Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Spanish Inquisition

Nobody expects it.

In a little less than 7 hours, I will begin the journey South to fetch my belongings from Florida. Finally. Finally. What a weight off my shoulders. It will be a long drive, around 24 hours total. Though, we'll be breaking in Georgia to eat and sleep so all in all the trek will probably round out around 30 hours or more. That'll put us there on Monday.

I bought a bunch of snacks for the road. Banana nut muffins, blueberry muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, Bavarian creme doughnuts, Sunchips, pistachios, and jerky amongst them. I'm sensing a little bit of a theme there. Also orange juice, since I'll be rising at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I'll end this paragraph there before I am forced to think about how very little sleep I'll be getting tonight.

Here's a little run down of the ideal schedule. I'll probably do more than just these things of course, but these are what falls on the "to do" list. The entirety of Monday will be spent wallowing around in the hotel's queen size bed or even better, the hot tub. This'll be a day devoted to recovering from sitting for so damned long.

Tuesday I meet with the Seminole tribe folk who moved all of my possessions out of the house it was in and into storage. Whatever will fit will be loaded into the SUV and driven back up North when I go. Likely all my personal boxes, dishes, consoles, computers, and cozy computer chair. The other furniture will remain in storage until the Seminole find buyers for it or I get my place.

If I sell it I don't have to worry about moving it all the way from Florida to Ohio and can use the money to instead just buy all new furniture that I don't have to move hundreds of miles. If I don't sell it I retain my comfortable over-sized furniture but have to spend money without having made any getting it to wherever. Logically the previous is the better idea, but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday is vacation day! I do absolutely nothing of importance all day and just bum around pool side sipping fruity alcoholic beverages with little umbrellas in them.

Thursday I have to go to the house in Clearwater and personally pick up a few odd ends that were left behind, but most importantly I have to go there to get my cat. The fabled Neelix! I can't wait. I'm actually looking more forward to being reunited with my cat than I am looking forward to having all my stuff back. Anyone who has met him knows why though.

He's a great cat.
Friday, bright and early we begin the drive back up, stopping once somewhere along the way for food and sleep again. We should be safely back in Ohio with Neelix and everything else by Saturday sometime. I probably won't have a lot of time on the internet while down there, but I will have my cell phone with me. You know what that means! My mom will send me daily picture texts of my goldfish every time she goes to feed him.

Toodles land of ice and snow.
I'll miss you most of all, internets.
Florida, watch out, here I come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Some people spoil their kids. Some people spoil their dogs. I spoil my goldfish: Gobi Gaara. While out the other night I decided to pick up some fabric plants to replace the plastic one he had. Not only are they more visually attractive, but cloth is far gentler on passing fins and scales. Then I decided to upgrade his house from a half gallon tank to a five gallon aquarium, complete with filter. That's right, it's no longer Gobi House. It's Gobi Manse.

1.5 inches of pure awesome.
Happy goldfish is happy.

Whoever said you can't buy friends is mistaken, as I also bought some friends for Gobi Gaara. So he wouldn't be sitting here on my desk in a big aquarium all by his lonesome while I'm out of town. The plan was five neon tetras and a cory cat.

As an aside, neon tetras are a community fish, and should always be kept in small schools.

That said, I wasn't planning to put all five in Gobi's manse. I was donating two of them to my mother's tank. She used to have a small school of neon tetras herself, but lost all but one over time. So that one tetra was a nervous mess. Buying five tetras would give us each a school of three. However, when the clerk went to fish out five tetras she ended up scooping up six tetras and a ghost shrimp. Rather than try to put them back, she just gave the extras to me. No charge.

While five gallons is a considerable size it's still not that big, so I gave the extra tetra to my mother for her tank. I had not noticed, since her tetra had been the only one for so long, that its colors had faded so much. In comparison to the newly introduced fish, he was rather bland. Probably from the stress. Within ten minutes of being part of a school again, his coloring improved and he quit hiding under a rock.

Friendly tetras are friendly.

I then brought the rest of the fish to Gobi's manse and dumped them in. He had been all by himself for quite a while and wasn't sure what to make of the situation at first. Kind of peeking out at the new comers through the soft leaves of the plants before coming out to investigate. The three neon tetra formed their little school, the ghost shrimp played hard-to-see on the rock, and the cory cat took to whiskering about the pebbles for food.

