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Luna Sea
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15th-Jun-2009 11:53 pm - Lately
Wow... it's been a long while since I last posted.
I've been kind of down of late.  Lots of emotional ick.  Expectations all around not being met.

On a good note, last weekend was nice.  We traveled North and spent Saturday in Sebastapol with juggledude and his daughter, who I hadn't seen in about three years.  I also got to meet his delightful partner who... I'll just say that I can't even fathom her strength.  She seems to be surviving a hand that, had it been dealt to me, would have left me unwilling to go on living.  Her strength is inspiring, and speaks volumes to the awesome support she has. 
Of course, Rozz was thrilled to be in a new environment.  He thrives on doing new things, going places and being social.  He had an unfortunate run-in with one of their cats, but will probably come through without a scar.

I'm dealing with a big Catch 22 these days.  I communicate pretty regularly with my parents and sibs.  I'm on the phone with at least one of them a minimum of four days a week.  Normally, this is a great thing.  Talking to them keeps me grounded, recharges me and generally puts me in a better mood.  They'll be heading to Idaho soon though, so every time I talk with one of them, preparations for the trip are invariably mentioned, which leaves me glum. 
Background... my fam never did vacations when I was growing up.  Money was always tight, so those stereotypical family trips never happened.  For three years running now, they've gone to Boise and stayed at my Dad's brother's home for a few weeks around the Fourth of July.  The last two years, I joined and just loved the experiences... crammed into cars together... going on utterly dumb excursions... stumbling across awful experiences that turned into wonderful stories we could later laugh about.  Every trip was like filling in a blank spot in my childhood.
Last year, some might remember, went horribly awry.  Mom and Gregg had their SmackDownBrawl.  They've recovered pretty well, but I know that Gregg on the Boise trip is something that will never again happen.  Which bends me over and screws me.
So... yeah.  Part of me wants to stop talking to my family until a month or so after they return.  Save myself hearing about the plans, preparations and stories of fun I missed out on.  But going that long without talking to them is unthinkable.
That's my Catch 22. 

I really need to start focusing on the positives in my life.

13th-May-2009 07:04 pm - Children
And Phoenix has joined the sick train.  102*.
Happily though, Rozz is on the mend.  His cough is still miserable, but his fever is down.  Monday he ran mid 103 to high 104.  Tuesday was high 101 to mid 103.  Today seems to be 99-100ish.

This is the first time Phoenix has actually been sick.  Really.  Over a year old and this is her first fever.  She has caught sniffles and a cough or two from brother, but never anything needing medication.  Rozz had his first real illness at four months.  And it seems like he never really stopped after that.
So, healthy thoughts toward my kids please.
29th-Apr-2009 04:18 pm - Annoyed and Worried
When organizations like the WHO declare things like Stage 5 threat levels and while there's only one death in the US so far, we should expect many more, people who struggle with paranoia like I do have to work hard to not Completely Freak Out.  Paranoia makes things painfully difficult.  I have to try to take a step back and ask myself if my worry is normal or induced by a mental issue. 

Does it make sense to keep Rozz out of school?  It seems like a large percentage of the US cases were spread between students at schools.  And kids are Notoriously bad about covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze.  And Rozz.... he touches everything, hugs everybody at schools and is terrible about putting his hands in his mouth.  Just in the past thirty minutes I've told him to get his hands out of his mouth half a dozen times.  He's not in school for learning at this point... it's just socialization so it's not like keeping him home is going to put him behind in studies.  And the damn Swine Flu is here in Northern/Central California now.

I know this is made even more difficult right now because a friend just lost a child.  And when someone's child dies, it really forces you to look at the love you hold for your own children and how difficult losing them would be.  Is it worth it to even risk it?  Parents have to make calculated risks.  And I'm not liking this risk at all.

Ugh.  Think with me for a moment about the spread of flu viri.  It occurs largely because people take their sick selves out in public.  Send sick kids to school.  Go to work sick.  Oftentimes without even knowing they're sick yet.  Common incubation periods are on average five days.  After first showing signs of illness, the viral shedding period (when you're highly contagious) is at it's peak for anywhere from five to seven days.  So, basically, if we wanted to get this under control, it would take a month of people being ultra cautious about going out.
And closing our borders.
Why our borders are still open is beyond me.  Yeah... let's continue to let infected individuals into the country and allow people to cross the border and risk infecting themselves and bringing it home.  What.  The.  Fuck.
Janet Napolitano said about border control, that each additional measure added at the border could create "huge economic disruption."  Ahhh... because disease and potential loss of life mean little in the face of losing money.  So long as we continue on our current path of "Do nothing to disrupt the flow of money and don't inconvenience anybody" this bug will continue to spread.
28th-Apr-2009 03:08 pm - Vans and Fish
I've never wanted a minivan.  But if I had to get a minivan, I'd want a VW Routan SEL.  Cute car with some really cool features.  Alas... no hybrids.

Also worth mentioning... a couple weeks ago, my Mom finished knitting a new hat for Rozzy.  A fabulous, fish hat.

As some of you may have noticed, last Thursday was national Take Your Kids to Work Day, so Rozz joined Gregg at Google.  Along with the fish hat.  The sad thing is, the hat never made it home.  It was in Dad's pocket, and then it was gone.
Gregg felt horrible.  So, as penance, we went to Morro Bay for the weekend, with yarn in hand, and my Mom knit him a new one.  Two and a half days of non-stop knitting.  Toward the end, her hands were cramped like you wouldn't believe but we had a new Rozzy hat in colors that he picked himself.
And today, back at work, Gregg found the original.
All's well that ends well.

