willowisp: (Happy or grateful)
While I won't claim to be his biggest fan, or even in the top hundred or so, I am a dedicated fan of Weird Al Yankovic. Previously I have been to his penultimate concert in Albuquerque (technically in Rio Rancho) and, during his 2011 tour in which he skipped Albuquerque, to one in upstate NY which happened to occur around my sister's birthday. Since I was already there for her birthday, I figured I would attend the concert as well. I also have a DVD of one of his tours, and a blu-ray of the tour in which he skipped Albuquerque.

Much Weird Al fangirling ensues. Spoiler alert: there are spoilers. And, I have a close encounter with him during the audience schmooze song. )
willowisp: (Tired or sad)
For those who haven't heard, Heidi, our oldest kitty, is very sick. She stopped eating and developed fatty liver. She now has a feeding tube through which she gets all of her food and water until (or perhaps if) she begins drinking and eating on her own again. Here's what tube feeding entails:

  • Using a syringe, pump water into her. Also, a dose of anti-nausea medication in her 6am, noon, and 6pm feedings.

  • Using a much larger syringe, inject watered down gooshy food. This has to go very slowly because, despite the anti-nausea meds, she seems to be hyper-prone to getting sick.

  • With a third syringe, flush out the feding tube with water to clean it out for her next round.

There are at least three points of failure to this routine. The first round of water can make her sick, as was the case at midnight last night. The round of food is acutely likely to make her sick, and we need to feed her very small doses with very large pauses to keep the food down. And even if parts one and two go well, the cleansing round of water can tip her over the edge, nausea-wise. Another potential point of failure we discovered last night -- the feeding tube somehow got nicked or punctured.

Along with feeding, we have to change the dressing around where the feeding tube was inserted. It needs to be changed every other day or if it becomes dirty or wet, whichever happens first. This involves a pad with anti-bacterial ointment over the insertion site, a layer or three of cotton bandage, a layer of gauze to make the whole mess adhesive for the final layer, alligator tape. A few small pieces of surgical tape are used to hold the tube upright.

Heidi can and has repeatedly pulled some of the dressing out and even gotten her tube almost completely uncovered. We're not sure if Jenny might not be helping Heidi on this count, although Jenny and Sean for the most part seem to be leaving Heidi alone.

Heidi herself is sending mixed signals. Aside from getting sick easily, she seems to be very lethargic, laying in one spot for 12-16 hours and walking very slowly and perhaps dragging somewhat. On the other hand, she will let us know when she is unhappy, and at night she likes to play one of her oldest roles, that of a cave kitty. She burrows under the covers (her cave) and sleeps there. Since coming home from the vet hospital she's also been pointedly making sure part of her is touching either Andy or me when she's in her cave. She hasn't yet snuggled between us like she used to, though.

Right now we're waiting for a callback from the vet to figure out what to do about her feeding tube. Andy has meanwhile deployed a temporary fix involving plastic wrap and surgical tape which seemed to work for the watering he gave her about half hour ago. If we don't hear back within the next five minutes or so (we left messages at 1:30 am and called in at about 10am, and it's now noon:40), we're going to try to feed her and see if the patch holds up.
willowisp: (Serene or contemplative)
I didn't really keep up with my tournament blow-by-blows this year, but I have been judging. There have been way fewer tournaments this year; like, maybe one a month instead of every three weeks that was last year. However, I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Santa Fe, judging the state tournament. It was a lot of fun, and exhausting, and very hard. Nearly everyone I judged was at the top of their class from the onset, and deciding between them was often a matter of razor-thin semantics rather than who was actually more talented, especially in the later rounds, when they competitors had really been whittled down to the best.

Thursday )
I had a car brusher/scraper, but over the summer it melted and the bristles fused, so over Christmas, when we were in Indianapolis, we got one for each car. Unfortunately I forgot that Santa Fe is significantly colder than Albuquerque and gets more precipitation, so I did not have the brush in my car on Friday, when we got snow. I also hadn't brought a jacket, so I now have a lined windbreaker with Santa Fe Community College's logo. It was at SFCC where the second and third days of the tournament were held. SFCC is... unique. Suffice to say that most of the building were interconnected except for two which were not, but one of the two wasn't exactly standalone. Also, room numbers were not necessarily consecutive, and sometimes jumped by dozens from one room to the next. It was an experience.
Friday )
Saturday )
After finishing the final round I cut out. I don't hang around to watch awards ceremonies since I don't want to be prejudiced for future tournaments. It's especially crucial in this case, since the next tournament is going to be qualifiers for nationals. I didn't judge states last year but I did do national qualifiers. NQs are being held in Albuquerque at the same place they were last year, so I'll have familiarity in the city and in the venue. I may have to miss some of the judging for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show, but I'll know more once they've posted the dates for NQs.
willowisp: (Prickly)
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The delusion that all human life isn't interconnected.
willowisp: (Default)
Please vote for the no-kill private rescue for which I nominally volunteer. You can vote once per day, and if we get enough votes there's a small grant in it for us.

http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces

Search for PACA/AAR in Albuquerque, NM. Thank you!
willowisp: (Empathy or hope)
[Please forgive the multiple messages if you follow me on Facebook, G+, or Twitter.]

