Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
The younger one, D, is quite the ice cube connoisseur and left his mark both acoustically and olfactorily when he let a fart fly that would have made a trucker proud. Needless to say I was charmed almost completely out of my whole Oreo supply.
Yoshi behaved completely opposite to habit and not only came out to be social but even let the kid and adult visitors pet her. Considering I was almost expecting bloodshed during this visit her soft fuzzy side scared the shit out of me. I am not at all thinking that this uncharacteristic behaviour is permanent as it is her habit to psych me out with these strange personality changes. It is only part of her charm. She is a sneaky one.
Long ago when Mrs. B was pregnant with D she asked me to be her doula. This was a somewhat modified position as most doulas help with the new baby. Since I hold a deep fear of babies and, in fact, all children under the age of 10 my duties were more along the lines of a Brady Bunch Alice character. I was told it was not necessary to wear a blue uniform even though I really wanted to. Mrs. B called me her wife. I came to stay for about ten days at a time and then went home for four days. This went on for about three months.
Mrs. B had to have a caesarian and then that became badly infected. She was managing an apartment complex at the time and her husband worked a full time job as well as went to university full time. Obviously they needed some help around the house. G was about 3 ½ years old and still a handful. My duties were to help clean, do shopping and laundry, make meals and pick up G from daycare.
I am a somewhat queasy soul and have been accused of being obsessively fastidious along the lines of Felix Unger in ferocity. While I never had any kind of diaper duty I have to admit I was mentally challenged daily by the sheer volume of mucus, urine and fecal matter involved in the upbringing of spawn. My previously unchallenged immune system was put into overdrive, then pooped out entirely and I was almost constantly sick with some sort of viral or bacterial infection. It became a family joke that I was probably best suited to life in a bubble; perpetual singledom devoid of all human contact.
Funny jokes at my expense aside I enjoyed my time hanging out with Mrs. B’s family and I still believe I was more of a hindrance than a help. I am not much of a cook at all and spent a great deal more time in bed with strep than doing laundry or cleaning kitchens. Mrs. B has a wicked sense of humour and there were many laughs and funny moments. But it is G who is responsible for the best story from that time and it came up in conversation last night.
One night I was compiling all the ingredients for a make-your-own-pizza meal. Little G came up to me and asked me what was for supper. I told him he had to guess but he was at a loss and needed a hint:
Me: It is your favourite food and it is round.
Little G: Corn?
Me: Nope. It begins with the letter P.
Little G: Ummmmmm…PORN?
I am the cool Auntie Kranki but not that cool.
A picture of me taken by G.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
What happened is that my computer (AKA-the external bodily organ) got a nasty Trojan type virus on Christmas Eve. I simply visited a well known blogger’s website and that cyber bastard launched itself at my vulnerable neck and chomped down. Now, I have excellent anti-virus software that automatically updates itself so I did everything I could do short of avoiding the internet altogether to play it safe. Yes, the software did alert to the virus but did not stop the infection. Too little too late. I was computer-less for THREE WHOLE DAYS!!!
So most of my Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day was spent trying to save something of my files before my computer burst into flame. I was entirely unsuccessful.
No, I did not have updated backup files of my all too important computer contents and I don’t want any grief on that. I have learned my lesson blah blah blah…
Fortunately my brother is a Microsoft Engineer and saved the day. Not before he pulled my chain causing my blood pressure to skyrocket and my sanity to ooze out of my nose. My brother believes that I am perfectly capable of solving all my computer woes myself. And I have to admit that when he has refused to help me troubleshoot some issue I have managed to fix it myself. Usually after several hours of research and angst knowing full well he could have done it in a few minutes. But I have learned not to ask for help unless I have thoroughly done my part to fix the problem. Fair enough even though I have never taken a computer class in my life except for that one about Word. But my computer was frozen. My computer was toast. All my business plan research was on there not to mention 2 years of precious Yoshi photos. I couldn’t do anything and I tried EVERYTHING. So I called The Bro for assistance fully expecting for him to blow me off. An assumption based on the fact he told me on Christmas day not to call him about anything. However, he came through for me and when I showed up on his doorstep with my computer in my arms he whipped out those fix-it discs and had saved my important files and reformatted my computer in less than 2 hours. Whew!
Yet this worry and helplessness was a terrible feeling. Probably because I have had to deal with feeling helpless about my cancer and health for months now. Long term helplessness compounded with sudden and acute helplessness has thrown me for a loop. I am exhausted. I need a holiday from this holiday.
