Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Since I started receiving my Social Security benefits, I have come to look forward to an increase of my benefits each year. For the first few years, it ran between 2 and 3%. Last year, we received a whopping 5.3% to accommodate the nightmare economy which Governor Bush left us. (As George Carlin pointed out, Bush was never LEGALLY elected president, and therefore didn't deserve the title.) So it was that I expected another increase, at least around 2%, which would have put approximate $16 more in my pocket each month...and instead, I discovered today that everyone on Social Security is getting a 0% increase.

I found this out today because I didn't receive my annual COLA notice. (COLA = Cost Of Living Adjustment.) Seems there's an issue with the address the government has for me. So I called the main number for Social Security, and part of the recording offered an option to simply hear a message about the COLA. I listened to it and was stunned. We're getting nothing.

As usual, the explanation is ridiculously complicated. Somewhere in Washington is a formula that establishes what the COLA will be each year. The base number, which I personally believe is something I think someone just said, "Hey, let's make it this," has dropped from last year. Thus, I suppose we should be thankful the government isn't decreasing the paychecks of those who are retired or disabled.

My issue with this is the fact that I have ranted in the past about how I live beneath poverty level. I am so poor that even Kansas, which has a somewhat better economy than Arizona, is paying for me to receive Medicare, just as Arizona did, and New York before them. So it seems moronic to me that the government would say, "Nah...You don't really need a pay increase, because these imaginary numbers over here say you don't." Really? Because the way I see it, the imaginary numbers you have set up for what you consider poverty level, which is currently $10,830 in the continental United States, with $13,530 for Alaska and $12,460 in Hawaii, are also embarrassingly stupid. I honestly don't know anyone who could live in a small amount of comfort. Heck...The minimum wage set by the government, designed to meet the cost of living, is currently at $7.25/hour. A rough estimate puts that at $15,080 a year. That, my friends, is bottom of the barrel survival, as far as the government is concerned for those that are working for a living. But I, who cannot find and/or keep employment, am expected to live comfortably making $9,600 a year?!?

This is just me ranting, but my belief is that the total annual minimum wage, at $15,080, should be the actual poverty level. And if that's the case, imaginary baseline numbers or no, I should receive an approximate 36% increase just to live IN poverty, and not BENEATH it. And if I'd been cursed with demanding housemates, instead of the great guys I ended up living with, I'd still be here each month, begging for funds to help me LIVE!

As it is, I'm having computer "fun" of late, and am becoming more and more desperate to have a new one built. You see, my computer has started...not starting. When I hit the power button, one of the cooling fans seems to go into overdrive, and nothing else appears to happen. In a moment of panic and frustration, I slapped the side of the tower...and that actually fixed it! Temporarily. It requires the occasional whack every now and again. And despite the fact that I haven't been online with it, due to a lack of proper cables, (which were recently ordered), my computer has also been slowing down.


*sigh* This whole COLA's now completely free of a caloric count, as it were. Ever try to live on zero calories? It's alternative name is starvation, and it kills people. So a hearty and sarcastic "thanks" to Social Security for literally nothing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back to "The Suicide Note"

No freaking out! I am not writing A suicide note. I have begun reworking on "THE Suicide Note: Memoirs of an Insulin Dependent Diabetic."

Years ago, I wrote an autobiography under that title. It's about growing up as an insulin dependent diabetic. I was actually proud of this treatise because it explained much of my medical conditions in terms both a layman and a professional could understand. The premise is simple: I have cut years from my life by being a very dumb diabetic in my youth, and one that's none-too-intelligent in the present. To put it to writing and possibly publish it might well save someone the turmoil that I suffer.

But there are problems with the original manuscript. You see, I had a copy of it on my near-ancient laptop. The aforementioned laptop is now dead, dead, dead, dead, dead. I believe I pressed the power button on it a half dozen times yesterday, and it didn't so much as even think about starting up.

Luckily, I had saved a copy of it to a floppy disc. would be lucky if the disc hadn't mysteriously become corrupt. When I attempted to retrieve it, my desktop actually started making a frightening whining sound from within the tower.

So I start from scratch. And I do so at a less-than-pleasant time for me.

Late Saturday, I blew an emotional fuse. Someone in my home said something to me in just the wrong tone, and some part of my psyche exploded. Now I have been wanting to say little or nothing to anyone around me for fear that, instead of speaking, I will let loose a rant that they don't deserve. That is, they might deserve it a little, but certainly not the yelling that I've been holding back.

