Saturday, March 31, 2007

ah, now I understand

It's a frickin' marching band, warming up at the nearby school. Trumpet, drums, flute, and other unidentifiable instruments all warming up at full volume. Seriously.

Now let's see...if I were writing this thing, and our lead character was trying to sleep, what else would I throw in besides the gardeners and a marching band? Perhaps a circus parade, elephants trumpeting right past my place? Maybe have the next door neighbors win a rock concert in their backyard? Perhaps a water main break, so the city would have to jackhammer up the concrete right in front of my place?

[Uh, just kidding, Gods of Irony...really. Just a joke. No suggestions here, no no attention to the bitter, sleep-deprived ramblings of a tired soul. No need to further exert your powers, really. Please?? Pretty please??]

oh, for the love of...

Okay, I've somehow stumbled into sitcom land. In addition to my yard being torn up, there is [I am NOT kidding you] a trumpet being practiced across the street and somewhere nearby, someone is practicing drums.

I shite you not.

I'm thinking it's time for earplugs, white noise generator, and some SERIOUS medicinal sleeping aid. I will risk the hallucinations...they can't be much worse than the sleep deprivation.

quiet sobs of desperation

Just as I was lying down to nap and reclaim a few of the lost hours of sleep from this past week...

...I discovered that I am getting a new lawn. Right now. No advance notice, landlord probably figured that since it was outdoors, she didn't need to let me know. Looks like they are tearing up what's there, putting in new sprinkler system, and possibly sodding back over it. Very nice, but...


...I'm soooo tiiIIIIIIIiiirrrreeedddd!!

[it's a conspiracy, I tells ya]

oh frabjous day!

<singsong voice>

I washed the blaaaanket...

I washed the blaaaaanket...

Sac-ruh-fishl blaaaaanket...

I washed the blaaaaaanket!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

drinking from a fire hose

I know I shouldn't laugh, but darn it, it's funny...

Just gave Bean her latest round of antibiotics, and the plunger of the syringe [used to squirt the medication into her mouth] got stuck...then let go all of a sudden. SPLURT!! The full dose went flying at high velocity into the back of her throat. I think she actually swallowed most of it out of sheer surprise, but there was definitely some splash back onto her, me, my shirt. She was quite unhappy, and even turned up her nose [for a while] at my attempts at bribery [never underestimate the power of treats].

I can't help it...I just can't stop giggling at the SQUIRT!! noise and the stunned look on her face as the plunger let loose...poor Bean. The indignities.


perhaps, with luck, maybe, one of these days...

...I'll make a post here that has nothing to do with cat troubles.

a better night

Still not back to normal, but last night was better. Bean slept more, got up less, and leaked less. I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

an annoying but good sign

Bean woke me up at 4a with her old "mawr mawr mawr mawr" with a toy in her mouth thing. Annoying, because I had only fallen asleep at around 3a, but good because it's the first evidence of her "usual" behaviour I've seen in almost a week.

I'm taking this as a good thing. Now just nine more days of antibiotics, a week of anti-inflammatories, a blanket to wash thoroughly [once I'm sure it is safe], and about three weeks of sleep to catch up on...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

you know...

...1ml of medication doesn't seem like a lot, until you try to get an uncooperative cat to swallow it.

a moment of peace

Sat with Bean for a while, petting her, calming her down. She fell asleep and I was actually able to extricate myself and lay her back down without waking her. Stealing these few moments to grab some lunch, go to the bathroom, and spritz the blanket with Nature's Miracle [again]...

learning the tricks

Bean still doesn't like the medicine [that's going to be an ongoing battle, I can tell], but I am learning how to make some of her natural tendencies work for me, which will hopefully help us get through this.

She likes to be in the same room as me, so to get her up and moving, I go into different rooms and sit on the floor. She sees me leave, gets curious, and then comes over to wherever I am. Spend some quality time, then get up and repeat.

