Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Where did you begin 2008?
I was at a party with loved ones. :T

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
In a questionable relationship.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?
No.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
A couple of times.

Did you have any encounters with the police?
One! We got away by claiming to be out-of-state though.

Where did you go on vacation?
Didn't really go on vacation this year.

What did you purchase that was over $500?
A Playstation 3, does that count as this year? Suppose it could.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Probably...

Did you know anybody who passed away?
No one I knew, know people who knew people who passed away, though.

Did you move anywhere? 

Yes.

What sporting events did you attend?
None.

What concerts/shows did you go to?
I haven't been to a concert since like 2001...

Where do you live now?
Florida.

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008?

Have blood drawn from a fingertip? I'll go with that.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
When my family came over to visit, that was loads of fun.
Also when I was sick and could not eat a friend brought me a box of chocolate donuts (my favorite) to encourage me to eat something. It was really sweet, no pun intended.

What's something you learned about yourself?

I'm too sexy for this song.

Any new additions to your family?
Hm...

What was your best month?
What month was my grandpa here? I don't remember, but it was that one.

What music will you remember 2008 by?
The damned Inn theme from WoW, apparently. Or the catchy travel/exploring theme from Lost. XD

Made new friends?
Not in person.

Favorite Night[s] out?

Rocknes, with my whole family.

Any regrets?
Never.

What do you want to accomplish in 2009?
Move... be healthier... eh.

What would you change about 2008?
Anything I would change, I had no control to, so... nothing.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Does Silvermoon count? What about Naxxramas?

Have any life changes in 2008?
I had a keen epiphany.

Change your hairstyle?

A few times!

Get a new job?
No.

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Not this year it seems.

Did anything embarrassing?
More than likely.

Buy anything new from eBay?
No.

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
People have favorite purchases? Huh. I guess... Fable 2?

Get married or divorced?
No.

Get arrested?
No.

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
Nope.

Did you get sick this year?
Naturally.

Start a new hobby?
Nah, I have a ton of hobbies already.

Been snowboarding?

I would probably break a bone.

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
Not like 2008 did anything to me. This question makes it out to be some sort of bad guy. lol.

Drank Starbucks in 2008?
Durf.

What are you wishing for in 2009?
Happiness, healthiness, and wealth for everyone I know.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone

Happy Holidays everyone! Whether you celebrate a holiday this time of year or not, I hope you have a great day today. That's all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Week One

So, I took my first pill on Friday. I now know what to expect every Friday-Sunday. Basically every pill makes me OD on Vitamin D. My body's initial reaction is to throw-up and try to expel it, but, I can't! I'm not allowed. So for an hour or so after I take the pill I just lay around focusing all of my energy on not puking.

After the first hour it's a little better. The urge to boat subsides and I just feel a little, blah. I take it before bed, so whatever happens next I'm asleep for and miss.

The next day I wake up like a kangaroo on crack. I've never had so much energy. I hopped right out of bed after 8 hours and was rearing to go. Super-hyper. Unfortunately this causes me to expend all of my energy and about 4 hours later I crash. If I don't eat or drink something with caffeine or sugar, I'll fall asleep.

I crashed so bad I almost fell asleep while playing video games -- sitting up. Yeah, as in completely upright. Thankfully I had a can of Dr. Pepper conveniently waiting to save the day. It's rare we keep soda in stock, so I'm glad we happened to have it handy.

Other than that I get random cramps, and headaches when I stand up. Not so bad. Let's see what week 2 brings.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Frozen Pipes

How many repair men does it take to fix a pipe?

Yesterday morning my friend and I are sitting in the living room playing video games when all of the sudden he hears this loud hissing noise. He is like, "What the hell is that noise?"

Naturally my reply is, "What the hell do you mean, 'what is that noise?'"

So he gets up to check and I hear , "Oh my god!"

I retort, "What the hell do you mean 'Oh my god'?!" and jump out of my seat to go see for myself.

Water... everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

A pipe beneath the sink froze and burst due to the weather, spraying freezing cold water all over the room. My kitchen is pretty huge so when I say there was water spraying everywhere... that's a big problem!

My friend, who is a boy and automatically assumes responsibility to save my house says, "What do I do?" cause he used to live where it's warm and sunny. Pipes do not freeze near the equator. So here I am thinking back to when I was about 7 years old and a pipe had burst in our kitchen... trying to remember what my mother had done to stop the leaking.

A knob. She crawled under the sink and turned a knob! I'm shouting by this point because I can rarely hear myself speak under normal circumstances, so I felt the need to be louder, "TURN A KNOB!"

My friend dumbfounded is like, "What? Turn a knob? wtf are you talking about?"

"THERE SHOULD BE A KNOB UNDER THE SINK NEAR THE PIPES. IT TURNS THE WATER OFF. SO TURN THE KNOB!" Unfortunately the backwards plumbing here made the knob useless as turning it in either direction did absolutely nothing. By this point I have an armful of hand towels and I'm throwing them on the tile to prevent the water from rising any higher and threatening the carpet.

I call my mother in desperation and she in her typical motherly way says, "Go to your water heater and turn the knob near the pipes leading outside. It will turn off water to the entire house, but at least you won't be flooding anymore."

So we attempt this and low and behold this knob? Also does nothing! We notice a brightly colored lever a few feet away and pull that in desperation. Finally, the water stops.

But wait, the fun doesn't end there. My mother has to make the call for me since, y'know deaf phonecalls and all etc., to get a repair man over. The guy shows up right away, she must have convinced him there was worldly peril or something because seriously less than 10 minutes later he was at our door. He comes in takes at look at the problem and declares, "Wow. I'm going to need help for this let me call my partner."

So he calls his partner and about 10 minutes later his partner shows up. He comes in, takes a look then states, "Ah, I should be able to solder this back together in no time. I just need some parts. Let me make a call."

Ten minutes after that a third repair man shows up with the parts and together they fix the problem. So the answer to my previous question: 3.

Edit: Posted this at 2:22, I win!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Butterfly Needle: Name Deceiving

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, all looks well for the most part. Had blood work run to check for a vitamin deficiency because my hands and feet are always cold and numb. My doctor thinks if it was a circulation thing then when I walked around a lot (like say when shopping) my feet would be warmer, but since they aren't it's got to be something else. I've had the problem for years now, but it's recently gotten a little worse, which makes it more annoying. Won't have any results back on that until the 18th though.

On one hand I hope they're negative so it's not something I have to worry about. On the other hand if it's not a vitamin deficiency then that means I'll have to worry about something else. So it's kind of like, worrying either way I guess.

It's kind of weird because I eat cereal on a daily basis and pretty much all cereal is super enriched these days. Most has at least 45% of your daily requirements across the vitamin board, while others have a complete 100%. I used to be on a super vitamin (200%-500% DV) but had the problem back then, too. So if vitamins are low that means I'm probably incapable of absorbing them through my digestive tract. Meaning I'd need whatever vitamins missing injected, kind of like insulin.

