Tuesday

19 February 2019

I fed him at 7:30 this morning.

At 9:45, when I was making my own breakfast, he sat on the floor and insisted that if he didn't get fed again, he was going to pass out, and quite likely loose control of his bowels and bladder, and wouldn't that be a shame since Buddah had just pooped on the floor 18.387 inches from the litter box?

The entire time I was making oatmeal, he was begging.
I'm not a monster. On the off chance that he really didn't eat enough two hours earlier, even though there are two bowls full of fresh crunchy food, I opened a can and fed the little monsters again, because of course I did.

He ate three bites, sat down, and proclaimed the offering insufficient. To assure that I would have 3 minutes without a cat in my face so I could eat my own food, I gave him a few crunchy treats. He ate them, proclaimed that good enough, and walked off.

Feed me feed me feed me feed me...
At 11:45, he jumped into the chair and began working me for early lunch. He's not hungry, I know he's not hungry; were he truly hungry, he'd go eat the food that's still on his plate in the kitchen. But habit is a snack at 11:00, and he did not get that snack because he'd been given something just a little over an hour earlier.

I know him. He's going to whine at me until I cave in, no matter how long it takes--it will take until 2pm, when it's time for a snack--and he'll think he won. (And yes, he gets fed a lot. Minimum 5, sometimes 6-7 times a day, just to keep his weight at 12.5 pounds.) Every few minutes I'll interrupt him to remind him that I'm working and I really don't need the distraction...and he won't care.

And people wonder why I work at Starbucks so often...

Which I am about to do, because we're into the second draft of his next book, and he's not helping the process... You think he would understand that, but no.

Perhaps my expectations are too high.

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Just a little under three weeks to St. Baldrick's and the annual why-did-I-do-this-I-hate-being-bald shaving of the hair. I'm just shy of halfway to goal...don't you want to participate in my misery? Because I will be miserable for a couple of weeks.


Your donation is tax deductible, if you itemize. If you don't itemize, well...you get to help the kids while encouraging me to do humiliating public things. And isn't that the point? Making me do things?

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Speaking of doing things...I registered for the 2020 Hot Chocolate 15K in San Francisco. It's not quite a bucket list thing, but one of those things that if I don't do it soon, I'll have regrets. I can do the distance, it's the pace that's a problem.

I registered the Spouse Thingy, too. LOL let's see if he'll do it.

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We have reached the GET UP AND FEED ME portion of the afternoon. Man, is he going to be pissed when I get up and leave the house...

Come on...you know I'll give him something before I go. I'm that easy.



Friday

8 February 2019


Ok. I think we officially need to worry. They're going to start conspiring soon.

Thursday

7 February 2019

This never happens.

Yesterday, following the mass consumption of steak fresh off the grill--and they got as much as they wanted to eat in lieu of opening a can of cat food--they plopped down on the bed fairly close to each other.

Sleeping did not occur; it was a coordinated effort to keep the bed from being made. I swear, Max especially knows when sheets are going to be changed and when beds are going to be made, and he makes a beeline for the bed. If it's sheets, he wants to help, and by help I mean he wants to get in the way as much as possible and turns into a furry little crack headed monster, chasing fabric and jumping on it like he's just brought down a cow all by himself. If it's bed-making, he wants to stop it. And yet, he loves sleeping on a nicely made bed, getting his fur all over it.

I've given up trying to figure them out.

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I am a cold weather weenie.

It was 33F in the front yard when I got up this morning at Stupid O'clock, and I've been waiting, sorta patiently, for the temp to get to 46-47F . It's supposed to be a nice, sunny day and the rest of the week is not, so I'd really like to get a bike ride in. Between the rain we've had and errands that got in the way, I haven't been on the bike (other than a really short one last night) in a week. I'm falling way behind on my mileage goal for the month.

If I were not a weenie, I'd be outside right now, riding in circles around Dixon.

The Spouse Thingy is not a weenie, so he's outside mowing the grass. But that's also not at 14 mph, so he only gets 7 Not-A-Weenie points. He'd get 10 or so if it were a bit breezy.

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He's mad because I don't have my lap available for his use. I keep telling him we're going to watch 2 episodes of Star Trek: Discovery tonight and he can have it then, but that's not good enough.

