are, 6 days into 2009 and I’ve got to tell you, I’m feeling pretty good.* I don’t want to jinx things, but since I’ve already declared ’09 to be the year of Health and Happiness, I’m going to go all out and be… happily optimistic. Down right cheery. Good things are happening. Yippy! Alright. Enough of that. Everything in moderation people.

This is the first time I’ve ever really been jazzed about a new year. The whole new year/resolution thing was never the big a deal for me. But having survived 2008, and on Chris’s prompting, I actually wrote out a list of goals for 2009. Top of the list were Health and Fitness goals. Easy. Easy to put on the list, not to accomplish. Although more yoga should not be a problem. The rest of the list was pretty much art related. It would be nice to start painting again. But I don’t worry about it. That’s one of those ‘it will happen when it happens’ zen things. In the mean time, I’ve got plenty to do with my cameras. I even have some design work to do. And over the weekend, Chris added another baby gate across the office/tv room so that the Tasmanian Devil we live with can no longer get to our desks! We may now be able to get some actual work done. That in itself is going to improve our lives 1000%. It’s going to be amazing.

Hmm, I’ve nowhere to go with all these positive thoughts and good vibes. This post is 2 days in the making now and it’s flopping around like a fish outta water. Lucky for us, the always loverly JulieT has tagged me with my very first meme. I am to name 6 things that make me happy. Well, that shouldn’t be too difficult right?! If I get hard pressed, I can always use Kyle and Erin for 2 of the 6. Ha! I know! That is really funny. And then I have to tag 6 other poor saps with the meme. Cause meme’s are the internet equivalent of chain-letters but without the “something bad will happen to you if you don’t” part. Cause if you don’t do it, I don’t care. God speed and more power to ya.

So, without further ado, 6 things that make me happy (in no particular order and not counting my family and friends who are a given right?):

  1. Cheap film cameras – Santa brought me a Supersampler to keep my Holga company! I can’t wait to get the first roll developed and see what I’ve got. Experiment art at it finest baby.
  2. Yoga – there must be more yoga. I’ve even been toying with the idea of teaching again. Maybe later in the year.
  3. Getting things in the mail from friends – really is there anything better?!
  4. Trees – being in the Redwoods, a forest, climbing a tree, or the shade of a really big tree on a summer day.
  5. Books – and libraries! How am I ever going to have time to read all those books?
  6. Paint in my fingernails - it’s been a while, but I dig the reminder that I have been doing something that I love. And the stained fingernails last longer than that smear of paint across my forehead.

There. That wasn’t so hard. In fact, that list has made me really happy! Especially thinking about the trees. I really need to get down to Big Sur one of these days. Get my big tree fix. Hmm, maybe the next long Santa Cruz weekend. But not this next weekend. Next weekend is all about the surfing. And the Supersampler!

Oh yeah, I need to pay the happiness forward. My super6 are:

Katie Jean
Mistress Potty Mouth
Nifty Images
Sain’t Christopher
Spa Diva
Slices of Stacy


* Except when I go to sit down. Or walk down stairs. My thighs do not appreciate that particular range of motion after the lunges I did Sunday afternoon whilst strength training on the Wii Fit. The quads, they are a burnin’. Actually, I suspect many parts of my body are sore, but my brain can only process one set of signals at a time and the pain receptors from my legs have got the system all tied up right now! Bandwidth hogs.