A mortifying thought for someone who is afraid of needles.

I haven't been to Physical Therapy in a while. I just work on using the thumb on my own now. My doctor said I could stop going so long as I continued to work on it myself or continue going for the full course of sessions. Thing is my insurance only covers a certain amount of PT time and if I use it all up on my thumb, what happens if I need it down the line? I can do all the exercises and such at home, anyway.

One thing I noticed that makes excellent strength training for the thumb is trying to open pistachios. Especially ones that are barely cracked. I still drop things a lot, and I find myself using my hand to push more than the thumb itself when moving say, the analog stick on my 360 controller. But if it works, it works. Humans adapt, that's why we're not extinct yet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Results

As it turns out, my vitamin levels were low. Specifically my potassium (which is weird), B12, and vitamin D. My B12 levels were only marginally low, and my potassium levels were moderately lower than normal, my vitamin D levels however are practically nonexistent. Any lower and I probably wouldn't be able to get out of bed, so it's a good thing we caught it.

They are so low that it would take years to bring them up normally. I have to take prescription-strength vitamin D to get them up faster. So for the next 3 months I take these pills, then we test my blood again to see if it's improved. If that doesn't work then it's probably injections for me.

On a plus note, I should be feeling a little better by the middle of... next year.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I Should Have Said Sooner

I've been quiet for long enough. I always try so hard to avoid existing drama or causing drama, but you know what? It's no longer my duty to keep his rotten secrets. I gain nothing by making this information public. Keep that in mind. In fact it makes me look rather naive and stupid for staying with him for so long. Which is deserved. Because of pity and an inability to believe people can be inherently bad, I stuck around too long.

My only real hope is that friends who have been mislead can see my ex for what he truly is and avoid being hurt.

While I feel it is, for the most part a moot point since I've moved on with my life, apparently some of my old friends were given an entirely incorrect account of events. Which is something I simply can't abide. They've been lied to long enough.

I guess you could most easily sum up my last relationship with the fact that I wound up dating a man from communist Asia. What does that mean? Well, it meant I was held to a higher standard than most people are accustomed to dealing with in America. Appearance was paramount. I was expected to wear a uniform, around the house, that consisted of khaki pants and a polo shirt -- buttoned all the way up at all times -- even if it was 100 degrees. I was expected to wear make-up and do my hair, even if I was sicker than a dog. I was expected to do all of the house work all on my own and have a career. It was in all regards, looking back, an abusive relationship. One that became increasingly difficult to escape from.

It should be stated before you go further that my life, six years ago was a lot like an episode of The Guild. Only if Zaboo was a sociopath. While I had a lot of offline friends, the majority of my closest friendships began online. You must understand that I was from a small town in Ohio, the pickings were slim. There weren't a lot of people period, let alone ones I wanted to form friendships with.

I guess the fact that my ex was a compulsive liar had somehow managed to sneak under the radar even despite the fact that for the first few years my friends and I all knew him, he was lying to us. He had shown us all a photo of some fit white man and claimed he was a 27 year old artist. This was not just a lie he had told to me, he had told it to everyone of us: Kevin, Matt, Helena, Dalton, Rachel, Donald, Louis, Rivo, and everyone else.

It wasn't until several years later that he would reveal to me and me alone that he was in actuality a short, portly Asian kid. Now to be totally candid here: I thought he was fucking with me. When I met him for the first time, I expected to meet a 27 year old Caucasian. Not an out of shape, little 20 year old Asian. But that is what he was.

I decided that I should not hold his insecurities against him, to look beyond his dishonesty and give him a chance. Be the bigger person. This was my mistake. I admit that freely. I convinced him to stop lying to the rest of our friends though (at least in this singular instance), advice which he took to heart. Everyone was completely stunned. Like me, they thought he was just messing with them. Eventually though, they realized just as I did, that that was the truth. He was not the person he had lead them all to believe.

And it unfortunately did not end there. He told us all sorts of lies on top of that one, which I wouldn't uncover until much, much later.

Such as the accident he had supposedly gotten into right before moving in with me, where three of his friends died? Never happened. My ex was in a hospital for some reason to be sure, but it was not due to a car accident. Prior to moving to Ohio, he didn't even had a car. His father bought him his SUV specifically for the drive North. You need look no further than his wrist. He said he had to have major surgery to close up a bone-deep gash from the accident, and that's why he was hospitalized. Yet there is no scar.

The house he lived in before moving in to my apartment? Never existed. Up until he moved in with me, he lived in his parents house. The people who we'd hear knocking on his door speaking at him weren't illegal immigrants living in the house until they could support themselves: those were his parents trying to get him to come out of his bedroom and eat meals at the table like a human.

A conversation I had with his sister revealed that he'd never even left his parent's house. Ever. Like, not even to go out to party or whatever. Which incidentally also contradicts his claims of being a bad boy party animal. His life long best friend reaffirmed this information later.

All of his college and military experience? Also lies. He claimed to have served in the army, and was being shipped to Iraq. He also claimed to have a 4 year college degree. He was only 20 when he met me. I'll give you a minute to do the math there. Yeah, it doesn't add up. It's completely impossible for him to have done either of those things, let alone both of them. Especially if you know that he did terribly in high school and therefor definitely did not go to college early.

He did not attend college at all, in fact. Not in Florida, nor in Ohio. Even though the college was 15 minutes from my apartment and my rich family offered to pay his tuition. He was too lazy to go to college for free.

Oh, and his family is not wealthy. In fact they are basically the opposite of wealthy. His mother, father, sister, sister's husband, three nephews and two nieces all live under the same roof. Only two of them have jobs.

The worst lie, I think, is the one he told us all about his brother. First of all, he doesn't even have a brother. Never did. There is not a single photograph in the entire household of this alleged brother who died a hero in Iraq. Because he doesn't exist. Don't you find it curious that he never gives a name to this brother? If my sibling died a war hero I'd mention him by name anytime the topic came up. My house would have his photo framed on the wall out of respect.

Yet my ex never once mentioned this imaginary person's name. And, as previously mentioned, not a single photograph exists of this person. I would know, I sat through hours of family albums at his mother's house. Childhood on through high school, it's always my ex and his two sisters. That's it. This tragedy never took place. The guy never existed. What kind of monster makes up a fictional family member to kill off?

Then there's our business. With funding entirely from my family, we opened up our own computer sales and repair business called Perfect PC. We did well. Or more appropriately, my mother and I did well because my ex would not work if his life depended on it. Yet here my mother is doing extra work on top of her full time career, and here I was doing work for two even though at the time I was physically disabled.

