The ears...


I don't think we posted about it, but last Monday we brought Winston in to the vet to look at his eyes (there was some goo) and his ears (he'd been shaking his head quite a bit). Turns out his eyes were fine -- goo was normal. But the ears... both were infected so bad that a) they had to sedate him in order to try to look at them because they hurt him so bad, b) they were infected so bad the vet couldn't look all the way down, and c) because they had to sedate him, we had a vet bill that was dog sized (oh, and he's 72 pounds now). We were given some medicine to use in his ears, but if he doesn't get better they may have to surgically drain them which meant a vet bill as big if not bigger.
We applied the medicine religiously, and waited. Yesterday was the dread day. Fortunately, the picture above says it all -- the vet said his ears looked great!
As y'all know, Winston is a quite a mix. Unfortunately, his ears are not water dog ears, and they don't drain properly. So we've got a mix of alcohol and vinegar to put in his ears after he swims to make sure that we don't end up in this position again. For now, though, we have only one Dog-Sized vet bill instead of two. Yeah :)
  • Current Music
    Girl Talk - Set It Off

I'd buy it!

I blame scdemandred! This is his doing. Okay, he didn't start it, but I wouldn't have found it if he hadn't gone and done it! What is it?
To figure out your fictional rock band's album cover, do the following:

1. Take your band name from the first hit on Wikipedia's random entry page.
2. Take your album name from the end of the last quote on this page.
3. Take your album artwork from the 4th picture on Flickr's interesting photos page.

YOU WILL NEED:
Design Talent
An application that lets you put text on images
10 minutes or so.

Here's what my results turned up:

It's funny if you know (which I didn't until a few minutes ago) that the real Jirair Hovnanian was Armenian Iraqi-American home builder based in New Jersey. And a man. Thanks for that lucky roll, Flikr, as you turned my obscure home builder into what looks like an exotic pop songstress. I'm sure Timbaland did the production on "Everything is Extraordinary."
  • Current Music
    Tori Amos - God