It doesn't help that as I was writing this new draft of "The Suicide Note" that I dropped my headphones onto the tower of my computer, and the danged system decided to restart. No worries, as I have it set for auto-save every five minutes. I certainly didn't crank out two new pages in that time, and I also paused to jump on a housemate's computer to look something up online. I'm thinking that it was at least 30 minutes from when I reopened the document to when I dropped the headphones. And in a kind of reverse miracle, my computer managed to save NOTHING!

I was sorely tempted to bury my head in my pillow and scream.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Emotionally Neutral X-mas.

Stu once had a shirt that has a smilie face, except that its mouth was a straight line. Beneath it, it read, "Have a day." And so it was that descriptors vanished when we'd call to wish each other well. Gone were the days of "Happy Birthday," replaced by a call to wish one or the other "a Birthday." And so it is, with a voice set in monotone, that I wish all readers a Christmas. To be more open toward all folk, "Have a Holiday."

Actually, the first thing I'd like to do is apologize to Arguskos. He called to wish me a happy holiday, and he woke me up. I don't even know the hour, as I rolled over and went back to sleep. However, I have an explanation as to why I was so tired. I have managed to reverse my sleep schedule, all because I reacted to my pain meds a couple of nights ago.

From time to time, my pain is so bad that I stretch my use of my pain meds. I try desperately not to do this, as that's something that can lead to all kinds of trouble. Usually, I stick to the maximum of six percocet a day, and that's where I draw the line. If I need to experience some discomfort, so be it. I'm never 100% pain-free anyway. Alas, we've had some weather here. The wind has been howling and powdery snow has been gathering in enormous drifts around the trailer. My pain was so incredible Wednesday night that I grabbed some of the "extra" pills left from several days before and popped them. My stomach didn't appreciate this, and so I was hit with a bout of dizziness and nausea that kept me awake most of that night.

This prompted the insane. I've gotten into the practice of keeping something around for such a side effect. When Wednesday night was over, I was down to only two tablets of "the pink stuff." I needed more, just in case, and it was snowing on Christmas Eve day. And where, in this little town, does anyone go for inexpensive medical needs? Wal-Mart! Can you imagine visiting Wal-Mart on that day, of all days? Well, I convinced Siege to take me, and it was as insane as we feared. I managed a minor miracle, getting in and out, alone, within 10 minutes. Still, the place was CRAZY! Walking with a cane, I was still faster than most people in the store, and was positively thrilled by the numbskulls who would stop in the middle of aisles and just stand there. There didn't even appear lost...they just had nothing to do with their time.

Anywho, I got my meds, a few things to eat through the next couple of days, and Siege and I fled.

So last night, with nothing else to do at the moment, I said, "Hey, Ray...Y'know that Star Trek trilogy you've been reading? Well, I'm very interested in getting started on it." He handed me the books, I retired to my room, and began reading the first book. With the occasional break to snuggle with Nike, I went through 184 pages of the first book...and then went to sleep somewhere around 9:00 AM. Thus, my sleep schedule has gone kablooey!

In other news, I have been engaging a copy of my old Vampyre Blog. I was having so much fun with it until the point where I made an entry that had me sitting there and thinking, Wait...What?!? Where the heck is this story going?!? I fixed that final entry a couple of nights ago, and am considering continuing to write it offline. It feels good to be writing something again. But what I really need is to get my new computer ordered and assembled.

Now there's an issue that's been bothering me. Each month I've been here, I've managed to find a way to spend my monthly income almost to the last penny, even when I no longer have to. I buy this, and I buy that, and I see something I want and grab it without thinking about how this is only slowing me down on getting a new computer assembled. I was even given financial aid by a friend back in September and managed to blow it on things for the house instead of the computer. I need to stop spending the money on crap. my final bit of news, I think my toe is getting better...very, very slowly. It's been feeling extremely uncomfortable less and less, which I take as a good sign. It still bothers me, and the weather certainly isn't helping, but I'm not suffering nearly as much as I was last week.

For now, that is. I break so danged easily, and a certain female Playgrounder suggested that when we meet, she'll end up hugging me to death. That's, ummm...not the only thing I'd like to do with her, but if one must die, I suppose there are worse ways to go. =P

Anyway, that's the latest. I have a few other things on my mind, but I've been desperately trying to keep this blog PG-13 at the most.