She loves the cat treats, so I use those as another way to get her up and moving. Shake the can, call her name, and eventually she'll come fishtailing down the hallway to snag a treat. An added bonus: it gets something in her stomach.

Another trick: soaking her dry food in water, and giving her baby food. Both get something in her stomach, even if it's just a little bit, and it gets some liquid into her.

She also has a specific toy she loves, a stick with feather and a bell on it. She will usually come running when she hears the bell; even today, when it's more of an amble/stumble, she comes out to see what's going on. Give her a treat to reward the effort, and voila, you have movement *and* something in her stomach.

I'm also learning to stay away from the bathroom. Since she wants to be in the same room I am, she will follow me to the bathroom. Then she seems to remember that the litter pan is in the bathroom, and she begins the cycle of "climb in, dribble, scrabble in the litter, turn around, try again, climb out, wait 30 seconds, climb in again and repeat". If I stay away from the bathroom, she doesn't visit the litter pan as much [or at least it seems that way], so hopefully that will decrease the constant straining and movement, and give the medication time to work on the infection and inflammation. Right now, we want her to get a bit of exercise to help keep things moving internally and also to keep her hips from stiffening up and increasing her pain, but also want her to take it easy and keep the inflammation down and keep the pain and pressure down as well. It's like a fricking balancing act...

running on fumes

Another long night with Bean. She is really hating the medication, and we still have ten days and twenty doses to go. And now I have to pop a pill into her once a night, just to add to the fun. I'm telling you, no matter how firmly you think you have a cat held, they can find amazing ways to yank their heads out of the way of a medicine dropper, usually resulting in much of the medicine ending up on your shirt and the top of their head. It would be impressive if it weren't so frustrating. And she is waaaay too smart to eat food with the medicine mixed in, darn it...who knew I would be wishing for a dumber cat?

Managed to get a couple of hours of sleep last night, but had some weird dreams. I was walking through a desert, made of blue and white crystal cat litter.Trying to climb the dunes, slipping and sliding, getting no where. Woke up to realize that I had been hearing TheBean scrabbling in the litter pan...that >>shoosh shoosh shoosh<< noise is getting *really* old by now. I will say that sleep deprivation is an interesting high [once you get past the headaches and upset stomach]...

Off to try to see if TheBean will eat some baby food, and also to try to soothe Pepper [who isn't liking the oddness in the household one bit]. This can be over any time now...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

sigh...i give up...

Pepper just threw up.

bean update 4 - worse before it gets better

The short story: it may just be an infection, or it may be her neurological problems [from the dog attack earlier in her life] worsening. She is now on the antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory; the vet warned me that it will get a bit worse before it gets better [in other words, don't wash the sacrificial blanket just yet]. If there is no improvement in 2-3 days, back to the emergency clinic she goes.

Just before taking her to the clinic tonight, she ate some baby food [vegetable chicken, mmmm mmmm]; while I was waiting for her, I soaked some of her dry food in water and she just ate some of that. A side effect of the second medication is an increased appetite and thirst, which is fine...except she is having trouble getting rid of food and fluids right now.

I have a feeling it's going to be another long night...

bean update 3

Nothing conclusive...if they can get enough urine to test, they are going to send it out for testing. Now waiting to see if they can get more out of her (poor Bean) and if a different medication is in order.

Back to waiting...

bean update 2

In the clinic, waiting to hear the results of the tests...they had a hard time getting enough urine to test, so we'll see how it goes...

bean update

She's back at the emergency clinic, getting IV fluids to hydrate her and in the hopes of getting a urine sample. With luck, I'll hear something in a few hours...

Monday, March 26, 2007

photographic evidence

This should give you an idea of what my life is like until Bean's antibiotics kick in. As I say in the flickr post, better the blanket than the carpet or the couch:

Most of the wetness is Nature's Miracle spritzed over the damp spots TheBean leaves behind. She's been restless and moving a lot, hence the various locations on the blanket. Quite the festive time we are having in the household...whee!!

the universe is taunting me

Last weekend it was the dishwasher. This weekend it was the fallen tree, chainsaws and woodchippers, then Bean and her emergency room trip, medication, neurological troubles flaring up, lack of bladder control, constant supervision. Stayed home from work today to take care of her, and just when I got her cleaned up, medicated, settled down and I thought I could sneak in a nap...

