Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hubby went back to the hospital last night. He still had a headache all day yesterday and wasn't feeling up to snuff. He kept forgetting things like which movies we had watched over the weekend, what day it was, and couldn't really focus or concentrate. The doctor ordered a CAT scan and a neck X-Ray and everything turned out OK. No concussion, but the doctor said hubby probably has post-concussive syndrome. We googled it last night and the symtpoms fit. He should be completely better in a few days. This morning he woke up headache-free, so it seems the doctor was correct. I'm glad he went back and had the scans, and I'm very relieved that nothing serious is wrong.

Monday, March 29, 2004

This was the weekend for car accicents. I came across two, and hubby was involved in one, luckily a fairly minor one.

Saturday, as I was driving to Mom's, I came across one where a motorcyclist had either been hit or fallen off his bike. The person was lying in the road with other people gathered around. I called 911 and discovered they had already been notified. This morning, I came across another in which a pickup hit a car. It looked like everyone had gotten out of their vehicles, but a woman was lying in the grass on the shoulder. I called 911 again, this time they hadn't yet been notified.

Yesterday morning, hubby was called out at 5 to investigate a burglary. He was making a left turn on a two-lane road and the person behind him looked down for second, didn't see hubby, and rammed him at about 40 mph. Hard enough to push hubby's car across the road and into a ditch. Luckily hubby only bumped his head (which left a small knot) and pulled some back muscles...he checked out OK at the hospital. This morning he has a little bit of swelling above his eye and a wee shiner. The funny thing is the guy that hit him is pastor at a church where hubby has done traffic details. Hubby thinks God has a sense of humor because just a couple days ago he was noticing how one eye is a little bigger than the other and was wishing they were the same size. Now with the one eye swollen, it's about the same size as the other. As they say, God works in mysterious ways!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Another glorious Saturday with comfortable temps, lots of sun, and a nice breeze! I absolutely love this time of year.

Hubby and I actually got to work painting the guest room. It's now a sage-green and the color is perfect! I tried to paint the bathroom at our old place a similar color and ended up with a minty-fresh shade of green. It looked like a hospital had collided with an after dinner mint. Ick. We need to do a few touchups and the room will be done.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Yesterday afternoon I felt icky and depressed. I had the urge to cry, for no good reason, which has rarely happened since I've been on Paxil. Well, unless I'm PMSing and thats a whole 'nother ball of wax. I think a big part of yesterday's pity-party was due to me comparing myself to others. I've come across some really cool new blogs and got into that negative mind set of "I suck. I can't write. Other peoples' lives are way cooler than mine." Going home and getting lots of hugs from hubby helped me to get back into a better perspective. I own my life and it's not bad. My life is what it is because of the choices I've made, which I think have been some damn good ones. I have a loving hubby, great furry buddies, health, a home, a job that I like, family, friends... I really don't have anything to feel bad about.


Portia's post yesterday about the mysterious stench cracked me up. I can so relate. Except my crawling around and sniffing is usually in order to detect cat piss. One of the little stinkers started spraying at our old place, which came as no real surprise since several other animals lived there previously, the previous tenants didn't seem much into cleaning, and we had stray toms that liked to come around and stink up the outside with eau de chat piss. I finally invested in a blacklight to help locate the offending locations. (Yes, cat urine glows under a blacklight, as do other bodily fluids. I'm afraid to get anywhere near a hotel room with it. I already feel skeeved enough by hotels. Lalalala I don't want to know.) When we moved into the new house, we invested in these, which worked for about 6 months, then the little shit decided to start spraying again. Luckily it's been limited (so far), and the enzymatic cleaner works well enough that human noses can't detect the piss locations.

The other night I noticed that the part of the slipcover at cat-butt height, on our cat-tattered chair smelled like pee. (Shhh...don't tell hubby, he doesn't know about this and I'm going to covertly wash the slipcover this weekend.) How did I happen to be at cat-butt height in the first place? Well, let me tell you....One of the other cats was acting strange. She was frantically meowing, so at first I thought she was just jonesing for some whipped cream. She's an addict. I soon realized that the meowing was much more frantic than normal and I swear she was trying to get my attention. I followed her into the bathroom and shut the door to keep the nosy dog out. She was still meowing frantically. I sat on the floor to pet her and calm her when I noticed a distinct poop odor. I turned her around figuring she had a dingleberry...the cats really freak out when that happens. No dingleberry, but a turd she had tried to poop out that was still stuck inside...a turtlehead, if you will. I started panicking and thinking "Oh shit (no pun intended) she's impacted and needs to go to the vet." Reason kicked in and I picked her up and carried her to the litter box room. I sat with her on the floor, she hopped in the litterbox, and successfully pooped. No more distressed kitty! Sitting there by the chair was when I noticed the cat piss smell. So now you know. At least I'm not the only one with funky cat stories.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

