November 1999


3 November 1999 ::: Moments in Time :::
Moments in time.

Sledding in the dark
         My family always gathers in Iowa for Christmas time. My grandparents live out in the country in a big white farmhouse on top of a hill. The driveway is the perfect sledding hill. The speeds you get are incredible, with the gravel, the ice and snow, the slope and the sheer length of the road! And one evening my brother suggested we go out. "But it's dark!" Yep, and that was an understatement...
         My brother went first and yelled back that it was great. I was hesitant. It was so very dark. But I set my sled down and steadied it, took several strides backward, and got a good running start. I flopped down on the sled with good speed and a perfect angle. And in split seconds I was out of the light of the house. In complete darkness, I could not see a thing, the hard ice making my sled go as fast as it's ever been. Terrifying!
         And when I got to the bottom? I crashed right into my brother and his sled! laugh. Giving new meaning to the phrase "Didn't even see it coming."

A moment
         I was ten years old. It was a summer morning. I had the whole day in front of me. I had just taken a shower and had dressed in my favorite soft tee-shirt and shorts. I remember standing there in the bathroom. Staring in the mirror, behind me a breeze through the open window russled the curtains, bringing in summer promises. I was standing there thinking that this is a good as it gets. I knew that when I got older than ten there would be all kinds of more grown-up problems to deal with. But right that instant, I was just a little kid, on summer vacation, and a gorgeous blue sky day awaited. And it was time to play.

What are your moments in time?


6 November 1999 ::: Work Stuff :::
I know, I know, I have been really remiss in writing journal entries here lately. Ack. I don't know why it is suddenly so difficult to write. Well, suffice it to say, I am still alive, just under more stress than usual. And since work is the major stressor here, that is what I am writing about today.

         I have recently lost another one of my little friends. Magoo was a white, fat scottish terrier, very old and his owners put him to 'sleep' this week. Magoo and the other dogs in his family came in once or twice a month for a brush out and bath. I always bathed Magoo last because he was the easiest, he never complained, never squirmed, and always enjoyed getting cleaned up. And he was always so cute, staring at you and bumping your hand until you had to pet him. Goodbye Magoo, I hope you're having fun up there in doggie heaven!

         It had been a pretty steady work week and I was so glad to see all the patients leaving in decent time on Friday afternoon. But then, of course, an emergency comes in just an hour before we were to close. We actually don't get that many emergency cases, but for some reason they usually show up just before closing on a Friday. But this case really pulled at the heart strings.

         A dog had just been hit by a truck. The woman who brought her in was pissed as hell because the truck driver did not even stop. And upset and crying for the dog, who was very bad off. So bad off, in fact, that we sent the woman and the dog to the university vet clinic, where they would be able to take care of the dog over night. I will probably never find out the ending of that particular story, hopefully the dog will live, especially since the woman who picked her up was so willing to take care of the expenses.

         But I do have something to say to all drivers who hit and run: You suck.

         And in other news. My little friend Adric the guinea pig is sick. He and I would appreciate any Get Well Soon thoughts you can send this way.


8 November 1999 ::: Want :::
Do you ever think about what you want? I don't, not really. But relatives want my Christmas Wish List. At first I thought there wouldn't be anything at all on my list. In general, if I think I want something, I will just go out and buy the thing. But then I thought of some movies that I enjoy and don't own yet. And then some books that looked interesting were brought to my attention. So now I have a pretty good wish list going.

         But it brings up the question of the bigger wants in my life. The givens: I want to quit my job, I want to move out of this town, I want little Adric the guinea pig to get better. And beyond that? That's where things get a bit fuzzy for me. Because, like I said, I don't think about the things I want. Well, I'm thinking now and I'm getting a great big blank.

