I think it is time to start a new blog, but what site??? I will still keep my LJ, but I want to stop embedding it in my website and push the new blog to LJ. Decisions, decisions...
I have not been on LJ in ages. I kind of miss blogging, but right now the only thing going on is job hunting. Actually that is a lot going on. But since my blog is public, probably would not be prudent to post job hunting scenarios.
Early this morning Priscilla passed away by my side in bed. Around 3:28AM, her leg started kicking uncontrollable and I started petting her to calm her down. Her leg started to stop kicking, she raised her head up and let out two small cries. She laid her head back down and I continued to pet her until I feel asleep. I woke up a little later and my arm was wet from her head on it. It was a little too wet for drooling and something told me she was gone. But I softly petted her throughout the rest of the morning. Although I noticed she was as cold as the outside temperature of the room, I continued to try and sleep and have one last night sleeping with her.
This wasn't a total shock since last Friday her health disintegrated extremely fast. She started to eat less and less until by Monday morning she stopped eating. She also losing weight extremely fast. By Tuesday she stopped drinking water. I made an appointment with the vet, but they could not see her until 9:00AM this morning. Throughout this time she never showed signs of pain. She was still extremely alert although she was getting weaker and weaker by the minute. Usually when she was sick or hurt, she hid like any other cat. But these days she still tried to act like nothing was wrong. All she wanted still was to hang out and either sit on my lap, lay at my feet by my desk or sleep by my side in bed.
I should be grateful since Priscilla lived a longer life than Elvis. Elvis' passing was extremely difficult because he was younger and his last six months of life was extremely hard. His last months were filled with vet visits, subcutaneous injections, and basically just slow disintegration. I couldn't ask for anything more with Priscilla. She went pretty fast, was not in pain and lived a pretty long life since she would have been sixteen in April. I was able to spend the whole day with her yesterday because I worked from home. She basically died in her sleep by my side, where she seemed to be the happiest. The girl liked her sleep especially when she could lay on me.
The rest of this post could be considered a continuation of this post. I wrote the post long after Elvis passed away. I could not write when Elvis died because it was extremely painful. I still had Priscilla by my side and wanted to remember she was still here with me. Basically I just grieved in pain... alone and in silence. I finally wrote a post thanking Elvis for what he gave me. Now that Priscilla just passed away, it closes the chapter to the best cats I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. Although Elvis and Priscilla were brother and sister and soul mates they were like night and day. Elvis always seemed to have an awareness and interest in my moods. Priscilla was a glutton for love. She was a follower of Elvis, but her love was genuine and simple. Although Priscilla was having a hard time when Elvis was suddenly gone, she was my strength to get though it. She constantly reminded me that she was there and needed my lap and my love.
Right now Homesick is playing and it really brings me back to that moment a very long time ago. Although Elvis came first tilting his head while looking at me and sitting down on my left leg; Priscilla came five minutes later to sit on my right leg. When Elvis passed away, she picked up the slack and was always around my immediate area, if not actually on me. So I play the Cure now, not as something depressing, but to remind me how much Priscilla gave to me in these almost past sixteen years. I play the Cure for her and Elvis' memory for with her passing it closes a chapter in my life. Those two felines have been through more with me that most people I currently know today. My life had drastic changes during these past sixteen years, but the constants were always Elvis and Priscilla.
The tears still come when I think of Priscilla, but I am extremely grateful for having her in my life for so very long and that her final moments were filled with peace by my side. I am lucky to have her for almost sixteen years. I am extremely grateful that she went peaceful. I remember yesterday when I went out to pick up some lunch and Priscilla was in my thoughts. I was thinking the time is near and there she was ignoring it and only wanting to hang out with me like nothing was happening. I thought she is such a dumb lovable cat. I was playing And One's Body Pop in the car and the song, ":Love You To The End" came on and the tears started coming. The title of the song was how Priscilla was acting in the past few days. Here you can tell she was shutting down, yet she acted like nothing was happening and it was business as usual. All she wanted to do was hang out with me, follow me around the house and sit on my lap.
Here I am listening to the Cure and I have no feline to comfort me. But I am happy that I had eleven and sixteen years of comfort from those two. When Elvis and Priscilla were together they had this ritual. Before coming to bed, Priscilla would make a cat call to Elvis. Elvis would run to her and both would come to bed. Since Elvis' death, every night instead of cat calls, it was long drawn out cries and Elvis never came running. I hope tonight when Priscilla cries out, Elvis is there to greet her. Thank you Priscilla and Elvis for the wonderful years. You were there though the good and bad times. You are loved and will be missed. And thank you Priscilla for spending these extra few years with me.
But I just don't get that feeling with LJ anymore...
So, I fired up my old Char-Broil gas grill for the first time this year a few weeks ago and that will be it's last time. The knobs are basically frozen and everything is in need of replacement. I've had it since 1993, so it has seen many many years of grilling. I've replaced most of the parts at least once and repainted it around three times. It finally needed replacement. Tomorrow we are having M's mom's birthday party at our house and we were supposed to grill. What a great excuse to buy a new grill!
Since it has been so long since I looked at what was out there in the grilling market, I was pretty open to suggestions. I first checked online at all the major stores to see what was out there. Home Depot had the best selection and a few gas grills caught my eye. I was especially interested in a Brinkmann because it was getting some good reviews. We decided to go to Home Depot on Sunday and we were determined to leave the store with a grill.