My undergrad university required its seniors to complete a senior project as a graduation requirement. Biology majors could choose to write a review on a current science topic or do an experiment and write that up. I opted for the latter knowing that I'd be going on to grad school and doing field research. I had no idea what to do for a project, so I applied to some programs that sounded interesting. I was accepted into one on avian research that was run by a foundation in Massachusetts. So I spent the second semester of my senior year at the foundation and in Belize doing the project.

Scientists are a quirky bunch. Some groups are strange and some are fun. Botanists and mycologists (those who study fungi) are generally a pretty fun bunch. I discovered that ornithologists (those who study birds) are very interesting.

I had no bird experience other than waching birds at the feeder. I was in for quite a surprise when I arrived in Mass.

The cast of main characters:

Mark - the faculty member in charge of the student program. He was the best teacher there and an all around great guy. He knew his birds by sight and sound - in some species he could even differentiate males and females by song (something I never could do). He loved to joke around and make learning fun. He informed us that if anyone saw a jaguar and he didn't, that person would automatically fail.

Hans - the TA. Nice guy, knew his stuff, got involved with one of the female students.

Beth - the student who got involved with Hans. Had lots of research experience. At first appeared friendly. Had a cute lisp and a diminuative way. This was all a sham. She actually was nasty, and seemed to enjoy being mean directly to people and talking about them behind their backs. I don't know if she had something personal against me or was just an all-around miserable person, but we did not get along.

Kathy - Also had lots of research experience, including studies abroad. Was in a serious, exclusive relationship, but developed the hots for Hans. Interesting love triangle ensued.

Peter & Mary - Both had tons of research experience abroad and loved to brag about it. Turns out they were a couple who lived together. They were stereotypical old married couple - always bickering. He decided not to bathe during the 6 weeks we were in the field. He ended up with greasy, nasty hair and stank and bragged about how long he could go without a shower. Mark finally stepped in and threatened him. He began bathing infrequently even though we had easy access to showers, etc.

Brian - Also had no birding research. Kept to himself and enjoyed watching the antics of our dysfunctional group. Liked to occasionally throw a wrench into things to see what would happen. I got along the best with him and we had some good talks while out collecting data. He was completely in love with his girlfriend back home. It was so cute to see him talk about her - he would just glow.

English Chap - one of the faculty. Liked to shirk his camp chores. Which I had to then do.

Husband & Wife - Wife was the statistician and anal. Husband was the botanist and absent-minded. Kathy house sat for them at one point and found books on adoption at their house. We all speculated that them having children was a not-so-hot idea. The kid would probably wander off and they wouldn't notice for several days.

Mr. English Bigwig - A higher-up in the forestry service in Belize. He loved to call us "The Boy Scouts" (I guess we all were male?) and loved to ask the girls if they were losing weight while doing all the rough work out in the field. A real great equal-opportunity kind of guy.

The Belizean Couple - they lived at the field station where we camped and did all the caretaking. They both were total sweethearts and seemed to hate Mr. Bigwig. We overheard the husband a few times when Mr. Bigwig would radio in. He'd be pleasant on the radio, but would mumble all sorts of stuff while Bigwig would blabber on. He cracked us up.

My first day in Mass, the other student immediately asked what previous experience I had and went on and on about theirs. Uh oh. Things settled down and I started to really enjoy the program although I didn't get too social with the other students. Many weekends I drove down to CT to see family since I was only a couple hours away from them.

Once we got to Belize for our 6 weeks of research there, things got really interesting. We'd fight over food - "Who ate the last of the chips/chocolate/whatever?" We had to pack in all our food, so munchies were limited and some bastard pigged out and ate them all. I had my secret stash of M&M's which kept me going. I began to get horrible cravings for meat. One of the students was vegetarian, so we all ate veggie meals for practicality. Mark teased me horribly about this. Mealy parrots sound like they're saying "PORKCHOP PORKCHOP PORK PORK CHOP CHOP CHOP" when they call which would drive me to fits. So Mark would say stuff like "Mmmmmm pork chops and gravy....roast chicken....mmmmmm. Yeah, it's too bad I'm going back home in a week and you have 4 more weeks here. Haha."

