next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
Sorry I've been MIA for, like, forever. Lots of unpleasant health stuff. I... don't really want to get into it. There was a lot of vomit. Occasionally, projectile vomit at the Kennedy Center. 2017 is off to a banging start.

Welcome, LJ refugees. Sorry Russia is fucking with you. You know, more than they're fucking with the rest of us.

I have been cheating on DW a bit by posting on Facebook again. Mostly because I now have a bunch of Crohn's buddies on there, and I feel better about dumping my shit (literal and figurative) on those who identify? Also I post ridiculous pictures of my cat. Here, you can have those.

Read more... )

Oh, hey, I also has recipes from aaaages ago I never posted.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars


I took pictures of those, too:



Desserty things taste good. (In the spirit of "this is my life now," I made them for a party I was supposed to go to, only to end up barfing and missing the party, so my coworkers ended up getting the goodies.)

How you?

next_to_normal: Cordy praying, Willow watching; text: ask for some aspirin (Ask for some aspirin)
Hi y'all. Still alive over here. Sometimes I feel like maybe it's time to close the figurative doors on this place, since all I seem to do is use it to reassure people that I remain among the living, and to detail my body's ongoing efforts to the contrary. Mostly, I wish I had more to SAY, but I just don't have the energy to, like, think about things, lol. Which sounds lame and stupid, because it seems like dealing with physical pain shouldn't impact my ability to review television shows or make icons or whatever else I used to do, but... it does. 

I'm still doing about the same - lots of pain, lots of Percocet, no progress on the Entyvio. I'm starting another new clinical trial, but have to taper off the Prednisone first (which I am happy to do, goodbye hairy moon-face!) so it'll be about a month before I get the new drug. At least it's open label, so I know for sure I'm getting real medicine and not placebo.

Anyway. It also seems ridiculous to post holiday pictures now that it's MID-JANUARY, but whatever, here's Chelsea wearing a fancy bow for Christmas:

Read more... )
I meant to do the end of the year meme, if only to help myself keep track of all the TV I watched, but... meh. I also contemplated doing the hair meme that was going around, but then I remembered I'm allergic to selfies and so I don't actually have any good photos of my hair to post. Not that my hair is really interesting enough for a meme, anyway.

Uh, bad news for some of you: I FINALLY got around to watching Mad Max: Fury Road, and I found it pretty meh? Like, it was fine as an action movie, but I don't get all the wild love for it? I can see why the prominence of female characters in this kind of movie would make a lot of people excited, but, like, is that it? It seemed like there was a ton of backstory that was just... not explained (like why any of this was happening, lol) and it kind of surprised me that people who, on the whole, tend to place a high priority on STORY loved it so much when it's basically 2 hours of non-stop action with the barest minimum of plot to justify it. Maybe it's just not my genre, or I had too high expectations because it seemed like the entire internet flipped their shit over it. (I will say this: flaming guitar guy was as hilariously weird and fantastic as I'd been led to believe.) So, tell me what I'm missing, Internet!

I watched MM:FR as part of my Oscar movie challenge - my friends and I are attempting to see all the Best Picture nominees. So far, I've seen 3, the other two being Spotlight and The Martian. I LOOOOVED The Martian. It probably shouldn't have been in the Comedy category for the Golden Globes, but it WAS pretty hilarious, and Matt Damon is fantastic. We as a society really ought to stop leaving him in dangerous places, though. It's costing an awful lot in money, effort, and lives to keep retrieving him.
next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
And all Chelsea wants is her two front teeth back. We make quite a pair.

No, actually, Chelsea is doing just fine. Her stitches have healed up, she's eating regular food again, and as far as we can tell, she remains flea- and tapeworm-free. \o/ I, on the other hand, am having worse pain and diarrhea, so we're back to having the dietary diversity of a five-year-old (grilled cheese, goldfish crackers, and plain buttered noodles). Went to the doctor yesterday, and he added another steroid to my daily regimen, so we'll see if that helps. Needless to say, the Entyvio still has not kicked in, and, like, I want to give it time to do its thing (because if we ditch this one, I don't have many other options to try), but I also don't want to be in pain for another three months. 