         When I was a kid, I had one of those books where you put in your school picture and you write answers to some prompts. I found the book a few years ago when I was packing stuff up for storage. Of course I paged through it. On the page reserved for the fifth grade there was the question of what I wanted when I grew up. I had scrawled "I want to be a vet and live on a farm with 3 horses and a dog." heh. I don't want those things now. Well, maybe the dog. And maybe one horse, boarded at some expensive stable, taken care of by someone who is not me. Not that I'm lazy or anything. It's just that I have been there, done that and now it is someone else's turn. And as for the vet part, being a vet assistant, I think I am as close to being a vet as I want to be. Again, been there, done that. Time for something new.

         Don't know what, tho. I'm sure something will pop up, it always has.

         Please send good, healing thoughts this way, little Adric the guinea pig is still pretty sick.


10 November 1999 ::: Adric is Sick :::
Doing things a little bit different today. This entry is straight from my paper journal. This entry is more personal than anything I have ever writen here. Adric the guinea pig is my companion animal, he is quite sick...

         Adric has been sick now for over a week. He has been to the doctor's four times in the past week, given pills, stuck with needles, poked and prodded. They don't know what is wrong with him. Today we got a blood sample to send to the lab, some of the test results will be back tomorrow.

         He's been sick for so long, at this point I have to start contemplating his death. The things that run through the head are just awful...

         Thinking about getting a 'replacement' animal. No. Thinking about his actual death, holding him for his very last shot, him going limp and laying down in my arms for the first and last time. He was never a lap-pig and never had time to sit around to get petted. He had places to run to and things to chew on.

         Thinking about how this place would be different without him. No more Adric getting kicked accidently because he was always under foot. No more Adric squeeking annoyingly in the middle of the damn night. No more Adric the gray bullet zipping from one end of the room to the other as fast as his little legs would take him. No more smiles at his antics. When he is gone I'll have a bit more room in this tiny apartment... oh gods, that thought hit with reality a bit too hard.

         My schedule has been re-arranged drastically. I have to get up early for him, go to bed late for him. When I come home at lunch and at the end of the day, I have to treat him first. I wish all I had to worry about was how often to clean his home. Now I have to worry about how many cubic centimeters of fluids I can get into him in one sitting.

         He sleeps all the time, in the little indentions he has made recently. He ignores his food, he ignores his water, he ignores his favorite treats. I am the one keeping him alive, forcing every drink and every calorie into him.

         I hope I know the right time to let go of him. I don't want him to suffer. But right now, before his blood test comes back, there is a chance he will spontaneously bounce back. Tomorrow, looking at his test results, it might be different, but today he might get better.

         Please, please get better little Adric...


11 November 1999 ::: Nervous Break Down Day :::
Somebody pour cheri another drink, today has been one of those days. I am thinking of changing the name of this place to "Journey into a Nervous Break Down" or something like that. My life is just crazy, and I am just so tired. If you haven't read yesterday's entry, go read it. Adric is sick.

         The day started out okay, I took care of Adric the guinea pig, then took myself to work. I relayed Adric's daily progress report to the vet tech. Today the vet tech changed his tune from "Adric will bounce back" to "keep feeding him and make him comfortable." Basically the vet tech has given up hope for little Adric.

         Then of course I had been expecting to get partial results this morning from Adric's blood tests. They call in to the lab only to discover they have lost his blood. <cheri gets a little unstable> Yes, the lab does lose things on occassion. But why does it have to be Adric's blood, when it was _so_ difficult to draw his blood, and weighing in at only two pounds he could go anemic so easily. Christ. Just Unbelievable.

         Still morning time and an emergency case comes in. One of my favorite dogs has been run over by a car. They were taking care of Precious, and I was standing to the side watching, thinking "I don't know if I can handle much more of this."

         And then, strangely, things start turning around in the afternoon. The lab found Adric's blood. It was such a relief to know we didn't need to draw any more of his blood. The x-rays of the run over dog showed nothing was broken and they spent about half an hour trying to pop her hip back into place. Her back leg is in a sling, she's got a black eye, but she's going to make it. I spent some time outside at work, playing with the fall leaves, and that cheered me up considerably.

