Monday, April 27, 2009

Kicking it down a notch

Anxiety Okay, a little bit better today, and less high anxiety about this move. I had a bad night last night, waking up around 3:30 and unable to get back to sleep because my mind kicked into overdrive. I hate it when that happens, and it seems that it feeds upon itself. I went from thinking about this move, to thinking about finalizing the menu for Ken's PMI group dinner next week (and picking up the information packets from the Chamber of Commerce), to reminding myself to check the grocery store ads before I went out on my errands today...aaggghhhh!

I was finally able to calm down and get back to sleep, but MAN, did I have some crazy dreams! They weren't exactly bad, but so vivid that they were on the verge of hallucinatory. At one point, I recall waking up partway because I was trying to shoo something away...I don't recall what. I've lost most of them now, even though I tried to remember them because they were so bizarre, but I remember a cat with spots like an ocelot, I remember being in the yard and picking electronic parts (ordered by a neighbor but delivered to us) out of the grass, and I remember a group of guys standing behind me hitting golf balls. One of them made a remark about President Obama, and I marched over to him and said, "I find that very offensive and I'd appreciate it if you didn't say such things." He laughed and said, "Oh yeah? Well, you'd just better worry about who's going to wash your balls now that this guy is in office!"

Okay, I can laugh about it now, but what the hell?! It was on the verge of "The Prisoner" level of surreal.

My errand run didn't start out well, when I made my first stop at a newer apartment complex nearby. (In Ken's discussion with his Mom, he discussed the reality of things, and it sounds like they are willing to go the apartment route. The hangup there was that they want to keep their appliances. Ken's question: "So here's what you need to decide. Do you want to keep your appliances, or would you rather be somewhere closer to us? We can probably find you something 20-30 miles away where you can do that." Like I said, I was a nervous wreck just hearing one side of the conversation!) I told the woman at the complex the situation, and she said they won't have any openings until August. Dammit! We'll keep looking.

But Ken’s Mom needs to know by Friday. And they've already started packing. I just don't want to go there right now, though. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts....

I found a couple of lounge chairs on sale at Target today. I've been wanting one for a while, because I love to sit, and hey, I love to lounge! A lounge chair is a natural! When I saw that these were on sale, Ken said to get two, so I'm excited to use my new lounge chair. Our summery weather seems to be done for the moment, and it rained this afternoon, so I might not get to use it for a while. Those suckers were heavy--they have a steel frame, so I hope that means they'll last for a while.

Oriole and Grosbeak I saw two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks earlier today (picture is from last year), and they are not shy at all, coming right up to the feeders. These guys are so interesting...they look to me like they've just torn the throat out of something, with that bright red bib, but that's just me. I've often seen the Grosbeak with the Oriole, and I was very happy to see Oreo make an appearance late this afternoon! I'll need to put an orange out for him tomorrow.

The swine flu outbreak is a big deal in the news right now. From what I've read, while it's been quite nasty in Mexico, all U.S. cases have been fairly mild. While I think it's good that they're recommending caution, including limiting travel to affected areas, it would seem that the virus is mutating to a less virulent form. Too early to tell, of course, and the usual cautions apply, but I'm not panicking. This virus is an interesting chimera, though. (And how often do I get to use the word 'chimera?' Almost never! I'm delighted!) It's a mixture of human, swine, and avian influenza, and shows that viruses can recombine (naturally, without our help) into something unseen before. Although I don't panic over something like this, I have a healthy respect for the ability of bacteria and viruses to mutate and evolve.

Influenza virus Look at it this way: you're a virus, and you have to have a host in order to replicate. You're not a bad guy, and don't want to hurt your fact, if you do hurt them too much (i.e., kill them), you've lost your host, and if you haven't found a new one, you're toast. So it's to your advantage to continue to be a mild guy, just hanging out and replicating without hurting too many people. But one day you encounter a couple of cousins who are also not real bad guys...but when you all get together, you get a little crazy, and you get up to some real bad-ass activities. In fact, you end up hurting some people pretty bad, and realize that you need to back off before you all get killed. So you decide you'll all go back to being mild guys and quit hurting people. After all, you're only going to get hurt in the end, right?