...the gardeners came and started running leaf blowers, scaring TheBean and undoing all my hard work.

<<shakes fist at the universe: darn yoooouuuuu!!!>>

rough times in BeanLand

Up most of the night with TheBean again. Really hoping the antibiotics work soon...for both our sakes. She is still going in to the litter pan frequently with little or no luck, still dribbling [to put it gently], and is still "leaking" when she lies down [hence the sacrificial blanket on the bed, and the "Nature's Miracle" in a spray bottle...I highly recommend the stuff]. I have to use baby wipes on her to keep the area clean and lessen the chance of reinfection, which right now is an ongoing battle.

Her leg/hip problems are acting up as well...when she's lying down on her side, every 40-70 seconds [yes, I counted], her left leg jerks and kicks out. As you can imagine, this makes for a sleepless night, since she is in pain, seeking comfort, and thus is up on the bed with me. If she lies on her back or her stomach, it doesn't happen as much, but apparently she's more comfortable on her side...of course.

Yes, yes, I know I could shut her in the bathroom with food, water, and a fact, I did that the first night before taking her to the emergency clinic, so I could monitor her input and output. But it's not her fault she is sick, and I feel a little better giving her some comfort. She's being submitted to enough oddities and indignities; I don't want to compound it by isolating and ostracizing her.

Off to check on her, give her medication and a bribe, and spray the blanket down...keep your fingers crossed for the power of antibiotics.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

a long night

Man, I'm tired. Last night, it was chainsaws and wood chippers into the wee hours. Tonight, it's a restless kitty in pain. Poor's going to take a few days for the antibiotics to do their thing, and in the meantime she is hurting. She wants to be with me, but she just can't get comfortable; every five minutes, she gets up to use the litter pan [but with little success]. On the plus side, she drank some water a little bit ago...I put a dish of water in the bathroom near the litter pan, and she managed to drink a bit. It will take a little time, but she'll be okay...then with luck I can catch up on some sleep.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

oh, the indignities...

Poor Bean...had to take her to the emergency vet today. Nothing horrible, thankfully...a urinary tract infection that I caught very early, so it's just a round of antibiotics for her. Part of having a disabled cat: with her nerve damage and bad hips, she can't move as much as she should, can't clean as well as she should, so she is prone to these things. Noticed that she was going into the litter pan every few minutes with no success, so I called the vet...they referred me to an emergency clinic, and away we went.

So she had to be submitted to poking, prodding, trying to get a urine sample, as well as the ongoing ordeal of twice daily droppers of medication, baby wipes along the hinder, and having her bathroom habits monitored. Oh, the kitty indignities...

man, that really sucks

A surreal few hours just now...sitting in the living room reading, and I hear the 'beep beep beep' of a truck backing up. I grumble a bit [it's nearly midnight, darn it!], but ignore it. A few minutes later, I hear chainsaws. "Waaaahhhh??" I say to myself. I wait, they stop. "Whew."

They start again. "Grumble, grumble, WTF, it's frickin' midnight, grumble." Then I remember hearing a solid "thud" an hour earlier...I had dismissed it, figuring it was a car door slamming, or a car bottoming out on these annoying Palo Alto curbs that are so excellent at scraping up your undercarriage.

My brain connects "thud" with "chainsaws" and comes up with "Oh crap!" Went outside to see a tree blocking the cul-de-sac two houses down. Big eucalyptus tree, stretching all the way across the street...

...and right smack down on top of a shiny yellow VW Beetle. Apparently either termites or mold had gotten into the roots, and there was just nothing to hold it up any more. The frightening part is that the tree looked perfectly strong and healthy...then crack, boom, crash, down it came.

