Monthly Archives: May 2008

Updates

Grandmother:

She’s in rehab still getting jacked up on meds to fight a mysterious infection.  I finally spoke to my grandfather today (honestly, I was a little scared to talk before today, because nothing gets me down more than when someone else is down and I can’t help cheer them up.)  But their spirits are good and that’s what I care about most.  It was a relief. 

Jack Reunion:

He did fine.  I called a couple (meaning 3 or 4) times during vacation and every time the woman came back after looking in on Jack she would tell me what he was doing followed by a very valley girl “heee’s cuuuuute.”  My response?  “I know.”  I posted video of our reunion here (don’t know how to embed anything other than YouTube, sorry people.)  He spent the entire day just relaxing like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.  And he won’t leave my side.  He rests his head on me where ever I go.  It’s cute, but you know, I want him to be independent too. 

The downside of a week in pet camp – his leash training has gone to shit.  We reached the point of impressive before I left.  I could get that boy to focus on me to let a skateboard pass within 1 foot of him, and he hates skateboarders.  Now, we haven’t made it around the lake in the morning yet.  He puts the brakes on and just stares at me, like no way lady.  My mom’s convinced he had a chat with the other dogs and realized they didn’t have to run 3 miles each morning, so why the hell was he?  But he used to poop and then pounce up like “I’m ready!  let’s run this!”  Now?  Just laughs from passersby.  So I cut it short, no run, no outside play dude. 

And why haven’t I run all week?  I’ve been tired, just really tired.  And it became a joke in Hawaii where every afternoon boy would ask if I needed a nap before we went out again and I would shout “No!  let’s explore this island!” and after a quick shower I would pass out on whatever piece of furniture was closest for a good hour or so and wake up like “wait, were we going somewhere?” 

So last night, I sneezed.  And afterwards I was like, damn, that was a hard sneeze!  It hurt my throat!  And all night I kept waking up achey and sniffly.  Then this morning – BAM!  I’m sick.  Big sick.  I worked from home today in between restless lying down just because I couldn’t hold myself up vertically.  And I feel bad because Jack has been right by my side, to the point where he follows me to the bathroom and rests his head on my knee while I do my business.  And have you ever had a dog stare at you in the face while you do your business?  It’s weird.  He has these big brown pity eyes, and he has been resting at my feet if not on my lap while I do my work all day.  And this dog went from playing with other dogs daily to barely any activity all this week so I am having serious guilt, but not enough energy to take him outside longer than just to do his business.  I owe him. 

but for now, I just owe myself a bath.  because damn, I hurt.  everywhere.

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a post for all wanna be writers

this is your fate, and the person on the other end of the phone is your marketer:

thx to my boss for passing along.  Because this, this is what a marketer in publishing does.

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growing up

that’s right, I just figured out the fuse box. 

say what you will, but this is coming from the girl who a few years ago called the apartment manager shaky and on the verge of tears when the fuse to the stove blew and the stove top spit sparks at me.  I called everyone short of 9-1-1 when a friend told me to try the fuse box and I was like, “huh?”  Yeah, sometimes I can be that girl.

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panic in the water and eating cheese

Quick update: my grandmother is finally out of ICU, but still not in great shape, although getting better.  So thanks for those that kept her in their thoughts.

I’ve been going to the beach every summer since as long as I can remember.  And there are only 2 times that I have ever panicked in the water.  Once when I was little I got caught in the undertoad and pulled under into a wave and washed up on shore completely disoriented.  I think my grandfather has it on video, just a black spot pulled under into the wave.  I made my way to my mom and my brothers were giggling and when she asked if I was okay I burst into tears. 

