I only have one grandparent left

My mom’s dad died this morning. I don’t need sympathy; I’m just documenting the event. He was an abusive husband and father and one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met. He was never worse than incredibly obnoxious to me, but I didn’t like him. I often have to try to fight off personal traits he passed down to me; thanks a lot, grandpa. I’ll probably type up some memories of him at some point, if I can bring myself to care that much XD

Stupid medical shit and a dream about Loki

I’m actually only making this entry to describe the funny dream I recently woke up from, but since I am making it, I might as well talk about what’s going on while I’m at it. I’ll get to the dream in a minute here.

So last week (to coincide wonderfully with my deep sadness in regard to the decision I made), I was experiencing abdominal pain. Because I have multiple conditions that give me abdominal pain on a regular basis, I didn’t pay much attention, but I did notice it was getting worse. Eventually, on Friday, it had gotten bad enough (and had been increasing consistently enough) to give me some concern. So I went to the doctor, who referred me to a hospital for ultrasounds. And it turns out I have gall bladder stones and need to have the whole silly thing removed.

The doctor’s referral office set me up an appointment for today with a surgeon, and Friday to Wednesday seemed like a long time to wait — especially when they warned me very carefully what symptoms should send me to the emergency room over the weekend — but whatevs. I would wait. However, I wasn’t aware until Monday that I’d been misled by ‘appointment with a surgeon,’ and that this is just a consultation. I have no idea, as yet, when I can actually have this surgery, and an unknown period seems like an even longer time to wait. Because meanwhile, the pain continues to increase, and has with it that general feeling of ill health I hate so much and some nausea on the side, not to mention a lot of emotional distress that may have something to do with last week’s decision as well.

So I’m in too much pain to go to work, but not enough pain (yet) to go to the emergency room. I’m losing money every day, I don’t know how long this will continue, and Poe only knows how much I’m going to be out for the consultation visit (typically my specialist copay is $75) and the surgery itself (last year’s mass removal with no more than a local anesthetic ran me $500). I already had to pay $150 for the doctor’s appointment and the ultrasounds on Friday. Fucking gall bladder. I’m literally selling stocks in preparation for the next however long. AND MEANWHILE I’M STILL IN PAIN.

I was in no frame of mind to get any writing done over the weekend, though yesterday I wrote, like, four sentences on BC 22 (itself part of an entirely different emotional kettle of fish or maybe kettle of emotional fish). I’ve been working on my current RPG Maker project and a picture of two dogs, and watching a lot of Superman: The Animated Series. Just killing time, basically, until I can get this small and expensive bonfire removed from my side.

OK, but what I really came for. I had this dream:

These two minor gods were in some kind of trouble, and I was trying to get them out of it. But it was beyond my power, so I went to Loki for help — knowing full well it was a bad idea, but she was the only god I could actually communicate with. I explained the situation and asked if she would lend a hand.

As Loki replied, images appeared behind her as if she were running a slide show in the background illustrating everything she had to say. “I could help these two minor gods,” she said. “We could do such-and-such, and then talk to so-and-so, and get them out of their jam.” And the slide show demonstrated these potential actions.

Or…” she went on with a smirk, “I could turn them in for a bounty, and that would piss off…” And the slide show started scrolling rapidly through the images of every god in multiple pantheons, line after line after line of them, presumably listing all the many people who would be pissed off by Loki’s choice to betray these two minor gods. And it was pretty clear which option she was going to take.

The slide show thing and Loki’s smartassedness was so funny that I even laughed in the dream despite the situation having been made worse by my choice to go to her for help. I find it so funny in waking life that I had to write it down even though I haven’t logged a dream in a very long time.

And now back to my regularly scheduled suffering.

Edit: I have surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning. I’m so relieved to get it scheduled so soon, I haven’t been able to stop crying.

I didn’t really want to have to talk about this again

Long ago, the Saitou & Sano subfandom was full and active. There was ongoing conversation about the pairing, RK in general, and all the fanfiction we posted. For years and years I’ve been trying to get that back, and it hasn’t been working. These days there are almost no fans, there is almost no conversation, and my fics get almost no attention. I’ve long been aware that if I wanted something like that again, I would have to switch fandoms.

