Monday, June 23, 2008

Still Alive

Again, it's been quite a long time since I've posted. I was ready with an apology, but you know what, no more apologies. I will post when I can (I am always thinking about it but not always near the computer with free time). I thank all my loyal readers and I hope you still come back often to see what I'm doing (who knows, maybe now that I've taken the pressure off I'll post more often).

A lot has happened, where to start...

We went to Lake Tahoe for a few days with the husband's cousins. It was great. We rented a house on a little lake north of Lake Tahoe and we had our own private beach. The lake was small but motor boats were not allowed so that kept things quiet. The house came well furnished and with a couple of canoes so we spent the days and nights canoing, eating, drinking, and hanging out. I figured out that I'm not quite as adventurous as I think I am. I was terrified every time I went out on the canoes, afraid they were going to tip over. I had a life jacket on and the lakes weren't that deep nor that big, but still, I was afraid of the inconvenience of falling into the lake. So maybe I'm still adventurous, just not willing to get dirty.

Last weekend we went to the OC to hang out with my family. The husband needed to fly once on Southwest before the end of the month to get a free ticket. So we decided to take the short, cheap flight to Southern California and use the free ticket for a trip to Boston. It was hot down south. Fortunately my parents have AC in the family room so that's where I spent most of my time. I noticed that there was very little traffic in LA, and I'm guessing it's because of the cost of fuel. It was a little weird, but convenient! We went to a wedding with my parents. Since we were last minute guests, I was afraid we would screw up the seating arrangement, but fortunately Mexican weddings have open seating. I swear my parents knew everyone at the wedding. We were only a little late (before dinner) but most people arrived late so our dinner was spent standing up and introductions. I don't think we sat down for more than a couple of minutes at a time during dinner. Still, I got to see my extended family and the food was very good.

We watched a lot of basketball during the last couple of weeks. Mainly the Celtics vs. Lakers finals. That was a great series. A lot of good basketball, a lot of blowouts, a lot of comebacks. Once it was over, I was bummed to not have any more sports to watch. The UEFA Euro 2008 is on right now but most games are during the middle of the day (the EuroCup is like the European World Cup - every 4 years). Over the weekend my brother and I watched Russia upset Holland. It was an exciting game and it was great to watch it with my brother. Oh, we flew in to LAX over the weekend, and for our flight in, the husband wore his Celtics Larry Bird shirt. I told the husband I would probably not defend him if he got in trouble in Laker country. But I think most LA people were still too embarrassed from Game 6, or hadn't cared enough in the first place.

The bosses were not in the office today, which resulted in a quiet (no phone ringing), relaxing day in the office. Since I'm quite tired, I think I'll go home early (only 8 hours worked!).

On Friday it was quite hot. When I got home, Monkey was still gone so I went around the neighborhood, looking for her. By the time I returned home, she was waiting for me at the door. As soon as she walked in, she laid down on the kitchen floor, with her paws in the air. She was in a position we like to refer to as "raided", kind of like the cockroaches in the Raid commercials. I got a wet wash cloth and put it on her belly. She didn't mind at all, and stayed there for about 1/2 an hour. It was that hot.

Fortunately it has cooled off a bit. It's no longer pushing 100 degrees F.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Been a While

Sheesh, it’s been a while since I've posted. I didn’t realize how long. Anyway, had a busy week and weekend, so here goes...

My indoor coed team had an undefeated season. We played against the 4th place team in the semifinals and lost 4-3 in sudden-death overtime. It was a good game and we were shooting like crazy, but we just kept hitting the “posts” instead of the net. Oh well. The final was between the 3rd and 4th place teams. The 3rd place team won. That’s soccer.

I haven’t been to the movies in a long time, maybe in about 3.5 years. And in 1 week I went to 2 movies. The first movie I saw was Sex and the City. I loved it. I think I had a high expectation going in and my expectation was exceeded. The movie was a lot of fun to watch. I definitely recommend it whether or not you were into and have seen the series. Even the guys might like it. To prepare for the movie, I started rewatching the last season of the series. I would tend to watch while the husband was vegged on the couch, playing on his laptop. As I watched, he would often snicker at the dialogue. As the episodes and days progressed, he started to look up every once in a while if something big happened. Towards the last of the episodes I watched, he would actually move his laptop out of the way so that he could watch for a few minutes at a time. That made me happy. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out.

The second movie I saw was Indiana Jones. Now this was a big risk considering that my concuño really hated the movie and I trust his judgment. I love the Indiana Jones movies and I went in a little hesitant. Perhaps it was my low expectations, but the husband and I both enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t a masterpiece and it wasn’t as great as the first one (according to the husband) but it was at least as good as the third Indiana Jones movie (again, according to the husband) which was the worst in the series (I like them all).

We finished off our Saturday afternoon by going to a 3-year old’s birthday party. It was at the park and the weather was great. I think the kids multiplied, at least compared to the birthday party last year. Or maybe it was that the kids got older and so it was harder to contain them in one small area and it seemed like there were a lot more little kids running around.

