Oh man, am I tired. takaza wasn’t feeling well this morning and got up at about 3:30 AM. I woke up and while waiting for him to come back to bed I got to thinking and stressing and…well, so much for getting back to sleep. Mind you, it’s not his fault – a normal person would have gone right back to sleep. Me, I’m just neurotic that way. I don’t function well on five hours of sleep, unfortunately. (Dan did come back to bed and get a bit more sleep, which made me feel better.)
We’re getting ready for company this weekend, and a fun party and some other cool stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, but as usual I’ve succeeded in working myself up into a ball of stress in the process of getting everything ready. I’ll be fine tomorrow, I’m sure, but I have a list of stuff I need to get done tonight that’s really bugging me.
In non-holiday-weekend news, Buddy is still wearing The Cone of Shame for most of the day, though we do take it off in the evenings when we’re around to keep an eye on him. He gets his stitches out on Saturday morning, which is good. He didn’t try to lick the healing area last night, so I’m taking that as a very good sign. The vet let us know that the lump that was removed was “most likely” benign and his prognosis is excellent. We’ve got just a couple more antibiotic pills to give him, then hopefully his digestive tract will get back to normal, too. He’ll be a happy and friendly pup come this weekend, I’m sure!
Anthrocon is just a few weeks away and I am sure that if I took a close look at what remains to be done for that I’d be terrified. I am putting all that way until after Memorial Day weekend, though. In the meantime, soon it will be time to party!
Yesterday, Buddy had to go to the vet. For one thing, it was time for a good teeth cleaning (something for which he was clearly overdue). Also, he had been licking at a bump on his left front elbow for the last week. It clearly wasn’t painful, just annoying. I had pointed out the bump earlier to the vet, and he said when it got bigger or started to cause irritation, bring Buddy in. Looks like the time had come.
Buddy was a little woozy when we picked him up last night, and clearly not happy to be wearing a Victorian collar (aka The Cone of Shame). The vet said his teeth were healthy and no extractions were necessary. He removed the cyst from his elbow and had sent it off for biopsy, and put in three stitches. At our request he injected Buddy with a microchip for tracking, and even trimmed his claws (unasked!). He sent us off with a pain relieving syrup (meloxicam), an antibiotic (clindamycin), and an anti-anxiety med (acepromazine) for when Buddy gets too freaked out by thunderstorms.
Buddy was pretty wobbly last night, but is doing much better this morning. Navigating with the Cone of Shame is a continuing challenge – his spatial awareness is way off, and he almost fell down the stairs a few times. He has finally been able to get comfortable with it while sleeping, it seems. I think he was in a bit of pain this morning, as he couldn’t get comfortable and kept lying down, then getting up again. It looks like the pain killer has hit him surprisingly hard, though, as I’m watching him fall asleep on his bed right now. Theoretically, he has to wear the Cone for the next ten days, with his stitches coming out on Saturday. We’re hoping maybe we can take it off sooner than that, but we’ll take things day by day.
I need another weekend to recover from my weekend!
We started the fun off on Friday night. Roho and genet carpooled with us down to Downer’s Grove for dinner. We had some time to kill, so we stopped by Binny’s Beverage Depot to look around and ran into linnaeus! While there we were entertained by a gentleman who was offering samples of various spirits that he distributes, including Vana Tallinn, an Estonian liqueur. We were a little so-so at first, but then he had some cocktails available to sample showing how good it was for mixing. In fact, it was fantastic for mixing, especially the Canton Cannon: Vana Tallinn, vodka, fresh ginger, and just a touch of Sriracha hot sauce. It was delicious! Between us, our group bought three bottles of Vana Tallinn. Now that’s a good salesman!
Dinner was a nice little shindig put together by Rayven and Nihaler at Chama Gaucha. I have to say that this is one of the better iterations of the Brazilian Steakhouse type of restaurants – excellent service, really good-quality meats, and a decent price. I was impressed that once Dan told them he was allergic to garlic, not only did the waiters only offer him non-garlic-containing meats, they made a special skewer of chicken breasts just for him. This place is definitely worth going back to. When we got home I had to head off to bed, but Dan stayed up until kellicjtiger and uberhill arrived at about 1:30 AM.
Things were understandably a little slow to get started the next morning. We finally got out of the house and met up with Roho and Genet for brunch at Las Vegas Restaurant. We walked around downtown a bit afterward, then succumbed to the siren call of Antioch Packing House, our favorite local butcher (OMG MEAT!). Steaks were purchased, and then a bit more booze and grocery shopping followed (and once again it was proven that Garden Fresh Market is an evil place for those who make impulse purchases). That evening, we were joined by Linnaeus and a had great night of food, conversation, laughter, and boozamahol followed (we, um, killed about 80% of the 1-liter bottle of Vana Tallinn). It was really a whole lot of fun!
