Monthly Archives: May 2007

Maker Faire

Maker Faire


I forgot to mention that John dragged me to Maker Faire last Saturday… he thought I would like the event because it’s a bunch of people creating things. I suppose his reasoning makes some sense given my penchant for making random things like medicine cabinets and dog bowl holders out of cardboard. Still, the event was a little bizarro for me. Way too many techies making Rube-Goldberg drink servers and spider robots the size of a room. Sorry, but the stuff was just a little too unconventional for my tastes, not to mention rather ugly. So yeah, didn’t feel like it was quite the right fit for me, but John enjoyed watching the robot rumble in the arena. And we saw a little fountain show involving diet coke and mentos. What else. Oh ate $7 hamburgers and hot dogs. Saw Jimmy Kimmel (John didn’t even know it was him). Lots of crafts too. Handmade stuffed animals, patchwork pillowcases…

After we got home, we had our own little Maker Faire session. You see, my parents are coming to town tomorrow. And somehow I have a feeling they aren’t keen on having our mattress on the floor. I mean, aside from their dust and pollen allergies, my parents are germaphobes, and the thought of being that close to the floor on which Rem and Martin shed, scratch, and frolic probably makes them ill. Needless to say, I understand the desire for a bed lifted off the floor. Our solution? Rubbermaid plastic totes. Yes, the ones we used to ship our shitload of crap from the States to China and back: our trusty shit haulers. John suggested them as a joke, but I actually had him recover them from the garage. What do you know? They are the perfect solution. Just the right height, and they serve the purpose. Voila! Maker Faire in da house!

The Athlete in Me

The Athlete in Me


I’ve finally found a sport to bring out the athlete in me… ok maybe “athlete” is a bit of a stretch at this stage in the game, but my point is, I’ve found a new addiction that actually requires me to get up off my sedentary ass. Yes, yes, I certainly have my collection of addictions– coupon clipping, internet “research”, HBO, work… but this one has the potential for real health benefits.

John and I found this nearby corporate parking garage that’s lit at night, and it’s the perfect roller rink for just the two of us. I’m telling you, I’m really getting hooked on these “community” amenities for personal use. You see, for all intents and purposes, these facilities are practically our own private playgrounds, because I swear John and I are like the only people who use the hot tub, “roller rink”, and tennis courts even. Oh well, our gain right?

So anyway, John is making substantial progress with the skating. Of course, he does have a very patient and helpful instructor (yes, me!). No seriously, he’s doing really well. After only 5 sessions, he can skate around the entire lot without incident. And his strides are getting smaller and more controlled. Soon enough, we’ll be doing the Wednesday night skates at Stanford U. I absolutely cannot wait. I gotta say too: the wrist pads are awesome. They’re like those special weapons that give extra powers in the video games. So worth the money. Plus, I’ve got to preserve my delicate hands. Can’t be playing no Chinese zither with hamburger palms, know what I’m saying?

Ok well, sorry for the quickie but Entourage is coming on in fifteen. And I’m still pathetically trying to squeeze in some work before tomorrow. I know, that addiction has got to stop. No worries though. I bought sleepy time tea, whatever that is. It’s supposed to help me rest. Hmm, does that mean no anxiety dreams about failing tests and about fucking up at work? Let’s hope for the best.

The Toughest Cookie

The Toughest Cookie



Holy shit, it’s been a rough week. I won’t even go into my whole gripe with work… I know it’s a broken record to you folks. Poor Remy though. She went in for surgery on Wednesday. Got the works done: premolar tooth extraction, dental scaling, and the removal of an eyelid tumor. But my Rem’s the toughest cookie around. When I picked her up Wednesday evening, she was as bouncy and as playful as ever. Who could tell she had a big ass pit in her mouth and stitches on her eyelid? She seemed totally normal.