It gets worse. Several of our online friends came to us for business. Fixing their computers or building them new ones. In particular, Dalton, Matt, and Louis. Louis sent us his payment in full and my ex decided not to build him a new computer. Instead he decided to pocket the money for himself. He used it to buy a PS3. He lied and told Louis that the computer must have been lost in the mail. When Louis asked for my ex to scan the receipt from the UPS store, my ex took an old receipt, photoshopped the date and sent it to him. I did not have knowledge of these events right away, or I would not have stood for them.

Louis, trusting my ex, saved up more money and paid for the computer a second time. My ex tried to pocket this money as well only I intercepted it. I bought the parts for Louis' computer and put it together myself. I had my mother ship it to him. If it were not for my intervention, my ex would have stolen Louis' money twice.

He also planned to steal Matt and Dalton's money as well, which is why it took so long for those computers to get built. It only takes at most 45 minutes to build a computer. Didn't you find it odd that it took over 4 weeks to see the end result? I didn't even know the two of them had ordered computers and gave us money until I overheard them discussing it in Ventrilo. Then I FORCED my ex to give me the cash so that I could build and send them their computers. My ex loathed me for this, saying I was being an idiot and if they kept sending us money, it was their faults for being so gullible.

I didn't agree. This was the beginning of the end for me. Finding out the truth about his nonexistent brother brought us to the precipice. Him cheating on me and trying to force himself upon me was the straw that broke the camel's back. The events that followed our break-up prevented us from ever being friends again. Though chances are the events that took place prior to our break-up probably would've prevented us from being friends anyway.

After I finally dumped him he continued to steal money from my bank account. Likely to take his new girlfriend out with since he had no job. I imagine he lied to her as well. Claiming to be wealthy when the $1000 parties he took her to were funded out of my bank account. Stealing money from your ex girlfriend to take out your new girlfriend is real classy. To make it even worse, when I finally retrieved all of my furniture and worldly possessions -- since everything was mine, he stole from me again.

Notably diamond jewelry which my family had gotten me. A heart-shaped ring encrusted with diamonds from my grandfather. A diamond solitaire from my mother. And a diamond necklace my family had given me for Christmas. Chances are he either sold the items or gave them to his new girlfriend, since all of the items stolen were expensive and heart-shaped with the exception of the ring. Which could have easily been converted into an engagement ring. Poor girl.

I wonder if she realizes he begged and pleaded for me to take him back, claiming to only be dating her because she was easy? Probably not.

He also stole my PS3 and one of my computers. Both items he had given to his nephews for their birthdays. Once again giving away other people's property in lieu of actually spending money on anyone himself. Since his nephews could not be considered guilty by association, I let them keep the items.

He tried to keep my cat, claiming that Neelix was his buddy, but I refused to allow that. Which was for the best because after I retrieved my belongings and my cat from Florida, a veterinary evaluation revealed that Neexlix had been horribly neglected. Fleas had eaten away an inch and a half of flesh from the cat's back, which could have been prevented by simply giving the cat a bath. He was severely malnourished, likely not receiving regular meals. And that he had contracted a parasite from being left outside unattended for so long that it nearly killed him. In short, had I not insisted on taking the cat, he would be dead right now.

From here I'm just going to split events into individuals directly impacted by them otherwise it'll be confusing and even longer than it is already. I encourage use of the search feature and typing in your name if you were listed above at all. Unless you are one of these people, the following text won't mean a whole lot to you so feel free to skip it.

Rachel:

This is something that has always bothered me. I want to take a second to sincerely apologize to Rachel.

When I first met my ex, I did not know he was already in an established relationship with her. He had told me that she was just some crazy ugly girl from England with a crush on him and that I should just ignore anything she said to me. Wanting to believe that my ex was not a terrible person, I believed him. Not that she was ugly, but the other things. Girls with unrealstic crushes were nothing new. I should have handled the situation with more skeptisism, though. Rachel was undoubtedly deeply hurt, but I had no idea that I had done anything to wrong her.

Normally we all hung out in voice chat, on the guild's Teamspeak server. To prevent the two of us from speaking to one another, my ex went so far as to set up a totally new Teamspeak server that she did not know about. One by one, everyone else was invited to hang out with us on the new server. Except for Rachel. I did not know she was being purposefully excluded. I thought what he had told me about her was true, and she simply moved on. It wasn't until a few weeks later when Matt accidentally invited her into the new Teamspeak and my ex FLIPPED OUT, that any of us realized something was amiss. That he was purposefully excluding only her.

It was something I did not agree with, and after a lot of talking, I convinced him to stop excluding her. I should have realized something deeper was going on then, but I was young and naive. So once again, Rachel, I am sorry for getting between the two of you. I honestly had no idea. But to be frank, I probably spared you in the long run, considering.

There were a number of things he did to 'spite' her, and even though I had no idea why he needed to spite her at all, I worked endlessly for about two years to make  him stop. Notably removing certain content from a certain site of his because he had no right to upload it.

Kevin:

Kevin was probably my closest friend, starting out. It was in his unexplained absence that my ex and I got together and upon his unexpected return, things went to shit quickly. My ex was convinced that Kevin and I were a thing before him. While we were definitely good friends, we were never a couple. Even when I told him as much, he insisted that Kevin had the biggest crush on me and could not be trusted. I was forbidden from speaking to him.

I really have NO idea why I listened to my ex and agreed that I shouldn't speak with Kevin anymore. I guess it was because Kevin had been gone almost a year and if he could go a year without speaking to me I figured not speaking to him wouldn't be that big of a deal. And maybe it wasn't, but I feel badly about it regardless. My closest friend disappeared without a trace for almost a year and then came back. I wanted to talk to him about everything, find out what happened, celebrate his return. But I couldn't. I respected my ex's wishes and didn't want to make him any more insecure about himself than he already was.

The excuse Kevin gave for his absence was a valid one, however when he wasn't around my ex did everything in his power to invalidate it to the guild. He claimed that rather than what Kevin said happened, that Kevin was simply poor and had run out of money for internet. That Kevin was some loser living in his mom's house without a job or a car and this kind of behavior wasn't abnormal. My ex knew Kevin for longer than I did, so I guess everyone just trusted his word on the issue. We really shouldn't have, though.

He made light of Kevin at every opoprtunity, because he viewed him as his ownly true competetor. Rather than be a friend to him, he was his saboteur. Constantly.

After several noteworthy fall outs between the two, my ex kicked him from the guild and forbade anyone from speaking to him ever again. Like always, I sent Kevin a message and apologized for my ex's behavior and wished him well. This is the last time I'd ever speak with Kevin. My ex began avidly avoiding games he knew Kevin was playing, out of fear that he and I would talk in secret. Why? I don't know. I always mistakenly abided by my ex's ridiculous rules. For that, I am sorry.

 Matt:

There was so much wrong done to Matt that it's hard to know where to begin. I suppose all of the trivial stuff, the times my ex freaked out on him for absolutely no reason and kicked him out of the guild, doesn't truly matter. It was the events involving Matt's personal life and relationships that should be discussed. In particular the situation involving Kioki, who in all honesty would've been good for him at the time.