Coming to a theater near you: SlugLife, a movie 10 years in the making

Ten years ago today, this beautiful coworker at Orchard Supply Hardware asked for my phone number. Who knew that simple question would start us on such an epic journey, from California to Utah and back, sickness and health, richer and poorer . okay, poor and poorer.. it's been an amazing time. Anna asked me out to the movies tonight. It wasn't intended to be a special night out or anything, it was the best time we could fit it in. Plus, no anniversary of ours would be right if we weren't flat broke . look at that, right on cue for numero 10, we're broke! Some traditions will never die!
Two weeks ago before going out to the movies we spent a good part of the evening watching movie trailers. Watching a dozen in relative proximity to our decade Slugversary, it made me think of a trailer for the film of our relationship together. The scoring was easy, as there's a song that I've been listening to lately that honestly brings tears to my eyes because it really makes me think of Anna and makes me so happy that I'm with her. I tried to explain the reason the song makes me feel that way, but I know she doesn't like the song in the first place. But this is my trailer, so I'm going to score it my way. The song is "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor. If you've heard it, it will make this much easier. But anyway, here's my trailer....
fade in to exterior of OSH, sunset paints the building burnt orange. J is locking up shopping carts, but is unrecognizable at this distance. Another figure starts to walk up to him...
Song: "Shake it up.." staccato strings play as camera cuts to close up of J looking up at A.
Voiceover - A: "So, are you going to give me your phone number?" J: "Absolutely."
Song: "I never loved nobody fully/ always one foot on the ground...."
Cut to the inside of J's Mom's apartment, J and A on couch, they lean in to kiss...
Song: "...And by protecting my heart truly..."
Cut to J on motorcycle pulling away from A on the curb in front of her house.
Song: "...I got lost, in the sounds..."
Cut to Anna in EMT uniform getting out of ambulance
Song: "...I hear in my mind all these words..."
Cut to camera above window at J's dorm room, J's head sticking out in the morning light, A smiles and waves. Cut to inside of dorm, J and A under covers in bed holding each other, smiling.
Song: "I hear in my mind, all this music and it breaks my heart, and it breaks my heart..."
Announcer Voice Over: "In a world where love can pass you on the street, sometimes all you have to do is ask the right questions."
Cut to J looking out of order window at Round Table Pizza at A as drums start into staccato strings of Song: "Suppose I never ever met you..." cut to night exterior of coffee shop with J and A holding hands at table...
Song: "...suppose we never fell in love..."
Cut to J on motorcycle with A on back laughing hysterically...
Song: "...suppose I never ever let you, kiss me so sweet and so so..ah..ah...ah..oft..."
Cut to J and A in room in Yosemite kissing in bed.
Song: "...suppose I never ever saw you..."
Cut to J and A at the duck pond feeding throwing bread to the birds..
Song: "....suppose we never ever called..."
Quick cut between A on phone in bed at her parents' house, then to J sitting outside his room in the hall on the phone...
Song: "...suppose I kept on singing love songs, just to break my own fall, my own fall..."
Cut to J and A in crowded Christmas shopping mall staring at each other in tears as people walk by, fade to black. A voiceover over: "So, are we boyfriend and girlfriend now?" J Voiceover: "Yeah. Yeah, I guess we are..."
Song, Regina Spektor singing quietly, almost a whisper over strings and drum, with reprise, "I never loved nobody fully..."
Cut to A sitting on J's bed petting gray cat
Song: "...always one foot on the ground..."
Cut to A running out of her parent's house into front yard, with J following...
Song: "... and by protecting my heart truly, I got lost, in the sounds..."
Cut to J on crutches, sobbing against A in front of crumpled motorcycle.
Song: "...I hear in my mind, all these voices...."
Cut to Barnes and Noble interior with J reading magazine, A comes around corner with armful of books, J looks up and smiles broadly
Song: "...I hear in my mind, all these words..."
Cut to A and J at Shoreline amphitheater, A full of glee at how close the seats are to the stage
Song: "I hear in my mind, all this music...
Announcer voiceover: "The answers to those questions become a lifetime."
Cuts are quick now, fast-fade into scene almost as tableau in quick succession as the Regina Spektor's voice rises to a crescendo, the drummer opens the hi-hat and snaps out the beat with intensity.
Song: "I hear in my mind, all of these voices..."
Cut to J and A hugging on the deck of the Hornblower as it passes beneath the Golden Gate bridge, cut to an ecstatic A in graduation cap and gown hugging J on the green at Oakes College at UCSC, Cut to J in suit at top of stairs of the Russian Church. A, in wedding dress, starts up stairs with her father.
Song: "... I hear in my mind, all of these words..."
Cut to A and J in rented white Mustang, coming over a ridge as the panorama of Cache Valley fills their view; Cut to A carrying a turkey to a small table surrounded by J and two friends; Cut to snowball fight in the courtyard behind the apartment; cut to A in front of classroom teaching, J walks by outside, pauses to listen, smiles; Cut to J and A in airplane, A staring intently out the sun-filled window, J holds her hands; Cut to inside of same Corolla, J driving, sun rising behind, with A asleep with her cat, Shurik, asleep in her arms
Song: "...I hear in my mind, all of this music, and it breaks my heart, and it breaks my heart..."
Cut to J and A on the ramp of a U-Haul looking at each other bewildered as snow falls; Cut to empty house in Guerneville, front door opens, light comes on to reveal J, A, and A's mother in doorway; cut to A in the middle of the vineyard at Ridge, surrounded by ancient dormant vines; cut to J looking up from the computer to A, excitedly gesturing to the monitor; Cut to inside of club in San Francisco, De La Soul on stage, entire crown bouncing, focus in on J bouncing clumsily out of rhythm and A, in perfect rhythm laughing joyfully at him
Song: .."and it breaks my har -ar-ar-ar -ar-ar-ar -ar-ar-art...
As Regina Spektor repeats the last phrase, "breaks my heart," an ironic contrast to the uplifted mood cast by the song to this point, the cuts slow down, A, behind the counter at a restaurant, chocolate-stained apron on, smiles at J on otherside of counter; Cut to A, J and friends at outdoor patio, toasting; Cut to A standing on deck outside of house, leaning against railing smiling as J approaches, messenger bag on shoulder. He sees her and smiles. This shot is held as drum stops and he starts up the stairs as Regina Spektor holds the last "breaks my heart." Over-expose fade to white, as the title fades in slowly, "SlugLife"

So that's my trailer. Now all I need is to be able to get film directly from my memory and I'll be set! :) And if you think that movie looks good, you should see the sequel. We're starting filming tomorrow, and it looks to be even better than the first. I can't wait!
  • Current Mood
    happy happy