The idea never appealed to me, however. Nothing means as much to me as Saitou & Sano; nothing touches me like they do; nothing is as close to my heart. They’ve become such a part of my life that it’s been more than I could even imagine to give up writing about them, and where would I go then? No other fandom and no other characters come even close to making me feel what I feel (including the massive amounts of inspiration) for this pairing and this version of Saitou Hajime in particular; I can’t bend my fandom life around someone else.

But now the wicked behavior of Dead Author has struck what seems like a death blow to an already mostly dead subfandom, and I’m wondering: why go on at all? I guess I’ve always known I had to prepare myself for letting go at some point; why not now? I’ve only been writing about these guys for twenty years; they’re only my best friends; I only have Saitou’s motto tattooed on my back — no big deal, right? No, of course I’m not crying. Why should this be horrendously painful?

So what I’m saying here is that I’ll be tapering off. Obviously I’ll finish the in-progress fics I’m posting — you’d have to kill me to get me not to — and I’ll probably still work on the HoH stuff I’ve got going despite not having begun to post any of that yet… but the 30 other Saitou & Sano stories (and small handful of RK stories about other characters) in various states of startedness and finishedness I have sitting around on my hard drive will probably never be completed. I’ll convert what I can into original fiction (which obviously nobody reads, but at least then I’ll still be able to write it).

My heart is broken. I know it’s selfish to be focusing so much on the effect Dead Author’s inhumanity is having on my writing and my place in a community that already hasn’t existed for a decade rather than on the much greater and more life-destroying effect that type of behavior, on his part and that of others, has on its actual victims… but there it is. I’m not as hurt as the real victims, but I am very hurt by this. I’ve spent literally half my life on something I’m now feeling compelled to walk away from.

(Note: The next entry dealing with this contains less despair and more specific planning.)

Grandma

My paternal grandmother, who has been a complete vegetable for a year or so, finally died early yesterday morning. Everyone is very relieved.

Surreally, I woke up yesterday morning to the following two text messages that had been delivered while I slept, the first from brother and the second from mom:

“Another One Bites the Dust” is OK.

Grandma finally got to go home this morning.

I honestly don’t know how grandma would have reacted to this, but I think it’s pretty hilarious XD

Regarding Watsuki Nobuhiro and Rurouni Kenshin

I will continue to enjoy Rurouni Kenshin (and Busou Renkin). That version of Saitou, with his exceptional morality, will continue to be my favorite fictional character, and the romantic pairing of Saitou and Sano will continue to be one of my favorite things. I will continue to create and enjoy fanworks related to Rurouni Kenshin.

But to the pedophile Watsuki, who has contributed to one of the worst evils known to the world, who has put so many of my fandom siblings through hell, I have only this to say: お前 の 全て を 否定して やる.

And to those in the fandom that can’t bring themselves to separate the art from the reprehensible behavior and nature of the artist, and are forced to leave it behind, I understand. I’m sorry something like this has to take something you loved from you. Go well.

Sad day

My little dog Hiko has swallowed a wire of some sort. He’s staying at the full-service vet overnight getting fluids in the hopes it will flush out of where it’s been sitting and pass through his digestive tract. A third set of radiographs in the morning will give a new perspective, and then I can decide whether or not he will have very expensive and scary abdominal surgery.

I am exceptionally sad and worried right now. Please to be keeping Little Man in your thoughts.

Here is a picture of him sadly hiding in the closet because he was in pain. Suffering was never so adorable T__T

EDIT 9:45 AM: The wire has not moved at all, despite the fluids and some food. He’s going to surgery.

EDIT 1:30 PM: He is out of surgery and doing well. The wire was embedded in his duodenum, which is why it wasn’t moving, but the doctor says there was very little inflammation at the spot and he’s confident of a good recovery.

I am so relieved I can’t even.

EDIT 7:30 PM: Home at last. So happy to have my Best Dog back. Poor little guy. $1,500.

EDIT DAYS AFTER THE FACT: I figure I’ll put down the actual sequence of events in greater detail so as to have a coherent record.