The second time was yesterday morning.  It was our last snorkel before leaving and the day before the currents against the rocks were pretty strong.  On Saturday, the currents were equally as bad and the visibility was bad as well.  Snorkeling along, I couldn’t tell if the coral was right in front of my face and how high it was and the current was threatening to slam me in that direction.  Also, boy prefers going under the belly-scraping shallow parts rather than the 30 feet deep areas where the true predators are.  Me, I don’t mind hanging out at the deep edge rather than get slammed into a rock.  I followed him through a few belly-scraping channels before going through one where I was caught in a current and had to wait for a wave to come before swimming through and I freaked.  We got into deeper water and I popped my head up and said “i want to go back i want to go back now.”  Boy stayed behind me because in the panic I had already followed too close and got a flipper kick under my chin and to make sure I was okay.  I high-tailed it around rocks into the deep so I could get a straight shot onto shore and my breathing through the snorkel got a little panicky.  It was scary.  But we had enough good snorkels that cutting our last one short was no big deal.

Also, I’m really glad that bad food experiences don’t make or break our trip.  I was pleasantly surprised by the availability of vegan and vegetarian dishes at local health food stores, but those times we tried to do recommended places or more main stream places it was a big flop.  I ate cheese and I haven’t eaten cheese in a while.  I took a bite of some blue cheese and man, it reminded me of when I was little and smelled limburger for the first time.  I don’t like eating cheese anymore (used to love it.)  Not only does it kill my reputation for being the fastest pooper ever (I’ve got a reputation to keep!) it just makes me feel really bloated.  I felt like I ate better just due to the heat and the amount of activities we did.  Also stayed away from coffee, and the 2 times I did drink coffee were the only times I became irritable the entire trip.  So, that’s a hint. 

I didn’t bring back gifts for anyone.  No chocolate covered macadamias, no Maui Gold pineapples, no Leis.  I’m not a souvenir person.  But I will go on and on about silverswords and Nenes and ferns and sea turtles.  My last bio lecture was about sustainability and I have been having consumption issues.  I came out of that class lecturing boy about how we really need to cut out plastic bottles from our lives and really be conscious of the things we purchase and I really do want to cut down on consumption.  So, I will probably be lecturing about the awesomeness of biology and evolution and the coral reefs to anyone who will listen.  You’ve all been warned…

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there are worse things

I need to preface this a little before all those dirty minded folks get carried away.  While I’m not too keen on fashion, I do believe proper under garments are very key to any outfit.  And I don’t so much as care about what I am wearing, but I do care about having the appropriate undies on.  This also means that if I pack for, say, a 7 day trip, this requires at LEAST 10 pairs of undies.  Those are the last things you want to run out of on a trip.  And usually, when I unpack my clothes wherever I am, there’s a pile of undies that usually gets scattered about – not because it’s the first thing I take off when I come home, but because they out number the rest of the clothes I bring with me.  Now with that said…

I left a pair of undies on the bed and didn’t remember it until I came back from lunch and saw that maid service had come in to make the bed.  And when I saw how she handled it, I owe her a big tip.  She left them where they were, and made the bed with a little bump in the middle where my undies were hiding under the sheets.  I’m SO embarrassed about this.  It’s one thing to have a pile of undies on the floor, but this?  inexcusable.  And after having the conversation with boy, I’m SURE there are such worse things housekeepers find in hotel rooms.  And while boy doesn’t understand the whole concept of tipping housekeeping because it’s there job to do what they do, it’s not their job to maneuver around my undies just to make the bed.  That’s not any one’s job…  So instead of an apology, I’m leaving money. 

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yeah, i’m white, i know

First things first, my grandmother’s been in ICU for a few days back home in Louisiana.  While I don’t necessarily believe in prayer, I do believe in positive thinking.  So positive thoughts are nice if you have any to spare. 

Now, some thoughts on Maui.  I could go on about how amazing it is, but I’ll try not to because I think that’s a given.  The first thing that struck me is the flora.  I’m totally obsessed with Plumeria.  They sell the roots that you can bring home to plant, and if I had more faith in my green thumb I would buy it.  We drove to the condo at night with the windows down and the air smelled like burnt sugar and fruit.  It was awesome.  Found out a day later that we were driving by a sugar plantation and it just reminded me of home.  I get really excited by the mangoes, guava, and papaya growing everywhere and it takes a lot for me to hold back from smashing my face up against the tree just to inhale all the sweet smells.

