misslynx: (Quote - clucking bell)
Note to Dog:

I hear the people in the hall. Really. Including the maintenance guy doing fire door improvements. It is not necessary to bark and/or growl to alert me every time you hear a sound out there. Especially when that sound is a power drill, I can hear it perfectly fine.

Note to Cats:

I understand that you two do not always get along well. I appreciate the fact that you fight much less than you did when Rosalind first came to live here, and I try to just put up with the occasional spats that still happen. HOWEVER...

On the occasions when you do still get into it, and decided to chase each other around the apartment with murder in your eyes, I would really appreciate it if the designated "home free" spot where the chasee can escape the chaser (whoever happens to be in either role at the moment) was NOT MY DESK.

Particularly not while I am working at it. And particularly not when you take a flying leap at the corner where my mouse pad is, while my hand is on said mouse, and land half-on-half-off it, sending the mouse flying in one direction and the mouse pad in three other directions (being as it is composed of three parts, and desperately grabbing at my arm with your claws in order to try not to fall. Neither the mouse, mouse pad nor my arm benefit from that kind of treatment, thank you.
misslynx: (Photo - bicycle gears)
Today was a day of major cycling. I rode a grand total of 33km today, which I think may be an all-time record for me. That was a combination of five trips - three short ones earlier in the day (to a meeting with a client, then to an ill-fated coven meetup for potential new members, to which no potential new members showed up, then home), and then a longer trek in the evening - down to the Asian Night Market on Cherry Street, about 12.3 km by the route I took, and back again.

I now hurt in muscles I didn't even know I had. Usually long bike rides just leave my quads sore, but this time I think nearly everything from the waist down is sore, and my lower back more than anything. Going from sitting to standing or vice-versa currently involves stabby back pains, major leg soreness, and either whimpering or swearing. I did a whole bunch of stretches when I got home, so I'm hoping that will help some. Contemplating a hot bath, but I'm tired enough that I'm more inclined to just go to bed.

My bike is locked outside because carrying it up the stairs was already clearly NOT an option by the time I got home.

Ironically, I'd intended to not ride all the way back - I was going to just ride over to Shaw and take the Ossington bus back up, since the buses on that route have bike racks on the front. But I kind of started riding north, and kept telling myself "I'll just head over to Ossington once I reach Dundas... College... Harbord... Bloor..." and then not doing it. I did nearly cave and take the bus at a couple of points, but each time thought "I'll just go a little bit further first..." And eventually found myself walking the bike up the Davenport Hill, which is the main thing I would have taken the bus to avoid, so by that time there was really no point.

So I guess this is a small taste of the sort of thing I can expect as I start going on longer rides in order to gear up for doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer next summer... And really, despite the soreness, I really wants to do more rides like this. Especially the parts involving the Martin Goodman Trail. Riding along the waterfront is really wonderful, except for the nasty bit from Spadina to Yonge, where the trail disappears, and for much of that stretch there isn't even a bike lane on Queen's Quay the way there is west of Spadina and east of Yonge. Clearly the lesson in that is to plan longer lakeshore rides, so that the part I don't like will compose a smaller proportion of the overall distance. :-)

I have, in fact, a crazy idea in mind, to at some point ride from my dad's place, just north of High Park, down through the park and onto the waterfront trail, and then as far east as I can manage - possibly all the way to [livejournal.com profile] foxesdaughter's place. That would be a distance of 18.9 km, according to Ride the City. Definitely longer than I've ever ridden in a single stretch before, but nearly all of it either downhill or flat. The way back, not so much... I suspect I'd have to ride to Union Station and then take the subway, or something like that. But it would be a seriously cool ride.
misslynx: (Default)
Update to yesterday's door prize post:

Good: got a phone message from the investigating officer, who had already paid a visit to the guy, and I think actually took him down the station even. Quicker response than I'd expected.

Bad: he said in the message that he'd only be at the station for another hour and a half, after which he would be off for six days, and it was more than an hour and a half later by the time I got the message.

Also bad: the driver denied everything, and the cop apparently couldn't make out the name and number of the witness in his notes, and needed me to supply it again. Except that he's going to be away from work for six days.