On the Tuesday that was my last day off work before returning after my own surgery, at around noon I noticed that Beeks was declining treats and hiding a lot (as pictured above). My immediate concern was foreign body, and I started watching carefully for signs of intestinal obstruction. There were no such signs, however, so I was a bit puzzled. I thought maybe he had a little bug, and resolved to wait and watch. (Later, since my “guess” {intuition} turned out to be correct, I regretted not taking him to a full-service vet that day when I was free.)

Overnight, I noticed he couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and one time he actually got up and went to hide in the closet again, though I put him back on the bed. On Wednesday, before work, I was noticing kyphosis and apparent discomfort in general but especially when sitting down. He was still defecating normally, so I was still at a bit of a loss, and in any case I had to go to work.

At work, however, I received a text from my mom (Hiko takes a nap on her bed from the time I leave to the time she gets up) saying that she’d reached over to pet him and he’d snapped at her. Now, Heeks is the sweetest and friendliest dog in the world, so this was the final sign that something was very wrong. Since dad was working from home that day (THANK FUCKING TOLKIEN, since mom’s MS would have made this very difficult for her), I requested he take Little Man to a full-service vet.

(Of course at this point mom wondered why one of the doctors at my clinic couldn’t look at him, which surprised me a little — I’ve been there almost three years; surely she must understand by now how limited a clinic we are? Most pertinently, we don’t have an x-ray machine.)

I’ve actually had no need whatsoever of a full-service vet… um, ever… because I’ve never had an animal sick or injured before, and my own clinic suffices for the things we do (vaccines and spays/neuters). Which means I wasn’t on file anywhere in town, and had to choose a clinic to send Leeko to. I chose the place I did my internship at, because I liked them so much, and I was pleased to find that some of them there actually remembered me even after three years! How cool is that!

Anyway, dad took Teeks in there, and after a while texted me the images from the first set of radiographs:


I knew instantly what that was. I have these bead curtains on my bedroom door that are composed of long wooden beads held together with stiff wires. I’ve caught Beeks chewing on fallen beads before, but I didn’t think he’d be silly enough to swallow one of the wires. More fool me -__-

Anyway, they kept him at the clinic giving him fluids and planning to take more images at around four in the afternoon. If the wire had moved at that point, they thought he might be able to be sent home in the hopes that it would pass. If it had not moved, surgery might have to happen. So I got to fret all day about that.

In the evening, the new radiographs revealed that the wire had not budged. The doctor I spoke to said that it was still possible it might move, but that surgery then and there was an option. I chose the middle ground, having him stay overnight (so I could fret more) and receive more fluids, then see how a third set of images looked in the morning.

In only tangential news, I’m trying a new sleep medication, and it had proven remarkably ineffectual up until this point. The doctor had told me I could go to two pills a night if just the one wasn’t working, and I thought this particular night — extremely worried and without my little dog to cuddle — was a perfect time to give that a try. And I’m cautiously hopeful about the outcome; I seemed to sleep OK that night and on subsequent nights with the double dose.

On Friday morning, a different vet from the full-service clinic called me (he was the one that specifically remembered me from my internship) at around 8:00. In fact I had a client in my exam room, and she was very understanding about my need to take a phone call in the middle of getting her dog checked in. The vet said that the wire had once again not moved at all, and he thought surgery was the next step. So I gave the go-ahead, and then could not stop absolutely freaking out for the next three hours or so.

When he called back, it was with the information I mentioned above: the wire had lodged in Hiko’s duodenum, allowing for the flow of fluids and even food through his digestive tract but causing him constant discomfort. It was removed with no problem and only a small incision into the duodenum, and he was all closed up and waking up from anesthesia with no complications. I cried and cried of relief and joy, and texted everybody.

My thoughtful supervisor and head doctor had been just about to allow me a long lunch to go visit Little Man, but the vet on the phone specified that I could pick him up that afternoon, so there was no need for that. It’s not impossible that my co-workers just wanted me to go see him because I was so completely useless while I so worried about him XD

That evening, when I went to the full-service clinic, I found a very groggy Beeks that nevertheless wagged his tail at me the entire way home. Also they’d saved part of the wire for me to look at, and I was confirmed in my assessment of its origin. I love my bead curtains, but I love my dog more, and they’re getting thrown away as soon as there’s space for them in the garage trash cans (we forgot to take the trash out, so those are all full XD). For now they’re still hanging up, because hanging up seems safer than lying down somewhere.

