katekat: (Default)
It's 10:30 pm on a Saturday and I'm home with the dog feeling accomplished because I actually wrote for about an hour today on my dissertation. I'm struggling with the rewrite of my second chapter, because I needed to pretty much reverse the polarity of the argument (which in all honesty meant I needed to go back and rewrite the chapter). I did that AND 2/3rds of a fellowship application that's due on Monday.

I started an Instagram account. Because I need *more* things to check online that aren't lj. And I'm mostly posting pictures of my dog. She's more photogenic than I am.

Dog and I have been doing pretty well lately. She loves having me home every day, and now that it gets dark so early (curse you, daylight savings time!) I've been taking her on a walk at 3 pm instead of 5 or 6. Our schedule changes all the time because it seems like every department or college event this semester happens at 5 pm or from 4 - 6 pm, or somewhere thereabouts. And I've found that my fuzzy friend over there pouts if I'm not home during that time UNLESS I take her on a walk earlier in the day. Which is great and all, it's not like I can't use the excercise, I just wonder if I used to be this concentrated on taking care of the dog? I know I took her out a lot after dark, but I'm realizing these days that she *really* doesn't like that. And truth be told I'm not too big of a fan of it either.

In weird news, my ear continues to do odd things. I now seem to have tinnitus in my left ear. My awareness of it goes in and out, and sometimes it sounds like the loudest buzz imaginable, while at others it fades into the background ambient noise (which include buzzes from the fridge, and powerlines, and at night, crickets). It is uncomfortable, and a little scary, and because of that I haven't called a doctor to go see what is actually wrong. That's what the internet is for right? WebMD or some other site noted that smoking, since it affects your blood pressure, can affect your ears too, and that scared me enough that I cut down to about 1/3 my daily intake (3 - 4 cigarettes). Which is good. I should/can/will try actually to keep cutting that down, but that was a big reduction from my 8-12 a day so I'm counting it as a win. And actually, excercising *really* helps me not notice the buzz, which is also part of the reason for the weird Domino walking times.

But we're both tired of walking around our neighborhood. Two months ago I did a hike with some other grads and my friend up to Griffith Park (with the dog), and since then the dog and I have gone three more times. If I went fast it would be a 15 minute uphill walk, but since I don't it's more like 25, and I huff and puff my way up the trail.

Have some pictures of that )

now, if I remember, in my next post I'll tell you all about how I threw an awesome murder mystery party (theme: post apocalyptic zombie cannibal asylum), how I showed up on a Japanese academic's twitter, how I helped interview an up and coming Japanese writer, and how my nemesis (though I dunno if she's that now) provided me with about three days worth of schadenfreude (which i know is not nice, but it happened, ok).
katekat: (Default)
Most days I don't think about it, at all. Most days I just adore this ridiculous being that I need to take out for walkies. Most days I'm focused more on if she ate, and remembering to refill her water bowl, and trying to decide if I should vacuum up the tumbleweeds that are her hair covering my living room carpet (and couches, and clothes, and pillows, and bedspread, and in my shoes, and heck, even on tables --- because her hair can float when the fan is on).

But sometimes I look over and marvel that humans figured out how to live with fuzzy beings. I look over at her fuzzy face and realize we communicate all the time but we don't talk. That I've lived with this other entity for 6 years - structured my days around her, adapted to her, modified my own behaviors while I was trying to modify hers - without knowing what goes on in her brain. I mean, not really. Sure we communicate in gesture and look and body language... but it's two beings speaking two different languages. And I'm sure there are many things that simply don't translate.

When I hang out with my friends who are afraid of dogs, I'm actually reminded again that my puppy can seem terribly threatening. Her bark is pretty fierce. She actually does snap bones when she's given them, so her jaw is incredibly strong. She's fast too. Whip fast (when she wants to be). And still I'm not scared by her at all and I never have been. Ever. I put my head right down next to hers and play with her.

