Friday, September 29, 2006

I'd rather be sleeping

Last night, as I was trying to convince my brain to shut up and let me sleep, I started thinking about religion and people who feel determined that their particular religious slant is the "only" one.

I get tangled in this on a couple of points. First, I always come back to the idea that, no matter what, humans are the ones who have defined God. Yeah, we set the rules, no matter how it gets phrased. God is All, yes? Omnipotent, Omniscient, Endless and Eternal. Infinite.

Humans are finite. We have beginnings and endings. We are not all powerful or all knowing. Yet we set the rules. Isn't that odd?

Well, think about it. What God does and doesn't like -- how does anyone know? God "told" someone a list of rules, yes? Ok, I can handle the idea of a list of rules. But there are THOUSANDS of rules and interpretations of rules, and all that was made up by mankind. Prophets and leaders and teachers -- all human, every last one of them. Finite.

Finite. Infinite. Anyone else see what I see?

Ok, I'll spell it out. If something is infinite, and something finite is trying to comprehend the infinite, the finite can only see a PART? There is gonna be something the finite doesn't see. In fact, there could be a LOT of that infinite the finite doesn't see, can't see, will never see. So, if the finite understands this, then the finite must also grasp that it can never know ALL of the infinite. It just isn't possible. The finite can know SOME, but not ALL. There will always (always!) be some part that is unknown.

You'd think that religious folk in general would catch on to this. However, I think that just scares shit out of a lot of people, which is why they become extremists. They are DETERMINED to demonstrate that not only do they know, in their finite minds, everything important about the Infinite, but that their particular portion of the Infinite IS the important part -- everything else is extra, unimportant, and not worth considering. I personally think it's a lack of faith when people react this way. Faith withstands everything standing alone. Faith does not need numbers. It does not need to prove itself right. It does not need to convince others to follow it. Faith does not strike out. It does not contest. It does not compete.

Faith ain't easy, which is why a lot of people prefer religion by majority rule. If everyone else agrees with you, you are more right, yes? If you are all alone, you must be wrong. If I don't like you, I can say God made up a rule against you or what you do, a specific and detailed rule that only comes from my religion or my brand of religion. And I can say my rule makes me right with my version of God (my finite understanding of the infinite) in doing horrible things to you, because you are wrong. If I remove you who offends and frightens and angers me, then I can comfort myself that I am right and you are wrong, and I feel better. We make the rules for God, and then we ignore them to make new rules to make ourselves feel better.

Humans are a scary bunch, ya know? This is why I can't sleep.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Most Inconvenient Man

Before I forget, I must relay this. Yesterday, for the first time in my blessed, golden girl existance, my flights were delayed. We waited an extra 30 minutes in Buffalo because our flight had been held in New York, and then our flight to Orlando was also delayed. This is annoying because getting through security in Buffalo is a major main in the ass and we'd gotten there almost 3 hours early anyway. Lucky for us, both flights were on the same plane, but that's not the point.

It was because Air Force One was doing a run through at JFK. Yes, Freaking Shrub, the President I Did Not Vote For Twice, PERSONALLY inconvenienced me.

It's not enough that he's made me embarassed to be a citizen of the United States and caused me to be hated by millions world wide just for being born here. It's not enough to know horrible, stupid, wasteful and flagrantly evil things are being done "for my protection" or for creating an increasingly dangerous world with paranoia, dick waving behavior, and psychotic beligerance. IT isn't enough that he's caused inplimentation of these damned rules for air flight which will have potential for becoming endlessly more and more intrusive -- I mean, damn it all, that's the way of attack and defense -- every action causes a counter action, escalating up the scale or down the scale because you Just Can't Account For Everything. (Soon you'll need a see-through jumpsuit and a certificate to get on a plane. This will DEFINATELY cut down on terrorism, I'm sure. No one will be on planes.) It's not enough that, for the very first time, I am actually imagining serious harm to another human being as an acceptable course of action.

