Thursday, November 30, 2017

stuff

Catching up (one of these months I'll actually make posts closer to the event):

Caught a mid-day showing of "Coco". Another Pixar win, a sweet story that flowed well. There were tears, but good ones...it was a well-told tale.

Saw Fall Out Boy at Oracle Arena. Awesome show, lots of fun. Weirdly, Jaden Smith was one of the opening acts...he's an odd bird, poor thing didn't inherit any of his dad's swagger. The other act was Blackbear, definitely a crowd favorite. We had awesome seats in the first ten rows, right up against the stage extension/walkway in the middle of the arena. Got to see them up close and personal. <grin>

Strained my ankle chasing after Darwin, but luckily it wasn't too bad. It has settled down into the "achy/weak/gives out when you least expect it" stage, so just have to baby it a bit and all will be fine. It's not the ankle that has been broken twice, which is weird...my body doesn't know what to do with a limp on the other side. :^D

Another concert, Imagine Dragons, one of the best I've been to in a long time. It was a very percussive, very *joyful* show...all ages, all types were there, and everyone was just having a good time. Lots of singing along, clapping, dancing; the band radiated a contagious energy and played well to the crowd. Halfway through the show they walked through the crowd and played on a small stage that appeared just below the lawn seats, which was an awesome thing...it meant even the "cheap seats" got a good view. I would see them again in a heartbeat.

Will headed out to Dead Cow Lake and the 2017 High Sierra Fly-in (though he drove this year). They got hit by a monster storm with winds gusting to 60-90+ miles per hour...planes came unmoored, one tumbled and was demolished, people's tents collapsed and broke. Our new Qube tent made it through with no issues, which was awesome (I have a feeling Qube may have made some sales in the weeks following).

Lots of flying with Will. A fun dinner with friends at Fenton's Creamery, a trip to Dead Cow lake to see the geyser and where he camped for that week.

Saw Puddles Pity Party with Karen, Riddle, and Feng (Bob couldn't make it, so I was able to take his ticket). It was a totally surreal show...and a hilarious one. I had no idea what to expect, and even now I can't really describe it. If you get the chance to see him live, do so. It's bizarre and incredible.

Finally got the heating/cooling working. Took four attempts, two new control boards, and a new blower motor. Even the tech was befuddled by it all, but at least it's working now (knock on wood).

No change in the neuralgia situation. Tired of even writing about it, honestly (though more tired of living with it). New insurance kicks in after the first of the year (old one stopped offering individual coverage in California, thanks in large part to the current political climate and the uncertainty around healthcare and subsidies and the like), so with luck I'll be able to finally work with them and find a pain specialist.

I'm sure there is more, but that's a good list for now. Life keeps moving on, things keep cranking along...

Friday, November 24, 2017

thankful

I am thankful for those who practice empathy and respect. I am thankful for the helpers, the supporters, the ones who cheer you on.

I am thankful for those who give parts of themselves, with little expectation of reciprocation.

I am thankful for those who see the evil and pain in the world, and still look for the good.

I am thankful for those who feed their curiosity, who never stop trying to learn about the world outside of their own boundaries.

I am thankful for those who find joy in the moments.

And most of all, I am thankful to find myself surrounded by these people, who provide an example every day of what I would strive to be.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

surreal

This was part of a much longer response to my earlier post, one which ticked pretty much all of the boxes: You are spreading fear, you should have done something, you are choosing to be a victim, the guy was just trying to be friendly, they were just trying to interact with you, you over-reacted, you didn't react enough (yup, I somehow did both).

And this one, also from the shaming & blaming checklist (I left the typo, I think they were trying to say "not to be a victim blamer"):

the bookstore

Recent events brought back a memory, one I hadn't thought about it in a long time. (Warning: Long post ahead.)

-----

I was browsing at a second-hand bookstore when a guy asked me for recommendations for his wife. Chatted for a bit, asked what she liked, gave some suggestions, standard stuff.

He talks more about his wife, how he wants to find a way to connect, to make her happy, to bring a smile to her face. Me outside: Politeness and helpfulness. Me inside: Okay, whatever, don't care buddy, but sure, here are more suggestions if it will end this conversation.

He starts talking about how they are drifting apart, she's not the same person he married. Now I'm uncomfortable and trying to end the conversation politely. I wish him luck in his shopping and move to another section.

