Monday, October 25, 2004

Random thoughts...

Last night hubby and I saw a preview for a newish show about a law firm (I can't remember the name). One of the characters has lost his mind and in the clip they showed him in court, sitting at the table, obviously without pants on. Hubby starts laughing, and I say "Hey, I shouldn't laugh. I almost forgot to put shorts on this morning." Hubby responds "Oh, you weren't kidding this morning?" Nope, I wasn't. I got distracted while getting dressed and nearly went out without shorts on.

We went out of town this weekend to celebrate our anniversary and to have a last little vacation before Peanut's arrival. It was great. We stayed at a quaint, quiet B&B with awesome breakfasts. We wandered through the historic part of town, did some Christmas shopping, went to the beach, ate a bunch of awesome food, and relaxed.

After picking up the dog, I noticed she has fire ant stings all over her belly. We boarded her at new vet's closer to home and will not be taking her back again. They were fucking anal about her having a fecal test to make sure she's parasite-free (since the dogs share a common yard), but they can't control their fucking fire ants. She's been scratching and licking like crazy. Hubby will be making a not-so-happy phone call to them.

I also talked to my parents last night. For some reason, every time I talk with them, I have to poop before the phone call ends. So this time I made sure to go to the bathroom before calling. Sure enough, near the end of the phone call, I got that urgent gotta go feeling.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

This is too funny. It's a long read, but worth it. In a nutshell: a guy was trying to sell a powerbook on e*BaY and a scammer tried to hook him. So, he scammed the would-be scammer. Immature and childish, but funny as hell.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A few weeks ago, hubby and I took a trip to the mall. I had some birthday money to spend, and by golly, I was gonna spend it.

As we were driving around the access road, hubby commented on the car behind us. It was a police-style Crown Vic (unmarked) with lots of antennae. Hubby had a feeling the driver was either A) going to rear-end us or B) pull us over. Apparently the guy had been behind us for a mile or so and at one point was talking into a hand mic as if calling in our tag. Hubby pulled down a lane of parking spaces and stopped, but the car tooted it's air horn at us and zoomed along the access road. At that point hubby got very suspicious (most unmarkeds in our area are not the color of that car), so he pulled back out and got behind the other car. It had a vanity tag - big red flag. Unmarkeds either have generic or state tags. So we followed the car. Eventually he pulled into a lane of parking spaces, and as he was backing into a space, put on the strobes in his taillights. So hubby pulled in a few spaces down, gave me the cellphone, and jumped out to ID the driver.

Hubby pulled his badge and asked the driver for his. At which point the driver pulled out a driver's license. He admitted that what he did would give the impression that he was a police officer, so hubby grabbed the guys handcuffs (which were hanging in cop-like fashion from the spotlight handle) and hooked the guy up. Hubby had me call 911 for backup. Once hubby got things settled down, I went into the mall, skirting around the suspects car. (I'm very paranoid that way and try not to be seen when hubby pulls anyone over off-duty. Just in case they hold a grudge.)

Later, when I came back out, hubby was calling his sergeant to ask a couple of questions. When he mentioned handcuffing the guy with his own handcuffs, I could here the sergeant laughing his ass off over the phone. Anyway, hubby arrested the guy for impersonating a police officer, which is a felony. The guy had a bullet-proof vest and baton in his backseat and apparantly aspires to go to police academy. I'd say his chance at that is now nill. This guy and a friend had purchased 2 or 3 of these cars off e*BaY and seem to get off on scaring people. They picked the wrong person that day.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Yesterday I was watching a BloodMobile set up. As they were waiting for donors to show up at the donor bus, there were 3 nurses outside having a smoke break. I had to laugh.


The shit hit the fan at Mom's last night. She called us just after dinner to ask if we could take Cindy (her elderly roommate) to the hospital. Cindy was having difficulty breathing, may have had a minor heart attack (she has congestive heart failure), and the only way she would agree to go to the hospital was if hubby took her (she just adores him). Earlier in the evening, Mom had called 911 and Cindy hung up the phone on her. So a deputy showed up, as they do with all hang-up emergency calls. He convinced Cindy to let the ambulance come and have the EMTs check her out. They wanted her to go to the hospital and she refused. She was convinced that if she went to the hospital, the doctor would put her in a nursing home or back at the shitty assisted living facility.

