Sunday, October 12, 2008

June 2008 Archive

June 30, 2008
I guess I must be dumb cuz u had a pocket full of horses
Friday, we headed to Columbus to have dinner with some friends in town for Origins. It's always nice to catch up with them. We'll get to see them again in 6 weeks at Gencon. But Gencon is always so much busier that there's just no time for dinner and hanging out with them. They're busy folks.

I couldn't go to Origins Saturday because I'm just not up to that much walking yet. Disappointing. Instead, I cleaned the house and then did trailer checks, staying to watch Wanted. It was okay. It reminded me of the over-the-top action of Hudson Hawk, so while it was on the silly/fantasy side of action, I still really enjoyed it. I'd like to see James McAvoy in a "real" action movie, one that's a bit more serious. I think he could pull it off. Especially if he runs around shirtless beat to hell throughout it. Yum.

Sunday, I went to the grocery and then came home and planted almost all of the rest of my flowers. I have six plants left that I just didn't have it in me to finish…and a bush I didn't know what to do with. Maybe I'll try to stick him around the other side of the house or something. Then I put my pavers back along my back retaining wall. Some asshole kids keep taking them off, throwing them around my yard, and stacking them up to climb into the tree in the back yard.

By the time I finished, I was utterly exhausted. I still need to spray all the crap growing out of my retaining wall with Round-Up. I think there are two more mulberry bushes back there, which I have to put the kibosh on asap.

I got my insurance statement from my first few sessions of PT, and it's saying my co-pay is $35/session. The PT place told me it was only $20/session. So I'll be cutting back on the amount of sessions per week if that's the case. I can't afford $105/week. It's asinine.

I've actually slept the last three nights quite well, for the first time since my surgery in April. It's nice. I know it won't last forever, but I'm trying to enjoy it while it does. I think exhausting myself has been helping a lot. I'm going to the gym after work since I've been cleared to use an elliptical and an exercise bike on low, slow settings. And I've been cleared to use some leg weight machines on low weights.

I want to try to get my stamina built back up before Gencon. Four days of walking around for 6-8 hours will kill me if I don't. I'm planning to take a GameBoy or a book or something, so if I need to rest, I can entertain myself. I suppose this means I need to be exercising every day. And while I won't be burning many calories at such light exercise, I'm hoping it will get me to Gencon and back without me feeling like I've been hit by a truck.

posted by Karabou at 9:21 PM EST


June 25, 2008
Electric World Life
F**k. Seriously.
We had my grandma's birthday today, and it was nice to see my cousins. It's been far too long. What wasn't awesome was that it took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get there. 75N was shut down. 70W was shut down. 675 where it turns into 571 was shut down. So I ended up backtracking through Medway and following a line of cars that I hoped knew where they were going.
I almost started banging my head on the steering wheel when I saw a cop directing traffic in the middle of nowhere because everyone was trying to get around the only three highways in the area. Then it started raining torrentially, AGAIN, while the sun was shining, which in turn made the road steam like crazy. I almost turned around and went home twice, I was so pissed. But I got there, and survived, and made it home in 45 minutes. /sigh
I've been getting estimates on having my trees trimmed. And no, that's not a euphemism. I have one for $1000, one for $500, and one for $550. I think I'm going to go with the cheaper version and not have the canopies completely trimmed and re-shaped. I'm more concerned about the branches laying on our roof that could cause enough damage to make us need a new roof, which would be a hell of a lot more than $1000. That, and our tree in the back is drooping down on the neighbor's garage, and kids keep stacking my decorative pavers to climb up into it. I'm not fond of having a precious snowflake fall out of it and getting sued by the idiot's parents. I suppose I should put up "GTF off my lawn" signs to cover my ass.
My sister gave me more flowers. I have to make time this weekend to finish up the side bed. I was sad when one of my Asian Lilies cracked in half, but she reassured me that if I keep watering the root, it will come back next year.
PT hurt like hell today. I had one of the guys for the first time. The exercises are fine, but the soft-tissue work (still not a euphemism) is living hell. He was like, "Oh, are you tender there?" JABJABJABJABJABJABJAB RUBRUBRUBRUBRUB "That hurts? You should be working it harder at home." JABJABJABJABJABJAB RUBRUBRUBRUBRUB And then he laughed when I started trying to crawl over the back of the chair in pain, trying to escape. God it sucks.
And then when I changed into my work clothes, I had something all over my shirt. On my boobs. Excellent. Because I REALLY need to draw more attention there. So I hid at my desk as best I could all day. On the upside, Kev was able to finally coordinate getting dad's planes to the IT guys he works with who acted like giddy school girls when they found out about them. They're huge into model planes, especially ones that really fly, so I hope they enjoy the shit out of them.
I'm tired and amazingly cranky. I think I just want to go to bed.
posted by Karabou at 9:57 PM EST