This is a semi-regular pitch for the Greater Good suite of pages, which donate to various charities every time someone clicks. While any page in the suite can be a jumpoff, I usually start at the Hunger Site, which donates food to famine areas or those hit by natural disasters.

I recommend bookmarking http://www.thehungersite.com and making a daily routine of visiting/clicking (only one click per day counts). There are also tabs to the other click-to-give sites which help underwrite mammograms for needy women; feed animals in shelters; help homeless veterans; help pay for therapy for people with autism; contribute to health care for children; buy books for poor children; and buy up land in the rainforest in order to preserve it. Just to clarify -- you can click each tab once per day; you don't need to choose between them.

The hungersite as well as two of its companion sites are vetted as true by Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/charity/hungersite.asp.

Finally, as the holiday season approaches, please consider shopping at small local businesses rather than large chains. However, if you just can't find that one special gift, please look at the Greater Good stores. Each of the tabs has a link to the store, and by following the link from any individual tab, all proceeds are given to the charity which was selected. For instance, to benefit breast cancer research, I would enter the store from the breast cancer tab. There are a ton of products of all kinds, and they are fairly traded, many from small collectives which benefit the poorest of the poor. Not only can you find some really cool stuff, but all proceeds/profits are donated.
willowisp: (Grieving or sympathetic)
Somewhere around 1990 or 1991, my friend [livejournal.com profile] blackgryphon began lending me some books. Each week he would give me one of Robert Asprin's MYTH series and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. The relationship between the dragons and their riders instantly captured my imagination, and I read every one I could get my hands on. It's probably good I only saw him on a weekly basis or I might have devoured the whole series in some unholy orgy of reading over a day or three.

Fast forward to late August or early September (the DB crashed and rolled back two weeks, erasing my first incarnation), 1992. I created a character on a MUSH, which is sort of like an exercise in interactive playwriting. The theme of the game, or the world in which we played, was Pern. In November of 1993, on an unknown date, a friend I met on the game and I began dating, never having met in person. In 1998, [livejournal.com profile] callicrates and I were married.

It is quite possible to say that we never would have met had it not been for PernMUSH, and PernMUSH could not have existed without McCaffrey's stories about dragons. Through the years since then I've met some wonderful people, some of whom have become friends or even partners in crime in real life. Not all of them were from PernMUSH, or even from games themed after Pern; some are friends of those whom I met on those other places. One of those friends whom I met through PernMUSH friends helped me get my last job. Needless to say, Pern and, through Pern, McCaffrey, have had an astounding influence on my adult life.

As with most relationships, it hasn't been without some problems. The term "Anne science" refers to anything which really needs people to suspend disbelief in a major way. Some of her later books outright contradicted earlier ones. Heck, some of her books were internally self-contradictory. She made some comments, especially as she got older, which infuriated many people (tent poles, anyone?). Her handling of Pern-themed MUDs were inconsistent and often heavy-handed. I admit to having been annoyed at her any number of times.

Still, overall, she wrote good stories. The relationships between dragons and their riders have been capturing imaginations since the 1960s. She was pleasant the time I wrote her a starry-eyed email, which she answered personally. And, of course, I have her to thank, even if indirectly, for being married to the most wonderful guy ever. It is with great sadness, then, that I heard today of her passing. I hope she's somewhere hanging out with friendly dragons and enjoying even more adventures. Maybe I'll start considering November 22nd as the anniversary of Andy's and my becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.
willowisp: (Default)
This year we had 21 trick-or-treaters. Good thing I bought candy we like.
willowisp: (Default)
This time, time sensitive. Stonyfield™ is donating .10 per click to breastcancer.org. If you mention who you're clicking for or include their story, your click counts three or five times, respectively. They will donate for up to a million clicks and a total of $100,000.

The link is here.
willowisp: (Happy or grateful)
Today was an auspicious day: thirty-six years ago, [livejournal.com profile] callicrates made his debut in the world. As he has noted, this age makes him perfectly square. That I got the math joke in it is a tribute to the effect he's had on me.

Although I would usually take this time to write something sappy with a lot of adjectives, this year was pretty low-key. Loot-wise he got an iCade from ThinkGeek; we'll be celebrating with cake and ice cream as well as his favorite dinner tomorrow, since tonight was anime night at [livejournal.com profile] echoweaver and [livejournal.com profile] studentbane's place.

