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December 2005 Archives

December 4, 2005

The Happiest Freakin' Place on Earth

Disneyland rocks.

If you have the desire and the means to get there before January 7th, I'd highly recommend it. They are currently running both the 50th Anniversary and the Holiday decor.

Originally, I'd been playing around with the idea of going to Disneyland for my birthday (I'd done it before in 2001 when they first added the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay to the Haunted Mansion). After I casually mentioned it to my mom, she said that if we would drive her down with us then she would pick up the tab for the hotel and tickets. I surely wasn't going to refuse that!

As soon as the trip date was settled, I took to the Internet to gather tips and info on visiting the park and I am really glad I did. I joined the forums on www.mouseplanet.com and was able to ask questions of many folks who worship The Mouse.

The prep work was invaluable. After reading up, we picked up our tickets the night before on a walk from our hotel (which turned out to be about 3/4 of a mile each way and with a peek of the fireworks show) and were at the park waiting to get in by about 7:30am (they opened at 8am). As a result, we'd ridden Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, and the Jungle Cruise by 9:45am with no wait longer than 15 minutes. After breakfast at the River Belle Terrace (where, by contrast, we waited 45 minutes in line), we watched the 50th Anniversary "Parade of Dreams" then headed back to Tomorrowland for Star Tours, and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Mom wanted to go back to the locker, so we split up and Mark and I got in line for the Matterhorn. Mom got waylaid by the Christmas Parade so we rested on a bench for a while after our ride. When we got back together, we were going to ride the Monorail but the line looked pretty long so we went for the Disneyland Railroad instead. The Main Street station was closed because of the Candlelight Processional happening that evening so we disembarked at the station in New Orleans square and stopped by the French Market for a late lunch. Mom and Mark had french dip sandwiches and I had a side salad and a mini chocolate cake adorned with raspberries and a white chocolate portrait of Jack Skellington. Yum!!! After lunch, we took ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia then headed for Fantasyland. We took pics sitting in the Golden Dumbo, then went into the Mad Hatter so I could get some 50th Anniversary Golden Ears. Once out of there, it was on to It's a Small World. The line was huge but we ended up seeing them do the holiday lighting ceremony while waiting and it was pretty spectacular (I got lots of pics). Mark hates the ride but it was easier with the holiday because there was more varation in the songs. About 2/3 of the way through the boats slowed and soon we heared an announcement asking those who were stuck on the ride to remain seated and wait for assistance by a Cast Member. Yup, we were *stuck* on the one ride Mark hates the most. I would have been laughing my ass off had I not been within strangling distance. My mom had just mentioned that getting stuck in there would drive her insane too. After we finally got out, we made our way over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and picked up a FastPass before heading for Critter Country to look around. On our way back through New Orleans Square, we stopped in Le Bat en Rouge where they sell the Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. I got a zippered hoodie with a big Jack face and a stuffed "Scary Teddy", while Mark got a stuffed Zero. They had a Jack pocketwatch that I really wanted to get for Mark but it was $110 (oy). When we finally got out of there, we went back to Big Thunder Mountain for our ride. It felt a lot smoother than I remember it. It was a nice pick-me-up boost of adrenaline before we made another trip to Tomorrowland for a souvenir and dinner at Red Rockett's Pizza Port. Then it was back across to New Orleans Square to attempt to squeeze in to see the first showing of Fantasmic. We just made it and the show was so worth it! At this point, I'd run out of steam so we went out to Main Street to watch the fireworks. Just as the show was scheduled to start, they announced that the fireworks had been cancelled due to wind. I couldn't figure out why nobody was leaving Main Street and then the "snow" started. It was really incredible being packed in with tens of thousands of people with the lights and sights of "snow" falling on us on Main Street. We managed to get across the street and headed to our locker before the room became jammed and then headed out of the park. By this time Mark and I were exhausted and in pain (feet mostly) but we sucked it up and made the walk back to the hotel. We arrived in our room 15 hours after we'd departed that morning.

