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I am incredibly bummed that I didn't make it home from work until quite late tonight. For the first time in years, possibly ever, I'm located in a prime trick-or-treating zone, had candy all prepped to give out... and then I didn't get around to leaving work until 9 pm, long after the trickers and the treators would be about. I'm really bummed out of proportion to the situation, which leaves me with one explanation. Stupid being a girl.



My poor thumb! Damn you, Zuma, damn you! And your little dog, too.

It's suprisingly difficult to type without any feeling in my left thumb. I never knew that I used it so much!



Who would have thought that so much cat could be reduced to so little: a tiny ceramic container, no more than a pound or so in weight. I picked Jasper up today, and will return him tomorrow to the wetland brush he loved playing in. I have spent most of today trying to think about something, anything, other than my poor dead kitty, gone now for over two weeks. It doesn't help that I got home late tonight and Aggie's nowhere to be found; it's chilly, so I'm sure she's just bunked up somewhere too asleep or too closed in to hear me and Micah as we walked around the neighborhood jingling keys and mrrwing, but I still wish she were in. Sigh.



Rotten Friday. Awful dreams. Steeling myself to go get Jasper tomorrow. And to top it all off, I had way too much sugar today and am jittery wired. Hah!

At least I got some things done today, and Micah ate a spider. Those are always good times.



My piercing is finally what I'd call fully healed! I'm so pleased.



Ah, the joys, aka the trails and travails, of pet ownership. Aggie treed herself on the roof tonight and wasn't willing to come down the way she'd gone up (at least not in any timeframe I was willing to deal with). And so there was much pulling chairs outside and cajoling at the edge of the roof and climbing upon tables and fishing with Micah's stolen cat toy, culminating in my clambering up on top of the shed and hauling her down. I have informed her that I'm very displeased on behalf of my jeans, which were clean this morning and are no longer. All in all, it was kind of hilarious other than the part about the voice. Sigh.



I got home today to a leftover chunk of a pomegranate in the fridge. Happiness, is thy name pomegranate? I think that it is.

I mused on my way home upon the puzzlement of why I love my commute so much more now than before, despite it not having changed all that much in terms of time or distance. Part of it is that, psychologically, 10-15 minutes feels much shorter than 15-20 minutes, and part of it is that the more varied terrain whizzing by makes it feel like it's going by faster... but that's really not it. It's that I love where I live now. The fact I can see my neighborhood as soon as I hit the bridge is just gravy.

Open note to Colleen, whose email I cannot for the life of me find: thank you so much for your comment about Jasper the other week. It meant a lot that day to have your kind words to read. Hope Gaz and Dib are well, and say hi to Luke!



I mowed my lawn today! Not only was it the first time I'd mowed it since I moved in (I've been busy, sue me), but it was the first time I've mowed a lawn. Ever. I'm both rather proud of myself and rather aghast that it took 27.something years to get to the point of mowing a lawn.

I opened a sympathy card from the vet today and burst into tears in the kitchen. Sigh.



I'm just going to pretend that tonight's pomegranate was the first one of the season. The other two weren't really deserving of the name. Mmmmmmm.



There were two good things about today. One, I found that every bug Jesper opened today contained a humorous haiku in the repro steps. Two, I left work before 9 pm, enough time to sit on my couchh and watch some TV. I'll call a twopointfive on Delton's various attempts to cheer me up through the day. But other than those things, pretty lamezor. Boo, again.



Ugh. First day back at work after vacation is always lame, and today was no exception. Bah humbug on everything about today other than the fact my mom left me bread here so I could have toast with my dinner of soup and the fact that there was a new episode of Heroes to watch. Boo.



Home, to a less-filled house than I'd left. I've kept Micah and Aggie close this evening; Micah has obliged me by sleeping on my lap most of the time I've been sitting, while Aggie has curled up purring at my feet, an unusual honor. Sweet furballs.

