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Thursday, February 24, 2005  
Things I am obsessed with right now today:

Zents. Only I hate the water scent. Ugh. And that happens to be the one I put on today. Ugh. Earth is the best. I have an old phial of "air" that I like nowadays too.

The 13th Floor Elevators. Nevermind that the elevator at my work has been rechristened "the Evilator" due to its poor performance and tendency to stop between floors with people inside, I love the 13th Floor Elevators. PF has given me some good history on this band over the years, especially about the singer who went kookoo from ECT after agreeing to go into a psych hospital instead of serving time for his ganja habit. In any case, I discovered this band on Napster long ago, and have been collecting their musical products ever since. I love them. I highly recommend.

Mycobacterium infections. These include leprosy and tuberculosis, but that's not whay my sis has thank goodness. I'm not fascinated because I particulary want these diseases, but because my poor sister's leggy is being debrided every other day to keep her particular strain from spreading into her bone. And it makes me sad. And freaked out as well. Her legs were probably infected at a pedicure salon, and one of her legs has a huge seeping wound about .5 inches deep and surrounded by red, necroticizing tissue. It's very sad. Basically, let people know that if they want to risk their beautiful legs to a pedicure whirlpool, that they should get it IN WRITING that the place actually removes the debris screen for disinfection, as well as runs bleach and hot water through the jets for about 15 minutes between clients. My sister's antibiotic regimen has gotten worse and worse: keflex, cipro, zithromax (for 30 days!!!), and now they've added two generic mycobacterial antibiotics because they don't know what her strain is yet (labs have another week to "produce" their goo strains, and then we'll know what exactly she has.) I'd post pictures, but I'm worried they will scare the crap out of people. The infectious disease specialist said mycobacterium are water borne. Again, if you have open sores, scratches, rashes, or have recently shaved your legs within the last 48 hours, do not get a jet soaking pedicure at a salon without their express written promise of proper disinfection procedures. Additionally, do not get into a bath used by an infected person, and don't go swimming with them. Sad. And if you get infected somehow, make sure to disinfect your own tub/shower unit when bathing so that you don't reinfect some other part of your body. God. That is so depressing. My poor sister. Send her your best, sweetest, kindest thoughts.

The other thing that has me distracted: The Evil Not Pron Riddle. I have made it to level 10 in two days. I have 71 more levels to go to join the "finished" folks. Good grief. As if I didn't have enough stressors. But the bonus to doing this riddle game: you end up REALLY using your computer programs, especially ones you didn't know you had. Pretty great. Other than that, you just need to know how to convert stuff, read source code, and how to mess with URLs. Oh. And you have to be a little clever. But I'm only on level 10. So far, level 8 was the hardest, until something clicked and worked for me finally.


~Amelie, listening to elevators, stinking like water, protecting legs in Sacto and beyond, playing with prons. Yup.

11:56 AM

Tuesday, February 22, 2005  

n 1: a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground [syn: twister] 2: a purified and potent form of cocaine that is smoked rather than snorted [syn: crack]

Did you know the second definition? I didn't know "crack" was in the dictionary.

I thought tornados were a strictly midwest bible belt sort of thing. I mean, sure. I can remember 2 funnel clouds since I've lived in the Sacramento area (since 1977), but nothing ever actually touched down. It also snows here every so often, but nothing that sticks around long enough to play in. So funnel clouds, much like funnel cakes, are acceptable. This website says the last naughty tornado that hit Sactown was in 1921. We've had more snow than that. I mean, that's about as often as getting attacked by passles of deadly giant spiders.

Yesterday, 3 tornados hit Woodland, West Sacramento and Natomas. And they knocked over semi trucks, ripped construction trailers apart, totaled automobiles in parking lots, and pulled a hell of a lot of rain gutters and shingles off roofs. No one was killed. But that small bit of trivia is more of a shocker than the fact that they hit in the first place.

The thing that fascinates me, besides the mucky emergency alerts that interrupted "Animal Cops Houston" all afternoon, were the people that go outside to WATCH. To WATCH. Loads of 'em.