When the faculty would switch off (each stayed for about 2 weeks), the newly arrived person would bring meat or eggs for a fresh meal. One of them brought chocolate. The students decided to split a bar. Brian declined any because that would have divided the bar up evenly and he wanted to watch us all beg and cajole for the extra piece of chocolate. Finally Hans said he'd secretly give it to someone. We all knew who was going to get it then. We had a stash of rice crispies treats. Kathy and I snuck some to Caretaker Wife and traded for pizza with Spam. I fear Spam, but was jonesing so bad for a meat product that it actually tasted delicious. The entomologist who lived there busted us but promised not to tell. A few nights later he had dinner with our crew and ooohed and aaaaahed over the rice crispy treats claiming he had never eaten one before which sent Kate and me into hysterical fits. He totally hammed it up.

Bill ended up seeing a jaguar on one of our field plots. Peter and Mary saw an ocelot, and somebody else saw a puma.

When we got back to Mass, Mark had left a note on the dorm door, listing our grades:

Bill: F You know why
Peter and Mary: D Since you only saw an ocelot
Everybody Else: C's Just because

Dude had a great sense of humor.

I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I learned so much about birds, tropical ecology, and the realities of field research. I saw keel-billed toucans, scarlet macaws, oropendulas, white whiskered puffbirds, ocellated turkeys, various hummingbirds, trogons, parrots, green jays, acorn woodpeckers, tinamous, black and white owls and many other birds in the wild and even held many in my hand when we did censusing and banding. I also saw tapir, coatis, kinkajous, peccaries, and howler monkeys.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Yesterday I discovered that the author of one of my favorite blogs graduated from the same university as me. It came as a really pleasant surprise. I haven't met anyone else who went to school there since I graduated, since there were only about 3000 students enrolled when I attended.

I must have had college on the brain last night because I had some strange dreams. In the first, hubby was helping me move from one dorm room to another. We didn't marry until about 5 years post college, so it was really strange that I was married in the dream. This morphed into another dream where we were only dating, but he left me because I had gotten pregnant and he couldn't deal with it. I was living by myself in an apartment and ran into an ex who wanted to date me and help me raise the child. This was really strange since he was, hands down, the creepiest guy I ever dated.

The creepy guy and I met in a class. He asked me if I wanted to study with him which led to a date, which I think was the only real date we went on. Shortly thereafter he started talking about his very active sex life (red flag #1) and how he had never been monogamous (red flag #2). We began to have a more intimate relationship and he asked for anal sex, which I refused and told him I had no interest in. He continued to ask for it. Repeatedly (red flag #3). Now I have no problem with someone wanting anal sex. Plenty of people do it and enjoy it. However it was not something I cared to try, was clear about it, and he continued to push the issue. Which showed a complete lack of respect for me and what I considered comfortable. He also liked to receive certain favors which he never cared to return (red flag #4). We dated for a few months and never did go "all the way". I think on some level I didn't trust him and didn't feel safe enough to share that much of myself with him. So deep down somewhere, I knew what a creep he truly was. Eventually the inevitable happened and he broke it off. I was devasted. Why, you ask? Because he was the first man I dated in approximately a year and by that point I was so happy to be dating someone and getting some action. I soon realized that I was devasted by the loss of who I wanted him to be and not who he truly was. We still saw each other some after that, but soon I started dating Hubby and that was the end of the creep.

Not too long after we broke up, I ran into a classmate in the library. We decided to study together for a test. Somehow the creep was brought up in the conversation. This classmate had seen creepy guy at a party sniffing coke or shooting up (I can't remember which - anyway he was doing some pretty hardcore stuff). I took the info with a grain of salt since classmate was an excon and a little odd himself, but it would've explained some of the creep's weird tendancies to disappear for a while and his seriously shaky hands. Who knows.

The creep also had a pair of black leather pants that he loved. I swear he would've fucked the pants if he could've. He'd strut around in those damn tacky pants thinking he was all "I'm too sexy". He wasn't.

