9/13/2019

Thursday

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 10:43 am

Okay, yeah, it’s Friday. So sue me.

The important bits happened yesterday.

We went to our second of the week recheck appointment at the transplant center yesterday morning. In the last 3 days or so Andrew has gone from being a postoperative patient to a recovering patient. Which is to say that he isn’t needing any pain medication, he doesn’t need two naps a day, and he has enough energy to be purposefully annoying. At this point Andrew still fatigues easily with anything more than the mildest of exercise, we’re still looking for parking places close to where we need to be and thanks to St. Joan of Park we can generally find one, but his energy is much better.
As of early this week the transplant nephrologist decreased Andrew’s tacrolimus dose (the primary immunosuppressant drug) by about 2/3 and instructed Andrew to drink more water. LOTS more water. Given Andrew’s natural fluid intake this means that he’s currently under orders to drink 3-4 liters of fluid daily.
The decreased tacrolimus dose and increased fluid consumption has yet to make any significant difference in Andrew’s creatinine level which, as of yesterday’s check, still hovered just a smidgen above what’s normal. Also the urine concentration is still higher than is ideal, but since the dose tacrolimus was decreased only a day before the most recent blood panel was taken it’s quite likely that Sunday’s values will be better.
And if not, says the transplant nephrologist, we may have to pursue a biopsy (again, ick) to be sure that there isn’t any low grade rejection affecting renal function.
So a mixed bag at the end of the week, but Dr. Vadivel, the transplant nephrologist, seemed optimistic about the changes that he’d made having the desired effect by the beginning of next week. We shall see.

System Pavers is nominally done — there are still a few details left to detail, but that should happen either today or Monday. I’ve got the shadow box almost finished and it should be able to go in place on the lanai this weekend, and I’ve manufactured a lot, well five so far, of pillow shams that need to be washed before they’re stuffed and finished into pillows.
When it’s not raining I shall start clearing out my garden shed.
Placidly content, thanks. How about you?

9/12/2019

Dialysis

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 7:07 am

About 2 1/2 years ago now Andrew’s renal function had declined to the point where his nephrologist started talking about dialysis. For those not in the know, dialysis is a process by which the metabolic wastes and other excess gunk is filtered out of the blood stream and discarded. This job, of course, is generally done by the kidneys, but if the kidneys aren’t capable of doing it we’ve fortunately developed a couple of ways to work around that.

Hemodialysis is probably the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks “dialysis”. Hemodialysis is the process of removing the patient’s blood, running it through what is basically a mechanical kidney, then putting it back in. (No of course the blood isn’t removed all at once! It’s a gradual process.) Hemodialysis requires, depending on the degree of renal dysfunction, multiple trips to a dialysis center per week and a 4-6 hour treatment period where the patient is hooked to the machine at every visit. Hemodialysis also requires the creation of an arteriovenous shunt, a connection between an artery and a vein, in a convenient location so that the patient can be hooked to the machine more easily.

Peritoneal dialysis takes advantage of a weird quirk of humans’ natural physiologic processes and chemistry.

Pardon me while we take a brief side trip into:
PHYSIOCHEMISTRY
It is an extremely simplistic definition, but to understand the idea of osmolality you need to think about a pile of white sugar and a drop of water. If the drop of water is placed at the very edge, just barely touching, the pile of sugar it will eventually get sucked into the sugar. That’s because the sugar is hyperosmolar (it has more stuff in it) and the water is hypo-osmolar. And which law of thermodynamics is it, the second? Or is it the third? Anyway whichever law of thermodynamics it is, a higher energy (or more osmolar) body will gradually loose energy (or osmolality) to a lower energy (or less osmolar) body until the two are at equilibrium.
Like a dry sponge sucking up a puddle of water on a counter top. You get the idea.

Peritoneal dialysis involves the introduction of a fluid of a lower osmolality than that of human blood into the peritoneal cavity (the abdominal cavity.) Because the peritoneal membrane, the “sac” in which one’s abdominal organs are contained, is a. extremely permeable and b. has an incredible blood supply, metabolic waste products and other kidney filtered gunk, gets slurped through the walls of the blood vessels into this fluid then discarded.