Sharp as a razor

I’m something of a razor whore. I’ll admit it. It started with the first razor my dad bought for me and went downhill from there. The Excel, Stealth, Stealth 2: son of Stealth – I’ve got ‘em. It all stems from the fact that my face actively dissuades shaving. I’ve got really coarse hair which renders even the best electric shavers to nothing more than expensive face massagers. Combine this with quite sensitive skin and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Now, don’t get me wrong, my face really isn’t quite that bad. I know people whose face immediately resembles an angry puffer fish the moment you even pop the top on the shaving cream. Angry face. I’m not there, but I’m a few steps back the cranky-face spectrum.
The reason I’m writing this is because I have been trying the latest Gillette shaver, the Fusion with its Five Blades Of Fury. I should back up a second. Since its release, I’ve been more than content with Gillette’s Mach 3. Don’t ask me what it is, but the three blades on that beast was like shaving nirvana. It just worked. For me it represented a quantum leap in shaving.
I didn’t go in for their Mach 3 Turbo or Mach 3 Look We Put A Battery In It because I had found contentment with the original Mach 3. Thank you very much.
Then they released the Fusion. It had five blades. If three blades were nirvana, then FIVE blades must be some kind of nirvana Valhalla smoothie with an afterlife booster, right? It even has a little blade specifically for getting that annoying spot right under your nose.
I went to Costco and purchased the Fusion. As I completed my transaction a chorus of angels sounded from somewhere. The next morning I lathered my face up and dove in with the Fusion.
It hurt.
It did. I was so disappointed! But not one to rush to judgment, I have been using it exclusively for a couple months now. I still don’t like it. Where three blades struck the right balance between getting everything in one fell swoop, five blades felt like gross overkill. Even one pass left my face begging for relief.
I’ve still got some blades to finish with the Fusion, and I’m not about to toss them aside unused, cranky face be damned. But I am going to go back to the Mach 3. Sometimes more is simply not better.
So I don’t fall victim to Razor Lust again, I developed a clever rhyme to remind me of my shaving loyalties:
Blades of three, just right for me.
Blades of five, skinned alive.

Pretty straight forward there. Though, upon reflection, I’m reminded that Schick came out with some four-bladed thing... the Schick Phallus or something. Let me revise my rhyme then:
Blades of three, just right for me.
Blades of five, skinned alive.
Blades of four, are you an idiot? I just got done telling you to stick with three blades. You must be retarded, you moron.

I'll make sure I turn out the lights...

During the finale of any tv show that.s had its run and is calling it quits, there.s that moment where a cast member looks around with that look that says, .it.s been fun.. I.m a huge sap, and that always chokes me up a little bit.
I.ve been doing graphic design contracting for the last two weeks for the same company I put in my 40+ monotonous hours in tech support. The regular graphic design guy . actually his title is web designer or something, which isn.t very accurate but I suppose it looks nicer . is out on medical leave and they needed someone to fill in while he.s out.
It.s .contracting. and I knew going in it.s a finite thing with a short lifespan, but I fell for the job despite my best efforts. The woman I.m reporting to is going on vacation for the next two weeks and she mentioned that the guy I.m filling in for may or may not be back on June 1 . apparently his doctor says no but he really wants to and so they.re trying to determine whether it.s really in his (and the company.s) best interest for him to come back so soon. And that.ll be the end.
I.ve been dreaming that this would turn into something more. Praying that this could be my ticket out of customer service, but it doesn.t look like that is going to be the happy ending I was hoping for.
But the marketing folks know what I can do now. Y, who I report to, asked how I liked doing this stuff and I told her I.ve had a blast and that I absolutely love it. Who knows what lies ahead . maybe nothing, likely nothing. But it.s stuff for dreams. :)
  • Current Mood
    sad sad

Blog as confessional

Anna has been poking me to post and I think I'm going to try something different. I have had a lot of bees buzzing around my head lately demanding to be written, and its time to put them to paper so to speak. What follows will be a sort of memoir. My tentative title is "Two Wheels To Four," and it deals with motorcycles and me. Here is the introduction. This very well may bore most of you reading this to tears, and that's cool -- just ignore me, I'm okay with that. Collapse )
  • Current Music
    The New Pornographers -- All For Swinging You Around

Hug ME!

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love
  • Current Mood
    recumbent recumbent

I.m nobody.s Grandpa

I.m doing a bit better today, so far at least. A lot of it has to do with my class last night. In addition to finishing the Never Ending Masters Of Doom, I.m taking my first class at Santa Rosa Junior College . beginning and intermediate Photoshop. It.s been forever since I felt I .knew. Photoshop, so much so that I don.t mind starting at square one.
The teacher. well, if Mr. Rogers were an Adobe Certified Instructor. you get the idea. So that.s a little annoying, and it.s also the first computer-related course I.ve taken where we.re not in front of computers. It.s a lecture format, which struck me as rather weird. Okay, I.ll deal.
At one point I felt rather old. Mind you, in terms of the overall age of the class, I.d say I.m the median, as there are plenty of older and younger folks. But the teacher went around asking us what versions of Photoshop, if any, were we familiar with. There were a lot of CS folks, and a few version 7 people. He got to me and I said that the last time I felt comfortable with Photoshop was version 3. There were gasps. .Wow, version 3!.
Okay. Look people, this goddamn program was first released in 1988. It.s not like it.s a goddamned antique. And, yes, I remember when Adobe bought it but that hardly makes me some kind of fossil.
The class, overall, was fairly boring as he went over the difference between a bitmapped image and a vector image, etc. But I do think this is the class I need to understand Photoshop. Oh, and Julie, the new marketing woman, is in the class too because she actually uses Photoshop here at work. Yes, I.m making sure she.s fully aware of my qualifications and that I.m ridiculously over qualified for customer service.
  • Current Music
    "The Sporting Life" -- The Decemberists

