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So, I go out to my car, ready to run up to Subway for food, and find that someone has smashed in the passenger window and stolen our iPod.

The insurance company tells me that if it were the windshield, they'd cover it, but the other glass has a $500 deductible. Which we don't have until next week. And we don't really have to spare even then.

And it's not as though it was a particularly expensive iPod. It was a 4th gen Nano, which they don't even make anymore. And the smallest one that's currently available costs less than half of what we paid for it 5 years ago. So it's just stupid all around.

And if that wasn't bad enough... Cut for TMI bitsCollapse )

So, yeah. Never rains but it pours.

Bleh. I feel sick.

SF/F Book Meme Thing

Bold the ones you've read.
Italicize the ones you fully intend to read.
Underline if it's a series you've read part but not all of.

Books under hereCollapse )

Final analysis:
Read: 29
Partially read: 4
To-Read: 18

And it's likely I'd be interested in at least some of the unmarked ones if I had the first clue what they were about. Possibly research is necessary.

Surgery Update

The doctor came through about 5 mins ago to let us know that Saundra's out of surgery. Everything seems to have gone well, so yay. She's in recovery, still out, but they'll be moving her back to her room in about an hour.


Surgery Update

Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday) "early AM" -- whatever that means. The doctors say that there is no actual blockage in the gall bladder, which is all to the good, but it's still full of stones and they want to get it out ASAP.

They tried to move her onto clear fluids today, but after some beef broth and apple juice, she wound up having another minor attack, so that was reconsidered. She's allowed ice chips and a few sips of water, but nothing else until afterward.

For the most part, she's doing well, although incredibly exhausted. I brought her Tempurpedic pillow from home yesterday, so she's much more comfortable than she had been, at least. They've got her calves covered in these inflatable bladders to continually work the muscles to prevent blood clots, and she hates those. They keep checking her blood sugar even those she's not diabetic, and she hates that, too. (The prevailing unspoken attitude of She's fat! She must be diabetic! She must sit around on her fat ass and stuff her fat face with Twinkies all day! is seriously pissing us all off.)

But all of that hate pales in comparison to the hate for the central line that they're going to be putting in. They put the IV initially into a vein that Saundra specifically asked them not to (since it has a habit of blowing out when it has an IV in it) and, surprise, it blew out. They wanted to put in a PIC line, which she was against, but a conversation with the very nice PIC nurse led to a compromise of him attempting to insert a mid-line (basically a PIC line that stays in the arm and doesn't go all the way to the heart). But after trying on both arms, he was unable to locate a vein on the ultrasound that was straight enough for the insertion. (Nothing about her is straight; I think I may have mentioned that before. ;) ) So the decision was made to go for the central line, and the doctors were firm that they wouldn't proceed with the surgery without it. Which does not make for a happy Saundra.

We're very hopeful that the surgery will go smoothly. If there's a problem going in laparoscopically, they'll have to do the full incision, which will mean a longer recovery time and most likely a longer hospital stay. Apart from her weight, there aren't any indicators that the full incision will be necessary, so we've got our fingers crossed.


Apologies to anyone who follows both Saundra and me for seeing this twice:

I took Saundra to the hospital at about 1 this morning because her gall bladder pains were becoming unbearable. She's done her best to manage the condition with diet and supplements for the past 5 years, but it looks like the time has finally run out.

They admitted her around 6 AM because they saw that the gallstones were just too large, and the gall bladder itself had become inflamed and infected. They've got her on painkillers and antibiotics now to try and get the infection down so that they can remove it. That probably won't happen until after the weekend, so we're going to be at the hospital until at least Tuesday, probably Wed. or Thurs.

Happy thoughts and positive energy would be appreciated.


5-Day Challenge: Day 5

1. 5 facts about you
2. 5 people you can’t live without
3. 5 phobias
4. 5 songs you never get tired of
5. 5 goals

Arranged in order from soonest to latest:

1. Finish my short story by the end of the month.

2. Finish my current cross-stitch project by the end of the year.

3. Finish my novel by the end of 2012.

4. Purchase a home by the end of 2013.

5. Adopt first child by the end of 2015.

5-Day Challenge: Day 4

1. 5 facts about you
2. 5 people you can’t live without
3. 5 phobias
4. 5 songs you never get tired of
5. 5 goals

1. Wumpscut, "Wreath of Barbs". For a guy not hugely into techno music, this is still just an awesome song. Saundra and I used it as our mental soundtrack for the Valar Duel between Namo and Melkor in Milliways, and it's kept that kind of epic quality in my mind whenever I hear it.
The injection of religion
Has a coma-like effect
And the bodies, they lay in decay
Dreaming of a greener day

2. Johnny Cash, "Hurt". Another song with Milliways connotations, as this has remained Melkor's theme song for me. It's the song of someone who knows they deserve their misery because of the things they've done, and the things they know they'll continue to do.
And you can have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

3. Johnathan Coulton, "Code Monkey". It was really a toss-up between this one and "Still Alive", but I didn't want to pick 2 songs by the same person. So I went with this one because this is me. I am a code monkey, and I've never wanted to be anything else.
Code monkey think maybe manager
Wanna write god-damn login page himself
Code monkey not say this out loud
Code monkey not crazy, just proud