June 24, 2008
Indy 4 Spoilers Ahead
I saw Indiana Jones tonight. The more I think about it, the more I dislike it. At first, I thought, "It wasn't bad," and shrugged. But really, aliens? Aliens, Mr. Lucas? What were you thinking? Shia LeWhatshisname wasn't bad. I was surprised he didn't annoy the hell out of me. I even feel that if they gave him a spin-off, I'd give it a chance. But I won't hold my breath for quality after Transformers.
I didn't feel that there was nearly as much high adventure as the other three. And while I didn't think they needed to jump a lava pit in a mining car, I felt like I only got a taste with the motorcycle chase. I'm bored with 80s punch-outs. Watching two old men punch each other in the face might be hilarious if you're watching Bum Fights, but it wasn't in this movie. Harrison is looking old, for sure, which makes me FEEL old. I feel like it was yesterday I saw Indy 3 in the theater.
I also knew there was going to be an Ark joke in the warehouse, as soon as I saw all the boxes. I dunno. I went in with low expectations and wasn't proved wrong.

posted by Karabou at 10:53 PM EST


June 22, 2008
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
Dear god, what a whirlwind least for my current stamina level.

Friday night, I took Tanya out for her birthday. We hit Abuelos and then saw Love Guru. Not awesome, but certainly better than crap like Epic Movie and other such tripe. I don't look for Mike Meyers to be making much after this one.

Saturday, my m-i-l came down, and we hauled the old toilet and bathroom sink/vanity to ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity charity similar to Goodwill (but for household items). Some guy bought them before we could even get them unloaded off the van. That made me happy, since I knew someone was going to use them. And Kev's mom took the light fixture and medicine cabinet. I just wanted it to be of use to someone. Mission accomplished, and I have a tax write-off.

Then we went to Lowes, so I could get some sealing paint for the leaky wall in the basement. That's a project for sometime this week. I also picked up some little tomato stakes to get my Asian Lilies upright, rather than laying flat on the ground. But I snapped one of them right off when I put it upright. /sniff My sister says it will grow back if I leave the bulb and just keep watering it. And I got some liquid sander and spraypaint, so I can work on the chairs when I get around to it.

I was overly ambitious and thought I was going to make it to Flower Factory and JoAnn Fabrics, but I was utterly whipped by the time we got done at Lowes. I grudgingly admitted that I couldn't go on, and we gave up for the day. I was so exhausted that I was on the verge of nodding off for the rest of the day. And my arms were actually aching just from dragging the sink and toilet out of the garage to scrub them down. ACHING.

God this is going to be a slow recovery. I thought I was doing pretty good, and I suppose I am. But the last 6 months have taken more of a toll on me than I expected. My physical therapist warned it would be 6 months before I was 100%. She said I could expect to feel a little better every day, but I won't be firing on all cylinders for quite a while.

Today, I did trailer checks, and Kev was leaving for the airport for his back-patting, group-hug trip to Jersey. Then I went to Mom's for my cousin Mike's sort of wedding reception. He was hands-down the happiest I've seen him in nearly a decade. BLAMMO! He was hit by the MAC truck of love out of the blue. I'm so happy for him.

I stopped at Tanya's for a bit, and when I got home, Kev was here. ...

Apparently, Jersey was under siege by some nasty storms, and his flight was cancelled. Now he has to get up at 4:30am to catch a 6:45am flight, go straight to the company meeting (he'll be late for it), then go out to dinner, and THEN he can go check into his hotel. Christ, that's going to be grueling. I don't think I could do it. And did I mention everyone else refuses to drive once they get there? Awesome.

