Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Missing Guilt

There is so much to do around here that I have been ignoring while mired down in guilt about the transcription that had piled up that now that I have no transcription to do, I hardly even know where to begin.

I almost miss having transcription to feel guilty about!

Monday, May 30, 2005


At 8:26 this morning, I finished the very last dictation for the psychiatrist, who is out of town until tonight. This means he is not seeing patients today and if he sees patients tomorrow, I probably won't get the tape until Thursday. THAT means probably THREE days with no transcription.

You have no idea what a fantastic feeling this is. I had let transcription get behind and I have not had less the 8 tapes waiting to be transcribed for months. Just as soon as I finish one, he brings me two more. I have felt so buried in work that it paralyzed me and made it impossible to finish. Weird, I know, but there was just so much of it I couldn't face starting it. (Kind of like clearing out the living room.)

But it is DONE. It's all DONE for for one brief shining moment, I can hold my head up without feeling buried in microcasette tapes or overwhelmed with guilt for not getting them done in a timely manner.

Life is good this morning.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Old Wives Never Lie

It appears that those old wives' tales really are true.

Didja see the news report about the finding that Viagra appears to cause blindness in some men?

See? You can go blind from having sex!

Itchy and Scratchy

I have developed itching hands. They take turns. Yesterday it was my right hand, today it's my left hand. I can't seem to stop scratching them. The palms itch. The skin between the fingers itch. There is no visible rash or anything else I can see.

All the years I was growing up, my mother suffered from terrible hand problems, with itching, scaling, peeling and sometimes pustules which would break. It was a combination of stress and allergies to some of the topical medicines she was being given and once she left my father and settled into a happy, peaceful marriage with her second husband, the itching gradually cleared. It pops up from time to time now and she can usually trace it to something stressful that is going on in her life.

But I can't figure out why MY hands are itching. It's very bothersome!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Tiger Tale

I watched "Growing Up Tiger" this afternoon. I hadn't planned to watch it, but it was one of those things that was on in the background while I was transcribing. But it was the story of two tiger cubs who were being hand-raised by a couple who run a tiger sanctuary, and watching her bottle feed them and care for them reminded me so much of the puppies that I had to stop and watch.

Of course, the tigers were 150 lbs by the time they left the hand-rearing environment, so it wasn't that similar, but still the experience of bottle feeding them and cuddling them (when they were newborn) and watching them explore the outdoors for the first time, was just really cute.

Photo Manipulations

Stock Report
Originally uploaded by basykes.
I really love having fun with PhotoShop. One of the weekly nutcrackers (four photos posted each week for us to manipulate in whatever way inspires us) was this pair of glasses resting on the stock market page. I decided I couldn't let them go like that and turned them into Groucho glasses.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Anonymous Critic

A person could get a real complex.

Tonight I met a woman I haven't seen in years who said that she occasionally sees letters that I write to the editor.

"Do you do any other writing?" she asked.

"Well--just the theatre reviews," I said.

"Oh--do you write reviews?" she asked. "I guess I've seen your name a couple of times."

I've been the theatre critic for the newspaper for five bloody years!!!. The first three years I shared the job with another critic, but for the last two years, I've been the ONLY theatre critic. And she "thinks she's seen my name a couple of times."

I often review three shows a week!

I guess it shows that I have a warped view of the number of people in this town who are interested in theatre!


So Cable went out. Poof. Gone.

This does happen occasionally and usually comes back fairly soon, but 2 hours later there was no sign of it coming back, so I called ComCast. She told me she had no record of an outage in the area and that she would set me up for an appontment---on the 29th. That's 2 days without television. It's like telling an alcoholic that the bar is closed for vacation.

Fortunately, she checked further and discovered that there is an area-wide outage and that people will be working on the problem today.

In the meantime, I'm getting caught up on those programs that were recorded by the DVR, which means I have to be in the family room, which means I should be doing something else while watching, so I've finally folded the laundry which has been in heaps for (I'm embarrassed to say) months.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Chairs 'n' stuff

Fortunately, I don't think my mother realizes she can click on the link and get to this blog, so I can safely make a confession here. I LOVE my new recliner. It is like sinking into a cloud when I sit there at night watching television. But, that said, it's not as comfortable to sleep in as my old, seat-sprung, puppy formula soaked recliner.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately. First, I moved back down to the recliner when the bed I'd been sleeping in for awhile began to be uncomfortable again, waking me with stabbing back pains. For a time, it was just great in the new recliner, but in the past week I've been having a terrible time getting to sleep and, for ME to have a hard time getting to sleep it has to be pretty bad. I can fall asleep anywhere, or used to be able to.

