Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Miss Snark has another contest

I entered Miss Snark's Red Letter Writing Contest, which was a lot of fun, but I have no chance of winning, because this entry is beyond wonderful. To fully appreciate it you should read this post first. And really if you are up on the twenty worst agents, that will help also.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I took Cam to the doctor today to get his cast off. I spent an hour and a half on the phone and an hour and a half of extra driving to get him a referral for his new insurance, only to find the ortho didn't accept his new insurance so it was cash again, $122, bringing the total care for his broken wrist/arm to almost a thousand dollars. Sigh.

Then we went to the library to pick up John Didion's Year of Magical Thinking, which I requested back in March, only to find out we were at the wrong library. Totally pwned by everything today.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

John M. Ford's memorial

The memorial and wake were yesterday, at two local time. I spent the day kind of dreading two o clock, wishing I had been able to go, just getting sadder and sadder. No matter how often I tell myself that it's ridiculous to be this upset when I only ever met him in person that one weekend, I still feel stricken.

We donated to the endowment at the library. I don't know what else we can do or what else there is to say beyond that I'm not the only person who still thinks they might run into him somewhere, either online or in the tactile world.

Hoping for a migraine

Most of the time I manage to ignore exactly how much having PTC and this clotting disorder has negatively impacted my life. So okay, I can't walk more than about a block and I can't stay out of bed all day without getting sick and having really swollen legs and I had to give up acting, but I manage to work from home (no sick days all year!!) and keep the family going so I like to think I'm not doing so poorly.

But this evening I'm sitting here and I realize I'm actually praying to God that I have a migraine.

I've got such a rotten headache that I took two tramadols (normally I take nothing) on top of a Ponstel and then about an hour later I had to take some phenergan cough syrup. I'm ridiculously medicated but still feel horrible, spacy and in pain and nauseated and feeling like things are just wrong. If someone told me I had slipped into another dimension I would just think, okay, maybe that explains it.

So I'm hoping this is a migraine. If it is and I can fall asleep then I'll feel better tomorrow.

But maybe it's not.

I went back to see Dr. Rismondo, my eye/brain doctor on Wednesday and she was delighted to see that my optic nerves are totally flat. This was welcome news indeed because I cut my dose of Diamox in half when I was diagnosed with diabetes, because one of the side effects is blood sugar spikes and drops. So after six weeks of half a dose of Diamox my eyes look great, superb news.

As a result she decided this would be a good time to try weaning myself off the Diamox completely. So yesterday I stopped taking it.

Today I've got a horrid headache. Increased cranial pressure or migraine? I'm hoping for migraine.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Have you seen these? They're lovely.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Eight Sense

I get spam from dead people.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And the elderly shall walk the earth

Cullen and I just came back from dropping books off at the library. In an effort to get there and get back in a reasonable time so he could go to sleep and still get up at 5:30 I looked at a map and found the closest branch to us, which I shall not name. It's one I think of as the poor, neglected branch of the system, in a neighborhood that doesn't seem to have a lot of readers.

The library itself is kind of creepy and queerly designed. It's got a ramp in the back so you can get up the stairs if you're in a wheelchair but it looks like it wasn't so much designed as thrown together by a couple of drunken brother-in-laws over a three day weekend.

The book drop is at the other end of the building so Cul walked around while I drove up to meet him, half expecting someone with a chainsaw to leap out of the bushes or from behind one of the odd little niches built into the library. Nobody attacked up but we passed an elderly woman, who was standing in the median strip on Route 2, just kind of staring.

Now mind you, I think that if you want to stand around in the middle of the road at ten at night in the cold that's your lookout and I'm not going to tell you not to but it was decidedly odd. Then, a few minutes later, we passed another elderly woman, wearing pink, walking along Millersville road. I debated stopping and asking if she needed a ride but I didn't want to scare her and she was walking along at a pretty good clip so I didn't.

I don't know, most of the pedestrians around here are kids who go to the middle or the high school. Elderly women are pretty rare. Two in one night is a first. So there is only one conclusion I can come to. Zombies. Yep, it's started and old ladies are the first to be affected. This should prove very interesting.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Why are you telling me?

Chris went back up to New York today, taking the Chinatown bus as is his wont. To get there we take the Harbor tunnel and end up at the travel plaza. Today we were passing this bridge, or overpass, I haven't paid that much attention, right before the toll booths, and we saw a man standing on the side of the bridge.