So despite the fact that my Christmas was wonderful when I think back on this holiday season it will always be The Christmas The Internet Ate My Computer.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Crushed by the Holiday Spirit.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. Yoshi and I wish you nothing but joy and fun and delicious food and lots of catnip. And naps. Lots of naps.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
There are many reasons why I cannot type speedily or accurately and all of these reasons are entirely my fault.
I was a difficult teenager. I was not a troublemaker or a juvenile delinquent. Alas I emerged from puberty without a criminal record or any bodily scars. My main problem was that I was mouthy and full of a lot of opinions. Basically I was full of shit.
When I was a teenager waaay back in the 80’s personal computers were very rare and computer science was not yet offered at school. When I was a teenager the only reason you learned to type was to become a secretary. Or at least that is what I thought. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would vacillate wildly between being a Rolling Stone photographer to just skipping the media part altogether and being a rock star. Never mind that I didn’t play an instrument or sing well. In my mind this occupation was entirely possible and I only really needed a couple guitar lessons at some point. I also wanted to be a fashion designer, professionally jet set and hang around the beautiful people. For a living.
My parents, trying to keep me within the earth’s atmosphere, would tell me that having some secretarial skills wouldn’t be a bad idea. Something to fall back on. Well, way to harsh my mellow! My mom was a secretary and she had to have normal hair and wear tweed type clothing and be pleasant to people. There was no way you would find me working out of a cubicle. NO WAY, MAN!
So I did the only thing I could do to completely eradicate any chance of me accidentally finding myself taking messages for The Man. I decided not to learn any secretarial skills at all if I could possibly help it.
I did take a typing class in tenth grade and managed to still pass while not learning the layout of the keyboard at all. In fact I am entirely uncertain how I didn’t fail that class completely. It is possible that my teacher took pity on me. Probably it was that he simply didn’t care that much.
You see, Mr. McCracken, my ‘Business Education” instructor was a very young and new teacher. He was also pretty good looking. Not to me as I didn’t go for that Magnum PI cheesy moustache sort of guy but most of the other young ladies in his classes mooned over him most shamefully. And he LOVED it. I don’t think he even noticed that I was sucking so badly at my keyboard skill exercises. In reality I spent most classes watching him flirt back to his 16 year old female students. Or I simply goofed off.
Mr. McCrackin wore Miami Vice coloured clothes and drove a Mercedes convertible sports car. His fan club would often follow him out of the classroom escorting him to his ride and wave hysterically as he drove off every afternoon. There was always lots of giggling and flipping of hair in his presence. Oh, gag me with an IBM Selectric.
His popularity waned once he brought his young and beautiful girlfriend to co-chaperone the Valentine’s Day dance. She had long blonde hair and wore a pastel coloured twin set. Together they looked like a couple of Kennedys, all bright and shiny and perfect. The entire female student body was seething by the end of the night. Maybe even a few of the teachers too.
But I digress…
I emerged from high school utterly type challenged and completely unsuited for any kind of clerical work. Mwahahaha. I love it when plan comes together.
Then personal computers started becoming more common (who knew!?) and my parents got a DOS unit in the house. Even then I managed to avoid learning to type, as working one of those beasts was not merely inputting an essay but filled with weird function keys and strange alphabetical equations. My mom was an expert and as such typed all my art history papers through two years of art school. The next two years of jewellery school I got my roommate to type my assignments out at her job when she was bored, as we didn’t have computer in our bachelorette pad. Pretty sneaky on my part. I think I convinced her that doing this for me would be good practise as she was learning to type herself at the time. Very handy! And I remained a typing virgin.
After graduation I got my first Mac and got email and discovered that I was completely screwed. There were all my friends and family communicating like busy little bees while I laboured and sweated over a sentence or two. IMing was out of the question.
Ten years later nothing has really changed except that my speed has increased just a little. My fingers flail around uncontrollably and if it weren’t for spell check my correspondence would resemble a kindergartener’s diary. Secretly, it is really embarrassing. Outwardly, I put on a brave face to the world and loudly proclaim my ass backwards technique to be just part of my charm. Yeah, as charming as a fart in church. Cringe worthy.
