Dear assmunch who thought breaking into my car and ripping the stereo out of the dashboard would be a Fun Thing to end the year with:

Fuck you
Fuck you
Fuck you

Oh yeah, and
Fuck you.

I hope the goddamn thing brings you lots of joy through the New Year, because you sure as hell put a damper on mine.


It’s 4 a.m., and I’m wide awake. I went to bed at a reasonable hour—a little before midnight—and was almost asleep when the cat started raising a fuss. There didn’t seem to be any particular reason for all the noise he was making; he sat in the hallway, talking to whomever would listen.

Once I was sure he was just talking and not in dire need of help, I started to fall back asleep.

Then a rustling sound came from near the dresser. It wasn’t the cat, I was sure of that because he was still down the hall, having one of the best conversations of his life. I turned on the light, sighed hard and climbed out of bed, and looked for the source of the noise.

It stopped before I got to that side of the room.

Again, I climbed back in bed and was –this- close to falling asleep, when I felt a thunk at the end of the bed. I waited for the weight of the cat to land on me, but when that didn’t happen, I lifted my head and listened; he was still down the hall engaged in his peculiar one sided conversation.

I gave up, turned the light back on, and picked up a book. I started it at 1:50 a.m. and finished it half an hour ago. Normally I’d be irritated as hell about not being able to sleep, but I wasn’t. I actually enjoyed the quiet—once the cat shut up—and enjoyed the book, something I picked up on a whim today. It was one of those impulse buys, guided by a little voice in the back of my head that said quite clearly, “You’ll love this. It will make you cry and you won’t even mind.”

It did.
And I didn’t.
Mind it, that is.

I felt the thunk at the end of the bed again, and it hit me. It hit me hard, and it overwhelmed me for a moment, but I did not cry. In fact, it made me smile.

The last time I felt that thunk was around 1 or 2 in the morning, December 29, 2001. I was mostly asleep then, too, but woke with a startled gasp of “Moe!” and then laid there, knowing what I didn’t want to know, trying not to cry, hoping I was wrong.

But I wasn’t.

One of my most treasured friends, Moe Brennan, had passed away early that morning. There’s part of me that knows the thunk was her, and part of me that knows I was expecting her death, and have just tied the two things together in my mind. Yet I felt the thunk tonight—this morning—and can’t help but believe that wonderful soul, who loved animals as much as I love my psychotic little furball, got the cat all riled up, and then took a swift kick to the foot of my bed, just to get my attention.

Yeah, I know, Max tends to “sing” a lot during the wee hours of the morning. But there’s very nearly always a purpose to it, and he does it in specific places: the bathroom, the foot of the bed, the bedroom door, just out of reach of the squirt bottle. He never just stands in the hallway to talk to himself. When he sings, he never sounds quite as content as he did a few hours ago. As content as he sounds when someone is doing exactly what he wants—scratching under the collar he hates, talking softly to him when he feels like talking back, offering him crunchy treats or better yet, cut up pieces of fresh shrimp.

The thunk could have been me, startling myself awake. The book could have been something I’d heard about before, tucking away the information in the back of my mind, filtering out in the bookstore I had never wandered into before, had never wanted to go into before.

Those would be the rational explanations.

But in the middle of the night, fueled by no sleep and several chocolate covered way too tiny donuts, I don’t think so. I don’t think there is a rational explanation the urge to wander into that particular bookstore, for my cat talking calmly to himself, for the thunk at the end of the bed, for not being irritated at the lack of sleep, especially when the Spouse Thingy has tomorrow off and if I’m well rested, we can go do something.

No, in the middle of the night, I know it’s Moe. I want it to be Moe. And it makes me smile because I know she’s still out there somewhere, somehow, making sure those of us who loved her will never forget her—as if we could—and making sure her sense of humor shines through while she sets about her sly reminders.

There are some people who come into your life and make themselves so welcome and so wanted that when they’re gone, they leave tiny footprints on your heart and on your soul, and while you miss them terribly, you’re just so grateful for having had the chance to know them at all. They leave behind pieces of themselves, yet seem all the more whole for it.

I still miss Moe. I think I always will. But I am so glad that she was a part of my life, even for a brief time.

I will not cry.
I will not mourn today.
I will just be grateful, and give thanks that she touched my life.


Holiday letters—the kind people sometimes stick inside of their Christmas cards—are one of those things people either love or hate. I’m one of those people who actually likes getting them; I like the honest, personal letters, especially from people I keep in touch with, and I even like the over the top, grossly exaggerating life-is-so-wonderful letters. Some are good for their comical value, some just let me know what my friends have been up to (and face it, we all have friends we haven’t exactly kept in touch with, but we’re still interested in them and care about how things are going) and some are barf-worthy, but those hold entertainment value.

I think we’ve only done the holiday letter thing once or twice. The only year I clearly remember doing it was 2002, when we had a lot to tell people but the year had been very stressful (brain tumor, surgery, cross country move, etc) and a lot of people who should have been in the loop were unfortunately kept on the outer fringe simply because of time and health constraints.

So, having done one, I can’t complain about them. I don’t think I would, simply because I like them … but this year we only got one. And that kinda depresses me. The one we got was via email, but that was perfectly okay considering the senders were just getting ready to make a huge move to a Very Far Away Place and it just made the most sense. But still…only one.

I can’t complain about that, either, since we didn’t even send out Christmas cards this year. But the cat…well, the cat has had a lot to say this year (shut up! He has!) so to that I give you:


If you don't see another movie for a couple of months, you have to see Phantom Of The Opera. Oh, man, that was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time ... I think the music is going to be stuck in my head for a week. Go. Right now. Get off the computer and go to the movies...


Behold, The Power Of Tryptophan

We ate at 3 this afternoon, and he’s been napping since then; he started out in m office chair, and when I moved him to his own bed he didn’t so much as twitch. He hasn't moved from the position I set him down in, and it’s been a couple of hours.

He’s probably building energy for his night time rampage through the house, or a 3 a.m. concert given just outside the range of the spray bottle I keep on the nightstand.

Either way, he’s a happy kitty, having gotten more than his fair share of shrimp and turkey.

I hope everyone else had as nice a day as the cat seems to have had!


At some point after the New Year, we are going to have to buy a new bed. My back is telling me this, and after the last couple of nights, the voices in my head are in agreement. They're all saying "We need sleeeeeep. We need sleeeeeeep."

The cat echoes their sentiment, as my tossing and turning and getting out of bed is annoying the crud out of him.

I've pondered the possibility of a Tempur Pedic bed--one of those expensive viso-elastic things that are supposedly wonderful to sleep on. I've also thought about a Select Comfort air mattress. I'm not sure about listening to an air pump all night long, though I suppose it would become white noise after a while.

The thing is, those are both expensive and the last thing I want to do is spend a huge wad on another bed that sucks.

A traditional mattress is a crap shoot, too. We bought a Simmons bed several years ago, thinking we couldn't go wrong there. It quickly sagged in the middle and turned out to be just as bad as the waterbed we had before that. I've heard good things about Fosters & Stern beds, but again, they're pricey.

Input if you have it, please.
Even if it's just, "Well, a friend of my friend has one and loves it/hates it."

Thumpa needs sleep.


.Start Rant.

I’m a member of Quality Paperback Book Club. They aren’t the problem; I love them. They sell trade paperback books at reasonable prices, and every once in a while I get a free one. Plus they always have something going on, where I can buy a book, get one half price, stuff like that. QPB’s da bomb.

My problem? When you mail order books, you can’t actually see the insides.

I bought several books this month, stuff I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I love to read, it beats TV by a mile. But this morning I was going through that stack of books, trying to decide what to read first…most of them have print so small that I can’t read them, period.

Now granted, I’ve hit the age where I probably needed bifocals a year ago, but this goes beyond age related reading difficulty. I couldn’t have read the type size in these books when I was 16 and only had so-so vision instead of my current near-blind state. I honestly doubt even someone with 20/20 vision could comfortably read 400 pages of this type size.

I understand the economics behind it: the larger the type, the longer the book; the longer the book, the more it costs to print, thus cutting down on potential profits. Move to a smaller type size, save paper, save costs, etc. I know this because I’ve wrestled with book layout a time or two, trying to decide what font to use, what size, what the per-book print cost will be, and how that affects the bottom line list price.

But still. If the potential customers can’t read the freaking book, what’s the point of taking it to print???

Yes, I could resolve my issues by dragging my sorry ass to the bookstore to actually take a look inside the book before plunking down my cash, but doesn’t change the fact that tiny print is out there, tormenting the world with its lack of readability. I want to be able to read my freaking books!

.End Rant For Now.
The Spouse Thingy is on call on Christmas, which means instead of going elsewhere to celebrate with family, we’re staying home to celebrate with each other. And the Boy. And the cat. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a change in plans … and with it came the realization that there had been no plans in place for Christmas dinner.

The Spouse Thingy pointed out the obvious yesterday: “We need to get the stuff so we can fix Christmas dinner.”

Ok, I’m paraphrasing. But I’m amused by the royal “we” there when we both know there was a question there. “So…are you cooking Saturday or not?”

This isn’t to suggest he wouldn’t help. However, between the fact that the kitchen is too small for two people to be in there, much less two people working, it’s not like he’s ever made a turkey and noodles and stuffing. So we both know who will be doing the cooking, and who will be doing the eating.