Oh no, HE has to hold up my flight, because no planes can be in the air around the airport when Air Force One is taking off or landing. It's a whole day later and I'm home, and I'm STILL mad about it. Bastard. I wish I could Not Vote for him a dozen times or more.

Return to Kitty Haven

For the first time, I forgot to pack my collection of TSA forbidden items in my luggage. In the Buffalo airport I am going through my purse and tossing out items (because Buffalo forbids ANYTHING liquid -- they don't specifiy per the TSA published rules. It ALL goes.), trying to get items back into my luggage, even mailing some items home. So, we will see what makes it -- what went as luggage had to be bagged separately, and it seems lost.

I'm waiting until some rabid idiot comes up with explosive clothing and they start issuing paper jumpsuits at the security point.

Let's see, what did we do in Toronto? We ate -- Runs with Beer is a master of manicotti. We roamed corners of the city. I bought a fleece shirt at Costco because, unlike last year when I packed sweaters and jackets and it was very warm, this time I left all that at home and it got chilly. A Canadian fleece shirt will be really useful in Florida, oh yes, for about 4 days in February. We visited the ROM, which has a really interesting collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Unfortunately, the ROM is under attack from a giant crystal Borg structure thing called The Crystal. It's a great looking old building that needs some restoration and expansion. They were building this thing last year. It looks worse this year. Even the artist's concepts they post outside make me go "ick". Runs with Beer and Canuck Girl are not at all happy about it. Of course, because of the construction, several wings and exibits were closed.

Of course, we went to Word on the Street, but this year wasn't the same. Last year it seemed like I couldn't turn around without seeing some lucious, wonderful book, some fantastic bargain, or something I couldn't resist. This year, everything was very resistable, the great bargains were rare, and it seemed like a lot of books were much more expensive. I didn't buy nearly as many as last year (much to The Husband's shock and amazement).

Mostly we hung out, relaxed, played a lot of CoH, laughed and enjoyed ourselves. The Husband made a point about how boring he and I are -- that we have no new stories. You see, we met one of the other people we play CoH with, the fine fellow La Vin. In the course of the evening, we told stories about ourselves, as people will. The Husband said that all our stories are old, that we do nothing, and nothing about us changes. I noticed something different. All stories anyone seems to tell about themselves are about some kind of suffering, inconvenience, barriers overcome, senselessness endured, idiocy witnessed. We live quietly. Things go well for us. We try to help others, we don't take things personally, and we sort of accept what happens with equanimity.

Which makes us boring. Dependable, comfortable, but boring. According to The Husband.

I think that our friends find us easy enough to be around, funny, not too demanding, not draining. Everyone has a friend or two who are constantly in trouble, who stress about everything, who complain and suffer. They can be exciting, like a rollercoaster, but exhausting. We aren't particularly exhausting because, well, frankly, we don't move a lot. We don't have huge emotional drama moments, and we don't expect everyone and everything to circle with us at the center. We'll make our own toast and wash the dish we used at your house. No, we won't clean your whole house, but if you ask, we'll help. We'll pick up behind ourselves. You'll know we were there, but we hope it won't be for more than maybe 15 minutes.

In any case, we are home again. The cats are rubby and meaowy, healthy and happy. There were no visible pee marks where pee should not be. Someone wants Cali's old crate and some of her things, so today I have to take that down and do laundry. There's a dish of half eaten food in the crate and I keep thinking that she won't be back to finish it, so I have to throw it out. And I get teary, just a little. But it's ok. People die, pets die, dreams die. New ones are born.

I'm pretty good with change. It is almost always uncomfortable. It can be scary, and you can wonder why the hell you're doing it. But it comes, no matter what. Change in the clouds, change on the horizon, something in the breeze...keep an eye open.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Toronto

We have arrived! Nothing eventful took place on our flight (we had a lay over at JFK where they had WiFi, and we got online and played COH until time to go). Canuck Girl and Runs with Beer are their usual wonderful selves, and we have much planned, so I'll update as time allows.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Goodbyes

Last night Mom came to pick up Calico for the weekend. Today she called to tell us Calico was sick, not able to get up. This afternoon she let us know that Cali died.