I tried two different pomegranates today, from two different stores. Both were bad. The season's still too early, for one, but on the other hand, I think I'm going to have to make pilgrimages up to the Bothell Fred Meyer if their last season doesn't turn out to be a fluke. Best pomegranates I've ever had, and hopefully will have again.



In Spokane for the night. Most of the day was spent at Yellowstone, trying madly to distract myself. It worked somewhat, I suppose, but I'm completely exhausted from the effort.

The one thing that's keeping me from being too upset is knowing, really knowing, that Jasper's life, short as it turned out to be, was happy and good. He was the most content and cheerful cat I've ever known, from when I got him at 2 months old last June, to when I kissed him goodbye last Friday evening. Wan attempt at levity: now I'm stuck with the two brats of the bunch!

I can't wait to get home tomorrow and hold those brats close. Even if Aggie won't want to let me.



I checked my voicemail today to find a message from my vet. Jasper was hit by a car and killed instantly late Thursday afternoon. The woman who hit him brought him in. I'm a thousand miles away from home and I have only two cats waiting for me when I get there.

Such things are not unexpected, given that my cats are indoor-outdoor (I told Mama she could let them out while I was away, as long as they weren't out overnight). But did it have to happen when I'm gone? If one of them was to die because of a core decision I made long ago about my pets, I want it to be when I'm there, when I'm directly responsible. My poor mother is going to completely freak out.

And oh, I know it's awful for me to say, but did it have to happen to Jasper? My sweetest, softest, most affectionate kitten. My favorite.

Rest in peace, sweetie pie.



Writing about it seems to have dispelled it; I've dreamt of work only while napping the last two days (though not to say I've not dreamt of people from work, as I apparently miss Delton more than I thought). We leave for Jackson Hole and Yellowstone in the morning, and my once-yearly visit to my grandparents' place will be over. This one was a good one; I got out and did more things than usual, but still found plenty of time to kick back and read on the point.

We went to the Coors Brewery yesterday: I've confirmed that yes, I don't like any of their products. We drove up through Estes Park into Rocky Mountain National Park today: Jeff's mind was blown by driving along what he termed "the top of the drivable North America." A good time, all in all.



Four nights since I've been at work. Zero nights since I've not dreamt of work. It's becoming ridiculous; I start awake, on my own or at an alarm, mumbling about TOCs, or fretting about Italian and Dutch, or mentally organizing the Chinese checkins. I once joked that I'd know all the varied language codes in my sleep... now if only I were wrong. The funny thing is, I haven't been dreaming about work all that much for the last few months, even, but I go on vacation and bam, the anxiety dreams and the work dreams strike with a vengeance. Thanks a lot, brain. Thanks a bloody fucking lot.

Today was grand, at least; it snowed last night so the trees were all frosted when we all took a walk late morning, but it melted by afternoon and we were able to take a gorgeous drive up Blue Mountain Road to where we could see all of Denver plus Pike's Peak in the distance. I read all day (finished one book I was a chapter into last night, finished another I'd half-read a few weeks ago, started and finished a third) and watched the first disc of Lost all evening.

Now if only I could get some damn rest, maybe this whole vacation thing would start panning out.



At grandmother's house we have arrived, hooray! Not for lack of trying on the behalf of the Rocky Mountains, though; although the weather was perfectly fine (cloudy with sunbreaks) on the western side, we hit Berthoud Pass and things went downhill fast. Clouds had boiled over the mountains, bringing a slick of water over the roads, followed by a cold front that iced everything immediately. We passed two accidents on the way down, one of them involving six cars (one of them tipped on its side)... the mountains were doing their best to take people out, let me tell you. Anyway, we survived, had a pretty day of driving, mostly, and now have three full days to chill at the ranch. Excellent.



Drove across Utah today, encompassing approximately 100 gorgeous miles and 500 incredibly boring ones. The lovely 100 would have made up for the 500 if not for our super lame experience at the Cobble Rock Brewpub in Vernal, UT tonight (we were ignored, ignored, ignored some more, and finally walked out after approximately 10 minutes, having never gotten a menu or even a moment of eye contact... worst restaurant experience in my life), but after that, I'm slightly cranky. At least we made an early night of it, can watch much West Wing and BattleStar Galactica, and we can go look at dinosaurs tomorrow.



