Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Japan Prep: Taking the boys to the vet.

Importing pets to Japan is no joke, y’all.
Being an island nation, Japan is understandably very protective of what goes in and our of it’s borders - one stray germ or invasive species could mean the destruction of their entire eco-system.  (Good on them to learn from the mistakes of others.)  

Getting Mac and Bub to Japan is going to take a bit of preparation.  Specifically, bloodwork and vaccinations.  Because doesn’t everyone love getting stuck with a bunch of needles?  (spoiler alert: Bubba does not love that. At all.)

About a month ago, our pet-moving specialist (seriously, click the link - they had me write an article for them!) advised me it was time to start the process so they would be ready to move by the new year.  I always try to book their appointments together, both because they keep each other calm… and because it’s easier to just stuff them both in the car and get it over with all at once like ripping off a bandaid.  It all started well.

So far so good.
Mac was first, and of course, Mac was his usual charming self.   Though they poked and prodded him bunches, they also gave him cookies, so he was a well-behaved gentleman and gave all the vet techs kisses.  His portion took an hour, and all that tuckered him out, so he took a nap for Bub’s portion.

When the tech turned to pet Bubba and pick him up for his turn, and apparently Bubba did not like what he had seen during Mac’s exam; he hissed at her.

Mac was very concerned about the sounds,
he felt we needed to go rescue Bubs.
Let me clarify; Bubba doesn’t really hiss all that much.  So this was not something I was expecting by any means, and as the vet tech gently shushed Bub and picked him up to take him in the back, all I could say was “I’m really sorry.  I don’t know what came over him, but I feel compelled to apologize for what I’m afraid is going to be him as a fuzzy little super-jerk.

She laughed, but as soon as she walked into the back Bubba started screaming.  Not meowing, screaming.  The kind of noise where you’re sure they’re torturing him with ultimate suffering* , even though I can assure you that the door hadn’t even finished swinging shut - they hadn’t poked or prodded anything yet.  It was not pain, it was just angry cat.  And the sound kept going. Long and loud enough that I could hear people in the waiting room asking if that creature (yeah, they couldn’t even tell it was a cat specifically) was going to be alright.  Bubba kept going until, sweet as pie, our vet popped her head into our exam room to lightly quip “we’re just going to give him a *touch* of gas to calm him down and let us keep our fingers”**

Whereupon I got to listen to Bubba’s scream go from scream, to muffled scream as they put the little mask thing over his face, to a much slower and deeper version of the scream sound as he got all loosey-goosey, and finally, he quieted down.  They were able to get what they needed from him, and then they brought me back a bobble-head cat. 

If he had an inner monologue at that point, I’m 100% certain it would have been similar to David after Dentist. 
He was, in fact, just fine, and continues to be fine.

Pets must be vaccinated and then have 6 months to “marinade” in those vaccines before transport, so now we’re just playing a waiting game for them until 2015.

Have you had any crazy vet adventures with your pet(s)?  
Tell me in the comments!

*He really did sound very similar to that link.
** This still flabbergasts me.  Bubba is usually the cat who gets vet techs to coo over how well behaved he is.
Is this real life?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winter is Coming.

They (who is this "they?"  I’d like to write them a mean letter.) say that there’s another round of Polar Vortex coming around in late September this year.  Which means snow.  IN SEPTEMBER.  I sincerely hope that they’re wrong, but I am silently gearing up for another Michigan winter.  Which in theory will be my last Michigan winter for the next few years.  Can’t say I’m too disappointed about that idea (how are winters in Japan? my sources say that they get some snow but nothing like our crazy “make sure there’s a tennis ball on your car antennae so the plow knows there’s a vehicle under all that snow” kind of snow.)

It is times like these, where I brace myself for shorter days and colder weather, that I find myself reflecting on winters past.  In this post in particular, I’d like to reflect a bit on that one time last year where I was 3 hours late to work because I am incapable of being a reasonable human being when there’s too much snow.  Would you like to hear this story?  I think you would.

At the very beginning of 2014, Michigan found ourselves whalloped with soo much snow that it truly felt a bit like being Mario and taking a THWHOMP to the head.  We had a few snow days in a row, and when I say snow days, I mean like even the universities in the are closed, and if you’re not from a place that does snow days, you should know that’s when a college calls off class, you know the weather is a big flipping deal that day.  Anyway the point is, the preschool was super closed.

The day we the world started turning again and Michiganders were all supposed to brave the elements, was also the first day The Mister or I had put any thought into the snow on the driveway.  I will be the first to admit that I am lazy(-ier) in the winter, and so generally throughout the winter, the bottom of our driveway becomes a giant piece of ice, because once I’ve already gone through the trouble of shoveling the whole stupid drive, I am too tired to then chip away at the small chunk of ice that always accumulates at the end from the plows going by.  So that ice grows, obviously.  By the time our “go back to land of living” day came around, it was at least a foot of ice between the world and the driveway underneath.

