In cheery news my pal in Berlin sent me chocolate and two of them are utterly delicious summer flavors of Ritter Sport: pink grapefruit and blackberry. Yum! There are two other Ritter Sports and they're nut filled and also look delicious. It's fun getting German chocolate from someone who knows me so well. I've already written her thank you card and will send it off later on today.
Today it's more job hunting while also burning the prayer candles hoping I get a kickass job. I know, I'm superstitious...and not very religious. But it worked several times before. Please let it work this time.
In a couple of weeks my mom and I are off to see the White Sox on a giveaway day. Hopefully we can get the retro jerseys! We're going to leave ultra early.
It sucks not having a car because it would make finding a job easier, I'd have more options. And I could visit my parents more easily. But I don't miss the taxes nor the parking tickets.
If I start feeling low today, which is most likely, I better be more proactive and do something like knit or color. Or...relearn some ukulele chords. I've let that go lax for so long that I might as well take the beginner course again. Happily, though, I have all the handouts and a beginner book to go to instead of shelling out quite a few bucks for a class.
My neighbor is moving to the South and gave me a bunch of framed prints and I have no idea where to hang them. I might do as some suggested and hang them close to the floor. I also have three prints that need framing so when I get a job those will go up high on the walls. Two of the prints are illustrations by Chad Sell. They're of contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race and they're gorgeous.
The drive down to LA was a horror! I left here at 6 AM, hoping to arrive by my 8:45 check-in time. Nope. Traffic started getting bad before I even got off the 14, and just got worse when I got to the 5, and slowed to stop-and-go when I reached the 405. There were at least two accidents, maybe three. It took over an hour to go the last ten miles. The freeway exit I wanted to use was closed (thank heaven for my phone, which was able to guide me around) and I had to take the next one and circle back. The whole trip took about 3 hours and 40 minutes. I was so flustered when I got to the hospital, I was shaking, and poor Jerry was cranky and complaining. I was almost an hour late for my scheduled check-in. But everything went smoothly once I got there. They whisked Jerry off and I filled in some forms and paid a deposit of the low end of the estimate, which went through on my CareCredit with no problems.
Then I got some chips and a Coke from the vending machine and sat in the waiting area to de-frazzle for a bit before heading back home. The trip home was a breeze, no traffic at all, and took just under two hours.
Now I am home, and Jerry's surgery is over and she's okay, and I can finally breathe.
Since I was already awake, I went ahead and started morning chores, all the time thinking about what I would do if I had to evacuate. With my brother gone, I don't have any convenient family to move in with in case of fire, so I would probably have to check into a hotel. Also, I have two vehicles now, and would have to choose one to evacuate in and leave the other. Probably take the truck because 1) more room to carry stuff and 2) I need it more than I need a car. On the other hand, the truck is older and in worse shape, and I've been thinking about replacing it anyway. So maybe I should take the car and let the truck burn? Then thinking about stuff to take. And getting a bit edgy. I've already lost everything once, I don't want to do it again! If this house burns down, I won't rebuild. Probably find someplace to rent until my mom passes and then move away.
Turns out, the fire is at the landfill, and currently under control, although expected to continue to smolder for several days. Looks like we're okay for now.
It's just as well that I got up early today, since I'll have to get up even earlier tomorrow to take Jerry down to LA for her surgery. At least I should be tired enough to go to bed early and get plenty of sleep for the drive.
Jerry was in her room complaining earlier. She gets lonely, but she doesn't want to come out, she wants me to go in there and keep her company. I went in and petted her for a while then came out, but she started calling me again. Went back in, and the other cats sat at the door and meowed for me to come out. So I opened the door, figuring we could all share the bedroom for a little while. Then Jerry started hissing and growling at the boys (who were just prowling around, paying no attention to her), Davey started getting into stuff, and pretty soon I chased the boys out and left Jerry in her room again. Argh! Sorry kitties, there is only one of me! If you can't share space peacefully, you can't all have me at once!