To me, tornados are scarier than earthquakes, mudslides, avalanches, or any other natural CA disasters that I haven't had a whole hell of a lot of experience with (earthquakes are about as rare as tornadoes here in the valley). If an earthquake hit Sacto and I was reasonably close to a door, I'd head outside and far away from tall buildings. If I'm in a place where a tornado hits, you can bet I've already found a way to a basement, or at the very least, a good solid tub, because if something bad is going to happen in the general vicinity, it's bound to happen to me. Either I've seen too many movies where Dorothy is swirled up, up and away inside an ENTIRE HOUSE UP IN THE AIR, or it just makes sense psychologically to GET AWAY FROM WIND that is moving at the speed of sound and can move entire herds of cows from one county to another. Why the HELL would you go outside and videotape that shit? It's one thing to be on the 24th floor of a hotel when a tsunami hits, but to run outside and watch a tornado, and be caught on the NEWS (I mean, really) holding their BABIES in their arms, is the epitome of stupid. If there were real darwin awards, the folks who parked and marveled at the scene should win them all. Sure, there are crazy tornado chasers all over Kansas, but they are TRAINED and they know what they hell they are up against. Sactown tornado rubberneckers, you are all complete idiots.

And part of the reason I say that is because for 3 hours, the emergency alerts were warning that the tornadoes were coming inland from the west and heading south, when they suddenly apparently cut north and landed on Natomas, Woodland,and West Sacramento. Yipes. I've watched a spinning top before. That's about as close to wildly incalculable centrifugal forces as I want to get.

Other than that, my 3 day weekend was relatively uneventful and pleasant.

I am currently enjoying a 1/2 decaf americano and wondering why there is a breeze on my legs in an office where the windows are all thermogenically sealed and then painted shut.

~Amelie, feeling a draft.

10:13 AM

Thursday, February 17, 2005  
oh my g.o.d.

It's only 3:57.

I just want to cry.

3:57 PM

About a week ago Maya's roommate Alice referenced a blog post (I don't remember which blog) about 3:00 PM being the LONGEST HOUR OF THE DAY. It truly is. It's the longest hour, it takes an infinity to get through it, but once you cross the threshold, the day spins off wildly out of control. Today I am not approaching the threshold anytime soon. And it's making me exhausted just waiting for it...

I'm all finished with my work today. I'm just waiting for responses from people who may or may not check their email until tomorrow. And then I'm officially caught up and no one can tell me nothing. But at 3 PM, what do I find myself doing?

1) listening to Abattoir Blues over and over again. And again. Mostly because it's seriously really good. But I am a die hard nick cave fan.
2) reading this missed connection over and over again, and repeatedly scroll down fast to see the photo. I'm horrified, fascinated, and confused all at the same time.
3) daydreaming about what life would be like if I owned my own house. And then I check housing prices and shake myself out of my stupor.
4) every time I walk outside of my office, someone regales me with a horrific breast feeding or terrifying birth story for some reason. This is not helping me want to give birth anytime soon. Or in the next century.
5) called my mom. Hello. I never call my mom. That's how long this hour really is. But I have a good reason. My dad had his sutures out today. He's nearly all better (we hope)!! He's fine. She's going to call me back later.
6) online window shopping. There's only so many stores I want stuff from. Lately it's all about lollipops. These are pretty and springlike. And these are made with barley syrup instead of corn syrup, and they're sooo cute.
7) thinking about walking around the capitol.

It's only 3:23 PM.

Maybe I will go make some tea.

~Amelie, waiting for four

3:09 PM

Wednesday, February 16, 2005  
Hello again. I'm back at work after 4 days of moving and trying to be around/available for my parentals. I wasn't that available to them, which was the original plan, but on the brighter side, they have me around for at least 9 months. Nope, I did not get to help my dad into the bathroom, especially since by Monday he was spry enough to get in and out of bed by himself. Instead, PF and I got to make multiple trips back and forth picking up my crud and magickally disappearing it into my sister's garage, or dragging it upstairs to my new room in my parent's house. There are a few things left, but nothing I can't handle alone. This is all part of our grand plan to save up money so that we can buy a house for our future family. Also because buying a house is a wise, wise, wise investment. It's too bad we didn't buy a house 3 years ago when we were first dating, because back then, we could have afforded it. And then we could have sold our house in December and had beaucoup dinero to play with now, except that PF would make me wisely invest my portion in a retirement fund or something equally boring. Instead, I am moved into my parents where rent is cheap or nonexistent, and paying down my stupid credit debt so that we can get a decent mortgage. In return, I get to nag my parents about their health habits, and they get to roll their exasperated eyeballs at their know-it-all grown up daughter who is probably a cranky pain in the ass most days.

