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August 2007

Dulles is Cool

Dulles (IAD to you frequent flyers and pilots) has a phenomenally cool terminal. It opened in 1962 and sees over 27 million passengers a year. There is a ton of construction now as they are building a train system to the two satellite terminals.

Here is a photo from the history page on the official Dulles webpage.

The structure was designed by architect Eero Saarinen, he of the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport (aka JFK) and the St. Louis "Gateway Arch" among many other things.

My mom loves Dulles too. She especially likes the The Mobile Lounges. You can click the link for more info but here is a great paragraph about these tres moderne beasts, also part of Saarinen's design:
This was the first US airport designed for jets and so there was no precedent for Saarinen to follow. One of the most distinctive features of the airport was the lack of any building extensions onto the airfield for aircraft loading. Instead passengers traveled from the terminal to their planes, which could be waiting over a mile away, on strange vehicles called Mobile Lounges and Plane-Mates. Saarinen viewed these mobile lounges as an extension of the airport. They were mobile buildings that served as transportation. Apparently when the lounges were first introduced they had a bar onboard and it was possible to drink cocktails while being transported to your plane!

Those were the days...Here's the visual (yanked it from that same site above):

I enjoy flying into and out of places that are visually stunning and have some history I don't expect.

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Speaking of "Resentment"

In my last post I mentioned the word "resentment" being used when describing a cat's feelings. Not an hour later, I come home from the grocery store to try and blog and get some stuff done and this is what I see:

Ahem, Rabbit.

(She never sleeps here.)

I imagine in her mind: "Oh Yeah? My turn to put YOU out today. See how that feels."

Okay, maybe she just loves me so much for taking care of her and she wants to keep my seat warm and be near me.

Hmmm, but she's a cat....


In Other Medical News

Bunny's sports injury is acting up again. She had knee issues a few years ago, but with some medication and "rest" she was fine. Lately she's been licking the same spot on her same leg, just making the hair go short, but not limping or acting at all different than normal, much to Mouse's chagrin when Mouse gets chased around and around the house. But yesterday Bunny was definitnely walking wrong on her left back leg so to the Vet's we went this morning.

The prognosis: Arthritis. She has serious calcification on her left rear ACL. (See? Sports injury.) She got a shot of prednisone to help reduce inflammation and now she'll get half a baby aspirin every other day. She's resting comfortably.

Bunny is about 14 and so this is not a shocker, and as you may recall, she is a Rumpy Manx. And Rumpy Manxs tend to have odd but generally minor lower spine and hip issues (what with no tail to extend their spines...). And I say she's "about 14" because when I got her in 1995 from the West Side Animal Shelter, she was an adult and they estimated she was between 1 and 2.

I learned a really good trick years ago for vet visits. I bring the carry boxes in from the storage area in the house the night before and just leave it in the living room. By the next morning, no one is panicing and so picking them up and putting them in the box is a snap. Bunny got home around 11 this morning and I left the box in the living room while we had lunch. When I got up from lunch, Mouse was hunkered near the bookshelves, panic-stricken, sure she must be next. Poor cat. Her blood pressure must have been elevated all morning.

I was reading a website about kitty arthritis and saw this part:
Symptoms of traumatic arthritis may include the following:
A painful joint, causing limping on that leg and resentment of the joint being handled.

I love that with cats, you use the word "Resentment" because that is exactly what it is.

I lurves my Bunny! And Mouse too...


The Whole Story About Jen as of Today (8/30)

Here's the whole story: Last Tuesday she went to the Doctor because she felt a lump of something in her belly. (She had a fibral benign tumor in her uterus removed 3 years ago). She went to get an ultrasound and the doctor said, hmmm, better go get a cat scan because this thing is too close to your kidneys. So she did that night and they said, hmmm, better go talk to an Oncologist tomorrow. That Oncology appointment was just to rule stuff out -- we hoped. So she met with the Oncologist last Weds and he said, hmmm, can't say it's cancer until we take it out and no matter what it is, we need to take it out because it's too close to your kidneys. (Though her kidney functions are all normal.) So he scheduled her for surgery last Friday and said it could be 1 hour or many more depending on what we find. Surgery was 6 hours. And it was cancer. But we didn't know what kind yet and it would take a few days to figure out. But the doctor (one of the best in San Jose) said he does this kind of surgery often and is very confident they got everything out. Good to hear.

Meantime, my mom was on her way to hang with Jen anyway and I was on my way to DC for a meeting on the movie I'm working on. I was scheduled to return on Tuesday. While I was in DC, the doctor said the cancer is Stage III uterine cancer, and the slowest growing kind. So she will need chemo just to make sure that any lingering cells get blasted but doesn't need to start until she's healed from the surgery -- so about 3 1/2 weeks from now. I spent Tuesday afternoon and all day yesterday with her and she looked great. Honestly for having had MAJOR f-ing surgery 5 days before, she just looked like she needed a long nap. She was walking around and up and down stairs (not quickly, but she is moving). She was also farting -- very important after big surgery so we all had a laugh about farting. In general she's mad and annoyed and cranky and apparently was swearing up a storm right after waking up from the surgery. I was pleased to hear it. If she hadn't been, I would have really worried.

I'll probably go back this Saturday for a day. Then I'll be off to DC for 2 1/2 weeks or so on this movie, back in time to help her get into the chemo situation. Its going to be tough and I might have to cut my hair in solidarity (but honestly, why would me cutting my hair all off be any surprise or different in my life?!?!) But the doctors are all very positive and so, therefore, am I.

If you know my sister, you'll know that this picture shows how well she's doing. This is her, watiting to be discharged yesterday:

The caption reads "When can I facking go home?!!"

If you want to see a picture of her scar, go here.