I have tried a few typing tutorials downloaded off the internet and quickly realised that teaching an old dog new tricks is not only slow but painfully boring. I can actually feel my brain shudder as my motor skills are challenged and new synapses are formed. Faced with those sensations I usually decide pretty quickly that my hardwood floors need to be detailed or my socks need ironing and abandon the lesson.
So I am not a professional photographer or the next bassist for Hole or even a jet setter. I am not a secretary either. I am simply a bad typer and far too humiliated to confess how long it took me to write this post. There were 23 spelling mistakes though.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I have been soooo busy the last couple of days I haven’t had the time to blog properly. I went to a Christmas Party/Gathering type thingy on Sunday night and woke up with the most terrible hangover Monday morning that incapacitated me all day. This hangover was very strange, as I didn’t drink a drop O’ The Booze. Or even eat any food. Only Diet Coke for me. What made me so terribly sick was all the second hand smoke I breathed in all night. I must be a delicate flower after all my treatments or something as not only was it vile at the time but it was the gift that kept on giving after the fact.
The good news is that my friends totally spoiled Yoshi and me rotten. They are really good to me.
Then today was a doctor appointment and then some grocery shopping and last minute Christmas baking at my mom and dad’s house. My mom and I really zoned out this year. Normally we send a Christmas package full of yummy treats to my cousin Lbo and her kids in Alberta. This year her military husband is in Afghanistan and we sent him a huge Christmas goody package very early. So somehow, in our minds, we thought we were done. Suddenly the other day it occurred to me that we needed to compile another one for the rest of the family. DER! We did that all tonight in a marathon cooking spree.
So there you go. I am feeling pretty good energy-wise and making sure all my appointments allow me sleep-in time. That seems to do the trick. Yoshi has been having loads of fun delicately and methodically ripping all the bows off of all the presents under the tree. She has also taken to dragging the gifts all over the house by their ribbons. I am continuously yelling at her to LEAVE THAT ALONE!!! She is evil.
Tomorrow evening I have some extra time so I will visit all your blogs then and catch up on comments. I will also catch up on commenting on all the comments you have left for me over the last few days. I will also try to think up something witty to post. Honestly, I will try.
Thanks for being so patient with me. I am a slow typer so getting all that accomplished might take some time but I will get it done.
How are your holiday preparations unfolding?
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
OK. First of all I have to totally apologise for not posting the last couple of days. Secondly I have to totally apologise for not commenting on your blogs. Thirdly I have to totally apologise for posting a whiney and snivelly entry today.
Let the complaining begin…
I spent the ENTIRE day yesterday running around town to no less than three different doctor’s appointments as well as one icky procedure involving needles. Between these appointments I managed to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done complete with the prerequisite second thoughts and over-spending. I also managed to wrap all these gifts with flair if not neatness. After that I made myself an exotic meal and revamped my resume for an upcoming project I will have to tell you about later. This is all about the complaining now. Potential cool stuff will be revealed in the near future.
All together I was on the road from 10 am to 7 pm and then busy at home after until past midnight. There were no naps, which makes for a very grumpy and sleepy Kranki.
Then today I discovered that along with eerily clear skin (sadly temporary) and excess bloat (sadly permanent) I seem to have developed another odd new side effect from chemo. I have suddenly become mentally inflexible and highly resistant to sudden change. Today, while I was further revamping my resume, waiting impatiently for the post man to show up for a parcel pick-up, doing several loads of laundry, washing my floors, reading blogs and doing Christmas cooking I received a phone call. This call came in at about 4:30 pm. It was the hospital where I will be getting my surgery done this January. They told me I needed to come in for a pre-admissions check up before my surgery. “No problem!” I say. Well, they want me to come in tomorrow at 2pm. FOR 2 HOURS! Nice warning, guys! Right smack in the middle of tomorrow, my carefully detailed and planned down to the very second day that requires me to battle city centre traffic as well as make it to a neighbouring town in the midst of Friday afternoon rush hour along with waiting in line at the post office and, of course, doing further Christmas shopping not forgetting accomplishing a couple merchandise returns in addition to trying to locate a suitable refrigerator to replace the one in my kitchen that is freezing everything. Oh yes, my day is TOTALLY FUCKED!
This change of plans is really messing with my head. All of a sudden my stress level is through the roof. I guess I could do the fridge thing on Monday. I suppose I could do some more Christmas shopping this weekend (GAH!). In a pinch I could avoid the downtown core altogether until next week. But the fact remains that I made a list and now, dammit, everything is messed up.