His shitty trip just got 1000x shittier. ugh.

posted by Karabou at 9:44 PM EST


June 18, 2008
ANWR and off-shore oil drilling: Yet another Bush fallacy
The gist: In 10 years, doing both might shave off 8 cents a gallon. Maybe.
On Wednesday morning President George W. Bush urged Congress to overturn a 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling in the U.S., and open a part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for petroleum exploration. Flanked by the secretaries of Energy and the Interior, Bush also proposed streamlining the construction process for new oil refineries, and explained that these moves would "take pressure off gas prices over time by expanding the amount of American-made oil and gasoline." Coming a day after Republican presumptive presidential nominee John McCain made a similar appeal to enhance domestic oil exploration, Bush was sending an unsubtle election year message to the American public: I care about the economic toll of $4 a gallon gas, and Democrats in Congress, who have opposed such an expansion, don't.
But there's a flaw in that logic: even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer Continental Shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best. A 2004 study by the government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that drilling in ANWR would trim the price of gas by 3.5 cents a gallon by 2027. (If oil prices continue to skyrocket, the savings would be greater, but not by much.) Opening up offshore areas to oil exploration — currently all coastal areas save a section of the Gulf of Mexico are off-limits, thanks to a Congressional ban enacted in 1982 and supplemented by an executive order from the first President Bush — might cut the price of gas by 3 to 4 cents a gallon at most, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And the relief at the pump, such as it is, wouldn't be immediate — it would take several years, at least, for the oil to begin to flow, which is time enough for increased demand from China, India and the rest of the world to outpace those relatively meager savings. "Right now the price of oil is set on the global market," says Kevin Lindemer, executive managing director of the energy markets group for the research firm Global Insight. President Bush's move "would not have an impact."The reason is simple: the U.S. has an estimated 3% of global petroleum reserves, but consumes 24% of the world's oil. Offshore territories and public lands like ANWR that don't allow drilling may contain up to 75 billion barrels of oil, according to the EIA. That may sound like a lot, but it's not enough to make a significant difference in a world where global oil demand is expected to rise 30% by 2030, to nearly 120 million barrels a day. At best, greatly expanding domestic drilling might eventually lower the proportion of oil the U.S. imports — currently about 60% of its total supply — but petroleum is a global commodity, and the world market would soak up any additional American production. "This is a drop in the bucket," says Gernot Wagner, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund.Still, with Americans hurting at the pump, it may be difficult for environmentalists and other opponents of increased domestic drilling to resist the push for more oil, whatever the cost. As recently as his 2000 Presidential run, McCain had been against offshore drilling, but he changed that position Tuesday, arguing that individual states should decide for themselves. (He remains against drilling ANWR, however, pointing out that "we called it a 'refuge' for a reason.'") The Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist — considered a possible vice-presidential candidate — also flip-flopped, backing McCain's position. Though Democratic Senator Barack Obama and most of his party are against the proposed expansion, McCain and his supporters may have the public on their side: a recent Gallup poll found that 57% of Americans believe we should open up new territories to drilling. "It could help in the long term," says Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University. Still, he acknowledges that even expanded drilling is unlikely to bring prices down much.Though offshore drilling conjures up fears of catastrophic spills, the petroleum industry rightly argues that safety measures have improved considerably in recent years. A 2003 report by the National Research Council found that only 1% of the oil that entered U.S. waters came from petroleum operations, like the offshore drilling platforms that run in the Gulf of Mexico — which also weathered Hurricane Katrina without massive spills. If it can be done in an environmentally friendly fashion — and with oil companies themselves footing the bill — opening up some new territory to drilling might be worth it. The reality is that our economy will run on petroleum for the foreseeable future, and that while investing in alternatives is the only way to secure truly low-cost energy over the long-term, we'll still need oil for decades more. But any attempt to increase supply must be coupled with even heavier investment in energy efficiency and other methods to decrease oil demand — an approach that, to his credit, McCain has said will be a key part of his energy policy (although in the Senate he has skipped or voted against every fuel efficiency bill since 1990, according to the League of Conservation Voters). In any case, Bush's plan is unlikely to be realized — the Democratic-controlled Congress remains against it, and Bush can't open up the new territory on his own.Even as Democrats and Republicans squabble over a relatively small amount of petroleum, we're missing out on the opportunity to truly break our addiction to crude. This week the Senate again failed to renew the tax credit for renewable energies like solar and wind; the credit, which expires at the end of the year, is key to the healthy growth of low-carbon alternatives. Without it, "the industry will simply stop," says Santiago Seage, CEO of the Spanish company Abengoa Solar. With energy demand skyrocketing, we'll need more oil, and alternatives like solar, and demand-side measures like toughened auto fuel efficiency standards, or tax incentives for Americans to purchase less wasteful cars. We'll have to include action on global warming, like the recently defeated Warner-Lieberman carbon cap and trade bill. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that under the bill, U.S. petroleum consumption would drop by nearly half by 2030 — savings far in excess of the amount of oil we could ever pull from Alaska or the coasts. "We can't drill our way out of this and we can't conserve our way out either," says Bullock. "We need both." Fair enough. But the sad truth is that neither drilling nor conservation will have an immediate effect on rising gas prices, even if they do have an immediate impact on the presidential race.Source:,8599,1815884,00.html?cnn=yes
posted by Karabou at 6:58 PM EST


