Lao Shir

Apr. 15th, 2016 03:42 pm
la_belle_laide: (D)
Tomorrow I'm going to Lao Shir's memorial. This is a thing I'd hoped I wouldn't have to even think about for a long time. On the other hand, she fought cancer for ten years, and her prognosis was about 18 months. But, when she wrote saying she was having trouble—CHF--I thought, 'Well, people can live for years with CHF. There's medication. She'll make it.' I guess that no matter when it happened, it was going to be sudden, even though it wasn't. It's always sudden.

It's so hard for me to believe that she won't show up. I know how weird that sounds. I had a dream last night that she did show up, actually. That her memorial was at a college campus (it's not; it's at a restaurant on the water by her home,) and I ended up talking to her about strength training. She was so her in the dream, all her expressions, mannerisms and everything. She was talking about how to do that thing where you balance on your hands, with the rest of your body horizontal, you know the thing? She could do that! And in the dream, she was telling about it, like, how to practice for it and get strong enough to do that. And I was just like, 'Of course she's here, why wouldn't she be?'

Then, in the dream, I decided I wanted to wear makeup. I met up with a girl who used to train with us, we'll call her Jen Di. She was a really tough gal, but her makeup was always on point. I asked her to help me do winged eyeliner. So we went looking for a bathroom. We went around the back of the campus and discovered we were actually in a place like Hogwarts. Excited, we ran to the restrooms, which were crowded, and my cousin was there with her son, trying to get him to nap in a stall. O_O Jen Di got out her makeup, and she also had this huge horse that she was suddenly leading around. She asked me to hold the reigns while she applied my makeup. Looking at the horse, I realized it was the same horse that I knew from when I briefly rode in the 90s: an 18 hand stallion named Nacht Wacht, but who we all called Urbie. He started to move away, so Jen Di tied his front leg so that he couldn't run off.

She finished my makeup, and when I looked in the mirror, I looked completely different. I remember thinking, 'Why haven't I been doing this all along?'

I went back outside to look for Lao Shir, but she had disappeared. Like actually disappeared, turned invisible in front of everyone and gone away.

It wasn't a bad-feeling dream? I woke up missing her, but also feeling like we'd had a nice chat.

I went to PM her on Facebook, actually, because I'd kind of kept doing that after she passed. We had been talking about getting together when she got out of the hospital. I'd sent flowers (she never got them,) and we were also sending music. I sent her “This Girl Is On Fire” and she never answered. I just kept PMing her because, I guess, I just felt like it. But then her sister changed her FB page to “in memory of,” and the messages are all gone now. That made me sad; I'd've liked to have read them again at some point.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be there with the old Kung Fu group, most of them, at least. It really sucks because we always talked about all of us getting together, you know, like you do. But then it never happens until someone dies, and I really hate that. We used to see each other two or three times a week, it's just weird.

I wonder if we'll be telling stories about Lao Shir. If so, I have a great one. It was the night we went out dancing, just the Kung Fu ladies. The song “Temperature” came on, and Lao Shir hit the floor! I mean, she got low! And then she started throwing all these KF moves into her dance, and people cleared the floor to watch her and cheer. She had just finished her, I think second round of chemo. But I'll never forget seeing her dance to Temperature. She was so happy. That's the story I'll tell tomorrow, if we end up doing that.

It's so weird to be using my Kung Fu tag again, and even weirder to be using it for this.
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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A year ago on the 25th, it was a Saturday, and I went to the fertility clinic where they took me in an hour late. So I sat around watching a show about sea turtles and reading a magazine about Doctor Who. Then I went into the office, where I read Sherlock Holmes while I waited, because, as I told the nurse, if this worked, I wanted to have a smart baby. She said, "I Mama is smart, the baby will be, too!"

I left cautiously hopeful, and here I am today, with a little boy sleeping on my lap.

I try to take Callum somewhere for an hour or so every afternoon. It gets us both out of the house – though we can't ever stay for too long because of Haku. Today I decided to take some DVDs I'm trying to get rid of to the Yellow Barn by the library. But the library and Yellow Barn were both closed, and the drop boxes only accept books. I just gave about 50 books to my neighbor across the street for her yard sale.

So there I stood in the parking lot of the library, holding Callum's carrier on one arm and a huge bag of DVDs and tapes in the other, in the hot sun, when a blond woman in a sundress approached. She was on foot, and the only other person in the parking lot.

She asked, "Are you looking for something?"

I explained that I wanted to get rid o all of these DVDs but didn't want to just leave them there.

She said, "I walked over here from the shelter for abused and displaced women. I hope it's not rude of me to ask, but we don't have a really big video library there and one of the girls was just saying that she wanted to see more movies."

Wow, imagine that?! What great timing! I told her she could have all of them. She said, "How fortuitous! What are the chances?"

I gave her the bag, then offered her a ride back to the shelter, since it would be a long walk carrying all the DVDs. She accepted, and so we talked on the way back about astrology and baby names. (Because she really liked the name Callum. And she got it, too. "That's Gaelic," she said. "Colin is another version of it.")

Then I was going to take Callum for a pleasant walk through the cemetery down the road and take some photos, but I had forgotten my damn camera! >_< So instead, we visited my Mom at her work. Drex was working there too and he came to say hi.

It's funny, originally I was going to go to the store b/c I'm out of chocolate, but I didn't have any money to spend so I decided on the library instead. Neat!

