Kill me now

Ah, a few days off for the holiday and then some vacation thrown in. I felt a little ill the two days before Thanksgiving, but it never really came to anything. Then after driving 300 miles and eating two Thanksgiving dinners, I felt nauseous Thursday night. Well, it was a lot of food and travel, so surely it’ll pass.

Four days later, it’s still trying to pass. I have had days of chills, fever, aches, nausea, intestinal gurgling and cramping, more trips to the bathroom than I can count, and even hives. This thing won’t go away. I was able to get out of bed after a few days, but the lower-GI problems are still going strong.

No one else around me got sick (David was too afraid to visit me to make that much of a risk–chicken!), but then my old roommate from high school called this morning and guess what? She has it too. This pinpoints our contraction of the nasty bug to the Friday night before Thanksgiving in a window of a few hours of time, the only time she and I were together. I thought she must’ve gotten it on the plane, but David pointed out that the three of us shook the hand of a panhandler in the doorway of the restaurant and while David then washed his hands before we ate, Deb and I did not. I’m a fan of washing up before I leave the house, not using restaurant bathrooms (just touching the door handles creeps me out). I didn’t think much about it at the time. I guess I take my immune system for granted.

This thing has quite the incubation since the really acute symptoms didn’t begin for a full six days after Deb and I saw each other. It’s now four days later and I’m still hanging out near bathrooms, although the parts of the illness that made me want to die really only lasted for the first couple of days.

I made it out into the world today (after taking Immodium), but came hurrying home to my toilet. And I’m just wiped out. Deb and I actually lost weight over the Thanksgiving holiday. Go figure.

Everyone who ate with me on Thanksgiving: you should know by Wednesday night if you’ll live.



Boomer, named for a Battlestar Galactica character, passed away Monday. It was quite fast and unexpected, and for all our trying to diagnose and save him, we just came up with more data and tests and no big bunny who loved to be petted by your side for hours. I miss the big lug.

Ten childhood things

So I saw a meme on someone’s blog which led me to think of this one, but now I can’t find that page/post.  So I guess I won’t link to it.

10 Things from Childhood

  1. My friend had an upstairs bedroom and her parents supplied her with a rope ladder thing in case of fire.  I had an upstairs bedroom too and my parents didn’t give me a rope ladder, so I thought they didn’t love me enough to save my life.  I had an elaborate contingency plan to tie sheets together to lower my guinea pig down in a basket and then I’d climb down the sheets.
  2. The only time I ever stole anything: stickers from the friend in #1.  I made sure to take a whole sheet and that it was a duplicate sheet so she wouldn’t notice.
  3. I grew up with a set of twins at my church.  I never could tell them apart (and still can’t).
  4. I picked “Julia” to be my name in Spanish class because I thought it was pretty.  Then the teacher pronounced it “Hoo-lee-uh” and I thought it was ugly, but I was stuck with it.
  5. My grandma often had us over to paint little wooden items.  Somehow I got a reddish paint smear on her bathroom doorknob.  I think it’s still there and I don’t think I ever told her I did it!  Grandma is super neat and tidy and I always imagine her staring at that red smear, thinking it’s the only mar in her whole house.  (I’m about to find out if she reads this blog, I think!)
  6. My mom sewed a school bag for me.  One day I didn’t feel like carrying it, so on the way home from the bus stop I tied a jumprope around the handles and dragged it for two blocks to our house.  It had a hole in it when I arrived.
  7. I used to try to breathe backwards before I went to sleep.  I thought it made more sense for the chest to suck in on the inhale and release on the exhale.
  8. In ninth grade, they told us the only way to get our class year for letter jacket sleeves–our “freshman numerals”–was to participate in a sport in our freshman year.  The only reason I went out for track (and I always hated gym class and sports in general) was so I wouldn’t miss that opportunity.  I never got a letter jacket, but darn it, I have numerals!
  9. I got a B in gym in ninth or tenth grade.  I had plans to be valedictorian and this ruined the whole thing, so reasoning that I had met all the class requirements for an A based on the syllabus (such that it was) and how participation was supposed to be counted, I wrote letters to the gym teacher, principal, etc. to plead for a grade change.  I never heard a response, but magically my grade showed up as “pass” for that period on a later report card.
  10. We thought our elementary school bus driver, Ella, was mean.  We wanted to insult her without her knowing it, so I decided to learn how to insult her in Spanish and then share it with my friends.  The phrase of choice was supposed to be “Floor it, fatso!”  So I looked up floor, it, and fatso in the English/Spanish section of the big dictionary at home.  Of course floor it is an English expression that doesn’t translate to the individual words, and fatso wasn’t in there at all.  We ended up shouting, “!Suelo ello corcho!,” which is floor, it, and cork.  I have no idea how cork became the subbed word.