June 15, 2008
Salieri and His Visigoth Entendre
The only downside to living next to an alley is all the trash people throw in our yard. I try to keep it cleaned up, even the neighbor's property on the other side of the alley. I don't want to feel like I'm living in Squalor Holler again. This weekend, we found an unopened bottle of beer in our yard, along with a pot pipe. Yay.

I feel so productive this weekend. While I didn't get to go to the Yellow Springs Street Fair Saturday, I DID do a little more shopping, buying 3 more shirts 60% off, another skirt, and 3 slips. I can't wait till I'm out of the brace and can wear sandals. Tennies and dresses don't mix, unless you're power-walking to work in NYC.

Saturday, I also cleaned the bathroom, did all the laundry, and cleaned up the kitchen some. I still need to vacuum the living room, but I wanted to take a break. And I had Amanda's stepson came down and mow the lawn for me. Our lawnboys have cut and run with the pre-paid $10 from the last time they mowed for us. Young kids don't understand the concept of long-term earnings. They could easily have earned a cool $100 off just us by the end of the summer, if not more because they were mowing more than just our lawn. But they chose to take the $10 pre-payment and not come back.

They DID show up Tuesday with some suspicious story about how both their mowers were broken, and they couldn't mow our lawns least until they were fixed...which could be next Sunday. Neither could look me in the eye while they talked, and my gut feeling is that they had earned all the money they had needed to buy whatever it was they wanted, so they weren't coming back. Kids. heh

But if I can get by mowing every other week, I can have Rew mow the lawn for the same price. And I should be able to mow it in a month or so, myself. Progress.

I was amazed at how much better I was able to walk on Saturday compared to Friday; a mere 24 hours made a huge difference. Although, I'm not walking so much better today compared to yesterday, but it's all progress. I'm doing my exercises faithfully, and I already have three times the mobility I had at PT on Friday. I'm just glad I feel like this is already working. The only thing I hate is having to massage my scar for 15 minutes. It feels gross because of the numbness around it. And it's uncomfortable. Bleh.
I did see some trailers for movies I'm looking forward to.

Tropic Thunder: Only because Robert Downey Jr. plays an Australian actor who undergoes a medical procedure to play the black lead in the movie. He's so awesome.

The Spirit: I've never read any of The Spirit storyline, but the trailer was very Sin City-ish, and I think it could be interesting.

Hancock: Has the potential to be f-ing awesome. Hope it lives up to the expectations it's setting.

Mummy Part 164: The latest in the Mummy franchise, it doesn't look bad. I'm glad there's finally ANOTHER mummy to pursue.

Hellboy 2: Duh, awesome.

X-files: So after the fact that I honestly don't even know what to think.

Miracle at St. Anna: I'm intrigued. I might check this one out.

Wanted: OMG James McCavoy, yum.

Traitor: It looks like the kind of film that picks up halfway through the running time and then really gets good.

Babylon AD: Vin finally got some work a futuristic, sci-fi movie. Go figure. I just pray he doesn't kiss anyone. yargh.

Mirrors: A Kiefer Sutherland Sci-Fi Original movie in the making.

Bangkok Dangerous: Only Nicholas Cage could make a movie like this look boring.

Defiance: Based on a true story of 4 Jewish brothers who joined the Russian Resistance and built a village in the forest. I remember seeing something on the History Channel on this a while back. Could be good.

The Happening: SPOILERS!!!!!
I saw The Happening today with my cousin. It was pretty much what I expected. There wasn't much of a story, and M. Night pulled his usual semi-wooden performance out of his actors. Mark Wahlberg is an awesome actor, and Zooey Deschanel isn't bad, either. But neither of them had any emotional depth, and Marky Mark was downright laughable in some scenes. I was, however, shocked that M. Night didn't insert himself in some masturbatory role in this film like he has in all the others. He seems to have overcome his case of Kevin-Smith Syndrome.