         I came home and Adric was happy to see me. Little Adric is nothing but fur and bones and he was still happy to see me. The screw up at the lab gave us another day reprieve before any life and death decisions have to be made...


12 November 1999 ::: Adric Update :::
The Adric update. (read 10 Nov and 11 Nov) His bloodwork came back today. The results were inconclusive. He has minor liver problems, maybe not kidney problems. The blood values were basically wacked and what it all comes down to is one of two problems. He's either got cancer or he has a bad nutritional deficiency. So, we'll work on the nutritional thing for a week or so, but it's more likely to be cancer. sighs.


15 November 1999 ::: Entry without a Title :::
The Adric update. (Began 10 Nov) He seems to be perking up a bit. He has started nibbling on the veges I have offered. Not enough to live on, but it's a start. It surprises and horrifies me when I see how thin he has gotten.

         Yesterday there was a little bug floating in my fake coffee. I just spooned him out and kept drinking. Today I discovered a cat had used my potted plant on the porch as a kitty litter box. I just pulled out my pooper scooper and threw shit over the rail. laugh.

         You know how it is when you hate your job and yet you keep showing up due to some misguided sense of responsibility? And you keep passing up opportunities due to, what? Some kind of horrible self-destructive apathy? Boy, what a life, huh?

Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars
Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares
-- "Dante's Prayer" Loreena McKennitt


16 November 1999 ::: Where I've been :::
First, the Adric update. (Began 10 Nov) Yesterday he was so good about eating his frozen peas and kale. Today he is turning up his nose again. But he keeps getting excited every time I go to the fridge. Wish I could figure out what he wants.

         Also, don't forget to check out the Leonid meteor shower. 2,000 shooting stars an hour, they say. Peak will be at 9pm to 10pm EST on Wednesday, 17 November, look to the east-southeast, right at the horizon. And hope it's not cloudy!

         I wrote the following, and I don't know why. Just a quick tour into my memories...

         I was born in Indiana. Grissom AFB. Wanna know something funny? I have no idea where that is. ha. We moved to England when I was six. One summer we took a tour of the rest of Europe... I've been to the top of the Eiffle Tower and seen the Leaning Tower of Piza. I sang in the front of the bus to all the tour people. ha.

         We moved to Witchita Kansas. For some reason trees would not grow in our front yard. But there was a nice little climbing tree in the back. My brother broke one of the front windows of our house with a soccer ball... of course it was my brilliant idea to kick it off the house between the two big windows. heh.

         Most of high school was at Shreveport Louisiana. High school is something I would rather forget. But I continued my horse back riding here. I rode Star and 76 and others every Saturday morning.

         We moved to Clarinda, Iowa for my senior year. We moved around a lot in the two years my family lived there. Living with relatives and in a camper and two different houses. I loved the last house... A huge farm house out in the country, my bedroom there was easily twice the size of my present apartment!

         I started college in Kirksville, Missouri. It was a small, beautiful, walking college campus. It was a good place. Animal Science with Equine concentration, and my minors were mathematics and art history. I had to ride my bike to the farm to ride horses, tho sometimes I was able to borrow my friend's car. I only stalled it once over the railroad tracks.

         Then I moved to Colorado. Went to school at CSU in Fort Collins. Equine Science, industry concentration and a minor in computer science. I spent my summers in various places, with my parents in Denver, at my job out on the Front Range, or in the Fort. I loved my summers in Fort Collins.

         More tomorrow... I'm all reminisced out!


18 November 1999 ::: Y2K :::
The Adric Update. (Began 10 Nov) Today's food favorites: kale, bagels and V8. I think he his just turning into a finicky eater. cheri says: "You see all that guinea pig food?" Adric says: "How boring, give me your bagel!"