So on that day, I got ready to go to work, put on my winter boots (I love that point of every Michigan winter where people stop bothering to even bring along nice shoes to work and just wear their winter snow boots with their professional clothing all darn day), and trudged outside.  I got the car started, so that was a win (cold can sometimes kill a car’s ignition), and backed down the driveway.
I then got stuck half in and half out of the driveway on the ice/snow/plow combo.

Not a problem.  If you live in Michigan and know how winter works, you keep a shovel in the back of your car at all times for just such an occasion.  SO I got out of the car to try and shovel out a path for the tires.  Except that I also forgot, since the car was not moving, and since I had not had any coffee yet, that I left the car in drive.

I realized that the car automatically locks when the doors shut if it's in drive... a millisecond after closing the door to keep the heat in while I shoveled, and then immediately started to freak out that the car will somehow gain purchase and magically drive up the driveway and into our house while I was locked out of both the car and the house.  And when I say freaked out, I mean full on meltdown in the middle of the damn street.

I managed to pull myself together well enough to realize my phone was in my pocket, and I calmed down to call for help.  Only to find that so many people had been boneheads in this snowpocalypse that tow trucks aren't responding to anything but 911 calls to keep from getting overwhelmed.  

...What else could I do?  The car’s tires were still, thankfully, mercifully, just going round and round in place on the ice, half in the road but at least not moving anywhere.

I decided to trudge through the 2+ feet of snow, over the fence and dig down to the ground to grab the hide-a-key in the backyard.  Did I mention that I may have thought to wear winter boots that day, but I had paired the look with a sweater dress and leggings?  That fashion statement goes really well with two feet of snow. (Oh hi Sarcasm, what’s up?)  

That hide-a-key I dug up out of the garden? Frozen shut.  Of course, I go back to freak out mode then.  Trying and failing not to cry as I called 911 for essentially being a giant idiot.  I would imagine, based on the voice at the other end of the line, that I was certainly not the first person that day to call the emergency line for something insanely stupid.  However, stupid getting locked out of a car in drive is… I did at least qualify as an actual emergency.  An officer was dispatched to my location as soon as he was available from the previous stupid people being stupid in the snow call.

In the meantime, I stood outside in the cold for an hour.  Let me be clear that I definitely earned that wait.  My legs disagreed at the time, but really I wasn’t missing a limb or anything so I had no right to complain.  

After all that, once the officer arrived on the scene, he was the kindest and most patient person I could have asked for in the situation.  He poured out his fresh hot coffee over our hide-a-key so I could get into it, then get into the house, and get a coat hanger.  He used that coat hanger to spend his whole morning picking my car lock, and THEN once he actually got me into the car so I could put it in neutral, he wasted another half hour chipping away the ice at the end of my driveway and pushing me out of it.

Moral of the story:
  1. Never make fun of a cop getting breakfast at Dunkin’ Doughnuts.  That coffee he’s having with his glazed jelly is could come in super handy. (not that I made fun of cops before)
  2. Don’t wear a dress to work if there’s more snow on the ground than your boots are tall.
  3. Chip the ice.  If you don’t want to chip ice, move out of Michigan.
  4. Hey Mister, did you buy our plane tickets out of here yet?
What’s your worst winter story?  
Ever get stuck somewhere and needed to call for help?  
Have you ever needed to call 911 for something stupid?  Tell me in the comments!
I feel like weathering Winter would be more way more reasonable 
while hanging out in a hot spring with Japanese Macaques. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I tried.

So that maybe was a mistake?  I need a different tactic.
I mentioned I was going to switch to TUMBLR, thinking it would keep me hip and make it easier to keep up regular content.  Turns out it just made it easier for me to reblog other people's stuff and procrastinate on putting out my own.  Boo.

New plan: I shall continue blogging here and then cross post them on tumblr.  So if you're on tumblr and you'd like to follow me there - no worries, we'll keep this happening.  And if you're on blogger and you somehow have stuck with me during this 3 month trial phase where I crashed and burned, well... thanks?

I've got a few things backlogged to post in the coming weeks - Here on out, I'm going to shoot for one original post a week and then on tumblr I shall do the usual reblogging stuff of other people's creativity.  So stay tuned if you dare.  Here's some sketchbook doodles to make up for lost time!

I continue to practice my Japanese.  
One day I hope to be trilingual in multiple phrases instead of just my ability to demand pizza.

Bacon and I are in a constant struggle.  I want to eat you bacon, why are you so hard to not burn?!

One time I tried a workout I found online using my husbands exercise resistance bands.  
It... ended poorly.  
(My foot still has a little bruise on the side where it got thwapped.)

And meanwhile, The Mister has officially joined the Navy!  
Super proud is not a strong enough phrase.  He asked for some Navy-inspired designs 
(I shall one day make these into stickers for him)
Fun fact: new Navy people are referred to as "baby squids"

He preferred the more many representation of his Naval Officer status.  I guess I can't blame him.

What have you been up to world?  tell me in the comments!