Much to my surprise, my favorite newcomer was the ghost shrimp. The addition who ironically wasn't even on my list to begin with. He was very active, scooting about with his swimmerets and picking bits of algae off the rock cave. Gobi Gaara accidentally picked him up a couple of times and spit him back out, mistaking his hard exterior for a pebble. Pretty amusing relationship between the two.

I was even more surprised when after about thirty minutes the ghost shrimp decided it was time to shed his exoskeleton. As soon as I noticed he had done it, the thought entered my mind, "I hope Gobi doesn't accidentally suck him up again." Because, if he had been soft that first time it happened, he'd have been gone. He was practically invisible, though, and it was unlikely anyone would see him before his skin hardened into a new shell...

Ghost shrimp is a ghost.

I was wrong. Less than five minutes after he had shed, while I was musing the idea of naming him Benjamin Linus, the cory cat caught him by his head and sucked out his brains. Like a zombie. I should have known better. Ben always gets his ass kicked. Less than five minutes after that the cory cat had devoured his entire body. Ten minutes after that he had found Ben's old protective shell, and decided to eat that too. In under twenty minutes it was as if the ghost shrimp had never existed at all.

Perhaps he was merely living up to his namesake and will now haunt Gobi Manse. The only thing cooler than a mansion is a haunted mansion, after all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Something Amazing, Other Things Not So Much

I noticed something funny today while packing last minute for Florida. It's this: when I want to go someplace I am ready in advance. When I am going some place I either have little or no interest in going, I delay packing as long as I can.

For instance, while I am only just now packing for my journey South, which takes place tomorrow at dawn -- I already have things packed for my trip West which isn't even until next Month. In fact, I booked my flight and started packing for that in the end of January.

As if being ready will make time speed up. Then of course being unprepared will slow time down.

Update: I just got a call. Due to my travel companion being summoned to jury duty my journey is being delayed until next weekend. Maybe there is some sort of magic to my method. Though, I was kind of looking forward to finally getting this over with tomorrow.

On a side note, this is the second person I know who has been summoned to jury duty this week. And neither of them live in the same state. I think the government may be selecting you guys to serve your civic duty off of my friends list. You've been warned!

In other news (such a subtle transition), something amazing happened today. I was expecting a gift on the 18th that UPS reportedly delivered on the 16th. Though there was no box on my porch, nor notice about having missed a package. UPS delivered it to the wrong address.

Bummed but determined, I went on a Box Hunt. Trudging through 4 feet of snow with a flashlight, I checked the empty for-sale house to the right of mine and asked the neighbors living on the left of my house and across the street if they had perhaps gotten it. No luck. In fact the old couple across the street, who do little but stare out their huge picture window at the passing traffic all day reportedly hadn't even seen a UPS truck. The package was reported as missing, but naturally the UPS delivery guy swore he delivered it to the right place.

Just when hope had pretty much flown the coup on the matter, a visitor shows up. I peek out of the window and see some car in the driveway I don't recognize. I open the door regardless, armed of course with 4 dogs and a canister of mace in my pocket, and it's some timid-looking man with a box.

He lives way way down the street, pretty much where you first turn onto it (no where near the right address), and had come to deliver my unopened package that had been incorrectly delivered to him. What a nice guy!

In most places I've been, while people won't tamper with mailed envelopes, receiving an incorrectly delivered package was almost always considered fair game. Despite both being illegal. I guess the temptation of a whole box of something is just too great for most people. Thus the amazement.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Dream of Breathing

My doctor appointment was this morning, bright and early. Results of my blood work and sleep study, finally. The doctor was running almost 40 minutes behind schedule because he had a med student observing for the day. I always bring a book with me and never have time to read it when I go there, it would figure this would be the one time I did not bring a book to read and ended up waiting the longest.

The results of the blood work were pretty reassuring. The vaccine raised the appropriate antibodies from 2/14 to 10/14, which while not 100% is a significant boost. I was super happy about that. The sleep study results were a little surprising to everyone: Sleep Apnea +  something else. Though, because of that the med student's eyes lit up like a puppy about to receive a treat.

It's somewhat amusing because the moment I walked into the sleep study, my nurse commented how unlikely it was that I would suffer from Sleep Apnea due to my height to weight ratio and age. Yet during REM sleep, I quit breathing over 21 times. Per hour. Before and after REM sleep I quit breathing at least 7 additional times. Per hour. Each pause in breathing has to last for at least 10 seconds in duration to to be counted as an apnea. Less than 5 lapses per night is considered normal, between 5 and 15 is considered mild, 15-30 is moderate and anything above 30 is severe. For a person of my physical description to have as many as 21 during REM sleep alone is boggling.

