Fail weekend

Whoops. My inner blonde showed up this weekend. Eddie Izzard wasn't this past Saturday, it's this upcoming Saturday.

Internets failed - the boyfriend and I made the call and we're switching ISPs soon.

My allergies went nuts after I bathed and pedicure-a-fied our guinea pig. Coughing ensued.

Successes included getting a *lot* of work done and watching too much TV. It looks like I may be caught up by the end of this week. Maybe. Hopefully. :)


Overspecialization Leads to Weakness

Then again, without specializing enough, I'll never feel like an expert.

Or maybe it's better to know enough about a lot of things to be able to coordinate/oversee/lead the experts. Then I won't get bored/stuck.

Maybe I could be an expert at that.

Hmm ... possibilities!


Ah maaaaan!

I may be looking forward to Valentine's Day, but it just clicked in my little brain that I have to *plan* something for it.


Paintball maybe? Bowling? Princess-Leia's-gold-bikini-clad ninjas?


Good things

Sometimes focusing on the good things can help diminish bad feelings, so:

- I'm very much looking forward to Valentine's day AND Chinese New Year in San Francisco (cause time with my family is awesome!)

- I'm going to see Eddie Izzard this weekend. Score.

- My mom's website makeover is almost done (once I figure out how I want to handle the "gallery" page).

- I'm not coughing up a storm. I had the flu for about two weeks and it seems it has finally cleared up.

Deep Breaths

I'm trying not to get annoyed, but I'm failing at it. Here's my attempt at venting.

- I tried not to get annoyed when I found an abandoned cereal bowl in my apartment that appeared to be full of dry cereal, but when I reached in to wipe it out, my hand sunk into days old milk-turned-yogurt.

- I tried not to get annoyed when, after the milk-turned-yogurt hand dipping incident, I got into my car to discover someone had used Armorall formulated for dashboards on the inside of the windshield (which is gooey, blocks your vision, and is hard to get off).

- I tried not to get annoyed with the democrats (though I still <3 Obama).

- I tried not to get annoyed when three different people cut me off on my morning commute.

- I tried not to get annoyed when someone stopped by my office to ask for my help, then attempted to berate me for not knowing who it was they were here to see. Considering I didn't make the appointment for them (since scheduling is not part of my job), I don't have access to the appointment books for all of the many people in my building, and I'm not a study recruiter, I had no real obligation to go out of my way to help the guy in the first place.


Bedroom redecoration: Phases 1&2

Phase one is planning, but that is pretty much ongoing until I'm done. Ish. I don't think I'm good at being "done" with a room.

Anyway, last night I dropped by Target and picked up a few items:

1) Mattress topper. For some reason, our swanky sleep number bed has become quite lumpy. This thing was an awesome investment. Lumps = gone.

2) Lamp 1. I need to figure out if I'll use this in the bedroom, or if I'll yoink a lamp from the living room and put this in its place.

3) Lamp 2. Very simple. Also might be switched out for living room lamps.

Now to figure out where I want to put these guys.

Other potential plans (always subject to change):

- Keep the current duvet cover and find a textured purple throw and some purple pillows (you can see a small glimpse of our blue striped duvet here):

- Stop thinking about just getting totally new bedding (too expensive):

That counts as a greyish lavender, I think. In the purple family.

- Deep purple curtains
- Dark brown bamboo roman shades
- Paint?! Maybe?!

I have to keep in mind, of course, that I want to move in about a year. I don't want to sink a ton of money into something that's going to change so soon. For all I know, our new place won't lend itself to any stuff we buy now.


"The bedroom is kind of oppressive"

That's not what I want to hear my boyfriend say.

Looks like it's time to redecorate, but I have no idea where to start. There's a bunch of furniture we're stuck with, some sentimental, some budget-friendly. The bed is quite literally falling apart (thanks a lot IKEA, we're sleeping on beams propped up with books).

I asked him for color preferences and he said, "purple."

Now to figure out how to make a purple room masculine and a small room feel cozy and inviting.

Pictures to come.

The dog who ate Christmas

Just two hours before I was to taste sweet, sweet freedom and hit the road to visit family and friends in Montana, Miss Cheeto decided to taste some sweet, sweet chocolate. I believe it was a suicide attempt.

She ate this:

And this:

And a bunch of this:

And, for the record, when I say she ate these:

I mean that she ate everything. The paper bag. The foil wrappers of the individual chocolates. All of it. Even the wrapping paper. (Well, *most* of the wrapping paper. It's how we knew she got into the chocolate.)

We found this out shortly after she did the deed, so I assumed we could rush to the vet, get her stomach pumped, and all would be well.

I was wrong.

First we rushed to the vet, who said that it was good we got her in before the seizures started. Seizures?!

Then we went home while they knocked her out and pumped her stomach. They called to tell us there was a lot of stuff in her belly (no duh!) and that we'd maybe be able to bring her home the next day.

Later, worry set in, so I had the boyfriend call and check on her. I asked if we could go visit her.

When we got to the vet's office, they brought out a limp Cheeto and laid her on the floor. Her face was scrunched up in pain and she was breathing very, very hard. I watched her little doggy cheeks puff in and out with each breath. (This was definitely not the same as panting.) Then I cried. She struggled to try and sit up to greet us, but failed. About ten minutes later she managed to gather enough strength to put her head on my foot. More crying.

We went home, worried through the night, then called the vet in the morning.

Apparently she had seizures throughout the night and went to the doggy ICU to keep her organs from failing. She also had a doggy EKG after she developed a heart murmur.

We went back to the vet to visit. She looked haggard and I was told she hadn't bitten anyone.