All of my "have a Christmas" cracks aside, I want to wish everyone the very best of holidays, with sincere wishes for a happy and healthy New year to come. Be well, my dear friends.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sibling hatred

Well, you folks have certainly heard enough about Stu. Although I'm sure I've mentioned Barry at one point or another, since he's one of the existing labels on this blog, I will once again delve into tales of this unmitigated jackass. Understand, however, that some of what's to be said here is rather unpleasant, especially when I quote him. If racial slurs and the like upset you, stop reading now.

First, let me tell you that my youngest sibling is handsome, physically fit, and has a ton of charisma when dealing with anyone who doesn't know him. If you managed to have the entire lower half of your body amputated, my brother could eventually sell you shoes that cost enough to require a second mortgage on your home. He's that good. There was even a point during his lower-teens where he was juggling three girlfriends, all of whom were VERY pretty, even to the eyes of a young guy four years older than my brother. (Me, you silly people.)

But Barry is a manipulator. The only reason anyone would possibly be in his life is because they are of use to him. If you think you're his friend, think again. He's using you in some way.

Take his years way back in college. Many of his friends went out of town for college, while he landed an education at a private college still on Long Island. To stay in touch with them, Barry got their class schedules. He would purposely wait until he knew they were in class, and that's when he would call and leave a message for them to call back. In this way, he'd only spend a minute on the phone, calling long distance, leaving it to them to return that call and rack up the larger phone bill.

Nice, huh?

Then there was the time when I was dating Perlin, who has that cocoa complexion of someone from Trinidad. I don't remember what precipitated the argument, nor in what context Barry used the exact phrase, but her referred to my girlfriend as "a little sand nigger." I snapped, and we got into a physical fight. As fit as he was, I was also fit, and I was holding my own against him...until I fell backwards, with him on top of me. He crushed my chest, tearing the cartilage in the center of my sternum. I was over a month healing that one, and couldn't take a deep breath if my life depended on it.

Okay...Barry moves on in life and gets a degree in marketing. He takes this degree and obtains a job with Phizer. (Yes, the makers of Viagra.) He becomes one of those people who goes from one doctor's office to another, dropping off samples and plugging the pharmaceuticals they offer. You may not know this, but that job pays startlingly well. In fact, my brother was earning six figures! With this income, he bought a house, which he worked on in his spare time to build an apartment that he could rent out. All was going very well for him, and I was actually proud of my baby brother.

But he didn't like all of the traveling that the job entailed. Flying was the worst of it. (And this was long before 11 September 2001.) So he quit his job and returned to school to become...a teacher. And not just any teacher. He became a special education teacher, which tends to require that something extra from the person taking on such a role.

Now, during my brother's return to college, he started dating a woman who was an assistant district attorney. This is a perfect example of irony, when you take into my brother's past involving various illegal activities. (He was a little hellion back in high school.) The entire thing was a fiasco beyond measure. He managed to get this woman to move in and start paying all of the bills while he spent the entire day at school. Then, upon coming home, he would become upset when dinner wasn't waiting for him on the table.

That's the thing about Barry. If you hang around him long enough, he gives away his true nature. Here was a woman who would work up to 12 hours a day, if necessary, paying all of his expenses, and he was still of a mind that the best place for her was "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen." This, of course, didn't fly well with the girlfriend at all. Thus, Barry came home from school one day to find she had packed and moved out.

Good for her!

Somehow, Barry managed to complete his education, and now, oddly, he can't maintain a job long enough to gain tenure. He lives just off center of Nassau County on Long Island, which means he could be working in any number of schools, including somewhere in Manhattan. Oh, but that won't do for Barry. Oh no! He doesn't want to commute into the city, and specifically said, "I don't wanna work with the niggers." Rather than work, receive a paycheck, and get his bills paid, he would rather struggle, all because of his racial intolerance. And what's so incredibly stupid about it is that NY is desperate for teachers! If he would keep his mouth shut, he'd have a stable income.

But wait! It gets even better! My step-mom has family that works in a school that is specifically geared toward special education. She pulled what strings she could and found a job for Barry. He was fired in two weeks. As I understand it, he opened up his opinionated mouth and upset other staff members. That was that.

