Monday, November 29, 2010

The Things You Own End Up Owning You. It's Only After You Lose Everything That You're Free to do Anything

I had a Live Journal once. I created it back when I started this blog so I could comment on Live Journal posts. After a while, I started answering some of those questions that are supposed to inspire posts. Nothing deep, nothing extensive. I stuck with Blogger because Live Journal has mandatory ads, and with Blogger ads are optional. I really hate ads on the Internet. Actually, I hate ads period (commercialism is completely out of control. I cannot believe how attached to material things we, including me, are). I can't stand being bombarded with orders to buy things every time I turn on the radio, drive down the road or watch Hulu, but on the Internet, it's ten times worse because all the ads are of scantily clad "objects" and flashing banners. It's horrible.

About a year ago, I stopped posting on Live Journal, because every time I switched to a new page, a video playing a commercial would pop up that I had to watch before it "returned me to my live journal experience" and that was freaking annoying. But I kept my account and still commented on other's posts.

A few weeks ago I erased my LJ account completely because when I looked at any one else's LJ, it would show me that video. Hello! I don't have TV for a reason! I hate commercials! If I'm reading about other's lives, why do I care about Toyota technology? Anyway, I realized if I deleted my account, I could read Live Journals without the commercialism.

This left me without an account, and unable to post comments. And yet, I never remember that, so I'll write the comment, hit publish, and then it will come back and tell me it hates me because I hate it. It's a hate-hate relationship that works for us.

Yesterday I did this exact thing to my cousin's LJ. I wrote her an email with my comment and informed her that LJ is evil, and she should switch to Blogger. She wrote this awesome comeback:

Personally, while I love Google, I absolutely hate blogger. :-P And also, your journal doesn't accept comments at all!

Bah. Good point. Touche, cousin. Touche.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum

NanoWrimo is completed. I finished, hooray me. The result? Meh. It's done, that was the goal.

November was great: I joined Drek's writing group and I LOVE it. I learned to bake! I can now make bread and rolls that are light and fluffy. I can also make perfect fried scones and honey butter. We played a lot of Frisbee golf, went to the beach a few times, and drove a lot. I worked on NanoWrimo for three hours on a good day, two and a half hours usually, and half an hour on a bad day.

Things are back to a regular routine. After dinner last night (corn on the cob, mashed potatoes with miso gravy, homemade baked beans) Drek and I cleaned the house while listening to Christmas Music; It was just about a perfect evening. After Ash went to sleep Drek and I played my new obsession: Pandemic Bio-Terrorist. I really don't think its possible to win and my it's my obsession to prove otherwise. We added an extra rule (If the terrorists is captured he skips his next turn) and even though it made the game less frustrating, it didn't get a win. Last night I cheated by having two special abilities and I wasn't anywhere close to winning. We'll play again tonight and I have a new plan...

Winning isn't everything. Besides, if we win then the fun will be gone and Drek and I won't play two games every night. Maybe I'm secretly losing on purpose...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, Raise the Song of Harvest Home; All is Safely Gathered In, Ere the Winter Storms Begin

Assume, for a moment, that you were in charge of creating a holiday. For one reason or another, you decided to make that holiday all about being grateful; for one day people can banish all greediness and for once just be thankful and generous.

Okay, now that you've decided the theme, how would you suggest people celebrate this Holiday? Maybe if they were thankful to their God, people could serve the poor, or go to church, or make little treats for the orphans in Korea. Maybe if people were thankful to their country, they could spend the day visiting the soldiers in the military, or cleaning up trash in a National Park. Maybe if they were grateful to the earth for a giving us air to breathe, or a bounteous crop, they could plant a tree or invent a new energy solution.

So what crazy deranged person decided that the best way to celebrate being Thankful, is to stuff as much crap (canned yams, instant potatoes, frozen pies) into your fat little mouth and then spend all day napping and watching football, all while blaming it on Pilgrims who massacred Indians. Am I missing something here?

Thanksgiving is a stupid holiday. Maybe it's because the smell of cooking turkey has always made me nauseous or maybe it's because I think American food is disgusting, and if I'm going to stuff myself until I explode I would much rather it be with Sushi, or maybe it's because high expectations of others and self + too many cooks in the kitchen + lazy men lounging on couch = very unhappy women, but I have never enjoyed Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving to me means one good thing: As soon as the meal is over it is officially the Christmas Season!!! And that, basically, is saying that the best part of Thanksgiving is when it's over.

But enough ranting. Last week my grandparents came out to visit me, because we had planned to go to them, and couldn't. While they were here, I got it in my head that I wanted to make Pumpkin Trifle, a delicious dessert my sister made two years ago and I have craved ever since. I couldn't just make the trifle for any old meal, so I decided to make a "Thanksgiving themed" dinner: homemade sweet rolls, spiced cranberry cider, and cranberry sauce. But what would I serve for the main course?

Last year I came upon an intriguing recipe: Orange You Glad It's Thanksgiving Soup. It is made out of squash, carrots and oranges. I decided this would be the perfect time to try it out. In the end I added sweet potatoes, and left out most of the squash (mostly because peeling a raw squash is the hardest thing I have ever attempted to peel and I gave up halfway through). The result?

It was surprisingly good. I was not expecting it to be that good. It was so good, I think I'll make it again, for a normal dinner.