Kioki was a girl who had joined our guild down the line and showed a serious interest in Matt. My ex, for whatever reason, hated it when chicks took an interest in anyone other than him. Even though he and I were in a relationship and living together by this point. My ex immediately started pulling Kioki aside to speak with her in private. Not even I was supposed to see the things they were talking about. My ex claimed it was plot-related.

Well, it was. Just not role-play related. It was a plot to prevent Kioki from dating Matt. Now this happened countless other times with Matt, Kevin, and Dalton and any number of chicks who showed any of them interest. So I'm not sure why the Kioki situation stands out so strongly in my mind. Maybe it's because the lies being told were so mean?

We were in Florida at the time, and my ex was 'chatting in private' with Kioki about 'the plot' and he thought I had fallen asleep. I was laying in bed, however I was propped up on my elbow reading the screen over his shoulder. He was leading her on, seducing her with lies of fame and wealth. Not only was he leading her on, he was damning Matt with lies. Telling Kioki that Matt still lived at home with his mom, had no money, no job, wasn't going to school, and worst of all that he had gotten herpes from his ex.

The only true statement among those is that Matt was still living with his family. For good reason though. Matt was still young, and going to college. Also, he certainly had a job and definitely had not contracted herpes from his ex.

Almost immediately after this, any potential between Matt and Kioki exploded into ruin and then my ex revealed, probably just to be hurtful, that Kioki was a lying bitch cheating on Matt all along -- with him. Only, she wouldn't have ever considered straying from Matt had my ex not manipulated the situation. The amount of times my ex came between Matt and happiness is beyond count.

Rather than withdraw from socializing out of fear that I would say too much and get in trouble with my ex irl, I should have just told Matt everything. I am sorry for not doing that sooner.

Dalton:

Dalton was like my little brother. He was always saying or doing things that landed him in trouble with people and I was always apologizing on his behalf and setting things right so that he wouldn't get black listed. When Dalton made mistakes like that, it wasn't on purpose. He was just a kid.

My ex hated him, all while claiming to be his buddy. The amount of times he did the things to Dalton that Dalton didn't deserve sickened me, and it was a source of contention between my ex and I for a long time.

He would constantly blow up on Dalton and make the kid feel bad for no reason, and I would always MAKE him get back online to apologize. His treatment of Dalton was, to me, unacceptable. Dalton was the only person thrown out of the guild without real reason more than Kevin. And just like with Kevin, I was always the only reason he was invited back. My ex was a spiteful person and would hold a grudge, justified or not, forever if no one intervened.

There were also instances where my ex would steal girls from Dalton as well, the girl on the webcam from Russia comes to mind. She was an adorable young woman Dalton had met on Stickam and had a budding relationship with. Realistic or not, it made him happy. So when my ex started speaking to the girl in private and convincing her to stray from Dalton, Dalton was understandably hurt. Even more so when my ex had paid the girl to show him her boobs and then took a screenshot, edited out the point that the only reason she did so was because he was paying her. Leading Dalton to the wrong conclusion.

By this point though, I was so far removed from social interaction with the guild that I wasn't even anywhere near my own computer. The constant dickery my ex partook in made it impossible for me to talk to my friends anymore because everything I said contradicted him, and he was abusive to me irl about it. I was not allowed to disagree with him. Ever. Especially not on the internet. I'm sorry to Dalton for not standing up to my ex sooner. I truly should have.

I was only further removed from being in a position to help when my ex made it forbidden for me to be online while he wasn't. Probably because of his guilty conscience as he was messing around with other people behind my back. He didn't want me messing around with anyone behind his. Not that I would ever do something like that. I've never cheated on anyone. I couldn't even play games on consoles that were multiplayer, even if I was playing them single player simply for the possibility that someone may at some point behind his back join my campaign. Yes, it was that absurd.

To be honest, with everything I've been through in my life, the only regret I have is not telling the facts like this sooner.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I haven't gone out for Black Friday sales since high school. I used to go every year with my friend Lindsay and her mom. We made it an event. The night before I would stay the night at her house (after eating Thanksgiving dinner at home). We'd watch E.R. then go to bed only to wake up before the birds so we could make it to the sales first. Back then the crowds were not as crazy as they are now.

I never usually bought anything, though. I just like going. We had fun.

After high school, I stopped going. Lindsay moved away and none of my other friends were girly enough to enjoy the event. As a tomboy most of my friends were either also tomboys or actual boys. So I started hitting up Black Friday deals online. I made some insanely good buys, but it wasn't as fun as actually venturing out into the cold at 6am with coffee and donuts in hand.

This year I decided, "I'm doing it." I conned my mom into going with me as sort of a mother-daughter event. She was very hesitant, she hates shopping, but after several glasses of Bailey's I convinced her to accompany me. To be honest, I was a little hesitant myself. I hadn't gone physically shopping on Black Friday in a long time, and the crowds had not only become bigger and more out of control, they were sometimes so bad people literally got hurt. For instance this year a man died.

Caution to the wind!

When we began the long journey to the mall, I realized it wasn't that bad. Sure there was a little more traffic than normal, but not so bad that it was at a stand still. In fact the trip took only a couple minutes longer than had it been a normal day. Finding a parking spot was the biggest challenge. The lot was packed. We got lucky though, after a few minutes of driving in circles we saw someone exit the store and get into their car. Instant parking spot.

Inside it wasn't that crowded, either. Granted I wasn't looking at electronics -- the most popular items on Black Friday (I have all the electronics I need/want). We did however get stuck behind a hefty man walking slower than snail turd at one point. We had to wait until we got to an area where there were no little shops in the median to go around him because of how large he was. Other than that it was smooth sailing.

I'm glad we went. We had a lot of fun. We ate freshly baked pretzels, drank smoothies, played with puppies. We made a lot of good deals, too. I bought myself several pairs of designer jeans that I normally wouldn't have been able to justify spending money on, some books, and some jewelry. I even convinced my mother to buy some things for herself. I mean really, it's one day a year! Sure there will be other sales, but there is never another time of the year where you can get up to 80% off!

I always had to laugh at people who boycott Black Friday for that reason. Their argument is always that there will be other sales. I mean sure, waiting in line at midnight is a little zealous, sure, but you don't have to wait in lines. I never have. C'mon, willfully bypassing an 80% off sale is like willfully bypassing free money.

"I'm giving away $5000!"
"Oh, no thanks. I would rather not have 5000 more dollars."

Who are you kidding?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who Needs Heat?

My furnace is acting up again. Of course it waits until it begins to snow, right? For the last week or so it's been around 45 and sunny, furnace was fine. Now that it's below freezing and snowy it decides it doesn't want to be a heater anymore. Great time for an identity crisis.