The Sun.  It scares me.  I have been lathering up on SPF 45 each day and walking around a big shiny skin cancer awareness ad with long sleeve shirts and refusing to walk certain places because I don’t want to be out in the sun at noon.  But STILL my face is drinking it up.  On the flight here, there were so many women with leather skin and saggy boobs and wrinkles galore and I turned to boy and said, “no way, not me, all these people have cancerous cells somewhere and they don’t even know it.”  So I went out and bought an SPF long-sleeved shirt to snorkel in, but it’s the one factor I feel it’s okay to stress about while on vacation. 

Snorkeling.  It’s why we’re here.  We got the equipment our first day and went out to a remote spot because the only time I’ve used flippers was when I was really little and I remember hating them.  We snorkeled a lot in Pensacola, but I’ve never seen coral.  And it’s so awesome and scary.  The scary part is when it gets shallow and you have to sort of float (I’ve always had issues floating, it’s tougher than it looks) and you can’t flip because disturbing coral is a HUGE no no.  But then the currents come and push you this way or that and it means your belly is inches away from scraping the coral and it’s easy to panic.  I did a few times at first and disturbed a school of fish by jetting straight through them to get out of the coral and felt really bad about it.  Our first morning venture was in Turtle Town and we saw 3 sea turtles.  These guys aren’t scared of snorkelers at all. I realized swimming toward one that if I don’t stop I’ll run right into him.  So I backed up only to realize there was a second turtle swimming 3 feet beneath me.  I also ended up taking off after another turtle and followed him way out into the deep.  When I popped my head up I was freaked that boy was about 40 feet away and shore was about 150 feet away.  While I usually keep my mouth clenched around the snorkel in slight fear of being out in the open water, I can follow a sea turtle all day without hesitation.  They’re beautiful.  Today we went to a different area in turtle town where the waves crashed up against the rocks.  The coral went on forever and at one point I had to point out that we were about 200 – 250 feet out from shore near the tour boats that drop people off to snorkel, so we high-tailed it back closer to shore.  It was closer to noon, but we still saw 2 turtles resting in the coral.  There were parrot fish, puffer fish, eels (the kind that open their mouth with sharp teeth), and something hiding that looked like an eel but had white rings like it was possibly a sea snake.  While boy loves the wildlife and I love the turtles, the coral fascinates me.  It’s so important to these ecosystems and so fragile that seeing everything how it should be, urchins and sea anemones and clown fish hiding in the coral, I could stare at it for hours.

Food.  I’ve had trouble eating a whole lot.  Everyone I spoke with before hand had suggestions of where and what to eat.  But I’m surprised how much my eating choices revolve around how it’s going to make me feel later.  I’ve passed up hawaiin bread french toast TWICE people (and I frickin’ LOVE hawaiin bread).  Only because I didn’t want a sleepy carb hangover.  We had mahi-mahi tacos once and it was so much fish that I haven’t been able to eat fish since, even when we went out for sushi.  Yeah we did the Hawaiin Ice thing, but there’s a snowball stand called Cajun Snow back in Louisiana that tops it.  We had sugar malasadas after a morning snorkle, and that has been my food highlight for the trip.

Waterfalls.  We drove the road to Hana to see a 400 foot waterfall yesterday.  It was a 12 hour day, so while it was great to do, I’m glad we got it out of the way b/c I wouldn’t necessarily want to do it again.  We hiked 4 miles through a rain forest that turned into a bamboo forest where it became really dark with the bamboo closing us in overhead.  We had already pulled off the trail for a dip in a waterfall and was thankful I brought a huge spray bottle of insect repellent (if you have been hiking with me, you know I am a mosquito magnet.  and 2 things I don’t fuck around with are the sun and mosquitoes.)  The waterfall was surreal.  I couldn’t really capture it in pictures, but it’s one of those sights I’ll always remember in my mind.  I have a few whelps on my legs from bugs and not to mention odd bumps here and there that look like preliminary rashes but I’ve been popping a lot of anti-histamines for my delicate uber-sensitive skin (warning to you Mrs. Trent, bring the allergy meds.) 

