Why We Are REALLY Glad We Moved…

It’s been raining.
A lot.
I woke at 5 a.m. to what sounded like marbles being poured onto the roof and nails being thrown at the windows. It’s been raining for a god two week, with a few odd breaks here and there, and this morning’s storm was a doozy.

These are pictures that are part of the Reporter’s online Picture Gallery of the flooding that occurred here. That’s the apartment complex we just moved out of.

The first pic is of the parking lot around the corner from where we were at; the second is the main road by the complex; the third is garage right behind where we were at (he looks familiar…), and the 4th—not the building we were in, but might as well be. It’s all flooded.

Check out The Reporter’s picture gallery… Most of this is close by; that Miata at the intersection of Alamo & Peabody is only a mile or so away. With cars submerged up to their roofs...this is a stark reminder of being in Grand Forks in '97. Not as bad, but it's an eye-opener, for sure.

I’m soooooo glad we moved…


I didn’t mind the fact that the base pharmacy didn’t have my prescription ready today. I more or less expected that, having experienced holiday slowdowns and screw-ups galore over the years dealing with military medicine. What I did mind was that I checked in, was told it would be ready in 15 minutes, waited an hour, and when the tech called me to the window what he had was not the scrip I was supposed to get. It was the scrip I had picked up at the ER last week (um...yeah...I had a nice late night trip to the ER on the 20th—12:30 to 4 a.m.—thanks to a wayward gall bladder) and not the scrip the Spouse Thingy had called to arrange last week.

Chances are my doc never got the message so he never put the order in; for all I know he wasn’t even working the last couple of weeks. But it would have been nice if, when I checked in, the other tech had noticed that the scrip he clicked on was one already picked up. Then he could have said “I'm sorry, but you don’t have one listed here” and I would have realized the doc had not ordered it, and we could have moved on. And I wouldn’t have been the least bit upset, since I went in there figuring it was a wasted trip…but we had to go out to the base anyway, so why not check?

But that wait… Phffft. I wasn’t the only one who sat there and waited amongst the throng of coughing people and crying babies. An elderly couple had been there longer the we had, and when their number came up the pharmacy suddenly had no record of their scrip, which meant they had to go back to the clinic to get their doc to re-enter it. I thought that old lady was going to reach over the counter and beat the kid with her cane.

I was kind of hoping she would. Not that the kid behind the counter deserved it--he was just reading the info on the computer screen--but just once it would be kind of funny to see a really old person go postal. Only kind of. In a really warped sort of way. Yeah, I’m not nice. But part of me wanted to see her heave that cane around and for the beating to commence.

Going to hell, I know I am.

So I get to go back next week and try again. I may take my laptop and write a new novel while I wait. Or just take my iPod and dance in the chair, which for me would look like spastic twitching and jerking. I can close my eyes and sing along, thereby assuring that no one will sit next to me.

Something to look forward to.


I woke up this morning when it was still dark out, and Max was standing by my pillow, staring at me. Buddah was curled up on my chest, staring at me. I reached out to pet them both; Max plopped down and tolerated it, Buddah wiggled happily and went back to sleep.

Then it hit me. Moe. She’s been gone 4 years today, and last year I swear she was haunting my apartment, whipping Max into a meowing frenzy. Since the cats were on the bed together—peacefully, which doesn’t happen often—I had the thought that she had a hand in their cuddly dispositions, and went back to sleep.

I had an odd dream about celery (one of the few things she was able to eat for a long, long time) and baseball (she was an avid Yankees fan, so to yank her chain I should be cheering “Go ’Sox!”) None of it made sense (especially the odd bit about being a deaf interpreter in an operating room located in the center of a cafeteria,) though when I woke later I tried to piece the fragments of the dream together into something coherent, but it didn’t matter. One way or the other Moe was there, poking at me with a celery stick, letting me know that she knows I haven’t forgotten her.

I’ll never forget her. I’ll always miss her. I’ll always wish for seeing her name pop up in my email. I’ll always be grateful for knowing her, and it’s a damn shame that the rest of you didn’t have that chance.

Well, a couple of lurkers might have. They know who they are. And they know they’re lucky as hell.


Dear Lady In The Scooter At The Grocery Store,

Think of the aisles as streets, and your nifty little red scooter as a car, with all the applicable, logical traffic rules. Think of that middle aisle that cuts thorough the center of all the aisles as a major thoroughfare. You wouldn’t just blindly speed out into a thoroughfare with slowing down, would you? Same logic applies in the grocery store. Slow down and look before proceeding into potential traffic. And shame on you for yelling at the kid whose cart you ran into. Sniping “these things don’t slow down or stop easy!” is not an excuse. Thinking people slow down before they approach a blind intersection. And nice people don’t yell at teenagers who are trying to apologize profusely even though it’s not their fault. You were mean, and that’s sad.

