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Marry in Violet
Eram quod es.
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18th-Feb-2014 06:08 am - Aaaaand...I'm off Facebook now
It was a sometimes fun experiment, but ultimately a failed one. Befriend Dennis Fuller over there if you want to be sure to get news of my adventures with MABs -- I"ve asked him to post to his FB if I die in the trials (which is a possibility).

I"m not sreally expecting it -- I'm not expecting much, truth be told.

Haha, I can't believe this thing's still on! LOL
I know I've been away a long time, and hope to update my Journal soon, but right now I'm jammed.

Sad stuff, and I need to keep it arms' length for the moment, to avoid breaking down to the point where I'm useless. I've got a sister living in the Metro DC area, and she's been dx'd with advanced metastatic cancer. The doc says she's got "weeks to months" left to live.

Her long=term partner of over 40 years is devastated, of course (as are we all). Because they live in Maryland, a VERY NON GAY FRIENDLY STATE, they're not married, so L. isn't able to get any sort of spouse's benefit, and doesn't think she'll be able to afford to continue living in my sister's house after M. is gone from this plane. They don't have a lot financially, but Mary does have an EXTENSIVE collection of record albums on vinyl, in good shape...thousands and thousands of them, going back decades. There's jazz, blues, soul, classical and rock.

I know it's *possible* that someone would want to buy some or all of them, but don't know who what or where. We may end up listing on eBay, but I wondered if anyone I knew was familiar with either stores, or individuals, who buy old albums on vinyl, and who would be straight with me and not try to rip me off over it.

I've posted to the "Metro DC" Community here already, but thought -- tho I know it's a long shot -- someone on my List might also know, since there are current and former residents of the area here.

Hey -- I'm grieving! It's not fun, but yeah, it's confirmed my belief that I'd rather have ALL of life, the sad along with the joyful, than walk around in a constant middling state. It's hit me really, really hard.

Being so far away there's a limit to what I can do. If anyone has any tips or suggestions on how to go about this, or actually has experience with local record resale shops, or knows any collectors in search of vinyl, please please PLEASE let me know.

Thanks, and I'll try to get back with more soon.

Embrace life while you've got it. That's one lesson that just keeps getting drummed into me, and I believe it's what we've all got to do.

...it makes it more difficult to find the "perfect" holiday gifts for 'em!

Something we ran into last year, so you'd think it might get easier with experience.

Add in a new baby, and it should be easier still.  (Well, it's easy to buy for the baby; she needs everything and seems to be interested in everything!)

I figured "practical" stuff was still Ok, since if someone else is providing a "necessity," the recipient doesn't need to provide it him/herself, and that leaves more cash to spend on other stuff (like the baby -- little critters are expensive!) I used to buy Tam a transit pass on special occasions -- leaves her a hundred bucks to do with as she will. But now, SD Transit isn't selling passes through the mail anymore, you gotta buy "refills" for your photo-ID-bearing pass at specific locations (and bring the pass along to be refilled), so that one's out for this year.

I know Helios wants a Tablet, but they're all out of my price range -- except for Kindle Fire, but I casually asked Hel what he thought of it, and he said he's not buying the hype and isn't particularly into it, so...nevermind! ;->

I'm thinking there must be something that would make life with a 4-month-old baby easier when both parents have returned to work...but it ain't revealing itself to my mind! They've already got a bottle warmer, and use disposable diapers.

I thought of dinners -- my son-in-law (how odd that I've got one!) picks Arya up and drives home while Tamara's taking four busses back from La Jolla, they both roll in around 6 p.m., and that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for creating gourmet meals -- again, the cost is what hozes me.

There's got to be something, if not "perfect," then Close Enough, and I'm just brain-farting my way past it. Not surprising, since I've got a cold -- first one I've had in, literally, YEARS. Not the last, with a baby in the house, I reckon!

Hel's easier, since he likes odd and offbeat stuff, puzzles and games -- there's a ton of cool stuff he'd be extremely pleased with. But what about my daughter? Any ideas?  :D
25th-Sep-2011 08:23 am - Bhakta Atheism ;->
Reincarnation, original Vedic view; I don't think it necessarily included transmigration in the sense that it's understood today.

It seems to me it lacks the value judgment of modern interpretations of karmic effect on rebirth.

Everything with a beginning (Brahma) exists for a while (Vishnu) and ends (Siva), then returns in a different form, and the cycle repeats.