The benefit of hemodialysis over peritoneal dialysis is that hemodialysis runs no risk of peritonitis. The down side, of course, is that you only do it a couple of times per week which means that in between times you feel progressively more gross because your blood has a bunch of gunk in it that you don’t need. Oh, and the part about being hooked to a machine for 4-6 hours at every session and not being able to move.
The benefit of peritoneal dialysis over hemodialysis is that it’s done daily, you tend to feel better, and it can be done at home which means less of an impact on your work and travel time. PD, however, means that you have an indwelling catheter placed in your abdomen. Basically a tube that runs from your insides to the outside world. You can’t immerse yourself in water — no bathtub, no swimming, no hot tub, no boating (in case you fall in) — and you have to be painstaking in your handling of the PD catheter, the catheter site itself, your hands, your dialysis supplies, and your surroundings while you’re doing it. One slip up and you’ve got peritonitis, an infection in your abdominal cavity which is not only life threatening it means that you have to switch to hemodialysis.

A friend who has been on dialysis on and off for a long time describes dialysis along as a “mostly full time job”. Neither option is fun, both options are cumbersome, and basically what they do is keep you alive. Which is, of course, better than dead, but there’s a big difference between just existing and actually living.

Andrew had a series of surgeries in early 2017 to create an arteriovenous fistula (it’s on the under side of his left arm, you can feel his whole arm pulsing like crazy if you grab the right spot) and to place a PD catheter. The PD cath was placed but remained buried under the skin until it was needed, but it was still there.
The fistula and the PD cath were ominous and hopeful signs all at once.

9/9/2019

Monday Again

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 2:07 pm

Matt said at some point that being low key and unremarkable is precisely what one wants from a postoperative patient.

Low key. Unremarkable.

Andrew got some of his staples removed this morning. I found it funny that the medical assistant who was doing the staple removal was so deliberate and almost tentative! I’m used, when removing staples, to getting in and whipping the staples out as fast as I can. On the other hand, my patients don’t usually lie calmly in one place either. This gal, whom I really do like, was almost too careful, stopping and checking in with Andrew at every other staple or so, fussing and worrying about the staples that were rotated a little bit. I was tempted — a little bit — to snag the staple remover from her and do the job myself. But I’m trying to be good about not being a medical nudzh.

Mostly what Andrew has been in the last 2-3 days is fatigued. The surgical incisions are, obviously, healing well and less painful in general, but he’s still sore pretty much all over. His skin is irritated in half a hundred places because of incisions, surgical scrub, IV catheters, blood draws, TAPE, and general wear and tear, and transplanting a kidney didn’t do much to improve the state of his lower back which has also been griping, but has kind of faded into the background (sorry) over the last couple of weeks.

So Andrew has been sleeping a lot, avec or sans cat, and I’ve been puttering.
The little men are feverishly working to finish the stone work in our back garden so I’ve not been able to putter in the back garden, but I’ve been working on the front garden, I’ve transformed three grocery bags full of apples from Mom & Dad’s tree into dried apples and applesauce, and I’ve been working on my mending basket which is empty for the first time in…. In…. Years?

One of these days I intend to set fire to the garage, or at least pull both of the cars out, set the leaf blower to “high” and put back on shelves everything that doesn’t get blown out. And I’ve got to do the same with my garden shed as well.

Two weeks in and we’re no less grateful to everyone for their support and we’re still brought to tears with gratitude to Curt.

9/5/2019

Thursday

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 12:30 pm

Just got back from our second recheck visit this week. Things are in the “keep on keeping on” stage at this point. Andrew’s primary incision site is leaking less than it was which is good and the lab values from Monday were excellent. BUN and creatinine were only just above the normal range for the first time in who knows how long, and the rest of the blood chemistries were well within tolerances. Andrew’s blood cell counts are still normal as well which is fine, but kind of amazing considering how much immunosuppressant he’s taking.
Physically he’s still weak and easily fatigued (quelle suprise) and he’s been having these weird body aches. No fever, but fever-like generalized aching. Dr. Transplant Nephrologist (whose name is something multi-syllabic that starts with a “V” that I will remember eventually) says that the aching is either the fact that Andrew has been incredibly sparing with his pain meds or an early indicator of serum sickness.
Serum sickness is an immune reaction to a protein based immunomodulating drug. Like snake antivenin or the rabbit protein based immunosuppressant medication that Andrew was administered peri-operatively. No big huhu if serum sickness is the culprit, it just means a course of steroid, but the aching is taking it out of him. So in an inexplicable bout of cooperation Andrew has agreed to be more regular and more religious with his narcotic pain meds over the next few days to see what sort of difference that makes.
This means that after having some truly excellent egg rolls for lunch (shout out to Kau Kau which, if you’re a Seattleite, you should definitely investigate) Andrew is currently snoozing which is fine.

