Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

"Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless."
Paul Bowles

2013 is sputtering to an end and 2014 is breathing down our necks. My life has changed so much in the last year, and the strange thing is, it feels like nothing has changed. This time last year I was alone and suicidal, and I had no plans for a future. I didn't care. Now I've found the man I was meant to be with, and I have hope for our future together. We've been together for eight months and every day is an adventure, even if we just stay in bed and watch movies. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but that just keeps it from getting boring.

I have wonderful, generous friends and a family that means the world to me. I've still got my Tank, and Curly Joe, and now I have a sister-in-law (unofficially) and an adorable, badass niece and in-laws (unofficial) who for some reason love me. I'm still stressed a lot of the time, I'm broke and in debt,  I'm always in pain and I've got insomnia up the wazoo, but life is good. It's far from perfect, but it is good. For the first time in a very long time, I'm facing the last midnight of the year with a smile on my face and heart that isn't broken.

I hope 2014 will be good to us all. Stay classy, Humanity.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Changes are taking the pace I'm going through

Starting around Thanksgiving, the pain that flares up in my left hip from time to time hit both of my hips and I had to walk with a cane.  On RockerBoy's 40th birthday, we moved in with my friend "J." She had kicked her boyfriend out and needed help with the rent, so we came to the rescue. (Really, she rescued us.)  So now it's me, RockerBoy, "J" and her two kids and two dogs, and my two dogs. Things are going really well except that Curly Joe is being a turd to J's dogs and we all seem to have contracted Captain Trips. I'm working six days this week and I'm fighting the plague. 

Meanwhile, my friend had to loan me her late grandfather's wheelchair so I could get around at work. It was humiliating and frustrating, but I wouldn't have gotten through without it.  I went to ZoomCare and had bloodwork done: Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor, ANA w/Reflex, Sedimentation Rate-Westergren, and C-Reactive Protein. All of it came back negative.  The doctor referred me to an osteopath and two physical therapists and told me I should get radiographs of my hips, pelvis and my left knee (which has also been hurting in a scarily weird way).  Last weekend RockerBoy and several of my friends forced me to go to urgent care for radiographs.  I got the hip/pelvis ones done and they also came back negative.  I wasn't in an accident and I didn't hurt myself at work or anything, so no one is sure why I have this pain.

Oh, did I forget to mention when I had my right leg stretched 3 inches in 1990 to make it even with my left leg, it was actually over-stretched by half an inch? Yeah. That might have something to do with it. 

At any rate, I live in a different city now (20 minute drive to work instead of 60!), so I'm going to get a new PCP and look into PT and all that. J and I have been talking about trying a gluten-free diet because she thinks her kids might have a wheat allergy, and I know that gluten is an arthritis trigger. Plus I'm almost positive going gluten-free will help RockerBoy's asthma and allergies. We'll see how that goes.

Work has been hectic, but us night shift drones are used to it, though it does take its toll after a while. At least they're working on making it so that all of us only have to work every third Saturday again.

Big things coming in 2014....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Day of the Ninja, folks.

The Day of the Ninja:<a href="http://www.dayoftheninja.com"><img src="http://www.dayoftheninja.com/dotnsml.gif"></a>

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The gift that keeps on giving

Instead of a typical gift (i.e. stuff that is ultimately going to end up in a landfill), why not make a donation in someone's name instead? I highly recommend Fences for Fido, particularly: Smokey's Fund. It provides "comprehensive veterinary care and medications for dogs who have lived for more than 5 years chained; Helps facilitate the rescue & adoption of these dogs by a loving family; Supports educational efforts about the physical suffering and illnesses that result from dogs being chained."

  • $ 20.00 A bag of dog food for a hungry fido
  • $ 50.00 A doghouse for warmth, day and night
  • $ 150.00 Spay or neuter and basic veterinary care
  • $ 250.00 Critical veterinary care or training
  • $ 300.00 Fences for a small yard
  • $ 600.00 Fences for a medium yard
  • $ 1,000.00 Fences for a large yard

You can make a one-time donation or set up a recurring, monthly contribution. Every little bit helps. And if you've got the time, please volunteer for Fences for Fido. It's getting colder, and there are still a lot of dogs out there who need shelter.

This organization means a lot to me because My sister and I rescued a chained dog about ten years ago. He was an 11 year old Golden Retriever named Chester (who we called Uncle Wooly), and he spent over half his life chained to a tree in his front yard. We would hear him howling out there all the time and started making plans to steal him. Fortunately, Chester's family had to move and "couldn't" take him with, so we jumped at the chance to save him.

Chester weighed over 100 lbs when he joined our pack, from years of gorging himself on cheap Winco dog food. We got his weight down and he settled in just fine at our house. He ganged up with Tank and Luke, and the three of them had so much fun, I started calling them the three stooges. 

Unfortunately, in March of 2004, we found out Chester was dying of liver cancer. We managed his pain with morphine and special food, and he never once lost that smile. He stayed cheerful, goofy Chester up until the very end. He died two months later.

We didn't have him as long as we wanted, but we're still grateful for that little time we had because we were able to give him a warm, happy home with lots of friends to play with and lots of love. Just think of the difference you could make in the life of a dog like Chester, either by donating time or money for this organization or even by adopting a senior dog. 

Spend your money on something worthwhile and make this 30-day long fake smile of a holiday actually mean something this year. 

We still miss you, Chester.  Love you always.

Cannon Chester