All in all, the trip was a fantastic way to spend my pre-birthday weekend and I'm already looking forward to next time we visit Disneyland.

December 8, 2005

The Other Shoe

After a fantastic trip to Disneyland and a nice, mellow birthday I got kicked upside the noggin' with my first bout of flu in 10 years.

Tuesday morning started out with congestion and a sore throat. I was hoping it was my body de-smogging from the visit to OC so I went to work. Still in denial, I ignored the first chilly twinges but by the time 1pm rolled around I had cancelled all my afternoon plans and headed straight home, where I slept for 2.5hrs. Evening brought more chills and then the fever hit. My measurements topped out at 101.2F. Which for me is more like 102F, as my normal temp is about a degree low.

When I took my Wednesday morning temp, I was still at 100F. Thankfully, my honey made a trip out to the store for soup, ginger ale and a Jamba Juice (which was the only thing that quelled the pain in my throat that day). I sent an email to work telling them I might be out for the rest of the week but would try to check email during my normal hours. Which I did between naps. I was in bed until about 3:30pm, when I got up to make some soup and continue watching Lord of the Rings (my comfort movies). I drank a 1.5L bottle of water over the course of the day and I think most of it came out my nose. I've got a trash can full of tissues to show for it (or at least I did, until the damn dogs go into it).

This morning my temp was 100.1F. I decided it was time to call the doctor just in case there was a bacterial component. My head was splitting with sinus pain and my throat felt like someone was dragging a knife across it every time I swallowed. I took an Advil Cold & Sinus which dulled the pain for the most part and managed to get an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner at 3:45pm. I stayed in bed until I got hungry around noon then napped again until 2pm when I got up to take a shower and get ready to drive to doc's office. Of course, my temp was 98.8F when the medical assistant took it. *sigh* When the NP finally came in, she looked in my ears, nose, and throat and decided to give me antibiotics since we were going into the weekend. So now I have 5 doses of Azithromycin to keep any bacterial beasties at bay. I just finished off The Return of the King. I'm probably gonna stay up a little longer then shove off for bed. Tomorrow will be another day at home with maybe more work, maybe not. So far, I've been doing only minimal email responding tho tomorrow I do have to turn in payroll for Data Entry. Yeehaw. Thank $deity for Remote Desktop.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention that today I got my new toy. :) A shiny, black 60GB iPod (now with video! Sweet Jeezus!). I picked it up from my office on the way to fill my prescription at Costco. Alas, I'm still feeling too crappy to play with it for now. But I have opened the box and looked at it lovingly. :)

December 14, 2005

Ding-Dong the catnip is dead!

In light of Socrates' recent fight wounds, I decided to remove our large catnip plant from the front yard. It does draw other cats into our yard and Mr. Fatty is *very* territorial. Hell, he thinks he owns our yard and the yards of the houses on either side of ours (much to the chagrin of the feline residents of those houses).

For once the cursed gophers actually helped me out. It turns out the catnip plant was not long for this world anyway because the gophers had eaten most of its root system. No wonder it had been looking rather shabby as of late.

Since the green waste can wasn't totally full, I cleared about a square yard of grass around the perimeter of a half barrel that is acting as a placeholder in the spot where I want to plant apple trees. Since I like Golden Delicious and Mark likes Red Delicious, we're gonna buy two trees from these folks and plant them in a single hole. Though it sounds like I might already be late for this year. I better order my trees soonish.

Things have been rather crappy since my birthday with the flu, the cat's injuries, our refrigerator acting up, and me consequently food poisoning myself by eating something from the fridge that had gotten too warm. Hopefully I can go a week without having a meal that consists solely of saltines and ginger ale. If my horoscope today was any indication, things should be looking up:

SAGITTARIUS November 21-December 20
Nobody likes unpleasant surprises-especially this close to the holidays. Digest what's going down. It leads to a brighter new year.

