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on the mend

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tonto's medical procedure went well. However, there were some very rough moments these past five days. Codeine was never an option. The side effects of morphine became unbearable and Tonto eventually refused it. The body seems to have gotten used to Demerol from the previous go-around. Currently a combination of Tylenol and oxycodone seems to be working. But the day that the morphine was discontinued, the right medication and right dosage was not yet dialed in and the pain went unchecked until the doc came in the next morning and upped the dosage.

However, Tonto is progressing far better this time than last time. Don't know if Tonto will be moved to another unit or discharged home with continuing home care. Perhaps we'll know Monday. In the mean time, I have to go back to work since I didn't get fired. I'll head back to the hospital tonight, spend the night and leave for work in the morning from there. Tonto is leery of this particular much so that Tonto didn't sleep a wink last night. I'll spend the night and plan to sleep sitting up. If I lie down, I'm out like a light.

book meme

I've been tagged by T.O., who has far more interesting entries for this meme, but here goes...
1. One book that changed your life: Catholic bible (honestly, though, no ONE book has ever changed my life ... I lean a lot on St. Augustine's Confessions as well and hope to eventually have St. Ambrose and the early church fathers thoughts in my mental tool shed)
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Catholic bible (not that I ever finished it)
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Catholic bible (maybe I can finish reading it while waiting for my ship to come in, provided that I don't get dragged off by native cannibal islanders)
4. One book that made you laugh: Alice in Wonderland would probably do the trick, but I've never read it
5. One book that made you cry: Joy Luck Club (I can't remember who gave me that book ... lucky for them)
6. One book that you wish had been written: no vote here because even if it were written, I'd probably not read it
7. One book that you wish had never been written: any book on the occult...I don't and won't read them
8. One book you’re currently reading: none...been collapsing of sheer exhaustion lately
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Catholic bible (well, I've been meaning to finish reading it)
10. Now tag five people: you, you, you, you, and you too

sorry, I'm not particularly bookish in recent years


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Driving home this evening I saw a rainbow. The sky was darkish, the sun was setting and the night was coming in. Spread across the partly cloudy sky was a huge rainbow, its red well contrasted against the darkish gray. The rainbow had blurred edges and had some parts hidden behind clouds; it looked like an oil painting. So big was this rainbow that I would have to turn my head to see the other end. Unlike other rainbows that looked transparent, this one looked solid, like you could touch it.

Yesterday I saw a rainbow as I was driving home as well. But I had left work earlier in the day and it was the "usual" transparent faint rainbow with the sun shining against the clouds. Yesterday, though, there was a moment where it seemed like I was driving right through one of the ends of the rainbow.

These rainbows ... it's as if God is saying "I'm still here."


Saturday, July 22, 2006

I attempted the CCNA test again. And for the second time, I did not pass. friggin fraggin *grumble* How shall I put it ... frustrating, exasperating, aggravating, agonizing, de-moralizing, humiliating, disappointing ... yes, my friends painful and bitter was this defeat. So much so that I inwardly whined "unfair!" violating my own rule of no-whining. On the positive side, I didn't score less than last time.

I have proven once more that it's hard as hell to cram successfully for this test. There are simulator labs on the test that I simply have not been able to pass. My dinosaur of a computer cannot run simulators so I've not been able to practice. As an analogy, it is sort of like being able to pass my music theory but not able play a music instrument and therefore failed the exam. You see, it's hard to learn to play a music instrument without having one to practice on. However, it is not impossible to learn this stuff without the simulator -- it's just harder.

I've calmed down by this time, though still bitter. I'm just going to have to crunch down and study harder, and get other study materials. Some of the questions on the test were not covered that thoroughly in the book I have. I have to remind myself that there a worse things: war, domestic abuse, poverty, etc. This was just friggin certification test.

Got a hair cut today. It almost would pass for a head shave except that I do have some length of hair left. Then I got my tires rotated (sure hope they rotated all four tires). It was closing time and the guys at the tire store were hurrying to get everything done before the advancing storm clouds hit us. It went from a scorchingly hot day to a storming evening.

Ps 23 / peace prayer

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I occasionally take up the project of memorizing a prayer. This week's project is the 23rd Psalm and the Universal Peace Prayer. I didn't quite find the ideal 23rd Psalm translation, but I gotta settle on one, so I picked the NIV version. Kinda odd how it changes from third person to second person. Depeding on how crazy my schedule is, this might take me more than a week.

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Universal Peace Prayer

Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill my heart,
my world, my universe.

worn out

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Friday I was so tired. I looked at the clock (on my computer) and saw that my shift was over. I had answered all my e-mails up to that point. I shut down my computer and just got up and left. Nevermind that I had work piled up from yesterday. Nevermind that I didn't get to all the stuff I was supposed to get to today (or yesterday). Nevermind that I had put on my timesheet that I would work 14 hours that day. Since my co-workers were all busy, buried in their own pile of stuff, I bet they didn't notice me leaving. I'm sure they were shocked when they looked around and found that I wasn't there--I who show up at 7am and don't leave until 8pm or later.