Two days ago, I took Callum out to brunch with Lady Chrysanthemum, Empress and Snarklit. I have been missing the hell out of them so it was such a wonderful day, getting to see them. We haven't trained together in so long. I haven't trained in over a year, Empress is in school AND working at a dental clinic, and she now trains somewhere else. And Chrysanthemum has taken time off to be with her daughter, who was waiting on a baby of her own – who was just born yesterday!
She got in a little Grandma practice first:
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And here's the lot of us, the old crew:

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We talked—of course—about how much we miss Ye Olde Days of training, when we were all together at the cute, cozy school. When the Gold Dragon was there, and a bunch of really nice kids, and all the other folks who used to train with us. When our Kwon was like a family and we all had some TV Trope-ish role in class. It all kind of started to change when we moved schools, and different people came in and old ones left.

I still want that back. I miss it enough that I'll wait to have it again.

Well, we were all just feeling nostalgic, I guess. One day, Callum will train and hopefully I'll be training again, too. These people will always be my brothers and sisters.

Welp! It's been chilly at night and hot during the day, but you can definitely feel a hint of fall even in the afternoon. It's just a smell on the breeze. Jo-chan's school starts tomorrow, so she'll be living here part time. Can't wait for her to come back! Mom, and Boychild and Boychild's Mommy, and Callum and I have been going for evening walks on Mondays. It'll be nice to have her along, too.

Speaking of, she's having a BBQ later that Callum and I are going to. We're going to discuss the logistics of getting us all to Disney in 2014. :D

And so Autumn is around the corner! Yesterday I was looking at the FB pics a friend of mine posted. She's from HitRECord and she has this beautiful little boy. (He's so cute and smart, he's got his own section in the TV show! Which I'm going to be on, too!) Anyway, she has a pic of her and her son at around 6-7 months or so, walking through a pumpkin patch. Callum will only be 5 months in October, but I can't wait to get a pic like that, myself. :)

He's about to wake up any minute, so I have to cut this short!
la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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Today was glorious (if still COLD,) and I got to have lunch in town with The Empress, Lady Chrysanthemum, and Snarklit. We were to celebrating Empress's graduation, and we went to the same little place that Chrysanthemum and I went to over the winter. I had to leave the dogs of course, which was nerve-wracking, but my cousin stopped by here to check on them while I was out.

The restaurant is cute, but the parking situation is abysmal and I practically had to park in Nassau and walk the rest of the way. Here's a little moment that I liked: As I walked toward the restaurant, a dude was walking toward me, maybe a few years younger than me or thereabouts. I smiled at him because I felt like it and he tipped a pretend hat and said, "Good afternoon, Miss. How are you?" I told him "Fine, thanks; have a great day." The whole thing with the fake hat tip was so cute, and I was really pleased.

Anyway. I told Empress I'd stand outside and flag her down. While I was standing there, looking at my messages, some guy drove past and yelled "HEYYYYY!" I mean really? What is that supposed to accomplish? I looked up to give him a stink eye, just in time to see him rear-end the person in front of him. LOL dumbass.
Empress drive by about a minute later, and I said I'd show her a parking spot. So she was driving down the road and I was running down the opposite side of the road to show her to a place. A woman behind her kept standing on the horn (I mean, she could have gone around really easily,) and I looked over to see what was going on and the woman yelled at me, "MIND YOUR BUSINESS."

Thanks, Riverhead.

By the time we all got parked, they had given away our reserved table outside. WTF.

But we went inside and ordered, and talked about chili peppers that can kill you, duriens, monk-hood, travel, and eventually of course, Kung Fu. Chrysanthemum gave us each these little, knitted Kung Fu keychains that she'd picked up in Bangkok. Awesome.

We ate our lunches and yammered on for an hour or so before going down to the river to walk around and take some photos.

Lunch and Peconic River )

After a while we walked back to freaking Nassau pretty much to get to our cars. I was home by around 3.

I took the dogs outside and I had the weirdest feeling of like, some strange kind of peace, mixed in with a touch of melancholy, I can't even describe it. I took a pic of these flowers in my yard:

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The only time I can remember this specific feeling was August 6th 2006 after a Hula show that I did once. And the day was kind of terrible really; I was unhappy with the show, the people who hired me, how I was treated and everything. Yet that day when I came home, I remember exactly feeling that totally serene and strangely also melancholy feeling.

But it's a good feeling, that's the weirdest part.

And it was immediately followed by a sense of panic: "It's so nice today. Something bad is bound to happen." Which is ridiculous and I promised myself I wasn't going to let anxiety backtalk me like that anymore. Let's see if I can keep that promise.

Work tomorrow, then Mother's Day festivities probably with cousins and Mom and possibly aunt, and then on Monday after work I think I'm going with CeceAnn to see Avengers. CeceAnn hasn't been to the movies since The Birdcage, not even kidding. 1996. That's like a tragedy. Tuesday, work and Kung Fu and then etc.

Good times, though.


la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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I've been doing lots of yardwork this year on my days off. This is the first year since Dad that I've actually made an effort to make things nice again out there. I kind of had a block against it for a while – I guess because Dad would always lend me the gardening tools, help me set things up, stuff like that. But this year, maybe it's a combination of having a little pool again, and of things having looked like total hell for the last few years (and the broken aviary, stuff like that,) that's making me want to tidy up and Have Nice Things again.

Here are some springtime photos: )

As you can see, both dogs are up and running again (*knock on wood!*)

Last night at Kung Fu, we did some staff drills. The *clack clack clack* sound of the staffs hitting against each other is pleasing. I know it's a martial art, but it sounds friendly. I was partnering with Snarklit.

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Empress came hobbling on by (she sprained her ankle) and the three of us started talking about maybe doing a group outing or something, going for lunch and kayaking when Lady Chrysanthemum gets back.

Apart from that, there is some stuff going on in other aspects of life which I will eventually need to address in some locked posts.