25 Things

Since I don’t have time to troll other ppl’s blogs like Nicole does, I’m going to keep shamelessly doing the same memes she posts.  She is discriminating so I’m sure she’ll pick good ones.  Yell at her if you don’t like them.

  1. Explain what ended your last relationship? I’m actually not going to go into it, but the significant part is it was the only time I was ever dumped!  Good life lesson I guess.
  2. When was the last time you shaved? Yesterday in the shower.
  3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.? Driving from the periodontist checkup to work.  This meant hitting the same rush hour traffic downtown TWICE.  I live somewhere that otherwise does not require me to go through downtown to get to work for a reason…
  4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago? Getting a flu shot at work.
  5. Are you any good at math? I’m decent at it.  I’m pretty handy with dimensional analysis!  I remember when the light finally went on for that one in 10th grade AP chem.
  6. Your prom night? Never went.
  7. Do you have any famous ancestors? Stonewall Jackson.
  8. Last thing received in the mail? A letter from Julia Carson saying I should vote for her.  It arrived on election day after I voted.
  9. How many different beverages have you had today? Water, water with Crystal Light mix.  The only other thing I usually drink is soymilk now that my dentist forbade Coke. 
  10. Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machines? Sometimes.  I often prefer to get the voicemail than the actual person!  Meanwhile my own answering machine has several minutes of rabbit advice as the message because so many people call me to get rid of their pet or to take the baby bunnies they run over with the mower.
  11. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach? I don’t think I ever have.
  12. What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had? Um, note the “dental” category in my blog.  But I think the worst procedure was extracting embedded baby teeth before I got braces.  I was awake for that one, unlike the wisdom teeth event.
  13. What is out your back door? A big yard where my dog likes to eat poopsicles.  Behind that is a creek with snakes and fish and herons. 
  14. Any plans for Friday night? Doubt it.  Rabbit stuff I guess, and Battlestar Galactica.
  15. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair? Nothing like feeling really sandy and dirty…
  16. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns? Thank goodness no.  I barely like regular popcorn, let alone flavored.  And I would ONLY eat hot popcorn.
  17. Have you ever been to a planetarium? Yes, with the guy from #1.
  18. Do you re-use towels after you shower? Yes, for a few days.  The towels being repeatedly damp and drying in a humid environment encourages bacteria/mold growth–you can’t use them forever!  (That’s for you, David)
  19. Some things you are excited about? The Democrats winning a lot yesterday!  And the upcoming holidays (at least the time off work)
  20. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO? Red.  I suppose that was cherry–Gramma used to give it to us mixed with ice cream and I loved it.  But I don’t eat it anymore since it’s made from boiled dead animal feet.
  21. Describe your keychain(s)? A mini HPLC column on one set and none on the other.  I like to carry as little as possible!
  22. Where do you keep your change? In my pocket until I get to the car to put it in the tray for drive thru fund.
  23. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people? My brother’s wedding in September.
  24. What kind of winter coat do you own? A black wool peacoat and I just bought a fake shearling coat that I might return.  When it’s coldest I have this great pea-green puffy warm coat that my mother doesn’t like.  I can’t find my winter hats yet!
  25. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed? Open so Casper can come and go and so any escaped foster rabbit escapades can be heard.

