Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaping Lizards!

A whole extra day! I feel sorry for people born on February 29. I mean, they only have their "real" day every four years. But I suppose it's a plus when you are forty and can honestly say you've only had ten birthdays.

I wish I was doing something with my extra day besides hitting the redial button every 30 seconds trying for an open line into my doctor's office so I can schedule all these new consults and blood tests I'm supposed to have.

Actually, I have much to do today and tomorrow. I have been far too slack and now that I know I'm not going to keel over and die, I need to get caught up.

And I'm sorry I didn't make it out to the meet-up last night. But to be completely honest, that place has several very bad memories associated with my previous life and it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to make myself go there. And last night I didn't have what it takes.

Sunday, we are going to try to have a date day and have a picnic somewhere, probably Cypress Gardens as I haven't been there since....I can't think of how long. So I need to find some yummy easy picnic food. And a basket.

And take out a loan for the gas money to drive there. For real people! I feel sorry for y'all that have long distances to drive. It cost me almost $40 to fill the tank on my little car the other day. Luckily, I don't drive very far so a tank will last me almost a month. But I know people who have to fill up every week. People who live in Jedburg and Summerville and Harleyville and Huger who drive to West Ashley for work. Yikes, I feel for them!

And wait until those high gas prices start getting passed on to the consumers and food prices start sky-rocketing. I'm thinking about putting in a container garden so I can grow my own veggies this year. I need to figure out how to keep the raccoons and possums out of it, but I'm sure there are ways.

I just don't have much excess spending in my budget (we won't discuss my book habit, I have cut way back on that - the last book I bought was a Neonatal Intensive Care text that I can deduct from taxes). There isn't much trimming I can do other than in the food budget.

Okay, now I'm just blithering away so I don't have to start writing/editing. Initiating self discipline now.

Loki sez: I think Leap Day should be spent feeding me tuna treats and brushing me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Paper or Plastic?

Lovely, no? That's my antecubital (elbow) after removing the latex based tape from the IV site yesterday. I also have matching red spots from the EKG patches all over my torso. All still present and vividly rosy this morning. Perhaps it's time to switch to paper tape where possible.

Yes, I know, it is Thor's Day.



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good News/Bad News

Good news: I have the heart of a twenty year old. Pumps like it should, blood goes where it should, speeds up and slows down like it should. Other than the right bundle branch block, which is common and usually without symptoms, not a thing wrong with the ticker.

Bad news: Now we start over in our search for what's wrong with me. Maybe I should start keeping notes so I can be on Mystery Diagnosis some day.

The cardiologist is recommending to my primary doc that I get a full pulmonology work up and thyroid testing.

I'm starting to believe that one of the women I work with was correct: it's menopause.

One thing that treadmill test showed me was how seriously out of shape I've gotten. I was supposed to tell them one minute before I couldn't go any further so they could inject the juice. About nine minutes in (it increased speed and slant every three minutes), I told them it wasn't my heart or my breathing, but my freaking legs were about to give out. I hadn't felt that wobbly since running up and down the hills of San Francisco.

But good old Dr. Cardiologist said that there was nothing stopping me from resuming my regular workouts as long as I watched my breathing and didn't get dizzy.

Great. I'll do that. Tomorrow.

Loki sez: I recommend frequent napping.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top Ten List

Top Ten Super Powers I'd Like to Get with the Nuke Juice Tomorrow:

10. Plastic limbs

9. Rock Muscles

8. Sonic Boom Voice

7. Fire Vision

6. X-ray Vision

5. Breathing underwater

4. Cat Stealth

3. Invisibility

2. Flight

And the Number One super power skill I'd like to get after being shot up with nuke juice................

1. Perky size quadruple F boobs and a ten inch waist -and the ability to breath- while whipping bad guys butts in a bodice -that doesn't fall down- and high heels -that I don't twist an ankle on- without mussing my hair or getting a run in my fishnet thigh-highs!

Loki sez: I would have thought she'd go for the cat stealth as number one.
Thor sez: That's why she has us!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blither Blather and Kittens

I've written and deleted two posts today.

One because I was too afraid to say what I wanted to say "in public".

One because I'm just so tired of the same old shit and the slavering unthinking knee-jerk reactions the offenders expect to get. And usually do.

So, you get kittens.

Loki Hunts the Elusive Under-the-Blanket Monster:

Photos by JAZ

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Loki Sunday

Ay oh

whey oh

ay oh whey oh

Eat like a human.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Red rum!

Or as close to "red rum" as a photograph will get. See, the first time I looked up and saw the boys sitting very close to one another, in identical poses, staring cat stares at me, the first thing that popped into my head was "Come play with us, Danny" from The Shining.