Potentially bad: the witness lives up near North Bay, and was only in Toronto for the day. I really hope they're OK with getting just a phone statement from her or something, because I have no idea whether she'd be willing or able to come back to Toronto to ID the guy in person.

Good: I went and got my bike and it was still there, and still had all its parts. And I got a chance to try it out for more than just a couple of blocks, and it still seems to be in more or less rideable condition.

Bad: note the "more or less" in the above statement. It is not exactly undamaged. I was able to ride it all the way home from College & University, but it felt a tad bit wonky, made a variety of odd sounds it didn't used to make, and the rear brake seems kind of messed up (unsurprisingly, as that's the one on the right handlebar, which smacked directly into the car door). Not messed up as in doesn't work - it's more like it works excessively, and drags on the rear wheel a bit even when I'm not applying the brakes at all. Taking it to my local bike repair place tomorrow to get it checked out.

Potentially bad: I should add, taking it to the bike shop if I'm able to get paid by anyone tomorrow, as I am pretty much flat broke. However, one cheque may be in the mail, and another client I e-mailed this morning asking if I could perchance meet up with her to pick up a cheque, so I'm hoping maybe one of those will work out.

Mixed good and bad
: bruising on right shoulder and leg doesn't look too awful today, though everything's still sore.

The shoulder in particular is a whole lot more sore than it looks like it should be for the amount of bruising visible. Possibly I wrenched a muscle or something. I can use my arm fine for undemanding stuff (typing, cooking, eating, etc.), but anything requiring much effort or moving from the shoulder hurts like whoa. And I occasionally get random aches radiating down my whole right arm. Something more than just the bruise and scrape I can see is going on there. And while the right shoulder's the worst, my whole back and both shoulders feel kind of as if I'd been moving furniture all day yesterday or something.

The really deep bruise on my left thigh is Cut for possibly squicky details )

Also bad: have not yet succeeded in getting through to my doctor's office - got home too late yesterday, and stupidly waited until too late in the afternoon today (due to sleeping for a long time and still feeling kind of dopey and tired once I got up), only to discover the office closed earlier than I thought. Will try again tomorrow.

All in all, not feeling overly optimistic any more about anything coming of the attempt to press charges. Between the guy denying it, the cop going away, only having gotten one witness's contact info, and that witness being non-local, I am starting to think the odds of any good resolution to this are not in my favour. :-/ Well, if nothing else, maybe at least the fact that he got dragged down to the cop station and had to answer questions may make Mr. Lexus Guy think twice before doing that sort of thing again...
misslynx: (Quote - good day)
Memo to: the driver of the silver Lexus at Bay and College.

Accidents happen. I get that. Yes, people should really look to see if anything is coming before opening their car door on the traffic-facing side, but sometimes people forget to do that. With unpleasant results for all involved.

But you know, a little bit of courtesy in such situations goes a long way. Such as, say, asking the cyclist who is trying to disentangle herself from her bike and pick herself and it up from the road before getting run over whether she's OK. And providing your contact info like you're supposed to in the event of accidents. Or, just maybe, apologizing. Or expressing any trace of concern whatsoever over anything apart from whether your fucking Lexus got a scratch or dent.

Yes, yes, I'm sure you were in a hurry, and found the whole thing terribly inconvenient. Which is why your sum total response was to glare at me as I was still trying to sit up and figure out whether I'd broken anything and snarl "This is a new car!" as if I'd hit it on purpose just to ruin your day. As opposed to because you flung the door open directly in front of me so that I didn't have a hope in hell of stopping even though I (thankfully) wasn't going that fast. And then, as I was still picking myself up, to jump back in your car and drive off.

News flash: sticking around to handle your part in an accident like a grown-up might have seemed like an intolerable imposition to you, but I think you're going to find the visit you'll soon be receiving from the nice officer who came to take down my information after I reported you a bigger nuisance.

Did you know that failing to remain at the scene of an accident, especially when someone's been injured and/or appears to require assistance, is an offense not just under the Highway Traffic Act, but also the Criminal Code of Canada? And can get you a hefty fine, your driver's license suspended, and even potentially six months in jail? I didn't know that either, but I do now, and you're about to find out. Because thanks to the fact that you pulled this crap in front of several witnesses, I have your license plate number. And the officer said he'd give you a choice between apologizing and offering compensation, or being charged. Unless you're as much of a douchebag to him as you were to me, in which case he'll just go ahead and charge you (well, OK, he didn't use the word "douchebag" as such, but that seemed to be the general drift).