Oh...Speaking of my step-mom, Barry was actually angry at her and my father when the two of them got married. Where Stu and I were happy that our Dad found someone with whom he could spend his twilight years, Barry was pissed off, claiming, "She only wants to get part of the family inheritance!" To which everyone sat back and asked, "What inheritance?" Barry, it would seem, thinks there's a great deal of money to be had when my father passes on. Wow, is he wrong. If there was a lot of money lying around, I certainly would have received more than $50 for Hanukkah. Equally as disturbing is the fact that it seems he's waiting for our father to die so he can get paid. While the family has had a somewhat bizarre sense of humor about just that, Barry is apparently quite serious.

Let us not also forget that in early 2001, Barry heard that I was about 15 miles from where he lived, that I was homeless, and he couldn't care less. With an entire house to himself, there was no room for his eldest brother.

Of course, this was payback, I'm sure, for when he was 16. You see, Barry got into drugs in some of the worst ways when he was a teenager. One of his chosen substances was cocaine. He was given a choice: give up the drugs and stay, or continue using drugs and be kicked out. He chose the former, but was caught with drugs in his bloodstream. Thus, he was kicked out. Stu and I were given strict orders not to let him into the house. Stu chose to break with rule when Barry would come around. I refused him entry, enforcing homelessness on him. The difference was that his situation was one he chose, while I had my situation pushed upon me. But he got me back, and how.

Not really. Barry and I have very different outlooks on family. Where he makes every effort to push people away, I am the one who gets pushed out. I am lonely because others are unaccepting of my issues, while Barry is lonely because he's an abusive little jerk.

Over the last year and half, we've had a new problem. Our father moved from FL to NY to live closer to family. He's in an assisted living facility approximately five miles from where Barry lives. As I understand it, Barry called once, and only once. That call was to ask if our father could give him money. My father told him there was no money to be given. And that, my friends, was the last call Barry made to our father. Since dad proved he's of no use to Barry, Barry has no reason to contact him.

This is why Dad wants me to contact Stu. Barry, it would seem, is not really part of the family anymore. And I hear all of this via third parties, because Barry also has no use for me. It hasn't been confirmed, but I have a sense my father has disowned Barry. He thinks he's getting an inheritance when my father passes, but odds are good he's now receiving nothing at all.

And that, dear readers, is my brother Barry. May you never, ever meet him.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A shrug of the shoulders...

I'm somewhat at a loss at the moment. Atop my usual woes, my father landed me with things I just don't need.

Like the fact that my cousin Sheryl gave birth to her second daughter. Well, isn't that great news...except for the fact that I haven't spoken to her, or her mother, in just over nine years. They were the members of my family that made it clear they'd much rather not have me around. So, honestly, I don't know what to do with that information. Nor do I still know what to do with it. Such information simply makes me fume over my family's lack of acceptance.

The week before, my father dropped a similar bombshell. He wants me to call Stu. To say...what? To accomplish...what? Stu's overwhelming gratitude for my running to TN when he was deathly ill was less than acceptable. And since then, he's made no effort whatsoever to contact me. He made demands of me. He was the one who did all of the shouting. And I'M the one who should pick up the phone to re-establish contact?

Perhaps it's because Dad knows I'm the better man, that I am the nice guy who always strives to do the right thing. If I have an argument with someone, I'm the one who'll sit back and think about how *I* might have been wrong, and then open a conversation with an apology.

This time, however, I wasn't wrong in any major way. Perhaps I was slightly wrong in asking him if he was ready to discuss things like a grownup, but that's where my errors end. I made no demands. I asked for a home among family. In turn, I was treated like a potential ATM, shouted at by an overgrown child throwing a fit, and then virtually ignored. It's how I ended up in KS instead of TN, and I can only imagine things being worse had I moved in with Stu and his family.

Brought to my housemates, I asked what they think I should say. The immediate response from Ray was, "Dad wanted me to call you. I called you. Good-bye." Then hang up.

Do I send him an e-mail?

"Hey, Stu...Dad wants us to stay in touch, so...WTF is your problem? Why did you attempt to squeeze me for more than half of my monthly income? Why did you force me to seek a home elsewhere? Why, pray tell, are strangers kinder to me than you?"

I don't think that'll go over well. The thing is, these are the things that are dominating my thoughts. Stu doesn't want to be an adult in any way. But if I talk to him like the overgrown child that he is, he'll pick up on that and become insulted, and probably do more shouting. It's a lose-lose situation for me.