So that’s about the whole story. As I mentioned about, it cost me $1,500, which is very inconvenient right after I had surgery, but still about a thousand dollars less than I expected and pretty reasonable for the services he received. Poor little guy. I’ll only add at this point that Peeks has always been extremely difficult to pill, and with two antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and a pain med, we have a little rigmarole every twelve hours now. Pill Pockets worked exactly once :\

I love my dog.

Funeral report and whatnot

Sister P joined us from Georgia, and brought Malachi, her youngest (except for the one that’s incubating), along with. I shared a hotel room with them, and since Malachi is 23 months old and got sick for a while, there was a lot of Disney Jr. and not a lot of sleep.

Dad was the main speaker at the funeral, and, as he has always been an incredibly good speaker, that went well. There were a couple of poor musical numbers (we are a family of choir voices, not soloists), including the obligatory couldn’t-get-through-the-last-verse-because-crying-too-hard piece. Then we went to the cemetery for a short graveside service, including the military honors.

At least one of the Air Force Honor Guard members was a woman, which meant more to me than most other things that happened around these events. And I think I cried harder than at anything else when the bugler played Taps. Then, when they fired the salute, little Malachi very cheerfully said, “Uh-oh!” and that was the best possible touch.

Grandma did not attend any of the gatherings, because her Alzheimer’s is progressed so far that she would only have been miserable and paranoid at such things, but we did visit her afterward. A very kind and dedicated cousin has been living with and taking care of her; well done that cousin, and may she have a just reward.

Mostle and Jakebii also joined us from Utah, and it was the first time all six members of my immediate family had been together for several years. That was nice, but dealing with extended family is always a pain in the ass.

Extended family (unless you keep in close touch with them) is essentially a group of strangers, and your chances are just as good with them as with an actual group of strangers of finding common interests to discuss. But since they’re family, you’re forced to interact with them. Oh, and did I mention they probably have all of your personal flaws, too? Ugh.

In happier news, I did get to watch the Broncos game in the hotel room on Sunday. I seriously thought we had no chance against the Pats a second time, so I was very pleasantly surprised! We’re going to the Super Bowl!!!

In the Denver airport, I had to take a selfie with the signs I’d read about on the internet, because I love thems:

One night, as I slept imperfectly in a hotel bed, I dreamed about a zombie infestation in the mansion I was in. I was trying to find a sock for one of them. Then the paladins arrived, led by Deanna Troi, and I knew we were shifting genres from survival horror to action. That was a relief.

We got home from Washington late (by my standards) on Monday evening, and Beeks spent an hour jumping four feet in the air. Today I went back to work tired and with a super cold out of nowhere (seriously it sprang at me at precisely 11:30 this morning), but it’s been a decent day. Next week we’ll go to Disneyland for a more cheerful time out of town.

My grandfather always loved photography so much that I must not neglect to end this entry with the customary random assortment of pictures.

Seriously what does this look like.

Once I saw this squirrel as I was pulling out of the garage.

OK, you can’t even see her if you increase the brightness, but WAYBEE IS IN THAT BOX. A black box was around, and even though it was on the counter where she’s not supposed to be, she couldn’t resist getting into it and camouflaging. Ju can just see a bit of one little foot. ACH WAYBEE.

Minus one grandparent

It was always interesting — almost a bragging point, really — to be able to say into my mid-thirties that I had all four grandparents alive. And now the youngest of the four has died. He was sixteen when he got married!

I sometimes muse, If I had started having children at the age my parents did, my children would be such-and-such by now… (Lately it’s been, I could totally have a kid in high school at this point!) Well, if I’d started having children at the age my grandparents did, by now my eldest would be the age grandpa was when he started having children!

Apparently he had Christmas yesterday. He was too sick over the actual holiday to celebrate, so it got put off for a few weeks. Then he got to see grandma, whom he had been too sick to see for almost as long. I don’t know to what extent she recognized him (this is Alzheimer’s grandma), but they took a picture together. Then he died quietly in his sleep. I can’t think of a more perfect way to go.