The other night I finally decided to get out of the cloud-like beautiful new recliner and get into the old broken down one again, and I slept like a baby. I've continued to sleep there, without a problem.

Now I have two reasons to keep the old recliner--first, because I'm definitely not going to bottle feed puppies in the NEW recliner and since the old one is already soaked with formula, I might as well keep it for that purpose, and second, it's a better place for me to sleep. There is also the third reason that it puts three chairs in the family room for those rare times when we have someone stop by. I'm certainly not going to offer them the formula-soaked chair, but now I have a place to sit while they can sit very comfortably in the new "cloud."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stupid Spammers

Maybe spammers are just not as clever as they used to be.

In the past two days I've received at least four e-mails purported to be from PayPal (they always look so official), each one of them telling me that they noticed some strange activity on my PayPal account "on June 10, 2005."

Jeez, folks, if you're going to try to convince someone to give you their banking information, at least choose a day in the past to suddenly notice unusual activity, not a day that is three weeks in the future!

Groggy Morning

We went to a play last night, then came home to watch "Lost," which the DVR had nicely recorded, then I started to write a review of the play. I usually write half the review and then sleep a bit and then get up to finish it. Only I couldn't get to sleep. Despite being very sleepy, sleep just wouldn't come. I got up and finished the review, then tried to sleep again, but it was nearly 4 a.m. before I finally fell asleep. The phone woke me up at 5:30. It was our neighbors complaining about the dog barking.

So I've had a total of 1½ hours of sleep and it's a good thing I don't have to function to do anything today. I'm almost completely caught up on work, and have several days to finish the little bit left to do. I have no show to review tonight and I just have to write one short article by tomorrow morning, so I may be able to nap for a bit.

At the moment, I feel like a zombie.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005



Reminder to self: When you screw up the picture on the TV, remember to hit the "input" key before anything else!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I hate technology

So I decided that I'd take a break from transcription and take a short nap this afternoon. Ellen Degeneres was on, on both my office TV and the family room TV. Well, actually it wasn't on on the family room TV, so I picked up one of the 3 remotes and pushed a button to, I thought, switch the channel. Only instead I got a blue screen. I don't remember what I pushed, or on which remote I pushed it. I've pushed every bloody button I can think of and still can't get the picture back. After spending a very frustrating 10 minutes, I finally just turned off the TV and there goes my nap--I'm back in my office transcribing so I can continue to watch Ellen. Dammit.

Cat House

I went to a meeting of the newsletter committee for the SPCA last night. Our hostess feels about cats the way I do about dogs--only moreso. I lost count of how many cats were there. Some are hers, some are being fostered until they go to permanent homes. There were at least three kittens, who were so incredibly tiny--about half the size of the puppies. And, like all kittens, they were such fun to watch playing. If only kittens didn't grow into cats.

I have to admit that when I picked one of the kittens up and it snugged under my chin, I got kinda misty-eyed, thinking that I would not be coming home to a batch of puppies yapping at me with wagging tails.

Yesterday I was on the Internet checking out the cost of collapsible puppy pens, already thinking ahead to our next batch of babies needing bottle feeding.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Well, it's over again. The puppies are reunited with their siblings and are off to the country where they can run around and get big enough to be adopted. It was hard, but "easier" this time, since it was our third time. And yes, we will definitely do it again. We're already talking about accommodations we can make which will make things better next time. Ashley says that there are puppies available year-round, so this could become a regular thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sniff, sniff...Sob...sob...

Just had a note from Ashley. She's picking the puppies up at 8:30. I already have that familiar clutch in the stomach at the thought of saying goodbye to them. Sigh.


Ants are fascinating. When they aren't crawling all over my counters. I watched "The Violent Planet" today and in one segment on flooding, they showed a type of ant where, when the ground began getting saturated, would "pack up" all the larvae, queen, and food, then all join together and float down the river, looking like a piece of wood on the water. If the weather gets too hot, they take the larvae and dip them in the river to cool them off. Then, when they hit land, while scout ants go looking for a new home, the worker ants are carrying the larvae and getting the queen to the land so that they can move into their new home.

