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12/31/08
So Dr. Berg said that Sheeba's labs are still high, but an improvement. She's eating on her own and looks better, altho she still has these mouth ulcers (related to the renal failure). He tried to give her Carafate (a med we use for humans, too) to coat her mouth, but she was having none of that. We're going to continue treating her, and repeat the labs on Friday (the day we leave). I feel bad about leaving her for the weekend, but if she's improving, she's in the right place. Our vet is excellent.

Last day of work, and then off for a week.

And a happy and healthy 2009 to everyone.

later on 12/30/08
Stopped by the vet's on the way to work to see Sheeba. She looks better, and ate a bit for me, but overall she looks miserable. They have one of those satellite-dish collars on her, and an IV in her paw, and her mouth looks icky still. But she was definitely more alert and not as lethargic as she was here. I have to call tomorrow and see how the labs are. If they're improving, they'll keep her I guess over the weekend until we're back from vacation, and keep giving her the antibiotics and fluids.

One more day of work, and then off on the surprise mystery vacation for the long weekend. I told Mom I would tell her where we're going on Thurs night (we leave Fri morning), so she knows what to pack.

And the MLB Network launches on Thursday, too. I will be parked in front of the TV at 6pm to watch. And they're broadcasting Don Larson's perfect game several times that day - I'll be sure to tape it. They've been running previews and highlight clips on the channel for the past few days, to get a feel for it. I already can't stand Hazel Mae (who came over from the Red Sox network, but she's annoying besides that). The programs that they're going to have look amazing, tho, I can't wait.

HR still hasn't fixed my schedule. They have me on 11-7 every other Thursday, and I said that is not what my master schedule says, and I won't work an 11-7, then have one day off (which I would sleep through), and then come back on Saturday to start my six-in-a-row week. I left a not-too-nice voicemail on HR's machine, telling her to fix it - and that there's no reason to change my schedule, since I've been working the 3-11 shift on that Thursday for the past two months. I hope she fixes it soon - the day I go back after vacation is one of the Thursdays that they have me down for 11-7 (and I claim is 3-11), so I'll be walking in there at 3pm to work.

I read this great book about Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine called Living on the Black. It follows them throughout the 2007 season (horrible season for Moose, Tom Glavine's 300th win and the fantastic Mets collapse). Except for a few errors (typos on people's names, saying that the Trenton Thunder is the AAA affiliate - it's the AA affiliate - of the Yankeees), it was an excellent book. Go read it. You won't be bored.

12/30/08
Sheeba's hanging in there at the vet. He said she's more alert today, because of the fluids they're giving her. She's stopped vomiting, and is drinking on her own. They have her on two antibiotics and one other med, and are going to repeat her labs in the AM. I have to call tomorrow and see if there's been any real improvement, and if there hasn't, we'll stop the treatment. If there has, then she has to stay at the vet until the IV's are done, I suppose. I'll find out tomorrow.

12/29/08
I don't think the prognosis for Sheeba is too good right now. For the past few months, she's been sneezing on everything. The vet had given us some allergy pills, but honestly, have you ever given a pill to a cat? So we didn't give them, and she didn't get any worse. Then, in the past two weeks, she's just become very lethargic, and looks a lot skinnier. She's been sleeping more than usual (if that's possible). And then, this week, I noticed a glob of snot on her nose that she couldn't get off (so yes, I picked my cat's nose) and a weird smell. Last night she had some drool on her chin. Mom pegged the smell as "that GI bleed smell" and took her to the vet this morning. They said she was dehydrated, had a tooth/gum infection, and possibly a GI bleed. They're going to give her some IV fluids and see how she looks and call back at 6pm, but I don't think it's going to go well.

And good lord, we do treat our animals better than our old folks, most of the time. And yes, I can safely say that because I work with the old folks and see what the families put them through ("Mom's 93 and isn't eating? Sure, stick a tube in her belly.").

Anyway. Think positive thoughts for Sheeba.