If he has his way, it’s the cat who will doing the eating. He discovered the grocery bag with the turkey breast in it, and immediately shoved his head in and began to lick the wrapper. Now, if he’s in the kitchen when I open the refrigerator door, he sits there and stares lovingly at it. The little furball knows what that thing is, and he’s just waiting for me to cook it for him.

Yes, the little furball is a typical male.

But yes, cook I will on Saturday. And keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t all turn out like this years ThumpaFudge™.


Nice Save.

Yep, I overheard a Major Nice Save while in Safeway today… While perusing my choices of overpriced meat for tonight’s dinner (ham, for the terminally curious) a woman stopped near me with a hand cart filled with little things—mostly chocolate and candy canes, a few other odds and ends (yes, I looked…wait a second and you’ll understand why.)

Right behind her came a cart pushed by a very tired looking woman with a small child in the seat. I’d guess he was 4 years old, 5 at the most. And, being a kid, he leaned over and looked in the other woman’s handcart and said “Wow you gots a lot of candy!”

She nodded and mumbled something about needing stocking stuffers.

That’s when I looked up—the little guy’s eyes were wide and he looked horrified—and then I glanced into the handcart. She noticed the look on his face, too, and realized what she’d done.

She gets 10 points for a graceful recovery.

“See, all my kids are grown up, so we asked Santa to skip our house. We buy our own stocking stuffers, that way Santa has more time to go to places where good little boys and girls live.”

The little boy smiled, and his mother let a long, slow breath out.

“I been good,” he proclaimed, and his mother nodded in agreement as they wandered off. The other woman picked up her handcart, and as she walked away she was muttering to herself, “I should probably get coal for my stocking now.”

That was an awesome save.
I can only hope that if I ever jam my foot into my mouth like that I can think as quickly.

In other news: Thumper bought a ham and now has to cook dinner tonight.


Christmas must be canceled.
For everyone.

Why? Because it’s not Christmas without ThumpaFudge™, and so far I’ve tried to make it twice this week and failed miserably both times. The first time it came out hard as a rock, and second time it had the consistency of sludge.

Now, I’ve been making ThumpaFudge™ for over 20 years (ok, ok, it’s my Mom’s recipe…but henceforth and forevermore it shall be known as ThumpaFudge™) so you’d think I’d have it down pat. But every once in a while, something goes horrendously wrong and it turns out Just Horrible.

I’ve decided that it’s the humidity.
And the electric stove I’m not used to.
But it’s nothing I’m doing.

Still, no ThumpaFudge™, no Christmas.
Sorry, kiddies.
Maybe next year.


I would have thought we’d need to feel sorry for Max today, but he sure has us surprised. Well, I feel sorry for him, but not when I thought I would and not for the reason I thought I would.

Today, he had a Sticky Person in the house. Better yet, he had one of the Sticky People that he used to watch playing in the front yard in OH, from behind the safety of the window screen. Instead of running and hiding—which is what I thought he’d do—he stayed in the living room and watched, and even let me pick him up to let the little guy touch him.

The Evilness that lived to our immediate left and her Spouse Thingy are in the middle of a PCS (military for “move every three years and we’ll call it a ‘permanent’ transfer”) and were headed through this way, so they stopped by to visit, and we went out to lunch.

[note to Evil Person: close your eyes now, I wouldn’t want you to think I was saying anything nice…]

I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was to see them. Honestly, we both got so excited it felt like being a 5 year old at Christmas. I would have liked to have spent a lot more time with them, but they have a long trip ahead and needed to get as far as they could. Seeing as how we haul ass when we move and go as long as we can every day, I can certainly understand that.

But the funny thing is, after they left Max went around looking for his Sticky Little Person. And when he couldn’t find him, he did the next logical thing—he started looking out windows. It made perfect sense: he used to watch the kids playing in the yard outside the kitchen window in Ohio, so he when he realized they were gone, he started going from one window to another, and it was obvious he seriously wanted to find his Sticky Person.

I think that’s the key: those kids were his Sticky People. He doesn’t like watching the few kids here he can see outside. Right now he’s curled up on the bed, a black and white dejected furball.

Poor kitty.


A Joke From E-mail, Something I would normally not put in the blog:

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."

"You must be enlisted," said the balloonist.

"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip."

The woman below responded, "You must be an Officer."

"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."
Oidokee...based on email comments and stuff elsewhere, I decided to give the new look a try. If you hate it, comment. If you like it, comment. Just let me know what you think. I can always switch it back.

The voices in favor of changing it all had pretty much the same thing to say: the black was hard on the eyes after a while, and everything will be easier to read on a white background.

I generally don't even like pink, but there's something about this shade that I find oddily attractive. But that's something I can change, too. I can always change the pink to something else.

Well, I think I can.
Maybe I should have gone with bright red and green for the holidays...


In a fit of overbearing boredom, I spent part of the afternoon re-doing It's all very bright now, though it doesn't have much content...mostly it points here, to the "real" blog. And mostly I did it because I found the blog skin and liked it, and wanted to use it.

See what happens when you're bored?
Bright pink bubblegum things happen when you're bored.

I'd redo this blog if I wasn't so attached to it.
Though I'm still tempted...
Can the world stand more bright pink bubblegum???

I reallllllllly like that bright pink bubblegum...


My cat gets email.
Actually, my cat gets more non-spam email than I do.
My cat gets email from other cats, which I find both highly appropriate and a little odd.

Over the last week or so he’s received email explaining—in terms generally reserved for small children—what The Holidays are (after all, he did say he didn’t know), a breeding proposal (from some female feline who appears to be unaware that Max is neutered), corrections to his “grammer,” complaints about his potty mouth, and an offer from an older woman who lives in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa—she wants to take him away from the Horrible People who obviously don’t appreciate all he does for them.

I think she’s kidding.
I hope she’s kidding.

But if she’s not…Lady, we appreciate Max, we really do. It’s just that we don’t appreciate him quite as much when he’s howling his freaky little head off at 3 in the morning for no apparent reason. Or when he’s being obnoxious about wanting to be fed his dinner 2 hours early. But we appreciate him, we really do.

My ego is wounded that he has more readers to his blog than I do, and he seems to have an actual fan base…but yes, Virginia, Max is an appreciated kitty. He’s also foul mouthed (yes…he is…just read his blog), unable to fulfill any feline fantasies out there, and he really doesn’t seem to care about his “grammer.”

I don’t think I do, either.
Not that I have anything to do with that.


I don’t know whether to be impressed by the cat’s intelligence, or pissed off by his showing it off. If he’s not showing off, he’s just a stubborn, mean little chit who hates the idea that I’m sleeping when he’s not.

The Spouse Thingy started work this week. Max keyed into his morning absences quickly; on Day One he felt pressed to wander into the bedroom right after the Spouse Thingy left—sometime around 5 a.m.—to announce that he’d left the house. He stood at the bedroom door and hollered his little head off, until I threatened to squirt him or throw things at him.

Day Two, same announcement. Evidently I am to be made aware that my other half is up and off to work. But after the initial announcement and empty threats of bodily harm, Max curled up on the bed and slept until he felt I need to get up to feed him.

Day Three, the Spouse Thingy did not have to go to work. But when he wasn’t up at the appointed time, the cat began to worry, and let me know. Loudly. And often. In fact, he didn’t stop until the Spouse Thingy did get up. After his breakfast, he felt compelled to pester me until I finally dragged myself out of bed.

The next two mornings, as the Spouse Thingy left for work, the cat continued his announcements. “The Man has left the building,” I’m fairly sure he’s saying. “You may turn over and go back to sleep, until I feel like licking your eyelid or shoving my nose up your closest nostril.” Once I was sufficiently annoyed, he jumped up on the bed, plopped down on my legs, and went to sleep.

And this morning…holy crap. Max started in at 4:30 this morning, trying to convince me to get the Spouse Thingy up. Since he was snoring, he slept in the spare room (the Spouse Thingy, not the cat) with the door closed, so Max has to work especially hard. He stood in the doorway, hollering his little head off, then he would wander down the hallway to yell at the closed door, then back to the bedroom. I aimed the spray bottle at him, but he’s learned where he can stand to avoid getting wet. And then he sits there and mocks me with his little kitty voice, and I’m fairly sure he’s laughing at me.

That furball didn’t shut up until the Spouse Thingy opened the door. And even then, he occasionally popped into the room to make various announcements. As near as I could figure they were, “I have been fed now. And it was very good shrimp and tuna. You should come out and try some,” and “I am going to use the litter box now,” followed by, “I have now finished using the litter box. You might want to light those candles in the bathroom…”

He finally shut up for good when I peeled myself up around 9 this morning.

But…he knows when the Spouse Thingy should be getting up for work. He doesn’t know about days off, obviously, but he’s determined he’s going to make sure he gets him up and out the door on time. And he’s positive I need to know about it; on the days the Spouse Thingy works, I am to be told he left on time. On days off, we’re all to be warned of imminent doom, because obviously if the Spouse Thingy does not get up and go to work, there will be no more shrimp and tuna.

And obviously, I am not allowed to sleep if Max’s little world is not Just So.
So yeah, he’s either very intelligent, very mean, or both.

I think while he’s napping today, I’m going to stand by the bed and holler at him, stick things in his ears, and head butt him. See how he likes it.

No, I won’t.
But I wanna…



This thing is the most amazing contraption a person who feels cold from the inside out all the time could possibly own. A heater that doesn’t heat the space of a full room, but just the person sitting in front of it.