Would it really have been that big a problem to have just taken some kind of responsibility for your actions at the time instead of being a complete dick about it? I would not have reported you if you had, and you wouldn't be looking at a possible license suspension and other unpleasantness. Karma, honey.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to attend to my various scrapes and bruises, retrieve my bike from downtown (since all of this delayed me enough that I had to take a taxi to pick up Aidan), and write a statement. Oh, and call my doctor tomorrow morning to see about getting my (thankfully fairly minor) injuries* documented.

* For the curious: a big scrape over a nasty bruise on my right shin - not sure if that was from the pavement or the door; various smaller bruises above and below it in the same area; a really deep, wickedly painful bruise on upper left thigh which is already turning black and blue with big streaks of dark red in it - I think that was maybe from the corner of the seat? - and another nasty scrape/bruise combo on my right shoulder, which was probably from the door. Also, a bit of neck, shoulder and lower back muscle soreness. Epsom salts bath required tonight, I think. Also, beer.
misslynx: (Default)
Going back to the gym after not being there regularly for some while (didn't go while sick, went briefly once better, then didn't go during the holidays due to being busy plus reduced holiday hours): good.

Warming up with 5-10 minutes on cardio machine before hitting the weights: also good.

Trying new cardio machine never tried before (crossramp, I think it was called - basically a slanted version of an elliptical trainer, so it's like cross-country skiing uphill, more or less): potentially good.

Discovering that while using said machine felt fine at the time, a mere 6.5 minutes on it was enough to make my calf muscles seize up and get crampy and painful within minutes of getting off said machine: NOT good.

Getting to find out which of the weight machines, unbeknownst to me before now, put some degree of stress on the calf muscles in addition to whatever muscle group they're aimed at: educational, I suppose, but would have preferred to find out by some means other than ow-ow-ow-fuck-ow.

Discovering, however, that despite having been away, I could still do the same level of weight on most of the machines as before I got sick: VERY good. I only had to reduce the weight on, I think, two of them, and only by 5 pounds.

New exercise clothes, including, FINALLY, a proper sports bra: doubleplusverygood.

Stupid calf muscles still being seriously sore the next day, to the point where going up and down stairs requires determination: really not so good. (Triceps, all shoulder muscles, and pectorals also sore, but only when I move certain ways. Calves are sore even at rest. What the hell is up with that? 6.5 minutes!)

May or may not go to gym again tomorrow, depending how recovered I'm feeling. I have a pretty full day tomorrow anyway. But whenever I do go back, I am feeling a strange urge to get back on the evil calf-killing machine again and see if repeated exposure will allow me to eventually beat it into submission. Possibly, I am insane. But I am fortified with new exercise clothes, which make me feel like I can do anything. Only my calves disagree.

How the hell did it get to be 4am? I could have sworn it was only 2:00 a minute ago. Bed. NOW.
misslynx: (Cat Attack)
Round 1: Dog vs. Mattress

There is a layer of eggshell foam over my mattress, which makes it a little softer than the somewhat ancient sofabed mattress would otherwise be. Normally this is under the bottom sheet, but when I am doing laundry, it is exposed because the bedding is off.

So tonight I came home from doing laundry and walked into the bedroom to see chunks of foam strewn from one end of the bed to the other, and several large gaping holes near the middle. And Kiska lying next to the carnage looking up all sweet and innocent as if to say "Oh, you're home! How was laundry?" (I tried to photograph the crime scene, but alas, the photos did not turn out. Damn cell phone camera. Someday I will get a real one...)

I had just a moment of wondering what the hell had happened to my bed, before I remembered the times I have seen her circle around several times and paw at her dog bed or my quilt or whatever else was under her in order to arrange it to her liking. And I guess the foam didn't stand up so well to dog pawing... *sigh*

. . .

Round 2: Cat vs. Skin

I haven't posted an update on Rosalind (a.k.a. New Cat) lately, mainly because there's not been anything very dramatic to report. She seems to be settling in nicely, and she and Claribell are, if not precisely getting along, at least fighting less, so I think they're getting used to each other. She is a lovely cat, very affectionate and considerably more kid-friendly than Claribell, who usually hides whenever Aidan comes over. Rosalind not only doesn't hide from him, she'll actually walk right up and headbutt him affectionately or rub against him.