It turned into an impromptu gathering as people came out to gawk, talk, and commiserate. The girl had just parked the car and gone inside, and two minutes later, kaboom. All things considered, it could have been much worse. The tree didn't fall the other way onto the house. It didn't fall while she was in the car. It missed other cars parked right nearby. No power lines or utility lines were hit. Still sucked for her though, especially since it was her mother's car, and she was driving it for the weekend while her mother was in Tahoe.

It was amazing watching the chainsaw guy. He was incredibly skilled, knew exactly where to cut for the maximum effect. He was also incredibly considerate of the girl and her car...he made very careful cuts so parts of the tree didn't thunk down onto the car and do more damage. He was a master...he cut through the major part of the trunk, then slowed the saw down and guided it gently, so that gravity just lightly *bent* the weight of the tree against the remaining strip of wood, making it settle gently to the ground.
He then cut that last bit to leave the tree in two halves, one on either side of the car. And then the wood chipper came into play. Holy *crap*, those things are scary. But cool...

So now it's 1am, and I'm tired but wired. And looking at the trees in my yard with suspicion and distrust...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

sending love to essie

Just found out that my aunt Essie's husband died this morning. She is battling Alzheimer's...I got to spend a lot of time with her this past spring, and I've been writing to her just about every week since then. Lawrence meant the world to her after she was diagnosed...he was devoted to her, visiting her often, even though he was in his late 90s and couldn't get around easily. He always brought her flowers, chocolate, some sort of treat when he came; she looked forward to his visits and asked about him often.

She is still aware enough to understand what is happening, and is devastated...she is going to be staying with Mom and Dad for a few days, and Dad said the family is planning to gather at their place to give her their love and support.

My heart is breaking for her...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

another late night

Back to the city last night, this time for drinks and dinner with the gang. A really good time, great conversations, excellent dinner at Café Kati. Home around 1am...tired, but worth it.

Though, as Mix-A-Lot said Friday night: "I'm gettin' too old for this shit." :^)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


[the sound stacey's ears are making after the concert last night]

goodgawddamn, what a show

Just got home from seeing the Sir Mix-A-Lot concert with Susy. It was the absolute best show I've been to. Ever. Opening bands 'Ostrich Head' [bought a CD...seriously tight rap from three guys and a girl. Damn, they were good] and 'The Feed' [gotta love a rap group with violin, bass, drums, and a song about Super Nintendo, complete with "Up down, up down, left right, left right" chorus]. Drinks were good, good, good [that bartender took really good care of us. Boys and girls, trust me on this: arrive at the Red Devil Lounge early, buy a drink [I *highly* recommend the "Strong Island Iced Tea"], and tip the bartender nicely. He will remember you, and serve you before the rest of the throng in that bar rush before the headliner comes on, and he will make your drink extra yummy and extra strong]. The crowd was the most amazingly polite and sharing and interactive and fun crowd I've ever seen, and Mix-A-Lot kicked ass. Serious ass. And now my feet hurt, voice is gone, throat is scratchy, arms ache from waving them in the air, legs are sore from bouncing, ears are riiiiiiiiiiiinging, I'm tired but too wired to sleep...and it was all worth it.

A frickin' awesome night with Susy. Can't imagine doing it with anyone else. And I haven't even mentioned dinner, the pre-show trip to Good Vibrations, scoring the free t-shirt from The Feed, "dancing" with the beautiful [yet anonymous] man in the crowd, the "mono bottle" of Hennessy, needing a clip, sharing the bathroom with a guy [and being called "tough" for doing it], and the other little memories that will make this night one of my favorites for a very long time.

Thanks, rock.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

see ya, ze...

Tomorrow is Ze's last show...


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

happy pi day!!

If you grok this post, then you are a person I'd like to know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

still kicking

Life continues. Feeling helpless about Mom and Dad, wishing I could afford to be back there with them, and at the same time not knowing quite what I would add for them if I were. Hoping they know how much I love them and how much they are on my mind.

