beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (WTF HAX)
...Paul Newman died?

Paul Newman? I thought he was like, immortal.

Paul Newman.


Edit: Crap, now I'm thinking about stuff. Like, once he apparently filmed a movie in Calgary, and the impression our city made on him was so good that he remembered it years later when he was interviewed by a Calgarian journalist. "Calgary's such a wonderful city," he told her. "They don't even lock their doors there at night."

The journalist gently broke the news that we do, in fact, now lock our doors at night. In fact, some particularly despicable types of crime have higher rates in Calgary than anywhere else in Canada - we're known for being the hub of child prostitution up north, for example.

"Oh," he said. And he was so disappointed.

I read that story when I was a young teenager, and even just in print, it moved me deeply that we had disappointed him. I wanted to meet him someday and apologize on behalf of my city for not being as sweet as he remembered.

beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (jesus...)
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...I honestly think the fact that someone would even ask this question is sick. I live in a country with a universal health care system: a system which is currently under attack from critics who think we would do better to just make health care a free market (or at least put some services on the market - like expensive surgeries), and I'm TERRIFIED this will happen.

Don't get me wrong, Canada's health care system is in huge crisis right now. But that doesn't scare me anywhere NEAR as much as the proposed alternatives, where only the rich could afford to see a doctor.

And some of the people who are pushing this the hardest are here in the redneck west, Alberta. Alberta is RICH right now, and yet, the government is somehow failing to put enough money back into health care to keep the system from its rapidly speeding demise. The numbers and news stories just get scarier: more than half the family doctors in Calgary have plans to close their practices within the next few years because of the soaring overhead costs, and hospitals (according to one news story I read some months back) are considering lining the hallways with beds because they don't have enough rooms. (For all I know, they might already have started doing so.) The big story in previous months has been the fact that pregnant women were being turned away from hospitals in droves for lack of beds and being told to seek midwives - a service many, many women can't afford.

It's ALREADY a privilege to have a doctor in Calgary; not necessarily because you can't personally afford it, but because the health care system is so pressed for money that the equipment, space, doctors and nurses simply aren't there.

(Disappointingly - and bitterly so - there is also no real effort being made to increase the number of available spaces in most of Canada's programs of medical study. Many Canadian premed students end up in foreign universities, then foreign residencies, and never make it home to practice. On top of all the doctors fleeing the system here, we are losing an untold number of potential FUTURE doctors.)

So the solution is apparently to put it all on the market and let the health practitioners make up the difference by charging people an arm and a leg to get off the months-long waiting lists for any kind of specialty help.

And if you can't afford it, well, you could be on those lists for much, much longer.

But hey, every Albertan got a $400 cheque last year! Not nearly enough to cover many health care costs for ANYONE directly, but at least everybody got the same amount! That's fair, yeah?

It's just not just.

Which reminds me, I finished all those Globalization readings yesterday (finally!), and I read something from a Scientific American article in my coursepack that made me cry:

According to the estimates of the U.N. Millennium Project, all it would take to lift every single person on the African continent who is currently living in extreme poverty (extreme poverty being defined as making less than $1 a day and being unable to afford the basic necessities of life - including basic health care, ahem) out of it is 0.5% of the combined GNP of donor countries.


Also, Americans (this being an American publication, there were no numbers for Canadians) generally see foreign aid as, "throwing money away," because they think quite a bit of money is going towards foreign aid, and don't see anything happening.

Yet when polled as to the amount of money they believe is being spent on foreign aid, Americans overestimate the amount by as much as 30 times.

...Just something to mull over.
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (*stress*)

If I were going to post anything about Callisto again (that's one of my cats, the one who recently developed liver disease), it would have been that he's doing better. NOT great...but better. The underside of his tongue is actually almost pink again, rather than a rather violent shade of "schoolbus."

But he's still not really eating willingly. He won't eat the new kibble he's supposed to eat, and feeding him his new wet food takes SERIOUS coaxing at the very least. The absolute best we've managed is to get him to suck extraneous liquid out of the dish, or accept spoon-feeding. Beyond that, we've been stuck smearing wet food on his face (so he's forced to lick it off), or getting a syringe and force-feeding him (which he hates SO MUCH).