The trifle turned out both beautiful and delicious:

and the table looked very festive:

It didn't take a lot of effort, we went to the beach that morning and played that night. We had plenty to eat, but we didn't stuff ourselves, the company was wonderful and the food was delicious. If I have to have a meal to celebrate a holiday, I would much rather it be like that.

Although, if I had my way, I would spend Thanksgiving digging wells in Africa. That sounds like a much better way to be thankful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wow, I am not good at this not-blogging thing. You'd think it would be easy. Huh.

Acouchi is still doing great. Maybe a little too great: treats everyday, brushes and massages when Ash naps, lots of attention, copious amounts of cuddle time. She is one spoiled cat. Now she thinks whenever I'm not standing up it is cuddle-time. Yesterday she crawled all over my lap at the dinner table and later when Drek and I were watching a movie Acouchi sat herself between us and demanded to be petted.

I realized this is not the first time I have been faced with huge medical bills that we just can't pay. So I did what I did last time: Screw the doctors. There has to be a better way.

Little research has been done with natural pet cures, but a lot has been done on natural hyperthyroidism in humans, and a lot of people have natural thyroid supplements for cats. So that's what we're doing. I'm not holding my breathe for a miracle; but even if it will help her be healthy and happy for an extra few months, I'll gladly take it. It also helps because I am doing something, I'm just not sitting around waiting for her to die. And I'll keep researching; see what else I can do.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The fleas are all gone. Gone from the house, gone from the porch, and best of all: gone from Acouchi.

She is so much better. SO much better. She cuddles, she purrs, she runs, she chases, she climbs, she eats, she drinks...she's so much better. She's back to her normal self. I am so much better now too.

Her blood tests came back: Her kidneys are just fine, but her vet wants a urine sample, just to be sure ($40). Acouchi's bilirubin levels are high, which means liver problems, so the vet wants to do an ultrasound ($350) to see what's up. It might be liver cancer, but more likely it's just damage from her thyroid, so if we fix the thyroid, her liver will fix itself. Her thyroid level is 17. That's bad. The vet wants to do a Thyroid scan ($395) to get a more detailed picture of her thyroid problem. All this, keep in mind, is just tests: not a cure. The cure is another RIT treatment ($3,500), which will leave her radioactive, and unable to live with us for a month since we have a toddler, and our apartment is too small for the minimum quarantine. That means thirty days of boarding her at an animal hospital and on top of all that, there will be a lot more blood tests and check-ups. Combined, it's $5,000 minimum.

I can make excuses, I can give reasons, I can show you our budget and recite the animal heath care crisis in America today, but the bottom line is this: We can't do it. Period. We can't do anything close to that. Even if we skip the tests and go straight to the treatment, even if we do board her for free. It's just not possible.

How do I deal with that? Right now: Acouchi is happy. She's not in pain, she's having fun, and life is good (it could be better if she was healthy but...). Eventually, though, this problem will kill her. It could be in ten tears, it could be next year. But when she dies, whenever that is, I will know that I could have saved her. Can I live with that? Will I look back and curse myself for not strapping a toddler to my back and walking into businesses with my massage table (illegally, because I'm not licenced in this state). Will I wish I had own nothing that is worth that much. I don't think all my possessions combined are worth that much. Wishing I had blood? Over and over again to earn the money? Actually, they won't buy my blood so it's a moot point.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Anything I haven't thought of? Should I just let it go? Accept that she is just an animal, and animals die? What do I do?

Friday, November 05, 2010

They'll be Singing a Different Tune. Double the Taxes! Triple the Taxes! Squeeze Every Last Drop Out of Those Insolent - Musical - Peasants

I'm done with my NaNoWriMo count for the day, so I get to blog.

Acouchi is sick. Again. I don't even know where to start.

Hey! Did you know that SunLand has a really bad flea problem? Every pet here has fleas, unless they are on monthly prevention medicine. Also, the fleas here are not only uniquely resilient to cold, heat, and...everything else, but have also developed an immunity to most flea poisons. You need the latest and greatest "wave" of flea treatments to keep you pet (and house, and bed, and clothes) flea-free.

GROSS!!!! Why don't they warn you about this when you move here?! But that is last week's news. Acouchi is now flea-free.

I took Acouchi to the vet today. I thought I had my mei tei and a stroller but I later realized both the Mei tei and stroller were in the car that Drek took to work.

I lashed the baby to my front with a wrap I haven't used since I got a Mei Tei. I wore her diaper bag/backpack on my back. I packed Acouchi up in the cat carrier and laid it in the jogging stroller, and then pushed the back down, so she would be level. And then I walked to the vet and back. I'm sure we were quite the sight.

So, the news is not good. Acouchi has never weighed so little. She's super skinny, and very lethargic. For the last two weeks I haven't seen her walk, let alone play.

It's the hyperthyroidism again, but now it could also be her kidneys and her heart. Today the vet says she has a heart murmur.

We did a blood test, we'll find out on Monday. If it's her heart and kidneys and her thyroid, there's nothing we can do. If it's just her thyroid, there is a clinic that does the RIT treatments, but last time I paid for it using the money I got from winning a massage chair. I don't have that money this time. I don't have any money this time since I don't have an income. As far as Drek's income goes; there's no question. We were making more back in Hometown, now we live in SunLand with a decrease in pay, and a HUGE increase in cost of living. It's not a question of extra money, we don't have any money.

I'm devastated. I...really, there are no words.