Major Update

Lots of changes since my last post.

– We now know what’s wrong with my hand (ref: Ugh. Hand Is A Problem. from April). I’ve got a frayed ligament in the wrist. So splint, zinc tablets, and rest.

– Secondly – remember my absence from LJ last summer, when I had trouble walking and the final diagnosis was nerve damage? Well, guess what happened to me the early morning of June 24th. Same symptoms (except for no physical shakiness) – but it’s not the same diagnosis. I’ve had a brain & spine MRI, an electromyograph (AKA nerve conduction test), a chest x-ray, some blood tests, spent 5 days in hospital getting this done… and no one knows what’s wrong. And it’s not got any better. So as of today I’m back on short-term disability, since there’s no way I could respond with any speed in an emergency (I can’t even attempt running), which is a major part of a security officer’s mandate. *heavy sigh*

– Mitzy, my elderly but still active Burmese inherited from my youngest siblings, was put to sleep due to a major chest and stomach lymphoma (cancer) on July 21. Still miss her. She lived a good life, though; she was 15-1/2.

– And introducing Imber, a now 7-month old kitten adopted from Toronto Animal Services on Aug. 1. She’s a grey and cream tabby who is missing half her right hind leg (pretty sure she was born without it). The userpic attached to this post is of her the morning after I brought her home. (“Imber”, FYI, is Latin for “rain storm”. Her coat looks like a storm cloud….)

As for upcoming news:

– One of my best friends, Loui, is going to be visiting for a week at the end of September, four days of which will be spent in Montreal. I’m really looking forward to it.

– Given I’m likely to have some time on my hands for a while, I’m not only looking at possibly doing a university course or two, but have gone and done the inevitable – I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo 2008. I’m planning on doing an original SF novel (tentatively entitled Search & Rescue).

Anyway, that’s basically everything from the last few months. *sigh*

😉 tag0
(working on keeping my mood up)

Flying On A Jet Plane…

Well, I suppose an Airbus 319 is close enough…

Okay, here we go – the story of my trip from about the time I left you 9 hours ago…

The boarding pass for my flight said Gate 4. Given that last year, the pass said Gate 4B, and it ended up being Gate 4A1 (which is a floor below Gates 1-5 & 4B), at about 1:15 pm (more or less) I checked the gate with Customer Service, who confirmed that it was definitely Gate 4.

About 5 minutes later, an announcement comes over the PA system to say that flight AC 999 from San José to Toronto was leaving from Gate 4A1, as opposed to Gate 4. I had to laugh.

Turns out that we were actually leaving from Gate 4A3, but since that’s just across a small room from 4A1, the only problem were the crowds (Gate 4A1 was actually a Taca flight going to Guatemala, and Gate 4A2 was the Lacsa flight going San Salvador-Toronto).

Spent the 25-30 minutes waiting for my particular boarding call chatting to a man who was on my flight; he’d been in Costa Rica for 9 days, mostly on business that had involved also going to Belize and Guatemala. We had a pleasant conversation.

Then, when I got into my seat, I was seated next to an older couple who’d been on vacation. We got to talking about our trips, a bit of where we’d gone (they’d visited Arenal – one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes – and actually had a clear view of the top the first morning they were there), and then got a surprise.

Turns out that they live about only two blocks south and six to eight blocks east of me!

We definitely had some turbulence, both taking off (a bit, not nearly as much as we did landing in CR) and during the flight, but it didn’t really bother me that much. (Experienced flyer here…) The flight was fairly enjoyable overall, and I actually managed to (*gasp*) get another page and a half of RuroSen written!