So, the rest of you can avert your eyes if you're worried about sending your blood-sugar levels through the roof.
.
.
.
I love you, Andy.
willowisp: (Default)
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I would love to see him recognize just how wonderful a person he is, how many people care for him, and how much we love him. And for him to stop suffering from nightmares.
willowisp: (Happy or grateful)
This will be the last update on our fosterling kitten, Jenny. As of last night she has a home. That she shares it with Andy, Heidi, Sean, and me is just icing on the cake. Recent pictures here.
willowisp: (Empathy or hope)
[Note: I have posted this on Facebook and will be posting it on Google+, so if you follow me on those sites, this will look familiar.]

http://www.thehungersite.com

For those who are unaware, there is a suite of sites wherein you can click a button, read some ads, and have a donation made to a cause by the folks who pay for the ads. There are several sites, each of which can be donated to by your click once a day. This is *not* a scam; it's even verified by Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/charity/hungersite.asp.

I use the Hunger Site as a jumpoff point since it was the first of the suite to be founded; the other causes are mammograms to detect breast cancer, feeding shelter animals, helping homeless veterans, therapy for children on the autism spectrum, health care for children in developing nations, books so children who otherwise would not be able can learn to read, and preserving the rainforest.

Due to the horrific drought conditions in Somalia and the other nations in the Horn of Africa, the Hunger Site is concentrating their efforts there for a while. Please consider visiting the charity suite and clicking once a day; even make it a ritual or routine.

The suite also runs a store in which each purchase makes a donation to your cause of choice, based on where you jumped off. For instance, if you use the navigation bar of the Hunger Site, each item will notify you of how many cups of food the purchase will generate. There is a lot of cool stuff in the store, and the t-shirts and peasant blouse I've bought were well-made. If you have an occasion coming up where you need a gift, please look over the store as well as doing the free click.
willowisp: (Default)
So much for daily updates. Oh well. Anyway, Jenny met her original foster mom again on Friday, as well as a new stranger, and did fine with both. For a kitten who was at the borderline age for ferals being able to be tamed, she is not afraid of people now. She's still sleeping in her tent at night, and still makes a fuss if I'm not nearby. I'm not sure how she'll react when I start sleeping on the bed again, rather than on the floor next to the tent. Heidi is still acting somewhat like a spinster aunt bemused by the antics of a youngster. Sean is playing with her, but will pin her if she gets out of hand (or out of paw, as the case may be).

There are week seven pictures of her up at http://gallery.spundreams.net/v/kitties/jenny/.
willowisp: (Default)
Andy and I are fostering one of the four emergency kittens [livejournal.com profile] ljedi was saddled with last week. The kitten's given name was Jill, after a character in the computer game _Resident Evil_, and we're calling her both Jill and Jenny, the latter of which she responds to at this point. I'm not sure how long we'll have her for; we want to make sure she is still adoptable when we give her up. Sadly, May through September is kitten season, and if the kittens are not super tiny and cute, they get passed over. Tiny and cute encompasses anywhere from 8 weeks (the youngest they're supposed to be separated from their mother) to somewhere under 16 weeks (the age at which they're recommended to be fixed). Jenny is about six weeks old now. There are some pictures of her here.

More information for my own reference and/or for the terminally bored. )

I will do an entry about Thursday later on today, when Thursday is almost or officially over. I'm hoping to update daily so we can keep track of her progress.

Fandom Meme

Jul. 9th, 2011 06:18 pm
willowisp: (Playful or silly)
Go look at your blog journal. Find the last Fandom-related thing you posted. The characters in that post are now your team-mates in the Zombie Apocalypse. How fucked are you?

I'm guessing this actually refers to fanfic, but what the heck, Weird Al is a character all right. I think that having him on (or even by) my side in the Zombie Apocalypse would make me one of the safest people in the world.
willowisp: (Default)
On May 21st I took a three-hop plane ride to upstate NY. The flights were, for once, blessedly uneventful and drama free, with the biggest concern being nearly running out of flowers for flight crews/gate agents. I think there two left when all was said and done, and I had to skimp a bit on the gate agents. If that's the biggest problem on a day with three flights, I'll take it.
My exploits. )
Yesterday I mostly tried to get over jet-lag and re-acquainted myself with the kitties while Andy was at work. Tonight we're doing our usual Friday anime get-together with friends. Tomorrow Andy and I will hopefully have time to be obscenely cute and cuddly.
willowisp: (Default)
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Paperweights! Preferably but not necessarily dichroic, and with spillovers into marbles and other pretty glass/acrylic items.

I started after seeing a gorgeous paperweight (later, much later, identified as Robert Eickholt's Blue Veil). I couldn't resist the paperweights I found during the search for Blue Veil, nor have I stopped collecting since I found it. Specifically, I'm still looking for a late 1990s version of the ever-hanging Glass Eye Studio Uranus paperweight.

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