I have tried to get a perfect photograph, but seeing as I don't really walk around with a camera strapped to my neck all the time, I have to stand up to fetch the camera. And standing up means that they have won (in their fuzzy little minds) the battle of the feed-us stares. So they break formation and run to the food bowl.

Come feed us, human.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

As Thor's Day Turns

Will the New York Times next story be "Britney Being Mind Controlled By Space Aliens"?

Will people driving Hummers ever quit whining about gasoline prices?

Will the car dealership ever stop sending me junk mail? (Why would I want to buy a new car less than a year after I purchased my current car?)

Will Loki ever realize that the FedEx man and the UPS guy aren't really going to kill him?

And now back to our regularly scheduled Thor's Day activities: cat dancing.

Thor sez: That's all folks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Riding the Crazy Train

The closer I get to Nuke Day, the crazier I get. I am on a crazy train of conflicting emotions and strengths. I hope they find something fixable. I told Jason last night, "I don't care if I have to have a transplant, I just want to be normal again."

For a while, I'm okay with the wait, knowing there isn't anything I can do until we know what is going on and I'm grooving on the (at)peace train.

Then I'll wallow around in self-pity and fear for a while, worried that they won't find something that can be fixed, or even worse, something that isn't bad enough to fix so I have to wait.

I'm not being a good limited activities person. I stomp and pout when Jason drops me off in front of a building then goes to park the car. I resent having to have the bag boy carry my groceries to the car. I hate having to get a buggy to push around even when I know I'm only getting a few things, because walking and carrying things isn't going so well.

I hate, hate, hate and despise with a passion having to ask for help. It makes me feel ashamed of myself. But I know I'm being silly and stupid. I know this is probably temporary, but the what-if's are lurking in the shadows, waiting for a weak moment to attack.

And then later, I'm back to being fine.

Crazy Train.

Loki sez: Gnawing boxes into tiny flecks of cardboard is what I do when I feel upset.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Stuff on a Tuesday

The person who injects the radioactive juice for the heart study, I wonder how many jokes she/he has heard about obtaining super powers.

I wouldn't like to be a middle aged mutant ninja turtle, but being able to fly might be fun.

I hate those commercials about people who don't know why e-Harmony has turned them down. It is because you were flagged as not being honest on the personality test you took. It has many built in lie detectors.

Is it weird that I really like the music on the original GEICO caveman commercial, you know, the one where he is in the airport, tennis racket slung over a shoulder, double checking his ticket. The music is kind of 70's cheesy white man calypso keyboard pap. I really like it and I worry what that says about my taste in general. (Edit: oh how often I forget the power of Google! The song is Remind Me by Royksopp, a Norwegian group.)

I know fur is murder, but if a mink stole is over 80 years old and the minks it was made of would have died of natural causes long, long ago, is it okay to own?

Why is it that I can be very funny by accident, then brilliantly play it up, like I meant to be funny, but I can't be funny on purpose?

Thor sez: Why are you constantly taking pictures of me when I'm trying to sneeze?

Monday, February 18, 2008

And More Babies

Yesterday, we went to my mother's house for lunch and for Jason to do some photographs with the new baby and her great-granny. My mom had in mind reproducing an old photograph from way back in the way backs. It was a photograph of my two older brothers, my mom, her mom and her mom's mom.

But she couldn't lay her hands on the original for us to attempt an accurate recreation, so Jason had to wing it.

That gave me an opportunity to rifle through boxes and boxes of old pictures until they had to gently tear me away from them.

But some items I managed to swipe so I could scan them. And some of my pictures I swiped so they would never see the light of day.

How about this one:

I've been told that is a certain Auntie Anonymous and her Grandmother Nimitz.

And Auntie, I didn't steal it, but I found a photograph of the infamous Florida poodles who helped scandalize Holly Hill.

How about this:

That's me at 2 months with my mom in Germany.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh Baby, Baby!

My great niece, Hannah. Ain't she sweet? She's a snuggle bunny.

Loki Sunday

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mountain Lions and Cheetahs and Leopards, Oh My

We zipped downtown today to see Jack Hanna and some animals as part of the SEWE. Actually, this was the first time I'd ever been to any events. I was usually working.

I got to ooh and ahh and wish I could take serval cat home with me. He had such a Thor face.

But I really liked the Clouded Leopard.

The little Cape fox was cute, all ears and curled up puppy-shy.

Then they had things like snakes (ick) and skunks and possums and a three banded armadillo. When Jack Hanna asked if we had armadillos here in Charleston, I shuddered, hoping that Chi... that someone who is very touchy about that subject wasn't in the audience. I wanted more kittens, not arguments.

But I was rewared with the big finale, a cheetah! He was soooo gorgeous.