Also, he's a pain about taking the pill he's supposed to take every morning.

He seems to have IMMENSE trouble eating now, as if something's wrong with his mouth. We came to the conclusion that he needed to be seen by the vet again, but that was unfortunately just before the long weekend. So we force-fed him this weekend, and Mom took him to the vet's this morning.

...He's back in the vet hospital. It's touch-and-go if he'll live again, apparently.

And Mom says that this go-round is...the last time. If he doesn't recover when (if) he comes home the second time, then that's it. We'll have to put him down.

Just...damn. I don't really have high hopes, to be honest. Callisto's personality change in regards to food has been disturbingly dramatic. I don't know that our old lard-butt will ever willingly eat again.

I can't believe I'm probably going to lose ANOTHER cat. Admittedly, it's been five years since we lost Tiger and Lester, but DAMN. Our four guys were all just kittens when we got them, healthy kittens, and we really thought we'd have years and years with them all. Just goes to show that life can kick your feet (or your paws) out from under you at any time.

Thankfully, our other three guys can keep each other company, so the loss of Callisto probably won't hit them as hard as Lester's death clearly hit Tiger. But the one who's clearly been the most disturbed by Callisto's long hospital stays has been his littermate, Manhattan.

Which is also just great, because really, she wasn't neurotic enough to START with. I'm almost as worried about her as I am about Callisto.


beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (make it stop)
First, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I'm sorry I haven't told you all how much I appreciate it.

I'm not consciously aware of being upset about my coworker, but I HAVE been avoiding my own journal like the plague all this week. I know I get avoidant like that when I'm upset or anxious, though. It's a bad habit I should really try to break.

(Well, that, and I've been snapping at my mother a lot. Inexplicably, every single thing she's said or done this week has irritated me. I should apologize.)

My boss is now coming in to work! She talked to everyone she could on Sunday about it. She also gave me a few of the details I was missing:

-Apparently, BD was NOT just drinking. She also had taken Ecstasy that the Edo boys gave her. (Something I gather has broken my boss's heart, as BD had ALWAYS promised her to take no other street drugs besides pot.) This, combined with the alcohol, stopped her heart. The paramedics got her heart going again, but it was stopped for too long. Hence why she was in a deep coma when they got it going again, and was never able to wake up.

-Apparently the paramedic was wrong that she was all alone. The Edo boys were apparently responsible for calling 9-1-1. And they did it when she started to say she had a HORRIBLE headache (after which one of them disappeared, but he was trying to get her a glass of water), not when she collapsed. GO THEM for realizing so quickly that it was serious, even if it didn't save her.

(Maybe they stayed back when the paramedics came, since they apparently gave her the E? Or - hell - maybe the paramedic didn't even realize that this white girl was with a bunch of Asian guys? I have no idea.)

-My boss says that BD's last words to her were, "I'm going to dance all night and go to the pancake breakfast in the morning, so you don't need to stay up for me. 'Night, love you Mom." ...That's good. It's good when last words are, "I love you," and I think you could practically count on BD for that.

My boss seems to be doing remarkably well, actually. Another of my coworkers who's been around our Taco Time about twice as long as I have (i.e. 6 years or so) asked me if I was around when her father died. I said no, and he said that she was essentially non-functional for a month. We all expected this would be even worse.

Instead, she seems to be handling things...okay. She's working again, anyway. (The memorial service was in B.C. on Saturday, so we didn't see her until Sunday, but she's been back in since she could be.) The same coworker said that she's become very...Zen...about her life in general the past year or so, and that he thinks that's REALLY helping her.

I'm just hoping this is true and she doesn't crash horribly later on. She seems calm enough to find solace in the idea that her daughter's death might be a lesson and a message to some of her hard-partying friends.


One of my four cats, Callisto, has been off their kitty kibble lately. Actually, they all have; but now that it's not so hot the other three are eating just fine, so we think they were just too hot earlier.

Callisto, however, still wasn't eating by yesterday morning. And my mom and my sister observed something very alarming; our resident fatboy has a WAIST. And no tummy. He's lost THAT MUCH weight. We've had him on prescription diet food since he was a kitten, and he's never had a waist. So Mom took him to the vet's.

...Turns out, he has liver disease.