I turn it on and it just hums. After about 30 minutes it begins to smell like gas, or I suppose I should say it begins to smell like the chemicals they put into gas so that you can smell it. So I have to turn it off. I'll call the repair guy but who knows when he'll come. Brrr.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dzi

My grandfather has friends in all sorts of places, and one of them is apparently a Buddhist monk. This of course intrigues me because while I believe the truly devoted of any religion deserve great respect for their faith,  my grandfather has never been a terribly religious man himself and is even typically opposed to organized religion of any sort. So him having a very strictly religious friend caught me a little off guard. This Buddhist fellow, despite all of my grandfather's cynicism gave my grandfather a Dzi bead.

If you're unaware Dzi beads are somewhat of a mystical thing, said to be hugely positive in nature. Lucky I suppose you could say if you really wanted to water it down into layman's terms. Real ones are rare and hard to find, and these days greed has hiked their prices to $500+ dollars a piece. However, you aren't supposed to sell them. I guess because they're considered Dharma objects? Or something along those lines. I could go into more detail but this blog is about a stranger's kindness, not the gift itself.

Anyway, so this man gives my grandfather such a bead, then when he hears about my health troubles, he gives my grandfather another one to pass on to me. I was very humbled by this. What a truly selfless guy. I'll probably never meet him because he lives in Chicago and spends most of his time in China, but according to my grandfather I cannot give him anything in return for the gift anyway except of course gratitude -- which he has.

Just figured I would share this because many people these days are very selfish and do nothing unless it will directly benefit them somehow. But there are still good people out there, you just have to look a little harder sometimes. When you do nice things, it inspires others to do nice things, which will inspire others to do nice things... people just need more inspiration, I think.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Art

I finally got around to downloading the drivers for my scanner so I could scan my sketches. It's been a while since I've scanned anything. In fact my last art upload was just a picture taken with a cell phone. An actual scan hasn't happened since like spring 2007.

So there ya go, everything new, everything old that's newly scanned, everything.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gnashing Insect Teeth

I was bitten by a yellow jacket last week. What are the chances? Several of us sitting on a patio, one pissed off yellow jacket, and I'm the one to get bitten. Not stung -- bitten. Kind of a lucky break, I'm very allergic so if I had gotten stung it'd have been a hundred times worse and I would have had to go to the hospital.

Not that it wasn't still bad. They have trace amounts of venom in their bite, so I did have a reaction. My whole arm felt like it was on fire for about twenty-four hours, then it remained sore for the next three days. The day after I had a horrible migraine headache. Excedrin didn't even dent the pain, and it lasted for seven hours.

I'm doing better now. I have a little bee-sized bite mark on my arm, but it's healing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Down...

I finished my first session of physical therapy on Friday. For range of motion I average about 7 degrees in thumb movement, and only about 27 degrees in wrist movement. This is of course extremely low.

For instance as a comparative test, I had to put several tiny pegs into several tiny holes while being timed, then remove them and put them back into their tiny container. I was able to place and remove all the pegs with my right hand in 16 seconds. It took me 42 seconds to do the same tasks with my left hand. I felt pretty handicapped. At home I had just adjusted to doing everything with my right hand or compromising and using my middle and index finger with the left hand rather than thumb and index finger. I guess since I adjusted over the last 6 weeks I didn't really notice how bad it really really was.

My therapist is worried that I didn't start soon enough and may not regain a full range of motion back, but she thinks she can at least eliminate the pain and give me some more function of the hand. I couldn't have started earlier, though, I was immobilized in a cast/brace earlier. So... yeah.

So what's on the schedule? Well, every day I have to do these little hand motion exercises 10x. Then another exercise that's more focused on just the thumb another 10x. Throughout the day, not all at once. Then on Tuesdays and Fridays I go into the hospital's physical rehab center and do those exercises plus electroshock and dry-whirlpool therapy. Which, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Each session is anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, and yes, pretty boring. I'm stuck trying to idol chit chat with a stranger (though considering I'll see her so much it'll probably be less awkward in a month) while my hand gets electrocuted, or sits in a dry whirl-pool doing finger motions. She is an animal person, though, so at least we have a topic to start out with.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Verdict

Things went pretty well at the doctor's office today. My cast was removed and the results of my MRI were revealed to me. The fracture is pretty much healed now, thankfully. After the scare of it getting worse last time, I was very concerned about it not healing at all. The ligaments are weak and inflamed, but not seriously. So there should be no permanent damage to my wrist, though it still hurts remarkably bad.

I've been put into physical therapy for 30 days, probably starting tomorrow, and on an anti-inflammatory regimen for that whole 30 days of therapy. The goal is to alleviate some of the pain through electrical shock therapy, motion therapy, and probably water therapy -- to increase circulation and heal the damaged nerves. Supposedly that is the cause of my lingering pain. I'm optimistic.

At the moment I can't even move my thumb, at all, and it is a little purple in the nail bed. I'm going to get so owned in Soul Caliber 4 by the time I can finally play it. All of my friends will have had weeks of practice!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Color Purple

I went to dinner yesterday after my MRI and had some chocolate mousse for dessert. I was so full from the actual meal and margarita I had that I didn't think I'd be able to finish the mousse. So the flirty waiter tries to guilt me into eating it all. He's like, "But... I made this dessert especially for you! I'll be here until 1am, so you've got plenty of time to finish it up." All I can think is... lol.

He goes to get our check and I hurry up and scoop my mousse into one of our boxes to take home with me. When he comes back he thinks I ate all the dessert and is like, "Ha! Hive five!" So I high five him, then he runs off and returns moments later with a bright purple balloon tied to a pink ribbon, "It matches your shirt!" he exclaims as he hands it to me.

I'm laughing pretty hard by now, not only because of the situation but because he got me a purple balloon to match my shirt, but what he was actually looking at was my bra... my shirt was black, the bra was purple. I couldn't bring myself to correct him though. It seemed like that would probably embarrass him quite a bit. So we just said our goodbyes, made a hasty exit, and laughed about it in the car.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

2 Hours of Boring

Went in for my MRI today. Had a lot of set backs both prior to leaving and after I finally arrived. Worst of which was the fact that my thumb kept cramping/twitching during the MRI causing the technician to have to start over from the god damned beginning. So I laid there for 35 minutes only to start again from scratch, each scan takes 5 minutes a piece. What's normally a 40 minute process took an hour and 30 minutes.

Finally got out of there and they even remembered to send me home with my films so that I may take them to my radiologist next week. Hopefully they'll find nothing wrong outside of the radius fracture we already know of. We'll see. I'm so tired... yawn.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good & Bad News

My doctor's appointment was this afternoon. I had another set of X-rays done which revealed the good news: my scaphoid is okay. No surgery! This also revealed the bad news: what they suspected was a hairline occult fracture of the radius 2 weeks ago, which should've been significantly better by this time, has revealed itself to be in fact worse now. I have no idea how, I have kept the brace on as told... 24/7 except when showering.