Suck it up, cat. I'm busy waiting for it to warm up enough to go outside and play, and while I do that I have work to get done. And Reddit to browse. And comics to read. I have stuff, cat.

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Yes, I talk to him. We have long conversations, mostly about my failings.

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A little over a month to go, a little under halfway to goal...


Wednesday

30 January 2019

I set a mental goal of 200 miles a month, to make sure I hit 2000 for the year.

With one day left in January, I hit 300.

Only 1700 more to go.

Tomorrow will be a rest day, mostly because by mile 17 of today's 20 my knee was letting me know enough is enough. I was feeling my quads this morning before I even got on the bike, like I'd done a 300 pound leg press more than once.

Worst part...over 300 miles, and keeping my calories close to 1200 a day, I've lost a grand total on half a freaking pound this month.

I better be getting some shredded legs out of this and am gaining muscle, but I had a few things off the Bad Word List tumble from my mouth this morning.

OTOH, Max reaped praise when he got on the scale, because he's holding onto 12.5 pounds. Also because he sits there until I say he can get up, which makes him a good boy, but I know better than to say those words. Instead he gets "Good job!" even though deep down I'm thinking, "Good boy, big guy."

Now if only Buddah would cooperate as well...

Thursday

24 January 2019

Oddz N Endz #985,139,100.4x62

The first charity event I'm committed to this year is rapidly approaching and I haven't even started fundraising yet. It might be the only one this year--we registered for the 3 Day but I doubt we'll do it, because it's a spendy kind of thing and we have some home improvements to tackle--and the one for sure is the one I'll do this year and two more, maybe three. Stop when I'm 60.

Or not.

The for sure is the St. Baldrick's head shaving event in March. This is the only one I'll probably beg for donations, starting...now.


You donate, I get my head shaved and suffer the uncomfortableness of it for about 6 weeks, until it grows out enough to not look six kinds of weird.

It's for kid's cancer research, so please donate what you can. I will look like a goofball for something that does a hell of a lot of good for kids who are going through this. I set a goal of $1500 for this year, and I'd at least like to break last year's $1205.

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For about a mile and a half on my ride today, I was about 3 kinds of freaked out. I noted in my rear view mirror a car following; I expected it would speed up and pass me, but it stayed back there, creeping along at the same 14 mph I was going. When it didn't pass me, I made a hard fast turn onto another street, because of course I was imagining things, and it would keep going straight.

The driver turned onto the same street, and kept the same distance behind me. 14-15 mph on a 25 mpg street.

So I pedaled faster, looking for people. When I got to the end of the street I turned right, knowing my dentist's office was one more turn away, and if that SOB was still on my six, I intended on barreling in there.

I turned left to the street where the dentist is, he turned...and when he spotted the cop coming my way, he did a U-turn and went elsewhere. I was =this= close to waving the cop down, and in hindsight I should have. But riding in town just got a bit creepy.

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On the bright side, the manager of the pizza place where the Spouse Thingy and I often meet near the end of our rides asked the building owner about putting in a bike rack, and today he told us work will start in February. They're putting one in near the pizza place, and another at the end of the strip near the bakery.

It stemmed from a Facebook post not too long ago. The manager was online getting feedback, and I posted--not thinking anything would come of it--that a rack to lock up to would be nice, so I could destroy all the calories I'd just burned on a ride. He replied he'd make it happen. And damned, it's gonna happen.

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Today is the Spouse Thingy's last day off. Sucks that we didn't get to go to Disneyland, but we actually had a decent time at home. It rained a lot but we still managed to get several rides in--I think I'm at around 140 miles for the last 2 weeks--and we saw a couple of movies, purged a bunch of stuff from the house, and slept in a lot. Not too shabby.

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Because of the opening of Star Wars Land in Disney this year, it's probably going to be wicked crowded for the next 2-3 years, so I doubt we'll even try to go. I may be wrong, who knows. But I think we'll shoot for something different this spring, maybe Monterrey. Or Vegas. Or both.

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 Also, I'm still contemplating Patreon. I kinda want to, kinda leery of it, mostly because of some horror stories I'm reading online. I'd just like a platform where I can share stuff I'm working on before it goes to print, an all-you-can-eat kinda thing for a freaking low monthly cost.