Absolutely fascinating.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Whirlwind trip

I will be posting to Funny the World late tomorrow. I'm flying down to LA in the morning to be there for the opening of The Big Voice (again). I'll be flying home Saturday night, so it really is a whirlwind trip.

Ashley is going to stop by early tomorrow morning and pick up the puppies so she can watch them while I'm gone, since Walt will be at work and won't be able to feed them during the day.

Neilsen Family

I've always wondered what it took to be a Neilsen family. Apparently all it takes is being by the telephone when they call to ask if you'd be willling to record your television watching for a week. So this morning we start being a Nielsen family, at least for a week. It should be an interesting one for them to read since my office TV, which is on keeping me company all day, is in the room next to the family room TV, which is also on keeping me company all day, so 99% of the time the program on one TV is the same as the program on the other as I walk back and forth from office to family room.

Walt will have an easier job because (a) his TV is upstairs and (b) he rarely watches it!

It also kind of complicates things, having a DVR and how you record that, but I'm assuming I'll get into the swing of things very quickly!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cute little puppy face

Originally uploaded by basykes.
This is Sydney. He's just finished "breakfast" and we're having our regular chat while I wait for puppy burps.

Ashley says she might be picking the puppies up this weekend. The time has passed so quickly. I will miss these little guys when they are gone.

Monday, May 16, 2005


We're in the middle of "finale season" on the TV airwaves these days. Each big show is scheduling their big season finale (or, as in the case of Everybody Loves Raymond, the show finale).

Last night was the finale of Season 2 of The L Word, the Showtime drama. A mediocre ending, as season finales go, but there were some really ridiculous things. Mainly, the character Tina (played by Laurel Holloman) is giving birth and her partner, Bette (played by Jennifer Beals) is with her for the birth. Tina was set for a home birth and ends up being rushed to a hospital for a cesarean. It is my understanding that Laurel Holloman is actually pregnant, which would explain how completely believable her pregnancy has been all season (either that or the special effects person for the show deserves an Emmy for the depiction of a pregnant body!) It also probably explains why we see the very pregnant, naked Tina in a birthing tub and then her being rushed off to the hospital--and only being seen from the neck up for the rest of the show. It would also explain why there was no lovely "mom and baby" shot at the end of the show, but instead Bette explaining that Tina was "still in the recovery room," while she (Bette) had the baby to hand around to all their friends, kind of a lovely "welcome to the circle of women" moment for the new baby.

But the most ridiculous part of it was seeing Bette in the delivery room. She is wearing the green hospital garb, but the hat just covers the very top of her head, while Jennifer Beals' lovely brunette long hair is left to flow freely. Uh....what is the purpose of the hat anyway? Decorative? Isn't the purpose to cover the hair?

Ahh...I do love the suspension of disbelief sometimes!

Live For Today

Anybody who watches The Today Show knows that this month they are having a segment of what they call "Live for Today." They asked people to let them know what their dream is--what they would love to do before they die. Each day they follow one viewer as s/he fulfills his/her dream. There was a woman who rode in a hot air balloon with her son, a 70-something guy who made a parachute jump, a family who had dinner cooked for them by a famous chef, etc., etc.

Today's "Live for Today" segment involved a mother of 6 who felt the romance had gone out of her life because of all the busy work involved with the kids. Her dream was to ride a gondola in Venice with her husband and hope to recapture the magic.

So there they were. Living their dream. Cuddled together in a gondola on the canals of Venice. With Ann Curry interviewing them and a camera crew filming them for millions of viewers back home! Now there's a way to restore romance to your relationship!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bruiser asleep

Bruiser asleep
Originally uploaded by basykes.
So sweet! I swear, these puppies lose all their bones after they've had a big meal. It's been very helpful having Walt at home on this Saturday, because he holds two puppies while I feed the third, and then he holds the fed one as well, so that they all end up falling asleep on his lap. Bruiser looked just entirely too comfortable and I had to take his picture.

Sydney and Ned

Sydney and Ned
Originally uploaded by basykes.
I've been a little frustrated at not getting any really GOOD pictures of the puppies yet (and it's already day #3!). But Ned and Marta stopped by today and since Ned is such a ham, it was easy to get some nice ones. Some in my journal for tomorrow, some on Flickr.