I was just really tired. I couldn't take it any more. The intent was to come back on Saturday morning. After spending $65 to fill up both cars yesterday, Pogo said to save on the gas and don't go into work today. I'm all too happy to comply. So I'll just have a pile of stuff to deal with next week.

After paying this month's mortgage and light bill, my paycheck is just about gone, *poof*. Next week I intend to take a day off since Pogo is going back in the hospital and have asked for my assistance on pre-op day. Then I might take the entire week off the following week for Pogo's surgery. This is a job with no benefits, so we're talking no pay. Might be slim pickin' on the next paycheck. And if my employer is really pissed off at me by then, it may be my last paycheck. Then I would once again be liberated (i.e. unemployed). As I said, I'm just friggin' tired.

luv my car

Yup, I love my car. But I was willing to lose it, if it came down to that because we couldn't make the payments. I'm glad it didn't come to that. My brother has a competitor's model and his car has more bells and whistles, but I do believe I have a better engine. I took my car for an oil change this morning; I wanted to have a tire rotation too but the tire shop was packed and they said the wait would be about an hour and a half. I'll just try again another time or another day.

Anyhow, with the short wheelbase, smooth engine, and driver positioning for good view out the large windows, it's fun to drive. It being a little higher off the ground and having larger tires help me navigate flood conditions common around here. (Those larger tires sure can hurt the pocketbook, though.) Its short wheelbase makes for cramped quarters and it's not a very good passenger car, but I seldom have passengers. A short wheelbase also means that I won't be towing anything, but that's okay. They don't make the model in this body style anymore; this same model keeps getting a little bigger each time they modify it. I like newer cars for their increased performance and efficiency, but I sure do love my car!

We usually trade in our cars when it gets too expensive to repair (i.e. they don't make the model any more and it's hard to get parts). I don't know what the future of my ride is, but it'd be cool if I can drop in a newer model engine and maybe tranny too when this one gives out, and just keep the body style.

By the way, isn't it absolutely amazing how long your car lights last?


Seen last week but didn't have time to blog...
Over at the Holy Vocations blog, Estevan had been getting some advice to try the world before entering the seminary. Thankfully, wise priests have given him the advice that you don't take a good seed and put in it bad soil to see how it grows. Rather, you take that good seed and put in fertile soil. Hence for priests, the seminary is the best place to discern their vocation.

Likewise ladies, don't be afraid to enter the convent. You won't be snatched up and locked away for life. Both you and they will be discerning; you won't (and can't) go at it alone.

If there is anything that gives me pause, it is the thought that I might "waste" the community's resources. By "waste" I mean they pour themselves into me only to find out years later that it's not a good fit. I hope to mitigate that risk by being very discerning in the first place, deciding where to enter, and by likewise pouring myself into them when I do enter. I hope their lives will be a little richer for just having me around. Not bragging ... just a human thing. There are folks who have made my life richer just because I knew them, however briefly. (I thank you, God, for the beautiful people you have made.) In the words of someone else, we leave our footsteps in each others hearts. Then in the end whether I leave or take final vows would be a decision that I and the community make together as we discern where it is that God wants me.

short PSA

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When you telephone someone and you hear the ringing, it is not their phone ringing that you hear. When you make a call, a signal is sent to the destination phone to make it ring. A separate ringing tone is sent to you to let you know that your call is in progress. Hence you don't actually hear the other phone ring (at least not through your phone).

bumper thing

Sunday, July 09, 2006

standard Texas plate:
image hosted by
While stopped at a traffic light on leaving mass, my eyes were caught by the rear of the dark blue car in front of me. My mind was elsewhere, but I was somewhere eyeing the bright colors on this bumper. Our license plates have a tiny state of Texas separating the license numbers. On this one, the tiny state is rainbow-colored. On the bumper, starting from the left and running about 3/4 across is a very narrow sticker strip, also rainbow colored and each color clearly demarcated from the next (instead of blending into the next color). It caught my eye because it started out straight but then took a dip and then came back up across. Then on the lower left of the bumper is a small rectangle, again rainbow colors, each color bar stacked on top of the next.

Having had a few science classes, I'm used to seeing rainbow colors expressed horizontally. The rectangular vertical stack kinda caused a brain re-wiring somewhere.

