Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maybe they ARE from Mars.

Thank you for all your thoughtful comments yesterday. I particularly appreciate the offers to kick some New Guy ass on my behalf. It's great to have the full support of the blogosphere.

We did some talking last night, New Guy and I, at my behest, and my conclusion is that I just don't understand men. (No big surprise there, for anyone familiar with my dating history. Hee.) I mean, I completely understand the stressors he's responding to--homesickness, missing his kids, job tension, feeling adrift in a new town. I just don't get why he responds the way he does--by pushing me away. After much discussion, with a few tears (from me) and even more laughter (from us both), he admitted he's been focused too much on himself, and he needs to take my feelings into consideration. So, we'll see.

So, emotionally I feel, if not better, exactly, at least...a little more at ease. I said my piece, and there's nothing more I can do at the moment, if I'm not willing to just remove myself from the situation, and I'm not, yet. There are so many things about New Guy that I really, really like...and that's so rare for me, so...I can hang in there a while. I'm not particularly anxious to put myself back out there. A few days ago a friend who's been exploring sent me an email she received from a possible suitor, including the words "just went out and got me a new truck." "What," she asked, "am I doing out here?" I feel you, sister.

Physically, however...I feel like crap. What felt, yesterday, like a large brick of phlegm sitting in my chest, has begun to break up and move around. Which is good, of course, long-term, but now I look and sound sick, so every single person I've spoken to today, both in person and on the phone, has started the conversation with "Boy, you sound terrible." Thanks, I feel terrible, too.

I walked over to the Kwik-Mart a few minutes ago to pick up some incense, and Apu (not his real name, but come can I help it?) got all friendly with the chatting. The only other time Apu has gotten friendly like that was a day when I had been told by every one who saw me, all day, "Wow, you look tired." Apparently Apu digs chicks who look like crap. I can go in there looking and feeling like a million bucks, and he will barely look up long enough to ring up my purchase.

In other news, it has begun to snow, and they're telling us we might get 6-10 inches this afternoon. And then tomorrow it will be 50 degrees and the snow will be history, so we just "have to make it through today." Seriously, one of the weather forecasters said that. Gotta love living in Oklahoma.

I'm just hoping that it accumulates fast enough that we might get to go home early today. I need a nap. Or maybe I should skip the nap and make a play for Apu instead. Heh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My own "worst hard time"

Sadie died two years ago today. Pudge and I still miss her, every day. Feel free to tell me how cute she was.

In other dreary news, I'm fighting off a chest cold (with the help of Hot Brazilian Magical Miracle Tea), got almost NO sleep last night, and New Guy is apparently in another funk, wherein he seemingly wants to crawl into his man-cave alone. Whatever, I guess. It's not helping my already depressed state, for sure.

Why did I want to enter the dating arena again? It was snug and comfy with Pudge in Celibate Land. Okay, it was lonely, too...but there are benefits to being emotionally numb. You don't FEEL as much. Feeling sucks.

My, my...aren't I Little Miss Sunshine today?

Sorry. My chest is full of phlegm--I can't be expected to be happy, can I? Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Maybe there is no such thing as a free lunch, after all.

I almost never carry cash. I use my debit card almost exclusively. I have a very specific method of dealing with the debit card receipts. Okay, let's amend that. I now have a very specific and organized method of dealing with the receipts. I used to just stuff them into a specific section of my purse, and they would dwell there, all balled up and ignored until I threw them out. NOW I keep a small binder clip in my purse, and all receipts instantly are bound into it. Several times a week I use online banking to determine that the charges have actually been deducted from my account, and that the amounts match exactly. (Sometimes they don't. Gotta be careful.) Once a charge has successfully cleared my account, I throw away the receipt.

So what does all this have to do with ANYthing, much less free lunch? Well, on 12/26 I availed myself of the drive-thru at Taco Bueno to have some Mexi-Dips and Chips, and I used my debit card. And the charge never went through. I kept that little receipt in the binder clip as days turned into weeks, and I thought "Score! Someone screwed up! Free Mexi-Dips and Chips!" Alas, yesterday, one month and two days after the purchase, the charge was presented. Where had it been floating all that time? I have no idea. Weird, huh?