I get alumni newsletters from my college and saw that he got married a couple years back. I had to wonder if he's still all freaky-deaky or what. Do he and his wife have an open marriage? Was all the talk about sexing around a bunch of macho bullshit? No I really don't want to know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Because I'm too lazy to come up with a real topic:

Welcome to the next edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.
Okay, here's what you're supposed to do.....and try not to be LAME
and spoil the fun! Copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it into
a new e-mail that you can send. Change all of the answers so that they
apply to you. Then, send this to a whole bunch of
people you know *INCLUDING* the person who sent it to you. The theory is
that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends. It
is fun and easy.

***Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you**

2 WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The loud air handling system. What? I can't hear you. Somebody call OSHA.
3. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Graham crackers with peanut butter. Mmmmm...breakfast of champions.
5. WEATHER RIGHT NOW? sunny and breezy
6. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Stepmom & Dad (both on speakerphone)
8. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? tired and crampy
9. FAVORITE DRINK? water with lemon/tequila sunrise
10. FAVORITE SPORT? hockey
11. HAIR COLOR? dark brown
12. EYE COLOR? brown
13. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no, but hopefully I will again soon
15. FAVORITE FOOD? I don't have 1 favorite, but tatsuta chicken, tamago, and chocolate mousse rank up there
16. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Missing. Interesting movie. Cate Blanchet's character totally kicked butt.
19. SUMMER OR WINTER? winter
23. LEAST LIKELY? *** since they all have sent this already
24. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? House with Hubby, Lily the dog, and cats: Margay, Gyspy, Neko, Tabitha & Skiddles.
25. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf and The Sewing Circles of Herat by somebody Lamb.
26. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Photo of Hubby with the cat sitting on his lap
27. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Taboo (is that really a board game?)
28. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? walked Lily, watched some tube
29. FAVORITE SMELLS? white musk, peonies, chocolate chip cookies baking
31. BUTTERED, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? buttered with salt
33. FAVORITE FLOWER? But I have so many...lilac, hydrangea, peony, Lenten rose, angel's trumpets
34. HOW MANY KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? I dunno...a whole bunch
36. WHAT WOULD YOU HATE TO BE TRAPPED IN A ROOM WITH? any overly fundie, "my-religion-is-the-only-true-way" asshat
37. 7-UP OR SPRITE? Sprite
38. COFFEE? Yes, especially cafe mocha
40. FAVORITE PERFUME? white musk
41. FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME? I don't really have one...U2, Depeche Mode, No Doubt
42. DOGS? Yes, but cats are better. Dogs drool, cats rule!
43. DO YOU FLOSS? Occasionally...usually only if food is annoyingly stuck.
45. PET PEEVES? Oh, there are soooo many.... Old people at Wal-Mart who shuffle along at a snail's pace, then stop in the middle of the aisle. People who can't drive. Old people who cut in line then get pissy when you call them on it. Stupid neighbors who constantly yell at their little kid, curse at each other, and then don't pay attention when the kid runs out in the street. Neighbors who roar up and down the street in their wannabe ghetto cars with the bass thumping. Assclown neighbors with train horns on their stupid redneck jacked-up trucks instead of regular horns....
46. FAVORITE TV SHOWS? MythBusters, Law and Order, House Hunters, Divine Design.

Monday, March 22, 2004

It was another gorgeous weekend. Sunny, breezy and temps in the low 80s. I'm so going to hate the summer heat and humidity. I wish it would stay like this all summer. Well, maybe a little bit warmer, but not much.

Hubby and I went to the beach with friends on Saturday. We picked a place that's mostly family-visited to avoid the spring breakers. There were quite a few people there, but it wasn't at all crowded. Not like some of the beaches where you can't even find a place to lay your towel. The water was too cold for swimming, so we sat in our chairs, ate lots of snacks, and the guys drank beer that we snuck onto the beach (shhhhh). For several hours, a stingray hung around in the shallows near us. So we named him, what else, Ray. One lady didn't notice Ray until she was about waist deep in water and started hopping around and screeching. We all were mean and laughed at her. Seriously, though, hopping around is the last thing you want to do when rays are hanging about. They call it the "stingray shuffle" for a reason. If you don't step on them, chances are you won't get stung. The guys attempted to fly a dragonfly shaped kite that our friend bought. It seemed to have a death wish since it kept nosediving straight into the sand. On the way home we stopped at a Japanese resatuarant for a yummy dinner.

