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November 2015
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January 2016

This Old Cat

So we need to talk about Max. He turned 17 in October, and while we've been saying things like "if he's still here in a year we'll be incredibly lucky" for...well, several years now, there's no denying his age-related decline has officially accelerated over the past couple months. He is moving slower, and less. His appetite is unpredictable and oh my lands, he's just so tiny and frail and...old. The weight loss is the worst. He once topped the scales at a whopping 15 pounds of mostly muscle. He now weighs barely 7. He is skin and fur and bones. Holding him feels like holding a fragile and weirdly elongated kitten. The thing is, he's not sick. Or in any pain or discomfort (other than your typical age-related complaints, like stiff joints, fading eyesight/hearing, and a highly delicate digestive system). I mean, I'm sure if I took him to the vet and had them run a bunch of tests that they'd find SOMETHING, but...well, this probably sounds horrible but I don't want to put him through any of that. I don't even want to put him through the ride in the car. (He gets easily stressed and violently carsick.) And... Read more →


THANG ONE: Noah preformed in his very first concert with the school band. We had to rush out and buy this entire outfit, right down to the shoes, because we are sloppy heathens who don't own church clothes. Or even nice clothes. Noah was a bit nervous about the concert, even expressing hope over the weekend that he would catch the stomach bug from his brothers and be unable to perform. But he didn't, and he did absolutely great, playing front and center onstage as first chair (!!) saxophone. THANG TWO: CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSS! Christmas! Christmas. Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas. So! This is a story worth telling: Jason takes Noah to his saxophone lesson every weekend at a local music place, and about a month ago started sending me photos of this guitar (Epiphone Wildkat) they had for sale. It was used, in perfect condition, at a really good price, and every Saturday he'd take it off the wall and play it for a bit, falling ever more deeply in love. As he'd JUST purchased a regular guitar off Craigslist (to jam with/encourage Ezra, who only wanted a red "rock-n-roll" guitar for Christmas), I remained unimpressed, said no, and also I was... Read more →

The Virus Awakens

Star Wars is a deeply special thing for our nerdtastic family, going all the way back to my very first date with Jason. We love it. Insane for it. Get a case of the warm and fuzzies just from thinking about it. Despite having our young hearts broken by the prequels, being able to introduce our children to the original trilogy brought back the love and magic big time, every time. (Ike, watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time last weekend. I've never seen him so blown away by a movie. When it was over, we said SCREW BEDTIME IT'S JEDITIME and let everybody stay up past midnight.) So there was no way -- NO WAY -- I was going to let my stupid-ass eyes (stupid ass-eyes?) stop me from attending the early Saturday morning showing of Force Awakens we'd bought tickets for ages ago. I was 99.9% sure I was no longer contagious (no red/pink, drainage, swelling, just the residual blurred vision but even that's markedly improving every day) but took all the proper washing/sanitation precautions and was extra mindful about keeping anything from touching my eyes. And it was wonderful. Just...all the wonderful things. I laughed, I... Read more →

The Pinkeye That Ate Sephora

Just a quick eye update, because I'm sure that's what's REALLY important this holiday season: Better. Finally, at long last, definitely better. I saw the specialist again on Tuesday and he was quite pleased, and things have steadily improved every day since. I have some small lesions on my corneas messing with my vision, so typing/writing/Wikipedia-wormholing is still rather unpleasant, but for the most part the virus seems to have finally finished it's thang. Sadly, though, we're not out of the 8-10 day incubation period woods yet with the boys (who SO FAR seem to all be okay), so it'll be another week or so before we can officially declare the great Zombie Pinkeye Scourge of 2015 to be over and done with. Here's to NOT dragging this shit on into 2016. And being healthy enough to see Star Wars. Also at my doctor's appointment, I was instructed to throw out any makeup and makeup brushes that I used or even possibly used on/around my eyes at any point in the past month, especially during the week before my symptoms started. Internet, this is a damn tragedy. Especially since it really wasn't all that long ago that most of my... Read more →