Figures though.

I go for an MRI on the 31st to check for damage to the soft tissue since the injury still hurts so damned badly and there is weakness in the thumb unassociated with the fracture. So, I'll have to keep you posted on the results of that test after it's done and reviewed. For now we're continuing treatment via brace rather than cast, I really don't want to wear another cast allllll summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bloodscalp Innari Is Not Me

It has come to my attention that some crazy fat girl who's a friend of a friend has been posing as me in World of Warcraft -- a game which I have not played in months -- linking sexually deprived men to my myspace page trying to convince them that she is me. Is she that desperate for e-attention?

To make matters worse, she is using my likeness not only to con decent man-folk into giving her virtual money and items in game, but she is using my likeness to con decent man-folk into paying for her subscription, sending her money, and sending her real world items.

So I'll just make this clear here and now: Inari, Innari, or any variation thereof from Bloodscalp is not me, never was me, and never will be me.

Also just for the record boys and girls, I do not use Inari as my ingame name in MMORPGs for obvious reasons. So anyone claiming to be me by that handle is probably either an unattractive girl insecure about her looks, a man, or both.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Testing, Testing 1-2-3

So I had another doctor's appointment concerning my scaphoid this week, they think there may be something wrong outside of the bone damage.

Good news is I got a choice this time between a cast or a 24/7 splint. Naturally I lept at the opportunity to shower normally and took the splint. I have to wear it nonstop, except when showering, for the next 2 weeks until I go back to the doctor's. If I don't keep it elevated and stationary they'll punish me by making me wear a cast for the 2 weeks instead.

If the pain is no better at all in 2 weeks I'll have to get an MRI and/or a bonescan to determine the extent of damage and the possibility that soft tissue was also damaged in the fall. The way my doctor spoke wasn't very comforting. Sounded like she might suspect something went wrong the first time I broke my scaphoid making this injury worse than normal.

Let's hope not. I don't do surgery well. Every time I have had to go under the knife I had the worst possible post-surgery outcomes. For example when I had surgery on my throat I suffered unforeseen side effects from the muscle removal and had to relearn how to speak. With my luck if they need to do surgery on my hand to repair it they'll wind up amputating it.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Deja vu, or Something Like It

This last Sunday I slipped and fell in my kitchen. Ow. Apparently the fridge decided to leak water onto the tile so when I walked into the kitchen my feet were taken out from under me. I decided to just try and sleep it off but this evening I was in more pain than I was earlier and had extensive swelling and bruising on my left arm.

I decided it'd be best to just go ahead and go to the doctor for x-rays, but by the time I got up to go, the local office was closed. Blarg. So I spent a good hour or so in the E.R. instead. Much to my surprise it wasn't busy at all and I got in and out pretty fast.

Turns out I broke the same bone in my arm that I broke 2+ years ago. The Scaphoid. I am currently in a half-cast and will be visiting an orthopedist in about a week for further testing and probably a massive cast, like they gave me the last time I broke that bone... all the way up to my shoulder. Ugh.

Thankfully my spine and tailbone don't appear to have been broken, but I pulled a shitload of muscles along the spine so I'm in a lot of pain.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fond Farewells

My family leaves this morning in about... 4 hours. I'm really going to miss them. We don't get to see each other nearly enough.

My aunt and uncle are such great people. They're so humble and generous with their time and money. Though my aunt has retired she still sees patients simply because they trust her and don't feel comfortable with another doctor. She sees them for a fraction of what they should be paying her, too. Quite possibly the most selfless rich people I know.

And my grandfather, there aren't enough wonderful words to describe him. I've never had a father, but in hindsite: I've never needed one. I've always had my grandpa to count on no matter what. I think he's probably one of the greatest people I have ever known and ever will know. He has seen so much in his life, and his stories are fascinating -- even the illegal ones.

We're all planning on taking a family trip to Ireland in the future to visit "the home land." That will be a remarkable trip. Despite not having a date set in stone yet, I can't wait. To be honest we could be traveling to anywhere and it would be an awesome trip just because we're all together, but Ireland is a place my grandfather has always wanted to take us to.

I should be returning to my regular schedule now, which is quite irregular by normal definition.

Spore: A Preview

For the uninformed, the genius minds behind greats such as The Sims, SimCity, SimAnt, etc. have been working on an entirely new game. Spore. In Spore you begin as a single celled organism and over the course of your play time, your creature evolves to the point where it comes out of the water onto the land. Eventually your creature even begins socializing with other creatures forming alliances, or if it's more your style you can just kill the other packs/herds of creatures.

You'll go from controlling a single creature to a whole society of your creatures, all 100% customized by you along the way at each various stage of evolution. Where is this intriguing game you ask? It's not out yet. But! That doesn't mean you can't have a little fun in the mean time. I got my hands on the Spore Creature Creator a few days early, a little demo that takes you through the basics of creating a creature and lets you give it a test run and see all the little animations your new life form can do. All totally unique to however you design your beast.

I downloaded this at... 2:00am and here it is going on 4:30am and I'm still playing with it. You can't even do much else besides be creative and play around, but it doesn't even matter. It's still fun. I can only imagine how entertaining the complete game will be. So what did I do with my time? I created just a couple creatures to test out. Most notably: Mintoad. As if watching Mintoad hop around and dance wasn't cute enough I discovered a magical button that spawns baby versions of your creature... and they imitate anything they see mommy (or daddy) do.

If you're interested in Spore at all, you should definitely go snag the Creature Creator when it becomes available for public download.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scarce

I'll be scarce from today until Monday because I have family in town visiting. Yay!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So, Age of Conan

AoC is an exciting game to play and is the cause of my absence lately.

Smoothest game (MMORPG) launch I have ever been apart of, despite a couple of issues, and I have been there at just about every launch in the last decade. No crashes, no lag, no roll backs. So now the pros and cons, as always!

Pros:
The game has lovely graphics.
The sound is remarkable. Music, ambience, voice acting, all of it.
The game mechanics are innovative and intuitive.
Combat isn't a complete snore fest.
There is no auto attack.
Instancing alleviates zone lag and crashing.
Quests are group-friendly.
The lore is superb based on the works of Howard.
The game's plot is grade A.
The emotes are amusing and smooth.
Crafting is complex and the rewards are great.
The economy seems heavily player based.
Mounted combat.
The dance system is very unique and fun.

Cons:
Despite the game's lovely graphics, customization is lacking.
The game mechanics make combos slow and ocassionally useless in PVP.
Due to no auto attack I actually have to pay attention all of the time.
Instancing can cause some initial confusion amongst groupmates and guildies.
Also instancing means less people to talk to/kill per area.
There are no custom emotes (currently).
You cannot craft until level 40.
Money is very hard to come by.
There are some glaring class imbalances that have yet to be worked on (most bug-induced).
Dancing isn't friendly to all races/genders. Some people look downright ridiculous.