Or, as the case may be, the cat.

We saw this thing in Costco, and stood there marveling at the amount of warmth it generated. And the Spouse Thingy kept saying it would be perfect for my office (and for him, since it would mean he wouldn’t have to sweat bullets all evening because I keep jacking up the thermostat.) After some poking and prodding and double checking to make sure the surface wouldn’t get hot (in case the PsychoKitty decided to rub up against it) and to make sure it would click off if tipped over (in case the PsychoKitty decided to tackle it) we determined it was a worthy purchase.

OMG, I think I want a second one so I can out one on each side of my office chair. This isn’t warm like one of those old forced air space heaters. This is warm like a clean sweatshirt fresh out of the dryer.

Since he kept hogging it last night, I can only assume the cat approves, too.


Maybe I’m just a little grumpy because I woke up an hour and a half earlier than I would have liked, or maybe I’m just turning into a Grinch, but the barrage of “holiday” commercials is really getting on my nerves. I found it annoying before, but this morning … well, this morning they’re pissing me off with the implications of stupidity and greed amongst holiday shoppers and gift receivers.

So far this morning I’ve seen commercials implying that men must buy diamonds for the women in their lives for Christmas, an expensive car will get a man a little nookie for the holidays, and everyone’s entire December will be made whole and shiny and wonderful with new jeans and sweaters from a wonderfully inexpensive chain store.

Ok, I like the chain store, but…

All the jewelers’ commercials waving diamonds and baubles and necklaces that will be worn maybe twice a year are downright insulting. There’s a commercial for a store that might be local to Northern CA (I’d never heard of it until we moved back here) where this woman wanders through a cocktail party admiring the obviously expensive bracelets and necklaces of other guests, who proudly boast, “He went to (insert name of store…I’m not giving them publicity)!” At the end of the commercial she walks up to her husband and shoves crackers or shrimp or some other party food into his drink and walks off in a huff.

Eh? Because he didn’t just go out and spend the mortgage on something shiny? Did she ever tell him she wanted expensive jewelry? Was he supposed to just guess? “Well, she’s a woman, so of COURSE she wants diamonds and gold and silver!”

And there’s those annoying annual commercials for a national chain… A kiss begins with… Sheesh. Granted, those necklaces they push every year are not my taste at all, but they charge a chitload for something I can go to WalMart and get for 80% less. Or a kiosk in the mall. Or even JC Penney, because they seem to always have stuff at 50% off.

Then there’s the car commercials. Too many to count this year. Using the keys to a BMW as mistletoe. Cadillacs with a Christmas-y backdrop. Buy a Lexus, she’ll love you! In fact, if you don’t buy her the fully loaded bank buster dream machine, she’ll feed you gruel and warm water for dinner for months… Ooh yeah, surprise her with a car! Surprise her with a $900 car payment every month for the next five years!

I know people have been complaining for years about how commercial the holidays have become, but cripes. Do advertising companies really think men are stupid enough to believe they have to buy the really expensive shiny thing to rock her holiday world? Or that their wives would really want them to spend $75,000 on a car for her that she didn’t even get to pick out? Maybe she’d be perfectly happy with the sub $20K compact on the lot across the street. Or hey, maybe she’d be happier still with the perfect book and bath oils selected from her favorite stores. A CD of favored music.

But damn…that would mean he’d have to pay attention to what she likes to read, and how she likes to relax. And we all know that men can’t handle that.

Yeah, insert heavy rolling of the eyes.

And yeah, it seems to me that most of these commercials are aimed directly at men, as if they’re too clueless to have really good gift ideas all by themselves. Gosh…what did men do before TV? Or before advertising became the driving force behind network TV?

Holy crap, did they have to stop and think?!?!?!

And a note to advertisers: Hey. People are not stupid. Men are not clueless and women are not greedy. Well, most women aren’t. The insinuations just make me want to throw things at the TV, and stop buying anything you make.

Except the Cadillac XLR.
Yeah, I’d buy that.
If you drop the price by $40,000, I’d buy it.

Another double post brought to you by the wonderful wonderful people at Blogger...

It certainly can't be anything I'm doing...


4:30 a.m.

That’s what was on the clock the last time I looked at it last night/this morning. Four thirty in the freaking morning. I finally crawled back into bed at 3:30, watched TV until my eyes were burning and I thought I could sleep, turned off the TV at 4 o’clock, and started to drift.

Then the thought zipped through my head that we needed to go pay rent on the storage unit.

That was followed by the thought that I needed to remember that, or else we’d wind up having all our junk towed away, which might not be such a bad thing, but it’s our junk and I want to decide when we toss it.

So my brain was spinning, and it took half an hour to convince myself that I would not forget we needed to go pay for storage. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep shortly after 4:30, thinking that I would get up at 8 and feed the cat, then crawl back in bed until noon.

The cat, on the other hand, had other ideas. At 7:30 he plopped down on me, his nose close to mine, sniffing and grunting and generally being a nuisance. He shifted his weight repeatedly, knowing this tends to get me up. Right about the time I was going to cave in, the Spouse Thingy got up to feed him, and Max launched—with full force of his weight on my chest—off to go eat.

So … I can go back to sleep, right?

Max has this annoying habit; it doesn’t matter if he’s been fed, if I’m in bed he feels some pressing need to yowl until I acknowledge him (usually with “Shut up, Max!”) After that, he wanders into the bathroom, makes an incredible amount of noise kicking kitty litter around in his box, and then starts hollering his little head off.

I bought a spray bottle for this very reason, to shut him up.

Max has learned where to stand in the room so he can be as noisy as he wants and avoid the spray of the water.

This morning, I won. He gave up meowing at top volume after fifteen minutes or so, and I went back to sleep, where I had dreams of carrying a baby around in a plastic bag. Yes, a live human baby. The neighbors from Ohio were all there, and it seemed perfectly normal and acceptable that I was carting around some strange infant in a clear plastic trash bag. At some point during the dream I looked at my watch and announced to the neighbors, “It’s noon. I better wake up now.”

So wake up I did. I rolled over and looked at the clock, and it was 10 a.m. Upon seeing that, I was determined to go back to sleep…but Max noticed. He saw my eyes open, and that was it. I was getting up no matter what.

He meowed.
He head butted me.
He snuggled and cuddled and meowed some more.

Seeing the wisdom in getting up before I’d had enough sleep—after all, if I was still tired, then I’d be able to sleep tonight—I threw the blankets back and got up.

The damn cat had this smug “I so freaking won this one” look on his face. He settled down on the bed, and closed his eyes. Visions of jumping on the bed and yelling at him zoomed before me, but I didn’t have the energy. I let him sleep, and wandered off to change.

I’ve been sleepy all day, but knew better than to take a nap.
We ran errands to stay awake.
Sleep would be ours tonight!

So here it is 9:40 p.m., I’ve taken my benedryl…and I’m wide awake.
That cat did something to me, I know he did…
Two a.m. and I've just had an argument with the cat over who gets to sit in the office chair. Granted, he was in it when I gave up the notion of sleeping (that's what I get for forgetting to take my benedryl tonight, now it's too late...) and wandered into the office to play on my computer, but I nicely picked him up and placed him gently onto his bed.

It's a very nice bed, too. It's a giant wicker basket with a fluffy pillow and a tiger-spotted thermal pad on it. Normally he loves his bed, but evidently not in the middle of the night when he could be getting fur all over my chair.

He was a good sport about being moved, at least I thought so. He settled into the bed and curled up, closing his eyes, but as soon as I got up to go wander into the other room for a minute (oh shut up...I had to pee) he jumped back into the chair.

I picked him back up and placed him on his bed, and before my butt cheeks had a chance to hit the chair, he was back in it. And he glared at me. As if I were in the wrong here. And damn if he didn't do it again -- I started to sit, and there he was, in all his furry glory, daring me to sit on him.

When I picked him up, I wasn't as nice. I deposited his sorry ass onto the floor and sat down as fast as I could.

Yet somehow, I don't think I won. I can see the wheels spinning in his head, evidenced by that almost-evil look in his eyes. I have a nasty feeling that he'll find a way to get his revenge.

I better check the sheets before I climb back in bed...


Whoa. When I opened Inkblot Books in Ohio, all I had to do was mail in 2 forms and send a few bucks to the state. Very painless, very quick. They sent back a spiffy license, and a vendor’s license number.

I just download and printed off the forms I need to open it in California. Cripes. The state has forms. The county has forms. The city has forms. They all have fees—thankfully not expensive fees, but fees nonetheless. Plus I think I have to run an ad in the classifieds stating I’m doing business.

I just want someone to give me a business license and a reseller’s certificate, and be done with it! I want it to be easy! I am very, very lazy!

PsychoKitty has redesigned his website. He would like opinions on it … some have said it’s too red, some the type too tiny. We fixed the type size, and it doesn’t look very red on this end. But weigh in, tell him whatcha think. His feelings won’t be hurt.

The USAF actually came through with the Spouse Thingy’s final active duty pay on time! They were $500 short, but at least they paid him. He’d been told it could be as much as 10 days late. We can eat! Yay!


How To Feel Old Without Even Trying

Just start poking through old image files.

Sooner or later you’ll find a picture than not only shows your kid as a toddler, but you in your early adulthood.

You’ll look at it and have 2 thoughts:
“Damn, I was young.”
“Holy crap, I was thin.”