When I was browsing the grills, a Home Depot associate came over and talked to me and recommended a Charmglow. He mentioned that he was usually a Char-Broil man, but bought the same Charmglow model and was pleased with it. He then mentioned he would call the person who actually worked in the area to help us because he had to drop the money off and he was working overtime.
When the other Home Depot associate arrived, he asked me what I was in the market for. I told him the specs and the range we wanted to spend. His recommendation was for the entry level Char-Broil Red grill. Now the Red series is pretty intriguing because it grills by Infrared grilling and not over direct gas flame. Basically it is a porcelain U shaped trough that heats up from the burners underneath. This allows for evenly distributed heat and higher temperatures produced. Also you do not get the hot spots that are usually produced with gas grills. My old grill was horrendous with hot spots. Not only can you get it hotter than most grills, for doing things like searing, you also use less gas. We were sold and walked out of Home Depot with our new grill and cover.
Since this grill just came out, there are not many reviews on it. All the positives said that they had the best grilled foods ever on it. Two people said they had problems getting it passed 250 - 300 degrees, which did have me a little worried. I finished putting the grill together yesterday and fired it up for a test. My propane tank was almost empty, but I was able to get it past 450 degrees. I was happy for the test and now pretty damn excited about the thought of grilling on this goodness.
So, I decided to be aggressive with my first try on the grill by doing baby back pork ribs for tomorrow. I have my ribs, created a Cajun rub and rubbed it into the ribs. Now they are resting in the fridge and will be read tomorrow for grilling. I will be smoking the ribs with some Hickory chips. With the Infrared emitter trough, you can just drop the chips right onto it for smoking. I'll be finishing the ribs off with a nice BBQ sauce towards the end of cooking time. I also have some beef medallions to cook after the ribs are done.
I see nothing but good times with this grill. With the reviews I have read on it, I am going to be getting some of the juiciest steaks, hamburgers, etc from this grill. This summer there is going to be a lot of beer and burning flesh. There will be grilling. Yes, there will be a lot of grilling.
It seems sleep or more specifically beds have been a popular topic in LJ. This is a topic that is close to my heart or at least I am extremely interested in. For over 11 years I had a bed that I was not comfortable with from day one. When I had to replace my bed because it went to my ex, I decided to buy another bed. This was back in the late 90's, where it was assumed that firmer is better for a healthier night sleep. Although in the Corps, I could fall asleep on anything for a short duration, my personal preference has always been on the softer side. Yea, I know... I am an old softy at heart or my bottom! So when I went out to buy another bed, I bought a pillow-top bed that was firmer than my liking. I thought I would get used to it, but basically I never had one good night sleep on it except when I was extremely exhausted and basically passed out in it.
Besides never having a full night's sleep, every few months I would wake up with my neck extremely stiff and in pain. When this would happen, I would either have to tough it out for a week or visit a chiropractor. As years went by this would happen more frequently until the last year or so, it would happen a few times a week. This was due to the fact that my mattress reached its 10 year mark and started to break down and sag. Another reason is that I am mostly a side sleeper (since developing acid reflux) and my down pillow broke down and had zero support for my head and neck. Basically my pillow was only an inch thick and when I laid my head down on it, it became flat as a pancake. So, my neck was at an angle and resting on my shoulder. This caused me to wake up with pain everyday. I only complained when the pain in my neck was pretty unbearable. As a side note, since having surgery on my left shoulder and finding out my right shoulder is also degrading, I have started having problems with my shoulders waking up stiff and in pain also.
I hated my bed so much that I dreaded going to sleep. When it was getting late at night, sleep was like some dark cloud looming over my head. I was pretty much left with two choices. I could go to bed at a normal time, toss and turn all night and wake up tired, sore, and stiff. Or I can stay up late, do something I enjoy, and go to sleep where I would only have to suffer in bed for four or five hours. I still woke up tired, but most of the time I woke up with minimal pain that was bearable. I usually took the staying up late route and WoW came in handy for this and was extremely fun. But I always thought that I should be able to go to bed at a decent hour and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. I know this has to be possible or at least I am lead to believe in this fantasy.
Last year, Michelle and I started the discussion on getting a new bed. There was one problem with choosing a new bed. Where I thought the bed was something that was spawned and spit out from hell, Michelle thought it was a gift from heaven and it was the most comfortable bed she had regularly slept on. It became apparent that I liked soft beds and Michelle liked firmer beds. Although it seems Michelle is now realizing that she likes beds that are supportive, but have that layer of softness also. I basically want to sleep on cotton candy. Last year we looked at the Sleep Number bed to answer this solution. We looked at a few last year, but it ended at that and we did not discuss it any further for a few months.
Since the last few months have been a living hell for me with the pain and lack of sleep and the current posts about beds, we decided to take another look at getting a new bed. Quickly from outside sources, we found out the Sleep Number bed was not a good choice. It seems that they are not manufactured well and start having problems within a year. The only thing I knew and was determined on was that I did not want an inner spring mattress anymore. After the past 11 years, I am through with them. Sleeping on metal springs is not appealing to me anymore. So, what is the solution besides inner spring mattresses? I started thinking about the Tempur-Pedic mattress and how it might be a possible solution in my quest for a better night sleep.