And so sometimes I'm made aware that those of us that have fuzzy friends who live with us, well, it's a kind of miracle. It's a miracle that my dog is excited when I'm excited (most of the time), and is happy to see me when I come home and sad that I leave. It's a miracle that she can tell me that she's hungry, and thirsty, and bored. It's amazing that we trust these creatures to cuddle with (and doubly amazing that they want to cuddle with us). It speaks to something amazing not just about human experience, but about lived mammal experience, has to do with love. I love her. So completely and utterly and totally and it makes my heart feel full. Even when I'm cleaning up her poo, or trying to get her to be quiet, or cleaning up after the aforementioned hair, I love her. But still. Pretty weird that can happen, isn't it?

katekat: (Default)
1. Bought my tickets for the academic conference i'm going to Harvard for later this month, and decided to fly JetBlue instead of the nasty American/Delta/United - it will be my first time on JetBlue, but I've always wanted to fly it.
2. Puppy has been without tummy incident so far this week! and didn't have poo problems last week - there's hope people, hope!
3. My housemate totally made me dinner (well, in that she gave me her leftover spaghetti, but that totally counts because it means i didn't have to cook dinner!)

Three things I'm proud of myself for today:
1. actually read three pages of Japanese today! (my first for the semester)
2. i did three other things off my to do list for the week
3. I made my mom laugh! twice!

Two things I look forward to doing (better) tomorrow:
1. writing more on the presentations for said conference
2. getting my laundry done

(meme stolen from the lovely [livejournal.com profile] mirelle719)
katekat: (Default)
Rocking housework: how i fixed my fridge )

Apparently I'm stressing my own dog into having IBS )

that will show me to ask to be emailed comments on a thread in a discussion of SF and post-binary gender )

school is busy and i need to write funding proposals for summer, a presentation draft to send to a professor tomorrow, and i'm going to drive to riverside, sadly, for a local conference tomorrow. the fun never ends. at least the housemate and i made each other dinner this week! (mine was artichoke lemon chicken, and hers was shrimp scampi)
katekat: (Default)
I'm going to write about media in my next post, but here's the upshot for me in RL.

I found a housemate! She moves in Dec 1! So far all our interactions have been really good and I think it's going to be absolutely great. She got the dog seal of approval right away, too, and the second time she came over Domino didn't even bark at her, so that's a comfort.

Dog has been slowly getting over her tummy troubles. She's not through the woods entirely yet, but the chinese medicine I've been giving her has definitely made it so she's not having scary BMs anymore and she's eating every day. It's called yunnan bayao and it's good for internal bleeding and even putting on small cuts if you get them (I've read some reviews where people say they put it in their medicine cabinet just cuz it helps close up little wounds). It'll take a bit longer with this stuff just because it's about using it until her own natural healing kicks the rest of the way in (at least, this according to my chinese medicine consultant). But she's happy and energetic and eating and pooping, so that's the important stuff for me. Oh, and just in case I switched her to this low-grain food and her coat has become even softer than before over the last three weeks - she's like a teddy bear to pet now. A constantly shedding teddy bear.

Along with school, which frankly has been pretty busy as the semester starts to wrap up, I've been dealing with a new and not exciting medical issue: I didn't realize it at first, but I've been experiencing hearing loss in my left ear for about five months. I just thought I needed a cleaning. Went in for that and found out I'm whistle clean and there's no sign of an infection (redness, swelling). The doc put me on prednisone and sudafed, assuming there was some kind of fluid build up on the inside of my ear, and it didn't clear up the hearing loss. In fact, it made me hyper aware of my left ear (which is the one having problems), and seems to have actually sort of aggravated whatever was happening before. I took a hearing test, but sadly the results were conclusively "yep, you've got some hearing loss" and not clearly anything else. After working through all that they finally gave me the referral for an ENT, whose first appointment was the second week of December. So for now I'm on sudafed and ibuprofin and hoping it doesn't get any worse before I can get into see this Doctor (and hopefully the specialist will do something other than proscribe me things that make me feel like it feels worse). It's made me tired just thinking about it, so I've been doing quite a bit of snail-shelling with TV and the like.