12/28/08
It was 60 today! I drove to work with the top down on the convertible. Never fear tho, tomorrow it'll be back down to 40 and chilly. I cannot wait for Spring.

later on 12/26/08
Nope, didn't make it to the movie. I'll have to find time - sometime. I do want to see it.

The traffic getting into the city wasn't too atrocious, tho Tesse and I had a few funny texting exchanges: "I'll come pick you up in Inwood." "No, wait, there's traffic, take the subway down." "No, wait, it just cleared up, I'll make it in time." I did manage to make it up to Inwood after all, and we made it back down to midtown to meet Michael for dinner at the Ho Ed. And I loved 13. I really enjoyed it. I didn't think I would, but I was pleasantly surprised, which is the way to go.

After the show, Tesse and I walked over to the new lounge at Don't Tell Mama's - the lounge is super! - and met Paula for a few drinks. I hadn't seen Paula in about a year, it was nice to play catch-up.

And no traffic at all on the way home!

Am now going to curl up and watch Love, Actually and start reading the book about NJ baseball.

12/26/08
A day off, yay! Soon to be followed by five in a row, and then vacation for a week. That is, if HR has corrected my schedule - the printed one for January was full of mistakes (she had me on every weekend, 11-7 for some of the shifts, and had my name down when I'm on vacation, which I requested four months ago).

Off to the city to meet Tesse and Michael for 13, JRB's new show (which is closing soon). Not sure how I feel about a bunch of singing and dancing kids, but eh, I survived singing and dancing cats.

I want to see the Tom Cruise-as-Nazi movie, Valkyrie, too. Thought about going to the city early, but logistically it won't work out. So maybe I'll go after the show, since 13 is only 90 minutes long, and the movies run later in the city than they do here. We'll see how awake I am!

12/25/08
Fa ra ra ra ra. There's nothing like staying up to watch A Christmas Story. Repeatedly.

This is sad. I had no idea that the Royal Canadian Pancake House had closed all of its branches. I loved going there. What's even sadder is that they closed ten years ago, and I just thought about them now.

Some light holiday reading: The MLB Players Association Basic Agreement. I think this will explain all of my contracts questions etc. I hope so. It already has lots of goodies like this:

Other getaway games shall not be scheduled or rescheduled to start later than 5 P.M. if either Club is required to travel for a day game, scheduled the next day, between cities in which the in-flight time is more than 1 hours. In each season, the championship season schedule may contain six exceptions to the rule in the immediately preceding sentence provided that the traveling Club is traveling to Chicago to play the Cubs and the in-flight time does not exceed 2 hours.

Love it.

12/23/08
Honestly, Mark Teixeira? Now the Yankees have the four largest contracts to players out there. It's ridiculous. They'd better make it to the playoffs this year.

In happy news, two stories from yankees.com:

Mom and I celebrated the holidays by opening all of our gifts tonight. I managed to surprise her with a framed pic of Al Leiter, and she added some more books to my to-read pile, which is slowly getting smaller. I'm reading a book by Marvin Miller, which is all about the founding of the Players Association, and it's just fascinating so far.

later on 12/21/08
This is funny - the unintentional danger of giving books as gifts! Those who know me know that I tend to have my nose in a book at all possible moments. And if I read something that I think a friend will like, I tend to give the book to them, or at least buy them a copy. So I wrapped up a book on Shakespeare that I thought Tesse would like as a gift, and tootled it down to Princeton tonight.

And as I'm driving down, I'm getting more and more of a feeling that she already owns it. So I said to her, "If you already have it, I apologize and I'll find another one for you." She opens it - and starts laughing hysterically. Turns out that two years ago, we were walking past Barnes and Noble, and we saw the book in the bookstore window. I commented that I wanted to pick it up, and she said, "No, don't buy it, I'll lend you my copy."

Guess which book I gave back to her? Good thing she never read it in the first place!

Dinner down at her folks' was fantastic - latkes (made the "fake" way with the food processor, instead of the real "get blood on the potatoes by grating them by hand until your fingers bleed" way, hee), delicious eggplant with tahini sauce, Moroccan chicken (which looked delicious, but I didn't try it because I was full) and a chocolate pie (which, ahem, I was not too full to sample). I had a wonderful time.