Meanwhile, here are some phrases that people searched when they found this LJ:

tricks to a great fa'arapu - Keep your feet super close together. Bend your knees. When walking, go up on your toes. PRACTICE. :)

she looked at him again and smiled as she undid the buttons of his shirt. he felt her doughy fingers on him - Hmm, that is a part of my ms that I posted for a meme that a literary agent sent around. That was fun, but who is googling my phrase? O_O

who is the father of kaumakaiwa kanakaole - Kaipo Frias? I think?

silmaryn for dogs - It's good stuff, but expensive if you get it from the vet. I'm not sure where else to get it, BUT, if the liver problem is not acute, then straight up milk thistle can help. :)

i'm stuck in my bra - O_O I'm sorry to hear that. This happened to me once, when I had to wear a halter heart monitor.

hypochondria als ms fears - I went through this recently. If you want to talk, send me a message. :)

how long does milk thistle take to work - That depends on what the issue is, the severity, your age, size, and the dose. But often you can get results in a few weeks.

sifu sihing sije - Your training instructor (translates to "uncle," actually,) your elder training brother, and your elder training sister.

ewan mcgregor pillow penis - I'd sleep on it!

hesher std - I thought so, too!

"illusionary crime against sephiroth" - I always liked how Cloud was the only one who acknowledged that Sephiroth was actually a victim, as well as a villain.

why does my cornea peel - Maybe your eyes are dry?

Anyway, I hope at least a few of you found what you were looking for. That's nice when that happens, isn't it?




la_belle_laide: (WWJD?)



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Our Bai Si tea ceremony took place on 9/11. Originally, it was supposed to be 8/28, but then of course a hurricane came and blew us away.

My Mom came with me, and she brought Dad's wallet and shield, which I thought was really awesome. She took all the pics, too.

I was ridiculously nervous before the ceremony, wondering if we were all going to have to demo something, say a speech, or anything like that. But really it was quite simple. We did the tea ceremony just as I remembered it from last time, when I saw it a few years ago (when Gold Dragon, Empress, Quick-Wit Boy and a few others got inducted into Sixth Generation.) We all sit in front of Sifu, hear a few speeches from him and from other Sifus on the meaning of Kung Fu, the lineage, where our style comes from, what it means to be inducted, etc. This way the people in the audience get a good idea of what's going on, too.

And then we bring incense to the ancestral wall, which had pictures / paintings of Si-Gung and Jo-Si (meaning, your Sifu's Sifu and his Sifu before him, etc.) Everyone takes a turn bowing three times to the altar and then putting incense in front of it.

Then, we all line up and offer tea to Sifu. He accepts the tea, and off we go, again to the altar to say thanks. That's it! The whole thing took a few hours.

Sifu also explained to everyone why he chose the people he did. This part is nice, because you get to hear excellent things about your friends, and of course, also about yourself. It's hard not to blush when it's your turn. When Sifu was talking about, say, Snarklit being "a good man in every sense of the word," and Chrysanthemum being "a pioneer in martial arts" and the Empress being "the rock that Green Cloud is built on," all I could do was sit there and nod in fervent agreement.

When it came to be my turn, I knew it was going to get emotional, and of course, it was. Sifu spoke about how I had lost my Dad, and everything looked really bleak. He said that he watched as I picked myself up, finished school, got my degree, got a job, etc. In the middle of all of this, he burst into tears, and then so did Empress, and of course I'm standing up there trying my best not to do the same. (This is why I should never wear makeup, haha.) He said he was honored to take the role of "father" whenever he could.

He said that, like Chrysanthemum, I was a pioneer in martial arts, because it is still such a male dominated sport. And that I was never afraid to show up for sparring and get knocked around with the best of them.

I never really thought of it before, aside from once in a while noticing that Chrysanthemum, Empress and I are often the only women in this huge class, surrounded by big, muscle-y, sweaty boys and men. Yet there's not a single guy in the school who could take Empress in a fight. ^_^ Except Sifu, that is.

Sixteen people were inducted in this ceremony. That makes Twenty-two in all. Out of twenty-two, four of us are women. (One of them was inducted a long time ago and no longer teaches.) This isn't because Green Cloud doesn’t tend to induct women (two of GC’s most famous, decorated practitioners are women,) but because not a lot of women join. As Sifu pointed out, statistically, women tend to join the kickboxing class rather than Kung Fu.

Kung Fu isn’t for every woman, just like marriage, kids, cycling, boxing, fishing, writing, cooking, dating, celibacy, fashion, ANYTHING isn't for every woman. But it is for me, and I’m very honored to be a part of this group.


And of course, tons of pics! )


For anyone wondering what the certificate does say, this is it:

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la_belle_laide: (hula)



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So, here is the rest of the story with Haku's blood test results.

His T4 is 6; normal is 8-40. So that is very low! This could eithe rbe caused by phenobarb, and/or it coul dbe causing his seizure threshold to lower, as well. Either way, it looks like more phenobarb might not be the answer. At any rate, I'm not rushing into it. He's going on thyrotabs, a low dose, which doesn't have side effects. And he's got a thyroid panel next time in 4 weeks. Let's see if this works!

In other news, my Hula class is finished up until after Labor Day. That's it, then; summer is nearly over. Less than a month left. Only one dancer from this class is able to return. She's bringing a few friends for the next session, too.

So, here are some stills from videos of our last (so far) class:

pics and such )

In that last one, one of the girls had brought some friends and family, and so we did an impromptu "recital" for them. Then the two dancers high-fived and said, "YAY, WE DID IT!" It was really cool. ^_^ I had such a blast teaching, and I'm already planning what the next hulas / lessons are going to be.