Before I stopped eating real food again, I did try out one new recipe. I wanted to use up that goat cheese (I clearly bought too much goat cheese), and I found this Pecan and Goat Cheese Pasta, which appealed because goat cheese, pecans, and dried cranberries are a combo I really like in salads, but would never have thought to put in pasta. 

You know how experienced cooks are always like, "I just made up this recipe by throwing together whatever I had in the fridge"? I cannot do that. Whenever I have an ingredient or two I want to use up, I have to google what I have and try to find a recipe that uses it AND ALSO does not require me to buy more things. I don't know how to get good at the "throw in whatever's lying around" style of cooking, except to practice and watch a lot of Chopped, I guess? Anyway, I did get slightly adventurous and add sauteed shallots and garlic to the recipe, since I HAD THEM LYING AROUND, lol, and while it all tasted good, the goat cheese never really melted into a sauce the way I hoped, so it was a little dry.

I am totally done with my Christmas shopping - I actually finished early (for me) this year, i.e. a whole week before Christmas. \o/ Usually I am last-minute ordering stuff online and then freaking out because it has not arrived by the time I have to leave to drive to New Jersey. Which... has happened again this year, but ironically the one thing that hasn't been delivered yet is the VERY FIRST GIFT I BOUGHT way back on December 8th! It's not like they're shipping it from India or something, either, just Fredericksburg. I'm starting to think it got lost in the mail. (And yes, I emailed them, and they were like, "USPS says 1-2 weeks is the average this time of year..." They offered to resend if I don't get it by today, but that does not help with getting it in time for Christmas.) Even the last-minute gift for my dad that I bought off eBay on Saturday that wasn't supposed to be delivered until the 26th managed to get here early, but not the one that had two leisurely weeks to make it to me from 5 miles away.

ANYWHO. Here are photos of my Christmas tree and Chelsea helping/eating the decorations:

Read more... )
I opted not to torture Chelsea this year by making her wear her Christmas outfit. YET - there is still time, but really, the poor thing has been through a lot lately.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all the other holidays to you all. Chelsea and I are off to the 'rents tomorrow, for a whole week, which I am hoping will give me a chance to rest up and feel less terrible in 2016! 
next_to_normal: (Chris perplexed face)
Remember when I took Chelsea to the vet and they told me she needed dental work? Well, a week or so after that, one of her teeth fell out, so I went ahead and scheduled the darn thing, which was yesterday. And all the dental stuff went as expected, but the vet ALSO was like, "Oh, by the way, Chelsea has fleas and a tapeworm."

AAARRRRGGGGHHHH

My immediate thought was to blame my parents and the literal COLONY of stray cats they are feeding - seriously, there are like NINE of them now - since I took Chelsea home with me for Thanksgiving. I mean, she's NEVER had fleas before, she didn't have fleas in the beginning of November when she went to the vet the first time, and now, conveniently, after a trip home, she does? She didn't directly interact with the stray cats, but a couple of them will let my mom pet them, and they'll rub against her leg and will come inside, even if they don't come in further than the welcome mat at the door. That's still enough to bring fleas into the house where they could've jumped on Chelsea. 

So they treated her with Capstar while she was at the vet and also gave her something for the tapeworm, and I spent all friggin' day today washing and vacuuming everything in my apartment. 

But then I started thinking? And I'm starting to wonder, like, did they possibly MIX UP THE CATS or something, because Chelsea does not seem to have fleas! I know "indoor cat flea denial" is a whole thing, but stick with me here...

For one thing, from reading online, it seems like when your pet has fleas, it's fairly noticeable? But there's been NOTHING to suggest it here. If I hadn't taken Chelsea to the vet, I would NEVER have guessed she had fleas. She hadn't been scratching, and I wasn't specifically looking for fleas or flea dirt, but I didn't notice anything on her, nor had I seen any bugs in the apartment that might've been fleas or any evidence of them, like flea dirt on the blankets where she spends a lot of time. (Granted, she is a mostly black cat, which makes it harder to spot, but my comforter is white, her favorite blanket is pale blue, and my sofa is beige, so you'd think I'd spot something there, right?)