Especially since the next wave of contractor chaos has begun and there are men from System Pavers banging around and digging shit up in the back yard.
Me? I’ve had my egg rolls and I’m thinking it’s probably about time to go putter in the FRONT garden.

Nephropathy

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 12:02 pm

In late 2007 or early 2008 Andrew’s internal medicine specialist started noting some changes in his kidney values.

–Sorry, for those not medically inclined, by “kidney values” I mean “parameters in the blood that we use to monitor renal function”. Like “normal” or “normal range” (which means “the bell curve of individual metabolites measured in the blood that are considered normal in an adult”) “kidney values” is medical shorthand.–

Anyway, change in kidney values, right.
Because he is diabetic Andrew’s internist wanted to know why there were changes in Andrew’s kidney values. Those sorts of changes aren’t unusual to see in a diabetic patient, but Andrew was a little young for them to start showing up. So the internist, of course, was curious. Which meant biopsy.
*Ick*

–Another side note: Yes. I am a medical professional. I am, however, a medical professional for things that don’t tend to walk on two legs and stuff involving people and medical care tends to give me the squicks. The idea of having someone jam a needle into my kidney makes me weak in the knees. —

Renal biopsy.
Scheduled and done in June 2008.
Turns out that Andrew’s nephropathy isn’t really diabetic nephropathy it is a heritable immune mediated nephropathy that is complicated by diabetes. When we told Joan of the diagnosis she mentioned that her father had had some sort of chronic kidney issue, but kidney disease hadn’t been a contributor to his death.
The information is vague, but if I were to take a medical guess at it I’d suspect that whatever was going on with Grampy’s kidneys was probably similar to whatever has been going on with Andrew’s kidneys. It’s just that Andrew is concurrently diabetic which accelerated the renal disease process.

I don’t know why it’s so important to me to emphasize to everyone in sight that Andrew’s kidney disease didn’t start as diabetic nephropathy, but it is so there you go.

9/2/2019

Monday

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 5:37 pm

Things still seem to be going well.

Which is to say that Andrew has a moderate seroma at the primary incision site that is driving him crazy and keeping him from being comfortable when he sleeps so when we’re not driving back and forth from Swedish he spends a lot of time snoozing with a cat on his lap.

Pogo is learning that other people have laps besides just me and that other peoples’ laps are also good places to get all boneless and hot.
And since the appropriate treatment for a seroma is to provide intermittent heat and occasional gentle pressure over the area Pogo is providing valuable therapeutic effect as well as company. I wonder if I could deduct him as a medical expense.

In between keeping house — laundry is done, kitchen is mostly clean and I even started to clean out the refrigerator….(don’t look at the floors) — and acting as chauffeuse I’m getting a lot of gardening done. One of these days I’m going to (GASP) attempt to reorganize the garage so you don’t have to walk through a maze to get to the door.
Or not. I don’t know what I’ll have the inclination to do.

I’ve said before that I realize this Andrew-recovery period won’t be all drinking tea and playing Parcheesi, but I am enjoying the enforced time off. I haven’t had this much not-working time since -oh- the summer of 1985 or so
And if it ends with me having a clean refrigerator and an organized garage or if it ends with me having watched the entire 3rd season of Stranger Things (superb writing this season BTW) while knitting kittens it is of no moment.

Andrew is getting better and I’m getting the opportunity to do things that I’m simply too tired or too busy to get done otherwise.
But seriously. Don’t look at the floors.

8/31/2019

Saturday

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 8:06 am

We finally got a call from the transplant center yesterday evening about the afternoon’s labs.

Andrew’s blood tacrolimus levels (tacrolimus is the primary immunosuppressant drug) are within therapeutic levels so he can stop taking prednisone.
Prednisone is another immunosuppressant drug and since large doses of prednisone can also really mess with a diabetic’s blood glucose levels the fact that Andrew can stop taking it so soon after the transplant is freakin’ fantastic!

He seems to be tolerating the other medications fairly well so far.

I was awakened at a completely stupid hour this morning because the neighbor’s damn dogs were barking and continued to bark fairly consistently until about half an hour ago. A.K.A. early for a Saturday but not an entirely unreasonable hour. This upcoming week I plan on going down to city hall and speaking with someone in charge about those dogs. The neighbors have one tied to a tree in their back yard, the other one wanders free in the yard, and put out food in large volumes for them 2 or 3 times per week. Which means that my vegetable garden is absolutely ALIVE with rats who feast on dog food, dig up my potatoes, and gnaw on my bean plants, pumpkins, and corn stalks. And it means that the raccoons, opossums, and probably skunks that tiptoe in after dark to partake in their share of the feast wake the dogs who then bark at the intruders for hours at a time.

The dogs didn’t wake Andrew, for a wonder, but he didn’t sleep particularly well. The primary incision is oozing serum fairly constantly. The subcutaneous pressure of this ooze is uncomfortable enough to keep him awake, but not, apparently, uncomfortable enough for him to want to take a pain pill.
We’re both a little on the grouchy side this morning.

Diabetes

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 7:08 am

Andrew was diagnosed diabetic in November of 1995 which was the winter before we were married.

Andrew had proposed to me, using a ring that had belonged to his grandfather, the February previously when we were in Hawaii for a visit.
On telling my parents that we were, at long last, getting married my mother asked if I wanted to wear her wedding dress. Sure! Why not! And since I was the youngest unmarried grand-daughter at the time of her death I had inherited the elbow length kid leather white gloves that Gram Do, my Aunt Do, and my mother had all worn when they were married. I figured adding Mom’s wedding dress to the mix would be appropriate.
Mom got the dress out of storage and because she is garrulous and ran a book store at the time, she knew a local woman who did wedding tailoring.
The first dress fitting was not what one would call ideal. Because I rarely wore dresses and had never had anything professionally fitted it didn’t really occur to me that I’d be asked to strip to my skivvies. So in addition to showing up at this Very Proper Bellevue Matron’s home wearing cutoff shorts and Birkenstock sandals I was wearing the bottom-of-the-drawer “I’ve really got to do some laundry” raggedy purple underwear. So I was moderately shocking to this Very Proper Matron, a condition that was exacerbated by the fact that I told her we (gasp) had no plans of having wedding attendants as part of the ceremony and (swoon) I WASN’T GOING TO WEAR A GARTER.
Also I was, still am in fact, a little sloppy around the middle and the dress couldn’t be zipped.
The tailor hummed and hawed and measured and wrote things down in her little book and as we were taking our leave she patted my shoulder and said to me “Honey, do yourself a favor. Between now and January lose 25 pounds.” I could feel my mother growing big ugly porcupine spines at that. Weight shaming is NOT something that you do to one of her daughters. As we walked away, and as soon as we were out of earshot, I made sure to tell her that it made no difference what the tailor had said. The tailor could make the dress fit regardless and if I decided I wanted to lose a few pounds I would and if I didn’t I wouldn’t.
That was in July.
Well, in between July and January, of course, came Andrew’s diabetes diagnosis and since the easiest way to manage type 2 diabetes is through weight loss we both went on a significantly calorie restricted diet. I don’t remember how much Andrew lost, but I lost 18 pounds and when I went for the next dress fitting in January the tailor was properly confused because the wedding dress fit a lot better than it had previously and all her measurements were wrong.

I didn’t bother to tell her why, but then I’m mean like that sometimes.

Unregulated diabetes of any type is one of the surest ways possible to create renal dysfunction there is. The kidneys are a series of microscopic filtering tubes and since molecules as big as glucose aren’t supposed to push through those filters chronically elevated blood glucose basically wears the filters out or gums them up. If you add to that chronic hypertension, which results in decreased blood flow to the kidneys, and the predisposition of anyone with a lot of glucose in their urine being much more susceptible to urinary tract infection, diabetes delivers a triple slam to kidney tissue.