The Christmas Tree That Momentarily Distracted Me From The Pinkeye

Finally, something not about my eyes. (Which are finally, definitely improving, albeit very slowly. I've almost forgotten what it was like to see the world non-blurrified and darkish.) (Dammit, I lied. Sorry. One parenthetical about my eyes and that's it! Moving on!) This weekend my sunglasses, hand sanitizer and I ventured out into the world in search of a Christmas tree. We've never gone to the tree farms this late, so I gotta say, pickings were slim, small and/or very lopsided. Eventually we found one with only a small bald patch that we figured would face a wall anyway. Jason got to work and the boys (plus "Tahu" and "Hobbes," who now go everywhere with us and must be addressed as proper members of the family, plz take note) got to mugging. (Side tangent, but what was UP with the weather this weekend? Decorating a Christmas tree in 70 degree weather? Kids riding their bikes around the neighborhood in shorts with Christmas music blaring out of open windows? It was like living somewhere NICE where the weather doesn't suck ass 90% of the year.) Once we got the tree home we realized we may have gone a little overboard. Tiny... Read more →

The Pinkeye That Ate Everything

I am not actually posting this. I am supposed to be staying off screens and laptops and basically anything that could like, add an eyeball sprain to my long list of woes. But I tried to do a post using the voice-to-text thingie, but apparently my TOTALLY ENDEARING and NOT ANNOYING grammatical quirks and enduring love for run-on sentences and parentheticals and CAPS LOCKINESS just don't translate that well and none of the transcription made any sense. Although, I make no higher promises for this typed-out version either because I can barely see what I'm typing, much less the red squiggly spellcheck lines. Oh, Internet. I am still doing quite poorly. I had a small boost on Wednesday, partly morale/relief-based after knowing that some of the scarier diagnoses (orbital cellulitis, uveitis, etc.) were finally off the table, and partly because of a procedure I had done on Tuesday that made my feel better, but was literally grosser than EVERYTHING PREGNANCY/CHILDBIRTH RELATED put together, and yes, that's including the mucus plug. (Things You Should Not Google, Volume Infinity: Pseudomembranes, the development, growth and removal of.) But the improvement was quickly tempered by my right eye, which is a few days "behind"... Read more →

The Pinkeye That Ate Christmas

One week ago, I looked in the mirror and said, "Yep, that's viral pinkeye, right there." And then went on my merry hand-washing way, because viral! What are you gonna do? "Well you can't just do NOTHING," Jason said a couple days later, staring at my eyes in horror. "You look AWFUL." I argued with him for a little bit, then Googled some more, eventually coming across a description of Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. I texted him a link. "BAM. This is what I have." "STOP DIAGNOSING YOURSELF," was the reply. "GO TO THE DOCTOR." And thus, the journey began. Antibiotics, worsening symptoms, symptoms that could be something other than "just" pinkeye, a referral to an eye center that said oh, sorry, we sent ALL OF OUR DOCTORS TO A CONFERENCE TODAY ALL AT ONCE, WE CAN'T SEE YOU UNTIL MONDAY, a massive allergic reaction (IN MY EYES) to the antibiotics, more antibiotics, steroids, corneal abrasion and possible orbital cellulitis. I am happy to report that the journey more or less ended today, when the eye center's cornea expert looked in my eyes and said, "Yep, that's viral pinkeye, right there." More specifically, it's Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, or EKC for short, which means... Read more →

To Amy From Dad

This post is sponsored by Legacybox. After my dad died and my mom downsized to an apartment, I inherited multiple bags and boxes of family albums, loose photos, random clippings and mementos. I believe the idea was that as I am laughingly (lolingly) considered to be one of the more "tech savvy" types in the family, I was best suited for the task of scanning and digitizing the sprawling heaps of ephemera. That...never happened. You're shocked, I know. I went through everything and did my best to sort it into categories, but ultimately it all returned to the various bags and boxes and ended up on a shelf in the basement. A terrible place for such delicate, irreplaceable items, a fact I knew perfectly well (humidity! floods! fire! snakes!) and felt plenty guilty about, but ugh. Where to start? Our scanner is soooooo sloooowwwww and really doesn't do a great job with the older, poorly color-corrected photos, plus there were all kinds of old VHS/video tapes from various camcorders that I didn't know what to do with. Plus this: In August of 1997, my dad underwent surgery to remove his larynx due to cancer. The surgeon planned to create a... Read more →