12/21/08
Happy Hanukah, officially. Let the latke-eating begin. I'm heading down to Tesse's parents' house in Princeton in a little bit to eat, drink, and decorate the "Hanukah bush."

That is, if I can cram another bite in my mouth. Last night was the holiday party for Mom's coworkers, and the rule is that everyone has to bring a dish from their culture. So we had spring rolls, egg rolls, pancit, paella, wonton soup, shrimp, baked ziti, salad, and many, many desserts. Coworker Cathy also brought her Filipino karaoke machine that plugs into the TV, and that was a blast. I did my best Meryl Streep impression and sang "Mamma Mia!"

Brian made it down, and beat me two-to-one at MLB 2K8. I need more practice. Or a bigger contract.

OK, must get dressed and drive south for the potato pancakes.

Oh, and happy winter solstice. The days will now begin to get longer. Finally.

12/19/08
I want more snow, less "wintry mix."

So Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan (and her son, Dennis) came by for dinner tonight. They're really a lot of fun to hang out with, and Aunt Joan always makes me laugh. The food (especially the prosciutto and the lasagna) were delicious. I will never eat again. Until the party tomorrow, that is.

Also went to see the new Will Smith movie, Seven Pounds tonight. I adore Will Smith, and the movie got me choked up. I think the title refers vaguely to The Merchant of Venice, and it was cleverly done - I figured out parts of it about halfway through, but the ending was still incredibly disturbing. I don't think it should be marketed as a fun holiday flick.

12/18/08
Oh dear God - Norbert AND Raul on the same stage. I might have to find time to go.

We're supposed to get 3-12 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. Or it could just be freezing rain. I'd rather have snow. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan are supposed to come for dinner (we are all loaded upon the fresh antipasto from the deli), I hope the weather holds off long enough for them to make it! And Saturday is the annual "second floor night shift holiday party" at the house. Last year, they predicted a lot of snow, so Mom cancelled the party. If I recall correctly, it ended up being 50 and sunny.

Good things: my annual raise kicked in at work with this week's paycheck, and I used the "retroactive" amount to pay off my car insurance. Bad things: I went to the ER back in August, and it was a workman's comp issue. The hospital STILL has not heard from my employer's insurance company, and so when I got a notice in the mail, I took it to the HR person to followup on. Today, I got a bill. So I handed that over, too, so she can get it taken care of before some burly collection agency guy shows up at the door.

12/17/08
One more day til my three day weekend!

Diana and I went to the Kat Shack, which is quickly becoming our favorite after-work hangout. Had a couple of beers, ran into our friend Joe (who used to work with us), and I ogled the only cute guy in the place (who was also there the last time we were there). It was a blast.

Speaking of beer - since I only buy it at bars or at the Stadium, I was shocked (pleasantly) to find out how cheap it is. I went by the liquor store before work, to pick up a bottle of wine for Tesse's parents for the Hannukah dinner on Sunday, and I picked up a six-pack too (since Brian said he might come down this weekend). It was cheap! I was surprised!

12/16/08
SNOW? It was 60 yesterday! OK, at least seems more like December!

12/15/08
The Wii Fit? Still sold out - within a half-hour of going on sale, Best Buy said.

You would think this is a dreary holiday season, what with my brother's company laying off 8% of the staff, and Grandma in rehab for a broken pelvis, but it isn't all that stressful. Probably because I'm at work all the time, and it was 60 degrees today - it just doesn't feel like the end of the year.

I tried to buy Red Sox tix on Saturday, when single games went on sale, but they were sold out too quickly. Will have to StubHub a trip up there at some point. And I'm just waiting to find out when Yankees and Dodgers spring training tix go on sale - "January" is an awfully vague answer, but that's all their websites say so far.