Now we're bracing for this hurricane, which had really better not hit on Sunday, because that's the day of the Bai Shi ceremony, ffs. Tuesday in Kung Fu we did sparring, mad, crazy, intense sparring, 27 rounds. I didn't sit a single one out. I love sparring. :D We're doing more of it Sunday before the ceremony, too. So I've got to remember to bring a change of clothes for the restaurant afterwards. Gonna be a box of frogs, this one. Well, if the storm holds off. Expect tons and tons of pics, of course!

la_belle_laide: (D)



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So these are the notes I took on Haku's bloodwork:

Liver elevated, only slightly. 131 is normal he is 197. We'll wait on that. T4 can affect liver too.

Kidneys are okay

Thyroid low .3 - going to add free T4. Probably tuesday.

PB is a bit low 15-45 is normal and he's 24. So room to grow.


I'm so pleased that his kidneys and everything else (aside from liver) are within range. I'm concerned about his liver values because he's only 6, and that's a young age for it to start spiking already. This could be from the phenobarb (which is why I'm hesitant to raise it once a year) but a little research showed me that liver values can also be raised due to low thyroid. His vet is sending out the rest of the blood for a free T4, so that will tell a bit more.

Last year when he had three seizures in a day, I panicked and rushed to raise the phenobarb without checking everything else. So now I'm trying to chill a bit and look for more options. Actually I'm waiting for his other vet to call me back, so I can throw some ideas around with her because she is amazing.

In other news, on Wednesday (today is Monday) I released three birds: Reid, Penelope and Emily. I've seen Emily flying around the house, just today I saw Penelope, and every single day I see Reid. He comes back to the aviary a few times a day looking for food. So I've taken to putting worms and seed in a dish for him in front of the aviary door. He flies gorgeously and he won't let me catch him to put him back in. He's weathered a few thunderstorms and heavy rains already, so I know he's doing all right. He just wants the food I was feeding and doesn't want anything else. A few years ago, I had a few starlings that kept coming back for about a month after release, but aside from them, I think this is the first time that a bird has so aggressively hung onto his aviary. Literally. Like, right now, he is clinging to the aviary door.

Here's a pic of him as a baby in my hand, and then from the other day, free and plucking around for food outside the aviary. )

Anyway, I held back Hotch and Morgan, because Hotch's wing still doesn't look good enough for release, and Morgan had some crappy tail feathers. They're in the aviary still, with Car.

Inside I still have JJ and Rossi, as well as Rose, all sparrows.

You know what I forgot to mention? I started watching Dr. Who. I guess it was only a matter of time before I got into it, right? And now I really like it. Which I guess is also to be expected.

So let's see. Today I was off from work (just didn't have any appointments,) but I went in to get a treatment myself. How nice! Paycheck won't be as awesome next week and I'll just have to make do. But it's a nice day off, at any rate. And Wednesday is my last Hula class until part two starts. Two women are staying, two already dropped out, and I have two more who are definitely interested in the next group of classes. Those will start after Labor Day. It's a really nice little setup I've got there. I'm happy with it.

Also there is a nice guy who wants to hang around with me, which is always fun, isn't it? We'll code name him Kiros, because that's who he always reminded me of, Kiros Seagill from FF8 (he had the same hair when we met, like ages ago.) yesterday we went to the beach and then decided we were going to make a Kung Fu movie one of these days. So that was pretty cool.

I have work tomorrow, one 60 minute and 2 90 minutes (that adds up to like, four treatments the way I look at it.) Then Kung Fu. Last Hula class of this session on Wednesday. Off Thursday and Friday, work Saturday, and then on Sunday is the Bai Shi ceremony, and I'm not even gonna lie, I am so nervous about that. I've been to one, but I still feel like I don't know wtf to do and I'm going to mess it up and do something ridiculous. And we have to give a speech, too. *flutter*

Also recently, the Empress has been involved in this project. Basically she's auditioning for a movie and the prospects keep getting narrowed down, and she remains in the top five out of thousands. OMG. SHE WAS HAPPY. )

What else what else what else? The new pool is up. It's been up for about two weeks, but we can't seem to get the guys to come and finish the job. All that remains is to put in the skimmer (lots of cutting into the liner for that) and hook up the filter. So the pool is half-filled and the water is already all green and junk. Also, today is the first chilly day. It's nearly the end of summer already. *Mourn* You'll note that above I said the words "Labor Day" as if it wasn't too far off. It's really not.

And it's not just the temperature either, that's closing in. It's the light. Today is the first day that I noticed that "end of August" slant of light, you know. It's hard to ignore, once you see it.

*Sigh* The turn of the wheel, isn't it?



la_belle_laide: (D)


We had another broadsword seminar last Sunday, where we completed the form. Again I had to bring my wonky Haku along with me, and everyone was very patient with him, and he was a pretty good boy.

This week also marks the return of a training brother who was around when I first started; I mean like, very first started, my first few months, when I was a white-belt. After a few years away, he's back again and that's really nice. Let's name him Kiros after Kiros Seagill, because that was the first thing I thought of when I met him. (He had similar hair and, well, was similar.)

And I guess it's all right to say this now, because it's out of the bag and the whole school now knows about it. Sifu is planning another Bai Shi ceremony, which is where a Sifu "adopts" certain Kung Fu disciples into the lineage. He did one a few years ago, and one many years before that. This will be the third one, which makes it pretty rare. Well anyway, I was one of the students he chose for the Bai Shi. So that is pretty fly! Because it's quite an honor / responsibility. Also he chose Lady Chrysanthemum, Snarklit, and a few others (whom I've never really named because a few of them are still new to me, even if they've been training for 8+ years. Remember that our old school closed and we moved to the bigger school last Autumn, merging all the classes.)