But I guess I can give them a little slack, since dad had a kidney out and mom has heart troubles. Boy do I love them. I don't know what I'd do without them. And they just adore the PF. Who doesn't?

Oh, and my sister was finally sort of diagnosed. Atypical mycobacterium infection. I said "what did you get that from?" and she didn't know. And then I remembered that San Jose had a streak of painful leg infections from those whirlpool foot spa bath thingamajigs. The story broke in November, but you know what? These gals had this stuff for MONTHS before a lot of it was diagnosed. So, I said, "Pooh, did you have a pedicure?" She'd had TWO. One in Sacramento in June, (whirlpool) and one in Philadelphia in September where she attended a wedding. In one of the wedding photos, you can see a light reddish raw spot on her leg where her biggest seeping wound is now. It's very sad, but this is probably the most likely cause of her horrible, painful leg nodules and wounds. She's going to an infectious disease specialist to find out more about this stuff. I'm just glad she doesn't have diabetes, lymphoma or lupus, which she was tested for because ulcers like these show up in all of these diseases.

I guess there was an outbreak in 2001 in Nor Cal as well, but it wasn't quite so spread out. My sis may be the only one in Sacto with this stuff. Poor thing.

2 things that probably make you more susceptible to bacterial infections: shaving legs before a pedicure and having eczema.

The other thing you should always do when you go somewhere to have your nails done is bring your own stuff. When I served on the Hepatitis C Task Force here in Sacto, I was amazed at how many ways the disease can be spread. One of the mentioned ways was nail salons that do not properly disinfect their equipment before using it on another client. Always bring your own bag of clippers, cuticle trimmers (if you want them trimmed, which is unnecessary) and nail files/polish. Some places will let you leave your little bag with them if you are a regular. Neat, non?

And no, I don't get my nails done very often. More like once every 5 years. But I used to LOVE those spa whirlpool thingies with the back massage action. So sad that they are usually not properly disinfected between clients.

The rain has cleared my allergic pollens from the air, and I can finally take deep breaths again. Yay!

~Amelie, Breathing.

10:10 AM

Friday, February 11, 2005  
I am miserable. My allergies are obliterating my face. My left nostril is draining like a fountain.

My friends think I have a cold.

I shook some guy's hand today after sneezing, swearing I only had allergies, but now I'm not so sure. And he has to fly back to London next week. Great. I may be Rhinitis Amelie.

Zicam hasn't done me a lick of good, but benedryl gave me a moment's peace last night, so I'm betting it IS allergies after all. Still. I feel awful. Because I can't even take benedryl, not really. I'm waiting for a prescription for Zyrtec to go through from my doc, because that's the only thing I can take for my misery.

And it is misery. Even the back of my head feels like it's going to crack open and drain snot.

What the hell is blooming this week? I'm going to find it and burn it to the ground.


2:44 PM

Thursday, February 10, 2005  
I went to get a massage last night, and as is per the usual, my nose started running. Only this time, my nose has not stopped. It's a veritable fountain of unappealingness. I shot some zicam up the nostrils to ward off a cold, and holy toledo, what have I unleashed?

One whole box of tissue later...

In today's news:

My dad had a kidney out. Looks like it didn't melt or metastasize anything naughty into his system, but he's in a lot of pain and no one's going to go poke around in there. He had something called Hand Assissted Laparascopy. Which is a neat way of saying "a mechanical thing held by a hand firmly planted in your abdominal pocket created by scalpel managed to pull out your kidney presto bingo." This has been a very scary few weeks, what with my mom's heart troubles (4 heart attacks in 5 months starting in July!!) and my sister's leg/seeping wound issues that won't heal. Top that off with my own crap (which is good, but annoying health wise), and it's been yet another stressful new year for Amelie.