Sunday brought the Midwest FurFest staff meeting. The meeting was nice and short (as they typically are this time of year), but we had an extremely useful tour of the innards of the hotel afterward from one of the convention services managers. A small group of us went to Potbelly Sandwiches for dinner afterward, then we headed home. The evening was nicely low-key after such a raucous weekend, with Kellic and Charles working on some Geek Partnership Society work and us rotting our brains with the Survivor finale (which we watched in high-speed: 2 hours of TV in about 20 minutes, woo!).
This week we’re going to be doing a bit of housecleaning and getting ready for Memorial Day fun (more info on that coming very soon!). We need to take Buddy to the vet tomorrow to have his teeth cleaned and a bump removed from his leg that he has licked to the point that something needs to be done about it – it doesn’t seem to hurt him, it’s just an annoyance, I suspect. We’ll make sure that the vet microchips him too, since it doesn’t appear to have been done before. Given that they’ll have to put Buddy under to do the first two items, I’m sure he’ll be a bit of a mess when we pick him up tomorrow night. Fun times for doggie parents!
So, life has been interesting at work, though it’s not much I can comment on in a public journal entry. The good news is, I have a job, it’s not in danger of going away any time soon (as far as I know), and I’m keeping busy. Let’s leave it at that.
So last week takaza and I spent a little more time doing some housecleaning and dealing with some of the spring cleaning we had so artfully avoided the weekend before. This was because we were welcoming company. Plonq and Atara rolled in mid-afternoon on Saturday as part of their epic drive from Winnipeg to Ohio. We put together a nice dinner for them, inviting roho, genet, aureth, and jenwolf (alas, linnaeus‘s car blew up and he had to spend the day dealing with that and couldn’t make it). Genet made a tasty Asian slaw and banana pudding, and Aureth made a delicious (if sloppy) cherry pie. Dan made some killer macaroni and cheese with bacon.
For my part, I smoked a bunch of chickens in the smoker. Two of them I soaked overnight in a bourbon/honey brine, and two of them in a soy/ginger brine. Once I got the smoker up to a proper temperature, they smoked beautifully with some apple wood I had leftover from last year. Just perfect! The bourbon/honey brine was definitely the lesser of the two – some definite sweetness, but no real bourbon flavor. Everyone agreed that the soy/ginger was the real winner. We whiled away the night chatting and drinking some of Aureth’s excellent homebrew, but unfortunately I conked out earlier than I would have liked.
On Sunday, Atara and Plonq spent the day with Atara’s sister in Chicago, so Dan and I just hung around the house and relaxed most of the day. Roho and Genet came over in the evening and we watched the season finale to The Amazing Race (still not happy with how it ended, but it could have been much worse). We reheated the leftovers from the previous night, and I whipped up a simple Alabama white BBQ sauce that was absolutely divine with the smoked chicken. Atara and Plonq got home part way through the show and we spent the balance of the evening chatting and poking at our laptops – companionable geekery 🙂
On Monday morning we bid farewell to our Canadian guests as they continued their trip eastward. Looking ahead to the coming weekend, we have more company coming, as well as the Midwest FurFest staff meeting. This should be a fun one – it’s an in-person meeting at the Hyatt O’Hare in the middle of Anime Central, a 12,000-person anime convention. If anyone is at ACen and wants to stop by to say hi, we’ll be in the Hartsfield Room at the Hyatt from 2 PM until around 4 PM!
Oh man, am I exhausted. It was an extremely full weekend. takaza was hosting the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable, and I was helping. We had folks come in from all over the country, representing Anthrocon, Furry Connection North, Rainfurrest, IndyFurCon, the Dorsai Irregulars, and of course Midwest FurFest. We spent a solid 11 hours on Saturday talking over a host of different topics, talking about what worked, what didn’t, and how things can be improved. We finished off the day with a rousing discussion of Convention Horror Stories, which was a real hoot. (Note: If you weren’t invited, don’t be upset. To prevent the discussion from being too biased toward any one organization, there was a limit of three representatives, plus S.O.’s, per convention.)
The event was held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Lincolnshire, IL, and it turned out to be the perfect hotel. Nice, big rooms, affordable rates, and just the right amount of function space. Next time I hope we’ll actually be able to check out the hot tub and pool. Since it’s in the middle of a ton of dining options, that makes it even more attractive. Finally, the staff was extremely accommodating and helpful.
After we had unpacked the car and picked up Buddy from Dan’s mom’s place, Dan pretty much went right to bed at about 6 PM. I stayed up until 10, but clearly I should have gone to bed earlier. I’ll be dragging for the rest of the day, and I may need to take a nap when I get home from work. Ugh.