Another reason, should anyone need it, to try like crazy to avoid developing unregulated diabetes.

8/30/2019

Apologies

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 5:01 pm

Apologies to those who have been checking for daily updates. When I mentioned via e-mail that I’d post something new here every day I had ZERO idea how much time and energy the first week of this would take.

Long story short, Andrew’s surgery went gangbusters on Monday, they discharged him Wednesday evening, and we’ve been adjusting to yet another new reality since.

Today was the first recheck appointment. There will be approximately four trips to the transplant center every week for the next several weeks.

We’re still waiting on the lab results from today’s visit, but they should be calling us this afternoon. The last lab report I saw, which was Wednesday morning, showed that Andrew’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine had been cut in half as compared to the most recent pre-surgical values. BUN and creatinine are metabolic waste products that are usually excreted by kidneys. They’re two of the main parameters we use to evaluate renal health so a drop of 50% over presurgical levels is kaleidoscopic. Still high, but WAY better! I didn’t know, since most of my patients are never on dialysis let alone for any length of time, that dialysis doesn’t necessarily normalize BUN and creatinine. No wonder renal patients feel lousy!
We’re also evaluating immune status and blood levels of the immunosuppressant drugs. Wednesday’s CBC (complete blood cell count) showed white blood cells still inside the normal range of values which is expected at that point. We will be looking for significantly sub-normal white blood cell levels however so I’ll be interested to see what today’s values show.

The transplant nephrologist that we saw this morning, an east Indian dude who reminds me a lot of my freshman endocrinology professor from WSU, was very pleased with Andrew’s progress so far. Apparently everything he saw on exam and everything we reported to him was normal.
And I’ve now had three people wax poetic about the organization job I did on Andrew’s post-transplant information binder. Apparently controlling what I can of my environment to help deal with stress and uncertainty is an admirable trait when dealing with circumstances so detail ridden as post-organ transplant can be. The house may be a mess, but god DAMN that binder is tidy!

Curt keeps saying that we shouldn’t feel indebted to him in any way for this incredible gift. That he did what he did, literally gave a part of himself so that Andrew could live, out of completely selfish motives because he needs us in his life.
So I say this, and will continue to say so for the rest of my life, that I don’t owe Curt any material thanks, but my gratitude is endless.

8/28/2019

Test Test Test

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 7:12 am

Let’s see if I can manage to get this baby working without significant chaos.

Obviously I’ve just logged back on to WordPress for the first time in a long time and I pushed a whole bunch of “update” buttons that were asking to be pushed.

Ideally I’ve not made a hash of things by requesting updates for things about which I have absolutely zero idea. I don’t know what a PHP is, or plugins (although I could guess at that one), or themes. But they’re all updated at this point.

If this works, well great. If it doesn’t then Andrew will have some untangling to do when he gets home which will be made somewhat more complex by the fact that I have ZERO idea what I did to which portions of our interaction with WordPress.

I’ll get more detailed about the last couple of days later — maybe tomorrow.
Right now this morning’s home update is that Pogo is starving and if I don’t go feed him breakfast right now there will be drama and pathos.
This morning’s Andrew update is that he’s probably still asleep, but they’re talking about discharging him from the hospital today so if I want to go hear what his surgeon, transplant nephrologist, and pharmacologist have to say I’d better get a wiggle on.

9/23/2018

It’s DONE!

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 6:14 pm

When we lost the Scamper in 2007 we decided that we would continue family tradition and plant a rosebush for him. So Scamper’s ashes, his food bowl, a special favorite treat, and his favorite toy were planted under a climbing rosebush that spring.
I’d found a metalworker at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show who had built a trellis that I really fancied out of scroll work cast iron. When I bought it it had flat feet – a problem for those of us wanting to put the trellis in the ground instead of in a house – so the metal worker welded a couple of 18″ pieces of rebar on to each of the corners. Before we planted Scamper’s rose I had dug four holes, mixed up four bags of concrete, and planted the trellis in them. It would not, I figured, go ANYWHERE.
And when Scrum died a little over a year later we gave him his Egyptian burial on the other side of the trellis and planted another climbing rose.