When we arrived at Pearson (we reached the gate at 8:45 pm), it turned out that we were actually in the main building of Terminal 1 (as opposed to the temporary building out in the middle of the runway area, which takes a 10-15 shuttle bus ride to reach), at Gate 155. Went through Customs, which took about 10 minutes or so – I was right behind the couple I’d been sitting next to – part of which was used up being entertained by the very excited dog sniffing for drugs (he was bouncing around all over the place!). Got my luggage fairly quickly (my largest suitcase came by just as I reached the carousel, so I managed to grab it quickly, and then it was another rotation and a bit to get my other suitcase), and was through the last checkpoint and out by the taxis just before 9:15 pm. Less than half an hour all told – better than my last two trips from CR! (The first one, one of my suitcases had been grabbed and moved over to the claim area in the back, so I waited at the carousel for about 40 minutes for it to show up before going to report it lost; last year, I ended up having my suitcases checked – random spot check, I suspect – before I could leave the baggage claim area.)

Got home half an hour ago, and after about 30 seconds of staring at me (Dad, you were right on the timing!) I had both cats coming up to me for attention; right now, Mitzy’s on my lap (trying to make sure that I’m not paying too much attention to the computer), and Aspen is stretched out over the back of my chair (her favourite place to be when I’m sitting there).

Well, I’m tired; going to quickly eat my dinner (the sandwich Mom packed for me), put away a few things, and then go curl up in bed. Off to breakfast/brunch/coffee tomorrow with one aunt, and then the same again with another on Friday (we’re not going all together due to scheduling difficulties), to tell them all the details and show all the pictures… *G*

RuroSen Chapter 3 will be posted tomorrow. RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade Chapter 3.4 will most likely be posted either Friday or Saturday.

Later, all!

😉 tag0

Cats & Rambles

This is what is called posting for the sake of posting. Well, mostly, anyway…

Regarding Cats: Mitzy (see entry pic) is an adorable little Burmese cat. And I do mean “adorable”, despite the fact that some of her habits (like trying to lie on my face when I’m attempting to sleep, and sucking on stuffed animals, electric blankets, etc., and licking the sides of the plastic laundry hampers, for example) drive me crazy.

Unfortunately, over the past two or three weeks she has developed yet another habit that drives me nuts.

I’m used to Burmese lying across my shoulders – that was one of Brightspot’s favourite perches, as it happens. And Mitzy generally liked to be lifted up to hang over one shoulder facing behind me. But lately, she’s been climbing onto my shoulders while I’m sitting in my chair, and draping her forepaws and the front part of her torso over my chest, for all the world as if she’s reading what’s on my computer screen. And it’s driving me bonkers! *sigh*

Of course, Mitzy’s bonkers anyway… Sweet-tempered, but definitely “not all there” at times…

As for other things:

First of all, a belated Happy 23rd to my sister Daphne…

Secondly, a belated Happy B-Day to stormheller!

Thirdly… hoping to have another chapter/part of either RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade or RuroSen: A Strange Partnership to post soon…

Fourth – anyone know any good ways to deal with headaches without taking drugs? (Currently having the occasional dose of Tylenol Migraine, since it seems to help, and I can’t have anything with aspirin due to the medication I take for my TMJ/osteoarthritis.) Other than sleep, that is. I’ve had a fairly good winter so far with respect to headaches, but lately… *sigh*

Fifth: I’m leaving for Costa Rica for just over two weeks on Monday the 20th. Will probably upload the occasional update (or maybe more frequent – I like Costa Rica, and I generally tend to relax there)… I’m really looking forward to it. And I may even get slightly warmer weather than last year, given that this year, I’m going down about 2 weeks later… (And will hopefully not come back to a nasty snowstorm here in T.O., given it will be into the second week of March by that time…)

Okay, that’s about it for now…

Talk to you soon!
😉 tag0

Weather… & Gypsy

Well, I’ve been in Toronto for just over 48 hours (plane landed at 8:38pm Saturday)… and wouldn’t you know it, 24 hours after I arrived, we were having a snowstorm! *sigh* I’m not yet re-acclimated to this weather!