So, how was my weekend? Good, actually. I scored BIG at the earring exchange on Sunday. I think I probably brought home 20 pairs of earrings, plus three bracelets, one of which I LOVE. I did manage to rummage through a drawer and find a few pairs of earrings to take, as well, including some I had made, and I'm pleased to say that someone actually chose the ones I made over the others. Go, me.

Much wine was drunk, as well. A bit too much wine, actually. I woke up about 4:00 the next morning feeling like crap. I had talked to New Guy very briefly before I went to bed, just to make sure that he had made it back safely from his weekend with the kids, so when I had dinner with him last night I asked, "Did I sound drunk last night?" "Um...yeah, a bit." "Because I didn't feel drunk last night, but when I woke up this morning, I sure felt hungover." Hee. Damn red wine.

Earlier in the weekend, I browsed the deeply discounted stacks at the bookstore and made a few purchases, stopped at the wireless store to get a car charger for my new cell phone (why don't they come standard?) and bought myself a big ol' men's Timex at Target. Why do they make women's watch faces so small? Don't they know we don't want to have to put on our reading glasses just to check the time? Don't they know we hate even admitting we now NEED reading glasses, at all? Why does only the men's watch come with a 10-year battery? Why are the women's watches both smaller AND pricier? I have many questions, apparently.

I needed to replenish my supply of reading material, because I am marching rapidly through the last of my unread stack. I'm currently reading "The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl," by Timothy Egan. Have any of you read this? Fascinating. You'd think I'd be more informed about the Dust Bowl, living in Oklahoma, but really, despite what John Steinbeck got everyone to thinking, only a small part of the state was technically a part of it. Just the Panhandle, really. And, since the Panhandle was really only added on to Oklahoma at statehood because no one else wanted "No Man's Land," (sorry, Panhandlers), there's a pretty big geographic and cultural disconnect between that area and the rest of the state. Which is why, I guess, we didn't dwell more on the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma history class.

At any rate, it's fascinating reading. I had no idea, for example, that some of the "black dusters" made it as far as the East coast before dissipating over the ocean. That so many people died of "dust pneumonia." That the static charge in the dust storms was so strong it would literally short out car engines.

And it was a completely man-made phenomenon. White men, of course. The Indians knew how to live in harmony with the plains. They hunted bison, the only grazing animal perfectly suited for the climate, and they left the prairie grass alone. White men came in and slaughtered the bison by the hundreds of thousands to force the red men to leave, so they could turn the prairie into cattle ranches. Only they didn't count on the fact that the cattle couldn't handle the temperature extremes in the area. Then the Department of Agriculture got the brilliant idea to turn it all into one giant wheat field. And it worked brilliantly...for a couple of years. Until the depression hit, and wheat prices plummeted, and a drought hit, and many of the "suitcase farmers" picked up and left...leaving the fields plowed under and unplanted. And the topsoil began to blow. And blow. And blow.

Seriously, anyone who doubts that man's actions can have a serious effect on the climate needs to read this book. Yes, the planet can withstand a lot. But fragile animal life can not.

I'm just saying.

Wow, this post was just all over the place, wasn't it? Welcome to my brain. Heh.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Consider the day made.

The lovely Sauntering Soul has bestowed upon me the above two awards, and I am deeply flattered. Thanks, SS! I think we could be friends in real life, too. And my day (week) needed some making! (I'm also considering making the Hot Brazilian Magical Miracle Tea this weekend, just for general wellness purposes! Can't hurt, right?) I will pass the awards on to an additional 10-13 bloggers, per instructions, at some point.

First, though...let's discuss the good and the bad in my life, okay? It's kind of been a crappy few days, so I feel the need to remind myself there is good, as well.

The good? Rover seems to feel better, I think. His appetite has always been hearty, but I think now his eyes look a little brighter, and his energy level is good. I've done some googling of feline heartworms (of course), and it seems that if we can keep him alive for a couple of years, he may outlive the heartworms, and essentially be "cured."

The bad news, of course, is that even with treatment, at any point a heartworm could dislodge and move into just the wrong spot in his heart or lungs, and he will be instantly dead. That thought makes MY heart spasm, of course, but since there's not a damn thing I can do about it, we're just going to keep on keeping on, and know that, if that does happen, it will at least be a quick and painless death. (Always looking for the silver lining, you know.)