But mostly, you’ll just feel old.
double post again.
Blogger hates me.


'Tis a good thing that I can't take a long walk or anything immediately after eating, because we have this awesome pizza place about 2 miles from here. It's a nice walk, but I'd never make it home before exploding...


All Hail Flipper!
Ok. We really did unpack. Mostly. There’s an entire storage room full of utter crap that we had no space for (old garage stuff, and stuff from closets and a spare bedroom…we don’t have nearly as much storage here.) But we’re moved in now, and really like the apartment—and we’ll weed through the stuff in storage and throw most of it out, I’m sure, donate lots and lots and lots of books to the library, and then there’s Ebay…

Ok, go peek if ya wanna. The pictures are big, so there’s only 1 per link…

Living Room Before
Living Room After

Dining Area/Kitchen

Mike’s Computer Room Before
Mike’s Computer Room After

My Office Before
My Office After

Bedroom Before
Bedroom After


Double entry...which gives me an idea of how the rest of my day is going to go...
Well now.
Dependable Auto Shippers is sending us a check.
Yep. A check for a whopping $150.00

$2000 in damages, they pay $150.00
They say their liability is $250, but guess what! They have a $100 deductible!

Oh, I am such a happy person right now.
I am.

When I feel a little less happy, I’ll tell ya all about how the Spouse Thingy’s last military paycheck might get here very, very late.

This is so much fun.
Yes it is.


4,000 more words, and I will have succeeded at NaNoWriMo.
Sure, what I'm writing sux for the most part, but 50,000 words is 50,000 words.
Nine more days to get 4,000 words; I usually can do 2,000 a day.
Oooh yeah.


Paint me disappointed.

A while back, while surfing, I found the spiffiest pair of Chucks I've ever seen. It was a case of instant I HAVE TO HAVE THESE!

So I ordered them.
And I waited.
And then I get an email...they no longer have them in my size. So I went back to the website, and looked. =sob= If my feet were half a size smaller, or half a size bigger, I could still get these.

I don't often HAVE to have a pair of shoes, but dammit, these are the Best Ever!
This pretty much pisses me off. Target (and its subsidiary Mervyn’s) are banning Salvation Army Bell Ringers from collecting at the front of their stores during the holiday season. Their reason? If they allow one non-profit group, they have to allow them all.


Look, I know some people find the bell ringing annoying, but it’s not like the people manning the kettles are tackling shoppers on their way in or out of the stores and forcing them to donate. The worst some of them do is sing. People who do find the bells and singing (oh! And let’s not forget those pesky wishes for Happy Holidays!) annoying can get past them in about 5 seconds—anyone who can’t tolerate a bell for 5 seconds should probably not be out in public during the holiday shopping season, anyway. Bells are everywhere…get over it.

If other non-profits want to sit outside and gently solicit donations, fine. I can pick and choose to whom I donate my money, and I’m perfectly capable of walking past them if I don’t want or am not in the position to donate.

Dropping a few bucks into the Salvation Army kettle is a tradition; we do it every year, and we actively seek out those kettles. After seeing the Salvation Army in action during the Grand Forks, ND flood in 1997, they have my utmost respect—and any spare change I have in my pocket, every time I pass one of those kettles.

I doubt I’ll be shopping at Target during the holiday season this year. I’ll look for other places that aren’t so uptight…I have a can full of change, and I’m ready to dump it.

Just nowhere near Target or Mervyn’s.


December 6th.
The Spouse Thingy starts work December 6th.
Not until then.
:::lays head on desk:::


Top Five Email Questions About Having Moved

1. How do you like CA?
2. How’s the Spouse Thingy like his new job?
3. Are you driving around topless a lot? Did they fix your car?
4. Why no pictures since you unpacked?
5. Met any of your neighbors?


1. CA is terrific. This is the place that most feels like home, and it was nice to actually know where most everything was when we got here. I’m really liking the apartment, and I’m actually using my office—a real office!—to work instead of Internet surf most of the time. I think the only thing I don’t like is our sucky tasting water.

2. If he ever gets to start his f’ing job, I’ll let you know. He expected to start the beginning of November. But now it looks like the beginning of December is the best we can hope for. And even then it’s not guaranteed. On that note, if we usually swap gifts at Christmas, I hate to tell ya, but it’s not happening this year. We’ll be lucky to pay rent.

3. Yep, as much as possible. It’s almost a little odd, though, being the middle of November and being able to ride with the top down. We get some odd looks (I think some people already think it’s too chilly for topless driving) but I’m going to go topless as often as I can, until it gets really cold. But no, the car isn’t fixed. If the auto people pay on it they’re only paying $250, and the estimates we close to $2000. So my toy is going to remain dented and gouged. And bouncy, too.

4. What makes you think we unpacked?

5. We met one woman, and I cannot remember her name. She’s right next door and seems very nice. Other than that, nope. I do know how loud the people upstairs pee, when they run their dishwasher, and that they do laundry at 1 a.m. And the lady up there can laugh loud. But honestly, none of that is annoying.

If I sound snarky…it’s 2 a.m., and I can’t sleep.
And I have the munchies.
But mostly, it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep.


Say it with me.

National Novel Writer’s Month.

Nope, it’s not a celebration of those who sit alone in a room, typing until their fingers bleed and brains melt, day after day after day. It’s a writing exercise…cough up a 50,000 word novel in one month, starting November 1st, finishing November 30 (or before, if one is so inclined and/or motivated.)

I committed (committed being the operative word) to it this year, and with only 18 days to go I’m only halfway there.

So, if blog entries are few and far between, I’m probably working.
If there are many, I’m procrastinating.

No, don’t ask me why I’m doing it. It’s not like there’s a prize for finishing in a month, nor is it like 50,000 words doth a novel make, nor does spewing forth 50,000 words in 30 days mean it will be any good.

It’s Something To Do.
And who knows, it may shape up to be something publishable someday.


Is it appropriate to say “Happy Veteran’s Day?”

Whether it is or not, that’s what I’m saying. Happy Veteran’s Day. If you’re a veteran, or currently serving in the military, I wish for you nothing but happiness. Well, I also wish for you Peace and contentment, and a bubble of safety 10 meters thick.

Thank you for protecting my rights.
Thank you for being willing to serve, protecting my freedoms.
Thank you for enduring the sheer boredom that explodes into moments of sheer terror.
Thank you for my youth, my adulthood, and the fact that I got this old at all, without knowing true oppression.

The Spouse Thingy is in the last weeks of his 20 years service in the USAF. Right now he’s on terminal leave, but as of December 1st he’s an Official Retiree, with all the benefits that entails. And we’re pretty sure that one of the biggest rights he has is standing smack dab in the middle of an aisle in the commissary with his cart turned sideways, blocking everyone else.

So…for the Active Duty, thank you, too, for not getting all pissy at those who served before you, and are keeping you from getting to the canned veggies and spaghetti sauce. And I hope that one day you, too, will be ticking off the fresh-faced airmen and soldiers and sailors with your cart in the commissary, because you will have earned it.


:::sits in the corner and sobs quietly:::
No one out here sells Caffeine Free Diet Mountain Dew.
If you know me, you know why I’m weeping copiously.
I’m doomed….doomed!


Conversation with the cat:

Max: Meow.
Me: No, it’s not time to eat.
Max: Meow.
Me: Because it’s only 4 o’clock.
Max: Meow.
Me: You eat at five.
Max: Meow.
Me: You'll live through one hour.
Max: Meow.
Me: Because I said so, that’s why.
Max: Bitch.


[insert a deep sigh]

Ok. So. I have this damage to my car from being transported from Ohio to California by Dependable Auto Shippers. It’s a few small gouges (though deep, down to bare metal) up front, plus an ass-sized dent in the hood, toward the front. DAS only covers up to $250 in damage after a $100 deductible. So basically, to get that sweet $250, there has to be $350 in damages.

For proof, they want 2 written estimates, plus photos.

So, off we go to a couple of body shops. Free estimates, what more could you ask for?

First place, the guy looks at it, scribbles a few motes, and then sits down at his computer to compile this massive amount of data. A few minutes later he gets back up, says the hood needs to be replaced because dents like that just don’t pop out of a hood well, and the total damage -- $2000.

That’s right. Two Thousand Dollars.

We had high hopes he was very very wrong, and off we went to body shop #2. I waited in their spiffy waiting room, watching a TV made sometime in 1975 (even had the old style knob for changing channels, but hey, it works and works well!) Guy #2 took his clipboard and went out to look at the car, then came back in and sat at his computer compiling all this data. And when he was done… $1600.

He agreed without even being asked: the hood needs to be replaced. And not only that, the thingy the hood latches to is bent and there’s a small crack in it, but it’s still functional.

Now, when you consider that this car still needs front struts, and there’s an interesting and fun new popping noise coming from the left front wheel, as well as a clicking coming from that side when in motion…and the idle is still off, making it sputter and then die at totally inappropriate times, you can see where we might be reluctant to get this damage fixed. It’s not like DAS is going to pay for what they phkd up.

It’s also not like we were ever given the option to buy additional insurance through them, but their limits were printed on one of the forms we signed. Sure, it was on the BACK, but we did sign it.

And our insurance company would surely cover it, but why risk our rates increasing over this?