If you're wondering about Empress and Gold Dragon, they were Bai Shi'd a few years ago. :)

Not sure when the ceremony is going to be, but I'm looking forward to it! All sorts of Sifus from all over the place are going to be there. And after the ceremony, we all go out and party. I like getting together with my training family in any context, so it's going to be quite the experience.

So that's why I've been sort of tight-lipped about Kung Fu lately, because I didn't want to spill that news before everyone in the school knew, and since lots of them read this LJ (*waves*) I was practically sitting on my hands, waiting.

Anyway, at the sword seminar I think I pulled every muscle I own. I thought today maybe I'd broken my femur or something and was walking around on a compound fracture. Like in that, 'you dread sitting on the toilet' kind of way because you know it's going to hurt like hell. But then I went to class and my broken femur felt much better while we were doing kicks. By the time I came home, my femur was broken again.

But I still had fun showing the sword form to a training brother who hadn't done it yet.

Pics of this. )

That there is my shiny new blade, the weapon-grade one. It's lots of fun learning to use it without cutting off my ear.

Now then, what else? Oh, I know. My beautiful Handsome Bob died a few days ago. Don't know why or how, except that when I got him the manager warned me that he might already have been a bit old. Still, I don't seem to have any luck with bettas, do I?

And apart from that, my Gran's dog Belle is looking worse and worse. Some of you know Belle, the mastiff that my Gran left behind when she died. Belle's about 12 now, which is ancient for a mastiff. It's getting to the point where she can't walk. She needs a sling to go outside every time. But it's a tough decision, because when she's hungry, she still gets up to eat. I always feel like if an animal can still eat, they still have something to live for.

Still, I can tell it's getting close to the time. That's going to be a tough one.

However, I've finally got some birds too! Remember a few weeks ago when I had that "sparrow" named Jack? Yeah, I have lost my touch big time. That was no sparrow, that was a Cardinal. So now his name is Jack Not Sparrow, and he's gone to live with my lovely bird-friend, Crow-Lady.

After Jack left, I got a message from my beautiful friend Jennel from The Bad Place, saying that they had a few birds for me, if I was willing to take them. One of the vets there, I've remained friends with. Let's call her Dr. Gillian because she looks like Gillian Anderson. Dr. Gillian brought 3 birds in cardboard carriers to my shiny new job. I was so happy to see her, and she told me how glad she was that I was working in such a beautiful and mellow place these days.

The birds are lovely, too. One baby robin (which I later found out they'd kept for weeks and weeks instead of handing it over to a rehabber, wtf?) and a robin with a broken wing. And also one that mystified everyone which was supposed to be a grackle, but instead is a wee baby redwing blackbird. BB RWBBs are such a treasure. I haven't had one on years, and I'm thankful he's with me. His name is Reid, after Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. The fledgling robin is Penelope, and the broken-wing robin is Hotch. Remember I had a rescue budgie named Derek? But I gave him to the kid next door.

Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. )

In doggie news—my doggies, that is—Sano is totally off pred. Huge joyful hurrah for that, and knock on wood. Haku's got all 4 feet on the ground and has less of a limp. He actually tried to do his Saluki run the other day. And he kind of did it, too. Hesitantly at first, and then with an obviously remembered joy. I was like, "HAKU, NOOOOOO!" but my heart was like, "HAKU, YEEEESSSSS!" Still I had to put a stop to it, though, because really he's still on a broken leg. So. Soon though, I hope.

Jo-chan has been spending lots of time over here, helping mind the Boychild. I'm grateful for the help, but really I'm also grateful to see her so often these days. She and Boychild are so funny together, too. They remind me of me and SB, when he was that age. Fun times. ^_^

I think that's all the news that is fit to print. There is stuff that's unfit to print, of course – or at least unfit to print in an unlocked post. I may or may not print the unfit stuff in a locked post. :D





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la_belle_laide: (hula)
Last Saturday after work, I was outside with Sano when I heard my neighbor's kid shouting about this cool bird she'd found. She was outside riding bikes with her brother and their friend. (Tangentially: these are the kids of the guy I used to ride bikes with when we were that age. Last year he moved back in next door. His kids are actually really nice.) So, I put Sano inside and went running over, figuring she'd found a baby bird or something. Because, it's almost June and I haven't had a single baby bird yet. (WTF.)

But it wasn't a baby. It was a full-grown, blue and green parakeet. We all kind of circled around it and finally I managed to catch it in my sweater.

Photobucket

This is Derek. He's named after Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds. He's got a band on his leg and I should really check it. Now that I'm thinking about it, that's not a bad idea.

But if no one claims him, I guess he is my parakeet. He's pretty cute, and I'll always take a bird in need, so there it is. :)

Also this week, I got a new broadsword! This one has an actualfax live blade (just a lot thicker,heavier, steel, and sharpened.)

Here, under the cut. )

Wow, look at how gorgeous that blade is! I'm just afraid that once I start using it, I'll cut myself in half. Can't tell you how many times I've whacked myself with the broadsword I've used for years. It's a lot thinner, lighter and not as sharp. Guess I'm going to have to start slow and stop making stupid mistakes.

Today is the first warm, sunny day of the season. It has rained every day for over two weeks and not gotten above 60. I'm sick of it! I still have my stupid winter clothes out. Not awesome.

Here is some excellent news, though. My job did a press release not only about hiring me, but also about the Hula class they want me to teach. Within hours of the release, four people signed up. They have until July to sign even more. So I definitely have a class to teach over the summer and I am SO STOKED. I hope I get tons of students, and of all different age groups.