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And this guy has been helping lately. I think I'm glad I don't understand him, because his tone is pretty freaking critical and he doesn't seem to approve of the work Max and I are doing.

Wednesday

23 January 2019

Okay, one more week left in the month and I'm totally on track to hit 2000 miles for the year. Presuming I can keep this pace, especially once summer hits and it's hot and all I want to do is sit inside and read.

But, so far so good.

Most of the miles have been done on my spiffy pink bike, just riding around town. I still get asked a lot of questions about it, usually just people who are curious about where one gets a bike pink enough to blind the masses, but once in a while I'll talk to someone who wants to know if I get any kind of real workout on it.


This is today's ride. It was 45 minutes, a smidge over 10 miles. My heart rate was about as high as someone my age should get, and I sustained it the whole ride.

It feels like a real workout.

I'm not fast, not even close. I top out at about 14.5 mph using level two of the pedal assist. I could go faster by going up to 3, 4, or 5 but this is the sweet spot for me, just enough to take the strain off my knees but not enough to turn it into a super lightweight motorcycle. I pedal, I get my HR up, and I sweat.

I get passed by a lot of the same riders, guys on road bikes who blast past me at 22-25mph. One part of my brain says I'll get there someday, another part doesn't care because I'm already having fun.

I also cross paths with this old guy most days; he's in his 70s and rides slowly, on the sidewalk, on a fairly nice hybrid. We see each other enough that when we pass we say Hi and smile.

I nearly always ride by a drug deal going down on one of the bike paths...by now I think the guy realizes I'm no threat, and he nods when I pedal by. I just tell myself he's selling weed and it's legal here, so no skin off my nose.

I just zoom around and enjoy it. Granted, I wish we had bike paths like the ones in nearby Davis, and that there were safe roads to get to places like Davis and Vacaville on a bike...it would be a hell of a lot more fun to get out of town without needing to throw the bike on the back of the car.

If I ever win the lottery, we're totally moving to someplace that has great riding paths (and ebikes are allowed) and the temperature is nice and even and water magically appears without rain.

Hey, if I can win the lottery, I can find that place.

In any case, I have fewer than 1800 miles to go. Yay.

Monday

14 January 2019

I fell way short of my 2018 goal of racking up 2,000 biking and walking miles. Still, I set the same goal for 2019, because it's totally doable if I pay attention to the numbers every week.

It's only 166.7 miles a month.

41.7 miles a week.

I can easily do that. We're 14 days into 2019 and I'm sitting at 122 miles so far. Even with the Spouse Thingy being off this week and the rain that will surely impede my riding time, I can hit 167 miles by the end of the month, even with this week being a rainy shitshow.

I might have to ride indoors.
Where I have a honking big 4K TV to watch.
Life is so hard.

Peleton and NordicTrack are battling for my money on Facebook, ad after ad after ad, which would give me a better alternative to indoor riding than my current indoor ride, but cripes...$2000 for the bike plus like $40 a month to access the online classes. That's an extra forty to have someone yell at me from teh discomfort of my own home while I lag woefully behind everyone else in the class.

And I'm pretty sure those bikes have little cameras for the instructors to peek at you, which means the rivers of pink sweat running down my face would be seriously noticeable.

Oh, yeah...I sweat pink. I know this because a little girl in Starbucks a couple days ago felt pressed to tell me I had pink sweat on my forehead.

Good to know.

Sunday

13 January 2019

Not seeing what you expected?
Yeah, I deleted it.
Why?
Because it was a lot of repetitive whining.

The TL;DR: we had vacation plans. We canceled them. We're going to have fun at home instead. We're going to get stuff done around the house instead. Maybe some shopping, because I want a love seat and to get an idea what blinds for the front room might cost.

That's the gist of it.
Boring krap without the whine.

Tuesday

1 January 2019

I basically ended last year and started this year the same way:


With him staring at me.

This is how the whole year will go, isn't it?

Monday

31 December 2018

This time last year I set a goal of 2000 miles, either walking or biking, to beat the 1500 miles I did in 2017.

Oy.

Not only did I not hit 2000, I didn't even hit the 1500 I'd managed last year. The big difference was the lack of 3 Day training; if I'd done that, I'd likely have hit 1500, maybe a little more.