This means I have a some underlying medical problem. It's not the typical case of OSA where Fatty McFatfats needs to lay off the Burger King for a while.  It's a rare case of CSA. Several ideas were put on the table, but nothing conclusive. I'll be seeing yet another specialist, bringing my health team to five now, either before or after my California trip. The dude's schedule wasn't available, so I have no idea when I'll be any closer to answers. We'll see.

The idea that I am least restful while dreaming is kind of intriguing because I have such vivid, memorable, consistent dreams. Or at east my brain believes it does.

In other news, the Seminole went and retrieved all of my worldly possessions from the Clearwater house this afternoon. Though there was a *miscommunication regarding Neelix... so I'll have to go pick him up myself once I'm down there. Not a huge deal, though it means more driving than planned. I head down this Saturday. That's less than a day from now. I should probably pack, but I'm openly procrastinating.
*By 'miscommunication' I mean, 'my ex is a mean bitter little man.

More than anything else, I will be most happy when I can hug my cat again. While I miss having access to all of my stuff, I really really miss eating cookies with a lap full of Neelix and getting crumbs all over him.

In anticipation I present a classic Neelix moment:

This can't be comfortable.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

All of the love.
Happy Valentine's Day, special internet friends. I received a thoughtful card with a bouquet of tulips (my favorite) and lily-of-the-valleys from my special someone. It's funny how he can make me feel loved from 3000 miles away.

Have fun, everyone. I hope you all feel loved too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Olympics, Also Puppies

The Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympics just concluded. It was... interesting. When Great Britain's athletes came out it looked like an invasion force, since most other countries up until that point only had like 1-6 athletes and then they emerge with 50. I thought that was funny.

Acts varied from honoring the native tribes to tap dancing violinists wearing a lot of plaid, which was apparently inspired by a tavern and really potent alcohol (their quote, not mine). Oh, and Mounties. Towards the end a technical difficulty left the torch bearers standing around smiling for longer than planned, which incidentally was also funny.

Once that was sorted out, Wayne Gretzky ran his torch outside to the official outdoor cauldron. He didn't run very far though before they loaded him into the back of a truck and drove him to the cauldron site. My only conclusion is that Wayne Gretzky is too cool for running, which is hard to contest. He is pretty cool.

Tomorrow, after a 6 hour drive, this happens:

No words. Just cuteness.
I'm going to try my hand at training this puppy so that when it comes time for me to train my own puppy as a Hearing Assistance Dog, I'll have a little experience with it. The practice puppy, if you will! This is my mother's new pet by the way. Not mine. Just to clear that up. I just have a goldfish and a cat, personally. Much to my dismay you can't train an assistance goldfish.

Olympics = Amusing. New Puppy = Adorable.
Goldfish = Too small for a vest.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have a confession to make which some of you may find shocking. You may not understand. Some may not want to understand. Some of you may not agree. You may point fingers, cast stones, look down your noses and make that strange "tsk" sound in my general direction. Even so, you have the right to know, and I am going to tell you.

When there are only a few slices of bread left, I sneak fresh bread out of the whole new loaf to make my sandwiches with.

This means someone else gets stuck using the unwanted remains of the previous loaf. I realized this last night while preparing a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Before I knew what was happening, I was removing the brand new loaf of bread from the cupboard and taking slices from it, rather than the already opened loaf with three remaining slices.

Judge me as you will, internet, it was a delicious sandwich.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Too Long (That's What She Said)

It was brought to my attention by a handful of you that I had not written a blog in, "too long." I wrote one on like, the 2nd, so I can only conclude that seven days is too long to go without updating for some of you. I'll try to keep that in mind and be more accommodating, but you have to understand, sometimes I just have nothing to say.

Rare trait for a woman, I know!

I have an appointment with the hospital labs today to get blood drawn for my upcoming doctor appointment on the 18th. Checking nutrient levels and vaccine responses, etc. This means a day of fasting. Unfortunately Ohio is under snow, so I may not be able to make it to the lab tonight. Meaning I'll have to fast tomorrow too. Or every day until 6pm, until I make it out there.

It is time to clean the fishbowl now. Gobi Gaara has such pleading puppy-dog eyes when he wants something.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Previously On...

Lost returns tonight.
Are you prepared? I've got an array of beverages and snacks lined up, a lap full of sleeping Odin (the cat, not the god), the lights out, and my laptop just in case. The only thing left to do is wait. Impatiently.