My first thought was "hmm...they've got a license plate expressing their Mexican heritage." We have a strong Mexican subculture here. But then wait a minute, those are not Mexico colors. It was only then that I realized they were rainbow colors, as were the rectangle and strip. Now it got my full attention. My thought turned to Natty and I grinned, being very pleased with myself for knowing what that rainbow thing is. I thought that the license plate was fun looking, the rectangle was tasteful, and the strip suggests someone who isn't particularly uptight (they didn't care that it wasn't centered or that it wasn't straight). As with all people-watching, I wondered who the two ladies in the car were and what those bumper stickers meant to them.

The use of symbols - still a hallmark of being "human." Are there people who do not know that the cross sometimes means something other than the math operator symbol for addition? Are there many like myself who are largely unaware that the rainbow in this case meant something besides the light wavelength spectrum?

in sync

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Friday morn my Dominican liason sent me "A BIG HELLO" e-mail (her title exactly). I didn't see it until I got home later that night. But what was cool was that as I was leaving work I decided to call her though I was completely unaware of this e-mail. She wasn't in; she was giving a presentation for some big meeting this weekend, so I didn't get to talk to her. Anyhow, it just kinda says that we're in sync, we both felt that it was time for a "hello."

"Dominican liason" sounds a bit bureaucratic but that's where we are at the moment. I am very fond of her and she assures me that the community is very fond of me. She is one of my favorite Dominicans, and if you meet her, I'm sure she would be one of your favorites as well. Anyhow, at this time my relationship with the Dominicans is facilitated through her. It's early yet in the relationship. Both sides have been very busy and we've barely seen each other. Hmm...but it seems that we're in sync.

movie tonite

Tonight, there will be another one of those rare excursions to the movie theatre. I am perfectly contented if I never see another movie. Pixie, on the other hand, is a movie buff. The compromise is to see a movie once in a while, particularly those with special effects that are best appreciated on a big screen. Jurassic Park was one of those; it was quite breathtaking to hear the boom of the dinasaur's steps and then to see the first view of them. Others we picked included Titanic, King Kong and MI:III. We'll also go if the movie is particularly meaningful like Schindler's List and The Passion. Tonight is especially rare because it will be IMAX ... Superman IMAX.

We have quite a distance to drive to this theatre, so to be sure that we'll get in, I got the tickets online. I could only find it at one place and they charged an additional $1 per ticket ... grumble.

It's been raining off and on in this city all week, and now it looks like it's going to rain again. Hopefully the weather won't be too bad when we take that trek tonight. (Going at the last showing of the day in hopes of avoiding the big crowd.)

4th of July

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day to all!

As one of the priests said on Sunday, we are blessed to live in this country, where we a free to worship and to practice our religion.

Indeed, sometimes I attend mass because I remember that there have been people who have had to risk their lives to attend mass. And here I am, all I have to do is roll out of bed, hop in my car and show up. I'm sure the general public would prefer that I practice some personal hygiene before showing up, but in theory, I don't have to. I think too of you folks up north having to bundle up your kids, de-ice the car and trudge through snow to make it to mass. Hats off to you folks. Compared to that, I don't have any excuses to miss mass.

Many thanks to for our troops past and present who guard and gain us our freedom. Many thanks to our public servants for their help in the governance of this country.

Dear God, please guide us. Let us not squander the gifts you've given. Let us not grow haughty and forget our neediness. Protect us from offending you. Teach us to live.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

You can stop by Fr. Corapi's site and get a priestly blessing. Congratulations to those in Batavia, Illinois as he will be there for a speaking engagement soon. As is typical of his appearances, it is SOLD OUT. This guy can probably fill a stadium, really.


The one word meme as seen on Natty's blog and Susan's blog

1. Yourself: nondescript
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: steamy (HA HA HA HA)
3. Your hair: present
4. Your Mother: far
5. Your Father: far
6. Your Favorite Item: car
7. Your dream last night: none
8. Your Favorite Drink: yum
9. Your Dream House: heaven
10. The Room You Are In: cluttered
11. Your Ex: forgotten
12. Your fear: disappointment
13. Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Dominican
14. Who you hung out with last night: didn't
15. What You're Not: loud
16. Your Best Friend: Jesus
17. One of Your Wish List Items: life
18. Your Gender: female
19. The Last Thing You Did: typed
20. What You Are Wearing: casual
21. Your Favorite Weather: variable
22. Your Favorite Book: none
23. The Last Thing You Ate: popsicle
24. Your Life: adventure
25. Your Mood: careless
26. What are you thinking about right now: bumming


Got the state inspection sticker on both cars, filled up my tank, got some moolah from the bank and mailed off some stuff. So goes the morning.

Right now, I all of a sudden would like to go horseback riding. A nice english saddle on a clean saddle pad, securely cinched; a simple snaffle bit bridle with supple reins; and of course a quiet, easy-going horse. It's a little strange perched up there on the horse's back with nothing to stop you from just falling right off. Yup well maybe one day I'll find myself riding a horse somewhere.

Right now I best finish my popsicle and surf for jobs.