Of course, that was just day 1. By day 2, I realized her normalcy was probably attributed to residual anesthetics dulling the pain. Because day 2, she whimpered a lot. Not continuous, but definitely more than I’d ever heard. And Remy rarely cries. I mean, when she goes to the vet for the usual work, shots, blood draws, whatever, not a peep comes out of her– even when they repeatedly poke the needle around searching for her vein. But this time she had me worried. I didn’t know how to make her feel better. She just came to me and whimpered. I gave her pain meds, but no change. She was restless, and all I could do was pet her. Poor baby.

It’s now day 5, and I think she’s ok now. I’m still giving her the antibiotics, but I’ve stopped with the pain meds. She lets me fidget with her mouth to take random pictures, so I guess all is well. She’s due back at the vet next Friday though to pull out the eye stitches.

Man, I’ll tell you: I was a nervous wreck the day of her surgery. When the vet called me at work, I braced myself for the worst. I got all dizzy thinking about something going wrong… I know, I told you I’m frickin’ neurotic! Thankfully, everything went ok. Remy’s a star trooper.

Save a Penny, Blow Thousands

Save a Penny, Blow Thousands

Many of you know I play these silly games where it’s all about how low I can go with my expenditures. My obsession was at its worst when I was in grad school at UF. The summer would be like 100+, and I’d still pretend not to have A/C. I think I set my thermostat to like 98 as soon as spring came along, and I just conditioned myself to ignore the profuse sweating. Since then, I’ve picked up some of John’s sybaritic tendencies, for example, the nice laptop, high speed internet, good food, but I still try to pinch a pretty penny when I can.

At work, the daily lunches out at $7 each were adding up, so as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I stopped eating out with the crew:
A. The lunches were socially awkward for me, especially with the CEO there. People are so weird when he’s around.
B. The food was getting old. Plus it was mediocre at best.
C. Who had time for lunch once the work pace picked up?

Mentally, I calculated that I was saving some decent dough by packing my lunch and eating at my desk. So I was pleased with myself. I got so much more done too it seemed.

In other cheap thrills, I replaced all the light bulbs in our house with CFLs. Our energy bill ran about half of what it was at that bullshit energy-sucking apartment Archstone. My hybrid is also serving me well, getting me to work reliably while reducing my trips to the gas station. Btw, gas now runs about $3.50/gallon. No wonder Wal-Mart suffered the worst sales numbers in like three decades! But I digress…

Anyway, I was on a roll, and like any jaded person, I knew I was due for something. Well, welcome to this week. Work has continued to grind me down to a fucking nub. My skin is tanking big time. Yesterday, so many people told me I looked tired and that I’ve lost weight. Apparently, I’ve discovered a new diet: the crazy busy work diet. Five pounds in a few weeks. Not bad. Ok, all jokes aside, I don’t mind the weight loss, I’d put on a few since returning Stateside, but the skin irritation is not cool. I’m not just talking about my face. I’m talking rashes on my hand and waist. I’m really worried it’s the return of the shingles. Wtf? I mean, yes, I’m stressed (and having anxiety dreams nightly) but whatev. Why is my body not handling this? So annoying. I know, I need to take action soon…

But the biggest news, is that Remy got checked for her broken tooth. As I explained before, she broke her 4th premolar, the major grinding tooth on the upper left side. The damage was partial, but it got to her pulp (canal) where there are supposedly a shitload of nerves. I researched this heavily online, and turns out this is very bad. Infection is inevitable, so all the experts say you have three options: vital pulp therapy, root canal (this tooth happens to have THREE roots), or extraction. I’ve included a picture… seriously, she is acting totally fine. I’ve pressed on it, brushed it, blown air on it… no problem. But I figured, an expert still needed to check it out. The day of the appointment, I left work at noon. This is what happens when you have a long commute, and you go into auto-pilot. I drive 50 miles a day roundtrip for work. Usually, it’s in rush hour so the cops are never out. Well screw me with a spoon. The cops are out in full force at lunch time. And who knows what I was zoning out on… work, life, whatever. Out from fucking nowhere, a motorcycle copper appeared in the rear view mirror. I pulled over. Then, I couldn’t find my goddamn vehicle registration. I know, what kind of stoner am I? So whatever, got busted. We’re talking a $300 ticket. But hell man, I’m not just handing money over without a fight. It’s time to learn the frickin’ system. I’m contesting this bull. My record’s been clean for the last 6 years; I ain’t tainting my “good driver” record quietly… Btw, to those of you who say women ALWAYS get off. That’s total bullshit. Either that or I’m not a woman.