Excellent driving conditions today! Sunny and clear all the way until dark, at which point we hit the boring parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Even the boring parts aren't too bad by full moonlight. Destination tomorrow: Dinosaur National Monument.



Late night phone chat ads have been replaced by late night text chat ads. I have not the words.

With everything going on this week and last, there's been no time to actually plan the whole road trip thing. We're gonna wing it, thinking to go the way I've not been: try to book to Boise tomorrow and then spend the next two days going the scenic route from there to the grandparents' place.

Seth and I are watching Vampyros Lesbos from On Demand, a movie whose tagline on IMDB is "A Psycho-Sexadelic Horror Freakout!" I almost can't speak, I'm laughing so hard. Jeff wanders in:

Jeff: ...
Seth and Jen: (giggling)
Jeff: ...Is this a ...foreign movie?
Seth and Jen: YES (gales of laughter)
Jeff: ...Is this a foreign movie ...from the past?
Seth and Jen: 1971, baby!
Jeff: ...ohhhhkay, I'm going back in the other room now.
Seth and Jen: (giggling)



Sometimes Aggie is a very odd little girl. Ever since Micah recovered from his days of death's-doorness last week, when he holed up in the cat carrier in the office, she has picked that carrier as her sleeping place of choice. She has never shown interest in it, all through the long year and a half of her life, until now, but now it's difficult to get her to come out... she comes out to eat, to go outside, and somewhere in the middle of the night she surfaces onto the bed with her brothers, but that's it. Times like this, I very much wonder what goes on in their wee little heads.

I am trying to remind myself that it's OK to not do chores, or to only do a few. It was a huge victory tonight to get the dishwasher going, and if I can get the trash taken out, I am resolved to not mind that several other things remain undone.

Trash taken out, and most fantastic, otherworldly, batch of mushrooms discovered. They've poked up from the crevice between the back steps and the paved walkway, a crevice lined with crushed green and blue safety glass. They're alien sparkle shrooms! Too bad my camera bit it a week ago.

... Shit. I need a new camera! I lost all my pictures from the last time I took this roadtrip, and now I have no way to get new ones! Crap.



I would like to proceed directly to the IV of BattleStar Galactica, please. I would have liked to get caught up on season two prior to third season airing, but I think the vagaries of Netflix shipping and my failure to move quickly enough through West Wing season five have trashed that plan. Thankfully, I have Tivo... and theoretically, in a few weeks, I'll actually have time to watch what it records.

(Like how I sneaked the mention of how busy I am in there, John? I'm also not that tired today. So there.)



The gem of my day was the excellent mashup mix on the radio at 11:05 pm, just as I got out of my car at home. Pretty much everything was just exhausting, and long. Still, I'm torn about being gone next week, the single most important one for several of my languages, and for several other languages that I've shepherded or slavedriven at various times. I'm making people promise to wait until after I get back to haul out the champagne.

Actually, scratch that, I hate champagne. They can drink that shit all they want.



So late, so tired. I mean, yes, it helps to come home to easy food to make and cats hugging my neck and purring against my side, but still. I am worn the fuck out. I called The Fool on the way home today and made him tell me about his day, because I know that he can actually talk and I can listen. He told me about making a guy at work he doesn't like fall out of a chair by handing him something heavy, and about how he learned in German class that many simple German nouns are some basic concept + "thing." Like the word for "lighter" translates to "fire thing." I really needed the inanities of someone else's day... it was lovely.

Exclamation points! OMGoodness! Heroes is so so good! Why did I not hear about this show coming on? Exclamation points and elevens!



Late nights at work all week and weekend, save Friday, when we couldn't work and so there was massive drinking instead. I'm going on a week's vacation next week. I'm not sure if I've ever needed a vacation more.