Remember my friend with lung cancer, for whom the "litter box brigade" has been scooping since October? Send good thoughts/vibes/prayers her way, if you can. She's been back in the hospital for a while now. They did a procedure to try and open her esophagus (which was badly burned by the radiation) so she could swallow more easily, and hopefully avoid having to go into the hospital so often for nutrients, but though it seems to have helped her swallowing, it's also done something to restrict her breathing, and she's having a very hard time. They also found another spot of cancer, so she'll have to do even more radiation in a few weeks. It's so sad going into her quiet house, and seeing all those little furry faces, clearly hoping it's her this time. And, of course, since I am also a multiple pet owner who lives alone, it's like seeing one of my nightmares come true. What if that happens to me? Who would care for MY critters? Sigh.

Moving on.

New Guy finally feels better! The root canal pain is finally pretty much gone, he's chewing without pain...and then a couple of days ago his wallet was stolen out of his locked classroom. (That damned school is going to chase him out of town yet.) So he's been dealing with all of that hassle (much better than I would be, truthfully), but we managed to squeeze some time in together the last couple of days (and I made him borrow some cash to fill his tank and have money for snacks, 'cause I'm nice like that), which is good, since now he feels well enough to go see his kids this weekend. (He had to miss last weekend, 'cause he just couldn't drive all drugged up like he was.) And that's good for him and the kids, of course, but means it's another weekend alone for me. Sigh.

But the good news is, my tax refund has been sitting in my bank account for a couple of days now, and I didn't spend the WHOLE thing at the vet, so maybe there could be just a little bit of gratuitous shopping this weekend. And Sunday, we're having a meeting of the "drink and bitch" club, which will include an "earring exchange," where everyone brings earrings they no longer want, for the others to paw through. (A couple of months ago we did the same thing with makeup. We may next do it with purses.)

I'm having trouble with this particular concept, though. "Earrings I no longer want." I understand these words individually, of course...but they don't make sense to me strung together like that. EARRINGS that I NO LONGER WANT. What strange nonsense is this? I am a certified earringophile, and there is no such thing as earrings I don't want. I HAVE 8 HOLES IN MY EARS TO MAXIMIZE MY EARRING WEARING ABILITY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. I do now, in my middle-aged years, reserve the top two holes on each side for tasteful diamond studs, which I wear every day, but otherwise...I change up my earrings every day. To coordinate with my outfit. Apparently, there are people who find one pair they like and wear the SAME ONES EVERY DAY, but I do not understand these people. Several members have made the claim that they intend to leave with fewer earrings than they bring, and I'm sure I can bring myself to help those people out, if necessary. 'Cause I'm thoughtful like that. (And depending on their taste in earrings, of course...I may be an earring whore, but I'm a discriminating earring whore.)

And, for those who may be wondering about the phrase "in my middle-aged years," well...let's just say I was slightly more flamboyant when I was younger, and I sometimes wore a different dangly earring in each hole. Of course, I only had SIX holes then, but you could still hear me coming. "Clink, clink, clink." Ah, youth. Maybe some time I'll tell you about the time we sterilized a sewing needle with Bacardi 151 at a party, and how I thus acquired hole number six. Good times. Heh.

Today it has been exactly five months since I opened the door to see New Guy standing on my porch, and subsequently broke every "safe internet dating" rule in the book. The last month has been a little rough here and there, but mostly it's been quite a ride, and I look forward to seeing what comes next. I think. (Shut up, little insecure voice in my head!) It will be what it will be. (Thanks, little Zen voice in my head!) No expectations. I will simply attempt to relax, and breathe, and enjoy the trip. all have little conflicting voices in YOUR heads, too, right? Right?

In other news, I have been asked to take part in the "Fridiron" show for the press club again this year, and plans are already being made to mercilessly skewer the Spears family--as in Britney, Jamie-Lynn and Mama. (To the tune of "We are Family.") Plus it's an election cycle, with all that ammunition for mocking. Sounds fun, no? Hee.

Have a wonderful weekend! It's going to be close to 60 degrees here this weekend, so even if all I did was sit at home and mope, it would be good. Cold weather is for the birds. Of the flightless, formally dressed variety, of course.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Guess my "Year" is over.

I'm glad I enjoyed "2007, the Year of Liz," since 2008 is definitely NOT starting out that well.