And I honestly have bigger problems at the moment. Yesterday was a day of hellish pain for me. That toe I smashed three times within one hour, several weeks ago...? Well, yesterday it not only hurt like hell, but was red and the point where the skin was shining in any light on it, and I feared the skin would break from said swelling. Because the skin was broken at the time, I had a fear of osteomyelitis. That fear just might be becoming a reality. How bad was the pain? Well, I went through FOUR of my morphine tablets, instead of the usual three, and took EIGHT percocets through the day, instead of the maximum of six. (On a good day, I can get by with only four.)

I have enough on my plate. So why, in even my semi-right mind, would I add to my problems by having it out with my brother? "Oh, Rob...It might not be that bad." Wrong! Without even making the call, I can feel my rage boiling, and fear I'll say something that'll set him off. And if I don;t say something, Stu will probably find a reason to be angry.

*sigh* And all of this because my youngest brother, Barry, is an ass beyond the likes of which have been recorded in social history. My father is living approximately five miles from him for over a year and a half, and he has yet to pick up the phone to ask how my father is doing. But I believe I've already spoken of Barry and some of his antics. If I haven't, remind me and I'll tell a few tales.

Meanwhile, I'm frustrated. Since Cody and Ray have acquired a copy of Borderlands, I am going back into that virtual world, where I can shoot guns whose bullets can also set people on fire. Yes, simulated violence...this is the answer that I seek!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just like old times...

I wanted to entitle this "Pussy in Bed," but figured someone might throw a fit for what that might implies. Still, last night was all about exactly that.

Nike came out from under the bed, hopped onto said bed, hung out by my feet for a bit, and growled when I'd pet her. I figured it was a start, and that it'd be a few more days before she stopped growling at me. Then, while I was reading the "Werewolf: Apocalypse" manual, she sauntered over and laid down...on the book.

This was old news for me. Nike tended to want to be close to me when i was living in AZ, and would often plant herself on whatever I was reading. So I adjusted her and the book, to which she only mewled a couple of times, and then we both settled down. I read while she leaned in close to me.

And that was that. For most of the night, Nike stayed by me, either making an attempted to share the pillow, or trying to mold herself to my body. I know she went wandering out of the room at one point, because I heard the door open (it doesn't close properly), so I looked up and saw it had enough room for a cat to sneak out. Then there was a loud hullabaloo as Nike and Jenny clashed...again..., and then she was back in the room, snuggling with papa. =)

Now, this news may be a tad upsetting to one of my readers, aqnd I'm sorry, Arguskos...but the fact is that she knew me for almost five years before I handed her off, and I'm sure it was ultimately comforting to her to know she could comfortably return to old habits.

But then, to give you comfort, something occurred to me the other day, and I thought I should tell you exactly how helpful you've been to little old me.

Remember ages and ages ago, when you and Kat sent me that care package? Well, I'm still working my way through the Q-tips. And the razors...? Well, I finally went out and bought more at the start of this month. Oh...when you came to get Nike, you brought me all of those powdered drink mixes - the ever-yummy and chock-full-of-vitamin-C cran-raspberry mix - and I still have a month or so's worth left. (I have rediscovered a love of diet root beer, so going through the drink mix has taken longer.)

These seem like little things, but when I received them, I was in dire straights. Now that I have room for a few luxuries, albeit very few, one might think that I've forgotten those little things...taken them for granted. I haven't. It sounds silly, but every time I reach for a Q-tip, I'm reminded of your kindness. If ever you start feeling extra down, remember the good, like helping some old, disabled guy as you did, hundreds of miles from where you live.

So...I'm feeling...okay-ish. Nike is adjusting faster than I expected. To be honest, I thought she'd make a nest under the bed and live there for the remainder of her days. No, she's getting used to things, thank goodness. And when it comes to having a friend, Arguskos definitely ranks high on the grand list of people I've met on the net, and turned out to be a quality person. =)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oklahoma and WAR!

Well, folks...I have Nike back. The journey to get her was...ummm...yeah. And, of course, once I got her back here, the war IMMEDIATELY got underway.

First, the trip with Siege. Oh, this was interesting. You see, one can visually tell when one passes over the border between KS and OK. There is no sign that indicates such passage, unless you count the incredible amounts of Subway signs. It seemed that every exit sign indicated a Subway sandwich shop was there. And on either side of the interstate, there was virtually no signs of life. In KS, you see lots of farms, with plenty of cows and such. In OK, there's NOTHING! Thus, we started making comments on the possibility of ending up in the fictional town of Silent Hill, and the idea of Pyramid Head killing us was inviting. We kind of lost it when I commented, "No, not Silent Hill...Silent Subway."