He had a large, stuffed to the brim, backpack and had climbed up onto the wall, no car in sight, and was standing on the edge, looking towards the sun, shading his eyes. He certainly didn't look like he worked there so we decided to tell the person at the tollbooth what was going on. We didn't know if he was suicidal, preparing to blow up the bridge, was a daredevil, or had some legitimate reason to be there but we figured if we alerted the toll booth attendant she could tell us if he was meant to be there and take some action if he wasn't meant to be there.

The only problem is that she didn't want to know. When Chris told her she mumbled something and finally said, "The police will take care of it." Chris asked if she was going to call the police and she said no, we should do that. He pointed out we didn't have a phone and as we were about to drive through a tunnel and were on a major highway didn't really have a hope of getting to a phone. She said we needed to find a phone and report it if we wanted it reported. I was starting to look round because sometimes there are police cars parked at the tollbooths but then a man with some kind of badge came into her booth and when Chris told him that a man had climbed up onto the side of the bridge with a backpack he said he would notify someone.

It was so damn weird though. She was almost violent in her apathy, her refusal to do anything at all about it. I'm sure they've got some kind of alarm they can sound in their booths, how hard would it have been to just pass the problem along to someone else? Very queer and disturbing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Things to do today

1) Blood test

2) Math test

3) Return Cam's tap shoes and get a better size

4) Capclave!!

5) Pick Chris up from the bus station so he can go to Capclave with us tomorrow

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I wonder how many people know this

I was just reading this page about probate and inheritance in Maryland was astonished to read this.

"How will my estate be distributed if I die without a Will?"

IF THE DECEDENT IS SURVIVED BY: (...) 12. No living heirs or step-children-If decedent was a recipient of long-term care benefits under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program at time of death, net estate is paid to Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Otherwise, the net estate is paid to the Board of Education.

Why? And why the Board of Education? How did that happen? What if you hated kids? This is just boggling to me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Did someone remove the don't?

I took the boys out for dinner tonight, following a trip to the dance store to get Cam some tap shoes, and as we were walking through the parking lot I saw a bumpersticker that said:

Support freedom
Vote Republican

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Good golly

I was working on my column this evening when Cullen turned on Gravitation for me. If you don't know what that is, I would define it as yaoi, or boy on boy anime or manga. You can catch the first season on the Anime Network right now. Before Cul got me started on the series I didn't quite get the attraction of yaoi, which is just as popular with young Japanese girls as is it with gays. But within five minutes of the first episode I was hooked.

It's funny, sexy, emotional, action-packed and I love the art in the first few episodes. As I watch more anime I am more and more taken with certain conventions, like chibi, showing characters as children when they get excited insecure, getting in touch with their inner children so to speak. Gravitation is also the first show I've seen that shows the characters as animals, for instance Shuichi Shindou, the pink-haired 19-year-old hero of the show, is very emotional and has been portrayed as a cat and a puppy. It's a charming conceit and really lets you know how the character is feeling.

I feel a strong affinity for Shuichi, he's kind of a dork but means well and wears his heart on his sleeve. He's super emotional, as am I, and often gets himself into trouble because he acts without thinking through the consequences.

He's in love with a guy called Yuki Eiri, a romance writer who could almost have walked out of the pages of a Bronte book, he broods, he's got a mysterious dark past, he's about a half a foot taller than Shuichi, he's constantly fighting his love for Shuichi and quite frankly I don't know what Shuichi sees in him. Maybe he's a challenge, he certainly makes for interesting times.

The emotions are palpable in this show, Shuichi's eyes are so big and liquid that sometimes it actually hurts me to look at him. I imagine that to a young girl watching the show is a way to experiment with emotions in a totally safe way; after all these boys are not going to be interested in her so if she does have feelings she's not comfortable with she's certainly not going to have to act on them.

After the show was over I finished my column and then I went online looking for video of Cam's group singing It's Raining Men from last week. I didn't find it but I did find this, an X-Files video set to the song. It's got Mulder, Krycek and Skinner, running around and beating each other up. Don't try and tell me watching video can't be an aerobic workout.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Show Must Go On

Cam broke his ulna on Wednesday and did his musical review at the high school tonight. He had to limit some of his dancing; no slides or anything that might make him fall on the arm and worsen the break, and I kept waiting for him to clock someone in the head with his cast during one of the more energetic numbers but he did great.

The show was lots of fun and there are a couple of kids that I predict will do very well when they get out of school.

The boys did a particularly nice job with "It's Raining Men," which they did in drag. It was teh awlesome.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bizarre phishing scheme

I get bombarded every day with phishing schemes and I delete most of them without even reading them. Today I opened one supposedly from paypal and was horrified to see that the link goes to http://www.islam.gov.my/xxxxxxxxxxxx

I don't know what a dot my extension means but I'd like to know why this conman pretends to be representing the nation of Islam. Is this not really an attempt to get personal information and really a scam designed to stir up even more hatred against Muslims? I mean really, wtf?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

See that line? It's not supposed to be there.