Yesterday was another gorgeous day. I discovered two baby red eared sliders in Mom's driveway that I miraculously didn't run over. I decided to intervene in their fates and carried them down to the lake. Maybe they'll survive the gators and birds and make it to adulthood. I sure hope so anyway. I planted some more flowers out front. I can't wait till we have the money to fence in the backyard. I'm itching to start landscaping but am forcing myself to wait.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

"Fragile, like a bay-beeeee in your aaaaaaaaaarms"

Yes, I've been working at the microscope and listening to Depeche Mode again. They say scent is the sense most streongly linked to memory. It certainly can be an evoker of memories. Tea Rose perfume alwasy reminds me of my Gramma. A certain face powder of my mom. Manhattan has a smell. Certain colognes remind me of old boyfriends. But songs can also be strongly linked to memories, images, and emotions.

Listening to DM, my mind wandered from work, and images of high school began popping in my head. I started really listening to music in high school, so I have a lot of associations with music from that time. My high school had a diverse mix of race and class. I grew up in the Tri-State Area, about 70 miles away from NYC. Although many of the towns surrounding us were predominantly white and upper-middle to upper class, my town had a good mix of people. A couple of generations before mine, many Italian and Portuguese families settled there. In my generation and the one before mine, many refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos came to our area.

We had interesting cliques, although kids tended to stay together based on race and language. We had the preps - mostly white, blond-haired girls, and the boys from football and soccer. We had the band geeks. We had the burnouts. We had the skaters. We had the alternative/punk kids. They were the most interesting to me. I listened mostly to alternative music (DM, erasure, The Cure, The Smiths, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242) but wasn't hard-core enough to qualify truly alternative. As much as the real punks tried to disassociate from the preps, they were just as exclusive and snotty. A good bunch of them came from well-off families and wore really nice (although dark and gothy) clothes.

I never really fit into any clique. Several of my friends were in the band, so I hung around with a good number of band geeks. I also was friendly with some of the burnouts and alternatives. I was in mostly "smart" classes, so I knew a lot of the other smart kids but honestly felt intimidated by some of them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I went to Target the other day to look at bathing suits. Hubby and I are going to the beach on Saturday with friends, and I wasn't feeling real comfy with my old bikini. I also have a one-piece, but it's too long in the torso, so the ass sags. I like Target because they sell tops and bottoms separately, which I need. I tried on 3 styles in various sizes and was unhappy with all of them. There's nothing like the angled mirrors on dressing rooms to show all your flaws, especially the ones that are hard to see at home. My ass and thighs are cottage cheesey, my belly pooches, and I had a lovely view of the areas on my back where the bikini top pushed together folds of skin. I ended up just buying a little skirt thingy to wear over my old bikini. I used to hate the return of warm weather because of my stick arms and cheicken legs. Now I hate it because of just about everything.

The sad thing is that I'm currently reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. I know that the "ideal" image of beauty has been sold to me, but I still can't get over hating how I look in a bathing suit. I was lucky growing up - my Mom was always positive about my appearance. She'd tell me I was beautiful and that I didn't need to wear makeup. The not wearing makeup did sink in, but I certainly didn't and still don't feel beautiful. This crap image of how a woman "should" look is so fucking pervasive. All the beer commercials, women's magazines, makeup ads, and fashion ads are all one gigantic mindfuck.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Remember this post where I mentioned the nesting pair of ospreys? Well, all hell broke out last night. We had heavy rains, which caused some branches from the nest to cross wires. Which led to a big fire on the power line and an outage for several hours. Both the power company and fire department responded and the power company had to work until the wee hours to remedy the damage.

Today I called the power company and spoke to a very nice engineer, who said he would put in an order for a nest platform to be installed atop the utility pole. Once I provided my work address, he saw that an order had already been placed. Apparently when damage occurs, the power company takes these things seriously. They had sent someone out to assess the nest a couple of weeks ago, who did nothing, nor did he follow up with anyone here.


Your engineer Robert was pleasant, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful. When I asked if something could be done to deter the ospreys, he said no, but was willing to put in an order for a nest platform. All your employees should be as friendly and helpful as him.