So much for resting and gathering my strength. I am exhausted just thinking about all this. There is just too much for one pooped and/or fatigued gal to do.
I need a wife.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Most of you know that I finished my radiation therapy last Wednesday. I am pretty happy to have this part behind me, as I was getting rather crispy. This means that I am officially through with my treatment. What surgeries I have ahead of me are more preventive. This is also the case with the medication I will have to take.
When I think of my treatments being over my first reaction is one of relief and happiness. I mean because, really, they sucked. But that is quickly overshadowed by feelings of unease and worry. When I was diagnosed with cancer my immediate thought was, “What do I have to do to get rid of it?” I am a pretty proactive person. Now that my treatments are over I feel at a loss. Like I should be doing something. While chemo and radiation are very aggressive treatments somehow I can’t help but wonder if they are enough. Like I should have to do more drastic things to get rid of the cancer. Like maybe this is a bit too easy.
Of course then I immediately think that I am being silly. Who would want to wish nastier treatments for themselves? And I really don’t. Mostly I just don’t want to go through this again. So I am torn between celebrating and fretting. Fortunately for me I have heard this is pretty normal. Yet it is still conflicting.
So no parties or celebrations at the Krankipad but I did completely poop out staying in my pjs from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon. Frankly I am feeling pretty tired and just don’t really want to do anything. I don’t know if I am just exhausted from all the treatments or mentally flattened by all the stress. Probably a bit of both. So for now I am laying low and spending some quality time with my couch. I had hoped I would start to get my motivation back to start doing exercising tapes and cleaning my apartment and doing more Christmas shopping but I just can’t seem to get going on that. Maybe I am being too hard on myself and need some down time. Or maybe I need to channel my inner gymnast and kick my own self in the ass.
So next on the Breast Cancer Agenda is my bilateral mastectomy on January 23rd, 2006. At this time they will put in tissue expanders to make room for implants. This Wednesday I see my chemo oncologist for a check up and I believe she will prescribe some sort of estrogen inhibitor or Tamoxifen. I have no idea what kind of side effects are in store for me but I think overall I will feel better about doing something to keep this crappy cancer away.
So there you go. Nothing about Yoshi.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Name - Linus
Secret Actual Name - Tennis Ball Head (there is a song that goes with this name)
Name According To FM - Hey! Hey! Linus!
Prior Name - Sparky (when I got him from the humane society)
Generic Nickname - CatHead
Nickname When Bad - FurFace
Nickname When Playing With Cat Toy - KittySlut/BabyCats
Nickname When Sitting - RegalCat
Nickname When Agitated - SwishyTail
Nickname When Walking On Me In Bed At 4:00 AM - Dammit! Stop That! (he also likes to nibble feet)
Nickname Reflecting How Cat Came To Be In My Possession - Old Man (they thought he was too old to be adopted – he was 1 yr old)
Name – Yoshi
Secret Actual Name – Miss Smellie Buminski
Name AccordingTto My Dad – Sausage
Prior Name – Didn’t have one as she was gotten as a wee kiddee. But we did think she was a boy. Hence Yoshi which actually means “Favourite Son’ in Japanese.
Generic Nicknames - Bubs, Bubby, Bubby Loo, Monkey, Miss Monkey, Chunky Monkey, Fatty
Names When Bad – Fucker, Little Shit
Nicknames When Playing With Cat Toy – Freakshow, Savage, The Player
Nickname When Sitting – Miss Thang
Nickname When Agitated – Fart In A Windstorm
Nickname When Walking On Me In Bed At 4AM – Diggy Diggy
Nickname Reflecting How The Cat Came To Be In My Possession – Birthday Gift From Hell
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I saw a young woman sitting in the radiation waiting room wearing a hospital gown. She had the same very short hair as I do which leads me to believe she had just gone through chemo. She looked to be in her mid twenties. And she was holding a tiny baby.