Dear Lady In The Other Store Walking Directly In Front Of Me,

Now, I know you didn’t even know I was walking behind you, so you didn’t know you were annoying the crap out of me by matching every side step I took in my effort to get around you, but come on, it was funny when the old guy walking towards you said “Well, if you’re gonna dance with her, turn around and make it easier!” Really, you’ll laugh later, I swear.

Dear Young Couple At The Library,

Yeah, your kid is cute. Adorable even. But please teach him how to use a Library Voice. You know, by example. He takes his cues from you and his cues today were Be Loud So Everyone Knows Our Business. Oh, and I’m sorry your butt has been itchy. Bet that little slice of info is something you’d prefer he hadn’t shared.



Because of my back, which does not like me, I sleep with two body pillows. I keep them jammed up against me on either side, and they offer support no matter what side I’m sleeping on. Amazing things, these body pillows. Even the cat likes them.

Buddah, that is.

This is how whipped I am: I worm my way out of bed in the morning lest I disturb the kitty slumbering upon my legs, and I pull the blankets Just So, so that there’s this nice little indentation between the two pillows. Perfect for a little black kitty to stretch out between.

And I leave it like that.
All day.
I am not making the bed, because leaving it unmade pleases the kitty.

Yeah, I know.
I need help.


There have been a few times when I have thought—not wistfully, mind you—that this time of year is when it would be nice to have a couple more kids. Not because I feel some deep need to have more of me out there in the world, but because kids and Christmas just go together. Little kids get excited about Christmas, and their excitement is more than half the fun, so…well, a couple more kids just this time of year would be kind of cool. Especially if they were perpetually 8 or 9; young enough to still be over the top with expectation, but old enough to not be jerks about it. And especially if then I could stuff them back into the See You Next December closet…

It would be a little creepy to rent two or three for the season… I think.

This year, however, we have Buddah. While Max tends to get a little perkier around Christmas, mostly because there’s a tree and a tree is obviously intended for his chewing and whacking pleasure, Buddah is like having a 4 year old hopped up on caffeine and crack. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear he not only knew on Saturday night that Christmas was the next day, but that Santa was going to bring him toys.

Saturday afternoon found Buddah on a holy tear through the house; from the family room I could hear him thundering up and down the upstairs hallway, then down the stairs, through the living room, into the dining room and then the kitchen, where he then leaped over the counter, over my head into the living room, where he dove behind the Christmas tree…only to do it again.

Saturday night we sat downstairs and listened to what could have been elephants stomping above our heads.

And then Christmas morning…from my nice warm bed I heard the sound of ten pounds of excited kitty pounding down the hall; he launched himself against the door, threw it open, and sailed onto my legs. He looked at me like “Come on! There’s PRESENTS down there!” and then took off again.

Make no mistake, Max was totally into finding out what was in their stocking, and he spent a good part of the morning trying to stuff his head into their big box of treats, but Buddah…Buddah celebrated. He grabbed a new toy and ran around like his butt was on fire, and when he realized there were other things to do, he bolted into the family room to chase wadded up wrapping paper as we tossed it across the room into a box. He played with his toys, he reveled in his little kitty glee, and then dropped like a rock into a deep, deep sleep.

Like your average four year old on Christmas morning.

For sheer entertainment value, Buddah is as good as having another kid. Maybe better, since he never needed diapers, he eats what you put in front of him without whining, and he doesn’t talk back.

Maybe I don’t need more kids. Maybe I just need more cats…


Did you know that gall bladder problems can be hereditary?
I did not know that.
Now I do.
Thank you Mommy :)


Speaking Of Fries...

Ding...<-- clicky

Ok, it might be old but I had never seen it before...


Why You Should Not Cheat on Your Diet:

Lately I’ve had these huge cravings for french fries (yes french, not freedom, dammit). I feel my tummy growling for lunch or dinner and the first thing I think is “Oooooh I want some french fries!” Yesterday while I was out running errands I actually heard Burger King calling my name, and it came from the deep fryer.

So of course I stopped. I had to. After all, fries once won’t ruin a diet. Right?

So I got my fries, all warm and wonderful and salty, and sat down to eat them. I savored the first couple, relishing the tiny little pop of grease that squirted as my teeth clenched down. Hell yes, grease is half the reason they’re so good! I was so engrossed in enjoying my fries that I didn’t pay much attention as I reached into the little bag for another.