He follows.

He says that his sex life is empty because his wife has lost interest. That she won't have anything to do with sex, won't touch him, and she won't even watch him masturbate. She doesn't have to do anything, just watch. And she won't even do that for him.

"You wouldn't have a problem watching me, would you? I'll bet you wouldn't."

I walk away, towards a group of people. He follows.

"I'll be out in my car when you leave...watch for me, watch me, I'll be thinking of you, you can watch while I come." He heads out, looking back at me the whole time.

I just want to leave, but I don't want to run into him. I spend another fifteen minutes staring blankly at the book titles, not really seeing anything, just stalling for time.

I see the group of people leave and I try to blend in with them out the door. It didn't work...the guy was sitting in a white sedan across from the entrance (a county government car, no less), staring at me, motioning for me to come over.

I turn the opposite direction and keep walking. I just want to get in my car and leave, but I don't want this guy to follow me.

I walk a few blocks up, staying near groups of people. They cross the street, I cross the street. I walk into busy stores and wander around. I pretend to have a conversation on my mobile phone.

Eventually I make my way back to my car. Still being a bit cautious and paranoid, I don't drive straight home. Just in case. Better safe than sorry and all that.


Why didn't I tell someone? Because it didn't seem real. Because it escalated before I realized it. Because I honestly didn't know how to react. Because I didn't want to anger him, to put myself in danger.

Because we are taught from a very young age to just play it cool, don't incite, don't do anything that might make them mad, it will only make it worse for you.

Because he was bigger than me. Because he wasn't hearing me and he kept going in spite of anything I said. Because it was my word versus his, and I didn't know if people would believe me.

Because I was freaked out. Because I was just trying to get out of there.

I would like to think that the person I am now would handle it differently. Take his photo. Get his license plate (especially since he was in a county car). Start recording the interaction. Walk away while calling the cops.

Something. Anything.

But I honestly don't know. I might end up doing the exact thing I did then: try to extricate myself with minimal drama and take all the precautions I could to make sure he didn't follow me.

I really don't know...and that's unsettling. I had a very hard time going back to that bookstore for a while. I avoided that area. I didn't make eye contact with anyone driving a county car, just in case it was that guy.

He got into my head and made me change my patterns, and I fucking hate that. I'm better than that. I'm stronger than that. Aren't I? I am. I think?


This is why people are coming forward, even after years. Because that helplessness and confusion stays with you, colors everything you do. And hearing that you aren't alone, that other people have also been there, it helps.

You feel a little less like an idiot and a little more like a person. Like maybe, just maybe, it's not your fault after all.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

catching up

Quick catch-up for later triggering of the memories:

Will flew us out to Burbank for a tour of NASA JPL. Beautiful weather for the flights to and from, the tour was fascinating and our guide had a ridiculous amount of knowledge.

An excellent night hanging with Karen. Drinks and food at the Plumed Horse, Adam Ant concert at the Mountain Winery (he was my first concert way back when...I snuck out to see him and was grounded for it, but it was worth it <grin>), and an amazingly beautiful night for a top-down drive home.

More Darwin medical fun: He has liver disease, so it's a lifetime of medication. Tooth cleaning and extraction. Removal of a few moles/lumps, tricky because they were on his chin and eyelid (cone of shame for weeks, joy). Keeping an eye on a few other under-the-skin masses that are okay for now, but will likely need removed later on. The fun of having a pure-bred dog.

More fallout from the inconsistently parsimonious prior owners of the house...they chose the next-to-the-bottom brand of central air, and one unit keeps failing. So now it's a case of spending a few thousand to keep it going or many more thousands to replace. Ditto with the toilets, though they are actually higher-end ones with a frustratingly finicky flapper that leaks entirely too much.

Attended a Porsche evening event during Monterey car week. Long drive to and from, but the event was cool and the weather was good (if a bit warm).

Saw Jimmy Eat World and Incubus at Shoreline. Jimmy Eat World were awesome live, Shoreline is always a fun venue (when the weather is good).

Another Shoreline concert coming up: Imagine Dragons. Can't wait for that one, it's sure to be high energy. Also have Fall Out Boy and Tom Jones (rescheduled after the last one was cancelled due to illness) coming up.