I've been expecting it for about a week now. I knew it was coming. I didn't know it would be quite so soon. She was over 14 years old, and large dogs don't tend to make it much beyond 12.

She wasn't my favorite dog, but she was as good a dog as she could manage to be. I feel scared now to leave this house, and now this weekend doesn't seem quite as much fun.

Good bye, puppy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ta-ta-ta-Toronto!

The floor is currently 1 and 1/2 tiles from being COMPLETE (as I write) except for the last stretch of grout, which should be done either tonight or tomorrow. That's Complete, as in Done. Finished. All Tiled Out and No Where To Go.

Which is perfect timing, as on Thursday we clamber (without liquids, pastes or gels, which sucks because I ALWAYS take a bottle of water on the plane with me...I get too thirsty to wait for those damn little cups they pass out) onto an airplane and fly north -- to Buffalo, NY, where we will rent a car and drive to Toronto for a weekend with our happy friends Canuck Girl and Runs With Beer. There will be much playing of City of Heroes (we have word that Runs With Beer found such a deal on a wireless G router that can't be BELIEVED) and a day spent at the Word on the Street Bookfair, which will no doubt result in buying too many books.

The house will, if I get off my ass, be a little less chaotic before we depart, because I fear the Wrath of the LaGuz.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Well, There Goes THAT theory

LaGuz DEFINATALY knows where her butt is. She just walked to the rear corner of the back room, where we finally pulled out the last of the nasty green carpet but have not yet placed tile, backed her ass up to the wall, and PEED ON THE WALL AND CONCRETE SLAB.

Not only did she pee, she stared defiantly at me while I screeched at her and ran to grab her. Dropping her protesting little ass in the brand new spanky clean fancy litter box was just revenge. She'd already made her statement.

Somehow, I am not holding out hope anymore that the tile will discourage her. She doesn't seem to appreciate the new litterboxes we've put into the house. She had to walk right past one of them to get to that corner and demonstrate that she, not we, is in charge around here.

I don't like the alternatives left for this situation, either. Do they make CatPampers? Wait, she's 16 -- that's like between 96 and 112 in human years. KittyDepends?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Chaos is taking over

Slowly, slowy, I'm getting everything ported over to the new machine. I've wrestled with conflicting overprotective software, hunted disks, and thought about what I want to keep and what I want to dump. So much thinking and planning and stuff.

In other news, I've this vague sensation that I have a social life this weekend. Argh! Someone (most likely the Husband) is going to crowbar me out of my house and make me keep promises I've made about seeing people and smiling or something like that. Grr! me HERMIT! With new LAPTOP! Grr! Ffftt! Ffftt!

In the new purchases department, a trip through Target last night the Husband picked up a fancy schmancy new LitterMaid. This one is extra special because it has an Ionic Air Cleaner attached to it that activates at the same time your cat does. It was tested about a minute after it was in place. Pooty liked it. Ben liked it. Then LaGuz, the amazing Peeing/Pooping machine that she is, the one who has caused us to remove and replace so much carpeting because of her fussy litterbox habits, the one who is STILL pooping on the tiny strip of nasty green carpet we have not yet removed, was introduced to the new box. She looked at it, got into it -- and immediatately peed over the side.

Maybe she doesn't really know where her butt is anymore. She is getting kinda old. I hope I never get so old and decrepit that I forget where my butt is, or lose awareness of what my butt is doing at any given moment.

That would be bad.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Chaos...

is her name and she's my new laptop. I will be busy trying to learn this new keyboard layout, move data and reload programs. More latah!

Monday, September 11, 2006

After a while I run out of title ideas

The floor is slowly becoming a complete thing. That is, we've got only about 1/4 of the room left to either tile or grout or both. That's progress, I'll tell you. Grouting is the worst of it, although we finally have it down to a system and it's working. It's just very slow. Grout has to dry.

Lots of things are green that really ought not to be, because of the grout. The grout is supposed to be green. Feet are not. Noses are not. But they are, because sandless grout is very, very, VERY dusty. Even after you mix it and spread it, it is very dusty.