Anyway, if that were it, I'd probably accept it. Maybe she just didn't have the fleas long enough for it to be noticeable. If she DID get them from the strays at Thanksgiving, it would've been less than a week. But then there's also what the vet said to me. He called me three times on Friday - the first during the procedure, because I asked them to call before they extracted any teeth. We discussed the dental stuff, and not a word about the fleas. I suppose it's possible at that point they hadn't spotted them yet?

The vet called me a second time after the procedure was over to let me know how everything went. Again, all talk about the dental. THEN he called a third time to be like, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention she has fleas." Unfortunately, at that point I'd stepped away from my desk, so he left a voice mail, otherwise I might've thought of these questions sooner. 

But in the voice mail, he said they noticed flea dirt on her, then saw a live flea. Later, when I picked her up, the vet tech told me that after they gave her Capstar, they combed dead fleas off her. I really wish I had thought to ask HOW MANY fleas they combed off. I don't need an exact number or anything, but like, is this a mild case, or were there a lot? The vet tech kind of made it sound like there were a lot, which doesn't really fit with my not noticing ANYTHING, so it would be another sign to me that they were looking at a different cat, lol.

The vet also said in the voice mail that they apparently diagnosed the tapeworm based on a fecal test, and THAT'S the part where I get really skeptical. Because they never charged me for a fecal test. There's no reason for them to have done a fecal test for a dental procedure. I suppose it's possible she just happened to poop while she was there, and maybe if she happened to poop after they found the fleas, they decided to check for tapeworms, but I'm SURE they wouldn't test it for free

Anyway, after a pretty thorough cleaning of the house, I STILL didn't find any evidence of fleas (neither did my parents, btw). And now I'm starting to wonder, like, are we sure it was Chelsea they found the fleas on, and not some other cat who was in for a procedure, and maybe they got the records mixed up? The afterthought phone call, the mystery fecal test... I don't know, it just seems bizarre, especially combined with zero sign of fleas. Or am I just in denial?

They did say that she'll poop out the tapeworm, so I guess I'll see it if she really had one? Otherwise, the only thing to do is wait and see if I didn't clean thoroughly enough and some fleas actually show up. 

(I should note that I am also somewhat sensitive to vet mix-ups, given that once my mother took Patches to the vet, and when she went to pick her up, they tried to give her THE WRONG CAT, and my mom looked in the carrier and was like, "UM THAT IS NOT PATCHES."  So we were actually joking about "make sure you check that it's really Chelsea before you leave!" Plus, the first time the vet called me, he was mixed-up enough that he thought MY NAME was Chelsea, not the cat, so...)

So what do you think, people who have experience with cats? Which is more likely? Is it possible for a cat to have enough fleas that it's noticeable to a vet who is looking at her for a completely different medical issue, but I as the cat's owner didn't notice a thing, and still can't find anything even when specifically looking for fleas? If I can't find any evidence whatsoever of fleas, does that mean we're clean, or should I be anticipating an outbreak in a few weeks or months or whatever?
next_to_normal: (Miss Kitty Fantastico)
So I have not updated in forever. I blame it on the drugs. I am still on Percocet, my mother is worried I will become an addict, but my doctor said, "If it hurts, take as much as you need," so I am all, "YES THANKS TAKING ALL THE DRUGS" because I still have a lot of pain for some reason? Like, the nausea is (mostly) gone, way less diarrhea, and I am basically eating food like a normal human again. (It doesn't seem to matter what I eat, so I figure I might as well eat normally if it's going to hurt like hell anyway.) So, I mean, other than the DAILY BOUTS OF EXCRUCIATING PAIN, I'm kind of feeling better? I guess?

Poop and travel and weight loss and cat teeth )
next_to_normal: Spike and Dawn looking thoughtful; text: are you pondering what i'm pondering? (Spike/Dawn pondering)
1. Is it problematic that my diet now consists almost exclusively of grilled cheese? I do occasionally eat other things (eggs, for example, which seems to be the only food left I have not at some point vomited back up), but I had TWO - count 'em - TWO grilled cheeses today. Not for lack of trying - I made an attempt at broth at lunchtime and chicken for dinner, but couldn't manage more than a few bites of either.