EXCEPT when my Mom came to visit for four days two weeks ago. It was so nice to see her, even though her visit was WAY shorter than usual. We packed a ton of stuff into the two real days she was here - went looking at Amoeba Music for lady singers for her (she's doing her lesbian protest rock phase now, lol), got new plants for my patio, tried to get some things at Ikea for her craft/art room (but Ikea was sadly out of the things she wanted - which is crazy but it does happen), and then topped it all off with a trip to Huntington Gardens. Which were AWESOME and perhaps I will have to picspam. It was so bright too that we bought HATS! (from the gift shop - they were expensive but really pretty so... i think on balance we won.) And we went and saw Ender's Game. Oh, and helped my housemate move the last of her stuff out of the apartment. For us that's like a whirl-wind of stuff to pack into two days :D

ETA: OMG AND I FORGOT THAT TWO FRIENDS CAME UP TO VISIT FROM LONG BEACH LAST WEEKEND and we had a great time at breakfast and then visiting my favorite place in LA, the Planetarium. And we saw Ride of the Valkries (Planetarium show). I am COMPLETE sucker for Planetarium shows, even if, as wise friend noted, they're not in depth enough to make you happy about learning more on the science side (re: aurora borealis) OR on the myth side (re: norse gods)... it's basically a show that sketches some cool stuff and has stars and Wagner accompanying it. But still. It's awesome. And these women were awesome company too - it was such a good sunday to walk around and just hang out (and compare notes on life and media and living in sunny california, even if its' rainy right now)

So yeah, I've mostly been trying to balance dog and work and ear and the quiet of my apartment (which i'm not the hugest fan of - it makes it really easy to just keep clicking 'next' on netflix to fill the silence instead of getting things done). Our semester ends the week after Turkey day, so that's coming up all in a rush too.
katekat: (Default)
  • First, got slight food poisoning from a sandwich I bought yesterday - no tummy upset, but I was in the bathroom for most of the evening yesterday (so much fun). had a lurching moment this morning, but luckily just a lurch.
  • I get rolling this morning, but the dog isn't interested in breakfast, so that's a worry.
  • She has a terrifying bowel movement (there's a phenomenon called raspberry jam. i saw it. it was scary).
  • However, I have to go to class.
  • I decide to use housemate's travel mug and manage to pour like a quarter cup coffee down my front on my way to school.
  • Get to school to realize I've forgotten the corrected tests I needed to give the prof for the class I'm TAing for.
  • Hop back in car, drive home, pet dog, pick up tests, make it back to school only half an hour after class has started.
  • Come home, call vet for dog, and schedule her to be dropped off for ultrasound.
  • Results of ultrasound are that yep, she has colitis (her colon is not doing well - it's all enlarged and weirdly lumpy). There's a medicine she can take for 5 days that will hopefully make it all better (antibiotics, yay)
  • Vet also did an xray, and discovered she has a small calcium (or something) deposit under her spine near her tailbone. it's not affecting anything *right* this second, but will probably at some point. Treatment here is a series of shots (starting at 2 a week for 2 weeks, going to 1 a week, then 1 every other week, forever) ... each shot costs $50 -- that would blow my food budget for *me* much less her, so yeah, can't do that. OR they have a stem cell therapy that only costs like $1,800 and will help her for like two years. yay.
  • Get a dog with a totally shaved tummy back.

The bright side of the day?
- dog ate dinner and her medicine
- Vet gave me the x-ray for free (though i had to pay $300 for the ultrasound)
- i found the text i'm reading for Japanese crit theory class wed online
- the boyfriend had a weird day too?

yeah, that's all i got for the moment. i think i'm calling it. hopefully this was enough this week and this is not a sign of things to come.
katekat: (Default)
Ok, so, um. It's been nearly a month since I last posted! I've been on LJ a lot because of Summer of Giles, but haven't really been checking my own journal much. But I have news!


The sunburn was from walking up Bear Butte. The boyfriend was cuz I made a pass at my best friend and he caught me. Or something like that.

There's a whole story there, and I will get into it, I think, in some later post. But for right now I have a totally new way of seeing someone who i have always loved, and who has seen the worst of me over 15 years, and i'm liking it. we're doing the long distance thing, but he's already planning a trip out in September.

So the rest of the South Dakota trip was, in a word, FUN. I'll do a picspam in a minute so you can see how green and pretty it was.