The car is drivable…I’m ticked beyond belief that this damage seriously devalues the car, but it’s drivable. And unless it dies while I’m on the Interstate with a semi bearing down on me (and don’t think that hasn’t crossed my mind) I can probably drive it for a while still. At least until that popping sound turns out to be a crack, and the wheel falls of. While I’m doing 65 mph, with my luck.


You’d think there wouldn’t be many differences between duplex living and apartment living. Either way, your space is attached to someone else’s, and there are bound to be some annoyances. You’d think, anyway.

We lived in a duplex in Ohio. And in spite of the headboard-banging noise jokes (‘tis true, Evil Ones…we never heard a thing no matter what we said) the only thing we heard coming from the next door neighbors was the sound of a chair being pulled or pushed across the tile floor.

In the apartment here… yep, we hear things. And our upstairs neighbors do not seem to be noisy people; it’s just the nature of apartment living. You hear things: people walking, the sounds of TVs or radios. Occasional wild laughter. But more than that…peeing. Yes, if I’m in the bathroom and the guy upstairs is in the bathroom, I can hear him pee. And holy crap, can he pee. Make that Pee, with a capital P.

And they have a squeaky bed.
Read into that what you will.
Yep. The joys of apartment life.


Lemme tell ya, after so many weeks of eating out, you wouldn't believe how good a simple fried bologna sandwich can taste...


Eulogy For Someone Still Living

Murf’s dad, as was mentioned to me in recent email, bemoans the idea that everything good will be said about him after he dies. People wait until there’s a corpse before they screw up the nerve to say things that might be better said while there’s still a pulse, and some reasonable amount of comprehension. It might be a good idea, he thinks, to hold ones’ wake before one reaches an age where mental faculties might be a bit degraded, or before the wake is really a wake.

And it might be nice to see how many people will come, and who, and which of those in attendance will get royally drunk and puke in the nearest potted plant.

And he’s right. We shouldn’t have to be dead before people remember us. So for Mr. Murphy, a eulogy for someone still very much alive:

I was 12 years old the first time I saw Conor Murphy. I was walking down the street, headed for the 7-11, and he was lying face up in his front yard, arms folded behind his head. I must have hesitated, because he piped up, “Ah, ‘tis all right. I had a bit of the drop, and am just a wee bit fluthered.”

Not knowing what to say, I thought about turning and running.

“Mrs. Murphy thought I should come out here and face God Himself and explain why I felt a Guinness was a good thing at three in the afternoon. And I heartily think Himself approves.”

At hearing the name “Murphy” I relaxed, because I knew his sons from school, and I laughed because I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but it sounded funny.

Mr. Murphy was “fluthered.” Not drunk. Not tipsy. He was fluthered.
And as you can imagine, very, very Irish.

I had other introductions to Mr. Murphy. And while he wasn’t much more that 2 or 3 inches taller than I was at the time, he always seemed to be a giant of a man. Always friendly, pretty much gregarious, he was still this huge presence that hinted that behind the friendliness was something with a spark of danger. Not danger in a bad way; he simply gave off the feeling of someone who would not tolerate mistreatment of anyone, and someone who could take care of it if he had to.

And he did. The next school year, the day after a teacher had openly humiliated two students who could not, because of their religion, stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, he stormed into our home room class to remove his son, letting her know in no uncertain terms what he thought about her intolerance of others’ religious beliefs. If we had dared, the rest of us would have stood up and cheered. It was one of our first lessons in civics, and it was given in less than two minutes.

Conor Murphy was also a cop. His intention to make it his career was cut short…not by the bullet lodged in his back, but by the fall he took just two weeks after being shot on the job. It was a stark reminder of the gentleness of his nature; he fell from a ladder while trying to pull the neighbor’s cat from a tree—not because the cat couldn’t get down on its own, but because there was nest of baby birds in that tree, and he didn’t want them to become a feline feast in his back yard. He could have gotten out the hose and chased the cat from his tree, but he didn’t want to hurt the cat, either.

He fell onto his back, bullet fragments shifted into cracks in his spine, and he was left unable to walk. He had feeling in his legs—mostly pain—but he couldn’t support his own body weight. His career as a police officer ended in his back yard, the neighbor’s cat sniffing his face.

The Murphy’s house was the first I had ever seen with a wheelchair ramp. Mr. Murphy was the first person I had known who needed a wheelchair, and he was not shy about zipping down the street in it. In the mid 1970s, that just wasn’t something one often saw, but he turned his bad luck into a bright lesson for the rest of us: the disabled are People, and there’s not a thing you need to fear from them.

My family moved away not long after that; we headed for California, and for a time I forgot about the Murphy family.

Years later, when “getting online” meant that one subscribed to a Proprietary service such as America Online or Prodigy or Compuserve, in the days of the 300 baud modem and Crayola-Colored graphics, Ian Murphy and I reconnected. We remembered each other differently: I recalled him as being a wormy little PITA, he recalled me as being the one person who made sure he was included. But I remembered his father clearly, the gentle Irish giant who let his kids paint his wheelchair with fluorescent paint.

Over the last 10 years I’ve realized that Conor Murphy is the man those of us with sons hope for them to become. He’s tough, he’s strong, and he’s very gentle. He loves his children and grandchildren with open affection—I remember the teasing Ian and his brother took for calling him “Da,” and for the goodbye kisses Da insisted on before getting out of his car before school—and he’s never ashamed to show it. He fought through all the pain of his injuries and a few years ago had surgery to remove scar tissue and bullet fragments from his spine—and then spent another few years building enough muscle mass to be able to stand and walk a few feet at his grand daughter’s wedding, so he could give her away. When Ian’s mother died in ’97, followed just a few weeks later by Ian’s own heart attack, Conor Murphy held everyone together through the strength of his nature and outspoken belief that God has a purpose for everything.

A few years ago, when I was in the middle of my own fight with pain and found myself needing a wheelchair to get around, Mr. Murphy emailed me with this message: The wheels are but a tool, and you can use them to hide behind, or you can use them to build strength.

Conor Murphy never hid behind anything. Not even on that day over 30 years ago when he was plastered on the grass in his front yard, just a little bit tipsy a little too early in the afternoon, looking for God’s approval. And from where I stand now, I think it’s safe to say “Himself” approves.



Not just a little dent, but a fairly big one right there on the hood. It looks like someone jumped on the hood to sit--hard. And there's a nice gouge near the front, too.

The dent can probably be popped out, but the gouge is deep enough it'll have to be sanded and puttied and repainted...and I'm guessing that'll cost more than the $250 DAS shippers pays on claims. And there's no way I'm putting claim in on my insurance for it...

I am not happy.
Picture a little boy, about three years old, crawling into the nearest trustworthy grownup’s lap, resting his head against their chest, sadness dripping in fine tears out of the corners of his eyes. It’s not temper; he’s not upset because he didn’t get the toy he wanted, or the cookie, or to get to watch his favorite TV show. He’s just overwhelmingly, deeply sad.

His life has been turned upside down, everything he owns is gone, he’s in a new place where nothing smells right or looks right or even feels right. He doesn’t understand why, and nothing the grownups can say about it makes any sense.

Now, if Max were human, he’d be that little boy. I’ve never seen a cat so profoundly sad. He’s taken to hiding in the corner of a closet, the corner hardest to see from the outside, and he’s curled in a tight little ball as if trying to hide from himself even. When he jumps into my lap it’s not at all comfortable because we’re sitting in a fairly uncomfortable folding chair, but he grabs my arm to pull it around him, resting his head on my forearm. He just wants to be held. And every now and then he looks up at me like “Why?”

He has a good appetite so I’m not worried that this is something he’s not going to snap out of, but right now he’s a little boy lost, and if he could cry real tears I think he would.


Holy crap, I am too freaking old for this moving nonsense. Not so much the Moving part as the Sitting On The Floor When You Have No Furniture Yet part. And especially the Wake Up With Your Ass On The Floor Because The Air Mattress Leaks part. I can't believe I spent a good part of my youth sitting on the floor, voluntarily, even when there was good seating available. My poor aching ass...


There is no such thing as a good hair day here.
I totally had forgotten about the wind...


Wow...I had forgotten about all the traffic out here. And the prices. And lines everywhere. And how non-green it is. And the traffic...

We rolled in around 1:30 or so yesterday, after not killing the cat while going through the Sierra Mountains (all we can figure is that the altitude change really bothers him, because he howled all the way through and quieted down once we'd gotten into Auburn.) And since we were 2 days early, TLF did not have space for us so we wound up bouncing from motel to motel, trying to find one that takes pets. Oddly enough, the Super 8 in Vacaville takes only dogs. We did find a Best Western that looked pretty crappy on the outside, but inside was decent enough.

And the Boy had a line on an apartment, so we drove by last night to take a peek. We got to see everything except the actual apartment, and it was nice enough that we went back this morning. So now we have a place to live...with access to a year-round heated pool, a fully equipped fitness center, and a raquetball court. The only thing we need and don't have is a garage, so we're going to find a storage place for our lawn mower and other assorted crap that doesn't belong in living space.

The cat should be happy...he has to ride in the car again tomorrow, but only for 5 minutes, and then he'll have a big place to explore. And he won't be terrorized until the truck somes with all of his stuff...

It's kind of nice, moving someplace and already knowing where almost everything is. We're doing a little pointing and wondering out loud "was that here before?" but for the most part, it's all familiar. And I must not have lost that CA driver's edge, because I caught myself doing almost 15 mph over the speed limit on the freeway...and I was still slower than everyone else.

