Tag: zeke

And a lazy Sunday, too

Rich called around 10:30 last night and I spoke to him on the phone for half an hour or so. He deploys to Iraq in about 2-1/2 weeks, to a base north of Baghdad. He’ll be over there doing trauma surgery for the next third of a year.

We slept in until around 8:30. The early part of the morning was spent doing laundry and other odds and ends. Sometime after 11, we headed out. We walked over to the town center, where an arts festival was taking place, and browsed for a while. After that we walked over to the Riversdale Mansion, where they were having “kids” day. Kelly and I took a “kids” tour of the mansion house. In the 6 years I’ve lived here, I’d never been inside, but today, I finally went in.

We took an early afternoon nap and were awakened by Zeke, who was throwing up. Of course, I became anxious, but he seems to be doing fine now, and he was up and eating just a little while ago.

Late this afternoon, we headed over to downtown Silver Spring to walk around for a little while. I stopped in a Whole Foods while there, to pick up some additional groceries. I made us ravioli for dinner. After dinner, Kelly headed back home.

I spoke to Mom and Dad this evening. I also spoke to Dan for a while this evening. Dan sounded pretty sick on the phone.

My lunch is packed and I’m planning to (finally!) get to the gym tomorrow morning so I’m trying to get to bed bed 8:20. I’m also trying to finish up The Last Lecture, but I probably won’t actually finish it until tomorrow. And I’m hoping to finish up In Joy Still Felt this week.

Lazy Saturday

It’s been 3 or 4 weeks since Kelly and I have had a free weekend, but we planned to have a quiet, relaxing one today. I stayed in bed until 8:30 or 9 AM, I think. Kelly was already up when I finally pulled my way out of bed. The weather was warm–the first really warm morning of the year. We decided to take advantage of it. We grabbed the basketball and headed over the local park to shoot some hoops. I was terrible at first, but slowly managed to get my game back. Kelly was very good, but as she pointed out, she had a hoop in her driveway growing up.

After, Kelly went to the gym and I did some reading and worked on the computer. Around 12:30, we headed to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We’d invited A.J. and Denisse. A.J. was off playing tennis and our lunchtime was too early for Denisse. I had a good chicken salad sandwich, but it was way too much food for me.

We walked back to Kelly’s, collected her laundry and then headed up to my house. At 4 PM, we took Zeke to his regularly scheduled vet appointment. He got his shots, and impressed Kelly (and the vet) by his strength when he tried to keep himself in his carrier once at the vet. Everything is good, but he needs to lose some weight. He weights about 16.5 lbs and should be around 13 lbs. Much of the weight gain is due to his special diet. Beginning this afternoon, therefore, I started him on “meals” rather than leaving his dry food out for him. He gets 2/3rds of a cup in the morning, and 2/3rds in the evening.

We were supposed to stick around from 5-8 PM to wait for the cable guy to “cap the line”. We spent some of that time reading parts of The Last Lecture to one another. Sometime around 4:30, I noticed a cable truck across the street, but no one ever stopped by. By 6 PM, I was a little impatient. I checked the cable, and wouldn’t you know it!–they had capped the line–and I now only get the local channels, as I requested. I was annoyed enough, however, to call Comcast and ask them why I had to stick around if no one had to come in the house. They didn’t have an answer for that, of course.

We celebrated by driving up the lake and taking a walk around it. Usually, we walk around twice, but there were dark clouds looming close by so we kept it at a single loop. From there we headed to the grocery store to do the shopping.

At home this evening, I made french bread pizza, which turned out okay. We watched last night’s The Office and we both agree that the show is going downhill. It’s depressing.

I wanted to take the telescope out tonight. Saturn is visible and it would be great to get a look at it, but it was still cloudy when I last checked.

Adoption anniversary

8 years ago today, my cat, Zeke, made his way into my home and life. He was just a kitten, 4 months old. We adopted him from Kitten Rescue in L.A. Wandering through the Northridge Fashion Center, there he was sitting in his food dish, shivering. Everyone ignored him for more lively kittens. We passed him by once. On the way back from shopping, he was still there, still being ignored. We couldn’t pass him up a second time. According to my diary from that day:

We have a new member of the family–a gray, medium-haired male kitten that we have named Ezekiel (Zeke for short). We adopted him from the Kitten Rescue foundation at the Northridge Mall. We just couldn’t resist him! It was a $75 donation, plus $5 for the pet carrier. He’s scared and hiding but we’re trying to make him comfortable. He was born on 11/28/99, has all his shots and tests and has been fixed. He’s got white “socks” but is otherwise a beautiful, soft gray.

He’s come a long way since that day. There were some rough patches back in 2004 when he was gravely ill, but he got through it and has been fine ever since. He’s gotten less skittish over the years. He’s still likes to play fetch, he’s still active, and he still keeps me company when I’m otherwise home alone.

Out to lunch!