And it was lovely for 10 years.

Until last fall when I thought to myself… “Self, are those climbing roses leaning more than they were last spring?” And, of course, the trellis had had enough motion over the years that the cast iron center bar had fatigued at a spot just above the feet (a.k.a. at the base of my now 10 and 11 year old climbing roses) and had started to rust through.
Shit.

So I bought four 6′ pieces of rebar, pounded them 2′ into the ground and attached the trellis to them with 2″ ratchet straps so that it wouldn’t fall over during the winter and spring and planned to replace the trellis over the summer.

Today I finished. 🙂

My grandfather was and my father is the type of person who can build things. I’ve never really been very good at it so I’m immensely smug about the fact that I dug the site, built the forms, set the blocks, poured the concrete, and did all the woodworking (sanding/shaping/staining/finishing) and assembly myself.
Because I am my father’s daughter and my grandfather’s granddaughter this sucker is STURDY. The uprights are varnished, pressure treated 4″ x 4″s bolted into 8″ square 20 pound pier blocks which are, in turn, sunk in 2″ of concrete. The horizontals are 2″ x 6″s bolted to the uprights with 8″ X 3/4″ bolts. And all of the rest of the attaching was done with 3″ deck screws.

Because I am my own person, however, and not necessarily just an extension of my paternal bloodline, I can legitimately point out that the two uprights on the left side are about 1″ closer together than the ones on the right side. That the stain on the horizontals is “fruitwood” and the stain on the cross bars is “golden oak” because I didn’t check to see that I had enough of the “fruitwood” colored stain. And that I haven’t put in the cross bars between the horizontals (and may never do so) because since the uprights are about 1″ different from left to right that means the horizontals are too and right now I’m really disinclined to cut progressively larger bits off of the rest of the crossbars that I manufactured to make them fit correctly.

I think it’s a pretty good job anyway.

And if it falls down I give up!

8/25/2018

Ah FUCK!

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 4:27 pm

Somewhere, somehow, my 10th grade geometry teacher, Mr. Dickey (a terrible name to have if you’re teaching adolescents) is laughing his fool head off.

I cursed, sweated, and cried for a C in 10th grade geometry, swore I’d never ever need nor use it.  He cursed, sweated, and laughed to teach me what I needed to pull that C and knew somewhere deep down that I’d need geometry some day.

I also just spent about half an hour, with the help of this most wonderful internet, figuring the area of an irregular pentagon and then, roughly, the volume of same.
I’m going to need a bigger boat.
(to hold all of the sand, and then the concrete that I’m going to pour to create a pathway into my back garden and the stable base for my new rose trellis).

Asshole.

2/21/2018

Black Panther

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 10:14 am

Haven’t seen it yet. Intend to see it in the theater which is a rare occurrence for Andrew and I since we’re basically antisocial misanthropic troll people who dislike crowds of the general public. Want to see it soon, schedules permitting, since the reviews I’ve gotten ROCK.

That being said, I know y’all have probably heard of The Bechdel Test and if you haven’t heard of Keith Knight please allow me to introduce you.  Keef has got to be one of the most brilliant commentators on American society in general since Molly Ivans died.

Keef, having seen Black Panther on opening night in his ‘burg, is proposing something akin to The Bechdel Test only regarding black characters instead of women.  It needs to be called “The Black-del Test”.  It really does.

2/8/2018

Rest in Peace

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 7:14 pm

Anthony Michael Lenzer
19 December 1929 – 8 February 2018

2/7/2018

Dear Tony

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 5:17 pm

I will never have enough words to say how much I am grateful for that with which you have provided me.
My love, my soul mate, and his entire boisterous, loud, annoying, deeply loving and deeply loved extended clan.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep watch. And I’ll make sure that Andrew takes good care of himself.

Be at peace now. I’ll miss you.

love
Margaret

1/31/2018

I’m not sure whether to cheer or weep

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:27 am

A fucking peacock.

Are you FUCKING KIDDING?!

An emotional support PEACOCK?!

Don’t get me wrong, I like pea fowl in general, and the cocks are absolutely stunning. But my own experience with them is that they’re temperamental bastards, they bite like alligators, and they make the most godawful sounds at sudden and random intervals.