Something about that combination of buttered bread and cheese - which they tell you not to eat when you have an upset stomach! No dairy is one of the main things they tell you! But this is not your normal nausea, apparently - manages to satisfy my stomach's desire for solid food, because the nausea kicks into overdrive on an empty stomach, while also not being substantive enough to cause too much abdominal pain as I digest, while ALSO apparently being bland enough not to upset the delicate balance in there but not SO bland that the mere thought of choking it down makes me want to hurl (like the chicken, pasta, rice, crackers, toast, and every other goddamned starch on the planet). 

2. Why don't they just sell ginger ale already flat? I'm sure there are a few people out there who actually like drinking it (my mother is one of them), but it's also sort of universally accepted as "the thing you drink when you have an upset stomach" but for that it's supposed to be FLAT, so why not just sell a non-carbonated version? It'd probably be a big seller! Because it is a pain in the ass to have to sit there and stir out the damn bubbles. When I want my ginger ale, I want it NOW. I've actually taken to pouring out glasses and just letting it sit, so that by the time I'm ready to drink one, it's already flat. 

3. Is sympathy puking a thing in cats? Chelsea chokes up the occasional hairball just like anyone else, but she's vomited twice during the last couple weeks I've been sick. I know that seeing (or worse, SMELLING) someone throwing up can cause an upchuck reflex in people, but CATS?

(Actually, I think I know the answer to this one. I think it's just that she eats too fast. Because occasionally I'd forget to feed her so she'd be really hungry? And by "forget" I mean "lay down to take a nap, totally meaning to get up again before I go to bed, but I was on that crazy knock-out medicine so six hours later the nap turns into just going to bed" and I'd feed her the next morning.)
next_to_normal: Cosima in black and white (Cosima)
Yes, I am typing this post on my shiny new Toshiba laptop. \o/ After four years, my poor Samsung has officially kicked its bucket, so my mother and I took a trip to Best Buy while she was here this weekend to get a new one. And I managed to do it without endlessly spamming y'all like last time, so good job me.

I also managed to acquire some kind of medieval plague this weekend, so that's fun. Apparently it disturbs Chelsea, if the withering stare at my death rattle is any indication. Earlier, I hacked up a lung and she went and hid under the piano. WHO'S GOING TO FEED YOU WHEN I'M DEAD, YOU UNGRATEFUL CAT.

oh god she'll probably just gnaw on my corpse

* Teaser for season 6 of Community on Yahoo.

* Outlander has already been renewed for a second season. I've only watched the first episode, but I like it so far, so yay? The Leftovers, which I've seen enough of to like, also got a second season renewal.

* There are neurological reasons why we're so attached to the music we listened to as teenagers. Maybe that's why the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack hit #1, despite being a literal mix-tape of previously released songs.

* If it makes you as happy as it makes me, enjoy dancing baby Groot.

* Will Guardians of the Galaxy's success make Marvel too cocky?

* A biologist uses science to explain how to make superheroes.

* A spectator shot a possibly spoilery video of Agents of SHIELD filming season 2.

* Here's a handy round-up of links for historical context for Steve Rogers as a dude from the 1940s.

* NBC is developing a TV musical version of Robin Hood.

* Director Rob Marshall talks about the Into the Woods movie, ostensibly to reassure us that he's being faithful to the original, but actually mentioning even more changes (the flashbacks, no "Ever After," retooling the second act) I hadn't heard reported before.

* Tom Hiddleston is being considered for a remake of Ben-Hur.

* George R. R. Martin doesn't understand why women want him to write more gay sex scenes, because apparently he (and they) have never heard of the internet.
next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
Chelsea got outfits for Christmas! Or, I am the meanest cat mother ever...