She's doing fine though. And so is her dad. At least that's the last I heard, he was too cranky and cantankerous to have visitors after the surgery, due to not enough morphine.

So yay. Bad kidney banished. I want to yell "Huzzah", but I've been up since 5 AM. Screw the noise.

~Amelie, More Fiend

4:33 PM

Wednesday, February 09, 2005  

It's year of the Green Wooden Cock! Even Google is celebrating.

This is the year you can make a lot of cock-and-chicken jokes. I can think of three green weiner jokes right off the bat, but I have a filthy mind.

Big Green Cocks For Everyone!

If you wear red it means you're happy about the new year. Last year was the Green Wooden Monkey year. Last year was a big sex year, and so is this one. If you have fertility issues, you should really go at it this year (and if you did it last year, you're probably having a little cocky kid this year). The monkey was female wood, the cock is male wood on yin/yang cycles.

So, go home and make a cocktail, and have a great year!

~Amelie, Metal Pig in the Garden

10:08 AM

Tuesday, February 08, 2005  
I would never actually build one of those cat tower carpet covered things, because I can guarantee that I would fuckle it up. But this? I think I could build. Thanks to Home Depot precuts, a few hinges, and the freaking PATTERN right there for me to see... I'll need something like this as well. I hate litter boxes. It's the only reason not to have cats. Litter boxes are just...awful. Did I ever mention how when Shabazz was a kitten I tried to train him and Wingnut to use the potty? I bought a kit. It was a plastic "pan" that fit inside the toilet under the seat (pretty inconvenient if you only have one toilet like I did at the time), and you fill it slightly with gravel. The cat gets used to jumping up and using it. The plastic stays, but there are graduated cardboard cut outs that you pop out as the cats get more and more used to pottying "in" the toilet. It probably works for most cats, but Wingnut proved to be too substantial a kitty. Around the second cut out's removal, the integral strength of the product was not sound enough to hold a 17 lbs cat, and Wingnut fell through into the bowl. This traumatized my cat so much, he held it until I relented and brought the litter box back into action. Shabazz was still light enough back then that it would have eventually worked, but jeebus. Wet Toilet Cat was so mad at me, I'd never try it again unless the damn thing was made out of wood.

Anyway. When I move next week, I'm going to have to get one or two of those Cat Tower carpet things. My cats are wayyyy too used to the "Cat House" that I live in now. They are going to be so pissed off at me for moving them into a boring house with no peep holes in the walls, and they are going to be annoyed that there are no cat doors sawn into every door. They are going to be severely irritated that there is no giant tree branch covered in jute rope to climb and perch on. They are actually going to want to go outside again, and will drive me insane with their incessant meowing.

Which brings me to my next question.

Anyone interested in a young, slightly skittish, Russian Blue who likes dogs and some cats, but hates kids? Churchill needs a good new home. He's going to be the most irritated out of all my kitties. Silver fur, light green eyes, very soft, friendly if you are gentle and quiet.

~Amelie, Cat Woman

2:18 PM

Monday, February 07, 2005  
Had a busy weekend. Washed all the dogs, except the Borzoi, because by the time I got to him, my back was screaming in agony, so he just got a good brushing. It's amazing how much clean dogs, combined with a clean floor and clean cat litter boxes, will make your house smell positively springlike. I don't mean fresh washed dogs, but those of the clean and dry variety.