Once I have internet access (I'm at the base library, my laptop modem seems to be punked out) I'll post a couple of pictures. Poor Fred didn't get one of himself partying in photos allowed in the casinos, but he did have himself a good time.


Winnemucca, Nevada.

Yep, about 800 miles today. Since the cat decided that 5:45 in the morning was a good time to wake up, we hit the road early and kept going after we hit Elko since we still had a little gas left. Of course, I was driving. And of course, I went through a mass of 67 zillion bugs. And of course, there was no place to stop to clean the windshield. And OF COURSE, we were headed west, and ya know what? The sun sets in the west! Right in my eyes! Glaring through a mass of smeared, dead bug bodies!

I added yesterday’s update tonight, and Blogger let me backdate it. I tried to get online in Cheyenne, but my computer and the Holiday Inn’s data port just would not play together nicely. But the hotel was super nice…so we’re in a Holiday Inn Express tonight. And I think they have free breakfast.

Max only cried for a couple of hours this morning. After that he only piped up when the road was rough, and we think it just plain hurt his little body. And he managed to sucker us out of bites of our lunch (well, the Spouse Thingy’s; he had a fish sandwich) and lots of treats along the way.

I think he’s resigned to all this…luckily tomorrow will be the last day of a long time in the car. We’re less than 400 miles from Travis AFB. We’ll likely get there early, since there’s no way he’ll let us sleep late.

I’ll be glad to get there for his sake alone. I really think he’s decided this is how every day is going to be, forever.

And he doesn’t seem to appreciate Fred all that much, either. Possibly because Fred gets out of the car when he doesn’t…


We’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight; we made a little over 700 miles and could have gone on to Laramie, but we spotted a Holiday Inn and decided to stop for the night. Max wasn’t too bad today; he cried for the first 3 hours, but then settled down and only spoke up every now and then. He slept some, and even though he initially refused it, ate a pretty decent snack along the way.

Iowa wasn’t too bad; I have to give the state props, they have the best rest areas I think I’ve ever seen (except for one place, I can’t remember the name, but we’re coming up on it tomorrow, I think.) The stalls are like 6 inches thick and tiled, there are generally at least 20 of them, and they’re all clean. Yep, that’s my good travel criteria: nice rest areas.

Nebraska was all right, too…but I swear, they need to make a law stating cattle trucks have to have some waste collection system instead of letting it just fall out the back. We were not thrilled to be behind one, thinking at first “damn, there are a lot of bugs out here,” only to realize those weren’t bugs, and it wasn’t some “fine yellow mist.” It was a load of cow pee, flinging itself up all over our car. When we stopped for gas, the flies landed like crazy.


With any luck, tomorrow we’ll make it to Elko, Nevada.


I did not cry.

Neither did the Spouse Thingy, and after about 45 minutes on the road, that’s what he said, cutting through the silence. “At least I got through it without crying.” I had to admit, I had to clench my teeth as we said goodbye to our friends, collecting hugs and well wishes, and even more as we drove off, waving.

This morning was our final inspection to clear housing, and everyone was there, waiting in the yard while the Spouse Thingy and I were inside with the inspector. And laughing their asses off when the inspector opened the back door to see if the yard was up to specs—only to see Next Door Guy’s size 100 undies hanging from our privacy fence.

I stepped outside while Spouse Thingy went upstairs with him to check the bedrooms, fairly sure we’d pass, but never 100% certain (and relieved to hear later the guy said he was impressed…and he had never seen so many people collected in one place for a final out.) When I knew the Spouse Thingy was in the kitchen, signing papers, I felt the stirrings of dread…I didn’t want to say goodbye. I wanted to stuff everyone in my suitcase and take them with me. I could feel the dread coming off my fingertips in drips of electricity, and started biting down hard, swallowing past the lump forming in my throat.

For a place I didn’t really want to come to, someplace that was never home, leaving was perhaps more difficult than any other place we’ve been.

I’m definitely taking away more than I’m leaving there; last night we were given a framed picture of all the neighborhood kids—who, in spite of the fact that I am not old enough yet!a—make me realize how much I will cherish having grandkids someday. And I can’t imagine ever again having a neighborhood like that, with so many awesomely incredible people…even the Evil Ones. And I think they know just how Evil I truly think they are.

Ok. Before I actually do cry…

We hit the road, after a quick trip to the bank, around 10:30, figuring we’d try to get in 400 miles today. Along the way we discovered we had a stowaway… His name is Fred, and he’s turning out to be quite the party animal. I would be nice if he would take a turn or two driving, but lacking arms—well, feet too—we can’t expect too much.

We did about 500 miles today and stopped in Iowa City, mostly for the sake of the cat… he howled for the first 3-4 hours, then just meowed quietly every 15 seconds for another hour or so, before giving up. He napped off and on then, but hadn’t had anything to drink nor used the littler box since morning (normal for him in the car) so we stopped at the first motel we saw, and are pretty glad we did. It’s very nice, better than the room we had last night—twice as much space, and high speed internet access, for about $10 more than we spent last night.

Depending on what time we get up in the morning, we’re going to shoot for 700 miles. And hopefully the cat will quiet down early, before we feel the stirrings of “don’t strangle the kitty, don’t strangle the kitty, don’t strangle the kitty…”


Poor Max just is not taking this move very well. We had to lock him in the bathroom yesterday while the truck was here to load our stuff, and when we let him out, everything was gone. He spent a good deal of time howling, and when he wasn’t howling he was very clingy (so much so that I abandoned my idea to start cleaning and plopped down to watch TV so he could see me there, not going anywhere.)

Today the cleaning commenced, which upset him even further. He howled some, scowled a lot, and finally disappeared, prompting a frantic “Where the hell is the cat?” search. He discovered safety under the blankets on my air mattress. Once we knew where he was, we left him alone, and he spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon there. He only came out to eat.

The cleaning is mostly done, just the living room and a bathroom to get done, I think. Getting that last room done is going to be a challenge, since everything we have with us is in a pile on the living room floor, and we have to do something with it—but not stick it in another room—while we finishing cleaning.

But hey…at least once in 2 years, my house is clean!!!


Amazing...two women did what normally takes at least two days--they packed up all our crap--and packed it well--and even got an inventory of all the boxes. So tomorrow, instead of sitting around doing nothing while they sweat, we can go do just about anything we want(except for the 5-10 minute appointment the Spouse Thingy has for signing out.)

So far this is going very smoothly--plus we get to leave here on Monday instead of Tuesday. Yay.

And poor PsychoKitty...he has no idea what's going on, he only knows he really doesn't like it.
It was short, sweet, to the point, and exactly what the Spouse Thingy wanted…and it means that for all intents and purposes, he’s free.

Yep, yesterday was his retirement ceremony, capping 20 years in USAF. He didn’t want the huge formal ceremony, so this was held in the anesthesia department conference room, with as many people coming out of the ORs as possible to watch, and our friends from the neighborhood there to help celebrate.

Those holding the ceremony waxed poetic about the Spouse Thingy’s double decade service—I mean, really, I expect him to start walking on water after that ;)—he was given a certificate signed by the President, a medal, and a seriously nice engraved desk clock. I got to pin a retirement pin on him (didn’t jam it into his chest, though the thought did actually cross my mind…) and even got my own spiffy certificate. And flowers!

There was cake and munchies, a little mingling, and it was over. He came home and took off the uniform and put it away, and with a little luck he’ll never have to wear it again.

Pictures here! They’re fairly large, so it might take a minute or so to load if you’re on dialup.

Later on we met with friends for dinner at the Olive Garden. I can honestly say we were good little patrons and did not drive the server nuts, and after waiting on 17 people she didn’t look as if she wanted to commit multiple homicide. That was an especially nice, relaxed time…and I got to sit next to a 4 year old who can (seriously) hold a real conversation.

The packers come today—could be here in about 45 minutes—and the end begins. We even get to head home a day earlier than we thought we would, so we’ll be taking off from here on Monday, dragging our poor PsychoKitty across the country. I’m sure he’ll have quite a bit to say about that…


As you can see, the Evilness that lives next door, to my immediate left, needs a little lesson in proper neighborhood etiquette.

I mean, come on. Who hangs their laundered (well we hope they were laundered) underthingies out front for the whole world to see?

Especially while they’re out camping.
You think they’d notice this before they left.

We did note, however, that they’re pretty meticulous about when they wear their undies.
She wears her bright red, black laced trimmed, on Tuesdays, it seems...

(look closely…it says right there on the left hip!)

And these are his, um, JULY skivvies…


We did find, however, that she’s obviously done really well with the Boot Camp class—I mean, look at that weight loss!—and the combination South Beach/Zone/Atkins thing has been very kind to him.

And, um, YEAH…they hung those up THEMSELVES!
You don’t think I’d eve do anything like that to my neighbors, do ya?
Not without some help…

:::wanders off, laughing to self:::


I can’t complain about the promptness of Dependable Auto Shippers, at least not on pickup. They called yesterday and said they’d be here between 10-11 a.m. and around 9:30 the guy calls to say he’s nearby. Three minutes later he pulled up in front of the house, and began to inspect my car before loading it.

He was extremely thorough in finding damage—lots of scratches and dings, nothing major—and getting them diagramed. By 10 a.m. he’d loaded the car onto the back of his platform tow truck, and it was gone.


My little red toy is on its way to California, and has a good chance of getting there before we do.