4. Concrete Blonde, "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)". Really the entire Bloodletting album. This was the very first "alternative" band I ever listened to after having been raised on a steady diet of country music and oldies. It still recalls the memory of the first time I heard it, being driven home from my first High School Party(tm) by a senior girl who spent half the evening (or so it seemed at the time) sitting in my lap nibbling on my neck. Nothing else ever happened between she and I -- I was 12 at the time, after all -- but it remains one of my fondest high school memories.
I got the ways and means To New Orleans
I'm going down by the river where it's warm and green
I'm gonna have a drink and walk around
I got a lot to think about

5. Kitaro, "Howling Thunder". This one brings with it a host of fond memories as well. The first time I heard this was during a summer program at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Gifted Studies. One of the other guys there had this album and played it for me. I'd never heard of "new age" before, and this particular track just gave me chills. It was during that same summer that I first heard of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and listened to the original radio shows. It was also the first time that I spent any length of time around kids with similar experiences to mine, that of being outcast for being a "brain" or a "nerd". They were funny, smart, well-adjusted, and let me know that other people's opinions of them/us didn't matter so much.

5-Day Challenge: Day 3

1. 5 facts about you
2. 5 people you can’t live without
3. 5 phobias
4. 5 songs you never get tired of
5. 5 goals

1. My biggest fear is probably death of myself or a loved one. I have at times gotten derailed in my thinking for an hour or more because I'm consumed with thoughts of my or someone else's death. The thought that one day I will cease to be is hard to deal with. The biggest loss for me when I broke with my religious upbringing was the loss of the comfort that comes with a belief in an eternal afterlife. It's irrational because death is an inevitability of life and fearing it won't make it go away but does run the chance of making me less likely to enter certain situations.

2. Men in their 20's. Irrational because I can't recall a single instance where someone from that group has ever done anything to me personally to validate this fear. And yet, I am always wary when I'm around strangers from that particular demographic. They tend to be taller and fitter than me, and I know that -- especially in a group -- if they were to try and start a fight with me, I would more than likely get my ass kicked. It's never happened, but I'm always acutely aware of the possibility, particularly if they are drunk or particularly loud and rowdy.

3. Going underwater. This is a mild one, because I will do it in certain circumstances, and it's particularly strange because I love to swim and otherwise be in the water. But I have a problem putting my head underwater. It's a bit of a fear of drowning, but more specialized because I know how to swim and can swim well, so I don't fear that. What bothers me is the loss of surface awareness, and the irrational thought that if I go underwater, some condition on the surface will change and I'll be unable to come back up.

4. Joblessness. Another mild one, but still persistent. I could say something like "in this economy, jobs are hard", but I know that in my case at least, that's bullshit, precisely because of the way this fear manifests. I have an email folder full of recruiters contact emails with a list of job offers that I obsessively hold on to "just in case". So while I know there is 1) probably no shortage of jobs that I could get, and 2) no reason to think that my current job is anything but stable, I still have little panicky moments where I'm afraid of being jobless and unable to get a new one. This one, at least, has some basis in experience as more than once, a job that I thought was stable has been pulled out from under me without any warning.

5. Being insignificant. This is probably at the heart of my reluctance to update LJ/FB/Twitter/etc. It's the fear that people will simply stop caring about my existence. And whenever I post something, my mind's eye sees people at their computers going, "Why the hell am I following this idiot?" and unfollowing me. It's happened before -- I've posted things that one or two people found so utterly offensive that it changed their entire perception of me to the point that they disassociated from me entirely. So it's made me reluctant to express my opinions because I fear that one time, I'll say something that just causes a mass exodus and leaves me shouting into the void.

5-Day Challenge: Day 2


1. 5 facts about you
2. 5 people you can't live without
3. 5 phobias
4. 5 songs you never get tired of
5. 5 goals

1. My wife, Saundra. Should go without saying, really. She keeps me sane even as she drives me nuts. It's been thirteen years since we got married, and we're still going strong. We had rough patches at first, like most couples, but we stuck it out and learned how to overcome those things together. We balance each other so well that my life would literally fall apart without her.

2. My girlfriend, Annie. We haven't been dating long -- at least, not in comparison to my marriage -- but she's become very important to me in that span of time. And the fact that her husband is also a very awesome person (not to mention dating my wife) just adds to that. We're hoping the four of us can remain together for a long time to come.

3. My boss, Josh. It's good to have a job. :) I had worked with this particular boss at my previous job, and when he left to help found this new company, he contacted me specifically to ask if I would be interested in a development position with them. It was a lateral move, pay-wise, and I've not had a raise in the over two years since I started (the perils of a start-up), but it's given me the freedom to work from home, which has been invaluable.

(This is where it gets a little difficult... I'm not really that close to many people at all.)

4. My best friend, Rhett. For the meaning of "live without" which means "would not be alive without". He and I were friends at a time when I didn't have a single other soul I could confide in. And though we don't really speak a whole lot anymore, when we do, we just slip back into the same easy rapport like no time at all has passed.

(Wow... umm... this really shows me what an isolated life I've led. Ow.)

5. Nathan Fillion. Because he is made of awesome. And because I fully believe that when he goes, the level of suck in the world will reach such mammoth proportions that it will pull the planet inside out and kill us all.