We grudgingly agreed to take her, then started to really think about it. We live 30 minutes from them, plus there would be another 15 minute drive to the ER. Seriously bad shit could happen in the span of 45 minutes. Hubby, as a cop, is a First Responder, meaning he's had basic CPR and first aid plus some extra training. He began to worry that if something happened to Cindy on the way, he could be held liable and sued. So we called Mom back to tell her our concerns and and ambulance was already there. During the time Hubby and I were hashing things out, Cindy needed Mom's assistance to go to the bathroom and could hardly breathe. Mom decided to call the ambulance, and this time Cindy agreed.

So now we need to figure out what to do. Mom can't take the stress of Cindy refusing medical care when she obviously needs it. Mom was so afraid that Cindy was going to die right there before the ambulance arrived. I suggested that Mom talk to Cindy's doctor and explain to him that she also has health problems, including bipolar disorder, and can't take that kind of stress. I'm hoping that he'll get Cindy hooked up with a visiting nurse who can stay with them. Otherwise I'm afraid Cindy will have to go someplace that can provide more care.

I also can't handle the stress of taking care of both Mom and Cindy. Mom's been pretty stable lately and the most she's needed are rides to the grocery store and financial help for some plumbing repairs. If she crashes, I can't deal with getting her to doctors/the psych ward and getting Cindy to doctors as well. Hubby's still playing catch-up at work with all the cases that piled on while he was doing emergency relief after the hurricanes. I work in a town 45 minutes away and am planning to max out all my accumulated leave when peanut arrives, so I can't afford to take a lot of time off. Besides the fact that I'm trying to avoid stress like the plague right now.

I hope we can figure out a solution that works for everyone.

UPDATE: I spoke to Mom shortly after posting yesterday. Cindy was sent home at 2 am yesterday morning. The ER was full, and no beds were available, so they doped Cindy up to calm her down and sent her home with the instructions to see her doctor and get oxygen. Mom tried several times to contact the doctor's office and was finally able to speak to the nurse. The doctor's response via the nurse was that he'd see Cindy next week and made no mention of oxygen at all. Jayzus Effing Christ. What kind of medical care is that? Cindy is 85 and has a history of heart problems - I would've thought the doctor would make time to see her and get her the damn oxygen.

Now Cindy wants Mom to have power of attorney in case anything else happens. Mom and I both think it's a BAD idea since Mom's not exactly stable and doesn't need the burden of being responsible for another person. Mom's been in touch with Cindy's niece in hopes that she or her husband will do it. Cindy wants nothing to do with them, but the responsibility for her wellbeing can't be dumped on Mom.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I talked to my friend who was missing family in the wake of hurricane Ivan. The wreckage of their plane was finally found, with the remains of the 4 missing people inside. It's so sad - a mom and dad and their two teenage children. The family is a mess: not only did they lose their kin, but many of her family also are having health problems and still have major damage to their homes. She said that most of them won't be able to attend the funeral since it will be held in Alabama - too long a trip for most of them. Pensacola (where the deceased lived) is so badly damaged, they can't even have the service there.

My heart goes out to her and her family. I hope her loved ones are at peace.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

One of this morning's stories on NPR was about a tyrannosauroid ancestor of T. rex which had primitive protofeathers. They found actual fossilized protofeathers. What an amazing find!

When I hear stories like this, they remind me of why pursued a career in biological research. The complexities of living (and extinct) organisms are amazing. I'll start to think about evolution, and inevitably my mind will wander to creationism. Don't get me wrong, religion is very important, but I become sad and angry thinking about the school systems that want to teach only creationism and the schools that put disclaimers at the front of their biology books to "clarify" that evolution is only a theory and not fact. Creationism is such a simplification of our complex world. I admit, I'm not 100% sure if there is a God, but I'm pretty sure that if He* exists, He had a pretty awesome plan for things, starting with the Big Bang. When the bible was written, people had very limited knowledge of the natural world and no concept of science. I believe the bible was written in terms they could understand - a simplification.

I hate to hear creationists use the old "I didn't evolve from a monkey". No one said we did. What evolution suggests is that we evolved from a common ancestor. What is so implausable about that? All living things share roughly 99.something% of DNA. Who's to say the Creator didn't come up with a damn fine blueprint for life, that with tweaks, additions and deletions has evolved into the complex world we live in. And continues to evolve.