The biting thing is actually significant. She HATES strangers. HATES them. She bites and she bites regularly (we're working on that, she had a traumatic little life before us). We saw the staff pick her up, bathe her, etc. without so much as a "Grrrrrr." This made me worry.

She stayed another night and we went to pick her up in the morning.

The vet suggested that we go to a doggy surgery center for an endoscopy, just to make sure there wasn't anything else stuck in her tummy (the x-rays were inconclusive on that front). The boyfriend and I struggled with the decision. It was probably going to cost a lot, but we do have pet health insurance. It was also going to be a big strain her little system, and considering she was in danger of her organs failing, I was concerned that it would be too much for her to be put under again.

In the end, we decided it was better for her to have the endoscopy, as they assured us that they could pull out any stray wrappers during the procedure. The boyfriend and I drove her to the doggy surgery center and dropped her off. They said that they'd call as soon as they knew anything.

We went to the mall to kill some time, and I managed to freak out at my poor boyfriend. There wasn't any good reason, I was just stressed as all hell. You're not in a good place if you're bursting into tears at Nordstroms.

A few hours later, we got a call from the surgery center. Cheeto's stomach was completely blocked with an immovable mass of wrappers, cherries and who knows what else. Surgery was happening, and it was happening now.

More crying.

Another night of waiting and we got the news that she could come home. We were also told that she was clear for traveling with us to Montana, as long as we were careful with her.

Her little tum-tum looked like this:

Finally, four days after our intended departure date, we hit the road with doggy and lots of medications in tow. (One for pain, one for her thyroid, one for her heart, and an antibiotic.)

I can't tell you how stressed out I was. I mean, I can try, but there's no way that words can express exactly how frantic I was.

Work has been very, very busy. Both dayjob work, 2nd job work, and my own side projects have managed to take up nearly every second of my free time. Los Angeles has felt oppressive, as I hit the point of despising my daily commute (freaking traffic). I wanted nothing more than to start my vacation. Then, two hours to freedom, I got hit with four days of thinking my baby puppy doggy was dying.

It was horrible. Just horrible.

And who knew chocolate was *that* toxic. I knew it was a no-no for dogs and cats, but I didn't realize that 13oz. of mixed truffles and chocolate covered cherries could kill a 22 pound dog. Had we not rushed her to the vet immediately (the office is just two blocks from our house) Cheeto would be dead.

Four days and $4,500* later, the boyfriend and I started our winter vacation. More on that soon.

*Here's hoping that VPI pet insurance delivers. Anything would be helpful.

For future reference:

1) White chocolate is by far the safest chocolate a dog can eat. Generally, they shouldn't even be phased by it.
2) Milk chocolate is also relatively mild. It's worth calling the vet about, as it can be dangerous in large quantities (which depends on the size of the dog).
3) Dark chocolate = death. It doesn't take too much (also depending on the size of the dog) to kill them.
4) Baker's chocolate = ultra death.

The boyfriend and I have resolved to keep chocolate out of our house entirely.

A few resources:

Dogs and Chocolate
Chocolate Toxicity and Dogs


Why videogame writing still needs some improvement

Star Ocean: The New Hope

So, my character in the game lands on a new planet and is soon assaulted by a bunch of big, scary spiders. He tries to shoot them with his gun, but their scary-spider-armor deflects his shots. He falls to the ground and scrambles to find an alternate weapon. One appears: a utility knife/sword thing. It ends up being an effective tool against the creatures on the planet.

Unfortunately, an hour or so later in the gameplay, the character "reveals" why he has "always" used a knife/sword thing. He claims he always uses it because, when he was a child, he tried to save his father by using a gun, but didn't know how to shoot it. Instead he saved him by fighting off a monster with a knife.

Things like this make me yell at the TV.


The end

That's it. Game over.

I'm past my prime and have begun the process of slowly dying.

I found my very first grey hair today.

Oh, the agony.


In with da funk ... er ... the new.

Goals for 2010

1. Audition for something, anything.
2. Take one of the following classes: dance, piano, acting, or voice.
3. Get my passport.
4. Buy (and wear) a dress (I haven't bought a dress in FIVE years. Five!)

5. Gussy up and attend the SF Ballet's Nutcracker (I performed in it 15 years ago. Lordy, I'm old.)

6. Read three books for fun (last year I only managed two, believe it or not).

7. Visit one new place.8. Attend more shindigs (in other words, try not to turn down invitations).

9. Photograph stuff. Lots of stuff.

10. At 11:59 PM on December 31st, feel like this:

P.S. I have a feeling that this year is totally going to top last year. Not that last year was anything less than great. :)


Out with the old ...

Let's see how I did on my "Resolutions, nay, goals for 2009."

1. Ride my exercise bike.
Replaced this with a gym. Good stuff.

2. Go to Chicago.
Missed on this one. I did go to Austin, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Montana, and Salt Lake City though. Not bad. It's the most I've traveled in ages.

3. Do a lot of writing.

4. Play more video games.
I think I outdid myself on this one.

5. Spend more money on myself without feeling guilty.

6. Open myself up more to love.

7. Re-learn French.

8. Eat a lot of dim sum.
Yes. I even braved the "dim sum platter" that some place in Montana served. For the record, it was not terrible.

9. Go to more galleries and museums.
Nope. I made it to the Japanese Tea Garden in SF, but I don't think that counts.

10. At 11:59pm on December 31st, feel very, very happy.
Well, at 11:59 pm on December 31st, I was driving in an icy canyon during a snowstorm. I think I was annoyed, more than happy.

I get a 6/10. That's a big, fat D-. Better than failing, I suppose.

Guess I'll just have to try harder this year. :)

(Not that last year was bad. It was mostly awesome.)