And the first thing I thought to myself was, "If the power of love saves them, I'm going to choke." I guess I better get something lodged in my throat, stat. My cousin and I were discussing the movie over lunch, as we usually do. Basically, the trees, grass, and bushes have turned on us and are emitting a deadly neurotoxin because we've become toxic to the world. It only seems to affect large groups of people, and then it seems to affect people who are aggressive, angry, or bickering. And if one person is freaking out, the whole group is killed indiscriminately.

Marky and Zooey survive because they run out into the deadly neurotoxin full of love. /gag And yes, there is sort of a twist ending. I suppose not so much a twist, but you know he had to do SOMETHING to try to make the ending quirky, even if it wasn't that Zooey and Marky were really aliens sent to repopulate the earth.

Rent it.

posted by Karabou at 7:59 PM EST


June 13, 2008
Hazzard's Cooter. tee hee
I had my physical therapy evaluation today. They had a cancellation, and rather than wait until next week, I went ahead and took it.

It wasn't as bad as I feared. It did hurt, but it's already better a day after getting out of the boot. The tenderness will subside with PT, which, by the way, I was informed did NOT stand for Pain and Torture. I remain unconvinced.

I'm supposed to rub lotion into the scar for as long as I can stand every night in order to flatten it out and loosen the skin. Looser skin will help my flexibility and recovery. She rubbed it for about 20 minutes, and towards the end it was really irritating. I also have to wear SPF 50 on the scar. If it burns, and it will burn super easy, it will turn dark brown and stay that way. She said stuff like Mederma isn't really useful at this point; any lotion will do. But I'm also to start some ankle exercises, and I start hydrotherapy next week. I'll be working in the pool for at least two weeks, three times a week.

I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it. I know it's going to help immensely--she said after two weeks, I should notice improvement each week. I can start using an exercise bike with low resistance at a slow speed, as I can tolerate, and she told me to get back in the gym and start doing upper body as I can.

I'm excited to be this far this fast. I've got a ways to go, but I'm already feeling stronger. I may be walking like a 90-year-old lady today, but I know it's just going to get better.

posted by Karabou at 8:26 PM EST


June 12, 2008
Holy Batmans, Batman!
I'm out of the boot, into the brace, and I can get into a pool!

posted by Karabou at 4:41 PM EST


June 8, 2008
Hell of a weekend...

Got pushed around in a wheelchair, so I could do a little summer shopping while the huge Penney's sale was on. Hurrah for wheelchair rentals. It was a little embarrassing, truth be told, as I don't like to think of myself as so incapacitated. But I was shocked, SHOCKED, at how people stared at me. I mean, when I see a person in a wheelchair, I don't stare; it's not like they have three heads. I think it's rude.

I just couldn't believe it. It didn't offend me, maybe because I know I'll be walking in another week or two without help, but I couldn't believe that people in this day and age are THAT insensitive. I mean, they wouldn't just double-take at me; they would S-T-A-R-E, open mouth, slack jaw stare. It was just insane. I did get one wry comment that made me giggle. Some old lady was standing at the cash register in front of me, and she looked me right in the eye and said, "I love your mismatched shoes. And I'll bet you love them a whole lot less than I do." lol

But I got 3 dresses, 3 skirts, some Capri pants and shorts, and some shirts. I made sure everything would fit over the boot, so I didn't have to take it off. I'm thrilled. I had no summer clothes left, save for 2 skirts and some t-shirts.

Today, mom showed up with my sister and grandma around 3:30pm, and we pulled up all the crap we planted last week. /grumble But my sister should be a landscaper. She really has an eye for it, and she was seriously excited about having blank canvas to work with. She went to Home Depot and bought me Hostas and brought a bunch of her plants from her own garden to share with me. It looks gorgeous.

After 2 hours of pulling myself across the yard on my ass, I was done. I just got too hot, and my foot felt like it was on fire. My arms were aching, and I had bug bite welts all over my arms and exposed legs. I had to get inside and take a cool shower, but I did manage to finish planting all the Impatiens this time. We still need another flat or so to finish the side flowerbed, but the front is gorgeous.

Next stop, the flowerbed on the back of the house and fill dirt and shade grass for the trees. I may not get it all accomplished this year, but next year, I will for sure.
posted by Karabou at 9:50 PM EST