I called the local car-fixing place (where they are friendly and do not try to cheat you) and asked if they could do the 15,000 mile tune-up on my car, and they can. And as a plus, I can drop it off right as we leave for vacation in January, and pick it up when we get back - I just have to leave a note with anything specific I want them to look at (the leaky back tire, the "check engine" light) and drop the keys off in the "key drop." Couldn't be more convenient.

12/12/08
I made a valiant effort at buying the Wii Fit today. Both Best Buy stores and Circuit City were sold out, but said to come back on Sunday when their deliveries come. The Game Stop down the street was sold out, too. Gosh, you'd think it was the holidays or something.

In addition to Jeter being on the USA's World Baseball Classic team, there's a rumor that Bernie Williams will play for Puerto Rico! Oh please, Bernie! Realize that you miss playing, and come back to us!

AJ Burnett coming to the Yankees, too. This does not bode well for Andy Pettitte coming back for 2009.

12/11/08
Cold. Rainy. Blech.

I've been the supervisor all week at work (the regular supervisor is on vacation this week). Two of the three days I worked were busy, one was blissfully slow. Today was one of the busy ones, and at least the time flew by.

I'm off tomorrow - and then working my six in a row. Again - this will make the time fly by. I was going to hunt down some organizational stuff for the shelf that my computer is on - to hold papers and the kind of things that always seem to disappear (like the camera charger, which I can never find). But then I remembered I had a shelf-kind-of-thing from IKEA up in the attic, and I took the drawers out and repurposed it. So now I don't have to make a trip to the actual, Visa-sucking abyss that is the real IKEA.

So I guess I can spend my day off diving into this pile of books sitting next to the bed.

12/10/08
CC Sabathia? Coming to New York. K-Rod? Coming to New York, but to the wrong team.

It's a balmy 60 degrees out. Considering it was 18 and windy on Sunday, this is a welcome change. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be a one-day fluke, with the rain and snow coming back tomorrow.

Went to the city tonight to meet my friend Brian for dinner (at Chat 'n' Chew, one of my favorite places to eat, because they make this fantastic grilled cheese with bacon) and drinks at Heartland Brewery around the corner. They had to put on a new keg of cider just as I ordered, so I had to make do with some other kind of beer until they got it sorted out (Red Rooster - it was more bitter than I'd like), but then they finally got the cider working, so I was happy. I tried to curl my hair before going, so that the misty rain didn't make it look crappier than it usually does, and I was pretty pleased with it. At least it had some body to it.

I also went by the bazaar in Union Square before dinner, and was mercifully restrained from buying lots of stuff that I don't need. I only picked up a few more ornaments for the "cat tree" down in the dining room. I was not, however, mercifully restrained in the bookstore, where I picked up three novels (the new novel by Beverly Swerling, and two others) and a non-fiction book by a guy who read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica. My "to read" pile is huge.

later on 12/8/08
Managed to get my ticket for the Twins vs. Red Sox in Ft. Myers for my Florida trip. This guarantees that I won't be making a trip to Orlando (except to fly in and out), since the game is on the same day I was thinking about seeing the Yankees play the Braves. But since I want to see as many parks as I can (and I've been to the Braves park two years running, and never to the Red Sox park), there you have it. Gotta work on my big "Thank You Tampa Bay Rays" sign to bring. Two games down for FL, three to go (which all go on sale next month). The three I have left to buy for AZ aren't on sale yet, either.

The next time I play MLB 2K8 on the Wii, I will be playing AS the Red Sox, instead of against them. That way, when I lose 35-0, it won't feel so bad. Need to work on my defense and my hitting. It's fantastic how the most unathletic person there is (me) can have so much fun with it.

And now, since the Tylenol Cold and Sinus is wearing off, it's time to take some Tylenol Cold and Sinus Nighttime and hit the hay.

12/8/08
Happy birthday, Tesse!

It was my favorite kind of weekend - busy. Except for the cold that I can't shake (I'm coughing and sneezing up a storm; I had no idea my nose cold produce this much phlegm), I had a super time.