Still dealing with the nerve damage to face and head, it's likely permanent. It affects me more than I like to admit, frustrates me, tires me. Meds haven't worked, surgery isn't an option, acclimation and accommodation are pretty much all that's left.

Rejoined the GoPed family, got myself an electric one this time. Quieter and cleaner than the two-stroke I had for years, and a crazy amount of fun. Will and I have been enjoying zooming around, me on my GoPed, him on his OneWheel (kind of a high-tech motorized one-wheeled gyro skateboard/snowboard thing).

The world keeps getting crazier, sadder, more frustrating, and less logical. People are arguing against health care, against equality. Against people partaking of their First Amendment rights, while at the same time screaming loudly about their own Second Amendment rights. Meanwhile, people are getting hurt and dying as the political debates rage on. Empathy is sorely lacking in today's world, money is king, and the people in charge can only offer thoughts and prayers, because to do otherwise might anger their sponsors and endanger their supplemental sources of income.

Odd times.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

It all happened pretty quickly...it was barely six weeks from the first "hmm, he overshot the litter pan once", not even a month from "okay, that's become a pattern, time to call the vet".

He healed up well from the anal sac troubles, but his blood tests came back with some concerns. Then he kept losing weight no matter what we tried; at the end, he was down to barely five pounds from his usual nine. He had x-rays, abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds, steroids, all kinds of foods and treats; basically everything non-invasive and non-traumatic we could try.

It was cancer. We had hoped that appetite stimulant and heart meds for the murmur would help get his strength back up and give him better quality of life, but sadly no. The night before I said goodbye was a rough one for the poor little guy...I stayed up with him all night, gave him a warm lap to cuddle and soft pets any time he stirred. The next morning I made the call to the vet.

You guys know how I loved this cat. He was with me nearly thirteen years and we saw many different places, lives, loves, and losses together. He was a constant for me in some of the roughest times I've had and a connection to friends and family across miles and years.

He was a sweetheart who liked sitting in the shower with you, meowed annoyingly in the early morning hours, hobbled adorably with his missing paw yet ran like a cougar when he was after something, didn't care about most "people food" at all yet begged for piece of a Frito or Dorito. He was easy-going with anyone he met and amazingly non-finicky about food, litter, beds, toys.

He was an independent cat who still needed to be in the same room with you. He met you at the door when you came home and meowed until you brushed him, he cuddled in bed with you for a bit before deciding he'd rather sleep on the floor. He gave headbutts and demanded you scritch him, using that little claw on his partial paw to drag your hand to him. He would stretch up and paw at your knee until you picked him up, and and he would just hang out in your arms as you walked around the house. He would come over when I called his name and always wanted to be on my lap when I was on the computer.

He was a good cat and I will miss him.



Wednesday, August 09, 2017

he was a good cat...

...and I was lucky to have him in my life. We saw a lot in our almost thirteen years together...he will forever be the cat against whom all future cats will be judged.




Saturday, July 29, 2017

another goodbye

Saying goodbye to my aunt Carmen and sending much love to the Saylor clan...I miss you all.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

poor pepper kitty

Figures that my first post in a while would be a bummer. Poor Pepper had to make an unexpected vet visit today...turns out he has a potential ruptured anal sac (!!), with a heart murmur that makes treating him a bit tough.

He gets to spend the next week being doped up and the coming two weeks receiving bum washes and warm compresses multiple times a day, while wearing a soft collar/cone-of-shame that has him extremely confused. Because we also have the dog, it means Pepper has to be in a room of his own (to keep the dog from bothering him, his food, or his litter), which in turn means I will be spending much of the next week hanging out on the floor with the cat to keep an eye on him and make sure he eats and drinks (and finds his litter pan). Once the two weeks are up, he goes back to see how he is healing, what the next steps will be, and how we can address the heart murmur.

Poor little guy.


(And to whinge a little: All of this hit on a day that the nerve damage and pain were really acting up, the fallout from a long day prior spent driving to and from Sonoma to hang out with friends during a three-day private track event at Infineon. Add in 95 degree heat and lots of running around to different stores to get supplies for poor Pepper, and it's been just a ducky day with more to come. >.<)

Friday, October 07, 2016

she's here

A bit ahead of schedule, but she's here. Longer post later.