Now, I registered for the 2019 3 Day, but I honestly don't think I'll do it. Every time I get excited about it I go back and read what I'd written about the 2017--I was sure then that was my last one, for pretty good reasons.

So we might look for something else, another charity to jump into, one that doesn't culminate in 60 miles on foot over 3 days...and doesn't have such a high minimum. It's one thing to raise $2300 for one walker; with two, that minimum feels impossible and I don't think we could do it again. And I know my body won't hold up without some medicinal intervention, and I hate the idea.

My gut says to do a bike event; I could easily do the 60 miles over 3 days on the bike. I could do 100. I enjoy riding a hell of a lot more than walking. So...maybe.

Still, no matter what we decide as our big charity thing for 2019 (I'm still doing St. Baldrick's...gotta do that one) I'm setting another 2000 mile goal, and hopefully paying more attention to where I am every month. That might have been part of my failure to hit 2k--I didn't keep an eye on my mileage, so I didn't know when to kick it up a notch.

Other than that...no resolutions. There are things I want to get done, but those aren't things I consider to be resolutions. Just stuff that needs to get done or just happen. Eat better, be more active, purge all the accumulated crap around here that doesn't get used or doesn't make sense. Tear down the patio cover and get a new one.

If I win the lottery, we're totally renovating the bathrooms and getting new flooring. And a pool. Maybe skylights. The kids will get whatever they want for their house.

I should go out and buy a lottery ticket, eh?

Oh, and when I do win, I'm also opening Whispers, my bookstore/cafe/writer's haven, where anyone can come in and use a table, get something to eat or drink, and study/read/write/work...but they have to be quiet.

And there might be a bar attached. Maybe call it The Drunken Scribe, and anyone who lands a publishing contract gets free shots of Fireball.

Okay, so maybe my resolution for 2019 is to win the freaking lottery, because I have IDEAS, people.

Maybe not great ideas, but IDEAS.

Friday

21 December 2018

The Indie Pub Panel is approaching, as I may have mentioned before; it's a small thing compared to most professional conferences, rarely more than 50 in attendance, and when I last checked only 12 people had signed up. I'm pretty sure there are more now (it's being held at Disneyland...they're gonna go just for the room discounts) but the first person to sign up is the first person who always signs up as soon as the dates are set.

Now, the last time I was there, said person instigated a bar fight with homophobic slurs and an implied threat, IIRC (I missed it. Dammit.) She should have been banned then, but money is money and she has money and supports the online group and has, honestly, kept it afloat. She's tolerated at best, when she asks for critiques of her work people do their best to be fair, but frankly--and if she sees this, oh well--she's not a nice person.

She's also very, very afraid of me.

I am everything she's internalized as being Very Very Scary. I have multiple, visible tattoos. Often I have pink hair. I've spoken about owning and riding motorcycles. I fit quite nicely into her neat little Box of Stereotypes, and she's admitted to other members of the forum that she's afraid to be alone in a room with me.

So of course, I was asked to front two panels: one on cover creation, and one on formatting print books using InDesign. She signed up before that tidbit was announced, and I was curious what would happen when she found out.

She found out.

This will be the first year since the beginning of the Indie Pub Panel that she does not attend. At all. Because of me.

That, boys and girls, is how badass I am.

Stop laughing.

Here's the real kicker. I'm not presenting those panels, after all. If she had waited just 3 days longer to withdraw, she would have learned that I wasn't comfortable with the cost being charged for what is, essentially, basic information easily available online, and instead promised to host an online Q&A for free. It worked out for the IPP overall, because it frees up a few hours for a trad-house editor who jumped in at the last minute to host an informal round-table with writers in the group.

[Why Thump, you were fired, weren't you? Tsk. No. I withdrew before they landed the editor. Swearsies. But I guarantee that's what my biggest superfan will try to tell everyone once she finds out.]

Gotta admit, I am impressed with the structure of the 2019 IPP. As promised, there's a dress code--no more shorts and t-shirts in anticipation of bugging out for the parks--and there are fees associated with each panel to stop people from bailing out and playing instead. It won't stop anyone from ditching, but they'll essentially be paying 2-3 times as much as they would have for that park admission.

But dang, peoples. I'm officially wicked super scary.

I might have to celebrate with new tattoos.