I think I've mentioned before that one of my cats (what, me mention a cat?) has had some lingering health problems (diarrhea and weight loss) for the last year or so, and we've had some luck treating it with steroids, but I've remained concerned. Well, I took him in Friday for a recheck of those problems, and the vet didn't like the way he was breathing. So we did blood tests and x-rays, and the x-rays didn't look good. Something was definitely going on with his lungs and maybe his heart. There was some scary discussion of possibilities--cancer, fungal infection, heartworms, or maybe it was just a bacterial pneumonia. So, I was sent home with antibiotics (and without $250) to wait for the test results.

The next day I talked to the vet--the blood tests were basically normal, with the exception of a somewhat elevated white blood count, and the expensive heartworm test we added just to cover all the bases hadn't come back yet. There was discussion of the possible need to send him to another clinic for a cardiac ultrasound and needle aspiration--another $250, minimum--and the plan was made to continue the antibiotics over the weekend and talk again Monday.

Well, longtime readers may remember me mentioning that two years ago this month I lost a dog to lung cancer, and six months before that I lost a cat to a fungal lung infection, so the thought of losing another animal to lung disease had me reeling. And scared--what are we breathing in my house? I was pretty freaked out, and the one thing I was sure of was that I was NOT going to put Rover through what I put Payday and Sadie through. We tried really hard to save both of them, at great expense--both monetarily, and to their quality of life. The last month of Payday's life he HATED to see me coming. I was going to be poking something in him--pills, food, needles, and all he wanted to do was curl up and die--literally. And then he did, after all that, die. Sadie's cancer ordeal wasn't as long, but still expensive and hard on her. So I pretty much decided that if all the ultrasound could tell us was that he had a fungal infection or cancer, I wasn't going to do it. We'd make him comfortable, and let it play out.

So, yesterday I called the vet to see if the heartworm results were back, and was reminded why I sometimes want to smack the front desk staff there. Yes, the test was back, but the results had been put on Dr. L's desk (since that's who I saw on Friday) and she wouldn't be back in until Wednesday. Did I want them to pull them for Dr. J (the main vet, and the one I've known for 20 years) to look at? WHY IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION!?!

Five minutes later I received a call from Dr. J--the heartworm test, against all odds, was positive. My indoor-only cat has a disease that is not only incredibly rare in cats, but also can only be transmitted by a bite from a mosquito that has recently bitten another infected animal. An occasional mosquito does get inside, of course, but it's not like I live in a swarm of them. It's a freak thing. Unfortunately, there is no good treatment for heartworms in cats, unlike dogs, so you just put them on prednisone and try to prolong life as long as possible. Prednisone helps his other problems, too, so at least he won't have to take more than one pill a day. And it's cheap.

So, it's not good news. Though, of all the horrible possibilities we discussed, it's probably the LEAST horrible. Except...I'm a worrier. And now I have to worry about my other cats. Timmy and Babs, the two young cats I trapped and tamed as feral kittens, are particularly worrisome. Those kittens lived in a cage outside for the first few weeks I worked with them, and despite my best efforts at repelling, they were often surrounded by a swarm of mosquitoes. they have heartworms, too? Are they the source of the heartworms Rover has? Is some sneaky mosquito going to get in this summer and infect EVERYBODY? I can't afford to put all of them on heartworm preventive--that shit's expensive. How much preventive could I buy with my tax refund? AAAAAAGGGGHHHH!

Why do I have animals again?

In other news, New Guy ended up getting a root canal, and is still dealing with the after-effects of that. The man just does NOT deal well with medication. Even the mildest over-the-counter stuff makes him whacked out and groggy, and when he's whacked out and groggy, he wants nothing to do with me. If he doesn't take the medicine, however, he's in pain. And when he's in pain, he wants nothing to do with me. I have to remind myself that we all deal with things differently. BUT, I am, of course, a FREAK, and have to keep silencing the little voice in my head that keeps telling me that the sickness, and the work, and the time with the kids, and the being out-of-town that have kept me from seeing as much of him the last few weeks are all a convenient excuse, since he is obviously tired of me, and is just looking for an out.

Yes, I know. I am insane. But the problem with having a touch of OCD is that sometimes when you get a thought in your head, it's hard to get it out. I'm working on it, though, and when we DO spend time together, then the thought goes away, and we have a good time, and everything's fine. Hopefully he will feel better soon, and things will get back to normal, whatever that is.