Since then?
  • moving Mom was both less hellish and more exhausting than i expected it to be, and unpacking was even more, but it's mostly done
  • i discovered the "joys" of intermittent internet access and reaffirmed my hatred of AT&T (and i am now bound to them with a wireless contract, so that's going to end well).  but i now have a smartphone so can join the crowds of people who get pinged at all the time.
  • my dog killed a skunk (though didn't eat it).  (so that was fun - i have a skunk wash recipe for those who want it though).  luckily she was covered on her rabies shot and we got her a new booster anyway, and i washed her FOUR TIMES.
  • i got new shoes that are so ridiculously comfortable (compared to my last pair) that i don't want to wear anything else
  • i have watched more documentary-style true crime 'dramatizations' on Investigation Discovery Channel than I care to actually admit to myself.  There are lots.  It's kind of amazing the evil that people do.  My mom is a total junkie for the channel though.
  • i am leaving for Lake Tahoe with the parents today.  I plan to introduce my stepmom to the Marvel Superheroes movies (Iron Man through Avengers) and sit by the pool a lot.  
and there you have it, an LJ post. HA.

katekat: (Default)
it's one in the morning and I miss my dog. i've missed very little else, partially because we really do live in a more connected world than ever before, and i've been able to at least *touch base* with people, if not get them on messenger or skype or something. but you can't do that with a dog. and every time my dad has tilted the camera to show her to me i've been struck with a gut punch of missing her, because it's not the same thing.

i miss my dog.

not too much longer now though, really.
katekat: (Default)
The menu worked out so amazing I want to go and do everything over again. But the fun of holiday cooking is getting to explore other things, so possibly not?

all the dishes and links to the recipes )

(and then, when we had everything again the next day, we also did orange-cranberry sauce!)

And, a Turkey Day Picspam:

the four ladies of thanksgiving invite you in )

As you may have noticed from the image up there (and the pics) I got to celebrate my turkey day with [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy & my mom & amber! We had an amazing time - lots of eating, lots of (slightly unplanned) car riding, a planetarium show, an awesome silent movie, a bbc sherlock marathon, and seriously amazing company. Sadly EB & Amber took off this morning for other parts, but I get to keep mom for a couple more days. My brain is offline enough that I can't come up with the perfectest words to express how awesome the entire couple of days were, so you'll have to just take my word for it. For all this? I'm thankful.

*hugs you all*
katekat: (_domino2)
Took the dog to the vet and she has a torn CCL (which is an ACL  in humans, and is a torn ligament).  Vet recommended surgery, but that is not in the financial cards AT ALL.  Additionally I've found some advice online that surgery isn't always the best option.  Looks like it's probably degenerative rather than trauma induced, which is also ... i don't know actually if that's good or bad.  But basically it means I cried a bit this morning because my puppy has something wrong with her that I can't afford to take any means necessary to fix that is likely a lifelong condition.  The good news is that I can reduce her activity and, while not easy, that should help her grow scar tissue around the ligament that will enable her to continue to stay active.

in other silver lining news, even the vet visit today with x-rays, prescription dog pain killers, and vitamin supplements, was overwhelmingly expensive compared to my own little budget so i texted the ex. and he was willing to help out financially. this is the first contact i'd had with him since january i think? anyway, without fuss he actually gave me enough to cover all of that and a little bit more for future bills. it was weird but also such a relief and a huge help.

So, anyway, in honor of puppyness, and because I've been meaning to do it anyway, I give you Domino picspam.

are you ready for cute overload? )

oh saturday

Nov. 5th, 2011 10:13 pm
katekat: (Default)
Spent the whole day in recovery from last week's mid-term grading hell by watching Vampire Diaries.  Oh yeah baby, that's some good crack.  Went out last night and did this face-time thing with students from the *other* university in town, which was good, but filled up my socialization quotient for the week.  Thus, meme:

1. Kate
2. katekat
3. Katie
4. Mouse
5. Kathryn
6. Page

1. black running sweats
2. black v-neck long sleeved top
3. white socks.  i am that awesome

1. my dog to stop having pain in her haunches (it happened again today - i have vet appt scheduled for tues)
2. brown skirt (like seriously, i have been looking for two years - the whole industry is against me)
3. netflix to stop being turdy

Three people who want to do this meme?

1. had drinks with other grad students in Westhollywood
2. started watching Vampire Diaries - the good crack
3. took the dog on a walk

1. Tyler
2. Ingrid
3. EB

1. homework
2. make tostadas
3. take the dog on a walk

1. mocha latte
2. moscow mule (ginger beer & vodka)
3. coca cola
4. very very red wine

1. Texts from a friend
2. Limited Release by rageprufrock
3. buying myself chocolate swirl ice cream
katekat: (Default)
Ok, so DMV stuff taken care of after spending two entire days at the DMV.  But my car is now properly registered and everything is ok in the system.