         Journal Topic from Topics du jour:
We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur. (Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle)

         Got any plans for the Y2K thing? I'm going to put a few extra gallons of water through my water filter. I'm going to have plenty of canned foods around, and extra Hershey bars. And I might buy a couple more blankets to keep me and Adric warm if the electricity goes. But other than that, I am not going to worry too much about it. To tell the truth, I don't think much is going to happen to the average person. But then again, it is another one of those "wait and see" situations.

         New Year's Resolutions anyone? ha. I don't do resolutions. But things are going to change in my life after the new year. I am going to quit my evil job. I am going to move. I am going to buy my own domain, if I haven't already by then.

         Which is to say, I've got big plans for my own domain. Supposedly it's going to be I kind of like the look of that. :) And I've got this idea that is trying to percolate through my thick skull. I want to start writing stories again. 'Course, I'm not writing any stories presently, so I must not want that very much, huh? But anyway. I want a new section on my site that is dedicated to my writing pursuits. And if I ever get a scanner, I would put drawings there too. 'Course, I'm not drawing presently, either. heh.


20 November 1999 ::: It's all downhill from here :::
         I almost lost it at work today. I didn't even know that my fuse was that short. It was a fairly busy morning, we were packed with appointments. I think I had to deal with every idiot on the planet, plus a few very impatient morons to boot. And the dogs are making a mess of the clinic. And the owners are all "I'm sorry", yeah right. And it's raining cats and dogs outside, and stupid cheri has parked her poor little car in a ditch. One dog comes in sopping wet, guess who gets to hold her to get a blood test... When I pull back, I discover the dog was also filthy. lord. All the dogs are big dogs and squirming all over the damn place. And of course everyone ignores you when you are fighting over a squirming dog. One managed to slide off the exam table, I was tempted to just let him fall, but I made a ditch effort and caught him and set him down gently, we'll see how my back made out tomorrow.

         So, I'm in the exam room with another squirming dog, wondering if this will ever end. I have to leave the room momentarily in order to set up a lab test. As soon as I am alone with my little test, my only thought is: "I could just leave." And it's one of those thoughts that you entertain very seriously for several moments before dismissing it. Very seriously.

         Ah, well... enough complaining about my stupid job. :)

         The album I am listening to right now is Vertical Horizon. I love the title song, "Everything You Want". The chorus goes:
He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

         That's kind of how I feel about life right now. It might as well be perfect, but I don't even care. I mean, look, I've had a pretty incredible life. (See where I've been in the 16 Nov entry.) My parents were well off, they sent me through college and I don't have any other looming loans to pay off. I love animals and have a great job working with them everyday. I live happily alone, I have my little dream car, I have an excellent stereo, and a decent computer, a great little companion animal (who is steadily gaining back the weight he lost, yea), and I've got extra Hershey bars in the frige.

         But, really, big deal. Who cares? Certainly not me. Oh well... this is probably another one of those stupid "what's the point of life?" entries...


22 November 1999 ::: On-Line Journals :::
         On-line journaling is a strange animal. You are taking words that should be intensly personal and putting them in front of both strangers and close friends and family as well. Me, I can deal with "strangers", this is the Internet after all and people aren't really strangers here, we're all friends. It's the real life people you have to worry about when journaling publically. You see a lot of journals which used to be open, now password protected... the reason being real world consequences.

         I figured out in the very beginning that I couldn't get too personal here. I never wanted this place to be a grocery list of "I got up, I talked to so-and-so, they said this and that" blah blah blah. This is a place to write about things that cross my mind. Yes, sometimes it does get personal, and occasionally real life people, um, comment. Which leaves me with mixed feelings: I'm gratified that they bother to read, and it feels strange that people know things about me that I didn't tell them directly. Probably 90% of the feed back I have gotten concerning this journal has been positive. But it's still a bit weird!

         But there's one thing I will promise: I will never password here. This journal is public, that means everyone, including you. :)


25 Nov ::: Thanksgiving :::
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! How about giving the turkeys a break today and eating tofu? No? hrumph. Nobody ever listens to me. :) Have a great day!