All in all it's a great game that could use some polish. While it's good now it'll be excellent in a few months once the kinks have been worked out. Even with the current state of the game I'd recommend it, it's fun.

Edit: The game has gotten progressively worst in the months following launch. So much so that the game now has a free-to-play option (with limited classes and races available for free).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another Year +1

So it's my birthday, as of today I'm 1 year older than I was yesterday. Most  people, especially women try to resist the aging process. I embrace it. Maybe it's because I realize I'll always be a child at heart.

You already saw what I got from my mother, the Pantech Duo (phone with keyboard), and she is also repairing my chocobo pocket watch for me.

My grandfather sent me a necklace, I have yet to get any pictures of that though. It's an onyx circle with the Chinese symbol for Longevity on it encrusted with diamonds with a half sphere of red jade in the middle. Very pretty.

Chris is getting me the remake for FFIV on the DS when it comes out. <--- He did not do this, jerk. Which really should have come as no surprise, he never got me anything for my birthday. He'd always make a promise then immediately break it.

Last Sunday we celebrated since everyone had to work on Tuesday. We went out to Rocknes for dinner then came home and had cake and icecream. Yum.

I'd like to thank you all for the well wishes today, those who sent or called them to me. <3

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A New Toy

My birthday is coming up and as most of you know I text message more often than I call people because it’s more convenient for me (someone who can’t hear) to carry on a text based conversation long distance than it is to try to carry on a voice conversation long distance.

This has always been somewhat of a chore for me because my cell phone had no keyboard. So it would take me forever to reach the letters I wanted, often by the time I had typed up my entire reply the person I was replying to would have called wondering why I hadn’t responded.

So as an early gift my mother bought me a dark red Pantech Duo, a cell phone which has a slide out number pad as well as a slide out standard keyboard. This means great things when it comes to my ability to communicate with family members and friends long distance (nonface-to-face). It’ll not only be quicker but less irritating as well.


Other neat things is that it is loaded with Windows and lots of little games, because as we all know I’m a PC solitaire pro. To the max!

When I turned the phone on for the first time I already had 2 text messages from my mom, saying things about how it’ll be easier for us to talk now and other heartfelt motherly stuff. She had set the phone’s background image to an image of the rest of my presents all wrapped up and waiting for me. I actually have to wait until the 15th to open any other gifts, though.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Time, It is Here

It has finally stopped snowing long enough for things to turn green around here.

While I love winter, especially how the snow glimmers under the dim lighting at night... I absolutely adore tulips and they start making their first appearances in the beginning of April after the last flurries have come and gone.

I felt a little bad for the birds, they had flown up from their Winter get away in the South around March 25th, and as soon as they got here they got snowed on. Poor little birdies. To make it worse, they had to have been very hungry.

They are chirping in delight today, the sun is out, it’ nice and mild outside -- probably plenty to eat. They’ll be building nests soon which means only the coolest thing ever: baby birds!

By the way, Crisis Core? Still awesome.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sharp Knives

So, I had a crazy dream the other night. In it I was forcibly put under by some crazy doctor. While I was unconscious the doctor amputated my legs at the knee and attached large knives to them. He then somehow put my feet at the bottom of the knives and connected all the nerves to what of my legs was left.

When I woke up from my drug induced slumber (which had apparently been prolonged enough for my wounds to heal) I jumped up from bed. Of course this caused the large knives where my calves should be to sever my feet, much to my dismay.

I then went about my dream trying to convince people what had happened to me, but no one would believe it.

Yeah...

Crisis Core

I got my hands on a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core a few days early and haven’t put it down except to sleep and bathe.

I know many people had reservations about a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, but I have to say not only was this game done remarkably well, but I think it really does enhance the story and characters in Final Fantasy VII. In other words, it’s not just a money cow for Square-enix to suckle dry. They actually put effort and time into the game, and it’s good.

How good? Really good.

First of all you play as the obscure Zack, Cloud’s mysterious friend from the Shinra Mansion in Final Fantasy VII.

The story is engaging right from the get go. I know some Final Fantasy games can have pretty slow "tutorial-feeling" starts, but this really isn’t the case in Crisis Core. From the moment I hit New Game I felt compelled to continue playing.

The story is not only engaging, but it’s also deep, intricate, complex... all the reasons people loved the plot in Final Fantasy VII. Character’s have pasts, involving pasts. You may mistake them for real people if it weren’t for magic, summons, and the fact that they’re living in a world controlled by a power mongering electric company.

When you run into well known main characters from Final Fantasy VII, it doesn’t feel like a cheap thrill. You actually interact with them and with their help parts of Final Fantasy VII which left you wondering "wtf?" become clear. I for one thought figure heads like Sephiroth for example would just be quick glimpses to keep you playing, but that really isn’t the case at all.

The voice acting is actually top notch. On par with Heavenly Sword, dare I say it. Also the musical score introduces not only many new immersing pieces but also higher quality remakes of some Final Fantasy VII favorites -- but I won’t spoil them for you. You’ll hear them.

Combat isn’t traditional RPG, which I thought was going to bother me. It’s something like Final Fantasy XII but better. Like they finally worked out all th kinks that made you not want to deal with a new battle system. It’s also real time, which makes fights pretty exciting.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up my professional unbiased demeanor! The game has it’s flaws, there just aren’t many.

The combat system, while fun can be a little tiring at times. I play on a fat PSP with my girly woman-hands so sometimes the fast paced battles can leave my hands sore. This would probably be less of an issue if I played on a PSP Slim, so take that how you will.

The combat involves a neat slots type system which randomly grants you bonuses and benefits during a fight, such as no MP cost (all spells are free to cast), or invincibility (immune to damage, obviously). Problem is, as I mentioned it’s random. So you may continuously wind up with useless bonuses, or totally over powered ones depending on the type of things you’re fighting against.

Also there seems to be little rhyme or reason to leveling up. If you get a 777 in the slots, you level up. If you don’t get a 777 in the slots, you don’t. This means sometimes I might level twice or more in a fight then go an hour or more at the same level despite fighting nonstop. Which can be a little annoying if you’d like to level up and breeze through a mission or something.

On the same note, I guess it prevents power levels such as myself from exploiting the system and leveling to 99 before getting to the second boss.

I’ll keep you posted as I continue playing. There’s supposedly over 100 hours worth of game play and I’m only 10 hours in.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1861

My Very Dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we will move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure – or it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. "Not my will, but thine, O God, be done." If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows – when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children – is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death – and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved, and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and the principles I have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on, with all these chains, to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God, and to you, that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard for me it is to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me – perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar - that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, oh Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night – amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell our mothers I call God’s blessing upon them.