Anyway, back to Remy. So I took her to the vet. He saw the pulp exposed, and referred me to the dental specialist to see what all the options were. Dental specialist gave me 3 treatment plans, all of which cost $1600. It’s major surgery, with anesthesia and all, but the procedure is still same day and recovery is like 3 days. Doesn’t sound so bad.

I called my vet about the treatment options, and he was floored that the extraction was quoted for the same as the root canal, but whatever. So my dentist offered to do the extraction for $600, and I went ahead and booked the appointment. So yeah, $1500 is crazy expensive, and $600 is a hefty amount too, but it’s not just about the money. I mean, I save like Scrooge McDuck so I might as well spend, but now I feel bad about having Remy be less than perfect (I know, am I a doting freakzoid mom or what?). The thing is, with extraction, the outcome is certain. With the root canal, there are a series of post-op x-rays and follow up… not definite positive outcome. But she gets to keep the tooth. My vet buddy Nathalie says dogs are fine without the tooth… they are easy; it’s the humans who obsess and spaz about everything… I dunno. Still thinking about it.

Obviously, I’ve had better days but this is not the end of the world. I just have to make an effort to improve my different life situations. Btw, I got a pair of inline skates a couple weeks ago, and I am OBSESSED. So much fun. Maybe the 5 lbs. should be attributed to that… I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve already walked the dogs on them… of course Martin gets super nervous and doesn’t know to stay on one side. Twice, he’s crossed over in front of me and caused me to splat. But no injuries so far. Yeah man, livin’ on the edge with my extreme sports! Ha.


Angels on Earth… Not!

Angels on Earth… Not!

Ok so maybe I was a bit biased in the past, calling my puppies “Angels on Earth” and all. Yes, on our first visit to Dry Creek Park, Martin rolled himself in fresh cow dung. The week after, Remy committed the same damn offense. Lil’ rascals.

This time around, John and I had made preparations for the morning hike: we packed fruit, drinks, nuts, paper towels, etc. But we weren’t prepared to have multiple run-ins with about 50-heads of cattle on the trail. It seemed that no matter which path we chose, we always encountered the beasts. And that wouldn’t have been so bad, except that Martin kept provoking them with his incessant barking. And of course the night before, someone on Yelp had warned of charging cows at the park, so I was a bit on edge. On top of that, John and I totally overestimated our fitness, because we got pretty tired early on in the game. We stopped for a picnic, which seemed to help, and then we decided to try the Pioneer’s trail. Unfortunately, with the cows standing in the path, we had to keep rerouting off the path… In the end, the path just disappeared. I know, doesn’t make sense but I’m telling you for both of us, we didn’t know where the path went. And by then we had already entered the danger zone of hunger and dehydration and general annoyance. Yes, it was time to go home. We headed back and that was when Remy decided to freshen up in cow poop. I enjoyed that immensely. Stupid dog.

Needless to say, we won’t be heading back to Dry Creek Park for a while. Like my parents, maybe I have a preference for artificial parks, like ones with paved sidewalks and water fountains. I’m just no longer the tough cookie of my younger years.

Btw, Remy broke her tooth yesterday. John bought them rawhides, and Remy managed to break her premolar to the point that the pulp is exposed. She seems fine, but I read up on the exposed tooth online– it’s very prone to infection so now I’ll have to schedule an appointment on Monday. The pups have been so low maintenance until now… I hope this isn’t the start of the downward aging process for them. Remy’s 9 already. Boo hoo. Marty’s 6.