On Sunday, I bribed my husband into taking a long walk with me by buying him lunch and beer at the Tied House, our local brew-pub. He ended up not getting beer with lunch but we did fill up our growler with the Oatmeal Stout. I hate really dark beers like Guinness, but I really like the Oatmeal Stout at the Tied House. To make up for his non-beer lunch, the husband drank the entire growler all by himself while watching the Lakers vs. Celtics game – that’s over 4 pints! The game was pretty good. Although I am disappointed that the Celtics blew such a huge lead. My family lives in Southern Cali and they are HUGE Lakers fans, especially my brother and cousins. My husband is from Boston and while he isn’t a die-hard Celtics fan (not like he is a 2007 Patriots fan), he hates the Lakers. Since I live with my husband, I kind of want the Celtics to win. Last night my fan-ness was 70-30 for the Celtics. It varies from game to game.

The final highlight from Sunday was the end of the year party for the AYSO all star team I was helping to coach. It was a short but lovely BBQ at the beautiful home of one of the girls (it must be nice to have bought a house years ago in CA). When I left the girls were trying to get the coach in the pool. They tried to give me a very big, wet bear hug but I managed to get away. As a thank you I got a nice bottle of Zinfandel. Sweet!

We did a lot of bike riding and walking over the weekend and used it as our mode of transportation. It was great. The husband convinced me to ride my bike to work this morning so that he could take the car. Hmmm...,well, at least I got a workout. Actually, he hast to take Noodles to the vet later so that he can get his second Leukemia shot.

So here’s the moral question of the day: if you find something in a public area, is it considered stealing if you take it? We went to Costco on Friday and as we were loading up our car, we noticed a cart with a package of paper towels and 2 huge boxes of cereal (probably about $30 worth of groceries). There wasn’t another car around. The guy collecting the carts asked us if the groceries were ours. When we said no, he looked around, and then said he was going to return the groceries to the store. Should we have said yes? Would that have been bad? On Sunday morning, I went to Whole Foods. As I was packing up my car, I noticed a body wash in the otherwise empty cart in the empty parking spot next to my car. Again, there wasn’t a car around. This time I grabbed the body wash, sniffed it, and decided to take it. Was that bad? Am I a horrible person, lacking in morals? Just wondering.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Goodbye Sluggo

On Thursday, the husband and I had to say goodbye to our sweet, little munchkin Sluggo. The blood transfusions and procrit (red blood cell production stimulant) were just not working. What was keeping him going was probably the prednisone steroid med he was taking. After the blood transfusion, Sluggo was back to his almost normal self. He woke me up one morning around 2 am to play fetch. I happily obliged.

After about one week, Sluggo started to deteriorate quickly. He lost the pinkness in his nose and pads he had gained with the transfusion and laid down in the corner of our closet. I made him a little bed in there with food and water. On Wednesday morning he wasn’t excited about food and only licked the gravy off his canned food. On Thursday morning he refused to eat anything. He was still drinking water but had very little energy.

Sluggo spent his last hours staring out the window, perched on his new window seat. He saw a few birds, including a hummingbird. He would react when I would talk to him or pet him but his movements were very slow.

The husband and I struggled with the decision of when to take him to the vet. We wanted him to be at home with us for as much as possible, as long as he wasn’t in pain. As hard as it was to say goodbye, we feel we made the right choice and our happy that we were able to do one last good thing for Sluggo.

The house seems quite empty without him. We only had him for 1.5 years but his presence was always felt since he was super active. Except in the middle of the day – he was a great at taking naps. He loved playing fetch with his special cat nip stuffed carrot and favorite hair bands. He would love to “help” us change the sheets on the beds but it was more of a game for him in which he would get under the sheets, lay upside down, and stick his legs straight up, claws piercing through the sheets. He always took offense to Monkey’s growls and hisses and he would let Noodles steal his treats every once in a while (but not his toys). When we would sit on the couch, watching TV, he would come over and sit in our laps, kneading super fast, digging his claws into our legs. We would have to use a blanket to protect our skin. He would give us gentle but determined bites on our hands to get us to pet him.

I’m not sure if the other cats know what’s going on. They started keeping their distance pretty early on, except when they would go into the closet to try to steal Sluggo’s leftover food. Major and Noodles are being very friendly and loving towards us and Monkey isn’t as whiny.

Here are a bunch of great pictures of Sluggo, and his BFF Noodles.

Here's a close-up of Noddles (front) and Sluggo (back) a few days after we adopted Sluggo. Noodles was 20 days older than Sluggo and we adopted him about 2-3 weeks before Sluggo.

The kittens really were inseparable until almost the end.

We would joke that we got Sluggo as a chew toy for Noodles. When Sluggo first came home, Noodles was on him like a shadow.

Sluggo came with ringworm (we found out a few days after we adopted him), which is a fungal, skin infection. Ringworm doesn't really bother the cats but is pretty gross and highly contagious (to people too), so we had to give the kittens weekly baths, and daily application of ointment and oral meds. Their "quarantine" lasted about 3.5 months.

Great picture taken at ~1 year of age by my brother-in-law. You can really see the intensity in his eyes.

Sluggo was quite photogenic, despite his solid color.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Sluggo. His nose and ears were very pink.