Sadly, if it's not one thing it's another.  Last night Domino (the dog) was aggressive with Tako (the little dog of the housemate) and managed to leave a very small red dot on his leg (I'm assuming where her teeth caught his leg - it's not a bite, but it's a scratch).  Asha is not ok with this, i'm not ok with this.

The short term solution is that Domino is confined to my bedroom while Tako is in the house. 

The thing is that the dogs actually get along fine for 90% of the time - they even play together.  During the day, when it's either Alex or I here, they mostly lay in two different spots in the living room and don't seem to hang out, and then there are small bursts of play that one or the other instigates, where they chase each other around the room.  (Now, during this play, I've noticed Tako biting, near Domino's eyes, and I meant to talk with Asha about that being a concern, but hadn't yet).  Asha seemed to think we could let them both interact while we were all three there, but the aggressive behavior has always happened while we're all three there (so that didn't really make any sense to me).

I suggested a trainer - but she will categorically not pay for one.  Additionally, when I asked her if she would listen to what a trainer had to say if I brought one in and paid for the consultation myself, she said "Well, I might, depending on what they say."

(which to me equals no, she wouldn't listen)

However, she then spent the rest of the night finding progressively more insistent ways of telling me that my dog isn't trained well and doesn't obey me.  )

So apparently I'm in the market for a new apartment.


Sep. 18th, 2009 03:20 pm
katekat: (Default)
to everyone who took my silly poll yesterday!  I managed to get laundry done, and get started on the first set of homework, and (as those of you who want to read it know) managed to get some notes for my lit reading done as well). 

And the house is clean!  Which is really quite good because Neil's parents are flying their way down here as we speak.  It's their annaversary, so they're coming to visit for a little vacation and to see our new digs.  Which, if I don't say myself, are looking pretty nice at the moment.  Two days of cleaning will do that to a house.

and let the random nattering commence )

I completely forgot to mention that my Mom's visit was a blast )
katekat: (_domino)
the bad is that she slipped her leash to do so. 

We're still working out the mechanics of this total-city dwelling existance, and the one thing that hasn't quite sorted itself out is how much activity the dog has to have.  She gets a morning stroll that last about 7 minutes (or as long as it takes), and an evening walk of about half an hour.  But I can verify, this is not enough.  Instead she's slightly more nervous than she was in Austin - twitchy almost - and even though there are more people around the apartment to bark at and she's always been territorial, it seems to me that now it's mixed with a slightly more hesitant and ... neurotic vibe. 

So tonight as I'm walking down our quiet street towards melrose, headphones in and music turned up loud, with the dog beside me, a runner came around the corner behind us.  Before I even knew what was happening, the dog had growled, freaked, slipped her leash and was OFF.  And of course, even though she sorta circled back towards me, since the runner was behind me coming closer to me, she didn't want to get close to him.  I feel bad - I think I yelled at the guy to quit running because he was freaking her out.  How many dogs get freaked by runners?  Ours, apparently.  She thought it was a GREAT GAME though, once she was off and he had gone past us. I tried running away from her so she'd chase me, and she did, but then she managed to turn it around into a game of chase-the-dog, for 10 terrifying minutes when i realized i had no cell phone and no one to help (because she's afraid of strangers she wouldn't even let them get close), and i wondered if there was any way i was going to get her home.  Luckily she found something interesting in a driveway that was pretty deep and had a gate at the end so I was able to box her in.  Luckily. 

Solution: find a way to run the dog.  Get her a collar that she can't slip out of, and if she can slip out of them all she's going to wear the harness whether she likes it or not.  Take her to the f-ing dog park (something I've wanted to do since we got to LA but I also don't want to do it alone - though now I'm thinking alone might not be so bad)

the up-shot confirmed something i've known for a while - the dog doesn't really want to get away, she just wants to have more fun.  The down-shot (is that even an expression?) is it was terrifying worrying not that she would run away, but that some idiot who doesn't care about stop signs and who guns their car like they do every night through these blocks was going to hit her because they weren't paying attention,and lung-killing (since we've got fires burning around the city and even walking is discouraged my full-tilt running after the dog, before the dog, around the dog is basically guaranteed to make me hack my lungs out).