Read more... )

Home again

Dec. 31st, 2012 01:19 pm
next_to_normal: My cat, black and white tuxedo, on a grey background (Chelsea)
I finally decided to stop torturing Chelsea yesterday, and we left my parents' house (and Patches) behind. This was the longest I've stayed at their house since acquiring Chelsea, because I couldn't leave her alone for more than a few days at a time. It was nice to be able to spend a whole week at home for once. I actually quite enjoy spending time with my parents, even if we sometimes get on each others' nerves. But being at home feels like a vacation from being a grown-up, you know? It's a relief not having to worry about everything yourself. And the kitty experiment went better than I'd hoped, so we'll try it again, I'm sure.

Lots of cat talk )

Anyway, the highlights of my Christmas:
* Most hilarious moment - My grandmother unintentionally propositioning my cousin's father-in-law: "Here's my keys, you wanna go to my place?" (His response: "Well, only if my wife says it's okay...")
* Most WTF moment - My mom asking if I should freeze some of my eggs, in case I ever change my mind and decide I want children. Me: "No." (Bonus WTF moment: "Hey, I didn't want to have kids, either." Me: "......." Mom: "....but it's different when they're yours.")
* Best Christmas present - New car! Well, new to me, at least. It's my grandmother's 2003 Hyundai Sonata, which she is no longer allowed to drive, because she is 87 and kinda crazy. But it was free and everything works, so it's an improvement over my old car.

How was everyone else's holiday?
next_to_normal: (Leverage)


Guess that means I have to finish my Christmas shopping after all.

I am at my parents' house, and since I have a crazy ELEVEN days off this year, I brought a special guest with me. Chelsea (who is currently hiding under the covers on my bed) gets to come home with me and hopefully she and Patches (my parents' cat) will not kill each other. We won't try to introduce them for another few days, at least (they've met before, but it was a few years ago and didn't go well).

Pre-Christmas linkspam:

* The writing's been on the wall for a while, but Leverage has officially been canceled. I suppose it's good, in a way, since this season has very much had the feel of a final season, and the season finale episode (which airs Christmas Day) was written as a series finale "just in case." Here's hoping Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane, and Beth Riesgraf find other work soon. I will miss those crazy kids.

* And yet, HIMYM goes on and on, now extended for a ninth season. DAMMIT JASON SEGEL. I was depending on him to stop this madness, but apparently he caved.

* Another Les MIserables clip, this time the full version of "At the End of the Day." Definitely better than "One Day More," but this discussion of 10 reasons the movie misses the mark is starting to look more and more accurate.

* Ben Affleck for Senate? This is apparently an actual possibility.

* Community's holiday sneak peek involves ADORABLE KITTENS.

If I don't make it back online before Christmas, hope everyone has a lovely holiday!

next_to_normal: My cat, black and white tuxedo, on a grey background (Chelsea)
My parents are visiting for 4th of July - my dad had off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and my mom has an obscene number of vacation days, so they figured they'd spend a long weekend at the Hotel Laura. Of course, I could not take off from work (otherwise I'd be on vacation right now), so I am in the office being bored while my parents get to sit on my balcony and go in my pool. Something about this situation does not seem right... :\ At least I got to go to the pool yesterday. The water is SO WARM, so I guess this crazy heat wave has been good for something. I also got a lovely sunburn while I was outside, but it's already turning to tan (thank you Dad and your Mediterranean genes!).

Chelsea had quite an adventure, though. We've been sort of practicing with walking on a leash in my apartment, and we've managed to get to the point where Chelsea's not afraid of the leash anymore. (It was pretty funny, for the longest time she had no problem with the harness - I swear, you could dress that cat up in doll clothes and she'd sit there and let you - but as soon as I clipped the leash on it would freak her out.) So yesterday, while my parents and I were sitting out on the balcony, I took her outside and she sat in my lap for a few minutes, then tentatively explored a bit, before slinking back into the house. Which is an improvement over the last time I took her out, when I held her for about 15 seconds before she ran back inside. I really think she'd like the balcony once she gets used to it. She is, as they say on Animal Planet, a "tree dwelling" cat, so she likes being up high.

The other excitement in my condo was rearranging the furniture to make room for my new piano! Which should be delivered in the next week or so! YAY!
next_to_normal: (tardis)
From the "things that need to be in my life" file: CAT TARDIS.