And the day will end for some as the night begins for one

In one dream, I was a badass swordsman that successfully defended the colony (which lived in the Jamboree building, of course) from zombies or something. I wore a super cool fantasy outfit and had Sword of Darkness II, which I even made fun of in the dream because it’s the most common fantasy sword that every nerd has on their wall and it’s not even sharp.

There were all these dudes that rallied around this one older guy swordsman that was disdainful of me because I was a ladytype. Despite the fact that I’d singlehandedly saved the colony, they were all sneering and such about women being swordsmen.

This guy challenged me to a duel, and then looked all skeptical and superior when I didn’t know the little duel-specific flourishes one is supposed to make at the beginning. It was a very structured and not very practical sort of duel, and he beat me easily, and I was kinda like, I don’t have time for this. Then he condescendingly asked if I wanted to try again, and I said, “If I lost, I lost.” And walked away. XD

There was another dream I wanted to record, but I’ve completely forgotten it now. Like, I can’t even vaguely remember what it might have been about. I just remember waking up afterward thinking it would be amusing to have written down. Ah, well. On to sadder things.

Zombie Girl is back in town(country) because her mother had a stroke. This, of course, is horrible, but nonetheless I am always glad to see my dearest friend again. Here’s hoping her mother has the fullest recovery she possibly can.

Speaking of hospitals and such, my dad and his siblings have elected to stop the no-longer-effective cancer treatment on their father and take him home. Last I heard, the doctors had no estimate on how much longer he’ll live; dad and uncles speculate a week or two. I have no great attachment to my grandfather, but I am quite attached to my father and will feel extremely bad for him when his dad dies. At least everyone’s known it’s coming.

Interestingly, my grandfather worked at a plant manufacturing nuclear bomb parts when he was younger, and apparently everyone that ever worked for that company and later developed cancer gets all their cancer treatment paid for without question by the company. I guess they knew they’d never win a lawsuit and just decided to be gracious before anyone came at them.

And speaking of cancer and dying, great thanks to David Bowie. 372 songs of my 12,724-song collection are yours, sir, and even though you had a terrible habit of throwing older songs onto the end of new albums over and over and over (so that I think I have about twelve copies of Space Oddity from different places), that doesn’t change the fact that I have more music by you than by any other single artist.

Stardust: The David Bowie Story was the first biography I ever read, and that long before I had any idea that I’m gay or even much of a concept of what ‘gay’ was. I’m grateful for the enlightenment and for the music. We’ll miss you, goblin king.

And now I think I’ve gone on longer about David Bowie’s death than I did about those of a couple of authors in the last few years whose work meant far more to me than his. Or about my own grandpa’s XD

Well, I’ve been quite productive this weekend, and I’m hoping to continue to be productive today. I don’t think I have anything else to say in this entry, so I’ll post some pictures and go away.

Bizarrely, here’s a picture of the mountains looking cool that I took from some parking lot other than Wal-Mart. What is the world coming to??

Northern Spy Apple Crisp is apparently a thing. I want to be a spy and have a special apple crisp just for me.

And here’s Waybee looking startled. She does that a lot more these days with younger, less appropriate animals around.

Last of all, a chinchilla I saw once at a pet store doing the best pose.

But you gotta love ’em anyway. I don’t care what they say anymore.

The big fire should be fully contained by the end of today. Over 500 homes have been destroyed in this one, which is so many more than last year it boggles the mind. Yesterday the entire city was buried in a smoky haze that turned the sun blood-red and hid half the mountains. Fortunately, there’s been more rain earlier than last year, which is part of the reason (despite much more destruction) this fire has been more quickly contained than last year’s was.

Some bees have built a nest inside the seat of my bicycle. This is so strange to me.