30 November 2018

Okay, not too bad. Out of 30 days, I think I missed blogging on 4 of them. Given the reason, I'll call my failure to get something up every day a success anyway...even if most of it was talking about my cat.

I really did think he was going to die.

Today, for the first time in over a week, he ate his lunch, went to the back of the house, and started yowling. It's one of his quirks and we tend to find amusing even though we can't figure out why he does it, but the Spouse Thingy realized that he wasn't doing it at all, and we missed it.

Today when Max started up, Spouse Thingy came from the back room, excited, because the cat was on the bed, talking to Bast knows who, like he usually does after eating.

I don't know whether I'll get up in the middle of the night to feed him tonight. He won't need it, but he'll want it. But I will leave the door open, and if he's good and quiet, he can sleep with me.

Until he plops down on my face, anyway.

In other news...while t felt like I got zero work done last week, I managed to finish NaNoWriMo with 90,000+ words. A good 20,000 of those will get edited out, and the book isn't nearly toward the end of the vomit draft.

In other other news, the cats are happy because the Christmas trees are up. Buddah has the big one to lounge under and Max has his Whovimas tree, and they both can drive us nuts chewing on the branches and batting at ornaments. The living room looks like Christmas threw up in here, but we might not even get to the outside. It rained this week while the Spouse Thingy was off--significant rain--and it's supposed to rain while he's off next week. Since there are no kids on the court now, I don't really care if we decorate outside.

I'll miss the inflatable dragon, but still...

Probably not going to shoot for NaDecBlogMo, but I am still going to make more of an effort to post here. I'm just a little too verbose to keep it all on Facebook.

You're welcome. ;)

Thursday

29 November 2018

He's eating.

He's eating without help of an appetite stimulant.

He's lost weight and even at 12.5 pounds, picking him up feels like lifting a kitten. According to the vet, he's lost a lot of muscle mass, but he's old, it's not unexpected.

The main thing is...he's eating. He's still getting me up between 3-5 for food, which might be the new normal even though I really hope it isn't. Up until this morning I've been tired enough to get back to sleep after feeding him, but he woke me at 2:45 and it's nearly 6:00 and I'm still awake.

The downside to the return of his appetite is that he's hungry every three hours or so and until I'm positive he's over the hump, I'm not comfortable letting him go over that without feeding him, so I'm kinda stuck with being close to home. That's not really a problem right now--we can get errands done pretty quick, even if we have to go into Vacaville--but it might be an issue in a week or so when I have plans near Sacramento with friends. I'll be gone all day and the Spouse Thingy will be asleep.

So, we'll see. By then he might be fine with getting fed a full can just before I leave the house and then getting another one when the Spouse Thingy gets up.


And apparently we're back to this: sitting on the arm of my chair, staring intently, trying to convince me to set the computer aside so that my lap is available for lounging purposes.

Not this time, furball.

I have comics to read, FARK and Reddit to peruse, blogs to read, and 271 other things to do online.

And after that, there's a good chance I'm going back to bed.

With the door closed.

So I won't have kitty help.

But I'll feed you again first. I'm not a monster.

Tuesday

27 November 2018

Where we're at with this guy is probably "guardedly optimistic." He's eating close to 2/3 of normal, he's gotten some good sleep, and he's been allowed to sleep with me at night so I can check on him frequently.

He hasn't been allowed in the bedroom at night for a couple of years because, frankly, he's a pain in the ass at night and picks then to tell me all about his day. It became a matter of my health over humoring him, so I started closing the door at night...and he got over it quickly.

But since last Wednesday night, the door's been open, and he has free access to me. He did the whole meatloaf-cat thing for two nights, not really sleeping but not bugging me, either. Friday night, after getting meds, he slept like a rock, right on top of me, barely moving.

But the last couple of nights he's treated his access to the bedroom like a pre-teen sleepover, moving all over the bed (and me, mainly) and last night he decided my head would make a fine bed. Monday morning he woke me at 3 am for food, and this morning it was 5:15, and he's eaten several times since.

The key now is to see if he keeps his appetite up through today and into tomorrow, because the appetite stimulant should be out of his system sometime today. We were able to get 4 more doses to give him at home if we need it, as well as nausea medication.