When I die, if I'm interred then worms convert matter to energy, and the soil is enriched -- well, in a Green burial, at least. If my ashes are scattered in water, what were once my molecules feed the fish. Maybe some fisherman eats that fish. What were once my molecules have fed things, in turn fed on by other things. Just keeps on changin' form forever, unless and until there's a final end to everything.

This applies to stars, too.

I'm sticking this here while I figure out if it means anything, for me.
19th-Sep-2011 06:27 am - The importance of the Oxford comma!
Originally posted by lalirica at The importance of the Oxford comma!
Thought you all would get a kick out of this one ;)

25th-May-2011 06:25 am - Arya's Debut :-)
Arya Elizabeth has arrived at last! :-)

There were complications. She's TINY.

Tam's water broke, but she wasn't dilated at ALL, which indicates fetal distress, so she spent all of yesterday afternoon at Mercy, hooked up to fetal monitors. The placenta had detached. The original plan was leaning toward keeping her in the hospital overnight and watching to see if she went into labor; if not they'd have induced in the morning (this morning). But imaging showed the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck -- *twice* -- which indicated a healthy delivery wasn't necessarily in the cards.

Arya Elizabeth ended up being born May 23, 2011, at 8:54 p.m., by Caesarean delivery. As stated, she is TINY -- 18.5" long, and 5 lb.6 oz. The doc says the placental problems combined with the cord wrappage means she wasn't getting full nutrition through the cord toward the end. Apparently babies stay around the size she is now, and then there's a VERY RAPID gain in weight and inches in just the final days through final couple weeks gestation; unfortunately that's the time period when the placenta and cord wonked out.

In spite of all this, she was a 9 on the APGAR scale. I keep repeating that to myself every time I start to worry about her teeny, tiny size. No face smooshing due to the C-Section means she's unwrinkly -- she's *beautiful*. Tiny, but absolutely perfect, and Doc Riley predicts that she *will* thrive.

Corey stayed through it all, the C-section and the first night -- Tam was officially in a semi-private room, but they had plenty of space so no roommate, so Corey sat/reclined/lay out on the 2nd bed all night and day. He's got paternity leave -- starting today -- so he'll be home to help out for the first few, most crucial weeks. He left to go home and grab a few hours' sleep, as well as some supplies they'd left due to the special circumstances, but Grandpa Helios and I hung out while he was gone, and got to meet the nurses, the social worker, and the breastfeeding consultant while we were there.

We just got back, I uploaded the pics we took, and sent old Grandpa off to work -- he's got later 2nd shift all this week by request, so we'll have time to hang out and be helpful. She has a LUSTY cry and a tight grip -- I have a pic of her grabbing onto Hel's thumb, and he said she had a real vice grip! :-) She seems very eager to nurse, though there's a bit of a learning curve involved, and did a great job -- Tam has to hold her somewhat awkwardly due to the C-section incision, but by the time we left they seemed to be really working it out well.

I'm so glad she's got the rolling cradle; she can push it like a walker from room to room, and a full-size crib would've been *huge* for her. It's awesome that Corey gets paternity leave -- it's too bad they'll really *need* it (as opposed to just being time to bond with his kid), but wonderful that she's got live-in help! ;->

They're probably going to release Tam and Arya on Thursday. There's a possibility they'll cut her loose tomorrow, but we'll see -- I think the extra day's a good idea. So sez Doctor Grandma, hee hee! :-)

This was a bit out of the blue for us, since she's been having regular care and everything's been looking great and on course, so I wans't expecting any complications, but no matter -- her prognosis is excellent, and I can tell she's got the heart and soul of a fighter, in a teeny little baby-doll package, and I'm glad! I know Grandmas think their own grandkids are always awesome, but look at that sweet face and you'll agree with me: she's just *beautiful*! :-)
Tiny BabyCollapse )
In three words, how would you describe Lady Gaga?

"It's been done."

Or maybe: "Eh -- old news!"

We are not PETA members. Some of us wear leather, some of us eat meat, and some of us have gone all-green. This is not about elephants, or about narcissistic twits with elephant-sized egos—it's about how journalism continually fails to ask the right questions and confuses press releases with fact-finding. And how we all end up gulled as a result. (And if you bought into the misdirection, and you think Parsons is the Lone Gunman valiantly standing up to PETA, consider yourself an OG cyber-chump.)