On the other hand, now that my grandmother is down there and so already knows, I can explain the interesting news that I mentioned last week…

The Goold Zoo v2.3 consists of 7 animals (I’m not counting the contents of the fishpond!): the cats Scrapper, Mouse, Thor, and No Se; and the dogs Quixote (de la Rancho), Sancho (Panza), and Misho. As of last Sunday (the 13th), Mom & Dad are now on Goold Zoo v2.4, with the addition of the female German Shepherd puppy Gypsy.

She’s an absolutely adorable little beast, particularly in the way she and Sancho have taken to each other (almost the moment he met her, Sancho became a proud adopted papa). The cocker spaniels aren’t quite as enthused about her, though by the time I left, Quixote was warming up to her, and the cats don’t understand that when she crouches down and barks at them, she’s asking them to play, but all told she’s fitting in well. (She was actually taken from her mother too early, which we only found out on Tuesday – she was five weeks old and weaned, but only just – but has adapted wonderfully. Sancho has definitely helped with that…)

I’ll be uploading pictures as soon as I get my film developed (about half or more of the two rolls I took is of the Goold Zoo), so you’ll be able to see her…

I’m missing them already (the Zoo v2.4 and my parents, as well as a few people I made friends with down there), but my version of the Goold Zoo (Mitzy and Aspen) were very pleased to see me back. Aspen’s barely stopped purring since I arrived, and Mitzy is doing the whole “not letting you out of my sight” thing – which is very irritating when I’m trying to type… *sigh*

Later, all!

I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane… Don’t Know When I’ll Be Back Again…

Well, this is it. In a few hours, I’ll be on my way back to Toronto (and the cold and the snow – though at least it appears to be above -20C today…).

I’m really going to miss Costa Rica and the parents… (and the Goold Zoo v2.4…). *sigh*

Oh well – I imagine that Mitzy and Aspen will be very pleased to see me back (once they’ve got over their sulks).

Have to get ready to put my computer in my carry-on and leave now, so I’ll say, “Bye!” until I’m back in T.O. once again.

Aspen & Mitzy…

Well, we’ve had some surprising progress (by accident) between Aspen and Mitzy…

Aspen (although not a lap cat) likes to curl up on the back of my chair, while Mitzy generally curls up either in my lap, or – if I’m on the computer – right next to me, between my hip and the arm of my chair.

However, this evening, Mitzy had claimed the back of the chair before I even sat down in it. So when Aspen came up, wanting to settle up there with me, she found Mitzy already there, and ready to snap at her.

Finally, Mitzy, turned around to face the other side of the room, and ended up leaving just enough space for Aspen to jump up. It took a few minutes of disagreement and snapping at each other, but they’re currently both curled up there. Not really curled up together, just right next to each other, but it’s definitely progress in their relationship.

Edit at 11:55pm: Wow! Mitzy just turned around and laid her head against Aspen’s side! So I change my above statement – now they are curled up together!

CPR, AED, Cats, And Rec Pages

Just general posting here… Had to do a CPR refresher & AED training course today, for work (AED: basically the public defibrillators that are in malls, rec centres, municipal buildings, etc.). The trainer kept things interesting, and I actually didn’t mind taking time out of my day to do it.

Got home, and figured it was very definitely time to trim the cats’ claws. Mitzy was, as usual, fairly complacent about it (well, as complacent as she ever gets about my hands manipulating her paws). Aspen (the newest: two-year old stray acquired from the Toronto Humane Society on July 30th), whose last claw trimming was the week I brought her home, and took two days and four attempts, objected semi-violently to me doing her first paw. After that, however, it went surprisingly smoothly – especially considering that Aspen is not a lap cat. So I have reasonable hopes for the next time I have to do it.

I then found out that my long (most likely novel-length) Harry Potter WIP, Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift, has been added to a rec page of Snape/Harry Mentor, Guardian, Father/Son, Master/Apprentice, etc. stories, with a rating by the site owner of 5 chocolate frogs (her highest)! Found myself extremely flattered by that. If anyone’s interested, the rec page URL is Potions and Snitches, and my story is available at my Fanfiction.Net account – t.a.g.0, or directly at Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift.