As usual, I've been lazy/distracted and now I'm way behind with the updates. The distraction was due to my Dad introducing me to the novels of Nelson DeMille. I read "Up Country" and couldn't put it down. I've made it through 3 more of DeMille's books and am in the middle of a fifth. I have been spending every bit of my free time reading. I can't make myself stop. So once again, AudreysAudities has been put on the back burner, but on the upside, I've been taking notes, so at least I won't forget anything.
First, I should probably tell you about the eye surgery that I was rambling about in my last update. Everything went fine, but unfortunately, it didn't work. I'm not surprised nor am I particularly bummed out about it. It's what I expected and I still think it was a good gamble.
The surgery process was fairly uneventful, or maybe I've done it so many times that it doesn't seem like a big deal. Anyway, the weirdest part was having Cinnabar with me before and after the surgery. She attracted a lot of attention. The nurses in recovery were enamoured with my dog. They all gathered around chatting about their dogs and stuff. Seriously, there were 3 or more people gathered around the whole time I was in recovery. I don't know if anyone else was getting any care, but I have to say, I got top notch service as well as a nice audience when I tossed my cookies.
More interesting than the surgery was my follow up visit with the Hunky Retina Guy the morning after my surgery. We got on the elevator with an elderly couple who were also heading up to see HRG. On the ride up, the lady who had noticed my eye patch said, "I guess we're headed to the same place." Then Randy commented that the only reason I went to HRG was because I thought he was good looking. Then the lady said in a serious and slightly menacing tone, "Get in line behind me, honey. He's mine." It was so unexpected that I was kind of in shock. After mulling it over for a second, I decided not to protest because I'm pretty sure she would have kicked my ass right there on the elevator if I had argued with her. She really sounded like she meant business. It was awesome and hilarious.
Christmas was good. I was in a much better mood this year and kind of got into the Holiday spirit. I even decorated Cinnabar's harness handle with some Christmas lights. It was awesome. The presents were awesome too. I got Sirius Satellite Radio from the parents. It's great. I love all the music choices and all the sports. Sirius has the rights to the NFL which makes it the blind person's NFL Sunday ticket. It rocks. I got a kick out of getting to listen to the Seahawks radio network. I can't wait until next season. I also like getting to follow the Hornets. I miss having them here, but at least I can still listen to the games on the radio. I also got a bitchin' Red Sox sweatshirt and a cool TU sweatshirt. Cinnabar got the little boots that I've been wanting to get for her and an an awesome travel bed that will come in handy for road trips and sporting events. I also got a new CD burner to replace my busted one so I'm back in business for making mix CDs. I could go on, but I already sound like a spoiled brat, so I'll just move on.
I bought myself a Christmas present. I got a new cell phone and some new speech software to go with it. I am now using a Nokia N75 with Mobile Speak. I had been using a speech product called Talks on my old phone. I think I like Talks better. It seems like Mobile Speak responds a little sluggishly and it doesn't talk as fast or as clearly as the speech synthesizer on Talks. I'm getting used to Mobile Speak though and the differences are becoming less glaring. I probably just prefer Talks because I was used to it. Mobile Speak is a good product and it is a lot more customizable than Talks which is really nice. The phone is a flip phone which I prefer to my old phone. The battery life is pretty weak but I am basically happy with my purchase. However, I am not happy with the AT&T
center for customers with disabilities. How can a department that is supposed to address the needs of customers with disabilities send out a phone and adaptive software without providing instruction manuals in an accessible format? All I got for the phone was a print manual that is useless to me. I got nothing for the Mobile speak software but was able to find the users guide on the Internet. It wouldn't be that hard for AT&T to make electronic text manuals for their phones. In fact, They have many phone manuals on their web site. But they didn't have mine. I raised Hell with anyone who would listen to me but never got a satisfactory answer. One chick told me I could call Nokia for a Braille manual - like I really wanted to wait that long. Fortunately, all Nokia phones basically work the same, so once I finally figured out where all the important buttons were, I was able to figure the phone out on my own. I also had some issues with the license that was given to me for Mobile Speak. After 4 calls to AT&T and lots of frustration, I finally got it worked out. All I can say is that the Center for customers with disabilities has gone downhill since they switched from Cingular to AT&T.
The parents, Cinnabar and I made the trip to Mobile, Alabama for the GMAC Bowl. Tulsa pounded Bowling green 63-7. It was fun but I felt a little guilty because I think TU ran up the score a bit in an attempt to break a number of passing records. I think the records are cool and everything, but I still felt a little dirty after the game. I tooled around on a Bowling Green message board after we got home and their fans were pissed. I can't really blame them for hating us. I would have been pissed if things were the other way around. I'm torn by the whole thing. I'm happy about the records but it was a bit tacky. The rest of the trip was fun too. We went to Biloxi to gamble, ate some seafood, went to a bitchin' parade and visited an old fort. We snagged lots of moon pies an Mardi GRAS beads at the parade as well as a stuffed fish and several footballs. I discovered that Moon Pies are tasty and got to make Cinnabar wear blue and gold Mardi GRAS beads to the football game. It was cute. Except for losing at the slots and spraining my ankle at the fort, It was a great trip.
And now we're up to February, "The Month of Audrey." It started off with a trip up to Tulsa to see Flogging Molly. Once again, it was amazing. Flogging Molly puts on the best live show I have ever seen. They're great on their CDs, but they
r about a hundred times better in person. It is a life altering experience. They played several songs off the new album that comes out on March 4th and they all sounded great. I can't wait to get the new album.
I couldn't take Cinnabar to the Flogging Molly concert because it's too loud and wasn't a good environment for a dog. Since Randy and the parents went to the concert too, I had to find a dog sitter for The Bar. Dad works with a cool chick named Michelle who raises puppies for Canine Companions, Inc. and she was nice enough to watch The Bar for me. She has a lab that she raised for CCI that got bounced out of the program for some random reason at the very last minute. As it turns out, her dog, Scotty, is Cinnabar's nephew. His Grandfather is Cinnabar's dad. Anyway, Scotty is a great dog and according to Michelle, he always runs the show around other dogs. But Cinnabar went into his house and turned Scotty into a pile of mush. He spent the whole night following Cinnabar around like a lovesick teenager. He let her walk all over him. She took toys from him and even kicked him out of his bed and he didn't care. He was totally smitten with Cinnabar. It was hilarious. Michelle said she didn't even recognize her dog with Cinnabar in the house. When I went to pick Cinnabar up, she was parading around the house with a toy in her mouth like she owned the place. She kept running up and down the stairs and even dropped her toy from the top of the stairs to watch it bounce. She didn't miss me at all or even seem to care that I was there to pick her up. She clearly enjoyed herself and was in very good hands while I was away.
The Parents took me to Las Vegas for my annual birthday trip. We left on a Saturday. The Friday morning before we left, I woke up with a nasty stomach virus. I don't want to get into a lot of detail here, but I had unpleasant fluids shooting out of both ends. I stayed home from work Friday and spent most of the day in the bathroom. It was not cool. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to make the trip, but I was determined to go. I think a large part of illness is mental so I just set my mind to work on getting better. I stopped throwing up Friday so I decided to tough it out and make the trip. I was a bit worried about the plane ride. That's a long time to not have access to a bathroom. Yeah, I know there are pissers on the plane, but that is about the last place in the world that I would want to do what I was fighting off. I spent the bulk of the flight with my buttocks clenched, but I made it. I spent the first 2 days in Vegas camped out in casino bathrooms, but I finally got it out of my system. I did lots of gambling and didn't lose very much money so I consider it a successful trip. I had a great time and really enjoyed cruising through the casinos with Cinnabar. She did really well with all the distractions and seemed to enjoy all the extra work.
Next up for the "Month of Audrey" was my actual birthday on the 23rd. It was a pretty quiet day. I spent most of the day reading then went to Outback Steak house for dinner with Randy and Mom and Dad. After dinner, we went to Mom and Dad's house for cake and presents and watched the first half of the Memphis/Tennessee game. Randy got me Some cool Red Sox Crocs and a Red Sox t-shirt. He also got me the bitchin' jeans that I wanted. After the festivities, Randy and I went home to watch the end of the game. I was pulling for Memphis since they are in C-USA with Tulsa, but it didn't work out. Still, It was an amazing game and was very entertaining. After the game, I went back to reading and stayed up until 1:30 in the morning so I could finish my book. I told you I am hooked on Nelson DeMille. I need help. All in all, it was a good birthday. I kind of enjoyed doing nothing all day long. It was relaxing.
And now you're all caught up. The "Month of Audrey" is winding down but March is shaping up to be a good month as well. There's the new Flogging Molly album and a new B-52's album to look forward to. I'll also be going to see NOFX and the Dropkick Murphys in concert. Then there's the awesomeness that is March Madness. It's all good.
So I think I've covered everything. Oh, yeah, there's one more thing. That fantasy football team that I was thumping my chest about was not all mine. My Mom owned half the team. While I did all the research and made most of the decisions, Mom was involved in keeping me from totally spazzing out and doing really stupid stuff. I bounced ideas off her and when I was getting too antsy about wanting to do deals, she calmed me down and made me realise that I was trying to do too much with the team. Basically, I managed the team and she managed me. And trust me, I am a handful when it comes to fantasy football. So, I was wrong to claim all the credit for the team's success and I apologize to my Mom. What I meant to say is that "OUR team" is the fantasy football champion of the world.
OK, that's it. Toodles.