Then I decided to call CareCredit and see if I can make sure they won't decline my charge when I go to pay for Jerry's surgery. The customer service person on the phone was apologetic that my previous charge was declined, but couldn't tell me why it was declined, or offer any assurance that my next charge wouldn't be declined, either. The best she could do was tell me to call them to have the charge put through if it was declined. Which is pretty much what I would have done anyway, so today's call was totally useless.
And now I'm a bundle of nerves, worrying about my cat and fire and paying vet bills and driving to LA in the morning and stuff.
I was cleaning off a memory card the other day and realized I never posted Greta’s Halloween costume from 2015.
The mild-mannered Greta Banner was just engaging in some research, as Gretas do. Her glasses didn’t fit very well.
Then she went outside and there were PEOPLE JOGGING. OMG, PEOPLE WERE JOGGING.
She was so mad she rampaged on Stark Industries and Embassy of Sokovia.
She even got into it with Captain America but then they decided to work together against the Canada Geese.
I am about 85% activism these days, but I've got vidding on the brain again: Vividcon in three weeks OMG!
I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine whom you might know: kuwdora. She is a fantastic vidder who is trying to become a professional editor, battling significant obstacles to do so. She has an amazing opportunity to get coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but she can't quite make the math add up on her own. So please consider donating to her GoFundMe. Your donation will help a talented woman succeed in a male-dominated industry, giving her the skills and connections she needs to survive in Hollywood. Please give if you can.
Here's the link to my GoFundMe account: Donate here.
In other news I'm jogging further. Yay! It'll be a while, though, before I can do a 5k run. My goal is to be able to do that by October. Maybe if I sign up for a race that will give me the oomph to be ready by then? (bites fingers)
Back in May I turned 50 and got an AARP membership. Dudes and dudettes, I'm old! I can get discounts with my AARP card! I actually read the magazines they produce! Send help stat!
For the 4th of July I went on a family reunion to a rural part of PA where cellphone service was spotty at best. It actually was nice not to be tethered to technology. We hung out at my cousin's, saw fireworks up close in a farm field, had an anniversary lunch for my Aunt and Uncle, and talked a lot! There even was a community ham dinner that benefited the volunteer fire department. It was family style and we ate at long tables alongside strangers who were very nice. The pie? OMG! I had the strawberry rhubarb and it was homemade.
Then I was off to NJ to visit another cousin and my cousin-in-law, his wife. I got to go to NYC and eat at Junior's and follow it up with a Broadway show, Waitress. Which was good, btw. It's based on a movie of the same name and though I had seen that movie I had forgotten so much! The music was great and the actors did a fabulous job.
The next day I watched Wimbledon for a bit and then we went off to the zoo. I always feel bad about the animals in the zoo but didn't want to tell my companion that. We just couldn't think of what else to do. Oh! And we had excellent Indian buffet before the zoo.
On Friday I hung out a bit with my cousin and his wife's darling dog, a Papillon, and then headed home. The cousin and his wife were so kind to pay for me to visit them, I told the wife I will do some art for her as a thank you. I might do a drawing or painting of their dog, perky ears and all!
Now I've been studying up on grammar, searching for a job, and jogging...and reading the AARP Bulletin. Heh. Today I'm off to see my doctor and get my scrips filled and go pick them up. Exciting, I know!
PS...my cats were so well taken care of by Miss talitha78, they were happy and relaxed when I came home.
The drive to LA should theoretically take about 2 hours. That, however, doesn't include traffic delays, and there are always traffic delays in LA. So, since our appointment was at 2 PM, I left around 11:30, hoping that would be enough to get us there on time. Traffic was actually not bad until we reached the 405, when we hit stop and go for the last 10 miles or so. Managed to arrive at the vet hospital by quarter to 2, so that was good. Miss Jerry did not enjoy the ride, and plied me with tiny, plaintive, squeaky meows half the way.