I am less worried about him suddenly dying now that I was 5 days ago, but I'm not entirely convinced he's okay. My gut says this is the start of something chronic, which scared the crap out of me until a couple friends with cats Max's age and who have the same medical issues weighed in, and they're managing it just fine. It might mean doing what I said I never would--putting him through anything that stresses him--but I'll weigh the benefit of the stress over the good it will do him before actually doing anything.

Max is that unique creature--the furball that can easily be said to be The One. I've loved all the pets I've had before, probably to an outsider's idea of extreme, and we've done everything we could for them, but Max is the one that's going to hurt the most when he goes. I was ready before with Hank and Dusty, knowing what they'd already been through, but I don't think I'll ever be okay with Max dying.

I once promised him--when he was so sick before--that I'd never make him do anything he truly hated in order to keep him around, but I suspect I'll break that promise. I'd never let him truly suffer, but I may subject him to some medical things he'll hate me for.

It's Max. I'm not sure I need any other reason.

Sunday

25 November 2018

The appetite stimulant kicked in just before 3 this morning. He was lounging in bed near my head, quietly, until it was suddenly GET UP LADY GET UP and when I didn't get up, he bit my nose.

That certainly got my attention. Of course I got up.

He ate about half an ounce of canned food at 3:15, and then again at 7:30, 11, and 2pm. When dinner rolled around, he came to get me, not the other way around, and he ate a little more than half an ounce.

While he ate, the Spouse Thingy grilled steak, and Max ate a bite or two of the meat I shredded for him. At 9pm, he ate about 3/4 of an ounce.

All in all, he took in a bit less than half of what he usually eats in a day, but his stomach has probably shrunk a bit and not stuffing it in was a good idea.

What I don't know is if 100% of this is owed to the stimulant, and whether he'll revert to not eating once it wears off. The vet said we could get more to give him a couple times a week at home if needed.

While the relief here is palpable, we're also feeling extremely cautious. Without knowing why he suddenly stopped eating, we can't know if he just managed to catch a bug or if there's something more brewing, or it this is just the beginning of his end. So we wait and see, and hope that he's still hungry tomorrow, and that whatever is wrong is something he's recovered from.

No matter what, he's a frail old man now. He has very little muscle mass now and his fur looks a little raggedy these days. But damn, I hope we're over the hump and not just stopping to rest a little.

Doesn't matter how many times I rationalize his age and time creeping up on him; I am not ready for it, and this week proved it.

Saturday

24 November 2018

We're on a roller coaster with him right now. After getting meds at the vet yesterday, he got some rest. There were a couple of naps during the afternoon, and last night he crawled into bed with me at 10:30, and slept on top of me until nearly six this morning, when he began to get really obnoxious--normal.

He wanted food. So I dashed out of bed and opened a can at which he turned his nose up, so my sleep-deprived brain decided that heating up his Fancy Feast might work. And it did; he took a few bites before walking away. And half an hour later he ate 2 small shrimp.

And we thought he'd turned the corner. I took him back to the vet for second doses of the nausea and stomach acid meds, as well as an appetite stimulant, hoping he would forgive me by lunch time. And he seemed to, he acted like he wanted food, but just couldn't make himself eat it.

And that's where we've been all day. Expecting the stimulant to kick in, offering him different foods, getting hopeful when he seems to want it, and then watching him sniff it and walk away. He's also restless now, which might mean a long night for both of us. I'm not locking him out of the bedroom in case he really needs something, and he's not going to let me get much sleep. Even if he manages to sleep, it will be on top of me, with his LED hallway light on, which illuminates the bedroom, too.

There's a chance he'll want food in the middle of the night, and if he does, I'll get up and offer something. If he hasn't eaten by morning, I have a fish fillet to bake and he might be tempted, and if that fails, I'll go get a fresh steak.

His lab work was good; there was nothing in it to explain any of this.

If he doesn't eat this weekend, the next step is, I think, checking his heart and his intestines to see if there's something there, but truthfully, we won't put him through stressful treatment of anything.

But that's where we're at...really hopeful that he'll be able to start eating tonight, and more than the few bites he took this morning.

Friday

23 November 2018

He clearly doesn't feel well...
Well, so much for posting every day in November. I had a choice yesterday: blog or let Max lounge on my lap. There was no question.