I’m kinda glad I had to drive and drive to burn up gas yesterday. It was a beautiful day out, and a good chance for one last topless drive in Ohio. There are probably only 2-3 weeks left of weather warm enough to do that here…but potentially lost more when we get to CA. Maybe not for the CA natives, but heck, we’re adjusted to OH. We may be riding around topless in December…

If anyone sees my car along the Interstate, wave…


Normally, running your gas tank down is a fairly easy thing to do, right? Most of the time it’s a matter of looking down and realizing “Oh, crap, I need gas.” That’s the Way, right?

So I need to actually run my tank down until it’s no more than one-quarter full (yet no less than one-eighth), so that it’ll be where the auto shipper people want it to be when they pick it up tomorrow. I’ve been fairly judicious in driving it lately, and it was just a squoosh above a quarter tank this morning. Yep, a squoosh. That’s a scientific term; look it up.

Problem. My ten year old car, yeah the one that has cost us loads in repairs, gets 23-25 miles to the gallon. Normally I enjoy that fact. But today, I’m driving around, trying to run it down, and after 20+ miles, it’s still a squoosh above a quarter tank. Who’da thunk it? Maybe I have the Magical Ragtop, the one that will Never Ever Ever run out of gas…

I also cleaned it out. Holy crap, how did I wind up with 5 sweatshirts and 4 towels in the trunk? Why did I have 5 sweatshirts in the trunk? One is enough. I can only wear one at a time. And why are they all gray? Did I really buy myself more than 5 gray sweatshirts? There have to be more than 5, because I have 2 or 3 upstairs in a closet. Is there some significance to gray?

The towels, that I can understand. Leak protection while driving.

So, anyone need anything from the store? Because I do need to go out and burn a little more gas…


Ok. My head asplode.

Ok. We did not move here by choice; the USAF, in all its infinite wisdom, decided that with just 2 years left to serve before retirement, in spite of all the really good reasons we had for staying at Travis AFB (including the fact that that was where we intended to stay, thus saving them the expense of moving us elsewhere, and including the fact that the Spouse Thingy’s CO agreed we had valid reasons for staying at Travis, and should be allowed to), we were going to Ohio.

Ok. Fine. We did not want to come here, but figured since it was supposed to be a really good assignment we’d make the best of it. And it has been a really nice place to live. Seriously nice. Great people here. But you gotta figure it cost the taxpayers close to 8-10 grand to get us here, and now they have to pay to send us back. The taxpayers have my sincere apologies.

Ok. Usually as part of a move, the military member gets what’s know as DLA; that’s military speak for “dislocation allowance.” It’s basically 2 months worth of a housing allowance, to help the family with uncovered moving expenses, and to put down a deposit, etc, on a new place to live at the new duty station. It’s very helpful, and removes the out of pocket expenses the military members used to incur with every transfer.

Ok. Now, all this time we were lead to believe we would get DLA for this retirement move. It wasn’t in any of the paperwork, but it was told to the Spouse Thingy more than once. Yes, you get DLA. He was warned he would not get funds for temporary housing (10 days worth, to be used on either end of a move, or both) so we were prepared for that. We were not prepared to find out that we would not be getting the DLA, which for us is roughly $2400.

That’s a lot of money to suddenly find out you won’t have to make a cross-country move (oh…I forgot to start the new paragraph with OK. So…ok.) We were decidedly not happy about it, but it’s not a retirement entitlement, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s just one more, final, bend-over-and-smile-while-you-get-screwed thing. Without lubricant. I can only think that they wanted us to get here, but don’t care if we get home and can afford to rent some place to live. Sure, give the military 20 years…then goodbye, and go live in a box for all we care.

Ok. So we’re going home without DLA. Fine. But today the housing office calls and says our rent was not paid. The rent that is supposed to be automatic, coming directly out of the Spouse Thingy’s pay. They want it by Friday. But guess what! It’s not in our bank account either! I don’t think it’s showing up on his October 1 pay, either! Yay!

Ok. So they’re claiming our rent is paid in arrears. Really now. When we moved in—the middle of August—we had to write them a check to cover the rest of August. And then September 1 of that year the housing allotment hadn’t kicked in, so we had to go in and pay them the rent for September…obviously we were paying ahead, not in arrears. And to clear the final inspection, we have to have a check in hand to cover rent from Oct 1-11.

Ok. We understood that. What I don’t understand is why we now have to have—by Friday—around $1200 to cover rent that should have already been paid. I can’t see anywhere where our rent has ever been paid in arrears. But ya know what? Unless we cough it up, we can’t leave. So Friday we have to hand over $1200 and then on the 12th another almost-$500. And we don’t get DLA to help out on the other end.

Ok. This is math I can do. $2400 in DLA we’re not getting plus $1200 in rent we shouldn’t have to pay equals $3600.


edit, 20 minutes later...

Ok. Color me red. I found the checkbook register from the time period in question, and I'll be damned, but we paid the September rent in October. I hate being wrong. Really really really hate it. That doesn't mean I want to pay it, but cripes...

I still have righteous indignation over not getting the DLA!!! Yeah! Power to the people!

:::wanders off, muttering to self:::


For some reason, when you live in base housing, they expect you to leave it nicely clean when you move out…as if the next residents won’t appreciate all the time and effort it takes to grow science projects in 5 different areas of the house. To facilitate the cleaning process, they have what’s known as the “pre-inspection” about 2 weeks (or as long as 30 days) before you move out.

Now, in the past this pre-inspection has consisted of someone from the housing office coming to our residence, where upon they poke their nose into all the rooms and closets and bathrooms, look in the oven and fridge and dishwasher. When they’re done, they tell me what an awful housekeeper I am, and recite a list of things I need to pay particular attention to before we can even think of passing the final inspection.

This never makes me feel too bad, because just about everyone I know is made to feel like they don’t have a clue about House Cleaning 101.

When we cleared housing at Travis AFB the last time, we didn’t have to work too hard because the house was slated to be torn down.

This time, the housing isn’t owned by the military. Wright Patterson AFB has made the move towards privatized base housing; a civilian contractor owns and is responsible for repairs and maintenance at what not to the housing that a great many military members live in here. It’s noticeably different from getting repairs and the like from civil engineering: for the most part they come out the day you call for a repair, or the day after. I’ve never had to wait more than a day and a half, even when they said they technically had 15 days to come out. Call their housing office and you don’t typically feel like they think they’re doing you a favor by being allowed to breathe the air in their houses; they get your housing allowance—rent—and they know it.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised by yesterday’s pre-inspection of our house. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned for it, but the guy came in, we stepped into the living room, and he basically said to clean it as well as we’d like it to be if we were moving in; don’t hire a contract cleaner, it’s a waste of money; if you break a sweat, you’re working too hard. Damp mop the floors, don’t wash the windows.


However…I did clean and clean and clean and clean for this pre-inspection, and a majority of that cleaning was upstairs, in one particular bathroom only used by someone we Shall Not Name. And the guy never went upstairs.

My efforts were not admired.
My efforts were not even noticed.

I am happy, though, that my efforts to clean out the closets were worth it; the guy from the moving company also stopped by to look at our stuff—to gauge how many boxes and manpower would be needed to get the job done—and he peeked into all the closets. He did not scream in terror, nor did he mutter “Oh Holy Crap.” Just “not too much here.”

He should have seen it before…


Roughly three weeks before we left Illinois for North Dakota, I threw my neck out (reaching for the freaking computer mouse no less), necessitating a trip to the ER, followed by several trips to the new base chiropractor. He twisted and turned and jerked, leaving me at one point thinking, “Holy crap, this is how we learned to break necks,” as he grabbed my head and twisted.

About 3 months before we left North Dakota, I have the fibro-flare from hell. It wrapped itself around my knees, and then my quads, making walking a near impossibility. I arrived in CA needing to borrow a wheelchair—I had to give back the one I’d been using in Grand Forks—and I used it for another two or three months.

Before we left CA for OH, it was the brain tumor. First the thirst, then the massive peeing…then the surgery.

You see a pattern here?

Two days ago the Spouse Thingy wanted me to look out the front window, and as I stood up, pain exploded through my left knee. It came in a wicked flash and then was gone, but it was enough to knock me back on my ass, and has poked at me since then. Last night I tried standing up a few times and wound up with my butt back in the chair. And now my right hip has decided to chime in, letting me know that it’s still here, and not willing to let the left knee get all the attention.

I should have expected this, really.

Since it doesn’t hurt all the time it’s not interfering in getting things ready for the move, but looming next Tuesday is Boot Camp. This would likely be my last week…but since I really don’t want to blow out the entire knee—I was warned a few years back that it was headed in that direction, pretty much just a matter of time—I think I may have to skip it this week.

And honestly, I don’t want to miss it. But I also don’t want to wind up with emergency surgery just a couple of weeks before we leave, and I don’t want to make a 5 day drive with my leg all wrapped up and immobile.

So…I guess I’m done with it. I’m going to try to walk the track tomorrow—not run—and see how that feels. I figure the track is better than trying to walk the bike trail behind the housing area. If I get two miles out on the bike trail and start to hurt, I have to turn around and try to make it back two miles. If I manage two miles on the track, I can crawl to my car if I have to.

It’s not that bad, I swear. I just don’t want to risk it getting that bad.

But really, maybe it’s a good thing the Spouse Thingy is retiring. Any more moves and I might have body parts dropping off in a trail behind me…


I'm not sure how, but for some reason I can clean and clean and clean and clean and leave an even bigger mess behind me...