The vet told Mom he was quite jaundiced. It's hard to see in cats (Mom says the vet showed her how to check by pulling their eyes open wide or peeling the sides of their mouths open), but I still feel terrible for not noticing. At least now we know how to regularly check that in all of our cats.

Apparently though, if the vets can get him stable, this is something which is fairly common in cats and can be managed. So we're crossing our fingers. He spent the night at the vet's for treatment, and when Mom called this morning he was doing better...if not great. (At least he made it through the night!) We might go visit him later today, as the vet said we could.

I hope my kitty will be okay. I really, really don't want to lose another cat.


Personal health stuff )

beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (ball)
So my coworker?

Yeah, she didn't make it. Passed away sometime last night, apparently.

Her mom came into the store tonight to give everyone a hug - something which threw me, since I'd expected to have at LEAST another day to decide what to do or say when I saw her. (I mean, really, what do you say??) So I panicked just a little when she walked in the back door.

But she didn't wait for anyone to come up to her; she just started hugging people.

It's awkward how I just don't tend to react emotionally with as much strength or immediacy as other people do. One of my other coworkers was in tears all day; others kept making worried faces or bringing it up. I'm sure they ALL wondered what they should say, but I don't know if anyone wondered how sad they should pretend to be. Anyone but me, anyway. I mean, is that in any way normal?

When my boss walked in the door, I was faintly aware of my face running through test runs of expressions while I watched everyone else, trying to find a face that matched the emotional tone and volume of the room. (No, nobody was looking at me, as I was behind everyone else.) I was primarily concerned with my boss, of course, but a small part of me was uncomfortably aware of the fact that I was performing sorrow more than feeling it.

Nevertheless, I must have done an okay job hiding that, because my boss took one look at me and literally burst into tears on my shoulder. She said, "She loved you guys so much," and I suspect she meant me in particular at that moment. Not necessarily because BD actually loved me more than anyone else; but because both of them have always been vaguely maternal towards me, and BD in particular had always made it a point to tell me she loved me - for what reason, I can't quite guess. Maybe she just thought I needed to be told that a lot.

So I hugged my boss a lot and rubbed her back, and that seems to have been an okay thing to do, because she recovered and eventually she and her older daughter (BD's sister) left.

Apparently she was a wreck this morning, and the people who remember when she lost her father have suggested that we may need to keep a close eye on the management side of things for ourselves for a while.

My poor boss. She has practically nothing except this business, and then there were her two daughters. I can't imagine, but it must be incredibly hard.
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." ([DW] never give in and NEVER give up)
One of my coworkers is in a coma.

Even better, it's the Boss's Daughter.

She's barely been working at our store anymore; she got a higher position working at Bluenotes some time back, and only works the odd Saturday shift now. I'd forgotten she wasn't on the schedule this week, as I'd been more than half-expecting to see her today. I'd CERTAINLY expected to see my boss, because unless she's on vacation, Boss Lady is there every. single. day.

Instead, I get to work to find out that BD is in a coma and my boss hasn't been in at all since she's been at the hospital by her daughter's side since early in the morning.

Turns out that she went out partying to celebrate the Stampede, as it's that time of year again in Cowtown. She's always been a HEAVY partier and a heavy drinker (with aspirations to be a bartender), so I imagine she was doing more of the usual. She'd originally gone out with, "my Edo boys," the guys who work next door at Edo Japan; she's gone out to bars with them a lot in the past, and they introduced her to raves. But apparently they got separated at some point in the night (I don't think we know the full story on that yet, so I won't speculate), and sometime early in the morning BD was found by a kind stranger lying unconscious downtown.

Paramedics were called, etc. And when all was said and done, she's in an alcohol-induced coma...and not expected to make it.

Just...what a stunning thing to hear first thing when you walk in the door. I've spent most of today struggling to process this news.

Just last night, I saw her because she came running into the store just as I was about to leave and dropped off a shirt and a straw cowboy hat. (Which I gather she didn't want to take drinking with her.) Since the store belongs to her mom, BD has a tendency to treat it a little like you would your own living room, dropping off possessions in the back and picking them up on a whim.