He was on my lap a good part of yesterday, and about half the night he was on me in bed. He doesn't seem to be sleeping much, unless he's dozing while upright and with his eyes open a bit.

I took him to the vet at 11:45 today and they drew blood, so we'll see what it says when the results are in. He was also given fluids, and shots for nausea and vomiting, so hopefully he'll feel like eating later today.

But right now? He's where I can see from the front room, on the back of the sofa, and he's finally sleeping. Hopefully that means his stomach is settled a bit, and when he wakes up he'll feel like nibbling on something.

He'll be happy to know the vet said to offer him the things he likes most, things that usually excite him. There's plenty of shrimp on hand, and some steak, as well as squirt cheese and cheese slices. If he eats some of one of those and acts like he wants more, I bought a bunch of the canned food he likes the most.

So, fingers crossed. The first thing is to get him to eat. After that, it depends on the lab work.

Wednesday

21 November 2018

He feels like crap today. I woke him up at 7:30 this morning for breakfast, which I don't think I've ever done before. Usually he's hollering for food long before I'm out of bed, so when I went to find him I knew something was wrong, but honestly, I was just glad I woke him and that it wasn't worse.

He waited patiently while I heated up his steak so he could take his pill, but then he sniffed at it and walked away. He came back when he heard the can open, but he sat in the kitchen entryway, changed his mind, headed back to bed, and threw up halfway there. It was all stomach acid,.

Now, he ate well yesterday; everything I put in front of him, he inhaled. The Spouse Thingy grilled a fresh steak for him and he inhaled quite a bit (so did Buddah...and he's fine so I don't think that's Max's problem. The Spouse Thingy had 3 bites and he's fine, too.) But other than licking the surface of his night time snack--brought to him because I didn't think he would come into the kitchen--all he's had today is water.

He looks groggy and he's quiet. I haven't heard a single meow from him today. He sat on my lap for a while tonight, but only for half an hour or so, and didn't stay to watch the episode of Doctor Who we recorded on Sunday. Usually when he sits on my lap, he stays for as long as I'll let him; his getting off is not typical.

I'm hoping it's just a bad day. He's old, he's allowed. But this looks too much like it did when he was so sick just before he turned 4, but this time he doesn't have the reserves to handle not eating for a week.

I know what's coming sooner rather than later, and I'm bracing myself for it. I also think it's only fair to warn people that, even if this is just a bad day, that he's on a definite decline.

And please, no "Oh Max will live until he's 20. Max is tough, a survivor." I don't want him to live that long if he's miserable. And he's 17.5, if he's ready to rest, he's earned that right.

I'll be broken as hell, but... just fair warning.

And I really, really hope he proves me wrong.

Tuesday

20 November 2018

A week or so ago, I went to Starbucks and scored the second best table, right next to a set of low lounge chairs. Those chairs are fine if you want to sit and read while sipping your beverage of choice, or for gabbing with friends, but definitely not for writing. I've done it before when all the tables were taken, but I avoid it.

Lookit that, a tangent already.

Anyway, when I get a table near the lounge type chairs, groups of people inevitably plop down there and start talking, often loudly. And I don't really mind, because it's a public place and if quiet was my primary need, I'd stay home and work in my very nice home office. It rarely bothers me; conversation is like a white noise, other than those who choose to TALK LIKE EVERYONE NEEDS TO HEAR, or when something catches my attention and I find myself eavesdropping.

On that day, a group of 3 12-13 year old boys sat down...and one of them hesitated, telling his friends as he nodded in my direction, "She's doing something. We should sit somewhere else."

I seriously appreciated his consideration (and told him they wouldn't bother me...and they didn't.)

Today I went over to get some work done while the Spouse Thingy awaited delivery on a refrigerator (--groan$$$groan--) and wound up at a lesser table across the store, right next to two 12-ish year old girls. They had phones in hand and were playing some game against each other, giggling, talking fast in the way only 12 year old girls can.

They were there first. No problem. After half an hour one of them wanted to show the other a video on her phone...and her friend declined. "We don't have earphones and people are working here."

No complaint from her friend.

Flip everything over.

Sunday I scored my favorite table. I can see the entire store from there, no one can sit behind me, and there's no glare from windows. I'd been working for about an hour when an older couple came in. He walked in a microshuffle, slightly hunched over. They ordered their coffee and walked very slowly to the long table and sat on the far end, where ideally I wouldn't hear a thing from them.