Continuing our string of misfortune someone knocked Cam down in gym class and broke his wrist. We just got back from the urgent care ($306 for those keeping track) and I have to take him to the orthopod on Monday or so. He's got a fiberglass splint which is doing a nice job of keeping the pain to a minimum.

My wrist is still causing me a great deal of pain and know it hurts to type with the middle finger on the same hand.

Cullen's sprained neck is getting better.

And I wrote my column in the urgent care. Sometimes I think we deserve some sort of medal for just getting through the day and getting all of our obligations met.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What the hell kind of present is this?

Dr. McNinja celebrates his one year anniversary how?


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

W00t! No longer the only blog in the known universe with no cat picture!

I don't have a camera (or a cell phone) so I can't post a picture of one my own cats, however my dear friend Kevin is kindly filling in for me by letting me run this image of his kitty called Olive. She's in a radiant mood. (Sorry.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

ATTENTION US MILITARY PERSONNEL originally Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:05 AM

You are not required to obey an unlawful order.

You are required to disobey an unlawful order.

You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The Constitution states (Article VI):

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Here is article 3, the common article, to the Geneva Conventions, a duly ratified treaty made under the authority of the United States:

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is straightforward and clear. Under Article VI of the Constitution, it forms part of the supreme law of the land.

You personally will be held responsible for all of your actions, in all countries, at all times and places, for the rest of your life. “I was only following orders” is not a defense.

What all this is leading to:

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, it is your duty to disobey that order. No “clarification,” whether passed by Congress or signed by the president, relieves you of that duty.

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, this is what to do:

1. Request that your superior put the order in writing.

2. If your superior puts the order in writing, inform your superior that you intend to disobey that order.

3. Request trial by courtmartial.

You will almost certainly face disciplinary action, harassment of various kinds, loss of pay, loss of liberty, discomfort and indignity. America relies on you and your courage to face those challenges.

We, the people, need you to support and defend the Constitution. I am certain that your honor and patriotism are equal to the task.

This post may be quoted in full. A linkback would be appreciated.

Someone at the fortune cookie factory ran out of words

My fortune just said "Have a beautiful day."

Let's see, I sprained my hand and typing hurts so very quickly:

I donated twenty bucks to John M. Ford's endowment at the Minneapolis Library, not a lot but then we don't have a lot to spare.

Speaking of not having a lot, my ex dropped the kids' health insurance while swearing under penalty of perjury that he was paying more than a thousand dollars a month in COBRA payments to keep them insured so that I by the time I found out he had perjured himself it was too late to add the boys to my health insurance.

Which means that when Cullen passed out yesterday and injured his neck we had no health insurance and heavens knows how much the ER visit was, or indeed how much his needed trip to the cardiologist and Holter monitoring is going to run us...

And Uncle Jim wrote something very important that everyone who is in the military should read. I'm going to copy and paste into a new post.

We went to see Neil at a reading for Fragile Things on Friday which was very nice. I had a chance to talk to DanGuy, who was doing something wonderful. He had bought every copy of Mike's books that were at the used book stores and handed them out at the reading to those waiting.

I tried to thank Neil for having Fiddler's Green because otherwise we would never have been able to meet Mike in person but I started crying and stuttering and couldn't talk - I think he still figured out what I meant, he was awfully nice, holding my hands until I could get my breath and he didn't seem to think I was a total overly emotional idiot...

Politics and Prose was extremely helpful to me when I emailed them to say I had concerns about attending the reading in the new venue. Michael Link, the ops manager reserved seats for us and minimized any walking I had to do.

I can't recall if I mentioned that the Johns Hopkins doctor said that it sure looks as though the IVC filter has filled up with clots and that's why I have so much trouble standing or walking, the blood is not circulating. Bummer but at least having a reason for it made me feel a little better. The new plan is to try swimming three times a week as he says I just plain won't be able to walk, treadmill, bike, or run like a normal person.

The event at Politics and Prose was the first time that I asked someone for help with my increasingly annoying disability and it worked pretty well.

I'm thinking of going ahead and applying for handicapped plates - yesterday it was quite difficult getting Cullen to the ER, parking and walking by myself from the parking lot without fainting. Then pushing him in his wheelchair with my hand sprained was kind of a comedy of errors. Oh love, how entertaining it all is.