December 23, 2005

'Twas two nights before Christmas...

... and it is 10:00pm and 70 freakin' degrees!!!! This weather is sick and wrong. My wreath is withering because it has been so warm and dry this year and we've run the whole house fans for the past two nights. I wanted summer to be over in September and it is still here in December. :(

On a postive note, other than meteorologically today has been really good. I worked from home since the bosses were giving us a half day (making driving 40 minutes round-trip for 2 hours in the office seem pretty silly). I am just about to start the *last load of laundry in the house* (seriously, I've done about 12 loads in the past 2-3 days... the sheets and towels were building up for a while). I am almost finished with the last of the dishes. The house has been vacuumed. The presents are wrapped in their fabric bags. Mark and I went to see Peter Jackson's Big Monkey movie (where I bawled through the end and had no tissues -- hubby's hanky to the rescue!) and then had dinner at Del's in Shell Beach (they have the best rolls EVER!).

Tomorrow morning we start our holiday triangle. Three hours to the in-laws, party with them and their friends, sleep, wake up, do the breakfast and presents thing with the fam, pack up, drive 3 hours to my folks, unload the truck, rest a bit, head to do dinner and presents with Dad, brother and brother's gf, sleep, wake up, wait for brother and gf to show up, do presents with Mom, brother and brother's gf, have lunch, pack up the truck, drive 2 hours. Then we're home again. That is pretty much what my next 72 hours is gonna look like. Merry Christmas!

December 31, 2005

2005: The Rollercoaster

I figured I should probably review what registered as significant for me this year since part of the reason I keep this blog is to record memories. I'd like to take a moment to do a monthly recap of 2005.

JANUARY: Met with my obgyn NP for a pre-conception appointment (after we'd already been trying for 6 months) where I was diagnosed as "pre-PCOS" and anovulatory. Also upped my thyroid medication after noticing a rash of hypothryoid symptoms returning. On the upside, we attended a fab wedding where we were treated to a live performance by these guys. Also, our nephew Nicholas burst into the world on the 25th.

FEBRUARY: Started taking progesterone which ended up just short circuiting my long cycles, doing nothing to help with the lack of ovulation. Mark turned 30! And for the life of me, I can't remember how we celebrated that. We attended the wedding shower for his sister Jennie and her fiance and met our new nephew in person for the first time.

MARCH: I think March was very rainy. See...this I why I have to write these things down.

APRIL: April started out with two Bay Area weddings on the first two weekends of the month. The first was for Mark's sister Jennie on Treasure Island. It was fantastic with family, friends, SF, and crazy weather. Next was our friends Jesse & Barbara. Their wedding was in San Jose and very mellow. We got to hang out with much of the bbs crew. On the way home we took Highway 1 and camped in Big Sur for a few nights. It was beautiful and we nearly had the campground all to ourselves. I also joined a gym to try to get in better shape.

MAY: Near the end of May, I started cheating on my Linux distro. I couldn't help it. I fell for Mac OS X. It ran so much better on my shiny not-quite-new G4 PowerBook! I named the PB "R2D2", as we had just seen Episode III and the Mac sleep mode reminded me of my favorite Jedi droid. On the reproductive front, I saw my obgyn who said the NP was totally off base with the progesterone and she prescribed metformin instead. It seems that I'd gotten to the point where my body was headed toward diabetes (not surprising really, it runs on my dad's side of the family) but not quite there yet. The metformin is supposed to help reverse the process... but at a price.

JUNE: Started with another great wedding, this time in our own neck of the woods. Mark even performed the ceremony! Alas, much of June was lost to the hazing ritual of metformin: nausea. All the time. I lost my normal appetite signals and got... more nausea! Yay! One of the most noteworthy events in June was the birth of Jayden Joshua Oksner on the 10th (his due date!). I can't believe he's already 6 months old.