I slid it slowly into my mouth, thinking this was sooooo good…and then I bit down. And then tears flooded my eyes as this unbelievable pain shot through the roof of my mouth, through my sinuses, through my eyes and skull and quite possibly into the earth’s atmosphere.

My wonderful, lovely, warm and salty french fry had a tip on it so sharp it could have cut through Aunt Martha’s Special Recipe Pot Roast. You know, the kind left in the oven so long it turns into shoe leather. That tip jammed into the roof of my mouth, breaking skin, were it lodged as it broke off from the rest of the fry.

By the time I realized what had happened I’d swallowed and the roof of my mouth was beginning to swell. I could feel it with my tongue: the offending area was roughly the size of a quarter and as thick as my thumb, and one little bit of potato fleshy crap was sticking out.

How in the hell do I explain this one in the ER? I wondered. Do I go up to the window and say “Excuth me, but I thust got sthabbed by a fwench fwy and it weawwy hurths!”

Gingerly, I stuck a finger into my mouth and probed. Yep, it was swelling and bleeding a tiny bit. It hurt like a mother, too, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt any more if I tried to dig it out.


After the tears cleared from my eyes and the snot stopped running from my nose, I realized the piece of fry had popped out, the swelling was going down, and I was safe from the ridicule of the ER tech who would surely announce my presence over the speaker system. “Attention in the ER, we have a woman who was attacked by a fried potato product…”

You’d think that would have ended the French fry cravings.

You’d think.


Ask a 10 year old about Santa and religion, and you get an answer…

Alright. There was this guy named Nicholas in Turkey and his parents were very very very rich and they always used to give tons of stuff to poor people. Then his parents died and even though he was still little he used the money they left him to keep on giving to poor people. The government must not have liked that because they threw him in jail. After he died he became Saint Nicholas.

People remembered how generous he was and celebrated his life and death by giving gifts to each other. In some parts of the world Saint Nicholas is known as Sinter Klaus which is Santa Claus in English. Saint Nicholas’s Day is actually on December 6th, but since we like to keep Santa Claus as a part of Christmas, here we have Santa give presents on Christmas Eve.

So that’s how doing the Santa thing is okay for religious people. Because Saint Nicholas was a real person who shared his wealth, and it’s not just fun it’s a religious principal. And it makes it fun for people who aren’t religious, because Santa is just cool. I think Jesus likes Saint Nicholas just fine.

I think he explained it better than they did on 7th Heaven


Paint tagged me ...

In the worst of life's weather
The tornadoes that could tear us apart
The winds will blow our way always, always

And whether my soul curls far away
Long, thick fingers of dust and ash
I will find you, always, always.


How warped my mind is...I was sitting here, doing nothing really, when the thought zoomed through my head: if the Boy, the Spouse Thingy, and I died together in a freak accident, who would take care of the kitties?

I'm gonna lie awake all night worrying that we're gonna die and the cats will be homeless or separated.


...and you thought your daughter's prom dress was a little too "convenient..."



The One Where Someone Does Something For Thumper…

Because I felt this compulsive need to be out amongst my People again—even though I said I was staying home today—I ventured out. I needed a book from the library and wrapping paper. So out I went; I found the book I wanted in less than 1 minute, and then headed over to WalMart, which I don’t happen to think is the World’s #1 Evil. But that’s neither here nor there.

Everyone else needed wrapping paper, too, it seemed, as well as tons of things to wrap that paper around. The inside of the store was hot, the jostling around made me feel even more hot, and the fact that I was wearing a jacket didn’t help matters any.

By the time I got through the checkout with my $3 roll of very spiffy gift wrap, I was thirsty. Not ohmygodtheDDAVPhaswornoff thirsty, but thirsty enough to stop at the line of vending machines outside to buy a diet soda.

And I like the WalMart brand of diet cola. It tastes decent and from the machine it’s only 25 cents a can. Put your quarter in, and it’s like getting a frosty little prize.

But the machine was sold out.
I was bummed.

I stepped over to the Pepsi machine, because it’s just as good, but it’s 50 cents a can. I dug deep into my pocket for more change, and pulled out a mere 3 cents.

=sob= went I, ever so quietly, as I stepped aside to let the guy who had walked up behind me get his Pepsi. I dug into my other pocket, just in case, even though I know my change never goes into that pocket.

So I reached for my wallet, because the machine did had a dollar bill slot. And I had a dollar.

The guy fished his Pepsi out of the machine, and as he turned he smiled and thrust two quarters at me and said, “It’s on me.”

Before I could sputter, “I really do have enough,” he added, “Please.”