Read more here.
It was way back in mid-February when Eddie the former stray cat broke his tail, leading to a tail amputation, a little setback with a seroma/abscess putting him back about a week, drainage, antibiotics, and a new set of stitches. He'll finally have his last (we hope, we hope!) vet visit the 1st week of April, so it's been a ways to this point, and he's still recovering.

But we are finally at the point where I'm feeling good about his recovery! Throughout the break and amputation, it was a lot like taking care of a very sick baby. There were things that needed to be done that he did not want being done, there was pain and discomfort, and there was a big old language barrier when it came to the ability to explain any of that to him.

Now? It's more like taking care of a mildly sniffly, cranky two year old: "I'm boooooored! Entertain me, or I'll get into all kinds of trouble!" =:o

It makes me happy, though. He bounces off the walls and drives me up them, but if we can just make it through this week without me or the cat losing our minds, then we'll be out of the woods. It hasn't been that long since I was afraid we'd lose him, and now I can see his always-BIG personality springing back to the fore, and it's awesome! :D

Early days were tough, though. A feline tail amputation is something without a lot of details given, when you Google it. It's apparently a routine type of veterinary surgery...but it doesn't seem to be all that common. There's info about broken tails in cats, much of it contradictory, all of it fairly sparse. The recommendations for aftercare seem to change from vet to vet; website to website (although there are some basics, applicable to pretty much any animal who's had any type of surgery).

Some of the best info I got was from folks' blogs, just regular old people who've been through tail amps with their own felines, but those who went into any detail were few and far between.

I figured it might provide a service if I went ahead and wrote up, with as much detail as I'm able to provide, the whole saga of Eddie's broken tail, amputation, and recovery, for someone in my position; namely, a lifelong dog-lover who's only recently discovered the wonders of cats, who doesn't know a whole hellovalot about them, but loves one particular stupid cat and worries about him...and who's spent a gazillion dollars on vet visits for the former stray already, and who'd like to avoid dragging him back in every few days unless it's necessary. Ya know?

And I will definitely do that. But not today! LOL, the lack of detail in folks' recountings may have as much to do with sleep deprivation and constant running as anything else. ;->

I looked at a lot of U.S.-based sites searching info on cats with broken tails -- naturally enough, since that's where I live. But something has happened among U.S. veterinarians over the past years/decade or so: their professional org decided that it was better for all cats to be inside cats, and they've all fallen into line with that position.

When trying to explain our personal sitch, that this was a former feral who spent his entire life outside, till bending enough to let us befriend him, that he goes flat NUTS trying to get out when we confine him, that in his unique case I just don't see any chance at real happiness for him in such a small, boring place, people actually get mad.

"Cats are adaptable. Just keep a squirt bottle of water next to the door and squirt him in the face when he gets too close to it. He'll learn!" The justification, natch, is that they're "safer" if they never go outside.

Ya know what? You and I would also be "safer" if we never went outside. Your kids would be "safer" if they were confined to small rooms without any dangerous items till they made it out of childhood. But...that's not a life. We need to leave the safety of our rooms, we need to let our kids go. And yeah, I know critters aren't human, and our pets are not our babies. But the analogy suffices, for me. It's frustrating not being able to find anyone who even understands the dilemma I feel about letting him back out when he's through recovering; everyone simply says "Keep him in, or else you're an irresponsible owner who does not deserve to have a cat."

There are lots of pet cats in the U.K., and most of them are indoor/outdoor. The "You MUST keep them in!" tude doesn't seem to have travelled as far across the pond as it's spread here in the States. Sometimes there's a disconnect between what the "experts" say and what I see with my own two eyes, and in those cases I've learned through experience to trust my own personal observations over and above what anyone else says. But still, when it seems like "You Vs. The World," it's wise to do a little check on yourself.

Sometimes it turns out you're really not the only one. I stumbled across an excellent article written by a British vet, on the In/Out Dilemma. It acknowledges the things I instinctively felt about cats, and how they roll, and gave some great tips and suggestions for how to give an inside-only cat some quality of life, should that be your goal. Highly recommended: http://www.fabcats.org/behaviour/understanding/safe_dilemma.html

Finally, I couldn't not post a pic of Conehead Ed, just because, so here's the poor dude with his lampshade -- I'd have spared him the indignity, but after he got it off twice on his own and chewed his stitches, thus causing the problems that delayed his recovery, we figured it was best to keep him locked up, to the degree that we are able. ;->
Conehead EdCollapse )
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