Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Canine Health Report

Got some bad news tonight. Spike's surgeon called and said that the wart was malignant. I knew it was a possibility, but I didn't think it was likely.

The good news is that all the margins are clean. This kind of cancer occurs in older dogs and may re-occur at the site. But she feels a re-occurrence is unlikely and the operation is curative. 

Obviously, we're glad we had the surgery, Maybe a bit guilty that we didn't have it done earlier.

Jeff just told Spike: no surgery next year.

Enough is enough.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Canine Convalescent Confidential

Spike is recovering nicely from his surgery on Friday. He was a bit groggy when I brought him home late Friday afternoon, but seemed back to normal by Saturday evening.

He didn't need a donut or cone; they would have rubbed against his sutures. Our vet tech suggested we get Spike a harness to avoid his collar irritating his stitches. She also suggested a toddler turtleneck to keep him from scratching. I found the harness without any trouble, but couldn't find a turtleneck. (I guess they're out of season.) Instead I got him a short sleeve, collared golf shirt. He's shown no inclination to scratch; so far so good.

Today was beautiful and I would have loved to take Spike to the dog park. But, he needs to avoid horseplay for another week or so. We're also supposed to avoid stairs. Maybe it would have been easier if we had scheduled the surgery in the winter, but we can handle another week or so.

We made the right decision to get the surgery, and can't wait until he's back to normal.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Canine Health Update

Spike had his combination wart removal and teeth cleaning procedure today. Jeff and I both dropped him off  this morning. Jeff worried about him more than I did. I figured no news is good news.

Things went well, but his incision is much larger than expected--apparently his wart was too. It's going to be biopsied. It never occurred to me that the wart could be cancerous; its mass had decreased for a while. Unfortunately by mentioning this, I gave Jeff more to worry about. I'm sure Spike is fine.

But Spike's uncomfortable. We started him on pain medications tonight, and have to limit his activities for the next 10 days.

I hope he knows that we are doing all of this for him--to make him healthy. Things should be back to normal in 10 days (a longer recuperation period than I expected.)

We love you Spike.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday Wrigley Field and 450th Birthday to William Shakespeare

Wrigley Field turns 100 today--the second oldest major league venue behind Fenway Park. Wrigley is integrated into its neighborhood--it's not a destination off by itself. Once I wanted to take Jeff there to see the Mets on his birthday. Unfortunately, I had the schedule backwards; the Mets were hosting the Cubs at Shea. I hope to get there some day to watch the Mets.

William Shakespeare would have been 450 years old today (in your face Wrigley.) I wonder if he ever had any idea of the impact his work would have on the world. What about how the mystery of his personal life have inspired plays and movies speculating on his "true" identity?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gratitude and Appreciation

Last week was a bad one: I was sick for two days; my cellphone stopped receiving new emails, and it took me four attempts with Internet/cellphone providers to correct it; our auto insurance premium increased by almost $400, and attempts to deal with that yielded mostly frustration. It snowed again on Wednesday morning--snow in late April! Most importantly, we had to make a decision about minor surgery for Spike.

Usually, after a week like that, I'd just complain about how bad things are.

Last week, I felt differently.

I'm rarely sick. Oh, there may be many days when I don't feel well, but I usually can take it easy for a day and recover. I felt so bad on Monday night, that I didn't even read or watch TV. It made me realize how lucky I am to take my health for granted.

Then there's all the time I spend online and on the phone about my cellphone and insurance problems. As frustrating as that was, at least I had the time to get on the phone and navigate all the menus and deal with customer service reps who ranged from useless to efficiently helpful.

Spike goes in for surgery on Friday. He'll be having a wart removed from the back of his neck. He's had it for well over a year. We've been watching it, and keeping it clean. It had  almost healed, but then Spike stared scratching it; it began bleeding again. The doctor agreed that it has to come off. We had extra blood  and urine work done to make sure that Spike is healthy enough for the procedure. Since he'll be under, we'll also get his teeth cleaned. It's a little scary, but now that we've decided on the surgery, I can't wait until it's completed. I'm grateful that we can afford to take care of Spike. I t would break our hearts if we couldn't do all that we can for him.

Finally, I'm grateful that winter is finally over. (Right?)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Red Letter Days

Sunday, April 13
The Purple Wedding on Game of Thrones--Weddings can be lethal in Westeros. This wedding had a well-deserved casualty--King Joffrey. The Purple Wedding had a minimal death count, especially compared to the Red Wedding. It was gruesome, but satisfying.

Monday, April 14
Turner Classic Movies' 20th anniversary kicked off with the re-broadcast of Gone With The Wind, the first film it ever aired. TCM is one of my favorite channels: I regularly check it to see what's showing. TCM now owns the Warner Brothers library, so it's one of the best places to catch Bette Davis movies.

Tuesday, April 15
Tax Day--not exactly a holiday. Well, maybe it's like a holiday when you have obligations with family members you don't like. My father worked for the IRS, and I bought him a magnet with a slightly altered reproduction of Munch's The Scream with various mathematical equations and the words: April 15th. That magnet sums it up precisely.

Jackie Robinson Day--In 1947, April 15th was baseball's Opening Day and Jackie Robinson's Major League debut. My beloved Mets' Shea Stadium
commemorated the event in 1997. It's been celebrated throughout baseball for the last 10 years.