However... She has one major quality that is not happy-making. Or 20, depending on how you look at it. Specifically, 20 razor-sharp implements of death attached to her four paws, and a very severe disinclination to having them clipped. In the whole time she has been here, I have managed to clip one claw, once. And that is not for lack of trying, it's just for lack of succeeding. That cat really puts up a fight if you come anywhere near her with nail clippers, and none of the tactics I have ever used on other recalcitrant cats have had any success with her.

Tonight I tried again, after she drew blood from me unintentionally (well, unintentionally as far as I could tell -- who knows what lurks in the minds of cats?) for about the tenth time. I actually tried the wrapping-her-in-a-towel technique this time, and not only did that not result in being able to clip even one claw -- I also ended up bleeding in about half a dozen places by the end of it. Most of this was not due to her clawing me on purpose (again, as far as I can tell) -- she appears to be a very nonviolent cat. But she gets very wiggly when you try to clip her claws, and flails about all over the place, in the process trying to get purchase on any surface she can in order to get away, and if you happen to be that surface, you suffer the consequences. She does not seem, in general, to have any comprehension of the sharpness of her claws or how much damage they can do to human skin when she flails her paws about or even when she affectionately extends them while being petted, or jumps off your lap, or any of a number of other common everyday things.

I really, really need to figure out some way to clip her claws, but I'm really not sure, short of drugging her or something, how that is ever going to be possible...

. . .

Bonus Round: Cat vs. Cat

Oh, and just in case you think Claribell is innocent due to her not having destroyed my foam mattress cover or injured me (today), she is most assuredly not. While she is attacking Rosalind less often these days, one circumstance that nearly always seems to inspire her to do so is when Rosalind is in the litter box. Now that is just uncalled for. And apart from probably being a violation of the feline equivalent of the Geneva Convention, if such a thing exists (and it really should), this behaviour is also, I think, directly responsible for the occasional piles of poo I have been finding under my bed.

Now, I should really not complain, because better under the bed than on the bed, and poo is a lot easier to clean up than pee, but still...! Claribell really needs to learn some kind of rules of honorable engagement. But since the odds of that are probably very slim, maybe getting a covered box for the bedroom would help some. It would at least limit the possible angles of attack to one.

. . .

I love my pets. I really do. But sometimes I need to work extra hard at reminding myself of that.
misslynx: (Default)
Back in town -- since Tuesday night, really, but I've been busy catching up on work and what not so I haven't posted anything much until now.

Spent all of yesterday with a massive splitting headache that I couldn't initially figure out the cause of, since it did not have the right characteristics to be a migraine (no knot in the back of the neck, not just on one side, no particular sensitivity to light or sound). It felt strangely familiar, though, like I'd had that kind before... It started very early in the morning, a couple of hours before when I would normally get up, and lasted straight through the night despite the popping of multiple extra-strength Tylenols throughout the day. Still there a bit today, though considerably lessened.

The mystery was solved when I recalled that during my entire trip to Points South, I was drinking copious amounts of coffee, because (a) I hadn't brought my Adderall with me, and (b) as Neil Gaiman famously pointed out (follow-up post here), it is virtually impossible to get a decent cup of tea in the United States. And then, upon my return, I reverted to my usual one-cup-of-tea-in-the-morning-and-no-other-caffeine workday pattern.

Ah, yes. That would be a caffeine withdrawal headache. Haven't had one of those since dropping out of grad school.*

Anyway: apart from the headache, things have been reasonably good since my return. No huge client crises in my absence, backlog of work significant but not overwhelming, got to see [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands yesterday despite having missed her the night before, and am seeing Aidan an unprecedented four days in a row this week, due to the collision of various events.

Tonight: going to see MIDIval PunditZ with Karsh Kale and Vishal Vaid as part of the Masala! Mehndi! Masti! South Asian festival at Exhibition Place. I've been a fan of MIDIval PunditZ, whose sound has been described as "the sublime blurring of boundaries between classical Indian, electronica and rock", for some time, so the prospect of getting to see them live is exciting, and the fact that it's FREE even more so. If you're for some reason not familiar with their music yet, you can hear some here.