22nd-Apr-2009 02:39 pm - Singing
Rozz wrote a song at school today.  He asked Teacher Anja to write it down for him. 
Delivered in a tone somewhere between punk/metal:
"You and me and Michael too. 
I guess you don't have my pain on my street. 
I like my pain. 
Mommy.  Daddy. 
R-r-r-raaaa!  Chu-Chu-Chu!"

Odd lyrics for a 3.5 year old, but whatcha' gonna' do?

Around noon thirty, I was smacked down with this weird headache-nausea-hot and clammy nastiness feeling.  It's finally starting to ebb away.  The clammy is mostly gone.  The nausea is about half what it was.  Still have the headache.  But I don't feel like death warmed over.

27th-Mar-2009 02:42 pm - Raziels' Lyrics
Mis-hearing lyrics has almost become a past time.  There are books devoted to it.  Raziel, of course, is far from immune to it.  My favorite lyric alteration of his is to The Cardigans mid 90's hit "Love Fool".  Instead of singing the first line as:
"Dear I fear we're facing a problem, you love me no longer I know..."
Rozz sings:
"Dear I fear my face is a problem, you love me no longer I know..."

I really think I like Rozz's version better.  Makes me giggle every time.  Also of interest about Rozz... his declared favorite color is black and he has recently become enamored of the Shrek movies, the old Disney "Sword and the Stone" and things Aurtherian legend related.

19th-Feb-2009 02:24 pm - Nightmare Dentist Day
Normal kid dentist day for Rozz today.  He hadn't been since our dental coverage changed, so I had to set up a new patient appointment.  We picked the Children's Dental Center in San Jose... an hour away but one of the 2 nearest Pediatric dentists to us.  Now, I grew up in LA county and used to be on good terms with my town's local homeless population, so it takes a bit to unnerve me.  This place... I didn't want to get out of the car.  I doubted my car would even be there when I came back if I left it... but I had an appointment, so I went.

Inside the building was awesome... done up like a movie theater with a MASSIVE flat screen showing kids movies... about a dozen small tvs with PS2s set up with kid friendly video games.  Brightly painted walls, floor and and ceiling.  Rozz loved it.  It was super cool.
I signed in for the appointment and started in on the paperwork.  The desk girl called me over and said that my insurance didn't go through.  This puzzled me, as I had spoken with Delta Dental just the day before.  I confirmed, "It didn't go through with this ::points:: number and birthdate?"  Yeah.  That's the number I gave them.  She's getting huffy.  I talk her into calling Delta again, and sure enough, the insurance goes through fine.

So... we wait.  And wait and wait.  Finally, we're taken back to the dental room.  Which is one huge room with a row of about 10 purple dental chairs just a couple feet apart from each other.  No partitions at all.  Most of the chairs contains kids kids.  Many contain screaming kids, being held down while people shine lights on them and do noisy things in their faces.  Raziel froze.  The assistant leads us to a little alcove where they do the x-rays... and she keeps referring to Rozz as "Baby" despite him politely explaining to her that he's not a baby.  She picks him up, puts him in the chair and drapes the lead blanket across him.  She then comes toward him with the little plastic bite-it things.  Rozz closes his eyes, turns his head to his shoulder and Will Not so much as acknowledge anything around him.  The previous scene of purple-chair-child-torture has assured a total lack of co-operation.  I should note that though she's wearing protective gloves, the girl is continually touching her hair, which appears to have not been washed in a while.  At this point, another assistant hands her some papers and says she needs to go help someone else now, so Rozz and I are moved to a different waiting area with a fabulous view of all the screaming kids in their chairs.  Raziel gets more and more anxious as the moments pass.  I arrived there at 11:40am.  At 1:15 I left without a single person glimpsing his teeth.  I stopped by the front desk and explained that we just didn't have any more time to wait around and to make sure the appointment was canceled so they wouldn't try to bill the insurance company.

So utterly miserable.
To top it all off, our fridge stopped working at some point yesterday.
Yay life.
7th-Feb-2009 11:08 am - Toxic Learning
Back when I worked in Pescadero, I discovered that there was a time of year that the salamanders wandered across the road.  I'd find hundreds of them squished all over.  This is them:

Cute huh?  Whenever I found one alive, I'd scoop it up and stick it in the car next to me then deposit it (and his buddies) at a creek at the end of my drive.  They were all out wandering, looking for mates.  On an average day, I'd rescue a dozen of them.

So, today I was grabbing a container of kitty litter from the front porch and discovered a baby salamander (just like this) had taken up residence under it.  I scooped him up to bring in and show Rozz.  Gregg saw him and expressed his concern, having read that California salamanders are toxic.
I was shocked.
Happily, I'm almost certain the little guy I found was a Santa Cruz Black Salamander or a juvenile Arboreal Salamander, and not one of the three toxic ones in our state.  That said... the hundreds that I rescued in Pescadero... those were the toxic ones.  The most toxic species of newt out there.  They release a tetrodotoxin that is exactly the same as the toxin released by pufferfish.  From what I understand, the danger really only comes from ingesting the substance they emmit and not from simply touching it, but it's nothing to mess around with.

And now I'm all nerves and jitters.  Don't think I'll be picking up any creepy crawlies for a while.  Ugh.  And I like the creepy crawlies so much.  I'm realizing just how lucky I am to have not accidentally killed myself, saving all those little guys.

29th-Jan-2009 10:35 am - Photos
Really nifty pictures, assuming they're all genuine.
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