Today is The Husband's birthday, for those of you who are watching more 9/11 memorial programs on television. Good heavens, how ever did we commemorate important dates before the TV special? Of course, it also seems to suck all the dignity out of the event. Once upon a time, we let some years go by before interpreting events via media. Now, it almost seems we don't believe something has happened until the made-for-TV movie shows up.

Anyway, The Husband maintains his right to have a birthday today and I stand with him. People die by the thousands every single day, so having attention brought to a particular group dying on a particular day seems almost peculiar when considered in that light. And people are born on every single day. Sometimes we, as a culture, as a species, get a little hung up on the whole thing. It's not like we are really capable of making the whole birth/death thing stop, unless we remove ourselves from the equation, and even then something else will be cycling along the same way.

Feh, I had no desire to become maudlin here, or preachy. I have just reached a personal saturation point with the organized and mandated response to events like this. I feel as if others, faceless others with power, are telling me that on THIS day I should feel THESE emotions and thus take THESE specific actions on THESE topics.

I don't wanna.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Invisiblog

Things around here vanished for a while. Did you notice? All I had was white space. I don't know why.

However, I think it's fixed now. Must be time to back everything up again.

If you didn't notice, I won't hold it against you.

Much.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Sympathy Bruise

Tuesday's adventures have had one interesting result -- a large, brown/blue bruise covering the back of my right hand where the IV insertion went awry. It's a little swollen and a little painful, neither of which is surprising. Veins, like lots of body tissue, don't take well to being scraped open and chased around with long, pointy metal spikes, no matter how altrustic the intention. However, I have been unashamed in waving my hand around and demanding sympathy for my boo-boo.

It's working, too. I got an incredibly gooey good pecan topped brownie this morning via The Husband. Yeah, I had to share it with him, but he did all the traveling and getting, so it was just about fair.

Aside from that, my life seems in spin cycle -- everything is going around and around, and nothing much is getting done, but everything is a little bit dryer and more tangled. Looks like I will have to push back my expected date of entering grad school a semester, because it will likely take me all this fall to get my shit together. Still waiting on transcripts. Still have to dig up professors who remember me and get letters of recommendation. Still have to write the essay. Writing samples are done, but each has to be formatted to suit the particular institution. *sigh* It feels very complicated, even though I know it is just a matter of conquering each obstacle. It will get done in time.

The floor in the back room is STILL the Unfinished Floor. No grouting done because it's been raining heavily in the afternoon, and grout doesn't like much damp weather (especially the people who have to go in and out the back door for water don't like damp weather.) A few more tiles went down, but we MUST accomplish some grouting today. With luck, we will have all the tile down by Sunday, and all the grouting done shortly thereafter. Then it's just two shelving units to build, and all the furniture and STUFF to be put back, and the REST of the house to be recovered and cleaned...

Maybe by Christmas.

No writing, but lots of thinking about writing. And, best of all, the weather here has turned every-so-slightly cooler. Now, mostly this is because of the day long cloud cover, but it is almost the middle of September, and if you've lived here as long as I have, you do feel the change in seasons. Yes, it's subtle -- the gold in the trees is from flowers blooming, but, damnit, they do TURN. The amount of water suspended in air waiting to condense on passersby reduces. I can walk out of the house without feeling suspended in Jell-o. The days are shortening, every so slightly, and the mornings are darker. Certainly, none of this is as pronounced here as it is further north, but then, I don't need broad hints to know. I can watch the shadows as they shift toward "Afternoon all day". In the spring, it becomes "morning all day". That's just how it is, how it feels and looks, to someone who's never lived anywhere else for longer than 2 weeks. This is my home. I know the changes.

Oh, and because I had to go in for bloodwork this morning, I have a new bruise in the crook of my arm to milk for another brownie.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Formal Complaint

I wish now to lodge and official and formal complaint against what ever universal forces were attempting to ruin my cheerful outlook, good humor and my day in general by performing the following offences against me.