Birds.  I already have a tainted history with birds.  The birds here have no respect for personal space.  And because I miss Jack like crazy, and one hopped up on the chair at our table at lunch, I held out some bread and it took it right out of my hand.  And what do you know but 2 seconds later as I lifted my sandwich to take a bite the little fucker flew STRAIGHT INTO MY FACE to try and get a bite of my sandwich while I held it to my mouth.  Scared the bejeezus out of me and I dropped my sandwich to my plate and flinched to the side and the bird just flew back to the chair like “what’s your problem?”  Fucking birds, man. 

Jack.  I’ve called a few times to check on him because they haven’t posted any pics of him.  He’s made a 3-legged buddy and is in the active adult playgroup with the big dogs like I knew he would be.  I even e-mailed a needy little plea to get some pics up of him.  I miss him like crazy, and while I don’t usually buy souveniers to bring back for people, I can’t help myself when it comes to dog souveniers.  I bought him a flower collar and almost got him some hawaii dog treats.  The little guy’s always on my mind, much to boy’s chagrin 🙂

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drop off

yeah, I know, I’m stuck on this whole boarding thing.  but it’s a big deal!

When we got out of the car he started to howl at the sound of the dogs and when we reached the front desk and the woman was getting his collar ready I just stood there and the tears started coming.  Of course Jack caught on and was like what the hell, mom?  And so I put his tags on him and off he went like “woohoo, goin’ play with the dogs!” while I stood there and cried while the lady reassured me he’d be fine.  So what’d I do?  I got in the car and called my mom.

And I don’t know why but it seems like I can always hold back the big sobs on most things until I call my mom.  When she gets on the phone I usually lose it and start the very unpretty cry.  I was so flustered I got lost somewhere by the ball park trying to find the god-dammed bay bridge on-ramp (seriously, every time.)  And I should just get a shirt to wear to all my classes that has “EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE” written across the front b/c I showed up for my lab final puffy eyed and determined to get rock the exam because I’ve been up late all week studying my ass off while sweating through this odd 100 degree heat wave forcing myself to maintain focus and not drift off in the heat fuzziness.  And thank god for the baseball cap I left in my car because in the emotional frazzled state I was in I lost my hair tie somewhere and driving along, sweating in the morning heat, I realized I haven’t really showered in a while because I’ve been too busy and my hair was a wavy frizz and along with my kool-aid stained face, and the minor panic when I realized I didn’t take my anti-everything pill this morning when I probably need it most, I was not a pretty site.  The funny thing is someone turned to me in class and said “I love how you stay so calm and zen about everything.”  HA!  I wanted to respond “Are you fucking kidding me?  I just lost it this morning over boarding my dog of all things and haven’t been able to keep solid food in my stomach all week and not to mention I think I have a pimple coming in on my butt, who gets pimples on their butt?!”  but instead, I just gave a grin and ducked back down beneath my hat.

So I rocked my final and keep refreshing Pet Camp play date pics because I am fighting the need to call to see if his first morning play period went okay and that if he’s not eating don’t continue to feed him through his activity ball and he can chew his blanket and I forgot to mention all these details this morning despite the fact that I was able to write up a page long e-mail to his emergency contact about the warning signs Jack gives right before he is about to spritz.  And thus begins the wind-down time before I leave for Maui where I’ll have a few de-stress tears, crash, then wake up in paradise.  And now that I think about where I shoved my other 3 bikinis far down in my closet I should remember to pack some extra razors because damn it i’m still sporting winter-wear.  Cursed bikini season.

So please be on the look out for Jack, the one with red freckles: http://www.flickr.com/photos/campercameos/

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