After that, we strolled up to Jestine's for lunch and only stood in line for about fifteen minutes, all the while my heart was going THUMP-WHUMP THUMP-WHUMP who do you think you are galavanting all of three blocks THUMP-WHUMP. Made all the worse by the girl behind us in line who was discussing her trip to Germany and Switzerland and how she was too drunk all the time to see any sights, just went from bar to bar getting drunk. Then I really almost had a heart attack from trying to keep a straight face while she described this place in San Francisco that served "really, like, exotic, like stuff." Like they didn't have ham and cheese omelets, oh no, their omelets had "like fettucini and sun dried tomatoes". (I think she meant feta cheese, that oh so exotic cheese that I have to go all the way to BiLo to find.)

Unfortunately, I was feeling so winded and weird with my heart thumping, that I caused a minor scene in Jestine's by not being able to finish my lunch. I don't think they've ever had anyone not lick the plate clean. But I ever so politely explained that I just wasn't feeling very well and if I could take that yummy meatloaf home, I'd be sure to gobble it down with mucho gusto (which I did) once I was feeling better.

The boys say: We don't know why you had to go downtown to look at cats when you have us to look at for free!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tired Through and Through

Yesterday morning, I got home from work and slept from around 10:30 to a little after 2:30. I went to bed at 10pm and slept until 5am. Then I fell asleep on the couch about 7am and woke up at 10am. I had to fight the urge to just roll over and continue sleeping.

I'm tired. Down in my bones tired. It isn't depression-like tired. I have had pretty serious bouts of Seasonal Affective Disorder and it isn't that. With that, I don't care that I'm tired, I don't care that I don't feel good, I don't care that I can't participate in my own life.

This tiredness is starting to piss me off. I just want to be able to feel like I can dance around the house when a good song comes on the radio without having to plan a rest period afterwards. I just want to run my errands all in one day. I want to be able to clean the house in one day. I'm tired of resting. But if I don't rest, as I didn't during this very busy stretch at work, this is what happens. I can't stay awake.

But, today is a good day for resting. I have in my hot little hands a brand new copy of The Aristocats. So after doing a few chores, I will sit down with lunch and spend a little time with Duchess and her hero, Thomas O'Malley cat.

Thor sez: I'll practice my scales and arpeggios.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

From the boys.

Yes, I'm crazy, but you already knew that, so you can't complain.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

How sad to wake up to the news that Roy Scheider has died. He was one of those actors, when you saw his name in the credits, you just knew the movie was going to be good.

Of course, I loved him for his role in my number one favorite movie of all time, Jaws.

Seriously. Jaws is my favorite movie. The theme of every-day-guy triumphing over impossible odds is done to perfection in this movie. Throw in the class wars between Hooper and Quint, the political machinations of the slimy Mayor Vaughn and you've got something more than a shark-eats-man story.

Of course, on that summer day that changed all our lives (really, tell me that since seeing that movie, it doesn't pop into your mind the moment you step into the ocean waters) I didn't see all the power struggles and themes. I was still young enough to have to have my friend Kristie's mom drive us to the Aviation Theater on River's Avenue to see it. I nibbled on the large Hershey Bar with Almonds during the credits, but by the movie's end, the chocolate was a half melted mess in my hand.

No, it took several veiwings over many years of grown-upedness before the brilliant layering of personalities and conflicts became clear.

But I always loved Chief Brody. I especially loved him when, while Quint and Hooper male-bonded over their various scars from their manly adventures, Brody quietly lifted his shirt and looked at his appendectomy scar then quickly covered it back up. But he saved the day in the end, didn't he?

Rest in peace, Mr. Scheider, rest in peace.

Thor sez: "Love to prove that, wouldn't ya? Get your name in National Geographic."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thor's Day

I happened upon the documentary African American Lives last night. It was utterly mesmerizing. I'm a bit of a geneology buff, having traced out as much of my family tree as was possible from the comfort of my living room via the internet.

The Nye Family of America Association and the Mormons had done much of my work for me, but still it was fascinating to trace the lines as far back as I could.

You just don't know who you are until you know who you came from.

Okay! Okay! Thor's day:

Thor sez: "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as..."


Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I've discovered the cause of global warming! It isn't our rampant use of carbon based fuels. It's the constant spewage of hot air from the mouths of talking heads and experts on the 24 hour newsmertainment channels.

I never saw such blithering as yesterday. Any one who was capable of talking without a point for more than twenty minutes was allowed air time. Can't even wait until there was some news to report to start talking. Just report on what might happen and what that might mean if it did happen and then when it didn't happen, what might happen because what didn't happen didn't happen.

Just blither away, not a care for the environment.

No wonder it's 80 degrees today.

Personality difference. We have them.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

OCD Much?

I'm not really obsessive-compulsive. Really. I just have habits. We all do. Right??