And then he walked away, into the sunset of the parking lot, where he was run over by a semi truck.

Okay, that part didn’t happen, but he had turned and was walking away before I could get “Thank you” out coherently. I did say it, I’m just not sure he heard it.

That was one fine tasting, icy cold diet Pepsi.

Whoever you are…thanks!



I braved the crowds and went shopping today. Why, I don’t know; I could have easily waited until Monday when there would be far fewer people elbowing their way around the stores and far fewer little kids screaming and crying and being forced away from much needed nap times.

This morning I even had the thought that anyone shopping today must be nuts. I suppose that meant that I had to go out, so I would be amongst my People…

As I sometimes do when I am out and about, I stopped at the McDonald’s in WalMart for a drink and a burger (small burger, 260 calories, not great but not too bad when you’re trying to watch what crap you’re stuffing into your mouth.) It was packed, but I managed to find a small table in the corner, which was good enough for me. I wasn’t about to sit a the lone table for 4, not when there were so many people waiting to sit. I suppose I could have, but I have a perfectly fine car in which I can nibble on a grease patty. Let the masses have the big table.

So I sat down and sipped at my drink, thinking the burger wasn’t really what I wanted. What I wanted was a big ole bag of fries. Ok, maybe just a medium. With just the right amount of salt. That would be good, I was thinking when the woman with two kids sat at that lone available bigger table right next to me.

They were evidently having the best time shopping. The kids were happy and laughing, the mom was obviously proud of how they were behaving and had that Happy Mommy GlowTM about her. The kids were talking over each other but she seemed to be catching all they were saying, and whatever story the one little girl told was so funny they all laughed and laughed and laughed…and in mid-laugh the little girl who told the story barfed her lunch up all over the table.

Gross, but hell, I used to work day care. I’ve seen lots of kiddy barf and changed about 30,000 diapers that weren’t covering my own kid’s butt. I can handle kiddy barf.

Mom, however…Mom turned out to be a sympathy barfer. She stood, worried about her child, obviously, but the gagging began.


She was fighting her own war with the contents of her stomach, and I was pretty sure she was not about to win.

So guess who wound up cleaning up most of the kiddy barf?

I had a stack of napkins and a reason to use ‘em.
By the time the McD’s employee was there with rubber gloves, a bottle of bleach, a bucket, and a mop, most of it was cleaned up.

Now here’s the thing: I can clean up kiddy barf. But I had tons of empathy for the Mom because I have a hard time cleaning up cat barf. If one of the cats hocks a good one onto the floor, I feel my throat start to tighten and the =gak= =gak= =gak= begins.

I have, in the past, had to call the Spouse Thingy from another room to deal with feline vomitous deposits. I’m sure the Mom in McDs has to call her Spouse Thingy in to deal with kiddy explosions of the digestive kind.

And the kid who barfed? She felt fine after. Just overly excited about shopping and the holidays. Still, you can bet I went into the restroom and scrubbed my hands dang near raw with as much soap as I could get out of that container screwed to the wall.

But really, I have to stop sitting in food courts and fast food places, because I seem to be a magnet for People Who Need Things. Company to eat a hot dog, someone to talk to Just Because, vomit cleaner-upper… I’m a multifunctional wabbit, but I’m obviously entirely too approachable.

I’m staying home tomorrow.


12 December 2005

Ha Ha I Have This And You Don’t

Ooohyeah. You want this, you know you do.
You can’t have it, it’s mine.
Well, mine and the Spouse Thingy’s.
And it’s one of a kind, so you’re chit outta luck.

Seriously…this is amazing. Look at the detail here and here. See the soda can? I put that next to it so you could see the clock to scale. The enormity of it. The incredible jaw dropping awe of it. All that detail, that was done by hand. Painstakingly, carefully, patiently done by hand.

My father-in-law made it, and he gave it to us.

Yeah, I am overwhelmed and all a-twitter. Yes, I said a-twitter. ‘Cause sometimes a-twitter is the only way to explain a feeling. All the millions of hours and the beauty of it, and he gave it to us.

It’s on top of the entertainment center, where Buddah and Max do not go. It’s too high for them to jump, and we’re careful to not leave anything near it that might give them a platform. We let them both sniff it, then pointed and said “you go near this again and you die” and they seemed to agree to the terms.

Buddah will settle for having the Christmas tree to climb instead. So I suppose we need to put the tree up soon.

But…yeah…admire and drool.