The people I work with are really sweet and fun. I feel like I'm finding a little niche there and it's one that I like. I know now, realistically, that I'm going to have to find other ways to supplement my income. I'm going to have to freelance – which is just as well. I just need to figure out a few things before I start doing that. Although, I am getting some nice change for the Hula classes. :D Which is going to take the edge off Haku's vet bills a bit, too.

Just yesterday I was talking to a darling friend of mine about vet bills. I know I bitch about them a lot and am always talking about them. But I don't think I've ever specified how much the vet bills actually were.

Since May of '09, between Sano and Haku, their veterinary bills have hit upwards of about $45,000 dollars. That is three zeroes you see after that. It might be more by now, with the monthly meds; I haven't counted those in yet.

But since '09, Haku has had 5 surgeries. He's had an MRI, spinal tap, ultrasound, and countless x rays. He's had months of rehab, weeks of hospital stays (which can be up to $100 a night.) At least one of Haku's conditions (the missing kidney) can be traced back to Dr. Dickwhistle. That's not official, but I've asked vets and techs all around the island (without mentioning his name) and they seem to all agree that it's likely that Dr. Dickwhistle accidentally cut Haku's ureter while he was up there looking for a second testicle during his neuter. Spay. Speuter. Whatever.

Sano, since '09, has had X rays, ultrasounds (on his liver, due to one vet accidentally doubling the dose of his meds and blowing out his liver AND his bone marrow,) three-week stay in the hospital last autumn, and three blood transfusions – each at a thousand or so dollars each. He also gets bi-monthly blood tests for the ITP. The ITP is also a result of a mistake by Dr. Dickwhistle, but that one was a willful mistake.

One of these days I've got to take a picture of the "dog pharmacy" as I call it. You'd have to see it to believe the amount of pill and supplement bottles that line the counter.

So, yeah. Over forty five thousand dollars in vet bills over the last two years. That's more than my college cost.

I still want to punch people when they tell me that it's not worth it to keep taking care of them. Also, before anyone says "YOU SHOULD GET PET INSURANCE," rest assured that neither dog is in any way insurable with their preexisting conditions. Pet insurance. I wish.

Anyway, that's just what was on my mind.

So now I've got this parakeet—and I think they're also called budgies? I hope so, because "budgies" just make me think of Monty Python. So far he has not flown out of my lavatory and infringed on my personal freedom.

Plenty of stuffs going on in Kung Fu as well, but that will all be for later posts! ^_^

I'm off tomorrow, except for taking Haku to his physical therapy. I've been taking the dogs to the beach a lot, on my days off. Maybe I'll take them again after his rehab. They have such a great time there and I get lots of videos.

Oh, I should also mention that last Thursday, as I was walking along the beach with the dogs, I dropped my camera into the bay. I had to actually go into my piggy bank for the first time ever to get some cash and buy a new one. I got a little Canon PowerShot for like $170. Ugh, still a lot of money, but I legitimately couldn't go more than a few hours without having a camera. Which is crazy. Anyway, it's fuchsia.

So, that's what's been going on in this neck of the woods for the last week or so. Guess I'll wrap this up now.

ETA: last minute! My cousin just brought over a baby bird. Finally! Her dog had it and it looks slightly worse for wear. But let's hope he'll be all right! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (Kilik bo staff)



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Work today was fairly mellow and went quickly. I had four neat appointments, two of which were deep tissue. One of my clients is a pathology patient and he said he felt a lot better after last week's treatment. So, I hope I can keep doing right by him. I'm getting some nice reviews and repeat clients. The best part is that they are so nice, so polite, and always so happy when they leave. It's kind of cool, really, being a massage therapist. It makes you very popular! ^_^ Everyone likes the massage therapist. It's a nice feeling, making people feel good.

Tips are iffy. I mentioned this last time, but I need another reminder. Today wasn't so bad. The first guy didn't tip. The last three did and it made a big difference. I am starting to rely on tips and I know I shouldn't, because they are sporadic. But they bought lsat week's groceries, and now, with the gas stations charging an extra $.10 PER GALLON if you use a credit card, I really need the cash.

Make it rain, people, come on. ;D

One other thing I love about my job is that even for my earliest appointments, the earliest I need to be out of bed is 8:30. Okay, 8:30 is still early to me, I am so not a morning person. My natural waking up time is 9:30 - 10. But, 8:30 is also just fine. It beats the hell out of 7, which I had to get up at for my old, crap job, (NOT the last one,but the one before that,) and freaking 6AM for school sometimes. 8:30 is pretty reasonable, I think.

SO! My good friend Drex came over yesterday to help Mom and I clean up the massive piles of leaves in the yard. It was hard work, really gross work, too. Together it took the three of us about 3 hours – and that was only the backyard, not counting the tons of leaves in the torn up pool liner. Boychild just chilled out in the yard, basically being mellow and fighting imaginary bad guys with his sword and staff. But, who's to say they're imaginary? Not I.

Then we had pizza and Drex and I played Soul Calibur 3 for like 3 hours, just like we always used to. It was a super close game, but I was playing Kilik and I had a slight edge. :D Anyway, good times. Now I really want to pick up SCIV but I already bought two things for myself this month (a HitRECord bag and a DVD.) So maybe next month if I can find a cheap one.

Interesting things are occurring at Kung Fu and that's all I'm gonna say about that. Sifu says it's "Leopard Month." We're doing tons and tons of leopard style drills. Super fun.

