Monday, February 28, 2005

A dilemma, and a problem at home

Since I started this journal I have wondered how much I should write, how much I should share. Up to this point it has not been much of an issue, but now I have run head-first into a dilemma. Something happened recently and I am not sure how much of it to share. Should I write about it here? How safe a place have I built here?

I am going to keep it to myself for a bit longer while I try to work this out. But I have a feeling I will need to share it with someone, sometime soon, or things could get worse.

But now for something completely different... We have a bit of a situation at home.

I guess I should briefly mention, for those of you who don't already know, I live in a house with 3 other people. We are not related, but we are all friends and are renting a house together to share expenses, and in one case to get out of his mother's house. Besides the 4 people, we also have 5 cats in the house.

Or we should have 5 cats in the house. For the last few days we have had 4. That's the situation.

All of the cats are indoor cats, and have always been indoor cats. Well, we have a second floor deck which the cats are sometimes allowed to wander on because they can't get off of it to get away from the house. But other than when they are in carriers they are never away from the house.

Now one of them got out and has disappeared. His name is Fire so we can't really go walking around the neighbourhood calling his name hoping to find him, but we did put up fliers and let our neighbours know what was going on.

So far we have heard about a couple of possible sightings over the weekend and we found fresh tracks (which could be his) in the snow around the house. Mellisa has been sitting in the living room watching the windows a lot recently, when she is not out looking around the neighbourhood. She has raised Fire from a kitten and is feeling worse the more days that pass.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Questionable Posture

I don't know what the root cause is, but I seem to be turning into a question mark...

A couple of days ago I started to feel some discomfort in my back. That discomfort kept getting worse until yesterday when it turned into intense pain. The pain gets worse when I stand and/or try to walk. I can't stand up straight without having sharp pain shot through my back, and as I walk I find that the pain forces me into a bent posture with my back getting more bent the further I walk.

With my legs being slightly bent and my back curved and stooped as I walk, my profile is in the shape of a question mark.

As you can imagine, I am not moving around any more than I absolutely have to. I lie on the bed when I am home, and if I make it to work, I just stay at my desk. That's where I am right now. Sitting here on a short lunch break, typing this up because otherwise I would get the urge to go for a walk and my back won't take it right now.

I have no idea what caused it. I don't remember doing anything that would have put a strain on my back.

The only thing I am think of is that last week I was having issues with my blood-sugar (remember that I am diabetic) bad enough that I had to go see the doctor about it. My doctor adjusted and changed my medication. I don't know if this is related to the medication change, or if that is even possible, but I called my doctor just in case. I am still waiting for her to call me back.

Hopefully this will not last. I have had more than my share of back pain in my life and don't need any more.

I hope you are all feeling better than this. Although I already know that Zoe of My Boyfriend is a Twat is also having back problems. [She has my sympathy on that, but I am still on Scaryduck's side in their recent war.]

Let me know how you are doing. And that there is someone out there who is healthy these days.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Philosophy on the T

Have you ever had one of those moments where something out of the blue, something someone says for example, just hits a chord with you? It happened to me on Sunday.

I was riding the T (that's what Boston calls their subway system) and got off the Orange line at Downtown Crossing in order to change to the Red line. There were a bunch of us walking to other platform, some changing trains like me, and some entering from the street and joining our little herd. I don't know which of these types she was since she was walking behind me.

When we got to the proper platform I found a quiet place to stand where I would have plenty of room. Unlike most of the lemmings who just got to the platform and stopped in a large mass waiting to jump into the next train that came along. That's when I noticed her. She was one of the very few who separated from the mass ... and she was kind of cute when she walked by.

Anyway, she walked past, stopped, and then turned and walked right back to me. So she looks at me and says "You have long hair and a long coat. How do you manage?" Needless to say I was a little confused. How do I manage what? I looked at her and shrugged to which she replied "Oh, you just do." Then she walked away.

Not only did she walk away, but she disappeared. Well, I blinked a couple of times and when I looked around again she was nowhere to be seen. And I did scan the area for her.

I don't know what she was talking about when she asked the question, but the answer struck home.

How do you manage? You just do.

Profound. Especially for a random subway encounter.

Any of you have any interesting, profound and/or subway stories to share?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Beautiful Day For A Drive

[Editor's Note: I wrote this late last night and didn't realize that it didn't post. So I am posting it now, but I am doing no editing of it.]

Today was the day I had to make my annual trip to get a new work visa. I have been making this trip for several years, and at this time of year for most of those. (I used to make it in the early fall, but that is another story.)

The weather today was beautiful, at least it was once I was into the trip. It was a very grey morning in Massachusetts, but the sun was bright and warm in New Hampshire and Vermont. The roads were clear and dry, and relatively free of traffic.

I should say that this was a very pleasant change from the previous years, especially the last two. Last year I had to make the drive during a snow storm that dropped about 45cm of snow. The year before that I made the drive in a snow storm that kept getting worse and ended up officially being declared a blizzard.

Sunny, above freezing (about 3C), dry roads, ... very nice change. Enough to remind me of how beautiful a drive it can be. It can be a relaxing drive as well. Although when making it to see if the Department of Homeland Security will allow me to continue living my current life, vs having to pull up all roots and leave the country immediately, the drive up is never relaxing. But there was a lot to see.

It is virtually all interstate highway and winds its way through the mountains, valleys, and forests of New England. All of it covered by a blanket of snow.

There are still snow banks as tall as me around Boston, but get a little bit north of here and the snow thins out and is only a few inches deep. And looking out the side windows, as long as I looked a few feet past the edge of the ploughed shoulder of the road, the snow was still clean and white. And full of tracks. Rabbit. Fox. Deer. Coyote. Moose. Several animals had left their tracks in the snow. I think I saw one or two of these animals moving just beyond the tree line, but I could not be sure.

That is not to say that I only saw tracks. I also saw crows. Lots of crows. They were almost everywhere I looked, and several of them seemed to be watching me as I went by. Black eyes staring out of islands of darkness in a sea of white. In direct sunlight the contrast was such that the blackness of the crows appeared as an empty hole in the world.

Another one of the sights that caught my eye was the ice.

On several of the exposed rock faces there were sheets of ice. Well, no. Not really sheets, but what looked like frozen waterfalls. Imagine a raging waterfall coming through the cracks in a shattered rockface, and that waterfall being frozen solid in an instant. That is what it looked like.

Did mention the colour? The ice was white, of course, but in some of the larger "icefalls" there were patches that were somewhat clear. Then there were the streams of pale blue throughout some of the thicker portions. I wish I could have gotten some pictures of the most beautiful, but this was on an interstate highway as I said. No stopping. I did take a couple of pictures at rest areas when I stopped to stretch my legs. If they turn out (I wasn't sure about the light or the batteries in the camera) I will be posting them in my Buzznet account.

I left the most impressive sight for last.

On the way back I was coming around a bend in the highway just as the sun was going down and right there, about 10 feet from the shoulder, was a large hawk. I wish I could tell you what kind, but I was travelling at highway speed (although I almost slammed on the brakes when I saw it) and could not get a long enough view to identify it. I can tell you it was about twice the size of a Red-Tailed hawk. It was chowing down on a recent kill, but seemed to acknowledge me as I passed.

I will admit to feeling a bit of a thrill when I saw him.

That's enough typing for tonight. It was a long day of driving, and I need to get some sleep.

If you are interested I'll tell you about what happened at the border crossing with INS. Not that it was interesting.

Walk in Beauty.