Right. We reach Oklahoma City via I-35, which, without warning, turned into I-40. Let me say that again: WITHOUT WARNING! We had no idea the route had changed, but once we did, Siege got off the interstate. Since we needed gas by then, we pulled off the road altogether and he filled up while I asked directions from someone. It was simple enough. Get on the road we were next to, make a right when we reach a certain street, count the numbers until we reached the one we needed, then follow it down until we find the...SUBWAY! Yes, our designated meeting place was a Subway to start with. This only added to our growing madness.

One of the "wonderful" things about OKC is that the traffic lights are timed like crap. When your light turns green, and you hit the gas to move on, the next light - not far off - starts turning red. This slowed us down considerably. An having missed our turn, we were dreading getting lost any further. But the answer was simple, right? Just make the next turn, and we'll follow the directions from there.

No. That would be FAR too simple. The next street went about 100 feet and then turned into a freakin' parking lot!

Allow me to take a moment to say what's been happening while we were getting lost. Arguskos and I had been calling one another, and he was already waiting for us. He couldn't understand how we'd gotten lost, as he'd picked a relatively simple place to meet. Little did he know that OK was made of Subways. So Siege was ticked that we were running "late," to which I kept telling him we they were early. Now we'd found the parking lot street, and we needed to turn around, and then...

Well, the last thing we expected to see was a horse and buggy. We'd lost it some time before, and Siege was fearful of having one of his psychotic what we were seeing didn't help, and he shouted, "Ahhh! Horse!" My response, as calmly as I could make it, which wasn't that calm at all, was, "It's okay...I see it too."

Okay...We finally find the streets we need, start heading where we need to go, and then we had the meeting that I didn't plan at all. I'd hoped we could sit down with Arguskos, his girlfriend, and his friend Kyle...but upon reuniting with Nike and getting her into Siege's car, the lunatic kitty tried climbing into the air vent at the passenger's side feet. All I could see in my mind was Nike climbing into the engine where we couldn't reach her, Siege growing impatient and starting the car, and my cat would become kitty mince meat. Thus, the meeting was far more rushed. "Hi, I'd love to stay, but we gotta go."

It sucked.

Once I'd extracted Nike, I put her in the travel box and covered her with mu jacket to keep her warm. She was far from happy, but there was little else I could do while in the car. And as we left OK City, Siege went on a rant about how the entire place was made of dumb, and we were both vowing to never return if at all possible.

The trip home was made more difficult by me taking my meds a little late. If fact, it was dark by the time I took them, and I'd forgotten to remove a pill from the mix. You see, I take my Xanax mid-day if I'm feeling a lot of stress. I wasn't feeling stress...just the lunacy of OK. Instead of taking the pill out, mostly because I didn't see it in my hand from the pill box I have, I popped a Xanax and rapidly found myself fighting to stay conscious. It was bad.

But we got home, safe and sound, and I got Nike out of the box and SHE...WAS...PISSED! The other cats came to see who the newcomer was, and Nike immediately started growling and hissing. When I moved to quell her, she turned to face me and Ever have a cat hiss in your face? They don't use breath mints. It was the most G-d awful smell on the planet in that moment in time.

Well, now there was no getting her to head to the kitchen to eat, nor could I show her where the litter box was, as she'd decided the only place to be was under my bed. I surrendered to this fact, and the effects of my meds, and collapsed

...for five hours! By then, Nike had to be hungry, and since she wasn't going to leave my room, I brought her a little food, which she devoured rapidly. I tried to...Well, Argus gave me a bottle of water for her on the trip, although I had no idea how I'd get her to drink from the bottle. Now that I had it, I opened it, poured some water into the cap, and put it down. Nike chose not to drink the water, but decided she wanted to bottle cap, which she carried off under the bed.

And that's where we stand at the moment. Nike is pissed at the world, and I've decided to let instinct do some of the work for me. She'd going to need to eat at some point, and her bowls are in the kitchen. (I made the mistake of giving her a little food in my room last night, but that won't be happening anymore.) I was also able to show her where the litter box is at one point, so that's taken care of. Now I just need to wait for her to get used to her new surroundings.

Here's hoping it's soon.