I saw Hide and Seek this weekend. It was good until they answer the question of "what's really going on". Then it speeds up irreparably, and is bad. It ends up sucking ass, when it could have been great and spooky and amityville horror-ish. Not nightmare inducing, not for full price theater admission. Other movies that I rented this weekend (I'm packing boxes, so in between each box, I would reward myself with a movie. Or two. Because I am stinking lazy and moving is depressing.): Vanity Fair: very good. Bush's Brain: scarier than hide and seek. Collateral: surprisingly decent. The tale of the weeping camel: not what I expected, neat though. It's like watching nat'l geographic do a biopic on a remote tribe of camel and Gobi goat herders in inner mongolia. except that it's not nat'l geographic. The camel baby was so cute, I was the one weeping. I seriously need PF to get rich and buy me a place out in the country where I can have all manner of dromedaries and llama-type animals. I honestly want at least 2 alpacas, and now I really think I need a camel, one hump or two. Camels are the cutest, furriest, clumpiest, ridiest, most cuddly looking things ever.

Finally, I spent a couple hours baking a reduced fat 3 cheese rigatoni bake (I added tons of chopped veggies and basil) and went to a potluck baby shower for my friend C. C has no stretch marks, her skin looks fantastic even in her 32nd week. Her "cankles" as she kept calling them weren't even very swollen. She looked cute and sassy and saucy, and her belly was gimongous. Scarily, she weighs as much as I weigh, and I'm not 8 months pregnant. This worries me for my future. We also played this game called "poo diaper" or something. 5 labeled diapers were filled with melted candybars. You had to guess by smell, visuals, or taste. I managed to somehow get 4/5 and took off with the prize, a pretty little windchime. I don't even eat a lot of candy bars, but 4 of the ones they picked, I knew the stench of. Butter finger, payday, baby ruth were cakey (at least for me), but snickers was an educated guess. I also went with caramelo instead of milky way, because really, who in their right mind eats milky ways? They are salty and awful.

And that's the news of the day.

~Amelie, fake poo sniffer.

10:08 AM

Thursday, February 03, 2005  
I forgot about my guestbook. I check it what, maybe once a month? No one leaves comments there normally.

I got a lovely surprise from a Little Johnny, you lovely little booger! Lttle Johnny is the subject of many racist jokes, and since I once had an idiot in my life who thought racist jokes were not that racist, he would tell me them incessantly. Poor Little Johnny. I don't know what sparked that, but you're welcome to entertain me again with your craziness.


I'm having a decent day. It's sunny out, the capitol is a-buzz with activities that aren't misery making, my office is a stand out information wise, I'm being placed in more and more interesting positions here strategy-wise, and I'm feeling, in general, good.

How are you?

~Amelie, Fat White Grrl

3:06 PM

Wednesday, February 02, 2005  
I had my first funny dream in a long time. It was quite vivid.

I'm sure it was due to the fact that there was nothing on TV last night, so my housemate and I resorted to watching American Idol.

I decided Simon ain't so bad, he's pretty adorable in his own charmingly elitist(gay?) way. My gaydar goes off, but not it's not alarmingly strong.

So, I did some special yoga exercises with this crazy guru on tape (I fast forwarded through all the chanting), I went to bed directly afterwards, and my dream world went all kabuki on my ass.

Basically, there I was, trying out for American Idol. And when they said, "Yay, that was amazing, do you want to go to hollywood?" I said "Nah. I just wanted to flirt with Simon in person." Which apparently cured his gayness*, and he decides he's just british, and he falls in admiration and respect with little old me. He drags me off to the supermarket to make me beer, beans and rice, in order to impress me with his non-elitist cookery. We are pushed in a giant shopping cart by a very tall basketball player type, as we sit in the cart part like little kids ignoring the warning signs. Apparently, you cannot buy beer and long grain rice in Cleveland (where my dream is located) after 10 PM on weekdays (I have no idea if that is true or not, but I'm betting not). So, Simon pitches a fit, and I climb out of the cart all pissy and say "I can't believe you won't get converted brand rice when you know you're just using generic canned beans!" And then I throw some receipts at him, stomp off, and wake up laughing.


I think it had something to do with the Yoga guru and her "lose your inhibitions" motif.

In other news, the parent thing is looking slightly rosier, but not great. I'm fine, and I even slept great last night. Which is news in and of itself.

Amelie. Again.

*Note: I do not believe that gayness is a disease that can be cured by flirty blondes, it's a perfectly normal thing, unless you are an xchin freak. I also think most people are part gay. Especially the xchin freaks.

9:44 AM

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