JULY: Two words: BoHo Sympo. :) Kira got a chance to swim in the Russian river this year. We also had our usual 4th of July party. This year's menu included Bulgogi, pineapple fried rice, and Chinese chicken-less salad. The garden started producing zucchini, green beans, and sunflowers.

AUGUST: Stayed with the Slugs in Guerneville a second time for a wedding in Sonoma. I *looooove* visiting the Slugs. Also, our friend Ame had her twin girls, Alexis and Kaitlin, on August 25th. Unfortunately, August also included watching hurricane Katrina's aftermath in horror and sadness. It hit a little closer to home when I found out that a dear childhood friend had fled her home in Biloxi. Thankfully, she and her family made it safely to CA and are, like so many others, putting the pieces back together. The pumpkins I planted back in May were harvested. I ended up with 9 White Lumina pumpkins from the 4 vines. In the house, we installed a whole house fan. Best $300 spent EVER!

SEPTEMBER: Fell in love with another inanimate object. This time it was the Toyota Prius we rented the weekend of a friend's annual party in the Bay Area. We plopped down our $500 deposit and joined the waiting list. Met with obgyn again. She was encouraged that my cycles started to look more normal and said to keep up with the metformin and see her again in December. I whined about the nausea and then promptly was done with the adjustment period. I still get some random nausea occasionally but it is most likely to happen when I need to eat something. Another side effect is loss of appetite. I think by now I had lost 5-7lbs. Also, I had humongous mutant zucchini in my garden and determined that I planted the tomatoes way too close to the sunflowers and another tomato season went bust. Oh yeah, and I went to Kansas to attend my grandfather's 80th birthday party!

OCTOBER: We attended the final wedding of the year on October 1st, wrapping up a whirlwind of 8 weddings in 12.5 months (Mark was in 4 of them). Full-time counterpart at work gave notice. I took on half of his tasks in addition to my own in the interim. When hurricane Wilma hit Florida, I got all his tasks because the person I was splitting them with was without power for a full 2 weeks. I still believe I was on the lucky end of that stick. I impulse purchased way too many pumpkins, in addition to those I had grown. I speed-carved 3 pumpkins on Halloween just before nightfall. Keyhole saws rock!

NOVEMBER: Started the month working remotely from the Bay Area on psuedo-vacation (well, Mark was on vacation anyway) and got a nasty cold. On the plus side, we toured the Scharffenberger factory and ate at Zachary's pizza in Berkeley. Madison Shea Klein was born to our friends, Jason and Melinda on November 14th. Spent Thanksgiving in Hanford with my family.

DECEMBER: Went to Disneyland on December 3rd with Mark and my mom. The weeks of anal retentive planning paid off and we had ridden our mandatory rides by 9:30am and had a fantastic rest of the day. My birthday was nice and relaxing and then *wham*. The next day I got nailed by the flu for the first time in 8-10 years. That knocked me out for about 5 days. Saw the obgyn again. She is of the opinion that things are progressing nicely and I should wait another couple of months to have a hystosalpinogram (ink injection test to check for tubal blockages and uterine oddness). I talked her into giving me the lab slip anyway, and will probably bump the timeline up a month. I would really rather know sooner than later if there is a problem beyond the hormonal imbalances. I didn't really feel like doing the holidays this year for some reason. Maybe it was the freakin' heat that kept the temps into the 80s up to the beginning of the month. Or maybe the bittersweetness of seeing everyone's babies. I dunno. But from what I can tell, I'm not the only one who just wasn't into it this year.

So, um, this definitely took more than a moment. Especially since while I've been composing this post we had a 2.5 hour power outage and a phone update from our friends in Guerneville who are now cut off from the rest of the world and without power due to the storms and the mighty Russian river (They are OK. They saw this coming and prepared in advance so they'll just be sitting tight until the roads are cleared).

2005 was an interesting ride. Sometimes in the Chinese curse kinda way, sometimes not. I'm definitely ready to embark on the journey into a new year. See you there!

About December 2005

This page contains all entries posted to blackmoondog in December 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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