Timothy, the orignal person (also and engineer?) I spoke to several weeks ago, was not at all helpful. When I asked if the ospreys could be deterred (well before they had anything recognizable as a nest), he said not really and made no mention of the possibility of a platform.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Other than some bad news from Mom, the weekend was really nice. Mom saw her GP on Friday and he heard an irregularity in her heartbeat, so he sent her for an EKG. It showed up there as well. She's always had a quirk in her heartbeat, but this new one has the doctor concerned. She's scheduled for bloodwork. She's also lost 30 lbs since October. At first, no one was too concerned. Up until a month or two ago, she was still very depressed and anxious. She now has stabilized, but still has little appetite, and even though she's eating regular meals, is losing weight. So she goes in for an upper-GI series at the end of the month. That has both her and me very worried. The doctor didn't say much about it, but we know what it could be. We're hoping it's nothing more than something related to her IBS, or even a small ulcer.

The weather was gorgeous. While hubby ran cable to Mom's bedroom, Mom and I bought some flowers at Lowe's and then I took her grocery shopping. Cindy is ornery as always and keeps trying to revert back to the lower doses on her meds. She also does little for herself and little around the house and wants Mom to go to all her doctor's appointments with her. Mom put her foot down (especially since she has her own health worries), so maybe Cindy will help out more. I'm not too hopeful, since Cindy is 85 and has never been alone.

Saturday night we went to a Tampa Lightning game. We left early as they were getting hammered by the Carolina Hurricanes. I guess they shouldn't have been all braggy about not losing to Carolina in 10 consecutive games. On our way there, we saw a guy standing outside his car, blocking traffic, peeing on the highway off ramp. We concluded that he probably was a drunk spring-breaker and hubby dreamed that we were in our home county so he could've arrested the idiot.

Sunday we mowed the yard, weeded, and planted some flowers. We met a nice lady who lives up the street who asked about our flowers. I took Lily for a walk once we finished and saw several other neighbors who had the same idea as us. There are some very pretty yards in our neighborhood.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I found out the ultrasound results yesterday. It's not exactly bad news, but not great news either. As I expected, it's cysts. What I was not expecting was multiple cysts on both ovaries. So, I go back for a second ultrasound in about a month. If things haven't changed, it's on to laproscopy to determine if there also are adhesions. According to the gyn things should be OK fertility-wise, since there's no evidence that I'm not ovulating. My mom had all sorts of problems with miscarriages and ovarian polyps. I pray I didn't inherit all that.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

It turns out that as we women age, our eggs may not shrivel up and die, as has been the scientific belief. A paper in Nature on a study in mice found that their eggs die at such a rate, that a mouse would lose all her eggs within a few months. On further investigation they found stem cells present in mice ovaries that produce eggs throughout the mouse's life. Researchers suggest that death of the stem cells may lead to eventual infertility in adult women and if this is the case, new fertility treatments may be possible.

Hooray, no kitty owies last night. The cat is now only allowed under the bedspread, but on top of the blanket. At first he wanted nothing to do with that and passed on sleeping in bed. By about 3, I awoke to him hovering over my head, wanting warmth, so I lifted up the bedspread and he crawled under. It's amazing how cozy the fuzzy ones get when the indoor temp dips below 70.

I'm going to write a paper for a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It's not a real stringent journal, but it's the first paper I'll be first author on. My last (and only) scientific writing was for my thesis several years ago. As is apparent from my blog, I am not a stellar writer, or even a good writer. I'm stressed and excited and agreed to be first author only when my supervisor agreed to guide me. And I was sure to tell him that I'll need a LOT of guidance.

Last night hubby and I went with another couple to the community theater's production of Fiddler on the Roof. I had never seen it before and only knew that it had something to do with a Jewish family. What a wonderful story put on by an excellent cast. Hubby knew one of the cast members who happens to be a state's attorney. Many of the cast were high school students from the high school for the arts - they knocked my socks off. Our podunck county actually has some culture.

The local Tractor Supply Company is trying to drive me crazy. The have chicks, ducklings, and bunnies for sale. Hubby is counting his lucky stars that our neighborhood is not zoned for livestock.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Cat scratch fever round 2....After the other night's scratching incident, hubby's response was "It was a fluke. Let the cat sleep in bed. It'll never happen again." Ha. Last night I awoke to the cat frantically clawing his way out from under the covers between hubby and me. I was lucky enough to only sustain a couple of small scratches on my fingers. Hubby got a lovely series of gashes on his side. He has now decided that the cat is no longer allowed to sleep under the covers. Period.