HOW DOES THAT SUPPORT ANYONE WHO IS EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE ENOUGH TO NEED TO TRAVEL WITH THE BEAST?!

(slap, slap, slap! pantpantpantpantpant) Okay, I’m better now. Phew!

You also have to love the fact that the woman showed up at the airport with the peacock after United told her THREE TIMES that they wouldn’t fly it.
Significant props to United and Delta.

1/27/2018

Things I’ve Learned Listening to NPR

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 4:25 pm

Andrew and I aren’t odd in that we have named our Roomba. (If you must know his name is Reginald Roomba which we thought appropriately dignified for a butler type entity.)

We are not, however, as odd as the people that dress their Roomba up.

1/26/2018

This Has Got To Be The Best Thing I’ve Seen In Months

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:42 am

Submitted with heartfelt thanks and the deepest respect to the powers that be at the Guggenheim.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/the-white-house-wanted-a-van-gogh-the-guggenheim-offered-a-used-solid-gold-toilet/2018/01/25/38d574fc-0154-11e8-bb03-722769454f82_story.html?utm_term=.d52d5d0b89f5

1/20/2018

Maybe I’m Just Getting Old

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 6:40 pm

We went to go see The Last Jedi as part of Andrew’s 50th birthday celebration yesterday (the first part, infinitely more satisfactory, was lunch at Goldberg’s Deli in Factoria mall).

And yeah, the theater was almost empty and the seats, bundled in cosy packages of two, were wide, properly supportive, and reclined providing ample leg room.
But the movie was bad.

Not Phantom Menace bad. The Last Jedi is watchable at least and Phantom Menace…. (shudder).
And maybe I’m being hypocritical because I’m willing to suspend my disbelief enough to accept faster than light space ships, laser blasters, light sabers, and Wookies.
But I’m sorry, regardless of being “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” THE GODDAMN RULES OF PHYSICS STILL APPLY. When you have (largely) bilaterally symmetrical bipedal humanoid characters as the focus of the story you cannot ignore the fact that in the ice cold reaches of the vacuum of space an unprotected bilaterally symmetrical bipedal humanoid body will literally have its lungs turned inside out, to say nothing of its eyeballs exploded UNLESS IT IS WELL PROTECTED.

Proof again that, as much of an improvement over George Lucas’ attempts as they are, the J.J. Abrams attempts at continuing the story line are the blockbuster definition of what happens when a pimply adolescent’s non-slave Leia fan fic is given a jillion dollar budget.

Yeah, I guess I’m just getting old. You damn kids should get the hell off my lawn.

10/3/2017

At long last….

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 9:25 am

Back from whatever hiatus has been present in the last 6 months.

Seamus was adopted by a veterinary dentist friend of mine in Vancouver BC. She reports that Seamus is growing up into an obnoxious, highly intelligent (I think that lump on his face probably contains brains too) adolescent cat who likes to snuggle with her adolescent son. An ideal situation.
Seamus has also had three separate facial surgeries. Two to remove supernumerary teeth (one set of deciduous, one set of permanent) from a bony cyst underneath the lump, one to have the teeth on the left side of his lower jaw manipulated so that he isn’t biting the roof of his own mouth. Apparently Seamus is a typical bottle raised kitten brat which means that while he’s very bonded to people, he doesn’t see why he should behave any differently with people than he would with his own siblings so there is often a good deal of chaos and confusion whenever he has to be restrained for medical purposes. Snort! Do your veterinarian a favor and don’t ever adopt a bottle raised kitten. They’re all bratty.

That having been said, here’s my new and revised October well wishes for 2017:

Happy Birthday (10/2)
Happy Birthday (10/4)
Happy Birthday (10/7)
Happy Birthday (10/8)
Happy Birthday (10/9)
Happy Birthday (10/14)
Happy 30th! Anniversary (10/17)
Happy Birthday (10/20)
Happy First Birthday you red headed little squirt! (10/22)

And a very happy (if slightly belated, you missed the October cutoff by 4 days and I think your Mama is probably grateful for it) birthday to Shawn & Annie’s new son Samuel who was born in a remarkably short period of time on 9/26.

love you all!


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