Piggy cancer

Greta, Cappy, and Josie Poor Cappy had her surgery today.  Only one ovarian cyst and it wasn’t too big, but she had a large cervical tumor.  My vet is a very good surgeon, but this is still a major bummer for Cappy’s healing and long-term health.  She’s probably about five now, though, and in the past cancer seems to have recurred in my pigs within a year or so, which puts her at rather old anyway if tumors should recur.  My view is if we can maintain quality of life (and she’s certainly happy now, or at least was before the surgery!) for as long as possible, that’s all that matters.

I had one other pig with cervical cancer and it didn’t seem to cause the bilateral hairloss like the more frequent ovarian cysts do, just personality changes due to all the hormones going crazy.  Maybe Cappy was “lucky” to then get the ovarian cyst which caused the hairloss which caused me to take her to the vet for the symptoms.

She’s staying overnight at the vet and on lots of good pain meds.  I should be able to bring her home tomorrow.  She is my squeaky pig–much more than her roommates!

Book meme

From Nicole’s blog, passed on from other blogs…

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “coolâ€? or “intellectualâ€? book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (author Matthew Scully; this is a library book and I’m actually just two pages behind this passage!)


“Forget Trade Bans,” the magazine urges in a familiar refrain.  “Just Make Animals Pay Their Own Way.”

They are talking about a species of intelligent mammal whose population across Asia and Africa stands at 5 percent of what it was a century ago; whose numbers were halved in a generation; who suffered casualties of more than 700,000 just in Africa during the 1980s, facing Nitro Expresses on one side and, on the other, swarms of paramilitary poaching gangs armed with AK-47s, radios, and spotter planes.  In Africa there is hardly such thing anymore as a middle-aged wild elephant with fully grown tusks, which for illegal poachers still at work has meant twice the killing for the same amount of ivory.

This chapter is about U.S. hunting safaris and the “conservation” of elephants: rich Americans pay local Africans to “protect” the elephants from poachers so they can take their paying American hunting customers there to kill them as trophies.

Things I’ve done meme

Following the trend from Nicole’s blog, and I’m going to use the term “meme” because it’s such an interesting word, even if this is more like the telephone game than a true cultural/mind transmission:

Anyway, on this list of 150 things, I have bolded the items I have done.  I added my own #98 because it was missing from the list.

I don’t remember a couple of things that I think I may have done.  Mom, did I ever milk a cow or go on a hot air balloon ride?

EDIT: Talked to Mom. Nope.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain smokies2_0606.jpg
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love youâ€? and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea – from the shore
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Gone for a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Watched someone get a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expertâ€?
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house ashwood2s.jpg
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Saved an animal’s life 178_thumb.jpg
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse horse2.jpg
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed parasail05as.jpg parasail05bs.jpg
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “importantâ€? author who you missed in school, and read 058609115701_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v1056457735_.jpg
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life 

Exciting weekend!

…if you count scraping wallpaper, changing oil, going to a 2-year-old’s birthday party, and cooking as exciting.  Actually it was a pretty good weekend because it was productive.  The General Tso’s Tofu was yummy–and way better than the General Tso’s Seitan from a few weeks ago.  Nicole and David cooked and Carlton and I did more wine-pouring, cookie dough handling, eating, etc.  Note Sunny looking for crumbs on the floor. 

gentso1.JPG gentso2.JPG 

Did the oil change in the Jetta last night.  I have to order the oil and filter online because the only other place to get it is the dealer, and we all know that’s expensive.  It’s bad enough at $50 after all the shipping to have it sent to me, but it only needs to be done every 10K miles so it’s not so bad.  I sure make up for it in fuel savings!  I can’t imagine buying anything but diesel for my next car.

oilchg2.jpg oilchg1.jpg

That’s my Pela oil extractor on the floor.  No crawling under the car!  I used the handy extraction video at to guide me.