Work is work, getting busier and more hectic as I take on more of operations and manufacturing. Still not quite sure what it all means for me, but riding it out for now. One of those "time will tell" kind of things...

Not-work life is moving along. Been pulling in my boundaries a bit, trying to pay more attention to the signals my head, heart, and body send me. Vicariously enjoying Rod's retail therapy, already plotting how to get myself invited to his place for a BSG marathon on his soon-to-arrive swoopy new TV [hi moviestar!!]. A surprising conversation with Matt last night, fun in a way I wouldn't have expected when I was working with him. Off to see Sir Mix-A-Lot in the city with Susy this Friday [though I haven't heard back from her, so need to try again]. Got together with Jen last week, good to catch up with her. Keeping in touch with Lisa, hung out with her and Josh watching "Heroes" [Lisa is one of the folks that has been there for me through thick and thin, and I treasure her]. Sushi and movies with Vince, very good time [it's nice to have a sushi buddy...I loves me the sushi]. Dinner with Anne this past weekend, and we always schedule the next one so we have it to look forward to. Fairly content with social side of things, though of course I would love to have a snuggle-buddy...I do miss cuddling. And somehow the cats just don't quite do it for me...

Off to have some more manufacturing fun...

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Saw '300' with Vince tonight. It's an incredibly visually stunning movie...I recommend for the cinematography alone. Very unique look, very lush, near-overuse of hyper slow motion [but to good effect]. Classic underdog story with bravery, love, betrayal, valor, defeat and victory. And gorgeous, over-the-top-in-a-good-way cinematography.

Much to be distracted by that kept it from being a *great* movie: the Spartan king's Scottish accent that kept slipping through, the overly dramatic delivery, the profligate use of flying droplets of blood [most in the aforementioned superslomo] that got to be kind of silly at times [people were snickering during a fight scene when a bad guys leg went flying], the obvious "don't trust him" betrayals, some "whoops, we slipped into fantasy-land" bad guys, and more abs, quads, biceps, and triceps in one place than you usually see on-screen in a year.

But if you can suspend disbelief for a while, it's a good one to see in the theatre. Did I say "visually stunning"? And "unique"? was.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...

...'' is alive. Alive!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Bit the bullet and activated my nifty Windows Mobile smartphone...have the broadband access plan, so now I have high speed internet on my mobile phone.

Ye gods, I love technology.

a reminder...

While my domain '' is down, you can get me by email at 'tiredcynic(at)yahoo(dot)com'. At least that connection to the electronsphere is still working...

a brevet promotion

Well, I am now "IT and Operations Manager" for Code Green Networks. It's not as glamorous as it might means that my manager, the VP of Operations, has given notice, and some of his responsibilities are being passed down to me.

No pay raise, and the additional things I'll be taking on aren't directly related to IT work, which is something I need to think about. I have always been a "jill of all trades", and it suits me...but I have also spent the past 12 or so years gaining experience and momentum in an IT support career. Granted, I've always had a varied and random skill set, but the question now is whether I want to let those IT skills possibly stagnate as I take on more manufacturing and ops responsibilities.

In the meantime, it's one foot in front of the other, keep breathing, nose to the grindstone, get through the day...

brain cells I will never get back

There is a commercial for yogurt on tv right now; a woman is eating yogurt through the seasons, looking at her bikini hanging on the wall, until finally they show her hopping happily into a car, the hanger swinging on the wall, as she wears her bikini after having lost weight by eating the aforementioned yogurt. Through it all, the song "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is playing...but my brain keeps replacing it with a bastardized version from a decades-old commercial, that goes something like this:
[clearing throat..ahem, ahem ahem]
[singing in high-pitched kid voice]

"IIIII loooove thooooose...
Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny
Cans of Van Camp's Beanie Weenies
Hot dogs and beans fixed my favorite way.
My mom says Beanie Weenies are nutritious
[switch to higher pitched excited kid voice]
**That's okay, they're STILL delicious!!**
[back to lower high-pitched kid voice]
For lunch or snacks, I eat some each day!!"