This movie, Hesher, looks amazing. I feel like when I see it, something is going to really click with me. What-with how these last two years have gone, (Gran, Dad, various aunts, uncles, various serious illnesses within the family, drama, the threat of losing my home, generally a ridiculous trauma conga line,) I can nearly guarantee that this movie is going to make me bust out crying. But I'll probably love it, still. If it's playing around here, that is.

Finally, a link I need to share: Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.
Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.
A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent.


Okay, I have been saying this for YEARS, first of all. Then, when I took one of my classes in school last year, I found out even more about this. I basically sent a PM on FB to tons of people, with this link. "SEE, I SAID THIS. PLEASE STOP EATING THIS STUFF!" The thought of cancer keeps me awake at night. How can people not know this? And when they do know it, how can they continue to poison themselves? I think this is just as toxic as smoking. But OTOH, people continue to do that, too.

Well, let me not end on a frustrated note. Umm. I got my cool HitRECord bag, the Tiny Stories one. Weather has been a bit too chilly, but it's getting there. Tonight is nice and windy, you can smell apple blossoms and the ocean. Doesn't get much nicer than that. ^_^ The leaves are raked up, my rugs are vacuumed, my bathroom is clean and there is Kefir in the fridge. I get to sleep late tomorrow.

ALL GOOD THINGS. ^_^

la_belle_laide: (WWJD?)
Lady Chrysanthemum and I got our purple sashes together last night. JOY! ^_^ Snarklit got his in spirit, because he's away at college. But he'll get the actual sash when he returns in a few weeks. :)

Photobucket

Sifu told the class, "Men, you should all try to work as hard as these two women." And he told us that he was proud to have us as students. As you can imagine, that meant the world to me. You know, I started Kung Fu years ago because I was having some weird boredom crisis and I wanted to do something adventurous and cool, with people who were also adventurous and cool. It remains one of my best decisions.

Class itself, before the sashes, was mad fun. We did a drill that I really enjoyed, and lots of kicking afterwards. The kind of class that exhausts you but you feel that awesome buzz that I so frequently mention.

Usually my tradition is to celebrate a new sash by having some ice cream, but this time I just came home and crashed. Can't do that tonight either, because we are going to DISTANT WORLDS tonight! The Final Fantasy concert! We get to meet Nobuo Uematsu afterwards, which is, I don't even have words to describe this. ("We" = me, Jo-chan and SB.) It's going to be amazing. Obviously there will be pics to come after that, too. ^_^

Then I start my new job tuesday. This is kind of a momentous week. ^_^




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la_belle_laide: (WWJD?)
Lady Chrysanthemum and I got our purple sashes together last night. JOY! ^_^ Snarklit got his in spirit, because he's away at college. But he'll get the actual sash when he returns in a few weeks. :)

Photobucket

Sifu told the class, "Men, you should all try to work as hard as these two women." And he told us that he was proud to have us as students. As you can imagine, that meant the world to me. You know, I started Kung Fu years ago because I was having some weird boredom crisis and I wanted to do something adventurous and cool, with people who were also adventurous and cool. It remains one of my best decisions.

Class itself, before the sashes, was mad fun. We did a drill that I really enjoyed, and lots of kicking afterwards. The kind of class that exhausts you but you feel that awesome buzz that I so frequently mention.

Usually my tradition is to celebrate a new sash by having some ice cream, but this time I just came home and crashed. Can't do that tonight either, because we are going to DISTANT WORLDS tonight! The Final Fantasy concert! We get to meet Nobuo Uematsu afterwards, which is, I don't even have words to describe this. ("We" = me, Jo-chan and SB.) It's going to be amazing. Obviously there will be pics to come after that, too. ^_^

Then I start my new job tuesday. This is kind of a momentous week. ^_^




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la_belle_laide: (Tifa)
Kay so, yes, another Kung Fu pic spam, but this one has a point, I mean it. This is the pic spam from the Dan Dao seminar on Sunday, the 2 hour broad-sword class. All of us who've been there for years and years and years pretty much know it, or a version of it, but these seminars are to A) teach the new people and B) fine-tune what we do know, so that we actually do it right instead of the lazy way you start doing things after a few years. Like, with forms, you really do forget some of the most important details. ("Oh, you step with your left foot..." "I've been angling the sword wrong for three years!" etc.)

Since it was a Sunday and I had no one to watch Haku for me, I had to ask Sifu if I could bring him along. Happily, Sifu said yes. So I set up a blanket for him to lie on and tied him by a bungee to one of the punching bag rigs. He lay there quite calmly for the most part, only occasionally whining at me out of anxiety or whatever.

It was over two hours of hardcore broad-sword form, hitting all the stances and whatnot. Just about after the second hour, my knee started to swell up and get crunchy. But there was only a bit to go, and I didn't want to miss it. Let me tell you, I could hardly effing walk yesterday and today.

I took vids of a lot of it, so as to have something to look over when I start to forget it again. Some of these are screencaps of videos, and some are photographs taken by various people. It's rare that everyone shows up for something (and actually, not everyone did, but most did,) so we all had our cameras out.

My two favorite pics are the one of the entire class, and the one of just Snarklit, Gold Dragon, and me.

So here is a picspam!

Dan Dao seminar pics )

These are my favorites and I'm not gonna cut them. :D

Photobucket

Photobucket

^_^

So, that was a really cool day!

Today is Tuesday and I went to Camp Hero to collect some stuff for my help_japan auction. That's a whole 'nother story and set of pictures, people. I'll try to get those up tomorrow. SPOOKY is the word! :)




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la_belle_laide: (Tifa)
Kay so, yes, another Kung Fu pic spam, but this one has a point, I mean it. This is the pic spam from the Dan Dao seminar on Sunday, the 2 hour broad-sword class. All of us who've been there for years and years and years pretty much know it, or a version of it, but these seminars are to A) teach the new people and B) fine-tune what we do know, so that we actually do it right instead of the lazy way you start doing things after a few years. Like, with forms, you really do forget some of the most important details. ("Oh, you step with your left foot..." "I've been angling the sword wrong for three years!" etc.)