1) The tiling is still not done. There are a lot of sub-complaints in this, but that is a good summary.
2) I had to go to the doctor for the stress test today at 2 pm. Inasmuch as I had to be fasting 3 hours before the test, today The Husband decided that rather than getting breakfast at our favorite place, he would order lunch. Breakfast was from the vending machine.
3) Also because I had the stress test and could take no medication, I managed to inflame my right eye again when an eyelash got into it. I could not take the Benadrool and instead walked around with a dripping, red, swollen, gross looking and icky feeling eye.
4) Despite the sonagram pictures of my heart (part of the test) being text book beautiful for three views, the fourth was somewhat vague. This required the injection of a dye. The injection had to be done twice, which meant an IV line needed to be attached to my hand. With the right hand, my vein rolled and then got knicked by the needle as the nurse pulled it out. This Fucking Hurt -- extra hurt besides having a big IV needle shoved into the back of one's hand.
5) Of course, this IV thing had to be repeated on the left hand. This merely Hurt, but it Hurt for quite a long while.
6) I have a bruise on the left hand, and a nice swollen knot AND a bruise on the right hand.
7) The Husband made me take Benadrool when I got home anyway. I didn't take enough to make me pass out, but I'm sure he will catch on and make me take another dose. My eye is still itchy.
8) I am wearing a contraption designed to record what my heart does for about 24 hours. It's a mass of wires connected to a square box on a strap around my neck. The wires are attached to adhesive pads. I have an allergy to most adhesives used in medical bandages -- a few hours of contact causes blisters which will peel off with the adhesive upon removal. I don't know if this adhesive is one to which I will react. I'm sooo looking forward to tomorrow.

However, the Universal forces did not win. I maintained my good mood. We watched the Netflix DVD of Nanny McPhee, which I quite enjoyed despite the debris on the disk that tried to ruin the essential and climactic scenes (the disk proved cleanable) AND I bought and ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream without the slightest twinge of guilt. My life is good, I am cheerful, and even though it seems that my favorite time of the month is about to start to coincide with all the other delights I have experienced today, I remain optimistic that I will not strangle myself, The Husband, or any of the cats with these wires. I am also feeling positive that the effects of the Benadrool will not, in fact, cause an electrical short or otherwise electrocute me. The thing runs on two AAA batteries and should not be enough to cause my demise.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

To the Pain

My fingers feel like dried sausages.

My wrist bones hate me.

My forearms are plotting against me.

My elbows hate my life.

My shoulders are muttering in conspiratorial tones.

There is still 3/5s of a room to be tiled. And Grouted. We spent most of yesterday in the Great Grouting. You put it on, then you smoosh it into the cracks, then you have to wait the PERFECT amount of time to remove the excess. Wait too long, and you have to buy special attachments for your drill to get it off again. There's a trick to getting down the grout over just enough area that where you started is dry enough to start removal, but the place you ended isn't cement-hard when you get there. I think it involves worm holes, time travel, and possibly high pressure water hoses. We don't have any of that currently in stock. I'm checking the hall closet.

Also, sandless grout is no friend of mine, although it doesn't do the X-treme X-foliation job of the sanded kind. I still have skin on my hands.

And nerve endings. That hate me.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sisyphus has nothing on me

This room....it is so big...the more tile we lay, the more tile we have to lay. The more we grout, the more grout we have to go buy. And then we have to wash the grouted tiles. Then we have to wash them again. And again.

And then we have to tile some more.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lessee, where am I?

1) Still doing the application thing. Transcripts are sent for. Trying to work out the letters. Trying to write the statement.
2) Great Weekend Project of laying tile in our large (20 x 24 or so) TV room so that the cat pee can be MOPPED up.
3) Um, I think that's plenty, right there.
4) Yes, I'll post pictures of the tile when it's done. Pictures of the cracked concrete slab with little pale green cat paw prints from 6 years or so ago aren't as interesting, especially because I posted pictures like that a million years ago, in a weblog/journal far far away (ok, so it's in the right sidebar. Sue me.)