Here’s a first: I’m going to sit outside and read at lunch today. Now, there’s nothing unusual about that, strictly speaking. I often go and sit outside to read at lunch. During the summer!. But we’re talking January 8. In Washington, D.C.! The skies are blue and the temperature here in Arlington is going to hit 72 degrees!

I actually managed to turn the light off last night at 8:30 PM so that I got a nearly full night’s sleep. (I say nearly because I woke up at 3:40 AM to the sound of Zeke throwing up on the carpet. He was okay, but I had trouble getting back to sleep after that.) I was into the office at 5:40 AM, but instead of going to the gym, I started working right away and I’ve been working ever since–6 hours already and it’s not even lunch time!

Hopefully I’ll get back into the gym tomorrow. In a way, I’ve been holding off because I know how crowded the gym is the first few weeks after New Year’s, before 90% of the people who made resolutions to get into better shape fall off the wagon.

Back to real weather

We left Ft. Myers on time at 9:30 AM. We had a direct flight back to Reagan National airport and it was uneventful. While it was sunny and warm when we left Florida, it was rainy and cold when we arrived in Washington. We waited at baggage claim for our luggage and then made our way to the Metro station. Kelly was going straight to work, to put in half a day. I headed home.

I was home sometime around 1 PM. Zeke was fine, happy to see me after 5 days on his own, but perhaps mildly annoyed too. His frustration was quickly assuaged after he got some of his canned food (he’d had only dry food for 5 days).

I spent most of the afternoon going through mail and cleaning up the house. I did laundry, I emptied the trash. Since I only have 2 days of work this week, I didn’t end up going grocery shopping today. I ran out and got some milk and some laundry detergent, but that’s all I need until the weekend.

Friday night, Kelly and I are going to see Spamalot at the National Theater and I’m looking forward to that. Back to work tomorrow, and I’m not looking forward to that. I wish I had the rest of the week off but we’re saving up vacation time so that we can take a vacation later in the year.

Evening writing and wrapup

I did about 1,200 words of “If By Reason of Strength…” this evening and it’s coming along nicely. Today was a busy day at work and by the time lunch rolled around, I just didn’t feel like writing.

When I got home from work today, I was hoping that the January 2008 issue of ANALOG would be here, but it was not. I’m tempted to head to the bookstore tomorrow and pick it up as I am really anxious to get started on the first part of Joe Haldeman’s 3-part serial, Marsbound. Instead, I started reading Joe’s book, Worlds, which he says on his website, is his personal favorite. I started reading it yesterday. I haven’t given up on the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by any means, but it’s difficult to lug that book in my backpack, along with my laptop, while at the same time, carry my gym bag, and my lunch. The combination must have added 50 pounds to my morning commute.

I ordered some more canned cat food for Zeke tonight. His special diet food requires pre-ordering. I placed an order for 2 cases. The vet will call me when they come in. I also arranged to have my landlord’s repairman out to the house Saturday morning to do some miscellaneous work.

Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. 1-2 inches is predicted.

I’m off to bed. It’s past my bedtime and now that I’m back on the workout routine, I have to get up at 4:20 AM.

Book-ends and cat condos

I mentioned over the weekend that vickyandnorm got Zeke and I a few gifts when we went to visit. Norm and Vicky got me a set of typewriter bookends that we once saw in a store and I love them. I took some pictures of them this evening.

They gave Zeke a cat condo, too, one that Charlotte refused to use for some reason. Zeke likes his new condo. Here it is:

Thanks again, Norm and Vicky!

Haunted, House, Halloween

We put on our haunted house at work this afternoon and it turned out really, really well. There were 3 “tour guides” that would lead groups of 5 through the house. In my role as a lurker (dressed all in black and with a scary Halloween mask–pictures to come), I would pick a person in the group and stalk them. I’d stand close behind them. I’d follow them around, and in general, be creepy. It was a lot of fun. There was an office-wide happy hour afterward with lots of candy and chips and beer. A definite success!

When I got home from work this evening, I stopped at the vet to pick up some more dry cat food for Zeke. I got 2 5-pound bags this time. On the way there, a serious of police cars went zooming by on Riverdale Road, so fast they went airborne when they crossed the railroad tracks. I don’t know what it was all about but it was the closest thing to a TV-style car chase I’ve ever seen in person.

I watched last night’s TiVo’d episode of House this evening and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was the best so far this season.

It’s strange, but every house in my neighborhood seems to be shunning Halloween. Lights are off, doors aren’t being answered when the 3 kids that I’ve seen in the streets have knocked. (They didn’t come to my house for some reason, but that’s good because I didn’t have a chance to get candy. And my lights are off.) It made me feel bad for the kids. But it seems different now than I remember Halloween when I was a young boy–or maybe it’s just my neighborhood. I don’t recall going Trick-or-Treating when it was dark. It was always in the evening when there was still light. It was always with my parents. And everyone else was out and about at the same time so that the neighborhood streets were crowded with ghosts and superheroes. My fondest memories of this type of Halloween were in Somerset, New Jersey. I remember going through the sack of candy afterward to see what I got. It was pure bliss. Strangely, I never remember eating any of that candy.