Saturday I stopped in at Dad's to drop my stuff off, then went up to Astor Place to catch Road Show at the Public Theatre. Now - I actually enjoyed Bounce when we saw it in Chicago and DC. This was as if they took Bounce, sucked all of the joy and fun and romance out of it, and renamed it Road Show. Incredibly disappointing. But it wasn't a complete wash - I ran into my friend Greg (with whom I did the Rent line and always seem to run into randomly) at the theatre, and then after the show, when I was walking to the subway station, I ran into my friend David, who was down from Boston for the weekend.

Up to Missy and Olli's after the show for dinner. They renovated their kitchen and it looks fabulous. I don't know which was better - the terrific homecooked dinner, or the Wii. Missy got me hooked. And I said, leave it to the new kid (I had never played it before) to get a hole-in-one in Tiger Woods' Golf and get four strikes in a row on bowling. Between the vast amount of fun that we had and the fact that my coworker keeps raving about her Wii Fit, I had to get one. I went out yesterday to J&R and found one, and a few games for it. They didn't have the Wii Fit in stock tho, so that will have to wait a bit.

Then I went up to Tesse's for her "decorate the Hanukah bush" gathering (and also to celebrate her birthday), but since I was feeling congested, I didn't stay as long as I'd have liked. I did manage to find an actual parking spot on Broadway and 214th, right below the Stairs of Death. I think it's the first time that it took longer to drive to her place from downtown than it did to find a parking space. Usually we're driving around for a good hour looking for something.

Came home (stuck in traffic from the Giants game), and watched the DVD extras on Casino Royale (which I borrowed from Missy, then discovered that Dad had the deluxe edition, which I also borrowed) and set up the Wii.

Just wish I could clear out my sinuses for good.

Oh, best part of the weekend? Well, kind of. I walked out of Missy's on Saturday night, and there was SNOW. Actual white, fluffy stuff coming down from the sky. It didn't stick, of course, but it was fun to walk through.

12/5/08
Happy birthday, Michael Dale! I wish I could make it for your festivities, but tonight is our work holiday party, so I have to be festive in NJ.

Today is geeky electronics day. We put up my new flat-screen TV, and got the DVD player hooked up and working (I'm testing it out by watching the Aaron Boone game). Also, while we were at BJ's, I picked up a new HP all-in-one printer/scanner/copier (on sale for $60!), and that's all running.

Now I have to go hop in the shower and get ready for the party.

12/3/08
After what seems like three years of renovations, they reopened the bar around the corner, the Kat Shack. Coworker Diana and I stopped by after work (they're open til 2am, even on Sundays, a miracle for our little town). We give it the thumbs up. The kitchen is open til midnight, the drinks are cheap (and some guy bought us a round, exclaiming, "nurses take care of us!") and they have a pool table and jukebox. What more can a girl want? Plus, it's walking distance from home, just in case.

One more day of work until my three-day weekend! I'm going to see Road Show (the latest incarnation of Bounce) on Saturday afternoon, followed by dinner with Missy and Olli, and then Sunday is Tesse's birthday thingie.

12/2/08
Happy birthday, Eve!

I managed to get up at the crack of 9am to buy my Yankees vs. Bluejays Spring Training ticket.

I had the weirdest dream that I was in Philly, and was trying to give this guy my number, but he had an iPhone and I just could not get the numbers to input correctly. And prior to meeting him, I had been downtown in NY, eating Chinese food with Dad. And then we were "backstage" (me and this guy) at a World Series game (this is how I knew it was in Philly) and then walked outside during the seventh inning and were at this art museum where they were doing an all-male version of Sunday in the Park with George.

Perhaps I need to layoff the leftovers before bed.

I was kind of wrong when I said how expensive tickets to the World Baseball Classic were. The ticket price includes one ticket to EACH GAME played at the venue. Not one game. Still, not going.

12/1/08
OK, the crappy, sleety rain stuff can stop now. I'm trying to think of warmer weather by looking at the spa treatments at Paris Las Vegas and the hotel in Phoenix. I think a massage and facial are in order.

-catherine

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