Since it was a Sunday and I had no one to watch Haku for me, I had to ask Sifu if I could bring him along. Happily, Sifu said yes. So I set up a blanket for him to lie on and tied him by a bungee to one of the punching bag rigs. He lay there quite calmly for the most part, only occasionally whining at me out of anxiety or whatever.

It was over two hours of hardcore broad-sword form, hitting all the stances and whatnot. Just about after the second hour, my knee started to swell up and get crunchy. But there was only a bit to go, and I didn't want to miss it. Let me tell you, I could hardly effing walk yesterday and today.

I took vids of a lot of it, so as to have something to look over when I start to forget it again. Some of these are screencaps of videos, and some are photographs taken by various people. It's rare that everyone shows up for something (and actually, not everyone did, but most did,) so we all had our cameras out.

My two favorite pics are the one of the entire class, and the one of just Snarklit, Gold Dragon, and me.

So here is a picspam!

Dan Dao seminar pics )

These are my favorites and I'm not gonna cut them. :D

Photobucket

Photobucket

^_^

So, that was a really cool day!

Today is Tuesday and I went to Camp Hero to collect some stuff for my help_japan auction. That's a whole 'nother story and set of pictures, people. I'll try to get those up tomorrow. SPOOKY is the word! :)




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la_belle_laide: (Tifa)
Forms, and sword form, and nakama etc. :)


Kung Fu pic spam )


^_^






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la_belle_laide: (Tifa)
Forms, and sword form, and nakama etc. :)


Kung Fu pic spam )


^_^






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la_belle_laide: (Default)



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The good: Haku made progress in therapy today!

The bad: Sano's platelets dropped out of sight again and he needs to go back on pred. Months of watching his hair fall out and all his muscle mass go away. BUT, he will eventually gain that back. Pred is temporary.


The good: THE CALL from the clinic today, confirming that they want me to start working, that they were really happy with my interviews and when can I start, like now now now?

The bad: Sending the resignation email to the company I really like, and getting a reply back with a huge congratulations and a sad face. :(


The good:

Just a reminder Part two of the Dan Do seminar is coming up this Sunday at 11:00 AM all Black sash and Masters must attend!

Broad Sword work shop 11:00AM Sunday, March 20th


The bad: I have to bring Haku with me. He's going to be so upset.


The good: Thank you, RegularJoe and Matt, for the hearts and the Remix of my little Japan animation! Also this email:

Thank you for your contribution(s) to The RECord Store - (Apparel, Posters and The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories)! In case you haven't already checked it out, we've posted the final percentages for all sales thru 12.31.10 over at: http://hitrecord.org/records/355326

Please log in to hitRECord.org, visit http://hitrecord.org/payment/info and fill out our payment inforamtion form. Just follow the simple instructions - everything is pretty straightforward. If you've already filled in your payment information, no need to resubmit. If your information has changed, please resubmit the form and give us your updated information.

Please submit by March 21. After we receive your information we'll start churning out checks! Thanks again!

<3
The hitRECord Team


The bad: None. HitRECord muh-muh-muh-makes me ha-ha-happay.


The good: Beautiful weather today, I felt the sun on my hair for the first time in months.

The bad: None.


The good: Heading off to pick up Jo-chan, then to Kung Fu tonight, then back to my Mom's for ice cream and movies with the 3 of us.

The bad: Stopping on our way home to pick up pred for Sano.


The good: I dunno, everything else.

The bad: Nothing much else!
la_belle_laide: (Default)



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The good: Haku made progress in therapy today!

The bad: Sano's platelets dropped out of sight again and he needs to go back on pred. Months of watching his hair fall out and all his muscle mass go away. BUT, he will eventually gain that back. Pred is temporary.


The good: THE CALL from the clinic today, confirming that they want me to start working, that they were really happy with my interviews and when can I start, like now now now?

The bad: Sending the resignation email to the company I really like, and getting a reply back with a huge congratulations and a sad face. :(


The good:

Just a reminder Part two of the Dan Do seminar is coming up this Sunday at 11:00 AM all Black sash and Masters must attend!

Broad Sword work shop 11:00AM Sunday, March 20th


The bad: I have to bring Haku with me. He's going to be so upset.


The good: Thank you, RegularJoe and Matt, for the hearts and the Remix of my little Japan animation! Also this email:

Thank you for your contribution(s) to The RECord Store - (Apparel, Posters and The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories)! In case you haven't already checked it out, we've posted the final percentages for all sales thru 12.31.10 over at: http://hitrecord.org/records/355326

Please log in to hitRECord.org, visit http://hitrecord.org/payment/info and fill out our payment inforamtion form. Just follow the simple instructions - everything is pretty straightforward. If you've already filled in your payment information, no need to resubmit. If your information has changed, please resubmit the form and give us your updated information.

Please submit by March 21. After we receive your information we'll start churning out checks! Thanks again!

<3
The hitRECord Team


The bad: None. HitRECord muh-muh-muh-makes me ha-ha-happay.


The good: Beautiful weather today, I felt the sun on my hair for the first time in months.

The bad: None.


The good: Heading off to pick up Jo-chan, then to Kung Fu tonight, then back to my Mom's for ice cream and movies with the 3 of us.

The bad: Stopping on our way home to pick up pred for Sano.


The good: I dunno, everything else.

The bad: Nothing much else!

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