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for happy days, beautiful things, comfortable things, hugs, computers and the Internet, good stories and poetry. :)

I am thankful that I am able to create a place for myself here. And I am thankful for my readers.

I am thankful for magic and the animals and art and music and all good things.


26 November 1999 ::: Words Fail Me :::
         I just noticed that I like the word "glamour", not glamour with the today definition, but traditional glamour. The glamour of the Fey, little fairies and elves sprinkling magic everywhere they go in their beauty and charm.

         And you know, this is really strange, because I am mostly a sci fi reader, with very little fantasy. I would rather read about far off worlds and space ships and cyber punk and computers and AI and all that. Not glamour. Not magic. But here I am, constantly talking about magic, and how I like the word glamour. heh.

         I also like the word solace. I like how it sounds and I like what it means. An easing of grief and loneliness. I think solace is my favorite word.

         Thinking about glamour made me remember one of my favorite movies, Legend. I've watched this movie so many times, I could probably type out the whole script for you right now. I like the words in Legend. I also like the incredible visuals and sounds, but I like the words the best. They are poetic. Here's the opening:

Once, long ago, before there was such a thing as time, the world was shrouded in darkness. Then came the splendor of light, bringing life and love into the universe and the Lord of Darkness retreated deep into the shadows of the earth, plotting his return to power, by banishing light forever.

But precious light is protected, harbored in the souls of unicorns, the most mystical of all creatures. They can only be found by the purest of mortals. Such a mortal is Jack, who lives in solitude with the animals of the forest. A beautiful girl named Lili loves Jack with all her heart. In their innocence, they believe only goodness exists in the world. Together they will learn there can be no good without evil, no love without hate, no heaven without hell, no light without darkness.

The harmony of the universe depends upon an eternal balance, out of the struggle to maintain this balance comes the birth of Legends.

         Mmm. Lots of good words. :) There are other movies I like for the words. Ever After especially, and as well LadyHawke.

         I think I like words so much because I have such a hard time with them. In real life I am shy. Painfully shy might best describe it. Not so painful to me, but I know I make people uncomfortable when I can't talk. Which is a "why" for this place. A place where I can think about what I want to say and then say it. Words come slowly for me, but you can't tell that by reading this. You can't tell how I pause over every word and every arrangement. Here I can at least sound half way intelligent, in real life it is much different.

         What are your favorite words and why do you like them?


30 November 1999 ::: Paper Journals :::
How about an update every once in a while, aye? okay, here you are... :)

         I went out and bought a new paper journal this weekend. It was needed. There are many things on the horizon. I wanted a new diary to bring me into the new year. Tho, also, my old diary was winding down. I had written on loose leaf college ruled for almost the last two years. But writing there has been difficult lately. So now I've got a decent looking green spiral bound, plus I spent 10$ on a few pens. And they are nice, too! Damn nice. I've found I love to write again. Unfortunately, I've got nothing to write about. As usual.

         But anyway. I gathered up all my journals. The first three are legal pads, starting in 1995. Then the loose leaf, starting in 1998. Stacked up it's almost 4 inches of journal. heh. I'm not really sure what the use of it is. I so rarely go reading through old journals. And if I do, I usually find the same stupid themes that I am writing about today: not being able to write anything interesting, not having any goals, procrastinating everything, bitching about things I never bother to change etc. Sheesh, you'd think I would do something about it at some point, wouldn't you?! But I don't.

         Actually, no, I lied... I never read the loose leaf journal pages. Because I know it is just a long, run-on sentence of complaining. The legal pad journals are kind of interesting to go through. These were used for first drafts of stories and exercises from my creative writing classes in college. There are random quotes and free verse there too. Meanderings of a very dark mind. There are full pages crossed out. There are single sentences, just sitting there without any further context. Restless and wild. But man, that is writing! Hopefully with this new bound journal I will be able to return to that kind of writing...

Current Journal Entry


All code, graphics and entries here are
©1999 by cheri -rift- meier of Static8