Not a LOT yet, but we'll get there.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hail, Cesar

I've just discovered Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, on the National Geographic channel. I highly recommend the show to anybody who has a dog, especially if you have a dog with problems. What he does with dogs is nothing short of miraculous. (this is a show I would never have even thought of look for or at without a DVR)


There are times when I disgust even myself.

I'm reviewing Into the Woods at the University tonight, so I need to wear something that is NOT covered in puppy formula. I also had some transcription that I wanted to finish before the psychiatrist came to pick it up. So I immersed myself in the transcription, then I fed the puppies, then I cleaned up the kitchen, then I took a nap and by then, it was close enough to when the puppies needed to eat again, that I just decided to wait to get dressed after their dinner. So here I sit, at 4:30 in the afternoon, still in my pajamas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Well, people who read this, as well as the journal will be ahead of everyone else. I have taken more puppies. Three more, two boys and a girl (have to think of names for these guys). 3-1/2 weeks old and shepherd puppies (Ashley assures me there is no pit bull in this batch). Their mother was hit by a car.

Right now I've put them in the downstairs guest bathroom because I'm not ready to have them on the new floor. They may stay there for the time they are here. I don't know. But here we go again--another puppy adventure.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It's a Twister! A Twister!

It was wild weather around here yesterday. I've never thought of the Sacramento Valley as "hurricane alley," but we've been having twisters all year. Here it is May and it's still pouring rain, so much so that daytime TV was interrupted at least a dozen times yesterday for storm watches. The nightly news was full of home videos of twisters over various communities.

So far Davis has not been hit with anything more than intermittent torrential rains, but it sure is exciting watching all the news coverage at night!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Inarticulate smut

I'll tell ya--not only am I being deluged with spam, but the quality of the spam is deteriorating. How can you take serious the following offer:

Hi I'm Julie, julez and jellybean, those are some names that I am called in school Hehe. I am 18 years old and I am a senior at Texas High. I am new to Internet and I am very much excited about doing my own privet shows. its free for now, b/c they say I am still an armature :']. If you have a minute to spare, take a look around, I really much would luv to entertain you. Luv Julie,

Privet shows. What are those? I she going to dart in and out among the bushes for me?

I've always wanted to see an armature doing a privet show.

But then she's from Texas, so what did I expect? Probably aiming for a cabinet position in the White House if her privet shows don't pan out.

More PhotoShop fun

Someone in the "Digital Nuts" group led me to vizros site to download their free set of filters, which does fun things, like making this block out of a flat photo. I can see all sorts of fun things to do with it. Another variation is here.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I worked most of the day the other day on the article I was writing about the costume designer for Man of La Mancha. I always go through the tortures of the damned writing things like this. I'm never convinced that it's any good at all.

So I was thrilled to get a note from my editor yesterday that said

"...this story is BITCHIN'.

Very, VERY nice job. You really "caught" her, and the process.

Take a bow. :-)"

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It just slipped my mind...

I seriously worry about Alzheimers. I am forgetting things more and more. They say that signs of Alzheimers are not when you forget where you put your keys, but when you forget what keys are for. I'm not that bad, but boy is it scary when I reach for a word--a common word, or the name of someone I've known for years--and it's just not there, like skidding across a slick spot on my brain.

It would be scary enough by itself, but having watched my bright, witty, talented aunt slip away into that world of Alzheimers makes it all the more scary when something like this happens.

Give 'em the finger

My god, another finger has been found in food. This time in some ice cream. They even showed it on TV. Yuck! This time they know who lost the finger--an employee who had just been caught in one of the machines and apparently while they were tending to him, some other nincompoop kept scooping ice cream and the finger got scooped up.

Kinda makes you want to stay out of fast food joints forever, doesn't it???

Monday, May 02, 2005

More interesting

Originally uploaded by basykes.
It would have been MUCH more interesting if the DILO had happened the day before, with the doggone walk-a-thon and the dog park opening to attend.


Try out the new DVR before sleep
Originally uploaded by basykes.
Yesterday was a Flickr "Day in the Life of" day... My May 1 started actually at midnight, after we came home from Lion King and I settled in to watch a little TV before going to sleep. It ended at midnight with settling in to watch a little TV, with not a heck of a lot happening in between!