That's a virus for you, especially one that unexpectedly recombines or has an antigenic shift into a more virulent form. It's to the virus's disadvantage to kill all its hosts, so it will eventually morph into something milder and less menacing. That's what I'm hoping will happen with this particular H1N1 strain. The phrase "can't be contained" seems to be freaking a lot of people out. It obviously can't be contained, because it's already in Scotland and Spain, and it’s very much a global community when it comes to the spread of infections. That's a moot point. So hang tight, wash your hands, don't touch your eyes or face, and if you're sick, stay home!


  1. I never knew viruses were such rational folks! I guess cousin HIV just lost his way a bit! Happens to the best of families.
    Are there any "good" viruses the way we have "good" bacteria?

  2. The search, especially now that we can include apartments, is looking better. As far as the swine thingy, I think there is some over reacting going on. Currently, in the U.S., not much worse than a bad case of the flu. I know that recently the creepy crud made an appearance, and there was no sensationalism going on, and it impacted many more people.

  3. breathe girl. breathe and good luck on orchestrating everything. i have way more faith in you then i ever had in either bush administration if it makes you feel better.

    crazy about the ball dream. at least teabaggers weren't in it.


  4. When I think about getting to Nebraska, the challenge I face is similiar to the ones you face, and the time is NOW for you.

    I get wobbly kneed thinking about how I am going to pull this off ... can't envy you, worrying about your inlaws. The stakes are high. Again, I hope things turn out well.

  5. I hope you can find a suitable place for them soon. I hate vivid dreams. Makes for a busy time next day trying to sort it out. I hope not much of that nasty flu gets in the US. Those birds are so pretty. If I put our oranges the mocking birds would probably get them there are so may of them here LOL, they fight all the time. I heard a couple squawking at each other just before dark last night. Helen

  6. Are they deadset on renting? There is a house across the street and down the road from me (nice neighborhood but down the road from a not so nice neighborhood) that are for sale. They were both previously owned by older people and in good condition. My guess is they want to rent though. Hey, don't you have an extra bedroom or two?! *devious grin* When you're out and about, if you see any of those plastic kids swimming pools, let me know. Ours lasted three years before the dogs destroyed it. They need a new pool, asap! ;) The swine flu concerns me, mainly because I have an infant. I'm not hiding in my house with a mask on yet however. By the way, awesome virus explanation. You should've taught this shit. It would've made my high school years a lot easier.

  7. who is gonna wash your balls now....

    that is a song waiting to be written.
    at least there was no cancer in that dream. Do you find that usually you can remember parts but not all of a dream? That is how it is for me.
    love the bird pic.
    i remember lounge chairs from my childhood where they were gross plastic and they'd pinch your rear end or bare back as you got up. Totally cool you found ones you like. I am sending positive thoughts to you for your MIL and step FIL. I pray they find what they want and need TODAY.
    Love ya

  8. I wish more people would just STAY HOME when they are sick. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years.

  9. I'm glad you mentioned the swine flu, Beth. I was starting to think I was the only one getting worried. I am worried as I automatically think how to protect my children and I panic if I do not know how to do it. I know that it's still too early to worry seriously about it but all those deaths in Mexico make me think that this time we might get the famous "pandemice" they've been talking about for a few years starting from SARS, bird flu etc. Also, the British health system is pretty useless, the state of hygiene in UK hospitals is bad, so no wonder I worry so much! Well, as you say we can only wait, be careful and see. Ciao. A.

  10. It sure helps having a friend that's a microbiologist for a friend! Thanks for explaining it to us.

    I hope you get to enjoy your chairs very soon.

    Oh, I love your pictures of your visitors. Thanks for continuing to share them with us.

    I hope you have a wonderful day...

    Oh, speaking of weird dreams. I had some last night. I figured it might be all the medications I'm taking plus the 2 shots...

  11. There's a swine flu google maps mashup out there if you want to see just how far it is out there. It's not a pretty sight. Just another reason for another xanax

  12. Oh Beth, poor you with the dreams. I have had that type and they are not fun. I have been so preoccupied laTELY i HAVE NOT DONE MIUCH BLOG READING BUT I gather family wants to move closer. Wow!! No advice from this source. I haven't lived 79 years without learning when to keep my mouth shut. Never know it from my blog!!! Good luck on everything. Lucy


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