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Flying to DC

I'm here for one day for a work meeting. Then I'll be back in California with my sister.

I always like taking photos from the airplane window. Here are a couple from yesterday.

There was a lot of haze in most spots, plus the window. One of these days I'll be getting a new camera...that I can control better. And then I'll take a photoshop class so I can tweak. So much to do!

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Found out yesterday my sister Jennifer has fucking cancer.

She had some major surgery and we'll know more in a few days. She woke up and was pissed off and swearing, so that made me feel a little better. (If she hadn't said "Fuck" a lot I would be more worried.)

Cancer sucks.

I put my LiveStrong bracelet back on again. Not sure why. Helps me focus my positive energy on helping Jen get better I guess.

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Lotto Safety

I bought two quick picks last Saturday and didn't win--big surprise! But I had forgotten about checking for numbers until today. After the devastation of not finding winning numbers, I turned the ticket over and found, to my delight, Lotto Safety Graphics! It's almost as good as winning $70million.

How many people have IRONED their lottery tickets in the past to require that you warn them not to? How often have you thought to yourself, "Gee, I should spiff this ticket up before I claim my prize."

Why are people so weird/stupid?

Friends Found and Lost -- Jai

Reconnecting with Steve has been so wonderful and fun. And while writing to him, I had to dive into my storage drawer full of old journals and notes and keepsakes. There aren't too many, though I'm sure there are more things in a box outside in the garage. But in my joy of finding old (hilarious) journal entries and things Steve had written and given to me (we used to write gobs of poetry and share it with each other) I found two notes from my friend Jai.

These precious artifacts brought tears to my eyes as she died in a house fire in 2003, along with her two babies. Horrible. I'm shocked that it has been four years already.

The two notes are very Jai. Neither have dates on them, but it would have been between 1982 and 1984. Here's the first one -- all spelling and punctuation are hers:
Side 1:
(Top left corner where she folded it up and then wrote a name for delivery)
(Paul Siminon)


(Joe Jackson)
(Jenna Jones)
(Julia Jon)

Then she starts:
Trick: [Kool, great, classy, wonderful, hot; positive adjective]
Whip: [slimy, junk, stupid, brainless, a general waste; a negative adj.]
These are two words my broth. and his gang appropriated at Pun, a couple of years ago
{one word follows but is unreadable}
Anyway, I'm kind of wierd in a lot of ways, one is that I keep secrets really well. There are somethings that I can't say to anyone, can't even say out loud. I even keep some things secret from myself. Sometimes I just won't let myself think about something, in that way, I can keep myself from knowing how I feel about something, I just avoid the thoughts. I may be psychotic, schitsophreanic or sometimes, but I am nice whenever I am able to be (which I think is usually most of the time) and when I can't be, I just try to live through it, minimizing the injuries to other people. So maybe I can't do a good job. So kill me; please don't want to be the one to snuffit m'self.

Side 2:
Julia Jon is a cool name! Do you want it? (I once named a girl Jenna Jones.)
Then in someone else's handwriting it says:
Day 1,
I'm bored my gizzard just hangs there

Back to Jai
I found this on the floor, interesting ┬┐no? This is here in Existential and we are supposed to have our Heinlein Book. So, here I am with Bill's Needle-eyes poking right through me because he's mad at me and Jos and Shelly because none of the three of us This is so funny: Jos & Shelly were begging Bill to let them go to their lockers to get their books (of course he wouldn't let them) so J & S are wandering around the room making trouble, picking up books and generally being a nuisance. Jos is being so funny it's driving Bill nuts. Yow!

The second note was also folded to a small rectangle and the address said:
to Julia Jon
(check out the paperclip!)
(don't lose it!)

Of course the paperclip is not there...

Inside it says:
to Julia Jon
I just rewread your letter that you gave me a while ago. I write things better too. Anyways, did I ever tell you that I really enjoyed that letter and it's sentiment? Well, anyway, I know we have been through some quite rocky times. Times in which you wanted to dump me in the dirty river. Thanks for not. I really hope that the important friendship we have (important to me) will continue to last. I need it, as I'm sure you do. I still thank (God or whatever) that I found you as a friend.
Please forgive me for all the less than good or nice things that I've done or said: and accept me with all of my fallabilites.
I wish to be as good or better friends, as ever. YOW!

I went to Family Life Thrift today,
Check out my new plaid shirts!
Check out Elvis Costello, my new album is very trick (ask me about "Trick" and "Whip")
Love, Karin Lea

(Typical photo of Karen -- "Karen! Let me take your picture!" and she would pose thusly.)

She came to school named Karen, then changed her name to Karin. Then a year later to Jai. And Jai she stayed. We became friends, as she told me, because she was new to our school in her Junior year (my sophomore year) and she looked around at people in one of her classes (that I was in) and decided I looked like the nicest person. So she chose me. And we were friends. She introduced me to music I had never heard of: Adam Ant, U2, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Fabulous Pink Poodles, The Waitresses. Maui didn't have a pop music FM station so New Wave stuff was not readily available. And Jai had moved from Oahu (The Big City!) with all her vinyl. We went shopping at thrift stores for men's suit coats and shirts. We were on the swim team. There was something wacky and different about her that I had never met in another person. I was all small town girl and she was all big city all-knowing teenager. I adored her. (Except, apparently, when I was mad at her about something -- see the above note.)

After she died, I got a tattoo in her honor. She had become an artist and jeweler, making lovely lovely cloisionne pieces to sell from her company, Jairations. I borrowed her logo:

and had the artist at Sunset Strip Tattoo Parlor copy and create a tattoo version.

Jai will always be in my heart, but somehow that wasn't enough.

I miss my darling Karen.

Jai, James and Jessica's memorial page.

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