O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

- Sullivan
July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

(This was Sullivan’s last letter before his death, it was never mailed.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sigh

I’m sick again. I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night. Chills, upset tummy, headache, fatigue, my eyes hurt, my heart keeps racing, and I have a killer sore throat. I have not had a sore throat since I had my tonsils removed when I was 16! To make it worse my lymph nodes are swollen about 2 inches. Inches! I can barely swallow water, let alone food. How frustrating.

The doctor isn’t sure what is wrong, my influenza and strep swabs came back negative, so they are treating it like the infection is of the lymph nodes themselves just in case. Though the actual diagnosis at the moment is a whole lot of, "I have no idea, you need more tests." I’m on antibiotics, but I’m supposed to call my regular doctor first thing in the morning to have additional tests run as soon as possible. In the meantime, since my official doctor’s office is closed on Sundays, I’m on extra extra strength Tylenol, which for the record is not helping at all.

UPDATE: Wednesday

So I have been sick for about 5 days now, and have just increasingly gotten worse every day. Cannot eat, drink, sleep, stand for long, etc. The original swollen lymph node is about the size of a golfball now and all the others are swollen now, too!

I have been to the doctor twice and the emergency room once. I was tested for Strep, the flu and Mono and all those tests were negative, but my throat and lymph nodes keep swelling and hurting. My doctor took more blood tests but the results of those won’t be back until Friday.

In the meantime she put me on Codiene and Lidocane, but neither helped the pain at all. Strange, eh? So I went a couple of days and continued taking those hoping maybe at some point they would magically kick in and I’d get a little relief and regain the ability to eat and drink -- but no such luck.

Today my doctor was concerned that I’m getting worse and not better so she sent me to another doctor so I could get a steroid shot to try to reduce the swelling fast. It hasn’t started working yet, but here’s hoping it does... This doctor also took me off the Lidocane and Codiene and instead put me on Oxycodone. Since it’s essentially been 5 solid days with no food and very very little to drink.

I was thinking that the oxy would work because it’s way more powerful but it is not taking any of the pain in my throat away. But I have to say I feel pretty damned good otherwise.

If the shot and Oxycodone do not work by tomorrow afternoon they’re talking about admitting me to the hospital. I’m hoping to avoid all of that so at the moment I am painfully choking down some mashed potatoes and sipping hot cocoa even though it hurts like a bitch. Also the tests get back Friday so hopefully we’ll actually know then wtf is causing all this nonsense!

Thanks for the support, I love you guys.

UPDATE: Friday

I spent a long day in the hospital yesterday. They took scans of my throat to make sure that it wasn’t swelling all the way shut or anything. They also did more inconclusive bloodwork and ran an I.V. full of fluids, anti inflammatory medication, and pain medication which actually helped me some! By the time my bag of nutrients was empty I could swallow a little bit again.

It’s a super dangerous medication so they were only able to send me home with 12 pills total. I am cherishing every single pill and eating and drinking as much as I can while the stuff is in me. After they are gone it’d be illegal for them to prescribe me any more, so this is all I get.

They sent me home after making sure I had been thoroughly rehydrated and wasn’t going to suffocate due to the swelling. I didn’t mind though because the pain meds they gave me were actually helping and that was such a great relief. When we got home Chris made me rice with franks and peas, and it was seriously like the best food I had ever tasted in my life. First time I’ve really eaten in about a week or so.

His kindness and usefulness would be short lived however, and I'd wind up trying to cook and clean for myself when I'm supposed to be on 24/7 bed rest because he's a selfish ass.

Today I went back to see my official doctor to see what my test results said. I hadn’t told anyone, cause I didn’t want anyone to worry until we knew for sure, but the first time I was in the Emergency Room the doctors there thought it could very well be Cancer. Which was a little much to swallow. I’d been worrying all week about it, as I’m sure my mother has as well since she was the only other person who knew.

Thankfully -- it’s not Cancer. It’s a very serious case of Mono. My lymph nodes are all swollen, my liver is swollen, my brain is swollen and my spleen is swollen and she says that this is just the tip of the iceburg since it’s just the first week.  I was so happy to hear her tell me that, she was a little surprised. Usually no one is happy to hear they have an illness that is going to take 3 to 5 months to be rid of, but it sure the hell beat having Cancer!

The curiosity is where in the world I managed to get Mono from. No one I know is sick with it or has been sick with it or anything like it. Chris isn’t sick and he’s the only one I’m that close to. He must be a nefarious carrier. Mono isn’t exactly easy to get outside of direct bodily fluid exchange. You would literally have to inhale a fresh sneeze to catch Mono from a passer-by.

So there you have it. I’m not supposed to leave the house unless going to a doctor’s appointment for the next 6 weeks and I’m supposed to stay in bed pretty much all of that time. Bring on the sleep!

UPDATE:
It’s been a few weeks now. I’m still sick, but it’s no where near as terrible as it was when I first posted about it. I still run a low grade fever, have body aches, head aches, fatigue, a little bit of a sore throat and localized pain from the swollen lymph nodes/spleen/liver. But I’m not completely miserable, like I had been.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Case You Haven't Noticed

My hair is completely different now. I've gone back to Black. I also had it cut much differently than before.


I was a little nervous about having it cut but now that I have, I'm happy I did. Despite looking more complex than hair that's all one length (long), it is actually a lot easier to style and manage. It still has some length to it, but I usually keep it tied back for that sleek angular look.

I know Morgan will probably hate it, she was so happy I had went blond last Summer. Sorry sis! I can't help but do the unexpected.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not Just Easy, Cheap Also

So I went to Game Stop the other day and made a gem of a purchase: Rune Factory for the DS. It's like Harvest Moon, with a little extra. There's a little more story going on (albeit not much more) and along with general agriculture you can also adventure into caves and do battle with monsters. The greatest thing though, is the fact that instead of killing the monsters, you can choose instead pet them into submission and they will join your team to either farm alongside you, or kick some ass with you.

If you're a fan of Harvest Moon games at all, this is one you definitely need to own. If not, I would still recommend it to you. It's fun and pretty addicting once you get into it. Sometimes I'll sit down for a short stint and wind up playing for hours.

The stylus is implemented flawlessly making the gameplay simpler than your typical d-pad, a, b, x, y control scheme. You can use the stylus to kind of auto assign tasks to things. So instead of busting out your cheap hoe and walking 1 square at a time mashing the B button you can just click on areas of the field you want cultivated and go to town using the stylus.

My only "beef" is that until you skill up your attributes enough in the various areas you'll be repeating day-to-day you're going to find yourself running out of energy and having to throw in the digital towel early on an ingame daily basis. Also every now and again a typhoon will destroy all of your hard work in the fields. The last 3 crops I have planted in my fields have all been destroyed by typhoons meaning you're sort of forced into cavern planting, which while enjoyable means you have to travel back and forth to water your plants and harvest them.

Other than that, everything about this game is well thought out and very fun to play. I give it 4 pimp slaps out of 5.