I Used to Carry an RJ45 Crimper With Me...

.along with a whole host of tools I used when I worked in IT in Utah. I loved it. Loved it. It was like a cross between true geek and MacGyver . let.s call it GeekGyver. Even when I moved back to Cali and none of the IT jobs I applied for even blinked at me, I still carried around my tools, along with copies of my resume. When I settled into my job at Advanced Telcom I audited my bag and left the crimper at home, along with almost all of the other tools. I remember I did feel a tinge of sadness, but I was working repair in telecom and learning an incredible amount and there was still that feeling of GeekGyver. Then, I was laid off and took the first thing that came up, a customer service job.
And here I am. What.s ironic is that this is the least challenging job I have ever had, yet the most stable. I get paid decently, my benefits are good, but my job is dull as paste. This is all covered territory, nothing new. Anna has said that if I.m not happy I can look for a new job, but I don.t even want to think about that until I.ve been here a year.
But now comes an unexpected turn of events.
I like the people I work with. They have been nothing but friendly and fun since I got here. Now I find out that two of my favorite people are leaving in the next two weeks. There are two things going on with this: first, it.s a major blow to my morale because I count these two in my top 5 people at the company. Second, as they are both fairly senior in this customer service group, this leaves a hole that I would not be surprised if I was asked to fill. It might mean more money. It would definitely mean more responsibility/stress.
From day one here, I.ve looked for the lateral move . where can I go in this company outside of customer service. There has never been a very good prospect of going anywhere laterally in the company . the positions I.m interested in are filled by long-time employees who have no interest in leaving, and the departments are in no danger of adding personnel.
So I.m here. I carry a screwdriver and a flashlight, which I consider absolutely essential regardless of where I work. I.ve traded GeekGyver for TPS reports (metaphorically speaking). Don.t cry for me, Argentina . as I mentioned, the pay.s not bad, nor the benefits. But there is something missing, I think. I think.
  • Current Music
    3rd Planet -- Modest Mouse

Zinfoot!

My foot looks dipped in zinfandel at the heel, held by the toe – a reverse Achilles, if you will. A foot is not supposed to look like this. Friday, on my way out of the house I was distracted coming down the stairs (our San Francisco-living neighbor had come in late last night and the back of his Ford Ranger pickup truck was loaded with what looked like bags of concrete), and I managed to miss the last step. I went down hard. My first thought was reactionary and speaks to how living for three years without insurance can change your thought process – “It’s broken,” I thought. Then, almost as quickly, “It’s not broken. Get up.” And I did. “You’re going to go to work. You have to.” And this last reaction, as I hobbled to the car in a lot more pain than I really want to think about, is not true. I didn’t have to – even when I got to work and my coworkers looked at my swollen ankle (which had swollen to look like a tennis ball under the skin) they told me to go to the doctor and then home. I can’t do that. It hurt, yes. But, contrary to my initial thought, it was not broken and I knew that. During that hobble from the ground to the car in the darkness before the sun had yet risen, I knew how bad this could be. I knew what a broken (really broken) bone(s) could be. When I had broken my leg I didn’t walk unassisted for 8 months. This was a sprain, I knew that. I could walk.

I did go to the doctor – Kaiser wanted me to go to the emergency room, but I declined after learning it would be $50 for that trip alone. $10 co-pay, and $5 for my 800mg generic Motrin, and I knew officially what I suspected when I finally got into the car – my ankle was sprained; nothing broken.

It’s Sunday and it’s feeling loads better and looking loads worse. I’m okay with that disparity. As long as it works, it can look like whatever it wants to. It’s getting to occasionally aching, and that’s my sign I need another Motrin. Otherwise it doesn’t hurt nearly as much to walk tonight as it did just yesterday, and much less than on Friday.
So I, Zinfoot, am content to hobble until the pain of the ankle and injured pride fade.
  • Current Mood
    sore sore