For instance. When putting dishes in the sink to wash, I always put my sharp knives in the same place, facing the same way so when I reach into the soapy water, I don't slice a finger off.

I wash dishes in a particular order so that the way they go into the dish drainer is the way they go into the cabinets.

I always park in the same place at frequently frequented places. Work. WalMart. The grocery store. (I haven't found a usual spot at the new Publix yet and it is mildly stressful.)

I have a detailed evacuation plan for the kittens in case of fire. Never mind the humans, they have reasoning skills and opposable thumbs.

I take my vitamins and supplements in a particular order. (Because if you don't take the salmon oil first, then put everything else on top of it, you'll be burping up fish taste all day.)

I eat M&M's by color, saving the reds and yellows for last because those were my high school's colors (which was when this habit began). I hate and despise the new M&M colors and will give them away or eat them first. Because there was nothing wrong with the old colors!

See? I'm not OCD, but organized and efficient!

Loki sez: And no shoes in the house! Wearing shoes in the house means you are going to kill me!

Monday, February 04, 2008

I Can See My Heartbeat

I wore my spiffy multi-pink sneakers to my echocardiogram appointment today.

There was something both compelling and frightening about watching my heart beat in black and white on the screen. My heart. I could watch it beat in time with what I could feel. It looked good to me. It was beating.

Now I'll wait for the doc to review the results and call me back to let me know the findings.

I still have to go back in a few weeks and get injected with radioactive isotopes and get wired up for a morning of treadmill walking to see what my heart is doing when I get so out of breath.

It's annoying. But ultimately fixable I hope.

Because it's just sinking in how freaking weird this all is. I'm 47 years old. I am not overweight. I work out. I take my vitamins. I quit smoking five years ago. I drink in moderation. I eat right. My cholesterol levels are good. In fact, two years ago they were borderline and I dropped them to normal this year with diet and exercise. My blood pressure and resting heart rate are causes of envy in all who know them. I get a complete physical every year.

Just last May I was hiking in Arizona! Last October, I was hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not serious, fifty pound pack on your back miles and miles hiking, but walking up mountains and around in caves.

Ironically, I received a card in the mail over the weekend from the Go Red for Women campaign about heart disease in woman. It had a Go Red Heart CheckUP list. All my number were normal! All of them! From my last physical in September 2007. In three months, I went from normal labs and physical findings, normal activities to having to rest between showering and drying off.

And I'm finding myself vacillating between my usual don't-worry-until-there-is-something-to-worry-about state of mind and rifling through insurance papers and IRS statements, checking and double checking numbers and coverages. I haven't purchased disability insurance. I was planning to do that when I turned 50.

I'm not old! I keep wanting to scream that at people, at my heart. I don't think that I'm supposed to be immune to health problems, just not yet. It's too soon.

That, I suppose, is why I had to wear my hot pink sneakers today.

Thor sez: You can have this heart.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Loki Sunday

Loki, International Cat of Action

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Great Southwestern Adventure, Part Two

This year's big adventure planning is under way. Last year, we so enjoyed Arizona and the beauty we found there that we've picked another southwestern spot: Moab, Utah.

"Where?" you ask.

Moab. In the southeastern corner of Utah.

Arches National Park. Canyonlands National Park. Dinosaur footprints in stone. Dinosaur museums. Colorado River rafting.

All this is dependent, of course, on whether the ticker will be fixed enough by May to allow me to be out hiking and rafting and generally pretending like I'm still 20.

Alternate plan will be Alaska, later in the year, perhaps July or early August.

But don't it look grand?

The Boys say: Aren't you running out of people willing to clean up after us?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bundle Branches and Blocks, Oh My!

Good news, I do not share WPW syndrome with MeatLoaf and Marilyn Manson, no offense guys, but ick.

Not really bad news, I seem to have a right bundle branch block, a similar short in the electrical system.

More tests to follow.

I'm just glad to have a label to stick on my symptoms. All too often, even in these modern times, if a person who just happens to have a uterus gets some hard to diagnose symptoms, it gets labeled as "in her head". AKA: "anxiety".

And I've been rewarding my inner girl with gifts:

A personally autographed copy by one of the Kewlest Kids I know: Kelly Love Johnson. (sorry Kelly, I'd give you top Kewl Kid status, but Shari was a professional pool player! It's hard to beat that.)

A great, great book for anyone with a job or planning to have a job. Must read! Quick and sassy and full of real life lessons and information! I read half of it in the doctor's waiting room this morning.

And from a very rare, for me, moment of "OMG, I have to have those":

I recently changed all my work uniforms to shades of pink and bought these for work. But I just might have to get a second pair for every day.

Loki sez: And I get the shoe box, right? I've almost chewed the last one down to nothing.