In other news, why is it not Friday yet? It's felt like Friday all day...
next_to_normal: (awesome squared)
Here it is! My (mostly) finished condo! Still a few things that need to be done, like grouting the tile in the kitchen and hanging all my pictures, but mostly, it's done!

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Caroline adorable)
Last picspam of the condo renovations! The next time you see my place, I will be living in it!

Read more... )

next_to_normal: (VM camera)
As promised, the epic picspam of condo renovations. Unfortunately, I don't have the "before" pictures, since they're on my parents' camera, so these start out partway through our work.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: My cat, black and white tuxedo, on a grey background (Chelsea)
1. My cat has a habit of leaving cat toys in my shoes. These often tend to be little pom poms that can get stuck in the toe and so I don't notice them until I am already at work. I choose to think of it as a sign of affection, like when you were a kid and your mom used to pack your lunch and sometimes she'd leave a little note in there so you wouldn't see it until lunchtime? It's like that. Except fuzzier.

2. When my cat is high on catnip, she gets this wide-eyed manic look, which kind of reminds me of Damon's crazy eyes? I don't know what to make of that.

3. Question: For quite a while, actually, my iTunes has been doing this thing where it cuts off a song before the end. Sometimes it's a few minutes in, other times it's just a few seconds. The display still shows the full time length for the track, but partway through it just skips to the next song. At first I tried replacing each song, thinking maybe the file was corrupted, but that is getting both annoying and expensive since I have to keep buying songs I already bought from iTunes. Plus, it keeps happening to new songs. The same thing happens on my iPod. There seems to be no pattern to which songs it happens to, either, just totally random. Has anyone had this happen to them, and do you have any idea how to fix it?

4. Linkspam!

* No full season of Doctor Who next year. :( Apparently they are saving it for 2013, which is the 50th anniversary year?

* Trailers for Damages season 4. I... actually forgot this show hadn't been canceled.

* Leslie Knope is writing a book.

* I always knew that SPF 90 sunscreen was a scam!

Oh dear...

May. 6th, 2011 09:53 pm
next_to_normal: My cat, black and white tuxedo, on a grey background (Chelsea)
My cat is high on catnip. She literally just flew through the air in some sort of twirling jump thing, wrapped around her catnip wrestling toy. I'm thinking I need a flaming hula hoop and we can take this show on the road.

Now she's waging war on the window blinds or possibly some imaginary bug.

...and now she's crashed. Non-stop entertainment, this fuzzball of mine.
next_to_normal: (is ded)
Happy Easter! I had a three day weekend, which means the parental units descended on Friday. We spent much of the weekend visiting Lumber Liquidators, Home Depot, Lowe's, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and various other home improvement stores, looking at flooring, tile, appliances, etc. for the new condo.

Results )
next_to_normal: (VM camera)
Hey hey hey! Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes (I think I got around to them all, but if I didn't, please let me know! I'm not hatin' - just overwhelmed, lol.)

As you may know, this week is Spring Break for me, so I took the opportunity to take a week off from work, since I had no classes. It was supposed to be relaxing yet productive, but if I wanted to relax, I probably shouldn't have bought a house, you know? I've just about got the mortgage stuff straightened out (after a minor "OMG this is so expensive, what was I THINKING???" freakout earlier today), and I'm having the home inspection done on Friday.

I did manage to have some fun this weekend, since the oh-so-Irish [personal profile] mcmegan came to visit and we went to the Shamrock Fest in DC. Lots of Irish bands, lots of people in crazy outfits, and a LOT of fried food (my stomach was not pleased), but the main attractions were Hotspur - Megan's like a superfan or something, they know her by name! - and Dropkick Murphys, both of which were great.

We also got our picture taken with a leprechaun:

It's a different sort of awesome ladies picspam )

More spam!

Jan. 15th, 2011 01:11 pm
next_to_normal: (Bossa Nova)
I went to see The Social Network last night, which I really liked, but I was out past my bedtime and so I'm absurdly lazy today. So although I have a ton of reviews still to post, I'm taking the easy way out and doing another linkspam.

Also picspam, so it's under a cut )

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