Graphic Design and Cosmic Hint Service

What an exciting week! Any more excitement and I think I'd have to be flushed and gasping, just to keep appearances up. I have a reputation to uphold, after all.

There's a spot of good news on the personal front, news which is so simple that it hardly seems worth noting here except for the fact that it says something about my state of mind this week: I'm not pregnant. Sure, we've got the contraception routine down, and I'm accustomed to my own irregularity, but there's nothing quite like the feeling of dread when you're a little later than your brain says you should be and then one of your new-mother friends says, "But what if you are pregnant? Would that be so bad?"To which your brain, calm and ok with your previously agreed-upon decision not to spawn, starts mindlessly screaming "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" in fear and terror. I don't know about you guys, but there are times in your life when you have the clammy-hands-of-excitement, and then there are times when you have the clammy-hands-of-fear.

I spent two days with a nasty case of insomnia, bad dreams when I finally did sleep, and a constant urge to wipe my palms on my jeans every time the subject came up in my mind.

Which was, by my estimation, approximately every 3.5 seconds. (Multiply that by two days, a massive design project, and a computer that threw a tantrum, and you can imagine what joy others must have felt in my presence.)

Love my friends. Assuming they're not demons, I plan on loving your kids too. But I think I can count this as what I like to term a "cosmic hint" - a hint so large it supersedes 'enormous' and 'blatant' and immediately goes interplanetary - that no matter what you guys may think about us having kids, that it's a bad, bad, bad idea for us.

I hugged the cats. A lot. They didn't really understand why, and Edmund spent a lot of time trying to wriggle away, and Tenzing spent most of the time wondering if this was pre-feeding taunting on my part. Again, these are not the most brilliant sentient beings in the known macroverse.

That award goes to Jeff's new allergist. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my spouse has entered the 21st century, in which it's totally in vogue to be in direct biological conflict with one's environment. This whole living-in-harmony-with-nature thing is highly overrated; it's far more fun to be able to talk at parties about what kind of pollens and saps and various airborne microorganisms and sheddings that you're allergic to.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, spouseling's allergist has confirmed what we have all suspected for quite some time: he is allergic to cats. I've been given to understand that this allergy thing isn't exactly a personal-choice issue; while one can choose to be chronically fashion-uncoordinated, one supposedly can't decide to only be allergic to pollens and saps that are only available on continents that one doesn't live on.

He gets to look forward to an entire life shared with the one allergen he reacts most strongly to: cat dander. (Sneeze-bag, formerly known as Tenzing or Fang-the-smaller, wishes me to tell you that it is crunchy and good with ketchup.) There are plenty of jokes to be made about whether I'd give up the spouse or the cats first. I think there's some social expectation about how you're supposed to cleave to your spouse, but it's difficult to know what to do when on one side, you have your life partner; and on ther other side you have medium-sized furry beings that are pointy on all ends when provoked.

Obviously, there must be a line drawn somewhere. Both spouseling and felines are quite vocal about their ownership of the house. There is talk of a neutral area being declared in the master bedroom. HEPA filters. Extra-vigorous vacuuming. Allergy shots.

There is a certain symmetrical beauty in the idea of a person who adores cats as much as I do being married to someone who, post-wedding-ceremony, develops an allergy to cats. It's the kind of symmetry that provokes large amounts of laughter.

Meanwhile, work on the dragon*con mystery project continues. Suffice it to say that I am whipping out a prodigious amount of graphic design this week, a rate of production which appears to be embarrassing at least one of the other members on the project (who reads this site). I'd love to show you what I'm working on.

No, really. I'd love to show you what I'm working on. I think it's hilarious, and my friends think it's hilarious, but the biggest part of these files' humor is in their secrecy. Our intent is for the content of these files to hit the dragon*con attending populace with no warning whatsoever. Previews would only destroy the element of surprise.

But, in better news, still not pregnant. Life might just be good after all.

Meanwhile, Photoshop beckons.


Amy, as I sit here at 5 am bouncing a hicupping 2-week-old and thinking about the descending in-laws this weekend, just let me offer a heartfelt congrats on the not preggie issue! *hugs*

It's not really embarrassing me ... I just can't finish my end of the mystery project till the 'con starts. But it's nice to be one of the "other people" who gets to see the funny before everybody else. Oh, and congratulations on not expecting. Edmund would eat the baby.

On the "extra-vigorous vacuuming", which is a good idea ... Jeff, you'll want a box of disposable surgical masks. I'm not kidding. My allergy set is very much like yours, and nothing is worse for me than vacuuming an area that is rife with your allergens. Mind you, two days later it rocks that you're not wanting to bleed to death from the corners of your eye, but at the time ... it's hell. If it's really dusty, I break out a mask before I turn on my vacuum. Sure, I have a HEPA-filtered vac, but it doesn't take this aerospace engineer to do that airflow problem and figure out that not everything you stir up goes into the scream machine.

Yeah, I know about that cosmic hint. I'll just spoil my nieces & nephews... As far as Jeffie being allergic - my mother is VIOLENTLY allergic to cats & has been on shots for 2 years. The downside - she's gotten to the point where she medically cannot have any more of the allergen thingy for cats. The upside - she can spend about 4-6 hours in my house (with the cat dander) without getting exceedingly miserable & ill. HIGHLY suggest allergy shots. Even on someone like my mom it helps. Also am a new believer in the air filter - it's helped my allergies (dust mainly) immensely and certainly can't hurt! (The one I have is also relatively inexpensive and I keep it on 24/7). Extra vacuuming is good, but it'll stir up the dander in the house for several hours afterward - right after Jeffie goes to work might do the trick.

You want irony? I'm allergic to horses and some types of hay. I'm also mildly allergic to cats. Fortunately mine are the type where if I'm around the allergen CONSTANTLY they become milder. I used to go into sneezing fits and watery eyes with my parents' cats when I would come home from college. Now, it's settled down to a constant post-nasal type thing most of the time. Mine also fluctuate with my stress level. Get me continuously stressed for a couple of weeks and it's hive-city if I have to handle alfalfa hay (the type my goats eat). Beconase and Flonase are two of the best medications I've ever been on for allergies. I was on them from March to November every year through college.

So, it turns out that I'm allergic to cats, dust mites, some grasses, and (for the random one) sycamore tree pollen. The recommendations for dealing with this stuff are frighteningly practical: limit exposure (filters, covers for mattresses and pillows, other things), try treating symptoms with some new drugs I haven't tried before (Singulair and Flonase) along with the Zyrtec that I know helps somewhat, and start allergy shots to try to de-sensitize me in the long-term. So, we'll see how it goes.

Well, congratulations. As someone who's experienced both kinds of clammy hands, I can appreciate how you felt.

Hey! Now you guys have a good excuse to put in hardwood floors everywhere in your house!

I made a layout..and I was wondering if its possible to code my layout..if do I do it..I need some majore help..i'm not the greatest at webdesign..

...and why are you asking here?