Thursday, April 16--The Mets completed their first sweep of the year against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also secured their first winning record of the season.Small steps. I also read  this article. The Mets are "set up splendidly" for the long term by not shooting themselves in their feet with expensive, long-term contracts.We just need to be patient. I hope it's true.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'll Miss You, TWoP

This week TWoP ceased operations. Its archives will stay up and the forums will remain open through May. It's a big loss; I visit TWoP almost daily.

I discovered TWoP through Veronica Mars. My love of that show led me to creator Rob Thomas' website, and he linked to TWoP. I found the Veronica Mars recaps and forums and later moved on to the other shows.

I enjoyed most of the recappers. Overall, the commenters were intelligent and funny. For some shows (e.g. Real Housewives) I enjoyed the forums more than I enjoyed the shows.

There's a loss in the blogosphere.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Game of Thrones Season Four

It's back.

I'm re-watching the premiere now--switching between it and the Mets/Angels game. There are problems with this show, but I still love it.

It hurt to watch Ice melted down, though nice to see Ned again in the previouslies. Diana Rigg rules as Oleanna. Prince Oberyn made an interesting first impression. I can do without the brothel nudity scenes, but I love his reaction to "The Rains of Castmaere." It was great to see Arya get Needle back, but damn she has become a cold-blooded killer. I fear for her.

I can't wait to see the Purple Wedding and its aftermath.

Saturday Movie Nights

Haven't written about movies that we watched for a while. Here's a round-up.

Oblivion
I wasn't particularly interested in seeing this, but Jeff recorded it. I've gotten tired of Tom Cruise (maybe unfairly due to aspects of his personal life.) I liked the concept of the movie--we have the ultimate unreliable narrator because he is being fed a lie--his whole existence. I also liked the bleak cinematography and the bit of romance at the heart of the film. I found myself getting bored in the big action sequence--never a good sign.  Melissa Leo is in the film and I love her; it get points for that.

The Great Gatsby
This film had a lot of hype going in, but I didn't hear much about it after it premiered. I liked it. The casting was good, the parties were appropriately opulent. I never got the appeal of Daisy, but maybe that's the point.

The Heat
I was psyched to see this one. It didn't live up to my expectations based on the hype, but I enjoyed it. I liked the female buddy movie form--not sure if I've seen that before. I laughed out loud a few times.

Man of Steel
Best of the various Superman films for me, though I haven't seen Superman Returns--didn't buy the casting. Amy Adams is one of my favorites, and her Lois was more of a reporter than I remember from other incarnations.

Pacific Rim
Tonight's Saturday night HBO premiere. I hated the first 15 minutes or so; it just seemed so stupid. I think the design of the jaeger/hunter is inefficient--it reminds me of the walkers in The Empire Strikes Back. For awhile, I got into the movie--the whole set up of the defunded, underground jaeger team. I loved the bull dog, too. At one point, I realized that the movie had 45 minutes left when I was ready for it to end. This film lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes--too long for me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Streetwalking (No, not that kind)

When I was in my 20's and going to NYU, I lived in New York City. I walked almost everywhere. Seinfeld to the contrary, that's what most of us did. My friend Andrea and I were among the first who put on sneakers to walk home from work. I loved  to walk in New York City. There was always a buzz of excitement and so many interesting people and places to see.

But, I soon learned not to talk to people on the street. A simple comment such as "Nice dog," could elicit obscene suggestions. I was used to having guys yell things at me from cars as they drove by. But the comments were never more threatening than "hey, baby." Plus the guys quickly drove away. Hearing obscene suggestions up close and personal was much more disturbing.

After I left NYU, I returned to the suburbs of Fairfield County, Connecticut. I haven't done much walking up here, until Spike came to live with us. Now that I'm older and dumpier, I'm  no longer "worthy" of obscene comments and catcalls. I actually talk to some of the construction workers who are renovating the Hospital across the street.

I wonder how different it would have been if I had been walking a dog as a younger woman. Would it insulate me from unwelcome comments because I had a reason to be walking down the street? That's both a ridiculous and infuriating comment. Why should anyone need a reason to walk down the street?

That reminds me of a time when I was the only woman in a car with my boyfriend and two other guys. One yelled out the window at a woman walking by. I told him not to do that, that girls didn't like that. He said he worked hard and deserved to be able to yell at women. What of the women? Maybe they worked hard too and deserved to be able to walk down the street without being harassed. He never even thought of them.

Privilege in action.



Friday, April 4, 2014

Memorable Dates

There are some dates I remember because of the deaths that occur. May 19th will always be the day of Anne Boleyn's execution to me, despite family birthdays.

Today is the date that Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated. I don't remember where I was at the time; I do remember that no one in my immediate circle really cared.

Here's U2 on youtube. Here are details on the assassination. How would our history be different if Dr. King had lived?

Memorable Dates

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I was reminded of this when I drove by a big banner sign at the Norwalk Library last night.

Many are intimidated by poetry. Some forms may seem too restrictive and constrictive--strangling your thoughts and emotions. Paul Simon has a line in "Kathy's Song" about "words that tear and strain to rhyme."

Poetry doesn't have to be high art--full of obscure imagery--recited in an affected poet's voice. Poetry can be light and fun. Poems can be about anything.

 I'm not a literary poet; I'm a biscuit poet.