I've also heard the creationist belief as an excuse to dessimate natural areas and the animals that inhabit them. You know, the whole "dominion over the beasts" thing. I have to wonder if that's how God meant us to interpret it. Did He mean for us to pollute, kill, and destroy. Or did he mean for us to act as stewards, taking only what we needed while preserving the rest? Yes, in natural history, there have been waves of mass extinctions. Should we (humankind) be the force of another mass extinction? I truly hope not, although we seem to be racing along in that direction as we dig, drill, deforest, and develop.

Crazy T'ai Chi instructor (I blogged about him way back) loved to discuss how the endangered species act was a waste, that extinction is natural, blah blah blah. I never had the guts to stand up to him, but I always wondered why God would have made this amazing world if He just intended for us to pillage it. Perhaps all those "unnecessary" species that are going extinct actually benefit us - as things of beauty, sources of knowledge, sources of medicine...

*I use "He" as generic - I'm not convinced that God is a simple he or she. I view God as Mother-Father.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I'm now in my third trimester. Holy shit, only 3 more months to go! Peanut moves a lot now. I feel him kicking throughout the day along with some quiet spells. When I go to bed, he really gets revved up for about 5 minutes with some major belly-shaking kicks, then settles down to little kicks and flutters.

I've been super cranky the past coupla weeks. I don't know if it's lack of sleep (I wake up several times a night to pee, in pain with leg cramps, burning with reflux, or because I'm roasting with 1-3 cats piled on me) or if I'm getting over the hurricane stress. Last night I was ready to strangle the dog within 2 minutes of taking her outside. She begged to go out (which usually means potty time) and all she wanted to do was sniff each and every damn blade of grass. Once I brought her inside, she ran to the front door indicating she wanted to go for a real walk around the neighborhood. It didn't happen, especially since I was already pissed at her.

I've also been super hungry. I can't believe my appetite now. Today I've had:
1 bowl of cereal w/milk
1 pita with tabouli (that shit's crack to me)
1 bag Chex mix (healthy, I know)
1 frozen dinner: fried chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas & c's
1 nectarine

I also have a box of rye crackers that are calling my name and it's still 3 hours till dinner...nevermind, I'm already eating them, too.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Hubby is a sweetie. And funny.

Saturday morning I was brushing my teeth and he walked into the bathroom to tell me about a dream he had the night before. His story went something like this...

"I had this dream where I went back in time. My first thought was: Oh shit, now I have to make all the same choices so I end up with the same future and selzach and I get married. Fucking temporal displacement." (I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to end up in the same present we're in now.)

So I asked when in the past he ended up. It was high school.

His next comment was "Yeah, the first thing I did was cut off my mullet and shave the moustache." I nearly peed myself. See, every chance I get, I pull out his yearbook and show our friends how stylin' he was back in high school with the puny moustache and hick mullet. Maybe one of these days he'll learn to hide the damn book. It's just waaaay to tempting when people don't believe he: A) once had hair and B) had a mullet.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Back to the old grind. Today is my first day back to work after hurricane Jeanne. Work had only partial power until yesterday afternoon, so I had the rest of the week off. I'm certainly not complaining. I caught up on much-needed sleep, got some chores done around the house, ran errands, cooked some decent dinners, and did a whole lot of nothing. Hubby is working another 12-hour shift today (it's his 6th day) and is completely wiped out. Last night he mowed part of the yard and we finally removed all the plywood from our windows. Poor guy has had a physically demanding week. The good news is he has both Saturday and Sunday off!

We were really lucky again. The only "damage" we sustained was losing the door to our mailbox. All our shingles are still in place, and we had no leaks. This storm was much scarier than the others. Jeanne passed directly over us (the other 2 went to our east, so we were on the weaker side of them), and at times our house rumbled with the wind. I've seen a lot of uprooted trees and knocked-down utility poles.

This week I also discovered that a friend is missing family members. Her cousin's family tried to fly out of Ivan's path in north Florida and haven't been heard from since. Civil Air Patrol is doing search and rescue, but haven't found anything. They don't even know if a flight plan was filed. I actually volunteered with CAP during high school and let me just say, finding a wrecked plane is not easy if it crashed in a remote area. (Thankfully I never did any SAR firsthand, although I heard some pretty gruesome stories.) She and her family have been on my mind and I'm praying they're safe and just haven't been able to get in touch.