I see how it is. When I have nasty, gross, tendony ick dangling from the puncture wound on my hand, that's OK. But when hubby gets scratched up, the cat must go.

I pass a huge church on my daily commute. The big churches here like to use big lighted signs that scroll messages about their weekly services and whatnot. It's a completely new phenomenon to me. This one particular church had messages that read "We heart visitors" and "We heart hurting people". I noticed yesterday that the second message has been removed. I guess someone finally realized it could be read with a couple of meanings. Hubby and I always joked that they kept bats and tire irons behind the pulpit.

Speaking of churches and all that, I'm really tired of all the anti-gay crap and people freaking out over gay marriages. Get over it already. Why shouldn't two loving, committed adults be allowed to enter a legal union? It's really nobody else's business anyways. Why should someone be denied insurance benefits and custody rights just because they happen to love someone of the same sex? I hope the marriages continue.

Hubby decided that in response to all the hoopla, he's going to form his own church. It'll be the Church Of Everyone Else Is Going To Hell Except Us. If you're gay, forget it, you're going to hell. Just because being gay didn't make the big ten doesn't mean you get a free pass out of eternal damnation. Just because Jesus died for your salvation, that doesn't mean anything. And if you look different or act different you're going to be hanging with satan. I'm sure there's something somewhere in the bible about that, too. (Just to be clear, THIS IS A JOKE.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

You wanna hear something gross? Well, I'm gonna tell you anyway...

First a little background: the dog and cats like to sleep on the bed with us. The dog and one of the cats even like to burrow under the covers - usually the dog sleeps down at our feet and I have no idea how she can breathe. One of the cats likes to cuddle up against me or between hubby and me. He gets so happy and purry that he drools, which is slightly gross but cute. One night the cat must have bumped into the dog or vice versa and the cat freaked out. He couldn't find his was out from under the covers and in his attempt to get the hell outta there, he clawed the shit out of my leg and hand. I'm talking puncture wounds, not superficial scratches. I got up, washed my hand, which was already swelling up, and laid back in bed with a throbbing hand, cursing the cat.

The next day at work, with the puncture on my hand still oozing a little blood and all nice and swollen, I noticed a thread hanging out of the wound. So I yanked on it. It pulled out a little more, but was attached somewhere inside my hand. I could feel the tissue in my hand pulling along with the thread. So, I did what any lab rat would do and took a look under the dissecting scope. My thread was actually a piece of ropy connective tissue complete with capillaries. Yum. I tried to remove it with scissors and a scalpel to no avail, although I did get slightly nauseous. After a couple days of thread-hand, I finally got hubby to perform surgery and cut it off.

Shit hanging out of my body that obviously belongs inside my body really grosses me out.

Monday, March 08, 2004

I talked to Dad and Stepmom last night. Things were going really well until Dad said he was upset with me. I then reverted into an 8-year old, wondering what I had done to make Daddy mad. It turns out, he was upset over one of the episodes of Sex & the City that I had loaned them. No it had nothing to do with sex or nudity or language. It was an early episode in which Carrie hooks up with a twenty-something college guy. By night his apartment looks hip and charming, but in the light of day it's a nasty shithole. That's what bothered Dad. The nasty apartment. He just cracks me up. Hubby overheard the phone conversation and interjected comments about some of the dumps he's been in - places that look like the walls and floors are moving because of profuse roaches, places where 30 or 40 roaches fall out of the fridge when opened. Dad really enjoyed hearing about that.

Cindy is back home with my mom and is stubborn as ever. She's taking her medications, but she keeps wanting to take them as prescribed before her trip to the hospital, not with the increases her doctor added after seeing her in the hospital. We took Mom by Cindy's house twice on Saturday to make attempts at picking up some of Cindy's stuff. The first time Mom forgot the key, the second time hubby picked up the key while I took Mom grocery shopping. It was the wrong key. Hubby and I got very annoyed, so Mom got pissed at hubby for unknowingly picking up the wrong key (she told me it was on the table, so he took the keys from the table). I'm feeling very frustrated with my mom and the way our relationship is playing out.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Cindy is still in the hospital. They've gotten a lot of the fluid out of her, but yesterday her blood pressure was high. She's very scared, so Mom has been trying to visit her each day. She'll need someone with her full-time once she's released, so Mom is going to see if they can arrange home health, otherwise Cindy may go to a nursing home.