[Wonder if there is a sample of that brain-cell-stealing jingle out there on teh intrawebs somewhere??]

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

thirteen days down

The latest update on 13 days since it went down, and the good news is that there have been incremental bits of progress. I could ping the domain a few days ago, and today the wahoo services page no longer showed my account as 'pending'.

However... [you just knew it wasn't going to be that easy, didn't you??]

...trying to do anything further with the services gave the annoying "This account is currently inactive" error, and mail is still bouncing. Called the wahoos, got a very nice guy named Ralph who told me quite honestly that since I was upgrading a legacy account, it was "pretty difficult". He talked with a tech handling my case(s), and came back with the message that "they are taking this in baby steps", taking it slowly and making sure that everything is done properly. As an IT manager, I definitely appreciate that approach...I would rather spend extra time on the front end to be sure everything is done right, rather than patch it quickly and risk having it go wrong somewhere else down the line.

But darn it, I want my domain back!!


Every so often, I take something to help me sleep. And every once in a very rare while, it doesn't play nicely with me. Not sure exactly's just that sometimes it doesn't seem to fully metabolize by the time I get up, so I end up in a weird "out of it" state, almost hallucinating while my mind just wanders where it wants. It's quite freaky.

This morning was one of those times...I woke up and was *very* out of it [the point of the stuff is to "disconnect" you so you can stay asleep, and it works quite well]. I managed to send some email to my manager to tell him I would be a few hours late, then I lay back down for a while and rode it out. Never did get back to sleep, but *man* did I trip out...the main thing I remember was trying earnestly to reboot myself. I just knew that my sleep module was acting up, and if I could just get my system to shut down and restart, I'd be okay.

You know you are a dork [or a Windows IT person] when you hallucinate having to CTRL-ALT-DEL yourself...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

explain the logic, please

First-level tech support is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For any problem, big or small.

If they can't fix it, they escalate it to Tier 2...also available 24x7.

If the problem is bad enough that those two levels can't resolve it, it is then escalated to Tier 3...

...who only work on business days.

Am I the only one that doesn't understand the logic of offering 24x7 coverage *except* for really difficult cases?? Seems to me that the customers with issues that have to be escalated two levels are the customers that most deserve and *need* the more complete coverage, as they have been looking at longer downtime and more inconvenience.

[By the way, is now going into its 10th day of downtime...which is unbelievable in internet terms. It doesn't sound like much, but think of a store being told that because of a technical problem, their newly-upgraded doors wouldn't unlock for ten days, and that customers wouldn't be given any alternate stores to go to...they would just be shoved back onto the street and told to try again in 24 hours. Oh, and the locksmiths only work on business days, so you will have to wait until Monday for someone to even look at the locks. That's just to look at the locks, by the way. No promises of resolution, even though the locksmiths are the ones that installed the locks in the first place, and they *required* you to upgrade to their new locks, because the old ones weren't supported anymore. Gnash, grind, growl...]

Friday, March 02, 2007

opposing fortunes

Went out for Chinese food with a co-worker the other is the fortune I got:

"Your principles mean more to you than any money or success."

And here is the one she got:

"Success and wealth are in your future."

After much giggling, we finally settled down and she said that the fortune gods seemed to think she didn't have any principles. To which I replied, "Maybe, but principles don't pay the rent." :^)

a heartbeat

Sometime around 1:30p yesterday afternoon, starting responding to pings. Nothing else is alive yet [no management, no website, no email], but at least we have a faint heartbeat...

light dawns

Figured out why I haven't been sleeping well: 'cause I was getting sick. Hit yesterday, early early in the morning: coughing, squeaky voice, fever, chills, achy all over. Your standard garden-variety chest cold. Annoying and exhausting, but I've got to admit: it's much, MUCH better than the stomach flu I had a while ago. I guess it's all relative...