Monday, December 05, 2005
When I completed my chemo I went to the local cupcake store and got a dozen gourmet treats to take to the chemo nurses. Yes, there is a gourmet cupcake store in my neighbourhood and yes, it is appropriately called Cupcakes. These concoctions are very sweet with gobs of buttery icing in girlie colours. The chemo nurses loved the treats and I was really happy to bring them some. I was thinking of doing the same thing for the radiotherapists as I really feel like I have gotten to know a few of them with my daily visits. One of them actually only lives a couple blocks from me so we talk about the neighbourhood haunts. This is how I came to learn that she hates these cupcakes. It also turns out that she and some other radiotherapists have gone on a total dietary detox. Their plan was to go completely dairy, wheat and sugar free for a few months before Christmas and then “retox” for the holidays. At this time they all are still on their diet. Therefore at this time I am totally fucked for a yummy thank-you giftie.
After much thought I have decided the only thing I can think of that can offer these dietary heathens an opportunity for yumminess but still provide sugary treats for the regular folks is to load up a Starbucks card so each of them can take it on their break for a caffeine free soy latte or a double sweet hot chocolate depending on their preferences.
What do you think of this idea?
Is it too impersonal or a good giftie compromise that makes everybody happy?
Saturday, December 03, 2005
I totally know better than to watch an animal type film in the theatre as I will weep copiously though it. I saw an advertisement for that penguin movie on DVD the other day and I know I will have to watch this thing at home because I will cry like a beauty pageant winner. I have such empathy for animals. I feel what they feel. Their triumphs are my triumphs. Their hairballs are my hairballs.
While I love all animals, even the ugly ones, I have a particular affinity for elephants. I don’t know why for sure but I suspect there was some sort of past life experience involved. It literally breaks my heart to see elephants performing in circuses. I hate that they use any animal in circuses but when they use that hook thingy to make elephants to do unnatural behaviours it is all I can do not to take that hook thingy an employ it on that trainer’s ass in a vigorous and imaginative way.
A few years ago I saw a documentary called “The Urban Elephant” which was not only moving but also very educational. On this show they featured an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee that offers a home to sick, needy and abused elephants. They actively rescue elephants as well as accept the requests of circuses and zoos that can no longer care for their elephants. They do very good work and have created miraculous recoveries with elephants who are both physically and emotionally unwell.
It is called aptly The Elephant Sanctuary and Carol Buckley and Scott Blais who have literally dedicated their lives to saving elephants run it. I have a link on my blog to their site and maybe some of you have gone there for a visit. Their elephants roam free on thousands of acres of land and no longer have to perform. They don’t even allow people to come and view the elephants. However, you can do this via the ELEcam, which they have set up so that you can see what the elephants are doing all over the property. They have a nice warm barn that the elephants have free access to if they want the shelter. Most prefer to stay out all night on the property. The staff uses ATVs to bring out food to the beasties so they don’t have to leave their resting places to eat. They call these forays Grocery Runs. They even go to the elephants to give them their naturopathic foot soaks as most of their residents have horrible foot problems due to standing on cement for most of their lives. Teva even made shoes for the elephants who needed them for comfort. How freaking cool is that?
These elephants have created strong family bonds with each other. They are all female and no breeding is done there. And you can read all about then on the ELEdiary complete with written entries and photos of The Girls. I LOVE this site!
Recently the USDA faulted a guy who rents elephants to circuses for profit who abused his animals and exposed his whole herd to TB. This a very dangerous disease for elephants and by this guy’s negligence loads of circus going people have been exposed to it as via these poor elephants when they watch them perform. Not cool. Finally after months of negotiating The Elephant Sanctuary has been awarded custody of nine of these sick elephants and they will be transferred to the brand new barn where they will have to be isolated for a year while they undergo treatment for their TB.
I highly recommend you guys check out this site. View the ELEcam and see The Girls having fun in the pond or the dust bowl. I am pretty smug over the fact that I can almost identify each of The Girls by their body shape. Hey! I have had a lot of spare time lately.
I don’t like to ask for your guys’ help but these cool people need some funds to move the new elephants to their new home (and let me tell you watching them arrive and discover their new homes via the ELEcam is seriously moving) and could use a hand. Check out their store and see if any of their products would make good Christmas gifts. I sent out their Christmas cards last year and they were a hit. Or if you have a spare couple of bucks after all your shopping (I know I am asking a lot) and are looking for a place that needs it please consider them.
Or just check out the ELEdiary and read about these very amazing animals. Their names are Tarra, Sissy, Winkie, Delhi, Bunny (AKA: The Elusive Bunny), Jenny, Shirley, Misty, Tange, Zula and Flora. The new additions are Lottie, Minnie, Sue, Liz, Ronnie, Frieda, Billie, Debbie and Queenie.