November 1st tomorrow and that means the first day of NaNoWriMo. I’m kind of excited about it. I think I’m going to try writing during lunch on occasion, even though that means giving up my lunchtime nap during November.

Weird issue with my iPhone today. Videos were not playing. They’d play for a while and then get all wonky, like a bad DVD. I think it’s something about the episodes of 30 Rock I downloaded from the iTunes store the other day. I had some problems with them on the new laptop as well. I’m not too worried about it at this point. Episodes of The Shield played just find on my iPhone last week.

I had a phone call from kruppenheimer last night, but it was after I’d gone to bed. I’ll call you back soon, Lisa, I promise!

Off to bed…

Et cetera

Veterans Day weekend, Kelly and I are heading up to Stony Point, New York to visit with vickyandnorm as well as strausmouse and rmstraus. Since it’s a long drive, and since it’s about that time anyway, I made an appointment at Saturn for this Saturday for my next regularly scheduled maintenance. I’ll be there bright and early at 9 AM.

AJ and Denisse invited us over for a Peruvian dinner Saturday evening. Although neither Kelly nor I have any culinary skills to speak of (we can both make grilled cheese, PB&J and Kelly can make fish on a George Foreman grill), I think we can combine our talents to produce Dirt. I’ve only had Dirt once before, back when I lived in L.A., but I loved it so much that it has stuck in my memory to this day. I think we might give it a shot.

The Recreation Committee at my work is having a haunted house tomorrow and I was asked to be a “lurker” in the haunted house. I have to dress in black. I will be given a scary mask. It is then my job to walk close behind visitors to the haunted house in an effort to freak them out a bit, and in general make them feel unsettled. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I received the November 2007 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN in the mail today, which means I am now about 4 issues behind. This seems to happen every so often. The problem is that each of the 4 issues looks equally interesting so that it’s not even possible to skip one.

Zeke cornered another mouse last night so I was awakened at 1:30 AM to the sounds of squealing. I managed to liberate the tiny mouse from Zeke and get it out of the house. This time, however, I watched Zeke afterward and sure enough he went right to the space in the back wall of the kitchen from where the mouse emerged. It came in through a small space from under the house and that space is now blocked off by a piece of furniture that I don’t use. Hopefully that puts an end to it.

The Yankees announced that Joe Girardi would be the new manager. He signed a 3-year deal. Don Mattingly decided not to return to the Yanks after the announcement was made. I don’t blame him. Girardi is a great guy and a good manager, but Donny Baseball was the fan favorite. I’m not sure I understand the point of winning championships if you lose fans in the process.

I’m hitting the shower and calling it an early night tonight. I have another busy day at work tomorrow, this time writing SQL stored procedures and C# code, but I also get to play around with AJAX which is a terribly geeky thing to be excited about.

The dinner I had tonight was so bad for me, so utterly inappropriate that I’m not even going to mention what it was. Someday, I will get back to the gym.

Pads, paws and claws

One thing you can do when home from work, medicated, with a rib injury is pay bills. I paid the American Express bill (a whopping $200 for the car rental in L.A. last month), the electric bill, my Mileage Plus Visa bill, and I renewed my AAA membership.

I keep meaning to automate the payment of all of these bills, but for some reason, I keep putting it off. I hate the process of paying bills, but I’m not yet 100% keen on having a computer pay them automatically for me every month.

I finished watching Season 1 of The Shield this afternoon (thanks again, strausmouse). Of course, now I want to see Season 2, but that will have to wait. It really is a good show, well written, well acted, and good story lines. There is definitely an edge that non-network TV shows have over the networks.

Zeke caught a mouse today. He managed not to kill it, however, and I before I could get to it, is dashed back into a wall, so I now have to keep an eye on Zeke. I don’t mind him stalking the mouse, but I do mind that a mouse is there in the first place.

I took my pain medication as recommended by the doctor. I took 1 pill at 4:20 PM and by 4:50, I could feel it working. 2-1/2 hours later, it’s still working pretty good.

Wednesday happy hour

Just back from a rare Wednesday happy hour. A bunch of us went to Champps: me, Kelly, Carmen, Leanna, Paraag, Sam, John, Cassandra, Courtney, and several new people. It was a lot of fun. We hung out, joking around, talking. I had some chicken strips. Kelly teased me for occasionally looking up at the TVs to catch the Red Sox score while we were talking. I couldn’t help it. I’m terrible at dividing my attention. (But at least the Red Sox were losing.)

Spoke briefly to strausmouse this evening and then managed to walk right onto a Yellow Line train without having to wait so I was home at around 9:20-ish or so.

No mail of interest today.

Zeke was happy to see me when I got home, but I noticed he’d thrown up a little bit at some point in the day. He seemed fine, happy, active, so his problems from a few years back (when he would throw up and then have breathing problems) don’t seem to be an issue at the moment. I’m kind of glad I wasn’t home for it because I always get really anxious when he gets sick.

I’m beat. Don’t know why but I’ve been tired all day. I’m off to bed.