She said, "'Night Dan, love you!" and went dashing off to meet a friend; I blinked at her back and probably said something like, Oh, you too. Um, goodnight. Mainly I was overwhelmed by the cyclone she can be. As introverted as I am, she can be hard to watch - she's the very definition of "extrovert." As much as I've griped about her in the past, it's because nobody ever tells BD off to her face. You can't. Despite being a spoiled princess, there is something almost forcefully likable about her. She is everyone's best friend. Since she's stopped working here, some things have run quite a bit more smoothly...but it's much, much quieter.

I'm much quieter. I have no one to talk to. Outside of the internet, she's the only person I might have vaguely considered a friend.

Just this morning I was thinking glumly that since House, M.D. is over until September, and Doctor Who is over as of today until...indefinitely...that work was going to get incredibly monotonous. (It's probably sad that the highlight of my week is a television show, but there you go.) Just same old, same old - my biggest fear right now is that I won't be accepted to any school I've applied to, and I'll be stuck another year making tacos for people.

Now, unless BD wakes up, I'm going to be working for a boss who's grieving the loss of her younger daughter. There's no earthly way in this situation that I could quit out of mere boredom, but I don't imagine work is going to feel comfortable for a while.

I keep thinking of things I might have talked to BD about. She hasn't put me on rail the past few Saturdays she's worked, so we're not even beside each other to talk much.

I also thought about how last Halloween she'd wanted me to go in drag, but I didn't because I wasn't prepared with anything suitable to wear. Admittedly, she didn't want this in order to see a boy wear a dress as a costume, but because she wanted to see, "What Dan would have been like as a girl." But I'm not totally opposed to the idea, and I was debating between that or dressing up as the Tenth Doctor for this coming Halloween. I was trying to conjure up some scenario where I might get completely dolled up for her, given that I don't party, wouldn't feel comfortable going out with some fraction of her very large circle of friends, and don't have any other friends I'm in touch with right now that don't live in a box.

Now she's probably never going to see me in drag at all. Or discuss the next season of House. And I might never get together with her to introduce her to Doctor Who, like I've been intending to. And we might never play Guitar Hero together, like we've been meaning to.


beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (jesus...)
HOLY SHIT, you guys.

Most of you have probably already heard this from somewhere else on your list, but I'm going to have to join the parade of people posting and say:

Holy shit, Heath Ledger [accidentally?] offed himself.

This was the first thing I saw when I logged into my XP account and brought up my homepage, and I was so hoping it was some sort of prank or false report, but it doesn't appear to be.

He was just so young. I can't even process. How do you die when you're so young?

RIP, Tiger

Jun. 11th, 2003 07:12 pm
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
So my cat, Tiger. Yeah. We had to put her down yesterday.

Another one of my kitties bites the dust )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
More bad news about Lester.

Lester has leukemia.

Which, of course, has no cure. And there's no treatment for cats. He'd just get sicker and sicker. They say it's a miracle he's still with us, and they have no idea how he's managing that.

So we're getting him put down. It's the only thing to do.

I decided not to go to the hospital with Mom and Nicole. Partially because I have to get ready for work. Partially because I realized I just don't WANT to go. I kind of want to say goodbye, but not like that. Not with him so sick and everyone around crying and bawling and wildly petting him. And hospital smells, and the sounds of crying cats and dogs, all in so much pain. No.

So I'm home. I laid down with Tiger for a while and cried. She's been frantically licking and nuzzling everything she can reach. She hates when we're upset. She laid down with me, and put her head against mine.

You Got a Friend in Me )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
So, this entry contains some bad news about my cat, Lester. Just a warning.

This morning, my mom came to wake me up ad tell me that Lester is in the hospital. He still hasn't been eating recently, and his rash hasn't gotten too much better.

The vets say now he probably won't make it.

Of course, he's one tough kitty. They tell us most cats wouldn't be alive at this point. And he's still hanging in there. So there's a chance - a small chance that they might find something they can treat. But that's not likely.

Mom was really upset and crying. I told her that it's better he goes when he's had a happy home with us, rather than his pitiful cage in the pet store.

She asked me if I'll want to say goodbye when we get definite news that he's going. I said yes, but I have an awful foreboding that I'll have to be running a show.

I really almost can't believe I might not have two kitties greeting me at the door when I come home from school next week.

Tiger loved snuggling with him. She will be so upset.


beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)

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