I'm waiting results from an ultrasound. I've had intermittent pain on the right side of my abdomen...for over a year. I saw my regular physician about it when it first started (well, a few months after it started), he ordered an ultrasound of my gallbladder and found nothing. When I had my annual last week, I mentioned it to the gyn, so he ordered a pelvic ultrasound. I hope it's not another cyst. And I hope it's nothing even nastier. So now I'm waiting for the results which he's supposed to have today...

On to happier things....the trip was awesome. Hubby and I spent a lot of time with my parents, which was our main reason for going. We waited until after the holidays to avoid the rush, but also to give Dad time to recover his surgery...and it turns out we could've visited BEFORE the holidays since he recovered so quickly. I'm just glad the two of them are doing so well.

We had dinner one night with my 3 highschool girlfriends and their S.O.s. One friend is having a lot of stomach problems, so she skipped dinner, but we had a chance to hang out with her before and after we ate. I sympathize with what she's going through...I've had my share of gi tract problems and it's no fun. One friend was recently divorced and is having fun being a single gal on the town, and the other is newly engaged. She let it slip during dinner (much to her fiance's discomfort) that her fiance's dad's cousin is Howard Stern's father. We all had a laugh over that and had to poke fun at him.

My two aunts who had back surgeries are doing very well. The one with the less aggressive surgery is starting back to work soon and seems pretty much healed. The aunt who had a major surgery including fusions and rods is doing very well, too, but hasn't started the long hard road of physical therapy. She's getting around surprisingly well with a cane and wearing a back brace. I pray the the therapy goes well for her and doesn't cause too much pain. She's had her share of shit to deal with.

We managed to get in a day trip to NYC with the 'rents. We took the train in rather than trying to battle the streets of NY. Grand Central looks fucking amazing since the renovation...it's been nearly 10 years since I've been. Hubby and I went to the Met while the 'rents took a tour of NBC studios/Rockefeller Center. Hubby was a little iffy on the whole museum thing until I told him about the arms & armor collection - complete with samurai armor. He was hooked. We also toured the Japanese art for his benefit. I got my fill of impressionist paintings and medieval art (my faves.)

We had brunch at a cute little place called Cafe un deux trois. Fluffy, fluffy eggs benedict with real ham, mimosas, tea, and mousse au chocolat for dessert. C'est magnifique!! Who can go wrong with brunch + dessert + alcoholic beverages.

We met up with the 'rents at Madame Toussaud's wax museum. Hokey and overpriced, but a whole lot of fun. And I got a picture of me with wax Matthew Broderick. Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!

We finished off the day with a trip to the Empire State Building. We got to the observation deck at dusk. Holy shit, what a sight. I had never been there at night before and it was gorgeous. I also picked up a hideous Statue of Liberty snowglobe in the gift shop for Mom - to go with the Empire State Building egg timer I bought for her on a class trip circa 3rd grade.

Good times.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I didn't mean to go AWOL, I swear!

Hubby and I ate at the mall last Tuesday night - he needed some new pants and we figured it would be easiest just to grab some fast food there. Yeah, it was fast all right. I started the trots about 2 hours apres dinner and felt like crud with cramps, trots, and nausea for the next couple of days. The only thing that kept me at work on Wednesday was knowing that I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon and I didn't want to drive 45 minutes home and then back out past work to the doctor's office.

On Thursday we left for a long weekend up north to visit family. Flying while battling food poisoning really sucks. At least I was finally able to eat something other than saltines by Thursday night. We had a great trip and were able to spend a lot of time with family, met friends for dinner, and squeezed in a day trip to NYC.

Yesterday I took Mom and her roommate to the ER. It seems that Cindy, the roommate, (not her real name) had a minor heart attack Monday night. She then admitted to Mom that she's had 3 or 4 other ones that she never told the doctor about. She's very stubborn and managed to talk Mom out of calling the ambulance. Mom was able to somehow convince her to go to the ER yesterday, so I dropped them off, then picked Mom up once Cindy was admitted. Mom and I ran some errands, stopped back by to see Cindy, then moved Mom and the cats back to Mom's place after spending a week at Cindy's. I hope Cindy will be OK. She's 85, has congestive heart failure, and apparently doesn't like to get medical attention. The only thing that kept her at the hospital was the catheter they hooked up to her once they started the diuretics.