But the old guy wanted to add something to his coffee, so he removed the lid and headed for the condiment stand, step after tiny step. The coffee was full--and very hot--and he was unsteady, so the inevitable happened: it spilled over onto his hand.

I understood the "Ow!" I understood the first "Godammit!" But he totally lost me when he continued on, spilling and shouting expletives.

I might have gotten up and offered to help, but...old dude probably would have chucked the cup at me.

I looked at his wife; she stared out the window, either oblivious or trying hard to not react. The top to his cup was on the table in front of her, the top that if he had left it on would have prevented the spillage and burn, but perhaps not the loud swearing. He kept it up even after he sat down, not giving a damn that there were other people around him, not caring that he was literally startling people with every bark of his expletives.

Don't tell me kids today are horrible little shits who need a good paddling. By far, the kids I encounter there are more considerate and are quick to apologize if they think they've crossed a line. I see more supposed adults throwing temper tantrums than I do kids. And that's pretty freaking backwards; I have no expectations of young teens being all the quiet. It's almost embarrassing to witness grown men and women go bat crap crazy in public.

Those FB memes that circulate every week, telling people to like and share if they got spanked as a kid and think today's kids are snotty and need a good ass kicking? No, no, they do not, but the adults sharing that dreck just might.

Oh and a total aside: you can ask for your smaller drink in a larger cup at Starbucks, and reduce the risk of spilling. If you get a grande, ask for it in a venti cup. It won't be full, which is ideal, whether your issue is tremors or your gait causes your beverage to slosh, or if you have difficulty removing those lids. The more you know...


Monday

19 November 2018

Early Thanksgiving with the kids:


Nothing like two pups getting to spend a few minutes with a turkey carcass LOL

Sunday

18 November 2018

Bay Bridge in San Francisco, before the smoke rolled in, a few days later, and a few days after that...

posted to reddit in /r/SanFrancisco by u/MisterCookEMann

Saturday

17 November 2018

I have technically won NaNoWriMo for this year. I broke 50,000 words, on track to hit at least 80,000 by the end of the month.

80,000 is a novel.

This is not impressive, because I tend to write a lot more than that in a month; usually it's spread out over multiple projects. Aside from daily blogging, this manuscript is the only thing I've been working on this month, so theoretically I should be damn near done.

Not even close.

I don't want it to suck, so I'm taking my time.

Spoiler: it might suck anyway.

That's why God invented rewrites. And editors. And more rewrites. And booze.

Friday

16 November 2018

If I hadn't taken this year off, right now I would be sound asleep after walking (hopefully) 20+ miles. And I have to admit, I'm mentally itchy about not being in San Diego with the awesome people, but the itchiness was soothed a bit today after learning that Komen changed the route of the walk to cut down on the amount of alcohol walkers were getting from well-intended supporters.

Like, what's the point if I can't get a shot of Fireball every other mile? ;)

The Spouse Thingy and I will probably be there next year, though he's leaning towards joining the medical crew and I dunno what I want to do. I like the idea of taking my bike down there to do road crew, but the odds of getting onto that crew are pretty slim.

Maybe I'll take the bike anyway and ride around with a giant bottle of Fireball on the back, medicating walkers as needed.

You know, strictly for medicinal purposes.

Surely the cops that ride along the walkers won't care.

Sure.

Also, if I were there right now, my eyes wouldn't be itching like crazy...I stayed inside today but I'm feeling the smoke anyway.

Or I'm getting a cold.

Dammit. I don't need a cold right now.

NaNoWriMo: 49000 words.

Thursday

15 November 2018

It's not cold here yet, but this guy loves the fireplace, so the Spouse Thingy fired it up just for him tonight.


Granted, if we had a wood fireplace, there's no way in hell we'd have a fire in it right now. The air quality is horrific, bad enough that even as far away from the fire as we are, schools are closed and it's not a great idea to be outside for much of anything.

He might be doubly happy...that bed--and the carpet and floor all around it--is covered in catnip. I'd vacuum, but...eh...might as well let the cats roll around on it.

Besides. Housework. I've spent years perfecting my avoidance of it.