I dreamed I was a seemingly all-powerful magician. I lived in a house full of roommates, and was making my way back to it across a neighborhood. I encountered someone’s overgrown back yard and decided to cause a million flowers to grow throughout all the overgrowth. My roommates made fun of me for this. Next I encountered the neighborhood’s emergency food storage area. Everyone always donated food regularly, but the place was very badly organized. So I used magic to organize it, despite being able to see trouble arising from this in future: the new organization packed everything in much more tightly, which made it look as if there was less food there, and people were going to think I’d stolen some. But I didn’t care. Then there was… Pac-Man…

I also dreamed that I was at a Michael Jackson concert, and my mom was directing his orchestra ^__^

Hey, have you guys ever had chicken and waffles? I didn’t even know this was a thing until some chips flavored thus appeared recently. Then I discovered chicken and waffles on a menu at a restaurant and had to try them. So. Delicious.

Bees. Bees. Bees inside my bike. Wot.

I’ve been playing Dragon Age II a lot recently, and it is awesome. I hear very little praise of this game from anyone else, and everyone assures me the previous game was way better, so I’m actually really glad I randomly picked up the second in the series first. Because I loOoOove it, and if Origins is even better, then that is amazing.

The thing is, I’m not very good at video games, and I encountered a battle I couldn’t win no matter how I tried. Seriously, I think I went through it, like, twenty times and finally just decided to start the game over and try to be better prepared for that battle the next time I came to it XD But last night I also called in an expert (i.e. my brother, who is better at video games than I am and probably more patient in general), and he won the battle on his first try, never having played the game at all before. So now I can keep making out with Merrill all day playing with that character. Yay brother!

Lately I have made some decent progress on both HR and Confrérie, and more than a little of that has been at work during slow hours. What a lovely job I have XD Also, I’ve been doing a lot of recording again because sometimes that bug bites me. I’ve started re-recording Plastic, though I fear that any long story will never actually get a finished recording because there will always be an new edit of the story to make the existing recording outdated before it’s even finished.

BEES.

With a desperate desire and a resolute endeavor

The fire is up to 15,000 acres, is still at 0% containment, and has set a record by destroying 360 homes so far. (There are actually three fires going on right now; it’s not unusual for us to have a few fires in the area at any given time. The one I’ve mentioned is the one that’s closest to me, the biggest, the most residential, and the least contained.) My mom has had news turned on about this since it started on Monday, and I fear she’s only making herself feel bad to no good purpose.

In less fiery news, I dreamed I was at Disneyland. This time, it seems, I’d gone on some rides but not all of them — especially not the all-important PotC ride, which my dreams seem to regard as a sort of Disneyland Mecca. Apparently I was not just at Disneyland, but generally hanging out in Orange County. There was this gal a little younger than me, fun and nice and cute, who invited me to a party on the last evening I was going to be there.

I thought it would be kinda fun to go because she was a little flirtatious… but at the same time, I thought she didn’t really mean to be flirtatious and probably wasn’t actually interested in teh ladies. Plus I personally am extremely bad at flirting. Also, party? Ugh. So, though I was tempted, I decided instead to go back to Disneyland to ride the other rides I needed to ride.

Seriously. It’s not that I object to these dreams. It’s just so bizarre that I have them so regularly. Turning down a nice and flirtatious girl’s invitation because I want to ride Pirate of the Caribbean? I can’t figure out my subconscious. And the big question still remains: will these dreams change if I actually go to Disneyland again at some point?

Back in real life, I’ve reached linear completion on ASZz chapter 27. Sunday is my tentative posting day for that.

Fire again

Well, my beloved desert home is on fire again. These last few years of extremely hot weather don’t combine very propitiously with our negative level of moisture. Last year 300 houses burned not two miles from mine; this fire, at least, is not likely to come very close to me. Though if I had to evacuate again, it would, once again, be extremely good timing, since it turns out I have a whole month off before my on-site classes start.

I suppose, because I’m finally typing out a journal entry, I should mention some of the things I’ve been lazily neglecting to mention since my last entry. As hinted above, my online classes are done; they remained idiotic and frustrating until the end. Other stupid stuff related to my stupid school happened, but I won’t get into that right now.

Dad bought mom tickets for them to see Sting at Red Rocks for her birthday, but when the time came they were both too coughy to consider going, so Lesta and I went instead. That was cool. I really have more to say about that too, but don’t feel like it.

Also I had some other things to say that I can’t remember now. I know I’ve had at least two Disneyland dreams… Ah, whatevs. Black Forest is on fire.