Or he'll dump me. One of the two. Heh.

But hey, I can use the extra time with Rover, right? And he LOVES to be near me when he's sick. (And that's why I have animals, I suppose!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I'm please to report that my state (though not my federal) tax refund has already been deposited to my bank account. Was that fast or what? Now, what kind of blowout should I have with that $3? Partay!

In other news, I got my hair cut yesterday, only the second time with this particular stylist. It looks fine. After my first visit, I decided she was just not a particularly chatty person. This visit I discovered she's chatty as hell--you just have to get her talking about her dogs. She'll gladly show you pictures, too. Hee.

In other news, New Guy finally has an appointment with the dentist today, and ended up going with the guy I recommended. I haven't been to the dentist myself in quite a while, so I hope he's still as nice as he was back then. I'd hate to be inadvertently responsible for some horrible, nightmare-inducing dental experience. I guess I'll find out later, huh?

Monday, January 14, 2008

I "heart" e-file

You know, the one good thing about not making a great deal of money, owning no significant property, etc. is that it's so stinking easy to do my taxes. I just e-filed (for free!) my tax return and should have my refund in my bank account by the end of next week. Yay! Sometimes I love the internet.

So, do you all e-file? Does anyone out there still file paper returns? I would assume that anyone who spends as much time online as a blogger necessarily must would, of course, e-file, but since I recently found out that there are still hip, young people who mail checks to pay their bills, (right, Stef?), I suppose it's possible some of you do the old-fashioned tax return, as well.

To each their own, I suppose.

Now the fun part--what should I buy with my $522? Or should I just soberly and responsibly transfer it to savings? Ha!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blah blah blah

Just checking in to reassure anyone who was concerned that I haven't forgotten how to type, fallen into a coma, lost power or anything of that nature. I'm just having a sort of humdrum week, and can't seem to get my thoughts corralled into anything approaching a coherent blog post. ("But that's never stopped you before!" Shut up!)

You'd think that New Guy being back in town after a (relatively) long absence might mean that I've been seeing a lot of him, but you'd be wrong. He hasn't been feeling well (toothache and sinus headache), and...well, let's just say that I hate to make generalizations, but if I were to make a generalization, I would say that he handles illness like a MAN. If you know what I mean. And I'm sure you do. Hopefully he will feel better soon. Both because it does suck not to feel well, and because I have needs, too. One of which is to actually spend time with the guy I'm dating. Oh, well.

We did spend some quality time together last weekend, including a trip to Tulsa's new Chipotle (!), and a viewing of "Sweeney Todd" the movie, which we both loved. Seriously, seeing Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman, two of my pretend boyfriends, sitting together singing music from my favorite Stephen Sondheim (one of my pretend BFFs) musical...heaven!

Yesterday I gave New Guy the number of a good dentist and my humidifier, complete with Vicks VapoSteam. Let's hope for the best.

Friday, January 04, 2008

First Post of 2008

How's that for a clever and inspired post title? Sorry, I guess I'm too busy shaking my head in sorrow over Britney's latest escapade to do better. Okay, maybe it's not "sorrow," so much as it is "won't somebody somewhere stage an intervention for that crazy-ass chick already?" Won't someone think of the children?

New Guy made it back to town this week, thank goodness. I was having major withdrawals. He, of course, was so busy enjoying being a full-time dad for a change that he hardly missed me at all. Oh, don't worry...he didn't come out and say so, he's far too polite for that; he pretended he missed me, but I know better. And it's cool.

He brought me back a belated Christmas present, so I know he was thinking of me at least occasionally. It's a Sony Dream Machine for my bedside.

I've become addicted to listening to the classical music radio station while I sleep, thanks to him. Now I can listen to it in beautiful, crystal clear sound. Seriously, that thing gets amazing reception, and the clarity is really something. He did good.

And so life goes on. I don't make New Year's resolutions, so my hope for 2008 is merely that it be a happy, healthy year for me and mine. And you and yours.

And Britney, bless her trailer trash heart. (Funny aside--every time she does anything "newsworthy," New Guy, who is also from Louisiana, just shakes his head and says, "She's from Kentwood," as if that explains it all. Heh.)