You know I’m going to sit in the living room tonight and watch my clock…


Everyone in the U.S. knows you bus your own tables at McD’s. So what possesses a person to eat and then leave all their trash on the table? Do they think the McD’s fairy is going to appear out of nowhere and make their garbage vanish? Just because it’s a McD’s in WalMart doesn’t mean you gotta be a pig.

The people at WalMart still can’t get the insurance people to pay for my DDAVP. They did, however, go ahead and give me 4 pills to get through until TriCare coughs up the cash.

DDAVP pills don’t last nearly as long as the nasal spray…

Cats really don’t like it when you rearrange all the furniture.

If you have a computer call me, even if it specifically asks for me, and then have the computer put me on hold, I am going to hang up. If you want to talk to me, you call me. I am not going to sit there and listen to your crazy assed idea of music while I wait for someone who called me to pick up the freaking phone.

White tile counters in a kitchen is a realllllly bad idea.

How can my desk get buried in this much crap in just a couple of weeks?


It’s Saturday night. While the rest of the world is out partying, going to movies, shopping, eating out, having a good time, I am at home…peeing.

Yes. I said it.
Vast quantities every 10-15 minutes.
And I’m drinking in as much as I’m putting out.


My DDAVP is proving to be somewhat unreliable these days. If my sinuses are clear, it works too well; I start retaining water and after a couple of days I can feel the my skin tighten. It’s uncomfortable. If they’re goopy, I get crappy absorption when I use it and it wears off early the next day. So I drink and pee, pee and drink.

Evidently, I got lousy absorption last night.

This should not be a problem. I saw the doc last week and he gave me a new prescription; instead of a nasal spray, he wrote it for pills. Thusly, how well it works should not be dependent on the quality of whatever is sliming the inside of my nasal cavities.


I took the scrip to be filled, and because I was getting another one (ye old Growth Hormone) that had to be ordered, I was asked to pick it up the next day. No problem! I was going to have to come back for the HGH anyway.


Since they thought they had the DDAVP pills in stock, they went ahead and billed my insurance. When they realized they didn’t, they reversed the charge, because, after all, they weren’t entitled to compensation for the medication just yet. They ordered it, and it was there the next day.

My insurance, however, declined the payment when requested the 2nd time. They said they already paid. Pharmacy lady had to call and confirm that no, the payment on that had been reversed.

Well, ok said the insurance person. We’ll fill out the appropriate form, and you should be good to go.

In 72 hours.

I could pee myself to death in 72 hours. Ok, well maybe not since I can keep up with liquids if I have to, and technically I can live without medication at all if I choose to live my life on the toilet, with jugs of potable water at my feet. But I choose not to, and dammit, I want my pills!

So it’s Saturday night, and this is what I’m doing. Peeing and drinking and whining about it online. Not that I’d be doing anything else, like shopping or going out to eat or a movie, because I am night blind and the Spouse Thingy has to work. Besides, I hate being out on weekends anyway because every place is just too crowded, but it’s the principle of the thing!

Who wants to spend Saturday in the bathroom?

No, don’t answer that. I don’t wanna know…


I love Christmas. I ♥ Christmas. Totally my favorite holiday. It beats Thanksgiving, Halloween and Easter all combined by a mile.

Its not the presents; it’s all the decorations. The bright lights, all twinkly and sparkly, shining off the ornaments. I love driving around, looking at other peoples’ houses, their decorations, seeing how inspired (or uninspired) they might be. I love Christmas carols (unless they get stuck in my head) the crisp nip that should be in the air during December.

Usually by now we’re chomping at the bit to put the tree up.

But this year…not so much. This year, we have this:

Fearless one.
Wickedly smart.
Endlessly energetic.
Hopelessly curious.

He will climb the tree. He will chew the tree. He will spend as many waking hours as he possibly can trying to figure out how to turn a giant inside tree into his personal playground, and he won’t care how upset any of the people become. He will be filled with a joy unlike any other, and a glee that will have him hollering the feline equivalent of “Wheeeeeeee!” every time he goes near it.

Once that tree goes up, I will begin the slow descent into insanity, my days filled with “No, Buddah.” “Get off the tree, Buddah” “If you chew on that you will electrocute yourself and quite possibly burn the house down, Buddah.”

And Buddah will smile at me—as much as a cat can smile—and meow “This is fun!

I have no hope of winning.

So if over the next few weeks my words become a meaningless jumble of babble, you’ll know why. We finally put the tree up, and the damned cat won.


And 'lo, did the skies open upon us, and did the blogging gods point down to the earth below and shout "Rejoice! For that lazy no good Irishman finally updated his blog!" And there was much merriment and drinking amongst the blogging gods, for they would have to send no spam to this wayward blogger, and all was right with the blogosphere.