The countdown is on…just about everything is in motion to get us out of here and back to CA. The Spouse Thingy has a huge list of places to go and things to do on base so that he can officially leave here the day we want to, and he’s gone to a great many of those places and done a great deal of the things on the list.

Arrangements have been made for someone to pick up my car and take it to CA for us, dropping it off at the in-laws, so they can play with it before we get there (um, yeah, it’ll need gas before really going anywhere…) Yes, when it came right down to it, I really didn’t want to get rid of my little red toy. We had decided to sell it, but then a couple of weeks later realized we’d done nothing to sell it and took that as a sign that we really didn’t want to.

The packers are set to come the 6th and 7th and the truck to carry off everything we own gets here on the 8th. I’ve heard horror stories about peoples’ entire household goods falling off the side of a ship before, but since ours isn’t going over water, I suppose we only need to worry about it toppling over the side of a mountain. Since there’s nothing really irreplaceable and it’s insured, I don’t think I’d go ballistic if that happened. Hey, I could buy new stuff!

Well… I wouldn’t want the truck driver to go over the edge with all our crap. That would kinda ruin everyone’s week, I think.

We clean the house (yes, hear me crying at the thought…though it’s not too bad thistime around) on the 9th and 10th, sign out on the 11th, but can’t leave until the 12th because Monday the 11th is a holiday, and for some reason they’re giving people the day off and no one will be there to officially sign the Spouse Thingy out. Like, what’s more important? Columbus day off, or letting us leave??? Don’t answer that.

We bought a spiffy plug-in-the-lighter-socket cooler for the trip…we can take a few sodas with us, but mostly it’s for keeping my meds that need to stay cool…well, cool. Would be funny if we get slammed for a random car search somewhere, and here I have all these nifty drugs. Including some very expired pain medication left over from my surgery two years ago that I never even opened. I figure we better take that with us instead of tempting the packers.

We found (thanks to Teahater) a new carrier for the PsychoKitty, it should arrive before we leave (I hope, anyway.)

Spouse Thingy has a job lined up.

About the only thing not arranged is a place to live when we get out there. And with our luck, everything will so smoothly until we get there, and we won’t be able to find anything to rent. In that case, we’ll move in with the Boy. He’ll be thrilled.


Just 3 more weeks!


You know those t-shirts that are all over the place (or used to be)... My parents went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

Welp, my neighbor went to Korea and I got this:

The picture doesn't do it justice. It's hand made--the little guy is all puffy and 3D-like--and in a really nice frame.

Way better than the t-shirts and jelly beans I'm usually pestering people for...and I didn't even have to beg (tho, if you're going somewhere, I still REALLY LIKE t-shirts...=ahem=) This was just a super nice surprise and I was so tickled and had to show it to everyone that I'm not sure I really thanked him for it... (:::hangs head guiltily:::)

Right now it's on a shelf in the hallway in front of one of the swords I've picked up recently (yep, the Spouse Thingy's hobby is can kind of see the sheath behind it in the picture) and it looks pretty spiffy there.

Oh, and it was wrapped in bubble never outgrow bubble wrap.
No, I will not share it.



In case you don't read the comments, Teahater found the spiffy pet carrier!

It's available through Feline Fantasies in 3 colors, for $79.99 plus $6.00 shipping (UPS Ground). That's only about $10 more than what we paid for one about 10 years ago.

Yep, I was verrrrry happy.
I immediately placed an order to be sure we'd have it before we leave here.

We'll keep the old one, too, so that Max can have one always available to snooze in. He won't admit it publically, I'm sure, but he loves it (well, we'll see how much he loves if later...)



There are some things you just don’t question.

For instance…my weight has not really changed. My measurements have not really changed (well, my boobs are smaller. Go figure.) Yet I tried on a pair of jeans that I’ve had hanging in the closet for about 4 years (yep, in two different states) that I couldn’t get into before (brand new, not sure why I bought them), and now they fit. Comfortably. So I’m going to wear them until they’re so dirty them walk away all by themselves, because after I wash them they may not fit anymore.

And there’s the running thing. I have friends who run. They do 5K and 10K races, and the occasional marathon. I’ve always thought they were nuts. I mean, running? Without someone chasing them? To what purpose? But here I am, walking the track and thinking “I’d like to be able to run.” Or just jog. In a circle, going nowhere. Just jog. I can now walk 4.5 miles in roughly an hour, and it feels like jogging is the next step.

However…there’s also the heart rate monitor. I know what my target range is and what my max is supposed to be (well, my 60% rate) and when I try to run, my heart rate goes considerably above that. So I back off…but I wanna. I have no idea why, but I wanna.

And in no relation to anything else, I’ve sucked down the equivalent of about a 12 pack since 4 p.m. Diet soda, not beer. All hail the wearing off of the DDAVP early. All that liquid leaves no room for snacks.


OK, this is something the PsychoKitty ranted about in his blog yesterday.

Yep, we took him outside to mingle with the Sticky People.

But...that's not why I put the picture up. It's up because I want y'all to look verrrrry carefully at the carrier he's in. I've only seen this thing twice--when we bought this one, and last year in a catalog--and now I can't find one.

This is an awesome pet carrier--it fits in the backseat of a car, is held in place with a seatbelt, and he can stand up and look around if he wants, or curl up and sleep while we make the drive to California.

So...your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pay attention to pet supplies, and if you find one (and are willing to ship it to me) let me know ASAP.

The one we have is still in good enough shape to use on the trip, but I'd be happier if we could find a new one. Max loves it, and we're hoping to avoid the howling that occured all the way out here 2 years ago (it wouldn't fit in the pickup truck, so we had to use a regular box carrier...not as nice.)

Oh, and don't let the rant on his blog fool you. He loved going outside, and keeps waiting to go back out...


Yeah, I know.
No one is ever going to forget what day this is.
I don’t think we should, either.

I can’t think of this day three years ago and not have the mental image of people trapped in those buildings. I can’t think of their horror and not feel incredibly sad. I can’t think of the firefighters who went in—most possibly knowing they might not come out—and not feel overwhelmed. I can’t think about my friend Deb, whose brother was in the first tower hit, and not feel my heart breaking for her. I don’t cry often, but when I think about this day 3 years ago, and everything that goes along with it, I get a huge lump in my throat and fight back a few tears.

I’m already hearing people moan and mutter things like “get over it already.” How? How is it so easy to just “get over” something so overwhelmingly horrifying? September 11, 2001, was like the nation getting collectively, involuntarily, screwed. You don’t just get over that. You deal with it, but you don’t get over it. You go about the act of living your life, and as well an as happily as you can, as normally as you can, but you don’t get over it.

And while you don’t get over it, you don’t have to shroud yourself in the misery of too many memories to count. You don’t have to be an emotional whipping boy to the specter of this day 3 years ago. You don’t have to give in to the anger over the horror. You don’t have to spend the day feeling abjectly miserable. You don’t have to do a lot of things.

You just have to remember.


Now, see, I have proof that the neighbors are evil.
Evil people make other people wear things.

Evil people put painful tiaras on other peoples’ heads.
Oh, yeah, they declared me the Birthday Queen

And they gave me a throne

But they also plastered my house and yard with displays of heir innate evilness...

This is age discrimination, truly it is.
Call the ACLU.
Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting in my office, wearing my tiara, and trying not to get leftover birthday cake on my bib…


I'd like to think that the start of my 43rd year didn't bring the start of senility with it...

Yesterday I ran a few errands, came home, went inside, and was done for the day. I knew I wasn't going anywhere else. So why, I keep asking myself, did I leave the top down on my car? What possible reason could I have had?

And who Up There thought it was funny to allow it to rain the one night I leave the top down?

It is soooo going to stink inside that car once it's dried...


You know, ever since my surgery--over two years ago, mind you--I've been wondering how long it takes the human nose to heal after being lifted off the face. And you'd think I'd know by now, but it's still kinda tender.

I think that by now it would have stopped being tender, if not for that pyschotic cat.

Eight this morning, I'm still sound asleep (yes, still...I'm skippng the aerobics class this week because I'm still kinda coughy and don't think I could beathe well) and Max doesn't just jump up on the bed to wake me up. He leaps from his window perch and runs across the mattress, slamming the top of his head into my face at full tilt.

Holy crap.

And he seemed quite proud of himself. Maybe too much; I think the little shit will just do it again, now that he knows it can work.


Ok, I've been coughing for 10 days now. At least. It finally moved from being just an annoyance to knocking me on my ass; I think I slept most of Friday, Saturday, and a good part of yesterday. Or maybe not so much in Friday...the days are kind of blurring together.

But I'm sitting upright today and coughing up some wonderful goop, so hopefully this is the tail end of it.

Whilst I was feeling like crap, we had a hellacious thunderstorm that knocked the power out. And my computer, as well. So I'm on my laptop until we can find the Windows XP disk that goes with my desktop system (though I'm not completely convinced it actually came with one, in which case I'm kind of screwed.) There's not a lot on that hard drive that's not irreplaceable--it's mostly backed up--but there are a few things that I kinda need off of it. Like passwords to my domains, and some revisions to the book I'm working on (though those are minor revisions that I can recreate...I think I still have the rest of it on a jump drive. I hope.)

And thinking about it, I don't have a hard copy of my FTP software, and if I have to re-download it, that's another $40. Phffft.


Being sick sucks.