at least we made it safely back home.
katekat: (_domino)
It was a puppy-tastic weekend:  the adoption place where we got Domino has a puppy easter egg hunt every year, and so we hopped in the car with our dirty dog and went to go hunt plastic easter eggs filled with doggie treats.  It's a great way for Domino to visit with other dogs, and we were hoping to see the people who we'd adopted her from there, so they could see how much progress she's made now that we've had her for a year.  Sadly, they weren't there, but they did have someone in an easter bunny costume, so we got a picture taken with them, and it's really cute.  Perfect picture of Domino, if I do say so myself.  She looks a million times healther than she did in her photo from last year.  And on the really fun side she/we hunted down one of the "special" golden eggs that were actually well-hidden (since the rest of the eggs are sort of nestled at the edges of grass borders so the dogs can find them, and usually the dog sniffs at the egg and moves on, and the owner is the one who cracks it open and hands over the treat).  The special eggs are prizes, and we ended up with a basket of doggie treats, some dog shampoo, and a squishy toy.

2008 easter pic, and 2009 easter pic (and a whole lot of cuteness) )

This lead to me thinking it was a great idea to wash the dog at home.  Never again.  NEVER AGAIN.  Not that she did all that badly in the bath, but after she got out there was that "getting water off" shake, and she probably sprayed all four bathroom walls and possibly the ceiling.  It is not fun to clean that up after cleaning the dog.  The N & D spent half an hour brushing her wet hair while she was on-leash outside.  I spent the rest of the day combing her hair with a metal comb, trying to get some of her undercoat out.  She looks 5 lbs lighter now, and she's definitely far more pettable, but dear gods.  This is why we take her to the $7 dog wash place - not only do they have endless towels, when she shakes the only thing she gets wet are the floor and us, and we get smocks.

today we did coffee (another trip, car ride and all, that involves doggie fun), and that was good even if I froze way to fast.  But sometimes that happens when the wind is going and it's not exactly super warm.

now for the wittering parts )

And ok, I feel much better just having gotten that out.  Now, back to reading about High and Low and King's Ransom, HAHA!
katekat: (buffy - hopeful [ntm])
Last night we had our first puppy escape.  Domino and Neil had gone on a walk, and while on a busy street she got spooked by a bus and popped her head right out of her collar.  Neil called me from a parking lot on the edge of a woody creek where he'd basically (mostly) cornered her, and I had to ride to the rescue with treats to lure, and then grab our shifty slippery dog.  You wouldn't think it would be that harrowing, but sadly Austin drivers do not look out for dogs.  Needless to say she won't be walked along that road again until after she's completed her obedience class (and possibly not again when she's walking with Neil, period).

It's funny how fast I went into full scale alert when I heard the slightly frantic tone of my beloved's voice on the phone - I pretty much dropped everything and crisis mode was on.  Not that it was a huge crisis, but we certainly have a better idea of her previous life now, and possible reason why she was on the street to be sheltered in the first place.  She was fast, and unrepentant, at least until we got her home.  Then she was looking for reassurance because she could tell we'd been scared by the whole experience. It made me glad we'd microchipped her (although I know that's not a gaurantee, but still, it is a safeguard). 

Sometimes it seems like bonds with pets are so strong, and yet this just goes to show how fragile these things can be.  Not that Domino's completely bonded with us - she's only been with us for a month or so, and although I think she has a great time here, I'm not quite sure if she's completed the whole "you're my pack and my family" circut in her brain yet.

All's well that ends well though.  And speaking of animals, here's a way you can support the ASPCA (for no cost):

Pledge to Fight Animal Cruelty
katekat: (_Me)
Actually, we named her Domino.  And I would like to present, to you, the newest addition to our household:


She's a two-year old Shiba Inu/Heeler mix, adopted from Austin Dog Rescue (they rescue the dogs that are in the pound but aren't found homes).  We met her on Monday night, had the home visit on Wednesday, and she came home with us tonight!  She's settling in, doesn't care one whit about the cat (although he is still trying to figure out what the big fuzzy alien thing is doing in the living room), and is super sweet and a little shy.  We love her to pieces already.  And here are some other images of random adorableness from her first night home.

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