The festival (which also includes a marketplace with vendors of all things South Asian, and a food area with booths from various local Indian restaurants) opens at 6pm, and the show starts at 8:30pm, at the Bandshell Stage in Exhibition Place, for any of you who are local and would like to come. Did I mention it's FREE?


* Contrary to popular belief, tea does not have more caffeine than coffee. It has about a third to a half as much, depending on what kind of tea and what kind of coffee. I think the myth comes from tea leaves having more caffeine by weight than coffee beans, but that does not translate into equivalent levels of caffeine in the actual beverages that you drink. More here.
misslynx: (Amber)
Amber seems to be doing OK on her new medication regimen. She's eating well, and has put back on a bit of weight, her fur is a little softer, and she seems a little less agitated and has once or twice even let me sleep through the whole night without getting up to feed her partway through.

And I have discovered that the only good way to get a pill inside that cat is to crush it up and mix it into a little bit of canned cat food or plain yogourt. Anything else is an invitation to arterial bleeding (on my part).

Towards the end of this week she needs to go back in for a follow-up appointment and get her thyroid levels checked again to make sure the medication is having the desired effect.

Thanks to all who sent their good wishes/energy/etc.

Hopefully she will not be overly traumatized by moving next week...
misslynx: (Default)
All right, you've heard about her inadvertently getting locked in the refreigerator and falling into the bathtub. But those are minor compared to today's grand event. The fearless feline adventurer has really outdone herself this time...

Now, a few of you may have already been aware that little Claribell seems to have a peculiar fixation with - well, the act of urination. Not her own, but that of the other residents of the apartment, both feline and human. The reason why has yet to be determined - perhaps it's that irrestible tinkling sound? At any rate, if she hears one of the other cats peeing in the litterbox, she will come tearing across the apartment to investigate, which she generally does by leaping into the litterbox on top of the unfortunate other cat within. Needless to say, the other cats do not find this behaviour endearing.

She is however, even more fascinated by humans peeing, perhaps because the toilet has better acoustics than the litterbox. She has been known to try and leap up and bat at a person's peeing apparatus, or to try to dive into the toilet, whilst said person is in the act, the better to investigate the source of that tantalizing sound. Fortunately, the fact that the sole human resident of the household is not exactly built like a supermodel (about which more later, today having been the day of said human's annual physical) means that there is not enough room for the kitten to actually get into the toilet whilst the human is seated upon it. Visitors are, however, advised to keep the door firmly closed should they have cause to visit the washroom while they are here.

However... today, not long after the human returned from said physical, Claribell finally attained her goal. Taking advantage of the moment between the human rising from the seat and turning to flush, she lept like a rocket toward her destination and - KERSPLASH!!!

Now, as with her previous encounter with the bath, she attained the sort of anti-gravity rocket propulsion that only a wet cat can, and rebounded out of the toilet and straight out the door - spraying pee-tainted water all around her as she went. The human was obliged to chase after her with paper towels and disinfectant wipes in hand, cleaning up the mess the now very unclean kitten left behind her while trying to corner the kitten so as to clean her. Eventually the culprit was retrieved, carried amidst her loud protests back into the bathroom, and immersed repeatedly into a sink full of warm water while being rubbed with shampoo in between dunkings.

You can imagine Claribell's reaction to this - not only had she inadvertently fallen into cold smelly water once, but she was now being dunked into warm water over and over again, while being rubbed with more smelly stuff at the same time! She fought valiently, and had it been a duel to first blood, she would certainly have won, but it was instead a test of raw strength and determination, and the human prevailed. So eventually a thoroughly sodden but much more pleasant smelling kitten was bundled into a towel to dry, while the human set about tending her own injuries with peroxide and polysporin.

Now, one might like to think that an experience like this would cure Claribell of her fascination - but given that being locked in the refrigerator only put her off exploring it for a day or two before she returned to her previous habit of leaping into it every time the door was opened, expectations are not high. Visitors are advised to keep the bathroom door closed, or if not, then at the very least to take careful stock of their surroundings before rising from the commode and be prepared to fend off curious deep-sea divers if necessary.

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