The internist looked at the x-rays and lab tests sent down by my vet, and discussed Jerry's history, and agreed that since medication management wasn't working any more, it was time for surgery. But he was also concerned about a high calcium level in her last blood test, and also wanted to do an ultrasound and chest x-rays. He set up a surgery consultation appointment for us at 4 PM, and went off to do the other ultrasound & x-rays, and I went out to the waiting room to hang out for an hour and a half. I had brought snacks with me and had books and games on my phone, so the wait wasn't too bad.
Around 4 PM, I collected my annoyed kitty and got the news from the internist while we waited for the surgeon. The x-rays were good, but the ultrasound showed a mass on her liver. He took a needle biopsy of it to send out. The good news (if it can be called that) is that, if necessary, the mass can be removed at the same time as her colectomy. We won't get the results of the biopsy for two or three days.
Then we had the consult with the surgeon. He agreed that surgery was indicated, and we made an appointment for next Tuesday. By then, they'll have the results of the biopsy and can decide if the mass also needs to be removed.
One thing that concerns me is that he wants her to go off her stool softeners until the surgery. That's so the stool will be harder and there will be less chance of leakage into her body when he cuts the colon. At first he said he wanted her off the meds for two weeks before the surgery! I told him, it's hard enough to get her to poop any more, even with the stool softeners. I can pretty much guarantee that without them, she won't poop at all for two weeks. So he went off to talk to the internist and check the ultrasounds and came back and said, all right, we'll just do one week. I'm still concerned. I guess she can survive a week without pooping, and if she starts to get distressed, I'll call them and see what they suggest.
So the surgery is scheduled for 8:45 AM next Tuesday. Which means getting up early and getting out of here by 6 AM, because that's going to be rush hour into the city and traffic is going to be bad. I should probably leave earlier, but eh. If I'm a little late, so be it. I'll need to leave her there for one or two nights.
Then we were ready to leave, once I paid the bill, which was another hassle -- I was going to use my CareCredit card, so I could pay it off over time without paying any interest, but it was declined so I had to use a different credit card. Then, not two minutes later, I got a robocall from Care Credit saying they'd detected "unusual activity" on my account and wanted to verify that I'd just attempted to charge $$ on it. I said yes, and the bot cheerfully told me to continue using my card. Wut? What is unusual about trying to pay a vet bill for my cat? Argh. Well, it's (almost) just as well, because I'll need the Care Credit for the surgery anyway, and that will go well over my credit limit, unless I can get it raised in the week before the surgery. And assuming they'll actually let the charge go through.
So then it was around 4:30 PM, and we were heading out just in time to hit evening rush hour. Took us three hours to get home, and we were both tired, hungry, and cranky when we finally arrived. Miss Jerry was thrashing around in her carrier, eager to get out, and as soon as I set her carrier down in her room and opened it, she jumped out and rushed out of the room! Well, rushed inasmuch as she ever does: she strode briskly and determinedly out of the room, which is very rare for her -- since the boys arrived, she has only poked her nose out of the bedroom a few times, and went right back in after a brief foray. This time, she went into the kitchen and sat on one of the chairs at the little bistro table I have in there, and stayed there for an hour and a half, even after the boys finished their dinners and came out to see what was going on. She growled and hissed at them, as usual, but didn't give any ground. Heh.
It was dark, so she's mostly just a black blob on the chair, but here she is, adventuring out into the world of the kitchen! I would love it if the surgery improves her health so that she becomes more energetic and brave and starts leaving her room more.
Once I got home, I got the final hit of the day: the email from the vet hospital with an estimate of the cost of her surgery: $7200 - $8200. Holy crap! I really hope I can get most or all of that onto Care Credit, so I can pay it off over time. Otherwise, it's going to completely wipe out my savings, and that doesn't even count the approximately $2500 I've already spent on Jerry's recent vet visits. It's a scary huge amount of money, but at least I *can* pay it. The only other option would be to, I don't know, let her suffer until the megacolon kills her, or have her put down, and I'm not ready for that, not when the surgery has a good chance of making her well.